The Kitchen - Heart of the House

The kitchen. Yep, it’s the room that holds the refrigerator, stove, dishwasher and assorted smaller appliances. But it’s also the center around which the house revolves – a gathering place, communication center, and a warm and cozy room to receive nourishment. As such it must be spotless, sparkling and spacious. Potential homebuyers want to feel they can eat off the floor or the tops of appliances even though they would never do it.

While massive kitchen remodeling isn’t a good idea when you’re preparing to put your home on the market, replacing old, inefficient appliances may be a good idea. Not only does this make the kitchen seem updated without a lot of work, but also “new appliances” looks good on the listing.

Make sure your garbage disposal is in good working order. If it doesn’t work properly, have it fixed or replaced. You don’t have one? Have one installed.  Many a cook has said that the garbage disposal is the one appliance they must absolutely have in their kitchen!

Check your sink, pipes and faucets for leaks.  Replace chipped porcelain or a rusty stainless steel sink.  If faucets leak, replace them with an inexpensive set with a simple design.  If your faucets are in good condition, this is a good time to replace the washers to keep them from wearing out while your house is on the market.

For heavy duty plumbing issues, call a professional plumber.

Sellers need to “lighten up” when preparing their kitchens for the onslaught of potential buyers.  At the very least, clean the walls until they sparkle by scrubbing them with detergent and a sponge.  However, spending some extra money on a light shade of paint will make the room look fresh and clean.  Paint the walls and trim.  If your cabinets are dark and out of style, paint them, too.  Go with neutral colours like beige or white because they make the room look bigger and brighter.

Keep rooms bright with natural sunlight and light fixtures.  Keep windows clean and curtains open.  Install lights over counters, food preparation areas and the stove.  This is a convenient time to reset the stove clock, too.  Replace light bulbs in existing fixtures and increase wattage if necessary. Allow maximum light to shine by cleaning anything the light shines through – domes, shades, chandeliers, etc.

Adding new accents instead of making major changes will save time and money. New handles on cabinets and drawers will complete their updated look. Ditch dark window treatments and replace them with an inexpensive, airy-looking valance in a pale colour. If flooring is damaged and must be replaced, opt for a simple pattern no-wax floor or neutral tile. The idea is to get the most mileage out of fewer dollars.

When the basics are completed, invest in good cleaning supplies and scrub every inch of that kitchen like it’s never been scrubbed in the house’s history. Remove magnets and everything else from the refrigerator door. In fact, clean out the inside as well. Use a sponge and antibacterial cleaner to scrub dirt, grease and food particles from the surfaces. Unless you have a self-cleaning oven, use oven cleaner to make the oven spotless inside, including the door.

Use antibacterial cleaner to clean the stovetop and any other spot you can reach. Clear off all counters in order to clean and disinfect them. Replace only the items you use every day and limit them to three. 

Remember to clean small appliances before returning them to the counter or cupboard. Everything else should be packed away and stored.

If your kitchen also serves as “command central” for the family, be sure to take care of this area as well. Clean the phone with antibacterial cleaner and a paper towel. Remove outdated notes from the bulletin board or remove the entire board and store it in a closet. Sort through items in the mail organizer and throw out as much as possible and file everything else. If you can do without the organizer for awhile, clean out the letters and store it with the bulletin board.  If there’s an alternate space to locate your command central, then do so. This will make the kitchen area look more organized and functional.

As long as your house is open to prospective buyers, be extra careful to keep the kitchen free of dirt and clutter. Wash and put away dishes, pots and pans after each meal. 

Never, ever leave dirty dishes in the sink for others to see. Clean and store small appliances, such as food choppers, immediately after each use.  Be sure to wipe down the counters and sink following each meal.

Sweep the floor daily and wipe up any spilled food as soon as it hits the tile. Give the floor a good mopping at least once a week or whenever it looks less than spotless. Keep the towel and dish cloth clean and hanging on rails. If the kitchen is put back into top shape after each use then it will eliminate frantic, last-minute efforts to clean leftover messes.

Just before prospective buyers arrive to look at the house, double-check the details. Have you turned on all the lights? Are the towels clean and hanging on a rail? Do you need to give the faucets a quick wipe? Does the garbage need to be taken outside? Everything is ready? Light a gingerbread-smelling candle, put on some soft music and wait for the doorbell to ring.

 

 

Find The Best Hiding Places Buyers Will Never Look!

What do you do when your Realtor calls and wants to show your home in say, half an hour?  Jump for joy first, since someone wants to look at YOUR home, right?  Then, panic.  As you hang up the phone, you notice that your teenagers have been at it again…your house is CLEAN, it’s just not TIDY.  Now, what do you do?

Since we all know that the first impression is important, especially if you want to sell your home in the next decade, we have a few tips that will help you quickly hide away “stuff.”  But first, you have to know where the buyers are going to look, and ensure that these places are constantly tidy. 

Places that buyers will look include the oven, any closets, kitchen drawers, laundry room, and the kitchen pantry.  Think about it; these places give them an indication, essentially, of how much storage space there is.  If they’re overflowing, the buyers will think there just isn’t enough room to store their own things, since obviously you don’t have the space.  

Don’t defeat your efforts by stashing clutter in these places at the last minute, no matter how tempting it may be!

Enough of that!  What you want to know is, at the last minute, where CAN you hide things?

Under the bed.  It’s spacious, easy to get to, and no one in their right mind would get down on their hands and knees to look there during their first visit.  In addition, kids are probably used to stashing things there anyway, and can help you.

In the washer and dryer.  Who hasn’t seen the commercial where a little kid has stashed a pet in there?  We don’t recommend putting your pets in there, but clothes and shoes and “stuff” can easily fit.  Although buyers like to look in the laundry to see the size and neatness, they won’t be looking to see if you actually have things in there.  Our caution is to let everyone in the family know that it’s a hiding place, and to never start the machines without checking the contents first.

In the refrigerator.  This is risky; you know your kids are going to be in and out of the fridge – and how embarrassing would it be to have a shoe fall out?  On the other hand, if you’ve just walked in from the grocery, you can certainly stash the entire grocery bag in there, until you’re ready to unpack it and put things away neatly.

Behind the couch.  That is, if the couch is against the wall.  We all know that things get trapped there anyway, so it could be a quick opportunity to drop a toy or wayward socks for a quick fix.

In the trunk of your car.  Your garage or carport needs to be tidy.  If it isn’t garbage day, yet you have bags lying around, drop them in. Skateboards and roller blades are a hazard anyway, so drop them in, too.  Nobody has a right to check in your vehicle – take advantage of that fact!

Let me leave you with this quick story.  My aunt, being a naturally organized person, has clothes closets organized by colour and like items, linen closets with towels and sheets stacked by size and color, and jars in her kitchen pantry with labels facing the front like a grocery store shelf. 

This may seem extreme, but when she showed the house for sale, one buyer actually told her that he’d buy her home for the state of her closets alone!  He believed that if she paid that much attention to a closet, that she must have taken that kind of care with the rest of her home.

P.S

Before you consider buying another home, you need to find out how much homes are selling for in today’s market, so you can make your plans based on the most up-to-date information available.

Now you can do that for free over the phone in just a couple of minutes.

Just call me a call at 647.448.6106 or email me at info@propertysavvy.ca with some basic information about the kind of house you’re looking for and areas you’d like to know about.

When we get the information, we’ll prepare a report for you that shows the most current market activity in any area you choose (including all the homes that are currently on the market – even if it’s out of town).

You’ll get your completed report in the mail in just a few days and (if you’d like) we’ll be available to go over the report by phone and answer any questions you may have…

Talk to you soon…

The Property Savvy Team
of Century 21 Millennium Inc.10-350 Rutherford Rd, Brampton ON L6W 3M2
647.448.6106 or 647.339.7721
PropertySavvy.ca

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How To Avoid Being Beaten Out - Multiple Offers

How To Avoid Being Beaten Out
By Other Buyers Who May Be
Competing For Your Dream Home...

You’ve found your dream home, so you’ll make an acceptable offer and live happily ever after...unless another buyer beats you to the punch!

In a competitive marketplace, this can not only happen, but can potentially have a far greater impact than any negotiating gambit the seller would hurl your way. Yet, more buyers erroneously fear the seller more than they do other competing buyers!

That’s why it’s important to make sure your offer strategy includes a strong stance against other potential buyers and their offers. There are several factors that make buyer competition a threat in today’s real estate market.

It’s a sellers’ market.

First, in a competitive market with relatively few quality properties available, “dream home” category houses will become hot properties – often as soon as the for sale is planted in the yard. 

Most buyers want to purchase a home that requires very little fix-up. They comment, “I want to bring in my toothbrush and immediately set up housekeeping.” And to obtain these turnkey benefits, buyers are willing to pay a premium. 

That can translate into not only a full-price offer, but one that exceeds the seller’s listed price.  

Timing is everything.

In an active market, timing is everything.

In the good old days, you might have the luxury of viewing a home several times – even dragging your relatives to see it... before you actually made an offer.

 “He/she who hesitates is lost” aptly explains buyers who dally to make a buying decision today. And don’t forget that being pre-approved for a loan has leveled the playing field for a majority of buyers. If they’re all equally qualified financially, the best offer (as interpreted by the seller) gets the property.

So, what can you do to arm yourself to the teeth with added value to capture a seller and counteract offers from other buyers?

Get Pre-Approval.

First, make sure you’re financially pre-approved by a Lender for the loan you’ll need and be prepared to document this fact to a seller if requested.

Be Honest.

Be honest with the seller about your interest in purchasing the property. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you won’t negotiate a fair purchase; but it also doesn’t mean that you’ll act nonchalant and noncommittal either. Sellers often choose one buyer’s offer over another based on the level of personal interest and commitment the buyer appears to have to the seller’s home.

Communicate.

Lastly, make sure you fully communicate the desired outcome to the real estate consultant you’re working with. The consultant will then evaluate the best tack to take in terms of price, purchase terms, and negotiating tactics to help you realize that goal.

The next time you’re inclined to wonder what evil trick the seller might be up to, better look behind you first...to see if other buyers are trying to pull the rug out from under your dream home!  

 

 Rhonda & Randy McLeod

The Property Savvy Team

Of Century 21 Millennium Inc

647.339.7721

www.propertysavvy.ca

info@propertysavvy.ca

 

P.S.

No-Fail Guide To Finding

A Mover That Won’t Take You To The Cleaners

We’ve all heard the horror stories about movers who didn’t deliver (literally) what they’d promised, or the priceless vase from Great Aunt Edna that got broken in a move. Here are seven things to help you find the best mover that you can.

Identify only licensed, insured, and bonded moving companies.

Think about what you’re moving. What is it worth to you to know that it will get to your new home safe and sound? Licensed, insured, and bonded companies take the extra step to ensure that your things get to your new home, because they’re held responsible if they don’t. 

Ask for estimates from two to three companies.

Shop and compare prices. Invite a mover’s representative to inspect the contents of your home.

They should be able to tell you how long the move will take, what it’ll cost, and the size of the truck you’ll need. Long-distance moves can cost anywhere between $3,000 and $10,000. This is a large investment, so treat it like you would any other – and shop around.

Be sure of what you’re buying. Typically, movers charge by weight and mileage. If you can get a flat rate, you’ll probably be better off. Get definite dates (in writing) of when the contents of your home will be picked up AND delivered.

Get extra liability protection.

Declare the value of the contents of your home with the mover before you move. Otherwise, your furnishings will be valued at $1.25 per pound as a lump sum. This means that a truckload containing the contents of your home that weight 3,000 pounds is only worth $3,750. Heaven forbid that it should happen – but could you replace the things you need for that amount? This is why declaring the value and adding extra protection are so important in ensuring your sanity during your move.

Stick around.

Stay with them as they inspect, pack, fill out the inventory, and weigh the contents of your home. The weight is particularly important because this is used to figure the final cost in most long-distance moves.


Inside Secrets Of How To Get A “Yes” When You Borrow

Lenders approve loans based on their impression of your ability and INTENT to pay it back.  To figure this out, they look at five things:  creditworthiness, income, job longevity, job stability, and future income prospects.  We’ll tell you how to make sure you look good in each of these things, so that you’ll get a “YES” when you want to borrow money for your new home.

1.  Creditworthiness

Creditworthiness is your history of borrowing and repaying against things like loans, credit cards, rent, and whether you’ve ever filed for bankruptcy.  Find out what credit bureau the Lender uses, then call or go online for a copy of your credit report. This is to make sure that there are no errors or surprises that you’ll have to explain to the Lender.  If there are mistakes, it can take a few months to resolve, so it’s good to have a compelling explanation ready when the Lender sees it!  The best way to demonstrate that you are “creditworthy” is to pay your bills in full and on time, particularly for the year or two before you want to get a loan.

2.  Income

Lenders want to know that you have a history of sufficient and consistent income – so that you’ll be able to repay the loan.  So, when you submit your paperwork to a Lender, make sure to take a letter verifying your employment (how long and what your salary is), your last couple of paychecks, and your last couple of T4 forms.

3.  Job Longevity

Lenders are looking for borrowers who have a stable source of income.  If you can show that you’ve been employed at least a year in the same company, you should be fine.

4.  Job Stability

Again, lenders like stability – they tend to think that your loan payment behavior will reflect your employment behavior.  So, don’t make lateral moves between companies just for the sake of change.  If you make moves, do it for promotion, or to earn more money.

5.  Future Income Prospects

Because most loans are paid back in 15 to 30 years, Lenders are interested in people who will have income for that amount of time.  Young professionals, or those with high-demand skills, are the most appealing to Lenders because their income will only increase over time.  If you can demonstrate that you have a career plan that only gets better over time, you’ll be in a strong position to borrow.

So essentially, pay your bills on time, stay with an employer, have a career path that shows potential, and you’ll be sure to get a “YES” when you borrow.

Lenders are required to tell you what the APR is on any loan that they’re offering to you so you’ll know what the real interest rate is, including all of the additional costs. 

So, when you’re calling around looking for the best rates, make sure and ask what the APR is on each loan you’re being told about!

 

Here’s What It Helps To Know About Interest Rates,

Points, And The “Mysterious” APR

 

When you get a mortgage, there are three important terms for you to remember.

  • Interest Rates
  • Points
  • APR

I’ve combined these three terms here because they’re related, and you’ll understand them better if I explain them together.

Interest Rate:  “Interest Rates” are the price that Lenders charge for the use of their money.  So, when interest rates are high, it’s because Lenders are charging you more to use their money right now. 

Again, it’s a trade-off between now and later.  Lenders are only going to give you so much money to use over the next 15 to 30 years (the life of your mortgage).  They work backwards from that figure using interest rates.

If you have a higher interest rate, you have less money to spend now.  If you have a lower interest rate, you have more money to spend now. 

Points:  I want to tell you about a funny word – it’s one of those words that doesn’t mean what you might think it means when you hear it.  (Like when the waiter at the restaurant asks you if you would like your “check,” and somehow you know that what they really mean is your bill, but you say, “Oh yes, thank you.”)

When you hear the word “points,” what do you think of?  Maybe points in a football game?  Maybe a test score? 

Well, some smart person in the mortgage industry started using the word “points” to mean 1% of your entire loan amount, that you get to pay up front, as a fee for certain things.

So let’s say your mortgage is for $200,000.  One “point” would mean $2,000.

Now I’ll tell you about the third term and how it relates to the first two.

APR:  “APR” stands for “Annual Percentage Rate.”  That sounds friendly, too, doesn’t it?

The APR is what you get when you add the interest rate, the points, and all of the other fees together and then calculate what the loan will cost you each year, based on all of the fees added together.

Randy & Rhonda McLeod

The Property Savvy Team

www.propertysavvy.ca

info@propertysavvy.ca

647.448.6106 or 647.339.7721

Follow us on FACEBOOK & TWITTER


Creative Use of Colour

Have you ever been driving through a neighbourhood and all of the sudden a Pepto Bismal pink house shocks you out of a daydream?  Did you notice anything other than the colour – the lush green lawn or the squeaky clean entry way, perhaps?  Of course not.  You were probably too busy gawking at the colour.

Colour is a powerful thing.  Red is stimulating, which is why you don’t see too many school rooms painted this colour.  Dark blue is relaxing.  Yellow reminds us of sunlight, so it has a tendency to evoke cheerful feelings.  Green encourages peacefulness and stability.  Colours can remind us of certain people, specific places or times in our lives – some good, some bad.  When preparing your home to put it up for sale, one thing you don’t want to do is evoke the wrong feelings.  It’s best to play it safe and opt for neutral, reflective colours like white or ivory for the interior.  White, light grey and tan work well for the exterior.

 

Use of colour is a great way to create optical illusions that are effective in downplaying a home’s shortcomings.  For instance, using lighter colours will make a small space seem larger.  Conversely, if you wish a room to look smaller, then paint it a warmer colour.  If a room is long and narrow, paint the walls at either end a dark, warm colour like deep brown or green.  This will draw the ends to the center of the room, giving it more of a square look.  To lower a ceiling that’s too high, paint it a darker colour – coffee tones, greys, or dark green.  Just make sure the room is light enough to handle the darker colours.

To make a low ceiling appear higher, paint the walls a darker colour than the ceiling.  Busy walls with areas chopped up by radiators, doors, vents and windows make a room look smaller.  Paint the room in a flat tone, including the radiator, doors, vents and casement, and these negative features will blend into the room.  Colour allows one to make the best of a home’s not-so-great features.

Many experts favor paint over wallpaper, but there are times when wallpaper may be the best choice.  Use wallpaper if it covers a cosmetic problem or if it adds to the home’s historic charm.  Exercise caution and self restraint, though, and stay away from large or loud patterns, strong colours and unusual designs.  Vertical stripes make a room seem taller and hallways shorter.

Horizontal stripes make a room look wider and hallways longer.  Regardless of the design flaw being camouflaged, it’s best to keep wallpaper as nondescript as possible.

Generally, the rule is to keep walls, ceilings and floors neutral and add colours with accent items.  Temporary splashes of colour can be added with all types of fabrics – area rugs, table cloths, napkins, sofa cushions, window curtains, bed spreads and quilts.

Kitchens can be spiced up with canisters, dish towels, framed prints, curtains, window blinds, wallpaper boarders and green plants.  Just be sure to keep the plants watered.  Give pizzazz to bathrooms with matching towel sets, bath mats, shower curtains, toilet seats, decorative hand soaps, silk flowers, curtains, blinds and wall hangings.  In bedrooms, throw in colour through comforters or quilts, sheets, window treatments, area rugs, and plants or flowers.  Just keep in mind that these items are to enhance the look of the house; they’re not to add clutter or make a statement.  You want the house to speak for itself.

 

 

“Spend a Little Get a Lot” Tips

  • Purchase a new door mat to give the front door area a fresh look.
  • Have at least three quotes done on costly repairs so you can select the most economical company for the job.
  • All repair work can be negotiated.  Don’t be afraid to ask for a better deal.
  • To create a spacious feeling in the house, turn on lights in every room.
  • Use the proper type of paint for each surface you need to cover.  Kitchen and bathrooms require paint that can withstand heat and moisture.  Consult a professional at a paint store for advice.
  • Create an information booklet containing property tax statements; records of maintenance, service work, warranty work and improvements made to the house; utility bills; and warranties for the roof, pool, spa, electrical systems and major appliances.
  • Immediately before showing the house, make the home inviting by cleaning windows, opening the drapes, turning on lights and playing soft music.
  • Keep under-the-bed storage containers handy for last minute clean up.  Fill them with clutter and shove them out of sight.
  • Light a couple of lightly scented candles to give a feeling of warmth and add a nice aroma.

 

Randy & Rhonda McLeod

The Property Savvy Team of Century 21 Millennium Inc.,

10-350 Rutherford Rd, Brampton ON L6W 3M2

647.448.6106 or 647.339.7721

info@propertysavvy.ca

PropertySavvy.ca

Follow us on TWITTER & FACEBOOK

 


Four Ways To Beat The Stress Of Buying A Home...

1.  Begin with the end in mind.

Have an ultimate scenario of where you’re trying to be.  What will life be like when you get there? How will it be better than where you are now? Dwell on that picture and write it out, fill up at least a page about how it feels in the new place.  This is imperative.

Having the goal in front of you at all times energizes you to achieve it, in spite of setbacks and frustrations.  Emotions will run high and you need an anchor.  You must focus on that future goal when anxiety threatens to get the better of you.

2.   Be flexible.

In your monetary calculations, overestimate by a thousand dollars.  In this market, anything can happen between contract acceptance and closing. It could be the inspections reveal areas of concern that the seller is unwilling to fix or the repair costs are higher than the amount limited in the contract.

Or the interest rate changes which affects the necessary down payment and closing costs you’ll need to come up with.  As your real estate team, we’ll strive to tie up loose ends as quickly as possible, but remember there is no perfect world.  Most buyers feel a bit overwhelmed when taking on a new mortgage and the responsibilities of a new home.

We’ve seen many buyers get angry when it seems like the cost just keeps going up.  Anger is caused when reality doesn’t match up with the expectations you had in your mind.  If you anticipate this happening in advance, you won’t get angry.  In fact, it’ll probably go better than you expected.

3.  Trust in the process.

There’s just so much to do, it’s easy to panic.  You wonder if it will ever work out.  In fact, when we bought our house, we couldn’t eat for a day, we felt so sick to our stomachs!  You think you’re taking a big chance, but the truth is you’re giving yourself a big chance.

Even though you can’t see every step of the way, as you move towards your goals, the way opens up.  We know that you haven’t moved in a long time and it’s a major upheaval in your life.  But we’ve been there many times before, and we’ll be looking out for you.  Trust that we know the way to get you there.

4.  Get knowledge.

One thing you’ll probably feel during this transition time is being out of control.  It feels like everyone else has taken over your life.  The seller, your Lender, the appraiser, the inspectors, all have the power to say yes or no to your moving plans.

We’ll try our best to let you know ahead of time what your expenses will be, and what the unknowns are.  We’ll tie down the loose ends as soon as possible.  We’ll try to get your loan approved within a reasonable time frame.  We’ll educate you as best we can and let you in “behind the scenes” so you won’t ever feel stupid or out of control.

 

If You’re Going To Buy A Home

In the Next 60 Days, Our FREE HomeFinder Service Is Just For You...

 

Whenever you’re ready to start looking at homes, you may want to take advantage of our FREE HomeFinder Service, where our computers will search and match your exact wants and needs with ALL the new homes that come on the market each day.

Our HomeFinder Service is perfect for when you’re starting to look at homes, and you want to find out about NEW listings as soon as they come on the market.

If you’d like more information on our free HomeFinder Service, just call me at 647.339.7721 or email me at info@propertysavvy.ca and I’ll help you any way I can.


Getting The Best Bang For Your Buck – Top 5 Fix Ups For Your Money

   

It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you’re getting ready to put your home on the real estate market. After all, a plethora of books have been devoted to the subject, and  each one has a to-do list that could intimidate even the most organized of sellers.  Take heart, though, because many experts agree on five relatively inexpensive repairs or  renovations that won't blow your budget to bits or cause your stress level to  skyrocket. They will, however, enable  you to sell your home more quickly and get top dollar for it.  Take a deep breath, relax, and know that  these suggestions will make your experience a bit easier.

Before you pick up the first paint brush, carpet swatch, or bag of mulch, reach for the  scrub brush and cleaning  solution – or hire a cleaning service.The first order of  business is to give your house an in-depth cleaning. This means scrubbing ceilings,  floors and everything in between them, inside and out. A trip to your local discount  store can yield adequate cleaning solutions, scrub brushes, sponges, mops and  anything else you need to make your home sparkle.  And once it’s sparkling, you’re all  set to work your way down this list!

1.  Painting

Many experts rate painting the house inside and out right up there with cleaning on the importance scale.  Usually the cost of the paint is lower than the value a paint job adds to the house. 

This even holds true if you opt to hire a professional to do it, which may be a good idea since it would get done more quickly and with less mess. Either way, opt for light, neutral colours such as white or beige and paint every room the same colour.

These colours appeal to more people, enhance the light in the rooms, make space seem larger, and give continuity to the house.  Use a flat finish on walls and a washable high gloss finish in a complimentary colour for the doors and woodwork.  Don’t forget to paint the ceilings, which get dirty and appear darker over time.  A painted room will still look dreary if the ceiling is neglected.  After deep cleaning your house, painting is the next step in preparing your home for the scrutiny of potential buyers.

2.  Replacing Carpet

Think your carpet looks okay and needn’t be replaced?  Think again.  Most experts agree that carpet should be replaced if it’s over a year old.  Take out worn, dated or outlandish-coloured carpet and replace it with a tight weave in a neutral colour like white or beige.  Lighter colours will make the room appear larger.  Carpet needn’t be expensive to improve the look of the house, be attractive to a buyer, and pay for itself with a higher selling price.

3.  Landscaping

Putting some time and effort into landscaping your property goes a long way towards improving the home’s curb appeal (the first impression a prospective buyer has when he pulls up to the house.)  With landscaping there’s a direct trade-off between time and money.  You get more for your money when you have the time to plant grass seed instead of sod or purchase smaller plants and let them grow into maturity.  Sod costs more but is instantly green.  Seeds cost less but take more time.  An inexpensive way to add colour to the yard is to clear out dead foliage or grass and replace it with flowering plants.  Make sure you add some fresh topsoil and mulch around the flower beds.  Don’t forget to prune shrubs so they stay healthy, and mulch around them to stave off weeds.  After putting effort into improving the landscaping, remember to maintain it with regular watering, fertilizer and edging.

4.  Driveway Repair

While we’re talking about curb appeal, it’s time to mention the importance of your driveway.  It is, after all, what the buyers will see when they first arrive!  While a good driveway isn’t likely to evoke exclamations of joy, a bad driveway creates an initial bad impression that will have to be reversed.  It’s better to repair the driveway.  Buyers will see oil and rust stains, broken pieces and cracks, so it’s best to clean and repair as much as possible.

Commercial cleaners and bleach work well on cement driveways and are readily available at discount or home improvement stores.  Areas that are cracked can be cut away and repoured without replacing the entire driveway.  If your driveway is asphalt, putting down a new coat of tar or resealing the black top gives it a clean look.  Brick driveways should be carefully examined for loose and broken bricks; replace any that are broken, make sure all the bricks are in alignment, and spray weed killer between them.  

5.  Enhancing the Front Door Area

The front door is the entrance into what could be the prospective buyers’ new home so it needs to be  clean, in           good repair and inviting in appearance.  Often, a new hardwood door – which can run between  $1,000 to over $2,000   – can upgrade the entire appearance of the entryway, giving it a stately look.  However, if nothing else, give the door   a good scrubbing and a couple coats of paint.

Fix squeaky or sticky hinges, make sure door knobs work well, double check the doorbell and replace  light bulbs.  It   doesn’t hurt to put out a new welcome mat and add a potted plant for colour – you want to  beckon visitors to come     inside your sparkling clean home!

 

Here’s What To Do Now If You’re Going To Sell Your

House In The Next Six Months

What you do in the months before you put your house on the market will determine how long your house will take to sell, how much money you’ll get for your house, and how easy (or difficult) your selling experience will be.

There are some simple things you can and should be doing right now to make sure you’ll get the highest price in the least amount of time.

If you’re going to be selling your house in the next 6 to 12 months, a free Room-by-Room Review is the perfect first step and will give you a head start on which projects or fix-ups will give you the best return on your investment.

The review shows you the most important things you can do now to prepare for your move.

Just give me a call at 647.448.6106 or email me at seller@propertysavvy.ca and we can arrange a time to get together.

                                                                                                                             Randy McLeod


Fourteen Repairs to Make Before Selling Your Home

Nothing turns off a potential buyer faster than a house that shows little or poor upkeep, such as peeling paint, broken windows, a splintered front step, damaged floors, etc. It's wise to make necessary repairs before you put your house on the market, without giving away the bank. A house in good condition demonstrates pride of ownership - one of your best sales tools and helps you negotiate a better sales price.   Start by covering these areas:

Inside the House

  1. Fix or replace damaged flooring, such as torn linoleum, scratched hardwood floors or cracked tiles. If you can't afford to replace damaged or worn floors, consider offering the buyer an allowance for renovation. Polyurethane or varnishing the wood floors will make them look like new.
  1. Fix any drains, faucets or plumbing fixtures that aren't operating.
    Fixes can range from replacing a faucet washer to buying a new toilet, reglazing the bathtub may be another option instead of buying a new one.
  2. Paint the interior.
    Fill and paint any cracks or holes in the walls (You may need to repaint entire walls to mask such repairs).
  1. Replace burned out bulbs and broken electrical sockets.
    Most agents will want you to turn on all the lights before a showing.
     
  2. Replace or fix broken stairs.
    Fix any creaks as well.
     
  3. Replace old locks and doorknob.
    Make it easy for a buyer to walk in or look at rooms or closets.
     
  4. Fix any doors that don't open easily, including the garage door.
    If your garage door opener doesn't work, repair or replace it.

 

Outside the House

1.   Replace cracked windows and torn screens.
Don't let your house be shown with the equivalent of a black eye.

2.    Fix cracks in the driveway and entry walkway, and clean up stains.
If the driveway requires major repair, it may be preferable to offer the buyer an allowance for the work.

  1. Paint the exterior.
    Touch up peeling paint, window frames, porches, and shutters. Repaint the entire exterior if it is drab or peeling
     
  2. Replace broken gutters or missing downspouts.
    A good drainage, it's "key" to passing a home inspection.

5.    Replace or fix broken stairs or steps.
It's a matter of both safety and aesthetics. Plus the possibility of a lawsuit is always important to keep in mind.

  1. Reseal the deck and repair broken boards.
    A new coat of sealer can spruce up a fading deck.
     
  2. Repair the roof
    Replace shingles and tack down loose flashing.  If the roof is old, you may want to replace it and adjust your sales price accordingly.

For more information about selling your home, please do not hesitate to contact us.


The 6 Secrets to SOLD in 60 Days(or less)!

In the current economic environment, bad news is everywhere. If you listen long enough, you just might believe it. Have you heard that homes aren’t selling? Have you heard that no matter what, there are no buyers out there? Both of these statements are categorically FALSE. Homes sell every single day, and some surprisingly fast. Below is a list of the 6 secrets that most home sellers don’t know about selling their home (and if they do know, then they aren’t implementing).

  1. CONDITION, CONDITION, CONDITION! I mean it. No, I REALLY mean it. You must be willing to invest some time and money into getting your home in perfect showing condition. Take down the 1970’s flowered wallpaper. Install new neutral carpet. Get your trophies off the wall and put away. Clean out your closets. Clean out your cabinets. The goal is to make the potential homebuyers see THEMSELVES in the home and not you. It is worth a financial investment in hiring a professional home stager to come in to consult on the condition of your home. When you hire The Property Savvy Team of Century 21 Millennium Inc. to consult on the sale of your home, we will reimburse you for the cost of our home stager once your home is sold and closed. Additionally, we offer a 100% Free Service called a Room by Room Review. Give us a call and we can come out to help you.
  1. ACCESS, ACCESS, ACCESS! Again, I am serious about this. If there are any hurdles to giving a buyer access to see your home, they may not be interested in buying it. Qualified buyers should be able to see your home from 9am to 8pm seven days a week with at most a one hour notice. If you have animals, they should take a vacation at a friends’ or family member’s home. (It’ll only be for 60 days, right?) You should NOT be home. A huge mistake home sellers make is trying to “Sell” their home to the potential buyers. Buying a home is an emotional and personal thing. Leave it up to your listing broker to inform the buyers and their agent of the features that make your home stand out. When you hire The Property Savvy Team of Century 21 Millennium Inc. to consult on the sale of your home, we take extra precautions to make sure that only qualified buyers and their agents have access to your home. Additionally, we create professional material to be displayed inside your home that highlights the features that can help the buyers make the decision to make your home their home.
  1. EXPOSURE, EXPOSURE, EXPOSURE! This is not just about the 3 P’s that most agents do when they list your home… “Put it in the MLS, Plop a sign in the ground, and Pray that it sells.” Your home must be exposed to every single person that it might appeal to. This means a focused, intensive, leave-no-stone-unturned strategy to expose your home to the homebuyers out there. This multi-tiered strategy must include signage, email marketing, direct mail, the MLS, brokerage tours, massive web presence, social media, video, flyers, networking, toll free recordings, and numerous additional strategies. When you hire The Property Savvy Team of Century 21 Millennium Inc. to consult on the sale of your home, you will enjoy a comprehensive exposure package that is second to none in the industry; a package that allows us to sell over 5 times as many homes as the average REALTOR® in the area.
  1. COMMUNICATION & FLEXIBILITY! When all of the buyers and/or their agents have come through your home, they all have opinions. It is important to find out what their opinion is and if it is important to sell your home. For example, if two or three possible buyers feel that the carpet is old or is dirty, perhaps you need to be flexible enough to either change it or clean it. So there are two steps here, first you must know what the buyer’s and their opinions are and second, you must be willing to react. When you hire The Property Savvy Team of Century 21 Millennium Inc. to consult on the sale of your home, you can feel confident that we work hard to get feedback from every buyer who comes through the home. We email the buyer’s agent for FOUR CONSECUTIVE DAYS with questions about their opinion on your home. If we receive the feedback, you will know instantaneously via email what their opinion is (and if there is something you can do about it).  
  1. MASTER THE MARKET DATA How many homes are you competing against? How long are homes taking to sell? How much are homes selling for and what percentage of list price are they getting? What is the current economic environment both nationally and in your local market? How many months supply of inventory are there? These are all very important questions that need answers because you don’t sell your home in a bubble. There are so many different factors that affect your home and you need to understand all of them. For example, if a massive employer in your market suddenly goes out of business, many of your neighbors are out of work and may need to move to find new employment or they may begin to struggle to make their monthly payments if they can’t find a new local job in short order. In either scenario, the collapse of the local employer affects the salability of your home. When you hire The Property Savvy Team of Century 21 Millennium Inc. to consult on the sale of your home, you can expect a report that provides all of this information to you in a clear and concise format. Additionally, we are going to help you decipher this information and figure out how this translates into a strategy to get your home SOLD in 60 days or less.
  1. PRICING, PRICING, PRICING! This should be point number one. Again, if there is any point for you to take away from this free report, it is this one. This one only. All of the marketing, communication, staging, and cleaning isn’t going to do anything if the buyer doesn’t perceive a value in your home. You could rent the Goodyear blimp and announce that your home is for sale and it wouldn’t do a thing if you have priced yourself higher than the market will bear. If you want to sell within 60 days, there are some very important steps to take when it comes to pricing and here they are…
  1. Figure out how many similar homes sell a month on average.
  2. Figure out exactly how many homes you would be competing against.
  3. Figure out what the condition of the competition is.
  4. Be priced within the number of homes that sell a month.

Here’s an illustration of what I mean… Let’s say that you have a 3 bedroom 1 bath home and a garage. First, find out how many homes like yours sell each month (every 30 days) on average. For this illustration, let’s say that the answer is 3. Then pull up your ACTIVE competition because SOLD properties won’t be seen by buyers. Then, compare your condition with the active competition’s condition. Let’s say you go from least expensive to most expensive and…        

House #1 priced at $329,000 in excellent shape.

            House #2 priced at $335,000 not in good shape.

            House #3 priced at $339,000 but on a main road.

            House #4 priced at $339,000 in excellent shape.

            House #5 priced at $345,000 in good shape.

            House #6 priced at $349,000 in excellent shape.

Where do you price your home? The answer is at $339,000 but absolutely under $345,000. Why? Because 3 homes are going to sell in the next 30 days approximately. House #1 is going to sell due to price and condition. House #2 and #3 are not going to sell because they have issues with either location or condition. House #4 is going to sell. Now, you need to be next in line because 3 homes are going to sell this month. By being priced at $339,000 but no higher then $345,000, you’ll sell.

When you hire The Property Savvy Team of Century 21 Millennium Inc. to consult on the sale of your home, you can expect this analysis of pricing and your competition. This is information that most sellers and their agents NEVER even think about and we’ve got it for you! Additionally, we will go further into the pricing strategy to maximize every possible dollar that you deserve!

 

If you want YOUR home SOLD in 60 Days (or less) call

 THE PROPERTY SAVVY TEAM OF CENTURY 21 MILLENNIUM INC.

Rhonda McLeod: 647.339.7721

Randy McLeod: 647.448.6106

 

BONUS: By requesting a Free Report, you will automatically be signed up to receive our monthly “Home Seller Newsletter” it is bursting with information about staging your home and simple tips and tricks to make your home show in its best light when it is time to sell. 

 

REQUEST FREE REPORT HERE

 

DID YOU KNOW the LONGER your home is on the market the less it will sell for?

 

You deserve to be SOLD in 60 days or less, do you not?


Market Watch

Are you wondering how the GTA real estate market is doing? Below you will find helpful information from the Toronto Real Estate Board.

Strong Start to 2015

February 4, 2015 -- Toronto Real Estate Board President Paul Etherington announced a strong start to 2015, with robust year-over-year sales and average price growth in January. Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 4,355 home sales through the TorontoMLS system during the first month of the year. This result represented a 6.1 per cent increase over January 2014. During the same period, new listings were up by 9.5 per cent.

"The January results represented good news on multiple fronts. First, strong sales growth suggests home buyers continue to see housing as a quality long-term investment, despite the recent period of economic uncertainty. Second, the fact that new listings grew at a faster pace than sales suggests that it has become easier for some people to find a home that meets their needs," said Mr. Etherington.

The average selling price for January 2015 home sales was up by 4.9 per cent year-overyear to $552,575. The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) Composite benchmark was up by 7.5 percent compared to January 2014.

"Home price growth is forecast to continue in 2015. Lower borrowing costs will largely mitigate price growth this year, which means affordability will remain in check. The strongest rates of price growth will be experienced for low-rise home types, including singles, semis and town houses. However, robust end-user demand for condo apartments will result in above-inflation price growth in the high-rise segment as well," said Jason Mercer, TREB's Director of Market Analysis.