Real Estate Chat With Marsha
Back-to-School Home Organization Tips
After a few months of having your kids at home throughout the day, sometimes organization and order go out the window. On top of the other stresses that come with a new school year, a messy house adds just another kink in the transition from summer break to school time. Instead of trying to manage the chaos while school shopping and preparing for the new year, tackle these home organization steps now so that you can stress a little less when you drop them off on their first day back!
1. Clean out the fridge, clear it off, and restock!
Get your fridge ready for the new year. Instead of scrambling that first week back, clear out any expired foods now and get lunch supplies. Clear off all of the summer projects and invitations for events that have passed, and put any helpful information for the school year up on the fridge.
2. Inventory the kids’ closets.
Back-to-school shopping is often the best part of the process for your children. But before you head out, take an inventory of what they already have. Get rid of anything that doesn’t fit and see what they may need instead of guessing while you are out shopping. Once you’ve made room for new items, organize what is left so adding new clothes and finding that first day outfit will be a breeze.
3. Create your own mission control center.
Take advantage of that wall you’ve been struggling to decorate and create a mission control center for your family. Add a calendar, a folder for each child, notepads, writing tools, and anything else that will help keep your entire family on the same page.
4. Work on making a menu.
Even when lunches are handled, dinners can be overwhelming during the school year. Between sports, activities, and everything in between, sometimes making sure a well-rounded meal is on the table every night can be a headache. Create a menu and meal prep as much as possible every Sunday to save yourself the stress of meal planning every day.
Home Buying Myths
Do you really need 20% down?
Although the internet can be a great resource for a variety of information, a lot of that information is incorrect. One of the most important and expensive decisions in your life, home buying, tends to circulate a lot of misinformation. Most of that misinformation is in regards to how much of a down payment you need or what your credit score needs to be. Let's go over the real facts about buying a home and knock those myths out, so they don't hinder your ability to purchase!
Though it may come as a surprise, you don't need a perfect credit score to purchase a home. Traditional bank lenders will work with credit scores as low as 640, but your agent can also get you connected with local lenders that accept credit scores as low as 580. Although there are other required stipulations to qualify for the loan, you don't need a perfect score in the 700's or 800's to get approved for a mortgage.
You don't have to sell an arm and a leg to be able to purchase your dream house. There is a huge misconception that you need to pay a minimum of 20% down to buy. That information is outdated. These days, there a large variety of loan programs that only need an average of 3-5% down. Based on your income or military status, you may even qualify for mortgage programs that require 0% down. Although you'll expect to pay an additional 3% in closing costs, which is separate from the down payment, this is still significantly less that 20% of the purchase price. If you're in a buyer's market, you may even be able to negotatie for the closing costs to be covered by the sellers.
Be sure to connect with a local real estate agent like me to ensure you have the right facts. Don't let online myths persuade you into thinking you can't qualify or afford to buy a home. There are a variety of programs to help you get into your dream house. Since these vary by county and province, it's imperative to call your agent and let them fill you in on the facts.
What Does a Property Surveyor Do?
Property Surveyors, sometimes referred to as Land Surveyors, play a vital role in the real estate world. They are the professionals who determine or confirm the exact boundaries of a property.
Will you need to deal with a Property Surveyor when you sell your home?
Sometimes the mortgage lender will ask for a land survey, especially if your property is older and hasn’t changed hands in many years. You might also be asked for one by the buyer if there is any confusion about the size and boundaries of your property - or if significant changes have been made to it in recent years.
This is nothing to be concerned about.
A qualified Property Surveyor will do the appropriate inspections and measurements on your property and issue you the survey. (It looks a little like a blueprint.)
Property Surveyors are highly trained and licensed. Professional Surveyors Canada (PSC) represents the profession nationally, and most provinces have their own professional associations.
Before spending the money on a new land survey, make sure you don’t already have one. Hopefully, you’ve stored the paperwork that relates to the purchase of your home. Look through it. A valid land survey might be right there.
If you have questions about land surveys, call today.
The Incredible Joy of Owning Your Home
If you haven't bought a home yet, you're missing out on a wonderful feeling! That moment when you walk through your doors, throw your purse or keys on the floor, plop down on your couch and breathe a sigh of relief while thinking, "Finally, it's ours (or mine)!" And the joy of looking at all of your boxes, getting to roll your eyes about why you buy so much stuff, then giving yourself a moment to take a nap because you worked hard to get here and earned it! Yes that's a real feeling!
We often hear, and read, about the cost effectiveness of home ownership. The equity build-up, the freedom it can give us from finances in our retirement years, and a plethora of other ways owning a home can be a positive impact on your bottom dollar. But we don't often hear about the emotional impact owning a home can have. Yes there will be days the fridge is acting silly and you need to call your home warranty, or days you have to get outside to mow your own yard, but nothing beats the pride and joy of owning a home.
There is a sense of security, and a sense of "this is mine and I worked my way up to this moment," that provides moments of bliss. The ability to do with your home as you please, not pay a pretty penny for every member of your fur family, and the privacy it provides can't be beat.
Home ownership also gives you the ability to put down some roots. And we mean that figuratively and literally. You get to build memories through the holidays and go through many milestones with your family, that leave a significant impact into the later years. You also get to build bonds with your neighbors, and grow in a community oriented neighborhood. With rentals, people come and go annually, but there are deeper roots planted with building relationships with those living next to you. Potlucks, 4th of July and New Year's Eve spent lighting fireworks, and just the excitement of getting to know each other and build new relationships.
Buying a home isn't about the dollars and cents for everyone, sometimes it's just about the joy of owning your own place, and getting to build amazing memories in it. If you've been longing for this, get in touch with a real estate agent, and make it happen. You owe it to yourself to make your dreams come true!
From "I Do" to #Sold
Newlyweds are saying "I do" to each other, and equate to over half of first time home buyers that are also saying "I do" to their dream homes. It makes sense! When you put two hearts together, the time comes to find a home to nourish that love. A home that brings two of your places together, and makes it one. If you and your spouse are ready to fall in love with the perfect house together, here are five tips to make sure the process goes smoothly, and you come prepared.
1. YOUR WEDDING BUDGET: Your wedding is a one-time event that shouldn't be less than what you'd imagine. It's a beautiful time to put all of your dream pieces together. However, it's best to sit down and find out ways you can shift the budget to help with your down payment for a home, if you plan to purchase. The average couple spends a little over $20,000 on their wedding. Even a savings of $5000 from your wedding budget can help with owning the perfect home.
2. WEDDING GIFTS: Wedding bliss comes with wedding gifts. Let's admit, one of our favorite times during the wedding season is all of the gifts that come pouring in! Have any friends or family pitching in cash? Save that to put towards your down payment. And depending on the generosity of your gifts, you can even open an account dedicated to your down payment, that friends and family can gift to.
3. GET PRE-APPROVED: One of the least brought up conversations in relationships is the credit and financial history of your soon-to-be spouse. Get together with a lender to go over both of your histories to know what needs to be done to put you guys in a position to own together. In some cases, only one person can get approved, while the other can't. If you want to put both of your incomes toward the cost of the house you want, talking to a lender early on can ensure you are prepared to make the right moves.
4. THE RIGHT AGENT: That's where I come in! For starters, I can connect you with a lender to ensure you guys are being watched over from the best recommendations. And it's an absolute joy to take the stress out of buying a home for my newly wed couples. We all know how stressful, although joyous, a wedding can be. To then jump into buying a house shortly after, well, it's certainly a lot to get through. But I can guide you through all of the steps to make sure you end up with a house you love. Just think of me as a wedding planner, but for homes.
5. NOW THERE'S TWO: Although some spouses are a match made in heaven, loving and adoring the same exact things, often times that's not the case with most couples. You still are your own persons, and have your own tastes. This is where the first step to comprise really begins. Spending a good bit of money on a place you both will love and call home. A happy marriage starts with a happy home, so be sure you both are considerate of each other's wants and needs in style and location, so you both are happy with the home you end up getting.
Storage Ideas For Small Bathrooms
Is your bathroom small? It’s the worst, isn’t it? Well, unfortunately, small bathrooms are very common, and are usually the smallest rooms in the house. I can almost bet that it almost always feels cramped and tight in there. Although the square footage doesn’t change, a change of organization and storage space can make a drastic change to how your bathroom feels. Here are a few tips and tricks to make your bathroom space feel more functional and spacious.
If you have a regular mirror, replacing it with one that includes a medicine cabinet and provide further storage space.
If you have free space above your toilet, vanity, or other another empty part of the wall, install shelving units. Purchase a few decorative baskets to maximize shelf space.
With a few decorative hooks, in a style of your preference, you can declutter by placing a couple on the back of the door to hang towels or robes. Perhaps one or two right next to each end of the shelving unit you just installed.
A rack installed inside of you shower can save you space and convenience, also adding an additional shower bar above the original will work nicely. Another idea is installing a few racks a couple of feet above each other or right next on another. If you have an excessive amount of towels, store some of them away in the bedroom closet.
Vanity with Cabinet
I have come across plenty of pedestal sinks in small bathrooms, but if you want save some space, add some storage, and upgrade the look of your bathroom at the same time, a vanity cabinet will definitely do the trick.
Save Your Home From Dryer Fires
Every year, more than 2900 home fires are started by clothes dryers. The leading cause of these fires are from a build of up lint from lack of maintenance. The removable lint filter unfortunately doesn't catch all of the cloth and fabric particles, so maintenance requires a little more than just emptying the filter after each load. Whether you live in your own home or plan to purchase in the near future, it's important to have safeguards in place for the utilities that you use that could put your home at risk. You want to make sure that the lint that gets trapped in crevices and in the hose on it's way outside are thoroughly cleaned.
Here are a few warning signs to look for that may indicate your dryer is getting clogged up by lint:
~ Clothes are taking a lot longer to dry, and sometimes not even drying all the way.
~ Clothes may be hotter by the end of the cycle.
~ The outside of the dryer starts to get really hot.
~ The outside exhaust vent flapper isn't opening much.
~ The laundry room begins to feel really humid.
~ There is a burnt smell in the laundry room.
If this seems to be the case, then you'll want to evaluate your dryer. The tools you need to clean it are as follows:
~ A vacuum with a long hose attachment.
~ Dryer vent brush kit.
~ UL listed metal foil duct tape
Here are 4 steps to cleaning your dryer:
1. Remove the lint trap filter and make sure it's completely cleaned off. You want to make sure you're cleaning the filter after every load to help prevent lint build up.
2. Vacuum the space that houses the lint trap filter. The filter doesn't capture all of the particles, and this is the second place the lint will begin to accumulate.
3. Disconnect the dryer duct and clean out the duct with a long hose from a vacuum. You can also use a duct brush to help you complete a more thorough job.
4. Make sure the duct is connected properly. You don't want it cinched in any part of the duct, to prevent crevices where the lint can get stuck.
No one knows the value your home has as much as this real estate pro, keep it protected by taking some simple cautionary steps to keeping everything in running order. And if you're in need of a brand new laundry room altogether, don't forget to give me a call.
Mistakes To Avoid On Your First Buy/Sell
If this is the first time you're considering buying a home, or selling your first purchase, there are a lot of possible challenges you can end up facing. Having the right agent can ensure you're able to get through these challenges, but since some of the issues are universal, let's review some mistakes you want to avoid making.
1. THE RIGHT PRICE
Pricing a property is a science of it's own. There are a lot of components and factors, so many small details, that ultimately lead to the value of a home. Although there are a lot of sites with estimates, namely Zillow, the technology uses on online sites to determine property values are simply not accurate. Zillow even states that their numbers can be inaccurate up to a whopping 20%. Without a background as a real estate professional, it's virtually impossible for a consumer to be able to know the proper components needed to price a home. When you're purchasing a home, you're want to find a deal, can lead to stubbornness about what you're willing to pay and what you think a home is worth. But what you WANT it to be worth is the complete opposite of what it should sell for. If you're a first time seller, you may want to sell your home for as much as you can squeeze out of it, but this can lead to unrealistic expectations, and ultimately lead to an overpriced home that never sells. Don't make the mistake of assuming you know what a home's value should be. Instead, partner with a real estate agent that truly is working for your best interest, and let them provide you the tools to support home values, so you can place an offer, or price your home, at a number that makes sense.
2. REFUSING TO NEGOTIATE
If you go into a sale, or purchase, refusing to make negotiations, hard-set on what you want without exception, you're more than likely going to cause a lot of grief and stress for yourself during the sales process. When you're looking to buy or sell a home, you have to have an open mind about negotiations. They are a common practice within the industry, with buyers wanting to spend less and sellers wanting to net more. If neither party is willing to make negotiations, you'll find yourself in a contract time and time again, only to fall apart before you can finally close on the home. Having a great agent will help you ensure you make negotiations that are reasonable to lead both parties to the closing table, without compromising you.
3. REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS
Although we all have an idea in our mind what our dream home should be, sometimes the market, and your budget, don't fit realistically into check marking everything off of your list. Find an agent that helps you look for the most important needs in your dream house, but keep an open mind to a home that fits most of your needs, but not necessarily all of them. Having too many expectations within a home can become stressful and result in never finding a home that really matches your needs. If a home has the major components you are seeking, get creative and see if the other things you want can be added down the road. Have a certain number of non-negotiable items, like bedroom/bathroom count, but then have a list of "wants."
4. YOU'RE NOT ALONE, DON'T GO IT ALONE
Don't make the mistake of trying to handle the sales process all on your own. There is a reason that the real estate profession, and the laws around it, are as strong as ever. Real estate agents are a necessity during the sales process to ensure the right steps are taken to get a home sold. Buying and selling is a difficult process that requires knowledge and expertise that comes from a professional within the industry. From legal terms, to finding homes that aren't even listed on the market, there are a lot of ins and outs un-experienced buyers and sellers may not think about, which can lead to losing value on your home or never finding the right one. Avoid the stress of "learning the hard way" and find a professional that can give you the guidance you need to get the task at hand completed and ensure you're happy with the outcome.
Tips To Get Settled Into Your New Home
Moving into a new home? We know how exciting it can be! We’ve compiled a list of a few things you can do after your move to make sure your experience is comfortable. The hardest part of a move is getting settled in, after that, let’s handle a few loose ends that sometimes get forgotten about till the last minute.
CHECK MAJOR APPLIANCES
Be sure to check all the appliances to ensure everything is still in working order after the move. You want to make sure nothing was broken in the move or stopped working suddenly. Look at things such as your stove, dishwasher, washer and dryer, refrigerator, and microwave. If you brought any appliances yourself and you used movers, you’ll want to make sure everything still works with them, since mover’s insurance companies give a limited timeframe for when you can make a claim.
CHECK ALL OF YOUR BOXES & FURNITURE
Be sure to go over all your boxes and furniture to make sure nothing got damaged during the move. Be sure that everyone has arrived and didn’t get lost in the process. If you notice something is missing a month later, it may be too late to file a claim with the moving company. Even if you don’t plan on unpacking everything as soon as you move in, just do a quick review and inventory everything you brought to protect yourself and your belongings.
SET UP UTILITIES
Did you remember to set up your utilities before moving in? There’s nothing more frustrating than moving into your home to realize the lights don’t work. Make sure you’ve gotten with all of the necessary utility companies to have everything turned on in time for your move.
REGISTER INTO A GOOD SCHOOL
You may have already known to look for a school for your kids prior to your move, but if you haven’t yet found one, be sure to research all the schools local to you to find the right fit for your family. The sooner you can find the right school and register, the easier and less stressful it will be to get them in and settle.
REGISTER YOUR CAR
If you’ve moved to a new state or country, you’ll want to make sure to register your car in your new hometown and update your driver’s license, tags, and plates.
CONNECT TO YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD
Join sites like Nextdoor.com or get a subscription to your local magazine/newspaper to stay in touch with what’s going on in your neighborhood. Be sure to also join local community Facebook groups. You can find out about events or concerns relating to your community.
GETTING YOUR MAIL
Have you updated your address from all the people you’ll be expecting to get mail from? Like your bank, friends, family, and services you still pay for after your move. Check with the post office to have things redirected to your new address while you work to update your info with everyone else.
FIND THE RIGHT PROFESSIONALS
If you’re moving far from your last home, you’ll want to have the right connections. Find a new doctor, dentist, vet, handyman, plumber, etc. Add them into a contact book that’s easily accessible.
EMERCENY CONTACT LIST
If you’re moving to a new country, 911 won’t be the local emergency number. Make sure you have all the correct numbers in the case of an emergency. This can also include doctors, the local police station, a vet, etc.
More than likely, you handled home insurance and home warranty during the purchasing process. If you haven’t, be sure to get those taken care of right away. You’ll also want to get your auto, health, and any other necessary household insurances sorted for your move.
Tips To Beautify Rooms In Your Home
There’s no place like home, so why not make home the most beautiful and cozy place you can stay in? Let’s dive into some techniques that can help you showcase the best features of every room in your house. Just a touch of color, texture, and personality can transform your home into something new. Here’s a few tips that aren’t a lot of hassle:
ADD SOME COLOR
Going with a neutral scheme can never go wrong, but if you’re feeling like your room is a little drab, don’t be afraid to go with a bold color. You can do an accent wall that compliments the current color scheme or use your furniture or accent pieces to bring a touch of color. Color doesn’t have to mean clutter, you can keep the rest of the room simple and add the dramatic touch with a few elements.
USE SOME MIRRORS
Bringing in some mirrors can add light and room to your space. Using mirrors in staging is known to help the room look like it’s much bigger than it is it. Add a few accent mirrors, preferably right across the room from a window, to brighten up your space and keep it from feeling too tight and small.
PLAY WITH ACCESSORIES
We get it, furniture can get expensive, but there is so much you can do with a room just getting creative with accessories. Get some unique decorative pieces and let your room tell a story around them. Hop down to your closest antique store and grab some pieces that are bold. You can also hop into Hobby Lobby or TJ Maxx, they have beautiful and unique decorative pieces that are incredibly affordable.
ADD SOME GREEN
Nothing gives a space some life like some life, literally. Add some plants to your rooms, lots of green ones that are easy to keep alive, to add a unique touch to the room. You’d be surprised how much a room looks “finished” when you add a beautiful tree to the corner of a room.
EMBRACE THE LIGHT
The natural light, we mean. Don’t block out your windows with heavy drapes or hide them behind furniture. Decorate around your room in a way that compliments the windows and brings the natural light in.
Use fur throws or pillows, use patterns in your fabrics, etc. Don’t be afraid to add unique textures throughout the home. It gives your eyes something to land on as it’s looking around the room. You can even use metallics. Don’t over-do it, because then it can get overwhelming. Just get a few textures that compliment each other and put them in clever places around your room.
A tip you’ll hear often, nothing brings the best out in a room then getting rid of all the clutter and junk. If you have a hard time walking around your room or finding things, it may be time to get a few boxes and start cleaning out the things that don’t really belong.
Debunking Myths To Home Buying
Finally ready to make the transition into home ownership? That's awesome, and in this exciting time you can be turning to friends and family for an insight into the process. However, there seems to be a circulation of misinformation spreading around, so we're here to clear up a few myths.
1. THE FIRST STEP IS SEARCHING FOR A HOME
You know the saying, "Don't put the cart before the horse," well that's important to remember when it comes to buying a home. You don't want to start looking for a house until you have gotten to sit down with a lender and discuss what the bank will qualify you for. If you fall in love with a house that's $250,000 and come to find out you're only qualified for $200,000 you can get your hopes crushed and waste a lot of time. Don't start the process on the wrong foot and make sure the numbers line up.
2. YOU DON'T NEED A REAL ESTATE AGENT
For starts, when buying a home, 99% of the time the buyer's agent gets paid by the sellers. That random 1% can be for odd circumstances. So you're getting to use the services of a real estate agent for free. Having a real estate agent on your side means you'll get to see homes that aren't as readily available on public searches, you avoid outdated listings and scammers (there are lots of them), and you have protection when it comes to navigating the legalities of contracts and buying a home. Why wouldn't you want an awesome negotiator working to ensure you get the best from the transaction? For FREE!
3. YOU CAN'T BUY A HOME WITH BAD CREDIT
Fortunately for some, this is a myth. Lenders and banks come by the hundreds of thousands and all though there are a few loan options, a lot of lenders can work with credit scores down to the low to mid 500's. Get in touch with an agent to help you connect with the right lender who can help you potentially approved. There is a lot of factors that go into approvals, but your credit doesn't have to be a sore thumb during the process. However, you will be doing yourself a favor if you connect with a credit repair specialist to at least get those numbers in the 600's. A better score will lower you interest rate.
4. YOUR DOWN PAYMENT HAS TO BE 20%
Think you have to sell an arm and a leg to buy a home? Not at all! An FHA loan only requires 3.5% while a conventional only requires 5%. There are a lot of programs that can potentially help you with down payment assistance or be 0% down mortgage. USDA and VA loans are the most popular 0% down programs. If you qualify, this can take a big chunk off the amount of cash you have to bring to the closing table.
5. DOWN PAYMENTS ARE THE ONLY UPFRONT COST
This is one of the biggest misconceptions. There is a lot of cost that goes into buying a home, and that includes upfront costs. One of the mandatory ones are a termite and appraisal. If you are getting a mortgage, the home will have to appraise and get a letter stating there are no termites in the home. Termite can range between $25-$75 dollars. An appraisal can range from $300-$700 dollars. Aside from your down payment, you then have to pay for closing costs. And NO, they are not the same thing. Closing costs can range anywhere between 3-6% of the purchase price. In certain markets, this can be negotiated for sellers to cover by rolling into the offer price, but whether that decision is smart to do or not when it comes to landing your dream home will need to be discussed with your agent.
Now that you have some knowledge to get the process started, get in touch with an agent who will help you get through the process as smoothly as possible.
3 Questions To Ask Before Buying Your 1st Home
The real estate market is constantly changing, so of course DO YOUR RESEARCH! DO NOT jump the gun on this one! Unbiased advice from family and peers may be kind, but you are the only one who knows what your needs are when it comes to buying a home.
WHAT MADE YOU CONSIDER OWNING A HOME?
Forget finances for a minute and focus on what made you consider even buying a home in the first place!
§ Is your family expanding?
§ Does your family feel safe?
§ Is there a STELLAR school system in the area so your children can get the education they deserve?
§ How about that unbearable landlord?
WHICH WAY IS THE REAL ESTATE MARKET GOING?
DON’T SLEEP ON YOUR DECISION TOO LONG! Home prices are on the rise! Not only are they on their way back up, but these increases are happening monthly.
Don’t believe us? According to Existing Homes Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the average price of homes in May 2017 went up 5.8% from last year.
If you wait until next year to buy, you might be scrapping for change in the cushions to say the least! Not only will it cost you more to buy, but you will also need to increase your down payment to account for the higher price of the home.
WHAT IS THE MORTGAGE FORECAST?
The initial process of purchasing your home may seem easy and quick, but THERE IS MORE TOO IT! The ‘long term cost’ of buying a home WILL haunt you if you buy at the wrong time! Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), and NAR have projected that mortgage interest rates will DEFINITLEY increase over the next twelve months. The smallest increase in mortgage rates can have a huge impact on a home owner.
If you and your family feel it is the right time to buy a home then GO FOR IT! Consider these points when making the final decision.
Don’t forget, this move is FOR YOU!
2019 Can Cost You Ten's of Thousands
"I'll hold off buying a home until next year." If you've thought of purchasing a home, but don't want to deal with the process now, you've probably had this thought cross your mind a time or two. A pretty common tendency to hold off things on our to-do list, especially the ones that seem like a lot of work. But would you hold off the task if I told you that waiting could make a difference of tens of thousands of dollars? Meaning it could cost you a $10,000-$50,000 (or more) difference to get the home you want today, in 2019's market.
It's anticipated, by the national historical trend report, that homes are on the rise by over 5% each year. That house you've been eyeing online, listed for $225,000, could be listed next year for $236,250. That is over $10,000 more just for waiting till 2019. This isn't even bringing into question the rising interest rates for mortgages, that can increase your monthly payment amount on a home pretty significantly, as well.
I get it, the home buying process can seem pretty intimidating. But with an experienced agent on your side, it can actually go pretty smoothly. Let's get in touch. It won't hurt to connect you with a preferred lender and run the numbers through to see what you qualify for. The right time is always right now, I want to help you save the money you deserve to keep, by avoiding the wait.
Kitchen Improvements Under $100
Want to spruce up your kitchen but stuck on a tight budget? Check out the list of improvements you can get started on for under $100. These tips can come in handy when you're ready to list your home to sell on the market.
1. REFRESH THE SINK:
If your sink is starting to look outdated, find an affordable, yet stylish, replacement. If you have the eye for DIY, you can also purchase some sandpaper and a $4 can of spray paint that is made for metal, and dye it to refresh and brighten the color.
2. HANG A NEW LIGHT FIXTURE
A decorative light fixture doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg. You can generally find some decent ones that are under $100. Go for a chrome finish or choose the rustic route, whichever suits the current decor in your kitchen. You can also add LED lights under your kitchen cabinets for around $10-$20.
3. PAINT THE CABINETS
With care taken in the prep work, you can refinish the paint on your cabinets. You can generally get a kit around $75. Refreshing the paint color or the stain can make your kitchen feel brand new.
4. TURN YOUR FRIDGE INTO A CHALKBOARD
Chalkboard finishes are a hot trend, especially on the fridge! They add more functionality by allowing home owners to write grocery lists, menus, and even to-dos. Use painters tape to outline the shape and size you want to use as the chalkboard then coat it with magnetic primer, then chalkboard paint.
5. REPLACE OUTLET PLATES
Replace the outdated outlet wall plates for your light switches. You can add some character to it by using bold patterns, bright colors, or elegant textures. If they look faded, yellow, or chipped, they're a cheap fix to replace.
6. CHANGE HARDWARE
Replacing the hardware on your kitchen cabinets and drawers can provide a drastic change to your kitchen. Not only can you get rid of hideous outdated hardware, but you can add a completely new feel to the theme of your kitchen just by updating the hardware throughout it.
7. EXPAND STORAGE
Have empty wall space? Search your local home stores for cute baskets or storage containers you can use to fill the space. Not only can it add some character to your kitchen, it also adds functionality and more storage options. A feature buyers love if you're thinking of listing your home.
8. DRESS UP YOUR DECOR
Bring some color to your kitchen. Throw out decor that looks like it belongs in the 90's, rugs that are falling apart, and anything else that weighs down a fresh look. Add in some new rugs and hand towels that match your personality and the theme you're trying to achieve. You can also add some plants and decorative pieces to add character.
9. CLEAN UP THE CLUTTER
The best cleaning tip I can give all of my clients is to remove the clutter. Nothing is a bigger eye sore than too many things. It also messes with the energy in a home. Throw out a lot of things that are taking up too much space. If it's sentimental, see if you can store it in a new place or even donate it.
Marsha's Monthly Tip - May
3 Reasons Why a House Isn’t Selling
Have you ever driven by a For Sale sign and wondered, “That house has been on the market for a long time, I wonder why it isn’t selling”? You might have asked that question because you were worried the same thing would happen when you put your own house on the market!
Often a home doesn’t sell for one of three reasons:
1. The price is too high.
Sometimes a homeowner will set the listing price exceptionally high in the hopes of getting lucky. What happens instead, however, is potential buyers stay away. In today’s real estate market, a house usually sells at a price that is close to its market value. Fortunately, the current market value of your house - and, hence, its approximate selling price - may be higher than you realize. It’s worth getting a free market assessment.
2. The house doesn’t show well.
Sometimes a house is strategically priced for the market but doesn’t show well. It’s difficult for buyers to look past issues, such as clutter, and see the potential. In those cases, prospective buyers who view the property, don’t like what they see, and move on. If you put your house on the market, make sure it looks its best for prospective buyers.
3. The listing is poorly promoted.
Clearly, buyers won’t become interested in a property if they don’t know about it. The listing must be promoted effectively, and that involves more than a For Sale sign.
Want more tips on selling your house? Call me today
Judgements Buyers Make in the First 30 Seconds
You’ve probably heard the expression, “You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.” When it comes to selling your home, that is definitely true. In fact, a buyer will come to several conclusions about your property within the first few minutes of seeing it. That’s why it’s so important to make a good first impression.
How do you do that?
One of the best techniques is to pretend you’re a buyer. Drive up to your home. Open the door. Step into the foyer. Take a quick look around. Then ask yourself, “What impressions am I getting from this property so far? What stands out? What impresses me? What concerns me?”
Of course, you want to get a sense that the home is attractive, spacious, and clean. You want to emphasize the enticing features, while minimizing the less desirable qualities. There are many great tricks that can help.
For example, if your foyer is small, eliminate furniture and other items in that area in order to make it look a bit more spacious.
If you have a fantastic kitchen, show it off to the buyer. Make sure the appliances sparkle. Set the table with your best dishware. Make it look like a showcase in a kitchen store. You want the buyer to see it and say, “Wow.”
Buyers make judgements about your home very quickly. In fact, it’s not uncommon for a buyer to make a comment about your property, like - “I love the high ceilings” - within the first few seconds of coming in the door. Don’t underestimate the importance of that first impression.
Of course, serious buyers will scrutinize your property more closely, especially if they have an initial interest. What you want to do is to make sure to peak that initial interest.
Want the latest tips in showing your home effectively, so it sells quickly? Call today.
Will Your Furniture Fit?
When you’re viewing a property that’s on the market, you’ll probably try to imagine how your furniture will fit and look in that space. Where will your desk go in the home office? How will you position the sofa and chairs in the living room?
First, it’s often larger furniture that creates the most concern. Make sure you have those measurements on hand when viewing a property. That way, you can use a measuring tape to get a clear idea of how that particular piece of furniture will fit in the room.
Second, there are many online tools you can use to plan and position furniture for a particular size and shape of room. By using a site such as http://www.roomsketcher.com, you can position your furniture - and see how it fits, in just a few minutes.
Finally, when viewing a home, confirm that larger pieces of furniture can be moved into the rooms. A large, wrap-around sofa may not easily make it up or down narrow, winding steps. Knowing that in advance gives you the opportunity to plan accordingly.
|notable, quotable... quotes!
“It is best to disregard talk and judge only actions.”
“You always pass failure on the way to success.”
“What we call failure is not the falling down but the staying down.”
|Not intended to solicit buyers or sellers currently under contract.
Use The Right Paint Finish
Ready to paint your home? Be sure to use the right finishes in each room and feature to make the best impact in your home. Using the wrong finishes can backfire for home owners if the wrong ones are used in the wrong spaces. Below, you'll find the most common finishes and recommendations on where they are best applied to.
- PAINT FINISHES -
Flat is a low-sheen paint with a non-reflective finish that touches up well and hides minor surface imperfections. It's ideal for low traffic areas, interior walls and ceilings.
Matte has a low luster reflective finish that is durable, easy to clean, touches up well, and also hides minor surface imperfections. It is great for low to moderate traffic areas, such as bedrooms, and interior walls.
Eggshell Enamel has a soft, velvety appearance and is a good choice for moderate traffic areas such as living rooms.
Satin Enamel if you desire a pearl-like appearance, and are painting moderate to high traffic areas or areas that have some exposure to moisture, such as kitchens.
Semi-Gloss Enamel if you desire a sleek, radiant sheen that is great from cabinets and trim, high-traffic areas and high-moisture areas.
Hi-Gloss Enamel creates a brilliant, shiny appearance with a glass-like finish. This is great for high-use surfaces.
Don't Replace Your Agent With The Internet
With the influx of new technology and web based solutions, it isn't a surprise that everything is moving fast into the era of the internet. From sites like Uber to SkipTheDishes, we generally can pull up our phones or laptops to order what we want with ease. And with every industry being revolutionized by technology, the same methods are "attempting" to be applied to the real estate industry.
We could all agree that the simplification of the process through paperwork would be much appreciated by agents and buyers/sellers alike; but the attempt of replacing the agent by sites like Zillow and other third party resources, can lead to a snowball affect of disaster. Think about real estate being smack dab in the middle of fast food and a doctor. You can use your mobile device to quickly place your order for a $20 meal, but when it comes to getting a surgery, you'll want to put that phone down and visit a professional. Now think of your real estate agent being in the middle of all of that. You can use your devices to look for a home, look at market data the way you look at WebMD, knowing not to take it too seriously because you need a real professional's input, but it's fun and gives you a general idea of what to expect. But there in lies the issue, the data online is an oversimplified version of what goes into the process of buying and selling. The same way it oversimplifies medical diseases and surgeries, you'd still expect to get a professional's diagnosis.
Although a real estate agent isn't quite like a doctor, the industry in it's legalities, contracts, and processes is similar in the sense that it needs to be taken seriously. Looking for a house online and wanting to put an immediate offer on one can be exciting and fun, but the issues that require a professional's guidance comes after the initial contract is written up and the hard work comes into place to actually make the home your own. Same for sellers, if you decide to put your home on the market and want a website that will give you an automatic offer, how do you know you're not being taken advantage of in the price? But most importantly, how do you know you're not being taken advantage of in other aspects of the contract? Because there is a lot more to the sale of the home then just agreeing on a number.
The next time you're digging through public sites for homes for sale, and getting instant home valuation estimates, keep in mind that this is a simple process to give you an idea of your market. A very general idea. But after you've found the perfect house, or after you've decided that the numbers make some sense for you to sell, call your favorite real estate agent and make sure they give you a more detailed look into the market and assist you through the full process, not just the exciting first parts. Because it's going to be in the middle of a contract when the lending is falling apart, or negotiations can't be made on repairs and emotions are at an all time high, that you are going to wish you had put down your laptop and had an agent fighting for you by your side. Use the internet, have fun with it's amazing resources, but don't let it replace your agent. We aren't in an age, just yet, where technology can do everything a professional can.
Marsha's Monthly Tip - April
5 Tips for Selling Your Home Quickly
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.
Here are some tips that can help get the sold sign on your front lawn sooner:
Of course, there’s no way to guarantee that you’ll sell your home within the time frame you want. But these tips will certainly increase the chances that you will.
- 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.
- 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.
- Ensure your home shows well, inside and outside. Eliminate clutter. Trim hedges. Make sure every room has adequate lighting. Imagine that a special guest is visiting your home, and clean up and prepare accordingly.
- 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.
- Work with a real estate agent like me who understands the area and the local market well. I will be able to recommend a variety of strategies that will help sell your home faster, and for a good price.
How to Be a Savvy Home Viewer
If you’re planning on finding your next dream home, then you’re probably going to view several homes on the market that meet your criteria.
You will want to make the right purchasing decision for you and your family. So, it’s wise to be savvy when viewing properties for sale. Here are some ideas on how to do that:
The savvier you are when viewing properties on the market, the more likely you will be to find your next dream home.
- Bring a notepad. Take notes, not only of the home’s characteristics, but also of how you feel. For example, can you imagine yourself happily cooking up a storm in the kitchen? Do you see yourself entertaining family on the back deck?
- Bring a measuring tape. Will the furniture you plan to bring fit? Your dining room suite? Your home fitness equipment?
- Ask about maintenance. Is the property in a good state of repair? Will anything need to be replaced soon, such as the windows?
- Check out the area. Do other homeowners take good care of their properties? This shows pride of ownership. How is the noise level? Is there a playground, or another area feature nearby?
- Make a list of compromises. For example, are there only two bathrooms instead of three and, if so, can you live with that?
- Make a list of bonuses. What features does the home have that are not a necessity, but would be nice to have? For example, an entertainment bar in the recreation room.
- Remember your budget. Is the price within your range? Can you afford to buy this home?
5 Unexpected Things Home Buyers Want to See
If you’re planning on putting your home on the market, you probably know the basics of what buyers want to see. Clean and uncluttered rooms. Comfortable living room. Functional and spacious kitchen. Bright, modern bathrooms. However, there are some things that today’s buyers are looking for that you might not have considered.
Here's the rundown:
Of course, your home doesn't need to have all these features. Having some will help your home sell faster and for a better price. Want more tips? Call today!
- Smart storage space. Today's buyers love to see organized closets, attractive shelving, storage nooks, built-in bookshelves, linen closets, and other storage options that are as functional as they are attractive.
- Energy-efficient fixtures. Buyers are impressed by lighting that is good-looking but is also the latest in energy-efficiency. At the very least, energy-efficient bulbs and table lamps are a good idea. Solar-powered soft lighting in the garden, or on the deck or patio, will impress many.
- Modern appliances. Buyers will notice kitchen and laundry room appliances that are modern and energy-efficient. In fact, according to a survey, 36% of buyers consider Energy Star rated appliances to be “essential”.
- Work spaces. Home offices are in demand. Buyers will notice if there is a work area that is functional and attractive, even in the corner of the living room.
- Outdoor living space. If you have a deck or patio, buyers love to see it well furnished and inviting – even if the outdoor furnishings don’t come with the home! Buyers will at least see the potential.
notable, quotable... quotes!
“A goal without a plan is just a wish.”
Antoine de Saint-Exupery
“I not only use all the brains that I have, but all that I can borrow.”
“If you can’t do what you want, do what you can.”
Lois McMaster Bujold
Martha's Monthly Tip - March
The arrival of March traditionally brings lots of new real estate activity to markets all across the country. This is the time of year when families are most likely to purchase a new property so they can ensure an easier relocation during the summer. As a result, almost every community will see an influx of buyers looking for new homes.
If you are wondering about taking advantage of this market or you happen to know someone who is, give me a call. I can help navigate this year’s spring market and ensure any purchase and/or sale goes smoothly.
Also, if you happen to know of anyone wanting to sell in the Everett area I have 2 sets of qualified buyers wanting to move there. Please send me a message or give me a call with their name and number so I can contact them. Thanks so much!
Oh by the way ... have a very Happy St. Patrick's Day!!!
How To Deal With Competing Offers
Ideally, you want to be the only buyer who makes an offer on a particular property. That way, assuming your price is acceptable to the seller, you’re almost certain to close the deal.
But, it doesn’t always work out that way. In the case of highly desirable homes, it’s very common for there to be competing offers.
So, what do you do if there’s a competing offer on a home you really want?
First, don’t panic. Just because there are other buyers interested in the property doesn’t mean you won’t get it. There are many factors that influence a seller’s decision to choose one offer over another.
For example, sellers are generally skeptical of offers from buyers who do not have a pre-approved mortgage, or have not yet put their own home on the market.
Conditional offers based on these factors are often a red flag. Most sellers will readily accept an offer conditional on a satisfactory home inspection. However, if there are other more stringent conditions - such as an offer conditional on the buyer selling his own home for a particular price, or an offer conditional.
Of course, it isn’t always possible to avoid including these kinds of conditions. That doesn’t mean you won’t get the home. A solid presentation of the offer along with my skilled negotiation can make all the difference.
Remove Emotion When Selling
Most real estate experts agree that being too emotionally attached to your home can lead to poor decision making, such as over-pricing the listing and making hasty choices based on feelings rather than facts.
Of course, removing emotion from the home selling equation is easier said than done. After all, it is your home. It’s only natural to be emotionally connected to it. So, how do you ensure that emotions don’t get in the way of selling your house quickly and for the best price? Here are some strategies.
· Think of selling your property as a business transaction only. Focus your emotions on the new home you’ll be moving into soon.
· Stow as many personal items as possible, such as trophies and family pictures. Turn your home into an attractive product.
· If a buyer makes a negative comment about your property - “I hate the deck colour.” - don’t take it personally.
· Avoid judging offers to buy your house based on whether or not you like the buyer.
Finally, whenever you make a decision during the home selling process, ask yourself: “Am I making this decision based on fact or emotion?” If the answer is “fact” then, chances are, you’re on solid footing.
Make Your House “Picture Perfect” For Buyers
When you walk into a nice hotel room, what do you usually notice first? It may be the large, often beautiful picture hanging above the bed. You’ll probably find a smaller, equally attractive picture hanging in the bathroom. Often there will be at least two more adorning other walls.
That’s no accident. Hotels know that pictures are the simplest, surest way to make a good-looking room look great. The same thing holds true when preparing your house for sale. According to home staging experts, hanging a few quality pictures can transform the look of just about any room - even a washroom!
Chances are, you already have pictures hanging in your home. Do you need more? That depends. If you have a room that seems dull, and there is open and empty wall space, try adding a picture. You don’t have to buy one or hang one - just have someone hold up an existing picture. If the look of the room improves, consider adding a picture in that spot.
Pictures don’t have to be expensive; they just need to be of good quality. Many retailers sell good-looking, nicely-framed pictures at affordable prices.
|notable, quotable... quotes!
|“Failure doesn’t come from not reaching your goal, but from having no goal to reach.”
“No bird soars too high if he soars with his own wings.”
“You can’t build a reputation on what you’re going to do.”
Not intended to solicit buyers or sellers currently under contract.
Family Day in New Tecumseth!
Family is important. If you’re looking for something to do on Family Day this year in Alliston, why not join New Tecumseth for Family Day fun at the Tottenham Community & Fitness Centre, 139 Queen St. N., Tottenham on Monday, February 19 from 11am-2pm. Family fun for the whole family including games, gym activities, program samplers and free public skate times from 11am-12:20pm and 12:30pm-1:50pm. This event is free to attend, so bundle up and enjoy some family winter fun!
If you're considering a new family home, check out Alliston where there are plenty of great homes in cozy family settings. 31 Ferris Lane is a perfect example of a family home in a quiet corner of Alliston. OPEN HOUSE on Sunday February 18th from 12pm - 2pm!
Your family will adore this beautiful 3 bedroom property in the desirable Mattamy neighbourhood! Situated on a quiet street, this lovely residence is close to the park and school and backs on to farm fields for extra privacy.
As you step through the door, you will be drawn to the open concept living and kitchen area just off the dinning room. Detailed with large windows and quality hardwood floors, this gorgeous living room also offers a linear gas fireplace with custom stonework.
The adjacent spacious kitchen includes granite counters, dishwasher, built in microwave, pot lights, pantry island, under cabinet lighting and backsplash. This kitchen also features a walk-out to the backyard where you have approx. 600 sq ft of tiered deck making this space perfect for entertaining!
On the upper level, you will find the spacious Master Suite with walk-in closet and a 4-piece ensuite. This level boasts 2 more bedrooms, a second 4-piece bathrooom and a bonus loft space! Additionally, this home offers second floor laundry, remote garage door openers, California shutters throughout the main level and a powder room for added convenience.
With approx.. $40,00 in upgrades, it would be hard to find another home like this! All this is located on a fully fenced, spacious pie shaped lot with no neighbours behind. This amazing family home won’t be on the market long!
Check out the virtual tour today of 31 Ferris Lane, Alliston in the link below.
Royal LePage RCR Realty, Brokerage
Independently owned and operated
CLICK HERE TO STAY UP-TO-DATE WITH THE REAL ESTATE MARKET.
Marsha's Monthly Tip - February
Take a Walk on the Boardwalk (or Sidewalk)
If you’ve played the game Monopoly, you’ve probably picked up the Chance card that reads, “Take a walk on the Boardwalk. If you pass Go...”
That’s good advice when shopping for a new home. When you see a property you like and you’re thinking of making an offer, spend some time walking around the neighbourhood. This will give you a better sense of what it’s going to be like to live there.
After all, the last thing you want is to buy a dream home only to find out later that there are issues with the neighbourhood that make living there miserable.
If you have kids, see how far a walk it is to local parks, playgrounds, schools and community centres.
If you commute, you might also check out the route from the neighbourhood to your place of work. Is there a left turn that is likely to get backed up in the mornings?
Also check out how well the neighbours take care of their properties. Homeowners tend to keep their homes looking good if they enjoy the neighbourhood.
As you walk, listen. Are there noises from nearby high schools, industrial areas, or highways that are going to be unpleasant for you? Find out if the neighbourhood is near an airport flight path, or if there is a railway in the area.
If you get a chance, talk to some of the neighbours. Ask them what they like most about living in the area. You’re likely to get some candid - and useful - answers.
Finally, spend some time visualizing living in the area. Can you see yourself enjoying what the neighbourhood has to offer?
If so, then buying a home in that area will likely be a good choice for you.
The Importance of Showing Your Home Often
Imagine coming across a “Home for Sale” listing on the internet. It’s in a neighbourhood you’re seriously considering. You and your family are excited. You can hardly wait to view the property and see if it could be your next dream home.
Then, there’s a problem.
When you contact the agent, she says the homeowners are busy people and won’t be able to show the house until next week. Even then, the only time available is at noon on Wednesday, when you’ll be miles away at work. How about viewing the property on Saturday? Forget it. The homeowners are having company over that day.
Chances are, you’ll lose interest long before you ever get a chance to see that property!
This may sound a little extreme, but it does illustrate an important point.
If you don’t make your home readily available for buyers to view, many simply won’t view it, and your property may not sell.
That doesn’t mean you have to be inconvenienced each day by a steady stream of buyers stomping through your property. However, you do need to be flexible.
When buyers become interested in your home - by seeing the listing online, for example, they want to view it as soon as possible. The longer they have to wait, the more likely it is that another property will capture their interest.
They may even make an offer on another home before they get a chance to see yours!
That’s why as your REALTOR®, I’ll work with you to arrange the dates and times that your home can be shown - a schedule that’s convenient for you as well as for potential buyers.
Deciding Whether to Stay Or Sell
Deciding whether to stay in your current home or look for a new one is tough. So tough in fact, that there is a reality TV show about it!
If you’re struggling to make that decision, here are some tips that can help:
As your REALTOR® I can help you answer these questions and provide the information you need to make the right decision.
- Find out the current market value of your home. This will give you a clear idea of how much your property is likely to sell for in today’s market.
- Find out how much you can afford to invest in a new home. This is calculated, in part, by how much of a mortgage you qualify to receive.
- Determine whether your current home still suits your needs. Do you need to move up to a larger place? Downsize to a smaller property?
- Figure out whether this is the right time to move to a neighbourhood that you’ve always dreamed of living in.
- Assess whether your neighbourhood has changed in a way that you don’t like.
- Decide whether you are still happy where you live. Is it time for a change?
notable, quotable... quotes!
“The road to success is always under construction.”
“Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.”
Vincent Van Gogh
“Be the best. If others don’t see it, who cares?”
Marsha's Monthly Tip - January
What to Look For, Room by Room
When viewing a home for sale, many buyers look at the property from a “macro” perspective. They ask themselves questions like: “Is it large enough?”; “Are there enough bedrooms?”; “Is it in a nice neighbourhood?” While those questions are important, it also pays to consider a potential new home from a “micro” perspective.
Once your property has sold, you’ll need to contact your insurance company to let them know the date that ownership of your property will be transferred (the “closing date”). They’ll arrange to cancel your insurance once you’re no longer the owner of that property.
If you’ll be taking possession of your new home, and leaving your current property vacant for a period of time, you’ll need to make sure both properties are insured. This may also apply to a condominium even if the unit is completely empty. (Contact your insurance company to ask about continuing liability coverage while discontinuing the insurance on contents.)
When you purchase a new home, don’t leave the insurance to the last minute. Contact your insurance company right away. Make sure they are aware of all the features of the new home that may reduce your premiums, such as alarms, and wired-in smoke detectors.
Things to Check During the Weeks After Moving Day
When you purchase a new home, the most exciting day is closing day. That’s the day you take possession of the property and, in most cases, move in. But the process isn’t necessarily over. There are still some important details to take care of in the weeks and months after the move.
For example, it’s a good idea to make sure you’re getting all your mail. Ideally, you will have made arrangements with the post office prior to your move to have your mail redirected to your new address. However, that service will eventually expire. Here’s a tip: Introduce yourself to the new owners of your old property. Ask them if they wouldn’t mind holding any of your mail that has been inadvertently delivered to them and you’ll make arrangements to stop by periodically to pick it up. Chances are, they won’t mind.
Also in the weeks after the move, you should take care of any repairs or other maintenance issues that were identified before you purchased the home. In the busy days leading up to moving day and in the excitement of settling in, these issues are easy to forget. You don’t want them to become bigger issues later on.
notable, quotable... quotes!
“Happiness depends upon ourselves.”
“Change your thoughts and you change your world.”
Norman Vincent Peale
“Mistakes are the portals of discovery.”
Marsha's Monthly Tip
How Much Would Your Home Sell for Today?
If you’re considering selling your home soon, you will want to know how much it is likely to sell for in today’s market. Even if selling is the furthest thing from your mind, you may be curious to know how much your property is worth.
How can you find out? Ask me.
As your REALTOR®, I will look at a variety of characteristics to determine the current market value of your home. These will include the number of bedrooms/bathrooms, the condition of the kitchen and other rooms, the type/style of the home, the location and neighbourhood. These characteristics will then be used to identify similar homes in the area and determine how much they have sold for recently.
Interested in finding out how much your home would sell for in today’s market? Call me today.
How Long Does It Take to Find a New Home?
If you’re planning to look for a new home sometime in the future, you may be wondering how long the process will take. How much time should you set aside for viewings? How many of the listed homes should you see?
One factor that impacts the home shopping process is how clearly you know what you want.
For example, if you’re certain you want a three bedroom backsplit, in an upscale neighbourhood, then the process is going to be fairly simple. You’re just going to view properties that closely meet those criteria.
But if you’re the kind of person who simply says, “I’ll know it when I see it”, then you’ll need to look at several homes on the market. That means carving out plenty of room in your schedule for viewings.
As your REALTOR®, I can help you understand what’s available on the market and which homes are worth seeing. I can also help you determine how long the process will likely take, and show you ways to make the process go more quickly and smoothly.
Goal Setting Tips from the Motivational Masters
This is traditionally the month in which people set goals for the following year. But, unfortunately, most people who set goals - especially New Year’s resolutions - never achieve them.
How do you beat the odds? Here is the rundown of what the most popular experts advise.
Tony Robbins recommends that you, “Decide what you’re absolutely committed to achieving, take massive action, and notice what’s working or not. Then, keep changing your approach until you’ve achieved what you want.”
Jack Canfield, co-author of the Chicken Soup For The Soul series, says, “Write your goals down in detail and read that list every day. Then ask yourself, what can I do today to move closer to achieving one of my goals?”
When you’re feeling discouraged, motivational guru Zig Ziglar provides this simple truth: “You do everything better when you’re thinking positively than when you’re thinking negatively.”
And, although most are not superstar authors, social scientists who study goal achievement recommend that you focus on no more than five goals at a time, and mix performance goals such as “Lose 10 pounds” with learning goals such as “Learn how to cook five new nutritious meals.”
So, set a goal and achieve it. This is your year!
notable, quotable... quotes!
“Success doesn’t come to you. You go to it.”
“Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.”
“Whatever the mind [of a person] can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”
Is it a good time to sell in the Winter?
I get asked this question alot.
Some people think the best time to sell is in the Spring time. I often hear who buys in the winter? Approximately 20% of the home sales happen in the winter.
What are the benefits to selling in the winter time?
1. Less Competition. There are fewer listings on the market which is better for you, the Seller. It gives you a better chance of entertaining mulitiple offers when the buyers don't have as many homes to choose from.
2. The buyers who are looking this time of year tend to be more serious. This means less time being wasted for you. There is nothing more frusterating then cleaning your home and leaving your home only to have a buyer through who isn't that serious.
3. Chances are everyone helping you will be not as busy so you will get better customer service. When you are not closing your home in the busiest months it means your movers, lawyers etc will have more time to focus on you and give you better customer service.
4. No yard work which equals less work for you. No cutting grass, raking leaves or weeding gardens. Still important to make sure your walkways and driveways and clear of ice and snow though.
5. Worried buyers won't see your favourite parts of the outside of your property? With the high quality feature sheets I offer and virtual tours that I include it is very easy to include those summer pictures in so that your new buyer can fall in love with the same things you did.
Have I helped you make a decision to not wait for spring and consider moving now? You know what they say there is no time like the present. Feel free to contact me at any time to sit down and discuss your home value and marketing plan.
Eliminate Pet Odors In Your Home
Eliminating bad odors from your home is incredibly important, you want to make sure you've removed them before putting it on the market. Often times, the first thing buyers notice upon entering your home, is how it smells. If there is an odd odor, it will instantly put them off. No matter how beautifully staged and presented it is, strong odors or stale air can make your home unappealing to prospective buyers. Opening windows and exhaust fans will only go so far in removing foul odors, but won't generally eliminate it completely. To ensure you don't lose potential buyers, follow these odor eliminating tips to ensure your home smells and feels fresh and new.
Don’t Use Artificial Freshening Sprays
Don't make the mistake of spraying artificial room freshener sprays in hopes that it will remove the bad odor. Deodorizers will quickly fade, and only mask the smell, sometimes in an overwhelming way. If a buyer walks into your home, your air freshener can cause a reaction, like a runny nose or a headache, and will make them suspicious of an underlying foul odor. Instead of trying to mask it, locate the actual source of the bad odor and get rid of it.
Best Pet Carpet Cleaners for Accidents
We all love our furry friends, but unfortunately, they can get your home pretty smelly. Whether the smell is on the carpet, furniture, or even on the walls - it's essential to have it removed. Most odors stem from accidents. You always want to attend to the accident right away. Blot them with a paper towel and use mild dishwashing liquid to help remove the odor. Once completely cleaned, blot again with fresh paper towels to dry the spot. If the accident is not recent, use an enzyme cleaner to eat the bad bacteria. Another great idea is to use activated charcoal. It is a form of carbon that has been activated to make it extremely porous. You can get activated charcoal meant for pet odors at most pet stores.
Green Cleaning Products
Using natural odor eliminators is a great green alternative to most of the chemicals sold at stores. One of the most recommended products is to use baking soda. You can place an open box of it in a room to help absorb unwanted smells. It also helps to remove musty aroma in dark spaces, like a basement. On top of being used to remove pet odors, it also works great for cigarette smells. If you don't wish to use baking soda, most pet supply stores will have green cleaning products that help remove odors, while still being safe for your household.