Prepping Your Home For Sale

Hi everyone! This is Jennie, Marketing Director for The Weaver Team. I’m always posting tips on home staging, getting ready to move, etc. but I thought speaking from my own experience might really hit home for you all. My husband and I recently decided to put our condo on the market to move on up to our first house. SO exciting, but also SO stressful!

P: Shutterstock

P: Shutterstock

Just looking at all of the stuff we’ve accumulated over the years was giving me heart palpitations. And I am a total neat freak – so it probably wasn’t even that bad. I had so many thoughts going through my head, there were so many things I wanted to clean or fix up before putting our condo on the market. There was just so much to do that I didn’t even want to start.

Once we started looking at houses, we decided it was time to buck up and get our condo on the market – sellers aren’t very enamored with offers contingent upon selling your current property. We were getting ready to head out on vacation for 10 days and I thought it would be the perfect time to list, that way the condo could be shown any time and we wouldn’t have to get out, figure out what to do with the dog, or clean up after ourselves.

So now we had a deadline to get our place ready, which was just the kick in the pants we needed. After all of the homes I’ve photographed and all of the staging tips I’ve poured over the past couple years, I knew the first step would be to declutter and depersonalize. We rented a small 5 x 10 storage unit for our ‘overflow’, I highly recommend a storage unit if you don’t have a basement or garage where you can store things.

DSCN1976We removed all photographs of ourselves, family, and dog – including from the walls, shelves, and refrigerator. We had a few ‘extra’ pieces of furniture including a console table, wine tower, and 2 dining room chairs that we removed to make the space look as large as possible, but without making it look sparse. We have storage under the stairs, so to show how large the space is, we packed it all up and put it in storage. The same for our closets, buyers are looking for storage space so if your closets are filled to the brim it gives a sense of very little storage space. We packed up seasonal clothes and shoes and off to storage they went.

Next we washed ALL of our walls and doors, just a bucket of water and a cloth, wiping them all down top to bottom. You will not believe the difference it made! And don’t forget the kitchen cabinets which tend to get extra grimy. We also wiped the ceiling fan blades, man those get dirty.

DSCN1981Once everything was hauled off to storage and everything had been wiped down, I went back through and redecorated. Yes you should declutter and depersonalize, but you don’t want your home to feel cold and unwelcoming. We have a cluster of shelves above the couch where I added candles and small picture frames will cool wallpaper. I put a runner on our dining room table with some candles and added a few small colored vases to a shelf above the TV.

Finally, as an added touch, we created a flyer that called out the features of our condo and also some additional perks like being within walking distance of the Village, local events, and being near the bus line. You don’t know if the agent showing your home is familiar with the area, so why not let them know why you love living there?

Let me tell you – staging works! Our condo, listed with The Weaver Team of course :), sold in 1 1/2 weeks! If you are going to list and have a vacation coming up, definitely list before you go, it will save you a ton of hassle with showings. And hopefully, like me, your home will sell while you’re away!

Stay tuned for my next post on buying a home.

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Why It Does Not Make Sense To Buy Direct From The Homeowner

P: terencetait.ca

P: terencetait.ca

When searching for a home you are going to come across For Sale By Owner properties, either while looking online or driving through a neighborhood you’d like to live in. You may think that buying direct from a seller should be much simpler than involving real estate agents, but FSBOs offer their own set of challenges.

Before you take the plunge into purchasing direct from the Homeowner there are a few factors to consider:

  1. The Homeowner is not required to disclose any information that is not in their best interest. They may have immediate answers to all of your questions but they do not need to be held accountable for any misinformation or “fluffing” of the facts.
  1. Homeowners who are selling on their own have lots of time on their hands. They are in no rush to sell and will hold out for the highest price possible, even if it means waiting two or three years.
  1. The Homeowners typically overprice their property. They are not saving you any money. They are saving themselves a fee for service that Realtors charge for selling the house and adding it to their side of the transaction. Many buyers fall in love with the “by owner” and are willing to overpay for the property.
  1. You will feel pressured not to give the Homeowner accurate feedback about the property. Homeowners will try to convince you that their house is the best ever. They will take you through every nook and cranny to show the value of their house. It just isn’t human nature to give a truthful opinion to a Homeowner.
  1. You never know if the Homeowner is really interested in accepting your offer. Many will tell you they have “another interested party” or an “out-of-state buyer” that is chomping at the bit to buy their property.
  1. The best properties are listed with a Realtor who has taken the time to make sure all of the proper Seller Property Disclosures and inspections are in order.

With so many drawbacks to buying direct from a homeowner, it makes sense for buyers to focus on homes sold by agents. As a buyer it only benefits you to have a Buyer’s Agent (read our previous post on Why Do I Need A Buyer’s Agent) who will walk you through the entire purchase process from putting in an offer to closing – and make sure that you are getting the best value for your money.