Friday, August 28, 2009


As a seller you must be properly informed about the area market prices. Just because your neighbor got $$$ (which is the biggest cause for overpricing in my opinion) does not mean your house holds the same value. It could be worth more!

The second biggest cause for overpricing is "my family told me what it's worth". That's a shame because you are being given the wrong advice from non-experienced people . I had one the other day say, "my daughter told me....." Their advice was $100,000 over price compared to what has sold in the area within the past year, and they were using comparisons that were totally different/new/much superior features. It hasn't listed yet, but if it does at that price, then the person listing it did not investigate.

As a registered real estate representative, I am trained and experienced in pricing a home correctly. When you don't listen to what an experienced person tells you, you run the risk of over marketing (on the market too long) the home which creates a stigma thus significantly lowering the bottom dollar that you may end up getting.

For example if I told you that your house should list at 239,000 and you decide to list it at $249,000 because you fell into the "249" trap (someone told you that is what it is worth) the chances of a good and fast sale become marginal. If you list at the "market" price, it should sell if it shows well. The biggest reason homes sit for a long time is price. It doesn't matter if it needs a roof, if it's priced to high, it won't sell. If it's priced with the common sense that it does need a roof a potential buyer might agree. If the basement leaks, or it needs new windows, remember to price it accordingly.

Here is another tip....if you are getting more than one valuation on your home, don't tell any of the representatives that you are getting more than one opinion. This way you can be assured of consistent facts/figures.

The third biggest reason a home sits for a long time is marketing. Just a sign will not normally sell your home.(unless you are one of the lucky ones that gets that once in awhile driveby sale) There needs to be a combination of newsprint, open houses, and thorough marketing to get the job done.

"REAL" virtual tours help. Virtual meaning the feeling that you are there. Most tours just provide strategic pictures that spin around the room. My virtual tours are actual video taken of the home with narration of each room and it's features. Those are uploaded to my many websites and social media such as Youtube and House Hunting networks, which capture much more audience than a simple sign and ad in the local paper. If you have a nice cottage to sell, how is an ad in the local paper going to sell need to reach an audience of people that come from areas to cottage here such as the Tri-city area, or Toronto.

When you are ready to list, give Jason Steele a call, you will be glad you did! Have a look at the testimonials on my website, you will see what my clients really think!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Cottage in the Port Elgin area

From Friday's Globe and Mail Last updated on Thursday, Aug. 20, 2009 02:32PM EDT

When Toronto lawyer Doug Harrison tells his friends and colleagues he's headed to his cottage in Port Elgin, Ont., for the weekend, he's often asked, “Huh? Where's that?”
The beach town on Lake Huron in western Ontario is unfamiliar to many Torontonians, who are more aware of Muskoka, the Kawarthas or Prince Edward County as cottage destinations. “It's not on the radar,” says Mr. Harrison. “It's amazing how many Torontonians don't know about it.”
But the days of obscurity for Port Elgin and the neighbouring community of Southampton might not last much longer. “We're starting to notice more people from Toronto coming to the region,” local real-estate agent Brad Angel says. “The Kawarthas and places like that have become quite expensive, and people are looking for alternatives.”
Prices are lower along Lake Huron, although it's no bargain basement. Lakefront properties start at about $450,000, largely because there is such a tight supply. The area has always been popular with families from London, Guelph and Hamilton, and there's little ownership turnover. Cottages are often handed down through the generations.
If the lure of lower prices isn't enough of a draw, the natural beauty is. Wide, sandy beaches interspersed with rugged outcrops, as well as the vast expanse of Lake Huron, are compelling. “You just cannot get better sunsets than on the Lake Huron shore,” says Mr. Angel, the broker of record for Coldwell Banker-The Property Shoppe.
Mr. Harrison's reasons for venturing three hours west of his Toronto home and office are more personal. He grew up in Hamilton, and his wife, Margaret Grottenthaler, is from Guelph.
They spent summers in their youth in and around Southampton, and rented cottages in the area as adults before buying their own land in 2003 and building a modernist beach house. “I think most people gravitate, when they get a cottage, to the area they experienced as children,” Ms. Grottenthaler notes.
Port Elgin and Southampton are about a half-hour north of Kincardine, and an hour southwest of Owen Sound. Port Elgin, whose population includes blue-collar workers, white-collar types from the Bruce nuclear plant, and increasingly affluent cottagers, has a main street that's seen several new establishments open over the past couple of years, including a deli, a pair of yuppie-friendly coffee shops, an English pub and a swank Italian restaurant. Southampton has long had enough upscale shops and services to satisfy city folk.
Still, the area is relatively isolated, and Mr. Harrison and Ms. Grottenthaler hope that never changes. They prefer the slow pace and lack of modern trappings. “In Muskoka, you have to be much more industrious,” Ms. Grottenthaler says. “You have to boat, you have to swim, you have to fix the dock. Here, you don't have to do anything. You just have to get out your lawn chairs and read a book.” For many harried Torontonians, that might be the biggest lure of them all.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Survey Says............


Survey Finds that While Couples Make Real Estate Buying Decisions Together,
Women Make Up Their Minds Significantly Faster than Men

BURLINGTON, ON (August 17, 2009) – It often seems as though men and women are from different planets, but every day millions of couples navigate through day-to-day and even life-altering decisions. Because a home is the biggest purchase most people will make in their lifetime, Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC surveyed 1,000 individuals to discover how much men and women differ in the home-buying process.

The real estate company engaged a third-party research firm, International Communications Research (ICR), to delve into the inner-psyche of men and women, asking questions such as “How long did it take for you to know that the last home you purchased was right for you?” and “If you found the home of your dreams but had concerns about its security, would you still be interested?” Coldwell Banker Real Estate also surveyed couples on additional topics, such as “Who wears the pants in the relationship?” when it comes to making major financial decisions.

“The results were surprising,” said Diann Patton, the Coldwell Banker consumer real estate expert. “Not only did we uncover some of the inherent differences between men and women, but we also pinpointed a number of ways that the two genders are actually the same. For example, both men and women are increasingly concerned with having a space to work in their homes – something we would not have seen 40 years ago.” She continued, “We also found that feeling insecure about a home’s safety is a deal-breaker for most people, regardless of gender.”

Below are some key highlights from the Coldwell Banker study:

Women may be inclined to make up their mind more quickly than men …

When asked how long it took before they knew their home was “right” for them, almost 70 percent of women had made up their mind the day they walked into the house, vs. 62 percent of men. Conversely, significantly more men needed two or more visits: (32 percent of men vs. 23 percent of women).
Women would rather live closer to their extended family than to their job …

55 percent of women find it more important to be closer to their extended family (those that do not live in their household) than to their job, compared to only 37 percent of men.

A home’s security is a deal-breaker for both men and women …

64 percent of women said that if they found the home of their dreams but had concerns about its security, they would no longer be interested. More than half of men agreed (51 percent).
Couples say that no one “wears the pants in the relationship” in terms of major financial decisions …

When asked who wears the pants in the relationship (when it comes to major financial decisions, such as purchasing a home), almost 70 percent of respondents living with their significant other said it’s actually mutual.
However, 23 percent think that they, themselves, wear the pants in the relationship, not their partner. More men than women said this (26 percent vs. 20 percent, respectively).
Men and women agree on how they would use a spare room, for the most part …
When the respondents were asked how they would use an extra 12 x 12 room if it could be anything they wanted, men and women agreed on the top three most popular, and very practical, responses:

Bedroom: 25 percent
Office/Study: 15 percent
Family Room / Den: 11 percent
However, men really do want a “Man Cave”…

Interestingly, out of the 8 percent who indicated they would turn that spare room into an entertainment centre, it was a preponderance of men leading the charge. In fact, four times as many men as women said they would use the extra space for recreation / entertainment.
In addition to providing background on the survey results, Patton is able to offer tips for couples who are currently going through the process of buying a home. “These results further validate how critical it is for couples to recognize each other’s differences and work together, from deciding a neighbourhood to how to use a spare room,” she said. “Online tools and the expertise of a real estate professional can be particularly helpful for couples, especially if they work together step-by-step along the way.”

Methodology: Coldwell Banker Real Estate engaged ICR to conduct an omnibus survey via telephone in May 2009, among more than 1,000 U.S. respondents. Canadians were invited to participate through a Zoomerang online survey

About Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC
Since 1906, the Coldwell Banker® organization has been a premier full-service real estate provider. In 2008, Franchise Times magazine’s prestigious Top 200 issue ranked the Coldwell Banker system No. 1 in real estate for the ninth straight year and 12th among franchisors in all industries. The Coldwell Banker System has approximately 3,500 residential real estate offices and approximately 100,000 sales associates in 47 countries and territories. The Coldwell Banker System is a leader in the industry in residential and commercial real estate, and in niche markets such as resort, new home and luxury property through its Coldwell Banker Previews International® division. It is a pioneer in consumer services with its Coldwell Banker Concierge® Service Program and award-winning Web site, Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC is a subsidiary of Realogy Corporation, a global provider of real estate and relocation services. Coldwell Banker® is a registered trademark licensed to Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. Each office is independently owned and operated.