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COVID-19 Safety Precautions: Home Buyers & Home Sellers Edition

Tanya LaRose 0 comments 01.05.2020

HOME BUYERS

Home Buyer Strategizing – It is more important that now
than ever to be strategic with your real estate goals and going about them any
way less is foolish. Take the right first step and begin your home buying
journey with a Home Buying Counseling session with Tanya LaRose, REALTOR®.
You will find out exactly what you are looking for, how to get it, and what to expect
along the way.   

Efficient Showing Selection – It is a very dangerous
time to be the looky loo so if you have a tendency to do this, please share it with
your REALTOR®
and they can help you remain focused. Many more media mediums are being incorporated
into listings now so you can view much of the home virtually. When you have selected
homes that require a closer look, ensure they have much of the criteria you are
looking for and therefore are genuinely attractive before you ask your REALTOR®
to schedule the showing.

Perfect Your Finances – The Bank of Canada is taking
strides to strengthen the economy by dropping mortgage rate substantially. Take
advantage of this by asking your mortgage specialist to lock in a rate so your monthly
payments are as low as possible. A mortgage rate can be locked in for up to
three months! Many lenders are also extra meticulous with each files completion
so make sure you have all of your ducks in a row when preparing with your
mortgage broker.    

Protect Yourself During Showings – Gloves, mask, and
hand sanitizer are all tools that you can use to protect yourself and others
during showings. You will also want to avoid touching anything in the home that
you do not need to during the showing. Many homeowners will leave the lights on
and interior doors open for you before they leave and close everything back down
when they return so you do not have to touch anything.

Buyer Client Waiver – The Saskatchewan REALTORS® Association
has taken the initiative to compose a COVID-19 Buyer Client Waiver to do our
part in reducing the spread of the virus. It is a short document that will make
up part of the precautions being practiced by your local real estate industry as
an essential service, in addition to our basic responsibility to humanity.

HOME SELLERS

No Open Houses – The Saskatchewan REALTORS® Association
set national precedent by banning all open houses, therefore it is not optional
to host any open houses for the public or REALTORS®.

Leased Revenue Properties – Remember that currently
the Office of Residential Tenancies (Rentalsman) is not issuing eviction notices
so if you accept an offer outlining possession of a vacant home, you are
accepting a very risky liability.

Tenants During Showings – If you do have a trusted
relationship with your tenants and you proceed with putting your property on
the market, specify with your tenant that they will need to vacate the home
during all showings. Tenants staying home during showings was always frowned
upon but is now unacceptable with the current health concerns as a potential
buyer may refuse to enter the home at all with a tenant present.

Preparing Your Home Before Showings – Before you
leave your home for a scheduled showing, be sure to leave all the lights on,
with all interior doors open, so the contact required by the potential buyer is
minimal. If possible, but not mandatory, you will also want to leave the home for
a extended time period beyond what was scheduled.

Seller Client Waiver – The Saskatchewan REALTORS® Association
has taken the initiative to compose a COVID-19 Seller Client Waiver to do our
part in reducing the spread of the virus. It is a short document that will make
up part of the precautions being practiced by your local real estate industry as
an essential service, in addition to our basic responsibility to humanity.

For more safety precautions and best practices, please contact Tanya LaRose at 306-380-7325 to further discuss details on how you can safely and successfully proceed with your 2020 real estate goals.

10 Productive Homeowner Tasks To Do While Staying Home During The COVID-19 Pandemic

Tanya LaRose 0 comments 01.04.2020

Even if you are not planning on selling your home, you always want to protect your investment and keep it in its best condition. Alternatively, if you plan on selling your home this year, take advantage of the added time you are spending in your home and help it look its best for when the time comes to put it on the market. Many of the following tasks can be done with minimal to no supplies. If supplies are needed, they can be delivered to your home. 

  1. Deep Clean – Many surfaces build up dust and grime easily over time which could make your home a hotbed for germs. Take this time to remove dust from all edges, disinfect all crevices, and remove all grime buildup on fixtures or doors (vinegar works great on doors!).
  2. Replace Batteries – It is always good to ensure the nuts and bolts of your home are running properly. Whether it is on your smoke detector, carbon monoxide detector, alarm system, or thermostat, check those batteries! These items would also be identified in a home inspection.
  3. Replace Filters – Filters are like the lungs of a home. Check your furnace filter, humidifier filter, range hood filter, and any other filters in your home that might need addressing. You may have to just wash some of those filters but be sure to do your research on which ones cannot be washed. 
  4. Check Grout – Tile can often be found in bathrooms and kitchens not only for aesthetics but also functional reasons. You will want to make sure to always repair and clean the grout as it will prolong the life of tiled surfaces and it just looks so much better. 
  5. Check Caulking – You will find the bulk of this in any bathrooms and the kitchen too. Run your finger along the caulking and if you find any open spots, strip and replace. Caulking is very inexpensive but a leak could cause hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in replacements. 
  6. Tighten Up – After a long winter, doorknobs, railings, and racks may be sitting loose. Take out a screwdriver and tighten things up! The entire house should take 15-30 minutes and prevent a full replacement in the future. 
  7. Tape, Mud, And Sand – If you have a few quarter sized dents in your walls that you have been walking by for months, now could be a good time to try your hand at repairing them. Larger sections are not recommended as this project can produce a lot of dust and prompt the need to clean your ducts which is something you would want to avoid right now.
  8. Paint – Whether you are painting a discolored room or just to change the vibe in the room, now is a great time to take on this smaller project as there are many non-toxic paint options available. Many people also find painting therapeutic which would be beneficial during these times of uncertainty. 
  9. Wash Window Treatments – If you have horizontal blinds, it is worth the time and effort to thoroughly clean the dust off of these. If you have drapes, take them down and wash them, you might be surprised at the original color! 
  10. Yard Work – As long as you are still adhering to the physical distancing regulations, feel free to get those yard tools out this spring, just take a break if your neighbor comes out to tackle their yard. Don’t forget your gutters! 

If after this thorough comb-over of your home, you find that it does not suit your needs as much as it once did, contact Tanya LaRose at 306-380-7325. You will receive a free Homeowner’s Counselling Session completed remotely from the comfort of your own home. 

The 7 Most Common Items Needed For Your Mortgage Pre-Approval Appointment

Tanya LaRose 0 comments 02.03.2020

  1. Government Issued Photo ID – Ensure it is not expired and has your current address.
  2. Proof Of Address – You may need your address history, depending on your current living circumstances.
  3. Proof Of Income – T4, pay stubs, child tax, etc.
  4. Contact Information For Your Employer – A longstanding employer is always best but your employment history might be required.
  5. Proof Of Down Payment – It should reflect the exact amount and where it came from (gifts are allowed as well).
  6. Any Outstanding Current Debt – You will need to include all financial obligations and anything that may have damaged/ing your credit.
  7. Proof Of Assets – Other real estate, savings, vehicles, investments, etc.

Disclaimer: Mortgage pre-approvals vary from person-to-person and financial institution-to-financial institution so other items may be needed. It is also important to note that you may get a rejection from one mortgage specialist and an approval from another. Call or text Tanya LaRose at 306-380-7325 for a highly-skilled mortgage specialist contact.

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7 Ways To Control Your Emotions In Order To Successfully Sell Your Home

Tanya LaRose 0 comments 03.02.2020

Selling your home can be a very emotional time in life. Hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of days spent in your home can inevitably build a complex emotional bond that can be difficult to identify and even more difficult to break. Here are some tips on how to get ahead of your emotions so you can successfully get a sold sign on your lawn:

  1. Journal – Buy a $2.00 notebook and dedicate it entirely to your home selling journey. It will allow you to organize your thoughts, reflect upon your progress, and document your successes for the next time you have to sell a home. Not a fan of writing? Start a vlog and post it to YouTube, you may be able to help others facing the same task.
  2. Set Your Intentions – Identify the reason you are selling your home and commit to it as a positive experience. Perhaps you have an incredible new job opportunity that requires you to relocate or you are expecting a new baby and need more bedrooms. Setting the intention for selling your home will provide the fuel required to continue with sale of your home regardless of any obstacles that may arise during the interim.
  3. Keep Yourself Accountable – If you find yourself feeling discouraged often, with a delayed sale or negative feedback from a showing, confide in your real estate agent and use them as a touchstone for staying on track in achieving your goals.
  4. Visualize Your Home As A Stock – Real estate is one of the most popular types of investments in the world, and much like stocks, the value goes up and down. The most successful stock investors buy low and sell high, according to the larger financial situation. Reflect upon your financial situation and remember that sometimes you need to take risks for long-term diversification.
  5. Focus Your Emotions On The Next Home – Distract yourself from your emotional ties to the past and embrace the potential in your next home. How can it better accommodate your new life circumstances? What kind of house warming party can you welcome your friends and family with? Where are the nearest walking-trails for you to explore your new neighborhood?
  6. Objectify Your Home – Think of your home from the perception of a consumer. For example, a product on a grocery store shelf must be presented nicely, priced correctly, and be in front of the right buyer to get sold. It is easier to not allow hurt feelings to influence a potential sale, if a few buyers pass without being attracted to your home, if you think of it from the perception of a consumer who has a variety of variable needs.
  7. Remember Memories Do Not Equal Value – The daughter may have had all of her birthday parties in your kitchen and then went on to get married in your beautifully landscaped backyard but that does not mean the price tag increases by $20,000 more than your neighbour’s house which is almost the exact replica of your home.

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4 Major Problems That Can Happen When Your Home Is Not Properly Sealed

Tanya LaRose 0 comments 01.11.2019

High Energy Bills – The first sign home owners can watch for are unusually high energy bills in the winter. If heat is slipping through doors that have old weather stripping on them, it is only sensible to take the steps for resealing at the doors and any other potential areas that might be losing heat so you can save more money in the long run.

Pest Problem – Regardless if it is an insect issue or something larger like rodents, it is easier to take preventative measures instead of reparative measures. Once the pests have infested the home, it can cost hundreds of dollars to remove them and possibly thousands to repair any damage they may have caused.

Dangerous Radon – Radon is a radioactive, colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas that is present in the vast majority of houses which can be especially dangerous if gas levels are high. It often enters the home through the basement. The best practice is to caulk all cracks in the basement and if there are additional concerns a Home Testing Kit can be purchased for added peace of mind.

Mold Damage – If the humidity in a home is not moderated properly, mold can completely destroy a home. It would be an especially high risk if the home IS properly sealed and the occupants cook and/or shower often without running the fans. Once the mold sets in, it is also a health hazard for the current occupants of the home and a potentially large cost to remediate which would complicate any possible resale.