How to Start Prepping Now to Be Ready
If you’re thinking of listing your home this year and are waiting till better weather, that doesn’t mean you can’t start preparing your home so you’ll be all set to put out that “For Sale” sign when you are ready.
I suggest to all potential sellers that they use their time wisely. Take advantage of any pockets of free time over the weeks ahead to prep your home and your family. After our listing consultation, we will come up with a plan of action to get your home market-ready. Then, you can dive in head first, or you can break it down into bite-size chunks. It’s totally up to you.
If you have the time, bite-size chunks taken regularly can make things way simpler down the road.
Getting started is often the hardest part.
I’m here to help. It’s never too early to get in touch with me. I’m here to provide strategies and guidance to get your home sold in the timeframe that works for you, whether that’s months from now or even next year. Creating the action plan will make things so much less daunting.
Keep stress levels low by planning.
Contemplating the process of buying and selling can be overwhelming. Mapping out the weeks or months ahead in a manner that makes sense for you and your family will keep you calm and confident.
Set out a timetable with deadlines.
Schedule certain times each week or month to work on prepping your home with specific tasks or DIY projects (i.e., tackle basement, paint bedroom, etc). Your timetable will depend on when you want to list and how much will need to get done. Now is the time to get bids and timelines from outside contractors.
Stay on budget or know your potential return on investment.
You may have to spend money to earn money but not all home improvements are worth it. So be smart and don’t overdo it. I can help you determine what makes sense for your particular neighborhood or your potential buyers.
Start to get your home in tip-top shape today.
Tackle any projects that could make your home look its best when you do list. Use the wintertime to be productive. There is no better time to purge and organize – the two most important steps prior to listing.
Fix what’s broken.
Make a list of all the nagging items that bother you and fix them. Look at your home with a buyer’s eyes. You’ll see where it needs a fresh coat of paint or discover that loose step or leaky faucet you’ve lived with way too long.
Clear away clutter.
This is the ONE MOST IMPORTANT thing you can do to sell your home. You don’t want your home to look cramped and cluttered with too much stuff. Oh, how I despise STUFF.
Buyers need a clean slate in order to picture themselves living there. Start paring down your belongings today – sell on eBay, Kijiji, Facebook Marketplace, donate, recycle or trash. For those items you want to keep, consider boxing them up and stacking them in an orderly fashion in your storage area. If you don’t have ample storage, rent a storage unit for boxes and excess furniture until your home is sold.
Make your home shine — clean like you never did before!
As you get closer to listing your home, scrub or hire someone to scrub every nook and cranny in your home – inside and out. Focus on windows one week, then polishing wood floors or cleaning rugs another week. Turn to YouTube for cleaning tips of all kinds.
Make your home as move-in ready as you possibly can. Today’s buyers do not expect to do repairs and replacements when they move. An older roof, stained carpet, or a warped fence can bring down the price of your home. Determine what is best for your sale financially, and then determine if professionals are readily available to work on your projects.
Appeal to a buyer’s emotions.
Not only do you need to appeal to a buyer’s mind and wallet, but you also need to make their heart skip a beat. How do you do that? The answer depends on your particular home and your most likely buyer. You want buyers to envision themselves living in your home so think about how your rooms are used and how they can be set up to create these emotional connections.
Curb appeal and the “wow” factor can sway buyers.
As a buyer drives up to your home, first impressions are key. If time or skills are lacking for you, hire landscapers to spruce up the outside of your home. This is also critically important for online photos. Greenery increases clicks on listings – who knew?
Understand how technology works today in real estate.
Buyers will be looking for your home online. They will be conducting their own electronic searches, corresponding online, and signing documents electronically.
Online photos can sell your home.
Buyers spend lots of time viewing online photos and listings to make their initial lists of homes to visit. Try your utmost to schedule photography when your yard looks its best. If you are planning to sell in the winter, just keep these photos on file for that time. My favourite real estate photographers use a special lens to make sure your home looks large and bright.
Go with the flow of the market.
Knowing how the real estate market works throughout the year will keep your expectations realistic and also help you understand the different marketing approaches needed depending on the time of year.
Focus on the “business” of selling.
Even though selling your home may be emotional for you, do your best to remember that it’s not personal. It’s more important to think of selling your home as a business transaction. It can be hard to do, but try to distance yourself and view it as a financial opportunity for the next phase of your life. You need to stay focused on getting your home sold, so you can buy your next one.
Study sold prices, not just the asking prices in your particular neighborhood.
If the market could talk, it would tell you what your home is worth based on selling price, not asking price – learn more about asking price in this article. Remember that the market evolves and we’ll adapt and make sure to price your home accordingly.
Be willing to price your home competitively from the get-go.
Once you decide to list your home, the first week of showings will bring the most traffic. A too-low price may bring in multiple offers. A too-high price will result in a stale listing, where your home sits, and sits, and sits.
Remember that all real estate is local.
The particular street or block you live on can strongly influence how your home appeals to buyers and how to price your home. I stay on top of local neighbourhood trends, watching what is selling and what isn’t, as well as who is buying and why. That’s why it’s important that we connect sooner than later, so we can make smart and strategic decisions together.
Let’s come up with a plan
Selling your home is a project that first takes planning and then takes work. But it is so worth it once you’re in your new home. I am here to help you start planning today for your future move … whatever your timeframe!
If you are prepping your home to sell later this year, call me if you aren’t sure which projects are worth the effort. Plus, I have some great contractors who can help with professional work requirements.
Even if you are months or even a year away from selling, prepping your home can start right now. Email me anytime at Liisa@LiisaVexler.com and we can chat about what to start and what to skip so your home looks as good as possible when it comes time to sell.
I'm Liisa and I love helping people moving to Ottawa make their home purchase and transition smooth and seamless. I also love helping sellers get the most for their Ottawa home. Let me know how I can help you make your real estate dreams come true.
613-898-1184 (call or text)