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You might want to show off how big your dining room is by taking the leaves out of your table and pushing in the chairs. Your thinking may be that the room will look bigger because there is more free space around the table. In fact, as long as there is enough room so that the chairs can be pulled out, leave the leaves in the table. Most Buyers want to know if a crowd will fit around the table at Thanksgiving. Now look at the floor, do you have hardwood or tile with a puny little rug under the table? If you (34 comments)
This is a story of House Seller Mark. Real Estate Agent Valerie had agreed to meet with House Seller Mark's wife Lou. When she got to the coffee shop Lou was sitting in a booth at the back of the room. Well, something was going on, that was for sure. Valerie sat down with her coffee. Lou looked up and her eyes told a story. They were red rimmed as though she had been crying for days. Without any preamble, Lou launched into her story. Apparently she and Mark were having marital problems. They thought these could be solved with (33 comments)
There are some very poor renovations being done and then sold as upgrades in homes. The expression "Putting Lipstick on a Pig" (meaning that it is still a pig) applies in many cases. One of the areas that should concern homeowners is where a wall has been removed. There is almost always evidence that this has happened. Look for an unusual layout of an older home - more modern than expected. Look for an arch or beam across the ceiling (which hopefully means that there is a beam holding up the next floor), look for a strip of different coloured carpeting (81 comments)
We all know that home Buyers are buying the house, not the contents. However, Buyers are influenced by how the house is decorated / staged. It gives a message about lifestyle and care and attention. If you have a couch that is beyond redemption but getting it re-upholstered would be cost prohibitive, you have three choices: Leave the sofa in the room as is and keep on believing that no Buyer will notice or care (but they will, trust me). Remove the sofa entirely and try to rearrange the furniture to fill in the gap. As everyone living near a (41 comments)
Buyers look for every indication that a prospective home has value. One indicator is bathroom and kitchen plumbing fixtures. People love fancy taps. special heating racks for towels, whirlpool and jetted tubs, showers with multiple shower heats and jets. What about toilets? Have you heard of Toto plumbing fixtures? Are you selling in an up market and want your bathroom to stand out among the competition? Look for the Japanese bathroom fixture brand Toto. We have all heard how the Japanese have got plumbing done the right way. Well, the Toto toile is an example of this. They (36 comments)
House Seller Mark - Chapter 5 - Deciding to List - 02/20/11 07:23 AM
This is a story of House Seller Mark. When last we heard of House Seller Mark, he was swilling a beer in his brother-in-law Lyle's basement. This was his way of avoiding a discussion with Real Estate Agent Valerie. First he asked her to meet at his home and then he skipped out before she arrived. Mark was one of those people that had to be right all the time. Sadly, the market was telling him he had made a mistake. He was avoiding Valerie telling him the same thing. A couple of weeks went by and things were not going (44 comments)
These are a few of my least favourite things. - 02/18/11 04:50 PM
I am not a hundred, sometimes I feel like it but I promise you I am younger. Now, on Wednesday I wrote a blog that talked about plaster and popcorn ceilings. Larry and Sheila made a comment about how styles change. That got me to thinking about some things we may never want to see again: Avocado green appliances - they were so "in". Did they come before, after or during the harvest gold period? Shag carpet and not in a good one colour tone but multiple colours and shades The shag carpet rake Chipped counter tops with metal edges Window cafe curtains Melmac (45 comments)
Are you selling the bat cave? Killer Ceilings - 02/17/11 06:55 AM
There was an era when plasterers were hired during house construction to finish off the lath and plaster walls and to do decorative swirls and curls and strange designs on the ceilings. If I had to guess the time frame, it would be around 1920 - 1970. Do you know what I mean? You can see some these designs in older homes in Sandy Hill, the Glebe, Ottawa South, etc. Some of them are beautiful and reflect real craftsmanship. Others - well - not so much. I was out with a buyer looking at homes built in the 1950s. In the basement of one home (54 comments)
With housing being one of many possible investment opportunities, some Buyers are in the market for more than just meeting their housing needs. A Buyer client and I made many visits to "handyman specials". It is clear that there is a segment of the housing market market targeted for those with the skills and determination to get a house to fix up for increased future value. Some may be flippers and others are people looking for projects. Buyers are getting more and more savvy, thanks to the shows on TV, about spotting a house that has been cosmetically improved but the basics were not (25 comments)
Happy Valentine's Day I am not normally happy with the effects that Picnik makes available. However the dusting of hearts just seemed appropriated for this photo. I find that I use the traditional museum frame a lot and like to 'sign' the work. In this case, with hearts galore, I kept away from the Valentine's Day special frames and looked for one that symbolized a sending from me to you - a stamp. Hope you like it. (28 comments)
Waiting for Valentine's Day - 02/13/11 08:22 AM
As I watch CNN television this morning, it is all about what people have done or will be doing tomorrow on Valentine's Day. I feel a little like Miss Rose.....
When I saw that the background had a colour, I decided it was time to go out and buy a light box for photographing small things. This was done before I got the right equipment. (26 comments)
House Seller Mark - Chapter 4 - Not Ready to List - 02/12/11 09:38 AM
It had been a slow weekend for Agent Valerie. Her two Buyers were out of town and the Open House that she had scheduled for Sunday was cancelled when the house sold on Thursday. Sunday was going to be truly a day of rest. At 12:30 the phone rang. It was Seller Mark. He sounded anxious, maybe a bit angry, and wanted to see Valerie that afternoon. He said he was fed up trying to sell his house on his own and had decided to concede on some of Valerie's points. Valerie said she would meet with him at 3:00, at (106 comments)
Ottawa Snow Removal Day - A Necessary Part of Winter - 02/11/11 08:36 AM
This is a photo, taken from my home office. It was a little difficult to concentrate yesterday morning. It was garbage day. Also, the City had decided to do snow removal on the snow banks lining the streets in my area. While we have not had a lot of snow, there has been a build up of snow banks so..... Without further ado, I bring you .... Ottawa Snow Removal Day on my Street
The Fish and the Cement Wall - A Joke - 02/10/11 12:15 PM
Sometimes it is not about real estate. Sometimes it is just to get a giggle or a smile or even a smirk in the middle of the day that will have you telling this one at the table tonight.
What did the fish say when it hit the cement wall?
Wait for it......
"Dam" Photo credit: The Biggest Fish in the tank @ http://www.flickr.com/photos/bogenfreund/2086574261/sizes/m/ (20 comments)
Heating Fuel - A Necessary Part of Winter - 02/10/11 09:21 AM
Yesterday, the neighbour had the heating fuel company come to top up her tank. When you live in a high density area, the only place for the truck to stop is right in the road. This made for an interesting traffic pattern while the hose was connected to the house.
The delivery guys must have all kinds of experience in finding spots to park and to fuel up the homeowners' tanks. I was also impressed with how fat they were. (19 comments)
House Seller Mark - Chapter 3 - Researching the Grow Op - 02/09/11 07:06 AM
This is a story about House Seller Mark. After a full week of work, Agent Valerie finally had an afternoon to spend at her desk doing paperwork and research for her real estate blog. She had not heard from Home Seller Mark and had decided not to call him. Some investigating was necessary. Could a grow op go undetected? Did the police really raid the house? With a few minutes available, she first went to the City's Grow Op registry. Unfortunately, only current convictions were listed and the site did not go back four years. Valerie called the police, was transferred to (31 comments)
Have you made your Valentine Reservation? Absinthe in Ottawa - 02/08/11 06:45 AM
There are some years when staying home and having a cozy dinner and a movie is the perfect answer to wooing your loved one. Then there are years when you want to get out and enjoy the creative talents of some of the city's leading chefs and restaurants. This year, we are going out!!!! On February 14 we will be dining at Absinthe, a wonderful restaurant only a block from the Royal LePage office. We love this place for its amazing service and the creative menus. Here is a photo from the Absinthe website and the proposed Valentine's Day menu......
House Seller Mark - Chapter 2 - Neighbours Talk and Disclosure - 02/07/11 07:21 AM
When last we talked about Mark, he was unable to sell his home for his high asking price and by trying to do it himself. He had asked Agent Valerie to come back and talk about what may be limiting the sale. As we heard, he listed too high, the house was on the market too long and Mark had thought that all the good houses would eventually sell so that his would start looking good. Agent Valerie left Seller Mark with some things to think about as she headed out for another appointment. After leaving the house, Valerie noted that (26 comments)
This is a story of House Seller Mark. Once upon a time a fellow decided to sell his home. His name was Seller Mark. He wanted a maximum price for his home because he had his eye on a newer bigger more expensive home in the best neighbourhood in town. Seller Mark was torn between getting a real estate agent and listing the home on his own. He interviewed a number of agents. They all gave him an idea that his home should be listed for no more than $400,000. But Mark wanted more. With each agent, Mark said that (53 comments)
Freud aside, the right price for your home is not what your emotional investment is in the house. Yes, you love the house and put a high value on all the very personal time and attention you put into the house and yard, how this reflects on you as a person and what status the house gives you in the community, but.... Your ego investment in the house may far outstrip the market value. Some examples where ego gets in the way of setting a market price may be: 1. The rocks that you hauled in from the lake and set up (56 comments)
The is the story of the CLEAN DISHWASHER and DIRTY OVEN As I go out with Buyers looking at houses and host Open Houses on Sundays, there are things buyers seem to notice repeatedly. Clean Dishwasher. On a weekend buying trip, a buyer and I saw nine homes. In every home we opened the built-in dishwasher. In almost all cases there were dishes in the dishwasher. That was not a problem. You expect to dishes in a dishwasher. What we did notice was that a number of people had kept the dishwasher door clean all around the inside edges. The inside and outside were well maintained. (35 comments)
You will be getting a packet of documents ready when selling your home. Buyers want to see proof of purchases, maintenance, any warranties, and instruction manuals fo appliances. You know that you will need to find any information from when you purchased the house, a copy of the home inspection done at that time and a copy of the survey if one is available. This takes time and, if you are like most people, a some time will be spent looking through all kinds of papers. While you are doing this, dont't forget to search for all the other paperwork: (23 comments)
Cheery Yellow - Almost Wordless Wednesday - 02/02/11 04:42 PM
There is no sunshine today as we are living through a snowstorm. Right now, I see people out with snow shovels and the streets are being plowed. Well, it is winter and this can be expected. However, a little bit of sunshine yellow will go a long way to cheer me up. This is a flower photo I took last September on a beautiful sunny afternoon.
I recently worked with a client who was torn between buying or renting. We had a long talk and I set out the following Pros And Cons to the question of renting. 1. Rent is Something for Something: I wonder when I hear people say that they gave all their money to the landlord for nothing. What? Did they live on the street? No, of course not. They got shelter for their rent money. 2. No Equity Build-up: What Renters are really saying is that, after paying for their shelter, there was no equity built into the payments. In some ways it (26 comments)
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.