May 26, 2014
Home Buying & Selling Tips for the Spring
Spring is in the air and you know what that means, freshly bloomed flowers and brand new houses out on the market. Whether you’re looking to buy or sell this season we’ve put together a few tips to help make the process less frustrating than your spring cleaning.
Home Buying Tips
1. Know your needs:
It’s important to know what it is you’re looking for in a home as well as the surrounding neighbourhood. Are you a married couple looking for the perfect home to start a family or a single individual who is looking for a starter home closer to work? All of these factors can play into the availability of housing on the market, with Spring getting people outside more often you can expect to see the homes with large backyards and room for entertaining in the warmer months to have been looked at and offers made by potential buyers early in the season.
2. Play to Win
We grew up hearing that “it’s not whether you win or lose but how you play the game”, but when it comes to home buying you need to play to win because everyone else is. You need to prepare yourself for the possibility of a bidding war, with sellers coming out of the woodwork in order to show their homes at their Spring/Summer best you better believe you will see an influx of buyers looking to get a new home or a project to flip. Knowing this can be one of your best tools in finding your new home, knowing and expecting this will allow you to work within the confines of your budget in order to create an extra pocket of money that can be used to go above what you would normally offer in the case of a second interested party.
3. The early bird gets the worm
Start your home searching early! This cannot be stressed enough, if you know you’re looking to get a home for the Spring/Summer months don’t wait until spring to start your looking. Those experienced home buyers have already begun their search for that perfect spring backyard when it was still covered in snow, by going out much earlier than when you plan on purchasing a home will give you a better idea of neighbourhood pricing as well as helping you plan out and tweak your budget to help optimize your search.
4. Be Ready
When searching for a home you want to take the Boy Scout approach and always be prepared for anything. Most homeowners have their pre-approval rate in hand before searching for a home but once they do it’s not updated on a frequent basis. Once you get pre-approved you’ll want to ensure that through the course of your search you are having it updated every 30 days so that once you do find your perfect home you won’t have any surprises going into the mortgage application, also if there are multiple offers on the home having the most up to date pre-approval rate will put you at the top of the pack.
5. The Man with the Plan
To make things even easier on yourself when hunting for a new home one of the smartest things you can do is hire a real estate agent familiar with the area you are looking to move to. If picking a reputable agency they will have realtors who specialize in your preferred area and will know the ins-and-outs of all the houses recently sold and purchased in the area, any known issues with a neighbourhood and anything else you could want to know about the property and the house itself. If you’re ready to take the final step and become a new home owner we have preferred agents who are knowledgeable in every neighbourhood you could wish to live in.
Home Selling Tips
1. Exterior to Interior
Selling your home in spring can be as just an arduous task as trying to find your dream home. We’ve talked about simple and effective home staging tips in the past and how they can be an effective tool in persuading potential home owners into placing an offer. When buyers are looking for a spring home they are tired of thinking about winter and are ready for warmer weather and brighter colours, utilize this knowledge to your advantage and place fresh flowers within your home to infuse that fresh spring feeling into your house itself.
2. Small Investment=1 Big Payoff
You may be thinking, “well I’m moving out, why would I want to spend money to redo the fixtures or install new appliances if I’m going to be moving?” This type of thinking while frugal can hurt your home’s ability to sell on the newer markets, a lot of new home owners are looking for stainless steel appliances and fixtures when searching for a brand new house. While you don’t need to purchase a Victorian claw-footed tub to help elevate your home to that “must-have” level, a simple replacement of faucets or sinks in the kitchen can have a lasting effect on potential buyers when it comes to deciding on which home to put an offer in and often times the increased value to the house by this little renovation outweighs the price of installation.
3. Curb Appeal
Everyone knows “that house”. You know the one at the end of the block with shutters hanging from the hinges and a yard that says “lose a ball in here, I dare you” nobody is lining up to make offers on it in order to transform it into their dream home. While your current house may not be “that house” it never hurts to give the face of your house a nice little upkeep, ensure the front lawn is immaculate, be sure there is no gutter sludge visible in the eve-troughs and give the outside a fresh washing. It may seem simple but the outside of your home is the first thing a buyer sees and depending on how fickle the mood it may be their last.
4. Colour Me Impressed
You’re on the verge of finding yourself a new home; do you ever find yourself relieved you’ll no longer have to look at that drab living room wall? If so you may want to consider giving it a fresh coat of paint. The last thing you want is to have a possible buyer walk into the room and already begin dreading ways to liven up the space. A layer of fresh paint can help revitalize the life of a room and bring with it a sense of style, you don’t however need to repaint the entire room if time constraints won’t allow. A popular and very eye catching alternative is to paint only one of the walls a darker/warmer colour than the others of the room to give it a nice juxtaposition to the others
5. Marketing Magician
When in doubt one of the best and easiest ways to help sell home is to hire a realtor who not only knows the neighbourhood but has previously sold houses in that area. By utilizing a real estate agent who through themselves or through the company has a strong following you can help neutralize some of the worry that the “right people” won’t see your listing or come for a viewing. Our Zoocasa preferred agents are champions of their local neighbourhoods and will do everything they can in order to help bring in the people looking for exactly what it is you’re offering.