Posts in Kijiji Real Estate
Looking for apartments for rent can be a lot of stress – in many areas of the country, tenants must act fast to secure a nice space, and there is a lot of pressure if you are forced to leave your current residence by a certain date. Unfortunately, there are some who take advantage of this panic, both in person and online. What can you do to keep yourself safe when looking for an apartment?
Always deal in-person. This can be tough, especially if you are planning a long distance move, however, the most important thing to keep yourself safe from internet-based fraud is to ensure that you see the space before making a commitment, and never ever send money online. If this is not possible, ask someone you trust to check out the physical space. Don’t ever use wire transfers, Western Union, or any other service that won’t enable to put a stop on the funds if necessary.
Beware of involved tales. Does the landlord claim to be an African missionary that needs someone to house-sit? Do they say they are posted on an oil rig for months? Big red flags – most land lords are looking for a good tenant for the maximum amount of rent they can get, and aren’t going to spend precious time writing involved stories about their personal situation or making excuses as to why they can’t meet you. It makes more sense for someone seeking a long term tenant to get the value of the rent than it does for them to deeply discount the property for a quick turnaround. If they actually are abroad or can’t meet up for whatever reason, they will have someone who can meet you in person and show you around – possibly a family member, real estate agent, or a handyman who looks after their unit.
Know the market value. If similar properties in the area are posted at significantly more than this one, don’t be excited, be suspicious. While good deals are out there, scams typically will state a price that is so good that it gets prospective tenants excited and forget to ask questions. Newly renovated luxury apartment in a hot location for a low price? It is tempting to act fast, but keep your guard up – if the price seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Too much detail on the condition of a building? Fraudulent posters have been known to copy descriptions from for house for sale ads from around the web. If the rental listing has many details on building condition that would only be relevant to a buyer, not a tenant, keep your guard up.
Asked for in depth personal information before meeting? If you get an email requesting a lot of personal information, such as your SIN number, age, gender, banking information, and job, be aware that this could be an attempt to harvest personal information. A letter of employment is a standard request with many landlords, but be suspicious if they want information far beyond that before they will even agree to meet you.
Avoid cash deposits. You want your transaction to be traceable – ask for ID, sign a contract, and write a cheque if possible. If a landlord asks for cash in absence of a written agreement, this is a major red flag.
Kijiji is full of great landlords and prospective tenants, and we hope that you have a great experience finding a new home. If you see any ads that you find suspicious, or that raise the above red flags when you are corresponding, please let us know by flagging the ad or sending us an email.
Do you know which Canadian province has the most selling-savvy residents? What community has bought and sold the most homes? When it comes to real estate know-how, a recent survey by Kijiji Canada reveals interesting differences from coast-to-coast:
- British Columbians are savvy salespeople. More than one-third of B.C. residents have completed a home sale on their own – a statistic higher than any other province. British Columbia also has the highest percentage of residents, at 17 per cent, reporting that they plan to sell their house within the next year.
- Sellers in Alberta are most likely to stage a home on their own. Nearly 40 per cent have done it in the past, versus their Saskatchewan neighbours who self-stage the least, at 14 per cent.
- Ontario residents seem to have the least trouble getting rid of items before selling, while Quebeckers have the hardest time (37 versus 19 per cent).
- Who renovates the most in preparation for sale? Sellers in Atlantic Canada appear to be the most adept with 20 per cent of survey respondents claiming they “complete their own renovations.”
- Atlantic Canadians are least happy with the final sale price of their home, with 27 per cent of sellers reporting that their home sold for less than market value.
While some Canadians are more “home selling savvy” than others, Kijiji is seeing a spike in home sales across the country. According to Zachary Candelario, the general manager for Kijiji Canada, their online classified site has seen an increase of more than 37 per cent in traffic to the Housing category. Furthermore, compared with the previous year, in 2011 nearly twice as many housing properties were posted for sale.
Do you follow your home province’s trend?
Note: We posted a similar article previously, but thought we’d post a refresher to get ready for the Spring .
The real estate market is all about cycles and trends and as the spring selling season gets underway there are a number of things to consider if you are going to embark on one of the increasingly popular trends: selling your home on your own.
Indeed, the for-sale-by-owner trend (FSBO) is the new “it” concept when it comes to the real estate market, according to research commissioned by Kijiji Canada. The study revealed that 61 per cent of Canadians would consider selling their home on their own if it was easy and more affordable than using a real estate agent.
While the FSBO trend is growing, many homeowners are skipping an important step: staging and prepping their home for sale. Figuring out how to get your home ready for sale can often be a daunting task but it doesn’t have to be, according to staging specialist Janette Ewen. “Homeowners don’t need to invest a lot of money or time when staging their home for sale. In fact, the first and most important step is de-cluttering and de-personalizing the space to help potential buyers envision it as their own.”
Ewen suggests homeowners consider the following tips:
De-clutter your domicile: The buyer who falls in love with your home will be able to envision their stuff in your space. Removing unnecessary items – especially furniture – and de-personalizing the space is important. This is also a good time to get rid of unwanted items before you move. Take stock of what you actually use, and get rid of what you don’t need. You can make some money to offset moving costs by selling unwanted items online. Once you’ve de-cluttered, be sure to give your entire home a thorough cleaning.
Fix it: If a potential buyer notices a broken drawer or leaky faucet, you can lose the sale. It’s worth a little investment to correct minor problems so you can seal a huge deal. It’s worth the small investment to correct minor problems to help seal the huge deal.
Keep décor neutral: This allows prospective buyers to envision your home with their preferred colours, artwork, and furniture.
Invite prospects in with flair: Think of an open house like a big reveal. Let the light into your home, decorate with fresh cut flowers, and ensure that pets and small children have someone to look after them.
Pay attention to curb appeal: This is how you make your first impression. Closely consider your home’s exterior and make sure bushes are pruned, grass is trimmed, and paint isn’t peeling.
Consider a professional inspection: Investing in a professional inspection is the best way to find and fix deficiencies before a potential buyer discovers them and walks away forever.
If you’re thinking about selling your home this spring, take a look at online resources like Kijiji.ca. On sites like this you get an idea of what your home is worth, find items to help with staging, and you can get rid of any furniture you’re not planning to keep.
What strategies have you used to successfully sell your home yourself? Share your stories in the comments below!