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Posted on Sat, 30 Apr 2016, 10:15:00 AM  in Home selling tips,  Marketing strategies
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It is spring and the urgency of blooming things seems to overcome any lingering signs of winter. Everything starts to green and the eyes seem to catch the first flame of yellow and red and forsythia and crocuses pop into view. In Canadian neighborhoods, people begin to stir in the yards and gardens. Those seeking new homes find greater activity too. For them, a sure sign of spring is in the wonderful way homeowners add curb appeal to their properties. From fixing up outdoor structures, to adding a coat of paint, there are many ways to beautify a place. A perennial favorite is landscaping.

Softscapes that Impress
Paths and boundaries with softscapes. They can define areas and zones in the outdoor area. A garden plot is a wonderful softscape too. In the modern world of mass agriculture, organic gardening has made a tremendous comeback; millions of gardeners find great rewards from organic vegetables and heirloom varieties. They add wonderful flavors, texture, and tastes to food that are often lost in mass agriculture and food distribution systems.

Designs that add Value
Bricks, stones, and pavers add long-term design themes. They can last from season to season and weather into a wonderful settled look. Hardscape areas are landscapewonderful for patios and activity zones because they defy mud and rain and keep solid footing. Hardscapes make sitting areas around fire pits that extend the cool days into wonderful warm evenings around the outdoor fire.

Plants and Trees Always Please
Finding great looking trees and shrubs is a proven way to build a wonderful outdoor space. These make natural barriers and pathways; they add flowering in season, aromas in the warm nights, and fruits. They attract pollinators and birds. In colour and fullness, they mark the seasons in beauty. Animals and birds thrive in yards that have fruit and lowering plants. Berries and seeds help bird populations and fruits feed small animals too. Nests and bird song are wonderful signs of spring and early summer.†

Organic Preferences Too
Many people have a great social awareness that follows them into their outdoor living spaces. They are inclined to incorporate water conservation, organic soil enrichment, and avoiding chemical applications where possible. They emphasize natural elements in landscaping and choose plants and trees that adapt well to the living conditions and don't require much watering or care. Their greatest contribution may be in treating soils and ground with respect to chemical applications. Natural fertilizers do not build up poisons in the soil and water; by using these they contribute an important energy towards natural balance and less pollution.

Landscaping is a Proven Winner
The investment in landscape to add curb appeal is a proven plus for homeowners. They get remarkably higher prices. More than price, the process of selling goes better. These homes get noticed and get more real estate agent and buyer interest than those that lack up to date landscaping. Curb appeal is that all important first impression. It attracts passers-by too; people may notice a property for sale after they notice the property, simply drawn to a wonderful scene of flowers, plants, and greenery.

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How to Sell a Larger Home
Posted on Fri, 15 Apr 2016, 09:45:00 AM  in Home selling tips,  Marketing strategies,  My services
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In the past, potential home buyers were interested in buying larger homes to provide room for families with numerous children. When the economy was better and utility prices were lower, singles and couples were willing in invest in a home with a lot of square footage to showcase their antique furniture and collectibles. Today, with a poor economy and increased costs for electricity and natural gas, people are opting to buy smaller homes. In addition, families typically have fewer children than 50 years ago and numerous bedrooms are no longer required. This means that selling a large property is more of a challenge because there is a smaller customer base looking for spacious homes.†

Renovate a Large Home into Multiple Units
To sell a large home with a lot of land, you will need to make some adjustments to reach a wider customer base that is willing to invest in a property that they can divide into multiple units or share with roommates. First, a homeowner must determine if the home they are living in is in a city that permits sharing with roommates or renovating a property into multiple units. If it is permissible to renovate into multiple units or share a home’s amenities with roommates, then a homeowner should hire a remodeling expert to determine the best way to optimize the space. The expert will need access to detailed blueprints and schematicshome to determine how to renovate the home.†

Sell a Large Home as an Investment†
When a home has multiple levels, it is frequently possible to add interior or exterior staircases to permit entry into an upper or lower floor level. With this method, a homeowner might also need to add doorways, a kitchen or bathrooms to make the space rentable to tenants. An individual who buys this type of property can choose to live on one level and rent the other or rent both levels and live elsewhere. The company that is renovating a large home into multiple units must obtain building permits, and homeowners must cope with inspections from government officials who verify that the remodeling is completed according to safety codes.†

Change the Interior and Exterior†
In addition to making renovations to the inside of the home, a homeowner might need to make changes to the exterior such as providing more parking areas for tenants. It is likely that a homeowner will not be able to live in a home during this type of extensive remodeling project, but if a home has been on the market for a long time, then changing it to a multiple unit property is a good plan. A homeowner can also leave the property as it is but suggest to a real estate agent that they market it as a home that can be renovated to earn an income in addition to providing a place to live.†

Adjusting a Home for Roommates
Alternatively, when a home is on the market for several months and renovators cannot change the building to multiple units, consider making the home more attractive to a single person who is willing to have roommates. To make living with several roommates’ easier, adding full bathrooms to a home is an excellent idea. If the bathrooms are located inside or next to each bedroom, then it is possible to rent out rooms faster. In a kitchen, a homeowner might need to make space for an additional refrigerator or add cabinets for more dishes and glassware. For privacy, a homeowner may want to add doors with key entry locks to each bedroom.†

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Why You Need To Declutter Before Moving
Posted on Wed, 13 Jan 2016, 09:50:00 AM  in Home buying tips,  Home selling tips,  Marketing strategies,  My services
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You have purchased your packing supplies and you are ready to start packing for the big move. There is one important step you should not skip over when moving, and that step is clearing out the clutter. Set aside some time every day to go through your belongings and decide what should be donated, sold and discarded.

You may groan at the thought of clearing out the clutter, but it is an important part of the moving process. Here are several reasons why you need to declutter before moving into your new home.

It Lightens The Load: Are you planning to donate items such as clothing, books and coffee mugs after you move into your new home? Why pack up the items you do not plan to keep? You can make packing and unpacking a breeze by decluttering before you even order the supplies. You can save money on packing supplies when there is less to pack, and you can save time by unpacking less items.

It Helps You Depersonalize Your Current Home: Depersonalizing your current home is another part of the moving process. Your potential buyers are going to movingimagine what their own belongings would look like in this space. You can kill two birds with one stone by decluttering while you are depersonalizing. Pack up anything you plan to use or display in your new home, and get rid of anything you do not wish to take with you.

It Makes It Easier To Decorate: Have you accumulated a large amount of decorative pieces over the years? Maybe you have items you purchased on impulse, used for a little while and packed up several years ago. Now you have to decide what pieces to use when decorating your new home. This can become an overwhelming task when you have a large collection. It may be time to donate or sell the pieces that rarely cross your mind. It will make it easier to decorate your new home when you can narrow it down to the pieces you actually want to use. Plus, someone else may enjoy those decorative pieces you did not want to keep.

Saves Space In Your New Home: Your clutter is probably taking up a lot of space in your current home. Do you want history to repeat itself when you move into your new home? You may have more space in your new home, but the clutter will eventually add up. It is best to nip this in the bud before you even start packing your belongings. You will have more space in your new home for the furniture, accessories and the decorative pieces you plan to keep. It also reduces that crammed feeling in both your current home and new home.

It Is Therapeutic: Getting rid of your unwanted items can actually be therapeutic. It allows you to clear your space of anything that is not important to you. Consider getting rid of anything that is not useful or creates a negative atmosphere. Clearing out the clutter also gives you more space to organize the items you do plan to keep. Imagine how good it will feel to look around your new home and only see the items that have a place in your life. You are also helping out the community by donating or selling the items that are in good condition.

Waiting until after your move to declutter will only create more work for yourself. You still need to settle into your new home, and you do not want to worry about clearing out the clutter while you are trying to unpack and decorate. It is easy to depersonalize, pack and unpack your belongings when you get rid of the unwanted items in advance. You can even ask your real estate agent for tips and ideas on decluttering.†

Clearing out the clutter may seem like an overwhelming task, but you are sure to feel good about your new space when you finally get rid of those unwanted items.

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Do buyers and sellers ever meet in person?
Posted on Tue, 22 Dec 2015, 10:15:00 AM  in Home buying tips,  Home selling tips

When you are selling a home it can be done is several different ways. In most cases, the buyer will meet the seller. There are a few instances when the buyer will not meet the seller. The first way it can be done is hiring a realtor through a real estate agency. A realtor is an individual that specializes in the sale of your home or property. It is their job to get your home the exposure it deserves. And they are the ones that will handle the negotiation process between the prospective buyer and yourself. The realtor is also the one to determine if the interested party is a serious buyer.†

Another way you can sell your home is on your own. If you choose to sell your home on your own, this means you will be responsible for advertising and showing your home on your own. When you meet a serious buyer, you then have an opportunity to hire a lawyer for representation to finalize the fine print of the sale and negotiate any remaining terms.

And finally, you can also sell your home through an auction. If you choose to go this route, you will find many different individuals interested in your property forselers sale. When the auctioneer determines a highest bidder, you have the option to meet the buyer at the closing. Otherwise, you can have a lawyer representing you.†

In several instances the buyer of the home and the seller of the home will meet face to face. The first reason the buyer and seller would meet is if the seller has listed the home on the market without hiring a real estate agent. In this case, the seller of the home would show the home to the interested party. If the potential buyer is still interested after viewing the home, they would contact the seller by phone, email, or meet them again face to face.†

Another time the buyer and seller would meet in person is at the closing. Each party may have their lawyers present to review the paperwork to ensure the deal is legal and as agreed upon. The buyer and seller both have to sign paperwork and handle the financial transactions. In most cases after both parties sign the paperwork in closing, the buyer and seller do not see each other again.†

If something should happen after the closing is complete and the seller is suing the buyer, they would meet in person again during this dispute. Usually both parties will obtain legal representation to make sure the case goes in the best interest of their client. Through the process of deliberation, depositions, and court sessions it is likely the buyer and seller will meet each other in person again.

In the real estate business it is beneficial to the seller to hire legal representation and a realtor to help negotiate with the seller. If the buyer and seller do not know each other previous to the sale, there is few instances when they will meet on their own after the sale is done.

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Quick Staging Tips
Posted on Wed, 09 Dec 2015, 09:30:00 AM  in Home selling tips,  My services

So you have decided to sell your home and the market is hot! You need to stage your home quickly because buyers may already be interested in the property. Styling your home in the right way can help you get the quick results you seek. We have compiled a list of five quick staging tips that will improve the appearance and enhance the curb appeal of just about any home.†

1. Spruce Up the Front Yard

The front yard of your property will be the first impression potential buyers will get of the home. Many people will drive by to check out the house before stopping by, so be sure that the front of the house and the yard are inviting and attractive. In addition to making sure the lawn is mowed and the shrubbery is trimmed, try a few of these inexpensive ways to give your home more curb appeal.†

- Power wash the sidewalks and driveway.†

A good power washing can remove stains and spots that have been around for years.†

- Power wash or paint the porch and front of the house.†

If your house has vinyl siding, power washing the siding will make it look new again. If your home is painted, a quick coat of paint for the porch and front of the staginghouse will do wonders for first impressions. Re stain or paint the porch floor to make it even more spectacular.†

- Wash windows in the front of the house.†

Dingy windows can make the entire front of your home look worn and haggard.†

- Plants and Sod

Re sod bare places in the lawn and plant a few flowers and blooming plants around the front yard. Fresh greenery and plants makes the yard look alive and thriving.†

- Porch Furniture

A few key pieces of furniture can pull the porch together for a unified style.†

2. Thoroughly Clean the Home’s Interior

A clean house is one of the most important things you can offer potential buyers. Whether you do the work yourself or hire some help, you should make sure every inch of your home is sparkling clean. Pick up and put away all the clutter from the living room and other common areas, including nicknacks, family photos and all personal items. Potential buyers want to envision how the home would be with them living in it. Your personal items can detract from this vision. You can rent a temporary storage space or just store everything in the garage, but make sure the interior of your home is clean and clutter-free when you show the place.†

3. Consider the Floors

Be sure to vacuum and steam clean all of your hard surface floors and carpets. If you have hard wood floors that are worn, you can refinish the floors to make them look brand new. If you do not have the time or inclination to refinish or re carpet problem floors, area rugs can camouflage spots and problem areas.†

4. Remember Extra Rooms

Do you have extra rooms, such as a spare bedroom, where you and your family store old toys, furniture or junk? Clean out everything that you have stored in this room and rethink how you can stage it to appeal to buyers. For example, if the extra room is a bedroom, stage the room to look like a child’s room or guest bedroom.†

5. Bathroom Walls

Grimy bathroom walls are sure to turn potential buyers off so thoroughly scrub the bathroom walls. Surface mold tends to form a dingy sheet over these walls. Mix one part bleach with one part water in a spray bottle to quickly and easily clean the walls in the powder room. Consider re grouting the bathtub area, if needed.†

There is no secret formula for staging your home for quick sale. Just keep in mind that buyers are looking for a home they can see themselves living in. Make that vision happen for them and you will improve your chances of a quick sale.†

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Ways To Clean And Organize Your Garage To Maximize Space
Posted on Tue, 27 Oct 2015, 09:30:00 AM  in Home selling tips

Originally introduced as an outdoor storage option for cars and trucks, the garages of today often become catch all spaces for homeowners. If you're like most people, you probably use your garage to hold your landscaping tools, tools for working on your cars, out of season clothing, old toys and dozens of other things. You may even have a hard time finding space for your car or find that those items take over your garage and leave you parking in the driveway. As buyers looking at your home will want a clean and functional garage, you need to find a way to clean and organize that space.

Cleaning out Your Garage

Before you can make your garage more functional, you need to completely clear out your garage. Spend a long weekend taking everything out of your garage and placing it on your driveway or lawn. Use garbage bags or cardboard boxes as you go through those items. Decide what you absolutely must keep, what you can donate to local charities and what you want to sell online or at a yard sale. Divide the remaining items into boxes according to category, including lawn and garden tools, car parts and clothing.

Removing Stains

Once your garage is clear of clutter, you can look for stains on the walls and floors. If you work on your car inside your garage, you may find grease and oil cleaningstains on the floor. Etching products will eat through the surface of the concrete and leave behind a cleaner looking surface. You may consider working with professionals to stain or dye the concrete to create a better look too. Applying a new coat of paint to the walls can hide any signs of stains and also trap in strange odors to make the garage smell better.

Create Separate Sections

After you finish prepping the garage, it's time that you start thinking about where all your items will go. An easy way to do this is when you create separate sections for each type of belonging. You will likely want an area for all your automotive supplies, a separate area for the toys and things your kids use outside and another area for your lawn and garden tools. Building a clear division between each area can help you stay organized and shows you that everything has its own individual place.

Make Use of the Ceiling

Your ceiling is likely a wasted space in your garage, but you can easily find organizational tools designed to help you make use of that space. Overhead racks are perfect for storing the bikes and other outdoor equipment that your kids use every day and the equipment that you only use during the warmer months. You'll also find organizational racks designed to hold larger boxes that hang directly from the ceiling. These racks help free up some floor space to give you more room for the things you use and need more often.

Organizational Choices

There are literally hundreds of organizational options for organizing and storing items in your garage. Use an ordinary pegboard and some hooks to sort and organize your lawn and garden tools. Try tracing around the edges of each tool with a black marker to make finding the right spot for those tools easier. Stainless steel shelves that hang on the wall or stand on the floor are another great option. Many of these designs feature adjustable shelves that let you create customized shelving for all your belongings. Get the buyers who come through your home excited about your garage when you paint the walls, clean the floors and bring in new storage options.

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Current Mortgage Rates Favor Market Growth
Posted on Tue, 13 Oct 2015, 10:40:00 AM  in Home selling tips

Mortgage rates are the key to real estate sales trends in North America in 2015 and beyond. Investors gave a lot of attention to early year suggestions that US interest rates would rise as the US Federal Reserve carried through on its announced goal to raise the bank lending rate. The state of the economy was a precondition for a rate increase, and the Fed has monitored some of the leading indicators closely. The jobs reports, for example, have been productive but often just short of goals or expectations. The Federal Reserve has not raised rates and it continues to look for stronger signs that a rate increase would not slow growth.

Current Mortgage Rates Favor Market Growth

As the US housing market continues its recovery from the 2008 Great Recession and crash, the most notable trend is in the weaker markets. Improvement in weaker geographic markets means that the housing recovery is taking root. Price and volume from the leading markets can raise the average sale prices. Numbers can hide the soft parts of the market in the averages. A deep and enduring recovery lifts the soft markets too. Recovery that firms markets in under-performing areas are good news for sellers who can get better prices. Buyers benefit too, as he supply will increase as sales volumes tick upward.

Overall Economic Growth Draws Foreign Buyers

The North American real estate markets attract foreign investors. A significant part of the demand for housing in the United States comes from foreign investors.mortgageThey see stability and growth potential. North American cities have replaced many European and Asian locations as ideal places to invest. The emergence of the US and Canadian positions as leading sources of crude oil have affected growth in the real estate sector too. With the dramatic fall in oil prices due to increased North American production, consumers have more spending money. Every part of the real estate markets benefits from greater consumer spending including the rental housing sector,

Hot Spots Stay hot

Canadian hot spots like Vancouver and Toronto stay hot as do New York and Northern California in the US. Prices will continue to rise in the luxury sectors of the leading markets. This push comes in part from foreign investors who increasingly view North American real estate as a preferred investment. In some markets, like Manhattan and New York City, prices reach and exceed previous records. In some luxury sectors, the prices are among the highest anywhere. These high-demand markets have low supplies of available housing, and this supply-demand balance moves prices higher.

Future Prospects

The real estate markets can continue to grow based on the current interest rate trends and increasing demand. Local area information will reflect the differences between initial offering prices and final sale prices. Real estate professionals will continue to uncover bargains in the available housing stock and steer clients towards the best values and zones that show growth potential. The fact that prices may rise faster than incomes in North America is a factor to consider. There are also other sources of buyers including American and foreign investors.

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An Analysis of the Londonís Real Estate Sector in 2015
Posted on Tue, 15 Sep 2015, 03:21:06 PM  in Home buying tips,  Home selling tips,  My services
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In recent years, the real estate sector has come under close scrutiny following the recent crises in the global mortgage sector and current international economic events. The real estate industry has a tendency of being particularly cyclical. It goes up or down based on existing economic trends in the country. However, this huge industry continues to generate revenue that runs into billions of dollars.†

The real estate industry is typically divided into two: commercial and residential services. However, it is not uncommon to find lots of management companies and brokerages engaging in both types of service. Additionally, the residential real estate component is quite fragmented.

Property management is a service sector that has been witnessing fast growth and this expansion is bound to continue. This because properties which were over constructed during the previous real estate boom are going to continue being in need of management for some time until they are totally sold.

Contributing Factors

The old and long held adage of “Location, location, location,” continues to hold sway in the London’s real estate industry. Of prime importance towards determining the value of property and its marketplace is location. There are several factors that control the quality and associated value of a location such as access by public transportation, availability of social amenities, the access roads and their quality. Other factors are security, income levels, and state of the surrounding economy.

The Real Estate Industry Key Playersforsale

This industry is basically made up of 3 primary fields: leasing, brokerages and management. It is the brokers who bring the buyers and the sellers together. They are the ones who assist in the negotiations about price and make the necessary arrangements from when a buyer initially shows interest in any property and the final closing. They also play diverse roles in property inspections and appraisals.

Industry Potential Obstacles

The real estate sector in London faces several potential obstacles. Some of the factors are at times beyond the business owner’s control. Such obstacles include local or national economic downturns and changes in the neighbourhood demographics where the property or agency is located. Another factor not within the control of the property or real estate agency is the build-up of houses and properties in the location, what they are used for, and what other properties are available in the same area.

Use of Technology in Real Estate Transactions

For many years to come, the use of modern and emerging technology will continue transforming the real estate field. This is because it is now enabling buyers to carry out online research for both location and properties as well as other local area information. A buyer can now gather all the needed information before making the first move. Such include viewing pictures of the property, getting information about facilities in the area, crime rates, and all manner of statistics.

Online marketing using property pictures and virtual tours are assuming greater significance for real estate brokers. It is estimated that in excess of 90% of buyers employ the internet before they decide to buy real estate.

Growth of Workforce

Industry experts project that the global industry workforce will continue expanding. They however note that the internet could arguably bring down the numbers and ultimately do away with the need for real estate brokers altogether sometime in the foreseeable future.

It’s worth noting that banks are also now representing a formidable potential competitor. Many economies are now allowing commercial banks to actively engage in the real estate sector, especially the commercial component of real estate.

Bottom Line

Despite turbulent and trying economic conditions being witnessed globally, real estate analysts remain confident about the future industry growth. This is one industry that always bounces back after every economic upheaval. People will always need offices, factories and residences. Apart from situations of total war, this one industry you can bank on as we head to 2016 and beyond.

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