Blog entry by Doorsteps

Three Must Do Items Before You Sell

So you’re trying to sell your house, but you don’t know where to start. The home certainly needs a lot of work in order to look presentable enough for your potential buyers. But where do you start? Mark these three off your to-do list before you start any other projects.

1. Polish That Curb Appeal: You want your house to make a strong first impression with your buyers. This is why you must take care of its outer appearance including making sure the grass is trimmed nicely, the mailbox is straightened neatly and the outer paint job seems clean and neat.

2. Do Some Cleaning: After the outside of your home looks amazing, you'll want the inside to look the same, so do a deep cleaning of your home. This isn't the time to give it a quick sweep. Instead, clean absolutely everything you can, moving furniture and appliances to get the best possible level of clean to sell your home fast.

3. Get Rid of a Few Things: The last important thing to do is to declutter your house. You have to go through your belongings you no longer need and get rid of them. You don’t want to give your buyer the impression that you’re a hoarder. A good tip is to get rid of 30 percent of your stuff in preparation of showing your home. Ideally, you want to get rid of all the useless stuff so that your house doesn't look like a clutter mess.

Creating a buyer's dream will take a bit of work on your part, but it will be well worth the effort! Contact Doorsteps today to learn more about how we can help you sell your home fast. 

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

Add Curb Appeal with These Helpful Hints

So you’ve cleaned and put your house in order. You think you are ready to put it up for sale and showcase it to your potential buyers. That is until you take a look at your front lawn. It looks atrocious and needs a lot of work. What can you do to add some much needed curb appeal to your home? Start here.

Curb appeal is your home's outer appearance. Naturally, you want it to look appealing to the buyer’s eyes. So, your first step is to trim the front lawn, but don't stop there. If the trees and bushes need to be trimmed, you'll want to have that done as well. You want your home to have a picturesque look when the buyers come to see it. 

The second way to give your home more curb appeal is to think about the paint. Less should be more when it comes to your home’s exterior look. Most home staging professionals recommend that no more than three colours be used on your home’s exterior. Some professionals recommend only two. Either way, you'll certainly want to limit the colours you use. If the cost of painting seems a bit much, you can simply pressure-wash your home and the shutters for a clean, updated look to sell your home at best price.

Finally, if you have a pet at home and there are lots of accessories in front of your home, find a new place for them. Not everyone is an animal lover, so you don’t want the fact that you have a pet to be a big distraction for your customer. Leashes, dog houses, and more should be stored or at least relocated while you're trying to sell.

Getting a home ready to showcase involves much more than taking care of the inside. You have to make sure the outside of the home is presentable as well. So trim that grass, paint the exterior neatly, and remove those pet accessories to give your house some much needed curb appeal.


 

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

Moving House? Try These Sanity-Saving Tips

For many people, selling their home also means moving house. Few people consider this a fun task. Understandable! It can be stressful and time-consuming — unless you have some expert tips to put into action.

1. Use clear bins for first-use items - When you move into your new space, you’ll need some essentials straightaway: power cords, dishes, and utensils, cleaning supplies, bedding etc. Pack these into clear bins so you can easily spot them at a glance without looking through endless cardboard boxes.

2. Keep your essentials handy - Pack a bag with all the items you’ll need on your first day/night in your new place. You’ll be too tired to do much more than order a takeaway, so have a change of clothes, your device, and charger, toiletries etc in a tote bag. Have one for each family member.

3. Pack smart - You don’t have to break the bank purchasing bubble wrap. Use your socks (clean, of course!) to protect glasses and stemware, and wrap dishes, picture frames and other breakables with clothing and towels. This “kills two birds with one stone”, so to speak, as you’ll be packing multiple items at once.

4. Get out the plastic wrap - If you’ve got multiple drawers, each filled with various items, the thought of unpacking, moving and refilling them can be exhausting. Don’t. Simply cover the drawers with GLAD Press n Seal Multipurpose Sealing Wrap and move each drawer as a unit.

5. Snap a photo of your electronics - Who remembers which wire goes where? When moving, take a quick picture so you have a handy visual aid. You can also use quart-sized zipper bags to keep cords and wires separate. Label them, and make your life easier in your new home.

6. Start packing early - You can start packing as you begin the process of selling your home. This is the perfect time to get personal and decorative items out of the house and into your new space or into storage. Buyers don’t want to see your “stuff”.

Also, go bit by bit. You can pack out-of-season clothing and gear first and move on from there. Doing it gradually keeps you from becoming overwhelmed.

7. Label everything - Make your move logical. Box items from the same room together, and label them (e.g. BATHROOM, KITCHEN). Some master movers go further. They make a Google doc list of everything in a box and assign a number to it. This way, they know where everything is. Where are my dishtowels? Box 17. Got it!

Moving house can be challenging, but with a little organisation and preparation, it will go smoothly, and you’ll be feeling right at home in your new space before you know it.

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

Your Bathroom Can Sell the House for You: Here’s How

When it comes to selling your home, what is the most important room? The kitchen! True: buyers love to see a fully functional, clean, updated kitchen (even if takeaways are on the menu more often than not). But there’s another room that is critical to interested buyers, and that is the bathroom. It is one of the most well-used rooms in any home. With a bit of proper staging, it can also be one of the most attractive and welcoming.

1. Start with a thorough cleaning. Scrub. Scour. Rinse. Polish. Get your bathroom in top shape with a good going over. It’s not the most fun job on the chore list, but it is essential to create the right impression with buyers. Aim for immaculate.

2. Hide the evidence. When buyers visit, clear away all the cleaning supplies, extra rolls of toilet tissue, waste baskets, plunger and your own beauty/hygiene products. You want the space to become a blank slate, allowing people to visualise how they will use it. And no one wants to see your firming creme or your tweezers.

3. Complete some strategic upgrades. You don’t need to remodel the entire room. In fact, don’t! Major upgrades often cost a fortune and do not change your selling price appreciably. Small touches can make a big impact. Apply a fresh coat of neutral paint; update your faucet and lighting fixtures; make sure the tap doesn’t drip. If your budget allows, think about replacing your cabinets, vanity and/or countertops so they are clean and modern (without being “trendy”).

4. Think ¾. What’s the first thing that buyers do when they’re checking out the bathroom? Look into the cabinets. They want to see how much storage space they offer. Make sure your cabinets are about ½ to ¾ full. This gives them a sense of how much they can put in there without the area looking cluttered and unattractive.

5. Create a day spa - Rather than an ordinary, cluttered, run of the mill bathroom, evoke the feeling of a luxurious day spa. A palette of neutrals helps set a soothing tone. Place a white hand towel on the counter with a brushed nickel dispenser. Invest in fluffy white towels and roll them in an attractive wicker basket or fold them to stack neatly on a shelf. A nice finishing touch is a white orchid or similar flower in a simple clear glass vase on the counter. Remember – small upgrades make a big difference.

For more ideas on how to stage your bathroom (and the rest of your home), feel free to contact us.

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

Are You Making These Top House Selling Mistakes?

Whether it is considered a buyer's market or a seller's market, there are some properties that just seem to linger on the market. Not only is this frustrating for owners, it can also be incredibly costly and time-consuming. Failure to sell even in a favourable market often comes down to a few common mistakes:


• You’ve over-priced it. It is easy to overvalue one’s home and to expect buyers to pay a premium, especially when it’s a seller's market. But this can cause it to sit unsold. Be realistic from the offset and enlist the help of an experienced estate agent to get a proper valuation and property analysis report. This will give you an accurate idea of what to expect so you can price accordingly.


• Your home is too you. Say, for example, you’ve recently remodeled with all the trendy appliances you love and you’ve filled your home with all sorts of idiosyncratic items. This will turn buyers off unless they share your exact taste, which is unlikely. When remodeling or decorating with the aim to sell, be sure to stay neutral and appeal to the widest variety of buyers.


• It needs work. Today, buyers are hesitant to purchase homes that are not move-in ready. They want a turnkey property. If you’ve let repairs and routine maintenance fall by the wayside, particularly major projects like roofs, it can end up hurting your chances of a quick sale at your desired asking price. 


• It looks like it needs work. Some houses have great “bones”. That is, the structure is quite sound. But they look shabby or run-down. This tends to have the same effect on buyers as homes that actually do require extensive work. They can be dissuaded from buying because they see the endless list of chores ahead of them instead of the endless list of potentials. You can help them see the possibilities by doing some small upgrades, such as paint jobs, new hardware for cabinets, doors etc. and new lighting fixtures.


• You have the wrong estate agent working for you. Not all estate agents are willing to put in the level of effort and time it requires to sell your home quickly. If it’s withering on the market, you may well be getting poor advice. 


Fortunately, resolving the last issue and getting an experienced estate agent can help you with all the previous problems! A qualified real estate agent can guide you through the process and help you achieve a successful outcome.

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

Sell Your Home with Social: 3 Ways to Make Online Tools Work For You

Where do home buyers turn when they want to research options and find the right property? The same place we all turn whenever we want to research or find anything! The internet. Today, most buyers start with online searches and utilise social media to scour listings, view neighbourhood statistics and compare prices and features. Here are a few ways that you can reach these interested buyers and spark interest in your house:

1. Help Buyers Visualise with YouTube. Buyers want to picture themselves in a property and envision how they will make it their own. To help them, create a video (smartphone will do perfectly well here) highlighting the features of your house and its curb appeal. Take it a few steps further by walking around your neighbourhood and showing off its various amenities (e.g. cafes, markets, restaurants, shops, recreational activities, services, natural beauty etc.). These are major factors in a buyer’s decision. Help potential buyers make themselves right at home.

2. Share on Facebook. Make sure your listing appears before as many eyes as possible. By simply sharing it on Facebook, you reach all of your friends – and you reach the friends of friends. 

3. Let Your Estate Agent Help. When you find the right real estate agent, they will take care of everything, including ensuring your listing appears on Rightmove and Zoopla. Over 97% of home buyers use these two platforms. Thus, being seen there is critical. As well, the agent will handle all the more tedious aspects of the selling process, such as obtaining energy performance certificates (EPCs) and dealing with solicitors. 

Much of the home buying process has migrated online, and social media is a major factor. Use these tips to spread the word about your house and let us help you with all the other details, so you can sit back and relax.

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

Dealing with the Anxiety You May Feel Before Selling Your Home

Selling your home is exciting, right? It's the best choice you've ever made, right? Not every seller feels quite the same way about parting with a home, and in many cases, selling a house is an anxiety-ridden process that is more stressful than any other. 

Why?

Wondering why it's so problematic for many sellers? It's not a simple answer. In some cases, sellers are just having trouble parting with the property itself. After all, maybe this is the home where the two of you started your story together, or perhaps it's where you brought your first child home from hospital. Maybe it's the first home you bought. 

Not all of the anxiety, though, is wrapped in your home's sentimental value. For some sellers, that uncertainty comes from a financial standpoint. Success in that arena can depend heavily on getting the right asking price and paying off the previous mortgage. 

Tackling the Problem

There are several things you can do to deal with your anxiety. Start by focusing on your reasons for selling your home. You have solid reasons to sell, and keeping those in the back of your mind can help you deal with the pangs of fear as they hit. 

You may also want to take time-out breaks to allow yourself to feel the anxiety. It may seem counterintuitive, but giving yourself a specific time to focus on your anxiety can really help keep you from feeling helpless and overwhelmed. 

You should also avoid focusing on the sale of your home late in the evening. In the morning, you have plenty of mental energy to deal with the problem. By evening, though, your resources are depleted, and that means multiplying the negative feelings associated with the problem. 

Selling your home can be a wonderful time, but be prepared that not everyone feels that way. If you're ready to sell your home, contact Doorsteps today. 

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

How to Clean Your Windows - A Quick Guide

One of the suggestions many offer when you get ready to sell your home is to give your windows a thorough cleaning to help let the light shine in. It's great advice, but if you've never tackled a job like this one before, you may be a bit overwhelmed. Fortunately, this guide can help you get started.


You'll want to start with a trip to a hardware or DIY store. You'll need a squeegee, a scrubber, a large bucket, some dish soap, and a few lint-free rags. You may want to purchase a few extra squeegee blades in case yours gets nicked.


Fill your bucket with soap and cool weather, then apply the water with a scrubber. If you've never cleaned your windows before, you may need to do quite a bit of scrubbing. If you do this on a regular basis, not much will be required. Work at every angle, and cover as much of the glass as you can.


Once you've applied your soap and water mixture, it's time to use the squeegee. Tip it so you just do the top corner in one clean, narrow strip. Then focus on the top of the window. Pull it steadily across in one, horizontal motion. Wipe it clean with one of your rags, then begin again so you overlap your previous stroke by just a bit. Be sure you're pulling at an angle so you direct the water/soap downward. Wipe and repeat. When you've done as much as you can with the squeegee, take a clean rag, and wipe any excess water along the bottom edge and along the sides.


In the event you have several panes of glass in each window, you may need a smaller squeegee to get to each window. You'll want to clean both the inside and the outside of each window for best results.


Light really is a powerful tool for buyers, and clean windows can help introduce more of it to your home. For more tools or a bit of help selling your home, give us a call today

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

Should I Hire a Professional Photographer to Get The Best Shots of My Home?

For many buyers, the first impression they'll get of your home is the photographs online. A massive portion of buyers use the internet early in the sales process, and for you, that translates to a need for beautiful photos. These days, some sellers are even hiring professional photographers to capture their home in the best possible way. Is that the right choice for you? Take a look at a few benefits and drawbacks before you decide.

The Benefits

Lighting - The key to good pictures is often lighting, and professional photographers understand how the light will work best in any room in your home. What's more is that they have the equipment necessary to produce artificial light where it's most needed. The chances are good that your iPhone simply does not have the same technology when you click the camera button.

Better Composition - Good photos are good for a reason - the horizontal and vertical lines are perfect, and the focus is clear. Again, a quick photograph course isn't going to give you the knowledge you need when shooting architectural subjects like a home. A professional photographer, though, knows how to capture the straight lines and curves in an appealing manner.

Optimisation

Your photos are going to end up on the web somewhere, and ensuring you have the perfect photos for that medium is a must. You want good resolutions, the right touch-ups, and more so they look like they came from a magazine, not a cheap digital camera. That will likely be included in your photographer's package when you hire him/her to handle the pictures.

The Drawbacks

Timing - The biggest problem with hiring a professional photographer is timing. You're probably ready to list your home now, and you may have to work around his/her schedule to get your home listed as soon as possible.

Cost - A home photo shoot varies widely in cost, and if you're trying to save money to buy another home, you may be wary of paying the price for professional work. With or without professional photography in hand, when you are ready to list your home, give Doorsteps a call!

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

Painting Before You Sell? Don't Use these Three Colours!

Many sellers decide to paint before they put their homes on the market, and for good reason. A fresh coat of paint can help refresh almost any room. Choosing the right colour, though, can be a bit problematic. If you intend to paint your home before you sell it, make sure you avoid those colour choices.

Dark Brown - This is one of the least desirable colours available. It's so undesirable, in fact, that the Australian government once considered using it on packages of cigarettes to help make smoking less desirable. If you want a darker colour for a given room, this one isn't it, so find a deep purple or something else instead.

Slate - You've probably read pieces that advise you to go with a grey, and while it is a fairly popular trend, not just any grey will do. Instead, you should choose to go with something much lighter. Slate tends to turn buyers away, making them feel your walls may as well be a cement prison cell instead. Try dove grey instead, and you'll get the hit you were looking for.

Bright Red - For decades, studies have shown that red isn't a happy colour. In fact, it typically induces anger, or at least amplifies any anger you're currently feeling, and that's the last thing you want when you're trying to get someone to buy your home. If you really want a red, try a muted choice instead.

Need a little advice as you work to sell your home? Let Doorsteps help. Our agents can make sure you sell your home faster and for more money than you ever thought possible. Contact us today to learn more!

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