Selling a home is a relatively rare event in most people's lives, happening maybe every 5 - 10 years or more. It's hard to be familiar with a process if you only get to experience it once in a blue moon, so I have collected the questions I've heard most over the years and will do my best to explain what happens, every step of the way so that you have a good understanding of what the need-to-know's are of Home Selling.
Q: Does every home need to be prepared and staged?
A: To some extent or another, every house that is trying to sell could benefit from some up-keep. This could be anything minor like a little furniture re-arrangement and painting, to larger tasks like replacing flooring or tiles, in hopes of getting a higher return on investment.
The goal of preparing and staging your home is;
Make the home feel as Big as possible
Make the home feel as Bright as possible
Q: What are the most common recommendations for pre-sale renovations?
A: Based on what has been proven to provide the largest return on investment, the most common recommendations I make are:
Maintenance & Repairs - This includes everything that could negatively impact the possibility of a sale - so be sure that all the faucets and plumbing are drip-free, fix and windows or doors that don't work properly, survey the outdoors for any cracks in the paint, places where the fence is broken, or unruly shrubbery that could be trimmed.
Painting - It's a known fact that giving the walls and baseboards a coat of paint can really help brighten a home. Stick to simple whites, or slightly warm beiges. The importance of this task is to refresh the walls, not to create a whole new style because you want possible home buyers to be able to imagine their own stuff and style in the space. That's what's really going to sell a home - a space that homebuyers can see as their own.
Rearranging Furniture - This task goes along quite naturally with painting any room, however, this step is by far the most cost-effective way to help increase the likelihood of selling your home. Homes take on an energetic imprint of the people who live there, and if you haven't moved your furniture around for a year, or more, take the opportunity to switch things around. This will stimulate a feeling of movement, instead of stagnation, which is exactly what you want - movement!
Updating Light Fixtures - Again, this is another small investment that can make a mighty difference when selling your home. This is another aspect of a home that is often chosen at the beginning of residence, or even left there from the previous owners, so it's likely the fixtures are old. You may not need to buy new ones, perhaps just cleaning them will do, but do be sure to give them some love.
Economical Kitchen/Bath Updates - These are things like cleaning and covering the stained grout or calking around sinks and tubs, or replacing flooring that is lifted from humidity. There's no need to do an all-out remodelling, but adding touches that make each room feel finished, is exactly the kind of inviting that home buyers are seeking. The kitchen and the bathroom are certainly at the top of the list of priorities for updates, because these rooms are the most used.
Hide the Artwork - This last tip is also a cost-effective way to help your home seem more neutral, allowing potential buyers to imagine their own art on the walls. Pack away all the canvases', statues, trinkets, and anything else that might be considered a 'theme' for a room, like a sports shrine.
Q: How long will preparing my home for sale take?
A: That is very much up to you, and how much time you have versus how much you want to do. If you have kids, this can be a tough task to accomplish. Most often, clients require 3-6 weeks to prepare the home, so start asking your friends and family if they have any time and muscle to spare in the upcoming weeks, perhaps in exchange for some good meals and beverages. Moving is a huge life event and is made much easier with more hands working together. From help watching your kids while you do some work, to help with painting or moving boxes, the people who love you most might just be your best asset. And if not, you can always hire help!
Q: Is it important to get every item on the list completed?
A: This again is entirely relative. The more you do, the better impact you will see, and we’re not talking marginally better, but exponentially better. However, it’s very easy to get caught in the process, where the more you do, the more you see that needs fixing and you don’t know where to draw the line. A house is never perfect or completely finished, so be aware if you've reached the point where any extra work is no longer going to improve your sales price or outcome. Keep it simple.
In the next post I'll get you in the know on what comes next, so be sure to come back soon. We hope you are feeling more confident in starting the home selling process, so that you can get out here to the wild west coast of Vancouver Island to Start Living In Ukee! If ever you have questions about making the move to Ucluelet, please do feel free to contact us.