iStock

What to Upgrade First?

Most people renovate their homes for more space or more comfort. Some also remodel their homes in order to sell their property more quickly while getting the desired price for it.

But you shouldn’t start renovating carelessly. Follow these guidelines.

  • It would be irresponsible to carry out overwhelming work in order to sell your home quickly. Disaster will probably strike. Some upgrades, worth a few hundreds or thousands of dollars, should do the trick.
  • Check every nook and cranny in your home to find any defects. Neglecting this step might give the future buyer the wrong impression. Imagine if he or she arrives with a building inspector? Omitting to inspect your home is not the best way to go, even if you end up selling your property for the desired price. If the future homeowner ends up dragging you into court for latent defects, not only will you see your profit melt away, but your quality of life will diminish.
  • Start by facing your home and put yourself in the buyer’s shoes. Is the frontage appealing? Is the front door impeccable? A neglected exterior usually implies a careless homeowner in the minds of future buyers.
  • Go outside and walk around your property and think of the things that would bother a buyer and try to address the problem. For example, you live in a noisy neighbourhood because of the traffic. Find out how much building a green wall or a solid wall would cost to reduce the noise.

Continue reading

iStock

How to Quickly Sell Your Home

Selling your home in less than a year and selling it for the desired price is the dream of every homeowner looking to sell his or her property. How to make it happen? Here is an overview.

  • The asking price must be reasonable from the beginning. Setting it too high in the hopes of making a huge profit is the worst thing you can do. All professionals will tell you: properties that have been on the market for too long frighten the buyers away. They’ll back off.
  • A classic way to set the asking price is to look at the selling price of the similar homes nearby. But, this method is not foolproof. The houses on the street may look the same, but you don’t know their history, their overall condition inside and out or the upgrades that have been carried out over the years.
  • The municipal assessment gives an idea of how much a house should sell, but this method has its limits too.
  • Avoid setting the price according to your own judgment. What if the house is worth more than you had guessed? Otherwise, be realistic. Your house is not a mansion.
  • The real estate broker is highly qualified to determine the selling price for obvious reasons. However, by doing business with an accredited appraiser, you’ll end up with an appraisal report. It will come in handy when negotiating with the future buyer.
iStock
iStock
  • Once you have set the asking price, establish the lowest price you would be willing to accept. Your real estate broker will help you with this step.

Continue reading

iStock

Tamed Red

It is disruptive, bothersome, eccentric. Yet, there is a way to use red, the colour of love and joie de vivre, without overpowering a room. Let’s take a closer look.

Some rooms we’ve seen are entirely red, from top to bottom, including the furniture. They are, how can we put it, festive and flamboyant, but still bearable. Why? Because, different shades of softer and more subdued reds, like brick red or cherry red, came to tone down the fire-engine red, which dominated the rooms.

iStock
iStock

Red has a striking elegance but can show restraint if used properly. A single wall painted in red, or even half a wall, can add a healthy dose of cheerfulness to a room without being overpowering. Red is so rich and upbeat. Why go without it?

A single touch of red can liven up a room, such as the back of an unglazed bookcase, the back of a dining room cabinet, the kitchen island or the backsplash under the cupboards in the kitchen, the steps of the staircase, the window curtains or bed curtains, the wall rug or area rug.

Red can also emphasize an object we are proud to own. For example, a bright red pillow placed on a prestigious sofa or armchair, a red base under a valuable trinket or a red fabric flowing down a magnificent wicker basket. Continue reading

iStock

How to negotiate a property purchase

“There is never a single fixed price. Every property has both a floor and ceiling price,” says Patrick Juanéda, President of the Québec Federation of Real Estate Boards (FCIQ). On one hand, the seller wants to close the deal and obtain the amount closest to the ceiling price. While on the other, the buyer wants to pay something closer to the floor price. Irreconcilable differences? Not at all. Finding common ground is entirely possible, and that’s what successful negotiating is all about.

The power of negotiation

“The price is always negotiable,” says Mr. Juanéda. Expect the average reduction percentage to be from 2 to 3%.”

The real estate expert does stress however that each situation is unique: “If a house is listed at a “good price” (near the floor price) and it’s located in an active market (single family homes around $300,000, for example) overbidding can’t be ruled out. Do you really want to miss out to save a few thousand dollars?”

On the other hand, you have more room to manoeuver with a property that has been on the market for over six months and seen little activity.

Recognizing various scenarios forms the basis of any negotiation. A qualified real estate agent has the experience and instinct to guide the buyer. Without one, you’d have to study the local house listings and visit a lot of properties to develop a flair for negotiation. Continue reading