Thursday, April 9, 2009

....building a high standard of professionalism to the real estate transaction


(April 7, 2009) – For REALTORS® of the REALTORS® Association of Grey Bruce Owen Sound (RAGBOS), March marked their busiest month in half a year.
REALTORS® of the RAGBOS traded 145 residential properties in March for a total value of $27,931,305, representing a 61.1 percent increase over February’s results. This is the third consecutive month that the RAGBOS has recorded an increase in sales from the previous month.
“Canadians still see home ownership as a good investment” says Neil Devlin, President of the REALTORS® Association of Grey Bruce Owen Sound, “and with historically low mortgage rates and improved affordability, first‐time home buyers are getting into the market.” “Despite all the negative news about a sluggish economy, homes sold for an average price of $192,630 last month, which is a 6% increase over the previous month, although a 7.9% decline from the first quarter of 2008 figures.
“It is first‐time home buyers who seem to be moving the March sales figures” explains Devlin. “Homes selling in the $120,000‐$250,000 range made up 45% of the total residential home market activity in March, a 4.3% increase in the proportion of sales occurring in that segment compared to the same period last year.”
Devlin believes that now is a good time for qualified buyers to enter the market. Sellers realize that their home must be realistically priced to attract offers and there is now a good selection of properties for sale.
Combined with a prudent buying public we are now in a “balanced market” situation.
A busy spring market is anticipated, being boosted somewhat by the Federal Budget 2009 incentives to get Canadians into their first home or renovating their current home.
Some of the budget highlights include:
• Providing first‐time home buyers with additional access to their RRSP savings to purchase or build a home by increasing the Home Buyers’ Plan withdrawal limit to $25,000.
• Assisting first‐time home buyers by providing up to $750 in tax relief to help with the purchase of a first home.
• Implementing a temporary Home Renovation Tax Credit that will provide up to $1,350 in tax relief.
• Providing an additional $300 million over two years to the ecoENERGY Retrofit program to support home retrofits.
Sellers who are uncertain about current market conditions should consult a REALTOR® to develop an effective marketing strategy. A REALTOR® knows the local market and can help you decide on a competitive listing price for your home.

If you are buying, a REALTOR® will negotiate on your behalf and guide you through every step of the process. A REALTOR® understands the market and must, by law, look after your best
interests. The use of average price information can be useful in establishing long term trends; however the REALTORS® Association of Grey Bruce Owen Sound cautions that an average price does not indicate the actual value of any particular property. Those requiring specific information on property values should contact a REALTOR®.

The REALTORS® Association of Grey Bruce Owen Sound is made up of over 350 REALTOR® Members.
Its jurisdiction consists primarily of Bruce and Grey Counties, although a small portion of Wellington County is included. Much of its Southwestern Ontario trading area is bordered by Lake Huron and Georgian Bay.

• REALTORS® are trained professionals, licensed by the Province of Ontario and are accountable to the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO).
• REALTORS® are subject to a higher standard than the minimum standard required by the Real Estate & Business Brokers Act (REBBA 2002).
• REALTORS® are members of real estate boards and as such are required to adhere to the Canadian Real Estate Association’s Code of Ethics and Standards of Business Practice.
• REALTORS® have completed stringent educational and licensing requirements and must be of good reputation in order to be licensed.
• REALTORS® are committed to continuing education and consistently refine and improve their skills and professional knowledge through participation in the profession’s Professional Development Program.
• Both RECO and 43 Ontario real estate boards use a comprehensive investigatory and disciplinary process to deal with complaints. REALTORS® who are found to have breached either the legislation or REALTOR® Code are subject to sanctions by their board and RECO.
• REALTORS® are covered by a well-funded errors and omissions indemnity plan.
• REALTORS® use standardized forms and have access to well drafted (and court-tested) clauses and phrases which affords a high level of protection and comfort to their clients.
• REALTORS® are paid when a transaction successfully completes meaning that commissions and fees are not normally paid by the client unless a transaction successfully completes.
• REALTORS® have access to and use the Multiple Listing Service® and listing services – the most successful real estate listing website in Canada.
• REALTORS® are trained marketing professionals – they know how to price and market properties so that they sell for the most money possible in the shortest time possible.
• REALTORS® are trained negotiators. Sellers and buyers do not generally negotiate for a living. This places them at a disadvantage because they can become emotionally involved when they deal directly with an unrepresented buyer or seller.
• REALTORS® are thoroughly familiar with representing buyers and sellers in real estate transactions and understand the pitfalls of the process. Sellers and buyers “doing it themselves” can make mistakes, the result of which can far outweigh any perceived or real financial advantages to be gained in saving a commission or fee.
• Unrepresented buyers and sellers using for-sale-by-owner organizations expect to save REALTORS®’ fees. However, since both buyers and sellers want to save the same commission or fee, their negotiations begin at a disadvantage. Their negotiations are further hampered because they do not have an independent party like a REALTOR® to help them negotiate the best possible deal.
• REALTOR® involvement can protect consumers against the risk of a potential loss due to
misadventure, fraudulent dealings or criminals who case homes during showings. REALTORS®
provide “on hand” professional advice, are adept at advising clients how to avoid any financially
damaging situations and give consumers peace of mind by providing them with a stream of qualified clients.
"REALTOR® is a registered trademark of REALTOR® Canada Inc., a company partly owned by The Canadian Real Estate Association". Trademark use under license from The Canadian Real Estate Association.
Information provided by the REALTORS® Association of Grey Bruce Owen Sound, copyright 2009. E&OE

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Why is it taking so long?

1) What makes a house sell
2) Why does it take some homes longer than others to sell
3) Why use the services of a real estate representative
4) Can one person sell my house quick than another


1) Appeal, price, the sellers motivation
Appeal - the house must show well inside and out. If your representative tells you to declutter, paint etc, you need to listen. They aren't saying just to sound good, they are saying it because it is what sells a house. Take wallpaper for example. Big bright 70's colored flowers! A typical buyer isn't going to say "pretty wallpaper", they are going to say "pretty much has to come down"! If it's one room, not such a big deal, but the entire house, means lots of work to a potential buyer,
Price - it has to be priced within the market, and for what the market allows. Just because you neighbor got that much doesn't hold water for a typical buyer. They want to know why your price is where it is. Did your neighbors house have the same features? Did your neighbor sell in a better market? These are all questions your "licenced" representative can help you with.
The Sellers Motivation - if you really, and I mean really want to list your home, then do it. But if you are testing the market, think twice before doing so. Testing the market can hurt your chances for getting a good price for your home. Most people that do so, list very high to try and get "nibbles" only to see their listing sit and lose interest. People wonder if it has problems. Your agent is there to do a job, and if you are not motivated, chances are it will rub off on your agent.

2) It takes longer to sell some homes over others for most of the reasons above. Price, motivation, and appeal. Sometimes, the sale is done before the "for sale" sign hits the lawn. You see the "for sale" sign go up, then one showing and boom, SOLD. Sometimes there is a buyer just waiting for that exact home or neighborhood.

3) Again, why use the services of a "licenced" real estate representative? Because we are educated, follow a strict "Code of Ethics" and are governed in the province that we practice. We know the market, we provide stats and data on historical trends, we can tell you how to stage your home, we seek title information, municipal information and the list goes on and on and me if you would like more detail. I would be happy to discuss how hard I work for my clients.

4) Can one person sell your house quicker than another? Not likely. The only difference between signs on a front lawn(when you are dealing with National companies) is the level of service that you will achieve out of your agent. Most listings, excluding "exclusive" listings are visible to the general public on which is where more than 80% of home buyers start their search. Wouldn't you want constants updates like graphs, charts, showing details, and communication?
Can one agent market your home better than another to attract more buyers? Possibly. A sign on the front lawn, and an ad in the local paper isn't usually enough in today's market. You need a representative that is internet savvy, tech savvy and one that has strong marketing techniques. In a buyers market, there are so many homes on the market, that your listing needs to be "first" to win the race!
Visit my websites, the many websites and techniques such as Talking House(tm) that I use to promote your listing. The more exposure, the better a chance of selling quicker...period!

Sometimes you see one Brokerage's sign up for a long time, only to be replaced by another Brokerage's sign (another company). This happens because sometimes home owners think that by changing companies they have a better chance of selling. Although in some instances this could be true (where a representative and seller didn't get along) but for the most part this won't usually make a difference. The big difference is listening to your representative, they understand, and have the expertise to help get the job done.
Social Networks are a great place as well to promote and market listings.
Such as this Facebook page click here