Drew & Patti Steeves Team

HomeLife Benchmark Titus Realty

Cell (604) 230-5700

Office (604) 575-5262

Email: drew@drewsteeves.com

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With the busy selling season approaching it helps to be prepared in advance. That way you have less to do when your home goes on the market & simply have to give it a quick tidy & dust before an open house or showing.

 

To help keep you organized we found this great printable checklist as a refereence to help you get your home prepped. Happy selling!

 

 

Planning to sell in 2015? Or are you on the hunt? We would love to be your realtor team to help with all of your real estate needs! Contact us today with your questions & to book an appointment. 

 

Checklist Source: Clean Mama

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Don't wait until it's time to list to get your house ready and organized to put on the market.

 

If you're planning on listing your home in the Spring, now is the perfect time to check tasks off of your to- do list, before the warmth and sunshine of Spring become too distracting. By getting prepared now you won't have a laundry list of things to do by the time the 'for sale' sign goes up .

 

See below for tips to start getting your home ready in advance to sell. 

 

Clean & Declutter

After the holidays is the perfect time to start sorting through items and deciding whether to keep, sell, or store them. For items you want to keep, think about if they'll add to the decor of the house or just become clutter. If they fall under the second category, begin organizing boxes to put into storage while your house is on the market. Anyting else can be sold or donated (this is especially important to keep in mind if you're downsizing). 

 


Freshen Up Your Decor

As we start approaching March & April, think about how your decor style may look to potential buyers? Is is dark and heavy from the Winter? Is it dated? Too personalized/ not neutral enough? Your realtor can help you figure out how to edit your decorating style to help your home appeal to as many buyers as possible, but getting a jump start doesn't hurt. Adding seasonal touches will make your house feel cozy & help buyers picture themselves living there.

 

Pay Attention to Details

Now is the time to go through your home and take notice of the little imperfections that you would look for if buying a home. Note any paint chips, crooked lightswitch plates, dirty grout and chaulking that could use a clean or replacing, damage to fllooring (think stains and wear & tear on carpets; scratches & dents in hardwood & laminate), etc. It may take a little bit of time and money now to address these things, but come time to sell you'll be glad you did. Making small upgrades and fixes can even help you fetch a better sale price.

 

Freshen Up 

Something important to keep in mind is the odor of your home- if you're a smoker and/ or pet owner. Does it smell fresh when you walk in? Musty and damp? Can you tell fido just ran through? It can take time to air out your home, so starting now by trying to eliminate (or at least minimize) these scents that can be off- putting to buyers. As the weather warms, try opening doors and windows to let fresh air in, keep dirty pets outisde, and try smoking near an open window or under cover outside. Again, these may seem like inconveniences now, but if your house sells faster because you took the time in advance, you'll be glad you made the extra effort.


Final Touches

Right before you list your home & have the first open house/ viewing, make sure you add a few finishing touches, like fresh flowers. Do a final dust check & make sure you turn on lights to make your home bright & welcoming. Replace any burnt out bulbs and do a final walk- through of the house to make sure it makes a good first impression. Have your realtor do a walk- through with you to make sure the you've got everything covered and your home shows the best it can.

 

Thinking about selling this year? Need some advice to get your home ready? We would love to be the realtor team to help sell your home. Contact us today to schedule a meeting!


Image Sources: Bob Vila

 

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Happy new year! We hope you enjoyed a wonderful holiday season!

 

Now that we're into the new year we thought it would be a good time to share some tips about home maintenance throughout the year. What better time to start getting organized than the beginning of a new year? See below for some great tips throughout the seasons from targetwoman.com.

 

 

Spring 

This is an important season for home maintenance- ever wonder why it's called 'spring cleaning'? Focus on the interiors to prepare for the ensuing summer heat after months of humidity.

 

  • Cleaning of windows takes top priority. And storm windows have to be replaced with screens. For instance if a hole is missed in the window screen, bugs might make their way inside. Duct tapes may be good for a quick fix but not a permanent solution.

  • Smoke detectors must be checked for batteries. Fire hazards must be checked for, say, overloaded extension cords. Carbon monoxide detectors have to be checked.

  • It is important to check if all the exits such as hallways and stairs are clutter free. Similarly, locks, latches, and hinges on doors and windows have to be checked and replaced. Inspect for roof leaks, debris and loose shingles.

  • Clean garbage, car park and shed, basement and attic. 

  • Have a professional inspect and pump the septic tank.

  • Gutters, driveways, yards and walkways have to be clear of debris. Remove leaves, branches and debris from gutters and ensure that waterways are properly drained from the house. Repair damaged gutter components if necessary. The clothes dryer vent system must be cleaned as lint can build up and cause the dryer to run longer than required, thereby wasting energy.

  • Ensure that stairs, both indoor and outdoor are slip proof.

  • Caulking around sinks, tubs and showers should be examined.

  • Broken pavements on stairs need to be fixed. Also fix broken, gates, doors and fences. Inspect if they are functioning properly and replace if necessary. 

  • Check for pests, termites and rodents. If infestation problem persists, take professional help. 
  • Get the air conditioner ready for the ensuing summer. DIY tips can help to fix up any issue and user guides are available for regular maintenance. 

  • Ensure that puddles do not stand around the house for more than 24 hours. The pavement may be raised with some professional help so that water is drained away from home.

  • Trees and shrubs in the backyard have to be trimmed and hanging branches eliminated. There is always the danger of plants weaseling their way into cracks and holes on the exterior of the house. It is better to nip them in the bud as they can cause extensive damage to the homes. Trees also have to be checked for interference with electric lines.

  • Make sure that the swimming pool has pumps and filtration systems that work effectively.

  • Check the exteriors of the house for paint requirements. Check if there are any holes in the brick work or any cracks in the foundation. 

 

Summer 

Summer is the perhaps the best time of the year to focus on the exterior of the home as well as gardens and lawns. This is the right time to put the garage to use by utilizing the prolonged daylight to neaten it up and complete projects that were left for another time.

Summer home maintenance check list includes:

 

  • First and foremost is to mow the lawn and trim the bushes. Weak and rotten trees or branches have to be removed. Clean garden lawn furniture and grills. Garden hoses may be checked for leaks. 

  • Better install window air conditioners or central air cooling systems or inspect if the existing ones are in good order.

  • Home security system needs to be addressed. Security guard system also has to be checked, or install one. 

  • Door and window screens to be checked and windows repaired or replaced as the need be. Door locks and door knobs to be ensured that they are working fine and deadbolts on doors can be installed if they are not found.

  • Lights and bulbs outside the house need to be checked and replaced. 

  • Ensure that septic tanks are in good working condition and the sewer lines are inspected.

  • Driveways, walkways and sideways, patios and walls need to be checked for cracks if any and replaced/repaired as needed. In general, it is better to give them a good washing.

  • Tubs, sinks, showers and drains must be cleaned. Faucets and toilets may be checked for leaks. 

  • Similarly, decks, steps and wooden structures must be checked for rot and repaired. 

  • Wooden surfaces may be checked for weather proofing if they are over two years or more.

  • Since summer is a playground for many an insect, chimneys and roofs can be checked and removed for flying insect nests. Ants, spiders, moths etc may also be common in homes - keep cobwebs cleared and ant poison handy.

  • Dryer vent systems and electrical cords can be checked for wear and tear. While the dryer is running, check if the exhaust is coming out. It should smell of fresh laundry. 

  • Garage cleaning is a summer ritual one must follow. Keep it clean and tidy. Give it a thorough going through at least once a year.

  • Grout in bathroom and kitchen has to be repaired as this will prolong the life of tiled surfaces

 

Fall

This is a perfect season to tackle important home improvement projects. This is the time of the year when the weather is dry and temperatures are moderate. Examine both the interior and exterior of the house. Although it is all right to manage many of the maintenance items on our own, it is better and safer to call for assistance whenever required.

 

  • It is a must to rake leaves and aerate the lawn.

  • Clean and inspect the gutters for spouts and leaves. Test the sump pump to find if it is working fine. 

  • Better inspect the attic for birds, squirrels, bats and other such guests and seal off entrance holes.

  • The house has to be weatherized to withstand the cold weather and insulate, weather strop, caulk, plaster, or replace windows.

  • This is the time to get the heating system ready for winter. Check and clean the furnace for air filters. Inspect and clean the hearth and stock up on firewood. Clean the chimney flue.

  • Clean the clothes dryer vent system as lint buildup can cause the dryer to run longer and this wastes energy and can lead to a fire. 

  • Remove unused lawn furniture, grills, hoses and other outdoor items.

  • Keep sidewalk salt, good shovels ready and you would never guess when the first snowflakes would come.

  • Close the swimming pool properly and ensure that water is drained from pipes. Better to cover the pool and keep it clean during the 'off' season.

  • An emergency survival kit for bad weather can be created with batteries, candles, water and packaged food.

  • Clean window air-conditioners and change screens to storm windows. It is better to get prepared for the ensuing winter by closing the outside unit with plastic sheeting and secure with bungee cords.

  • This is the time of the year when your home gets ready for winter; so check on the heater and remove sediments to make it efficient.

 

Winter

This is the time to go around through the interiors and check even for small things which she might have overlooked during the earlier seasons. This is also the season to get done projects be it painting or building shelves.

 

  • Icicles can be dangerous for those standing beneath them as they are incredibly heavy and can damage the house. Even the foundation of the house can be affected by water damage when they melt. Hence, de-icing is the first and foremost thing this winter season.

  • Test electricity with utmost care. Check whether all outlets are working. 

  • Car should be equipped with blanket, shovel, sand and first aid kit.

  • Canned goods and household items need to be stocked up - light bulbs and batteries. 

  • Check smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. 

  • Check refrigerator and freezer gaskets. A vacuum with brush attachment can be used to clean the coils at the back of the refrigerator.

  • Identify and repair any leaks in toilets. 

  • Not only inside the home, keep paths and driveways clear of snow and ice. 

  • Check for proper lighting inside and outside the house. Make sure that holiday lights inside and outside the house are in good working order.

  • Sinks, tubs, toilets may be checked for leaks in faucet and tank. 

  • Handles, knobs, racks need to be tightened for loose screws.

  • Caulking around showers and bath tubs needs to be repaired.

  • Clean shower of sediments so that their life is prolonged.

  • Deep clean basements and dust them up. Make sure that there is no mold anywhere around and ensure that the basement is given a good inspection at least once a year.

 

A home maintenance calendar should help to maximize your efficiency by actually getting these tasks done. Jot down the points on paper or your Smartphone and regularly monitor them for completion.

 

If you're planning on selling your home in 2015 getting a jump start on cleaning & maintenance now can save you time and reduce stress when it comes time to put your house on the market. We'd love to be the realtor team to help you sell your home (and help you find the next!). Please feel free to contact us with any questions you have and to schedule an appointment.

 

Source: Target Woman

 

Image Source: Sew Woodsy

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Even though this isn't the time of year you're probably thinking about diving into a major renovation, thinking ahead to the new year and getting a jump start on reno prep can save you some headaches and money when it comes time to make some changes.

 

 

Kitchen improvements are widely considered to be the most rewarding and have the biggest return on investment when it comes time to sell your home. If you're planning a reno with the intention to sell your home soon after, consider these tips as you start scouring the web for ideas.

 

- Give some thought to the appliances you choose. If you plan to completely renovate, replacing existing/ older appliances with new stainless steel ones can be a big draw for buyers. Also give some thought to the energy efficiency of the appliances you buy, as this can be appealing to buyers who don't want to break the bank on their utility bills once they've moved in.

 

- Don't renovate/ decorate with your tastes in mind. If you're planning to sell, go with colours and finishes that are neutral and will appeal to a wide variety of buyers. Don't renovate to your quirky specifications unless you plan to stay in your current home for some time.

 

- Price compare & shop the sales. While you might have had your eye on a specific tile or countertop stone, make sure you shop around and get the best price. Again, the return on investment when you sell should influence your buying decisions. This might mean you downgrade the intricate backsplash you had planned, but you can still achieve a beautiful effect with a lower- priced option (this is another reason that this time of year is a good time to start shopping in advance for an upcoming reno, as you can make the most of pre- Christmas and Boxing Day sales).

 

Make sure you set a budget and try to stick to it. This may mean compromising, but in the long run you'll be glad you did. Getting the best bang for your buck when you renovate can equal a win- win when it comes time to list your home. You'll be able to increase the asking price to reflect the added value from the reno while making the new buyer gratfeul to not have a major renovation to undertake once they've moved in (you'll attract more interested buyers by lessening the amount of work they have to do once they move in).

 

If you're thinking about listing in the new year and would like to know what your house could sell for and/ or would like some advice to help it appeal to buyers, contact us to set up an appointment- we would love to be the team that helps you sell your home in a timely manner and for the price you want!


Image Source: Connell Interiors

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The leaves are changing colour, the air is getting a crisp edge, and soon Fall will transition into Winter. Just because the warmer months are behind us doesn't mean that listing your home at this time of year isn't without it's benefits. We found this great article from Morning Call that outlines the benefits to selling your home in the Fall & Winter. Read on to learn more.




Many home sellers choose to sit on the sidelines during the colder autumn and winter months and get in the game come springtime, when they expect greater interest from buyers. But with the right preparations, smart sellers can list now and sell quicker than expected, without hibernating through the winter, the experts say.

 
Many people consider fall and winter as the off season for real estate, with fewer shoppers hunting for homes and fewer listings from which to choose. That shouldn't necessarily dissuade people from listing their homes during the cold season, though, says Bruce Taylor, president of ERA Key Realty Services in Whitinsville, Mass.
 
The pool of prospective purchasers may be smaller, shoppers out hunting in fall and winter are usually more motivated and serious, often with a pressing need to close quickly and move in soon due to a job relocation or major life change. "These buyers out in the cold looking at homes are not 'tire kickers.' They want to buy a home and get moved in now," Klebba says.

 

Another advantage to listing now versus later is that there is less competition from other sellers."There are fewer houses on the market in the fall and winter, which may lead to more demand for your house," says Jack Gloriod, owner/agent with The Becky Gloriod Team, Colorado Springs, Colo.



 

Additionally, "Houses tend to show very well when decorated tastefully for the holidays, and buyers enjoy this," Klebba says. "And listing and selling in fall or winter could make it so the timing works out for the seller to take advantage of the coming new spring inventory and increase their odds of finding the perfect next home."


Exert from Off- season selling: Listing your home during the fall or winter brings advantages. Published on The Morning Call.


We're always looking to take on clients, even in the months that people view to be the 'slow season' in real estate. It's usually anything but slow! As realtors, we appreciate your referrals and are happy to work with clients we have developed relationships with, and new ones alike. If you or someone you know is thinking about selling this Fall or Winter, we would love to be the real estate team to help. Contact us to get things started!

- Drew & Team Steeves


Image Sources:

Yahoo Homes

Between Naps on the Porch

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In part 3 of our series of homestaging tips, we're talking about three spaces that tend to be very personal: the bedrooms, bathrooms, and home office. All of these spaces have the ability to make a good impression with buyers, but a little attention to detail can go a long way.

 

De- cluttering and cleaning up these spaces is important, and don't be afraid to shy away from a few simple and budget- friendly DIY projects to freshen these spaces and make them more appealing to buyers. A fresh coat of paint and updates can convince a buyer your home is right for them, especially when it means less work when they move in. 

 

Show off how beautiful your bedroom is with a be that is made and looks cozy. 

Simple touches- such as fresh paint and a few modern accessories

can help make a good impression with buyers.

 

Bedrooms:

- Clean & de- clutter; remove items from dressers and surfaces so the mess isn't distracting to potential buyers

- Dust and make sure light fixtures don't have any burnt- out bulbs (also make sure they're all the same, ie warm or cool light)

- Allow natural light into the room & turn on lights 

- Make beds berfore a showing and remove any toys and clothes from the floor

- Make sure closets are tidy and organized to showcase storage space

- If you don't have a headboard, consider making a simple & inexpensive one (check out these DIY projects for ideas)

 

Even if your home is older, painting the cabinets and changing the hardware is a great cost- effective way to update

this room. Putting out fresh towels and a few decorative touches can help highlight this space.

Bathrooms:

- Clean toilet & sink; remove any stains and residue (make sure to put the toilet seat down)

- Wipe faucets and counters; make sure the mirror is streak- free

- Clean out the tub and make sure the sower curtain is clean

- Put out fresh towels to make the bathroom look tidy 

- Remove any laundry and garbage

- Light a candle or spray some air freshener to make sure the bathroom smells fresh and clean

- Ventilate the room every day to help keep it smelling fresh

 

Showcase a home office by keeping it tiday and organized. Help buyers picture themselves working in the space

and make it warm & welcoming.

Office:

- Put away any personal paperwork; if you have a locked filing cabinet, make sure you file any documents you don't want people to see

- Tidy the desk and remove any untidy paperwork and clutter

- Make sure bookshelves are dust- free and organized

- Turn on a desk lamp if you have one to make the room feel cozy

- Tidy and/ or hide chords that can be a tripping hazard or are untidy

 

No matter the age of your home, a little attention to detail can make the difference between an interested buyer and a non- interested buyer. A clean and tidy home is essential to help it appeal to buyers, but a few added touched can really make it feel like home. If you're thinking about selling, we'd love to be the realtor team to help! Contact us today to book an appointment.

 

Image Sources:

HomeDIt

Involving Colour

Pink Little Notebook 

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When you're getting ready to sell your home, paying attention to details can make the difference between a quick sale and a waiting game. By spending a little bit of time and money to help your home present well to buyers you can save valuable time and add value to your home. By staging your home you can help potential buyers see the potential of your house and help them visualize living there.


Here's a great example:



 

A client friend of ours recently sold her home and we asked her to provide some advice from her experience, here's some of what she had to say:

 

Make people feel welcome & at home with an inviting entryway:

 

 

If you need help selling your home, we'd love to be the team to sell it for you. Have questions about the process and how to get your house ready? We're happy to make your home selling experience a fast and stress- free experience. Contact us today to set up a meeting and get the ball rolling!

 

Image Sources:

ActiveRain

SomewhatSimple 

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The Summer is definitely the busy season in the real estate industry!

 

The stats are out for June from the FVREB. Find out how the local market is doing, and what this means for buyers & sellers.

 

Some report highlights:

 

- There is a surge in demand for single family homes & townhomes in most Fraser Valley communitites

 

- The #1 buyer for this property type is families with children 

 

- As tracked by the MLS home price index (detached, towhouse, and condos combined), the benchmark price for a 'typical' residential propertyincreased 1.3% over June of last year

 

- According to the MLS HPI the benchmark price for towhouses decreased 0.3% over June of last year 

 

According to Ray Werger, President of the Board: “Recent news reports indicate that consumer optimism about real estate is at its highest level in a number of years and we’re experiencing that at the ground level". That's good news for the local market.

 

For more information and to view the full June report by the FVREB, click here.

 

Want to know more about the local market? Have questions about specific areas or property types? 

We're happy to answer all of your questions to make sure you find a home that's right for you and help you sell your home fast.

 

Contact us today to schedule a meeting!

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