Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Buyers Were Asking: The Condo Inspection - Yes? No?

The Condo Inspection – yes?  no?

This is always a loaded question.  Do you ask for an inspection or don’t you? Depends.  Depends on what?  Honestly, depends on the building, market conditions at the time you are offering and your own personality.  Many, many buyers say, absolutely not.  Home inspections are not worth it.  Really? Why?  Because my brother/friend/husband/father knows more than most home inspectors.  Anything wrong, he can fix it.  

I tend to listen to all the chatter and then advise accordingly but, any realtor doing a fair amount of business knows a good home inspector.  Where it becomes problematic is when the buyer does not trust the realtor.  We hear all sorts of things.  You realtors, you’ll just recommend an inspector who will say there is nothing wrong. Truth is, we want the inspector to find a material problem.  We want to do the very best we can for our clients.  I do anyhow, so, I say always when it is warranted.  

When I am asked about the inner workings of a furnace, air conditioner or if the underground parking is up to code, ummmmnnnn, well, I’m not a contractor.  I sell real estate.  I cannot possibly be a master of everything.  And, I am not touching those questions with a 10 foot pole.  I don’t need a buyer saying….well you advised against a home inspection.  

For the first time buyer, the inspection provides the ideal opportunity to learn about things like, changing furnace filters, or, even how to take screens off windows.  For the downsizing buyer a seasoned inspector is a godsend.  They’ll speak to items such as current code issues as it relates to electrical.  Granted, they are not climbing on the roof to check out the wear and tear, but, they also do not charge a detached home rate.  

As a realtor, we listen to your relative and can sense their knowledge level. Often we hear, ahhhh, well, if there is anything wrong (insert name) can fix it.  The big question is, do they have the time?

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Market Stats: May 2019

We managed to make it through the rainy days of May - it looks like within this first week of June, the beautiful weather has finally arrived!  For both Burlington and Hamilton we saw number of new listings climb even higher than those in April, with average sale price remaining within a couple thousand dollars in both Cities.  While Burlington began to see a fall in total sales within the month, Hamilton saw a 16.2% increase in May!

Reflecting on 2019 versus 2018 for Burlington... while we may not have seen an increase in listings, sales are up compared to last years market. Burlington saw a 13.7% increase in the number of sales, with a quicker turnaround of 27 days on the market, and listings selling for 99% of list price. Though it appears to be a slightly faster market with a higher return in terms of list to sale price, the average sale price dropped immensely from $773,963 in 2018, to $741,699 this year. 

In Hamilton, we're looking at increases across the board for May!  Number of sales across the City rose by nearly 18% from 2018 and even number of listings are up by 14.6%.  The market is moving at about the same speed as last year, reporting 25 average days on the market.  Average sale price follow the rising trend sitting at nearly $15K over last years average for the month.  Hamilton seemed to be booming this Spring, so much so that the Realtor Association of Hamilton did a spotlight on Hamilton Centre for the month of May due to the numbers for that one area alone. 

Here we sit, with the first week of June under our belts.  This first weekend has brought some gorgeous weather which I'm sure will trigger 'summer mode' for some!  For families, the wind down for the school aged kids has begun with a mere 14 days remaining until schools out for summer!  Will we see one final push for all those May listings as we move through the month of June?  Or will these listings hang on tight as the summer market moves in on us?  Time.. and whether this more seasonal weather hangs on, or not.. will tell!  

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

You Were Asking: The Chatterbox

The Chatterbox

We’ve all heard the phrase; ‘Loose lips sink ships’. Nothing could be truer than in our world of real estate.  Telling too much can hurt you, but, sometimes it can work to your benefit.  You just have to know when the timing is right and when it most definitely is wrong.   

EVERYONE and I mean EVERYONE talks about real estate.  I have often grabbed a coffee at a Timmies in between appointments and sat alone just to decompress and gather myself for my next appointment and all around me, I hear discussions related to real estate. Parents talking about their kids moving out and the difficulty they are faced with financing preapprovals. Renovations is a biggie…do we stay or do we go as some kids are still in the nest.  You name it, we hear it.  

Your realtor will always warn you to please keep your mouth closed when your home is on the market.  I love sitting open houses and having the neighbours come in.  Oh how funny it is to hear the whispers and the ‘pretend’ buyers as they wander through.  Come on, let’s face it, people love talking about real estate, but, the versions we hear of situations are down right comical.  Talking too much can hurt a seller so it is best to not be in your home when buyers come.  

What things will get your into trouble?  
  • The neighbour’s barking dog.  
  • The leak you had 15 years ago that has since been repaired.  
  • What price you want.  
Talking too much as a buyer pretty much does the same.  
  • The fact that you have sold your house and have to move.  
  • How much work you feel the house needs….and then staying an hour in the home.  
  • Sending all your relatives in to talk to the rep hosting an open house.  
  • Loudly announcing to other buyers what is wrong with the house.  
What can help? There is a time and place to talk and often that is after the sale has occurred.  We often will ask if a seller can remain in the home for one of the re-visits as that can prove invaluable to the buyer.  They get to learn so much more about the home.  

For the buyer, we love the introductory letter that can accompany your offer.  In this electronic age, actual face to face offer presentations are not the norm. Electronic signing has often eliminated the emotion and turned the buying and selling process into a black and white scenario.  Who will offer the most money, have the fewest conditions and close on the date that you wish.  It becomes a very rudimentary process rather than an emotional one.  

Realize that everything you say can and will be used against you……..

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Seller's Were Asking: Timing & Market Entry

Timing and Market Entry

The pricing of real estate is always a moving target. It acts similarly to financial statements in the accounting world.  As @ is terminology we are all familiar with.  The sale outcome is based upon 4 factors; PRICE, CONDITION, LOCATION and TIMING. Realtors attempt to gauge how all these elements come together to provide you with as accurate a snapshot as we can based upon a moving target......which is timing.  

In a Spring market, timing is so vital as inasmuch as the newspaper reports the market, the news comes AFTER so we hear what happened, not, what is happening as the market evolves.  Various housing styles operate differently at different times.  If we think of life stages, it starts to make some sense.  

The Spring market typically starts somewhere in January after the holiday season. Why?  Because that is when your family buyer starts to consider a move-up. That process can take 3-6 months. Why?  Because moving up take a lot of thought and even more education.  And, because the family home often doesn’t get listed immediately.  

Once the family buyer buys, their homes start to come on the market.  These are often the smaller homes most suitable to the first timers.  When the snowbirds arrive back into town, that end of the market starts to make its move. When?  In line with tax season….that looming April 30th deadline brings the more mature seller/buyer back into town to prepare their homes, so, either that home is a family home, or, it is a condo apartment, dependent on age.  

Then, to add to all this confusion, we have the unfortunate circumstances of death and divorce.  These situations throw the curveball into the mix.  This is why when your Realtor provides you that snapshot in time price range, we are simply trying to give you a range which will cover off a moving target and that is not as simple as it looks.  

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Market Stats: April 2019

April's market stats are in and boy are things just ticking along in this Spring market.  The number of listings are on the rise both in Burlington and Hamilton and average days continued to fall.  As for sale prices, they're maintaining their ground from March through April. 

In Burlington, the average sale price has risen slightly since March with an increase just shy of $4K, though more significantly higher than April 2018.  Number of listings are at a 2019 high, which falls in line with the trend in previous years, where we didn't see the record number until May.  Looks like we're following the same timeline, so should have nearly 30 more days of this solid Spring market, leading us into Summer.  If that's the case, we might see that April's average days on the market, at 27, could be the quickest turn around this Spring.  Last year, while May was strong, this is the turning point for when listings started to take a little longer to sell. Speaking of sales, we're up by 73 dales since March and nearly 150 compared to January/March stats.


Hamilton is following the same pattern with average days having fallen, and listings and sales continuing to make the climb!  While the Average Sale Price fell by a couple hundred dollars, it has remained consistent with a variance of only $8,000 over the past three months!  Looking back at 2018, numbers are upper the Hamilton market.  This April our pricing is nearly $25K more than last year.  Days on the market for Hamilton are quick at 23, and the list to sale price ratio remains equally as consistent at 100% for the third month in a row. 

The market is strong and we would expect to see this flurry of activity continue through May! Enjoy this more seasonal weather we have on our way... 

For all the stats compared month to month, find them here, on our website

Friday, April 26, 2019

You Were Asking: Condition on Sale of Buyer's Property

Condition on Sale of Buyer's Property

This spring we saw a re-appearance of a condition on the sale of a buyer’s property in accepted offers. This is a direct result of lenders requiring a successful sale in order to secure financing on a purchase at most pricing levels. The risks and concerns are very different for a seller vs a buyer. Here’s what you need to know about the condition on sale.

As a seller, it’s important to understand the facts behind the property in question. As such, the condition, price and timing of market entry will all factor into the risk associated with the ‘saleability’ of that back-up home. In a slowing market it’s a much higher risk to accept a condition on sale of a $2 million-dollar home not yet on the market than it is for a $500k townhome in a hot market. It also begs the question of financial stability of your buyer... why do they require the condition in the first place? On the positive side, the inclusion of an escape clause will allow you to continue to offer your home for sale in the event another buyer is willing to make you an offer.

As a buyer, the motivation can vary as to why they feel it’s needed. For some, it’s a financial requirement and others it’s a safety net if they don’t reach their set goals or expectations on the sale of their home. It’s important to understand the ins and outs of what the condition will mean. You are asking the seller to take a chance on your home selling within a set period of time. As such, you should be in a position either already on the market or rather imminently. In that case, your Realtor needs to have an understanding of your home and value in order to properly convey to the other parties involved. We have also seen instances where offers have been ‘bumped’ by a firm offer and buyers not being able to meet their condition on sale requirements so, this cannot always be used as a buffer to get your home on the market.

Overall, proceed with caution when negotiating a condition on sale and protect your largest asset. We have seen the condition used unsuccessfully, but also to reach a very happy end for both the buyers and sellers as of late.