- Consult A Professional – Prior to tackling home renovations to increase your homes saleability, you will want to have your trusted REALTOR® come for a walk-through to advise you on your current home value and which upgrades might increase that home value. Ask them about a selling timeline as well. If you need recommendations on trades people, any good REALTOR® will have a rolodex of recommendations for you as well.
- Review Your Mortgage – Are you allowed to sell free and clear, or do you have a substantial payout penalty? Is your current rate better than any other available rate? Is it a possibility to add some of your renovation capital to your mortgage? Your trusted mortgage broker can advise you accordingly.
- Start A Home Renovation Binder – Your binder will keep your mind and bank account organized. Include your TO-DO list, minimum/maximum budget, deadlines, contractor information, warranty information, receipts, etc.. You can set this binder out during showings when your house is listed so the buyers know exactly what has been done to the home recently.
- Create A Budget – Your budget will include minimum and maximum amounts to allow for fluctuating products and services. You can even review second-hand product sources like kijiji.ca or the Market Place on www.facebook.com for added cost cutting. However, cutting corners on products is not recommended, otherwise the cheap quality will dimmish the renovation impact.
- Interview Trades People – Check their reviews, look for warranties, ask for a formal quote, and find out if they guarantee their work by a certain deadline. Remember that sometimes big companies do not always do great work and sometimes small businesses just starting out will really shine by delivering excellent work. The key word is “sometimes” so be sure to pay your due diligence by interviewing accordingly.
- Monitor A Timeline – Plan to be complete at least two weeks ahead of your deadline. Human error and unexpected obstacles will undoubtedly leave you with a few touch-ups to circle back to. You will also need a few extra days to declutter and stage your home décor.
- Pull Permits – While you do not have to call the city and inform them of every stroke of paint, there is a list of home renovation items that must be permitted, and it is up to you to consult your city, town, or RM regarding those.
- Clean The Mess – Home renovations can be downright filthy! We are talking everything from a thick layer of dust from drywalling to multiple scrap pieces from demolition to foggy windows from landscaping. Cleaning this yourself may be very time consuming so you may have to budget for a professional. Do not forgot to get your ducts cleaned and change your furnace filter.
- Sweat Equity – The best home equity is sweat equity. Pull up those sleaves and paint those walls, replace those burnt-out light bulbs, and plant some flowers for curb appeal. However, you will want to trust a professional when it comes to many trades like electricians, plumbers, and carpenters.
- Trade Service – What skills and services do you have? If you are a plumber, maybe you can trade services with an electrician friend. Review your own rolodex of family and friends to see if there is an option to trade services and maximize your end goal profit margin.
- Appropriate Pricing - Market value in 2021 has taken on a life of its own which makes it more important than ever to contact a professional to find out your homes market value. You will also be advised on appropriate sales and marketing strategies to coincide with the final chosen price.
- Be Flexible With Showings - In a seller's market, you will want to prepare to vacate your home quite often for the first 1-7 days. It is important to accomodate showings requests so that your home gets the maximum amount of exposure. Remember to open all the drapes, turn on all the lights, and put away any unmentionables!
- Clean Throughout - While homes are selling quickly already, you will want to ensure your home is clean inside and outside. Just like a dirty car will sell, but you will get a higher price if it is clean. You will need to thoroughly clean it before moving to your next home as well so might as well get ahead of the game.
- Declutter - Any space will appear larger with less items inside of it. Square footage sells, especially in a pandemic! Consider donating any gently used household items to single mothers in the area by contacting https://www.crystalsgift.ca/.
- Equip Your REALTOR® - Provide them with all pertinent facts about your home, they are on your side and will protect you in case of any unforeseen issues that a home inspection might find. You are the expert on your home while your REALTOR® is the expert on selling it and they cannot sell it properly if you withhold information from them.
- Furnishings Matter - If it does not flow with the style of your home or the current decor, you will want to consider putting that old couch that has your napping outline into storage. It is also not recommended that you use old furnture to "stage" you home. If you would like your home staged, you should hire a professional staging company as there are many layers to effectively staging a home to sell.
- Get Those Walls Patched - If you are particularily handy, or you have a friend who is a bit of a handyperson, you will want to take the time to patch any dented drywall or touch up paint. The two reasons for this is that most contractors are very busy during the spring and smaller improvement items cost minimal in comparison to how much they improve showing value.
- Hit The Market - Typically the busiest season for real estate is in the sping, followed by the fall. You will want to be cognizant of this to capitalize on an increased number of buyers but also know that in a seller's market, when demand exceeds supply, any time of the year will bode well for your sale as long as the local and global economy continues to support those circumstances.
- Create A Plan Of Attack – Before beginning the physical purge of items in your home, write down a list of every room in your home. Consider the items in each room and what needs to be done to them to create more space by then noting bullet points check off. For example, you will need to go through all the cabinets in the kitchen, closets or vanities in the bedrooms, and shelves in the garage.
- Piles On Piles – It has taken many years to accumulate all of your belongings so you will have to be very organized to sort through them in a day or so. The first step is to start with the smaller items of your home like clothing and accessories. Create three piles on the floor: a “YES” pile, a “NO” pile, a “MAYBE” pile, and a “DONATE” pile. Set aside an afternoon to focus all your time and energy into rapidly distributing all your personal belongings into one of these piles.
- Phantom Needs – Often times when we are torn between whether an item is a “YES” or “NO” we are thinking “well, what if this happens, then I will need it”. The truth is, if you have not used the item in a year or more you probably do not need it and that fictional scenario you have created in your head will never happen. Throw it in the “NO” pile!
- Emotional Needs – Another reason an item might end up in the “MAYBE” pile is that somehow you have developed an emotional attachment to it. Dive deeper into that item and ask yourself if it is a positive emotional attachment or a negative emotional attachment. If it is positive, set it aside for storage. If it is negative, throw it in the “NO” pile – it is time to purge emotional baggage too!
- Recycle, Re-Use, Re-Purpose – Almost anything that ends up in the “NO” and “MAYBE” pile has the potential to be of value to someone else. Research different second-hand resources in your community and decide which ones you would like to support with your “DONATE” pile. For example, https://www.crystalsgift.ca/home/ accepts gently used household items to help vulnerable single mothers in need. While https://habitat.ca/en/restore accepts anything from doorknobs to old cabinets which not only helps those with housing needs in the community, but it also helps reduce waste. Almost all communities have a homeless shelter which can be your source for taking clothing and more personal belongings. Donations help make our world a better place!
- Tackle The Trinkets – While we want to do our part in giving back to the community, we realize that financial needs are real as well and that some items have to be sold to recoup certain expenditures. You can post those items on popular marketplace websites or host a garage sale, depending on what you have the capability of doing.
- Storage Boxes – If your “YES” pile has items that do not improve the appearance of your décor, grab some storage boxes (recyclable, if possible!) and put them away in your storage room. If your home does not have a storage room, you can stack these boxes in the garage or shed.
- Large Furniture Items – Sometimes we outgrow furniture, or it outgrows us (like when the kids head off to college). Regardless of the circumstances, this is a great time to take inventory of your furniture. Does it serve a purpose? Is it functional? Does it flow with the rest of your furniture? Forget the piles here, stamp each piece of furniture with a Post-It sticky note that says “STORAGE” or “DONATE”. Having difficulty deciding on furniture? Contact an interior designer for an in-home consult, they can also advise on staging the furniture you keep.
- Storage Lockers – Now for that couch that has your body shape outlined into it from countless Saturday afternoon naps, it may not be aesthetically pleasing anymore but you are taking it to your new home, you will want to arrange for it to be transferred to a storage unit. You can add any other larger items from your home as well that do not show well in terms of attractive décor.
- Take Out The Trash – Finally for those items that are irreparably damaged, ensure you dispose of them in the appropriate category. Metals, plastics, and soiled trash are just a few aspects to consider.
Contact A REALTOR® - Contact not just any REALTOR® but a REALTOR® you have intentionally chosen. It is the great thing about the real estate industry - you can pick your home team (e.g. mortgage broker, home inspector, etc.). Do your research to see who will best fit with your personality, needs, wants, and client-care expectations. How do they give back to the community? Questions like these can help you if you are interviewing many potential REALTORS®. Just remember to hire only one so that you do not sabotage your home buying process.
Prepare Your Product – Just as you would organize and adjust a rack of clothes to sell in a clothing store, you should do the same with your house to the same scale. Buying a basic functioning rack, arranging the clothes in an orderly manner, and possibly even color coordinating is guaranteed to attract more buyers. In the same way, if you need to update a vanity, touchup paint, and purge "stuff" from your house, it will help it to attract more buyers. It is important to strategize preparations because buying a gold plated rack to sell $10 shirts will not make the shirts sell for $80, which then minimizes profit. In other words, your can over-renovate. Most importantly, remember nobody will buy a $100 jacket if they can get the exact same jacket for $50 elsewhere - it is called "Market Value" and is applicable in real estate as well. Being conscious of marketing strategies like these, and implementing them, will ensure you get top dollar for your home.
Accommodate Showing Requests – Often if there is a tenant, a homeowner may have difficulties approving showing requests. However, in a Seller’s Market it may be worth your while to list it for sale vacant due to the low supply, high-demand, and quick possessions being common factors. Alternatively, if your property has been listed properly, you could be inundated with a few dozen showing requests in a matter of days. Although it can seem daunting to have to constantly be leaving your house, you can rest assure that you are taking every step to ensure it gets the most exposure resulting in a top dollar offer. You can also rest assure that organized real estate abides by local and provincial safety regulations which are enforced by REALTORS®.
Presentation of Offers – While it is a great option if your property has the highest buyer demographic with the lowest supply, it can also drive buyers away. You can always drive away a pool of buyers by forcing timelines upon them. You are also limiting yourself to the pool of buyers at any given time. Whereas if you can capitalize on an entire season, like a busy spring season, one buyer might offer $40,000 above another buyer but several weeks apart. It also confuses buyers sometimes when it is listed low for the Presentation of Offers and it does not sell, then the price is raised which deters more buyers. Often times, a good old fashion market value listing is the most successful option. Your trusted REALTOR® can advise you on strategies like this, and more, to decide on what will be most successful for your unique property.
If you would like to learn more about capitalizing on the Seller’s Market (https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatoon/real-estate-homes-hot-market-1.5951774), call or text Tanya LaRose at 306-380-7325.
- Start In The Kitchen – Fill your pantry with food options that have the least possible preservatives and manufacturing processing. Non-perishables such a beans and lentils are ideal and have endless delicious recipes they can be incorporated into. Fill your fridge with fresh vegetables and move any junk food into a hard-to-reach cabinet as well.
- Lights, Camera, Action! – Remove any fluorescent tube lighting and any light bulbs that are cool in tone. Warm light is best for your eyes and LED lights are best for your electricity bill.
- Create A Fitness Zone – Whether it is an entire room with professional workout equipment or a corner of a room with jugs of water and a rebounder, make it a priority to regularly visit this space. Increasing your heart rate regularily can add years to your life.
- Decompression Space – Again, whether it is an entire room with Himalayan salt lamps and essential oils or a yoga matt near a window, a space to destress is essential to healthy living. Whatever stress management tools are most effective to you, should always be readily available in your home.
- Proper Air Quality – Always stay on top of the humidity and airflow in your home. If weather permitting, open the windows every now and then for some fresh air. House plants are a wonderful conduit to support proper air quality in a home as well.
- Bedroom Energy – Remove all electronics from your bedroom, especially if you find that you have been struggling with insomnia. Televisions, tablets and phones can seem like down time activities but the blue light stresses out the eyes and mind.