Ask a Real Estate Question

This is a Free Service that Amber provides to the public. If you have a question regarding Real Estate in general, Real Estate in the Calgary areas, Real Estate tips or just questions about the Real Estate market. Submit your questions below and Amber will kindly & promptly answer. All questions remain anonymous and all questions are good questions. 

Holiday Selling 

Question:  Do you have any recommendations on selling our home over the holiday’s?

 Response:  Many sellers are unsure if they should decorate or not. I recommend keeping tasteful holiday decorations up, although too many could be overpowering. It is my experience that if a property does not have any decorations up during the season it sometimes feels cold and unwelcoming to the buyers. Especially, if the buyers have view many homes that are decorated. Exercise extreme caution though, the last thing you want is your home to feel cramped or cluttered. Focus on conservative lighting, a small tree, wreaths, soft background music and similar small touches that can tap into the holiday feeling and focus on the home’s comfort and potential during the season. Another tip, Always make sure your sidewalk and driveway is well-shoveled and well lit outside at night in order to make a great first impression!

Amber Ramsay
 

 

Sold Home, Now What?

Question:  Now that our home is sold what shall we do in preparation for the possession date and turning the home over to the new buyers?

Response:  Being prepared for the possession date will make the move out and transfer of the go smoother. You will save your self a lot of stress if you do a few key items prior to the closing date. First off, keep your insurance in place for atleast the day following possession, you never know when the possession will actually take place and you want to make sure the property is insured. A few days to a week before possession be in contact with your lawyer. Arrange a date and time to meet with them to sign all of the documents that they will need in order to close the transaction for you.  You are free to move out of your home at your convenience and there is no need to wait for possession day. In fact, you will want to give yourself extra time so that you make sure that you have time to either clean the home yourself or allow a professional clean time to come in a clean for you. Make sure you have removed all of your possessions and don’t leave unwanted items for the new buyer without consulting your REALTOR®. In the home leave all the keys, manuals, garage door openers and any information that may be helpful to the new buyers.  It is courtesy and the new buyers are always grateful.

Amber Ramsay
 

 

Home Inspection or No Home Inspection?

Question:  Do we really need a home inspection?

 Response:  Absolutely, It is often said that one of the most expensive and important purchases you will ever make will be your home. The cost of a home inspection is minimal compare to the potential cost of a problem that you may not be able to detect when you just view the home. One of the best ways to see if a home is in good condition, livable and safe is to hire a Professional, Certified Home Inspector. A Certified Home Inspector will review the home mechanically, electricially, structurally, and efficiency wise. The Inspector will identify areas where repairs may be needed or problems in the past, potential problems, as well as unsafe items. Home Inspections are intended to help homebuyers better understand the condition of the house. Remember, once you buy a home, you’re on your own to maintain it, repair it, anticipate problems and pay the bills. This is why it’s best to know as much as you can before you buy. There’s no money-back guarantee or return policy if you’re not satisfied with your recently purchased home or if you discover a huge problem after you have purchase. 

Amber Ramsay
 

  

Rental Property to Sell Occupied or Vacant

Question:  We want to sell our rental property. Should we sell while our Tenant still occupies the unit or would it sell better vacant?

Response:  From my experience, hands down rental properties usually sell quicker and for a better price when the property is vacant and possibly staged. The downfalls of trying to sell a property while it is tenant occupied is that the tenant may not want you to sell for a number of reasons. Therefore sabotage any possible sale. Usually this consists of keeping the property very untidy and unclean inside and out, the tenants may refuse to leave for the showings, or say “Oh, we forgot that there was a showing”. If the tenant stays during the showing, they will voice all of their opinions about the property or the area to your potential buyer. All of these things immediately turn off any buyer. A clean, vacant and possibly staged property will be far more appealing to a buyer than an untidy possibly dirty property. Remember first impressions count and sell properties!

Amber Ramsay
 

 

Spring Tune up

Question:   I want to sell my home this Spring. Do you have any tips on how to prepare my home to get a fast sale?

Response:   Absolutely! Like the saying goes “You never get a second chance at a first impression”.  I strongly believe first impressions sell homes.  I suggest preparing for a sale first by creating a great curb appeal; trim bushes, rake up the lawn, any leaves, litter and especially remove all animal debris.  Wash your windows inside and out nothing says clean more than a sparkling view.  Clean your drapes, dust your blinds and window sills.  Put your winter clothing/boots away, free up closet space. Sweep out and organize your garage to show off the space, this is always important to the male buyer. Inspect the exterior of the house, make repairs and touch up any paint chips that may have occurred over the winter. Lastly an addition of a vase of fresh smelling flowers is a welcoming sign.

Amber Ramsay
 

 

Return on Renovation Investments

Question:  What renovations should we do to have the greatest return when we go to sell?

Response:  Kitchens and bathrooms sell homes, with the help of great flooring and neutral paint! Kitchens are the focal point of the house. Buyers want a functional, spacious, low maintenance kitchen. Solid surface or
granite countertops and high quality stainless steel appliances add tremendous value. A bathroom update will give you a 60-80% return on your investment if you change out the fixtures, addnew tile, maximize space and create an oasis. Replace the old worn out or dated flooring. Carpeting shouldbe limited. Hardwood and tile floors are not only a benefit, but also add elegance. Go for look when choosing new flooring. Most people cannot tell the difference between premium hardwood and mid-grade. Lastly, smooth walls with quality, neutral paint will make spaces seem larger. No murals. Buyers need to envision the house as their home and in return you will have the SOLD sticker! 

Amber Ramsay
 

 

Backing onto a Busy Street

Question:  We have a great home that backs on the 32nd Street. The traffic has never bothered us but what can we do to minimize it for a new Buyer?

 Response:  There are high percent of properties like yours that may have one item that needs to be turned in to a positive selling feature. Particularly seen when a house is next to a road, condo complex or just a neglected house/yard next door. My recommendations are 1) Make sure your fence is well maintained first. 2) Plant some fabulous trees. Swedish Aspens grow fast are beautiful trees and a great natural screen. It is very important to plant big healthy trees that will create the effect as soon as possible. 3) Create an oasis. A gorgeous water feature is a great way to say “Relax & Enjoy” to Buyer and have the water sooth the traffic. Focus on selling the lifestyle and the SOLD Sticker will appear. All the Best!

Amber Ramsay
 

Condominium Purchase 

Question:  We are looking to buy a condominium. Do you have advice for us as buyers?

Response:  Absolutely! When buying a property in a Condominium Corporation you are buying ownership in the condominium corporation. Therefore it is very important that you know what you are buying. Most definitely have a Review of Condominium Documents Condition as part of the offer to purchase. This condition will allow you to have a thorough review of the state of the condominium and all the documentation. Learn about any issues that may be happening in the complex through the minutes of the condo board minutes. Educate yourself on the state of the financials, what the fees include, the reserve fund balance, the reserve fund study, the bylaws, past special assessments, any possible future assessments. Next understand that the current condo fees are not set in stone and are always based on the operating budget of the Condo Corporation. If you have done your homework and know what you are purchasing, you will be quite happy living in your new home!

Amber Ramsay
 

 

 

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