In your parent’s – and particularly your grandparent’s – day selling a home was simple. You approached the local Etobicoke Real Estate agent who put a “for sale” sign outside your house and then you went about your business. Occasionally you would have to make way for the odd interested party who would traipse through your living room on a Sunday afternoon while you were trying to watch the football game, but that’s about it. Today, buyers are much more knowledgeable, agents have more sophisticated marketing tools and concepts at their disposal and you are probably more interested in making a tidy profit on your investment than grandma and grandpa were.
Enter the Art of Home Staging
During the 80s as the housing market took off home staging made its first appearance. The idea was to help homeowners realize the maximum sale price for their house and it was apparent right from the start that it was an idea with legs. Over the next decade home staging steadily grew in popularity and during the housing bubble of the early 2000s it seemed like there were as many home stagers as there were buyers; meaning there were a lot of both. Today, some semblance of normalcy has returned to the housing market and the need to have your home properly staged in order to achieve your target price is now accepted as part of the normal sale process.
In this guide we’re going to take a comprehensive look at the elements that go into the successful staging of Etobicoke homes for sale along with why they’re important and how you can perhaps get a leg up on the competition.
Etobicoke Real Estate Agent Tips for Staging Your Home
Many of the following tips can be applied to just about any room, while others will be more room specific. All, however, are considered essential components of a successful home staging. Let’s start at the beginning. Or rather, before the beginning.
Before you move any furniture or bring in artwork to make the living room sizzle make sure you do adequate pre-planning. Here’s how we suggest you go about that.
- Consider getting the home inspected by a professional. They’ll tell you if any repairs are needed. If repairs are needed have them done professionally before going any further.
- Go through your things and toss what needs to be tossed. Set aside everything that’s still in okay shape but that you don’t use anymore for a yard sale.
- Hold the yard sale. This is also a good time to spread the word to those who stop by that the house will be going on the market in the near future. You never know.
- Once everything is okay from a structural standpoint and you’ve completed your purge take a walk through the entire house, pen and paper in hand, and write down every that seems even a bit off from an aesthetic standpoint.
You now have a rough list of the things that will need to be addressed during the home staging. Time to move on.
The Process of Home Staging Step by Step
You’ve fixed any structural issues and performed a purge of your old stuff. Now it’s time to roll up your sleeves and go through the house from top to bottom. Here are the steps your Etobicoke Real Estate agent recommends.
If you are looking for homes in Sunnylea contact Leslie Brlec Today! @ (416) 277-5444
Pick up a good tile and grout cleaner and clean every square inch of tile in the kitchen and bathroom(s). Make sure the grout sparkles because people will notice if it doesn’t and it will reflect poorly on the rest of the bathroom and kitchen. Clean the countertops. Reseal if you have natural stone counters. Clean the face of all the major appliances (stove, refrigerator, dishwasher etc). Remove any appliances that may have been around the block a few times (old blenders etc) and make sure anything that’s visible looks like new. Clean the sink. If you have copper cookware now’s the time to shine it up. In the bathroom make sure to clean the toilet and shower stall (including the glass) thoroughly. By the time you’re done everything should be spotless.
Repaint the interior of your home using neutral shades and light pastels. Ask the pros at the paint store for their advice about which neutral, muted tones work best in which rooms. Bring photos of your home to show them because you don’t want the new paint scheme to clash with your existing furniture. If you have old wallpaper in any of the rooms consider stripping it and replacing it with a neutral colour paint. Odds are good any potential buyer is not going to share your taste in wallpaper which would make it a distraction. And distractions are not good. Remember neutral colours create a calm, sophisticate atmosphere and that’s what you’re after.
Depersonalize the House
One of the goals of home staging is to turn your home into the equivalent of a model home. That means everything should be geared toward highlighting the space, sightlines, comfort and functionality of the house. You love your family and so does everyone but lots of family pictures amount to little more than another distraction. And distractions are? That’s right. Not good. Toys strewn about are another distraction. So collect any and all toys (including pet toys) before a Long Branch Real Estate agent enters the home with potential buyers. Remember that people aren’t buying your version of the house. They’re buying their idea of what the house can do for them. So don’t be shy about removing your life from the house as much as possible. This will provide room for them to imagine themselves in the space.
Over the course of many years a home can accumulate a panoply of odors you may not even be aware of because they came about so gradually. These include pet related odors, a slight mildewy smell from the bathroom, a bit of an odor emanating from the garbage disposal or the kitchen trash bin. There’s a good chance you’re immune to these odors so you may need to have a friend or neighbour with a good nose come over and sniff things out for you. You’ll probably be surprised with what they come up with. If there is a smoker in the house they’ll need to start smoking outdoors well in advance of any potential buyers coming through to give the house a chance to air out. Place air fresheners at strategic points around the house as well.
Learn more about Staging Process The Real Cost of Buying and Selling a Home
Don’t Forget Cooking Odors
You may love the smell of garlic lingering in the home after last night’s dinner but a potential buyer may not. Likewise if someone in the house is partial to scented candles we’d recommend they stop using them during the sale process. If someone baked cookies the night before buyers are due to have a look make sure you’ve aired the house out thoroughly. And always make sure to take out the garbage and clean the garbage can before anyone sets foot in the house.
Rearrange the Furniture
By now you’ve cleaned everything top to bottom, repainted the walls and deodorized. Now it’s time to take a cold light of day look at the furniture. Any pieces that have more sentimental than aesthetic value should be removed. (Ask a friend or neighbour if you can leave it with them for a while.) The furniture that remains should now be rearranged in a strictly aesthetic manner that emphasizes the spaciousness of the room and optimizes traffic flow and sightlines. Pull furniture away from the walls and set up comfortable groupings that lend a sociable air to the room.
If your furniture in general is something less than breathtaking you should consider putting it all in storage and renting furniture during the sale process. It may seem extreme but it’s done all the time in other Etobicoke homes for sale. You’ll likely find that doing so repays you many times over when it comes to the final sale price you receive.
Contact Leading Etobicoke Real Estate agent Leslie Brlec Real Estate Services @ (416) 277-5444
Emphasize the Purpose of Each Room
Often in the course of living our rooms become hybrids. Elements of the bedroom seep into the living room. The kitchen becomes an extension of the patio. The home office becomes part storage space. Tools collect in the foyer and the kids encroach on the master bath. Staging should re-establish a clear purpose for each room. Aesthetic and practical overlap is yet another potential distraction and distractions are… not good. That’s right.
Pay Attention to the Little Things
Make sure any visible towels either in the kitchen or bathroom are clean and dry. Make sure any mirrors are spotless. If there are gaps in the tile grout have them filled. Make sure the kitchen cabinet faces are clean and in good repair. Replace any blown lightbulbs. Paint the ceilings if necessary. If any of the doors squeak make sure you lubricate them. Remove cereal boxes from the counters. Clear off the top of the refrigerator. Remove any shoes from the front and back halls. Don’t leave any dirty laundry lying around or clean laundry hanging from the clothesline. Again, what you’re trying to do is clear space and eliminate distractions so that a potential buyer can envision themselves in the home.
Lighting, Lighting, Lighting
In all likelihood potential buyers will be making their way through Alderwood homes for sale like yours during the daytime. In which case you’ll want to be sure the home is set up to show off how much natural light it gets. Open the curtains and blinds in all the rooms. In rooms that are a bit starved of natural light make sure you have supplemental lighting in place and on when potential buyers arrive.
There are 3 basic types of lighting at work in the home besides natural light. They are ambient or general purpose lighting, task lighting (pendants, reading lights etc) and accent lights (wall sconces, track lights, table lamps etc).
Make sure any task and accent lights have been adjusted to dovetail with your rearranged furniture and artwork. If your lamps haven’t been dusted in a while do so. The bottom line is that every room should be bright and inviting – although you’ll need to find a balance between “bright” and “clinical”. If you need to buy some new lights then you should do that. Also, make sure every light switch in the house works before letting buyers in.
Don’t Forget the Floors
The rest of the home may be spotless but if your furniture is sitting on stained carpeting or the hardwood floors haven’t been refinished in years it’s all the potential buyer will see. Bring in a professional to clean the carpets (this will likely remove quite a few of the disagreeable odors we talked about earlier as well). The same with the hardwood floors. Have them stripped and waxed so that they glisten. It’s not unusual for owners of Etobicoke homes for sale to rent a nice throw rug or two, maybe even a Persian to complete the look of a particular room. If refinishing the wood floors or removing stains from the carpets all seems like a bridge too far try some strategic furniture placement to cover imperfections.
Know more about the Value of Staging Your Home When Selling
Stash the Pets
You love dogs. Everybody loves dogs, right? Well, not really. And there’s no sense debating the issue at this point or making a stand for pet’s rights. The bottom line is this: having your best friend sniffing up a potential buyer who is not enamoured of canines is a good way to torpedo a potential sale. Same with cats. Some people love them. Some people can live just fine without them. Have someone pet sit for you during the open house sessions. It’s just easier for everyone involved.
Consider the Outside
Before your potential buyer ever makes it into your kitchen or bath with the Sunnylea Real Estate Agent they have to make it through the front yard. Which means their first impression of the house will be largely formulated by the time they ring the doorbell. So an integral part of home staging is making sure your curb appeal is appealing and not off-putting. You don’t have to re-clad the house or repaint the whole thing but you may want to repaint the porch or maybe even the trim on the house. You’ll want to make sure the lawn is looking its best, that bushes and hedges have been trimmed, that flower beds are active, that the yard isn’t strewn with toys and that pathways are clean and clear. Make sure windows are clean inside and out too.
In addition, make sure all peripherals are in working order. That includes any landscape lighting, the front doorbell, the intercom system (if you have one) and any security cameras. Make sure there is a clean welcome mat at the door and that any outdoor furniture is clean and in good working order. If you have an outdoor kitchen clean it thoroughly and make sure everything is in good working order. If you have an inground pool make sure it’s clean, that the deck is clean and that toys and other pool related items are stored away. Lastly, make sure the downspouts are clear and working as they’re supposed to.
Last Minute Touches
Before you open your house to potential buyers make sure to add a few finishing touches to your efforts. These may include fresh flowers on the dining room table, in the foyer or on the island in the kitchen. They add a splash of colour and provide a light, fresh scent most people find appealing. If you want to maximize the visuals and aren’t so concerned about the fresh scents go with faux flowers. The same applies to fruit. A bowl of fresh fruit on the kitchen table is another way to introduce a bit of colour and enhance the homey atmosphere without getting personal. It can also be handy if one of your buyers is feeling a bit peckish and could use a snack. Faux fruit is also an acceptable alternative.
Get the best value for your home with Sunnylea Real Estate agent Leslie Brlec @ (416) 277-5444
If you go on a blind date and the other person shows up with their ex you’re going to have a hard time seeing where you fit in the picture. Same thing when it comes to Etobicoke homes for sale. Or Sunnylea homes for sale for that matter. If all a potential buyer sees is you everywhere they look in the house they’re going to have hard time imaging where they fit in. So keep in mind that a home sale is not about you. It’s about matching your home to someone new.
As any Etobicoke Real Estate agent will tell you the fine art of home staging is, in many ways, the fine work of home staging. There’s no doubt that it will entail a lot of physical labour but your efforts are sure to result in a faster sale for a better price than if you simply sat back and let nature take its course.