There are numerous reasons why you might need to sell early in the year. Perhaps you even need to sell this month! Whatever your reasons, preparation is key. Make the right moves now and your sale is likely to go smoothly and successfully.

Follow these tips:

1. Make a list of what needs to be done around the property to prepare it for listing. That includes decluttering, cleaning, getting needed repairs done, and so forth.

2. Schedule those tasks. On a calendar or planner, block out ample time to do everything on your list. Give yourself a time buffer because things can often take longer to do than expected.

3. Get help. You don’t need to do everything yourself. Consider hiring a painter, contractor, cleaning service, and other professionals. Outsourcing can reduce a lot of the stress of selling while ensuring your property is prepared in time.

4. Dispose of unwanted items that may have accumulated over the years in the garage, basement, and closets. You can have a yard sale, sell stuff online, donate items to charity, or take them to your local recycling centre.

5. Free up your schedule during the period you expect your property to be on the market. You want your home to be accessible for showings as often as possible, giving prospective buyers a lot of flexibility when scheduling.

The idea is to get your property as “sales-ready” as possible — as early in the year as possible. That way, when it comes time to list your home, you won’t have to scramble to get it ready. The hard work will be done and you’ll be able to focus on selling your property quickly and for the best price. Want more tips on preparing your home for sale? Contact me today!

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Throughout the history of journalism, reporters would pride themselves on getting the “inside scoop” on a story. In fact, that’s where that expression came from.

So imagine you’re shopping for a new home and click on a listing online. Up comes all the property information. But, chances are, there is more to the story of that property than is presented in that listing. For example, you might want to know more about:

• The empty field behind the home.

• The addition that was added to the house. (Was it professionally done?)

• What the neighbourhood is really like.

• The age of the roof shingles. (Will they need to be replaced soon?)

• Noise levels on weekends.

• Upcoming new development that might change the character of the area.

Most property information listed on MLS and elsewhere is incomplete. There’s almost always more to the story of a listing than you can find online.

And, even after viewing a listed property, you may still have lingering questions or concerns.

So, you’ll want to get the “inside scoop” and find out more.

But how?

To get the inside scoop on a listing, contact me. I can get the additional information you need on a property so that you can make a more informed decision.

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Imagine if, for whatever reason, you suddenly needed to find and buy a new home in a hurry. What if you had just a few weeks?

If you’re like most people, your first instinct might be to panic. Well, there’s nothing wrong with having some apprehension about having to find a new home quickly. But, there are steps you can take that will make the process a lot less stressful and, ultimately, make it more likely that you’ll find a great property you’ll love.

The first thing you need to do is determine your budget. That will give you a price range you can confidently shop within. Your budget should take into account how much your current home will likely sell for, how much you qualify to receive on a new mortgage, as well as any other funds you can put into a new home.

Next, decide on areas or neighbourhoods that have listings within your budget to target in your search. Narrowing your scope will actually help you find the right home, sooner.

When viewing properties for sale, be as flexible as you can. You don’t necessarily need to compromise on what you want. However, if you need to buy in a hurry, it makes sense to consider listings that may be less than perfect, yet still check most of the boxes on your wish list.

Keep in mind that if you purchase a property that isn’t exactly what you want, a renovation or other improvement could potentially turn it into your dream home.

Having to find a new home quickly can be challenging. Contact me today.  I'll make it a lot easier - and achievable.

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When preparing your home for sale, you need to fix things up, declutter, perhaps slap a fresh coat of paint on a few walls. That’s all part of getting your property ready for buyers.

But there’s another type of preparation that you also need to do. And, the sooner you do it, the less stressful your move will be.

You need to get all your paperwork together. Here’s what to gather:

• Property documents such as deeds, easements, surveys, liens, etc. • Mortgage documents, plus any other loans (i.e., line of credit) that use the property as collateral.

• Maintenance and service agreements that may continue with the new owners.

• Warranties and guarantees that are transferrable to the new owners.

• Recent utility bills, such as water, electricity, etc.

• Rentals (i.e., water heater rental.)

• Home security agreements and codes.

• Contracts for any work done on an ongoing basis. For example, lawn maintenance.

Getting these records together early will ensure you’re not scrambling at the last minute to find them. Some of these documents, such as warranties, also make for attractive selling features.  Contact me today to find out how else you can make your sale go smoothly!

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When considering whether or not to sell their home, many people think about market conditions. They consider whether it’s a buyer’s or seller’s market. They look at trends. They try to time the sale to get the best price for their property.

While market conditions certainly can play a role in deciding whether you should sell now rather than later, many other factors can influence that decision too.

For example, you might have outgrown your home and need more space. Perhaps you need an extra bedroom or a larger kitchen. If you wait until market conditions are perfect, you may languish for months — or even years — in a home that’s too small for you.

The same can be said for downsizing.

Another “non-market” reason you might want to sell your home sooner rather than later is the neighbourhood. Is there another community more suited to your lifestyle that you want to get into? If it’s a particularly desirable area, you don’t want to wait too long to make a move. If you do, you might lose some good opportunities.

There’s also the emotional side of the decision to consider. You might simply want to move for no other reason than you need a change. That’s as good a reason as any to put up the For Sale sign and find your next dream home.

Other non-market reasons for selling include:

• Wanting a shorter commute to work.

• Desiring a different style of neighbourhood. (Rural rather than urban.)

• A change in family situation.

• Living closer to relatives and friends.

• Wanting a particular property feature, such as a backyard with mature trees.

If your current home isn't meeting your needs, contact me today and we can put together a plan taking into account your own unique real estate needs!

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What is it about your property that stands out? What will buyers like most about it? What are your home’s most enticing features?

Answering those questions will help you determine which features to emphasize when selling your home. After all, you want buyers to notice and appreciate your property’s best characteristics.

But here’s the challenge...

It can be difficult to determine which features of your home are particularly desirable to buyers. You live there! So, there might be a fantastic characteristic of your property that you’ve gotten used to. You might not even realize its value.

One way to gain perspective is to ask friends, “What is it about our property that you like most? What stands out to you?” Ask them to be candid. Often, they’ll reveal characteristics about your home that may surprise you. You’ll definitely gain insights that will help you when listing.

Another technique is to compare your property to others in the neighbourhood. Buyers often target neighbourhoods, so realizing how your home stands out can be helpful when marketing it. For example, your property might have a larger backyard than most others on the street, or it might have a lot of recent upgrades.

Another way to discover your home’s most attractive features is to contact me. I can tell you what buyers will like most about your property

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When prospective buyers view your property, you hope they will think it’s the perfect fit for them. It might well be. However, there are things that can get in the way of a buyer recognizing that perfect fit and making an offer.

Take a look at these common reasons why some buyers will walk away from an otherwise ideal property:

1. Poor staging. Is staging really that important? According to several studies, an effectively staged home will usually sell faster and for a higher price. Staging not only makes your home look good to buyers, it also shows off all the positive characteristics of your property.

2. Clutter. Psychologists tell us that clutter often makes people uneasy. That’s definitely not the feeling you want to convey when showing your property! Also, clutter is more apparent to visitors than it may be to you. So, if you have a room that seems a bit cramped to you, imagine how it feels to the buyer.

3. Maintenance issues. Just as clutter does, maintenance issues make buyers uneasy. If they see a dripping faucet in the bathroom, they may worry there are more serious issues lurking elsewhere. Also, maintenance issues are distracting. (Buyers will notice the faucet leak rather than the beautiful tiles.) So, get any needed repairs done when preparing your home for sale.

4. List price. Setting the list price is both an art and a science. You want the price to attract as many qualified buyers as possible. If it’s set too high — or even too low — buyers who might have otherwise made an offer won’t even bother to see your property. Make sure your home is priced right.

The good news is, these situations are easy to avoid. So don’t give buyers reasons not to like your property, especially if it may be ideal for them. Make sure your home shows its best. Contact me today and we can discuss how to make your home the hottest ticket on the market!

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Walk-through videos are becoming increasingly popular. The seller’s agent simply films a tour of a home, often including commentary, and then makes the video available to prospects.

When you’re shopping for a new home, you want to get the most out of watching this type of video, especially if you’re relying on it to help you decide whether or not to make a viewing appointment.

Consider these suggestions:

• Remember, it’s a video. So take advantage of the ability to pause, go back and forth, and take screenshots you can review later.

• When you’re watching, look for everyday items that can give you perspective, such as a lamp, sofa or chair. These items will help you gain a more accurate sense of room sizes.

• Although that previous tip will help, it’s still difficult to judge room size on a video. So, don’t be quick to dismiss a listing because you think the rooms might be too small.

• Pay attention to what is not shown. Did the agent leave the ensuite bathroom out of the video? That may indicate an issue.

• When viewing the main rooms, such as the living room and kitchen, try to get a sense of how your furniture will fit.

• Make a list of features and characteristics you want in your next home. Have that list handy as you watch the video. You can use it as a checklist.

• While you’re watching, jot down any questions you have about the property.

After watching the video, if you like what you see, take the next step. Contact me to schedule a viewing appointment!

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Imagine a kid running a lemonade stand. He’s selling his product for 25 cents a cup. He’s doing okay. Sales are good. Then someone comes up to his stand and says, “I’ll give you 50 cents for a cup. But, I don’t have the money right now. Give me the lemonade and I’ll pay you later.”

Should he take the deal? Chances are, you’d advise against it. After all, just because the price is high — in this case, double — doesn’t mean the offer is a good one. There’s a chance the customer won’t come back with the promised 50 cents!

That’s a simple example but applicable when considering multiple offers for your home. Yes, the offer with the highest price is often the one to accept, but there are situations when that’s not the case.

For example, you should be careful when considering the highest offer if the buyers’ financial situation is uncertain. Have they attached an appropriate deposit? Have they secured a prearranged mortgage from a reputable lender? Has their current home been sold, or is it at least listed for sale?

It may turn out that the offer is fine, but these are questions that should be considered.

Another scenario involves conditions. The highest offer might have conditions such as your property passing a home inspection or the buyers selling their current home. That would make the second-highest offer with no conditions more attractive — especially if the price isn’t far off that of the highest offer.

Keep in mind that you can ask to have conditions dropped in your counter-offer, but even doing that can have pitfalls.

As you can see, deciding which offer to accept is not as straight-forward as it may seem, especially if you anticipate getting multiple offers.  I've got 18+ years experience in negotiating multiple offers - contact me today so I can help negotiate yours!

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Imagine you’re viewing a home for sale. You venture to the basement, check out the furnace room, and notice the water heater. Is it owned or rented? As a potential buyer, you’d want to know.

Now imagine a property you’re viewing has a brand-new gas fireplace. Nice! Is it under warranty? Is that warranty transferrable to you if you buy the home? Again, you’d want to know.

So, when you’re selling, it’s important to pull together all the necessary records you will need in order to answer these types of buyer questions. After all, if a particular warranty transfers to the new owner, that’s a selling point.

Take the time to find receipts, warranty certificates, and other documents related to:

• Renovations (such as a bathroom makeover)

• Major repairs or replacements (such as a new air conditioner)

• Service prepayments (such as a lawncare service paid annually)

• Purchases of major appliances and other items Keep in mind that you may have purchased extended warranties or maintenance agreements at the time of purchase. Those may transfer to the new owner.

Also note that some guarantees or service agreements transfer automatically while others require the new owner to initiate that transfer. These documents could potentially add a few more benefits to buying your home. So, it’s worth the time it takes to dig them out!

What other easy steps can you take to facilitate the sale of your home? Contact me today to discuss!

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