Category Archives: Sellers Fit to Sell

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Old, ruddy cabinet handles, kitchen spouts and light fixtures can be a turn off to buyers and make the home seem outdated.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

How to Hide Unsightly Blemishes Around Your Home

Here are 10 clever ways to disguise your home’s flaws.

Guest post by Michelle Lee

What makes a house a home? It’s a hard question to answer, but a large part of it is the years of memories you’ve made in it. Oftentimes that includes the blemishes, flaws and dents on the walls and furniture that serve as lasting impressions of cherished moments and fun times. However, whether you’re selling your home or just making it presentable for guests, there are times you’ll want to camouflage them up. Read on for 10 clever ways to disguise your home’s flaws.

Create a Gallery Wall

Put your inner art connoisseur to work to blend random light switches or bulky thermostats into your design. Strategically place similarly sized artwork around switch plates, outlet covers and wall gadgets to distract the eye. If you want to cover it entirely, mount a canvas painting over it or hang art from a swing arm so you can reach behind it when necessary.

 

Hang Long Drapes

Window treatments are generally used for, you guessed it, windows, but they certainly aren’t restricted to other uses. Drape big and breezy curtains above to disguise unsightly wall features or awkward off-center windows. Off-white and cream shades are perfect to use now and throughout winter, such as the one seen in this Swedish bedroom that cleverly conceals the radiator and window when pulled closed.

 

Paint the Wall

This is probably one of the most obvious solutions to drywall chips and paint scratches, but here are some guidelines to help you get it right. Stick to one matte color for the walls, ceiling and trim to downplay the lines between and blend them together. Remember, the glossier the paint finish is, the more it will highlight imperfections.

Consider chalkboard paint for a non-glossy texture and an ever-changing wall feature. You can create your own design and erase it as your style evolves or use it to jot down lists and reminders.

Add wallpaper. Use wallpaper to inject personality and fun into any space. Choose from subtle designs to a dramatic mural or anywhere in between. Keep optical illusions in mind when picking patterns. For example, a striped design can make a small space look taller or wider.

 

Cover it With Clothes

If you have a scratch on your bedroom wall that just won’t go away, play fashionista and move a shop-style clothing rack in front. Showcase some of your most stylish garments or everyday staples on the rack to lighten your closet’s load.

 

Lay Down a Rug

Roll out a gorgeous area rug over all the nicks and notches on your floor from moving furniture or dropping heavy items. Especially great for renters, rugs come in a variety of styles, colors and price points to fit your personal preferences without committing to a permanent change.

 

Rethink the Fifth Wall

This is a bit of a heavier project to take on, but perhaps most rewarding for those left with an infamous popcorn ceiling. Upgrade overhead stucco for a beautiful new feature with paint or paneling. Try white beadboard or wood slats for irresistible rustic charm.

 

Work Around Wall Vents

Air vents are necessary for cooling, heating and any other home circulation systems, but can be quite unattractive. Conceal them with slotted laser-cut screens that add texture and visual interest. In this D.C. living room, the revamped air return works double duty as a display shelf.

 

Choose Your Switches Wisely

Light switches and power outlets are must-haves in every home and there’s often no easy way around them. Wherever possible, especially in the kitchen and bathroom, group your electrical outlets together and shop for new switch plates that complement the existing wall. You can blend them into an existing pattern, as seen here, or make them a fun feature with vibrant colors and textured materials.

Embrace imperfections. After all, they’re what makes your house so special. You can capitalize on the look and help them blend in by investing in distressed furnishings, such as rustic coffee tables or stained wood floors. You won’t have to worry too much about future drops or spills and they instantly add built-in age and character to any space. #cbrmr

10 Tips for Selling Your Home in a Winter

In many areas of the country, this winter has been epic.   Record-breaking snow has stalled the start of the eagerly-anticipated spring real estate market since conventional wisdom dictates waiting for spring before listing your home.   However, this winter wonderland can be the ideal time to sell.  With inventory levels remaining low, fewer homes on the market means less competition and better visibility from prospective buyers.  Remember, buyers looking in frigid temperatures are not casual window shoppers!

Here are 10 tips to sell your home this winter:

  1. Clear a path – Shovel snow and spread sand and salt to provide easy and safe access into the home.  Make sure visitors can safely park and walk to the front door.  Eliminate blind spots for access in and out of the driveway.
  2. Keep the heat up!  – Nothing feels better than coming in from frost-biting cold into a warm and cozy house.  Light the fireplace and candles (as long as they aren’t overly scented) for inviting ambiance.  Buyers just might stay longer!
  3. Protect the floors – Place a fresh door mat outside and inside the front entry.  Provide an area (with seating for those unable to balance like a stork) to remove snow and salt encrusted boots or slip surgical booties over shoes.  A polite printed sign asking all visitors to comply will ensure cooperation.
  4. Lighten up – Snow acts as a natural reflector to enhance natural light in the house.  Even still, turn on all the lights in the house.  Open blinds, shutters and all window treatments.  Let the house be flooded with light – day and night!
  5. Create “lifestyle” vignettes – Lifestyle staging helps buyers envision living in the home.  Create cozy fireside reading areas with a beautiful throw and bestseller or set a festive dining room table.
  6. Organize, organize, organize!  – Winter is the time we are all overrun with coats, boots and snow gear.  Streamline all closets to make sure there’s a place for everything and everything’s in its place.  Buyers love a meticulous and uncluttered home!
  7. Shovel patios – Buyers are unable to appreciate outdoor entertaining spaces under 5’ of snow.  Literally help them see where they will enjoy their Canada Day BBQ.
  8. Provide in-season photos – Don’t be afraid to showcase the property in-season by displaying photos on your iPad, digital frame and in your listing detail.
  9. Highlight good construction – If your house has not suffered ice dam damage like many, that’s a strong selling point!  Be proactive and let buyers know.
  10. Be a reasonable seller.  Ready, willing and able buyers are looking now.  If buyers need to buy, you are better off successfully negotiating an offer today before the spring market is flooded with new inventory and you are yesterday’s news. #cbrmr

 

Holiday Sale

Photo

Is selling your house on your holiday wish list this year? If so, please call The Mash Team today for tips on how to appeal to buyers for a quick and efficient sale.

As there is typically less inventory available at this time of year, any homes that are on the market tend to get more attention from potential buyers.

While spring is the most popular time for real estate transactions, people do move all throughout the year, whether because of work, because of changing family dynamics like a new addition to the family, because they have finally sold their existing home or because of so many wide-ranging reasons. You may also meet renters this month who have made a New Year’s resolution to put their rent money toward their own home in 2018, and who want to be moved in and settled in time for the spring gardening season.

Homeowners showing their homes this month should remember that less is more when it comes to holiday décor. A decluttered house with a few well-placed lights, a tasteful evergreen wreath and the aroma of fresh gingerbread cookies or simmering apple cider goes far in creating a seasonal welcome. Consider tweaking the wording on your listing for the holidays too, to include an emphasis on entertainment spaces, the guest-friendly kitchen space and the extra space available to house overnight guests, as applicable.

Please don’t hesitate to call The Mash Team at any time with your buying and selling questions. And in the meantime, please enjoy a safe and happy holiday!

222 Dovedale Dr. Whitby

Good Investment Opportunity…

Price: $500,000

House of TWO’s. 2 kitchens, 2 floors, 2 living areas, 2 baths, 2 fridges, 2 stoves and parking for 2+ cars. This home features 3+1 bedrooms, newer kitchens, Newer CAC, windows, and beautiful hardwood flooring on main level. Home has large recreation room and laundry on lower level, plus 1 bedroom suite. Shows well. Move in before Christmas.

222 Dovedale

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What does being rich mean? How to define it

You probably know wealth when you see it around you – but do you know whether you are rich?

With real estate values soaring across the country, many Canadians feel a level of financial confidence today they’ve never known before. But have they reached a point of financial security? Do they have enough money for their future, and if not, how will they know when they do?

Statistics Canada employs numerous metrics for the other end of the spectrum, without ever using the term “poor.” For instance, the income cutoff for a single person living in a large city was $24,328 in 2014. For a family of four the amount was $45,206.

But there is no magic threshold, no national statistic, that defines you as rich. Wealth is a malleable term that might mean a well-stocked beer fridge, living mortgage-free or having enough money invested for a long retirement.

When it comes to amassing wealth, the United States sets the gold standard. But Americans themselves can’t definitively articulate what being rich means.

Twenty-seven per cent define it as having a lot of money; while 24 per cent say wealth means enjoying life’s experiences, and 22 per cent say it means being able to buy anything they want. That is the breakdown according to a representative sample of 1,000 U.S. adults surveyed in April by Koski Research for Charles Schwab Corp.

When asked to express how much is required to be considered “wealthy,” this “average” group of Americans came up with the amount of $2.4-million (U.S.), or nearly 30 times the actual median net worth of U.S. households.

Ask rich people a question like that, however, and you get a completely different answer.

Many people who have the drive to make significant sums of money don’t have the ability to dial down that ambition once they are wealthy. For them, the thrill is in the pursuit and money is the scorecard.

When the investment firm UBS AG polled 2,215 U.S. millionaires in 2015, nearly two-thirds of those with a net worth of less than $5-million and dependent children expressed concern that they are only one wrong step away from a major setback – be it a large investment failure or job loss. For individuals with $5-million or more, one-third said they felt they couldn’t withstand a setback.

Clearly, money doesn’t make it easy to sleep at night; it can be difficult to relax once you get to the top.

“With memories of the financial crisis still lingering, most millionaires don’t have enough wealth to feel secure,” concluded the UBS report, entitled When is Enough … Enough? “As a result, many feel stuck on a treadmill, without a real sense of how much wealth would make them satisfied enough to get off.”

In Canada, the average household net worth rose 4.3 per cent to $680,098 in 2015, according to Environics Analytics. Vancouver households crossed a symbolic threshold, becoming the country’s first “city of millionaires,” with an average net worth of $1,036,202, up 7.3 per cent from the prior year.

These gains were powered largely by rising real estate prices; Canadians’ principal residences comprise about one-third of their assets, according to Statistics Canada. What homeowners generally fail to accept, however, is that the money in their principal residence is permanently locked in. Very few Canadians end up selling their homes in retirement and enjoying the proceeds until their last cheque bounces the day they die peacefully in their beds.

Instead of looking at home valuations, a better measurement of wealth is whether your earned income – that is personal income from investments rather than employment – exceeds your expenses. Another sign of real wealth is the ability to forgo life insurance, because your estate would have enough assets to support your family at its current lifestyle.

Probably the least helpful way to assess your wealth is by comparing your spending with others, a process that will surely leave you feeling short.

Consider the millionaire family that flies to Whistler, B.C., annually for a ski vacation during the March break. By most standards, they look rich. But those parents may well be looking at a select group of their friends who are redefining the holiday experience by opting for snow and surf during the two-week break scheduled by most private schools: the first week in Whistler, the second in the Caribbean.

Instead of chasing a mirage, the best approach may be to embrace a broader definition of wealth. If you knew you only had five years to live, how much financial hardship would your family incur? How drastic a set of steps would you need to take to get your financial affairs in a state acceptable to you? What financial legacy would you be leaving and how close to your goals would it be? And most importantly, what course would you set to optimize those final years? Answers to these questions could provide the best snapshot of your true personal wealth today.

 

https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/globe-investor/what-does-being-rich-mean-how-to-define-it/article36380777/?ref=http://www.theglobeandmail.com&

 

First Impressions

PhotoCan you sell a home by its cover? If your home features a well-presented home exterior, it’s certainly a possibility.

Today’s many exterior refinishing options provide ways for your home to stand out, increase its perceived value and capture the eye of the right buyer, no matter what your budget. Re-facing the outside of your house can be as simple and cost-effective as repainting it, or as involved as applying new brickwork. Here are just a few of the options available.

Paint: The least expensive option, a fresh coat of paint can instantly brighten and freshen your home’s exterior.

Siding: Vinyl siding is lightweight, inexpensive, easy to install and can cover a multitude of sins from flaking paint to uneven wall surfaces. Wood and brick siding are more expensive, but can create a richer impression.

Stone Veneer Siding: Boasting the luxury look of full stonework but with a much easier installation and substantially lower cost, stone veneer is becoming a strong contender in the home upgrade market. Whether you’re refacing for your own benefit or for curb appeal, it’s worth noting the return value of your investment: the annual Cost vs. Value Report, reported in Remodeling Magazine, affirms an 89.4 percent return-on-investment for manufactured stone veneer.

Stucco: Attractive, low-maintenance, and available in a variety of textures and colors, stucco can add warmth to the exterior appearance of your home. Before installation, however, be sure to investigate its practicality for the weather in your region.

Help! My Home Isn’t Selling

You listed your home for sale with high hopes. You love your property and you felt certain that it would sell in a reasonable amount of time. But it’s been several weeks or months since you listed your home.

You’ve had some interest and maybe several showings. You may or may not have received an offers. Maybe you’ve even experienced the emotional turmoil of watching a Offer fall apart. Regardless of the details, one fact is clear: your property is very much still for sale.

What went wrong? What can you do? Here are 8 effective tips to facilitate a faster sale.

Depersonalize
If your house has been on the market for six weeks or more without so much as a nibble of interest, it’s time to take a hard look at what might be putting buyers off.

If buyers can’t imagine themselves living in a home, they’ll be reluctant to make an offer.

To make your home appealing, pack away all of your family pictures, child artwork, and mementos. Paint your walls a neutral color like beige, cream or white. Pack away any polarizing or controversial pieces of artwork or decor. Depersonalize and try to make your home look like a model home.

Declutter
Buyers like to see clean, wide-open living spaces. If you have physical or visual clutter in the room, you’re sending a message to the buyer that you don’t have enough storage space.

Don’t send that message. Instead, get those moving boxes and start packing. You may not have a contract yet, but if you minimize your possessions and declutter the space, you’ll make the rooms look larger and create the impression of having tons of storage space.

Remove Evidence of Pets
We love our four-legged friends, but their food and water dishes, crates, and even just hair on the carpet can be a big turn-off to buyers who don’t like animals.

If you know that someone is coming to look at your home, put the food dishes away, store the crate in the garage or outside, and make sure to remove all signs of pet fur and dander.

Freshen Up the Space
Don’t let buyers turn up their nose at your home. Smell is the first thing potential buyers notice when they walk into a house.

Clean your home to get rid of any dusty or musty smells. If the weather is nice, open the windows to let your home air out. Install all-natural room fresheners or light scented candles in discreet places like the bathroom closet, laundry room, and garage. Choose a neutral and natural scent, like vanilla, rather than a pungent floral scent.

You could also consider investing an essential oil diffuser to leave running during home showings. Sage, lemon, lavender, and cinnamon are all subtle, relaxing, and inviting scents that help brighten your living space.

Work on Curb Appeal
Some buyers won’t even step into your home if they don’t think the property has curb appeal. Clean the windows and make sure that there are no visible cobwebs. Mow your yard and trim the edges, prune the bushes, plant fresh flowers, and spruce up your shutters by giving them a fresh coat of paint. You may even want to install a new mailbox and outdoor light fixtures.

Consider an Affordable Mini-Renovation
Not everyone likes a fixer-upper. Stained carpets and less than appealing paint colors may look like dollars needed for (and the hassle of) renovation in the buyer’s eyes.

Small renovations may lead to big payoff. Consider painting the walls a neutral color, installing a smart thermostat, replacing hardware and fixtures and other fairly inexpensive changes that will take away the label of a fixer-upper.

Stage Like an Expert
You’ve depersonalized, decluttered, renovated, and worked on curb appeal. Now it’s time to stage your home like a pro.

Place brand new, neatly folded towels and candles in the bathroom. Place a decorative bowl filled with bright red or green apples, lemons, or limes in the kitchen. Fill a clear glass cookie jar with fresh cookies on the kitchen counter.

Talk to Your Agent About Pricing and Listen to What They Say
If your home isn’t selling after you’ve done everything above, it’s time to talk to your real estate agent about adjusting the price.

This is where your agent’s knowledge of your market and the amenities of your home come into play. If your home is priced competitively, buyers will feel like they’re getting a great deal. A $5,000-$10,000 reduction may be all it takes to motivate the right buyer.

Make Your Home More Accessible
Make your home available for showings. If you limit your home to pre-scheduled viewings, you’re definitely not going to be able to sell as quickly. If you’re flexible with when you allow buyers to come see your property, you’ll have a better chance of getting more foot traffic and more potential buyers into your home.

Are you Fit To Sell. Call The Mash Team. We are here to help!

531 Simcoe Street N., Oshawa

 

A home with a lot of heart, in one of Oshawa’s most Desirable Areas.

$575,000

Walking Distance to Dr. SJ Phillips and O’Neill High School. This jewel of a home features 3 bedrooms, 1.5 baths, a formal dining room with built-in shelving, and main floor family room that is full of Charm and Character. Beautifully Renovated from top to bottom including newer kitchen, baths, doors, decking, flooring, windows, furnace, CAC, shingles and flagstone walk-way.  Special Features: 2 staircases’s to upper level.  Main bath features 2 sinks, Glass shower, claw tub and electric fireplace on wall. Three good sized bedrooms.  A real stunner. Unbelievably priced at $575,000.