Doorsteps blog posts

Blog entry by Doorsteps

Fresh Paint Can Recharge Rooms

Trying to make your home a bit more attractive to a potential buyer? It could be as easy as paint. Paint is a quick, inexpensive way to attract buyers, and these tips can help you make it happen. 

A Word About White

Don’t choose white, necessarily.  White paint on a room’s walls can have its place, but surveys have shown that homes with walls painted in colours have a bigger impact on the final sale.  The walls aren't the only factor, though. Entry doors matter too. Those in a bright colour are a pleasing asset to homebuyers.  The colour must be compatible, though.  Many people choose red doors, while others opt for blue doors.

Which Colours Will Be Best For Your Home? 

Colours can change annually or by region, but blue (light blue) was a popular choice for kitchens in 2017, while in 2016, yellow was the kitchen background option of choice.  Pale taupe, light beige, or oatmeal is considered a good choice for living room areas.  Shades of blues are considered calming and comforting, and are, therefore, often a good choice for bedrooms.  Pale greys or blues are often used in dining rooms.  A good splash of colour is needed in bathrooms where shades of blue and hues of purple are often very popular.  Don't go too deep, but don't skimp on those colours either.

Décor Plays a Role

First impressions cannot be taken lightly; they do count because, regardless of what they are – good or bad – first impressions tend to stick in people’s minds.  It is like that with first impressions of new homes, too; therefore, it is extremely important to have your home’s décor attractive and up-to-date if you want buyers to pay a premium price for it.  The colours of walls in your home are important backdrops to each room.  Generally, neutral tones, or lighter colors on the color palette wheel are the go-to colors because they can be mixed and matched with so many types of home décor.

Fresh paint offers a clean look to each room in your home.  Newly painted rooms can be attractive to prospective homebuyers, and it also tells them that’s one thing they don’t have to do immediately when they move in. For a bit more advice, contact us today. 

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

Mirrors Can Help Rooms Look Bigger

Mirrors can have magical qualities.  The placement of mirrors can enhance the look of your home, providing it with a more open and spacious experience for the potential homebuyer.  For rooms that tend to be darker, they can make them lighter.  For rooms that are smaller, mirrors can make those rooms look bigger.  They can also add the feeling of luxury to a home. 

The Rules of Placing Mirrors in Your Home

In order to properly hang mirrors, you need to have a good understanding of alignment relative to the space in which you plan to place the mirror.

1. In the bedroom.  Don’t place mirrors that look at the bed.  A bedroom should be a place for rest and romance.  Mirrors are called “activators” and shouldn’t be placed in spaces designed for rest or romance, according to one feng shui expert. 

2. Across from a front door.  The thought behind this one also comes from feng shui.  An ancient Chinese philosophy believes that hanging a mirror across from your front door “will push opportunity and money out the door.”  When you’re trying to sell your home, if you believe in feng shui, a mirror placed opposite could “symbolically push potential buyers out of the house rather than draw them in.” 

3.  Don’t place a mirror too high.  If you have a fireplace, the rule of thumb is not to hang a mirror above a fireplace because it’s just too high and ends up reflecting your light fixtures. 

4.  Use a mirror as a window.  Mirrors can help spaces look larger than they are, bringing more light into a room.  If you have hallways that are dark, hang a mirror on one of the hallway walls.  An obvious choice for a mirror to act as a window would be a room that has no window, if you have one of those in your home. 

5.  In the dining room.  Especially if a dining room is small, a mirror placed within it can make it look bigger, as well as reflect light from any silver, crystal, or china serving dishes or accompaniments used.  This can brighten the dining area.

Using mirrors in your home can add a touch of magic to your rooms that might need a little help.  Consider the placement of mirrors when choosing to add them.

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

Three Types of Buyers

When you put your home up for sale, you can expect to get offers from a variety of buyers.  There are essentially three types of buyers:  those who intend to pay with cash outright; those who will be paying with a loan (often from a mortgage); and those who need to sell their house first to get the funds to pay for your home.

Cash Buyers

While homebuyers who can pay upfront with cash sounds like a very good deal, they might be able to negotiate a lower price, knowing that you would prefer to make the sale where there is a high degree of security and certainty from their offer.  Remember you need to get assurance from their solicitor or accountant before you accept their word that they indeed do have the cash to purchase your home.

 Extending a Mortgage

At times, an existing homebuyer will extend a mortgage on an existing property to get the money needed for a deposit on a new property.  This could involve them getting a larger mortgage on the new home than they actually need.  Homebuyers going this route will have two mortgages for a while, but if they can work with that, it is an option of getting the funds to purchase your home (their dream home).

Buyers Who Need to Sell Property First

This represents a typical situation; however, you should proceed with caution because many a deal fails to come to fruition when a want-to-be homebuyer cannot sell their existing home in a timely manner to accommodate the purchase of your home.  If you have time to wait, then so much the better for this situation because it may take some time before you are able to exchange contracts.

Be ready for a variety of offers and options from homebuyers interested in purchasing your home.  A number of scenarios can work if everything falls into place, according to the schedule that you need to finalize the purchase of your home.

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

Selling Your Home in Spring

Spring is the notoriously favourite time to sell a home.  Several reasons can be attributed for that. First, everyone is ready to get out of the house after winter’s doldrums and ready to see new things and make changes. Just as importantly, though, flowers and plants are beginning to bloom from gardens so homes with gardens are really popular. Finally, the holidays are over for a while and people have more time. Think you're ready to make that sale? Take a look at a few benefits of the season. 

Why Sell in Spring?

Spring is the busiest season for selling homes.  This is due, in part, to the warmer weather, more daylight, and the essence of the human spirit getting called to renewal from the hibernation that can set in during winter months.  Home prices are also typically higher because spring is the prime selling season when many homes get listed and come on the market.  There is a buzz around all the available properties, and that buzz often translates into more than one homebuyer wanting to purchase your home.  The demand for homes is driven by demand. 

Comparable Data Valuations

When a solicitor or conveyancer is looking to value your home, if they do so in winter, they most likely won’t have as much comparable data to draw from.  In the spring, when more homes typically sell, those that have recently sold in your neighbourhood often increase the valuation of your home.  The more local data in and around your neighbourhood that is available for comparison, the better chances your property has for an increased valuation.

Longer Days, Better Weather

When daylight hours are longer, more people have more opportunities to spend time looking at different homes on the market.  Your home will have higher chances of being seen more often in spring and summer.  When the sun is shining and flowers are blooming in and around your home, it raises the appeal of your property.

You can sell a house in any season.  Different nuances exist, however, for each season.  Make sure you take advantage of them all. Contact Doorsteps today for tips on selling your home

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

5. Light + Flowers = One Amazing Home Showing

Hoping to make your home look appealing? The windows are actually key to making that happen. Take a closer look at your windows. If they're bare, you may have a problem. Bare windows are not an appealing or inviting look to a room.  If you have any windows in your home that don’t have curtains or draperies on them, consider getting some.  This doesn’t have to be an expensive venture.  Plenty of inexpensive options are available.

But What About Natural Light?

While you want window treatments on most of the windows in your home during a showing, you will also want to leave them open and not closed.  Surveys have found that among the top five things prospective homebuyers look for in a home is natural light.  You want to showcase the natural light in your home, but you also want to have pretty window coverings for times when you want to block out the sun and/or want a modicum of privacy.  You can choose curtains, various types of blinds, or draperies (in some rooms).  The look should be aesthetically pleasing, as well as functional, to promote the best traits of the windows in your home.

One Last Touch: Colourful Plants and Flowers 

How the windows look certainly matters, but there's one other touch you can add. Utilising colourful, fresh flowers and plants can go a long way toward enhancing your home for a public viewing.  Fragrant fresh flowers can also help hide minimal bad odours that might be in your home.  Plants and colorful flowers always make rooms look more alive.  Remember to change the water every few days for fresh flowers to last longer.  A colourful bouquet set on a table in front of a window can make excellent use of that space. 

It doesn't take much to make your home inviting, but a few little touches can go a long way. To get more tips about how to make your home a bit more marketable, contact Doorsteps today! 

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

The Smell Problem!

One impression you don’t want a potential homebuyer to go away with is that there are bad odours in your home.  Bad smells in a home can be the biggest turnoff for prospective homebuyers.  What you don’t want to have happened is offensive odours to assault the homebuyer as they enter your home.  First impressions are very important.  Even if the aesthetic appeal of a home is great, bad smells just tell buyers that they don’t want to live there.

You Can’t Just Cover Bad Smells 

While air fresheners can go a long way to temporarily alleviating some odours, the right answer is to find out where the smells are coming from and fix the problem.  If not winter, open windows for a bit and see if letting fresher air in can help.  Check all the drains – kitchen, bathroom, basement – for any potential issues.  Wash out all trash containers and replace with new bags.  The kitchen can be a trap for leftover food or oven smells, so make sure everything is cleaned and put away after each meal.  As well, if your furniture is older and has any chance of having cigarette smells embedded in the fabric, do a thorough cleaning.  If you smoke, placing bowls of vinegar around your home can help.  It usually takes two to three days to clean the air.  While vinegar can be smelled as well, it won’t be as bad as cigarette smoke or some other odours.  If you open the windows after the vinegar has had a chance to work, the fresh air should also chase away the vinegar smell.

Make Good Smells Happen

Deodorisers or air fresheners can help chase bad odours away.  Don’t put them in places, though, that can be obviously seen; place them discreetly.  And … who doesn’t love the smell of freshly brewed (not old and stale) coffee?  It can be very enticing, especially if you just happen to leave a plate of freshly baked cookies out to share, as well.  You probably can’t bake fresh cookies every day, but pleasing smells from the oven can enhance the overall presence of your home.

Pay attention to the smells in your home.  People can get accustomed to odours they live with, day in and day out.  Step outside your home for 10-15 minutes and then notice what you smell when you walk back in if you really want to ensure your home smells amazing.

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

Fix Any Problem Areas Before You Sell

Even if it seems like a small problem to you – one of those that are easily fixed but you just don’t seem to ever get around to doing it (because it’s so small and will only take a minute) – fix all those problem areas you can find before showing your home.  If you don’t, potential homebuyers are likely to find them for you and point them out.

 

What Do New Homebuyers Want?

 

Generally, those potential homebuyers want to move right in without having to think about making a multitude of small (or large) repairs.  Put yourself in their place: what would you want to do?  There’s enough work in packing and moving into a new home, you don’t want to worry about fixing anything more than you just absolutely have to.  Therefore, that’s what they will be looking and thinking if they see doorknobs that don’t work, broken tile, or carpeting that is starting to frazzle.  Repairing problem areas may actually save your sale.

 

Garden Areas

 

If your home has a garden area, make sure that any bushes needing pruning get cut back before prospective homebuyers come in and take a look around.  Lawns should, of course, be trimmed and manicured as much as possible.  As well as the inside of the home, furniture on decks and patios should be cleaned and spruced up.

 

Hang Up Fresh Linens

 

Another thing that may seem small to do but can be very important is to ensure that any recently used kitchen towels or dishcloths are put in the laundry and fresh, clean ones are put in their place.  The same goes for bath towels; if you’ve taken a bath or shower in the morning, put used towels away and hang up fresh replacements.  This will help ensure no odours will be still be hanging about in the air.

 

Do everything you can to ensure your home looks as lovely and inviting as possible when homebuyers come through for a look.

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

Give Your Kitchen a Makeover

It can be said that the kitchen is the most important room in a house.  It’s where family and friends come together to share life.  Whether you’re a Master Chef or eat many meals out, the kitchen is still a major focus of a home.  It’s where you make a cuppa, the fridge hums, and plans for entertaining come together.  It needs to be inviting and functional.  It also needs to have the right amount of space for tasks to be completed conveniently and efficiently.

Kitchen Cabinetry

Are your kitchen cabinets in need of a makeover?  Rather than purchasing new kitchen cabinets, try re-surfacing them to upscale the look they bring to a kitchen.  You can change many things in a kitchen that might help it sell faster but be prudent about your choices because you may not, in the end, be able to recoup all the expenses incurred when updating everything.  Make your decisions wisely.

Laminate, Wood Veneers, or Rigid Thermofoils

Laminate or wood veneers can be overlaid on top of existing cabinets.  This is a much easier process than a complete kitchen renovation and can be achieved with less mess and hassle, and it will save you money, too.  You will need to replace any side panels and drawers with a corresponding match to your new kitchen cabinets to complete the new look.  Handles, hinges, and moldings should get a review as well, as replacing these as well will only help update the look and feel of the kitchen area.

Laminate is a very hard plastic that sticks to existing cabinetry through the use of adhesive.  It costs a little more to purchase laminate with the adhesive, but it definitely is worth it because it makes the process so much easier.  Since laminate is a rather solid material to work with, it doesn’t mold very well and it best used on cabinets that are basically plain.

Rigid thermofoils are the vinyl foil that has been “pressure-molded.”  This type of material is much more flexible and malleable to work with than laminates.  These thermofoils are used in covering more intricate cabinetry designs.

Wood veneers are actually real wood and can come in a variety of sizes.  If your kitchen cabinets are constructed of wood, wood veneers can be a great resurfacing choice.  You can also purchase wood veneers with the adhesive already applied, ready to be placed over your existing cabinetry.

Whether or not you choose to resurface your kitchen cabinetry, the kitchen in your home is a place you need to focus on when trying to sell your home.

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

Should You De-personlise your Home Before Selling?

There are different schools of thought on whether to leave your home personalised when getting it ready to show to potential buyers.  Some say, de-personalise it completely, while others say leave some personalisation.  Prospective homebuyers want to be able to envision what the home might look like when it turns into their home, and that's why so many say you should get rid of "you" in the home. 

Somewhere In the Middle

If you're not sure how to de-personalise, and you're not entirely sure you want to, there are a few things you can do to create a compromise. Take a look.

·        Remove Clutter: While you don’t want your home to look cluttered for a potential buyer, you do want to leave some of your personal belongings lying around that can help showcase your home in a comfortable fashion.  The feeling you want those homebuyers to experience are welcoming and inviting.  Of course, you want to make sure shelves and mementos are dusted, leaving nothing to distract buyers from the statement of “homey” and “comfortable” that you want them to experience.

·        Staging Your Home: While you are most likely still living in your home at the same time you are trying to sell your home, think about the placement of furniture, lamps, cabinets, etc.  If you have ever wanted to re-arrange your living room or bedroom furniture, now might be a good time to change things around a bit.  If, for example, you could open more space up by moving a few pieces to another side of the room, or angling them in a different direction, try it now.  Put fresh flowers (or silk ones) on tables and in entryways to welcome those looking at your home with intent to purchase.

·         Neutralise In a Welcoming Way: There is a difference between leaving “very” personal items and leaving those items that match your personal style.  A quilt or throw draped over the end of a couch, pottery or sculpture that reflects something meaningful to you can often trigger a buyer’s response, such as, “Oh, our painting of the lake would look great in that spot!” 

You can leave a few personal mementoes or knick-knacks around as long as they can be seen as inviting and welcoming into a room.

 

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

Organising the Kid Clutter Before You Sell

If you're like most parents, you probably think your kids have too much stuff. For many households, this is the case, and all of that kid stuff can really take over your home. While that's not usually a problem in day to day life, it can be a huge issue before you get ready to sell. What can you do about the kid clutter as you begin to prepare your home for a sale? Take a look.

·       Sort, Divide, Eliminate. One of the first things you should do is sort your children's toys. If you have a single play space, sort by size. Small toys should stick with small toys. If your kids' play spaces are in their bedrooms, sort the items by the child. Along with this, you'll want to think about eliminating a few toys. You're probably planning to do a bit of decluttering on your own. You should do the same with your children's toys too. When was the last time your son was actually small enough to fit in that cute cardboard teepee? When did she last played with the giant stuffed panda in the corner? If you can eliminate a few items, you may be able to organise the others.

·       Create Space. If your child doesn't currently have a spot for some kinds of items, it's time to create one. Maybe each child has a cubbie in the entryway for school bags. Perhaps you add some narrow shelves just behind his door for all of his toy vehicles. If each type of toy has a place, your child will be more likely to put it away when it's time to show your home.

·       Go For Hidden Storage. Even if you come up with a number of spots for your child to store his/her stuff, you may still have quite an overflow. In situations like that, you may want to try hidden storage spaces. Under bed organisers are a great option, as are furniture pieces that double for storage like ottomans and entertainment centers.

A well-organised house is one that looks more spacious, and working on your child's toys can certainly help give the illusion of more space in your home.

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