We’re in the midst of winter, when spring and summer can feel a long way off, but if you’re considering listing your home during the most popular home-buying season, it’s not too early now to get in touch so we can start the process and be ready.

Home sellers, and particularly those who are selling a home for the first time, are often surprised by the amount of advance time and preparation we need before we can officially list a home for sale and start showings and open houses.

It’s not unusual for it to take a few weeks or more from our first meeting, because of the stages involved, including a consultation with the professional home stagers I work with to help all of my clients’ homes look their best.

Before we list a home, the preparation work includes cleaning from top to bottom and inside and out, and can also include touch-ups, perhaps some new paint colours and other improvements. So the more time that we have in advance of a sale, the easier it is for everyone.

When you contact me for our first consultation, we can chat about the Ottawa market and what’s involved in listing your home, and we will come up with a detailed list of what I feel we need to do to help your home look its best and compete with similar properties on the market.


With more than 30 years of experience as a realtor in Ottawa, I’ve learned a lot and I’ve seen firsthand what impresses buyers and the kinds of things that can cause them to eliminate a particular home from their list.

Before we list your property for sale, I will go through your home room by room, making notes about what I feel could be done to freshen up the property and help your home have a stronger appeal for buyers.

If you start on some of those projects now, rather than waiting until spring, you’ll have a head start and you will also be able to take on any projects in a more leisurely and relaxed manner, rather than feeling rushed and pressured to get everything done in a short time.

If you’d like to get an idea of the appealing look we help our sellers achieve when we list a property, have a look at my website, at nancybenson.com, and glance through some photos of my listings.

In addition to being freshened up by the professional stager, the homes I sell are all professionally photographed by photographers who have experience in making properties look their best. Having a look at the listings will also give you an idea of why I suggest some of the things I do to make your home shine for buyers. It helps to become familiar with what’s out there on the market and how good your home needs to look if you want it to compete with other properties.

For almost all homeowners, this preparation starts with an extensive de-cluttering to give your home an airy and open feel. You might decide its time to pare down your possessions, donate some books to a library or simply box things up and put them in storage somewhere while your home is on the market.

If your rooms have been painted colours that are unusually bold, I might suggest a new coat of paint in neutral colours, to help buyers better imagine their own possessions there. We might suggest some additional relatively inexpensive fixes, such as more contemporary lighting fixtures, cabinet hardware or faucets, if your rooms are looking dated.

These are things that can make a big difference with relatively little work and are not a major expense. If you find that you don’t have the time or lack the skills to do the work, my stager and I often pitch in, and I can also recommend painters and repair people who can help.

To get started on that process and help ensure your home is ready for the busy selling season, you can contact me through my website, at nancybenson.com, or give me a call at 613-747-4747. I’d love to hear from you.