5 HOME RENOVATION PROJECTS TO TAKE ON THIS SUMMER

Fri, 19 May by realtyexecutivesnw

Whether you want to update your home, customize it, or integrate smart technology into your design, you can’t go wrong these high-value home renovation projects:

1. Remodel your kitchen

Kitchen renovations are the most common remodeling projects being undertaken right now, with 81% of remodelers working on kitchens and 80% on bathrooms, according to the National Association of Home Builders.

On average, a minor kitchen remodel costs $20,830, with homeowners recouping 80.2% of the cost at the time of sale. Major kitchen remodels average $62,158, with a significantly lower resale value of $40,560 (65.3% of the cost).

Before you dive into your renovations, award-winning interior designer Kerrie Kelly suggests taking the time to consider the kitchen work triangle – the space between your sink, range and refrigerator.

“Any homeowner can create a safe and enjoyable kitchen space with a work triangle that plays well both functionally and fashionably,” says Kelly, adding that key concepts to take into account during the design phase include lighting, traffic patterns, work surfaces, storage and streamlining.

“By knowing the tips and tricks designers use to enhance the functionality of the kitchen triangle, you can create your ideal kitchen without limiting its visual allure or practicality,” she adds.

2.Upgrade your bathroom

Bathroom remodels cost $18,546 on average, with homeowners typically replacing fixtures and surrounding tiles, shower controls, the toilet, sink and vanity, cabinets and vinyl wallpaper. Upgrading a bathroom to a more accessible universal design (e.g. widening the doorway, adding grab bars etc.) costs slightly less at $15,730. In both cases, homeowners may recover 64.8% of the job cost when they sell.

Regardless of your design, toilet placement is an important but often overlooked aspect of a good bathroom layout, according to Kelly.

“The toilet can be considered the ‘problem child’ of the bathroom because of its unwavering ability to impact all the other design elements, like whether or not a larger vanity can be accommodated or if certain plumbing can be shifted around,” explains Kelly.

And since it’s rarely economical to move existing toilets, Kelly recommends smart fixes like building a separate water closet within your bathroom to keep it out of line of sight, or opting for an in-wall toilet to provide extra space.

3.Add extra rooms to your home

Room additions can be costly, ranging from $43,232 for an extra bathroom, to $176,108 for a two-story addition. However, up to 71.1% of these costs can be recovered, depending on the nature and design of the renovation.
PROJECT                          JOB COST               RESALE VALUE               COST RECOUPED
Master suite addition              $119,533                         $77,506                                    64.8%
Family room addition             $89,566                          $62,055                                    69.3%
Bathroom addition                  $43,232                          $23,283                                    53.9%
Two-story addition                $176,108                          $125,222                                   71.1%

 

One of the biggest mistakes that Voitek Klimczyk, owner of SimplyAdditions.com, warns homeowners against when they take on home addition projects is buying into trends.

“Every day, new materials and the latest gadgets for a remodeling project or room addition come to a store near you. But unless it’s a tried and true classic, then you may want to avoid it,” he cautions.

If you’re looking at home and design trends for inspiration, be sure to consider the functionality and resale value of these solutions as well.

4.Replace your windows and doors

Replacing your front door has the second-highest return on investment when compared to other remodeling projects. According to Remodeling’s 2017 Cost vs Value Report, homeowners who spent an average of $1,413 recouped 90.7% of the cost. Garage door replacement jobs recovered 76.9% of the cost, while upscale window replacement projects recovered 73.9% and 73% for vinyl windows and wood windows, respectively.

In addition to improving curb appeal, upgrading windows and doors typically makes homes more energy efficient, which you can finance with the help of provincial credits and grants if you live in Canada, and local, state or federal tax credit programs if you live in the United States.

5.Finish your basement

If you’re looking for a cost-effective way to add extra living space to your home, a basement remodel can offer a 70% return on investment, in addition to being a flexible space as far as functionality. Whether you convert it into a rental unit, home gym, or multi-functional living space for the whole family, home improvement expert Alex Pascal says that you should factor soundproofing into your plans.

“You should soundproof your basement, not only because you’re going to turn it into a studio or an entertainment hub. But most of the house’s mechanical systems are underground and near your basement,” Pascal insists.

6 Renovations that can add value to your home

What home renovation projects are you taking on this summer?

IS IT WORTH BUYING A VACATION HOME?

Fri, 12 May by realtyexecutivesnw

Does owning a vacation home make sense in today’s market? Or is this a practice of a bygone era?

Vacation homes as investment properties

According to a consumer trend report, three out of every 20 vacation accommodations are now booked at private vacation homes. And vacation rental platform HomeAway found that 54 percent of their users were able to cover at least three quarters of their mortgage with profits from renting.

Many homeowners seem to have found a middle ground and are turning their vacation homes into investment properties. From Airbnb to VRBO, there are several different platforms where homeowners can make extra money by renting out first or second homes.

Using a vacation home as an investment opportunity also offers up several tax benefits, including writing off expenses in your home as business-related while still having a place to stay during your own vacationing every year.

“You can donate a weekend at your vacation home for a school fundraiser,” suggests property manager and real estate investor Sabrina Robinson. “Additionally if you rent it out to cover costs, you can write off all of the expenses of the home.”

It won’t be a walk in the park

Tim Touchette, owner and CEO of Attache Corporate Housing, says that making money off of a vacation property can be tricky. “It’s hard to use a vacation property and still make money on it, because it’s typically most desirable during the peak season, which eats away at your income if you use it during that time,” he explains.

Once you purchase a home in particular location, it can also feel like “you’re cheating on your vacation home” if you travel to a different location, according to Touchette.

Through his more than 15 years of rental experience, he’s also found that many times, visits to the vacation home can turn into fix-it expeditions rather than relaxing experiences, suggesting that a management company might be the best way to mitigate those experiences.

Robinson echoes this sentiment, adding that purchasing a condo is the best way to have someone taking care of the outdoor maintenance as well.

Finding a vacation home

According to the National Association of REALTORS®, financial market volatility and tightening inventory are making vacation homes harder to come by. “With fewer bargain-priced properties to choose from and a growing number of traditional buyers, finding a home for vacation purposes became more difficult and less affordable last year,” said economist Lawrence Yun. Finding an affordable home that meets your needs could be a lengthy process depending on the local housing market, but if you’re working with a real estate agent they’ll likely be doing all of the heavy lifting for you.

NAR also noted that 18 percent of vacation property buyers plan to use the home for future retirement. So, if you plan to incorporate this purchase into your retirement plan, your future needs should be considered while hunting for your second home.

Vacation homes have evolved from a more permanent home during a holiday season, to a profitable investment and future retirement housing. If you can leverage your finances to take advantage of the benefits of owning a vacation home, then yes, it does seem worth it.

IS BUYING A STARTER HOME A GOOD IDEA?

Fri, 05 May by realtyexecutivesnw

Is it worth buying a starter home? Or should you be prioritizing your long-term needs and searching for a “forever home” instead? Here are some things to consider before you take the homeownership leap:

What’s your budget?

Calculating how much home you can afford is the first step in deciding what type of home is best suited for you.

“Starter homes typically have a lower home price value, meaning your down payment will likely be less than that of a forever home,” says Ray Rodriguez, regional mortgage sales manager at TD Bank.

Can you afford the down payment on a forever home? If yes, proceed to the next question. If no and you do plan to buy a starter home, keep in mind that sticking to your budget when you’re shopping for a house will determine the difference between your home being an investment or a financial leak.

“Buying too much home can decrease your savings and deplete your investments. It can also cut into how much you have left to save, invest and use to enjoy other aspects of your life,” says financial planner Louis Scatigna.

However, keeping your starter home small and affordable, and limiting any improvements that you make to renovations that will increase your return on investment will tip the scale in your favor.

Buying an affordable home also gives you the ability to get a shorter-term mortgage, which means less money spent on interest in the long term.

What’s your long-term plan?

Do you plan to sell the home for a profit in a few years? Or keep it as an investment property to rent out when you’re ready to move onto something bigger?

If you plan to live in the home for less than five years, the closing costs may offset any profit that you make with the sale. And because you just pay off the interest on your mortgage for the first few years, you could end up building very little equity if you move too early in the lifespan of the loan.

“During the first half of a 30-year fixed-rate loan, most of the monthly payment goes to paying down interest, with very little principal actually paid off. Towards the last 15 years of the loan you will begin to pay off a greater amount of principal, until the monthly payment is largely principal, and very little interest,” says mortgage loan expert Colin Robertson.

Ultimately, your end-goal should be written into your master plan to reduce risk and minimize financial loss.

What are your homeownership goals?

Are you looking for a home or an investment? Do your short-term housing needs outweigh your long-term needs? Once you’ve fleshed out your home-buying goals, discuss your needs with your real estate agent to get a better idea of what your options are. Your agent may have information and insights on the local housing market that could affect your decision.

WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO DISCLOSE WHEN SELLING YOUR HOME?

Fri, 28 Apr by realtyexecutivesnw

 

Legally, what are you required to disclose to buyers when you put your home on the market? Just major problems or current issues, or do you have to disclose past repairs as well? We posed this question to real estate lawyers in Canada and the U.S., and this is what they said:

Disclose all known issues

Andrew Cao, a real estate lawyer with Edmonton law firm KBL Law LLP, says that it’s in your best interest to disclose all known issues, even if they have been repaired.

“I’ve found that many buyers, if they like the home enough, will simply accept the issues that exist. Even if a seller does have to lower the price or repair the defect (I recommend the former versus the latter), this cost will likely be far less expensive, stressful, and faster than going through years of potential litigation,” he says.

Real estate attorney Heather Anderson of Miller Anderson Lay Group LLC also recommends full disclosure.

“It’s critical, especially for sellers who have lived many years in a property, to recall the details about leaks and other problems they encountered while living in the home,” she advises. “If it’s disclosed and the buyer proceeds, then she did so with full disclosure. If it is withheld and there is a later issue, then the buyer will claim fraud, misrepresentation and/or concealment.”

State and regional laws

“In Tennessee, most sellers are required to complete a specific disclosure form which asks a wide variety of questions about the home for sale, from past water intrusions to the condition of the roof to whether there is a homeowner’s association/dues,” explains Anderson.

In America, real estate disclosures differ by state, although the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992 is applicable to all residents. Under the Act, sellers have to disclose the presence of lead-based paint or lead-based paint hazards in homes built before 1978.

In Canada, Property Disclosure Statements (PDS) and Seller Property Information Statements (SPIS) are commonly used and often included in standard real estate contracts, but they are not required by law.

“In Alberta, the common law generally features the concept of caveat emptor or ‘buyer beware.’ Unfortunately for sellers, there are ways around this for a buyer that a seller/selling realtor must be cognizant of when listing a property or accepting an offer,” says Cao.

Be sure to check with your real estate agent and/or lawyer to ensure that you are in compliance with the law.

You can be held liable for failure to disclose

“One of my clients allowed her new husband to complete the disclosure form, and he was unaware of a prior incident of water intrusion, thus it was not disclosed. Shortly after the sale of the home, the husband died and my client was faced with a lawsuit for failure to disclose. If your agent is experienced, he can give you advice on what should be disclosed or not,” says Anderson.

Anderson notes that the common mistakes that result in legal action include dismissing defects as insignificant or not disclosing prior issues because they have since been repaired.

“Let the buyer decide whether she wants to have her own expert confirm the repairs were correct and there are no outstanding or lingering issues with the repair,” she adds.

Cao suggests going through your property from “top to bottom, inside, and out, and identifying all issues with the property no matter how big or small to determine if these issues should be disclosed.”

FEATURES THAT PET OWNERS SHOULD LOOK FOR WHEN HOUSE-HUNTING

Fri, 17 Mar by realtyexecutivesnw

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According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, there are 70-80 million dogs and 74-96 million cats in the United States. And the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association reports that approximately 35-38% of Canadian households have a dog or a cat. So, it’s no surprise that home designers and builders often plan homes with pet amenities in mind.

“It’s not just a matter of being pet-friendly, but rather a question of giving your pets environmental enrichment,” say The Cat’s House authors Bob Walker and Frances Mooney. Here are some pet environmental enrichment features to look out for:

Private spaces and play areas

As you walk through the home, take note of private areas that can be used to house a cat litter box. Rooms or nooks that are accessible to your cat but still isolated enough that odor won’t be an issue are ideal. And look for other areas around the house that can also be used for cat trees, shelves and roaming space.

For dog owners, private spaces will also be ideal for bed placement, and smart storage of toys and food.

Finally, look out for a laundry room with an industrial sink or a second bathroom that can double as a built-in dog wash.

Flooring

Homes with flooring and surfaces made out of pet-resistant materials such as concrete or porcelain tile are ideal, however, you can always update this yourself if necessary. The Animal Behavior College also recommends stone, vinyl, laminate or cork, noting that durable and milder-resistant designs are best.

And as an added benefit, Cesar’s Way notes that “hard floors are preferable to carpet [because they] can provide a cool spot for your dog to lie on on hot days.”

Outdoors

A large backyard with space to run, play and dig is ideal for dog owners, although once again this isn’t a deal breaker if the home is near a dog park or in a walkable neighborhood. Similarly, a yard with a desert landscape or sparse greenery can be converted into a more pet-friendly area with a water feature, grass and shade.

Fencing is important for both cat and dog owners, and if you have an outdoor cat, consider walls that they can walk along over wire fencing.

Other things to consider:

-If the home has a pool or hot tub, is it fenced off?
-Is there a proper storage area for yard care items?

What about the neighborhood?

Consider the neighborhood as a whole while you’re looking for homes. Does it have sidewalks and is it easily walkable? Is there a nearby park and if so, does it have dog waste stations?

Walk around the neighborhood to see how the other animals are. Are they friendly, or do the dogs bark when they see you? Talk to any pet owners you encounter and ask them how they find the area. And the presence of local vets and groomers in the area is also a good sign and indicator that you’re in a pet-friendly neighborhood.

Finally, talk to your real estate agent and be frank about your needs. This should help him or her better identify potential homes with all of the key features discussed above.

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5 SMART GARDENING TIPS FROM THE EXPERTS

Fri, 10 Mar by realtyexecutivesnw

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Whether you have an indoor garden or large backyard, smart gardening will help you save time, money, and design the best possible garden for your environment.

We reached out to gardening experts for their best gardening tips:

1. Choose the right plants

Landscape architect Jessyca Frederick, who is also the founder and CEO of Water Wise Now, recommends selecting plants native to your region:

These plants prefer your soil and weather just the way it is. This means you don’t need to amend the soil texture or drainage, provide additional nutrients, and rarely will you need additional water. You still need to pay attention to microclimate, but this is usually easy to research.

“Native gardens are also wildlife gardens. They’ll attract the birds and butterflies so coveted by many gardeners. Plant milkweed and you’ll get monarchs.”

2. Know your fertilizer

Bryan Clayton, CEO of GreenPal says fertilizer is an important consideration:

One of the biggest misconceptions gardeners and yard enthusiasts don’t know about is what the numbers on the outside of the bag of fertilizer mean.

The numbers you see on the bag or a percent of the content that is concluded in the bag in this order: nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. In most cases, a homeowner can go with a balanced fertilizer such as a 15-15-15 and will be okay.

Especially during the spring and summer months, the grass has stressful conditions to deal with. So, applying a more expensive potassium now can prevent problems from developing or continuing.

3. Make use of your windows

Michelle Polk, blogger at Houseplant Girl says you should take stock of your windows:

Which directions do they face? Do you have mostly south or north facing windows? What you want to do is get to know your home and understand that plants need the right placement in order to succeed. Some plants need more light, some plants need less light, some plants love neglect.

“Getting to know your specific layout is necessary for a great indoor garden. The rest will follow suit.”

4. You can’t go wrong with herbs

Ostap Bosak, manager of Marquis Gardens, says herbs are a great option for indoor spaces:

They are less fussy and work well in indirect light. I like to plant them in separate containers as they generally have different growing rates and this prevents one plant from overtaking the other in a mixed planter.

5. For gardeners with brown thumbs

Rather than learn all about different plant preferences and build an environment suited to each plant in your garden, Frederick suggests selecting “bullet proof” plants:

These are plants that are difficult to kill; they’re very tolerant of less-than-desirable conditions and are low-maintenance. These gardens will look “nice” most of the time, but will not necessarily be exciting or showy.

What are your tried and tested gardening tips? Tell us in the comments section below.

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HOW LONG WILL YOUR HOME AND EVERYTHING IN IT LAST? (INFOGRAPHIC)

Fri, 03 Mar by realtyexecutivesnw

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A well-constructed home can last for hundreds of years. But maintenance, climate and home innovation can all impact how long the components of that home stay useful. However, eventually things wear out, so with help from the National Association of Home Builders we’re going room-by-room to tell you how much time you have before you’ll have to replace different parts of your home.

Exterior

Expect the doors that lead to the front or back of your home to last 20 to 40 years due to their exposure to weather conditions and heavy daily use. “With regards to climate, humid, wet environments, or worse, salty humid environments tend to take a toll on housing and components,” says Jessica Boudreaux of Boudreaux Design Studio. “Any sign of disrepair, such as pooling water, a leak, or warped wood, should be addressed quickly. The longer they sit, the more expensive they are to repair.”

Living rooms and dens

Chimneys and fireplaces are constructed with durability in mind, so the brick or concrete used for these features commonly last for a century. Windows can last between 15 and 30 years, for aluminum or wooden windows respectively.

Kitchen

Kitchen sinks and cabinetry can last up to 50 years, while faucets are functional for up to 15 years. However, this varies depending on the materials used. For example, rock kitchen cabinets are expected to last as long as your home.

Appliance lifespans are harder to nail down. In general, technological advancements and a wide variety of use between homes means appliances tend to get replaced before they are worn out. However, major home appliances tend to last around a decade, including gas ranges (15 years), refrigerators (13 years), and microwaves and dishwashers (9 years).

John Bodrozic, co-founder of home maintenance tracking app HomeZada, notes that you can extend the life of appliances and other items by developing a home maintenance schedule. “Staying on top of preventative maintenance tasks not only preserves the life of the home’s materials, it can also reduce the monthly energy bills by keeping things running as efficiently as possible, and keep the home running in a safe and healthy manner,” he says.

Screen Shot 2017-03-03 at 2.01.44 PMSources: National Association of Home Builders and Remodeling 2017 Cost vs. Value Report

Bathroom

Bathroom sinks are similar to kitchen sinks in their lifespan, you might need a new one every 50 years. The same goes for any enclosures around your shower. Showerheads, however, should not need replacing at all if properly maintained.

Whirlpool tubs can last up to 50 years, but they will need to be checked (along with any glass shower doors) at the 20-year mark. Medicine cabinets should be checked at this time as well.

As for toilets, the tank and bowl can get porcelain cracks but should last a lifetime, whereas the components inside the tank will need maintenance to remain in order.

Laundry room

The cabinetry in the laundry room is also built for the long-term. Expect 100 or more years of life out of those installations. Washers and dryers are much like dishwashers, though, with an average lifespan of nine years.

Garage

A place for storage as much as it is for cars, garage cabinetry is an important part of a home. Cabinetry designed to hold power tools, gardening mulch, sporting equipment and a variety of other useful items will carry you far past your mortgage length: 100 years.

Check openers every 15 years or so, around the same time you check your furnaces and water heaters, too.

Electrical and foundation

Check once a decade on any and all electrical fixtures in the home. Make sure that along with routine maintenance, the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system in your home gets changed every 15 to 25 years.

As for the foundation, it should be solid as a rock if the right homebuilder was involved. But check for any termite infestations or damage from water pooling to ensure the walls and foundation stay solid.

HOW MARCH MADNESS CAN HELP YOU FIND THE PERFECT HOME

Fri, 24 Feb by realtyexecutivesnw

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Every year during March Madness we’re completely engrossed in the NCAA’s giant 63-game basketball tournament, analyzing every piece of data to make sure our final picks are perfect. But how can we apply this data-driven thinking to house hunting and perfect both picking a bracket and finding a home?

Here are five things to consider:

1. Beware of Cinderella story teams

There are always Cinderella stories in the rush of March Madness, but typically lower ranking teams don’t beat top seeded teams in the tournament. The same could go for home prices that seem too good to be true. A slight fixer upper in a nice neighborhood could end up being the perfect home long-term, while a home that’s two-thirds of the market value could be in desperate need of renovation. And on average, renovations take longer and cost more than most homeowners expect, so what looks like a good deal could end up costing you more.

2. Top seeded teams are like great neighborhoods

If it seems like the same teams compete every year, it’s because they do. Kansas has been in the tournament 27 consecutive times, Duke 21 times, and Michigan 19 times. Good teams don’t rise to the top because they’re lucky, they work hard and a great deal of investment goes into them. The same can be said for great neighborhoods – popular zip codes are always in-demand because they offer the best combination of amenities and accessibility, although there are always up and coming areas of town.

3. Data is a helpful guide

Despite having access to statistics like adjusted defensive efficiency and points per possession to help narrow down the field, crafting the perfect bracket is difficult. It’s important to do the proper homework before selecting a dream team – or a dream home. Taking advantage of tools like mortgage calculators to determine how much home you can afford will put you in a better position when it comes to strategic decision-making.

4. Don’t always choose the home team just because it’s familiar

Analysts at Bracket Voodoo say that “homer bias” or selecting your alma mater purely for sentimental reasons is a common error. The same goes for homes. Nostalgia and familiarity may attract you to certain locales, but don’t count out up-and-coming neighborhoods during your home search. Think of Oakland, California or Brooklyn, New York, neighborhoods whose reputations have changed; concentrate your search in the hot neighborhoods of the future.

5. Generally, follow that gut instinct

According to The Book of Odds, “You are 18 times more likely to be killed by a waterspout than to forecast an entire 63-game tournament accurately.” So, after all the data mining and online research is done, remember that your gut feeling is there for a reason. Whether it’s the fact that a certain team always folds under pressure, or that the undeveloped lot next to that well-priced dream neighborhood could be developed into something less than desirable, it’s never a bad idea to listen to your gut instinct, even if the data says otherwise.

WHO DO WORK WITH WHEN BUYING OR SELLING YOUR HOME?

Fri, 17 Feb by realtyexecutivesnw

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What’s the difference between a real estate agent and a REALTOR®? Or a buyer’s agent and a listing agent? Having a glossary of real estate professionals to refer to as you navigate the home buying or selling process should come in handy.

Here’s a list of professionals that you’re likely to encounter:

Appraiser

An appraiser or assessor provides an objective estimated value of a piece of land or property, based on computations performed on market statistics and area information. Professional real estate appraisers are usually certified or licensed, and are typically required for transactions that are being financed.

Attorney

A lawyer with specialized knowledge of the industry who is trained to help facilitate real estate transactions, including the buying, selling or leasing of property, land or natural resources. Real estate lawyers ensure that the letter and spirit of the law is followed, protecting the rights of their clients, while being held to the strictest ethical standards. Lawyers are not legally required in all states or provinces, with escrow officers often being used during closing instead. However, in cases with unusual terms or stipulations, seeking legal advice is recommended.

Buyer’s agent

A real estate agent who represents buyers when they purchase a home, both advocating for and guiding them through the homebuying process. Exclusive buyer’s agents do not accept sellers’ listings.

How much personal information do you need to reveal when buying a home?

Home inspector

Home inspectors perform safety and functional inspections of homes (and other pieces of real estate) to determine their condition and document any issues or areas in need of repair. Home inspectors are usually certified by governing bodies such as the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, with technical requirements differing by region.

Home stager

Professional home stagers help prepare homes for sale, editing them to accentuate their appeal and possibilities when viewed by potential buyers. Home stagers also assist with the exterior appearance of homes to enhance curb-appeal.

Listing agent

Sometimes referred to as seller’s agents, these real estate agents represent the seller during the homebuying process.

Loan officer

Loan officers serve as intermediaries between creditors and borrowers, evaluating and recommending loan applications for approval. They are also referred to as mortgage loan originators.

Real estate agent

Licensed real estate professionals who represent buyers and/or sellers during real estate transactions.

Real estate broker

Licensed real estate professionals who have pursued education beyond the agent level, obtaining a broker’s license that allows them to operate a brokerage or real estate firm.

Real estate associate broker

Real estate broker who works for or under another broker.

REALTOR®

Real estate professionals who are members of the National Association of REALTORS® or the Canadian Real Estate Association. These professional associations require REALTORS® to adhere to a strict code of standards and ethics, on which their membership is dependent.

Seller’s agent

Sometimes referred to as buyer’s agents, these real estate agents represent buyers during the homebuying process.

Title company representative

Review titles to pieces of real estate to ensure that they are legitimate and fit for transfer. Title representatives also issue title insurance once the title is found to be valid.

Find more real estate terms: Easy as A, B, C

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THE BEST TIME OF YEAR TO SELL YOUR HOME

Fri, 10 Feb by realtyexecutivesnw

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Selecting the best time to sell your home could be the difference between taking a loss and getting the highest return on your investment. But when is the best time to list your home?

When the weather is nice

According to a study by Zillow, May is the best time for sellers in the U.S. to list their homes. Market research indicates that homes listed between May 1-15 sell 18.5 days faster than average listings, also selling for 1% more, which translates into an extra $1,700.

“The reason is because inventory being so tight, a lot of homebuyers are having to put in multiple offers. That is extending the length of the homebuying season, such that a lot of times later on in the season people are more eager to buy the house because they have been frustrated with earlier offers, and they are paying a little bit more money,” says Zillow Group’s Chief Economist Stan Humphries.

Experts also suggest that more people go out to shop for homes when the weather is nice, starting in spring and continuing through the summer, which also allows them to take advantage of school holidays and vacations in an effort to minimize disruption to their lives.

What about Canada?

In Canada, spring heading into mid-fall is considered the best-selling season for similar reasons to those listed above. Shoppers want to get moved and settled before the school season, and fair weather with longer days and daylight is optimal for showings.

“It’s also usually easier to get your home ready for sale at this time of year — from painting inside or out, to the simple ability to keep the house cleaner without the winter muck being traipsed throughout every time someone walks through the front door,” notes Sarah Daniels, co-host of TV show Urban Suburban.

However, she adds that properties like townhomes and condominiums sell well throughout the year because they are typically snapped up by first-time homeowners or buyers who don’t have children.

“Often these buyers are not faced with the constraints of school catchments, and are much more interested in amenities like underground parking, recreation facilities and the nearest coffee shop. These buyers are happy to shop at any time of year, so sales will often be a bit steadier throughout,” says Daniels.

Reasons to sell during the “off-season”

Buyers shopping for homes during this time of the year are more motivated to close the deal.

“House hunters shopping in the fourth quarter tend to be more serious buyers. Some are relocating and have to move at a set time. Some are renters, who are considering their options and think they might find better prices in the winter,” says Cindy Ariosa, chairman of Rockville-based multiple listing service MRIS.

And since most sellers list their homes during the warmer months for the convenience of it, sellers who opt for late fall and winter are likely to have less competition.

Furthermore, other than shoveling snow and light maintenance, you won’t have to toil over your garden during this dormant period the way you would need to during the summer.

Optimal listing times may vary based on local housing market dynamics, your circumstances, and the sellable features and condition of your home. Consult your real estate agent for the most accurate analysis and advice on when to list your home.

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The data included on this website is deemed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed to be accurate by the Grande Prairie Real Estate Board. The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS® and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.