8 Important Ottawa Home Buying Tips

15 10 2014

Ottawa Home Buying 1Are you an Ottawa home buyer who is currently trying to navigate the local housing market to find your next dream home?

If so, then you’re sure to find today’s real estate blog helpful! Today, we’re going to share with you 8 tips on how to effectively navigate the local housing market!

How to Get the Home of Your Dreams in Ottawa

Get Pre-Approved for Your Home Loan. This is different than getting pre-qualified. A pre-approval for a loan tells home sellers that you’re a serious candidate for purchasing their home, and they’ll likely be more eager to work with you. Plus, it’s one less step you have to take before you can buy the home of your dreams. But make sure you do your research: Learn about junk fees, processing fees or points and make sure there are no hidden costs associated with the loan.

Get a survey done on the property you want. This way you know exactly what you’re purchasing and you can avoid any border disputes with the neighbors. Plus, your property tax will be based on how much land you have so it’s good to have an accurate map drawn.

Don’t stress yourself out waiting for the perfect time to enter the market. It’s impossible to determine when is the absolute best time to buy a home. The best thing you can do is look at recent market trends and if they seem favorable to your needs, take a leap of faith and enter the market with the help of a qualified real estate agent.

Understand that bigger might not always be better. After all, the larger your home, the smaller audience of qualified and interested buyers down the road when it comes time to sell. Remember to buy a home that fits your needs and wants instead of just basing it on the biggest house in the neighborhood.

Beware of Sleeper Costs. This is the term used for the difference between renting and home ownership. A lot of people will only focus on their mortgage payments but residents also need to be aware of other expenses associated with owning a home, including property taxes, utilities and HOA dues. Remember that you’ll also need to be prepared to pay for repairs, maintenance and possible property tax increases. Make sure your budget reflects these hidden costs.

Understand that buying a home is a commitment and shouldn’t be decided by emotions alone. In other words, balance your emotions with your intellect and instincts. We understand that buying a home is an emotional experience but it’s also a major investment that needs careful thought. Move forward accordingly.

Get a home inspection. You want to make sure you know exactly what you’re buying before you sign on the dotted line. Thus, get a home inspection so that you know of any possible issues the home might have or anything else that you should be aware of as a buyer. It’s definitely better to know now than later.

Visit the Neighborhood at Various Times of Day. Drop by in the morning, drop by at night. Make sure you like the neighborhood at all times of day and that you feel comfortable there. Also, consider driving your normal commute from the home you want to buy so you get a feel for what that will be like. It’s important to fully vet what it’s going to be like to live in the house throughout the day and year.

Your Number 1 Ottawa Real Estate Experts!

Contact us for more valuable and straight-forward home buying tips. We are dedicated to giving you all the resources and facts you need to make educated decisions as home buyers on the housing market in Ottawa!





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,

Geoff





7 Surefire Ways to Get Your Ottawa Home Sold!

15 08 2014

Ottawa Home SellingHave you recently listed your home on the Ottawa real estate market? If so, are you feeling a lot of anxiety about ensuring you get the best price for your home and that you sell if in a reasonable amount of time?

Then you’ve come to the right Ottawa real estate blog!

Today, I’m going to share with you seven strategies for ensuring a successful home selling outcome on the Ottawa real estate market. When you employ some or all of these, you’ll be able to rest assured knowing that you’re going to end up coming out on top as a home seller.

How to Get Your Home Sold on the Ottawa Real Estate Market

First, make sure your home is priced right. This takes a bit of research. Check out what similar homes in your area are selling for. Request the comps from your experienced real estate agent. And determine the true market value of your home. By pricing your home right out the gate, you’ll not only attract serious and qualified buyers but you may even end up with multiple offers on your property.

Remove half of the stuff in your closets. Why? Because by doing so, you’re going to make your closet appear more organized and cleaner. And that’s a good thing considering that home buyers highly value storage space and are sure to be sneaking peaks at your closet anyway.

Let there be light. Plenty of natural and artificial light can do wonders for making your home appear larger, cleaner and more welcoming. So remove the draped, clean the windows, turn on all of your lights (don’t forget the closets and bathrooms!) and cut back any bushes that may be blocking natural light into your home. Home buyers will be able to see a difference in your home and you’ll be able to see a difference in the purchase offers you receive.

Thoroughly Research Real Estate Agents. You don’t want to work with someone who has little to no experience in your price range or neighborhood. You want to work with someone who is well-informed and who has a proven track record for getting their home selling clients the results they want on the market. Believe us, it will pay off throughout the home selling process.

Take your furry friends to grandma’s for a little while. Believe it or not, not everyone may be in love with your cat, Whiskers, or your dog, Fido. Some people may be allergic, others may be scared of them and others may just be downright annoyed by them. So avoid turning off potential buyers before they ever have a chance to fall in love with your house by taking your pets with you during showings or taking them to a temporary home, like perhaps with your family members.

De-personalize your home. After all, when selling your home, the idea is to help the home buyer envision living there themselves one day. That’s harder to do if every hall they turn down, there are dozens of family portraits hanging on your wall. So depersonalize your home by removing the keepsakes and memorabilia you have scattered throughout and putting them in storage. Don’t worry, as soon as you sell your home and move into your new home, you can pull them out again!

Give your home a thorough cleaning. This should go without saying but you’d be surprised by how many home sellers neglect to do this before listing their home. Sweep the baseboards, scrub the bathroom tub, organize the closet and organize the food pantry.

Attention to detail matters. The cleaner and more organized your home looks, the more likely you’re to get a full-price or close-to-it purchase offer.

Helping You Navigate the Ottawa Real Estate Market with Expertise and Professionalism

Contact us today if you’re interested in listing your current Ottawa home on the market.

We would love to assist you by answering any questions you may have and helping to prepare a home marketing plan for your property in Ottawa.

Together, we can get you the price you’re looking for on your Ottawa home for sale!

Until next time,

Geoff





4 Important Steps You Should Take Before Listing Your Ottawa Home

15 07 2014

Ottawa home sellingHave you recently decided to list your home on the real estate market in Ottawa? Then before you do anything else, you need to take a few moments to read my blog.

Today, I’m going to tell you about the crucial steps that you should take before you list your property on the market.  Trust me, by taking these steps up front, you’ll ultimately save yourself time and money.

What Should I Do Before Listings My Home on the Ottawa Real Estate Market?

First,  consider your motivation for selling.  In other words, do you have a solid reason for wanting to list your home on the market or is it more of a whimsical fantasy.  If it’s the latter, think long and hard before you take that next step toward listing your property.  After all, navigating the real estate market isn’t always going to be easy and having a valid reason for selling your home in the first place will keep you grounded during those times.

Prepare for the purchase of your next home.  Generally speaking, you should sell first and buy second.  Still, it doesn’t hurt to be a little prepared for where you’re going next.  So take the time to make a list of those neighborhoods where you may want to live and then visit them.  Maybe even consider checking out a few open houses or comparing what homes have recently sold for in the neighborhood.  This will give you a better idea of what to expect as a home buyer when it comes time to purchase your next home.

Interview real estate agents.  While you may be tempted to navigate the real estate market alone, I can assure you that it’s much more effective to work with an agent who really knows the market.   You want to work with someone who has experience selling in yoru price range as well as your specific neighborhood.  And you want to be able to see that they have a proven track record for getting their home sellers to closing.

Find a Lender.  Why would I need a lender if I’m selling my home, you may ask.  It turns out, there are many reasons why. First, you want to have a lender who can tell you how much you need to pay off your current home. You also should take this opportunity to purchase a beneficiary statement.  Next, request a Good Faith Estimate and compare rates and fees.  Finally, ask for referrals to mortage brokers from agents. You’re going to need these contacts when you decide to purchase your next home.

Let’s Get Started on Listing Your Home in Ottawa Today

I hope you found the above information insightful as a prospective home seller. Now if you’re ready, contact us, Geoff and Bobbie McGowan, today to move forward with listing your property on the market.

We would be more than happy to assist you by answering any questions you may have and providing you with some valuable home selling resources. 

Until next time,

Geoff





Top 5 Home Selling Mistakes to Avoid on the Ottawa Real Estate Market

15 06 2014

Ottawa home sellingAre you currently thinking about listing your Ottawa home on the local housing market?

If so, then be sure to take a few moments to read today’s Ottawa blog.

I’m going to tell you about some of the top home selling mistakes that home owners make and why you should make sure you avoid them.

If you do avoid them, you’ll increase your chances of enjoying a successful home selling experience.

Avoid These Ottawa Home Selling Mistakes

Here are some common mistakes that home sellers make and why you should avoid them:

Asking for Too Much Money. Even if you paid off your house, it doesn’t mean that your property is worth as much as you think it’s worth! And if you do end up setting your list price too high, you could turn off interested home buyers. Work with your real estate agent to determine the right list price.

Skipping a Marketing Plan. Don’t assume that a For Sale sign in your yard is going to do the trick. A marketing plan is critical to not only reaching buyers, but reaching the RIGHT buyers. So don’t skimp on getting together such a plan.

Listing Your Home as For Sale By Owner. You may think you’re saving yourself money in REALTOR® commission but in reality, the benefits don’t outweigh the costs. A trained real estate profession can devote all the time necessary to get your home sold. If you try to sell your home part time and with no background experience, you may end up having a negative experience on the market.

Not Fixing Broken Amenities Around Your House. Sometimes home owners fall into the trap of thinking, “Well, I’m moving out soon anyway, what’s the point of fixing the home up?” The purpose of this is to attract home buyers to your home and secure purchase offers from them. If they walk into your home and see several home repair needs, they might not notice all of the quality amenities that your home has to offer. So make sure to do a walk-through of your property beforehand, searching for items that need fixed or replaced.

Leaving Remnants of You and Your Family Everywhere. For instance, perhaps you have a wall covered in family portraits. This is not something you want to leave up if you’re showing your home to prospective buyers. After al, the idea is to help them see themselves living in your home. If you have family portraits everywhere they turn, it’s going to be a lot harder for them to envision it being their home one day.

Helping You Sell Ottawa Real Estate for Sale

Are you a current home owner who is interested in listing your Ottawa home on the market? If so, please take a moment to contact us, Geoff and Bobbie McGowan, today.

We would be happy to assist you by answering any questions you may have as well as helping you determine the true value of your home.

Until next time,

Geogg





How to Ensure Your Ottawa Home Search Doesn’t End in Heartache

15 05 2014

Ottawa home buyingLet’s face it: home buying is quite an emotional process. After all, you’re not just buying brick and mortar – you’re investing in an entire lifestyle, future family memories and more.

Still, it’s important to take extra precautions to make sure you don’t end up getting your heart broken on the Ottawa real estate market.

So today, we’re going to tell you three strategies that you can employ to avoid heartache when buying a home.

How to Avoid Ottawa Home Buyer Heartache

First, understand out the gate your relationship with the seller. In other words, accept the fact that sometimes, you and the seller are going to have differing wants and needs. For instance, the seller may turn down your offer if the price is too low for what they are hoping for. Or they may refuse to throw in the chandelier you want because it has sentimental value to them. Sometimes they may flat out refuse your offer because there’s another buyer who’s willing to give them more. Understand that there may be some back and forth between you and the seller but that is all a part of the real estate negotiation process. You’ll be better off in the long run if you enter the market with this mindset.

Don’t lose sight of your main objective. Sometimes when touring properties, it’s easy to get caught up in the razzle dazzle of homes. For instance, the granite counter tops or the remodeled bathrooms, the outdoor pool or the wine cellar in the basement. And all these things are truly amazing. However, it’s important to not lose sight of your main needs for your new home. So if a home has all of these things but only has two bedrooms (and you need three), you would be better off moving along and continuing to search for the right home for you. Make sure the home you ultimately purchase has all the “need to haves.” Any “want to haves” that the home features is just added bonus.

Don’t fall too hard for one home. I know this is easier said than done but the fact of the matter is, it’s not a done deal until you’ve signed the last dotted line and left the lawyer’s office at closing. The real estate market can be very fluid and things can change rapidly. So when you find a home you really want to purchase, allow yourself to be excited about the possibilities but also keep in the back of your head that it’s not a done deal until it’s a done deal. That way, if the deal does fall through for whatever reason, you’ll be less heartbroken. Trust us, the right house WILL come along – but it may take some patience.

Helping You Purchase Your Next Ottawa Home

We hope you found today’s information valuable and insightful as a home buyer in Ottawa.

How can we further help you navigate the Ottawa real estate market as a buyer? Please contact us, your Ottawa real estate experts, for valuable insight and useful resources that will help you secure the home of your dreams in no time!





Ottawa Spring Home Selling

15 04 2014

Ottawa home for saleThe Most Effective Way to Sell Your Ottawa Canada Home This Spring

Spring has finally arrived!  What a beautiful time of year it is here in Ottawa!

If you’re currently trying to sell your home on the local housing market, there’s an added layer of beauty to springtime.  For every spring, home buyers flood the market, hoping to close on their new home by the time their kids go back to school in the fall.

But how exactly can home sellers maximize this home buying energy? Today, I’m going to tell you the top tips for effectively marketing your home in springtime.

How to Get Your Ottawa Home Sold In Spring

Here are some top tips for attractive interested and qualified home buyers to your Ottawa home for sale this spring:

Give all the windows in your home a good thorough wash.  Not only will this add to the general appeal of your house but it will also maximize the natural light that’s coming into your home, which will make it feel brighter, more inviting and more beautiful.

Clean up your yard.  Curb appeal is quintessential to hooking the home buyer before they ever step foot in your home.  So make sure that your yard gives the right impression by cleaning up dead leaves and debris in your yard as well as cutting any unbecoming bushes or tree limbs.

Mow your lawn diagonally.  This may seem like a minor thing but it gives a better impression of a “manicured lawn” which is going to communicate to buyers that you’ve given your home the highest quality of care while you’ve lived there.

Plant colorful flowers on your property.  This will make your home really pop and will once again give you home a warm and inviting feel.

Clean off curtains, blinds and drapes in your home and open windows.  By doing this, you’re once again letting natural light in, which will add to the overall allure of your home.  And opening the windows will send fresh and crisp spring air all throughout  your home – which is better than that stale air that’s been pent up all winter long.

Polish your floors, especially if you have hardwood floors. This is a relatively low-maintenance task but it can do wonders for adding to the overall look and feel to your home.  Don’t forget about your ceramic and linoleum floors – they could use a polishing too!

Be hospitable.  Consider laying out freshly baked cookies or setting out chilled bottled water for home buyers.  By having some refreshments while showing your home, home buyers will feel more comfortable.  This is the perfect mindset for them to start envisioning what it would be like to live in your home one day – which could result in a purchase offer!

More Ottawa Home Selling Help For You!

For more valuable tips on how to get your Ottawa home sold this spring, please contact us,your dedicated Ottawa real estate experts.  We would be happy to offer you invaluable assistance with our practical advice and user-friendly home selling tools.