With more than 4,000 homes typically listed in Toronto every month in its peak selling season, it is important to give your condo the edge over the competition when it’s time to sell. If you want to sell it faster and get the best offer out there, it is a must.
When selling, perception is everything. According to staging founder, Barbara Schwarz, “If buyers cannot see and feel themselves living in your home, you’ve lost them.”
In fact, studies have shown that 98% of home buyers cannot visualize how an empty space can be used. By staging, you are giving your buyers the vision they need to see the real potential of the space. By offering them the lifestyle they desire, you create an emotional connection they are looking for and that’s what will motivate them to buy.
Ever wonder why home builders use model homes and presentation suites? Because it works!
Before staging a home, a professional stager takes into consideration the listing price, location, and your target buyer. A stager will then showcase and transform the home to meet those criteria. The positive elements of the home should be highlighted and complemented to hype up appeal. The use of colours, floor coverings, furniture, lighting, accessories and window treatments should all come together to arouse interest of every potential buyer.
Make Every Room Look Larger
Today’s condo buyer wants bright open spaces that showcase good traffic flow. Consequently, home sellers must remove all excess furnishings, clothing, and other items that clutter the home and make it look smaller. Edit your furniture pieces to a minimum (or less than minimum). Renting a storage unit for large excess items that will follow you to your new home is a great investment.
Consider using double-duty furniture like an ottoman that has storage inside to reduce items on your floors. Beds that have storage drawers underneath will enable you to remove a large bureau from a small bedroom. If possible, use condo–sized furniture which will fit the scale of your home and make it look larger. Ensure that your closets show ample space for storage.
Mirrors are another great way to enlarge a space because they reflect light. Rather than a number of small mirrors, select one or two large ones and place them so they reflect something pleasant like a nice view, fireplace, or artwork.
Remove knick-knacks and family photos on your walls. They not only make your rooms look smaller, it is also a great distraction for buyers. Most of the time, buyers tend to focus more on your family photos than the features of your home.
Identify the Purpose of Each Room
Avoid confusing your buyers, furnish the rooms to clearly define their functions. For example, if you are using your dining area as a work space or home office, it’s best to remove it and show a table and four chairs (the addition of a dining chandelier will make it look even better). Show beds should also be placed in the bedrooms so buyers aren’t second guessing if beds will fit!
Don’t Take Your Dark Rooms Lightly
If your condo looks dark, it may be because of your window treatments. It’s best to remove heavy ornate drapery that is also weighing down the room. Replace them with sheers or blinds. If privacy is not an issue, let the gorgeous view contribute to your selling success.
Dark or bold wall colours can also darken your home. Use a lighter neutral colour found in your artwork that will complement your entire condo. A neutral wall colour complemented with a monochromatic colour scheme can help open up the space.
Make sure the lights are on and the blinds are open and pulled up to boost the natural light during showings.
If You’re in a High-Rise, Don’t Ignore Your Balcony
Everyone wants a balcony – especially if you’re living downtown! It is a must-have feature every buyer asks for (you probably did too when you bought yours). Make it shine! Balconies provide additional living space your buyers are looking for, so showcase it to your advantage! Clean up your balcony and remove items that don’t belong there. Create a bistro atmosphere with a small table and two chairs with colourful cushions. A seating area for relaxing is also a good choice. Make sure that the setting is functional and looks comfortable.
Create an Emotional Connection with Colour
Bring pops of colour into your neutral-painted condo through accessories, furnishings, and artwork. Choose an accent colour from an artwork piece and repeat it throughout the space to make a statement. For better impact, use different patterns, prints, and textures showcasing the accent colour.
Do Not Pass Your “To Do” List to Your Buyers
Your buyers want a “move in ready” home. Ensure all of your lighting, plumbing, and electrical fixtures are operable. Every gap and crack inside your house should be taken care of. These are small and easily fixable things that left unattended, can scare your buyers away. Show them a worry-free, move-in ready home!
Selling Tips During the Cold Weather and Holiday Season
Winter brings snow and holidays. How can you survive having your home on the market during this time of the year?
- Start from your exterior. Wipe down your front door and replace any door hardware that looks old and worn. A fresh coat of paint on the door will also create a welcoming approach for home buyers.Make sure that your driveway and walkways are cleared of snow and ice and salted to prevent accidents. Your home will look well-maintained, creating a great first impression. If you don’t have time to do this, hire a reputable snow removal company.
- Don’t forget your windows. Most showings occur during the day when sunlight reveals how dirty windows have become. The harsh winter can cause your windows to collect grime inhibiting natural light from shining through. Plan to periodically have your windows washed and cleaned both inside and outside.
- Lights on. During the winter months, homes can look dark and dreary inside because of reduced daylight. Today’s home buyers are turned off by a home interior that is not bright and light. When showing your home, turn on all of the lights in the rooms. Use floor lamps, table lamps, and ceiling lights to create a bright atmosphere.
- Take Advantage of Natural Light. Schedule your showings when the sun is at its brightest – between 10 am and 3 pm. Open all blinds and drapes to capture optimal sunlight.
- Make it comfortable and cozy. Take the chill off your buyers by lighting the fireplace if you have one. Place a throw across a chair or couch for the look of added warmth. Use thicker comforters on the beds to create a snug look.
- Use warmer colours to accessorize the rooms. Warmer colours like reds, oranges, and lighter browns can create a cozy, inviting ambience and are appealing in colder weather. Use pillows, throws, rugs, decorative accents, and artwork that include these colours.
- Keep your seasonal decorations simple. Don’t go overboard. A welcoming wreath on your front door and some electric candles in the windows make for an inviting approach. Remove any large inflatable decorations from your lawn. If you have strung a multitude of lights on the exterior of your home, you should remove them. When selling, less is more! You want home buyers to focus on your home not your holiday décor.
- Keep holiday décor non-denominational. Not all potential buyers celebrate the same holidays you do. The less personal you make your home, the better chance the buyers will concentrate on your home and not on any biases. Replace nativity scenes and menorahs with fresh flower arrangements, a decorative bowl filled with ornaments, or a festive grouping of candles or vases.
- Use a smaller or thinner Christmas tree. This will not attract so much attention and will make your home look larger as opposed to using a bulkier tree. It will also help promote better traffic flow.
- Consider one or two holiday colour schemes. Using a variety of colours will make your home look cluttered and can also be very distracting to potential buyers.
(Please consider and respect the rules and regulations of your condominium community when adding decorative accessories to the exterior of your unit.)
Selling in the winter months can be challenging, but keep these staging tips in mind to help you keep your listing hot in the cold winter months!