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

Do These 6 Things Before You List Your Ottawa Home in the New Year

15 01 2015

Ottawa Home Selling 6The beginning of a New Year is a great time to think about listing your home on the local housing market here in Ottawa.

After all, recent market indications suggest that home sellers have an excellent opportunity to get the price they want for their property in Ottawa.

But before you do decide to enter the local housing market as an Ottawa home seller, you should consider doing a few things first.

What Every Home Seller Should Do Before Listing Their Home

Begin to Detach yourself form your home. This is not only important with protecting yourself emotionally from the difficulty of leaving a home but it will also help you sell your home quicker. That’s because when home buyers walk through your home, they want to be able to envision themselves living there, not you. So consider removing extra-personal trinkets throughout your home, such as cleaning up a wall of family photos.

De-Clutter. By doing so, you’ll help make your home feel bigger and more inviting. Consider removing all books from bookcases, donating any items you haven’t used in the last year and packing up extra knick-knacks. You’ll be glad you did!

Organize your bedroom closets and kitchen cabinets. You might not think buyers will look in these places but they will. And it will leave quite a positive impression if, when they look in these places, it is clean and organized. Consider alphabetizing your jars or neatly stacking your dishes.

Rent a storage unit. This will enable you to get rid of any excess clutter in your home without forcing you to part ways with it just yet. You might also consider putting some of your furniture in these storage units as well.

Remove Your Favorite Items. Believe it or not, a buyer can request that certain items they see in your home be added to the contract. And if you say no, it may kill a deal. But a buyer can’t miss something they never even knew about. So if it’s important to you, remove it from sight so that it’s not on the negotiation table.

Give your home a thorough cleaning. This may seem obvious but some sellers don’t think about just how much cleaning this actually involves. In addition to your regular vacuuming, sweeping and dusting the main rooms, make sure to give other often-overlooked places some attention as well. This includes your closets, the inside of your fridge and even your cabinets.

We’ll Help You Sell Your Home in Ottawa!

For more valuable tips on how to successful sell your home on the local housing market, make sure to contact us. We would love to assist you by answering any questions you may 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,


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,


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,