Ann Sims

How to Sell Your Home Faster with De Cluttering

When we live in a house for even a short period of time, we can end up accumulating tons of stuff in our homes. This stuff often becomes clutter. While we might not really mind our own clutter, any buyer visiting your home will very much mind the clutter. That’s why it’s so important to de-clutter your home before selling it, especially if you still live in it while conducting showings. Let’s look at how to sell your home by de-cluttering.How to Sell a Cluttered house

The first step in de-cluttering is to remove all of your personal items. While that might sound harsh to refer to that cherished picture of Aunt Jane and Uncle Jim, or your kids first trophy as clutter, it is to anyone who is coming through your home. Most buyers want to envision themselves in your home, and having those personal items tends to easily break that illusion for them. Granted, you don’t have to throw away those items, but it might be for the best to do some early packing for the move by boxing up those items first.

Clutter can also come in the form of excess or worn furniture. All of the furniture that’s on display should be clean and free of damage or wear. Likewise, having a ton of furniture that you’ve accumulated over the years from showroom clearances, relatives who have passed away, or even just by chance can be detrimental to a successful sale. This is because when the room is too full, it also looks smaller than it really is. It’s a sort of optical illusion, but it’s real. Try and donate or dispose of anything you aren’t too attached to. If it is some sentimental piece of furniture, try renting a storage unit to put it in until you can move into a new house.

One main project you should consider is to decide on things to purge. You will have to move eventually, and if you keep all of that clutter, that means you have to take it with you. Transporting things that you might not even want anymore can raise the costs of moving as well as make the whole process take longer. Not to mention that all of that clutter will be on full display as buyers are walking through. There are some good ways to deal with the small scale clutter in your home.

Some experts recommend de-cluttering by categorizing things throughout your home, rather than doing it room by room. An example of this is to gather together all of your books and magazines throughout your home into one spot. This way, you can see every book you have and decide which ones you don’t want or need anymore. While this can be hard if you’re a bibliophile, there are probably some magazines, or even some duplicates of certain items that you can part with. Do this same process with all other items in your home, including clothes, sports gear, decorations, seasonal items, and cookware.

Be sure that extra attention is placed on closets and other storage rooms. Don’t try and cheat by stuffing your clutter in these rooms since buyers are going to be especially interested in the storage capabilities of your home.

The last, but perhaps most important spot to declutter is the outside area of your home. This includes the porch, deck, front and back yards, and even the driveway. These areas will be the first things that prospective buyers see, and you probably have more clutter than you think outside. Any children’s lawn toys should be put away, along with any lawn ornaments. Be sure to look out for any that may have broken over time. You may have forgotten about them, but eagle eyed buyers will be sure to spot that.

3 Things that Buyer's Notice About Your Home

3 Things that Buyer’s Notice About Your Home

Selling your house is crazy, chaotic and stressful time and the longer you have lived in your home the more stressful it gets.  You need to pack up years’ worth of memories and turn your house from the home you love to a model home that sells.  This means packing up all of your photos, children’s art work and doing a thorough clean from top to bottom in order to get it ready to show.  Just because you think your house is ready for company that doesn’t mean that it is.  Here are 3 things that buyers will notice about your house right off the bat.

Your Appliances

More often than not appliance are sold with the home, so yes during an open house someone will probably look inside your oven to see if it clean or not.  A dirty stove, microwave or fridge is enough to send buyers running and they won’t be back.  If your appliance are more than five years old then it is that much more important to make sure that they are spotless.  You will want to take the time to clean and sanitize your appliances just before your open house.  If you don’t have the time then get a cleaning company to do it.  Dirty appliances can cost you offers.

Your Bathroom

Kitchens and bathrooms sell houses.  You will want to scrub down every inch of your bathroom until it sparkles.  Get rid of the old and moldy caulking around the bathtub and replace it with brand new shiny white caulking.  It is a cheap and easy fix and it’s worth the time.  One tiny speck of mold anywhere around the bathtub and buyers are gone.

Minor Fixes Need to be Done

If you have ten kitchen drawers a buyer will find the one that sticks or doesn’t close properly.  All the little broken things that are part and parcel of every home need to be fixed.  Change all of the burnt out light bulbs, oil the squeaky doors, replace the dripping faucets and fix the running toilet.  These are all things we can ignore when we are living in the home until we hardly notice them.  Buyer’s notice and they will think that you don’t care for your house properly.

When it comes to selling your home small things can have a huge impact so don’t overlook them.  Your realtor is there to help you notice the things you don’t see that could impact your sale.  Heed their advice and get your home sold quickly!

What You Should Know Before Buying a Home in PEI

What You Should Know Before Buying a Home in PEI

PEI is mostly rural with a couple of urban areas and the most commonly bought or sold property here is the single family home.  While duplexes and townhouses are available in Charlottetown and Summerside, the single family home still dominates the market.  Homes in PEI sell well below the national average coming in with an average selling price at $178,000 making PEI very affordable.  Here is what you should know before buying a home in PEI.

The Money

Before you start house hunting you should have a meeting with your bank to make sure you have the adequate funds for the down payment as well as the monthly mortgage payments.  You can get pre-approved for a mortgage so you know what kind of budget that you have to work with.  With pre-approval you can meet with a realtor who can help you find the right house for you.

Before you start making offers here are some things you should know about how real estate works in PEI:

  • The minimum down payment for a house on the island is at least 5%
  • Unless this is your first time buying a home you will also have to pay a 1% Real Property Transfer Tax
  • There are other fees associated with buying your home like inspection fees, closing costs and mortgage insurance
  • Getting a home inspection done is a MUST! There are plenty of home inspectors and you can find one with a simple Google search.  They will find any potential problems like cracked foundations or wiring issues.
  • Many homes in PEI use well water, if the property you’re looking at has a well then you will need to have the water tested at your expense.
  • A qualified lawyer able to practice in PEI is necessary to complete the paperwork necessary in selling a house.
  • Property taxes are an annual expense, if you have a mortgage they will be rolled into the monthly payments. If not, it will be your responsibility to pay them.  The tax rate will depend on the value and where your property is located, this should be disclosed to you at the time of purchase.

Finding Your Dream Home

There are plenty of resources to help you find your dream home.  You can start by working with one of our local realtors who knows the area well.  You can also check the PEI Real Estate Guide that is published weekly on Thursdays, it will also list the upcoming open houses for the weekend.  You can also check Kijiji and Craigslist for more listings.

Setting the Price for Your Home

Setting the Price for Your Home

When it comes to selling your PEI home one of the biggest factors in how quick it sells is setting the price.  It might sound like an oversimplification but price is one of the biggest factors in selling your home as quickly as possible.  That being said, it doesn’t mean that you have to give your house away.  Setting the price for your home will depend on several different factors.  The size, number of bedrooms, and of course the location will all affect the final price.  If  you want to sell quickly and still get top dollar then you need to sit down and work with your realtor to determine an aggressive pricing strategy.  Let’s look at how to determine the price.

Setting Your Price

One of the reasons it is so important to work with a realtor to set your price is that they are capable of taking the emotion out of the situation.  Homeowners can be emotionally attached, after all you have created some great memories there.  Sometimes greed can rear its ugly head too when it comes to price.  Your realtor can put together for you a competitive market analysis that will help figure out what your house is worth.

This analysis will look at other homes in the area that are comparable to yours.  Bear in mind the are comparable not identical, so the analysis will look at houses roughly the same size with the same number of bedrooms.  They will look at the final selling price along with how long the home was on the market.  From there you and your realtor will sit down and decide if your house should be priced on the low or high end of the comps.

Getting it Right from the Start

If you get the price right in the beginning then you can get it sold quickly.  The longer that your house sits on the market the more you’re going to have to lower the price.  Along with the price you’re going to have to get your property in front of as many potential buyers as possible.  Make sure that your price is in line with what other houses are selling for on the market.

The price that you finally settle on for your home’s listing will also depend on the time of year you decide to sell.  Home sales are more active in the spring and early summer months.  Take some time and do your research before you finally decide on your strategy.

The Real Cost of Buying a Home in PEI

The Real Cost of Buying a Home in PEI

Buying a home is one of the bigger milestones in your adult life.  It is a scary process that needs to be handled with care but when all is said and done you have a home that you can proudly call your own.  It takes a team of people to make sure that the process goes smoothly, from realtors to attorneys.  PEI is a great place to set down roots and call home.  Before you start house hunting you should be aware of the real cost of buying a home in PEI.

There are a variety of fees and taxes that go with any real estate transaction in the province,  let’s take a look at them so you don’t buy your house unprepared for the money you will need to close the deal.

Legal Costs

The legal costs of the transaction can vary and this is something you will need to talk about with a local attorney.  They will sit down and explain their fees along with the actions they take on your behalf, that can include things like search fees, admin fees and the cost of filing paperwork.  Most of them time an attorney will charge a flat fee for their services.

Deed and Mortgage Registration

Both your deed and mortgage need to be registered when you buy a new house.  Both of these costs are paid to the province and they are based on the price of the property.  If you pay cash for your home then you don’t need to register the mortgage.

Taxes

Anyone buying property in PEI is subject to property transfer taxes however there are some exceptions.  Typically the tax rate is 1% of the purchase price or the assessed value, you will pay at the higher value.  As far as exemptions go, here are some situations where you won’t have to pay.

  1. First time homebuyers can be exempted under certain circumstances. They must have lived in the province for at least six months prior to buying their home.  They also must not have previously owned property in another province they must be a genuine first time buyer.  They also need to continue to live in PEI for six months after the closing of the transaction.  The tax must be paid at the time of purchase but you can apply to have it refunded to you.
  2. Transactions between family members can also be exempted as well. This is when one family member effectively gifts a house to another or sells the home at a $1 price tag.
  3. Low cost transfers where the property is valued at and sold at less than $30,000.

Other Costs

There may be other costs that are associated with buying a home, these are things like the cost of inspection and what it will cost to connect utilities and any repair costs the home may need.