I just love how easy it is to search for properties now! With the click of a button or a touch of a screen, I can look for properties in any area of the city, with any number of bedrooms and bathrooms, with or without a pool, garage or yard. What used to take hours of driving around with a partner, friend or Mom, can now be done in minutes! I set my criteria, click search and within seconds can browse 100’s of thumbprint-size listing photos. While searching for the perfect property has become infinitely easier – it has become a bit more challenging for sellers to get their listing thumbprint photo noticed. Sellers have a lot of competition out there and only the blink of an eye to catch the attention of prospective buyers.
In today’s market, you will not sell a property quickly and for the most money possible if you don’t properly prepare the property. Today’s buyer has watched all the HGTV design shows and have much higher expectations than ever before, they can easily compare properties without actually visiting them and they demand the bang for their purchasing dollars. There are still some buyers that relish the idea of a “fixer-upper” but for the most part, today’s buyers are purchasing their home not someones to-do list. Buyers are also spending more cash for their down-payments and may not have any extra cash for home up-dates let alone improvements. So, how can you increase your homes’ chances of appealing to one of today’s buyers? Over the next several blog posts I’ll detail some of my best tips.
Have a professional real estate stager do a pre-list consultation. Preparing a property for market is a journey and like any great journey, having a map can mean the difference between a great trip and a complete failure. A professional stager knows what buyers want and understands the elements that may make or break a sale. Using their training and experience they will be able to tell you what minor repairs and updates should be done, what items must be done and create a plan of action that respects both your preferred timeline and budget.
Your stager will typically recommend that you do some pre-packing of items you use infrequently or that may be out of season. For example; if you plan on listing your property in March, you can safely pack away the Christmas tree. Most stagers will also suggest that you go through all of your belongings to identify items that are broken, clothing that no longer fits, sports equipment that is no longer used and even furniture that no longer fits your lifestyle. In addition to highlighting the spaciousness of your property, this process of editing, depersonalizing and packing also helps reduce the amount of work you will need to do when your property sells. Most stagers will ask you to store excess items off-site, whether it is at a neighbours, with family or at a storage facility, off-site storage allows you to highlight spaciousness. Remember, potential buyers are purchasing square footage and to have that valuable space taken up with boxes just doesn’t make sense.
When your stager completes the consultation and you have your list of priorities in place please, do the work! No amount of showcasing will make a property in poor condition sell quickly and for the most money. The old saying that real estate selling all about location, location, location is still true and you have no control over that. Selling real estate today is also about condition, condition, condition and that is something you have complete control over.
Until my next post, why not check out these two posts that give you a little more info on preparing your home.