Thu, 27 Apr by homesbyhayley

Last time, we chatted about staging details, the theme was ‘Making a Bed’. Today’s topic is ‘Bathrooms’.

Bathrooms and Kitchens sell houses, so the preparation here is very important.

A bathroom remodel does not have to be expensive. The room is typically small, yet the impact is dramatic. I want you to consider investigating the cost. A new toilet, new Vinyl floor (if needed), a new vanity and sink, paint, a light and you have completely transformed the room. If you have a tub, and if it is in good condition, leave it. If it’s not white, then contact a professional tub refinisher. Blackstone Refinishing are one such company, and Harry would be happy to help you.

Let’s start with everyone’s friend, the toilet. If you don’t have a low flow toilet, buy one and get it installed. There are great local plumbers out there who can help. I know a few contacts that I work with all the time and I would be happy to recommend a name to you. If you are a very handy person, there are definitely options for the “do-it-your-selfer”. Remember, this is your toilet, so be sure you know what you’re doing.

If you did decide to remodel the bathroom and it’s complete, Woohoo!! This will make a great selling feature!

And if you didn’t remodel because it’s not in your budget, that’s no problem. I do recommend that you do paint the room, though. A fresh coat of paint will brighten up the space. If you have a newer home with a current bathroom…that is great too.



By clean, I mean strip everything off the walls, the floor and the counters. You can clean it yourself or get a professional cleaner. Your goal is to have the floor so clean, that you could eat off it. And don’t forget behind the toilet too.

All your personal products (tooth brush, comb, perfumes, etc.) can be placed in a caddy and put in the cupboard under the sink. Clear the counters completely.

The shower, tub, sink, counters and toilet and mirrors need to be cleaned spotless.



If you aren’t remodelling the bath, repair any fixtures that are dripping or possibly broken. Ensure burnt-out light bulbs are replaced with new ones.



Buyers love a spa experience, so invest in a few NEW white towels. Go to your favourite discount big box store, and buy the best priced towels you can find (I paid $3 recently). These are only for display, so you don’t need expensive towels. Roll a towel up onto the counter, and hang 1 or 2 on the towel rack. Your uncluttered counters will make the bathroom seem larger.



Artwork is important in a bathroom, but stick with the theme of a spa and use something very tranquil. One larger print of a black and white beach scene or a message board is very popular right now.







Stand back and admire your work… You did it!

Real Estate 101 – Part 5

Tue, 07 Feb by homesbyhayley

Negotiating an Offer – Part 2


exterior front photo of luxury home

Let’s write the Offer!

We are going to review every detail of the contract and ensure that you understand all the details. I find it effective to give Buyers a copy of the purchase contract when we first start looking at properties. This way, they can review the contract, and make note of any questions they may have.

It is important to understand that I work for you in this transaction. Everything you tell me is confidential and nothing will be shared with the Seller or their Realtor.

the law of contract study notes

Some important details include:

Your Deposit. This is a money order that typically is delivered with the offer, and it will be cashed and held in trust with the listing brokerage.

Your Down Payment. Remember that you went and met with your mortgage specialist weeks ago before we started shopping for a home. This confirms that you are ready and can afford to buy a home. So, the down payment is the money that you have been skimping and saving for. The minimum amount in Canada for a down payment can be 5% of the purchase price. For example, if you want to purchase a $300,000 home, 5% of that purchase price is $15,000. This $15,000 must be ready to hand over to your lawyer when you sign the final documents, approximately 1-2 weeks before possession day. Your mortgage specialist will walk you through the details involved with saving for your down payment, and any fees attached to it.

Purchase Price. Next, how much do you want to pay to purchase the property? We will discuss strategy and develop a plan to get you the best price for the home, based on recent sales, our planned strategy, and your instructions to me.

Possession Date. This is a detail that we need to negotiate with the Seller. The Seller and the Buyer can have different opinions on the perfect date, so be prepared to discuss it.

a house is made of boards and loveIncluded Goods. All goods that come with the home need to be clearly written into the offer. Most kitchen appliances are typically included but not always, so we must be clear on what you want.

Excluded Goods. Furniture is not typically included so don’t fall in love with the Seller’s dining room table. Mortgage specialists don’t want a large list of furniture in the offer. It possibly can affect whether or not you get the financing.

Deciding on your Conditions. Conditions are all the things that you need to do, to verify that you will buy the home. If Conditions are not waived by their due date, the deal collapses. Conditions are very important points in the contract. They are written into the contract to protect the Seller or the Buyer. The typical Conditions that I see on offers are a Finance Condition and a Home Inspection Condition. If you are buying a Condo, then a Condo Document Review Condition is important. Acreages have several more Conditions, related specifically to this type of property.

i love real estateNegotiating an offer starts the moment the Buyer has signed the Purchase Contract. Your Realtor goes to work to present the offer, and then works, and works, and then works some more until all parties agree to all the Purchase Contract terms, and the Contract is signed by everyone.

Up Next…we will discuss Possession Day and Beyond.

Real Estate 101 – Part 4

Tue, 31 Jan by homesbyhayley

home ownership we can do it

Negotiating an Offer – Part 1

As a professional Realtor, one of our most important skills is being able to negotiate for our client, whether it’s the Seller or the Buyer of the property.

There are many factors involved in deciding on strategy. Today, we are going to chat about negotiating to buy a home during a ‘balanced’ market, which is what we experience in our area most often. If there was an unbalanced market and the Buyer or the Seller had more control in the situation, I would suggest to my client to negotiate in a completely different way.

So, let’s recap:

1. We are in a balanced market
2. We have shopped the market together and you (the Buyer) have taken the time to see enough properties to help you decide
3. You have picked the right home for you

We have the option of going back to my office, or maybe we sit remotely in a coffee shop with my mobile office and all the tools we will need. Today’s Realtors needs to have the ability to work with a mobile office. If the Realtor you work with isn’t mobile and remotely connected to the internet, enabling them to write and sign contracts electronically, find a new Realtor who has these abilities and tools.

mls feature sheetsThe first thing we will do is review the home that you want to buy and all the details on the MLS feature sheet. It is important to understand what goods are included such as appliances/other items; as well as details like possession date, and whether or not the property has any special considerations. For example, is the property you’re purchasing a Condo, is there an HOA (Home Owner Association), are there lake community rules, etc.

Next, we will review the Title Certificate and ensure that there are no surprises.

Let’s now look at comparable properties so we can get a sense of value. I want to ensure my Buyer knows what has sold recently in the neighborhood so he or she can make good, informed decisions.

contract lawOnce we have done this groundwork we are ready to start writing the offer. Please join me in Negotiating an Offer – Part 2 where I explain this portion of the Purchasing process.

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