When you put your home on the market, it’s important that you make the indoor living space as attractive as possible to potential buyers. The foyer should look spacious and inviting. The bedrooms, neat and uncluttered. The basement, clean and well lit.
All good advice.
But don’t forget the outdoor living space. That too has a significant impact on how quickly your home sells and for how much. You want to make the area around your property, from the front walkway to the backyard deck, as attractive as possible.
How do you do that? Here are some tips for sprucing up your outdoor living space that can be easily implemented.
- Trim the hedges. Like a haircut, it gives your landscaping a clean, styled look.
- Place flower pots in strategic locations, such as next to the front steps and on the deck or patio.
- Fix anything that’s loose or squeaking, such as fence gates, shutters and deck railings.
- Remove anything unsightly, like garbage bags and piles of garden cuttings.
- Sweep all walkways, especially the one leading to your front door.
- Wash the outsides of your windows. (No need for ladders, buckets and scrub brushes. Most home improvement stores now sell window washing kits that hook up to your garden hose.)
- Check to make sure everything works: water taps, electrical outlets, exterior lights, etc.
You can probably get most of this work done in a single weekend. It’s worth it. Making your outdoor living space look great will dramatically increase your home’s appeal to potential buyers.
There’s a long list of ingredients needed to sell your home quickly. Obviously, you want to make your home as clean and uncluttered as possible. You should also make sure any outstanding repairs are done. And, of course, all the little things you can do to make your home “show” well are important, too.
But the number one ingredient needed to sell your home quickly is the right price tag. If you set the price of your home just right, buyers will come to see it, and there’s a good chance you’ll get some good offers. If you price your home too high, however, few buyers will take an interest in your property and it might languish on the market for months. Worse, it might not sell at all.
So how do you determine the right price at which to list your home?
One of the best ways is to do an analysis of what similar properties in your area have sold for recently. What people are actually paying for homes like yours — in communities like yours — is the best indicator of the true market value of your home.
After purchasing a new home, buyers are often focused on securing a good mortgage, hiring a reputable moving company, and preparing for moving day.
Those are all important. Just don’t forget about home insurance! It’s an easy detail to miss. If you wait until the last minute to make those arrangements, you may not have time to shop around and get the best policy and rate.
When is the ideal time to shop for home insurance? When your offer is accepted. Don’t leave it until the last minute.
Lighting is, perhaps, the most important element in decorating. The right lamp, chandelier or ceiling fixture can instantly make a room more attractive and inviting. The wrong lighting, unfortunately, can have the opposite effect.
Here are five secrets to making the right choice:
How much lighting is required in a room? To calculate, simply multiply the square footage by 1.5. Therefore, a 12′ x 16′ living room would require 288 watts of lighting (12 x 16 x 1.5 = 288).
How big a chandelier do you need? Simply add the dimensions of the room together. So a 12′ x 16′ area could accommodate a chandelier that is 28 inches in diameter (12 + 16 = 28).
How far apart should lighting fixtures be installed in a hallway? Experts say that ideally a light should be positioned every 8 to 10 feet.
How do I create ambience? In the dining area for example, select a light fixture that can accommodate a dimmer switch. The ambiance of the room improves if you can soften the lighting during meals or when entertaining.
Using floor lamps? The bottom of the lampshade should be around 42 inches from the floor.
Let’s face it. When you visit a home during a scheduled viewing or open house, you’re usually seeing it at its best. The rooms are tidy. The sinks are clean. The closets are organized and uncluttered. Even the lighting is set to its brightest.
That’s just good old-fashioned marketing.
However, not every house you see will actually look this way. For any number of reasons, a house on the market may be less than tidy, poorly decorated, and even in need of minor repairs. You may open the front door in anticipation, only to be immediately turned off by stains on the carpets, faded paint on the walls, cluttered hallways, and more.
First impressions form quickly. It’s easy to make quick judgments and move on. But, you may be passing on what could be a dream home.
Don’t make that mistake. Make your purchase decision based on a carefully considered second impression, not just your first.
When viewing a house, imagine how it will look with a fresh coat of paint, some redecorating, the minor repairs completed, and your furniture adorning the rooms. You might just find that a home that doesn’t show well is really a diamond in the rough.
(One caveat: Be careful of houses that don’t look like they’ve been well maintained. There could be issues lurking that require expensive repairs or renovations. Always make a professional home inspection a condition of your offer.)
There are advantages to buying a home that doesn’t show well. They attract less interest and, therefore, less competition from other potential buyers. The listing price may be lower too.
Remember the last time you were in a furniture store or other major home retailer? Remember the fully decorated displays of furniture, appliances and other products? Some of those may have even been organized as model rooms.
What did most of those displays have in common?
Chances are, they were well lit.
In fact, in the retail industry, there are professionals who specialize exclusively in display lighting. It plays such an important role in showcasing and selling home products successfully that the stores are willing to absorb the expense.
And the same holds true for your house.
If you want to show your house well, and sell it quickly and for the best price, make sure every room is well lit.
There are probably some rooms in your house where the lighting is adequate, such as the kitchen and bathrooms, and perhaps the foyer. But there are other areas where the lighting may be mediocre. Take a close look at:
- Storage areas
- Laundry rooms
- The garage
If there are areas in your house that are dark or shadowy, the solution may be as simple as installing higher wattage bulbs, provided your fixture can accommodate them. Keep in mind that brightness can vary significantly from one type of bulb to another. For example, a 40-watt energy efficient bulb may not give off as much light as a comparable standard bulb. So do some experimenting. Your goal is to make the room feel bright yet comfortable on the eyes.
Also, don’t forget to open drapes and blinds. Often the best and most pleasant source of light for a room is the sun shining through a window.
It’s great when you have lots of time to prepare for something important. But life doesn’t always happen that way. Sometimes you have to move quickly, and do the best you can with the time you have.
Say, for example, you had to get your house ready for sale, and you only had a week to do so. What could you do in those few days to make your home as attractive as possible to potential buyers? Here are some ideas:
- Clean the house from top to bottom. Make it look “guest ready”.
- Get rid of as much clutter as possible. If necessary, put some things in storage. Try to make every room look organized and spacious.
- Get all minor repairs done.
- Paint. It’s the fastest and cheapest way to dramatically improve the look of any room.
- Don’t forget the outdoors. Prune the hedges, sweep the walkways, and deal with any potential eyesores — such as a rusted old bike stowed in the side yard.
- Place some fresh flowers in the dining room and outside next to the front door.
- Depersonalize your house as much as possible. For example, stow away family pictures. You want buyers to imagine themselves living there, not you.
This is just a partial list of ideas. A good REALTOR® can help you with more tips on preparing your house so that it sells quickly and for the right price.
We are all staring at our smart phones days and nights. From the age of 1 to the age of 99. The phones are ringing, beeping, and making all sorts of sounds to be noticed. So, why on earth don't we respond?
Why on the phone, via text or e-mail cant we be polite just like we are in a face-to-face communication?
You received documents, or information, or e-card - just say "thank you"!
Someone asked you a question - just respond something, acknowledge, tell them you are working on getting the answer and will get back to them later.
Your phone rings and you cant answer? - text message takes 30 seconds and half a finger move to send - just let them know you are still alive
You don't know who you are ignoring so don't ignore. In any case those are people and people don't deserve to be ignored.
Looking for good REALTOR® in Toronto, Mississauga or Oakville?
It often surprises me how lightly some of the home owners and also some of my colleges treat rentals.
I might be wrong, but I treat rentals just as seriously as I treat sales. I will not offer to do open houses or print super expensive brochures, but the rest bells and whistles Landlords are entitled to just like home Sellers.
Our job as Realtors is to bring the world to the property (since we cant bring the property to the world) and how could we possibly do this without fabulous photographs, appealing descriptions, floor plans and all the possible advertising media.
As to the Landlords, yes, I know, you are not selling your home, but it still needs to be cleaned, maintained and repaired to attract the Tenants you will be comfortable with.
Got an investment property sitting empty? This is not the way to go!