Making Your Kitchen More Attractive to Buyers

by Scott Grace on November 6, 2013

What’s one of the most important rooms in your home? When it comes to
selling your property quickly, and for the best price, the answer is clearly the
kitchen. In fact, one of the most common ex
planations a particular buyer
gives for not making an offer is, “I liked the house, but I wasn’t too keen on
the kitchen.”
That doesn’t mean you must do a major renovation. However, you should do
what you can to make the kitchen as attractive as possible
to buyers.
Here are some ideas:
First, clear the countertops. Put away the toaster and other items. You want
to make the entire countertop area seem as spacious as possible.
If the cabinetry is old, you can spruce it up by installing new knobs, handles
and other hardware. A fresh coat of paint on the walls and ceiling can also
make the kitchen look like it has had a major renovation
and it will only cost
you a few hundred dollars. According to an article on the website,
“The fastest, most inexpensive kitchen updates include painting and new
cabinet hardware.” Replacing the countertops is a more expensive renovation, but it may be
worth it if the current counters are old and worn. Finally, when preparing your kitchen for a viewing, make sure
it’s clean and tidy. The garbage and recycling bins should be empty. Buyers will open
cabinets so make sure items on shelves are neatly organized with the front
labels facing forward. There are many other ways to make the most important room in your home
look great to potential buyers. Call today for more ideas.

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Canada’s housing market still improving

by Scott Grace on October 2, 2013

Canadian housing activity remains quite buoyant, supported by low borrowing costs and reasonably healthy employment conditions.

Home resales, after declining through the latter half of 2012, recovered over the spring and summer. Year-to-date, national sales are trending slightly below last year’s levels and are in line with the average pace of the past decade.

Home prices also are resilient. The MLS Home Price Index (HPI), which takes into account changes in the mix of sales, shows national prices tracking around three per cent year-over-year. This moderate rate of house price appreciation is consistent with balanced market conditions and long-term house price inflation.

Regionally, Alberta continues to show the strongest overall conditions, as strong population inflows and full-time job growth fuel growing housing demand. Activity in British Columbia remains on the softer side despite some recovery in sales and pricing in recent months. In most other provinces, sales volumes are fairly “typical”.

Buyers are taking advantage of still attractive borrowing costs, notwithstanding the recent upward drift in fixed mortgage rates.

Indeed, the prospect of rate increases may have drawn in potential homeowners from the sidelines. Demand also is supported by immigration and population growth, and mirrors strengthening consumer confidence.

Underlying fundamentals are less conducive to a further ramping up in housing activity. Pent-up demand from last year’s slowdown has been satisfied with sales now back in line with historical averages. Moderating job growth — employment gains have averaged 13,000 per month this year, half the average gain in 2012 — also should temper demand.

Housing affordability at a national level is still within historical norms, with high home prices offset by ultra-low borrowing costs.

However, affordability is expected to become a bigger challenge for buyers over the coming year with interest rates now drifting up.

Moreover, national affordability measures mask more strained conditions in several major centres, primarily for single-family homes in Toronto and Vancouver.

Homeowners have a number of options in the face of rising borrowing costs.

Variable rate mortgages are expected to remain near historic lows in 2014, and move up only slowly thereafter as the Bank of Canada gradually normalizes monetary policy. Many homebuyers are insulating themselves to a higher rate environment by locking in at historically low rates.

The combination of moderately higher interest rates and slowing job growth will likely dampen home sales later this year and into 2014.

Meanwhile, increased supply should limit price gains.

However, the risk of a large price correction nationally remains low barring a major adverse shock such as a sharp rise in unemployment. Sellers have been responsive to shifts in supply conditions, mortgage quality is solid, and arrears rates are low and edging lower.

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Stage your home for a quick sale

by Scott Grace on September 27, 2013

In today’s real estate market, a coat of paint and a good cleaning aren’t enough for a quick sale at top dollar. You need to inspire the buyer’s imagination and make them want to live there-and that is where home staging comes in.

When staging, the three rooms that can make or break a sale are the kitchen, master bedroom and family room. Buyers have the high expectation for these spaces, so they should be the priority. The family room is often the first stop on the tour and it provides a huge opportunity to create impact, easily.

Add a fireplace: This one element creates an inviting focal point with wow power. If you don’t have an existing fireplace, electric is the way to go-and this change can be yours in a flash. Innovative companies like Dimplex, for example, offer a number of designer options for every décor style. The plug-andplay designs make installation a breeze.

Paint: You’ve heard it before, a fresh coat of paint will give your rooms a clean, inviting look. White or neutral is a safe bet, but consider creating an accent wall surrounding your fireplace for real impact. Remnant rug: A new rug can warm up the room, and it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Check out carpet showrooms, as you will usually find remnants of carpet that have been bound. A neutral rug will help to ground the space.

Accessories: Clean and modest is key. Simple groupings of pillows, candles and frames, and a throw will make the space appear polished, but lived in. Personal photos and half burnt candles are a nono.

Flowers: People love seeing live plants and flowers in the family room. It gives a sense of life and good energy.

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halifax real estate prices


BBQ to support FEED Nova Scotia

by Scott Grace on July 4, 2012

EXIT Realty Professionals to host fundraiser

Join EXIT Realty PROFESSIONALS for a BBQ to support FEED Nova Scotia on Saturday July 14, 2012 between 11am
and 2pm located in the parking lot of our main office @ 91 Sackville Drive. You can also donate a non perishable food item!

Hamburgers – $3
Hot Dogs – $2
Pop and bottled water -$1


• In March of 2011 22,505
Nov a Scotians were
assisted by food banks.

• 31.5% were under the
age of 18.

• 33% increase since 2008.

FEED Nova Scotia fundraiser by EXIT Realty