In this post, I will discuss the things you can do to get your home ready for sale, in particular preparing your property for the photos that will be taken by your Realtor or Professional Photographer to market your property.
There are many things to get ready for now that you have made the decision to list, one important component is preparing your home for the photos that will be taken and used to entice a prospective buyer to click on your property and book a showing. There are many strategies to accomplish this, here are a few tips and tricks that I have learned through the years.
Here are just a few basic and simple things to do to the exterior of your home on photoshoot day. While there are other more expensive and labor-intensive ideas that can be done I will just stick to the basics:
Never have anything sitting around the yard- While these items differ from winter and summer you should never have items lying about. Put away shovels in the winter and remove garden hoses, kids toys, and any flower pots that are not flowering in the summer. It will give the home a crisp look and a great first impression.
Cut the grass and shovel the walks - Speaking of first impressions! The first picture or cover photo that will be posted of your home on MLS or Realtor.ca is the outside front view of your property. The easiest way to have your home looking sharp is to have the sidewalks and driveway shoveled in the winter or in the summer you have the grass freshly cut and the garden, if you have one recently weeded/cultivated. Do a little edging for bonus points and add to curb appeal.
The interior can be challenging to be “picture perfect” but don’t sweat it - here are a few ideas to help:
Declutter - I know what you are thinking, and yes I too have been decluttering my home for five years now and never seem to get anywhere but this time you can call it packing! Get an early start on packing and declutter your home at the same time. Go pick up some moving boxes or totes and pack up those items that are lying around in plain sight. Items that you will not need for day-to-day living while selling your home. Don’t pack the toaster and the coffee machine, rather pack up non-essential items. They can be stored in a spare room, garage, or ideally in an off-site storage facility.
Have a garage sale - If you don’t like packing and decluttering have a pre-home sale garage sale! Pad your pockets with cash and prep your home at the same time. While this is not always feasible it is a great idea in the summer months. Maybe coordinate with your Realtor at the same time to swing by and put up a "Coming Soon' sign for you as well.
Remove personal items - While this one is sometimes hard to do it is always recommended to remove personal photographs and effects. Not having these items lying around can make rooms look larger than they are in some cases, all depending on how many photos and personal items you keep.
A coat of paint - Yes while this is a heavier task a fresh coat of paint in a nice, neutral color can make the difference! I was not going to put this one on the list as I mentioned these are just a few quick suggestions but this one is too important to skip. It freshens the home up, especially if you have been in the home for a while and have not painted. It can make the difference in thousands of dollars when it comes time to put up that SOLD sign.
Give your home a deep clean - This one you can do yourself or hirer out but a thorough cleaning should be done before photos. Shampooing carpets to remove stains, washing windows, and deep cleaning the bathroom all make for more impactful photos of your home.
While some of these items are a little more work than others you need to remember that the goal is to achieve the greatest value for your home. It will take effort from you and your Realtor of choice to make it happen and the starting point of all of that is your photos. This will be your first line of offense when you put your home on the market.
Thanks for reading. Please share your comments below or reach out to us if you have more questions about what you can do to help get ready for photo day!
Do you have frost on your windows?
In this cold Northern Alberta weather, it is hard to keep your windows clean and clear of frost no matter what you do. This frost build-up can cause something as easy to fix as unsightly water stains or something much more concerning like mold or major damage to window sills and wooden window frames to the point where they need to be replaced.
Here are three easy tips we use around our house to help keep our windows from frosting up on these cold winter days.
1 - Remove screens where possible.
We have found that removing the screens from the windows in the fall allows for better airflow close to the window and helps keep them from frosting up too badly during those cold winter days and nights.
2 - Open blinds/curtains during the day.
While this does not prevent the frost from building up it helps with removing the frost that has built up overnight by getting heat to the window during the day so it limits the total buildup of frost over time.
3 - Run a dehumidifier.
We have found the amount of moisture in our home can affect the amount of frost build up on your windows so we run a dehumidifier during the day to keep the humidity level lower in the home. Because we find our house dryer in the winter we only do this if needed so the dehumidifier is not running all the time.
4 - Don't cover heat vents.
A lot of the time there are heat vents below each window on the main floor in your home. This is great except most of the time this is where we put our furniture like beds and couches. We have tried our best not to cover these vents by either relocating the piece of furniture or, in the case of the couch, pulling further from the wall than normal as to not cover the heat vent.
The common factor for all of these fixes for use was airflow. Good airflow in and around the windows seems to be the key for our home and removing the screens in the fall, opening the blinds/curtains daily, keeping the heat vents clear, and even not having items piled up near windows all help lower the amount of frost that we have on the windows in our home.
If you are concerned about how much frost is building up please reach out to a professional home inspector to see what steps you should take to help limit the amount of frost build-up that occurs and in turn less potential for a more serious issue to arise.
Thanks for reading and please feel free to share your ideas and comments below.
As this is my first such post I would first like to introduce myself. My name is Justin Anderson and I am a REALTOR® with an ABR® (Accredited Buyer's Representative) designation at Property Plus Realty out of Elk Point. I service St. Paul and the surrounding area, in the marketing and sale of residential and recreational property as well as assisting buyers with the purchase of these properties. I am excited to say that I will soon be able to assist you with your commercial sales and purchases as well as any property management needs you may have.
This post will be the start of a series of posts where I answer your questions. I encourage you to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or send me a private message with any questions you have. I will try to answer one question weekly.
I would like to start with a question that I had a client ask me just the other day, and it is a very common question that I get during the winter months, and it is, when is the best time to list my property?
This is an interesting question that, for me, has only one answer, RIGHT NOW! Of course typically in most real estate markets, the busiest time would be in the early spring and fall but if you are considering listing your home then my answer is always right now. Most of my clients are surprised to hear that answer in mid-December when it is -30 outside but here are my reasons to make this decision.
First of all serious buyers are almost always researching and looking for a property. Sure no one wants to move in the dead of winter but if your property fits the style, location, and budget of a potential buyer then that will not even be a consideration for them. As other potential sellers are waiting for the "busy" season you may have taken their buyer off the market through the sale of your home before they even get their property on the market.
Secondly, the town of St. Paul had an average DOM (Days on Market) for a single-family residential home in 2020 of 128 days. Meanwhile, in 2020 the town of Elk Point had an average DOM of 263. If as a seller the concern is moving in the winter then a December or even a November listing, in most cases is going to sell during the warmer months. Yes there is the possibility of a property selling much sooner and having to move in the dead of winter is not always convenient but you are in the market to sell your home and if you put that sold sign up in January then that is a win!
Finally, more often than not sellers decide on the spring market to list their property. Although the market in St. Paul, Elk Point, the surrounding county, and communities in between, may not be as busy as some of the major centers, this is still our peak season for buying and selling.
In the end, there is no set rule as to when you should list your home to get that sold sign up! Whatever decision you make, the decision is yours and you will list when the time is right for you and your family. I will be ready to work hard for you and to make the process run as smoothly as possible.
Property Plus Realty