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Property Photo: 15403 138 ST in EDMONTON
I have listed a new property at 15403 138 ST in EDMONTON.
This exquisite home is located in a quiet cul-de-sac, is steps away from Carlton Lake. 5 minutes from Shopping centers and Recreation centres. Modern open and spacious floor plan features new laminate in the family room, dining room and kitchen. The basement has been designed with an abundance of functional space including a media room, 4th bedroom/office, storage and the option to include a 4th bathroom. Basement is 85% complete. On the second story you will find a large master with a 4 piece ensuite with jetted oversized tub and a walk in closet. In addition the second story offers 2 more bedrooms and a full bath. This house is cooled in the summer months with central air and offers main floor laundry for convenience.
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The process of buying or selling a house seems to involve a million details.  It is important that you educate yourself on as many parts of this process as you can—this knowledge could mean the difference of thousands of dollars in the long-run.  The legal issues involved in the process are often particularly intricate, ranging from matters of common knowledge to subtle details that might escape the untrained eye.  Any of these issues, if not handled properly, could develop into larger problems 

 

With so many  legal issues to consider, your first step should be to seek out experienced professionals to help educate you and represent your best legal interests.  Begin with an experienced real estate agent, who can help guide you through the initial hoops.  S/he should also be able to point you in the direction of a reputable local real estate lawyer to assist you in all legal matters involved in the purchase or sale of your house.

 

While there are countless legal details involved in a real estate transaction, some seem to pose larger problems than others.  We’ve outlined two legal clauses that are commonly misunderstood and may cost you money if not worded correctly.  Handle these carefully and you will be on track to a successful sale or purchase!

 

  1. Home Inspection Clause

 

Some real estate transactions have been sabotaged due to the wording of the home inspection clause.  This clause originally allowed that the buyer has the right to withdraw their offer if the home inspection yielded any undesirable results.  However, this allowance was known to backfire, as Buyers took advantage of it, using some non-issue stated in the inspection as an excuse for having changed their minds.  Of course, this was unfair to the Sellers, as they’d poured time and money into what they believed was a sure deal.  Not only might they have missed out on other offers in the interim, but their house might also now be unfairly considered a “problem home.”  Additionally, they’d now have to shoulder the costs of continuing to market the property.  All of this adds up. 

 

In order to remedy this potential problem, the clause should indicate that the seller has the option of repairing any problems the home inspection might point to.  With this slight change in the clause, both buyer and seller are protected.

 

To ensure this clause is fair from one side of the bargain to the other, work closely with a lawyer experienced in these transactions and all the nuances that may affect the outcome for you.

 

  1. Survey Clause

 

It is the right of a home buyer to add a survey clause to the real estate contract on the home they’d like to purchase.  If you are on the selling end of the contract, be aware.  If you have added an addition or a pool to your property since the last survey was produced, your survey will no longer be considered up-to-date and the Buyer may request that a new one be drawn up—the cost of which you will incur.  The price of this process will run anywhere from $700 to $1000. 

 

Your real estate agent has the responsibility to provide you with the most recent survey of your home.  It is then the Buyer’s right to decide if it is acceptable.  An experienced agent should offer you reliable counsel if you encounter an issue with this clause, but it is advisable to talk to your lawyer if you’re unsure at all of the potential ramifications involved.  Remember, the wording of this clause could cost or save you thousands of dollars.   
 
 
Thanks,
 
Ryan Gillen
 
7807008355
 
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It’s official:  you’ve signed the papers, dotted all the i’s and crossed the t’s—you own a new home!  You’ve almost reached the end of your journey.  However, now, faced with the daunting task of moving, it may seem as though the journey has just begun.  Moving can be a time-consuming and stressful experience if you let yourself be overwhelmed by the job.  Remember, though, having a successful move means taking care of the details, one by one.  If you break the process down into steps and arrange your time accordingly, you can make it manageable.  Use the following checklist to ensure you’re covering all the bases, and you will be well on your way to a successful move!

 

Household

 

·                     Arrange to have your mail forwarded to your new address.

·                     Forward or cease all deliveries to your home, and forward or cancel newspaper and magazine subscriptions.

·                     Disconnect or take care of utility, cable and phone services and accounts.

·                     Arrange for utilities to be connected at your new house.

·                     Cancel pre-authorized bill payments.

·                     Begin going through closets and discarding any unnecessary items.

 

Packing

 

·                     Plan your packing.  Start by purchasing or acquiring suitable containers.  Most moving companies have specialized containers you can buy.  Also, speak with others who have recently moved—they may be looking to get rid of boxes.  You’ll need the following:  small boxes for heavy items (books, tools, etc.); large boxes for bulky items (bedding, stuffed toys, etc.); medium boxes for bulky but less heavy items (towels, small appliances, etc.).

·                     Begin to collect other packing materials.  Decide which items you’ll need from the following checklist:

-White paper

-Tissue paper

-Paper towels

-Newspapers

-Non-printed paper

-Packing tape or twine to seal boxes and containers

-Scissors

-Labels and stickers (available from your moving company)

-Felt marker to label boxes

-Notebook and pen for listing contents

·                     Set goals and deadlines for yourself.  Aim, for example, to pack one room per week. 

·                     Attach a list of contents to each box.  Separate and label boxes to be placed in storage.

·                     Consider holding a garage sale to rid yourself of excess belongings.

·                     Begin to use up the food in your pantry and freezer.  Let the food you already have dictate your menus.

·                     Have rugs cleaned that are to be moved, then roll and wrap them.

·                     Make special arrangements for the moving of plants or pets.

·                     Collect all personal items from local services (dry cleaning, storage, photos).

·                     Service all appliances you are taking with you.  Note that all gas appliances must be emptied, as it is illegal for movers to carry flammable substances.

·                     Take inventory of all the boxes, and contents of the boxes, you have packed.

·                     Have your car serviced and tuned up.

 

Community

 

·                     Return library books.

·                     Clean out your locker at any club you are leaving.

·                     Determine how to transfer your children to a new school.

·                     Return items you’ve borrowed to friends, and collect any you’ve lent.

·                     Mail or e-mail change of address notices to family members, friends, and office contacts.

 

Records

 

·                     If needed, transfer medical and dental records, and fill prescriptions.

·                     Change the address on your driver’s license.

·                     Change the billing address for credit cards.

·                     Change the address for banking statements.

·                     Leave a record of security codes for new tenants.

 

Insurance and Legal Matters

 

·                     Visit your lawyer and ensure all documents are signed.

·                     Notify your insurance company well in advance of the move and ask them to review your policy. 

·                     Transfer insurance to your new home, or acquire new insurance.

·                     Review your moving company’s insurance policy.  If it doesn’t cover as much as you’d like it to, obtain your own.

·                     If you are currently renting a house or apartment, give written notice to the landlord.

·                     Have all keys to your old home delivered to your lawyer or realtor.

 
 
Thanks,
 
 
Ryan Gillen
 
780-700-8355
 
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Stop Paying Your Landlord!:  Own Your Own Home

 

The thousands of dollars in rent you’ve already paid to your landlord may be a staggering figure—one you don’t even want to think about.  Buying a house just isn’t possible for you right now.  And it isn’t in your financial cards for the foreseeable future.  Or is it?  The situation is common and widespread:  countless people feel trapped in home rental, pouring thousands of dollars into a place that will never be their own—yet they think they’re unable to produce a down payment for a home in order to escape this rental cycle.  However, putting the buying process into motion isn’t nearly as impossible as it may seem.  No matter how dire you believe your financial situation to be, there are several little-known facts that may be key to helping you step from a renter’s rut to home-owning paradise!

 

Initially, of course, the most daunting factor involved in buying a house is the down payment.  You know you’ll be able to handle the monthly payments—you’ve done this for years as a renter.  The hurdle, instead, seems to be accumulating the capital needed to put money down.  However, this hurdle may be smaller than you think.  Take a look at the following points and explore whether any of these scenarios may be possible for you:

 

  1. Find a lender to assist you with your down payment and closing costs.

 

If you’re free of debt, and own an asset outright, your lending institution may lend you the money for a down payment by securing it against your asset.  In this case, you won’t need to have accumulated capital for a down payment.

 

  1. Buy a home even if your credit isn’t top-notch.

 

If you have saved more than the minimum for a down payment, or can secure the loan against other equity, many lending institutions will still consider you for a mortgage, despite a poor credit rating.

 

  1. Find a seller to assist you in buying and financing the home.

 

Some sellers may be willing to bear a second mortgage as a seller take-back.  The seller then assumes the role of the lending institution, and you pay him/her the monthly payments, rather than paying the price of the home in a lump sum.  This is an additional option if you have a poor credit rating. 

 

  1. Buy a home with much less down than you’d think.

 

Investigate local and federal programs, such as first-time buyer programs, that are designed to help people like you break into the housing market.  An experienced real estate agent will be equipped to give you all the information you need about these programs, and counsel you on which options are best for you.

 

  1. Create a cash down payment without going into debt.

By borrowing money for specific investments, you may be able to produce a large income tax return that you can use as a down payment.  Technically, the money borrowed for these investments is considered a loan, but the monthly payments can be low, and the money you put into both the home and the investments will ultimately be yours.

 

So, you know there are options out there.  The next step is to educate yourself on what your own personal possibilities might be, and how to follow through with the means to achieve these goals.  Keep in mind, too, that you can get pre-approved for a mortgage before you begin searching for a home.  In fact, you should get pre-approved—the process is free and doesn’t place you under any obligation.  You can be pre-approved over the phone.  Or, take the next step and complete a credit application.  Once a credit application is submitted, you’ll receive a written pre-approval, which will guarantee you a mortgage to a specified level.  When you have a concrete price range, you’ll know where to begin looking.  Make a commitment to yourself to break out of the renting rut.  Start today!

 
 
 
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Ryan Gillen
 
7807008355
 
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After putting in a huge amount of time and effort to get your home looking good and ready to sell, your hard work is finally going to pay off:  your home is on the market—you’re ready to begin showing.  Your house should always be at-the-ready for a tour, as agents may bring clients by with very little notice.  If they catch you unprepared and you aren’t able to show the house on the spot, you could be losing out on a sale.  Concentrate on the following areas to ensure your home is ready to show:

 

  1. People

 

Homebuyers may feel like intruders if you are present while they view your house, and this will affect their overall impression.  Consider taking the opportunity to visit the local coffee shop, go shopping, or take the kids to the park.  If you can’t leave while the house is being shown, try to be as unassuming as possible.  Do not move from room to room.  Don’t offer information, but make yourself available to answer any questions the agent or buyers might have.

 

  1. Lighting

 

When you know an agent is bringing someone by, make sure all of the drapes and window shades are open to let in as much daylight as possible, or—if the showing is taking place at night—to create a look of comfort and warmth when viewed from the outside.  Open all the doors between rooms to create an open, inviting feel.  Turn on all lamps and overhead lights, even during the day.  Keeping lights on during the day softens the harsh shadows sunlight can create in a room, and illuminates dim corners.  During nighttime showings, make sure all outdoor lights are on, as well as pool lights.

 

  1. Cleanliness

 

Scan the floor for debris—newspapers and magazines tend to accumulate without our noticing.  Make sure all the counters are clutter-free.  Empty the kitchen garbage before every showing, particularly if the garbage can doesn’t have a lid.  Keep everything freshly dusted and vacuumed.  Beds should be made and bathrooms cleaned (toilet lid down).  Every room should sparkle.

 

  1. Scents and Sounds

 

Avoid using scented sprays before showing your home.  Some people simply won’t enjoy the smell, and others may be allergic.  If you want to make a room smell pleasant, consider a potpourri pot or a naturally-sourced aroma. 

 

If you or your family is home while the agent is giving a tour, try to stay as quiet as possible.  Turn off the television and the blaring radio.  Put on some soothing background music at a low volume.

 

  1. Pets

 

If you have pets, make sure your listing agent includes this in your listing on the Multiple Listing Service.  This way, no one will be surprised by a furry welcome if the agent shows the house while you’re not there.  If you know someone is coming to tour the house, ideally you should take the pets with you, or arrange to have a friend or family member take them.  If this isn’t possible, keep dogs in the backyard, preferably in a penned area.  Try to keep indoor cats in one room while people are touring the house, and put a sign on the door.
 
 
Thanks,
 
Ryan Gillen
 
7807008355
 
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Property Photo: 11255 96 ST in EDMONTON
I have listed a new property at 11255 96 ST in EDMONTON.
Come and view before its gone!!! Investors and first time home buyers take a look at all this value. Just under 1400 SQFT this 2 story home within walking distance to NAIT and Kingsway offers 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. Inside you will find a large kitchen and breakfast nook, formal dinning area, large living room with bay windows, all with new laminate flooring. Upstairs host 3 full sized bedrooms with new ceramic tile. The basement has an added bonus of a full suite with a separate entrance. Add an additional renter to increase cash flow or help cover your mortgage! Outside you will find a fully fenced professionally landscaped yard with deck and garage. So much value for only $229,000!!!
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Don’t get discouraged if your property hasn’t sold during its first appearance on the market.  Your home may actually have been one of the most appealing listings of its kind—and the reasons it didn’t sell may have nothing to do with the property itself or the market.  Rather, a number of separate factors may have influenced the outcome.  Take a step back, break your original selling method into parts, and allow yourself time to evaluate each one.  Make a commitment.  Establish a new approach.  Stick to it.  A reassessment of your system, and a shift in perspective, may be just what you need to realize your ultimate goals in the sale of your home. 

If your listing has expired, you will usually find weakness in one of the following areas:

 

1.      Appearance and Condition of your Property

When preparing your home to show to buyers, always remember:  the decision to buy a home is one coloured primarily by emotion, not logic.  Every buyer has different ideas of what “Dream Home” means to them.  Of course, your home won’t appeal to every buyer’s palate.  But, how prepared are you?  Is your home inspiration-worthy?  Have you prepared each room with the goal that it leave a lasting impression?  Have you cultivated ambiance?  For example, when a buyer stands in your kitchen, will she warm to the thought of drinking coffee at the table every morning?  Does the décor in the master bedroom inspire feelings of comfort and relaxation?  You should make every effort to make you home appear inviting and appealing.  This means covering all the bases: 

·                     Take care of any general repairs needed.

·                     Tidy away the clutter; every room should appear well-ordered and neat

·                     Maintain a strict level of cleanliness while showing.  Everything should be clean, from shelves to carpets to furniture.  While you may no longer notice that wine stain on the rug, it could be the first thing a potential buyer sees when she walks into the room.

·                     Increase the brightness and warmth in your home:  open curtains, turn on the lights, put out flowers, play soothing background music.

·                     Don’t forget the exterior of the house.  Concentrate on the “curb appeal” of your home.  What impression will a buyer get when s/he first pulls into the driveway?  Keep the lawn well-groomed and the rest of the property tidy.

·                     Assess any major decorating or renovation projects that your property could be in need of.  If your home could use a new paint-job, for example, consider taking care of this yourself, rather than offering a repair allowance to prospective buyers.  Don’t leave such changes to their imagination—if they are looking at run-down walls, chances are they will incorporate this flawed experience of your house into the price they’ll be willing to pay.  Ultimately, you’re better off checking these projects off the list before showing your home.

 

A house that is showcased well and offers a lasting impression will sell for the best price, going a step beyond the competition.  Be sure to see if your agent will put together a no-obligation examination of your home to assist you in looking at the factors we’ve mentioned.

 

2.      Pricing

The market value of your home is based on the price a willing prospect will pay, as well as the price a willing seller will accept.  Pricing your home too high can be as financially dangerous as pricing it too low.  Keep in mind, your listing does not include the price you paid originally for your home.  Often, sellers include this original price—or the amount of money they’ve invested in their home so far—into their selling price equation.  This mistake may prove to be a costly one.  Pricing your home too high can result in prospective buyers rejecting your home for larger homes listed at the same price.  Ask yourself:  did your price work for you or against you?  The “right” price balances upon a combination of:  competition within the market, the condition of the market, and the state of your home.

Request an up-to-date market analysis from your agent to help give you an idea of what an appropriate asking price for your home might be.  This market analysis should give you an idea of the competition involved in the current market, offering an assessment of homes similar to your own that have recently sold or are currently on the market.  It should also show you how long other homes have been listed, in order to give you an idea of the average amount of time you can expect a home to stay on the market.  And it should indicate the homes with expired listings, to help you glean some understanding of the reasons why this might occur.

 

3.      Marketing and Communication

Your marketing plan begins with choosing the right realtor for your home-selling needs.  The realtor you choose should be committed to selling your property, ensuring your home is marketed and showcased in the most effective way possible.  So, when interviewing agents, it’s a good idea to ask them to give you a rundown of the marketing strategy they would use to sell your home.  Investigate and compare how much money each realtor spends on advertising a property and the types of media s/he employs.  How effective is each brand of advertising? 

Your real estate agent should recognize the most effective marketing strategy for the unique offerings of your home.  S/he should also articulate to you the most direct marketing route to the largest pool of potential buyers.  Be wary of agents who rely on outdated advertising strategies.  The most successful agents on the market today are those who employ current, innovative marketing techniques.  These are the agents you can rely on to have the skills and tools required to sell your home fast and for top dollar.

 

4.      Operating as a Team

Communication between you and your realtor is essential.  Your realtor should listen to your needs and goals, and be able to translate these into an active, effective home-selling strategy.  Once this strategy has been put into play, you should receive detailed, up-to-date feedback on the status of the sale.  Your realtor should be actively involved in every showing, speaking to agents who have shown your home, and relaying this information to you.  You should be able to work together to build an effective strategy and alter the course if need be.  Evaluate the relationship you had with your realtor while your home was on the market.  Did you feel as though your realtor involved you every step of the way?  Were you given the information you needed to stay on top of progress?  Did your realtor listen to your wishes and concerns and act upon them?
 
 
Thanks,
 
Ryan Gillen
 
7807008355
 
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Property Photo: 2 BROOKWOOD CRES S in SPRUCE GROVE
I have listed a new property at 2 BROOKWOOD CRES S in SPRUCE GROVE.
Expect to be impressed with this Spruce Grove Bi-Level located in the community of Brookwood. This fully developed bi-level with 4 bedrooms and 2 full baths is in pristine condition and is 100% move-in-ready. This large lot hosts a huge front and back yard, complete with a hot tub pad, patio, fire pit, full vegetable garden, and horse shoe pits! Everything you would need for entertaining on summer nights. Inside the house hardwood flooring in the dining and living rooms with west facing windows that keep the house bright all year long. Oak cabinets in kitchen along with ceramic tile throughout the home truly make this house a hidden gem. Down the hall gives access to the large master bedroom and great size second bedroom as well as a full bathroom. In the basement there is a huge media room along with 2 additional large bedrooms, perfect for an office or gym, along with your second full bath.
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Whether seeking solace, activity, schools, churches, or green space, every homebuyer looks for a different combination of attributes in a new community.  Choosing a neighbourhood that suits your needs and wants is one of the most important decisions you’ll make in the home-buying process; your choice of environment will affect the way you experience your new home.  This is a very personal decision, influenced by countless unique factors colouring your own lives, but you should always keep the following in mind:

 

  1. If you’re considering buying a home in a community that is unfamiliar to you, get to know its lay-out, offerings, and ambiance.  Take some time to walk or drive through the neighbourhood, both during the day and at night, familiarizing yourself with the sights, sounds, and smells.

 

  1. What amenities does the neighbourhood have to offer?  Is public transportation readily accessible?  Are there schools, churches, parks, or grocery stores within reach?  Consider visiting schools in the area if you have children.

 

  1. What is the nature of the job market in the area?  Keep in mind that if area employers are producing more jobs, you can expect property values to increase, especially if the jobs offered fall within a higher salary bracket.

 

  1. Speak with the neighbours.  Ask questions.  They can offer you a wealth of information, from an inside perspective.

 

  1. How will you be affected by a new commute to work?  Drive the route between the new neighbourhood and your office during the appropriate times to gauge the volume of traffic you could expect to encounter, and the amount of time you’d need to put aside for daily travel.

 

  1. Contact local land-use and zoning officials to determine existing development plans or potential for development in the area.  A strong agenda for neighbourhood planning and local zoning will increase the value and draw of a neighbourhood.  Keep in mind that any large, tree-covered area may be a target for future development in popular communities.

 

  1. Determine whether financial resources have been put in place to support infrastructure projects in the area.  These construction projects might include building, replacing, or improving anything from schools to roads, and are usually part of a city or town’s long-term plan.  While disruptive, construction could also be a benefit to your experience of a community, influencing the long-term value of the area. 
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Ryan Gillen
 
7807008355
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Ryan Gillen
 
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The asking prices of most homes on the market indicate the current state of the market, and usually mirror the prices for which other similar homes in the area have recently sold.  In deciding upon a selling price, a home-seller must establish a balance between the desire to draw the highest offer and finding a price that will be reasonable enough to attract an appropriate pool of prospects, and competitive offers.  While most selling agents counsel their clients to consider this equation when pricing their home, keep in mind that some homes are not properly priced. 

 

It’s important to educate yourself about the current market before approaching the purchase of a home.  The market will always influence a property’s value, regardless of the state of a home, or its desirability.  Here are the types of market conditions and how they may affect you:

 

  1. Seller’s Market:

 

A seller’s market is considered a “hot” market.  This type of market is created when demand is greater than supply—that is, when the number of buyers exceeds the number of homes on the market.  As a result, these homes usually sell very quickly, and there are often multiple offers.  As a buyer, you need to consider that many homes will sell above the asking price; in other words, you may have less room to negotiate, and may encounter competing offers.  Though most buyers want to get a home for the lowest price possible, reducing your offer could mean opening the door for another buyer instead.

 

  1. Buyer’s Market:

 

A buyer’s market is a slower market.  This type of market occurs when supply is greater than demand, the number of homes exceeding the number of buyers.  Properties are more likely to stay on the market for a longer period of time.  Fewer offers will come in, and with less frequency.  Prices may even decline during this period.  As a buyer, you will have more selection and flexibility in terms of negotiating toward a lower price.  Even if your initial offered price is too low, the seller will be more likely to come back with a counter-offer, so you can begin the process of negotiation. 

 

  1. Balanced Market:

 

In a balanced market, supply equals demand, the number of homes on the market roughly equal to the number of buyers.  When a market is balanced there aren’t any concrete rules guiding whether you should make an offer at the higher end of your range, or the lower end.  Prices will be stable, and homes will sell within a reasonable period of time.  You will have a decent number of homes to choose from, and may encounter some competition for offers on the home of your choice, or none at all.

 

Before you make an offer to purchase a home, establish whether the current market is a Buyer’s, Seller’s, or Balanced market.  Also, evaluate the price similar properties have sold for in the area, and the length of time these properties spent on the market.  Determine how the home you’re considering compares to these other sales.  Is this one over-priced, under-priced, or a fair price?  By establishing this information prior to making an offer, you will be in a position to negotiate the best price for the home and be prepared for any additional opportunities that may come your way. 

 

Keep in mind, a realtor is trained to provide clients with this information about the market, helping you make the most informed decision possible.  The right realtor will guide you through the ups and downs of the market and keep you up-to-date with the types of changes you might expect.  These realtor resources and connections will prove to be invaluable as you navigate the real estate market.

 

The other main factors that affect market value are:

 

  1. Location:

 

The proximity of the home to amenities, such as schools, parks, public transportation, and stores will affect its status on the market.  Also, the quality of neighbourhood planning, and future plans for development and zoning will influence a home’s current market value, as well as the ways in which it might change. 

 

  1. Property:

 

The age, size, layout, style, and quality of construction of the building will all affect a property’s market value, as well as the size, shape, seclusion and landscaping of the yard.

 

  1. Condition of the Home:

 

This includes the general condition of the home’s main systems, such as the furnace, central air, electrical system, etc., as well as the appearance and condition of the fixtures, the floor plan of the house, and its first appearances.

 

  1. Comparable Properties:

 

Examine the selling and asking prices of similar homes in the neighbourhood.  Ask your Realtor to prepare you a general market analysis of the neighbourhood you’re interested in, so you can determine a range of value for a particular property.  A market analysis will provide you with a market overview and give you a glimpse at what other similar properties have been selling for in that area.

 

  1. Market Conditions/ Economy:
The market value of a home is additionally affected by the number of homes currently on the market, the number of people looking to buy property, current mortgage rates, and the condition of the national and local economy.
 
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Ryan Gillen
 
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There is no set equation to determine how you’ll reach an offer price.  Rather, the process involves a range of research and comparison that will vary with each situation.  You’ll need to look at sales of comparable properties, and factor in additional data such as the condition of the property, the current market, and seller circumstances.  With this information in hand, you will be able to determine a fair price range and, from there, establish the price you’re willing to offer.

 

Concentrate on the following areas to help you determine an offer price:

 

Comparable Sales

 

  • Compare prices of homes that are similar to the property you’re considering in the following areas:  number of bedrooms and bathrooms, square footage, lot size, type of construction, and garage space.
  • The most comprehensive and in-depth information can be accessed through the Multiple Listing Service (MLS).  Your Realtor, who will be working closely with you to set your offer price, can help you navigate this service. 

 

Property Condition

 

  • Observe how the property compares to the rest of the neighbourhood.  Is it average, above average, or below average?
  • Look at structural condition:  walls, ceilings, windows, floors, doors.
  • Pay close attention to:  bathrooms, bedrooms, condition of plumbing and electricity.
  • Also check the fixtures:  light switches, doorknobs, drawer handles, etc.
  • What is the condition of the front and back yards?

 

Home Improvements

 

  • Cosmetic changes can be largely ignored, but any major improvements should be taken into account.
  • Take special note of:  room additions (especially bedrooms and bathrooms).
  • Items such as swimming pools may be taken into account, but usually won’t affect your offer.  Your Realtor can offer your guidance in these matters.

 

Market Conditions

 

  • Seller’s Market:

A seller’s market is considered a “hot” market.  This type of market is created when demand is greater than supply—that is, when the number of Buyers exceeds the number of homes on the market.  As a result, these homes usually sell very quickly, and there are often multiple offers.  Many homes will sell above the asking price.

 

  • Buyer’s Market:

A Buyer’s market is a slower market.  This type of market occurs when supply is greater than demand, the number of homes exceeding the number of Buyers.  Properties are more likely to stay on the market for a longer period of time.  Fewer offers will come in, and with less frequency.  Prices may even decline during this period.  Buyers will have more selection and flexibility in terms of negotiating toward a lower price.  Even if your initial offered price is too low, Sellers will be more likely to come back with a counter-offer. 

 

  • Balanced Market:

In a balanced market, supply equals demand, the number of homes on the market roughly equal to the number of Buyers.  When a market is balanced there aren’t any concrete rules guiding whether a Buyer should make an offer at the higher end of his/her range, or the lower end.  Prices will be stable, and homes will sell within a reasonable period of time.  Buyers will have a decent number of homes to choose from, so Sellers may encounter some competition for offers on their home, or none at all.

 

Comparable sales information helps you establish a price range for the home you’re interested in.  Adding in the additional factors mentioned above will guide your decision of whether you consider a “fair” price to be near the upper or lower limit—or the middle—of that range.  Keep in mind, this price should be the one you’d be happy with once all negotiations are said and done.  The price you decide to begin with depends on your particular style of negotiation.  Most Buyers begin the negotiation process with a number lower than the “fair” price they’ve come up with.
 
 
Thanks,
 
Ryan Gillen
 
7807008355
 
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Your home is likely your largest asset, so selling it may be the biggest financial move you’ve ever made, one that requires significant thought and strategy.  However, once you’ve entered the market, the process may move very quickly:  your property has the best chance to sell within its first seven weeks on the market.  Studies indicate that the longer a property stays on the market, the less it will ultimately sell for.  So, you need to ensure you’re ahead of the game.  Get your property into top selling shape before it hits the market in order to increase its chances of selling within the desired window of time and drawing top dollar.

 

Use the following tips to seize control of the home-selling process before you begin:
 
  1. Establish the Reasons you Want to Sell your Home:

 

These reasons will direct the path you take in the home-selling process.  If, for example, you have already purchased a new home and your goal is to make a quick sale on your current home, this reason will chart your approach.  If, on the other hand, you aim to net the highest price possible for your home, you would need to prepare yourself for a potentially slower process.  Be clear about these reasons, as they will directly influence the amount of time and effort you put into preparing your home for sale, and the amount you set for your asking price.

 

  1. Pricing:

 

It is essential you list your property at a competitive market value right from the start.  The competitive nature of the market means that over-pricing by a few thousand dollars could make the difference between your home selling quickly or not selling at all.  Overpricing your home could potentially yield the following results:  minimized offers, fewer showings, fewer agent responses, limited financing, limited buyers qualified for your type of home, or a smaller net price.  You can avoid these outcomes by setting the price of your home at its market value when you first list. 

 

If you are unsatisfied with the current market value of your home and unwilling to list it as such, consider putting off the sale of your home at this time.

 

  1. Do your Homework:

 

Perhaps the most “hands-on” approach to educating yourself about the nature of the current market—what works and what doesn’t—is to explore other homes on the market.  Take advantage of Open Houses in your area, particularly in those homes similar to your own.  Take some notes.  Observe floor plans, lot size, appearance, location, and other features of the property.  Then compare asking prices.  Go through this process before setting your own asking price.  Remember:  you want to get a selling price as close to your asking price as possible.  And if you want to attract this price quickly, you won’t accomplish this by setting your price higher than your neighbour’s.

 

  1. Decide Whether to Invest in an Appraisal:

 

Getting an appraisal can be a positive or negative move, depending on the outcome.  It’s up to you to determine how it might fit into your personal plan.  Having an appraisal done can be a good marketing strategy, indicating to potential buyers that your home can be financed, which will increase the chances that your home will sell quickly and for more money.  On the other hand, however, there’s no guarantee you’ll like the final picture offered by the appraisal.  Also, it’s one more cost you’ll have to add to your budget, and an appraisal only lasts for a limited period of time. 

 

  1. Choosing a Realtor:

 

Your choice of Realtor will greatly influence your home-selling experience.  For better or for worse, this person will be with you every step of the way during one of the largest financial ventures of your life—and will make a difference in the speed with which your house is sold, and how much it sells for.  Don’t take this relationship lightly.  You should consider a few Realtors before you narrow down your choice.  Of course, one of the initial factors to consider will be whether the Realtor’s personality and enthusiasm is a fit for you and your family.  Also, each candidate should be able to provide you with information on the following areas:  the length of time s/he has been involved in residential real estate in your area, the marketing strategy s/he would use to sell your home, details on other properties in your area their company has sold (how much the property sold for and how long it spent on the market), and his/her philosophy or method of negotiation.  You might want to request a reference list of former clients as well.  Choose a few names on the list and call them.

 

  1. Cleanliness:

 

Make no mistake, prospective Buyers will be turned off by even a minimal lack of cleanliness, or an odour.  Sellers may lose thousands of dollars if they fail to thoroughly clean the house before they begin to show it.  Begin by clearing the house of excess junk, clutter, and furniture.  Create more space.  Make every room sparkle.  Eliminate odours.  You may be the last to notice a peculiar odour in your house, but it may be the first thing a potential Buyer notices.  So, air out your house prior to showing.  Keep pets in the yard as much as possible, and send any household smokers outside. 

 

  1. Access to your Home:

Agents will be more reluctant to show your home if it isn’t readily accessible.  They don’t want to waste their time running around, picking up and dropping off keys.  Rather, a key should be immediately available for agents at all times. 

 

Also, go through the following last-minute list to prepare for showing your home:  keep all lights on, doors unlocked, and drapes and shutters open.  If you can, leave the house while it is being shown.  Head to the local coffee shop, or take the kids to the park.  Prospective Buyers will feel more intrusive if the owner of the house is present while they are viewing.  If you can’t leave the house, be as unassuming as possible. 

 

  1. Updated Interior:

 

A fresh coat of paint may be one of your best investments when preparing your home for the market.  New paint can take years off the appearance of your home, dramatically increasing its perceived value.  Likewise, if your carpeting appears worn, old, or is an outdated pattern, consider replacing it.  The carpet or paint in one room could be the difference between a successful sale and your home being overlooked.

 

  1. Drive-Up Appeal:

 

If the buyer doesn’t like the outside of your house, s/he may choose to skip it entirely.  It is essential that your home possess a certain “drive-up appeal.”  Remember, a potential buyer’s first impression of your house is formed while s/he is still sitting in the realtor’s car.  Ensure the trees are trimmed, the walkway swept, the lawn cut.  Paint the door, and put out a new, plush door mat.  All of these little things will contribute to the overall effect of a well cared-for and welcoming home.

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks,
 
 
Ryan Gillen
 
7807008355
 
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Each homebuyer has different ideas of what will constitute the ideal home for them, these notions often based on particular aesthetic preferences.  But one thing that unites all potential homebuyers is the desire to find a home that is fundamentally sound—in areas beyond the immediate sweep of the eye—and that will provide a safe, comfortable, and efficient foundation for their life behind a new door. 

 

This is where the services of a home inspector come in.  During a home inspection, at least 30 areas of the home are placed under the home inspector’s “microscope.”  We’ve compiled the ten most common weaknesses uncovered in a typical home inspection.  If not addressed, these problems could cost you thousands of dollars in the long-run.  So, knowing what to look for, and performing your own thorough pre-inspection, will help you to identify areas for repair or improvement before they grow into costly problems.

 

1.      Damp Basement:

 

If a mildew odour is present, the inspector will be able to detect it, as this smell is impossible to mask or eliminate.  Mildew odour is often the first indication of dampness in the basement.  The inspector will also examine the walls, checking for any signs of whitish mineral deposit just above the floor, and will note whether you feel confident enough to store items on the floor.

 

Repairs can run anywhere from $200 to $15, 000, this cost ultimately influencing the calculation of your home’s value, so consider enlisting the help of an expert to ensure you have a firm grasp on the bottom line before moving forward with the sale of your home.

 

2.      Poorly Installed/ Defective Plumbing:

 

In older homes, plumbing problems and defects are very common.  The inspector will determine whether your home’s plumbing is subject to leaking or clogging.  Signs of leakage can be visibly detected.  The inspector will test water pressure by turning on all the faucets in the highest bathroom and then flushing the toilet.  If the sound of water is audible, this indicates that the home’s pipes may be too narrow.  The inspector will also check for signs of discolouration in the water when a faucet is first turned on.  The appearance of dirty water is usually an indication that the pipes are rusted—a water quality problem that should be dealt with immediately.

 

3.      Older/ Poorly-Functioning Heating and Cooling Systems:

      

Heating/ cooling systems that are older or haven’t been properly maintained can pose serious safety and health problems.  An inspector will determine the age of your furnace and, if it is over the average life span of a furnace (15-20 years), will likely suggest you replace it, even if it is still in good condition.  If your heating system is a forced air gas system, the heat exchanger will be examined very closely, as any cracks can result in the leak of poisonous carbon monoxide gas.  These heat exchangers are irreparable; if damaged, they must be replaced.  While replacing these components may seem expensive, a new system will yield heightened efficiency, reducing monthly heating/ cooling costs substantially, and benefiting your long-term investment.

 

4.      Older/ Unsafe Electrical System:

 

In older homes, it is common to find undersized services, aluminum wiring, knob-and-tub wiring, or insufficient/ badly-renovated distribution systems.  When an electrical circuit is over-fused, more amperage is drawn on the circuit than what the circuit was intended to bear, creating a fire hazard.  You’ll typically find a 15 amp circuit in a home, with increased service for larger appliances such as dryers or stoves.  If replacing your fuse panel with a circuit panel, expect a cost of several hundred dollars.

 

5.      Older/ Leaking Roof:

 

An asphalt roof will last an average of 15 to 20 years.  Leaks through the roof could be a sign of physical deterioration of the asphalt shingles caused by aging, or could indicate mechanical damage caused by any number of factors, such as a heavy storm.  If you decide your roof requires new shingles, you’ll first need to know how many layers are beneath, in order to determine whether the roof must be completely stripped before installing the new shingles.

 

6.      Minor Structural Problems:

 

Common in older homes, these problems range from cracked plaster to small shifts in the foundation.  While this variety of problem isn’t large enough to cause any real catastrophe, they should be taken care of before they grow.

 

7.      Poor Ventilation:

 

Unvented bathrooms and cooking areas can become breeding areas for mold and fungus, which, in turn, lead to air quality issues throughout the house, triggering allergic reactions.  Mold may additionally cause damage to plaster and window frames.  These problems should be identified and taken care of before any permanent damage is caused.

 

8.      Air Leakage:

 

A cold, drafty home can be the result of any number of problems, such as ill-fitting doors, aged caulking, low-quality weather strips, or poor attic seals.  This nature of repair can usually be taken care of easily and inexpensively.

 

9.      Security Features:

 

An inspector will look at the standard security features that protect your home, such as the types of lock on the doors/ windows/ patio doors, and the smoke or carbon monoxide detectors and where they’re located throughout the home.  Check with an expert if your home is lacking in any of these areas, in order to determine what costs to expect.

 

10.  Drainage/ Grading Problems:

 

This may be the most common problem found by home inspectors, and is a widespread catalyst of damp and mildewed basements.  Solutions to this problem may range from the installation of new gutters and downspouts, to re-grading the lawn and surrounding property in order to direct water away from the house.

 

 Thanks,
 
Ryan Gillen
 
7807008355
 
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Finding a real estate agent who is right for you requires doing a little homework, and asking the right questions.  Choosing an agent is a decision that could ultimately cost or save you thousands of dollars.  Keep in mind the individual you choose will be handling almost every maneuver in the biggest financial investment of your life.  Experience, interests, and expertise vary from agent to agent, so you should be asking very specific questions in order to align your own needs with the abilities of an appropriate representative.  Use the following list of questions as a guide to finding the agent that is right for you:

 

  1. How long have you been involved in residential real estate in this area?

 

If the agent hasn’t been connected to the residential real estate market for several years, s/he will be out of touch with the cyclical nature of the current market.

Your agent must be familiar with trends of the local market and have an eye for the ways in which it will change.  This knowledge could mean the difference of thousands of dollars in the long-run. 

 

  1. What is your marketing strategy for my home?

 

A realtor should be able to lay out for you, in detail, a marketing plan to sell your home.  Examine this plan carefully.  How much money does the realtor allot to advertising?  What type of media does s/he use?  S/he should be able to demonstrate the effectiveness of one form of media over another, explaining why his/her particular marketing strategy will sell your home faster and for top dollar.  The realtor should employ current, innovative marketing techniques that indicate creativity and a willingness to market outside of the box.  Stay away from realtors who rely on traditional, dated forms of advertising.  They simply won’t work in the current real estate market.

 

  1. How do you support a buyer throughout the process?

 

A realtor should be able to indicate how s/he will support you through each step of the home-buying or selling process, offering you a unique system to suit your needs and goals.  Also, ask if a specialist will be available at each level of the sale.  Your realtor should always be on hand to answer questions, but the specific resources of an expert can be invaluable during different stages of the process.

 

  1. What other properties has your company sold in my area?

 

The realtor should be able to provide you with a complete, detailed listing of their own sales in your area, as well as other comparable sales.  You should get a clear idea of what you might be able to expect both from the realtor and from the current market.

 

  1. What is your experience with financing options?  How would you suggest I approach my own financing plan?

 

Each buyer requires a different financing strategy.  A realtor should be able to suggest a plan catered specifically to your financial background and needs.  Don’t just depend on your lender for information and guidance on financing a new home.  Let your agent lead the way.

 

  1. On average, how close is the selling price of your listings to their asking price, and how long do they take to sell?

 

You can contact the Real Estate Board to obtain information on the selling record of an agent.  The Board also has statistics on a broader scale, so you can see whether an agent’s selling performance is higher or lower than the board average, and whether s/he tends to sell faster or slower than the board average.  Placing the realtor’s performance on a scale will help you get an idea of how much you might expect your home to sell for, and how long it might take to sell.

 

  1. What is your philosophy/method of negotiation and how will you apply it when selling my home?

 

Your realtor should be able to articulate effective and informed negotiation tactics that demonstrate a commitment to securing the best price for you. 

 

  1. Do you have a reference list of clients I could contact?

 

Do some homework!  Choose a few names on the list and call them.  The stories of others who have gone through the home-selling process can be a valuable source of information.

 
 
Thanks,
 
 
Ryan Gillen
 
7807008355
 
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