Many home buyers decide whether they even want to look inside a house or pass on it based on curb appeal—the way the house looks on the outside is often an indication of what you may see on the inside, so curb appeal & first impressions matter when you are trying to sell your home. You can help ensure buyers want to view your property by spending a little bit of time working on its exterior appearance.
Remember that staging a home affects the entire property. While it is important to make the interior look larger by keeping things clean and simple, the outside of the home shouldn't be overlloked or neglected. Picking up trash and other debris from the yard, driveway, carport, and other areas surrounding the home gives visitors an idea about what to expect from the inside. Pressure washing the siding, deck, and concrete is an inexpensive investment that has the potential to add significant value to the sale price of a home.
Owners and potential buyers don't look at a house the same way; we as owners often can't see our home's faults because we are just used to the way it is.
When the time comes to sell, it's important to try and remove the emotional attachment you have to your home and remember that it is now a commodity that you want to sell for the highest price possible! We know that's sometimes easier said than done and we will be there to guide & support you through the process!
Curb Appeal Exercise:
Many buyers will walk or drive by a listing before viewing so to see it from their perspective, the next time you drive up to your own house, make note of the following as if you are seeing it for the first time:
- What is your first impression of the house and yard?
- What are best exterior features of the house or lot?
- What exterior features of the house can be improved?
- Is the yard clean and tidy?
- What could you do to make it more attractive…exterior lighting, plats on the step, new paint, clean the windows?
Take photos of your home's exterior….you will be amazed at how differently you see it from that perspective! What jumps out at you immediately…good or bad?
Clean and Repair:
Now is the time to make a list of the problem areas you discovered. Tackle any basic clean-up and repair items first, and then put some time into projects that make the yard more attractive.
- Stow away garden implements and tools, extra pots and soil etc.
- Pet Peeve….garbage bins visible from the street! If you can, make room on the side of your house, or even better, in the garage to store the bins.
- Clean windows and gutters.
- Pressure wash siding and decks, driveways and exterior lights to freshen them up after winter.
- Edge sidewalks and remove vegetation(ie weeds) growing between concrete or bricks.
- Mow the lawn and get rid of weeds.
- Trim tree limbs near, or touching your home's roofline.
Don't Forget the Rear View (So to Speak!):
A backyard oasis that doesn’t require a lot of work from a potential buyer is a big plus!
Evening Curb Appeal:
Do your curb appeal exercise again at dusk, because many potential buyers drive by houses in the evening.
One quick way to improve evening curb appeal is with lighting:
- Low-voltage or solar lighting along your driveway and sidewalks and near important landscaping elements adds great curb appeal.
- If it’s been a long time since light fixtures and exterior door hardware have been changed, update the lighting & door handles at your front and back doors.
Make the First Impression Count:
Some buyers can't visualize changes and often won't take a second look at a house if the first look doesn't appeal to them. Thinking like a buyer before listing can entice more people to look at your home and can also help you sell the house faster and closer to the price you want.
There are simple changes you can make that will give you a lot of bang for your buck....consider it exterior staging!
- A fresh exterior with clean or freshly painted window trim, a new or newly painted exterior door makes a huge difference. Choose color schemes that are contemporary but also have mass appeal!
- If you can't justify the cost of a new door, consider replacing standard door hardware with something more modern & attractive.
- Add a new porch light & new garage lights if budget allows.
- Add a pop of colour and instant curb appeal by adding some pretty plant pots to your front step or perennials to your front garden beds!
- And finally take photos of the Summer landscape so you have them for listing in the Fall & Winter!
If you have questions about selling your home, we are here to help you navigate the process every step of the way! Contact us for more information at email@example.com
Jen & Karin
Your Proven Regina Real Estate Team ...helping you make the right move!
home selling tips
home selling tips
selling your home
top selling agents
We know there a million things to do as you prepare your home for sale so we are starting with just a few projects to tackle before the snow comes & Winter is here to stay! We take on the indoor list of to-do's in our blog "Guide to Prepare Your Home for Sale"!
If you're not sure where to start here is some inpiration:
Focus on the Front Yard
Curb appeal is everything and will significantly impact a potential Buyer’s first impression of your home. Stand out on the street and take an objective look, or even better a photo, of your house & yard….What do you see that could be improved?
At a minimum, clean the scuff marks off the front door and touch-up the paint… or give it a fresh coat if weather permits! And if your front door has seen better days, consider investing in a new one….that is a Buyer’s first view to what is inside ad it sets the expectations!
If you have a front porch, make it look inviting (not just a place to store your stuff)
Invest in a cute new door mat & some seasonal evergreens to put in planters at your front door or add a welcoming wreath. Of course at this time of year, inspiration is everywhere!
Make sure to clean up the lawn, planter & garden areas of leaves & debris.
As our days are now growing shorter, many Buyers will see your home at night, so make sure that your outdoor lighting is highlighting your home. Pathway lighting is always a great idea as well and can be accomplished inexpensively with solar lights.
Be sure to replace bulbs & clean your outdoor light fixtures, or update them if necessary.
Have the Windows Cleaned
We know, you probably don’t even think about cleaning your windows at this time of year, but weather & wind can really make your windows dirty and we don't always notice those things when we live in our homes but trust us, buyers will notice and we want them to focus on your great house not on dirty windows! We like companies like Men in Kilts for affordable window cleaning.
Don’t Overlook Your Backyard
What you can accomplish in the back yard will of course depend on weather, but before we get snow that stays make sure you do one last lawn mowing, clean up leaves & blow out your sprinklers if you have in-ground.
Now is the time to put away or cover your patio furniture, BBQ, plant pots & garden utensils and do what you can to make the back yard presentable for Winter!
If you have a garage now is the time to tidy it up and get rid of clutter before Winter sets in! If your garage door or operator need updating, then consider replacing those in preparation for listing your home for sale.
If you have questions about the market ....when is the right time to sell, what is my home worth in the current market and where do we start....we are here to help you navigate the process from beginning to end! Feel free to contact us with your questions.
We look forward to working with you!
- Karin & Jen
There's a lot to do to get ready to list your home so we're helping you out with a guide to get you started!
Check out our prvious blog with part 1 of 2 for the whole list of to-do's....if you have a month or more to prepare, you can take one item per day to prepare your home for sale!
1: Repair What You’ve Been Avoiding
We all have that list of “I really need to do that” repairs and fixes. Now’s the time to get to it, including fixing the leaky faucet, the picture holes in the wall, etc. and get it done once and for all. If you aren’t handy yourself, bring in a handyman to take care of it (we know some good ones, we can help).
2: Have Your Windows Cleaned
We know, you probably don’t even think about cleaning your windows, but rain, snow and blowing dust & dirt(this the prairies after all) can really make your windows dirty. We like Men in Kilts for affordable window cleaning.
3: Focus on the Front Yard
Curb appeal matters and will significantly impact people’s first impression of your house. Stand on your street and take in your front yard: what do you see? At a minimum, clean the scuff marks off the front door and touch-up the chipped paint or give it a fresh coat. And if your front door has seen better days, consider investing in a new one. If you have a front porch, make it look inviting (and not just a receptacle for more of your stuff). Invest in some seasonal plants. Clean up the garden. A lot of Buyers will see your home at night, so make sure that your outdoor lighting is showing off your home.
4: Don’t Ignore Your Backyard
What you can accomplish in the back yard will, of course, depend on what time of year you sell. If you’re selling in the near future(Spring/Summer) clean up the gardens, trim the trees, cut the grass, stain the deck and clean the patio furniture and BBQ. If it’s winter: do your best to make it look presentable. If you have a garage: tidy it up and fix any peeling paint and the sagging roof.
5: Have your Carpets Cleaned
Unless your carpets are brand new, you’ll want to have them steam cleaned (or do it yourself). You’ll be amazed at what a difference it makes.
6: Don’t Forget About the Floors
If your floors are scratched, there are some great products out there to make them look almost-brand-new. And just make sure you do a good deep clean of the surface & don’t forget those corners!
7: Tackle the Walls and Doors
If your walls and doors are scuffed, buy some Magic Erasers and go to town. You’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner. If your art needs an update, now’s the time to do it too.
8: The Final Clean
By now you’re probably exhausted..sorry about that. While you can do this final step yourself, if your budget allows bring in professional cleaners who will make sure to clean all the spots you don’t get to: the baseboards, inside the lights, the fridge, etc. A clean home matters to potential buyers….it just does!
9: Make Plans for the Kids and Pets
We love them all but we want buyers to see themselves living in the space so now is the time to stow the toys and finger painting artwork and have a plan to tuck it all away easily before showings.
10: Make Your Home Smell Good
If you’re a dog owner, freshen up the couches, beds and surfaces where the dog sleeps. You may not smell Fido anymore, but trust us Buyers will. If you a cat, make sure the litter box is inconspicuous and cleaned regularly so it’s all fresh!
If you have diffusers they are great to make everything smell great but avoid strong air fresheners…it makes it seem like you’re trying to hide something!
11: The Final Once-Over
You’ve worked hard, to get ready to list, now take one last look and see if there is anything that would distract a buyer? Take one final walk through all the rooms and adjust as necessary. Now you’re set & ready to go!
If you need a hand to figure out what projects you need to take on to get the best result in your home sale, we are here to help. Just ask!
~ Karin & Jen
We know that there is a lag time between when you start thinking about selling your home and when you actually start the process. There's a lot to do to get ready to list your home so we're helping you out with a room by room guide to get you started!
It's already overwhelming enough so we're breaking the to-do list into two parts for you. Here is Part One to start the ball rolling.....
1: Change Light Bulbs and Update Light Fixtures
It’s easy to forget about all the bulbs that have burned out over the years, but you want your home to be as bright as possible. Lighting makes an incredible difference in how a home looks to potential Buyers. If you have dated light fixtures, make a quick trip to Home Depot or one of our great local lighting stores and pick up some modern…budget friendly… ones to update your space!
2: Dig Out all that Paperwork
Buyers and agents are going to ask a lot of questions, so start digging out the paperwork now: utility bills, renovation details, warranties, survey certificate if you have, floor-plans and rental contracts for things like your water heater & water softener and alarm system.
3: Pick up Boxes or Containers
A big part of preparing to make a move involves reducing clutter, and starting that process before you list your home is a great place to start! Having a supply of those boxes and containers handy allows you to start the process room by room anytime you have some time to spare. PS: Remember to mark the boxes with the room those items go back to after the move.
If you’re going need to remove a lot of stuff out of your house for the sale, consider renting a storage pup – you fill it up at your house, it gets hauled away, stored and delivered to your new home when you move in!
4: Make an Extra Set of Keys
We will need a set of keys for the lockbox so agents have access your home for showings, so you’ll need to get an extra set cut which you can do at any hardware store.
5: Tackle The Bathrooms
Remove all the toiletries you have on display and tuck in a cabinet (we know it’s nice to have them handy but they don’t look great in photos or add value to your space). Make a quick stop at Winners for some new white towels and bath mat (and no, you don’t get to use them). If your toilet paper holder and towel rack/hooks could use refresh consider updating those as well! A freshened up bathroom goes along a way when buyers are viewing your home!
6: Declutter the Kitchen
The kitchen is one of the rooms Buyers are most attracted to so if you’re looking to skip a room, this shouldn’t be it. Remove your blender/toaster/bread machine from the counters – you want the counters to be as clear as possible. Clean inside all the cupboards and eliminate anything you don’t use and don’t want o move! You want your cupboards and pantry to look spacious and organized. Clean inside the fridge (and remove the magnets, photos and reminders from the front). And now is the time to clean your oven! Yes people do look! When it comes time for photos, consider investing in some fresh flowers and a beautiful bowl with some fresh fruit in it. Those are things that do look great in pics!
7: Next up: The Bedrooms
The bedrooms should be inviting, and that means more cleaning and decluttering. If you don’t already have one, invest in a neutral-coloured duvet cover and some new pillows/cushions. Th good news is those go with you! Straighten the bookshelves, remove some of the personal photos(it doesn’t have to be all of them…this is still your home for now), minimize knick-knacks and personal grooming products.
Clean out the closets and if you have a large dresser or armoire that doesn’t really fit into the space, consider removing in prep fr sale…it will make the space look larger.
8: Tackle The Living Room
Clean the sofa and chairs and invest in some new throw pillows. …on that stop to Winners!
Take a photo of the space and remove any clutter that you see! Of possible tuck any & hide the wires from your TV/stereo/speakers.
9: Make Your Dining Room Look Like a Place People actually Eat
Remove the kids’ homework and the piles of stuff that have accumulated on the dining room table and add a simple table centre ….think flowers or the bowl of fruit!
10: De-clutter, Organize and Clean the Basement
Ok so this is likely going to take more than one day so you may need to plan room by room. Whether your basement is finished or just a storage area for extra stuff you never look at, now is the time! You’ll need to invest the time to make it look as spacious and clean as possible….and making it smell nice is a good thing too! You will have to do this before you move anyway so it’s a good investment of your time to do it in preparation for selling your home!
11: Tackle the Closets and Storage Areas
No you can’t just take all of the stuff off counters and shelves and stuff them in closets….because buyers open closets too! The last thing you want is for Buyers to think there isn’t enough storage in your home, so take the time to pack away what you don’t need in the immediate future. Store, Toss or Donate!
12: The Entrance - First Impressions Count!
Remember that most Buyers will have an immediate emotional reaction to your home so what they experience at the entrance is very important…with inside & outside! You want your entrance to be clean, de-cluttered and inviting. Make sure that your front steps are clean, your light and door handle is clean and having a new inviting door mat is a nice touch as well!
Follow the Store, Toss or Donate rule when it comes to your front entry & closet….eliminate all unnecessary coats, shoes & boots and have nice clean doormat inside as well!
13: Minimize the Things That Make Your Home Yours
Ouch, we know that one is tough. You want your house or condo to appeal to as many Buyers as possible, and that will only happen if they can picture their own stuff in your house. Minimize the family photos, collections & souvenirs from your travels. Here’s a great tip….walk through every room in your house and pretend you’re a Buyer. If what you see identifies you & your life, remove it.
14: Paint Touch-ups and Re-painting
A fresh coat of neutral paint is one of the cheapest ways to freshen up your home. Bold colours might be your jam but that may also just be a turn-off to some Buyers, so to appeal to the most people possible take the time to re-paint that red bedroom and blue bathroom. Don’t forget about baseboards and ceilings – they might need a touch-up too.
Well that will give you a good start on your projects....watch for Part Two of our to-do list coming soon!
If you have specific questions about your property and what you may need to do to in preparation for sale, don't hesitate to ask! We're here to help.
~ Karin & Jen
regina real estate
selling your home
staging your home
Here are some tips to help you prepare your home for sale:
Setting the right price and making a great first impression are essential in attracting buyers, but what else should you be doing to prepare for selling your home? Here are some great tips to give you the best chance at selling more quickly and with the best result!
1. Decide on a listing date and make a plan of attack:
Decide when you would like to have your house on the market and then make a list of things that need to be done prior to listing (we have listed some of those items below). Then set a reasonable time to complete those tasks! Let your REALTOR® know what your goal date is and they can help keep you on track by checking in on progress!
2. Have a second set of eyes & an objective opinion:
You know that project that has never been quite completed….the paint that was never touched up? We have a tendency to overlook imperfections in our own homes because we are so used to seeing them every day.
However, prospective buyers will see every little thing that needs to be done! Invite a friend or your REALTOR® over and have them give you honest & objective feedback about your house – inside and out. They may notice things you've never even thought of. Those items will become your to-do list before listing your house.
Remember, you want buyers to focus on all the great features of your home and not the little things that are un-done.
3. Treat your home like an asset:
Selling your home can be a very emotional process and you need to be fully committed to selling. Once you’ve decided you’re all in, start thinking of your home as an asset....a business transaction.
We understand how important your home is to you, and we are here to make sure you stay on track with your goal!
Part of the business of selling also means working to accommodate showings. We know, it's not always convenient to show your home, but you will want to work around the schedule of potential buyers, as much as possible.
Remember, the ultimate goal is to have as few showings as possible! In a perfect world, one of those first prospective buyers will put in an offer so you sell quickly. All of the work and preparation you do in advance of listing & showings, will pay off!
Have you seen those pictures of living rooms in magazines…..they look fantastic, don't they? There's a couch, a chair, a couple of tables, window treatments, and just minimal décor items on tables and the walls.
Now take a look around your home. It might be your living room or your bedroom… how much stuff does your space have in it compared to the picture in the magazine? We recommend taking photos on your phone and seeing what you see theough that persepective …we get so used to living in our space we don’t realize what it really looks like to others.
We’re not saying your home needs to look like a show home, but rather the premise is to simplify. You want to showcase your house, not your stuff.
For every piece of furniture, ask yourself if it adds to the overall feeling over your home or not. If it doesn't, eliminate it if possible. Think of it as pre-move purging....everything in your home is being removed at some point anyway, so you're really just getting a head start.
Now is the time to consider a garage sale or any of the online apps that can help you sell those items before listing your home!
5. To Stage or not to Stage:
There's a good chance that your furniture has been arranged the same way for a long time. And that's fine – it could absolutely be the best way to showcase your home. But there might be a different way to style your house that you've never thought of.
If you have rooms that don’t seem to have a defined purpose, give them one….home office, home gym etc. There are lots of great local professionals who can come in a for a few hours and give you a plan using your own things, and eliminating those items that don’t service a purpose.
When it comes to "staging" for showings, think of fresh white towels and throw rugs in your bathrooms. Keep them in the closet, and when you have a showing throw your old ones in the hamper and put the new ones out. Consider putting fresh flowers out as well. We know people aren’t buying your things but a home that shows well makes a difference to a potential buyer….it really does!!
Freshly painted rooms look fresh & clean. Every little mark or scratch that have added up over the years will disappear, and your walls will once again look like new. Stick to neutral colors that have mass appeal!
Do you have kids who have their bedrooms painted with bold crazy colors? Yes, unfortunately it’s time for those colours to go.
Remember this is not just your home anymore, it's an asset… and even though paint is the easiest thing to change, potential buyers are mentally keeping track of the things they will need to do when they move in, and sometimes they just can’t look past peacock blue….no matter how much you love it!
Also – while you're painting, consider different window treatments in some of the main rooms. They don't need to be expensive, even nice 2″ white blinds will go a long way to freshen up a room.
7. Curb Appeal Matters:
You only get one shot at a first impression! Have you ever been excited to see a home based on photos but the reality when you pull up in front is completely different? The lawn doesn’t look great, the paint on the trim is peeling, siding is missing etc. That first impression sets the tone for what is beyond the front door, so it really does matter! Take the time to touch up the trim, paint the front door, garage door and stain the deck & fence if necessary, replace sod, add flowers to the front step, get fresh mulch for flower beds, and wash the windows…the view from the inside out matters as well. It’s worth taking the time on a couple of weekends to take care of the details outside because that’s what creates interest to see the inside! Like it or not people really do judge a book by its’ cover.
8. Plan for showing requests:
When that text comes for a showing, we know it is both exciting and anxiety causing! It seems like the timing is always terrible….your house is a mess, and you only have an hour to make it presentable and get the family out. We get it! This is why you need to have a plan! At this point, hopefully you've already de-cluttered and everything should have a place to get it out of site. For you own sanity, furniture and decor should be kept staged as much as possible at all times now…we know sometimes that is easier said than done but having a goal is a good thing! So now what is left to do? Before you go to bed at night or leave for work in the morning…….
- Clean all dishes and put them away, or at least in the dishwasher!
- Make your beds…and throw those cute toss cushions on for effect
- Put all clothes in dressers, on hangers or in covered hampers. Try not to have clothes in the washer or dryer, those strangers in your house are likely to open the washer and dryer.
- Vacuum or swiffer your floors.
- Wipe down all counters, sinks and appliances.
- Have clean unused linens on hand. Keep them folded up in a chest or dresser, and pull them out to place in the kitchen and bathrooms when you have a showing scheduled.
- Make sure your home smells great always...it really has an impact on buyers!
- Turn on nice ambient music if you are home prior to showings.
- Tuck everything that isn’t pretty on the counters into a basket and under the sink in the kitchen and baths. 10. Plan to be out of the house about 30 minutes before the requested showing time ...and take Fido with you if possible! If an appointment is scheduled for 11:00am for example, prepare for them to be running 15 minutes ahead, or behind, and schedule accordingly. Allow 30 minutes for showings when planning your schedule.
Note: Just before listing, consider hiring professional cleaners to come in and do a complete deep clean and then you just have to do daily maintenance while the home is listed.
9. Price right from the start!:
When a house is first listed, it will have its highest level of interest during those first few weeks so it’s important to price strategically. Sellers often think they should start high and reduce if it doesn’t sell, but that can result in a slower sale, and sometimes for a lower price. Pricing too high can send a signal that you are not serious about selling.
When your home is new on the market you want to generate as much buzz and enthusiasm as possible.
If you follow the steps above, have great photos, and price appropriately, you will definitely get that buzz!
One last note:
Try to be flexible with showings and do your best to prepare for them and make them work! We know it’s not always convenient but remember the goal is to sell your home sooner than later.
If you have questions about the value of your home or the selling process in general, we are here to help! Contact us for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org
Karin & Jen
Your Proven Regina Real Estate Team
buying a home
real estate agent
selling a home
why use a realtor
What are the benefits of using a REALTOR®?
Whether you’re buying or selling a home, it’s important to understand from the outset how professional representation can help you at every step of the process.
Buying or selling a home is a major financial (and emotional) undertaking and
your REALTOR® is more than just a "salesperson".....we act on your behalf as your advocate, providing you with professional advice and guidance.
While the Internet has opened up a world of information not previously available to consumers, the data on listings available for sale, while interesting, is only relevant in context in our local market. In a competitive market, whether you are buying or selling, you need the most current information about what has sold or is currently for sale, any pertinent changes in pricing, as well as any addiotnal information we have about specific properties beyond the listing details.
The way to ensure you have that information is by enlisting the help of a REALTOR®.
Buying a Home:
As a buyer, there are many advantages to having a REALTOR® work with you:
- We simplify the process of finding you the perfect place by matching up properties that fit with your criteria & arrange all property showings. As buying or selling your home is a very personal transaction, many people tend to feel more comfortable using an agent as a liaison rather than having to deal face to face with potential buyers or sellers. The best part is it doesn't cost you, the buyer, anything to have a REALTOR® work on your behalf as buyer’s agent is compensated via a percentage of the seller’s brokerage commission.
Once we find the right property for you, we will develop a negotiation strategy based on our industry knowledge and experience, facilitate all the contracts and paperwork, as well as negotiate the purchase on your behalf including price, possession, inclusions & any conditions to the purchase.
- We can recommend industry professionals, such as mortgage brokers, certified home inspectors, real estate lawyers, insurance agents, movers, & even proven contractors for any projects that need to be addressed. We will be with you through your home inspection and will help guide you through that process as well.
- We also work closely with all parties involved in your home purchase & ensure that all documents are provided to your Lender & Lawyer.
Selling a Home:
- When you're selling your home, you gain access to the most qualified buyers by being listed on the Multiple Listing Service. Whether you are buying or selling a home, MLS® is your best tool. By having your listing as part of the MLS® system you instantly have all of the REALTORS® in the city considering your property for their qualified buyers as well as national exposure to potential buyers relocating to the Regina area.
- That is really the key....getting it in front of the highest number of people who are actively looking for a property with the same characteristics as yours, in your price range and neighbourhood.
- We are your liaison with other local real estate agents to help promote your property & to work together to help affect a great end result for you!
- One of the most important things we do is to help you price your home correctly through our experience and understanding of the market & comparable sales.
- Great marketing of your property starts with professional photos & video tours. We will arrange that for you and we will help to advise you & give you our recommendations to ensure that your home & yard are photo ready and engaging to potential to buyers.
Because today's home buyers and sellers are so much better informed than in the past, our expertise and ability to communicate that, are becoming much more important. Our profession and the service we provide is evolving and we are becoming as much a "guide" through the process as a "salesperson".
We are your personal representative when you are buying or selling a home and we will be with you every step of the way!
We look forward to working with you & if you have questions about anything real estate, we are here to help! Email us at email@example.com
Happy House Hunting!
Karin & Jen
buying a home
home selling tips
selling a home
selling your home
The New Year brings thoughts of change and whether you are purchasing a new home that requires extensive renovations or you just have a room in your existing home that could use an update, good planning helps to keep you focused and may also help you avoid costly mistakes. Yes we have all likely purchased that piece of furniture because it was fabulous and we had to have it….only to find it was not really comfortable or really didn’t fit in the room! Oops ;-)
This article from Houzz has some great tips to help you in the process and might just inspire you to action!
9 Planning Musts Before You Start a Makeover:
If you are thinking about buying or selling a home in the Regina area and have questions, we are here to help you make the right move!
Karin & Jen
We are your Proven Regina Real Estate Team