So, you’ve decided you’re ready for a new home. Now what?
First things first, you likely need to sell or find a renter for your current home. How are you going to move it quickly for top dollar? Well, think of the emotions you feel when you enter a home, restaurant, or store. Do you pay attention to smell, clutter, curb appeal, and cleanliness?
If you say no, we’re gonna call your bluff.
First impressions matter to everyone. They are going to matter when you buy your new home. And they matter just the same to the potential buyer of your current home.
This is why staging your home is so important.
Here are some manageable ways to channel your inner designer and stage your pad like a pro:
Typically, we advocate for “it’s what’s on the inside that counts” – but in this case, we’re going to be totally shallow and say that you want your home’s exterior to turn heads. You don’t want to leave potential buyers wondering why you only have interior photos on your listing. Consumers are smart. Your ideal buyer might avoid your place all together if you don’t have a sharp exterior photo front and center on your listing.
If you have limited budget, time, resources, or all three, these tips can help you prioritize the extremeness of your exterior home makeover, depending on your circumstances.
MODEST BUDGET? Start here:
- Clean, clean, and just when you thought it was clean, clean some more. Start by purging and decluttering your garage, shed, deck, and yard. This will make room for the things you want to keep and tuck away.
- Keep the lawn trimmed and weeds pulled; in the winter, clear sidewalks and driveways of ice and snow.
- Pick up after your pet daily.
- Trim/prune trees and bushes.
- Patch/repair dead grass.
- Pressure wash the siding/stucco.
- Invest in at least one can of paint and touch-up the most obvious imperfections first. If you have extra paint, get at the smaller flaws.
- Clean windows.
- Re-caulk windows where necessary.
MODERATE BUDGET? Complete above list and include the following:
- Add some plants and flowers and maintain them. Choose low maintenance plants (Wildflowers and Blue Junipers are our personal favourites, and they do well in Alberta prairie climates).
- Update exterior lighting, address numbers, doorknobs, and your mailbox.
HEALTHY BUDGET? Complete above lists and include the following:
- If your home is +10 years old, you might want to consider replacing the windows.
- Again, if your home is +10 years old, new paint or siding is probably not a bad idea. Painted stucco looks sharp, too. Select a neutral colour. Dark grays are the most timeless.
Lastly, make it look inviting and occupied.
Paint your front door a fun colour, add a welcome mat, a portable water feature, or even a family made snowman. These details promote positive feelings about your home. When buyers are home shopping, they can see about 5 – 10 homes in a day. It helps if they have a memorable characteristic to reference your home by, like the house with the red door.
YOU’VE LURED THEM IN…
Ok, you’ve got a potential buyer in the door. Yay! That is half the battle. Now don’t scare them away with the smell of kitty litter and pictures of all your cats. Be prepared for your potential buyer to be allergic to cats – because a pet occupied home could be a deal-breaker for a buyer. Consider all the items that might be on your buyer’s wish list but show more consideration to details that might be deal-breakers.
- Clean and purge like you did with the exterior – on steroids. This will help lighten your moving load, too.
- If you smoke or have pets, consider having your furnace and carpets cleaned to help reduce unpleasant odours in your home.
- Wash your walls, invest in a Magic Eraser for scuffs, and patch holes.
- If you are going to paint, keep it light and neutral.
- Replace burnt out bulbs and ensure all bulbs are the same colour.
- Pack your knick knacks, patty wacks, and personal photos away so your buyer can start to picture their personal items in the home.
- If you know your home is being shown, don’t hang around. Who likes a lurking Leonard? No one. Turn on ambient lighting and soft music, and make sure the temperature is comfortable before you leave. Avoid cooking aromatic foods the same day your home is being shown. No one wants to smell what you are having for supper unless you’re feeding them too.
A good strategy is to pack away everything you know you won’t need for a month or two. Tuck your daily essentials away in drawers.
Think minimalistic, clean, bright welcoming show home. If you need some show home design inspo, you’re welcome to visit our show homes. You never know, it may result in your next home being a Lincolnberg.
Lincolnberg will look after 25% of the overall commission paid on your house if you purchase a new home with us and use our preferred realtor.
Double bonus: Until the end of March we will also look after your move.