Five Things That Can Sabotage Your Home Sale

Real estate is a world where every detail counts. You never know what a potential buyer may be looking for when they view your home and for that reason, you must ensure a flawless presentation each and every time you show your home. Follow these tips to ensure you are showing your home at its full potential.

Unwelcoming curb appeal

First impressions are critical. When a potential buyer arrives at your home, not only do you need to get them out of the car, you need to wow them into coming in. Messy yards, chipped exterior paint and unpolished landscaping will send buyers in the other direction. Poorly maintained yards generally indicate poorly maintained properties.

Un-finished touches

Never show a home that is not ready to be seen. Gutters must be free of debris, walls should be freshly painted and all repairs completed.  Homes should be exceptionally clean and free of dust and clutter. Take pride in your home. Show it at its absolute best so you can sell it for its full potential.

Smell

Unpleasant odours are one of the biggest turn-offs in home sales and can be responsible for either subconsciously or blatantly deterring potential buyers. Tobacco smoke, pet dander and food rank as the most offensive odours and cannot be masked with candles or spray perfumes. Odour trouble often calls for replacing carpeting, repainting walls, or hiring a professional.

Excessive personality

The saying is true. A little goes a long way. Potential buyers need to envision their families living in the home so you want to ensure your style does not prevent this. When staging your home, opt for neutral colours and remove personal items.

Know the market

Be realistic about your selling price to maximize your number of potential buyers. Home prices are dictated by the season, neighbourhood and market demand.

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Make The Most Of The Fall Season In Picturesque Aurora

Kirby Chan Fall

 

Set amongst the rolling hills of the Oak Ridges Moraine, Aurora is one of those idyllic communities that has managed to maintain its small-town charm over the years while expanding to offer residents convenient urban amenities.

Fall is the perfect time to explore this quaint community, ideally located just 40 minutes from downtown Toronto. The town offers 615 acres of parkland and over 25 kilometres of pedestrian trails. Sheppard’s Bush Conservation Area is a great place to enjoy a hike or bicycle ride while taking in the brilliant fall colours. There is a three-kilometre trail, picnic area and the historic Sheppard House.

The town’s carefully preserved downtown includes many eclectic shops, restaurants and the Aurora Cultural Centre. Recognized as a premier heritage community, Aurora was the 2008-2009 winner of the Prince of Wales Prize for its commitment to the preservation of its built heritage. The Aurora Historical Society offers details on a walking tour of the town, passing attractions like Hillary House, the Methodist Parsonage (the childhood home of Lester B. Pearson) and The Old Post Office, which also houses the town clock.

The Aurora Farmer’s Market and Artisan’s Fair runs every Saturday until October 26 in Town Park on Wells Street. You’ll find produce supplied by local farmers, fresh meat, pottery, beeswax and soy candles, collectibles, fresh flowers and more. Be sure to bring your appetite because the market has earned quite a reputation for its culinary delights. A visit offers the perfect snapshot of everyday life in Aurora.

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Furnace Preparation Tips For Winter

Furnace

Temperatures are falling and soon we’ll be turning on the furnace to take the chill out of those autumn nights. To prep your furnace for the season ahead, take a few simple steps to ensure that you protect your indoor air quality and keep your furnace running at its most efficient.

Book your annual furnace cleaning. If you have a furnace protection plan, an annual cleaning might be included, so it’s worth checking. Professional furnace inspectors are a worthwhile investment. Natural gas or oil-fired furnaces are complex pieces of equipment and should be professionally inspected and cleaned annually to ensure no dangerous gases are leaking into your home.

Change or clean the furnace filter. Keeping the filter clean will help your furnace run at peak efficiency. You may also want to vacuum out the vents and cold air returns. Once you turn the furnace on, all the dust and pet hair that accumulated in the vents will be blown into the air.

Inspect the area around your furnace. Make sure the furnace has space to breathe and keep all combustibles a safe distance away.

Now is a great time to check out programmable thermostats. These handy devices can save you hundreds of dollars over the heating season by allowing you to program different temperatures to set your furnace at different times of the day. If you’re out of the house weekdays, set the temperature a few degrees lower. When you get home, the thermostat program will already have raised the temperature to your preset comfort level. At night, you may want to set the temperature a little lower as well, keeping the house cooler while your snuggled under blankets. Many hydro providers offer deals for these devices. Hydro One, for example, offers money-saving coupons. Visit www.hydroone.com/MyHome/SaveEnergy/Pages/Coupons.aspx for more information.

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The Benefits Of Selling Your Home In The Fall

Selling in Fall

Timing is everything when it comes to home sales, especially in Canada where changing climates and seasons often dictate market fluctuations. Deciding to sell your home during the cool fall season can create hidden benefits to your sale and help ensure you get top dollar for your property.

Curb Appeal

Often regarded as one of the most important details when showing your home, the fall season is a great time to make the most of your curb appeal with well maintained lawns and polished landscaping. As the season cools, neighbours often invest less time in their yard work. Using this to your advantage your perfectly maintained property is sure to stand out on the block.

Cool fall weather is also the perfect time to finish do-it-yourself projects, repaint window coverings and garages, stain the decks and repave driveways.

Appeal to the season and plant bold fall colours. Selling a home is much like selling an image.

More time to dedicate to the sale

Selling your home can be a lengthy process; attracting buyers, arranging meetings and drawing up offers to complete the sale takes a lot of time.

Fall schedules usually see people home from vacation and back into scheduled routines. This applies to both sellers and buyers. It can also apply to professional inspectors, appraisers and notaries you may need to hire to complete your sale. Back to their scheduled routines means they are able to complete work more quickly.

Serious Buyers

Fall buyers are serious buyers. Often new home owners, retirees and people moving for career changes, these buyers are well researched and ready to commit to the sale.

As winter gets closer, most buyers want to ensure they are comfortably moved into their new home before the holidays and the stormy weather begins.

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Gardening In Fall Helps Us Prepare For Beautiful Gardens Next Spring

According to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, fall is the best time to put our creative energy into improving our gardens to enjoy the following spring.

Whether you are moving existing plants or beginning from scratch, start by mapping out the dimensions of the space you are designing making sure to note the amount of sunlight the area gets daily and the soil type: sandy, clay or loam.

Clay is nutrient rich, but drains slowly. Sandy soil drains quickly but has trouble retaining nutrients and moisture. Loamy soil is generally ideal because it retains moisture and nutrients and doesn’t stay soggy. Knowing the soil type will help you figure out the type of plants that will grow best in it.

For inspiration, fill a scrapbook with ideas seen in magazines and around the neighbourhood for a visual guide.

In designing which plants will go where, begin by placing the largest ones (trees and shrubs) first, noting their height and width at maturity. That information is typically available on the tags in the nursery. You don’t want to crowd such centrepieces with perennials that will have to be moved later.

Also, work from the back and move outward for the same reasons. This way, larger pieces become the backdrop and smaller ones placed in front won’t be obscured. Avoid putting large trees and shrubs up against the house where they will eventually block windows and light coming into your home. At the same time, large additions to your garden can hide unsightly parts of your home.

Your eventual piece de resistance is sure to be the envy of the neighbourhood.

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Give Neutral Shades A Try

Neutral colour may seem an oxymoron but think again.

These are shades that are happy to take a back seat to a room’s contents. Neutrals do more than quietly stand in the background to let the show-offs next to them take centre stage; they anchor a room, create a mood and complement a busy pattern.

Taking their inspiration from nature, neutral colours are earth tones from the deepest browns to the palest grays, and even blues, blacks muted reds, subdued greens and soft yellows. Consider blue skies, night skies and the seas below, a mountain range, a farmer’s field or setting sun. With all of this variety, neutrals are anything but boring. It’s only when neutrals are left to stand on their own, without any complementary patterns or textures that they become dull.

Neutrals are the get-along colours, layering well together and allowing texture to fill a room and create more interest.

To create a simple peaceful home, the best bet would be to use off-white or beiges as paint colour or among dominant furniture. These give a calming effect to the room.

Or, give your home a warm comforting rustic feel by using dark neutrals, such as shades of brown, rust and black.

Colourful fabrics, area rugs, artwork, vases, lampshades and pillows should draw some of their influence from the neutral colour in the room

But be aware that neutral colours do have undertones or second shades to them. These undertones can be pink, tan, gold, yellow, blue or even peach. It’s important to know because it can make your accessories sing or turn them tone deaf.

To make it work, think in contrasts, like warm versus cool or textured versus polished or light versus dark. For example, a burlap chair will pair well with a polished steel, glass or dark wood table. Throw on a deep red or blue tablecloth and it thanks to the neutrals, they unify, instead of compete with the trio.

After all, if Mother Nature can make a bevy of neutral colours co-operate as a noticeable backdrop to some of her more spectacular displays, surely we can do the same at home.

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