Nancy in the Media


With home staging, small details pay big dividends for sellers

When you're selling your home in a buyers' market, the subtleties of staging can make a world of difference.

"Getting an edge on the competition is all about presentation and pricing," said Nancy Ball, a REALTOR® with RE/MAX Camosun, Victoria B.C & The AlbertaRE Real Estate Team. Ball has come to be known as the "Home Staging Realtor," and these are her tips for home-staging success. 

"You can add visual interest and help make your home photos pop with colourful toss cushions, a bowl of fruit or even some nice books on a shelf," said Ball. "My favourites are small fake plants placed in the bathroom or on an end table. Whatever you choose should have some flash without going overboard."

"Side table lamps create instant warmth as soon as people enter the home and make it easier to picture yourself living there," said Ball. Be sure to have lights on a timer, as Realtors might not turn all the lights on when they show the home, especially during the day. You might also add a mirror in the front entrance that reflects natural light and makes the space feel larger.

"Getting an edge on the competition is all about presentation and pricing." - Nancy Ball, Realtor®

"I love art, whether it's over the fireplace mantle or above the mattress when there's no headboard," said Ball. "It produces that grand look when you first walk into a room, and you can even choose colours that match other accessories for greater effect."

Paint and flooring
In today's market, it may be worth painting the walls or replacing the flooring to really stand out.
"Paint and flooring are things people really notice and will quickly pay for themselves when you sell," said Ball. "Another option is to offer an allowance to cover those jobs and let the buyer choose what they want."

It's not as sexy as fine art or warm lighting, but aggressive pricing is still critical.
"Do your research and see what else is on the market," said Ball. "Remember that it's not what other homes are priced at that's important – it's what price they sold for that matters."

If it sounds like a lot to think about, it helps to remember that there's a reason Ball has been busy helping other Realtors with staging for the last 17 years: it works.

"From my own research, I can safely say I have added value for clients with these touches by attracting more buyers to the table," said Ball. "People make decisions based on emotion, so the more you can make them feel at home, the more likely that they will want to stay there."

Writer, Geoff Geddes, Local Real Estate Board

MoneySense Magazine 2014, Investing in Real Estate, What You Need To Know?

A modern, updated detached 4-bedroom in a neighbourhood MoneySense Magazine identified as one of the Top 10 Best Deals in Calgary real estate renovated home which includes 9-foot ceilings, built-in cabinetry, a landscape backyard retreat and a grand staircase, prompted a sale in just over a week.

Money matters:
Since the new owners bought it as their new family home, the only needed to make a down payment of 5% which works out to $42,495, however, to assume a 20% down payment which works out $269,980. For qualification purposes all lenders are not required to qualify borers based on the current five-year fixed post rate currently at 4.79% and a base amortization. That means the new owners could've needed to show that they could afford monthly mortgage payments of $4,462. However, the new owners would've gotten a much better rate, such as a 5-year fixed rate at 3.19% which would've dropped their monthly mortgage payments and no prepayment throughout the term at the end of the five years the balance on the mortgage would be $583,265.

Bottom line:
This neighbourhood was ranked number eight and money sense best places to buy now 2013 raking the full list was not published online but the article that link the neighbourhoods can be found here, the prominence Patterson neighborhood is predicted to hold its value over the next five years, so, assuming an appreciation of just 2%, this home could be worth 938,003 958 and 2019. After mortgage payments, the owners’ equity would be $583,499. However, the new owners will need to keep in mind the impact of interest rate creep. Assuming mortgage interest rates will start to rise at the end of 20 more than 0.25% and anyone quarter, the new owner could be faced with renewing at five and $83,265 mortgage at rates closer to 4% or 5% assuming a discount they didn't extend and kept their amortization a 20 years, they could be looking at monthly mortgage payments between $3,525 to $3,833 per month impact of interest rate creep now by increasing their current mortgage payments are making lump-sum payments during the next five years. By doing this increase the equity in their home and reduce their monthly mortgage payments when it comes time to renew, and they'd still be living in a beautiful home in one of the best value neighbourhoods.

Globe & Mail Article, May 2008: Why Buy Now?

Lesley Scorgie, Author of: Rich By Thirty: A Young Adult's Guide to Financial Success


Not only our prices low, but current interest rates on mortgages are still historically low, Mr. Charbonneau says. A review of interest rates at shows five-year close rates range from 5.25 to 6.85%, compared with more than 8% in 2000. 

There's also plenty to choose from. Annual listings growth is still outpacing sales in 22 of 25 major markets across the country, and the ratio of new listings to sales remains near a nine-year high, Robert Kavcic, economic analyst at BMO Nesbitt Burns Inc., writes in a research note. 

According to Nancy Ball, a top realtor for her Brokerage, "Buyers have enough time to decide what is best as the prices have stabilized when compared to two years ago."

The low-down on down payments

You'll need at least 20% of the value of the home to have an uninsured mortgage. 

Alternatively, you pay a fee of up to 3.1% of the mortgage as an insurance premium and get a high-ratio mortgage that lets you borrow up to 95% of the value of your home. 

Banks also offer 0% down mortgages, a practice that encourages homeownership but doesn't support healthy saving habits.  0% down mortgages are frightening.  Buyers in this category can't sustain any downward price movement in their home value because there's no equity," says Mr. Charbonneau. 

The RRSP borrowing quick fix

The RRSP Home Buyers Plan lets you borrow up to $20,000 tax free from your RRSP to put towards your down payment. You'll then have 15 years to repay the funds into your RRSP. But, in a market that's been badly beaten up in recent months, the value of your RRSP Portfolio may have dwindled dramatically.

"Selling at a time like this isn't recommended. Hang in there," says Mr. Charbonneau. 

If you kept the $20,000 in your RRSP for 15 years earning an 8.5% in compound interest annually, it would be worth over $67,000. With housing prices appreciating at about 6%, based on history, you might lose out on greater potential returns in your RRSP portfolio.

The simplest way to save is to have money automatically withdrawn from your bank account on payday and transferred into a GIC or high interest savings account. Starting in 2009, you'll be able to open a tax-free savings account which will allow you to grow your money tax-free. This account is going to be helpful for short-term down-payment savings, and you can put any type of investment inside the plan.

Negotiate everything

Everything is negotiable-the house price, real estate fees and mortgage interest rates. Shop around to get competitive rates on both realtors and mortgages.  If you prefer one bank or broker over another, present a competing offer and ask them to match it. Ms. Ball recommends getting a preapproved mortgage through a qualified mortgage broker or financial institution. And when you bid on a house, it's best to put forth an offer with as few conditions as possible and have a strong deposit ready to put towards the down payment, such as $5,000 or more, Ms. Ball suggests. 

"Your offer will be taken more seriously," she says.

Lesley Scorgie

Author of: Rich By Thirty: A Young Adult's Guide to Financial Success

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Nancy Ball

Phone: (250) 880-8818

Toll Free: 1-800-663-2121


Office Info

RE/MAX Camosun

4440 Chatterton Way  Victoria,  BC  V8X5J2 

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