Category Archives: House Selling

Happy new year everyone!

It is the second week of the new year and we are well immersed back into school, work and it’s time to evaluate Ottawa 2016 Real Estate Market!

In order for us to make any kind of prediction for the future, we need to look at what has happened at least in 2015 and its relation to the previous year (2014).  Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 703 residential properties in December through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 638 in December 2014, an increase of 10.2 per cent. The five-year average for December sales is 653. The total number of residential and condo units sold through the Board’s MLS® System throughout all of 2015 was 14,658, compared with 13,919 in 2014, an increase of 5.3 per cent. Separately, residential and condo unit sales each outperformed the 2014 numbers. (OREB)

As for the general Canada picture in real estate of 2016, national sales are forecast to reach 498,600, down 1.1 per cent from 2015 as activity in B.C. and Ontario moderates and housing market conditions soften in Alberta. Moreover, interest rates are now expected to begin rising later than previously predicted. They are expected to remain on hold until late 2016, therefore low interest rates will continue to support sales and prices in near future (CREA).

From a mortgage side of the picture, home buyers will have to put a 10% down payment on the portion of the price of a home over $500,000. Anything under $500,000 will still only require a 5%  down payment. The changes are to take effect Feb. 15, 2016 (CBC).

For the rental market in Ottawa, in 2016, the vacancy rate will move down once more to 2.4 per cent. As for the resale market over the 2015-2016 period, sales of existing homes are expected to remain fairly flat with a downward trend. Employment should rise slightly into 2016 as overall economic activity stabilizes and the LRT project expands further.  (CMHC)

In brief, this year is still good here in the capital to make plans with your real estate aspirations, just contact me through your most preferred way communication, and I will be happy to serve you or any of your referrals.

Cheers!

Author: Nilay Ertemur

REFERENCES:

http://www.crea.ca/stats/quarterly-forecasts

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/morneau-home-ownership-finance-1.3360

http://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/odpub/esub/64311/64311_2015_B01.pdf

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Welcome to Canada

Canada is a country, consisting of ten provinces and three territories, in the Northern part of the continent of North America. It extends from the Atlantic to the Pacific and Northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering 9.98 million square kilometres (3.85 million square miles) in total, making it the world’s second-largest country by total area and the fourth-largest country by land area.

As a new comer to Canada, you may want to look into purchasing your first property, in this blog post, I will try to cover some of the things to consider when purchasing a property in Canada. I would like to call it “Home Buying Guide for New Comers to Canada”

Mortgage / Finances

Most major banks do offer mortgages to newcomers but do have certain requirements for the loans.
Royal Bank has a document online that details their requirements. Some of the requirements for having a down payment of less than 25% consist of:

  • You must have immigrated to Canada within the past 24 months
  • You must have landed immigrant status
  • You must have a minimum of three months’ full-time employment in Canada.
  • All debts held outside of Canada must be included in determining how much you can afford, or your total debt servicing ratio
  • You’ll require a letter of reference from a recognized financial institution.

Bank and loans rules and regulations change all the time thus I would strongly suggest to speak to a mortgage specialist in a bank or mortgage brokers who will be able to assist you in obtaining a mortgage.

Canada 2014 best places to live

Listed below are Moneysense top 10 places to live in Canada:

Rank City Population Average House Hold Income Average House House Price Average Property Tax
1 St. Albert, Alta. 64,377 $128,270.17 $373,426.00 $3,286.00
2 Calgary, Alta. 1,306,471 $119,771.69 $435,825.00 $2,782.00
3 Strathcona County, Alta. 98,232 $137,509.40 $408,331.00 $3,398.00
4 Ottawa, Ont. 953,589 $103,186.09 $398,845.00 $2,283.00
5 Burlington, Ont 187,497 $110,113.81 $496,412.00 $2,855.00
6 Boucherville, Que. 41,928 $122,131.67 $352,698.00 $3,333.00
7 Oakville, Ont. 196,722 $145,694.87 $692,902.00 $3,756.00
8 Edmonton, Alta 868,392 $91,807.29 $375,308.00 $1,966.00
9 Regina, Sask. 221,999 $91,328.02 $372,335.00 $1,965.00
10 Québec, Que. 535,353 $70,627.27 $249,015.00 $1,609.00

Types of homes in Canada: Not an exhaustive list but most commonly sought after…

Single / Detached SIngle Home
Freestanding home, you own the land and the house
Semi Detached semi
Home has separate entrance and each owner owns their own property and responsible for their own side. Homes usually share a common wall or sometimes garage walls
Townhouse townhouses
Home is attached side by side to a series/row of homes, each unit has its own entrance but shares a common wall
Condos condo
Multi-unit tenant building (apartment like), you do not own the land but own just the unit itself, monthly payments to condo corporation to handle repairs and maintenance are usually attractive to first time home buyers

Things to consider when buying a house

  1. Location – The key phrase in real estate is always “location, location, location”, one cannot deny the fact that location plays an important part of your decision of purchasing a house in city, suburbs or countryside.
  2. Cost – The amount you are approved to purchase the property, things to consider: taxes, lawyers and closing costs.
  3. Size – Number of bedrooms, washrooms, and garage specs for your needs
  4. Work – How would you commute to work, public transportation vs vehicle
  5. School– What are the school ratings around you, is the school walking distance?
  6. Feature – Things that are important to you, a big backyard, fireplace, swimming pool, layout, etc
  7. Family & Friends – Would you be close to family and friends
  8. Amenities – Are you walking distance to shopping, clubs or gyms

Finding the Right Real Estate Agent

  • Look online for an agent, from the agent’s website it will tell you how tech savvy they are and have confidence about them
  • Ask colleagues, family or friends for recommendations of an agent they have used in the past or that they trust
  • Request for a meeting and tell the realtor your wants and needs for your new home purchase. Using a realtor does not cost you, a buyer does not pay the realtor for their service typically.
  • Also note you can use a realtor for new built homes. There are a lot of details of purchasing a new house and a realtor will help you with this process as well
  • I also have a separate blog post on purchasing house/condo in ottawa

Things to consider

A good real estate agent will be able to give you a hand from criteria setting to the closing, but as always having the accurate information in hand is better, so here is a list of things to consider when making the purchase.

  • Double check the paperwork for names, addresses in the forms
  • Items included and can be negotiated in the purchase, windows coverings, fridge, stove, dishwasher, laundry washer, dryer, built in vacuum
  • The closing date, possession date and when the offer becomes null and void
  • The purchase price and the deposit
  • Lawyer or notary fees, land title and taxes, I have a blog post that covers these items
  • Home inspection and mortgage approval

Summary

I hope this home buying guide will help you, I will try to make it up-to-date and if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me

Cheers!

Nilay Ertemur

References

http://www.rbc.com/canada/brochures/First_Home_English.pdf
http://www.moneysense.ca/canadas-best-places-to-live-2014-full-ranking
https://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/co/buho/hostst/
http://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/odpub/pdf/66687.pdf

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Realtors (real estate agent) these days not only need to know you at a personal level, become experts in their local market area and get involved in the community but also they need to be good at using social media networks where more and more people spend time every day.

There is no question that the power of person to person and voice to voice communication are the most important elements for trust in any given relationship but when the traditional marketing channels are being replaced with the new ones, is your realtor following and adapting to these changes well? The things that they do to market their business is a good indicator of how they would market your house.

Here is a list of what your realtor should be doing in order to market your property or the industry efficiently. Not all of them are necessary but doing at least couple of them well is important in today’s real estate market.

1-Having a well thought and organized website or blog

This is where you can see lots of details regarding your realtor; their testimonials, causes they believe in, communities they serve, and of course their featured listings…

2-Have a business Facebook page

Running a separate professional FB page where they do their announcements, engagements and marketing in general is a good indicator that they will spend the time on your property making sure that it is being shown and advertised properly.

3-Have a LinkedIn account:

This is where you can see what your realtor has done professionally and is interested in. What connections they have and how they engage with their audience is again important in evaluating their performance in marketing or negotiation process, which is crucial in real estate.

4-Being on Twitter

Whether they are following industry related news, or posting their recent listings, open houses, etc indicates that they are active and motivated and they will be when it comes to your house marketing efforts.

5-Google+

After all Google is where people mostly go to search anything. Hence being on the social media outlet of Google gives your realtor more visibility and search engine optimization capabilities, which benefits your property in return.

6-Pinterest

What are their likes, chosen pics tell you the taste they have when it comes to staging your house, interior design, and related areas.

7-Instagram

How they are engaging with the followers, what they share, and emphasize, tell you about their taste of life and motivation they have, and after all you are trying to find that agent who can get the job done yet someone at your or industry communication level so that the process of buying or selling becomes enjoyable and easy.

8-Youtube

Search and see if they created a Youtube channel where they share their listing videos, their own marketing material, etc. Being shy on the Internet when it comes to real estate is just not a very good sign these days esp for further exposure and visibility. There are some other social media outlets such as Tumblr, Flickr, etc therefore like anything else, do your homework and choose your realtor with confidence…

Cheers!

Nilay Ertemur

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Kanata Stittsville; The West End

The West End of Ottawa is a prime location for real estate in terms of living, investment or simply to keep an eye on! I went to a session on Kanata, Stittsville Development & Transportation news recently and the presenters Councillor Wilkinson representing Kanata North, Councillor Hubley representing Kanata South and Councillor Qadri representing Stittsville shared very exciting news about the development of the three wards. There are a lot of projects planned and underway but I will try to highlight the headlines. Accordingly:

Kanata South:

There is major construction for storm sewers; some water mains will be replaced in Glen Cairn. Some sidewalks will be added there. These projects are planned to be completed by the spring of 2016. One of the pumps will be replaced at pump station. Glen Cairn storm water management plan is another project that the community can look forward to. Widening Hopeside, Old Richmond and Hunt Club Roads were highlighted in the session for transportation news. Building seniors’ care facilities (for Alzheimer’s care), adding some outdoor gym equipment throughout some recreational spots and indoor tennis courts are some other great news. Yong’s Pond which has unique trees in it will be bettered, there will be bird houses in it and this is expected to increase property values in Katimavik where the park is neighbouring with.

Kanata North

Beaverpond, Arcadia, Richardson Ridge, Kanata Town Center, Broccolin Apartments are some of the names of the exciting projects in this part of the town. Ciena is adding 1500 new jobs, Sanmina around 500; and Kanata North will be expanding rapidly. Tanger Outlet Mall area will be developed further to accommodate 3 hotels, 6 restaurants, etc. March Retail Plaza, Taggart Plaza are some shopping center projects to be highlighted, and there will be a Cabelas, which is an outdoors store behind Canadian Tire. Transit expansion to Moodie, park and ride innovations are some of the transportation projects to name a few. Nortel Campus implications are huge; around 9000 military personnel will be added by 2017 and that will result in a great housing demand in the area. It is expected to add 3000 more houses, 4 school locations and a heavy demand in transit. A public school at Terry Fox and Second Line, and addition to South March Public, French public are some of the school news in Kanata North. The projects for seniors’ rental accommodation is also in works.

Stittsville

It is the fastest growing section in the West End. It has a population of 28000 now, and the anticipation is that 71000 people will be added to the existing population. Stittsville public high school demand is an important project being worked on. The Fernbank development is expected to be completed within 5-10 years with an estimated population growth of 35000. The Fairwinds Maple Grove development should be finished in the next two years with an estimated population increase of 3000 to 5000. The Tartan development at 33 Johnwoods is estimated at 1500 residents. The Richcraft development beside Lowes will be completed in 8 years with an estimated population for this area of 1500-2000.

Summary

Kanata, Stittsville and West End in general being a hot spot for growth, new house construction, employment, investment and population increase; there will be sure exciting real estate opportunities and I will be happy to assist you in your move either from or to the West End with a well informed and prepared perspective.

Author: Nilay Ertemur

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Forecasting 2015 Housing Market in Ottawa

As we all know predictions are not easy, especially for the future, but we can certainly go through some stats to find out how the market has been doing in the near past, to figure out how this year might turn out for Ottawa.

Mortgage and interest rate cut

Let’s look at the mortgage picture first, the average five-year mortgage rate in Canada is at a record-low 4.79%, according to central-bank data (Source: Financial Post ). Lower rates can be obtained from banks and other private lenders, such as Mortgage Brokers Ottawa, the mortgage rate on their site states 2.89 for a 5 year fixed (26 Jan 2015).
On 21 Jan 2015, Bank of Canada has lowered its interest rate to 0.75, it dropped the lending rate by a quarter of a percentage point. What that means is the cut will result in lower interest rates for variable rate mortgages, lines of credit and other loans that float with prime rates. They have called that fixed rates would be lowered also, and Royal Bank offered a five-year fixed rate of 2.84% on Jan. 24. (Source: Financial Post)

Prices of Houses and Comparisons

If we compare 2013 to 2014 market prices, we see some increases.

Month Average Home Sale Price Result
January 2014 $346,744 increase of 1.0% over January 2013
February 2014 $353,407 ncrease of 2.0% over February 2013
March 2014 $359,051 increase of 0.3% over March 2013
April 2014 $374,015 increase of 0.8% over April 2013
May 2014 $381,172 increase of 3.2% over May 2013

Ottawa is a healthy market that prices don’t go up and down like they do in some other Canadian cities, where there could be a very large influx of price ups and downs such as in Alberta… Prices of houses are still slowly going up here in Ottawa, with some minor adjustments in various neighbourhoods. 2014 was a year that average days on the market for a property increased significantly from the previous years and that was certainly not usual. Properties considered as luxurious in remote areas and the ones far from Ottawa core got hit first when it came to price reductions, however many city properties still held their value and on average saw a price increase by around 1 % in 2014.

And last but not least, this chart is key for us to understand what the economy has been doing in the near past and what the expected figures are for the coming years.

2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Total Employment (000s) 697.6 687.4 696.5 706.0 715.5
% change 2.4 -1.5 1.3 1.4 1.3
Unemployment Rate 6.4 6.3 6.5 6.0 5.9
MLS® Res. Sales 17,184 16,539 16,472 16,750 17,400
% change 0.2 -3.8 -0.4 1.7 3.9
MLS® Res. Avg. Price 327,656 334,320 339,785 344,000 350,000
% change 2.4 2.0 1.6 1.2 1.7
Residential Permits (Units) 8,211 6,643 8,950 7,800 8,000
% change 2.7 -19.1 34.7 -12.8 2.6

Source (Ontario Chamber Commerce)

Conclusion

As we can see the prediction of 2015 would be business might proceed as usual, some adjustments are in effect but there are still increases in price for some areas in Ottawa. If you are planning for your new purchase or selling your existing house, or investment contact me and I will be able to provide you a FREE CMA (Comparative Market Analysis) report of your house value, or for the area you are looking for.

Here are some stats you can tweet:

ottawa2015

Ottawa 2015 prediction

Disclaimer: As this article has been published by the author, mortgage rates might have been changed again in the last couple of days, therefore it is recommended to talk to a mortgage broker about the latest rates and mortgage rules and regulations.

Sources:
Financial Post
CBC News

Author: Nilay Ertemur

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Recently, a friend of mine was asking me about the process of hiring a real estate agent, and I thought it would be a great blog post!

Here are some of the questions that people tend to ask me and my colleagues about buying and selling especially in terms of commissions and remuneration.

Please note, I have already written other posts on various points that are discussed in this post.

Question: I am planning to sell my property, can you explain to me how hiring a real estate agent works?
Answer: Its not that complicated, you would first make an appointment with a real estate agent and they will most likely come to your place and take a look at your property. Usually agents bring in comparables (similar to your house-sold within 6 months to a year or a shorter time period depending on the property type and desired individual goals of the seller) to you at this meeting so that you have an idea of what the latest prices are in the market around your neighbourhood. If you agree, they will do a comparative market analysis after viewing your property, prepare a detailed report which gives a realistic price and marketing plan for your house.

Question: So how does commission works, how much do I pay?
Answer: There is usually a 5% rate for residential properties when you sell, however, this might vary depending on various brokerages and what types of services they offer. From that 5%, typically 2.5% goes to the listing agents’ brokerage (the agent who is selling your property) and the other 2.5% goes to the buyer agent’s brokerage. For example, if you are selling for 100, 000 then 2.5% goes to the brokerage who is selling your house (say it is my brokerage selling your property), and 2.5% goes to the brokerage who brings in the customer for your property. With the typical 2,5 % rate, the breakdown of the commissions within a brokerage between the sales person and the office changes from one brand/office to the other.

Question: But what if the buyer and seller agents are the same agent?
Answer: In those situations where I bring you a customer which is what we call as a multiple representation situation in the industry, you are still my client and my fiduciary duties are to you, and most of the time, serious buyers usually have their own agents, so such situations do happen, but are rare and open to discussions.

Question: As a buyer, if I want to buy a property, do I have to pay a commission to the agent?
Answer: No, as a buyer you usually* don’t pay the agent, only sellers pay a commission to their listing agent (a total commission) and the listing agent offers usually half of that amount  to the selling agent. Please note, every brokerage and sales person might choose various paths when it comes to commissions.

Question: I am currently renting and want to buy a property, how can an agent help?
Answer: Lets give an example, if Barbara and Peter are looking for a property for 300K, I would find them them a property in the area that they plan to live (close to work, school, 3 bedroom, single garage, etc) and make appointments for them for the houses that they like to see within their price range, from there, if they like one of the houses I showed or they have seen on an open house, I would represent my clients (Barbara & Peter), place an offer, negotiate the best price, closing date and conditions for them.

Question: How much closing costs should I put aside before purchasing a place?
Answer: Closing costs are anything from legal fees to moving expenses to land title fee and usually you should have 2% of the house value as the closing cost.
I have a blog post that covers this process.

Question: What is the benefit of using an agent for selling my property?
Answer: Your agent is a trained professional, they go through extensive pre-licensing courses and exams to get licensed and to practice in real estate. They go through an extensive code of ethics, and your interest is put first. Agents have access to their local MLS systems, which enable them to do market research for you and be able to price your house accordingly. They have the insight to your current market conditions, and provide you with price guidance. They will better your property for you, help you get it ready for the market, stage it, video/photograph it professionally and will expose your property to many more potential buyers using unique marketing strategies. Agents will help you to get the most value for your home. They act as a buffer for you and the buyer and negotiate on your behalf, they also help answer any questions through the entire (closing) process or even after! The service a good agent provides makes the entire process safer, easier and smarter for you.

Question: What is the benefit of using an agent for buying a property?
Answer: A real estate agent can help you research and find the exact property that you wish to purchase. They have full access to MLS systems that allow them to cater the search criteria to your needs. They can quickly tell you if a house is overpriced, underpriced, or priced right. They will be able to tackle the paperwork that it requires to purchase a property, and they will be able to represent you to negotiate the price professionally and calmly. Last but not least, using an agent to purchase a property does not cost you and they will be able to represent you as their clients, be able to hold and represent your rights as a purchaser.

There is always the next blog post to cover various more aspects and interesting dynamics of real estate…Stay tuned…

Author: Nilay Ertemur

References:
http://home.howstuffworks.com/real-estate/buying-home/10-benefits-of-using-a-real-estate-agent.htm
http://homebuying.about.com/od/realestateagent1/qt/AboutREAgents.htm
http://homebuying.about.com/od/realestateagents/tp/Whyhireagent.htm

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Tips on Increasing the Value of Your Home

Here are some tips to increase your home’s value, even if you are not planning to sell your house, it would be a worthwhile investment for you and your home.

1. Declutter to increase space and clean!

This is my personal favorite. We tend to keep buying and storing stuff in our houses, especially people living in North America, they tend to use their garage as storage for stuff rather than putting their cars in. Getting rid of stuff that you don’t need is the very first thing that one can do to increase the space of a house. 80 s and 90 s style of ornaments are not as attractive anymore. An organized basement is always good. Cleaning is the cheapest and often most effective upgrade! The more space you have the better it looks.

2. Remodel the kitchen

The kitchen is the heart of a home, by re-modelling; updating the kitchen cabinets, countertops, it brings in a new look to your house, and you could probably recoup 80% of the cost if you are planning to sell it afterwards. Don’t forget to upgrade the faucets and sink, you don’t want to put a dated faucet back next to your new countertop.

3. Buy new energy efficient appliance

People love stainless steel appliances, and most appliances sold today are energy efficient. Having an energy-efficient appliance will save you money now, and is a more valuable and marketable feature when the time comes to sell.

4. Upgrade the bathroom

If you are upgrading only the kitchen and the floors of the bathroom and the rest of the house is still vinyl or carpet, you may not get the value of the upgrade. The bathrooms are also important, replace the faucet, sink and get low flush toilets. Create a unified look for the bathroom sink and shower.

5. Be energy efficient

Get an energy audit and improve the attic insulation. You don’t have to necessarily go get a brand new furnace since it will not pay off as an upgrade to sell, but if you are planning to live in the place for another 6 years, perhaps getting the high efficient furnace makes sense financially for you.

6. Paint the house

A freshly painted house, room can make your house look clean and updated. Choose neutral or brighter colours to create a nice effect. Flowing colours are the best strategy when painting a house with various colours.

7. Update your curb appeal

A quick and easy way to appeal to more buyers into your house is to spruce up the landscaping. Replace that old mailbox and front door, cut those tree branches and clean up those leaves, mow the lawn, dig those weeds/dandelions out. The more maintained the outside of the house look, the greater the value it appears to potential buyers. First impression happens within seconds and that is why curb appeal is crucial in value increasing.

8. Updated floors

The look of clean and completed floors definitely increase the value of your home, replace those old carpets with new ones, or better replace them with hardwood or laminate flooring. In these days people with allergies tend to like non carpet areas, but don’t leave areas half and half. A non finished hardwood or laminate floor is worst than a steam cleaned carpet.

If you found this post helpful, please feel free to share it.

Author: Nilay Ertemur

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Disclaimer: The information provided here does not hold any legal binding or as legal advice, for legal advice please use a professional lawyer who would be able to advice on legal proceedings.

Divorce and separations

Divorces and separations are quite stressful and are emotional times in ones life. Dealing with finances and mortgage adds another level of anxieties. Most of us are very confused about our finances during the times of emotional roller coaster and there are certainly many questions that one may have regarding mortgage and house.

Here are some things you may wish to do and it may answer some of your questions.

Things to consider:

1. Separate your finances

This will allow you to establish and to build your own credit rating, example would be opening your own bank and credit card account.

2. Obtain a credit report

By doing so, you will know where you stand financially for your next home.

3. Look for an independent mortgage broker

An independent mortgage broker will be able to help you to find out what your finances can afford if you wish to purchase a new house, or to buy out your partner with equity. There are certain restrictions that apply when you use equity, and I will be able to refer you to some good mortgage brokers in the Ottawa area, if you have any questions regarding taking equity from home.

4. Get an agent to provide you with a CMA (Competitive Market Analysis)

An agent will be able to provide with a Competitive Market Analysis of your house, most lawyers and mortgage brokers require an analysis to know how much a property is worth, in case you wish to buy out your partner and stay in the same home.

5. Getting ready to sell or buy

If you wish to sell the house and divide up the proceedings, contact me if you are in Ottawa area or another professional real estate agent, since we will be able to maximize the returns by selling your house and be able to help you in your next house hunting experience. Do note that both parties need to agree with the listing contract and also in the process of accepting the purchase agreement, when there are offers to the property.

Author : Nilay Ertemur

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Selling in Ottawa Market?

Here are some real life tips of getting your house ready for the Ottawa market:

Making it Ready

1. Get the house ready by fixing anything that requires repair so that it is functional and can be used properly. Example of quick fixes would include broken/cracked tile, dry wall with marks and dents, broken cupboard handle, a not flushing toilet, a dishwasher leak, etc. You want to eliminate anything an inspector will find during the inspection as well, and be ready to disclose any issues.

2. Add any upgrades, updates; this will bring the house value up. E.g. hardwood floor, stainless steel appliance, remember though, it needs to be done strategically. Your realtor will bring in comparables from your neighbourhood to see what upgrades the other houses have. You do not wish to be the least renovated home on the block, nor the most renovated.

3. Have a new look, if you have couches/sofa that are old and torn, perhaps it is a good idea to sell those on the Internet and get brand new ones, not something very large and bulky but something modern and charming, the benefit of it is you will be taking your couches away with you to your new home! Sell that extra couch in the basement and declutter, steam clean your carpets, get some touch up paint, take those personal pictures off the wall and put them in a box, this will give the impression to buyers that you are ready to leave the house. Reduce the amount of wall paintings, ornaments, etc. Leave spaces for the buyers’ imagination.

4. List everything that your house has as a plus, the realtor will listen to you carefully to write the description to attract the most buyers.

5. Go to a open house or show home to get inspired about staging your house, your realtor will also advice you or direct you to a professional service if you need help with this step.

Getting a Realtor

Interview couple of realtors, since a realtor would be able to help you get the most money out of your house and be able to sell it fast for you while saving you some of the risks involved in transactions.

1. Request for a CMA (comparative market analysis) from the realtor that you like so that you have a comparison of how you would price your house in todays market.

2. Price it right for the market, not too low, not too high, that is the key!

3. Keep your house clean and always have it presentable, e.g. keep the toilet lids closed for showings, lights on, heat up or have your A/C running depending on the season with a pleasant temperature, remember to organize your garage, shed, and have a nice curb appeal effect. At the house, keep your valuables in locked places. A well maintained place will always have advantages over the neglected houses. Pay attention to your furnace room, and basement, don’t dump your furniture and unwanted items in the basement, since it will give a negative impression to potential buyers.

4. Request for feedback after each viewing, after all, you go thorough all that effort to show the house!

5. Be prepared for showing some utility bills (hydro, water, gas), property tax bills, land survey, home inspection report; when a buyer is interested, they may request for such documents before putting an offer. You want to be, look and sound confident about the house you are going to sell. The more paperwork you have about the house, the smoother the transaction will be.

Additional Things to Consider

1. Get a real estate lawyer, all your information/money transaction during closing will go through your lawyer, your real estate agent will be able to recommend you one, but it is often a good idea to shop around by asking friends and family.

2. Be prepared for a mortgage discharge penalty if you are ending your mortgage before its due date. The cost may vary but be in touch with your mortgage company, the penalty cost might be something like 3 months interest and interest rate differential.

3. Mortgage Discharge Fee would be also something to consider, most banks charge around 200 – 300 dollars, again your mortgage company will be able to answer all your questions. Be prepared to negotiate with your mortgage provider. The more informed and educated you are about the mortgage market, the less chance for you to loose money.

And give me a call with confidence when you are ready to sell!

Author: Nilay Ertemur

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