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





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





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.





Pass Your Ottawa Home Inspection, Part 2

15 03 2014

Ottawa home inspectionCongratulations! Someone has just made a purchase offer on your Ottawa home for sale and you’re one step closer to the final closing!

But first, you’ll need to pass the final home inspection. For some home owners, this can be a daunting stage of the home selling process. After all, if the buyer finds something egregiously wrong with your home, it could end up breaking the deal for you!

Luckily, I’m here to help you seamlessly navigate the home inspection process. Today, in my second part in a series, I’m going to provide you with my top tips on how to pass your home inspection.

What To Do Before and During Your Ottawa Home Inspection

 Before the home inspection, make sure you remove any clutter throughout the home. Not only will this help your home leave the best impression possible, but it also won’t deter the home inspector from accessing such important systems as your heating and cooling system and mechanical systems. The last thing you want to do is irritate the home inspector because he’s having to riffle through your things to do his job.

Before the home inspection, empty out all of your appliances. The home inspector is gong to want to check them, so make sure you’re not leaving clothes in the washing machine, dishes in the dishwasher or food on the stove. It’s making the inspector’s job easier, which will leave him in a better mood when he’s delivering the final report on your home.

Before the inspection, make a clear path to the attic. You may even consider setting up a ladder to the attic. This will help the inspector finish up quicker and will make his life easier.

During the inspection, make sure you and your loved ones (even the furry ones) are not around. No home inspector wants to navigate around the current home owners while they’re trying to do their job. So make sure to leave about an hour before the inspection in the event that they show up early.

During the home inspection, leave the doors unlocked. For instance, make sure any gates or doors to the garage or crawl space are unlocked to allow for ease of access for the home inspector.

During the home inspection, provide documentation of repairs you’ve made. The home inspector will want this information easily accessible during his tour of your home. So make sure you leave out any receipts and related information in a binder or folder on the counter.

More Home Selling Help for You!

If you would like more tips on how to successfully navigate the Ottawa real estate market as a home seller, make sure to contact us, your Ottawa real estate exerts, today!

I would be happy to help you at every stage of the process to ensure that your home is selling for the best price possible and in as little time as possible!

Have a great day!





How to Pass Your Ottawa Home Inspection, Part 1

10 02 2014

Ottawa home inspectionsThere’s a lot that happens between the time that someone makes a purchase offer on your Ottawa home for sale and the time that you attend the final closing on your property.

And that means that there’s a lot that could go askew as well.

Today, we’re going to tell all the Ottawa home sellers out there the best way that they can prepare for the home inspection phase of the home selling process.

Selling Your Ottawa Home on the Market

Before a home buyer ever signs on the dotted line at closing, they’ll more than likely want to conduct a home inspection to ensure that they know what they’re buying.

For a lot of home sellers, this can be a particularly stressful time because, if there is something gravely wrong with the home, it could mean the end of a deal. Luckily, there are ways to prepare for the inspection to ensure your home gets a favorable review.

Here are six areas in your home that I recommend you check out before the inspection ever happens. If there are problems in these key parts of your home, get them fixed beforehand!

Water control problems: Often, these problems are most evident in the basement and crawlspace because there is a general smell of mildew that wafts through the air. This is a red flag that moisture levels are out of whack. To reduce those levels, cover any exposed area with plastic and also make sure to check out your home’s drainage system to make sure it’s working properly.

Mold and Mildew: Nowadays, nearly every home buyer is aware of the negative health effects of mold and mildew. And they may not want to have anything to do with a home that’s found to have these issues. Get them fixed before the inspection.

Troublesome Roofs: Home buyers pay a lot of attention to the health of the roof – in part because it’s the home’s protection from the elements and in part because they’re so costly to repair or fix. Thus, take extra care in ensuring that your roof is in the best condition possible. That means checking for deteriorated shingles as well as rotting materials underneath the shingles.

Plumbing Issues. Who wants to deal with the headache of a leak, especially given that it has the potential to cause some serious (and costly) damage to your home. To check to see if your home has a leak, mimic what the inspector is likely to do during the inspection, such as checking water pressure in the bathroom and running the dishwasher. Then if you find a problem, fix it!

Electrical Issues. Most likely, the home inspector is going to be checking for inadequate electrical panels as well as circuit breaker configurations. So check out these key areas first.

Housing Utilities. This may include the home’s heating and air conditioning systems, the foundation and the various appliances in the home. Get these checked out before the inspection to make sure they’re in proper condition and unlikely to raise any red flags with the inspector.

Providing You Helpful and Insightful Home Selling Advice

We hope you found today’s Ottawa real estate blog useful as a potential home seller. We love helping make the home selling process easier for individuals wherever possible.

For more expert help on navigating the market as a home seller, please contact us, your dedicated Ottawa REALTORS®. When you do, we’ll be able to provide you with valuable home selling resources and insightful real estate advice.

Until next time,

Bobbie





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.