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Getting to "Yes"

by - Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Now that I’ve sold my condo, many people are amazed at the speed and ease in which it all happened. Even in a hot market (April 2007 had the highest number of sales ever on record, according to the Toronto Real Estate Board), selling a condo in seven hours is still pretttty fast. So what was the kicker? How did my place catch the eye of buyers and stand out from all the rest?

Here’s what I think did it:

  • A picture is worth a thousand words. MLS listings allow you to have up to 9 photos. USE THEM. Put up as many pics as you can. Show your place inside and out. Buyers have a short attention span and if you can’t be bothered to post up more than one pic, they can’t be bothered to read your add. Its like internet dating (something else I know all about, haha). A good pic gets ‘em all the time.
  • Paint and more paint. You’ve heard it before, but boy, what a difference a can of paint can make. Paint helps transform a “house” into a “home”. With paint, you can evoke a mood and help buyers create a vision of what it would ‘feel’ like to live in your space. If you can, paint a place BEFORE you move in because the hassle of having to move furniture and such after, is enough to keep you from doing it.
  • Editing, with a heart. All the home décor shows say that to properly ‘stage’ a house for selling, you should edit out all your personal possessions. Photos, knickknacks, heirlooms, collections… tuck those dust-catchers away, at least until the place is sold. I agree with this, to some extent. You need to find that balance between “personal” and “personality”. A Personal space is one that feels like you just stepped into your grandmother’s bedroom…its filled with things that are so “her”, none of which you like. The overabundance of stuff, the stuffiness of the stuff, prevents you from seeing what’s underneath. Now a space that has “Personality”, that’s a good thing. You want people to see your place has character, good bones, is warm and livable, not cold and plain.
  • Make it easy to say “Yes”. I think this maxim is true for many situations in life… when you want something from someone else – their time, effort, agreement – you need to make it easy for them to say “yes” to you. You need to easily answer the question “so what’s in it for me?” because that ultimately is what everyone else is interested in. How do you answer that question when you’re selling? You make the place clean and neat. You provide a spec sheet and layout plan if you have it. You leave lights on and curtains open so they can see each room in the best light. You have a smart agent who can answer any questions they have. You adverstise and display pics so it is easy for people to find you. You have convenient showing hours.
When all of that is said and done, a bit of luck is still involved. But when the stars align and perfect buyer meets perfect seller, oh boy, it’s a good time for all.

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  1. Anonymous11:20 AM

    Way to go reno girl. I too am amazed that it went so fast but not totally surprised. The place showed great and was in move-in condition.

    I am always amazed at how little effort it takes to spruce up a place and thus potentially increase your ROI. I fall back on my "theory of baseboards" - when they are old few notice, but when they are new everyone notices. God is in the details so put in the small effort and the rest will fall into place.

    Love your blog - keep it up. We can't wait to see the progress of the new house and the stories you will share.



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