Monthly Archives: September 2016
1. The Best Time to Sell
Spring is most commonly believed to be the best time to sell. It’s the most agreeable weather for showings, most people want to get settled before summer, it’s easiest logistically for moving (who wants to move boxes and furniture through snow?), provides longer days and daylight, avoids the school season and shifting schools mid year for kids, and shows off the landscaping and gardens. However, this is also statistically the time with the most competing sellers on the market. This will affect you most if your home is one of many identical houses in a subdivision. Consider professional staging as a way to make your home stand out if forced to sell in this high-competition season.
2. The Worst Time to Sell
Yes, the holiday season is not the ideal time to sell. People are busy or stressed out and are prioritizing family and holidays rather than home buying or selling. Mid December to mid January is the highest travel season, and thus there are fewer buyers around to view homes. There’s also the perception that you are desperate or need to sell if you are listing your home during this time. Buyers will try to be more aggressive with you as a result.
However, it is a misconception to say that January and February are not ideal months to sell. The Toronto market has shown great sales in these months and these tend to be high transaction periods for my team. There are tons of buyers and activity on the market, and especially if the weather is moderate.
3. Show Off Your Home’s Best Assets
Sell when the features of your home have the most impact. If you have a pool with beautiful stone work or tiling, be sure to sell your home in appropriate weather. Buyers will love your pool when they are viewing on a hot day or be dazzled by pool lights at night versus a pool cover with piles of leaves or melted snow in the winter.
If you have tons of windows and skylights, show your home when the sun is shining and you can have the longest showing days (spring and summer).
If you have a small bungalow, but an amazing landscaped garden, show when your garden is in full bloom. Buyers may be swayed by the sight of your garden and overlook other shortcomings.
If you don’t have central air, and you like your house hot and use lots of standing fans, sell your home in the fall or early spring when the weather is more moderate and appealing to the general masses. You can have the windows open for fresh air and avoid the clutter and noise of fans.
If you have a showpiece fireplace, have it burning for late fall and winter viewings. Buyers will want to make some cocoa and curl up in your living room.
4. The First Weeks of Summer—Take Caution
Cocktails, patios, and cottages, in no particular order or combination, are the holy trinity for Torontonians once the weather shifts into summer. After being cooped up all winter and during the wet spring, Toronto becomes obsessed with the outdoors and socializing. Good luck tearing potential buyers away from their summer holidays to come view your home during early summer. You will have a lot less action on your listing during this time.
5. Condos and Lofts
Typically, condos and lofts have a longer sales period as freehold homes, given that the buyers are typically first-time home buyers, or do not have kids. The buyers are not restricted by school seasons and landscaping issues, and moving is less impeded by weather, as they have loading bays and elevators.
You can always sell you home, regardless of the season, but you need to be realistic about the circumstances of your sale. Sometimes life forces your hand, but as long as you are realistic with your expectations and smart about your strategy, you should be able to maximize your value.
Speak to your realtor to advise you about the sellable features of your home, what is sought after in your neighbourhood, and what season will best showcase your home!
Every year home design trends come and go but it’s never too late to try something new. Update your décor and impress your friends (and yourself) at the same time, by including some of this year’s hottest design trends.
Pantone Colour of the Year
Year after year the iconic people at Pantone come up with their colour of the year, inspiring not only home décor trends but fashion and other design areas across the board as well. For 2014, the colour du jour is: Radiant Orchid, a gorgeous pinky purple-hue. An infusion of this beauty would be a welcome breath of colour anywhere—from kitchen to bedroom and every room in between.
Florals are holding strong and continuing to be on-trend this year, but they’re definitely growing in size. Now, pretty blooms, the bigger the better are a force to be reckoned with. What lovelier way to add some vibrant colour and bold patterns to your home than throw pillows, sheets or duvet covers with big bright florals. (Try to find some with radiant orchid for a double-dose of style.)
Blue & Blue
Black’s younger, lighter cousin grey has certainly had its heyday, but this is the year for something far more dramatic. Black walls are en vogue—think entire living and dining rooms–but if you’re not ready to go all in, try one accent wall or the always-in-style coupling with white. And when it comes to blue, think every shade–from lovely sky blue dishes displayed in your kitchen, to darker navy and white striped towels in your bathroom.
Everything old is new again but the good news is mixing and matching is totally ok. A distressed old-trunk serving as a coffee table or impressive antique maps framed and hung on the walls, not only serve as beautiful, on-trend décor pieces, but add a lot of intrigue (and conversation starters) to the room.
Especially in the kitchen. Seems grey isn’t only taking a backseat in the living room, but in the kitchen this year as well. Warmer bronzes, golds and black are replacing sleek chrome and stainless steel when it comes to lighting and cabinetry accents. And if you’re really looking to make a big splash, try some bronze sconces in the kitchen.
You don’t have to hire a decorator (or break the bank) to give a room a quick update with lots of impact. So whether you’re getting ready to sell, have just moved in or feel like a mini overhaul, these five tips will have you enjoying the room of your dreams in no time.
Change Your Fabrics
Replace your curtains, re-cover your throw pillows, buy a new rug, Any one of these easy fixes can make a big impact; but all three will completely change the entire room! And if it’s a bedroom you’re tired of, same rules apply: Replace the duvet cover, re-cover the headboard, and toss a few new pillows on the bed.
Freshen Up With Paint
Whether you tackle an entire room, or maybe an accent wall or two, a new coat of paint is probably the easiest way to change a room. From light and bright to dark and dramatic, paint can completely alter the mood.
Re-Organize A Bookshelf
Bookshelves are amazing; not only do they keep your books organized, but they can also serve as great focal pieces. Try colour-coding your books or arranging them in stacks instead of side-by-side. Remove an entire row of books and replace them with framed family photos or bright accent pieces. Sometimes all a room needs is a shift in thinking about it.
Update Your Art
Updating the art on your walls is a great way to showcase the family talent. Frame your daughter’s sketches from high school (no one will know it’s not a real Picasso) or your son’s first finger painting. Or grab a blank canvas and paint it a bright colour to hang in the kitchen (you don’t have to be a Fine Art grad to add some basic pops of colour!). And the best part of this approach is once you’ve bought the frames, the art can be rotated throughout the year at no extra cost.
Add An Accent
Is your bathroom feeling boring or your living room giving you the yawns? Pick bright, colourful wallpaper and add an accent wall! Paint stripes in your dining room, or buy a chandelier for your front hallway. Adding an impressive accent is a fun way to give the room some personality without a complete overhaul (of the room OR your bank account).
Figuring out how much work needs to be done to your home before selling it and downsizing is stressful stuff. Add in the costs of relocating, the hassle of culling your possessions and the emotional hardship of saying goodbye to a beloved home, and you’re looking at a recipe for disaster. So, let’s take some of the panic out of moving by outlining what should be done before packing up.
Think the buyers of your home will love the new carpeting as much as you did? Think again. Sellers are often shocked to learn new carpeting was ripped out shortly after selling, in favour of hardwood or laminate.
Sellers need to ask themselves, “Is this to the buyer’s taste? Will I recover the funds spent?” A lot of the time, the decision to do pre-sale renovations is up to how much time, money and disruptions the seller is willing to put up with.
There are certain must-fixes, such as a leaky roof, broken windows or an ineffective septic system. Anything that would cause buyer concern, or be seen as a liability, should be fixed.
For cosmetic fixes, buyers will value different things about the house, and it’s important for the seller to be open to this and not let their own feelings guide decisions too strongly.
Downsizers will typically sell their large home to “upsizers,” who are in the tightest budgetary times of their lives. A home that has the big-ticket items completed in the past five years: Roof, furnace, air conditioning and windows, is most attractive.
If you still feel like an update is needed to catch the eye of a prospective buyer, focus on the bathroom and kitchen. White is a huge kitchen trend right now, so consider a coat or two of paint, and definitely replace any broken appliances or fixtures.
A ton of money doesn’t need to be spent. There are many inexpensive finds on Kijiji or local community buy and sell pages. You can also update accessories, like towel racks or changing light fixtures or faucets, to give your home a fresh appearance without spending a fortune.
Heritage designation may play a role in what you can and can’t do to a home. With lead pipes, asbestos abatement, insulation issues and roofing profiles having significant legal impediments and oversight by governments, renovations may be legally necessary.
In areas of Canada, such as Vancouver, where property prices outweigh the value of the house sitting on the land, improvements may be a waste, so make sure you research the market trends in your area before replacing or gutting anything. Why put money into a renovation when all a buyer sees is the land it’s sitting on?
Keep in mind the cardinal rule of selling: De-clutter and depersonalize. Buyers open cupboards and drawers all the time. Go through your cupboards, organize things and pack up stuff to show there is plenty of storage.
Moving is a lot a work no matter how you look at it, but it doesn’t have to include a disruptive renovation on top of it. Spend smartly and you’ll be settled in your new downsized home in no time.