Staging your Home in a Hurry

Ideally you should have a week or two available before you list your property in order to stage your home and make it look its best for buyers. But, what if you listed quickly and within hours of the For Sale sign going up a buyer wants to view your property?

In that scenario, you need to do some quick “staging” to get your home ready. Let’s assume your property is already clean and tidy. Here are some other things you can do.

· Open the curtains, even at night. This will make each room seem brighter, more appealing and more spacious.

· Pull out some boxes or storage bins. Put away personal knick-knacks (like that bowling trophy) and other personal items to reduce clutter on shelves and countertops.

· Clear countertops in the kitchen and bathrooms. Put the old toaster oven out-of-sight.

· Make sure lighting throughout the house is bright and comfortable. In darker areas, plug in a lamp.

· Clear away as much as you can in the foyer. Make that space look open, uncluttered and welcoming.

· Move cars out of the driveway. Give the buyer a convenient place to park!

· Make the beds. Fluff pillows on sofas.

· Clear away as many items as possible from the closet floors (such as shoes.)

· Open a window and air out the kitchen, especially if you just finished cooking.

· Make sure your pet is in a crate or, if possible, out for a walk. Not everyone loves pets.

These staging tips take only a few minutes each, but can make a big difference in the impression your home makes on a buyer.

Want more home selling advice? Call today 416-779-8732

Does the Area Have What You Want?

Imagine going to a restaurant with your family for dinner. You’re planning on ordering a nice pasta and salad. Your heart is set on it. But, after you go to the trouble of driving there and getting a table, you discover that pasta is not on the menu. That’s disappointing!

Of course, it’s only a meal. You can go somewhere else next time. But, what if the same scenario played out once you had moved into a new neighbourhood? Imagine you were counting on public transit being in easy walking distance, but discovered the nearest stop is four blocks away. Argh! That’s why it’s important to ensure a neighbourhood has the characteristics you want — before you make an offer on a home you like. Think about what you want most in a neighbourhood.

Consider work, commuting, schools, playgrounds, noise level, walking and cycling, hobbies, shopping, entertainment, etc. If there is a neighbourhood feature that is very important to you, check it out for yourself. For example, if easy access to a main highway is desirable for commuting, take the route for a test drive.

You can get a lot of information on a neighbourhood through the listed property’s description and MLS listing. Want more in-depth insights into an area you’re considering? I have that information. Call today. 416-779-8732

What’s your Home Worth in Today’s Market?

If you own a stock, you can probably go online and quickly look up its current value. What about your home? That, too, is an important investment and probably your most valuable one. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could “look up” its current value in just a few minutes online?
Well, despite all the real estate data available on the internet these days, there is no site that will calculate your home’s true market value – at least not accurately. So, if you were to put your home up for sale tomorrow, how would you determine what it would likely sell for?
Your home’s probable selling price is influenced by the following factors.
• The type and style of your home.
• The condition of your home. (Is it “move in” ready?)
• How well your home shows? (Is it staged?)
• The desirability of the neighbourhood.
• Recent selling prices of similar homes in the area.
• The current demand for a home like yours.
All these factors, especially recent solds in the area, need to be considered in order to come up with the price range within which your property will likely sell.
Why is this information important? If you plan on listing soon, the benefits of knowing the probable selling price is obvious. But even if your plans to move are far down the road, it’s still a good idea to know what your home is worth
– today. That information enables you to plan ahead and make better decisions. It’s something worth thinking about.
*Morris Marketing*

Is Wanting a Change a Good Reason to Sell?

People decide to sell their homes for a variety of reasons. For some, it’s a job relocation. For others, it’s the need to upsize or downsize. There are numerous other motivations too. However, one of the toughest for many homeowners
to deal with is the idea of selling simply because they want a change.
Why is that so difficult to understand?
It may be that homeowners feel “a change” isn’t a good enough reason to make such a significant decision. It may even seem impulsive or selfish to sell your home and find another one for no other reason than your desire to move.
However, desiring a change in surroundings is actually a very good reason to sell. In fact, it may be one of the best.
Why? Your home is the foundation of your daily lifestyle. It’s where you live, relax, spend time with your family, entertain guests, celebrate special occasions, and more. It makes sense to maximize the enjoyment of those experiences as much as possible. If that means finding a new home, then it’s likely going to be worth the move.
*Morris Marketing*

Savvy Negotiation Helps Win the Deal

Purchasing a home is not the same as buying a product off the shelf. You don’t simply pay the price on the tag and know it’s yours. You can’t just see a home for sale and say, “I’ll take it!”, especially if the market is competitive. You need to make an enticing offer.
That offer, of course, would include the price you propose to pay. That price may or may not be the “price tag” or the asking price. In order for your offer to be successful, it needs other ingredients too. For example, winning offers often include evidence that appropriate financing has been arranged. This gives the seller confidence that you can afford the home and that the deal won’t fall through due to an issue with the mortgage.
Also, you may need to put conditions on your offer, such as making it conditional on selling your current home. You’ll need to be careful here. Adding a condition or two may be necessary to protect your best interests, but may also dissuade the seller from accepting your offer.
Negotiation is perhaps the most important part of the buying process. Even if there are no competing offers, there will likely be back-and-forth discussions about price, conditions, closing dates, and more. Savvy negotiating is critical, not only to ensure you get the home, but also that you get it for the lowest price and best terms possible.
Real estate negotiation is not for the timid. It requires indepth knowledge of the local market, hard-won negotiating skills, and experience. If you’re selling your home, buying a new home, or both, keep in mind the important role that negotiation has in getting you what you want.
*Morris Marketing*

What’s Nearby Matters when Buying a Home

Imagine you’ve purchased a home in a nice neighbourhood. Then, once you’ve moved, you discover that your kids’ school is not only far away, but also difficult to get to because of heavy commuter traffic. That’s an irritation that is not likely to go away until your kids have grown! How do you avoid a situation like that?
When shopping for a new home, make a list of places and features you’d like to have nearby. Then, factor those in when selecting neighbourhoods to target.
For example, you might want your commute to work to be a relatively easy drive or transit ride. You might also want a park or playground to be within reasonable walking distance.
If you have a hobby, such as golf, you might hope for a driving range or golf course to be within a half-hour drive. In any home search, you may need to compromise.
You may not find all of your wish list available in any one neighbourhood. But, the most important places and features you hope to have should definitely be in your profile of the ideal home.
*Morris Marketing*

Solar Energy Provides Powerful Options

As technology becomes more advanced, solar panels using photovoltaic cells to absorb sunlight and create electricity are becoming more affordable, portable and efficient. They are readily available in various sizes to serve a range of needs.
Smaller self-powered units are now very common – think of wireless patio lights with solar panels on their tops. But other types are also gaining wider use.
For example, you can buy flexible solar panels small enough to roll up and carry on a backpack, and then roll out to capture sunlight for powering a computer or smartphone while camping, hiking or boating.
On a larger scale, any rooftop, balcony or yard with reasonably consistent exposure to direct sunlight, might be a potential site for a solar panel that provides free energy for home use. Such installations, of course, would require further investigation, as the upfront costs can be quite high.
To begin, check your current electricity bill to see how much you consume in order to determine the size of panels you would need. Next, speak to an expert to find out if your exposure gets enough sunlight to generate sufficient electricity to be worthwhile. Finally, find manufacturers and installers and look for government agencies that may provide discounts, rebates or credits for the electricity you generate.
*Morris Marketing*

Knowing The Best People

Have you ever experienced the frustration of trying to find the best plumber to fix a leaking faucet, the right renovator for a kitchen upgrade, or the ideal moving company to handle your items with care?

It’s surprising how difficult such a search can be. Even with Google and other search engine options, finding a reliable service provider can be challenging.

Well, I may be able to help.

You see, when it comes to the local “home” industry, I’m fairly well-connected. In fact, I know many of the best companies and professionals. If you’re struggling to find a good contractor, cleaning service, plumber, electrician, moving company, etc., give me a call. I can probably recommend someone.

After all, you’re a valued client, and I want to do whatever I can to help you enjoy your condo. It’s just one of the many ways I help valued clients like you – during and after a transaction. Contact me anytime.

All the best!

Estimating Your Selling Costs

When the time comes to sell your house, you’ll want to determine roughly how much you can expect to net after the sale. To figure that out, you’ll not only need to know how much your house will likely sell for, but also the selling costs you are likely to incur in the process.

The costs of selling vary depending on a number of factors. Here’s a general rundown of what to consider:

• Repairs.

You will want your house to look its best to buyers. That may require you to get any needed repairs done before listing. You don’t want a buyer to see a dent in the wall or a dripping faucet.

• Renovations.

It might make sense to get a few improvements done to make the house more attractive. For example, replacing old and worn kitchen countertops.

• Legal fees.

Selling a house requires a lot of legal paperwork. You’ll need a good real estate lawyer to take care of that for you.

• Commissions.

This is usually calculated as a percentage of the sale price.

• Moving costs.

Once you sell, you’ll obviously need to move! So, factoring in this expense is a smart idea.

Although this may seem like a long list, selling costs are actually fairly easy to estimate. Once you have that number, it’s a simple calculation to determine how much money you’ll have available to put towards your next dream home.

That’s information worth knowing!

*Morris Marketing*

How to Zero in on the Perfect Home to Buy

Have you ever shopped for a gift and had no idea what to buy? You may have gone from store to store hoping for inspiration, only to discover you wasted hours.
Obviously, if you had a clear idea of what you wanted to find, you’d find it faster. The same holds true when looking for a home. The clearer you are about the kind of home you want, the more likely you are to find it – and get it!
The best way to get clarity is to start big and then go small. That simply means you start by identifying the biggest thing – the area in which you want to live. What are the characteristics of the ideal neighbourhood for you? Make a list.
Next, go from biggest down one notch and think about the type of home you want. Size? Features? Finally, think about the inside of your next dream home. Consider the number of bedrooms, size of the kitchen or living room, and any special features you might want.
Have fun imagining the next perfect home for you. You may discover it’s available on the market now – or maybe it will be soon.
*Morris Marketing*