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Top Reasons to Hire a Real Estate Agent

 Source:  https://www.point2homes.com/news/canada-real-estate/advantages-of-hiring-a-real-estate-agent-instead-of-selling-your-home-yourself.html

Advantages of Hiring a Real Estate Agent Instead of Selling Your Home Yourself

When the time comes to sell your home, you may wonder whether it’s really worth hiring a real estate agent to help you. With house prices increasing, that extra commission can begin to pile up and maybe you’d prefer to have that money in your pocket. Many sellers are tempted to go down the For Sale by Owner (FSBO) route, but it’s not always the best choice for everyone. 

Before making a decision, it’s a good idea to take a look into the main advantages of hiring a listing agent instead of selling your home yourself. Doing so can give you an idea of just how much an agent can help you, and exactly how they earn their fee.

Getting the Price Right

One of the most difficult things to do as a seller is to set the right price for your home. It takes a lot of up-to-date market research and insider knowledge to arrive at an accurate figure. The consequences of getting your price wrong can result in either:

selling your home for far less than it’s worth and consequently losing out on thousands of dollars;

your overpriced home staying on the market for far too long as no buyer will approach it.

A good listing agent will know the local market inside out and will quickly be able to arrive at the right price for your home. As well as working experience, they also have access to the tools of the trade that make this task easy.

Professional Listings with a Wide Reach

When selling your home, it’s important that your listing is visible to a wide audience of potential buyers, especially when competition is tough. On top of that, it’s also got to look great in order to stand out. It is possible to create a high quality listing yourself, but you’ll need the proper photography equipment—including wide angle lenses to capture entire rooms—the skills to use it, photo editing experience and some good ideas about how to stage your space.

A good listing agent can do all of this for you, and more. Nowadays, an increasing number of agents are able to provide virtual tours and drone photography, offering a more complete look at your home. With a stunning listing created, agents can normally reach a wider audience using MLS (multi-listing services), magazines and their own websites and affiliates.

Buyers Are More at Ease

Many buyers may be a little wary of viewing and making offers on homes that are for sale by owner (FSBO). It’s also harder for many to consider negotiating with an individual rather than a listing agent.

Those buyers that do come to view the home may be uncomfortable being shown around by the current owner. This can lead to a rushed viewing in which they haven’t voiced their concerns or opinions for fear of upsetting the current owner. A listing agent acts as a professional go-between that a buyer can feel more comfortable doing business with.

Expert Negotiators

The art of negotiation doesn’t come naturally to all of us—in fact, most of us are downright bad at it! But for a good listing agent, it’s a key skill, and one they would have honed over many years. An agent can help you dissect any offers that you receive and provide advice as to whether they’re worth considering or not.

When it comes to negotiating, their experience will help you to work out how far you can go. Paired with a deep understanding of the current market, plus research into potential buyers, they can help you respond to any offers or conditional offers with the terms that are most likely to get a buyer to bite.

Experience and Contacts in the Field

A real estate transaction in which everything runs smoothly is a rare thing. Every now and then, paperwork might get filled out incorrectly, or an issue with the home itself might arise. As an owner selling your home yourself, these problems can be extremely stressful, but for a listing agent, it’s part of the job.

Agents have the experience to ensure that any problems that do arise are soon resolved, and they have the connections to make it happen. From lawyers to contractors, real estate agents have a wide network of people they can call on to make your problems disappear.

Selling your home yourself is indeed possible, but the benefits to be gained by using an agent shouldn’t be neglected. While their commission may seem high, they might even end up saving you money in the long run.

First Time Home Buyers Guide

Ready to purchase your first house? These 7 tips will get you the keys to your dream home.

Source: https://www.ratehub.ca/first-time-home-buyer-guide

1. Make sure you are down with the minimum down payment

Did you know that your minimum down payment is determined by your home’s purchase price? The absolute minimum down payment in Canada is 5% for homes that cost $500,000 or less.

The biggest hurdle for first-time home buyers is saving up for a down payment. This is why a savings plan is essential. A savings plan helps you set a target down payment goal. This is important because a larger down payment will decrease the amount you need to borrow for the home.

2. Get a Pre-approval! Pre-approval! Pre-approval!

So you’re looking at home listings and visiting open houses, who you gonna call? NOT your realtor! Most Canadians think the first step in the home-buying process is to contact a realtor and start looking at homes. This. is. incorrect.

Once you’ve saved up enough for your target down payment amount, the first thing you should do is get a mortgage pre-approval. Call your mortgage broker or your bank’s mortgage specialist first before your realtor.

see today’s best pre-approval rates

3. Make sure you can afford the home you want

Many of us dream of buying a home but we also need to be realistic about what kind of properties we can actually afford. Your household income, personal monthly expenses, and home costs like property taxes, condo fees, and heating & electricity bills all factor into the total amount you can borrow.

4. Shop around!

You shop around for a home when you house hunt so make sure you do the same when you get a mortgage. Don’t just go to your local bank branch and expect to receive the best rate (because you probably won’t!). Do your research and compare mortgage rates. You should also consider using a mortgage broker who will negotiate rates on your behalf.

Keep in mind that even half a percentage point less on your mortgage rate can make a huge difference in your regular payments and the amount of interest you’ll pay over time.

5. Consider using a Mortgage Broker

Did you know mortgage brokers can get you a mortgage with a Big Bank, but at lower rates?

Mortgage brokers compare mortgages from a variety of banks and financial institutions, to find the best options for their clients.

In addition to the Big Banks, mortgage brokers have access to mortgage products and special rates from trust companies and credit unions. They also work with smaller lenders who don’t have the same overhead costs as the Big Banks (and therefore often have lower rates and fewer fees).

The best part? Most mortgage brokers don’t charge you for their services. It is the lender that pays the broker’s commission. All the negotiating and paperwork is handled by the broker and they will assist you in the application process, from pre-approval to home appraisal.

6. Take advantage of First-Time Home Buyer Programs

As a first-time homebuyer, you’ll want to be familiar with various programs that apply to your situation. Whether it’s a rebate you may qualify for or a tax-efficient way of funding your down payment, there are a number of government programs listed below that can help you potentially save some money when you buy your first home:

  • The Home Buyers’ Tax Credit currently works out to a rebate of $750 for all eligible first-time home buyers.
  • The Canadian government’s Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP) allows first-time home buyers to borrow up to $35,000 from your RRSP for a down payment, tax-free.
  • If you qualify, land transfer tax rebates are available to first-time home buyers in the provinces of Ontario, British Columbia, and Prince Edward Island. There is also a land transfer tax rebate available for first-time homebuyers in the city of Toronto.
  • If you buy your home before it’s built, or if you substantially renovate an existing home, you could qualify for a rebate for a portion of the sales tax. The GST/HST new housing rebate amount you can qualify for depends on the purchase price of the home, and can only be claimed if the net purchase price is $450,000 or less.

7. Keep on Saving

Your down payment and your monthly mortgage payments are just the beginning of your home purchase journey. There are a lot of additional costs that come with buying your first home such as closing costs, land transfer tax, and CMHC insurance. That’s why a savings plan is essential even after you have saved enough for your down payment.

Pro tip: A good rule of thumb is to reserve 3-5% of your home’s purchase price to cover your home closing costs. You can use Ratehub’s Payment Calculator to estimate just how much cash you’ll need.

Selling Your Home: The Most Important Spots to Declutter Before Showing

Source: https://www.apartmenttherapy.com/selling-your-home-11-spots-to-declutter-before-the-open-house-239813

Make no mistake about it: when you’re selling your house, potential buyers want to see everything. That means no area of your home (not even your utility closet) is safe from the gaze of a serious house hunter. That’s why it’s crucial to maximize every square inch of your place—backyard shed included—by minimizing your overall clutter.

Before you can successfully show off your house to anyone (or even take listing photos) you need to ensure you have a home that people will want to live in: one that’s well organized and filled with ample storage space. To help, we’ve put together a list the most important places to de-clutter as you prepare to sell your home. And though we can’t promise it’ll shorten the length of time your home spends on the market, we can assure you it’ll make the staging process go a whole lot smoother.

1. Primp the Front Yard for Curb Appeal

House hunters love to drive by listings and check out neighborhoods before attending open houses. For that reason, it’s important to keep your front lawn trim and tidy—porch included—and make a positive first impression.

2. Tidy Hidden Storage Rooms So They Look Bigger

Believe it or not, people are going to want to see inside your garage, utility closets, and backyard sheds. Now’s the time to clean up (and perhaps invest in some industrial shelving) to make sure your storage rooms look spacious and organized.

3. Make the Entryway More Welcoming

Much like the front yard, an entryway sets the first impression of your place. Set up a sleek coat rack or accent table to keep yours organized—and offer a place for visitors to hang up their jackets during open house—and create an entrance that draws potential buyers in.

4. Clear the Way in the Hallways

A narrow hallway can make even the loftiest of homes feel cramped. So make sure and remove as much visual clutter in yours as possible—i.e. hanging hooks, photographs, and other artwork—especially the hall is super slender.

5. Showcase the Living Room

Living rooms should always be orderly and free of eyesores during open house showings. This calls for clearing out stacks of magazines, editing your bookshelves, and even paring down throw pillows and table accessories that can make the room feel heavy and smaller than it actually is.

6. Curate What’s in the Kitchen

Your kitchen is prime with places for potential buyers to scrutinize. This means your countertops stay clean and clear—a good rule of thumb is to have no more appliances showing— and your pantry and cupboards curated. Also, don’t forget to clean out your refrigerator, freezer, and under sink area, too, as they offer more sought-after storage space.

7. Keep Closets Streamlined

Whether it’s a hallway coat closet or a master suite walk-in, your home’s closets will have a major big impact on prospective buyers. Box up off-season apparel—or better yet, donate it—and remove extra hangers so yours looks spacious and streamlined.

8. Beautify the Bathroom

Everyone knows the difference a bathroom can make for a house hunter, so keeping yours orderly is imperative. Organize everything from your countertops (no one wants to see your makeup and toothbrushes!) to your linen closet and medicine cabinets, so people can visualize what they’ll do with the space.

9. Put in Some Work in the Office
If you’re lucky enough to have a proper office in your home, rest assured your potential buyers will want to see it. File away or shred old papers, clear off your desk, and cover up unsightly computer cords to create a study area that people will actually want to work in.
10. Touch and Tidy Up Play Areas

Kid’s playrooms should be every as tidy as any other bedroom in your place, and the same goes your pet’s play areas, too. Limit the number of toys you keep out and make sure to have a nice storage bin to stash them all when they’re not being used.

11. Create a Covetable Laundry Room

While it might seem unnecessary, your laundry room also needs to make a good impression. Make sure all of your cleaning products are put away nicely and floors and appliances are kept spotless to create the kind of laundry space prospective buyers will covet.

The Ultimate Guide to Spring Cleaning: 7 Easy Tips and Tricks

Source : https://www.point2homes.com/news/canada-real-estate/the-ultimate-guide-to-spring-cleaning-7-easy-tips-and-tricks.html

With the days getting longer and the sun shining, you might feel a bit of a spring in your step. As a season, spring brings promise and the chance to shake off the winter slumber. With a burst of newfound energy, now is the time many homeowners tackle the big spring-clean. 

You either relish it or dread it, but either way, it needs to be done if you want your home to look its best! Fortunately, with a little planning and organization, it’s not such a big chore. Check out the following 7 tips and tricks that’ll make your spring cleaning a breeze.

Make a List

It’s amazing how quickly all the little jobs pile up during a big spring-clean. Even the cleanest people rarely attack every aspect of their home, and it’s all too easy to neglect one or two important tasks. To ensure you don’t forget anything, it’s worth making a checklist.

Go around your home, room by room, and note everything that you want to tackle. Remember, this is a deep clean and you’ll want to ensure you have a go at pretty much every surface and hidden nook. Take a look at the final section of this post if you’re stuck for ideas!

Get Organized

Before tackling the big clean, make sure you’re adequately organized. It can take some time to get into the swing of it, and if you have to nip out for additional supplies, you might just lose that drive! Once you’ve made your list, think about what cleaning products and equipment you’ll be needing.

Rubber gloves, an ample supply of vinegar and baking soda, brooms, brushes and sponges are all essential. Depending on what needs doing in your home, you might need more specialist items, such as paint or caulk.

Declutter and Stash Away

It’s hard to clean a room when it’s filled with junk. Unfortunately, during winter many of us accumulate all kinds of stuff within our homes. Now is the time to tidy it all away and make your home presentable again.

Store away any winter essentials, such as winter clothing and footwear, salt, snow shovels, etc. and make space for more seasonal items and garments.

Go From Top to Bottom

With your rooms clutter-free, it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty. Save time and effort by cleaning sensibly. Always start from the top and work your way down. Dust can easily be disturbed and settle elsewhere, so start with the dusting, working from ceiling to underneath the furniture.

Next, scrub at stubborn areas, wipe down surfaces and clean out wardrobes, drawers, and cupboards. Finish by cleaning underneath your furniture and giving the floor a good clean. Whether you go room-by-room or task-by-task, it’s also a great idea to work through your home starting with the top rooms and ending with the bottom ones.

Make Outside Awesome

Having a sparkling clean home is all very well, but don’t forget to make the outside just as beautiful! A pressure washer is great for bringing driveways and paths back to life, while small yard tasks can ensure your green areas stay vibrant.

Clean decking, outdoor appliances and furniture, and get ready to enjoy the warm weather. You might also want to check that your gutters are clear or freshen up the paint on your walls or fences.

Don’t Forget the Little Things

For most of us, spring cleaning is an annual deep clean. As such, there are a few things that we might not clean so often and can easily be overlooked. Pay attention to trims and mouldings in particular, as well as light fittings, door handles and frames. Another classic grime area is within the casement for sliding doors.

Other small things that can go unnoticed include cleaning the dust from behind appliances and devices such as desktop PCs, TVs and fridges.

Go Room by Room

It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the sheer number of tasks when spring cleaning, so take a look below at some of the essentials for the main rooms.

  • Kitchen: scrub away any grease from tiles and surfaces, particularly around the oven and stovetop. Clear out your drawers and cupboards, reorganize and clean inside. Go through ingredients, disposing of any expired goods. Clear out the fridge and freezer, defrost if necessary and give a good clean inside. Clean inside the oven, microwave and any other appliances.
  • Bathroom: have a look through any cabinets for products you no longer use, clear out, reorganize, and clean inside the cabinet. Wash the mirror, scrub down the tiles and check that the grout is clean and mold-free. Apply new caulk to bathtubs and sinks if needed. Check shower head and hose, shower curtain, bath mats and towels, and replace if necessary.
  • Bedroom: Put on fresh sheets and check that the mattress is okay. Clean under the bed and reorganize cabinets and wardrobes, clearing out the clutter and storing winter wear away. Clean blinds and curtains.

TAGS: HOME IMPROVEMENT TIPS

Image: Ozgur Coskun / Shutterstock.com

Having a sparkling clean home is all very well, but don’t forget to make the outside just as beautiful! A pressure washer is great for bringing driveways and paths back to life, while small yard tasks can ensure your green areas stay vibrant.

Clean decking, outdoor appliances and furniture, and get ready to enjoy the warm weather. You might also want to check that your gutters are clear or freshen up the paint on your walls or fences.

Don’t Forget the Little Things

For most of us, spring cleaning is an annual deep clean. As such, there are a few things that we might not clean so often and can easily be overlooked. Pay attention to trims and mouldings in particular, as well as light fittings, door handles and frames. Another classic grime area is within the casement for sliding doors.

Other small things that can go unnoticed include cleaning the dust from behind appliances and devices such as desktop PCs, TVs and fridges.

Go Room by Room

It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the sheer number of tasks when spring cleaning, so take a look below at some of the essentials for the main rooms.

  • Kitchen: scrub away any grease from tiles and surfaces, particularly around the oven and stovetop. Clear out your drawers and cupboards, reorganize and clean inside. Go through ingredients, disposing of any expired goods. Clear out the fridge and freezer, defrost if necessary and give a good clean inside. Clean inside the oven, microwave and any other appliances.
  • Bathroom: have a look through any cabinets for products you no longer use, clear out, reorganize, and clean inside the cabinet. Wash the mirror, scrub down the tiles and check that the grout is clean and mold-free. Apply new caulk to bathtubs and sinks if needed. Check shower head and hose, shower curtain, bath mats and towels, and replace if necessary.
  • Bedroom: Put on fresh sheets and check that the mattress is okay. Clean under the bed and reorganize cabinets and wardrobes, clearing out the clutter and storing winter wear away. Clean blinds and curtains.

TAGS: HOME IMPROVEMENT TIPS

Milind Jog
Sales Representative

Royal Lepage Credit Valley Real Estate, Brokerage.
10045 Hurontario Street, Brampton, Ontario, L6Z 0E6
E: mjogroyallepage@gmail.com
M: (416) 561-7511
O: (905) 793-5000