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


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


  1. Poor staging. Is staging really that important? According to several studies, an effectively staged home will usually sell faster and for a higher price. Staging not only makes your home look good to buyers, it also shows off all the positive characteristics of your property.
  2. Clutter. Psychologists tell us that clutter often makes people uneasy. That’s definitely not the feeling you want to convey when showing your property! Also, clutter is more apparent to visitors than it may be to you. So, if you have a room that seems a bit cramped to you, imagine how it feels to the buyer.
  3. Maintenance issues. Just as clutter does, maintenance issues make buyers uneasy. If they see a dripping faucet in the bathroom, they may worry there are more serious issues lurking elsewhere. Also, maintenance issues are distracting. (Buyers will notice the faucet leak rather than the beautiful tiles.) So, get any needed repairs done when preparing your home for sale.
  4. List price. Setting the list price is both an art and a science. You want the price to attract as many qualified buyers as possible. If it’s set too high — or even too low — buyers who might have otherwise made an offer won’t even bother to see your property. Make sure your home is priced right.


The good news is, these situations are easy to avoid. So don’t give buyers reasons not to like your property, especially if it may be ideal for them. Make sure your home shows its best.
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Walk-through videos are becoming increasingly popular. The seller’s agent simply films a tour of a home, often including commentary, and then makes the video available to prospects.


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


Consider these suggestions:


  • Remember, it’s a video. So take advantage of the ability to pause, go back and forth, and take screenshots you can review later.
  • When you’re watching, look for everyday items that can give you perspective, such as a lamp, sofa or chair. These items will help you gain a more accurate sense of room sizes.
  • Although that previous tip will help, it’s still difficult to judge room size on a video. So, don’t be quick to dismiss a listing because you think the rooms might be too small.
  • Pay attention to what is not shown. Did the agent leave the ensuite bathroom out of the video? That may indicate an issue.
  • When viewing the main rooms, such as the living room and kitchen, try to get a sense of how your furniture will fit.
  • Make a list of features and characteristics you want in your next home. Have that list handy as you watch the video. You can use it as a checklist.
  • While you’re watching, jot down any questions you have about the property.


After watching the video, if you like what you see, take the next step. Schedule a viewing appointment
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Is it really possible to improve your kitchen’s look for about the cost of a takeout gourmet dinner with the family?


Obviously you’re not going to be able to do anything major, such as replace the cabinets within that budget. But, there are many surprisingly low-budget ways to spruce up the kitchen. Here are a few ideas:


  • Do you have old cabinets? You’d be surprised how much newer they can look simply by replacing the knobs and/or handles. Pick a colour that blends, rather than contrasts, with the cabinets.
  • Does your sink have a few stains? That’s not unusual! There are special cleaning products available to get out the toughest stains without damaging or scratching the sink’s finish.
  • Lighting can have an enormous impact on the look and feel of a space, particularly the kitchen. Experiment with new lighting ideas. Try different bulb wattages. Consider a new lighting fixture that looks good and distributes the light more pleasantly.
  • Often you don’t need to upgrade anything – you just need to do a little redecorating. Consider new window coverings. Declutter to create a greater sense of space. Play with such design touches as placing trendy cookbooks on the counter, adding a plant, or putting an attractive fruit basket on the counter.


Sure, depending on your choices, some of these ideas may cost you more than $100. However, any of these low-budget improvements can make your kitchen look considerably more attractive.


You’ll notice the difference. And, if you’re selling, so will buyers.

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There’s no doubt about it. Preventing mice from entering your home is much easier than evicting them once they’ve moved in. If you take just a few simple precautions, you can avoid the trip to the store to buy traps or the call to the exterminator.


Here’s what the experts recommend:


  • Install mouse-mesh in the drainage slots of exterior brick or siding. There are many types available on the market. (Note: make sure you don’t block water drainage!)
  • Trim back tree branches that are within two feet of the siding or roof. Mice can jump horizontally as far as 15 inches.
  • Make sure weather-stripping on doors and windows seal tightly. Mice can easily squeeze through weak spots and gaps, especially where stripping meets at a corner.
  • Don’t leave open packages of any type of food — birdseed, apples, etc. — in the garage. That’s like telling the mice, “The buffet’s open!”
  • Inspect the outside of your home and look for evidence of mice near walls, doors and windows. Look for mice droppings, which look like black rice.
  • If you see a mouse outside your home, don’t shoo it away. Instead, watch where it goes. The mouse might show you how it’s getting in.
Taking these precautions will significantly reduce the chances of mice becoming unwanted guests in your home
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These days, just about everyone relies on the internet for work, school, entertainment, shopping, networking, you name it. So, speed and connectivity have become big issues.


Ideally, you want a fast, reliable connection — consistently.


If you have a router and connect with WIFI, here are some ways to boost the signal:


  • Occasionally unplug your router, wait ten seconds, and then power up again. Routers get clogged with settings, protocols, code, you name it. Resetting the router is like cleaning the pipes.
  • Connect your computer directly to the router with an ethernet cord. This hard-wiring will often double or even triple internet speed. The downside is, you’re restricted by the length of the cord.
  • Check that you have the best router for your internet plan. Some newer high-speed plans require better routers, but you may not have been told that when you upgraded.
  • Experiment with the placement of your router. The ideal spot is often on the main floor near the centre of your home. If possible, place it in an open space away from walls and other obstructions.
  • Consider using Mesh WIFI. These are little “satellite” WIFI stations that you can place throughout your home. Your main router then connects to these, creating a much stronger WIFI signal in areas that were formerly weak.


Another way to improve your home WIFI is to contact your internet service provider. They’re the experts in their system and can advise you on how to create a better signal throughout your home.

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Where do buyers form the most lasting impression of a home for sale that they visit? On the main floor!

When buyers view a property, they often spend a lot of time on the main floor, thinking and imagining. They visualize cooking in the kitchen, having family dinners in the dining room, and entertaining guests in the living room. They even mentally calculate how their furniture will fit!


So, making the main floor look great to buyers is crucial when selling your property. How do you do that?


An effective technique is to walk your main floor the way a buyer would. Start at your front entrance. Stand there for a moment and look around. Get a sense of the impression a buyer is likely to get from that perspective.


Next, walk to the kitchen area, because that’s where buyers often venture next. Again, linger a while and look around. Does the kitchen look clean and seem as spacious as possible (given its size)?


Finally, check out the other rooms on the main floor, including the washroom, if there is one. Gauge how you feel and the impression you form as you visit these spaces.


Once you’ve done that mock tour, write down ideas that jumped out at you for improvements. Those may include uncluttering some areas, rearranging the furniture, adding or taking away items, etc.


This is a simple but powerful technique for improving how your main floor looks to buyers.


Call today for more staging ideas that will make your home sell faster and for a good price.
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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.

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When you think about selling your property, do you dwell on the possible work and stress involved? You're not alone. Many homeowners share the same concerns.


But it doesn't have to be that way.


In fact, there are plenty of ways to add some fun, anticipation, and even a sense of adventure to the selling process. Here are just a few ideas:


  1. Plan fun things to do when your home is being shown. That can include walks, sports activities, or trying something you and your family have never done before.
  2. Declutter for your own benefit. Instead of thinking about decluttering as a chore required for the sale, focus instead on how much more comfortable your home will be after decluttering. Studies consistently show that less clutter reduces stress and increases a sense of well-being.
  3. Get everyone in your home anticipating the move in a positive way. Put pictures of your next home, including neighbourhood shots, on the fridge door. Sit together on the computer and explore your new neighbourhood's features and amenities.
  4. Celebrate milestones in the selling process. For example, when you're finished preparing your property for sale, go out to celebrate. Make a checklist of milestones and how you'll celebrate each one.
  5. Get the help you need. A big part of the stress of selling is the anticipated work involved. Remember, you don't have to do it all yourself. Much of what needs to be done can be handled by contractors and other professionals. 


There are many other ways to make selling your home a positive and turbulent-free experience. Give me a call if you'd like more ideas and suggestions.

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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!
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When you’re shopping for a new home, you probably want the property to be as “move in ready” as possible. That way, you can... well... just move in!


However, there are a lot of fantastic properties on the market that need some work. For example, you might see a home that has everything you need, but the kitchen is long overdue for a renovation. Or, you might view a property that requires a lot of repairs and painting — tasks that, at first glance, seem overwhelming.


You don’t want to just pass on a property that might be a great buy. On the other hand, you don’t want to purchase a home, only to end up with more renovations, repairs and expenses than you anticipated.


What’s the solution? Here’s an idea.


When you view a home that needs work, make a note of exactly what needs to be done. Stick to the important “must have” improvements and leave “nice to have” improvements for a later time. Chances are, you’ll identify just one or two projects — such as “paint all the walls” or “replace the countertops in the kitchen”.


Once you have that list, you’ll be in a better position to determine how long the work will likely take and the approximate cost. This will give you some needed perspective on whether or not to buy the home.


If a home you’re considering needs $15,000 in work that can probably be completed within two months, that might make the property worth buying. In fact, it probably would!


So, when you see an otherwise ideal home that needs some work, don’t let your imagination make that work into more than it is. Take notes and get estimates.

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