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!


~ Karin & Jen 

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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.


~  Karin & Jen




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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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.  
  3. 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:

INTERNACHI Certified Home Inspectors


Of course if you have any questions about the process of buying a home, feel free to reach out to us.  We’re here to help! 


~ Karin & Jen


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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  info@w2realtyteam.com




Stay safe & healthy!


~ Karin & Jen 

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We know you’re out walking Fido more often than ever right now and that means dodging puddles and coming home with wet or muddy feet...both of you perhaps! Wink

And then there’s just the normal doggy self-care required occasionally to get that pup looking & smelling great! 


So if you’re thinking about adding a pet wash station to your home renovation or new home design, check out these 5 great design tips! 


PS  Double Duty - you can use a pet wash station for cleaning dirty golf clubs, gardening tools and even the kids after a busy day of playing in puddles too!  Win win! 



  • Incorporate the washing station into the mudroom. Mudrooms are a very popular spot for dog wash stations. You normally enter the house from the back or side door, so their muddy paws never have to make it into the rest of the house.


  • Include a handheld shower or sprayer. Not only will it help you get your dog's entire body nice and clean, but it will also let you to do a quick paws-only wash.


  • Be prepared for the big shake. Anyone who has ever washed dogs knows that afterward they shake off the water with enthusiasm and get the entire area wet (including the person doing the washing). Having a tile surround and floor that can stand up to water will keep the big shake from damaging drywall and floors. If your dog is the type that runs around the house in crazy circles after a bath, we recommend having a door that you can close on your laundry or mudroom until Sparky finishes the big shake! Having towel storage handy is also a great idea! 


  • Go bigger with the drain. A 3-inch drain is recommended in a pet washing station. It will handle dog hair better than the standard 1½- to 2-inch shower drain. Having a hair filter over the drain is also a great idea! 


  • Consider an elevated dog bath for smaller pets. It will be easier on your back and knees in the long run, as long as your dog is willing and able to jump into it, or you don't have a problem lifting your pet into place.

We have great working reltionships with local renovation teams & custom home builders in Regina, so don't hesitate to reach out if you are looking for a referral for your next project or build! 




As always stay safe & well!  


~ Karin & Jen 

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We know you’re out walking Fido more often than ever right now and that means dodging puddles and coming home with wet or muddy feet...both of you perhaps! Wink

And then there’s just the normal doggy self-care required occasionally to get that pup looking & smelling great! 


So if you’re thinking about adding a pet wash station to your home renovation or new home design, check out these 5 great design tips! 


PS  Double Duty - you can use a pet wash station for cleaning dirty golf clubs, gardening tools and even the kids after a busy day of playing in puddles too!  Win win! 



  • Incorporate the washing station into the mudroom. Mudrooms are a very popular spot for dog wash stations. You normally enter the house from the back or side door, so their muddy paws never have to make it into the rest of the house.


  • Include a handheld shower or sprayer. Not only will it help you get your dog's entire body nice and clean, but it will also let you to do a quick paws-only wash.


  • Be prepared for the big shake. Anyone who has ever washed dogs knows that afterward they shake off the water with enthusiasm and get the entire area wet (including the person doing the washing). Having a tile surround and floor that can stand up to water will keep the big shake from damaging drywall and floors. If your dog is the type that runs around the house in crazy circles after a bath, we recommend having a door that you can close on your laundry or mudroom until Sparky finishes the big shake! Having towel storage handy is also a great idea! 


  • Go bigger with the drain. A 3-inch drain is recommended in a pet washing station. It will handle dog hair better than the standard 1½- to 2-inch shower drain. Having a hair filter over the drain is also a great idea! 


  • Consider an elevated dog bath for smaller pets. It will be easier on your back and knees in the long run, as long as your dog is willing and able to jump into it, or you don't have a problem lifting your pet into place.

We have great working reltionships with local renovation teams & custom home builders in Regina, so don't hesitate to reach out if you are looking for a referral for your next project or build! 




As always stay safe & well!  


~ Karin & Jen 

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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!

Email: info@w2realtyteam.com


~ Karin & Jen
 
"Your Proven Regina Real Estate Team" 
 
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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.  


Here is a link to CRA and information on:

Reporting the Sale of Your Principal Residence



Of course, we recommend you consult an income tax expert to ensure you follow the proper procedures and receive advice based on your specific situation.




We hope you find this information helpful! 



~ Karin & Jen

 

Your Proven YQR Real Estate Team



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