You Truly Do Get What You Pay For

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Real Estate commissions are too high!  Discount brokerages beat this drum all the time, but is it true?  Is a full service brokerage charging too much for what they do?  Do discount or flat fee brokerages provide exactly the same service, and more importantly, results, as a full service brokerage?

Here is the breakdown of what our company, Coldwell Banker Community Professionals, a full service brokerage, does for every one of our seller clients as a MINIMUM STANDARD.

  • We will fully explain your representation alternatives, and how they will affect your sale
  • We will create, with you, a marketing action plan to get your property sold
  • We will provide you with a comprehensive Competitive Market Analysis (CMA)
  • We will show you various financing alternatives and how they may help facilitate the sale of your home
  • We will furnish you with an estimated net proceeds of your sale, to assist you in your future plans
  • We will help enhance your home, by developing  a plan to showcase your property and enhance its ability to attract buyers
  • We will present your property to the Coldwell Banker sales team
  • We will promote your property to other reputable, professional Brokers and Sales Representatives who service your area
  • We will place your property on the LOCAL Multiple Listing Service
  • We will create a marketing resource to promote the details of your property, including specific highlights and photos/videos of your property, and showcase it online
  • We will prepare promotional materials regarding your property and arrange for their distribution to target market areas to attract potential buyers
  • We will offer to place a Coldwell Banker Community Professionals FOR SALE sign on your property to help generate calls to our office from prospective buyers
  • We will review with you our comprehensive marketing program designed to generate buyer prospects for your property.  We will explain how our placement on multiple websites will maximize the exposure of your property to potential buyers.  We will also discuss how we track online activity and more…
  • We will provide you with regular Marketing Activity Reports on competitive market conditions, buyer activity and the actions taken to market your property
  • We will review with you the home finding process that buyers are most likely to follow including financial qualifications, property selections, financing options and closing procedures
  • We will seek financial qualifying information on all buyers submitting an offer to purchase on your property.
  • We will review all purchase offers as they are presented, and we will negotiate on your behalf to reach a purchase agreement with terms that are favourable and protective for you
  • We will monitor and inform you of the progress of the transaction including the satisfaction of all contingencies and conditions during the transaction
  • We will contact you after the closing to follow up on any remaining details or service needs
  • We will provide you with details of our relocation and referral services, which are available to you at no cost regardless of where you are moving

The above is a list of the basic services offered.  Many of our real estate professionals offer additional services, whether it be staging, or pre-inspections, for example.

Also, our sales professionals are trained in negotiation skills, ensuring you have a strong advocate for your needs at the time of an offer presentation.

These steps that our sales professionals take, ensure that sellers net more from their home sale by using a full service REALTOR®.  The increased sale price reflects the benefit having a real estate professional on your side can make.

To find out what we can do for you, call one of our Coldwell Banker Community Professionals today.

The Rollercoaster Ride of 2017…

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2017… a year to remember or a year to try and forget?

If you bought or sold a home in 2017,  you are no doubt looking back and asking yourself if you made the right timing decision.  If you were buying or selling  a home for you and your family, rest easy, yes you did…

Real estate is one investment that you are assured that if you buy for the long term, you have made a good investment.  Historically, real estate has held its value and increased in spite of it being a buyers’ or sellers’ market when you buy.

If you attempted to buy a home in 2017, and are still looking, relax.  The market is becoming a more balanced one, and more and more homes are coming on the market.  All indications are that it should be a robust spring market, with more homes coming on the market.  Prices are not expected to show the wild increases we saw in 2017’s spring and summer markets.

If you held off selling in 2017 because you were concerned whether you would be able to find a home to buy for your family, now is the time to speak to your REALTOR® and start planning for your move in 2018.  The increased number of homes expected to come on the market in the spring, should provide you with the confidence to plan your sale and purchase of  a new home.

Many home owners say they are waiting for the spring market.  Keep in mind, the spring market is not April… traditionally, the spring market in the Hamilton/Burlington area starts in early March. That said, the spring market has started as early as the first week of January some years, when there have been lots of buyers ready to make a purchase.

If you are looking for some advice you can rely on, please call one of our real estate professionals.  At Coldwell Banker Community Professionals, we believe a well informed buyer or seller is the happiest client.  Our sales professionals are ready to help you make the right decisions for you and your family.  And remember, we offer the Ultimate Service Guarantee!  If we are not providing the service we promise, you can terminate your buying or selling agreement.

Is Now a Good Time to Buy a Home?

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There is no “one size fits all” answer to this question. It is not always a good time to buy depending on your stage in life and your future plans.

The recent changes in the mortgage qualification rules have either taken some buyers out of the market entirely, or reduced the price of the property they are qualified to buy. This has prompted some buyers to become creative, whether by having family or a friend go on title of their new property, and be included in the mortgage calculation, or by borrowing money to increase the downpayment to over 20% to avoid the higher threshold of qualification. Both of these approaches have their risks, and should be carefully considered before using one of them to buy a home. It is possible that now is not the time for you to buy. Perhaps taking more time to increase your downpayment, or time to consider what you really need in your new home is the right approach. It is possible that a lower price home may be the right fit for you right now.

Some ‘experts’ are predicting that home prices will ‘adjust’ (as in decrease) due to the new mortgage rules, as fewer buyers will be able to qualify at the current price levels. We have not seen this happening in the market as of yet, but it is possible. We are seeing less competition for homes compared to the frenzy we saw through the spring and summer.

If you are fortunate to not be subject to the rules for less than 20% down, now may very well be a great time to buy a home. If you are at the stage in life of downsizing, you can maximize your sale price on what is likely your biggest asset, and reinvest in a lower price home. If you are upsizing, it is hard to beat the current mortgage rates that are being offered. One of the big banks just increased their mortgage lending rate, but we have not seen any others as of yet. The Bank of Canada has indicated that they may even decrease the bank rate, which might result in lower still mortgage rates (hard to imagine!)

If you are an investor, with mortgage rates where they are, and the number of people in the rental market, now is a great time to buy that duplex/triplex etc.

As you can see that answer to the question I posed is perhaps. There are many things to consider. How long do you intend to live in the home you are buying? Are you starting a family? Are you retiring soon. These are just some of the questions to ask yourself. The best way to find out what is the right answer for you is to call one of our Coldwell Banker Community Professionals and discuss your current wants and needs, and perhaps even more important discuss your future plans. They will help you determine what you can afford to buy, and if it is right for you. It costs you nothing, but may very well save you a lot of heartache in the future.

Back to School Survival Tips

The “back to school” days are right around the corner.

Adjusting to “back to school” mode is simple if you prepare in advance and set up a regular routine. Here are a few tips that’ll help make the transition a little easier:

Back to Bedtimes – Your little night owls will benefit from having bedtimes rolled back a couple of weeks before school starts.

Get Organized – Designate a central “information station” where schedules are housed and school notes can be processed.

Adjust Chores – Responsibilities may need to be adjusted depending on the type of chore and change in morning routine.

Plan Ahead – Get in the habit of doing as much as you can the night before. The morning routine will be smoother if you lay out clothes and make lunches in advance.

Stay Positive – Returning to school is an emotional adjustment for children so help them stay positive and ensure you’re available as much as possible.

Back to school doesn’t have to be about forgotten lunches, unlabelled belongings and lost permission slips! With a little organization and planning, you’ll be able to enjoy the rest of the summer knowing that September will be smooth sailing.

 

Some more good advice from realestateword.com… check them out!

Moving With Pets

Like any family member, pets feel the stress of moving.

When moving, it’s important to organize ahead of time so that your pets will be comfortable. Here are some tips that’ll ensure a smooth move:

Plan Ahead – Create a detailed checklist ahead of time so that you can avoid any last minute stress that your pets will pick up on.

Pet Doc – Ask your vet for a referral if you’re moving out of town and make sure all of the shots are up to date.

Dog Tags – Remember to update all your pet’s tags and microchips with your new contact information.

Keep them Calm – Have someone look after your pets on moving day but if that’s not possible, keep them calm by housing them in a quiet room.

Doggie Bag – Prepare a well labeled and easily accessible overnight moving kit with everything you need to keep your pets happy.

Butter ‘em Up – Keep outdoor cats inside for at least a week so they can get familiar with their new home. Putting butter on their paws will help imprint the new house as home.

Moving can make pets extra anxious so try to keep to their usual routine as much as possible before, during and after the move as this will make the transition much smoother. Once you’re all moved in, give them lots of extra TLC!

 

This information was provided by the folks at  www.realestateword.com .  For more great ideas, check out their site!

So, are you ready to move?

You’ve sold your house and found your new home. You will soon realize that was the easy part.

Now comes the packing up and making all the arrangements for the move. If you are planning to use a moving company be sure to get at least a couple quotes. Make sure you are clear on what you want them to do, whether it is just moving your furniture and belongings or coming in and doing the complete pack and move. There is an entire range of services available so be sure to be selective when you are speaking with the mover.

Some other things to be sure to do are:

Arrange to have a final reading on all your utilities. Sometimes your lawyer will do this but be sure whose responsibility it is. You do not want to be paying for the new owners’ hydro! At the same time, be sure to set up your utilities at you new home.

Send a change of address to all your credit card companies, banks, friends, and anyone else you receive correspondence from.

Redirect your mail to your new address for 6 months to be sure to catch anyone you forgot

Check if your telephone number can be transferred to your new location

If you have school age children, be sure to confirm the school they are attending and confirm what transportation (if needed) is provided.

If you have pets, be sure to notify the licensing department of your move so they will be able to reunite you if your pet gets away in the move. Also, advise your veterinarian.

On the home front, if you haven’t already, now is the time to go through your belongings and dispose of anything you do not intend to move. There are many charities that would welcome the donation of household items and clothing that you no longer need or want.

If you are doing your own packing be sure to label the boxes clearly. This will help when it comes to unpacking, as hopefully the boxes, when unloaded will be placed in or near the room where they will be unpacked.

Once you have removed everything from your house, be sure to do the final trip through. Make sure nothing has been overlooked in the loading up. Also, take time to sweep up the house and leave it how you would like to find your new home. The new owners will appreciate your extra effort.

Through it all, try to remember why you are moving… It will help during those moments when you start wondering whose bright idea it was to move in the first place!