30 Nov

Strong Q3 Growth in Canada – November 30 2021

Latest News

Posted by: Matthew J. Charlton

NOVEMBER 30 2021

Canadian Economy Bounced Back Sharply In Q3

In line with the Bank of Canada’s forecast, the economy rebounded sharply in the third quarter following the weak performance in Q2. Stats Canada announced this morning that GDP grew by a whopping 5.4% in Q3 following the downwardly revised 3.2% earlier in Q2. As pandemic restrictions phased out and businesses resumed normal operations, consumer spending accelerated, growing at a 17.9% annual rate. Expenditures on clothing (+26.8%) and footwear (+30.3%) surpassed pre-pandemic spending. Expenditures on services rose 27.8%, led by a jump in accommodation and food services sales. Transport services (+40.3%), recreation and culture services (+26.1%), food, beverages and accommodation services (+29.0%), and personal grooming services (+35.8%) all showed significant increases.

Exports rebounded after a sharp decline in Q2. Business investment barely changed, hampered by supply chain disruptions.

Consumers remained flush with cash as incomes grew, boosted by wage gains and government transfer payments. The household saving rate fell from 14.0% in the second quarter to 11.0% in the third quarter, still strong from a historical perspective. Although spending surpassed income this quarter, this was the sixth consecutive quarter with a double-digit savings rate. The rate also remained higher than in the pre-pandemic period. The household savings rate is aggregated across all income brackets. In general, savings rates rise with income.

Housing Investment Declines

After four consecutive quarters of solid growth, new construction and renovations fell in the third quarter. The 5.2% (not annualized) drop in new construction was the most significant drop since the second quarter of 2009. The decrease in investments for the new construction of detached and multiple-unit dwellings was substantial, especially in Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island. Nationally, there were $96.3 billion additions to the stock of homes in the third quarter.

Housing investment in new construction and renovations

Ownership transfer costs (-10.0%) fell for the second consecutive quarter as activity in the resale market slowed. The decrease was widespread, and only Newfoundland and Labrador and Yukon posted increased ownership transfer costs.

The remarkable accumulation of residential mortgage liabilities in the previous quarter continued, with households adding $38 billion in the third quarter, more than double that two years earlier.

Bottom Line

Today’s release is, in some respects, ‘ancient history.’ Monthly GDP by industry data released this morning for September showed a modest uptick of 0.1%. And preliminary information indicates that real GDP rebounded in October, up 0.8% with increases in most sectors. Manufacturing led the growth after contracting in September due in part to the effects of the semiconductor shortage. Other notable increases were in the public sector, construction, finance and insurance, and transportation and warehousing.

All in, GDP in Canada is still below its pre-pandemic level. And uncertainty has increased with the announcement of the new Omicron variant. Traders are betting that the Bank of Canada will begin hiking the key overnight rate by April of next year and markets are currently pricing in five rate hikes in the next 12 months. Inflation remains a troubling concern, and Fed Chairman Jay Powell said today in testimony before Congress that he would accelerate his plan to taper all bond purchasing. In addition, according to Bloomberg News, “Powell also told a Senate banking committee that it’s time to stop using the word “transitory” to describe inflation”.

Please note: The source of this article is from Sherry Cooper


Sign up to receive monthly Home, Lifestyle & Mortgage News here.

<Back to Blog

17 Nov

Canadian Inflation Hits 18-Year High – November 17 2021

Latest News

Posted by: Matthew J. Charlton

NOVEMBER 17 2021

Inflation Surge Is No Need For Hysteria

StatsCanada today reported that consumer price inflation rose to 4.7% from year-ago levels in October, compared to 4.4% in September. This is in line with market expectations and is well below the US’s 6.2% pace reported for the same period. Inflation is rising all over the world, the direct result of extreme weather events and supply chain chaos generated the creaky reopening of economies around the world. With pent-up demand surging, delays in production and transportation have led to price hikes in many sectors. Extreme weather conditions have exacerbated these price pressures, driving up food, energy and other commodity prices. The pandemic and climate change are unprecedented exogenous forces and should not be compared to the inflation surge in the 1970s. Nor should we assume that traditional monetary tightening would ease these pressures unless we are willing to run the risk of recession.

Last month, prices rose in all eight major components on a year-over-year basis, primarily driven by the surge in gasoline prices, which spiked 47.1% from year-ago levels. Extreme drought, especially in China, led to a dearth of hydroelectric power and shortages in other energy sources such as coal and natural gas. The shift to oil for power generation boosts the cost of oil and gasoline. It also caused a domino effect in shortages of other essential materials that require intensive energy use in their production, such as fertilizer and aluminum. These feed into shortages of food and metal components that raise the price of many consumer goods. Combine this with disruptions at the ports, in trucking and on the rail lines. It is no wonder that increasing costs and excess demand are driving up consumer prices worldwide. 

The question is, would central bank tightening reduce this kind of inflation. I doubt it. Instead, we are likely to see these pressures ease over time (see chart below). The problem is we have repeatedly underestimated the time it would take to work this all out, leading some to call for a quicker response by the Bank of Canada and the Fed, among other central banks, for fear that the inflation will become embedded. 

Embedded inflation, caused by rising wages and inflation expectations, led to wage-price spiralling in the 1970s and early 1980s. In Canada, inflation remained high well into the early 1990s because of substantial federal and provincial budgetary spending. I do not believe we are anywhere near that reality today. To be sure, fiscal policy in response to the pandemic has generated extraordinary budgetary red ink, but price pressures today are not the result of budgetary actions. 

Bottom Line

Market-driven interest rates have already surged and are reflected in the rise in fixed mortgage rates. Maintaining a steady overnight rate at its effective lower bound has kept the prime rate and variable mortgage rates stable at extremely low levels. Undoubtedly, these rates will rise in time. The Bank of Canada has been clear that it will occur soon than they initially thought. They are nervous about inflation and are now saying a return to the 2% target will not happen until the end of next year. 

Just this week, senior leadership at the Bank has taken to the news waves to suggest we are getting closer to full employment. Traders are now betting that the overnight rate target will rise 1.5 percentage points in 2022, beginning in April. Rates will increase, but we are not on the precipice of runaway inflation. 

Please Note: The source of this article is from Sherry Cooper


Sign up to receive monthly Home, Lifestyle & Mortgage News here.

<Back to Blog

15 Nov

Canadian Home Sales Surge In October – November 15 2021

Latest News

Posted by: Matthew J. Charlton

November 15 2021

Home Sales Surge in October

Today the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) released statistics showing national existing-home sales rose a whopping 8.6% in October, its most robust month-over-month pace since July 2020, when the first lockdown eased briefly. This was on the heels of a modest uptick in September–the first gain since March of this year.

Sales were up month-over-month in about three-quarters of all local markets and in all major cities.

The actual (not seasonally adjusted) number of transactions in October 2021 was down 11.5% on a year-over-year basis from the record for that month set last year. That said, it was still the second-highest ever October sales figure by a sizeable margin.

On a year-to-date basis, some 581,275 residential properties traded hands via Canadian MLS® Systems from January to October 2021, surpassing the annual record of 552,423 sales for all of 2020.

“2021 continues to surprise. Sales beat last year’s annual record by about Thanksgiving weekend, so that was always a lock, but I don’t think too many observers would have guessed the monthly trend would be moving up again heading into 2022,” said Shaun Cathcart, CREA’s Senior Economist. “A month with more new listings is what allows for more sales because those listings are mostly all still getting gobbled up; however, with demand that strong, the supply of homes for sale at any given point in time continues to shrink. It is at its lowest point on record right now, which is why it’s not surprising prices are also re-accelerating. We need to build more housing.”

The basic story hasn’t changed, even with the rise in fixed mortgage rates: Housing demand remains well more than supply. Inventories of unsold properties are at historic lows. While the Trudeau government promised to address the massive supply shortage, in reality, housing construction is under the auspices of provincial and local government planning and zoning bodies. Moreover, the resurgence of immigration will widen the excess demand gap for homes to buy or rent. 

New Listings

The number of newly listed homes rose by 3.2% in October compared to September, driven by gains in about 70% of local markets. With so many markets starved for supply, it’s not surprising to see sales go up when new listings rise.

As of October, about two-thirds of local markets were seller’s markets based on the sales-to-new listings ratio is more than one standard deviation above its long-term mean. The sales-to-new listings ratio tightened again last month to 79.5% compared to 75.5% in September and 73.5% in August. The long-term average for the national sales-to-new listings ratio is 54.8% (see chart below).

There were just 1.9 months of inventory on a national basis at the end of October 2021, down almost half a month from three months earlier and back in line with the all-time lows recorded in February and March of this year. The long-term average for this measure is more than five months.

Home Prices

In line with some of the tightest market conditions ever recorded, the Aggregate Composite MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI) accelerated to 2.7% on a month-over-month basis in October 2021.

The non-seasonally adjusted Aggregate Composite MLS® HPI was up 23.4% on a year-over-year basis in October, a more significant gain than in the three previous months.

Year-over-year price growth in B.C. has crept back above 20%, though it is lower in Vancouver, on par with the 20% provincial gain in Victoria, and higher in other parts of the province.

Year-over-year price gains are in the mid-to-high single digits in Alberta and Saskatchewan, while they are currently at about 10% in Manitoba.

Ontario saw year-over-year price growth closing in on 30% in October, with GTA surging forward. Greater Montreal’s year-over-year price growth remains at a little over 20%, while Quebec City is now at 13%.

Price growth is running a little above 30% in New Brunswick (a little higher in Greater Moncton, a little lower in Fredericton and Saint John), while Newfoundland and Labrador is now at 10% year-over-year (a bit lower in St. John’s).

Bottom Line

Canada continues to contend with one of the developed world’s most severe housing shortages. As our borders open to a resurgence of immigration, excess demand for housing will mount. The impediments to a rapid rise in housing supply, both for rent and purchase, are primarily in the planning and approvals process at the municipal level. Liberal Party election promises do not address these issues.

Inflation pressures are mounting everywhere. The US just posted a year-over-year inflation rate for October at 6.2%–higher than expected. This Wednesday, Canada’s CPI data will be released. We saw a y/y inflation rate of 4.4% in September. Undoubtedly, the October data will surpass that level. Maybe that is why Tiff Macklem wrote an op-ed in the Financial Times today reiterating that the Bank of Canada is getting closer to raising interest rates as slack in the economy dissipates. This is in line with the hawkish BoC policy statement last month.

“For the policy interest rate, our forward guidance has been clear that we will not raise interest rates until economic slack is absorbed,” Macklem wrote. “We are not there yet, but we are getting closer.” 

According to Bloomberg News, Macklem reiterated that the Bank of Canada’s view is still that recent inflationary pressures will ease. Yet, he acknowledged that a high level of uncertainty remains. “Supply disruptions appear to be lasting longer than we thought, and energy price increases are adding to current inflation rates,” he wrote.

“While our analysis continues to indicate that these pressures will ease, we have taken them into account for the dynamics of supply and demand,” Macklem said. “What our resolve does mean is that if we end up being wrong about the persistence of inflationary pressures and how much slack remains in the economy, we will adjust.”

Please Note: The source of this article is from Sherry Cooper


Sign up to receive monthly Home, Lifestyle & Mortgage News here.

<Back to Blog

5 Nov

Canadian Employment Gains Slowed in October As Jobless Rate Fell – November 5 2021

Latest News

Posted by: Matthew J. Charlton

November 5 2021

A More Normal Jobs Report In October

Statistics Canada released the October Labour Force Survey this morning, reporting a slowdown in employment growth from the blockbuster pace of recent months. While some commentators were disappointed in the results, I have a more positive take. Canada returned its pre-pandemic level of employment in September ahead of the US and other G-7 countries. The resumption of a more normal pace of job gains was inevitable as we get closer to full employment.

Employment rose by 31,200 (+0.2%) in October, following a jump of 157,000 the month before. Indeed, job growth surged at an average monthly rate of 143,000 from June through September. That is not a sustainable pace of job gains but rather a reflection of the spike in hiring in the immediate aftermath of the lockdown. For example, hiring averaged 23,000 per month in the two years before the outbreak of COVID.

Employment increases in several industries, including retail trade, were offset by declines elsewhere, including accommodation and food services. Employment rose in Ontario and New Brunswick, while it fell in Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Declines in self-employment offset Gains among paid employees.

The number of employed people working less than half their usual hours fell 9.7% (-100,000) in October and remained 117,000 higher (+14.5%) than in February 2020. Total hours worked were up 1.0% in October and were 0.6% below their pre-pandemic level.

Among people of core working age (25 to 54 years), employment rose by 53,000 (+0.4%) in October, with all the gains in full-time work.

Unemployment rate declines for the fifth consecutive month

The unemployment rate fell 0.2 percentage points to 6.7% in October, a 20-month low and within 1.0 percentage points of the rate (5.7%) in February 2020 (see chart below).

Long-term unemployment—the number of people continuously unemployed for 27 weeks or more—was little changed in October, at 378,000, but down from its most recent peak of 486,000 in April 2021. Among people who were in long-term unemployment in September, 15.2% had found employment in October, slightly higher than the average of 11.6% observed from 2017 to 2019.

The labour force participation rate—the share of the population working or searching for work—fell by 0.2 percentage points to 65.3% in October, as fewer youth aged 15 to 24 searching for work. The size of the October decrease is consistent with typical monthly variations observed prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. The overall participation rate in October was virtually the same as the pre-pandemic rate of 65.5% observed in February 2020.

This rebound in Canada’s labour force participation rate contrasts with trends observed in the United States, where participation has recovered less quickly. When Canadian data are adjusted to US concepts, Canada’s participation rate was 65.1% in September 2021, 0.3 percentage points below its February 2020 level. In the United States, the September labour force participation rate was 1.7 percentage points below its pre-pandemic level.

Bottom Line

Today’s employment data confirms that the Canadian economy is moving closer to full employment and may well hit the zero-output-gap threshold in the middle quarters of 2022, as the Bank of Canada suggested at their most recent policy meeting. The bulk of the gains in hiring were in the hard-hit retail sector, which returned to pre-pandemic levels last month. All of the gains were in full-time employment and average wages for permanent workers were 2.1% y/y. Wages gains are still relatively modest, supporting the Bank of Canada’s view that inflation pressures will dissipate by the end of next year.

Employment is now a bit above levels in February 2020. This is a historically rapid rebound from the massive job losses in the immediate wake of the first pandemic lockdowns.

Please Note: The source of this article is from Sherry Cooper


Sign up to receive Monthly Home, Lifestyle & Mortgage News here.

<Back to Blog

1 Nov

Mortgage prep, Mortgage mistakes, Staging tips and More! – November 2021

General

Posted by: Matthew J. Charlton

NOVEMBER 2021

Hello!

In this issue:


7 Steps for Mortgage Prep

Step 1 – Your Credit Score
Whether you qualify for a mortgage through a bank, credit union or other financial institution, you should be aiming for a credit score of 680 or greater for at least one borrower (or guarantor), especially if you are putting less than 20% down. If you are able to make a larger down payment of 20% or more, then a score of 680 is not required.

If your credit score does not meet the minimum requirements, there are a number of things you can do to improve it and your future financial success, including:

  • Paying your bills in full and on time. If you cannot afford the full amount, try paying at least the minimum required.
  • Pay off your debts (such as loans, credit cards, lines of credit, etc.) as quickly as possible.
  • Stay within the limit on your credit cards and try to keep your balances as low as possible.
  • Reduce the number of credit card or loan applications you submit.
  • Considering an Alternative Lender (or B Lender) if you are struggling with credit issues.

I can help review your credit score and provide you with options for your mortgage needs.

Step 2 – Your Budget
When considering your budget, it is important to look at the purchase price budget, as well as your cash flow budget. Being house rich and cash poor makes for a no-fun home! The home price based on your cash flow budget may be dramatically different from the budget home price you qualify for. Not only does having a budget help you to understand your purchase price range and help you to find an affordable home, but it can also help you to see any gaps or opportunities for future savings. This will be instrumental when you become responsible for mortgage payments.

Step 3 – Your Down Payment
The ideal down payment for purchasing a home is 20%. However, we understand in today’s market that is not always possible. Therefore, it is important to note that any potential home buyer with less than a 20% down payment MUST purchase default insurance on the mortgage, and they must have a minimum down payment of 5%.

The down payment on your home could come from your own savings such as a savings account or RRSPs. Thanks to the federal government’s Home Buyers’ Plan, potential first-time home owners are able to leverage up to $35,000 of your RRSP savings ($70,000 for a couple) to help finance the down payment. A gift of a down payment from an immediate relative is also acceptable. If your down payment comes from TFSA or RRSP, the bank will want 90 days of statements to ensure the funds are accounted for. Gifted funds rarely require 90 days of proof.

Step 4 – Your Mortgage Options
Rate is only ONE of the many features in selecting the best mortgage product that meets your financial goals. With access to over 118 lending institutions, I am familiar with a variety of mortgage products to help you find the best mortgage for YOU! Plus, unlike banks, I am independent, licensed and focused on YOUR needs. This means that you can get the best rates and unbiased advice all for FREE while helping you advance major life goals.

Step 5 – Your Paperwork
When you apply for a mortgage, you will typically need to provide a standard package of documents, which almost always includes:

  • Your valid government-issued personal identification
  • One month of recent pay stubs from applicants who will be listed on the loan
  • Letter of employment
  • Your most recent two years’ worth of personal CRA tax filings and financials (if incorporated)
  • Three months of bank account statements
  • Proof of your down payment (minimum 5%)
  • Documentation to explain any unusual (generally non-payroll) large deposits or withdrawals

Step 6 – Your Pre-Approval
To have the best success with your mortgage, it is recommended that you get pre-approved! This is done through me to ensure that you get the best mortgage product FOR YOU, from the best rate to the best term agreement. A Pre-approval helps verify your budget and allows your real estate agent to find the best home in your price range.

  1. Pre-approval guarantees the rate offered and locks it in for up to 120 days. This protects you from any increases in interest rates while you are shopping (phew!).
  2. Pre-approval lets the seller know that securing financing should not be an issue, which is beneficial in competitive markets!

Quick Tip: Don’t forget about the closing costs! These range from 1 to 4% of the purchase price and should be factored into your budget.

Step 7 – You’re Ready to Shop
You made it!! Once you have your down payment and have qualified for a pre-approved mortgage (your credit score is in order and all documentation has been provided), you are ready to start searching for your perfect home. If you’re stuck, I would be happy to give you recommendations for a realtor, if you don’t have one already.

Get in touch today and request a copy of my Homebuyers Guide!


10 Mortgage Mistakes

Whether it is your first house or you’re moving to a new neighbourhood, getting approved for a mortgage is exciting! However, even if you have been approved and are simply waiting to close, there are still some things to keep in mind to ensure your efforts are successful.

Many homeowners believe that if you have been approved for a mortgage, you are good to go. However, your lender or mortgage insurance provider will often run a final credit report before completion to ensure that nothing has changed. Changes in your credit usage and score could affect what you qualify for – or whether or not you get your mortgage at all.

To avoid having your mortgage approval status reversed or jeopardizing your financing, be sure to stay away from these 10 mortgage mistakes:

1. FALSIFY YOUR APPLICATION

Do not misrepresent your financials; you must be honest on your mortgage application. This is especially true when working together to secure your financing, as my main goal is to assist you in your home buying journey. Providing accurate information surrounding your income, properties owned, debts, assets and your financial past is critical. If you have been through a foreclosure, bankruptcy or consumer proposal, disclose this right away as well. I am here to help!

2. GETTING PRE-APPROVED

With all the changes and qualifying requirements surrounding mortgages, it is a mistake to assume that you will be approved. Many things can influence whether or not you qualify for financing such as unknown changes to your credit report, mortgage product updates or rate changes. Getting pre-approved is the first step to ensuring you are on the right track and securing that mortgage! Most banks consider a pre-approval to be valid for four months (120 days). So, even if you aren’t house-hunting tomorrow, getting pre-approved (and securing a rate-hold) NOW will come in handy if a new home is in your near future.

3. SHOPPING AROUND

One of the biggest mistakes people make when looking to secure a mortgage is not shopping around. It is easy to simply sign up with your existing bank, but you could be paying thousands more than you need to, without even knowing it! This is where I can help! With access to over 118 lenders and financial institutions, I can help you find a mortgage with the best rate and terms to suit YOUR needs.

4. NOT SAVING FOR A DOWN PAYMENT

Your down payment is a critical part of homeownership and a useful financial tool that you should utilize when purchasing a home. A down payment reduces the overall amount of financing you need and increases the amount of equity right from the start. Down payments also show the bank you are serious. In Canada, the minimum down payment is 5% (with mortgage insurance), with the recommended down payment being 20% if possible.

5. CHANGING EMPLOYERS OR JOBS        

As employment is one of the most important factors that determines whether or not you qualify for financing, it is important not to change employers if you are in the middle of the approval process. Banks prefer to see a long tenure with your employer, as it indicates financial stability. It is best to wait for any major career changes until after your mortgage has been approved and you have the keys to your new home!

6. APPLYING OR CO-SIGNING FOR OTHER LOANS

Applying for additional loans or financing while you are currently in the midst of finalizing a mortgage contract can drastically affect what you qualify for – it can even jeopardize your credit rating! Save any big purchases, such as a new car, until after your mortgage has been finalized.

Also, just as applying for new loans can wreak havoc on a mortgage application, so can co-signing for other loans. Co-signing signifies that you can handle the full responsibility of the debt if the other individual defaults. As a result, this will show up on your credit report and can become a liability on your application, potentially lowering your borrowing power.

7. AVOIDING CREDIT MISSTEPS

As mortgage financing is contingent on your credit score and your current debt, it is important to keep these things healthy during the course of mortgage approval. Do not go over any limits on your cards or lines of credit, or miss any payment dates during the time your finances are being reviewed. This will affect whether or not the lender sees you as a responsible borrower.

Also, although you might think an application with less debt available to use would be something a bank would favor, credit scores actually increase the longer a card is open and in good standing. Having unused available credit and cards open for a long duration with a good history of repayment is a good thing! In fact, if you lower the level of your available credit (especially in the midst of an application) it could lower your credit score.

8. HAVING TOO MUCH DEBT

Credit card debt is on the rise and overuse of lines of credit can put you at risk for debt overload. Large purchases such as new truck or boat can push your total debt servicing ratio over the limit (how much you owe versus how much you make), making it impossible to receive financing. Some homeowners have so much consumer debt that they aren’t even able to refinance their home to consolidate that debt. Before you start considering a new home, make sure your current debt is under control.

9. LARGE DEPOSITS

Just as now is not the time for new loans, it is also not the time for large deposits or “mattress money” to come into your account. The bank requires a three-month history of all down payments and funds for the mortgage when purchasing property. Any deposits outside of your employment or pension income will need to be verified with a paper trail – such as a bill of sale for a vehicle, or income tax credit receipts. Unexplained deposits can delay your mortgage financing, or put it in jeopardy if they cannot be explained.

10. MARRYING INTO POOR CREDIT

Having the financial talk before getting hitched continues to be critical for your financial future. Your partner’s credit can affect your ability to get approved for a mortgage. If there are unexpected financial issues with your partner’s credit history, make sure to have a discussion with me before you start shopping for a new home.

If you are currently in the midst of a mortgage application, or are looking to start the process, don’t hesitate to reach out to me directly today to ensure that you do things the RIGHT way to succeed with your home purchase.


5 Tips for Staging Your Home Yourself

Getting a home ready for sale or lease is a big job on its own. For some, the thought of staging your home may be overwhelming. Realtors may offer this service as part of their package, but if not, don’t worry, it’s easy to do it yourself with a little inspiration. Beyond the basic advice of the 3 D’s: depersonalize, declutter and decorate, there’s a lot more that can be done to get your desired outcome. Selling your home depends on many factors. Most importantly, it relies on the feeling it exudes when a potential buyer walks through the door. If you’re ready to move on quickly and for top dollar, consider some of these DIY home staging tips.

Your staging efforts will determine the experience buyers get when touring your house. The goal is to make them feel welcomed and at ease, starting with the exterior of the house. The right place gives prospective purchasers a positive feeling, somewhere they could see many joyous days.

1. Use your resources

Can you think of an interior designer or realtor within your network? Invite them over to view the home in person and pick their brain a bit. They may be able to direct you to local businesses that offer furniture rentals or moving companies. Feng shui consultants are a good option to consider as well.

Emerging from ancient China, Feng shui is a traditional method also known as Chinese geomancy which is very popular in home staging. It claims to harmonize individuals by using the energy forces of their surrounding environment. By incorporating different elements in individual directions within your home, you may be inviting prosperity inside.

Get in touch! I’d be happy to introduce you to a Realtor partner.

2. Revive your rooms

Take a true and critical look at your place, does the kitchen scream “drab”? Are there stains on the upholstery? Does the bathroom look worn out? Freshening things up can make a place look new.

If your kitchen cabinets seem to darken up the room, consider painting them. Decide if you’d want them all one colour or different for the top and lower cabinets. Getting creative with the colour combination is one way of attracting buyers, however something too bold could turn some away. A clean slate is a great start, sparkle it up a bit with new hardware for the finishing touch. Doing this yourself can save lots of money as opposed to replacing the cabinets.

Do your existing rugs and window treatments pass the cleanliness check? If they are soiled or tattered it’s best to get them cleaned, repaired or replaced altogether. Go take a look around the sinks and tiles. Reapplying grout on tiles and caulk along sinks and windows makes it look so fresh and so clean.

3. Edit your layout

Perhaps there is too much furniture that’s accumulated in the house throughout the years, making the space seem small and crowded. Consider donating, selling or storing larger items you want to keep for another day. Work with virtual room planners to help you better visualize the best possible placement for current furniture or future purchases.
Let the homes’ unique characteristics do the talking. Is there leaded glass in the living room or vaulted ceilings in the entryway? Keep the curtains pulled back to showcase your gorgeous windows and use decor that accentuates the height in the room. A fresh coat of paint in a warm yet neutral colour can work like magic.

4. Boost your appeal

Ensure the entryway of the home is clean and has a nice doormat, if it’s on the larger side, a pair of outdoor chairs and side table would come in handy here. Sometimes using the senses works too, make sure the property smells nice but not overly fragrant. Before someone agrees to purchase your house they must first envision themselves living there. While staging, try to showcase all of the possible amenities that the house can provide. Maybe it’s a nursery set up in a small bedroom or a multipurpose bedroom with work from home desk combination. Give viewers of the home options of what they could use the square footage for. Does your house have an awkward empty space? Create a designated “drop zone” for day-to-day things like keys, mail and device charging.

5. Accentuate your aesthetic

Do you want your home to make a statement? While the safe and neutral choices for paint schemes are welcomed, so are splashes of colour in accessories. Bold hues in accent furniture or throw blankets gives the potential buyer ideas of how they’d possibly decorate. Think of a theme, nautical for example, and roll with it for select items throughout the home. This is the time to get creative with artwork as well. Rooms with pops of blue, lanterns scattered or an overall coastal vibe will stand apart from boring beige places.

On the other hand, unless you’re looking to only sell to a specific demographic, it’s best to avoid overly themed staging. Test your styling limits by mixing metallics and materials. An office space with fabric chairs can be styled with a clean rug and nice lamp. The idea is to mix and match textures, colours, patterns and light until it feels just right.

Staged to sell

Home staging is an exercise in clearing away personal clutter, making your house feel like a home for someone else, all while trying to get the best possible return on investment. Reevaluating what is important with every possession you have can result in a renewed sense of self. Letting go of things that no longer serve you and likely won’t serve others can be freeing and purposeful at the same time.

Good luck on your journey!


Economic Insights with Dr. Sherry Cooper

Read recent insights here!


Sign up to receive monthly Home, Lifestyle & Mortgage News here.

<Back to Blog