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Selling Your House Next Spring? Get Started This Fall..

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If you’ve decided to sell your home in the coming months, you’ll want to make sure that your home is picture-perfect by the time your doors open to buyers. If you’d like the sales process to be as stressless and successful as possible, we’d recommend getting started on some of this work as soon as possible. Here are 5 steps to prevent unnecessary delays down the line.

1. Get an inspection done.

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If your home is more than 7 years old, consider hiring a professional inspector. Buyers will have their own inspection done after putting in an offer, and may use any flaws that are discovered to negotiate on the price. In the long run, if you suspect that there may be an issue with your property, you’ll save yourself an unpleasant surprise by discovering it before the buyer does. Starting in fall will leave you a comfortable amount of time to complete any necessary renovations before you list for sale. Be sure to read our post on which renovations are truly worth it before you get the ball rolling!

2. Fix up your garage and locker spaces

Find a way to store your tools and supplies in a way that won
Find a way to store your tools and supplies as not to distract buyers during a showing!

Since you’ll soon be digging out your winter jackets and winter-sport gear from the depths of storage, use the opportunity to get rid of items you haven’t used in years and re-organize what’s left. If your garage is cluttered with tools, install shelving units to store everything out of sight. The goal is to ditch, sell or donate the surplus items, and categorize the rest. Fall is also a great time do this since you’ll be able to donate any unused winter-wear to someone who may truly need it in the coming months.

Related: 5 Tips for Selling in a Buyer’s Market >>

3. Get your hardscaping done ASAP.

Create interesting contrasts between your path and your lawn.
TIP: Create interesting contrasts between your garden path and your lawn.

If you’re selling a family home with a garden area and are considering hardscaping renovations, now is the time to get them done. Since these tasks usually take a few weeks to complete, leaving them until Spring may put you behind on your sales plan. To easily and cheaply spruce up the curb appeal of your home through hard-scraping, consider adding unique accessories to your front lawn, building low stone walls to accentuate the geometry of your architecture, and fixing up any paths or driveways that have worn down with time. Read our post on boosting curb appeal on a single family home for more ideas!

4. Research your market

Keep an eye on your market just like Alfred Hitchcock and his dog.
Keep an eye on your market just like Alfred Hitchcock and his dog do.

Chances are that if you’re selling your home, you’ll also be looking for another home to buy and move in to. Very often, sellers are upgrading into a much larger home, or downsizing into a much smaller one.  In both cases, the prices per square foot and the range of available options are quite different from what they’ve been accustomed to. Keeping your eye on the market and understanding the market conditions will help you make smarter investment decisions. It’ll help you decide whether to buy before or after you sell your current home, and will give you an idea of how long units tend to stay on the market before selling. It’ll also make you more comfortable with knowing how to price your own home for sale, when the time comes.

5. Consult with a Home-Stager

When in doubt, go for white walls and light, neutral tones.
When in doubt, go for white walls and light, neutral tones.

Home staging can have a massive effect on how many buyers your advertising attracts, and how quickly your home receives an offer to purchase. Staging involves removing all personal clutter, repainting the walls (unless they are already a light, neutral colour), and arranging the furniture in a way that looks welcoming and amplifies the sense of spaciousness. Ultimately, you’ll be able to fetch a higher asking price by following a clear and simple set of staging rules. If you want to do the staging yourself, we’ve summarized the basics for you in this blog post. Keep in mind that the principles of staging are not the same as those for decorating a home you live in. You’ll have to put aside all personal tastes and preferences, opting instead for aesthetics that work best with the mass consumer market.

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