Top spring home maintenance tips for a swift sale

Clean sweep for spring GTA real estate market home sale

This spring is chilly, but the Toronto real estate market is hot according to recent stats.  “Homes are selling briskly throughout the Greater Toronto area and nearby communities.” says Cliff Iverson, president of the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).  Home sales rose by 5.2% in February 2017 to reach the highest level since April 2016!

That makes this spring the perfect time to get your home ready for a quick and lucrative sale.  Applying our top home maintenance tips will improve your home’s value, appeal and comfort whether you’re looking to sell or just want to enjoy your home at its best.

Check your HVAC systems

Winter is tough on a home’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems and the spring is a good time to make sure they’re in top condition.  Replacing the furnace filter and flushing out the water heater are a good place to start as they’ve been given a good workout over the harsh winter months.  This allows your systems to run more efficiently keeping energy bills lower and prolongs the life of the units.  Check your units manuals for replacement and service schedules and contact a licensed HVAC technician.  Air conditioning units should also be serviced in the spring to avoid your system conking out in the hot summer months due to a lack of maintenance.  These ounces of prevention are worth a pound of your systems reliability!

Improve curb appeal with outdoor maintenance

There is nothing like arriving at a fresh looking, beautiful home after a long workday or to start a weekend.  The early spring is a great time to tackle some outdoor home maintenance projects that will beautify your home for your enjoyment or to get ready for listing.

Make sure gutters and downspouts are clean and unclogged.  It’s important to direct rainwater away from the house and foundation to prevent leaking basements and water damage that can prove costly to homeowners.  Six hundred gallons of water falls on a 1,000 square foot rooftop for every one inch of rainfall!  Make sure soffit and fascia are clean and in good repair.

Clean and re-caulk around windows to prevent drafts and leaks and to improve the heating and cooling efficiency of your home.  Scrape away the old caulking before applying the new.  Remember to clean the siding, too!  Green algae can grow on the north side where there’s little sunlight.  Remove this with a garden hose, detergent, brush and some elbow grease. This freshens and improves the look of your home showing pride of ownership!

Doors, windows, shutters and their trim should be clean and may require a fresh coat of paint.  Clean and shine the knobs and glass, too.  Staining your deck not only protects the wood but also enhances the beauty of your home.

Nothing showcases spring better than budding flowers and a lush green lawn!  This may be as simple as raking the leaves and adding a planter or two of flowers or have a landscaping company come in and take care of it.

Create an interior space that is beautiful, safe and healthy

Safety first!  Test smoke detectors once per month and replace batteries in the spring and again in the fall during the daylight savings time change.  Replace or clean your dryer vent.  Known to be one of the leading causes of home fires, cleaning the dryer vent not only provides safety but improves efficiency of your dryer prolonging the life of your unit.

Check your plumbing!  Having dripping faucets fixed, caulking around the tub and checking all other plumbing in the home for leaks is a great way to prevent larger and more costly problems down the road.  This can be done on your own or contact a licensed plumber for an inspection and quote.

Check the basement floors and walls for signs of water or leaks and do a test run on the sump pump if you have one.

Check to see if the insulation in the attic is right for your climate.  Sections may need to be replaced if there is moisture build up which will allow for proper ventilation.

Clean your home from top to bottom!  Check out our handy Spring Home Cleaning Checklist for a home that sparkles like new.

Having a yard sale is a great way to de-clutter your home after a long winter to either prepare for a home sale or to simply free up some space.  And who doesn’t love to have some extra cash in their pocket?  Consider having a street sale or tie in to your real estate agents seasonal yard sales to boost your chance of success.

Choose a real estate agent who understands the market

Your home is now spotless.  You are ready to list.  Now to select a real estate professional who will help you price your home, market it well and strive to get your asking price or higher and close within a short time.  There are some key things to consider when choosing an agent:

  • Who stands out in your area?  Ask them for references and speak with their recent clients.
  • Check their credentials and find out their areas of expertise.
  • Look at their current listings.  How quickly did they close?  Were any sold over the asking price?
  • Ask about homes for sale nearby.
  • Ask the agent how they will market your home (Brochures, postcard delivery, website/social media, open houses)
  • Do they use a professional photographer/videographer?
  • Are staging services/consultation provided?
  • Find out if the agent provides the services and qualities that matter most to you!

With sales up and listings down in February 2017 (TREB), the hot real estate market makes this spring a perfect time to get your home ready to sell quickly and to expect good returns on your biggest investment.

Home Owner Tips – Keep Your Eavestroughs Clean To Prevent Costly Damage To Your Home

Often homeowners neglect exterior items of their home, like the eavestroughs (gutters) and downpipes. But neglecting them can lead to serious problems with both the home’s interior and exterior. That’s why it is extremely important to keep up annual outdoor maintenance on your home to avoid costly problems later on.

If your roof gutters are too high for you to safely take care of yourself, you can always hire a professional for the job. If it’s something that you feel you can safely do yourself, here are some things to keep in mind when caring for your eavestroughs.

Be sure to clean out your eavestroughs at least twice a year. It is important to do this before the temperature drops below freezing, so remember to schedule this in for the fall and then again in the spring.

The gutters need to be cleared of any debris and make sure the drains to the downpipes are open. Clogged gutters can cause many issues like discolouring your siding or causing leaks inside your home. Even something as simple as leaving rotting leaves in there can rot wood fascia, damage shingles, and break the eavestrough itself.

Safely climb up on a ladder to inspect the eavestroughs and see what debris may be clogging them up. You should wear gloves when clearing them out because of sharp metal bits that could be in there or use a garden hand shovel to get out dirt and leaves and put them into a bag that you can hang on the ladder. Once everything is cleaned out, wash the gutters out with a hose and the water should drain properly down the pipe. You can always install mesh screens or leaf guards to make this job easier in the future. If you can, also open any downpipes that have been crushed at the ground. Another thing to inspect is the eavestrough’s nails and then hammer in any loose ones back into the fascia.

Taking the time to inspect and maintain your home’s eavestroughs will help protect your home from precipitation and help minimize water damage to the outside and inside of your home.
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Home Owner Tips – Do You Need A New Roof?

Keeping a roof over our heads is a basic human need, but many people spend sleepless nights worrying about whether that roof is leaking. How can a homeowner know for certain whether it’s time to replace their roof?

Roofing contractors and home inspectors recommend that you inspect your asphalt-shingled roof twice each year – spring and fall. This can be done at the same time that you clean out your gutters.

Start by grabbing a flashlight and visiting your attic. Look for sagging in the roof deck, signs of water penetration, especially around chimneys or in valleys, dark spots or trails and outside light showing. Also look for mold. If you see any of these telltale signs, your roof needs help.

Now, take a tour of the outside of your house. It’s safer to inspect your roof from the ground rather than using a ladder, unless you have appropriate safety equipment. Look for missing or broken shingles, or curling or cupping shingles. These will show up first on the south-facing side of your roof where the sun beats down. Missing or broken shingles may be storm damage that can be repaired rather than having to replace the entire roof. Check your eavestrough downspouts for any loose granules that have come off your shingles. Once these start to appear, it’s a sure sign that the roof is nearing the end of its lifespan, depending on your area’s weather conditions and the quality of the current shingles.

Look carefully at the flashing around your chimney, vents and any roof valleys. Rusting flashing and cracking sealants can let water penetrate and cause leaks inside your home. This is also a good time to inspect the seals around your windows and doors, as well.

If you see evidence of your roof’s age, it might be time to call a few roofing contractors for some estimates. You need to protect that roof over your head and get a good night’s sleep.

See what’s for sale in your neighbourhood – Do a quick search

Do a Quick Home Market Evaluation and see how much your home is worth.

Thank-you for reading our article about “Do You Need A New Roof?”, contact us if you need anything or leave us a comment below.