5 Great Staging Tips to Make Your Ottawa Home Appear Larger

15 05 2015

staged homeIf you’ve recently decided to list your home on the Ottawa real estate market, then you’ve come to the right housing market website!

Today, I’m going to tell you about how you can expertly stage your home to make it look bigger to potential home buyers.

And that’s not all. There are several more benefits to staging your home as well. For instance, staged homes also appear cleaner and more inviting and also usually get more money than unstaged homes.

So take to heart these suggestions! They could end up helping you turn a nice profit on your property in Ottawa.

Expert Staging Tips for Your Ottawa Home

Emphasize views. Generally speaking, buyers initial impression of a property can rest in their impression of the very first room they see. So make sure that you make the most out of their first impression by making sure that they can see the great outdoors from various rooms in the house. This will give your home a more inviting feel and will also let plenty of light in.

Declutter your home. We can’t say it enough: If you want your home to give the best impression possible, then you need to declutter your home. By doing so, you help the buyer appreciate your home for what it really is instead of getting sidetracked by all the clutter.

Neutralize the space. In other words, while you might have very particular tastes, you want to make sure that your home appeals to the masses. So generally speaking, go for neutral colors and nothing too outlandish as far as interior design items. This may turn off buyers so you will want to avoid them.

Make your home easy to navigate. Improve traffic flow throughout your home by making sure there’s a clear pathway within rooms as well as from one room to the next. This may entail removing oversize furniture that probably wasn’t appropriate in your home to begin with.

Highlight Impressive features. Whether it’s a gourmet kitchen or floor-to-ceiling windows, you want to make sure that your best features are put on display for buyers. So make sure all of the lights are on and that you set up vignettes where appropriate to help buyers visualize enjoying those features themselves. You might even consider leaving comment cards by the features, explaining what makes them so great.

We’re Your Dedicated Ottawa REALTORS

As you can see, a lot of these tips should cost little or nothing to you. And yet, they can make a world of difference when you’re trying to sell your home.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you sell your property in Ottawa. We’d be happy to help!


4 Tips to Sell Your Ottawa Home Fast

15 04 2015

Home Selling 7If you’re a home seller, you’re probably hearing this everywhere you go: Now is a great time to have your home listed on the Ottawa real estate market.

After all, the weather is warming up and more and more home buyers are flocking to the Ottawa housing market looking for their next dream home.

But there’s a difference between simply listing your home on the market and proactively taking steps to ensure it sells quickly and for the right price!

Today, I’m going to share with you four tips for making sure your home sells fast.

Do These Things to Help Your Ottawa Home Sell Faster

Don’t neglect the curb appeal. You’ve been hearing it from your mom since you were little: First impressions matter. The same holds true for real estate listings. So make sure that buyers are impressed by your home before they ever step foot in it. Make sure you replace chipping paint, trim back overgrown bushes and mow the lawn. Every detail counts. Then, when you think you’re done, have you and a friend go stand at the curb and look at your home. Try to look at it through the eyes of a buyer. Take further action as needed to make sure your home is being presented in the best possible light possible.

Make all necessary repairs. Don’t wait until the inspection report comes back to do the things that are obviously in need of repairs. If you notice them, chances are your buyers are noticing them too. And some of them might be deterred from considering your home further because of such issues. So fix the leaky faucet, recaulk the windows and address the chipped paint on the baseboard. They’re small details but they add up.

Stage your home. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Staged homes sell for a higher price and in a shorter amount of time than non-staged homes. By staging a home, you’re making it feel larger, cleaner, warmer and more inviting. So stage your home by giving it a thorough cleaning, decluttering where you can and setting up vignettes to help your home buyers envision living there. And believe me, you want them to linger as they daydream about living there. The longer they stay in your home, the more convinced they’ll become that this is the home for them!

Get the word out. This is crucial. You can have an incredible home listed on the market and if you don’t adequately market it, no one will ever find out about it. So put out a For Sale sign, list your home on multiple real estate websites and even advertise the home on social media. Every little bit counts. And don’t forget: If you do list your home online, make sure you include multiple pictures. Buyers like to be able to do a virtual walk through of homes before they ever schedule a showing. So make sure you include plenty of pictures and make sure those pictures are presenting your home in the best light possible!

We’ll Make Sure Your Ottawa Home Gets Sold!

We hope you found the above information valuable as a prospective home seller. For more useful tips that will help ensure you a successful outcome on the local housing market, make sure to contact us, Geoff & Bobbie McGowan.

We would love the opportunity to assist you in any way we can!

Until next time,

Geoff & Bobbie

Three Closing Day Questions Answered for Your Ottawa Home

15 02 2015

Home Buying 2Congratulations on recently deciding to list your home on the Ottawa housing market. As you may have noticed from my recent blogs, it really is a great time to be a home seller as you stand to get a great price for your property.

But I’m sure you still have some questions you want answered before you attend the final closing.

Thus, I’ve compiled a list of three commonly asked closing day questions. Hopefully they will be of help to you!

What People Ask About Closing Day When They’re Selling Their Home

What identification will I need? The Law Society of Upper Canada requires that lawyers retain photocopies of two pieces of identification from each client in the file. One piece of identification must be photo ID. In lieu of a driver’s license or a passport, you can also use an Ontario Photo Card.

What Do I do if I’m not going to be in Ottawa for the closing date? There are a variety of reasons you might be out of town on that day, including vacation or the relocation to another city. But if the lawyers and agents have all of the information required for the transaction (such as property details, the buyer and seller information and mortgage instructions where applicable) then they will most likely send the documentation to a solicitor or notary in the city where you are so you can sign the documents in front of them. Of course, there’s the possibility you won’t be at a place where you can sign them in front of a solicitor or notary. In that case, the lawyers can set up a power of attorney for purchasing or selling a certain property.

What do I do with my keys on the closing date? The new purchaser will get the keys to the home between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. on the closing date, depending on a number of factors. These include mortgage funding, courier delivery of keys and/or registration on the online system.

Contact Us For More Home Selling Assistance!

To receive help for every stage of the home selling process, please contact us, Geoff and Bobbie McGowan today.

We will be happy to assist you by answering any questions you might have as well as providing you with some valuable home selling resources.

Until next time,


7 Things You Should Know When Buying an Ottawa Home

15 12 2014

ottawa home buying 10If your number one Christmas wish this year is to purchase a new home on the Ottawa real estate market, then we are here to help!

Today, I’m going to tell you the top 7 things that you should know when buying a home in Ottawa.

These tips will ultimately safe you time, money and maybe even a little bit of heartache on the local housing market.

7 Tips for Buying an Ottawa Home

Don’t invest in a home if you don’t plan to stay long. The longer you can commit to staying in a home, the greater your chances are of getting a great profit on the property when you sell. After all, there are transaction costs associated with selling a home and so, it helps if your home is worth more when you sell it than when you bought it if you want to at least break even.

Start building your credit now. You’re likely going to need a mortgage when you buy a new home. So make sure your credit history is as good as possible. Also, a few months before you start looking for a home, you should consider getting copies of your credit report and making sure all the facts are correct. If you find an error, make sure you correct it immediately.

Be realistic about the home you can afford. Generally speaking, it’s reasonable to invest in a home that is about 2.5 times your annual salary. But it helps to use a mortgage calculator to narrow down exactly how much you’re comfortable spending each month on a mortgage.

Even if you can’t put 20 percent down, you may still qualify for a loan. There are a number of public and private lenders to choose from who offer low-interest mortgages that usually ask for only a small down payment.

Get professional help. Yes, it’s true that you can access home listings for yourself on the internet these days. But if you work with an experienced and qualified real estate agent, you have a better chance of finding a home that suits your needs for the long term – not to mention getting a home for a great price!

Get pre-approved before you start house hunting. That way, when you find a home you’re interested in purchasing, it will be one less step you have to take. Plus, home sellers like to negotiate with buyers who have been pre-approved because it means they are serious home buyers.

Hire a Home Inspector. Once you find a home you’re interested in, make sure you get the home inspected. This will let you know if there are any issues with the home that you can’t see with the naked eye. This will help you feel more confident about whether it’s a sound buy or not.

Helping You With All of Your Ottawa Home Selling Needs

For more valuable Ottawa home selling tips, make sure to contact us today. We would love to assist you by sharing our years of experience with you and also providing you with valuable home selling tools.

Until next time,


Your Step-By-Step Guide for Selling Your Ottawa Home

15 11 2014

Ottawa Home Selling 3Are you thinking about listing your home anytime soon on the Ottawa real estate market? If so, then you’ve come to the right blog!

Today, I’m going to provide you with a step-by-step guide to selling your home. You’ll be attending the final closing of your Ottawa home before you know it!

Follow These 7 Steps for a Successful Ottawa Home Sale

Get your home ready for the market. This includes giving your home a thorough cleaning, removing any excess clutter from your home that takes away from its beauty and ensuring that your home even has curb appeal.

Find a REALTOR®. But don’t just pick anyone! Make sure that the real estate agent you work with not only has experience with helping home sellers but also helping sellers in your price range and (ideally) in your neighborhood. The more they know about the market the better!

Decide on a list price for your home. Take into accounts such factors as market conditions and interest rates. And be honest with yourself about how much your home is really worth. Too many home sellers overprice their homes and then wonder why it’s still sitting on the market more than 6 months later.

Get maximum exposure out of your home marketing. Don’t just print an advertisement in the newspaper or post something on Craiglist. Make sure that your home marketing is comprehensive and is reaching all available and qualified buyers. Your real estate agent can help create a tailor-made marketing plan for your home!

Negotiate a purchase offer. Okay, so you’ve received an offer from a buyer – now what? Make sure that you carefully consider the offer because it’s harder to back out once you sign on the dotted line. Talk it over with your real estate agent to see if you want to negotiate any areas of the offer.

Sign on the dotted line. Once you’ve signed the contract with your buyer, you’re that much closer to attending the final closing and moving out. Now all that’s left is a few more steps, including passing the home inspection. Your real estate agent can help coach you through that process.

Plan your next move. Before you’ve handed over the keys to the buyer and complete a successful home sale, ask yourself where you want to go next. Do you want to downsize? Move to a different city? Get a bigger home? Talk with your agent about the best option for you and your family.

Contact Us For Your Ottawa Home Selling Needs

We hope you found this information helpful as a home seller. For more valuable tips on expertly navigating the market in Ottawa, please contact us today. We would love the opportunity to assist you!

Until next time,


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,