When it comes time to sell your home in British Columbia you have a lot of decisions to make, not the least of which will be when to put your home on the market. Many first-time sellers go into selling their home blindly without knowing the vital information that will help them sell their home faster and get the best price possible. One of those pieces of vital information is the best time of year to put your home on the real estate market, and it might make the difference between selling your home quickly and waiting several months to get the price you want. Before we discuss the seasons in detail, there are a couple of factors that you should get right before you even decide when to list your home, because without taking care of these issues, you could choose the best possible time of year to sell and still not have any results.
The Condition of Your Home Matters
Remember that you need to ensure your home is in the best condition possible before you list it. If you want to sell your home in three months, you should begin working on it right away. Even if you want to move out in six months, you should start immediately because you want to give buyers the impression of a home that is ready to move into. That means that maintenance and repairs that you have been putting off should be done as soon a possible so that the buyer doesn’t have to think about the work that they will have to do if they buy your home. In addition, your home needs to be stripped of your family’s identity before you start showing it to potential buyers. That means giving every single surface the white glove treatment, removing personal items and furniture that clutter up a room and possibly even bringing in different furniture to make a room look larger or to accent it better.
Pricing is Very Important Too
If you don’t price your home right, it won’t matter what time of the year you list your home because buyers aren’t going to be interested when there are many other competing homes that are priced correctly. Your real estate agent is your best source of information when it comes to pricing. They can tell you what your home is valued at, what similar homes in your area have sold for and which price range is the “sweet spot” for customers in this market. Remember that if you overprice your home at first, even if you lower the price later, buyers will wonder why the home was on the market so long without selling.
Spring & Fall Season
Spring has traditionally been touted as the best time of year to sell your home, but that is a generalization that might cost you because new market research has shown that your best time of year to sell depends very much on where your home is located. May and June are both great months for peak prices, in general, but if you’re in British Columbia homes sell year round. So, while Spring is general is what most people think is probably the best time to list your home, you should also include your location in deciding when to list. However, fall is also a great time to list, as prices are at their peak and you can take advantage of the seasonal theme and show off your fall colors.
Anyone selling their property wants to get the maximum amount for the sale. Sometimes a few small improvements can dramatically increase the sale price and help to sell the property more quickly. Conversely, anything that is not maintained can bring the price down, make your property less appealing and take longer to sell.
Most people don’t want to go to the trouble of making repairs on a newly purchased home. They want it ready to move right in. Here are some tips to improve the resale value of your property.
Creating a great curb appeal will help to create a great first impression for your property. As we all know first impressions make people interested to see more.
1. Start by weeding your garden and cutting back any overgrown and removing any dead trees completely. Cut the lawns and put tan bark in the garden beds.
2. Paint boundary fences charcoal to make your plants and flowers really stand out.
3. Use a high-pressure water hose to wash down concrete paths and the driveway. Paint that can be applied to concrete paths is also an economical way to improve the appearance of your property.
4. Paint your front door and make sure the door handles are working properly and the door itself opens and closes smoothly.
In the Kitchen
The kitchen is a big focus for many home buyers, particularly people who like cooking and entertaining. If you have the money to spend and your kitchen needs updating, this is the room which you should place the most emphasis on.
5. Painting or replacing cupboard doors in an older kitchen is a great way to give your kitchen a new look without doing a full renovation.
6. If your budget allows it, replace any kitchen appliances that might be looking old. New kitchen appliances can greatly increase the value of a property. Appliances with a stainless steel finish give the house a modern look.
7. Clean your windows inside and out, including the fly screens. If windows a hard to reach, you could consider hiring a professional cleaning company that has all of the necessary equipment.
In the Living Room
8. You should only use light, neutral colors for painting your walls. Avoid wallpaper and feature type walls that may not appeal to everyone.
9. Bulky furniture and any other excess clutter should be removed from the property. Storage lockers are great for this and it is a great way start preparing for your move.
10. Carpeted areas should be steam cleaned. If the carpets are in good condition they can look almost new again. Floorboards can be cleaned and polished. If they are in bad condition, you should consider sanding them and applying a new lacquer.
11. A fireplace in homes in a cooler climate or a water feature in homes in warmer climates can create an interesting focal point in a house.
12. Remove things of a personal nature, such as family photos, children's drawings etc.
13. You can create an extra bedroom by converting a sunroom or utility room into an extra bedroom, depending on the market you are trying to attract. A 4 bedroom house will often sell for more than a 3 bedroom house. Similarly, if you are marketing your property towards couples with no kids, you could convert a smaller bedroom into an office. Your real estate agent will be able to provide advice on who best to market your property towards.
14. Make sure your closets are clean and tidy and not jam packed with stuff. Potential buyers will definitely open closets to see how much storage space you have.
15. Consider replacing blinds or curtains with new ones. They can be relatively inexpensive, but create a big impact with potential buyers.
16. Be aware of any funny smells in your bathroom, particularly the drainage pipes. Try flushing them out with a cleaning solution. Your bathroom should be spotless and free of any mould.
17. Pack away your toothbrushes and other personal items where they aren’t out on display.
Summer & Winter Season
Sales tend to be best in spring and fall, but they drop off during the summer. This could be for any number of reasons, but it is important to keep in mind that while not as many homes are sold in the summer that could be a good thing. You will have very little competition if you choose to list in the summer rather than the spring and that could mean that you sell your home more quickly than if you had listed a few months earlier.
Winter is also one of the low points in selling homes. Buyers tend not to want to house hunt during the winter but if you decide to list during the coldest season anyway you can always take advantage of holiday decorating to make your home sell faster and at a better price.
Selling A House When Out of Town
There comes a time in every homeowner’s life that the question of renovations come up. Usually these questions are pondered when it’s time to sell, but not always. Indeed, some of the best home renovations happen because a homeowner wants to make a home feel homier. Doing so improves life at home and the bottom line of the house at the same time. If you count yourself among those who would like to renovate their homes this year, you’ll want to consider these six home renovations.
Source: Tim Zim/flickr.com
1. Extend Your Garage
Who couldn’t use more space? While some homeowners will add a room, others who are the handy type love garage extensions. Let’s face it. Garages and sheds are the DIYer’s domain. After all, there’s nothing quite like the smell of fresh cedar wood, a bit of varnish, and a few nails to make a fall project feel just right.
If budget allows, extending a garage can be the best way to renovate a house. Often garages can look and feel bland, but a good overhaul will add much to this space’s visual appeal. A floor can be cleaned of oil and given a fresh coat of epoxy. Or even better, it can be replaced with a beautiful stone finish. Adding on to the garage also gives you more places to store things if you’re inclined to build those things.
If you don’t feel like you have it in your budget to add on to your garage, think about another possibility. To customize your own shed is possible in this case. This job will give the ardent garage builders among you the extra space required without the cost of adding to the garage.
2. Re-Doing Your Deck
If you spend a lot of time outside, then adding on or redoing a deck can be one of the best things to renovate in a house. If you choose this renovation, you’ll want to make sure that you build a deck that’s large enough to accommodate having people over. While it’s nice to think about having a space for just you and your spouse, it’s also nice to create a space for the grill and some patio or outdoor furniture.
3. Finding Space Without Adding On
Many homes already have an attic or a full basement. Renovating these spaces gives you a great deal of extra room for more bedrooms, a den, or a workout room. Making over this type of space counts as one of the best ways to renovate a house because you don’t have to buy the lumber and supplies to add on an entire extra room. You need only to remake the space that’s already there. And adding a bedroom or den can ultimate add to the resell value of your home.
4. Improving the Kitchen
If you ever waxed nostalgic about how your home used to smell of mom’s cooking on a cold fall day, you know the value of a cozy and well-equipped kitchen. By default, kitchens have become the places we gather to make meals, to teach our children to cook, and a place for homework. And of course, if you truly love to cook, you probably also love to open up your kitchen to friends for dinner parties and coffee.
One of the ways to make the most of this renovation is to give a closed-off space an overhaul. These spacious floor plans make an all-in-one space of the den or living room and the kitchen. This renovation also makes sense if you’ve already added a deck off the den or the kitchen. This provides you with a way to expand even more and to create an outdoor living room without much extra effort.
Source: Number 10/flickr.com
5. Adding to Your Curb Appeal
Did you know the simple act of replacing your front door not only adds to your home’s curb appeal, it also increases the amount you can sell the house for? Invest in a steel front door and watch your investment get a return of almost 130%!
This not only makes your home safer, chances are you’ll improve your home’s energy efficiency by making this simple improvement. Best of all, this is one of the least expensive renovations around!
6. The Windows
And speaking of curb appeal, why stop at the door? This addition is among the best home renovations in terms of a return on your investment. As with the door, you’ll find it easier to keep your winter heating costs down with better windows. And you have a chance to add better views to your home in the process.
There you have it! The six best ways to renovate your house! Try one or all of them and watch the value of your home grow.
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