Category Archives: Home Buying and Selling

The Importance Of Home Staging and Other Cost Effective DIY Improvements

How important is home staging when selling your home? Most would agree that it produces some impressive results! Home staging has an impact on not only the selling price of the home but also the speed at which a home sells.

According to a survey conducted by HomeGain, the top five home improvements that real estate professionals recommend to sellers are:

  1. Cleaning and De-cluttering. This is a no brainer for many people who are selling their homes. Obviously we all need to pack, downsize, and organize so that moving is less chaotic than it already is. HomeGain estimates that for a cost of $402 a homes value can increase by up to $2024!!! That is a 403% ROI.
  2. Lightening and Brightening. A fresh light/bright colour to create the blank canvas buyers need to envision their future in your home; takes you a long way as a seller. Updating light fixtures and making things more streamlined drastically improves the appearance of your home. With estimated costs of $424 this could mean the potential of a $1,690 price increase.
  3. Repairing Electrical or Plumbing. This will cost a bit more but the ROI is astounding at a potential of $3,175 increase in the selling price.
  4. Landscaping. We have all heard of curb appeal and know that the beautification of a home is equally as important on the inside as it is on the outside. You could increase the price of your home by up to $1,777 with an investment of $564. Not bad right? Isn’t it a little bit fun to get your hands dirty in the garden?
  5. Home Staging. We all want to see a homes potential. By creating an ambiance and improving the overall aesthetic of your home you could bring in an extra $2,145!

Alice flowers
These are all relatively low cost improvements that sellers can do themselves or with the help of family and friends. These tips and other cost effective home improvements are worth the extra effort and investment.

Ultimately, the simplest of things are all that is necessary to make BIG changes in your selling price. The home staging industry has seen rapid growth and it is because home staging WORKS! The ideal scenario is that a seller’s house goes to market and they can sell their homes for more money and in a smaller time frame. So get your gardening gloves on, your painting overalls and your high waisted jeans for plumbing. It’s time to put a little elbow grease into your home and maximize your ROI’s!! Happy Selling!

To Sell or Not to Sell – during the Christmas holidays

Photo of Christmas Decorations

During the holidays keep the decorations to a minimum. Don't block or cover up important selling features such as fireplace mantels, stairs, stained-glass windows.

With the Christmas holidays quickly approaching people ask me every year: Is it a good idea to list and sell my home in the month of December?

Typically, I would suggest to my clients to wait until the new year if they can, because a lot of potential buyers have their minds on other things like: shopping, baking, numerous Christmas parties, etc.
Having said that, each year can vary.. This year, and I mean like right now, I would actually say it is still a good idea to list and sell your Burlington home because there is a shortage of nice Townhomes, Condos and Detached Homes on the market. Low supply and high demand still exists in Halton Region in December 2012.

Buyers are still seriously looking and ready to buy. So, as a seller you have very little competition – which often means quick sale and top dollar! Timing is always crucial in any market, so if you’re thinking of listing your home do it now and you’ll have 2 solid weeks before things really slow down.

One other thing – people out looking at this time of year and through the holidays, tend to be more serious buyers. If you do decide to go on the market, here are some quick tips on Decorating you Home for “Selling”.

  • Remember you never get a second chance to make a first impression
  • Keep your front entrance clear of snow, a nice welcome mat and an urn(s) with a fresh evergreen arrangement by the front door
  • Tone down the size of tree, if you have a really BIG Christmas tree – consider going smaller (slimmer) for this year
  • Only have a few nicely wrapped gifts, under the tree and put the rest under a bed or in a closet
  • Use more splashes of red than green because red is an emotionally appealing color
  • Use greenery instead such as fresh evergreen or rosemary garlands
  • Display centerpieces made from pine cones or other wintry pieces of nature
  • Set a plate of cookies on the counter, next to festive paper napkins for guests
  • Simmer spicy apple cider in a pot on the stove then turn it off and leave it sitting for the fragrance to linger

If you do decide to wait until the next year, try to get your home listed as soon as possible after the holidays. The longer you wait, the more competition you may have. Trusting this has been helpful info and feel free to contact me if you have any other questions and remember – I would be delighted to “Help You Make The Right Moves” any time of the year!

Have a Safe and Happy Holiday Season!

– Lori VanDinther and Team, Burlington Realtor

Moderation On Tap For Canadian Housing Markets in 2013

REMAX Housing Market Outlook 2013

With Canada’s economy showing signs of improvement, the overall outlook for the country’s residential real estate market is healthy!

Canadian real estate markets demonstrated remarkable resilience in 2012—with home sales up or on par in 65 per cent of major centres—despite considerable headwinds in terms of tighter financing and economic uncertainty abroad. The trend is expected to continue, with home-buying activity propped-up by low interest rates and an improved economic picture in 2013, according to a report released today by RE/MAX.

“Despite all the negativity surrounding residential real estate, the sky is not falling,” says Gurinder Sandhu, Executive Vice President and Regional Director, RE/MAX Ontario-Atlantic Canada. “Home sales have moderated, but remain within healthy levels. Greater optimism is expected to return next year, as the economy marks further improvement. Canadians appear to be reigning in their spending, heeding cautionary statements by the country’s financial leaders. We believe that will only serve to shore up the already healthy framework of the Canadian housing market in 2013.”

Summary of key points for Hamilton-Burlington real estate market:

  • Significant GDP growth, expanding at an annual rate of approximately 2.5 per cent, has made Hamilton-Burlington one of the top performing markets in Ontario.
  • Approximately 13,100 homes are expected to change hands by year-end, down six per cent from the city’s record level of 13,932 reported in 2011. Yet, average price is forecast to appreciate seven per cent to $358,000 in 2012, up from $333,498 one year earlier.
  • Seller’s market conditions exist at the starter price points, while a more balanced picture emerges at the mid-level.
  • Condominiums continue to have universal appeal—popular with both first-time buyers and an aging demographic. In Burlington, first-time buyers seeking close proximity to the GTA are gravitating toward entry-level apartments, between 500 sq. ft. and 700 sq. ft. in size. Starting from the low $200,000s, these units have experienced bidding wars throughout much of the year
  • Numerous brownfield projects and developments that are underway are expected to have a positive impact on economic performance in coming years.
  • Manufacturing is also forecast to climb in Hamilton-Burlington, rising by more than four per cent, building on a 3.7 per cent increase in 2011 and an 8.6 per cent increase in 2010. New housing starts are on the upswing, with 2012 levels hovering at more than 25 per cent ahead of last year’s levels.
  • Immigration is also expected to continue to play a role in Hamilton-Burlington, with approximately 3,300 permanent and temporary residents welcomed in 2011.

For the complete report visit: http://www.bestagent.ca/uploadedFiles/BestAgent/Content/News/Press_Releases/2012/REMAX_2013Outlook_RPT.pdf

Interest in buying real estate property in Burlington and surrounding areas? Don’t hesitate to get in touch with me: Lori VanDinther – Burlington Real Estate Agent. I will put my knowledge and experience to use and help you find your dream home!