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‘Tis the Season: 5 Reasons Why Winter is a Great Time to Buy or Sell a Home

It’s a common misconception that you shouldn’t try to buy or sell a home during the fall and winter months.

This is generally considered the “off season” in real estate. Many sellers mistakenly believe that the cold weather will keep buyers away and that no one is looking over the holidays. Unfortunately, many real estate professionals perpetuate this myth by advising their clients to “wait until the spring” to list their home.

The truth is, homes are bought and sold year round. And while the market is typically quieter during the fall and winter, savvy buyers and sellers know how to use this slow down to their advantage. In fact, depending on your circumstances, now may be the ideal time for you to purchase or list a home.

If you’re in the market to buy or sell, there’s no need to wait for the spring. Read on to discover the top five reasons that it can pay to buy or sell a home during the offseason!

Tip #1 LESS COMPETITION

What’s the number one reason to buy or sell a home during the off season? Less competition!

This can be particularly beneficial if you’re a seller. Come spring, a huge wave of new listings will hit the market. But if you list now, you will have fewer comparable homes with which to compete.

In the spring and summer months, it can be difficult for your property to stand out in a crowded market. You may end up with a surplus of homes for sale in your neighborhood. Indeed, it’s not uncommon to see multiple listings on a single street during the peak selling season.

Inventory in the fall and winter months, however, can be significantly lower. That means your home will not only receive more attention from buyers, but you may also gain the upper hand in your negotiations. In fact, research found that homes listed in the winter are nine percent more likely to sell, and sellers net more above asking price in the winter than any other time of year.1

Buyers also have a lot to love about the real estate off season. While some buyers need to move during the winter, many bargain hunters search this time of year in hopes of scoring a great deal.

Smart buyers will continue to scan the market during the fall and winter for hidden gems that pop up during the off season. There are always highly motivated sellers who need to sell quickly. And with less competition to bid against you, you’re in a better position to negotiate a great price. If you’ve been looking for a good deal on a home or investment property, now may be the best time to look!

So while a “slow market” may scare off some buyers and sellers, it can actually be the perfect time of year for you to list or purchase a home. While the rest of the market is hibernating until spring, take advantage of this opportunity to get a jump start on your competition!

Tip #2 EVERYONE’S MORE MOTIVATED

During the spring and summer, you’re likely to encounter “lookie-loo” buyers who are just testing the waters and unrealistic sellers who are holding out for a better offer. But the serious buyers and sellers stay active during the cold weather and holiday season, often because they need to move quickly. In fact, research shows that homes listed in the winter sell faster than any other time of year.1

January and February are peak job hiring months, which brings a surge of buyers who need to relocate quickly to start a new job.2 And of course life changes like retirement, marriage, divorce, and new babies come year round. While families often find it more convenient to move during the summer when school is out, the reality is that many don’t have the option to wait. According to the National Association of Realtors, 55 percent of all buyers purchased their home at the time they did because “it was just the right time,” not because of seasonal factors.3

If you prefer to deal with serious, highly-motivated buyers and sellers who want to act fast and don’t want to waste your time, then the off season may be the perfect real estate season for you.

Tip #3 GREATER PERSONAL ATTENTION

Another key benefit to buying and selling in the offseason is the increased personal attention you’ll receive.

While we strive to provide unparalleled client service throughout the year, we simply have more time available for each individual client during slower periods. Similarly, we find the other real estate professionals in our network—including title agents, inspectors, appraisers, insurance agents, and loan officers—are able to respond faster and provide more time and attention during the off season than they are during the busy spring and summer months. The result is a quicker and more streamlined closing process for all involved.

Tip #4 COST SAVINGS

Clients who move during the off season often report significant cost savings. Moving costs may be discounted by 15 percent or more during the winter months, and moving companies can typically offer more flexibility in their scheduling.4

Home renovations and repairs can also be less expensive in the off season. Whether you’re fixing up your property prior to listing it or remodeling your new home before moving in, contractors and service providers who are hungry for business are often willing to work for a discount this time of year. If you wait until the spring and summer, you may be forced to pay a premium.

Home stagers and decorators are also more likely to negotiate their fees during the winter. And you can often score great deals on new furniture and decor during the holiday sales.

Whether you’re buying or selling, count cost savings as another compelling reason to consider an off season move.

Tip #5 EASIER TO MAINTAIN CURB APPEAL

Finally, listing your home during the fall and winter offers one key—but often overlooked—advantage: less lawn maintenance!

Good curb appeal is crucial when selling your home. According to a recent report by the National Association of Realtors, 44 percent of home buyers drove by a property after viewing it online but did NOT go inside for a walk through. That means if your curb appeal is lacking, buyers may never make it through the door.

If you list your home during the peak of the selling season, we will generally advise you to implement a frequent schedule of mowing, edging, watering, weeding, and trimming shrubs and hedges. You’ll probably want to plant flowers, as well, to brighten your exterior. After all, a lush landscape is a key element in attracting spring and summer buyers.

If you list in the off season, however, your lawn maintenance list is significantly reduced. While we do recommend that our sellers keep their exterior clean, tidy, and free of leaves, snow, and ice, you will probably spend much less time on outdoor maintenance during the winter than you would if you listed your home in the summer.

ARE YOU READY TO MAKE YOUR MOVE?

Now that you know all the great reasons to buy or sell a home in the off season, it’s time to decide whether you’re ready to make your move.

Every client’s circumstances are unique. Whether you need to move quickly or you simply want to take advantages of all benefits this season has to offer, it’s a great time to enter the market.

Give us a call today to schedule a FREE consultation … and you could be ringing in the New Year in your new home!

Avoid Costly Home Maintenance with these Important Tips

New homebuyers often make the mistake of getting too excited. When they’re out shopping for a home, they tend to focus more on face value than on issues that lie below the surface.

That’s understandable for any newbie, but this could be an issue that could cost a lot of time and money in the long run.

A cautious buyer is a wise buyer. So, don’t let stylish exteriors and impressive landscaping mislead you. It (literally) pays to go in-depth when choosing a home for the first time.

Use these tips to avoid costly home maintenance issues right after you move in.
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Basic Home Security Tips You’re Probably Unaware Of

Your home is an investment and, as such, you will have to keep it safe and well-guarded.

Homeowners like yourself already know how to keep your home safe from possible burglaries. However, millions of home invasion cases across Canada are recorded each year.

Even if you think you already know a lot about home security, it’s still the little things that make all the difference.

That being said, here are a few small and yet critical home security tips you should know.

Secure your entry points at all times
Keep your doors and windows locked even during the day. Home invasions can still happen even in the afternoons. So, keeping your entry points unlocked isn’t a good idea, considering that 40% of burglars invade homes without forcing their way in.

Bring your key with you
If you think it’s a good idea to hide your key beneath the doormat or inside the doghouse, then you’re not making your home any safer. Burglars will try to look everywhere for hidden keys, so it’s better to bring the key with you when you go outside.

Upgrade your lighting
The lack of adequate lighting can provide burglars with a strategic advantage. To be sure, test your exterior lamps during nighttime and see if it causes any blindspots where thieves can use for cover. In that case, you may want to install extra lighting around your property.

Install protective measures
Having an alarm system is a great deterrent against burglars. Investing in a CCTV system can also provide your home with added protection.

Never flaunt your valuables
Burglars are likely to force their way into a home that has expensive items. So, showing off your expensive jewelry around town is like helping burglars find their next target!

Get more information from security experts
Local authorities offer seminars that homeowners can attend. Police and community watch organizations, in particular, often go around the community to teach about the importance of home security. You can use this opportunity to ask for more home security tips.

With these easy tips, you can keep yourself from any home invasion scenario. Just remember to be extra vigilant and cautious. A well-informed homeowner, after all, makes for a secure home.

Why You Need to Get a Home Inspector

If you’re out shopping for a home, it isn’t wise to end up in one that has a lot of issues. For that, you will have to pay a costly price for repairs and renovations. To avoid this situation, you will have to hire a home inspector before closing the deal.

A home inspection is vital to protecting you from a bad deal. Even if you think it’s in good shape, a house still has to undergo a thorough inspection. That said, let’s look at how a professional home inspector can help you out.

  1. Examine the smallest details
    When it comes to evaluating a home, a house tour isn’t enough. You will need a home inspector to check every aspect of the property. Using special tools, the inspector will take account of even the most minor issues. This will help you ensure the property is in good condition from top to bottom.
  2. Give you a more accurate valuation
    Your home’s value depends on its condition. However, there’s always the risk of paying more than the property’s actual value. An inspection can provide you with the details you need to negotiate a final purchase price. That way, you can make the most out of the resources you have.
  3. Save you time and money
    With a home inspection, you can handle any and all issues in a property before they get worse. At least you can spend a minimal amount of time and money on smaller repairs. You can only imagine the costs had these not been resolved earlier.
  4. Secure a healthier home for your family
    Doing repairs as a result of an inspection doesn’t only increase the property’s value. It also allows you to settle in a home that’s safe for you and your family. Issues such as pests and asbestos can bring a wide range of diseases to your home. Knowing about these issues and addressing them right away will give peace of mind.

Your home is an investment – a costly one at that. Whether you’re buying it off the market or constructing it from the ground up, your home should undergo inspection by a professional.

For more great home buying tips, check other articles in our blog.

REMAX Family Fun Day 2018: A Success in the Making!

Last Sunday September 16, ReMax successfully held its annual Family Fun Day at the Cardel Recreation Center.

Though it was a slightly overcast day, it didn’t dampen the mood for quality family time.

Everyone had fun, especially the kids who enjoyed the bouncy castle and the NEMO obstacle course. They also met beloved heroes and Disney princesses, and played laser tag with their friends.

Many more surprises were in store for everybody. All of this wouldn’t be possible without the support of sponsors. Of course, special thanks will go to the attendees themselves for their contributions. The proceeds will go directly to the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation, which has done marvelous work in promoting excellence in child care across the region.

I hope next year’s event will be even bigger, and I hope to see you there, as well!”

RE/MAX Family Fun Day 2018

Here’s one reason to get super excited for the month of September. RE/MAX is holding it’s Family Fun Day, and I would like to invite you and your family to this special occasion for the benefit of the Alberta’s Children Hospital.

When: Sunday, September 16, 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
Where: Cardel Recreation Center (at the Southwest corner of the Shawnessy Shopping Centre)
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Choosing an Eco-Friendly Flooring for your Home

Today, homeowners are becoming more and more cautious when it comes to renovating their properties. One thing’s for sure, people want to pursue healthier and more eco-friendly lifestyles. No doubt, this has resulted in an increased demand for sustainable home materials.

If you are going to make your home more eco-friendly, it’s always best to start with your flooring. Currently, there are a lot of options to consider when upgrading your flooring.

Bamboo

Aside from giving your home a more exotic look, a bamboo floor is also great for cooling the interior of your home. It’s also highly durable and can take a longer time to wear down than most hardwood materials.

Cork

Like bamboo, cork is also a highly sustainable material you can use as flooring. Not only is it eco-friendly, but cork is also a great way to absorb sound. As much as it is durable, cork is also comfortable to the feet, making it an ideal alternative to laminate flooring.

Recycled wood

Every year, countless trees are cut down to produce furniture and of course, flooring for many suburban homes. By using recycled wood from old structures and furniture, you are also taking part in preserving precious forestland. So, when buying wooden materials for your floor, you can ask the supplier about where these materials came from and whether or not these were made from recycled wood.

Other recyclable materials

Aside from wood, you can also recycle other materials for your flooring. For instance, you can look around for used tiles and glass panels you can install around the house. This will definitely help you reduce waste and save a great deal of money in renovating your floor.

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