5 Minute Tips: Prep Your Home for Viewing


You have potential buyers coming but you’re already running late for work. What can you do in 5 minutes that will have the most impact?


1. Tidy the foyer / front entrance.

The front entrance is the first impression of your home. Put away your family’s shoes, hats, jackets, mail, etc.


2. Turn on lights and open the curtains.

Brighter homes look larger and more welcoming. Your real estate agent would be happy to turn off the lights and close the curtains after the prospective buyers have left, if you ask them.


3. Give the powder rooms a once-over.

Put the toilet lids down, wipe any hair and toothpaste spills from the sink, and put away toiletries.


4. Remove personal items.

Quickly go through your home and remove personal items such as family photos, bills and jewellery. This will help potential buyers picture themselves making the home their own.


5. Shake off your welcome mat.

Make sure your welcome mat is clean, free of leaves, bugs or other outdoor distractions that have a habit of accumulating.

This quick and easy task list will help you present your home to buyers in the best light, and it will ensure your mind doesn’t wander back to your house throughout the day with worries that you did not leave your home as clean as you could have.


When you’re looking for a new home, you want to find one in a great neighbourhood – or, at least, in a neighbourhood that is on the upswing. How can you tell if a particular area is improving? Here are some common indicators:

  • Pride of ownership. Take a walk around the neighbourhood. Do you get a sense that people take good care of their homes? Are the lawns mowed? Is the landscaping trimmed? Are flowers planted? Homeowners are more likely to look after their properties when they like where they are living.
  • Home improvements. Are people investing in their homes? Are they getting their driveways re-done? Their windows replaced? Are there signs of home improvement projects? If so, this is a clear indication that homeowners like the area enough to invest in their properties.
  • Real estate sales activity. Do homes tend to sell quickly in the area? Do they sell for a good price? If so, the neighbourhood is probably in demand. If people want to live there, it's a desirable area.
  • Business investment. Are businesses investing in the surrounding area? Is there an increase in the number of upscale shops, health clubs, restaurants, and other commercial enterprises that often locate near desirable neighbourhoods?
  • Community involvement. Are there signs that the community plays an active role in the look and lifestyle of the neighbourhood? Are there neighbourhood picnics, yard sales and other get-togethers? Check Facebook.com to see if the neighbourhood has a community page.
  • City plans. Find out what plans the city has for the area. Will there be road improvements done in the near future? Are there any major construction projects on the schedule, such as a new school or community centre. Although such projects can be disruptive in the short term, they may improve the neighbourhood – and, as a result, boost the value of any home you buy – in the long-term.

Of course, the best way to find out the desirability of a neighbourhood is to talk to a good REALTOR® who knows the area. Call me today.

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You might have hired a painter, plumber, or renovator several times during your history of home ownership. But how many times have you hired a decorator?


For many homeowners, hiring a decorator is a first time experience. That’s what makes knowing how to choose the right one so challenging.


Here's a tip: Clip photos from magazines of rooms that match the "look and style" you want. Pay particular attention to desired colours, decor, accents, furnishings, and themes.

Then, when meeting with a prospective decorator, see if there's anything in his or her portfolio that matches your clippings. If there is, then you’ll have a good indication that he or she can pull off the look you want.


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Why is it so important to know how much you can afford to spend on a home?

Two reasons.

First, you don't want to buy a property and then find out, only after you’ve moved in, that you can't financially maintain it. That would mean having to resell it under stressful conditions.

Second, you don't want to settle for a property that's less than ideal, when you really could have afforded the "dream home" you've always wanted.

So how do you figure out how much you can afford to pay for your next home?

The first step is to talk to a good REALTOR®. I will help you gain a clearer understanding of how much your current home will likely sell for in today's market. That amount, together with other financial resources you might have (such as savings), will determine your down payment.

The next thing you’ll need to figure out is your mortgage. I can help you find a lender who will take a variety of factors into account – income, credit rating, debts, expected down payment, etc. – to calculate the maximum amount of mortgage for which you qualify.

Say, through the proceeds of the sale of your home combined with your savings, your expected down payment is $90,000. If the lender authorizes a mortgage of $270,000, then you can afford a $360,000 home.

Of course, that doesn't mean you'll need to spend that much. In fact, a home that meets your needs in terms of property type, features, and neighbourhood, may in fact cost you less.

One thing is for sure. A good REALTOR® can work with whatever amount you can afford and show you homes on the market that most closely meet your needs.

Looking for a good REALTOR®? Call me today.

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On April 1, 2013, the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) was replaced by the federal Goods and Services Tax (GST) and the BC Provincial Sales Tax (PST).

The following questions and answers are intended to provide clarity regarding sales of new housing at a high level. For advice about specific transactions and situations, BCREA suggests individuals seek legal and/or accounting advice, as appropriate.

For more information, see:

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Today's stress-filled world leaves us all crying out for rest and relaxation. Making your bathroom the best it can be will generate a 56% better return on investment than the average popular reno.

The goal should be to create a spa-like environment in your bathroom by installing a soaker tub with relaxing jets, or perhaps a new steam shower stall.

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How do you select the best moving company for your needs?

  • Ask for recommendations from friends other professionals in the local real estate industry.
  • Beware of fly-by-night operations. They may seem like a bargain, but you get what you pay for.
  • Does the company provide you with a written estimate and contract? (Beware of movers that just give you a price over the phone.)
  • Ask if they are covered by insurance, and what their policy is regarding lost or broken items. Make sure you receive a copy of their insurance certificate.

Finally, always ask what circumstances would result in extra charges being applied. The number one complaint received about movers by the Better Business Bureau is unexpected extra charges.

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The data relating to real estate on this website comes in part from the MLS® Reciprocity program of either the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV), the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) or the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board (CADREB). Real estate listings held by participating real estate firms are marked with the MLS® logo and detailed information about the listing includes the name of the listing agent. This representation is based in whole or part on data generated by either the REBGV, the FVREB or the CADREB which assumes no responsibility for its accuracy. The materials contained on this page may not be reproduced without the express written consent of either the REBGV, the FVREB or the CADREB.