Room By Room Tips For Better Showings

Kitchen

Begin by taking everything off the counters. Everything including the coffee maker, crock pot, toaster, can opener – everything. Put them in a cupboard and take them out when you use them.

Homebuyers will open all your cabinets and drawers, especially in the kitchen. They want to be sure that there is enough room for all their “stuff”. If your kitchen cabinets, pantries and drawers look jammed packed, it will give your buyer a sense of cramped spaces. If you have a “junk drawer” get rid of the junk.

If you have a lot of canned goods crammed into the shelves or pantry, start using them up or donating them to charity. This will keep you from having to deal with moving them later.

Since buyers will be looking for leaky faucets and plumbing, under the sink is a critical area. Make sure this area is as empty as possible and again, remove everything – including all cleaning supplies. Scrub the area down and look for signs of water leaks. You might want to cover the bottom shelf with a fresh layer of shelf paper to give it a “new” look.

Laundry Room

Keep on top of the laundry. You don’t want piles of clothes to dominate the room. If you have a small amount, temporarily hide them away in the washing machine. Put away all clean laundry that is either folded or hanging up to give the room a larger appearance. Keep detergents neatly placed on a shelf or cabinet. Wipe down appliances to remove detergent sediment and lint.

Living Room

Dust and vacuum. A clean house gives the impression it is well taken care of. Open up the window treatments and let in as much light as possible. Take a look at the furniture to make sure it’s clean and free of pet hair. If you have too much furniture in the living room, it can tend to look small and cramped. Consider removing larger, cumbersome pieces of furniture and placing them in storage until the home sells.

Also keep in mind traffic flow. Arrange the furnature so that people can easily move through the room. You may want to consider hiring a Home Stager to help you prepare your home. It’s a small investment that could pay off with a higher selling price.

Bathroom

Clean, Clean, Clean! You cannot overdo this room. Make it sparkle! Put fresh (new if possible) towels on the racks. Always keep the trash bin empty – you never know when you’ll have a last minute showing request. Remove cleaning items from under the sink and check the plumbing for leaks. If any, make the necessary repairs, and replace any damaged surface. Keep cabinets and storage areas as clear as possible. Keep all medicine locked up and out of sight for everyone’s safety.

Go over bath and shower area to remove mold or mildew and water spots. If you have a shower curtain make sure it is in good shape and consider replacing if needed.

Master Bedroom

In the bedrooms, the obvious is the best course of action. Make the beds, put away clothes; remove clutter and personal items such as photos and certificates. Clear off the dresser and nightstand. Keep jewellery locked in a safe place. Remove any items under the bed, such as shoes or boxes. You don’t want to give the impression the home doesn’t have enough storage space. Empty laundry hampers that do not have lids.

Children’s Bedroom

The kid’s bedroom will give you the biggest challenge. On a daily basis, you’ll want to put away all the toys. Make sure the floors are kept clear. You may want to invest in a toy chest if you do not already have one. You can also get the kids involved in the home selling process to help you out and keep them busy. Click here to download a “kid listing agreement” for them to sign. They will feel as though they are contributing to the success of the sale.

A teenager’s bedroom can tend to collect a lot of things on the walls. Try to minimize wall clutter as much as possible.

Closets

In order to give a better feel for the size of your closets you should remove all the extra clothes and shoes. Box up anything you haven’t worn in over three months plus any offseason items. Also get rid of any shoe boxes full of “stuff” or other accumulated personal items. If you have a walk-in closet, make sure the light is on. If the closet does not have a light consider placing a battery-operated light that is easy to install.

Garage

Keep the garage door closed during showings. Make sure that all items are neatly placed and look organized. Place items on hooks or pegboard. Again, this will show that you took care of the house. Check the floor and remove any grease spots. Sweep the floor thoroughly and remove cobwebs from the walls and ceiling. If you find the garage a bit smelly, place an air freshener inconspicuously in the room. Since the garage door will be closed you will need as much light as possible, place the highest wattage bulb your fixture will safely allow.

Tips for Condominium Hunters

Buying your first condo can feel intimidating at first, but the process is a lot easier than you think. Your real estate agent, lawyer, and bank representatives can help guide you to buying the right condominium that suits you, so choose them wisely and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Here are some tips to help you start your search and find your dream condominium.

1. Make sure you get what you want
Before you start hunting for a condominium, make a list of your priorities. Consider approximate size, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, location, price, amenities, and how soon you want to move. Check the “Condominium Buyer’s Guide” from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation website to help you start searching for potential condos.

2. Stay focused
Even the thriftiest shopper can lose perspective when dealing in six-figure amounts. What’s another $5,000 when you’re already spending $400,000, right? Know what you can afford, get pre-approved for your mortgage, and stick to your budget.

3. All the world’s a stage
Whether you’re looking at model suites or resale condos, be aware of the staging that’s been done to make the space more appealing.

4. Know where to store it
Storage space may not seem as exciting as a gourmet kitchen or a wrought-iron spiral staircase, but when you’re about to squeeze your whole life into 700 square feet, it’s important that there’s room for all your possessions.

5. Go with your instinct
Finding the right condo is like finding love. If it’s meant to be, sparks will fly. If you haven’t found that dream condo after looking at 10 or so places, don’t be disappointed, just keep on looking.

6. Does your car have a space?
Parking can be an uncovered stall, a covered stall, indoors but unheated or indoors heated and secured. Its legal status can be either assigned common-area space, or legally-titled ownership. If it is assigned, it should be protected by a formal lease agreement. You should also find out if there is guest parking.

7. Warm and cozy
Heating is an important issue in condo buildings. In apartment condos it is usually central gas-fired hot-water heat, which means the cost is covered by your monthly condo fees. However, older hot-water heating systems can be loud! Electric heat is convenient, quiet and controllable in each room, but it’s expensive. Learn about the condo’s heating system and see if it works for you.

8. Who are your neighbours?
Renters will be found in any condo building. That’s good for your flexibility as an owner, but find out how many renters are in the building. If it’s primarily renters, this means that investors own the building and they may not share your standards of operation and maintenance. You may also find a less sense of community in the building.

9. Light
Orientation of the condo is important if it’s an apartment facing only one direction, less so if it’s a townhouse or duplex bungalow condominium with more exposures. How much sun does the condo receive, and is that sun hitting your bedroom windows at 5:00 a.m. during the summer? You may prefer it, or you might hate it, so be aware of which way the condo faces and whether it will be bright enough, too hot, or too dark for your needs.

10. Quality counts
Construction of condominiums can vary dramatically. Concrete is more long lasting and generally quieter than frame construction, but “post-tensioned” concrete construction can have problems requiring maintenance. Concrete transmits tapping sounds, while wood-frame buildings can quiver slightly under heavy footsteps. Remember, quality will be your best investment.

11. Check and double check
If something bothers you a little on the first sight, it’ll bother you a lot when you live there. You shouldn’t have to talk yourself into a $400,000 purchase. Think twice before you make the deal. Check all documentation carefully and make a wise decision.

If you take the above steps into consideration when you start your condo hunting, you’re guaranteed to be on the right track to finding your dream condo. Remember, buying a condominium is not difficult if you do your research and consult with your real estate agent.

Copyright © 2010 Canada Realty News™

Painting Tips: Small Projects

Painting Tips – Small Projects

Painting always sounds worse than it actually is. But if you don’t want a full project on your hands, check out these tips to make it a little easier. Touch Ups

If your walls are in good, clean condition, but frequently washed areas around light switches, on doors, etc., are rubbed bare, here is a quick and easy solution. Hopefully, you have some of the leftover paint from when you painted originally and it is water-based. You’ll need a new sponge and it’s a good idea to wear rubber gloves. Make certain that the area to be touched-up is clean. Soften the new sponge by dipping it in water. Wring it out well then dip it in the leftover matching paint. Start in the center of the base spot using a circular motion spreading the paint and feathering it out until it meets and thins sufficiently to blend with the surrounding areas.

Patching

Mix spackling compound with matching left over paint instead of water. For small inconspicuous jobs this works well and eliminates the need to paint after the patching is done.

Baseboards

This will save you time and grief in a room that is carpeted wall-to-wall. You’ll need an old newspaper and masking tape. Spread the newspaper on the rug about an inch from the wall – around the room. Use workable lengths of masking tape. Tuck it down over the carpet pile, where the edge of the carpet and molding meet. Attach the other edge of the tape to newspaper and continue around the room.

Now, paint the molding. When it’s completely dry remove the tape and newspaper. This tip has an added bonus; you’ll find that the tape has picked up the dust missed by your vacuum where your carpet meets the walls.

Fences

If you are painting a picket fence, use a roller, it covers completely and speeds up the job.

Use a sponge for a wire fence as its gets the paint into all the joints and creases. But be sure to wear rubber gloves.