Doorsteps blog posts

Blog entry by Doorsteps

Preparing Your Home For Buyers in the Next Five Days

You've made the decision to sell your home. How long will it take you to prepare for potential buyers? It's actually possible to do it in the next five days. Take a look.

?     Pack now! The first thing you need to do is start packing! “But,” you think, “I’ve got nowhere to move to!” This doesn’t matter. You can rent storage space or, if you’re lucky, you can store your belongings with friends or family. It’s a good rule of thumb to get rid of about two-thirds of your home right off! Go for a room at a time, and only leave out your essentials.

?     Get rid of the photos! Prospective buyers want to imagine themselves in the house, which means that one of the first things you should remove are any photos of you and your family. Pack them up and put up a few generic, artistic photos instead. This gives the rooms a good look while keeping things impersonal.

?     Declutter your shelves and closets! Get rid of everything in your closets and on your shelves that you don’t use anymore and pack away everything that you won’t need for a few months. This definitely clears a house up and makes it look much more presentable.

?     Quick, inexpensive updates. Air vents a little rusty? Light switches looking a little dingy? Clean or replace little things like that to instantly give your house a small facelift.

?     Fill any little gaps! Gaps between the molding and the wall, little holes in the wall from the pictures or paintings you had hanging. Get them all fixed up before you list your house!

?     Fresh paint works wonders! Don’t think that you have to paint everything white, either. Neutral colors, or grays, work great for making rooms look fresh and not sterile. Take one day to handle this task. Hit a paint shop in the morning, plan to be painting by afternoon, and by evening, your home should have a completely new look.

?     Brighten dark spots! If you have darker spots in your house brighten them up! This can often be done by cleaning windows or changing out window treatments.

There are a lot of things that you can do quickly and cheaply that will make your home look fantastic for potential buyers. In just one week you can change the look so much that you might even start second-guessing your decision to sell!

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

Downsizing: Is Going Small Smart?

Minimalism seems to be sweeping the globe these days, and it doesn't stop at fewer belongings. Smaller homes, sometimes under 20 square metres, are the newest trend in home ownership, and that leaves many thinking about how to sell their current homes. Is downsizing the way to go for you?

It turns out that there are actually a lot of benefits to living in a smaller home, starting with less upkeep. A smaller home definitely requires a lot less than a larger home. Less sweeping, mopping, vacuuming, dusting, and other chores. Not only that, but you also have less upkeep on the appliances and plumbing as well. Rather than having two or three bathrooms, you only have one to keep up with.

A smaller home means that you spend more time with your family as well. While not everyone can handle having only 20 square metres of space to hide from life in, having under a bit less than you have now might be just enough to give you your own little bit of peace while also forcing you to spend time with your family a bit more. 

There are monetary benefits as well. Not only does a small house cost less to purchase, it’s less expensive to maintain as well. A smaller space to heat, or cool, and a smaller space that you need to power with electricity can equal to huge savings in your wallet. Going small might be a big change, but it might just be the change that you need. 

Interested in finding a smaller home to meet your needs? Contact us today. 

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

Getting an Unbiased Opinion Before You Sell

You’ve decided to sell your home but you’re not sure what you should do to make it look more appealing to buyers. In your eyes, your home is perfect. That, of course, is how it should be. Your home was decorated to be perfect for you. It’s designed for your comfort. But everyone has different tastes, and you want to make sure that your home looks almost like a blank canvas to potential buyers. But how do you know what to do to change it?

Getting an unbiased opinion is actually a very smart idea and is something that you can easily do in order to help you to figure out what changes you can make to your home to make it more appealing. Opinions like these mean your home could sell far faster and for more money than you imagined, but where do you turn? 

Talk to people who haven't been to your home. Your co-workers make be a great start. These people who haven’t seen your home will walk into it with fresh eyes and will be able to tell you what they think should change. Ask them to take a notebook through the house (without your presence, just as it would be for a walkthrough) and to write down everything they think about each room. That will give you the unbiased results you want.

If you don’t have any coworkers you’d trust, ask distant relatives or friends who have never been to your home. The goal is to ask someone who has never seen your home to give their honest opinion. And remember to take the opinion as constructive criticism. They’re not there to judge you but to help you sell your home as quickly as possible.

Doorsteps agents can help too. To learn more, contact us today.

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

When You Inherit a Home

No one likes to think about what happens when a loved one passes away, but it is better to be prepared than caught unaware. If you inherit a home from a loved one who passes away, there are a number of steps that you need to take in order to legally sell the home.

 

1.    Hire a solicitor. Make sure that you hire one that has a good deal of experience in, or who specialises in property law. There are many sticky situations when it comes to an inheritance, and a solicitor can help you understand what you're facing.

2.    Have the house inspected. Hire someone to go through the house, from top to bottom, to make sure that everything in the house is up to code and that nothing needs to be quickly fixed. He or she can alert you to any potential problems with the home that you may need to have repaired before you sell.

3.    Meet with others. If you're not the only individual who has inherited the home, you'll want to meet with the other stakeholders as soon as possible to find out what their wishes may be and deal with any potential problems.

 

There are many advantages to selling a home you've just inherited. After all, until you sell, you will be responsible for any home insurance, bills, taxes, and maintenance needs on the home. If there's a mortgage on the home, you may even be responsible for that bill as well, which can prove costly. More than that, though, moving toward a quick sale can provide you with a substantial amount of money to put toward your own home or other living expenses.

 

Interested in moving that home quickly? Contact Doorsteps today to learn more. 

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

How To Let Go Of Your Home (Emotionally Speaking)

One of the most difficult parts about selling a home doesn’t come from moving or pricing or finding a new home: it comes from your emotional attachment to your home. A home is something that you come to depend on day after day. Your home is your soft place to land, and it’s the one spot where you can have a little bit of peace in this crazy world. That’s often why people have such a hard time deciding on a good price to sell their homes - because they’re too emotionally attached.

When you’re emotionally attached to something, you put more value on it than it should have. Emotions don’t usually translate well to monetary value, and if you want to sell your home quickly it’s important that you learn how to remove your emotional attachment from your home.

How is that possible? Remember that it’s just a house. It’s wood and drywall and paint, it’s not alive. The memories that you have aren’t physically in the house. You can remember Christmas two years ago in your new home as easily as you could in your current home. The memories are in your mind, not inside the house.

Try an exercise: jump in your car and drive a few hours away. Make a day trip of it. Go shopping or enjoy a meal out. Once you do find a nice, quiet area, park your car. Close your eyes and think about the last big event you had in your home. Think about the breakfast that you made on Easter morning or the garden party you hosted last year. Remember those details. You should be easily able to do so, which, hopefully, will help you to see that the memories you have can be recalled no matter where you are.

The next step, after you return home, is to begin removing personal mementos from the walls and decor. Pack them in a box, then store them in the garage or a self storage unit. Without your personal items on the walls and surrounding you, you may be able to take another step forward - thinking about your home differently - as a product to be marketed. 

Ready to make that happen? Contact us today.


 

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

Why You Should Rent Self Storage When You're Selling

Moving means stress. In fact, it's the most stress you might face in your entire life. Think about what comes with selling your home: you have to find a company to work with - Doorsteps is a great choice! - you have to decide on a selling price, and you have to continually clean and prepare your home for potential buyers. It's a lot to consider, but self-storage can help.

 

What?!? How can self-storage help you prepare to sell your home? There are actually a number of ways working with a self-storage unit can help lower your stress level and help you prepare to sell your home at the same time.

 

?     The perfect place for packing! No likes to pack and, honestly, it’s one of the most stressful parts of any move. Packing up all of your belongings is extremely time-consuming and a lot of work. If you rent a storage unit, you can pack much more slowly. Take a day, pack up part of a room and then unload the boxes at your storage unit! There it will sit until you’re ready to move to your new home, no matter how long that might take.

?     Your extra furniture. In order to make your home the most appealing you possibly can, it’s a smart idea to get rid of some of your furniture. Some people even opt to remove all of their furniture and rent beautiful, new furniture. Just place all of your old furniture in your storage unit and it will sit there until it’s time to unpack for the new home.

?     Staging! Many studies indicate staging your home can help get it off the market faster, and with self-storage, that becomes infinitely more possible. Because you can move items that don't fit with the theme of each room into storage, you can rearrange your furniture and belongings to reflect the purpose of each room, and that could mean a better selling price and less time on the market.

 

To learn more about how to move your home from "For Sale" to "Sold" as quickly as possible, contact us today.


 

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

Minimising Furniture

Do you realise how much furniture you have in your home? Most of us have more furniture than we realize we have. But if you were to subtract just three items from each room, how much more space would you have to move? Chances are every room in your home would look far larger with a bit of furniture out of the way, and added space can sell a home. How do you decide what to eliminate, though? These tips can help.

 

Used or Worn Furniture: We all have that favorite arm chair that we feel like we can’t live without, but how “gently loved” is that piece of furniture? If it looks worn and fairly old you will definitely want to remove it from the room before showing.



Clutter Collection Spots: Have a side table or something else that tends to collect all of the clutter in your home? Your best bet is to remove that problem before any potential buyers see your home. 

 

Furniture That Forces You to Move: If there's an ottoman or an armchair that makes you turn and move around it to walk into the next room, it's clearly crowding your space. Any piece that seems to be taking up a rather large footprint should be eliminated from the room entirely. 

 

But what do you do with the furniture that you remove from the home? You actually have a few options, the first being to simply sell or donate it to a charity shop. If it’s old and you never use it, why bring it with you to your new home? If it’s a piece of furniture that you love, however, you might not want to get rid of it. That’s when you look to family or friends to house it for you. If you have a family member who has a bit of space you can borrow, they might allow you to place your unused furniture there. As a last resort, you can rent a self-storage space =. Renting storage space can actually be very smart because not only can you declutter your house easily, you can start packing up your home and putting the items in storage so that they’re ready for your move to your new home!

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

Curb Appeal Is Everything

When you're trying to sell your home, mistakes sometimes happen. Luckily, most of those are fairly minor. One that isn't? Failure to realise just how important curb appeal is for your home. Without that understanding, you could have a potential sale on your hands that leaves just as quickly. Curb appeal is what estate agents call the outside of your house. How does your home look when someone pulls up to it? Is everything neatly taken care of and cleaned up? Is the garden neatly trimmed? Is the exterior paint holding up well? All of these items factor into that first look potential buyers get at your home.

 

Making a Difference

 

There are a few things that you can do to add to the curb appeal to your home. They’re fairly cheap and can definitely make a huge difference, starting with making regular plans to keep your lawn trimmed. Make regular plans to keep your lawn trimmed (once a week or so) in order to ensure that your home always shows ready. When you do this, you'll also want to trim any hedges or other garden plants that tend to get out of control quickly. Potential buyers want to be able to imagine their gardens as a great place to relax, and it's tough to do that if it's overgrown and neglected.

 

Next, wash the outside of the windows thoroughly. The average homeowner does it once a year, at most. If you’re selling your home make sure that the windows are washed properly and that any cobwebs or nests are taken down from the outside of your house.

 

Finally, rent a pressure washer. They’re usually fairly cheap to rent at local shops and can make a huge difference in how the outside of your home looks. Make sure you power wash the side of your house, any nooks and crannies and don’t forget the sidewalk or driveway!

 

Searching for more curb appeal tips? We can help you decide what must be done before marketing your home. Contact us today to learn more. 

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

Ensuring Your Home is Ready to Show: The Tips You Need Now

Every homeowner in the process of selling their home has the same nightmare: you’re just beginning to relax for the evening, perhaps finding something on the telly, when suddenly you find out a potential buyer wants to see your home immediately. The minute you hang up the phone, you look around and realise that your house is a mess! There are dishes from dinner in the sink, you’ve got children’s toys scattered all around and you are in your pyjamas!

 

This nightmare is, unlike most, something that can absolutely come true. If you’re not prepared to show your house, it’s fairly likely to happen. But how do you keep your house in show-ready condition at all time? Here are a few tips that should help.

 

?     Storage. First, keep things off of the floor. If you have young children, it’s easy to have a lot of toys scattered around the house. Instead of letting clutter gather, have a bin that you can quickly put it all in and store it under a table. You could also use a storage ottoman for the same purpose. Just find a fast way to hide the toys that don't show to potential buyers.

?     Always do the dishes! The minute you’re done eating, do the dishes and load the dishwasher. Viewers don’t mind if there are dishes in the dishwasher as long as they’re not sitting around dirty on the counter. Make sure you also wipe down all counters and tables after you eat as well.

?     Invest in smells. You don’t have to have a lot of smells, in fact, too many will overwhelm people, but having an automatic sprayer that sprays a scent out occasionally can help to keep things smelling fresh, especially if you just prepared a meal before buyers come.

 

It’s not always easy to be ready to host potential buyers at the drop of a hat, but with a little sneaky preparation, you can have your home in viewing order in no time. To learn more about how we can help you market your home, contact us today. 

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

Kitchen, Kitchen, Kitchen

You've likely read it again and again - one of the first things that every prospective buyer looks at is the kitchen. The kitchen, after all, is not only the place where you prepare meals, it’s the place where the family gathers. How often have you found yourself in a kitchen when your parents were preparing a meal for a special holiday? Do you gravitate towards the kitchen when you’re at a friend’s party? The kitchen is certainly the most important thing to focus on when you’re thinking about selling your house. But how do you upgrade when you're on a budget and keeping an eye on what your home will eventually sell for?

It’s a good idea first to take inventory of what your kitchen is like. Does it look dated? Does it have older appliances? The purpose of this is to address the biggest problems with the kitchen. For example, imagine you've lived in that home for the past fifteen years. Something as simple as new appliances can really help dress things up a bit. To help increase the appeal, you don't even have to purchase top-of-the-line models. Just something a bit more modern may help.

If the appliances look great, make sure your cabinets and counters do as well. You might not have the budget for new cabinets and counters but a good wash can definitely work wonders. You may even be able to paint your cabinets or refinish them for less. If your hardware looks dated, change it out for new hardware. A new coat of paint can definitely give an older kitchen a new life, and new faucets or a new sink can also give a serious pop of fashion to a dated kitchen as well.

A kitchen can make or break a sale, so make certain yours is ready for potential buyers!

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