Selling Advice

7 Tips to Prepare Your Home For Sale

Ready to sell your home? Minor home improvements can maximize your financial return and increase the chance of it selling faster. These guidelines can help you prepare your home for sale and leave a lasting impression on potential home buyers.

1. Clean thoroughly and clear clutter. Give your home a thorough clean. Be sure to dust on top of mirrors and baseboards, polish and wipe down cabinets and appliances. Take the time to de-clutter. Those looking to buy a home scrutinize every little detail.

2. Apply a coat of paint. A little paint goes a long way. Touch up the paint in your home to keep walls looking fresh and clean. Not everyone loves bright yellow walls and could turn off potential buyers. If you are to re­paint, go for neutral colours like tan, white, and beige to appease the masses.

3. Renovations that provide ROI. Certain home renovations provide a higher return on investment. Replace faucets and doorknobs in outdated kitchens and bathrooms. The front door typically sees the most wear and tear. Replacing your front door creates a grand first impression. Click here to see our full list of the best home renovations that pay off on resale.

4. Stage your home. Small upgrades to décor can make a big difference without breaking the bank. Brighten up your kitchen with fresh flowers. Refresh your living room with new decorative pillows. Place succulents on bedside tables for extra warmth. Create a spa­like bathroom with artisan soaps and crisp white towels. For places to shop, stores like Homesense Canada and Ikea are great for staging on a budget.

5. Eliminate lingering odours. Scents are one of the first things that make an impression on your guests. In fact, certain smells have been said to be effective in selling homes faster. The smell of cookies has been proven effective in selling older homes faster. In newer homes, it’s the smell of white tea and fig. Diffusers, like the ones found at Saje, are great options to clean the air and provide a sense of relaxation.

6. Organize your closets. Storage space is a big selling point for most homebuyers. Declutter your closets to make storage space look bigger. Make sure your clothes are pressed and put away neatly – every nook and corner could be scoured! Go the extra mile by matching all of your hangers and reorganizing your wardrobe by colour.

7. Prepare documents. If you’re selling a condominium, you’ll also need to prepare a number of documents that relate to your suite and strata corporation. These include a title search, registered strata plan, financial statements of the strata corporation, property disclosure statement and strata minutes for the past two years.

8. Choosing the right Realtor®. A professional Realtor® guides you through the entire selling or buying process of your home. The right Realtor® will know how to establish a plan to attract the highest selling price for your property by analyzing sales data, know real estate trends in your neighbourhood, prepare design-savvy marketing materials for all Buyer inquiries, provide feedback from showings and open houses and are committed to your best interest.

10 Things to Know When Choosing the Best REALTOR® for You

Here are 10 considerations to bear in mind when you speak with an agent.

1. Know your needs first

Is your timeline urgent or more relaxed? Do you have kids or pets to schedule viewings around? Have you already sold your home or do you need a new home quickly?

When you understand your needs, you can ask the right questions. If agents have a clear idea of what you’re looking for, everyone starts on the same page. Then, you can learn how each agent will adapt their real estate services and process to work for you.

2. Agents must be tech savvy

A REALTOR®’s success depends on how well they find and market homes. Online advertising and property websites are now a basic requirement in modern home buying.

Will your agent harness social media outreach? Do they use professional photography or drones to give listings visual appeal? You want an agent who understands how to use the latest technology and marketing to ensure your home sale succeeds.

3. All REALTORS® aren’t equal

Although agents become certified in the same foundational program, this only covers the theory and foundations of the business. Real estate changes daily because of new laws and market trends. Ask REALTORS® what additional training, experience and local connections they maintain to make sure their knowledge is always up to date.

4. Communication is key

The real estate process goes through several stages. A good agent will guide you through each one, from scheduling viewings to helping you understand every legal document you sign. How will they keep you in the loop with changes? How quickly do they respond to emails or calls? Select an agent who communicates well to eliminate confusion.

5. Hire a specialist

Real estate is a massive industry, especially in major urban centres like Vancouver. Markets differ daily based on new laws, developments and housing trends. You want a REALTOR® who knows the ever-changing neighbourhoods inside out, and who has worked with homes just like yours. Their specific experience will give you an edge in finding or marketing your home.

6. Ask for their strategy

Agents need a plan and should have tried and true marketing strategies on hand. What is their timeline for promoting properties? Might they be able to show you new listings before they even hit the market? Will they host open houses and will they provide staging services? What price negotiation tactics could help with your situation? If they have a solid strategy, it’s a good sign.

7. Hear what others have to say

The best way to know what it’s like to work with a REALTOR® is to hear it from someone who already has. Real estate is a people-centred business. Good REALTORS® often have repeat clients and will gladly provide testimonials. See if they’ve won any awards.

8. Make sure they’re supported

Some agents work with big chain brands, others with local offices. The most important thing is that they have the team and resources behind them to ensure your success. Find out how their office and community connections will benefit your home search or sale.

9. Home price isn’t everything

Everyone wants to get the most value, but the highest possible price isn’t always the best one. If a listing is over market value, it can linger, causing it to sell for much less in the end. Don’t select an agent solely based on how high they price your home; make sure to understand their method. When a home is priced right, it sells fastest for the most value.

10. Go with your instinct

Buying or selling a home is a major decision. You need to like and truly trust the REALTOR® that you work with. Personality and character are important traits to consider that don’t show up on paper.

When it’s time to buy or sell a home, choose a few agents to interview and keep these questions in mind. The right agent will give you the most positive real estate experience possible.

If you’re looking to find a REALTOR® that’s your perfect fit, Contact NAREIG with your questions. 

Renovations Worth the Cost: How to Increase the Value of Your Home

Home improvements are a major investment of time and money, but many will actually pay you back. More and more designers have shifted their focus to updates that boost property value and bring in a high return on investment.

In the Vancouver real estate market, which home upgrades can deliver the most value to your home? Here are some key ways that you can increase your property value.

Increase energy efficiency

As heating and cooling prices increase, so do your energy bills. Home buyers are now requesting past utility costs for listings. If you have big bills, they may use them to negotiate a lower price or add clauses to their bid for you to make improvements.

That’s why some of the highest ROI home renovations are things you can’t even see: they involve increasing a home’s efficiency. Consider making energy-conscious updates such as increasing insulation in the attic, installing new double-paned windows or replacing exterior doors with new models that have airtight seals.

You can also add caulking around windows, place draft stoppers under doors and regularly clean your furnace to keep it running at maximum efficiency. Even small energy upgrades can help lower your bills and boost the assessment value of your home when you sell.

Install another bathroom

If you have an extra storage space or a spare room, adding a washroom is a renovation that can add major value. Most home buyers and appraisers check the number of bedrooms and bathrooms first—a full, three-piece bathroom stands as an additional room on your property assessment.

A spare bathroom appeals to buyers who see its usefulness for guests, but most importantly it increases the capacity for people to live in the house. Three kids and one bathroom isn’t manageable for most people. Like kitchens, bathrooms are high traffic areas and that’s why improving these rooms is an immediate way to add more value to your home.

Build an income suite

Converting the basement into a separate suite or constructing a laneway house for rent puts your property to work for you. A home that can generate revenue is a buyer’s dream because it helps with mortgage payments long-term. By adding space for tenants, you can manage your monthly payments—and if you decide to sell your home, this is one renovation that starts paying for itself right away.

In Vancouver’s bustling rental housing market, you’ll have no problem finding tenants, most of whom will pay high prices for a bright, finished basement suite or the privacy of a laneway home.

Paint it

Sometimes the simplest things have a big impact, and painting your home is one of them. With just a few coats, your home can change from dated to modern. Selecting lighter colours can even create the illusion of more space in smaller rooms.

Neutral tones appeal more to buyers because they won’t have to work hard to cover bold colours. Curb appeal isn’t just a buzzword, either—a fresh coat of paint on the exterior makes your home look even more valuable and protects it from the elements.

Update flooring and finishings

There’s a reason that home listings always list hardwood and stone finishings at the top of their descriptions. These timeless items are a major hit with buyers because they are both long-lasting and eye-catching.

Like with paint, installing light coloured flooring brightens spaces, while rich tones add a warm ambiance. Whether you desire a rustic chic or modern interior style, you can select from a variety of finishings including marble, slate, granite, oak or pine.

Kitchens are one room in particular where even minor home renovations can add to your property’s assessment value. Bring natural flooring and countertops together here for a renovation that looks as good as its ROI.
Home renovations of any size can have a big impact on your home’s property value.

If you’re hunting for new home or thinking of starting a renovation project, be sure to consult the experts to find out how you can get the most value out of your property. Whether you’re making big or small changes, you want to make sure that your investments are improving your home’s efficiency, curb appeal and long-term value.