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!


4.     Declutter:

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!! 



6.     Paint:

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! Wink

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! SmileThis 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 Wink


- 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  info@w2realtyteam.com 



Karin & Jen  

Your Proven Regina Real Estate Team 


Read full post


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



Read full post



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 will take on the indoor list of to-do's in our next blog!


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) Wink


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.


We look forward to working with you!

 - Karin & Jen 


Read full post


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:

  1. What is your first impression of the house and yard?
  2. What are best exterior features of the house or lot?
  3. What exterior features of the house can be improved? 
  4. Is the yard clean and tidy?
  5. 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.




Final Thoughts: 


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 info@w2realtyteam.com



Best,

Jen & Karin


Your Proven Regina Real Estate Team ...helping you make the right move! 

Read full post


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! 


9 Planning Musts Before You Start a Makeover:

http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/21684880?utm_source=Houzz&utm_campaign=u918&utm_medium=email&utm_content=gallery19



If you are thinking about buying or selling a home in the Regina area and have questions, we are here to help you make the right move!  


Happy Shopping!

Karin & Jen


We are your Proven Regina Real Estate Team

Read full post
The Saskatchewan REALTORS® Association (SRA) (SRA) IDX Reciprocity listings are displayed in accordance with SRA's MLS® Data Access Agreement and are copyright of the Saskatchewan REALTORS® Association (SRA).
The above information is from sources deemed reliable but should not be relied upon without independent verification. The information presented here is for general interest only, no guarantees apply.
Trademarks are owned and controlled by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). Used under license.
MLS® System data of the Saskatchewan REALTORS® Association (SRA) displayed on this site is refreshed every 2 hours.