Back to School

It’s september and the air is filled with that special mixture of excitement and dread. Smells like back-to-school. There’s the excitement of a new school year, new school clothes, and new teachers and friends. And then there’s the fear of getting up earlier, getting out of the house and getting to school on time.

This time of year can be hectic, but there are ways to get you and your kids through it. It might be appropriate to offer up some suggestions to get your kids ready for school.

 Think a nice approach when it comes to establishing rules and schedules for the new school year.

  • Think about what time you really need to leave for school in the morning.
  • How much time will you allow for TV/computer after homework is done?
  • How will extracurricular activities affect your schedules?
  • What expectations do you have about your kids helping out with household chores?

Address these things with your kids, rather than just shoving a list at them. It gives them ownership and hopefully, sets the foundation for good communication.

What home buyers love to see

Buyers are more likely to make an offer on your home if they see a lot of things they love about it. So what do buyers love to see?

One of the main things they like to see is a lot of space. Of course, you can't change the size of your rooms, but there is a lot you can do to make small spaces in your home seem more spacious.

Buyers also love to see a clean and uncluttered home. Think of how inviting a hotel room looks at first glance, with everything neat and organized. Of course, your home isn't a hotel, but the more neat and attractive you can make each room, the better.

One thing buyers don't love to see is potential maintenance issues. So as much as possible, get things fixed or updated.

In fact, the more "finished" and "move in ready" your home looks, the more likely a buyer is to make an offer.

Don't forget the surrounding neighbourhood either. A buyer may not take the time to explore the area, so be sure to make a list of the most appealing features. You might want to take a picture of the brand new playground just down the street or print off a local map showing nearby shopping, theatre and other points of interest.

It's not about creating a false impression. Rather, it's about making your home look its best and drawing attention to its most enticing features.

Want more home selling tips? Call today.

Buying your dream Home

If want to buy your dream home, you’ll have to go through some steps. Here are our tips for how to buy a house:

1. Get pre-approved for a mortgage

Whether you’re searching for the first time or buying your umpteenth home, you need to get pre-approved for a mortgage loan.

Knowing how much of a loan you qualify for allows you to house hunt within your budget.

It’s important to know how much you can afford to spend on a house!

2. Research.

Whatever the asking price of any house for sale, you’ll want to research it and make sure it’s fair.

Your Real Estate Agent can look at other comparable homes for sale in the area. If the price differs greatly from your dream home, the agent can try and find out why. 

Armed with this information, you can go into negotiations with the seller prepared to offer a reasonable price.

3.  Making an offer.

 Once you decided the price you want to buy, your agent will help you complete the appropriate paperwork for making an offer on the house.

4. Negotiate the terms.

The good thing about buying a house with your Real Estate Agent representing you is that you can define conditions, inclusions, exclusions, and possession date that work for you.

5. Always get a home inspection done

After deciding about the conditions you need to get an inspection.

A seller may have decided to do a seller's home inspection before listing the house. If you are satisfied that the inspection was performed by a reputable inspector, then great!

If not, find yourself a reliable home inspector who will provide you with a detailed written report of his/her inspection.

6. Hire a real estate lawyer

You’ll need a real estate lawyer to complete the transaction, whether or not you or the seller has an agent.

Ask for a recommendation, or if you are working with an agent, he or she can often recommend a good real estate lawyer.

7. You’re ready to seal the deal!

As you can see, buying a house through a traditional Real Estate Agent is a better choice to follow the right steps and guide you through all process. You don't have to do your homework and make sure you’ve got all the proper documentation, the Real Estate Agent will do it for you.

The importance of reading and understanding an offer

When you make or receive an offer to buy a property, it's important that you read and understand every clause. It is especially important to understand any conditions or any changes that are made to the standard offer.

An offer may contain several types of conditions. The most common are "conditional upon arranging financing" and "conditional upon passing a professional home inspection." However, there may be other conditions as well.

You should be aware of – and fully understand – all of them.

In addition, the wording of an offer may change during the back and forth negotiations that often happen. Aside from changes to the price, other clauses may be added, removed or reworded as well.

A good agent will always ask you to initial changes. This is done primarily to ensure you know and approve of what you're signing.

A recent newspaper article tells the story of a buyer-seller legal dispute that resulted in a six-figure judgement against the seller. This was due, in part, to a lack of understanding of one of the clauses in the agreement.

You don't want that to happen to you. Take the time to carefully review and understand an offer.

Want to make sure everything goes smoothly with your next move? Call today.

Be Sure to Plan for the “Pet Issue”

If you have pets, you probably adore them. They’re part of the family! But when you’re preparing your home for sale, you need to think about how you’re going to deal with the “pet issue”.

Some potential buyers who view your property may love pets as much as you do. However, others may be turned off by the tell-tale signs of pet ownership – such as kitty litter, dander, and smells.

So be sure to make a plan for how you’re going to deal with your pets.

It’s a good idea to keep pets out of the house during viewings. Even if your dog or cat is friendly, some buyers will be uncomfortable around them. So, you’ll need to decide where your pets will go when buyers view your property. Consider a local kennel or “pet day camp”.

“Can’t I just take my dog out for a walk?” you might be asking. You could; however, you may not always be available to do that during a viewing. So have alternate plans available.

You should also consider how you will deal with pet dander and everyday pet odours. You’re probably used to them. Unfortunately, some buyers will be turned off or even be allergic. So, in addition to cleaning your home before a viewing – especially in those areas where pets spend time like a favourite cushion or scratching post – consider using specialty air sprays available on the market that will neutralize pet odours.

Finally, it’s a good idea to advise buyers that they’re viewing a home with pets. That way, they’ll be more forgiving if they catch a whiff of cat dander.

Need more tips on preparing your home for sale? Call today.

Creating quiet in a (sometimes) noisy home

Does your spouse like to practice the drums in the evening? Does your teenager like to play video games, with the volume turned up high? Are there other sources of noise you'd like to minimize?

There are many ways to soundproof areas of your home to reduce noise. Here are some ideas:

•    Furniture placement. Surprisingly, where you place furniture can dramatically reduce incoming noise. For example, a bookshelf covering a third of a wall can muffle sound from an adjoining room by 25%.

•    Noise harmonization techniques. Soft music, air fans, and other sources of rhythmic noises can actually reduce the unpleasantness of incoming sounds.

•    Area rugs. Adding an area rug, even on top of existing carpeting, can significantly reduce noise coming from the floor below.

•    Acoustic tiles and panels. These are special ceiling tiles and wall coverings that are designed to diffuse and reduce sound infiltration. There are some products on the market that are remarkably easy to install.

Pack your memories away

Items that remind us of special people, events, milestones and interests are an important part of what makes a home a home. Pictures on the fireplace mantle, for example, showcase family and friends that are important to us. You might also have trophies, certificates, greeting cards, and other mementoes on display in key places.

Of course, all of those things add warmth and meaning to your home.

However, if you're preparing your home for sale, it's a good idea to pack those memories away - at least until you've sold your property and moved to your new home.

Why? Because those pleasant mementoes that mean so much to you may actually turn off potential buyers.

You see, when buyers view your property, you want them to be able to clearly picture themselves and their families living there. That's difficult to do if everywhere they look they see reminders that this is your home!

So, to help sell your home quickly, make it look great, but not personalized. Think of the showroom displays you see set up in furniture stores. Those displays are most appealing when they enable you to easily picture yourself, with that furniture, in your home. You probably wouldn't feel that way if it looked like the furniture belonged to someone else.

Of course, buyers will know you currently live in your home. But helping them imagine themselves living there will help you sell your property faster – and possibly for a better price.

Need more tips on preparing your home for sale? Call Today! Inder Singh Team 905-554-9800