Should You Accept the Offer?

You’ve taken the plunge to put your home on the market, starting a new chapter, and your agent has just received your first offer—how exciting! Now what? Several factors can help you make an objective decision!

The First Offer to Purchase

The first offer is most often a motivated buyer that has been perusing the market for some time already, understanding the market and what kind of inventory is available. They are excited about your home and want to beat their competition. However, you can negotiate with the buyers, coming back with a counteroffer for a better deal. If the first offer is below your goal range, you can use their fear of losing out and attachment to the house as leverage to bring it closer to your goals. 

Turning down the first offer outright can be a gamble, as the longer it is on the market, the less likely you are to receive a higher offer. Going past the average amount of a property's "days on market" may prompt potential buyers to wonder if the price is too high or even if there is something wrong with the property.  When the threat of competition diminishes, the strategy will shift from competitive offers to bargaining. 

Unless you are in an ultra-hot market, you are simply looking for the best overall offer. Depending on your objective when selling your home, each component will carry different weights.


The closer the offer is to your listing price, the better—but beware of getting too greedy! First offers within 10% of the listing price may be worth negotiation if other offer components are sound. 

Cash vs Financing

Cash offers tend to be more reliable compared to those that are mortgage-backed as they guarantee a swifter close on the deal. Pre-approved buyers may be denied later for a multitude of reasons, such as changes in employment or low results of a home appraisal. 


Purchase contingencies can be quite common in a deal stating that the offer is valid only if the listed criteria are met. On the seller’s side, you want as few contingencies as possible. There are few contingencies, such as home inspection and appraisal, which are relatively standard, though in some cases, buyers may remove them to make the deal more enticing to the seller. Home sale contingencies are not the most ideal as they may jeopardize your closing timeline if the buyer’s home fails to sell. 

Buyer Flexibility

A buyer’s flexibility with closing and moving dates may influence your decision to accept the offer depending on your circumstances and if you need extra time in transition after the sale. 

There is considerably less pressure to accept the first offer if you are in a competitive seller's market with multiple great offers. In which case, sellers and their agents can accept offers while they come in or put in an offer review date for the property.

A buyer's market means that the current housing supply exceeds the buyer's demand. Thus homes may sit on the market longer, and price depreciates over time. Suppose a home similar to yours is selling for a lower price than what you have it listed for. In that case, the lower price may actually be a more accurate depiction of what your home is currently worth on the market—no matter the other seller’s reasoning for pricing it as such, it will also affect you.

Discuss the areas of the offer you wish to improve with your real estate agent and craft a reasonable counter offer and deadline for the buyer’s response to keep the ball rolling.  Contact me today about becoming your REALTOR® to help you navigate the busy Saskatoon housing market!

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Home Showing Etiquette For All 5 Senses

Our 5 senses play an integral role in our processing of the world around us; these sensory cues trigger our emotional responses. Thus, we associate different emotions with different experiences. Some subtle touches can highlight the best features of your home, creating the experience that has potential buyers imagining this as their future home!


What we sense by sight is one of the very first things we notice about a place we have never been in before. Set a welcoming tone for the experience from the moment potential home buyers pull up with a manicured lawn and healthy plants for the top curb appeal.

Inside, give your home a good declutter and clean! When looking at homes for sale, buyers want to feel assured that they have been well cared for and will have enough space for everything they need. If you are unsure where to start, use the top to bottom, left to right method—beginning with ceiling fans and tops of shelves, working your way down all the way to the floors, utilizing bins for knick-knacks, loose bits and bobs, and personal items. For extra organization, use a colour-coded container for each member of the household to better keep track.

Lastly, be sure to highlight key areas by opening up the curtains and turning on the lights in darker areas! Window dressings such as curtains and blinds can often be neglected, so be sure to give these some love and care.


Though we can become desensitized to the smells in our own homes, home sellers must put themselves in the buyer's shoes and thoroughly deodorize, neutralize, and freshen the space. Think about how off-putting pet odours and trash odours will be to buyers! Be sure to take out the trash and clean things like litter boxes, putting them away in the laundry room.

Experts recommend using harsh cleaning solutions for deep cleaning to prepare the home for new owners. However, we must advise against using products that have strong scents when showing to potential buyers. Instead, use only mildly scented products. Candles are also not recommended to be used during showings—not only for the risk of the open flame but also because overly scented/artificial aromas may signal buyers that you are trying to mask odours!

Experienced REALTORs will propose using more natural fragrances, such as doing laundry beforehand, placing dryer sheets in drawers, or using clean linen scented plug-in (unplugged a few hours before). These give the home a fresh and clean scent, rather than an artificial and unnatural one. Baking cookies before a showing or heating up a few drops of vanilla on the stove will also provide a sense of warmth and comfort. Studies have also shown that citrus scents make a home feel worth more.


A day of home showings can be exhausting to buyers, and no one can truly enjoy their experience if they're hungry or thirsty. Simple snacks and bottles of water left for potential buyers can be the exact touch needed to leave that lasting, welcoming impression. Those cookies we talked about earlier? They can serve a double purpose here, just saying!


Of all lasting impressions, dusty and gritty surfaces that leave texture on your hands aren’t a good one. Make sure to dust so that buyers’ fingers come away clean! You want to be sure that they feel comfortable enough to touch. And leave closet doors cracked open for them to check out the storage spaces and vacuum carpets (both ways) for that plush and luxurious feel. 

The idea is to emphasize what is already amazing about your home and help buyers to imagine the life they can make in the home. Thinking your home may need more of a facelift to get it showing-ready? Consider whether you may need to renovate before selling your home and contact me today about becoming your REALTOR!

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Your Guide to Growing Your Home’s Curb Appeal

Have you just moved into your dream home and can’t wait to grow your own outdoor oasis with vegetables and flowers, but don't know where to get started? Or are you a notorious plant killer that is looking for guidance so your attempt at boosting your home’s curb appeal for sale doesn’t end in disappointment? Hope is not lost! Here is a list of essential tips to help you get started!

Location, Location, Location

Like starting your home search, gardening is all about the location! The phrase "out of sight, out of mind" definitely applies to gardening, so be sure to place your garden somewhere that you will see regularly. That way, you will be more inclined to show it some TLC.

You also want to know where the sunlight hits in your yard, as most plants need large amounts of sun exposure to thrive. Placing your garden close to a water source where you can efficiently run a water hose is also incredibly important for when your plants get thirsty. A great indicator of this is if the soil is dry up to your first knuckle, then it’s time to give your plants a drink!

Cut Down on Lawn Work

One of the best landscaping tips you can get regarding your home is to save time on lawn chores by reducing the grass-covered areas in your yard. The time you will save by combining the use of trees, shrubs, boulders, and other decorative plants to make an eye-catching display in your front and back yards is sure to amaze. And the beauty of these elements is that they are maintenance-free, leaving the time for you (or your potential buyers!) to dedicate yourself elsewhere.

Start Your Garden with Good Soil


You have found your ideal location and reduced your lawn chores, so now what? Start your garden-growing journey strong by using good, nutrient-rich soil. Many local garden gurus here in Saskatoon recommend working with compost, manure, or dried peat moss to combat the drier conditions we tend to face.

Choose the Right Plants

Match the plants you select to your growing conditions and be mindful of placement within your garden. Sunflowers are named as such for a reason, and pumpkins like ample elbow room for all of their vines. Ask around your Saskatoon neighbourhood what plants your neighbours find success with in your area and take note of what they have planted. And don’t forget about the different seasons!


Listing your home for sale soon and need some quick curb appeal without waiting for seeds to sprout? An easy way to fill an empty garden with plenty of colour in summer and into the fall is to plant a few annual starters and keep them well watered. They’ll keep everything looking cheery and bright for summer selling, then die off in the fall so the new owners can start fresh in the spring!

Timing is Everything

Planting too early or too late could mean an accidental killing spree on your plants. The last average spring frost date in Saskatoon is typically around May 15, so plan to plant after that to avoid casualties. And keep in mind the first seasonal frost happens usually around September 11th to 20th, so plan accordingly for fall flair!

Work Smarter, Not Harder

Time release-fertilizers will keep your garden fed for more extended periods, meaning reducing the frequency you need to fertilize. And having a timed sprinkler system can shave countless hours off your maintenance schedule, which can be super helpful if you plan to spend more time at your Saskatchewan lake property this season!

Of course, the best news is, the more you garden, the better and more knowledgeable you will get! So don’t forget to have fun and enjoy the moments, whether they are the first in your new home or your last before you leave.

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Your Complete Guide to Selling Your Home

Deciding to sell your home is a big deal and a choice you likely did not make lightly. With countless memories and the time, money, and effort you've spent making it feel unique to you will make it hard to let go. However, if selling is the right decision for you and your family, you want to do it the smart way. Following this guide will help you achieve the rewarding outcome you are hoping for.

Prepare Your Home for Sale

Make a List of the Things You Love About Your Home

There's a reason, likely many reasons, why you purchased your home and will miss when you leave. Take the time to write down the things you enjoy and will miss when the sale is complete. It is very likely the potential buyers will see value in these items as well, and you will want to highlight these items in your listing and when staging.

Compile the Facts

Take the time to compile all information a potential buyer will want to know about your property—taxes, lot size, utility costs, and other pertinent information. It's always a good idea to have this information ready for your real estate agent.

Document Recent Repairs

Your home will be more attractive to potential buyers if they see that you have been steadily working to improve its value. There is great appeal to buyers knowing they can purchase a home that won't need a lot of additional investment to bring it up to their standards. Have a list of repairs and dates when they were completed for your agent to include in your listing.

Hire a Building Inspector

Hiring an inspector to complete a pre-inspection before placing your home on the market will inform you of any potential problems to address. After all, most buyers will request a home inspection in their conditions. If the inspection shows too many repairs required on the report, they may get "cold feet" and walk away from the deal. By taking care of these issues in advance, you can ward off these potential problems before an interested party ever steps foot in your home. 

Sell Your House in 10 Steps:

1) First, Find a Local REALTOR® that is Right for You

The right real estate agent will serve you, not themselves. They will look out for your interests, list your house using the latest marketing techniques, and negotiate the best deal possible for your property.  

2) Outline a Plan

Make the most of the time leading up to your home sale. First, if you have an idea of when you want to list your house, break your to-do list into manageable bite-size pieces. Then, work with your REALTOR® to prioritize these to give you the focus you need to get everything done on time.

3) Declutter

Pack up anything you can live without until your home sells. Then, store it away until you get into your new home.


4) Tackle Repairs

Review the home inspection report, ask your agent where your fix-it dollars will do the most good.

5) Deep Clean

Scrub every surface until it shines. Then, hire a professional to make carpets and rugs look and smell new again.

6) Set the Stage

Create a welcoming space that invites buyers to see your house as their own with these tips.

7) Stay Organized

A tidy home is non-negotiable. Buyers shouldn't have to see past your clutter. Clean up the kid clutter and stow away pet supplies. Throw the appliances that aren't used every day in the kitchen cabinets, and do the same in the bathrooms. Toss any personal items in the drawer to keep them out of sight.

  • Add Extra Touches - A pair of decorative pillows or a few green plants will add life to any room.
  • Add More Lighting - Bright rooms make your home look more spacious. Pull up the blinds, open the curtains, and let in the sunshine! But before you do, take time to wash your windows. And if there isn't much natural light to be had, consider adding a lamp to make a big difference!
  • Go Easy on the Rugs - Most rugs don't photograph well and can make your space look smaller. Ask your REALTOR® to help you decide which ones to keep and which ones toss.

8) Price Your Home to Sell

Your house is only worth what buyers are willing to pay, not how much sentimental value you've placed on it. Therefore, it's essential to think about price objectively and trust the Comparative Market Analysis completed by your real estate agent. This free home valuation compares your home to other similar homes nearby that have sold recently or are currently on the market, allowing your agent to predict what buyers will pay for your home accurately.

9) Survive Showings

Whether you have kids, pets, or just a busy job, home showings can be hard to juggle. But, if you're still living in the home you're selling, these helpful tips can help you minimize the insanity and get your home sold.

Tip #1: Make a daily to-do list. Reduce the panic of surprise showings by putting things away as soon as you're done with them. Create a checklist of simple tasks to complete before you leave home every day.  

Tip #2: Get pets out during showings. Allow buyers to focus on your home's best features instead of your barking dog.

Tip #3: Try to be flexible. Try to make any proposed showings work in your schedule, and don't expect buyers to work around you.

10) Negotiate the Contract

Negotiations begin once you have an offer on your home. Your REALTOR® will explain the details in a way that is easy to understand. Never sign an agreement before you're clear about what is and is not included in the offer and how it affects you as a seller.

Pay close attention to:

  • Purchase price
  • Closing date
  • Special allowances
  • Contingency deadlines
  • Additional contingencies, conditions, and clauses

How Long Does it Take to Sell A Home?

This is not an easy question to answer since there are a LOT of variables involved. Homes in Saskatoon averaged 59 days on the market in December 2020. Keep in mind that number is an average. How long it takes to sell your home will depend on local real estate market trends and the specifics of your home.  

Here are some things that can impact how long your home will take to sell:

Local real estate market conditions. If you live somewhere with a sizzling seller's market, you can often expect your home to sell more quickly than those with fewer buyers.

The season. Typically, if you want to get the most for your home and decrease its time on the market, listing your house in late spring is the best bet. But that's not always the case for every home or market. When it comes down to it, the best time to sell your house is when it's the right time for you.


Your home's location. Details like what school zone it is in, the neighbourhood, and how close it is to amenities can also affect how long it takes to sell your home.

The price. Larger and more expensive homes can take longer to sell because the pool of buyers is smaller.

The closing process. If the buyers are using a mortgage to buy a home, the closing date is usually dependent on their financing going through. Closing can also be delayed if issues should arise in the home inspection or appraisal.

Remember, this is not an exhaustive list of the factors that can affect how long it takes to sell your house. Again, you can talk to your real estate agent about a realistic timeline for your specific home.

No matter what, the best way to have an incredible experience selling a home is to partner with a professional local real estate agent. The right agent should guide you every step of the way, making the process go as smoothly as possible. So contact me today and ask about my proven track record!

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