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Showcasing the Unique Features of your Property

Imagine you’re at the grocery store shopping for oranges. Two brands are available: the “Amazing Orange” and the “Super Orange.”

Which would you choose to buy?

Chances are, you wouldn’t decide based on their similarities. For example, since both oranges contain vitamin C, using that as a buying criteria wouldn’t help you choose between them. Instead, you would probably look for differences. What does one brand have that the other does not? Maybe one is less expensive, organically farmed, or is seedless!

When people make buying decisions, they often look for differences.

So, if you’re thinking of selling your property, highlighting its unique and desirable features — its differences from comparable homes — is crucial.

How do you do that?

The first step is to make a list of those special features you want buyers to notice. Those might include a new and spacious deck, extra high ceilings, a finished basement, move-in readiness, and other characteristics.

Next, you want to make sure those features are emphasized in marketing materials and when staging your home.

There are many ways to emphasize features through staging. For example, if the deck is a desirable feature, ensure it’s well-lit in the evenings (for afterdusk viewings.) Also, make it easy to see when buyers are in your home, by having the curtains pulled back. You may be able to explore other ways to ensure buyers notice and appreciate the deck too.

Differences make a difference! Show them off when selling.

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Know the Local Market when You Sell

Are you thinking of selling your home this year? If so, you might be paying extra attention to housing market news covered by the regional and national media.

While that news can be helpful information, it can sometimes say little about what’s happening in your particular neighbourhood. In fact, it’s possible for there to be a balanced market nationally or regionally, while at the same time your street may be experiencing a hot seller’s market!

That’s why it’s important to understand what’s happening in your local “micro” housing market when you’re selling your home.

What do you need to know about your local real estate scene? Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

• Is our neighbourhood a seller’s, buyer’s, or balanced market right now?

• If we list our home this month, will there be any competing listings in our area? If so, how many?

• How long is the average listing in our area taking to sell? A week? A month?

• How much are properties like ours in the neighbourhood selling for? • How desirable is our neighbourhood? How many buyers are actively looking to move here? Are there currently buyers eager to purchase a home like ours?

• What are the demographics of buyers looking to buy in our neighbourhood?

• How important is it to fix up and stage my home if I decide to sell?

Getting these local insights will be far more helpful than the national news when you put your property on the market.

So, find out what’s happening right here, in your neighbourhood. How do you do that? Call me today!

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Showing Your Home on Short Notice

Unless you’re selling in a strong sellers’ market, you should take advantage of every opportunity to show your home. Say, for example, an interested buyer would like to see your property tomorrow evening. If you say no, they might see another listing in the meantime — and make an offer!

So, being prepared to show your home at the drop of a hat is important. That doesn’t mean you should agree to be inconvenienced constantly. However, if you can put up with some disruptions in your plans now and then, you’ll increase your chances of selling your property.

Consider these tips:

• Avoid restricting showings to a particular weekday, such as Monday evening and Saturday afternoon. What if an interested buyer isn’t available those days?

• Try to keep your home clean and tidy. That way, you can accommodate a short-notice request to see your listing more easily. (Consider temporarily hiring a cleaner.)

• Make a list of places you can take your family (including pets) on short notice. For example, a park or movie.

Want more tips for selling your home quickly and for top dollar? Call me today!

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4 Ways to Find the Time to Sell Your Home

Are you thinking about selling your home this spring? If so, one factor that may be holding you back is time. You might be worried that you won’t find the time in your busy schedule to sell your property successfully. If so, here are four strategies that will help:

1. Understand what needs to be done Do you know what you’ll need to do to sell your home?

Do you understand the steps involved? Do you have a clear idea of how long it will take to complete various tasks, like getting repairs done and doing some “staging”? The more accurately you can anticipate your tasks and how long it will take to complete them, the better you’ll be able to plan and schedule.

2. Keep a “moving” calendar

It’s a known time management fact that using a calendar and blocking out time for tasks will ultimately save you time. So, use your calendar, or create a new one just for moving-related items. With an up-to-date calendar in place, you’ll always have a view of what needs to be done and how those tasks fit into your weekly schedule. Maintaining a moving calendar also reduces stress.

3. Ask for advice How should you stage your main floor? Should you make any home improvements?

How should you prepare for a buyer coming to view your property? You don’t need to guess or Google. Get professional advice. Doing so will expose you to the most current best practices and will save you time.

4. Hire help

You don’t need to do everything on your own. Instead, consider hiring professionals to do at least some of the work for you. For example, hire a painter, a lawn mowing service or a dog walker. Hiring professionals during the selling period can save you countless hours. And, those costs may be offset by the sale of your home.

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Painting Tips for Getting the Job Done Faster

Unless painting a room is a passion, you probably want to finish the task as soon as possible — while still doing a quality job. Here are some tips for doing just that:

• One-coat paints. Having to do a second coat is time-consuming. Fortunately, there are several “one coat” paints that can get the job done, well, in one coat! They don’t work for every type of project. But, if your walls are in good condition and you’re not dramatically changing the underlying colour, a one-coat paint is worth considering.

• Leverage various-sized rollers. Most people use rollers for the main wall surface and switch to brushes for the tight areas. Instead of a brush, try a smaller roller. That can speed up the painting considerably. • Use quality brushes and rollers. Cheap brushes tend to not hold paint evenly and can also shed fibres – which you then have to pick off the painted surface. Good quality brushes and rollers may cost a little more, but the paint will be applied more smoothly and evenly — saving you time.

• Wear your painter’s tape. When running painter’s tape to prep a room, wear the roll on your wrist. That way, you won’t constantly be reaching for it.

• Wrap rollers and brushes in plastic. For longer painting jobs, wrap rollers and brushes that are not in use in plastic wrap or baggies (the kind you use in the kitchen.) That will keep the brushes and rollers wet while you take a break.

• Start in the middle. Most people start at the end of a wall and work their way to the center. You’ll paint faster if you do the opposite. In addition, you’ll avoid applying too much paint in the corners (which people are apt to do when they start there).

Want more tips for preparing your home for sale? Call me today!

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How Buyers Often Find Out About Your Listing

There are many ways buyers can find out about your home for sale. Some will see the lawn sign. Others will notice the listing on MLS. Still others might find out via an advertisement or social media post.

But, there is one other way buyers will discover your listing — and it can be pivotal to the success of your sale.

The agent can make sure they know.

In some cases, buyers shopping for a particular type of home, or those who are targeting a specific neighbourhood, will get on an agent’s alert system. The agent will arrange for the buyers to be alerted as soon as an ideal property comes up on the market. That’s why being strategic when creating an MLS profile and other listing materials is so important. You want interested buyers to be notified of your listing!

Agents often also have a network of buyers they are in touch with regularly or who are actively looking to buy a home. They reach out to these contacts as soon as a desired property is listed. Say, for example, you put your property on the market. The agent you work with may already have qualified buyers in mind. If so, that increases the chances of your home selling quickly and for a top price.

Good agents also have a robust network of professional contacts — such as real estate lawyers, contractors, and even other agents — that they can potentially tap to find qualified buyers.

Overall, well-connected agents are more likely to be able to leverage their networks to attract ideal buyers to your listing.

Want to discuss how I can attract high-interest, qualified buyers to your listing? Call me today!

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5 Easy Ways to Make your Home More Eco-Friendly!

These days, people are more environmentally conscious. When it comes to their homes, that often starts with being more thoughtful about heating and cooling so they’re consuming less energy. With that in mind, here are some tips for making your home more eco-friendly:

1. Install a smart thermostat. Modern thermostats come with various features that help you manage heating and cooling, so you use less energy. For example, you can program a thermostat to adjust temperature during the workday and then turn on heating or cooling an hour before you get home.

2. Take advantage of non-peak times. Many utilities (electricity, water, etc.) offer price breaks at non-peak periods. For example, washing your clothes later in the evening might reduce your water bill. Ask your utility providers about available price-saving programs.

3. Buy energy-saving products. A wide range of products are available to help you lower energy consumption, from shower faucets to kitchen ranges. The next time you’re shopping for an appliance or fixture, ensure it has eco-friendly features.

4. Replace worn insulation. A one-inch crack in window insulation can cause your home’s HVAC system to work harder. That’s why experts advise that you check the insulation around doors and windows once a year and repair or replace it where necessary.

5. Manage passive heat. It’s no surprise that a window letting in the sun will make a room warmer. So, take advantage of this free energy source. Let sun into rooms on cool days, so your furnace doesn’t have to come on as often. Do the opposite on hot days.

I’m well-connected in the local home industry. If you need any advice or recommendations, call today!

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Viewing Homes when You Have Little Time to View Homes!

Have you ever had to go last-minute gift shopping? If so, you know what that can be like. You don’t have time to amble casually through numerous stores in hopes of coming across something suitable. The clock is ticking. You need to find the right gift, now!

A similar thing can sometimes happen when shopping for a new home. You may not have a lot of time available in your schedule. Yet, you need to view properties and find the right home, quickly.

So, how do you do that on a tight schedule?

One way is to be clear on the type of home you want to get into. The more narrow your search parameters, the more likely you are to view properties that are strong candidates.

Create a profile of your dream home, including property type, number of bedrooms, features, and other details. Also, be clear on the kind of neighbourhood you’d like to live in — including the type of street.

In addition, you should ensure that you’re shopping within the correct price range. Find out what the type of home you want is currently selling for on today’s market. Then, make sure you’re shopping within that range.

If you discover that your budget is below what ideal homes are selling for, adjust either your budget or your property expectations. If you can’t increase your budget, don’t panic. Chances are, you can still get a great home in your price range.

When scheduling viewing appointments, see as many homes as you can on each trip. That way, you’ll make the most of your viewing time. Also, when seeing a property, ensure you get all the information you need to make a decision. You’ll want to avoid having to view a property twice.

Want to find the ideal home faster? Call today!

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Check Internet Availability Before You Buy!

Until a couple of years ago, internet access was a nice-to-have for most homeowners. But these days, it’s fast becoming a necessity. Kids need good internet to do homework assignments. You may need reliable internet to work from home and attend online meetings.

So, when shopping for a new home, it’s wise to check if the property which you’re interested in making an offer on has good internet available. The last thing you want is to move into a home only to discover that the internet service is slow and faster options are unavailable.

There are many ways to do find out.

For example, most internet services websites have a feature where you can type on the address and find out what type of internet services are available. Pay attention to how the service is delivered to your home, as well as the upload and download speeds.

Traditionally, cable and fiber offer the highest speeds with the most stable connections. However, satellite and DSL can be very good, too, depending on the service provider.

For online meetings (i.e., ZOOM) you’ll need an internet service with 4Mbps upload and 3Mbps download. (Most internet service plan descriptions show those download and upload numbers.) Keep in mind that if you have several internet users in your home — watching a movie, playing a game, etc., — you’ll need higher upload and download speeds.

Your best bet is to call the internet service company and explain your requirements. Learn what service options are available for the home you’re thinking of buying.

Want more tips on finding and buying your next dream home? Call me today!

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Should your Home be in “Move-In” Condition when you Sell?

Imagine you’re shopping for a car. You find one that’s a suitable model, a recent year, and hasn’t been driven a lot. The price is right, too.

But, there’s a caveat.

The paint is worn off in several places. The driver’s seat upholstery is torn and requires repair. And, the tires needed to be replaced… a long time ago.

Would you still buy it? You might. However, unless you enjoy fixing up cars, you’d probably hesitate to make the purchase.

After all, in addition to seeing the car itself, you’re noticing the work that needs to be done to fix it.

The same holds true when selling your home.

The more “move-in” ready you make the property the more likely buyers are to become interested in buying it. Like when viewing a car, you want buyers to focus on all your home’s wonderful features, not on the repairs and updates that need to be done.

That being said, how important is it that your home be “move-in ready” when you sell?

That depends, in large part, on the market. If it’s currently a seller’s market in the neighbourhood — lots of buyers but comparatively few properties for sale — getting your home move-in ready is less important. There is already high demand for your property. (However, getting all repairs done and staging your property effectively will still provide a significant advantage.)

In a buyer’s market, where there are more homes for sale than buyers, you’re in a competitive situation. So, anything you can do to give your listing an advantage is worth the effort. That includes making it as “move-in” ready as possible. 

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