Selling October 21, 2022

6 Tips for Selling Your Home

Do you plan on selling your home soon? Whether you are selling to accommodate your growing family or retiring and downsizing to a smaller home. This helpful guide will give you a few hints and tips to make selling your home a breeze.

 

Should You Hire a Real Estate Agent?

 

Whether you sell your home privately or with a listing agent is entirely up to you. Both choices come with various pros and cons. 

 

If you choose to sell privately, there are no real estate agent fees, but the time and energy needed to try to sell your home this way might not be worth it. A realtor will have many connections, experience and knowledge that you, as a homeowner, lack. They are an excellent liaison between the two parties, know how to fill out paperwork and will have a network of buyers and the best inspectors and lawyers.

 

Whether you choose a real estate agent or sell privately, these tips will still be helpful.

 

Tip 1: Know the Market

 

The real estate market fluctuates a lot. It can be hard to know the climate of the market and who has the advantage if it’s the seller or the buyer. Check real estate reports to know if the market favours the seller or the buyer. If the market favours the seller, there will be low inventory and the quick sale of homes. If the market favours the buyer, there will be an abundance of inventory and a slow sales rate, with homes sitting on the market for weeks to months. This depends on the economic situation, national interest rates, location, and other factors.

 

Tip 2: Decide on a Listing Price

 

One of the best tips before selling your home is evaluating its worth in the current market. Your realtor can provide a Comparative Marketing Analysis at no extra cost. This analysis will look at a combination of factors, including features of your home, upgrades or renovations, the tax-assessed value of your property, and the selling price of comparable homes in your area.

 

Tip 3: Pick the Right Season

 

The season when you sell your home is equally as important as picking a listing price. There are pros and cons to selling in winter and warmer months.

 

Winter has lower inventory overall, so attracting buyers and offers is easier. There are a few drawbacks to selling in winter, though. Snowfall can make it hard for buyers to view your home and hide important features such as foundation and landscaping—let’s face it, moving also sucks in winter. Try to list in autumn before the first snowfall to avoid this issue.

 

Spring and Summer usually have the highest amount of inventory to hit the market. An active market with more competition for you as a seller. This might be the ideal time for you to sell your home. Consider listing your home at a competitive price to attract more offers if that is the case.

 

If you are not looking for a quick sale, try listing your home in autumn. It is a great time to list because summer is winding down. It is easier for your home to stand out as fewer homes are on the market. There is changing leaves everywhere in autumn to enhance the beauty of your neighbourhood.

 

Tip 4: Staging & Marketing

 

Staging is not only a great way to show off the potential of your house to prospective buyers but also makes the home very appealing in the listing photos. 

Start by decluttering things you don’t need every day and de-personalize the space. If this seems overwhelming, there are many home staging businesses out there that can help you.

 

Click here to open a comprehensive guide to staging your home.

 

To market your home, include these details in your listing:

 

  • Good quality professional photos
  • Photos of your home’s exterior and yard in various seasons–focus on exciting features like a tiered deck, pool, etc.
  • Drone aerial Photography and videography of the property and neighbourhood. This can significantly improve the potential for a sale by up to 70%.
  • Showcase interesting details and wow features of your home. (fireplace, finished basement, kitchen upgrades, etc.)
  • Provide information about amenities, schools, shopping in the area, and walkability to these places.
  • Bonus if you can have a video virtual tour or 3d tour of your home created for you.

 

Tip 5: Showing Your Home

 

Most interested buyers want to see a home in person. There are a few ways to accomplish this: an open house for multiple showings at one or scheduled showings. 

Before viewers arrive, try to put things away and deep clean them beforehand.

 

Tip 6: Offers

 

In an ideal world, you would get multiple offers on your home, and you can select the best one for you. You can accept, counter or reject any offers you receive. Look out for offers that have unappealing conditions or contingencies that must be met before the sale goes through. The buyer’s conditions could be various asks, the most common being a home inspection, secured financing or the sale of their own home. 

Review the paperwork with a lawyer when you get the right offer and are ready to accept it. There might be additional requests before the buyer agrees to close, such as including all appliances or requesting a repair. Your lawyer will ensure the paperwork goes through to the transfer of ownership.

 

Now that you have read through this selling your-home guide, I hope you feel a little more comfortable starting the process yourself. 

If you are looking into selling and/or buying a new home enlist the help of a trusted REALTOR® to help you through the process.

 

BuyingSelling October 14, 2022

5 Ways to Write a Winning Offer

The real estate market currently has more sellers than buyers, however, homes are still receiving multiple offers.

 

Here is a quick guide to help you write a winning offer.

 

Demonstrate Solid Financing

 

Seller’s favour offers that have a higher odds of closing. The truth is, no one gets paid if the home sale falls through.

 

The most solid financial offer is an all-cash offer, but the chance for this kind of offer is realistically low. 

 

The second most ideal offer is to have the financing in place and get pre-approved for a mortgage before the house-hunting process begins. A pre-approval letter shows the sellers that you are able to and are committed to purchasing a home.

 

Another thing to consider is the reputation of your lender, whether it be a private lender or a financial institution. Sellers won’t consider your lender’s reputation, but realtors often do. In general, some lenders are a lot more efficient than others. If you are finding it difficult to choose a lender, your Realtor can help you choose the best one for ease of business.

 

Put Down a Sizeable Deposit

 

A sizable deposit can also increase your chances of standing out as a serious buyer. A deposit is different from a down payment, so make sure you don’t get the two confused.

 

The brokerage or lawyer holds a deposit in trust until the purchase goes through. Once the purchase goes through, the deposit will is applied to the down payment and closing costs. Putting down a larger deposit is risky because you can partially or fully lose the deposit if the sale falls through. Check your contract terms.

 

Deposits can vary in amount, but offering an above-average deposit can show sellers you are serious about the property.

 

Ask for Few or No Conditions

 

Conditions are set in place by the buyer, a series of clauses that the buyer and seller must complete, or they can back out. These conditions appear in the purchase agreement and are legally binding once agreed upon by both seller and buyer.

 

Two of the most common conditions are:

Financing: A financial condition is a financing window of time the buyer has to gather funding for the home purchase. If they can’t meet the financing requirements, they can withdraw their offer, and the seller can move on to other buyers.

Inspection: An inspection condition requires a home inspection to be completed before purchasing the home. Usually, they are meant to discover pre-existing issues with the home, such as structural, electrical, plumbing, etc. Sellers can choose to fix the problems before the buyers move in, or sometimes re-negotiation of the final purchase price can occur, depending on the financial cost and work to be completed. If an agreement is not met, the buyer can choose to withdraw from the contract.

 

The more conditions that need to be met for the contract to go through, the offer becomes less desirable and weaker. In a competitive market, oftentimes, buyers are encouraged to voluntarily waive certain conditions to have the request go through easier.

 

Fewer conditions mean that there is less “red tape” to go through to complete the transaction, but missing things like a home inspection comes with a risk. Perhaps the home has many hidden repairs that will come out of the new buyer’s pocket, as they were not caught beforehand. 

 

Offer a Flexible Closing Date

 

When an owner is selling their home, money isn’t everything. Sometimes having a flexible closing/moving date is appealing because it can create the lead time needed to move into their next home. 

 

A flexible timeline can provide an excellent advantage for first-time buyers. If you are currently renting and can extend your month-to-month lease, this would be ideal for offering more flexibility on the closing date.

 

Doing so might edge out the competition or have no impact at all. Confer with your Realtor to see if this is an impactful move.

 

Work With a Skilled REALTOR®

 

In this competitive real estate market, the most significant advantage you have is to hire a knowledgeable realtor. They will have the skills and know-how to guide you through home buying/selling.

 

Realtors write up offers daily and will know what works well and what doesn’t. 

 

Once your offer is accepted, the Realtor will also be the liaison between you and the seller/buyer. They can write up the paperwork and lead fair negotiations. They should have your best interests in mind and the knowledge to make your home-buying journey lovely.

 

A competitive offer in today’s market doesn’t necessarily mean the highest bid or the one with no conditions. These tips should help you sweeten the deal and hopefully get you in the house you want.

Now that you have all the information to write a winning offer, try it yourself or with the help of a trusted local REALTOR.

 

HomeownershipSelling September 9, 2022

Creative Home Staging Tips

 

 

It’s essential to showcase your home in the best way possible to potential home buyers. The more staging the home has, the more people will be interested in viewing the house and then buying it. Here are a few staging tips to consider before taking photos of your home and also opening your home for viewings.

 

Areas of Influence

 

Curb appeal is the first place to start when staging your home, and the first impression people have—think of a nice green lawn, flowers and trimmed trees. Inside the best areas to stage are the most high-traffic rooms, such as the kitchen, living room, main bathroom and primary bedroom. 

 

New Perspective

 

Try rearranging your furniture or removing pieces of furniture to open up the space. We see our homes the same way daily and grow accustomed to the layouts. But what will potential buyers see? Move furniture around to create a nice flow through the house so that viewers can see the space’s potential. If you are unsure how to accomplish this, call in the professionals.

 

Keep it Simple

 

Staging doesn’t have to be expensive. One affordable staging option is to remove personal items and clutter. Simplifying the objects in your house and decorating them with key pieces will appeal to more buyers.

 

Curb Appeal

 

A buyer first sees the front yard and entrance to your home. Ensure your lawn is mowed, trees are trimmed, and walks are swept. No need to re-landscape your whole yard, but having a tidy yard will pay off in dividends. Some other great suggestions include power washing all the siding, eaves, decks and driveways. Paint the front door a bright colour that compliments your home. Replace or paint any diminishing features of the house, and spread out an inviting welcome mat while you’re at it!

 

Kitchens

 

Kitchens are the feature that attracts most home buyers. Create an inviting space by deep cleaning your kitchen, including inside cabinets and behind appliances. Make the handles and appliances sparkle. Remove countertop appliances that aren’t used or kitchen clutter, like paper towel dispensers, to show off the counter space. Stage the kitchen with vibrant fruit bowls or well-appointed objects. Organize and destash your cupboards, so everything looks in order and has the appearance of lots of space. 

 

Furniture Placement

 

Furniture placement can make or break your buyer’s experience. Your space will look cluttered and small if there is too much furniture. Create a mood in each room with the furniture, typical furniture along the walls is dull, adding a bit of life to the house by changing the placement. Clean furniture and crisp bed coverings are a great way to make a home feel inviting. Show off the best features of your house by strategically placing furniture around fireplaces or great architectural details. Lines of sight to the windows will make all the rooms feel bright and more open.

 

Bedroom Makeovers

 

A tremendous primary bedroom adds a lot of value to a home and will bring a sense of comfort to potential buyers. Everyone wants to sleep in an oasis, and it can be effortless to transform your bedroom into one. The bed is the main focal point of any bedroom, so make sure the bedding is tucked in and clean—make it feel like a hotel room. Another nice add-on would be creating symmetry with matching nightstands and lamps.

 

Set the Mood with Light

 

Lighting is so important when selling a home. Before showing the home ensure all the curtains are open to flood the space with light and warmth. Replace all light fixture bulbs with warm ones, so every room has consistent lighting. If possible, have a few types of lighting, ranging from ambient, task and accent lights—having a variety of lights set the perfect mood for night or day showings.

 

Keep Things Fresh

 

You may want to add some greenery to your home to add a bit of coziness and life, however, steer away from plastic plants and flowers. Opting for natural plants and flowers is great for staging and creating life in your home.

 

Finishing Touches

 

The finishing touch on staging your home is removing all your personalized items so that homebuyers can have a blank slate to envision their stuff in it. Replace family photos with generic artwork. If you have decluttered everything, try adding back in some texture pillows and throws. Simple objects staged together in groups of three can showcase features of your home, like the fireplace mantle or built-in bookshelves. Play with scale, colours, shapes and textures of items to engage people’s interest.

 

Taking the time and effort to stage your home will be worth it when you sell it quickly. Following these staging tips will help you show off your home’s best features, and with any luck, you will be able to sell your home for top dollar. The more presentable your home is, the more it will stand out from the competition and elevate the perception of its value.

 

If you are interested in buying or selling your home, contact your local REALTOR® today!

 

BuyingHomeownershipSelling August 5, 2022

Moving and Selling with Pets

 

 

Buying or selling a home with pets can seem daunting for everyone involved. Here are a few great tips to make moving with a pet easier.

 

Buying a Home as a Pet Owner

 

Pet owners buying a new home should consider their furry friends’ current and future needs. This can restrict the number of house choices available and create additional expenses to make modifications. Some pet-owner questions to ponder are:

 

Condo Life and Pets – What Should I Think About?

 

Before falling in love with a condo or townhouse, start by investigating the pet restrictions. Whether you have pets or plan to in the future, check the condo board rules. In general, condo townhouses have fewer restrictions than condo apartments. You should be able to inquire about pet rules and regulations through your REALTOR®, the condo property manager or by checking the by-laws (on the unit’s status certificate).

Some common restrictions are as follows:

  • How many pets can you have?
  • Is there a specific weight limit?
  • What type of pets can you have (some condos only allow cats, for example)?
  • Limits on pet noise?
  • Rules about where pets can relieve themselves?
  • Rules about pet access?
  • Do you have to register the pet with the building?
  • Are there extra fees to have pets?

 

I Have Pets and am Selling my Home – What to do?

 

When selling your home, you want it to appeal to the masses—both the buyers who love pets and the buyers who do not. Firstly, to attract the attention of pet owners, mention things about the property, like a fully fenced yard, near parks, and let buyers know about the pet restrictions (if there are any). The second crowd you need to appeal to is the pet-free crowd. Many buyers have pet allergies and get nervous about the “dirt” that animals leave behind. If possible, deep clean the whole house before each showing, and remove any signs of a pet and your actual pet. 

The key takeaway is that you remove the pet(s) before showing a home to eliminate distractions. On the other hand, animals can also get stressed with strangers in their house, and the last thing you want is to have your cat, dog, or rabbit run out through an open door. Ask your REALTOR® about giving you a heads up to remove your pets before they bring clients.

 

If you have some furry friends and want to buy or sell comfortably, let me help you find the perfect house!

Selling July 8, 2022

Engage the 5 Senses in Home Staging

Staging a home with only furniture and objects is an “easy” task, but it is possible to engage potential home buyers further by staging with all five senses. 

Staging this way helps clients feel more at ease and brings the wow factor.

 

Sight: 

Sight is the most crucial factor in staging a home. It is also the easiest sense to activate when selling a home. When staging your home, take into consideration these few things to open up the potential of your home:

  • Declutter
  • Remove personal items, such as family photos and hobbies
  • Open curtains and blinds to promote bright light
  • Turn on all the lights in the home to showcase all its great features
  • Place ornate decorations around the house to accentuate specific focal points, like a fireplace mantel or window seat
  • Start pre-packing

Sound:

While the sound might seem like an afterthought when you think of selling your home, it can significantly impact potential buyers. The quieter the house, the more appealing it is.

  • Remove noisy animals
  • Replace old loud bathroom and hood fans
  • Keep the music low and ambient, and avoid disruptive music
  • Ask neighbours to be quiet during showings
  • Close windows to alleviate annoying outside noises, like screaming kids and motors
  • Fix creaking floors and squeaky doors

Smell:

The home’s smell can either deter buyers or draw them in. When staging your home, keep these things in mind:

  • Subtle aromas can enhance a viewer’s experience like candles or essential oils
  • Baking some delicious cookies or banana bread would be a good idea
  • Remove pet smells, like damp dog or litter boxes
  • Avoid cooking anything pungent around showings

 

Taste:

Baking some delicious cookies or banana bread for the smell can also be set out for eating, activating the taste sense. Presenting people with food always lightens the mood and makes the house feel cozier. If you don’t have time to bake, placing candy or chocolate bars out will have the same dopamine-releasing effect and improve the mood of any potential buyer.

 

Touch:

As someone who enjoys touching every single fabric or surface in a home or store, touch is a big selling feature. When staging your home, don’t overlook exciting textures and patterns that will allow potential buyers to linger in the area for longer. The opposite effect can happen when grit is on the floor or spills on the counter, which can be off-putting. Take into consideration these key points:

  • Clean the walls 
  • Remove dirt from surfaces of the home
  • Include hand sanitizer at the door for a refreshing sensation

By activating all five senses when showing a home, the experience will be more positive, and the chances of selling your home are greater. 

If you are ready to sell your home or are prepared to make your next purchase, click here or contact your local REALTOR® to get started today.

 

HomeownershipLifestyleSelling May 20, 2022

Top Secret Homemade Clean Hacks

As we get older, we all have in common how much more time we spend in our days and weeks cleaning. Seriously, how does everything get so dirty so fast?! Or perhaps, maybe, you find yourself mesmerized by #CleanTok? Regardless of whether you are sprucing up the place to get ready to sell or just enjoy a clean space, there’s no shortage of products to help get the job done.

However, it’s way more fun spending your time and hard-earned money decorating our homes instead of constantly cleaning them. So, what if I told you there was a way to keep your home sparkling with materials you already have at home?

 

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel appliances are trendy in homes right now. It’s pretty when it’s clean, not so pretty when it’s not. The good news is that using Windex or any other glass cleaner will shine it back up in seconds. Ran out of Windex? No problem. Spray some vinegar, wipe with a damp cloth of hot water, buff dry and voila!

Clogged, smelly sinks

While you’re shining up your appliances, you might as well keep that vinegar handy. Kill odours by pouring some vinegar down the sink.

Ugly Coffee Rings

As much as you insist on coasters, you can still be left with a dreaded ring on your poor coffee table. Instead of hiding them with books, Magic Erasers are great for getting rid of marks on a majority of surfaces if you have one handy. Or, try hot water and mild dish soap. It might take a little bit of elbow grease to scrub it off, being aware that scrubbing can wear down paint over time.

Airborne Grease

There are plenty of wonderful kitchen degreasers on the market to get the job done. However, if you want to create your solution, combine a few drops of dish soap with some hot water and spray onto the area. Allow it a few minutes to sit and break down the grease before wiping it away.

Caked on Microwave Gunk

Eliminate the scrubbing and leave your microwave smelling fresh by putting 5-10 drops of lemon juice (lime juice or vinegar will also work just fine) in a bowl of water. Microwave on high for 3 minutes, letting the bowl sit for an additional 3 minutes to steam before opening. Then remove and wipe all the gunk right off. If you’re sensitive to scents, heat just the bowl of water, following all the same steps!

 

It’s amazing what a little vinegar or dish soap can do! Did any of these tips surprise you? Looking for more advice on selling your home? Haven’t found your Saskatoon dream home yet? We can help!