How to Stage Your Home to Sell

Once you decide to sell your home, the most important thing you can do to help speed up the sales process is to stage it for sale. For that reason here are a few valuable home staging tips that you can apply which might help you in selling your home fast.

Before putting too much work into staging, the best thing to do first is to declutter the house. Clearing kitchen counters and living room floors go a long way in making your house look great. A recent article by Katie Garrett of Ideal Home supports the importance of decluttering:

Remove all clutter

Staging a home refers to preparing and decorating a house in a way that will make it the most appealing to potential buyers. That means more than just getting rid of dirty washing, tidying up your kitchen counters and giving the place a really thorough clean.

Rule number one of home staging: get rid of all the clutter in your home. Either throw it away or store it neatly out of sight. All floors and surfaces should be clutter-free, while cupboards should be neatly organised in case sneaky guests start peeking. Via

Clutter can distract buyers and give the impression of reduced space, so removing it is essential.

Once you have the inside clean, it’s time to focus on the outside. First impressions are everything for buyers, especially when many of those impressions are made online. If your home’s exterior doesn’t speak to them, they’ll move on quickly. You want your listing to have that “wow” factor for buyers:

Make an entrance

It’s important that the entrance looks appealing, as this is the first thing that potential buyers will notice. It’s known as “curb appeal”: if your property doesn’t have it, there’s every chance that a prospective buyer will drive straight past your home without even stepping foot inside. “Add simple things like potted plants and a welcome mat at the door,” suggests property expert and educator Jennie Brown. “If you have no distinguishable entrance leading to the front door, you may also want to consider placing a few large pavers in the grass.” Read more…

It may set you back a few bucks, but curb appeal is what brings home shoppers into the house.

Get rid of your personal items! Credit:

If you spend time looking at homes online, you’ll notice that many photos avoid including personalized items. When selling your home, it’s important that your buyers imagine themselves in your home, and personal items detract from the effect. A recent post from The Rug Seller explains the need:

Depersonalise Items

Buyers need to be able to envision themselves in your home, so remove all the family photos, items with family members’ names on them, heirlooms and refrigerator art.

Also, even though there may be families with children looking at your home, but just because they have kids too doesn’t mean seeing toys strewn everywhere will sell them on the place. When people are house hunting, they are imagining a fresh start.

Show them that in this house, it is possible to have a beautifully organised kids’ room, and they might be swayed. So, make sure to put away all the toys and anything else that is highly indicative of the home’s current inhabitants. Read more at

The process of de-personalizing not only attracts potential buyers but also gives you a headstart in leaving your home.

Home staging can take a bit of time and effort, but when combined with world-class marketing, your home is sure to sell easily.

How to Stage Your Home to Sell is republished from The A-Team YMM Blog


Around Town: Fort McMurray News (Week of October 6)

Happy Thanksgiving weekend from The A-Team! It’s time for another edition of our weekly column. Here’s what we have for you this week:

In health, AHS or Alberta Health Services will be supporting the community over the fall by offering free adult mental health sessions to Fort McMurray citizens. The sessions will center on stress, self-esteem and communication. From MyMcMurray:

AHS offers free adult mental health sessions

Alberta Health Services (AHS) is offering free adult wellness sessions as part of the outreach being done by AHS to support the community in recovery from last years wildfire.

ASH mental health promotional staff will lead the sessions that are designed to strength personal relationships and with others.

Topics that will be covered include exploring stress, building self-esteem, enhancing bonds, communication and trust. Via

Mental health is a growing concern in the region, and it’s great to see AHS doing its part. The sessions will take place every Tuesday (excluding the 31st) until the end of November at the Syncrude Sport & Wellness Center.

The Food Bank had a successful drive this week, just ahead of Thanksgiving. The Jeremy Snook Memorial Food Drive was able to raise over 3,000 pounds of food and collect $1,752.90 in cash and donations over the weekend, according to Brandon Piper of Mix News:

Third Annual Jeremy Snook Food Drive Raised Over 3,000 Pounds Of Food

Over the weekend, the drive, in support of the Wood Buffalo Food Bank and held in memory of Jeremy Snook raised an incredible 3,384 pounds of food.

“We are so grateful for (Jeremy’s mother) Gail Snook and her team for hosting this food drive each year in support of our organization,” she said. “It is a wonderful gesture to be paired with the remembrance of such a wonderful young man, and we are so happy that the family and friends of Jeremy see such a success each year while doing something good in the community.” h/t

It’s fitting that the Jeremy Snook Drive is held so close to Thanksgiving, a time when we count our blessings. It’s a great opportunity to share those blessings with those less fortunate.

Chief Jim Boucher Credit: Clare Clancy of Fort McMurray Today


The Oilsands turned 50 this week, and though the industry has brought tremendous prosperity to the region, it’s a bittersweet anniversary for indigenous communities affected by the developments. From Clare Clancy of Fort McMurray:

Oilsands at 50: Balancing tradition and economy

Fifty years after the first oilsands mine sprung to life in northeast Alberta, Indigenous communities in the region struggle to reconcile economic prosperity with ongoing environmental concerns bred by a lucrative industry that has irreparably altered the landscape.

“The movement had a very strong black-and white position that was to shut down the tarsands, stop the beast,” says Eriel Deranger, executive director of the advocacy group Indigenous Climate Action. “It has become the difference between a roof over people’s head and food on the table.”

An estimated 23,000 Indigenous people live in Alberta’s oilsands region, representing 18 First Nations and six Métis settlements.

Since Suncor Energy Inc. established its first mine in 1967 — spurring a rush for bitumen — the oilsands industry has become the major source of employment in the region, and Indigenous businesses have a significant stake in its success.

“It’s a transformation,” says Fort McKay First Nation Chief Jim Boucher, explaining that when the industry took root, people felt as though land was stripped away without consultation. “They were very bitter for a long time.”


The debate over the environmental impact of the oilsands is a controversial one, but it’s clear that the issue isn’t quite settled yet. Here’s hoping both sides eventually reach an agreement.

That’s all for this weeks’ roundup. Have a wholesome Thanksgiving weekend, and check back on The A-Team blog for more news and updates on Fort McMurray.

The post Around Town: Fort McMurray News (Week of October 6) is republished from The A-Team LLC

How to Decorate Your Home for the Holidays : Tips for Sellers

Should I Decorate My Home While Selling?

Fall is here, the leaves in our city have turned beautiful shades of amber and red. Chunky scarves, trendy boots, and pumpkin spice latte’s are filling the streets. Thanksgiving is approaching next weekend, followed not far after by Halloween, and then for our household there is Christmas. I am a sucker for the holiday season and love to decorate for them all.

However; this time of year can often leave those people wanting to sell their home in a tricky situation. Yes, they are planning to say farewell to their beloved home, but they’re also wanting to celebrate the holidays and not be a Scrooge in the process. As a buyer’s specialist, I see first hand how overdoing decor can often be seen as clutter and hinder the home showing. Therefore, I wanted to talk about how important it is to find a happy balance between decorating your home like the Griswold’s and tastefully decorating for the holiday season.

I Have Kids, Now What?

Did I mention I have a 6 & 8 year old? I get it. They love flashy, multicolored, strobe-so-hard you need a warning for people passing by decorations. Inflatable lawn decor? The BIGGER the BETTER of course!
Take all of these ideas and now do the exact opposite. Think neutral lighting, no flash. (IF you happen to have those fancy permanent LED holiday lighting – now is a great time to showcase this). Rather than massive blow up inflatables – which can often look like a pile of deflated garbage during the day and pose as a crazy tripping hazard by night, opt for tasteful wreaths and minimalistic decor on your well-lit front porch. For Halloween, make sure you get rid of those pumpkins before they turn into an icky pile of mush on the front step. If you plan on hanging lights along your eaves that are not permanent, perhaps this year opt for one of those projection lights that stake into the ground and are easy to install and uninstall. Chances are if you have world-class marketing, your home will not be on the market for long, so keep your exterior decor easy to remove (Really though, who wants to be up on a ladder in -50 taking down Christmas lights you just put up)!

Well, That All Seems Easy Enough, But What About the Inside?

Again, think minimal! I know your decor is beautiful, and I know you may be the next up and coming Martha Stewart, but unfortunately, buyers may not agree. Too much decor can lead to distraction. Instead of looking at your home and remembering its awesome features, buyers may instead be looking at the oversized nativity scene sitting in the middle of your living room. Although Christmas trees, garland, and glitter can be beautiful, they can also be messy. I’m not saying not to do it: just be thoughtful when doing it. This year rather than going and getting a live tree, try to trade in for an artificial instead (again with neutral lighting). Perhaps keep it smaller than you usually would get, as you want to keep your space feeling large and spacious. This goes for other decor as well – do what you usually do, but on a much smaller, much more neutral scale.

To Host, or Not to Host?

Believe it or not, Thanksgiving weekend (as well as other holidays) can often be a busy time for buyers to be out looking at homes. Often while that turkey is cooking, they want to take advantage of having their family in town for a second opinion on homes they may be interested in. If there is a day you are not wanting showings at your home because you are hosting your own company, let your Realtor® know in advance. Even better, if you want to keep your home open for business over the weekend, it may be a great idea to join someone else’s Thanksgiving feast as a guest. This allows showings to still happen and you don’t have to cook – it’s win/win!

The Smells of the Holiday Season…

Pumpkin, Cinnamon, Caramel, Peppermint… the list goes on. I personally love all these smells, but not everyone does. As tempting as it may be to light up that new three-wick candle you picked up down at Bath & Body Works, perhaps hold off for showings. Something that smells great to you can be an absolute scent aversion to a buyer. There have been times I have entered homes with buyers and they have wanted to leave right away due to smells.

In summary, we at the A-Team love the holidays, and we want you to as well. Just remember, one of our amazing buyers may be living in your home before the season is over. Simplify things for yourself, less is more.

I hope this advice has been found helpful, please excuse me while I put on my scarf and go grab a latte. May this holiday season leave your hearts and bellies, both, warm and full.

How to Decorate Your Home for the Holidays : Tips for Sellers Find more on: The A-Team Real Estate Blog

When Is The Right Time of Year to Buy a House?

In a buyer’s market, there are many options available for aspiring homeowners. But choice isn’t limited to what house you want: it also involves when you buy. Many buyers are unsure when they should start the buying process, and there is some reason to this. Prices and number of homes available vary by season.

So what’s the answer? Is autumn a right time? What about during the holidays? We enlisted buyer’s agent Aleaha to answer the question in a new Q&A video:

Think you’re ready to buy a home? The A-Team can provide you with specialized assistance. Give us a call today.

When Is The Right Time of Year to Buy a House? was first seen on The A-Team LLC