The process is relatively simple but can be a lot of work.
Before your home can be put on the market and shown the 5 Cs need to happen.
- 1. CALL NICK and Consult with him
- 2. CRUSH Clutter
- 3. CLEAN! CLEAN! CLEAN!
- 4. CORRECT and Repair
- 5. CREATE a stage
1. CALL NICK and consult with him
Your consultation with Nick will start the process rolling. He will inspect your home in detail and talk with you, and note good and bad features. He will then go away, do some research and prepare an Opinion of Value. He will advise you on what needs to be done to show your home in it's best light and allow it to sell faster at the best possible price.
After this first step is over, you will have a plan and a list of "to dos" to guide you and maximize the return on invested effort.
Nick will have information to start preparing descriptions.
2. CRUSH CLUTTER and depersonalize your home
In order to show at it's best, your home has to appear much emptier than would seem comfortable. Buyers have to be able to IMAGINE themselves living in your home. There must be space in closets, bookcases, and bathrooms. Kitchen counters should appear vast and uncluttered. Even storage areas need to look empty.
It is often useful to rent a temporary storage space, or appeal to a friend or relative for storage space.
Since you will be moving after the home is sold, it is helpful to view this as the beginning of packing so remember to label boxes carefully.
At this stage it is also recommended that very personal objects be removed from display. This makes it easier for others to imagine themselves living here. Any object that reflects your personality very strongly is a candidate: photos, trophies, and collections are often best put away. Remember, it's about showing buyers that they belong here. If your presence is very strong it will be more difficult for a buyer to visualize themselves here. If you are successful in depersonalizing your home it will appear a bit cold and un-lived in to you but will show more successfully.
The next step is to make sure your home is impeccably clean. There are few things that will immediately put off a buyer faster than perceived dirt.
It is often useful to get a cleaning service to help. The house inside and out including the yard, the basement and the garage should be as clean and tidy as possible. You don't need to wax the garage floor but the potential buyer should feel that they could just move in. Hose down the outside of the house, and get rid of cobwebs. Windows should be invisible. Carpets should be cleaned as well as upholstery if it needs it.
Garbage and recycling containers should be inconspicuous.
If you have pets then special efforts should be made to get rid of any source of odour.
4. CORRECT and Repair
This step will happen alongside the cleaning. At this stage you need to repair any damage to the home. Cracks, scrapes, and normal wear and tear should be fixed. If the colours and decor are dated, or the paint damaged, it is a good idea to paint. You might consider upgrading some of the light fixtures or taps if they are in poor condition or show their age. Painting the front door and mailbox is often very successful in improving the appearance and first impression of your home. Don't forget the gas meter, a quick coat of paint does wonders there too. You need to balance money spent on upgrading vs. return. Nick will be able to help you with these decisions. Nick has prepared an article on Upgrades and Return on Investment for Homeowners. Find out what you can expect to get back.
The entrance to the home should receive careful attention. Front door, porch, steps, front garden, walkway all contribute to the important first impression a buyer makes of your home. Often people will decide to view a home after driving by. If the outside looks second best, they may not inquire further.
5. CREATE a stage
This final step helps set the stage for your buyer. Professional stagers often charge as much as 1% of the price of the home to stage it. Nick provides staging advice and hands on help and accessories as PART OF HIS SERVICE TO YOU. Your home really comes into its own at this point. Nick will assist you and provide props such as pictures, cushions, ornaments, occasional furniture drawn from his personal collections. The goal is again to make your home look very fine and inviting to a potential buyers and helps them imagine themselves living there.
There is a great deal to be said about staging a home but one thing everyone agrees on is that the net result of the process is a better price and faster sale.
CMHC has an article on getting you home ready, here is a link. We also staged and helped an owner get her home ready for sale. Lots of photos of before and after.