Getting top dollar for your home
This article was submitted by Daniel Watson, who is a journalism student at the University of Toronto
If you’re selling your home and want to get top drawer value for it, you need to create a dream home. Anyone who walks up needs to be in awe of its meticulousness before they even get through the door. There’s nothing worse than a house that needs a little work. Even if it’s true, you’re more likely to get top dollar for a completed home than one that looks like a project.
With companies like Kanetix making it easier for people to shop around for mortgage rates, and get pre-approved online, buying a home has never been easier. Everyone’s in search of the perfect home. You were once. Now you may have to spend a little getting the house in shape. On the other hand, there’s the idea that the better looking and condition of the house, the greater its value. So should you end up repainting or redoing tiles, that cost could ultimately be added to the final sale.
Not surprisingly, let’s start with the front. The first impression begins here. There has to be no doubt that this is a long cared for property by people that loved living here. Neaten everything until it looks like you scrubbed it with a toothbrush. Fresh paint, trimmed trees and shrubs and if necessary, new house numbers and mailbox. Have the best curtains on the windows. A little window and door renovation can go a long way.
If the home doesn’t need a fresh coat of paint, wash it down. Rent a power washer, or use a broom, dishwashing cleanser and hose. Put away the lawn ornaments. Not everyone loves leprechauns and swans. Make sure the grass is nothing short of perfection. Tuck any garbage cans away. No cracks in the ground. Barbeques should be clean, the yard furniture inviting and comfortable. Buyers should see your yard as a great place to spend the weekend.
Before showing the property, take note of what work to do. Review real estate listings and magazines. See what these homes have in common. Pay specific attention to the major areas. That’s the bathroom, the master bedroom and kitchen.
Shine furnishings and appliances. Minimise content on all the countertops. Clutter is clutter regardless of how much of it you need or how nice it looks. What you want is to avoid distractions that are going to take away from the property. The floors should be pristine. No pet dishes and litter boxes. Clean blinds, curtains and windows, as well as fan blades and shelves.
The kitchen is probably the most important room in the house. It’s the one that we put so much energy into with the best stoves, microwaves, refrigerators and accessories. Make sure anyone that sees it is wowed. Spit shine it all. Add a fresh backsplash or coat of paint.
While painting rooms that need it is required, repainting the entire house might be a good idea. Use a neutral, soft color, the same color, throughout. That actually makes the property look bigger. Avoid white. It can leave an impression that the house needs to be painted.
When it’s time to start showing the house, always have it aired out. Take a fabric softener sheet and stick it behind the air conditioning filter. Take advantage of the best possible lighting. Try showing the home during daylight hours. Sunlight produces a natural, appealing look. If you are showcasing in the evening, utilise energy efficient bulbs. They resemble natural lighting.
Before anyone buys your home, it will be inspected. If the property’s in the best condition, the inspector has to agree it’s worth every penny you ask. A broken handrail can impact their conclusions.
The best way to get the best dollar for your home is to create a dream home. People are observant. Your job will be ensuring everything they see is positive. If that requires hiring landscapers and handymen, do it. At the end of the journey, it’ll be worth it. The better the property’s appearance, the more the property’s worth.
Last, if you’re selling your home and want to get top drawer value for it, partner with a good real estate agent. Did you know, on average, a sale done through a real estate agent usually nets the seller 20 percent more than if they’d sold the house on their own? A solid agent will not only represent your best interests. They have the ability to reach an audience that will never see your ‘For Sale’ sign or local newspaper ad. You’ll never waste your time as these agents will see that only serious buyers ever come through the door. They have resources and networks that the rest of us don’t even know about.
Daniel Watson is a journalism student at the University of Toronto. He is passionate about real estate and plans to get his license upon graduating to learn about the ins and outs of the business. His true goal upon graduation is to educate the general public about real estate to help them along with the home buying and selling process.
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