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Just Add Salt!

Cold, hard facts

If you have considered selling your home or already have your home on the market, there are five main cold, hard facts you need to know. Selling your home can be a very stressful situation and without some good information, you may make some huge mistakes that could cost you thousands. Below are the truths you need to know, whether you want to know them or not, about selling your home:


1.  It is critical that you and your Realtor understand the local real estate market, especially the local trends in your neighbourhood. If your Realtor doesn’t know the market – find a different Realtor. What inventory is moving? What isn’t? It’s imperative your Realtor be immersed in the market daily to feel which way the market is moving. Part time doesn’t cut it when marketing your largest asset.

2.  Selling a home is very inconvenient. You will need to take time to get the home ready for sale. You will need to pack up your extra and personal items. And you will mostly definitely be interrupted by visiting buyers and their Realtors who often show up late, or worse, not at all and forget to call and cancel. Accept that life as you know it is temporarily over and you will be less stressed in the long run.

3.  A clean, uncluttered home is more attractive to buyers. If you properly stage your home, ultimately you will net more money in your pocket. Spend the necessary time to clean your entire home top to bottom – it has to sparkle - as well as declutter. Remove all unnecessary items. Pack them up, stack the boxes in the garage or spend a few bucks and rent a storage locker temporarily. Buyers want to see the home, not the “stuff” you have in it.

4.  Price it right from the start. Most buyers are looking at new listings as they become available and you want to draw their attention immediately. When you price it right from the beginning you will have buyers knocking down your door, price it too high and you lose your opportunity to attract the most excited buyers. You literally only have one chance to make a great first impression. Once the first 30 days is gone, so is the excitement around your new listing. It’s now old news and your home blends into the background.

5.  An experienced real estate agent is key in the selling process. Be sure that you hire a skilled and trusted Realtor from the start. The company they work for matters. Their website matters. Their connections in the local and the target buyers’ market matters. Global exposure matters. Everything counts!  A true professional will make the process so much easier and more lucrative for you in the long run.


For more information, please contact the Salt Fowler Team at RE/MAX Vernon at 250-549-SALT (7258).


Spring home selling tips

Have you been struggling to sell your home in the Okanagan Valley? Perhaps you decided during the winter months to put your Kelowna or Vernon, BC real estate on the market this spring. No matter how or when you came to your decision, there are some important things to consider if your home will be on the market this spring.

Home buyers and sellers alike are typically more active in the spring. April, May and June are normally the best times to see the most sales of homes in the Okanagan Valley area. If you have had your Kelowna or Vernon waterfront home on the market for an extended period of time, you might consider taking it off the market for a few weeks and then relisting for the spring showing. Here are a few other selling tips you may wish to consider when selling your Okanagan real estate:


1.  Clean-up – after the winter months have passed, it is important to clean-up around your home. Vernon real estate will seem more inviting when your windows sparkle and reflect the sunshine. In addition, cleaning out the dead leaves and debris in your yard will also make your home seem more inviting. Trim up the vegetation, clear all walking paths to the entrances, wash the outside windows and showcase the exterior of your Okanagan Valley home.

2.  Fresh – spring encapsulates bright colors and fresh smells. Consider sending your window coverings to the cleaners so they have a fresh spring smell. You may also wish to consider changing your window coverings to a lighter color. Adding fresh cut flowers throughout your home during a showing will also give the allure of a bright and happy home. And, do not be afraid to show some spring colors throughout your Vernon waterfront home – pinks, blues, yellows, and lavenders, are not only fashionable but portray spring.

3.  Convenience – often the spring weather can be unpredictable in the Okanagan and particularly in Vernon, BC. It is a great idea to have an outside mat for shoes during the days you have your home on display. In addition, you may wish to have a patio set, including an umbrella at the entrance. This will offer some protection against sun and rain for your viewers.


While spring time is a great time for buying and selling a home in the Okanagan Valley, it is recommended that you clear the dead winter blues from your Kelowna or Vernon, BC real estate and make it seem more inviting. Allowing the sunlight to enhance and highlight your home is a great way to showcase certain areas. Spring is often thought of as a reawakening of vegetation with the plentiful sunshine – it is time to reawaken your home too.

Tackling a home renovation

If you have been thinking about completing a home renovation, you may have some apprehension which is stopping you from completing the project. While this is understandable as home renovation projects are typically very stressful and can be very costly, there are some measures you can take to prevent such a displeasing feeling.

In fact, here are five things you can take into consideration before you tackle your next home renovation project:

1.  Depending upon the type of renovation project you wish to undertake, you may need to acquire some permits in order to complete the work. Smaller projects typically do not require permits, however, larger projects such as additions, altering structures, or electrical and plumbing work, may require special permits before you start the project. If you plan on tackling this project on your own you should contact your local city office and inquire about any necessary permits. If you plan on using a contractor to complete your renovation work, they will be able to acquire the necessary permits. Staying in compliance with local laws is important, as without the necessary permits, you can be assessed heavy fines and they can require you to stop work on the project.

2.  If you intend to use a contractor make sure that you use a professional that has completed a similar project. You will want to make sure that they are licensed, bonded and reputable by asking for references and actually calling them to check on their work. Save yourself the headache and the horror story that typically follows with not doing your homework before hiring a contractor.

3.  Depending on your project it may be beneficial for you to stay somewhere else while the work is being completed. You will need to remember that there is the possibility of loud noises (saws, hammers, etc) and lots of dust and dirt that will accompany the work being done.

4.  Always keep in mind that whatever time period and whatever budget you originally think you will set for the project, it will typically always be more. You need to buffer in some additional time for project completion and buffer in some additional funds just in case the project goes over budget.

5.  You should really consider all of these variables before diving in to your home renovation project. Deciding whether you really want to undertake this project is not an easy task and should not be taken lightly. Consider all the variables and make an informed decision.


Home selling potential in winter

If you are selling your home, you may have heard that selling your home in the winter time is almost impossible, for a variety of reasons. Although it may be a challenge to sell your home in times of typically slower sales, do not get discouraged, it can be done! And done well! There are ways in which you can maximize your home selling potential in the winter.

The key is to present a first impression that will last even after the potential buyers have left, and turn them into active buyers. Even the slightest discomfort will turn those potential buyers away and on to the next house to view. You can avoid these pitfalls by following just a few simple steps:

1.  Sure the weather is less than desirable when there is a foot of snow on the ground, but that does not mean that your potential buyers need to see or feel that when they arrive to view your home. Make sure that your driveway and walkways are clear of any snow, ice, or other obstacles. You want to make sure that your home is accessible and clean looking. In addition, many buyers will not even waste their time getting out of their car if they have to hike through snow, just to get to the door.

2.  When showing your home to potential buyers, keep in mind that they have probably been viewing multiple homes. That involves multiple trips in and out of cars and other homes. It is best to keep your home a little cooler than normal, as your potential buyer may be slightly overheated from all of the traveling around. This will make them feel more comfortable when they arrive at your home and are more likely to take their time looking around and asking questions, than trying to get in and out because they are uncomfortable.

3.  You know that lighting is key when showing your home. It can be critical, as it tends to open up a room and make it seem and feel more appealing and homey. Typically during the winter months, there is less natural light, therefore, you must utilize other lighting to make sure that your rooms stay well lit and still present the welcome home feeling.

4.  It is a given that every person coming to view your home will have some wet boots or shoes. Be sure to provide a specific area for those wet boots and shoes. Keep the area clean and free of water, so people are not stepping in water puddles and other uncomfortable situations. This will show functionality and organization within your home and show that you are thoughtful.

Selling your home in the winter time is not impossible, with a little help from the information above. In fact, you can be very successful in doing so as there are less homes on the market to compete with yours. Also, those buyers who are out looking in the middle of winter are definitely not lookie-loos, you can be guaranteed they are serious buyers!

So go ahead and show your home in the winter time. Show your potential buyers how this oasis from the cold can be theirs!

Read more Just Add Salt! articles

About the Author

Lisa Salt is a Vernon born Realtor® who, along with her husband Gord Fowler from Calgary, lead one of the most successful and dynamic real estate teams in the North Okanagan.  An international clay target shooting champion, Lisa brought the attributes of hard work and diligent focus to the real estate industry to create the success she and her team have today.  To experience the local knowledge and expertise that only someone born and raised in the Okanagan can offer, call Lisa today and “Just Add Salt”!

Website link:   http://www.saltfowler.com

Contact e-mail address:  [email protected]


The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet presents its columns "as is" and does not warrant the contents.

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