Last year I did a blog about choosing a REALTOR® and I covered a few points to consider. In today’s extremely competitive market I thought I would talk about a couple of more things a home owner should consider when hiring a REALTOR®.

Some home owners will hire their sales representative based on the highest list price presented. The sellers look at each other and say, “He or she thinks our house is worth $400,000 too”. In the real estate industry we call this Buying a Listing. This could be a big mistake because your house gets the most attention when it is a “new listing” , and you have it priced above the market.

If you price your house to high, no one will show it and it will just sit on the market until you reduce the price. After you reduce the price, the buyers who were looking in your area have already purchased a home. You missed out on all those buyers! Pricing your house too high will only help similar houses in your neighbourhood sell faster.

Another thought is you should always ask the REALTOR® for references from recent sales. A good REALTOR® would have names and contact information readily available. Ask the REALTOR’S® clients about their selling experience.

Remember, the length of time a REALTOR® has been in the business isn’t all you should look for. Experienced REALTORS® can grow jaded and not work as hard, while newer ones may make up with enthusiasm and effort what they lack in experienced.

Some sellers base their decision on the lowest commission. We all know the old saying, “You get what you pay for”. This is very true. REALTORS® and brokerages put up their own money to market and advertise your home. This costs money… the lower the commission, the less incentive for a REALTOR® to put up his or her own money to market your home.

Incentive has an important role in sales. A full service REALTOR® earning a full commission will often “drop everything” to handle any challenges that come along – a rep earning a smaller commission doesn’t have that same incentive.

Again, make sure you interview more than one REALTOR® and look for the one that is a true professional.

Good luck to all of you trying to sell your house. If you have any tricks of your own on how you chose your last REALTOR®, please share with your fellow readers.

Avoid Home Buying Headaches

Sometimes your dream home can become your worst nightmare.

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This time of year always brings this thought to mind, as home buyers are opening the swimming pools that they bought during the winter months, only to find that what was working last year, isn’t this year.  This is just one example of a potential nightmare. There are many more, such as hot tubs and spas, saunas, fireplaces, underground sprinkler systems, alarm systems, home theatre systems… as you can imagine, the list is potentially endless when you consider all the bells and whistles that are sometimes included in home purchases.

When you are buying a home, be sure you are working with a professional REALTOR® who knows that all these potential nightmares exist.  It is their job to protect your interests when you are making your offer.  They are also the ones that are there to make sure you are aware of the potential pitfalls of buying a home with these extra features.

For example, swimming pools and hot tubs sound great, but if you have never owned one, be sure you investigate how much work is involved in maintaining and repairing them.  Also, be sure you really want to spend the time and dollars doing the maintenance for the amount of enjoyment they will bring you.  If your REALTOR® is doing their job, they will mention these future considerations to you when you are considering the home.  Remember, buying a home is

an emotional experience.  We all tend to get excited, and don’t really think it through until we have the accepted offer in our hands.  Don’t think your REALTOR® is trying to talk you out of buying the home, they are just making sure you are thinking it through.

Most important, be sure that your REALTOR® includes in your offer a clause asking for a warranty from the seller to ensure th

at whatever bell and whistle you are buying will be in good working order when you actually take possession of the house, or should it not be possible to determine that on closing date (such as buying a pool in the winter), a warranty that applies to a set date in the future, by which time you will know if everything is working as it should.

If the seller’s representative is a professional, and deals with the offer appropriately, you will know right away if there is a potential nightmare on the horizon.  If they will not provide the warranty, you have a reasonable expectation that all is not in good working order.  Also, when faced with the request for a warranty, the seller may be more forthcoming with the current condition of whatever item you are dealing with.

As always, having someone working for you who knows that RIGHT way to do things, is the best protection you can have.  That way, if problems crop up, you know exactly how they will be dealt with, and you can sleep easy…

As always, if you are looking for a professional REALTOR® you don’t need to look any further than a Coldwell Banker Pinnacle Real Estate sales representative.  They are well trained professionals, who always put their client first.


This month Ann and I are trying to provide our readers with some great How To’s. Now we all have our own favourite way of doing things and we all think our own method is best, but I am always looking for a better way to do things.

For example the best way that I have found to prevent fish from sticking to the barbeque grill is to put slices of orange and lemon directly on the grill and place your fish on top of the slices of fruit. Not only does the fish remain moist and absorb the juices from the fruit it also doesn’t burn or stick to the grill.

Now I could go on all day about why I think my way is the best way to do things but there is always a better way being developed as we speak.

So what I thought I would do is provide our readers with some links to some great tips and How To’s.

My daughter is a bit of a photography buff and came across this website full of tips and how to’s, even how to photograph spider webs – How to Photograph…

For all you do-it-yourself homeowners the Lowe’s Home Improvement website is a great source of information on how to do almost any home project, many with instructional videos. Go to and click on Ideas and How To’s.

For people who have a difficult cleaning situation this website, , has hundreds of cleaning tips from cleaning your car to cleaning laptop speakers and everything in between.

Now I know all you readers out there have your own way of doing things, so if you have some great How To’s or tips please share with your fellow readers or if you’re looking for a specific “How To” let us know and we will try to help you out.


Don’t Want to Compete for Your Home Purchase?

blog jpeg photoBuying a home is an emotional process. We try to apply logic all the way through the process, but when the rubber hits the road, it’s an emotional decision.

The current Hamilton and Burlington area real estate market is experiencing a large number of homes that are selling with competing offers. You may think these are just the really fixed up places that look fantastic, but that’s not the case. Competition is taking place at all price levels, and with homes in all sorts of condition. The deciding factors seem to be; price in relation to the market, availability of comparable homes, amenities offered by the house, and more.

If you are in the process of buying a home, and would rather not find yourself in competition, here are a few things to consider.

  • Work with a REALTOR® who has access to new properties for sale quicker than you will find them on If you have a relationship, your REALTOR® can send you listings immediately, enabling you to be one of the first to see the home. Keep in mind you may need to act quickly.
  • Be prepared. If you see a home you want to buy, and they are not holding off on offers, act right away. Don’t wait for others to decide to make an offer. Have your deposit funds ready, your financing ready to go, and your home inspector ready and waiting. This is not the kind of market where you want to ‘sleep on it’.
  • If you really like the house, don’t try the low ball offer first to ‘see if they will come down’. You may waste your opportunity to be the only offer the home seller is looking at, and if you do end up in competition, you have not made a particularly good first impression.
  • If you really like a house, and they have set a future date for offers, you can present what is called a bully offer. In this case, your REALTOR® will advise the listing sales person that he has an offer that is only irrevocable for a short period of time. This causes the home owner to decide if they want to look at your offer, or wait and take the chance that they receive a better offer later. If you want your bully offer to be considered, it needs to be a very good offer. Both price and terms need to be exceptional for the seller to effectively give up their chance at competing offers.
  • Another choice is to postpone your home buying until a time period when there are generally fewer buyers in the market, such as during some parts of the summer and at the end of the year, around the holidays. These times vary depending on where you are, so if you are considering this approach, speak to your REALTOR®. Keep in mind that fewer sellers will have their homes on the market during these time periods, so your selection may not be as good.

If you want to discuss how to get the home you want, at the price you want to pay, call a Coldwell Banker Pinnacle Real Estate Sales Representative. Their experience and training will help you be successful in your home hunting efforts.