If so, the fall and winter months are not too early to start preparing. Every home is different, and some need more work than others, but if it’s been a long time since you’ve sold a property, it can be easy to forget the work involved in getting a property looking its best for the market.
By getting started now, you can tackle projects in a relaxed way rather than waiting until February or March and feeling rushed. If you have work that will require tradespeople, booking now is a good idea, as workers can often be backed up with other jobs.
Fall-winter is a good time to Prep for a Spring Sale!
Here are some steps to get a head start that will help you feel confident and ready when the spring market arrives:
Get in Touch: Feel free to call me at 613-747-4747 to arrange a meeting. In my more than 30 years of experience of helping sellers and buyers in Ottawa, I’ve toured thousands of properties. I can spot things instantly that will turn off buyers. Many of these things are easy and inexpensive to address.
I’ll make suggestions for what you can do to freshen up the property and make it more appealing.
I will also show you recent sales of similar properties in your neighbourhood so you can see the prices that sellers have accepted most recently. Of course, we will monitor prices until we list, to see if prices change over the coming months based on supply and demand.
Consider Booking a Home Inspection: When the market is balanced, as it is currently, many buyers will make their offers conditional on a home inspection. Sometimes an inspector will identify issues that surprise the sellers themselves. If you’re selling, you then must decide whether to do necessary repairs or perhaps adjust your price.
Arranging your own home inspection can alert you to any issues, and you can decide how you want to address them. I can put you in touch with qualified home inspectors in our region.
Declutter: Over years of living in a property, we tend to accumulate things we no longer use and have been meaning to get rid of, including clothing we no longer wear, old electronics, half-used cans of paint and other bric-a-brac.
Buyers want to see clean, spacious, uncluttered rooms. Have a look at the photos of properties at www.nancybenson.com to get an idea of what we aim for when we list a property, and you will have an idea of what to aim for.
To avoid feeling overwhelmed by the task, focus on one room at a time. Sort items that could be donated to a charity from things that must go or which you could possibly sell. Have chairs or other furniture which you never use, and which make the room feel cramped? They can be donated to charities.
The city of Ottawa has a handy too to find where you can donate or dispose of different items, such as electronic waste, paint and furniture. In the search bar at www.ottawa.ca, type “waste explorer” and you’ll find a search tool that allows you to type in the kind of item you need to get rid of.
New Paint works wonders: One of the easiest, least costly ways to transform your home is simply to repaint, particularly any rooms that feature extremely bright or dark colours. It’s also a good time to remove dated wallpaper.
Buyers find it easier to imagine their furnishings in a room with neutral colours and no busy wallpaper patterns. Consider beige or light grey, with a clean white baseboard and ceiling trim, to give your rooms a fresh, clean look. Homeowners are often surprised how much larger a room appears when they get rid of a dark or bold colour on their walls and replace it with something lighter.
Easy Kitchen and Bathroom Touch-Ups: Buyers pay a lot of attention to kitchens and bathrooms. You don’t need to entirely redo these rooms to make them look more appealing. Simply changing dated light fixtures, faucets or cupboard handles can make a big difference. If your flooring in these rooms looks particularly dated, there are inexpensive options to redo them and make them more contemporary.
If the cupboard colours are a problem, you don’t need to entirely replace the cupboards. You can paint them in a more appealing colour, consulting a paint dealer about the steps involved and the proper paint to use.
If your appliances are ancient and you’ve been considering replacing them, brand new energy-efficient appliances can make a big difference. New appliances can take several weeks to arrive after ordering, so if you do opt for them, ordering them soon is a good idea.
Flooring: If your have carpeting that looks worn and tired, consider replacing it, in a neutral colour and easy-to-maintain style. If it’s still in good shape, a steam cleaning before listing is always a great idea.
If you have hardwood floors that are looking tired or scratched, a simple sanding and re-staining is sometimes all that is needed, rather than entirely replacing the floors. I can make suggestions for what I would recommend.
Easy exterior updates: As with interior fixtures, if your exterior lights or address plate look like they haven’t been changed since the 1980s, it’s easy to change them up into some more contemporary fixtures that can make your exterior look much fresher.
Keep in mind that I also offer all my seller clients the services of a professional stager, free of charge, who will visit once some of the advance cleaning and decluttering has been done, and before we officially list, to add the beautiful final touches before we send the professional photographers in.
This can include some final re-arranging of furniture, additional decluttering and perhaps a few changes to the way your wall art is displayed or arranged.
If you’re considering selling, feel free to give me a call, at 613-747-4747. Every property is different, and I’d be happy to drop by and give my feedback on preparing for that spring sale.