Tips to get your home ready for sale

Create that ‘Buying’ Feeling when Selling Your Home

First impressions really do make a difference when it comes to selling your home.

Even in a competitive market like Oak Bay has today, taking a little extra effort to put your home’s best face forward will help you sell quickly and for top dollar.

For some, that means hiring a professional, but with a little time and thought, you can also do much of the work yourself, says Gail Cole, of All Things Balanced.

Cole, also a certified feng shui practitioner, teaches the how-to of preparing your home for sale this Saturday, Nov. 21, in a course at Monterey Rec Centre.

“Create that ‘Buying’ Feeling when Selling Your Home” is based on Cole’s e-book of the same title.

Participants will learn the most important things they need to know when selling their home – tips designed to help them sell “quickly, easily and with less stress.”

For further reading, Cole’s book is also included in the registration.

“It’s a step-by-step how to get ready; a room by room (look) at what can stay and what has to go because not everything can stay,” Cole said in an interview from her Saanich home.

The top three areas Cole typically undertakes with clients are creating curb appeal, de-cluttering and de-personalizing, and overall cleanliness.

“Creating good energy is important,” she reflects. “You can’t touch how things ‘feel,’ but when you walk into a home you know.”

Cole’s approach is two-fold. First you want to help buyers see themselves in the home, and that means creating a welcoming atmosphere that begins in the front garden and continues through the entry and inside.

But it’s also about “de-personalizing” – removing the wall of family photos and instead hanging generic artwork that complements the setting. The goal is to make it as neutral as possible, but still warm.

Ensuring the yard is tidy and the home is clean, decluttered and in good repair will also give the impression that the home has been well-cared for, Cole notes. Make sure the litter box is tucked away, the floors are swept and the recycling is tidy and organized out of sight.

Otherwise, the impression for buyers is, “if it’s dirty, it’s probably been dirty for a long time,” Cole says. “If you have a cat, that’s OK, but put the litter away during a showing.”

How long it takes to get your home ready for sale will depend on how you live in your home and how long you’ve been there. “You accumulate and if you don’t get rid of stuff, it does take time,” she says.

It’s also possible to mitigate some of the negatives of a home with some simple touches.

For example, the effects of a long narrow hallway can be eased with the addition of mirrors to reflect light and give the impression of space.

“What are people first going to see when they first walk in; what’s their first impression going to be?” Cole asks.

“In this hot market, if you’re not ready and it sits on the market, it becomes one of the those duds.”

In addition to information about preparing your home for sale, Cole also offers tips and suggestions for choosing and working with a realtor and working through the overall process of selling your home, including your expectations, whether you’re comfortable with an open house, for example, and your emotional attachment to your home.