Purrrfect Ways to “De-pet” Your Home for Open Houses

If you have pets, you probably adore them. They’re part of the family! But when you’re preparing your home for sale, you need to think about how to deal with the “pet issue.” Some potential buyers who view your property may love pets, whereas others may be turned off by the tell-tale signs of pet ownership – such as kitty litter, dander, and smells. 

Use these tips to keep both your pets and buyers happy:

  • Keep your pets out of the house during viewings. Even if your dog or cat is friendly, some buyers will be uncomfortable around them. 

  • Consider a local kennel or “pet day camp.” You’ll need to decide where your pets will go when buyers view your property. “Can’t I just take my dog out for a walk?” you might ask. You could, however, you may not always be available to do that during a viewing.

  • Some buyers will be turned off or allergic to pet odours. Consider using specialty air sprays that neutralize pet odours and spray areas where pets spend a lot of time, like their favourite cushion or scratching post. 

  • Finally, it’s a good idea to advise buyers that they’re viewing a home with pets. That way, they’ll be more forgiving if they catch a whiff of cat dander.

As pet owners, as much as we love our pets, the presence of animals during home viewings can affect the experience for buyers and ultimately, their impression of your property.

​A REALTOR® Is Your Hero – Escape The Emotional Negotiation

The negotiation process of real estate can be a very turbulent ride. It is an emotional process when it comes to money, and sometimes it can get very heated.

While it seems trivial to have a REALTOR® proxy the negotiation, it is very important in getting a deal. A REALTOR® is able to filter out tactics designed to evoke an emotional response, such as “The place needs renos,” or “Not sure if it’s really worth the money,” and present you with just the bare facts.

Without a REALTOR®, sometimes being put on the spot can really throw you off. How would you respond if asked: “There is water damage, why would you hide this? I want $10,000 off or I won’t waive my conditions.”

Your possible reactions:

  • “You’re crazy. I’m not paying anything!”
  • “I thought we had a­ deal?”

This conversation can go south really quick, but a REALTOR® can address issues like this without jeopardizing the transaction: “My client probably wasn’t aware, let me bring this back to them and we can figure out a workable arrangement.”

Now we’ve bought time to decide what we’d like to do, we can respond accordingly:

  • Call their bluff. Seek out some interested parties and respond with “At this time, we have other interested parties and will not be providing any concessions.”

  • Split the cost. Respond with “My client has sought out some quotes and found a reasonable one at $X. We’re willing to split this cost in trade for waiver of this clause.”

  • Fix the issue. Respond with “My client acknowledges the issue and will repair this prior to closing.”

A good REALTOR® will give crafted and thought out responses that will provide a clear stance, and help move the transaction through without the need for emotional interference.

Renting 101 – How to Find “A+” Student Tenants

The real estate market is swarming with students as more choose to live in private accommodations, compared to on-campus residences.

One of the major hurdles landlords face when renting their property to students is the lack of trust. It can be stressful for landlords to find tenants that will obey their terms and often credential checks aren’t possible.

When renting a property to students, have a detailed list of the amenities and utilities included, and also communicate that the house is available to students only.

Here are 5 tips to find great student tenants:

  1. Identity Proof: The most universal identification proof is a photocopy of a passport. You can also ask for a student card or post-secondary school acceptance letter.
  2. Deposit: Ask the tenant to pay the first and last month’s rent as a safety deposit. If they change their mind and move out early, the deposit money can count towards the next month’s rent and is often non-refundable.
  3. Contract: Sign a lease contract for a term of 1 or 2 years. Clearly state the monthly rent payment and the repercussions of non-compliance with your terms and conditions.
  4. Address: Get information about the most recent addresses the tenant has lived within the country (if applicable). Also, note the information of a relative or guardian to contact in case of an emergency.
  5. Expectations: As a landlord, if you do not wish the tenant to have pets, smoke, or organize parties, make sure it is clearly communicated.

Follow these simple steps to avoid stress and find the perfect student tenant!

By Gurcharan Garry Bhaura, Broker of Record at CENTURY 21 President Realty Inc. 

Are Your "Must Haves" Really a Must?

When you’re ready to buy a home, you usually have a wish list that helps narrow down the criteria to make the search process more accurate.

Here are some considerations you should make before finalizing your list

1. “I need GRANITE countertops.”

This is a very common item for home buyers. Countertops can be fabulous and they are very easy to upgrade or replace. Do some research before ruling out homes without granite or stone countertops.

  • What is the cost per square foot to install a counter of your choice?
  • Can your REALTOR® negotiate the cost of new countertops into the agreement of purchase and sale?

2. “No STAINLESS STEEL appliances…Don’t bother!”
Homebuyers might rule out a home because the kitchen has white or black appliances. Again, ask yourself these questions:

  • Can I sell the existing appliances or donate them to charity?
  • What is the cost of brand new appliances including delivery and set up?

3.“Oh look honey, it’s got CARPET. I’m not going in.”
Flooring is another hot topic item that a buyer should consider before passing up on a home. Ripping out old carpet and installing new flooring is easy and may not break the bank. Think twice before you pass up a great home because it has carpet.

These are some items to consider when buying a home. Instead of concentrating too much on your “must haves,” it’s important to remain clear on the real fundamentals that will directly impact your investment and quality of life.  

Happy home hunting!

By Michelle Rose Andreacchi, REALTOR® at CENTURY 21 Miller Real Estate Ltd.