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House Selling and Staging Tips

7 Factors That Affect Your Home's Value

There are many factors that can affect the market value of your property, ranging from home improvements to the mood of the seller. All of this is a lot to internalize, but you can make an informed decision while pricing your home if you tackle these issues one at a time.

1. Location
Your home’s proximity to public transportation, train stations, shopping facilities, schools, etc., plays an import factor in determining your property’s market value. Every area has a high end and a low end. The market value of your property is affected by that reality. People that purchase homes in “lower end” areas expect to pay less than they would if they bought the same home in a “higher end” neighbourhood.

2. Features
One of the key factors in your home’s value is the features it provides. For example, some house styles are more popular with buyers than others. The age and size of your home compared to other available properties also plays a part in affecting your home’s value.

3. Condition
Potential buyers will take into account the condition of your home in deciding if they want to buy it and how much they are willing to pay for it. A home in immaculate condition has a much higher potential for a top dollar sale than one that is lacking the most basic routine maintenance.

Experienced buyers look for important conditions like paints, floor coverings, walls, ceilings, floors, doors and windows. Buyers may also pay close attention to the plumbing, electricity work, repairs, bathrooms, kitchen, and so on.

4. Home Improvements
Most people think that home improvements are a sure way to increase the value of a home. Major home improvements are unquestionably important factors that affect the property value. Improvements like room additions, bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens and other items like floor tiles, swimming pools, etc., can increase the value of your home. However, it only matters what those improvements are worth to the buyer.

5. Market Conditions
When the market is flooded with similar properties for sale and real estate buyers are scarce, you can expect to sell your home for less than you would if there was a shortage of supply and lots of eager potential homebuyers.

6. Seller Motivation
Seller motivation is also a major factor which affects the offer price made by the buyer. For example, if you bought a home in a new area you may be willing to accept a lower price to quickly complete the sale of your current home.

7. Marketing
The marketing plan that your agent executes on your behalf will determine the amount of interest that is shown in your property. Your agent’s level of skill and expertise in the negotiating process will affect the amount of money you’ll be able to get for your home. Many people put more thought into what they’ll have for dinner tonight than who they will trust to market their most valuable asset. Don’t make the same mistake.  

House Staging Tips

What are cost-effective ways to make my home more appealing to buyers?

Check out the Video.

According to a recent Poll, Second article on this page, scroll down to read. the attitudes of Canadians toward the currency of their homes’ décor differ from industry experts. Most agree, however, that house staging – preparing a house for sale using cost-effective and non-invasive methods – is part of their selling and buying criteria.

The following list of house staging tips were provided by Timothy Badgley, Interior Designer and Owner of Acanthus Interiors:

Keep it clean
Look at your home as though you're seeing it for the first time. Is every room neat, spotlessly clean, dusted and uncluttered? Steam clean carpets and wax floors. Wash walls, heating and A/C vents and light fixtures. Pay special attention to your bathroom and kitchen, Empty garbage containers Daily and before each showing, make sure that tile grout is mildew free and baseboards scrubbed. Clean the refrigerator and stove as well as the washer and dryer (inside and out).

Lose the clutter
Have a yard sale or take old furniture, clothing and knick-knacks to Goodwill. Organize shelves, put away items and purge your home of unnecessary items. Make sure that your kitchen and bathroom counters are free of small appliances and personal effects.

De-personalize your home
Make your home "anonymous,” so that buyers can envision it as their potential home. Put away any family photos, sports trophies, collectibles, knick-knacks and souvenirs. This will also help to remove clutter and create more space.

Adding a fresh coat of paint and laying new carpet will clean and brighten up your home. Choose neutral colours and make it consistent throughout the home. If you choose to wallpaper, make sure that the paper is properly applied, your colour choice is neutral and patterns are kept to a minimum.

First impressions count
Like a first date or job interview, the first impression of your home is the most important. Walking into a home with fingerprinted screen door windows or cluttered entranceways, can influence the potential homebuyer's decisions. Likewise, strong odours can ruin a sale, so pay close attention to pet, cooking and cigarette smells in your home. Light delicately scented candles or have cookies baking when showing.

Curb appeal
Homebuyers decide whether or not to look inside a house by the appearance of your home's exterior. Paint or wash the outside of your home. Check your gutters and chimney and make necessary repairs. Keep your lawns trimmed and flower beds weeded. Use urns to define walk spaces and ensure that window boxes are full of healthy all-season plants.

Create the illusion of space
To make your home seem more spacious, it is key to de-clutter and re-organize. Start by removing excess furniture to make rooms feel more open and replacing any items that are not appropriately sized for the room. Clean and organize your closets and remove excess clutter from all areas of your home. Strategically placed mirrors can also help to create the illusion of more space.

Modern choices
Ensure that the décor of your home is modern and tasteful. Use neutral tones on your walls and floors and add colour with removable items such as throw pillows or bedding. Steer away from too many personal touches to create a minimalist and contemporary space.

Doggie don'ts
“Love me, love my pets,” doesn't apply when selling your home. Take your pets with you when your house is being shown, or at least keep them outside. Pets under foot will quickly put a damper on an otherwise positive showing. While making sure that your house is odour-free and spotless applies to everyone, pet owners need to take special care.

Beautify your backyard
Don't forget about your backyard. A house showing doesn't always end at the backdoor. Beyond size and layout, potential buyers can also be influenced by the state of your yard. Keep the lawn, hedges and flowerbeds manicured. Buy exterior storage containers to hide gardening tools, kids toys and pool supplies. Lastly, interested buyers may decide to look inside your shed, so make sure that it is organized and clean.




– Poll also finds 75% of Canadians classify their home décor as current and 45% call themselves pack rats

With the busy housing market right now, Canadians are contemplating home improvements to help entice potential buyers. According to a poll recently released the attitudes of Canadians towards appropriate house sale preparation costs and the currency of their home’s décor differs from industry experts.

A Poll (conducted by Maritz Research) illustrates that 54 per cent of Canadians think that $2,000 or more is the appropriate amount to spend in preparing a house for sale, with a surprising 25 per cent willing to pay over $5,000. The poll also shows that 75 per cent of Canadians would classify the style of their house as “current” or “somewhat current.” These findings are counter to house staging specialists, who maintain that although the majority of homes in Canada are in need of updating prior to sale, a significant difference can be made with as little as $1,500.

Although Canadians are unfamiliar with the term, which means preparing a house for sale using cost-effective and non-invasive methods, most consider house staging techniques as part of their selling and buying criteria. House staging can also be referred to as house fluffing.

“Due to the popularity of home makeover television programs, consumers are more familiar than ever with interior design trends, and average Canadians now expect more when shopping for a new house, “House staging, a tool used by successful real estate agents for decades, is the best way to make a dramatic impact without having to spend a lot of money.”

And, while most Canadians think their home décor is current, experts like Timothy Badgley, interior designer and owner of Acanthus Interiors in Port Hope, Ontario disagree. “The majority of homes that we visit for consultations are out-dated and in need of a pre-sale makeover,” he said. “The good news is that unlike major renovations, house staging is a simple and inexpensive way to bring your house up-to-date.”

Badgley added: “Buyers want to walk into a house and immediately envision themselves living there. Simple staging techniques like cleaning, organizing and de-personalizing can help to make your house buyer friendly.”

45% of Canadians classify themselves as a pack rat and in rural areas, the number rose by almost a third

Creating the illusion of space and neutralizing your house are two important aspects of house staging. According to Badgley, eliminating clutter is an easy way to accomplish both. This is an area where improvement is needed for most Canadians. Almost half of Canadians classify themselves as either a “complete pack rat” or “somewhat of a pack rat.” In urban centres, the number of respondents who classified themselves as a pack rat was a significant 41 per cent. In rural communities, that number rose to 53 per cent.

Even those who did not classify themselves as a pack rat were in need of house de-cluttering. Over 90 per cent of Canadians showcase small appliances, such as microwaves, toasters, radios and blenders on their kitchen counters. According to Badgley, this is a deterrent for potential purchasers. “Homebuyers are interested in ample kitchen counter space, not your small appliances, even if they are high-end,” he said. “By clearing counters of removable items, potential homebuyers can envision the space exactly how they like.”

86% of Canadians rank storage space as important to potential buyers

According to the poll, the top three interior features when selling a home were freshly painted walls (30%), flooring (29%) and organized storage space (20%). However, when asked how important storage space was to a potential buyer, 86 per cent ranked it as a seven out of 10 or higher, with 43 per cent grading it as a 10 out of 10, or the “most important.” Another interesting finding was that while 32 per cent of males ranked storage space as the “most important,” the number jumped to 54 per cent for females.

Nearly three-quarters of Canadians are open to house staging technique: furniture removal

Another effective staging technique is removing, rearranging and resizing furniture. Badgley suggests creating space by removing oversized pieces. The survey found that the majority of Canadians were receptive to this idea as 74 per cent of Canadians stated that they would remove furniture from their house if they thought it would increase the value of their home. Not surprisingly, age played a factor in receptiveness to removing furniture. While 80 per cent of 18 to 29 year olds would remove furniture, the number decreased to 68 per cent for Canadians aged 50 and older.

Curb Appeal Counts

When preparing your house for sale, the exterior of your house is equally as important as the interior. Homebuyers decide whether or not to look inside a house by the appearance of its exterior. When asked what they thought was the most important exterior feature when selling a house, the number one answer was a well-maintained yard (40%). A clutter-free yard and driveway ranked second (28%), while a newly painted exterior was third (18%). Two of Badgley’s exterior house staging tips are purchasing removable storage bins for unsightly trashcans and creating an “entertaining space” in the backyard by setting out patio furniture, even in the winter.

Additional poll findings:

  • 26 per cent of primary residence owners were considering selling their home in the next five years.
  • When asked “Excluding the kitchen, if there’s a particular room in the house where the floors were in poor condition, which of the following do you think would be the most helpful in selling your home?” 83 per cent cited installing hardwood floors while 14 per cent chose carpet.

The Royal LePage House Staging Poll was conducted by Maritz Research between February 24th and February 28th, 2005. The poll is based on a randomly selected sample of 1,002 adult Canadians. With a sample of this size, results can be considered accurate to within +/- 3.10%, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire adult Canadian population been polled. This data was statistically weighted to ensure the sample’s regional and age/sex composition reflects that of the actual Canadian population according to the 2001 Census data.