Monthly Archives: February 2017

How Much Time Does it Take to get Your Home Ready for Sale?

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Every home is different and as a result every home will take a different amount of time to get ready for sale. It often depends how many people are living in the home, if there are children, what are their ages? How busy is the family? Are they retired or a busy working family with children in multiple activities? Another factor that comes into play is if there is a pressing deadline to get a home sold? Has someone been transferred? Have they already purchased a new home with the purchase conditional on the sale of the existing home? In cases where time is a serious time factor, families may do as much as they can to prepare the home in the minimal time they have. This is not always the best-case scenario for getting the best price for your home, but it does allow you to do minimal work, in a short period of time and hopefully, get the home sold quickly so the family can move on. This can be very stressful for everyone involved.

When a client is rushed while getting a home ready for sale, it is guaranteed to not only be stressful, but also can impact how well a home shows in pictures and in showings. We always say there is a big difference between how a home is lived in and how it is shown for sale. If you have not had adequate time necessary to prepare the home, you are often cheating yourself out of thousands of dollars in the selling price. If your home does not show well – it will attract fewer buyers to look at it. Fewer buyers means less chances of an offer at or over list price. The longer a home sits on the market with no offers, the greater the chance that the Realtor will ask for a price reduction or will recommend you accept an offer lower than you were hoping for. This can be prevented by taking the time necessary to prepare the home in advance for the very best first impression!

We often work with families who start to prepare their homes for sale months or even years in advance. They take their time decluttering, cleaning and completing maintenance. Quite often they are very interested in completing the necessary updates to ensure they obtain the best sale price for their homes. They may replace flooring, lighting fixtures, countertops, paint or even update a kitchen or a bathroom. They work very systematically knowing exactly what they should be spending and what they can expect as a return when they sell their home. By the time they are ready to list their home, the space is immaculate! They have the most important updates completed, they have often purchased or rented the furniture and accessories to perfectly compliment the updates. The home often shows as well as a show home! These homes sell quickly and for top dollar in their neighborhood!

It is really quite simple. If time permits, make selling your home for the best price a mission. There can be a difference of tens of thousands of dollars in selling price on the exact same home based on its condition and presentation for sale! Take the time to do what is necessary, appropriate for the space and will ensure great pictures/videos and a lot of interested buyers! This is the recipe for a fast sale for the best price!

If you do not take the time – you can end up very stressed trying to quickly get your home ready, then even more stressed as you wait for weeks with few showings and no offers! Selling your home and having strangers through is very disruptive to our daily lives. Most home owners find this stressful. A little planning and attention in advance can maximize selling price, minimize stress and keep disruption to your daily life at a minimum! It’s well worth the effort and peace of mind as you triumphantly deposit that huge closing cheque from your lawyer!

Key Points When Planning a Renovation


Before& After

Before & After

We are constantly bombarded with technology. Emails, home décor and design sites all claiming their own expertise, well intentioned friends and family sharing what they have found online, there is so much information for a home owner to consider when renovating. The reality is simple. As much as you might LOVE a certain look, there are limitations to what will “work” and will “look great” in any given space. The best advice is to go to the experts. As well intentioned as family and friends are, unless they are professionals in the industry, it’s best to listen and thank them for their input and get a second Professional’s opinion.

I’ve been working in the residential home industry in Winnipeg for over 20 years. In that time, I have seen some fabulous renos and some total blunders. As well-meaning as family and friends can be, remember it’s always easier to spend someone else’s money! They love a design and think you should try it. If it doesn’t look good – no harm done… What some are really saying is you be the guinea pig and if I like it, maybe I will spend my own money! There are basic rules that we, as Designers and Decorators use to ensure we actually improve your home and increase it value and appeal!

The Appraisal Institute of Canada (AIC) is a great place to start for ideas. You need a realistic budget to determine what you should spend on your renos. The AIC can help you determine what is a reasonable amount to spend on a renovation so that you get your money back when you sell your home! Appraisers are the professionals that determine your homes actual value – regardless of what you have spent to purchase it, or renovate it. The value they determine (based on comparable properties in your immediate neighborhood) is what the banks use as your home value for mortgages! It is THE VALUE! This is where I like to start in determining what renovations should be done to update a home. It also determines how much we should look at spending and PREVENTS a home owner from overspending on renovations!

Most of the websites that email you and your friend’s ideas are out to sell. Whether it is advertising they are selling and entice people to their websites to see their advertisers or they are selling products, they want you to come to their site. They do not care about the value of your home, or whether your renovation will work well for you and your family. The only thing they care about is selling their product/service. Sure they may be full of pictures with great ideas but ideas are only as good as the space they are implemented in. I cannot count the number of times we meet someone who wants a major bathroom reno and show me a picture of a 250 sf bathroom with all deluxe fixtures and tile. Then they take me to their 80 sf bathroom and ask me how I would fit everything they want in the space?! There just isn’t the same amount of square footage to work with! We either have make the bathroom larger or scale down the project for the space.

Another huge issue we see again and again is the cost factor. When you are dealing with websites the cost is relative to the area the picture was taken and where the job was done. This could be in Minnesota or Phoenix or Vancouver or Hawaii! The same project will cost different based on the location! Materials that are readily available in one location may need to be shipped to another. This adds additional expense. When we start comparing US $$ to CND $$ there is a huge cost difference for many building products. When you add the exchange rate, shipping, duty etc.… the same products can cost considerably more here. That is why it is critical to compare LOCAL pricing and not INTERNET pricing.

Another important feature of online shopping to be aware of is size. Many products come in different sizes. Just because something is cheaper doesn’t mean it’s a “great deal”! There have been many times when clients have ordered their own materials. When the product arrives, they are stunned to find the product was much smaller than what they were expecting! Same product, smaller size, lower cost! It is critical to go over the specifications of a product before you order. Everything from the features to the actual dimensions should be compared to make sure you are getting a better price for the EXACT SAME product! Your Designers and Decorators deal with this on a regular basis. We know what to check before the order is placed. Furthermore, we may be much more familiar with certain products in our local market that you have not seen online. Many websites promise delivery in a few days or a week or 2. However, delivery can actually be 4-8 weeks out. This can have a significant impact on your renovation. Each market is unique and has unique aspects of climate and product type that works best in that market or situation.

Although websites and family and friends can be great for inspiration, a Professional will always be your best source of information for your particular local market. Whether planning a floor plan, determining a realistic budget for the scope of your project, or sourcing product for you, we will have a much more encompassing approach than any website. When you want a Professional job – go to the local Professionals!