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How to Improve the Curb Appeal of Your Home

The mantra of “don’t judge a book by its cover” is sound advice when it comes to people. In real estate though, appearances are imperative. Curb appeal, for those who are not familiar with the term, refers to the attractiveness of your home’s exterior when viewed from outside. If you’re planning on selling, improving the curb appeal is important in order to attract potential buyers and get offers. Here are a few easy tips and ways on how to boost the curb appeal of your home.

Everyone who visits a home will look at the front door. Such unavoidability means it’s one of the things you need to prioritize on your mission to improve curb appeal. Realtor Mag explains it a little further:

Revisit the front door

The exterior of the home counts big for creating first impressions. Indeed, 99 percent of real estate pros say that curb appeal is a critical factor in attracting a buyer.

Invest in a new door if the current one is looking too old and dingy. A fresh coat of paint may help improve an existing one, if a new door isn’t in the budget. Consider a new color, like red. Also, replace the hardware, like the doorbell and locks, to give the front door a fresh new look. Read more at realtormag.realtor.org

A welcoming front door means welcomed buyers. Painting your front door a bright color that contrasts well with the exterior is one way of making sure that it stands out to buyers.

Focus on your front door!

Buyers do a lot of shopping around during the day, but they also like to look at how a house looks at night. After all, they’ll be living there 24/7. To that end, adding the appropriate amount of lights to be sure that your house is well-lit at night is a surefire way to enhance curb appeal. The folks at Edmonton Real Estate Blog gives an example:

Add Lots of Lights

While making a home look inviting during the day is vitally important to help it sell, equally important is the way it looks at night, and the way to make sure the home shines at night is with strategic lighting choices. Many people who are in the market for a home visit the neighbourhoods of those homes they are interested in during the day and at night. It’s a good way to get to know the type of area a home is located in prior to buying a home there.

One way to improve the curb appeal of a home at night is to line the sidewalk with equally-spaced solar lights. Not only do they look charming, they don’t use any electricity and make the home look welcoming. h/t edmontonrealestate.ca

A lighted walkway is uncommon and thus makes the home stand out, and a home that stands out will get more attention.

Probably the easiest improvement is to simply clean up. Whether it be a mowed lawn or new landscaping, it pays to have a clean yard. You don’t need to go all out, though, according to Fortune Builders:

Clean Up

There are plenty of easy (and inexpensive) ways to improve your home’s curb appeal. Mowing your lawns, landscaping with greenery, a well-paved driveway, and newly painted garage doors, are just a few ways to keep things fresh year round.

Cleaning up your home’s curb appeal can either be as easy or as hard as you want to make it. As long as you give your front yard a respectable clean (using some good ole’ fashion elbow grease), hiring a landscape artist or gardener isn’t necessary. Remember, trees shed their leaves during the fall, leaving your home more exposed. So grab your lawn mower, a leaf blower and a hose to impress potential buyers in no time. Via fortunebuilders.com

It’s an obvious necessity, but it still warrants mention. A spotless front yard has an easy time catching buyers’ attention.

Curb appeal is most often seen as a clean exterior, and while cleanliness is important, there are other things a seller can do to stand out. If you’re thinking of selling a home in Fort McMurray, give the A-Team a call.

How to Improve the Curb Appeal of Your Home See more on: The A-Team, RE/MAX Fort McMurray

Around Town: Fort McMurray News (Week of October 27)

It’s time for the pre-Halloween edition of the A-Team’s Fort McMurray column. Here is some important news for this week.

Last weekend, an application for a new oilsands project in Meadow Creek West was filed. If approved, Suncor Energy would be allowed to build the plant south of Fort McMurray, and would produce 40,000 barrels per day. Information is still scarce, but it looks set to use state-of-the-art drainage and conservation technology  From Fort McMurray Today:

Suncor files for 40,000-bpd project south of Anzac

Many specific details of the project are also still being determined and finalized.

Employment projections are not available on Suncor’s website, although the company promises “nearby communities” will benefit from employment, economic growth and contracting opportunities, revenue and community investment.

A conservation and reclamation plan has also yet to be made, although conceptual reclamation plans are outlined in the applications.

The company says it will research and develop new technologies to reduce the amount of water used and hasten reclamation times for disturbed lands. Read more at fortmcmurraytoday.com

Coming off a rocky few years, the multiple oilsands projects in the works will hopefully re-energize the region and lower unemployment.

In other news, the Anti-Bullying Show is back for another year in Fort McMurray for an eighth consecutive year. The show, created by local Massey Whiteknife, will feature live entertainment and a costume contest:

8th Annual Anti-Bullying Variety Show Back For Another Year

Whiteknife adds that it’s important to stand up and not stand by.

“Just want to raise awareness that bullying affects everyone in some form or fashion and we need to not judge or pass judgement just based on the way they look and get to know people before we make all these assumptions because it really does affect a person.”

All proceeds will go toward the Fernando Foundation for Mental Health – which uses artistic means, visual, performance, written or other forms to help break the stigma of bullying. Via mix1037fm.com

Bullying is a major issue in all communities and any interest in solving it should be applauded. The show will be held October 28 at Stonebridge Hotel.

Lastly, Alberta Education announced a new school curriculum on Tuesday that includes lessons about the history of First Nations, Metis, Inuit Culture and legacy of residential schools. The changes reflect a different attitude when it comes to reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, according to Jenna Hamilton of My McMurray:

Students at every grade level to learn about First Nations, Metis and Inuit culture

Including Indigenous history in classroom curriculum is part of the Government of Alberta’s (GOA) commitment to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

“We are making important progress in our journey towards reconciliation and a shared understanding. Now is a time like no other in Alberta history. We have the opportunity and responsibility to teach the truth and to provide an accurate account of our Canadian society,” said Tony Alexis, chief of Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation.

“These new resources will shed light on our painfully dark history, and like our TRC commission reminds us, there cannot be reconciliation without truth. Announcements like todays are significant pathways to strengthening relationships with Indigenous communities.” h/t mymcmurray.com

The issue of residential schools has rarely been touched upon in the country’s schools. The lessons are to be taught to grades 1-9 across the province.

That’s all for this weeks’ roundup. Check back on The A-Team blog for more news and updates on Fort McMurray.

The following article Around Town: Fort McMurray News (Week of October 27) was originally published to The A-Team Real Estate Blog

3 Factors That Determine a Home Sale

What Determines a Home Sale?

So you’re thinking of selling. You have spent time (and maybe money?) getting your home ready. What is next? Maybe you are wondering what sells a home? Great thought! There are 3 things that really sell homes – let’s explore!

Ok, so we’ve been in a buyer’s market (other than for the 2 months following the fire) for almost 3 years. A lot has changed regarding the value of homes in Fort McMurray. Eventually all markets will balance (even ours!), but we’re not there yet.

Our buyer’s agents at The A-Team have told recently that they are having a hard time finding quality homes. Could this be a sign that we are heading towards that balanced market? As a potential seller, it is important to know what you need to focus on in order for one of those buyers to choose your home!

In any type of market, there are three things that sellers need to focus on:

  • Quality
  • Marketing
  • Price

1. Quality of the Home

Buyers look for good quality homes, so if yours is good quality, then it will definitely help with salability. I believe that good quality to a buyer means the home is well built, no “issues” like moisture problems or missing baseboards, and generally aesthetically pleasing (such as neutral coloured paint on walls – no hot pink bedrooms, nice flooring – no stains on carpets, etc.).

You love your home, right? Perhaps you are a bit biased? We can help by suggesting some things to do to your home (if needed).

Does your home have what buyers are looking for? For example, does it have a garage? Developed basement? No condo fees? Buyers typically don’t want to do any work to homes ( or maybe just small things), which is why foreclosures can take longer to sell. If your home has condo fees, then you will find that not all buyers are wanting to pay that extra cost each month.

The type of property definitely makes a difference here, too. Even the most beautiful townhouse may not be what most buyers are looking for given that it has condo fees (especially if those condo fees are high). But you bought your home knowing it has condo fees, right? Yes, that is true, but buyers typically weigh out there options so if they are buying a home with condo fees, then it needs to be in the lower price ranges. It is my job as a listing agent to ensure buyers know about the benefits of having condo fees!

2. Marketing for the Home

How many buyers will see your home? Marketing is the exposure that your listing agent can get for your home to the buyers. For information on what our listing agents can do for you, feel free to give us a call!

We are in the 21st century, so your home needs 21st-century marketing, am I right?! If your home is properly marketed properly, then you can maximize exposure and sell your home for as much money as possible! That is always our goal at The A-Team! How many of your friends have seen our videos on YouTube? A lot, right? Maybe all? That proves that marketing works!

There are many forms of marketing, so be sure to ask lots of questions! How many people are seeing my home? Are these turning into showings? If buyers don’t see your home on the MLS, then aren’t they missing out on your beautiful home?

3. Price

Your home is worth what someone will pay for it, right? Well, how you price your home, depending on the type of market, can have a big impact on whether or not your home sells. A-Team listing agents take pride in accurate pricing for our clients, so expect lots of detail about how we find the value of your home! (We love detail, especially me! Can you tell?)

Remember that a buyer doesn’t care what you owe on the mortgage or what you bought your home for. These are good things to know, but we don’t use them when coming up with the value of your home and neither will a buyer.

Some homes are unique and more difficult to price, but we love the challenge! I find that potential sellers really appreciate knowing that we didn’t just pick a number out of the sky. 🙂

Which of these 3 things matter the most in each type of market?

Balanced Market:

When our market does find equilibrium (and we wish we could say exactly when that will happen!), then sellers will need to focus on different things from the type of market we are in now. A balanced market means there is approximately the same number of buyers as there are sellers.

In a balanced market, sellers need to focus mainly on marketing & quality. If the price is set too high, then it will take longer to sell, but it will eventually sell. So in a sense, you need to focus on price, too, but it really will depend on your timeline.

If you have a quality home though, there is a better chance of it selling more quickly as the quality homes will go quickly and buyers will only be left with foreclosures or homes that are way too overpriced.

Does the type of property matter? Well yes! In this type of market, for example, homes with wood foundations will be more difficult to sell for max dollar as not as many buyers will be looking for this type of home. Of course with proper marketing, then you will be able to maximize your chances of actually selling.

Seller’s Market

In a seller’s market, sellers need to focus on marketing & quality. When we have more buyers than sellers, then sellers can premium price their home to ensure they get the absolute maximum dollar. Sounds nice, right? Sometimes you can find buyers who will overpay because there is nothing else on the market that works for them.

In the couple of months following the fire, we saw a short-lived seller’s market where a lot of homes were selling for full price or more than full price because there was so much demand at the time! For this reason, in a seller’s market, price is less of a factor and it matters more about getting your home out to as many people as possible and selling in multiple offers (marketing) and having a quality home that lots of people want to buy!

Buyer’s Market

In a buyer’s market, there are more sellers than buyers. Sellers need to focus on price & marketing. This has been evident since early 2015 in Fort McMurray. We find time and time again that even if a seller is listed even $10,000 too high, then we won’t get showings and definitely won’t get offers!

It is crucial to set the price just right. Marketing is also crucial in a buyer’s market because sellers need to get buyers from wherever they can find them…and an A-Team listing agent can do just that with our amazing marketing strategy! Buyers won’t even look at a home that is really overpriced: even if they do take the chance, then they won’t offer if they don’t think you are a reasonable seller or if your home is overpriced for the current market.

In a buyer’s market, foreclosures tend to sell a little easier because the banks are really motivated and they price their properties competitively.


In a buyer’s market, be sure you have the best information because this will greatly impact whether or not you sell. Will your home sell? Yes, as long as you price it properly and it is marketed as it should be marketed in the 21st century!

Heading into a balanced market, if you have a quality home, then we will want to see if we can get a little extra money for you! Don’t worry, we will still give you honest, unbiased advice.

We love to give free information to the public, so don’t be shy about calling to find out what your home is worth and what services we can offer to you! Your home is very important to you and we want to make sure to give you the best information so you can meet your goals, whatever those goals are. Good luck and hope to hear from you soon!

3 Factors That Determine a Home Sale Find more on: The A-Team YMM Blog

How to Increase Sale Price in a Buyer’s Market

Pretty much every home seller wants to get as much return on their home as possible. And that makes sense: it’s reasonable to want to avoid a loss, especially in a buyer’s market. So how can you improve your chances of selling your home for more money? Here are a few recommendations we’ve found to be quite useful:

A common home pricing strategy is to determine the market value of a home, and price it higher. After all, it’s best to test your chances with a high price, and lower it as needed, right?

Not quite. As the following post from Keeping Current Matters explains, pricing your home lower than market value actually increases your chances of a profitable sale:

Price it a Little Low

This may seem counterintuitive. However, let’s look at this concept for a moment. Many homeowners think that pricing their home a little OVER market value will leave them room for negotiation. In actuality, this just dramatically lessens the demand for your house.

Instead of the seller trying to ‘win’ the negotiation with one buyer, they should price it so that demand for the home is maximized. By doing this, the seller will not be fighting with a buyer over the price, but will instead have multiple buyers fighting with each other over the house.
Via keepingcurrentmatters.com

It might be unorthodox, but it’s a sound strategy. Basically, by prioritizing the number of buyers over the quality, bids can rise considerably.

Pricing a little bit low can potentially maximize your profit!

As explained above, attracting more buyers is the goal of any solid home marketing strategy. Along with keeping the price lower, curb appeal is also critical. It’s something we try to capture with our groundbreaking video tours, but the first step to an attractive home comes from repairs and cleaning jobs performed before listing:

Improve the Curb Appeal

You’ve only got one chance to make a good first impression on the potential buyers. And it only takes a minute before they decide whether your home is right for them or not. You can vastly improve your chances if you improve the curb appeal of the exterior.

  • The lawn is mowed
  • The gutters are clean
  • The window frames are freshly painted
  • That the paving slabs are evened out
  • The yard is decluttered
  • The street number is clearly visible
  • All weeds are removed

h/t ontapblog.com

First impressions are everything when it comes to buyers. An opulent luxury home won’t fare any better than a simple townhouse if the lawn is overgrown and paint is chipping off.

Once attracted, buyers will look over the inside. Sellers stand to increase their sale price by making a few improvements to the interior. Proper home staging will give buyers the feeling of living in a new home:

Make it “home-ready”

Most home buyers are more inclined to purchase a house if there are fewer home improvements to be made. Be prepared and make your home move in ready by making these improvements:
– New carpeting/wood floors
– Fresh paint job
– Replace any damaged screens, faucets, windows, doors, etc.,
– Clean out each room and create more space by organizing any cluttered room, closets, and drawers.
Fixing any small issues will boost your chances over your competition. Home buyers want to envision themselves living in the house, so staging your home is such a big part of the selling strategy. Read more at dooleyandmason.com

Neglecting to make repairs and improvements to a home is a common mistake. Sellers are under the impression they will save money by doing so, but in reality, since a home buyer will almost always order a home inspection, the repairs will be made anyway. In this scenario the buyer also the advantage in negotiations, assuming they don’t walk away after the inspection. The one caveat we would add, is that, with home values changing quite quickly right now, it is generally best to avoid home improvements that will delay the list date.

We may be in a buyer’s market, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a good sale. If you’re looking to sell your home, and want to get the best price, give The A-Team a call at (780) 804-4800.

The following article How to Increase Sale Price in a Buyer’s Market See more on: https://ateamymm.ca