September 2014 Absorption Rate Graphs

September 2014 – Absorption Rate Graph September 2014 - Detailed Absorption Rate Graph

September 2014 - Absorption Rate Graph

Preparing your home for winter!

Give your home a once-over and tend to winter preparation tasks and repairs before the year’s first frost. “Getting the exterior of the home ready for the cold winds, snow and ice is critical for keeping Old Man Winter out and keeping it warm and toasty inside,” says Reggie Marston, president of Residential Equity Management Home Inspections in Springfield, VA. By being proactive, you’ll lower your energy bills, increase the efficiency and lifespan of your home’s components, and make your property safer.

Windows and Doors

  • Check all the weatherstripping around windows and doorframes for leaks to prevent heat loss. Replace weatherstripping, if necessary.
  • Replace all screen doors with storm doors.
  • Examine wooden window frames for signs of rot or decay. Repair or replace framing to maintain structural integrity.
  • Check for drafts around windows and doors. Caulk inside and out, where necessary, to keep heat from escaping.
  • Inspect windows for cracks, broken glass, or gaps. Repair or replace, if needed.


Lawn, Garden, and Deck

  • Trim overgrown branches back from the house and electrical wires to prevent iced-over or wind-swept branches from causing property damage or a power problem.
  • Aerate the lawn, reseed, and apply a winterizing fertilizer to promote deep-root growth come spring.
  • Ensure rain or snow drains away from the house to avoid foundation problems. The dirt grade — around the exterior of your home — should slope away from the house. Add extra dirt to low areas, as necessary.
  • Clean and dry patio furniture. Cover with a heavy tarp or store inside a shed or garage to protect it from the elements.
  • Clean soil from planters. Bring pots made of clay or other fragile materials indoors. Because terra cotta pots can swell and crack, lay them on their sides in a wood carton.
  • Dig up flower bulbs, brush off soil, and label. Store bulbs in a bag or box with peat moss in a cool, dry place for spring replanting.
  • Remove any attached hoses and store them away for the winter to prevent cracks, preserve their shapes, and prolong their life. Wrap outside faucets with covers to prevent water damage.
  • Shut off exterior faucets. Drain water from outdoor pipes, valves, and sprinkler heads to protect against pipe bursts.
  • Inspect decks for splintering, decay, or insect damage and treat, if needed, to prevent further deterioration over the winter.
  • Clean leaves, dirt, and pine needles between the boards of wooden decks to thwart mold and mildew growth.
  • Inspect outdoor lighting around the property. Good illumination will help minimize the chance of accidents on icy walkways at night.
  • Check handrails on exterior stairs to make sure they’re well secured.


Tools and Machinery

  • Bring all seasonal tools inside and spray them with a coating of lightweight oil to prevent rust.
  • Weatherize your lawn mower by cleaning off mud, leaves, grass, and debris.
  • Move your snow blower and shovels to the front of the garage or shed for easy access.
  • Prepare the snow blower for the first snowfall by changing the oil and replacing the spark plug.
  • Sharpen ice chopper and inspect snow shovels to make sure they’re ready for another season of work.
  • Make sure you have an ample supply of ice melt or sand on hand for steps, walkways, and the driveway.


Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning

  • Inspect the firebox and flue system to ensure that they’re clean of any soot or creosote and that there aren’t any cracks or voids that could cause a fire hazard.
  • Check fireplace for drafts. If it’s cold despite the damper being closed, the damper itself may be warped, worn, or rusted. Consider installing a Chimney Balloon into the flue to air seal the area tightly.
  • Clean or replace the air filter in your furnace for maximum efficiency and improved indoor air quality.
  • Clean your whole house humidifier and replace the evaporator pad.
  • Bleed valves on any hot-water radiators to increase heating efficiency by releasing air that may be trapped inside.
  • Check that smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are in working order.
  • Remove air conditioners from windows or cover them with insulated liners, to prevent drafts.
  • If you have an older thermostat, replace it with a programmable unit to save on heating costs.
  • Install foam-insulating sheets behind outlets and switch plates on exterior walls to reduce outside airflow.
  • Make sure fans are switched to the reverse or clockwise position, which will blow warm air down to the floor for enhanced energy efficiency and comfort.
  • Flush a hot water heater tank to remove sediment, and check the pressure relief valve to make sure it’s in proper working order.
  • Examine exposed ducts in the attic, basement, and crawl spaces, and use a sealant to plug up any leaks.


Gutters, Roof, and Drains

  • Check for missing, damaged or warped shingles and replace, as necessary before you get stuck with a leak.
  • Check for deteriorated flashing at the chimney, walls, and skylights and around vent pipes. Seal joints where water could penetrate, using roofing cement and a caulking gun.
  • Check the gutters and downspouts for proper fastening, and re-secure if loose or sagging. The weight of snow and ice can pull gutters off the house.
  • Clean gutters of any debris. Make sure downspouts extend away from the house by at least 5 feet to prevent flooding of the foundation and water damage from snowmelt.
  • Clean leaves and debris from courtyard and pool storm drains to prevent blockages.
  • Ensure all vents and openings are covered to prevent insects, birds, and rodents from getting inside to nest in a warm place.

Done? Congratulations!  You’re officially ready for winter.

Original Source:


Halloween Invite Haunted House2Come join us at 132 Hidden Ranch Hill NW on Halloween night between 5:30-10:00pm and get your pants scared right off of ‘ya! Donations are strongly encouraged, as all proceeds will be going towards the Alberta Children’s Hospital! Bring your entire family and lets, together, give them a Halloween they’ll never forget!

A Palatable Palette

Few things have a greater impact on the atmosphere of a room than the color of its walls – maybe that’s why picking paint can feel so daunting. But with the help of these tips, you’ll be able to pick your paint colors with more confidence and get results you can happily live with for longer.


  • First – or perhaps it’s more appropriate to say last – don’t choose your wall color until you’ve decided on the other, more permanent elements of your decor, like your flooring and furniture; unlike these elements, paint is relatively inexpensive and easy to change. It’s must easier to match your paint to your carpeting and upholstery than the reverse, as paint is available in literally any shade and your local paint or home improvement store offers custom color-mixing – just bring in a sample, like a fabric swatch, for them to match.
  • Familiarize yourself with the color wheel. It’s a very useful tool that’ll help you understand concepts like warm and cool, active and passive colors, complementary colors, located opposite each other on the wheel, which really make one another pop when used together due to their high contrast, and analogous colors, located next to each other, which share a hue and combine to a more harmonious effect. When you understand the wheel’s fundamental concepts, you’re better equipped to pick color schemes that achieve the look and feel you’re after.
  • Ask yourself some questions about what you need the room to do and be. Want that small and/or dark room to feel bigger and/or brighter? Stick to light, bright shades. Wish that big, open-concept space felt more cozy? Opt for darker shades. Will your bedroom be a relaxing retreat or a place of passion? This is where your color wheel really comes in handy – passive or cool hues like blue and green have a soothing effect, while active or warm hues like red and pink have an invigorating effect.
  • Paint chips may be gree, but it’s well worth the few bucks it costs to buy actual paint samples you can try on for size. If you don’t want to apply them directly to walls, you can always paint over some white poster board and tape it to your wall; this may be preferable as white backgrounds give the truest color rendition. Just be sure you apply your samples or hang your poster board on the very wall(s) you’ll be painting, which leads us to our next and last point….
  • Consider the effect different types and levels of light will have on your paint choices. Check out your samples in morning, afternoon, evening and night light; cooler, paler hues, for example, won’t produce as much glare when exposed to lots of sunlight. Move your samples around as necessary (another advantage of using poster board) to see how the color looks under natural light, which shows color at it’s most true; traditional incandescent light, which casts a warm, yellowish pall; and fluorescent light, which casts a cool, bluish tint.


10 Ways to Get Your House in Tip Top Shape Prior to Selling It!

…and maximize the most income!

Many people want to know what the secret is to getting the most out of their real estate and to appeal to the consumers looking for real estate today. This report will guide you through doing many of those things that will help you get the most money when selling your property:

  1. Paint the interior: Most buyers appreciate a good fresh coat of paint and this will help enhance your properties value. It will also help brighten your house, giving it a new, clean appearance. Stay away from bold, dark and bright colours and focus more on the lighter and softer, earth tone, shades. This will also help make the rooms feel larger and appeal to a broader demographic.
  2. Paint the outside: Curb appeal is important! Of course, depending on the time of the year and the weather conditions. As noted above, stick to lighter neutral colours and stay away from bright colours that people might not like.
  3. Pick up any outside debris, trash or clutter: First impressions make a huge impact on potential buyers. Should your property have unwanted clutter at the initial greeting point, it will not help the marketing and selling of your home. A few hard hours of raking, cleaning and picking up odds-and-ends could add money to your pocket!
  4. Reduce extras and odds and ends from your home: Rooms with too much furniture or decorations can often detract from the showing of your home. Usually too much decor can make the rooms look smaller and may hurt your chances of selling your home. Store unneeded furniture or items that you can do without during the marketing stage of your property listing. Your goal is to make your property look spacious and comfortable. Buyers also want to see rooms that appear and look spacious to them.
  5. Be sure to open blinds and draperies: This is a great idea to help aid the salesperson to sell your home. When your property is in tip top shape and ready to show, having as much light as possible helps brighten your home and gives it a welcoming feel.
  6. Avoid playing music: Although you may like the music playing in the background, it can be a deterrent to the agent and buyers while looking at your home. Keep music off while your home is being shown.
  7. Price your property right from the beginning: Many buyers take the approach and attitude that they can always come down on price. This can be a bad thing to do. Many buyers feel if a home has been listed for a long time that there is something wrong with it. Most agents will tell you that the best activity occurs during the first two to three weeks of the listing begin date. After a few weeks the activity will begin to taper off and showings will decrease, If your home is priced incorrectly from the beginning it will not get a lot of showings and the longer your home is on the market, the more buyers will feel that it’s tainted. Price your home right at the beginning to help get the most activity and a quicker sale. Win-win.
  8. Have your carpets cleaned: It is a good idea to have your carpets cleaned or your hardwood floors polished/waxed. This is normally not too expensive and can usually add a lot of appeal to potential buyers.
  9. Hire a staging company: If possible, hire a staging company to help show you ways to maximize room appeal and value to your residence. Robyn Moser and Associates works with Designing First Impressions with all listings, at no cost to the client.
  10. Purchase new linens and towels for bathrooms: This can help aid in giving a new appearance to your home.

Happier Home Decor

Happier Home Decor

Have a happy New Year! No, really – make 2014, and the years to follow, more happy and less stressful for you (and other members of your household) by resolving to make some changes for the better where your home’s interior is concerned.

    • Get a better night’s sleep. Do you have a TV or computer in your bedroom? If so, it needs to go – screens and sleep don’t mix. What about exercise equipment? The bedroom is no place for that either. The only things that should be in your bedroom are those that contribute to an atmosphere of serenity. Outfit your bedroom windows with light-blocking drapes; ditch the synthetic sheets (which are chemically treated) in favor of a set that’s made with natural fibers; and introduce a good air purifier into your bedroom.
    • Lighten up. Blackout curtains are great for sleeping, but darkness during the day often makes us feel lethargic and depressed. Natural light is the cure for a gloomy mood, so open your window treatments during the day to let in the light and the sun. The yellow dullness of regular incandescent and fluorescents light bulbs makes for a dreary interior and can contribute to low-grade stress; adding even one full-spectrum light bulb to a room can really brighten it up. Used in the treatment of seasonal affective disorder, full-spectrum bulbs mimic natural light.
    • Clear away the clutter. In addition to posing some practical problems, such as making it more difficult to quickly find what you’re looking for and (in extreme cases) to navigate through your home, clutter has been associated with a host of negative psychological effects. Stress is the most obvious, but living in a cluttered environment can also engender feelings of lethargy, shame, hopelessness, and loss of control over one’s life (effects that can be felt by anyone in the home). As well, it can have a negative impact on one’s social life.
    • Create an in-home retreat. How about a spa-inspired bathroom in which you can rejuvenate? Think raindrop showerheads; accessories that can turn your regular bathtub into a whirlpool; towel warmers; heated flooring; super-soft, high-quality towels; plants; aromatherapy candles; and music. Or perhaps you’d like a sumptuous bedroom sanctuary where you can relax? Comfort is king (-size): upgrade your bed and pillows (most people are sleeping on ones that are well past their prime); introduce bedroom furniture for lounging; and incorporate luxurious, textured fabrics and mood lighting.
  • Harness the power of paint. Neutral walls are ideal for when you’ve decided to sell your home, but while you’re still living in it, why not use color to help shape your mood? Active hues – reds, oranges, and yellows – are energizing and cheering, making them ideal for social spaces such as kitchens and living and dining rooms, as well as for exercise rooms and home offices. Passive hues – blues, greens, and purples – have a calming, relaxing effect (particularly when soft shades are used), making them perfectly suited for bedrooms and bathrooms.

Why a housing bubble is good (but maybe bad for you)

Boom and bust cycle of real estate leads to winners and losers over long term

When real estate bubbles pop, those who bought into the euphoria too late are often the first to feel the pain. (Bloomberg)

When real estate bubbles pop, those who bought into the euphoria too late are often the first to feel the pain. (Bloomberg)

Rule No. 1: A property bubble isn’t a bubble till it pops. Whether it’s Shanghai, London, or Toronto, until the final blow-up, it’s just a rising market driven by rising demand.

Just ask the people who sell real estate. They will tell you we are nowhere near a bubble. And lately we’ve seen a number of opinion pieces by what you might call “bubble scoffers,” who are reacting to the loose use of the term that ascribes bubble characteristics to everything from bitcoins to stocks to the boom in technology start-ups.

My own prescription to prevent a bubble, a wider sense of caution, which I offered more than a year ago, still stands.

But as 2013 comes to an end, rather than join either the chorus of warnings or those of reassurance, I thought that in the spirit of the season, I would take a different stance altogether. I would like to look on the bright side. Certainly, we need some optimism.


Reason for hope

We’ve had another year of foreboding on global property prices from very respectable sources. New homes in big Chinese cities are up another 20 per cent despite attempts by the government to cool the market. In London, prices are rising at six times the rate of inflation.

Even Mark Carney, the Canadian-born head of the Bank of England, can’t keep a lid on it. Canada comes in for special treatment. The latest of the doomsayers, Deutsche Bank, said in a Scrooge-like pre-Christmas superlative that Canadian property was the most overvalued on the planet — some 60 per cent above what it should be. Just in November it was the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development — the rich countries think tank — that singled out Canada’s property market for a potential “disorderly correction.”

Economist Jean-Paul Rodrigue came up with this visualization for how most asset bubbles proceed. (Courtesy Jean-Paul Rodrigue)

Economist Jean-Paul Rodrigue came up with this visualization for how most asset bubbles proceed. (Courtesy Jean-Paul Rodrigue)

Economist Jean-Paul Rodrigue came up with this visualization for how most asset bubbles proceed. (Courtesy Jean-Paul Rodrigue)

That sounds worrying, but it’s actually a euphemism for something even uglier. Instead of dwelling on how much many of us — and me in particular — would lose if we had a 60 per cent correction in the Canadian property market, I thought it best to don my rose-coloured glasses and borrow from the subtitle of one of my favourite movies, Dr. Strangelove.

The theme for this holiday season bedtime story is: “Why I learned to stop worrying and love the property bubble.” Occasionally in economics, a rising tide raises all boats. But often it’s a lot more choppy. There are winners and losers.

‘Occasionally in economics, a rising tide raises all boats. But often it’s a lot more choppy. There are winners and losers.’- Don Pittis

To the economist, observing economic cycles is like the kid gazing at waves rolling in on a beach and thinking about the forces causing their repetition and patterns. The stock trader is like the other kid on the beach who thinks she has it figured out, wades in and keeps getting her good shoes wet.

So long as you don’t care about the exact moment of a peak or trough, watching economic cycles can teach you many useful things. One of the things they tell you is that the supply of new houses created by the economy does not grow in exact proportion to the growing number of households.

Peaks and valleys

Sometimes, the peaks of ocean waves are well above sea level. Sometimes the troughs are well below. The same things happen with the supply of houses. What causes the peaks and troughs in house construction is sometimes mysterious. But as someone old enough to have watched many little waves and at least three big ones, it is interesting how at the end of every big cycle, there is a glut of houses.

I remember the end of the “townhouse” boom as a kid. Townhouses went cheap and construction projects stalled unfinished. I remember two houses in Toronto’s now-pricey South Kingsway neighbourhood standing uncompleted for years afterwards.

These booms followed by busts are not a uniquely Canadian phenomenon. Pictures of luxury houses surrounded by weeds are a symbol of the end of the U.S. boom in 2008. More recently, property busts hit Ireland and Spain. The subject has been well studied. As this report from the European Central Bank shows, just about every industrialized economy goes through the cycle.

As the report also shows, while Germany gets credit for low rents and a stable property market since 2008, it is no coincidence that as of 2007, the country had just gone through a seven-year property bust. Because that’s what happens after an excessive boom.


Actor Slim Pickens found some positives when the bomb went off in the iconic 1964 movie Dr. Strangelove. (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)

Actor Slim Pickens found some positives when the bomb went off in the iconic 1964 movie Dr. Strangelove. (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)

As the famous graph from Canadian economic geographer Jean-Paul Rodrigue shows, after a bubble pops, valuations plunge with demand to a level well below the average expected price levels. We have seen the same thing in oil, natural gas, gold, potash.

High prices push up production, followed by a point when too much is being produced and prices fall. In the housing market, where the construction cycle of a single building can take at least two years and the product lasts decades, it is not so easy to turn off the tap. Market economists often complain that rent and price controls distort the market for property because under pricing fails to instruct the market to produce enough.

But the factors the ECB blames for inciting a boom — “including short-term interest rates, local and global money and credit developments, and the incidence of mortgage market deregulation” — can also distort a market the other way, producing too much.

And this, finally, is the good thing about a property bubble. While you may suffer personally when the price of your house falls, and while the wider economy may suffer a contraction when homeowners suddenly feel poor, the greater Canadian economy will benefit.

Here’s why: During bubbles, a country grows its housing stock, over-investing in the construction of new properties so that the supply is more than sufficient, allowing prices to fall relative to income. At the end of a bubble, finally and for quite a while afterwards, there is enough to go round.

Reason for optimism

As the ECB report says, “there has been a strong correlation between the persistence and magnitude of booms and of subsequent busts.” And that’s why, when I take a long view through my rose-coloured glasses, I feel good when I see signs for new luxury homes and condos. That’s why there should be no restriction on building them.

Luxury homes are well made and made to last. Just like the bedraggled mansions in older parts of town I remember as I was growing up, luxury housing may not stay luxurious forever, but it contributes valuable housing stock during the downward part of the cycle.

What Canada is experiencing now may or may not be a bubble. Today, I promised to be agnostic on that point. If this is not a bubble, then we are producing just the right amount of housing to supply our needs and we can keep on doing that forever. Prices in the new paradigm will stay at the current permanently high plateau.

If it is a bubble, unfortunately for those who want to buy low and sell high, we have no idea how long it might last. Remember rule No. 1. But if you do hear the pop, think of it as a champagne cork celebrating a new era of property stability.

All the best for 2014.

To learn more about the Chinese Property Bubble, Click here. 


Live Life Generously —


Some people are aware of our Christmas tradition of giving away cards filled with large amounts of money with nothing more than the words of “Live life generously”. The rules are simple;

  1. Give it to someone you don’t know
  2. You must give it and walk away and not wait for them to open it
  3. Give no way for the person to know who you were
  4. Give it to someone who was genuinely kind to you.

Here are our 2013 stories:

On Christmas Eve day, Lindsay went to a local Mac`s to get ice (holiday drinks and all…) – and while she was hunting down the ice, she noticed that many people were buying last minute gift cards at the front check-out. Although overly stressed, which isn’t an excuse, these individuals were not acting at all pleasant, and she didn’t hear one of them say thank-you or “Happy Holidays”. It turns out, this Macs convenience store didn’t have ice, but after hanging out for a bit, and seeing how the cashier was being treated, she stood in line, and when it was her time she handed the cashier the card and said “I just wanted to wish you a Merry Christmas”, and walked out of the store, without purchasing anything!

During a matinee at Cross Iron Mills mall Robyn was walking out and noticed that there was an employee holding the garbage waiting to clean the theatre after the movie was finished. Everyone was walking out,  not even acknowledging his existence. One man even missed the garbage and just kept walking. The young man bent down quietly and placed the garbage where it properly belonged. Being close to the back of the line Robyn noticed how many people walked past him not appreciating the job he was doing, for close to minimum wage. Robyn felt he was a good recipient because he is one of those invisible workers that we can so easily take for granted. Thank you to the young man who cleaned up the movie theatre after us.

Jemmie was at the dollar store by Westbrook Mall picking up some last minute gift wrap when she noticed a young lady trying to change out soiled mats. While trying to change them, numerous customers continued to step on them as she continued to politely say “excuse me”. Jemmie chose her because she handled herself so well as so many people rushed about their day, not noticing that she was working on Christmas Eve doing a job they so much take for granted, like clean mats to wipe their shoes on. She realized that this kind of event was not isolated to Christmas Eve but this most likely happens to her many days out of the year. Thank you for allowing us to have clean mats!

On December 26th Crystal stopped by Chinook mall to check out all the Boxing Day fuss. She popped by later in the day because she didn’t want to be trampled by unruly shoppers pushing their way to get that store bought present they didn’t receive on Christmas day.  With the mall closing in less than an hour but still packed with shoppers,  it was definitely a long day for all the store staff who were exhausted from the hustle and bustle of Boxing Day. As Crystal was walking by, she noticed a cheerful cleaning lady in the food court.  She was cleaning garbage off of almost every table in the place;  without her, the food court would have been a disaster! She looked so pleasant as she smiled and said “Merry Christmas” to all the people passing by.  Her happiness made Crystal happy.  It brought her to remember what Christmas was all about when she was a kid. Those days around Christmas that where spent with family doing nothing more than enjoying each other’s company.  Crystal walked up to her as she was busy working away, wished her a Merry Christmas and handed her the card.  She then left the mall with nothing but a huge smile on our face.

2013 – Robyn Moser & Associates Christmas Display Contest – WINNERS

The neighbourhoods of Hidden Valley & Hanson Ranch sure did impress us last night. The pure amount of lights was astonishing, and the displays, cannot be described with any word in the English language – they were THAT impressive.

Outside – 11130 Hidden Valley Drive NW – Video of the outside of the winners house!

Thank you SO much to our THREE judges: Sean Chu (Councillor of Ward 4), Erin Wilde (Mid-Day Host @ Kool 101.5) & Jordan Gooden (Celebrity Photojournalist) – for providing us with some entertainment, along with great judging standards. We had a blast!

We had FIFTEEN houses that got a score of 15/30 or higher! Better than any other year! Here is a list of the top 15 houses in Hidden Valley/Hanson Ranch for 2013:

2013 Robyn Moser & Associates Christmas Display Contest Winner - 1st Place Winner

2013 Robyn Moser & Associates Christmas Display Contest Winner – 1st Place Winner

  1. 11130 Hidden Valley Drive NW 30/30 (The winner was chosen by the judges when we realized we had a tie! Stiff competition!)
  2. 2938 Hidden Ranch Way NW 30/30 
  3. 79 Hidden Valley Park NW 29/30
  4. 54 Hidden Ranch Boulevard 28.5/30
  5. 16 Hidden Vale Crescent NW 27/30
  6. 207 Hidden Vale Place NW/133 Hidden Cove NW/50 Hidden Springs Green 24/30
  7. 67 Hidden Park NW 21.5/30
  8. 111 Hidden Vale Close/83 Hidden Hills Road 21/30
  9. 21 Hidden Circle NW 20.5/30
  10. 103 Hidden Vale Crescent NW/87 Hidden Hills Road 20/30
  11. 10205 Hidden Valley Drive NW 19.5/30
  12. 256 Hidden Circle NW/316 Hidden Hills Place NW 18/30
  13. 50 Hidden Springs Green NW/116 Hidden Ranch Road NW/428 Hidden Valley Grove NW 17.5/30
  14. 6 Hidden Ridge Place NW 17/30
  15. 108 Hidden Ranch Close NW 15/30

We have TWO honourable mentions this year – The ridge of Hidden Cove & Hidden Circle – for decorating their back fences that look over the school yard! Also, Hidden Ridge Close & Hidden Ridge Place for bring such holiday spirit to their community!

11130 Hidden Valley Drive NW – Video of the cheque presentation to the winner!

We were on CTV: Check it out here –

Robyn Moser on CTV News Calgary

Robyn Moser on CTV News Calgary


Thing’s to Avoid While Selling Your Home During the Holidays

We know that potential buyers can be put off by a home that has too many personal items or clutter. So while trying to manage the Christmas decorations, sellers should also remove items that remind buyers that the home belongs to someone else. A top ten list of things to avoid when selling a home during the holiday season is here! Enjoy.

  1. Too many lights: A home will dazzle more if lights are kept to a tasteful minimum. Sellers should opt for white lights instead of multi-coloured flashing bulbs to provide a more neutral glow to a home.
  2. Forgetting to clear the snow:  Snow can look beautiful on trees, but driveways and walkways should be cleared as soon as the flakes fall.  Buyers should be able to move freely during an open house so it’s important to remember all the outdoor paths and patios around your home. Plus, it’s dangerous if it isn’t cleared!
  3. No life or landscape: Give buyers a chance to imagine the potential in your landscape. Frost-resistant plants like flowering kale or miniature trees allow sellers to liven up walkways without taking away the buyer’s ability to envision his or her dream outdoor spaces.
  4. Not cozy: Everyone appreciates a warm, cozy home – especially in the winter. Set the thermostat at a warm temperature for the whole day, and be mindful that some thermostats have low temperature pre-sets during the day when no one is at home. When the home is attended, fireplaces and candles could also be lit to create a comfortable environment throughout the day.
  5. Engage the senses: Simmering a pot of cider with cinnamon during open houses or showings will create a warm and festive feeling. Apple cinnamon Glade plug-ins are always popular too!
  6. Lingering odours: Be aware of those holiday dishes that may leave a strong odour. If possible, wait until showings are completed before cooking those traditional favorites — potential buyers will appreciate a neutral environment.
  7. Hiding a home’s seasonal bests: Photos of the home’s back and front yards, gardens and patios in spring and summer will show potential buyers what the house looks like when it is not buried under snow and when the leaves are still on trees. Leave these out for the potential buyers to browse.
  8. Don’t let the tree take over: A smaller Christmas tree, with minimal decorations, will create the appearance of more space. A huge tree, on the other hand, will make the room look smaller, and busy decorations can intensify clutter – turning off a potential buyer.
  9. Presents should not be present: It is important to cut back on clutter when showing a home; hide the wrapped presents to keep them out of eyesight. This is also a safety thing for you and your family.
  10. Too many decorations: Remember, when selling a home during the holidays, less is always more. Whimsical ornaments can be great accents during the holidays, but be mindful not to go overboard. When it doubt, remove it!