Imagine your coffee maker switching on by itself, staying on for hours, overheating and becoming a fire hazard. That's not science fiction. As more and more appliances incorporate WIFI, the opportunities for hackers to play havoc with your home gadgets increase.


How do you prevent that from happening? Here are some safety tips:


       • If your gadget uses a password to access the settings, change that password frequently. Ideally, change it once every 3 months.


       • Some gadgets, such as alarm systems, come with their own connection to the internet. Learn how to turn that connection off if it becomes necessary to do so.


       • Don't leave an internet-connected appliance or other gadget on constantly unless it’s necessary. For example, you don't need your home speaker system connected to your digital music providers all the time.


       • Baby monitors with video are a common target for hackers. Use a password unique to that device and change it often. Never leave the monitor on when not in use.


       • Never share passwords with anyone unless it is absolutely necessary. Most home WIFI systems have a "guest" feature with a separate password and limited access. Use it.


In this age of internet connectivity — from coffee makers to stereos and even washing machines — it's smart to play it safe. Know what's connected and protect yourself.

Read full post

When you sell, you’ll probably want to get the best possible price for your property. Who wouldn’t? Unfortunately, there are many ways to inadvertently leave money on the table – sometimes thousands of dollars.


How do you avoid that possibility? Just remember the 4 Ps:


       • Prep. Do everything you can to prepare your home so that it looks great to buyers. Clean, declutter, fix, make                 improvements. Home staging can also help. In fact, effectively staged homes have been shown to sell for up to               5% more than comparable unstaged properties.


       • Price. Set the right asking price. That’s crucial. If it's too low, you'll attract only deal-hunters — and you might end           up getting less than you should. If the asking price is too high, however, you'll discourage those buyers who might           otherwise be interested and willing to make a good offer. Be careful with pricing!


       • Promotion. There may be qualified buyers out there who would be eager to see your property. But, they need to             find out about your listing and the great features of your home first! Reaching these buyers requires more than                 merely profiling the listing on the MLS. Homes that sell for top dollar often have strong marketing — directed to               the right buyers.


       • Proposal. Once an offer comes in, there may be an opportunity to negotiate with the buyer to maximize the final             price you get. This requires deep knowledge of the local market as well as street-smart negotiation skills. If done             effectively, these negotiations can help put more money in your pocket.


These four Ps are easy to remember, but sometimes not so easy to implement! That's why working with a great real estate agent is so important.


Contact me to get the conversation started.

Read full post

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.