You've heard of the term "curb appeal".  It refers to the initial impression buyers get when they first see your property from the street.  If the impression is a good one, it sets the right tone for the rest of the home viewing.

How do you boost curb appeal?  Here are some proven ideas that you can get done in an hour or so:

  • Wash both the inside and outside of the front windows.
  • Sweep the walkway leading up to the front entrance.  Add a new welcome mat.  Also, wash down the front door.
  • If possible, remove cars from the driveway.  Let buyers imagine their own cars parked there!
  • Mow the lawn.  Lightly trim the hedges.  Weed flower beds.
  • Remove anything from inside window sills that may look unsightly from the outside.  Try putting a couple of flowering plants there instead.
  • Place any trash bins out-of-sight.  For example, put them in the garage or neatly at the side of the house.
  • If the entrance door hardware is old and worn, change it.  New hardware can make a bigger difference than you might think.
  • Make sure the outdoor lights are working, especially if you're showing your home in the evening.
  • Add some flowering plants to flower beds, or buy a couple of portable potted plants and place them strategically.
  • Clean your mailbox.  If it's rusted, replace it.
  • If you have a power washer, give the walkway and driveway a quick blast.  Just be sure it will be dry before the buyers arrive.

These one-hour improvements may seem minor, but anything that helps buyers form a more positive first impression of your home is worth the effort.

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As you probably know, it's easy to lower the costs of a renovation.  Just hire an inexpensive, fly-by-night contractor - and hope for the best!

Chances are, you won't want to take that risk.  So how do you ensure you get quality work while keeping your budget in check?

Here are some tips:

  • Get estimates from at least three contractors.  Often prices can vary widley, even amongst contractors with similar reputations and experience.
  • Narrow the project focus.  If you're getting a bathroom renovated, for example, decide whether you need the contractor to paint the new walls.  Can you do that yourself?
  • Shop around for the building materials.  Yes, contractors often have access to wholesale prices.  Still, you might be able to find a bathtub and vanity at a lower cost or at least avoid any markup the contractor may charge.
  • Negotiate.  Sometimes a contractor is willing to lower the price for concessions, such as quick payments or more time to complete the job.  
  • Schedule the renovation during a low-demand season.  For example, deck contractors charge more in the spring than the fall.  It's supply and demand.  More people want their decks done in the spring.

Keep in mind that spending a little more for a skilled and reputable contractor can save you money in the long run.  The renovation will have fewer, if any, "issues" (that many require an expensive fix) and will last longer.

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Is selling your property the furthest thing from your mind?  Well, here are some reasons for listing your property that you might nor have considered.


  1. Your property may be worth more than you think. (It's difficult to determine market value on your own.  We can calculate it for you. 
  2. You might qualify for a better home than you anticipate.
  3. Perhaps you are tired of your current property and want a change.
  4. There may be homes on the market in a neighbourhood in which you've always wanted to live.
  5. Your current property may no longer meet your needs.
  6. Your neighbourghood may have changed in ways you don't like.
  7. You might be ready to downsize or upsize and you no lonver want to put that off.
  8. You may want to sell in the fall, so you can have a fresh start in a a new home in the new year.
  9. Depending on the type of home you're considering, you could end up with lower mortgage payments or no mortgage at all.
  10. You might want to move to a home that's more conveniently located near work, family and hobbies.

Of course, you may have your own reasons for listing this month.  Why not discuss them with a real estate expert? We can answer your questions and explain the options available to you.



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Using neighbourhood Data to Help Sell Your Home


Your neighnourhood has a lot of features that can help sell your home faster.  Unfortunately, buyers don't usually notice those features just by driving around.  So, you need to make sure they get all the information they need about your neighbourhood.


For example, say homes don't go on the market often in your area.  That's an indication that the quality of life in the neighbourhood is so good that no one wants to leave!  In real estate we measure the area's "turnover rate", and it's handy data to have when listing your home.


Another bit of data that buyers can't simply see is the local crime rate.  But, most police departments keep those statistics,  If your neighbourhood has a low crime rate, that's an obvious plus to sellers.


Demographic data can also be helpful when selling your property.  If your neighbourhood has a lot of families, for example, that's going to be appealing to buyers with kids.


Even local development plans can play a role in making your home more attractive to buyers.  If a new ramp to a major highway is in the works nearby, getting to work is going to be easier.  That's a big benefit to commuters.


Other types of data that can help sell your home include:


  • Planned local construction
  • Proposals for neighbourhood improvements. (For example, a new playground.)
  • Rate at which local property values are increasing.

Any information that shows the advantages of living in your living in your area is going to be useful when selling.


By the way, this is the kind of information we put together to provide to prospective buyers when selling your home.  Contact us today!


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You might naturally assume that it is most important to talk to a Realtor when you're selling or buying a home.  But there are many other circumstances in which it makes sense to give us a call.  Here are a few examples.


1.  When you're at the "thinking about it" stage


If you're just thinking about selling your home, and haven't made a firm decision yet, you might feel uncomfortable calling a Realtor.  Don't be.  In fact, We welcome your call.  We can discuss what your current property will likely sell for on today's market, and determine the type of home you qualify to buy.  That way, you'll have some clarity and be able to make a more informed decision.


2.  If you're nervous about the selling process


If you haven't sold a home before, you might be concerned about what's involved in the process.  You might even worry that putting your home on the market is going to be a lot of work and create a lot of turbulence for you and your family.


Fortunately, selling your home doesn't need to be scary.  In fact, a big part of our job as Realtors is to make the process as smooth and trouble-free as possible.


So if you have concerns about selling your home, you should give us a call.


3.  If you have questions


You likely have questions about the local real estate scene from time to time.  You might have questions like:  "How much did that home around the corner sell for?"; "Is now a good time to make a move, or should I wait until the market changes?"' and, "How much is my current home worth?"


When you have questions like those, you don't need to dig for answers on your own.  You can give us a call.  As experts in the local market, We can give you the answers you need.



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