A new home purchase is often an emotional decision so if you want potential buyers to fall in love with your home, their first impression is everything and you only get one shot at it. So that means start with curb appeal that makes them want to see inside! Here are some tips to get your home market ready …..or just some inspiration for your home projects!
1 First things first
The most obvious thing is the condition of your lawn and front yard and you can spruce that up with little or no cost! For example, if your flower garden is looking unruly and your front lawn is patchy or overrun with weeds, or maybe remnants of last summer’s plantings are still in your pots…not judging by the way…mow the lawn and add some new sod if necessary, pull the weeds and get rid of the mess! Also, adding red cedar bark or coloured landscape stones goes a long way to freshening up flowerbeds especially at this time of year when plants are small or non-existent.
A well maintained yard is an indication of how you maintain your home and it’s the first thing they will see. It doesn’t need to look like the cover of Better Homes & Gardens, it just need s to look neat and well cared for.
2 Add planters to front porch or step
Adding planters (even store bought, ready-made ones which are now readily available) can go a long way toward creating a welcoming streetscape. They not only add colour and personality, they send a message that you enjoy and care about the surroundings of your home. And if you have a porch large enough to accommodate furniture, stage it with a bistro set or a pair of comfy patio chairs and a table as well as some container plants or hanging baskets.
3 Think of adding mature plants
If you have flowerbeds, adding larger mature plants is a lot easier than buying several flats of annuals and it will give a greater impact of larger plants and instant colour.
4 Don’t forget your driveway
Since your driveway is one of the first things a prospective buyer will notice, it’s a good idea to freshen it up. Adding a sealer to an aggregate driveway and cleaning off any stains from cars parked on the driveway and simply sweeping off any loose stones can make a big difference.
5 Windows & window treatments
If adding new windows is not in your budget then you want to do what you can to make them look their best. Have them clean and sparkling before you list your home and they will look better from the outside and also improve the view from the inside! Matched blinds or draperies can also add consistency to the exterior appearance of your home so you may want to go outside and take a look at what people see when they look at your home for the first time. Adding simple venetian blinds, or any blinds that are the same style, to street facing windows can add consistency to your home’s exterior, and have an impact on the inside as well as outside of your home.
6 Spring for new accessories
Adding a new mailbox, house light and cool new house number is a great and inexpensive way to update your home’s exterior! The big home improvement stores carry well-priced and yet stylish options for all of these items.
7 Add some lipstick!
If you have a home exterior trim that requires touch up, adding a fresh coat of paint can do wonders for curb appeal. Also, adding a new fresh colour to your front door can add impact and introduces all guests or potential buyers to what lies within!! So make it great
When the time comes for you to make a move, we are here to help!
Karin & Jen
We were recently discussing pricing with a client and heard the words we have heard many times before……
” I would like to get this $$$ amount for my property and list at this $$$ amount” after we had provided information on comparables that would indicate something significantly lower
If only we could wave a magic wand and make it that simple, we would!
The process of determining a list price for a property requires consideration of a number of factors including recent comparables(active listings and sales more importantly), market conditions(supply&demand), and location, condition and features of the subject property. And while of course we are mindful of what a client needs or wants to see from the sale of their home, that can’t be the primary factor in pricing but rather the deciding factor as to whether or not they want to sell at any given time. And keep in mind that your agent wants you to get the highest number possible for your home as well!
This is where it’s helpful to understand the process and trust the guidance your agent is giving you in regards to pricing. A property is worth what someone is willing to pay for it on any given day but overpricing can result in potential buyers overlooking the property completely because it falls outside their range. So rather than presenting an offer and finding some middle ground, they may eliminate it from their list of possibilities altogether.
The real estate market in Regina was summed up very well in this recent Globe and Mail article:
There has been a large number of active listings in the Regina real estate market recently combined with higher than average inventory in new construction resulting in a softening of pricing in some areas of the market in particular. That being said, the snow is gone …finally….and as stated in this Leader Post article sales were up in April and our economic indicators are healthy so onward and upward!
So when is the best time to buy or sell…..whenever you need to or decide it’s time for a change! You never know who might be looking for a house exactly like yours on any given day and people move at all times of the year. If you are a buyer today, there are lots of options for you!
If you need some help determining the value of your home or if you would like to see what is in the market that might be of interest to you, we’re here to help!
Happy Home Shopping!
Karin & Jen
Whether you are preparing for a move or not, this is the time for Spring cleaning and de-cluttering projects. But without a plan of attack and a place to start, it is easy to just leave it for another day when it can seem like such an overwhelming project. So why not start with one room at a time, one day at a time. We found this great itemized list in an article on Houzz.com (one of our favourites for design ideas!) that will help you get your kitchen in ship shape in no time :)
If you are planning to make a move this year you will be wanting to prepare your home for sale and you will want it to look its best for photos and showings. So we recommend giving yourself a deadline to get organized now and the bonus is that it will make packing up for your move a simpler process when the time comes as well!
Happy Spring Cleaning!
Karin & Jen
Although this phenomenon does not occur on a frequent basis in Regina’s current real estate market, the occurrence of multiple offer situations, sometimes referred to as “bidding wars”, can and does happen. Multiple offers are often dictated by a limited supply of listings and a high demand for good homes, especially in certain price points and neighbourhoods. This scenario is great for sellers(although even some guidance in handling those offers is helpful) but not so great for buyers when it tends to push up home prices and can create a stressful home buying experience.
Our goal is to help you purchase your home at a fair price so you can feel good about the purchase you’ve made. Here are some of our tips to help you navigate the process as a buyer with as little stress as possible:
Create an Attractive Offer
In a multiple offer situation you will need to be prepared to act quickly and there are a few things you can do to make your offer more attractive. (1) Make sure to have mortgage pre-approval before the process begins. We can share that information with the seller’s agent so they can be assured that your offer is serious (2) Put your best foot forward…offer whatever you are comfortable paying for that property as you may not get the opportunity to consider a counter offer (3) Making a significant down payment also shows your level of commitment to the purchase of the property.
There are other elements to consider such as possession dates and home inspections but those are specific to the property being considered and your personal situation and motivation for purchasing. That is where we can guide you in the process.
Don’t be discouraged!
While we usually know when we are dealing with multiple offers, we can’t know what those offers will be or how badly someone else wants that home! Remember it’s a not a competition to win and there is no winning if you pay more than you really wanted to. We know it can be a frustrating process at times but patience is a virtue here. Don’t be discouraged if the first one doesn’t go in your favour, it isn’t the end of the process until we find you the right house!
Trust your instincts….and your agent
When you find the right home you will know it and you will feel comfortable with the amount you are offering for the property. If you feel anxiety or pressure to make a decision or to pay more than you’re comfortable with, or can afford, don’t be afraid to walk away! There will always be another house.
You should be working with a REALTOR® who you trust to have your best interests at heart. It is our job to provide you with all the information that you need to make an informed decision on the purchase of your home. We’re on your side and we want to get the best result for you.
If you are looking to buy or sell in the Regina area, we are here to help!
Happy House Hunting!
Karin & Jen
Thinking about condo living…trying to decide if it’s the right lifestyle for you? Well not that long ago in Regina your choice would have been simply apartment condo or townhouse and now the options are almost limitless!
There are Apartment condos with surface stalls or underground heated parking, urban or suburban, entry level & budget friendly or upscale finishing with amenities including optional guest suites, workout centres and car wash facilities, high rise with rooftop areas , 3-4 floors with balconies, or the newest option of condos & mixed use of business and commercial on the lower levels.
Or how about a loft condo in Regina’s trendy Warehouse District where every unit is unique in its style, as above, and every complex has its own individual features. Or maybe a Townhouse with one or two electrified stalls or a detached garage stall, single or double attached garage, basement or not? Ok so now that you are completely overwhelmed with the degree of choices available, let’s simplify the process!
There are options in every price point and every area of Regina so first things first, we always suggest you start with determining the following 3 factors:
- Budget - don’t forget to include condo fees in your monthly budget!
- Needs - do you have a pet, require secured parking, elevator vs stairs, #bedrooms/baths
- Desires - location(walking distance or proximity to work, near a park, etc), finishing choices, modern vs traditional, deck/balcony or rooftop area
Once we know those 3 things we can put together a list of all of options currently available and start to narrow down the choices. It can be difficult enough for buyers to sort through all of the listed units let alone all of the new construction projects in various stages of the build but we stay on top off the new developments so it’s our job to provide you with the details of all of the options, resale or new, that fit your three criteria.
That being said, sometimes budget changes when you’re not finding things you like in the set price range and also sometimes some of non-negotiable needs suddenly become negotiable when staying within budget in the most important priority!
If you are thinking about a condo or a new home and need help navigating the process and all of the options available, give us a call! We are the team in Regina that can help you make the right move.
Happy Condo Shopping!
Karin & Jen
There was a time in Regina, not that long ago, when your real estate options were simply house or condo? Now with a growing Saskatchewan economy and expanding population base, as well as the higher costs of housing we are seeing more diversity in residential projects being developed to meet the needs of affordable housing in Regina.
We are hearing terms like laneway suites and full regulation suites which not only provide affordable rental housing options but also help new home buyers offset the costs of their mortgage. There was an interesting article on the pilot projects for laneway suites in Regina’s Leader Post last week:
We are hearing about new concepts in urban design with pedestrian friendly streets, which translated means that instead of larger lots with attached garages, single family and semi-detached homes are being built on smaller lots, maximizing space, with the detached garages at the rear or the option to add one as budget allows. Either way it provides a more affordable option in a new home purchase. The Greens on Gardiner (SW) was the leader in this type of residential concept in Regina but now those options are available in Hawkstone(NW) and Harbour Landing(SE) as well and are being provided by a number of builders. We are now seeing many interesting options in entry level properties, in homes, semi-detached homes, townhouses and apartment condos, so it’s a great time to get into the market of property ownership in Regina!
With so many choices available it can be a bit overwhelming so you need to start with your budget and requirements and then narrow down the possibilities. We have lots of experience and knowledge about the new projects and their building partners so we can help you find you the right match for your needs!
Not sure how to navigate all of your options? We’re here to help! If you are looking to make a move give us a call and check us out at www.w2realtyteam.com
Happy Home Shopping!
Karin & Jen
Of course every seller wants their home to sell quickly and for the highest price possible, so how do you give yourself the best shot at that? We believe that from our perspective proper pricing is the most important aspect but also preparing your home so that it makes the best first impression on potential buyers is a very close second and is directly related to your ultimate selling price! So where to start? Here is a list of things to consider and we would suggest giving yourself a specific timeline to work with and get it done!
You want people to see themselves creating a life in your house and making it their home so you will want to pack up those personal photographs and family heirlooms. Some buyers can't see past personal artifacts, and you don't want them to be distracted by your “things”. You want people saying “I can see myself living here” rather than “I wonder who lives here”.
Now is the time to eliminate anything you don’t need and don’t want to move with you! Likely anything you haven’t used in a year can be donated or disposed of. You may need to enlist the help of a friend who can help you be objective about your “stuff”. Think of this as getting a head start on the packing up process that you will need to do eventually anyway!
- Remove or at least edit books and art pieces.
- Pack up those knickknacks.
- Clean off kitchen counters….you want buyers to see loads of counter space!
- Put the necessary items that are used daily in a container that can be stored in a closet or pantry where they can be accessed easily.
- Try going around your home and taking photos and then looking at your rooms through the lens of the camera. It is amazing how we just get used to our spaces and not see what is sitting on tables, counters etc. and how that may appear to potential buyers.
3. Neaten Bedroom Closets and Kitchen Cabinets.
- Buyers will open closet and cabinet doors in the process of viewing your home, so open those doors and see what they will potentially see! Closets and cabinets that are organized give the illusion of space. And a neat, well organized home sends a message that you care for your home. Edit, edit, edit!
4. Rent a Storage Unit If Necessary
- Almost every home shows better with less furniture. If you have pieces that are blocking pathways or making rooms look smaller, put them in storage. The same goes for your garage….if you have a double garage but there is only room to park one car because of the stuff being stored in it you may want to consider an intervention there as well!
5. Make Minor Repairs
If the small details are maintained it is assumed that the major things have
been as well so now is the time to catch up on the little nitpicky projects you
have been meaning to get to……
- Patch holes in walls and touch up paint… or if necessary consider a fresh coat of neutral paint that will have the broadest appeal to potential buyers
- Fix or replace leaky faucets
- Replace burned out light bulbs
The final details! Now is the time for the “spring cleaning” items…..
- Wash windows inside and out.
- Polish chrome faucets and mirrors
- Make sure your bathrooms are squeaky clean & hang fresh towels
- Clean out the refrigerator!!
- Dust off those ceiling fan blades and light fixtures.
- Make sure your house is clean and smells great before showings!! You only get one shot at a first impression J
- Curb appeal counts as well so make sure the yard is clean and lawn cut and adding a welcoming pot of bright flowers at the front door is a nice touch as well!
We know it sounds like a lot but if you take a few weeks and tackle one area at a time it will net you a benefit in the
final sale of your home!
Happy Home Selling!
Jen & Karin
We are often asked questions regarding the processes of buying or selling your home so we wanted to share just a few of the most common:
1. What does a home inspection involve and should I have one?
A home inspection is a visual examination of the property to determine the overall condition of the home. In the process, the inspector should be checking all major components (roof, ceiling, walls, floors, foundations, attics, etc.) and systems (electrical, heating, plumbing, drainage, exterior weather proofing, etc.). The results of the inspection are provided to the purchaser in written form and are generally discussed in detail during a walk through once the inspection is completed.
The inspection may indicate only minor issues for you to address at some point or that the home needs major structural repairs which need to be factored into your buying decision and comfort level. A pre-purchase home inspection helps you learn more about the property up front so you can proceed with greater confidence and peace of mind.
2. What is a pre-approved mortgage and should we have preapproval before we start looking for a home?
A pre-approved mortgage provides a set interest rate guarantee from a lender for a specified period of time and for a set amount of money. Your mortgage broker will help you determine what you can afford to pay for a home and explain the down payment requirements. When you find the right house and it comes time to make an offer, you will be prepared to act. Keep in mind your pre-approval is based on your financial picture at that time and any significant changes in your life can affect that number.
Most REALTORS® will ask if you have a mortgage pre-approval in place before you start your search for a home. This is to ensure that they are showing you properties in your price range. You never want to fall in love with a house only to find that it does not fit within your budget. Pre-approval is one of the first steps you should take before beginning the buying process so you can shop with confidence!
3. How do I prepare to sell my home?
The first step is being really ready to move on. You need to detach yourself emotionally from your home and see it as a commodity you want to sell. We know this can be difficult when your life is reflected in your home, however it is important to be honest about how your home looks and how it should look when it goes on the market.
Your home’s appearance and condition play a big role in the sale process more today than ever. With the internet and all of home renovation programs people have easy access to, it can set high buyer expectations. Many buyers want a home they can move right into, especially if they are under short time constraints.
Selling price is determined by a number of factors including previous sales of comparable houses, how many other homes similar to yours are currently on the market, and the condition of your home compared to your competition. Some of these factors are out of your control but you can control how your home looks when it hits the market. You only get one shot at a first impression so now is a great time to
de-clutter and touch up that paint!
When you decide to work with an agent you should choose someone you feel comfortable with and trust to have your best interests at heart. We can answer your questions and concerns and provide referrals for staging, mortgage brokers, home inspectors, real estate attorneys, and pretty much anything else you may need in the purchase or sale of your home! We are your advocate and guide through the process.
Happy House Shopping!!
Karin & Jen
As much as we all have an emotional attachment to our own homes and there is an inherent value to us because of the history created in there and maybe the blood sweat and tears that we put into creating a home not just a house, unfortunately that doesn't add value to a buyer when it comes time to sell. Selling your home can be an emotional process but when it actually comes to negotiating the sale the emotion has to be removed and it becomes simply a business transaction that is about dollars and cents....or actually hundreds of thousands of dollars!
There are many factors that affect a sale price including specifics about location, floorplan, curb appeal, interior decor, etc etc.....but as it is well said in this article, at the end of the day it's about the price and value. Market Value quite simply stated is what someone is willing to pay for your property on any given day.
Enjoy this article.....
How can a REALTOR® help you?
Your REALTOR® is more than just a "salesperson." We act on your behalf as your advocate, providing you with professional advice and guidance.
While the Internet has opened up a world of information not previously available to consumers, the data on listings available for sale is not always up to date. In a competitive market, whether you are buying or selling, you need the most current information about what has sold or is currently for sale, and any pertinent changes in pricing. The only way to ensure you have that information is by enlisting the help of a REALTOR®.
As a buyer, there are many advantages to having a REALTOR® work with you. We can simplify the process of finding you the perfect place by matching up properties that fit with your criteria, set up all showings, facilitating all the contracts and paperwork, as well as handling the negotiating for you. As buying or selling your home is a very personal transaction, many people tend to feel more comfortable using an agent as a liaison rather than having to deal face to face with potential buyers or sellers. The best part is it typically does not cost you, the buyer, anything to have a REALTOR® work on your behalf as buyer’s agents are compensated via a percentage of the seller’s brokerage commission.
If you're selling your home, you gain access to the most qualified buyers by being listed on the Multiple Listing Service. Only a licensed real estate agent can get you listed there. Whether you are buying or selling a home, MLS® is your and your agent's best tool. And the process doesn’t stop there… by having your listing as part of the MLS® system you instantly have all the REALTORS® in the city considering your property for their qualified buyers. As well, buyers who may be relocating to Regina have easy access to MLS and your listing information. That is really the key as at the end of the day it really doesn’t matter how many views or hits your listing receives, it is getting it in front of people who are actually actively looking for a property with the same characteristics as yours, in your price range and neighbourhood.
Because today's home buyers and sellers are so much better informed than in the past, expertise and ability are becoming more important. Our job and the service we provide is evolving and we are becoming as much a "guide" as a "salesperson". We are your personal representative when you are buying or selling a home and we're here to help!
Happy House Hunting
Karin & Jen
With the increase of people looking for the low maintenance aspect of a home while still maintaining ownership in a complex with varying amenities, condominium complexes have become more popular over the past number of years. What are some things to consider when shopping for the perfect condo?
Do work with a REALTOR®
Although you can purchase a condo without the help of a REALTOR®, the process may go more smoothly if you enlist the help of an expert. We can help you quickly find condos that meet your needs as well as keep you apprised of newly listed condos that may be right for you, including contacting the developers of new construction options. Your REALTOR® will put the time and effort into your condo buying search so you won't have to. And the best part is it costs you nothing!
Do Comparison Shop
There are a lot of choices of condos in varying locations, price range and style! You need to decide first what your budget is so your agent can target the right properties for you to look at. You also need to decide what are your “must-haves”. If you could create your ideal wish list what is it that you really want or need as there are pros and cons to every complex. Do you require an elevator, do you want some patio area, do you need extra storage, covered parking, a certain number of bedrooms and/or bathrooms? That is the starting point for your hunt! Next you will need to go and look at a number of units in different complexes to see the differences in finishing, amenities, and neighbourhood to help determine exactly what you get at each price point.
Do consider new construction units
If you're buying a new construction condo, there are a couple of things to consider. There is the benefit of the fact that you may be able to add your personal stamp to some of the finishing choices and really tailor it to your own tastes. That being said, most developers offer very competitive standard finishes that are pretty good and the value in any upgrades you may choose will depend on your lifestyle and your circumstances. We can certainly help you navigate that process.
As there are many moving parts that all need to work together in order to custom build your unit, you may need to be more flexible with your move in date with a new construction unit versus a re-sale condominium. Pre-construction delays are often to be expected so you need consider that possibility and decide if you need a more guaranteed possession date.
Don't be afraid to pull the trigger
Once you have done the homework and found the right property for you, don’t be afraid to jump in! Trust your gut as you will know when a place feels like it could be your next “home”!
Happy condo shopping!
Karin & Jen
Check out this article in the Leader-Post for the latest information on this very exciting and ambitious project: http://www.leaderpost.com/business/Work+underway+Capital+Pointe+with+interactive+timeline/8423024/story.html
If you would like more info on this project, please give us a call!