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Let's face it, buying and selling real estate can be a stressful process. Having recently sold my own investment property, I have a new found understanding for what my clients go through! Despite how many homes I’ve bought and sold with clients, it’s not the same when you’re going through it yourself. I want to share with you some advice and lessons I learned along the way, the top things I did to prepare the condo for sale, and what I would have done differently.

1. It costs time and money to prepare a property for sale!

On average, you should expect to spend a minimum of 1% of the list price to get it ready for sale. This number will vary depending on how much you can do yourself and what you hire out. Ask us for a pre-listing checklist or better yet, invite us over and ask what improvments will yield the highest return! Don’t wait until a week before you list to call us, use our knowledge and expertise to your advantage. Try and be realistic about how much time it will take you. I budgeted about 2 weeks to complete our projects, and it took us a solid 4 weeks to get everything done. We focused on a couple upgrades: the bathrooms (new vanties, mirrors, shelving, hardware and lighting), paint everywhere and tile work in the kitchen and bathroom. 

2. Paint, paint everything!

This is by far, the most cost affective way to spruce a place up. Walls, doors and trim should be patched, painted or touched up. When we worked on the condo, we painted every wall, we also did the enclosed balcony floor (see below) which made a huge difference. We went with light neutral colours throughout and a more modern grey in the master bedroom which hid a dark teal wall. As much as you love a dark feature wall, it’s not ideal when you’re selling a home. What I wish I had done differently was secured a painter weeks before the condo was going to be vacant. The preparation for painting the walls was very time consuming, and I wish I had spent the money to hire a pro who would have done a better job and way more efficiently.


3. Staging and lighting!

A beautifully staged home not only looks good, but it helps buyers emotionally connect with a home. This is a MUST, but it doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. We always pay for a staging consultation when you work with us, and they will provide a detailed to-do list of everything you need to do. In the situation with my condo, I borrowed furniture from my own home and my parents to stage and spent a few hundred dollars on new white towels and other staging items I could use again. There are also great services for renting furniture (Freedom Rent to Own and Easy Home) if you need. As for lighting, replace all the light bulbs with soft white (not bright white) and this will make a big difference to your ambiance.

4. It’s stressful, so have a REALTOR® to lean on for support!

When you list your home for sale, there’s a lot that is out of your control: what the market is doing, who views your property, what people will say and who will want to offer on it. It’s normal to have feelings of doubt and panic, especially right before you list. I also found it very challenging to decide on a pricing strategy because I was very attached to the outcome and kept second guessing myself. Having a REALTOR® who was unbiased and objective was so important through the process. Tasha helped me weigh the pros and cons of various strategies and she was always there to tell me everything was going to be fine, when I was stressing out!

I’m happy to say the condo was successfully sold to a couple who will move in this Spring!

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You have made the decision to sell your home. You’ve probably been thinking about it for a while. Maybe it’s been 3 to 6 months or even a year. It can feel extremely overwhelming. One of the most common mistakes a REALTOR® sees in this market are sellers contacting a REALTOR® one to two weeks before they want to list their home. If you have been preparing for months or years you can understand how a two week deadline for a REALTOR® to get your property on the market can make for a snug timeline. There is way more to listing your home then putting a sign on the lawn and getting photos done before it is live on the web. First impressions are everything in this market! To have 
a healthy listing here is our advice to a successful listing plan.


Start working with a Realtor 2-3 months before listing your home! WHY? It’s all about preparation in this market, BEFORE the listing goes live. When we work with buyers, our value is about educating them on the market, months before they are ready to put an offer on a home. For sellers it’s about preparation to make sure the home is going to show well and working with your REALTOR® to gather all documentation on the property. An important process to listing your home includes due diligence and pulling all records, check for an oil tank or do a pre-inspection report. We also enjoy setting our sellers up for success by educating them about the real prices in their neighborhood a month before they are going to list so they have a great understanding on their area. What you see in the newspaper or what your neighbor told you they sold for can be false or misleading.


Customizing a timeline just for you! A REALTOR® wants to organize a timeline, create a customized strategy and marketing plan to sell your home. If you want to move out on a certain date, we have to work backwards and pick an appropriate listing date. It’s up to you and your REALTOR® to ensure you have a plan once you sell in this market too.


Give yourselves those two months to get your home ready.  

Most sellers have things they want to fix before putting their home on the market, we are here to help you with a list of to do’s as we know what buyers are looking for. We want to ensure there’s enough time to clean and declutter your home and bring in a stager if need be.  


A week or so before you list is when your REALTOR® will do a thorough analysis for you. Then you will decide on a price that you feel comfortable with because you’ve been watching the market and feel educated. A REALTOR® wants to market your home before it is listed online to get you top dollar. So, if we can have photos done a week before your listing goes on the market then we can start marketing “coming soon” advertisements and get buyers excited for your property. We also have a network of REALTORS® we want to promote your home to, so let us have enough time to do that and generate buzz before it goes on the market.


It’s a good feeling when our sellers have a plan and we are all working together. A buyer will know when you’ve prepared your home before you list, so let us set you up for success and create a good first impression to get you top dollar!


Call us today for a free home evaluation and visit our marketing plan. We are here to help you. Feel free to email our team or fill in your information on our contact page. 

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In this video, I give you 4 reasons why I think February is the best time to list your home for sale.


1. You beat out the Spring rush

2. Valentines day means love is in the air!

3. Keeping in mind time frames, it's not unreasonable to move in the Summer by listing in February

4. If you get an accepted offer early in the Spring, it allows you to shop when there is the most selection!


So what are you waiting for? Give me a call today for your free market analysis 250-592-4422.

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Finally an article in the Financial Post that speaks a bit of truth! It explains that some buyers are waiting on the sidelines for this so-called housing "bubble" to burst.. but what if there is no bubble at all? What if all this "bubble" talk is simply  the media sensationalizing our real estate "market".

The article explains that for a "crash" to occur there needs to be a spark or a catalyst in our market place. Two event that could cause sellers to drop their prices and "have to sell" would be a substantial rise in interest rates or job loss - neither which are happening in Canada.

So what do we have instead? Sellers are holding their prices steady. Some sellers are taking their homes off the market and waiting for a better time to sell.

According to Don Lawby, chief executive of the Century 21 Canada, “The economy continues to be okay, people have jobs, interest rates are low,” said Mr. Lawby. “Historically, anytime when prices dropped it was tied to high unemployment and interest rates. It’s not the case today, people are not forced to sell, they are staying with their price.”

So what does it all mean?

Benjamin Tal, deputy chief economist with CIBC World Markets says "stagnation is a good word for what will happen, it’s what we saw in the market from 1992 to 1997,”

The key word in the above sentence is stagnation, not crash!

Wondering if now is the right time to sell?  Give ma a call for a free market analysis or fill out my online form here.

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