- Shovel The Driveway – Nothing screams “disinterested homeowner” like mounds of snow and no way to access the home during showings. Shovel the sidewalk, driveway, backyard paths, and any other walkways your yard may have.
- Call The Locksmith! – Does your deadbolt only unlock if you insert the key 3/4 of the way and jiggle it three times? Get the locksmith on-site ASAP. The last thing you want is a tricky lock to open while the potential buyers are standing outside in -30°C weather with increasing irritation.
- Micromanage Weather Stripping – Did you replace the weather stripping around the front door in September and it’s already worn down? Replace it again. You want the buyer to feel warmth literally, and metaphorically, as soon as they enter your home.
- Start The Fire – Does your home have a fireplace? Turn it on for every showing and/or open house. It adds an outstanding visual and an appeal of physical warmth that often gets overlooked in the warmer months.
- Set The Stage – Truthfully, staging a home is recommended any time of the year but it is absolutely pivotal which is why it still made the list. The visual stimulation of an expertly decorated home triggers a positive experience during a showing. It helps break up the agitation the buyer may be experiencing due to a rapidly rising and dropping body temperature during an afternoon of showings in the winter. Also be sure to keep a neutral, clean, or warm scent throughout the home!
Call or text Tanya LaRose, award-winning REALTOR®, at 306-380-7325 for more helpful tips on how to prepare your home to sell during showings.
- Get The Right Representation – Buying your first home (or any home) without a REALTOR® is like playing Russian roulette. Make sure your agent is licensed with a reputable brokerage, has experience in the local market, is readily available to you, has good reviews from past clients, and is technology literate for proper logistics. Buyer’s representation is traditionally paid for by the seller so there is no reason to refuse the service.
- Find The Down Payment – Whether you need to buckle down on your savings or borrow from your RRSP’s there are always options for a down payment, some just take longer than others. Speak with an experienced mortgage broker to find out your down payment options. Also remember that it is okay to ask your mortgage broker how much experience they have in the field because an inexperienced broker may not be covering all of the bases.
- Lock In The Rate – Mortgage rates are always changing and can make a difference of hundreds of dollars on your monthly mortgage payment. When you get pre-approved for your mortgage, your broker can lock in the optimal rate for up to three months. Even if the rates go down within the three months, you can still opt for the better rate, but at least you are protected if they go up.
- Searching listings - Not all home search engines carry all of the available listings, many will only carry their own brokerages listings or listings that have been purchased so you may be missing out on some great options. For full access try REALTOR.ca which will give you access to all listings, but the right REALTOR® will give you access to even more homes for sale.
- Subscriptions - You do not have to sign up to a brokers website to look at a single listing. If you know the address, go to a generic website like REALTOR.ca and search the address there.
- Paying too much - You may be inclined to take matters in your own hands when pursuing your dream home but remember that the listing agent is representing the seller and a “For Sale By Owner” is representing themselves. So who is representing you? Always have your own buying REALTOR®, they will ensure you are not paying more than the home is worth. Accept buyer's representation, it's free!
- Being too private - When you first consult a REALTOR® regarding your home purchase, they will have a lot of questions. Each question comes with a purpose and refusing to answer or giving a false answer may derail your home purchasing success. Trust your choice in REALTOR® and remember they are legally obligated to protect your best interest and keep all of your information confidential.
Purchasing your first home carries much more risk and liability, call Tanya LaRose at 1-306-380-7325 for professional buyer's representation.
- Swimming Pool – A luxury item that, for the cost of installation, will definitely not improve your home value dollar for dollar. Plus those maintenance costs might be viewed as a deterrent as well.
- Faux Grass – Niche items like faux grass are not popular enough for buyers to equate a higher property value than an immediate comparable with regular grass.
- Sunroom – Another niche item but this one is highly dependent on climate and demographic justify the value in its presence.
- Garage Re-model – Man caves are very popular these days but are considered superfluous to most buyers, especially large families.
- Custom Closet Re-model – Closets may seem like a small project but can get away on you so approach this one with severe caution.
- Master Suite Addition – Although it would probably bring the home to the top of the list among most house hunters, the cost may not be substantiated as a benefit over having not completed the addition at all.
- Home Theatre – A theatre is luxury item that may not speak to the majority of buyers, especially in towns or cities with a smaller population.
- Combining Bedrooms to Enlarge One – In this scenario, empty nesters may opt for this but it does not improve your home value in the slightest and often ends up lowering property value.
- Chasing Trends – Shag rugs and stipple ceilings are a great example of accents to your home that may repulse buyers in a few years so choose wisely.
1. Roof – The frequent changing temperatures combined with ice, rain, snow, and wind can wreak havoc on roofs. Prioritize replacing any missing and loose shingles. The roof is your first line of defense from any water damage internally extending to damage of electrical, plumbing, and HVAC systems.
2. Gutters – Ice dams are the product of clogged gutters. After leaves have fallen, clean out the gutters and downspouts followed by a good spray down of water to clear the passage way. After this, check for loose joints or brackets and replace, if necessary.
3. Foundation – Basement flooding rates high on insurance premiums. Walk around your house and take a close look at the foundation. Caulk around the area where masonry meets siding, where pipes or wires enter the house, and around windows and door frames to prevent heat from escaping. If the parging is falling apart, you may want to have this redone if your budget allows.
4. HVAC – Proper heating and cooling amounts to 47% of energy costs in your home. Move your hand around the edges of windows and doors on a windy day, if you feel a breeze you will want to replace the weather stripping or add caulking.
5. Yard – Yard functionality during the winter is best to prepare for rather than scramble about during the first 20” snow fall. Ensure you have all of the summer tools stored away and all winter tools readily available (snow blower, shovel, etc.). You will also want to shut off outdoor water values, drain hoses, and blow out the sprinklers to prevent water from freezing, expanding, and breaking the pipes.