Montreal West Island, QC Real Estate News

By Tanya Nouwens, Montreal Real Estate Broker & Stager
(RE/MAX ROYAL (JORDAN) INC. / Tanya Nouwens Inc. www.readysetsold.ca)
These 3 common home staging myths are based on my experience staging and selling Montreal West Island homes.  Please note that I am NOT an international expert on home staging and real estate, nor do I play one on TV...at least not yet LOL.   That being said, in the years that I have been staging and selling Montreal West Island homes, I have come across many homeowners who believed they knew how to stage their home.  Many did have a good handle on how to prepare their home for sale.   Others...well, not so much.  Some had spent considerable time and energy falling victim to 3 common home staging myths:     Myth #1: When in doubt, paint the walls white.   While this may sound like a good idea, in reality, there are hundreds of different whites to choose from.  Pick the wrong one, and yo...
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By Tanya Nouwens, Montreal Real Estate Broker & Stager
(RE/MAX ROYAL (JORDAN) INC. / Tanya Nouwens Inc. www.readysetsold.ca)
I had an "aha" moment recently.  I had been whining to myself (nobody else will listen...) about some of my real estate transactions that seemed to be coming off the rails.  Buyers who didn't know what they wanted...or changed their mind midstream.  Properties that had issues.  Construction topics that needed extensive - and immediate! - researching.  Clients who were unreachable.  Home searches that had me feeling like an archaeologist searching for treasure beneath centuries of rock.  And showings that required an algorithm to time correctly.  You know, the usual stuff.  But it was getting to me. And then this thought jumped into my head and stormed its way over everything else that was muddying the waters of my usually focused mind: "If real estate was easy, I'd be out of a job!"  If...
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By Tanya Nouwens, Montreal Real Estate Broker & Stager
(RE/MAX ROYAL (JORDAN) INC. / Tanya Nouwens Inc. www.readysetsold.ca)
I am not a Venus Flytrap.  This is my promise to you, Montreal West Island home buyers and sellers. I know you feel compelled to wipe out your caller ID when you call me.  I know you weigh the pros and cons of giving me your address with the gravity of considering whether to have another child.  I know you don't want to give me your last name.  And some of you don't even want to give me your real first name :)  I know this because you called me this weekend asking about my listings and about other homes for sale in Montreal West Island. You feel it necessary to approach me in a way that will make it impossible for me to grab you in my clutches, never to let go of you again. You want to avoid an unending, and unrequested, barrage of e-mails from me, phone calls, calendars, magnets, lette...
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By Tanya Nouwens, Montreal Real Estate Broker & Stager
(RE/MAX ROYAL (JORDAN) INC. / Tanya Nouwens Inc. www.readysetsold.ca)
The new Real Estate Brokerage Act came into effect here in Quebec on May 1, 2010.  I've written about this previously, but in July, I attended my mandatory training on the new laws and learned a few more tidbits.  1. What's the name of that dude who showed up at our Christmas party the year we had a Michael Jackson moonwalk contest? This will come as a shock and as a dreadful burden to many real estate agency executive officers but....hold onto your seats now...you will now be required to keep a list (ghack!) of brokers working for your real estate agency, complete with their full names!  Shocking and time-consuming, I know.  Better get another assistant, 'cause it's time to blow the dust off those files and try to remember who works for you. 2. Put your shoulder pads and big hair away....
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By Tanya Nouwens, Montreal Real Estate Broker & Stager
(RE/MAX ROYAL (JORDAN) INC. / Tanya Nouwens Inc. www.readysetsold.ca)
I met with a wonderful client today to discuss selling her home and what my analysis showed its market value to be.  She lives here in Kirkland, Quebec.  She called me after getting one of my nifty postcards, saying it was unlike any other she had seen from a real estate agent (mission accomplished!).  As we spoke, it became clear that she had outgrown her home.  The things that had appealed to her when she bought it -- big home, quiet neighbourhood, away from the action, young families around -- now imprisoned her, in a way.  Her days of raising little ones were over.  Her grown daughter had a life of her own.  She herself had developed interests and hobbies that weren't there when she bought her home some 20 years ago.  She wanted more action around her, cafés and people and shopping ...
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By Tanya Nouwens, Montreal Real Estate Broker & Stager
(RE/MAX ROYAL (JORDAN) INC. / Tanya Nouwens Inc. www.readysetsold.ca)
I got a promotion but I swear I'm not bragging because it has everything to do with changes to real estate law in Quebec and nothing to do with anything I did to deserve the promotion.  But I got it just the same, as did all real estate agents in Quebec. What happened?  On May 1, 2010, the new Real Estate Brokerage Act came into effect in Quebec.  As part of this, I got a promotion from real estate AGENT to real estate BROKER, as did all real estate agents in Quebec.  Other changes will be implemented over the next 18 months. Here are some of them: It used to be that real estate agents worked for real estate brokers.  Now, real estate brokers work for real estate agencies.  Agents turned into brokers overnight, and brokers turned into agencies.   We now must disclose to our clients, in ...
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By Tanya Nouwens, Montreal Real Estate Broker & Stager
(RE/MAX ROYAL (JORDAN) INC. / Tanya Nouwens Inc. www.readysetsold.ca)
Every summer when I was a kid, my parents would pack all 4 of us kids into the car and make the sweaty, stifling 18-hour trip from the east coast where we lived to London, Ontario, where we were born and our extended family lived.  My parents somehow handled the sweating, and complaining, and boredom and unending roads extremely well. (Except for the time they forgot my brother at a rest stop, but after hours of therapy, we're ready to let that one go.) The only time they truly got frantic was when we passed through Montreal.  "Jean, watch the signs. WATCH THE SIGNS!  Oh for the love of God don't let us get lost here... Jean!  Jean!  Was that the sign for the tunnel we just passed?  WAS THAT THE SIGN FOR THE TUNNEL!  Kids, shush I can't think.  KIDS!  SHUT THAT BLOODY BOUZOUKI!!!!  Oh L...
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By Tanya Nouwens, Montreal Real Estate Broker & Stager
(RE/MAX ROYAL (JORDAN) INC. / Tanya Nouwens Inc. www.readysetsold.ca)
I've got some Montreal home staging before and after pictures for you here.  These come from a Montreal West Island home staging project we recently did.  The home sold after 6 weeks on the market, which was great considering it was in the $500,000+ range where homes generally sit on the market longer than lower priced properties.  It was another real estate agent's listing, but I was happy to stage it because the homeowner was the mother of my very first client as a Montreal home stager.  The home was essentially vacant, as the homeowner spent very little time there.  It needed a bit of PERSONALITY and LIFE.                 An unused master bedroom gets a little panache.                  This ensuite had been completely renovated but needed a few finishing touches to really let it shin...
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Another staging project where the house is dated and what we are allowed to do is limited.   I am not asking you to look at the difference between a regular camera and a wide angle lense. Just the presentability of the room. Such simple things can be done and what a difference it makes. We found the very old bedspread in the linen closet. Yes we go shopping in the home !! The navy accents were also from the linen closet.           Below is a prime example where the homeowner bought something they felt was a work of art, had no where to put it so put it in the dining room. Can you work out what I am talking about ?  Yes the giant chair. We put it in the basement which is a better place for it. But homeowners often do this....get something they love and find a place to put it instead of c...
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By Tanya Nouwens, Montreal Real Estate Broker & Stager
(RE/MAX ROYAL (JORDAN) INC. / Tanya Nouwens Inc. www.readysetsold.ca)
I used to live on the water. It was a beautiful property in Notre-Dame-de-l'Ile-Perrot, Quebec, with a deck on the edge of Lac St. Louis. The house was gorgeous too - hardwood floors, floor-to-ceiling windows, multi-level deck, fireplace in the master bedroom.  It was my dream home...or so I thought. But within a year of buying the place, I couldn't wait to move. When we originally bought the home, my husband and I were both working full-time. The long commute helped us unwind. Its remoteness was an escape from the city. Then we had a baby, and I stayed home to raise him. I quickly realized that virtually everyone in our neighbourhood was retired, which meant no kids for our son to play with, no moms for me to hang out with.  We were lonely.  The location was all wrong. You can change m...
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By Tanya Nouwens, Montreal Real Estate Broker & Stager
(RE/MAX ROYAL (JORDAN) INC. / Tanya Nouwens Inc. www.readysetsold.ca)
I'm in the middle of a great Montreal home staging job.  Yesterday was a really big day of loading and unloading artwork, lighting, bedding, pillows, accessories, etc.  You know, the stuff we use to make a home look and feel warm, inviting, comfortable and full of life.  This morning at breakfast, my husband asks, "So was the homeowner there all day while you were working?"  "Yes," I say.  He knows I don't like this because home staging always looks terrible before it looks great...like any work in progress. "Oh. Was she bugging you?" he asks. "Well, sort of.  I mean, she kept to herself and let me do my thing.  But...her being there meant I couldn't talk to myself while I worked." And I meant it. I must be losing it.            
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By Tanya Nouwens, Montreal Real Estate Broker & Stager
(RE/MAX ROYAL (JORDAN) INC. / Tanya Nouwens Inc. www.readysetsold.ca)
Earthlings: We need your help.  More specifically, my son Tyler does. Remember that old shampoo commercial where "I'll tell two friends....and I'll tell two friends...and I'll tell two friends"?  Well, it's sort of like that. In honour of Earth Day, which is today, April 22, 2010, my son Tyler's class of grade 6ers at Emile Nelligan School in Kirkland, Quebec, has been asked to each think of something they can do for the environment.  Tyler has decided to bike to school and recycle all of his Yop bottles. In the spirit of that old shampoo commercial, the project also requires that he ask 3 people to also think of something they can do for the environment.  I'm one of the 3, and I've decided to put a recycle bin in my office.  My younger son has decided to take shorter showers.  My husba...
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By Tanya Nouwens, Montreal Real Estate Broker & Stager
(RE/MAX ROYAL (JORDAN) INC. / Tanya Nouwens Inc. www.readysetsold.ca)
Last week, Steve Dawson wrote a post asking us realtors whether we were feeling fat.  He had noticed that the more "mature" agents around him were a wee bit chunky.  He himself had put on 30 pounds in 6 years selling real estate. I've put on 12 pounds in the 3 years I've been involved in the world of real estate (first as a Montreal home stager and more recently as a Montreal real estate agent).  Worse than the weight, I totally dropped my running and pilates.  I used to be in great shape.  Now I'm in terrible shape. Well, Steve's post inspired me, as did the 100+ comments. So last Friday I joined the Montreal West Island YMCA, and I've gone to 2 classes so far -- one of which hobbled me for 72 hours : ) Today I got a gift that was most inspiring of all.  At this morning's class, right ...
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By Tanya Nouwens, Montreal Real Estate Broker & Stager
(RE/MAX ROYAL (JORDAN) INC. / Tanya Nouwens Inc. www.readysetsold.ca)
'Tis the season for spring clean-up!  But please don't go throwing your old paint cans, batteries, gas cans and medicines into the trash.  The chemicals they contain can leach into the ground and contaminate the soil and flow into our rivers and streams and...well...you know what that means: unintended science experiments!  With we humans and the plants, animals and fish we eat as subjects! Good news though. The town of Kirkland Quebec is having its household hazardous waste drop-off this Saturday, April 17, 2010, at the municipal garage on rue Claude Jodoin(off of Hymus, just east of St. Charles).  It's open from 9am to 5pm. I'll be there...with junk in my trunk : )  How about you?
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By Tanya Nouwens, Montreal Real Estate Broker & Stager
(RE/MAX ROYAL (JORDAN) INC. / Tanya Nouwens Inc. www.readysetsold.ca)
What is the difference between Montreal home staging and interior decorating? As a Montreal home stager and Montreal real estate broker, where home staging is still a relatively new concept, I'm often asked, "What's the difference between home staging and interior decorating?" There are many, not the least of which is the fact that interior decorating caters to the tastes and preferences of one home owner/family, while Montreal home staging caters to the tastes of a whole pool of potential buyers for a home. But it goes beyond that too. Here's a picture of a room that we were presented with at one of our Montreal home staging projects.    Now it doesn't take a genius to figure out that a good clean-up of the room would work wonders.  And as an interior decorator, I could quickly come up...
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