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Four Things You Should Know About Staging

July 17th, 2018 by queencityhomes

You’ve probably heard about “home staging”. As the name implies, it’s all about arranging each room in your home in a way that will make the best impression on buyers. Here’s what you need to know about staging if you’re thinking of listing your property.
1. Staging can get you a higher price.
On average, a fully-staged home tends to sell for 17% more than an unstaged home of the same type in the same local market.
Depending on the current market value of your property, doing some staging in your home could put thousands of extra dollars in your pocket, post-sale.
2. It can speed up the sale.
A study by the Real Estate Staging Association (RESA) showed that fully-staged homes spend an average of 90% less time on the market. So, if you need to sell quickly – without dropping your price – or you just want the comfort of having offers come in sooner, staging will definitely help.
3. You don’t have to go crazy.
Completely staging every room in your home is going to give you the full benefits of this strategy. However, you don’t have to go that far. In fact, just implementing a few simple staging techniques to some key rooms can make a big difference.
4. Get professional help or advice.
When it comes to home staging, don’t guess at it. Get professional help or advice. As a REALTOR®, I have a lot of expertise in this area and often provide clients with proven, do-it-yourself staging tips and suggestions. If necessary, I can also recommend a professional stager. Contact me anytime.

What Type of New Home Are You Qualified to Buy?

July 4th, 2018 by queencityhomes

When you think about looking for a new home, one of the first questions that probably comes to mind is: “What type of property can I afford?” That’s an important question because your price range is a major determining factor in the types and sizes of homes you should be viewing.

You don’t want to waste time looking at properties that are beyond your price range. At the same time, you don’t want to purchase a less-than-ideal home, only to realize later on that you could have afforded more.

So how do you determine what type of new home you are qualified to purchase?

The first step is to find out what your current property would likely sell for in today’s market. I make that calculation for clients all the time. It involves reviewing what homes similar to yours have sold for recently, as well as other data — such as special features your home may have that are likely to boost the selling price.

Once you know the current market value of your home, subtract any outstanding mortgages and estimated selling expenses, and you’ll end up with an amount that can be applied to the purchase of your next home. (You may also have other funds you want to use.)

The next step is to talk to a lender or mortgage broker to see how much of a new mortgage you qualify for. (Call me if you need a recommendation.) It’s important to get a Pre-Qualification or Pre-Approval. That makes the offer you make on a new home more credible.

If you want to find out the types and sizes of homes you can get into, give me a call. I’d be happy to show you the possibilities!

Watch Out for Carbon Monoxide In Your Home

June 21st, 2018 by queencityhomes

Carbon Monoxide (CO) is invisible and odourless, so you can’t actually “watch out for it”. However, you should monitor for it because an excessive build-up of this gas in your home can be deadly.

Fortunately, there are many types of Carbon Monoxide detectors you can purchase — and most are effective and affordable. Some models simply plug into an outlet. (Many also have a battery backup.)

Carbon Monoxide is caused by the incomplete burning of fuel. It can be released by a faulty gas furnace, kerosene heaters, and gas fireplaces. That’s why it’s a good idea to install detectors in areas close to these fixtures, as well as near bedrooms.

Experts say you should always follow manufacturer’s instructions when installing CO detectors, and test them regularly. You want to make sure you can hear the alarm from your bedroom.

CO build-up in homes is rare. So your detectors may never go off. But, if the alarm does sound, get everyone (including pets) out of the home and into the fresh air. Then call 911. Typically, the fire department will do an inspection and determine the source of the carbon monoxide.

A final tip: Never use your BBQ or outside grill in the garage or, especially, anywhere inside your home. The risk of CO exposure is very high and definitely not worth the convenience of a grilled burger!

Beware of Over-Downsizing or Over-Upsizing

May 29th, 2018 by queencityhomes

Buying a new pair of shoes is relatively easy. Once you find the style you like, all you need to do is try them on and see if they fit. If they do, you go to the cash register and pay.

When it comes to size, buying a new home can be trickier! Whether your intention is to upsize or downsize, figuring out the right size can be especially challenging.

Say for example, you’re downsizing from a large two-story home to a smaller bungalow. You don’t want to underestimate the space you need and end up in a place that feels tight. If you’re going the other way and upsizing, you don’t want to end up sinking extra money into a property that’s larger than you really need.

So how do you avoid these scenarios?

One of the best ways is to start by considering your current home. Do you use all the rooms in your home regularly? Is there a bedroom that’s rarely occupied? Has the recreation room become simply a storage area? If you’re downsizing, subtracting rooms you scarcely use can give you a better idea of what you need in a new home.

Upsizing is a bit more challenging because you have to anticipate what you will need in the future. For example, if you have young children, and your place is feeling cramped, then a home with a recreation room or separate family and living rooms may be a good idea. You may also need a bigger kitchen with a spacious eating area (in addition to a separate dining room.) Think about the extra room you’ll need and how you’ll use that space.

When I work with a client, I typically sit down with them and discuss the type of home they want in detail — and, based on needs and circumstance, I make expert recommendations. Bottom line, I help clients find the perfect fit in a new home. Contact me if you’d like to learn more.

5 Ways to Make the Selling Process Stress-Free

April 10th, 2018 by queencityhomes

For some homeowners, the process of listing, showing and selling their home can be stressful. Fortunately, there is plenty you can do to make it much less nerve-racking—and even exciting and enjoyable. Here are some ideas:

1. Make a plan. Decide when you’re going to show your property, search for a new home, view listings, etc. Block out these times in an agenda book or calendar. That way, you and your family can see what’s coming up.
2. Be flexible. Few things go exactly as planned! So, it’s important to build in flexibility. For example, you may plan to see homes for sale on Saturdays, but if an opportunity comes up on a weeknight, give yourself room in your schedule to jump on it.
3. Eat well. There are numerous studies that connect poor nutrition with increased stress. When people are selling and moving, there’s a tendency to rely on quick fixes, such as hot dogs and pizza! Try to plan more nutritious meals that will keep everyone healthy and energized.
4. Get stuff done early. Doing things last minute, such as finding a real estate lawyer or getting rid of clutter, can quickly lead to stress and frustration. Whenever possible, get tasks done early. That way, you won’t have to worry about them.
5. Hire the right professionals. By far, the surest way to a stress-free move is to get the right professionals working for you: everyone from contractors to mortgage brokers to movers.

By the way, a big part of what I do for clients is help make every aspect of buying, selling and moving go smoothly. Contact me to learn how I can help you.

How a Professional Chef Would Remodel Your Kitchen

March 28th, 2018 by queencityhomes

Watch any TV cooking show, and you’ll notice that a chef’s kitchen looks quite a bit different than what you’d find in most homes. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t have one just like it in your home! With a little remodeling, and splurging on some new items, you too can have a kitchen worthy of Gordon Ramsey, Jamie Oliver, or Rachel Ray.

Chefs love counter space. So, when remodeling, plan to create as much as possible. If you have an existing island, for example, you can replace the countertop with a larger one. Just adding eight inches in both directions will make a big difference.

Most chefs have more than one oven. If that’s impractical for you, consider buying a double-oven stove. Also, chefs prefer gas burners for quicker heat-up times and exacting control of cooking temperature.

One thing you’ll notice about chefs is they love stainless steel.
That’s because it’s easy-to-clean, hygienic and durable (assuming you take care of it).

Finally, because chefs spend so much time in the kitchen, they want the space to be attractive and comfortable. So, when remodeling, keep decor
in mind.

Even if you’re just an amateur chef, creating a chef-worthy kitchen will make the foodie in you smile.

10 Reasons to List Your Home This Month

February 27th, 2018 by queencityhomes

Is selling your property the furthest thing from your mind? Well, here are some reasons for listing your property that you might not have considered.

1. Your property may be worth more than you think. (It’s difficult to determine market value on your own. I can calculate it for you. Give me a call.)
2. You might qualify for a better home than you anticipate.
3. Perhaps you are tired of your current property and want a change.
4. There may be homes on the market in a neighbourhood in which you’ve always wanted to live.
5. Your current property may no longer meet your needs.
6. Your neighbourhood may have changed in ways you don’t like.
7. You might be ready to downsize or upsize and you no longer want to put that off.
8. You may want to sell in the fall, so you can have a fresh start in a new home in the new year.
9. Depending on the type of home you’re considering, you could end up with lower mortgage payments or no mortgage at all.
10. You might want to move to a home that’s more conveniently
located near work, family and hobbies.

Of course, you may have your own reasons for listing this month. Why not discuss them with a real estate expert? Me. I can answer your questions and explain the options available to you.

Should You Rent Out Part of Your Home?

January 30th, 2018 by queencityhomes

Have you ever considered renting out a room to a student or renovating your basement into a self-contained rental apartment?

It’s a big decision. There are many pros and cons to consider.

On the pro side, renting can provide you with additional income. An extra few hundred dollars a month can go a long way towards paying down your mortgage or splurging on an exotic summer vacation.

Creating rentable living space in your home — for example, an “in-law suite” featuring a kitchenette and bathroom — may also increase your property’s market value.

On the con side, you’ll have more costs and responsibilities as a landlord. For example, you might need to purchase extra insurance because basic home insurance policies typically do not cover rental units, even if you’re just renting out a room. You’ll also be responsible for dealing with repairs sometimes in the middle of the night.

Also, if you’re not careful about the renter you choose, you might end up with a “problem tenant”. For example, you could have a tenant who is consistently late on rent payments or simply stops paying. That can be stressful.

If you’re deciding whether or not to rent, be sure to check local laws and regulations. Many jurisdictions have very strict rules regarding renting out space in a residential property, and those rules change frequently. Make sure you get the latest information.

Using Neighbourhood Data to Help Sell Your Home

January 16th, 2018 by queencityhomes

Your neighbourhood has a lot of features that can help sell your home faster. Unfortunately, buyers don’t usually notice those features just by driving around. So, you need to make sure they get all the information they need about your neighbourhood.

For example, say homes don’t go on the market often in your area. That’s an indication that the quality of life in the neighbourhood is so good that no one wants to leave! In real estate we measure the area’s “turnover rate”, and it’s handy data to have when listing your home.

Another bit of data that buyers can’t simply see is the local crime rate. But, most police departments keep those statistics. If your neighbourhood has a low crime rate, that’s an obvious plus to sellers.

Demographic data can also be helpful when selling your property. If your neighbourhood has a lot of families, for example, that’s going to be appealing to buyers with kids.

Even local development plans can play a role in making your home more attractive to buyers. If a new ramp to a major highway is in the works nearby, getting to work is going to be easier. That’s a big benefit to commuters.

Other types of data that can help sell your home include:

• Planned local construction.
• Proposals for neighbourhood improvements. (For example, a new playground.)
• Rates at which local property values are increasing.

Any information that shows the advantages of living in your area is going to be useful when selling.

By the way, this is the kind of information I put together to provide to prospective buyers when selling your home.

Contact me and I can help you sell your home. Call 306-530-9050 or email terrie@queencityhomes.ca.

Checklist for WOW-ing a Buyer during a Viewing

January 2nd, 2018 by queencityhomes

Imagine you were selling your car, and a prospective buyer was on the way over to see it. What would you do? You would probably make your vehicle look as clean and shiny as possible, inside and out.

The same holds true if you’re selling your home and there’s a potential buyer on the way. You want the buyer to be wow’d by your property. Here’s a handy checklist to follow:

• Clean every room. Make your entire house look as “guest ready” as possible.
• As much as is feasible given the time, reduce clutter. Consider packing some items into boxes and storing them in the basement or garage.
• Get pets out of the house. You can take them for a walk, have a neighbour watch them, or take them to a good kennel.
• Turn on the lights, even during the day. You want each room to look bright.
• If there are any maintenance issues, such as a dripping faucet, let your Realtor know. Often, it’s best for buyers to be told rather than discover such issues themselves.
• Open the curtains, except in those rooms where the sun will be uncomfortably strong during the viewing.
• Move your vehicles from the driveway so the buyer can park there. (That can help them imagine living there, which is what you want!)
• Make sure your foyer is especially clean and uncluttered. It’s the first “room” the buyer visits.
• Avoid cooking just before a viewing. Even if the meal is wonderful, the aroma may linger. (Some people don’t like the smell of certain dishes, such as fish.)
• Freshen up the outdoor space. Mow the lawn. Sweep the walkway.

This viewing checklist will help you prepare your home quickly, so when the buyer comes in your front door, there’s a much better chance he or she will be impressed.

The data included on this website is deemed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed to be accurate by the Association of Regina REALTORS® Inc.
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