Stephanie Peat DFH Real Estate - Sidney

Office 250-656-0131 | EMAIL info@stephaniepeat.ca |


How do you find the home of your dreams within a price range you can afford? Most buyers start by making a “wish list”. But, it’s easy to get frustrated when you have a long wish list and expect you’ll be able to find a home with every one of those features. You might, for example, have “mature backyard tree” as number 23 on your list, and become disappointed when an otherwise ideal property doesn’t have one.


But when you really think about it, your ideal home probably comes down to just three or four core characteristics. For example:


1. Nice, safe, family-oriented neighbourhood.

2. Good-sized backyard.

3. Four bedrooms and two baths.


Sure, there might be other features you were hoping for, such as “move in ready”, or that big tree, but your “big three” are the ones you really can’t do without.


So, when you’re shopping for a new home, yes, definitely make a long list of features and characteristics you desire. After all, there might be properties available on the market that check off most, if not all, of those boxes.


But also circle those three or four characteristics that are at the core of what you want. That will help make your property search much more focused and you’ll be more likely to find your next dream home.


Another advantage of coming up with your big three (or four) is that you’ll be able to quickly discover how much homes with those characteristics are selling for on today’s market. Once you know that price range, you’ll be able to talk with a mortgage advisor to pre-arrange financing. That will make your offer on that dream home even stronger.


Whatever you choose for your “big three”, I can help you find and buy that home. Call me.

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When you’re selling your home, you want it to look its best. You want buyers who view it to say, “Wow, I love this place!” However, what if you have a stubborn stain in the carpet, or a cracked floor tile? An unsightly issue like that can be distracting in your otherwise beautiful property.


You have a few options.


First, try to get the issue fixed. There are specialty cleaners on the market designed to lift even the most stubborn carpet stains. The same goes for hardwood and tile. A flooring contractor might be able to

find a matching piece and then replace the damaged section. Contractors also know other tricks-of-the-trade to repair damaged flooring or, at least, minimize the damage. For example, there are fillers and stains available that can make a crack or chip in a hardwood plank look almost invisible.


Home staging can also make damaged flooring less of a focal point in the room. An effective arrangement of furniture, area rugs, and other items puts more of the focus on the overall decor and less on that carpet stain.


In addition, making other more affordable improvements, such as painting, can have a compensatory effect. A buyer may notice the chipped hardwood, but will also notice the walls, which look like new.

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September 1, 2020  A total of 979 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this August, 48.1 per cent more than the 661 properties sold in August 2019 and exactly the same total as the previous month of July 2020. Sales of condominiums were up 29.1 per cent from August 2019 with 262 units sold. Sales of single family homes were up 45 per cent from August 2019 with 509 sold.

"Once again we saw a very active month in terms of property transactions," says Victoria Real Estate Board President Sandi-Jo Ayers. "And once again I will note that this is not a trend, but that this is our market at this moment in time during a unique situation. It is a challenging time to define what is happening in the market given so many factors that don't exist in a normal year. We have been surprised by the pace of the summer market and are grappling with the evolving socio-economic effects of the pandemic and how these underlying factors will influence our fall real estate market."

There were 2,584 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of August 2020, 8.9 per cent fewer properties than the total available at the end of August 2019 and a 2.6 per cent decrease from the 2,653 active listings for sale at the end of July 2020.

"What I do know is that our business has changed a lot in recent months," adds Ayers. "REALTORS® have adapted to health and safety requirements and much more technology is being leveraged to facilitate all aspects of the housing transaction. We can also see that though demand is up, there are fewer listings on the market, which increases demand on desirable properties even more. This is why we saw a lot of competition and multiple offers over the summer. Will this continue into fall? That will depend on how much new inventory comes into the market and how our community continues to manage the impact of COVID-19. This is an evolving and nuanced market. As always, it is a good time to connect with your Realtor if you're considering selling or buying. If you need us, we are here."

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in August 2019 was $849,500. The benchmark value for the same home in August 2020 increased by 4.7 per cent to $889,200, 2.3 per cent less than July's value of $909,700. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core in August 2019 was $518,000, while the benchmark value for the same condominium in August 2020 decreased by 0.8 per cent to $513,900, 3.2 per cent less than the July value of $530,800.

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There are many reasons why you might suddenly need to sell your home. It could be an unexpected work relocation, a change in family circumstances, or simply a desire to move.


Whatever the reason, selling quickly requires some fast action on your part. But that doesn't mean you need to get into panic mode. You can list and sell your property, quickly while still enjoying the process!


The first thing you need to do is figure out how to make your home show its best. In addition to cleaning and decluttering, that might include getting any needed repairs done, sprucing up the place by painting and perhaps even doing some minor improvements.


How much you need to "stage" your property depends on many factors, including what conditions are like in the local real estate market. For example, you may not need to make each room look like a page from a decorating magazine if you’re in a seller’s market.


So, before you start any work, talk to me about what needs to be done to make your home ready to be seen by buyers.


The next thing you’ll need to consider is the list price. Your list price is especially important if you want to sell soon. No, you don't need to low-ball your listing to attract interested buyers — in fact, doing that might actually have the opposite effect. But you do need to price your property competitively.


In addition, it's smart to line up the resources you'll need, especially if you're also buying a new home. For example: get recommendations for a real estate lawyer, contractor, mortgage advisor, cleaning service, pet daycare, etc.


I’m well-connected in the local home industry, so I can recommend you to reputable professionals I know and trust.


A final tip: If you want to sell quickly, you need to start the process now. Give me a call to get the ball rolling.

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A total of 979 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this July, 38.7 per cent more than the 706 properties sold in July 2019 and 21.2 per cent more than the previous month of June 2020. Sales of condominiums were up 11.2 per cent from July 2019 with 239 units sold. Sales of single family homes were up 61.1 per cent from July 2019 with 559 sold.


“If we look at the numbers alone, June and July were unseasonably busy months and the number of sales this month are on the higher end of our market for a typical July,” says Victoria Real Estate Board President Sandi-Jo Ayers. “But we are not in a typical season. We cannot derive an ongoing trend nor forecast by looking at activity because we know the market is subjected to unusual factors amidst a health crisis. Our spring market was delayed because of the pandemic. It is likely that our spring demand moved into summer now that folks are moving around our community more freely. Time will tell if these factors are resulting in a very compressed cycle of activity or if this trend will persist in the fall.”


There were 2,653 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of July 2020, 10 percent fewer properties than the total available at the end of July 2019 and a 1.7 per cent decrease from the 2,698 active listings for sale at the end of June 2020.


“A big factor in our market right now is that we continue to see this very long term, very low supply of inventory which puts pressure on our market and prices,” adds Ayers. “Though we had a good number of new listings come to market this month, many of those listings were snapped up by buyers. Our average active listings for July over the past ten years is 3,767 but our current local inventory is more than a thousand properties less than that. Right now we have a lot of demand for single family homes – without the numbers to meet demand - prospective buyers are often entering into multiple offer, competitive situations or are unable to find appropriate properties. It’s a challenging market to navigate, but your REALTOR® is standing by to help should you wish to discuss a strategy to buy or sell a home in our current market.”


 The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in July 2019 was $861,100. The benchmark value for the same home in July 2020 increased by 5.7 per cent to $910,400, 1.6 per cent more than June’s value of $896,200. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core area in July 2019 was $520,900, while the benchmark value for the same condominium in July 2020 increased by 1.7 per cent to $529,900, 0.8 per cent more than the June value of $525,600.

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If you want to reduce your home energy costs, the easiest way is to turn the thermostat up or down. In fact, you probably won't notice a difference of 2 degrees either way — and the savings can be substantial.


However, if you want to lower your bill even further each month, here are some additional tips that are relatively easy to implement.


  • Plug or fix the drafts. Even in newer homes, air filtration can occur at windows and doors. So, check around your home for drafts. Windy or cold days are the best days to check. Then, get any drafts you find repaired or, at least, temporarily plugged.

  • Check the attic. Heat rises and can escape through the attic. So, once a year, check the attic insulation for thin or bare spots. The insulation should be even across the space.

  • Get smart with your thermostat. Most thermostats these days are programmable. Program yours to reduce the heat at night and when you're away in the winter. In the summer, be easy on the A/C during the day and save the cooling for nighttime.

  • Unused rooms? Close the vents to reduce heat or A/C. You might be surprised by how much that will lower your energy bill. (Think about rooms, such as a rec room, that you only use on weekends.)

  • Harness the sun. It's free energy! Whenever possible, keep curtains open during cooler seasons to take advantage of this heat source, even on cloudy days. Do the opposite during hot summer days.

Try some of these ideas over the next couple of months. Then, look at the impact they’ve had on your energy costs.

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Why is making a big change in life often so difficult?


According to psychologists, maintaining the "status quo" is one of the most powerful motivations we have. If things are "okay", even making a change for the better can be difficult. Our brains resist.


You may have experienced this if you’ve thought about selling your current property and finding your next dream home. Your house may be "good enough" for you now and the neighbourhood might be "okay" too. So, even if your dream is to get into a better home that's more suited to your family and lifestyle, you may be hesitant.


That's just the way the psychology works.


One way to get around this psychology is to get your dream out of your head and on to paper. Write down the kind of home you'd love to live in next. For example, you may want a detached home, with 3-bedrooms in a family-oriented neighbourhood. Also jot down the specific features and characteristics of the property and neighbourhood such as a goodsized backyard, family-size kitchen, and an easy commute to work. That will help you see the real possibilities.


Next, find out whether getting into a home like this is doable for you right now. Avoid making assumptions. Get the facts. Find out what you can expect to get for your current property, and what you'll need to spend for the new home.


If you discover that moving to your next dream home is something you can swing this year, your hesitancy will likely vanish!


I can help you get the information you need to make the best decision. Call me.

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Chances are, you know that you should change the batteries in your smoke detectors at least once a year — even if you suspect the batteries are still good.


But that isn't the only fire safety check you should do annually. Here are some other recommended tips to help keep you and your family safe.


• Clean your stove burners and oven regularly. Hard grease build-up can become combustible.

• Check your cupboard for cleaning products, paints and other liquids that are flammable. Read each label carefully. Use and store each product only as recommended.

• If you keep a fire extinguisher in your kitchen — and you should —confirm that it is still good. Extinguishers are like food. They have expiry dates!

• Go over your fire escape plan with your family. Make sure everyone knows exactly what to do if a smoke detector goes off or if there's a fire. (Don't have a fire escape plan? Make one!)

• Check that all windows open easily, especially upper floor windows.

• Check appliances you use often, such as hair dryers, for worn or frayed cords.

• Regularly clear away lint build-up in the clothes dryer. Check the outside dryer vent annually to make sure it's clear and working correctly.

• If you have a wood-burning fireplace or stove, get it cleaned and inspected by a licensed technician once a year.


Many local fire departments offer homeowners free tips and even in-home advice and inspections at no cost. Contact your fire department and ask about programs available to you.

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A total of 808 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this June, 9.2 per cent more than the 740 properties sold in June 2019 and 76.8 per cent more than the previous month of May 2020. Sales of condominiums were down 3.2 per cent from June 2019 with 209 units sold. Sales of single family homes were up 16.8 per cent from June 2019 with 460 sold.


“This June we saw competing factors from all different sides of the real estate equation,” says Victoria Real Estate Board President Sandi-Jo Ayers. “If all we do is look at numbers, we see a fairly normal June, in the midst of a very not normal world. The impact of COVID-19 on our entire economy continues. And while some buyers and sellers are slow to emerge from isolation, others have been highly active since the start of Phase 2 of BC’s Restart Plan. Because of the pandemic, an eviction order that prohibited a landlord from ending a tenancy was introduced. The order may have kept some homes from going to market. The portion of this order that prevented a seller from providing vacant possession of a tenanted home was lifted late this month, which may bring some listings to market that had been stalled. Due to the pandemic alone, we have multiple factors influencing the inventory and sales in our market.”


There were 2,698 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of June 2020, 11.3 percent fewer properties than the total available at the end of June 2019 but a 6.1 per cent increase from the 2,544 active listings for sale at the end of May 2020.


“Additionally, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation announced changes that start July 1 which will reduce the borrowing power of some buyers who insure through CMHC,” adds Ayers. “This may have pushed some demand forward - although there are alternate suppliers of mortgage insurance. Ongoing low inventory levels also mean that we are seeing a fair number of multiple offers. The condo market is slightly softer in terms of sales numbers. This may be in part due to the recent strata insurance issues which caused concern for owners and sellers. The government promised this month to begin to address the insurance issue, so there may be some relief on the horizon. These are not normal days for local real estate, nor is this month a signal of a return to normal, regardless of the numbers. That said, buyers and sellers are successfully navigating our market with the help of local REALTORS®, who know how to implement health and safety protocols and understand the complexities of our current market. As always, I recommend you consult your Realtor to understand what is happening in the moment.”

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As you may know, curb appeal refers to how your property looks from the street, where potential buyers first see it. Your home’s curb appeal can have a big impact on the sale of your property. In fact, it's not uncommon for a buyer to drive by a listing, rather than stop, because they don't like what they see.


So, how can you improve your home's curb appeal quickly? One way is to do some outside cleaning.


Start with the main entryway. Wash down the front door and sweep (or power wash) the front steps. It only takes a few minutes but you'd be surprised by the impact it can have. Sweep or power wash your walkway too and you’ll improve the overall look of your home — sometimes dramatically.


Clean your front windows to brighten the look of your home’s facade. It doesn't have to be an arduous chore. In fact, there are washing products available that attach to your garden hose. You don't even need a ladder! Ask your local home improvement retailer for recommendations.


If you have hedges and scrubs, give them a trim. To keep your trimming level, use a wide board, or even a piece of cardboard, then cut to the desired height. Pull off any dead leaves or branches. Of course, also mow the lawn!


Finally, inspect your property from the street. Can you see anything else you can do to quickly improve the look? Do you notice anything that is unsightly or distracting, such as garbage bins that could be relocated?


One final tip: When a viewing is scheduled, remove your vehicles from the driveway. Buyers like to see an empty driveway because it helps them imagine themselves living there. It also gives them a convenient place to park!

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Imagine you have a major project at work, you have to deal with home schooling and you still need to deal with groceries, laundry and dinner. Whoa!


That's a busy life.


Can you still find and buy a new home with such a tight schedule? The good news is, you can. In fact, there's plenty you can do to save time.


Consider these tips:


• Get specific about the home you want to buy. Think about property type (for example, "two story, detached"), number of bedrooms and bathrooms, special features, etc.

• Target areas you'd like to live in. That will avoid trips to see listings in areas that aren't a good fit for you.

• Get the financing arranged. You'll be able to shop for a new home with more confidence when you have a pre-arranged mortgage. It will also make your offers stronger.

• Make seeing homes a priority by putting it on your schedule. Look at pictures and watch virtual tours carefully to help narrow down the number of homes you need to visit. Try to block time on the weekend, and ideally one or two evenings a week, to view homes without other distractions.

• Get all the information you need when viewing a property. Take notes. Ask questions. Thoroughly explore the home, yard, and neighbourhood. Get enough information to make a decision without

needing to see the home a second time.


While these time-saving tips can help, the best way to find a home on a busy schedule is to work with a good real estate agent. Want more advice on buying your next dream home? Call today.

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A total of 457 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this May, 46.1 per cent fewer than the 848 properties sold in May 2019 but 59.2 per cent more than the previous month of April 2020. Sales of condominiums were down 55.7 per cent from May 2019 with 108 units sold. Sales of single family homes were down 42.9 per cent from May 2019 with 254 sold.


“Our market continues to respond to the current health crisis,” says Victoria Real Estate Board President Sandi-Jo Ayers. “Activity in real estate right now echoes the activity in our broader community – as restrictions gradually begin to lift - so too have our sales and listings numbers. Of course, like any industry, we do not expect a sudden shift back to any kind of normal. That said, one theme that persists in our market is that well-priced properties in high demand areas continue to see multiple offers. Demand exists and we continue to have motivated buyers searching for their perfect home.”


There were 2,544 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of May 2020, 15.7 percent fewer properties than the total available at the end of May 2019 but a 10.4 per cent increase from the 2,305 active listings for sale at the end of April 2020.


“If you’re considering buying or selling a property right now you will find the experience different than pre-pandemic,” adds Ayers. “REALTORS® are doing our part to ensure that there is not a resurgence of COVID-19 in our community by following government health and safety guidelines, by leveraging technology to facilitate many aspects of the real estate transaction virtually and by implementing various clean showing protocols. Your Realtor will navigate the new processes and requirements to keep you, your property and our city safe and healthy.”


The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in May 2019 was $863,000. The benchmark value for the same home in May 2020 increased by 2.6 per cent to $885,400, 0.1 per cent more than April’s value of $884,600. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core area in May 2019 was $516,400, while the benchmark value for the same condominium in May 2020 increased by 3.5 per cent to $534,300, 0.1 per cent more than the April value of $533,600.

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 A total of 287 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this April, 58.8 per cent fewer than the 696 properties sold in April 2019 and 52.8 per cent fewer than the previous month of March 2020. Sales of condominiums were down 64 per cent from April 2019 with 73 units sold. Sales of single family homes were down 55.8 per cent from April 2019 with 163 sold.


“We continue to see the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the local real estate market,” says Victoria Real Estate Board President Sandi-Jo Ayers. “Sales numbers are much lower than what we expected to see this spring and new listings are slow to come to market as owners wait to see what our community’s trajectory is over the course of this pandemic. As a result, the available inventory of properties for sale remains lower than in April last year. Like so many other industries, much of the real estate market is watching, waiting and adapting.”


There were 2,305 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of April 2020, 16.2 percent fewer properties than the total available at the end of April 2019 but a 2.4 per cent increase from the 2,252 active listings for sale at the end of March 2020.


“Real estate services and REALTORS® were declared an essential service by our province in March in order to protect consumers who need to make real estate transactions during this time,” adds Ayers. “This responsibility has opened opportunities for our profession to adapt our way of doing business to ensure our community’s health is protected. Technology has allowed us to move much of our work online. Now you can participate in an open house from the comfort of your couch and manage your contracts and negotiations securely online. Of course, the vast majority of transactions still require an in-person showing at some point and so local Realtors are ensuring they are adhering to the advice of the Provincial Health Officer. We know that we are in complex times, but also that some people need to buy and sell. Our message has been and will be moving forward - if you need us, we are here.”


The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in April 2019 was $843,500. The benchmark value for the same home in April 2020 increased by 4.6 per cent to $882,700, 0.6 per cent more than March’s value of $877,700. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core area in April 2019 was $512,700 while the benchmark value for the same condominium in April 2020 increased by 3.5 per cent to $530,700, 0.2 per cent less than the March value of $531,900.

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Vancouver, BC – April 15, 2020. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 6,717 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in March 2020, an increase of 17.2 per cent from March 2019. The average MLS® residential price in BC was $789,548, a 15.1 per cent increase from $685,892 recorded the previous year. Total sales dollar volume in March was $5.3 billion, a 35 per cent increase over 2019.


“Provincial housing markets started the month very strong before the COVID-19 pandemic put a halt to activity,” said BCREA Chief Economist Brendon Ogmundson. “Activity will slow considerably in April as households and the real estate sector implement measures necessary to mitigate the spread of this virus.”


“While we don’t know when this unprecedented period will end, markets will be boosted by pent-up demand and historically low interest rates when it does,” added Ogmundson. “The ultimate strength of the recovery will depend on how long the economy remains effectively shut down, as well as the efficacy of federal and provincial measures to bridge households through the financial difficulties brought on by the pandemic.”


Year-to-date, BC residential sales dollar volume was up 37.1 per cent to $12.9 billion, compared with the same period in 2019. Residential unit sales increased 21.7 per cent to 16,866 units, while the average MLS® residential price was up 12.6 per cent to $763,031.


-30-

For more information, please contact:

Brendon Ogmundson

Chief Economist

Direct: 604.742.2796

Mobile: 604.505.6793

Email: bogmundson@bcrea.bc.ca

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 A total of 608 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this March, five per cent fewer than the 640 properties sold in March 2019 but eight per cent more than the previous month of February 2020. Sales of condominiums were down 9.2 per cent from March 2019 with 178 units sold. Sales of single family homes decreased 5.3 per cent from March 2019 with 305 sold.


 “Last month, we stated that we saw the spring market kicking off,” says Victoria Real Estate Board President Sandi-Jo Ayers. “The start of March continued that trend and we saw higher year over year sales for the first weeks of the month – spring had officially sprung with multiple offers, new listings and sales. And then the world changed. Since the COVID-19 pandemic was declared, we have tracked a predictable downturn of sales in our market. Moving forward it is hard to predict what our spring market will look like, but it will likely be very different than recent years as our entire community slows down to stay healthy.”


 There were 2,252 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of March 2020, 7.5 percent fewer properties than the total available at the end of March 2019 but a 5.9 per cent increase from the 2,127 active listings for sale at the end of February 2020.


“Right now, it is not business as usual,” adds Ayers. “Our REALTORS® are working to ensure that services for clients who need them are delivered in a healthy, safe and secure way. Our industry is working with government stakeholders to make sure that transactions that were underway before the pandemic was declared are protected and that homeowners are able to complete sales and purchases. This is a time to ensure our clients are safeguarded as well as to ensure that our community stays healthy. Many Realtors are leveraging new technologies including video home tours and virtual showings. Our message is – if you need us, we are here.”


The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in March 2019 was $836,100. The benchmark value for the same home in March 2020 increased by five per cent to $877,700, 1.1 per cent more than February’s value of $868,100. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core area in March 2019 was $507,700 while the benchmark value for the same condominium in March 2020 increased by 4.8 per cent to $531,900, 0.9 per cent more than the February value of $527,400

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There's a reason why there are "kitchen and bath" stores, and even design magazines devoted to these rooms. A well-staged kitchen and bathroom can make the entire home look better. So, it's no surprise that professional home stagers pay particular attention to these spaces.


What do these pros have to say about bathrooms?


Professional stagers advise that you start by taking a picture of the room. Looking at that picture will give you a better sense of how others see your bathroom and reveal what needs to be changed.


Then, de-personalize it. When you’re showing your home to buyers, you want the bathroom to resemble a guest bathroom. So, no shaving kits, toothbrushes, sticky notes to self on the mirror, etc.

Stagers also recommend that anything worn be replaced.  This will likely include the shower curtain and mats, which tend to wear and stain quickly.


Hang fresh new towels on the rack. (If you’re buying new towels for this purpose, choose white.) Put an unused bar of soap or hand cleaner next to the sink. Make it look like a freshly stocked hotel bathroom.


If required, paint the walls. Off-white colours, including beiges and light greys, work well.


As you can see, it doesn't take much to stage your bathroom and make it look its best for buyers.

Looking for more staging tips? Call today.

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If you're thinking of listing your property, one thing that might be holding you back is concern about preparing your home for sale. You may be wondering how much work there will be. Is it going to take a couple of months? A couple of weeks? A few days?


That, of course, depends on the state of your property.


However, regardless of how close your home is to “show time” ready, there is plenty you can do to reduce how long that preparation takes. Consider these ideas:


• Sell stuff online. The less cluttered your home seems to buyers, the better it will show. So, make a list of items you want to sell, and then list them on one of the many local online market websites. Price items fairly and, chances are, you'll get rid of everything in a day or two.


• Have a repair day. Go through your home and make a list of everything that needs to be fixed. Then, schedule repair people to all come on the same day. Voila! In one day, all needed repairs (or, at least, most of them) are done.


• Get staging advice. Instead of guessing at what changes you need to make around your home to make it look its best, get expert staging advice. You’ll find out exactly what the experts suggest you do, and you'll save a lot of time and money. (By the way, I can provide you with that advice too.)


• Ask before making big improvements. Are you planning to convert a wood burning fireplace into a gas unit to help sell your home? Before doing any big improvements or renovations like that, talk to me. You don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on an unnecessary project.


• Hire help. You don't have to do everything on your own. Get the help you need. For example, hire a painter, a cleaner, and/or a junk removal service. Those will significantly shorten the time it takes to prepare your home for sale and save you a lot of work. Also, the costs of those professionals may

be off-set by the increase in the sale price of your home.


Bottomline: Preparing your home doesn't need to be overwhelming and time consuming. Contact me for more ideas to help get your home ready for sale, quickly.

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No matter what you think of snakes, you must agree that they have a unique way of dealing with worn-out skin. When the time comes, they simply shed it — like an old jacket — revealing a fresh new skin underneath.


Your home's roof doesn't have that advantage! So, when the shingles wear out or become damaged, you need to have them replaced.


Unfortunately, it's not always easy to determine whether your shingles need replacement right away, or whether you can hold off for another year. Assuming your home has the most common type of shingles — asphalt —here's what to look for:


• Corners upturned on some shingles.

• Missing shingles.

• Shingles lifting during high winds and not settling back into place (flat) within a day or two.

• Heavy accumulation of shingle debris (particles) in the gutters.

• Shingle bits and pieces found on the ground around your home.

• Spots on your roof that still look wet a day or two after a rainfall. (This

could be a sign of water infiltration into the felt or even the roof deck.)


If you have any of these signs, be sure to have a roofing contractor take a closer look.


Before investing in a new roof, be sure to check with the retailer or contractor who supplied the original materials. Your shingles might still be under warranty.


Bottomline: Don't delay. You don't want to wait until you hear drip drip drip before taking action!

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Let's face it. Planning events, even exciting ones like an overseas vacation, be stressful. So, it's not surprising that some homeowners — even those thrilled about moving — can slip into "worry mode" when putting their property up for sale.


Unfortunately, this anxiety can make the process of selling an unpleasant experience. Who wants that? So here are some things you can do to reduce selling stress and enjoy the adventure.


• Understand the selling process. The more you know about the steps involved in selling your home, the less mysterious — and, therefore, less stressful — it will be.


• Give yourself the time you need. Feeling rushed and stressed comes from trying to do too much in too little time. Even if you're selling quickly, it's important to block off sufficient time in your calendar for the things you need to do.


• Take care of yourself. As television psychologist Dr. Phil often points out, you can't give what you don't have. When it comes to selling your home, that means you need to eat well and stay healthy, so you have the energy you need throughout the process.


• Make your home attractive to buyers. That not only means tidying up and doing a little home staging, it also means setting the right listing price. Nothing eliminates the stress of selling more than having flocks of qualified buyers interested in your home.


• Get the help you need. You don't have to do everything on your own. That's why working with me is so advantageous. I take care of the many details for my clients so that they can enjoy the journey.


Sure, there are going to be a few stressful moments. However, the process of listing and selling your property, while looking for your next dream home, can be an exciting experience.


Let me help you. Call today.

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 A total of 563 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this February, 33.7 per cent more than the 421 properties sold in February 2019 and 37 per cent more than in January 2020. Sales of condominiums were up 35.7 per cent from February 2019 with 175 units sold. Sales of single family homes increased 23.7 per cent from January 2020 with 271 sold.


“February brought the bloom of an early spring market,” says Victoria Real Estate Board President Sandi-Jo Ayers. “Sales numbers are up substantially from last year, which in part indicates that our spring market may have arrived a bit earlier than a lot of our local blossoms. Additionally, we need to consider that last year’s sales activity was quite weak until April and May. Despite a thirty plus percent increase in total sales over last year, our ten-year average for total sales in February is 537, so we are within less than five per cent of our long-term average for the month.”


There were 2,127 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of February 2020, 4 properties fewer than the total available at the end of February 2019 and an 8.6 per cent increase from the 1,958 active listings for sale at the end of January 2020.


“One of the most prominent aspects of our market right now is this continued low inventory,” adds Ayers. “Our ten-year average active listings for the month of February is 3,007. We concluded this month with just over 2,000 active listings, which means a lot less choice for consumers, more pressure on pricing and multiple offers.”


The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in February 2019 was $838,800. The benchmark value for the same home in February 2020 increased by 3.5 per cent to $868,100, 1.1 per cent more than January’s value of $858,500. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core area in February 2019 was $503,600 while the benchmark value for the same condominium in February 2020 increased by 4.7 per cent to $527,400, 1.2 per cent more than the January value of $521,000.

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NOTE: MLS® property information is provided under copyright© by the Victoria Real Estate Board. The information is from sources deemed reliable, but should not be relied upon without independent verification. This website may only be used by consumers for the purpose of locating and purchasing real estate.