403-396-0721 Royal LePage Network Realty Corp.

Archive for May, 2014

Moving In in Red Deer/Central Alberta: A Checklist by Shantel Campbell

Thursday, May 15th, 2014

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Moving In in Red Deer/Central Alberta: A Checklist by Shantel Campbell

Plan to have your moving day off

Mail Keys: If the previous owners did not leave the mail keys &/or location of mail box, you can contact Canada Post online: http://bit.ly/1slHRtI.   They will leave a Delivery Notice Card on your front door indicating the Post Office where you can pick up your keys.  When you pick up your keys, bring the Delivery Notice Card and government-issued photo identification.

Change of Address/Mail Forwarding: http://bit.ly/1kMb7oL

Change Your Address:

  • car/house/health insurance

  • bank

  • drivers license/registration

  • credit card

  • school

  • magazine subscriptions

  • government

  • doctor/dentist

  • provide important contacts with your new address: Employers, Family & Friends, Attorney, Accountant, Others

Have Utilities or Services set up/switched over for move in day:

  • natural gas: Enmax 310-2020 or Direct Energy 1-866-374-6299

  • electricity: Enmax 310-2020 or Direct Energy 1-866-374-6299

  • water/garbage/recycle: City of Red Deer Utility Billing Service Centre 403-342-8203

  • phone: Telus 310-CALL

  • tv/internet: Shaw 1-888-472-2222 For current Shaw deals, call Stacy Pickard 403-392-4518 (Ex. New Customer Rate or Existing Customer 1 Free month)

  • satellite: Bell 1-888-759-3474

  • alarm company

  • homeowners insurance: Gary Wilmer w/ Ing & McKee 403-346-5547

  • Switch services for your old place to your new place: Newspaper, House Cleaning, Lawn, Pool, Water Delivery

Confirm date, time and address(es) with moving company 1-2 days before

Call your lawyer 1-2 weeks before possession to make sure everything is good to go

For more great information about buying and/or selling, contact me or check out my website

 

blog moving in

Photo credits: torontorealtyblog.com, yourcornwalllawyer.com

 

Home Buyers: How To Avoid Paying Too Much in Red Deer & Central Alberta

Tuesday, May 13th, 2014

Home Buyers: How To Avoid Paying Too Much in Red Deer & Central Alberta

As someone who has helped countless buyers find their dream homes and save money at the same time, I’ve developed this guide to help you avoid the pitfalls inherent in the home buying process.  I’ll show you not only how to make sure you’ve found the right home, but also how to negotiate a price to your advantage.  In today’s complex, fast-paced market, you can’t afford to learn these lessons through trial and error.  The tips in this blog will go a long was toward making you a savvy buyer.

Tip #1Know what you’re shopping for before you start!  Before you begin shopping, understand that there are two homes out there vying for your interest-the one that meets your needs vs the one that fulfills your desires.  So, do you choose the 3 bedroom home with room for your family to grow, or the one with the big back yard and deck that’s perfect for entertaining?  Is having a big kitchen more important for you than a few extra rooms?  You’re going to find homes you fall in love with for different reasons.  That’s why you should make a list of the features you want before you start shopping, break into two categories: Needs and Desires.  I’ve seen clients fall in love with a home for the wrong reasons, then regret their purchase when the home fails to meet their needs.  Don’t let emotion cloud your judgement; satisfy your needs first!  If you find a home that meets your needs and fulfills your desires, so much the better!

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Tip #2: Shop for a mortgage before you shop for a home!  Getting a loan pre-approval is the smart way to shop for a home.  It tells sellers that you’re a serious prospect and you know in advance the maximum you  can afford.  Make sure you get a commitment in writing!  I’ve seen many buyers make the mistake of learning what they qualify for but not getting that pre-approval in writing.  The good news is that it’s easier than ever to qualify for a home loan!  Lenders have modified qualification rules and created programs designed to help people even if they have problems in their credit or employment histories.  Many programs call for dramatically reduced down payments-the biggest obstacle for first-time home buyers in particular.  If you would like a recommendation for a mortgage broker, please let me know! 403-396-0721

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Tip #3: Pick a winning Realtor® to help you!  From picking a mortgage, to finding the right home, to inspections, to negotiating the best deal, it can be exhausting for even the hardiest souls.  That’s why most people have a Realtor® in their corner.  A good agent has the knowledge and experience that come from years of helping both buyers and sellers.  He or she also has a team of other professionals to put at your disposal- lenders, lawyers, home inspectors, movers, etc.  Most sellers you encounter are certainly going to have professionals in their corner.  Having a  pro on your team is the best way to make sure you get the best deal possible.

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Tip #4: Make sure your Realtor® knows what you are looking for!  Once you have a clear, detailed picture of the home you want, make sure your agent has the same picture.  This communication is critical!  Otherwise, you’ll both waster your time looking at homes you’re really not interested in.  Also, make sure your Realtor®  knows your priorities.  Your shared goal is to find a place that meets all of your needs; your Realtor® will then try to satisfy as many of your desires as possible.  A good Realtor® will ask you several questions about what you’re looking for and what you can afford.  And they’ll listen carefully to your answers.

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Tip #5: It’s a cliché, but location, location, location!  The desirability and resale value of your home-to-be depend on location more than any other single factor.  Again, don’t let emotion get in the way of a wise investment.  No home is an island and the value of yours is affected by the homes that surround it.  There are several elements that combine to create a good location.  Your first consideration is neighbourhood.  Do people take care of their homes and yards?  Are yards fenced?  Do children play in the streets?  If the neighbourhood is to your satisfaction, look at homes on the market in the area.  Extremely large homes surrounded by smaller ones tend to appreciate less than a large home among other large homes.  The smallest home in the neighbourhood tends to be “pulled up” by the other homes on the block; although it may take longer to sell a smaller home because many people are unwilling to pay extra for the neighbourhood.  The outer edge of a neighbourhood is usually not good for resale value.  There are noticeable dividing lines between unlike neighbourhoods, such as architectural styles, home size, property use, etc.  An exception to this rule is a house on the edge of a neighbourhood bounded by woods, park land, a golf course or other open space.  These “edge” homes can actually command a better price.  The exception to this rule is when there’s an unpleasant use planned for the open space.  Other things that can negatively affect property values are traffic, sounds, smells, etc.  Be sure to give the neighbourhood a long, hard look.  The home you’re interested in may be perfect, BUT if the neighbourhood has problems, your investment won’t be worth as much when the time comes to sell.

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Tip #6: Use your agent to narrow the prospect list!  A good agent brings to the table an in-depth knowledge of the current housing inventory in his or her area, and continually updates that knowledge by touring homes as they are placed on the market.  This is to your advantage.  Trying to personally see every available home that might fit your needs would be an overwhelming process.  If you are thorough in communicating your needs and what you can realistically afford, then your agent can help you narrow down the list of prospective homes to those that vest suit your needs.  This will save you much time and energy.  When the time comes to settle on one home, you can do it with confidence that you’ve made a well-informed choice.

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Tip #7: Shop with your head, not your heart!  Don’t forget the purpose of your “Needs” and “Desires” lists.  Shopping for a home is an emotional process.  Your heart will cost your money; using your head will save it.

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Tip #8:  Don’t ignore red flags when evaluating a home’s pluses and minuses!  When evaluating the advantages and drawbacks of a particular property, be sure you know the difference between acceptable and unacceptable problems.  Some issues-peeling paint, worn carpeting, ugly wallpaper-are cosmetic and can be easily remedied.  In fact, you can use these “problems” during negotiations to lower the asking price- after all, you’ll need to spend money to bring the house up to snuff.  Make careful note of what you see that can be used to your advantage.  Don’t nit-pick, however-if taken to extremes, you could end up alienating the seller and creating a hostile atmosphere.  Other problems may be warnings to walk away: major foundation cracks, evidence of previous water damage, antiquated electrical systems or plumbing.  Any one of these may be cause to reconsider your interest.  Don’t let a house’s positive attributes blind you to very real problems or you’ll end up spending much more money than your ever expected down the line.

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Tip #9: Hire a professional home inspector!  In my experience , spending a few hundred dollars on a professional home inspection is the best investment you’ll ever make.  A professional inspector brings experience in examining a great many homes, good evaluation standards and an unbiased perspective.  Make sure you accompany your inspector on the tour.  You’ll learn a lot about the home you’re thinking of buying.  Once you have your evaluation, the decision to proceed is yours  A home inspector only gives you a professional opinion of the home’s condition, not advice as to ether or not you should buy.  A typical inspection looks at: foundation; electrical; heating and plumbing; floors, wall and ceilings; attic; roof; siding and trim; porches, patios and decks; garage; property drainage.

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Tip # 10: Not all fixer-uppers are good buys!  You may be the sort of person who looks at a  home in need of significant work as a challenge and an opportunity to make money.  Many people have bought fixer-uppers at below market rates, invested little sweat equity or more than a little money on renovation, then eventually put it back on the market at a profit.  But if it isn’t priced low enough, you won’t recoup your investment of time, trouble and expense.  Before you proceed, do a careful evaluation of what you’ll have to invest and consult with your Realtor® to learn what you can reasonably expect to make when you put the home back on the market.  And be sure to include the unexpected-there’s no such thing as a “sure thing.”

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Tip #11: Choose a home with an eye toward future needs! Buying a home is a big investment.  If you can stretch a little today to buy a home that you can grow into-whether it’s having a child, running a home-based business, or having room to build an addition-do it!  In the long run, it will probably be less expensive than moving up to a marginally larger home when the need does arise.

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Tip #12:  Once you’re ready to buy, move quickly! Good properties move fast!  Once you’ve made up your mind to buy a home and you’ve lined up your Realtor®, be prepared to make decisions quickly.  If you find the right home today but aren’t ready to buy until tomorrow, you may already be too late.

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Tip #13: Clarify who your agent is!  Make sure you know who the agent  you’re talking to represents.  Any agent has a responsibility to be open and honest with you and to let you know who he or she represents-the buyers, the seller or both.

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Tip#14: Expect for a written comparative market analysis!  One way to ensure that you don’t offer too much for a home is to have a written comparative market analysis.  CMA will show you the sale prices of comparable homes in the neighbourhood.  It also lists the asking prices of other homes in the area currently on the market.  You may find that the asking price is above what comparable homes in the neighbourhood are actually selling for.  Or you might even find another home in the area that’s a better bargain.  When you make an offer, you can use the CMA as evidence to show the seller why you believe your offer is a reasonable one.

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Tip #15: Use your time to your advantage!  Just as you have a time frame in which you wish to buy, the seller almost certainly has a deadline of his/her own.  If you can learn the seller’s deadline, it’s another piece of information that can be used to negotiate a better deal.

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Tip #16: Don’t be pressured into a quick deal if it doesn’t feel right!  While you want to move quickly once you’re in negotiations, don’t let the other side pressure you into a quick close.  It may be a sign that there’s something you should know, but don’t.  And the reason could be worth money.

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Tip #17: Don’t be  afraid to negotiate! You may be the type of person who prefers a hard-and-fast price tag on everything.  “I don’t like to haggle” you say.  BUT negotiation is the key to getting a good deal!  If your goal is to get the best home possible for the least amount of money, then you had better be prepared to play.

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Tip #18: Know your hidden costs!  There’s more to buying a home than the mortgage.  Don’t forget to factor in mortgage insurance, appraisal fees, inspection fees, title insurance and every other dollar you’ll have to spend in order to know what you’re really paying for your new home.

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Most importantly,  Tip #19: Now, armed with this knowledge,  you stand a much better chance of avoiding overpaying for your home!  As you can imaging, there is no learning curve that forgives mistakes made during the home-buying process.  If I had to choose only one tip from the several I just listed, it would be this: Get yourself a good Realtor®- someone whose sole interest in the deal is to watch out for YOUR interests.  If you take this advice, the rest will follow.  A truly sharp agent will make sure that you follow all of the other suggestions I’ve included in this report.

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Please contact me if you would like further explanation on any of these topics, or if you have any real estate questions at all.  I simply see my mission as striving to be as helpful as I possibly can to Red Deer and Central Alberta home owners. Click Home Buying for more information from my website on buying a home.

 

Photo credits: wilkescountyrealestate.net, dreamstime.com, shantelreddeer.com, mymidtownmojo.com, grtcorp.com, kapre.com, bubbles.com, eravaldosta.com, guardianhomeinspectionny.com, thissoldhouse.com, speedproject.eu, ardorny.com, landthink.com, elikarealestate.com, brendainlaramieblog.com, mrcredit.org, mortgagerates.inmyarea.com, blog.robbiejohal.com, nationalpropertyvaluers.com.au

 

Moving Out: in Red Deer/Central Alberta: A Checklist by Shantel Campbell

Tuesday, May 13th, 2014

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DO                                                                                  DON’T

Moving Out in Red Deer/Central Alberta: A Checklist by Shantel Campbell

Plan to have your moving day off

Have everything packed before moving day, except the last few things you need to leave out

Leave mail keys and location of mail box

Leave garage door openers

Leave extra house keys

Leave note as to garbage and recycling pick up day

Leave your contact info for new residents to forward mail

Change of Address/Mail Forwarding: http://bit.ly/1kMb7oL

Change Your Address:

  • car/house insurance

  • bank

  • drivers license/registration

  • credit card

  • school

  • magazine subscriptions

  • government

  • doctor/dentist

  • kids school(s), register at new school if need be

  • provide important contacts with your new address: Employers, Family & Friends, Attorney, Accountant, Others

Have Utilities or Services set up/switched over for move in day:

  • natural gas: Enmax 310-2020 or Direct Energy 1-866-374-6299

  • electricity: Enmax 310-2020 or Direct Energy 1-866-374-6299

  • water/garbage/recycle: City of Red Deer Utility Billing Service Centre 403-342-8203

  • phone: Telus 310-CALL

  • tv/internet: Shaw 1-888-472-2222

  • satellite: Bell 1-888-759-3474

  • alarm company

  • homeowners insurance: Gary Wilmer w/ Ing & McKee 403-346-5547

  • Switch services for your old place to your new place: Newspaper, House Cleaning, Lawn, Pool, Water Delivery

Call your lawyer 1-2 weeks before possession to make sure everything is good to go

Confirm date, time and address(es) with moving company 1-2 days before

Call a cleaning company if you will not be able to do a thorough job yourself. Contact me for recommendations.

For more great information about buying and/or selling, contact me or check out my website

 

Photo Credits: chestnutpark.com, bc.thevancouverrealestate.com

 

Exterior Home Staging: A Checklist To Prepare Your Home For Sale: Improving Your Home’s Saleability

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014

Exterior Home Staging: A Checklist To Prepare Your Home For Sale: Improving Your Home’s Saleability

 

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Front Door

  • Replace or repaint worn front door to create a good impression.
  • Polish or add brass knocker.
  • Make sure front door has a working peephole.
  • Check doorbell and repair or replace as necessary.
  • Replace worn mailbox.
  • Make sure house number is clearly visible and attractive.
  • Polish, repair and/or replace all door handles and locks.  Make sure all outside doors have deadbolts or other safety locks.

 

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Lawn

  • Mow lawn, remove all weed and water regularly.
  • Use a good quality lawn food to make grass healthy and ammonia sulfate (available at garden or hardware store) to bring out the green.  Reseed or resod thin or brown lawn.
  • Cut grass back from edge of house as well as from plants and trees.
  • Trim edges by fences, walls, walkways, sidewalk, driveway and around plants, hedges and trees.
  • Remove all children’s toys, garden tools and hoses.
  • Repair loose or broken fences, or cracked or loose retaining walls.
  • Clean up after pets.

 

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Trees/Shrubs/Gardens

  • Remove all dead limbs.
  • Remove and/or replace dead trees or shrubs.  You can also use potted plants in yard and them take them along with you when you move.
  • Trim shrubs.
  • Remove overhanging or intruding limbs from walkways, gutters and utility lines.  Cut limbs from neighbouring yards.
  • Spray for insect infestations.
  • Trim all vines or other growths from fences.

 

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Terraces/Porches/Decks

  • Remove debris from all surfaces.
  • Clear storage areas.
  • Restain, repaint or seal all wooden decks.
  • Check and secure all railings.
  • Clear all spider webs and insect nests.
  • Wash entire area.
  • Resurface stained or worn areas.  Repair all cracks.

 

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Driveways/Walkways

  • Remove snow from driveway and all walkways in winter
  • Resurface stained or cracked areas.
  • Patch all holes.
  • Seal all asphalt.
  • Replace thin gravel areas.

 

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House Exterior

  • Repaint or reshingle if necessary.
  • Check all shutters and awnings.  Tighten if loose or replace if worn.
  • Clean out gutters and downspouts.  Repair or replace if necessary.
  • Check, repair and replace flashings, vents, chimneys, stacks and skylights.
  • Check, repair and replace exterior lighting as necessary.  Use bright bulbs.
  • Paint all railings.
  • Repair cracks in foundation, walls and steps.
  • Clear leaves, snow, ice or other debris from walkways and porches.
  • Replace worn trashcans.

Contact me for more tips!

Photo credits: pinterest.com, getyimages.com, roomzaar.com, houselogic.com, frankdolski.com, highpowerednetwork.com

Interior Home Staging: A Checklist To Prepare Your Home For Sale: Improving Your Home’s Saleability

Thursday, May 1st, 2014

Interior Home Staging: A Checklist To Prepare Your Home For Sale: Improving Your Home’s Saleability

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Living Room

  • Rearrange furniture to enhance the room’s appearance.
  • Remove all excess furniture or rugs on top of rugs.
  • Review colour scheme of walls, drapery, carpets and furniture.  If the room is too dark, repaint the walls, add brighter wallpaper, replace dark paneling or install lighter carpets and drapes.
  • Remove magazines, books and other personal items from surfaces.
  • Clean carpeting, mop and wax or vacuum all floors and dust furniture.
  • Make sure all walls are clean and free from holes and dents.  If necessary, use spackling compound for dent and holes before painting.
  • Rearrange bookshelves and knickknacks to enhance the room’s overall impression.

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Kitchen

  • Rearrange pantry and cupboards to create a neat and orderly appearance.
  • Clean all appliances and sinks.
  • Place new burner plates under the burners of stove.
  • Clean or patch grouting between tiles and replace missing or cracked tiles.
  • Use porcelain repair products to fix chipped porcelain on sinks and appliances.
  • Polish faucets and faucet handles.  Buy replacement faucet knobs if necessary.
  • Make sure all appliances are in proper working order.
  • Remove all garbage.
  • Check oven to ensure that all vents are clear of grease and odours.  Clean or replace filters, ventilation and exhaust fan.
  • Replace low-wattage light bulbs to make the room as bright as possible.  For very dark kitchens, install track lighting.
  • Paint cabinets or install new ones.
  • Replace older cabinet handles.

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Dining Room

  • Thoroughly clean dining room table.  Revarnish the surface if necessary.
  • Repair worn upholstery on chairs.
  • Clean glass in china cabinet and polish china and silver on display.

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Bathrooms

  • Check tiles.  Replace all that are worn or chipped.
  • Replace floors worn by water damage.
  • Caulk and grout tile joints.
  • Remove all grime, water stains and mildew.
  • Thoroughly clean all surfaces.
  • Repair all leaky faucets and shower heads.
  • Polish faucets and faucet handles.  Buy replacement faucet knobs in necessary.
  • Clear counter tops and rearrange cabinets inside to create a neat and orderly appearance.
  • Clean and rearrange medicine cabinet.  Remove clutter.
  • Put out fresh towels, including a guest towel.
  • Check strength and condition of all towel racks.  Tighten loose racks.
  • Replace worn shower or bath curtains.
  • Install bright light bulbs.
  • Check exhaust fan.  Repair if in poor condition.  Clean vent openings.

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Bedrooms

  • Rearrange furniture to improve impression
  • Remove excess furniture: no more than one double/queen/king bed or more than two twin beds per room, or extra chairs, dressers or night stands.
  • Make all beds and wash all bed coverings and replace if worn.
  • Remove loose or extra toys and clutter from children’s rooms.
  • Clean all carpets, floors and drapes.  Leave drapes open to brighten rooms.
  • Replace burned out or low-wattage light bulbs.
  • Clean night stands and side table surfaces.
  • Remove personal items and clothing from all surfaces.

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Closets

  • Install lights where needed.
  • Rearrange storage areas and remove clutter.
  • Rearrange clothing to create an orderly, roomy impression and pack away excess or out-of-season clothing to give a spacious appearance.
  • Repaint inside surfaces if needed to make closets as bright as possible.
  • For smaller closets, install shelves to increase storage space.

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Garage/Basement/Attic/Utility/Laundry Rooms

  • Rearrange storage areas and remove clutter.
  • Clean floors, removing oil stains and dirt.
  • Sweep the entire area.
  • Clear workshop area and store all tools and equipment.
  • Remove all spider webs, lint and dirt.
  • Make sure all openings to outside are screened or vented.
  • Check washer and dryer, clean filters and call service company for required maintenance.
  • Clean appliance surfaces.
  • Remove all laundry.
  • Repair sagging beams as needed.
  • Check for water damage, make needed repairs.
  • Investigate musty odours or smell of gas and make necessary repairs.
  • Repair broken lights.
  • Inspect air conditioning, furnace and water heater for maximum safety and energy efficiency.  Replace filters and maintain as needed.
  • Check insulation and repair or replace as necessary.

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Living Areas

  • Repaint when wall or ceiling conditions are poor, or previous paint is faded or too dark.  Paint in white, beige or light pastels.
  • Remove wallpaper that is too bold, outdated or damaged.  Replace with neutral paint or subtle, tasteful and neutral prints so that colour scheme coordinates throughout the house.
  • Replace loose, shifted or deteriorated sheetrock or panels.  Repair all cracks and holes.
  • Clean all walls and mouldings.
  • Wash all windows and replace broken panes.  Also replace all cut or rusted screens.
  • Check all windows for alignment and ease of operation.  Repair so they work freely.
  • Check window mouldings and weather stripping, and repair for water damage and age.
  • Clean and check all draperies and repair or replace as necessary.
  • Clean and wax exposed floors.
  • Repair creaking or loose floorboards.
  • Repair loose steps, and check stairs for loose handrails, treads or posts.
  • Clean carpets or replace old, worn carpets or rugs.
  • Check all doors.  Oil to eliminate noises, tighten knobs and hinges and ensure that all doors shut and/or lock properly.
  • Replace all broken light bulbs, cracked lighting fixtures or old switches and plates.
  • Repair all inoperative electrical outlets and plugs.
  • Polish all brass, chrome or glass surfaces.
  • Make sure all smoke alarms and burglar alarms are functioning properly and add or replace them as necessary.
  • Keep fresh flowers on display.
  • Open windows before showing home to air it out.
  • Eliminate all odours with a pleasant air freshener.
  • Remove pet bedding, food and water dishes, and litter boxes.

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Contact me for more tips!

Photo credits: thornbridgeatlongwood.com, digiart.ca, nancyoriphotography.com, listingadvantage.com, interiorclip.com, fanshare.com, styleathome.com, gladiatorworx.eu, homedesign2sell.com

The data included on this website is deemed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed to be accurate by the Central Alberta REALTORS® Association. The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS® and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.