Your Home’s Finest

The question we probably get asked the most, when looking through our clients’ homes, is; “What improvements can I do, that will increase the value of my property?” Millions of people have made money by buying properties, fixing them up and turning them over for a profit. While you may not be in the property investment business, the concept is no different.

In this article, we have provided some insight into the home improvement game and its components. We have also provided some guidance into where you should focus your time and energy.

Market Value

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The market value of your home is the price you can expect to receive from a buyer for your home. This is based off of the location, motivation, market conditions and, of course . . . the features and improvements of your home. When making any major upgrades to your home, it is best to be sure that you will see a tangible increase in the market value when it comes time to sell.

Saleability

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The saleability of a home is best described as the overall impression your home leaves in the minds of potential buyers. These simple maintenance items may not add dollars to your market value, but will certainly ensure your home sells as quickly, and as close to your asking price, as possible. REALTOR®s and appraisers will give a range of value for a property. By increasing your saleability, you can ensure your home will fall into the high end of the range.

Don’t Put a Nickel In, Unless You Will Get a Dime Back Out 

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What is your time and effort worth? Too many times we meet people who are eager to do the work, but don’t consider the buyer’s perspective. Some people may pay more for a finished, insulated garage, while it just doesn’t matter to others. In addition, if you spend $50,000 on ponds and landscaping, it is unlikely that a buyer will also feel it is worth that amount of money (perceived value).

Consult a professional to determine if the improvements you choose will be worth your money and will give you a return. Make sure this number is worth your time. If the improvement is an emotional decision, and simply to increase your enjoyment of your home, then don’t let anyone tell you differently.

Market Value

Flooring – Upgrading from carpet & lino to hardwood & tile makes an enormous difference. Go for look, rather than price, as most buyers cannot tell the difference between premium hardwood and mid-grade.

Kitchens – This is usually the focal point of the house. Open concepts, and modern colors are the key. Consider refinishing existing cabinets and just replacing the countertop to save money.

Bathrooms – The upgrades are similar to the kitchen here. Freeing up room in the bathroom makes a big difference. Pedestal sinks can work well for this. Modern looking tile goes a long way here.

Paint – Interior and exterior. Use neutral or modern colors, and unless you are a pro, avoid creative patterns. No murals.

Floor Plan Alteration – People like to entertain and see their guests. When you enter an open home it also feels much larger. Furthermore, three small bedrooms may work better as one large master and a spare.

Professional Basement Development – Builders, contractors, or professionals only, please. Poor workmanship will be adjusted for at the time of sale. You can do some work yourself, but leave the finishing to the pros.

 

How to Save Thousands on Your Next Home Purchase

While this is not a comprehensive list of everything that needs to be followed when deciding to purchase real estate, it is a list of important items for buyers to take under serious consideration.

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  •  Use a REALTOR®!  As members of the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA®), each REALTOR® adheres to a strict code of ethics and provides a wide variety of beneficial services for buyers and sellers.
  • Have your REALTOR® provide a detailed market value evaluation on the property you are considering purchasing.  In other words, make sure that your REALTOR® compares the property you are purchasing with other homes in the area that have recently sold.  Note: It is more important to examine recent sales rather than the current active listing inventory or expired listing inventory, because they show what buyers are ACTUALLY willing to pay in the current marketplace.  It is still important to see what other homes are listed for or have been listed for but did not sell, while keeping your focus on what similar properties have recently sold for.
  • Get a home inspection.  Many times buyers will choose to purchase a home without having the home inspected by a qualified professional.  If an inspection is performed and flaws are identified, you can generally ask the seller to repair or fix any problem items that are discovered or get an allowance deducted from the negotiated off the price of the home.  If it is a defect that cannot be resolved and falls within the parameters of the property inspection condition agreed upon at the time the contract was negotiated, you can choose to walk away from the property.
  • Enter into a Buyer Agency Relationship (Buyer Brokerage Agreement) with your REALTOR®.  It is important to understand that agency issues can play a big role in the purchase or sale of a home.  By having your real estate associate work with you under contract (Buyer Brokerage Agreement), the duties and services they will provide as your REALTOR® are clearly established in writing.  Make certain that the real estate professional you hire demonstrates, and communicates to you, a good clear understanding of agency and its implications.
  • Offer a good deposit.  Often, buyers offer very little money down as a deposit when negotiating the purchase of a home. Unfortunately, to the seller, it shows little commitment on your part to complete the purchase of the home.  A larger deposit shows your sincerity and your intent to complete the purchase, and can be a factor in the negotiation of the purchase price.
  • Watch important timelines.  With most real estate contracts, there are important dates and timelines that must be strictly followed. How quickly the home inspection must be completed, when to review the title, how quickly your financing approval must be obtained, when the contract has to be communicated to the other party and more.  A good real estate associate, acting on your behalf, will follow these guidelines and make sure that you meet each and every deadline.  However, it is also good practice for you, as the buyer, to make note of the deadlines to ensure you are enabling the process in moving forward in a timely manner.
  • Shop around for your mortgage financing.  Buyers usually only think to approach their bank to apply for a mortgage, but a mortgage broker can source multiple lenders thus making it an easier process for you to explore all available options. Before authorizing your credit being pulled or signing other documents with a lender, be sure to find out the interest rate, closing costs and any hidden fees associated with the mortgage they are offering you.  You can also request that the lender reduce part of the closing cost and ask if any of the fees are negotiable.  Many times lenders’ fees are not set in stone and can be negotiated or removed from the cost of the loan (you can ask your mortgage broker to negotiate this for you).  For example, some lenders will waive the cost of a credit report or appraisal fee to encourage you to do business with them.  The important point is for you, as a purchaser, to ASK if any of the costs for the loan can be eliminated or discounted.
  • Insist the seller provide a Real Property Report (RPR) with municipal compliance.  You want to ensure that the seller provides you with a RPR, a survey of the land and buildings you are purchasing, which reflects the current placement of structures on the parcel you are purchasing.
  • Purchase title insurance.  Discuss what coverage you need, in terms of title insurance, with your real estate lawyer. There are different levels of title insurance coverage that can cover you from a myriad of potential issues, such as identity fraud, development done with lack of permits, encroachments, etc. Ask your lawyer for advice as to whether you should purchase this type of coverage, as usually you can only purchase this type of insurance at the point of purchasing the property.
  • If purchasing a condominium, read all condominium documents.  Be sure to have a Condominium Document Condition subject to your satisfaction in the contract and that you carefully read all of the documents of the condominium corporation. Consult a professional to review the documents and provide you with an analysis of the health of the condominium corporation before purchasing any property with this type of ownership.
  • Take your time before you purchase.  It is always a good idea to look at several homes before making a decision.  Don’t feel as though you have to buy the first home you look at.  Comparing the one you are interested in with others that are similar, can help you determine the value of the home you would like to purchase.

10 Tips for Selling Your Home Smoothly

1. Make a “I’ll Miss List!”  There are several items you’ll probably miss when you leave your house.  These items are normally excellent marketing featured to promote to potential buyers.  Take time to make note of the things you enjoy and will miss when the sale is completed and you’ve moved from your house.  Items you appreciate are items someone else will enjoy too!

2. Know the Facts!  Most buyers will have questions about taxes, lot size, utility costs and other pertinent information about your property.  It’s always a good idea to know the facts and to have this information available for potential consumers looking at your real estate.  Take time to research this information and have it readily available for buyers and or real estate agents.

3. Recent Repairs.  Most borrowers need to know about any recent updates or repairs or additions you’ve made to your home.  For example, a new roof, furnace or central air, hot water heater are all important to note.  If so, what was the cost, when was it installed and who did the work are all note worthy features to have for buyers and agents while selling your property.  Any items of repair or newly added during your tenure should be listed on a separate sheet if at all possible.  It’s also a good idea to furnish copies of paid receipts if you choose on the items repaired or installed with the property to validate these costs.  Sometimes placing this information in a binder is a good idea and marketing feature to show buyers and agents.

4. Replace Light Bulbs.  Changing light bulbs to a higher wattage can be an aid in brightening rooms and giving a more spacious feel to your rooms.  Always check the light fixture and the maximum wattage and do not add bulbs above the recommended usage.  You can also add a drop of vanilla extract to bulbs on lamps to aid in providing a fresh smell to rooms if needed.

5. Remove Any Heirlooms or Keepsakes.  Many times sellers will want to keep certain items that have sentimental value to them such as a light fixture or wall mirror that has been affixed to the property.  If you have an item that you plan to replace so you can keep then you should do so prior to any showings.  Once buyers visit your property and begin making offers to purchase on your property it’s generally hard to negotiate these items off of the offer to purchase.

6. Clean the Gutters and Add Extensions Where Needed.  You never know when your property may be shown and if it’s a day that is raining the last thing you want to portray is a house where the water is gushing over the gutters and downspouts.  Making sure the gutters are cleaned and extensions move the water away from your foundation is always a good idea for continued maintenance of your home and shows buyers your commitment to caring for your home and keeping it in tip top shape.

7. Hire a Building Inspection.  Let’s face it; you want to sell your home.  If so, it’s probably not a bad idea to have a building inspector look at your home and make a list of repairs or items they feel need to be fixed prior to marketing your property.  After all many homebuyers will have a home inspection too so this type of pre-inspection will help to get any potential problems a future inspector might have corrected in advance.  Many buyers will also get “cold” feet if the inspection shows too many needed repairs on their report.  By fixing these issues in advance you can ward off these potential future problems.

8. Don’t appear to Anxious!  Many sellers will sometimes point out too many facts or features about the home and often sound too anxious or the need to sell quickly.  This attitude can hurt you with your negotiating with the buyers and often cost you several thousands of dollars.  You might note that this is one reason many sellers feel the need to hire a real estate agent to help with the negotiations with the buyers.

9. Have Your House Appraised.  It’s usually a good idea to hire an independent appraiser when you’re selling on your own.  This way you’ll know and feel certain that you are getting top dollar for your home.  According to the National Association of REALTORS® Profile of Buyers and Sellers, 2006 Edition, most for-sale-by-owners could have sold their homes for more money if they had been assisted by a real estate agent.

10. Call Me If You Have Questions.  If you do have any questions or concerns that arise in the near future please don’t hesitate to give me a call.  Although I am limited on what advice or help I can provide under our state real estate license law and rules and regulations I will be glad to assist on small or minor questions that are permissible.  If you decide to list your home in the future, I would love to help there too, just give me a call! Robyn Moser – 403-818-3907.

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Why Every Buyer Should Get a Home Inspection

This is a guide that can help you understand the benefits of choosing to have a home inspection on your next real estate purchase:

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  • The standard purchase contract, that REALTOR®s use, provides the buyer with the option of having a property inspection condition, with set parameters agreed upon at the time of negotiation between the seller and the buyer.  By having a qualified and recommended home inspector look at the property under consideration, you have the opportunity to find any defects in the home prior to deciding to go ahead with the purchase.  If defects are found, that fall within the constraints of your property inspection condition, then you have the option to cancel or void the contract, or you can try re-negotiating with the seller to make the necessary repairs prior to satisfying or waiving your condition.
  • The inspector will look for things that you never dreamed of!  Most home inspectors will look at a wide variety of elements, structural, mechanical, visible and not visible. Home inspections are non-invasive, meaning that the inspector won’t be putting any holes in walls to view the guts of the home, but they do have specialized tools that enable them to find out more than is visible to the naked eye, such as moisture meters and thermal cameras.
  • The building inspector will provide you with a detailed report outlining the issues that need to be addressed.  It is important to reference this detailed report when requesting repairs be made by the seller if amending the contract. In the case of major structural defects where you wish to terminate the contract, you will need to provide a copy of this report to the seller upon their request.
  • Don’t panic about everything.  Remember, the building inspector’s job is to explore every nook and cranny and find every issue.  It is not critical that every flaw pointed out in the inspection be repaired.  Your inspector will likely give you a timeline for what repairs need to be addressed urgently. Some minor issues identified in the inspection report may only take a bit of work and a couple hundred dollars to fix.
  • Ask for recommendations.  Prior to hiring a building inspector, it is always a good idea to ask for recommendations, talk to your REALTOR®, and look for testimonials from their past clients.
  • Ask if the inspector is a member of any regulated organization or holds relevant certifications. Depending on your jurisdiction, inspectors may be required to meet certain criteria and to have a certain educational background to be certified as a property inspector.  You will want to ensure that you are hiring a professional.
  • A home inspection may not be all that you will need.  Some municipalities have different requirements before you can move into a home. An occupancy inspection or permit may be required prior to your moving into your new home, especially if the property is multi-use or multi-family.  For example, if you are planning on basing a home business from your new home, you may need additional permits from your municipality.
  • Don’t forget local utility inspections.  In some cases it may also be a good idea to have the local utility companies inspect that the home meets their standards in regards to the utility services.  For example, your property inspector will perform a general visual inspection of the furnace and usually a carbon monoxide test but if there is a specific concern about the furnace then the inspector will recommend bringing the gas company in to assess that specific utility.
  • Ask the building inspector what areas they do not cover and what additional inspections you might need.  For example, some building inspectors are qualified to inspect for mold or termites while others may not. It is important to know in advance what areas the inspector will not guarantee under their inspection.
  • Order your inspection in advance. Remember the purchase contract will have important dates for you to follow such as your condition date.   Understand waiting until the last minute can be detrimental, especially if your property inspection identifies flaws that you need to address prior to being able to waive your condition.

All of the above bullet points are a guide for you to reference prior to purchasing your next home. You can also call Robyn Moser at 403-818-3907 for more information.

Red Flags for Buying a House

If every transaction and home was squeaky clean, then we really wouldn’t need lawyers, home inspectors, REALTOR®s and other professionals to assist and protect us throughout the process. There are hundreds of things that can be problems in a house or with the deal itself. Below are a few red flags that should pique your attention when buying a home/

Please note: These items are only red flags. They are not necessarily problems in their own right, but should trigger a little more research.

Current Owner Assumed Their Mortgage: Assumable mortgages have been an easy way for unscrupulous people to purchase homes without using a bank.

Low Down Assumable Offered – The terms of the mortgage may be horrible, or the house may be over priced.

Stained Basement Items – Water stains on any item in the basement should be questioned.

Newly Finished Basement – This is a common way to hide past problems, especially concering water penetration.

Odd Smell – Could be mold, mildew, or caused by water issues or a past drug operation.

Exterior Cracking – Any sealed opening on the exterior can cause water entry

Slope Toward the House – The grade of the yard should move water away and not toward the house.

Attached Homes without Condo Fees – If something happens to the roof or another shared item, who is responsible for the cost? Does your neighbourhood even have the money for half of the expense? Can they paint half of the home pink?

Hot water Tank Damage – Any sign of wear and tear on a hot water tank should be addressed quickly.

Dirty Furnace Filter – The furnace is likely working overtime, and what else haven’t tehy fixed/maintained?

Cold Spots – This can be a poor insulation or improper construction.

Swellings Around Windows and Wall Seams – Possible water entry

Water Staining – Uh…. probably water.

Restrictive Covenants on Title – This count restrict the ways you can use the property, or what you can build in the future.

No RPR or Survey – This is the only protection you have to ensure that the house is built in the proper location on the lot and that you are getting the amount of useable land you paid for.

Newly Built Deck or Fence – Is it in a legal location and does it have a permit?

Soft Shower Walls – Could be rotten from long term water leaks.

House Feels Small – The square footage listed may not be accurate

One Agent Represents Both the Seller and the Buyer – It is impossible for a single agent to get the seller the highest price possible, and the buyer the lowest price possible. This is a conflict of interest.

Ask lots of questions and be sure to get accurate information from trusted professionals. Your team of pros is your best protection here.

 

The 5 Reasons Homes Don’t Sell

Most people believe there are lots of reasons why a home doesn’t sell. However, there are actually only five. If you address these five common mistakes, then you will never have a problem getting your home sold.

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Over Pricing & Speculating

We all wish we could ask whatever we wanted for our homes, but unfortunately price is set by comparable properties and market conditions. If you are priced above either of these, then your home will sit for a long time.

Looking at the price of homes currently listed for sale in your neighbourhood only tells part of the story. You must research how much homes are actually selling for, and price your home accordingly. Your home will only sell for what buyers are willing to pay for it.

Exposure

Even a well priced property can’t sell, if no one knows about it. If you are not marketing your home where the buyers are looking, then you will not sell it. The greater the percentage of your target market that sees your home, the better chance you have of selling.

More and more, people are using the internet as their primary source of research. Be sure your home is easy to find in the most common places that people look.

Poor Marketing

You have to make buyers WANT to look at your home. If your marketing makes your property look like every other listing, then you are simply “rolling the dice” and hoping for the best. Is your marketing truly compelling?

A great question to ask is… Why should someone buy my home, versus any other home in the neighbourhood or city? If you don’t believe that you have a compelling reason, then the buyer won’t either.

Presentation

So now you’ve got someone to look at your home, but it’s a mess, smells bad, or simply shows poorly. If a buyer doesn’t feel comfortable in your home, you can forget about the sale.

If you can, don’t be around during showings, keep the house clean, and do some research on staging your home for selling. A small investment can make, or save you thousands.

Lack of Buyer Confidence

Purchases fall through every day, because sellers cannot confidently answer the buyer’s questions, provide accurate paperwork, or verify important details. If you are not organized before you sell, then you may watch all of your hard work go to waste, as a potential buyer walks away due to lack of confidence.

Do Your Homework

You need to be very realistic with your goals when you are selling and you must do your homework. As the marketplace changes, so must your strategy. Too many people spend thousands of dollars, hours of their time (not to mention stress) and miss the best opportunities to sell because they don’t have the proper information to make a sale possible.

“Get the advice of experts when you can.”

Gather all of the information that you need and get the advise of experts when you can. At the end of the day, hiring a professional to ensure your sale is handled properly may be one of the best investments you can make.

The #1 Thing You Need to Know About REALTOR®s

When a REALTOR® represents you in transaction, the law required them to provide you with certain legal duties (fiduciary duties). As with any agent/client relationship in any industry, you are putting your trust in this professional’s skills and expertise to act in your best interest, but it is not always that clear. It is critical that you understand the concept of ‘Agency’, or you may find yourself completely mis-represented.

A standard Agency Relationship (sole or single) is when one REALTOR® represents you and another represents the other party. In this situation, you are owed the following duties from your agent:

  • Full Disclosure – The REALTOR® must disclose all the information they have that may affect your decisions
  • Loyalty – The REALTOR® must always act in your best interest
  • Confidentiality – Any information provided in confidence, will remain so, always.
  • Reasonable Care & Skill – The REALTOR® will exercise their skills in a manner consistent with the industry standards
  • Obedience – The REALTOR® must comply with your lawful instructions
  • Full Accounting – The REALTOR® will track all money provided to them for the transaction

In a Dual Agency Relationship (one agent represents the seller and the buyer), everything changes. There immediately becomes and conflict of interest, because the seller and the buyer usually have conflicting goals (price is the main example). A REALTOR® cannot properly represent one party, without breaching their loyalty to the other. This relationship is supposed to remain confidential; however, the REALTOR® will be required to disclose certain items such as hidden defects in the property (leaky basements etc)

Here is the kicker…. Most people don’t know that an agency relationship can be created without signing anything. Imagine, meeting a REALTOR® at an open house or calling them off a sign or an ad. You engage in conversation about the property and the REALTOR® begins asking you questions about your personal situation. You tell them that you are being transferred next week and that you are in town for the weekend to find a home (or some other personal detail). You have now created an implied agency relationship and that REALTOR® must keep that informational confidential, right? Unfortunately, only in theory.

The REALTOR® is working for the seller and not for you. While legally you have created an implied agency relationship, most people (and REALTOR®s) are not aware of this. It is not malicious, just honest ignorance. For this reason, you should assume that everything you tell this agent will go directly to the seller (or buyer in a “For Sale By Owner” scenario) and govern yourself accordingly, unless you directly discuss agency relationship and confidentiality.

Education is getting better for the industry and REALTORS® are required to explain agency at the first available moment that a relationship (implied or not) may be created. Although this rarely happens in practice.

So here is the key… know who is working for you and who is working for the other party. If a REALTOR® offers to help you out, ensure that you know your rights and the legal duties that are owed to you. If you ever feel like you have not been properly represented by an industry professional, be sure to talk to their regulatory body. This will ensure that all REALTOR®s act in a matter consistent with, and above the industry standard.

Avoiding the 10 Biggest Pitfalls When Buying a Home

  1. Failing to have your real estate associate provide a detailed market analysis of the homes value.
  2. Failing to get an inspection on the property you are purchasing.
  3. Not requiring a Real Property Report (RPR) with compliance on the property you are purchasing
  4. Marking a low-ball offer and discouraging the seller from negotiating with you.
  5. Failing to get pre-qualified for mortgage financing prior to making the offer to purchase.
  6. Not allowing enough time to find out all the important information, such as building inspections, permits, title examinations and any relevant municipal/community information.
  7. Neglecting to work with a Buyer’s Associate.
  8. Purchasing a parcel of real estate without obtaining title insurance.
  9. Not obtaining a City Inspection or copies of applicable permits.

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Although the list above is not a full and comprehensive list of all pitfalls buyers make when purchasing a home, they are common problem areas. You can aboid dealing with the headaches that arise from overlooking these items by choosing the right REALTOR®. For further explanation of the implications of any of the pitfalls listed in this post, please call Robyn Moser @ 403-818-3907. We will be happy to discuss your specific situation and put you on a property notify system, so that you can be the first to find out about new listings that are within your specific criteria. If you would like more information about the process of purchasing real estate, please visit our website @ www.robynmoser.com, or e-mail us at robyn@robynmoser.com.

11 Fattest Lies About the Real Estate Industry

  1. pants-on-fireA referral is the best way to choose a REALTOR®
    Simply trusting that a REALTOR® has your best interests at heart can lead to disappointment. Your needs are unique. Qualify all REALTOR®s to ensure they are competent and motivated to properly represent you.
  2. Pay off your mortgage quickly
    If you reduce your payment, or simply pay interest-only (secure line of credit financing) you invest the savings into a compounding interest account, your savings will be much higher than the value of your original mortgage.
  3. You don’t qualify for a mortgage
    Regardless of your credit or income, anyone can purchase a house. Creative options such as joint ventures, vendor financing, second mortgages, and many more, provide endless opportunities.
  4. When to buy real estate
    If the papers say that a city is booming, everyone wants to buy. Therefore, this is the perfect time to sell. When everybody is selling because of a recession, then you buy, while prices are at rock bottom.
  5. It’s all about price
    Negotiating mainly on the price of a property will limit your opportunity. If you can offer more favorable terms to the other party, then the price will become secondary.
  6. “#1 Agent”… Someone is lying
    Every agent seems to advertise that they are #1. You may not be getting the whole story (ex. 5 agents working under one name). Be careful of what you believe, as the criteria of measurement may lack relevance, or be severely outdated.
  7. More experience is better
    If a REALTOR® has not kept up to date with the changing technology, regulations, market conditions, or modern service style, then all of their past experience won’t help you be properly represented.
  8. Super Agents
    If an agent works alone, be careful. It is impossible for someone to be accessible at all times. Your business may be handled by a REALTOR® you have never met until your REALTOR® is unavailable.
  9. Every agent in a brokerage is the same
    REALTOR®s choose their own methods of customer service and business practices within their brokerage. Only very basic standards are in place, therefore, don’t assume one agent is the same as the next.
  10. Calling off signs is the best way to find a property
    A REALTOR® selling a property cannot represent their seller’s best interest and yours at the same time. This is a conflict of interest. Save yourself, potentially thousands of dollars, and find your own REALTOR®.
  11. Banks are the best financing source
    Banks have different mortgage options, but can only ever provide you with their interest rates and handful of options to choose from. A mortgage broker works with most major banks, has way more options and tons of different lenders’ interest rates to choose from. Plus, they can work to fit your schedule.

The Art of Timing

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When should I sell? How can I make sure that I will get the most for my home? I can’t afford to own two homes, so how can I be sure I don’t get stuck with my house?

Timing is a critical factor in determining the amount of money you can expect to get for your home. It is important to note that we are discussing a free, “no labor required” way of adding thousands to the price of your home. Before figuring out when we should sell, we need to understand the two primary factors that will determine how effectively you can maximize your return in regards to timing; Supply & Demand and Motivation

Supply & Demand:

There are certain laws in life that are always right and never wrong. The principle of supply & demand is one of them.

When there are more properties for sale than there are buyers (too much supply and not enough demand) the prices will decrease until the demand equals the supply and the market levels out. Conversely, if there are more buyers than homes (limited supply and high demand) then prices will rise until the demand begins to fall and level off. This law governs the entire real estate industry.

Motivation:

This concept is very simple to understand. When your motivation to sell is high, you will be willing to accept a lower price in order to close a transaction quickly. However, when your motivation is low, people will have to pay a premium to buy because you “don’t have to sell”. For example: If you are about to be foreclosed on by a bank, then you will likely take less for your home, just to get yourself out of the situation and relieve that debt.

Now that we understand these two factors, let’s discuss exactly when you should sell your home.

Competition:

A buyer that does their homework will look at all the similar homes in a neighborhood and choose the home that best fits their needs and also provides the msot value for their dollar. If you have two similar homes, one is $360,000 and one is $370,000… which one would you buy (all else being the same)? The competition in your neighboirhood will dictate how much you can reasonably ask for your home. If there are lots of homes siilar to yours (1,700 sq ft – 2-storey), then you will have to price your home competitively to ensure that it sells in a reasonable amount of time.

Money Making Tip – If possible, wait until your home is one of the only ones like it on the market. If a buyer doesn’t have any options, they will have to pay your price to own your home.

Changing Seasons:

Who wants to move or be in transition during Christmas? Would you like hualing furniture when it is 40 degrees below zero? Well, not many people like moving or buying during fall and winter. Conversely, when spring arrives, everyone thinks it is time to make a change in their living arrangements. Also, people with kids need to be settled before September 1 for the start of school. So what does this all mean? There are a lot more buyers in the market in the spring and early summer. You want to sell when people are buying and buy when people are selling.

If you want to sell quickly, the spring and early summer are by far the best times to have your home on the market (lots of buyers). However, if you shoot for the moon on your price, you will find your home among the thousands of over-priced  listings that go stale in the fall, as the buyers disappear.

Money Making Tip – Sell your home in the spring and ask for a very long possession date into the late summer or fall. Then take advantage of the increased motivation of sellers when the buying activity decreases to get a lower price (when you buy).

Sell First or Buy First:

There is a standard rule, common throughout the real estate industry that says you should sell first and for good reasn. Here’s a scenario: You find a home you would like to purchase, and you write the contract subject to the sale of your current home in the next 30 days. The seller doesn’t like accepting this special clause in the offer, but agrees to it if you pay $5,000 more. For the peace of mind of not being stuck with two homes, you agree. Now you are selling, however you are two weeks into the listing and starting to get nervous. Finally, a low ball offer comes in and you negotiate the price, but settle for less than you wanted because you really want the other house, and have to sell your current home to pay for it (you are very motivated). On both sides of the transaction, you may have lost a total of $15,000 because of your motivation *$5,000 on the buying end and $10,000 on the selling end).

If you sell your home first, you will always be in a power position, as you don’t “have to” sell (less motivated). This way you can wait as long as you need for an offer to come in that is acceptable to you. In addition, when you decide to buy, you can write an offer with fewer conditions and have the ability to match possession dates for your convenience.

Money Making Tip – In normal market places, selling first will give you the negotiating edge to save thousands.

If you are looking for an uncommon home or if the market is very low on listings, you may want to consider buying first. Give yourself enough time on the possession date to sell your home without too much pressure. In addition, speak with your bank about bridge-financing, in case you need to temporarily carry two mortgages.