Archive for Selling Your Kitchener-Waterloo Home – Page 3

How to Create House Appeal in the Fall

selling my home in Waterloo

Making Your Home Look Appealing in the Fall Months

Spring may be the season for cleaning, but Fall is the perfect time for working on your exterior house appeal. It makes sense to put off some tasks during July and August since it’s likely you are on vacation or it’s simply too hot to work outside comfortably. The invigorating energy of Fall can get you back on track in many different ways!

Tackling The Bigger Exterior Projects

There’s still time before winter sets in to tackle some large projects. If you can spare a sunny day, consider patching and sealing your asphalt or concrete driveway. Daytime temperatures are still warm enough to allow sealants to cure properly, and getting a good surface on before winter snow and ice arrives will not only keep your property looking nice, but it will also prevent costly and more time- consuming repairs later on.

The same applies to any roofing issues you may have noticed earlier but have not yet addressed. If it’s an irritant in September, it will be a catastrophe in January. Leaks, loose shingles, and even nesting birds in your eaves can expose your home to serious damage. If your roof is getting a little older or if you’ve spotted something that doesn’t look quite right, call a professional to take a look around and advise you on necessary repairs. While you’re checking the roof, take a look at your gutters as well – even before the leaves start falling, they may be clogged or have sections that need to be replaced.

The next thing you want to do is to check all trees on your property for dead or damaged limbs. If your property is especially large or predominantly forested, check trees within a wide radius of your house as well as those near vehicles, fences, or property lines. If entire trees or limbs more than ten feet from the ground need to be removed, you will want to call a professional.

Fall Fun

If what I described above sounds like dreary work, take heart – there are FUN Fall projects to do around your Kitchener-Waterloo home’s exterior as well. Fall is a season of vivid colors – bright blue skies, yellow leaves, apples ripening to shades of red, pumpkins in their distinctive orange. Do you feel that your home looks a bit dingy in comparison? Have no fear, we can help boost your house appeal!

If you have any siding on your house, dust and heavy pollen that was in the air can mean your paint or siding may not be looking its best. While you may not want to take on a full-scale house-painting project, you can make a big difference in your home’s exterior appearance with a few simple fixes. Pressure washing will reveal your home’s true colors from under the obscuring layer of summer grime. Painting the trim and any larger but easily accessible areas of your porch will make the entire front of the house pop – an astonishing change for relatively little effort and cost. Still sound too arduous? Pick a vibrant new colour for your front door and take an afternoon to spruce it up with a couple of coats of paint. Then stand back and …….. enjoy!

The Benefits of Gardening in the Fall

Fall is also the perfect time of year for gardening. As growth slows in your garden and landscaping, you may lose the hectic variety of summer plants but what remains is richer, deeper, and more textured. Now is the perfect opportunity to rip out annuals that are past their prime. The removal of exhausted foliage and drooping blooms will perk up the outside appearance of your home. Now you have room to revel in colourful fall landscaping. This time of year shrubs and trees do well when if they are planted now; the reduced demands from leaf, flower, and fruit allow their root systems to become established before the next flush of growth. Hardy ornamental versions of common winter crops such as kale, mustard, and even cabbage now come in a stunning array of colors and patterns. Don’t forget, while you’re doing all that digging to plant bulbs such as daffodils, crocus, tulips, and hyacinth.

Once your garden is all tucked in for the season, you can move on to the all-important decision: which decorations will enhance your front steps? Think ….. “abundance!” There is nothing skimpy about the season of harvest. Fall is the perfect time for arrangements overflowing with vines, grasses, late-blooming flowers, interesting sculptural seed pods, and nearly anything else you can imagine. Consider large, luxurious pots with ornate details echo the plants’ lush textures. Paired with wreaths in shades of burgundy, sienna, mustard, and gold, they can put summer to shame.

If you’re crafty and/or creative, half of the fun will come in making some of these items from scratch. If not, prepare to enjoy hours of browsing at your local home and garden center – options abound! And, of course, two huge potted mums (I saw some BIG ones at Home Depot yesterday for only $11.99) and an array of well-placed pumpkins are a classic combination for good reason. Their simple cheerfulness expresses the true, irrepressible spirit of fall.

Find out how I’ve helped more than 2,000 families buy and sell homes in Kitchener-Waterloo by getting a copy of my free eBook here. Also for great real estate videos you won’t find anywhere else, subscribe to my YouTube channel. I love to share my expert knowledge so if you have any real estate questions feel free to call me at 310-SOLD or email me at mark@maurerteam.com.

What Does a Real Estate Agent on The Mark Maurer Team do for YOU?

 

Four and a half year old Masen, son of Jaymes and Natalie jumps for joy!

 

You might think that the profession of selling real estate is all about showing homes and taking a commission. Showing homes is certainly part of the job but any GREAT agent earns their commission. There are dozens of tasks involved in the purchase or sale of a home and each must be accomplished with precision and skill. Many people are ill-informed about the role of a real estate agent, even if they’ve bought or sold a home before. It’s not all pretty houses and pleasant conversations! Here are a few of the important tasks the stellar Maurer Team real estate agents will accomplish exceedingly well on your behalf.

Before a Listing

Listing your home isn’t the start of a sale; the work starts well before that. A few things that our real estate agents will complete before your home even hits the market.

  • Assess your property. Our Realtors will assess your property’s value. This involves a thorough examination of your home along with a great deal of research and attention to details. They will take into consideration all the tangible features of your home including elements such as finishes and square footage. They will also try to evaluate the less quantitative elements including location, curb appeal, and the value of the neighbourhood placed on it by residents living in it.
  • Establish a market value and price. Realtors on The Mark Maurer Team have to research recent comparable sales from the past 18 months on the listing services and also in the public records. He’ll have to research the average number of days on the market for properties similar in type, price, and location. Current and past listings will need to be researched. They will also prepare a comparable market analysis to establish a competitive market value.
  • Verify all of your property’s details. Our agents will need to obtain a copy of your property survey to verify the property lines and dimensions of the lot. They will verify the legal description of the home; it’s previous ownership and title, the land’s deed restrictions and coding, and the school system information. All of the utilities (e.g. sewer, gas, hydro) will be checked.
  • Prepare your property. Our real estate agents will help you get your home ready to sell by advising you on staging, decluttering, depersonalization, and curb appeal modifications.

We also have a professional photographer take high-quality photos and record videos and virtual tours that highlight the best features of your home. Beware of real estate agents who say they can take their own photos! Photos are very important to the marketing of your home as they are used across multiple marketing methods to attract potential buyers.

During a Listing

So much will have been accomplished by the time your home is listed that you might think there isn’t much left to be accomplished. However, that’s just when things can start getting interesting.

  • Marketing your home. In order to submit your home to be featured on the MLS system, thorough preparation is required. Our agents will need to prepare an MLS profile sheet since they are responsible for the accuracy of the listing data. They must enter the data into the system, proofread it for accuracy, include your property’s placement for the mapping feature and upload the many quality photos and your virtual tour. They have to create and distribute flyers as well as create Internet ads and postings on the various social media platforms.
  • Making appointments. In many cases, agents on The Mark Maurer Team will first show your home to other agents. They will install a lockbox and set up appointments with agents who they feel could have the perfect buyer in mind. Then they will start making showing appointments with potential buyers on their contacts lists too.
  • Follow up. All of those showing appointments will require follow-up calls to help keep buyers interested and your property in the forefront of other agents’ minds. We have a system in place that keeps us on our toes to ensure that phone calls are made to each and every agent who has shown your home.
  • Maintenance. If you’re no longer residing in your home, our agents will help you to manage its upkeep. They will make sure the lawn stays mowed or the leaves are raked. They will also maintain all the methods of marketing like refilling brochure and flyer boxes.
  • Verify financing. Our agents always check to see if buyers are pre-qualified for financing. This is very important and if not in place, will stall your sale and waste time.
  • Negotiation. Real estate agents on The Mark Maurer Team will be your advocates in negotiations, whether you are buying or selling a home. They will do all in their power to make sure the price you get or pay is a good value. They will receive or send offers and advise you on the strength of the offer regardless of whether you are buying or selling. They will review the contracts and details of any offer or contract.

After the Listing

Some of the most difficult tasks still lay ahead for our Realtors, even after an offer is extended and accepted. There are many details to cover but here are just a few.

  • The Plethora of paperwork. Any sale of property generates reams of paperwork and our agents must wade through it all. They make sure everything is signed and delivered to all the appropriate people or agencies involved, on time. An agent on The Mark Maurer Team will explain each item to you so you understand what you’re signing.
  • Order inspections and appraisals. Our agents order all thorough home inspections through a reputable company we have been using for the past 20 years. They will schedule an official appraisal and provide the documentation within 24 hours that was obtained through research about the home to the appraiser.
  • Follow ups. Our Realtors follow up with all parties throughout this process, keeping everyone in the loop and well-informed.

The Closing

The closing process is fairly detailed, legally-speaking. It would take more space than we have here to list all of our agent’s duties. Here’s just a small number of notable jobs for your agent from The Mark Maurer Team.

  • Solve title problems. If there are clouds on the title, it’s our job to blow them away. In some cases, we may need to obtain a death certificate or legal signature from a previous owner.
  • Request closing figures. It’s our agent’s job to make sure you have the exact amount(s) for your certified cheques at the time of closing.
  • Forms, forms and more forms. Our Realtors review, proofread and process a huge number of forms to complete the sale of your home. These forms also have to be filed with the right agencies and deliver to the buyer and seller and the lender with all the signatures in the proper places.

Find out how I’ve helped more than 2,000 families buy and sell homes in Kitchener-Waterloo by downloading my free eBook here. Also for great real estate videos you won’t find anywhere else, subscribe to my YouTube channel. I love to share my expert knowledge so if you have any real estate questions feel free to call me at 310-SOLD or email me at mark@maurerteam.com.

How You Can Make Your Home Look and Feel Bigger

 

staging your Kitchener-Waterloo home

Starting from Scratch: Furniture Placement Matters!

What we place in our homes and how we place these items can define any given space. The world is a crowded place these days, and living spaces are shrinking fast. No matter what the actual square footage of your Kitchener-Waterloo home may be, there are so many ways to open up your space and not only make it look larger, but feel larger, too!

No worries, opening up a space can be a lot of fun! We tend to get so used to where things are placed that they seem fixated. A certain joy exists in realizing that any of these items can be moved, rearranged, or perhaps even find a new place in which they seem to belong, creating a living space you’re certain to love.

It All Starts with Decluttering!

It’s hard not to be familiar with the concept of decluttering because it’s become a zeitgeist, but it can feel like a looming and overwhelming task to approach. So, how do you make it happen without the panic attack? Start with one room, and then begin with one part of that room. You can begin by clearing off surfaces (including the floor) and evaluating what can be discarded altogether. Organize like materials with bins or small boxes. Once you’re able to see how much more open a dining room can feel with nothing on its table or a living room with only one or two items on the coffee table, you’ll find natural motivation to declutter throughout your entire home.

Seek Out Space Savers

We tend to think more on the horizontal plane rather than the vertical when it comes to object placement, but the simple reality is that vertical methods of storage create more space in a room and can offer a more efficient method of organization. Over-the-door products are great for shoes, bathroom items, or even miscellaneous collections like mail. Also, you may want to consider shelves that go all the way up to the ceiling. You could place small boxes of belongings on some shelves and aesthetically pleasing items such as a vase or photographs on others. Ceiling height shelves not only take the burden off the floor and horizontal surfaces, but they also make the room appear taller.

Furniture Placement Matters!

Your furniture helps define the activities in each room. Sometimes just shifting pieces of furniture that have been in the same place for a long time to a new place will make the whole room feel new and more open. Consider how each piece of furniture interacts with other things in the room – other pieces of furniture, windows, doorways, etc. If any furniture blocks the light, try angling it so your window can do its job properly. Additionally, make sure furniture doesn’t block pathways in one room or from one room to another, as an interrupted flow can feel cramped. Keep doorways and walkways open– this creates more space visually and physically.

Add Rugs

Rugs can also open up space by drawing attention to all the room on the floor with its design. Rugs bring new definition to furniture and items with its particular lines and contours– like a painting on the floor that interacts dynamically with other objects in the space. Select rugs that are perfect for the size, space, and design of a room

Lighting is an Essential Factor

Light is key to opening space. Light allows every room in your house to breathe. Aside from not blocking natural light, there are also ways to attract light. Painting walls in reflective colors such as yellows, grays, and whites will give the room a larger feel. While there’s a place for beautiful, rich dark colors, if you’re trying to open up space, lighter ones are the way to go. Dark colors tend to define the space in a more confined way; lighter colors let the light move.

The Magic of Mirrors

Mirrors reflect light and give any room a more spacious feel. Hanging a mirror to reflect a window will give the appearance of another window in the room, and will make that room feel bigger as well as brighter. In a small bedroom, try placing a tall full-length mirror against the wall. While it doesn’t actually expand your physical walking space in a literal sense, it will feel as though it does, which makes a big difference. In places like the living room, try propping a small mirror against the wall or on an unused fireplace. In lieu of natural light, burn some candles in front of the mirror to reflect candlelight and see how that light softly opens up the space.

Creating a sense of openness is essential to a home feeling bigger, and these steps will create a more open home. In a poem, “stanza,” is Italian for “room.” Just like part of a poem, we want our rooms to be concise (not too many words, not too many items) and expansive (instead of items cluttering, they instead can draw attention to the open space). Each room can be a kind of artistic creation that you design yourself. We are partnered with Rooms in Bloom Home Staging to help our clients get the most out of their living spaces.

Find out how I’ve helped more than 2,000 families buy and sell homes in Kitchener-Waterloo by getting a copy of my free eBook here. Also for great real estate videos you won’t find anywhere else, subscribe to my YouTube channel. I love to share my expert knowledge so if you have any real estate questions feel free to call me at 310-SOLD or email me at mark@maurerteam.com.

6 Factors That Lead to Overpricing Your Home

Overpricing Your Kitchener-Waterloo Home Has Negative Effects

There Are Good Reasons NOT to Overprice Your Home

Overpricing your home for sale in Kitchener or Waterloo is not only a promise for headaches down the road but can actually contribute selling your home below market value. One of the most, if not the most crucial factors contributing to the successful sale of any property is – PRICE. If priced correctly, your Kitchener-Waterloo home stands the best chance of attracting potential buyers during its first few weeks on the market. This will eventually lead to your home selling at the price that it’s worth.

 Consider the factors we have outlined below and avoid them at all costs. If you can avoid these factors you will prevent the disappointment, financial loss and stress that can accompany an overpriced home that has gone stale.

Factors That Lead to Overpricing Your Home

Poorly Executed Comparative Market Analysis (CMA)

If you are a homeowner wanting to put your house on the market, there are several things to keep in mind when a professional Realtor presents you with a Comparative Market Analysis. For starters, CMAs will vary from agent to agent and the content of the CMA will differ in depth and quality. Additionally, a CMA is by its very nature, a tool used by some agents to convince you to hire him or her to list your home by essentially telling you what you want to hear.

To find out what should be included in a quality CMA, read out our article here.

Misinterpreted Sentimental Value

One problem homeowners often run into (and sometimes realtors) is the idea that the emotional value and attachment felt by the homeowner can be transferred into a monetary one. Bob Villa touches on this point in his blog post, 12 Reasons Why Your House Isn’t Selling. As Bob notes,“…If you’re not emotionally ready to pull up stakes, then hold off on listing your home.”

For Sale By Owner

A homeowner who starts out hoping to save some money might also run into the dangers of overpricing when trying to sell their home. This is because they do not have the expertise and professionalism of an experienced Real Estate Agent. In her article Why For-Sale-By-Owner Sales Fail, Michele Lerner lists the disadvantages of selling your own home. Some of the disadvantages Michele suggests include: the limited access to current reliable market information available to the general public; the inability to view the homeowner’s property objectively; and the lack of professional experience in negotiating real estate contracts as

Unnecessary or Expensive Renovations

Determining the value that a renovation or upgrade will add to a home is a complicated and layered issue and should be taken into consideration when deciding to perform any renovations. Attempting to inflate your asking price to make up for a renovation that added no real value to your home will lead to disappointment and worse, financial ruin. We suggest that you read this article in the Globe and Mail that includes renovation recommendations from our favourite Real Estate Lawyer, Mark Weisleder: Six Renovations That Don’t Add Value to Your Home. If you are considering making any major renovations for the purpose of increasing your home’s value, check with your Realtor first to be sure that your efforts will result in a financial gain rather than loss for you, when it’s time to sell.

Plans for Bargaining

Homeowners wanting to sell their house in Waterloo Ontario who believe that they can overprice their homes at the beginning with plans of lowering it later will be met with disappointment. Interest and activity surrounding the listing of a home burns out after a short period of time. By the time your home has been listed for a few weeks, then you decide to lower your price, your most suitable potential buyers have already overlooked your home based on the inflated price. The real estate market has a low tolerance for over-priced homes. Don’t make the mistake of pricing your home for sale too high yourself, or allowing a fast-talking Real Estate Agent to promise you more than the market can bear. You will be the loser in the end.

Overpricing to Make Up for Overpaying

Another factor that can contribute to the overpricing of a house for sale in Kitchener-Waterloo is when a homeowner bought the home for more than its market value and then attempts to recover their loss. Whatever the reason, a poor investment, inexperienced Realtor or no Realtor at all – the fact of the matter is that overpricing your home is one of the worst home-selling mistakes you can make. If it’s really important to you to move right now, you would be better served to cut your losses and buy smarter the second time around.

Finding the right price when wanting to sell your house in Kitchener-Waterloo is no easy task and should never be taken lightly. Trusted professionals, like the agents we have as part of The Mark Maurer Team are here to protect your interests and ensure the best possible deal can be made for both the home owner and the home buyer.

To learn how to price your home right, watch my video below:

Find out how I’ve helped more than 2,000 families buy and sell homes in Kitchener-Waterloo by getting a copy of my free eBook here. Also for great real estate videos you won’t find anywhere else, subscribe to my YouTube channel. I love to share my expert knowledge so if you have any real estate questions feel free to call me at 310-SOLD or email me at mark@maurerteam.com.

The Realities of Selling Your Own Home

 

how do I sell my own home in Kitchener?

You Can Indeed Sell Your Own Home.  If You’re Prepared for It.

 

FSBO is a real estate industry abbreviation for the term “For Sale By Owner.” For some of you homeowners, there is a temptation to try to sell your own home when the time comes to move. It’s a tough job and homeowners seem to manage it with varying degrees of success. However, a much larger number of homeowners fail miserably and end up paying a high price for it. Between listing fees and a home lingering on the market for too long, it probably won’t be worth what little you save in commissions. It may seem like a good idea yet there are some realities about selling your own home that you should make yourself aware of.

This is not to say that a homeowner can’t successfully sell their home; it absolutely can be done and done well. As a homeowner, it’s wise if you have a realistic perspective on the process. It’s not easy. It’s not convenient. It may not be as cost-effective as it seems. There’s a reason that real estate agents work long hours 7 days a week and if they’re awake, they’re on call!

It’s not easy.

Selling your own home is not a simple, straightforward deal like selling a car. It’s a complex matter, legally. If you want to sell your own home, you’ll need to learn a lot and do it quickly. You can easily be taken in by clauses, terms and phrases that you either don’t fully understand or don’t completely appreciate. You could end up in a truly compromised position if you don’t have a grasp of the contracts involved in a home sale.

You will also be at a serious disadvantage if you don’t fully understand home values and the current housing market in your area. Your listing price shouldn’t be a number you feel is warranted or what you think you need to get into a new home. It must be priced by what the market will bear at the time. This is one area where FSBO transactions often go awry. If you don’t have access to the hard data about recent sales for comparables in your neighbourhood, you might not be able to calculate a sellable price for your home.

A seller also needs a thick skin about his home and its price. You’ll hear a lot of negative feedback about your home, its price, the neighborhood, your maintenance skills, your decorating skills and just about anything else in between. Because we are emotionally attached to our homes, this can be hard to hear once, much less week after week. Additionally, buyers can be really uncomfortable viewing your home or negotiating with you if they know you are also the owner. If you aren’t a stellar negotiator with a hide for criticism as thick as an alligator’s, the FSBO process may not be for you.

It’s not convenient.

Real estate agents put in a great deal of time to sell your home. It really is a full-time-plus-time job. If you know a successful agent, ask them when they last had a full day off. Consider these time-consuming tasks:

  • Marketing the home. Your agent will take pictures, post the listing on the MLS system and their website, share posts about the property on social media, write up descriptions of the home, create brochures and flyers, go through their contacts and make some calls to generate interest and see if they can find an interested buyer – and that’s just a start. Marketing any home takes time. And remember, you can’t even access the MLS System to list your home unless you are a licensed real estate professional. MLS is where most homebuyers first start their home search. FSBO companies will list your home on the Toronto real estate board. Toronto! Not Kitchener-Waterloo. Therefore the local kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge realtors (which buyers are working with for free) don’t send their clients any FSBO listings as they are not on our board.
    What this means for you is that you are missing 80% of your most qualified buyers.
  • Screening potential buyers. As the seller represented by a Realtor, you will only meet the potential buyers that your agent has screened and pre-qualified. You won’t be dealing with all the folks who aren’t legitimate prospects. You’ll have to do all the prescreening if you sell on your own (there’s lots of tire-kickers out there).
  • Showing the home. If you have a job that allows you to take off at the drop of a hat to show your home to a potential buyer who only has an hour to spare, then you might be okay. Many other people in traditional job settings will have difficulty making time to show the home to potential buyers at a moment’s notice.
  • Fielding the calls. Your agent’s real estate office fields an awful lot of phone calls on a daily basis. They hear so many questions in a day that they often leave with sore ears! Can you manage your life, your job and a seemingly endless stream of phone calls, emails, texts and/or social media messages about your home? <Groan>

It’s not as cost-effective as it first appears.

Some might say they do it for the challenge, others for the experience, but in truth most FSBO sellers just want to save some money. They believe that if they do the work, they will save a bundle in real estate commissions. While it’s true that you won’t have to pay a commission, there are costs involved that are probably much higher than you realize.

Companies dedicated to “helping” homeowners sell their homes on their own have fees. They will charge you up front for their services and you have no guarantee or even expectation of a sale. Agents only charge if they are able to sell your home.

Marketing costs are also out-of-pocket if you sell your own home. Just about every website will charge you and so will the listing services. (The MLS, the service most used by real estate agents and home buyers, won’t even list for you unless you are a licensed agent.) Every classified ad, every printed flyer, every marketing tool will be paid for by you at the time of placement, not after the sale.

Selling your home on your own also costs you time. You’ll be spending time away from your job, away from your family, away from your life. Can you afford the loss?

You can sell your own home but it will take a great deal of effort on your part. Hiring a qualified agent with the skills to get your home sold quickly takes away a great deal of stress. If you choose the FSBO route, be aware of the perils and have a plan to outsmart them. Or you could simply hire a good real estate agent and let him or her do the hard work of selling your home. Yes, you’ll pay a commission but it will be worth every penny and your Realtor will earn every cent. If you’re wondering if an individual Realtor or a Real Estate Team is best for you, click here.

Find out how I’ve helped more than 2,000 families buy and sell homes in Kitchener-Waterloo by getting a copy of my free eBook here. Also for great real estate videos you won’t find anywhere else, subscribe to my YouTube channel. I love to share my expert knowledge so if you have any real estate questions feel free to call me at 310-SOLD or email me at mark@maurerteam.com.

You’ve Outgrown Your Home. Do you Buy First or Sell First?

Real Estate Tips: How to Buy and Sell Real Estate in Kitchener-Waterloo

Real Estate Tips: How to Buy and Sell Real Estate in Kitchener-Waterloo

Moving up from a starter home is an exciting prospect, especially as it often comes with a big change in your life, such as a new partner, child, or a new job. Once you start to look at the logistics, the process can become a daunting one. Apart from the joy of packing, at some point you realize that you’ll have to find and buy a new home in addition to selling your current one. Perhaps the most important question is: Which one do you do first?

If you can afford to straddle two places at once, there are benefits to buying a home before selling your current one. You don’t have to worry about temporary housing and moving twice, which can be costly as well as stressful – not to mention that in some places, rental markets are extremely competitive. If there are other people in your household, moving more than once can be disruptive to your school/work routines, especially if the temporary location isn’t ideal. If you want to buy a home before selling your current one but don’t have the necessary cash, you have the option of applying for a bridge loan. A bridge loan is a short-term financing tool that helps purchasers during the period between closing dates. Bridge financing allows you to use the equity in your current home as a down payment for your new home while waiting for the sale of your existing home to close. These loans are a very short-term solution, though, typically for only 90 days, and are generally only an option when a sale agreement is already in place for your current home.

If you buy your new home first, you can move as soon as you would like to set the closing date and get the keys. This eliminates the need for storage rentals that you might need if you decide to sell your current home first. In certain markets, it’s also expected that you stage your home. Even if staging isn’t expected, it can boost the final sale price or help it sell faster than it would otherwise. If you buy a home before selling your current place, you don’t have to worry about keeping your home pristine for weekend open houses and surprise showings; you can move out and leave the place clean and clutter-free without feeling that you’re living in a showroom.

Get help from a professional real estate agent or mortgage expert

Working with a mortgage professional will help you determine the financial implication of buying or selling first, and working with a real estate professional will help you figure out the climate of the areas where you’re looking to buy or sell. Sellers’ markets can work for you when buying and selling. Right now we are in a hot market in Waterloo Region and you don’t have to feel as much pressure to wait for your home to sell because desirable inventory is low (I wish it wasn’t this low). In this current real estate climate you may feel that you have to jump on submitting on offer on a property that you like because you can be fairly confident if you don’t snatch it immediately, someone else will. While a soft market gives you more time to look and make a decision, it often means longer wait times for the right buyer to come along for your property.

Conventional wisdom, however, is that you sell your existing home before buying a new one.

The obvious advantage to selling your home first is that you don’t have to carry two mortgages. Not only are two mortgage payments expensive, but if you aren’t porting your mortgage and are getting a new one, then you have to go through the application process again and already owning a property might impact your borrowing capacity and/or interest rate for your new mortgage. Additionally, if you’re getting a new mortgage the sale price of your current home probably has some bearing on what you can afford for your next home. Even if you think you and your Realtor have listed your home at fair market value, you ultimately won’t know what that sale price is until you accept an offer.

If your home sells quickly like the majority of our clients’ homes do, finding temporary housing with friends or family or even renting isn’t always a bad thing. Doing so can mean that you can put an offer on a new home without the condition of sale of your current home, making your offer more attractive to sellers. You may also be more flexible in terms of closing dates. Of course you want to get settled into your new home as quickly as possible, but being able to tailor your needs to that of the seller can make the difference between your offer beating another.

When you sell first, you also have a little more freedom than you would if you buy another home first. You don’t have to settle if you don’t see the perfect property right away. Or you can sell your home, get a long closing when buying another home and take some time off before you get the keys. If you’re in a situation where your things are in short-term storage until you find a new home anyway, maybe you can even take the opportunity to travel, even if it’s just for a short period of time. You’ll come back relaxed, refreshed, and ready to unpack in your new home.

I also answer this question in my video

 

Find out how I’ve helped more than 2,000 families buy and sell homes in Kitchener-Waterloo by downloading my free eBook here: bit.ly/MMSelling. Also for more great real estate videos you won’t find anywhere else, subscribe to my YouTube channel. I love to share my expert knowledge so if you have any real estate questions, feel free to call me at 310-SOLD or email me at mark@maurerteam.com.

Mark

 

RE/MAX 2016 Spring Market Trends Report for Kitchener-Waterloo

Spring Market Trends

From today’s report released by RE/MAX INTEGRA, Ontario- Atlantic Canada

The real estate market has had an active start in the Kitchener-Waterloo region. Spring market trends include the fact that sales were up 23.9 per cent in the first quarter of 2016 compared to the same period in 2015. Our area is continuing to see a surge in buyers who are selling properties in Toronto, which have appreciated greatly in recent years, in order to upgrade to larger homes at a lower price in the Kitchener-Waterloo region. The average residential sale price rose 6 per cent year-over-year in the first quarter of 2016 to $371,733 while days on market decreased from the previous year.

Properties under $450,000 are attracting multiple offers and often selling within hours of being listed. In addition to the surge of buyers relocating from Toronto, the region has also seen an increase in investors eager to take advantage of the potential real estate price appreciation that is expected from the region’s five year transportation plan connecting the area to Cambridge.

The low Canadian dollar has reinvigorated the local auto manufacturing sector while the University of Waterloo continues to be a core driver in the local economy. Its internationally recognized engineering program has recently grown by 15 per cent.

FIRST-TIME BUYERS

Low interest rates continue to attract first-time buyers, however, once they begin their search many are becoming increasingly frustrated as multiple offers and the quick pace of sales becomes a new reality. With little time to make decisions, it is highly recommend that potential buyers do their homework and work with an experienced local real estate agent.

CONDO MARKET

Condos and townhouses are seeing a lot of activity as the low price point is attractive to both first-time buyers and investors. While March’s year-over-year sales of strata properties have witnessed an impressive increase of 26.4 per cent, the demand has not been reflected in price appreciation. Ongoing construction of condo style apartments built for students has created a robust inventory and is putting downward pressure on rental values.

LUXURY HOMES

Interestingly, Toronto buyers relocating to the region are having a minimal effect on Kitchener-Waterloo’s luxury market as this buyer group is typically looking at properties less than $700,000. Typically selling for 1 million and above, the region’s luxury market buyer is often a very well-established professional at the University of Waterloo or in the auto manufacturing sector.

 

Future Trends for the Kitchener-Waterloo Market; spring market trends

Future Trends for the Kitchener-Waterloo Market

The Hot Spring Market is Here NOW!

We hope you are enjoying the great weather this week! We want to remind you that the HOT spring market has arrived! If you are thinking about selling your home, this is a great time to talk to us. In March of this year 154 more homes were sold in Kitchener, Waterloo, Woolwich & Wellesley, and Wilmot Township compared to February. Also take a look at the average selling price of a single family home compared to last year. We still do FREE Home Evaluations. You can email me at mark@maurerteam.com or call me at 310-SOLD.

Current Market Snapshot

Current Market Snapshot

Find out how I’ve helped more than 2,000 families buy and sell homes in Kitchener-Waterloo by getting a copy of my free eBook here. Also for great real estate videos you won’t find anywhere else, subscribe to my YouTube channel. I love to share my expert knowledge so if you have any real estate questions feel free to call me at 310-SOLD or email me at mark@maurerteam.com.

Is Fear Holding You Back From Selling Your Home in Waterloo Ontario?

Addressing the Fear of Selling Your Waterloo Ontario Home

Addressing the Fear of Selling Your Waterloo Ontario Home

Why are you keeping your home off the market? Why are you still living in a home that no longer suits your family’s needs? Is there something holding you back from a new life in your dream home? In most cases, the answer to all these questions is the same. It’s fear.

Fear holds us back from so many great things in life! Selling or buying a home in Kitchener-Waterloo is one of those things that is often fraught with trepidation so much so, that we just can’t seem to take action. What if it doesn’t sell fast enough? What if it sells too fast? What if we can’t find the right price? What if, what if, what if! It’s enough to make anybody feel mentally and emotionally paralyzed. No wonder you don’t want to sell or know where to start!

If you really want to buy or sell your house in Kitchener Ontario, it doesn’t have to be a scary experience. With The Mark Maurer Team you’ve got someone on your side. We will banish those fears and get you moving forward, right into the home of your dreams! Let’s take a look at some of those fears and see if we can’t dispel them with our 100% satisfaction guarantee.

Fear of Failure

We’re all afraid of failure. No one likes to fall flat on his or her face, right? If your home fails to sell, it can be more than embarrassing – it can be costly. If you’ve already bought a new home you could be saddled with 2 mortgages. If you haven’t bought yet, you might lose out on the home you’ve always wanted because you can’t sell your current home. It just seems so risky! How do you handle the fear of failure?

Most Kitchener-Waterloo homeowners who have ever been in the position to sell their home have worried that it will not sell. You fret over whether or not you will get a decent offer. Don’t let that fear keep you from selling your home in Waterloo Ontario when you’re ready to move.  The best way to keep your home from sitting on the market too long is to price it right the first time. A qualified Realtor can research the market along with comparable properties and set a price that will both attract the right buyers and get you a solid selling price.

We have already helped more than 2,000 families sell their Kitchener-Waterloo homes. My team and I know the real estate market in Waterloo Region inside and out. You can trust us to assess the value of your home and price it so that it sells faster and for the best price. We’ll even give you a 29 Day Sale Guarantee!

Fear of Commitment

Another fear that keeps us from wanting to sell or buy a house in Kitchener Ontario is the fear of commitment. You will have to meet with an experienced Realtor and sign a contract without really knowing the agent personally. It’s like getting married on a blind date. Sure, everything seems fine at first but what will the relationship be like in a week, a month or several months from now? You’ll be stuck in a listing contract even if things go badly. That can be a little frightening.

We can alleviate this fear for you too. You won’t be forced to stick with us if you don’t think we are doing everything we can to sell your home. We give you the right to cancel your contract at any time with no further obligation if you feel that I (or a member of my team) have not delivered on our promises. You won’t be stuck in a long service contract that leaves you unsatisfied and your home unsold.

Since we know that our team will give you the best service the industry has to offer in Kitchener-Waterloo, we’re confident that you’ll be more than satisfied. I’m not afraid to let you have control of your contract because I’m sure the service my team has to offer will make you want to stay. And you’ll want to tell your friends, too!

Fear of Change

Sometimes it’s just the fear of the unknown that keeps us stuck where we are. We’re scared of doing something different so we just sit still and don’t move on to the next thing, even when the next thing is so much better. We think that it’s better to stick with something familiar, even if it’s uncomfortable, rather than to make a change to unknown territory.

This fear of the unknown can easily translate into the home-selling process. Maybe you’re afraid that you won’t like some aspect of a new neighbourhood or be comfortable with your new neighbours. You may worry that the schools won’t be as good as you are accustomed to, or that your commute will get drastically worse. We find a way to justify living in a home that no longer meets our needs just because we’re too afraid of change.

I know Waterloo Region and all its quirks and corners. I can help you navigate the changes and show you that selling your house in Kitchener Ontario is the best choice for you and your family (if it actually is, in fact). You don’t have to do it alone. I’ll help you navigate the changes with the best personal service you can imagine. We’ll make the changes together.

Find out how I’ve helped more than 2,000 families buy and sell homes in Kitchener-Waterloo by getting a copy of my free eBook here. Also for great real estate videos you won’t find anywhere else, subscribe to my YouTube channel. I love to share my expert knowledge so if you have any real estate questions feel free to call me at 310-SOLD or email me at mark@maurerteam.com.

Agent VS Team: Which is Right For You When Selling Your Home?

Agent VS Team: Which Offers More Benefit?

Agent VS Team: Which Offers More Benefit?

Deciding to sell your home – it’s one of the most frightening prospects you may ever consider. It’s an overwhelming process yet at the end, relief awaits. As you work through it, the right agent or real estate team can make things far easier than you ever imagined. Choosing the right Realtor to help is critical. Among the first decisions you’ll need to make is whether to move forward with a singular agent or a professional real estate team.

The Individual Realtor

For many years, homeowners have relied on the individual agent approach to manage and process their real estate transactions. A strong Realtor still has much to offer in today’s market in Kitchener-Waterloo. They have the ability to develop a strong bond that teams can’t always mimic, and they also offer individualized attention, which is ideal in a transaction that is as emotional as selling a home. There’s also a level of direct accountability many sellers like. If something becomes problematic, one phone should instantly sort it out.

Real Estate Teams

Real Estate Teams can mean real benefits for the person selling their home in Kitchener Ontario. You get the individual strengths of many agents at your fingertips, working together to ensure your home gets sold. Well-organized teams have the ability to close more deals than individual agents thanks to the sheer size and energy of the team. You get almost unlimited access to an agent, and the inherent efficiency of a team means moving a transaction from start to finish quickly. A team can work on two or three fronts at one time, giving sellers the access and expertise necessary to get a broad level of service instantly. If you’re looking for a collaborative process along with combined experience to ensure your home is marketed and sold in the best possible manner, the team approach is probably the right one to meet your needs.

No Matter Who You Choose, Always Expect This

  • Honesty: You need to be able to communicate honestly with your agent, and if you think he or she isn’t telling the truth, it’s time to find someone else to help you sell your home. There are several ways to make certain you’re getting an honest agent or team. Start by asking about five of their most recent transactions. Find out if you can contact the sellers, then given them a call. Learn more about what worked and what didn’t with that particular agent.
  • Professionalism: Not all Realtors act like professionals, and one of the biggest selling points from the moment you meet the person who will be selling your home is personal appearance. Well dressed is the name of the game in the real estate business, so if your realtor shows up in jeans and t-shirt, you may want to look elsewhere. Along with image, though, goes a real respect for the time of others. If your real estate agent is late, he or she isn’t quite the individual with which you should be working.
  • The Power to Negotiate: You want the best possible price for your house and you want it now. A seller’s agent has to understand that, and representing your voice well is key when selling your home. If you’re seeing counter-offers with no dialogue, you’re not getting the best possible representation.
  • Innovation in Marketing: If the agent or team you chose to sell your home simply stuck a sign in the yard and walked away, you’re not getting the level of service you deserve. In most cases, just listing a home isn’t enough to get it sold. Some innovation is necessary in today’s market, and coming up with the right plan to move that house is a must. The agent or team you’re working with has to be creative enough to come up with the right angle to sell your home, and if your agent or team doesn’t have it, you may want to shop around.
  • Results: This should be one aspect you consider before you even put your home on the market. What kind of results does the realtor or team have with past listings? You’ll want to look both at the number of transactions that have occurred over the course of the last year and at the type of homes sold to ensure this is the right person or company to do the job.
  • Reputation: Type the name of the agent or company into a search engine. If you’re coming up with pages of complaints, you may have a problem on your hands. Successful real estate agents get repeat and referral business that sustains them for a lifetime. Look around you to see which company or individual’s signs prove most prominent to decide who has the best reputation in your area.
  • A Strong Network: Good real estate professionals work with others in the industry including attorneys, mortgage companies, movers, and others. Ask about a preferred partner list to see just how connected your agent is.
  • Open Communication: More sellers cite lacking communication as a key problem than anything else in the world of real estate, so you may want to ask about communication before you ever get started with a given company or agent. Learn more about whether texting, email, or phone calls are the best method of communication for the agent, and ask to learn how frequently you can expect to speak to someone.
  • A Technology-Rich Environment: Real estate agents can sell homes in almost any medium these days, so ensuring your agent or company isn’t stuck in the days of print listings is a must. Ask what technologies your agent uses, and don’t forget to check on photo quality. More people than ever before look to the internet to start their home buying search, so high quality photos from day one are a must.

I address the differences between real estate teams and singular agents in my video below:

Find out how I’ve helped more than 2,000 families buy and sell homes in Kitchener-Waterloo by getting a copy of my free eBook here. Also for great real estate videos you won’t find anywhere else, subscribe to my YouTube channel. I love to share my expert knowledge so if you have any real estate questions feel free to call me at 310-SOLD or email me at mark@maurerteam.com.