Archive for the ‘Real Estate Marketing’ Category

Why Wait for Spring to List Your Home? 9 Reasons to Sell During the Holidays

Monday, December 14th, 2015

Why Wait for Spring to List Your Home? 9 Reasons to Sell During the Holidays | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamYou might think that putting your Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County or Edmonton area home on the market at this time of year is a bad idea. But there are actually many good reasons to list your home during the holiday season.

  1. People shopping for a new home during the winter months tend to be more serious about a home purchase than those looking at other times of the year. They may be in a situation where moving is not an option since January often marks the start of a new job. Buyers are not only more likely to make an offer, but also more likely to meet your list price, especially as people are apt to be in a good mood at this time of year!
  2. Generally, fewer houses are listed at this time of year. This means less competition for your home now than later in the spring when more homes will come on the market.
  3. Many businesses reduce their hours during the holiday season, meaning employees may have time during the work week, not just evenings and weekends, to shop for a new home.
  4. Some buyers may find themselves in a financial situation where it is advantageous for tax or incentive reasons to make their deal before the end of the year.
  5. You’ve probably spent a fair amount of time cleaning, decluttering and decorating your home for the holidays. Why not take advantage of this natural staging when your home is looking its best?
  6. Your home being on the market does not have to interfere with your holiday plans. You always have the option to specify when showings may or may not occur.
  7. Selling now does not necessarily mean you’d have to move now. It is possible to negotiate a later date for buyers to take possession, or to allow you to remain in your home for a longer period of time.
  8. But, if you sell and move to a temporary residence now, with the intention of buying later in the spring, you can do so with money in the bank and without the pressure of having to write an offer that is conditional upon the sale of your current home.
  9. Mortgage rates remain at record lows so there are still many buyers for whom your house just might be the perfect home.

 

Whether you are looking to buy or sell at any time of the year, I’m here to help. Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here.

10 Things Not to Do to Your Home When Selling

Tuesday, November 10th, 2015

10 Things Not to Do to Your Home When Selling | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamIf you’re planning on selling your Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County or Edmonton area home, you want to sell it fast and for the best price. You’ve probably gotten lots of advice about all the things you must do. (I’ve written plenty of blog articles myself on the topic. This is the most recent one, and it includes links to the other articles:  4 Tips to Sell Your Home in Any Market)

But what are some so-called upgrades or updates that won’t pay you back and might even hurt you when it comes time to sell?

Some of these are items you may have built into your home for your own pleasure and convenience. Use them and enjoy them, but be aware that other people might not be so thrilled with them, and may be reluctant to pay for them.  Others are things you may be considering doing because you’ve heard they’ll add value. It’s true that most buyers these days are looking for a home that requires no improvements before they can move in, and sellers are more likely to get top dollar for their home if everything is up to date. But – how much more should you invest in your home to make it sales-worthy?

1.  Special rooms

The average house buyer is looking for at least 3 bedrooms, AND the average buyer tends not to have a lot of imagination when it comes to use of space! Using a bedroom as a home office won’t put off a buyer, but converting a garage to a family room might kill your sale. In addition, most buyers don’t want dedicated spaces like yoga studios, hair salons, sound-proofed recording studios, even tiered theatre rooms which are popular at the moment, and certainly aren’t willing to pay extra for them. In general, it’s wise to avoid making permanent structural changes that alter the intended use of a space or limit its future use.

2.  Trendy or personal-taste decorating

If your daughter’s bedroom is fluorescent pink, and the dining room has splashy floral wallpaper, you might want to dial things back to neutral before listing your home. Paint – in a neutral color – is the one upgrade which will benefit you and pay you back, especially if you do it yourself and do it well.

3.  Appliances

A lot of buyers these days want stainless steel, but installing brand new top end appliances won’t get you a higher selling price.

4.  Flooring

Should you replace the wall-to-wall carpet in your home, especially if it is an out-of-date color and starting to show signs of wear? Most buyers these days are looking for solid flooring, such as hardwood, laminate, ceramic tile and the like, but this type of flooring isn’t cheap, and you are unlikely to get your money back when you sell. My advice would be to go for a good professional carpet cleaning and hope for the best!

5.  Built-ins

Extra storage is always a boon to homeowners, but what if you’ve built in extra cabinets, cupboards and shelving in every room in the house? Lots of buyers will appreciate this but not to the point of compensating you for what you probably spent.

6.  Sunroom addition

A nice idea, especially in our climate, but hugely expensive to add on, and many buyers would not want to take on the extra heating and cooling costs.

7.  Swimming pools and hot tubs

These cost a lot to install and require significant maintenance. You won’t get your money back on these, and you may even find some buyers are turned off by them. Definitely do not put more money into these to spruce them up just before you sell (although remember that items in your home should be in good working order).

8.  Roof

Surprisingly, a brand new roof won’t add value to your home, although it might make the home easier to sell. Replace your roof if you need to but don’t expect to recover your cost.

9.  Backup generator, and other system improvements

Practical, useful, potentially life-saving in our area, especially if your home is on an acreage… Who wouldn’t want a backup generator?! Most buyers don’t want to pay for this extra but instead would probably consider it a nice bonus. Most people also, unfortunately, will not pay extra for a new furnace, plumbing updates, air conditioning, new hot water heater and the like. These are part of the invisible systems that buyers have every right to expect will be in proper working order. Think of these as regular maintenance instead of an investment in your home. Improvements of this type may make for a faster sale and possibly less haggling on the price, but won’t increase the price from what similar houses are selling for.

10.  Anything that is over the top for the level of home and neighbourhood

We all want our homes to be comfortable and beautiful, but if you put a gourmet kitchen or luxury ensuite into your modest home, or splurge on fancy landscaping (fire pit, gazebo, fountain, fish pond, basketball court…) so that these items resemble a spread in House Beautiful, chances are good you’ll recover only a fraction of your costs when it’s time to sell. Avoid over-improving your home. I recently listed a home whose owner had installed a Bose sound system throughout his home, an expenditure of $100,000! He loved it while he lived in the home, but we knew we would be unlikely to find that special buyer willing to pay the price. If you can’t take expensive equipment with you, be prepared to swallow the loss.

Value in a home depends on many factors.  Some of these include:

  • the local market (the number of homes currently for sale in an area, prices of homes recently sold, how fast they sold, etc.);
  • the age, size and style of the home;
  • the quality of construction;
  • the home’s condition, including regular maintenance and updating;
  • location, including amenities and accessibility, type and size of lot, nearby traffic patterns and green space, crime levels, etc.

Taking on a major renovation just before you sell in hopes that you’ll score big is pretty much always a bad idea (assuming that your home is in reasonable condition. If it isn’t, that’s a whole other discussion!). My best advice? Fix all the little things that need to be repaired, do a superior cleaning job, and paint anything that’s looking shop-worn.  The most important thing to remember is that a home is only worth as much as someone is willing to pay for it, and it’s probably not worth it to put more money into it just before you sell.

Need help in deciding how to best present your home in the market? I’m happy to provide that help. Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here.

4 Tips to Sell Your Home in Any Market

Tuesday, October 20th, 2015

4 Tips to Sell Your Home in Any Market |Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamAre we in a “buyer’s market” yet in the Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County and Edmonton region? Well, sort of. Buyers won’t find super bargain prices this fall, but they will find many more homes on the market and this means greater choice for them. Not such good news if you’re looking to sell your home right now.

As a seller, what are the things that will get your property sold, even against lots of competition?

1. Get your home noticed in today’s world.

List with a REALTOR® who knows the local market and will get your property “out there”. These days it isn’t enough to hammer a “For Sale” sign on the front lawn and post the occasional ad in the local newspaper. In my office, for example, we work hard to ensure that my online presence will get your home seen. You’ll find your listing on my website, on Realtor.ca and MLS, on a virtual tour website and blogs, on Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+, Kijiji, and many others.

2. Set a realistic asking price.

Take the advice of your realtor in pricing your property appropriately. Remember that realtors do property evaluations all the time and are very aware of what is selling and for how much. We want to help you get as much for your property as possible. Think about those last two words. Sometimes it just isn’t possible to find a buyer who will see as much value in your property as you do, and unfortunately, a property is only worth as much as a buyer is willing to pay for it. Overpricing is probably the single biggest reason homes languish on the market, and this leads to a dismal spiral that goes like this: House priced too high ► potential buyers pass it by ► house sits on the market for far too long ► price is reduced (sometimes several times) ► potential buyers think there is more wrong with the house than a price that’s too high ► disappointed sellers eventually sell for a lower price than they would have received if the house had been priced right to begin with.

3. Make your home shine and stand out from the competition.

Look at your home through the objective eyes of a prospective buyer who wants to move right into a home that is clean and well-maintained. Then get busy, clean your home thoroughly, and attend to all the little repairs and fix-ups your house needs. Now is not the time to undertake major and expensive renovations that you won’t get to enjoy, but it is certainly the time to replace burnt-out light bulbs, repair broken windows, fix drippy faucets and squeaky hinges, touch up chipped paint, tidy up the yard, etc. etc. etc.!

I have written extensively in the past about the sorts of repairs, upgrades, staging and curb appeal that will sell your home without breaking the bank. Take a look especially at the starred* articles below.
Boost the Value of Your Home With Strategic Updates
Let There Be Light: Enhance Your Home’s Look and Boost Its Resale Value With These Home Lighting Tips
Selling Your House in Spring: Tips That Will Boost Your Home’s Appeal
Selling Your House in the Fall
*Leaner, Cleaner – and Sold!
Drive-by Delight or Disaster?
Use Good “Sense” to Sell Your Home!
*Be Your Own Home Stager
Thinking of Selling Your Home in Spruce Grove, Stony Plain or Parkland County?
Home Staging Starts With De-cluttering
*10 Things I Hate About Your House!

4. Accommodate all viewings from prospective buyers.

Having a constant parade of visitors through your home is stressful if you and your family are still living there. Keeping the place pristine for the lookers while packing for your move and maintaining as normal a family routine as possible is a hard juggling act. But buyers won’t make offers if they can’t get in to see the place so set as few conditions on showings as you can. Be readily available when an offer comes in.

There are many things you can’t control when selling your home, such as its location on a busy corner, or the size of the lot, or its floor plan, or the weather! But if your home is clean and well-maintained, priced right, advertised wherever it can be, and shown to all people who express an interest in it, it will sell.

If you have a property to sell this fall, let’s talk! Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here.

Housing Market Boom or Bust in Alberta?

Thursday, April 4th, 2013

 | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamHousing Market Boom or Bust in Alberta?My clients in the Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County and Edmonton area often ask me if “now” is a good time to buy a new home.  My answer to that question usually involves telling them that the best time to buy is when they feel ready to do so, no matter what the market is doing.  That may sound like a weasel answer but I believe people’s own finances and their needs and wants in housing are better for decision-making than any attempts to time or predict the market.

But “now” is an interesting time to be dealing in real estate in Alberta.  You’ve probably seen the gloomy news reports that the Canadian housing market is due for a major correction with house prices set to fall by about 20%.  That is not the case here!

In a recent article in the Edmonton Journal entitled “Alberta’s housing market still hot, whatever the media say”, Gary Lamphier reports on a conversation with Don Campbell, senior analyst and founding partner with the Real Estate Investment Network (REIN).  Mr. Campbell advises would-be sellers and buyers to “chill out”, suggesting that there is no such thing as a Canadian real estate market, but rather that each locality has its own unique market and conditions.  He goes even further when commenting about the Alberta market, saying that economic and demographic factors here are ripe for another housing boom, not bust.  He notes Alberta’s population continues to grow as workers come into the province while apartment vacancy rates shrink.  Many of these workers will decide to make Alberta their permanent home and that means they’ll be buying houses sometime in the next 2 to 7 years, fueling demand for houses and the subsequent rise in prices.

You may have heard or read that prices in Alberta have flat-lined so how can the dream of a new housing boom be true?  Mr. Campbell says Alberta’s boom-bust economy and the accompanying anxiety in people’s minds is to blame for this skepticism, along with tougher mortgage qualification rules and the negative national news.  He points out that Alberta’s population growth in 2012 was nearly triple the national average, putting a strain on housing capacity.  This situation tends to cause prices to rise.  While the average price of a house in Edmonton (about $401,000 in February) is still not as high as the peak prices in 2007, prices are definitely on the rise, according to another article entitled “Home prices flirt with record highs of ‘07”.

All of this suggests to me that now is indeed a good time to buy!

Let me help you find the home that’s just right for you.  Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here.

How We Market Your Home

Monday, March 4th, 2013

 | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamHow We Market Your HomeHow do we go about changing the “For Sale” sign on your home in Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County or the Edmonton area into “Sold”? 

Once you’ve signed the Listing Contract and your house is officially “on the market”, lots of things take place in my office to make sure that as many realtors and potential buyers as possible are aware of it. 

First of all, I post your listing (detailed description of your property, pictures and measurements I took during my visit, other particulars such as asking price, annual property taxes, neighborhood features and so on) to the Multiple Listing Service, or MLS®.  This powerful online service immediately makes your property’s information available to the thousands of realtors working in the Edmonton region.  They, in turn, can make this information available to their clients who might be looking for a property like yours.  Clients who create a customized search profile listing their desired property features can opt to receive automated “highlight sheets” showing properties available for sale that match what they are looking for.  Potential buyers can also search MLS listings directly by using their realtor’s website or by going to MLS.ca or Realtor.ca.

Back at the Realty Executives Leading office, a full-color printed “window ad” showing a picture of your home and a verbal description is posted in the front window of our building so that passers-by and visitors to the office can see the properties listed for sale by the realtors from our office.  Using a graphic designer, I may also create a glossy color highlight sheet featuring several photos of your home’s best features for potential buyers to pick up when they are viewing your home with a realtor. 

I advertise most of my listings every week in the local newspapers, the Grove Examiner in Spruce Grove and the Stony Plain Reporter in Stony Plain.  I also place ads in the Real Estate Weekly (circulation 60,000) published by the Realtors Association of Edmonton.  Printed copies of the Real Estate Weekly are inserted in home-delivered newspapers and sent out to newsstands selling the Edmonton Sun, as well as high traffic food stores, banks and real estate offices all around the Edmonton area.   Websites for all three of these publications mean an even greater possible audience for this advertising. 

I make extensive use of technology in marketing your property, featuring my listings on my website, my Facebook Business Page, my Activerain blogand my Pinterest board of listings.  I also post ads on Kijiji and create special in-house virtual tours, using software called VisualTour, that are attached to my MLS listings.  

Special mention needs to be made of my website, www.barryt.ca.  Buyers searching for “Spruce Grove real estate”, “Stony Plain real estate” or “Parkland County real estate” will find my website consistently showing up in the top organic search results on Google.  The potential exists for your home to be viewed online by thousands of visitors every day. 

While we still put a For Sale sign on your front lawn and maybe stage an open house, you can see that today’s real estate marketing goes well beyond traditional sales methods! 

Looking to sell your home?  I can help!  Call me today at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here. 

 

Pin It!

Friday, November 30th, 2012

As a home buyer, seller or owner in Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County or the Edmonton region, you may not have thought to use Pinterest as a source of information.  I have recently begun building and adding to Pinterest boards, and I’d love to share this resource with my clients. 

Pin It! | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamFirst of all, what is Pinterest?  Pinterest is a relatively new image-based social medium that allows you to organize pictures (still photos, graphics, videos, etc.), or articles containing at least one good-sized image, into topic groupings called boards.  Imagine any topic in the world that you know something about, or that you would like to learn about, and you can create or find a board for it.  To add an image or article to a particular board, all you have to do is “pin it” using the tools built into the program.  Images can be ones you’ve created yourself, or they can be attached to websites you find on the internet.  You can repin items other people have pinned to their boards, as well as follow other users, and of course other people can repin your images and follow you! 

My boards so far are the following:

Home Buying

Home Selling

Barry Twynam’s Spruce Grove and Area Real Estate Listings

Curb Appeal

Home Makeovers

No Ordinary House

Beautiful Kitchens

Laundry Rooms, Mudrooms, Storage Spaces

Great Little Spaces

Man Caves

Moving

Pets and Your Home

Outdoor Living

Landscaping

Home Security

DIY and Home How To

Painting Tips

Helpful Home Hints

A Clean Home

Who Says It’s Not Easy Being Green?!

Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Attractions

Saltwater Aquariums

Photo Geek

You can see my boards here:  http://pinterest.com/barrytwynam/ 

I would be pleased to have you visit my Pinterest boards, use the information, repin my pins, follow me, etc.!  I would especially appreciate any suggestions you might have about items I should add to my existing boards, or new boards you think I should create.  And maybe you’ll be inspired to create your own Pinterest boards.  Let me know and maybe I’ll follow you! 

I always enjoy receiving your comments or questions!  Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here.  

Something Extra to Sell Your Home

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

Something Extra to Sell Your Home | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamYour Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County or Edmonton area home is now on the market.  You’ve listened to all the advice and done everything you reasonably can to make sure it shows well.  You’ve thoroughly cleaned and de-cluttered, you’ve made all the minor repairs, and maybe you’ve even undertaken a few renovations that give a fairly good return on investment, such as repainting inside and out where needed.  As your REALTOR®, I’ll do everything I can to market your home [see my blog article on this:  So, You Signed the Listing Contract…]  But, is there anything else you can do to help your house sell fast and for a good price? 

Here’s an idea for something that’s a little unusual, and beyond what most people do.  Work with me to prepare a Question and Answer sheet about your home and neighborhood to leave in your home for visitors. 

Potential buyers are going to have questions about your property and its location so why not anticipate those questions and provide the answers as a unique way of showcasing your home and its value.  Some possibilities:

    • Your utility suppliers and the cost of utilities, together with your “utility site number”
    • Renovations and repairs you’ve undertaken – maybe include things such as contractors you used, dates, cost and details of renos (such as kitchen and bathroom re-dos, basement finishing, replacement of such things as shingles, flooring, windows), paint brands and color names or numbers, etc.
    • The appliances in your home – age, brand, warranties, etc.  (Remember to leave the manuals when you move!)
    • Shrubs and plants around your yard
    • What do you love about your home? 

What would potential buyers want to know about the location of your home?  Think about what drew you to the neighborhood and your community.  How about:

    • Nearby amenities, such as schools, parks, walking trails, convenience stores, gas stations, shopping centres, medical clinics and the like, plus distance to each
    • Appealing characteristics of your neighborhood, such as low crime, helpful neighbors, wide boulevard, quiet and privacy, or maybe close access to essential services, and so on
    • The community at large – for example, the website where a potential resident could learn about the makeup of your town, special features that make your community unique, such as its history, tourist attractions, famous citizens and so on. 

With so many homes on the market, it pays to highlight yours in a unique way, and have it stand out from the rest.  Together, we can get your home sold! 

Comments or questions about this article?  Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here.

So, You Signed the Listing Contract…

Friday, September 16th, 2011

So, You Signed the Listing Contract... | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamHow do we go about changing the “For Sale” sign on your home in Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County or the Edmonton area into “Sold”?

Once your house is officially “on the market”, lots of things take place in my office to make sure that as many realtors and potential buyers as possible are aware of it.

First of all, I post your listing, consisting of a detailed description of your property, the pictures and measurements I took during my visit, and various other particulars such as the asking price, annual property taxes, neighborhood features and so on, to the Multiple Listing Service, or MLS®.  This powerful online service almost instantly makes your property’s information available to the thousands of realtors working in the Edmonton region.  They, in turn, can make this information available to their clients who might be looking for a property like yours.  Clients who create a customized search profile listing their desired property features can opt to receive automated “highlight sheets” showing properties available for sale that match what they are looking for.  These days, most realtors, or their offices, have websites with a direct link to MLS, making it possible for their clients to see all the pictures and other information posted on MLS.  Potential buyers can also search MLS listings directly by going to MLS.ca or Realtor.ca

Back at the Realty Executives Leading office, a full-color printed “window ad” showing a picture of your home and a verbal description is posted in the front window of our building so that passers-by and visitors to the office can see the properties listed for sale by the realtors from our office.  I may also create a glossy color highlight sheet featuring photos of your home’s best features for potential buyers to pick up when they are viewing your home with a realtor.

I advertise some or all of my listings every week in the local newspapers, the Grove Examiner in Spruce Grove and the Stony Plain Reporter in Stony Plain.  I also place ads in the Real Estate Weekly (circulation 60,000) published by the Realtors Association of Edmonton.  Printed copies of the Real Estate Weekly are inserted in home-delivered newspapers and sent out to newsstands selling the Edmonton Sun, as well as high traffic food stores, banks and real estate offices all around the Edmonton area.   Websites for all three of these publications have meant an even greater possible audience for this advertising.

I make as much use of technology in marketing your property as I can, featuring my listings on my website and on my Facebook Business Page, as well as posting ads on Kijiji and creating special in-house virtual tours, using software called VisualTour, that are attached to my MLS listings. 

While we still put a For Sale sign on your front lawn and maybe stage an open house, you can see that today’s real estate marketing goes well beyond traditional sales methods!

Looking to sell your home?  I can help!  Call me today at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here.   

Barry Twynam, Realty Executives Leading
#1 14 McLeod Avenue, Spruce Grove, Alberta, T7X 3X3
Tel: 780-962-9696 Cell: 780-910-9669 Fax: 780-962-9699
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