Preparing your Oak Bay home for sale

Basic steps homeowners are advised to take before their homes jump on the market

Selling a home can seem overwhelming to first-timers and seasoned homeowners alike. Oak Bay Realtor Brenda Russell says her biggest piece of advice when her clients look to sell is, “Take it one step at a time.”

A lot of considerations must be made when selling, including the location, age and state of your home, as well as whether it is a house, apartment or condo. Russell recommends that those considering selling first speak to an agent so they have an idea of where to start. Agents know how to respond to each seller’s unique situation as well as the home. Permits, underground tanks and more should be addressed and dealt with if necessary.

“It also depends on the extent of how far a homeowner wants to take their sale,” Russell said. Homeowners often want to do no more than the bare minimum for a sale, while others renovate, clean and have all household systems repaired. “It didn’t used to be as big of an ordeal in the past, but with TV shows and more, the expectations have grown for sellers to have a nice flow in their homes.”

Regardless, there are some basic steps homeowners are advised to take before their homes jump on the market.

“Declutter and clean,” Russell said. “Try to get rid of all the items you know you won’t need before you sell your house.” This will make the home look bigger and will be less of a hassle later on. Garage sales are a fast way to make some profit while decluttering, and women’s shelters and thrift stores often accept donations of clothes and other household items. “Clean the windows, especially this time of year when there’s wind and rain. Hire professionals if you can’t reach.”

Trimming, lawn-mowing and gardening are essential if you own a house with property. Marks on walls can be repainted or filled. Changing the colour of outdated walls can make all the difference for potential buyers. “If you have a room facing north, for instance, with dark walls, it’s going to feel extra dark. Rooms come alive and look brighter and bigger with a modern colour,” Russell said.

Hiring a home stager is often the best way to make spaces look their most roomy and inviting. Even a consultation can teach you how to arrange furniture, properly clean, repair and display artwork or photos.

Russell says that, ultimately, it is up to each unique homeowner what they want out of their sale. Speaking to an agent throughout the process can be helpful. “When I talk to a new client, I get a sense right way for what they want and what their home needs.” Just as each home is different, each seller is too.

Brenda Russell is a Victoria realtor based in Oak Bay. She has 27 years of experience helping homebuyers and sellers in the Victoria region.