Four Simple Ways to Make Your Home Irresistible

There are dozens of ways to make your property more enticing to potential buyers. For example, you can invest in getting your home professionally “staged”, which involves making it look a little like a model home. Or, you can do a major renovation to improve your home’s look and value.

But what if you don’t have a lot of time and are on a limited budget? What can you do today to make your home irresistible to buyers tomorrow?

Here are some ideas:

1. Paint

It doesn’t cost much to paint key areas of your home, like the foyer, kitchen or master bedroom. Yet the impression it makes on buyers is significant. In fact, compared to most other types of home improvement projects, painting gives you the highest payback when you sell.

2. Create space

Homes naturally get cluttered over the years. Even a double car garage can seem claustrophobic if there are a lot of boxes, equipment and other items stored in it. Go through each room of your home and do a major decluttering. It will make your property seem more attractive and, when you sell, make moving easier too!

3. Clean and tidy

Obviously, you’re going to make sure your home is clean for viewings. But you’d be surprised what a homeowner can miss and a buyer notices. Closets, laundry rooms, side yard, basement furnace room and all other nooks and crannies should be as tidy and clean as possible.

4. Roll out the red carpet

Not an actual red carpet! But you do want the entrance way to your front door and into the foyer to make the best impression possible. After all, those are the areas that a buyer sees first. Make sure walkways are clear and clean. Ensure that when a buyer opens the front door and walks in, the impression he or she gets is that of a great looking place to live.

These four tips don’t take much time or money to implement. Yet, they can all help make your home even more irresistible to buyers than it is today.

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

Fraser Valley – Stability Reigns In Latter Half of 2010

(Surrey, BC) – Stable property sales and a steady erosion of inventory for the last seven months of 2010 have brought equilibrium to Fraser Valley’s real estate market.

“Our market was a bit of a rollercoaster in 2010 with buyers appearing earlier than expected in the year, tapering in the summer and returning in the fall,” says Deanna Horn, Board president.

“As consumers regained their confidence in the overall economy, we saw a normalization of the market with sales at or slightly below average, inventory dropping and modest changes in home prices.”

A total of 895 sales were processed on the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in December, a decrease of 17 per cent compared to November and a decrease of 29 per cent compared to 1,260 sales in December of last year. The Board’s 10-year average for December sales in the last decade is 1,020.

In terms of listings, the Board finished 2010 with 8,139 active listings, 10 per cent fewer than in November and an increase of 25 per cent compared to the 6,534 properties available in December 2009. December’s inventory represents a 28 per cent drop from 2010’s peak of 11,411 active listings reached in May.

Horn adds, “If there’s one lesson buyers and sellers can take from our market in 2010, it’s to recognize there are real differences in home values based on their type and location making it prudent to have your REALTOR® show you comparisons specific to your property type and neighbourhood.

“For example, benchmark prices of condominiums in North Surrey have decreased by 3.8 per cent in the last year while benchmark prices of detached homes in west Abbotsford have increased by 4 per cent.”

Overall, the benchmark price for Fraser Valley detached homes in December was $506,145, an increase of 0.3 per cent compared to November and 1.7 per cent higher compared to $497,732 in December 2009.

The benchmark price of Fraser Valley townhouses in December was $322,054, an increase of 0.8 per cent compared to November and a 1.2 per cent increase compared to December 2009 when it was $318,174. Year-over-year, the benchmark price of apartments increased 1.2 per cent going from $237,157 in December 2009 to $240,101 in December 2010 and 0.9
per cent lower compared to November 2010.


Top 10 Resolutions for 2011 – Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments

Canada’s Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments (OBSI) released its Top Ten Resolutions for 2011, highlighting the ways in which Canadians can help avoid future problems with their financial affairs. While this list relates to financial institutions, CMP thinks the general tips can be applied to mortgage holders as well and offers good discussion points for brokers and their clients as the relationship continues to grow. According to Ombudsman Doug Melville, some of the ideas contained in the list may appear obvious, but are often overlooked as Canadians go about their busy lives. “Time and time again, we see the same sorts of financial complaints coming in the door,” said Melville. “Many of these issues would be mitigated or even avoided altogether if everybody adopts these simple resolutions.”
1. Read everything you sign: Few people bother to read in full every document they sign. They should. Understand what you are signing to avoid nasty surprises down the road.
2. Ask questions: Knowledge is power. If something isn’t clear to you, ask for more information or clarification. If you still don’t understand, bring along someone you trust so you both hear the explanation.
3. Keep records: The individual or institution you are dealing with will have a record of their interactions with you. So should you. Take notes of important conversations, confirm instructions in writing, and keep copies of everything.
4. Save your money: Set aside a portion of your income each month for your retirement and unforeseen events. Life is full of surprises; have a contingency fund in place for the unpleasant ones.
5. Review your account statements: Carefully review all account documents sent to you each month, whether by mail or electronically. Report any errors or suspicious activity immediately; if you wait too long, you might be held responsible.
6. Safeguard personal information: Keep your financial documents in a safe and secure place. Shred all personal financial information that you no longer need so the bad guys can’t use it.
7. Plan ahead: Have a financial plan so in the future you can live the life you want. Don’t be caught unprepared in later years.
8. Make a will: They say that the only things certain in life are death and taxes. No matter how old you are, make sure that you have a valid and updated will. If you don’t, you lose control over where your wealth goes. Don’t let lawyers or the government make the decision for you.
9. Create a Power of Attorney: Regardless of your age, have a valid power of attorney in place in case you become unable to manage your own affairs. By doing so you can prevent heartache for your loved ones should something happen to you.
10. Speak up: Most banking services and investment firms want to do the right thing for their customers. If you have a concern or complaint, don’t be afraid to let your financial services firm know. If they can’t make things right for you, know that there are other places where you can go for assistance, like the Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments.

Maureen Young
Accredited Mortgage and Lease Professional
Dominion Lending Centres-Downtown Financial | 1428 W 7th Avenue, Vancouver, BC V6H 1C1
Direct Phone (604)805-5888 | Direct Fax (604)904-8608 | Website