Presenting Your Home
Buying can be an emotional decision. Buyers often know within a few seconds of walking through your doors that they have found the "one". Senses play a key role in helping us identify when a home is either right or wrong for us almost right away.
- Is the home bright?
- Does it smell clean?
- Are the floors clean?
- Can you hear the neighbors dog?
- Can you see yourself living there?
- Is it spacious?
Buyers will have lots of questions. You want to ensure that your home is looking its absolute best from the moment that buyers arrive so that showings run smoothly and successfully!
As much as possible, you want to be able to remove any hesitation or objections that buyers may raise. Objections create hesitation and doubt, and they also have buyers doing math and taking dollars away from their final offer price.
HERE ARE TEN TIPS
Grab the attention of buyers from the curb and simple ways to leave a lasting impression on buyers.
No matter the season, as soon as buyer parks their car in front of your home, they are assessing your home based on your curb appeal. Freshly moved lawns and maintained gardens in summer show pride of ownership! Toronto winter can be harsh and buyers will want to get indoors quickly! Ensuring a clear and safe path to the front door is critical.
A well-placed planter with a seasonal arrangement on your front porch is a low cost yet high-impact addition. We always love being welcomed by a nice outdoor mat and seasonal arrangement because it almost means we are about to enter a lovingly maintained home!
Making sure your front door is in good repair and freshly painted is inviting. Sometimes, investing in new door hardware is a must if your locks stick and the front door doesn’t open easily. A small investment in new hardware can spruce up even an old door.
Unfinished home repairs are exactly that- unfinished! Show buyers you care about your home by maintaining it well and by finishing up all odd jobs. Unfinished work can have buyers questioning what else is unfinished or neglected. If you aren’t sure where to put your efforts and need an objective opinion, please reach out.
Neutralize smells but don’t leave buyers with migraines. Accenting your home with subtle aromas is fine, but too many plugins will have people wondering what you are disguising!
Removing trash from kitchens bathrooms, garages, or sheds before showings is a must. Buyers look everywhere and the smell of stinky garbage will chase buyers out of homes.
If you have pets you will need to be particularly diligent about removing the source of pet odours. Dog beds, pet crates, kitty litter should all be removed from the home prior to showings Often, you can become nose blind to odours in your own home so be sure to ask a good friend or your realtor for an honest opinion on how fresh your home smells.
For people with allergies, pet dander can be a deal-breaker so you may want to invest in changing any carpeting in your home if this is financially feasible. It doesn’t cost a lot to change old stinky carpets, but everyone notices when the carpet is new!
Homes that smell like smoke can be real turn-offs for buyers and can greatly reduce their value. If your home has been smoked in there are ways to address this but calling in professionals who specialize in smoke odour removal is a must.
Hands down the single most important rule when preparing your home for sale. Removing old or bulky furniture will create space and update your home’s interior appearance. Remember, you are trying to appeal to the broadest audience.
Neutral spaces allow buyers to see themselves in your home. Sellers’ personal accessories or trinkets can be an agent’s worst nightmare as buyers are often distracted by them.
Lighting is a crucial component of your home’s overall appearance. Updated light fixtures and bright lighting will make your home sparkle. Buyers notice upgraded lighting and appreciate the value of having one less thing to change or invest in immediately after moving in.
When choosing lighting be sure that it compliments your home’s style and is consistent throughout. It’s best to remove any heirloom lighting or fixtures you are attached to prior to listing your home for sale. If you need help choosing light fixtures or need design advice, don’t hesitate to contact us.
Floors: Ensuring your floors are clean but not slippery is important. Having clean doormats at all entry and exit points means agents and buyers coming and going can keep off your cleaned floors! Don’t forget the corners. Even scratched or worn flooring when clean can be appreciated!
Walls: Greasy or scuffed walls leave an impression of neglect. If a good washing of your walls doesn’t have them looking great, you may need to invest in a fresh coat of paint.
Windows: People often roll up shades or pull back drapery to see the age of your windows! Mouldy or dirty window frames shouldn’t be overlooked as surely buyers will be examining them.
Kitchens: If you aren’t planning on investing in new appliances, then ensuring they are the cleanest you have ever had them is key! There are plenty of online videos that can show you tips and tricks to cutting the grease out, cleaning the glass on the oven door, getting your microwave clean in 45 seconds and so much more! Kitchens sell homes and buyers will spend a lot of time looking at yours carefully. Make sure every counter, handle, cupboard, and cabinet, sink and everything in between is immaculate.
Door Hardware: Changing old knobs and door hardware can have an immediate impact on your homes presentation. You don’t need to spend a lot to get a lot. The important thing is to ensure they are matched throughout the home and that you choose the right finishes for your home. Black matte hardware looks great but not in all types of homes! Ask us for advice if you are unsure about what finishes work best for your home.
Closets: Everyone dreams of closets like we see on HGTV design shows. A great closet may not be on the top of a buyer’s new home wish list, but there is no doubt about it….buyers always open closets. Whether it is to assess the closet for size, or they are curious if closet organizers exist, buyers are always checking. Not enough closet space? Even more reason you should be removing any items, not in season and pairing down non-essentials. Insufficient closet space is a deal-breaker for many buyers. Make sure your closet is decluttered, organized, and show-ready. Decorative closet boxes and baskets are an easy and cost-effective way to hide any small items that you need day to day.
Baseboards: At a minimum Beaten up baseboards should be cleaned and painted so they scream wear and tear.
All Surfaces: Make sure all your home’s surfaces have been dusted and wiped down well! Buyers will likely turn on faucets, flush toilets, and take a really close look at kitchens and bathrooms. You don’t want to overlook shelves and inside cabinets as buyers will be looking there too. The ideal is to minimize and organize the contents inside these areas as buyers will assess them for size and functionality.
Bathrooms: Removing and replacing old caulking may be necessary if your bathroom is showing its age! It’s critical to ensure that all toilets, taps, faucets, fixtures are secure and in good working order. If the buyer isn’t checking these items out, you can bet the home inspector definitely will. Don’t let little things sink your sale!
Staged homes sell faster and for more money. In Toronto’s competitive real estate market, 80% of buyers are doing their shopping online and you want to stand out from the crowd. Staging ensures that the best features of a home are showcased.
Staging can stir emotions and draw buyers in. Odd or quirky features in a home can often be minimized by good visual staging distractions.
Talking to your neighbours and asking for their help in keeping their barking dogs quiet or music down can play a pivotal role in selling your property. Whether you are selling a condo or a home, loud noises can be a turn-off for buyers in search of quiet living.
Most neighbours are happy to help if asked as they understand the value in having the home next door to them get top dollar.
Buyers and agents want to feel at ease and comfortable while viewing properties. Having a third wheel or spectator around while they tour is uncomfortable and buyers who are uncomfortable won’t bite. No matter how valuable you think being at home is to a buyer, believe us it isn’t.
Stay out and stay away until the coast is clear!