Thinking of selling?

Is your home ready to go on the real estate market? Is it at it's very best for showing purchasers? Read through the following paragraphs to assist you in determining your market readiness.

If you feel you're ready to begin the marketing for your home, start gathering the following pieces of information:

tax data, recent utility bills, two years worth of strata meeting minutes, financial statements, bylaws, rules and regulations, strata plan, annual general meeting notices and minutes, engineering report (if there is one), survey certificate (if there is one), parking stall number(s), storage locker number, and whatever else you feel might be useful to have documented for your home.

Does your home require some minor remodelling? Talk to me about what you're thinking of doing and I can give you an idea of whether it will pay off for you. As always, the kitchen, bathrooms, and closets can always do with sprucing up.

Should I paint? Paint gives a home a fresh start and it's a quick cure for outdated wallpaper and colors. Keep the color palette light (pastels, ecru, white) and limited to two or three tones. Do-it-yourself painting is economical but make sure that you don't scrimp on the quality of the paint you use or the time you spend on surface preparation. Surfaces ready for paint are clean, dry and smooth.

Should I change my floor covering? What's best? Carpet? Tile? Put your best foot forward with clean carpets and tiles. Steam clean, or replace badly worn or stained carpets. Install neutral-colored, medium quality carpet in each room, if this is affordable for you. Repair or replace missing or damaged pieces of tile; polish if needed. If there is hardwood under your old shag carpeting, tear up the shag and show off the stylish wood grain. Installing new hardwood floors, however is costly; and you may not get the desired return on your investment.

What about lighting? Does it make any difference? The right lighting displays a home at its best. Every light socket in and around the house should have a good bulb of adequate wattage. Repair or replace wall switches, outlets, and light fixtures that don't work.

What about my kitchen? How does it show? The kitchen can often make or break a top dollar sale. A good kitchen renovation can bring back 75% to 125% of its cost when you sell your house. Before you begin be sure to check out your contractor's qualifications and references. If you plan to do the remodelling yourself, make sure you are able to do professional work or your improvements will ultimately detract from the value of your home. If you are thinking about a kitchen renovation, here's a few tips: Arrange the traffic flow so that the three most-used items, the sink, refrigerator, and stove form an equilateral triangle. Choose a monochromatic color scheme such as white or almond. Purchase appliance of reliable quality and keep all your records and warranties. Minor kitchen remodelling requires less money up front and can be a real gem of an investment. If you have a 20-year old home of modest proportions, for example, consider re-facing your kitchen cupboards instead of installing new ones. Dark wood cabinets that overwhelm a small kitchen take on a new dimension when sanded and painted with an off-white finish. Shop around for a new oven and cook-top, new laminated countertops, new flooring and fresh paint.

Is my home too messy? What does uncluttered really mean? Efficient use of space is one of the least expensive ways to improve the "show ability" and thus the resale value of your home. Work to eliminate clutter from countertops, walls and floors. Make your home look like it has room to spare. Install closet organisers in bedrooms and utility rooms. Use swing-out cupboards. Some experts recommend renting a mini-warehouse to store your excess belongings while the house is on the market. There's no doubt about it ... overcrowding gives the impression of inadequacy.

How about my bathroom? Does it need improving? Bathroom improvements such as new lighting and fittings can really make a difference to buyers. Always fix any leaky toilets or dripping faucets. Badly chipped or stained sinks and tubs should be re-enameled or replaced. If possible, replace the harvest gold and avocado green tubs with more contemporary white ones. As in kitchens; stick to neutral colors and work to create lots of storage space. Bathroom features that buyers look for include large medicine cabinets and mirrors, modern vanity units and new tiles around showers or tubs. Homes with one bathroom are often difficult to sell, except in the case of a one bedroom apartment. Complete bathroom renovations and additions pay back best in houses that are more than 25 years old. Talk to Becci for advice on the cost recovery possibility of major projects such as these.

What about my window coverings? Any suggestions? Make sure your drapery rods are fixed firmly to walls and work smoothly. If your present drapes and curtains are faded and worn, then look into updating your outlook with vertical or horizontal blinds. Many of these custom-made blinds come with lifetime guarantees that enhance resale value. Flood your home with natural light wherever possible. This can be as simple as replacing heavy window coverings or as involved as installing a skylight.

How much money should I spend on home improvement if I'm selling my house? Don't spend so much money on home improvements that your house is more expensive than all the others in the neighborhood. You won't for example, recover all the money on pool installation in an average subdivision. The bottom line is that if your improvement is appropriate to your house and your community, and if it's a quality job, it will probably turn out to be a good investment, too. In the meantime you can enjoy a home that is brighter, more efficient and more enjoyable thanks to your improvement projects.

Now you're all ready to sell your home. Let's look at a selling strategy

Dianne Moscrip

Ready to find out more?

Call Dianne today! 604-526-2888