The Painting Process

The Painting Process

After years of renting, you finally say good bye to the landlords’ domination over your home décor.  In your hand you finally hold the key to your own home.

The excitement is oozing through your pores.

Just think, now you can hang things anywhere that you want!  No more waiting for approval on what you might be allowed to paint. Now you get to choose your own colour scheme.

Then … the reality comes crashing down when you realize that you know nothing about the process of painting or how to choose colours!

There is excellent advice in a book called ‘Seven Layers of Design’ by Christopher Lowell. He outlines many things, but important to you right now is … how to pick colours that will complement each other and be perfect for the natural lighting that is in your home.

One thing for certain is that you need good advice, because painting makes a difference.  That can be either very good … or very bad depending on your choices.  It takes time and effort and should not be rushed or you will need to do it all over again sooner than you think.

Get a good primer. Then, apply three coats of paint to give deep rich warmth to any room. Be sure to clean the walls first, especially if the previous owner smoked.

Buy good quality paint. Skimping may seem like an economical idea … but it is not! It may be more expensive at first but the results are truly worth it. Stores that specialize in paint supplies can help with finding the correct tools for the job. They also offer little time-saving tricks if you ask.

Where to Buy Paint in Fort Erie, Ontario:

Fort Erie Paints
Address401b Garrison Rd, Fort Erie, ON L2A 1N3

Phone(905) 991-8181
Colour & Design Center
Address: 1233 Garrison Rd, Fort Erie, ON 

Phone(905) 871-5061

Oh, if you choose to hang pictures, paintings, wall art of any kind, get Command Hangers.  They really work well and they save filling in holes everywhere if you change your mind about where things belong.

Embarking on the fun of home ownership is a great adventure.

Go slowly. Love the process. It is a lifelong evolution.

De-Cluttering Your New Year

De-Cluttering your New Year

Before all of the Christmas decorations get taken down to be packed away for another year, it might be a good idea to sort through those things in the boxes that have not been displayed for several seasons.

Question:  What do I do with them? Who takes Christmas decorating donations?

This job can be emotionally taxing for many of us because there are so many memories attached to the gathering of each little treasure.  Will our children want to have it? Will it be enjoyed and loved by another family?

In this day of young people just starting their lives together, of newly separated or divorced individuals trying to make something special for their children in each new residence … the cost alone of beginning to make the feeling of a warm, inviting Christmas atmosphere can be unnerving.

Your de-cluttering sacrifice can be a huge blessing to someone else next year. Keeping that positive attitude in mind will make the painful decisions much easier.

Everything that you didn’t use this year can be donated. OUCH! I know … it is hard to say, let alone to do.

Keep what you love and those special things that your children made for you.  Let someone else enjoy what you have been privileged to use for many years.

Happy New Year!

Suggested links:

The Salvation Army Thrift Store: Address: 84 Wintemute St, Fort Erie, ON L2A 2P1

St Vincent De Paul Clothing Store: Address: 36 Jarvis St, Fort Erie, ON L2A 2S4

Habitat For Humanity Niagara & ReStore: Address: 150 Bunting Rd, St. Catharines, ON L2P 3G5

 

Kijiji, Free Christmas Items

It’s Moving Day… What to Expect?

Moving Day

A few weeks before the move, you donned your ‘octopus uniform’ and began the enormous task of getting all of the preparatory jobs done.

The family’s belongings have been edited down, donated or packed, labeled and sorted into boxes that have been designated for each room. The post office has been notified and forwarding address cards have been sent.

Canada Post: Fort Erie Location
55 Jarvis Street
Fort Erie, Ontario L2A 2S0
Telephone: 1-866-607-6301

Newspapers have been cancelled. Service companies, gas, electric, cable, phone, internet, has been notified concerning both places.

Town of Fort Erie: 905-871-1600

Canadian Niagara Power: 905-871-0330

Enbridge: 905-688-9133

Cogeco Cable Services: 1-800-267-9000

So, what is on the menu for the helpers and the family once you arrive at your destination? They will be tired, possibly cranky and definitely hungry. The children have been registered at their new schools.  (For schools in Fort Erie, check out https://www.forterie.ca/pages/EducationandLearning). 

The moving company, or rental van with helpers and equipment have been settled.

Some moving companies:

2 Men & A Truck: 905-641-2636

Bird’s Moving: 905-682-2646

Harvey Moving: 905-688-2125

 Arrangements have been planned to safely contain the animals until settled in your new accommodations. The former house has been scrubbed so that your reputation will not be tarnished and now it is time to climb into this new adventure.

Before anything is unpacked it is a good idea to have previously researched the local take-out/delivery restaurants. Workers are more cheerful when they are appreciated and their bodies are fed.

When it comes to your Fort Erie dining options, make sure to check out:

http://www.forteriecanada.com/tourism/dining.shtml

Once the first half of the job is done, make beds and relax with the family and friends.

Tomorrow will bring the rest of the story.

Public Libraries in Fort Erie

Public Libraries in Fort Erie 

It is amazing how tricky it can seem to be, just establishing your intention to become involved in your new hometown.

Here is a suggestion. Get a library card. 

Not only are you able to take advantage of the various opportunities that each library in the Greater Fort Erie area has to offer, but once you begin to do local business, you are often asked to present spontaneous proof that you live there.  Simply taking out your library card shows that you are already invested in your town and suggests that you are a trustworthy potential patron.

Each library has its own list of programs that are targeted to help you learn about any current activities concerning the immediate area. Local history is always interesting.

The library can become the ‘fun’ hub of learning for your entire family and the chance to meet new people.

Happy researching!

Where are the Fort Erie libraries located?

Centennial Branch

136 Gilmore Road
Fort Erie ON
L2A 2M1
P: 905-871-2546

Crystal Ridge Branch

89 Ridge Road South
Ridgeway ON
L0S 1N0
P: 905-894-1281

Stevensville Branch

2508 Stevensville Road
Stevensville ON
L0S 1S0
P: 905-382-2051

 

Pets and Their Needs in Fort Erie

Pets and Their Needs in Fort Erie, Ontario

When it’s time to find a new home, one consideration might include the needs for your family pet, particularly for your dog.

People live much longer than their pets so the big purchases, like a new home, should primarily be made with the human occupants in mind since it will be a long-term investment.

That being said, animals do have certain needs. Have you looked into finding a home with a fenced-in yard? Invisible fencing is also an option, provided that the service to train your dog is included. While getting fencing is seldom inexpensive, the peace of mind and the safety that it provides makes for a happier owner, neighbourhood, and pet.

Fort Erie’s Friendship Trail offers interesting options for the daily walk. Both the owner and the dog can enjoy the beauty of nature while keeping doggie’s boredom at bay. A side benefit is that a satisfied dog is usually much calmer and less likely to bark you out-of-favour with your neighbours.

Once established in your new home, a visit to one of the local dog parks  is a good way to get the inside scoop from other pet parents, about the best places to go for groomers, veterinarians, pet supplies.

Meanwhile, now you and your little pooch have made a friend or two.

             CHECK OUT THESE SUGGESTED LINKS FOR YOUR PETS NEEDS:     

Veterinarians:  

Fort Erie Animal Hospital
315 Walden Blvd
(905) 871-1653
Lakeshore Animal Hospital
25 Queen St
(905) 991-9847
Borderview Veterinary Hospital
1104 Thompson Rd
(905) 871-4366

Groomers: 

Big and Small Pet Grooming For All
(289) 320-8647
Just Paws Pet Salon
(905) 991-0800
Groom ‘N’ Zoom Services
(905) 658-1553
Grooming By Tara
289-821-2257
Just Paws In’s
289-969-4211

Pet supply stores: 

Pet Valu- 310 Garrison Rd, Fort Erie, ON L2A 1M7, (905) 994-0857

Minor Bros- 2736 Stevensville Rd, Stevensville, ON L0S 1S0, (905) 382-7878

Dog parks: 

Sugarbowl Park – 100 Gilmore Rd, Fort Erie, ON L2A 3T8

Canine training: Pepp K-9 Training Services- www.peppk9.com or (905) 933-8801

Invisible fencing: INVISIBLE Fence BRAND OF Niagara-https://niagara.invisiblefence.com/your-local-dealer/home or (905) 646-9944

Looking to Buy in Fort Erie? Where to Stay When Here!

One of the more pleasant ways to learn information about a potential new home-town, is to plan to stay for several days at one of Greater Fort Erie’s many Bed and Breakfast Inns. Here are just some Fort Erie Bed & Breakfast Inn options:

Lakeshore Bed and Breakfast 
667 Lakeshore Road, Fort Erie, ON L2A 1B8 • (289) 320-9907
The Cobbled Path Bed And Breakfast
3738 W Main St, Stevensville, ON L0S 1S0 • (905) 382-1963
Yellow Door Bed and Breakfast 
254 Elmwood Ave, Crystal Beach, ON L0S 1B0 • (289) 377-8409

House hunting can be daunting. You will have seen several homes, gathered information, and your brain will feel as if it is on overload. Retreating to a quiet comfortable place to sort through all that you have discovered is the kindest way to begin the task of elimination.

After a few days you may have found some very pleasing options.

Many local details are seldom found during internet searches but people that live in the area enjoy sharing their town with others. Over a delicious home cooked breakfast, you may discover that your friendly innkeeper may have insights that might possibly influence your decisions.

Meanwhile, what could have been an arduous task has become a happy experience.

Buying a House? How Much Will it Cost?

Buying a home is a big investment – likely the largest one you will ever make. The cost to buy a home should be carefully considered to avoid the risk of financial difficulty in the future.

Since this decision has a large impact on your wallet, we want to take some time to explore the many costs associated with buying a home. Doing your homework and knowing the average cost of these services in your neighbourhood will help you choose a home within a realistic price range.

Deposit: Depending on your location and the price of a home, you may need to put a deposit on a home as a security measure to ensure you don’t lose it to another interested buyer. If you are required to pay a deposit, it will become part of your down payment once you have purchased the home.

Down Payment: In Canada, the minimum amount you need to put down on a home is 5%. While this is realistic for most first time home buyers, having a down payment of 20% or more will help buyers avoid paying Mortgage Loan Insurance.

Land Transfer Tax: When you buy a home, you are required to pay a land transfer tax to the province upon closing. This tax is normally based on the amount paid for the land, as well as the remaining amount on any mortgage or debt assumed as part of the arrangement to buy the land. Cost will vary depending on your municipality, the size of the land and other factors.  Alberta, Saskatchewan, and parts of Nova Scotia do not have Land Transfer Tax at all, while other provinces use a tiered system.

Appraisal Fee: An appraisal will normally cost between $200 and $300 but can vary depending on your location. This will help prevent you from borrowing more than you need to, and will prevent lenders from giving you too much.

Home Inspection: A home inspection is a necessary step in your home buying process and will normally cost an average of $350 depending on the size, age, and condition of the home. This helps ensure there are no unexpected maintenance or home improvement costs upon purchasing the home.

Property Insurance: While property insurance is likely already something you have factored into your budget, it’s important to do your research and find a reasonable quote that will ensure you are covered should anything unexpected happen.

Mortgage Insurance: There is mortgage life insurance, which is designed to protect the repayment of a mortgage if anything were to happen to you. There is also mortgage loan insurance if your down payment is less than 20% of the total house cost. Premiums for this type of insurance range from 0.5% to 3% and increase if you are self employed.

Lawyer Fees: The fee you will be charged by your lawyer will vary depending on the person representing you and must be paid upon closing. Ask your real estate agent for advice as they likely have a preferred trusted lawyer they can refer you to.

Title Insurance: Title insurance is a one-time-fee that provides protection from losses related to the properties title or ownership. Learn more about what it is in this blog post.

Property Taxes: The cost for property taxes is expressed as a dollar rate for every $1,000 estimated to be the market value of your property.

Maintenance and Energy Costs: Potentially your largest ongoing homeowner expense, these costs include lawn care/ yard work, professional services, additions/upgrades and the cost of keeping the house running year-round. You can use our monthly home budget planner to help map out all of these costs.

Moving Expenses: It’s easy to forget about the small things when moving, but it’s important to remember they can add up quickly! Consider the cost for phone, electricity, and other utility installations and don’t forget about movers, a moving truck and feeding your friends who are helping out!

Now that you have a better idea of the cost to buy a home, it’s time to hit the books to find out how much these services will cost in your area. Make a list, create a budget, and get started!

*Information came from http://blog.remax.ca/much-will-cost-buy-house/

Retiring in Fort Erie

If you are wondering if Fort Erie is a great place to retire, the answer is YES! There is so many options for people retiring in our great town.
Here is a breakdown of some of Fort Erie’s living options.
Niagara Gated Communities
Fort Erie, Ontario offers many adult and gated communities in the Niagara Region. Fort Erie is home to Ridgeway by the Lake, Point Abino, Black Creek Leisure Homes and Crystal Beach Tennis and Yacht Club. See below for additional information on each community:
Ridgeway by the Lake
Ridgeway by thRidgeway by the lakee Lake is located in Ridgeway, Ontario, close to the US border, QEW, Niagara Falls and hours to urban city centres such as; Toronto, Burlington, Hamilton. Ridgeway by the Lake is an adult lifestyle community along the shores of Lake Erie. The community was designed for the people that like the resort style living with a 9,000 square foot clubhouse, low maintenance & breathtaking homes ranging in price. Residents can choose from several single family detached homes or townhomes. Contact Ray Rosettani at 905-651-3279 or visit SellingFortErie.com to view homes for sale in Ridgeway by the Lake.
Point Abino Gated Community
 Point Abino
Point Abino is a special gem in the Fort Erie real estate market, making these properties very desirable. The homes within the gates of Point Abino are beautiful and one of a kind. The gated community offers residents with a sense of security, a very tranquil place to live and a sense of community, where friendships come easy.
Point Abino is also home to the “Point Abino Lighthouse.” Thelighthouse was built in 1918 and is still one of Fort Erie’s attractions with tour dates in the summer months (www.palps.ca) Residents of the Point Abino gated community have the chance to see this all year round since it is located behind the gates.  Also, located seconds from the community is the Bertie Boating Club (www.bertieboating.com). For those who have a boat and want to spend the summer months on the water, why not dock it seconds from your home?
Visit SellingFortErie.com or contact Ray Rosettani to see homes for sale in Point Abino.
Crystal Beach Tennis and Yacht Club
A very popular gated community in the Niagara Region is the Crystal Beach Tennis and Yacht Club. The community is a beach commCrystal Beach Tennis and Yacht Clubunity with detached single homes located on the site of the former Crystal Beach Amusement Park. The community not only offers breathtaking homes but tennis courts, playground, clubhouse, exercise facilities & beach access. Crystal Beach is well known for its long stretches of sandy beaches, quaint community and rich history where the world famous, Crystal Beach Amusement Park, use to bring in people from all over the world.
Check out the gated community for yourself, contact Ray Rosettani or visit SellingFortErie.com to see what is available.  
Black Creek Leisure Homes
 Black Creek Leisure Homes
Are you in the market for an adult living community, then Black Creek Leisure Homes in Stevensville, Ontario is just the place for you. Black Creek Leisure Homes has both the country setting of living with an urban location. The com
munity is close to highway access and 10 minutes to Niagara Falls, as well as 10 minutes to the US Border.
The residents have access to security gates restricting who comes in and out of the park, a 12,000 square foot recreation centre with heated indoor swimming pool, indoor spa and saunas, locker rooms, library, hobby room, great hall,kitchen, games room, 2 tennis courts, 2 horseshoe pits and so much more.  Additional features include: municipal services, professional management, snow removal and curbside garage.
There are many of resale mobile homes in the park ranging from $60,000 to $200,000, visit Ray Rosettani or SellingFortErie.com to set up an appointment to see all your options and to see if this is the right place for you!
 
 

 

Mortgage Rates to Increase- What Does that Mean?

Mortgage rates are on the rise… What does this mean to you as a Home Owner?

The Bank of Canada has announced that the interest rate of 0.5 per cent will now be increased to 0.75 per cent.

Are you someone who has a mortgage or hoping to get one soon? Global News helps break it down for you and how this increase will affect a current or upcoming mortgage.

First Global News explain the different types of mortgages and how to distinguish what you may have or are in the market for.

Variable-rate mortgages: If you have a variable-rate mortgage, this calculator tells you how your payments will change when the Bank of Canada hikes rates. Today, rates went up by 0.25 of a percentage point. Many economists expect the central bank to raise rates by a full percentage point (up to 1.5 per cent) by the end of 2018.

Lenders don’t always mirror the BoC exactly. For example, the last time the central bank made a move, in July 2015, it cut rates by 0.25 of a percentage point, but mortgage lenders cut variable-rate mortgages by only 0.15 of a percentage point. “With an increase, however, it’s most likely the full amount will be passed along to consumers,” said to James Laird, co-founder of RateHub.ca and president of CanWise Financial. This is the working assumption of this calculator.

For highly anticipated interest rate changes, such as today’s hike, lenders generally adjust their variable rates within hours of the Bank of Canada announcement, said Laird. Variable-rate mortgage holders, in other words, will likely be affected immediately.

Fixed-rate mortgages: Most Canadians have fixed-rate mortgages with interest rates that hold steady through the length of the loan term. If that’s you, you can still use this calculator to get an idea of how your payments might change once your mortgage is up for renewal. However, keep in mind that if you have a five-year mortgage that will be up for renewal soon, today’s rates might still be lower than the rate you locked into five years ago.

Prospective Home Buyers: If you’ve been eyeing a certain fixed mortgage rate over the past few weeks, today’s interest rate increase might not affect you. Most fixed-rates have already increased in anticipation of today’s hike, which was largely anticipated by markets. In all likelihood, the rates you’ve been seeing lately are the rates you’ll be able to access in the next little while. However, you can still use the calculator to see what your monthly payments might look like if you were to get a mortgage after the Bank of Canada raises rates again, which might happen as soon as this fall.

Amortization period — this is the length of time it will take you to pay off your mortgage in full. In Canada, most mortgages have a 25-year amortization. This is different from your mortgage term, the length of time you commit to a specific rate, lender and loan conditions. The typical mortgage term in Canada is 5 years.

Payment frequency — most people pay their mortgage once a month. “Semi-monthly” means you pay twice a month, for a total of 24 yearly payments. “Bi-weekly” means you pay every two weeks, for a total of 26 payments a year. “Accelerated bi-weekly” means you pay the same amount you’d be paying with a semi-monthly option but make 26 rather than 24 payments per year, which allows you to pay down your mortgage faster and save on interest.

If you have a variable-rate mortgage

Some 30 per cent of Canadians have a mortgage with a so-called variable-rate, which moves up or down along with the general level of interest rates in the economy. If the The Bank of Canada raises rates, homeowners with variable-rate mortgages will see their monthly mortgage payments go up.

  • How much more will you be paying? Economists expect the BoC to hike rates slowly, by increments of 0.25 of a percentage point. Let’s look at the example of a homeowner with a home priced at $750,000, a minimum down payment of 10 per cent, and a 5-year variable-rate mortgage with an interest rate of 1.75 per cent and 25-year amortization. The total monthly mortgage payment for this homeowner right now would be $2,864, according to the mortgage payment calculator at RateHub, a rates comparison site. With an increase of a quarter of a percentage point that monthly payment would go up to $2,947, or $83 more per month. Now let’s look at what might happen between now and the end of next year. RBC expects the The Bank of Canada’s key interest rate to climb by a full percentage point (from 0.5 per cent to 1.5 per cent) by the end of 2018. Under that scenario, the monthly payments in our example would rise to $3,205, or $341 more per month.
  • Does it make sense to lock in to a fixed-rate mortgage? Variable-rate mortgages come with the option of switching to a fixed rate during the term of the loan. Doing so might buy you peace of mind if the thought of rising interest rates keeps you up at night. But locking in has a cost. “Conversion rates are never as aggressively priced as those offered to borrowers who have yet to walk through the lender’s front door,” David Larock, a Toronto-based independent mortgage broker recently wrote in a post weighing the pros and cons of fixed- and variable-rate mortgages. Some lenders also demand that borrowers locking in sign up for a five-year term, no matter what the remaining term of their current loan is. If you do the math, you might find that you’re better off sticking with your variable rate. When an interest rate increase appears close, “everybody panics and rushes to lock in, but those knee-jerk reactions aren’t generally prescient over time,” Larock told Global News. Though it’s impossible to know how interest rates will move, Larock doesn’t believe they’ll go very far in the short term. John Pasalis, president of Toronto-based brokerage Realosophy, agrees: “No one really expects rates to skyrocket.”
  • What about breaking your variable-rate mortgage and getting a better fixed-rate loan with another lender? Unlike fixed-rate mortgages, variable-rate mortgages typically carry a relatively low penalty for breaking the loans: Only three months’ worth of interest, according to Larock. Variable-rate borrowers worried about interest rates could quit their lender and seek out a fixed-rate mortgage with a lower rate than the conversion rate in their current loan. Switching mortgages, though, involves a lot of paperwork and legal fees, noted Larock. And homeowners ditching their variable-rate loan would likely only be eligible for rates offered to homeowners refinancing their mortgage, which are generally higher than the rates offered to homebuyers, Larock added. “The competition for the [mortgage] refinance business isn’t as strong,” he told Global News.

If you have a fixed-rate mortgage

Over 65 per cent of Canadians have fixed-rate mortgages, which, as the name implies, remain fixed through the term of the loan. Here’s what these homeowners need to know:

  • An interest rate hike affects fixed-rate mortgages, too. Fixed-rate mortgages tend to follow bond yields, the amount of return investors realize on bonds. But investors’ expectations about what the The Bank of Canada will do with its key rate affect bond yields. Therefore, indirectly, an interest rate hike has implications for fixed-rate mortgages, too. “The mere mention of a rate hike had an effect on bond yields, already resulting in an increase in the popular 5-year fixed rate mortgages over the last month,” James Laird, co-founder RateHub.ca and president of CanWise Financial mortgage brokerage, said in a statement. This means that most Canadians with a fixed-rate mortgage will likely have to pay a higher interest rate when they refinance their loan.
  • Canadians who are about to refinance a five-year fixed-term mortgage may have a pleasant surprise. Although rates on fixed-rate mortgages are headed up, they are still significantly lower than they were five years ago. Therefore, Canadians with a five-year mortgage coming up for renewal in the next little while may find that their new rate is lower.

If you’re about to get a new mortgage

If you’re house-hunting right now, keep in mind the following:

  • Think about getting pre-approved for a five-year mortgage. “Anyone currently shopping for a home should get a pre-approval, which guarantees today’s fixed rates for 120 days,” said Laird.
  • The stress-test for Home Buyers will likely remain the same. Home buyers applying for a variety of variable- and fixed-rate mortgages are stress-tested against the The Bank of Canada’s  qualifying rate of 4.64 per cent, which is much higher than the mortgage rates most Canadians pay. The Bank of Canada’s posted rate is the mode (i.e. the most common occurring number) of the five-year fixed mortgage rates advertised by Canada’s six largest banks. But those advertised rates bear “very little correlation” with the discounted mortgage rates banks are actually offering customers, said Larock. Banks generally use their advertised rates to calculate penalties for borrowers who break their mortgage, he added. Even if banks are hiking the rate of their fixed-rate mortgages, they’re unlikely to adjust their advertised rates, Larock told Global News. As a result, the stress-test benchmark for homebuyers is likely to remain the same.

*Information was used from http://globalnews.ca/news/3581766/mortgage-calculator-canada-interest-rate-hike/

 

Selling Your Home? Where to Begin

Are you thinking about Selling your Home? Need to know where to begin?

Let us at SellingFortErie.com help you!

First Impressions
Remember what first attracted you to your house when you bought it? What excited you about it most? When deciding how best to present your home for sale, it is helpful to try to get back into that buyer’s frame of mind.
A spruced-up house makes a great first impression on potential buyers. An attractive property grabs their attention and makes them excited about finding a house that looks and feels well cared for. Because buyers believe they’ll encounter fewer problems if they buy it, your house becomes more appealing and stands out from the competition. So if you prepare your home correctly, you’ll save time selling it when it’s on the market.
A good first impression makes an impact on a number of levels. It’s not just the way your house looks to potential buyers, but how it feels and smells to them, how their friends and family will react, how they imagine it would be to live there.
With simple improvements throughout your house, you can grab the attention of potential buyers and help them see why your house is right for them.
Plan Ahead
Create a plan to enhance your property. Keep a notebook, and as you stroll through your home and yard, make a list of what needs to be done. Consider what your property looks like to people driving by or walking through your door. What will they like or dislike? What needs fixing, painting, cleaning? What can you improve? Whether you paint your house or fix up the yard, your efforts don’t need to be costly; even inexpensive improvements and minor repairs go far towards attracting serious buyers. But remember, those seemingly insignificant problems you’ve learned to live with can actually discourage potential buyers.

Here are some ideas for increasing your home’s appeal in order to sell it quickly at the best price:
Interior
Clean Everything
Buyers expect a spotless house, inside and out, so clean everything, especially your windows and window sills. Scrub walls and floors, tile and ceilings, cupboards and drawers, kitchen and bathrooms. Wash scuff marks from doors and entryways, clean light fixtures and the fireplace. Don’t forget the laundry room. And put away your clothes.
Cut the Clutter
People are turned off by rooms that look and feel cluttered. Remember, potential buyers are buying your house, not your furniture, so help them picture themselves and their possessions in your home by making your rooms feel large, light, neutral, and airy. As you clean, pack away your personal items, such as pictures, valuables, and collectibles, and store or get rid of surplus books, magazines, videotapes, extra furniture, rugs, blankets, etc. Consider renting a storage unit to eliminate clutter in your garage and attic.
It’s hard to get rid of possessions, but cleaning and clearing out the clutter can really pay off in the end. Packing away your clutter also gets you started packing for your next move. Make your garage and basement as tidy as the rest of your house. Simple little tasks such as storing your tools and neatly rolling up your garden hose suggest that you take good care of your house. Don’t let anything detract from making your best first impression.
Closets
They’re an important consideration to many buyers. By storing clothing you won’t use soon, you’ll make closets look more spacious.
Paint
A new coat of paint cleans up your living space and makes it look bright and new. To make rooms look larger, choose light, neutral colors that will appeal to the most people possible, such as beige or white.
Carpet
Check its condition. If it’s worn, consider replacing it. It’s an easy and affordable way to help sell your home faster. Again, light, neutral colors, such as beige, are best. If you don’t replace it, you can suggest to potential buyers that they could select new carpet and you’ll reduce your price; buyers like to hear they’re getting a deal. At the very least, have your carpet cleaned.
Repairs and Renovations
It’s best to avoid making major renovations just to sell the house since you’re unlikely to recoup those costs in your selling price. Make minor repairs to items such as leaky faucets, slow drains, torn screens, damaged gutters, loose doorknobs, and broken windows. Make sure repairs are well done; buyers won’t take you seriously if your home improvement efforts look messy, shoddy, or amateurish.
Leaks and Moisture
Water stains on ceilings or in the basement alert buyers to potential problems. Don’t try to cosmetically cover up stains caused by leaks. If you’ve fixed the water problem, repair the damage and disclose in writing to the buyer what repairs were made.
Exterior
Curb Appeal
The “Wow” factor — that first visual, high-impact impression your home makes on potential buyers — can turn a looker into a buyer. To determine your property’s curb appeal, drive through your neighborhood and note other properties; then approach your own house as if you were a potential buyer. How does it look? Does it “wow” you? Will its curb appeal attract buyers? Note what needs improving, such as trimming trees, planting shrubs, or painting gutters. Little things convey that you’ve cared for your home, and this is your opportunity to sell that important message to buyers who are shopping from the street, simply cruising neighborhoods looking for houses for sale. To get them through your door, do what you can to make your property look like someone’s dream home.
Paint/Stain
If it’s peeling or blistering and you can’t remember the last time you painted it, your house needs some attention. That also goes for stain that is significantly faded. A newly painted or stained exterior will help sell your house faster, and whether you do it yourself or hire someone, you’ll also increase your home’s value.
In the Yard
Grab people’s attention by enhancing your yard and landscaping. If your house looks inviting and well-maintained from the street, people will imagine that it’s attractive on the inside, too.

  • Prune bushes and hedges; trim trees.
  • Keep your lawn looking healthy and green by mowing it often, fertilizing it, and keeping it edged and trimmed.
  • Clean up and dispose of pet mess.
  • Weed your gardens; add fertilizer and mulch and plant colorful flowers.
  • In winter, keep your driveway and sidewalks shoveled, de-iced, and well-lit.
  • Stack firewood, clean out birdbaths, repair and paint fences.

The Front Door
An attractive entry catches a buyer’s eye and says, “Welcome,” so highlight this area of your house with decorative touches, such as a wreath on the door or new shrubs and flowers around the steps. For an even grander entry, clean and paint your front door, or replace it with a new one for a few hundred dollars. Don’t forget to fix and polish doorknobs, repair torn screens, and then put out that new welcome mat.

Cleaning and Maintenance Checklist:

  • Windows, sills, and screens
  • Walls and floor
  • Tile
  • Ceilings
  • Cupboards and drawers
  • Kitchen
  • Bathrooms
  • Light fixtures
  • Ceiling fans
  • Carpet and rugs
  • Mirrors
  • Garage
  • Attic
  • Basement
  • Laundry room
  • Yard
  • Gutters
  • Replace furnace filter
  • Dust furniture, TV and computer screens
  • Closets
  • Remove clutter
  • Pack personal items

Repair

  • Leaky faucets and plumbing
  • Torn screens
  • Slow drains
  • Gutters
  • Loose doorknobs
  • Deck boards
  • Broken windows
  • Electrical fixtures
  • Water stain damage
  • Broken appliances
  • Damaged walls and ceilings
  • Worn carpet and rugs
  • Damaged sidewalks and steps

Improvements

  • Stain or paint deck
  • Store tools
  • Roll up garden hose
  • Paint or stain exterior
  • Prune bushes and hedges
  • Trim trees
  • Mow lawn, fertilize, edge, and trim
  • Weed gardens, plant flowers
  • Shovel driveways, de-ice
  • Stack firewood
  • Clean out birdbaths
  • Caulk windows and doors
  • Repair and paint fences
  • Seal asphalt driveway
  • Make sure doors close properly
  • Enhance entryway
  • Replace welcome mat

These elements are no secret – selling anything is about presenting it as favorably as possible, and a home is no exception.  With the right Realtor® and the right presentation, you may find that selling your home is a painless, quick, profitable process!