Edmonton Real Estate Expert Jen Haukedal Proposes Practical Tips For Making Your Home Irresistible To Buyers
“Edmonton home sellers should keep in mind the cliché – You never get a second chance to make a first impression. It’s a truism in the real estate industry,” says top Edmonton realtor Jen Haukdal. Because real estate purchase decisions have a strong emotional component, that first impression is all-important to a potential buyer. The best investment you can make to sell your property in the Edmonton market is to put some effort, time and a little bit of money into House Dressing or House Staging as it’s often called.
A properly staged home is ready to move quickly in the real estate market. Statistically, homes that have been dressed sell faster at a price closer to their listing price. Jen talks about guiding potential buyers through a well-staged home, “It’s about highlighting the best features and paying attention to how your home will be presented to someone seeing it for the first time. When I give a potential buyer a tour of a well-staged home I can sense they are better able to imagine themselves living there.”
Here Jen discusses the best ways to reap the greatest benefit with the least effort:
First, your home should be uncluttered. It will also help you to get a head start on your moving preparations to sell or pass along unwanted items. Alternatively, you could rent a storage locker for extra furniture, large toys, exercise equipment and out-of-season clothing. Having minimal furniture in your home during showings will give the impression your home is roomy and spacious. This concept should even be extended to closets and cupboards: leave a small set of matching dishes neatly arranged in the cupboard and the bare necessities of clothing in closets. Your goal is to give the impression your home has barely been lived in.
Second, walk around your home and make a list of all the small repairs that need to be done such as leaking faucets, loose cupboard doors or aging bathroom caulking. Even something small like a sticky drawer or loose door hinge will cause potential buyers to question the quality of the entire home. Consider painting and updating fixtures if these projects are within your budget and time constraints. These jobs can be do-it-yourself or handled expertly by a contractor.
Third, clean your home meticulously from top to bottom. This will be much easier after you’ve removed some furniture and tackled the small home improvement projects.
- All surfaces should be cleaned including counters, appliances, walls, floors and carpets.
- Carpet cleaning can be done professionally or you can rent a steam cleaner to do-it-yourself. The carpet will dry faster if you use a portable fan after cleaning.
- Wipe under and behind furniture and appliances.
- Neatly organize your garage.
- Wash the windows and clean out the fridge.
- Scrub the bathroom to a shine including mirrors and behind the toilet.
- Set out fresh flowers in strategic locations like on the mantle place and dining room table and use neutral air fresheners or lightly scented candles in bathrooms.
A high degree of cleanliness should be maintained during the entire showing period.
Fourth, pay attention to the exterior of your home. This is where potential buyers really get their first impression. Some Edmonton home buyers will decline to tour a home if they are turned off by what they see on the outside.
- Keep your lawn neatly mowed or the snow shoveled.
- Bushes should be neatly trimmed.
- Consider improvement projects like painting window trim and repairs to your deck or stairs if you judge their current condition as detrimental.
- All items such as toys or pet accessories should be removed.
- In summer, plant inexpensive brightly colored annual flowers such as yellow marigolds in pots beside your door or on the patio.
Jen emphasizes that to successfully stage your home you should imagine you are seeing it for the first time. He suggests you stand in every doorway, then in the middle of each room and step in to the shoes of a potential buyer. Your home should be as neutral as possible to appeal to a broad viewing audience, with some artistic touches such as new cushions and fresh flowers.
Professional home stagers can be hired for a fee but with a bit of advance planning and elbow grease you can successfully stage your own home for minimal cost and maximum return with an increased selling price.
For more information on preparing your Edmonton home for sale please contact Jen Haukedal.