We know there a million things to do as you prepare your home for sale so we are starting with just a few projects to tackle before the snow comes & Winter is here to stay! We take on the indoor list of to-do's in our blog "Guide to Prepare Your Home for Sale"!
If you're not sure where to start here is some inpiration:
Focus on the Front Yard
Curb appeal is everything and will significantly impact a potential Buyer’s first impression of your home. Stand out on the street and take an objective look, or even better a photo, of your house & yard….What do you see that could be improved?
At a minimum, clean the scuff marks off the front door and touch-up the paint… or give it a fresh coat if weather permits! And if your front door has seen better days, consider investing in a new one….that is a Buyer’s first view to what is inside ad it sets the expectations!
If you have a front porch, make it look inviting (not just a place to store your stuff)
Invest in a cute new door mat & some seasonal evergreens to put in planters at your front door or add a welcoming wreath. Of course at this time of year, inspiration is everywhere!
Make sure to clean up the lawn, planter & garden areas of leaves & debris.
As our days are now growing shorter, many Buyers will see your home at night, so make sure that your outdoor lighting is highlighting your home. Pathway lighting is always a great idea as well and can be accomplished inexpensively with solar lights.
Be sure to replace bulbs & clean your outdoor light fixtures, or update them if necessary.
Have the Windows Cleaned
We know, you probably don’t even think about cleaning your windows at this time of year, but weather & wind can really make your windows dirty and we don't always notice those things when we live in our homes but trust us, buyers will notice and we want them to focus on your great house not on dirty windows! We like companies like Men in Kilts for affordable window cleaning.
Don’t Overlook Your Backyard
What you can accomplish in the back yard will of course depend on weather, but before we get snow that stays make sure you do one last lawn mowing, clean up leaves & blow out your sprinklers if you have in-ground.
Now is the time to put away or cover your patio furniture, BBQ, plant pots & garden utensils and do what you can to make the back yard presentable for Winter!
If you have a garage now is the time to tidy it up and get rid of clutter before Winter sets in! If your garage door or operator need updating, then consider replacing those in preparation for listing your home for sale.
If you have questions about the market ....when is the right time to sell, what is my home worth in the current market and where do we start....we are here to help you navigate the process from beginning to end! Feel free to contact us with your questions.
As the province continues to re-open, the real estate sector is experiencing a strong recovery!
Year-over-year sales across the province were up close to 50% from June of last year and down only slightly year-to-date, signalling that we’ve nearly recovered all of the sales lost during the COVID lockdown.
New listings were up almost 8% over June last year and the median home price was up almost 2%.
Total inventory is down indicating that people are eager to buy now and make up for lost time due to the pandemic, which are seeing personally in our business for sure!
Average Days on Market in June was 58, down from 66 days in May.
From our SRA Media Release regarding June 2020 Market Activity:
“This recovery was expected as physical distancing restrictions were loosened and as people’s confidence began to return. With the economy getting back to “normal”, people are getting excited to buy homes.
“We’ve seen properties in some markets sell within days of being listed,” said SRA CEO Jason Yochim. “And we’ve even seen bidding wars start to break out”, suggesting that people are quite motivated to buy and may be willing to pay more than full listing price. “
This could help to further fuel Saskatchewan’s recovery as people feel encouraged to list their properties as activity increases and home prices rise.
“SASKATCHEWAN REAL ESTATE MARKETS REBOUNDING AS PROVINCE RE-OPENS: Strong Recovery Expected”
The May 2020 market stats are out and signs remain positive! We have seen a lot of activity in the market since the beginning of May when our provincial re-open plan began and the hopefulness & positivity we see in our province is reflected in both buyers & sellers appetite to make a move in real estate!
Here’s a snapshot of what happened in our market in May:
* Sales in Regina held in May at 293 vs 289 in April, but still down from 339 sales YTD.
* The number of new listings in May 2020 rose dramatically to 644 from 286 new listings in April this year, but more on par with new listing numbers from a year ago.
* Homes in Regina stayed on the market an average of 66.3 days in May—up just slightly from 62.7 days in April (and from 61 days a year ago).
* Average home prices in Regina went from $287,925 in April to $294,390 in May (an increase of 2.2%).
* The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI)—a more accurate measure of house price trends—is up 3.7% from $267,200 to $271,300. Year-to-date, the median home price in Regina was $286,735 which is essentially unchanged from the $286,690 price, from the same time last year.
So what does all of that mean to you? In a nutshell, we have thankfully not seen any measurable effect of a COVID-19 world in regards to our local real estate market….so far so good!
The National picture may be different because every province is in a different situation right now and of course, we have all heard about the controversial decision CMHC has made in regards to new mortgage rules…here is an excerpt from our SRA Market media update in reference to that topic:
“Saskatchewan’s market strength calls into question CMHC’s recent projections about the province’s real estate market, and CMHC’s Housing Market Outlook ignores the local nature of real estate. For instance, Saskatoon and Regina account for over 50% of the sales in the province, and these two markets alone can have a significant impact on the province’s overall performance. In addition, even at the height of the province’s state of emergency, year-to-date (YTD) sales in North Battleford, Estevan, and Yorkton were up more than 10% from last year, and YTD prices in several markets were also up.
“I hear more frequently that our members are receiving multiple offers”. So while the real estate sector in the province has been hit by COVID and continues to feel its effects, the outlook isn’t nearly as grim as some are making it out to be, and we’re already starting to see signs of recovery going into summer. “As the province continues to open up and our members take action to protect public safety,” says Yochim, “I expect markets to make a strong recovery.”
“SASKATCHEWAN REAL ESTATE MARKETS FARE BETTER THAN EXPECTED: poised to help boost provincial economy”
The April market stats are out and as the headline reads, the numbers are “better than expected” and actually mirror exactly what we have experienced personally in our business.
We have seen less activity in the market in April, more so on the selling side than buying, and most transactions were necessary rather than discretionary. But because there were less listings, we saw homes selling quickly and prices holding.
The National picture may be different because every province is in a different situation right now but we knew that the effects of a COVID world on real estate in Regina, and the province as a whole, would be directly related to the time it took to re-open our economy…so far so good!
Here’s a snapshot of what happened in our market in April:
* Sales in Regina were down 50.2%, going from 289 in April 2019 to 144 in April 2020
* The number of new listings in April 2020 fell significantly from the number last year. In Regina, new listings fell 50.8%, going from 581 to 286
* Active listings also fell 17.0% in Regina (down from 1,457 to 1,209), which just means that some sellers chose to remove themselves from the market in this time of COVID.
* Homes in Regina stayed on the market an average of 62 days in April—up a modest 1.6% from 61 days last year.
* Median home prices in Regina went from $283,000 to $287,925 (an increase of 1.7%) and were approximately 1.8% below the 5-year average median price.
* The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI)—which is considered a more accurate measure of house price trends—was down just 0.2% from $271,300 to $271,100, year to year.
For the full SRA media release with all the provincial stats for April check out the link below:
There's a lot to do to get ready to list your home so we're helping you out with a guide to get you started!
Check out our prvious blog with part 1 of 2 for the whole list of to-do's....if you have a month or more to prepare, you can take one item per day to prepare your home for sale!
1: Repair What You’ve Been Avoiding
We all have that list of “I really need to do that” repairs and fixes. Now’s the time to get to it, including fixing the leaky faucet, the picture holes in the wall, etc. and get it done once and for all. If you aren’t handy yourself, bring in a handyman to take care of it (we know some good ones, we can help).
2: Have Your Windows Cleaned
We know, you probably don’t even think about cleaning your windows, but rain, snow and blowing dust & dirt(this the prairies after all) can really make your windows dirty. We like Men in Kilts for affordable window cleaning.
3: Focus on the Front Yard
Curb appeal matters and will significantly impact people’s first impression of your house. Stand on your street and take in your front yard: what do you see? At a minimum, clean the scuff marks off the front door and touch-up the chipped paint or give it a fresh coat. And if your front door has seen better days, consider investing in a new one. If you have a front porch, make it look inviting (and not just a receptacle for more of your stuff). Invest in some seasonal plants. Clean up the garden. A lot of Buyers will see your home at night, so make sure that your outdoor lighting is showing off your home.
4: Don’t Ignore Your Backyard
What you can accomplish in the back yard will, of course, depend on what time of year you sell. If you’re selling in the near future(Spring/Summer) clean up the gardens, trim the trees, cut the grass, stain the deck and clean the patio furniture and BBQ. If it’s winter: do your best to make it look presentable. If you have a garage: tidy it up and fix any peeling paint and the sagging roof.
5: Have your Carpets Cleaned
Unless your carpets are brand new, you’ll want to have them steam cleaned (or do it yourself). You’ll be amazed at what a difference it makes.
6: Don’t Forget About the Floors
If your floors are scratched, there are some great products out there to make them look almost-brand-new. And just make sure you do a good deep clean of the surface & don’t forget those corners!
7: Tackle the Walls and Doors
If your walls and doors are scuffed, buy some Magic Erasers and go to town. You’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner. If your art needs an update, now’s the time to do it too.
8: The Final Clean
By now you’re probably exhausted..sorry about that. While you can do this final step yourself, if your budget allows bring in professional cleaners who will make sure to clean all the spots you don’t get to: the baseboards, inside the lights, the fridge, etc. A clean home matters to potential buyers….it just does!
9: Make Plans for the Kids and Pets
We love them all but we want buyers to see themselves living in the space so now is the time to stow the toys and finger painting artwork and have a plan to tuck it all away easily before showings.
10: Make Your Home Smell Good
If you’re a dog owner, freshen up the couches, beds and surfaces where the dog sleeps. You may not smell Fido anymore, but trust us Buyers will. If you a cat, make sure the litter box is inconspicuous and cleaned regularly so it’s all fresh!
If you have diffusers they are great to make everything smell great but avoid strong air fresheners…it makes it seem like you’re trying to hide something!
11: The Final Once-Over
You’ve worked hard, to get ready to list, now take one last look and see if there is anything that would distract a buyer? Take one final walk through all the rooms and adjust as necessary. Now you’re set & ready to go!
If you need a hand to figure out what projects you need to take on to get the best result in your home sale, we are here to help. Just ask!
We know that there is a lag time between when you start thinking about selling your home and when you actually start the process. There's a lot to do to get ready to list your home so we're helping you out with a room by room guide to get you started!
It's already overwhelming enough so we're breaking the to-do list into two parts for you. Here is Part One to start the ball rolling.....
1: Change Light Bulbs and Update Light Fixtures
It’s easy to forget about all the bulbs that have burned out over the years, but you want your home to be as bright as possible. Lighting makes an incredible difference in how a home looks to potential Buyers. If you have dated light fixtures, make a quick trip to Home Depot or one of our great local lighting stores and pick up some modern…budget friendly… ones to update your space!
2: Dig Out all that Paperwork
Buyers and agents are going to ask a lot of questions, so start digging out the paperwork now: utility bills, renovation details, warranties, survey certificate if you have, floor-plans and rental contracts for things like your water heater & water softener and alarm system.
3: Pick up Boxes or Containers
A big part of preparing to make a move involves reducing clutter, and starting that process before you list your home is a great place to start! Having a supply of those boxes and containers handy allows you to start the process room by room anytime you have some time to spare. PS: Remember to mark the boxes with the room those items go back to after the move.
If you’re going need to remove a lot of stuff out of your house for the sale, consider renting a storage pup – you fill it up at your house, it gets hauled away, stored and delivered to your new home when you move in!
4: Make an Extra Set of Keys
We will need a set of keys for the lockbox so agents have access your home for showings, so you’ll need to get an extra set cut which you can do at any hardware store.
5: Tackle The Bathrooms
Remove all the toiletries you have on display and tuck in a cabinet (we know it’s nice to have them handy but they don’t look great in photos or add value to your space). Make a quick stop at Winners for some new white towels and bath mat (and no, you don’t get to use them). If your toilet paper holder and towel rack/hooks could use refresh consider updating those as well! A freshened up bathroom goes along a way when buyers are viewing your home!
6: Declutter the Kitchen
The kitchen is one of the rooms Buyers are most attracted to so if you’re looking to skip a room, this shouldn’t be it. Remove your blender/toaster/bread machine from the counters – you want the counters to be as clear as possible. Clean inside all the cupboards and eliminate anything you don’t use and don’t want o move! You want your cupboards and pantry to look spacious and organized. Clean inside the fridge (and remove the magnets, photos and reminders from the front). And now is the time to clean your oven! Yes people do look! When it comes time for photos, consider investing in some fresh flowers and a beautiful bowl with some fresh fruit in it. Those are things that do look great in pics!
7: Next up: The Bedrooms
The bedrooms should be inviting, and that means more cleaning and decluttering. If you don’t already have one, invest in a neutral-coloured duvet cover and some new pillows/cushions. Th good news is those go with you! Straighten the bookshelves, remove some of the personal photos(it doesn’t have to be all of them…this is still your home for now), minimize knick-knacks and personal grooming products.
Clean out the closets and if you have a large dresser or armoire that doesn’t really fit into the space, consider removing in prep fr sale…it will make the space look larger.
8: Tackle The Living Room
Clean the sofa and chairs and invest in some new throw pillows. …on that stop to Winners!
Take a photo of the space and remove any clutter that you see! Of possible tuck any & hide the wires from your TV/stereo/speakers.
9: Make Your Dining Room Look Like a Place People actually Eat
Remove the kids’ homework and the piles of stuff that have accumulated on the dining room table and add a simple table centre ….think flowers or the bowl of fruit!
10: De-clutter, Organize and Clean the Basement
Ok so this is likely going to take more than one day so you may need to plan room by room. Whether your basement is finished or just a storage area for extra stuff you never look at, now is the time! You’ll need to invest the time to make it look as spacious and clean as possible….and making it smell nice is a good thing too! You will have to do this before you move anyway so it’s a good investment of your time to do it in preparation for selling your home!
11: Tackle the Closets and Storage Areas
No you can’t just take all of the stuff off counters and shelves and stuff them in closets….because buyers open closets too! The last thing you want is for Buyers to think there isn’t enough storage in your home, so take the time to pack away what you don’t need in the immediate future. Store, Toss or Donate!
12: The Entrance - First Impressions Count!
Remember that most Buyers will have an immediate emotional reaction to your home so what they experience at the entrance is very important…with inside & outside! You want your entrance to be clean, de-cluttered and inviting. Make sure that your front steps are clean, your light and door handle is clean and having a new inviting door mat is a nice touch as well!
Follow the Store, Toss or Donate rule when it comes to your front entry & closet….eliminate all unnecessary coats, shoes & boots and have nice clean doormat inside as well!
13: Minimize the Things That Make Your Home Yours
Ouch, we know that one is tough. You want your house or condo to appeal to as many Buyers as possible, and that will only happen if they can picture their own stuff in your house. Minimize the family photos, collections & souvenirs from your travels. Here’s a great tip….walk through every room in your house and pretend you’re a Buyer. If what you see identifies you & your life, remove it.
14: Paint Touch-ups and Re-painting
A fresh coat of neutral paint is one of the cheapest ways to freshen up your home. Bold colours might be your jam but that may also just be a turn-off to some Buyers, so to appeal to the most people possible take the time to re-paint that red bedroom and blue bathroom. Don’t forget about baseboards and ceilings – they might need a touch-up too.
Well that will give you a good start on your projects....watch for Part Two of our to-do list coming soon!
If you have specific questions about your property and what you may need to do to in preparation for sale, don't hesitate to ask! We're here to help.
If you’re buying a house and trying to decide if you should have a home inspection done, we can make it really easy for you – the short answer is YES….in almost every single situation.
In some cases, a buyer will forgo a home inspection in order to make their offer more appealing to the seller, but that is a big gamble. You might get the house, but you might also end up with unexpected costly issues to deal with.
When you don’t have a home inspection you’re relying on the seller to disclose everything that may be wrong with the house and that’s risky because some sellers just won’t do it, while others genuinely may not know.
Having an impartial expert come in and evaluate the house is the best way to get an honest, informed opinion.
And having said that, getting a home inspection is not a guarantee that you’ll uncover every single problem.
1. What a Home Inspection IS:
When you request a home inspection as a buyer, there are 3 things you’re hoping to accomplish:
Identify any major problems with the house and get an idea of what’s involved in remedying those major issues. In all likelihood you are not buying a new house…..you’re buying a house that may have been built a half century ago and renovated periodically over time. Very few homes are in perfect condition and you need to know what to anticipate in the future.
This is an introduction to your future home so that you know how to maintain it. If you’re a First Time Home Buyer this will be especially important for you – owning a house can be a lot of work and properly maintaining it is the best way to protect your investment.
One of the biggest benefits of a home inspection is that it prepares you for the house – what needs to be fixed immediately, in 2 years, in 5 years, etc. Most home inspectors spend the time to give you important maintenance tips (like telling you where the water main shut off valve is located). Your home inspector will provide you a written summary of their inspection & a guide full of useful information about caring for your home.
2. What a Home Inspection IS NOT:
Home inspectors conduct visual inspections – they don’t look behind the walls and under the floors (and yes, sometimes strange things are happening there). They are generally specialists in all areas and often recommend further inspections, when they suspect there could other issues. Home inspectors are not generally looking for compliance with the building codes beyond obvious things like electrical or proper railings, etc.
The Home Inspection Process
A home inspection for most houses takes about 3 hours, depending on the size, age and condition of the home. The inspector will go through the house on their own, room by room ,and look for major issues; they will also assess the attic, the roof and the home’s exterior too. They’ll take photos along the way which will form part of the written report you will receive after the inspection.
What Happens if you Uncover Some issues?
Sometimes, home inspections uncover unexpected stuff – for example, shingles that needs replacing, electrical wiring that needs to updated or a sewer line that requires cleaning. …or worse occasionally. You may need to decide if you want to take on the major fixes or walk away from the house. And we may need to revisit the price accepted on your offer. In most cases, the big issues are already known and have been factored into the asking price, but in some situations, you may need to go back to the Seller and re-negotiate the price based on what you now know. Although a home inspection should not be used as a tool for renegotiating price or to nickel and dime the little stuff that you uncover.
As REALTORS®, our job his to help you navigate that process!
Just a final note on the process! Home inspection companies will generally require homebuyers to sign a waiver of liability, in their standard contracts, clearly indicating the limitations of the inspection. If something is missed, generally the only remedy is a refund of the cost of the inspection.
We work regularly with a number of great qualified home inspectors in Regina and can refer you to one that is right for you!
Here is a list of certified home inspectors in the YQR area:
Questions about the YQR market? Here’s what you need to know now!
Mounting job losses and concern about how a COVID-19 world is going to affect the economy has many wondering if property values will drop – along with their net worth.
It is reasonable to assume that demand for homes may be reduced in the short term as buyers are concerned about their employment status and financial stability, although there is also a segment of buyers whose jobs are secure and salaries are protected so their plans to move forward with a purchase are relatively unchanged.
We are still seeing activity in the Regina from both buyers & sellers although fo rthe most part those sales & purchases are necessary rather than discretionary.
So what will the effects of all of this really be? That is still yet to be determined and we will be watching and updating you with market activity and stats.
One thing we can count on is that the housing sector likely won’t see the typical spring bounce we would normally expect.
So what does this all mean to you? As a homeowner... or as a buyer, what should you be doing now?
First of all, Don't Panic. Like any asset, the only time you should be concerned about the current valuation of your home is if you want to sell it.
If you are considering buying a property in the near future & are employed you can start the process of mortgage pre-approval and get a budget set out for your house hunting process. Once that is done you are set to hit ground running!
If you are looking to purchase new or to refinance your current property, ask your employer for verification of your job status. Lenders are more likely to support your situation in both a future purchase and also in discussing refinancing options, if they know that a steady stream of income is expected.
Lenders are busy working as homeowners explore financial options to offer themselves some breathing room during this period of uncertainty.
These are stressful times, and managing your financial situation comes down to what is right for you. There’s no one solution for all, so explore your options.
If you have questions about the market and how it will you affect you specifically, we are here to help! Feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org
Canada’s mortgage rates are creeping up -- even though the country’s central bank has slashed borrowing costs to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
“That’s due to the enormous pressure Canadian banks face amid disruptions caused by the outbreak, said Sherry Cooper, chief economist at Dominion Lending Centres.
The costs of funds for banks is skyrocketing and bank earnings are plunging, Cooper told Bloomberg Monday.“
“Every single business they have ever loaned to is subject to a massive decline in revenues, and therefore their own revenues are going down because nobody is taking out new business with banks except to extend debt.”
If you want to understand more about mortgage rates, how they work & the current volatility of those rates check out this video from Dustan Woodhouse - AMP Accredited Mortgage Professional:
Now for the GOOD NEWS & We’ll take any bit of positive news we can get right now!
There is some optimism as far as future job security is concerned as although there has been an increase in jobless claims, Canadian consumers are largely confident in their job security.
Just 13% of respondents to the Canadian Confidence Index said they were worried about losing their job, slightly up on the previous week, but below record highs.
❓So what does this mean to you? If you are thinking about buying a home in the near future you should be taking the time now to get your mortgage pre-approval and get your rate locked in now for 120 days!
Then when the time is right you are ready to go!
If you have questions or need a a referral to a lender or mortgage broker, feel free to contact us!
Mind Management may just be as important as hand washing right now as we are all just trying to find normal while self-isolating and working from home. Check out these tips to help you manage anxiety & to help promote postive metal health......we hope you find these tips helpful!
Protect your mind & your attitude by taking just 5 minutes in the morning and journalling…..we find that writing down even just 5 things that you are grateful for helps to start your day off right! Now's the time to follow pages that provide positive thoughts and articles everyday ...we can't possibly get too much of that right now! Check out one like Marc and Angel Hack Life for daily inspriration.
Try to maintain normal sleep patterns and daily schedules as much as possible. When we can maintain some of our regular habits, it’s helps us to feel as normal as possible. If you are having trouble sleeping there are a number Apps like "Calm" that be can be helpful.
Limit your exposure to news and social media if you find it all overwhelming….and who doesn’t honestly! It’s good to be informed of course, but too much information can cause undue anxiety & fear. Consider turning off your notifications for the time being!
Make time for exercise of some kind every day…even if it’s just a walk around the block to get fresh air. Most gyms are now providing online training so check with yours & there are loads of full length videos available on YouTube so you can work out at home. Active by PopSugar Fitness has provided a free link to al of their workouts....from beginner to advanced, with or without equipment and all types and duration options!
Lighten up on what you watch….comedies and even mindless TV shows are ok right now to give your mind a break. There are so many steaming options available with loads of content & even some our old favourites on syndicated TV like Friends, Big Bang Theory & Rules of Engagement are on daily marathons right now!
Stay in touch with friends and family "virtually" or by phone just to check in ….both for them and you! We may be self-isolating but we don’t have to feel isolated because we have the gift of technology that allows us to easily connect!
Be kind to yourself…and others ….everyone deals with things differently! And you know what, if you don’t feel like keeping up with some things right now it’s ok…we’re all in the same boat and we will all get through this together!
We’re here, working at home for the time being, and we’re always available if you have questions about what’s happening in Regina's real estate market so feel free to connect with us ….we’re happy to hear from you!
If you are thinking of buying a home for the first time or if you have been out of the market for awhile, there are a lot of things to consider before you start home shopping!
Here is our list of to-do’s to get the process started:
Get pre-approved and decide on budget!
Book an appointment with your lender or mortgage broker to discuss your plans before you even start seriously viewing properties. There is nothing worse than falling in love with a house only to find out that it doesn’t fit your budget.
Knowing the price point of properties you are pre-approved for helps us to narrow the search so we are showing you homes that will fall into the right range.
Your lender will need your employment/salary info and the full picture of your financial situation so they can best advise you as far as price range. Having all of the paper work done in advance will save you time & make the final approval process run more smoothly when it comes time for an offer. They will also guide you as far as the amount of your down payment and what is required for your mortgage.
Know the Costs Involved
There is more to consider than just the purchase price of a home. You need to factor in property taxes, utilities, and condo fees where applicable. Your monthly costs are important to know to determine not just how much you can afford, meaning your pre-approved budget, but how much you are comfortable allocating to home expenses.
There are also costs that go along with making the purchase including your home inspections, legal fees, and land titles transfer fees and the deposit portion of your down payment. With the possible exception of property taxes depending on how you pay those, these expenses are all out of pocket, meaning you have to have the cash accessible as they can’t be rolled into your mortgage.
There are a number of great apps that can help you calculate those expenses so you have an idea of the numbers in advance.
Create your “wants & needs” list
Make a list of what things you want in your next home and what areas appeal to you. Do you love entertaining and the space must have a gourmet kitchen & open concept living spaces? Do you have school age children and the school district is of the utmost importance? Do you have pets and a fenced yard or access to park space/walking paths is a must? Is it number of bedrooms/bathrooms that are most important….or a master bedroom with separate ensuite bath perhaps? Do you want to be able to walk or bike to work so proximity is a priority? Whatever the things are that matter to you most are the starting point for the house hunting process and that all helps us to choose the best possibilities to begin with. Your time is valuable so we ant to be sure that we are choosing the best houses to fit your wants and needs. Of course some compromise is inevitable but we want to help you find the home that checks off the most boxes!
Why Hire a Realtor®?
Because we understand the local market and have the tools and knowledge to guide you through the process, from the first home viewing to the day you take possession of your new home. We negotiate with the sellers agent on your behalf and liaison with your lender, lawyer, home inspectors, appraisers etc and make your home purchase as seamless as possible for you. Simply put we are your advocate!
If you are ready to start looking for your first home, your dream home or even just looking to make a change we are here to help you make the right move.
If you have questions about anything real estate, whether it’s buying, selling or looking to build a new home we have answers!
Hawkstone Village is a 2 storey townhouse condominium complex located in Regina's NW development, Hawkstone, close to schools, shopping and services. Hawkstone Village, is a partnership project with Varsity & Gilroy Homes and has the benefit of a builder/developer team with over 30 years’ experience in custom home building in Regina. They have a solid reputation for the quality of their product, and it shows in this project! We, the W2 Team, are happy to represent this project.
The 1023 sq ft 2 storey townhouses, with undeveloped basement space, are now starting at $240,000 (including GST). You can customize your own unit with a choice of preset colour combination & upgrade options based on your personal taste and budget, and If you require a quick possession we have designed some great units that are move-in ready!
You can check out the available move-in ready listings linked below:
The 2 bedroom, 1.5 bath units have great standard finishes including carpet & linoleum (upgrade options for laminate & tile), shaker style cabinets in 3 colours, 2 choices of lighting packages, blinds package included,a $3200 appliance credit so ou can choose your own, as well as upgrade options for central air conditioning & granite countertops.
One electrified parking stall is included with the option to purchase a 2nd stall.
The Hawkstone Village show suite is located at 3469 Elgaard Drive, facing Rochdale Boulevard, weekends 1-5PM or you can call to schedule an appointment for viewing!
There are a lot of moving parts in the purchase of a home and assembling a good team that you are happy working with is really important! Of course finding an agent to work with to help you find that home is the first thing you may think about but the “team” also consists of a Mortgage Broker, Home inspector and a real estate Lawyer. We can help guide you through that process and refer you to great qualified people in those industries as well, and we will talk about that in Part II of this blog.
So first, choosing your real estate agent! The whole point of working with a real estate agent is to have a knowledgeable professional represent your interests throughout the home-buying process, from identifying possible homes to closing the deal. So you want to find an agent who has your priorities and best interests at heart.
What things should you consider when you are choosing your agent?
Compatibility: Is the agent someone you would enjoy working with? You’re not looking for a new best friend, but you’ll spend a lot of time with your agent as you view homes, discuss strategy, fill out paperwork, and the myriad of other activities involved in finding & buying the right …or “right for now” home.
Understanding: It’s important that your agent “gets” what you’re looking for in a home. Otherwise, you’ll both waste your time looking at properties that aren’t a good fit for you…that being said it usually takes looking at a few homes to narrow down your preferences and really get a feel for what you are liking…or not!
Availability: Look for an agent who’ll work with your schedule. You don’t want to find yourself missing opportunities because you can never find a common time to meet. That is one of the benefits we offer as a team….sometimes you get both of us but if one isn’t available the other one is. We like to say you get 2 for 1 when you choose the W2 team!
Trustworthiness: Your agent has what we call a “fiduciary duty” to you; that means your relationship is based on trust and confidence. You need to work with someone you trust to deal with you fairly, to keep your confidential information….well confidential. And to represent you with both honesty and integrity...that should go without saying.
We would also add to this list that you should feel that your agent will work well in communicating with both the seller of a property when required and the seller’s agent through the process of negotiating a purchase on your behalf. Having good communication skills and a positive working relationship with all parties involved will be helpful in producing a good end result!
We thoroughly enjoy the process of working with our clients to find the perfect home and we want them to know that we are there to help no matter how long it takes or how many houses we need to see until we find the right one. That’s what you need to feel when you choose your agent!
If you are starting the process of looking for a home or condo in the Regina area, and have questions, whether it is new or resale, we are here to help you make the right move.
Here are some tips to help you prepare your home for sale:
Setting the right price and making a great first impression are essential in attracting buyers, but what else should you be doing to prepare for selling your home? Here are some great tips to give you the best chance at selling more quickly and with the best result!
1. Decide on a listing date and make a plan of attack:
Decide when you would like to have your house on the market and then make a list of things that need to be done prior to listing (we have listed some of those items below). Then set a reasonable time to complete those tasks! Let your REALTOR® know what your goal date is and they can help keep you on track by checking in on progress!
2. Have a second set of eyes & an objective opinion:
You know that project that has never been quite completed….the paint that was never touched up? We have a tendency to overlook imperfections in our own homes because we are so used to seeing them every day.
However, prospective buyers will see every little thing that needs to be done! Invite a friend or your REALTOR® over and have them give you honest & objective feedback about your house – inside and out. They may notice things you've never even thought of. Those items will become your to-do list before listing your house.
Remember, you want buyers to focus on all the great features of your home and not the little things that are un-done.
3. Treat your home like an asset:
Selling your home can be a very emotional process and you need to be fully committed to selling. Once you’ve decided you’re all in, start thinking of your home as an asset....a business transaction.
We understand how important your home is to you, and we are here to make sure you stay on track with your goal!
Part of the business of selling also means working to accommodate showings. We know, it's not always convenient to show your home, but you will want to work around the schedule of potential buyers, as much as possible.
Remember, the ultimate goal is to have as few showings as possible! In a perfect world, one of those first prospective buyers will put in an offer so you sell quickly. All of the work and preparation you do in advance of listing & showings, will pay off!
Have you seen those pictures of living rooms in magazines…..they look fantastic, don't they? There's a couch, a chair, a couple of tables, window treatments, and just minimal décor items on tables and the walls.
Now take a look around your home. It might be your living room or your bedroom… how much stuff does your space have in it compared to the picture in the magazine? We recommend taking photos on your phone and seeing what you see theough that persepective …we get so used to living in our space we don’t realize what it really looks like to others.
We’re not saying your home needs to look like a show home, but rather the premise is to simplify. You want to showcase your house, not your stuff.
For every piece of furniture, ask yourself if it adds to the overall feeling over your home or not. If it doesn't, eliminate it if possible. Think of it as pre-move purging....everything in your home is being removed at some point anyway, so you're really just getting a head start.
Now is the time to consider a garage sale or any of the online apps that can help you sell those items before listing your home!
5. To Stage or not to Stage:
There's a good chance that your furniture has been arranged the same way for a long time. And that's fine – it could absolutely be the best way to showcase your home. But there might be a different way to style your house that you've never thought of.
If you have rooms that don’t seem to have a defined purpose, give them one….home office, home gym etc. There are lots of great local professionals who can come in a for a few hours and give you a plan using your own things, and eliminating those items that don’t service a purpose.
When it comes to "staging" for showings, think of fresh white towels and throw rugs in your bathrooms. Keep them in the closet, and when you have a showing throw your old ones in the hamper and put the new ones out. Consider putting fresh flowers out as well. We know people aren’t buying your things but a home that shows well makes a difference to a potential buyer….it really does!!
Freshly painted rooms look fresh & clean. Every little mark or scratch that have added up over the years will disappear, and your walls will once again look like new. Stick to neutral colors that have mass appeal!
Do you have kids who have their bedrooms painted with bold crazy colors? Yes, unfortunately it’s time for those colours to go.
Remember this is not just your home anymore, it's an asset… and even though paint is the easiest thing to change, potential buyers are mentally keeping track of the things they will need to do when they move in, and sometimes they just can’t look past peacock blue….no matter how much you love it!
Also – while you're painting, consider different window treatments in some of the main rooms. They don't need to be expensive, even nice 2″ white blinds will go a long way to freshen up a room.
7. Curb Appeal Matters:
You only get one shot at a first impression! Have you ever been excited to see a home based on photos but the reality when you pull up in front is completely different? The lawn doesn’t look great, the paint on the trim is peeling, siding is missing etc. That first impression sets the tone for what is beyond the front door, so it really does matter! Take the time to touch up the trim, paint the front door, garage door and stain the deck & fence if necessary, replace sod, add flowers to the front step, get fresh mulch for flower beds, and wash the windows…the view from the inside out matters as well. It’s worth taking the time on a couple of weekends to take care of the details outside because that’s what creates interest to see the inside! Like it or not people really do judge a book by its’ cover.
8. Plan for showing requests:
When that text comes for a showing, we know it is both exciting and anxiety causing! It seems like the timing is always terrible….your house is a mess, and you only have an hour to make it presentable and get the family out. We get it! This is why you need to have a plan! At this point, hopefully you've already de-cluttered and everything should have a place to get it out of site. For you own sanity, furniture and decor should be kept staged as much as possible at all times now…we know sometimes that is easier said than done but having a goal is a good thing! So now what is left to do? Before you go to bed at night or leave for work in the morning…….
- Clean all dishes and put them away, or at least in the dishwasher!
- Make your beds…and throw those cute toss cushions on for effect
- Put all clothes in dressers, on hangers or in covered hampers. Try not to have clothes in the washer or dryer, those strangers in your house are likely to open the washer and dryer.
- Vacuum or swiffer your floors.
- Wipe down all counters, sinks and appliances.
- Have clean unused linens on hand. Keep them folded up in a chest or dresser, and pull them out to place in the kitchen and bathrooms when you have a showing scheduled.
- Make sure your home smells great always...it really has an impact on buyers!
- Turn on nice ambient music if you are home prior to showings.
- Tuck everything that isn’t pretty on the counters into a basket and under the sink in the kitchen and baths. 10. Plan to be out of the house about 30 minutes before the requested showing time ...and take Fido with you if possible! If an appointment is scheduled for 11:00am for example, prepare for them to be running 15 minutes ahead, or behind, and schedule accordingly. Allow 30 minutes for showings when planning your schedule.
Note: Just before listing, consider hiring professional cleaners to come in and do a complete deep clean and then you just have to do daily maintenance while the home is listed.
9. Price right from the start!:
When a house is first listed, it will have its highest level of interest during those first few weeks so it’s important to price strategically. Sellers often think they should start high and reduce if it doesn’t sell, but that can result in a slower sale, and sometimes for a lower price. Pricing too high can send a signal that you are not serious about selling.
When your home is new on the market you want to generate as much buzz and enthusiasm as possible.
If you follow the steps above, have great photos, and price appropriately, you will definitely get that buzz!
One last note:
Try to be flexible with showings and do your best to prepare for them and make them work! We know it’s not always convenient but remember the goal is to sell your home sooner than later.
If you have questions about the value of your home or the selling process in general, we are here to help! Contact us for more information at email@example.com
Ready to file your 2019 tax return? If you sold your home last year or are planning to sell in 2020, we want to make sure you understand the rules about reporting the sale of your home!
What are the tax rules about principal residences?
The new rules were introduced in October 2016 and they changed the reporting requirements concerning the sale of your principal residence.
Before 2016, if you sold your principal residence, you did not have to report the sale on your income tax return, but now it is a requirement.
What do I need to do as a homeowner?
The good news is that you still don’t have to pay capital gains taxes when you sell your principal residence (provided you’re a Canadian resident and otherwise satisfy certain requirements under the new rules). But now, you need to include some details about the sale of your home on your tax return.
You’ll need to provide the year you purchased your principal residence, address and sale price.
The form to use is included in your tax package (Schedule 3 of your tax return). There has also been a change to the way non-residents calculate the length of time they’ve owned their principal residence.
What is a principal residence?
According to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), a “principal residence” is any residence ordinarily inhabited by you or a family member in the applicable year.
There’s no need to live in the property for the entire year, and even short periods of time during the year (like vacations) can meet theh criteria. Your principal residence doesn’t even have to be in Canada, but only one dwelling can be a principal residence at a time, and you can decide which dwelling it will be.
If you sell a property that you haven’t designated as your principal residence, you must report half of any capital gains from the sale and pay tax on them.
So why are there new rules anyway?
The new rules were designed to close a loophole. In theory, the change to the way property owners calculate the number of years they owned a property should hypothetically reduce the number of foreign investors and "house-flippers" who previously avoided paying capital gains taxes on the sale of residential real estate by claiming their properties as their principal residences.
The reporting requirements also let the CRA monitor compliance with the rules, to ensure that only those entitled to the “PRE” Principal Residence Exemption, can use it.
What happens if I don’t report?
If you don’t, you may be liable for capital gains on the sale, plus late charges and interest. The penalty is $100 per month for each month you’re late, to a maximum of $8,000.
So the bottom line is, when you sell your principal residence you will need report it on your tax filing for that tax year.
Whether you’re buying or selling a home, it’s important to understand from the outset how professional representation can help you at every step of the process.
Buying or selling a home is a major financial (and emotional) undertaking and
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, while interesting, is only relevant in context in our local market. 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, any pertinent changes in pricing, as well as any addiotnal information we have about specific properties beyond the listing details.
The way to ensure you have that information is by enlisting the help of a REALTOR®.
Buying a Home:
As a buyer, there are many advantages to having a REALTOR® work with you:
We simplify the process of finding you the perfect place by matching up properties that fit with your criteria & arrange all property showings. 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 doesn't cost you, the buyer, anything to have a REALTOR® work on your behalf as buyer’s agent is compensated via a percentage of the seller’s brokerage commission.
Once we find the right property for you, we will develop a negotiation strategy based on our industry knowledge and experience, facilitate all the contracts and paperwork, as well as negotiate the purchase on your behalf including price, possession, inclusions & any conditions to the purchase.
We can recommend industry professionals, such as mortgage brokers, certified home inspectors, real estate lawyers, insurance agents, movers, & even proven contractors for any projects that need to be addressed. We will be with you through your home inspection and will help guide you through that process as well.
We also work closely with all parties involved in your home purchase & ensure that all documents are provided to your Lender & Lawyer.
Selling a Home:
When you're selling your home, you gain access to the most qualified buyers by being listed on the Multiple Listing Service. Whether you are buying or selling a home, MLS® is your best tool. By having your listing as part of the MLS® system you instantly have all of the REALTORS® in the city considering your property for their qualified buyers as well as national exposure to potential buyers relocating to the Regina area.
That is really the key....getting it in front of the highest number of people who are actively looking for a property with the same characteristics as yours, in your price range and neighbourhood.
We are your liaison with other local real estate agents to help promote your property & to work together to help affect a great end result for you!
One of the most important things we do is to help you price your home correctly through our experience and understanding of the market & comparable sales.
Great marketing of your property starts with professional photos & video tours. We will arrange that for you and we will help to advise you & give you our recommendations to ensure that your home & yard are photo ready and engaging to potential to buyers.
Because today's home buyers and sellers are so much better informed than in the past, our expertise and ability to communicate that, are becoming much more important. Our profession and the service we provide is evolving and we are becoming as much a "guide" through the process as a "salesperson".
We are your personal representative when you are buying or selling a home and we will be with you every step of the way!
We look forward to working with you & if you have questions about anything real estate, we are here to help! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Did you know that divorce ranks as life’s second most stressful event?
Decisions over what to do with the family home and who is going where, create some of the most challenging conversations between couples who are parting ways.
Beyond the emotional ties to a family home, shared real estate comes with its own legal issues that need to be sorted out before the dust can settle, and you can both move on. It’s certainly more complicated than simply dividing up the furniture, TV’s and wall art.
However, with 38% of all Canadian marriages ending in divorce, you’re not alone in this and there are industry experts, who have been there too and understand the emotions & the difficult decisions to be made.
We are here to help you navigate the process and answer all of the questions you may have, and while it will likely never be easy, we believe that working with a team who has experience will make it less challenging for you. Or ideally, that’s our goal for you!
We have years of experience working with clients going through this super stressful time in their lives and our job as REALTORS® is to be a neutral 3rd party with the clear & simple goal in mind, of helping you move on with your lives.
Through our video series, W2 Talks: Divorce & Real Estate, we’re tackling some of the questions you may have, with help from professionals in the field, including a mortgage broker & family law attorney.
The Legal Aspect:
No matter who you contact first in the process, ultimately the financial details of your separation will dictate how you move forward, so a formal separation agreement will be paramount. To discuss the legal aspect of Separation/Divorce and how that impacts your decisions regarding your family home & what options you have, we were joined by
Foster Weisgerber, McDougall Gauley LLP, who shares his thoughts on where you should start.
When it comes to deciding what your next move is, there will be lots of questions….can I purchase another property right away, what can I afford….where do I even start with financing a new home? It’s usually the case that one or both spouses want to keep the house, but the real question is if either one of them can afford to do so on their own.
Of course, there are lots of good reasons to keep the family home if possible:
You have children and want to maintain the stability of the home.
The house is in an ideal location and near your work, family, and friends.
The market conditions aren’t ideal to sell.
You bought the house recently and haven’t had time to build equity.
The financial feasibility of that decision will come down to your specific situation and that’s where your lawyer & mortgage broker will help to guide you.
Mortgage & Financing:
When the time comes, the sale of your home or the purchase of a new home requires teamwork between your REALTOR® and your mortgage expert/lender. To help answer those questions and more, we were joined by Candice Carr from TMG: The Mortgage Group.
Our Closing Thoughts
Whether we, as REALTORS®, are your first point of contact or somewhere later in your process, we will be here with you through every step to help find you a new space to call home …and we will help to ensure you have access to all of the information & guidance you need as you move onto a new chapter in your life!
If you have any questions, general or specific to your situation, and would like to reach out for more information regarding your options, you can confidentially contact any of us with the details below, and your information will remain private.
If you would like to reach out to Foster for more information:
We were recently discussing pricing with a client and heard the words we have heard many times before……
” I would like to list my home at this amount and we need this amount out of it".
If only it were that simple, we would make it happen exactly that way! Unfortunately our job is to be objective and to provide the best advice we can to help put you in the best position to sell your home, not just to tell you what you want to hear.
It's so important to work with a REALTOR® that you trust has your best interests in mind and then to work together as a team to get the best result for you!
The process of determining a list price for a property requires consideration of a number of factors including:
1. Recent comparables (Active listings but more importantly recent Sales)
2. Market conditions
3. Specific Location (Neighbourhood, Large lot, Backing Greenspace, Proximity to Schools & Services, etc)
4. Condition and Features of the property
While we are always 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 you 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.
Market Value is, simply put, what someone is willing to pay for a property 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.
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 or condo exactly like yours today and people move at all times of the year.
Of course, if you are a buyer today, there are lots of options for you!
If you need 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 as a buyer, we’re here to help!
For any questions feel free to email us at email@example.com
Karin & Jen
Your Proven #YQR Real Estate Team
JC REALTY REGINA || 2241 Albert Street || Regina, SK
Many home buyers decide whether they even want to look inside a house or pass on it based on curb appeal—the way the house looks on the outside is often an indication of what you may see on the inside, so curb appeal & first impressions matter when you are trying to sell your home. You can help ensure buyers want to view your property by spending a little bit of time working on its exterior appearance.
Remember that staging a home affects the entire property. While it is important to make the interior look larger by keeping things clean and simple, the outside of the home shouldn't be overlloked or neglected. Picking up trash and other debris from the yard, driveway, carport, and other areas surrounding the home gives visitors an idea about what to expect from the inside. Pressure washing the siding, deck, and concrete is an inexpensive investment that has the potential to add significant value to the sale price of a home.
Owners and potential buyers don't look at a house the same way; we as owners often can't see our home's faults because we are just used to the way it is.
When the time comes to sell, it's important to try and remove the emotional attachment you have to your home and remember that it is now a commodity that you want to sell for the highest price possible! We know that's sometimes easier said than done and we will be there to guide & support you through the eprocess!
Curb Appeal Exercise:
Many buyers will walk or drive by a listing before viewing so to see it from their eyes, the next time you drive up to your own house, make note of the following as if you are seeing it for the first time:
What is your first impression of the house and yard?
What are best exterior features of the house or lot?
What exterior features of the house can be improved?
Is the yard clean and tidy?
What could you do to make it more attractive…exterior lighting, plats on the step, new paint, clean the windows?
Take photos of your home's exterior….you will be amazed at how differently you see it from that perspective! What jumps out at you immediately…good or bad?
Clean and Repair:
Now is the time to make a list of the problem areas you discovered. Tackle any basic clean-up and repair items first, and then put some time into projects that make the yard more attractive.
Stow away garden implements and tools, extra pots and soil etc.
Pet Peeve….garbage bins visible from the street! If you can, make room on the side of your house, or even better, in the garage to store the bins.
Clean windows and gutters.
Pressure wash siding and decks, driveways and exterior lights to freshen them up after winter.
Edge sidewalks and remove vegetation(ie weeds) growing between concrete or bricks.
Mow the lawn and get rid of weeds.
Trim tree limbs near, or touching your home's roofline.
Don't Forget the Rear View (So to Speak!):
A backyard oasis that doesn’t require a lot of work from a potential buyer is a big plus!
Evening Curb Appeal:
Do your curb appeal exercise again at dusk, because many potential buyers drive by houses in the evening.
One quick way to improve evening curb appeal is with lighting:
Low-voltage or solar lighting along your driveway and sidewalks and near important landscaping elements adds great curb appeal.
If it’s been a long time since light fixtures and exterior door hardware have been changed, update the lighting & door handles at your front and back doors.
Make the First Impression Count:
Some buyers can't visualize changes and often won't take a second look at a house if the first look doesn't appeal to them. Thinking like a buyer before listing can entice more people to look at your home and can also help you sell the house faster and closer to the price you want.
There are simple changes you can make that will give you a lot of bang for your buck....consider it exterior staging!
A fresh exterior with clean or freshly painted window trim, a new or newly painted exterior door makes a huge difference. Choose color schemes that are contemporary but also have mass appeal!
If you can't justify the cost of a new door, consider replacing standard door hardware with something more modern & attractive.
Add a new porch light & new garage lights if budget allows.
Add a pop of colour and instant curb appeal by adding some pretty plant pots to your front step or perennials to your front garden beds!
And finally take photos of the Summer landscape so you have them for listing in the Fall & Winter!
If you have questions about selling your home, we are here to help you navigate the process every step of the way! Contact us for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org
Jen & Karin
Your Proven Regina Real Estate Team ...helping you make the right move!
The New Year brings thoughts of change and whether you are purchasing a new home that requires extensive renovations or you just have a room in your existing home that could use an update, good planning helps to keep you focused and may also help you avoid costly mistakes. Yes we have all likely purchased that piece of furniture because it was fabulous and we had to have it….only to find it was not really comfortable or really didn’t fit in the room! Oops ;-)
This article from Houzz has some great tips to help you in the process and might just inspire you to action!
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