Monday, 26 March 2012

Staging For Success

Spring is just around the corner, now is the time of year that many will begin listing their homes to sell. If you are one of these homeowners and you can’t afford expensive renovations or changes in your home, there are some simple and affordable things you can to do make your house stand out ahead of the rest.

First impressions are SO important. Here are a few tips to make your house beat the competition:

•Clean. Clean. Clean. It might seem like a small thing, but a home that is dirty looks unloved and older. Making those windows, mirrors, floors, bathrooms and appliances shine will make a big difference.

•Clear away the clutter. People are looking for bright and spacious homes. The less items, knick knacks and excess belongings you have, the bigger and more open your home will appear.

•Sell, throw away or store extra furniture away in order to make your rooms as open as possible. You also won’t have unnecessary items to move to your new location.

•When setting up a room, don’t ignore focal points like fireplaces and large windows by blocking them with furniture or large television sets. Show off your house’s assets.

•Neutralize. You may love dark or vibrant paint colours, but the best way to appeal to the biggest group of people is to keep your paint colours neutral. They also make rooms appear larger.

Wishing you all the best in your upcoming move!

By: Sharon Osvald and Andrew Brown

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Dare to De-clutter

It is one of the least favourite but most important parts of moving – de-cluttering. Whether you are selling a home and need to stage it, are moving your business/office or just don’t want to pay to move items your family doesn't need or use, it is step one in planning a move. Here are some tips to get you going:

1.As soon as you begin contemplating moving, start thinking smaller. Begin selling, giving away and throwing out your excess belongings. A clear clutter free home will be easier to “stage” if you are selling and will even help you think clearer. Even if you’re renting, as soon as you decide it’s time to go – start thinking smaller, smarter and leaner. Ask yourself: “What do I really need?”

2.If you are like most people your “paper work”, photos, bank statements, saved letters and important papers are stored in not one – but several places around your home. Again, throw out what you don’t need and create one home for all these papers and belongings. Then when you move they can all go into one easy to access box.

3.Be ruthless. Take serious inventory of the items you have in your home and if you really need them – right down to furniture, clothing, appliances, toys, books and the dreaded knick knacks. It costs you more money to move items you don’t really need or use. Also, when you arrive at your new home you’ll have that sense of a clean slate to begin in a new home.

4.Despite the hassle, sometimes it is worth it to try and sell your items. Websites like are free and easy to use. You will be able to connect with people in your area looking for the items you are selling i.e. a used computer desk, a toddler bed (that you haven’t used in six years) or one of your three stereo systems. The extra cash will also help go toward the cost of your upcoming move.

5.Garage sales are the best way to sell small or “cheap” items. Again, you might not think it is worth it, but it is not difficult to make two or three hundred dollars in a morning in your driveway. In the end it will cost you to take these items to the dump. Not to mention, if you are sentimental about a particular item, sometimes it is easier to let it go when you see someone else enjoying it.

Dare to de-clutter, you’ll be glad you did.

By: Sharon Osvald in collaboration with Andrew Brown