Oh No! I Sold My Home!

ce4a9f30cb42bf341ab2aa815aed136a_real-estate-sold-sign-lindsay-house-sold-sign-clipart_1000-750Are you afraid to sell your home in case you can’t find one to buy?

This seems to be the impasse  many potential sellers are stuck at. The market right now has such a low inventory of homes to buy, many people are putting off selling, even though they have many reasons that now would be a good time to sell.

If you are in this position, you have a lot of things to consider.

By not moving, are you putting off plans that would be better for your family?
Financially, is now a good time to sell?
If you haven’t sold your home, can you buy your dream home if it came on the market tomorrow?
If you can’t find your dream home, are you willing to rent a property until you find the right one?
Are you tired of carrying the household costs on large home that is more than you need?
Can you afford to own two homes?

If you are being held back by one of these concerns, or another not mentioned, take some time and determine whether there is a answer should you sell your home and become “homeless”.

Are you fortunate enough to have a second home where you could live temporarily while waiting for the right home to come on the market?
Are you prepared to rent accommodation while looking for the right house?
You might be able to negotiate a long closing on your current home, to allow you time to find the right home.
Do you have family members with extra space for you to stay with if the need arises?
Is there another solution which would enable to you move now?

Not everyone is prepared to put their home on the market without knowing where they are going next, but maybe you are.

Being homeless is not as bad as you might think. I sold my home last summer, and am currently renting a home while I look for just the right property. Is it perfect?, no, but it provides the freedom to be in control when I do find the right property. As a buyer with no home to sell, and the ability to match most any closing date a seller might request, I am in a good negotiating position.

So, are you ready to put your home on the market? Be sure to call one of our Coldwell Banker Community Professionals to discuss what your options are.

Exactly What is Our Company Product?

Product clipart copy
What does a real estate company really sell?

I am sure most people would say we sell houses/businesses
and the like. That may be the way of the past, but I don’t think that is true any more.

The true product of today’s full service real estate company (which we are) is the ability to interpret the information available to maximize the return on your investment. (i.e., the commission you pay a REALTOR® for that ability).

With the availability of information regarding asking and sale prices, along with the advent of fee for service companies, truly anyone can put their home on the market.  I believe the difference a full service company brings to you is the ability to know what the market in your particular area is doing.  Are prices increasing? Are there competing offers happening in the area? Is there a development (good or bad) in the area that may affect price? What are the trends in the market? Is there a current shortage of supply? What is happening with mortgage interest rates? Are there any government policy changes that may affect the saleability of a home, or the ability of a buyer to qualify for financing?

If you add to that the specific knowledge and training that REALTORS® have regarding marketing/promoting properties, I believe REALTORS® supply a very important product in their knowledge, interpretation, and implementation of information.

When you are looking to buy or sell what may be your largest financial asset, would you not hire a professional?  If you were thinking of investing $100,000 would you check the internet and make a decision, or would you check with someone who specializes in investing large sums of money, whether for the potential growth it might provide, or to ensure the security of the investment?  Many real estate sales today involve far more than this amount.

Keep in mind that fees are always negotiable.  Be sure to purchase the right real estate product for you – and I’m not talking about the four walls and a roof.

Be sure to call one of our real estate professionals and discuss the product they offer… you may find it’s more valuable than you anticipated.

To Renovate or Not to Renovate…

If you decide to renovate, be sure to get the best bang for your renovation buck!

Now more than ever,  homeowners are venturing into the domain of home renovating. Many home owners look forward to enjoying the new, attractive or functional features that these renovations can bring to their everyday life. Yet more and more, market-savvy homeowners are spending thousands of dollars on home improvements, just to turn around in a short period and put the property up for sale. Renovations may not sound like a novel idea in terms of adding market value to your home. However, knowing how and where to use your money can help you achieve the best return on your investment by delivering an improved listing price when the time comes to sell.

The two most prominent areas of your home that will affect its selling appeal are the kitchen and bathrooms, so these are two prime areas to focus on if you’re looking for the biggest bang for your renovating bucks. For bathrooms, if you’re looking to improve resale value, then focus your efforts first on the main floor bath or powder room. Buyers decide on a home within the first few minutes, and it will be the only one they will have seen in that time. Besides, it’s usually the bathroom all your visitors use and it’s typically small – perhaps a half bathroom – so it’s a good place to splurge and achieve maximum impact for a relatively low expenditure. After the main floor, the master bath is most worthy of premium fixtures and upgrades, because that’s the one prospective buyers will visualize themselves using. For these two rooms, you don’t necessarily have to break the bank by replacing tubs and sinks. New products such as porcelain tub paint or even a full insert that mounts on top of your existing tub can give your bathroom a fresh as new look. Where it will pay off in the end to spend some money is with new, modern faucets and perhaps a new light fixture.

No other fixture in the home gets more use than the kitchen faucet – so don’t skimp here! A good idea is to choose one of the latest washer less styles that minimize internal seals and components that can wear out. Spend the extra couple of dollars on stylish, advanced faucets that will give years of leak-free service. While the plumbing for the faucets are out, you might decide to replace the kitchen sink – a good investment if yours is showing signs of obvious wear.

The countertops in the kitchen and bathrooms are another guaranteed-return home improvement. If the cost seems a little daunting, don’t be discouraged. New melamine paints can rejuvenate an outdated counter surface with today’s new cool neutral shades. If your counter is scratched and worn, there are new countertops available today, which are custom ordered pieces according to your specifications that are placed over top of your existing counter. The end result is a low cost, limited effort alternative that gives you the look of solid granite!

You can speak with your local Coldwell Banker Pinnacle Real Estate sales professional today to give you further ideas on how to best improve your home in terms of market value.

Will it be a Good Fall Harvest?


Time once again to dust off my crystal ball.  The real estate market has been quite strong through this summer, and many are asking Will This Continue?

My crystal ball is telling me that we are in for a good fall market.

The economic reports tell us that we are doing better than anticipated.  The ‘experts’ say that we are in for a steady market for the balance of this year and through 2014.  The lower Canadian Dollar is helping with exports, which in turn helps the economy.

As for real estate specifically, there continues to be a slower than usual supply of properties coming on the market, which leads to price increases.  This also has lead to a larger than normal number of properties receiving competing offers, which in turn is driving up prices in certain areas.

The Bank of Canada has not increased our prime lending rate, which is holding our mortgage rates at all time low levels.  This is great for the first time buyers, and also for the buyers looking to move up.  The cost of housing has not been this affordable in quite a long time.

In the Hamilton area we are also fortunate to benefit from the fact our housing costs are lower than many of the surrounding areas, in particular Toronto.  This has sent a number of buyers to our area, as they are able to purchase the home of their dreams for a fraction of the cost it would be in Toronto.  Now if we could get the transit issues worked out, we would truly be off to the races.

To answer the question I posed, I think we are going to have a great fall harvest.  If we could get a little more yield in the properties coming on to the market, I am sure we have enough consumers out there to buy them up.

For REALTORS®, now is the time to step up with the farming, and get the product to market!

For consumers, if you are thinking about moving, now IS the time to get your house on the market.  Start by calling one of our Coldwell Banker Pinnacle Real Estate professionals, and find out what your home is worth.  Remember, real estate is a local business, so find out what your specific area is doing, don’t just read the headlines.

Do It Yourself or Hire A REALTOR® – It’s Your Choice

One question I get asked quite often by homeowners is “Why shouldn’t I sell my house myself?”

Well, the fact of the matter is, a REALTOR® can likely put more money in your pocket, even after paying their commission, than selling it yourself. What many homeowners lose sight of is the amount of money they end up with after their house is sold, because they are concentrating on the amount of commission they are paying.

According to the National Association of REALTORS® 2011 Home Buyers and Sellers Survey, the private sale transactions account for approximately 10% of all sales. The law of supply and demand plays a big part in the value of your home. Everyone knows that the more buyers that are interested in a property the more value it may have. Therefore if your home is only exposed to 10% of the buying market as opposed to 100% of the buying market, there is a greater chance of you not getting top value for your home.

One thing Sellers need to realize is, if buyers pass on all the homes listed on MLS® and all the free services and assistance a Buyer Representative provides, and buy a private for sale home, they do so, because they think they can purchase the house for less money since the seller is not paying a commission. So, as a home seller, you will always be paying a commission. If you sell privately you pay it to the buyer in the form of a reduced price, or to your REALTOR® if you choose to sell it through the MLS®.

What amazes me is that some home owners are willing to risk what is probably their largest investment, and rely on the expertise of someone that has possibly never sold a home before, themselves. Yet they will spend their hard earned dollars to make sure their car is being serviced by an expert auto mechanic.

Statistics show that 7 out of 10 For Sale By Owners end up listing and selling through a REALTOR® or they don’t move forward with their plans. Many home owners add additional expense to their home selling process by attempting to sell on their own first. For example, there are classified advertising costs, printing costs for feature sheets, maybe they buy a do-it-yourself home selling kit from a For Sale By Owner marketing company. These costs can be anywhere from $200 to $2,000.

For all you home owners out there thinking of selling privately, talk to a professional REALTOR® and ask them to show you what your net proceeds will be after all the selling expenses. This is the amount of money you will have available to you to move forward with your plans. When you really think about it, isn’t this one of the first steps you should be doing when selling your home?

Good luck to all the home sellers out there and I hope all your housing dreams come true!