September 14, 2022 | sellers
Let me tell you something you may have already suspected or experienced: Selling your home can be stressful. A good agent can certainly make this process smoother, but I’m not going to lie to you: No matter who you use, you will experience some moments of challenge and heightened adrenaline during the selling process. The good news: The efforts you put forward to sell your house pays off. It is worth your efforts to do it right.
Still, sellers can be surprised by the amount of time and effort required for top dollar results. When sellers come to that moment when they decide to sell their home, they often go back to when they purchased their homes to mine their minds for clues on how the selling process will take place. It makes sense. They go back to what they know. If, for example, you purchased your home thirty years ago, we know how people buy and sell their properties in Toronto is very different now than back then. For example, there was far less staging and preparation thirty years ago when such practices were seem as indulgent and often unnecessary. Just clean up and have your house smelling like baked cookies! Staging is not only important now, but it is important to stage the right way for your home.
Selling a property takes conviction. It’s going to take stamina. Because if you want top dollar for your property, and you wish to sell it in a timely manner, we are going to suffer together just a little, to make things better at the end. That may sound dramatic, but I rather be clear up front that selling is not effortless. I am a firm believer that most people want to know what to expect when they are facing a big decision. So, let me outline the three biggest challenges you will face when selling your house.
First up, for those who don’t wish to be overwhelmed by the selling process: You don’t have to stage. There are even a few circumstances that I would you not stage at all. If you find the staging suggestions too much to bear, we can always come up with a more doable and easier plan. But I encourage you to do something. After all, you are competing with other listings when you come to the market. Your property will be judged significantly on how it looks in photos and video. All the buyers are looking through their real estate feeds deciding whether or not to see a property based on the how it looks in the photos. So, we need the photo to look as good as they can with the right kind of staging. Staging can work against you too. I have seen houses that appear over-staged. It looks too much like a showroom at the mall. It lacks warmth, and had tipped over into feeling artificial. Ideally you want some warmth and an ease of movement. Not too personal so buyers can imagine themselves in your space, but not so generic that it feels unremarkable. It needs to appeal to the buyers who are in the market to purchase your home. For any staging or design preparation, we need less clutter. There are very few human beings who do not have to declutter a property before sale. It’s not a simple task. If you’ve been living in a property for some time, you have accumulated a lot of stuff. So, preparing for staging largely consists of moving some items into storage and making the right fixes around the house. It can be a lot of intrusion in addition to your career, family, and down time, even if you have a specific list of what stays and goes and assistance provided by your agent with the tasks of fixing and painting. There are certainly people who can do the work for you at every step of the way, but there will still be decisions to be made and disruption. The key here is to know your limits in terms of what you are able to do, and I would suggest you lean on the pros to help you with this process. It really depends what kind of person you are. Some are more inclined to do it themselves. Others would rather pass it off. There are varying degrees of effort when it comes to preparing your house for the staging, but it will be one of the more demanding aspect of preparing for sale.
OUT OF YOUR CONTROL
How the prices of the real estate market change with interest rate hikes/ reductions, government policies, Covid and the state of the economy doesn’t require your time like staging, but unlike staging, it can greatly affect your outcome. What is stressful about this aspect of the real estate market: You are rather hostage to it. And that’s what makes it tough. There are many levers we can pull and ideas we can pursue both in and out of the box that will sell your home at top price quickly, but at the end of the day, the market will have some impact on your selling experience. It is not everything, but it’s important to understand the market very well. And expectations must be adjusted to the market at the time. The biggest mistake you can make is to pretend the market is not changing. Whether it’s going up or down, we need to know exactly were we are in the market to have the right strategy to sell your home. The market can change by the week. You can’t control the market, but you can control how you react and sell in it. If you don’t acknowledge the market and understand it’s impact, you will have a tougher time selling your home.
Often, but not always, it is advisable that you live somewhere else for a few weeks while your home is staged and then subsequently placed on the market. It may be tempting to just stay home, but trying to live in a staged home can be more disruptive that leaving your property during the sales period. If there is a more significant staging plan going on, there will be movers, and possibly handymen and cleaners. While it’s on the market, you may have several buyers coming through your house every day often over dinner. In other words, you’ll have to leave your home or awkwardly stand by as buyers ask you questions. I recommend you not be there for the first week or two. In some rare cases if the home you live in is on the market for several months, you should be able to come home since buyers will not be coming as frequently as the first week. You can leave the house for the 30 minutes to an hour if there are any visits from buyers.
I think it’s important to know what’s coming in the selling process- all the good and bad. This way, you can figure out what will be the best approach for you and what you are able and capable of doing, and where you will need some help. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, there is always a way to create a plan that is workable, but be prepared: Selling is an exhilarating and stressful challenge. If you want top dollar, a big reward will require effort, but the effort will be worth it!