Selling a home can be stressful in any circumstance, let alone in the midst of a global pandemic. With ongoing uncertainty, and an evolving situation that’s changing by the minute, it can be hard to know what the next step is in the selling process. The world of real estate never stops, as people are always needing to be buying or selling for a host of time sensitive reasons, regardless of what else is going on.
We’ve reached out to our RE/MAX Influencers – a panel of RE/MAX sales associates throughout Canada – to get their expert insights and advice for sellers during this time, and share what RE/MAX agents are doing to ensure your safety during the home selling process. Here’s an overview of the measures that are being taken:
The biggest piece of advice that our RE/MAX Influencers have for sellers is to stay home, and to only be going out if absolutely necessary. That said, there is always going to be necessary preparations that you will need to implement before listing your home. Curtus Collins of RE/MAX Crown Real Estate (North), Regina, SK says, “be prepared for a long sale, it’s anticipated that the market will return when this is all over. Take this time at home to make sure the condition of your home is perfect for when the market does begin to normalize.”
Staying home may be the perfect opportunity to spruce up your home with a fresh coat of paint or a deep clean if you’re planning on selling in the future!
One of the most important things to do during this time is to stay listed! Just because potential buyers may not be viewing homes in person, doesn’t mean they won’t be viewing properties online. Many REALTORS® are asking sellers to take small videos of their homes to show to potential buyers, as realtors are also trying to keep their distance to keep everyone healthy and safe. Social media is also a big tool that agents are utilizing to help promote properties to buyers who may be unable to view a home in person.
Agents are encouraging sellers to hang in there and to keep their properties listed. Agents are doing their best to showcase and market seller’s properties in a safe and healthy way and are using a variety of technologies to do so!
Given the nature of the COVID-19 pandemic and the need for physical and social distancing, one very important thing that REALTORS® are doing to help maintain the health and safety of their clients is to screen potential buyers when it comes to showing listings. Many agents, as mentioned above, are opting to do virtual tours of properties rather than showing them in person. As open houses are not being allowed at this time, virtual tours are a great way to showcase properties to serious buyers.
As hard as being patient can be, it is the biggest piece of advice our RE/MAX Influencers have for sellers. Navigating real estate during this time is going to be a learning curve for everyone, as many people will be restricted to online house shopping; but, our agents are determined to do everything they can to facilitate that change while keeping everyone involved safe and healthy.
“Sellers will have to be a little bit more flexible than they would have been a month ago. We expect sellers to be cautious, but this will pass! People will always need a home,” says Dave Beattie, RE/MAX Sea to Sky Real Estate, Whistler, BC.
While many sellers are faced with uncertainty at this time, our RE/MAX Influencers want you to know that they are here for you, and will do whatever they can to make the home buying and selling process as stress-free as possible. “We have contacted all of our sellers to let them know what we are doing during this COVID-19 breakout. Communication and information are key,” says Glenn Dennis, RE/MAX Select Properties, Vancouver, BC. “We have also offered help by picking up medication or groceries and delivering them to any of our clients who cannot get out of their own homes.”
For more articles from our expert Influencers, click here!
We also asked our Influencer panel for their insights and tips for buyers, so click here to check out that article!
What’s the quickest way to attract the right homebuyer? Top curb appeal tips? What should you do with your pet during showings? What are the cheapest (and best!) home staging ideas? What about luxury home trends? RE/MAX Influencers is an expert panel of brokers and agents that provide insight on Canadian real estate and market trends. RE/MAX Influencers are featured on the RE/MAX Canada blog and on RE/MAX Canada’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter channels. Learn more about RE/MAX real estate franchise opportunities in Ontario-Atlantic Region and Western Canada.
Buying or selling a house in Fort McMurray is a big undertaking under normal circumstances, let alone in the midst of a pandemic. With economic impacts and the uncertainty that accompanies day-to-day life, Canada’s federal, provincial and municipal governments and companies have implemented a number of COVID-19 relief measures to help soften the financial blow.
We’ve compiled a list of some pre-existing and newly announced programs and incentives intended to assist current homeowners, buyers and sellers, along with some links to further inform anyone seeking some COVID-19 relief.
The situation is changing hourly, so REMAX.ca will continue to update this list as things develop.
COVID-19 Relief Measures
Federal Government Pledges Up To $52 Billion in Direct Support to Canadian Workers and Businesses
On March 18, 2020, the Prime Minister announced $27 billion in direct support to Canadian workers and businesses during this challenging time. On March 25, an emergency federal bill received royal assent to increase that amount to $52 billion, including support for workers unable to do their job due to Coronavirus. For more information, click here.
Mortgage Payment Deferral Programs
Many homeowners who’s employment and income have been interrupted due to COVID-19 are struggling to make their mortgage payments. In response to this, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and other mortgage insurers offer tools that can assist homeowners experiencing financial hardship at this time.
In addition to this, a number of Canadian’s large banks will be allowing mortgage payment deferrals for up to six months as part of their measures to help customers who may be struggling with the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a Tweet from the president of the Canadian Bankers Association, RBC, TD, BMO, Scotiabank, CIBC and National Bank are the banks that are offering these deferrals. We encourage you to talk to your bank if you are under any sort of financial strain.
Bank of Canada Lowering Rates
The Bank of Canada’s benchmark interest rate has been on a downward trend recently. In its latest scheduled interest rate announcement on March 4, the Bank cut its rate from 1.75 to 1.25 per cent. The Bank followed up with an unscheduled announcement on March 16, announcing a further reduction in its key interest rate by a further 50 basis points to 0.75 per cent. On March 27, the Bank again cut its rate by another 50 basis points, to 0.25 per cent, with a goal of bolstering economic activity and keeping inflation low and stable. For more information on what the Bank of Canada is doing, click here.
First Time Home Buyer Incentives
The First Time Home Buyer Incentive was implemented in September 2019 to help qualified first-time homebuyers reduce their monthly mortgage payments without adding to their financial burdens. The incentive is a shared-equity mortgage with the Government of Canada and offers a number of different options for first-time homebuyers. You can read more about the First Time Home Buyer Incentive here.
Insured Mortgage Purchase Program (IMPP)
The Government of Canada implemented measures intended to bolster the financial system through the launch of its Insured Mortgage Purchase Program (IMPP). The government is prepared to purchase up to $150 billion of insured mortgage pools through CMHC, increased from the original $50 billion announced on March 16 as part of the Emergency Response Act. This will allow stable funding to banks and mortgage lenders that will help ensure lending to continue to Canadian consumers and businesses. For more information on the Insured Mortgage Purchase Program, click here.
Property Tax Deferrals
Some Canadian cities are allowing property tax deferrals, such as Toronto, Ottawa, Grand Prairie and more, while other cities are considering similar action. These decisions are being made at the municipal level and things are changing daily. We recommend visiting your municipality online to determine if your upcoming payment can be put on hold without repercussion.
Hydro Pricing Reductions
Ontario is eliminating mid-peak and on-peak electricity rates giving residents who have been forced to stay home due to COVID-19 the lowest rate available (off-peak) all day for 45 days. The lowest electricity rate is also being extended to small businesses and farms. For more information on the Ontario hydro rates, click here.
Internet Usage Rules Relaxed by Major Telecommunication Companies
Some major telecommunication companies, such as Telus and Shaw, are changing their phone and internet plans and adapting amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The Shaw website notes that they do not have data caps on their internet plans, allowing you to keep kids entertained and work from home without having to worry about data caps on your internet.
CRA Sets New Deadline to File your 2019 Income Taxes
The CRA has announced that there are new tax filing and payment due dates. The new due date for filing individual tax returns has been extended to June 1st, 2020. Taxpayers will have until September 1st, 2020 to pay any 2019 income tax amounts owed. For more information regarding the new dates for filing taxes, click here.
If you are interested in searching homes for sale in Fort McMurray click link below.
COVID-19 has hit 2020 like a wrecking ball, slowly making its way across borders. Social distancing has us all pressing pause, letting go of priorities in favour of time spent indoors, connected only though our screens. Alas, in the real estate market, even amid a global pandemic, there are still sellers who need to sell, and buyers who need to buy.
Lucky for us, in this age of technological glory, real estate agents have access to some great solutions to ensure that processes remain safe, and transactions can continue to take place. This too will pass, and in the meantime, we can all use a little creativity to ensure that our brief pauses don’t turn into a full stop.
Great News for Buyers
Finally, a silver lining to COVID-19 mark on the markets: if financially possible, it can be a great time to buy a home with interest rates being the lowest we have seen.
In response to the viral outbreak, banks worldwide have been cutting interest rates. The Bank of Canada cut the interest rate for Canadians by a full percentage point earlier this month. As a result, prospective home buyers looking to get a mortgage can now expect to borrow at a decreased rate. With fixed term mortgage rates also on the decline, home buyers have the flexibility to borrow more and aim for a higher home price or get a better mortgage rate and have less expensive mortgage payments.
So, with buyers in a good position to buy, how are real estate agents helping to make home sales happen, particularly in the wake of temporary social distancing?
Leverage Technology for Real Estate!
Big advances in technology have ignited a fundamental shift in the real estate industry, and it is now easier than ever to gain a wealth of knowledge about a home, condo, townhouse or any listing from the online listing alone.
Floor plans, detailed descriptions, panoramic pictures, and video tours allow the buyer to get a good feel for a home, before ever setting foot within the property.
With a greater segment of the population glued to their screens during isolation measures, there could be a marked increase in recreational and serious buyers browsing the online marketplace. Agents will be ensuring more than ever that their online listings are as detailed and alluring as possible.
These tools will help the real estate market move online, at least until isolation measures have passed:
More agents are working with photographers specializing in 360 home video tours as a way to create an immersive experience for the home buyer.
By helping to bring the property listing to life, buyers like that they can get a feel for the space without being there. A good virtual video tour is navigable, interactive, and controlled by the viewer. The resolution should be high, and the control tools should be intuitive.
The ultimate goal is to replicate the experience of walking through each room, in person. During COVID-19, 360-home tours are a recommended alternative to an open house.
We may be hoarding toilet paper supplies, but we can a least give the printer paper a rest by moving to electronic signing methods once you’re ready to sign on the bottom line.
There are a number of downloadable apps available, allowing signatories to sign a PDF or word document directly through your phone or tablet. Many of which real estate agents are already using to facilitate real estate deals.
Limited contact, limited paper. Online signing methods can be encrypted with a tamper-evident seal and audit trail. This ensures the legality of the signed documents and allows you and your agent to view what was signed, and when.
While face-to-face contact is challenged during the period of social distancing, there are other ways to maintain a personal connection with your agent. Video calling tools such as FaceTime and WhatsApp, can help mimic a meeting with your agent more effectively than a phone call, and can also prove to be useful if you wish to view aspects of a property not shown through the listing.
Above all, it’s important that you’re taking precautions to ensure your personal safety, and the safety of others during your home search. And remember that “necessity is the mother of invention”; perhaps some of these temporary adjustments will prove to be viable long-term solutions for the real estate industry. In the meantime, with a little bit of creativity, real estate agents can maintain their commitments to their clients, in a way that keeps all of our communities safe.
Communications Coordinator RE/MAX of Western Canada
Kayley Jackson is a recent English & Creative Writing graduate, as well as writer and photographer whose love for words and being creative brought her to RE/MAX. As Communications Coordinator at RE/MAX of Western Canada, Kayley creates and oversees content that appeals to buyers and sellers alike, aiming to assist them on their homebuying or selling journey. Kayley carries out public relations, communications and social media content for RE/MAX, which includes creating content and writing for the consumer-facing blog at remax.ca. When she’s not behind the lens of her camera or writing away at her desk, Kayley can be found enjoying the Okanagan lifestyle in Kelowna, BC, where she lives with her boyfriend, or daydreaming about where her next travel adventure will take her. Email Kayley at email@example.com.
To our valued customers and real estate consumers,
We know this is a trying and stressful time for all of us in Canada. Things are changing almost hourly with government recommendations at the federal, provincial, and municipal levels.
At RE/MAX, we want to offer you stability and comfort knowing your real estate needs are still being met in a safe and responsible manner. On remax.ca, we continue to offer up-to-the-minute listings, accurate home estimates, and timely, valuable real estate news — especially important at this time.
Rest assured, while we remain open for business, our agents and brokers are taking all necessary precautions as recommended by the various health agencies and government.
The strength of our RE/MAX agents is knowing and being a part of your communities. We are all in this together and remain committed to keeping you and your loved ones safe.
To those who are already with our RE/MAX agents buying or selling a home, our agents are there for you and if necessary, will make arrangements with you if there are any concerns around illness or potential spread of the virus.
Nothing is more important right now than the health and safety of our colleagues, clients and fellow citizens across Canada.
Check our blog frequently for our updates on how this situation is impacting the real estate market, and we will continue to be here to answer your questions and serve your real estate needs.
EVP & Regional Director of RE/MAX Ontario-Atlantic Canada
Regional Executive Vice President, RE/MAX of Western Canada
With technology always on hand and information literally at their fingertips, the hyper-connected Millennial generation has taken a do-it-yourself approach when it comes to consumables, including everything from products and services, to purchases of every kind – including real estate. Generation Y might as well be called Generation DIY. The appeal in DIY lies in the flexibility, customization and let’s face it, the cost-effectiveness. As a consumer, job one is educating yourself, weighing your options, and making an informed decision. When it comes to real estate, an FSBO could be the right decision for those who want to save the commission fee and take the reins when it comes to all aspects of their transaction. But buyer and seller beware – an FSBO has some drawbacks as well. Here are five things to know about FSBO.
5 Facts About FSBOs
What is an FSBO, anyway?
FSBO is an acronym for “For Sale By Owner,” meaning the seller hasn’t retained the services of a professional agent to assist with the sale of their home. By doing all the legwork in selling your property yourself, the seller will save on the commission fees he or she would be required to pay to both the selling agent and the buyer’s agent.
Selling a home is a full-time job.
Now, we’re not saying you can’t sell your home yourself, because you can. There are plenty of resources out there to help you DIY. We’re just saying that a professional, experienced real estate agent can do a better job of it, and get you more money too. While saving on the agent’s commission might be tempting, consider what you get as part of the price you pay, including (but not limited to!):
• Setting the right asking price
• Preparing your home for sale
• Marketing the listing
• Showing the home
• Reviewing and negotiating offers
• ALL THAT PAPERWORK!
All this takes know-how and time. And you likely already have a full-time job, right? And remember that for avid home hunters, listings get stale fast. If you home’s been on the market for an extended period, due to delays related to home staging, marketing and showing, prospective buyers will lose interest fast. Remember: you only have one chance to make a first impression.
Some hard stats:
While Canadian statistics on FSBOs are limited, the US-based National Association of Realtors has done some research on the subject:
• FSBOs represented 7% of home sales in 2017.
• The typical FSBO home sold for $200,000, versus to $265,500 for agent-assisted transactions.
• FSBO methods used to market a listing:
Yard sign: 22%
Friends, relatives, or neighbours: 18%
Online classified advertisements: 6%
Open house: 10%
FSBO websites: 5%
Social media: 12%
Multiple Listing Service (MLS) website: 4%
Print newspaper advertisement: 2%
Direct mail (flyers, postcards, etc.): 2%
No advertising: 49%
• Most difficult tasks reported by FSBO sellers:
Getting the right price: 17%
Understanding and performing paperwork: 12%
Selling within the planned length of time: 5%
Preparing/fixing up the home for sale: 8%
Having enough time to devote to all aspects of the sale: 3%
Risks and rewards
For novices, the FSBO transaction can be tricky. As with all things, the more you do something, the better you’ll be at it. Experienced real estate agents can be worth their weight in gold. Again, we’re not saying you can’t sell your home yourself, and in fact, many people do. But there are risks that can be mitigated by working with someone who’s been there, done that. Potential pitfalls include:
• Pricing that could turn off prospective buyers.
• Misunderstood legal matters disclosed in writing.
• Safety concerns with showing your own home.
• Poor negotiation that leaves money on the table.
• Unrealistic promises as part of the deal.
Your agent is a Boy Scout: always prepared.
As a seller, how do you get the phone to ring? Generating interest from potential buyers is the key objective of listing agents. Especially in a buyer’s market, yard signs won’t cut it. If you’re not a real estate agent, or a marketing or advertising professional, you likely don’t know where to start – and who could blame you? Marketing through yard signs, brochures, and online and print advertising can help spread the word. How does a virtual tour sound? Do you plan to host an open house for buyers? What about an open house for agents and brokers? Beyond marketing, an FSBO means you get to juggle third parties such as a home stager, photographer, appraiser, the buyer’s agent (or if they’re DYI-ing it as well, the buyers), then throw in a pile of paperwork, just for fun – NOT.
Then there’s the legal stuff…
Once you have a buyer who is interested in purchasing your home, consider the legal side of things. The buyer will submit an offer, and when you’re confident that you have a good deal on the table (you are confident that it’s a good offer, right?), a contract will need to be signed by yourself and your buyer. Remember, if it’s not written in the contract and signed, then it doesn’t count. An Agreement of Purchase and Sale will include details about the buyer, the seller and the property. It will outline the purchase price, the deposit, fixtures and chattels, title searches, closing arrangements, conditions and clauses. A real estate lawyer can help with this step of the process. The benefit of working with an agent is that oftentimes, they already have a lawyer they regularly work with, to ensure all legal matters are handled correctly and in a timely manner.
Your home is likely your biggest asset. When you’re ready to sell the place, ensure you’re well-represented – whether you represent yourself, or are backed by a professional real estate agent. A “minor” mistake can mean the difference between a lucrative sale, or tens of thousands of dollars left on the table. As the consumer, do your due diligence and make an informed decision before you start the selling process.
PR & Content Manager RE/MAX Canada
Lydia McNutt is an award-winning writer and editor, whose interest in real estate, creative flair and love of the written word have brought her to RE/MAX. Lydia is responsible for the creation and curation of content that informs homebuyers and sellers, and empowers them on their journey. Lydia executes on RE/MAX Canada's public relations and content strategies, which includes developing reports, featured content and managing the consumer-facing blog at remax.ca. Lydia has been published nationally on topics ranging from real estate, architecture, decor and design, to finance, business, technology, entertainment and lifestyle. When she’s not head-down at her writing desk, Lydia is busy “momming” in Oakville, Ontario, where she lives with her husband, two kids and their chocolate lab, Betty. Email Lydia at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Want to know how to save money this year? A good first step to build your savings account is to lower your cost of living. Whether your savings goals include a down payment on a home, an emergency fund, you want to save for retirement, or you simply need more money each month to cover your expenses, these small but impactful saving tips can help you find money – potentially lots of money! – in the long run. Consider these tips to help you put money away and start saving!
How to save money in 5 simple steps
Start a carpool
Those who drive to work everyday end up spending thousands of dollars on gas each year. Starting a carpool is an easy way to spend less on gas every week. Not only are you saving money, but you’ll be reducing your carbon footprint at the same time. The more people in the carpool the better!
Buy non-perishable foods in bulk
Buying non-perishable items in bulk is an easy way to save lots of money. Look at the cost per unit of all of the sizes and choose the best deal. You can also use coupons, or take advantage of multi-buy deals at your local grocery stores, to save more money each month.
Consider buying no-name brands
No-name brands are strikingly similar and priced lower than most of their mainstream brand counterparts. Switching to no-name products can significantly reduce your weekly grocery bill and can save you hundreds of dollars over the course of a year.
Make your own coffee at home
Buying coffee on a daily basis can really put a dent in your budget. You may not notice it right away, but over long periods of time, it really adds up. By making your own cup at home every morning, you can add a few extra dollars to your savings plan and avoid the unnecessary waste of a paper cup!
Remove unnecessary features from your cell phone plan
It’s likely that there are unnecessary fees, or some features you’ve forgotten about that you’re paying for. Double check to ensure you’re not paying for anything that you don’t use often.
We bet you’re not the only one who’s looking for tips on how to save money this year. Try these money saving tips with a family member or friend to keep each other motivated and ensure you both stay on track. Sometimes it’s not just what you buy, but where you shop.
Lowering your cost of living doesn’t have to be difficult. By following these tips on how to save money, you can reach your savings goals in no time, and purchasing your next home can happen sooner than you think! Happy budgeting!
Search all homes for sale in Fort McMurray!
When it comes to selling your home there are a lot of factors to consider, one of the biggest being the timing. While sometimes timing cannot be controlled, there are certain times of the year that are better than others when it comes to listing and selling your home, if you are not in a huge time crunch. We reached out to our RE/MAX Influencers – a panel consisting of RE/MAX Sales Associates throughout Canada – to compile some of the top reasons to list your home at the beginning of the year.
According to our RE/MAX Influencer panel, there are five key factors that play a role in deciding when the best time to list is and they were most prominently noted in the beginning of the year. These five key factors include seasonality, competition, exposure, move-in timing and a seller’s vs. buyer’s market. Taking these factors into consideration, our RE/MAX Influencers noted February, March and April as three of the best months to list your home for sale.
Although the weather isn’t always the best, the month of February was noted to be a good month to list your home by our RE/MAX Influencers for several different reasons. Listing your home in February gives you the chance to gain some exposure before the spring rush, and the normally low inventory in February means less competition. The timing of February is also good in terms of people beginning to either start of resume their house hunt after the busy holiday season.
Listing in February can also give you a leg up as the weather begins to take a turn for the better and February typically leads into a very active spring market. Because of this, buyer’s attitudes are typically better due to spring fever, and purchasing in February gives buyers lots of time to move in before summer.
According to our RE/MAX Influencers, listing your home in March falls under many of the same points as listing in February. You are able to beat the spring rush and get some early exposure and low inventory results in less competition. As well, by March many people have settled down after the rush of the holidays and winter vacations and are beginning to search for homes. The weather begins to improve which also helps boost the moods of potential buyers and gets them thinking about buying and settling into a new home before summer.
Listing your home in March also lines up with a late spring/early summer possession date, which is attractive to many buyers as it means they can be settled into their new home before the summer months hit. This timeline gives them the opportunity to begin moving as nicer, warmer weather hits, and allows buyers to enjoy the summer in their new home.
By April the weather has usually improved and those who choose to list their home during the month of April are hitting the market at the beginning of the spring rush. According to our RE/MAX Influencers, April is a great month to list your home as it after the income tax period and many buyers are beginning their search, which will give your listing the best exposure! The good weather that comes along with spring will help the exterior of your home to look lovely and green, which will attract buyers much more. Many buyers are also more willing to come and look at a listing in the spring, as they won’t have to trudge through snow and ice to view your home.
April is also a great month for listing as it lends itself nicely to a 90 day possession timeline, which is the perfect time to move at the end of June when school is over. Typically as the year progresses more into spring, buyers start seriously searching for their next home and there are often more buyers in the market than there were in the early months of the year.
For more articles from our expert Influencers, click here!
One of the many benefits of owning a home is having the ability to sell it one day – hopefully for a healthy profit, which can then be leveraged to purchase a larger home, an investment or recreational property, or help finance your retirement. Once you decide that you’re ready to take the leap and list your home for sale, the next question you need to ask is, “How much is my house worth?” This is a loaded question indeed. It opens the floodgates to a slew of other factors that will each impact your decision on asking price to varying degrees.
The Price Is Right
We can’t stress the importance of setting the right asking price. An overpriced home runs the risk of sitting (and stagnating!) on the market for a prolonged period of time. This can seriously hurt your bottom line, especially if you’ve already purchased another home and you’re paying two mortgages simultaneously. Beyond that, overpricing your home could make competing listings look even more attractive. And oftentimes, fixing the issue isn’t as simple as just re-listing the home at a lower price. Buyers who are shopping the market will have already seen your listing, and they will either discount it as old news, or they may wonder what’s wrong with the property, in light of the price reduction. An overpriced home is not an ideal situation to find yourself in, in any selling scenario. On the flip-side, underpricing your home means leaving money on the table. Setting the right price from the get-go will ensure your listing attracts serious buyers, and some feasible offers too.
So, how much is my house worth? Let’s find out.
Is it a buyer’s market or a seller’s market? The real estate market is impacted by everything from the local and larger economic picture, to the weather. The type of market speaks to demand for homes, which will affect how quickly your home sells and will help answer the question, “How much is my house worth?” A buyer’s real estate market is characterized by more homes for sale than people to buy them. An influx of listings (or fewer homebuyers) means buyers face less competition in the purchasing process, and can often take their time and see more homes before making an offer. Buyers also have greater negotiating power when it comes to their offer and conditions of the sale.
READ MORE: What’s The Difference Between a Buyer’s and Seller’s Market?
If you’re not sure what your home is worth, have your real estate agent pull comparable sales to help answer the million-dollar question (depending on the market, of course!) “How much is my house worth?” This will give you an idea of what homes in the same neighbourhood have sold for in recent weeks. This is a realistic reflection of what buyers have actually paid for similar homes in the same area. It’s also prudent to keep an eye on your competition. Pay attention to homes for sale in your neighbourhood, their condition and features, and the asking price – but take it with a grain of salt. Depending on the seller’s strategy, they could have listed low in an attempt to attract more potential buyers.
READ MORE: Selling In A Buyer’s Market
A home’s location has a huge impact on its value, and rightfully so. It’s a particularly important consideration for buyers, as location is one thing you definitely can’t change about the home. Location will define the liveability of the neighbourhood, the price buyers need to pay to get into the area, and the resale value when it’s time to list it. Translation: hot neighbourhoods are always a hot commodity, oftentimes trumping market conditions.
READ MORE: Location versus Style
A home’s location typically trumps style when it comes to value, but that’s not to say condition, features and upgrades don’t matter when you’re determining what your home is worth. A fixer-upper and a move-in ready home will vary in terms of price, even with identical floor plans. Items such as a new roof, a finished basement, renovated kitchen and baths can make a difference to the bottom line, and the return on investment could be well worth the money and effort. This is precisely why many home sellers choose to renovate or update their home before listing it for sale. Evaluate the cost of the renovation and consider whether you’ll get that money back in the face of real estate market conditions.
READ MORE: Top 6 Home Renovations
There’s a lot to think about before you put up that For Sale sign. What’s happening in the real estate market? Is there buyer demand? Who’s your competition? What is my house worth? And ultimately, what can I do to make the sale? Start by working with an experienced real estate agent who has a thorough knowledge of your specific area, the market conditions and your target buyer. Discuss all of the above with your real estate professional. At the risk of sounding like a public service announcement, education really is key in the home buying and selling process, allowing you to make confident decisions concerning your property – and your financial future.
PR & Content Manager
RE/MAX INTEGRA, Ontario-Atlantic CanadaLydia McNutt is an award-winning writer and editor, who’s interest in real estate, creative flair and love of the written word have brought her to RE/MAX. As Manager of Public Relations and Content at RE/MAX, Lydia is responsible for the creation and curation of content that informs homebuyers and sellers, and empowers them on their journey. Lydia executes on RE/MAX’s public relations, communications and social media strategies, which includes developing reports, featured content and the consumer-facing blog at remax.ca. Lydia has been published nationally, on topics ranging from real estate, decor and design, to finance, business, technology, entertainment and lifestyle.
When she’s not head-down at her writing desk, Lydia is blissfully “momming it up” in Oakville, Ontario, where she lives with her husband, two kids and their chocolate lab, Betty. Email Lydia at email@example.com.
When you begin the home buying or selling journey, there may be several terms used that you’re unfamiliar with. Buyer’s market? Seller’s market? Balanced market? To help get you started, we’ve broken down the difference between a buyer’s market and a seller’s market below.
Buyer’s Market: There are more homes on the market than there are buyers.
In this type of market, buyers will spend more time looking for homes. There are more homes on the market, giving the small number of potential buyers more to choose from. The prices of homes can be stable or perhaps dropping. Sellers will find that buyers have stronger leverage when negotiating.
Seller’s Market: There are more buyers than there are homes for sale.
With fewer homes on the market and more buyers, homes sell quickly in a seller’s market. Prices of homes are likely to increase, and there are more likely to be multiple offers on a home. Multiple offers give the seller negotiating power, and conditional offers may be rejected.
Balanced Market: There are the same amount of homes for sale and buyers.
When there is equal competition between buyers and sellers, this means that there are reasonable offers given by buyers and homes sell within a reasonable time. With less tension between buyers and sellers, the prices of homes remain stable.
Before buying or selling a home, it is important to find out what type of market you are entering into. Your listing price, negotiations and expectations will all be affected depending on whether it is a buyer’s market or a seller’s market.
Talk to a real estate agent: Our RE/MAX agents are always willing to help with all of your real estate questions. They not only know the local market inside and out, but they have experience pricing and selling homes in your area. Visit remax.ca to get in touch with a local RE/MAX agent.
Buying and selling a home can be a highly time-consuming process with a myriad of intricacies that influence the length and scope of the deal. Thus, for first-time sellers, mistakes are bound to happen—especially if they lack the know-how and experience surrounding the process.
Every homeowner would want to sell their house for the most money possible, which typically results in a back and forth dialogue between sellers and buyers. However, if a first-time seller doesn’t understand the numerous intricacies that go into selling a home, they might end up with a few regrets.
Here are some of the most important things that first-time home sellers should avoid doing before listing their home:
Listing without research
You should never jump into a decision head-first—even more so when it comes to a decision as big as selling a house. Properties and real estate are huge investments, so you should take as many precautions as you can when dealing with such a transaction.
Be it the job or the housing market—always research the current state of the market. Determine if now is an opportune moment to sell. Figure out the past and current market value within your area to develop an understanding of how well the market is doing.
Look at past housing prices and compare them to now. Ask yourself: are they worth more now than they were a few months or years ago? Looking at housing prices within the past decade will help you understand if the market is falling or rising. Get advice from real estate agents to aid in your decision.
If you choose to sell your house when the market is falling, then you might lose out on a lot of money compared to if you waited a year when housing prices went up. Sellers should always do as much research as they can to make a well-informed decision regarding the timing of their listing.
Not getting an appraisal
While an appraisal might set you back a couple hundred dollars, choosing to not get one may result in you overpricing your house. If your house is overpriced, then you might have trouble finding buyers and receiving offers.
A potential buyer might like your house, but it sits well outside of their price range. If it seems like they can’t afford it, then they will probably move on to another property.
Alternatively, with an overpriced house, you might attract a group of buyers with a much higher budget and higher expectations. While you may justify the price of your home, these types of buyers might disagree. They can be put off from placing a bid as they feel that your house does not justify its price.
Sellers that overprice their home often fall victim to these problems. Many home-sellers would want to sell their home as soon as possible—no one wants their house to be constantly overlooked and receive little to no offers. Thus, an appraisal is an absolute must for sellers, as it provides sellers with a ballpark-range of a property’s worth, allowing them to list their home at a reasonable price.
Prioritizing open houses over showings
While first-time home-sellers may think that open houses are prime opportunities to efficiently showcase your house to multiple buyers at once, open houses are not as advantageous as these people think.
Despite open houses being an opportunity for home buyers to view the house, serious buyers would much rather have a more intimate time with the house. This is why many buyers schedule showings for the houses they want.
Showings are imperative to selling your house. They provide buyers with an opportunity to explore the house on their own time and form a decision by themselves. Buyers might find it inconvenient or difficult to freely explore a potential home if they have three other buyers around the house doing the same thing. Some buyers want a more private viewing of something that they might live in one day. This level of intimacy allows prospective buyers to freely envision a potential life in your home.
Every showing is an opportunity for buyers to inspect your house and see if it’s something they want. Thus, you should never turn one down. Potential buyers are sometimes hard to come by, so you need to capitalize on every opportunity that may lead to getting your house sold.
Not cleaning their home
When you put your house up for sale, your house needs to look at its best. In doing so, you appeal to much more buyers and receive more bids. No buyer is going to place an offer on a house after attending a showing and seeing a messy house.
A house needs to be clean and things need to work. Wash the dishes, make the beds, sweep the floors, and fix the lights. As an agent shows prospective buyers around the house, ensure that all the lightbulbs throughout the house are working. Make sure that all the rooms are tidy, and everything works as it should. Turn your home into a model house.
While some sellers might do it out of security, the lack of personal items within a house can provide buyers with an idea of how they, personally, live in the house. Many personal items in a house can evoke a high level of your own personality within a home. If you’re trying to get the house to appeal to someone else, then you should do your best to allow them the opportunity to picture themselves in it.
Create a welcoming atmosphere for buyers attending a showing. Provide them with the opportunity to really see themselves in the house. Don’t give buyers a chance to be put off by your home—give them a reason to stay and make an offer.
Hi, my name is Dana McAroe. I'm a Real Estate Agent in Fort McMurray. I help people get the best possible outcome from their real estate transaction - whether they are selling or buying or a house.