REAL ESTATE NEWSLETTER
Exceptional Real Estate ... Exceptional Realtor
NOW, is the best time to sell your home !
Finally ... Spring has sprung!
Finally ... Spring has sprung!
Hello again Friends, Neighbours and Clients,
Tulips are blooming and the market is booming! In nearly 20 years as a real estate professional, I have never witnessed such an explosive demand for properties in Toronto.. Aggressive bidding wars erupt with almost every new listing, prices soar wildly and buyers jostle to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars over the asking price.
There has simply never been a better time to be a seller. If you are contemplating a move, NOW is the perfect time to list and capture the frenzied momentum and stratospheric prices. Do not miss this historical peak. Carpe Diem., Baby!
On the other hand, If you are a buyer, prospects are grim. Take a deep breath and brace for some challenges. In this sizzling seller's market, it is easy to get burnt. The phrase that comes to mind is: proceed with caution.
This Newsletter offers a short survival guide for sellers and buyers in this crazy-hot real estate environment. Topics include Market Trends, Quick and Easy Home Staging Tips, Negotiating Realtor Commissions, How to Win in a Bidding War, How to Pick Your Agent/Warrior for this market, and more.
Read on ...
Prices sky-rocketed by 24% compared with February of last year. There are raging bidding wars for scarce inventory. Multiple offers have spread to the condominiums market as well as single family homes.
According to the Toronto Real Estate Board's latest report, the average detached home price in the downtown area is approaching a jaw-dropping $1,000,000.
Rapidly escalating prices are creating an affordability crunch and the government is contemplating policy interventions such as foreign buyer's surtax to cool this roaring market.
Only time will tell if this market is sustainable or is spiraling into in a bubble-zone. If record-breaking trends of high prices and low listings continue, it looks like 2017 will be an exciting time for sellers, but misery for buyers!
STAGING TIPS FROM A PRO:
Quick & Easy Staging Strategies
Thinking of selling? Your Neanderthal decor needs updating?
Try these simple and practical steps to glamorize your home so it will sell quickly and for more money.
WATCH LYNN’S VIDEOS
Photo: Luxury Waterford Condo Staged and Sold by Lynn
Small Changes = Big Returns
Buyers often look at 10-20 homes before purchasing. Make sure your home stands out.
Staged homes sell twice as fast and for roughly 10% more. Based on the average GTA detached home price of $1,000,000., staging can potentially add $100,000. to your bottom line! Home-staging is the lipstick and mascara which can transform ordinary into WOW! Keep it neutral, keep it simple.
Staging works! Here are some examples of dramatic transitions:
AFTER (Virtually Staged)
TIPS FOR SELLERS:
TYPICAL COSTS WHEN SELLING YOUR HOME
Can you cut commissions?
Unequivocally, this is an excellent time to sell. Price and sales volumes are historically high, but.sellers should be aware of additional costs associated with disposing of real estate. Here is a brief summary of some key costs:
1. REAL ESTATE COMMISSIONS Yes, Commissions are negotiable, especially in this hot market. Fees will reflect the anticipated speed of the sale and services provided. In a normal, balanced market, the total fee for full-service marketing, is typically 5% + HST, distributed 2.5% to the listing brokerage and 2.5% to the selling brokerage. If there is only one brokerage involved, and only one Realtor, the commission may be reduced to 3%. In a seller's market, the listing Realtor may further adjust fees because there are fewer advertising costs. The selling fee will likely remain the same, 2.5%. All agreements regarding commissions and adjustments must be in writing and 13% HST tax applies. Handling multiple offers is a complex legal process, fraught with liabilities for sellers. The listing agent requires outstanding competencies and integrity . Generally, you get what you pay for.
2. LEGAL COSTS Depending on the complexity of the transactions, legal fees generally range from $750.00-$3000. plus disbursements. Ask your lawyer for a detailed written quotation in advance..
3. HOME INSPECTIONS Cost for a professional report range from $200-$600 and STATUS CERTIFICATES required when selling a condominium, cost between $100-$125. It is recommended that these important documents be obtained by the vendor prior to listing.
4. STAGING, REPAIRS, CLEANING, DISPOSAL These are discretionary expenses and will vary from a few hundred dollars to thousands. A general rule is that the amount spent on home-staging prior to selling should be approximately 1% of the of the market value of the home. Ask your Realtor for advice.
5. ADJUSTMENTS These are additional costs due on closing and may include outstanding amounts owed by the seller. (taxes, condo fees, utilities, work orders etc.)
6. MORTGAGE PENALTIES AND DISCHARGE FEES These amounts can be thousands of dollars, especially if you are breaking a closed mortgage. Always verify these charges in advance with your lending institution. Sometimes you can negotiate a discount on discharge fees if you are porting the mortgage to your new property.
7. MOVING COSTS This expense varies depending on services, time and distances involved. Get several quotes, but most moves cost between $2000-$5000. Also, condos often charge elevator and security fees when moving out which may be non-refundable. All theses costs add up. Be prepared.
8. CAPITAL GAINS TAX: Generally, principal residences are exempt from taxes on profits, but investment properties require that you pay taxes on 50% of the gain. CRA is monitoring "flips" very carefully so it is imperative that you seek professional accounting advice when you sell.
HOW TO PICK A REALTOR IN A HOT MARKET:
Top 5 Things to Look for :
1. KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE:
In this current seller's market , it is vital your realtor know two things: pricing and how to
handle multiple offers. Their knowledge should be local, not general. Choose a career-agent with a solid track record, not a part-timer. Ask how many multiple offers have they successfully negotiated. Experience and expertise are paramount.
2. FLAWLESS REPUTATION FOR ETHICS AND INTEGRITY:
More litigation stems from multiple offers than any other aspect of real estate transactions. Bidding wars create a potential for unfair, self-serving practices and subsequent law suits. Fierce competition can trigger mistakes and omissions. Ask for references and if the agent has an impeccable history, with no ethics citations, violations, errors or disputes.
3. STAGING AND MARKETING SAVVY:
Ask for a written copy of an agent's detailed marketing plan. Discuss strategies which will showcase your home quickly and effectively using the latest tools: professional floor plan and photos, virtual tours, staging and even drone photography. A pro-agent will also have a network of contacts such as lawyers, appraisers, home inspectors and contractors to assist in the sale.
4 NEGOTIATING SKILLS:
Multiple offers require special protocols and management finesse. The end-goal is always to protect the seller's interests, not the realtor's and to assure that the process is fair to all bidders. Your realtor must fully understand the psychology and legality of bargaining tactics, as well as deal smoothly with the intense stress involved in rapid-fire bidding wars and bully offers.
5 PERSONAL DEDICATION AND AVAILABILITY:
The right realtor in a robust market is “hands-on” and does not delegate important jobs to junior assistants or team members. Things happen fast so your Realtor should be reachable 24/7 and constantly in touch. Before you retain a representative, ask about their unfettered availability.
TIPS FOR BUYERS IN A HOT MARKET:
HOW TO WIN IN A BIDDING WAR
After you have retained a top-notch Realtor / Warrior to represent you, determined your budget and have found your dream home, the next step is to submit an offer. Most likely, there will be competition. Here are some strategies to help you win in the current real estate battlefield.
1. Move fast and be prepared to offer your best price with the fewest conditions from the start. Don't low-ball or dicker.
2. Offer the largest cash deposit possible to impress the sellers that you are serious and solvent.
3. Propose a flexible closing date which best suits the seller's needs. Let the vendor pick the actual date.
4. Include a copy of your mortgage approval letter to assure there is no risk if the seller accepts your offer.
5. Attach a friendly note to the seller explaining why you love their home and how you will look after it in the future. Kind words and courtesy work wonders..
LYNN'S FEATURED LISTINGS:
480 The Queen's Quay West
MLS #: C3704766
An absolutely spectacular, one-of-a-kind Penthouse in an iconic landmark building designed by renowned architect
Rambling 8-room, 3000 sq.ft. palace in the sky with three parking spots and twin terraces overlooking a yacht basin and music garden.
Opulent custom finishes: etched art glass, marble floors, coffered ceilings, quality designer kitchen, high-end appliances with
45 cabinets, built-in sound system and wall safe!
The Lighter Side
Sometimes, agents embellish reality a bit.
Here are some examples:
"Unique custom renovation for those with a busy lifestyle on the run."
"Deal fell through! Try an offer. Handyman's delight!"
"Cozy livingroom! Trendy minimalist decor. Perfect for large flat-screen TV"
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(**DISCLAIMER: Not intended to solicit listed properties or buyers under contract. All information is approximate and subject to change. E.& O.E. )
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Sales Representative, Right at Home Realty Brokerage
DIRECT: 416 252-2221 OFFICE: 416 391-3232