Celebrity designers Colin and Justin discuss real estate and renovations.
While Spring is often considered the optimal season for real estate, Fall, say Colin and Justin, is a contender too. With less competing inventory, now could be a great time to list.
Okay, okay: so Toronto boasts an almost universally hot market, but that doesn’t mean you can sit back and max out for minimal effort.
It’s that elusive margin, you see, between optimum sales price and achieved sales price, which really interests us. This in mind, we’ve assembled a hit list to get you moving. Literally.
It goes without saying that you should touch up paintwork – in this and any room. If you can see the problems, your buyers will too…
If your kitchen is dated, at least ensure it’s clean and dated. Viewers will make decisions about your home based on what they see here, so grab a cloth and go wild. Deep clean your fridge, freezer and oven: most folk are gonna peek inside. It’s human nature.
Remove eye line cluttering fridge magnets. We’re not saying ditch them forever; just stash ’em out of sight when buyers are near.
Kitchen berbers are harbingers of grease and ooze and should be discarded with vigor. Roll out the lino or polish floorboards for a buyer-friendly look.
DIY cupboard paint job? Try a foam roller and satin paint. But be realistic: if units are so bad buyers will almost certainly start from scratch, don’t bother: revert to our previous tip – simply clean to create a better impression.
Planning new appliances for your next house? Buy ahead of time to ‘dress’ your current kitchen. Their sparkle will help overall appeal, though you must make it clear they’re not included.
Soap scum, lime scale and mildew are turnoffs so, without further ado, get scrubbing.
Stash personal items like hemorrhoid creams or athlete foot powders behind closed doors. Would you buy into a bathroom that smacked of piles and toe rot?
Coordination speaks volumes. Towels and shower curtains can be tailored to match floor rugs, while jars of bath oil and sweet soaps will deliver fresh mood.
Viewings should never take place when washing is draped over radiators. Knickers and bras will distract buyers, who’ll spend more time looking at your smalls than eyeing your home’s potential.
Remove all traces of cigarettes and brimming ashtrays. Keep rooms properly aired rather than trying to disguise smoky smells with equally pungent artificial air fresheners.
Old-fashioned sofas and chairs can make space feel dated. Maybe now’s a good time to consider an Ikea run? New selections (just like kitchen appliances) can be taken to your next home.
Keep windows clean and free up ‘circulation’ or ‘passage’ around the room.
Weed wardrobes and lose clutter. Get rid of boxes and bags to better space.
Imagine your potential buyer as a one-night stand, lured back for a naughty tumble. Will worn, grubby sheets elicit romance? In the selling situation, your home should seduce, so bag new bedding and brush up on your seduction techniques.
Doors should open against walls so they don’t restrict sightlines when entering. Wield your screwdriver, if necessary, to change the location of hinges and make square footage appear larger. Every little helps, right?
A natural dumping ground for clutter: remove before viewings commence. You only get one chance to make a first impression…
Add a chair, space permitting, and a lamp, to make your hall feel like living space rather than simply a passage to other rooms.
Space for a console? Add lamps and a mirror to bounce light. Even a simple floating shelf, dressed with interesting accessories, will add presence.
Curb appeal: so important. Keep bins stored out of sight and ensure your approach is immaculate at all times.
Rake leaves, trim privet and keep windows, gates and doors clean and freshly painted.
Finally, brush your hair. Whilst filming ‘The Home Show’ in Britain – in a property our realtor dubbed ‘stubborn’ – we soon realised the problem wasn’t the house, but its owner. Beset with certain, ahem, ‘hygiene’ issues – and resembling one of The Beverly Hillbillies – he made interested parties swoon whilst showing them around.
Obviously you, dear readers, are way more fastidious than our tricky punter (and besides, here in Canada, realtors tend to do showings) but it’s a scenario worth contemplating. A little auspicious ‘theatricality’ could prove pivotal. So spark up that Dyson, reach for your smartest garb, cue the classical music and prepare for competitive offers. It’s all about setting the scene, n’est pas?
Now if only everything in life was that simple…
‘Colin & Justin’s Cabin Pressure’ Cottage Life. www.cabinpressure.tv
‘Game of Homes’ W Network www.wnetwork.com/shows/game-
Find the ‘Colin and Justin Home’ collection in stores across Canada and The USA.
For all other matters C&J related, visit www.colinandjustin.tv
Read our regular design and decor columns in The Toronto Sun, 24 Hours Toronto, 24 Hours Vancouver and The Huffington Post.