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Use the winter months to get ready for the Spring market

Get the inside scoop on what Sellers should think about from Kyle Scali, REALTOR® with Century 21 Choice Realty Inc.

Any home is sellable “as is”—that’s the surprising revelation from local REALTOR® Kyle Scali.

Many of us have been conditioned to believe that we need to do a lot in order to get our homes ready for the market. While there are certainly a few things you can do to help increase your home’s appeal to buyers, they are much simpler than you might think.

The most important parts, according to Scali, are 1) readying your home for sale and 2) knowing your goals. More on that second part later.

“There’s a home for every part of the market and they’re always sellable exactly the way they are,” he says. “Of course, when it comes to optimizing the amount of money you realize, staging it to look like a magazine goes a long way.”

Scali’s two biggest recommendations involve painting and decluttering. “A fresh coat of paint and doing a good job of decluttering are your best friends when it comes to prepping your home,” says the agent.

He doesn’t think home staging is necessary in most cases, as it only makes things more complicated. “I’d sooner tell people to declutter and depersonalize vs. acquiring items for the home,” he explains.

Prepping your home

This is a great time of year to take advantage of the fact that we’re all spending so much more time indoors. Until the warmer weather hits, it’s prime time to keep your focus indoors. If you are planning to list your home this year, get a few key tasks checked off your list.

Homeowners tend to get caught up in bigger projects than they need to. While you could absolutely spend a lot of money to re-do your entire kitchen, you have to weigh out whether all of that additional work and stress is worth it. “If you really want to be taking that on, sure, but I do believe that every house is sellable as it sits right now. We just need to show it in a way that highlights its best features, without spending too much money on it.”

Don’t worry about trying to time the market just right either. Conditions have changed so much from year to year that the old assumptions about real estate no longer apply. A trained REALTOR® has the most up-to-date, firsthand knowledge of the market’s fluctuations and behaviours, so reaching out to one first is always your best course of action.

Says Scali, “Give me a call. I can help you out with the fine details. I’ll have a good look around and we’ll decide together what, if anything, should go and how to showcase your home’s strengths.”

Knowing your destination

“Starting to look for where to go next is a big part of the preparation and shouldn’t be put off to the last minute,” warns the REALTOR®. “Have a plan in mind of where you would like to end up. Build a plan and then execute it.”

It’s this second part of the equation that some don’t pay enough attention to. “Homeowners tend to focus on, ‘I’m going to get this house ready and I’m going to sell it’, and when that happens, some don’t have a place to go. It only adds unnecessary complications,” he says.

He has seen people caught off guard. They’re so focused on the goal of selling their home that once it becomes a reality, they are not prepared for what comes next. Sometimes there are delays on closings that you need to take into account; having a solid exit strategy can really help. For example, if you’re selling during the summer months, do you have a cottage you can stay at? If there’s a short closing, do you have a place to stay in the meantime?

It’s hard to generalize, of course, as everything is so situational and must be considered on a case-by-case basis. It all comes down to what stage of life are you in and what type of home you are looking for. “It’s more getting a grasp of what you’re actually looking for and would work for you. Once that’s established, it’s time to get rolling.”

Times have changed. Many people say they’re going to wait until Spring to list their homes because that’s when the busy season is. “Last year if you got on the market before Spring there was a lack of inventory, so that probably helped you. This year is the complete opposite: there is lots on the market and no lack of inventory,” he says. “That’s why it’s best to call me. We’ll talk about the market today and what your goals are.”

You can reach REALTOR® Kyle Scali of Century 21 Choice Realty Inc. at 705-297-5866. You can also follow him on Facebook.