The Weir Team works with numerous homeowners who are selling their house or condo all throughout Toronto and Durham Region. We usually take care of ensuring that our listings look gorgeous from top to bottom. Although there are some sellers who want to do everything themselves, or think that the only thing that matters is the price, we have the experience of being able to coach sellers with what to do and what not to do when selling your home. No matter what though, preparing your home to go on MLS is usually much more work than most people realize.
After several years working in real estate, we see many of the same things that sellers could have done (or not done) that could have gotten them much better offers and multiple offers. Especially sellers who work with so-called ‘discount-realtors’ who barely lift a finger to prepare the house for sale. We see it far too often.
And more importantly, we work with so many buyers who all tell us what they like or don’t like about any of the properties we show them. It’s amazing how many things are so simple, yet so many sellers don’t understand why buyers are not interested in their home.
Selling a house or condo in Toronto and Durham Region involves all sorts of things that The Weir Team are experts at. The same concepts can apply to selling an automobile, diamond ring and beauty products. It’s all about positioning and aspiration. Although there are certain differences between sellers downtown and sellers in Pickering and Ajax (I’ll save that for another blog), all buyers are pretty much all thinking the same way.
Here are a couple of things that sellers should always keep in mind:
-Should I be home at home for showings? Absolutely not. Never. Only in the rarest of instances does a seller have the skill to be able to sell their own home. The biggest mistake that home sellers make is that they think people want to buy the seller’s house. Wrong. The buyer wants to buy THEIR home not your home. To see the seller waiting outside while touring the house or the seller hovering or even nearby usually makes the buyer very uncomfortable and ruins the aspirational potential that many home buyers need.
-Should lights be on or off when selling my home? Are display cases dark when you enter a store? Interior lights should ALL be on at all times. Walking into a dark house is never inviting. Houses that have all lights on are welcoming and imply that the buyer is expected and invited to feel comfortable. It also shows pride of ownership and that there is nothing to hide. Don’t worry about spending a few more dollars for electricity. It could mean the difference of $10,000 on the offer. Also, the temperature should be comfortable, even a tad too warm when the temperature is below zero. When you’re selling your house or condo in Toronto and Durham Region during the cooler months, cold houses and especially cold floors are rarely attractive. Remember, it’s almost like you want the house to give someone a hug as soon as they enter.
One other note about lighting: Cold white energy efficient lighting that looks like fluorescent lighting can also spoil the look and feel of a home and sometimes make an otherwise nice space look cheap. Try to find warm incandescent or halogen light bulbs, at least just for the short time that potential buyers will be touring the house. Hopefully most energy efficient light bulbs will be improving the quality of light they emit soon.
Cleanliness and staging are two other very important areas for home sellers that I will write about separately. But quickly here are a few recommendations about appearance:
-toilets should be fully cleaned with toilet lids DOWN
-ovens and fridges should be spotless
-faucets and handles should be gleaming
-dish rags and dish towels should be put away, no matter how colorful (and NEVER in kitchen photos; they tend to ruin the shot with them raggedly dangling over the stove handle)
-windows should be washed, inside and out
Remember your home should be a showcase if you intend to get top offers. You’d be surprised how often a dirty bath tub or a smeared faucet can ruin the magic for a potential buyer.
Luckily The Weir Team has a full team of professionals to take care of all details for you. Or, if you prefer, the right advice if you want to do everything yourself to make sure your house shines.
The offer you get depends on it.
Written by Scott Hanton, Broker for The Weir Team