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OCTOBER MARKET UP IN OTTAWA

The upward trend in real estate continued as prices continues to rise.  These increases are great for the industry as they are moderate yet continue to show strength in the Ottawa real estate market.

For those interested in the Barrhaven market in particular, the average sale price in October of 2017 was $374,543 as compared to $362,626 in 2016 and $356,061 in 2015.  This is consistent throughout this year.

For more inform on your neighbourhood, give us a call or send us an email.  We’ll be happy to share this valuable info with you.
OCT 2017 Market snapshot graphic

HAPPY CANADA DAY! 150!

CANADA FLAG

Get your home ready for the busy season!

Selling your home is an exciting and bustling time. It’s a  lot like fishing.  You bait the hook and wait for buyers to come and bite. We get the home ready, our REALTOR® lists our home and then we wait! The piece of this process that many don’t touch on is how to maintain our show-ready home. Here are some ways to keep the a show home ready for any visits.

Start Packing
Before you paint, fix up, or repair anything, the first thing you should do so your home is show-ready is the simplify.  What do you absolutely need to survive for the next month? Once your  essentials needs are determined, begin to pack away all of the unimportant items. This decluttered will help you keep your home is showing shape.  Remember, buyers do not want to see how you live but want to imagine themselves living in what for now is your home.
New habits
Developing new lifestyle habits will keep you on top of the little chores that have a tendency to pile up. Start the day by making the beds, putting all dirty laundry in hampers, taking out the garbage and touching up the kitchen and bathrooms. When an interested buyer comes to call, it will serve you well to complete several small tasks ahead of time. The more that you do as you go about your day, the less you will have to scramble at the last second.

A place for small things
Go to your local discount store and purchase canvas bin or a wicker basket for rooms in the home that tend to get clutters such as play rooms, family rooms and children’s bedrooms. These will be invaluable as your “last second” spaces to toss any disorganised clutter  into when a buyer is visiting. Toys, accessories, mail, or the like will have a spot to quickly hide-away. Keep it coordinated with the room’s decor so it appears that it’s always been there.

Meal Time
For many of us, especially those who work from home or have small children, meal times always prove to mess up a lovely staged kitchen. Don’t be afraid of disposable cutlery and dishware during the showing process. This will cut down on dishes and give you more time to touch up other spaces before a showing.  It’s a small financial investment that can grow the value of your home by having it in tip top shape.
If you know there is a showing taking place later on in the evening, let’s for example say 6:30 to 7:30 pm. don’t cook foods with strong odours.  Fish, broccoli, fragrant spices such as chilli and curry can leave an odour i nthe home that some might find unpleasant.  While cooking any foods, keep the hood fan running and if weather permits, open a few windows.

Quick Tip
During busy periods for showings such as weekends, try treating yourselves to dinner out especially is there is a showing booked.

A showing checklist
Draft a checklist of last minute items to do before you head out. Put all the toilet lids down, close the shower curtains, shine the faucets and sinks, hide away evidence of pets if possible, run the vacuum, turn on any scent devices (such as an oil diffuser or plug-in scents but be careful to not over do it), and make sure your home is bright with artificial and natural lighting. You may get a call for more showings while you are already out, so take along anything you may need for the next few hours.

With these tips in mind, the showing process should produce better results, less stress and a more pleasant listing and selling experience.

You can always contact us for more information on how to get your home ready and what we can do for you!

homesbyhartman@realtyagent.com or 613-825-9710

DOOR-TO-DOOR SALES CAN BE A COSTLY TRAP!

It’s really too bad.  Door-to-door sales have gotten a very bad rap and unfortunately, deserve it!  In the old days the works that could happen with door-to-door sales was that you could buy a hair brush you didn’t need or a vacuum you really didn’t want.

But today, you could find yourself involved in an overpriced, long term and damaging contract.  Water heaters, water softeners, Provincial Heating & Cooling units are all large, expensive and important parts of our homes and buying these items should NEVER be made under high pressure or with short time limits on a “Great Offer”.

Once again these types of long term contacts are in the news.  This time it’s water softeners but the rules you should follow are still the same.

  1. If you are in need of a new hot water tank, furnace of other major appliance, shop around.  Prices can vary for the same product or there may be one brand of appliance that is better suited to your needs.  You may be only staying in your home for a few more years so why spend thousands of dollars on the Cadillac of furnaces when you can own a very good and reliable one for less.
  2. Go with trusted name brands and well know service providers. There are hundreds of well know firms in the city that provide excellent sales and service.  Ask friends, family, real estate professionals and others for recommendations.
  3. If you do like what you see from a door-to-door representative, talk about the cooling off period you may be entitled to by provincial law. (  https://www.ontario.ca/page/your-rights-when-signing-or-cancelling-contract )  If there is no cooling off period don’t buy!  It’s that simple.
  4. READ, READ, READ THE CONTRACT BEFORE SIGNING.  I’m sorry to say but most consumers don’t read the contract.  All that fine print; well guess what?  A lot of that fine print is done that way on purpose and also contains important information.  A recent client of ours was looking to purchase a new furnace.  The timing was right and a door-to-door sales person came to visit selling furnaces and hot water tank rentals.  Within a short period of time  a contract was signed and a new furnace and hot water tank were on a long term 10 year rental.  When we first met with this client as they were now ready to sell their home, we questioned them on all aspects of their house and when we found out there furnace was a rental, red flags went up.  Upon further investigation we learned that it would cost thousands of dollars to get out of the contract.  Since the contract was only 2 years old, the client would have to buy out the balance.  A $3,000 furnace ending up costing them over $5,000 and they had to come up with that money quickly in order to secure the sale of their home.

So, buyer be ware and wary.  If you need a major appliance or any service, get referrals.  Speak to friends and family about their experiences with various trades or sales people.  Don’t rely on the internet.  There’s just too much “bull” out there.

TRYING TO EXCITE BUYERS? “COMING SOON” CAN BACKFIRE!

As the Spring market gets started and more and more properties come on line “For Sale”, you’re bound to start seeing a growing number of  “Coming Soon” signs or banners on these homes.  It’s suppose to get buyers excited and move fast.  It lets the buyer believe that once this property hits the market it will go fast as demand must be building!

 

In order to have a “For Sale” sign on a property that is on the MLS® system, there must be a listing agreement between the seller and agent.  This simply means that the home is listed under contract but the seller has decided to not allow the public in for various reasons.  There can be legitimate reasons for not wanting buyers through your home just yet.  Maybe the home isn’t ready and needs repairs of painting.  maybe new carpeting or hardwood floors have been ordered but not yet installed. OR, maybe the listing agent has his/her own motive.

AGENT MOTIVE

A few months ago, CBC’s Market Place did a story on the real estate industry and the subject of “Coming Soon” and other tactics like this were explored.  Buyers, using their own agents to represent them would try to get into a listed property only to be told that there were no showings yet or the property was “Coming Soon”.  It turns out that the listing agent actually sold the property to someone he was working with and “double Ended” the sale (meaning he was able to collect both the listing and the selling side of the commission).  The other buyer was shocked.  Not only did the sale take place during the “Coming Soon” period but sold for less that the buyer, who really wanted that home, was willing to pay.  This is not an isolated incident.  Many of the agents secretly interviewed by Market Place boasted that they double end up to 80% of their listings.  We’ve been in the industry for almost 30 years and we can tell you that even 50% of sales by one agent (the listing agent) is a staggering number.  In the hotter markets such as Toronto, it seems to happen often but this practise is catching on in other markets including Ottawa.

WHO BENEFITS?

Who benefits really is the key.  The client, in this case the Seller, should benefit fist and foremost.  We believe that the agents should not benefit at all except for the commission that the seller and agent have agreed to in a written listing contract.  One primary pillar of our industry is to work in the best interest of our clients.  Another is to be fair to all whether they are our client, another agent’s client or just members of the public.

The benefit of “Coming Soon” can benefit the seller by creating excitement and potentially multiple offers but does that out-way the benefit of exposing the seller’s property to hundreds of potential buyers and their agents?  The evidence is no!  Keeping a property on the QT offers no benefit to the seller.  Why?  Because without MLS® exposure, the number of prospective buyer who will see that a specific property is available will be extremely limited to the listing agent’s own contacts.  The more exposure, the more viewings, the more activity the better the results.  This is why the MLS® system was developed, to give access to all buyers and agents in order to create the highest demand.

 

 

ARE ALL AGENTS ALIKE?

The simple and clear answer is no.  Just because an agent uses “Coming Soon” does not mean that there intentions are questionable.  They may believe that this tactic works, and in some cases it does.  The seller may request that the agent use this tactic and as long as it’s done properly, legally and within our Board’s rules, we have no issue with it.  But be cautious when hiring an agent that pushes this tactic on you.  Make sure that the representative explains exactly how the tactic works and what he or she is and is not allowed to do.  Make sure they explain the pros and cons.  In other words, make a smart and informed decision.

We are always here to answer your questions on this or any other subject.  Please write us at homesbyhartman@realtyagent.com

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