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What Does a Property Surveyor Do?

Property Surveyors, sometimes referred to as land Surveyors, play a vital role in the real estate world. They are the professionals who determine or confirm the exact boundaries of a property.

Will you need to deal with a Property Surveyor when selling your home?

You might.

Sometimes the mortgage lender will ask for a land survey, especially if your property is older and hasn’t changed hands in many years. You might also be asked for one by the buyer if there is any confusion about the size and boundaries of your property – or if significant changes have been made to it in recent years.

This is nothing to be concerned about.

A qualified Property Surveyor will do the appropriate inspection and measurements on your property and issue you the survey. (It looks a little like a blueprint.)

Property Surveyors are highly trained and licensed. In Canada, Professional Surveyors Canada (PSC) represents the profession nationally, and most provinces have their own professional associations.

Before getting a new land survey or real property report, make sure you don’t already have one. Hopefully, you’ve stored the paperwork that relates to the purchase of your home. Look through it. A valid real property report might be right there.

If you have questions about real property reports, call today.

Knock, Knock. How to Avoid Door-to-Door Scams

It’s early in the evening and there’s a knock on the door. You answer and are greeted by an official-looking man who claims he needs to see your utility bill to confirm you’re getting your energy rebate.

Do you let him in?

While he may be legitimate, he may also be using deception to sell you something you don’t want. Here are some suggestions for finding out:

· Ask for a business card. Then, check if it has an address, phone number and website. If the salesperson refuses or just shows you his ID card (which anyone can fake), that’s a red flag.

· Ask for the name of his employer. Sometimes salespeople will say they “represent the phone company”. That doesn’t mean they actually work for it.

· Ask if you can call his company to confirm details before buying. If he refuses, or says the office is closed, shut the door.

· Ask if you can consider the offer and call the office the next day to place your order.

· If you’re really suspicious, ask him to come back later. Then, call the non-emergency police number. Police are aware of common scams in the area.

Most importantly, use your common sense. Door-to-door salespeople can be pretty persuasive, but if something doesn’t seem right to you, trust your gut. Say, “No thanks.”

Of course, if everything checks out with the salesperson, and the offer is a good one, consider taking advantage of it.

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Selling a Home in a Crowded Market

When you’re about to sell your home, it may be disheartening to see so many other properties for sale in your neighbourhood. You may be thinking, “That’s a lot of competition! Will our property get noticed?”

Fortunately, there are many proven strategies for standing out in a sea of For Sale signs.

First of all, keep in mind that many home purchasers come from the REALTOR’S personal network of buyers who want to move into your area. So, choosing the right REALTOR® is crucial.

Second, remember that when there are other properties for sale on your street, curb appeal becomes even more important. There are many simple things you can do to make your property look great to those driving around looking at homes. Make sure your property looks as picture perfect as possible.

In a competitive market, it’s also more important than ever to highlight features of your home that are unique and enticing. If, for example, you have a large backyard deck and brand new hardwood flooring, make sure these are mentioned prominently on the feature sheet.

Finally, be as flexible as you can be when scheduling viewings and open houses. Don’t forget that other listed properties in your neighbourhood draw in buyers, who may notice your home. It’s not uncommon for a buyer to view a property and then scout the neighbourhood. So, you want buyers to be able to see your home on short notice and at a convenient time for them. If there are several other nearby properties for sale, it means things are hot from a real estate point of view. You want to roll out the red carpet to buyers.

Looking for help selling your home quickly and for the best price? Call today!

Creating a Pantry, when You Don’t Have One!

A pantry is the ideal nook for storing extra food and other items ordinarily crammed into the kitchen. It’s also a nice design feature, as it harkens back to the days of country kitchens with spacious pantries.

You might be thinking, “That’s nice, but our home doesn’t have a pantry.”

That’s okay. These days, there are many ways to create a pantry in your home – even if it doesn’t have one! Here are just a few suggestions:

• Add shelves to the laundry room. If you have the space, this is the ideal place to create a mini-pantry.

• Purchase a portable pantry. There are many available on the market. Some are even disguised as cabinets you’d expect to see in living and dining rooms.

• Purchase a movable pantry. These units are on wheels and can slide in and out of the kitchen with ease. Some are short enough to slide conveniently under a kitchen table.

• Make use of an unused closet. These are rare in most homes, but if you have a closet that isn’t being used, it can easily be converted into a pantry.

As you can see, there are plenty of options available. You don’t necessarily need to build an extra room!

When it Comes to Offers, it’s Not Always about Price

When considering which of two or more competing offers to accept for your home, there is no doubt price plays a huge role. After all, if Offer #1 is $10,000 higher than Offer #2, that’s an enticing difference that puts thousands of extra dollars in your pocket.

However, price isn’t the only thing you should think about when comparing multiple offers. There are other factors you need to consider as well.

For example, what conditions are in the offer? If Offer #1 is conditional upon the seller selling his current property for a specific amount, then what if that doesn’t happen? You could end up with an offer that dies and be forced to list your home all over again.

In that circumstance, accepting the lower offer may be your best move.

There’s also financing to consider. Most sellers will attach a certificate from their mortgage lender to show that they can afford the home and will likely secure financing with little difficulty. If you get an offer where the ability of the seller to get financing is in doubt, that’s a red flag.

The closing date is another important factor. Offer #1 might propose a closing date that’s perfect for you, while Offer #2 is four weeks later. If you’ve already purchased another home, you might require a month of bridge financing if you accept Offer #2. There’s nothing wrong with that per se, but the costs and additional hassle are factors you should consider.

As you can see, assessing competing offers isn’t as easy as it looks. Fortunately, as your REALTOR®, I will guide you toward making the right decision.

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Finding an Honest Home Improvement Contractor

You can’t call yourself a dentist unless you have specific hard-earned credentials. Just about anyone, however, can hang a shingle and call himself a home improvement contractor. That’s why choosing a reputable one is so difficult. Here are some tips:

• Find out if he or she is truly in business full-time. A part-time or occasional contractor may not have the experience necessary to do a great job.

• Ask about licenses and other credentials. Some contractors have accreditations from professional and trade associations.

• Review his or her project portfolio. A reputable contractor will have photos and other evidence of work completed for similar clients.

• Check online for reviews. If there are more than five poor reviews within the past three years — that’s a red flag.

• Ask for references. Then, call at least one.

Finally, the best contractors are those that get recommended by people you trust.

Looking for a contractor recommendation? Call today.

How Much Time Should You Spend Viewing Homes?

Figuring out how much time you should spend viewing properties for sale is a little like asking, “How long should I spend trying on shoes?”

The answer seems obvious: As long as it takes to make a decision!

Buying a home is significantly more complex than purchasing shoes – and the stakes are higher too! You need to make sure you have all the information necessary to confidently make the best decision.

There are basically three stages to viewing a property:

1. Macro

2. Micro

3. Professional

When you view a home on a macro basis, you’re looking at it from an overall perspective. For example, you may do a general walk-through to get a first impression and determine if the property has the basic features you need, such as the number of bedrooms and the size of the backyard.

Macro viewing is often the fastest stage in the viewing process and can sometimes take just a few minutes.

If you like what you see, then it’s onto the micro stage. At this stage you take a closer look at the details of the property. You might, for example, spend extra time in the master bedroom imagining how your furniture would look and fit.

The micro stage takes longer simply because the home is now on your shortlist. You’re interested and are considering making an offer.

Finally, the professional stage involves getting a qualified home inspector to go over the property with a fine tooth comb. That typically occurs after you’ve made an offer.

As your REALTOR®, I will guide you through a viewing so you’ll know what to look for and can make a smart, informed decision. Call today.