Posts in Kijiji Tips

How to write a great real estate ad

So you have decided that you want to post your house for sale by owner. Without the support of a real estate agent, getting the exposure that your house deserves can be difficult, so the importance of writing a great real estate ad is even higher when you won’t have a professional and their network supporting your marketing efforts. Remember, you are trying to market your house, so try and maintain a critical distance from it and understand what potential buyers are looking for. You might think the sauna or your custom dog washing station is an amazing feature, but the reality is, most buyers are not going to consider that a top selling point. Read the house listings for homes that generated a lot of interest in your area and try to emulate the parts of them that apply to your home, and follow our tips to create an ad that will generate attention.
house for sale by owner

Highlight unique features (provided they are desirable to most). A walk in pantry, wine cellar, en-suite bathrooms, and other stand out features that most people will want should be highlighted in any house for sale ad.
Entice. Remember, you want people to come see your home, so provide just enough information that they will want to see more. Focus on attributes that have a wide appeal, such as finished basements, high ceilings, bay windows, fireplaces, etc. Don’t focus too much on “upgrades” that may not appeal to everyone, such as pools, second kitchens, saunas, panic rooms, etc. Mention desirable brand names if applicable (if you shelled out for Bosch or Viking appliances on your new kitchen, mention it).
Mention upgrades. If you have kept your home in good condition, make it clear. A well maintained and recently upgraded home is very desirable. Buyers are especially interested in recently replaced roofs, windows, and heaters.
Consider your language carefully. Use lots of descriptive words to really illustrate the character of your home through words. Do not use any negative words – think “cozy” over “cramped”, “character” over “old”, and so forth. While you don’t want to bore the reader by writing too much, make sure you have a solid description that will answer some of the major questions that readers will be asking, and get them to imagine themselves in the space you are illustrating through your words.
Don’t profile the buyer. Anyone with the money could be buying your property, so don’t assume based on your neighbourhood or price what that person will look like. You might have fond memories of raising your family in your home, but that doesn’t mean the prospective buyer cares that has a room “perfect for a nursery”, or that the basement apartment is “ideal for the in-laws”. Focusing too much on what you think your buyer should look like might alienate other potential bidders on your home.
Be findable. Remember, many potential buyers are searching by area, so do your best to appeal to both search engines by listing the postal code, well known nearby landmarks or prominent intersections, the name and any nicknames for the neighbourhood.
State your price. If not there, people will assume high, and serious shoppers may think you are out of their price range.

Posting your ad on Kijiji? Get more views by sharing your ad to social networks, and purchasing ad upgrades such as the top ad feature. Learn about how to create an effective Kijiji ad.

The Ecological Impact of Buying Used Appliances vs. New

It would be great – for us and our budgets – if refrigerators, dishwashers, washers and dryers, and other high-end appliances never broke down. Unfortunately, that’s not the case – a fact that leads to plenty of questions for environmentally conscious homeowners. In many cases, going for used items is the best choice for the environment, but the very nature of appliances makes them a bit of a game-changer when it comes to going green. So when you’re faced with the task of replacing an appliance and want to make the most environmentally friendly choice possible, should you buy used or new?

Benefits of Buying New

Newer appliances offer certain environmental benefits that many older appliances cannot. For example, new refrigerators consume 75 percent less energy than those manufactured in the late 1970s. If you look for an Energy Star label, you’ll use even less energy as the refrigerator will offer better insulation, precise temperature control, more efficient compressors, and other features that help lighten its ecological footprint.

A new Energy Star dishwasher uses only about three-quarters of the energy used by those manufactured in the early 1990s and earlier. Because newer dishwashers are better at getting dishes clean, you won’t have to “wash them before you wash them,” meaning you’ll also conserve water.
A water heater is yet another example of an appliance with newer versions that are kinder to our planet. Because heating water accounts for around 14 percent of a typical home’s energy expenses, replacing an aging water heater can make a big difference – especially because when you consider that as water heaters age they function less and less efficiently.

Benefits of Buying Used

While new appliances typically tend to be more energy efficient than used ones, there are still many situations where buying used might be the better choice for both the environment and your wallet. For starters, used appliances are often also “new” – at least, in terms of the technology that’s been used to produce them. If you can find an appliance that’s no more than a few years old, in good condition, and with the Energy Star label, you can reap the same benefits of purchasing a brand new Energy Star model. The only added carbon footprint is the CO2 emitted in transporting the appliance to its new home.

An important point to consider is that every purchase of a used appliance reaps three major benefits.

1. Gives the used appliance new life
2. Keeps one more appliance from being adding to the pile at the landfill
3. Keeps a new appliance from being manufactured

This last point is especially important because the process of manufacturing a new appliance uses tremendous amounts of energy.

The environmental burden of buying used is limited to the cost of (and energy used by) transporting the item. Just be sure to buy a ‘newer’ used appliance. If the appliance is old enough to be an extremely poor steward of energy, these benefits may not be enough to offset the environmental benefits offered by energy-efficient new appliances.

Get the Most Environmentally Friendly Bang for Your Buck

Whether you decide buy new or used appliances, there are things you can do to ensure you cause the least amount of harm to the environment as possible.

• Look for the Energy Star label. Many new and used appliances alike bear this label, which means they are more ecologically sound than those without the Energy Star rating. They use less energy and water, and they emit fewer greenhouse gases.
• Buy the right size. Buying a bigger water heater, air conditioner, or refrigerator than you need is a waste of both energy and money.
• If possible, choose natural gas appliances over electric. It’s more energy efficient to burn natural gas in your home than for power plants to burn it, convert it to electricity, and send it to you.

Conclusion

There are a lot of factors that play into deciding whether to purchase new or used appliances. One of the biggest points to keep in mind is that even if you decide not to purchase new, ‘newer’ used appliances are still better, especially if they come with an Energy Star label attached. This holds true whether you are purchasing a refrigerator, air conditioner, washing machine, or any other high-end appliance.

Sources:

http://www.energystar.gov/about/

http://www.nrdc.org/air/energy/fappl.asp

How to Recognize Fraud: Fake Buyers

It pays to be savvy about spotting fraud. From fake websites to fake buyers, there are plenty of opportunities to get hosed if you don’t have your wits about you. How can you tell when someone is trying to steal your money or personal information when all you are trying to do is sell some furniture (or sell your car, or house, etc.).

The first step is very nondescript reply from a sketchy email address, or a text message if you provided a phone number with your ad. The email likely has a few numbers in it, and is at a less commonly used domain, or a domain you have never heard of. The initial reply is probably something like “do you still have it“, “is this still available?“, or “I am interested in your item“. They save their usual pitch for later, as by keeping their initial reply simple, they are much harder to detect as a scam. They will usually pick a nondescript, typically English-Canadian sounding name to use (or at least, what they perceive as typical), but use poor grammar and spelling, as well as strange diction reveals that they are not the average Canadian they claim to be. If you receive a text message, they will generally ask you to email them.

Recognizing Fraud

The scam pitch: They will often talk about god or religion, use words like “blessed”, make frequent reference to how “serious” they are, or babble about their job as a missionary, in the military, for green peace, or another position that they think will lend them credibility. The capitalization will be random seeming, and the phrasing will often be strange (as if it was typed in a foreign language and run through google translate). Here is a typical follow up reply.
Hello,
Thanks for the prompt reply.Well am okay for the
(insert title of your ad) i am highly interested in it,and i Don’t want you to worry abt the shipping because i have a shipping company that will be coming for the Pick up of the Advert at your residence as soon as payment has been made,The shipper will come for the immediate pick-up and make sure everything is clean up ok

I also want you to know that i will be paying via Money Order or Certified Check and it will contain both your asking price and the shipping fees via my shipping company and no pick up will be made until Money order is received and cashed by you i also want you to be serious about this so we can both finished this transaction in one mind, and here are the details needed so that i can mail the Money order without any delay,i lookup concluding the sale sooner.Thanks

FULL NAME:
ADDRESS :
PROVINCE,STATE:
POSTAL CODE:
TEL #:
SELLING PRICE:

As soon as this is received the payment will be mailed out with no further delay,Once the datas are provided to me,i can send payment immediately.I will be expecting your reply asap.? Kindly reply back with the requested question so the purchase can be completed

Best Regard,
Stay Blessed With Your Family

The reply seems odd, but since many don’t see how they could be scammed when they aren’t the ones paying, they might fall for it and continue to reply, which would lead them to a response like this one:

The payment which will be delivered to you 3 to 5 working days by next week. Kindly mark the ads sold on the site right now as well have it keep intact for me OK. And include an excess fund meant for my mover agent fee’s. As soon as you get it, take it to your bank for instantly cashed, You will deduct your selling price, And get the remaining balanced sent to my mover agent via western union money transfer or money gram store around you.

Which I will send you his information later. … I hope you do understand me clearly. I’m as well giving you $50 for the inconvenience and for the assistance. I await for your reply as soon as you got my message. I wish you a great day ahead.

Of course, they aren’t actually sending you real money. The cheque will bounce, or be found to be fake, in any case, you won’t end up with the money they send, and if you send the “mover” money, then you will lose more than you ever stood to gain.

If you are selling on any classified website, don’t agree to any transactions that are not face to face, and don’t send personal information to strangers online (except for what you need to tell people to coordinate a meet-up). Though the Kijiji community is full of friendly people who just want to save (or make) a few bucks with used goods or services, any time you are online you should keep your wits about you, and remember your own safety.

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