Welcome To Our Real Estate Update, February 2023
6 Undisputed Ways to Make your Home Sell Faster
There are few certainties in this world, but there are surefire ways to sell your property faster regardless of market conditions. These strategies have been proven time and time again. So, if you’re thinking of selling this year, take a good look at these recommendations:
- Clean and tidy up. Making your home “guest ready” is the easiest way to ensure buyers are impressed during a viewing.
- Declutter. The more spacious your home looks, the more impressive it will be to buyers. You can box items and give them away, sell them or put them in storage.
- Price it right. Deciding on the right listing price is crucial. If it’s too high, you’ll discourage otherwise qualified buyers from seeing your home. If it’s too low, you might send the wrong message to the marketplace.
- Optimize curb appeal. The better your home looks from the street, the more buyers will become interested. Curb appeal is important because it’s the first impression a buyer makes, and that impression lasts.
- Stage your home. You don’t necessarily need to replace all the furniture. However, studies consistently confirm that a well-staged home sells significantly faster than a comparable un-staged property.
- Leverage the latest marketing and selling tactics. You want the marketing of your home to bring in the most qualified and interested buyers. You then want sales strategies that turn those buyers into offers and negotiation skills to turn the right offer into a sale.
Keep these proven strategies in mind when putting your home up for sale.
Scams Are on the Rise
The more consumers increase their use of online shopping using a variety of sites and payment methods, the more susceptible they become to fraud, including false threats or enticements from scammers posing as retail, bank and credit card companies.
With personal profiles being shared more frequently, it stands to reason that hackers will gain increased access to email addresses and other contact information. In addition, the scammers’ methods of “phishing” for personal information has become increasingly sophisticated, with correspondence that is often difficult to distinguish from legitimate business communications.
Disguised as a legitimate business or bank, they can send phony alerts that act like an electronic Trojan horse. The consumer is tricked into divulging additional more sensitive data such as an account number or a password. We all need to be wary of any unexpected emails and phone messages that may implore us to act on impulse by clicking or replying. Always ensure you are not giving away personal information to criminals.
Should You Get a Major Improvement Done before Selling?
There’s no doubt about it. The more “move in” ready your property is, the more attractive it will be to buyers. There is always an advantage when buyers can imagine living in the home without having to make any major repairs or improvements — at least for the short term.
But, does that mean you need to get every big issue dealt with before you sell? Not necessarily.
Say, for example, your flooring needs replacing soon. Sure, that may influence the interest-level some buyers have in your property. Yet, homes sell every day with these kinds of issues.
What it comes down to is cost-versus-benefit. Painting, for example, costs little (compared to other types of improvements), yet can make a big difference in how your home appears. So, the benefit is high compared to the cost.
On the other hand, redoing your kitchen is an expensive undertaking. Although you’re likely to add value to your home as a result of the renovation, you might not get your entire investment back when you sell.
So, consider each improvement you’re thinking of making based on its cost, how much more you’ll get for your home, and how much more quickly you anticipate your property will sell.
Notable, Quotable, Quotes!
“Patience, persistence, and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success.”
“You have to learn the rules of the game. Then you have to play better than anyone else.”
“Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.”
John D Rockefeller
Welcome To Our Real Estate Update, January 2023
Does your Home Still Match your Lifestyle?
But for most people, lifestyle and needs evolve through the years. Kids get older. Jobs or careers change. People take on new hobbies and other interests.
As a result, the home that was ideal a few years ago may not fit with your current lifestyle.
That doesn’t necessarily mean you need to shop for a new home! However, it may mean that it’s worth taking a look at the market and seeing what’s possible.
Think about the kind of home that would support your lifestyle today. Ask questions like:
- How many bedrooms do we need?
- How easy is it to travel to work each day?
- What special features do we want in our home? (Big backyard? Rec room? Quiet neighbourhood?)
- What do we want nearby? (School? Playground? Walking and biking trails? Shopping? Entertainment? Golf?)
- What else does our home need in order to support our lifestyle?
After asking yourself some of these key questions, ask other family members for their opinions too.
You may, in fact, find that the property you have now is still ideal for your lifestyle.
If, however, your home is no longer a good fit, you have options. You can stay in your current home despite it no longer being ideal; you can make some changes (a renovation, perhaps); or, you can see what’s available in the housing market.
If you need help with any of these options, call today.
Synthetic and Composite Countertops
New countertops have always been a major contributor to kitchen makeovers, and the range of choices has never been greater. Beyond laminates and tile, or natural stone, wood and bamboo, some durable acrylics have become quite popular.
But, there are also newer composite materials that offer advantages which might make them an ideal compromise between natural and synthetic countertops. Generically known as solid surface, engineered stone or quartz composite, they go by many different brand names, and have unique features not found in other surfaces.
For example, they tend to be harder and more durable and stain resistant than traditional countertops, because they are formed with a combination of natural materials and synthetic bonding compounds. The solid-surface types appear seamless, are made of about 2/3 mineral powders and 1/3 resin, and are available in a range of colours and designs that sometimes mimic nature (e.g., white marble). The quartz types are closer to 90% natural stone fragments with about 10% resin, so they are even harder by comparison, although the range of colour and design options is narrower. Nowadays, with so much to consider, it’s wise to consult a countertop expert about your material options and installation costs.
Lighting Matters when Selling your Home
Remember the last time you were in a furniture store or other major home retailer? Remember the fully decorated displays of furniture, appliances and other products? Some of those may have even been organized as model rooms.
What did most of those displays have in common?
Chances are, they were well lit.
In fact, in the retail industry, there are professionals who specialize exclusively in display lighting. It plays such an important role in showcasing and selling home products successfully that the stores are willing to absorb the expense.
The same holds true for your home.
If you want to show your home well, and sell it quickly and for the best price, make sure every room is well lit.
There are probably some rooms in your home where the lighting is adequate, such as the kitchen and bathrooms, and perhaps the foyer. But there are other areas where the lighting may be mediocre. Take a close look at:
- Storage areas
- Laundry rooms
- The garage
If there are areas in your home that are dark or shadowy, the solution may be as simple as installing higher wattage bulbs, provided your fixture can accommodate them. Keep in mind that brightness can vary significantly from one type of bulb to another. Your goal is to make the room feel bright yet comfortable on the eyes.
Also, don’t forget to open drapes and blinds. Often the best and most pleasant source of light for a room is the sun shining through a window.
Want more tips on showing your home well? Call today.
Welcome To Our Newsletter, December 2022
4 Simple & Affordable Ways to Decorate for the Holidays:
Want to decorate for the holidays, but don't have a ton of cash to spend trimming your tree or stringing up lights? There's still a way.
Here are some quick and easy holiday decor tips that won't break the bank:
- Change out your welcome mat for a more festive one.
- Replace your front porch light with a red or green bulb.
- Wrap empty boxes in wrapping paper and use them as decor throughout the house.
- String popcorn and cranberries for some handmade garlands.
Dollar stores typically have a large selection of holiday decor, too, so be sure to try your local shop for low-cost options.
3 Perks of Buying a Home in the Winter:
If buying a house is on your radar, you may want to act soon. The winter housing market offers serious perks for homebuyers.
Here are just a few of the benefits:
Less competition. Fewer homebuyers are on the market this time of year, meaning no costly bidding wars.
Lower home prices. When demand is low, home prices fall. Sellers are more willing to negotiate, too.
Cheaper moving costs. Due to the harsh weather, few people move in the winter. This means more availability and lower costs with movers.
Considering a home purchase? Don't wait long. As the busy spring buying season approaches, competition and prices will start to heat up.
4 Benefits of Refinancing:
Looking to save some cash in the New Year? Refinancing your mortgage loan might be able to help.
Refinancing can mean:
- Lower interest rates. If your credit has improved or market rates are lower than your current rates, you can reduce the interest you pay monthly and over time.
- Lower monthly payments. Choose a longer loan term or qualify for a lower rate, and your monthly payments will fall in step.
- Access to cash. Tap your home equity with a cash-out refinance. Use it for bills, tuition, or holiday expenses.
Welcome To Our Real Estate Update, December 2022
Will a Home Inspection Help Sell your Home Faster?
Usually, a home inspection is done after an offer is made to buy a home. The offer will typically include a condition that the property must pass such an inspection. The buyer then hires the inspector, who goes through the home, top to bottom, inside and out, looking for issues.
However, you can also get an inspection done as the seller. In this case, you are paying for an inspector to produce a report on your home — before you sell. In fact, this is often called a pre-sale home inspection.
Why would you do this?
A pre-sale home inspection can make your property more attractive to buyers. This is especially helpful if you’re selling in a buyer’s market, where there are more homes like yours for sale than there are buyers. The report serves as an enticing feature of your listing because it reassures buyers that there are no unknown issues.
So, getting a pre-home inspection is something worth considering. For a buyer deciding between your listing and another home for sale, it can be a determining factor.
The Psychology of Clutter
There’s an interesting psychological characteristic of clutter. We tend to notice it more in other people’s homes than in our own. In fact, we may not even realize a room in our house feels cluttered and uncomfortable to visitors.
That’s why making each room look neat and spacious is so important when you’re selling your property.
Although the task may seem daunting at first, decluttering is relatively easy to do.
The simplest technique is to box things. You’re going to move anyway, so boxing makes sense. You can store the boxes of items you’re keeping in your garage. If you have a lot of boxes, renting short-term storage is an option.
When decluttering, you’re bound to come across items you no longer need or want. You can create separate boxes for items to trash, donate, or sell online. Deal with these right away, so they’re not included in your stored boxes.
An uncluttered home shows dramatically better to buyers. When they see a cluttered space — even if it’s neatly organized — it creates a reason not to buy. So, declutter your way to a faster sale at a higher price!
Want to save money in 2023? There are many money-saving opportunities — including tax savings — that you can realize if you take action before the year ends. Here are just a few examples of what to consider:
Do you own a business? Even if it’s just a side-hustle to make extra money, you can save on taxes if you make planned purchases this month. For example, if you need a new printer, buy it in December. That way, you may be able to take a deduction this year.
Check your subscriptions. Many types of subscriptions — publications, online apps, memberships — automatically renew in December. If you subscribe to something you no longer want, cancel it this month. Otherwise, you might be stuck paying the renewal fee.
Review your investments. Sit down with your advisor and go over your investments and other savings. You may be able to take advantage of year-end opportunities. Also check for investments or financial instruments that may be set to automatically renew this month.
Watch for price hikes. It’s common for companies to raise prices at the beginning of a new year. Review your bills for announcements of fee increases. Some of those may be negotiable. You might also want to make other changes to reduce the impact.
Taking time this month to review expenses and investments could save you a bundle in 2023. It’s worth the effort!
Welcome To Our Newsletter, November 2022.
A pre-approval isn't a guarantee you'll get that mortgage loan.
Want to keep your mortgage application on track? Avoid these mistakes:
• Big purchases. Making a major purchase just ahead of buying a home can send up a serious red flag.
• New credit cards. These require hard credit pulls and can lower your credit score. They also mean more debt, which can cause lenders to worry.
• Late payments. Falling behind on credit card and loan payments can send your credit score down (and your chances of getting a loan with it).
Changes in your employment can also derail your mortgage application, so avoid any job changes just before buying a house.
The Best Month to Buy a House
Did you know we're quickly approaching the best month to buy a house? According to data, homebuyers save the most by buying a home in December. All real estate is local so I can help you understand your local market but in some cases, buyers can pay up to 5% below listed price in some neighborhoods, months or categories.Buyers pay the biggest premiums by purchasing in the summertime. Buying in June means spending about 7% more than market value.
How To Get The Best Black Friday Deals
Want to save big this holiday season? Black Friday is the day to do it.
Here's how to get the best deals on the year's biggest shopping day:
Start early. Many stores start offering deals days or even weeks ahead of Black Friday.
Sign up for your favorite retailers' email lists. It might get you extra savings (or at least alert you to big deals).
Preload your payment info. A lot of Black Friday deals are limited, and you don't want to lose out by taking too long during checkout.