Real Estate Blog

A slow real estate season is defined as a period of time that has less activity - fewer listings, fewer transactions, etc. - than other times of the year. In many areas, the slow season is in the winter, but it can be at other times as well.

The question you might be asking is, "Does it make sense to sell in a slow season?"

In most case, the answer is yes. 

Why? Consider the following:

First of all, just because there is less activity in the local market doesn't mean the market isn't tilted in your favour. It might, in fact, be a seller's market, with some eager buyers just waiting for a property like yours to become available.

Also, a listing tends to stand out more when there are fewer competing properties for sale. So, if you sell now,

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If you're going to be out-of-town but need to sell your home, you might be concerned about listing your property while you're away. After all, you won't be around to show your property, schedule viewings, consider offers, etc.

While it's ideal that you be close to home when you're selling, there's no reason why you can't list your property, even if you're going to be out-of-town.

When it comes to communications and document sharing, technology is a wonderful thing! While you're away, you can utilize phone, email, file sharing apps (such as Dropbox), e-signing apps (such as DocuSign) and online meeting apps (such as Zoom). 

For viewing appointments, a secure lock box (with your key inside) can be installed so buyers can be shown your property. 

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If you're thinking about selling in the spring, don't wait until the new year to start planning. In fact, you'll save yourself a lot of work and get ahead of the game if you start planning now. 

What's that old saying? The early bird gets the worm! In this case, by starting the process this month, you'll be in excellent shape when you're ready to list in the spring. 

Here are just a few examples of what you can do in December to get the process started:

  • Walk your property and note any maintenance issues that need attention.
  • Decide which items to stow or sell to declutter your home. 
  • Determine what improvements you'll need to make in order for your home to look great to buyers (i.e. painting.)
  • Find out approximately how much your
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When you're shopping for a new home, you probably want the property to be as "move in ready" as possible. That way, you can...well...just move in!

However, there are a lot of fantastic properties on the market that need some work. For example, you might see a home that has everything you need, but the kitchen is long overdue for a renovation. Or, you might view a property that requires a lot of repairs and painting - tasks that at first glance, seem overwhelming. 

You don't want to just pass on a property that might be a great buy. On the other hand, you don't want to purchase a home, only to end up with more renovations, repairs and expenses than you anticipated. 

What's the solution? Here's an idea.

When you view a home that needs work, make

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If you need to sell your home in the next month or two, you might be worried. After all, aren't spring and summer the ideal seasons to list your property? If you list in November or December, you might have difficulties attracting buyers and getting the best price for your home. Right?

Not necessarily.

While it's true that spring and summer are traditionally busy periods in the real estate market, properties do sell every month of the year. 

So, if you're thinking of selling, you'll need to know two things:

  • What comparable homes are selling for at this time of year.
  • How long homes are taking to sell, on average.

There might be a local seller's market this month. That would mean there are more buyers looking for homes like yours

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When you're selling your home, you want it to look its best to buyers. Unfortunately, buyers are likely to notice any cracks or stains on your floor. 

Luckily, there are many do-it-yourself solutions to help make your floors look significantly better.

Let's start with stains. 

If you have carpeting, there are a number of spot cleanings product on the market. But before you try one of those, consider this simple remedy. Sprinkle a little baking soda on the stain and then add just enough drops of white vinegar to make it bubble. Wait two minutes. Then, dab carefully with a paper towel and vacuum the residual. This method often works. 

For hard floors, gentle rubbing with warm water will take care of most stains. If you have hardwood floors,

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In the business world, a phrase that's often used is ROI or Return On Investment. It refers to the regular gain (or loss) you're getting from a particular asset relative to its cost. 

When it comes to your home, the gain may be more than financial. It may include the benefit of the lifestyle it gives you. For example, a spacious backyard deck pays off in countless pleasant Saturdays with friends and family. A home's location near convenient commuting routes means less stress getting to and from work. 

Lifestyle factors are important, not only when considering where you're living now, but also when considering where you think you'd like to live in the future.

That's why it's a good idea to do a Lifestyle Assessment regularly. The exercise is

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When you're selling your home, you want it to look its best. You want buyers who view it to say, "Wow, I love this place!" However, what if you have a stubborn stain in the carpet, or a cracked floor tile? An unsightly issue like that can be distracting in your otherwise beautiful property. 

You have a few options.

First, try to get the issue fixed. There are specialty cleaners on the market designed to lift even the most stubborn carpet stains. 

The same goes for hardwood and tile. A flooring contractor might be able to find a matching piece and then replace the damaged section. Contractors also know other tricks-of-the-trade to repair damaged flooring or, at least, minimize the damage. For example, there are fillers and stains available

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How do you find the home of your dreams within a price range you can afford?

Most buyers start by making a "wish list". But it's easy to get frustrated when you have a long wish list and expect you'll be able to find a home with every one of those features. You might, for example, have "mature backyard tree" as number 23 on your list, and become disappointed when an otherwise ideal property doesn't have one.

But when you really think about it, your ideal home probably comes down to just three or four core characteristics. For example:

  1. Nice, safe, family-oriented neighbourhood.
  2. Good-sized backyard.
  3. Four bedrooms and two baths.

Sure, there might be other features you were hoping for, such as "move in ready", or that big tree, but

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If you want to reduce your home energy costs, the easiest way is to turn the thermostat up or down. In fact, you probably won't notice a difference of 2 degrees either way - and the savings can be substantial.

However, if you want to lower your bill even further each month, here are some additional tips that are relatively easy to implement.

  • Plug or fix the drafts. Even in newer homes, air filtration can occur at windows and doors. So, check around your home for drafts. Windy or cold days are the best days to check. Then, get any draft you find repaired or, at least, temporarily plugged.
  • Check the attic. Heat rises and can escape through the attic. So, once a year, check the attic insulation for thin or bare spots. The insulation should be
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