CALGARY DREAM HOMES BLOG

 

Stewart J Lowe (Stu) & Associates. 

Direct: 403-850-0669

AERIAL VIEW OF CALGARY AT NIGHT

Great video of Calgary at Night 2

City of Calgary, Aug. 15, 2018 – Stricter lending criteria, higher rates and a slow economic recovery weighed on housing demand over the first half of 2018.

This is causing sales to ease more than originally anticipated.


"Easing sales combined with rising inventories has pushed the market into an oversupply situation for all products, affecting pricing for all products, which include detached, semi-detached and row, and apartment," said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie.

Overall, prices are expected to ease by over one per cent across the city, with expected declines ranging from 2.5 per cent in the apartment sector to nearly one per cent in the detached sector.


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BATHROOMS


Many sellers under estimate how much their bathrooms play a role in how their homes are judged by visitors. It’s true, it may not be as ‘public’ as your living room, your home’s exteriors, landscaping, etc., but a bathroom can serve to make or break a good impression.


For example, just imagine a guest who’s impressed with everything he has seen so far only to be appalled on seeing grime in the corners of your bathroom. An ultra-clean bathroom contributes enormously to how your home is ‘scored’ by visitors.


So let us look at simple ways for keeping your home in sparkling condition:


One of the elements that detract from a bathroom’s appearance is soap scum on the walls, shower door, etc. You can use dryer sheets, just slightly moistened, to remove soap scum from bathroom surfaces.


Here is a tip - coffee filters can be used as an effective cleaner for bathroom mirrors. A simple toothbrush dipped in a solution of baking soda and vinegar can be used for cleaning the grout between tiles.


The combination of baking soda and vinegar works well even for clogged drains – pour a cup of each down the drain, cover the drain with a drain-cover or cloth, followed by pouring boiling water down the drain. Make your taps sparkle by wrapping them in paper towels soaked in vinegar, followed by using a dry paper towel to buff the taps.


A well-designed and well-maintained bathroom can leave a good impression on visitors as well as prospective buyers. 


Keeping your bathroom in ‘sparkling condition’ it need not be a chore – just make sure that you go about it regularly so that stains do not get a chance to build up.

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Stu Lowe and Lora Greco just reduced the price on this fabulous home in Royal Oak backing onto a ravine. Fully finished with an amazing walkout.  C4189834


https://calgarydreamhomes.com/mylistings.html/listing.c4189834-181-royal-elm-road-nw-calgary-t3g-5v7.76438928

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A buyer’s market can refer to the point in the market where sales have been low inventory is still low, but maybe sales are on the way back up. You need to step in and purchase whilst sellers are still more realistic.


As a seller, you do not need to be unhappy that it is a buyer’s market. A buyer’s market does not mean that your home won’t sell. It just means that your home may not sell for what you are expecting for it. Therefore, if you are planning on selling your home in a buyer’s market, abandon all sentiments and set realistic expectations by looking at recent sales of comparable properties.


If you are not happy with the statistics regarding recent sales of comparable properties, you might want to wait until the market turns in your favour. As a seller in a buyer’s market, you need to be very motivated from the beginning itself, otherwise your property may end up languishing in the market. Only put your home up for sale in a buyer’s market if you are a very serious seller.


As a buyer, you will get to pick from many options in a buyer’s market. However, this does not mean you should skip your research. Evaluate all your options – in fact, during a buyer’s market, prized locations which were earlier not available within your budget may open up. You could choose to seize the opportunity and enter the best areas while you have the chance.


Our advice is that you should move forward with deals in a buyer’s market after having a team talk with us, we can provide real time data that will help you find the best deals in today’s market.


#calgarydreamhomes #calgaryhometracker  

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Clutter can eat away into a home’s space, and it can certainly leave a bad visual impression. Some areas of your home are prone to clutter more than others - Lets take a look.


You might not of thought of it but your kitchen is often one of the most cluttered areas in the house. Home owners usually don’t think of their kitchens as ‘cluttered’ because many of the items occupying their kitchen cabinets and counter top are ‘Utensils’. . Keep on the counter tops only items that you really need.


The living room is another clutter place because this is one space used by all members of the family. Keep newspaper baskets to conceal all these items from public view if possible.


Clutter also often finds its way to the bathroom – many of us are accustomed to the vision of old shampoo bottles, hair brushes, toothpaste tubes, etc., cluttering the bathroom counter top. Throw away what you rarely use, and store away the rest neatly in cabinets or on shelves.


Too many personal family photos in frames or hanging on walls can be a "turn off" for a buyer, they don't see it or can't visualize it as "their home"


Good designed homes can help with preventing clutter build-up, but in the end it is all down to you.


We can help you though - 403-850-0669

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You’ve done your research with us and narrowed your showings down to the top six. It could be yours – as long as you make the right offer!


So how do we make the right offer? That’s a very important question to consider.

If you offer too low, you risk the seller turning you down flat. You may even not get a chance to make a second offer, no counter from the seller, your offer is dead. If there are multiple offers yours may be at the bottom of the pile!

If your offer is too high, you could leave a few thousand dollars on the table... money that you could have been used for other important things, like renovations or a family vacation.


So before deciding how much to offer for a home you want, we need a team talk! With our 16 years in Calgary Real Estate you can have the comfort of knowing you are in good, experienced hands.


We will discuss what goes into a good offer and other ways to strengthen your offer, sometimes a slightly lower but clean offer is more appealing to the seller if it has less conditions or terms. A pre-approved mortgage letter from your lender is huge when you have a finance condition.


We need to talk

Stu:   403.850.0669

Lora: 403.512.1316

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TOP 10 SELLING MISTAKES TO AVOID


Want to Sell Your Home? – Here is Where We Can Help You


  1. Don’t Price It Too High: Price is everything. Overpricing does more to discourage buyers than any other single factor. When you overprice, you put your home in competition with homes that may be newer, larger or have more going for them than yours. All you will achieve is to help sell the others !. 
  2. Poor Condition: A home that needs lots of work doing to it, does not excite buyers. A home like this is looked at by buyers as a work project and like the old Tom Hanks movie – The Money Pit. Having your home in good shape and great showing presentation will significantly improve your chances of a sale at top dollar value.
  3. Poor Curb Appeal: Most buyers today will always want to drive by. If your home is an attractive drive-by, it will gain more attention and more showings. Doing the little things to help your home's curb appeal. Clearing snow in winter, cutting the lawn and cleaning the yard in summer will make a huge difference.
  4. Drab Dark Homes Don't Sell: Buyers like Space and Light ! At showing time open the blinds and curtains -  " IT’S SHOWTIME". Go through your home and remove all clutter; touch up paint and wall dinks, fix counter tops, and carpets. Smells are offensive from pets and smoking smells are also huge turn-off.  If the weather is good open a few windows and let the air through before showings. The most important rooms to concentrate on are the living room, family room, kitchen and master bedroom. As they enter the home they will have their first impression! Don’t have a dirty front door - Make it sparkle !.
  5. Don't Over-improve: Get your home in good showing shape, but don't over-do it. Huge projects such as complete remodels of kitchens, adding decks, and expanding room sizes may not pay back your investment. Before you jump into a huge improvement project, ask us for our advice.
  6. Be Financeable: Bad roofs, exterior paint, or structural problems may make your home un-financeable. The wider the scope of financing that your home can qualify for, the higher the overall market value
  7. Get Good Advice and Good Market Exposure: As professional agents with over 16 years experience we will help you get your home priced right, and will also get you started with the best fix ups. We will get your home exposed to the largest number of potential "Qualified" buyers. Paying the agent fee is often the least expensive part of selling your home. 
  8. Don't Be In At Showings: When your home is being shown, go for a drive or a walk. Take yourself, your family, and pets and let the agent and their clients have the freedom they need. An agent can always do their best job of showing your home when you are not underfoot. Buyers will spend longer looking at your home's features and the benefits when you are not there.
  9. Let Us Do The Negotiating: If there is ever a good reason to have an experienced agent working for you, it's during the negotiation of your home sale. A good negotiator can mean thousands of dollars to you, and will protect your interests. Don't let your emotions run wild during negotiations. Try to separate your emotions from your business side. Remain cool and calm during this time.


        10. Act Fast With Offers: We contact you as soon as an offer comes in and  we             need to act quickly and decisively to arrive at the best price and conditions.                    Letting offers sit around without acting can be a huge mistake, buyers think you        don’t care. Things can change quickly in the mind of a prospective buyer so let us help you set up the strategy – what is your best finished price and through negotiations how do we get there.


  • The Team Is Ready To Go! Call for a Market Consultation: 403-512-1316
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CHOOSE A NEIGHBORHOOD THAT REFLECTS PRIDE IN ITSELF 



If you are looking for that new home, always check out the neighborhood – or one that you can see has pride of ownership. Here are some things to look for:

  • People who have pride in their homes. Take a walk around the neighbourhood, get familiar with it. Looking at the homes, do you get a sense that people take good care of them? Are the yards looking good, with lawns mowed, landscaping trimmed and flowers planted? Remember homeowners are more likely to look after their properties when they like where they are living.
  • Home Improvements. What about home owners spending money fixing their homes? Maybe they are getting their driveways re-done or putting in new windows. This is a clear indication that homeowners like the area enough to invest in their properties.
  • Recent  Home Sales. Is the neighborhood in demand from buyers, and are the prices steady with homes selling quickly. If people want to live there, it's a desirable area.
  •  Retailers Setting Up. What about businesses are they investing in the area? Is there an increase in the number of upscale shops, health clubs, restaurants, and other commercial enterprises that often locate near desirable neighbourhoods?
  •  Community Events. Another good sign is community activity. Look at the lifestyle of the area. Are there neighbourhood picnics, garage sales and other get-togethers? Go onto Facebook and if the neighborhood you are interested in has a community page!
  • City Improvements. Has the City got plans for the area? Have there been road improvements done, or are there any major construction projects coming up, new schools or maybe a community centre?


  • We are always here to advise you on the best neighborhoods, and give you the information on past home sales and those currently on the market.

info@calgarydreamhomes.com  or direct  403-850-0669

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  1. Rotate the Mattress – This will distribute the usage more evenly.
  2. Put on the winter Bedding – Time to put that heavy winter bedding on.
  3. Wash Pillows – Most pillows are machine washable, but they can also be hand washed in a tub.
  4. Clean Ceiling and Walls – This includes air vents, light fixtures, and switch plates.
  5. Dust Your Ceiling Fans – Be careful not to fall if you are using a ladder.
  6. Curtains and Blinds – Wash curtains and dust blinds.
  7. Clean your Closets – Sort through your clothes, shoes, and accessories. Donate what you have not used in the past year. Chances are, if you have not used it in the past year, you will not use it in the future. Also, store your summer clothes.
  8. They say by making space in your Closet you are letting the universe know you are making room for new clothes!
Photo Hasten Superior Beds
#bedtips  #bedding
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25  CALGARY HOME FIX UP TIPS

 

The condition of your home will have a huge impact on how fast it sells, and its eventual selling price. Preparing your home for sale can pay you huge dividends. Many fix ups cost very little and consist mostly of time and some elbow grease. Here are some simple tips to help your home show its best.

 

  • Clean the entire home thoroughly. Shampoo carpets, wash walls, clean sills, window screens and blinds. Clean out light fixtures and dust shelving. Get detailed here.
  • Clean the clutter from all closets, cupboards and cabinets.
  • Make your rooms look as spacious as possible. Store unnecessary furnishing items that make your home look crowded.
  • Arrange furnishing so that it is easy to walk through your home.
  • Scale down the number of photos, pictures, portraits and posters hanging on walls. Make sure you patch all nail and screw holes.
  • Keep your curtains and draperies open as a rule. You will want your home to show very light and bright. Find ways to screen any unappealing views.
  • Make your kitchen shine. Remove clutter from counter tops and cabinets and store it. Keep your sink clean and clear of any dirty dishes.
  • Clean your refrigerator, inside and out. Make sure that you do the simple things like putting an open box of baking soda in your fridge. Also, remove unnecessary clutter from the door.
  • Clean your oven. Degrease it and keep it looking as good as possible.
  • Keep scented candles burning in the kitchen and bathrooms. Pleasant fragrances will entice buyers to stay longer in your home.
  • Keep bathrooms scrubbed and tidy with fresh soap and neatly hung towels. Try to color coordinate your bathrooms.
  • Keep all sinks in the home clean and repair leaks or slow drains.
  • Go through your entire home and touch up paint. Pay close attention to corners where there is traffic wear. Touch up baseboards, trim and cabinets and cupboards.
  • Place plants or flower arrangements in strategic parts of the home. A splash of color from plants, flowers, pillows or small rugs can give your home some real flair.
  • Make sure that your home is well lit. Put higher wattage bulbs in dark areas or corners. Keep all lights on during showings, even in mid day.
  • Use mirrors on walls if necessary to reflect light and make rooms look larger.
  • Make sure that all door knobs and keyed entries are working. Replace any worn knobs or handles.
  • Clean up all around the house. Remove any debris piles such as wood, firewood and landscape trimmings. Trim all hedges, bushes and shrubbery away from the house. Keep all garden beds weeded and mulched.
  • Put some color by your home's entrance with potted flowers. Keep them watered and looking attractive.
  • Keep all walkways clear, clean and in good repair. This includes your driveways and any parking areas.
  • Keep all outdoor furniture clean and in good repair.
  • Clean your gutters and roof. Keep moss or algae from growing on, in or around them.
  • Keep your yard and lawn areas clean and in good health. A green lawn makes a home look great. Keep your lawn edged and free from weeds.
  • Repair any broken windows, screens, shutter or awnings.
  • Clean your garage area. Remove clutter and make it look organized and as spacious as possible. Try to have nothing in your garage but cars.

By following these 25 fix up tips, you can do a lot to increase the perceived value of your home and make it stand out above the competition!


Call or Text Stu or Lora for your marketing Consultation 


Lora: 403.512.1316


Stu: 403.850.0669

 

 

#easyfixups #yycdiytips

 

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5 GOOD REASONS TO LIVE IN A CALGARY CONDO

 

Condo living is for the buyer on a limited budget or just wants to be in the centre of everything. There are many common misconceptions about owning a condo such as big condo fees and rules that determine what you can or can't-do. Condos are sometimes overlooked by potential buyers who would probably love to live in one.  There are many benefits and conveniences that come along with living in a condo instead of a house.

 Here is why they are worth considering:   


1.  Value for Money
If you are looking to buy a home but with a limited budget, consider a condo. Typically they are much less expensive than a single family home.  At any time we have condos listed.  Finding a nice single family house in a good area close to schools or work is those price ranges in those areas, won't get you much, let alone a turnkey home, move-in ready. 

2.  All the Size You Need
Condos provide you with enough space to feel comfortable, yet aren't too big that cleaning and maintenance become overwhelming.  This makes them perfect for a small family, people living alone, couples and senior citizens downsizing. 

3.  Want Access to A Gym?  Get a condo
Many condos have gyms as part of their shared amenities and included in your condo fee.   They can also include assigned storage and your own (sometimes titled) underground heated parking stall.

4.  No more Yard Work or Snow Removal!
Caring for yards can be very time to consume and expensive if you get a company in. So no more raking or blowing leaves in the fall, shovelling snow all winter, paying for snow removal services, and mowing the grass in the spring and summer.  Buying a condo means you get the luxury of not having to care for a yard, as condo fees cover landscaping.  

5.   The Benefit of Fees
Let’s look at the benefits of your condo fee which are covering the costs of many services, such as amenities, landscaping (mowing, trimming, planting, etc.), snow removal, and often sewer and water fees. Instead of paying multiple bills for all of those services in your apartment, you just make one payment. (This does not include your annual property tax)  Maintenance on the roof and the exterior of the building are usually covered in your fees. (Townhouses usually get billed for individual electricity)  


We can advise you on the different costs you will incur when you are deciding which to buy.

#calgarycondos #mycondo #whybuyacondo #yyccondo

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1 Cut your grass as close to leaving as possible. We would suggest that you set the mower on the shortest cut you can get so that you don’t have to worry about it growing too much while you are away. Better still, if you can ask your neighbor to cut it while you are away, that’s a plus! Remember mowing your yard before a vacation makes it look like you are still at home, and may keep away potential intruders.


 2 Another thing you should do before you leave on vacation this coming summer is to cancel mail if it is delivered to your door or newspapers. You can pick your mail up at the post office once you arrive back home and start your service back up. This may sound like a huge ordeal but it really is an easy way to keep things neat and tidy while you are away from home. Newspaper build up is a sure sign that the homeowner is away.


3 If you don’t want your house to stand out as if no one is home, you may need to install a flood light that is activated by motion outside of your home. This way if someone walks up to your house that is not suppose to the neighbors will be able to see them and can report anything out of the ordinary. Another good idea is to put some of your inside lights on timers so it looks like you are home.


4 If you have a VAC mode (vacation mode) on your water heater it’s a good idea to use it while you are away. Some people also have a security link or App on their cell for when they are away.


5. The best cover you can get is to ask your neighbor to keep an eye on your home, maybe put your garbage out and put the bins back after pick up day.


A vacation is all about relaxing, and with your home safe that is exactly what you can do ...kick back!! (switch off your cell lol)

 

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NEW CALGARY, ALBERTA CONDO RULES

 

A new home is the largest purchase most Albertans will make, and today the government approved new regulations that will better protect Albertans’ investments.

“Albertans deserve to be protected when making a big purchase like a home or investment property. Today, we have taken the first steps toward reassuring Albertans that their investments are properly looked after, so they can feel confident when investing in the condo market.”

 

Stephanie McLean, Minister of Service Alberta

 

The new rules will improve protections for buyers of new and converted condominium units by:

  • Requiring developers to give a final move-in date, and if they cannot deliver on time, buyers have the option to renegotiate or cancel their contract and get their deposit back.
  • Preventing “fee shock” by requiring developers to give a realistic estimate of condo fees a buyer can expect to pay when they move in.
  • Requiring developers to include more information in the contract, such as floor plans and finishes, to help buyers make a confident decision.
  • Creating new rules so developers must hold buyers’ deposits in trust with a lawyer while their condos are being built.
  • Requiring developers to provide more information to the first elected condo board, to create a smoother transition for owners.
  • Allowing the government to investigate breaches of the act, and issue fines to developers where necessary.

The bulk of the new regulations will come into effect Jan. 1, 2018, with the remainder coming into force April 1.

“The new rules will benefit both condominium builders and purchasers. As consumers look to purchase homes, having rules that enhance their confidence and security will result in increased participation in the marketplace.”

Jade Mahon, Partners Development Group

“Condo owners in Alberta have been eagerly anticipating these changes. The new rules give us more options and more information up front, and help us better protect our investments.”

Terry Gibson, Condo Owners Forum Society of Alberta

CONDO SURVEY LAUNCHING TODAY

Public consultations are now underway for the second set of regulations, focused on improving condo living.

Albertans are invited to complete an online survey on issues such as:

  • how meetings are run and how votes take place
  • rules on renting a condo
  • who should repair units and pay for insurance
  • how reserve funds are managed
  • what kind of say owners get in the rules the board makes
  • how to make sure condo boards have the support they need to fulfil their roles
  • establishment of a condo tribunal to more easily resolve disputes as an alternative to the courts

The survey is available at condo.alberta.ca until Nov. 10, 2017. It is a followup to a series of open houses held across Alberta earlier this summer.

Input from the survey and open houses will help the government create new regulations related to governance and dispute resolution. The new rules are expected to be finalized in 2018.

BACKGROUNDER: CONDOMINIUM PROPERTY AMENDMENT ACT

Alberta’s legislature passed the Condominium Property Amendment Act in December 2014. Since that time, regulatory work has been underway to bring more than 50 amendments into force. The first stage of amendments, going into effect in early 2018, is focused on improving the protection of condo buyers after they’ve committed to purchasing a new or converted property.

The government received feedback on the first stage of regulations from condominium owners, developers, managers, legal and real estate professionals, as well as business and industry associations.

  • Suggestions for the type of information that should be provided to purchasers at the point of sale.
  • Concerns about setting low condo fees as a selling feature, with owners then having to pay higher fees in subsequent years, when actual costs were included in operating budgets.
  • Clarification required for the definition of “material change.”
  • Broadening of the information developers must disclose to elected boards when the boards take over control of the corporation, such as technical documents and financial information.
  • Expanding the agreements that can be terminated by the first elected board of a condo to better protect condo owners from being stuck with a poorly negotiated agreement. The new laws allow for the inclusion of almost any agreement that may be in place during development, including landscaping agreements and maintenance agreements.
  • Formally recognizing ways in which an owner may call special meetings of the corporation.
  • Giving the government additional inspection powers and the ability to issue fines to developers, if the rules are not being followed.
  • Increasing the penalty for offences, from $15,000 for an individual and $25,000 for a company to $25,000 and $100,000, respectively, or three times the amount gained by the offence, whichever is greater.
  • Require developers to give buyers an occupancy date so they know when their units will be ready, and concrete remedies, including the ability to end a contract, when the unit is not ready on time.
  • Requiring developers to provide more information to condo buyers, including occupancy dates, materials to be used to finish the condo, and other fees that the developer will charge the purchaser.
  • Increasing protection for purchasers’ trust money by requiring it to be held by a lawyer instead of the developer and creating specific rules about how it’s handled.
  • Means for condo corporations to recover costs directly from the developer when the developer has deliberately underestimated expenses for things like heating, maintenance and management, during the marketing process.
  • Rules for notice and options for buyers when changes happen during construction that a buyer did not agree to.
  • New rules to ensure the appropriate number of parking spots for visitors and people with disabilities are included in condo plans. 
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If you’re hiking in the Rockies you’re on the home turf of the resident grizzly and black bears. Parks Canada recommends taking the following steps to minimize the chance of an encounter:


BE NOISY

Clap, sing and talk loudly. Don’t rely on bear bells alone to make your presence known.


TEAM UP

Hike in a group of four or more and don’t let kids wander off.


LEASH THE DOG

Or better yet, leave the pooch at home. Dogs provoke defensive behaviour in bears.


TRY NOT TO RUN!


For more information on bear safety visit pc.gc.ca.

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Where to Look for Asbestos Hazards in the Home

 

What year was asbestos used in homes?


*Some roofing and siding shingles are made of asbestos cement. Houses built between 1930 and 1950 may have asbestos as insulation. Asbestos may be present in textured paint and in patching compounds used on wall and ceiling joints. Their use was banned in 1977

Some roofing and siding shingles are made of asbestos cement.
Houses built between 1930 and 1950 may have asbestos as insulation.
Asbestos may be present in textured paint and in patching compounds used on wall and ceiling joints. Their use was banned in 1977.
Artificial ashes and embers sold for use in gas-fired fireplaces may contain asbestos.
Older products such as stove-top pads may have some asbestos compounds.
Walls and floors around woodburning stoves may be protected with asbestos paper, millboard, or cement sheets.
Asbestos is found in some vinyl floor tiles and the backing on vinyl sheet flooring and adhesives.
Hot water and steam pipes in older houses may be coated with an asbestos material or covered with an asbestos blanket or tape.
Oil and coal furnaces and door gaskets may have asbestos insulation.


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If you have been trying to figure out whether or not it is the right time to finally list your home, here are some of the great benefits of listing your home in the spring.

 

Motivated buyers: after the long winter months, buyers are generally pretty anxious to get things moving, which is why spring tends to be a busy time in real estate. It can be stressful to move in the winter, with the unpredictable weather, so this is a time when there are definitely more buyers in the marketplace, which means more eyes on your listing!


Move in before summer: Buyers are busy this time of year so you have a better chance of selling your home, and settling into your new home before summer hits. There are many advantages to being able to actually enjoy your new home in the summer rather than just getting settled in the summer — kids are out of school, warmer weather means more time for outdoor spaces, etc.


Listing early makes all the difference: Less inventory on the market is the first thing, , so you attract more buyers because they have less to choose from. This is usually early in the spring season, so don't wait until the market is full of sellers.


When your house is being valued, the appraiser will look into data for comparable homes sold in your neighbourhood. But if the most recent data is from a home that sold for cheap in the winter, it can hurt your valuation. With more homes selling in the on-season, the comparable data.

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Data supplied by CREB®’s MLS® System. CREB® is the owner of the copyright in its MLS® System. The Listing data is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate by CREB®.
The trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Service® and the associated logos are owned by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.
The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS®, and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.