Increasing Your House’s Value before Selling

Any house buyer would ideally want to purchase a property that is in a turnkey condition. A turnkey house is one where a new buyer can settle right in without having to spend anything on repairs or maintenance. A house itself is a hefty investment for a lot of people, which means that they are unwilling to spend even more after making the purchase.

So, if you are looking to sell your house, your best chances of attracting a huge pool of buyers is to get your house as close to turnkey as possible. In other words, you need to take certain steps in order to increase the value of your property, and this blog will discuss some of those steps – alongside a few things that might actually end up bringing your property value down.

How to Increase Your House Value

1)    Painting and repairing the external walls

Naturally, your home’s exterior is the very first thing that a potential buyer will notice, which means that the outside of your house should be well-poised to make the perfect first impression. This, of course, cannot happen with unsightly, old, or dilapidated properties.

If you want to increase your exterior’s appeal, a fresh paint coat is your (and your home’s) best friend. However, you need to make sure that you are not choosing excessively bold colours like dark blue or lime green, or your home will stick out for the wrong reasons. A designer or real estate agent can help you determine the shades that will best suit your house.

Alongside freshening your walls with new coats of paint, you also need to make sure that they are not visibly damaged in any way. If you have weatherboard walls, make sure that your panels are not in need of replacements. Similarly, brick homes often require fresh mortar for filling in any small gaps. These modest improvements will have a significant positive impact on your house.

2)    Upgrading windows and doors

Not only will new windows and doors increase your home’s style appeal, but they will also lead to lower energy bills by increasing energy efficiency. Moreover, they will also help the environment – something that a lot of modern buyers prefer and even stress upon.

3)    Yard lighting and landscaping

A pretty landscape yard often works as a charm for buyers – not to mention that it does not even cost all that much. The condition of your yard is often reflective of the overall effort that you put in to the maintenance of your property. If your yard is unattractive, messy, or filled with dead plants, it can act as a quick turn-off for potential purchasers.

On the other hand, an attractive yard makes buyers envision themselves spending quality time outside their houses throughout the year. If you are good with gardening, you can improve your yard by yourself or you can always turn to professional landscapers.

Remember that yard lighting is also crucial since a lot of prospective buyers will only get the opportunity to drive past your house after dark, and lighting can help create a modern and chic look for any onlooker.

4)    Interior flooring

You might find it hard to believe, but a lot of buyers start their examination with the flooring, and they expect stylish, clean, and contemporary floors. So, a musty or an old carpet won’t exactly help your house’s promotion. While hardwood floors are timeless and easy to maintain, you can also not go wrong with a premium carpet that brings about a warm and cozy atmosphere. Fix any flaws with the flooring and, if you have old or frail carpets, do not forget to fix them as well.

5)    Upgrading the kitchen

The kitchen is perhaps the most vital area in any house. Most buyers look for a functional kitchen space that comprises good quality bench-tops, cupboard, and taps.

Sometimes, sellers go over the top with their kitchen upgrades, using stainless steel for appliances and marble or granite for bench-tops. While these modifications make the space appear modern and sleek, it might also drive buyers away instead of attracting them since they will associate these modern upgrades with a higher buying price. However, this does NOT mean that your kitchen should appear unattractive or untidy and your appliances should be in poor working order.

6)    Repairing the toilets and bathrooms

Just like with kitchen modifications, it is very much possible to go berserk trying to give your bathroom the best possible look with new tubs, toilets, cabinetry, and showers. If your bathroom already appears fresh and is in working order, these upgrades might not necessarily add value to the house.

The ideal bathroom space should strike the perfect balance between aestheticism and functionality. Instead of going all guns blazing with your bathroom upgrades, be smart and focus on modest repairs like tile grout replacement or wall painting. Make sure that your exhaust fans are clean and that there are no damaged chips inside the sink or bathtub. In some cases, using more energy-efficient or user-friendly models to replace the current light fixtures can also help.

7)    Interior painting

When it comes to interior design, there is no trend that is immortal. For instance, previously, it was routine for for-sale houses to have white, blank walls so that the new buyers could picture their own colours and designs. These days, however, it is believed that a white wall might make a house appear devoid of appeal and character. Hence, it is common for sellers to paint the interior walls with exciting colours.

However, it is important to get the colours and shades spot-on. You do not want to go with something outlandish or the buyer might not be able to envision themselves living in your house. While choosing colours, make sure that they complement each other as well as all the other elements of the property. Textured brushing techniques and accent walls can help enhance visual interest, but an interior designer can help you decide that.

Things that Reduce Property Value


1)    Deferred maintenance

This one should not really be surprising. If you have damaged sidings, leaky roofs, or malfunctioning HVAC systems, you cannot expect to get top dollar for your property. Hence, letting this backlog build up and putting your head in the sand will continue to reduce your property’s value. Moreover, the longer you ignore these issues, the more expensive it will be for you when you eventually decide to address them.

2)    Excessive personalisation

If you use your garage as a home office, gym, playroom, or for any other purpose other than parking cars, you might be damaging your house’s value. This is because a significant percentage of potential buyers would want to use your garage as a garage – that is, a space for parking their cars and storing yard equipment. So, if you do use the garage for other purposes, you should make sure that it is not too hard for future homeowners to convert it back into a traditional garage.

3)    Excessive carpeting

While carpets emit warmth and attraction, they also retain odours, are difficult to clean, and make signs of damage more prominent. Moreover, a potential buyer might walk away if they do not like the colours. While you can – and probably should – add a bit of carpet here and there, your priority should be to go for lamination or hardwood. According to a study, 54% home purchasers are happy to pay a premium for houses containing hardwood flooring.

4)    Excessive wallpaper

A bit of trendy wallpapering on an accent wall or the powder room might be fine with some buyers, but you should avoid going overboard. Excessive wallpapers can overwhelm a number of potential buyers, who would see it as nothing but another project should they decide to purchase the house.

Final Word

If you are considering selling your house, then it is just fair that you do everything you can in order to ensure that you get the desired price. With the suggestions and precautions discussed in this blog, you can maximise your home’s value before you put it on the market.

How To Make Your Property More Attractive To Buyers?

After helping countless home sellers with one of the most important financial transactions of their lives, one thing I’ve understood is that very few people know how to maximize the value of their assets. So, if you are planning to sell your house, don’t make that mistake.

There are various things you can do to make your property more attractive to buyers, which will help you get the best price (as close to your ideal mark as possible), and it will also help make the deal go smoothly on your terms.

Home Improvements To Make Your Property More Attractive To Buyers

The most organic way to make your property more attractive to buyers is to make it more attractive, i.e., improving the property. I have prepared this list based on my experience with buyer’s expectations and areas that can move the needle (at least a little) in the seller’s favor.

  1. Leverage the power of professional/power washing and disinfecting. A professional cleaning/power washing can do wonders for your property. Power washing helps get rid of dust and grime (especially from the exterior), which coats and hides the actual color underneath.
    It can give your home a fresh and clean look, which is likely to draw more eyes. It can also help buyers drop one thing off their move-in to-do lists.
  2. Experiment with landscaping (or hire a professional). To turn a front yard into a worthwhile asset, make sure it’s properly maintained. Cut the grass, take care of the weeds, clean up dead leaves (if there are any), and consider adding a few low-cost/low-maintained plants. If you have a barren front yard, look up affordable stone garden ideas.
  3. A door is an important element when it comes to making a great first impression on your potential buyers, so you should try and make it more appealing. Research indicates that front doors with specific colors (charcoal grey, rich jet black, smoky black) actually help sellers fetch a better price for their properties.
  4. Improve the curb appeal and home interior with better lighting. From affordable solar LED lights for the front yard to smart outdoor lights, there are a number of ways to improve your home’s curb appeal with lighting fixtures. They can transform the way your home looks at night and make it more appealing to potential buyers visiting the property in the evening. Similarly, a few lamps and newer light fixtures can improve indoor lighting as well.
  5. Kitchens and bathrooms are not “property highlights” per se, but they can be improved under a very limited budget and help you impress your potential buyers by the “thoroughness” of your home upkeep. Simply changing the handles and staining the cabinets can make your kitchen look refreshing. You can also clean or replace caulking in your bathrooms DIY style with minimal financial input.
  6. A fresh coat of paint can freshen up the look of your house. Though if you have limited time or money, you might have to choose between getting the exterior painted anew or repaint the rooms inside.
  7. Decluttering has various benefits, i.e., it depersonalizes your property, makes it look more spacious, conveys a tidy impression, etc. All of these are attractive “features” for the buyer. Similarly, a staged property allows buyers to imagine/visualize themselves in the property, nudging them towards making a purchase. It also allows you to highlight the strong elements of your property while undermining its weaknesses.

A Few Factors That Can Influence The Sale Price

There are other things that can influence the sale in your favor as well.

Professional photography and virtual tours can make your listing pop out from other properties. People who might not take the time to visit the property will benefit from virtual tours, and you’ll get more eyes on your house.

A pre-listing inspection can help prepare ahead of time. You can either get the repairs done or set your asking price range accordingly.

If you are not selling your home in a hurry and can wait a few months, it’s a good idea to list your home in a seller’s market. With more buyers competing for limited inventory, you might be able to sell your home at a premium price.

Always listen to your agent. Realtors know how to navigate the market, negotiate sales, and conclude the transaction with minimal friction. Your goal should be to work with your realtor as a team to get the best possible deal instead of hindering their approach.


There are hundreds of ways to improve and make your property more attractive to buyers. Still, you should focus on improvements that can offer the best returns for minimal investment (both financial and physical). Selling your home is a lengthy and emotionally draining process, and you shouldn’t make it more complicated than it needs to be. So listen to your realtor, do your own research, and come up with a list of optimal home improvements (that you can easily undertake) to make your property more attractive to buyers.

Defining Some of the Most Common Real Estate Terms

Much like every industry, real-estate has its own set of jargons. Terms like appraisals and dual agency might sound a confusing verbal marmalade for people who are unfamiliar or new to this area. 

However, to make sure that these technical terms do not appear overwhelming, I have come up with a list of some common and not-so-common terms used in the world of Real Estate. If you are a home seller or buyer, an aspiring Real Estate agent, or just someone interested in learning more about the industry, you can use this blog as a handy glossary. 

  • Acceleration Clause:

This term, also referred to as acceleration convent, is defined as a contract provision that states that borrower will have to repay the entire outstanding loan to their lender in case the former is unable to meet certain requirements (which the lender will outline).

  • Active Contingent/Condition Clause’s:

The offer that a seller accepts from the buyer will be contingent on the purchaser’s ability to fulfill certain requirements before the sale finalization. Examples of contingencies include:

  1. The buyer being able to sell their home. 
  2. The buyer receiving approval of their mortgage. 
  3. An agreement regarding home inspection.
  • Addendum:

If either party wishes to alter the current contract, they can include an addendum indicating the specific part or section of the contract that they want adjusted and the extent of the change. The remainder of the contract will remain unchanged, despite the inclusion of the addendum. 

  • Appraisal:

An appraisal is an impartial estimate of a house’s market worth. When a person applies for a mortgage, the lender will require an appraisal from an independent appraiser to determine if the loan amount requested checks out with the value of the house. If the buyer has made an offer below the market value of the house, the lender might ask the buyer to pay the cost difference. 

  • Appreciation:

Appreciation is the increase in home value that occurs over time. To calculate the probable appreciation rate of the house, take the annual appreciation rate, add one to it, and raise this amount to the power of the number of years you are looking to estimate. The answer will then have to be multiplied by the property’s present value. 

  • Assessed Value:

This assessment helps in figuring out the property taxes that the owner will be paying. An assessor will assess your house and consider the value of comparable homes within the region, and come up with a value estimate for your home. 

  • Assignment:

This is when the property seller assigns all the obligations and rights to the property buyer, prior to closing. 

  • Assumable Mortgage:

This can be defined as the seller transferring the entire mortgage terms and conditions over to the buyer. In other words, the buyer receives the seller’s remaining debt and does not take out a separate mortgage.

  • Balloon Mortgage:

As opposed to conventional fixed-rate loans where the borrower returns the amount in instalments, a balloon mortgage requires the entire payment to be made in a lump sum. A balloon mortgage does not require any collateral, is generally issued for shorter terms, and commonly used in construction or investment projects.

  • Bridge Loan:

This is a short-term loan taken by homeowners where they put up their property as collateral. A bridge loan is usually taken to purchase another property with terms.

  • Buyer Agent:

As the term suggests, the buyer agent will be representing the home buyer throughout the buying process. The buyer agent’s counterpart is the listing agent, that is, the representative of the home seller. 

  • Chain of Title:

A chain of title documents the entire ownership history of a property. It starts from the initial owner of the house right down to the current owner. 

  • Clear Title:

Also referred to as ‘free and clear title’, ‘good title’, and ‘just title’, this kind of title is one that is free of levy or lien from creditors. In other words, the property’s legal ownership is beyond question (for instance, it does not violate any building codes or has any poor surveys). 

  • Closing:

This is the meeting held to finalize the property sale. At this meeting, both parties will sign the documents, and the buyer will make the down payment and pay the closing costs. 

  • Closing Costs:

The closing costs will usually fall somewhere between 5% or more of the purchase price of the property. As previously mentioned, the closing costs amount is to be paid on the closing date. 

  • Co-Borrower:

If a purchaser is finding it hard to obtain a loan approval, they can turn to a co-borrower. The co-borrower is usually someone from the buyer’s family or friend-circle, and will contribute to the mortgage and guarantee the loan. This person will possess ownership interest, have their name on the title, will sign mortgage documents, and will have to make the monthly payments on the buyer’s behalf should they fail to do so. 

  • Commission:

A commission for Real Estate is generally around 5% (but can vary) of the property’s selling price. The seller will pay the commission amount on the closing date, and this will be divided between the seller’s and buyer’s agents. 

Final Word:

I hope that this list of terminologies will enable you to better understand the Real Estate World and how it works. If you are looking to buy or sell your first home and need assistance in that regard, please feel free to reach out to me. 

Importance Of Staging When Selling A House

How Staging Improves Your Chances Of Selling Your Home Quickly

Selling your home will likely be one of the most important financial decisions you ever make in your life. Therefore it’s important that you try and maximize the returns you get from this financial transaction. It might be difficult due to your personal attachment, but you will have to start seeing your home as a “product” and think about ways to make it more attractive for potential buyers.

One of these ways is staging.

What Is Staging?

Staging is the step that usually follows decluttering. It’s about “beautifying” your house by deep-cleaning it, re-arranging the furniture, and adding decorations to make it more attractive for potential buyers, taking photos for the listing, or creating a virtual tour. Staging is about deliberately (or professionally) preparing your home for potential buyers and letting them see it in a way that makes them fall in love with your property. This increases your chances of selling quickly because if it sits in the market too long, your chances of selling at your preferred price will start to go down.

The Importance of Staging

Just like decluttering, staging is crucial for making your house more presentable. For some houses, it’s the cherry on top of a gorgeous sundae, but for most others, it is a core “ingredient.”

Depersonalize Your House

One of the core aims of staging is to depersonalize your house. Just like decluttering, which gives potential buyers more “space” to think, depersonalization (via staging) gives potential buyers more “emotional” room. We, humans, are empathetic creatures and many potential buyers have a hard time picturing themselves occupying a house that’s full of your family pictures, heirlooms, and personal possessions. Whether you are staging the house yourself or leveraging the services of professionals, you depersonalize your house and present it like a beautiful blank canvas, which a potential buyer will imagine “painting” with their personal colours. This can be a strong factor in nudging potential buyers towards making a quick buying decision.

Enhances The Strengths And Diminishes The Weaknesses

Staging, especially when it’s done appropriately, makes a house significantly more presentable by enhancing its strengths and diminishing its weaknesses. That doesn’t mean staging hides any scars your property has. It simply redirects more potential “gazes” to the beauty, and minor problems seem pale and inconsequential by comparison.

Competitive Edge

About 95,151 houses were sold in GTA in 2020, roughly translating to over 260 houses a day. When that many houses are being sold in a single day, you want yours to stand out and grab the attention of the buyers. A staged house will have a significantly better chance of attracting the attention of potential buyers compared to a plain and unprepared property.

Better Online Visibility

People conduct a decent amount of online research when they are buying a new phone, so it’s only natural that they conduct a more exhaustive one when buying something that can easily be 500 times the cost, i.e., a house. A properly staged house will most likely yield better photos for online listings. And better photos are an important factor for potential buyers researching homes online when it comes to short-listing the properties they might consider visiting. If your home doesn’t have a compelling online presence (as a listing), of which staged photos are an important element, you might not attract a large enough buyer pool to sell at your desired price.

Staging Adds Value To The Sale

Both decluttering and staging add value to the seller and are crucial factors for fetching you the desired price for three reasons:

  • They attract more buyers faster and ensure that your property doesn’t keep sitting in the market for a long time. The longer your house sits on the market, the farther you might need to move below your original asking price.
  • Decluttered and staged houses seem “premium” compared to unprepared houses, so potential buyers might be more inclined to pay you the asking price. They might not have enough leverage to negotiate down the price too much.
  • A staged house can motivate a buyer to act faster. They would think that someone else might move in if they took their time, so they would try and close the deal faster, saving you both time and waiting “costs.”

Final Words

Staging is usually coupled with decluttering (which comes first). It’s important to understand that while decluttering and staging might not have the potential to help you rise above and beyond the market conditions (like selling at a premium price in a buyer’s market), they do have the potential to make the sale smoother and more profitable for you. Even if you see them from an ROI lens, you will find out they are avenues worth pursuing. And when you are ready to put your house on the market, consider staging to maximize the impact. Together, decluttering and staging will attract more (and better) potential buyers and, hopefully, will give you more negotiation power.

If you are still unsure how decluttering and staging can help you sell your house better, feel free to contact me. I can help you understand how decluttering and staging (among a few other things) can help you maximize your selling potential.

Importance Of Decluttering When Selling A House

Why Decluttering Is Important Before Selling A Home

For most people, selling a house can be a complex emotional and financial decision. You are saying goodbye to the place that sheltered you and your family and is riddled with happy memories. But it’s imperative that you come to terms with the emotional aspect of selling your house so that it doesn’t hinder the financial transaction.

You have to get over your personal “biases” regarding your house and start understanding the buyer’s perspective. If you can’t present an attractive property to potential buyers, you might have trouble selling it at your desired price or within your ideal time frame.

Decluttering is important for making your property more attractive to potential buyers.

What Is Decluttering?

The habit of “collecting” stuff can be traced back to humanity’s good old cave days. Fortunately (or unfortunately), we’ve come a long way from spacious caves, and now our habit of collecting stuff results in cluttered living spaces. I’ve seen potential sellers packing enough items in one house that can be used to furnish three small condos. While it’s “tolerable” if you are occupying the space yourself because you do not mind squeezing yourself between your pet sofa and a coffee table that is too big for your living room, it’s not advisable when putting your house on the market.

The process of removing extra furniture and other items occupying precious square footage and making your house seem more spacious and less overcrowded is called decluttering.

The Importance of Decluttering Your House

Decluttering is one of the first steps you need to take before you put your house on the market and open your doors for potential buyers. And it’s an important one for several reasons.

Uncovers Hidden Problems

A cluttered house might be hiding several different problems in your property: Scuff marks on the floor, crack on the wall, water damage, etc. It might also be hiding a pest infestation. Decluttering helps you identify and rectify these problems before putting your house on the market. If exposed later, at best, these problems can turn potential buyers away. At worst, they can halt a deal midway (if exposed during an inspection), run you a costly bill, or force you to drop your asking price. Understand that even if the problems decluttering uncovers seem small to you, they will appear quite significant to your potential buyers, who are hoping to get the most bang for the buck.

Magnifies Spaciousness

Did you know that the median Condo size in Toronto is smaller compared to Vancouver and Montreal? But relatively few people might be able to differentiate between 750 and 800 sq. ft. of space. What they will understand, though, is how much space a house offers. By decluttering, you can make your house “appear” more spacious and airy. A properly decluttered house might even look bigger compared to a relatively larger but cramped house (on the inside). It also has a subtle subconscious impact on potential buyers that they are getting more space for the amount they are paying, making them more likely to buy.

More of Your House Is On Display

When a potential buyer walks through a decluttered house, they feel like they see all or most of it. A cluttered house, on the other hand, gives an impression that a significant portion of the place is hidden away, which is not the feel you want to convey to someone who is planning to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on buying your house. They should feel like they can see what they are about to buy, and your household items are not hiding away parts of the property in a cluttered house.

Sparks Imagination

A decluttered house is important for two other reasons as well, one tangible and one psychological. The psychological benefit is that with more space available for them to see, potential buyers will have an easier time imagining themselves occupying that space. They will think about how their furniture and other items will look like in the empty spaces. The tangible benefit is along the same lines. Thanks to the power of augmented reality, people can see how their furniture pieces or other items will look in a place. And if there is plenty of vacant space available (thanks to decluttering), potential buyers might be enticed to do so.

Makes Navigation Easy

This is especially important for open houses. Before you invite a lot of potential buyers to walk your property, declutter it to make sure there is enough space to “walk.” You don’t want potential buyers tripping over cluttered items or squeezing together in close confines when the fear of COVID is still lingering. Potential buyers might love the open space that your decluttered house provides so they can easily navigate around.


Decluttering is akin to turning your home into a blank canvas. It’s ready for the next “beautification” step, i.e., staging. But decluttering alone gives you enough to work with. You can rectify any hidden problems you find, and even if you can’t work on them right away, you won’t be surprised when they are exposed during an inspection. Decluttering is one of the very first steps you need to take in order to “ready” your home for potential buyers. So as soon as you’ve made up your mind about selling, start decluttering. The more time you have to sell, give away, or temporarily move the items away from your house, the less resource-draining it might be when the time for shifting comes.

If you still have qualms about decluttering’s potential to aid your sale, feel free to reach out for a professional consultation.


House vs. Condo: How to Decide?

One of the major decisions you would have to make in the home-buying process is the type of home you want to buy. Would you prefer the independence and privacy of a house or the convenience and facilities of a condo? Deciding between a house or condo homeownership will largely depend on your budget and the living style you are looking for in your new home. 

It might seem like a daunting and confusing task, but understanding your own needs will help you in determining which option will be ideal for you. Remember to consider the cost of maintenance and repairs that will come with a house and the lack of space and control in a condo. Make sure you weigh in both the pros and cons of both options. 

Advantages of Buying a Condo

Here are the many benefits of condo ownership:

No Maintenance and Repairs on the Exterior 

The major advantage of being a condo owner is that you don’t have to worry about the exterior of the building. While house owners have the responsibility of shoveling snow, raking leaves, pruning trees, cleaning gutters, and mowing the lawns, condo owners don’t have to deal with these tedious tasks. 

The structural and exterior maintenance of the condo is the responsibility of the building owner or association. That means you get more free time to focus on other aspects of your life. 

Ideal Location 

Condos are smaller than a house and densely packed, which is why they are typically situated near various amenities. Thereby, living in a condo means you will be closer to various entertainment, shopping, and cultural facilities. Moreover, you are likely to have a shorter commute as condos are usually in or closer to the commercial hub, unlike houses, which are in exurban or distant suburbs areas. 

Shared Amenities

Condos also offer plenty of shared amenities to the residents, depending on the size and area of their location. These amenities include jogging trails, parks, golf courses, gyms, tennis courts, and swimming pools. People living in houses typically have to walk or drive to public facilities to use these amenities. 

Increased Social Connections

Condos have various units on a single floor, which means you have more chances of interacting with different people. Single houses, on the other hand, are detached from the neighbors. It reduces the chances of building social connections.  Living in a condo means you have a certain level of intimacy and have the opportunity to meet with people that have similar interests and backgrounds.

Moreover, the amenities available in the condos create an even better chance of co-mingling with society. It forms a close-knit bond with the neighbors. 

Advantages of Buying a House 

Here are the many perks of buying a house:

More Land

Owning a house means you will have a bigger space as compared to a condo. While condos are compact, a house often has some space at the front or back or both. This land comes with the property, and you have the freedom to use the additional space as per your wants and requirements. You can create a beautiful garden, install a private pool, add in a few swings for the kids, and make a barbeque area. There is so much you can do with the additional space. The fence around the house also means your kids can play safely. 

Increased Creativity and Control over Exterior 

When you buy a house, you have the advantage of having more control over the exterior of the property. You can be as creative as you want to be while customizing it. The owner of a condo doesn’t have any control over the exterior of the building. With a house, you can paint the exterior, start a vegetable garden, plant flowerbeds, or make a playhouse for the children. 

The house can be easily customized the way you want to in ways that a condo can’t. Additionally, each house has its individuality that can be appealing to the buyers, but the condos are uniform. 

Suitable for Growing Families 

A house is ideal for families as it has enough room for the children to grow. It is big enough to accommodate all the family members, from a toddler to a teenager. With the additional land, you also have the choice to extend the house if there is a need for more space. You can even have a guesthouse on your property if there is sufficient room. 

No Restrictions or Limitations 

Condos have certain limits on the number of people you can have in a unit. If any of your loved ones want a place to stay in for a few days, you will find it difficult to accommodate them in a condo. You won’t face this issue in a house. There is plenty of space, and there aren’t any restrictions on the number of people residing in the house. 

Aside from that, you also have more control over your property and can use it for commercial use as well. For instance, if you want to start a mechanic shop, you can do it in a house but never in a condo. 

Easier to Sell 

It is difficult to sell a condo since it is mostly viewed as a substitute house. As mentioned before, all units are uniform which might not be an appealing factor for most of the buyers. Houses, on the other hand, have distinctive features and usually attract at least a few potential buyers.  You can easily find a buyer for your house whenever you decide to sell. 

The House vs. condo debate continues for much interest. However, there is no right or wrong answer here. The better buy is usually the one that meets your budget, lifestyle, and other requirements. If buying a house is working well for one person, it doesn’t necessarily mean it will work well for you too. Therefore, you must evaluate your needs and requirements first and assess the advantages both options offer you.  

I aim to make this choice easier for my clients, whether you are a first time home buyer or are looking to downsize or upgrade your home. No matter how many queries and concerns you have, I am here to help you out with a range of services. I understand this is one of the most important decisions you will make in your life, which is why I want to make sure you are happy with the choice you make. I will help you find the best possible solution for you as per your needs.

Here’s a bit of exciting news – the first-time home buyer incentive is finally launched! The mission of this incentive is to make it easier for individuals to buy their first home. It reduces the mortgage costs by 5% to 10% of the overall cost of the house for first-time buyers. You are eligible to opt for this incentive if you earn $120,000 or less annually. 

I am here to help you take this first step towards homeownership. Don’t forget, I built my business on referrals, and I am always ready to assist them with all real estate queries. Get in touch today!

Costly Mistakes to Avoid When Selling Your Home.

Whether you are moving to a bigger house or downsizing for retirement, selling your current house can be an exciting and emotional experience. You are stepping into the next stage of your life and leaving behind a home where you built many cherished memories. This emotional attachment can result in you making some home selling mistakes that may be rather costly in the long run. 

To make this process easier and smoother for you, I have compiled a list of the most common home selling mistakes that you must avoid: 

  1. Miscalculating the Overall Selling Costs

I have witnessed many home sellers underestimate the selling costs and realizing their mistake too late. People usually don’t realize that the overall selling cost includes the commission they have to pay to the real estate agent, lawyers, as well as the land transfer fee, repairs, and other closing costs. 

How exactly is that problematic for home sellers? It can drastically affect the budget you set for your new house, along with the due utilities and mortgage for the current home. Moreover, many sellers rely on the payment they receive for their existing house to make the down payment of the new house. 

You can expect the selling costs to be about 10% of the total sale price of the house. Make sure you determine the estimate of the closing costs to have a more realistic idea of the amount you can spend on your new home. 

  1. Removing Items or Replacing them with Cheaper Versions

Keep in mind the selling contract clearly states the items that are included or excluded in the house sale. Typically, things like ceiling fans, appliances, in-built furnishings, and fixtures remain in the house. Unless, it is otherwise mentioned in the contract. 

In some cases, I have witnessed potential buyers finding an appliance missing or that some items having been replaced with cheaper versions. 

It is a breach of contract. You can’t close the deal until those missing items have been returned or the potential buyer has been compensated. You might even lose a good selling deal due to this. 

  1. Neglecting a Pre-Listing Home Inspection 

Many sellers forget or avoid conducting a pre-listing home inspection as they believe their house is in good condition. 

A pre-listing home inspection is important as it can help in saving you plenty of time and hassle later on. You will be able to address any potential issues within your budget and time before you negotiate with potential buyers.   

  1. Skipping on Home Preparations 

You might be tempted to put the house on the market without prepping it. Without fixing minor repair problems or sprucing it up, you will be lowering the overall value of your home. Why? It will probably languish on the market as potential buyers will notice the repairs needed and might find your place  shabby without the usual preps. 

Getting the house cleaned professionally and freshening up the paint can instantly make your home appealing. Keep in mind that your sales price will be reduced if you aren’t able to sell the property within the first few weeks. 

Therefore, be sure to clean up the house, do minor repairs, replace any broken items, and make the house look appealing for your potential buyers.    

  1. Selling the House Yourself 

Many people believe that they can quickly sell their homes without hiring a real estate agent. Even if everything goes smoothly for some sellers, they may get a lower amount for their houses. Why? Because often people undervalue their home or they jump to the first offer they receive. 

An expert realtor will give you a realistic estimate of your house value. Moreover, they will also suggest repairs or improvements that can increase the overall value of your home. That will help you in avoiding overvaluing or undervaluing your house. 

When looking for a realtor, make sure you opt for the one who has the best reputation of selling houses in similar neighborhoods. Check the credentials and licensing of the agent and interview them to make sure you are comfortable working with them.

  1. Forgetting to Enhance the Curb Appeal 

You might have already prepped the interior of the house to enhance its appeal, but what about the exterior? I always recommend my clients to primp and polish up the home exterior as well. 

The first thing potential buyers will see is the outside of your house. An unkempt lawn, chipped wall paint, almost invisible house number, or broken lamps or a mailbox will look highly unappealing to them. They might even leave without entering the house. Make sure you to make some minor repairs to increase the curb appeal of your house.

  1. Withholding Relevant Details from Buyers

Never withhold information from potential buyers about any issues that might arise in the house. For instance, a leaky bathroom sink or the basement getting flooded during the rainy season. 

The home inspector will probably detect these issues, resulting in a nasty negotiation process. In case you are withholding information that might cause potential harm to the buyers in the future, you might end up with a lawsuit after the settlement. 

  1. Restricting Showings 

Putting the house on the market means potential buyers will be coming to view your house in the upcoming weeks. Be prepared to leave the house at a moment’s notice for a private viewing or even staying away for a whole weekend for an open house. 

This may feel inconvenient, but it is a necessary part that comes with home selling. Limiting your house showings means you might miss out on a good deal. Try to be cooperative with your agent so that you can find the best possible deal. 

  1. Forgetting to Take the Kids and Pets Out During House Viewings

Understandably, you do not want to make this move hard on your children or pets. However, you must realize that a potential buyer would want to visualize living in the house with their family. 

It might be distracting for them to do that with your kids running around or your curious pets following them around. Some of them might even be terrified or allergic to your cat or dog. 

Be sure to keep the kids occupied or take them out when potential buyers are visiting your place. You can also ask someone to take care of your pets for a while and make sure to eliminate any pet smell from the house.

  1. Being Unsure About the Next Step 

You must always have a backup plan in place, in case it takes longer to sell your house than you expected. Sometimes, houses get sold instantly. This seems like an ideal situation, but it can leave you stressed out if you have to move out immediately and hadn’t thought about where you would stay. 

Make sure you are prepared for both scenarios to avoid making it frustrating and stressful for yourself and your family. 

It is indeed challenging to sell your house, mainly because you have so many great memories attached to it. Of course, you want the entire process to go as smoothly as possible. It can be stressful thinking about the things that could go wrong. However, being aware of these potential mistakes can help to avoid them. 

I aim to make this process as smooth as possible for you and provide you with the best possible solution for you as per your needs. I understand it can be frustrating and even confusing, which is why I am here to help you with your queries and concerns.

Don’t forget, I built my business on referrals, and I am always ready to assist them with all real estate queries. Get in touch today!

Home Selling in Canada: Breakdown of Expected Costs

Want to move to a bigger house to accommodate your growing family? Purchasing a house in a new city? Hoping to downsize your big house to a smaller one? For whichever reason you want to sell your house, there are plenty of things you would have to take care of. 

You are most likely going to earn a profit for selling your home, especially if you have been living in a high value area, and you are already looking for a new home within that expected range of profit you are hoping to earn. However, there is one thing many sellers are not aware of and that is the hidden costs of home selling in Canada. 

These expected costs can gradually make up a major figure and can affect the budget you have made for the new house. Therefore, it is integral to consider these costs to ensure you make informed financial decisions.

Following are the things you’d have to pay for when selling your house:

Preparing Your Home for Staging and Viewing 

I always tell my clients who are hoping to sell their house on a good profit that the first impression makes a lasting impact on buyers. This is the reason why I always recommend them to prepare their home before the viewing session and opt for professional home staging to make the house appealing to the potential buyers. 

Investing in home staging and preparation mostly includes the costs for:

  • Minor repairs
  • Landscaping
  • Professional cleaning
  • Refreshing the paint
  • Moving excess furniture to a storage facility 
  • Hiring a professional home stager 

Many sellers also consider some renovations in hopes of increasing the value of the house. However, this doesn’t always work as expected when they later found out that their $10,000 kitchen renovation only increased the value of the house by $4,000. To avoid this, it is important that you consult a real estate agent to help you identify the right investments that can increase the house value. 

Getting the House Inspected 

Of course, the house inspection is done by a professional hired by the potential buyer. However, to avoid any last-minute unpleasant surprises, I recommend getting a pre-listing home inspection done. This allows you the chance to make any minor repairs before your house goes on the market. 

There is nothing worse than finding out later during the potential buyer’s inspection that your house has plumbing issues. This can drastically affect your asking price. Therefore, it is best to be aware of all these issues and get them fixed to have more confidence in your asking price and during the negotiations. 

Mortgage Discharge or Penalty 

Having a mortgage on the house you are selling means you might get charged with a mortgage penalty for selling the house before the mortgage is paid off. It is essential to get the mortgage cleared before the buyer takes possession. 

Majority of traditional lenders, like banks, allows home sellers to apply for the remainder of their mortgage amount to the mortgage on their new house. However, certain conditions apply to this case, including the new house must be purchased within the 90 days after the closing date of your existing house. 

Keep in mind that certain mortgages do apply restrictions. In case you aren’t buying a new home and renting one instead, you would most likely have to make the pre-payment penalty. I would suggest you consult your mortgage broker to discuss your options before you put up your house on the market.  

Liens against Property’s Title Search

Your lawyer will conduct a title search of your property to ensure there aren’t any liens against it. If you have cleared all the payments and debt before listing the property, you have nothing to worry about. But, if there are liens found against your property, they must be discharged to make the house sale legal.  

Paying Utility Bills till the Closing Date 

Being the existing homeowner of the house, you have the responsibility to pay all the outstanding utility bills up till the closing date. In case you have made a pre-payment on any of the bills, they will be deductable from the overall cost. 

Property Tax

Property tax must also be paid before handing over your house to the buyer. Your lawyer will help you prepare all the documentation and include the payment proof when handing over the title to the buyer to make sure you have no further obligation towards the tax payment and other costs of the property, once the documents are signed. 

Paying the Legal Team 

Lawyer fees usually vary as per the city and the policy of the law firm. It also depends on the total value of your house. It is best to discuss all the fees and commission, if any, the lawyer will charge you before you officially hire their team. This way, you will be aware of the total cost you would have to pay for the legal services and create the budget, accordingly. 

Commission for Real Estate 

Real estate fees also vary, depending on the province you reside in. It can be anywhere between 2% to 5%. You will have to pay your agent on the day of the closing. This is typically done by the real estate lawyer you have hired and the amount is taken from the full payment made by the buyer, as per the sale agreement.

Other Indirect Costs 

There may be other indirect costs associated with home selling. Typically, these costs are linked with the home preparation you make to increase the value of your house, as mentioned above. While these costs might seem minor at the time, they can quickly add up to a big amount. 

Making small changes, fixing odds and ends, buying new plants and more, are typically neglected to be included in the budget by sellers. Moreover, if you have pets, then you should also consider the cost of boarding to make sure your furry friend doesn’t bother potential buyers during the home viewing. 

All of these costs must be paid in a timely manner before handing the property to the buyer. Your lawyer can help you in breaking down all these selling costs as per your property. If you live in a condo or townhouse, the costs might also include condo fees and maintenance. 

While the seller has to make all the necessary payments up to the closing date, if the closing is not coinciding with the expenses payment due date, then you will have to pay the costs of the partial month. Normally, this doesn’t happen. 

Selling your home is a long process and you will need guidance throughout this stage. I am here to help you with all your concerns and questions. Moreover, I will ensure your house is well-prepared to attract the buyers willing to pay a good price. I will not only help in putting your house on the market, and attracting potential buyers, but will also provide my services to help you find your next home. Remember, I have built my business through referrals and I am never too busy to help them out!   

Home Buying Tips for Millennials

Who doesn’t dream of one day owing their own home? It sure isn’t easy, especially with the drastic hike in real estate property. Many millennials think that becoming a house owner is only a dream for them. Fortunately, this is not true. 

While buying a home is no easy feat, the good news is that with the right plan and some guidance, you can definitely invest in a great home. But, there are various things to consider when you are deciding to purchase a home. 

Here are some useful first-time home-buying tips for millennials: 

Set Clear Goals

Often people ask me for advice on how they can become homeowners. No matter what generation you belong to, my answer is simple: your goal must be clear. This can also apply to different aspects of your life. 

However, having a clear goal in mind – becoming a homeowner – isn’t enough. You need to break this massive goal down to short-term and long-term goals. These goals will work as a roadmap to help you achieve your ultimate goal. 

This includes creating a budget, making a few sacrifices, opting for small investments, and other decisions that will get you a step closer to being a homeowner. 

Figure Out Your Priorities

Next thing that millennials home buyers must do is to figure out the kind of house they want. This includes factors like the size of the house, location, as well as your current and future lifestyle. Try to be as realistic as you possibly can, because it is easy to get carried away when it comes to visualizing your future home.

Make a list of things you don’t want to compromise on when buying a house. I would also recommend doing some research on your own by looking up real estate listings in and around your preferred location. This will give you a better idea of the type of houses available and how much it would cost you. 

With a clear idea in your mind, you will be able to adjust your expectations accordingly. It will also help you determine if you need to create a tighter budget or make more investment, etc. 

Save for Down Payment 

Paying cash for your first home is almost impossible in today’s competitive market. A large majority of first-time home buyers, particularly millennials, opt for a mortgage. This is the reason why it is essential to ensure you make a large down payment. 

Why? This will reduce the interest rate and help in paying off the mortgage faster. Aim at paying 10% to 20% down payment. If you manage to pay 20% in down payment, you will also be able to avoid the Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI), which is additional insurance you would have to pay that protects lenders in case you stop paying mortgage. 

Start saving accordingly, but keep in mind this might take a few years. Don’t be discouraged; you are not alone. With student loans, high rents, and other expenses, many millennials struggle to save up. You just have to be patient and continue on the same path. This is also the reason why it is important to set realistic goals to avoid getting discouraged.  

Apply for Mortgage Pre-Approval 

Once you have saved up for down payments, you must attain a pre-approval for the mortgage. Getting pre-approved for a mortgage loan will give you a more realistic idea of what you can afford. Moreover, when you make an offer on a house, the seller will give you priority as a pre-approval means you are a serious buyer. 

Sellers give preference to pre-approved potential buyers as this means closing the deal more smoothly and quickly as compared to the buyers without a pre-approved mortgage, even if they make a higher offer. 

Keep in mind, if you get pre-approved for a high amount, this surely doesn’t mean you must borrow it all. Consider the payment you can easily make every month, along with other expenses. Moreover, there are other costs to be considered, including property tax, home insurance, mortgage interest, and principal. 

Never try to stretch your finances too far. Be sure you can easily afford the monthly payments so you can truly enjoy living in your own house. 

Don’t be Hasty  

When you have successfully managed to save a sufficient amount for the down payment, don’t rush. I have witnessed many first-time owners making hasty decisions and as a result, they end up paying more or being unhappy with their house selection.

Once you start house hunting, it is tempting to think about increasing your budget to get a house you have fallen in love with. Trust me; you would end up struggling to pay the monthly mortgage payments. 

Stay within your budget, and avoid sacrificing your emergency funds or your retirement funds for a home. Keep looking because you are bound to find the right home within your budget. 

Ask As Many Questions as You Can 

Buying a home is a major decision and is the most significant investment most individuals make in their lives. This shows how important it is to conduct a thorough research to make sure you make a smart decision. The best way to understand the process and clarify any confusion is to ask plenty of questions. 

Ask your parents about the costs associated with being a homeowner, inquire about the property taxes and insurance fees from a real estate lawyer, take advice from fellow millennial friends who recently purchased houses, and consult a real estate agent to determine the type of houses and market trends available in your budget. 

The more questions you ask, the more prepared you will be for this big decision. 

Get Professional Help 

Seeking help your family, friends, especially professionals, is an integral part of the home-buying process. If you are struggling with saving money or creating a budget, or are confused about the associated costs, then don’t hesitate to get help.  

There are plenty of incentives and programs offered by the Canadian government to help first-time home buyers, which make this process easier for you. Consulting a financial advisor, broker and real estate agent (ME) is highly recommended to help you achieve your ultimate goal. 

These professionals will make sure you are headed in the right direction, are well-informed about all the options available to you, and guide you through any confusion you may have so you avoid making any costly mistake in the process. 

Indeed, it is not easy for millennials to save up for their first home. There are plenty of struggles involved throughout this process, but it is going to be worth it in the end when you receive the keys of your own house. As mentioned before, don’t be afraid to open up and ask for help if it is getting overwhelming for you. 

Getting advice and hearing success stories of others is an excellent way to eliminate your concerns and stay motivated. Be sure to establish pragmatic home-buying goals, as well as a budget and stick to them. Remember these tips for first-time home buyers I have highlighted and you will surely be able to purchase your first home. 

Costs Associated with Homeownership and Saving Tips

Duplex, condo, or a bungalow – no matter what type of house it is, buying one is indeed a significant accomplishment.  While becoming a homeowner can bring you a sense of achievement and pride, it can soon become overwhelming when you realize the costs that come with it. 

Whether you are planning to purchase a new home or have already started looking for one, you must familiarize yourself with the costs associated with homeownership. This will enable you to create the right action plan to invest in the right property and lead a peaceful and comfortable life. 

My goal is to help couples find the house of their dreams, as well as guide them throughout the process of home buying and ownership, so they are better prepared to make an informed decision. 

The Costs of Owning a Home 

Typically, people believe that they only have to worry about the down payment and the monthly payments when buying a house. This results in them creating a budget, which can’t cover all the expenses. It is essential for potential homeowners to understand that there are plenty of initial and ongoing expenses related to homeownership. 

Following are some initial costs you’d have to pay when buying your home:

  • Land transfer tax
  • Home inspection fees
  • Real estate commissions
  • Appraisal fees
  • Legal fees
  • Closing costs
  • Moving costs
  • New home costs

Aside from the initial costs, you should also consider the ongoing costs you will have to pay once you have become a homeowner. These ongoing costs may include:

  • Mortgage payments – the heaviest expense
  • Property taxes
  • Utility bills, including cable, internet, water, electricity, etc.
  • Premiums for home insurance
  • Mortgage protection insurance
  • Townhouse or condominium fees
  • General maintenance 

By understanding both the initial and ongoing costs of homeownership, you can fully prepare yourself for the financial costs of purchasing and living in your new home. Considering all these costs will also make it easier for you to make an informed buying decision, thereby resulting in you and your family make the best memories in your newly-purchased home. 

Tips to Save For a House 

Since buying and owning a house means increased expenses, it is essential to have a solid saving plan in place. Here are some effective saving tips for your home and living expenses:

  1. Start Prioritizing 

First things first, you need to start prioritizing everything to create the right budget. Saving money to buy a home and ensuring that you can afford to live in it is mostly about setting your priorities right. Do you really need to order takeouts for dinner and lunch every day? Are you willing to compromise on buying clothes from branded shops to own a house? 

You need to decide the things that are important for you and your family. If saving for a house is your priority, then find ways to reduce your expenses. For instance, start cooking your meals and do meal preps over the weekend to limit your takeout expenses, shop for clothes at thrift stores or on sale, and cancel the gym subscription if you never really go there. 

Evaluate your lifestyle and determine the things you absolutely need and things you are merely wasting your money on. This will surely reduce your expenses and help you create an ideal budget. 

  1. Pay off Other Loans First 

It can be difficult to save money for a home when you already have loans and debt to pay off. If you have outstanding debt, then you must create a realistic repayment plan. Focus on paying the smallest debt first and then move on to the other loans. 

Gradually, you will be able to pay off or reduce your total debts, once you start taking the minimum payments from the paid debt to pay off the next ones. The minimum payments that you free up can be used to make larger payments against a single debt at a time. 

Paying off your debt first will not just help you in saving for your house faster, but will also improve your chances of qualifying for a mortgage. It will also improve your credit history and show lenders that you are capable and responsible enough to make debt payments on time and complete the full payment in a timely manner.

  1. Utilize a Tax-Free Account 

Opting for a tax-free savings account is another good option to save your down payment funds. You will be able to save up a good sum in this account, completely tax-free. This means you won’t have to make payments for income tax on this money. This will result in quicker savings for your down payment. I recommend that you consult your financial advisor or planner to get further details about opening a tax-free savings account. 

  1. Inquire About First-Time Homebuyers Programs

Canada offers plenty of first-time homebuyers programs to make it easy for people to purchase their first house. These programs aim at reducing the burden of monthly mortgage payments on first-time home buyers. 

There are a few requirements of these programs, which means you need to ensure you are eligible for the program you’re applying for. You may have to be earning an annual income in the specified salary range and have the ability to pay off the mortgage with 25 years. The requirements and monthly payment will mostly depend on the type of home you’re purchasing. 

  1. Seek Professional Help 

You have paid off your outstanding debt, prioritized your savings, and have managed to save up enough to make a significant down payment. You might be thinking that the rest will be easy. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Buying a house requires a lot of effort, time, negotiating with the seller, understanding legal contracts, home inspection, and what not. 

Fortunately, you can seek help from professionals. You need to seek assistance from your financial advisor and a mortgage broker to make sure that you are good to go financially. You will need to consult a real estate lawyer to create contracts, go through counteroffers, and agreements to ensure you are well-protected on these fronts. 

Moreover, a qualified and experienced real estate agent can help you find the right home that suits your budget and requirements. With years of experience in the real estate industry, I can assist you take this big step by identifying the perfect house and simplifying the entire home buying process for you. 

While knowing all the expenses of homeownership is necessary, it is also important to have a professional guide you in the right direction. After all, you are about to make the biggest investment of your life. 

Let me guide you through this exciting stage of your life and find you a home that meets your expectations, so you can start creating beautiful memories. Remember, I have built my business through referrals and I am never too busy to help my clients!  

Planning for Retirement: Benefits of Downsizing Your Home

Everyone dreams of owning a home filled with laughter, comfort, and a big yard where the kids can play in the evenings. As life goes on, things change and so do your needs and goals. With the kids moving out, and your retirement coming up, you might start considering downsizing to a smaller home. 

With fewer occupants, the large house may start feeling empty. Keeping up with the house’s maintenance costs, repairs, utility bills, as well as never-ending cleaning, can be a hassle. Therefore, moving into a smaller house will be a practical option for you. Smaller house have less maintenance issues and reduced housing costs, which will give you more time to spend on other enjoyable things. 

Downsizing to a smaller house is certainly a tough decision, but you can’t deny the advantages it can bring into your life. I have helped many couples and individuals downsize their homes to prepare for their retirement. 

I have compiled a list of the benefits of downsizing your home for retirement to help you make your decision:

  1. Things Get Organized 

Moving to a smaller house means you would be forced to go through that attic loaded with useless things. Larger houses tend to collect a high amount of clutter because it is easier to leave things stuffed in corners, basements, garages, and attics than sorting through them.

Once you decide to downsize, you will finally start decluttering and organizing things to take only the useful things to your new home. 

  1. Improved Health and Accessibility 

With age come unavoidable health issues, including mobility problems. A big house can become difficult to live in after you retire. For instance, climbing stairs can become a struggle for senior individuals. Moreover, stairs also increase the risk of slip and fall accidents. 

This shows that a house that was perfectly suitable for you can become more challenging with time. A smaller house, particularly a one-story one, can eliminate these struggles and make your home more accessible for you. 

  1. Better Cash Flow 

Downsizing to a smaller house also improves one’s cash flow. You will pay lower monthly payments on your mortgage, utility bills, landscaping and other costs associated with a bigger house. These savings, combined with the other costs you no longer have to pay, including children’s expenses, means you will have more funds for meeting your daily expenses. 

You can use these savings in your retirement funds, pay off loads, or enjoy other activities you always wanted to do. 

  1. Positive Lifestyle Changes 

Another major benefit of downsizing for retirement is the positive lifestyle changes it brings. You have less mundane tasks to do around the house; less clutter means a more organized house, reduced cleaning time, and little to no yard work. 

You have more free time to relax, spend with your loved ones, and enjoy activities you never had enough time to do before. 

  1. Easy Home Maintenance 

There is plenty of maintenance work required in a big house. Not just the cleaning, but there always seems to be something in need of repair or update. This is especially true if you have been living in a house for 20 or 30 years. 

You need to ensure everything, including the plumbing and HVAC systems, are running smoothly to avoid any substantial damage. This means spending more time and money on fixing things. Moreover, you also have to clean and maintain the rooms not in use to avoid health issues. 

A smaller house eliminates the time and money you’d invest in its maintenance. Instead, you can spend that money and time doing more things you love, like socializing with friends and partaking in your hobbies. 

  1. Reduced Stress Levels 

Your stress level will automatically minimize when you start decluttering, organizing things, reducing the number of possessions you own, and doing constructive things in your free time. 

When your things are more organized, your life will be simplified. Eliminating outdated electronics, donating unused clothing and furniture, and more, will give you peace of mind at your new place. 

  1. Sizable Down Payment for your New Home 

Living in a big home that was suitable for you and your kids for decades is now bound to get you sufficient profit when you decide to sell it. This means you will have enough funds to make a sizeable down payment for your new home.

As a result, your monthly payments will also come down. You may even be able to completely eliminate the mortgage from the profits you earn from your home. Moreover, you can pay off or reduce other debts like auto loans and credit cards.  

  1. Reduced Energy Bills

Energy bills, along with other utilities, can get unnecessary high for a few people living in a big house. Larger houses require more energy to stay cool or warm, as per the temperature. 

Downsizing to a smaller house will drastically reduce your energy bills. You will, of course, be playing a positive role in protecting the environment by consuming less amount of energy. 

  1. Strategic Location 

When you are planning to downsize to a smaller home, you get a chance to select a more strategic location for your new home. You can choose an area with more affordable living costs, within walking distance to the commercial area to reduce your car usage, near a beach, or move near your children or other family members. 

This means you can further reduce your living expenses and/or be near your loved ones to spend more quality time with them.

  1. Funds for Traveling Adventures 

The best thing about downsizing for retirement and freeing up funds is that you finally get the chance to travel to the places you always wanted to see. When you are nearing your retirement or are already retired, it is the perfect time to travel to new places with your partner or maybe even a solo trip.

After working hard for decades, you deserve this break. Many people start planning to downsize their home to a condo or a townhouse before retirement, so they can have sufficient funds for traveling care-free. 

Staying in a house where most of the rooms are not used, spending a massive amount of money on maintenance and repairs, landscaping, and paying higher utility bills can be stressful and draining. This energy, time and money can instead be invested in more enjoyable and relaxing things. Downsizing your home for retirement can be one of the best decisions you could make. Your lifestyle will become simplified and less stressful, allowing you to plan your retirement life the way you want to. 

Indeed, selling off a home you lived in for decades can be hard. There are so many things involved when it comes to preparing your house for sale and simultaneously looking for a new house to make your retirement home. 

To make things easier for you, I offer a range of services that can help you to place your house on the market, attract potential buyers, obtain the best possible deal, and find the perfect home. My business has been built on referrals and I am always ready to assist my clients with their real estate queries. 

Steps to Follow When Selling Your Home in Canada

Whether you are downsizing, buying a bigger house, or moving to the opposite side of Canada, selling your house can be an emotionally challenging and time-consuming process. Not only does it mean letting strangers poke around your house, but you might also get low offers than you had expected. 

Fortunately, this certainly doesn’t mean you are bound to have a frustrating experience or that you will have to sell your home at a low price. To make this process smooth and successful, all you need is some guidance to avoid pitfalls and attain the best possible price for your home in a short time period. Here are some crucial steps you must follow:

Step 1: Selecting a Real Estate Agent 

Juggling your work, kids, and other responsibilities while also trying to sell your house alone is a recipe for disaster. Therefore, the first thing you need to do is to hire a real estate agent who can guide you throughout the home selling process and help you find a suitable buyer. 

Keep in mind that you need an agent who is creative and not afraid to think outside the box in order to get potential buyers interested in your property. Moreover, opt for the one you are comfortable working with and who is willing to listen to you and help you understand all the steps involved in selling your house. 

Step 2: Sign the Listing Agreement 

A written contract between you and the agent (ME), the listing agreement highlights all the agreed upon terms of selling your house. I always recommend my clients to have the agreement checked by their lawyers to avoid any concerns and misunderstandings later on. 

Typically, the listing agreement includes the payment and/or commission of the agent, the time duration of the agreement, and other details. Once you sign the agreement, the real estate agent will put your house on the market in the best possible way to attract potential buyers. 

Step 3: Dealing with Mortgage 

In case you still have mortgage on the house, it is essential to manage it. Often, the first option many sellers opt to explore is whether or not the buyer wants to take over the mortgage. In this case, you can avoid paying off the mortgage on the house sale and save money. Moreover, it is easier for the buyer to assume the mortgage instead of going through the process of getting mortgage approval. 

The other option is, of course, to pay off the entire mortgage when you make the sale. However, various mortgages restrict homeowners to pay off the mortgage early on, and may also have a prepayment penalty. 

In some cases, the lender waives off the prepayment penalty when the buyer is taking out a new mortgage with them or if you are taking on a new mortgage for your new house. 

It is best to discuss your options with your lender or mortgage broker to determine which option would be best for you. 

Step 4: Prepping Your House for Viewing  

Your real estate agent (ME) will thoroughly view your house and recommend areas of improvements or repairs that can help in increasing the value of your home. Furthermore, before you open your house for viewing, I always recommend my clients to opt for a professional home stager to stage their home to make it more appealing to potential buyers.

Discuss this with your agent and professional stager to determine what you can do to enhance the aesthetic value of your property at a minimum investment. 

Keep in mind that you are obligated to disclose any faults and defects your house might have to potential buyers. This includes material latent defects, which means the issues which might not be detected in a house inspection.  

This includes any defects, which might be potentially hazardous to the occupants, including a leaky basement during rainy seasons, structural damage, or any other issues. Neglecting to disclose the material latent defects can result in legal issues. 

Step 5: Going Through the Offers You Receive 

Once potential buyers start viewing your house, you will receive an offer to purchase. This contract includes the terms of sale from the buyer. Once this offer is signed, it legally binds the sale and purchase of your house. 

This offer will be extended to you through your real estate agent. In case you receive multiple offers, you have every right to go through them, discuss them with your agent and your lawyer to determine the best course of action. 

You can always make a counteroffer if you want to make certain changes in the purchase offer. If the buyer accepts your counteroffer, it legally binds the sale and purchase of your house. If the counteroffer is not accepted, then it means no agreement has been made. 

Step 6: Closing Date 

When an agreement has been signed between you and the buyer, both sides have to handle the legalities. The closing date is mentioned in the contract and on this date, the transfer of ownership is made to make the buyer the official owner of your house once the payment is made. 

The buyer’s lawyer will prepare the documentation for the legal transfer of home ownership. It is highly recommended that your lawyer go through the entire document and act on your behalf in order to protect your interests.  Your lawyer will:

  • Check all the related documentation and paperwork presented by the buyer
  • Help you in understanding all the terms and other concerns you might have
  • Make sure the old mortgage has been legally handled and that you have no more obligations for paying the old mortgage
  • Check that all the payments and transactions have been successfully made
  • Help you in signing the transfer documents

The lawyers from both sides will verify all the details that were stated by the buyer and the seller, make sure all facts are right and in compliance with the legislation, and so on. The transaction of the sale is registered at the Land Registry Office. The transfer of ownership and the keys are then presented to the buyer on this day.

Selling a house involves various steps that you can’t possibly do alone and it is a major decision that impacts your financial future. Keep in mind that this process will take time; you are not going to find the right buyer immediately. 

Therefore, have patience and you will surely sell your house at the best possible price. Your real estate agent (ME) and lawyer will play an integral role throughout the selling process and ensure that your interests are protected from beginning to end.