Sometimes the reason for putting your home on the market is crystal clear. For example, you might have a job relocation and need to move. Or, you might have decided to downsize because the kids have left the nest.

However, there are many other motivations to list your home that are not as obvious, and yet are still good reasons to make a move. Here are just a few examples...

  • You’re bored with your home and are looking for a change.

  • There’s something you’ve always wanted in a home that your current

    property doesn’t have, such as a wooded backyard.

  • You want to be closer to work, or to activities you enjoy, such as golf.

  • You want to be closer to family.

  • The neighbourhood is changing in a way that no longer fits the lifestyle you want.

  • There’s another neighbourhood you’ve always dreamed of living in.

  • Your tastes have changed and you want to live in a different type of

    home.

    None of these reasons makes it an absolute necessity to list your property and find a new home. Yet, they’re all worth considering, especially if moving will make you and your family happier, and provide you with a more desirable lifestyle.

    Want to talk about the possibilities? Call today. 

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Imagine buying a product from a store, taking it home, and then discovering there’s a problem with it. Disappointing, yes, but not a catastrophe. You can simply take it back for repair or exchange.

But, what if it’s moving day, and you discover there’s a problem with your new home? Whoa. A house isn’t so easily returned!


What are the most common problems encountered on moving day?

  • A delay in getting the keys.

  • The seller not having completely moved out.

  • An item expected to be included with the property is missing. (For example, the window blinds.)

  • Something needs repair that was not disclosed by the seller, nor did it come up during inspection. (For example, the dishwasher not working.)

  • Damage to the property caused by the seller. (For example, a heavy item dropped during the move and cracking a floor tile.)

    Fortunately, these are rare events. In most cases, you can expect no serious issues when you move into your new home.


    But, if something is wrong, you have options. So, call me immediately. In all likelihood, I will be able to quickly resolve the issue.


    If it’s a serious matter, such as missing items, I may get your real estate lawyer involved to arrange for the return of the item(s) or compensation.


    So don’t worry. Let the professionals handle it. You can just enjoy your new home! 


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You’ve probably seen signs around the area for Open Houses. You may have even attended a few. These are open invitations for potential buyers to drop by on a certain day and time, to check out the property and get more information.


When you’re listing your home for sale, you might wonder whether you’ll need to have an Open House.


To answer that question, you’ll need to consider the pros and cons. Planning and hosting an open house isn’t as easy as it may seem. There’s a lot of preparation involved. In addition, you’ll likely spend hours making your property look its best and you’ll need to be away from your home for a good part of that day.


That being said, an Open House has many advantages.

  • It helps showcase features of your property that may not come across well in advertisements and listing descriptions.

  • It attracts potential buyers who, for any number of reasons, might not otherwise call to view the home.

  • It generates a buzz and publicity about your listing.

    However, an Open House might not be necessary if there is high demand for properties like yours and you’re likely to get multiple offers. 

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You can’t call yourself a dentist unless you have specific hard-earned credentials. Just about anyone, however, can hang a shingle and call himself a home improvement contractor. That’s why choosing a reputable one is so difficult. Here are some tips:


  • Find out if he or she is truly in business full-time. A part-time or occasional contractor may not have the experience necessary to do a great job.
  • Ask about licenses and other credentials. Some contractors have accreditations from professional and trade associations.
  • Review his or her project portfolio. A reputable contractor will have photos and other evidence of work completed for similar clients.
  • Check online for reviews. If there are more than five poor reviews within the past three years — that’s a red flag.
  • Ask for references. Then, call at least one.
  • Finally, the best contractors are those that get recommended by people you trust.

Looking for a contractor recommendation? Call today. 

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You can’t call yourself a dentist unless you have specific hard-earned credentials. Just about anyone, however, can hang a shingle and call himself a home improvement contractor. That’s why choosing a reputable

one is so difficult. Here are some tips:

 

*Find out if he or she is truly in business full-time. A part-time or occasional contractor may not have the experience necessary to do a great job.

*Ask about licenses and other credentials. Some contractors have accreditations from professional and trade associations.

*Review his or her project portfolio. A reputable contractor will have photos and other evidence of work completed for similar clients.

*Check online for reviews. If there are more than five poor reviews within the past three years — that’s a red flag.

*Ask for references. Then, call at least one.

*Finally, the best contractors are those that get recommended by people you trust.

Looking for a contractor recommendation? Call today. 

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When is the best time to meet with a REALTOR® like me? Chances are, you would say, “When I’m thinking of buying or selling a home.” You’d be right, of course! However, there are many other good reasons to meet with me. Here are just a few:

• You want a professional opinion as to the current value of your property, so you know what it would likely sell for in today’s market.

• You notice a home listed for sale in a desirable neighbourhood, and you’re interested in learning more — even if you’re unsure you want to make a move.

• You’re thinking of moving within the next couple of years, and you want to find a REALTOR® like me, that you can get to know and trust.

• You want some recommendations for preparing your home for sale and especially determining what repairs and other work needs to be done.

• You want an honest assessment as to the state of the local market, and the best time for you to buy or sell.

• You have real estate-related questions and you want to talk to an expert who knows the local market well and can provide you with answers.

As you can see, there’s a lot of value you can get from talking to me as your REALTOR®.  All Market Evaluations, statistics, trends and related information is complimentary and without obligation.  Call today. (306) 222-1894.

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Comedian George Carlin’s most memorable routine was, “A place for my stuff.” In it, he talked about dealing with the increasing quantity of items we accumulate throughout life.

George was funny. The problem is not. Here are some low-cost ideas for quickly creating storage space for your stuff.


  • Attach a cloth pouch or thin plastic basket to the inside of cupboard doors. This is a great way to store Tupperware lids, cosmetics, etc.

  • Install hooks inside the foyer closet for loose items such as hats and scarfs.

  • Use egg cartons to make effective storage inserts in drawers.

  • Fashion stores often put purchases in stiff, high-quality boxes. Placed on their sides, these make effective storage compartments. (Especially shoeboxes.)

  • Consider using suitcases for out-of-season clothing. In addition to storage, they also provide protection.

  • Never throw out an old wine rack. There are numerous ways these can be used for storage. (Example: for tools.)

    By thinking creatively, you can probably come up with many other simple ideas for creating more storage. The reward is a home that looks neater and more spacious

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When you make an offer on a home, it’s a smart idea to have a professional home inspector check it out from top to bottom. This inspection will ensure that the property doesn’t have any unexpected “issues”. After all, you don’t want to buy a home only to discover that the roof needs to be replaced, immediately, for thousands of dollars.

That being said, you might question whether you really need to invest the few hundred dollars it costs for a professional home inspection. “The home we want to buy looks like it’s in very good shape,” you might be thinking. “I can’t see anything wrong with it.”

However, a professional home inspector can see things you can’t. When you view a property that’s on the market, you might be able to notice obvious issues, like a crack in the foundation or a dripping faucet. If you’re experienced with home maintenance, you might even notice roofing tiles that look like they’re overdue for replacement.

But you won’t pick up all the issues a home inspector can.

A home inspector will, for example, use a special device to check for moisture build-up in the washrooms – which can be an indication of mould. He or she will also inspect wiring to make sure everything is safe and compliant with the building code.

That’s not all.

Like a determined detective, a home inspector will investigate the property’s structure, electrical and plumbing systems, insulation, and other components — and then report the findings to you.

In the end, a professional home inspection gives you peace-of-mind and protects your investment. So getting one is highly recommended — even for recently built homes.

A good REALTOR® can recommend a trusted home inspector for you.

Looking for more ideas on making smart decisions when buying a home? Call today. 

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As you’re probably aware, the list price you set for your property has an impact on how quickly it sells — and how much you earn on the sale.


What you may not realize is just how significant an impact it has. Consider the following examples.


Example 1:

You price your property well above its current market value. As a result, many buyers don’t bother to see it because it’s outside of their price range. Those who do see it are confused by the high price tag, (and may even be suspicious.) They may wonder, “What’s going on?”

In this scenario, the home will likely languish on the market for weeks or even months. You might even have to lower the price dramatically to re- ignite interest.


Example 2:

You price your property just a couple of percentage points lower than what is necessary to gain the interest of qualified buyers. That might not seem like much of a problem. How much can a couple of percentage points matter?


Those points matter a lot.

On a $400,000 property, pricing your home just 2% lower than necessary could cost you $8,000 on the sale. That’s a serious amount of money!

 

So, as you can see, pricing your home right is serious business. Fortunately, a good REALTOR® knows how to set the right price.

Looking for a good REALTOR®? Call today. 

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One of the most important decisions you make when selling your home is setting the listing price. That can be tricky. After all, if you price your property too low, you leave money on the table — perhaps thousands of dollars. On the other hand, if you price your home too high, many buyers won’t even bother to see it, believing it is too expensive.

Even with that reality, there are some sellers who contemplate setting a high listing price in the hopes of a windfall. They want some unsuspecting buyer to fall in love with the home and buy it — even though it’s overpriced.

That rarely, if ever, happens.

Instead, the listing often languishes on the market because its listing price is conspicuously much higher than its market value.

Think about it. If two similar homes, side-by-side, are for sale, and one is priced $40,000 higher than the other, wouldn’t you wonder what was going on? That’s exactly what the market thinks. “Why is that home priced so high?”

Of course, many buyers, who might otherwise be interested in the property, won’t even consider seeing it, simply because it’s outside their price range.

It gets worse. When an overpriced home sits on the market with no offers for several weeks, the price will often need to be adjusted down. That helps the situation a little. However, you’ve lost the excitement created by a “new listing.” Yours is now an old listing struggling to get attention.

There’s a better way...

Setting your list price at or near the market value is much more likely to generate interest from qualified buyers and maximize how much you make on your home.

That market value may even be higher than you think! Interested in finding out how much? Call today. 

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Say you’re viewing a home and are impressed with how it looks. The walls are freshly painted. Everything seems bright and new. You’re considering making an offer.


Then, while standing on a mat in the kitchen, you hear a squeak below your feet. You lift the mat and see that some tiles are broken. Obviously the mat was there to, literally, cover up that defect.


A few broken tiles are not a big deal. But now you’re thinking, “What else might be wrong with this house?”


There’s no reason to worry that every home will have maintenance issues hidden from view. However, it’s smart to do your due diligence to ensure the home you’re considering is truly as good as it looks.


One way is to have a professional home inspector check out the property as a condition of your purchase offer. He or she will inspect the home from top to bottom, inside and out, and point out any issues you should address.


It’s also smart to ask questions. Find out the age of certain features, such as the roof, furnace, and appliances. Ask about any recent renovations, and determine whether they were done by a professional or by the homeowner.


Most importantly, work with a good REALTOR® who can provide you with information on the property that you would have difficulty getting on your own. Your REALTOR® has a stake in making sure you buy a home with your eyes wide open — knowing all the potential maintenance issues you’re likely to encounter.


Want to talk to a good REALTOR®? Call today. 

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If you own car, you know there’s more to the cost-of-ownership than just finance payments and gas. You also need to budget for maintenance and repairs. If your car is older, those costs are going to be higher. That’s just common sense.


The same is true of your home. It’s wise to budget for anticipated repairs and maintenance. Otherwise, you might be caught by surprise when you find that your furnace stops working and needs to be replaced. That can easily be a four-figure expense.


Experts recommend that you set aside 1% of the value of your home for repairs and maintenance. For a $500,000 property, for example, that would be $5,000. That is, of course, merely a rule of thumb. If your home is older, you may need to budget more.


Another recommended method is to budget $1 a square foot. If you have a 2,500 square foot home, that would be a budget of $2,500. Again, that number would need to be higher for older properties.


When budgeting, consider things that are getting old and will likely need to be replaced within the next three years. Examples include roof shingles, furnace, A/C unit, deck, fence, plumbing, and windows. Depending on the size and model, a new A/C unit will cost at least $5,000. Anticipating that expense will help you plan accordingly and avoid the shock of an unpleasant and costly surprise.


Keep in mind that budgeting $2,000 for repairs and maintenance doesn’t mean you’ll actually spend that money this year. But, if needed, the budget will be there, and that’s peace-of-mind. 

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There are many reasons why you may need to sell your home quickly: a sudden job relocation; a change in family situation; or perhaps an opportunity to purchase a new home that you just can’t pass up.


Whatever the reason, this strategy will help when you need to sell fast. It’s called the “3 Up” strategy.

  • Fix it up.

  • Clean it up.

  • Spruce it up.

First, you need to fix it up. That simply means getting things repaired around your property, such as a broken floor tile in the kitchen or a sticking patio door that’s difficult to open and close. Maintenance issues like these distract buyers from the appealing qualities of your home. Fortunately, repairs can usually be done quickly.


Second, clean it up. Obviously, when your home is clean and tidy it’s going to look its best. You also want to eliminate as much clutter as possible. You don’t need to make every room look like a magazine cover — but that’s a good attitude to have when prepping your home for a quick sale!


Finally, spruce it up. That means making any quick improvements that are going to make your home even more appealing. It might mean replacing the kitchen counters or giving the main rooms a fresh coat of paint.


Of course, the number one strategy for getting that SOLD sign on your front yard is to select a great REALTOR®.


Looking for a great REALTOR®? Call today. 

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When you purchase a home, you’re hoping it will continually go up in value — just like a good investment.


However, there’s something else that you want to see go up in value as well: the neighbourhood. In fact, the neighbourhood plays a key role in what the home will be worth in years to come. If the neighbourhood goes down in terms of desirability, so will the market value of the home.


That’s why, when shopping for a new home, it’s important to get a feel for the value of the neighbourhood, and whether or not it’s on the upswing.


How do you do that? One way is to simply take a walk. Look at the properties. Are they well maintained? Is the landscaping groomed and attractive? Those are signs of “pride of ownership” — a clear indication that owners value their homes and the neighbourhood.

Another way is to do some research. Has crime gone up in the neighbourhood? Are there improvements planned, such as new parks? Is the neighbourhood attracting the kind of people you want as neighbours? How does the neighbourhood school rank?


Some of this information may be difficult to get on your own. A good REALTOR® can help you. Call today. 

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When you’re thinking of selling your home and buying another, you face the inevitable question: Should I list my property first or buy my new home first?


Let’s take a look at both options.


If you attempt to buy a property before listing your home, you run into a couple of challenges.


First, sellers may not take you seriously as a potential buyer. After all, you haven’t put your own home up for sale. As far as they’re concerned, you might merely be testing the market.


Second, your property might not sell as quickly as you thought it would. If there is an early closing date on the home you purchased, you might end up owning, and paying a mortgage on both properties, at least until your home sells.


If, on the other hand, you list your property before buying a new home, sellers will know you’re serious. That puts you in a competitive position in the event of multiple offers.

Also, if your home sells quickly, you’ll have the peace-of-mind of knowing exactly how much of a new home you can afford. You’ll be able to shop with confidence.


Of course, like the first option, there is a chance that the closing dates won’t match and you’ll end up owning two properties for a period of time. However, solutions such as bridge financing are available to help.


So, there is no perfect answer. A lot depends on the state of the local market.


Looking for a good REALTOR® who can help you decide which is the best move for you? Call today. 

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Closing day is an exciting time. After all, you’re moving into your new home! However, it can be stressful as well. The last thing you need is to be confronted with something you don’t understand. So here is a quick list of common “closing day” terms.


  • Disbursements. This is the allocation of funds to the appropriate parties, such as the seller. Your lawyer will take care of this for you.

  • Possession. This is the moment on closing day when you are legally able to take possession of your new home. It’s usually when your REALTOR® or lawyer hands you the keys.

  • Title. This is a legal document that identifies the property and its owner.

  • Closing costs. These are expenses, excluding the selling cost of the property, that are due on closing day, such as legal fees, reimbursement for pre-paid utilities, utility deposits, insurance, and taxes.

  • Closing adjustments. These are expenses pre-paid by the seller that need to be reimbursed on closing.


    There may be other terms you come across on closing day as well. Don’t worry, a good REALTOR® can help make the day go smoothly for you and your family.


    Looking for a good REALTOR®? Call today. 

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Do you have a renovation project in mind – and wonder how much value it will add to your home? Remodeling Magazine recently did a study of renovation projects, comparing costs to added value. Here are some of the results:


  • Replacing a main entry door has a return on investment of over 95%. After all, the entrance to a home is one of the first things a prospective buyer notices.
  • Adding a new deck also adds a lot of value. Depending on the materials used, you can expect to get back three-quarters of the money invested.
  • Another high-payback project is the garage door. This once again demonstrates the importance of a home’s “curb appeal.”
  • If you’re tackling a big project, such as a basement renovation, you’ll be glad to know that, according to the study, a project like this adds a lot of value.
  • Finally, minor improvements to bathrooms and kitchens – such as adding new countertops or cupboards, can also be good investments that mostly pay back when you sell your home.

Of course, these figures are averages and can vary widely depending on location, type of property, and other factors.

Need help determining how a particular home improvement might impact the selling price? Call today. 

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