Stephanie Peat DFH Real Estate - Sidney

Office 250-656-0131 | EMAIL info@stephaniepeat.ca |


Like most homeowners, you probably don’t think of your property as just a building with rooms and a backyard. To you, it’s much more than that. It’s a home.


When you walk into your dining room, for example, you don’t merely see the table and chairs. You see memories. You recall laughter with family and friends. It’s emotional.


That’s what a home is all about.


However, buyers don’t want to buy your “home”. What they really want to buy is a property that has the potential to become THEIR home.


While you see memories of family dinners, they see room dimensions and what the dining room may look like with their furniture in it.


That’s why, when you’re selling your property, you need to keep emotions at bay as much as possible.


In fact, the best mindset is to think of your property as a product. The more attractively you present that product to prospective buyers, the more likely you are to get good offers.


That’s why cleaning, depersonalizing, and staging are so important.


It’s also why setting a price that aligns with your home’s current market value is important. You may have put your heart and soul — and many weekends — into landscaping the backyard to make it a summer oasis. It may, in fact, be a strong selling point of your property. But that improvement will only add to the selling price an amount that the market, not your emotions, dictates.


So keep emotions out of the selling process as much as possible. Save that energy for turning your next property into your dream home.


Want more tips on selling your property for the best price possible? Call today.

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Where do buyers form the most lasting impression of a home for sale that they visit? On the main floor!


When buyers view a property, they often spend a lot of time on the main floor, thinking and imagining. They visualize cooking in the kitchen, having family dinners in the dining room, and entertaining guests in the living room. They even mentally calculate how their furniture will fit!


So, making the main floor look great to buyers is crucial when selling your property. How do you do that?


An effective technique is to walk your main floor the way a buyer would. Start at your front entrance. Stand there for a moment and look around. Get a sense of the impression a buyer is likely to get from that perspective.


Next, walk to the kitchen area, because that’s where buyers often venture next. Again, linger a while and look around. Does the kitchen look clean and seem as spacious as possible (given its size)?


Finally, check out the other rooms on the main floor, including the washroom, if there is one. Gauge how you feel and the impression you form as you visit these spaces.


Once you’ve done that mock tour, write down ideas that jumped out at you for improvements. Those may include uncluttering some areas, rearranging the furniture, adding or taking away items, etc.


This is a simple but powerful technique for improving how your main floor looks to buyers.


Call today for more staging ideas that will make your home sell faster and for a good price.

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Staging is all about dressing up your home so that it looks its best to buyers. This can involve anything from rearranging furniture and doing some home improvements, to painting and redecorating, to even replacing existing furnishings and other items. The goal is to make key rooms look worthy of a magazine cover!


But is it worth the effort? Can’t you just clean and tidy and, perhaps, do a little painting?


Sometimes you can — especially if your home is in high demand and likely to get multiple offers.


However, in most cases, staging can help sell your property faster and for a higher price.


In fact, studies done by the home staging industry consistently reveal that staged homes sell for an average of 5-23% above list price. (That varies, of course, depending on the local market.)


Keep in mind that you don’t necessarily need to do extensive staging. You may, for example, be able to focus on only key rooms on the main floor — where buyers tend to form their lasting impressions — and then simply clean and declutter the other rooms.


When it comes to staging, you have many options. Each home is different and will have different staging needs.


Want to find out how staging may impact the sale of your property? Call today.

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When you think about selling your property, do you dwell on the possible work and stress involved? You're not alone. Many homeowners share the same concerns. But it doesn't have to be that way.


In fact, there are plenty of ways to add some fun, anticipation, and even a sense of adventure to the selling process. Here are just a few ideas:

  • Plan fun things to do when your home is being shown. That can include walks, sports activities, or trying something you and your family have never done before.
  • Declutter for your own benefit. Instead of thinking about decluttering as a chore required for the sale, focus instead on how much more comfortable your home will be after decluttering. Studies consistently show that less clutter reduces stress and increases a sense of wellbeing.
  • Get everyone in your home anticipating the move in a positive way. Put pictures of your next home, including neighbourhood shots, on the fridge door. Sit together on the computer and explore your new neighbourhood's features and amenities.
  • Celebrate milestones in the selling process. For example, when you're finished preparing your property for sale, go out to celebrate. Make a checklist of milestones and how you'll celebrate each one.
  • Get the help you need. A big part of the stress of selling is the anticipated work involved. Remember, you don't have to do it all yourself. Much of what needs to be done can be handled by contractors and other professionals.

There are many other ways to make selling your home a positive and turbulent free experience. Give me a call if you'd like more ideas and suggestions.

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Your front walkway is one of the first sections of real estate a buyer will set foot on when coming to see your home. So, it makes sense to make that pathway to your front door as appealing as possible.


The obvious way is to make it as clean and clear as you can. Ensure there are no obstacles in the way, such as overhanging branches, kid's toys, or potted plants. What you want is a clear, unobstructed and pleasant walk to your main entranceway.


If your walkway needs deeper cleaning, consider a power wash. There are special detergents available that are designed specifically for stone, asphalt or cement walkways and other outdoor surfaces.


A deep cleaning isn't a major project. In most cases, the job can be done within an hour. Yet, the result can be stunning.


If you're selling in the spring or summer, another way to make your walkway look better is to add flowers or other plants along the sides. Don't overdo it. You only need a few flowers or a couple of shrubs to make a big difference.


The great thing about adding a few flowers or shrubs is the impact they can have on your entire frontage making it more attractive, and adding to your home's overall curb appeal.


Making your walkway look better may seem minor, but keep in mind that when buyers make their way to your front door, they're forming their first and often most important impression of your property. The walkway plays a small but important role in making it a good one.


Want more ideas for making your home show better, so it sells quicker and for a higher price? Call me.

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If you’re going to be out-of-town but need to sell you home, you might be concerned about listing your property while you’re away. After all, you won’t be around to show your property, schedule viewings, consider offers, etc.


While it’s ideal that you be close to home when you’re selling, there’s no reason why you can’t list your property, even if you’re going to be out-of-town.


When it comes to communications and document sharing, technology is a wonderful thing! While you’re away, you can utilize phone, email, file sharing apps (such as Dropbox), e-signing apps (such as DocuSign) and, online meeting apps (such as Zoom).


For viewing appointments, a secure lock box (with your key inside) can be installed so buyers can be shown your property.


Even services such as staging, painting, repair work, and cleaning can be done while you’re away.


Sure, the selling process can become a little more challenging if you’re going to be out-of-town, but certainly not impossible. In fact, homes are sold all the time under these circumstances.


So, if you’re thinking of selling but worried about being away, give me a call. I’ll show you how to make it work.

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If you’re thinking about selling in the spring, don’t wait until the new year to start planning. In fact, you’ll save yourself a lot of work and get ahead of the game if you start planning now.


What’s that old saying? The early bird gets the worm! In this case, by starting the process this month, you’ll be in excellent shape when you’re ready to list in the spring.


Here are just a few examples of what you can do in December to get the process started:


• Walk your property and note any maintenance issues that need attention.


• Decide which items to stow or sell to declutter your home.


• Determine what improvements you’ll need to make in order for your home to look great to buyers (i.e. painting.)


• Find out approximately how much your property will likely sell for in the spring market.


• Clarify the kind of new home you’d like to move into, including ideal neighbourhoods.


• Look into your financing options, so you’ll know the price range you’ll be shopping within.


• Connect with any professionals you may need, such as contractors, a mover, and a real estate lawyer.


• Take advantage of any December shopping deals for products you may need, such as home improvement project materials, packing supplies, etc.


As you can see, the more prepared you are this month, the more stress-free and successful the home selling process will be for you in the spring.


And one more tip: contact me to get the conversation started about selling your home in the new year. It’s coming fast!

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If you need to sell your home in the next month or two, you might be worried. After all, aren’t spring and summer the ideal seasons to list your property? If you list in November or December, you might have difficulties attracting buyers and getting the best price for your home. Right?


Not necessarily.


While it’s true that spring and summer are traditionally busy periods in the realestate market, properties do sell every month of the year.


So, if you’re thinking of selling, you’ll need to know two things:


• What comparable homes are selling for at this time of year.

• How long homes are taking to sell, on average.


There might be a local seller’s market this month. That would mean there are more buyers looking for homes like yours than there are sellers. If that’s the case, your property will likely sell fairly quickly; perhaps you’ll even get multiple offers.


But, even if there’s a buyer’s market at this moment, that doesn’t mean your property won’t sell. It just means your home will need to be staged and marketed effectively to attract the right buyers and pique their interest in making an offer.


Regardless of the market, chances are, there are buyers out there looking for a home like yours. They just need to find out about it, become interested in viewing it, and be wowed when they see it.


So, don’t be too concerned about the month. If you’re ready to sell, there’s a way to make it happen.


Call me for more details.

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When you’re selling your home, you want it to look its best. You want buyers who view it to say, “Wow, I love this place!” However, what if you have a stubborn stain in the carpet, or a cracked floor tile? An unsightly issue like that can be distracting in your otherwise beautiful property.


You have a few options.


First, try to get the issue fixed. There are specialty cleaners on the market designed to lift even the most stubborn carpet stains. The same goes for hardwood and tile. A flooring contractor might be able to

find a matching piece and then replace the damaged section. Contractors also know other tricks-of-the-trade to repair damaged flooring or, at least, minimize the damage. For example, there are fillers and stains available that can make a crack or chip in a hardwood plank look almost invisible.


Home staging can also make damaged flooring less of a focal point in the room. An effective arrangement of furniture, area rugs, and other items puts more of the focus on the overall decor and less on that carpet stain.


In addition, making other more affordable improvements, such as painting, can have a compensatory effect. A buyer may notice the chipped hardwood, but will also notice the walls, which look like new.

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There are many reasons why you might suddenly need to sell your home. It could be an unexpected work relocation, a change in family circumstances, or simply a desire to move.


Whatever the reason, selling quickly requires some fast action on your part. But that doesn't mean you need to get into panic mode. You can list and sell your property, quickly while still enjoying the process!


The first thing you need to do is figure out how to make your home show its best. In addition to cleaning and decluttering, that might include getting any needed repairs done, sprucing up the place by painting and perhaps even doing some minor improvements.


How much you need to "stage" your property depends on many factors, including what conditions are like in the local real estate market. For example, you may not need to make each room look like a page from a decorating magazine if you’re in a seller’s market.


So, before you start any work, talk to me about what needs to be done to make your home ready to be seen by buyers.


The next thing you’ll need to consider is the list price. Your list price is especially important if you want to sell soon. No, you don't need to low-ball your listing to attract interested buyers — in fact, doing that might actually have the opposite effect. But you do need to price your property competitively.


In addition, it's smart to line up the resources you'll need, especially if you're also buying a new home. For example: get recommendations for a real estate lawyer, contractor, mortgage advisor, cleaning service, pet daycare, etc.


I’m well-connected in the local home industry, so I can recommend you to reputable professionals I know and trust.


A final tip: If you want to sell quickly, you need to start the process now. Give me a call to get the ball rolling.

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As you may know, curb appeal refers to how your property looks from the street, where potential buyers first see it. Your home’s curb appeal can have a big impact on the sale of your property. In fact, it's not uncommon for a buyer to drive by a listing, rather than stop, because they don't like what they see.


So, how can you improve your home's curb appeal quickly? One way is to do some outside cleaning.


Start with the main entryway. Wash down the front door and sweep (or power wash) the front steps. It only takes a few minutes but you'd be surprised by the impact it can have. Sweep or power wash your walkway too and you’ll improve the overall look of your home — sometimes dramatically.


Clean your front windows to brighten the look of your home’s facade. It doesn't have to be an arduous chore. In fact, there are washing products available that attach to your garden hose. You don't even need a ladder! Ask your local home improvement retailer for recommendations.


If you have hedges and scrubs, give them a trim. To keep your trimming level, use a wide board, or even a piece of cardboard, then cut to the desired height. Pull off any dead leaves or branches. Of course, also mow the lawn!


Finally, inspect your property from the street. Can you see anything else you can do to quickly improve the look? Do you notice anything that is unsightly or distracting, such as garbage bins that could be relocated?


One final tip: When a viewing is scheduled, remove your vehicles from the driveway. Buyers like to see an empty driveway because it helps them imagine themselves living there. It also gives them a convenient place to park!

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If you're thinking of listing your property, one thing that might be holding you back is concern about preparing your home for sale. You may be wondering how much work there will be. Is it going to take a couple of months? A couple of weeks? A few days?


That, of course, depends on the state of your property.


However, regardless of how close your home is to “show time” ready, there is plenty you can do to reduce how long that preparation takes. Consider these ideas:


• Sell stuff online. The less cluttered your home seems to buyers, the better it will show. So, make a list of items you want to sell, and then list them on one of the many local online market websites. Price items fairly and, chances are, you'll get rid of everything in a day or two.


• Have a repair day. Go through your home and make a list of everything that needs to be fixed. Then, schedule repair people to all come on the same day. Voila! In one day, all needed repairs (or, at least, most of them) are done.


• Get staging advice. Instead of guessing at what changes you need to make around your home to make it look its best, get expert staging advice. You’ll find out exactly what the experts suggest you do, and you'll save a lot of time and money. (By the way, I can provide you with that advice too.)


• Ask before making big improvements. Are you planning to convert a wood burning fireplace into a gas unit to help sell your home? Before doing any big improvements or renovations like that, talk to me. You don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on an unnecessary project.


• Hire help. You don't have to do everything on your own. Get the help you need. For example, hire a painter, a cleaner, and/or a junk removal service. Those will significantly shorten the time it takes to prepare your home for sale and save you a lot of work. Also, the costs of those professionals may

be off-set by the increase in the sale price of your home.


Bottomline: Preparing your home doesn't need to be overwhelming and time consuming. Contact me for more ideas to help get your home ready for sale, quickly.

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Let's face it. Planning events, even exciting ones like an overseas vacation, be stressful. So, it's not surprising that some homeowners — even those thrilled about moving — can slip into "worry mode" when putting their property up for sale.


Unfortunately, this anxiety can make the process of selling an unpleasant experience. Who wants that? So here are some things you can do to reduce selling stress and enjoy the adventure.


• Understand the selling process. The more you know about the steps involved in selling your home, the less mysterious — and, therefore, less stressful — it will be.


• Give yourself the time you need. Feeling rushed and stressed comes from trying to do too much in too little time. Even if you're selling quickly, it's important to block off sufficient time in your calendar for the things you need to do.


• Take care of yourself. As television psychologist Dr. Phil often points out, you can't give what you don't have. When it comes to selling your home, that means you need to eat well and stay healthy, so you have the energy you need throughout the process.


• Make your home attractive to buyers. That not only means tidying up and doing a little home staging, it also means setting the right listing price. Nothing eliminates the stress of selling more than having flocks of qualified buyers interested in your home.


• Get the help you need. You don't have to do everything on your own. That's why working with me is so advantageous. I take care of the many details for my clients so that they can enjoy the journey.


Sure, there are going to be a few stressful moments. However, the process of listing and selling your property, while looking for your next dream home, can be an exciting experience.


Let me help you. Call today.

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When buyers come to see your home, the first thing they notice is how your property looks from the curb. That first impression is powerful and lingering. If buyers don't like what they see, it can influence how they judge the rest of your property, regardless of how great it looks on the inside. You definitely want to do whatever you can to boost curb appeal. Here are six affordable ideas to consider:


1. Driveway sealing. This makes the pavement look darker and less faded. It also helps cover up some of the cracks. Sealing won't give you the "brand new" look of repaving, but it's close — and significantly less expensive.


2. Exterior window washing. Washing the front windows makes them look clean and bright. In fact, the effect can be stunning. There are window washing products that connect to your hose to make this job easier. Check your home improvement retailer.


3. Maintaining shrubs, hedges and flower beds. Trimming the hedges, shrubs and other evergreens can make a big difference in how your property looks from the street. It's like giving them all a haircut! Flowering plants can also brighten up the look.


4. Front door painting. From the curb, a buyer's eye is naturally drawn to your front door. If your entry system looks old and worn, consider a fresh coat of paint. It can make the entrance look almost new.


5. Garage door painting. This is a bigger project that can take a day or two, but the effort might be worth it. For many homes, the garage door is the biggest item in the curb appeal panorama. Making it look better will have a big impact.


6. Removing unsightly items. Look at your home from the street. Are there items in your field of vision that take away from the curb appeal? For example, are there garbage cans and other items stowed along the side of the property and visible from the road? If so, move them.


If you're selling your home, making the best first impression is crucial. You don't want buyers to drive by simply because they don't like what they see from the outside. Use these tips to boost your home's curb appeal.

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If you have a home that is overdue for a renovation, you might be worried that it will be difficult to sell as a "fixer-upper". In fact, you might delay listing your property for that reason.


The good news is, you don’t need to fix up everything in your home to prepare it for sale. You can be selective and choose only those projects that are most likely to help your home show well and sell quickly.


Here are some projects to consider:


• Repairs. Few things stand out more during a viewing than something in obvious need of repair. That includes minor issues, like a dripping bathroom faucet, as well as major concerns, such as the central air

conditioning unit not working. Get these repairs done.


• Painting. Painting is one of the easiest and most affordable DIY projects you can do. Yet the impact it can have on your home is stunning. Some rooms are completely transformed by a fresh coat of paint.


• Kitchens & Bathrooms. Buyers love to see great looking kitchens and bathrooms. In fact, there are even magazines devoted just to those rooms! You don't necessarily need to do a major renovation of these spaces, but a makeover can be a good idea. Consider replacing sinks, countertops, and/or cabinet hardware.


• Floors. If the floors in any of your rooms have become worn and unsightly, look at options for refreshing them. Consider replacing carpeting, refinishing hardwood, and/or getting tiles professionally cleaned and polished.


• Outdoors. Sometimes you can compensate (a little) for a less-than-ideal interior by sprucing up the outdoor space. Explore ways to improve your deck or patio, walkways, and landscaping. Even if your home is older, you can make it more attractive to buyers with any one of these projects.


Want more ideas for finding eager buyers for your home? Call today.

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You've heard of the term "curb appeal". It refers to the initial impression buyers get when they first see your property from the street. If the impression is a good one, it sets the right tone for the rest of the home viewing.


How do you boost curb appeal? Here are some proven ideas that you can get done in an hour or so:


• Wash both the inside and outside of the front windows. You'll be amazed at the difference that can make.
• Sweep the walkway leading up to the front entrance. Add a new welcome mat. Also, wash down the front door.
• If possible, remove cars from the driveway. Let buyers imagine their own cars parked there!
• Mow the lawn. Lightly trim the hedges. Weed flower beds.
• Remove anything from inside window sills that may look unsightly from the outside. Try putting a couple of flowering plants there instead.
• Place any trash bins out-of-sight. For example, put them in the garage or neatly at the side of the house.
• If the entrance door hardware is old and worn, change it. New hardware can make a bigger difference than you might think.
• Make sure the outdoor lights are working, especially if you're showing your home in the evening.
• Add some flowering plants to flower beds, or buy a couple of portable potted plants and place them strategically.
• Clean your mailbox. If it’s rusted, replace it.
• If you have a power washer, give the walkway and driveway a quick blast. Just be sure it will be dry before the buyers arrive.


These one-hour improvements may seem minor, but anything that helps buyers form a more positive first impression of your home is worth the effort.

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When you sell, you’ll probably want to get the best possible price for your property. Who wouldn’t? Unfortunately, there are many ways to inadvertently leave money on the table – sometimes thousands of dollars.


How do you avoid that possibility? Just remember the 4 Ps:


Prep. Do everything you can to prepare your home so that it looks great to buyers. Clean, declutter, fix, make improvements. Home staging can also help. In fact, effectively staged homes have been shown to sell for up to 5% more than comparable unstaged properties.


• Price. Set the right asking price. That’s crucial. If it's too low, you'll attract only deal-hunters — and you might end up getting less than you should. If the asking price is too high, however, you'll discourage those buyers who might otherwise be interested and willing to make a good offer. Be careful with pricing!


• Promotion. There may be qualified buyers out there who would be eager to see your property. But, they need to find out about your listing and the great features of your home first! Reaching these buyers requires more than merely profiling the listing on the MLS. Homes that sell for top dollar often have strong marketing — directed to the right buyers.


Proposal. Once an offer comes in, there may be an opportunity to negotiate with the buyer to maximize the final price you get. This requires deep knowledge of the local market as well as street-smart negotiation skills. If done effectively, these negotiations can help put more money in your pocket.


These four Ps are easy to remember, but sometimes not so easy to implement! That's why working with a great real estate agent is so important.


Contact me to get the conversation started.

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It can be tough to make the decision to sell. In fact, for many homeowners, it's overwhelming. If you're considering making a move and struggling with the decision, here are five helpful questions to ask yourselves:


1. "What are our practical reasons for selling?"

This question refers to what you'll get by moving to a new home. The reasons could include a bigger backyard, shorter commute to work, an extra bedroom, a more desirable neighbourhood, etc.


2. "What are our emotional reasons for selling?"
This question refers to how you'll feel about living in a new home. For example, you might feel safer, less cramped, less worried (because the local schools are better), or happier (because the shorter commute means more time with your family.)


3. "What type of new home can we afford?"
This question involves finding out how much you'll likely get when you sell your existing home and how much of a mortgage you qualify to receive. With that information, you'll have a price range within which you can comfortably shop plus a clear idea of what your mortgage payments will be.


4. "In what ways will our lifestyle be better in a new home?"
This ties in closely with emotional reasons for selling. It relates to what your life will be like in a new home. Try to paint a picture in your mind. For example, you might want to be able to spend Saturday afternoons relaxing in your bigger backyard or Sunday nights entertaining friends and family in your larger living room.


5. "What else do we need to know before we decide to sell and move?"
Sometimes people are hesitant about selling simply because they have unanswered questions.So, if there's any part of the selling and buying process that’s not clear, be sure to ask me.


Did thinking about these questions help make the decision easier? If you need more help or want to talk about your decision, call today!

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Ideally, you would like buyers to wait until they’ve viewed your whole property before they judge it. However, the reality is, buyers start forming an impression of your home as soon as they see it from the curb. So, it pays to do everything you can to improve your property's "curb appeal".


Here are some ideas:


-   You can improve the impact of your landscaping by trimming hedges, removing any unsightly weeds, and cutting the grass. Planting just a few fresh flowers can make a big impact.


-   If your main entrance door is old, a fresh coat of paint will make it
look like new. In some cases, the effect is significant.


-   Remove any items that might distract the buyer from forming a good
first impression. For example, garbage cans, stored items along the
side of the property, etc.


-    Make sure the curtains and blinds on your front windows are open
during viewings. That will make your home look more friendly and
appealing.


-   If your driveway has grease stains and other blemishes, consider
renting a power washer and giving the driveway a thorough cleaning.


-   Clean your front windows. If possible, also clean the exterior panes.


-   Finally, if possible, park your vehicles on the street and away from your home. Doing this will not only make your home look more inviting to buyers, it will give them a convenient place to park.


Most of these tips can be done in less than a day. Yet, they can make a big difference in your home's curb appeal. They are worth the effort!

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You've probably heard the expression, "The early-bird gets the worm." It refers, of course, to those who get in early and reap the rewards. For example, if you arrive early to a retail store for a big blowout sale, you're likely to get the deals before the inventory runs out. The stragglers who come later miss out.


Well, this same wisdom can be applied to selling your home. Starting the process early — even if that means simply doing some initial planning — gives you the edge in several ways.


First of all, you get extra time for preparation. That means you can get your home cleaned, uncluttered and staged without feeling rushed. You also get more time to find out how much your property will likely sell for on today's market. That's important information, especially if you're also looking to finance a new home.


Secondly, there's less stress. You'll have more time to make the right decisions. The last thing you want is to be scrambling around, last minute, trying to get your home ready for sale.


Finally, with your initial preparations done, you'll be able to put your home on the market at a moment's notice. That's a huge advantage that's likely to lead to selling your property more quickly and for the best price. In fact, by getting an early start on the process, you might even find that right now is the best time to list -- and you'll be able to do so, with confidence.



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MLS® property information is provided under copyright© by the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board and Victoria Real Estate Board. The information is from sources deemed reliable, but should not be relied upon without independent verification.