Christine Lelond Your Home Expert

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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.

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Hot weather and summer holidays brought a slight cooling to Saskatoon and region’s housing market, as sales and total dollar volume fell by 9.8 and 9.4 per cent respectively from last July.


Multiple Listing Service® (MLS) sales totaled 481, down from 533, while listings rose a marginal 0.4 per cent to 1,140. Dollar volume fell to $154.7 million from last year’s $170.7 million, reported the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS® (SRAR).


“Typically, people think summer will always be busy, but spring is the busiest market,” said SRAR CEO Jason Yochim. “It tapers off a bit in summer. Winter weather can be brutal, and people take advantage of summer when it’s here.”


Still, year-to-date numbers remain up over 2018. Sales rose 4.4 per cent to 2,968 from 2,843, while dollar volume is up 2.8 per cent to $964.7 million from $938.7 million. Listings so far this year are down 2.2 per cent, to 7,724 from 7,900; and well down from 2017’s 8,692.


In the city of Saskatoon, July sales were exactly on par with last year’s 390 transactions and well up from 310 in 2017. Dollar volume fell 1.7 per cent to $129.4 million, while listings rose 5.5 per cent to 748 from 709.


Year-to-date, and largely due to a strong spring market, the city’s dollar volume is up six per cent to $739 million from $696.4 million last year. Sales increased seven per cent to 2,228 from 2,081 and listings fell three per cent to 4,952 from 5,116.


Active listings in Saskatoon are down 5.7 per cent to 1,932 from 2,048 last year, while the region’s listings are down 0.7 per cent to 1,213 from 1,221.


In July, the city’s sales-to-listings ratio reached 52 per cent, which is considered a balanced market.


“Inventory levels are still declining, and that’s a good sign,” Yochim said. “The slight decline over the last three years helps us maintain a balanced market.” The city’s average price slipped 1.7 per cent to $331,780 in July. Year-to-date the price has fallen one per cent to $331,649.


Media Release: August 2019 Jason Yochim, Chief Executive Officer, Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS® “It’s good to see in the city that while the average price dropped in 2017 and 2018, we’re very close to those values, so it’s levelled a bit,” Yochim said. “Overall, it’s positive; it’s stable. We’ve seen some good growth in Saskatoon in the last quarter. Our sales numbers year-to-date are the highest in three years.”


The surrounding region saw less-robust interest from buyers. July sales dropped nearly 40 per cent to 69 sales from last year’s 114, and dollar volume fell 35 per cent to $21.5 million from $33 million. Listings were down 3.3 per cent to 291 from 301.


However, the region’s average sales price rose 7.5 per cent to $311,998 in July, up from last year’s $290,322. To date, the price is down 5.2 per cent to $294,389.  ~ August 2019 SRAR News Release 

 
Looking for sound market advice?  As REALTOR® and Nationally Accredited Buyer Representative - ABR®, Seller Representative Specialist - SRS® and Real Estate Negotiation Expert - RENE, I can provide you with this advice. Call today.
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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.

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The Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS® (SRAR) IDX Reciprocity listings are displayed in accordance with SRAR's MLS® Data Access Agreement and are copyright of the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS®.
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