Though spring is here, it’s hard to get motivated & getting your home ready for sale when we still have lots of snow on the ground.  Spring thaw is around the corner and to get you into the spring market mode, here’s a few tips on creating a first impression for selling your home this spring.

Spring is a great time to put your house up for sale and making a great first impression is important.  When you are selling your home, it’s not just about the location, it’s about the power of making your home stand out over the others in your neighbourhood.  So to get a successful sale, there are a few factors to consider….CURB APPEAL!

To create curb appeal you need to start with the exterior of you home.  The paint color and condition of your home in need of repair.  If the paint is faded and peeling, it’s an immediate warning sign to potential buyers that your house hasn’t been maintained.  To fix the problem you don’t need to spend a lot of money and you don’t need to paint the entire house if it doesn’t need it.  Just paint the trim, exterior door, garage door and window trim…this will make a big difference.

Look at your landscaping, is it overgrown?  Obviously neglected?  Landscaping is also a large part of making a first impression.  Water your lawn to green it up.  Rake up last falls leaves, trim back any bushes that have gone wild.  And to add some color to your home. plant some flowers or trees.

Clean and organized your yard by washing the driveway, walkway and deck to give it a fresh and clean feel.  Wash all windows inside and out and wash the screens as well.  Stow away your garden and yard tools and remove any clutter  and items accumulated around the yard.

Last but not least…check the night view.  A home that is not well lit will not show well at night.  Replace any burnt out light bulbs and consider adding spot lights to accent trees and shrubs.

If you need more tips on creating a first impression for you home, let us know….we have the key!

Keough & Colleagues…your Winnipeg Realtors.

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Spring is a great time to sell your home.  The market is hot and with the right finishing touches you can have potential buyers upping the ante for your place and bidding over market value.

If you have acquired taste and need some suggestions to neutralize your decor (to appeal to a broad range of potential buyers) without making it boring, here are a few suggestions to making the most out of your home before it hits the market.

  • First clean and clear out.  Clutter will be you worst nightmare.  Potential buyers want to see an open space so they can visualize their personal items in it.  This means keeping the furniture to a minimum and removing any pieces that stand out or look out of date.
  • Neutral is always the winner when it comes to paint.  You can change the tones of the neutrals on the wall from one room to another, but keep the color palette consistent.
  • Accent your home with interesting lamps and mirrors.  Mirrors can make a room appear larger when placed strategically.  The front hall is a great place for a mirror.  This makes a good first impression!
  • Add interest with texture and shine.  Purchase new and unique toss cushions in different shades of cream and taupe.  Throw in some neutral drama with a chocolate brown or black cushion.  Instead of using color, use texture.  This is an inexpensive way to cheer up a space and create interest.
  • Kitchens and bathrooms can make or break the deal.  Keep the kitchen neat and tidy.  Clear off the countertops, and cutesy towels need not apply.  The bathroom must also be extremely clean and tidy.  Purchase fresh new towels to give the bathroom that clean spa effect.  Mix shades of white and cream for a neutral effect.  Place an assortment of sea shells in a glass vase on the counter and you will catch any buyer’s eye.  Sea shells are a great combination of texture ans shine, and cost next to nothing.

If you are looking for more staging tips, let us know, we have the key to all your real estate needs.

Keough & Colleagues….your Winnipeg Realtors.

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Many of us may not be aware of this, but over 15,000 fires are started yearly by buildup of lint in your clothes dryer or exhaust ducts, it blocks the flow of hot air and starts fire.   To prevent this from occurring and reducing the risk in your home, you should do the following on a regular basis.

  • Clean out the lint trap / screen before or after every load.
  • Check to dryer vent while the dryer is operating to ensure air is exiting.  If not, this could mean that the vent is blocked.  Disconnect the exhaust duct from the back of the dryer and remove any trapped lint.
  • Vacuum or clean up lint that has accumulated behind the dryer and make sure that the area is free of debris and clutter.
  • Have a qualified service technician service or inspect your dryer vents seasonally or once a year.

So be aware and don’t overlook this common problem, proper maintenance will reduce the risk of fires and also give you  piece of mind knowing your keeping your family safe.

Keough & Colleagues….your Winnipeg Reatlors.

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If you’re trying to shop for a home and are looking for some useful tools to assist you, look no further, here is a list of Smartphone apps to help you with all your real estate needs.

  • RE/MAX mobile App - Search local real estate or find homes for sale across the country. The RE/MAX Real Estate Search App has it all.
  • Realtor.ca - This free app allows you to set up your search criteria, gives you agent info, up-to-date data on listings, driving directions and open house details.
  • Real Estate Calc - this app is a mortgage & home qualification calculator. Allowing you to see if you are qualified to buy the home of your dreams.
  • Wikihood - this app has had great reviews, it allows you to learn everything you want to know about a neighbourhood.  This is great if you want to know a bit of history about the neighbourhood you want to live in.
  • Walk Score - this app measures your neighborhood’s walkability.  Just to enter an address and you get the walking distance to restaurants, businesses, transit, schools in that area and more.
  • Photo Measures (also comes in a Lite version) – lets you take and save photos of a room, and offers the dimensions of the room or kitchen cabinets and allows you to save the data onto the app.  This is great if you are remodeling, need window measurements or to see if your furniture will fit in the room.
  • Terms - this is a real estate dictionary app, features real estate terms, lingos and jargons related to the real estate industry.

These are just some of the real estate apps available for your Smartphone.   As well, if you’re looking to get your finances in order, you lender or financial institute may have an app as well, like RBC mobile, the TD app and the OneLink Mortgage app, just to name a few.

Keough & Colleagues…your Winnipeg Realtors!

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Ice dams are large build-ups of ice, the most visible manifestation being found at the bottom edge of the roof and gutters as icicles.

A small amount of ice may not cause an immediate problem, but if the ice continues to build up, it will block the water flow down the roof, causing water to back up under the shingles and leak from areas such as the soffits, roof and chimney flashings and skylights into your house.

Here’s how it happens -

  • Ice dams form when there is a blanket of snow of the roof.
  • Heat from the attic melts snow above.
  • Water then runs down the roof between the shingles and the blanket of snow.
  • When the water reaches the roof overhang (bottom edge of the roof), it encounters an area of the roof that is not getting any heat from the attic so the water freezes.
  • As this condition progresses, the ice at the bottom edge of the roof builds up until it blocks water flow and the overflow creates icicles.
  • Water backs up and starts to leak into the soffit area, under flashings, around skylights, etc. and eventually into your home.

Un-Insulated Attics

You would think that un-inulated attics would generate the worst ice dams.  In fact, un-insulated attics tend not to create an ice damming problem because so much heat is lost through the attic, that snow melts as it lands on the roof.  A snow blanket has no opportunity to form.  Any insulation upgrades to an un-insulated attic must be accompanied by air sealing and ventilating the attic.

Heating Cables

In come cases, the roof configuration may not be conducive to preventing ice dams, leaving only one option: heating cables.  If your home has heating cables, you have to turn them on before you have a huge ice dam.  Most heating cables do not have enough power to melt an ice dam once it is formed.

(article source: Pillar to Post@ home information series)

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With all the snow we got this winter, you may want to take some preventative measures for your home.  Here are a few tips and suggestions to prevent your basement from flooding.

  1. You should not allow accumulated snow to sit near the foundation walls of your home. Once spring comes, the snow will thaw and cause flooding. If you have a contractor removing your snow inform him of an alternate area for the snow to be placed.  You should be shoveling the snow away from foundation.
  2. Check your sump pump.  Make sure your sump pump is working and in well maintained condition.  It may be wise to invest in a sump pump alarm system. This system will alert you of high water levels in the sump pit.
  3. Once spring arrives, make sure your downspouts are directing water away from your house, otherwise this can lead to potential foundation problems, and obviously basement flooding.
  4. Protect your personal belongings.  Many of us store our family photo albums and belongings in the basement.  Try to prevent damage before hand by removing your most important items and move them to higher ground.
  5. Plumbing maintenance.  Have a qualified plumber inspect your flood proofing devises and plumbing fixtures (eg: sump pump, backwater valve) to ensure they are in good working order and that there is no wear and tear.

These are just a few suggestions that will help you from flooding this spring.  Remember you don’t want to leave your property at risk.

Keough & Colleagues….your Winnipeg Realtors.

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