Real Estate Blog

When buyers come to see your home, the first thing they notice is how your property looks from the curb. That first impression is powerful and lingering. If buyers don't like what they see, it can influence how they judge the rest of your property, regardless of how it looks on the inside. 

You definitely want to do whatever you can to boost curb appeal. Here are six affordable ideas to consider:

  1. Driveway sealing. This makes the pavement look darker and less faded. It also helps cover up some of the cracks. Sealing won't give you the "brand new" look of repaving, but it's close - and significantly less expensive.
  2. Exterior window washing. Washing the front windows make them look clean and bright. In fact, the effect can be stunning. There are
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There are many storage options for your household items. For example, receipts and other paper records can be stored in a file box. Seasonal items, such as winter clothing, can be put in the basement. You can even rent a local storage unit to help with decluttering. 

But what about stuff that exists electronically? These days, many important records, - vacation pictures, tax receipts, home videos, school documents, etc. - are in the form of PDFs, JPEGs, and other electronic formats. Having those reside entirely on your computer is risky. What if your computer crashes? Someone smart once said, "A computer file isn't a file until it's in two places." So, the solution is to store your important electronic documents in a second place. Here are the most

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If you have a home that is overdue for a renovation, you might be worried that it will be difficult to sell as a "fixer-upper". In fact, you might delay listing your property for that reason.

The good news is, you don't need to fix up everything in your home to prepare it for sale. You can be selective and choose only those projects that are most likely to help your home show well and sell quickly.

Here are some projects to consider:

  • Repairs. Few things stand out more during a viewing than something in obvious need of repair. That includes minor issues, like a dripping bathroom faucet, as well as major concerns, such as the central air conditioning unit not working. Get these repairs done.
  • Painting. Painting is one of the easiest and most
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Imagine you've found the perfect home. You love it. You've made an offer that's been accepted. So far so good! The only catch? You've wisely made the offer conditional on passing a professional home inspection. 

What happens if that home inspection reveals a major issue?

First, you should know that, depending on the age of the property, a home inspection will typically turn up at least a few areas of concern. The inspector might find loose insulation in the attic that is thinning out or roofing shingles that will need replacing in two or three years. 

Issues like those are not usually deal-breakers.

However, if the home inspector finds a major issue - such as old wiring that's worn and presents a safety concern - then you're facing a

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Want to make your bathroom look fantastic without having to do a major renovation? There are a lot of projects you can do yourself. In fact, there are some improvements you can get done in less than a day that will transform the look and feel of your bathroom. Check out these ideas:

  • Update the sink. If you have some basic plumbing knowledge, this is a project you should be able to do on your own. A new sink can make the entire vanity look like new.
  • Buy new decor. New shower curtain, towels, window coverings, mats, etc. can transform the look of a bathroom.
  • Install new hardware. Replacing cabinet hardware may not seem like much of a change. However, it can have a surprisingly big impact. Shiny new hardware is like jewelry. It stands out.
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Ideally, when you sell your home, you want the process to go smoothly and relatively stress-free. While things may happen that are outside your control, there is a lot you can do to ensure that the selling experience is a good one. 

Consider these four steps to reduce worry and stress when listing your home. 

 

Step 1: Learn the selling process.

Find out what to expect when the FOR SALE sign goes up. How will viewings be scheduled? Will an Open House be needed? What happens when there is an offer? The more you know, the less mysterious - and, therefore, less stressful - the experience will be.

Step 2: Schedule wisely. 

Use a calendar to block out times for viewings and other selling-related activities. Be sure to schedule plenty of time

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Moving around the corner or even across town is relatively simple because you are likely familiar with the various neighbourhoods and you can access them anytime. If there's a listed home you want to view, you can simply go see it.

Relocating to a different town or city, however, is much more challenging. It may not be possible for you to make multiple visits to see homes for sale. You may also be unfamiliar with the various neighbourhoods.

So what do you do if you want to move out-of-town or need to relocate due to work?

Your first step is to get the information you need. You'll want up-to-date data on the neighbourhoods so you can pinpoint the ones that are the best fit for your needs and lifestyle. You'll also want to get a sense of the types

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Ideally you should have a week or two available before you list your property in order to stage your home and make it look its best for buyers. But, what if you listed quickly and within hours of the For Sale sign going up a buyer wants to view your property?

In that scenario, you need to do some quick "staging" to get your home ready. Let's assume your property is already clean and tidy. Here are some other things you can do. 

  • Open the curtains, even at night. This will make each room seem brighter, more appealing and more spacious. 
  • Pull out some boxes or storage bins. Put away personal knick-knacks (like that bowling trophy) and other personal items to reduce clutter on shelves and countertops. 
  • Clear countertops in the kitchen and
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Outdoor lighting has come a long way from the days of patio lanterns and strings of lightbulbs. These days, there's an exhaustive array of options available to illuminate your outdoor space, and make it more appealing and comfortable, particularly in the evenings. 

Here are just a few ideas:

  • Solar garden lights. These lights are on stakes that can be easily inserted throughout the garden. Powered by the sun, they generate enough energy to cast a soft, pleasant glow along walkways or in flower beds in the evenings.
  • Deck post lights. These are easy to install because they're designed to sit on top of a standard 4x4 wood deck post. Most are solar powered.
  • Street-style lamps. As the name implies, these look similar to old-fashioned street
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You've heard of the term "curb appeal". It refers to the initial impression buyers get when they first see your property from the street. If the impression is a good one, it sets the right tone for the rest of the home viewing.

How do you boost curb appeal? Here are some proven ideas that you can get done in an hour or so:

  • Wash both the inside and outside of the front windows. You'll be amazed at the difference that can make.
  • Sweep the walkway leading up to the front entrance. Add a new welcome mat. Also wash down the front door.
  • If possible, remove cars from the driveway. Let buyers imagine their own cars parked there!
  • Mow the lawn or clear the snow from the drive and pathways. Lightly trim the hedges. Weed flower beds.
  • Remove
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