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With clients who are wanting to list their home and are making another purchase after, we often discuss their financial ability to find their next step first, before listing and selling their home.  This is a conversation that would need to be confirmed with a financial consultant of course, but if it's doable, there are benefits that can come from it.  

 

First of all, finding your next step before listing your home, relieves an element of stress from the buying equation.  Most people we talk to are concerned about where they will buy or move to after their home sells.  This way, you would have time to find something before taking the step to list your current home.  
 
Secondly, taking possession of a new home prior to listing your current home allows you to take your time moving in, assessing what furniture and items fit best at the new place and gives time to have it all set up before that first night in.  Also, if you are needing or wanting to renovate or alter the home in any way, you can do so without having to live in a construction zone!  
 
A third benefit is that once you are settled into your new home, you now have time to take a look at the home that you plan on listing and decide if there is anything that could be done to increase its market value before doing so.  We don't often suggest any huge undertakings in preparing a home for listing, but sometimes a quick paint job here and a small amount of staging there can really help.  You want to have it look as clean, well kept, and neutral as possible, without spending too much of course.  Another suggestion, especially for older homes, would be to have a pre-inspection done.  This way you can deal with items that may affect the saleability of your home ahead of time.  
 
A final bonus when listing a vacant home is that you don't have to worry about preparing for showings or have them interrupt your schedule.  The home is show ready and accessible to agents who want to bring their buyers through, a definite plus when marketing a home.  This is especially helpful if you are a busy family with kids, as we all know how our homes tend to take on that "lived-in" look on hectic days!
 
If you need to sell your home first, before making the move to your next step, do not despair.  There are benefits to that too.  Stay tuned to find out more! 
 
Do you have specific questions about the real estate market.  We are always looking for new content for our blog.  If you are wondering about something, you can bet that someone else is too.  

Email questions to carla@sellingmapleridge.com!  
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Another article for the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News.  This piece was featured in a special section forcussing on senior's in our community.
 
Part of my interest in helping seniors with their real estate needs stems from time spent at our kiosk.  It is always lovely to chat with the many seniors that visit the malls and I noticed that each conversation was strikingly similar.  "I need to downsize, but i just have so much stuff.  What will I do with it all?"  The fear of having to sort through 60-70, even 80 years of belongings and collections can be debilitating.  The good news is that you are not alone and that you can get through it.
 

Don't be afraid to ask for help.  Reflecting upon my grandparent's move to assisted living, we as a family spent days helping to pack things that were going with them, things that us granddaughters and my parents were taking to our own homes, and things that were being sold or donated.  We cleaned their townhouse for the new owners and moved them into their new residence.  It was a BIG job and there were lots of us working.  I am glad that we were there to help and that they let us help.  

 
Obviously not everybody has family at arm's reach, however there are quite a few new businesses in our area that specialize in assisting seniors in the process of downsizing.  The depth of their services range depending on the business, but in essence they are there to help you decide what could be sold and how, what could be donated and where the best place would be, and what could be given to family.  They can also help with arranging to recycle items or with disposal pick-up services.  Some of these businesses take the level of assistance one step further and offer staging services, using your remaining furniture to stage your home and showcase its features.  Others can even assist with the process of touring some of the local assisted living options and helping to decide which one suits your needs best.  
 
From step one through to the day you pack your things and move, there are people who are more than willing to help.  Taking the step to ask for help is the key. 

If you would like contact information to local businesses such as those mentioned above, please do not hesitate to contact us!
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I was honoured to be asked to write an article for the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News recently.  This piece was featured in a special section forcussing on senior's in our community.  I have met many seniors who readily admit that it is time to downsize, however they are too worried about where they would go to and shared my thoughts on how to overcome this road block.  

 

“Moving Forward”

  

Making the decision to move can be very stressful, especially if you have lived in your current residence for many years.  One thing to think about before making this decision is whether or not you have a clear idea of where you plan to move to and what the process will look like. 

 

Whether or not you are purchasing again or moving into a senior’s residence, speaking to your bank, mortgage broker, and/or financial planner is a good first step.  He or she will be able to tell you what price range you are able to go to and whether or not you have to sell your current home before moving forward.  Once you know these things, speaking to your real estate agent would be a good step two.  Together you can discuss what is available in your price range, what your current home may be worth, and if there are any things that you may want to do before listing your home.  If you are moving into a senior’s residence, visiting the various facilities to learn about their prices and options is also suggested.  

 

The ability to purchase or choose your next step without selling first has its advantages and disadvantages.  While it is great that you are able to take your time looking and be firm on your criteria, this process can become very time consuming and disappointing if the perfect choice doesn’t seem to exist.  The older we get, the more criteria we seem to accumulate.  This comes from living in different homes and learning what we like and don’t like.  Best advice I can give is to remember that no home is perfect and that you will very likely learn to love what you choose despite this fact.

 

If you have to sell your home first before looking, you will most likely be under a pre-determined timeline, and while this can be worrisome, it also forces you to focus on the task at hand and provides more motivation to make a choice.  Another advantage to selling first is that you will know how much money your house has sold for and so have a clearer idea of where your finances sit.  

 

Touching on criteria, an important thing to remember is that parts of a home or property that may not seem to fit, can often be changed.  It’s amazing how a bit of professional landscaping can create a private oasis in your backyard, or how a small amount of updating can freshen up an older home.  We are seeing stair lifts and even elevators be added to homes to make them more accessible.  Working these items into your budget may open up the options of what you can look at.  

 

Staying in a home that is not working for you simply for fear of where you will go is quite common, but not necessary.  Getting the conversation going with your chosen professionals will help you feel more comfortable with the process and get you moving forward.

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Laurie from Maple Ridge asksHow do you navigate finding a REALTOR® that will suit you and work hard for you? The market is full of REALTORS®.  How do you know which one is the right one?
 

There is nothing wrong with interviewing a few candidates to determine who will be the best fit as the position of being your REALTOR®.  Past representatives, referrals, friends/acquaintances, or REALTORS® whom you have met an open house or through networking are all great choices as candidates.

 

Once you have a list of people that you would like to consider, check out their online presence.  If you want a REALTOR® who is keeping up with the ever changing media scene, then this is a very important step.  This also gives you the chance to get to know them from a distance without feeling as if you are taking up their time.

 

Next steps would be to schedule a meeting.  Ask the REALTOR® to show you their listing presentation and/or information about how they work with Buyers.  Don’t be afraid to ask what they do to go above and beyond their duties as a REALTOR®.  Their answers to this and other questions that you may have should sit well with you and make you feel excited to move forward rather than stressed or confused.

 

You want someone to work hard for you, but there is really no way of knowing for sure if they will until you hire them.   In order to get to that step, you do have to take a small leap of faith and go with what feels right.  Hopefully these suggestions will help you feel more comfortable about that leap!

 

Thanks again Laurie for this question!  

 

Carla

 

If you have questions about real estate email them to carla@sellingmapleridge.com.  All questions will be answered and one will be chosen each month to be published in the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News and/or What's On Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows magazine with the author being given a $25 Gift Certificate to a local business.  

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Leah from the Albion area of Maple Ridge asks: What is the best thing you can do to get your home ready to sell?
 
The best thing that you can do to get your home ready to sell is to imagine yourself as a potential Buyer.  Try your best to turn the emotional connection that you have to your home off and walk through to find what others may see as negative features.  If you can eliminate some of these flaws ahead of time, the Buyer has fewer reasons to say "no" to your house. 
 
Ensuring that you are taking the steps to highlight a clean and organized home that smells nice would be best first steps.  If there are any items in the home that need maintenance, or will likely pop up in a home inspection, those things should also be addressed.  We use the phrase "pride of ownership" in real estate and it is a great phrase to remember when preparing your home to show.
 
We generally do not recommend that you go to great expense to update esthetic items in your home unless they are an absolute must.  If you do, stick to neutral colours and materials.  For the most part, a Buyer will want to come in and update or renovate to their own preferences. 
 
If you are looking for referrals to local business that can assist in getting your home show ready, don't hesitate to give us a call.
 

Thanks again Leah for this great question!  It was a pleasure to answer it.  

 

Carla

 

If you have questions about real estate email them to carla@sellingmapleridge.com.  All questions will be answered and one will be chosen each month to be published in the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News and/or What's On Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows magazine with the author being given a $25 Gift Certificate to a local business.  


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Natalie from the Albion area of Maple Ridge asks: Is there a way to turn what is a sometimes stressful experience when selling your home to be a more positive one?   

 

Things that can create stress when selling your home are largely centered on feeling unprepared, having to make major decisions on the spot, encountering surprises, and of course the inconvenience of showings.  The good news is that there are ways to alleviate these stressors and that you can work with your team of professionals to ensure that the process is a more positive one.

 

In my experience, when people feel out of control in a situation, they are more easily stressed.  Drawing upon my experience teaching, I really believe that proper planning and knowledge create confidence and that confident people can handle stressful situations with more ease.  I also believe that people do not actually like surprises, especially in regards to real estate transactions.  Lastly, as much as I promote having a plan, I don't think that it should be set in stone.

 

In regards to becoming more knowledgeable , I am specifically talking about what is going on in your local market.  Ask your REALTOR ® to show you the listings that will be your competition and listen to their opinions on price and current market trends.  If there is an opportunity to physically go and see some current listings, I highly reccomend it.  Some of these listings will soon be sold and when faced with an offer likely based on these comparable sales, you can have first hand knowledge of how they compare to yours.  

 

In regards to planning for making quick decisions, an idea would be to ask your REALTOR ® to walk you through some scenarios you might encounter and plan for how you will make necessary decisions ahead of time. Also, it would be ideal to speak to your mortgage broker about what the numbers look like, giving you a clear idea of what price you can go to for your sale and how it will affect your next step.

 

Another element of planning ahead would be to know who your lawyer/notary, insurance broker, and home inspector will be.  These are all professionals that you will soon need to be hiring, so why not figure it out while you still have plenty of time?  You could also visit these professionals and get an idea of how their processes work and things that you will need to know to make things run smoothly on their end.  

 

One thing to consider that can elmimnate a great deal of potential stress is to have a pre-inspection done on your home, depending somewhat on the age. This way you can either remediate items that could affect marketability or simply price accordingly for someone else to come in and do the work.  Eleventh hour home inspection surprises are, as a general rule, never a positive experience and they are very avoidable.

 

The inconveniences of showings are a part of selling your home. You need a Buyer and they unfortunately rarely like buying something sight unseen. Use the professional resources that allow you to have your home show and sale ready, and ideally it is sold before you know it.

 

Being prepared and having a REALTOR ®  that embraces this idea should make the process of selling your home run more smoothly, however there are things you simply cannot plan for. My only advice here is to keep an open mind and a level head and think about the big picture. Don't let your emotions get the best of you and always communicate with your team.


Thanks again Natalie for this great question!  It was a pleasure to answer it.  


Carla


If you have questions about real estate email them to carla@sellingmapleridge.com.  All questions will be answered and one will be chosen each month to be published in the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News and/or What's On Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows magazine with the author being given a $25 Gift Certificate to a local business.  


*The information in this post is not intended to solicit people or properties currently under contract.  

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