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I t’s no secret we’re currently in a seller’s market in the Cowichan Valley real estate market. Did you know that in July of 2020, Canada saw the highest number of real estate transactions in Canadian history? Just because the inventory is moving fast doesn’t mean you should just throw your house on the market without proper preparation.
By taking a few extra steps to prepare your home, you could end up with THOUSANDS of extra dollars in your pocket!
Before I list my client’s house, we always do a walk-through together so I can give guidance to prepare the home to be listed at the maximum return for investment. Sometimes my suggestions just need a little elbow grease, but other times, it’s can be a small financial commitment that gets you a huge return!
Nevertheless, I have compiled the most common items that usually come up for my clients here in the Cowichan Valley, which have been known to significantly improve the sale price of their homes.
1. Front Entrance
Almost everyone has heard of the term "curb appeal", meaning your home presents well from the road. But this isn’t your average “rake the leaves and weed your garden” tip; this one is zooming up right to your front door and taking a micro look at the very first impression potential buyers will have when they walk up to your house. While their Realtor is getting the key to access to your home, they will be looking around in anticipation, so you’ll want to ensure their first impression is that it’s tidy and well-kept.
At the front door, you can:
- sweep cobwebs and leaves away
- give your door and trim a fresh coat of paint if needed
- replace old and dated carriage lights, get a new inviting door mat
- replace faded house numbers so they’re clearly visible
- make sure any extra clutter is removed
- wash siding and/or trim if necessary
- have those pesky gutters and windows washed
- put a planter box by the door if you want to add a splash of seasonal colour
2. Walls, Doors, and Trim
This one is especially important if you have tiny humans leaving fingerprints everywhere! I always have professional photographs taken so we want to take advantage of the extra clarity and colour – so grab a magic eraser and get to work on scuffs, fingerprints, and marks on the walls, doors, and trim. Sometimes a fresh coat of paint on the interior doors and trim is needed and can make all the difference.
While you’re at it, you can even give your light switches a wipe. If those light switches are dated, have them swapped out for the newer Decora style. Take a look at your light fixtures; they can be updated for minimal cost and replacing the brass-coloured door handles throughout your home can make your home shine.
People often ask about family photos and other items that personalize their home. I like some photos on the walls so the home feels warm and inviting, but try to avoid too much clutter or too many smaller items and trinkets.
3. Store Clutter
It’s important that your home appear to have enough space even if you’ve outgrown it! If every closet is full, every shelf crammed, and every room packed (including the garage), you’ll want to grab some boxes and de-clutter your home. See if you can store extra “stuff” and furniture at a family or friend’s house until you move. If not, you can neatly stack your boxes in the garage or shed, or you can rent a storage unit.
Your house should present with enough space that potential buyers can imagine their own belongings there. I like to think that two-thirds full is about right – you want the seller to see room for their items. If your home is cluttered it could give the impression that there isn’t enough room to live comfortably there.
It always amazes me to see how paying attention to a few small details can increase the value of your home! It’s a good idea to start preparing your home before you’re ready to sell so that you don’t feel maxed out on time and energy in a pinch.
If you’re thinking of moving in the near future in the Cowichan Valley, give me a call and I’d be happy to walk through your home and give you some advice that will increase your return! As a local Duncan realtor, experience counts.