Probably the number one question I get at open houses these days: is the market slowing down? And the answer to that depends on how you look at it. The number of sellers have certainly increased, but the buying pool I think for the most part has remained the same. It seems buyers no longer feel like if they miss out on something, they may not get another chance. I checked to see sales in Cambridge, this week June 5th through June 9th. There were 43 sales that week, and 79% of those sale were at, or above asking price (108% of list price). At first glance that seems like an indication that Sellers are still getting well over asking price in most of the cases. And you'd be right for drawing that conclusion. But when you examine the data from May 8th to 12th, we find 90% of the sales at or above asking price (110% of list price). We also know that inventory levels are increasing so all of this is to be expected. So have potential seller's missed the boat? Certainly not, but more so than a month ago, buyers have options and thus it's crucial that your list price be bang on. Do you have questions about pricing? How do you feel about the direction the market is heading? Comments are always welcomed.
I would never buy a condo! How many times have I heard a client say this to me when we first start seeing some homes together? Yet take a look at all the cranes in Toronto, and also closer to home, you start noticing that we are building up, and not out. The demand from buyers is there, and given that our hands are tied in bureaucracy, we are seeing more and more condos filling our sight lines. But you know what? It's a great sign of our strong economy, and it also happens to be a great option for many people who simply don't have the time, energy or money to invest in a freehold home. Condo construction represents a huge boon to our economy. The list of services employed in the construction of a condominium is as surprising as it is staggering: HVAC, Plumbing, Electrical, Cable, Concierge, Security, Elevator, Designer, Contractors, Engineers, Lawyers, Pool Specialists, Cleaning Staff, Painters, Flooring, Mat Service, Window, Roof, Landscaping, Energy Auditors, and on and on. Not to mention dental offices, restaurants, coffee shops, fitness clubs, grocery stores, all businesses that can be found in condominiums. Buying a condominium actually contributes so much more than just a roof over our heads, it's a massive boon to our own economy. Of course a lot of these industries and businesses participate in the construction of freehold dwellings, thereby contributing to our economy in similar ways. The usual objection to buying a condominium is almost always centered on the perceived notion that one gets nothing in return for the fees paid, and that they only ever go up. Feel free to use the Globe And Mail handy calculator to determine for your situation whether this statement is true or not, but there is no denying the financial return we all get from people buying more and more condos. So be sure to thank someone who just bought a condo! :-)
Most everyone is familiar with what the letters in TEAM stand for. It's an acronym popular among the Motivation crowd, but Together Everyone Achieves More, is much more than a simple phrase that goes on a poster, it really should be embraced. You the client are the most important piece of the puzzle, and deserve to have a team built around you, focusing on helping you achieve your goals.
So who should be on team you? The usual suspects obviously, realtor, mortgage broker, lawyer. But also consider some others. Inspector. Accountant. Electrician. Plumber... the list goes on. But the first 3 are probably most important, and you can't/shouldn't purchase or sell real estate, without them. In fact, in today's market, you'd be absolutely crazy to even try. But what about the others? Having access to an accountant to quickly answer questions about HST on a purchase, capital gains tax or residency, is a huge benefit. Similarly, being able to snap and send a photo of something weird you see at a house to a home inspector for his opinion, is truly invaluable. Keep these in mind when assembling your team: The Late Jim Rohn famously said, "you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with." So doesn't it make sense to surround yourself with successful people? People bringing you closer to your dreams?
There are no guarantees that any one of the following tricks will work, but they certainly do improve your chances in a multiple offer situation.
Multiple Offer situations, or Bidding Wars, almost never used to happen. Certainly not the way they are manufactured today for almost every single house that comes on the market. It used to be that the first one in to see the listing, had first crack at the house if they acted quick. Not anymore of course with Seller's withholding offers for about a week to get as many people through the house as possible before looking at any offers on a specific date and time.
So for the last year, buyers, sellers and their respective realtors have been going in blind, treading new territory, some fumbling through the process, others leading the way, with almost everyone confused, unclear, or with their own interpretation of how the process should be handled. This has resulted in a lot of clever tricks, some of them pushing the boundaries of whether they are even legal or not, but in this fast moving market, there hardly seems time to raise question or concerns. And there are so many concerns with how the process is currently handled, it's bound to blow up in someone's face one day.
Here are some easy steps you can follow, to improve your odds of getting your offer accepted:
These are my tips for winning multiple offer situations. There are always exceptions and unknowns, someone from out of town could come in with a million bucks for a semi, which no amount of preparation will negate. But follow these steps, and you'll have a pretty decent shot of getting your home!
This afternoon Finance Minister Charles Sousa announced an increase to the land transfer tax (LTT) rebate for first-time buyers from $2,000 to $4,000. The announcement came as part of Ontario’s Fall Economic Statement and was specifically to help first-time buyers enter the housing market. Buyers can start claiming the rebate effective January 1, 2017.
It’s a change we lobbied hard to achieve and you should all be proud of our accomplishment. There’s still more to be done. Other factors like a lack of housing supply are impacting prices and REALTORS® are working with government to address those issues.
But for the young couple entering the housing market, today’s announcement is good news. It’s also a testament to the strength of the REALTOR® voice at Queen’s Park.
At this time last year, Ontario REALTORS® were fighting to stop what would have been the largest tax increase on home ownership in a generation – the municipal land transfer tax. Today, we’ve helped usher in one of the largest tax breaks in a decade.
Buying and Selling Residential, Condominium and Investment real estate in the Waterloo Region since 2008. Oh, and also Ottawa! :-D