It’s nothing new that home staging is a wise move. After all, it has the potential to increase the final sales price of your home by 6 to 20 percent. But what you may not realize is that it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg to do it. After all, who needs more expenses when you’re moving? If you’re short on cash but want to speed up your home sale and possibly increase that final dollar amount, here are some budget-friendly home staging tips.


Declutter


The first step to home staging is about as budget-friendly as you can get — because it’s free. Donate or trash items such as clothes, extra furniture, books and knick-knacks – anything that’s not being used or that you no longer need. Go through the pantry and donate canned goods to a local food drive. Sift through piles of random papers and shred and recycle what you don’t need.


Hold a pre-moving sale


Hold a garage sale to get rid of what you won’t be taking with you when you move. Not only will you declutter, you’ll also make some extra cash for other home upgrades. Don’t feel like doing a traditional yard sale? Download OfferUp or another buy-and-sell marketplace app to sell your items.


Borrow from friends


A good rule of thumb with home staging is to furnish and stage every room in your home so that no room is left empty. To save costs, you can borrow furniture from friends and family, or you could split up the furniture in other rooms of your home to round out the less furnished rooms. Borrow the treadmill your sister no longer uses and the weight lifting bench in the garage to transform an empty bedroom into a home gym, or add a desk and cabinet to your guest room to help buyers envision both a guest room or home office in that space.


Consider portable storage


After getting rid of the items you no longer want, it’s time to empty your home of excess furniture items, quirky art, and any personal items that may be distracting to buyers. A portable storage container is a popular cost-effective option because it conveniently combines moving and storage.

Here’s how it works: A driver delivers your storage container to your home to fill at your leisure. Once you’ve loaded the items you’re storing, the driver picks up the container and takes it to a nearby storage facility. When your home is sold, have your container re-delivered to your door, fill it with the rest of your stuff, and ta-da! You’re all ready to move. Some portable storage providers can move your container long-distance. For instance, PODS can move your container to your new home even if it’s across the country, in Hawaii, or in some parts of Canada. A solution such as this that combines moving and storage can help reduce the costs of moving by eliminating the need to rent a storage unit or moving trucks multiple times. Moving long-distance with a container can also be significantly less expensive than using a traditional full-service moving company.


Grab your paint brush


Want to transform your home cheaply? Painting gives you the best bang for your buck if you if you’re looking to give your place a makeover. Light, neutral colors are great for staging. If you’re really tight on cash, opt for touch-ups or pick key walls in high-traffic areas to repaint.


Make tiny upgrades that make a big difference


Make your home feel fresh and new on the cheap with some inexpensive updates to hardware, lighting, and faucets. Even new outlet plate covers, vent covers, and kitchen cabinet hardware can give your place a facelift. You don’t even need to buy anything fancy – just shiny and new.


Decorate on a budget


Some simple décor updates can have a surprisingly effective impact on the way buyers view your home. Replace your old, boldly colored shower curtain with a cheap but tasteful curtain. Cover up stained or old couches and chairs with affordable slipcovers. Add some homey cushions to the living room. Just remember to keep things neutral – it’s not the time to express your unique personality! Save that for your new home.

While redoing your flooring or putting in new kitchen cabinets would be ideal, it doesn’t have to take much money to give your home a makeover and make it appealing to buyers. With a little time and creativity, you can turn your soon-to-be-sold home into a beautiful space and have some fun while you’re at it. Good luck with your move!


This post is intended for informational purposes only and should not be taken as professional advice. The point of view and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of Realty Executives International. This guest post was written by PODS®. PODS® makes moving and storage more convenient and less stressful through its innovative solution of delivering a level container and providing the customer all the time they need to load and unload their container.
Read full post

To maximize your sale price, you need to make sure your house is available to buyers. Even when they want to visit at an inconvenient time with little notice.


Keeping your home show-ready around the clock can be stressful, but we have a few easy tips and tricks to make sure your house always shows its best (even on short notice).


Take care of the Deep Clean before the house hits the market


Before officially listing your house for sale, invest in a deep clean. Taking the time to thoroughly scrub the house before it hits the market will make it much easier to maintain day-to-day throughout the listing period.

And this deep clean goes beyond cleaning. Yes, you want every visible surface to shine, but there are a few more steps to take at this stage to make the house truly show-ready.  


Like decluttering and depersonalizing. Removing all the clutter helps the house to appear larger and more inviting. And removing personal items like family photos and unique collections will help potential buyers to feel more at home in the space. And the more at home they feel, the more likely they are to make an offer!


Squeeze in a quick straightening every morning


To maintain the show-readiness of your house, you just need to spend a little time straightening up each morning.


Stylish storage bins are the perfect tool to make this process quick and painless. Daily life clutter like toiletries, mail, and kids’ toys can be tossed in a bin and instantly hidden from sight.

After that, just run through the house quickly to make sure that:  

  1. Dishes and laundry are put away
  2. The beds are made
  3. Curtains and blinds are open to let in the light
  4. The house smells fresh
  5. Everything is generally in its place

Plan to be away from the house during showings


Buyers generally aren’t able to feel at home when the sellers are present. Give your potential buyers the freedom to relax in the house and imagine themselves living there by staying away from the house during showings.


This includes pets. Many people are afraid of animals. And many others have pet allergies. Even if your potential buyers love animals, your pets may actually hurt your prospects by distracting the buyers when they should be focusing on the house.


Create a plan to get everyone out of the house with little notice. Make a little “go bag” with everything you‘ll need to keep yourself, your kids and your pets away from home for a bit. Maybe do some shopping or enjoy some time at the park while the house is being shown.

 

If you work away from home, you might want to make workday arrangements for kids and pets. Perhaps they could stay with family or go to daycare so you won’t have to leave work to round them up if there’s a short-notice showing.


Keeping your house show-ready 24/7 may require a little extra time and effort. But these tips will minimize the inconvenience and maximize selling potential. Plus any hassle will be worth it when your house fetches top dollar because it shows well!


This post is intended for informational purposes only and should not be taken as professional advice. This post was written by Michelle Clardie. Michelle is a professional real estate blogger, specializing in ghostwriting Realtor® blogs. Her engaging content helps real estate agents become more visible online, generate more qualified leads, and increase their revenues. You can learn more at www.michelleclardie.com.

Read full post

** Article and all content has been written by Winnipeg Realtors and not Kelly Fernandez **



First quarter sales up 6% over 2018
 
WINNIPEG – Spring is a time of optimism, when we cast off winter’s gloomy grip and walk cheerfully into the warm sunshine. This renewal of energy is apparently being reflected in local housing sales for the beginning of 2019 in the Winnipeg METRO Region.
 
First quarter sales are off to a good start. The 2,367 sales transacted in the first three months show a 6% increase over the same period in 2018, and only a 3% dip from the record-setting years of 2016 and 2017. Similar to sales, there is a 6% rise in year-to-date listings with more than 5,400 entered on the MLS®. Dollar volume of close to $700 million is up 7% from 2018.
 
March sales of 1,009 resulted in nearly a 4% gain in comparison to March 2018, while dollar volume of just under $300 million edged out last March by less than 3%. The 4,212 active listings sitting in inventory at the end of March are 8% higher than they were at the same time last year.
 
 “The solid first quarter sales activity is a positive momentum builder going into the busier spring market,” said Kenneth Clark, president of WinnipegREALTORS®. “No interest rate hikes are on the horizon, and buyers know PST relief is coming July 1 with all of the ancillary purchases that go with the purchase of a home.”

March single-family home sales activity was most active in the $300,000 to $349,999 price range and therefore supplanted the next lower price range of $250,000 to $299,999. March 2018 was the exact opposite and by a 45 sales margin. Now more than one in two single-family home sales occur over $300,000. It will be interesting to see if this will become the norm as the year progresses.
 
The shift in sales activity to higher price ranges is a gradual process in a stable market such as Winnipeg’s. Of note in March - when you compare it to last March - are the rural MLS® areas as a whole, which represented 26% of total single-family home sales, and saw its average sale price increase from $315,595 to $323,873. The northeast area of Winnipeg also saw a small bump up in its average sale price to $289,857, and a 17% increase in sales activity. These two developments alone help explain the upward movement in sales activity.
 
Condominiums sales were virtually the same as March 2018 with price range activity nearly a repeat of last year with percentage of sales under $300,000 being at 87% and 86% respectively. The most active price range was from $150,000 to $199,999 though this March captured 35% of total condo sales while March 2018 was less at 27%, owing to more activity in the lower price range from $100,000 to $149,999.
 
The average single family home sales price in March was $326,433, whereas the condominium average sale price recorded was $227,538.
 
“All markets are local and vary within, as illustrated by the difference in property type price range activity such as in single-family homes and condominiums,” said Clark. “The strength of our market is the many affordable choices and options available to buyers, and that will continue in 2019.”
 
Speaking of affordability, RBC’s March 2019 Housing Trends and Affordability Report shows that in both Saskatoon and Winnipeg you are better off owning an average-priced condo apartment than renting a two-bedroom apartment. 
 
The report also indicates Winnipeg’s market is very close to its long-term average aggregate measure of 29.6%, which is the proportion of median pre-tax household income that is required to
service the cost of mortgage payments (principal and interest), property taxes, and utilities based on the average market price of all housing types in any given market. 
 
This year’s federal budget increased the Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP) withdrawal limit from $25,000 to $35,000, and extended the HBP to those going through a marital breakdown so they can use their RRSPs to put towards a down payment on a home. These changes are effective immediately.
 
The federal government will also carefully monitor the federal mortgage stress test, given industry concerns over how these new regulations are unnecessarily creating unintended consequences on housing markets which are in balance - or even struggling - compared to overheated ones. 
 
“Be it changing market conditions within the various property types or new budget measures affecting housing, you should be calling your Realtor to keep abreast of what these changes mean as you try to better understand and navigate the housing market,” said Marina R. James, CEO of WinnipegREALTORS®.
 
Winnipeg’s housing market remains one of the more affordable in Canada, and along with the
recent changes to the HBP and PST, we have much to be optimistic about.
 
Since 1903, WinnipegREALTORS® has assisted its members in achieving high levels of excellence in organized real estate by providing superior tools and services that enhance and build a vibrant real estate industry. Representing over 1,975 REALTORS® and other industry related professions active in the Winnipeg metropolitan area, WinnipegREALTORS® promotes the value of a REALTOR® and organized real estate. WinnipegREALTORS® provides its members with essential market information, professional development sessions, networking opportunities, marketing products, an effective industry voice and strong leadership to further their professional success.
 
The trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Service® and the associated logos are owned by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA. The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS® and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by CREA and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA.
 
For further information, contact Peter Squire at (204) 786-8854. 
Read full post

Spring is finally here, and that means it’s time for spring cleaning!


Here are some spring cleaning and organization tips to help you feel motivated and refreshed at the start of a new season.


List Your Priorities


First thing’s first: you should make a list of your goals and priorities for your home this season. Do you have enough time for a thorough, deep cleaning of your home, or do you instead want to target specific areas and rooms? Do you have a lot of things you need to donate or throw away, or are you focusing more on getting organized? List your spring cleaning priorities in order of importance so you can tackle everything as needed.

Put Away Seasonal Items


Before you start cleaning your home, it can be helpful to first put away the things you don’t need for this season. Set aside all of the winter items in your home so you can organize them and put them away since you won’t be needing them this spring. By putting away seasonal items, you can visualize your home as it will look in the spring without seeing any of the clutter that winter decor and items may have caused.


Do a Once-over of Each Room


As you get ready to clean and organize, you can go through each room one by one, assessing what needs to be done. Chances are, some areas of your home are in need of more TLC than others. As you go through each area, you can throw away anything that you know is garbage, set aside the things you want to donate, and make a more specific note of what needs to be organized.


Clean Larger Appliances and Furniture


Cleaning larger appliances and furniture can often be tiresome and eventful, but you could feel a great sense of accomplishment after you tackle these time-consuming chores. Cleaning the fridge and stove, vacuuming under large items like the sofa and dining table, and giving bulky furniture pieces a good dusting can almost instantly breathe new life into your home. Bonus points if you dust your blinds and have your curtains washed!

Organize Your Fridge, Pantry, and Other Storage Areas


If you want to take spring cleaning as an opportunity to get organized, start with the areas of your home that you frequent the most: your fridge, pantry, and other storage areas. In your kitchen and bathroom, move the items that will spoil or expire sooner toward the front, along with anything you are frequently using. You can also purchase drawer or cabinet organizers so and label your shelves or storage bins to encourage you and your household to continue to keep organized. Organizing the areas you access most often may even inspire you to tackle the areas of your home that you may tend to forget about, or even the ones that may overwhelm you, like your closet.


Don’t Feel Pressured


Finally, don’t let the idea of spring cleaning cause you to feel pressured or overwhelmed. Cleaning and organizing your entire home can often be a stressful task, so it’s important to recognize when you need a break. If spring cleaning is overwhelming to you, tackle each area or item one by one, or recruit a friend to help you in the process. You can even get the whole family involved to make spring cleaning feel less like a chore that you are doing all on your own. Remember that you are in control of your home.


This post is intended for informational purposes only and should not be taken as professional advice. The point of view and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of Realty Executives International. This post was written by Bailee Abell. Bailee Abell is a writer born and raised in California. A graduate of University of California, Santa Barbara, she loves reading classic literature, sipping warm beverages, and visiting theme parks every chance she gets. Find her at baileeabell.com

Read full post