My most recent listing received an offer within 24 hours of being listed. With that followed another verbal offer & 2 others that didn’t have enough time to make it to paper.

WOW, right? That’s what I thought! Even though I knew it wasn’t just luck…

With two other units for sale in the building, one listed for 30+ days & another that had come out just before mine, what made my listing so special?

Staging & Marketing.

Not everyone has the ability to fully purge or vacate their property to stage a picture perfect un-lived in retreat, but there are budget-friendly changes you can make that will have an impact.

How do you know what changes will be most effective so your home will sell quick too? I’m here to tell you!

1. Hardware

Kitchens & bathrooms are the first target spots for pre-listing renovations. These can be exceptionally costly & not always necessary. If you have a yellow & green art deco bathroom in suburbia (not a trendy pocket in DT TO), then maybe a full out reno will have to be done… but for a space that is just a little “dated,” consider smaller repairs.

The night before we took photos at 812 Lansdowne Ave, I was running around to every major hardware store with one of the kitchen cabinet handles. I finally found the perfect handle, within our price point, that would cover any indentation caused by the existing handles & would elevate the kitchen giving it a modern flare.

Believe it or not, during the open house one of the neighbours (who had the same kitchen) asked whether my seller had put in a new kitchen. When I pointed out it was just the hardware that was different, he was amazed!

Don’t underestimate the power of new hardware.

Simple Selling Upgrades Blog - Lara Stasiw - Hardware
After (left) vs Before (right)

2. Paint

Fresh paint gives a fresh feel! It also allows you to market a property as MOVE IN READY. Buyers won’t be adding a painter to their move in budget!

Dark walls can work in the right space… to live. Dark walls do not EVER work when selling. They become a black hole in photos that is very hard to offset with brighter accent pieces. Walls are the largest part of a space & impossible to conceal.

You may have a cute polar bear wallpaper border in the kids room, or a statement wall in your living room that is red (But it has a white picture on it! You’ll tell me…)

Get rid of it. Paint it. Neutral is your best friend when selling to appeal to the largest pool of buyers. Fresh paint gives potential buyers fewer negotiating points when presenting an offer & will ALWAYS work in your favour in photos.

3. Lighting

Not all spaces get natural lighting. Frankly, most don’t. Then for those that do, often the ceiling height is low or other things like dark furniture or flooring still make the space look dull.

LEDs are your best friend. You don’t have to change the light-fixtures (although I recommend replacing builder-grade fixtures & am not against upgrading anything that isn’t visually appealing…) At minimum, make sure your light bulbs are as bright as possible giving the illusion of more space & masking that high rise building towering over you outside the window, blocking all your natural light.

Lighting makes a difference. I guarantee you.

Dimmers are just an added bonus!

Simple Selling Upgrades Blog - Lara Stasiw - Lighting

4. Appliances

Not all appliances are important. Upgrading your washer & dryer before selling isn’t going to make a difference to an interested buyer.

A FILTHY stove will though.

When potential buyers walk through a space, whether they know it or not, they are looking for a feeling. They need to connect to a space & imagine themselves living there. Places of consumption or cleanliness have to be in top shape! Dirty kitchens don’t allow someone to imagine themselves cooking & being happy. Buyers can’t imagine feeling clean in a bathroom that isn’t clean.

If there are any appliances you should be addressing, it is a filthy stove. Clean it, replace it…. as long as it presents well it doesn’t matter!

(Although adding BRAND NEW STOVE to your upgrades list does sound a lot better than JUST CLEANED STOVE)

5. Grout

Let’s jump back to what I said in #5.

“Places of consumption or cleanliness have to be in top shape! Dirty kitchens don’t allow someone to imagine themselves cooking & being happy. Buyers can’t imagine feeling clean in a bathroom that isn’t clean.”

Re-grout! It’s inexpensive & highly effective in both kitchens & bathrooms.

Plus then I can add my little post it beside the shower saying “BRAND NEW GROUT” so everyone knows they will be clean as a whistle.

6. Shower Curtains

Your kids may love dinosaurs or Frozen, but I guarantee your new potential buyers won’t be as excited about them.

To go along with your new grout… change your shower curtain to a clean neutral white to help visually maximize your bathroom & keep a zen colour scheme in photos. A dark shower curtain can make the whole bathroom look dark & small, even if everything else is a light colour.

& remove grimy linings (unless you are still using the shower – then just put a new one with no mold)!

Simple Selling Upgrades Blog - Lara Stasiw - Shower Curtains
Simple Selling Upgrades Blog - Lara Stasiw - Shower Curtains1
Details Matter... 🙂

7. Flooring

Floors can be a huge cost that you aren’t willing to front before listing your property for sale.

If there is one room with an exceptionally dirty carpet, trust me, it is in your best interest to have this changed. Not only are you able to up your advertising marketing the property with BRAND NEW UPGRADES; you are portrayed to potential buyers as clean homeowners who take care of their house. It gives new buyers peace of mind that their investment has been well maintained.

Simple Selling Upgrades Blog - Lara Stasiw - Flooring

8. Thermostat

Thermostat? What? Are you sure?

Is this just a ploy because your family has a Heating & Air Conditioning company? (It’s Sipco Heating & Air Conditioning Ltd, by the way – shameless plug).

I may be biased, but no, this is no ploy. And yes, I am sure.

Installing a simple Wifi Communicating thermostat is only a few hundred dollars. Especially in older homes, having simple upgrades like a Wifi thermostat shows you don’t let everything run to the ground before addressing it & that you are up on the latest technologies & upgrades.

If you have any other Smart Home features then a Wifi stat is a must.

Will it make or break a sale? Maybe not.
Will it help market your property? For sure.
Will it be one less negotiating point from potential buyers? Absolutely.

Simple Selling Upgrades Blog - Lara Stasiw - Thermostat

These are only a few of many improvements you can (& SHOULD) make before listing your home for sale. Part of my selling process is doing a walk-through with you a month or more before the listing period begins to help determine what items should be a top priority for your specific property.

If you have any questions let me know!

If you have any selling improvement tips you’d like to add, I’d love to hear about them in the comments below!

Lara Stasiw • Real Estate Agent & Home Design Connoisseur

Lara Stasiw West Toronto Real Estate Blog

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