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! This post covers outdoor projects but we also 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 this Fall, here is some inspiration:
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 and it sets those 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, Fall inspiration is everywhere!
Make sure to clean up your lawn, planters & garden areas of leaves & debris.
If you are planning a move before Spring next year, remove anything you will want to take with you before it gets frozen into the ground....for example your fire pit, outdoor furniture, play structures etc.
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! We don't always notice those things when we live in our homes every day but trust us, buyers will notice and we want them to focus on your great house not on dirty windows! We like companies like Boys Next Door or 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 an in-ground system.
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.
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 process!
Curb Appeal Exercise:
Many buyers will walk or drive by a listing before viewing so to see it from their perspective, 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 email@example.com
Jen & Karin
Your Proven Regina Real Estate Team ...helping you make the right move!
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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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
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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