By: Andrew Mitchell
The decision to sell your home is a momentous one. You have doubtless grown attached to the place over the years. There are so many memories attached to every square foot of it. But you can’t let those warm feelings cloud your judgement. Once that listing goes up, your home will be playing to an entirely different type of audience – one that isn’t the least bit sentimental about the little quirks and cracks that symbolize the progress of your family’s life. Of course, every home seller knows that she or he will have to spruce the place up a little before asking top dollar for it, but if you are serious about maximizing your profit, you might want to consider a more holistic remodeling plan.
Proper home staging is a very complex process. There are so many variables to keep track of. What kinds of prospective buyers are likely to turn up? (And what kinds of features will they be looking for?) What design elements do comparable listings in your area lack? And how can you make certain to distinguish your house from the pack? Naturally, you’ll want to consult with a keenly objective observer before forging ahead with this kind of an operation. Fortunately, you’ll have one by your side every step of the way – that’s what real estate brokers are for!
There is no one right way to prepare a home for the market. These decisions have to be made on a case by case basis. But here are some of the factors that your broker will undoubtedly consider as you work together to maximize your property’s appeal.
2014: A Spacious Odyssey
An open-concept living space can really make the right kind of impact on a buyer. Fewer walls mean fewer barriers to the imagination. And most people like to picture themselves moving freely and easily around their new abodes. By eliminating a non-structural wall, replacing a traditional doorway with glass French doors, or removing a non-essential kitchen island, you provide prospective buyers with a Cinemascope screen upon which to project their ideas of the future. In this age of giant screen TVs, cordless and mobile phones, yoga mats, and multi-room audio systems, a sense of spaciousness is more important than ever.
Let There Be (More) Light
Human beings thrive on natural sunlight – and yet, very few homes have the capacity to admit more than a trickle of it into our lives. Large bay windows are wonderful, and they will certainly enhance the value of your home, but even they can’t funnel light into the centre of the building. You can address this issue quite economically by investing in a sun tube, or tubular skylight. Making ingenious use of reflective material, these natural light systems are much cheaper to install than traditional skylights – and they really add life to a room. As on the real stage, lighting is absolutely key to earning rave reviews from the critics, so give each room its chance to shine.
Make Sure the House is Greener on Your Side of the Fence
There are a million reasons to embrace the green revolution. For starters, it’s a more efficient way to live – and it will save your prospective buyer money in the long run. Knowing that, they should be willing to pay you a little more up front in exchange for the privilege of living in a sensibly heated, cooled and lit home. Simply installing a solar water heater, for instance, can knock up to 80% off those bills. And don’t forget that a lot of green remodeling will earn you cashback incentives and tax credits from the government. Your broker will have that kind of knowledge at his or her fingertips. By going green, you do something for the buyer’s pocketbook and peace of mind.
As we mentioned earlier, the art of staging a house is the art of engaging a buyer’s imagination. Therefore, any design element that is too idiosyncratic or personal is likely to interfere with that process. That nursery with the dinosaurs roaming its walls? Paint it beige. That’s an easy call to make, but in other cases you might be too close to the situation to assess it accurately. This is where your broker’s objective opinion can really come in handy. You might think that vividly yellow bathroom is a strong selling point (and maybe it is!), but if it’s more likely to drive buyers away, an experienced real estate expert will gently nudge you toward replacing it with some neutral colour.
These are just a few of the issues that your real estate broker will address during the crucial process of staging your property for the market. For more information about the knowledge, objective insight, and detailed information I can place at your disposal, I invite you to set up a no-obligation consultation by calling me directly at 514-425-6262.
Andrew Mitchell is a Chartered Real Estate Broker with Vistacor Realty Group, an independent real estate agency serving home sellers and buyers for 25 years. Thinking about buying or selling real estate? Follow him on Twitter @Montreal_Homes, call him directly at 514-425-6262 or visit his website at www.andrewmitchell.ca.