Doorsteps blog posts

Blog entry by Doorsteps

3 Ways to Create Better Curb Appeal Now

“Curb Appeal.” You’ll hear it from estate agents like those at Doorsteps, but truly understanding the concept can be a bit difficult. It’s also an absolute must, as better curb appeal spells a better price for your home in the long run.

What is Curb Appeal?

The term itself simply considers the attractiveness of a property from the street. It factors in only a few aspects including landscaping, the front entrance, and the look of the exterior of the home (like the siding, stucco, or other exterior coating).

How Do I Increase My Home’s Curb Appeal?

Creating better curb appeal isn’t necessarily a simple process, but at Doorsteps, we’ve seen the process again and again –  an attractive exterior can make or break the sale of your home. It can also decrease the time it spends on the market. Wondering how to make sure your home is where it needs to be? These tips can help.

Evaluate Your Home Like a Buyer Might

Spend some time walking around your home’s exterior with a critical frame of mind. Grab a notepad and a pen. Anything that doesn’t look quite right, makes your home look like it might not make the cover of a magazine, or needs to be replaced, repaired or cleaned should go on your “To Do” list. You’ll want to do this both by the light of day and in the evening when the street lamps shine on your home to get the best possible view of what buyers might see. In addition you may even want to enlist the help of friends to get an outside opinion.

Add Some Plants

Unless you’re selling during the winter, there are always some kinds of annual plants in bloom that you can add around your landscaping. Consider containers, window boxes, or garden flower beds to add some colour. It will automatically create a beautiful look to the outside of your home.

Consider Lighting

If your home has poor outdoor lighting, you may want to spruce that up a bit too. Solar light fixtures are easily installed around your front walk or flower beds, and they’re fairly inexpensive. They’ll give your home a touch of luxury you didn’t initially expect.

Many buyers are far more willing to book a showing with your estate agent if they see something they like, so create a snapshot of an amazing properties outdoors. Doorsteps is ready to help. Contact us today to learn more.

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

Help for First-Time Sellers

The first time you sell a home can be just as complicated as the first time you bought a home. Understanding the legal aspects and what is expected of both you and the buyer can be tricky waters to navigate. The best advice for first-time sellers is to enlist the aid of qualified and experienced agents like the experts at Doorsteps. We know all of the ins and outs of selling a house, and we’ll be here for you every step of the way. To get you started, there are a few tips you should know.

Setting your price. Consult with your agent to help decide your starting listing price. Professional agents know the best way to price your home according to value, neighbourhood, and motivation to sell. Your Doorsteps knows how to get the best price for your home.

Choose the best time to list your home. You may not realize it, but the time of year can affect the sale of your house. Summer is notoriously slow for the housing market while spring tends to be the best time to list your home on the market. If the season isn’t right, though, you can still sell your home. We’ll be happy to guide you in the right direction.

Prepare your home for showings. Now is the time to listen to your agent about any upgrades that can increase the value of your home or simple landscaping tips that can add to the curb appeal. Get in the habit of keeping your home picked up and tidy every day. It also helps to take down anything personal like photos to keep a neutral looking space potential buyers can see themselves living in.

Stay in the background. It really is best to stay out of the way as your agent shows your home and works with buyers. Try to set emotional attachment aside as people start to look at your home and suggest changes they could make. It is important to remember they will make your home into the living space they desire after the sale.

Be Flexible. Buyers may want to look at your home at any point in time depending on their schedules. You have to stay flexible and be open to these impromptu visits. It’s also necessary to discuss possible negations and realtor’s fees before you get too serious about selling to make sure you and your agent are on the same page.

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

Update Your Paint for a Faster Home Sale

Increasing interest for a faster home sale can be as simple as a fresh coat of paint. While the money spent on updating the exterior and interior paint colours of your home may seem like a waste when you are trying to sell, the extra money has proven to be well worth the investment. First impressions go further than just selling price and the neighbourhood. For many buyers, the aesthetics of a home are just as vital a selling point. At Doorsteps, we do everything we can to get your home sold and off the market, and we encourage you to make some small improvements such as updating the paint colours. Small changes likes paint can make or break a motivated sale. If a buyer is put off by your paint colours, they could move on to another home with more neutral shades. Follow some of these specific guidelines to catch the attention of those checking out your home.

  • Go Modern. Choose a colour scheme that it is up to date without being too trendy that it will go out of style soon. Classic tones with an updated shade are your best bet to showcase the exterior as well as the interior of your home.
  • Keep it Simple. Try to stick with one theme such as earth tones or shades of grey throughout the interior of the house. Too many colours, especially bright hues, can scare away buyers with the thought of having to redo each room with multiple layers of paint.
  • Stay away from funky techniques. Remember sponge painting? There are still multiple techniques for covering wall space that border on the arts and crafts time look. Paint the walls with regular roller/brush strokes with one colour.
  • Know your neighbourhood. Most of the time Doorsteps will recommend neutral tones for painting, but if your home is in a more artsy or flamboyant neighbourhood, it’s likely buyers are looking for something that stands out as opposed to a quiet more conservative suburb.
  • Pair it with your furnishings. The staging of your furniture and the type of decor and furnishings you own need to coordinate with your paint job. If you have a more minimalist home with modern furnishings, go with grey as opposed to warmer earth tones.

For more tips on fresh paint and other ways to make updates for a faster home sale, talk to the friendly and knowledgeable Doorsteps.

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

Will Arranging My Furniture Sell My House Faster?

Have you ever perused the photos of homes for sale and been put off by empty rooms? Ever wondered how you could ever make that look like a home you could live in? Statistically, homes sell faster and for higher prices if the buyer has  visual of what the home will look like fully furnished. Many people ask us “How can I sell my house faster?” Creating that buyer-inspired visual is one great way to do just that. The concept is simple and is commonly known as staging.

The Research

A study that looked at 410 homes showed that staged homes sold on average in 42 days as opposed to non-staged homes that sold in 198 days. That’s far from the only convincing statistic in the world of home staging, though. Another study found that nearly one-third of buyers are willing to overlook flaws in the property if its well-staged.

To Get Started

If you think staging might be right for you, there are some important steps to follow when applying this technique to prepare your home correctly for a quick and successful sale. Utilise the skilled agents at Doorstep Agents to help stage your home for potential buyers at your next showing.

It’s not personal. For buyers to see the potential of your home as a home for themselves, it is necessary to remove any personal photos or memorabilia. Keeping your home looking more like a showroom can help buyers see what your home could look like if anyone owned it and not just your family.

Declutter your space. Eliminate furniture that is not necessary. For example in the living room, par down to one sofa and chair with matching end tables and one decorative floor item. Removing other furniture that takes ups space can also give the illusion of a bigger room.

Move to the middle. Arranging furniture away from the wall and more toward the centre of the room can also give the illusion of more floor space in any room. Take advantage of any place you can create the illusion of space. It will help sell your home.

Get rid of the throw space. We all tend to have an area in the home where everything gets thrown and tossed aside. Clean up this space and rearrange with a bed and dresser or desk and office area. Keep the furniture and arrangement minimalistic to give the appearance of a live-able, but chic space.

It’s all about function. Choose a function for each room and stick to that theme. If there is too much going on in one space, it may seem overwhelming and cluttered. If it is one large open room make a designated dining spacing and living space that are obviously separate from one another. In extra bedrooms, choose to make them either a bedroom, exercise room, or office but not all or two of those.

If you’re asking yourself, “How can I sell my house faster,” the quickest way is to contact us immediately. We’re here to help you at every level of selling your home. For more advice and tips on staging, contact Doorstep Agents today.

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

How to Sell Your Home in the Summer

Summer is notoriously rough for the housing market, no matter where your home may be. The interest of potential home buyers has turned to planning holiday trips and relaxing, with a declined motivation to shop for houses. We know there are some things you can do to help increase the appeal and charm so you can sell your home even in the heat of the summer. To keep your motivation focused on the sale of your home, use this quick checklist of strategies to get your home off of the market.

Check your curb appeal. While the landscaping and exterior attractiveness of your home may not seem like a big deal, many potential buyers make their decision before even setting foot through the front door based on curbside appeal alone. Amp up your outer charm with some simple but pretty landscaping or a fresh coat of paint. You may even want to power wash siding if needed. The initial investment will be worth your sale in a stagnant market.

Spruce up the back garden. Clean up any dying or raggedy brush and flower beds. Set up the patio furniture and add little bright pops of colour with flower planters or furniture cushions. If a buyer can envision what a living space can look like with furniture and decor, they are more likely to make an offer.

Clean up your indoor living space. Making sure the inside of your home is viewer friendly at any given time allows us the freedom to show your home when a buyer is available. Keep clutter picked up, dust regularly, do laundry, and dishes anytime there is a need to ensure your home is ready for show all times of the day. Even keeping the windows and patio doors spotless is necessary for many buyers to consider a second look at your home.

Keep it cool. Summer temps can be blistering hot, and if your interior is not cool enough, your low quality air conditioning can be a deal breaker. Keep your air conditioning set to a cool and comfortable temp for potential buyers. If they fear a less than perfect working cooling system, you could lose a successful sale.

Other helpful tips to help sell your home include offering cool drinks to buyers and providing a list of activities or attractions in the neighbourhood that may entice an offer. Doorstep Agents is here to help with any questions or other helpful hints to move your home off the market.

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

Three Things that Can Boost The Value of Your Home Immediately

Three Things that Can Boost The Value of Your Home Immediately

At Doorsteps, we’ve rarely seen a home seller who didn’t want to boost the property value as quickly as possible. As a seller, you want to get as much as you can for your home, particularly if you’ve put a lot of sweat equity and money into it over the years. If you’re still not quite hitting the valuation you want, these three steps may be able to create a big boost in your selling price.

Create More Living Space

Have unused space that just doesn’t seem helpful currently? Turning it into living space may be able to increase the price of your home. If a little work in the attic means a granny flat for the mother-in-law or a quick remodel may mean the ability to add a flex room like a playroom or a home office, you’re going to have an add-on the buyer will love. Before you embark on any big remodel projects, though, do some research to make sure you have a project where you’ll see a real return on your investment.

Lower Your Energy Costs

It seems virtually everyone is trying to be a bit greener these days, and lower energy costs can move your home from an energy hogging beast to an eco-friendly spot buyers will love. There are several ways to do this from replacing old windows with more energy-efficient versions to ensuring all of your appliances are rated well for energy consumption. Simple steps like adding rain barrels in the garden and LED bulbs throughout your home can help too.

Build Curb Appeal

Many buyers make their decision about your home before they ever even walk through that door. If you haven’t brushed up on your curb appeal, lately, there’s never a better time to do it like that before you sell your home. If there are things like fences that need to be mended or trimming to do, you should absolutely take care of it. If you can plant flowering annuals before you sell, that’s an attraction, too. Small landscaping projects can help as well. Simple steps like these could bump your selling price up as much as three to five percent in the long run.
If you’re ready for a much higher selling price, you’re ready to work with Doorsteps. Give us a call today to learn what we can do for your home.

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

Is Spring Actually the Best Time to Sell a Home?

It’s long been said that real estate can be a fairly seasonal business, but for those looking to sell their homes, and idea like that one can be downright frightening. After all, what if you’re trying to sell your home in the winter or the middle of the summer holiday season. Do you still have a chance at actually getting your property off the market at a price that works for you?

Understanding the Seasons

There’s a reason they say spring is the best time to sell a home. Statistically speaking, it’s absolutely true. The shift toward spring tends to mark the busiest home buying season of the year. As the weather gets warmer and the days get longer, people begin looking for that perfect home. What’s more, though, is that some people tend to shop during the summer holidays so that if it becomes necessary for the children to switch schools, they can do so before the fall term begins once more.
Homes that sell during the spring and summer months tend to valuate better, and they tend to fetch a much higher sale price. The curb appeal of a home tends to increase during the warmer months, too, because your garden looks better in bloom and, in general, homes look far better during the warmer months.

Other Seasons

If you’re not selling your home during the warmest months of the year, though, don’t fret. Your home may still perform well during other seasons. Buyers tend to be pickier because there are so many homes for sale during those warmest months. If you’re selling during the “off-season,” you’re going to find more motivated buyers who are far more serious about purchasing your home quickly.
With Doorstep Agents on your side, any time is a great time to sell your home. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you fetch the price you want, no matter what the season may be.

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

Should You Declutter Before You Sell

Should You Declutter Before You Sell?

One thing Doorsteps has often noticed is that almost every buyer wants the ability to picture themselves inside of a property. They want to be able to imagine their furniture, their wall art, and their belongings inside your space. The problem with that, though, is that if your stuff is all over the place, it’s really difficult to do just that. Even if your home is clean, it might still be filled with clutter that can be a huge turnoff to buyers. What’s more, though, is that if you declutter, your house might actually look bigger and appear to have more storage, which means potential buyers may think more of your space than they would with your stuff everywhere.

Where Am I Going to Put Everything?

Achieving the decluttered look can be tough. You basically have two choices – dumping your excess or storing it somewhere nearby. If you’re planning to dump your excess, you can think about whether you’d prefer to have a rummage sale or donate it to a charity shop. If you decide to store it, perhaps you can borrow a corner of your mum’s basement. You may also want to rent a storage unit somewhere nearby. Whatever you choose, you won’t want to store it anywhere on your property. Shoving it in the basement or a garage could be a potential turn-off for buyers. Before you decide to store your stuff, talk to us about the average timeframe for home sales in your area. This can shift, but whatever it is, you’ll want to double it as you plan where to put things.

Getting Started

Not sure what to remove? Begin by thinking personally. You’ll want to remove as many personal pictures and certificates as you can, because they might distract your buyer from the great features of the home.
Once you’ve done that, start thinking seasonally. You can pack almost anything that is currently out of season or is about to be. Seasonal clothes, bedding, and the like can all be removed while you’re trying to sell your home.
In the kitchen and bathroom, keep only what you need. You can pack quite a bit of the other stuff to move in to your new home once you’ve sold this one. People want to sell counter space and cabinet space in both places, so make certain it looks like there’s room to spare in these areas.
If you’re having trouble with the clutter, you may want to ask your agent to recommend a professional organizer to come in and help you get rid of some of the clutter until the home sells.

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

Three Home Renovations That Really Pay Off When It’s Time to Sell

Making big changes to the inside of your home can mean it becomes your ideal space. Given that statistics indicate people change houses at least once a decade, though, it may not stay your ideal space for long. If you’ve made those big changes, then, are you simply out of luck when it comes to recouping your investment? Absolutely not. At Doorsteps, we’ve seen some renovations mean a serious increase in the selling price of a home. Wondering what pays off the most? Take a look at the top three.

  1. The Kitchen
  2. Believe it or not, the kitchen has become king in many spaces. Thanks to a growing foodie culture around the world, people want spacious, beautiful kitchens that can serve as much as a gathering space as they do a food prep space. If you have the money to spend, think stainless steel appliances, stone countertops, and wood flooring. Upgrades like these can mean up to a 50% return on your investment.

  3. A Conservatory
  4. You’ll have to give up a little garden space to add this to your home, but they typically come with a full return on the investment. Because a conservatory is typically small, you don’t even need planning permission to add one. You can also forget about the structure and fire safety regulations because so much of it will be glazed glass. What’s more is that it’s separated from your home with an external door, so that means an additional break on regulations. While you see low costs, buyers will see a room bathed in sunlight without having to deal with poor weather conditions.

  5. A Loft
  6. The Nationwide Building Society has found that lofts increase property values by up to 20%, making them an amazing investment. Adding a loft may mean extra bedroom space or even home office space that your current space sorely lacks. Potential buyers will find many imaginative uses for the loft you added, and that can only mean an increased base price.
    Make the most of your home now by choose renovations that will pay off when it is time to sell!

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

Should You Have an Open House?

There is some disagreement as to whether an open house will actually help to sell your home. Many agents will swear by them and make it a habit to host an open house for practically every home they have listed. Others claim they have sold no more homes by hosting open houses than by showing their listings based on interest and individual appointments. It may come down to your own personal preference as a homeowner getting ready to list your home for sale. Do you wish to have an open house. Discuss the pros and cons with Doorsteps to make your final decision.

Some of the Benefits

  • You may draw in a potential buyer who otherwise wouldn’t have called an agent to view your home. Driving by and seeing an open house sign or noticing an advertisement on social media could bring in more traffic to view your home and drive up interest.
  • These open houses may feel like less pressure to make a decision on whether to buy the house. If there are multiple people looking through the home then there will be less focus on just one buyer and what they like/don’t like about the home.
  • You have time to set the scene. In some cases, you may feel a bit rushed before a potential buyer views your home, but because you hold an open house on your own time, you have as much time as necessary to set the scene properly.

The Drawbacks

  • Open houses are not known to boost the sale of your home. In some areas, an open house will get a house sold about 2% of the time. Not great numbers when you are motivated to sell. Private showings where buyers can take their time and ask questions are usually more successful for selling a home.
  • Buyers who come to an open house have probably not gone through the pre-approval process for a home loan. They may be first time home buyers who are just looking to get started on their search. Without pre-approval the process for making an offer and getting financing could take more time delaying the sale date.
  • It’s not really buyers looking through your home. At lot of the traffic during your open house may just be curious passers-by or even neighbors. Having an open house makes it easy for anyone to walk through your home without having any serious interest to buy.

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