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Saying Goodbye to the Family Home

Updated: Jan 16, 2022

Feature Home: 929 Marine Drive Vancouver, BC

Cameron and Emily are faced with selling their first home so he can accept a new position in Toronto.

They sat down and compiled a long list including everything from completing all the half-done renovations to covering up the wall their 3-year-old drew on. How will they get it all done and still have time to sell the home before he is expected to be in the Toronto office?

It can be overwhelming when all the things you believed you had time to get to, suddenly need to be completed in a short period of time. When selling a home, there are certain things which need to be done and other things will not add a dollar to the value of your home, though it will cost you two to complete them.

Make sure you understand what is necessary before taking on a project to sell your home.

Try to take an objective look around the house to see it from a buyer’s perspective. What would stop you from making an offer? What do you need to do to put your home’s best face forward? Go to a few open houses and make a list of the things that would stop you from buying it to help you get in the right frame of mind to evaluate your home objectively.

Consult a Stager

A stager can help you to see your home objectively and let you know how you can use the items you have to make your home more appealing to buyers. A stager will place items in visually appealing way which will make your home feel more welcoming to people. Packing away personal items will help to remove the “This is someone else’s home” feeling and help them to see their own selves within the space.

Update Your Curb Appeal

Curb appeal is important as it is the first impression people will have of your home. When they pull up you want them to feel the home is well taken care of by ensuring all the details are seen to.

Make sure the bushes are all trimmed. Mow the lawn and weed gardens. Re-mulch or replace stone walkways and paths. Remove any dead plants and trees. Pressure wash or, if needed, paint the house.

Get a Home Inspection

Hire a home inspector to ensure you price your home well and there will be no surprises during the negotiation process. This will give you a chance to fix any issues which would cause a buyer to think twice about buying your home.

By knowing about the issues, you will need to disclose them and the fixes you completed. However, you will remove a bargaining chip from the table instead of allowing the buying to discover the issue and offer a lower price.

Replace Flooring & Paint Walls

Determine if your carpets need replacing or just a deep, professional cleaning. If they need to go, replace them with a decent product, which is priced well and neutral in color. What you should look for is something that will look good and is priced well instead of something meeting your individual taste or style.

Inspect rooms to see if they need to be painted because the walls are scuffed or damaged. If you have bright or dark colors on the wall, you may want to consider painting the walls a fresh modern neutral color.


Beyond new flooring and paint, you might be tempted to tackle that bathroom you meant to redo. Unless your bathroom is dated in the 1970s with rose pink, powder blue, or that 70s green, any renovation you do will not be worth the effort to sell.

It is important to finish any renovations you already started, however if you haven’t started, consider that major renovations are costly, time consuming, and disruptive.

You will need to weigh the benefit of a potential increase in value to your home against the cost of doing the work. Discuss the options with your REALTOR® to determine if they will help you sell your home.

Basement, Attic, & Garage

When you open a closet door does everything fall out on the floor? Now is the time to pull stuff out from your closets and get rid of what you don’t want to move into your new place. The less stuff you have stuffed into rooms and storage areas, the more spacious your place will look.

Pack up items you want to move to the new place and don’t need in the short term. By packing these items into boxes, you will have more space to store these boxes while keeping these areas organized and spacious. Not to mention you’ll have less to pack when it comes time to move.

After going through the list of things which they need to complete before listing their home, Cameron and Emily got to work doing one thing at a time.

There is nothing like a deadline to ensure those jobs you always meant to finish get done. By the time they decluttered the home, painted over their son’s masterpiece and finished all Cameron’s half done reno projects the house was ready to be listed and they could start planning to move across the country to their new life in Toronto.

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