Whether you've been living in your home 20 years or just moved in, renovations can be a stressful yet exciting time. However, are all renovations created equal? The answer to that question my dear friends is a big fat NO.  It's a statistical real estate fact that certain renovations will get you more money at resale or for evaluation purposes then other home improvements. I can also attest to this fact and will show you some great and recent examples of how this is true time and time again.

In my 11 years of selling real estate, 2013 was the year where I witnessed the highest percentage of sellers that were selling for the purpose of leaving the province of Quebec.
quebec-elections-2014-april-7Clients of all ages, ethnicities, and classes were leaving. Professionals,  retirees, newlyweds, people from all walks of life were "fed up" and "getting out of here". Taxes, the cold, property values and politics were all a harsh reality, so the ROI was just not worth it anymore. According to the Montreal Gazette, a total of 28,439 people moved from the province of Quebec to another province from January to September 2013.  This was the highest number of departures since the year 2000.

Guess what people?!  It's 2014 and contrary to all those “Chicken Little” predictions of last year, the market is still sizzling hot!!
Interest rates are still at an all-time low with banks practically giving away their money and posting rates as low as 2.9% fixed for 5 years.  Sales have gone up in most neighbourhoods and the prices of homes have gone up in many Montreal suburbs. Moreover, increase in supply of condos have softened that market and brought down prices, making it more affordable for buyers to get into the condo market.

In this age of Do It Yourself home improvement and Do It Yourself decorating, the Do It Yourself home seller has found their niche.  “For Sale By Owner” signs populate the real estate landscape, earning their homeowners the nickname FSBO, (pronounced Fizbo).  Are you an aspiring Fizbo?  Before you take the plunge into DIY real estate you need to consider the pros and cons and ask yourself some important questions.

  [caption id="attachment_2585" align="alignleft" width="250"]Sold by Tatiana Londono! Sold by Tatiana Londono![/caption] There’s an old saying that goes, you never get a second chance to make a good first impression.  In real estate, the outside of your home is the first thing potential buyers see when they come for a visit, and it’s their first opportunity to start forming judgments.  If your house is unattractive, or looks poorly maintained, people won’t want to go inside.  Even if the inside of your home is immaculate and gorgeous, you’ll lose potential buyers if the outside lacks curb appeal.  This is one case where people really do judge a book by its cover.  If you’re unsure about the condition of your house, ask your real estate agent for an objective opinion.  But be prepared to handle the truth.

You’ve decided to sell your house.

You take your collection of business cards and flyers from real estate agents, fan them out in front of you, close your eyes and pick one.  Right?  Maybe you’ll get lucky, but this is really isn’t the best way to choose the person to handle what is likely to be your single largest financial investment.