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How to Prepare to Buy Your First Home
Posted on Sat, 10 Jun 2017, 10:45:00 AM  in Home buying tips
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One of the most exciting steps to take as an adult is to purchase your first home. Home ownership is considered to be a wise investment that can pay off in future years. When you want to prepare to buy your first home, you'll need to follow a few tips.

 

Save for the Down Payment

You'll need a down payment to purchase a home to secure the purchase. The amount of money that you save will influence how much you pay on your mortgage each month, making it necessary to set aside as much as possible. The type of loan that you choose will also influence the minimum amount of money that you'll need for the down payment. Most people save five to 20 percent of the selling price of the home.

 

Secure Your Employmenthow to prepare for your first home

You'll need to have a record of steady employment before you apply for a home loan. Lenders will want to trust that you'll be capable of making the payments each month and that you won't get behind with the amount of money that you owe. You'll need to have at least one year of work from the same employer to be taken seriously with your loan application. Avoid changing jobs after submitting the application and don't become self-employed, which can cause you to be turned down for a home loan.

 

It's also necessary to calculate your debt-income ratio, which will affect how much you can afford. Pay off as much debt as possible before you submit the loan to ensure that you can borrow more money.

 

Determine Your Budget

Knowing your budget is essential to finding the right home to purchase before you begin to shop around. You'll need to add up all of your income for your household, which can include side jobs that you work. Multiply the amount by two or three or calculate 30 percent of your gross income to get an idea of what you can afford. You'll also need to take other costs of home ownership into consideration, which includes property taxes, repairs, and association fees. The interest rate that you lock in will also affect the overall price of the house, along with the term that you select. You may want to wait to purchase the home during certain times of the year when interest rates may drop.

 

It's also important to set aside extra money for the cost of new furniture, window treatments, and appliances that you'll need to purchase after moving into the property.

 

Increase Your Credit Score

Lenders will take a close look at your credit score to determine if you have a good history with repaying your debt and managing your money. Your credit score will increase if you make your payments on time on your loans or credit cards. Paying off the balances and utilizing 20 percent of the available balance will also boost the score. You can lock in a lower interest rate if you increase your credit score, which can save hundreds to thousands of dollars each year on your mortgage payment.

 

You'll also want to remove errors that are present on your credit history. Credit bureaus are prone to making mistakes or confusing your name with another individual that has a credit history.

 

When you're ready to purchase your first home, you can have a smooth and successful process with the right steps taken. By planning and preparing ahead of time, you can have peace of mind knowing that you'll find the perfect starter home to call your own.


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Questions That You Should Ask Your Sales Representative About Selling Your Home
Posted on Wed, 31 May 2017, 02:10:00 PM  in Home selling tips
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Questions That You Should Ask Your Sales Representative About Selling Your Home

Have you come to the conclusion that you need to sell your house or that you would like to sell your house in favor of a house that better meets your needs? There are plenty of reasons that would put you in the position of selling your house.

Unless you have sold a great deal of houses on your own, you will likely need just a little bit of help. A sales representative will help you sell your house, but you should put together a list of questions to ask them in order to make the process easier for you and everyone else involved.

Here are a few questions that you may use as a guideline to help get the information you need from your sales representative:

 

What Are Your Qualifications?

Questions That You Should Ask Your Sales Representative About Selling Your HomeWhen you ask your sales representative what qualifications they have to sell your house for you, you should be looking for them to offer up their certifications, licenses, and sales experience. If they do not do this, prompt them for this important set of information.

 

How Flexible Will You Be With Me?

The best sales representative will be just as flexible with you as you are willing to be with them. They understand that there are plenty of factors that may speed up or halt the sale of your home. If you are willing to be flexible with them and keep an open line of communication, you are likely to get the same out of them. If they are unwilling to agree to be flexible, then you can search for another agent that is willing to be flexible with you.

 

How Long Should This Process Take?

The length of your process really can vary depending on how quickly you need to sell the house, how much you are willing to accept for the home, and how available you are for meetings, visitations, and contacts. You may expect to hear that the sale of your home may take a few months to a year or more depending on how flexible you are willing to be with your agent and any potential buyers that would like to make you a reasonable offer. You may also expect to have a different timeline than your cousin did when they sold their lake house last summer.

 

How Much Is My House Worth? Why?

The value of your house can be affected by more than one hundred different factors ranging from the neighborhood that you live in to the distance your home is from an attractive body of water like a lake or river. Your sales representative will also recommend a price to you that will be competitive with the other homes on the market so you may not have as much to say about price as you thought going into a consultation. Feel free to ask questions about why your house is valued at the price they suggest and if there is anything you can do to get just a little more money out of it when you list it for sale.

 

What Would You Suggest Be My Next Step After This Consultation?

You may have a few options for how you will choose to continue on to the next step of actually selling your house. Your sales representative may recommend anything from having your house staged, taking photos for an online website, or helping to write a short description to simply trying to settle on a price that would make sense to you and se em appealing to potential buyers.


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Please ask me your question by filling out this form. You will receive an answer to your question at the first opportunity I have to reply. I appreciate the time you have taken.

 

 


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Preparing The Baby’s Room In Your New Home If You Are Expecting
Posted on Sat, 20 May 2017, 02:05:00 PM  in Home buying tips
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Preparing The Baby’s Room In Your New Home If You Are Expecting

Have you just signed the papers from your sales representative on the new Canadian home that you just purchase? Congratulations on being new homeowners. Are you now happily expecting? That deserves a second round of congratulations.

If you are expecting and have just moved into your new home, you may be experiencing feelings of being intensely overwhelmed. This new home obviously has a room for your baby, but this may be your only chance to do this right from the very start of the process. So without any further ado let us get started.

 

Start Your Planning Now

Preparing The Baby’s Room In Your New Home If You Are ExpectingYou can start planning for how you are going to use the space even before you buy anything for the room. You can think about where you would like to put the dresser. Which direction you would like the diaper changing table to be facing, and which part of the room you would like to set up the crib. Past that, you can start planning for bookcases, rocking chairs, and any other items you would like to have to complete the room so that you know where everything will go before you buy it. There are few things worse than getting excited to decorate a baby room, going to the store and buying everything you want, and then having to return something or put it in another area of the house because it simply won’t fit in your baby’s room.

 

Start Buying The Big Things First

There are certain things that you know that you are going to need no matter what. If you are newly pregnant and do not known the sex of your baby, then you can start purchasing things that are gender neutral or things that can easily be decorated for baby boys or baby girls. You know for certain that you are going to need a crib, a changing table, and a carseat, and a baby carrier. You will likely also be needing a stroller and a high chair. Get these items first because you know that they will be the most expensive as well as gender neutral. It is always better to get the big items first when you are able to put them together than it is to wait and possibly struggle just a bit more.

 

Start The Process Of Personalization

Fast forward a few weeks if you started this process of preparing the baby’s room early and you will find yourself in one of two positions. You will either know the sex of your baby because you have chosen to know or you will choose to keep your baby’s sex a secret until they are born. This will make a big impact on how you choose to personalize your baby’s room.

If you choose not to know the sex of your baby, you will need to buy gender neutral baby items to personalize their room. This could be anything from animal themes, nature themes, starry night themes, or color themes. You cannot go wrong with yellows, browns, greys, greens, and oranges. Depending on the theme you may even be able to get away with blues and reds that fit both baby girl and baby boy themes. If you choose to know the sex of your baby then the process of personalization can get even more detailed. Not only will you be able to choose a theme for your baby, you will also be able to plan for a name and have that name printed on items from paintings and pictures to baby blankets and onesies. You may also be able to do this if you have picked a gender neutral name.


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Is It Time To Hire A Sales Representative And Move? Questions Before Making The Sell
Posted on Wed, 10 May 2017, 02:00:00 PM  in Home selling tips
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Is It Time To Hire A Sales Representative And Move? Questions Before Making The Sell

Making the decision to sell your home is definitely not always going to be a situation that is clearly outlined or detailed. There are plenty of questions you should be asking yourself before you finally make the decision to list your home on the market.

Here are a few different questions to consider before making the decision to sell your home official:

 

Is Your Neighborhood Unsafe?

Is It Time To Hire A Sales Representative And Move? Questions Before Making The SellYou may have moved into your current home assuming the neighborhood is safe but later discovered that you do not feel safe when you are at home. You may have moved into this particular home 40 years ago when you had no neighbors and are now living next door to a drug dealer that has a violent history. Maybe your neighborhood is safe and your decision is not based on this at all. However, if you feel unsafe in your current home and are considering selling because of this, then make sure to let your sales representative know that this process should take place sooner rather than later.

 

Is Your Current House Too Big Or Too Small?

Did you buy your current home when you were just a couple with your significant other and now need a home to accommodate your children, parents, pets, or friends? If this is your situation it would be best to sell in order to buy a home to meet your current needs. Did you have a large family with lots of pets when you bought the house but now find that you are alone or live only with your significant other and have no use for the 5 spare bedrooms in the home? This would also be a great reason to sell your home and move into a home that better reflects your needs and desires.

 

Does Your Job Require The Move?

If you have just accepted a new job or your current job has transferred you quite a distance from where you are currently living, then you will soon have to look for a home closer to your new workplace. You may be able to take more time to think about selling if the distance to your new workplace is not too far or if the sales is not dependant on a job.

 

Are You Feeling Pressured?

You may be in a situation where you are completely comfortable with your current living situation but are feeling pressured to move by family members, friends, or coworkers. This happens more often than you may think. If you are happy with your current home and find no real reason to move, stand up for yourself and let these individuals know that you do not have an interest in moving. There is never a reason to feel pressured out of a great living situation.

 

Are You Financially Prepared?

You may be contemplating moving but are held back from making the decision official because you are unsure of your financial situation. This is not at all uncommon. If you need help calculating your savings, your income, and your budget to assess whether or not you can afford to sell, consider contacting a sales representatives. These individuals will be more than happy to give advice and send you in the right direction.

 

Take Home Advice

Only you can come to the clusion that it is time to move. There is never a need to feel pressured to move if you are not completely sure that this is what is right for you and your unique situation.


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Get Answers To These Questions Before Buying Your Next House
Posted on Thu, 20 Apr 2017, 12:55:00 PM  in Home buying tips
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What Is The Price? And Is It Up For Negotiation?Get Answers To These Questions Before Buying Your Next House

When you start looking for a house, there are a few questions you may wish to answer prior to your search. You will definitely want to determine how much money have you have to put towards a downpayment. You’ll also want to take into consideration what your household income would be and what expenses will take away from the budget. After those calculations, you’ll need to figure out what your price point will be. If you’re looking for a house, then you likely gave your maximum price to the sales representative. Try giving them just a bit under to give yourself some wiggle room in the budget. If you find a house at the top of your range, ask if the price is firm or if it is up for negotiation.

 

What Type of Heating and Water Are In The House?

It may not seem like a big deal to ask what sort of heating and water are running through the house, but it could make a difference. Electric heating could drive up your electric bill, for example. If the power goes out on a cold winter day, then you will be left without heat if you have electric heating. The water that runs throughout the house is just as important as the heat that warms the house. Depending on the area that you live in, you may only have one choice. It is important for you to know what problems city water faces if you find a home with city water running through it. Well water has its own set of pros and cons depending on what condition the soil is in in your area.

 

How Many Acres Of Land Come With The House?

There are many instances where a home is for sale and it appears to have more land attached than what actually comes with the house. Maybe the house and its property merge seamlessly with a forest or a river. Whatever the case may be, make sure that you know how many acres you are entitled to when you make the purchase. There is little worse than destroying or redesigning property that is not yours and having another person take legal action against you.

 

Is There Any Damage To The Roof, Furnace, Pipes, Or Wiring?

Damage to the roof, furnace, pipes, and wiring are all serious concerns to have. These can be very costly repairs. When buying a house, make sure that these areas have all been inspected and that a condition has been reported. If any of these areas need repair, assess what exactly needs to be done and what it will cost to be done well. If you are able to make these repairs, consider asking the seller if they would lower the price to compensate for these repairs.

 

When Can I Move Into The House Once I Buy?

Are you looking for a home that is move-in ready or are you searching for a home that you can move into in a few weeks or months? Are you looking for a fixer upper and have a deadline that you would like to meet? Take all of these questions into consideration when you are looking. It is possible that you would like to move into your dream home right away and the family that is currently living there needs at least a month to complete school, move out, or buy their next house.


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What To Do To Thank Your Sales Representative
Posted on Fri, 31 Mar 2017, 02:45:00 PM  in My services
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Has your real estate agent been a total angel throughout the process? Have they made your life easier by taking on each and every burden with a bright and caring smile? If you have had one of the best experiences of your life working with your real estate agent, then you are one of the luckiest people to have ever bought or sold a house in Canada. Make the time to thank them for their incredible work.

 What To Do To Thank Your Sales Representative

Send Them A Small Gift

If your real estate agent has been a total gem throughout the process, make sure to let them know. If you can afford to do so, send them a small but meaningful gift. Maybe you noticed that they love daisies or that they can’t get enough dark chocolate to soothe their cravings. Make a small note and have a package sent to their office. It will show everyone in the office that your real estate agent has gone above and beyond to help you throughout your process, inspire others to want to do the same, and will make your agent truly feel appreciated for all of the work that they have poured into your sale or purchase. It will show them that you care and that you took the time to learn about them in the same way that they took the time to learn about you. It is one of the few gifts in life that can be shared and received equally.

 

Take Your Agent Out To A Good Meal At Their Favorite Restaurant

Sure, your agent can probably pay for their own food. Maybe they pack a lunch most days or are on the go often. But, wouldn’t you like to take a little bit of their free time and show them what it means to you? Most real estate agents are real people just like you and your family members, so they will appreciate a little tender loving and appreciation. Most people like to eat every once in awhile, and very few people will turn down the prospect of free food from their favorite restaurant.

While you cannot force them to eat out with you if they do not want to, make sure that you at least offer if you are capable. The sentiment of offering often does just the same amount of work as the actual meal itself.

 

Write Your Agent A Heart-Felt Letter

Your agent really is a real person with real feelings. Maybe they turned you down for a meal, maybe they are allergic to flowers, or maybe they are just quiet and reserved in their own personal free time. All people, yourself included, like to know they are appreciated. All people like to know that what they have worked so hard to do has been noticed. If you can’t afford to spend a lot of money, or you just don’t know much about your agent’s personal preferences, send them a letter. Make it as heart-felt and sincere as you can. Tell them about your frustrations and how they worked to ease them. There is little you can say in appreciation that will make them upset, angry, or unnoticed.

If you have noticed small deeds of kindness from your agent, make sure to include those as well. They will be impressed that you noticed all of the small details. Remember, nothing is too small to be appreciated, including the one night call you had to them that woke them from their sleep on a random Sunday.


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Turn Your Starter Home Into a Rental
Posted on Mon, 20 Mar 2017, 02:45:00 PM  in Home selling tips
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Owning a home is a fantastic way to build wealth in a diversified portfolio. However, many Canadians find themselves buying real estate, but never keeping any of it unless it is where they are living.

This blog post will discuss how average homeowners can add rental property to their portfolio by buying wisely, and then the benefits of the investment will be discussed.

 Turn Your Starter Home Into a Rental

How to Buy a Future Rental Property

Forget the idea of buying a home that will then be rented out. Start off by purchasing a home for yourself to live in.

The key when making the purchase is to search for properties that don't "have it all." This will permit you to save money upfront because of the modest purchase.

Additionally, don't forget that this is not the home you will love to live in; it's the home you will love to rent out. That means that in the time you live there you should enjoy it, but hold off on getting the finest appliances. Instead, paint the walls in neutral colors to save money later. And make sure that you can afford the payment even in a lean month.

 

Why Buy as a Home First?

Investment property purchases have harder guidelines to meet when purchasing. Also, the interest rates tend to be a little higher since there is more risk associated with the loan.

On top of that if you find yourself wanting to sell the home instead of rent it in a few years there are opportunities to save on taxes since the home was a primary residence.

Between borrowing on the frontend and the potential savings on the backend there is more money in it for you if this future investment property is one you live in first. However, let's not discount the long-term potential on income and asset growth.

 

Rental Income & a Growing Asset

Canada has a rising population. That means a thriving economic future as well as rising demand for homes. Owning this property will not only mean that you will have an income producing asset, but that the income will go up while the value of the property does, too.

The home you purchase today with a payment of $900 may bring in monthly rent of $950, which is great. But in 30 years the mortgage payment will be $0.00 while the rent could very easily be $1,900.

In addition to having the substantial monthly income, the asset that had once cost $115,000 may bring over $200,000 if sold.

This is not just theory. Many Canadians have done this over the past few decades, and we have a real case study.

 

Marc & Emma Tremblay

The Tremblays are an average couple. Marc works as a banker. Emma was a stay-at-home mom who now works at the local public school.

When the Tremblays were first married they purchased a very modest 2-bedroom home in a nice neighborhood. It was very easy for them to afford, but they found when they were ready to move up in house that they could rent the home more easily than sell it. Loving the idea of having a renter pay their mortgage they took a chance.

32 years later they are glad they did. The home they purchased for $165,000 is now worth $388,000. On top of that they have only had five tenants in the past 32 years, which they attribute to buying a home in a very desirable school district.

Owning rental property is something anyone can do, especially if you start out living in the property.


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What To Ask When Buying A House?
Posted on Fri, 10 Mar 2017, 02:40:00 PM  in Home buying tips
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Are you buying a new Canadian house? Well, you are sure to find the questions below helpful when searching for the perfect house for you and your family. Remember, above all, enjoy this process.

 What To Ask When Buying A House?

What Is The House Worth?

This is your way of knowing the difference between what the house has been listed for and what it is truly worth. Most of the time the house will be listed for slightly less than it is worth to increase the traffic and number of offers. Many people want to sell their house sooner than later and the price is often a reflection of that. If you find a house that is selling for what it is worth or more, then you have to ask yourself if it is something you are willing to pay. Maybe it is, and maybe there are better options for you. In any case, you deserve to know.

 

What Are Your Qualifications?

Always ask your agent what their qualifications are. They should be able to tell you. They may even have a portfolio that you can look at. Make sure to check for a license that is in good standing, recommendations, and a list of outstanding work. The bottom line? Make sure, in whatever way you have to, that you aren’t getting scammed.

 

When Can I Move In?

Let the agent know when you would like to move in and see if that fits with the seller’s agenda and timeline. You don’t want to buy a house that you have to wait too long to get into. It is a sure-fire sign that something is wrong.

 

How Are The Neighbors? Is The Neighborhood Nice?

You have to ask yourself and your agent why the previous owners moved out. Were the neighbors obnoxious or was it for a reason outside of their environmental control? Check out the neighborhood and make sure that you feel safe living there. Talk to the neighbors and see what kind of people they are. Can you still see yourself living there?

 

Will There Be Opportunities Here?

Will you have the option to get a new job if you have to? Are the medical facilities in top working condition and offering excellent care to their patients? Do the schools reflect your values? Put together a list of the opportunities you need to have, and then compare them with what your agent says is available.

 

Is The Price Negotiable?

Always ask if the price of the house is negotiable. If the house has not received many offers and the price is negotiable, move on. It will be a miserable process for you if you dont. If they house is getting competitive offers at its selling price, then be prepared to be flexible in what you pay if you really want the house.

 

Is There Anything Else I Should Know?

Take this opportunity to give your agent time to let you know about the different features of the house. Ask about the wildlife. Ask about the appliances. Ask about the schools, hospitals, restaurants, and neighbors. Just do not forget to ask about any additional information that they can provide for you. Often times, this question can make or break an otherwise perfect sale.

Make sure that you are reading into whatever your real estate agent is telling you. Get a feel for whether or not you feel their words are trustworthy. Lastly, get to know exactly what you are getting into.


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What every potential investor needs to know about Canada
Posted on Mon, 20 Feb 2017, 09:50:00 AM  in Home buying tips
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When you are thinking about buying your own place, it is normal to feel a lot of pressure, especially when it is the first time or if you are doing it in a foreign place. Well, if you are wondering where best to purchase your first home, you need to think about Canada. Below are some of the things that you need to have in mind even as you invest in the country.What every potential investor needs to know about Canada

  1. Figure out what you can afford

If all potential home buyers took time to really weigh their ability when looking for a home and were honest about it, there wouldn’t be as many cases of foreclosures as there are. Before getting that mortgage and committing to pay for a home, because it is your dream property, make sure that you can afford it. The best steps to take to figure out what you can comfortably afford.

  • Look at the mortgage payment compared to your monthly income
  • Consider all your other financial obligations, putting in mind the other obligations that may come up in the future. For instance, you may be enjoying a good salary now, but when your children reach a school going age, the expenses go up, destabilizing your ability to pay mortgage fees.
  • Think about the stability of your job at the present and in the future. Weigh your finances and see whether you can keep paying even if you lost your job.
  • Make sure that you settle all your debts so that the credit score can be attractive. This is what will get you a good mortgage deal.
  1. Create a wish List

The other thing that you need to do is have a list of the features that you would like to be part of your home and those that you are willing to compromise on. The things that you should include in the list are:

  • The size of the home in square feet.
  • The number of bedrooms and bathrooms in the house
  • The presence of a backyard and a pool
  • The size of the kitchen
  • The location of the house in the country

When you have a list of the things that you feel strongly about and those that you o not, you will be in a better position to decide what best suits your needs.

  1. Aiming for a substantial down payment

The other thing you should do is make sure that you make at least 20 percent down payment for the property. This is a rule that is very useful, especially for first time home owners. Note that in some cases, the amount that you save to be your down payment will not be what you end up paying. It is best to ensure that you have some extra cash kept back so that in case of anything, you will have some extra to cover you.

  1. Keep in mind closing costs

There are other charges that are part of what you will pay for in your deals. These include the closing costs on the property. Research shows that these contribute to about 25 percent of the total cost of the home. The costs that will be part of this include:

  • Legal fees
  • Property transfer costs
  • Land transfer tax
  • Interest adjustment
  • Property and fire insurance

These are some of the things to bear in mind before investing in Canadian real estate. The best thing about the property market is that it is affordable and there is something for everyone. With the help of a competent realtor, it is possible to get a great deal on property.


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True Buyer's Market
Posted on Fri, 10 Feb 2017, 09:45:00 AM  in Marketing strategies
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When is perhaps one of the worst times to try and sell a home in Canada, or in any other place, for that matter? I will tell you. Around the holiday season, my friend, is perhaps the worst time. People have been proven statistically to not really be in any search for a home during this time. This usually comes a bit after the holidays, sometime around early spring and especially in the summer.True Buyers Market

Did you know that the state of the current market can affect the condition of your search to either buy or sell a home? It is true, and there is nothing with quite the same effect and influence on your decision making process as a whole. There's nothing quite like both researching and knowing well the state of the current markets, its conditions and its up down volatility, as locals call it. Whether you are trying to do business here in the Quebec or Ontario area, or even further down south, you need to study and do current research on the housing trends of the area. If you do so first, then you may decide whether buying or listing a home for sale in that area is the right decision for you at this particular given moment in time; timing is everything as well, and it may make or break a deal, as they say.

"The amount of active buyers will be somewhat dictated by the condition of the local market – for instance, a seller's market will typically see more buyer foot traffic at any point during the year when compared to a buyer or balanced market. With that said, many people simply stop looking for homes...." (http://www.canadianrealestatemagazine.ca/expert-advice/how-to-sell-a-home-leading-up-to-the-holidays-199224.aspx, pg. 1, para. 4)

In terms of practicality when choosing to sell your home, for example, there are a few practical chops of advice that can be given to either any first-time rookie or even a more seasoned home seller in general. Such portions of advice are wise to consume and must be taken with a respective grain of salt. As such, let us continue. First of all, a truly experienced realtor® is always a major plus in any book, and choosing to work with someone of quality and proven expertise may just be what you need in order to get that home sold within a matter of mere days. It is really that simple, and there is no added rocket science to the process.

Having a professional realtor® will not only bring experience to the forefront of your very battle, but it will also help to increase your sale profit off of the home significantly and connect you with other people and resources in the business. After all, you never know who you may meet in this industry that ends up becoming a life-long connection and invaluable resource to you for years to come. Is that not what it is all about in the end, connecting with people and helping others to likewise achieve their own unique goals and dreams in the process? I argue that it is, and real estate done properly is but another way to accomplish this very important personal task.

Selling one's home without an agent or a REALTOR® can be a pain in the neck, and no one should have the burden of carrying that weight all alone. A few other practical pointers include knowing when potential buyers may come by and see the home. You need to always be ready for this, and stay in the nearby area just in case they may have questions about certain aspects of any room.


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Greater Baton Rouge Assoc. of REALTORS® Last Updated: 6/23/2017 1:25:46 PM

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