Earlier this year my husband and I decided it was time to move. Living on the edge of the city in suburbia suited us just fine when our kids were babies and happy homebodies. Now, our little people have a busier calendar than we do and that’s making for a lot more driving than I bargained for, not to mention our own long commutes into the city. We’ve realized we could be saving a lot more time (read sleep in more) and money if we were more centrally located. And so it began…
Getting ready to sell.
Step one – clean up!
This sounded easy at first, tidy up and get ready to show. Turns out it’s not so simple. Our real estate agent, who came highly recommended by a good friend, brought in a home stager. I’m no Debbie Travis, but I do okay in the home décor area of things so this was a service I didn’t think I needed. I was wrong.
The stager didn’t redecorate my home, but instead made a few simple changes to placement of furniture and décor items that I wouldn’t have thought of, and it honestly made the house look much better. She also went through each room with us and made recommendations for tidying up and packing things away until we moved to make the house look more spacious.
I wasn’t thrilled about putting stuff away, after all I still intended on living in my home until it sold. However, this turned out to be a really good exercise for us. First of all it gave us the chance to go through all of the items in our home and update our home inventory list, making sure that we have the right insurance coverage for our contents in case we ever needed to make a claim. If you haven’t already done so, you can download a handy template in my post about home inventory here.
Second, we learned something about all of our “stuff”. Our house has been on the market for a few months now, and those things we packed away? We don’t really miss them all that much. Life just got a lot simpler; our move will now include a stop at Goodwill when the day comes.
Step two – get handy
Our home isn’t that old but it does have some wear and tear; my family is anything but delicate and needless to say we’ve put the homebuilders craftsmanship to the test. Over the years things have started to deteriorate, locks get sticky, doors creak, walls are dented and then there is the special footing you have to have to open the back gate with ease (I call this a security feature). We always start with good intentions to fix things up and then we get busy or lazy and just don’t seem to notice them anymore.
A potential homebuyer will notice. The little things add up and a few creaky doors and a dripping faucet could signal to a buyer that your home has not been well maintained. This could drive down any potential offers or deter them altogether. A fresh coat of paint in a neutral colour and a few quick fixes around the house will make a world of difference to a discerning homebuyer.
Step three – call the professionals
While most repairs in our home were within even our limited scope of handiness, there were a few things that our real estate agent recommended we do that required a little extra effort.
- Professional carpet cleaning
- Furnace cleaning and water heater inspection
A prospective buyer will likely get a home inspection before agreeing to buy your property, so making sure the bigger ticket items have been well looked after can ensure a smoother sales process and hopefully keep a few more dollars in your pocket when it comes to negotiations.
Our thumbs aren’t totally black, we managed to maintain the landscaping ourselves but we did start with a professional landscaper who had all the right tools to get us off to a good start; cleaning out garden patches and trimming trees and bushes. It was well worth the cost.
Liability coverage – don’t make a move without it.
Lastly, check with your insurance advisor to make sure your policy has you appropriately covered. There will be many a stranger traipsing in and out of your home and one missed step or a slip on an icy sidewalk could spell big trouble if you don’t have adequate liability coverage.
Want to know more? Review these sources and resources.
Have More Questions?
Let me know and I’ll do my best to address it here for you and all of our readers. Better yet, contact an InsureMy advisor; these guys know their stuff. Email Info@InsureMy.ca or give them a call locally at (403) 410-1896 or toll free at 1-844-410-1896.
Everyday Insurance With Allie
Working mom, lover of the great outdoors and self-professed know-it-all. Our resident blogger, Allie isn’t the insurance guru she claims to be – but she’s learning and we are happy to help guide her. All the while keeping you in the loop on the “insurancey” stuff you need to know. #AskAllie