It was perfect, and you could paint whatever colours you wanted, add a cool back-splash to the kitchen, and maybe even carve out a little area in the basement for a “man cave”. You made it your own.
Maybe it was just you and your spouse in the home at first. It was perfect for the two of you, and you thought you’d have enough room to stay as your family grew.
You probably knew that this wasn’t your “Forever Home”, but your next move felt far off in the distant future. So, you settled in.
You grew here from a couple into a family, and boy did life change!
Your dream home went from spacious, to cozy, to cramped... faster than you were expecting…
All of a sudden the living room included a toy box and the kitchen a high chair. A few of those amazing furniture pieces you picked out as a young couple got swapped out for more practical ones, with stain-resistant fabric.
A few more years, and the guest room/office turned into another kid's room. As you and your family have grown so have your needs and desires…
You’ve made a lot of amazing memories here, but it just doesn’t feel right anymore.
Years ago, when you
received the keys and moved into your current home, you were ecstatic, overcome with excitement about all the possibilities of life there.
Sometimes, it feels like the walls are closing in around you.
No one has any personal space, and you feel like you’re on top of each other every minute of the day.
You would love to work from home sometimes but the kitchen table is the only option, and trying to get work accomplished amid the chaos of family life is nearly impossible. Sometimes you walk outside to take important calls or end up staying later at the office because you know it’s not productive to bring work home.
Then there’s the clutter! The pile of toys in the living room is growing with each birthday party. You’ve tried to organize them into cute storage bins, but there is just no place to put everything.
Every time you try to find some space to enjoy a few moments of peace and quiet, you’re interrupted by someone who needs to use the room you’re in.
Instead of feeling like your home is a haven - somewhere for you to re-charge, and create and share amazing memories with your family - the lack of space in your home creates an undercurrent of tension and frustration.
It’s hard to feel peaceful and relaxed when your home never really feels organized and you're bursting at the seams.
Maybe your kids are sharing a bedroom or bathroom… and it’s working for now, but you know it won’t as they get older.
You feel guilty that they don’t have any personal space from each other and you worry that this may have negative effects on the relationship.
If they had a bit more space, you know they’d be better off.
There’s not much of a yard either, and the idea of raising your children without a safe area for them to play outside tugs at your heart strings.
It’s not just the kids, though… you need more space, too.
You crave peace. You crave space for all of the “things” that now make up your life, that you never could have anticipated when you first bought this home.
You want to come home and enjoy life with your family.
You deserve these things! You work hard, and the space that you and your family inhabit should serve as a refuge, not a source of stress. Your home should allow you and your family to excel but…
You know this house just isn’t fulfilling your needs anymore.
You know that you
need to move…
But you don’t know
where to start.
It’s overwhelming, and sometimes you think it would be just easier to stay and make it work where you are. But deep down, you know that’s not the answer… it’s just what seems easiest for now.
But… buying a home was stressful enough last time. You can barely imagine doubling the work involved in the process by selling your current home at the same time as buying again, especially with everything else you have going on.
You’re afraid that beginning the process is going to be way too overwhelming, and is going to add a million things to your already packed agenda.
You imagine the stress, disturbance and sense of invasion that would come with having your home on the market - having to keep your house - which you and your family live in! - clean and organized enough for a showing at all times.
Then, dealing with the inevitable repairs, inspections, appraisals…
And who knows how long you’d have to have it on the market before it sells.
Could this go on for several months or longer?!
Every time you
start thinking of it,
it stresses you out,
and you decide
to put it on the
It’s just too much to take on.
And, at the same time, you know that you can’t even begin to think about buying a home until your current one is sold - or at least under contract.
You’re scared of biting off more than you can chew and worried about having to pay two mortgage payments at the same time.
You feel like there’s never going to be a GOOD time to make the move.
Between school, work, holidays, family commitments, and all of life’s other curve balls, you feel like you’re barely keeping your head above water as it is.
You keep trying to silence the voice in your head that says you have to move. But something keeps popping up to remind you…
This house is no longer working for your family.
... Anxiety over the lack of privacy in your backyard… And the tree-house you always imagined building for them is out of the question - your yard is too small.
… Stress when you see your work laptop on the kitchen table.
... Frustration that toys litter the living room floor yet again.
… Irritation every time you open the garage door. There just isn’t enough storage space in the house and everything seems to wind up in the No-Car garage. Winters coming and you don’t even have enough room to fit a snow blower let alone a car!
But, most importantly your kids’ aren’t going to get the education and access to top-notch extracurricular activities that would come from being in a better school district. This is the pill that’s really hard to swallow.
You’ve tried to bury these thoughts and make it work, but it’s just not possible to deny that… Your home doesn’t fit your life anymore.
You want the best for them, but can you really provide that from where you are?
That’s where I come in.
Most Realtors see it as their job to facilitate a transaction. Period. Not me.
I understand not only the reasons behind WHY you feel like it’s necessary for you and your family to move - NOW - but I also understand how daunting and overwhelming the entire process can seem. Realizing your vision can feel like a distant dream. Life is already busy enough - trust me, I understand.
This is why I consider myself a real estate advisor, not just an agent. I’m not just here to list and sell your home, or facilitate the purchase of your next home.
I’m not a salesperson, I'm not going to convince you to move if it really sounds like staying put is a better option for you. I will work with you every step of the way, with the first step being to assess whether right now IS the right time for you to move, and if I am the right person to help you.
I will help you turn your dreams into reality and take you from where you are now, to you where you need to be. And that’s why I’ve developed my exclusive D.R.E.A.M. Home method - to take you from cramped and cluttered to spacious and serene in 5 simple steps.
From a home that drains your energy to one that re-charges you…
The D.R.E.A.M. Method
My underlying principle when creating the D.R.E.A.M. method was, what I like to refer to as, “The Platinum Rule”. I'm sure you've heard of the Golden Rule... You know - "treat others as you'd like to be treated"?... Well "The Platinum Rule" to me, means I... "Treat people not how I would want to be treated, but how THEY want to be treated".
Pretty big difference when you think about it, right?
I have found that everybody has their own unique vision of the perfect move and it is very important for me to discover Your Ultimate Scenario.
I have been tweaking and perfecting the D.R.E.A.M method for over 30 years so that I am able to deliver the kind of help you need to sell your home for the highest possible price and do this in a time period that fits for you and getting all of this done in a way that minimizes any stress that is possible when dealing with high levels of complexity. All in the manner that works best for YOU!
Another way of saying that is, I’ve created the D.R.E.A.M. method to protect your interests, your money, your time, and your energy.
I will share with you how I perform 3 critical roles in your real estate transaction:
Role #1 – I am your consultant and advisor.
Role #2 – I am your negotiator.
Role #3 – I am your transactional manager.
STEP 1: DISCOVERY
In our first face-to-face consultation I will begin by asking you 7 thought-provoking questions that will help me get to know you. I’ll dig deep, because discovering what’s really important to you is really important to me. I’ll lead you through the process of clarifying your values because when your values are clear your choices are easy.
I want to understand Your WHY, your motivation for moving, your financial goals, your ultimate scenario, so that I can begin crafting the road map to get you from where you are to where you need to be.
I will share my business philosophy and my purpose and this is an opportunity for you to ask me any questions that you may have and get comfortable with how I work for you.
As we agree together on what is really important to you, I will craft a very specific, strategic plan to make sure you get it and we’ll mutually decide if I’m the best person to help you make it a reality.
At the end of my consultation I will present you with your 4 options:
Option #1 – You don’t have to do anything
Option #2 – You can try to do it on your own
Option #3 – You can decide to work with a traditional salesperson
Option #4 – You will choose me as your real estate consultant/advisor
I want you know that whatever you decide is perfectly fine with me and if you choose me then we will move onto step #2
Now that we’ve decided that we are going to work together, I will consult with you to concretely identify what needs to be accomplished before your current house is ready for the market. I will assess the highest and best use of your time, resources and energy. My goal is to minimize the disruption that selling your home can cause in your families day-to-day life.
First, we will work together to make a pragmatic and efficient pricing strategy to cultivate the highest and best offers for your home.
Then, I make sure that your home is ready to be shown in its best light. I’ll advise you on what improvements will help you capture top dollar in this market, as well as what improvements not to waste your money on. I’ll walk through each room and make suggestions for showcasing your home in its best light, so that it sells quickly.
Next, I will coordinate and pay for a Professional Home Stager to come to your home for a consultation. They will make recommendations on where to invest your time, energy and dollars to get the highest possible return. You’re not alone in this – let my network of contractors work hard so you don’t have to!
I highly recommend that all of my sellers get a pre-emptive home inspection completed now, so that any glaring issues can be addressed, and other issues items are fully disclosed, so they can’t be used by buyers to re-negotiate later, or cause a deal to fall through after it’s under contract. This can save MAJOR time, money, and stress down the line.
Your home is usually your biggest investment, and I want to help you capitalize on selling for top dollar. Guiding you in making it appealing to the most buyers also leads to a quick sale, which means less stress and inconvenience for you.
STEP 2: READY
STEP 3: EXECUTION
In this step I put your home on the market, and attract and convert your ideal buyer.
When it comes to selling, my proven, efficient marketing plan is key.
Starting with high-quality professional photography and virtual tours is essential. I will coordinate and pay for my amazing team to come to your home and shoot it. Your cleaning and decluttering + professional real estate photography will make the house “pop” online, attracting the largest number of prospective buyers possible.
I laser target people who are actively searching for a home, using cutting-edge online marketing techniques (such as behavior/interest based targeting, mobile marketing, Google and Facebook retargeting), and ensure your home ends up on a screen in front of them.
I syndicate your property nationally and internationally, your property is on dozens of websites such as Realtor.ca, RE/MAX.ca and Homezone.ca.
I take care of all the details involved in securing a buyer from my marketing efforts: coordinate showings & open houses, follow up on agent/buyer feedback, and handling all offers, contracts, and negotiations - with your input, of course.
As your negotiator I‘ll treat your money like it’s my own. When it comes time to save you, or make you money, I’m like a Pit bull! My goal will be to help you obtain both the highest price and best terms possible.
I will put a strategy in place to encourage competitive offers and will provide a detailed analysis of each offer received, outlining the unique attributes of each.
The time is now to achieve the healthiest return possible.
By this stage, I’ve secured a buyer and your home is under contract. I’ll handle all of the details to ensure a smooth transaction and closing.
This involves lots of administration work, on my end, such as coordinating with lawyers, lenders, inspectors and appraisers. As your transactional manager I make sure all of the “i’s” are dotted and “t’s” are crossed and all parties are communicating, and have what they need ahead of schedule so no deadlines are missed and the sale closes on time without any hiccups.
It’s also time to get serious about looking for your next home if we haven’t already started.
I will consult with you to concretely identify what needs to be accomplished. THIS IS THE FUN PART! I’ll sit down with you and create a “wish list” for the next home. What are your “must haves”, what are your “dreams” for your next home? A luxury en-suite bath? A walk-in closet? A home office? A 3 car garage? A private yard?
You have no time “to do it all yourself”. We’re in this together, and once I fully understand exactly what kind of home fits your needs, I can focus on the search, ease communication, improve time management, and reduce frustration. This paves the way towards actually finding the home of your dreams, quickly!
I will coordinate the sale and the purchase of your new home, and line up closing dates, so that the move to your new home is seamless.
Congratulations! Your home is now sold and you’ve moved into your new one.
You’ve achieved Your Dream!
STEP 4: ACCEPTANCE
I see my responsibility as a real estate advisor as lasting long beyond the celebration date (the day you take possession of your new home).
I want you to think of me as your “Community Concierge”. I’ll stay in touch over the first couple of months, as you transition into your new home, and make sure that everything is up and running, and that you have everything you need.
Whether it’s an interior designer, a local restaurant, a plumber or pool-guy, I will make sure that you have everything you need to feel completely settled and at home in your new house!
Your real estate holdings are probably one of your largest financial assets, and I see it as my responsibility to work with you to monitor how it’s performing for you and your family.
Each year, I will set up a meeting to evaluate and consult on the evolving status of your Real Estate Holdings, its value, overall market conditions, refinancing options, and any other real estate needs you may have!
My purpose is for you to be so outrageously happy with the help that I provide you, that you would gladly introduce me to at least two people you really care about, even before I sell your house, and not because you feel obligated, but because you want the people you care about to get the best advice like you will have received from me.
Your real estate advisor … for Life!
STEP 5: MAINTENANCE
Once you’ve followed The D.R.E.A.M Method, you will have sold your home and successfully up-sized into a new home that allows you to live your best life.
You’ve been thinking about this move for months - maybe even years - and having it become a reality is going to feel just as good as you’re expecting.
Imagine feeling that happiness, relief, and relaxation.
There is no better feeling than knowing you’ve done your absolute best to provide for, protect, and promote the best interest of the people you love. It’s pretty crazy to think about how big of a roll your home plays in this.
Where you live is about more than the house. It impacts almost every single part of your life, from the people you’re surrounded by, to the types of activities you get involved with in your spare time, to how much time you spend with your family.
There is a certain feeling you get when you live somewhere that aligns with who you are and how you want to live your life...
The feeling of being surrounded by whatever it is that you value most.
For some people, it’s being within walking distance to the best restaurants; Some people want to live as close to work as possible, so they can spend less time commuting and more time hanging out with their family and friends.
Maybe being close to the water is the priority, because you and your kids are bonding over a new Sunday morning kayaking tradition.
Imagine you and your spouse have more room to relax, breathe, and section yourself off from the rest of the house. Allowing you to recharge and find peace.
Maybe your new home includes that dedicated playroom for the kids - a room where they can keep the toys and it’s okay if it’s a mess at times because you can just close the door.
The effects ripple over to bring the best version of yourself to your family and work life.
“WHAT DOES LIVING YOUR BEST LIFE LOOK LIKE?…”
You have a larger yard for the dog, swing-set, tree-house, or even a pool. This allows your kids to grow, explore and spend time outdoors, and play with wild abandon. But also allows you to relax and feel comfortable knowing they’re right in your backyard.
Maybe you could even build out a back deck with the fire-pit and outdoor sitting area so that you can hang outside with them and relax with a glass of wine while they play. This plan sure beats trekking to the nearest park every day with the stroller, backpack full of snacks, and toys… Right?
Now you’ve got that home office so you can actually focus and get some work done vs having to stay late at the office. Or it could be having that dedicated guest room for when your friends or parents come to visit (and help out with the kids?!)...
Everyone has different priorities, but the feeling of connecting with your neighbourhood and the area beyond your home adds another layer of happiness to your life.
This is the type of thing that turns
a house into a home.
Get To Know Mark...
Mark O’Krafka has an aura of enthusiasm about him. The energy Mark Exudes when working with clients and customer’s is the same passion he has for life.
A rare commodity. Mark is a 4th generation native of Cambridge who grew up in Hespeler providing him with an intimate understanding of the community and the neighbourhood. He began his real estate career in 1987 following in the footsteps of his father who was an industry stalwart in the Waterloo Region.
With over 25 years of experience as a real estate broker Mark has developed a reputation for maintaining the highest standards of integrity and being a pit bull when it comes to negotiating for the best interests of his clients.
Mark's greatest strength is his ability to strategize with the end goal in mind. He approaches every transaction in layers working through the multiple opportunities and obstacles, helping families easily and effortlessly up-size to their "Forever Home". Mark is driven, focused and disciplined but with a compassion born of experience that helps him to anticipate and alleviate a lot of the stress and tension that can develop during even the simplest real estate transaction.
A dedicated, passionate, and market-savvy professional, Mark's attention to detail, superior people skills, broad knowledge of the real estate industry, and his pure determination to indulge his clients with a first class experience set him apart.
We are fortunate and proud to have Mark O’Krafka associated with our team. Mark’s clients continually comment on his warm personality and commitment in making their real estate transactions a pleasurable and rewarding experience.
Here's what some of Mark's past clients have to say:
"What stood out the most working with Mark was the fast pace at which the transaction proceeded and how smoothly it all went. No one can argue that this situation was handled with the utmost care and professionalism. Overall my feeling of Mark O'Krafka is that he is professional, caring, punctual, set realistic time lines and is genuinely a good person. We have pursued many real estate transactions in the past but by far Mark's outstanding knowledge and expertise in the real estate field surpassed even our expectations and past experiences.
~Godrey and Helen Findlay
"Mark has helped my family on multiple real estate deals and I can say for certain that his professionalism, care and attention to detail are second to none! I would recommend Mark to anyone looking for real estate help!"
~ Bob Fraser Jr
"We found Mark to be energetic, knowledgeable, organized, considerate and professional. We would recommend Mark to anyone purchasing or selling a home."
If you're ready to put The D.R.E.A.M Method to work for you, so that you can up-size into your "Forever Home"...
SCHEDULE A CALL HERE
Mark O'Krafka, Broker
RE/MAX Real Estate Centre Inc., Brokerage
766 Old Hespeler Rd., Cambridge, ON, N2P 2L9
Direct: 519-654-6683 Bus: 519-623-6200
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