It’s the first day of Spring and while it feels like milder days are coming, March can be fickle and shouldn’t be trusted. What is surely just around the corner is the annual Spring rush of homeowners looking to list their homes. Another rite of passage this time of year? Spring cleaning.
Yes, many of us feel compelled by the longer, warmer days to scrub our walls with vinegar and finally take down the inflatable Santa on the front lawn. So why not combine your efforts this year by decluttering and organizing your home AND get it ready to list at the same time? A fastidiously organized and decluttered house not only reduces stress – it always sells much quicker than messy, untidy ones.
Don’t know where to start or what to do? We asked home organizer and staging expert Laurie-Anne Bulmer of Home Sweet Home Solutions to give us a few tips: If you are planning or even thinking of listing your home, begin preparing now and avoid the stress of the last minute rush.
Spring Clean & Declutter
Opening windows & doors and ushering in the new energy that comes with a warm chinook breeze is a great way to begin Spring refresh!
- Assess the items you own and sell/donate the things you no longer use or enjoy
- Dispose or up-cycle items that are broken or damaged.
- Shred obsolete paperwork
- Pack away or store holiday decor, off season clothing, extra furniture, family photos and any treasured collections
- Give each room a thorough clean from baseboards up to light fixtures.
“Cleaning and de-cluttering the home takes the number one spot for Return on Investment at 586 per cent,” says Laurie-Anne who cites the appraisal institute of Canada 2013.
Inspect, Repair and Finish Projects
- Complete any home improvement projects in progress and make necessary repairs to your home.
- Consult your agent before starting any improvement projects to assess your return on time and investment
- Inspect for water damage
- Check for plumbing leaks
- Visually inspect all walls for paint scuffs and drywall damage
- Check for signs of insects or rodents-especially in garages and food storage areas
Even though painting is an easy and fairly inexpensive way to update a home, most buyers can’t see past a green or red wall and begin to envision living in that home. To make your home feel light and open, and appeal to the largest possible audience, paint your walls in a neutral colour with a matte finish. This is much more welcoming to the buyer. Laurie-Anne says painting delivers the second best ROI at 313%. The average cost to paint a room is $375 with a benefit of $1550.
- Keep cat boxes and the dog run scooped daily.
- Investigate and remove the cause of any household odours.
- Avoid preparing any particularly strong foods when your home is listed (fish or curry).
- Air fresheners are overwhelming and can flare allergies. Use freshly cut flowers, fresh cinnamon boiled on the stove (remove before showings), or freshly baked cookies placed in plain sight in the kitchen.
An extremely important part of showing your home is staging, which can be done yourself or by hiring a professional. Furniture is placed to maximize space and light in your home and then decor and artwork are used to create that “must have” feeling with buyers when they walk in.
So, whether you decide to use a professional like Laurie-Anne (403-616-6693 email at [email protected]), or you roll up your sleeves and do it yourself, brightening, decluttering and staging your home gives you a definite advantage and attracts buyers. It will make the difference between selling quickly and sitting on the market while similar properties sell. If you (or anyone you know) are considering listing your home soon, let Amie or me know. We’re here to help. Happy Spring!