Archive for selling your Kitchener home

REAL ESTATE TIPS: The 3 Main Factors That Lead to Overpricing Your Home for Sale

Understanding the factors that lead to incorrect pricing is vital when selling your home in Kitchener-Waterloo.

Don’t Lose Money When Selling Your Home!

Now that January is well underway, you’re reconsidering selling your house in Waterloo Region. You know that the market is hot and houses are selling for above asking price in many, many instances so now is a good time to sell, right?!

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that ANY home will sell at ANY price just because market conditions are favourable. You have a lot to lose by not pricing your home right the first time it hits the market. I’ve explained all of this in another video (you can watch it here: https://youtu.be/QyvvGq2qK_U).

It’s important to understand the factors that can lead to overpricing your home so that you are sure not to do it and end up losing money on the sale of your home. Watch my video here and benefit from my 21 years of real estate experience in Kitchener-Waterloo and the surrounding areas.

Find out how I’ve helped more than 2,500 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.

 

Selling Your Home: The Disappearing Buyer

Miriam thought she’d sold her house without a professional REALTOR®. Then her buyer mysteriously backed out. Watch Miriam’s story below:

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 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.

Real Estate Tips: Who is the Right Agent to Sell Your Home?

Find out the questions you should ask real estate agents

Find out the questions you should ask real estate agents

In this video I’m going to share with you how you can find the right real estate agent to sell your home – the right fit for you. There are certain qualities to look for in a Realtor and the whole process begins with the interview. I always tell my prospective clients to interview at least 3 Real Estate Agents. There are specific questions you need answers to when choosing an agent to represent you and your home for sale in Waterloo Region. Click my video below to hear my complete response on this important real estate matter.

Find out how I’ve helped more than 2,000 families buy and sell homes in Kitchener-Waterloo by downloading my free eBook. 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.

Selling Your Home: Discover What Goes on Behind the Scenes

It took selling her family’s house by herself to understand all the unseen things a professional REALTOR® does. And how they add up. Hear Jennifer’s story below:

Find out how I’ve helped more than 2,000 families buy and sell homes in Kitchener-Waterloo by downloading my free eBook. 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.

Real Estate Tips: When to Lower the Asking Price

Having trouble selling your home and think a price adjustment is required?

Having trouble selling your home and think a price adjustment is required?

First off, what I’m about to share with you only applies if all of the marketing has been done correctly. This includes but is not limited to good quality, professional photos that showcase your home in the best light possible, accompanied by a well-crafted description in order to draw attention to your online listing. Keep in mind as well, a comprehensive marketing strategy can only be executed by an agent or team who has the budget to attract attention to your home. Having said that – let’s consider the following 2 scenarios with homes in Kitchener-Waterloo that are not selling.

SCENARIO 1. A home listed for sale in Kitchener-Waterloo …. click the video below to hear my full response about how to know when to lower the asking price of your home.

Find out how I’ve helped more than 2,000 families buy and sell homes in Kitchener-Waterloo by downloading my free eBook. 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.

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.

Before You Make the Move: What You Need to Know Before Hiring Movers

 

hiring movers in Waterloo Region

Hiring Movers in Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge

It almost seems crazy. You hire people you’ve never met to take everything out of your house, put it in their trucks and take it away. Then you trust them to make sure all of your precious furniture and personal items make it safely into your new home. Hiring movers can be scary because of the incredible amount of trust involved in this transaction.

A Local Horror Story

Recently, residents in Waterloo Region unfortunately learned just how vulnerable we could be when we hire movers. The “Two Small Men with Big Hearts” company were recently implicated and charged for running a moving scam. A single mother on social assistance (obviously with a limited income) hired the moving company to move her belongings for a set price that they quoted on. Once Two Small Men with Big Hearts went to unload her belongings at her new home, they quoted her an entirely different (higher) price. When she wouldn’t pay, the movers drove off with all of her belongings in the back of their truck. Before you make the move, make yourself aware of the potential risks. Protect yourself against the unscrupulous elements in the business as well as the less nefarious mistakes.

Lowballs and Add-ons

Beware of the lowball offer. It may sound like a bargain but it’s often not all it seems on the surface. You might be quoted a bargain rate only to find out on the day of your move (when it’s far too late to make a change) that many of the services you expected aren’t included. Your mover might say that packing a fragile item or disassembling a piece of furniture isn’t included and hit you with a big add-on charge. What can you do at this point if you have a deadline to be out of the home? When asking for quotes, be sure your written quote includes specifics with a list of fragile items and furniture dismantling (beds, dining room hutches etc).

Make sure that you get all of the details in writing. An honest company won’t hesitate to give you a written estimate and a list of what is and isn’t included in their fees. Have it on-hand the day of your move in case one of the moving company employees tries to unfairly increase your costs. Also don’t let anybody convince you that pads, tape, or “special” boxes are extra costs. Know exactly what you’ll be paying and have it in writing before the movers arrive.

Cash-only dealings are rarely smart

If your mover is a “cash only” operation, choose another company. How many places where you shop are run this way? Would you trust a cash-only electronics store? Or a cash-only auto repair? Of course not – you’d assume something less than legal was afoot. So why trust everything in your home to a cash-only moving company? You need the protection of a traceable transaction.

Be smart and check the details

A reliable mover will have a good reputation, referrals, and all of the required licenses and insurance policies to operate their business. It’s up to you to check to see that the one you are hiring is fully insured and bonded. If they don’t have sufficient insurance and a worker is injured on your property, guess who is liable? That’s you.

Be extra careful with your precious items

Any decent mover can relocate a couch without incident. Many good movers can pack and safeguard your grandmother’s china. Some can be trusted with your baby grand piano and only a few with your fine art.

Specialty items like fine art and large musical instruments require specialty movers. These often one-of-a-kind items may be irreplaceable and unfixable so no insurance claim can fill the void if they are lost. Don’t take chances; hire a specialist for the items that require it. It may cost a bit more to hire the folks in white gloves with climate controlled cargo holds but what would the cost be if your item wasn’t properly handled?

Have the contract in hand

It is wise to have a copy of your contract where it can easily be accessed on moving day. You should also have working phone numbers for the company’s management. Someone should be available by phone even if you’re moving on a weekend. Trust your gut – if you feel uncomfortable in any way with the people who arrive or the way they are behaving, make the call.

Be attentive and protective, within reason

Be protective of your belongings and attentive to the way they are handled. If you are not happy (within reason) about the way something is being done, kindly let the movers know. You have a voice in this process so don’t be afraid to use it. It’s not rude to say, “I’m a little nervous about that item. Could you please put an extra layer of wrapping on it?” That “please” will go a long way so don’t forget to include it!

Consider what you pack yourself

Your moving company probably won’t be liable for anything you pack yourself so be judicious in choosing what you take on alone. Go ahead and pack small valuables like jewelry and watches and move them yourself if you can. These small items could prove to be a little too tempting. Expensive electronics (iPads, tablets, laptops) fall in the same category.

Many hands will fall on your belongings on the way. Don’t make your things easy to pocket.   If you can do it yourself, perhaps you should. But study up on how to pack and move those items since you’ll be the only one to blame if they arrive at your new home in less-than-ideal condition.

Be reasonable and polite

This is good advice for any situation really. Be reasonable in your expectations and understand that packing and moving takes time. Movers are just like you. They are there to do a job and most want to do it well.

Use kind words and a soft voice. Don’t be the ugly customer they talk about the next day. Yelling, threatening and using abusive language will only buy you trouble. Your movers might want to get away from you as fast as possible and the work may suffer for speed.

Speaking of speed, you probably don’t need to have an eagle eye on the clock. Most reputable movers just want to do a good job and get home to their families, just like you at the end of a long work day. The crew probably won’t let any of its members lag on the job.

Moving is stressful enough without adding in more drama on moving day. Be sure to hire a trustworthy company and take the time to become educated and well-informed on the costs and processes involved long before anyone packs the first box. It’s up to you to do your homework to choose the right movers and to make sure everything goes according to plan.

Recommended Movers in Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge

I have personally had excellent moving experiences with Evergreen Transfer, who has been in business in Kitchener-Waterloo for more than 30 years. In one particular move Evergreen Transfer packed every single item in my family  home (even including my wife’s underwear!) and unpacked it all on the other end. Although this is a more expensive option, it is fast, convenient and perfect for people whose time is valuable (or can’t get much time off work). I have also used Mike the Mover for one of my smaller moves. This company can handle any size move, their employees are friendly and polite, and I found their rates quite reasonable.

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/MMSellers. 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.

Which Renovations Should You Consider Before You Sell Your Home?

Which Renovations Give the Best Return on Investment?

Which Renovations Give the Best Return on Investment?

Like many homeowners in the Kitchener and Waterloo area who are considering selling your home, you are probably thinking about which renos you should do before listing your home for sale. Some renovations are completed in hopes of increasing overall sale price, but are you confused as to which renovations will actually get a good return for your investment? What are potential buyers looking for most? What helps pay those renovation bills in the long run? Let’s take a look at a few of your options.

  • Curb Appeal Projects: From something as simple as replacing your front door to replacing all of the siding on your home, curb appeal projects add serious value to your home. One report suggested that worn siding alone can make your home lose up to 10% of its value, and full siding replacement is near the top of the projects with the highest return on investment.
  • Kitchen Remodel: Think smaller here instead of bigger. While those dream kitchens you see plastered on every home magazine on the shelf and on Pinterest seem like a great idea, they’re also incredibly expensive. You may want to update your kitchen somewhat to make sure it looks like the hub of your home. It should look attractive, clean, and modern. Beyond that, don’t waste your money.
  • Outdoor Living Space: People are looking to be outside more than ever before, and these days, creating a gorgeous outdoor living space can really add to the value of your home in Waterloo Ontario. Build a deck if you don’t already have one, throw in an inexpensive outdoor fireplace for cool fall nights, brighten up your lawn furniture with colourful pillows, and you have a winning addition home buyers are going to love again and again.
  • Tackle that Bathroom: According to HGTV, inn the hottest housing markets, springing for a kitchen or bath remodel is a sure-fire investment, often returning more than 100 percent of the cost. People consistently rate a bathroom remodel at the top of the list, and for good reason. A beautiful bathroom is a selling point for many buyers in Kitchener-Waterloo. As with the kitchen, don’t get too carried away. A small bit of luxury in the bathroom can go a long way toward adding to your listing price.

No matter which renovations you actually choose to complete, there are several things to remember about handling this process in general. In order to prevent anything from going awry, ensuring you have as much knowledge as possible at the outset can be quite helpful.

  • Check Your Contractor’s References: The importance of this step cannot be understated. If you’re seriously considering hiring someone to handle the bigger projects such as your kitchen renovation, new bathroom, or your add-on, you’ll want to ask how long the company has been in business and ask for references of past customers. The next step is the most important – CALL THEM! Ask if the work was completed on time and on budget. Go out and take a look so you can judge the workmanship for yourself. It’s the single best way to see exactly whom you’re hiring. In addition to checking those references, be sure you look into the contractor’s licensing and whether or not they’re insured and bonded against damage. You may also want to run a credit check on the contractor to get some additional information.
  • Learn More About Permits: In almost every renovation situation, at least one permit is going to be needed somewhere along the way. If you have a contractor who tells you one isn’t required, you may want to find another contractor. Wondering why it’s so important? If you have the permits on file before the work begins, you can be sure the city you live in will complete a full inspection after the work is done. That will help protect you in the event the title insurance company asks to see the permit and inspection paperwork before you can actually close the sale on your home when the time comes.
  • Don’t Go For Cash: Some contractors offer to do a cash deal to help you save a little money. Don’t! It’s against the law and you don’t have any proof of payment if the contractor doesn’t fulfill his end of the bargain. Saving a few bucks now is not worth the court costs you may have to pay later.
  • Don’t Pay In Full Up Front: For best workmanship, you will want to create a payment plan that is tied to the milestones involved in the project. It is recommended that you put no more than 10% down on any project, and then pay out a little at a time as the contractor completes certain aspects of the project. That way, you won’t lose much if something happens to the deal.
  • Get It In Writing: It doesn’t matter what the “it” turns out to be, make sure you have everything in writing. You want a written contract that spells out everything the two of you have agreed to, the stages of work, and the associated payments with each stage. You also want any special options you’ve included in writing, like those special drawer pulls or that particular paint color. Finally, make sure there’s language included about clean up and repair. Renovations can be an excellent way to increase the value of your home, but finding the right combination of that great renovation project and a good contractor is essential.

For smaller renovation projects we have personally worked with and recommend Kris Kostecki in Kitchener. Kris performs work on: flooring; tiling, interior doors and trim; interior and exterior painting; drywall and taping; and bathroom renovations. You can reach Kris at 519.781.9311.

If you would like a FREE Market Evaluation of your home or you would like to learn more about the process of selling your home in Waterloo Region, I would love to talk to you. You can call me at 310-SOLD or email me at mark@maurerteam.com. For more home selling tips you won’t find anywhere else, subscribe to my YouTube channel.

Natalie and Jaymes

 

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

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

Before we hired Mark, our home was for sale with another Realtor for two and a half months. We were barely getting showings. We weren’t getting feedback. We kept asking if it was because of the price and even suggested a price reduction. Our Real Estate Agent declined saying the problems we were experiencing weren’t because of the price. She was always away and dumped us on some agent from her office we had never even met. Neither one of them rarely returned our phone calls.

We had purchased another home in Mount Forest conditional on selling ours here in Kitchener. So we felt immense pressure. After two and a half months of no showings, no offers, and poor customer service, we fired our Real Estate Agent. On New Year’s Eve our “For Sale” sign was stolen and we took that as a sign we needed to hire another agent. We immediately interviewed 4 other agents and Mark was one of them. Knowing he’s the biggest Realtor in town we wanted his opinion. He was the last agent we interviewed and we new right away he could do it! We trusted he knew what he was doing.

Mark has an amazing personality. He was so funny and always telling jokes. He was so down-to-earth which surprised us. He always remembered our dog and brought him treats every time he came to see us. He was honest! He made us feel so comfortable and it has felt like we’ve known him forever! Mark always replied to our calls, texts and emails immediately (and there was lots of them haha).

We just wanted to get out of the city. We want our young kids who are now 4.5 years and 14 months old to grow up in a small town, having access to tons of outside adventure. As avid campers we wanted to be within an hour of a major lake, so Georgian Bay here we come! Moving to Mount Forest will bring us financial freedom too because we made a good profit from the sale of our Kitchener home. Our new home is right on a river so we will be buying canoes and kayaks. None of this would have been possible without Mark. He helped us to make a major lifestyle change for the better. We’ve been shouting from the rooftops about how good Mark Maurer is and we highly recommend him to anybody wanting to sell their home.

Jaymes and Natalie, Kitchener ON