Deb & Perry Abbey : Home - home staging, staging your home to sell

By: Abbey Partners  09-12-2011
Keywords: Real Estate, Garage Sale

Buyers are searching for a "home"-a place where they'll feel comfortable, safe, and happy. As a seller, your goal is to make the buyer feel those things when they look at your home. Try to think of your home as a marketable commodity. It will change the way you approach selling it.

Within seconds of seeing your home, buyers form an impression that will stay with them through the rest of the showing and after. Their first impression will influence whether they'll make an offer, and how much they offer.

When houses or condos have emotional appeal, they usually sell quickly- and for more money. There are many excellent staging design professionals in Vancouver. If you go down that path, look online or visit a few condos and houses that have been staged. Most real estate agents will pass on the contact information. If you can't incur that expense, here are a few tips to get started.

Begin with the entrance. This is the buyer's first close-up impression. Make sure it's clean and looks well maintained. Keep only flowerpots full of colourful blooms or greenery there. A plain doormat will give potential buyers somewhere to put their shoes while they look at your home.

Over the years, your house or condo has inevitably become a reflection of your life, full of the things that have made it a special place. At this point, though, you want buyers to see it as their own unique space. When a potential buyer walks into a room and sees your Hawaii photos and lawn-bowling trophies, they have a hard time picturing it with their things.

The first step is to remove all family photos, souvenirs and other personal items.

The next step is to purge your home of junk that's accumulated over the years. This is the hardest part for most people, as we all get attached to our things. If you don't think you've got a lot of clutter, ask a brutally honest friend or neighbour to help point out areas that need to be de-cluttered.

Step back and look at your home as a buyer would. Check out shelves, countertops, drawers, closets and storage areas and decide what has to go. I usually get rid of things I haven't used in five years, and pack up what I haven't used in the past year.

The kitchen is an ideal place to begin as it's easy to spot and eliminate clutter. Remove everything from the counters, even the toaster (store it in a cupboard and bring it out when you want to use it). A fancy espresso machine might be the exception. Knickknacks have to go.

Clean out all cabinets and drawers. If you have a junk drawer, empty it. Get rid of the food items in the pantry that you don't use. Remove any extra cleaning supplies from underneath the sink.

Bathrooms matter-a lot. Scour them and put everything away. Leave a spot in your sink cabinet or a drawer where you can tuck away your toothbrush and other personal hygiene items when there's a showing. Also put away your shampoo, soap and other items prior to showings. The sink, taps and tub should be sparkling clean.

Getting rid of things is tough-especially shoes. Be ruthless. Have a garage sale or donate items. Stay tuned. There's more to be done before you put out the "For Sale" sign.

Getting rid of things is tough. Especially shoes! Be ruthless. Have a garage sale or donate items. Stay tuned. There's more to be done before you put out the "For Sale" sign.


If you read my interview with Dr. Stuart Kreisman about smoke-free housing, check out his article in the BC Medical Journal. Go to

Keywords: Garage Sale, Real Estate

Other products and services from Abbey Partners


Deb & Perry Abbey : Home - building envelope reports

In order to protect yourself and your investment, conventional wisdom recommends that before you buy a condo, you read the Form B Information Certificate, the Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement and the last two years of minutes from Strata Council Meetings and AGM’s.


Deb & Perry Abbey : Home - year mortgage rates

While lenders aren’t jumping to lower rates, Rob Regan-Pollock at Invis, a Vancouver mortgage brokerage firm, predicts that rates could come down to 3 to 3.25 per cent on five-year fixed terms. Largely spurred on by U.S. economic news and European debt concerns, Government of Canada Bonds are becoming very popular and that means that bond prices are rising and yields are dropping.


Deb & Perry Abbey : Home - leaky condos, vancouver real estate, special assessments, rain screened, contingency reserve funds

If the flashings and caulking on roofs, windows, decks and so on have not been maintained, water ingress and the ensuing mould and rot may still be a problem, so make sure that you have your home inspector look carefully at the condition of the common property. These buildings are at least 25 years old and even if they've been well maintained, there may be worn-out roofs, window systems, water piping and boilers that have to be replaced.


Deb & Perry Abbey : Home - downsizing baby boomers, downsizing, retirement, real estate, condos

People considering downsizing in many other parts of North America have the added challenge of having to sell their home for a fraction of what it was worth a few years ago. Needless to say, we did a lot more sorting, invited our friends back for seconds, and made another dozen trips to the Sally Ann before we finally got settled.