That's the question..
If you're a homeowner and you've got some solid equity in your house, I'm sure you've had the thought of selling in this wild sellers markert.
Maybe you've been there for a long time and you've paid down a good bunch on your mortgage. Maybe you've bought it recently and done some impressive renovations.
Either way, the idea of selling in this market can seem very attractive.
The most amount of offers I've seen on a property so far this year is 35 and the most I've seen a property sell over asking is $200,000.
So I get it. Selling sounds like the right thing to do. But make sure you're asking yourself these questions before listing your property;
- Do we want to be competing with other buyers when we're shopping?
- Are we willing to pay a premium for our next home?
- Would we consider a home that needs work to avoid paying over asking price?
No quesiton, this is the best sellers market I have ever seen. There is no inventory and interest rates for buyers are very low. This creates a supply and demand swing which heavily faviours sellers.
But it's impotant to remember that when you sell, usually, you become a buyer.
Now more than ever, it is VITAL to have all your ducks in a row before submitting an offer. You want your financing to be 100% in place. Make sure your mortgage broker has all your paperwork and you've received a true PRE APPROVAL letter. Not just a pre qualification phone call.
You'll also want to make sure you have a large deposit to go with your offer. When a seller is looking at 12 offers, even if your offer price is similar or higher than another one, a seller feels more confident accepting the offer with a higher deposit.
There are multiple ways to make your offer more attractive to sellers and this is something we discuss when we sit down together to write one.
Well that will certainly be a holiday season we don't forget..
Skype, Zoom, and FaceTime became an all so common form on communication and for good reason. We're social beings, we need to see our friends and family and when we can't, we pivot and we adapt.
I think almost every industry was affected by this virus in one way or another and real estate was no exception.
At the beginning of the year, when things first went into lockdown, sales really slowed down - to almost half the previous years numbers. There was a lot of uncertainty in the marketplace and for good reason. However, once things began to bounce back, they really bounced back.
The last seven months of the year finished with sales totals higher than the previous year and much higher than the five year averages. Buyer and seller confidence certainly returned and the market has been very busy.
Interest rates remain VERY low. My latest client just purchased his first home at a rate of 1.69%.
Inventory also remains very low. Current listings are down 9% over last year..
It's created somewhat of a perfect storm for supply and demand.
This is an especially good time to be working with a Realtor who has a team in place to help navigate and transact the purchase or sale smoothly. Working with a Realtor who has strong professional relationships can make all the difference in this competitive market. Lawyers, inspectors, mortgage and insurance brokers and also other Realtors. All these people play an important role in the sale and purchase.
I can't see things changing a whole lot in the first two quarters of 2021 with inventory and interest rates remaining so low. It should be another very busy year in real estate.
As always, if you or anyone you know is thinking of buying or selling, please don't hesitate to reach out. I'm never too busy for any of your referrals.
Have a great January! - Enjoy the weather!!
Had a friend ask me this question a couple days ago; does staging make a big difference? Would it help it sell faster and for more money?
The simple answer is YES.
A staged home can make a massive difference to the amount of time it spends on the market and ultimately what it ends up selling for.
When buyers walk into a home that's staged, they get to see that property in its best possible light.
Not only is it clean and inviting, they get a great idea of how it "could" look. And if there's one thing for certain abiout most buyers, it's that the way they see the porerty "today", is how they are going to get it.
This is why bright and flashy paint colours can be a turn off for a lot of buyers. We know that all it takes is some paint and patience to change a wall colour, but when a buyer sees a bright orange wall, that's how they think it's going to be forever.
Staging isn't cheap, but it's the pay now or pay later mentality. Pay now and end up selling quicker for more money, or pay later when you don't get the amount you were hoping for when you sell.
Every Realtor can provide some sort of staging service. Some will pay for all of it up front, some will ask to split the cost with the home owner and some will have the home owner pay for it themselves.
To stage a traditional three bedroom bungalow for a month is usually around +/- $1,500.
It can be more or less depending on whether all the bedrooms need furniture or not.
Sometimes, all that's needed is new accessories. The home stager can take your existing furniture and re arrange it so make the property look and feel as big and open as possible. Then, just add artwork and accessories to de personalize things and make it look ready for any buyer!
This is significantly cheaper so definitely something to consider!
Last tip, when the home stager comes to evaluate your space, don't take anything they say personally. They're are not attacking your interior design skills. They are just trying to get your property to appeal to the largest number of buyers out there.
The weather may be cooling off but the real estate market has NOT!
I think this is officially the longest Spring market we've ever seen. It's September 11th, kids are back in school and the leaves will be changing colours soon, but for the Winnipeg real estate market, it's still very much April or May.
August's sales of 1,845 are up 28% over the same month last year and make it three months in a row of sales above 1,800.
The most active property type is single detached homes and we're continuing to see multiple offer situations and sales above list price. In August, similar to July, roughly 33% of detached homes that hit the market sold for over asking.
The two most active price points for single detached homes are $300,000 - $349,900 with 16% of sales and $250,000 - $299,900 just five sales behind.
Competition has really heated up in these price ranges as buyers continue to take advantage of low mortgage rates and inventory remaining much lower than we'd like. With 1.5 months of inventory, we have definitely entered into a sellers market.
This is normally the time of the year when sales begin to taper off a little and we'll likely see that again soon. Hopefully balancing the supply and demand going into the colder months but we'll just have to wait and see.
I hope you're doing well and staying safe out there.
Please feel free to reach out anytime if you have questions about our current market - it's an interesting one haha
Enjoy the weekend!
I can't emphaisze this more.
Home sellers always ask me what they can do to get the most money out of their sale. They ask if doing large renovations to kitchens and bathrooms is worth it or if other large upgrades like windows and mechanical components are worth it.
While kitchens and bathrooms sell homes and new windows and mechanical is a major plus for a buyer, not everyone has the means to drop $10,000 - $60,000 upgrading their home. Especially to just turn around and sell it.
The biggest thing I tell homeowners is to KEEP YOUR HOUSE IN GOOD REPAIR.
First off, it's just more pleasent being in a clean home that's taken care of and looked after. Your friends and family will thank you.
But really, it allows you to get the absolut most amount of money when you do decide to sell.
I've found over the years that buyers are totally fine with a dated house as long as it's cleand and has been taken care of. Some actually prefer an original home to a renovated home!
Literally thousands of dollars are left on the table every day because a home seller didn't take the time during their ownership to continuously clean their home or fix the little things that were broken.
The next advantage to keeping your home in good shape, is the ability to make a move whenever your find something you like!
If your dream home hits the market today, but you;ve got weeks of cleaning or repairs to do at home, sorry to say it but you're either going to miss your opportunity to get into that new home, or, you're going to rush getting your home on ther market and leave thousands on the table while buyers beat you up on price over all the little deficiencies in your home.
Long story long, regaular maintenance goes a LONG way when it comes to protecting and increasing the value of your largest investment.
Put the work in!
Well that's exciting!
You've lived in your home now for some time, paid down a the mortgage, put some sweat equity into the home and it's time to reap some of the rewards of your hard work.
You've been searching for your next home and found it!
Like most people, you need to sell your home to be able to afford the purchase of the next one.
There are two common ways to purchase the new house;
1. Write an offer without the sale of your current home as a condition. This means if your offer is accepted, you've bought that home and if you're unable to sell yours before you take possession of the new one, you own two homes.
This is the riskier of the two ways and shouldn't be taken lightly. If you decide to leave out that condition, you want to make sure your home is show room condition, ready for the market, and priced very well. This is not the time to "start high" with price and reduce it if you don't see any offers.
2. Write your offer conditional upon the sale of your current home. This is the more common of the two methods. This means that yes you've agreed to buy that new home, as long as you can sell your current home in a specific period of time. Generally 1-3 months. This is the safer way to do things because it doesn't leave you owning two homes if your current home doesn't sell in time.
What you'll likely see the listing agent/seller add to the offer is a condition benefiting the seller called a "time clause". This means the seller can still advertise their home for sale and if another offer comes in that they are willing to accept, they can accept it as a back up to your offer. They will then envoke the time clause which gives you a specific amount of time, usually 48 hours, to decide if you want to back out of the deal and get your deposit back, or move forward with the deal and remove that condition.
These are the two most common ways to structure the offer and your comfort level and risk tolerance will determine which is best for you. Option 2 is the safer method but you can find yourself losing a home you think you've already bought if your home isn't able to sell in time.
This is also not the time to try pricing your home high and then reducing after. You want to make sure your home looks and shows as best as possible and is priced very well to ensure it doesn't take too loing to sell.
This happens every day as people upgrade their home. Knowing the best route to take will give you the confidence you need to make the correct decision.
If you've thought about upgrading your home, give me a call/email and I can explain this in more detail. Everyones situation is different and you need to be speaking to a professional before writing an offer.
Here to help!
I made a post on my social accounts last week about not getting too held up on price when you're listing your home.
When you meet with a Realtor to potentially list your home for sale, the goal isn't to price your home or to pick the exact price, the goal is to position your home on the market to acheive the results that matter most for you and your family.
Is that getting the highest possible price?
Is that selling quickly and not having a ton of showings every week and keeping your home in showroom condition?
There is no "one-size-fits-all" when listing a home or developing a marketing strategy to sell a home. Every seller is different, every market is different and every home is different.
When the time comes to sell your home, I would love to explain the three different positioning strageties we offer that have allowed us to achieve the results home sellers are looking for.
- Garage: This was probably to be expected. That's why I chose it as our number one on the list. There are so many reasons a garage is an awesome feature and the first and obvious one is to keep your vehicle away from the elements. We know all too well how annoying and frustrating it is to scrape off your vehicle in the morning after a heavy snowfall. But there’s so much more than that! A garage provides security from theft, a place to start a new hobby or side hustle. For some it even doubles as living space or an in-law suite. It also adds value to your home! The garage easily made the list!
- Kitchen for Entertaining: I’m a BIG fan of this one and it would definitely be on my list! I love to cook, no question, but even more than that I love to cook with friends and family. If you’ve ever thrown a party or get together you know throughout the night the party always finds its way into the kitchen. That's where the food and booze are! It’s just a great place for conversation and everyone just feels a little more relaxed than in a formal living room.
- Dishwasher and Air Conditioning: I put these two together because I got a LOT of submissions for them. I’m sure some homeowners might think this is a no-brainer, but for first time home buyers who overlooked them when they bought or maybe thought they weren’t necessary, would say they will never buy another house without them. Let’s be honest, summers in Winnipeg are some of the best in the world, but when you’re trying to go to sleep and it's +25 in the house, fall & winter don’t seem too bad! A dishwasher also falls into the category of "first world problems”, but in our fast paced world, it’s become a necessity. It allows us more time to enjoy doing the things we love.
- Large Front Entranceway: I have to admit this one slipped my mind. For someone who likes to entertain and have friends and family over, this should be number one (or two) on my list! A large front entrance makes everyone feel comfortable. Whether they are coming or going, it doesn’t feel like your guests are rushed out of the house because of lack of space. Theres special moments shared in that small window when you’re getting your shoes and coats on. Planning future get togethers, well wishes, mistletoes kisses, etc. It’s a space to enjoy and appreciate our loved ones one last time. Definitely worth being on the list!
- Yard Space & Deck: last but certainly not least, is a deck and/or some nice outdoor space. Now more than EVER this is becoming more and more important for home owners. Social or physical distancing won’t be around forever, but I’m sure there will be hints of it for a long time. Having a space outdoors in the fresh air will be a nice retreat from having everyone inside all the time. Plus the outdoors are just better! Fresh air, birds chirping, sun on your face. What’s not to love?!
(information taken directly from the Province of Manitoba website)
Restoring Services (Phase One) - Beginning May 4
Critical public health measures and current travel restrictions will remain. This includes mandatory self-isolation upon one's return to Manitoba and limits on travel to the north. Priority elective surgeries have been restarted, diagnostics screening will resume and some non-essential businesses will be reopened:
- schools will remain closed
- non-urgent surgery and diagnostic procedures restored
- therapeutic and health care services restored
- retail businesses reopen
- restaurants - patio/walk-up services restored
- hairstylists and barbers reopen
- museums, galleries and libraries reopen
- outdoor recreation and campgrounds reopen
If results during or at the end of phase one or any future phases are not favourable, the province will not proceed with further easing of secondary public health measures and may reintroduce others. If disease activity remains low, we will give serious consideration in mid-May to reducing the restrictions on group size.
Restoring Services (Phase Two) - Beginning no earlier than June 1
Critical public health measures and travel restrictions will remain. This includes mandatory self-isolation upon one's return to Manitoba and limits on travel to the north. Any changes made in this phase will depend on the evaluation of the previous phase. This may include:
- expanding public gatherings
- restaurants - dine-in services restored
- film production reopened
- non-contact children's sports restored
Public health measures may be further eased based on ongoing public health data and surveillance. Physical distancing measures will remain in place. Travel restrictions may be eased, depending on public health data and surveillance. Specific considerations are included relating to:
- performing arts venues
- other non-essential businesses
- large gatherings / events
It's certainly been an interesting Spring market...
Yes, homes are selling. Many are even selling above list price. But certainly the Winnipeg real estate market overall is down.
New listings to market are down and with that sales are down as well.
The good news? Well, we've all been told to stay home and practice social distancing and we've definitely been doing that. We have some of the lowest number of cases across Canada and certainly across North America and around the World!
This is actually great news.
The public has done a fantastic job helping to "flatten the curve" and have allowed our healthcare professionals to fight this virus.
We've already started to notice a positive trend in the number of property showings week over week. Buyer confidence is returning and people are excited to get out of the house and continue their home search. This could also be attrributed to the warm weather we are getting which is very common with the Spring market.
We are getting closer and closer each day to things getting back to normal and it's looking like we'll still get to enjoy another beautlful summer in Winnipeg.
I'd also like to address is the idea of home prices "falling off a cliff." I've heard some concern about this and wanted to make sure you had the facts.
Royal LePage Canada put out an article last week that said if things get "back to normal" by June 1st, we wont see any price softening in Winnipeg at all. If they don't get back to normal by the Fall or closer to the end of the year, we may see a 2% redcution in home values over 2019.
A quick reminder that 2019 was a flagship year, so to see just a 2% softening in home values is not the end of the world.
Simple economics shows that home values drop in price when there are an abundance of new listings coming to market and a reduction in the active number of buyers.
Right now, that's not the case.
So what's happening with the market?!
Do I wait to sell?
Should I buy while rates are so low?
Honestly, I wish I had all the answers and could predict the future! I've got this question a number of times over the last few days so I wanted to share it with you as well.
If you were thinking of selling, but you don't HAVE to, generally the advice would be to wait. However, with that being the general advice, there will be a reduced number of listings on the market for your home to compete with. (That's a good thing!) Also, rates are incredibly low so buyers who have a stable job or NEED to buy will still be out shopping.
Would it better to wait for the Fall market?
Maybe. But do you want to list your home when every other seller who has been holding out rushes back to the market? Of course not. You have to weigh each options and decide what's best for you right now.
If you were planning to buy, I understand if those thoughts have fallen to wayside. With the question of job security, kids being out of school for weeks and the general uncertainly of the future, you have other things on your mind.
In that case, I'd suggest keeping one eye on the market just incase "the one" does come up for sale. Technology has allowed us to provide a service without meeting in person. We can do video walk through tours via FaceTime or Skype, we can put together offers and sign documents digitally.
There are always options!
Whatever you decide, I hope you're staying safe keeping a positive attitude.
We will get through this!
It's almost that time of the year agian!..
Property tax assessment letters will be coming out soon and if you're like me, you hope they haven't gone up!
At least not by a lot!
If they have, you may want to consider challeneging the City to reduce them.
If you can prove that their valuation of your home is incorrect, they are usually happy to reduce your taxes.
The goal is to make sure everyone is paying their fair share of taxes and not a penny more.
If you'd like my guide to fighting property taxes, just shoot me a quick email and I will be happy to send you the PDF.
Keep on fighting the good fight!
This morning started like almost every other morning in Real Estate.
I poured a coffee and opened my computer to look at the recent sales and new listings in Winnipeg.
Everything seemed normal. A bunch of new listings. A bunch of finalized sales.
$50,000 OVER ASKING???
I looked at the house and location and thought WOW.. Somebody got excited!
This is a dream scenario for a seller, though. Multiple offers, price gets pushed up and eventually sells for over asking.
For a buyer, though, this is a scary situation to be in.
In a multiple offer situation you need to keep your emotions calm and think rationally.
For example, if those buyers wanted to sell their new home tomorrow, they would be hard pressed to get the same number they paid. That's because they paid over market value for it.
The only reason it sold for what it did was because there was so much urgency created by the listing agent in under pricing the home, that buyers fought over it. Not literally.
Maybe, this is their "dream home", I hope it is, and they plan to live there for the next 50 years. (Not likely!)
Considering the costs of selling and the fact that our market appreciates slowly year over year, these buyers wont be able to move (without taking a loss) for another 10+ years.
Just something to keep in mind.
Sometimes the best deal is the one you don't get.
And for all the buyers who "lost" out on that house, I think you got the best deal!
What do you do? You have a few good options.
First, you can take a second look at your list. Does your new home need every single feature on it?
Are there one or two features you can do without?
For example, can you settle for a smaller kitchen assuming the property has everything else you want?
Often, buying a home that’s close to perfect is perfect enough.
Second, consider what features you might be able to add to a home later, by way of a renovation or other improvement. If a property doesn’t have a finished basement, for example, you might be able to get that done down the road.
Indeed, there are probably many features you can add later to an otherwise desirable property.
Finally, consider the current level of activity in the local real estate market.
Is it likely that a lot of new homes will be coming on the market soon? If so, your perfect home may come up on the market within the next few weeks.
Maybe even tomorrow!
In that situation, make sure you arrange to get immediate alerts for newly listed homes that meet your criteria. You’ll want to jump on each new opportunity before other buyers learn of the listing.
The good news is, in most cases you should be able to find and buy a great home, with most — if not all — of the features you want!
I'm happy to help you do that!
When buyers come to see your home, the first thing they notice is how your property looks from the curb. That first impression is powerful and lingering. If buyers don't like what they see, it can influence how they judge the rest of your property, regardless of how great it looks on the inside.
You definitely want to do whatever you can to boost curb appeal. Here are six affordable ideas to consider:
Driveway sealing.This make sthe pavement look darker and less faded. It also helps cover up some of the cracks. Sealing won't give you the "brand new" look of repaving, but it's close — and significantly less expensive.
Exterior window washing. Washing the front windows makes them look clean and bright. In fact, the effect can be stunning. There are window washing products that connect to your hose to make this job easier. Check your home improvement retailer.
Maintaining shrubs, hedges and flower beds.Trimming the hedges, shrubs and other evergreens can make a big difference in how your property looks from the street. It's like giving them all a haircut! Flowering plants can also brighten up the look.
Front door painting. From the curb, a buyer's eye is naturally drawn to your front door. If your entry system looks old and worn, consider a fresh coat of paint. It can make the entrance look almost new.
Garage door painting.This is a bigger project that can take a day or two, but the effort might be worth it. For many homes, the garage door is the biggest item in the curb appeal panorama. Making it look better will have a big impact.
Removing unsightly items. Look at your home from the street. Are there items in your field of vision that take away from the curb appeal? For example, are there garbage cans and other items stowed along the side of the property and visible from the road? If so, move them.
I heard this the other day at a listing appointment and to be honest it didn't really suprise me..
I was chatting with the sellers about when the right time would be to list their home. It was recently painted, cleaned and all put back together after a some minor repairs and it showed great!
I suggested we take photos ASAP and put it on the market right away to really show off how well it looked.
She said, "but nobody buys homes in January.."
This is a pretty common misconception from the general public about selling their homes in the colder months.
Most sellers believe that if they wait until Spring, they will have a better chance of selling and also a better chance of recieving a higher price.
While Spring is generally a "busier" season, it doesnt always translate into quicker sales or more money.
The fact of the matter is that in January, there are not as many listings on the market to compete with. This gives sellers more leverage when they receive offers because the buyer doesnt have another two or three houses they can choose from as back ups.
Also, with less active buyers out looking at homes, sellers don't have to entertain as many showings as they would if it were Spring. That's because if anyone is brave enough to fight the cold to come look at a property, there's a great chance it's because they NEED to move and not just because they want to see how you decorated your living room.
Every home has the ability to sell during any month of the year and how that property is priced and positioned on the market will determine if, when and for how much it sells.
If you're toying with the idea of when to list, call me anytime. I'll give you my honest opinion about when and for how much to list!
What a year 2019 was...
I couldn't be more grateful and proud to accept this award.
The Royal LePage President's Gold Award is given out to those who finish in the Top 10% of Realtors® in their marketplace.
This would not be possible without the support of my family, my fellow colleagues and brokers and the ongoing support from current and past clients.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you!
You're driving home from work and see a "For Sale" sign on your neighbours lawn.
That's exciting! Well, kind of..
You've come to really like the "Smiths" who live down the street. You see them occasionally and throw them a wave. It's a simple relationship.
You get home and jump on the computer to pull up the listing. After all, you want to see if they've done any renovations over the years!
You pull up the listing and see the price, look through the pictures and go about your evening business.
A few weeks go by and you see a "Sold" tag hanging from the sign!
That was quick you thought! Good for them!
Later that week you see Mr. Smith outside shovelling.
"Congrats on the sale!" you yell from the car.
"Thanks!" he replies. "We got over asking price, too!"
"That's awesome, we'll miss ya!" you say and continue driving home.
Later that night, you can't stop thinking about Mr. Smith saying they got over asking price for their home.
"Should we sell our house?" you think. "I know our house is just as nice if not nicer than theirs..'
Two months go by and you decide, let's do it! Let's list out home..
You invite a professional Realtor® over to give you some tips on how you can get the most amount of money for your house, how the process works and also, the important part, what it's worth!
He begins showing you some similar homes that have sold nearby until he pulls up the Smiths home..
"This home sold for $15,000 below list price." he says.
"That can't be right, Mr. Smith told me they received an offer over asking!"
"Hmm" the Realtor® says... "It says right here it sold for $15,000 under asking.."
Doesn't this change everything.
"Well we wouldn't have decided to sell had we known that!" you say frustrated...
Can you see where I'm going with this?..
The purpose of the Neighbourhood Spotlight is not just to be able to call BS on your neighbour when their home sells for less than they tell you, it's so you can keep your finger on the pulse of the market! It's so you know what's happening around you so you can make an educated decision on when and if to sell.
This service is FREE!
Anytime a home nearby sells, you get the listing sent to you which includes all the information I get as a Realtor®.
Pictures, specs, upgrades but most importantly the PRICE.
I'd love for you to sign up.
All I need is your email and home address.
It's that simple!
Click HERE to sign up now
Isn't that exciting!
I'm a big fan of celebrating New Years. It's an opportunity to look back and celebrate your wins and appreciate your losses. A time to reflect on what went well and also what could be improved.
I'm constantly trying to improve in my business and personal life so it's important for me to do a good self audit at the end of the year and set a plan for the upcoming year.
I set goals for both areas of my life. I have business goals and I have personal goals. I think it's important to seperate the two because in this business it's not hard to get the two mixed up.
Do you like setting goals? Are goals important to you?
I find they keep me on track when things get really hectic. Sort of my North star (as my friend Chris Turcotte likes to say). When I get off track, it's my way of refocusing my priorities and getting back in line.
With the turn of the decade approaching, I wish you all nothing but the best.
Thank you for all your business in the last six years. It's been a wild ride and would not be where I am without the support of my family, my friends and my clients.
It's a good life!