Why A Fresh Coat of Paint Will Help Sell Your Home More Easily

It’s a fact – study after study proves that we equate color with emotion. The colors we chose for our homes are a public representation of how we see ourselves. But this can become a dilemma because not every potential buyer views colors the way you do. 

Most realtors will recommend a fresh coat of paint for their client’s home. According to a 2009 survey done by HomeGain, a spend between $500 – $750 to paint your home increased your home price by an average of $1,500 to $2,000. That is at least a 250% return on investment! 

Basic rule of thumb – Stick to single, neutral colors. 

By keeping your colors neutral, buyers will be able to easily visualize their furniture in your home, as they are not influenced by busy, dark colors. Light, neutral colors bode well with online photos, which is the first place people check when looking for homes. 

Always make sure that your paint has a fresh appeal, no dings, and no marks. If there are any, they should be repainted or touched up because this gives the feeling of a well maintained home. 

The colors you chose have to be livable and appealing, you want a color where the buyer will come in and say that although it may not be their first choice, they can live with it. 

Another good tip is to remove all the personal touches you’ve made within your home in an effort to make the place as impersonal as possible when staging your home for sale. The neutral-colored palette without all the clutter will help potential buyers envision how their personal taste can be implemented into the house. 

If you have any doubts on the colors you have currently in your home, it may be worthwhile employing the services of a professional stager. 

If you are planning to purchase a new home, or have any real estate related questions, let us help you. We have been in the real estate business for over 26 years.  Call us on 604 913 1000, contact us  and  follow us on Facebook!

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The indoor Air in Your Home is Polluted – Here Are 3 Plants That Can Detox the Air.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ranks indoor air quality as one of the top five environmental risks to public health, because air pollution inside your home or office can be worse than the pollution outside. 

There are a number of things you can do to clean up the air in your home – stop buying air fresheners and other products with toxic chemicals and solvents that actually do you more harm than good. You can also open your windows for a few minutes a day to let in some fresh air. 

There is another alternative – You can grow fresh air by placing common household plants in your home. Here are 3 common houseplants that could vastly improve the indoor air quality of your home. 

Areca Palm. Placed in the living room, the plant is a ‘daytime oxygen factory.’ Keeping 4 shoulder height plants per person would be the most effective way. 

Mother-in-Law’s tongue. This is an ‘evening oxygen factory.’ Having 6-8 waist high plants per person in the bedroom would help flush out all the carbon dioxide from your room. 

Money plant. This is a very useful plant that removes formaldehyde and other volatile organic chemicals from the indoor air.  

These three household plants will certainly improve your indoor air quality, even if you don’t have quite so many. Be sure to keep the foliage clean and dust free (so the leaves can do their job), and keep the top of soil clean and free of debris, as in some cases, that’s where the bulk of the filtering is taking place. 

Learn how we make use of today’s best marketing techniques to sell your home. Your home is important to you and you need an agent you can trust to get you results. Contact us or call us on 604 913 1000.

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Why You Should Trust An Experienced Real Estate Professional to Negotiate a Win-Win Deal For You.

When you buy a home, you are making one of the most important purchases of your life. And you place your trust in your real estate agent to make this landmark decision.

 

Your agent has gone through months of training and has passed difficult exams to ensure that he or she is working in your best interests. Strong negotiating skills are among the many reasons why you should use an agent. He or she has been specially trained in negotiations and has many years of experience putting this training into practice.

 

Here are some of the reasons you should trust your agent to bargain on your behalf:

◾While your agent wants to make the best deal possible for you, he or she knows that, by definition, negotiating requires some compromise to make it work.  Both parties should emerge from negotiations feeling they’ve gotten a good deal – a win-win. By negotiating on your own, you may get carried away by your emotions, and this can be fateful.

◾ The adage that everything is negotiable in real estate isn’t necessarily true. You don’t want to go for everything, because you may end up with nothing. Your agent will decide what should be kept and how much to give up in order to get the best deal.

◾ Through years of dealing with sellers, your agent has the experience to correctly size up the seller, which can give you a major advantage during negotiations. Is the seller
motivated and prepared to give concessions, or are there other offers waiting in the wings?

◾ An important point is that your agent negotiates based on facts, not emotion. He or she can table a home inspector’s report proving that repairs are needed without recriminations and present stats to support your offer without arguing over value.

By using an experienced real estate professional, you can be sure that your agent’s negotiating skills will more than likely get you that deal. And chances are it will be a win-win.

If you are looking for an experienced real estate company to buy or sell your home, contact us and we will try and give you the best advice possible.

 

 

 

 

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Should You Buy First or Sell?

As a homeowner, there is a time when you may want to upgrade or downsize your present home. You face the choice – should you buy the new home before selling the current one, or the other way around?

Frankly, there is no answer to this question – it all comes down to whatever makes you the most comfortable. Both have pros and cons, and here are some to consider:

If you buy first.
• If you have found the home you are looking for with all the features you like, and the price is right, there may be a lot of pressure on you to sell your home fast. As a result you may have to give in on price or make other concessions.
• If the local real estate market is hot, you might feel safer buying first.
• If your home is priced at the market price, there is a good possibility that it will sell quickly. If it needs a lot of fixing up or is the most expensive home in the neighbourhood, it may languish on the market or sell below asking.
• If you buy first and your home does remain on the market for a long time, the worst-case scenario is you’re stuck with double mortgage payments. You may be forced to sell below your asking price.
If you sell first.

• If you have already sold your home, you have the luxury of deciding on how much you can afford on your next home.
• By selling first, you have the awareness of the condition of your own home’s sale, such as the closing date, when you have to give up possession, etc. Armed with this information, you can make an informed offer.
• If you can’t get possession of your new house before leaving your current one, or even worse, can’t find what you’re looking for, you’ll need temporary housing. Have you budgeted for a short-term rental, and what will you do with your furniture while you’re waiting?

To learn more about Virani Real Estate Advisors or to discuss a property sale or purchase, email us at admin@thevlist.com, visit one of our offices, or call 604-913 1000.

 

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What Does “Building Equity” Mean?

One of the greatest benefits of home ownership is the ability to build equity over time. When you are paying off your mortgage over time, you are building the equity in your home. 

Equity is the amount of the house you truly own. It’s the difference between the balance you owe on your home and its market value.  If you sold your house and paid off the bank, the value of your equity is what you’d walk away with. 

Every month, a portion of your mortgage payment goes towards paying off the loan balance, and another portion of the payment goes towards interest costs.  As you pay off the loan, you build equity: you owe a little less, which means you own a little more of your home, 

If you live in a location where home values are increasing over time, your equity stake can also increase over time. Think of this as getting a windfall when you sell your home.  This can also happen when you renovate your home  – you can increase the value by the home improvement. 

Many homeowners refer to their mortgage payment as a way of forcing them to save. You may not feel that you are saving money by making mortgage payments every month, but if you think about it, you actually are – you are building up the value (equity) of an asset you own. With your house, it isn’t cash in the savings account; it is equity in the home. 

When you sell your home, your equity will translate into cash, and you can use this to pay towards your next home, allowing you to borrow less. You can also borrow money against the equity of your home, and the interest rates will be more favorable as your home will be used as the collateral. 

So homeownership can be a useful way to increase your personal wealth for you and your family, since you’ll be building equity in your home as you pay off your mortgage. 

 

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Planning on Moving? Here’s How to Find the Best Moving Company

Moving is stressful and expensive. Everyone has had at least one bad moving experience in his or her lives. The best way to prevent the stress that comes with moving, is to chose the right moving company that will make your move flawless. This comes with a fair amount of research and preparation. 

A lot of extremely useful information can be found in the Office of Consumer Affairs (OCA) website http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/oca-bc.nsf/eng/ca02029.html  We strongly advise you to visit this website and carefully read and follow their checklists and advice. This document was prepared by a multi-stakeholder working group consisting of government, business, and consumer group representatives and academics, under the leadership of the Office of Consumer Affairs, Industry Canada. 

One of the best ways of finding a good moving company is through the referral process. If you have had friends/relatives that have moved in the past year, ask them about the moving company they used and get their feedback on how the move fared. 

Your real estate professional will also be able to give you some very useful recommendations. Realtors typically keep in touch with their clients after the sale/purchase of the home. They can always ask for moving referrals.  

Once you have made a shortlist of moving companies, go online and read reviews about them. Every moving company wants your business and many will promise you the earth to get your business.  Read about them online to get an idea on how genuine their promises are. 

It is absolutely true that quality doesn’t always come cheap. If you are looking for professional, quality movers, expect to pay. It would be a real pity if you have spent a lot of time and effort doing your research and then settled for simply the best deal that is out there. 

If you are expecting to move between June and September, which is the busiest moving season in Canada, its best to get busy making your enquiries now, as moving companies are not as busy.

Planning a move?  Contact us and we can advise you. Please fill out this  form, visit one of our offices, or call 604-913-1000. We will be glad to be of any assistance to you.

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How to Remove Scratches From Your Hardwood Floors.

Hardwood floors are becoming more popular in homes, especially during renovation projects. They are easier to clean and look great,  but maintaining a red oak or Brazilian cherry floor in its pristine condition can be somewhat of a challenge. A professional floor finisher will charge anything from $1 – $4 per square foot to apply a new coat of finish.

So how can you remove those annoying scratches and marks and deep gouges on a budget? Here are some tips that can achieve just that in a few easy steps: 

How to camouflage scratches: 

Crayons, wax sticks, stain markets and even Sharpie pens are great ways of hiding minor scratches. Don’t be afraid of mixing colors to get a decent match, and don’t worry if the color is a little off. So long as you cover the contrasting “white” scratches, color imperfections will match perfectly.

Use this homemade polish to remove the scratch: mix equal parts of vinegar and olive oil, pour directly on to the scratch and let it soak for a day and then wipe off. Keep repeating until the scratch disappears. The mixture will remove dirt, moisturize and give the wood a great shine.

How to remove deeper scratches:

Deeper scratches require more work and patience. There is an easy formula: sand, fill, sand again, stain and seal.

Sand the affected area with very fine gauge steel wool or lightweight sandpaper, ensuring that you are sanding with the grain.

Using a plastic putty knife, apply wood filler and not wood putty, as the filler will absorb the stain better than putty.

Using a lambs wool applicator, seal the affected area with polyurethane, or whatever product was used on the floor originally.

How to fix gaps in the floor:

The older the floorboards are, the more susceptible they are to separating. Use colored wood putty that matches the color of the floor, and carefully fill the gaps. If the gaps are quite large and if you have some spare planks, cut a narrow band and glue it into the gaps.

It takes time and patience to get the floor looking like its original state. As with carpets, a good tip would be to spread rugs all over the heavy traffic areas. This will preserve your floor life and add to the décor of the room.

If you are planning to purchase a new home, or have any real estate related questions, let us help you. We have been in the real estate business for over 26 years.  Call us on 604 913 1000, contact us  or follow us on Facebook!

 

 

 

 

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What Makes a Great Location Great?

Ask just about any real estate agent to list the three most important things a property should have, and you’ll likely hear: “location, location, location.” When you buy a home in a good location, it’s usually a solid long-term investment.

The concept of a good location differs among homebuyers.

Here are some location factors that contribute to the value of homes in a particular area:

  1. A good “walk score” – This means a location that is within walking distance of shops, recreational venues, cafe and restaurants. People are choosy about what they want to walk to, however. Many buyers identify a nearby Starbucks (by name) as one reason to purchase a home in a particular neighborhood and are willing to pay more for them. The other top pick: parks.
  2. Close to transit and highways– Many homebuyers don’t want to spend hours commuting to work and back. Gen X and Gen Y buyers, in particular, will often forgo a 3500-square-foot home in the suburbs for an 1800-square-foot property located downtown. These groups place their priorities in the ability to live closer to work, and social and cultural attractions.
  3. Schools – Homebuyers with school age children will always prefer a location close to schools, preferably in a reputable school district. On the other hand, some home’s values may decline if they are located too close to a school.
  4. Public image – Properties located in popular, prestigious, or historic locales are often valued highly because of their perceived status or reputation.
  5. Safe neighborhood – People want to live where there’s little or no crime. Naturally, they want to feel safe in their homes and will pay extra for it. A safe neighborhood means people will feel free to walk around, be outdoors and interact with their neighbors. Communities still exist today where people don’t lock their doors, and they know their neighbors are there for them in a heartbeat.

All these things matter when you’re considering the location of a home for sale. But never lose sight of what matters most to you about the location.

Also, when you buy a home, you should always think like a future seller.

We have successfully sold over a billion dollars worth of real estate. It is our strongest desire to make your real estate experience with us positive and ultimately, successful. Contact us if you have any questions.

 

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How To Get Your Dream Home, Even If It Is Not Listed.

Have you ever driven through a neighbourhood and suddenly seen a home that you have fallen in love with? But as luck would have it, the home is not for sale.

While the majority of us drive away, feeling sad, there are others who are determined to make that home theirs, whether it is for sale or not.

And often, with the help of the right real estate advisor, they will do just that!

For a real estate professional, this is equivalent to a sales “cold call” – the clients point out the home they like, and the realtor plays a sort of matchmaker, contacting the homeowners to see if they are willing to sell.

While some owners will not even consider a sale, there are others who may, if they get the right incentive – price! The idea of selling the home may have been discussed, but the process had not been started. There could also be a chance that the home may have been on the market previously.

So if you are interested in a home that has not been put on the market, this is what you can do:

  1. Do a thorough research on the property and the owner. Public records, real estate listings of houses in the neighbourhood, or even old real estate listings in the area can give you a decent idea of the value.
  2.  If you decide you’re serious about approaching the owner, your best bet is to ask your realtor to do so on your behalf. It will show the owner you’re seriously interested. A good idea would be to send to the owner, via your realtor, a handwritten letter, expressing why you’re interested. It will help personalize the process.
  3. If the owner shows interest in selling, work fast to make the deal before he/she changes his/her mind.

Remember you may end up paying more than the market price if the house isn’t officially up for sale. It has to be a home that has left a lasting impression on you if you decide to buy.

Are you interested in buying a home? Please contact us. We can advise you on a property purchase or a valuation. Our experienced Real Estate professionals have a wealth of knowledge and experience in these fields.

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How You Can Help Your Agent Sell Your Home More Quickly

Your real estate advisor works passionately to ensure that your home is sold for the best possible price in the least possible time. However, you as the seller, have a very important role to play – you have to prepare your home for the sale as your agent cannot do this for you.

Your real estate professional will tell you that you have only one chance to make a first impression. According to popular real estate surveys, more than 60% of buyers know that the property is for them, the minute they walk in the door. 

You have to make sure that considerable effort is put into making that first impression a favorable one.  

So what can you do? Simple basic things such as: 

  • Make sure you cut the lawn and remove the leaves and debris near the front door.
  • If your front door looks slightly old and worn, give it a fresh coat of paint that is color coordinated with the trim.
  • De-clutter the foyer and make it a “grand” entrance.
  • Placing a mirror over a hall table reflects light and gives your entrance a finished look.
  • Remove excess furniture and clutter from the living room.
  • Use neutral paint colors in the common areas and brighten dark corners.
  • Kitchens are instrumental in deciding whether your home will be sold or not – update your appliances. If you can’t, then make a good first impression with uncluttered, neat and sparkling clean counters.
  • In the bathroom, new fluffy towels and accessories may help visitors overlook the dated vanity. 

Obviously there is much more you can do than this, but these are tips that generally work. While your home is being listed, always make sure that it is kept clean and tidy. Your real estate professional will do his/her best in trying to sell your home and you need to do your part to ensure this is made possible.

 

We’re not in the real-estate business – we’re in the experience business. Allow us to help change the quality and direction of your life. Contact us is you have any real estate related inquiries.

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