Checklist: Getting Your Home Ready To Sell

Date Posted: March 18, 2016

Home-For-sale

Are you getting your home ready to sell?

Getting ready to sell your home, no matter if it is your first home or your home away from home, is an exciting and emotional process. After price, the condition of your home is the largest factor in determining how fast, and for how much, your home sells and first impressions can sometimes be a deal breaker.

Many potential buyers struggle to visualize the potential in a home. They need to see what it could because they can’t look past what it is. If the home is too personal, potential buyers can’t see themselves living there, if the carpet is stained or the paint needs updating, “all the work” that will be required can be a roadblock.

Luckily you can dramatically improve how your home shows with my checklist for getting your home ready for sale.

1. Simplify

Getting rid of any extra furniture can help make rooms feel more open and spacious, especially if it is large or bulky. Of course, you don’t want to get rid of all of your furniture – just any unnecessary pieces that will help you show off more of your space. So, move that extra dresser and hallway table into storage.

2. De-Clutter

Give it away, throw it away, or store it away. It doesn’t matter which, just get it out of your house. Clear off your kitchen and bathroom countertops to show off how much space there is. Take photos and artwork off of the fridge. Put all toys, clothing, etc. away in their designated areas. Recycle the stack of newspaper you keep by the fire and remove all the ‘stuff’ you have accumulated over the years of living in your home.

3. De-Personalize

This point goes hand-in-hand with the one above. Potential buyers are looking for places that help them visualize themselves living in your home rather than thinking about who lives there now. They want to buy their new house, not someone else’s home. So de-cluttering and removing family photos, mementos, and other personal items will help them do just that.

Home-Cleaning

4. Clean, scrub, vacuum, and clean again

Inside and out – a clean home matters. A lot.

From the floors to the doors – clean absolutely everything. Doing one deep clean before you put the home on the market means that you will just have to do a quick clean and tidy before each showing. Make sure not to miss your windows as everyone will be looking out them to see the view and neighbourhood. Don’t underestimate the power of professional cleaners!

5. Do minor repairs

This is the best time to go through that ‘honey-do’ list and check things off. Wipe away scuffs on the walls (I recommend using a Magic Eraser), refresh the paint, fix leaky faucets, put some WD-40 on squeaky hinges, check that all your lights work, replace any broken appliances, removed old or stained carpets/furniture, etc.

6. Fix up your curb appeal

There is no need to splurge on landscaping but a few minor improvements can make a world of difference.

In the winter, make sure that your driveway is plowed, your stairs are shoveled, and that there is no ice. Make it as easy as possible for potential buyers to get into your home.

In the summer, mow the lawn, pull out any major weeds, and add a nice welcome mat and some colourful flowers or a hanging basket to warm up the front of your home.

Regardless of the season, make sure that all your exterior lights are in working order. If there are a few branches blocking the view consider having them trimmed.

7. Consider Staging

Staging can be especially effective if you have already moved out and your home is sitting empty. Potential buyers often struggle to visualize the space when there is no furniture. That said, staging can make a world of difference in all homes and it doesn’t have to be expensive. You can have a home staging professional come in and do your entire home, or just a room or two. Some stagers will also do consultations where you do all the work, but they provide advise and recommendations.

Home-Stage-Beore-After

All this may sound overwhelming but you don’t need to do it overnight and just think of it this way – everything you remove, clean, or repair puts money in your pocket.

I am also always available to walk through your home with you and provide advice about what should be done to help improve your home’s marketability and raise the value of your property. I also have a list of service providers, from handymen to cleaners to stagers, who can help you so contact me anytime.

Finally, here is a complete selling checklist.

 

 


What is your property worth?

Date Posted: January 15, 2016

Tax Assessments 2016

Earlier this month, BC Assessments (BCA) began sending out their 2016 Assessment Notices to all owners of property in British Columbia. On these assessments is an estimation of your home’s value as of July 1, 2015 (or as of October 31, 2015 in the case of new construction or substantially renovated properties). This number often raises a variety of questions.

In very general terms, the Greater Vancouver area (which includes the Sea-to-Sky) showed significant increases when compared to 2015. The total value of properties in 2015 was $546.7 Billion. In 2016 it was $636.2 Billion and a total of almost $8.3 Billion was added through subdivisions, rezoning, and new construction.

What is BC Assessments?

BC Assessments is a publicly owned provincial Crown corporation. They are responsible for determining and reporting property value estimates for the 1,996,112 properties in its database (interestingly, this database grew by 1.06% in 2015).

BCA has been responsible for producing the assessment roll since 1974.

What is your property worth?

BC Assessments and your real estate agent may have very different numbers in mind and this is completely normal. Your Assessment is a very broad brush and in a rapidly changing market (such as Whistler or Pemberton) it can be out-of-date by the time you receive your assessment – markets can completely change between July when your property was appraised and January when you receive your assessment in the mail.

Your real estate agent, on the other hand, can give you an in-the-moment estimation of your property’s value based on current and relevant sales statistics.

How do they decide what the market value is?

Both real estate agents and BC Assessments look at a variety of factors to determine property value. These include, but are not limited to, comparable sales and current listings, the size of the home, location, number of bedrooms, age, number of floors, updates/renovations, etc.

How will my taxes be impacted?

Local and provincial taxing authorities are responsible for determining your 2016 property taxes. Once they have figured out their budget requirements, they will use the assessment roll for their jurisdiction to calculate property tax rates in the spring once the assessment roll has been finalized.

A change in your assessment will not necessarily mean a change (or proportional change) in your property taxes.

How do I find out more about my Assessment?

If you visit e-Value BC you can look up your property and compare it to other homes in your neighbourhood. The website will allow you to look as property details, total assessed values, last year’s values, and more. If you notice any incorrect details, these should be reported to BC Assessments right away.

How do I appeal my Assessment?

If you have any concerns at all about your property assessment, you should contact BC Assessments as soon as possible. If you would like to appeal your assessment, you have until February 1, 2016 to do so. You can do so by filling out a ‘Notice of Complaint (Appeal) Form‘ on the BC Assessments website.


Awards Season Comes to Whistler Real Estate

Date Posted: February 3, 2015

I am so excited and honored to receive several awards for my performance in 2014 and I would just like to take a moment to thank everyone who helped me achieve such success. It was a busy year both personally and professionally and I could not have done it without the support from my family, friends, and clients.

 

The Whistler Real Estate Company Awards

This is the third year-end award I have received from The Whistler Real Estate Company and my first time receiving the award for PLATINUM achievement. At the end of each year The Whistler Real Estate Company grants these awards in three levels for the number of sales each agent completes and/or the agent’s total dollar volume.

The Whistler Real Estate Company Award 2014

I also won the GOLD award in 2013 and the SILVER award in 2011.

 

The MLS Medallion Club Awards

Each year the Greater Vancouver Real Estate Board recognizes the top 10% of their membership based on their combined number of listings, sales, and total dollar volume.

MLS Medallion Club Award 2014

I was also an MLS Medallion Club Member in 2013.

 

The Whistler Real Estate Company Top 10

Finally, I am also thrilled to be one of the Top 10 agents at The Whistler Real Estate Company for 2014 in terms of both the number of sales I completed and the dollar volume of those sales. I was also in the top 10 in 2011 and 2013 but it never gets old!

Thank you to everyone for your support throughout 2014 and your help in making it such a successful year for me! I look forward to helping you reach your real estate goals, whatever they may be, in 2015.

 


 


Getting Ready for Winter

Date Posted: October 28, 2014

The rain has come to the Village and this means that snow is falling in the Alpine. I have started to think about pulling out my winter jacket, I have found my winter sweaters and mittens. My winter boots are by the door ready to go. Old man winter is nipping at our heels and the countdown is on to opening day.

What does all this mean? It is time to prepare your home for the winter months ahead before we get to deep in snow.

fall-whistler-village

Getting your home ready for winter: 10 Tips

If you have yet to get started on your fall check-list, here are my top 10 tips for getting your home ready for winter:

  1. Clean out your gutters – Clogged drains can form ice dams and lead to water back-ups and freezes. As you are cleaning, don’t forget to check for leaks and misaligned pipes. And, while you are up there, you might as well check your roof to make sure it is not worn out or in need of patching/replacement.
  2. Check your heating system – Turn up the heat and make sure everything is in working order. The last thing you want is to wait too long and find out after the temperature drops that your heat is not working. If anything seems amiss, call an expert to come and take a look.
  3. Clean out your fireplace – There is nothing better than sitting by the fire on a cold winter day so make sure that your wood-burning fireplace is ready. Call a local chimney sweep and have them inspect and clean out your chimney before you start a fire. While you are at it, you better make sure you have a good stock of firewood to get you through the season!
  4. Check your windows – Replace old or ineffective windows or seal off drafty windows with clear plastic (you can find this at most hardware stores). Also check the caulking around any openings (windows, doors, vents, etc.) – if the caulking is cracked it should be replaced to cut down on drafts.
  5. Inspect your doors – Take a good look at the weather stripping around your doors to see if it is time to replace it. Consider purchasing a rubber strip to run along the bottom of the door to seal it off. Make sure all of your exterior doors close properly. Keep all of your closet and cupboard doors closed, there is no reason to heat these areas unless there are water pipes running through them.
  6. Reverse that fan – Did you know that reversing your ceiling fan will push the warm air downward and force it to recirculate and help keep your home warm?
  7. Check your pipes – A burst pipe caused by winter freeze is a nightmare so now is the time to take preventative steps. Look for any pipes that are not insulated or that pass through unheated spaces and wrap them in insulation.
  8. Prep your garden – Trim tree branches that hang too close to the house or power lines, plant your spring flower bulbs and lift bulbs that cannot winter over. Move any sensitive plants indoors or into sheltered areas.
  9. Expect the unexpected – Prepare or check your emergency kits (one for your house and one for your car). The kit should include candles, matches, phone numbers for utility companies, batteries and/or back-up power for electronic equipment, extra bottled water and non-perishable food items, blankets, a first-aid kit, and shovels.
  10. Do the semi-annual switchover – Pull out your snow shovels, snow blowers, ski equipment, etc. and put away the hoses, lawn mowers, and bicycles. Don’t forget to drain and turn off your sprinkler system and any outdoor taps! Extend the life of your patio furniture by covering or storing exposed items and put away and planters or pots that may crack in the cold weather.

 

Getting yourself ready for winter: 5 Tips

The most important step in getting ready for winter is to make sure that you are ready for the ski/board season ahead. Here are 5 things you should be doing:

  1. Check your gear – Make sure your gear is ready for another season and, if it isn’t start your research for replacements. If you equipment is ready for another season, your skies/board will need a good tune-up to be ready for Opening Day.
  2. Make sure your boots still fit comfortably and take them to a boot fitter if they don’t
  3. Get outside or hit the gym to get your body ready for the season – you’ll need a little cardio, some muscle strengthening, and a little balance work. It will do wonders for your first days on the slopes.
  4. Get registered! Want to take a course or send your kids to ski school? Now is the time to get signed up! While you are at it, check out some of the apres specials around town.
  5. Cross your fingers for an epic season!

SkiLegs

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Qartershare Ownership

Date Posted: May 25, 2014

Are you someone who visits Whistler a lot on a fairly regular basis? Have you been thinking about getting into the real estate market in the resort but looking for a cost-effective option?

If the answer to these questions is yes, then Quartershare Ownership may be the choice for you. Through this shared ownership option, you are able to enjoy all the benefits of owning in Whistler for a fraction of the price. There are several complexes in Whistler that offer potential purchasers this opportunity. These include Horstman House in the Benchlands, the Legends in Whistler Creekside, and Montebello on the outskirts of the Village.

All quartershares in Whistler are freehold properties that will give you title to your property. After purchase, you are entitled to one week of use per month (for a total of 13 weeks per year) based on a set rotational calender. Every four years, you will have use of the property over the Christmas period.

A few benefits of the quartershare option are:

  • If you do not use your property during one of your designated weeks, the rental management company may rent it out on your behalf
  • If more shares for your unit become available, you can always purchase more than one quarter or have friends/family join you in ownership of the other quarter(s)
  • All the properties are cleaned and maintained through excellent management systems so you never have to worry about anything at the end of your stay

Interested in learning more about the Quartershare options in Whistler? Contact me for more information or check out some of the current quartershare listings.


Getting Ready for Spring

Date Posted: April 16, 2014

Beautiful spring evening in Whistler village

Are you and your home ready for spring?

Spring has sprung in Whistler and as the snow and ice melt away, it is time to turn your attention to your home and get ready for spring. For your convenience, I have compiled a list of small tasks that have big impact to give your home a mini-facelift for spring.

Outdoor Maintenance

  1. Lighting – Clean all light fixtures and replace all burnt-out lights with energy-saving bulbs.
  2. Decks/Patios – Power wash and, if necessary, refinish and repaint your decks and patios.
  3. Outdoor Furniture – Pull your outdoor furniture out of storage, making sure to wipe it all down. Spray a fresh coat of paint on furniture and replace any worn cushions.
  4. Garden Hoses & Faucets – Check all garden hoses for holes and ensure that no damage occurred to faucets as a result of freezing during the winter.
  5. Grill – Clean and condition your grill so that it is ready at a moments notice for your first BBQ.
  6. Windows – While you have your power washer out, this is the perfect time to wash your windows.
  7. Firewood – Move any firewood that you have stocked into storage areas, at least 18 inches off the ground and 2 feet from your home.
  8. Door – Give your door some love with a fresh coat of pain. Polish the hinges and door knobs, and make sure that your doorbell works.
  9. Walkway – Snow, salt, and cold can wreak havoc on your walkways and driveways so take this time to patch any cracks and replace loose bricks/pavers. A good power-washer can make a world of difference.
  10. Gutters – Clear your gutters and downspouts before the spring rains.
  11. Clean & Repair – Clear away cobwebs, tighten wobbly railings, and repaint posts and supports if necessary.

Indoor Maintenance

  1. Furnace / HVAC System – If you have reusable filters, remove them and wash them down with a hose. Otherwise, you should replace them to ensure that your system is as efficient as possible.
  2. Air Conditioning – Test your AC system and make sure it is in working order. If you wait until the first hot day and discover it doesn’t work, it will be much more difficult to find someone to fix it.
  3. Windows – Wash all your windows and replace or repair all damaged screens.
  4. Smoke Detectors / Fire Alarms – Replace batteries and clean out the dust from around the covers.
  5. Humidifiers – Clean and store any humidifiers so they are ready to pull out next fall/winter.
  6. Carpets – Deep cleaning your carpets with a steam cleaner is a spring cleaning must.
  7. Refrigerator / Freezer – If you have a coil-back refrigerator, you should vacuum the coils at least twice a year for maximum efficiency. Defrost your freezer and wipe down the interior and exterior of both appliances. For maximum freshness, place a new box of baking soda in the fridge.

Garden Maintenance

  1. Make a plan – Think about what you want in your garden before you get started and make sure that you have everything you need on hand.
  2. Garden Tools – Pull all of those garden tools out of storage and make sure all blades are sharp and ready to use.
  3. Lawnmower – Make sure your lawnmower is in working order and, if necessary, take it in for a service.
  4. Clear Leaves – Clear away any leaves leftover from fall. A think blanket of leaves can smother emerging perennials.
  5. Weeds and Prep – Pull any weeds that have sprouted and fertilize and/or put down a layer of compost or composted manure on your gardens. Get out your large pots or other containers, clean them, and put them in place so they are ready to be filled. A well placed pot or hanging basket not only ads colour but can also hide any unattractive aspects of your house or yard.
  6. Pruning – Prune and trim any deadwood or winter-damaged limbs from shrubs and trees. Remove any obstructive plants and overgrown shrubbery.
  7. Starting Seeds – Now is the time to get some seed started indoors. Place them in windows with bright, but not too intense, light.

Take a lookie, have a cookie

Date Posted: April 3, 2014

3Landings-Cookies

Getting your home ready to sell or living in your home while it is on the market?

If you want to make your home look like it is worth every penny, putting your home’s best foot forward is a must. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  1. Depersonalize – Let potential buys picture themselves living in your home by removing all family photos. Let your home be a warm, but blank canvas by repainting brightly coloured walls a more neutral shade and simplifying quirky decorating.
  2. De-clutter – Get rid off personal items, nick-nacks, mail piles, etc. Store toys, work supplies, TV remotes, pet beds, etc. out of sight.
  3. Check for deficiencies – You don’t want torn screen, cracked plaster, or burnt out lights to tarnish potential buyer’s impression of your home. Take some time to check that your home is in tip-top shape.
  4. Think of scale – Your living room may have a huge, comfortable sofa that you adore, but if it makes the room look small then it has to go. Move extra furnishings into storage so that each room has a good balance of furniture whiteout being too cluttered, or too empty. Aim for small groupings of furniture that match the scale of your room and have lots of room to move around them.
  5. Clear the kitchen – Clear all the clutter off of your kitchen counters and clean, clean, clean. Store all small appliances out of sight, out of mind. Keep a single bowl of fruit or vase holding utensils and that is about it. Make sure stove tops, counters, and all other surfaces are clean.
  6. Simple Updates – If you are a little handy, make some simple updates to improve the look of your home. A handy person can add a gorgeous backslash in the kitchen with low budget. Repaint or refinish worn cabinets in the kitchen and bathrooms. Add some splash by replacing boring bathroom mirrors with a nice, simple framed one.
  7. Clean – Hire a professional cleaner to come in and do a deep clean of your home. If you will be living in your home while it is on the market, make sure to do a surface clean before all showings. Spritz your home sparingly with a nice scent or open windows for fresh mountain air.
  8. Fresh linens – Make sure all visible linens (tea towels, chair cushions, oven mitts, bedding, etc.) look brand new and hung or folded nicely.
  9. Bedrooms – Tidy all bedrooms. Make sure beds are made, side tables are de-cluttered, toys are put away. Add some new pillows, crisp white linens, and/or a throw at the end of the bed.
  10. Curb Appeal – The outside of your home should look as great as the inside. In winter, make sure you have shoveled and cleared ice. In the summer, trim bushed, care for your landscaping, add an urn of seasonal flowers, clean windows, and fix up the exterior paint.
  11. Stand back and let it shine – If you are living in your home while it is on the market, take your kids and/or pets to the park, or step out for a coffee with friends during showings.

Take some inspiration from the seller of my listing at #3 Landings. Ashlie really knows how to go the extra mile and made some fresh baked cookies for a showing this afternoon!

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Find this interesting? Here are some other posts that may be of interest:

>> Real Estate + Professional Photography = Love

>> The Benefits of Using a Buyer’s Agent


The Benefits of Using a Buyer’s Agent

Date Posted: March 21, 2014

Real estate agents are trained to provide valuable assistance to buyers in the following areas:

  1. Identifying desirable types of properties to acquire
  2. Locating properties available to view and consider
  3. Preliminary investigation and timely information gathering
  4. Viewing properties and providing guidance and advice
  5. Selecting the right property on which to make an offer
  6. Preparing a legally binding Contract of Purchase and Sale
  7. Negotiating favorable terms and conditions
  8. Assisting in arranging suitable financing if necessary
  9. Assisting in arranging property inspections and other needed services
  10. Assisting in the completion and possession process
  11. Most buyers prefer not to negotiate directly with sellers.  A buyer’s agent negotiates on your behalf and remains non-emotional/impartial
  12. Buyer’s agents help with due diligence and make sure sellers represent the condition of the property in a forthright manner

Working with a real estate agent gives the buyer confidence that they are entering into one of their life’s most significant transactions with a knowledgeable professional who is governed by rules, regulations and legislation.

Family relocating


Real Estate + Professional Photography = Love

Date Posted: February 11, 2014

Professional photos for advertising make all the difference in the world to portraying your property in the best possible light. Did you know that I have a photographer on my team who will take interior, exterior shots as well as a virtual tour?

Here are a few photos taken from my most recent listing.
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