Archive for selling your home in Waterloo

Real Estate Tips: How to Make a Great First Impression on Home Buyers!

How to Prepare Your Kitchener-Waterloo Home to Sell Fast

How to Prepare Your Kitchener-Waterloo Home to Sell Fast

Making a first impression on that buyer that comes to see your home is of vital importance because we all know, “You only get one chance to make a good first impression.” How do all of the rooms look including your garage and basement? Each time the buyer looks in those rooms; the buyer is getting a first impression on every room. If there is one area of a home I’ve seen people neglect……

Watch this video for my complete advice on how to prepare your home to sell in Kitchener-Waterloo.

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 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

 

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

 

Disclosure: What Do Home Sellers Need to Disclose?

This advice from Ontario’s Top Real Estate Lawyer Mark Weisleder about disclosure in home sales is so valuable, we wanted to share it with you. The topic in this YouTube video is what home sellers and Real Estate salespeople need to disclose when selling properties. You can watch the YouTube video here and/or read below the 4 key lessons Mark instructs us to remember:

Home Sellers: What do you need to disclose?

Home Sellers: What do you need to disclose?

Patent or visible defects do not need to be disclosed

If you can see a defect during a typical home inspection, it does not need to be disclosed by a seller. This can include a crack in a window, mirror or kitchen counter, a stain under the bed or damage to a wall behind a picture. The lesson is to be more diligent when inspecting a property before signing any agreement in the first place. Do not be shy about lifting small appliances from the kitchen counter or area rugs and try to make sure all windows actually open properly.

Latent or hidden defects need to be disclosed by the seller

Latent defects are defects that a home inspector could not see during a typical home inspection. If a seller knows about a material latent defect and does not disclose it, a buyer can sue the seller even after closing. Examples include water damages that have not been properly repaired, whether from the roof or basement, smoke damages from a fire, mold behind the walls, underground fuel tanks or foundation problems. If a buyer can demonstrate after closing that the seller must have known about the issue, they can be successful in taking legal action after closing. Buyers should be advised to conduct an insurance search against any property to see if a prior insurance claim was made by a previous owner.

Psychological stigmas do not have to be disclosed

Although the law is evolving, sellers do not have to disclose whether there has been a murder or suicide on the property or adjoining property or whether a pedophile lives on the same street. As this will likely matter to most buyers, google the property address to see if anything comes up, visit websites such as housecreep.com to see if there were any stigmas reported on the property and consider putting a clause right in the offer whereby the seller represents and warrants that to the best of their knowledge, there has been no murder or suicide on the property. Sellers must respond truthfully to this statement.

Be wary of sellers who ask you not to disclose

In my experience, sellers who request that you not disclose something that you believe should be disclosed are the same sellers who will try and blame you for anything that goes wrong or try and avoid paying commission if they can. In the circumstances, try and obtain written instructions from the seller’s lawyer for any matter that they do not wish to be disclosed and then also consult with your own real estate lawyer if you have any further questions. If you have specific questions for Mark Weisleder, he can be contacted at mark@realestatelawyers.ca or by calling 1.888.876.5529. We have over 20 years of experience in our office – give us a call at 310-SOLD so that you don’t run into legal challenges in your real estate transaction.

 

Closing the Sale of Your Home

Before you close the sale of your Kitchener-Waterloo home

Before you close the sale of your Kitchener-Waterloo home 

You’re selling your home. You’ve spent time cleaning, packing, painting, tidying and landscaping in preparation for potential buyers. You’ve vacated your home for showings. You’ve taken all of your real estate agent’s advice, priced it to sell and gotten your home completely ready. All your hard work is finally paying off and you’ve got a buyer! The offer has been made and accepted but your work is not yet done.

As a seller, you still have a number of tasks to accomplish before the sale of your home is complete. There are details involved in a home sale and you can’t afford to miss a single one. Your real estate agent will be there to guide you through the process so you should be covered. However, it never hurts to be informed about the process. Here are a few of the things you need to know, which will help you to be super prepared!

Your real estate agent can help with closing details

After the price is agreed upon and a contract signed, consult with your agent about the next steps. A contract isn’t always a sure sale. There could be contingencies in the contract for the buyer such as approval of financing Ask your agent what will happen next and what your involvement needs to be, if any. He or she will be able to brief you on the upcoming events that will hopefully lead to a secure closing.

Ask your agent to send the agreement of purchase and sale to your real estate lawyer as soon as possible. If you don’t already have a lawyer, your Realtor will be able to recommend one.

Consult a real estate lawyer

A home sale is a legal contract, entailed with all the accompanying legalities and paperwork. Talk to him or her about what you need to do between acceptance of the offer and the closing. Ask your lawyer if your agent has sent the Agreement of Purchase and Sale and any other necessary paperwork to your lawyer’s office. Provide him or her with the name and date of birth of the buyer. Be sure to apprise your lawyer if the property you are selling (or buying) is now or will be, a rental property. He or she should know if it has a well or septic system, too. Make sure every line item requiring a signature or initial has them in place well before the closing date.

You will have to bring a cheque with you to the closing for the fees. Your attorney’s office can usually give you an estimate of the total costs a couple of weeks out from closing and a final figure a few days beforehand. You may be leaving keys with your lawyer so be sure to ask what you should be prepared to provide both before closing and after.

Call your insurance agent

Your insurance agent should be next on your list of professional people to visit or call. Your policy needs are certainly changing and you will need to make some adjustments. One thing you may need to purchase before closing is a short-term fire insurance policy. Coverage for 2 weeks prior to closing is sometimes recommended and you’ll need to get a copy to your lawyer’s office as well.

Notify your insurance agent that a change is coming but don’t cancel your policy until the sale is actually completed. You never know what could happen (fire, flood, natural disaster) – between the moment you cancel and the actual closing.

Contact your local utilities and various service providers

Once you have a confirmed closing date, you can start contacting your local utilities and service providers to close your accounts, settle any payments and terminate services. This includes gas, hydro, water, cable or satellite TV, Internet, and land line if you have one (do people still have those?). Don’t forget the lawn service/landscaper if you have one and newspaper delivery. A Change of Address and arrange for mail forwarding at Canada Post online here. To make it easy on yourself, make a list and check each item off so you aren’t paying for services past the date you leave the home.

Put together a small package for the buyer

The new owner will probably change all the locks and security codes but collect all the keys and bring the garage door openers. Leave all of them with your lawyer at the time of closing.

At the home, leave a packet for the new owner. Leave behind instruction manuals and warranty info for any appliances still in the home. If you have a security system, change the code to something simple and leave it for the new owners. They can change it later to something personal and they won’t know the special codes you will likely use in your next home!

Close up the home

Whenever you vacate the property, whether it is weeks before closing or minutes, be sure to close it up properly. Close the blinds or pull the curtains, turn off the lights and lock the doors. If the property will be vacant for any period of time before the new owners move in, leave a light on to give the illusion that someone is still living there. This should at least reduce the chances of a break-in.

Talk to your agent about all the little details that must be managed between offer and closing. Be sure to check every box on your list!

If you don’t have a real estate lawyer, we highly recommend and work with the lawyers at Victor Hussein Professional Corporation. Victor and his team can be reached by visiting http://www.vhlaw.ca or by calling 519.744.8585.