Thinking of putting your home on the market this spring?
Don’t make the mistake of waiting until the snow has melted and the crocuses are coming up before you get around to contacting an agent to begin the process.
For many reasons, it’s a good idea to make that call now, to get an idea of asking price and to put together a list of the kinds of things that will need to done to get your home ready for the market.
If you start now, the process will be less stressful and with the work already done, you can be ready to place your property on the market as soon as the peak sales season begins.
In my three decades as a Realtor, I’ve found that many clients who want to list their property for sale, (and particularly those who have only owned one property), are surprised by the amount of advance preparation that it takes to make their home look its best amongst the dozens of others on the market. This is so that your property will stand out and achieve the best price possible in the market today.
No matter how new or how well maintained your property is, it’s very rare that we can put it on the market in days. It’s not unusual to need four to six weeks of work and preparation before the listing can become official and we can start showings.
When clients contact me very close to spring or summer, and then hear that there are several projects and a lot of de-cluttering that has to be done before we can open the doors, the owners often feel stressed and rushed because they want to list the property soon and they have to get a lot of projects done in a short time.
The list might be relatively simple things that don’t take too much time, such as simply getting rid of a lot of clutter to make the rooms look airy and spacious. But there might be other suggestions for projects that will take a little longer, such as painting some of the rooms in more neutral colours, getting rid of dated wallpaper or replacing cupboards or outdated light fixtures with something more contemporary.
This means trying to find contractors for small renovations that will make the home look its best. My goal is to not have my sellers go into panic mode at the amount of work they have to do in a short time.
When clients contact me and we have our first meeting to go over their property, I go through the home looking at it “the way a buyer would”. I take note of things that in my experience should be corrected to make a home more saleable and to get the best price possible. We then set a reasonable schedule with a few deadlines so that the home owner can prepare the home and not miss the peak in the market.
Our goal, of course, is to work with sellers, and it’s the sellers who make the final decision about how much they want to take on in order to get a better price. But we all want the seller to get the best price possible, and that can mean some elbow work and cleaning. And this can take time, when you’re busy with work and family commitments and perhaps only have evenings and weekends to prepare.
All of this is easier and less stressful when instead of a few weeks, you have a few months to do it, a little bit at a time and around your schedule.
And even when a property is in good condition and quite attractive as it is, we still need time to prepare the home for the market. That includes having my professional stager come in to add finishing touches to help your home look in showroom condition. We then have a professional photographer come in to take great photos and video for our brochures and for posting on websites. So many buyers these days start their search on the web, and they make decisions about which properties they will visit just based on the photos.
So it’s important that we get everything looking as good as possible before the photographer arrives.
All of this takes time, so if you’re seriously considering listing your property this year, and you want to target the peak sales season, it’s a good idea to get the consultations started as early as possible.
Thinking of making a move? You can reach me through my website, www.nancybenson.com or by calling me directly to schedule an appointment 613-788-2556. You can also have a look at the “Current listings” section of my website, to get an idea of the kind of look we aim for in photographs when we put a home on the market. This will also give you a better understanding of why the preparation can take time, and why it’s a good idea to start now.
It may not feel like it right now as we go through cold temperatures and snowfall, but in real estate terms, spring is closer than you think.