TORONTO, December 16, 2011 -- Greater Toronto REALTORS® reported 2,699 transactions through the TorontoMLS® system during the first 14 days of December. This result was 11 per cent above the number of transactions recorded during the same period in 2010. On a year-to-date basis, sales amounted to 87,407 – up 4.3 per cent compared to 2010.
“We have had the second best year on record for transactions under the current Toronto Real Estate Board boundaries. Households have continued to take advantage of affordable home ownership options across the diverse array of housing types available in the Greater Toronto Area,” said TREB President Richard Silver.
The average selling price during the first two weeks of December 2011 was $460,967 – up six per cent in comparison to December 2010.
“Strong average price growth, driven by seller’s market conditions, has been largely mitigated by the continuation of very low borrowing costs this year. The share of average household income going toward mortgage principal and interest has increased only marginally and remains in line with accepted mortgage lending standards,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Senior Manager of Market Analysis.
Prepping and staging a house. Every seller wants her home to sell fast and bring top dollar. Does that sound good to you? Well, it's not luck that makes that happen. It's careful planning and knowing how to professionally spruce up your home that will send home buyers scurrying for their checkbooks. Here is how to prep a house and turn it into an irresistible and marketable home.
1.Disassociate Yourself With Your Home.
•Say to yourself, "This is not my home; it is a house -- a product to be sold much like a box of cereal on the grocery store shelf.
•Make the mental decision to "let go" of your emotions and focus on the fact that soon this house will no longer be yours.
•Picture yourself handing over the keys and envelopes containing appliance warranties to the new owners!
•Say goodbye to every room.
•Don't look backwards -- look toward the future.
Pack up those personal photographs and family heirlooms.
People collect an amazing quantity of junk. Consider this: if you haven't used it in over a year, you probably don't need it.
• Remove all books from bookcases.
• Pack up those knickknacks.
• Clean off everything on kitchen counters.
4.Rearrange Bedroom Closets and Kitchen Cabinets.
Buyers love to snoop and will open closet and cabinet doors. Think of the message it sends if items fall out! Now imagine what a buyer believes about you if she sees everything organized. It says you probably take good care of the rest of the house as well. This means:
5.Rent a Storage Unit.
Almost every home shows better with less furniture. Remove pieces of furniture that block or hamper paths and walkways and put them in storage.
6.Remove/Replace Favorite Items.
If you want to take window coverings, built-in appliances or fixtures with you, remove them now.
7.Make Minor Repairs.
•Replace cracked floor or counter tiles.
• Patch holes in walls.
•Fix leaky faucets.
•Fix doors that don't close properly and kitchen drawers that jam.
•Consider painting your walls neutral colors, especially if you have grown accustomed to purple or pink walls.
(Don't give buyers any reason to remember your home as "the house with the orange bathroom.")
•Replace burned-out light bulbs.
8.Make the House Sparkle!
•Wash windows inside and out.
•Go outside and open your front door. Stand there. Do you want to go inside? Does the house welcome you?
10.Check Curb Appeal.
If a buyer won't get out of her agent's car because she doesn't like the exterior of your home, you'll never get her inside.
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*2 teaspoons plus 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
*3 ounces feta
*1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
*Coarse salt and ground pepper
*1 small English cucumber, thinly sliced crosswise
Preheat oven or toaster oven to 450 degrees. Split baguette lengthwise and lightly brush cut sides with 2 teaspoons olive oil. Bake until golden around edges, 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mash together feta, 4 teaspoons oil, and lemon juice with a fork. Season with salt and pepper. Spread feta mixture evenly over toasted baguette and top with cucumber.
Season with salt, pepper, lemon juice, and a drizzle of oil. Cut into pieces to serve.