How to sell a home you’ve lived in for decades – Part 1

Most buyers want a move-in ready home. Gleaming hardwood floors, lots of storage space,  and fresh, neutral paint jobs, combined with curb appeal, make a hot commodity. Add skilled home staging, and a knowledgeable listing agent, and these elements will help you sell your home faster and for more money. You already have some great assets in your favour: a well-established neighborhood and mature trees.

IMG_0192People who have owned a home for decades can’t quite believe the value of  property these days. Despite a slight downturn in home market values last year, prices are moving back up, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association. Homes in Ottawa that went for $10,000 in the late 1950’s can easily be priced in the $350,000+ range. If you maintained your home carefully over the years, and depending on the size and location of your home, you could be looking in the $400,000+ range. If you’ve upgraded your kitchen and bathrooms in the last 5 years, even likelier.

I suspect that people in their “Golden years” feel that making a huge profit on their home is a bit greedy. It’s so extraordinary to imagine listing a place for hundreds of thousands of dollars, that they brush away suggestions to call in a home stager. “I’m not going to spend money on new kitchen cabinets.  They can pay me less and choose what they like when they own the house”.  Does that sound familiar? True, I would not recommend new kitchen cabinets to anyone when selling. Too  many variables at play, and no homeowner should spend their money if they won’t recover their investment. It’s not a waste of money, however, to look at painting or re-facing kitchen cabinets. They look fresher and more appealing, allowing a potential home buyer to say “I can live with this kitchen for a year, and consider a reno later.” If you paint dark cabinets white, the kitchen looks much larger, too. You may not get a lot more money for making this investment, but you will probably sell your home faster. You’re removing obstacles for a potential home buyer. Without the expense of new cabinets or the mess of demolition, you have put your property on their ‘possible‘ list.

It’s not about being greedy or having unrealistic expectations. If you are downsizing or moving into a retirement community, or are responsible for moving a loved one into a residence, it’s a good idea to think about getting the best price for the property. Given the cost of retirement communities, every thousand dollars will be helpful.

Contact me to talk about getting a good return on your investment. You may have lots of questions, but I have lots of answers!

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