The newspapers and blogs have run out of ways to describe the unprecedented run up in house prices in Toronto and the GTA. Home sales have been ‘soaring’, ‘rocketing’ and ‘red hot’ for some time now.
And the story is even better outside of the major centres in the GTA. In March, 2017, the hottest GTA real estate markets were in King, Whitchurch-Stoufville and Georgina.
To give you an idea of the incredible numbers coming out of these markets, East Gwillimbury recorded the GTA’s highest increase in average home prices, for all types of housing, between March 2016 and March, 2017. On average, if you own a home in East Gwillimbury, it increased in value by 64.8% in the year ended in March, 2017.
If you want to sell your house, especially if you’ve owned it for a long time, you can easily get many times more for it now than what you paid for it originally.
But home sellers shouldn’t let that fact make them take a ‘laissez faire’ attitude towards preparing their home before selling it. You’ll be leaving a lot of money on the table if you feel that you’re going to make so much money anyway, you don’t need to worry about fixing it up, or staging it, or even doing much more than a clean-up.
In fact, the opposite is true. If prices spiked so high in East Gwillimbury, and elsewhere, people must really want to move to those places. That means anything you can do to increase your home’s curb appeal can pay off in higher demand from all those buyers. And when demand goes up, so does the price of your home.
In a high-flying market, the higher prices can mean that simple improvements to curb appeal can produce huge returns. In fact, it can generate enough extra interest that it makes sense to do everything you can to make your home as enticing as possible to potential buyers.
While painting your home inside and out is a great way to ‘freshen it up’, that’s all it really does. But if you want to make your home look tidier, your rooms look bigger and make the whole house more appealing to more buyers, nothing gives you as much bang for your buck as a good decluttering.
Think about it. Even if you have a large home, you’ve probably still had times where you wished you had more space. The fact is everyone is looking for spacious homes and if yours looks more spacious, it will be more appealing.
Here’s just a few ways for you to declutter and make every room in the house feel cleaner and larger.
Over the years, you may have added a recliner to your living room, an armoire to the bedroom and a hutch in the breakfast nook. They’re great, but they may have the effect of making the room feel smaller. Minimize the amount of furniture you have in every room. And before you paint, get rid of extra pictures on the walls.
Personal things, like vacation souvenirs or gifts, can clutter coffee tables and shelves. Buyers need to easily imagine themselves in the home and your personal items get in the way of that.
Closet space is a big selling feature. Again, even if you have large, walk-in closets, chances are that you’re using all the available space. Take out all your non-essential clothing and other items while you’re showing the house.
So, if you’re getting rid of furniture, pictures, personal items, clothing, etc., what are you going to do with all of it?
Some things you can resell, give to friends, donate to a charity or throw out. For those things you want to keep, you can put them into storage. In fact, by doing so, you’ll make your eventual move that much easier because you’ve given yourself a head start.