Category Archives: Home Buying and Selling

How much is my home in Burlington worth?

Realtor’s Association of Hamilton-Burlington has reported strong sales continuing in October! “The Fall real estate market just keeps going in our area,” said RAHB CEO George O’Neill. “October is often a good month for sales, but it’s not usually this good.”

Weather you’re thinking of selling your Burlington home now or just simply wondering how much your home in Burlington is worth, read on to find out. Also you’ll learn what you can do to increase your home’s value!

Curb Appeal

In today’s market homes that are upgraded, have a modern feel, have plenty of curb appeal and come with all sort of “extra” amenities are, as expected, generally worth more. But what sort of things make my home worth more? After all, some renovations wont’ give you as big of a return on investment as others.

Top items home improvement and renovations that you should check off on your list before you get your home ready for sale!

  1. Upgrade your Kitchen – consider new extended cabinetry and granite countertops, perhaps a kitchen island if space, those are very popular and desired. Make sure the colors go with your flooring.
    Kitchen Upgrades
  2. Bathroom – revamp your bathroom by change those old cabinets with smaller and tall ones, to open up more space. Replace the tub if worn out, let in more light, if possible.
    Bathroom Upgrades
  3. Cut energy costs – do an energy audit and see where you can improve it. Consider solar panels, energy-efficient lightning, insulate windows and doors, ensure furnace/heater/ac are energy-efficient.
  4. Freshly painted walls in neutral light colors! This is a must, and avoid any other colors.
  5. Flooring – make sure you rip out any carpets and put in hardwood floors. This imporvement will be appreciated and increase the value of home, giving it a facelift. Consider oak stairs while you’re at it.
  6. Plumbing & electrical – make sure it all works and is up to code. No loose wires, fault outlets, water leaks, dripping, clogged up air vents, etc.. this is a good indicator of how well you kept up your home
  7. Consider Front exterior aka curb appeal – this is what buyer sees when they first arrive. Having a nice clean lawn makes an excellent impression.

Living Room Upgrades

Stop wondering and start planning! Request your Free Burlington Home Market Evaluation! Courtesy of Lori VanDinther, Burlington’s trusted RE/MAX Sales Representative and leader of Team VanDinther!

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