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To stage, or not to stage

This is a question I'm often asked. We are currently in a market where the buyer is just happy to get an opportunity to buy a home. There is very little inventory and the demand for a home in the Waterloo region is at an all-time high. 


Staging is not needed in my opinion. In times of high inventory, one must do whatever it takes to make their home "shine", and be competitive in the market. 


Staging is not always the answer. Staging has become a huge business but is there really a need? In my opinion, the #1 priority should be to declutter, deodorize and CLEAN your home. 


Agents often use the "crutch" of a stager to not offend the seller. Save your money on staging costs and go back to basics — De-Clutter!


In rare cases of vacant homes, or homes where the furnishings are unflattering, there may be a need for staging. 


An experienced Realtor who sells hundreds of homes should be able to consult and save you $$$! I'm happy to be your real estate consultant!


If you have any questions about the real estate market, or are looking to Buy or Sell - contact me anytime! 519-624-5555 or e-mail me direct

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Don't get scammed by Furnace and Air Conditioner rental companies!

We are now in the middle of the winter season, and I hope that you had your furnace serviced! However, please be careful choosing who you hire! I'm saddened and disappointed by the number of my clients and friends who have been taken advantage of by heating and air conditioning contractors who see an opportunity to scam, yes SCAM, homeowners into expensive “rental” or “rent to own” contracts. These leases can be 10 years in duration, and made attractive with no payments for 6 months and all kinds of bonuses to "sign now". Do not fall for these gimmicks!


We just recently came across a contract where the buyout was a whopping $18,000 for a Furnace and Air Conditioning unit. This was after 12 months of lease payments and another 9 years remaining. 


There are so many options and so many great contractors who offer reasonable pricing and payment plans. If you own a home, you have the option of borrowing from the equity in your home or asking your bank for a loan. This also falls under home improvement. 


I urge you to look at your options and please know what you are signing – and don’t sign on the spot.


These companies will convince you that it's a great, stress free option, which comes with a free service contract and the next buyer will love it. Well guess what? The next buyer doesn't want to rent your furnace or your air conditioner. The lease is a LIEN against your property and it must be fully paid out when you sell your home - unless the new buyer assumes it. 


I, personally, would never allow my buyer to take over a lease agreement unless they are fully compensated for it in the purchase price. 


If you need any recommendations on reputable contractors and loan options, please contact me and I would be pleased to guide you. 


Don't get snowed this season!
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5 Easy Staging Tips For Sellers

There are many important things to consider when staging your home. When you are staging your home to put on the market, sellers should create a nice and warm, and inviting atmosphere. This will attract as many potential buyers as possible. Sellers do not have to do a complete re-design and overhaul to get accomplish the perfect result.


Here are 5 simple staging tips to help boost a home's appeal.


1. Make sure you stage rooms with only one purpose. Rooms that have different uses can confuse or even deter homebuyers. Decide who your likely going to sell your home to. Is it a young professional with no kids? What about a family with three kids? Or what about empty nesters? Make sure you present your areas to fit THEIR needs. If you've been using a room as a guest room/kids playroom/home office, pick the one use that best suits YOUR buyers.


2. Make sure you focus on the living areas. Your potential buyers should be able to picture themselves entertaining friends and family in the living areas of the home. Be sure to also make sure those areas feel as spacious and roomy as possible by removing any unnecessary furniture to allow for easy foot traffic flow.


3. Ensure that the master bedroom appeals to both genders. Hot pink may not be the perfect colour for the walls. Remember that the master bedroom is a room that a couple will be sharing, so the decor should appeal to both genders accordingly. Remove any feature or picture that seems too gender specific, and paint the walls a neutral colour.


4. Put away those family photos and mementos. Your potential buyers want to picture THEIR family living in a home, not yours. So put away those family portraits, personal collections and knickknacks. Removing these items will also eliminate clutter and ensure that people are focusing on the home, not the photos from the last family vacation to the beach.


5. Make sure you furnish your home, but don't overdo it! An empty house might look like it’s spacious, but it's often tough for potential homebuyers to visualize their belongings in a home if they're just looking at plain and boring walls and floors!


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Faisal Susiwala
June 12, 2017
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Faisal's career in real estate began at the early age of 18. He consistently earned a reputation as a top producer from the outset. In 1994, he joined the sales force of RE/MAX Twin City Realty Inc. and has continued to be a top producer there for the past twelve years. Susiwala covers a large sector of the Cambridge and KW market and attributes his success to a strong marketing plan with extensive advertising, state of the art technology, an experienced support team and a loyal clientele base for the past 17 years of being in the real estate business.

- Success Magazine