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Claire Franceschetti

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Do Open Houses Still Help to Sell Homes?

by Claire Franceschetti
Technology has changed the way property is bought and sold. Over 90% of buyers use the internet to start the search for a new investment property or to check out the competition before deciding to list a property for sale. Keeping up to date with new marketing tools is crucial, and a major part of my role as a selling Realtor. 

But buying and selling property is still very much a people business and I believe there are valuable opportunities for investors, sellers and Realtors to connect at open houses.

When you start your hunt for a new investment property, you may need to collect ideas of what you want. Listings online or on paper only tell you so much. Getting a sense of a property's space is one important aspect, but so too is the neighbourhood.

If there is an open house in the neighbourhood in which you want to buy, I recommend that my buyers attend. Even if you don’t love that particular house, it's an opportunity to see what your budget will buy in the area and to question the real estate agent about the local scene and amenities. If you are lucky, you may even overhear comments from other attendees about the property, neighbours and neighbourhood.

Doing research on the many housing styles, neighbourhoods, and by questioning several real estate agents in the area will also help you better define your needs and housing wish list when it’s time for you to put in an offer.  

Open houses have been a corner stone of selling property for many, many years. It’s a tested and true methods of selling a home and meeting potential buyers. I have met a wide variety of people during open houses – from the nosy neighbours and open house junkies to first-time buyers and some who later became my new clients.

The "looky-loo" type of house buyer does exist at open houses. But that shouldn't be used by agents as an excuse against open houses and that shouldn't deter investors from going to an open house to learn more about the property and the neighbourhood.

There may be people who are just attending an open house  to pass the time, but for every one of those types, in my experience, there are more attendees who are genuinely looking for a new property or for ways to improve their own before listing it for sale.

Adapting sales strategies to meet the changing demands of the online market is one aspect of real estate success, but so is connecting with people. Open houses are a great way to do that because you never know when you’re going to walk into your next investment property.

Getting Ready to Sell? Read This First

by Claire Franceschetti

For Sale (Almost)?

When it's selling time, there are a few things to keep in mind. As homeowners, we all make a lot of memories in our homes, and there's no doubt it's emotional to say goodbye to the well-loved kitchens and family rooms when they go on the market.

Unfortunately, potential buyers will not be charmed by that "lived-in look."

As a Realtor who works to get ready of selling time, here are a few simple DIY projects that will help make things look sharp. These little fixes will rejuvenate some common trouble areas and make homes more appealing to fussy buyers...

1) Cracked Tiles.

While tile holds up almost indefinitely to all kinds of wear-but sadly, tile cracks if something heavy is dropped on it. We sometimes live with cracked tiles, putting off the task of replacing them. It's relatively simple to replace broken tile: remove the grout, mask the surrounding tiles with tape, loosen the tile, chisel out the pieces, set the new tile, fill the perimeter with new grout and allow the grout to dry. Goodbye, shabby tile.

2) Scratches and dings and gouges, oh my!

 

Wall and cabinetry dings happen as a matter of living in your home. Even the best kept stairwells get beaten up over the years due to high traffic. Here's how to make things look better: Minor scratches can be wiped clean with mineral oil, lightly sanded with fine grade sandpaper and sealed with polyurethane. Scratches that penetrate the finish can be filled with a like-colored furniture repair stick. The product consists of wax and putty, and is easy to apply. Follow with a coat of polyurethane.


Not quite a gouge, but deeper than a scratch? Use wood putty in a matching color. Gouges also can be treated with wood putty. Make the repair, let it dry and apply the polyurethane.

3) Counter intelligence?

Bags of groceries, stubborn food stains and the occasional misfire with a kitchen knife are all to blame for counter surfaces looking scuffed and sad. Fortunately, there are simple solutions that won't leave your wallet empty.

Here's what to do: Laminate is a repair-friendly surface: a color-matched repair pen or paste will camouflage most scratches. Be careful not to overfill, and gently sand the excess when dry. The remnants of past meals can be removed using a paste made from baking soda and water. Leave the paste for a few hours and wipe away. No need to rub or scrub.

Minor scratches on Corian can be treated by using a mild abrasive liquid cleaner on a damp sponge, rubbing over the scratch in small, overlapping circular motions, and rinsing with clean water. Wipe the surface completely dry, and repeat if the blemish is still visible. Deeper scratches should be treated following the manufacturer's instructions. With a little elbow grease and a modest investment of time and money, you can bring the sexy back to worn surfaces.

 

Market Watch Video: August IT WAS HOT!!!

by Claire Franceschetti

Light Bulb Moment: The Scoop on LED's

by Claire Franceschetti

How many people does it take to change a light bulb?...

By now, most of us have probably replaced most of our old fashioned incandescent light bulbs with new fashioned "eco" fluorescent bulbs. Not sure if you've noticed, but I have found that these newer, energy-efficient bulbs last much longer. Now, the newest light-emitting diode (LED) lighting is the latest trend on the scene. It started being used in commercial and industrial applications, but now, LED lighting is gaining ground at home - and I've been told that there are many good reasons for that.

Energy Savings:


LED bulbs work in a unique way. Instead of emitting light and heat in all directions--which is wasteful--an LED light moves electrons through a semiconductor material, creating light that shines in a specific direction. Thus, LED bulbs create bright light while generating very little heat. Although I hate the price tag compared to the older bulbs they replace, high power LED bulbs are more than twice as efficient and I've been told that they can last as long as 20 years. 

Good Looking:


LED bulbs are now available in warmer tones that are easier on the eyes (and more flattering). Like old fashioned bulbs, there are LEDs made to fit standard light fixtures, recessed lighting fixtures, candelabra bases, dimmable fixtures, and even some landscape lighting. LED floodlights and spotlights are becoming more popular, particularly because they need replacement so infrequently.

Earth Friendly: 

Other advantages of LEDs are that they contain no mercury or other toxic materials, are very unlikely to break if dropped, and reach full brightness as soon as they are switched on. Look for Energy Star rated LED bulbs, which have been tested to meet EPA standards of color quality and consistency, energy efficiency, and stable performance--Cheap versions can perform poorly. 

By replacing the bulbs in the most-used and hard-to-reach fixtures, you can start saving energy--and money--right now. So how many people does it take to change a light bulb? Well, if it's like the toilet roll at my house, it still takes ONE MOM to change a light bulb. 

July TREB Video Update!

by Claire Franceschetti

Good News! Steady growth in market for the balance of 2013 is still projected for the Toronto real estate market. 

June Market Watch Update...Watch this Video!

by Claire Franceschetti

Sales down, but prices continue to increase. Prices up 5% because the supply of homes for sale has decreased. Competition is still high among buyers, and this trend is projected to continue. 

Toronto Real Estate Update for May 2013

by Claire Franceschetti

Here's what's happening with Real Estate in our market. 

 

Attn Buyers: Get Ready for Closing Day!!!

by Claire Franceschetti

Closing day for a home buying family is a new beginning in many ways.  If you're not prepared, it can also be extremely stressful. 

 

Here are 10 helpful hints, to make your closing day a success story.

  1. Know in advance how much money you will need to bring in on closing.  Buyers need to understand the balance owing on closing will not only include what is stated in their purchase agreement, but will also include land transfer tax, legal fees, disbursements and any closing adjustments.  Have this discussion with your lawyer well in advance of closing to ensure that you have sufficient funds available. If you are using funds from your RRSP to complete the purchase, make sure you start the process at least one month before closing so that the funds will be available.

  2. Make sure your lender has completed their appraisal well in advance of closing.  If their appraisal indicates that your home is not worth as much as you paid for it, then they may advance a lesser amount than you are expecting on closing.

  3. Arrange insurance coverage well in advance.  Your insurance company will have to conduct a separate inspection on your home before agreeing to provide insurance.  If the home has out-dated wiring, it may result in a much higher insurance premium.  Make sure you have completed this well in advance of closing.

  4. The agreement provides that you may not be given possession of the property until 6 pm.  Most closings take place later in the day.  Do not plan to arrive at the home earlier or else you may end up paying more to your movers.

  5. If you are selling your home and buying at the same time, you should consider buying your home a few days before your sale.  Your bank should be able to provide you with a bridge loan to complete your purchase, so you only pay interest for a few days, until you complete the sale of your existing home.  This will give you time to clean, paint and prepare your new home before moving in. Those who attempt to sell and buy on the same date invariably have damages done to their home and their furniture as a result of being rushed with their moves.

  6. If your seller is going to remove any chandeliers prior to closing, make sure that they replace any light fixture with a cheaper version, to make sure you have light in the home when you move in.  Bring extra light bulbs with you as some sellers have been known to remove all light bulbs.

  7. Pack your valuables and important documents separately and take them with you personally to your new home. Do not put these into a box while you are packing everything else as you will likely need some of these papers when you visit your lawyer just before closing, and may not be able to find them.

  8. Arrange a pre-closing inspection of all appliances, heating, plumbing and electrical systems as close as possible to closing, to make sure that everything the seller promised will be given to you on closing. Try and make sure that the seller removes all junk from the basement and garage prior to your inspection, so that nothing is hidden from view.

  9. Inform all utility, newspaper, cable, phone, alarm system and internet suppliers of your upcoming move, in advance of closing. You may have to provide security deposits for hydro or gas accounts at your new home before service is provided. After closing, inform any credit card companies, doctors’ offices, and government departments such as for example your driver’s license. Consider preparing and sending “just moved “cards, with all of your new information, for your friends, relatives and service providers.

  10. Check all appliances and home systems as soon as you move in.  Most agreements say that the seller warrants that everything will be working on closing, not one week after closing.  If there are any problems, you need to notify the seller immediately after you move in, to be able to bring a claim later for repairs.

     

Real Estate Update: What Happened in March?

by Claire Franceschetti

Here's a brief word from the Toronto Real Estate Board's chief economist about what's happening with Toronto's real estate market.  

Overall, the number of sales have decreased about 17% over last year, but the average price continues to increase. Click on this link for more details!

 

Chore No More: Spring Cleaning At It's Best

by Claire Franceschetti

 
3 Strategies for Getting the Jump on Spring Cleaning

Spring has officially sprung! Bring on the outdoor activities, backyard barbecues and warm weather, right? The majority of us would happily welcome all of these, but before the springtime festivities begin, homeowners have a task that many would probably prefer to skip – spring cleaning.

The custom of spring cleaning in Canada came about as a tradition in April, when the weather is warm enough to open the windows but cold enough to keep the bugs away. So, in honor of the tradition, here are a few ways to get organized and tackle spring cleaning:

Make a plan – Seems obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many families jump in without one. Having a plan will ensure that you have cleaned and covered all areas. There is an endless supply of printable checklists online; choose the one that best fits your needs, and as you complete the tasks, (happily) cross them off the list. My favourite seasonal chore is changing over from winter clothes to summer clothes. It's a guaranteed sign that good weather is on the way.

Involve the family – Divide and conquer. Encourage the whole family to help by incorporating games with the chores. Make it a race or have an assembly line. And the dirtier the task, the better the reward. That includes husbands who are starting to sinking into the NHL playoff season couch. 

Don’t forget the outside – Who wouldn’t be ready to get back in the sun after a long, cold winter? Use this as an excuse to organize and tidy up the exterior of your home. Wash the winter sludge off the windows, clean out the gutters, rake and fertilize the lawn, and organize the garage. The easiest way to freshen up the outside is to hang a fresh wreath on the front door, and replace the dingy door mats. Mine were just done before Easter Sunday, and the place looks more alive already.

Enjoy...it has to stop snowing eventually!

 

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 95

Contact Information

Photo of Claire Franceschetti Real Estate
Claire Franceschetti
Right At Home Realty Inc.
190 Marycroft Ave.
Vaughan ON L4L5Y2
Direct: 416-918-6325
Office: 416-391-3232
Fax: Fax: 416-987-8001