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    Selling your home…the right way

    by News Canada
    Published: Wed, Mar 1 2006


    (NC)—Selling your home? Whatever your reason, there are some simple strategies that can help you get the most from your sale.

    Marketing your home

    Now that you're ready to sell, start thinking of your property as a product to bring to market.

    Do major work in advance. Ask yourself if there are areas that need substantial work to make it sell quickly and at the best possible price.

    According to the Appraisal Institute of Canada's 2004 Home Renovation Survey, when selling a house, bathroom and kitchen renovations provide the highest possible payback potential (75% to 100% of the renovation costs), while interior and exterior painting can help you recoup between 50% to 100% of the costs.

    You might consider getting a home inspection done as part of your selling strategy. It might set you back about $500, but the inspection can help you spot problems before the inspector of a potential buyer does.

    Make your home appealing. First impressions have a huge impact. When potential buyers are coming to look at your home, you'll want to make it as attractive as possible – inside and out. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

    - Mow the lawn, trim the hedges and keep the yard free of clutter;
    - Clean the windows;
    - Do any minor painting or other touchups that are needed;
    - Make your bathroom and kitchen sparkle, and fix any leaky faucets;
    - Pull back blinds and drapes in the day and turn on the lights in the evening; and
    - Don't cook fish and anything with garlic or onions.

    Take advantage of an agent's expertise

    An agent will be familiar with the real estate values in your area, and can help ensure the greatest number of potential buyers sees your home. Agents are trained and obliged to help you get the best price for your home, and will know the best way to structure negotiations to your advantage.

    Revisit your mortgage needs

    Many of us sell one home to move into another, so before putting your house up for sale, take the time to review your mortgage options. You've probably gained some knowledge of the kind of mortgage you're comfortable with, but you'll also need to consider the cost of the new home, how long you plan on staying there, and the outlook for interest rates. Here are a few options for consideration:

    Bring your mortgage with you.

    Subject to certain conditions (such as the amount of your mortgage), most mortgages are portable — which means that you can take your existing interest rate and mortgage contract to your new home.

    Assumable mortgages.

    With this option, the buyer of your home assumes its mortgage, subject to meeting the financial requirements of your mortgage lender. If you have an attractive mortgage rate, offering an assumable mortgage to prospective buyers can help increase your home's marketability.

    Refinancing.

    If you are considering renegotiating your mortgage, you will need to consider potential costs. If your mortgage is "closed" (that is, you can't pay it off ahead of schedule), you may face a penalty when you renegotiate.

    The key is to determine whether the potential interest-rate savings by refinancing will outweigh the penalty. Your personal banker can help you crunch the numbers.

    Blending your rate.

    Some mortgage lenders also allow you to "blend" your mortgage rate by taking the average of your existing rate and combining it with the mortgage rate on the additional funds you need. Generally, there are no hidden costs when choosing this option.

    Scotiabank wants to help Canadians find the money and become financially better off by finding relevant, practical and insightful solutions to meet their needs for borrowing, saving and investing. For more tools, tips and advice on how to find the money visit findthemoney.scotiabank.com.

    - News Canada



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