Jennifer Berthelette REALTOR®

Mobile: 204.990.9418 |

Advice from a Buyer(s) to Seller(s)

It’s been a minute since I blogged about anything, but since Dec 2018, I have sold 2 homes (1 primary residence and 1 rental I co-owned w my ex-partner) and bought one that I currently reside in.
Being on this side of the glass recently has reminded me of the expectations buyers have when they look at a home.  Here are my top 10 pieces of advice to you, my seller(s):
  1.  Please mow your lawn or shovel your path and maintain your yard overall…there is nothing less inviting than a foot long climb through the green stuff or passed mounds of pet droppings to get to the front door (and now I expect the inside to look the same).
  2.   Don’t smoke in your home or porch and if you did, paint your walls and replace the carpets.  It can be so bad that I have literally walked in the front door and walked right back out (w clients and as a recent buyer).
  3.   You can definitely live in your home, but having the dishes done and the clothes off the floor and in the hamper as it goes a long way in making me (and my clients) feel like I could live here.
  4.   Fresh paint (inside and out…see #2) makes everything feel new again…true story!
  5.   Finish all the little projects you have left until now (ie: patch the hole in the wall where lil’ Becky hit it with her hockey stick, add the last piece of baseboard on the LR wall, organize the basement and leave room for a buyer to dream of a rec room and or gym).
  6.   Clean the litter box EVERY SINGLE DAY…you know what I am talking about.
  7.   Unfortunately, yes, remove all the family photos and overly personalized wall art and de-clutter your space so it looks, well….wait for it…SPACIOUS to the new potential owner!
  8.   Set up each room (if possible) with its intended use items (bed in bedroom, desk and chair in office)…remember, less is more.
  9.   Leave receipts, disclosures, lists of repairs for the buyer to read and feel at ease with your home.
  10.   Scents are everything (see #2 and #6) so if you have a diffuser or dehumidifier (for the moist basements), use them prior to showings.
There are more, but these were my top of mind suggestions at the time of writing.  You can certainly contact me to consult on other questions or concerns you have before we list your home.

- Jennifer Berthelette
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  “People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing.” —Dale Carnegie

The idea of living a simplified, uncluttered life with less stuff sounds attractive to many. They have considered the benefits of owning fewer possessions: less to clean, less debt, less to organize, less stress, more money and energy for their greatest passions. They are ready to declutter but some get quickly tripped up by the very next question… where in the world do I begin?


Many begin to feel overwhelmed, anxious and defeated around the idea of decluttering their homes. That’s too bad. The decluttering journey doesn’t need to be as painful as some make it out to be. In fact, there are a variety of people who have come up with some pretty fun, creative ways to get started.

Consider this list of 10 creative ways to declutter your home:

1. Give yourself 5 solid minutes. Leo Babauta at Zen Habits recommends 18 different 5-minute decluttering tips. Pick one today that sounds appealing. Or better yet, pick a random number 1-18, read the specific tip, and commit 5 minutes to completing it.

2. Give away one item each day. Colleen Madsen at 365 Less Things gives away one item each day. Over the past several years, she has experienced quite a transformation simply reducing her stuff one day at a time.

3. Fill one trash bag. Early in our journey towards simplicity, one of my favorite decluttering techniques was to grab a simple large trash bag and see how quickly I could fill it. While much of what I collected was trash, this could also be used to fill a bag for Goodwill.

4. Try the Oprah Winfrey Closet Hanger Experiment. While this idea didn’t originate with Oprah, she was the one to help give it notoriety. To identify wardrobe pieces to clear out, hang all your clothes with the hangers in the reverse direction. After you wear an item, return it to the closet with the hanger facing the correct direction. After six months, you’ll have a clear picture of which clothes you can easily discard. This experiment could also be applied to a number of clutter areas in your home (cleaners, toys, linens, tools, hobbies and craft items).

5. Make a list. Dana Byers recommends creating a list of places/areas in your home to declutter beginning with the easiest… which doesn’t sound all that creative until she adds this note, “When you’re done with one area, STOP.” This list could be made as easy or difficult as you desire based upon what areas of your home make up the list (drawers/closets/rooms). And could easily fit into any schedule.

6. Take the 12-12-12 Challenge. A simple task of locating 12 items to throw away, 12 items to donate, and 12 items to be returned to their proper home can be a really fun and exciting way to quickly organize 36 things in your house. On more than one occasion, this challenge actually became a quick competition between my wife and me… and your kids don’t have to be too old to participate as well.

7. Change your perspective. Unclutterer offers a powerful approach to decluttering when they offer a number of strategies to help you change your perspective and begin to notice some clutter you may have missed. Among their ideas: take photos of your house, invite over a toddler, or ask the boss to meet in your office. With all of the examples, the hope is to cause you to see your home in a new light.

8. Experiment with numbers. For example, Courtney Carver invented Project 333 to challenge people to wear only 33 articles of clothing for 3 months. If 33 articles of clothing seems too little, adjust the rules as you need by picking a new number. The important thing is to challenge yourself to live with less and see what you learn from the experiment.

9. Use your imagination. Psychology Today recommends using your imagination to help declutter objects that may seem difficult to remove. Try asking yourself unique questions like, “If I was just buying this now, how much would I pay?” These creative techniques may prove to be very helpful for some with difficulties removing unneeded clutter.

10.The Four-Box Method. As we first set out on our journey to minimalism, this was the technique most often used in our home. As I set out to declutter an area, I brought four boxes: trash, give away, keep, or relocate. Each item in every room was placed into one of the four categories. No item was passed over. Each was considered individually. Some projects took an hour… others took days or weeks. But the technique and principles remained the same.

No matter what you choose to help you get started – whether it be one of these ten or one of countless others – the goal is to take your first step with excitement behind it. There is a beautiful world of freedom and fresh breath hiding behind that clutter. How you remove it is up to you.


Written by: JOSHUA BECKER (Jan 2016)

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-accompanies most, if not all, offers to purchase

-can be as little as $1000 and as big as $20,000+ (IMO usually $3000-5000 works) and are written by cheque (made payable to listing brokerage) and included with offer to purchase 

-is deducted from the total purchase price/downpayment

-shows sincere interest in completing the purchase
-cashed only on the accepted offer and usually the next business day and held in trust
-completely refundable without deduction as long as the condition benefiting the buyer (ie:obtaining mortgage financing by a specific date and time) has not been satisfied

PDS (property disclosure statement)


-list of 19 questions pertaining to the property condition answered by the seller to the best of their knowledge
-can be requested as a condition benefiting the buyer, although usually waived if provided by seller already, if an inspection has already been done or if in competition with other offers

Mortgage Financing

-the most important condition benefiting a buyer

-protects the buyer from losing the deposit if a mortgage cannot be obtained on a given property due to overpriced offering
-without this clause to protect you, if you offered a price for the property and the bank did an appraisal and found that the property was not saleable at that price, they would reject that mortgage application and you would have to pay the difference between their appraisal price and the offer price

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