Doorsteps blog posts

Blog entry by Doorsteps

Using 2D and 3D Floor Plans to Sell Your House

You’ve heard about staging rooms; you’ve heard about increasing your curb appeal, using a neutral palette and clearing the clutter in order to sell your home. But there’s another trick you should have up your sleeve: 2D or 3D floor plans. These can be a vital pieces of the sales puzzle.

 A 2D or 3D floor plan is a visual rendering of your home’s layout. When it comes to sell your property, floor plans help by:

  • Giving prospective buyers a sense of how the house is set up and how the rooms “flow.” For instance, are there bedrooms upstairs, allowing parents to be within earshot of young children, and one or two downstairs, which gives guests privacy? Is the laundry room located in a convenient central area? Is it a one-floor design for easy access? Does the garage lead into the kitchen for convenient entrance and egress? Floor plans enable the buyers to “see” the space and how it will work for them. 
  • Making your home memorable. When buyers look at multiple properties, they can begin to blur. Yours will stand out: not only do you provide photographs, you provide an overarching plan for how elements work together. 
  • Allowing buyers to visualise. The goal of staging and painting and cleaning is to give buyers a blank canvas so they can paint their own picture in the house. The floor plan enables them to add their own special touch when visualising: their furniture, their knick-knacks, their collections, their artwork… And when they can picture their own lives in the space, they are more likely to buy.

When you create electronic versions of your floor plans, prospective buyers can interact with your house well before they make a visit to the physical property.  With our upgraded package, we offer 2D floor plans, and 3D versions are available as valuable add-ons. See how powerful a great plan can be. 

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

Staging Your Lounge or Living Room

The living room or lounge is often the “heart” of a home. It is where families gather, friends come round to watch the latest episode of the trendiest show. It’s where you relax after a long day of work. In short, it’s where you do all your living. Here are some tips to stage this critical area for buyers.

• Store away all of your knick-knacks. Buyers need to see a clean slate, a blank canvas. They want to imagine themselves in this space. Help them by clearing away personal and decorative items, such as trophies, family portraits, children’s artwork etc. Highlight beautiful shelving by placing lovely but rather neutral objects, like a vase of flowers.

Paint the walls and ceiling. This is always a good idea. You can cover up scratches and dings while giving the room a fresh, clean look. Remember to opt for a neutral shade.

Remove or open the drapes. This lets in beautiful natural light and lends the room a clean appearance.

Replace your hardware. Often, small investments yield great returns. Swap out old fixtures, light switches, curtain rods and other odds and ends with new, coordinated pieces.

Rearrange your furniture. Take a look at the living room/lounge and see if it facilitates flow. Can people move in and around freely? Does the arrangement make sense? Is it convenient? Donate or toss any extra furniture, and place the rest so it enlarges the room and highlights key features (e.g. fireplaces, large windows etc.).

Clean. This applies to every room in your home. Give your living room a deep-down, thorough going-over. Everything should sparkle. Now is not the time to sweep the dust under the sofa; clean under, over, above, beside and every other nook and cranny in there.

If you need more staging tips and advice, we are here to help! Let Doorsteps help you sell your home.

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

Let Light Sell Your Home

Would you rather relax in a dank, dark, musty basement or a light, airy, window-filled room? Simple choice, right? Of course! Light, both natural and thoughtful artificial light, add beauty, style and a sense of well-being to our living spaces. And, when done well, light can help you sell your house.

How can you “lighten up”?

Strip the windows. Clear away the drapes and blinds. This allows a tremendous amount of natural light in. And natural light confers a variety of benefits, from boosting productivity to increasing happiness. Buyers will immediately respond to the effects.

Use a clean, neutral colour palette. Neutrals actually come in a full spectrum of shades, from taupe and beige to grey and ivory. These hues reflect rather than absorb light, make rooms feel both lighter and larger. This is a great technique for opening up a dark room (e.g. one without windows). Be sure to paint your ceiling white and paint over any accent walls.

Replace art with mirrors. You may love your copy of “Dogs Playing Poker,” your Van Gogh prints or your local artists’ masterpieces, but prospective buyers may not. Swap out your artwork and replace pieces with a large mirror or two. This has two benefits: first, it allows buyers to think about how they can make their own imprint on the space, and second, it creates the impression of more light and space.

Upgrade your lampshades. Buy simple white shades to place on all your lamps. This gives your home a clean, crisp and coordinated look, and, again, white reflects light.

• Turn on the lights. When you have an open house or showing, turn on your lamps and overhead lights. Illuminate dark corners and highlight focal points. An especially effective technique is to get an inexpensive lamp that is directed at the ceiling to enlarge and brighten the room.

If you’re selling your house, Doorsteps can shine more light on the process and help you get the results you want.

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

The Smell and the Sell: How Odours Affect Your Sales Prospects

What’s that smell? It’s a bit of a loaded question, isn’t it! It can mean, “What is that wonderful, alluring smell? I want to explore!” Or it can mean, “Ugh. What is that smell? Let’s get out of here!” When it comes to putting your house on the market, smells can also mean the difference between selling and letting your property linger.

Eliminate It Now

There are some scents and odours that turn buyers off immediately. Banish these immediately:

Pet odours. Even pet owners dislike the smell of used bedding, food that’s sat out or – worse – dirty litter. Wash bedding and pop it in the dryer before showings. Keep food, water and litter boxes fresh by cleaning them daily.

• Food. Sure, home cooking makes your mouth water, but strong food and stuck-on grease odours will curb buyers’ appetite for your house. Give the kitchen a good going over, and ahead of open houses or visits, stay away from fish and other “smelly” bits (or go out for dinner!).

• Smoke. Cigarette smoke is toxic, and it lingers on walls, drapes and furniture. Buyers hate this odour. If you must smoke, do so outside (far away from the door). Investing in a professional cleaning is a great idea.

• Mildew and must. No one imagines moving into a home that smells like a neglected basement. Open the windows, turn on ventilation fans and air out the space. Wash all soft items, like drapes and throws, and use a fabric refresher for your upholstered furniture.

There are some scents that buyers do love. These include citrus (it just smells clean!), distilled herbs like basil and rosemary, vanilla, pine and cinnamon. There are a few rules for using these aromas:

• Keep them simple. Complex smells don’t sell. Instead of a potpourri mix, for instance, opt for warming up a simple cinnamon bun.

• Don’t overdo it. Don’t hit people over the head with those cinnamon buns or other pleasant scents. Just give them a subtle “taste.”

• When it doubt, just clean. A clean, fresh house smells great to interested buyers.

Need more tips? At Doorsteps, we’re here to help. Give us a call today to learn more.

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

Thinking Curb Appeal? Boost It Now with These 5 Fast Tips

You have heard it before: if you want your house to sell quickly, improve your curb appeal. But what does this mean? Can you cut the lawn and call it a day? Well… it’s a start! But you can catch potential buyers’ eyes if you go a few steps further.

The good news is that you can enhance your home’s exterior appeal without spending a fortune. Simple tasks make a big impact. Try:

1. Cleaning your numbers- You should have clearly visible numbers or a number plaque so buyers can easily find your address. Take the time to replace them, give them a polish or apply a quick coat of exterior paint so they pop.

2. Painting your front door- Inside, you should stick to a neutral palette so buyers can picture themselves in the space. On your front door, though, you have a little room for personality. Choose a bold colour to make your home stand out. Strong choices are blue, red, green and black (depending, of course, on the colour of the house, shutters and roof itself).

3. Lighten up- Make a small investment in exterior lights. For instance, be sure there is a fixture above the door and, ideally, along with the driveway and the walkway leading to the entryway. You can find these at home and box stores and even salvage shops for very little.

4. Go green- A few flowers go a long way; you can install flower boxes in the windows and plant some annuals in the front to provide wonderful colour and vibrancy. Adding a shade tree (appropriately sized) is another great step. When possible, make sure the yard is arranged symmetrically. This is pleasing to the eye.

5. Replace your hardware- Swap out your old doorknobs, lock set, mounted mailbox and other fixtures with coordinating pieces. This will add a subtle elegance to your home.

You can do a great deal to increase you curb appeal in just a weekend – and without breaking the bank. Ask us for more tips to help you sell your house quickly and easily.

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

When Your Neighbourhood Isn't a Selling Point

Selling a home isn’t easy. It takes a lot of work, research, and patience. A market is a shaky place these days, and finding the right buyer is sometimes an uphill battle. Curb appeal is always the top tip for those who are ready to sell their homes, but what do you do when your neighbourhood doesn't scream "Amazing"?

The Power of Positive Thinking

Push those positives when you're ready to sell. There are a few ways to do that. Mention the nearby shops, chat about the schools that are close, or push the widely available parking in your area. The key is to play up the most positive aspects so you can distract buyers a bit from the negative ones.

The Most Attractive Route

Does your home look better if you come at it from one route rather than another? If so, you may want to help buyers take the scenic route to your home. When you schedule a showing, offer directions that take buyers down the most appealing way to reach your home. While you can't hide the unattractive features of your neighbourhood, it is a great way to make a solid first impression.

Make Your Home Attractive

The neighbourhood certainly matters to some buyers, but what may matter more is the house itself. Clean up your curb appeal, and consider a few quick renovations to ensure your home has some great features buyers really want. Price it attractively (even if you have to lower your price a bit to compensate for the surrounding area), and you will have interested buyers.

A poor neighbourhood doesn't mean you can't sell your home. It just means you're going to work a bit harder to get there. Fortunately, we can help. Give us a call today to learn more.

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

The Best Colour Scheme for Your Living Room

You're trying to sell your house for the most possible money. Every room in the house looks ready to show, except for your living room. It’s clean and very spacious. The problem is the color scheme is a little plain and boring. Don’t know what to do with your living room? Here are a few pointers in choosing the best colour scheme for your entertaining space.

Some Colour Is Good, But  . . .

When many people work to design a space, they include far too many colours. Instead, you'll want to stick to just two or three colours, and they need to work well together. Many designers choose a dominant colour, which will be the colour you end up painting your walls, then two secondary colours, one for the upholstery, then one for the accessories in the room.

Work With What You Have
If you already have a piece you love, work with that to select your colours. For example, imagine you have an oriental rug you love. Use that to select the two or three colours you might use in the room. Even something as simple as a piece of artwork can be your guide.

Don't Go Too Bold
While you may love bold, bright colours, research has continually shown that if you're selling your home, you need to stay fairly neutral. One bold or bright piece might work, but in general, you'll want to stay with colours like taupe, oatmeal, and light beige for your dominant colour. Your secondary colours, however, can be much louder.

Ready to get started? Give us a call today.

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

The Art of Negotiating when Selling Your Home

When you’re trying to make a business deal like selling your house, you have to learn how to negotiate. It is an intense, tough practice, but if you want your home to fetch a good price, engaging in a little negotiating isn’t going to hurt you. So how can you be successful in the art of negotiating? These tips can help.

Be Realistic - If your goal is to sell, taking less than your ideal price is probably better than not selling at all. If you're not willing to change your price, you're not really willing to negotiate at all, so at the outset, know your numbers. Understand your bottom line so you can view all of the offers in a better light.

Don't Ignore the First Offer - In most cases, that first offer could be your best offer, so consider it carefully. Leaving it on the table because it's a little lower than you'd like can be frustrating, and some buyers will simply walk away and find another spot they love.

Don't Push It - Many sellers are looking to get their homes off the market quickly, and sometimes that means they push buyers a bit too much. Being too talkative during your home showing, spilling the reasons why you're selling your home, and letting them know you have a deadline are all good reasons for buyers to walk away.

So negotiating is an intense job, but it has to be done if you want to sell your house for a great price. Brush up on your negotiation skills, list with Doorsteps, and you'll be on your way to selling your home.

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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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