Buying or selling a home is about so much more than bricks and mortar. It's about memories and aspirations and cold, hard cash. Why not work with an experienced broker able to guide you through the process worry-free?
Real estate has been my passion for more than 15 years. My career has taken me into virtually every neighborhood in the city, to work with hundreds of buyers and sellers. All that experience would mean nothing without the confidence of my clients. Earning that confidence and surpassing your expectations are my guiding principles.
Before joining the real estate industry as a broker, I spent more than a decade covering the residential, commerical and industrial real-estate scene as a reporter and columnist for The Gazette. I have visited hundreds of constructions sites and residential properties. I know the builders, the promoters, the designers and the agents.
I partner with Century 21 broker Amy Barratt on all my listings. One or the other of us is always available. We like to say that we "Put the Real in Real Estate."
Give me a call today to discuss your plans to buy or sell.
I am a Montrealer born and raised. My love affair with the city is an ongoing thing. I enjoy exploring the city's neighborhoods and discovering hidden treasures - whether that means fantastic heritage architecture, wonderful parks or neighborhood restaurants that no one else seems to know about. I'm a steady guide when it comes to buying and selling property. I make a point of driving cars with lots of storage, the better to help people empty out their basements before a move.
I studied journalism at Montreal's Concordia University, before joining the staff of The Gazette as a summer intern in 1989. I soon became a business reporter and quickly zeroed in on real estate as the business beat with the widest possible reader interest. Everyone lives under a roof, somewhere.
For more than a decade, I developed contacts in the world of industrial, commercial and residential real estate across the island. My work took me to hundreds of construction sites and into hundreds of homes. I got to know the developers, the builders, architects, designers and agents and wrote about them in my weekly Homefront column in The Gazette. Today, I share that insider's perspective with my clients.
I still like to connect with people through the written word but nowI use a blog - www.marylamey.blogspot.com
I earned my real-estate license at the College immobilier du Québec. I worked at another firm before joining the team at Century 21 Vision in the fall of 2008. I work under a fantastic director, Eric Goodman, who is indeed a good man!
Buying a home is the single biggest investment decision most of us will ever make. Before plunging in, there are steps you can take to give yourself financial and competitive advantages in the marketplace.
Reduce your debt load before you start househunting. Pay off those credit cards to improve your credit score. If you have cards you don't use, cancel them. An unused card with a $2,000 spending limit shows up as a $2,000 debt on your credit report.
Get mortgage pre-approval. This will help set your budget and allow you to lock in the interest rate for 90 to 120 days. If rates go up, you'll get the lower, locked-in rate. If rates go down you'll still get the lower rate. Win-win.
Choose the right agent. Talk to a few and find out how they work. Who listens well? Who understands your expectations? Which agent makes him or herself available and returns calls?
Understand the costs. Have you factored in the notary's fee? A building inspection? Adjustments? Insurance? The "welcome" tax? Your agent should be able to explain these costs to you.
Have the property inspected before you buy it. Choose a home inspector with lots of experience in the type of property you are considering buying. You can ask your agent for referrals, but don't stop there. Ask friends and acquaintances or contact the Quebec Association of Building Inspectors: www.aibq.qc.ca
Buy the best location your budget allows. Location is the one thing that you cannot change.
Every house will find a buyer, but finding the best price at the terms most favourable to you could depend on how your home shows and is marketed. Why not use all the tools at your disposal?
Choose the right agent. Meet with a few and study their listing presentations. Who has the best marketing strategy for your home? Who seems to know the neighborhood?
Look at your home with a vendor's eye. Are there minor renos or repairs to do? Is a fresh coat of paint in order?
Declutter and depersonalize. Removing excess furniture and keepsakes will make rooms seem larger and allow buyers to imagine themselves living there. Are the rooms well lit?
Clean from top to bottom. This means windows, carpets, garage, bathrooms, basement, closets and kitchen cupboards. Your home should look and smell clean.
Complete a vendor's declaration outlining past problems or repairs that a buyer would want to know about. This protects you if the same problem arises in the future. A buyer cannot easily seek a price reduction for a declared defect or repair needing to be done.
How's your curb appeal? Replace burnt out exterior lights and that ratty doormat. Clear clutter from the entrance. Be sure walkways are clear of ice and snow.
Set a reasonable schedule for visits. Be clear about your expectations. How much notice do you need and who will handle the showings?
Most important of all, be realistic when pricing.
I volunteer with Habitat for Humanity, which builds homes for families who might not otherwise be able to afford one. So far, the Montreal chapter has built nine home since the chapter was founded in 1998. H4H Montreal is actively looking for land to purchase for our 10th build.
I also volunteer with the Underdog Club, possibly the world's first marketing agency for hard-to-place pooches. Each week I write about one of the thousands of rescue dogs living in a Montreal area shelter in the hopes finding a good dog a forever home. My stories appear in the Westmount Independent and the NDG Free Press. Check out our Underdog website.
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