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THE GRAFF GIRLS BLOG
Youth+Experience=Success - WHEN YOU HIRE US, YOU GET US!
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Staging Makes A Difference
Posted on Thu, 21 Feb 2019, 08:00:00 AM  in Home selling tips,  Marketing strategies, etc.
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Before & after

The Graff Girls Know....

Staging makes a difference. 

It’s been said, for every $1 you put in you will receive $2 back on the sale of your home but, not everyone has the budget to hire a professional stager and pay for the furniture.  

 

Here are the 5 Golden Rules of Staging when on a budget. However, we highly recommend you speak to knowledgeable and experienced realtors and stagers first.

 

1) DEPERSONALIZE

Remove all your personal photos and degrees.

 

2) MAXIMIZE

Less is more. You want your place to look as spacious as possible. Clear out the closets. If need be store elsewhere.  Light is important and creates a sense of space. Be sure shades are open! 

 

4) MODERNIZE

A dated home will receive less. Simple changes can be spraying kitchen cabinets, changing hardware on cabinets, changing bedspreads, towels, shower curtains if you still have them. 

Remove rugs in front of sinks. It makes space appear larger. 

 

5) NEUTRALIZE 

Paint is your Best friend for making a huge difference in a feeling and style for the least amount of money.  Simply put...Keep it neutral. You want to attract a larger market. 

 

Want to know more specific tips for staging?

Contact The Graff Girls. We will go room by room with you to maximize your home sale! 

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WHAT TO EXPECT IN 2019 HOUSING MARKET?
Posted on Wed, 20 Feb 2019, 02:55:00 PM  in Home buying tips,  My services, etc.
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Expectation 2019

What to expect in 2019 housing market?

According to CTV news, the average price of houses was dropped by 2.1% in 2018. In 2017, the average price was $509,835 where as in 2018 it was $499,100. In the Country’s largest market, that is Greater Toronto Area, the decline was about 4% falling from $822,961 in 2017 to $787,000 in 2018.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) expects the normal Canadian housing prices in 2019 to be under $525,000. Be that as it may, the regional sales and price forecasts contrast significantly. Urban housing markets in Ontario are relied upon to recoup from the "dampened activity in 2018" due to anticipation of strong job growth and immigration.

For potential home buyers especially young families, who are new in the market. Even after this fall in prices they still are not able to afford houses worth more than a million dollars. So, what is the option for them? They have two options, one is to move outside of GTA, or the second option is to live in a Condo Townhouse. Townhouses are the next best thing for the people who are unable to afford million-dollar homes. It is like a house but condominium ownership.

Few things to notice in 2019 are rising mortgage rates, more stringent lending requirements, and of course continued high home prices.

The Graff Girls will keep you informed of the market outlook each month.

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3 Ways The Graff Girls protect our Buyers
Posted on Wed, 20 Feb 2019, 11:55:00 AM  in Home buying tips,  My services, etc.
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3 Ways

Your real estate transaction depends upon good faith between you, the Buyer, and Seller.

Unfortunately, Sellers could make changes or damage the property prior to closing.

To protect our Buyers, we take the following proactive steps:

1) We Insert a protection clause in the offer: This would include clauses that refer to the state of the home and its contents on the completion date. If there are substantial changes or damage to the home or its contents, the clauses would reflect the Seller to either restore the property to its original condition or compensate you, the Buyer, for any necessary repairs or replacement.

The offer would also include a clause that allows you, the Buyer, to have a pre-closing visit close to or the day before closing that will enable you, the Buyer, to confirm that the home is in the same condition as when you made your offer. Also, this is to ensure the Seller has completed any repairs that were agreed upon.

2) Take pictures and document serial numbers and model of appliances and other chattels and fixtures that are included in the Agreement of Purchase and Sale. This will protect you, the Buyer, in the event the Seller attempts to replace these items with different models.

3) With assistance from a lawyer, negotiate a hold back: Your lawyer (Buyer’s lawyer) may be able to negotiate a hold back of a reasonable amount to be re- leased to the Seller after closing, once you, the Buyer is satisfied the property is in good condition.

Taking these steps to protect our clients The Graff Girls demonstrate professionalism and complete client satisfaction.

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To Follow or not to Follow Kitchen Trends 2019
Posted on Mon, 07 Jan 2019, 04:10:00 PM  in Home selling tips,  My services, etc.
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 kitchen2019

 

What is the newest trend in kitchen design and Should I jump on board?

 

Today's kitchens are the heart and soul of the home. It is the family meeting place.  It's the place where the spouses catch up. It's the place where the kids (actually) talk to you.  Guests hover around the kitchen island.  The kitchen is central to everyday living. Of all the places in the home, the kitchen consumes most of our waking moments.

 

Kitchen design is so popular that large industries cater to all parts of the kitchen from cabinets, to countertops, from lighting to appliances and smart home technology. Homeowners justify the expense as an investment in the re-sale value while also enjoying its daily use.  There are so many types of kitchen design from old world to modern, from city chic to country cozy. What about cabinet material?  Too many.  Is there only one finish to the counters? Heck No.  Smooth, seamless, straight edges.  Hardware or no hardware? How much colour can one put in the kitchen? These are a few of the trends appearing in 2019.

 

The choices you make stem from your personality.  Just like every family has a feel, so too do kitchens. If your home is a city, then the kitchen is city hall.  It needs you to define its personality.  This is the one room that requires your thoughts and attention.  Good kitchen design is worth the investment.  It's what sells homes and makes your home yours.

 

If you are looking for advice on your kitchen, then call The Graff Girls who have years of experience and observed complete kitchen makeovers.  Cheryl and Samantha would be happy to share their expertise with you.

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Setting Goals With Like minded people - The Graff Girls - Toronto Mother Daughter Realtor Team
Sunday, 06 January 2019, 11:05:00 AM

setting goals youtube

 

Whatever your 2019 goals are...apply the information in this video! In short, Set Standards, Create and more importantly Implement Rituals that support the standards you want to achieve for your goals. Want to learn more watch this video and feel free to post your thoughts and discuss with THE GRAFF GIRLS!  By surrounding yourself with other like-minded and supportive people you will attain your goals and live life fully. #samanthagraff #thegraffgirls #sammygs #inspiration #tonyrobbins

https://youtu.be/SBgKfFX3uZE

 

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What Does Sibling Rivalry Have to do with Selling a Family Home?
Posted on Wed, 02 Jan 2019, 10:55:00 AM  in Home selling tips,  My services, etc.
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sibling rivalry
 
What does “sibling rivalry” have to do with the sale of a family home?
 
As it turns out, quite a bit. 
 
In fact, in our experience, this has proven to be a key part of our work with families who hire us to sell their elderly parents’ home.  
 
In the last 10 years, we have experienced a significant rise in the number of adult children who have consulted and then retained us to list, stage, sell and close on their parents’ home, either after they have moved into a senior’s residence or, G-d forbid, passed away.  
 
The sort of work that we have done with families is highly specialized.  Often times, there are many different emotions at play which can influence and sometimes hinder the sale process.  Luckily, as a mother/daughter team, we have decades of experience helping adult children and their elderly parents manage the sale of their home - successfully, speedily and with the least amount of stress.   
 
We have faced the presence of sibling rivalry play out in our work, which has caused us to become sensitive, skilled and capable in managing the family dynamics.
 

As we know, siblings generally spend more time together during their childhood than they do as adults. The sibling bond is often complicated and is influenced by factors such as birth order, gender, personality and the relationship that each child had with the parents.  We have witnessed particularly intense family dynamics surrounding the sale of the family home.  At times, this is influenced by financial issues such as inheritances. At other times, the intense emotions stem from unresolved past issues, the loss of the family home or, even worse, the unexpected loss of the parents.

Whatever the underlying issues may be, an experienced realtor who is skilled in family dynamics, diplomacy and estate sales is critical to ensuring that all members of the family are treated equally, fairly and respectfully, whatever the outcome of the home sale is.  
 
If you are facing the prospect of selling your parents’ family home and/or moving them to a smaller residence such as a condominium, The Graff Girls would be pleased to assist you in transitioning your parents to their new home.  
 
Call us today at 416-219-2931
 

 

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What happens when you list your home with a realtor who is your family or friend ?
Posted on Mon, 17 Dec 2018, 04:55:00 PM  in Home selling tips,  Marketing strategies, etc.
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rope

What happens when you list your home with a realtor who is your family or friend ?


As a full time award winning realtor mother daughter team for 23 years, we both receive plenty of emails like this one:

 

Dear Samantha,


I am writing to you as I am renting my furnished penthouse at XXX steps from Buca, Gusto and Jimmy’s, and wanted to get it on your radar!  It’s just been featured as BlogTO’s Rental of the Week. This is a doorman building with a fantastic gym, massive terrace and indoor fob access to Loblaws and Winners. It’s listed with an agent friend however I’m writing to you in case your clients may have interest.

 

Our clients never have to worry about their property once they retain us as their realtor.  We handle the A to Z from staging, to marketing, to showings to selling to selling at the maximum price.  Our client do not take back the job of marketing their property.  That is our job and we take it very seriously.

 

If you are considering the possibility of selling or leading your property always remember to hire a qualified realtor you can trust and you get what you pay for always. 

 

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I have condensation on my windows, what do I do?
Posted on Wed, 05 Dec 2018, 09:30:00 AM  in Home selling tips,  condo living, etc.
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condensation
 
 
 
With Colder weather upon us if air is not circulating well in your home or condominium condensation will occur.
 

WHAT IS CONDENSATION?

The air contains moisture. The temperature of the air determines how much moisture it can hold, and warm air contains more moisture than cold air.

When warm, moist air comes into contact with either a surface or air that is colder than it is, the warm air is unable to retain the same amount of moisture as it did and the water is released either into the cold air or onto the colder surface, causing condensation to form, quickly followed by mould.

 

Here are some methods to prevent condensation inside your home: 

1) Turn your bathroom fan on when showering and leave on for a few minutes when done 

2) Turn on your exhaust fan when cooking
3) Open a balcony door or window slightly to provide fresh air into the home
4) Circulate air using a fan 
5) Move plants away from windows as Plants release moisture 
6) Run a dehumidifier 
 
The Graff Girls don not just help people BUY and SELL homes they help them keep them living in comfort and health! 
 
Happy Holidays!
Samantha and Cheryl
THE GRAFF GIRLS 
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Is there an advantage to buying a new condo from the builder versus using my own realtor?
Posted on Sat, 01 Dec 2018, 09:05:00 AM  in My services,  Reviews, etc.
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Is there an advantage to buying a new condo from the builder versus using my own realtor?

Purchasing a new condo is different from buying a resale condo.  Realtors with expertise in condos make a huge difference in protecting buyers, maximizing their purchase and minimizing their cost.  

As one of Toronto's top realtor teams since 1995, clients regularly have Cheryl and Samantha Graff represent them from the early stages of investigating all of the different condo options, to viewing the different sites and floor plans, to studying the historical reputation of the builder and their ability to complete construction on time and to the level of satisfaction of buyers, and then track the progress until closing and occupancy permit.  Their expertise is so widely known that they have strong working relationships with the GTA’s builder's agents.  

It's a good idea to have your own real estate agent accompany you on your first visit to the new condo sales office. There’s no cost to you.  Why? Because the builder (aka the seller) will be responsible for paying the commission. This commission is built into the sale price and the buyer does not save when there is no realtor.  

As experts in condos, Cheryl and Samantha will help you as follows: tggnewcondobuilding

  • Negotiating extras: Want upgraded counter-tops or appliances in that new condo? Need a wall removed or added? What about preferred paint colours? 
  • Recommending financing: Cheryl and Samantha can assist you with a wider roster of mortgage lenders than from the builder.  
  • Overseeing a home inspection: Tempted to forgo a home inspection in a new construction? Don't do it! The number and severity of new-home defects often rival resale home problems. 

Cheryl and Samantha are available to assist you and protect your interests when buying a new condo.  They are knowledgeable about the neighbourhood, construction quality, industry standards, prices and available amenities.   Allow Cheryl and Samantha to give you peace of mind and be in your corner.   

 

Email Samantha or Cheryl                 

Call Samantha 416-219-2931 or Cheryl 416-587-1314

 

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Can our home be listed for sale with only one spouse's signature?
Posted on Wed, 31 Oct 2018, 11:50:00 AM  in Home selling tips,  divorce and real estate, etc.
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answering questions

When divorcing, our clients ask:

“Can our home be listed for sale with only one spouses signature?”

 

The Graff Girls answer: In Ontario, each spouse who is married has a right to ownership and occupation of the matrimonial home and neither spouse can sell or refinance it without the other spouse’s signature.

 

In some cases, where one spouse refuses to sell the home,  their lawyers must get involved and attend court to obtain a court order for sale of the home.  Although this may be an expensive ordeal, it often works and results in a court-ordered sale of the home so that the proceeds may be divided and each spouse may buy a new home and begin their new life post-separation.

 

Cheryl and Samantha are regularly called upon to help divorce lawyers manage the spouses and get the home sold.  From signing the listing agreement, to valuing the home, to staging it for sale, to maximizing its sale price, to moving day, to buying a new home or homes, The Graff Girls do it all for divorcing couples.  Mostly, they do it with integrity, transparency and respect.

 

If you have any other questions, or if you would like any more information on how to handle divorce sales, The Graff Girls are happy to speak to you in confidence. 

 

 

 

 

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