Real estate tips for homeowners, home sellers and home buyers

Check back regularly for tips for home owners, buyer and sellers!

Chances are, if you bought a home in the last 20 years, the lender and your lawyer probably had you take Title insurance. Double check to see if you have it if you aren't sure. 

If you purchased your home more than 20 years ago, and you do not have Title Insurance, I strongly suggest that you obtain it. Especially if you own your home free and clear. 

Title insurance safeguards your stake as a property owner against potential losses stemming from defects in the property's title. It also shields you from "off-title" concerns like unpaid property taxes from the previous owner. Despite thorough examination by your lawyer, certain issues predating the title search may persist unnoticed until the policy date, posing future problems during property sales. With title insurance, however, such worries are alleviated.


Covered risks typically include existing property liens, outstanding work orders, zoning by-law violations, and lack of legal property access. Fraud, a significant risk, underscores the importance of title insurance. Nonetheless, it does not address structural or home warranty issues, foundation problems, fence locations, leaks, building code compliance, or appliance functionality.


Unlike home insurance, title insurance involves a one-time payment, lasting for the duration of property ownership. It's procured by your lawyer at the property's conveyance and remains active throughout your ownership, without annual premiums or lapses. In specific cases, it extends protection to property inheritors, such as your child. Policy coverage typically ranges between a set "floor" and "ceiling" based on the property's purchase price.


While title insurance offers comprehensive coverage, it excludes certain items like environmental concerns. It's advisable to carefully review both house and title insurance policies to understand the scope of coverage.

If you need to sell your home quickly, there are many things you can do to make sure that happens. Take a look:

Selling Your Home Quickly Without Sacrificing Price

Sometimes life throws curveballs, and you need to sell your home fast. Whether it's due to a job change, family dynamics, or financial reasons, there's no need to panic. You can still sell your house swiftly without slashing the price. Here's how:

1. Spruce up your place to make it move-in ready. Fix any repairs and keep everything neat and tidy.
2. Consider hiring professionals to help with preparations. It saves time and might even increase your home's value, offsetting the cost.
3. Utilize modern staging techniques to make your home irresistible to potential buyers.
4. Remove obstacles to a quick sale, like restrictive conditions. Stay flexible with closing dates to accommodate buyers.
5. Be proactive with viewings, especially in the initial stages. More exposure means more potential buyers.
6. Market your home effectively to attract qualified buyers promptly.

These tips can speed up your home sale while maintaining a good price. And remember, there are plenty of other strategies tailored to your specific situation and market conditions. Curious to learn more?  Give me a call! 613-853-5807

Helpful Tips for Packing and Moving


Whether you are packing yourself and/or getting ready for movers to come, here are some tips to help your move go smoothly.

For your safety, we recommend that you find a quiet corner in your home or make arrangements to see family or friends once the movers get started, to ensure a clear path for the movers to load the truck.

• The ideal box size is 1.0, 1.5, or 2 cubic feet for the majority of items. These boxes are still

   relatively easy to lift, even when full, and will stack well in the truck. (Using a lot of small

   boxes for regular items makes your move less efficient, potentially increasing the cost.)


• 1 cubic foot or Bankers boxes are ideal for books and personal papers.

• Make sure your boxes are packed full, in order to support the weight of other boxes that may

   be stacked on top, and ensure all boxes are properly taped and closed.


• Label boxes clearly (i.e. which room the box is going to: kitchen, bedroom, basement etc.) so

   that the movers know where to place them.


• Ensure your fragile valuables are clearly labelled so the movers know they need extra special



 • Be careful if using newsprint to pack as the ink can transfer and may be difficult to remove.

• Using your towels, linens, and pillows as packing material are idea.

• Black garbage bags are not a great packing option in case they’re mistaken for garbage and

   accidentally thrown out.


• Don’t forget to set aside and take yourself all important items that you may need during the     

   day, such as:

Keys             Wallet, purse           Medication or medical devices (hearing aids etc)

Cell phone (provide movers with an alternate contact number)              

Glasses (sunglasses)            Toiletries/hygiene products            Tablets (Ipad or Android)


How to choose the right moving company…

• Ask if they outsource any staff and equipment or are they responsible for their own staff and

   fleet of trucks. If they outsource, do they provide a Police Record Check?

• Do they have a local presence?

• Are they insured? • What is their breakage/damage percentage?

• Do they provide packing materials (paper, boxes, tape)?

• Is there a fee for the use of their wardrobe boxes or boxes for artwork?

• What other services do they offer: packing/unpacking, floor plans, picture/mirror/art hanging,

   dispersing of donations and disposal (garbage, e-waste, shredding, hazardous waste),  

   provision of estate services.


• Do they provide references?

• What do their Google reviews say?

• Do they provide a free consultation and estimate?

• Do they provide a move plan?

Thank you very much to the folks at Darling Solutions for sharing these helpful tips. To visit Darling Solutions, click the logo here How to choose a moving company, with moving and packing tips


Want to discover 7 tips to make your living room, wow, potential home buyers?

Here are 7 tips to make your living room stand out, to potential buyers:

1.    Neutralize the Colors: Opt for calming shades like beige, grey, or off-white on the walls. These colors appeal to a wider range of tastes and make the room look more spacious.

2.    Strategic Furniture Arrangement: Arrange your furniture away from the walls to create cozy conversation areas. Clear pathways ensure easy navigation and make the room feel more open.

3.    Invest in Statement Pieces: Splurge on a few eye-catching items like a stylish coffee table, an elegant sofa, or a striking rug. These pieces elevate the overall look and feel of the room.

4.    Add Texture: Incorporate soft throws, plush pillows, or a textured rug to create a warm and inviting atmosphere.

5.    Minimize Electronics: While the TV may be a focal point, consider minimizing its presence during showings. Conceal it with a tasteful cabinet or decorative screen.

6.    Bring in Greenery: Potted plants, succulents, or fresh flowers can add a touch of freshness and vitality to the room.

7.    Thoughtful Accessories: Less is more when it comes to accessories. Choose a few carefully curated pieces like decorative bowls, coffee table books, or elegant candlesticks to add personality without overwhelming the space.

By following these tips, you can make your living room look fantastic and appealing to potential buyers. Want more tips on selling your home faster and for top dollar? Get in touch today!

Should you consider purchasing a home that needs major work?

Should You Buy a Property that May Need Expensive Repairs or Upgrades?

Picture yourself hunting for a new home and stumbling upon a listing that looks like a dream come true. It's nestled in a fantastic neighborhood, checks off all the boxes on your "must-have" list, and you can totally envision yourself settling in there.

But, there's a catch. There are a couple of pretty serious maintenance issues that are likely to rear their heads in the next year or two. Think roof shingles that desperately need replacing, the furnace will need replacing, or some areas need a major facelift.

Sure, those fixes aren't going to come cheap. So, does that mean you should just move on and forget about making an offer?

Not necessarily. While snagging a home that's move-in ready or close to it is tempting, there are perks to snagging a property that needs a bit of TLC. Depending on how the market's behaving, a home with these issues might be priced lower compared to similar properties. That means the cash you save upfront can go towards fixing things up. Plus, since other buyers might be put off by the same issues, you might face less competition.

Of course, you've got to balance these advantages against the estimated cost of the repairs and upgrades. Do you have enough room in your budget to tackle these when the time comes? How much are we talking about here?

(Usually, you can get a ballpark figure for the cost of these fixes before you even think about making an offer.)

Speak to your mortgage specialist and ask about a mortgage plus improvements. It may be possible to obtain this mortgage and have the work done once you take possession and before you move in. 

Ultimately, it boils down to gathering as much info as possible and making a savvy call. Often, taking the plunge and purchasing the property can pay off in the long run.


Have questions, please let me know.

Choosing the best paint colors for selling your home

Picking the Perfect Paint Color for Selling Your Home

When you're getting your home ready to sell, giving it a fresh coat of paint, especially on the main floor, is a budget-friendly way to impress potential buyers. But what colors should you go for?

Here are some pointers.

Opt for neutral tones when selecting your color scheme. While bold, quirky colors might reflect your personality, it's crucial to appeal to a broad range of buyers. Neutrals like whites, grays, and beiges are not only safe choices but also allow buyers to imagine their own furniture and decorations in the space.
But don't mistake neutral for dull. 

There are plenty of subtle hues that can add richness and personality to a room. For instance, a gentle gray with a touch of blue can create a tranquil and calming atmosphere, perfect for bathrooms or bedrooms.

The living room and kitchen often serve as the heart of the home, so warmer neutrals can help these areas feel inviting. Colors like taupe or a creamy off-white can make these spaces cozy yet adaptable.

Lastly, consider the impact of lighting. The way a color looks can vary significantly under different lighting conditions. Always test paint samples under various lighting setups before making your final decision.

let’s talk about maximizing your home's outdoor vibe!

Highlight the “Outdoor Living” Potential of your Home!

Outdoor living spaces have truly become the heart and soul of homes, even in the colder months. They serve as an extension of indoor living, providing a space for dining, entertaining, and relaxation. That’s why it’s crucial to showcase your home’s outdoor potential when listing it for sale.

Your garden sets the stage for potential buyers. A well-maintained, vibrant garden can leave a lasting impression. Keep it lush and inviting with a variety of plants that bloom throughout the season. Consider using containers or raised beds for easy upkeep, and opt for subtle garden decor to accentuate the natural beauty of the space.

Moving on to your patio or deck – it’s like an outdoor living room waiting to be enjoyed. Dress it up to impress potential buyers with comfortable, weather-resistant furniture. Adding some ambient lighting, such as string lights or solar lanterns, creates a cozy atmosphere for evening gatherings.

And let’s not forget about your barbecue or outdoor kitchen area. A well-equipped and tidy cooking space can be a major selling point. Ensure all appliances are in good working condition to showcase its full potential.

Lastly, even simple outdoor setups like lawn chairs can enhance the appeal of your home. The key is to create an inviting atmosphere, regardless of the size of the space.

One final tip: If you’re listing your home during the winter months, be sure to include photographs of your outdoor space in warmer weather, preferably during the summer. These images will help potential buyers envision the full potential of your outdoor oasis.

Don't miss out on a potential homebuyer by being inflexible!

The Power of Flexibility: Maximizing Opportunities in Real Estate Showings**

In the fast-paced world of real estate, flexibility can often be the key to success. Whether you're selling your home or representing a client, being open to accommodating requests for showings can make all the difference. In this blog post, we'll explore the benefits of being flexible with showing requests and how setting specific times for showings can help maximize opportunities while minimizing disruptions.

**1. Accommodating Busy Schedules**

Life doesn't stop when you're selling a home. Work, family commitments, and personal obligations can all interfere with your availability for showings. By being flexible and blocking off specific times when you're unavailable, you can still accommodate potential buyers while maintaining control over your schedule. Whether it's setting aside weekday evenings or designating certain hours on weekends, establishing clear boundaries ensures that you can balance selling your home with other priorities.

**2. Setting Start and End Times**

In addition to blocking off specific time slots, setting start and end times for each day can streamline the showing process. By clearly defining when your home is available for viewings, you can manage expectations and minimize disruptions to your daily routine. Whether it's opening your home for morning showings before heading to work or scheduling afternoon appointments after picking up the kids from school, setting clear boundaries ensures that you're in control of the showing process.

**3. Maximizing Opportunities**

One of the most significant benefits of being flexible with showing requests is the potential to maximize opportunities. Real estate moves quickly, and missing out on a showing could mean missing out on a potential buyer. By being open to accommodating requests, you increase the likelihood of attracting serious buyers and securing offers. Whether it's adjusting your schedule at the last minute or making concessions to accommodate specific preferences, being flexible can pay off in the long run.

**4. Avoiding Missed Opportunities**

On the flip side, failing to be flexible with showing requests can result in missed opportunities. Buyers have busy schedules too, and if they can't view your home when it's convenient for them, they may move on to other properties. By being rigid and unwilling to accommodate requests, you risk limiting your pool of potential buyers and prolonging the selling process. In today's competitive market, flexibility is often the key to staying ahead of the competition.

In conclusion, flexibility is a powerful tool in the world of real estate showings. By being open to accommodating requests, setting specific times for showings, and maximizing opportunities, you can attract serious buyers and secure offers quickly. Whether you're selling your home or representing a client, being flexible can make all the difference in achieving a successful sale. So, embrace flexibility, and watch as your real estate goals become a reality.

Ask me for details on how I can assist you with working with your schedule!
Is it worth considering an over priced house?

Considering a 🏡 home listed above its market value? 

Picture this: You come upon a house for sale in a desirable neighborhood, only to find out it's priced significantly higher than similar homes in the area. Is it worth your time? 🤔

Well, there are a few reasons why sellers might aim high. Perhaps the property has exceptional features like a spacious backyard or a renovated basement that justify the premium. Alternatively, the seller might be banking on the hope that a higher listing price will attract better offers (though this strategy doesn't always pan out).

Regardless, it might still be worth taking a closer look, especially if the home meets most of your criteria. If the extra perks justify the higher price and they're important to you, it could be worth considering.

But what if the inflated price doesn't reflect the home's true value? In that case, chances are the property will eventually sell for closer to its actual market value, regardless of the initial listing. So, if you make an offer based on what the home is really worth, you might stand a chance. 💰

In summary, these kinds of listings often warrant further investigation. Don't hesitate to schedule a viewing appointment and see for yourself! 📅🔍

Enhance your homes curb appeal

Enhance Your Home's Curb Appeal Without Overspending

The first impression of your home significantly influences potential buyers as they approach your property. The good news is that enhancing your home's curb appeal need not be an expensive or arduous task. Here are straightforward and cost-effective suggestions to elevate your home's external appearance:

1.    Apply a New Coat of Paint: Refreshing your home's exterior with a new layer of paint is one of the most impactful yet inexpensive upgrades you can make. Opt for a color that aligns with your home's architectural features and the surrounding environment.

2.    Revitalize the Front Door: As the focal point of your home's exterior, the front door warrants special attention. Consider painting it an eye-catching color, replacing it with a contemporary design, or even just updating the hardware like the doorknob and knocker.

3.    Incorporate Outdoor Lighting: Installing external lighting serves dual purposes: it enhances your home's curb appeal and also contributes to safety and security. Solar-powered pathway lights, wall-mounted fixtures, or string lights on the front porch are all excellent options.

4.    Modernize the Mailbox: An outdated mailbox can detract from your home's overall aesthetic. Consider replacing it with a more modern version or rejuvenating your existing mailbox with a fresh coat of paint.

5.    Invest in Landscaping: A well-maintained lawn and carefully chosen plants can significantly boost your home's exterior charm. Add colorful blooms or potted plants to your front porch for an extra touch of elegance.

6.    Pressure Wash Driveways and Sidewalks: Over time, driveways and sidewalks accumulate dirt and grime. Consider renting a pressure washer or hiring professionals to restore these areas to their former cleanliness.

Rental cash damming information for real estate investors

Here is a guest post from Erica Vincelli, Mortgage Broker.

Rental Cash Damming! 

Amid housing affordability crises and stories pitting greedy corporate landlords against struggling tenants, it’s tempting to make assumptions that disqualify you from rental property investing entirely. Too rich, too ruthless, too risky, too much.

But if you look closer at many mom-and-pop landlords, you’ll see that countless everyday Canadians utilize creative optimizations to finance their first investments on modest incomes and unlock sustainable paths to financial stability without exploiting vulnerable renters to turn profits.

The key to cracking the wealth-building code lies in rethinking conventional wisdom that investing always involves large capital influxes upfront. Strategically structured financing, not piles of existing cash, unlocks growth. Through purposeful education and contingency planning, nearly anyone who is willing to learn can carve out a personal niche within the wide arena of real estate investing the way that works for them.

Approaches like rental cash damming enable everyday investors to ease initial negative cash flows on investment properties without requiring additional income. Simply optimizing existing debts and income streams that you already have at your disposal grants you breathing room during uncertain times.

For example, cash damming works by applying rental income strategically to rapidly pay down your mortgage held on your primary residence. Freed equity then gets borrowed back to cover new property carrying costs rather than pulling further from your savings or forcing you to find cash where it simply does not exist.

Once your debts are set up for efficiency, the markets handle the rest – rents gradually increase, assets appreciate, and ladders appear, allowing you to climb the next rung by accessing accrued equity. Lather, rinse, repeat!

Each stage simultaneously builds lasting foundations and sets the table for the next decade’s possibilities for growth. Meanwhile, you get to focus on your career, family, and community with one eye, tending passively to your portfolio as needed rather than burning nights and weekends stressing about all of the moving parts.

This orchestration certainly takes careful planning and reliance on the long play rather than short-term profits. But its sustainable self-funding cycle is available to anyone who is willing to take the time to understand the recipe.

While the learning curve feels steep at first, the payoff will ultimately culminate over years, not days. So be patient with yourself, absorbing concepts that may seem mysteriously exclusive at first glance.

You can take control of your financial future into your own hands, and you can do so using real estate as a tool on your own terms. You just have to know where to look and lean into the guidance of professionals you trust. So, if you’re sick of waiting for the future to make itself brighter, 

Click on the image below to learn about rental cash damming:

Rental Cash Damming

Sometimes, more is less!

You don't always have to undertake a big, expensive renovation to make a HUGE impact.

Be Realistic!

July 18th Tuesday Tip!

We sometimes forget, that the first house our parents had, wasn't the house that they are in now, when we are ready to buy. They either renovated their current home over time, or they have moved as their financial situation and needs changed.

So, if you are a first time buyer, set your expectations to your current situation. You can renovate over time, and you can change homes when the time is right!

Get In Touch

Steve Sicard REALTOR® | SRES®

Mobile: (613) 853-5807

Phone: (613) 369-5199


Office Info

Right at Home Realty Brokerage

14 Chamberlain Ave Suite 101  Ottawa,  Ontario  K1S 1V9 

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