7 Tips On How To Stage Your House For Sale

If you didn’t know, love at first site exists in real estate. The way you stage your house determines how fast it gets off of the shelf. If you are a real estate investor or a home owner interested in selling your house, here are awesome tips on how to stage your house for a fast sale:

Make the home spotless

This is a no brainer. Who is going to buy a dirty house? To create a great first impression you need to ensure that your home is clean. This calls for you to clean windows, floor, counters, ceiling and other fixtures. If the house is too big, chances are that you can’t clean it on your own. The safe way of going about it is hiring a cleaning company to help you out.

Maintain the yard

There is nothing that screams “bargain” like an unkempt yard. You should cut down the glass and trim the flowers. You should also update the yard furniture.

Get rid of clutter

It’s easy to hold onto personal effects such as pictures. Remember that the homebuyer isn’t interested on your personal likes thus you should get rid of them. The personal effects also tend to clutter the place hiding the attractive areas of the house.

The rule of thumb that you should follow is to eliminate anything that doesn’t add value to the homebuyer.

Incite curiosity

A home buyer may not be interested in buying the house at first, but when he/she tours the entire house he/she might change his/her mind. To encourage the buyer to tour the entire house you should incite curiosity by placing interesting items in the hallway, corners and even at the top of the stairs.

Great items that you should consider include: painted accent walls, flower vases and light fixtures.

Keep the house smelling great

Unpleasant odors will scare the buyers away; therefore, you should ensure that your home smells great. If you have pets you should steam clean the carpets. You should also ensure that you clean all the dirty clothes that might be in the house.

To maintain good smell you should avoid cooking your food with strong spices during the days of showings. A cheap and effective way of creating a great smell is using candles. The smell of fresh cooking is popular, but you can also light a vanilla candle.

Paint the rooms

If the paint in the house has faded you should consider repainting it. Repainting shows that you have invested in the property. In addition to painting you should also fix wall holes, light fixtures and windows.

Open the closets

Buyers want enough storage space and many won’t buy a house if it doesn’t have enough space. Even if you have a lot of things to store, you should remove them in order to create the impression of “plenty of room.”

Conclusion

These are just a few tips on how to stage your home for sale. By putting the above tips into place you will not only sell your house fast, you will also sell it at a high price.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9250174

Legally Duplexing in Kitchener-Waterloo

With stacked townhouses and high rise condos gaining popularity in Kitchener-Waterloo renters that are searching for an outdoor element seem to have less and less options. This makes the market for single family house rentals popular. From an investment standpoint is that the best option for a great return on investment? Enter, the duplex. Converting a single family home into a duplex creates huge possibilities, money invested into this kind of renovation can be re-captured upon completion with a profit, or you can rent it out to multiple families for a fantastic long term investment.

What needs to be done to make this ‘legal’ in Kitchener-Waterloo? I’m going to explain some of the steps required to get you started on your next truly safe investment.

Before we discuss the legal aspects let’s discuss the basics. Separate entrance by the stairs or a walkout basement with a door is a must. The easier the access to the basement the better. Purchasing a home that already had a washroom with a shower in the basement makes for an easier renovation.  Another important element when choosing the correct basement is windows.

Kitchener-Waterloo has minimum window size requirements for at least one window in the lower unit incase of fire. All bed rooms require a window. Fire separation is required between all walls that are shared. That fire separation must provide one hour of resistance. Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors must be installed that are hard wired to each other. Meaning if one goes off the other goes off so both units are alerted. They cannot be batterie powered however they can have battery backup. The furnace must also be equipped with a smoke detector in the duct work that will shut off the furnace if smoke is detected to help prevent injury and spread of oxygen ruling the fire.

These are the very basics of legally duplexing in Kitchener-Waterloo and the Real Estate market is always changing. Contact us for more information and The Doug Coulter Team can help add a duplex to your investment portfolio.

Rapid transit in Kitchener

On Thursday February 11 Toronto and Kitchener mayors met in Toronto to discuss the future for high speed transit between waterloo region and Toronto. John Tory and Barry Verbanovic discussed that without transit infrastructure between the cities economic growth will be limited. The Toronto to Kitchener/Waterloo corridor has the potential to be Canada’s own Silicon Valley. John Tory will visit the Waterloo region in March to further promote their campaign for high speed two way transit. Both mayors will head to San Francisco in April to promote opportunities in our region. So what does this mean for Waterloo region real estate? The Doug Coulter Team believes that with improved transit between Waterloo region and Toronto we would benefit greatly with economic growth,  the real estate market will stay strong and home prices in Kitchener waterloo will continue to rise.

Staging Tips That Help Homes Sell Quickly in Kitchener Waterloo Cambridge!

The numbers don’t lie; often well staged home can see faster sales and higher offers than their cluttered counterparts. The key is getting an early start on the process. By beginning the monumental task of clearing the clutter and doing a pre-pack now, you can reduce the stress of preparing for showings and make it easier to move when your home sells.

Try these five staging and organizing tips to help you reach a faster sale.

Purge From Top to Bottom — Do a proper sort and purge, getting rid of outdated clothing, duplicate items and rarely used gadgets. To keep this task from turning into a source of serious frustration, tackle one room (or even one drawer) at a time.

Pack Up Everything but the Essentials — Start pre-packing your home, storing non-essentials or out-of-season gear in the garage or off-site. The idea is to give potential buyers a sense of space, which can’t be done if your home is overloaded with clutter.

Fix Glaring Problems — Remove out-of-style wallpaper, replace broken light fixtures, update cabinet and drawer pulls, and refresh dated window treatments.

Depersonalize — Remove family pictures and personal collections, and replace them with neutral artwork and simple accessories. The idea is to give potential buyers a neutral canvas so they can imagine their belongings in your home.

Go for Polished — Call a Professional Stager!  Professional stagers recommend tailoring the design style to your target demographic. For example, if you’re in a family neighborhood, style the bedrooms for children, even if none live in your home.

 

Family Day in Kitchener-Waterloo!!

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February 15th, 2016

Family Day is here again…..what will you be doing?

From ice skating and building snowmen to indoor movie events to stay cozy, Kitchener-Waterloo has dozens of activities for everyone to choose from on Family Day!

¨ Winterloo Fest returns to Uptown Waterloo for 3 days of winter fun including skating, ice craving, Tumblebus, food trucks, hot chocolate and more. Head out to Waterloo Town Square for a fun– filled Family Day. Sunday 11am-4pm and Monday 11am-4pm

¨ Grand River Parks are hosting ice-fishing derbies at Shade’s Mill Park on Sunday 8am-2pm and Pinehurst Lake Park on Monday 8am-2pm

¨ Several community pools will be open in Kitchener-Waterloo for family swim, please call each facility for schedules.

¨ Carl Zehr Square in front of Kitchener City Hall is open for skating from 9am-11pm

¨ Family Skate and movie night at Bridgeport Community Centre from 2pm-4pm

¨ Family movie and pizza at Doon Pioneer Park Community Centre 5pm-7pm

¨ Free family movie “Ice Age Continental Drift” at the Princess Twin Cinemas Sunday and Monday 1pm-3pm

Whatever your plans for Family Day, the Doug Coulter Team wishes you and your family a wonderful day!

have a happy family day

 

Downtown Kitchener Revival!

With Google launching their new headquarters last week and LRT construction everywhere downtown Kitchener is busy with new developments and Kitchener waterloo real estate buzz. Drive down the downtown core and the transformation is easily seen in this vibrant downtown. Older building are being revived like the Breithaupt Block and the Tannery building both home to Google. New developments are changing the skyline with both city centre condominiums and 1 Victoria both under construction. The demand  for downtown Kitchener real estate is high for investors and young professionals working downtown and why wouldn’t it be with independent shopping, Local coffee shops and the vivid food scene emerging in the core. Downtown Kitchener is growing fast! Give the Doug Coulter Team a call today to find out how you can be apart of the action.

New Pedestrain Crossing Rules for Kitchener-Waterloo!!

As of January 1, 2016 Ontario has launched new rules for crossover walkways and school walkways. The Doug Coulter Team wants to be sure that everyone is aware of this new law in the Kitchener-Waterloo area.   People are crossing the roads listening to music, texting and having telephone conversation which will distract their attention, so there is always the need for caution.

According to the Ministry of Transportation, all drivers (including cyclists) must now stop and yield the whole roadway at pedestrian crossovers as well as school crossings that have crossing guard carrying a stop sign. So this means you cannot just wait until people have cleared enough space for you to zoom through in these areas—you have to wait until they have fully reached the other side before proceeding.

Failure to do so could mean fines from $150 to $500 and the loss of 3 demerit points.

It appears crosswalks may not be exactly what you thought the were. Here is the difference between a crosswalk and cover and school crossings.

Pedestrian Crossover ( where the new law applies)

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Pedestrain Crosswalk (where the new law does not apply)

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School Crossing ( a crossing guard must be present for the new law to apply)

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Thinking About Home Improvements This Year?

If you are ready to start the New Year off with home improvement ideas in mind, you are not alone. The New Year is an excellent time to consider adding on to your home before the spring, as well as completing indoor projects while the weather is cold. Home improvements can range from upgrading existing fixtures and finishes to knocking down walls and adding on square footage. Whichever improvements you have in mind, as your Kitchener-Waterloo Real Estate Specialist…we can help!

Picture1 Picture2  Assess your home: Walk through your home and determine what wish list items are, and what necessity items are. A wish list item could be upgrading to granite countertops, while a necessity item could be leaky plumbing pipes that have to be replaced as soon as possible.

How long do you plan to be in your home: If you are planning on selling your home this year, your budget for improvements may be different from your neighbor who’s only lived in their home for a year. The Doug Coulter Team, as your Real Estate Specialists for Kitchener-Waterloo, will sit down with you and discuss what improvements will bring you the highest return on Investment.

Seek out inspiration now: Spend time at your favorite paint store and collect some great paint swatches, find that one piece of furniture you love and build your room around that. The more you research ahead of time the more stress free your renovation will be.

Know your budget: After the holidays, money is often tight for many home owners. Instead of getting discouraged, use the first few months of the New Year to plan your project. The Doug Coulter Team can help with a list of renovations and approximate costs to help you decide what changes you want to make.

Ask for help early: How many do it yourself reality television shows do you see that the friends or family member do not stay or show up for the home improvement project? Ask for help well in advance of the project. If your home renovation will require electrical, plumbing or structural updates check early to see what permits may be required. If you choose to hire a professional trades person, we as your Kitchener-Waterloo Real Estate Professional have a list of professional people we would be pleased to provide for you.

Be flexible: All renovations take time and energy. Plan for a little extra time to completion. It is worth the little extra time it may take to make things just as you had planned.

The Doug Coulter Team will be happy to help you plan and carry out your renovation, Please feel free to call us.

Happy New Year Renovations

 

ATTENTION KITCHENER-WATERLOO! HOW TO Protect Your Home While You’re Gone!!

The holiday season is prime time for thieves looking for an easy opportunity to break into your home.  While you are enjoying the hustle and bustle of this festive period, a thief could be taking a leisurely stroll through your home in search of valuables.  Scary thought! Keep your home sale and secure over the holidays with these five thoughtful tips.

Alert the Neighbours ~ Let the neighbours,  with whom you are friendly with,  know about your travel plans and ask them to watch for any suspicious activity.  Arrange for someone you trust to enter your home every couple of days to ensure everything is running smoothly.

Put The Post Office on Pause ~ Temporarily suspend mail and newspaper delivery service while you are away.  Or ask a neighbor to collect them for you.  Nothings signals that a home is unoccupied like a week’s worth of newspapers at the doorstep.

Keep Gifts Under Wraps ~ Do not advertise what you have bought over the holiday season on social media!  Ensure your gifts and valuables are not visible from the street or evidence of your purchases at the trash.  Many of a holiday have been ruined by thieves making off with all the presents.

Secure All Entry Points ~ Ensure all doors and windows in your home have functioning locks that properly fasten.  Be sure to remove any spare keys you may have hidden near your door.

Install a Security System ~ A professional security system gives you peace of mind while you are away.  Modern systems often include remote video monitoring that allows you to check on your home from wherever you are.

Enjoy this Christmas Season and Be Safe !!

 

Why you should List your Kitchener Waterloo home NOW during the Holidays!

Many folks who are now considering selling their Kitchener Waterloo home belive that (December) is just not a great time and would make more sense to list in the spring.  The true reality is, that NOW is the absolute best time.  During the spring time, there is the misconception that it’s the busiest time, in reality, there is simply more inventory and therefore more options for buyers to choose from.  Essentially, more competition!  During this time of the year, when everyone is waiting for the “busy” spring, active buyers are sometimes willing to pay asking price to get the home they want to move into wrapped up.

Just a few things to consider…

  1. You can sell now for more money and we will provide for a delayed closing or extended occupancy until early next year!
  2. By selling now, you may have an opportunity to be a non-contingent buyer during the spring, when many more houses are on the market for less money! This will allow you to sell high and buy low!
  3. Even though your house will be on the market, you will have the option to restrict showings during the six or seven days around the Holidays!
  4. January is traditionally the month for employees to begin new jobs. Since transferees cannot wait until spring to buy,  you need to be on the market during the Holidays to capture that market!
  5. Some people must buy before the end of the year for tax reasons!
  6. Houses show better when decorated for the Holidays!
  7. People who look for homes during the Holidays are more serious buyers!!!

Call the DougCoulterTeam today to book your free Kitchener Waterloo Real Estate Home Evaluation and get a jump on the competition!

 

 

 

GREAT NEWS FOR REAL ESTATE IN KITCHENER AND WATERLOO!!

Municipal land transfer tax won’t be allowed to expand past Toronto!

TORONTO — The 444 municipalities spanning Ontario will not be given the same power as the city of Toronto to impose a local land transfer tax.

Municipal Affairs Minister Ted McMeekin surprised the Opposition during question period Tuesday by announcing the Liberal government would not allow towns and cities to impose their own land transfer tax on top of the province’s.

The province did its usual consultations on the Municipal Act following last year’s local elections and found “no one was asking” for a land transfer tax, McMeekin told the legislature.

“We are currently reviewing that feedback and can tell you there has been no call, at all, for a municipal land transfer tax, nor is there any legislation before the house that would allow this,” he said. “Let me be clear: there will be no extension of the ability to have a land transfer tax to any municipality (outside Toronto).”

The Progressive Conservatives celebrated after McMeekin’s surprise announcement, but also accused the Liberals of floating the land transfer tax as a trial balloon.

“It just recognizes some of the concerns that municipalities have,” said deputy PC leader Steve Clark. “I’m glad the minister made the right decision.”

The Tories claimed the municipal land transfer tax has already cost Toronto up to $2.3 billion in lost economic activity and 15,000 jobs, but there are no indications it has cooled down the city’s real estate market.

McMeekin accused the Tories of using scare tactics to warn people that a land transfer tax would hurt home sales, and said he wanted to make it clear that the province was not imposing such a plan.

“There was a campaign of misinformation there and it just made sense in the house, to me, that I stand up and clarify and that’s what I did,” he said.

Cash-strapped municipal governments are looking for new revenue tools, added McMeekin, who suggested some may want to follow Toronto’s lead and impose development charges.

“That’s a potential significant source of revenue,” he said. “They have certain tools that many of them use wisely, but some aren’t using fully.”

The Opposition said McMeekin should come up with some solid ideas and suggestions for local governments to help them increase their revenues.

“The minister cannot continue to float trial balloons up to municipalities,” said Clark. “He needs to actually have a meaningful consultation with them and table some of his suggestions so they can have that discussion.”

Clark said the Liberals only backed down because of his private member’s motion — which was scheduled for debate Thursday — that said the government should not impose or help municipalities facilitate the imposition of a land transfer tax.

“Until I tabled the motion, which put it in the public realm, they would have continued doing what they’ve been doing and talking behind closed doors,” he said. “It’s not the way to consult.”

The Ontario Real Estate Association called McMeekin’s decision a “huge win” for people who dream of home ownership!

“It reaffirms that the municipal land transfer tax is a bad revenue tool, not just outside Toronto but in it as well,” said OREA president Patricia Verge.

http://kitchener.ctvnews.ca/municipal-land-transfer-tax-won-t-be-allowed-to-expand-past-toronto-1.2681715

 

New Doug Coulter Team Website Launched!

Welcome to the new Doug Coulter Team website!

To better serve our clients we’re pleased to announce the launch of our brand new website.  This will help improve upon the already exceptional and specialized services that we provide to our clientele daily.

Doug Coulter Team has evolved naturally out of the need to target our clientele more effectively and to offer those clients specific and tailored services to suit their requirements.  Our website has taken this same approach.

Efficiency and clarity are key components of the Doug Coulter Team philosophy and our new website exemplifies this by providing our clients with complete listing profiles, interactive galleries, easy access to contact forms, sharing tools, browser accessibility and more.  Our clientele can now navigate an efficient interface that will allow our users to more quickly locate property listings and information that matches their needs.  We only feature properties that offer the very best in value, location and finish quality at each price point.

In addition to our new website, we’re also inviting our clients to really get to know our team through our up-to-the-moment and informative blog.  Our blog will offer current updates, real estate and community related news, events and more.    Our goal is to be your best resource for finding the real estate you want, in the neighbourhoods you love.  We service Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Elmira and other surrounding cities and Townships.

Please feel free to browse through our new website for your next home or contact us with your specific real estate needs.