March 19, 2024

The Truth Behind Common Catchphrases

When you're selling your home, it's important to be authentic in your marketing content and in how you talk to prospective buyers. Half-truths and approximations can be a selling disaster even if you or your agent have the best intentions.

Watch out for this list of common catchphrases that buyers are likely to question.

 

Turnkey Ready

The new owners should not have to lift a finger to make any remedial improvement. Every repair the home needed must have been finished to a good standard.

 

Totally Remodeled

Be prepared for questions about whether the “total” remodel included improvements to the plumbing, or whether the home was rewired. Making such a claim goes deeper than updates and aesthetics.

 

Low Maintenance

This ****is a big claim. Properties always need to be maintained even if that means mowing the yard every Saturday during summer. If selling an apartment, you may be questioned about the Home Owners' Association and how much time they take up.

 

Energy Efficiency

This is another statement that requires supporting evidence. You'll need to provide details of the insulation and any power-saving devices or measures, such as installed solar panels. Buyers put a premium on energy efficiency, so it's worth compiling the paperwork.

 

Quiet Neighbourhood

When buyers arrive, and they can hear traffic noise, a construction site and some beats coming from next door, don't be surprised if their first impression is less than optimal.

 

Good Schools

This is a dangerous throwaway line because the quality of schools in your immediate area can be checked easily. If you are unsure of the standard of local educational institutions, stay away from this claim.

 

Transport Nearby

It's best to be specific if you believe this is an important asset. A buyer can jump on Google and check your claim in a few seconds.

Posted in Real Estate Tips
March 1, 2024

Property Compromises to Save Your Partnership

Searching for your first or next home is rarely a straightforward journey for any couple.

There will always be differences of opinion on the practicality and attractiveness of any property.

The key to a successful home hunt is listening to your partner's point of view, respectfully expressing your opinions, and then finding a compromise.

Many couples struggle to decide whether they want an apartment, condo or a detached house.

Generally, it's rare for a couple to have a blazing row on the sidewalk about whether to buy the apartment or the ranch outside of town. And that's because they already tend to share the same vision, but with slightly different emphases.

These ideas will help you bring different perspectives together so your search will align with each other's expectations. 

 

Listen

There's no more important role in this conversation than listening to your partner. It may be a good idea to note down their deal-breakers and desires to ensure any future walk-throughs are organized with these factors in mind.

 

Share

You have a right to your opinions, too. When searching for a property, it helps to appreciate there's no right or wrong, only opinions based on likes and dislikes. Be open and honest but avoid making your opinions comparative to your partner's feelings. Most of all, be specific.

 

Communicate

There are many ways to communicate the type of property you desire. For example, you can send specific properties you've seen online via email or a chat platform. These strategies help bring into focus the types of property you want.

 

Honesty

Being economical with your truth isn't a great idea. If you have specific concerns, such as commuting distance, you must talk about these. Finding a home your partner loves but you hate is not a compromise.

 

Wish List

An excellent way to focus your property search is to develop a wish list of “must-haves” and “nice-to-haves”. Building out that list with “deal-breakers” and “flexible” needs is good in times of disagreement.

 

The Future

Important conversations about property should always consider your future together. If you're a young couple and want children, then a family home and all its necessary features should be considered.

 

Budget

Sometimes, it's worth reworking your budget to afford a home that will please you both. If you have to spend a little more, the sacrifice will be worthwhile.

 

Posted in Real Estate Tips
Feb. 19, 2024

The Bright Side of Property Investment

With the prospect of mortgage costs falling through 2024, the property market is beginning to experience a resurgence in interest from investors and landlords.

 

Investing in property has again become an attractive proposition thanks to a combination of strong returns and long-term capital gain.

 

Portfolio diversification, including a variety of property locations, sizes and architectural styles, is a good way to ensure consistent financial return. 

 

Many investors look at property in terms of receiving rent to help pay the mortgage while enjoying long-term capital gain benefits. 

 

But it is also good to remember the positive benefits that being a landlord adds to the local community. While property investing is worthwhile for investors, there's an upside for tenants, too.

 

Easier Access

 

As a landlord, you offer a low barrier to entry to finding suitable living accommodation. For a tenant, this is a significant benefit compared to saving cash to qualify for a home loan.

 

Flexibility

 

The freedom to move around to find the ideal neighbourhood is far greater when folks decide to rent rather than buy. Also, tenants can adapt faster if their lifestyles change, such as starting a family or facing employment troubles.

 

Maintenance-Free

 

The cost, hassle and time required to maintain a property is not your tenant's problem. This is another significant benefit that you offer as a landlord. A survey by home service company Thumbtack found property owners spend $6,400 a year to keep a property shipshape.

 

Cash Flow

 

Renting means tenants don't have to spend months or years trying to save for a deposit, and they don't have to worry about any mis-step with their credit rating.

 

Market Moves

 

In today's market, buyers are concerned about paying too much for a property and then regretting their decision. While there is good capital gain in property in the medium to long term, this immediate worry is understandable. As a landlord, you make this risk go away for your tenants.

Posted in Real Estate Tips
Feb. 1, 2024

Selling to Gen Z Buyers

If you intend to upgrade your entry-level home, or you're an investor seeking to divest a cheaper property, you'll likely have to deal with the Gen Z buyers as they start to filter into the real estate market.

The Gen Z cohort, which follows the much-discussed Millennials, were born between the years of about 1997 and 2012, although there are debates between researchers on what the precise dates should be.

However, their increasing emergence in the property market is not in doubt, and they do have a different take on who and what to believe.

If you intend to sell an entry-level home, then understanding this demographic will help you increase the number of potential buyers and accelerate the speed of your sale.

Gen Z has grown up in very different times. They have witnessed and participated in rapid technology progression and rejected paid advertising for the spruiking of influencers. 

Emphasis on digital brands, rather than the old-school approach of brick-and-mortar businesses, is universal. So reaching them on platforms such as TikTok and Instagram is essential.

If you're selling a property that will appeal to this generation, then it's important you use an agent who understands their consumption habits. 

This list of Gen Z traits will help you understand their points of view.

Trust Factor

Gen Z has a problem with trusting corporations. They'll sooner take the word of friends and influencers on social media. So, engaging with them on their preferred platforms is essential if you want to appeal to this market. 

Be Authentic

For precisely the reasons Gen Z scorns corporations, you need to be authentic in your marketing. Don't say the apartment is two minutes from the shops when a Google search will show it's not. 

Be Unique

This cohort welcomes properties that sell special features rather than stating an apartment has two bedrooms. Focus on what's actually cool about the property you're selling.

Be Quick

Perhaps this is a bit patronizing of the older generations, but there's research to suggest Gen Z has shorter attention spans than the rest of us. So, ensure your marketing is concise.

Be Green

Social responsibility is a big thing in the lives of most Gen Z. If your home has energy-saving devices, even solar panels, then this will be a big plus.

 

Posted in Real Estate Tips
Jan. 15, 2024

Rejuvenating Scratched Hardwood Floors

Constant foot traffic and the inevitable knocks of everyday living eventually take the gloss from any hardwood floors.

Many buyers highly value a beautiful wooden floor. It's an elegant foundation that sets the tone for the rest of the property.

These tips will help restore these floors to their former glory.

Return on Investment

If you're wondering whether it's worth the work and expense to improve your floor, you can be confident a quality floor will more than pay you back when you decide it's time to sell.

Looks are Deceiving

If your hardwood floor has lost its lustre, rejuvenating it may not require as much effort as you might fear. Check out various cleaning alternatives before hiring a contractor to resurface and reseal the floor or replace boards.

Rug Up

A temporary solution is to ****buy larger or more rugs to cover up the problem. Of course, that's not fixing the issue. A good quality silk or wool rug can be expensive, so you may as well use the cash to rejuvenate the floor.

Finishing Solutions

For as little as $30, you can buy products that will help bring back to life a wooden floor with a satin or high-gloss polyurethane finish. These products will also do the trick on floors of exotic woods, such as bamboo and engineered wood floors.

Get Buffing

If the floor has a polyurethane finish, you can hire a commercial-grade buffer to remove scratches from the existing finish. However, it won't remediate scratches deep in the wood. These machines can be hired for as little as $50 from stores such as Home Depot.

Seal the Deal

Try out a polish and restorer such as Weiman, which has excellent product reviews. Ensure the floor is free of dirt and dust before applying the polish with a mop or microfiber pad.

Chemical Kits

If your floor has a wax finish, consider a special chemical abrasion kit. For this to work, you'll have to remove the wax. It's hard work, and you may want to talk to a specialist contractor.

Go for a Recoat

No doubt the easiest option is to hire a contractor to sand back the wood lightly and reapply a fresh polyurethane finish.

Posted in Lifestyle
Jan. 2, 2024

Front Door Tips to Impress Buyers

Making a great first impression on buyers is essential to winning their interest when you decide it's time to sell. 

If there's early hesitancy because of the quality or maintenance of your property, it's challenging to encourage a buyer to make an offer or even continue their walk-through.  

Critical to presenting a pristine property is a quality front door, which has a high visual impact but also signals an emphasis on security.

Many sellers will upgrade their front door, often painting it a fashionable primary colour to brighten the exterior. 

But you may also need to consider replacing the door if it is more than 20 years old.

These tips will help ensure you make a successful entry choice.

 

Installation is Critical

The success of your purchase will depend on proper installation. A poorly installed door will represent a security risk and undermine your home's sound insulation and thermal qualities, increasing heating and cooling bills.

 

In the Frame

The integrity and security of a door depends on the quality of the frame. It's usually safest to replace the structure when you upgrade your front door.

 

Opt for Durability

You get what you pay for when buying a front door. Resist choosing cheap products, which can warp and often offer poor thermal and sound insulation. A quality front door will have a guarantee of materials and workmanship.

 

Transparent or Opaque

Engineering improvements mean you no longer compromise durability, security or insulation by choosing a quality front door with glass panels. Doors now contain single, double or triple-glazed panels. You can select transparent or opaque glass and include artistic designs or stained glass. 

 

Safety-First

If you choose a front door that incorporates glass in its design, you must ensure the manufacturer has used safety glass. This not only prevents potentially dangerous accidents but also enhances security.

 

Fixture Fitness

Ensure you use a reputable lock manufacturer to avoid the frustration of a lock failing. Your handle should be able to withstand weather extremes. You can match all your accessories, such as hinges, door knockers, letter boxes, locks and latches.

Posted in Sellers
Dec. 15, 2023

Will DIY Work Impact Property Value?

When it comes to home maintenance, owners tend to overrate their DIY skills, producing work that either doesn't add value to their property or damages it.

Be aware that poorly executed and finished work will diminish the property's value.

If buyers recognize poor work they will often seek a discount to pay for remediation or consider another property with no such issues.

These home improvement tips will help you stay on track.

 

Safety question

Be honest with yourself about your level of skills and remember always to put safety first.

Legal question

You should be aware that some work, such as plumbing, electrics and construction of extensions, must be conducted by licenced contractors. If you take on such tasks, you could be breaking the law and risking substantial fines.

A shock

A licenced electrical contractor should be used for tasks such as replacing circuit breakers, installing a central vacuum system and converting a kitchen range from gas to electric (a gas plumber will be needed to disconnect the gas).

Plumbing problems

Replacing a washer and other minor plumbing jobs is okay. However, you'll likely need a permit if moving or adding fixtures. It's the same story for repairing or replacing pipes and installing a new water heater.

Bad scenarios

If you're found to have undertaken work illegally, an inspector may force you off the property. In such a scenario, your work would likely be dismantled or demolished. And that's on top of the fines you'd receive.

Get permits

Local authorities often insist permits are obtained before any structure changes begin, including roofing and extensions. As part of that process, you may find a qualified contractor is necessary.

Code-cutters

Many owners know the basics of building a deck but don't check local building codes. If your deck isn't built specifically to meet code requirements, you may find your local authority will demand it be dismantled. 

For the chop

You may need permission to remove a large tree. Given the danger of chopping down a tree, always use a qualified arborist who's fully insured.

Posted in Real Estate Tips
Dec. 1, 2023

Advantages of Buying During Winter

If your company is transferring you, or you've decided it's time to make a fresh start elsewhere, you'll be among the thousands of Canadians who begin searching for a new property at this time of year.

For the most part, only serious buyers check out the real estate scene in winter. The tire-kickers who waste everyone's time usually restrict themselves to cruising the market in the warmer months.

So, you can be reasonably confident that if you find yourself in a competitive situation for a home, you may need to up your offer to win the property.

These are the characteristics of a winter real estate market, including its advantages and challenges.

Select choice

Most sellers indeed prefer to sell in spring and summer because they believe they'll find more buyers and achieve a better price. That's a myth because there's no wrong time to sell and buy real estate.

Motivated sellers

While the choice may be reduced, you'll find motivated sellers and fewer buyers. This strengthens your negotiation position and helps reduce the time you'll need to find a new home.

Value equation**

** With demand falling in winter, you may see sellers mark their homes more competitively. 

Sweet deals

Occasionally, you'll find a home for sale that's been on the market since summer and failed to find a buyer. Don't assume there's something wrong with the property. Perhaps it was priced too ambitiously. There's always a chance you turn up at the right time to make a deal.

Revealing moment

Winter is also a time when buyers will focus on the essential elements of a home, such as the HVAC and insulation in the ceiling and around windows and doors.

Natural light

It can be difficult to gauge how much natural light fills a home you're viewing it in the middle of winter. So, a certain amount of imagination may be required. Don't mark it down unfairly for lacking natural light.

Curve-ball

Don't forget that professional services and your lender will not always be available when needed if you're buying in the Holiday Season. So, build this into your buying plan to avoid unnecessary delays and stress.

 

Posted in Real Estate Tips
Nov. 15, 2023

What We’d Invest in if We Were Considering Selling

 

Wondering where to put your time and money if you're thinking about selling your home? We've got you covered with a straightforward guide on what we'd invest in if we were in your shoes. Forget the fancy talk – we're talking about practical steps, from a solid deep clean that'll make your place shine, to professional painters who know how to transform a room. Toss in a storage unit for your extra stuff, and top it off with killer photos and videos that practically scream, "Buy me!" If you're looking for a game plan without the fluff, this is it. And guess what? We'll even chat about it for free. So, if you're eyeing that 'For Sale' sign, let's talk about what really matters to get your home sold and leave you with a nice chunk of change in your pocket.

 

Deep Cleaning:

Giving your home a thorough cleaning goes beyond the usual dusting and vacuuming. It's like a spa day for your house, making everything shine and look brand new. A deep clean doesn't just keep things neat; it tells potential buyers that your home is well taken care of and ready for a new chapter.

Professional Interior Painters:

Painting the inside of your home is a game-changer. Getting professionals in means the job is done right, with no streaks or missed spots. Choosing neutral colours is like playing it safe – it opens up the possibilities for buyers to imagine their own style without being distracted by bold colours.

Storage Unit:

Before showing off your place, it's time to declutter. Stash away personal stuff in a nearby storage unit – it's like a temporary home for your extra things. This not only tidies up your space but also helps buyers see the potential without getting distracted by your stuff.

Professional Photo & Video:

In a world where everyone's scrolling through pictures, good visuals matter. A professional photographer and videographer can make your home look amazing online. It's like putting your best foot forward, making sure your place stands out from the others. If you're picking just one thing from this list, go for this – first impressions count!

Selling your home is a big deal, and we get that. Reach out to us today for a complimentary evaluation of your property and we can figure out a custom plan that works for you. No strings attached. We're here to help you sell your home quickly and for a good price. Reach out today, and let's make selling your home as smooth as possible.

Posted in Sellers
Nov. 1, 2023

Ask Your Lender These Six Questions

In the market to buy a home? These are six questions everyone should be asking their mortgage lender before they choose the direction they want to go so you are fully informed.

 

 

1. What type of loan do you recommend for me?

 

This will help you understand the different types of loans available and choose the one that's right for your financial situation and needs.

 

2. Do I qualify for any down payment assistance programs?

 

If you're struggling to come up with a down payment, there may be programs available to help you. Your lender can tell you more about your options.

 

3. What is the annual percentage rate (APR)?

 

The APR tells you the true cost of your mortgage, including interest and fees. It's important to compare the APR from different lenders before you choose a loan.

 

4. Can I lock in an interest rate?

 

Locking in your interest rate can protect you from rising rates. Be sure to ask how long the rate lock will last and if there are any fees associated with locking in a rate.

 

5. What will my monthly payment be?

 

This is a big one! You need to ask exactly, down to the penny, what your monthly payment will be so you can budget accordingly. Be sure to ask about the total monthly payment, including principal, interest, taxes, and insurance (PITI).

 

6. What will my closing costs be?

 

Closing costs are the fees you'll pay to finalize your mortgage. These costs can vary depending on the loan amount and location.

 

Feel free to bookmark this post for later, or, send it to a friend who's starting their own home-buying journey.

 

As always, let us know if we can help in any way. That's why we’re here!

Posted in Real Estate Tips