Timing: The difference between For Sale and SOLD

There are numerous factors that must be taken into account when listing your home for sale. How is the market? What are comparable homes in the area selling for? But one factor that is imperative to real estate, and is often overlooked, is timing.

You know that saying, ‘timing is everything’, well it couldn’t be more accurate. You only have one opportunity to make a first impression. Buyers have a list of needs and wants and if your house doesn’t suit their needs they will move on. With that being said, not every house appeals to every buyer but if your house has unfinished projects or is untidy you will lose potential buyers. If you rush to get your house on the market and neglect other issues you could wind up wasting more time and losing money.

When a property hits the market (when it is first listed) is the prime time for the sale of that house. The first 3 week period is when you have captured the attention of potential buyers and have created a buzz within the real estate market. As those first 3 weeks come to an end, so too does the amount of attention the property is receiving. The next step is often a price reduction in hopes of reaching a new buyer audience and creating more buzz around the property.

I have mentioned the first three week period because it is very important to real estate and timing. You want to hit the market with a big bang to get you a quick, high priced sale. If your home is in need of some repairs or finishing touches and you decide to wait to finish those projects until after your home is listed you may be doing more harm than you realize. Many buyers are looking for move-in ready properties and seeing unfinished projects is a turnoff to many. Unfinished projects equal dollar signs to potential buyers. You will have the highest levels of traffic through your home in the first few weeks, so be sure to take advantage of this time by showing your home in the best way possible.

The longer your home sits on the market, the less attention it receives and therefore price reductions are imminent. It is better to take a few weeks longer to get your home listed and finish those projects first than it is to wait until after listing to complete the work because it will wind up losing you both time and money.

Call me today for more information.

Amy Hluchyj





Expand your Living Space into your Backyard

A beautiful, functional outdoor space can add value to your property, especially if sold during the warmer months when you can really show off the space.  You can achieve an updated, functional outdoor space through a variety of ways, allowing you to create a custom space tailored to your needs.

In order to achieve the look you are going for, you may need to gain some privacy.  You can do so by adding a fence, a privacy fence or hedges to gain privacy while adding style to your space.  If you have an existing fence, deck or shed that is looking tired you can update it with a coat of paint or stain.  This is a cost effective way to add new life to a once tired looking project.

Turn your backyard into a second living room by adding different areas for conversation and eating.  You can create a patio or a deck to help define the areas or a combination of both.  You can also create a multi-tiered deck all the while providing you with different ‘rooms’ in one.  A more cost effective solution to defining a space could be to add an outdoor area rug which you can find at many retailers of outdoor furniture.

Encourage your guests to stay awhile with some great outdoor furniture.  Outdoor furniture has come a long way.  It comes in any style you can imagine.  Not only does it look great, it is comfortable as well.  Look for durable materials to take you through numerous seasons.  You can also add colour with cushions and outdoor pillows.  The options are endless!

You can enjoy your outdoor space during sunny days, as well as rainy days, with the installation of a covered patio or gazebo.  In all different styles and sizes you are sure to find one to suit your needs.  You can even add a candle chandelier to add some ambience and style to your space!

The chef in your home will love a beautiful, functional outdoor cooking space.  The stand-alone barbeque has been replaced by a functional outdoor kitchen complete with a built-in BBQ, bar fridge, wet sink and counter space.  Talk about taking the indoors out!

Last, but not least, we come to plants.  Adding plants and flowers to your backyard adds colour and style to any outdoor space.  You can add garden beds on the ground, planters on a deck or patio or window boxes on your house or shed.  The options are endless.  Be sure to check the area a few times throughout the day to know whether the area has sun or shade or a mix of both and buy your plants accordingly for lasting beauty.  You can choose perennials (come back every year) or annuals (must be planted every year).  Many plants are low maintenance and only require regular watering to remain beautiful.

These are a few ideas on how to bring the indoors outdoors and expand your living space during the warmer months.  I hope you find some inspiration from this – even if it’s just buying a new planter for your patio.  Cheers to your next barbeque!

Have you been dreaming of creating a backyard oasis but are missing the backyard?  Give me a call today and together we will find you the perfect one!

Amy Hluchyj

Out and About

With spring weather finally at our doorstep comes loads of fun-filled festivals and activities across the city.  This past weekend I attended The Vintage Marketplace at Hamilton’s Careport Centre.  There were various vendors there selling many vintage goods such as furniture, clothing, shoes, toys and much more.  I also had the pleasure of watching a fashion show in which they show-cased vintage inspired clothing and accessories.

If you are feeling like you missed out, don’t worry.  There are many other festivities going on in and around Hamilton this Spring and Summer.  Here is a short list to add to your calendar.

Sew Hungry – This Friday (May 2nd) on Ottawa Street North in Hamilton.  Come on out and enjoy some delicious food creations.  You will be sure to find something for you with 35 food trucks and 19 restaurants, the choices are endless!

Doors Open Hamilton – This Weekend (May 3rd-4th) at various locations throughout the city.  This event gives you the opportunity to tour many historical buildings and go back in time.  Are you ready for a walk down memory lane?

Sound of Music – June 12th-15th at Spencer Smith Park in Burlington.  A long weekend full of bands, both big and small.  The line-up will be available on May 10th.

Music at Fieldcote – Every Sunday from 7-8:30pm at Fieldcote in Ancaster, starting July 6th.  Come enjoy some great music, just be sure to bring a lawn chair!

Ribfest – Labour Day weekend at Burlington’s Spencer Smith Park.  You will find kid’s activities, live bands, shopping, and of course…Ribs!!

Supercrawl – September 12-14 on James Street North in Hamilton.  The Supercrawl is an annual weekend event showcasing Hamilton’s art district.  The event includes music, art, food and more.

Like my Facebook page for regular updates

And remember, when you take a break from all the local festivities and find yourself with real estate questions, give me a call!

Amy Hluchyj

Renovations – Get Your Hammers Ready!

We moved into our house just over a year ago and haven’t done much work to the house aside from painting. Last summer we built a deck and a shed in the backyard. I have been dying to get started with some renovations inside and this weekend it happened! We stopped saying “wouldn’t it be nice” and instead just started!

Now, before you get too excited, we are starting with our laundry room. I realize this is not the most exciting or most visible room but it is small and manageable as a starting project. We didn’t want to get overwhelmed to start with by biting off more than we could chew. With the laundry room being smaller it will (hopefully!) cost less if we stay on track. It is also a good starting point for us because it is ‘hidden’. We can practice different projects like dry walling and tiling without anyone looking!

As far as an investment point of view, finishing a laundry room does not have the highest rate of return but it is a good place for us to start and get our hands wet with renovating.

The rooms that tend to have the highest rate of return for your investment are kitchens and bathrooms. These rooms often require the most work and money to remodel which turns many buyers off. When buyers walk into a home with these large ticket rooms already remodeled they are often willing to pay more. With that being said, it is easy to get carried away with renovations. It is important to set a budget and do your best to stay within the budget.

If you decide to hire a contractor for your renovations, one way to save money is to do the demolition yourself. If you remove the materials and dispose of them, you will save yourself some money.

If you add features and finishes that are uncommon for your neighbourhood you may face an ‘over improvement’. This ultimately means that you have put more money into the renovation than will be returned upon the sale of your home. Over improving your home may wind up losing you money when it comes time to sell. This means that you need to realistically look at your neighbourhood and determine what improvements will make you money and which will not (i.e. custom cabinetry vs. store bought cabinetry).

If you are looking to update a space but do not want to spend a lot of money, try adding new flooring and paint. This will freshen up any space. It is also a cost effective way to update a space before listing your home for sale. These two smaller investments can have a big return if done properly.

Now, back to the laundry room! I will try and add some pictures as soon as it is complete. Stay tuned!

Feel free to give me a call anytime to help determine your best investment options!

Amy Hluchyj

The Market is HOT, HOT, HOT!!

I’m sure you hear this all the time. People always seem to be saying that the “real estate market is strong”. Or “now is the best time to buy or sell”. Well, I can confirm that the market is very strong right now.

I have been in competition with three different buyer clients on three different properties since the beginning of the year. Home sellers are currently in a great position. There are a low number of listings compared to actively looking buyers. Listings are getting a lot of traffic which leads to lots of interest and, often times, numerous offers. When a house receives multiple offers it is referred to as competition. When you are in ‘competition’ one piece of advice is to go in with your best foot forward. Pick the price that you are comfortable with and will hopefully have no regrets whether it works out or not.

It is also important to remember not to lose control when in competition. You want to pick a price you are comfortable with but it is not recommended to remove conditions. It is always recommended to have a qualified home inspector perform a full inspection of any property you are looking to purchase to protect yourself. If you remove this condition you have no way out if there are any problems with the property. The removal of a home inspection could cost you thousands depending on the situation. Conditions are put in place to protect you, as the buyer, and it is strongly recommended to always include them.

With all this talk of sellers, buyers can also be successful in this market. The key is to frequently check new listings and if you find a house you like, you need to move quickly. If you can get in before any others you can avoid competition altogether.

Interest rates also remain low which is a benefit for buyers. With house prices continuing to rise and interest rates remaining low, making a move now could save you money in the long run.

Give me a call today to talk about your options!

Amy Hluchyj