Burlington, ON Real Estate News

By Janice Ankrett, Staging Professional
Right now a sellers best tool for keeping up their curb appeal is a shovel. It is so important to keep the driveway and walks clear of snow and ice. But, in about a month that will change. Yes Spring will come again! ;). When the snow is gone you will still need to keep up with the curb appeal. The lawn may not be growing yet but there is still work to be done. Find that rake you put away last Fall and get busy. It's time for Spring clean up. There will be debris lying around from winter kill and those leaves your neighbors didn't get raked. So out you go to spruce up your yard. Remember curb appeal is what draws the buyer out of the car and up to your front door. A well maintained property reassures buyers that you take care of your home. There may not be flowers yet but tidy those flo...
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By Janice Ankrett, Staging Professional
Selling your home is like entering a long distance race with at the finish line. A savvy Seller prepares their home for sale and prices it right. They hire the right Professionals to coach them and get them that win they desire. Your Realtor coach studies your market and helps you set a realistic goal/price. Your Stager coach looks at your house and advises you on how to present your home to the buyers. You start your training by preparing your house for sale so that those all important MLS photos will draw in buyers. The day of the race arrives. Your Realtor put your house on the market and begins promoting it. Now the training pays off. You are ready for that Marathon. You are ready for those last minute calls for viewings, getting the kids into the car with your dog and doing those l...
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By Janice Ankrett, Staging Professional
While we live in our homes, we inject our own personality into it. That's what makes it our space, our refuge from the world. We are proud of the touches we added and enjoy seeing our treasures on display. When we come to the time we are selling our home the rules change. Those treasures can now be a problem. You want to the buyer to see past you to the features of the house. We take away family photos so they don't distract the buyer's focus from those all important features. After all that is what the buyer will be buying. The question is where do you stop.In your efforts to de-clutter and de-personalize, you may strip the home devoid of personality. Will your buyer be able to relate to a space without personality? Will they see the possibilities or just a cold, empty space? Stagers w...
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By Janice Ankrett, Staging Professional
The first place your home will likely be seen is on the Internet. Those MLS photos will be available to Realtors and the public. They help them decide if your house is one of the ones they will visit. These photos put a 'Face' on the property description of room sizes, number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, special features etc. To draw the Buyers to your home those picture need to show an appealing home.     Don't show the buyer a blank face.                                                                                                      Show the buyer a room that they can relate to.                  Don't show the buyer a tired face.                                                Show the buyer a fresh face. Get advice from a Professional and make sure you are putting the best '...
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By Janice Ankrett, Staging Professional
  A large part of Staging a room successfully is knowing when enough is enough. When do you stop adding accessories or what do you take out of a room? If we are staging a vacant property we have to assess how much furniture to bring, what size pieces, what art work and other accessories. If we are working on an occupied home we have to determine if we need to create space, declutter and remove furniture. We have been trained to judge the size of the room; how to arrange a room so that it opens up and feels spacious and above all flows. We are trying to create a warm, welcoming space that feels 'comfortable' as soon as you step into it. Staging follows the adage 'less is more' and does it very well. We leave the buyer enough room to imagine their lifestyle in your home. We help the buye...
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Yoga in Burlington and Oakville Area - Chrysalis Yoga.The sign is up, the beautiful natural wood floors have been laid, plants and yoga props have arrived and classes have been scheduled. Chrysalis Yoga of Burlington is about to open it's doors and has opening week specials you won't want to miss. It's an exciting time for  seasoned yoga practioners and those who have always wondered about yoga or who have decided to make this the year they make changes to their lifestyle by incorporating a new health-giving, stress-reducing practice to their lives. Chrysalis Yoga, a new state of the art yoga studio in the the Walker's Line and Dundas area of Burlington, is offering free yoga classes through-out their opening week of January 29th- February 4th. Chrysalis Yoga has two spacious yoga rooms...
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By Janice Ankrett, Staging Professional
That's one of the last things I talk about with a client. My visit is more than a consult, it is a conversation about your home. If you don't tell me about your concerns, I can't come up with a solution that suits your needs. I am there to help you prepare your home for sale. I'm a solution provider. I want your home to appeal to as many buyers as possible so you can move on with your life. I'm there to help you switch into 'selling' mode. The guidelines are different from those we use for 'living' mode. I'm interested in the buyer's needs when they view a home. The truth is, you are still living there during the selling process. You still need certain things available and certain routines possible. Let me,your stager know if there is a change you just can't do for them. There is probab...
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By Janice Ankrett, Staging Professional
Recently I did a post about why family photos are a no no when selling. Now that you know why these treasured pieces should be removed, let's talk about how to handle the situation. So often my clients have family pictures all over their homes. They are hanging on walls or sitting on tables and shelving units. Sometimes they are the only 'art' work in the home. My clients do not know where to start.   Photos sitting on tables and shelves are easy. You merely pre-pack them to take to your new home. If it is a very special photo you can't do without, place it in a drawer when you leave for the day or for a viewing. When you come home you can bring it out again to enjoy. Photos hanging on walls pose more of a problem. Here are some solutions: If the photo is on a stairway or up in a narrow...
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By Janice Ankrett, Staging Professional
When you put your home on the market you are probably selling the largest asset you have. You need to detach yourself emotionally from your home and turn it back into a house, a product. Naturally you want the best return on your investment you can get. To do this you need to market the house in a savvy way. Do you know who you are selling to?Is it a first time buyer, a young couple about to have their first child, a family or an empty nester? Realtors and Stagers deal with this all the time. Not only do we know who will be looking at your home but how to prepare your house for sale. Prepared properly, your home will appeal to the widest section of the market. This means you spend less time on the market and get the best price possible. All buyers are looking for the best deal out there...
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By Janice Ankrett, Staging Professional
  When you are selling your home you have to keep those positives coming. I'm talking about positive impressions. The buyers need those good vibrations from the minute they pull up in front of your house. With a positive curb appeal, the buyer will get out of the car feeling reassured that your home holds promise. They feel safe because your home looks well maintained. Once inside, the first impression should reassure them that they were correct, your home holds promise. The first room they see should be warm, bright and airy. Make the buyer feel comfortable in the room. Each room should open up for the buyer and allow them to picture their lifestyle in your home. As they inspect the different levels of your home the positive impressions must carry through. All those positives will sho...
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By Janice Ankrett, Staging Professional
Yes, it's common sense to use your senses when you are selling your home. The Buyer will. From the moment they arrive they will use their sense of sight to assess your home. The first thing they see is your curb appeal. They look at landscaping, paint, windows, roof etc and decide if the house looks well maintained and appeals to their sense of style. Once they are inside the buyer looks at the condition of the interior, the amount of light, the layout and the fixtures. The buyer will look for updates, damage and signs of water leakage or other red flags. Buyer's also use their sense of hearing. They listen for squeaky floors, noisey plumbing or traffic noise from outside. They use their sense of smell. Buyer's check for the smell of pets, strong spices, mildew in bathrooms and basement...
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By Janice Ankrett, Staging Professional
  JUST GO AND LOOK AT A MODEL HOME. As a Stager, I hate to hear this comment. It means someone is using a cookie cutter approach to selling houses.  Someone, a seller or a Realtor is hoping that by looking at a model home they will absorb enough by osmosis to prepare their home for sale.   Yes that home will be designed to appeal to buyers, but will a seller be able to translate that to their own home? Will the seller know which pieces of furniture should be removed from their room? Will that seller know why the model home appeals to them?   Likely not.         By investing in a Staging consult, you gain so much more:    you get a plan specific to that house .    you gain a knowledgeable marketer's advice.    an objective trained eye looks at the house.    there is no wondering if a pie...
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By Janice Ankrett, Staging Professional
This is not what a buyer wants to see when looking for a home -> Bathrooms are another area in a home that command a lot of money. Let's face it, bathroom renovations are not cheap and take time. That's why buyers prefer to see the bathroom of their dreams rather than one in need of major work. Subconsciously buyers are not big on the 'used' factor. When Staging a bathroom try for a hotel/spa feel. Think of the way a bathroom in a hotel is presented - clean, fresh, new soaps and shampoos and lots of fluffy towels. It is important to keep all those personal items out of sight.   The bathroom should be sparkling clean at all times. That means you will have to bring things like that grout back to 'like new'. Keep that toilet brush and plunger in a closet. Show with fresh fluffy folded towe...
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By Janice Ankrett, Staging Professional
The Master Bedroom .... The Master Suite ... You see it advertised in glowing terms. That is because this area is as important as the main floor when you are selling your home. The 'Master' is the retreat from the world for the owner of the home. It supposed to be a serene refuge for relaxing, unwinding, sleeping and let's not forget romance. It may be just a bedroom or it may have an en suite bathroom and walk-in closet. Even the smallest townhouses now have at the very least an en suite privilege to the bathroom. In older homes the Master bedroom is only marginally larger and you can forget about an en suite or walk-in unless a renovation has been done. Never the less the buyers are still dreaming about their perfect Master Suite. This means you need to show the buyer your Master in t...
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By Janice Ankrett, Staging Professional
When we live in a house we get used to the home's 'Character'. You know, those charming creaks and squeaks. Things that stick or are hard to open. It's just part of our daily routine... part of 'home'. Now it's time to move on. You are putting your home on the market. You need to see your home the way buyers will see it. The charm of the character of your home may not be appreciated by potential buyers. It's time to look at all those little issues you have learned to live with daily. Time to have the radiators flushed? Time to fix that drawer that sticks? Time to oil hinges. Time to make sure the front door functions with out your shoulder. What about that spot on the stairs that squeaks? That tap that drips in the bathroom, or the grout you've been meaning to replace will stand out for...
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By Janice Ankrett, Staging Professional
Recently I was asked if it was ok to mix traditional furnishings with contemporary furnishings when Staging a vacant home. Two people had tried to contribute furniture to fill in the blanks in the home. My advice would be not to try and mix different styles. Take your lead from the home itself. Is the home very contemporary or rustic or turn of the century .... Whatever you choose, stick to it so that the house flows from room to room. While designers can add a different piece for an 'edgy' look, if you don't know how you will probably end up with the room looking off. Pick a color scheme and carry it throughout the house. The house will feel cohesive, larger and more comfortable for the buyer.  
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By Janice Ankrett, Staging Professional
  October means Thanksgiving (Canada) and Halloween. November means Thanksgiving in the US.   The next thing you know we are into the Christmas season. We all like to decorate our homes as we celebrate the changing seasons. When you place your home on the market it is best to take a new look at how and when you decorate. If done in moderation seasonal decorations can help the buyer imagine celebrating in your home. But remember to keep them to a minimum so that they do not form clutter. Just like your normal decor they should highlight the features of the house not bury them. More than likely your home will still be on the market after you finish celebrating so you should avoid having these seasonal accents in the Realtor's MLS photos and your virtual tour. It is unlikely that the Real...
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By Janice Ankrett, Staging Professional
So many sellers ignore that unfinished basement when they market their home. During the consult they are surprised when I want to go down there to take a look. The truth is unfinished basements are full of potential and should be presented properly. Buyers need to see the possibilities for future development. Show the buyers the available floor space so they can get an idea of how much room there is for that man cave or recreational room for the kids. Keep your storage against the walls. Make sure they can get to the furnace, breaker box and water heater. Show off those roughed-in fireplaces and bathrooms. Show the buyer where and extra bedroom or home office could go. Most sellers have extra furniture already stored in the basement so use it to your best advantage. Make sure the heat v...
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By Janice Ankrett, Staging Professional
More space is one of the reasons we move. Our family grows and we accumulate more 'stuff'. We need space for it all. The spaciousness of a home is not just in room sizes. It is also in closet space and storage space and cupboard space. That's why buyers will look inside your kitchen cupboards, closets, bathroom vanities and storage areas of the basement. It is important to show the buyers that there is good storage in your home.   To do this we need to de-clutter these areas too. It doesn't help to take all that surface clutter and stuff it out of sight. It will be found. Pre-packing is the way to deal with it. Go through these areas and decide what you need, what you can toss and what can be packed early for the next house. Pack out of season clothing. If you haven't worn it for a yea...
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By Janice Ankrett, Staging Professional
You have just bought a 'new' home. New to you anyway. You can hardly wait to make it your own! This home should reflect your STYLE! IMPRESS your friends! STOP!  Ask yourself these questions first: How long do I plan to live in this home? Do I want to paint or replace this before I sell? Will I stay with this colour after the next hip new trend comes along? How big a deal will it be to change this when I tire of it? Will this project eventually 'date' my home?        Coloured bathroom fixtures  The latest cabinet trends can create quite and expensive problem down the road when life moves you on.  Shag carpeting comes and goes. What if it's a 'no no' when you decide to sell? Will you want to pay out 'X' amount of dollars to update your home?   These things may look terrific in the show ro...
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