How to Sell Your House: Your Realtor® and Professional Organizer Guide You. Part 2 of 3-part series
Updated: Apr 4, 2019
Home Staging, Decluttering, Organizing
There are many steps in selling your property which your Realtor® will review with you. Most importantly your real estate agent will get your house in front of as many potential customers as possible. To this end, your agent will:
1. Recommend home improvements and home staging. These alterations will more than pay for themselves through a faster sale and higher asking price.
2. Take photos or hire a photographer to highlight your home's best features.
3. Add your home to the multiple listing service (MLS®) where home buyers and their agents can view your property and decide if they'd like to come visit for a closer look.
4. Advertise and hold open houses
5. Coordinate showings with prospective buyers.
That’s right, all this viewing means you’d better get your house ready because cluttered, over-stuffed, poorly laid out rooms will not attract top buyers to your home and will not help you earn top price.
In the current market in Toronto, less than 50% of properties are selling in the first 30 days on market but if a home is well priced and staged not only does its perceived value increase considerably (1) but in our experience the speed of sale doubles! Further, a survey (1) of 600 Realtors agreed that the most potent and cost-effective way to sell a home quickly is to make it clean and organized. Enter your second best ally - your professional home organizer.
Your Professional Organizer will make sure that what’s special about your home is not hidden by clutter. They will help you downsize so that you have less stuff in your home and declutter so that there is a place for everything and everything in its place allowing the special features of your home to shine. Indeed, the top five tips for organizing and staging your home to get it to look its best are minimize, neutralize, finalize, sanitize and maximize:
1. Minimize means declutter and organize. Clearing your home of clutter is the single most important thing you can do to prepare your home for sale. Most homes should have a 25% reduction of stuff so, purge and pack up anything you don’t want, need or use. This will eliminate distractions. Storage is a critical feature for many buyers. Closets and cabinets should be kept neat, tidy and uncrowded; they’ll appear larger! It’ll also gives you a head start on the packing and moving process. Now, also, is the time to assess what you are keeping to go on with you to your new home; although some of it may not be used at the open house.
2. Neutralize means depersonalize, but don’t sterilize. Remember you are selling an asset not a home. Remove any personal memorabilia. This leaves room for prospective buyers to imagine themselves living there, not intruding into your space. Paint colours should generally be kept neutral.
3. Finalize means repairs and improvements. Fix things like leaky faucets and sticky cabinets and replace burnt out light bulbs with the highest wattage the fixtures can safely accept. Simply painting cabinets, adding new hardware and a backsplash is often enough to freshen up a dated kitchen or bathroom.
4. Sanitize means clean every inch of your house, and don't forget to make your windows and floors sparkle. If your carpet appears old and stained, think about replacing it. Also, make sure there are no offensive odors. Purchase an air-neutralizing spray that will help remove odors without creating an overwhelming masking odor. Clean homes sell!
5. Maximize means decorate and accessorize. Once you’ve decluttered, repaired and cleaned, it’s time to fluff your home to give it a warm and welcoming feel that will help buyers connect emotionally. Rearrange your furniture to optimize flow and spaciousness, and to show the purpose of each room. If you have too much furniture, rent a portable storage device to hold things until you are ready to move into your new place. Don't be afraid to use colour creatively. From unique pieces of art to decorative pillows, a pop of color can really catch a buyer's eye. Let the sun shine in, turn on the lights. Open all blinds or curtains, and make sure the house is well lit. Be sure potential buyers are comfortable when touring your home. If it's freezing outside, leave the heat on, and if it's summer, turn on the air conditioner.
Lastly, keep your home or condo ready to show. It may be a little inconvenient, but until you accept an offer (and it goes firm!), keep your home in showroom shape at all times. That is, each room should have a clear purpose, nice flow and be clean and clutter-free. Buyers need to be able to picture themselves and their things in a room and taking these steps will help ensure that your house is sold for its best price. You can leave it to your two best allies your Realtor and professional organizer to make sure that selling your home is easier, smoother and more profitable.
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