All posts for the month March, 2012

MortgageYears ago prior to my real estate career I took out a high interest rate mortgage without paying attention to the IRD penalty clause for breaking a mortgage and soon realized the consequences when I broke my mortgage contract to shift to a lower interest rate. How much penalty I had to pay? A whooping $16,000!!!!

Not only I took out a wrong mortgage I didn’t received a proper advice and were given what I thought the only option available to me. Starting March 5th 2012 this practices is about to change!

Going forward, federally regulated financial institutions must disclose the following to borrowers:

1. The method (formula) for calculating the exact prepayment charge in language that is clear, simple and not misleading
2. Where the penalty formula is complex (e.g., uses present value), a simple way to estimate penalties
3. A description of all inputs used in the penalty formula (including things like posted rates at origination, future value outstanding balance, all applicable interest rates, bond yields, etc.)
4.Information on how to obtain each of those formula inputs (or the actual values themselves)
5.An example and/or worksheet to help consumers figure out their own prepayment penalty

To read more about these changes visit Canada Mortgage Rules.

Name RidersName riders with customize URL is one of the powerful tools you can have in your arsenal when selling a home simply because it is live and direct.  Why? Because it is kinesthetic and visual usually stays longer in our memory. Also, home Buyer’s are always on the go when searching for their dream home and they do it within their own time.

Statistics says almost 95% of home buyers nowadays search on the internet first before talking and committing to any real estate broker.

Having a 24 hours virtual tour is a great advantage to get your home sold providing you have the resources to create one but can be very costly if you don’t have one. Hiring a Professional photographer or a website designer to name a few.

Fortunately Great Real Estate Advice offers all this services as part of our overall package when selling your home. We offer a hybrid marketing a combination of traditional approach combined with a latest cutting edge technology.

When you choose us to represent you in selling your home we offer the following that is above and beyond traditional marketing.

1. We will create a customize URL with your address on a name rider sign so passerby can easily view your live virtual tour 24/7 on their mobile or smart phone.

2. We will take unlimited photos necessary to showcase your home.

3. We will make room by room video’s of your property.

4. Most importantly we will sell your home within a given time frame.

Here are few samples:

For a complete sample click here. We use straight from the heart marketing we tell it how it is we like to make it fun and no gimick! Just imagine how fun and easy it is to sell your home!

Preparing A Bathroom For Home ShowingWhen a house is on the market, it becomes less the owner’s home and more of a display item.  Nowhere is this more important to remember than in the bathroom.  Buyers don’t want to see the seller’s personal hygiene items, moldy remnants of steamy showers or a soap scum-covered collection of empty shampoo bottles.  They want to be confident that this most private of rooms is well maintained and sanitized.  The trick to make the area seem less, well…private. Preparing a bathroom for touring potential buyers is a four step process:  clean, repair, sanitize and spruce.

Every surface that can hold something – vanity, toilet tank, shower window, floor – should be divested of as many objects as possible.  The same thing applies for anything that can be opened – medicine cabinet, drawers, and linen closets. 

Cleaning begins with throwing out any expired medication, make-up that hasn’t been used in a year, nearly empty containers, and any other useless objects found while emptying cabinets and drawers.

The process continues with wiping each shelf, drawer, and cabinet door.  When everything is out from under the sink, take the time to check the faucets and pipes for leaks.

If faucets leak, washers probably need to be changed.  In some cases, the faucets may be corroded and need to be replaced.  If this is the case, opt for an inexpensive and very plain model.  Fill the sink with water.  If it drains from the sink slowly, pour in some drain clog remover and see if this helps.  If not, call a plumber.  When everything is clean and in working condition, neatly return items to the cabinet under the sink, using containers for small objects like bath toys, sponges or cleaners.

While the top of the toilet tank is bare, lift up the top and check the water level and condition of the inner mechanisms.  Flush the toilet.  Does the water refill to the correct level?  Does the water shut off when it reaches this level?  If not, then the inside mechanism with the seat and stopper at the bottom of the tank will need to be replaced.

This is quite easy and inexpensive to do yourself.  Parts are available at your local hardware or home improvement store.

Folks will notice a filthy shower.  So, spend some time here.  Remove personal items – cleanser, shampoo and conditioner, shave cream, razor, body sponges – from the shower/tub area.

Discard items that are unnecessary and store the rest under the sink.  Test the faucets and showerhead.  Do the faucets turn off all the way?  If not, change the washers.  Is the water spraying freely from the showerhead?  No?  Then remove it and check to see if it’s clogged.  If it still doesn’t work properly after cleaning, replace it. 

Carefully examine tiles and the tub.  Does the tub have chips and discoloration?  It may need to be resurfaced or replaced.

How do the tiles look?  Any loose pieces or chips?  Are there cracks in the grout?  Scrub the bathtub, tiles and grout until they are mold and mildew free.  Regrout gaps between tiles.  Scrape and replace discolored caulking When the shower and bathtub have been overhauled, top off your repairs with a new, crisp shower curtain or liner in a neutral color.

Take a good look at the ceiling and walls.  Do you see any mold, mildew, fingerprints or grime?  If so, scrub it with bleach.  Cracking or curling paint should be scraped and repainted in a neutral color.

A rule of thumb:  Place only three items on the vanity area.  Many real estate experts suggest these include potpourri, a new or clean, filled soap dispenser, and a plant.  It’s a good idea to keep the toilet tank top cleared as prospective buyers and inspectors may want to peek inside it.

After the big clean-up and repair job in the bathroom, it’s important to maintain the fresh smell and appearance each day the house is on the market.  The space should be kept uncluttered, clean and sanitized.  It should reflect well on the house of which it is a part and offer few glimpses of the personalities who currently live there.

At this point, a homeowner enters the sprucing-up stage.  After cleaning every nook and cranny in the bathroom, it’s time to add the finishing touches.  All dirty towels and wash cloths, bath mats and robes should be removed.  A clean set of towels should be displayed before the house is shown.  Trash baskets should be emptied and floors wiped daily.  All personal grooming items – tooth brushes, make-up, combs and brushes, hair dryers, perfume, etc. – should be tucked away, preferably in a container and stored in a drawer or cabinet.