Posts in Kijiji Tips

Selling Your Home By Owner: Is it a Smart Choice?

Thinking about selling your house? Looking at the commissions that real estate agents charge on every sale makes selling your home by owner look like a great option, but is it right for you? A lot of what traditional real estate agents do is invisible. Selling your home by owner might be a great way to save yourself major cash – or it might be a gigantic headache and far more trouble than the savings on commission is worth. Whether or not it is a good idea depends on whether you are equipped to do the work. Not everyone is, and some give up midway through the process and hire a real estate agent anyway. For those who are able to pull off the process well, it is a great way to save some of the huge costs associated with moving. How do you know if selling your home yourself is a good idea for you?

house for sale by owner

You are comfortable negotiating. Buying or selling a house is the biggest transaction of a lifetime for most people, and the negotiations can drag on and get pretty complex. Buyers might have all sorts of strange demands, and if you go into the transaction alone, you will need to be educated on what demands are standard, and what are unreasonable. They will also be looking to save money on the list price, so if you are selling your home by owner, make sure you are comfortable haggling and don’t take low offers personally. If you are not comfortable negotiating prices, it will be worth it to pay a professional to do so on your behalf. If you don’t negotiate often, but want to sell your home by owner anyway, practise often with smaller items before listing your home. Learn how to negotiate without causing offense.

You are comfortable touring strangers through your house. Not everyone is, and that is ok. Buyers might criticize your décor choices, talk about things they would change, walls they would knock down, and do things like test your taps, inspect your back basement, or flush your toilets. You’ll have to act professional and like none of those things get under your skin so as not to scare off the buyers or sour the transaction before it starts.

You have the time and a flexible schedule. Prospective buyers are going to want to tour the home before making any offers, and their schedule might be wildly different from yours. You can reduce the time commitment if you are able to schedule house tours in groups of prospective buyers, but you will have to be prepared to let a significant number of people into your home, which could end up being weeks or months of moving around your schedule to accommodate them.

You can think about your home’s value objectively. It can be difficult to determine the worth of your own possessions. People tend to value their own things higher than they might value the same thing if it did not belong to them. If you are someone who tends to price items you have owned for the same price as you paid for them or more, you might want to think about enlisting professional help to assess the value of your home. If you prefer to set the price on your own, check out what comparable properties have sold for in your neighbourhood or town to get an indication of a good starting point.

You can say no to people. If you handle the sale yourself, you will have to turn down low ball offers, and likely also ward off agents trying to get your business. If you have a hard time saying no firmly and politely, selling your home yourself might balloon into a giant headache for you.

Selling your home by owner has the potential to be a great way to save money, or a total waste of your time and resources. Being honest with yourself about what you are willing to put into the process, and your chances of success will be much higher.

Kijiji Hunter: 5 Easy Methods to Consistently Find Good Deals

For some people, home is a place where you can take your socks off, kick back and just relax. For me, home is a yellow banner with six blue letters and a seemingly endless assortment of everything I could ever dream of.

Kijiji has become an incredible resource for me. I find all sorts of unique and inexpensive things that I probably wouldn’t be able to find elsewhere. My house, job, dogs, car, appliances, electronics – honestly just about everything in my life has come from Kijiji.

Often I share my treasures with my friends on Facebook and so many of them seem amazed by what I’m able to find and bring home. To me, I don’t do anything out of the ordinary, but I thought I’d share a few of my search habits that help me to discover those hidden gems on my favourite classified site.

1. Call it Something Else

Think outside of yourself. If you’re looking for a couch, try words like ‘sofa’ or ‘sectional’ to find other items that you might not find by just searching for the word ‘couch’. Sometimes people label things differently than you might, so knowing which words to search for can help you to find hidden gems on Kijiji.

Using the example of the couch still, you can narrow it down by the colour, type of material, etc. If you want a leather sectional, why bother going through hundreds of couches that aren’t what you’re really looking for? Read other ads and see if they use other words that you didn’t think of.

2. Broaden Your Search

Once you feel like you’ve gone through all of the obvious words that the item could be called, start thinking outside the category. Just as people might not name things the same as you, sometimes they’ll list an item in a category that you wouldn’t normally expect to find it.

Broaden your search to all of Kijiji and type in ‘leather sectional’. Maybe that couch you’re looking for is hidden away in a not so obvious place you might otherwise miss if you only search in the ‘couches, futons’ category on Kijiji.

3. How Much Do You Want to Pay?

I find a lot of things because I also narrow my searches by price. If I want to pay $100 for something, I might start with a maximum price of $60 and see what comes up. If I don’t find anything, I’ll do another search between $61-80 and so on. It can help to narrow down a big list of results and also give you an idea of what a good deal is in that category.

If I mentally agree that $100 is my maximum price, I would search all the way up to $150. Remember that Kijiji is great for bartering. No matter what I inquire about, I always ask what the seller’s best price is. Sometimes they’ll say the price listed is their best price, but many times the person will drop their asking price by a few dollars if you agree to pick up the item sooner than later.

4. Search Away from Home

It’s great when you can find something and it’s close to home. By venturing outside of your area code, you open up a whole new world of opportunities. Driving a little further can be completely worth it if the price is right or if there’s something you want that you haven’t been able to find nearer to where you live.

I usually keep a wish list of things that would be great to have. If I’m planning to go away for the day or on a weekend roadtrip, I do a quick Kijiji search to see if any of those items will be on my route or near my destination. I’ve found lots of things away from home. Sometimes they’re a little too far to drive for just that, but because I was planning to go there already, it was totally worth it.

5. Patience

Every once in a while you get lucky and find just what you want exactly when you want it. Other times, patience is the key. As I mentioned, I keep a list of things that I need or would like to have either just in my head, or in a word processor.

To some, it might seem like I’m finding things all the time, but in reality it can just be that the timing is right. Other times, I’ve been searching for something for a few months and it’s just happened to come up now. Setting up Kijiji email alerts is a really easy way to find what you want, if you don’t check the website as often as I do.

So that’s it. No rocket science, just simple tips to help you find awesome things on Kijiji.

Happy Hunting!

This post was contributed by Greg Lehman, who considers himself to be a hippie in a business suit. When he’s not busy working or taking hunting for great deals on Kijiji, you’ll find him lost in the forest with his dogs Dakota & Casey. He also enjoys cooking, travelling and writing about himself in third person. Connect with him here at about.me/GregLehman.

Categories:Guest Post, Kijiji Tips

How to tell solid wood from veneer funiture

Solid wood and veneer both create beautiful furniture even though some may think that solid wood is superior. It all hinges on craftsmanship and the quality of wood used. If done right and with the proper materials, veneer furniture can be more expensive and just as, if not more, beautiful. Here’s a look at some of the pros and cons of each.

How to tell solid wood from veneer

What is solid wood?
Solid wood furniture is made from natural wood, generally using just one type of wood. No other materials are used. Solid wood furniture pieces are generally heavier than their veneer counterparts.

Pros
• Solid wood can be repaired, refinished, re-stained or painted and passed down from generation to generation.
• It recovers better from those scratches, dents and stains that are bound to happen with everyday use than veneer.
• It is great for framing, turnings, curved pieces, dining table sets and desk tops, and chair seats.
• The natural variation in the wood

Cons
• It can bow and warp over time.
• Weather changes, especially heat and humidity can make it contract, leading to splits and cracks.
• It can be expensive and heavy.

What is veneer?
Veneer furniture is made from a thin slice of wood cut or peeled from a log and glued together. It can be paper thin or up to 1/16″. It is then laminated to another wood surface. The top piece is usually made from beautiful or exotic woods while the base is made from manufactured boards like plywood and particle board. The base can also be made with MDF (medium density fibreboard), which is a stronger, better quality material often used for higher end veneer products. It is much lighter than solid wood furniture.

Pros
• One piece of lumber used to create a solid wood table can make 15 to 20 tables made of veneer.
• Veneer wood can be used to create a constant pattern, grain or colour.
• There’s more flexibility to be creative with veneer furniture because of the mix of materials used.
• It can be lightweight.
• It can be made cheap or expensive.
• It’s great for shelves and cabinets
• If you’re looking to be a little more eco-friendly, know that the base can be made of a particle board that is made up of recycled sawdust.

Cons
• Since veneer is made up of a thin piece of wood over a cheaper type of wood or particle board, sometimes deep scratches cannot be repaired without exposing the bottom layer.
• Sometimes veneer wood is done cheaply and can look cheap.

What to do with unwanted or unneeded Christmas gifts?

Everyone has received some gifts they have no use for. Whether it is a well-meaning gift that is not age appropriate, a duplicate of what you already own, something you have no space for, or just flat out don’t like, there are plenty of reasons to return, re-gift or sell a gift. What is the best way to go about selling an undesired gift?

Regift, resell, or return

Post your ad right after Christmas. Post-holiday, Kijiji has lower inventory than normal, so if you take advantage of this, your ad will stay near the top for longer than usual. You’ll also be able to gain visibility with boxing week shoppers looking for deals on Kijiji.

The hottest searched items in late December and January:
Exercise equipment. Treadmills, ellipticals and bowflexes have historically had the very high increases in searches from December to January.
Furniture. Ikea items, sectionals, chairs, and bunk beds are popular searches in January. Possibly all that entertaining leads people to realize they need more seating for growing families?
Baby items. Historically we have seen increases in searches of about 35% for baby items from December to January, with strollers, car seats, play pens, and cribs being the hottest items.

Categories that see a boost in traffic during the post-holiday season:
iPods, mp3, headphones
jewellery and watches
phones, especially cell phones
sporting goods, especially exercise equipment, skis, fishing equipment (ice fishing in particular), lacrosse items, and skates
bikes
books, in particular text books, so if you have any that you won’t need next semester, strike while the iron is hot, and post them before a new edition comes out!
electronics
furniture, indoor items for the home, and home appliances
tools, especially power tools, tool storage and benches.

Don’t delay – if you are thinking about posting an ad, do it early!

The Best Things to Sell to Make Cash for the Holidays

Regardless of whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanzaa, or something else entirely, gift giving holidays can get seriously expensive! There are plenty of ways to get creative with gifts, but what if all you want is some more cash in your pocket to check things off your shopping list? Well, we took a look at some of the most popular items on Kijiji in December (based on top searches from last year), and here are our top picks of things you might want to consider selling to make some money.

Country Wide

  • Snowblower. Doesn’t matter where you live, this is a popular item once the snow falls. If you have recently downsized, or just prefer shovelling the old fashioned way, now is a great time to sell a snowblower.
  • Snowmobile. If you have a snowmobile sitting unused, there are plenty who would love to take it off your hands before the holidays. Put your old ski-doo or polaris on Kijiji to simultaneously make someone else’s holiday season, as well as make some cash for your own!
  • Gaming systems. If you have a PS4, an Xbox 1, or even some vintage consoles collecting dust, December is the ideal time to advertise them.
  • Skis, snowboards, or other winter sports gear. If you don’t plan on using them this winter, make some cash by selling them to someone who will.
  • Lego and other timeless toys. Has your child outgrown or lost interest in them? Sell them now to make room for the new.
  • Jewellery and watches. Always popular gifts, so if you are thinking of unloading some, before the holidays is an ideal time.
  • Technology. Any item that would be a good gift and is current technology won’t last long at a good price leading up to the holidays. Consider ipods, headphones, tablets, phones, laptops, desktops, and any other electronics you aren’t using.
  • Musical instruments. These are often popular gifts for older children or teens. If you have entry level guitars or string instruments, woodwinds, or brass instruments which you have since upgraded, or some old instruments not getting the play they deserve, consider selling them now. Guitars are especially popular this time of year.

Regional: Maritimes

  • A wood burning stove. If you have an extra or an old one, sell it now, while they are being actively sought out.
  • Firewood. Have extra wood? December is a great time to sell.

Regional: Prairies

  • Ice fishing gear. If you haven’t put it to use in a while, sell now, don’t wait until summer!
  • Mukluks. Sell them while people are still looking for new cold weather gear!