Basics of Selling

Curb Appeal: Basics to enhance your home’s exterior

Is your home ready to see other people?

It’s a question you need to ask before the for-sale sign hits your lawn. First impressions count, and as home buyers can be a fickle lot, you want your house to be enticing from the outset.

This is called curb appeal, and it refers to making your home as attractive as possible from the vantage point where most will get their first impression: the curb in front of your house. The goal is to interest a buyer enough to call your real estate agent and arrange a viewing.

If you want drive-by window-shoppers to take things to the next level, here are some tips to improve curb appeal and make that love-at-first-sight connection: Basics to enhance your home

Home improvements and home makeovers: do it yourself, or hire a professional?

While some home improvements such as updating a kitchen or bathroom may require a trained professional, there are a number of do-it-yourself projects that are likely to increase a home’s resale value. Simpler tasks such as painting walls, changing cupboard knobs or laying new flooring will make a house not only more appealing to buyers, but also offer a great return on investment.

A buyer walking into a home with wood-panelled walls and shag rugs may add up the cost of replacement and price their offer to reflect that. In Toronto’s competitive real estate market, renovations offer a relatively affordable means to boost the value of a home.

Before picking up a sledgehammer, however, it’s worthwhile to know the cost of updating your decades-old décor, and the degree to which those costs will be recouped when it comes time to sell.

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Determining Property Value

It’s normal to be emotionally attached to your home – whether you’ve been in it for decades or just a few years, it can represent major phases of your life. And although the house no longer suits your needs, there is a part of you that is reluctant to part with it.

Unfortunately, the value you place on your home can wind up influencing sound judgment when setting the asking price for a home. To let any emotion, whether it’s nostalgia or financial desire, drive up your asking price is a mistake that can end up costing you big in the end.

Determining the right home price is much more a science than an art. Think of it this way: the price for your house has already been established by the real estate market. There is a relatively narrow price range that buyers will consider for a particular home, with particular features, in a particular neighbourhood. The trick is in determining what that secret number is. Set the price too high, and your house is passed over. Set it too low, and you stand to lose thousands on the sale.

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Assignment of Agreements of Purchase and Sale

An Assignment of an agreement of purchase and sale is not the transfer or assignment of real property but rather an assignment or transfer of rights arising out of the agreement or contract relating to real property.

Assignments have become increasingly more common in the condominium sector. However, in all builder contracts there is a restriction on the right of the initial buyer to assign the agreement of purchase or sale or contract without the builder’s consent. Builders will charge the buyer a fee for the consent to assign the contract to a new or subsequent buyer.

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Selling your home: Calculating Expenses & Costs

Here is a list of some typical costs associated with selling a home:

Legal fees and disbursements

When you’re involved in a financial transaction as big as this, you want to be protected. Your real estate lawyer will ensure that the buyer has made good on all terms outlined in the offer to purchase, and that you have met your legal obligations so that the deal may close. Legal fees vary widely, and the total cost depends on the extent of services provided. You will also be responsible for disbursements (any costs related to handling your file, such as long distance calls and travel).

Utility and property tax adjustments

This might not be a cost for you, depending on how your property tax and utility bill payments are scheduled. If you prepay these expenses, then you can expect the buyer to refund you the difference by closing day. If, however, you don’t pay these expenses in advance, it will be you paying the buyer for the amount accrued prior to possession date. The exact amount will be calculated by your real estate lawyer.

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