The answer is - it depends. The best approach is determined based on the price point, market conditions and trends, uniqueness of the property, current competition, and more. We do a detailed analysis for each property in order to provide the right strategy for your home.
We believe in doing absolutely everything we can to expose your home to the greatest number of potential buyers. Open houses are an amazing opportunity to showcase your home, to directly interface with buyers, and to highlight the key selling features. When we do open houses, we are there for one reason - to sell your home. We understand the discomfort of having strangers and neighbours come through your property, but you would be amazed at how many properties we have sold to visitors from an open house.
Unfortunately, the ROI on staging is difficult to measure. We can’t sell your home with and without staging, and then compare the results. However, we do have very compelling case studies that have demonstrated the power of staging, and countless testimonials from clients that were 100% sold on the benefits after seeing their homes transformed (even the “non-believers” that needed a push). We firmly believe that putting your best foot forward ensures the best results. Simply put, when your house shows as well as it can, you maximize the value.
The Spring and Fall real estate markets are typically the strongest. The Spring market begins in February and runs to the end of May. Fall market runs from September to November. That being said, depending on your area, home and the market conditions, there may or may not be an optimal time. Homes that are priced right and in unique supply tend to do well all year long. Homes with unique features that will add value at a specific time of year would benefit from listing when those features can be highlighted (i.e. a ravine lot). There are few “rules of thumb” in our opinion when it comes to real estate. Each property is unique and deserves an individualized recommendation and plan which we always provide to our clients.
The biggest return we see is on painting. If your house looks a little weathered, nothing can spruce it up like a great paint job. Other things that go a long way, with minimal investment, are new carpeting, refacing cabinets, re-grouting, updating light fixtures and exterior clean-up. Making sure handy-man fixes are taken care of is pretty important too – you want buyers to feel that your home is well cared for and maintained. We do a detailed walk-through with clients when we list a property and make specific recommendations on updates we feel will have a strong return on investment.
This really depends on your tolerance for disruption, whether you have children, etc. Having your home on the market means regular showings, often at the most inconvenient times (evenings and weekends). It also means keeping the house in pristine condition at all times and likely living with some staged furniture. If you have 3 kids and a dog, this probably sounds like an impossible task. We have found that most clients prefer moving out for a week or so, but of course, it’s always up to you!