Tag Archives: Selling in Winter

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

Chilly Start to the New Year

Toronto’s real estate market received a cool reception in January, with an overall drop in sales and prices compared to the same month last year. The popularity of condos in the city, however, took some of the sting out of the overall price decline.

The Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) reported a 4.1 percent year-over-year decrease in the average price for a Toronto home, to $736,783, as the number of sales fell 22 percent from last year’s record-setting pace. The average price of a detached home dropped 9.1 percent compared to January 2017, while the average price of condos — despite a drop in the number of sales — increased by 14.6 percent.

“It is not surprising that home prices in some market segments were flat to down in January compared to last year. At this time last year, we were in the midst of a housing price spike driven by exceptionally low inventory in the marketplace. It is likely that market conditions will support a return to positive price growth for many home types in the second half of 2018. The condominium apartment segment will be the driver of this price growth,” suggested Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis.

The market will continue to evolve as buyers adjust to the new, tougher mortgage guidelines, and as we fully enter the busiest time of the real estate season. Please call today for the latest local market updates! #cbrmr

A Perfect Place to call HOME

35 Point Hope Place, Whitby

$550,000

Open House February 17 and 18,  2-4 pm

Give your lifestyle a boost! Care free and convenient living, in Gorgeous Whitby Shores. This 3 bedroom, 4 bath townhouse, will meet your highest expectations: Open Concept, Hardwood Floors thru-out, a cozy fireplace in Family Room, finished basement with extra bedroom and bath. Home features California Shutters thru-out, new Shingles and garage doors in 2017 plus a roomy 2-car garage and great outdoor space with, your own deck and Balcony. Great finishing touches include Crown Moulding and freshly painted in neutral tones throughout. Convenient location that close to Whitby Go Train station, transit, walking trails/parks, marina, shopping and fantastic restaurants.

 

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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

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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!

Party Perfect

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Hosting a party this holiday season? Here are a few ideas to make it a fun and memorable event not only for your guests, but for you too!

At the Top of the List: Make Lists!
It’s never too early to start getting organized, and that means making lists so you don’t forget a thing.

A written cooking and party prep schedule that includes cleaning, shopping, food prep —even time to set the table and create a playlist— can help the countdown to your party, and your stress level, stay on track.

Engage the Senses

  • Taste. You want to provide a variety of foods for your event, so why not consider a potluck for your next get-together? Don’t stress about providing every course, when friends and family would most likely be happy to contribute a salad, dessert, side dish or appetizer. When someone says, “May I bring something?” change your answer to “yes!”
  • Hearing. Create a music playlist to run throughout your event. Music can set the tone for any party; keep the volume at a reasonable level so people can comfortably maintain conversations.
  • Sight. Adjust electric lighting to ensure it’s neither glaring nor too dark, then set up candles strategically to complement the mood —just be sure they’re positioned safely where they can’t be knocked over or where they might ignite nearby flammables.
  • Smell. Choose a scented candle for the bathroom, but scent-free candles for the dining table and other areas featuring food.

Bathroom Basics

  • Clear your medicine cabinet of personal items and medications.
  • Set out soap and clean hand towels, or provide disposable hand towels.
  • Stock extra rolls of toilet paper within reach.
  • In addition to a scented candle, make available a can of air freshener.
  • Consider placing a small “emergency stain remover” basket in the bathroom, with club soda, paper towels and red wine stain remover.

Kitchens & Cocktails
The kitchen tends to be where everybody congregates, and subsequently gets under your heels! Either take advantage of the extra pairs of hands to expedite your food prep, or help nudge them out of your way by placing groupings of appetizers outside the kitchen, and also setting up a DIY cocktail bar or beverage cart away from your main work area. Consider the following for your cocktail station:

    • Along with bottles of liquor, soda, various mixes, and garnishes like olives, lemons and limes, make sure you have plenty of ice available in an insulated bucket. Also consider keeping drinks cold without watering them down by replacing ice cubes with frozen grapes, berries, lemon or lime wedges. And don’t forget to include cocktail napkins, measuring glasses, stir sticks and a martini shaker on your cocktail station.
    • Consider printing out drink recipes on cards for a fun way for people to mix and shake. Don’t forget to include non-alcoholic cocktail options too!
    • Help guests keep track of their glasses (and cut down on the dish washing) by creating a system to identify to whom each glass belongs. A casual event using disposable plastic glasses allows you to mark guests’ names right on the glasses with a permanent marker or stickers, while glass markers, wine glass charms or beer bands allow for easy idenification of reusable glasses.
    • Keep people hydrated easily and conveniently by placing buckets containing bottled water on ice throughout your entertainment area.

Remember that a relaxed host/hostess makes for a more relaxed, festive atmosphere. Once the party starts, focus on your number one priority —to enjoy your company and make wonderful memories!

Durham ends 2016 leading GTA in average selling price growth

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Durham Region Association of REALTORS® (DRAR) President Roger Bouma reported 528 residential transactions in December 2016, a 4 per cent decrease from the same time last year. “Real estate transactions tend to slow down around the holidays,” stated Bouma. There were 411 new listings in December 2016 compared to 512 in December 2015.

The average selling price in Durham reached $570,957 last month. In comparison, the average selling price was $451,671 during the same period last year; a 26 per cent increase. “Our current housing market forecasts effects of financial conditions and changes in the economy,” added Bouma. Homes have continued to sell quickly in an average of 14 days compared to 21 days last year.

“We’ve seen substantial growth of the average selling price in Durham Region,” said Bouma. “In December 2016, Durham Region led the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) with a 26 per cent year-over-year percentage change on the MLS home price index.” Comparably, during the same time last year, Durham Region’s year-over-year percentage change was midpoint in the GTA.

The 2016 year-to-date value of all home sales in Durham Region totalled over $6.7 billion in dollar volume, a 29 per cent increase from 2015. “This is a direct reflection of the overall health of Durham Region’s economy,” said Bouma. “Rising house prices are an optimistic demonstration of consumer confidence.”

Uxbridge had the highest increase in year-to-date average selling price growth with a 31 per cent increase from 2015. The second highest increase was Oshawa at 27 per cent, and third highest was Brock and Clarington at 21 per cent. Durham Region is also selling the quickest in the GTA with a year-to-date average of 12 days-on-market, 3 days quicker than Peel Region and 4 days quicker than York Region. Ajax, Oshawa, and Whitby sold the quickest in Durham Region with an average of 10 days-on-market.

“The housing market is an economic driver that strengthens our economy,” said Bouma. “Ultimately, the rise in house prices is creating an increase in wealth for homeowners.”

If You’re Thinking Selling, You Gotta Read This

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Click Here for Details:  http://www.realtor.com/advice/sell/what-people-say-about-your-home/

Have you ever viewed a home and you felt like you were on candid camera.  You never know these days  if the seller has set up a camera to hear or see what people are saying.   Our advice,  when they go through their home, wait till  you leave to discuss how you felt.

 

Top 10 Reasons to Hire a REALTOR®

We offer our clients, family and friends over 48+ combined years in the business.  We’ve seen just about as much as one can in terms of what works, what doesn’t work and what should have worked.

Sure, there’s lots of choices out there when it comes time to list your property but it’s the experience that you’re really counting on when things don’t go as planned.

That’s why you need to work with people, like us, who understand how to avoid the pitfalls surrounding the process of pricing, staging, marketing, showing and negotiating a fair price for what’s probably your biggest asset.

Call us first before making your decision to sell. Let us put the facts in front of you so that you’re an informed seller and then, if you like our plan, we can begin building a relationship that we hope will last a lifetime.

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In case your clients/customers need reminding… here are the 10 top reasons for home sellers to hire a REALTOR®:

1.  Realtors are experts in the field, having completed an extensive course of study.

2.  Realtors are governed by the Real Estate Council of Ontario, and must adhere to provincial laws, which include a Code of Ethics.

3.  Realtors have the knowledge and experience to market and stage the property, negotiate successfully, and close a deal.

4.  Realtors can determine what a property is worth because they have access to the MLS® System and comparables.

5.  Realtors’ marketing and exposure may yield multiple offers.

6.  Realtors do the paperwork and ensure it is completed properly.

7.  Realtors help protect the privacy and security of the sellers.

8.  Realtors qualify buyers before showing the property. That is, they ensure people viewing a property can afford to purchase it.

9.  Realtors can remain objective and are able to deal with facts when marketing a property.

10. Realtors can provide objective feedback about why a property is not selling and make recommendations based on experience.

Selling Your Home this Spring? 7 Tips to Help You Prepare

While it still may be chilly outside, the weather isn’t the only thing that’s about to warm up. The spring selling season is right around the corner, and we’ve got seven things you can do now to prepare for selling your home once spring arrives.

While it still may be chilly outside, the weather isn’t the only thing that’s about to warm up. The spring selling season is right around the corner, and if you’re selling your home, that means competition. The good news is, you can get a head start on preparing your home now, so it’s ready to go once the first signs of spring appear. Here are seven simple tips you can do now, to help get your home market-ready.

1. Give a Thorough Clean

Think spring cleaning territory when deciding what level of clean your home requires for sale. Everything from scrubbing baseboards to dusting fan blades and clearing cobwebs from storage areas should be covered as you scrub-down your home. If the task feels overwhelming, simply go room by room until it’s done.

If you have carpet, and it’s in reasonably good shape, a thorough cleaning with a professional carpet cleaner will improve the look and the odor in your home. If carpets are worn and threadbare, consider a reasonable replacement, such as a good quality laminate. Cracked tiles should be replaced now, if it’s in your budget, for maximum effect.

Carpet cleaner giving a deep clean to carpets

Image Source: Flickr/Laura D’Alessandro

2. Do a Minor Update

It’s no secret that kitchens and bathrooms sell homes. A quick update to a kitchen can make a huge impact simply by cleaning painting or replacing tired hardware and fixtures. If your kitchen lacks a backsplash, this is the perfect time to add one for maximum appeal.

3. Clean the Windows

Even if it’s too cold to tackle the job from the outside, you can get half the job done now. Scrub the interior side of all windows and don’t forget the window sills, tracks of sliding doors, and the surrounding trim. Buyers will notice the attention to detail once your home is on the market.

4. Paint

Choose the spaces that have the boldest color and tone them down to a neutral palette. The goal should be for buyers to see your home as a blank canvas for their own belongings. Focus on high traffic areas next, and finally, repairing any flaking paint in damp areas such as basements or bathrooms is a must.

Image of a row of paint swatches in a store

Image Source: Flickr/Dean Hochman

5. Pack Early

While you don’t need to pack up everything you own, strategically boxing up personal items that will depersonalize your space is a good idea. Family mementos all serve to remind buyers that this is your space, and you want them to picture it as theirs. Storage space is another big item on a buyer’s list, so consider packing up any out of season clothing and tucking them away to make closets seem larger.

6. Purpose Every Room

Every room should have a clear purpose, so buyers can see how versatile your space is. This may mean removing furniture from a crowded space and moving it somewhere else in your home to create defined living areas. Look for opportunities to create functional spaces like an office area or reading nook, and if you have too much furniture, consider putting it in storage. Less furniture will create an open feeling throughout your home.

A cozy home reading nook, staged for real estate

Image Source: Flickr/Michael Pardo

7. Go Outside

While it is too early to landscape, paint, or deal with the exterior areas of the home, curb appeal is essential to getting buyers to even walk through the door. Assessing your home now, from the garden spaces to the roof and front entry, will let you make a list of quick and easy items you can tackle as soon as the weather warms up, which will make selling your home a breeze.