Harvey Bhatoa is a Real Estate Agent working with RE/MAX Core Realty, serving Prince George and surrounding area.
I work mostly with residential buyers and sellers, but occasionally dip into commercial buying and selling. It is my goal to help you locate and purchase the property of your dreams, as quickly and with as little footwork as possible. I am always ready to answer your real estate questions. Please call any time!
Check out my Re/Max Profile here.
When you're shopping around for a new home, it's easy to let your emotions take over. This quick list of dos and don'ts can help you keep a level head while you look, and ensure you don't end up with buyer's remorse down the road.
DO a drive-by. Check out the exterior, the street and the neighbourhood. If you can, stop by during the day and in the evening to get a sense of what it's like at different times. See if there are any good shops and restaurants in the area, and if it's a place where you feel comfortable walking around. Check walkability scores of different neighbourhoods here .
DO come prepared. Show up to showings and open houses armed with a list of questions. Take plenty of photos. Sketch out layouts. Measure spaces to ensure your furniture will fit. Write down all the things you love, items that require repair or renovation, elements you're not so keen on. When you're looking at multiple homes, it's easy to get confused – having detailed notes of each visit will help you keep track.
DO look at homes in your price range. It's easy to fall in love with a place you can't afford. Don't bother looking at the ones that are priced out of reach - you'll only be setting yourself up for disappointment, and make yourself feel like you're settling for less than you deserve.
DO check the water pressure. Run the taps and flush the toilets (separately and at the same time). See if the showerhead blasts water or just gives off an unsatisfying drizzle. And don't forget to check how fast the water heats up. If it's really slow, there could be issues with the heater.
DON'T forget to take stock of storage. There's nothing like moving into a new place and realizing there's nowhere to stow your stuff. Look at closets, basement storage, attic space and outdoor sheds. Where will you keep your vacuum cleaner? Your spare linens and towels? Sports equipment and off-season clothes?
DON'T sweat the small stuff. That harvest gold fridge and the stained basement carpet can both be replaced at a relatively low cost. The scary turquoise dining room can easily be repainted. Watch out for high-cost fixes instead, like outdated electrical or bathrooms that require a complete overhaul
DON'T forget to check the exterior. Look for damp or buckled spots on the siding, peeling paint, loose shingles, cracks in the foundation. A quick look can save you thousands of dollars in the long run.
DON'T overestimate your DIY capabilities. Fixing that leaky faucet? Sure, almost anyone can do that. But renovating the kitchen? Ripping out drywall? Putting in new plumbing? Before you make an offer on a house that's not move-in ready, make sure you're not getting too enthusiastic about what you can actually accomplish. If you think you can do it yourself, then realize you need outside help, you'll be facing some serious costs you didn't factor into the purchase price.
DON'T be afraid to move on. So many buyers get stuck on the idea that another home as perfect as this one will never come along. That's simply not true. New listings come on the market every day, so never assume that there's nothing as good as - or better - out there. Be patient.
Finding a property you love is exciting, but it's a little like falling in love with a person. That initial glow can make you overlook faults that will drive you around the bend a few years down the road. Keeping emotions in check and the long-term future in mind can help you make a smart buying decision – and finding the home that's perfect for you.
Making your home appealing takes more than just a quick cleanup and some scented candles. When you've got your place on the market, here are some tips for creating a great experience for prospective buyers, and really showing off your property to its fullest advantage.
1. Depersonalize. This is one of the most important rules of home staging. Store the kids' artwork, your family photos, religious items and toiletries. Buyers don't want to see the space as someone else's - getting rid of your personal stuff helps them visualize it as theirs.
2. Be a minimalist. Having less stuff on display makes your place look bigger and more appealing. Pack up the knick-knacks, clear off the countertops, pull half the stuff out of your closets and organize what's left. If you're tempted to throw all the extra stuff into the garage, don't. Buyers will be looking in there too. If you need to, rent a storage unit while your house is on the market.
3. Ensure your house is spotless. One of the biggest turnoffs for buyers is a place that isn't clean. Steam the carpets, mop the floors, corral the dust bunnies, and make sure windows and mirrors are gleaming. And don't forget about the small everyday stuff, like crumbs on the table, rumpled beds, toothbrushes left by the sink or half-full trash cans. Details count - people will notice.
4. Always be show-ready. Yes, this is a hassle. But showings sometimes happen with very little notice, so make sure your place is always clean and ready to go. Don't put dirty dishes in the sink - wash them right away or put them in the dishwasher. Keep your valuables stored away, and make sure personal info isn't in plain sight. Ensure your key is always in the lockbox. Follow a checklist so you don't miss anything.
5. Be flexible. Be open to last-minute showings and other inconveniences. The more flexible you can be now, the less time it should take to sell your house. And don't stick around when potential buyers are there - there's nothing more uncomfortable than looking at a house while the current owners are there, watching you. Go out for dinner, take the kids to the park, hang out in a coffee shop or visit friends.
6. Keep things fresh. A house that looks clean should smell clean, too. Cooking smells, mildew, pet odours - they're all serious turnoffs. Open the windows, use air purifiers, put out some lightly scented candles. But be careful about using plug-ins, room sprays or other artificial fragrances. A lot of people are sensitive to them, and having an overwhelming scent can make it seem like you're trying to mask an odour problem. Less is definitely more.
7. Relocate your pets. Fido or Fluffy might be friendly, but don't leave them at home during a showing. Not everyone is an animal lover, and no one wants to see the litter box or a bowl of dog food on the kitchen floor. Have a plan for taking your pet with you for showings, or better yet, ask a friend to pet-sit while your house is on the market.
8. Make a great first impression. Ensuring the inside of your house looks great is important, but don't forget about the part they see first: the exterior. Up your curb appeal by making sure windows are clean, trim is painted, and decks are power washed. Adding some colourful plants to your garden or having containers on your porch is a wonderfully cheap and cheerful boost. And don't forget the entryway. Get rid of coats, shoes and keys, put out some fresh flowers, and make it a welcoming space that offers the perfect intro to the rest of your home.
9. Lighten up. Create a bright, cheery atmosphere by turning on all the lights and opening up the curtains and blinds (or removing them completely). Trim back any bushes that block the light, and don't forget to clean the windows.
10. Show off your assets. Do your best to really maximize the best features of your home. Do you have beautiful hardwood floors? Put the area rugs away. Want to highlight a nicely renovated kitchen? Get rid of the dishtowels and put countertop appliances out of sight to emphasize how great it looks.
It all boils down to this. If you do everything you can to make your space look its best and be flexible about showings, your property will appeal to more buyers - and sell faster.
When you’re selling your house or condo, you want to sell it fast and make as much money as possible. A good marketing plan can help you do that. Here’s how I will work with you to market your property.
1. Advise you on getting your home sale-ready. I will walk through your home with you and give you staging tips – everything from furniture placement to wall colour to clutter control – to help your place appeal to more potential buyers and maximize marketability.
2. Give you a sense of the market. To help you decide on a fair price that’s based on market value, I will provide you with information on how much other properties in your area have sold for.
3. Submit the listing to MLS®. I will include multiple quality photos of your property – and plenty of information to entice buyers.
4. Promote your listing. I’ll get the word out in as many ways as I can. Your listing will be featured on my website, my newsletter, in feature sheets, “Just Listed” postcards, slideshow presentations, targeted emails, and any other marketing vehicle that makes sense for your property – and the target market of potential buyers.
5. Promote your property to other REALTORS® via phone calls, emails personal meetings – whatever it takes to reach potential buyers.
6. Follow up after every viewing. I will contact you after every showing to let you know the potential buyers’ level of interest, and tell you what types of comments they made about your property.
7. Keep in touch throughout the process. You’ll never have to guess where things stand with the sale of your property – I will contact you regularly with updates. And if you have any questions, I’m available to answer them – seven days a week. I welcome your calls or emails anytime.
8. Negotiate the best possible price and terms for you.