We are so very fortunate in live in Kitchener-Waterloo; an area so rich in local culture. In our area, there are many neighborhoods which feature older homes and our style of preparing them for sale differs from other, newer properties for many reasons.
Through experience, we have found that the best formula for a quick sale of a century home is a one that strikes a real balance between showcasing its character and charm, while at the same time still offering the modern conveniences and upgrades that today’s’ savvy buyers are looking for.
When it comes to prepping and staging a century home, here are the elements we focus on:
Keep up with Maintenance
Nothing can scare away people faster than a home that looks neglected or ill maintained and today’s buyers have an innate fear of older homes for that very reason. Our best advice to prepare an older home for sale, is to fix anything that is broken! Sounds simple, yet it is advice that is often over-looked. A broken fence, a roof missing shingles, cupboards that are dented or dated…these are all red flags for buyers who will either be turned off by all of the money they will need to fix these problems, or will be looking for a deal to purchase a home with such a high price tag to make it safe and functional.
Remove the Wallpaper
In older homes, we often find wallpapered rooms simply because that was high style in a different, older era. As we tell our clients, wallpaper is a very personal style choice and can really date a home. Today’s buyers aren’t appreciative of this style element – especially in an older home where taking it down can be a huge undertaking. Depending on how long ago it was applied, wallpaper removal can really damage a wall and equate to a lot of time and effort to correct it. This is why we always recommend doing the prep for your target audience by removing wallpaper and painting a home a neutral tone throughout, to broaden its appeal before it’s listed for sale.
The best-selling features of a century home are those that make it unique! Who can resist outdoor gingerbread trim, stained glass windows, original wooden floors, or deep crown molding? During our consults, we stress the importance of making sure all of these little details are highlighted and showcased throughout the property. This may mean removing heavy drapery, refinishing hardwood floors, relocating furniture, and painting wooden features a fresh white, to really showcase each home’s special charm. Character is the one style element that newer homes lack – and that buyers purchasing new homes spend thousands of dollars adding. By showcasing these design elements in an older property, sellers really make it shine for their target audience.
People love to learn about the story behind each home. If you know the date your home was built, the name of the original owners, or anything about their occupation or family, be sure share it with your Realtor. We have toured many homes that also had pictures of their home when it was first built and that really intrigues people who are looking for this special way to connect with their next home. Is your home haunted? Not only is it important to disclose this, it might actually attract buyers to your home, who have a connection or curiosity about the supernatural.
Be Aware of Safety Standards
Over the years, building and construction codes have evolved for our safety. It is important that the plumbing, electrical, and heating systems meet today’s standards. Sellers of an older home can almost certainly expect a request for a Home Inspection. We often recommend the home owner hire a Home Inspector themselves prior to listing, to avoid surprises that could hinder a sale. By ensuring the property is well maintained and updated, buyers will be impressed by both its modern amenities and historical charm.
Know the Value of Modern Upgrades
Many buyers of course love the thought of living in an older home, but don’t like the idea of any renovations. As in any home, the kitchen and bathrooms remain the rooms that yield the best return on investment. New flooring, fixtures, cabinets and countertops add both value and modern appeal, once again giving buyers that important mix of character and urban living. Pairing deep mouldings, large stained glass windows with sleek modern appliances and decor finishes will really grab your buyer’s heart – and pocketbook!
Consider both Furniture and Décor
Staging a century home is definitely not the same as staging a newer property! As with all properties that we stage, we pay attention to the architecture of the home and keep both the furniture and décor in line with its overall age and style. This doesn’t mean staging strictly with antiques – which visibly date a home – but with a blend of transitional furnishings that marry the old with the new. Incorporating some artwork or décor which ties in with the age of the property and its character is another great way to enhance and showcase the lifestyle the house offers.
If you are going to be selling your century home, we invite you to give our award winning team a call. From consultation to comprehensive recommendations, we can help you ensure that your home’s condition and appearance more than justifies its list price!