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Tips For First-Time Home Sellers

Mar 17, 2023  
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If you’re thinking of putting up your Calgary house for sale in the near future, it’s understandable to feel overwhelmed at the prospect of making alterations to your property before putting it on the market. Not only can the expenses quickly escalate, but it can also be challenging to fathom that someone may not fall in love with your home just as it is. Nevertheless, there’s no need to fret since there are several inexpensive adjustments that you can implement to improve your home’s attractiveness to prospective buyers, potentially leading to a quicker sale and a reduction in the time it spends on the market.

1. Create the Illusion of Space

By simply decluttering and ensuring that each room serves a practical purpose, you can give the impression of having more space. If a prospective buyer walks in and sees that an office is being used as a guest bedroom, they may assume that the home seller has run out of space, causing the house to feel smaller instantly.

In addition, several other factors can contribute to the impression of being cramped or having limited space, including:

  • Countertop clutter, such as small appliances, which can make the kitchen appear smaller. Before an open house or showing, store mixers, bread machines, can openers, and coffee pots to showcase a spacious kitchen.
  • Disorderly or overflowing closets, which can be addressed by storing enough clothes to create an inch of space between each hanging item, and keeping shelves and drawers organized with just a few items.
  • Clutter on top of appliances, such as the dryer. Instead, consider utilizing hidden storage space for laundry detergent, softener, dryer sheets, and other items.
  • Shared bedrooms, which can be made to look more spacious by removing a bed and dresser to help buyers envision the room with just one occupant.
  • Minimizing furniture to make the house or condo appear more open and spacious. This involves removing items that are functional but unappealing, as well as large pieces that obstruct views and walkways.
  • Choosing light paint colors and ensuring adequate natural light can also give the impression of having more space.

2. Give Your Yard Some TLC

The appeal of a home’s exterior is critical in enticing potential buyers to take a closer look. While elaborate landscaping can be costly, enhancing the home’s curb appeal can be achieved with just a bit of elbow grease to create a clean, polished look that can seal the deal.

To enhance the home’s curb appeal, consider these tips:

  • Add colorful annuals: Eye-catching annuals add warmth and charm to the front of the house and give the impression of a welcoming home.
  • Trim shrubs: Overgrown shrubs make the yard appear wild and unkempt, while well-groomed shrubs lend a sense of orderliness and control to the yard.
  • Maintain the lawn: Keep the grass healthy by fertilizing, watering, and cutting it regularly. Lush green grass is a sign of fertile soil and makes a positive impression.
  • Mulch flower beds: Adding mulch gives the soil around the flowers and bushes a neat and uniform appearance.
  • Remove organic debris: Organic debris such as sticks and leaves can make the yard look untidy and poorly maintained. Regularly clean up all yard waste to keep the yard looking neat.
  • Clean the exterior of the house: Dirty siding detracts from the colorful annuals and well-groomed shrubs. Clean the house to make the siding look new and refreshed.

When preparing a home for sale, the goal is to make it look as inviting and tidy as possible. Simple measures such as mowing, edging, raking, and watering the lawn can go a long way. Remove any hoses, lawn tools, or kids’ toys when not in use, and sweep the driveway and sidewalks.

If the flower beds are empty, buy inexpensive potted plants and flowers. Space them out in the flower beds still in the pots, and fill in the gaps with mulch. This creates a bright and beautiful look without taking an entire weekend to achieve.

For those with more time to invest in planting, shade-loving hostas are a low-maintenance option, while sunny locations can benefit from colorful verbenas and lantanas that can make the yard look professionally landscaped.

Finally, wash the exterior of the house and touch up any chipped or stained paint. By following these tips, a seller can enhance their home’s curb appeal and attract potential buyers.

3. Do Your Spring Cleaning

If you want to sell your home, it’s essential to make sure that it’s clean and well-maintained. Even a beautiful property can be a turnoff for buyers if it’s dirty or cluttered. To improve your chances of a successful sale, set aside a weekend for some thorough spring cleaning before you list your home, and then keep up with regular maintenance until the sale. Here are some tasks to consider:

  • Dust high and low: Clean the tops of ceiling fans, window frames, shelves, and cabinets, and remove any cobwebs in the corners.
  • Wash surfaces: Clean walls, dining room chairs and table legs, kitchen and bathroom cabinets, and floors.
  • Vacuum and clean carpets: Throughout the home, vacuum carpets and clean any stains or spots.
  • Wash bedding: Give bedding a fresh appearance and scent by washing all linens.
  • Clean windows and mirrors: Clean all windows and mirrors to make sure they’re streak-free.
  • Wipe trim and heating units: Clean the tops of the trim along the floor, as well as any heating units or registers.
  • Declutter cabinets and closets: Clean out kitchen cabinets and closets, as buyers will open every door and expect to see a clean and organized space.
  • Scrub the bathroom: Scrub the tub and shower, and do a drain treatment to keep things flowing smoothly.

Spring cleaning is a free and highly effective way to boost your home’s appearance and potential resale value. With some elbow grease and attention to detail, you can make your home sparkle and attract potential buyers.

Stage the Home Before Selling

The main goal of staging a property is to showcase the house as spacious, tidy, bright, clean, and inviting. There are multiple methods to achieve this objective.

Accelerating the Sale of Your Calgary Home with Spring Cleaning

Eliminate clutter: Start by decluttering to make the home appear larger on the inside. Begin with cleaning out closets, removing old bills from counters, clearing off tables, and taking holiday decorations to storage. Remove piles of toys and books as well.

Enhance lighting: Remove dark, heavy curtains and hang lighter sheers over windows. Cut away shrubs that block light from entering the home and clean the windows to allow maximum natural light to enter. Use additional lamps to brighten dark areas.

Harmonize colors: Create a cohesive and unified appearance by matching furniture with pillows, curtains, blankets, and other accessories in the room.

Thoroughly clean everything: Clean surfaces that aren’t usually cleaned, like shampooing carpets, cleaning curtains, scrubbing walls, cleaning cabinets, and so on. This can help demonstrate that the home has been well-maintained over the years.

Staging can heighten the overall value of the property and reduce the time it spends on the market without necessitating major renovations from the homeowner.

Keep Pets Out Of the Picture

Pets can cause distractions during the process of selling a home, and they may even deter some buyers who are allergic to pets from making an offer. To avoid these issues, pet owners should keep their homes free of pet hair and odor during the home selling process. During showings, it’s best to have pets stay with a neighbor or friend.

Price It Right

Setting the correct price for a home is crucial since a price that is too high can turn off buyers, while a price that is too low can result in lower returns at the time of sale. For first-time home sellers, determining the ideal price can be challenging. One approach is to examine comparable properties in the surrounding area.

Moreover, it is essential to seek advice from an experienced real estate agent. Such an agent can evaluate various factors such as market trends, sale prices of similar properties on the same street, active listings, pending sales, and expired listings in the local community. This expertise can assist home sellers in selecting a price that is both appropriate for their property and the current real estate market in their vicinity.

Make the House Move-In Ready

The majority of buyers desire a home that is “turn key,” meaning that it requires little or no repairs to be functional. To prepare your home to be “turn key” ready, make sure to take care of any deferred maintenance prior to listing it for sale. This includes fixing broken appliances, doors, and making any necessary roof or sewer repairs. Failing to make these repairs can lead to lower offers from potential buyers.

Important Market Considerations When Selling a Home

Selling a home can be a challenging task, but having a well-crafted plan can increase the chances of success. To help homeowners achieve their goal of a successful home sale, here is a six-step guide to the home-selling process.

Build the Marketing Plan Around the Timeline

Consider the circumstances surrounding the home sale to determine the most effective selling strategy. For example, if the sale is motivated by a job change, a more aggressive marketing approach and a conservative asking price may be necessary to expedite the sale. On the other hand, if the sale is not time-sensitive and is driven by a desire to purchase another property in the same area, a different approach may be more suitable.

Understand Costs Involved in Home Selling

The expenses associated with selling a home in East Calgary can vary based on the home’s condition and the necessary repairs, but some costs are fixed. It is important to calculate the anticipated expenses, such as transfer taxes, fees, commissions, repairs, cleaning, and any other necessary preparations to effectively promote the property. This amount will assist in determining the optimal price point for the home when working with the listing agent.

Price the Home Correctly Within the Market

Correctly pricing a home is crucial to a successful sale, and it requires a thorough understanding of the current real estate market. This includes analyzing the time it takes for similar homes to sell and the actual prices at which they sell. Market trends can be affected by a variety of factors, such as the season, weather, local and national economic conditions, as well as the location and condition of the property. Being aware of these factors can help homeowners set a competitive and realistic price for their home.

Consider the Effect Location has on a Home Sale

The value of a neighborhood can significantly impact a seller’s ability to sell their home and the amount of money they can make from the sale. Therefore, it’s crucial to understand the specific advantages or disadvantages of a home or condo’s location. One way to determine this is by looking for signs of positive influences such as the construction of new housing developments of similar or greater value, improved schools, better streets, etc. Conversely, negative factors could include urban decay, increasingly commercialized areas near the home, or declining conditions of streets and schools.

Factor Property Condition into Price and Timeline

To increase the chances of a successful home sale, it’s important for sellers to invest both time and money into making their property attractive to potential buyers. This involves ensuring that the home is in good condition and ready for viewing before it’s listed. One way to accomplish this is by having the home pre-inspected prior to listing, which will allow for any necessary repairs, maintenance, or renovations to be completed beforehand. While any repairs resulting from the inspection must be disclosed to potential buyers, it demonstrates the seller’s responsibility in maintaining the property and can ultimately lead to a better selling experience.

Increase Buyer Interest with Home Staging

Apart from ensuring that the home is clean and well-maintained, sellers can enhance their chances of a successful sale by staging their home attractively. By presenting the home in an appealing manner, potential buyers can better envision themselves living in the space, increasing their interest in making an offer.

Consult With Your Real Estate Professional

When you decide to sell your home, it’s important to consult with a real estate professional who can advise you on staging, improving curb appeal, and identifying necessary repairs to make the property move-in ready.

Enhancing the appearance of your home to expedite the sale does not necessarily require spending thousands of dollars. With some sweat equity, you can create a perception of spaciousness, luxury, and cleanliness that appeals to potential buyers. Consulting a real estate agent can provide valuable insights on the areas that need attention and how improvements will impact the property’s value or the duration of its listing.

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