Selling Your Home In the Winter

Selling Your Home In the Winter

Sure, there are fewer buyers and the skies are gloomy. So warm and brighten up the place; make it look like a refuge from the weather.

What makes selling a home more stressful? Selling it in the middle of winter.

The lawn is brown, the weather is usually bad and, unlike the longer days of summer, you have less time to show it off during daylight hours.

But not everyone has the luxury of waiting until the traditional spring or summer home-buying season to plant that “for sale” sign. And while it’s true that in most areas you’ll probably have fewer buyers during the winter, you will have less competition from other sellers.

The season makes staging — the concept of showing your house at its best — even more important.
Be prepared to put a little effort into it. It’s more difficult to make something look really appealing this time of year.

If you do it right, you can really make your house stand out.

1. Keep snow and ice at bay.

If the buyer can’t get in easily, the house won’t sell. That means keeping walkways and driveways free of the frozen stuff. Just like trimming the lawn in the summer, you want to make the home look like it’s been maintained. If you’re away frequently or live in an area that’s subject to bad weather, it can pay to hire a service to regularly salt or shovel the driveway and sidewalks.

What’s your home worth?

2. Warm it up.

If you’re showing during the winter, think “warm, cozy and homey.

Before a buyer comes through, adjust the thermostat to a warmer temperature to make it welcoming. Sellers like to turn the temperature down because of heat costs, but buyers who come in and aren’t comfortable won’t stay long.

If you have a gas fireplace, turning it on right before the tour can give the house a little ambiance.

With a wood-burning fireplace, you’ve got to be a little more careful. If the house is vacant, don’t chance it. But if you’re still living there and will be there during the tour, it can be a nice touch.

Many times, sellers leave right before the agent and prospective buyers arrive. In that case, adjust the heat to a comfortable temperature and have the hearth set for a fire. Buyers feel the warmth and see the potential, and you don’t have to worry about safety concerns.

3. Take advantage of natural light.

Encourage showing during the high-daylight hours. At this time of year, if you show after work, you’re totally in the dark.

Make the most of the light you do have. Have the curtains and blinds cleaned and open them as wide as possible during daytime showings. Clean all the lamps and built-in fixtures, and replace the bulbs with the highest wattage that they will safely accommodate. Before you show the house, turn on all the lights.

4. Get the windows washed.

Buyers act on the first impression. Windows are one thing that many sellers don’t even consider. In winter, that strong southern light can reveal grime and make it look like the home hasn’t been well-maintained.

5. Play music softly in the background.

To create a little atmosphere, tune the radio to the local classical station. Turn it down so that you barely hear it in the background. It’s soothing, soft classical music tends to have the most appeal to buyers.

6. Make it comfortable and cozy.

Set the scene and help the buyers see themselves living happily in this house. Consider things such as putting a warm throw on the sofa or folding back the thick comforter on the bed. Tap into the simple things this time of year that make you feel like you’re home.

7. Emphasize winter positives.

Is your home on a bus route or some other vital service that means it’s plowed or de-iced regularly in bad weather? Be sure to mention that to the buyers.

8. Set up timers.

You want your home to look warm and welcoming whenever prospective buyers drive past. But you’re not home all the time, so put indoor and outdoor lights on timers.

Look at the outside lighting around the door. Is there enough illumination to make it inviting? If not, either get the fixtures changed or have new ones added.

9. Make it festive.

Even if you’re not actually going to be present, greet your buyers as if they were going to be guests at a party.Set up the dinner table with the good china and silver. Have a plate of cookies for your guests, some warm cider or even chilled bottles of water.

First impressions are so powerful, if it looks like you’re expecting me and greeting me as company, that’s a powerful impact.

10. Give the home a nice aroma.

The No. 1 favorite? “Chocolate-chip cookies. Just about everybody likes that smell.

Other popular scents: cinnamon rolls, freshly baked bread, apple pie, apple cider or anything with vanilla, cinnamon or yeast.

But don’t overdo it, either. Scented candles in every room or those plug-in air fresheners can leave buyers wondering what you’re trying to mask.

Watch the bad smells, too. Pet smells, smoke and musty odors can cling to curtains and carpets. Ask a friend to give it a sniff test. Then clean the house, air it out and replace drapes, carpets or rugs before you show it.

11. Protect your investment.

I will ask buyers to either remove shoes or slip on paper “booties” over their footwear before touring the house. Many buyers like that. It indicates a pride of ownership and meticulousness that resonates with buyers.

 

GET OUT OF YOUR HOUSE NOW!

GET OUT OF YOUR HOUSE NOW!

 

Your House is for sale, and you have a showing coming. You ask your agent if you could stay? You are curious to see what they say; who is looking at your place; Do they like it? The agent says nervously, sure you could be home. WRONG. The agent is just saying this not to upset you because it is your house and it is hard to tell you to get the hell out! during a critical showing.

First off, if you have a good agent and you listened to him, you would’ve mad sure that all of your valuables are gone, so that excuse for being home during a showing goes out the window.

2nd, you think you can show and sell the place better than your agent, ugh, why did you hire an agent and in particular that one, just sell it yourself, get out of there!

3rdly, The last agent left your window or lights on and you want to make sure they are closed because you have hefty hydro bills…The hydro bills are nothing compared to the waste of time of showing the house with you in it. Stop Being CHEAP!

THERE ARE many more dumb excuses for being home during a showing. The only one is if you are on your death bed. Then who cares about selling the house. You might as well not show it.

Think about it, when you go see a house and the owners are home, how do you feel, restricted, intruding, you just want to get out of there, you can’t speak freely while looking at the home. RIGHT, that’s what they feel. YOU might as well not show the house and wait for a time when you can get out of the house.

Other issues arise, if your agent is not there and you are, you say something incriminating about the property “Sure you can build that addition”. Are you flexible on the price? Why are you moving? So many more things you can do and say, and what about the body language you present, you are not a trained sales person.

Just get out of the house and let your agent do the work. More importantly, let the agent coming in do their job, your paying them right? Oh you forgot you pay their commission! They want the house sold more than you do, TRUST ME! GET OUT!

The Market Is Not Slowing Down Sorry!

The Market Is Not Slowing Down Sorry!

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Since I started selling Real Estate, I always hear from people wanting to buy or sell, I’m waiting for the market to go down. If you live in Toronto, Vancouver or Alberta, you are going to have to pay more money to get a house or property.

What’s Driving this market? Its simple, the interest rates are low. While prices are climbing and regulations  are getting really tough, the people that have equity already and have good credit and a good paying job are capitalizing on their good fortunes. The rich get richer.
The market will not go down until the interest rates go significantly higher and make it impossible for these do-gooders to stop qualifying for a second property.
We also now have a lower dollar and lower gas rate. Cheaper oil, and lower dollar are contributing to attracting foreign dollars and investment again in the country. All this is leaving Canada as an attractive place to invest, and invest significantly in Real Estate they are.
My professional advice is that if you are thinking about investing or buying a property, do it now, so you can start seeing the investment go higher and stop waiting it out on the side lines while other people are making money. The markets not going down anytime soon, get your head out of the gutter.
What is the most important feature when buying a house?

What is the most important feature when buying a house?

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Detaching YourSelf From Your Home When Selling

Detaching YourSelf From Your Home When Selling

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This is the most hardest thing that you must do when selling your home. Look at is a piece of property not the home you love and have memories of.

Most people think of their home as a person who they love or in some cases hate. The longer you live in the house, the more nostalgic you become. Especially if you love the area, and the people surrounding it. If you’ve lived in the house for a very long time, then you look at it as a place that is hard to give up for what comparables are saying.

Getting emotional when selling your home is the most difficult obstacle that I face daily. Owners are like, I don’t care if they want it, they can pay for it. The problem with this mentality is that the person coming into your home, doesn’t have those memories that you’ve created in that place. They are not going to pay for it either.

Another thing that is hard to get over is when work has been done to the house. Owners feel that the work is worth more than it is because they did a good job, or they hired a good contractor. Buyers are not going to pay more money because you sweated personally installing your floor.

The Bubble is Not Bursting..  Here’s Why!

The Bubble is Not Bursting.. Here’s Why!

bursting a bubble

 

Everybody I speak to, says a few things to me since I’m a Real Estate Agent. People always ask “How’s the Market”? Its always good! They ask about bidding wars. They ask about crazy prices. I’ll then tell them an anecdote about my recent travels in Real Estate and then I always get the bomb from them. “I’m waiting for the bubble to burst so I can get a deal.” 

So far since 2008, nothing has fallen. In fact if I told you the prices of ten property prices today and went back in time to 2008, you would buy all ten and tell your brother, mother and sister to buy ten as well, In Toronto & GTA strictly speaking.
While the 30-40 year trends do go up and down, and they will go down a bit, and maybe yes one day crash, its not here today. Don’t hold your breath.
The next thing that people say to me is, I’m not sure I want to invest in a condo, there are too many. So yes there are a lot of condos now in Toronto and GTA, but heres the thing, like anything, houses, apartments, cars, dogs, girlfriends, wives, stores, agents, lawyers, there are a lot of, there are a lot of good ones, and a lot of bad ones. The bad ones will die and go bad, and the good ones will be hot spots and everybody will want to live there.
The condo market, like the housing market in General in Toronto is not going to burst for a few reasons. The main thing is immigration. There are two places that people go when they come to Canada. Vancouver and Toronto. Yes some like the wilderness and will travel to Quebec and places like that, but the majority will come to Toronto. When they come to Toronto, what are they going to live in? A house? The average for a house in Toronto is a million dollars.
When my parents came here, they came to Toronto and bought a detached, and they bought it with their siblings. Really those days are over, many people coming here come for independence, and condos are the step in to the housing market here.
Here are some stats from Stats Canada:
“The Greater Toronto Area (GTA) is projected to be the fastest growing region of the province, with its population increasing by 2.5 million, or 39.1 per cent, to reach over 8.9 million by 2036. The GTA’s share of provincial population is projected to rise from 47.6 per cent in 2012 to 51.5 per cent in 2036.” If you want more stats click here.
That stat is crazy, 2.5 million is double of what it is right now, plus all the people having sex and making babies. The last time I checked people are not going to stop having sex.

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