House & Home – 3 Key Questions To Ask Your Realtor When Selling Your Home

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Your home is one of your best investments, so it’s important to make smart decisions for you to get the most money when it’s time to sell. Christan Bosley, president of Bosley Real Estate, says that for sellers to get peace of mind throughout the sales process they need to have confidence in their sales agent. “What you pay the realtor in commission is often the largest factor for sellers, when in reality, it should be the promise and execution of a smooth, transparent process that nets more than you expect for your home.”

Here are three important questions to ask your realtor before you list.

Riverside listing; agent: Jen Laschinger

How do you intend the market the property and what is the target demographic?

Realtors are no longer just sales agents. Professional marketing is a large part of their role now. It’s important for the agent to understand who the target audience is, how they are going to reach them, and the type of reach the agent receives on their listings to determine a successful marketing strategy.

Whitney listing; agents: Jessica England and Valerie Baldwin

Why have you selected your proposed listing strategy and what is the backup plan if it doesn’t work as expected?

This will provide the seller with confidence that the agent knows what they are doing and allows for clear communication and transparency through the process. Everyone is aligned with the direction and strategy, which can eliminate any potential uncertainties or unknowns for the seller. For example, if the realtor intends to market the listing to their database and not cast a wider net, the property may not receive maximum exposure to the target audience.

Plymbridge listing; agents: Jessica England and Valerie Baldwin

Where should I be spending my dollars now to ensure that I get the best price for my property?

When someone is selling their property, they shouldn’t be spending any money on improvements that will fail to net them extra money in their pocket. The realtor can advise what improvements will be valuable and attractive to their target audience.

“We all have enough uncertainty in our lives, and this is one element that we can help solve with clarity so there aren’t any restless nights,” says Christan. “Without asking these questions you can’t be sure that you aren’t spending money unnecessarily.”

REALTOR TIP: Start interviewing realtors approximately 6 months before you think you may be ready to move. This allows time to adequately prepare and plan and will take a large part of the stress out of the selling process.

If you decide, after much consideration to not list your home, here are 5 top home renovation tips that can add value to your current home and maximize your investment.

1. Enhance Your Front Hall or Mudroom

A front hall is the first thing people see when they enter the home, so it should have instant appeal. Whether it’s a front hall or a mudroom, accentuate organization and style. Potential buyers will appreciate a designated area for putting on coats and shoes, storing accessories and pet stuff, and a drop-off spot for mail and keys. And it needs to feel organized! It could be as simple as incorporating a small bench or table, or creating wall-to-wall built-in storage.

Photographer: Valerie Wilcox (Left), Robin Stubbert (Right)
Source: House & Home October 2020 (Left), House & June 2020 (Right)
Designer: Allison Wilson (Left), Susan Burns (Right)

2. Create a Home Office

With a hybrid work model here to stay for many companies, a designated home office will remain a necessity. But not all work areas are created equal. Christan warns that adding a desk to a nook or niche under the stairs is not a dedicated space and will not add long-term value. “If the property has more than three bedrooms, I would suggest staging a bedroom as an office space,” she says. The space should be advertised as a bedroom when selling the property. More bedrooms on paper will improve resale, but demonstrating the flexible use of a bedroom to buyers will generate additional interest.

Photographer: Kim Jeffery (Left), Chad Lemmon (Right)
Source: House & Home November 2019 (Left)
Designer: Todd & Kristen McMillan, Ben Homes (Left), Sacha & Melissa LeClair, LeClair Decor (Right)

3. Carve Out Pantry Space

With people spending more time at home, it’s important that the kitchen is an attractive and efficient space. “A hardworking pantry has loads of appeal to a future buyer,” says Christan. “Having a dedicated storage solution, either hidden, a walk-in or a dedicated cabinet, has become a must-have in the kitchen.” And while a pantry won’t increase a home’s square footage, it can make the home feel more spacious and organized. Include elements that help with organization, such as alternating shelf heights and open and closed shelving.

Adding high-end touches like an appliance garage or a beverage centre in a pantry is a luxurious addition, and it also impresses buyers. “Appliance garages — which house items like the toaster and microwave — help create a minimalistic, clutter-free look that is highly desirable,” says Christan. Today, these are becoming a staple in the kitchen, thanks to the variety of sophisticated coffee and tea brewing systems at a range of price points. “It’s all about enhancing the morning routine,” she says.

Photographer: Courtesy of Bloomsbury Fine Cabinetry
Designer: Kassandra Arbour

4. Customize a Smart Home

The conveniences of technology are here to make our lives easier and, come resell time, buyers could be willing to pay more for it. “A well-connected home, such as one that offers an electric car charging station, smart appliances and a security surveillance system, is gaining broader appeal,” says Christan. “This can attract more interest and, potentially, more offers.”

While installing a security surveillance system is affordable, adding an electric car charging station ranges from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand. Of course, these types of upgrades appeal to a specific set of buyers, so it’s best to consult with your real-estate agent before choosing which ones would benefit your home’s selling price.

5. Construct a Dedicated Home Gym or Family Room

“Carving out a home gym area in a finished basement with an oversized mirror signals to the buyer that there is a dedicated space for this important use,” says Christan. The room should look the part — it’s not just about placing a mat on the floor. Consider playing it up and incorporating a gym-like aesthetic, so it’s clear that it’s a home gym. “At-home gym equipment purchases continue to be on the rise, meaning that self-care for time-strapped homeowners is still in demand,” she says. An obvious benefit for buyers is convenience: there’s no lineup for equipment, less travel time, and you can work out any time of day.

Before you convert your basement or extra room into a home gym, check in with your Bosley REALTOR® about potential buyers in the area. For example, if the main buyers are young professionals who value their health, they may be willing to pay more for this convenience. If buyers are primarily young families, then keeping the basement as a family room or playroom may be more valuable than a personal gym.

Visit to find a REALTOR®, and for more information and insight on the best renovations for your home.

About Bosley Real Estate Ltd., Brokerage

Bosley Real Estate Ltd. is a full-service, 4th generation brokerage operating since 1928 with offices serving the Greater Toronto Area, Niagara, Waterloo Region, Southern Georgian Bay and Northumberland. With over 250 agents in residential and commercial real estate, the firm has built a reputation on trust, respect and integrity selling and leasing property throughout Ontario. Bosley Real Estate is also recognized internationally through an exclusive affiliation with Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®. This prestigious partnership connects the brokerage to a global network of 130,000 real estate professionals in 70 countries. Headquartered in Midtown Toronto, President and Broker of Record, Christan Bosley continues to innovate and maintains the high standard of excellence forged over a century.

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