9 Tips for Effectively Staging Your Ottawa Home for Sale

15 09 2014

Ottawa home sellingAs the weather grows colder, home sellers on the Ottawa real estate market can expect buyer activity to slow down a bit.

This is a common occurrence each year. After all, school is back in session and buyers with families aren’t likely to want to upset that schedule. Plus, the warmer weather during the summer months just lends itself better to more activity and house shopping.

Still, just because we’re entering the fall months doesn’t mean that your chances of selling your home are completely dried up.

Today, I’m going to share with you 9 home staging tips that I believe will help you attract interested and qualified home buyers and help you seal the deal on your property.

How to Attract Interested and Qualified Home Buyers in Ottawa

Here are some ways you can effectively stage your home for sale:

Boost curb appeal. Power wash your home’s siding and walkways, replace your house numbers with some that are easy to read, mow your lawn, wash the front windows and consider repainting the porch floor. All of this will leave a great first impression for buyers.

Make your home sparkling clean. This means sweeping the floors, scrubbing the baseboards and vacuuming the carpets. This may be an arduous task but trust us – it’s worth it.

Declutter your home. Get rid of any excess furniture or junk to make your home feel larger and more appealing. Consider getting a temporary storage unit or – even better –donating your items to a charity.

Walk the line between Clean and Lived In. You want your home to be clean but you don’t want it to be so immaculate that it feels more like a museum than a home. After all, you’re trying to encourage the buyers to envision living there themselves. So consider adding a few elements back to your home once you’ve delcuttered, such as a vase of fresh-cut flowers or fresh produce on the counter. Just don’t overdo it!

Set the scene in your dining room. Help the home buyer envision living there by setting the table and creating a little vignette for them. It’s a great way to create ambiance and make your home more alluring.

Arrange your furniture like a professional stager. Generally speaking, symmetrical arrangements work well in living rooms. Make sure to pull the furniture off the walls and use pairs to make it seem like a great place to sit and enjoy deep conversation with loved ones. Remember, it’s all about making the buyer feel comfortable living there.

Stick with neutral colors. Yes, lime green and bright red may seem fun to you but the idea behind home staging is to appeal to the masses. So pick rich midtone neutrals like mocha or greige. You’ll be glad you did.

Make a gender-neutral master bedroom. You never know what the family status will be for the prospective home buyer who visits your home. Maybe he’s a young bachelor or it’s a married couple with four kids. Thus, make sure the master bedroom is as gender-neutral as possible in order to appeal to all home buyer types.

Avoid Pet Odors. Yes, we understand that you love Fido but that doesn’t mean everyone will love him – or his smell. So make sure to be extra vigilent when it comes to preparing a home for sale where a dog has previously lived. Vacuum and wash all surfaces, steam clean the rugs, and hide away the pet toys and doggie bones. Don’t worry, it’s only temporary!

Let’s Get Your Ottawa Home Listed Today!

Now that you have some expert home staging tips under your belt, you are ready to list your property on the market!

Contact us today to learn some more valuble advice that will further enable you to get the price you want for your Ottawa home.

Until next time,


How to Know You’ve Set the Right List Price on Your Ottawa Home

15 01 2014

Ottawa home sellingOttawa Home List Prices

Determining the list price on your Ottawa home for sale may be one of the most critical decisions you can make as a home seller.

After all, this price may in fact determine how much success you have on the market. Set it too high, and you risk scaring away potential home buyers. But set it too low and you’ll lose out on your hard-earned equity.

Today, I’m going to tell you how to strike a balance between the two.

Ottawa Homes for Sale

Here are the positive benefits of setting the right list price on your home in Ottawa:

  • You sell your home quicker and with less effort on your part
  • Your home gets plenty of showings (read: exposure)
  • You sell your home before it starts to languish on the Ottawa real estate market.
  • Your sales price is almost the same as your asking price

To ensure that this is your experience on the market, you should take certain steps.

For instance, don’t overestimate the value of your home based on upgrades. While these are nice, they’re not adding as much value as you think. Also, don’t try to compensate for the original purchase price of your home by setting your list price too high.

In the end, you won’t recoup the losses. Instead, you’ll just make it harder for you as home seller.

Finally, don’t believe the idea that you need to give yourself some negotiation room. A well-priced home will sell on its own. You don’t need to over-anticipate what the buyer is going to do by calculating in some negotiation room.

Risks of Overpricing Your Home

If you overprice your home, you risk a number of things, including:

  • Missing buyers who are searching in your home’s price range because you’ve priced your home out of that bracket
  • Not receiving an offer on your in the first couple of weeks, which is a critical time period. This may result in your home languishing on the market.
  • Ultimately being forced to settle on a price reduction because your home still hasn’t sold. And trust us, a “Recently Reduced” alert is not nearly as alluring as a “New Listing” alert.
  • Helping your neighbors (ie, your competition) to sell their homes before you sell yours because your over-priced home makes their homes for sale look like a real bargain!

List Your Ottawa Home With Us!

Pricing your home right is definitely an art, not a science. That’s why it behooves you to work with an experienced Ottawa real estate expert like us.

So contact us today to discover how we can help you get the outcome you want on the local housing market as a seller.

How to Stage Your Ottawa Home This Holiday Season

10 12 2013

Ottawa home stagingOttawa Home Staging

Are you thinking about selling your home over the holiday season? If so, then you’re sure to find today’s Re/Max Ottawa real estate blog helpful!

Today, I’m going to tell you about how local home owners can properly stage their Ottawa homes for sale so that they attract plenty of interested and qualified buyers in Ottawa.

Staging Your Ottawa Property

First, when you’re staging your home over the holidays, you want to make sure that you give your home a thorough cleaning. You also want to make sure that you remove any excess clutter as these items can crowd rooms and make your home feel smaller to the home buyer, which is usually not a good thing.

That said, you may also want to seriously consider the size of your Christmas tree if you have one. While big trees are lovely, they also tend to dwarf rooms. Instead, opt for a smaller tree this year in homes that your ultimate Christmas present is that you’re able to sell your home!

Setting the Scene

Next, set the mood by setting out a few selectively placed holiday decorations. Although you don’t want to overdo it, you do want to get the buyer in the holiday spirit so that they start envisioning their own family waking up on Christmas morning in your home. So put a wreath on the door, hang some mistletoe and string some lights.

Don’t forget the other four senses! Hint at the holidays by putting out some cinnamon sticks or playing some soft Christmas music. You may even want to bake some cookies and set them out for the prospective home buyers to enjoy. It’s all about making the home buyer feel at home so that they’ll want to make your Ottawa home their own!

Encourage Feedback

Finally, encourage home buyer feedback by setting out comment cards near the door. This way, even if they don’t end up making an offer on your home, you’ll know what they liked and what they didn’t like about your home. This will make you better prepared for future home showings!

Selling Your Ottawa Home With Us

If you’re thinking about listing your home anytime soon on the Ottawa real estate market, please contact us, your dedicated Ottawa REALTORS®. As experienced Ottawa Re/Max professionals, we would love to help you with all of your home selling needs by offering valuable advice as well as providing you with useful home selling resources.

Until next time,


Picking Ottawa Homes For Sale

2 11 2013

Remax Ottawa are proud to be your Ottawa real estate experts.  While we serve home sellers with our extensive marketing plans, navigate relocation, and negotiate short sales or foreclosures and investment property purchases, today we are going to touch on some tips for Ottawa home buyers. These simple tips can make your home buying process smoother, simpler, and even help you decide if now is the right time for you to be buying a home.

Things to Consider When Buying Ottawa Homes

1. Will you be staying in the area for a long time? This seems simple enough, but often first time home buyers in Ottawa are so excited to own their first property, that they sometimes jump the gun and buy a home before really being settled into an area. Before you buy, ask yourself these questions:

  • Is my job on a long term path? Do I see myself working in this same location for the next 3 or more years?
  • What kind of lifestyle do I want to be enjoying in 5 years? Do I really want to invest in a one bedroom condo, or do I want a multi-bedroom home? What are your life goals?

2. How is your credit score? Don’t be stuck buying something you don’t love, just because your credit is bad. Take the time to get your score up again. Before you start the house hunt, get copies of your credit scores, make sure they are correct, and take the time to improve everything you can. This will make a huge difference in the type of loans and rates you qualify for from the bank.

3.  Make sure you can REALLY afford your home. Sure, on paper, it may say that you can afford a$300,000 home, but what kind of lifestyle do you want to enjoy in your home? Think about these things:

  • You need to be able to afford any unplanned expenses (like a new roof or dish washer) as well as regular maintenance (like paint, wood stain, power washing and landscaping). You also want to be able to afford to feed yourself and have fun with life. Don’t put your entire paycheck into your home payment. Talk to one of our expert Realtors to get help on figuring your payments and rates.

4. Get that home inspection. Don’t skip this. We see so many first time home buyers consider saving the money and skipping it, because the home they love “looks great”, but a home inspector can find the things hidden beneath a home’s beauty that could end up costing you big (like mold in the walls, yikes!).

5. Get pre-approved before house hunting. There is nothing worse than falling in love with a home way out of your approved loan amount-it will taint your view on all other homes you look at and make you unhappy with the home you do buy or unable to consider the merits of other homes.

Ottawa ReMax

Are you ready  to start your Ottawa home buying adventure? Contact our expert Ottawa Realtors to ensure your home buying journey is smooth and professional. We will help you avoid all the bumps that can occur on the way to your dream home.

Until next time,


Worst Ottawa Home Selling Mistakes

1 08 2013

fittiselllastThe experienced Re/Max Ottawa Realtors at Ottawa Homes frequently see home sellers making the same mistakes over and over again, so we thought we would go over some of the most common ones that can sometimes cost home sellers a purchase offer, and most importantly, how to avoid them!

Selling Your Ottawa Home

In some areas it is still very much a buyer’s market, so it is important to make sure that you have an edge over all of the other home sellers out there trying to attract home buyers. Here are the top mistakes our expert Ottawa REALTORS see home sellers do:

  1. Pricing the home too high: This turns off otherwise qualified buyers who may have wanted to make a purchase offer
  2. Listing a home in poor condition. Often, homes in poor condition don’t get any purchase offers at all, and those that do come are often low-ball numbers because buyers can’t see the true value of your home due to all of the repairs needed.
  3. Ineffective Marketing Strategy. Bad or blurry photos, failing to diversify your marketing campaign to reach across many mediums, such as print, online, social media and more.
  4. Teaming with an inexperienced real estate agent. One real estate agent is not as good as another. By teaming with an inexperienced real estate agent, you will miss out on many home buyers not even seeing your home is for sale-and when it comes to selling your home, you want the all potential home buyers to see.

Avoid Common Ottawa Home Selling Mistakes

So how do you avoid these mistakes? Simply follow our expert Ottawa real estate advice:

  1. To avoid pricing your home too high, you must team with an expert REALTOR. An experienced REALTOR who can analyze comparable homes for sale in the area and make sure your home is priced accurately for land, home, location, community, neighborhood, and even down to the street. Pricing a home correctly also requires factoring in the condition of the home, the location and more.
  2. You don’t want a real estate agent that would let you list a home in poor condition.  It is simple to invest in quick fixes, such as repainting rooms or replacing severely worn carpeting. Your agent will know what buyers are focusing on and what fixes and repairs MUST be made to get any great offers on your home. Your agent will also know if staging your home to play up its assets and to downplay its flaws is necessary.
  3. If you don’t see examples of marketing tools used by the agent you are considering teaming with, then you want to keep looking. Make sure all photos of your home are clear and bright. Make sure diversified marketing targeted to the right home buyer audience is part of the marketing plan of your REALTOR.
  4. Find a qualified, expert Ottawa Realtor to represent you. Ask them questions about their experience in your specific market, as well as their game plan for effectively marketing your home. The Realtors at Re/Max Ottawa are expertly qualified in the Ottawa real estate market.

List Your Ottawa Home For Sale

Ready to sell? Contact your expert Ottawa real estate team, Bobbie and Geoff McGowan today!

Ottawa Sun Features Real Estate Experts

2 04 2013

ottawa real estate

The Ottawa Housing Market Plods Along

The title of the recent Ottawa Sun news article is extremely telling-yes, we are plodding along, in a very good way!  While there has been a lot of Remax Ottawa real estate market activity this past year, stricter mortgage rules introduced last summer have Read the rest of this entry »

Ottawa Real Estate Mortgage Information

6 07 2012

Ottawa Mortgage Tips and Information

Are you starting the process of buying Ottawa real estate? If you are not teamed with an expert Ottawa REALTOR, you may find that you need assistance in getting the best understanding-and deal-out of your mortgage options.

Today, I’d like to share with you some tips for how to increase your chances of securing a quality mortgage.

Read the rest of this entry »