Archive for The Mark Maurer Team

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.

 

Real Estate Tips: Home Buying Mistakes to Avoid!

 Purchasing a Home? You Will Want to Know This!

Purchasing a Home? You Will Want to Know This

In this video, I tell you what other Real Estate Agents won’t: the biggest mistakes that home buyers make when purchasing a home. Whether this is your first purchase or you’re looking for your dream home, this is important information for you.

Watch this video for my complete answer to this home buying issue:

 

 

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

Mark

Selling Your Home? How to Make a Great First Impression!

 

Real Estate Tips: How to Sell Your Kitchener-Waterloo Home

Real Estate Tips: How to Sell Your Kitchener-Waterloo Home

In this article I’m going to show you how to make the BEST first impression on potential home buyers looking at your home for sale. This is important information for you if you are selling your home in Kitchener-Waterloo. If you are looking to buy your dream home and currently own a house, you can benefit from my 21 years of real estate expertise in sharing these home selling tips!

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 great 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.

EXTERIOR. What do people see when they get out of their cars whether they are parked on the street or in your driveway? They walk up your driveway and they can see your lawn, edging, flower beds and the front door. Are things CLEAN? Your front door, front lights, front windows, steps, and even the mailbox all need to be clean.

INTERIOR. When potential home buyers walk into your front door you want to make sure that everything within their view is visually appealing. Here’s what I suggest to my clients: one day when you’ve been away from your home for a while, come back in and don’t park in the garage but rather walk up to your front door from the driveway. What do you see? Are shoes scattered about near the front door? Is your front closet organized and uncluttered? This is a keen way to get a fresh perspective and pick up on little things you may have missed when initially preparing your home to be listed. Remember that every closet matters because home buyers viewing your home will look in all of the closets and even the kitchen cupboards and drawers!

BASEMENT. If there is one area of a home I’ve seen people neglect, it’s the basement – particularly if it’s unfinished. Here’s what you want to do with an unfinished basement: sweep the floor and use concrete paint to paint the floor. If you are storing items in your basement, stack them all neatly along the walls and keep the space open so that homebuyers can envision what they might like to do with that unfinished area of your home. I set my clients up with Rooms in Bloom Home Staging and they advise on how to set up the basement so that it is visually appealing.

GARAGE. Much of what applies to the basement applies to the garage. Are there oil stains on the garage floor? If so, clean it up and paint the concrete floor. Make sure bikes are hanging up off the floor, get the rakes and gardening tools hung on a wall neatly, and any excess items are stacked against the walls. You definitely want potential home buyers to be able to see the value in having a garage to park in. If your garage is cluttered with “stuff” it’s hard for people to be able to see the value in additional storage space whereas they will definitely see value in a secure garage for their vehicles.

I also explain how to make a great first impression 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: http://bit.ly/MMSellers. 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 Team OR Agent? Which is Best for You?

What's the difference between a real estate TEAM and an agent working alone?

What’s the difference between a real estate TEAM and an agent working alone?

In this article I’m going to explain the difference between a “real estate team” and a single agent working on their own. My hope is that by providing this information to you, you can better decide which best suits your individual real estate needs.

A single real estate agent – they have everything in their own hands and it can become a little like a “one-man band” coming down the street with one individual playing the big bass drum, blowing the horn and trying to play the guitar. If they had about 6 hands it might work okay but today, real estate is complicated. It’s not what it was years ago and a Realtor needs expertise in different areas and we need to hire and have those people on our team.

Are there Advantages to Working With a Real Estate Team?

Real Estate Assistant. There are so many aspects to selling a home. The reality is most consumers have no idea what is involved because so much of it goes on behind the scenes. There is a tremendous amount of administrative and paper work. Although I started out as a single agent I took the training I received from Real Estate Trainer and Coach Mike Ferry very seriously. Mike said, “If you don’t have an assistant, you are one.” I’ve had a full-time certified real estate assistant for all of the 21 years I’ve been in the Real Estate profession. I strongly believe this decision has contributed to my overall success in real estate in Waterloo Region.

Varied Areas of Expertise. Since we can’t know absolutely everything nor do everything, we need to hire the people with specialized areas of knowledge. Obviously, I believe the model of a Real Estate Team is the best working model we have because I’ve had one myself for many years and it works like a charm.

Marketing Coordinator. Marketing homes for sale in Kitchener-Waterloo successfully requires more than submitting your listing to the real estate board to appear in the online listings. Your home has to get marketed in specific ways in a timely fashion. There are 2 separate areas of real estate marketing: offline marketing and online marketing. I have a top notch online marketing guru on my team who handles every aspect of LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. She researches the topics that home buyers and sellers are interested in learning about and writes blog posts about them and sits me in front of a camera to record videos. Honestly, I don’t have time for all of that. I’m out listing and selling homes and negotiating offers for clients. I’m also helping people buy a home so if you run into an agent who says, “Oh yes I blog, I do this online, I do that online – tell me… when do they have time to sell your home if they’re doing all that? Let’s be realistic.

Valid Concerns About Working with a Real Estate Team

One of the concerns I have heard clients voice over the years is that they want personalized attention and they feel they won’t get this when working with a team. We have a specific workflow on The Mark Maurer Team: the person who comes to list your home is the person who shows your home, who accepts and handles the offers on your home and it’s the same person who negotiates the offers on your home. You get the benefit of the expertise of all of the relevant players on the team, yet you’re not dealing with 5 different people on the various aspects of selling your home.

For my complete response about real estate “teams” versus singular agents, watch my video here:

Find out how I’ve helped more than 2,000 families buy and sell homes in Kitchener-Waterloo by downloading my free eBook here: http://bit.ly/MMSellers. 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.

 

 

 

How Do You Know You’ve Found 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 article 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.

Interview Real Estate Agents

I tell my clients to interview at least 3 so they have a sufficient amount of choice and can feel confident when making the decision. Asking these questions is important because as we know, history repeats itself. Past performance usually dictates future performance so their experience is vitally important and relevant.

Questions to ask these Realtors to make sure it’s the right one for you include:

  • What experience do they have? (how long have they been a real estate agent?)
  • How many homes did they sell last year?
  • How many homes did they sell so far this year?
  • Have they sold many homes in your neighbourhood? If so, ask to see the listing for the homes.
  • For the homes they have sold in your neighbourhood: how much did they get in relation to the asking price? Did they sell it for 100% of the list price, 90% of the list price?
  • Who did they study under?
  • Where did they take their real estate courses?
  • Do they do any “additional” education or ongoing education.

I also recommend that you take notes when you are interviewing Real Estate Agents in Waterloo Region because if you’re like most of us, after that interview you will look at your spouse and say, “What did he/she say about _____?”

Ask About Marketing

Realtors can promise you the moon but what have they done to promote other homes in the past? What will they do to promote your home? You may not ever know what they will do to market your home. Where will they advertise your home for sale? Do they use only print media – because we know print is dwindling like it hasn’t been in years before. Some of print is still useful but there needs to be more than that. Do they use social media to feature your home – like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and even in some cases using LinkedIn to private message important contacts in their networks. Do they have a blog on their website that they update regularly? How connected are they with the community? Asking Real Estate Agents about where they market themselves is also relevant. What is their online expertise? Do they advertise on: Grand River Transit buses; billboards; or bus stop benches?

PLAN OF ACTION: Any good agent should be able to give you a “marketing plan of action” of exactly what they’re going to do to sell your home. I have a 21 Point Plan of Action that I send out to prospective clients before they even meet me that they can read before we get together. I believe it’s considerate to get that to folks beforehand so they are somewhat informed about my services and can ask me questions about my home marketing strategy.

REFERENCES: Ask for references. Do they have testimonials on their website, Facebook page or YouTube channel that you can read or watch? Sometimes they may have testimonial letters you can look at. Will the Real Estate Agent provide you with a past client’s name and phone number that you can ask about their experiences with this agent?

THE BOTTOM LINE: You want to know that the agent you hire is going to be a very active agent right now in today’s market. You want to make sure you find someone who is connected to the community and someone who is going to serve you well and serve your purpose because you’re going to pay them a lot of money to sell your home. You want a Real Estate Agent in Kitchener-Waterloo who is going to go to bat for you and protect you legally.

You can also watch my video here about finding a good Realtor by clicking 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: http://bit.ly/MMSellers. 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.

How to Know When to Lower the Asking Price for Your Home

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

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

In this article I’m going to answer the question, “How do you know when it’s time to lower the asking price of your home?” This is important information for you if you are selling your home in Kitchener-Waterloo or if you have it for sale and it’s not selling. If you are looking to buy your dream home and currently own a house, you can benefit from my 21 years of real estate expertise in answering this crucial question.

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 high 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 has very few showings and no offers. The cause of this inactivity is the home’s list price is 8-10% too high.

SCENARIO 2. A home listed for sale in Kitchener-Waterloo has lots of showings, no offers. Asking price is 3-5% too high. As soon as we make an adjustment in that price we have an offer within the next 2 weeks.

The rule of thumb in Real Estate is, all things being equal as I mentioned before, if you’re not getting offers within 2 weeks of listing your home, the price is too high. Your home is only “hot” on the market for the first 4 weeks. The bloom starts to come off the rose after this point. If offers are not being stimulated within 4 weeks and your agent has done everything else properly, you have a pricing issue. Period.

Watch my complete response to the issue of knowing when to lower the asking price of your home by clicking the video 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: http://bit.ly/MMSellers. 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.

 

House Buying Tips: New Mortgage Rules in Canada Effective October 2016

Learn How the New Mortgage Rules Will Affect You

Learn How the New Mortgage Rules Will Affect You

In this article I’m going to talk to you about the new mortgage rules that the federal Government of Canada has just imposed upon us that are going to take place effective October 17, 2016. If you have an existing mortgage this is not going to affect you at all. However, if you’re selling your home, buying a new home and applying for a new mortgage this is definitely going to affect you. So what the federal government has done is a couple of things really.

Foreign Investment in Canada

First of all they are taking steps in an attempt to cool a HOT real estate market. I have to tell you the truth; this is the hottest market for home sellers I’ve seen in my 21 years in real estate in Kitchener-Waterloo. Period! How the government plans to cool the market is by imposing a tax on foreign buyers. Up until now, foreign investors could come to Canada and a buy house as long as they lived in it for a year. Then it was considered their principal residence so if they sold it there was no capital gains tax on it. The government has now wiped that out so if you’re a foreign investor buying in Canada, whenever you sell that house and make a profit, you have to pay capital gains tax. The reason why the government wants to dissuade foreign investors from buying houses is to prevent so much quick flipping of these homes.

Mortgage Qualification Rules

The second thing the federal government has done is they’ve changed the mortgage qualification rules. Although you or someone you know may qualify for a low mortgage rate of 2.0% or 2.1%, the Government of Canada now says that nevertheless, you have to qualify for that same mortgage at the current five-year Bank of Canada rate which today is 4.64%. So for instance if you are buying a new home and you’re putting 10% down, where you would have qualified for a new mortgage of say 605,000… with the new rules you would only qualify for a mortgage of $510,000. The hope is that this will mean Canadian home owners won’t stretch themselves so far credit-wise. In actuality, this is a valid concern that trip mortgage rates take a jump of one or two or even three percent that would throw a lot of people out of their homes and we would have a terrible situation. We would have a lot of foreclosures, powers of sale – so I understand what the government is doing. It’s a little bit of what I call “social engineering” trying to tax our behaviour and make our behaviour such away by tags but it’s not totally free enterprise but it’s being done anyway so we have to live with it anyway.

To get my full response on the new mortgage rules in Canada, watch my video 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: http://bit.ly/MMSellers. 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.

 

 

 

How Experts Sell Your Kitchener-Waterloo Home Faster AND For More Money!

Selling your home FAST and for MORE MONEY. Can you have both?

In this article, I’m going to tell you how Real Estate Experts sell homes faster and for more money. This is important information for you if you are selling your home in Kitchener-Waterloo and you want results. If you are looking to buy your dream home and currently own a house, before listing your home you can benefit from my 21 years of real estate expertise on this issue. Right from the top, does your agent tell you what to do with your home “before” it is listed? When a potential buyer is coming into your home for the first time they have to be able to put themselves in the picture to be able to buy your home. So what do we do to accomplish this?

HOME SELLING TIPS 

⊕Depersonalize⊕ You want to depersonalize “mostly” which is not the same as depersonalizing “entirely.” Depersonalizing doesn’t mean you get rid of ALL of your family photos. Home sellers take this to the extreme and then you end up with a house on the market that doesn’t look lived in. Potential home buyers are less likely to be able to envision themselves in your home when all of your personal touches are removed.
Declutter⊕ This seems straight forward and instinctual when you are preparing your home to be viewed by hundreds of people online and dozens of families in person, yet we sometimes need to take this a step further. When you organize your belongings and throw out things you don’t need, you may find yourself in the position my wife and I were in when we sold our first home together. We found that we had SO much “stuff” that I convinced her we needed to rent a storage unit and move the storage bins and extra furniture into. She was hesitant at first but now is a convert after we sold that home in only a few weeks. By placing these belongings in storage, we were able to open up the space to make it more visually appealing.
⊕Staging⊕ How do you showcase your home to make the appealing features stand out? We partner with Rooms in Bloom Home Staging and these ladies will come into your home and This is a service that I pay for to ensure your home is on display in the best possible light. We make excellent use of the available space, open up rooms that may have felt confined, and if we have to we’ll bring in some items to “pimp your home.”

MARKETING YOUR HOME

How is your home marketed? What kind of marketing budget does your real estate agent have to not only help you to make your home look the best, but also for it to be photographed the best and then marketed effectivey online? We know everyone goes online first to look at houses so “how” your home shows online is important. Do your photos make your home look better than it actually does? That’s a big mistake! Misrepresentation (eg. making rooms look bigger than they really are) brings the wrong kind of home buyer into your home. I call this “lunchbox letdown.” Not representing your home accurately in photos and online descriptions will deter agents from bringing other interested parties to view your home.

PRICING YOUR HOME

The most vital component in the process of listing your home and ensuring it is sold in a short period of time and for the most money possible, is the listing price. In fact this issue is SO important I have an entire blog post dedicated to explaining it. You can read this article here or watch the video here: bit.ly/MMPricing. I have also included my

Click to hear my full response about how real estate experts sell your home for more money

Click to hear my full response about how real estate experts                               sell your home for more money

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.

Mark

Real Estate Tips: Why a Home Doesn’t Sell

Pinpoint the reason why your home may not be selling

Pinpoint the reason why your home may not be selling

Twenty-one years ago I started selling homes and serving clients and since then I have helped more than 2,400 families buy and sell real estate right here in Kitchener-Waterloo. However, when I started in this profession, although I knew how to run a business I didn’t know how to run a Real Estate business. Yes I passed all levels of the Real Estate exams with the top marks in my class, yet applying knowledge is different than simply possessing knowledge. Rather than learn by trial and error, I sought out the best Real Estate Coach I could find and that turned out to be Mike Ferry from California. Here is what Mike Ferry taught me about why a home isn’t selling…….

You can watch my complete response to why a home doesn’t sell in this video.

 

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? How to Price it to Make the Most Money Possible!

Real Estate Tips: How to Sell Your Kitchener-Waterloo Home

Real Estate Tips: How to Sell Your Kitchener-Waterloo Home

In this article I’m going to address the pricing issue when listing your home to sell for the most amount of money possible. This is important information for you if you are selling your home in Kitchener-Waterloo. If you are looking to buy your dream home and currently own a house, you can benefit from my 21 years of real estate expertise in addressing the pricing issue.

Pricing your home properly can make a huge difference in how long it takes to sell your home and, how much money you get for it. Pricing your home right is probably one of the most controversial things in real estate.

PRICING YOUR HOME PROPERLY

Here’s what we need to know – what is the most amount of money we can price your home for without pricing it too high? If we price it a little too high we may get lots of home buyers looking at your home but we won’t get any offers. If we price it substantially too high we won’t even get anybody looking at your house and again, no offers. Learning how to price a home becomes very predictible and we can look at the 2 week point after launching and decipher from the activity, whether we’ve priced it right or not.

CALCULATING AN ACCURATE PRICE

Examine and analyzse the sales activity on your street in the past year for homes very similar to yours (eg. if you have a bungalow with a 2 car garage we only compare other bungalows with 2 car garages). We also analyze the houses that were for sale in your neighbourhood in the past year that *didn’t sell.*

After making minute adjustments, the other trick is this: once we determine the true value of your home, we want to put the price right up tight against it. The real estate professionals and their buyers in our community will recognize when we have a home priced accurately and we will attract a lot of attention – this is how we create a feeding frenzy. We want to get as many offers as possible. When a home is priced right, potential home buyers will understand and respect that we have priced it properly and they won’t expect that we would consider low-ball offers.

In the end, who makes the final decision on the price that is accepted for your home? You do. You are in control. The right agent will coach you very well on how to price your home to sell for the most money possible.

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.