Information 23 April 2021

HOME PREPARATION

For home sellers, a little extra work getting the home ready for sale can make all of the difference in how smoothly the sale goes and how much one can ask for their home. It can also be the difference between a quick sale and a home that languishes on the market for months on end.

THE FOLLOWING TIPS WILL HELP YOU BOOST THE RESALE VALUE OF YOUR HOME – FIRST IMPRESSIONS COUNT!

You have one chance to make a good first impression. It is so important to impress the potential buyer the moment they pull up to your home. The first glimpse of the home will include the home’s exterior, the curb appeal, the yard, the walkways and the front door. It takes a human mind less than 30 seconds to make a decision. If the exterior appeals to a buyer, they will look at the interior of the home with more interest.

TIPS TO IMPROVE CURB APPEAL

LANDSCAPING AND GROUNDS MAINTENANCE

Rake the yard and patch up all burnt spots in the lawn

Keep the lawn well-manicured by regularly mowing it and keeping it weed-free

In winter, shovel snow and keep the driveway/walkways clear of icy patches

Trim shrubs and trees; weed flower beds and remove dead plants

Sweep all walkways and remove weeds from in between interlocking or patio stones

Level walkways and wash them off after winter or rain storm debris

Ensure the driveway is well looked after by filling in pot holes or uneven areas and resealing it to freshen up the look

Wash the siding of the house and clean the eaves troughs

Paint the front door and window frames, especially where they show signs of wear or peeling

Remove cobwebs, especially at the front entrance

Store lawn equipment, bikes, and toys instead of leaving them in the front or back yards

Keep the garage door closed

Other Exterior Maintenance

Remove and replace torn or worn screens on doors and windows

Ensure the doorbell and front entrance light are in working condition

Replace cracked windowpanes and panes with condensation

Repair and/or replace bent or damaged gutters and broken or loose shutters

Repair loose roof shingles and flashings

TIPS FOR THE INTERIOR OF YOUR HOME

ORGANIZATION AND CLUTTER CONTROL

Buyers are curious and will snoop! They will open closets and cabinet doors, sometimes even the fridge! Start packing up your belongings – you are moving, after all.

Reduce clutter in each room and storage areas; maximize storage and closet space

Coats and boots that are not seasonal essentials should be stored

Empty and tidy drawers and linen closets, as well as cabinets under the sink

File your personal paperwork and keep it out of sight from visiting buyers

Dust and clean bookcases, and rearrange books and magazines in an attractive way

Rearrange furniture to give rooms a spacious appearance

Keep toys organized and in one area

Clean the basement, attic, and garage of dust, dirt, and clutter

Make the beds in all bedrooms

Clean bathroom sink and declutter countertops

Have bath and hand towels neatly hung on towel racks

Pick up dirty laundry from the floor and store in hampers

Keep the floor clean and gleaming

Outdoor pools should be clean and surrounding area decluttered

Cleaning

A CLEAN, GLEAMING HOME IS EYE-CATCHING!

Clean your home top-to-bottom: remove cobwebs, dust bunnies, grease spots, finger marks, etc.

Get carpets professionally cleaned

Refinish hardwood floors if scratched

Replace vinyl floors if ripped or out of style (e.g. dark colours)

Fix squeaky floors and door hinges

Clean windows and door panes of dust, dirt, and rain water stains

Polish all chrome faucets and appliances, especially stainless steel

Air the home by opening all windows and doors to freshen the inside air, especially in basements or eating areas with stale or lingering food smells

Use mild air fresheners in enclosed spaces (nothing overwhelming, though!)

Put dirty dishes away and empty drying racks and kitchen sink

Lighting

Open blinds to allow natural light into the home, making it bright

For evening showings, turn all of the lights on, especially dark areas

Replace all burnt-out light bulbs

Clean all light fixtures, including ceiling fans for dust

Interior Maintenance

Keep the entrance way clean and uncluttered

Replace worn cabinet hardware, as well as scratched or damaged countertops

Replace worn, broken, dirty, or outdated curtains and blinds

Ensure all major appliances are in working condition

Fix drawers that do not run smoothly on their tracks

Re-grout all ceramic tiles if required and clean mildew and soap residue off the bath and shower

Fix leaky faucets and loose doorknobs

Empty kitchen and bathroom countertops to make them look spacious

Arrange items in the pantry and other kitchen cabinets, especially those with glass doors

Put away items you do not want included in the listing price, such as window coverings or fixtures that have emotional value

Store valuables to keep them out of sight and safe

Painting

Repaint all areas that show wear and tear, especially for dark or bright colours

Paint closets to cover shoe scuff marks

NOW, TAKE ANOTHER WALK AROUND YOUR HOUSE AND SEE IF YOU’RE IMPRESSED! IF YOU ARE, THE BUYER WILL BE TOO!  YOU’RE NOW READY TO TALK TO TERESA TO SELL YOUR HOME!

OR, IF YOU’RE NOT SURE WHERE TO START, CALL TERESA FOR A FREE-HOME STYLING CONSULTATION.

MotivationalMotivational 23 April 2021

LAST TIME SELLER

She had bought and sold several properties in her lifetime. This time, it was different.

Perhaps the biggest move was coming from overseas to Manitoba, Canada. She recalls the move up to Thompson and back – that sale was a nightmare.

Then there was the time she moved alone from the country into town, where she had felt very pressured by her agent. She would choose an agent carefully this time.

This was the last time.

The Realtor arrived on time at the assisted living facility that was now her home. This particular morning however, as a result of pain and stiffness, it was taking awhile for the health care aid to get her dressed.

As a child, she had been taught to be a gracious hostess. She had entertained many people in her own home. Proper etiquette was something she expected of herself.

This day, she wasn’t able to greet the Realtor at the door. She wouldn’t even be able to offer her a cup of tea.

As she made her way from the bedroom to the living room, she looked up from the wheelchair to meet her Realtor for the first time. She felt like she already knew her through her writings. They had enjoyed several telephone conversations over the past few weeks.

“You are a beautiful woman,” she said as her hands went up to sweep the fly-away hair from her face. Her ponytail was loose and she had not been able to groom her hair in a while.

She was self-conscious about her dishevelled appearance. The woman she saw in the mirror that morning was quite different from the impeccably groomed style she had once presented.

Gone were the days of elaborate gowns and fancy hats. She had a large collection of dramatic hats. Those hats displayed her pride in her English heritage. This day her gown was a robe.

This aging lady was clearly a woman of class and elegance. The robe and wheelchair did not disguise her beauty.

In her distinct English accent, she asked the agent a lot of questions. They viewed properties on the laptop together and she became well informed of the market value of the home that she had been forced to leave. It was not as high as she had hoped, but she made the choice to list her property.

She was not at home to witness the for sale sign go up on her property.

Some of her belongings were being packed and moved into the garage. There were family heirlooms and antiques that would not be following her into her next home. She had an appreciation for beautiful things. What would become of all these things, she wondered.

The month that followed was challenging. Since the death of her husband she had been a very independent woman. She didn’t like to ask for help. Now this unrelenting pain had her at the mercy of others. She said goodbye to the small room in the villa and was transported back to the hospital.

She worried about how her daughters would handle all the arrangements of the move. These beautiful women had busy lives and she was feeling like a burden to them. That was the worst part.

Then came the offer. If she signed those papers she would be faced with the brutal realization that she was never going to go back home. She would never again play in the gardens that she had planted. She would never sit on that deck to watch the sunset over the view of the park.

The buyer had allowed for a day’s wait before she needed to respond to the offer. She needed that time. She needed to be alone with her thoughts.

She gathered up some strength overnight. Perhaps the Realtor’s silent prayer had seen her through the anguish of emotions that came from letting go. She signed the contract. The house was sold.

With a worried look on her face she clasped her daughter’s hand and asked, “How are you going to manage getting everything moved so quickly?”

“Don’t worry about it Mom, I’ll take care of it,” her baby said as she leaned toward her on the hospital bed. They were comforting, reassuring words. At least, that’s how they were delivered.

She bit her tongue and tried to keep her lips from trembling. As a third person in the room, the Realtor observed a million words between mother and daughter that were never spoken.

As she awaits being transferred to a nursing home, she spends her time thinking about the life she has lived, the memories she has made and the inevitable truth that like 100 per cent of others, one day this life will end.

Perhaps she will make new friends in the nursing home and have much laughter over the next season of her life. Perhaps the pain will subside and she will go for walks this summer. For now, let her grieve a little. She is saying good-bye to more than just a house.

23 April 2021

13 Things You Should Give Up If You Want To Be Successful

13 Things You Should Give Up If You Want To Be Successful

”Somebody once told me the definition of hell:

“On your last day on earth, the person you became will meet the person you could have become.” — Anonymous

Sometimes, to become successful and get closer to the person we can become, we don’t need to add more things — we need to give up on some of them.

There are certain things that are universal, which will make you successful if you give up on them, even though each one of us could have a different definition of success.

You can give up on some of them today, while it might take a bit longer to give up on others.

1. Give Up On The Unhealthy Lifestyle

“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” — Jim Rohn

If you want to achieve anything in life, everything starts here. First you have to take care of your health, and there are only two things you need to keep in mind:

1. Healthy Diet

2. Physical Activity

Small steps, but you will thank yourself one day.

2. Give Up The Short-term Mindset

“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.” — Mae West

Successful people set long-term goals, and they know these aims are merely the result of short-term habits that they need to do every day.

These healthy habits shouldn’t be something you do; they should be something you embody.

There is a difference between: “Working out to get a summer body” and “Working out because that’s who you are.”

3. Give Up On Playing Small

“Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone, and as we let our light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” – Marianne Williamson

If you never try and take great opportunities, or allow your dreams to become realities, you will never unleash your true potential.

And the world will never benefit from what you could have achieved.

So voice your ideas, don’t be afraid to fail, and certainly don’t be afraid to succeed.

4. Give Up Your Excuses

“It’s not about the cards you’re dealt, but how you play the hand.”

 Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture

Successful people know that they are responsible for their life, no matter their starting point, weaknesses, and past failures.

Realising that you are responsible for what happens next in your life is both frightening and exciting.

And when you do, that becomes the only way you can become successful, because excuses limit and prevent us from growing personally and professionally.

Own your life; no one else will.

5. Give Up The Fixed Mindset

“The future belongs to those who learn more skills and combine them in creative ways.”― Robert Greene, Mastery

People with a fixed mindset think their intelligence or talents are simply fixed traits, and that talent alone leads to success — without hard work. They’re wrong.

Successful people know this. They invest an immense amount of time on a daily basis to develop a growth mindset, acquire new knowledge, learn new skills and change their perception so that it can benefit their lives.

Remember, who you are today, it’s not who you have to be tomorrow.

6. Give Up Believing In The “Magic Bullet.”

“Every day, in every way, I’m getting better and better” — Émile Coué

Overnight success is a myth.

Successful people know that making small continual improvement every day will be compounded over time, and give them desirable results.

That is why you should plan for the future, but focus on the day that’s ahead of you, and improve just 1% every day.

7. Give Up Your Perfectionism

“Shipping beats perfection.” — Khan Academy’s Development Mantra

Nothing will ever be perfect, no matter how much we try.

Fear of failure (or even fear of success) often prevents us from taking an action and putting our creation out there in the world. But a lot of opportunities will be lost if we wait for the things to be right.

So “ship,” and then improve (that 1%).

8. Give Up Multi-tasking

“You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks.”  Winston S. Churchill

Successful people know this. That’s why they choose one thing and then beat it into submission. No matter what it is — a business idea, a conversation, or a workout.

Being fully present and committed to one task, is indispensable.

9. Give Up Your Need to Control Everything

“Some things are up to us, and some things are not up to us.” — Epictetus, Stoic philosopher

Differentiating these two is important.

Detach from the things you cannot control, and focus on the ones you can, and know that sometimes, the only thing you will be able to control is your attitude towards something.

Remember, nobody can be frustrated while saying “Bubbles” in an angry voice.

10. Give Up On Saying YES To Things That Don’t Support Your Goals

“He who would accomplish little must sacrifice little; he who would achieve much must sacrifice much; he who would attain highly must sacrifice greatly.” — James Allen

Successful people know that in order to accomplish their goals, they will have to say NO to certain tasks, activities, and demands from their friends, family, and colleagues.

In the short-term, you might sacrifice a bit of instant gratification, but when your goals come to fruition, it will all be worth it.

11. Give Up The Toxic People

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”

 Jim Rohn

People we spend the most time with, add up to who we become.

There are people who are less accomplished in their personal and professional life, and there are people who are more accomplished than us. If you spend time with those who are behind you, your average will go down, and with it, your success.

But if you spend time with people who are more accomplished than you, no matter how challenging that might be, you will become more successful.

Take a look at around you, and see if you need to make any changes.

12. Give Up Your Need To Be Liked

“The only way to avoid pissing people off is to do nothing important.” — Oliver Emberton

Think of yourself as a market niche.

There will be a lot of people who like that niche, and there will be individuals who don’t. And no matter what you do, you won’t be able to make the entire market like you.

This is entirely natural, and there’s no need to justify yourself.

The only thing you can do is to remain authentic, improve and provide value every day, and know that the growing number of “haters” means that you are doing important things.

13. Give Up Your Dependency on Social Media & Television

“The trouble is, you think you have time” — Jack Kornfield

Impulsive web browsing and television watching are diseases of today’s society.

These two should never be an escape from your life or your goals.

Unless your goals depend on either, you should minimise (or even eliminate) your dependency on them, and direct that time towards things that can enrich your life.

Motivational 23 April 2021

Smell The Roses

Barely the day started and… it’s already six in the evening.

Barely arrived on Monday and it’s already Friday.

… and the month is already over.

… and the year is almost over.

… and already 40, 50 or 60 years of our lives have passed.

… and we realize that we lost our parents, friends.

and we realize it’s too late to go back…

So… Let’s try, despite everything, to enjoy the remaining time…

Let’s keep looking for activities that we like…

Let’s put some color in our grey…

Let’s smile at the little things in life that put balm in our hearts.

And despite everything, we must continue to enjoy with serenity this time we have left. Let’s try to eliminate the afters…

I’m doing it after…

I’ll say after…

I’ll think about it after…

We leave everything for later like ′′ after ′′ is ours.

Because what we don’t understand is that:

Afterwards, the coffee gets cold…

afterwards, priorities change…

Afterwards, the charm is broken…

afterwards, health passes…

Afterwards, the kids grow up…

Afterwards parents get old…

Afterwards, promises are forgotten…

afterwards, the day becomes the night…

afterwards life ends…

And then it’s often too late….

So… Let’s leave nothing for later…

Because still waiting, see you later, we can lose the best moments,

the best experiences,

best friends,

the best family…

The day is today… The moment is now…

We are no longer at the age where we can afford to postpone what needs to be done right away.  

Have no regrets!  Enjoy everyday!

Edmonton Market 23 April 2021

Alberta: An Affordable Place to Call Home

There’s nothing new about the real estate markets in Ontario or British Columbia. Home sales and prices have risen yet again. That is bad news for prospective buyers who were hoping to purchase a home this year. But there is something new and exciting happening in Alberta, and this trend could bring some much-needed activity to the province’s weakened economy.

 

THE REAL ESTATE MARKET IN ALBERTA IS HEATING UP, BUT HOUSING PRICES ARE STILL REASONABLE ENOUGH THAT FIRST-TIME BUYERS CAN INVEST IN A PROPERTY THAT THEY CAN ACTUALLY AFFORD.

 

Ontario and B.C. have been experiencing dramatic bidding wars and rapid sales for over five years. Tiny fixer-uppers are selling for $1 million and supply doesn’t appear to be satisfying demand.

Home sales are up in Alberta, and supply is decreasing faster than most could have anticipated. March recorded over 8,500 provincial sales, making it the strongest March on record. The Alberta Real Estate Association noted that home sales had been relatively weak before COVID-19, but drastic interest rate cuts, changing housing preferences and improved savings for some have supported the surge in housing demand.

The average price for a detached home was just below $500,000 in March. Calgary recorded a March benchmark price of $516,300 for detached homes. While that is eight per cent higher than March 2020, it’s nowhere near the $1-million mark. In Edmonton, single-family homes sold for an average of $457,936 in March, a 13.3 per cent year-over-year increase from March 2020, and a 4.6-per-cent increase from February 2021.

Currently, the challenge for several Albertans isn’t finding a home within their budget. Rather, they need to get used to making purchasing decisions quickly. Millennials and Gen Zs are entering the market in Alberta and are driving the growing demand for properties under $600,000. There’s finally some competition, but the current state of the market is healthy by most standards.

In 2014, Alberta’s oil boom came to an abrupt halt. The record-high volume of worldwide oil inventories in storage caused crude oil prices to collapse. By February 2016, Alberta’s oil was valued as the cheapest oil in the world.

Alberta’s recession ended in 2017, but the province is still in recovery. Population growth declined in 2014 and has struggled to come back up. There is still a shortage of jobs but Albertans who are employed in trades positions, construction and energy often earn more than employees who hold similar positions in other provinces.

Alberta’s economy isn’t expected to exceed pre-pandemic levels until 2023, reports ATB Financial. The forecast, however, does predict a return to growth in 2021 and anticipates growth of 3.3 per cent in both 2021 and 2022. These predictions depend largely on how disruptive the pandemic is this year, and the demand for oil.

ATB Financial anticipates Alberta’s unemployment rate to hold around 11 per cent into next year, but this might not be a dealbreaker for prospective buyers currently living in other parts of Canada.

Currently those who can work from home are being as productive as they possibly can from their kitchen table, bedroom or couch. Chances are high that most office workers will not be commuting to work more than two or three times a week, even after the pandemic has ended. In rarer cases, some companies have said that employees never have to return to the office if they don’t want to. This has given people options that they never had before.

With a desire for more space and an ability to work from anywhere, people currently living in Ontario or B.C. could, in theory, move to Alberta. It’s not something that everyone could or would be willing to do, but if people are looking for space at a reasonable price, Alberta’s got it. Alberta also has big cities and cosy rural areas, and while it would take some time to adjust to the cold, the warmer months are a delight.

In return, Alberta would see a more active economy, with more people shopping, attending schools and requiring personal care.

While most prospective buyers won’t likely move to a new province to find their dream home, it is an option worth considering. For those who are seriously thinking about it, don’t wait too long. Alberta’s real estate market could transition from warm to hot very soon