There are many reasons why a homeowner might want to move. Examples include upsizing, downsizing, work relocation, or simply desiring a change. However, another popular reason for pulling up stakes is noticing that the neighbourhood is changing in a way that no longer fits your lifestyle goals.
For example, say there’s a shopping mall in development nearby. It may not be impacting you now, but in a couple of years, the increase in traffic and noise could nudge above your tolerance level especially if you prefer quiet!
That’s why it’s important to occasionally take a peek into your crystal ball and see what changes to your neighbourhood you can anticipate over the next two to three years.
Of course, there’s no actual crystal ball. But there are ways to determine where your neighbourhood is headed. For example, information is available on:
• Proposed and planned construction projects, such as a new condo building or school.
• Scheduled urban development, such as highway widening.
• Changes in city services, such as a new transit route in the area or a new park.
• Area demographics, such as an increase in young families or those who rent.
You might discover that some changes are positive — from your point of view — and that you will look forward to them. However, if you find that there are changes that will alter the neighbourhood in a way that decreases the enjoyment of your home, then moving is an option.
There are plenty of opportunities on the market right now for getting into a great home in a neighbourhood you’ll love.
I can help. Call today.
Chances are, you’ve heard the expression, “Your home is your biggest investment.” For most homeowners, that’s true. So, when you’re shopping for a new home, it’s important to consider the financial ramifications of any purchase. Ideally, you want a home that is likely to increase in value over time.
In other words, you want a home with a strong potential return on investment.
But dollars aren’t the only type of return you should look for in a new home. Real estate is unique in that the “emotional” return is just as important as the financial return — and, in some cases, even more so.
Say, for example, you’re thinking of moving to a neighbourhood that is closer to work. In fact, you’ll cut your commuting time by an hour each day. Financially, that return on investment means little beyond some savings on gas. However, the emotional payoff can be very high, especially when you consider what you can do with that extra hour each day. Imagine what it would mean to spend more time with your kids or workout out at the gym more often.
So, considering the emotional return on investment when you’re moving is essential. It has a huge impact on your lifestyle and your enjoyment of the property.
How do you factor that in when selling your property and searching for your next dream home?
When you see a listed home you like, make a list of all the emotional benefits of living there. That list might include having a park nearby, living closer to friends or family, having a home office that isn’t the kitchen table, having more space to accommodate a growing family, and so forth.
Then, factor that list into your decision of whether INFORMED or not to buy.
Daydreaming about owning something you can’t afford can be fun. Whether it’s a diamond-encrusted watch from Tiffany & Co., or the latest Lamborghini, even the thought of trying one on or going for a test drive can be exciting.
The problem with daydreaming, however, is that it’s all-too-easy to dismiss it as just that – a dream.
But, what if you daydream about owning a beautiful home in a desirable neighbourhood? Before you dismiss that as just fanciful thinking, it’s worth finding out if that dream could actually be achievable.
You might discover that you do qualify to get into the home of your dreams.
It’s relatively easy to figure it out.
First, you need to learn what homes are currently selling for in the neighbourhood you’re targeting. If you’ve been through that exercise already, keep in mind that the market might have changed substantially in the past few months.
The next thing you need to determine is approximately how much you can expect to get for your current property. That’s a fairly easy calculation and is based on what “comparable” homes in your neighbourhood have sold for recently.
Finally, you need to find out how much of a mortgage you may need and what your payments will likely be.
Once you have those numbers, you’ll know if you can afford the home of your dreams in the neighbourhood you’d love to get into.
Then you can stop daydreaming and make it happen!
When you plan to take a journey somewhere, you hope it will be smooth sailing all the way. That simply means the trip will be relatively trouble-free, and without stress or hassles.
Well, selling your property is like a journey. So, how do you ensure that adventure will be “smooth sailing” for you?
While no one can guarantee there won’t be a challenge or two to overcome on the road to selling your home, there are proven ways to help ensure everything goes well.
First of all, preparation goes a long way toward having a successful sale. Start early. Make a list of what you need to do around your property to get it ready for buyers. That list will include cleaning and tidying, of course. But, you might also need to get some minor repairs done, and perhaps even a few upgrades (such as painting or a new kitchen sink.)
Don’t wait until the last minute if you’ll need a contractor to do those repairs or upgrades. Find and book a professional now.
Second, take the time to fully understand the selling process and what to expect. Don’t be shy about asking questions. For example, if it’s been a while since you last sold a home, you might need to refresh your understanding of how scheduling works for viewings, what staging is all about, how offers are received and considered, etc.
The better you understand the selling process, the more comfortable you’ll feel.
Thirdly, and most importantly, give me a call early in the process. I can offer the advice and help you need to sell your property quickly and for the best price. I can also make your selling adventure go smoothly and successfully.
In other words, if you want “smooth sailing”, call me!
Imagine you've been waiting for the right moment to sell your home and you're finally ready to pull the trigger and list it. But, just as you're about to put up the sign, you notice that a few other FOR SALE signs have unexpectedly popped up in the neighbourhood.
Oh no! Now there are competing listings. Does that mean you should put your plan to sell your property on hold?
Just because comparable homes are for sale in the area doesn't mean it's not a good time to make your move. In fact, even if there is a sharp increase in local listings, active buyers might still outnumber properties available.
In that scenario, you'd likely get several interested buyers.
And, even in the case of a buyer's market, now might still be the ideal time to sell. Don't forget, your home might have desirable features that some buyers are eagerly looking for, giving your home the advantage over others on the market.
In addition, a large part of a successful sale is in how a property is marketed and promoted. With effective marketing, your home is more likely to be noticed by the right type of buyers... buyers who are actively looking for a property like yours.
So, waiting for the perfect moment to sell your home rarely makes sense.In most cases, the best time to list is now.
That being said, it is helpful to find out exactly what to expect should you list your property in today's market. To find that out, call today.
When you set a budget for a new home, you’re obviously hoping — maybe even expecting — to find the ideal property within that price range.
But, it doesn’t always work out that way.
In fact, there are many circumstances in which you might have to rethink your budget and possibly even increase it, to get the home you want.
For example, you might find that properties in neighbourhoods you’re targeting are selling for more than you expected. In that circumstance, you might have to look for a home in a different area, or see if you can bump up your budget.
Another scenario that often comes up is changing wish lists. You may view a few homes for sale and realize that a particular feature is more important to you than you initially thought. For example, you might have budgeted for a three-bedroom home, but once you’ve seen a few properties with four, you think, “Okay, we definitely want four bedrooms!” That might result in a budget bump.
Finally, you might find that you view a property and fall in love with the place. It’s perfect. It has everything you need. You’ve got to have that home! But, its price is outside your budget.
In that case, you’ll need to weigh paying a bit more against getting a home that will have a significant and positive impact on your lifestyle and happiness.
As you can see, there’s a lot to consider when shopping for a home and trying to stay within a budget.
Imagine you want to take the “trip of a lifetime” this fall. Would you leave it until the summer to start planning, booking dates, and generally getting ready?
Probably not. A trip like that is a big deal. You’d want to start making arrangements now, so by the time you’re ready to go to the airport, everything will be set for you and your family to have a great time.
The same is true when selling your home. If you intend on listing your property in the spring or summer, now is the time to start making plans.
Starting the process early in the year gives you four significant advantages:
- Ample time to prepare your home. Starting now gives you time to declutter your property, get needed repairs done, and otherwise make your home ready to be seen by buyers.
- Less stress. Unless you enjoy scrambling to get things done within a tight timeline, you want to give yourself as much time as possible to prepare for your home sale without the stress of a tight timeline. Starting early gives you that.
- Listing date flexibility. Starting now means you’ll likely get your property prepared for the sale early in the year. Sure, your plan might be to list in the summer. But, if the market changes or some other opportunity presents itself, you’ll be able to list sooner. Your home will be ready.
- More time to find your next home. If you’ll also be looking for a new home, starting the process now will give you more time to explore neighbourhoods, get financing arranged, and determine the ideal type of home for you.
As you can see, it pays to start the process now, even if you won’t be selling until spring or summer.
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
Follow these tips:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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
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? Call today.
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. But if you get the right professionals working for you, it’s going to be a lot easier — and achievable.
If you need to sell your home in the next month or two, you might be worried. After all, aren’t spring
and summer the ideal seasons to list your property? If you list in November or December,
you might have difficulties attracting buyers and getting the best price for your home. Right?
While it’s true that spring and summer are traditionally busy periods in the real estate
market, properties do sell every month of the year.
So, if you’re thinking of selling, you’ll need to know two things:
• What comparable homes are selling for at this time of year.
• How long homes are taking to sell, on average.
There might be a local seller’s market this month. That would mean there are more buyers looking
for homes like yours than there are sellers. If that’s the case, your property will likely sell fairly
quickly; perhaps you’ll even get multiple offers.
But, even if there’s a buyer’s market at this moment, that doesn’t mean your property won’t
sell. It just means your home will need to be staged and marketed effectively to attract the
right buyers and pique their interest in making an offer.
Regardless of the market, chances are, there are buyers out there looking for a home like yours. They
just need to find out about it, become interested in viewing it, and be wowed when they see it.
So, don’t be too concerned about the month. If you’re ready to sell, there’s a way to make
Call me for more details.
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 you’re thinking about selling in the spring, don’t wait until the new year to start planning. In fact, you’ll save yourself a lot of work and get ahead of the game if you start planning now. What’s that old saying? The early bird gets the worm! In this case, by starting the process this month, you’ll be in excellent shape when you’re ready to list in the spring. Here are just a few examples of what you can do in December to get the process started:
• Walk your property and note any maintenance issues that need attention.
• Decide which items to stow or sell to declutter your home.
• Determine what improvements you’ll need to make in order for your home to look great to buyers (i.e. painting.)
• Find out approximately how much your property will likely sell for in the spring market.
• Clarify the kind of new home you’d like to move into, including ideal neighbourhoods.
• Look into your financing options, so you’ll know the price range you’ll be shopping within.
• Connect with any professionals you may need, such as contractors, a mover, and a real estate lawyer.
• Take advantage of any December shopping deals for products you may need, such as home improvement project materials, packing supplies, etc.
As you can see, the more prepared you are this month, the more stress-free and successful the home selling process will be for you in the spring. And one more tip: contact me to get the conversation started about selling your home in the new year. It’s coming fast!
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Your front walkway is one of the first sections of real estate a buyer will set foot on when coming to see your home. So, it makes sense to make that pathway to your front door as appealing as possible.
The obvious way is to make it as clean and clear as you can. Ensure there are no obstacles in the way, such as overhanging branches, kid's toys, or potted plants. What you want is a clear, unobstructed and pleasant walk to your main entranceway.
If your walkway needs deeper cleaning, consider a powerwash. There are special detergents available that are designed specifically for stone, asphalt or cement walkways and other outdoor surfaces.
A deep cleaning isn't a major project. In most cases, the job can be done within an hour. Yet, the result can be stunning.
If you're selling in the spring or summer, another way to make your walkway look better is to add flowers or other plants along the sides. Don't overdo it. You only need a few flowers or a couple of shrubs to make a big difference.
The great thing about adding a few flowers or shrubs is the impact they can have on your entire frontage making it more attractive, and adding to your home's overall curb appeal.
Making your walkway look better may seem minor, but keep in mind that when buyers make their way to your front door, they're forming their first and often most important impression of your property. The walkway plays a small but important role in making it a good one.
Want more ideas for making your home show better, so it sells quicker and for a higher price? Call me.
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
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
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.
After your home has been cleaned from top to bottom, it’s natural to want it to stay that way. Don’t you wish you could just wave a magic wand and the place would clean itself? Unfortunately, even Harry Potter can’t manage that!
However, when you’re preparing your property for sale, you really do need to keep it clean and ready for showings. There are several ways you can make doing that a bit easier.
Try these tips:
- The one-minute rule. If a cleaning or tidying task takes you less than a minute, consider doing it right away. For example, keeping the foyer clear of clutter.
- One room a day. After you’ve cleaned and tidied your home, maintain it by focusing on just one room a day. That’s manageable for most people.
- Prioritize the floors. If you can keep the floors clean, everything else will tend to fall into place. Consider a routine where you do a quick sweep or vacuum of the floors each evening.
- Declutter as much as possible. Clutter is the enemy of cleaning! When a room is free of clutter, it’s easier to keep it clean, tidy and looking great.
- Get extras. Buy an extra mop or broom so other household members can help with the cleaning. Also, be sure to stock up on cleaning supplies so you don’t run short just before a viewing appointment.
- Hire a cleaning service. Having a professional cleaning service come once a week—or twice a week when you’re showing your property frequently—can take a lot off your shoulders. Think of it as an investment in selling your home.
Keeping your home looking “guest-ready” makes your home show better and gets more buyers interested. But, the task doesn’t need to be daunting. Try these tips to make it easier!
Staging is all about dressing up your home so that it looks its best to buyers. This can involve anything from rearranging furniture and doing some home improvements, to painting and redecorating, to even replacing existing furnishings and other items. The goal is to make key rooms look worthy of a magazine cover!
But is it worth the effort? Can’t you just clean and tidy and, perhaps, do a little painting?
Sometimes you can — especially if your home is in high demand and likely to get multiple offers.
However, in most cases, staging can help sell your property faster and for a higher price.
In fact, studies done by the home staging industry consistently reveal that staged homes sell for an average of 5-23% above list price. (That varies, of course, depending on the local market.)
Keep in mind that you don’t necessarily need to do extensive staging. You may, for example, be able to focus on only key rooms on the main floor — where buyers tend to form their lasting impressions — and then simply clean and declutter the other rooms.
When it comes to staging, you have many options. Each home is different and will have different staging needs.
Want to find out how staging may impact the sale of your property? Call today.
How do you find the home of your dreams within a price range you can afford?
Most buyers start by making a “wish list”. But, it’s easy to get frustrated when you have a long wish list and expect you’ll be able to find a home with every one of those features. You might, for example, have “mature backyard tree” as number 23 on your list, and become disappointed when an otherwise ideal property doesn’t have one.
But when you really think about it, your ideal home probably comes down to just three or four core characteristics. For example:
- Nice, safe, family-oriented neighbourhood.
- Good-sized backyard.
- Four bedrooms and two baths.
Sure, there might be other features you were hoping for, such as “move in ready”, or that big tree, but your “big three” are the ones you really can’t do without.
So, when you’re shopping for a new home, yes, definitely make a long list of features and characteristics you desire. After all, there might be properties available on the market that check off most, if not all, of those boxes.
But also circle those three or four characteristics that are at the core of what you want. That will help make your property search much more focused and you’ll be more likely to find your next dream home.
Another advantage of coming up with your big three (or four) is that you’ll be able to quickly discover how much homes with those characteristics are selling for on today’s market. Once you know that price range, you’ll be able to talk with a mortgage advisor to pre-arrange financing. That will make your offer on that dream home even stronger.
Whatever you choose for your “big three”, I can help you find and buy that home. Call me.
If you want to sell an item quickly—say, a couch—you can post it online, stick a super-low price tag on it and, chances are, it will be gone by the end of the day. So it’s understandable that some people think the same thing applies when selling a home. Indeed, if you need to sell your property quickly, you might assume that setting a low listing price is the best way to make that happen. But that isn’t necessarily true. The fact is, the list price is only one of many factors that determine how quickly your home will sell—and for how much. For example, if your home is in high demand at the moment—given its characteristics, neighbourhood, move-in readiness, and overall desirability— then it may sell quickly at its current market value or even a little higher. On the other hand, if the market is more of a buyer’s market, setting a list price that will attract qualified buyers to your home, and away from comparable listings, may be important. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you need to lowball the price. Keep in mind there are many other things that can help get your property sold quickly, such as how skillfully your listing is promoted and marketed, how well your home shows to buyers, and how flexible you are with your closing date.
Why is making a big change in life often so difficult?
According to psychologists, maintaining the "status quo" is one of the most powerful motivations we have. If things are "okay", even making a change for the better can be difficult. Our brains resist.
You may have experienced this if you’ve thought about selling your current property and finding your next dream home. Your house may be "good enough" for you now and the neighbourhood might be "okay" too. So, even if your dream is to get into a better home that's more suited to your family and lifestyle, you may be hesitant.
That's just the way the psychology works.
One way to get around this psychology is to get your dream out of your head and on to paper. Write down the kind of home you'd love to live in next. For example, you may want a detached home, with 3-bedrooms in a family-oriented neighbourhood. Also jot down the specific features and characteristics of the property and neighbourhood such as a good-sized backyard, family-size kitchen, and an easy commute to work. That will help you see the real possibilities.
Next, find out whether getting into a home like this is doable for you right now. Avoid making assumptions. Get the facts. Find out what you can expect to get for your current property, and what you'll need to spend for the new home.
If you discover that moving to your next dream home is something you can swing this year, your hesitancy will likely vanish!
I can help you get the information you need to make the best decision. Call me.