It doesn’t have to be time-consuming or expensive, but a few simple steps can save you time and money on the sale of your home.
Miles Takacs of Re/Max Camosun said the proper staging of a home can be just the edge needed to make your home stand out in a crowded market.
“Your staging is your only opportunity to create a lasting impression with people. If you and I are going looking at homes, there’s a good chance we’re looking at five, 10, 15 homes, so how are we going to remember it?” said Takacs.
He said properly staging a home starts right at the curb, with a freshly cut lawn and nicely trimmed hedges showcasing your home for potential buyers.
“You want to show pride of ownership to the new buyers. Obviously this time of year is a little more difficult but you can do different things in different seasons,” said the Oak Bay realtor.
“If it doesn’t look good from the outside, how are you going to get people through the front door? If you’ve got an unkept front yard I’ve had a lot of times where people don’t even want to get out of the car.”
And once you walk through the front door Takacs is a firm believer that less is more, advising sellers to declutter as much as possible and avoid an abundance of personal items like family portraits and religious ornaments.
“Your classic cases are kitchen counters, nowadays everybody has big blenders and espresso machines, containers of flour and sugar. If you can just get rid of it when it’s time for photography and showings it will just allow people to look at it and say ‘Oh look at all the countertop space’,” he said.
“The same thing with closets. With a lot of the product in Oak Bay the closets are quite small. So if you’re jamming 20 coats into your little shoebox closet maybe take 15 of them out. It just accentuates there’s space in the closet, it’s not as small as it would appear.”
He said just a small investment in time and money can pay big dividends when the house is being shown.
“It doesn’t have to be thousands of dollars, just moving stuff around and maybe taking some stuff out,” said Takacs, who also advises sellers to eliminate any odours and take care of all minor repairs. “You want people to envision themselves living there, not looking at cracked mouldings or paint chips and dirty fridges.”
New homes or those that are vacant offer more of a challenge.
“An empty home doesn’t show well, people just don’t get it. They’re often cold and just don’t look cared for,” he said. “Obviously there’s costs involved but at the end of the day what people tend to focus on is the negative side of things when places are empty.”
Takacs said the solutions can be simple but sometimes can be overlooked in the excitement of getting ready to move to a new home. But the time you spend before your home goes on the market can pay off when showing potential buyers through the doors.
“By staging your home and taking the time, you are taking the opportunity to give yourself the best competitive advantage,” he said.