Making your home look appealing on the Outside
Curb Appeal is all about how your house and property look from the street. The first impressional of your house will always be taken the very second someone lays eyes on your property. You want your house to look the best that it can because it only takes 3-6 seconds to make a first impression. So make sure your house makes the best one on the street!
The best way to see what your house look likes from someone else's point of view is to take a picture from the street (please be careful and look both ways) then you'll truly know. Its
important to take pictures of the back of the house as well!
You should always take pictures on bright, sunny days. If you try and take pictures on dark, gloomy days, the pictures could result in grainy images. This grainy aspect can also conceal any details on the home or property that you try and improve. It's best to take your pictures early in the morning or later in the afternoon to get the most natural sunlight. If you are taking pictures in the winter, avoid taking them at noon. The sun will be directly overhead and will interfere and cause shadows and glare.
When taking the picture, try to include as much as you can into the frame i.e. steps, driveway, front door, deck etc. To get as much information as you can about the property, do a walk around of the house and take pictures at different angles, close-ups and far away. You will notice more flaws this way.
Move any cars or children's toys or other items off your lawn or driveway. These items could be blocking or hiding anything that needs repairing or cleaning up. The goal behind taking the pictures is to find problem spots, not to hide them.
Some things to look for when on the hunt for trouble spots are cracks in the foundation, cracks in the driveway, discolored cement foundation, weeds between cracks on a sidewalk, just to name a few.
Now that you've taken your pictures, you will have an idea of which areas need your attention. Begin by looking at the side, front and back yards. If you see any obvious eyesores, remove them now. This includes any children's toys, garbage cans, lawn gnomes (no matter how cute you might think they are, someone else might have other ideas), etc. If you don't have a storage shed to store them in, you may need to rent a storage unit. Rusty swing-sets as well as kids play equipment should be dismantled and stored somewhere. A general rule of thumb is that anything on your yard to makes it look cluttered-shouldn't be there.
The next step is take a look at the state of your lawn. If you look out your window and see that your lawn has a few brown spots on it and it doesn't look alive and well-then a little maintenance is in order. You may need to seed or put sod down. Weeds should be removed or at least kept at bay and your lawn should be mowed on a weekly basis (or sooner if it demands it). Plants and shrubs should be trimmed unless, they are brown and at the end of their lives. In which case, they should be pulled out, because all they're doing now is looking junky. If you have pets, be sure to clean-up after them. You wouldn't want any unfortunate mishaps to occur when potential buyers come to view your home.
A well groomed yard and a well maintained house is something you can see from the road. Be sure to trim any low hanging branches and out of control branches in front of your home so that your house is clearly seen from the road.
Tip: Stay on top of your yard duties throughout the year. Clear snow in the winter, rake leaves in the fall, weed in the spring and water in the summer.
A beautiful garden is great to have on the property, just make sure it is well maintained and doesn't grow out of control.
Be sure to assess your driveway first, for the reason that it's the first thing the potential buyer sees. Check for cracks on the surface, weeds growing through or any visible stains.
Tip: To absorb a stain, use kitty litter. Distribute the litter evenly covering the stain, then cover with newspaper and let it sit overnight. Then with soap and water in the morning scrub the area clean with heavy scrub brush.
You can fill the cracks in your driveway concrete caulk (if they are minor) or try concealing them with a textured concrete paint. A contractor would be the person to call if the cracks are more serious. They are the professionals to look after them.
For something that is meant to be seen, they are often discolored or too small. Make sure they aren't hidden and make sure they can be seen from the street. If they need replacing, cast iron or polished brass always make good choices.
Cracks must be fixed in order to sell the home. They could be caused from poorly sited drains, or years of weathering. Either way, they need to be fixed. The foundation of the home is the most important part of the structure and if there are visible cracks, then it shows that the structure has been neglected. Cracks in the foundation can also lead to bathroom problems that can be expensive to fix. REMEMBER, the repairs you make will increase the home's value well beyond the cost of getting the job done.
Front and Back Doors
Your front door must make a good first impression. The door itself must be in good condition- a abused door with old, chipped paint doesn't send a good message about the rest of the house. The easiest fix is to give your door(s) a fresh coat of paint and a new knob. Or if you have the fee's, purchase a whole new door. Doors nowadays come in different styles and colors and you can even design your own!
Here is a place in Burlington, Ontario to go for doors and windows Framon Glass Design
Be sure that your windows are clean and remove any spider webs and re-paint if necessary. If you have windowsills, make sure you check and see that they are in good condition.
De- Personalizing your Home
How to make the job a little easier
De-personalizing is an important step in preparing your home for re-sale. Though it is important, it is also a challenge. Taking the steps to de-personalizing your home means that you are separating yourself from your home, that you are letting go of what was once yours. This is emotionally challenging and can be physically challenging. So here, we have put together a little something to make the job a little easier with some simple hints, tips and tricks so the load isn't so heavy for you!
De-personalizing means removing anything that shows any personal taste. Think of it this way, if you were a potential home buyer, you wouldn't want to walk into a house and be reminded of any sentimental connection between the current homeowners and the house. When people are wanting to buy a new home, they are thinking about the future. This means that they don't want to step back into someone else's past.
A good thing to do before letting budding buyers or real estate agents into your home, is to walk through your home and into every room to make sure there aren't any signs of emotional attachment.
A good way to start the process is by removing any family photo's. By removing your family photo's (framed or otherwise) it helps the potential buyer make a connection with the home instead of walking through and getting distracted by someone else's memories.
Usually, homeowners have framed photographs lining mantels or bay windows and other similar areas. Not only does this make your home a hard house to make a connection with, but it can also make these areas appear cluttered.
Souvenirs, sports trophies and other items that would show that the house has history with the current owners should be removed. Again, these items make it hard for the buyers to picture themselves in the home. To make the task a little easier, think of it as getting a little head-start on your packing!
In order for your home to appeal to a broader market, your decor should be kept neutral. Avoid using any accessories that may be too flashy, distinctive or personal.
Any items that show the homeowner's strong religious beliefs should be removed as well. It is best to remember that we don't all share the same beliefs and you wouldn't want to accidentally offend any viewers.
Colours carry a strong psychological impact and you should be aware that certain colours can have different affects on viewers. This is again, something that should be kept neutral. One reason is because when people see bright colours, or colours that they don't like, it means that the buyers has just added a point to the "don't like" list for your house. It means that buyers want to purchase a home that encompasses as little work as possible. The less work that they have to do when they move in- the better! Another reason is if they see something bad, that they don't like about the home, that aspect will stick out like a sore thumb over some positive points about the house. Painting may seem like a minor job to you, but it can be the worst possible job in the world to others and for some, it's an even bigger job when you have allergies because then you sometimes need to hire a painter to do the job for you = more $$$.
If you wish to use some bright colours, you can show them in pillows or throws. This isn't to say that you should avoid bright colours entirely, but do try to keep them to a minimum. Another good thing to keep in mind is that when using intense colours, it's best to balance the colours used in the other rooms of the house to keep the house in harmony with the rest of their surroundings.
Most pet owners treat their pets as if they were another member of the family. But viewers that may not be accustomed to see traces of kitty litter, pet toys, food and water dishes or dog hair, this could be a major turn-off. Equally important to keep in mind is the fact that most families have one person that is allergic to pets, therefore eliminating dog or cate hair will seem like an added burden. Pets would also raise some concerns for damages around the home caused by the pets themselves. Damages could include, scratched hardwood floors or stained carpets.
All of this isn't to say that you must get rid of the pet entirely. But the pets shouldn't be around the home during the viewings. If it is impossible to remove the pet from the home, at least try to keep them to a small area of the home and make sure it's clean. Removing any toys from high traffic areas in the home is also a good idea as well as vacuuming and deodorizing thoroughly.
Making Viewers comfortable
De-personalizing doesn't just mean removing personal items and your family pet, it also means that you need to make the viewers who come to see your house comfortable. The best way to entice viewers is by appealing to their senses. Like pleasant, homey fragrances such as fresh bread, which can be decoratively displayed on your kitchen counter. Soothing neutral background music, fresh flowers are always a nice added touch to a hall table.
Essentially, you should prepare your home for viewing as if it were to be displayed in a magazine.
- Be sure not to cook anything the night before a viewing, that may leave an unpleasant odour in the air. The kitchen should be completely aired out before a viewing.
- Make sure the thermostat is set to an appropriate temperature. Potential buyers will feel uncomfortable in the house is too hot or too cold, making them want to leave sooner.
- Your t.v. should be turned off during a viewing.
- Putting out a fresh bouquet of flowers creates a pleasant smell. They are also a welcoming accessory that says that your home is well maintained.
The Dirt on Home Staging
What’s it all about?
Just a thought, think of selling your home as a similar event to preparing for a job interview…You have a shower, you lay out the best outfit that you have (you want to dress to impress), you tidy yourself up by shaving or putting your make-up on, doing your hair, ultimately wanting a job in the end for putting out the best that you can be. Now think about it, how much different is it than preparing your house for sale? You should think of selling your house the same way you would present yourself to a prospective boss at a job interview. You don’t go sloppy, dirty or disorganized and expect to get the job. Why would anyone want to hire someone who can’t even put themselves together for a job interview, to represent their company?
So if you were selling your house, why would anyone want to buy it if it’s messy and not well presented?
Home staging is preparing a house to have another person potentially fall in love with it all over again as you once have. You never get a second chance to make a first impression, so you better make a good one the first time. Home Staging means, cleaning, tidying, organizing, re-decorating, accessorizing, space planning…. This sounds like a lot of work, but believe me – its all worth it in the end! Since it sounds like a lot of work, that’s what we Home Stagers are here to help you with! You don’t even need to lift a finger, but if you do, we prefer that you use one – your indexJ
When you hire a home stager, they come to your home and assess each space, they score each room from 1-10 (10 being the best) and write down reasons for that score. After the assessment, the stager goes over the scores with you the client and then discusses what his/her recommendations for the home would be to stage it, to make it sell better, faster and what you can do to have more money in your pocket in the end!
Your Home Stager may suggest that you move some furniture around if a rooms appears or feels too heavy especially if you have too much furniture in a space, or if the furniture is too bulky. They may recommend balancing out some accessories that you have on a bookshelf or on a mantle to de-clutter. Or your Stager may want you to change the colour of a room to a more neutral colour which allows the prospective buyers to see the room as a blank canvas, which in turn enables them to see there own items easier in the space. Whatever the stager you choose, they will have their own services and prices to help you with whatever budget that you have in mind.
It’s easy to get stressed when selling your home, because you get thinking about so many things and there are so many things to get in order and everything is getting so overwhelming and on top of everything you must keep your house looking “put together and then there’s this crazy Home Stager who says “we can help you!!” and you’re like…. “Ha, I don’t know” but you really should let them help because they can make miracles.
It’s always a good idea to have a stager into your home who has a fresh perspective, a fresh set of eyes and who is a person with a whole set of new ideas that you can do with your home.
After you have bought a new home to move into because someone has fallen in love with your old one, you can still hire your Stager to come back and help with setting up your furniture and accessories in your new space. Moving into a new space can be daunting and stressful but it’s easier to have someone to work with who can visualize the space and imagine different options of what to do with it