I recently offered to help a young couple get their house ready to sell. Before I arrived, the couple had scrubbed the house clean and removed a considerable amount of clutter. It was not a complete transformation, but close. My job was then to let them know if there was anything else they could do. Here are the things I suggested:
- After seeing the demographics for the area (no children nearby) it was deemed that the potential Buyers would be looking for adult accommodations. I asked the Sellers to repaint the child’s room from a purple to a neutral colour and remove the stickers and most of the toys from the room.
- The master bedroom window was a very nice size but the blackout roller blinds were being used to hide the less than attractive view of the neighbour’s yard. I suggested buying two sets of sheers and bunching them together on the rod to allow for lots of light but soften the view. The roller blind was needed but should be rolled to the top during the day.
- I suggested buying a new mail box by the front door. The existing box was an inexpensive model that had warped over time and started to rust. The front door is part of the first impression. There was enough space on the stoop to add an urn with a small artificial tree. This would also increase the curb appeal of the house.
- The owner suggested having the carpets cleaned and I agreed. Almost every house I see has horribly stained stairway carpets. If it is possible to clean them, then it is a very good idea to do so or to remove the carpet and install something fresh. Really stained carpets leave Buyers thinking the house if filthy.
- In the walk-in closet, the sweaters had started to pile up on the top shelf. The closet looked too full – giving the Buyers the impression that the closet was too small. I suggested packing as many sweaters as possible to make the closet look less cluttered.
- Finally, there was plenty of space in the dining area but the Sellers had taken the leaf out of the table, thinking that is would make the room look bigger. In fact, by putting the leaf back in (and because there was enough space), the room looked big enough to have company come for supper.
The Sellers were also doing touch up painting in the house to remove any chipped corners or wall marks. This was their choice and not necessarily needed as the house was in such good condition. In all, with paint for the child’s room, sheers for the bedroom and a new mailbox, the Sellers would be spending less than $200.00 to make a good impression on Buyers. Worth every penny.
Photo credit: Mailbox @ http://www.flickr.com/photos/torontorob/3850696730/
Young people moving from condos and apartments to a house with a yard are often at a loss about what do with their newly acquired yard space. If they have lived in a condo, they may have gardening gloves and a pair of scissors but not much else. You may want to help start the tool collection with some of the following ideas for housewarming gifts:
- Gardening Books
- Metal rake for moving stones and soil
- Shovel for digging
- Wheel barrow
- Hand tools - little tools for flower beds - trowel, rake, shovel
- Clipper for branches, perennials
- Hedge clipper – if there is a hedge
- Rake for the lawn
- Lawn mower if there is grass
- Gardening gloves
- Sprinkler heads – if there is a lawn
Wow your Buyer friend with a copy of the Lee Valley catalogue .
For the environmentalist think “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” with a compost container and a list of upcoming Garage Sales where most of the equipment can be purchased in gently used condition.
Photo credit: Lawn Mower @ http://www.flickr.com/photos/halley/14825333/
In the real estate world, DOM is Days On the Market. In a sellers’ market with a reasonably priced home, the DOM will be very short. As a seller this is the best of all possible worlds. In a buyers’ market, there may be a few more days before you …
Pop the cork on your sale.
For the past six days, I have been showing this wonderful semi-detached to Buyers and having a Sunday Open House. To prepare, I looked through the MLS® to find other semi-detached homes for sale. Here is an example of how the search went:
- 3,061 homes in the Ottawa region
- 125 semi-detached units
- 100 priced under $400,000
- 74 with 2 or 3 bedrooms
- 52 with 2 baths
- 31 built from 1995 to today
- 15 in Ottawa
With only 15 comparable units, my Buyers can then evaluate the location, price and amenities. The Hartleigh semi has only been on the market for a few days and there is considerable interest.
Sometimes having a list is easier to use than a long descriptive paragraph. Here is a list of the things that could be in the new homeowner’s basic tool box:
- multiple bit screw driver
- pencils (for marking things like where to hang pictures)
- putty knife (because sometimes you need to patch a hole in the wall)
- work gloves (there is a yuk factor in some home repairs)
- sanding paper and sanding sponge
- the ikea allen key (we all have one or several somewhere in the house)
- level (the longer the better)
- measuring tape (again, the longer the better)
- utility knife
- adjustable wrench
- stud finder (easier and better than tapping the wall)
- flashlight (If you have a leak under the counter how else will you see it?)
Most of this list is from the TV Show Downright Domestic .
Photo credit: Measuring Tape @ http://www.flickr.com/photos/23389883@N04/3878457176/
You just got the call that someone wants to see your house. What do you do with all the stuff not put away. Have a couple of boxes under the bed and load them up. Buyers don’t look under the bed. If it is bags of stuff, put them in the trunk of your car. Get them later and put your stuff away when you have the time.
A quick tidy may be just hiding your stuff.
- 48 – detached
- 3 – row
- 1 semi-detached
The price range is from $189,900 to $989,000 with an average of $487,594.
I am working with a client who is at the point of leaving her home in the suburbs and moving to a seniors’ residence. She is going to have her own apartment with a tiny kitchenette, living area and bedroom. There will be space but not what she now has in her three bedroom house. Instead of buying a lot of new things to fill her new home, we will have to find ways to sell or give her stuff away. What could she possibly want as a housewarming gift?
1. Check with the social convener at the residence and see if it is possible to host a coffee party in the afternoon on behalf of the client/family member. If so, bring in a couple of cakes, some cookies and pay to have the residence provide the coffee, tea, cutlery, plates, etc. Make sure that you make a little sign saying the person’s/ host’s name and the room number.
2. Have a bouquet of flowers delivered (first ensure that there is some space in the apartment ). It is so difficult to move somewhere new. Flowers should bring cheer.
3. Find out what magazines he/she likes and then get a subscription. Okay, the magazines may be available in the reading room/lobby but it is nice to get mail and nice to be the first person to open a new magazine.
Photo credit: German chocolate cake @ http://www.flickr.com/photos/stuart_spivack/2712235459/
LEST WE FORGET…… NOVEMBER 11, 2009
This weekend I spent some time driving around Crystal Beach. If you wonder where this is, drive west on Carling Avenue until you see the Nepean Sailing Club and voila – you are at Crystal Beach. Right now there are four homes for sale, 2 bungalows, 1 – 2 storey and 1 – 3 storey home.
Since January 1, 2009, 34 homes were sold in Crystal Beach as follows:
- 22 – bungalows
- 2 – 2 storey
- 3 - 3 storey
- 3 – split level
- 4 – high ranch
Most homes were built in the early 1960s. The average Days on Market was 24 days with sold prices ranging from $230,000 – $472,000. The average sold price was $333,432.