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5 Deadly Buyer Mistakes...

by Claire Franceschetti

Buyer’s are often excited to find the perfect home. I understand and share in their enthusiasm. However, before I help you find the home of your dreams, here are 5 issues that we need to address first:

1. Making an offer on a home without being pre-approved.

It is as simple as filling out an on-line pre-approval form from a bank or mortgage brokers, and typically, you will have an answer within a few days. The pre-approval will indicate a maximum purchase price given your income, down payment, and current credit commitments.

2. Not having a home inspection.

When I write an offer on behalf of my clients, a home inspection condition is always included. In the case of multiple offers, my clients may consider removing the condition to improve their offer to the sellers.  I will always caution my buyers on this action as there is little recourse after the condition is removed, and structural or mechanical deficiencies are found.

3. Limiting your search to open houses, ads or the Internet.

As you will have realized, the good homes fly, and are sold really quickly—even before the open house happens! If you are constantly on Realtor.ca, you may think that you are watching as the new listings hit the market. However, what you might not know, is that there is a delay in what is shown on Realtor.ca, and often, real estate agents see properties before they are listed for sale. If you work with one agent as your buyer agent, their first priority is finding you a home and being pro-active on your behalf. If you are doing all the leg work yourself, you may be missing the perfect property.

4. Not considering long-term needs.

A funky two-bedroom studio will not accommodate a growing family for long, and a large 4 bedroom 2 storey home might not been the right choice for a couple that is looking to retire. Typically, people stay in their first home 5-7 years, then look to buy something that will accommodate a family. Once children leave home, downsizing to a bungalow or condominium might be in the  plan. I recently helped an older couple sell their condo because the husband hated the apartment-style living. It’s really important to explore different options with an agent, as there are many possible solutions that will meet your short and long term goals.

5. Not knowing the total costing involved.

Before you begin your search, you will need to know that buying a home requires some up-front money. First, you will need to produce a certified deposit cheque that is submitted once you have reached a deal with the sellers. This amount varies depending on the purchase price of the home. Also, at closing day, you will need at least 5% of the purchase price as a down payment, and there are closing costs on top of that. Closing costs vary depending on your area, but on average legal fees are around $1200. 

As a Buyer, you may  have questions about the buying process. Give me a call to discuss any of your concerns about buying your next home! Always remember, I love to work with buyers during this exciting time!

You're Ready to Sell. But is Your Home Ready?

by Claire Franceschetti

It’s always a good idea to spruce up the exterior and interior of your home before listing it for sale. But that doesn’t mean you have to undertake major and/or expensive project.

Just a little effort will greatly increase the perceived value of your home. After all, if you wanted to undertake a large-scale project, you probably wouldn’t be selling!

Here are some simple steps you can take to increase the perceived value of your home and make a great first impression.

 

Exterior Appearance

  • Keep lawns cut
  • Trim hedges and shrubs
  • Weed and edge gardens
  • Clear driveway and clean up oil spills
  • Clean out garage
  • Power wash
  • Touch up paint
  • Plant colorful, inexpensive flowers in pots if necessary

At the Front Door

  • Clean porch and foyer
  • Ensure door bell works
  • Repair any broken screens
  • Fresh paint or varnish front door
  • Repair door locks and key access

Create a Buying Mood

  • Make sure your home smells fresh and clean
  • Turn on lights
  • Turn on air conditioner/heater
  • Open the drapes
  • Light the fireplace

Create Space

  • Clear halls and stairs of clutter
  • Store surplus furniture
  • Clear kitchen counter and stove top
  • Clear closets of unnecessary clothing and stuff
  • Remove empty boxes and containers
  • Put away personal photos so buyers can envision the house as theirs

Maintenance

  • Repair leaking taps and toilets
  • Clean furnace and filters
  • Tighten door knobs and latches
  • Repair cracked plaster
  • Apply fresh coat of pain or touch up where necessary
  • Clean and repair windows
  • Repair seals around tubs and basins
  • Replace defective light bulbs
  • Oil squeaking doors
  • Repair squeaking floor boards

Squeaky Clean

  • Clean and freshen bathrooms
  • Clean fridge and stove (in and out)
  • Clean around heating vents
  • Clean washer and dryer
  • Clean carpets, drapes and window blinds
  • Eliminate pet odors and stains

When it's time to sell your home, I provide a complimentary Home Staging Consultation. During your consultation with an accredited home stager, much of this information will be discussed. Give me a call if this is of interest to you!

Bling It Up!!! (And Get More Bling...)

by Claire Franceschetti

Some of you know that I love sparkly accessories. Tracy, one of my friends, sells Stella and Dot jewellery and I do my part to support her growing business. Rings, bracelets, earrings and necklaces are fun ways to change a look and spruce up an outfit.



The same concept applies to fixtures in a house. In my opinion, lighting, faucets and tiles are the jewellery of the home. These items take a builder grade, standard feature house, and pump it up to the next level of style. With a few main items, buyers will be struck with the feeling of upscale living. The trick is that these well placed items do not have to cost an arm and a leg.



The difference in cost for builder grade light fixtures and more elaborate, ornate light fixtures maybe as little as $100. But I have seen buyers reactions during open houses and when showing my clients various homes. These subtle details signal to buyers that the current owners have paid extra attention to the home. It sets the expectation of buyers for higher end finishes.