Doorsteps blog posts

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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Blog entry by Doorsteps

The Problem with Over-Upgrading

When you think about selling your house, the first thing that likely comes to mind is all the upgrades you wish that you’d done. You wish you’d changed the flooring in the kitchen, you wish you’d taken down the wall between the dining room and the living room. Selling your home seems like the opportune time to get those projects done so that you can get the most money on the sale of your house, right?


Absolutely wrong. Imagine this scenario. Ann inherited a house when a relative passed away, and she wanted to get the most money she could from it, so she did some serious upgrades. Initially, the estate agent estimated that the house would sell for about $150,000. Ann decided she could do better than that and spent over $60,000 putting in new flooring, new cabinetry and rewiring the entire house. After she put all that money in, the house was only able to sell for $180,000. Yes, she was able to get $30,000 more out of the house, but she actually lost money.


Over-upgrading can definitely make you lose money. When you’re selling your house, small upgrades become an absolute must. A fresh coat of paint, new window treatments, new door handles or new cabinet hardware can be a nice upgrade that can make your home look better without a lot of added expense. Remember: when you’re selling your house, you do have to put a bit of money into it, but make certain you look at the upgrades that will help you sell your home for more. 

Interested in learning more about which upgrades might help you sell your home faster? Contact us today.

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

Dealing with Pets While You’re Selling

It is estimated that about 68 per cent of households own at least one pet. The estimate further says that 44 percent of people own at least one dog while 35 per cent of people own at least one cat. Pets can definitely become a member of the family. They’re fun to own and can comfort you when you’re going through a rough patch. But while pets may be a family member for us, potential buyers don’t see pets as family members, but, rather, they see them as nuisances and can be a definite turn off when it comes to selling your home.

What to Do With Your Pets

If you own pets in your home there are a few things that you can do in order to conceal that fact, which then makes your home look much more intriguing to buyers. You'll want to begin by eliminating pet dishes. Any bowl that has dog or cat food in it should be tucked away in a nice little hiding spot. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t feed your pets! But when you know people are coming over to view the house, pick up all of the pet food.

When it comes to toys it’s a good idea to keep them neatly out of sight. To do this, purchase a box that you use specifically for your pets toys. Keep most of the toys in the box when they’re not being played with. When you schedule a showing, use those few minutes you have to pick up any random toys and to stash the box away, out of sight. 

Cat box smell is definitely something that you’ll want to avoid. It can make your house seem completely unclean, even if it isn’t. To get rid of that smell, pack your cat up in a cat carrier to take with you for the duration of the time you’re out of the house and remove any cat litter boxes. If you can store them somewhere outside that is out of sight; that’s the best option.

Your pets may be a big part of your life, but that doesn't mean they have to be part of your buyer's life as well. 

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

Light It Up!

There are a lot of things that you can do to make your home look good to potential buyers, but lighting is at the top of that list, and it's something most blogs and estate agents never even mention. Lighting in your home is essential. You want to show off your home to the best of your ability and by having the right lighting, you’re definitely making sure that your home looks as good as it possibly can. Here are a few tips that can help you to make sure that everything is well lit. 

1.     Clean all the draperies. Make sure that you pull down all of your drapes or curtains and clean them thoroughly. We often forget to clean our window dressings and by simply cleaning them, you’ll find that it adds a great amount of light to your home.

2.     Wash the windows. A thorough window washing does wonders to help make a home look lighter, but don’t forget to wash the outside of the windows as well as the inside! If your windows don’t tip in for easy cleaning, use a ladder or a tall squeegee to wash them. If you’re thoroughly uncomfortable washing taller windows, hire someone to get it done for you.

3.     Increase the wattage of your light bulbs. We often use lower watt light bulbs to conserve energy, but if you bump up the bulbs a bit, you’ll add a great deal more light to your home.

4.     Change the lampshades. If you have older looking lamp shades, spent a bit to get some more modern looking shades that allow more light in. The change will be much more dramatic than you may be expecting!

5.     Cut back shrubberies. If you have shrubs that are blocking any lighting, take the time to trim them back. Not only will it give your home more curb appeal, it will allow some gorgeous natural lighting into your home as well. 

By adding a bit of lighting to your home you can drastically change how your home looks. Brighter homes definitely tend to sell better, as do those marketed with Doorsteps. To learn more, contact us today. 

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

Cleaning Out Those Closets

Everyone seems to have ideas about what you should do to your home in order to make sure that you sell it as quickly as possible, but one thing that most people don’t even think about is the closet. Think about it this way: one of the things that most prospective homebuyers check out whenever they look at a potential new home is the closet space. They want to make sure that they have enough space for their belongings. That’s why cleaning out your closets before you list your home is definitely an excellent idea.

Making it Happen

Just the thought of cleaning your closet out is enough to make some people break out in hives, but really it doesn’t have to be that hard. The first step is to go through your clothes and take everything out. Put it all on your bed (or dresser or other flat surface) and start putting the clothing back into the closet. If you pick up a piece and haven’t worn it for over two years, or longer, don’t put it back in the closet. By the time you’re done you should have cleaned out at least half of your closet space. Make sure you also remove any clutter on the floor or shelving in your closet as well.

Make sure you also check any other closets in your house. Kitchen cupboards should be cleared out of any old cans, boxes or foods and if you have a closet full of winter jackets, box them up to store elsewhere while you’re trying to sell. The same rule holds true for any other closets or shelving in your home. Get rid of any trash that you may have and anything that’s left on the shelving should be neat and tidy. The more open space you can get in your closets, the more attractive your home will look to prospective buyers.

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

Should You Hire a Professional Cleaner Before Selling Your Home?

You've probably heard the advice that you should completely clean your home before you even list it with Doorsteps, and there's a good reason for that. You only get once chance to make a good first impression, and a dirty home certainly won't do that for you. The real question, though, is whether you should hire a professional cleaner before you list your home.

How Much Time Do You Have?

If you're thinking of selling your home, you're probably already a bit pressed for time. Getting your house as clean as possible can be quite a chore. After all, when was the last time you actually hoovered that closet on the ground floor? If you feel like you're a bit stretched for time, it may be best to hire a professional.

 Often Overlooked Areas

Most people develop a path they clean and many spaces they tend to overlook. It's no problem until you're going to have someone exploring every space in your home. A professional cleaner, though, doesn't have the same bias you do, and that can mean a second set of eyes to ensure everything is as clean as possible.

 No Equipment Needed

The other real bonus of hiring a professional team is that you don't have to worry about investing in cleaning tools or solutions you won't use again in the near future. Instead, your team will bring everything along, without a trip to the shops to pick up anything you may have forgotten.

So, is a professional cleaner right for you? It depends, but in most cases, it's going to be worth the investment to hire someone to help you out. To learn more about how to market your home, contact us today. 

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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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