Category Archives: Sellers Fit to Sell

Investing in Curb Appeal

Thinking of renovating your home, either for yourself or to add head-turning sales appeal for potential buyers? Consider your return on investment (ROI) before you get too far.

On average, Canadian homeowners plan to spend about $16,400 on their home renovations*, so it’s important to ask yourself how long you plan to stay in your home after your renovation project. If you’re simply looking to freshen it up in order to put it on the market, you’ll be looking at your projects in a whole different light than if you’re planning to stay in the house for a few more years.

While the Appraisal Institute of Canada notes that kitchen and bathroom renovations can receive a 75% to 100% ROI, they also suggest homeowners not underestimate the value of inexpensive upgrades, noting that light landscaping or gardening, a fresh coat of paint, modern lighting fictures, or even upgraded door handles can give a home an updated look and feel, without spending a lot of money.

The spring real estate rush is on, so if you’re thinking of putting your house on the market, you may want to focus first on renovation projects that reflect prominently on a home’s curb appeal, enticing potential buyers to want to see more. Quick and simple tasks like painting your front door, mowing the grass, giving the yard a good tidying up and arranging bright flowers in outdoor containers go far in creating impressive curb appeal. #cbrmr

OPEN HOUSE CANCELLED…Home Sold

Welcome to 128 Allworth Cres in Bowmanville.  Bright, open-concept 4 Bedroom Family home with stylish curb appeal, just minutes from the 401/407 in the historic town of Bowmanville. Ideal for  commuting and enjoying small-town living.  Home Features:  Crown Moulding , 9′ Ceilings and Hardwood flooring on the Main floor.  Family room with gas fireplace that will not cramp your style. Family sized Open Concept Eat-in Kitchen with Breakfast Bar, Built-in Dishwasher, upgraded cabinets and walk-out to yard. Spacious dining/living room with Gleaming hardwood floors.  Large master bedroom with 4pc ensuite including Glass Shower and Soaker Tub plus W/I closet. Secure family neighborhood that is walking distance to newer schools, parks, shopping and public transit. Just Listed for $550,000. #cbrmr

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Selling? Low-Cost Home Improvement Fixes that Make Your Home Shine

When selling a home, even tiny fixes can have a big impact. Fortunately many fixes can be done quickly and with a small budget.

Here are 10 of the best low- (or no-) cost home improvement fixes to make your house stand above the competition:

1. Address the Heart of the Home
In real estate, the kitchen is a main selling feature and can be a make or break deal for potential home buyers. If a new kitchen just isn’t in the cards, consider replacing smaller ticket items and de-cluttering. Low- and no-cost fixes for the kitchen include:

New cabinet hardware
New faucets
Installing a new backsplash
Storing countertop appliances to create more work space
Replacing dark valances with lighter fabric or removing them altogether

2. Update Switch Plate Covers
Switch plate and outlet covers are brittle, and can crack and yellow over time, resulting in a home that, no matter how well updated, still looks dated. New outlets and covers can be replaced in a snap for generally under five dollars, making it one of the lowest cost updates available. Consider flat switches that create a modern, streamlined silhouette and stick to white for a timeless look.

3. Beautify the Bathroom
An updated bathroom comes only second to kitchens in a buyer’s list of must-haves, so showing them a clean and uncluttered bathroom will score points with any potential buyer.

New flooring can give an otherwise tired bathroom a much needed facelift and create a newer looking bathroom overall. Coordinating linens, a new shower curtain, and thoroughly cleaned grout can top off this easy home improvement investment.

4. Address Storage
Storage is always a concern for buyers. Installing low-cost closet organizers to your existing space will increase storage and organization in your home. Add storage baskets to hide clutter and you will have beautiful storage spaces that will make any buyer envious.

5. Deep Clean for a Good Return
If your home contains wall to wall carpeting, clean carpets can make a world of difference to a buyer. Cleaning carpets can easily be completed in a weekend with a rental cleaning machine, and it creates a noticeably clean, odor free environment for buyers to tour.

6. Boost Curb Appeal
Nothing boosts curb appeal like a tidy yard. Trim and edge walkways, weed gardens, and trim shrubs for maximum impact. If you have a porch, consider potted, seasonal plants to bring the look together.

7. Improve the First Impression
As buyers approach your home, first impressions matter. Ensuring your entryway is clean and inviting with something as simple as a new mailbox or updated house numbers will make buyers feel welcome. Clean windows and doors for extra impact.

8. Add a Coat of Paint
Freshening up your living space with neutral colors will invite buyers to imagine their belongings in your home and will cover up any nicks, scratches, or dents your wall incurred over years of daily living.

9. Update Lighting
While not the lowest cost solution on our list, you will find that a new light fixture or two really breathes new life into key living spaces. If your budget is tight, look to kitchen, dining, and living rooms for the most bang for your buck.

10. Add Some Decor Pizzazz
Finally, a fresh look can be completed with nothing more than some colorful fabric. Inexpensive pillows and throws in a coordinating palette through your home will create a unified look that will have buyers hooked. #cbrmr

Effective Improvements for a Faster Sale

You have decided to sell your home, and you are eager to sell it ASAP!   Here are some of the best ways to efficiently and effectively improve your home for a speedy sale.

First, curbside appeal.  This is the first thing every potential buyer sees so make it stand out!  Some suggestions:

  • Hire a gardener to clean and spruce up the front entrance
  • Remove superfluous items from the front of your home, i.e. garbage cans, strollers, etc.
  • Put a fresh coat of paint on your home’s front door.

Second, this is the time to clean and eliminate all clutter inside your home.  Here’s how:

  • Give away or store extra toys, clothes, and anything else that makes it look crowded or disorganized
  • Organize the kitchen countertops and closets
  • Place bulky items in storage

Third, landscaping matters.  A large yard cannot shine if the plants, grass and trees are in bad shape.  Try the following ideas:

  • Make sure the grass is mowed and driveway and walkway clear of snow
  • Plant or hang fresh flowers if its summer

Fourth, look under the hood.  Make the inside of your home look as good as possible.

  •  This is the time to do some of the minor repairs you have been putting off.  This will make your home look better and may eliminate certain issues during the Inspection Period.
  •  Yes, it seems expensive or time-consuming.  However, if you hire a handy person, this can truly make the difference and get you more money in less time.

Finally, hire a professional, licensed  full time realtor like “The Mash Team”.  We are realtor’s with experience and expertise that can help sell your home quickly for the best price. #cbrmr

Best of luck!

Spring Selling Checklist

With spring selling season around the corner, it’s time to give your home the boost it needs to meet today’s buyer expectations.

Guest post by Patti Stern

With the early spring selling season kicking off shortly after the new year, it’s time to give your home the boost it needs to meet today’s buyers’ expectations. Take advantage of being inside during the cold winter months with these quick fixes that will help your property stand out from the competition, boost its value and sell quickly.

Declutter & Organize

Start tackling one room at a time by packing up anything that will distract buyers from seeing the unique features of your property such as personal collections, family photos, newspapers, books and magazines. Rearrange and remove excessive furniture to simplify and make the room appear larger.

Make Basic Repairs & Updates

Make sure everything is in good working condition. Repair and replace broken light switches, bulbs, ceiling fans, door knobs, leaky faucets, shower heads, windows, thermostats, etc. Update lighting fixtures with contemporary styles and consider replacing older kitchen appliances with sleek, eco-friendly models to capture young buyer interest.

Refresh and Brighten With Paint

Remove wallpaper and cover bold wall colors with a fresh coat of neutral paint to set the perfect backdrop for simple, updated styling. Give older style kitchen cabinets or wood vanities an instant facelift by covering with bright white or dark espresso paint. Then pair with knobs and drawer handles in brushed nickel or satin brass for an elegant finishing touch.

Fresh Flooring

There is nothing that dates a room more that worn, soiled carpeting. Remove and/or replace carpeting to reveal hardwood flooring underneath to instantly brighten and make the room feel more spacious. There are also many budget-friendly, easy to install options on the market now for replacing damaged flooring such as laminate and vinyl that look and feel just like wood.

Add Storage Options

Today’s buyers are looking for plenty of storage. Added storage solutions such as built-in bookshelves, window seats with storage underneath, entry storage units, and extra closet hooks and rods are a practical way to attract immediate buyer attention.

Partner With a Pro

Consult with the Mash Team and we can recommend a professional stager who will have an objective eye and knowledge of what appeals to today’s sophisticated buyers. They will provide a range of solutions for enhancing your home showings by recommending everything from furniture placement to wall color to complementary modern accessories to add clean, welcoming style.

At First Glance

A positive or negative first impression makes all the difference when you’re showing your home, so make note of these tips to help you create the best initial reaction possible for potential homebuyers.

Show your home in its best light. Dark rooms strike the eye as being smaller than they really are, so maximize neutral light in your home by throwing open all your window coverings during the day. Also, make sure all your light fixtures are turned on, and consider (temporarily) switching out low-watt bulbs for some with higher wattage, to brighten rooms even more.

Tone it down. Bold colours are difficult for buyers to see past and busy pattterns are visually distracting, so tone down and neutralize: repaint those loud walls, tear up that busy carpet and tear down that dizzying wallpaper.

Kick clutter to the curb. Like darkness, clutter tricks the eye into thinking spaces are smaller than they are, and like loud colours and busy patterns, it’s distracting and hard to see past — not to mention it can cause buyers to wonder what else is being neglected in the home.

Create the illusion of more space. Open up your closets and have a look. Now remove half their contents. Do the closets look bigger to you? They will to buyers, as well. Another easy trick to visually open up spaces is to strategically place mirrors in small areas like foyers, hallways and anywhere they’ll reflect natural light.

Consider suggestions from your real estate sales representative, who has the experience of seeing what works in today’s marketplace! @cbrmr

Say “Bye” Before “Buy”

Moving homes is not only emotionally taxing, but the physical task of hauling all your belongings from one place to another is just downright exhuasting. Have a look at the following decluttering directions, whether you’re thinking of making a move soon, or simply want to get a jump of your spring-cleaning.

Recognize that going through your belongings and sorting them into “keep” versus “sell/donate/toss” piles always takes longer than you think it will. If you’re planning to sell items, whether via a garage sale or online, you’ll also need to give yourself time to not only set the items aside and price them properly, but (if selling online) coordinate pickups and deliveries too. Even if you’re planning to donate much of your extra furniture and belongings, some charities require a week or two notice to schedule pickups.

Besides items that won’t fit into your new place or that you simply won’t need in your new home, what else probably isn’t worth making the effort to move?

Consider your major appliances — your washer, dryer, fridge, stove and dishwasher. How old are they? Appliances are big, heavy and awkward to move, and may not be worth the cost to move if they’ve already given you a number of years of service. New appliances that can be delivered directly to your new home by the retailer make for an easier move and, with most of today’s models built to more energy efficient standards, you can probably justify the immediate upfront cost of new appliances with a future of lower long-term operating costs.

Furniture is also a major moving concern, so before you base the size of your moving truck on every last stick of it, have a good look around to contemplate what’s really worth brining with you. Many households still have their “starter” furniture floating around. While your older furniture may have some sentimental value, you may want to weigh in objectively about its remaining life, and in fact if it might even be worse for wear at the end of your move. The same goes for well-used furniture that blends with your current surroundings, but may look shabby or out of place in your new environment.

Take everything out of your closet, set aside the clothes and footwear you use the most, then purge or donate the items that either don’t fit anymore or that you simply don’t wear. The same goes for children’s toys that they’ve outgrown or don’t play with anymore. It’s not an easy task — it’s difficult getting rid of “pretty good” stuff — but by donating it you should feel good that somebody, somewhere, is going to liberate those items from a dark closet to enjoy and appreciate!

The benefits of downsizing your belongings are many, from simply having less to move — and therefore less to have to pay movers to move — to getting extra cash in your pocket to buy new things for your new place, to an emotional lightening of the pressures of moving! #cbrmr

Turn Up the Heat!

At this time of year, a warm home is a welcoming home. Take a few minutes now to ensure your toastiest heating options are also safe and energy efficient.

First of all, if you haven’t already, be sure to invest in an annual tune-up for your furnace and gas fireplace. Even if they appear to be working fine, be sure your furnace filter has been replaced recently, and recognize that a professional inspection and tune-up allows you to save money in the long run by ensuring more efficient heating, while preserving the life of your furnace. In addition, an annual checkup allows you the peace of mind knowing there are no potentially deadly gas or carbon monoxide leaks seeping into the house.

Programmable thermostats provide an easy way to ensure your home is only heated when you need it to be. Today’s options include wireless thermostats that allow you to control the heat in different rooms independently, so you’re not wasting your money heating an unoccupied area of the house.

Of course, regardless of what kind of heating system you have, if your house isn’t insulated properly and if you have air leaks around doors and windows, you’re just literally throwing money out the window. Consider having an energy audit conducted to find out where you should focus, to ensure long-term energy savings.

Also remember that good old-fashioned curtains can make a huge difference — throw open the curtains on sunny days to let sunshine naturally heat your home, and close them at night to block the chill.

Finally, remember that spring — and the warmer weather — is just around the corner! #cbrmr

Small Upgrades That Go a Long Way

 When it comes to making home upgrades, it’s important that sellers remember to go for simple, clean improvements that make homes look more modern and elegant.

No one wants to spend a fortune when it comes to selling a home, but most want to spruce up a few areas to make their property more appealing to potential buyers. There are several types of small improvements individuals can make that can transform the look of a home without forcing them to break the bank.

New Countertops

One of the first areas sellers often focus on when making improvements is their kitchen, and rightly so. Buyers may examine a kitchen space more closely than bedrooms and bathrooms because this is the area where a family will spend the majority of its time. However, unless there is significant damage to the room, sellers may not need to renovate the entire kitchen. Instead, small changes, such as replacing the countertops may be enough to give the area a newer and fresher look. Owners should consider using materials that are common in neighboring homes. A buyer may be less likely to purchase a home with tile countertops when the surrounding homes on the market all feature granite or marble.

New Doors

Many homeowners overlook the appeal of new front, back and side doors, but these features are some of the first that buyers see when they pull up to a home. Adding a new door or painting the current ones to make them stand out can make the home feel more welcoming. In addition, adding new handles and locks can make buyers feel more secure. Doors are relatively inexpensive, and can be installed by the owners themselves with little effort.

Replace Hardware and Fixtures

Old, ruddy cabinet handles, kitchen spouts and light fixtures can be a turn off to buyers and make the home seem outdated. Replacing these fixtures with modern, top-of-the-line hardware is a simple and affordable solution that can be done quickly. Most home improvement stores carry a variety of fixtures and hardware, and owners can compare costs easily by doing some research online.

While homeowners are seeking out new fixtures, they may also examine paint samples to freshen up the colors in their home and make it more inviting.

Need Advise…Call The MashTeam. Corinne and Linda are here to help. #cbrmr

Toss These 5 Things Before You Move For a Fresh New Start

While you’re packing, consider throwing out these household items and give yourself a fresh start in your new home.

Houzz Contributor, Aly Finkelstein

It’s a great feeling to walk into your new home and know you have a blank space to work with. But making sure your new home stays this fresh, clean and exciting is much harder. Here are five things to consider throwing away before your next move.

1. Old trash cans. Old and used garbage cans and bins can be dirty and in bad shape. And nothing says “yucky” like an old trash can that you’ve used for years.

If your family is anything like mine, you have gum, stains and sticky spots on even the cleanest of indoor and outdoor trash cans. Do yourself a favor and throw out the old bins before you move to your new home. You can buy new trash cans that match, fit the space and are clean. This rule may also apply to recycling bins you have around the house.

If buying all new cans isn’t in your budget, definitely clean your cans before packing them into your moving truck or car. Fill the inside of the can with dish soap and warm water and let it soak. Then scrub. The soak will make scrubbing easier.

2. Toys. Moving is the best time to clean out the things you haven’t used and the things that won’t serve you in your new space. Toys are a major clutter culprit, and often many of them just aren’t being used anymore. My motto: Keep the favorites and toss the rest. Once you’re in your new space, you can buy a special new toy to celebrate the move.

Pro tip: If you feel too guilty about getting rid of your child’s toy, pack up the ones you think your child may miss and leave them in a separate box in the garage. If they don’t ask for them after a certain amount of time, get rid of them.

3. Old paint. Every client I work with has gallons of old paint. Chances are the colors match your old house but not your new one, so this is a great time to clean out all the old cans.

Before disposing of paint, check your town’s rules on recycling or disposing of it.

Pro tip: If you loved some of those colors, add them to a spreadsheet on your computer. Make sure you list the room a paint was used in, for future reference. Make sure to update the spreadsheet as you repaint in your new house too.

4. Paper. As long as you’ve rectified your statements, paid your bills and set aside important documents and receipts, you don’t need to keep all the paper that’s weighing you down. File the things you need to keep, such as tax documents, health insurance paperwork and property records, and get rid of the rest.

I keep three files on my desk at all times: bills to be paid, business receipts to keep and paid bills. Once I see online that the paid bills have been registered as paid, I throw the paper versions out. This keeps the files small and manageable year-round.

Pro tip: In the weeks before you move, carve out five to 10 minutes a week to tackle the paper piles you have around the house. Almost all of the items in these piles can be thrown away if you take the time to go through them.

Read more about which papers to toss and which to keep

5. Storage containers. Do yourself a favor and get fresh storage containers for your new home! The container drawer is often a major source of clutter and frustration for my clients. Your new home will feel even newer with a full set of matching storage containers.

I store my containers with the lids on so they don’t get separated. If for some reason the lid does go missing, I repurpose the bottom or get rid of it. I’m loving glass containers these days because I can microwave, store and eat from them. They can do it all and then go back into the drawer with their matching lids.

Pro tip: Buy storage containers based on your family’s needs. For example, if you cook often and send friends and family home with leftovers, buy inexpensive, disposable containers. If you use your containers weekly for whole meals, buy larger sizes. #cbrmr