20 Ways to Make a Lasting Impression

Buyers pay more money for homes that need less work, plain and simple.  The little details make all the difference - homes that are spacious, clean and well-maintained stand out from the rest, selling faster and for more money.

For other tips, please see my Pinterest Page!

First Impressions: 

• Lawns: cut grass, edge walks, trim hedges, weed gardens.
• In winter:  remove snow and ice from walks and driveway (use sand/salt if necessary).
• Front porch / verandah:  clean or paint if necessary.
• Siding:  hose down siding and remove unsightly marks, especially the siding leading up to the front door.
• Front door and trim:  clean or paint if necessary.
• Windows:  clean windows and paint trim if necessary, especially at the front of the home.

 Inside the Home: 

• Front entrance:  clean any marks on the walls, paint if necessary, polish floors.
• Kitchen:  remove clutter from counters and refrigerator, clean appliances, sinks, countertops and cabinet faces, tuck away garbage cans.
• Bathrooms:  clean mirrors, sinks, tubs, shower doors, toilets and grout; put out fresh, clean towels, tuck away
garbage cans.
• Living room / great room / family room:  remove clutter, polish floors or steam clean carpets,
• Bedrooms:  remove clutter, organize closets.
• Storage areas:  remove extra unwanted items.
• Utility /laundry room:  dust and clean utility and laundry machines, have furnace serviced if necessary. 

For a Fresh Look:

• Paint:  a coat of fresh paint goes a long way. Choose a neutral but modern color; check with your local Home Depot for the latest color trends.
• Flooring:  polish floors, steam clean carpets, repair damaged or worn areas.
• Clutter:  pack unused items around the home, clear out closets.
• Lights:  clean fixtures, use bright and warm light bulbs, fix faulty switches.

Set the Stage for Success:

• Lights on:  turn on all lights before showings, open blinds during the day, close them at night.
• Temperature:  should be at 20 degrees (room temperature), basements should be warm.
• Smells:  make sure your home smells fresh. Try opening windows, or using light scented sprays or “Nilodor” for stronger smells.


Spend your Renovation Dollars Wisely!

Thinking of selling your home down the road, or just want to do some upgrading, and want to know which renovations will bring you the best return on your investment? Why would I know about this?  Over the course of my career in the real estate industry, I have helped hundreds of Edmonton sellers get more money for their homes, by providing advice and assistance with home staging, renovation tips and more. 

In general, the top two rooms in the home that make or break a sale are the kitchen and the bathroom. They are usually the hardest and most expensive to change, but good news - they offer a much higher return on their investment than the average home renovation:

1)  Paint - nothing says modern and clean like fresh, updated colors. A fresh coat of paint is, in my opinion, one of the best investments you can make when selling your home. Don't forget to paint your front door!  Don't have a lot of money to spend on your home? You can do the painting yourself, but be sure to consult with the experts at your local hardware store to be sure you have the tools and knowledge to do the job right.

2)  Bathroom - RE/MAX Western Canada reports that bathroom renovations have a 56% higher return than the average home improvement. Impressive! The most important bath to upgrade is the ensuite bath, or if you don't have one, the main bath in the home.

3)  Kitchen - this crucial hub of the home tends to "make or break" a sale. Doing renovations on the kitchen can bring up to a 44% higher investment than other popular upgrades.

4)  Flooring - updated flooring can bring up to 22% higher return than other popular upgrades to your home, acording to RE/MAX Western Canada. I always try to stay as green as possible, so my recommendation is to try for proper maintenance of your flooring first and foremost, choose neutral colors if you do have to upgrade, and if you can, refinish or recycle your current flooring for other uses. Underlay for carpets is key - installing good underlay can make less expensive carpet seem more posh, and you may not have to replace the underlay when upgrading to new carpet, so less ends up in the landfill.

5)  Curb appeal - more to come on curb appeal as the spring comes into full force in Edmonton. For now, be sure to keep you walks clean, rake up last fall's leaves (if they're still on your lawn), and check back for articles on how to spruce up your yard, stay green, and get the MOST out of your home sale.

Statistics are taken from RE/MAX Western Canada. Any information herein is not warranted - I am not a real estate appraiser or a lawyer, I'm just putting my thoughts out there to help you get more money for your home. Always consult with an expert (or many experts) before undertaking any renovations, or spending any of your hard-earned money!  More tips and videos are available at: http://www.remax-western.ca/home-renovation-tips

©2012 Sara Kalke