by Leigh-Ann Allaire Perrault
For many of us, the process of selling a home can be an emotional roller coaster ride filled with nerve-wracking inclines, unpredictable dips, and unexpected loops. But once the ride ends and we arrive safely back on solid ground, there is often a sense of relief and joy, and some of us even have the guts to do it all again!
If you’ve recently buckled your resale seatbelt or are planning to take a real estate ride in the near future, I have a few tips that can help to make the experience move smoother and faster.
Preparing a home to sell is so much more than just making a space look good at first glance! It’s equally important for a home to feel good, smell good, and even sound good! Successful staging really is all about creating a positive sensory experience for potential buyers, and ultimately making upgrades and changes that will have a significant return on your investment of time and money. But where should you begin?
The easiest way to kick-start the staging process is to first perform a little domestic CPR – Clean, Purge, and Repair!
A huge staging misconception is that it takes the investment of a brand spankin’ new kitchen or newly renovated bathrooms for a home to increase potential resale profits. The good news is that those pricey upgrades will likely shorten the length of time that your home is on the market, but the actual return on investment is often dollar for dollar. If you really want to get the most bang for your buck, simply rolling up your sleeves and thoroughly cleaning your home from top to bottom can offer upwards of a 500 per cent or more return on your investment of time and money. That’s like saying that for every dollar you give me, I’ll give you back five. And the great news is that most cleaning tasks only require a little bit of time and elbow grease to completely transform the look, feel, and smell of a home.
If resale is on your horizon, it’s a great time to weed through all of your “stuff” and determine what you want to take with you when you move, and what you can get rid of immediately. I often say, if you haven’t used it in the past six months, it’s time to lose it! It’s easiest to create three categories of unwanted and unused items and separate them into the following piles: sell, donate, and toss!
It’s also incredibly important to depersonalize and declutter as much as possible by removing family photos, reorganizing closets, and tackling the “junk drawer.” Ensuring that all areas of your home are free from clutter will help potential buyers focus on your space and not your stuff, and removing personal items will help them to envision themselves living in the home more easily.
Nothing sounds worse to a potential homebuyer than the sound of work! Squeaking doors, creaking floors and screeching appliances are red flags that a home has not been lovingly maintained.
The best way to tackle your list of repairs is to divide them into two categories. In the first, make note of tangible DIY tasks that you can efficiently complete on your own. Ensure that you have the right tools for the job, and that you feel confident in using them. If there’s one tool that I think every homeowner should have, it’s the Matrix quick connect system by Black & Decker. You can swap out the various interchangeable heads in seconds to transform the drill into a sander, or a circular saw, or an impact driver. It’s like having a whole workshop inside one small toolbox.
In the second repair category, create a list of tasks that require hiring a professional. Be realistic with your budget and timeline, and remember that repairs done by a professional should be seen as an investment, not a cost.
Now, take a deep breath and breathe a little CPR into your home to speed up the real estate roller coaster ride and maximize your potential for added profit.