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SASHA CORMIER’S REAL ESTATE INSIDER December 2011 YOUR NEIGHBOURHOOD REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONAL

Should I Take My Home Off The Market During The Holidays? Written by Realty Times Staff When you look at your calendar you may find the months already overloaded with seasonal obligations-shopping, entertaining, children’s pageants, charity work, decorating the house, and so much more. If you are also trying to sell your home, you are under extra pressure to keep your home in “showtime” condition. And that could be the last thing you need before the holiday spirit is broken. It is understandable why you would be temped to take your home off the market during the holidays, And the list of justifications is long. If you are too busy, buyers may be also, and you may find your efforts unrewarded with not enough showings. And what if you do get an offer? You may be faced with the possibility of packing and moving during the busiest time of the year. Besides, you can give your house a rest and it will have better momentum after the holidays. Better to just pack it in and start fresh in January, right? But wait! Most top REALTORS agree that taking your home off the market during the holiday season is a mistake. The house surely isn't going to sell off the market! What is the advantage of that? So you’re busy. Let your REALTOR do the work. You can leave in the morning, go to work, go shopping, and let your REALTOR take care of things. The holidays are a wonderful selling period. Why? Because most people take off work sometime during the season. The husband and wife are

both off and want to see houses. Most agents like the holidays because the buyers have more time, and they can look at homes together. Before you take your home off the market, consider the following points: 1. Although buyer activity may appear to slow down, the buyers who are actively looking during the holidays are the much more serious. Agents believe that home market is no more affected during the holidays that during other “busy” periods. If that were so, the market would shut down throughout the year as families concentrate on spring weddings, June graduations, summer vacations, and autumn back-to-school activities. 2. Many buyers deliberately choose to shop for a home after the busy spring and summer rush. They know that it will be easier to look, and that negotiations will be less stressful. They may not have children, or they may have grown children, so moving to accommodate the school year isn't a consideration. Finding the right home at the right price, however, is. 3. Relocating families often don't have a choice when they can leave for their new destination. Although 68% of transferring families have children, many families have to transfer during the middle of the school year. These families are that much more motivated to get their families settled in before either

Inside this issue:  Top Ways to Spruce Up Your Home.  Have a Safe Holiday Season.

 Brain Teasers  Community Calendar

the January semester begins, or to arrange for the move during spring break in March. If you sign a contract by New Year’s Eve, the timing couldn't be more perfect. 4. During the holidays, our culture focuses on family and the home. Preparing for the indoor activities of winter is one of the most enjoyable periods of family life. Allowing buyers to view your home during this most hospitable of seasons lets them better picture their own family life in the attractive environment you have created. 5. When is your home ever more beautiful and inviting? You have cleaned and decorated, and your home looks like a picture postcard. If the results are good enough for your family and friends, they will surely be food enough to impress your buyers. Get the family team on board to do a five-minute blitz pick-up every morning to keep holiday messes to a minimum. 5. With so many motivated buyers in the marketplace, you may find you have more showings than you would if you sold your home during a busier time of the year. 6. If you do get a contract, you can arrange the terms to suit your needs. If moving during the holidays isn't an option, you can put in the closing date of your choice. Most people can close 30-60 days after a contract is written, so there is plenty of time. Possession and closings are very negotiable.


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SASHA CORMIER’S REAL ESTATE INSIDER

Top Ways To Spruce Up Your Home Written by Carla Hill

Is your den feeling dreary? Does your kitchen have too much kitsch? Take a moment to read these tips for sprucing up your home.

Small spaces big appeal. Choose reds and warm tones to invoke intimacy and conversation. Use bright, bold colours to inspire creativity.

From time to time, or decade to decade, your home may start to look a little dingy, cluttered, or out-of-date. Have no fear! There are a few simple inexpensive ways to update rooms for your own enjoyment or to impress buyers!

Paint has a great way of erasing dirt and grime, which builds up over time no matter how clean and careful you are! If you have children, you probably have tiny little Picassos on areas of your walls or baseboards. Paint can breathe new life into tired walls.

First, declutter and reorganize, It’s amazing how much “stuff” we can accumulate over time. It’s time to ask yourself what you really need. Plus, there are some great charities that would love your “stuff”. The Goodwill, Salvation Army, and many local churches accept donations all year round. A good way to get started on a massive decluttering is to remove everything from a room. If may seem extreme, but this way only a few selected items return to the room. Designate another room, such as your garage, as the staging area. As you go through room to room this will probably start to gill up. That’s okay, its liberating to simply your life! As you go about putting things back into rooms, consider picking an overall theme for your home. Do you have a traditional aesthetic? Do you have a more modern sensibility? It helps for a home to have cohesion, Pick a style or age of furniture, patterns, and colour and stick with them. Another great spruce is painting. Paint, depending on the brand, can be pretty cheap! Plus, there are thousands of colours. Choose neutral palettes to give

Mortgage Rates Best rates as of November 30 2011 1 yr Closed: 3.50 % 3 Yr Closed: 4.05 % 5 Yr Closed: 5.29% 10 Yr Closed: 6.75 % 1 Yr Open: 6.30 %

Source: CanadaMortgage.com

Plus, today’s market offers great zerovoc options in the paint aisle. These paints don’t harbor the same toxic fumes that traditional paints do. They are sage to use in children’s rooms and throughout the house. Traditional paints can leach fumes into the air for years to come, while zero-vocs are eco friendly. Finally, a slight more time intensive project is replacing flooring. Carpet gets old and can harbor mold and grime after a decade of use. Linoleum doesn't carry its same shine after 20 years of traffic. Is it time for an upgrade? Hardwood floors are beautiful and last a lifetime. You could choose to opt for a more affordable option in wood laminate. You get the same beautiful look, but at a budget-friendly price. Plus, laminate is easy to install yourself. Just a few simple fixes can mean a world of difference in your home. You can go from 1995 to current day in just a weekend! It might take a little sweat and tears, but you’ll get there and you’ll love your updated home!

Subject to change without notice

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DECEMBER ISSUE Have a Safe Holiday Season Written by Carla Hill

The holidays should be a time that is full of family togetherness and joys of the season. Yet, certain conditions this time of year means you need to be extra diligent in order to keep your family safe and sound. Here are some great tips on keeping safe, indoors and out. First, pay heed to weather advisories. Winter weather can be very severe. You may need to cancel or alter plans. Be sure to download the Weather.com app on your smartphone for checking the latest storm advisory alerts while on the go.

phone with you at all times. Before setting out for a long trip, be sure to charge it fully. Cell phones do no good if they are dead! Even if you cant afford a full cell phone plan, consider getting a pay-by=the=minute phone that you can use in case of emergency. Lastly, be sure to always let someone else know of your travel plans. This will help people to know where to look for you should you get lost or when to expect your arrival. Safety inside the home is important as well.

Next, be sure you prepare your car for winter travel. This means being prepared for he worst. Consider putting these items in your trunk: kitty litter (for icy traction), warm blanket or sleeping bag, water, power bars, flashlight, jumper cables and flares.

Many winter storms will bring power outages across the county. Many families prepare for this by investing in gasoline generators. While these allow for you to heat, cook, and run other appliances, they can also fill your home with unsafe levels of carbon monoxide if not used properly.

You should also be sure to carry a charged cell

To protect your family, the National Fire Protection

Agency recommends that “CO alarms should be installed in a central location outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home and in other locations where required by applicable laws, codes or standards. For the best protection, interconnect all CO alarms throughout the home. When one sounds, they all sound.” Also be sure to test your alarms each month. According to FEMA, “Each year fires occurring during the holiday season claim the lives of over 400 people, injure 1650 more, and cause over $990 million in damage.” How can you prevent fires in your home? First, never leave a candle burning unattended. Yes, we all love the scent of pumpkin spice or apple cinnamon during the holidays, but candles can be dangerous if left unwatched.

sure not to overload outlets. Don’t leave any lights unattended. This means turning off lights and trees when you aren’t in the home. Be sure to keep real trees well watered, and only buy flame-retardant artificial trees. Lastly, learn how to put out kitchen fires. Grease does not respond well to water. Instead reach for baking soda or a fire extinguisher (every kitchen should have one). Keeping sage during the holidays (and winter) simply means taking a little extra time and precaution. When you see your family safely though another

When you are installing Christmas lights, be sure to inspect each strand for excessive kinking, missing bulbs, or fraying. Also be

Brain Teasers I have no flesh, feathers, scales or bones, yet I have fingers and thumbs of my own.

How high do you have to count before

What am I?

of the number?

you use the letter ‘A’ in the spelling

Answers: Gloves. One Thousand.


SASHA CORMIER’S REAL ESTATE INSIDER

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Community Calendar!

December 3 2011 - TD Christmas Tree Lighting (Sullivan’s Pond) December 5 2011 to December 22 2011 - Victorian Christmas (Evergreen House) December 5 2011 - Gold! History of gold mining in Nova Scotia (Maritime Museum of the Atlantic) December 6 2011 - Unique gifts for women, made by women (Halifax Mariott Harbourfront) December 6 2011 - The Halifax Explosion in Story and Song (Maritime Museum of the Atlantic) December 7 2011 to December 18 2011 - Chrismas Dinner (Alderney Landing) December 8 2011 to December 11 2011 - Waterfront Christmas Market (Piazza at Bishop’s Landing) December 10 2011 to December 11 2011 - Christmas at Sea Party (Maritime Museum of the Atlantic) December 31 2011 - Breakfast Television’s New Years Eve Party (Downtown Halifax)

Do you have a community event you would like to add? Call or email me with the details.

List Today and EXIT Tomorrow!

Sasha Cormier Real Estate Professional

880-0535

SCormier@ExitMetro.ca

unless noted otherwise

Note: This is not intended to solicit clients currently under contract. The trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Service® and the associated logos are owned by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA.


December 2011