TAKE 10 Series: Question 14

Welcome to the series where we ask 10 real estate agents for their take on the current market challenges and opportunities


James Angus, Brittany Byrd,
Nick Polegato, Luka Maric,
Mike Labreche, Krista Weatherall,
Julie Milne, Severine Neba,
Michele Rowe, Cindy McCaig


Home Buyers and Sellers, Market Strategy, Ottawa Real Estate, Investment Properties, Rentals, Advice, Preparing to Buy or Sell, Preparing to List


Ottawa, Ontario


December 21, 2022 8:00am EDT


Engel & Völkers Ottawa South, Royal Lepage Team Realty, EXP Realty, The Agency Ottawa, REMAX Affiliates Realty, Innovation Realty Ltd., Details Realty Inc., Keller Williams Integrity

What are the five most cost-effective preparation items that can be done prior to listing your home?

Agent #1 – Brittany Byrd – Royal Lepage

“Brittany’s past experiences attest to her dedication to hard work and without question striving for the absolute best for her clients.”

“Cleaning and decluttering are at the top of my list for every single seller. Fixing and finishing anything minor that may have been put off over the years- you may have gotten used to that missing piece of trim but buyers are walking in with a fresh eye and this will be the first thing they see and wonder if you can’t fix that, what other big things have you not done. Another easy and cost-effective thing to do is to swap your light bulbs for something brighter (daylight). Many buyers are looking for turn-key properties and the more you can do to make your home feel “turn-key”, the more appealing it will be to potential buyers.”

Agent #2 – Michele Rowe – Details Realty Inc.

“I love the real estate business and have 19 years experience to help you make the best possible decisions. I view representation and guidance of my clients through this process as a true privilege.”

1. Detailed home evaluation.

2. Recommend renovations.

3. Depersonalize and de-clutter the home.

4. Staging and professional photos.

5. Pre-listing home inspection.

Agent #3 – James Angus – Engel & Völkers Ottawa South

“James has developed strong negotiating skills and attention to detail which provides his clients with a professional and personal real estate experience.”

1. Paint, especially trim and door frames. 

2. Declutter and purge as much as possible, ideally not jamming everything into the garage.

3. Professional cleaning, this is so valuable. 

4. Air out the home, fresh air does wonders.

5. Fresh flowers and plants.

Agent #4 – Cindy McCaig – Keller Williams Integrity Realty

“I am passionate about helping others. My entrepreneurial spirit, combined with my intuitive ability to empathize with my clients, enables me to adapt easily to any kind of situation.”

1. Decluttering.

2. Depersonalizing the space. 

3. Touching up paint or repainting the entire space.

4. Making sure the general maintenance is good.

5. Staging.

Agent #5 – Nick Polegato – EXP Realty

“Nick uses technology to empower Sellers and Buyers by providing more value, selling over $20 Million in homes over the last two years.”

1. Staging is the most important. Declutter, depersonalize and stage important rooms such as bedrooms, bathrooms and living rooms. We believe staging is the most important thing you can do to sell your home, that’s why we include staging as part of every package we offer. 

2. Professional Cleaning. Top-to-bottom cleaning of your home including having the carpets professionally cleaned can help to eliminate odours. 

3. Exterior prep – cutting the grass, cleaning the gutters, cleaning the windows and planting some flowers. Curb appeal is the first thing buyers see when they drive up to the home. 

4. Minor Repairs. Getting a home inspection to identify issues can be a major benefit to sellers, as small repairs can speed up the conditional sale of a home and save thousands in negotiations. It can also help to identify any major issues that can squash the deal. 

5. Painting. A fresh coat of paint can help bring a home back to life and show its true potential.

If you are a Real Estate Agent and would like to contribute to the FCA resource section by writing articles, blogging, creating videos or providing answers to our questionnaires, please contact us at:


Agent #6 – Severine Neba – eXp Realty Brokerage

“I am very passionate about helping my clients in realizing that their needs and dreams can be met. Working with me is all about feeling protected and confident about the entire process.”

1. Declutter and depersonalize.

2. Clean and tidy the inside and outside of the home.

3. Keep colours neutral.

4. Consider staging the property.

5. Most importantly, hire a Real Estate Agent to help guide you through the process.

Agent #7 – Mike Labreche – REMAX Affiliates Realty

“Michael has always put others first and will do anything to help someone when in need; it is something that defines who he is.”

1. Find a great Real Estate Agent.

2. Consider your curb appeal.

3. Declutter living areas.

4. Depersonalize your home.

5. Repaint walls with neutral colours.

Agent #8 – Krista Weatherall – eXp Realty

“I love to work with people buying or selling their home especially with first time home buyers, and investors!”

1. Professional Cleaning- Professional cleaning is usually not as much as you think it might be! And it makes a world of difference in how the home shows to potential clients, plus is a stress reliever. So, it’s really a win-win.

2. Declutter, Declutter, Declutter!- I can’t say this enough. The most importantt thing you can do to prep your home for a successful sale is decluttering and depersonalizing. The longer you live in a home the more things you accumulate. But when you are living in a house that is for sale, you need to realize it’s different than just living in your home. You need to put things away, and really declutter to make the best impression you can for potential buyers. And I know you love all your family photos out, and your kid’s art and school work on the fridge- I love it too! – but potential buyers want to imagine themselves living in the home, and it’s harder to do so if they see your beautiful family everywhere! 

3. Air it out/make it smell good- Simple as that! Get some wall plug-ins, or leave windows open if weather permits! Smell can impact a buyer’s first impression for sure!

4. Paint! One of the most cost effective upgrades you can make, and one you can do quickly! Not every room might need to be painted, but having neutral tones can really positively impact the buyer’s experience when walking through the home. So, if you have any super brightly coloured rooms, it might be worth a quick painting to give it a fresh start!

5. Don’t forget about the outside! Whether it be making sure your grass is cut and all your plants are in order in the summer or making sure your driveway and walkway are cleared from snow and ice in the winter, you don’t want to forget that the buyer’s experience really starts when they pull up to the property!

Agent #9 – Julie Milne – Innovation Realty Ltd.

“A keen sense for all things Real Estate related, my knowledge and attention to detail ensures complete satisfaction. A full-service agent, I go the extra mile all of the time.”

1. Edit, Edit, Edit. It’s important to step away and view your home with “buyer’s eyes”. Clear out excess clutter, personal items, bulky dark furniture, dark curtains etc.

2. Paint is a very inexpensive tool that has a significant impact on first impression. Neutral, appealing colours provide a perfect cosmetic facelift. I assist clients with choosing the right paint colours for this refresh.

3. Clean. First impressions are key and noticing dirt/dust/grime is a turn-off for buyers. I provide a professional cleaner as part of my listing services.

4. Fixtures. Changing outdated lights, faucets, knobs & handles are low-cost items that can modernize your home. Details matter so mind the details.

5. Stage. This is where I come in 🙂 , I stage all of my listings with tastefully selected furniture, art and decor items that match the style of the home. Showcasing the home with the best image possible attracts top dollar.

Agent #10 – Luka Maric – The Agency Ottawa

“Luka’s clients appreciate his honesty, dedication, and outside of the box thinking. Luka’s attention to detail comes to light when he is negotiating on behalf of his clients.”

1. Cleanliness/removal of any odours.

2. Declutter (removing personal photos/religious symbols)

3. Landscaping.

4. Lighting/light fixtures.

5. Fresh coat of neutral paint throughout.

Previous Post
Next Post