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 $50,000 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 me!
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 hardworking agent, such as myself! Call today and
let's discuss how we can work together to get your house sold!
Always happy to help!
When you’re thinking of selling your home and buying another, you face the
Should I list my property first or buy my new home first?
Let’s take a look at both options.
1. If you attempt to buy a property before listing your home, you could 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.
2. 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
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 and the situations of each party involved in the transaction.
If you need a great realtor to help you make that decision- call me TODAY!
I would be happy to sit down and work with you to help make the best
decision for your needs!
How to Help Sell Your Home Quickly
Usually when you list your home, you would prefer to sell it quickly. It’s like being the first one served at a crowded ice cream parlour. It’s satisfying.
However, sometimes there’s more to it than that. There may be a truly urgent reason why you need to find a buyer for your property as soon as possible, such as a sudden job relocation.
If that’s the case, it’s important to explain your situation to your realtor, who will be able to put together an action plan for selling your home quickly and for the best price possible.
During that conversation, ask what you can do to help the process along. For example, you may be able to:
Spread the word to your friends and other connections on Facebook.
Canvass your neighbours and tell them about your listing.
Stage your home so that it’s more attractive to prospective buyers.
When it comes to price, be prepared to be flexible. That doesn’t mean you must settle for a price far below your home’s market value. However, you do need to be prepared to accept a good offer rather than try to hold out for a great one.
Also be open to as many viewings and open houses as possible. Having many prospective buyers come through your home within a short period of time may be a little inconvenient, but the payoff might be an offer!
Easy-to Miss Home Security Tips for Your Vacation
If you’re relaxing on a Caribbean beach, or enjoying a bus tour through historic Paris, the last thing you want to worry about is your home. Most people know the basics of keeping a home secure while away. Here are some additional tips that are easy to miss:
- Tell your kids not to boast about your fabulous vacation plans, especially on social media. The fewer who know that the house will be empty, the better.
- Ask a neighbour to pick up any mail and flyers dropped at your doorstep. But don’t rely on that alone. Also call the newspaper and post office to temporarily halt delivery.
- You can buy timers to automatically turn lights on and off. However, most will stop working if the power goes out and restart with the incorrect time when the power comes back on. That’s why you should keep at least a couple of lights turned on continuously, and not connected to timers.
- If you’re leaving in the evening, or before dawn, don’t forget to open the blinds. Closed blinds during the day are a dead giveaway that the owners are away.
Finally, experts recommend creating a home security checklist, so you don’t forget anything. That will give you peace-of-mind.
It's the Little Things That Boost Curb Appeal
"Curb appeal". You've probably heard that term used before. It refers to how valuable and enticing your house looks from the outside, typically from the perspective of a potential buyer “standing on the curb”.
Many people focus on preparing the inside of their house for sale, and neglect preparing the outside.This is a mistake. Studies confirm that curb appeal has a huge influence over how quickly your house will sell, and for how much.
How do you improve curb appeal?
You don’t need to do a major landscaping renovation! In fact, small improvements often make the biggest difference… improvements you can easily do over a weekend.
Here are some suggestions:
- Clean the outside of front windows. Make them sparkle!
- Remove grass,weeds and other unwanted growth between driveway and walkway stones.
- Prune shrubs and trim trees.
- Re-sod bare spots on the lawn.
- Edge the lawn. (A simple task that can have a dramatic visual impact.)
- Water the flowerbed. (Flowers look brighter and more healthy within one hour of watering.)
- Sweep the walkway and driveway. Rake the leaves.
- Remove signs such as “Beware of dog” and “No solicitations”.
- Check the welcome mat. If it’s worn or dirty, replace it.
Also, consider buying some attractive potted flowers to put near the entranceway. They are worth
As you can see, it doesn't take much to boost the curb appeal of your house. Just a little work and a few added details will make a big difference.
Need more ideas for increasing the “sales appeal” of your house? Call today.
Have you ever attended an "Open House" advertised in your area or in a
community you like? Most people have. Even if you're not serious about
moving, viewing a few properties in a neighbourhood you like is a great way
to get a sense of the market.
Who knows? You might stumble upon your next dream home!
To get the most out of an open house, follow these guidelines:
• Most open houses will have a handout available containing the list
price and other property information. Be sure to keep a copy.
• Don't just view the rooms. Explore the entire property, including the
• Don't be shy about asking the listing agent (or whoever is hosting the
open house) questions about the property.
• Ask about the area. Are there schools nearby? Where is the nearest
park or playground located?
• Ask about potential required repairs and renovations. For example, if
the furnace is more than 15 years old, it may need to be replaced
• Walk around the neighbourhood. Try to get a sense of what it's like to
live there. If possible, chat with a neighbour.
Finally, if you become interested in the home, be sure to advise the listing
agent that your own REALTOR® will be following up. Otherwise, the listing
agent might assume that he or she will be representing you.
Looking for a good REALTOR® to have by your side? Call today.
Unless you're a real estate expert, you probably look at the market and think
things are pretty confusing. Even a bit crazy! You hear news about “bubbles
bursting”, “higher or lower home sales in a particular month”, “new home
starts” that are up or down, and on and on it goes.
It’s a lot of news and a lot of jargon.
If you're thinking of selling your home within the next year or two, you will
want to understand what's happening in the market so you can make the
right decisions and get a clear sense of what to expect. So, how do you
make sense of it all?
That's where a good REALTOR® can help.
Even if you don't have any definite plans to move in the near future, a
REALTOR® who is an expert in the local marketplace can help you
understand what homes in a particular neighbourhood are selling for, and
what you can expect to get should you decide to list your property.
Getting to know a REALTOR® also means you’ll have a trusted expert to
talk to from time to time, when you have real estate-related questions.
You’ll have someone you can think of as "Your REALTOR®".
Plus, when the time comes to sell your property, you won't have to deal with
a stranger. Instead, you'll be able to work with a REALTOR® that you know
well -- and who knows YOU. Overall, that will make the buying and selling
process go more smoothly and more successfully.
Looking for a good REALTOR® who wants to get to know you? Call today!
Many people only see a doctor when they're sick or have some other health
concern. On the other hand, some people visit a doctor regularly for checkups,
to ask questions and get advice, and to maintain good health.
Which do you think is the better approach? Obviously, the second one!
The same thing is true when it comes to real estate. Even if you have no
current plans to buy or sell a home, there are many reasons to talk to a
REALTOR® regularly in order to maintain your good "real estate" health.
For example, you can:
• Get an assessment of the current market value of your home, so you
can make an informed decision about whether to stay or move.
• Ask about the state of the local real estate market (which may be
vastly different than what you hear on the news.)
• Find out what homes are currently selling for in the area.
• Learn what's currently available on the market, especially in
neighbourhoods you would like to live in and that are within your
In fact, it's a good idea to have a chat with your REALTOR® once or twice a
year, even if it's just to say hello. You want to build a relationship with a good REALTOR® who understands (and cares about) you and your needs. That way, when it does come time for you to make a move, you're dealing with a REALTOR® you already
know and trust.
Don't have a good REALTOR®? Call today! I am happy to help!
There are several reasons why you may need to sell your home quickly. For example, a job change may require a speedy relocation to another city, or you may have purchased another property and don't want to be stuck too long with two mortgages. It is a known fact that the less time your property stays on the market, the higher the price you will get for it. Starting off on the right foot, with the right team, is the KEY to SUCCESS!
Here are some basic tips that can help get the sold sign on your front lawn sooner.
1. • Be realistic with price.
If you set the listing price higher than the current market value of your home, then you're not going to get many, if any, viewers. You want the list price to be attractive, which means listing at the current market value.
2. • Get things fixed.
You probably don't have time for a major renovation. So just make sure everything in your home is in good working order. Deal with any obvious maintenance issues, such as a leaking faucet or a gate hanging precariously on one hinge.
3. • Ensure your home shows well, inside and outside.
Eliminate clutter. Trim hedges. Make sure every room has adequate lighting, especially the basement. Imagine that a special guest is visiting your home, then clean up and prepare accordingly. People are VERY sensitive to smells- fresh air is always a must!
4. • Be flexible with viewing times.
You want as many potential buyers as possible to see your home. So don't restrict viewing times to just Saturdays. Make sure your home is as "available" as possible for showings. This may cause you and your family some inconvenience, but the reward will be selling your property sooner.
5. • Work with a good REALTOR®.
Find an agent who understands the area and the local market well. He or she will be able to recommend a variety of strategies that will help sell your home faster, and for a good price. Interview a few local agents and ALWAYS pick the person you feel the most comfortable with.Different properties require different marketing techniques- ask the agents how they will market your property and what they will do to ensure you get the best price possible. You have to work as a TEAM with your agent and it is vital you feel secure and respected by whomever you choose to work with.
There are so many horror stories about disreputable or incompetent home
improvement contactors that television shows have been made about them.
Unless you want to be a guest on one of those programs, take steps to
ensure you find a good contractor.
Here are some tips that will help:
• Ask for references. Speak to the references.
• Get a detailed written estimate of the work to be done, and make
sure you understand all the terms and conditions.
• Be wary of contractors who insist on large payments upfront. The
payment plan should be reasonable and tied to work as completed.
• Ask if the contractor is a member of any professional associations.
• Don't deal with a contractor who offers you a no-tax, cash-only deal.
• Ask the contractor to get the appropriate permits before starting your
These tips won't guarantee you'll hire a reputable contractor, but they will
increase the chances that you do.
I have a HUGE list of fantastic resources- feel free to give me a call when you have a job that needs to get done RIGHT!
If you're listing your home for sale, then of course you’ll want to make the best impression possible on potential home buyers. But, just to have a little fun, say you don't want to sell your property. What could you do to discourage those who view your home?
Well, you could have your pets in the home during viewings. That will certainly make it uncomfortable for some buyers – especially those with pet allergies. Leaving pet dishes and litter boxes out are also a must as it helps create lovely smells and decor- not!
You could also leave personal items around, such as family pictures and trophies. That will make it more difficult for a buyer to imagine himself and his family living there. It might even make him feel a bit like an intruder!
Clutter in bedrooms, closets and other areas of the home will make those spaces feel less spacious than they really are, as well as make visitors feel uncomfortable.
If you really want to turn off a buyer, then put off doing any minor repairs. A dripping tap, flickering light, dent in the wall, or other maintenance issues are certain to gain a buyer's attention.
If all that doesn't shoo away a buyer from your home, then stick around during a viewing and follow him and his family from room to room. That will certainly make him feel uneasy.
Of course, we're just having a bit of fun here!!! When you put your home on the market, you want to sell it.
It’s easy to avoid all the pitfalls described above and ensure potential buyers appreciate the full value of your home. So when you’re preparing for a showing, think of ways you can make your property appear its best, and make the buyer feel welcomed and comfortable viewing it. For example, having indoor pets is no problem- just try and be aware that 'pet debris' turns some people off asap. If you have indoor pets, offering professional carpet cleaning before possession is a HUGE bonus that will put buyers minds at ease. "De-Cluttering" doesn't mean tossing away your lifes posessions and having endless garage sales- its about minimizing and organizing. Buyers WILL look into your closets and cupboards- kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom. They aren't 'snooping', but rather trying to envision if there is enough storage for their needs. THE LESS THE BETTER- put those 3 half empty soap jugs into 1, throw away that 3 year old shampoo, box up the clothes you aren't wearing this time of year. It may seem like a large task but I promise it will go fast and pay off in the end!
Want more ideas on how to sell your home quickly and for the best price? The market is in FULL swing- if you want to get the best dollar in the shortest time frame- Call me today!
When you’re shopping for a new home, you want to find a property that has
all the features and characteristics you want. A large deck surrounded by
picturesque landscaping ... a beautiful kitchen with gleaming marble
countertops... a cozy finished basement with fireplace....
You should look for the ideal home. You deserve it! But some home buyers
make the mistake of becoming fixated on finding the "perfect" property, and
passing too quickly on those homes that don't quite measure up.
Why is that a mistake?
Because some of those less-than-perfect properties
have the potential of becoming your next dream home.
First of all, a home that is lacking some desirable features, such as a
finished basement, will probably cost less. Those savings may be more than
enough to cover any needed upgrade or renovation.
Secondly, if you look at a home in terms of its potential, rather than the
features it happens to have now, there will be more properties available on
the market for you to consider.
If you're determined to have a large wrap-around deck for entertaining, for
example, don't cross homes that don't have this feature off your list. At least
not yet. Instead, view these properties with an eye on potential. Is the
backyard big enough to accommodate a large deck? How would a deck like
that look if added to this particular property? How much would such a
There's no doubt about it. You want to find a home that has all the features
and characteristics you want. If you work with a good REALTOR®, there is
a good chance you'll find a property that has most of them.
But keep an open mind. Sometimes a "diamond in the rough" can – with an
upgrade or renovation – become a home you'll treasure for years.
When you’re looking for a new home, you want to find one in a great
neighbourhood – or, at least, in a neighborhood that is on the upswing.
How can you tell if a particular area is improving?
Here are some common indicators:
• Pride of ownership. Take a walk around the neighbourhood. Do you get a
sense that people take good care of their homes? Are the lawns mowed?
Is the landscaping trimmed? Are flowers planted? Homeowners are more
likely to look after their properties when they like where they are living.
• Home improvements. Are people investing in their homes? Are they
getting their driveways re-done? Their windows replaced? Are there signs
of home improvement projects? If so, this is a clear indication that
homeowners like the area enough to invest in their properties.
• Real estate sales activity. Do homes tend to sell quickly in the area? Do
they sell for a good price? If so, the neighbourhood is probably in demand.
If people want to live there, it's a desirable area.
• Business investment. Are businesses investing in the surrounding area?
Is there an increase in the number of upscale shops, health clubs,
restaurants, and other commercial enterprises that often locate near
• Community involvement. Are there signs that the community plays an
active role in the look and lifestyle of the neighbourhood? Are there
neighbourhood picnics, yard sales and other get-togethers? Check
Facebook.com to see if the neighbourhood has a community page.
• City plans. Find out what plans the city has for the area. Will there be road
improvements done in the near future? Are there any major construction
projects on the schedule, such as a new school or community centre.
Although such projects can be disruptive in the short term, they may
improve the neighbourhood – and, as a result, boost the value of any home
you buy – in the long-term.
Of course, the best way to find out the desirability of a neighbourhood is to
talk to a good REALTOR® who knows the area. Call today- I am here to help!
These days, most people want to do their bit to help the environment.
Unfortunately, not everyone is willing, or able, to install solar panels on their
roof or implement an in-ground heat recovery system.
Luckily, there are many smaller things you can do that can make a big
difference. Here are some ideas that can help you "go green" easily and
~Get a recycling bin and learn how to use it. Most jurisdictions have a
recycling program. You may be able to get a rebate on your recycling bin or
even get it for free. Keep a list of items that can be recycled on your fridge
door, so that everyone in the family can participate.
~Get a kitchen compost bin. Find out if your jurisdiction has a compost
pick-up program. If they do, get a kitchen compost bin. Composting can
reduce landfill waste by as much as 32%.
~Use energy-saving light bulbs. Low energy light bulbs have come a long
way in recent years. Their consistent glow and brightness now rival their
incandescent counterparts. By replacing regular 40-watt bulbs with energysaving
8-watt bulbs, you could save nearly 50% of the electricity you used
for lighting. Results may vary by brand.
~Shop for local produce. Many grocery stores and supermarkets offer
produce – fruits, vegetables, – that are grown within a 100 mile radius. The
short transportation distance, means significantly less fossil fuel is required
to get the produce delivered to your local store. Keep in mind that some
non-local produce, such as apples in the off-season, often need to be
transported thousands of miles.
~Let nature do the work. As an alternative to air conditioning, open windows
and block out the passive heat gain from the sun with curtains. Do the
opposite in winter. Strategically using curtains and windows can lower your
energy bill by as much as 20%.
As you can see, you don't have to do much to have a "greener" home. Just
a few little changes can make a big difference.
If you're shopping for a new home, you're probably aware that there will be
some costs over and above the purchase price. It makes sense to budget
for these costs so you're not surprised – and unprepared – when you get
Most of these costs fall into a category that the real estate industry calls
"closing costs." The most common types include land transfer tax, lawyer’s
fees and disbursements, adjustments for prepayment of taxes and utilities,
property insurance, and HST/GST for newly-built homes.
You should also consider other expenses you will incur, such as home
insurance and moving expenses.
Of course, if your new home is a condominium, you’ll also have to account
for the monthly condo fees.
Closing costs can vary depending on the type and location of your new
As a good rule of thumb, you should always have 1.5% of the purchase
price for closing costs. Therefore if your purchase is for $200,000, ensure that
you have an extra $3000 to cover your closing costs.
A good REALTOR® can help you determine the costs you will incur.
This is where I come in! Don't fret, I have your back and will always inform
you of all costs you need to know to avoid the unwanted 'surprises'!
You may think that having to deal with multiple offers on your home is a
wonderful problem. After all, there are so many buyers waiting to
purchase your property!
The challenge, however, is picking the best offer – and that isn't always the
one with the highest price.
Most offers come with conditions, such as "conditional on securing
appropriate financing" or "conditional on the sale of our current property."
You have to consider both the price and the conditions when choosing
which offer to accept.
There are other considerations, too. What if someone makes a great offer
on your home, but they don't have a pre-approved mortgage and they
haven’t put their current home on the market? That kind of offer is risky
because it is more likely than an unconditional offer to fall through.
So there's a lot to think about when you're in the seemingly enviable
position of dealing with multiple offers. How do you select the right one? The
answer is to have a good REALTOR® by your side to help you make the
Want more tips on finding and buying your next dream home? Call me today!
Let's face it. Life can get complicated, complex and stressful very easily.
Luckily, there are plenty of ways to simplify your life, especially at home.
Here are some tips from the experts:
• Don't be ruled by the TV guide. Instead, select what you want
to see and then record those shows. That way, you can watch
• Prepare some meals in advance that can simply be heated up
as needed. That reduces a lot of "after-work, gotta-get-dinnerready"
• Create a weekly dinner menu. It takes some time to prepare,
but it allows you to shop effectively, and greatly reduces the
stress of figuring out what to cook each day.
• Don't accumulate stuff you don't want or need. Give those
• Simplify your cleaning by dividing tasks into ten minute chunks
(such as vacuuming the living room.) Then fit those tasks in
here and there whenever you have ten minutes.
• To avoid clutter, adopt the "touch it once" rule, which simply
means putting things where they belong right away.
• Think of the home-related chore you hate doing most. Can you
outsource that to a local company, or a neighbour looking for
• Limit the time you and others in your family spend checking
emails and text messages. Consider having an hour or two
each evening that's "no screen" time.
• Develop healthy routines, such as evening walks and family
board game night.
These are just a few ideas. If you want to simplify your home life, you can
probably brainstorm several other strategies and habits you can try. The
idea is to make your home an enjoyable place to be – for you and your
-Extra ideas? Post away!
When shopping for a new home, it's a good idea to try and see the potential
of the property you're viewing. It may not be exactly what you're looking for
"as is", but it may have the potential to become your dream home after
some redecorating or renovating.
The challenge is, judging how much work is required. You don't want to buy
a home with the expectation that it requires a $20,000 renovation, only to
discover that it really needed three times that much!
That’s where our team can help!
We can help you get a realistic estimate of the cost of repairs,
upgrades, and renovations, and even recommend some reputable interior
designers or contractors.
That way, when you see a home with "potential", you'll be able to make a
more informed decision.
Want more tips on finding and buying your next dream home? Call today
Something has just spilled on your favourite rug or carpet. There's a stain
forming. You're worried. Will you be able to remove it? Will the stain set and
Luckily, there's a good chance you can completely lift just about any kind of
stain – if you follow a few guidelines.
The first rule of stain removal is: act fast. The fresher the stain, the easier it
is to lift. So when you notice a stain of any kind, start to work on it right
away. Don't wait.
Begin by trying to dry blot the stain. Avoid the temptation of using a wet
cloth or detergent, at least at this stage of the game. Blot the stain gently
with a clean, dry cloth or absorbent paper towel. Be patient. It may take
several minutes before you see any results.
If dry blotting doesn't completely lift the stain, mix up a combination of one
glass of water with one teaspoon of lemon juice. Again, take a clean cloth or
paper towel, wet it with the water/lemon mixture, and gently blot the area
(test on an inconspicuous area first). Wait five minutes, then try dry blotting
You may have to repeat the above process a few times.
Using a vacuum cleaner directly over the affected area can also help lift
more of the stain.
If, after all your efforts, some of the stain is still there, place a couple of
sheets of paper towel over the stain, with a few books on top to maintain
pressure. Leave those there for 24 hours. Check every hour or so. If you
see stain on the paper towels, you know it's working.
If all else fails, consider calling in a professional cleaner. They know all the
tricks and can often perform a miracle for you!
How do you select the best moving company for your needs?
• Ask for recommendations from friends other professionals in the local
real estate industry.
• Beware of fly-by-night operations. They may seem like a bargain, but
you get what you pay for.
• Does the company provide you with a written estimate and contract?
(Beware of movers that just give you a price over the phone.)
• Ask if they are covered by insurance, and what their policy is
regarding lost or broken items. Make sure you receive a copy of their
Finally, always ask what circumstances would result in extra charges being
applied. The number one complaint received about movers by the Better
Business Bureau is unexpected extra charges.
Questions about moving? Call today.