​How to optimize selling a home

You are now a seller, either trying to sell our own house or using a Durham Region real estate agent to help you out. There are a number of factors to ensure your home will sell/sell faster. The ones that seem to have the most affect on the selling are timing and pricing. Below are a few tips and reasons why this is true;

Timing, timing, timing…

Recent research has shown that sellers can receive the highest return on their house sale by picking the most opportune time to list and sell their property. For most of North America this happens to be May (this can be anywhere from $1,000-$20,000 extra). The reason for this specific month or time of year is due to the weather change happening around that time. Most buyers aren’t going to look for houses when it’s cold outside. This most likely will mean they will have to move in the cold… who wants to move heavy items in the cold? During the colder months people usually tend to stay inside unless they must go outside for some specific reason or, the weather goes above a certain temperature. This in turn will give you less buyers coming to look at your lovely new listing.


There are at least 3 reasons a homeowner prices a property too high. The first reason can be unless the homeowner has a proper knowledge of what increases and decreases the value of a home, the home can get unnecessarily overpriced.  The second reason can be a seller can misuse or misinterpret the market data. It’s great to use selling averages in your neighbourhood however; this should also include SOLD homes as well as similar size, age, features and number of stories (if applicable). Lastly there is also the myth of placing a home on the market for a higher price leaves room for negotiation. What can happen is the opposite effect; the price is essentially too high for the buyer and it gets pushed to the side for a more affordable option. Price the home well and the buyer will see the worth and pay the price set out.

Curb appeal.

Let’s not overlook curb appeal and first impressions. Make sure the outside is painted well, the driveway is sealed, and cracks repaired.  Prior to listing, have your lawn fertilized, and trimmed well.  If your listing is on Oshawa, Whitby, Ajax, Pickering, Courtice, Bowmanville, or the GTA, your realtor will then call True Sign Group, to install a real estate post for you. One of our custom style and colour double leg, double stem, picture frame post, to maximize and compliments your efforts for amazing curb appeal

Other Names the Posts are called are Double Post, Double leg post, Picture Frame Posts, H Style Posts, Two Leg posts, Frame style posts, Sign Posts, PVC sign posts and PVC posts


How to set a wood post and real estate sign in the ground

If you are looking for a longer term and more permanent solution for your real estate sign, setting it in the ground with concrete is your best option 


Setting a Post

Step 1

Place your form tube into the hole. You can buy these in any local Ontario hardware store. Set the post ( we discussed how to pick the best 4x4 posts and wood in our previous blog)  into the form and temporarily stand straight.

Step 2

Pour the dry mix into the tube. Follow the instructions on the bag of dry mix. This too can be sourced at any local hardware store 

Step 3

Pour water into the dry mix and allow it to soak in. Use enough water to saturate the dry mix fully  take your time and do this step properly 

Step 4

Fill the remainder of the hole with soil dug from the hole. It sets in 20 to 40 minutes. Don’t rush this step. Let it set properly. Wait four hours before placing heavy objects.

This will give you a great strong foundation and base for all your signs 


Best and strongest post and sign installation in Clarington 

Selecting good wood for your real estate sign installation

Pressure-treated 4x4s are typically made from “peeler cores,” which are the byproduct of plywood production.

Companies are trying to keep their costs low when producing wood. And many Oshawa sign installers are using the cheap discount wood from hardware stores to save money

When a full and new log is rotated on a lathe to produce plywood, the middle of the log will remain. This is called the Peeler core.

The centre of the log doesn’t pressure treat well.  It just doesn’t want to accept the treatment

They are bound to warp and twist

When true sign group shops for woods, we look at. Both ends. If we see growth rings start near the center of the post and expand outward, we avoid it. We strive to find wood where the rings aren’t in the center. This means when we build you a post to hold tour real estate sign, we build you a strong product.

Your real estate listing is important to you, and that should reflect in your sign on the lawn

If you are renovating your deck or burping anything, keep this in mind too! It’s all the same price, just take the time to find the correct posts

We source the best wood in Durham region to build your real estate sign posts with  

We source the best wood in Durham region to build your real estate sign posts with  

Competitors lacking quality when installing your real estate signs

Our competitors in Oshawa, Whitby Clarington, Ajax, and Pickering do not pay attention to detail, and frequently leave their clients signs looking unprofessional and sloppy. The True Sign Group instead ensures each post and sign is put up professionally and looks amazing! You are a hard working real estate professional, and your listing sign should represent that. The Durham region real estate market is hot, and inventory is low. When we install real estate signs in oshawa or any city nearby, we not only install the sign with perfection, we also do quality checks on it frequently, visiting the location all the time, to ensure our posts ans signs are perfect, from begininng to end


Pickering sign installation

Tips to find the best cleaning company

  1. Through word of mouth. Ask your friends, family members, neighbours. They will answer things like, “ hey, try Three North Clean, they are the best!” and so on

  2. Referrals from professionals that use cleaning companies ( like restorations companies or construction companies)

  3. Online services of “ best cleaning companies in XX area”

  4. Online directories like kijji, Angie's list, Craigslist, yellow pages, etc

Don't forget the basics! 3 steps to selling a home

With today's competive real estate scene, agents and brokers are rushing to stand out in a crowd. From custom key chains, pop by gifts for clients, and custom double leg real estate posts from true sign group ( for areas like oshawa an whitby), agents have many options if they want to capture a buyers or sellers attention. But let's not forget a few basics when selling a home! 


  1.  DECLUTTER AND DEPERSONALIZE  YOUR HOME – help potential buyers envision THEMSELVES in the home. declutter anything that takes up space, and tuck away all the personal momentos. Put them in boxes for safe keeping, and then bring them to your new home, where you can enjoy them again.  
  2. LIGHT UP THE HOUSE – it's always a great idea to ensure the home is well lit, as it will be more inviting to potential buyers. If the season is winter, and the days are short, purchase more lamps, and use daylight lightbulbs. These emit a whiter light, instead of the yellow and soft light we usually have. If your showings are in the evening, this will ensure your home is well lit and bright still, when buyers tour through it 
  3. ELIMINATE PET SMELLS – even if most people like pets, no one likes smelling them, especially in a home they hope to buy. Identify where the smells are coming from, and then ELIMINATE them ( don't just mast them). Too many realtors and home owners try to merely mask the smell. Instead, use a enzyme based product, that actually eats the odour causing bacteria. Sometimes, this might mean applying it to the walls and floors, and letting it work it's magic! 
oshawa post installers  

oshawa post installers  

What to consider when staging your sellers home

 1. Find the right professionals to work with when staging and setting up. 

Just like homeowners need to pick the best realtors to represent them when listing their home for sale, realtors need to focus on surrounding themselves with the best professionals as well. A home stager and the proper sign installation  ompnau offer the same result... a great first impression for potential home buyers.

A home stager will set your home up on the inside, to wow home buyers. A real estate post installed by the True Sign Group will achieve the same effect on the exterior.


2. Focus on the front and the curb appeal

Wondering where to begin? Try maximizing the sellers home's curb appeal. "Buyers make up their mind in the first 30 seconds as they approach the front door, and this is the same when they meet someone knew. First impressions can mean the difference between a sale and a lost oppurting. Clean up the front, paint and update the old weathered light fixture. Replace your house numbers on the front and the mailbox. Do monaor landscaping and ensure the lawn Is green and trimmed. Along with these, choose a double post coloured real estate post to be installed in Durham region.  This will ensure that when home buyers are walking up to your listing in oshawa, courtice, Pickering or Ajax, they will already be floored




Real estate post and sign installation for Durham region and greater Toronto area  

3 sets of numbers you need to know when looking at Durham region real estate

 1. Number of days on the market

This figure will help you estimate if a property is priced too high or has too many issues with it ( some that you may not even easily spot by yourself) . Great properties in the correct neighborhoods with correct prices usually spend the least amount of days on the market( DOM) . So if the number of days seems too long, take a minute to figure out why. 

2. Your monthly payment

The home’s mortgage, tax, and insurance costs are important to know because they determine if you can afford the property or not. ( and if you can afford it comfortably, or if you will be stuck in your new house from lack of disposal income left). If you are buying the property for an investment, this figure tells you what your minimum rental income need to be in order for this to be a logical investment. Will this  this number give you a positive cash flow? In addition, you need to know how much your down payment will be.

3.  Number of offers

You should talk to your agent early on in the search process about the price range competition in the neighborhood, and the general landscape of the market. Ask about  the properties that are similar in type to what you may are looking for and see how many offer/ how aggressively they are being competed for. Hence, if you are looking for a condominium in the Durham region, how much are they selling for?  What is the selling price compared to the listing price? This will be very indicative of  how assertive you need to be in order to obtain a house. However, being assertive does not mean going above your budget., for any reason. 


Your front door needs to be a clean, solid colour:  

For humans, colour causes an emotional reaction. It will also say a lot about you and your style, so choosing a colour which represents your personality and sets the tone for the rest of your house is a great way to start making a good first impression. Think about the door knocker, the style of the door, the finish of the paint, the grooves, the accents etc. They all so much and so loudly 

The doorway and pathway up to your house or flat should also be clean and tidy with good attention to detail. Nothing will make the guests feel more uncomfortable than standing outside your homes front door with a massive cobweb hanging over their head, or dust galor all over it! 


Durham real estate post installation  

Durham real estate post installation  

Is it fair that Airbnb (and hotel) check in is at 2pm - 3 pm

So we Talked with the Largest AirBnB management company (3BNB) in Calgary and Edmonton, and here is their take

Not if you look at it from the entire cycle of Events

  1. Previous guests need to check out

  2. Room needs to get cleaned and restocked

  3. New guest check in

And the cycle repeats itself in perpetuity

Now here's an explanation and deeper dive into each of the above points

  1. What is a reasonable time to check out? When can you force someone to leave without ruining their customer experience? 8 -9 am is too early. Thus will mean they have to wake up before that time, and that's just ungodly of a time to wake up and check out especially when traveling ( so most likely you are extra tired). This leaves either 10 am or 11 am as the earliest option

  2. Rooms take time to clean and change bedding in. Addional to the time factor, you have a labour dilemma. If you only have 1 hour window to clean the room, and and you have 100 rooms… Where will you get the manpower needed for so much work, in such a short time, not to mention that the work load will drop off right after the flips, and then what will you do with the ridiculous # of cleaners sitting around with nothing to do the rest of the day. Your only option is to stagger the cleans and cycle the same cleaners over and over, inside the 4–5 hour window you have for flipping and cleaning

  3. Checking in: you must realized what you actually rented the room for…. I'll give you a hint. It was the night!! Not the day. You need a place to sleep, and not a place to hang out all day. So the hotel is actually providing you exactly what you wanted and needed, but in order to provide this to you, and not be a pest to you next morning by making you leave at the crack of dawn, they MUST implement a 3 pm check in( or around there)

For more info check out https://www.threebnb.com/



What fees does Airbnb charge?

If you are a real estate investor, or just a person with a house that you don't use at 100% capacity, you may have about Airbnb and it's many uses

 We sometimes installed real estate posts for the rental market, and not just realtors. Rental companies and property management companies use us to put up there "for rent/lease" signs in Oshawa, Ajax, Pickering, Whitby, Toronto, and Calgary 

A few of these companies have transitioned into renting via Airbnb. While working with them, this is what we learned about Airbnb fees

 To help cover the costs of processing guest payments, Airbnb charges us hosts a 3% service fee every time we have a reservation that is completed. The amount of this service fee is calculated from the reservation subtotal (before fees and taxes).

To help cover the costs of running Airbnb, will also charge my guests a service fee every time a reservation is confirmed. The amount of this service fee varies and is based on a percentage of the reservation subtotal (before fees and taxes).

The exact amount of the service fee is displayed before guests confirm a booking. Guest service fees are typically 6-12% but can be higher or lower depending on the specifics of the reservation. The higher the subtotal, the lower the percentage so you can save money when booking large reservations.

Now you will ask yourself, why does Airbnb charge the host less then the guest? ( when visa does the opposite and charges the merchant a fee but not the customer)

Airbnb does this to keep the incentive high for hosts to list their places, to ensure a high supply of units is available. A high supply of units will drive down the price for guest anyways, and ultimately make the TCO ( total cost of ownership) lowest for the guest in the long run


Tips for entrepreneurs

When we were just installing a handful of real estate sign posts a few weeks back in Pickering, we got stopped by a young man (about 12) who began chatting with us.   He was very curious and it wasn't long before he was asking us on tips about being being an entrepreneur. Here's what we told him. 


1. Do what you love

Your passion for your product or service will keep you motivated and get you through the tough times. Our focus has been Durham real eatate post installation 

2. Stay focused

We live in a world full of distraction, and a world of people/ business fighting for our attention. Keep focused on your main goals, and set yourself benchmarks that you can hit in order to track your progress. Set both short, mid, and long term goals

3. Find a mentor

Mentors can be crucial for you to both start, grow, and exit your business.Having a mentor who has insights and information gained from their past experience as well as existing contacts in their back pocket, will help you shorten your learning curve significantly.Mentors have learned form experience and can help you compound your efforts faster, as well as save you countless dollars by preventing large mistakes

4. Know when to quit and focus elsewhere

To succeed most of us will need to fail. ( and fail). You shouldn't give up at each failure, but you should know when to cut ties with an idea, project, marketing plan, product, etc in order to prevent yourself from spending all your valuable ( and limited) resources on things that wont come to fruition. DO NOT let your ego get in the way

5. Get used to hearing no

1. Let “no” serve as a motivator. If you don’t get that new job, new customer, new product made, new idea pushed forward , if you lose work to another 15 year old, then vow to win / achieve your plan the next time. Make a plan for how to do it different, better than you did last time. Use the “No” you will constantly hear to fuel your drive to achieve a “yes”

2. Let “no” keep out the other people who don’t want it as bad as you do. Remember, when you’re hearing “no”, so is almost everyone else. When other people hear “no” too much, they quit, defeated, never to return again. Don’t let that be you.

Do not be afraid of rejection, failure, and hearing “no” ( no matter WHAT you pursue or go after, from dating to work to family and business dreams) 


What's a trick when vetting your potential real estate tenants

We vet our tenants via

  1. credit checks
  2. Reference checks
  3. Interview and gut feeling

There are many more ways, but instead of getting Into those, I'll show you what to do when you want to make sure the tenant provided an actual “previous landlord” reference and not just the name and number of a family member or friend

Ask your tenant for the name of the home/condo owner, and then call them asking “How much is the rent for the condo/house you’re leasing?” There’s a good chance you’ll catch the friend/relative off their guard and they may say “I don’t have a place for rent.”

Tenants and vetting process  

Tenants and vetting process  

Tips on getting out of a rental agreement (lease)

Here are some options:

  1. Be open with the landlord. If you have to leave your apartment because you’ve accepted a job offer in another city, talk to the landlord about your situation. He or she may also be interested in this idea and it may be mutually beneficial to the both of you. Just make sure you get it in writing.
  2. Sublet. Find someone to take over your lease. The person stays there and pays rent place while you’re away, but you keep the leas
  3. Is the apartment in bad shape? A tenant may be able to get out of a lease if the apartment is in a sub-standard state and repeated attempts to have repairs made have been ignored.

Sub-standard examples are:

  • poor maintenance of the building and/or unit,
  • public health concerns
  • Harassment of a tenant by a landlord

IF ALL ELSE FAILS: Just walk away – you can just break the contract and walk away. Understand though, that it is a contract and you are still liable for the terms and conditions of the contract. ( like the rent money)

Please note though, that a landlord has an obligation to try and minimize his damages in the event you break the lease.

The landlord must to attempt to re-rent the unit; to advertise it and try and rent it for the rest of the term

If the landlord has refused to rent your apartment to someone you believe is a worthy replacement, then you should have a solid defence for breaking your lease.