With more than a million Canadian homeowners trying to defer payments, many with little success, five mortgage brokers offer insight and advice

 By - Joannah Connolly Glacier Media Real Estate - March 26, 2020



Since the banks announced that homeowners struggling in the COVID-19 pandemic could defer mortgage payments for up to six months, more than a million Canadians are reported to have tried to take up the offer.
 

But with phone lines jammed, and websites unable to process applications that are assessed on a case-by-case basis, many homeowners looking for a deferral or seeking answers have had little success.

Confusion reigns over what makes a homeowner eligible for an emergency deferral, how the program works, whether interest is payable and whether deferring payments will affect credit scores. Unfortunately, with the situation changing on a daily basis, and lenders forced to make up rules as they go, it has been impossible for most people to get any information.

To clear up some of these issues, Glacier Media Real Estate spoke with five mortgage experts who offered their insights and advice on some frequently asked questions.

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You would have to visit your local pharmacy or science lab to rival the number of potentially dangerous chemicals in the average home. You likely store everything from fertilizers to acidic cleaners to gasoline and corrosive drain openers. Obviously, it makes sense to ensure that everyone in your home uses and stores such items safely.


For example, laundry detergent packs – which have become popular recently – are attractive to children. Keep them locked and out of sight. You should do the same with all laundry products. Even exposure to fabric softener pads can cause skin irritation to a child. Always read and follow the labels on household chemical products. Use and store them as directed.


Keep corrosive, such as harsh cleaners and drain openers, separate from other chemicals and in a place where, should they leak, they will cause minimal or no damage. Also never put a chemical in anything other then its original container. You don’t want to take the chance that paint thinner stored in an old water bottle, for example, is mistaken for water!


Finally make sure you have the phone number to your local poison control center in a handy place, such as your fridge door. You can find a list of numbers at www.CAPCC.ca

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"Staging" you home is all about making the space in your home as appealing as possible to buyers. You may already know the basics, such as eliminating clutter. Here are some other tips that are less well known yet very effective:


  • Chandeliers. Surprisingly, these are one of the simplest ways to make a foyer, dining room or living room dramatically more eye-catching. you can buy a good looking chandelier for a few hundred dollars.
  • New linen. This is something many home sellers don't consider, but should. Replace any worn linen - sheets, covering, towels and even oven mitts with new ones. Believe it or not, new linen makes a big impression on buyers.
  • Pedestal sinks. It may not be practical for you to replace a bathroom sink. However, if you are doing a renovation, keep in mind that pedestal sinks - especially in small washrooms - are a big hit with buyers.

  • New appliances. A brand new fridge, stove, and dishwasher are motivating selling features to buyers. That's because new appliances can make the whole kitchen look brand new.

  • Avoid multi-use rooms. Have a spare bedroom that doubles as a home office? That's a turnoff to buyers. Whenever possible, stage each room so that it has a singular purpose. A guest bedroom, for example, should be only that.

Want more tips on how to stage your home so that it attracts buyers? We have more ideas! In fact, every Seller receives a FREE STAGING CONSULT prior to listing their home for sale. Call us at 604-984-7253 to learn more.

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It’s exciting to put a house on the market and to think about making new memories in new spaces, but we can have deep sentimental attachments to the homes we’re leaving behind, too. Growing emotions can help or hinder a sale, depending on how we manage them.

When it comes to the bottom line, homeowners need to know what it takes to avoid costly mistakes. Being mindful of these things and prepared for the process can help you avoid some of the most common mishaps when selling your house.

1. Overpricing Your Home

When inventory is low, like it is in the current market, it’s common to think buyers will pay whatever we ask for when we price our homes. Believe it or not, that’s far from the truth. Don’t forget that the buyer’s bank will send an appraiser to determine the fair value for your home. The bank will not lend more than what the house is worth, so be mindful that you might need to renegotiate the price after the appraisal. A real estate professional will help you to set the true value of your home.


2. Letting Your Emotions Interfere with the Sale

Today, most homeowners have been living in their houses for an average of 10 years. 

This is several years longer than what used to be the norm, since many homeowners have been recouping from negative equity situations over the past 10 years. The side effect, however, is when you live for so long in one place, you may get even more emotionally attached to your space. If it’s the first home you bought after you got married or the house where your children grew up, it very likely means something extra special to you. Every room has memories and it’s hard to detach from the sentimental value.

For some homeowners, that makes it even harder to negotiate, separating the emotional value of the home from the fair market price. That’s why you need a real estate professional to help you with the negotiations in the process.


3. Not Staging Your Home

We’re generally quite proud of our décor and how we’ve customized our houses to make them our own personalized homes, but not all buyers will feel the same way about your design. That’s why it’s so important to make sure you stage your home with the buyer in mind. Buyers want to envision themselves in the space, so it truly feels like their own. They need to see themselves in the space with their furniture and keepsakes – not your pictures and decorations. Stage and declutter your home so they can visualize their own dreams as they walk through your house. A real estate professional can help you with tips to get your home ready to stage and sell.


Bottom Line

Today’s primarily Seller’s market might be your best chance to make a move. If you’re considering selling your house, sit down with a local real estate professional to help you navigate through the process while avoiding common seller mistakes.

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