Where do buyers form the most lasting impression of a home for sale that they visit? On the main floor!


When buyers view a property, they often spend a lot of time on the main floor, thinking and imagining. They visualize cooking in the kitchen, having family dinners in the dining room, and entertaining guests in the living room. They even mentally calculate how their furniture will fit!


So, making the main floor look great to buyers is crucial when selling your property. How do you do that?


An effective technique is to walk your main floor the way a buyer would. Start at your front entrance. Stand there for a moment and look around. Get a sense of the impression a buyer is likely to get from that perspective.


Next, walk to the kitchen area, because that’s where buyers often venture next. Again, linger a while and look around. Does the kitchen look clean and seem as spacious as possible (given its size)?


Finally, check out the other rooms on the main floor, including the washroom, if there is one. Gauge how you feel and the impression you form as you visit these spaces. Once you’ve done that mock tour, write down ideas that jumped out at you for improvements. Those may include uncluttering some areas, rearranging the furniture, adding or taking away items, etc.


This is a simple but powerful technique for improving how your main floor looks to buyers.


Call today for more staging ideas that will make your home sell faster and for a good price.

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Your front walkway is one of the first sections of real estate a buyer will set foot on when coming to see your home. So, it makes sense to make that pathway to your front door as appealing as possible.


The obvious way is to make it as clean and clear as you can. Ensure there are no obstacles in the way, such as overhanging branches, kid's toys, or potted plants. What you want is a clear, unobstructed and pleasant walk to your main entranceway.


If your walkway needs deeper cleaning, consider a powerwash. There are special detergents available that are designed specifically for stone, asphalt or cement walkways and other outdoor surfaces.


A deep cleaning isn't a major project. In most cases, the job can be done within an hour. Yet, the result can be stunning.


If you're selling in the spring or summer, another way to make your walkway look better is to add flowers or other plants along the sides. Don't overdo it. You only need a few flowers or a couple of shrubs to make a big difference.


The great thing about adding a few flowers or shrubs is the impact they can have on your entire frontage making it more attractive, and adding to your home's overall curb appeal.


Making your walkway look better may seem minor, but keep in mind that when buyers make their way to your front door, they're forming their first and often most important impression of your property. The walkway plays a small but important role in making it a good one.


Want more ideas for making your home show better, so it sells quicker and for a higher price? Call me.

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When you think about selling your property, do you dwell on the possible work and stress involved? You're not alone. Many homeowners share the same concerns.


But it doesn't have to be that way.


In fact, there are plenty of ways to add some fun, anticipation, and even a sense of adventure to the selling process. Here are just a few ideas:


1. Plan fun things to do when your home is being shown. That can include walks, sports activities, or trying something you and your family have never done before.


2. Declutter for your own benefit. Instead of thinking about decluttering as a chore required for the sale, focus instead on how much more comfortable your home will be after decluttering. Studies consistently show that less clutter reduces stress and increases a sense of wellbeing.


3. Get everyone in your home anticipating the move in a positive way. Put pictures of your next home, including neighbourhood shots, on the fridge door. Sit together on the computer and explore your new neighbourhood's features and amenities.


4. Celebrate milestones in the selling process. For example, when you're finished preparing your property for sale, go out to celebrate. Make a checklist of milestones and how you'll celebrate each one.


5. Get the help you need. A big part of the stress of selling is the anticipated work involved. Remember, you don't have to do it all yourself. Much of what needs to be done can be handled by contractors and other professionals.


There are many other ways to make selling your home a positive and turbulentfree experience. Give me a call if you'd like more ideas and suggestions.

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If you’re going to be out-of-town but need to sell you home, you might be concerned about listing your property while you’re away. After all, you won’t be around to show your property, schedule viewings, consider offers, etc.


While it’s ideal that you be close to home when you’re selling, there’s no reason why you can’t list your property, even if you’re going to be out-of-town.


When it comes to communications and document sharing, technology is a wonderful thing! While you’re away, you can utilize phone, email, file sharing apps (such as Dropbox), e-signing apps (such as DocuSign) and, online meeting apps (such as Zoom).


For viewing appointments, a secure lock box (with your key inside) can be installed so buyers can be shown your property.


Even services such as staging, painting, repair work, and cleaning can be done while you’re away.


Sure, the selling process can become a little more challenging if you’re going to be out-of-town, but certainly not impossible. In fact, homes are sold all the time under these circumstances.


So, if you’re thinking of selling but worried about being away, give me a call. I’ll show you how to make it work.

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If you need to sell your home in the next month or two, you might be worried. After all, aren’t spring and summer the ideal seasons to list your property? If you list in November or December, you might have difficulties attracting buyers and getting the best price for your home. Right?


Not necessarily.


While it’s true that spring and summer are traditionally busy periods in the real estate market, properties do sell every month of the year.


So, if you’re thinking of selling, you’ll need to know two things:


• What comparable homes are selling for at this time of year.


• How long homes are taking to sell, on average.


There might be a local seller’s market this month. That would mean there are more buyers looking for homes like yours than there are sellers. If that’s the case, your property will likely sell fairly quickly; perhaps you’ll even get multiple offers.


But, even if there’s a buyer’s market at this moment, that doesn’t mean your property won’t sell. It just means your home will need to be staged and marketed effectively to attract the right buyers and pique their interest in making an offer.


Regardless of the market, chances are, there are buyers out there looking for a home like yours. They just need to find out about it, become interested in viewing it, and be wowed when they see it.


So, don’t be too concerned about the month. If you’re ready to sell, there’s a way to make it happen.


Call me for more details.

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In the business world, a phrase that’s often used is ROI or Return On Investment. It refers to the regular gain (or loss) you’re getting from a particular asset relative to its cost.


When it comes to your home, the gain may be more than financial. It may include the benefit of the lifestyle it gives you. For example, a spacious backyard deck pays off in countless pleasant Saturdays with friends and family. A home’s location near convenient commuting routes means less stress getting to and from work.


Lifestyle factors are important, not only when considering where you’re living now, but also when considering where you think you’d like to live in the future.


That’s why it’s a good idea to do a Lifestyle Assessment regularly. The exercise is simple. Make a list of all the lifestyle characteristics you want in a home, as well as a neighbourhood. Think about how much room you need, the kind of neighbourhood you want to live in, your hobbies and interests, what’s important to have nearby (such as schools), and so forth.


The next step is to prioritize. Move items on your list around so that the most important lifestyle factors are at the top.


Finally, review the list and check off those lifestyle factors your home is currently providing.


If you’re able to check off most (ideally, all) of the items at the top of your list, you’re in pretty good shape. Your current home is probably giving you the lifestyle you want.


But if some important lifestyle factors are unchecked, it might be worth considering whether buying a new home will give you a better “Lifestyle ROI”.


If, after doing this exercise, you’re curious about how to get into your ideal home, call me.

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When you’re selling your home, you want it to look its best. You want buyers who view it to say, “Wow, I love this place!” However, what if you have a stubborn stain in the carpet, or a cracked floor tile? An unsightly issue like that can be distracting in your otherwise beautiful property.


You have a few options.


First, try to get the issue fixed. There are specialty cleaners on the market designed to lift even the most stubborn carpet stains.


The same goes for hardwood and tile. A flooring contractor might be able to find a matching piece and then replace the damaged section. Contractors also know other tricks-of-the-trade to repair damaged flooring or, at least, minimize the damage. For example, there are fillers and stains available that can make a crack or chip in a hardwood plank look almost invisible.


Home staging can also make damaged flooring less of a focal point in the room. An effective arrangement of furniture, area rugs, and other items puts more of the focus on the overall decor and less on that carpet stain.


In addition, making other more affordable improvements, such as painting, can have a compensatory effect. A buyer may notice the chipped hardwood, but will also notice the walls, which look like new.

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How do you find the home of your dreams within a price range you can afford?


Most buyers start by making a “wish list”. But, it’s easy to get frustrated when you have a long wish list and expect you’ll be able to find a home with every one of those features. You might, for example, have “mature backyard tree” as number 23 on your list, and become disappointed when an otherwise ideal property doesn’t have one.


But when you really think about it, your ideal home probably comes down to just three or four core characteristics. For example:


1. Nice, safe, family-oriented neighbourhood.


2. Good-sized backyard.


3. Four bedrooms and two baths.


Sure, there might be other features you were hoping for, such as “move in ready”, or that big tree, but your “big three” are the ones you really can’t do without.


So, when you’re shopping for a new home, yes, definitely make a long list of features and characteristics you desire. After all, there might be properties available on the market that check off most, if not all, of those boxes.


But also circle those three or four characteristics that are at the core of what you want. That will help make your property search much more focused and you’ll be more likely to find your next dream home.


Another advantage of coming up with your big three (or four) is that you’ll be able to quickly discover how much homes with those characteristics are selling for on today’s market. Once you know that price range, you’ll be able to talk with a mortgage advisor to pre-arrange financing. That will make your offer on that dream home even stronger.


Whatever you choose for your “big three”, I can help you find and buy that home. Call me.

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If you want to reduce your home energy costs, the easiest way is to turn the thermostat up or down. In fact, you probably won't notice a difference of 2 degrees either way — and the savings can be substantial.


However, if you want to lower your bill even further each month, here are some additional tips that are relatively easy to implement.


• Plug or fix the drafts. Even in newer homes, air filtration can occur at windows and doors. So, check around your home for drafts. Windy or cold days are the best days to check. Then, get any drafts you find repaired or, at least, temporarily plugged.


• Check the attic. Heat rises and can escape through the attic. So, once a year, check the attic insulation for thin or bare spots. The insulation should be even across the space.


• Get smart with your thermostat. Most thermostats these days are programmable. Program yours to reduce the heat at night and when you're away in the winter. In the summer, be easy on the A/C during the day and save the cooling for nighttime.


• Unused rooms? Close the vents to reduce heat or A/C. You might be surprised by how much that will lower your energy bill. (Think about rooms, such as a rec room, that you only use on weekends.)


• Harness the sun. It's free energy! Whenever possible, keep curtains open during cooler seasons to take advantage of this heat source, even on cloudy days. Do the opposite during hot summer days.


Try some of these ideas over the next couple of months. Then, look at the impact they’ve had on your energy costs.

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There are many reasons why you might suddenly need to sell your home. It could be an unexpected work relocation, a change in family circumstances, or simply a desire to move.


Whatever the reason, selling quickly requires some fast action on your part. But that doesn't mean you need to get into panic mode. You can list and sell your property, quickly while still enjoying the process!


The first thing you need to do is figure out how to make your home show its best. In addition to cleaning and decluttering, that might include getting any needed repairs done, sprucing up the place by painting and perhaps even doing some minor improvements.


How much you need to "stage" your property depends on many factors, including what conditions are like in the local real estate market. For example, you may not need to make each room look like a page from a decorating magazine if you’re in a seller’s market.


So, before you start any work, talk to me about what needs to be done to make your home ready to be seen by buyers.


The next thing you’ll need to consider is the list price. Your list price is especially important if you want to sell soon. No, you don't need to low-ball your listing to attract interested buyers — in fact, doing that might actually have the opposite effect. But you do need to price your property competitively.


In addition, it's smart to line up the resources you'll need, especially if you're also buying a new home. For example: get recommendations for a real estate lawyer, contractor, mortgage advisor, cleaning service, pet daycare, etc.


I’m well-connected in the local home industry, so I can recommend you to reputable professionals I know and trust.


A final tip: If you want to sell quickly, you need to start the process now. Give me a call to get the ball rolling.

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Chances are, you know that you should change the batteries in your smoke detectors at least once a year — even if you suspect the batteries are still good.


But that isn't the only fire safety check you should do annually. Here are some other recommended tips to help keep you and your family safe.


• Clean your stove burners and oven regularly. Hard grease build-up can become combustible.


• Check your cupboard for cleaning products, paints and other liquids that are flammable. Read each label carefully. Use and store each product only as recommended.


• If you keep a fire extinguisher in your kitchen — and you should — confirm that it is still good. Extinguishers are like food. They have expiry dates!


• Go over your fire escape plan with your family. Make sure everyone knows exactly what to do if a smoke detector goes off or if there's a fire. (Don't have a fire escape plan? Make one!)


• Check that all windows open easily, especially upper floor windows.


• Check appliances you use often, such as hair dryers, for worn or frayed cords.


• Regularly clear away lint build-up in the clothes dryer. Check the outside dryer vent annually to make sure it's clear and working correctly.


• If you have a wood-burning fireplace or stove, get it cleaned and inspected by a licensed technician once a year.


Many local fire departments offer homeowners free tips and even in-home advice and inspections at no cost. Contact your fire department and ask about programs available to you.

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Why is making a big change in life often so difficult?


According to psychologists, maintaining the "status quo" is one of the most powerful motivations we have. If things are "okay", even making a change for the better can be difficult. Our brains resist.


You may have experienced this if you’ve thought about selling your current property and finding your next dream home. Your house may be "good enough" for you now and the neighbourhood might be "okay" too. So, even if your dream is to get into a better home that's more suited to your family and lifestyle, you may be hesitant.


That's just the way the psychology works.


One way to get around this psychology is to get your dream out of your head and on to paper. Write down the kind of home you'd love to live in next. For example, you may want a detached home, with 3-bedrooms in a family-oriented neighbourhood. Also jot down the specific features and characteristics of the property and neighbourhood such as a goodsized backyard, family-size kitchen, and an easy commute to work. That will help you see the real possibilities.


Next, find out whether getting into a home like this is doable for you right now. Avoid making assumptions. Get the facts. Find out what you can expect to get for your current property, and what you'll need to spend for the new home.


If you discover that moving to your next dream home is something you can swing this year, your hesitancy will likely vanish!


I can help you get the information you need to make the best decision. Call me.

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Imagine you have a major project at work, you have to deal with home schooling and you still need to deal with groceries, laundry and dinner. Whoa! That's a busy life.


Can you still find and buy a new home with such a tight schedule? The good news is, you can. In fact, there's plenty you can do to save time.


Consider these tips:


• Get specific about the home you want to buy. Think about property type (for example, "two story, detached"), number of bedrooms and bathrooms, special features, etc.


• Target areas you'd like to live in. That will avoid trips to see listings in areas that aren't a good fit for you.


• Get the financing arranged. You'll be able to shop for a new home with more confidence when you have a pre-arranged mortgage. It will also make your offers stronger.


• Make seeing homes a priority by putting it on your schedule. Look at pictures and watch virtual tours carefully to help narrow down the number of homes you need to visit. Try to block time on the weekend, and ideally one or two evenings a week, to view homes without other distractions.


• Get all the information you need when viewing a property. Take notes. Ask questions. Thoroughly explore the home, yard, and neighbourhood. Get enough information to make a decision without needing to see the home a second time.


While these time-saving tips can help, the best way to find a home on a busy schedule is to work with a good real estate agent.


Want more advice on buying your next dream home? Call today.

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As you may know, curb appeal refers to how your property looks from the street, where potential buyers first see it. Your home’s curb appeal can have a big impact on the sale of your property. In fact, it's not uncommon for a buyer to drive by a listing, rather than stop, because they don't like what they see.


So, how can you improve your home's curb appeal quickly? One way is to do some outside cleaning.


Start with the main entryway. Wash down the front door and sweep (or power wash) the front steps. It only takes a few minutes but you'd be surprised by the impact it can have. Sweep or power wash your walkway too and you’ll improve the overall look of your home — sometimes dramatically.


Clean your front windows to brighten the look of your home’s facade. It doesn't have to be an arduous chore. In fact, there are washing products available that attach to your garden hose. You don't even need a ladder! Ask your local home improvement retailer for recommendations.


If you have hedges and scrubs, give them a trim. To keep your trimming level, use a wide board, or even a piece of cardboard, then cut to the desired height. Pull off any dead leaves or branches. Of course, also mow the lawn!


Finally, inspect your property from the street. Can you see anything else you can do to quickly improve the look? Do you notice anything that is unsightly or distracting, such as garbage bins that could be relocated?


One final tip: When a viewing is scheduled, remove your vehicles from the driveway. Buyers like to see an empty driveway because it helps them imagine themselves living there. It also gives them a convenient place to park!

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Whether you're painting your home to prepare it for sale, or simply to make it more attractive for your own enjoyment, choosing the right colour is important. A colour isn't just a matter of taste, it's also, to a large extent, about the emotions it elicits.


If you're painting your foyer, for example, you may want it to seem bright and welcoming. So, light orange tones might be appropriate as that colour is often interpreted as friendly.


In your living room, you may want to create an atmosphere of comfort and relaxation. In that case, consider shades of greens or grays as those colours communicate peacefulness and calm.


Want the rec room to look vibrant and energetic? Purples and reds communicate those emotions.


Where do you find more information about colour psychology? There are plenty of charts available online. Just Google "colour psychology charts". They can help you select just the right colour to convey the feeling you want for a room.


Of course, if all else fails, you can't go wrong with soft beiges, especially when selling your home. Neutral colours are often interpreted as reliable.


Have questions about painting and other fix-ups that will help sell your home faster and for the best price? Call today.

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As you've probably noticed, credit card companies regularly offer bonuses to get you to apply for their cards. For example, one such card company offers opportunities to buy tickets to concerts and other events ahead of everyone else. It's their "front of the line" service.


When you’re searching for a new home, wouldn't it be great if you could get to the front of the line on desirable properties – before other buyers get the chance?


Well, in a way, you can.


The first thing you need to do is create a profile for the specific type of home you're looking to buy. That profile will need to include the basics, such as type of home (e.g. detached), size and rooms (e.g. 2000-2,500 sq. ft., 3 bedrooms, 2 baths), and your target neighbourhoods.


You'll also want to add any additional features you're looking for, such as a finished basement or in-ground pool.


Next, you want to work with a real estate agent like me who understands the local market and can arrange for you to receive immediate alerts for newly listed homes that meet your criteria.


It's not uncommon for homes to become available for sale before the listing information gets published on the MLS. In fact, in some circumstances, it could take a couple of days before such listings become available online.


So, if you get an alert soon after a listing comes on the market, you get a head-start on seeing that home and making an offer. And, you don't need to apply for a special credit card to make that happen! Just give me a call. I can help you find the right home for you.

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There's a reason why there are "kitchen and bath" stores, and even design magazines devoted to these rooms. A well-staged kitchen and bathroom can make the entire home look better. So, it's no surprise that professional home stagers pay particular attention to these spaces.


What do these pros have to say about bathrooms?


Professional stagers advise that you start by taking a picture of the room. Looking at that picture will give you a better sense of how others see your bathroom and reveal what needs to be changed.


Then, de-personalize it. When you’re showing your home to buyers, you want the bathroom to resemble a guest bathroom. So, no shaving kits, toothbrushes, sticky notes to self on the mirror, etc.


Stagers also recommend that anything worn be replaced. This will likely include the shower curtain and mats, which tend to wear and stain quickly.


Hang fresh new towels on the rack. (If you’re buying new towels for this purpose, choose white.) Put an unused bar of soap or hand cleaner next to the sink. Make it look like a freshly stocked hotel bathroom.


If required, paint the walls. Off-white colours, including beiges and light greys, work well.


As you can see, it doesn't take much to stage your bathroom and make it look its best for buyers.


Looking for more staging tips? Call today

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If you're thinking of listing your property, one thing that might be holding you back is concern about preparing your home for sale. You may be wondering how much work there will be. Is it going to take a couple of months? A couple of weeks? A few days?


That, of course, depends on the state of your property.


However, regardless of how close your home is to “show time” ready, there is plenty you can do to reduce how long that preparation takes. Consider these ideas:


• Sell stuff online. The less cluttered your home seems to buyers, the better it will show. So, make a list of items you want to sell, and then list them on one of the many local online market websites. Price items fairly and, chances are, you'll get rid of everything in a day or two.


• Have a repair day. Go through your home and make a list of everything that needs to be fixed. Then, schedule repair people to all come on the same day. Voila! In one day, all needed repairs (or, at least, most of them) are done.


• Get staging advice. Instead of guessing at what changes you need to make around your home to make it look its best, get expert staging advice. You’ll find out exactly what the experts suggest you do, and you'll save a lot of time and money. (By the way, I can provide you with that advice too.)


• Ask before making big improvements. Are you planning to convert a wood burning fireplace into a gas unit to help sell your home? Before doing any big improvements or renovations like that, talk to me. You don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on an unnecessary project.


• Hire help. You don't have to do everything on your own. Get the help you need. For example, hire a painter, a cleaner, and/or a junk removal service. Those will significantly shorten the time it takes to prepare your home for sale and save you a lot of work. Also, the costs of those professionals may be off-set by the increase in the sale price of your home.


Bottomline: Preparing your home doesn't need to be overwhelming and timeconsuming. Contact me for more ideas to help get your home ready for sale, quickly.

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No matter what you think of snakes, you must agree that they have a unique way of dealing with worn-out skin. When the time comes, they simply shed it — like an old jacket — revealing a fresh new skin underneath.


Your home's roof doesn't have that advantage! So, when the shingles wear out or become damaged, you need to have them replaced.


Unfortunately, it's not always easy to determine whether your shingles need replacement right away, or whether you can hold off for another year. Assuming your home has the most common type of shingles — asphalt — here's what to look for:


• Corners upturned on some shingles.


• Missing shingles.


• Shingles lifting during high winds and not settling back into place (flat) within a day or two.


• Heavy accumulation of shingle debris (particles) in the gutters.


• Shingle bits and pieces found on the ground around your home.


• Spots on your roof that still look wet a day or two after a rainfall. (This could be a sign of water infiltration into the felt or even the roof deck.)



If you have any of these signs, be sure to have a roofing contractor take a closer look.


Before investing in a new roof, be sure to check with the retailer or contractor who supplied the original materials. Your shingles might still be under warranty.


Bottomline: Don't delay. You don't want to wait until you hear drip drip drip before taking action!

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Let's face it. Planning events, even exciting ones like an overseas vacation, can be stressful. So, it's not surprising that some homeowners — even those thrilled about moving — can slip into "worry mode" when putting their property up for sale.


Unfortunately, this anxiety can make the process of selling an unpleasant experience. Who wants that? So here are some things you can do to reduce selling stress and enjoy the adventure.


• Understand the selling process. The more you know about the steps involved in selling your home, the less mysterious — and, therefore, less stressful — it will be.


• Give yourself the time you need. Feeling rushed and stressed comes from trying to do too much in too little time. Even if you're selling quickly, it's important to block off sufficient time in your calendar for the things you need to do.


• Take care of yourself. As television psychologist Dr. Phil often points out, you can't give what you don't have. When it comes to selling your home, that means you need to eat well and stay healthy, so you have the energy you need throughout the process.


• Make your home attractive to buyers. That not only means tidying up and doing a little home staging, it also means setting the right listing price. Nothing eliminates the stress of selling more than having flocks of qualified buyers interested in your home.


• Get the help you need. You don't have to do everything on your own. That's why working with me is so advantageous. I take care of the many details for my clients so that they can enjoy the journey.


Sure, there are going to be a few stressful moments. However, the process of listing and selling your property, while looking for your next dream home, can be an exciting experience.


Let me help you. Call today.

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Data is supplied by Pillar 9™ MLS® System. Pillar 9™ is the owner of the copyright in its MLS®System. Data is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate by Pillar 9™.
The trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Service® and the associated logos are owned by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.