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How to Make Your Home Stand Out on the Market
Posted on Tue, 15 Aug 2017, 04:10:00 PM  in Home selling tips
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When you're ready to list your home, it's important that the property stands out to ensure that you find the right buyers. Home sellers often want to sell the property as soon as possible to prevent the home from losing value. If you want the house to stand out on the market, there are a few important tips to follow.

 

Stage the Home

Staging the home is necessary to help buyers envision themselves living in the property instead of feeling like they're taking a tour of someone else's home. Use neutral furniture and decor to create a contemporary setting that isn't overly bold or dramatic. Repaint red or dark walls with beige or off-white color shades. Remove personal items that include family photos or children's artwork on the fridge. All clutter will also need to be hidden to prevent it from detracting from the features of the interior and exterior setting. Consider renting a storage unit to place extra belongings instead of stuffing everything inside of cupboards or closets where buyers may inspect. All animals or pets should also be removed from the property.stnad out on market

 

Take Quality Photos

The photos that you use to advertise your home will determine how many people want to take a look at the property. Hire a professional to take quality photos during the daytime when there's plenty of natural light present to create an uplifting setting. The photographer can take pictures of the best features of the property after the home has been staged. The professional should also be capable of editing the images to ensure that they look attractive.

 

Increase the Curb Appeal

It can often be difficult to sell your home if the inside setting is updated, but the curb appeal of the property looks dire and neglected. Boost the curb appeal by increasing the quality of the landscaping and using potted plants on the porch. Consider painting the front door to make it pop and stand out on the home. You can also add a water feature like a pond or a fountain in the yard for extra appeal or a few chairs on the porch.

 

Updating the mailbox and address numbers will also make the home appear newer and maintained well. Having a beautiful front yard and exterior setting will allow buyers to notice the property when driving by and seeing a sign in the yard that the home is for sale.

 

Make it Personal

Your goal should be to make your guests feel at home when they tour the property. Consider leaving fresh cookies out on the kitchen countertop or hanging clean white towels in the bathrooms. Adding air fresheners or lighting a few candles will create a pleasant setting that allows them to feel comfortable in the environment.

 

Avoid being present on the property when buyers tour the property, which can make for an awkward encounter. Let your real estate agent represent you and show off the different features while you're away to help potential buyers feel at ease as they take a look around.

 

Make Use of Each Space

Empty rooms can be a turnoff to buyers because they may not know what to do with the space if they purchase the home. Make use of each space in the home by staging an area that can be used as a home office or a home theatre for the family. Getting creative can allow potential buyers to see that the house will serve many different purposes.


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Questions To Ask Your Sales Representative When Selling Your House
Posted on Sun, 30 Jul 2017, 09:00:00 AM  in Home selling tips
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Selling your house can either be a breeze or it can be a nightmare. Selling your home should be an easy process if you know which questions to ask your sales representative at your next meeting.

 

What Experiences Can You Share With Me?ask your rep

Many sales representatives know how to both sell homes for clients and help buy homes for their other clients. Rarely may you find a sales representative that specializes in one side or the other, but all representatives should have a list of experiences that they can use to help you feel more comfortable with selecting them to sell your home. If you aren’t convinced, then look for a sales representative that will be able to share these comforting experiences with you.

 

Do You Have A List Of References That I Can Contact?

If you like to do your research and would like to know more about the sales representative that you are interested in hiring, consider asking for a list of references to contact. Make sure that you actually speak with these references before you hire your sales representative.

 

Are Your Fees Negotiable

Many sales representatives have a baseline that they draw from in order to establish their fees. They do this so that all customers feel as though they are being treated fairly. Unfortunately, there are circumstances that may arise for you that do not always arise for everyone including delays and complications with the sale. For this reason, your sales representative should be willing to negotiate their fees with you.

 

What Is My Home Currently Valued At?

Your home may or may not be worth what it was when you originally purchased it however many years ago that you had purchased it. If you have done many updates or if the market is in your favor, you may actually be able to get more out of your house than you originally purchased it for. Your home may or may not be competitive with the other homes on the market in your area for one or more reasons that your representative will explain to you. For all of these reasons, you should always ask what your home is valued at.

 

What Can I Do To Increase The Value Of My Home?

If you are not satisfied with the amount that your sales representative suggests that your home will be worth, consider asking what you can do to change it. It may be simple things like staging the home or getting it professionally cleaned. You may also hear that you should replace appliances, pave the driveway, or replace the tub in your upstairs bathroom. You may or may not be surprised to hear what your representative tells you.

 

Do You Know Buyers Looking For Homes In My Selling Range?

You may wish to ask if your sales representative works with potential buyers that are looking for a home in the range that you are selling yours for. This can both speed up the process and help to secure a few home visits right away. This will also help those looking to buy a home just like yours.

 

Does The Market Currently Favor Buyers Or Sellers?

The market is always changing. One year it will tend to favor those that are looking to sell homes, other years it will favor those that are looking to buy homes, and still other years it will offer a unique balance that satisfies or dissatisfies both parties.


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New Canadian Home, New Canadian Lifestyle
Posted on Sat, 15 Jul 2017, 08:55:00 AM  in Home buying tips
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Do you already live in Canada but are moving to a new location? Are you from a different country and are looking to move to Canada for the first time in your life? Maybe you have children, medical needs, or work-related demands that can best be filled only by moving into your next Canadian home. In any event, moving into a new home is the perfect opportunity to start fresh and live a lifestyle that is be different than the one you are currently living. Consider the following advice if you are interested in creating a new lifestyle for yourself.

 

Location Mattersnew lifestyle

Canada is one of the largest countries on the planet. There are plenty of opportunities to live in the type of location that makes you happy. Different locations have different climates, different language preferences, and different types of jobs. Make sure that you are moving to the area of Canada that best meets you and your family’s needs.

 

Size Isn’t Everything

Not all homes that are large are expensive. Not all homes that are small fit into everyone’s budget. You do not need to have a 10 bedroom home to live the life of luxury that you desire. Your home should fit your needs and make you happy before it makes anybody else happy.

 

Proximity to Civilization Varies For Everyone

Living in the remote forest is not for everyone, but living in the city is not always the perfect location either. Thankfully, when you purchase your new home in Canada you’ll have plenty of options ranging from “far away from any signs of civilization” to “right in the middle of a city that never sleeps”. You must recognize that you do not have to have the same preferences as your parents, grandparents, or friends in order to be happy.

 

Change Is a Family Effort

Change can be hard, buying and selling homes can be hard, and meeting with professionals like sales representatives and inspectors can be hard. You cannot expect that you can change your entire lifestyle upon moving if you do not have the support of your family. Maybe this means living more simply in the forest or the mountains. Maybe this means giving up a little more family time so that you can go to work to make a bigger paycheck. Change has to be a family effort in order for it to work.

 

Be True To Who You Are No Matter What

It is hard to be a free-thinking, creative, and carefree type of person if you have always had demands placed on you to fit within the constraints that society has outlined. If you have worked an office position for the past few decades but would rather make a living opening up your own art studio, then open up the art studio and abandon the suit. If you want a small home with the bare essentials necessary for living, then do not let yourself buy the types of items that build up into clutter. This new home is your opportunity to embrace the true you.

 

Take Home Advice

Congratulations on making the decision to move into your new Canadian home and again for choosing to embrace the lifestyle that you have always wanted to live. Even if the advice above differs from your own personal ideals, you are sure to have started the brainstorming process necessary to find the lifestyle that does fit your own unique personal situation, lifestyle, and preferences.


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Form These 4 Lists Before You Even Consider Looking For Your Next Home
Posted on Fri, 30 Jun 2017, 10:00:00 AM  in Home buying tips
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It can sometimes be difficult to gather and organize your thoughts when you are looking to buy a beautiful new Canadian home. If you are in this position, then you may wish to consider forming the 4 lists below to organize your thoughts and your needs. Remember, every list is negotiable and may not include every component of every house that you are about to view on your search.

 

Your New Canadian Home Needs...

The items on this list are non-negotiable. These are the items and components of a home that you need to have or desire so strongly that you are not willing to even consider homes that do not have them. You may have items like 3 or more bedrooms on this list if you have two children of opposite genders, for example. You may need a home in a specific town or province in which you would like to place on this list as well. You can get as detailed or vague as you need to be to meet your needs.

 

Your New Canadian Home Cannot Have...Form These 4 Lists Before You Even Consider Looking For Your Next Home

Like the list above, the items on this list are also non-negotiable. You will not even consider looking at homes that have these items or components. You may wish to put such things as mold, damaged roof, or long commute on this list. If you tend to think more negatively, you may even put such things as “fewer than 3 bedrooms, less than 2 bathrooms, or unfinished basement”. You can also take this opportunity to list items like stairs if you have a member of your family that is handicapped and cannot handle stairs in the home. Whatever the case may be, you are not willing to live with the items on this list and they are considered to be non-negotiable.

 

I Do Not Care Whether Or Not The House Has...

This list is where you can put everything you do not know how to organize into the two above categories. You may want 4 bedrooms but only need 3, so you can list that here and let your sales representative know that you are flexible in this area. You may wish to put the size of the yard, the material used in the driveway, and the landscaping ideas you have under this category as well.

 

I Can Afford To Fix This...

If you are looking for a fixer upper or a home that needs a little bit of tender loving care, then you may find this list extremely helpful. You could even use this list if you can think of things that you can fix up when you buy the home if you can get a decent price on it when you close. You may include such things as a driveway that really needs to be repaved, roofing that needs to be replaced, or appliances that are outdated throughout the house.

 

If you are a serious fixer upper type of buyer, then you may have many more items to list in this category than the average person. You can include things like flooring, insulation, complete bathroom and kitchen remodels, and poor landscaping in the frontyard or backyard.

 

Take Home Advice

The lists above is just meant for you to use as an example. You should feel like you can add, subtract, and modify any of the examples that were listed for you to use as reference. Remember, these lists are for you and your sales representative to use towards buying your next Canadian home.


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Checklist for Getting Settled in Your New Home
Thursday, 15 June 2017, 09:50:00 AM
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Once you have signed on the dotted line and the keys to the new house are yours, it is time to get to work turning the house into your home. Furniture placement, window dressings, and paint colours are first items that probably come to mind. In the chaos and confusion of moving, certain items often get overlooked. The following will help you make your transition to your new home as smooth as possible.

 

Change the Locks:

This should be your very first task since you have no way of knowing who may have keys to your home. Depending on the number of locks and whether you install them yourself or hire a locksmith, you can probably expect to pay anywhere from $10 to $30 per lock, which is a small price to pay to ensure that your family and belongings are secure.

 

Ask for Contacts:checklist for getting settled in your new home

If you are moving to a new area, be sure to ask your REALTOR® for a list of preferred service providers. Most agents will know the name of a reputable electrician, plumber, and heating and air company. Having these numbers available can be a lifesaver if you need an emergency repair.

 

Check Safety Equipment:

Make sure that your home is equipped with adequate smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. If the detectors are old or there are not enough of them for the size of the home, invest in new ones. If the existing detectors appear to be new and in good shape, you should go ahead and change the batteries immediately. It is also a good idea to invest in a couple of new fire extinguishers as well.

 

Schedule Maintenance for Mechanical Equipment:

Even though you probably had your home inspected prior to closing, it is still a good idea to have your heating, air conditioning, and even your plumbing inspected and serviced by a professional. To save money, considering enrolling in a service agreement with a reputable company. These agreements typically offer substantial discounts on preventative maintenance and tune-ups as well as emergency repairs.

 

Change Switch Plates, Outlet Covers, and Toilet Seats:

Switch plates and outlet covers can become dingy, dirty, and discoloured over time. These items are easy and inexpensive to replace and will make your home look fresh and new. It is also nice to start off new with something as personal as a toilet seat. If you do not want to spend money on a new toilet seat, at least take the time to remove the current one so that you can clean all of the nooks and crannies.

 

Paint the Front Door:

A bright, cheerful front door is an easy way to add your personal style to your new home. Be sure to take the time to sand and prep the door to get the best results. Today, almost any colour is acceptable; however, if you are part of a homeowners association, you want to make sure that you comply with their regulations.

 

Finally, consider scheduling a housewarming party for several weeks after your move-in date. Not only will this give you a chance to meet your neighbours, but the deadline will also keep you from procrastinating when it comes to unpacking.


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Get The Answers To These Questions Before Selling Your Home
Posted on Wed, 31 May 2017, 12:35:00 PM  in Home selling tips
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Get The Answers To These Questions Before Selling Your Home

Congratulations on selling your Canadian home and preparing for the next journey in your life. No matter how you have come to this conclusion, you are most certainly coming up to a new chapter in your life and we know that it is going to bring you joy and happiness in its greatest form.

If you are selling your home, then you may have quite a few questions about the process and about what you need to do in order to sell your home most efficiently.

Here are a few questions, in no particular order, that you need to have the answers to in order to complete the process of selling your Canadian home in the most peaceful, efficient, and legal method possible:

 

How Much Money Is My Home Worth?

Get The Answers To These Questions Before Selling Your HomeThe house market is constantly fluctuating depending on factors out of your control. These factors could be demand, supply, economy, natural disaster, climate, and region in which your home is being sold. To some degree, you will not be able to control what your home is worth and how much money a potential buyer will pay in order to buy it from you. This is really a consultation where you figure out what sort of figure you would like to show the public.

 

How Many Homes Have You Sold That Are Similar To Mine?

The types of home in which a sales representative has sold in the past may tell you a bit about their style and which types of houses they typically take on to sell. If they have quite a bit of experience selling homes that are similar to yours, you can rest assured that the price they are quoting you is competitive.

 

What Paperwork Do I Need To Be Aware Of Before Starting This Process?

Make sure that you are well aware of all of the paperwork you will need to sign before you decide to start the process of selling your home. This may not seem like a big deal right now, but you will be thankful that you are well-aware and educated later on down the road if there are complications or if you are getting tired with the process.

 

Who Will Be Able To See The Listing Of My Home?

You may be surprised at just how many places your home could be listed for sale. You may also be surprised that your home is not listed in as many places as you thought it may be. You can ask who will be able to see the listing of your home in order to determine whether or not you need to do additional work to ensure that your listing is seen by as many people as possible.

 

Do You Have References I Can Contact?

Your sales representative should have a list of references available for you should you wish to contact them. Your sales representative has nothing to hide and should treat every consultation as if they are applying for a job. If they are prepared they will be able to give your references immediately upon your request.

 

Is Your License In Good Standing? Can You Prove It?

All credible sales representatives will have a license that is in good standing regardless of whether they have been selling homes for a few days or they have been selling homes for 30 years. They can give you this information and they can prove it. They would only withhold proof of a license in good standing if they have something to hide.


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Choosing The Right Colors For Each Room In Your New Home
Posted on Mon, 15 May 2017, 12:35:00 PM  in Home buying tips,  Home selling tips
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Choosing The Right Colors For Each Room In Your New Home

If you have just purchased a New Canadian home and would like to get started on painting but are stumped at where to start, you may find comfort in the list of colors and their common places listed below. You may use this guide as a reference or create your own style as you see fit.

Below you will find a list of colors that are commonly used in rooms throughout a Canadian home. While some colors may seem more practical for one room than another, it is important to remember that once you sign that final contract with your sales representative, then you are free to paint any room in your home in any color that you would like regardless of the suggestions listed below.

 

White

Choosing The Right Colors For Each Room In Your New HomeWhite is often a color that is used in areas of the home that get little light or need to appear brighter and cleaner. These rooms often include, but are not limited to: basements, bedrooms, bathrooms, and kitchens because of its ability to distinguish whether the walls are clean or not.

 

Cream, Beige, Tan, Brown

This group of colors can, and often are, very similar to each other and are consequently used for similar purposes. These colors compliment rooms that you would like to look cozy or welcoming. These rooms most often include: living rooms, hallways, kitchens, and bedrooms.

 

Orange

Orange can be a bold paint choice or it can be found in such a pale shade that it appears similar to the color group listed above. Because of its versatility, it can cover any of the rooms listed above.

 

Blue

Blue is a color that can be found in the majority of houses in Canada. It has a calming affect on people and is often used in spaces where people spend a lot of time. These spaces include, but are not limited to: bedrooms, bathrooms, and living rooms.

 

Green

Green, like blue, tends to make people calmer. There is an unspoken quiet, thoughtful, and tranquil space created inside of any room that is green. For this reason, green is most often seen in studies, bedrooms, kitchens, and common family areas.

 

Red

Red is always a bold choice no matter what shade you choose to paint your room in. Red should be reserved for areas that get a lot of light. It is a favorite among adolescent bedrooms, and occasionally in living rooms or home theaters.

 

Purple

Purple is always a beautiful color to accent a room in. It can have all of the calming and tranquil properties of blue and green, with all of the personality and brightness of Spring. While most commonly seen in girl’s bedrooms and master bedrooms, pale shades of purple may even be found in kitchens, bathrooms, and living rooms.

 

Black Chalkboard Paint

If you have a toddler or adolescent with a creative mind, you may consider painting a wall of their room black with chalkboard paint. This will allow them to release all of their creative energy into a piece of artwork that they will not get in trouble for creating.

 

Advice To Keep In Mind

Just because the colors are listed above does not mean that you have to follow them. You are completely free to choose whatever color scheme you would like in any room of the house you choose to put it in. The above information is simply listed as it is seen in many Canadian homes.


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How To Say “Goodbye” To Your Beloved First Home
Posted on Sun, 30 Apr 2017, 01:40:00 PM  in Home selling tips
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If you are moving away from the first Canadian home that you have ever purchased, you may be having some feelings of intense sadness. That is understandable considering the feelings you had when you were first buying this Canadian home you will now be leaving behind. You chanced it all to get this home in particular and now you’re leaving it for the next chapter in your life. Good luck.

Here are a few tasteful ways to savor that last little bit of time you have left with your beloved first Canadian home before officially signing it away with your sales representative.How To Say “Goodbye” To Your Beloved First Home

 

Plant Something In the Yard

When you step back and look at all that you have accomplished in the amount of time that you have spent in your house, you may be realizing that virtually everything in the house and in the yard have been touched by you at some point. It can be a jarring or saddening thing to think about all of that hard work, blood, sweat, and tears disappearing with the new set of family members to live there. Take this time to come up with something that you can plant in the yard. Think of this item as something that will likely be a permanent fixture that can never be removed. If you live on a wooded lot or have a lot of trees in the backyard, consider planting a tree. It will not be singled out to be cut down and will likely not even be special to the family that moves in, but it will give you the closure you need. That baby tree will make you feel like a part of you will always be with that house and that property. If you can’t plant a tree or flower, then plant an item that meant something to you in the yard. Simply dig a small hole and plant an old piece of trim or a shard of glass from the first window that you ever broke in the house. Even though you won’t be able to watch this bloom for years to come, you can be confident that the item will remain there for many years to come.

 

Fill The Home With Your Favorite Scents

When you think of being at home what is the first thing that often comes to mind? The smells that remind you of home when you’re not there, right? Think of baking your grandmother’s famous cookies from a recipe that is strictly secret between the two of you. Make your favorite dinner and let the smells fill up your home. Maybe these smells come from the scents that you have always used in your baths after a long day of hard work. Whatever smells make you think of home when you are not there are the perfect smells that you should be filling your home with in your last days. Make your memories something special.

 

Create Something

There is nothing more inspirational than the items, people, and environments that mean the most to you. Take these last few days to write poems, stories, or journal entries of all of your fondest memories in the home. If you are not much of a write, then consider making some sort of piece of artwork that you can take with you to remember your first home with. This may be a painting or pastel piece that you have created. Maybe it is a piece of jewelry created using something from the home. Whatever you choose to create should have special meaning to you.


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Guideline for Canadians Looking to Buy or Sell a Home
Posted on Fri, 31 Mar 2017, 03:40:00 PM  in My services
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As stressful as it might be, buying or selling a home is probably the most important undertaking you will ever be involved in. The procedure for selecting a house involves both finance and lifestyle considerations; one needs to choose wisely to avoid regrets in the future. In the Canadian market, one needs to secure a good deal and at the right time. By the basic law of supply and demand, one should buy at a time when many people are not looking for houses. You also need to be aware of the details during contract negotiation, have knowledge on what qualities to look out for, and still keep the mortgage interest as low as possible. Selling on the hand should be done at a suitable time to ensure that you make enough money to secure yourself another home.Guideline for Canadians Looking to Buy or Sell a Home

There are myriad reasons that may drive you to sell your home. If you find your home’s location unsuitable, then that may be a reason enough to sell it. Location may be unsuitable in relation to work, or if you are retiring and therefore require to move to a place with a low maintenance cost. The size of a house may also drive one to sell. If your family is growing and you cannot get a permit to expand it to add more bedrooms, then perhaps it is the right time to sell. On the other hand, if your kids have all moved to college, it is always a good time to downsize before any of them decides to move back. You may decide to sell for unfortunate reasons, say divorce or at worst death of a family member. This may be crucial in helping you leave bad memories. Financial reasons are a key factor to selling. If you cannot sustain the cost of a house or you need money to pay for something else, relocating is always an option. For a change in lifestyle, especially among young and rich, many people move to more classy homes in reputable cities.

Buying a home should always be done with utmost keenness. One needs to ensure that the previous owner had properly maintained the house. This helps to reduce repair costs when you later discover damages in the house. One needs to check every area of the home from ensuring that roofing is in good condition and has a long lifetime to checking whether the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working. For the windows, they should be well sealed and double paned, and the foundation should have no cracks, especially on the outer side. Plumbing and wiring is another important area. One should ensure that knob and tube wiring is not made of aluminum because it is expensive to replace, and that the plumbing is not leaking and the water is adequate. The areas around bathtubs or showers should have no signs of water damage or mold, and all appliances such as fridges should be in good working condition.

Before purchasing a house, it is always important to find out if it is right for you. You need to evaluate your current and future needs. This is very important in determining the size of the house you will buy. If you are in a young family that is looking to having children soon, you should buy a home that has several rooms. If you are looking to fit in into a group of rich friends, then you will require buying a good house with additional features such as a pool. There are extra things to check such as house maintenance and energy efficiency if you need a mortgage home loan.


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Buying a Home: Tips for Surviving a Bidding War
Posted on Wed, 15 Mar 2017, 03:35:00 PM  in Home buying tips
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Buying a home can feel like a roller coaster ride filled with emotional highs and lows. One of the lows that buyers dread the most is finally finding the perfect dream home only to get caught up in a nasty bidding war. Your heart tells you to do everything you can to get the house while your head tells you that you need to stay within budget. The following tips will help you put your best foot forward and improve your chances of getting your offer accepted.

 Buying a Home: Tips for Surviving a Bidding War

Have Financing in Place:

You may be up against all-cash offers, so ensuring that you have a lender's preapproval in hand will strengthen your position by allowing you to remove the financing contingency from your offer.

 

Make a Competitive Offer:

You should avoid the temptation to make a lowball offer. You run the risk of insulting the sellers to the point that they refuse to even counteroffer. An experienced REALTOR® can help you prepare a thoughtful offer based on market analysis, their experience with the local market, as well as information they can learn from the listing agent regarding the seller's motivations.

 

Adjust to the Seller's Schedule:

Closing dates are typically negotiated for a time that is convenient for both sides. Agreeing to close at the seller's convenience may give you a leg up over the competition. If the sellers need a little extra time to arrange their move, you can even agree to rent the property back to them after closing.

 

Remove Sales Contingencies:

Offers that are contingent upon inspections or you selling your current home can make a seller nervous. Removing these stipulations can improve your odds of acceptance when there is stiff competition; however, you should consider the consequences of removing the contingencies very carefully. For example, you want to ensure that you have enough funds in reserve to cover two mortgages for a while. You may also opt for an "information only" inspection so that you will at least have an idea if there are potential issues with the home and can plan accordingly.

 

Make it Personal:

Realtors often recommend that buyers in a bidding war submit a personal letter with their offer detailing why they fell in love with the house and what it will mean for their family to live there. This will help the seller connect with you on an emotional level and may help tip the scale in your favor.

 

Know When to Walk Away:

It is important to know your top price before submitting your offer. It is all too easy to overpay for a home when we let our emotions gain control. No matter how perfect a home may appear, it is not worth it if you end up struggling every month to meet your mortgage payment. If you are patient, you will find the right house at the right price.

Finally, you should trust your REALTOR®. There is a good chance that they have been through more than one bidding war and can help you come up with best possible strategy to get your offer accepted.


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ZOI OUZAS Sales Representative
RE/MAX Garden City Realty Inc., Brokerage
64 Main Street West, Grimsby ON L3M 1R6
Office: (905)-945-0660 Office: (905)-563-8527
CONTACT ME

 

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