Tips to put your home’s best face forward

It might be a competitive housing market, but it’s important for sellers to present their home in the best possible light

Spring cleaning is the perfect time to declutter and get your home ready for sale

Spring cleaning is the perfect time to declutter and get your home ready for sale

Even in today’s competitive housing market, it’s important to present your home in the best possible light.

Taking a few extra steps ahead of time will help you create a quicker sale and a better return.

So what are some of the common pitfalls to watch out for?

Jeff Bishop, a realtor with DFH Realty, suggests looking first up to the roof.

Having roof moss professionally removed is crucial. Some people who try to do the job themselves before selling can actually damage the roof and complicate the sale come inspection time, Bishop says. “Best to hire a professional to do the job properly.”

Moving inside the house, Bishop suggests toning down bright or loud colours on the walls.

“Many buyers have trouble seeing past this. A fresh coat of neutral paint can really make a difference.”

Allowing prospective buyers envision their family in your home is also important. Jason Binab, a realtor with Engel & Volkers Vancouver Island advises sellers to remove personal photos.

“Studies show people cannot imagine themselves in your home if everywhere they look they see you. It is also distracting to buyers. Simple fix is to take them down, off the fridge, the dressers, you name it, take them down.”

Jordy Harris, a realtor with Newport Realty Christie’s International, says a little prep work can go a long way before opening your home to prospective buyers.

“One of the biggest mistakes that homeowners make when getting ready to list their home, is not creating enough space or not decluttering,” Harris says.

“Often we will see a home that has so much potential, yet it’s hidden behind furniture in crowded rooms that are cluttered with knickknacks and personal belongings.

“When preparing your home for sale, do yourself a favour and pare down the furniture and accessories to a minimum. It’s hard for a prospective purchaser to envision their favourite pieces in your home, when there doesn’t appear to be any room for them.”

Binab agrees.

A “simple fix is talking to a stager and either having them suggest different pieces to rent instead of yours, or rearranging your furniture to make it show off the space better. Staged homes, or homes that buyers often think are staged (because it’s done it right) often sell quicker and for more money. Feelings sell homes and that is what staging does…it gives off good feelings.”

For those struggling with how to tackle the decluttering challenge, ask your realtor for help or referrals, Harris suggests.

In addition to tackling the clutter inside,  Marc Owen-Flood, also with Newport Realty Christies International Real Estate, advises homeowners to turn an eye to other parts of the home as well, areas they may not have thought about while living there.

“As a homeowner is preparing to enter the market they should ensure any deficiencies are repaired and to share receipts with new buyers,” Owen Flood suggests.

In addition, take a few minutes to make sure their records at municipal hall are in order.”