So you are thinking of selling your home. All you hear on the news these days is the market is down, sales are down, it’s a buyers market.
Well, that doesn’t really help you does it. If the time is right because you have to move because of work, or, as a family you have decided you need more space, let’s get started. Or maybe because those larger homes have dropped in value ! That’s a great reason for moving, but first things first, you need to sell your place.
So what you need to realize is it’s a Buyers Market currently in Vancouver. What does that mean. Well, that means that you are in a highly competitive market, and buyers are being choosy, so it’s taking longer to sell. What do we do ?
So think of it this way. You have a craving for a juicy apple. You drop by the local Whole Foods on 4th to pick one up on the way home from work. They have this great display of apples. They all look great but some look better than others.
Why do they look better, well, the apple is in the eye of the beholder isn’t it ! I like red shiny apples. So I gravitate to that nice red shiny apple. The lighter red or green apple need not apply. If it’s bruised or cut it doesn’t make the grade either.
How does that apply to your home ? Well, you want your home to be presented in it’s best light, nice and red and shiny, so the buyer will select you instead of all the other apples.
I know what you are thinking. How do I do that ? I have done it a number of times, and every time it involved a lot of work. Who wants to work when we could be at the beach or hiking in the mountains.
Well, if you are working with the right Realtor it isn’t as much work. But, trust me, you will still have lots to do, but the effort is worth it.
So where do we start. I’ll tell you about my home in Toronto. We had lived in it for 15 years and it served us well. It was a busy house, well used and loved, but it needed some TLC before we put it on the market.
We already had an idea of what we wanted to do to prepare it for the market. We brought in an amazing home stager. You pay a small fee up front to get an assessment done, but it’s money well spent. We include this as part of our offering by the way :).
That family house or condo that you love so much now has to be transformed to a house that will appeal to everyone. That increases your odds of a quick sale for maximum profit, especially in todays market.
So, you get a report that tells you what you should do. You need to have a thick skin because you might feel like it’s a reflection on you. It isn’t ! It’s just preparing your home for a new family. That new family has to be able to see themselves in your home.
In our instance it meant painting. Paint is amazing. It can transform a space and create an entirely different look. We all have favourite colours, but, we need to think like the buyer. So we have to create a look and feel that appeals to the masses.
We had hardwood floor throughout our home. In the living room and dining room we had broadloom installed. Buyers like shiny hardwood floors. So we had the rugs pulled and the floors sanded and stained.
Remember my comment about work. Well, the dining room floor had been damaged over the years from the previous owners. So, new flooring had to be installed, $$’s.
The home stager was brutally honest in her assessment of what we needed to do in the way of furnishings. So she used a combination of some of our furniture, but 75% was replaced with what she had in their warehouse.
Lighting is very important. We had ceiling fans which are wonderful for circulating the air in both winter and summer. But, most buyers don’t look at ceiling fans and get excited. So out with the ceiling fans and in with some modern LED lighting. Great for energy savings, so something that buyers are looking for. We donated the ceiling fans to a happy home.
I have to admit it changed the look of our rooms. I still like my fans though, but it wasn’t about what I liked. We also changed all of the hardware on our doors, more modern and updated to reflect the times.
You need to remove those personal pictures. The house has to be clean and decluttered. Think of when you check out a new home or condo and what it looks like. How do you feel ? That’s the feeling we want the buyers to have when they are viewing your home. That oasis you want to come home to.
My favourite purchase was a Nest Thermostat. I’m a guy, I like electronics, and I’m environmentally friendly so it was a good fit. More on this later !
So once we had all of the work completed and the Stager was finished with staging, now we needed to get our house on the market.
I wasn’t licensed in Ontario so I had to find a Realtor. I knew what I wanted to do to market our property, so I took care of that first. On this note, commission in Ontario is 5%, ouch, much greater than BC. Yes, I went with a professional and didn’t sell it myself.
I called some of the “top” realtors in our neighbourhood to get a sense of what the market value was. I had already done my homework, and had done a comparable market assessment on our property so I had a range in mind.
So those top Realtors told me my house was worth $1,700,000. I told them they were wrong 🙂 Yes, you can get much more in Toronto for the price. But, the winters are cold, you don’t have mountains and the ocean is nowhere to be found ! So stay with me.
I hired a professional photographer, videographer and drone video company to create a masterpiece. And they did. Video is king these days, we are all busy and we like to be entertained. So lets entertain those buyers.
I hired a great Realtor and we already had all of the marketing and heavy lifting completed.
Everything we did cost $$. The renovations, the stager. Time, money, effort. But it was worth it. In the end our home sold in 4 days. It sold for over $200,000 more than what my local Realtors had advised it would sell for.
Did we spend $200K to get it ready ? No, probably closer to about $25K, not a bad return on investment.
Remember that Nest ? The buyer requested that it remain – as a chattel in the contract of purchase and sale. It was a small purchase that we made but they loved it. It was a modern touch in an older home.
Last but not least. Curb appeal is very important. So let’s not forget the importance of the yard. It makes a big impression and is often overlooked. Let’s get rid of the weeds. Add some flowers and landscaping if need be. It makes a big impact for a small investment. Yes I know, more work but it’s worth it.
Selling your home is a competition. You are competing against all of the other properties in the market. Make sure it’s nice and shiny and red with no bruises and you will win !!
If you are thinking of selling, we would be happy to assist. I can be reached at [email protected]