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Blog › January 2015

Home Staging Worth the Money, Effort? Yes.

Nearly every home seller hopes to get their property sold quickly and at top dollar.

Staging may be just the thing to help in that quest, according to the National Association of REALTORS’® 2017 Profile of Home Staging (

Using things like furniture, color, lighting, and accent pieces, professional stagers transform for-sale homes from ho-hum to oh-ah and work to make a property appeal to the largest number of prospective buyers

And their work has an impact: 39 percent of sellers’ agents said that staging a home greatly decreases the amount of time the home is on the market, according to NAR’s report.

Here are some of the report’s key findings:


Additional findings include:

  • The most commonly staged spaces include the living room (83 percent), kitchen (76 percent), master bedroom (69 percent), and dining room (66 percent).

  • Staging the living room was found to be most important to buyers (55 percent), followed by staging the master bedroom (51%), and the kitchen (41 percent).

  • Seventy-seven percent of buyers’ agents said staging a home made it easier for buyers to visualize a property as a future home.



Retirement as stress source

Here’s an odd bit of news. Despite the fact that people look forward to it, plan for it for their whole lives, and have fantasies about how great it’s going to be, retirement actually is a pretty stressful event.

Check out the Holmes- Rahe Stress Inventory at the American Institute of Stress ( and the mean value placed on retirement from work.

Retirement is one of life’s top ten stressors.

Some of the others include the death of a spouse, divorce, being fired and a major personal injury or illness.


Real estate outlook

When you’re weighing real estate values and considering the health of a potential retirement venue, it’s normal to look at the traditional consumer-oriented publications and measures.

But a bird’s-eye view of the market and a peek at what professionals and investment experts consider actually can yield some interesting insight too.  

Emerging Trends in Real Estate®, Canada and United States 2015 is one resource that provides such information. The report is produced by Urban Land Institute and PwC.

 Some of the report’s key takeaway –not just housing information, but also development and social trends --for you includes:

 Urban lifestyle. Driven by work and lifestyle choices, people are flooding into city centres and they’re adapting to less space.

 Urbanization. Urbanization has become one of the key forces shaping Canada’s real estate markets. Once viewed as an emerging trend, urbanization today is simply the “new normal.”

 Young workers. Younger workers in particular—though not exclusively—continue to flock to the urban core, preferring to work where they live, rather than take on long commutes. This continuing urbanization trend has fueled the condo boom in Toronto and other cities.

 Affordability. One concern is whether young families will be able to afford single-family homes at all. If baby boomers opt to stay in their homes rather than sell them, the market for detached single-family homes will only tighten. As the supply of lots available for new detached single-family homes dwindles, prices will only continue to rise—beyond the reach of ever more Canadians. There may be an increase in the number of multigenerational homes in the years to come as a result.

 Buoyant housing market: The housing market remains largely buoyant and housing prices remain high.Buyers are using existing home equity to move up into pricier homes and parents are helping their children get into the property market.

 Calgary’s health.Calgary is the strongest market in the country and Edmonton has seen development in the urban core and the addition of 31,000 jobs in the past year.

For more, see and



Declutter, prepare your house for spring selling season

January is the month when talk turns to resolutions, and magazines and newspapers give readers tips and resources.

So here it is.

Decluttering the home often ranks right up there with diets and health on New Year’s resolutions lists.

This online resource ( can help you in your quest for that Zen living environment.

The site offers that classic approach of setting a timer and suggesting that you deal with stuff in a given space for a set amount of time.

Somehow its methods do the trick for some chronically disorganized folks.

For one, the site provides a calendar of daily to-dos and how-tos for the year.

So, for instance, during January there’s a mission each week—kitchen counters,

kitchen cabinets and drawers, pantry, and refrigerator and freezer.


Each day of the week is devoted to an activity associated with that mission, whether that entails purging the junk drawer or making an inventory of the freezer and pantry.


If your kitchen spaces are in good shape, you can skip ahead to other months and find help with dealing with dining rooms, bedrooms and paper clutter.


Especially if you’re preparing your house for sale this spring or later in the year, this daily decluttering strategy will get your spaces in shape slowly and steadily and without panic.

You can sign up to get weekly reminders or join the Declutter 365 Facebook Group for daily reminders; you can find tips on specific problem areas –the dresser, the nightstand or the bathroom counter; and  you can print out monthly calendars, as well as checklists, inventory sheets and password organizzer forms.