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Planning to sell your home in Saskatoon?

posted by Trusted    |   March 27, 2014 09:31

You know those spotless, clutter-free, amazing looking rooms you see in magazines? That can be your home. Seriously! The founder of Fresh Living, Chantal Hounjet, created the company out of her combined love and talent for interior decorating and home improvement, which paved the way to a career in Home Staging and Interior Redesign. Chantal is an International Staging and Redesign Professional, bringing her talents directly to your door- and she is your Trusted Saskatoon Interior Decorator and Home Redesign Expert!

Here, Chantal answers some FAQs about home staging!

Should every house be staged?

Absolutely! How you decorate your home to live in and how you decorate it to sell are very different. The decorating choices you make for your home may suit your taste and lifestyle, but they may not suit those of potential buyers and may not show off your home’s best attributes. When you make the decision to sell your home, you must begin the process of detaching yourself from it. Even the most beautiful home needs to be de-personalized so potential buyers can imagine themselves living in it. Your home is now a commodity to be sold and it must appeal to a broad audience of potential buyers.

Homebuyers are typically looking for bright, clean, spacious homes with great flow. Many buyers have difficulty picturing themselves and their belongings in a home if it is cluttered and has outdated decor. Fresh Living can make the small changes that will have a huge impact. Cleaning, de–cluttering, de-personalizing, organizing, and some re–positioning of furniture is needed in every home, and these adjustments can have an enormous effect on how the house is viewed. Every home owner considering putting their house on the market should call us. We can help!

How long does it take to stage a home?

That depends on what needs to be done to make the house look its best. Some staging jobs can take one day, to a few days. However, if there are rooms that require painting or repairs and renovations need to be made, then it could take a few weeks, depending on how quickly these upgrades can be completed. The end result will always be a beautiful, inviting home, ready for the competitive real estate market.

What is involved in home staging?

Fresh Living begins the home staging process with a consultation that provides an objective look at your house. We tour the house and make detailed suggestions on what changes or repairs may need to be made. We also discuss a timeline, budget, and priorities with you. Once a strategy is agreed upon, we begin transforming your home. Trades are brought in to quote on work that needs to be done; we assess the furniture, artwork and accessories that are available to us and do the necessary shopping; and in a very short period of time, your house is made ready for the real estate market.

Is staging effective?

Home staging DOES work. It will help you to sell your home faster, and for more money. First impressions mean EVERYTHING when it comes to selling homes.

• Staged homes on average experience a 3% minimum increase in final sales price, versus non-staged homes.

• 98% of the houses staged have sold over the asking price.
Source: HGTV’s ‘Designed to Sell’

• Average number of days on the market for staged homes was 13.9 versus 30.0 for un-staged homes

• Average difference in selling price over list price was 6.3%
Source: 2004 survey by Joy Valentine – Coldwell Banker Broker – based on 2772 homes in 8 cities

• 63% of buyers are willing to pay more money for a house that is move in ready

• Men (41%) are more likely to place a premium on updated décor than women (30%)
Source: 2005 & 2006 Maritz Research Staging Polls

• 77% of people view homes first on the Internet. Be sure that your home shows above the rest, by staging it first!
Source: 2005 National Association of Realtors ® survey

• Sellers who spent $500 on staging recovered over 343% of the cost when they sold their home.

Are people offended when you point out what is wrong with their homes?

Rarely, because people understand that in order to get the job done, we need to be able to discuss the home objectively and work on its problem areas. After all, that is why people hire us. We are not judgemental, but aim to be constructive and positive. Most of our clients, when they see the transformation of their home, see exactly why home staging makes such a profound difference in selling.

How can I find time to carry out your suggestions, or be actively involved? I have a busy life.

Preparing a house for the real estate market is different for everyone. Some people love to be involved in the home staging process while others prefer to go on holiday during the work phase. You can have as little or as much involvement as you like. We understand that when you have a full schedule, the whole process can seem overwhelming. It is our mission to make the transition as seamless as possible for our clients. We take care of it so that you don’t have to!

What return can I expect on my investment in home staging?

Your home is your greatest investment so you want to make sure that it is in the best possible condition before putting it on the market. Our goal is to ensure that your house sells quickly rather than lingering on the market. Homes that sell in the first month get the best offers…so when we get your home sold in less than a week you will get the highest offer(s) possible. The cost of home staging is often less than the first price reduction on an un-staged home. You may also want to consider the emotional toll of a house lingering on the market –the stress of your house not selling at all or eventually selling for less; and the strain of keeping your house in immaculate shape for multiple showings and Open Houses. The stress reduction alone can make Home Staging well worth it.

What if my house is already on the market, but is not selling?

We are familiar with such cases, and it’s not too late to call us for a consultation. Fresh Living will help you organize a strategy to get your house sold quickly!

Should empty houses be staged?

Yes, because it is hard for buyers to get a sense of the space without furniture in it. Without furniture, the focus goes to negative details such as odd-shaped rooms, lack of architectural detail, or inadequate size. Furthermore, empty spaces tend to feel cold and uninviting. With staging, we can create a warm, inviting home that buyers can start to imagine living in.

Does Fresh Living guarantee their work?

We can’t guarantee that your home will sell within a week, but we will advise you on what needs to be done to transform your house into the best possible product for sale.

In many cases, our clients enjoy what we have done to their home so much that they hire us to decorate their new house, or even their office.

To begin your home staging process, find Fresh Living online, or on Trusted Saskatoon!

Cute undies can make a world of a difference!

posted by Noël    |   March 26, 2014 10:31
Baby preparation is getting real serious now.  We've moved beyond the big obvious decisions like cribs, etc, and are now discussing the best way for us to manage the poop. That's right, poop. You know you're truly becoming a parent when you start seriously talking about the impending poop situation you will (literally) have on your hands within the next few months!
I don't think my husband and I have ever really thought much about the whole diaper situation until we spoke with a few of our friends who are either pro-disposables or pro-cloth.  Personally, I like the idea of cloth, simply because the diapers are so cute and colourful.  Fun undies always make me feel good, so it is completely natural for me to think that cute cloth diapers will have the same affect on my little one... right?!? 
But in all seriousness, after much fact-finding, I think that we are going to do a mix of both cloth diapers and disposable diapers. Here are few big reasons why we want to try cloth diapers!

Cost Savings

There are tons of different stats out there, but with everything I've read to date, as well as through visits to local cloth diaper retailers in Saskatoon, it is pretty clear that cloth diapers can definitely save you money.  There are a few factors that determine whether the savings look like 100s or 1000s of dollars, one being whether you are planning to reuse the diapers for future children. 

Start Potting Training Sooner

I've read that because cloth diapers don't absorb the liquids quite the same as disposables, the little ones will know they are wet sooner and might be more interested in making their way to the household throne.  The sooner the better... in my opinion. 

Environmental Impact

I'm pretty big on recycling and decreasing our household waste, so I like the idea that the majority of poop will hit the toilet instead of the local landfill.  Now don't get me wrong, when I am on the go I will be reaching for those disposables, because I'm not too sure if I'm ready to truck around a dirty, smelly cloth diaper while I'm shopping.  

A Happy Bottom

Plastic on my bottom for a long period of time is never a good idea, so I can't imagine it is any different for my little one. Enough said. 

If you'd like more information about cloth diapering, check out the video below. I also found a few interesting articles as I was researching the topic. This isn't an exhaustive list by any means. 
If you are interested in taking a look at some local cloth diaper retailers, check out these two fabulous local maternity/baby stores in Saskatoon; Mother's Melody and Cravings Maternity.  I've had nothing but great experiences at both stores.  The owner of Mother's Melody, Fred, was very informative when it came to cloth diapers, which was a huge help!
At the end of the day, the fact still remains, I like the idea of my little one wearing cute undies!

More Tips for Finding Unique Furniture in Saskatoon

posted by Elle    |   March 24, 2014 16:36

I love the idea of filling my home with used furniture. Used furniture can actually make a living space very unique and beautiful, whether the pieces have been bought from an antique dealer or professional refinisher, or are the result of DIY projects. I, personally, plan to have a mix of both in my home. Some of my furniture will be professionally reworked, while others will be pieces I have revamped myself. I see several reasons for styling my home in such a way. I'm primarily motivated by the fact that purchasing used furniture is a more economical and environmentally-friendly option- it doesn't hurt that the place will also look darn good.

In my last post, I wrote about my favourite place to find unique furniture in Saskatoon, Green Ark Collected Home. Green Ark rescues unloved furniture and materials to create beautiful pieces that will last a lifetime. Purchasing furniture from Green Ark saves you the hard work involved in sourcing pieces that can be reworked and doing the actual refinishing, re-upholstering, and re-purposing that is required in turning "nothing" into "something". There are, however, some people out there who enjoy the thrill of the hunt, and who have the time to make the transformation happen themselves. 

If you are the adventurous type and are a little bit handy with tools, why not try to scout out pieces with potential and revamp them yourself? There are great antique stores and vintage shops in Saskatoon, but if you're looking to pay a lower price and have the patience, estate sales and Saskatoon Kijiji can be great options. I've managed to track down some excellent pieces by taking the private sale route. Depending on what you find, you may be able to refinish the piece yourself, or it may require calling in some expert help. Either way, here are a few tips that may help you if you choose to go down this road.

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Look for quality.

Just because it is old furniture doesn't mean that it is high quality. Every era has its share of well made and poorly made furniture. Vintage furniture is not an exception to this rule. A solid frame and drawers that slide out easily are important indicators of quality. Antique or vintage frames that have been re-upholstered can look amazing. Remember that re-upholstering is not easy, and can be costly if done by a professional. 

Don't let scratches scare you.

Surface scratches can be fixed. There are many products that can help you conceal or fix scratches, and if the piece is truly remarkable and worth it, but the damage is outside the scope of your abilities, you can always get it professionally refinished. Also, sometimes scratches can be used to your benefit in bargaining. If the piece is worth buying, use evidence of damage to bargain for a better price. However, be sure that the piece can be fixed and that the price of repairs will not drive the entire cost of refinishing the piece too high. 

Re-purpose for style.

For example, use a small table as a nightstand. Use a dresser in the bathroom for keeping towels and supplies. Convert a smaller dining table into a large coffee table by sawing off the legs or changing the legs. Use an armoire as a linen cabinet. Unusual furniture in unexpected places will give your place its own distinct style.

Look for individual pieces that go together. 

If your budget is hindering you, try purchasing individual pieces that would work well together one at a time. Doing so also is a great way to express your own unique style, and the result can be beautifully eclectic, yet cohesive.

Happy Hunting!

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Shop Local

A New Spin on Entertainment at Hunter's Bowling Centres in Saskatoon

posted by Noël    |   March 21, 2014 11:22

Bowling has always been a family favourite for my husband's side of the family.  Nearly every weekend, when my husband and his younger brother were just little kiddos, my mother-in-law would make the trek to the local bowling alley and cheer on the boys during their league matches.  My husband still has some of his awards from back in the day, and I'll be honest - I'm impressed. Some of his scores as an eight year old are higher then what I can normally achieve as an adult! With this kind of love for the game, it was only natural that our family found itself at the Hunter's Bowling Centre in Eastview last weekend, celebrating my husband's 31st birthday.

Given that it was a Sunday I wasn't sure if the place would be packed out or not, but driving up to the bowling alley and seeing all the vehicles, I began to reminisce of the days when my own father would take me to the Eastview bowling alley on the weekends to teach me how to play 10-pin like a pro!  

As we entered the building, the music was playing, the black lights were on, and every lane was humming with the cheers of little kiddos. The bowling alley was hoppin'! 

As I quickly took a look around, it became more and more apparent that this was definitely the place you'd want to take your kids on the weekend to burn off some energy!  

The music was family friendly, and even though everything in there was catered to the kids, wouldn't you know it, the adults looked like they were having a great time! The best part of the experience was seeing the majority of adults making use of the kid-friendly gutter-guards to improve their overall scores! 

All in all, the experience was fantastic! I don't think I stopped laughing or smiling once during the entire two hours we were there. I laughed especially hard when my father-in-law ripped his pants while executing a game-changing strike. Our family is slightly competitive.

If you haven't experienced the Hunter's Bowling alleys in Eastview or in Fairhaven, then you really do need to get down to one of those locations and experience Hunter's Bowling Centres' spin on entertainment, especially if you have children or are planning an event. Check out their website for the different types of events available at the bowling alley.  

If you're thinking, "Well, I'm not the best of bowlers", don't worry, go on the weekend when the gutter-guards are up, or just enjoy the experience by relaxing in their Bar & Grill

Alternative Fitness in Saskatoon

posted by Elle    |   March 17, 2014 15:25

I've noticed that the face of the fitness industry in Saskatoon has really diversified in the past few years. The days of regular gyms as the primary option for membership-based fitness are gone. While many local gyms offer a range of classes like Zumba and spinning, new facilities have been bringing even more variety to the table, specializing in forms of exercise I didn't even know existed! There are now so many unique opportunities for Saskatoon residents who are looking to get and stay fit. 

I, personally, am tired of slugging it out on the treadmill while watching The Food Network, or doing bicep curls in front of the mirror at the gym. There are facilities in Saskatoon that I've heard great things about, that offer unique fitness experiences, great customer service, and fun atmosphere. Smaller, more focused fitness facilities seem to bring about a unique sense of community that I think also adds a great deal of value to a workout. I can't wait to try out these local alternatives! It is my goal to visit each of them as I kick up my physical activity, now that hibernation season is coming to an end. 

Photo Credit: Club Mynx

Aerial Fitness

This is one of the newest forms of fitness that has been popping up in Saskatoon lately. Club Mynx, which has been established for quite a few years, seems to be constantly adding to its repertoire of classes. To my knowledge, Club Mynx started with pole fitness, and has now expanded to include a large focus on aerial fitness, including Aerial Fly Fitness, Aerial Hoop, and Aerial Silks. While I have yet to try any form of aerial fitness, it really intrigues me. As a former gymnast, I am drawn to any form of performance-inspired exercise. The pictures on Club Mynx's website of athletes in action is awe-inspiring! Club Mynx also gives back into our community through its Create A Sparkle classes. 


This is another sport I would absolutely love to try. I tend to enjoy exercising a lot more when there is some sort of goal involved (other than simply getting through it). So, the idea of climbing and having a certain height reached or route completed would motivate me, I think. I also think it might be kind of thrilling! Again, I have yet to try climbing (aside from a Grade 10 field trip), so I am just making assumptions. Grip It Climbing seems to be a great option in Saskatoon, and I plan to check it out.  

Functional Fitness

When I first saw Freedom Functional Fitness opening up on the corner of Idylwyld and 20th Street, I was curious to know what exactly "functional fitness" means. Freedom's website describes this type of fitness as being derived from movements that we naturally engage in over the course of a day. While I have yet to visit this gym, it sounds like it offers unique group classes with a personalized focus. Sounds like a fun way to work out! I've heard the facility is beautiful. 


This is one activity that I do have some experience with, and is probably now at the point of being so mainstream that it isn't even considered an alternative form of fitness. However, there are so many great yoga studios in Saskatoon that are worth mentioning, and I want to take this opportunity to give shootouts two a couple of them! One Yoga is a great local yoga studio, offering a variety of Vinyasa yoga classes. From my experience, the teachers at One Yoga are fantastic. I personally love hot yoga as well, and have dropped in on classes at Moksha Yoga. I love that both of these studios offers Karma Classes, which support local non-profit organizations and charities. 

I can't wait to give each of these unique local Saskatoon fitness spots a try this spring! If you've had an experience with any of the ones mentioned in this post, let me know in the comments- its always nice to have some pointers going into a new experience, especially one that requires dangling from the ceiling!  

Meewasin's Pelican Watch Contest

posted by David    |   March 12, 2014 15:14

Competition creates an environment for people to do things they probably would never do otherwise. In October 2012, more than 245 combines moved in unison in a field near Saskatoon. Why? To break a Guinness World Record for most combines harvesting the same field at the same time. Check the article out here. One of the combine drivers involved in this event noted that "in Saskatchewan we rally around each other to get things done." Community is important to us. 

I have just entered into a local contest. And no, Honey, it is not "which husband can do the most yard work this summer?" I entered the Pelican Watch Contest, put on by the Meewasin Valley Centre in Saskatoon. I'm told the arrival of these birds has historically marked the beginning of spring, so they can't come soon enough!

Photo Credit: Meewasin Valley Centre

The American White Pelican is one of the largest birds on the continent. They weigh around 10 kilograms and have a wingspan of 3 metres. They have been a beautiful sight on the South Saskatchewan River since the late 1970's. Sometimes its more difficult to appreciate beauty in our hometowns, but I would suggest taking a walk down the Realty Executives Boardwalk this summer to see these great birds. 

I would also suggest entering the contest. I'm not going to tell you what time I guessed, because I want to win one of the prizes. They include binoculars from Don's Photo, an overnight stay at the White Pelican Bed & Breakfast, or for kids, a Homestead Ice Cream party in their school classroom. Community is important to us, so even if we are not natural bird watchers, lets rally together and support this local contest. 

Trash or Treasure your Wedding Dress?

posted by Trusted    |   March 11, 2014 11:49

Has your wedding photographer offered you a "trash the dress" photography session? Do you want the fun of seeing yourself in your wedding gown in unfamiliar places? But you also love your wedding gown. Can you do both—"trash" your wedding gown and treasure it forever, too? Your Trusted Saskatoon dry cleaners, Family Cleaners, share a tip on preserving your wedding gown even if you choose to do a trash the dress photo shoot. 

Just because the wedding photographer calls it a trash the dress session does not mean your dress will be ruined. In fact, these sessions are sometimes called "free to flaunt" or "rock the frock". For a wedding photographer, it’s all about the creative shot, and some really creative ideas take you to dusty or damp places. But these shots can often be the ones you like best of all.

If the only unusual views your photographer intends to film are on dry land, don’t worry! We should have no trouble removing whatever soil you pick up from trailing across a field or beach or through some historic barn or covered bridge. 

If you want to pose with pizza or some other food—no worries. Cleaners, especially a cleaner who specializes in bridal gown cleaning and preservation, are used to dealing with food, grass, mud, grease, and wine.

However, if your trash the dress session includes paint balls, make sure the paint is water based. Water based paint can be removed from your bridal gown—although it is much harder to get silk bridal gowns completely clean than gowns made from artificial fibers such as polyester. That’s because natural fibers are hollow, and anything that stains a silk wedding gown penetrates the fiber and acts like a dye.

The most dangerous environment for your wedding gown is water. Unless your wedding gown is an artificial fiber such as polyester, be careful about wearing your gown while you swim. If your wedding gown is made from a natural fiber such as cotton, linen, and silk, it may shrink if you dive into the water—especially if the water is hot. Hot water is much tougher on fabric than cool water. There’s still another water problem if your wedding gown is silk: it can be almost impossible to remove all the wrinkles from a silk wedding gown that has been in water. That’s why so many brides who take their wedding gowns to the cleaner on the corner end up in tears. If the cleaner washes your couture silk satin wedding gown, it will look a rumpled bed sheet and not much can be done to fix the mistakes made by a cleaner who has little experience with wedding gown cleaning. For an experienced dry cleaner who can tell you exactly what will be safe for your wedding dress you intend to preserve, contact us! (306) 242-6944

Visit Family Cleaners at 132 Avenue B North, or find them on Facebook and Trusted Saskatoon

Tips for Finding Unique Furniture in Saskatoon

posted by Elle    |   March 10, 2014 15:23

I have arrived at a point in my life where creating a calming, relaxing, and inspiring home environment is a priority. Gone is the lifestyle I had in my university days, where I spent the majority of my time in class, the library, work- or in transit somewhere between the three. Now that I am settling into a routine that leaves more room for time spent at home, I am much more aware of the way my current living space affects me. The cheaply made, slightly beaten furniture purchased at Ikea and Walmart leaves much to be desired, and the overall vibe of the place has me less than inspired.

While I wrote previously about my experience revamping home decor items I purchased at local thrift stores, its time to take my living space redesign a step further. The time has come to begin to invest in furniture items that will carry me forward into the next phase of my life. I've decided that in making these larger purchasing decisions, I'd like to go for the vintage, the antique, and the repurposed pieces, pieces that have a story, that inspire. In my opinion, the number one most important resource to have in a quest to find this type of furniture is a list of good local Saskatoon sources. 

Photo Credit: Green Ark Collected Home

I am thankful that there are many creative and skilled people in Saskatoon who have already done the work of building, reworking, and acquiring collections of the type of furniture I'd like to purchase. Now it is simply a matter of sifting through a few great local shops to find the pieces of furniture that really speak to me. I feel like my personal style is reflected almost perfectly in the offerings of Green Ark Collected Home- if you haven't checked this shop out yet, I implore you to. Green Ark mixes new and re-purposed furniture, made of new and re-purposed materials, resulting in locally made, eco-conscious furniture. The pieces available at Green Ark are often one of a kind, and new items are added regularly, so I suggest that you visit often (212 20th Street West). There is no shortage of unique items to look at, and the walls of the shop are adorned with the work of incredible local artists. The vibe at Green Ark is very chill, and the owners, Allie and Noah, are fantastic. Follow Green Ark on Facebook and Instagram for frequent updates on beautiful new pieces. 

I've also recently come across two local antique and vintage furniture vendors, Dacha House and The Indefinite Article. While I have not visited either in person, both have photos on their websites and Facebook pages that are very promising. Dacha House seems to be your spot if you are looking for a french country, farmhouse or shabby-chic look. The Indefinite Article appears to carry retro-style options and collectibles as well. While I just missed the latest sale at Dacha House, follow them on on Facebook for details about upcoming weekend sales. The Indefinite Article holds pop-up shops periodically- follow them on Facebook and Instagram for the most up to date information. 

As spring rolls into summer, yard sales (particularly those that are estate sales), flea markets, and auctions can be great sources of antique and vintage furniture as well. Of course, Kijiji Saskatoon can also be a good source for vintage and antique furniture, especially if you don't mind doing a bit of refinishing or having a piece re-upholstered. If you're more inclined to go the private sale route and plan to peruse yard sales, estate sales, and Kijiji for furniture, stay tuned for some helpful tips in my next post on the My Saskatoon blog. 

Happy Hunting! 

Why Shop Local in Saskatoon? Part I

posted by Elle    |   March 6, 2014 15:26
At the beginning of February, six local Saskatoon retailers came together to create The Local Local Super Sale, a collection of each shop's unique sale inventories under the same roof. Tonic, Banjo Outpost, Anthology Home Collection, Luna + Hill, Guys & Dawls, and Durand's joined forces, resulting in an eclectic mix of products, styles and price points, combined into one "super sale" at St. Joseph's Parish Hall on the corner of Broadway and 8th.
As far as I know, this is the first time something like this has been done in Saskatoon, and in my mind, is something that should happen much more often. On a normal day, the shops that were involved are dispersed among the most vibrant shopping districts in Saskatoon- Downtown, Broadway, and Riversdale. Each of these neighbourhoods is walkable (more enjoyably in the warmer months), and I have often spent a weekend afternoon on Broadway or Downtown, leisurely strolling from shop to shop. The Super Sale provided a great opportunity to get the best of all three neighbourhoods, all in one place. Saskatoon winters being as they are, the sale was a fantastic opportunity to peruse the offerings of several great local shops without having to venture out into the cold between stops. It resulted in a much more efficient and convenient (and warm) method of shopping some of Saskatoon's best local boutiques.
The vibe at the sale was relaxed and inviting, with refreshments available from Cultura Espresso Bar, and shoppers mingling with one another as they explored the offerings of each of the stores involved in the sale. This was a unique shopping experience that I can't say I've ever had in Saskatoon. It was, in my mind, a perfect example of community coming together in support of local businesses, and local businesses recognizing the benefits of working together. 
For me, it just feels natural to support local businesses whenever I can. There are a few key reasons why making the decision to purchase from local retailers just makes sense.

One of a kind businesses with distinctive character add flavour to our city.

There is such a strong spirit of entrepreneurship in Saskatoon, resulting in so many amazing home grown and locally owned businesses. A few of my personal favourite local retail shops include Green Ark Collected Home, Tonic, White Dahlia, Dutch GrowersLuna + Hill, and Era Style Loft. There are also so many fantastic local people who produce their own goods right here in Saskatoon. Think Green Ark again, Uncle Mike's Naturals, and Sara Lua Designs. Local entrepreneurs like those behind these great businesses are willing to take the risk required in order to bring great products to Saskatonians. The lengths to which local entrepreneurs go to bring such unique products to market in our city should be appreciated and reinforced by the financial support of local consumers. 

Locally owned businesses sustain vibrant town centres.

What would our city be without the vibrancy of Broadway, Downtown, and the restored blocks of 20th Street? Business districts like these result in a web of economic and social relationships that are essential to a strong community. The compact nature of these neighbourhoods also reduces the negative effects of urban sprawl (automobile use, habitat loss, air and water pollution. Eww.)

Local owners know their market and know their products.

Business owners who live in the community in which they do business understand the needs of local consumers, and often build their business around their personal interests or passion. This means that the people who are bringing products to market for you are often people who first try to understand what it is that local consumers (you) really want. It also means that people are creating products they are passionate about, and if they are bringing products in from elsewhere, they often have an expertise and personal interest in those products. 

Locally owned businesses enrich the entire community.

Local ownership ensures that important decisions are made by people who reside in our city- people who will feel the impacts of those decisions- people whose children grow up here. Local owners are also local people. People who live, work, and play in Saskatoon are more likely to have a vested interest in seeing our city thrive, both socially and economically. Much of the profit that local businesses generate is, in turn, spent on supporting other local businesses, and our economy is strengthened. Many local owners also want to see positive change happen in the community in which they live, and often have a specific local non-profit or charity that they support.

These are a just few reasons among many. In my opinion, there is simply no better way to spend my hard-earned money, than by supporting the endeavours of the local businesses I love. How lucky we are to live in a city like Saskatoon with so many talented, stylish, savvy people who are willing to take the risks involved in creating local products and establishing new boutiques and shops from the ground up. Let's show them our support!

5 Tips to help you choose the right Realtor in Saskatoon

posted by Noël    |   March 5, 2014 18:43

According to the Saskatoon Region Association of Realtors' website, there are approximately 600 licensed agents and registered salespeople in 46 member offices in the city of Saskatoon.  So, that means that if you are looking to buy or sell a home in Saskatoon and don't yet have a Realtor, don't worry, there are 600 potential candidates ready and eagerly awaiting your call! Overwhelming much?! I think so. 

How do you even begin to narrow down the search for a quality real estate agent? Of course I went to Google to find the answers.  After reading site after site, I narrowed the search criteria to these 5 helpful tips you can use when choosing a Realtor to assist you in buying or selling a home in Saskatoon.

1. Know your needs and wants in a real estate agent.

Put together a list of your needs and wants in a Realtor.  Be as specific as you can and don't forget to identify the kind of personality you'd like them to have!

2. Ask your friends and family. Get some quality referrals! 

Family and friends are a great place to start your search.  They are more likely to share with you their good, bad, and ugly experiences with their real estate agent or agents in the city.  

3. Research the agents before you call. 

Once you have a hearty list of real estate agents, search them on Google and see what comes up! Many times Realtors will have a website, be on social media, and possibly have reviews from past clients online.

4. Review the agent's list of properties for sale. 

A Realtor with a generous list of homes for sale can be an indicator of their industry experience, personal drive, and success rate as a Realtor.  Review the home styles, neighbourhoods, and prices listed to see if the homes currently match what you are looking for or what you are hoping to sell.

5. Set up meet-and-greets with more than one Realtor.

Finding the right fit matters! By far, I think that this is the most important part of the search. There is nothing more exciting than working with a Realtor you actually like! The process of buying or selling a home can be a roller coaster of emotions at times, so working with someone who can keep your spirits lifted and keep you pointed in the right direction is imperative.  When my husband and I were in the market for our home in Saskatoon, we always looked forward to meeting with our Realtor Ellen Nasser.  It never failed, Ellen always had a way of keeping our house hunting momentum rolling, while making sure that our needs and wants were being met from all angles.  Ellen was a great match for us because she not only mirrored our enthusiasm and drive, but she also had the industry experience and market knowledge that we were hoping for in a real estate agent. 

I hope that these 5 easy tips can assist you in finding the right real estate agent in Saskatoon.

Happy Realtor Hunting!

If you've had a great experience with a local Realtor, tell us by leaving a comment below or by sharing your story on My Saskatoon's Facebook page.

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