Monday, July 31, 2017

Sellers Were Asking: Why Isn't My House Selling?

Why Isn't My House Selling?

You’ve made the decision to sell; you’ve hired a Realtor, decided on a list price, the paperwork is complete and the sign is on the lawn… but the offer doesn’t come! Recent market changes have left many Sellers scratching their heads and asking “Why isn’t my house selling?” Here are our top reasons why a home doesn’t sell:
Your Photos
Taking photos with a smart phone or even having your Realtor take some snaps may sound like a great way to show off your home in a pinch but, are you really doing it justice?  Having a professional real estate photographer capture every square inch of your home in high quality will ultimately set you apart from the DIY’ers. After all… a picture’s worth a thousand words!

Typically the first reason homes do not sell is due to their price. Market value is a delicate balance of  what a Seller is willing to sell for and a Buyer willing to pay. It’s important to price yourself based on market trend and not just the last neighbourhood sale. If Buyers are complaining of too many renovations required or are not showing true interest, chances are price is your ‘silent complaint’.

Your Realtor
Finding the right Realtor means discussing their knowledge of market and neighbourhood trend, a detailed marketing plan as well as pricing strategy for your home.  Commission dollars should not be the only deciding factor. This is your largest asset… hiring just anybody will only get you average results.

Are you putting your best foot forward? We’re not talking major renovations but, ensuring a clean and tidy house is key… a Buyer should never utter the words “What’s that smell?” Fixing those nagging repairs, touching up paint and freshening up decor will go a long way in both photos and in showings. Having a professional view your home gives you an outsider’s perspective on things.

We know it’s not easy cleaning yourself out of the house everyday but, it’s important not to restrict access to your home for showings. Allowing for showings, within reasonable hours, will always improve your chances. You simply can’t sell a house you can’t show!

Bad Timing

Sometimes, there just is no rhyme or reason to why a home won’t sell. Real Estate is like the tide… it ebbs and flows. If you’ve considered all other factors, then it really is just a matter of time before the next wave comes rolling in.

Selling real estate - it's a lot!  It takes everyone's efforts, combined, to get the job done.  If you want to see more on the process of selling, check out the section for Sellers, on our Website!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Buyers Were Asking: Pre-Qualification


Now that you’ve decided that purchasing a home is in your future, you need to put a plan of action in place. The first step to that plan? A trip to your bank to determine how much house you can afford. This is commonly called getting pre-qualified for a mortgage.

The amount of mortgage one can qualify for is found from what are known as qualification ratios. These are your Gross Debt Ratio and Total Debt Service Ratio, or ‘GDS’ and ‘TDS’. Your lender will take a look at your monthly income as well as your monthly debt obligation to come up with an appropriate amount you can safely spend on your new home. Generally, an acceptable GDS ratio ranges is no higher then 35%*. This means that 35% of the household income can safely be set aside to put a roof over your head. Your TDS ratio is higher at 42%* and is earmarked to service your entire monthly debt.

Keeping in mind, as of January 2018 our buyers are now faced with a Mortgage 'Stress Test'.  For more on that aspect of being pre-qualified, read Could You Pass the Test?

You may wish to spend less than the figure your lender extends so that you can avoid becoming house poor. If you’re accustomed to eating out frequently, you may be in for a rude awakening, discovering very quickly that you can no longer afford the three times weekly outings. Some advice? Start scaling down your entertainment needs at least six months before you move. This way, you can add back when you feel comfortable. 

Finally, buyers are starting to see the benefit of utilizing a mortgage broker’s services to explore their finance options when choosing a mortgage.  A mortgage broker will be your unbiased resource to assist in sourcing out your best rate, term and option for savings.  Because they have no ‘attachment’ to any one bank, they can and will access the entire mortgage market to help you make the wisest choice whether searching for your first mortgage or renewing an existing one. Don’t stress over pre-qualification, what is important is dealing with a mortgage agent who possesses the experience and access to solutions for you before being told "No" by the banks!  Let us help you find someone who will help see you through the process, check out our Business Directory and search 'Mortgage'.

* Acceptable percentages based on CMHC Mar 31, 2018

Thursday, July 13, 2017

You Were Asking: Facebook Advertising

Facebook Advertising

Facebook has now reached over 2 billion monthly active users as of June 2017 making it the most popular social networking site worldwide. With roughly 20-25 million active “Facebook-ers” in Canada, the site’s advertising tools can be a powerful way to market and promote the sale of your home. From a social aspect, it allows you to easily share or promote your home to friends and family or various social circles.  Everyone knows someone looking to buy and sell so, why not reach out to them directly? Beyond that, specialized targeting capabilities means you can actually target market to location, demographic, behaviours or exclusions. Tagging local events or businesses can also help to boost your reach. Costs are relatively low so based on the specific goals of your advertising, it means the idea of multiple ads run in unison or even run in conjunction with other forms of advertising is still very cost effective. Having the ability to analyze who is viewing your ads through Facebook’s Ad Manager can help you improve your marketing strategy to cater to your highest demographic. Simply put, social media advertising can be a powerful and fun tool to maximize your exposure and sell your home.

Check us out!  We're on Facebook.... :) 

Monday, July 10, 2017

Market Update: Market Conditions and Summer Forecast

Market Conditions and Summer Forecast

With all the talk of market conditions, bidding wars and government intervention looking to the statistics and market trend has been a topic of many conversation. We now have seen a levelling off and, in some areas, a drastic decrease to most market activity. May showed some of the highest sales in the last four months while June has brought an influx of listings on the market and fewer sales across the City. While the summer market tends to be a slower time of year in general, hot off the heels of the high stakes spring market, to some sellers, it feels as though those buyers have retreated.  Bidding wars have returned to the exception, not the rule, giving buyers the opportunity to make conditional offers and sales, as well as ensuring proper purchase qualification. Sellers are finding this a far different market with listings remaining for longer periods on the market and a return to realistic property values. Pricing remains the key to a successful sale but can be tricky in a downturn market such as this. Need advice? Give us a call, we’re always eager to help!

Friday, July 7, 2017

A look back to June...

It's interesting to see the difference a month can make! We saw slowdowns in the market through May but the numbers still showed a thriving market. Now that June's numbers are out, the average price has fallen 10% in the area and days on the market returning to a normalized range. The peak of listings hit in May with fewer Sellers entering the market come June. Expect more of the same through the remaining summer market until we hit Fall again.