Prepare Your Property for Sale
First impressions are lasting impressions. You will want to make sure the buyers looking at your home are left with the best possible impression. As your real estate professional, we will help you achieve that goal. Our initial visit to your home will be a walk through to take a look though the eyes of a potential buyer. What impression does your house give — both inside and out? A small investment in repairs, decoration and organization, both inside and outside your home, could add thousands of dollars to your property value. We will also discuss the benefits of staging your home if needed.
A well maintained and attractive property sells for more. Before you put your home or condominium on the market, it is important for any essential property repairs and cosmetic improvements and in some cases, major renovations to take place. This will help you maximize your financial return and increase the chance of it selling faster.
To ensure you prioritize your time and financial resources on projects that will maximize the value of your property, and avoid “over-improvements” that will do little or nothing to improve your home’s value, consider these general guidelines below. We will then provide you with advice on the required updates and repairs specific to your property type and neighbourhood and can even help you find exactly the right craftsmen to do the work quickly and at a fair rate.
In general, homebuyers and real estate investors seek the least expensive property in the best neighborhood they can afford. Repairs and improvements should be made so the property shows well and is consistent with the neighborhood’s standards and preferences. At the same time you should minimize capital investments and over-improvements that may not be recovered from the sale.
A professional pre-list home inspection is recommended before putting your home on the market. This will help identify and address any major repairs that may be required. Unless you are prepared to significantly compromise on price, some home repairs are essential. These include repairs to broken mechanical and heating systems, siding and gutters, major fixtures and structural deficiencies such as leaky roofs.
Cosmetic improvements, including fresh paint and landscaping are quick and affordable ways to help a home “show” better and often result in positive returns.
- House in good repair
- House number easy to read
- Repair loose siding, damaged roof shingles, eaves and gutters
- Replace any cracked or broken windows panes for your home and garage.
- Secure loose shutters and awnings.
- Wash windows, gutters, mailboxes and doors.
- Repair cracked pavement and walkways on your property.
- Ensure lawns and gardens are weeded, attractive and well maintained.
- Sweep the entryway, porch and sidewalks daily.
- Garage/car port clean and tidy
- Litter picked up
- Walks shoveled and salted
- Boot tray inside front door
- Doorbell and door hardware in good repair
- Porch and foyer clean and tidy
- One of the fastest and most cost effective ways to update a home is with a fresh coat of paint. Repaint walls in a neutral colour with broad consumer appeal.
- Ensure all chipped plaster and paint touched-up and replaced
- Kitchen and bathroom renovations often result in a positive return on dollars invested. We will discuss this based on your property type and neighbourhood.
- Repair all broken appliances, fixtures, lighting and hardware, such as dripping faucets and showerheads, sticky doors, cracked tiles and broken appliances
- Squeaky doors oiled
- Burnt-out light bulbs replaced
- Steam clean carpets or replace if necessary.
- Depersonalize your home so potential buyers can envision living in it. Remove personal photos, memorabilia and collections.
- Inside of closets and cupboards neat and tidy
- Keep in mind that cluttered rooms and storage areas give the impression that they are much smaller than their actual size.
- Remove clutter from all areas and if necessary, put furniture and personal items into off-site storage.
- Clean every room thoroughly.
Home Staging – is decorating your home for sale. It is a fast and effective way to showcase your home to prospective buyers in order to sell quickly and get the best price. It has become a very common element in the home selling process to hire a professional stager who uses his or her creativity and vision to dress your house for sale. The main reason is to make the house look uncluttered and cleaner, warmer and brighter and, best of all, it allows potential buyers to visualize themselves living in your home.
By investing in the right items and areas in your home you will get the maximum return on your property. Studies show that staging your home will help sell your property in ½ the time for 6-14% more money. Making home staging your biggest bang for your buck.
When decorating for living, you decorate with your comfort and taste in mind. When it comes time to sell your house or condo, it should appeal to any buyer who walks in your door. This is achieved by using the right furniture, art and accessories, and placing them in a way where they will highlight your home’s features and make the home appear larger and more elegant. You know what they say… You do not get a second chance to make that first impression!
Not every home seller appreciates the importance of staging and some do not want to spend the money to execute this aspect of the home selling process. However, it is important to be aware that if other houses on the market in your neighbourhood have been staged, your house will be at a serious disadvantage. The choice is yours and my home-staging professionals will provide you with a complimentary recommendation list that will create maximum buyer appeal for your home. We will discuss the ideas together.
Documents Required When Listing Your Home
- Plan of Survey or Location Certificate
This is the survey of your property that outlinesthe lot size and location of buildings as well as details of encroachments from neighbouring properties. This might be required in certain areas to complete the sale of your home. Your legal professional might recommend a survey — especially if significant changes have been made to your property.
- Property Tax Receipts
Most listing agreements require that the current annual property tax assessments be shown.
- Mortgage Verification
Few homeowners know the exact balance of their mortgage as it is paid down. You will be asked to authorize your mortgage lender to provide the figures required.
- Deed or Title Search
This document is a legal description of your property and the proof that you own it.
- Other Documentation
In some instances, it may help the sale of your property if you can provide prospective buyers with information on such items as annual heating, electrical, and water expenses as well as any recent home improvement costs.
Documents Required When Listing Your Condo
If you are selling a condominium, you will also need to prepare the detailed documentation relating to your unit and Strata Corporation in advance, as potential buyers and investors will request them in advance of writing an offer or before removing “conditions” on a Agreement of Purchase and Sale. These include:
• Title search
• Registered strata plan
• Financial statements of the strata corporation
• Property disclosure statement • Building envelope report
• Strata and AGM minutes for the past two years
• Other legal documentation required for your jurisdiction
Now that you’ve mastered this step of the selling process, read about what still lies ahead in the next chapter on Pricing Strategy.