Installing a Gas Line

I am very particular with the referral partners I work with. Sending my clients to an electrician who will educate, understand, and go the extra mile for my clients is so important.  Darren Kingstree from Kingstree Plumbing has proven himself to be one of the best plumbers I have had the privilege to work with over the last 9 years. Here is Darren letting us all know the amazing benefits of installing a gas line in your home, and how easy it really is.

 

Most people will put up with what they have, as far as household appliance are concerned.  If you have an electric stove, that’s what you’ll use, and that’s the end of it. But it doesn’t have to be that way!

If you watch any cooking shows you’ll notice no one cooks on an electric stove. Gas is instant and cooks food evenly, and looks cooler too. But as I’ve already pointed out, you use what you have. This is because most people think a new gas line is a great deal more work and money than it actually is.

Adding a new natural gas line is not as hard as you think, although it does have limitations which can  increase the price. Dry-walled basement ceilings with coated finishes can make the install more difficult and add to the cost with drywall repair – this means holes in your drywall.  You will have as many holes as it takes to install the gas line, to code. If you have a good plumber, they will know a good drywaller and painter that can deal with the repair. An unfinished ceiling or hanging tile makes the install much easier.

Every new gas line installed needs to be inspected by the city, so always make sure your installer is pulling a permit and ask for the permit number.  As a home owner, you will need the permit to call the city, and organize the inspectors visit. If your gas line has been installed correctly you will receive a green “passed” sticker. Do not, for any reason, decide that you can do with out a gas permit. You could run into real problems if you ever have a fire, because the first thing the fire inspector will do is look for shoddy workmanship on any appliances that could cause a fire to start. This inspection will also uncover any illegal gas lines (those without permits), if this is the case your insurance company can wash their hands of you, and pay nothing towards your rebuild.

You should always be asked by your installer what the BTU’s (British Thermal Units – this is how volumes of gas are used hourly) are of the appliance that’s being installed. Without this knowledge, there is no way the gas line can be sized correctly.

A gas line has to increase in diameter as the needed BTU’s increase.  Barbecues most commonly have 40,000 BTU’s, and the length of pipe also must be factored in.

Most original gas lines, in your home, have a large amount of extra BTU’s, these BTU’s can be tapped into.  If you have used up all your BTU’s for a tankless hot water system (which are usually 199,000 BTU’s) you will need to pipe all the way back to the Gas meter.

If you have chosen an experienced, qualified Plumber, they will explain what the scope of work will be, and how it will be carried out. A Certified Plumber will never be annoyed if asked to produce their  Journeyman’s card.  They have trained very hard and are normally very proud to be certified, so if your unsure, just ask! This will ensure your installer is up to code and up to the job at hand.

If you have ever cooked on gas, you’ll know why professionals choose gas above electric. If you upgrade your barbecue to natural gas, you’ll have the peace of mind that half way through entertaining guests you will not run out of propane and let your steaks go cold!

Patio heaters and natural gas fire pits come in a great variety of designs that can look very contemporary, these will allow you to entertain long after others have moved inside.

When you are in your outdoor kitchen “Think Gas”!

 

Want to chat with Darren more about having a gas line installed? Connect with him here!

Buy or Sell a Home the Easy Way!

Providing a smooth and stress free experience for my clients when buying or selling their homes has always been a priority for me. Over the past nine years I have come up with proven systems to help my clients buy and sell real estate. I wanted to make these systems even more convenient for my clients and thought “how great would it be to have all my systems in one place on our cell phones?”. Flash forward a year later and here we are!

I’m so excited to announce that I have created my very own mobile application to help service my clients!

The Nichola Elise Coffee to Keys Mobile App will simplify the home buying or selling experience. Be confident in your real estate decisions by accessing all the information you need in one place. A personalized, easy-to-use, one-stop mobile information depot in your pocket.

Be informed, keep yourself on track, and enjoy! Buy or sell a home the easy way with the Nichola Elise Real Estate App!

 

What can the app do?

  • Use customized task lists for your transaction –helping you keep on track and know exactly what comes next!
  • Use the calendar to track appointments, showings, and coffee dates – even my most organized clients will love having the extra details taken care of.
  • Find exactly where your showings are and how long it will take to get there with Google Maps and pins
  • Allow you to view your listing feedback –sellers listen up – all your showing feedback will be listed here along with date and time of all showings to help adjust our sales strategies if needed. Collaborative data all in one spot!
  • Rank, add photos and comment on your favorite listings, helping to manage your options
  • View and retrieve PDF copies of all signed documents in one spot for easy download and emailing
  • Easily calculate costs within the app using our Mortgage Calculator
  • Search MLS within the app 
  • And even the ability to determine your homes market value!

 

Buying or selling a home made easy. Everything you need. In one place.

Stay tuned for the launch of HomEASY – the same great app, but fully customizable for other agents – so their clients can enjoy the convenience of the application that’s personally branded for each individual agent.

Edmonton Housing Forecast For 2017

“2016 turned out to be a stable year, and we aren’t forecasting anything dramatic for 2017”

 

Earlier this month, the Realtors Association of Edmonton hosted the 2017 Housing Forecast for our city. It was jam-packed with great information on what we can expect from the real estate market this year, and I am happy to give you the highlights of the presentation.

 

Of course, we can’t forecast the future without taking a look at 2016 first! 2016 and 2015 were quite similar: over all, the prices stayed strong, there was a lot of inventory, but there was a dip in sales. Here’s a quick breakdown of what the market looked like last year:

  • Single family home sales were down 5.4% from 2015
  • Condo unit sales were down 14% from 2015
  • Duplex/Row house sales went up 8.3% from 2015
  • All residential sales were down 6.7% from 2015

 

As we look at sales within Edmonton, a few “hotspot” neighbourhoods had the most sales in 2016. For single-family homes, Summerside, Windermere, and The Hamptons were the most popular in sales. The communities with the highest sales in condo units were Oliver, Downtown Edmonton, and Rutherford. When it comes to duplexes and row houses, the neighbourhoods with the most sales in 2016 are Walker, Chappelle Area, and The Hamptons.

 

Selling a home took a bit longer in 2016, as we saw an overall increase in days on market for all property categories. Single family homes averaged about 52 days on market in 2016, condominium units averaged 63 days on market, and duplex and row house properties averaged 62 days on the market. Although days on market have increased from 2015, the average has remained stable since 2008.

 

We also saw some great new inventory in 2016. The top three communities with the most single family listings last year were Summerside, Windermere, and The Hamptons, which does make sense since they had the highest single family sales in 2016. The top three communities with the most condo listings were Oliver, Downtown Edmonton, and Rutherford – again, the areas with the most condo sales in 2016. Lastly, the communities that listed the most duplex and row house properties were the Chappelle Area, Laurel, and Walker.

 

Now, looking onward to 2017!

 

The good news is that major banks are expecting GDP growth in Alberta, but it won’t take place right away. Because employment rates will take a bit to catch up, we will not see this change in the housing market until mid to late 2017. As well, lower rental rates and higher vacancy rates will keep buyers who are already on the fence at bay just a bit longer until growth takes place. The increase in mortgage rates are thought to be quite minimal, so impacts on the market in this way will be minor.

 

Looking at the sales forecast for 2017, the predictions are that overall residential sales will decrease 1.3% in 2017. For single-family homes, it is expected that there will be a decline of 1.7% in sales over 2017. With economical growth expected in the second half of the year, a dip in single-family sales is only predicted for the first half of the year. Last year there was strength in the price of $325,000 – $425,000 with multiple offer situations happening, and this expected to continue in 2017.

 

The number of condo sales this year are expected to increase 0.2%, as there was a rise in inventory in the condo market last year, and this will make condo prices more competitive for 2017. Because condos are generally more affordable, it is expected that more buyers will purchase condo properties instead of single-family homes in 2017. And although duplex and row house sales increased in 2016, we are looking at an expected decrease of 1% in sales for this year.

 

Looking at inventory for 2017, it is forecasted that single-family homes will see a small increase of 0.5% in their inventory. Condos are expected to also see an increase of 1.1%, and duplexes and row houses will see a 0.5% decrease of inventory in 2017.

 

Residential prices are also expected to drop in 2017, with an average overall price drop of 1.3%. Single-family homes are expected to drop 2.2% in average price, as it is predicted that less higher priced properties (over $500,000) will sell this year. Although there is so much great inventory in condo units, the prices are also expecting a decrease of 3.8% this year. Duplex and row house sales however, are expecting a price increase of 0.5% in 2017.

 

Now that you’ve worked through all of this information, here’s a quick summary of what the market is going to look like in 2017!

 

Have questions about buying or selling in today’s market? Click here to get in touch. Let’s chat!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Keep Your Home Safe This Christmas!

house

I am very particular with the referral partners I work with. Sending my clients to an electrician who will educate, understand, and go the extra mile for my clients is so important.  Kevin Jackson from Yellow Jacket Energy Services has proven himself to be one of the best electricians I have had the privilege to work with over the last 9 years. Here is Kevin letting us all know how to keep our homes safe this Christmas.

With the Christmas season in full swing, many times people are thinking about all sorts of things, but usually not the state of the smoke detectors in your home.  Recent survey data shows that the public has many misconceptions about smoke alarms, which may put them at increased risk in the event of a home fire. For example, only a small percentage of people know how old their smoke alarms are, or how often they need to be replaced.  Here are some basic key things you need to know:

  • Make sure you know how old all the smoke alarms are in your home, as smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years.
  • To find out how old a smoke alarm is, look at the date of manufacture on the back of the alarm; the alarm should be replaced 10 years from that date.
  • In addition to smoke detectors in homes, Carbon Monoxide detectors can play an equally important role in preventing another silent killer.

Typically the months with the highest number of house fires is December and January, which is directly related to Christmas trees, lights and extra appliances.  Here are some things you need to know for this Christmas season:

  1. Make sure all your indoor and outdoor Christmas lights have been tested for safety, and recycle any damaged light sets.
  2. Any lights you use outdoors must be labeled suitable for exterior placement, and be sure to plug them into a properly protected receptacle.
  3. Overloading electrical outlets or circuits is dangerous and can cause fire
  4. Bedtime means lights off! ­ Don’t forget to turn your Christmas tree lights off each night.
  5. Fresh trees are less likely to catch fire, so look for a tree with vibrant green needles that are hard to pluck and don’t break easily from its branches. The tree shouldn’t be shedding its needles readily.  When your tree begins to drop its needles, it’s time to say goodbye.

If you are unsure about any of the above information, let us help you keep your family safe this holiday season.  We have WCB and are fully insured for your protection. With multiple Master & Journeyman Electricians on staff we will help you stay safe this holiday season.  We are a local company that takes great pride in doing good work. Excellence in Service. Every Customer, Every Time.

Keep in touch with Kevin and Yellow Jacket Energy Services:

Visit their website here

Email at contactus@yellowjacketenergy.ca

Call at 1-855-955-2285

Still have questions about your home this winter? Let’s chat!

Seven Qualities of a Great Realtor

the

Your home is one of the most important places in your life. It can be your most valuable asset, the place where you make your fondest memories, and live your greatest dreams – home is where the heart is, after all! Buying or selling your home is an exciting process, and deciding on your realtor is one of the first steps. Like any other professional service industry, the realty industry is made up of all kinds of realtors with differing styles, and selecting a realtor should be a thoughtful decision. Below are seven qualities of a great real estate agent, exactly what you should expect from your realtor.

Your agent should be…

1) An Excellent Communicator

No two deals are the same when it comes to buying and selling, and not every deal is going happen without a hitch. Your real estate agent should be communicating with you continually, updating you with every detail of your deal. To top it off, buying and selling is quite time-sensitive, so having a realtor who is always ready to talk to you about what’s best for you, what your next steps should be, and what’s happening with the deal is definitely an important quality.

I pride myself on always getting back to my clients emails, text messages, or phone calls within only a couple hours of receiving them. Even if I am busy showing homes to someone else, I will reach out to my client saying “I have received your communication and will respond before ___ time” – buying and selling real estate is always a big deal, and I know that you don’t want to be sitting at home wondering if I got your message. I always communicate in a timely fashion.

 

2) Very Proactive

Your agent should be proactive in working with you, either as a current, past, or potential client. They should be reaching out to you regularly and always on top of ways to keep your deals going smoothly. They should be thinking about you and how to improve your current real estate situation even when they are not around you – these are the agents who have your best interest in mind, and the ones you will want to work with for every real estate deal.

Aligning myself with my clients goals is very important to making our time together fun and productive. I will ask tons of questions so that I fully understand the motivation behind all of your needs and wants. This way I can make your goals my goals, making us a seamless team!

 

3) A Great Listener

Real estate agents are generally great at talking up a storm – however, they need to be great listeners too! They must be able to listen to what you’re saying, and understand your situation, your needs, and your wants. If you’re working with an agent who is actively listening to you, you’ll be that much more confident in your relationship.

I believe in forming a strong working relationship – key word relationship. Strong relationships are built on communication and trust. Part of good communication is listening, my father always said “you have two ears and one mouth” –it just makes sense.

 

4) Adaptable! 

Your needs and wants might change from time to time, and your agent should have no trouble adapting to your situation. Your agent should be able to change their style in order to conform to yours – if you prefer face-to-face meetings instead of texting or emailing, the realtor you are dealing with should be able to work with your needs.

Being a millennial, I have tons of experience with the latest technology and trends including going paperless and electronic signatures. But that is not for everyone, and rest assured that once we meet together we can discuss the systems that suite your needs best.

 

5) Able to Give Great References!

Companies don’t hire people without first checking their references, you shouldn’t work with a realtor without checking theirs either. Your agent should be happy to share past client testimonials with you, and if they don’t, that might be your clue to look for a different agent. I keep some of my testimonials online, you can click here to check them out.

My past clients are so happy with our time together that they are willing to get in touch with new clients to give a reference. Just ask!

 

6) Knowledgeable of Your Situation 

This goes hand in hand with being a great listener – your agent should be able to understand and be knowledgeable of why you’re buying or selling, whether it’s for investment purposes, personal family situations, or something different. A good agent will be mindful about the situation, and will know the steps to take to make your real estate experience as smooth as possible.

 

7) Able to Work with Your Time-frame 

Real estate deals are time sensitive, and your realtor should be able to gain a clear understanding of your timeframe – and how to work effectively within that allotment. They should be able to think quick on their toes in order to get each and every detail worked out in the time you need.

 

I love being a Realtor, and I am passionate about my clients and their current real estate needs. I work hard to make my clients’ experience smooth and tailored to what they need.

Do you have questions about your current real estate situation? Let’s chat! Click here to get in touch.

 

Source: http://www.remonline.com/7-qualities-great-real-estate-agent/ 

Why Use a Realtor to Buy a New Home?

why-use-a-realtor

Many people think that when you are purchasing a new build, you might not need a Realtor. However, I highly recommend you have a Realtor to represent you – there are so many factors that go into buying a new home! As your agent, I can help with all aspects of your transaction, including:

  • The location, design, layout, and features of your new home – I have a unique aspect and can help you see what qualities are better for resale value in your new home
  • I can help you understand all that paperwork – what it all means, what can go wrong, and what to expect
  • I have so much experience in negotiating, and I can help you get the right price, the perfect upgrades, and the contract terms that suit you
  • I will be facilitating in the buying process from beginning to end – going through step by step and what to expect after each phase, including who to call and talk to, and when
  • I can give you objective professional advice and insight during all phases of the process, such as contract, construction, walkthrough, and closing
  • While the sale representative will always give the appearance that sales prices are non-negotiable, I am able to use recent and historical sales data to aid in the negotiation, data that is not available during new construction.
  • I have knowledge of and the ability to leverage contracts, real estate law and the real estate community when/if things go awry with the builder
  • Working with me will give you access to my contact sphere of vetted professionals who I have spent many years building relationships with, including mortgage brokers, bank managers, builders, contractors, tradesmen, lawyers, and home inspectors
  • I can help you with information on Alberta New Home Warranty

When buying a new home, it is easy to forget that the salesperson is working for the builder. They are friendly, knowledgeable, and trained to make you feel comfortable. When working with a Realtor you have someone who is legally mandated to look out for you and your best interests before, during, and even after your transaction!

Just the other day I had a client who had purchased a brand new Brookfield home. He spotted a foundation crack with water leaking in to his basement. He was obviously panicked. He sent me a text at 10:00 pm at night, and because I am a bit of a workaholic I was up and working and jumped at the chance to help. I connected him with his warranty partner, explained how the process will work, and within 24 hours he had all he needed to start the process of fixing the issue.

Buying a new home is a very emotional and exciting time, and sometimes this can cause some “blindness” in buyers. My ten years of experience selling homes (old and new) has made me immune to the emotion when buying. This allows me to be unbiased and because I always align myself with my client’s goals I am able to see things from your point of view but as a professional realtor.

Still have questions about buying a new home? Let’s chat! Click here to send me a quick email.

7 Roofing Related Tips to Look Out For When Buying a Home

seven

When you are buying a new house, it is extremely important to check the roof. Knowing about the roof will give you an idea of what kind of maintenance you should expect. Roof damage can be a deal-breaker because roof repairs aren’t something you would want to deal with when you move in.

This article from Crest Roofing gives you 7 roof-related tips to look out for when buying a home.

1) Check what type of roof it is.

As a general rule, the simpler the roof, the easier it is to maintain. There are many types of roofs and for Alberta’s climate, certain types of roofs hold up better than others over the years.

Gable and hip roofs are both simple, easy to maintain, and they are very durable against Alberta weather elements. Check Crest Roofing’s blog for more pros and cons of each type of roof.

Is it a flat roof?

If you’re looking at a flat roof, check to see what kind of material it’s made of. Each type of roofing material for a flat roof has a different lifespan and maintenance requirements. With flat roofs it is also best to have an experienced roofing contractor or roof inspector come do an assessment. Flat roofs can make for beautiful and elegant homes, but if not done right they can cause problems.

2) How old is the roof?

It depends on what the roofing material is and you have to check with the manufacturer for specifics, but here is the general guideline for roofing material lifespans:

Shingled roof: 15-20 years

Tar and gravel roof: Up to 30 years or more

EPDM Roof: 20-30 years

SBS Membrane roof: Up to 30 years or more

Metal Roof: Up to 50 years

Keep in mind that these numbers reflect ideals and to meet these lifespans, the roof will require regular and proactive maintenance.

3) Are there problems with the shingles?

Curling, cracking, buckling or missing shingles are all signs that you may need to get them replaced soon. Here are 5 Signs your Shingle Roof Needs Replacement or Repairs.

4) Check the roof gutters

They may look all right from the ground, but if you actually go up and look into the gutters, you can look for the following things:

  • What shape are they in? Check for rust, dents, and gaps.
  • Where do the downspouts go? Make sure the downspouts run off somewhere away from the house like into a draining system, rain barrel, the street.
  • Is there debris in them? Check for gutter gunk and for shingle granules building up in the gutters. Shingle granules could mean the shingles are nearing the end of their lifespan.
  • Are they draining properly? Check to see if there is water sitting in the gutters. It should drain properly to avoid turning your troughs into a garden along the eaves of the roof.

5) Is the roof soft to walk on?

There are only two reasons why a roof will be soft:

  1. The plywood/supports are rotten or weak.
  2. It is a flat roof that is made with rigid fiberglass insulation. It feels spongy, not soft. (Usually with commercial roofs)

If you buy a house with a soft roof, repairs or replacement are going to have to happen soon.

6) Are there lots of trees near the house?

Trees are wonderful to have on a property. They’re great for shade, you can mark a milestone by planting one, they can provide fruit, and they’re just lovely to look at. Unfortunately they can also be risky to have around homes.

Winter storms that dump huge amounts of snow in a short time can make trees or branches fall onto your roof. It happens every year in Alberta. Especially in Edmonton where we have a lot of old, impressively sized, Elm trees (Did you know? Edmonton has one of the largest concentrations of uninfected American elms left in the world?)

Branches can rub on the shingles and rip or tear them. It might not be happening now, but look for trees that have the potential to make contact with the roof. On flat tar and gravel roofs, trees brush away the gravel and leave the membranes exposed to the sun, which can cause cracking, blisters, and premature wear.

Trees that hang over your roof drop seeds, leaves, and pollen. These seeds can potentially grow under and between your shingles and cause damage. Seeds, leaves, and pollen can also clog up your gutters so at the very least you’d have to be vigilant about cleaning your gutters.

Wildfire danger is significantly increased if there are a lot of old, dry trees around your property and/or neighbourhood. This summer we experienced major home loss due to wildfires, even as close as St. Albert and any damage that you can prevent by not having a ton of trees near your home and roof could potentially save your neighbourhood.

7) Are there water stains on the ceiling or walls?

Water stains look like brown circles on the ceiling inside of the home. They can be caused by leaking pipes, but if the ceiling is on the top floor, it could mean a leak in the roof – make sure and get a proper inspection of the roof done before purchasing a home.

Are you looking for a home in the Edmonton area? We can help you find a home that’s right for your needs, give us a call – let’s chat!

If you are currently house-hunting and looking for experienced roofing pros to inspect your potential home’s roof, get in contact with the roofing experts at Crest Roofing.

How to Stage Your Home Like A Pro Part Two

how to

 

Last week, we released part one of this post. If you haven’t read it yet, check it out here! Read on below to get the best tips for staging your space to sell your home fast. 

Bathroom

  • It’s time to get out your cleaning equipment and scrub away all the built up grime on every surface of your bathroom, such as water stains, and soap scum.
  • Consider completing tasks such as re-caulking around the tub, painting the tile (this is much less expensive than replacing the tile, and can turn out to be a very beautiful upgrade), replace old towels with new and clean towels, un-clogging and cleaning drains, and fixing a leaky toilet.
  • Put away all your personal toiletries, from medicine to razors, and add in some spa-inspired items, such as nice soap dispensers, candles, and plants.


Walls, Windows & More

  • Brighten up dark rooms and hallways with a fresh coat of light neutral coloured paint, or add in a mirror to create a larger space.
  • Even out the nicks in your walls by filling them and touch up these spots with some paint.
  • To keep your home modern, paint over any wood panelling – if you want to you can fill in the panel lines with wood filler and paint over the whole thing, or keep the panelling as an interesting texture.
  • It’s also important to ensure that all your switch plates and outlet covers match and look new. Replace them if necessary.
  • De-personalize the space by removing your family photos and replace with interesting, modern art.
  • Lastly, wash all the walls and windows, you’d be surprised at how grimy they get from day-to-day life.


Throughout the House

  • Think about every possible way you can de-clutter, whether that’s getting ruthless and getting rid of things, or boxing them away for later assessment.
  • Keep any storage space as empty as possible so buyers can see how large the space really is.
  • Make your unused space functional – add in a desk or reading nook so buyers can see how to utilize your space.
  • Lastly, keep your floors updated by replacing any broken boards and deep cleaning your carpets.


Exterior

  • Freshen up the outside of your house by re-staining your porch and deck, and re-painting your door.
  • Keep your colour neutral or to red, black, or something that compliments the trim and won’t blend in too much. Before painting, it might be a good idea to power-wash everything.
  • It’s also important to make sure all your lights, doorbells, doorknobs, and locks are working, and if they aren’t it’s time to replace that.
  • Take a good look at your landscape, and see what upgrades you can do. We have published a great post on landscaping to sell your home here.


For Pet Owners

  • Deep clean all carpet and textile areas, and use a specialized carpet or textile cleaner made specifically for removing pet odours.
  • Stash away any pet toys, and check the yard for those special “presents” your animal may leave behind.
  • For showings and open houses, find a place where you can take your furry friend for the time, as pets can be very distracting to potential buyers.

 


Day of Showing

  • Add something special with a seasonal accent, such as a bouquet of flowers in the warmer weather, or simmering cinnamon sticks in the cold months.
  • Try not to do any cooking, as it might leave behind an unpleasant scent. Instead, you might want to bake cookies to leave a nice smell in your home.
  • Clean and tidy up everything as best as you can.

Now you can stage your home like a pro! Have questions about selling your home? Let’s chat!

 

 

 

Source: https://www.houselogic.com/sell/preparing-your-home-to-sell/home-staging-checklist/

 

How To Stage Your Home Like A Pro Part One

stage your home

 

There is a lot to think about when it comes to selling your house, and staging is a process that should not be overlooked. It is estimated that 71% of agents who represent sellers believe that proper staging can boost up the value of your home. An example of this comes from Terrylynn Fisher, a REALTOR® with Dudum Real Estate Group in Walnut Creek, California. Two units in the same complex were for sale, and one unit had not been updated, while the other had small upgrades, including fresh coats of paint and a redone bathroom, but both units were the same size and floor plan. The unit that was staged sold for approximately $30,000 more than the other unit.

Staging is a critical part in marketing your house, and keeps you in the competitive market, which means you might be able to sell your home faster. It’s much more than just a quick vacuum and making the bed. Proper staging involves the processes of removing clutter, fixing and upgrading, and finally creating a space that is less personal to you. This might sound like a lot to think about, but luckily we have a room-by-room guide to help you get going on staging your home like a pro.

Living Room

  • For the living room it is important to think about symmetry and balance. This comes into play with everything from the placement of your sofa, to placing accents such as pillows and lighting. Balance is pleasing to the eye, and can create a space that shows decorating potential to your buyers.
  • Brighten up the room with touches of light. Modern and unique lamps create a more appealing space, and highlight areas that may be overlooked.
  • If you have a fireplace, clean it up by replacing the screen and getting rid of any soot stains.
  • When it comes to choosing colours for your staging furniture or slip covers for your current pieces, stick with lighter shades to create an open, airy atmosphere.
  • Create a larger space by removing a piece or two of unnecessary furniture.
  • Pop some colour in with your accent pieces. Think about adding brightly coloured throws, pillows, or lamps to add extra interest.
  • Setting up lifestyle pieces, such as a board game or a small home office space will allow buyers see themselves in your home.
  • Take the focus off the TV and arrange your furniture to be more conversational

 

Kitchen

  • It’s important to keep the clutter out of sight in this area. Be sure that the countertops are completely cleared, aside from a few accents such as fresh fruit or flowers.
  • Keep your matching dishes and glassware in your cupboards, but keep any pieces that are mismatched packed away. Keep what’s in your cupboards down to a minimum – it’s more pleasing to look inside nice, clean cupboards and drawers, rather than messy and cluttered ones.
  • Simple updates, such as a new coat of paint or stain, replacing broken or missing handles, and new hardware will keep your kitchen looking fresh.
  • Seriously scrub the interior and exterior of all cabinets, drawers, and small and large appliances. And don’t forget to stash away all your family photos and magnets that you regularly keep on the fridge, and toss out any trash before a showing or open house.

 

Bedrooms

  • Make your closets look larger by packing up any unnecessary items – seasonal clothing, footwear, or accessories that might create a cluttered look.
  • To keep your closet looking more streamlined, trade out any old and mismatched hangers for a nice, clean set of wooden or velvet hangers.
  • As your cleaning, remember to stow away any jewellery or valuables in a safe place.
  • Think about giving each room an individual identity, such as a spare bedroom, an office, or a craft room.

 

Dining Room

  • This room has great potential for your buyers to “see” themselves in this space. Give them an idea of what it would be like to entertain in your home – set out trendy place settings with a decorated table, fit for a special gathering of friends and family.
  • Think about adding in elements, such as wine glasses, a retro-style bar set up, or a decanter – without making it too cluttered.

 

Be sure to check out the second half of our home-staging guide here!

 

Source: https://www.houselogic.com/sell/preparing-your-home-to-sell/home-staging-checklist/

 

Sell Your Home with Landscaping Tips and Tricks

ROADRUNNER

Spring is here and it’s time to start revamping your yard, especially if you plan to sell your house this summer. First impressions make a big difference on a buyer, and the first time your buyer forms an opinion of your house is from it’s curb appeal. Although yardwork and landscaping can often be neglected while selling a home, as much as 10% extra value can be added to your home through beautifying your yard.

Give yourself time to start working on your yard – at least a month before you plan to list – to get your yard looking just right, instead of looking haphazardly thrown together. Here is a guideline with a few tips you can follow to get your yard in ship-shape for selling.

 

Fix Up Outdoor Containers

Quite a lot of interest can be added to green spaces, patios, doorways, walkways, and difficult spaces in your yard through container gardens. A container garden can be anything from simple succulents to flowers and vegetables, to large tropicals, adding different levels of greenery. These touches can also show how endless the possibilities are when designing and landscaping a yard, especially with a more difficult space.

 

Layer On Some Mulch

Probably one of the easiest and cheapest steps to take, yet will add some invaluable tidiness to your garden bed, is adding a new layer of mulch. New mulch will make your foliage stand out and add some contrast and new colour to your beds.

 

Add In Colour

Greenery is especially treasured here in Alberta, but colourful plants will add even more beauty to all that greenery, and will break up monotone yards. Add in layers or splashes of colour, or opt for a garden with a monochromatic theme – whatever style will suit your home best.

 

Get Pruning

Another inexpensive way to clean up your yard is to spend time shaping overgrown foliage. It might be easy to overlook this chore throughout the seasons, but gardens will show signs of neglect quickly if they are not taken care of – and that is not something you want to present to a potential buyer.

 

Spend Time With Your Perennials

It is a good idea to spend time replacing or tidying up your perennials that might not be looking as nice as they should. If you don’t want to replace the plant, you can always put an ornamental pot or container garden in its place. This is also a good time to think about what plants you will be taking with you when you move, and to possibly dig those up – or be sure to let potential buyers know which plants will still be in the yard after you sell.

 

Tidy Up Water Accents

Neglected features containing water, such as fountains, bird baths, and small pools in your landscape can easily collect algae or leaves. It’s important to keep these clean and updated, as a nasty looking water feature can turn off buyers instantly.

 

Fix Up Irrigation Concerns

Potential buyers can also be turned off by expensive updates and repairs, so make them before you list your house. Irrigation issues fall under this, as they can be time consuming and costly, so be sure to fix it right away. It’s also a good idea to provide information about irrigation in your yard – the schedule, system, and any instructions.

 

Take Care of Faucet Leaks

Faucet leaks might not seem like a big deal, but sometimes they can point to other issues on the property with plumbing. As you can imagine, a potential buyer might stray away from this. If you are able to repair these leaks, it’s best to do them right away. It’s a good idea to quickly water your yard and greenery before a showing happens at your home, as it shows buyers that your space is well managed.

 

Power-Wash Your Space

Rent or purchase a power-washer to clean hard surfaces, such as driveways or cement pads in your yard. This step can make rundown areas look all shiny and new. A power washer can also help clean other surfaces, such as brick, vinyl, and fences.

 

Label Your Plants

Lastly, providing potential buyers with garden and plant information is a great extra bonus for showings. Leaving a garden plan behind, or even labels in the garden, will eliminate a lot of work for your home’s new owner, and they will greatly appreciate your effort. This is also perfect for showings as some long term plants, or ones that may be difficult to grow can add extra value to your home.

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:
http://landscapingservicessandiego.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/landscaping-services-in-san-diego-header-1.jpg
http://www.hgtv.com/design/outdoor-design/landscaping-and-hardscaping/landscaping-tips-that-can-help-sell-your-home