Closing day is an exciting time. After all, you’re moving into your new home! However, it can be stressful as well. The last thing you need is to be confronted with something you don’t understand. So here is a quick list of common “closing day” terms.

• Disbursements. This is the allocation of funds to the appropriate parties, such as the seller. Your lawyer will take care of this for you.

• Possession. This is the moment on closing day when you are legally able to take possession of your new home. It’s usually when your REALTOR® or lawyer hands you the keys.

• Title. This is a legal document that identifies the property and its owner.

• Closing costs. These are expenses, excluding the selling cost of the property, that are due on closing day, such as legal fees, reimbursement for pre-paid utilities, utility deposits, insurance, and taxes.

• Closing adjustments. These are expenses pre-paid by the seller that need to be reimbursed on closing.

There may be other terms you come across on closing day as well. Don’t worry, a good REALTOR® can help make the day go smoothly for you and your family. Looking for a good REALTOR®? Call today.

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Do you have a renovation project in mind – and wonder how much value it will add to your home? Remodeling Magazine recently did a study of renovation projects, comparing costs to added value. Here are some of the results: Replacing a main entry door has a return on investment of over 95%. After all, the entrance to a home is one of the first things a prospective buyer notices. Adding a new deck also adds a lot of value. Depending on the materials used, you can expect to get back three-quarters of the money invested. Another high-payback project is the garage door. This once again demonstrates the importance of a home’s “curb appeal.” If you’re tackling a big project, such as a basement renovation, you’ll be glad to know that, according to the study, a project like this adds a lot of value. Finally, minor improvements to bathrooms and kitchens – such as adding new countertops or cupboards, can also be good investments that mostly pay back when you sell your home. Of course, these figures are averages and can vary widely depending on location, type of property, and other factors. Need help determining how a particular home improvement might impact the selling price? Call today.

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 Usually when you list your home, you would prefer to sell it quickly. It’s like being the first one served at a crowded ice cream parlour. It’s satisfying. However, sometimes there’s more to it than that. There may be a truly urgent reason why you need to find a buyer for your property as soon as possible, such as a sudden job relocation. If that’s the case, it’s important to explain your situation to your REALTOR®, who will be able to put together an action plan for selling your home quickly and for the best price possible. During that conversation, ask what you can do to help the process along. For example, you may be able to: • Spread the word to your friends and other connections on Facebook. • Canvass your neighbours and tell them about your listing. • Stage your home so that it’s more attractive to prospective buyers. When it comes to price, be prepared to be flexible. That doesn’t mean you must settle for a price far below your home’s market value. However, you do need to be prepared to accept a good offer rather than try to hold out for a great one. Also be open to as many viewings and open houses as possible. Having many prospective buyers come through your home within a short period of time may be a little inconvenient, but the payoff might be an offer! Finally, work with your REALTOR®. A good REALTOR® will know the local market well and have many ideas for selling your property fast. Looking for a good REALTOR® like that? Call me today.

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 If you’re relaxing on a Caribbean beach, or enjoying a bus tour through historic Paris, the last thing you want to worry about is your home. Most people know the basics of keeping a home secure while away. Here are some additional tips that are easy to miss: • Tell your kids not to boast about your fabulous vacation plans, especially on social media. The fewer who know that the house will be empty, the better. • Ask a neighbour to pick up any mail and flyers dropped at your doorstep. But don’t rely on that alone. Also call the newspaper and post office to temporarily halt delivery. • You can buy timers to automatically turn lights on and off. However, most will stop working if the power goes out and restart with the incorrect time when the power comes back on. That’s why you should keep at least a couple of lights turned on continuously, and not connected to timers. • If you’re leaving in the evening, or before dawn, don’t forget to open the blinds. Closed blinds during the day are a dead giveaway that the owners are away. Finally, experts recommend creating a home security checklist, so you don’t forget anything. That will give you peace-of-mind.

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