Getting ready to sell your home, no matter if it is your first home or your home away from home, is an exciting and emotional process. After price, the condition of your home is the largest factor in determining how fast, and for how much, your home sells and first impressions can sometimes be a deal breaker.
Many potential buyers struggle to visualize the potential in a home. They need to see what it could because they can’t look past what it is. If the home is too personal, potential buyers can’t see themselves living there, if the carpet is stained or the paint needs updating, “all the work” that will be required can be a roadblock.
Luckily you can dramatically improve how your home shows with my checklist for getting your home ready for sale.
Getting rid of any extra furniture can help make rooms feel more open and spacious, especially if it is large or bulky. Of course, you don’t want to get rid of all of your furniture – just any unnecessary pieces that will help you show off more of your space. So, move that extra dresser and hallway table into storage.
Give it away, throw it away, or store it away. It doesn’t matter which, just get it out of your house. Clear off your kitchen and bathroom countertops to show off how much space there is. Take photos and artwork off of the fridge. Put all toys, clothing, etc. away in their designated areas. Recycle the stack of newspaper you keep by the fire and remove all the ‘stuff’ you have accumulated over the years of living in your home.
This point goes hand-in-hand with the one above. Potential buyers are looking for places that help them visualize themselves living in your home rather than thinking about who lives there now. They want to buy their new house, not someone else’s home. So de-cluttering and removing family photos, mementos, and other personal items will help them do just that.
4. Clean, scrub, vacuum, and clean again
Inside and out – a clean home matters. A lot.
From the floors to the doors – clean absolutely everything. Doing one deep clean before you put the home on the market means that you will just have to do a quick clean and tidy before each showing. Make sure not to miss your windows as everyone will be looking out them to see the view and neighbourhood. Don’t underestimate the power of professional cleaners!
5. Do minor repairs
This is the best time to go through that ‘honey-do’ list and check things off. Wipe away scuffs on the walls (I recommend using a Magic Eraser), refresh the paint, fix leaky faucets, put some WD-40 on squeaky hinges, check that all your lights work, replace any broken appliances, removed old or stained carpets/furniture, etc.
6. Fix up your curb appeal
There is no need to splurge on landscaping but a few minor improvements can make a world of difference.
In the winter, make sure that your driveway is plowed, your stairs are shoveled, and that there is no ice. Make it as easy as possible for potential buyers to get into your home.
In the summer, mow the lawn, pull out any major weeds, and add a nice welcome mat and some colourful flowers or a hanging basket to warm up the front of your home.
Regardless of the season, make sure that all your exterior lights are in working order. If there are a few branches blocking the view consider having them trimmed.
7. Consider Staging
Staging can be especially effective if you have already moved out and your home is sitting empty. Potential buyers often struggle to visualize the space when there is no furniture. That said, staging can make a world of difference in all homes and it doesn’t have to be expensive. You can have a home staging professional come in and do your entire home, or just a room or two. Some stagers will also do consultations where you do all the work, but they provide advise and recommendations.
All this may sound overwhelming but you don’t need to do it overnight and just think of it this way – everything you remove, clean, or repair puts money in your pocket.
I am also always available to walk through your home with you and provide advice about what should be done to help improve your home’s marketability and raise the value of your property. I also have a list of service providers, from handymen to cleaners to stagers, who can help you so contact me anytime.
Finally, here is a complete selling checklist.
Earlier this month, BC Assessments (BCA) began sending out their 2016 Assessment Notices to all owners of property in British Columbia. On these assessments is an estimation of your home’s value as of July 1, 2015 (or as of October 31, 2015 in the case of new construction or substantially renovated properties). This number often raises a variety of questions.
In very general terms, the Greater Vancouver area (which includes the Sea-to-Sky) showed significant increases when compared to 2015. The total value of properties in 2015 was $546.7 Billion. In 2016 it was $636.2 Billion and a total of almost $8.3 Billion was added through subdivisions, rezoning, and new construction.
BC Assessments is a publicly owned provincial Crown corporation. They are responsible for determining and reporting property value estimates for the 1,996,112 properties in its database (interestingly, this database grew by 1.06% in 2015).
BCA has been responsible for producing the assessment roll since 1974.
BC Assessments and your real estate agent may have very different numbers in mind and this is completely normal. Your Assessment is a very broad brush and in a rapidly changing market (such as Whistler or Pemberton) it can be out-of-date by the time you receive your assessment – markets can completely change between July when your property was appraised and January when you receive your assessment in the mail.
Your real estate agent, on the other hand, can give you an in-the-moment estimation of your property’s value based on current and relevant sales statistics.
Both real estate agents and BC Assessments look at a variety of factors to determine property value. These include, but are not limited to, comparable sales and current listings, the size of the home, location, number of bedrooms, age, number of floors, updates/renovations, etc.
Local and provincial taxing authorities are responsible for determining your 2016 property taxes. Once they have figured out their budget requirements, they will use the assessment roll for their jurisdiction to calculate property tax rates in the spring once the assessment roll has been finalized.
A change in your assessment will not necessarily mean a change (or proportional change) in your property taxes.
If you visit e-Value BC you can look up your property and compare it to other homes in your neighbourhood. The website will allow you to look as property details, total assessed values, last year’s values, and more. If you notice any incorrect details, these should be reported to BC Assessments right away.
If you have any concerns at all about your property assessment, you should contact BC Assessments as soon as possible. If you would like to appeal your assessment, you have until February 1, 2016 to do so. You can do so by filling out a ‘Notice of Complaint (Appeal) Form‘ on the BC Assessments website.
I am so excited and honored to receive several awards for my performance in 2014 and I would just like to take a moment to thank everyone who helped me achieve such success. It was a busy year both personally and professionally and I could not have done it without the support from my family, friends, and clients.
This is the third year-end award I have received from The Whistler Real Estate Company and my first time receiving the award for PLATINUM achievement. At the end of each year The Whistler Real Estate Company grants these awards in three levels for the number of sales each agent completes and/or the agent’s total dollar volume.
I also won the GOLD award in 2013 and the SILVER award in 2011.
Each year the Greater Vancouver Real Estate Board recognizes the top 10% of their membership based on their combined number of listings, sales, and total dollar volume.
I was also an MLS Medallion Club Member in 2013.
Finally, I am also thrilled to be one of the Top 10 agents at The Whistler Real Estate Company for 2014 in terms of both the number of sales I completed and the dollar volume of those sales. I was also in the top 10 in 2011 and 2013 but it never gets old!
Thank you to everyone for your support throughout 2014 and your help in making it such a successful year for me! I look forward to helping you reach your real estate goals, whatever they may be, in 2015.
The rain has come to the Village and this means that snow is falling in the Alpine. I have started to think about pulling out my winter jacket, I have found my winter sweaters and mittens. My winter boots are by the door ready to go. Old man winter is nipping at our heels and the countdown is on to opening day.
What does all this mean? It is time to prepare your home for the winter months ahead before we get to deep in snow.
If you have yet to get started on your fall check-list, here are my top 10 tips for getting your home ready for winter:
The most important step in getting ready for winter is to make sure that you are ready for the ski/board season ahead. Here are 5 things you should be doing:
Are you someone who visits Whistler a lot on a fairly regular basis? Have you been thinking about getting into the real estate market in the resort but looking for a cost-effective option?
If the answer to these questions is yes, then Quartershare Ownership may be the choice for you. Through this shared ownership option, you are able to enjoy all the benefits of owning in Whistler for a fraction of the price. There are several complexes in Whistler that offer potential purchasers this opportunity. These include Horstman House in the Benchlands, the Legends in Whistler Creekside, and Montebello on the outskirts of the Village.
All quartershares in Whistler are freehold properties that will give you title to your property. After purchase, you are entitled to one week of use per month (for a total of 13 weeks per year) based on a set rotational calender. Every four years, you will have use of the property over the Christmas period.
A few benefits of the quartershare option are:
Interested in learning more about the Quartershare options in Whistler? Contact me for more information or check out some of the current quartershare listings.
Spring has sprung in Whistler and as the snow and ice melt away, it is time to turn your attention to your home and get ready for spring. For your convenience, I have compiled a list of small tasks that have big impact to give your home a mini-facelift for spring.
If you want to make your home look like it is worth every penny, putting your home’s best foot forward is a must. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
Take some inspiration from the seller of my listing at #3 Landings. Ashlie really knows how to go the extra mile and made some fresh baked cookies for a showing this afternoon!
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Professional photos for advertising make all the difference in the world to portraying your property in the best possible light. Did you know that I have a photographer on my team who will take interior, exterior shots as well as a virtual tour?