It’s official:  you’ve signed the papers, dotted all the i’s and crossed the t’s—you own a new home!  You’ve almost reached the end of your journey.  However, now, faced with the daunting task of moving, it may seem as though the journey has just begun.  Moving can be a time-consuming and stressful experience if you let yourself be overwhelmed by the job.  Remember, though, having a successful move means taking care of the details, one by one.  If you break the process down into steps and arrange your time accordingly, you can make it manageable.  Use the following checklist to ensure you’re covering all the bases, and you will be well on your way to a successful move!


Household

• Arrange to have your mail forwarded to your new address.
• Forward or cease all deliveries to your home, and forward or cancel newspaper and magazine subscriptions.
• Disconnect or take care of utility, cable and phone services and accounts.
• Arrange for utilities to be connected at your new house.
• Cancel pre-authorized bill payments.
• Begin going through closets and discarding any unnecessary items.


Packing

• Plan your packing. Start by purchasing or acquiring suitable containers. Most moving companies have specialized containers you can buy. Also, speak with others who have recently moved—they may be looking to get rid of boxes. You’ll need the following: small boxes for heavy items (books, tools, etc.); large boxes for bulky items (bedding, stuffed toys, etc.); medium boxes for bulky but less heavy items (towels, small appliances, etc.).
• Begin to collect other packing materials. Decide which items you’ll need from the following checklist:
         - White paper
         - Tissue paper
         - Paper towels
         - Newspapers
         - Non-printed paper
         - Packing tape or twine to seal boxes and containers
         - Scissors
         - Labels and stickers (available from your moving company)
         - Felt marker to label boxes
         - Notebook and pen for listing contents
• Set goals and deadlines for yourself. Aim, for example, to pack one room per week.
• Attach a list of contents to each box. Separate and label boxes to be placed in storage.
• Consider holding a garage sale to rid yourself of excess belongings.

• Begin to use up the food in your pantry and freezer. Let the food you already have dictate your menus.
• Have rugs cleaned that are to be moved, then roll and wrap them.
• Make special arrangements for the moving of plants or pets.
• Collect all personal items from local services (dry cleaning, storage, photos).
• Service all appliances you are taking with you. Note that all gas appliances must be emptied, as it is illegal for movers to carry flammable substances.
• Take inventory of all the boxes, and contents of the boxes, you have packed.
• Have your car serviced and tuned up.


Community:

• Determine (if needed) how to transfer your children to a new school.
• Return items you’ve borrowed to friends, and collect any you’ve lent.
• Mail or e-mail change of address notices to family members, friends, and office contacts.

 

Records:

• If needed, transfer medical and dental records, and fill prescriptions.

• Contact Canada Post to redirect your mail temporary.
• Change the address on your driver’s license.
• Change the billing address for credit cards.
• Change the address for banking statements.

• Leave a record of security codes for new tenants.


Insurance & Legal Matters:

• Visit your lawyer and ensure all documents are signed.
• Notify your insurance company well in advance of the move and ask them to review your policy.
• Transfer insurance to your new home, or acquire new insurance.
• Review your moving company’s insurance policy. If it doesn’t cover as much as you’d like it to, obtain your own.
• If you are currently renting a house or apartment, give written notice to the landlord.
• Have all keys to your old home delivered to your lawyer or realtor.



As stressful as the moving process can be, try to make it a positive one! 

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   Selling your home is a complex  process that can be stressful and time-  consuming. An experienced Realtor has  the knowledge, skills, and connections to help you through the process every step of the way.

 

Consider the following benefits of working with a Realtor to sell your home:


Professional Experience:
With knowledge and training in marketing strategy, negotiation tactics, and the workings of the current real estate market, a Realtor will be able to guide you through the steps of the home-selling process and be able to explain exactly what to expect. They will make you aware of your rights and responsibilities, work with you to strategize the best moves according to your own goals, discuss financing options, and point you in the direction of other specialized professionals who will aid you in different stages of the process.


Best Price:
Realtors have their fingers on the pulse of the current real estate market, and will know what comparable properties in your area are selling for. They have the resources and knowledge to establish the best asking price and to attract the highest selling price. With access to their company’s professional marketing resources and connections, they will ensure potential buyers are immediately made aware of your home and market the property to sell as quickly as possible and for the most money.


“Showcasing” Experience:
Your Realtor will know the importance of a property’s first impression. S/he will have experienced first-hand, for example, the impact a property’s “drive-up appeal” has on the rest of a potential Buyer’s experience of your home. Your Realtor will be able to offer you tips and information on how to get your home in the best selling shape possible, in order to sell your property quickly and for top dollar.


Access to Qualified Buyers:
Realtors save time and effort by dealing only with qualified buyers. They have access to a pool of pre-screened and pre-qualified buyers who are serious about buying a home in your neighbourhood. Realtors work hard to develop this base of qualified buyers which will become an invaluable resource for you.


Negotiation Skills:
Realtors serve many functions, but perhaps the most important is their role as primary negotiator on your behalf. Your Realtor realizes your goal is to sell your home as quickly as possible, and for the most money possible, and will work closely with you during the negotiation process to facilitate this goal. Realtors bring to the process the knowledge and skills to draw up legally binding contracts, to assist in negotiating offers and counter-offers, and to offer counsel and perspective as you work toward your selling goals. 

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When preparing your property to show, many people only think of improving the interior, but you want to make sure you do not dismiss the other very important feature to your home: the exterior.

You only have one chance to make a first impression.  Within seconds of pulling up, potential buyers will make their opinion about your home. So, try to view it from their perspective and start thinking like a buyer. Go stand on the opposite curb and observe your property.   Compare it to surrounding properties.

Most people initially start their search by online listing sites.  If your home initially appeals to them, then homebuyers will take the next step by doing either doing a drive-by or setting up a showing with their realtor to view the home themselves.

Below are 6 easy & cost effective updates to boost your home’s “curb appeal” to generate more buyers!

 

     1.  A Fresh Coat of Paint

This can do wonders to increase a home’s perceived value and will immediately make your home more inviting.  Stay away from unusual or loud colours. The new color should fit in with surrounding houses, and complement the style and structure of your house. Dependent on the siding of your home, you may not be able to paint it directly. However, you are still able to give a fresh coat to your garage doors, front door, porch, shutters and trim.  The front door and surrounding area should look particularly fresh and welcoming, as this will be the buyer’s first close-up impression as they enter the home. If you paint nothing else at least give your door a new coat.

 

      2. Numbers

Replace your old & dingy house numbers, doorknob and mailbox. Ensure the lock works smoothly and the key fits properly. Keep the porch swept and buy a new doormat. As the Realtor is fumbling for the keys, these little updates are getting noticed by the homebuyers.

 

      3. LIGHTS!

A popular showing tip is to turn on all the lights in the home to give it a warm and “livability” feel.  This also applies to your home’s exterior, helping to highlight the entrance to your home, making it a safe & welcoming place to enter!

 

      4. Landscaping

How does your landscaping measure up to the rest of the neighbourhood? A well-tended garden alludes to a well-maintained home. Something potential buyers would considered a plus. You may want to think about buying a couple bushes and planting them around the property. Do not buy trees. Large, mature ones are too expensive and immature trees don’t tend to significantly improve the immediate appearance of your home.

If your problem is too much greenery, get out your pruning shears or borrow the neighbours. The purpose of landscaping is to complement the home, not hide it. Overgrown shrubs should be sheared to a height at the bottom of the windows, remove any ivy clinging to the house, and tree limbs should be high enough to walk under. Your lawn should be freshly cut or watered and minimal brown or bald spots. Think about re-soding those areas if needed and rake up any leaves or grass cuttings.

Planting a few seasonal flowers is an easy way to add color and vibrancy to your yard, enhancing that first impression of your home. If you don’t have an area in which to plant flowers, considering purchasing a few flower pots for your porch with flowers or blooming plants.

 

       5. Check the roof!

Old or leaking roofs should be replaced. If there are leaks, you’ll have to disclose this detail to the homebuyer anyway, and they will want it replaced. It may not be a cheap fix but is well worth the price, as curled or missing shingles usually sends homebuyers in the opposite direction.

 

        6.  Powerwash

If your driveway or carport has old oil stains or algae buildup, getting it power washed until it shines also send s a good message as a well maintained home.

 

 

It can be tough to criticize your home if you’ve lived in it a long time. This is where getting the opinion of your REALTOR can be a good idea, especially if you looking to list your home in the near future. 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References: RE/MAX Canada

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With Winter almost in full swing, now is the time to start thinking about preparing your home for the cold weather and snow.  It isn’t too late to ensure your home is ready.

Here are some tips to make sure your home is energy-efficient and safe this season.

 

Turn off Exterior Faucets - Watering Season is over, and with freezing temperatures means freezing pipes. To avoid cracked hoses and burst faucets over the winter, turn off the water valves, remove hoses & drain all remaining water from the outdoor taps/faucets.

Clean your Gutters – With the amount of rain dispersed in the Greater Vancouver area it’s a good idea to get your gutters cleaned out every year during the fall season. If you don’t, clogging can lead to damage to the exterior of your home, leaks in your roof, and even into your basement.

Check your Chimney – Got a wood-burning fireplace?  Nothing says cozy like grabbing a blanket, hot cocoa and a good book while sitting on your couch in front of a warm, crackling fire. So make sure you get your chimney serviced annually to decrease the risk of fire from buildup or blockages.

Check your roof - Assess your roof for any cracks or loose shingles before the heavy rain and snow, and repair immediately to prevent leaks or other damage. Metal flashing around vents, chimneys and skylights should also be checked for cracking or rust.

Furnace & Thermostat – Give your heating system a full test, and if needed, consult a professional for maintenance. Having your furnace or boiler checked before it requires daily use is the best way to catch any problems before the temperature starts to get below zero. Consider turning your thermostat down during the day when you’re not home, or at night when your sleeping. You save money and it gives your heating system a rest.

Block Drafts – As the temperature outside cools, you’ll be able to catch any drafts coming from your windows and doors. Using weather stripping, window film or caulking will help control heat loss.  Reducing drafts can save you up to 30% in energy costs per year. Consider adding additional window treatments (curtains & blinds) in the living room and bedrooms to keep the warm air in.

Ceiling fans – If your home is fitted with a ceiling fan, check the settings for a reverse (or clockwise) option.  Running fans in the opposite direction creates an updraft, pushing down heated air which can also help reduce your energy bill. 

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Our New Facebook Page is Live!

 

Sandra and Josh have officially entered the world of social media!

We have recently developed a Facebook page to better connect and interact with our community and clients.   The town’s we live in are important to us, so we take delight in showcasing those neighbourhoods and events going on around us.

We ask that you take a moment to check us out online, www.facebook.com/sandrawyant.joshcraig and click to "Follow" our page.

From the Fraser Valley to Vancouver, check in with us to see what’s happening in our local community. Especially with Christmas just around the corner, we’ll be posting and sharing markets, events, and activities to participate in with your friends and family!

 

All the best!

 

Sandra and Josh

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