27 Valuable Tips You Should Know To Get Your Home SOLD FAST and for TOP DOLLAR!

Selling your home may well be your largest asset, to sell your home is probably one of the most important decisions you will make in your life. To better understand the homeselling process, a guide has been prepared from current industry insider reports. Through these 27 tips you will discover how to protect and capitalize on your most important investment, reduce stress, be in control of your situation, and make the most profit possible.

1. Understand Why You Are Selling Your Home. 

Your motivation to sell is the determining factor as to how you will approach the process. It affects everything from what you set your asking price at to how much time, money and effort you’re willing to invest in order to prepare your home for sale. For example, if your goal is for a quick sale, this would determine one approach. If you want to maximize your profit, the sales process might take longer thus determining a different approach.

2. Keep the Reason(s) You are Selling to Yourself.

The reason(s) you are selling your home will affect the way you negotiate its sale. By keeping this to yourself you don’t provide ammunition to your prospective buyers. For example, should they learn that you must move quickly, you could be placed at a disadvantage in the negotiation process. When asked, simply say that your housing needs have changed. Remember, the reason(s) you are selling is only for you to know .

3. Before Setting a Price – Do Your Homework.

When you set your price, you make buyers aware of the absolute maximum they have to pay for your home. As a seller, you will want to get a selling price as close to the list price as possible. If you start out by pricing too high you run the risk of not being taken seriously by buyers and their agents and pricing too low can result in selling for much less than you were hoping for.

Setting Your Home’s Sale Price:

If You Live in a Subdivision.- If your home is comprised of similar or identical floor plans, built in the same period, simply look at recent sales in your neighborhood subdivision to give you a good idea of what your home is worth.
If You Live in An Older Neighborhood.- As neighborhoods change over time each home may be different in minor or substantial ways. Because of this you will probably find that there aren’t many homes truly comparable to your own. In this case you may want to consider seeking a Realtor® to help you with the pricing process.
If You Decide to Sell On Your Own.- A good way to establish a value is to look at homes that have sold in your neighborhood within the past 6 months, including those now on the market. This is how prospective buyers will assess the worth of your home. Also a trip to City Hall can provide you with home sale information in its public records, for most communities.

4. Do Some “Home Shopping” Yourself.

The best way to learn about your competition and discover what turns buyers off is to check out other open houses. Note floor plans, condition, appearance, size of lot, location and other features. Particularly note, not only the asking prices but what they are actually selling for. Remember, if you’re serious about getting your home sold fast, don’t price it higher than your neighbor’s.

5. When Getting an Appraisal is a Benefit.

Sometimes a good appraisal can be a benefit in marketing your home. Getting an appraisal is a good way to let prospective buyers know that your home can be financed. However, an appraisal does cost money, has a limited life, and there’s no guarantee you’ll like the figure you hear.

6. Tax Assessments – What They Really Mean.

Some people think that tax assessments are a way of evaluating a home. The difficulty here is that assessments are based on a number of criteria that may not be related to property values, so they may not necessarily reflect your home’s true value.

7. Deciding Upon a Realtor®.

According to the National Association of Realtors, nearly two-thirds of the people surveyed who sell their own homes say they wouldn’t do it again themselves. Primary reasons included setting a price, marketing handicaps, liability concerns, and time constraints. When deciding upon a Realtor®, consider two or three. Be as wary of quotes that are too low as those that are too high.

All Realtors® are not the same! A professional Realtor ® knows the market and has information on past sales, current listings, a marketing plan, and will provide their background and references. Evaluate each candidate carefully on the basis of their experience, qualifications, enthusiasm and personality. Be sure you choose someone that you trust and feel confident that they will do a good job on your behalf.

If you choose to sell on your own, you can still talk to a Realtor®. Many are more than willing to help do-it-yourselfers with paperwork, contracts, etc. and should problems arise, you now have someone you can readily call upon.

8. Ensure You Have Room to Negotiate.

Before settling on your asking price make sure you leave yourself enough room in which to bargain. For example, set your lowest and highest selling price. Then check your priorities to know if you’ll price high to maximize your profit or price closer to market value if you want sell quickly.

9. Appearances Do Matter – Make them Count!

Appearance is so critical that it would be unwise to ignore this when selling your home. The look and “feel” of your home will generate a greater emotional response than any other factor. Prospective buyers react to what they see, hear, feel, and smell even though you may have priced your home to sell.

10. Invite the Honest Opinions of Others.

The biggest mistake you can make at this point is to rely solely on your own judgement. Don’t be shy about seeking the honest opinions of others. You need to be objective about your home’s good points as well as bad. Fortunately, your Realtor® will be unabashed about discussing what should be done to make your home more marketable.

11. Get it Spic n’ Span Clean and Fix Everything, Even If It Seems Insignificant.

Scrub, scour, tidy up, straighten, get rid of the clutter, declare war on dust, repair squeaks, the light switch that doesn’t work, and the tiny crack in the bathroom mirror because these can be deal killers and you’ll never know what turns buyers off. Remember, you’re not just competing with other resale homes, but brand-new ones as well.

12. Allow Prospective Buyers to Visualize Themselves in Your Home.

The last thing you want prospective buyers to feel when viewing your home is that they may be intruding into someone’s life. Avoid clutter such as too many knick-knacks, etc. Decorate in neutral colors, like white or beige and place a few carefully chosen items to add warmth and character. You can enhance the attractiveness of your home with a well-placed vase of flowers or potpourri in the bathroom. Home-decor magazines are great for tips.

13. Deal Killer Odors – Must Go!

You may not realize but odd smells like traces of food, pets and smoking odors can kill deals quickly. If prospective buyers know you have a dog, or that you smoke, they’ll start being aware of odors and seeing stains that may not even exist. Don’t leave any clues.

14. Be a Smart Seller – Disclose Everything.

Smart sellers are proactive in disclosing all known defects to their buyers in writing. This can reduce liability and prevent law suits later on.

15. Maximize Your Home’s Marketability.

When you maximize your home’s marketability, you will most likely attract more than one prospective buyer. It is much better to have several buyers because they will compete with each other; a single buyer will end up competing with you.

16. Keep Emotions in Check During Negotiations.

Let go of the emotion you’ve invested in your home. Be detached, using a business-like manner in your negotiations. You’ll definitely have an advantage over those who get caught up emotionally in the situation.

17. Learn Why Your Buyer is Motivated.

The better you know your buyers the better you can use the negotiation process to your advantage. This allows you to control the pace and duration of the process.
As a rule, buyers are looking to purchase the best affordable property for the least amount of money. Knowing what motivates them enables you to negotiate more effectively. For example, does your buyer need to move quickly. Armed with this information you are in a better position to bargain.

18. What the Buyer Can Really Pay.

As soon as possible, try to learn the amount of mortgage the buyer is qualified to carry and how much his/her down payment is. If their offer is low, ask their Realtor® about the buyer’s ability to pay what your home is worth.

19. When the Buyer Would Like to Close.

Quite often, when buyers would “like” to close is when they need to close. Knowledge of their deadlines for completing negotiations again creates a negotiating advantage for you.

20. Never Sign a Deal on Your Next Home Until You Sell Your Current Home

Beware of closing on your new home while you’re still making mortgage payments on the old one or you might end up becoming a seller who is eager (even desperate) for the first deal that comes along.

21. Moving Out Before You Sell Can Put You at a Disadvantage.

It has been proven that it’s more difficult to sell a home that is vacant because it becomes forlorn looking, forgotten, no longer an appealing sight. Buyers start getting the message that you have a another home and are probably motivated to sell. This could cost you thousands of dollars.

22. Deadlines Create a Serious Disadvantage.

Don’t try to sell by a certain date. This adds unnecessary pressure and is a serious disadvantage in negotiations.

23. It’s Better With More Prospects. A Low Offer – Don’t Take It Personally. 

Invariably the initial offer is below what both you and the buyer knows he’ll pay for your property. Don’t be upset, evaluate the offer objectively. Ensure it spells out the offering price, sufficient deposit, amount of down payment, mortgage amount, a closing date and any special requests. This can simply provide a starting point from which you can negotiate.

24. Turn That Low Offer Around.

You can counter a low offer or even an offer that’s just under your asking price. This lets the buyer know that the first offer isn’t seen as being a serious one. Now you’ll be negotiating only with buyers with serious offers.

25. Maybe the Buyer’s Not Qualified.

If you feel an offer is inadequate, now is the time to make sure the buyer is qualified to carry the size of mortgage the deal requires. Inquire how they arrived at their figure, and suggest they compare your price to the prices of homes for sale in your neighborhood.

26. Ensure the Contract is Complete.

To avoid problems, ensure that all terms, costs and responsibilities are spelled out in the contract of sale. It should include such items as the date it was made, names of parties involved, address of property being sold, purchase price, where deposit monies will be held, date for loan approval, date and place of closing, type of deed, including any contingencies that remain to be settled and what personal property is included (or not) in the sale.

27. Resist Deviating From the Contract.

For example, if the buyer requests a move-in prior to closing, just say no. That you’ve been advised against it. Now is not the time to take any chances of the deal falling through.


We want to offer you a Unique Opportunity to Present YOUR HOME in its Best Condition.
Entering into Hamilton/Burlington’s Current Real Estate Market can be somewhat intimidating, especially if you haven’t bought or sold a home in a while. As you begin to do your research, you’ll find the market has changed drastically; it’s a very discernable BUYERS market right now. You’ll be entering it with high expectations so once your home is put up for sale, you’ll find yourself competing with a number of other sellers who, like you, simply want to sell for the most money possible.

Ancaster, like so many other well established Hamilton communities is NO exception. There are many Homes For Sale in every category. From post and pre-war small family properties to new and very contemporary urban residences, the array of choices is complete. Presenting YOUR home in an appealing manner will be crucial to your selling success.

There are many considerations when selling. Home condition and show-ability is a big part of the process. A well-known rule of thumb is that the correct list price, when compared with other comparable homes garners the buyer’s interest and creates a request for a showing. But presenting your home in its best looking, most appealing condition is the crucial exercise that generates AN OFFER FOR YOU from a qualified buyer. These days, buyers are very interested to find and see value for the dollars they are going to spend. We believe this creates much benefit for you, a Home Seller.

For a selling project in the near future, our HOME SELLERS KIT is the ideal choice for you today. You’ll receive a fully loaded, comprehensive collection of very useful tools which will help you see the importance of in how to present your home to prospective buyers. Your personal kit will include the following:

  • A special brochure: “The 9 Step System to Get Your Home Sold FAST and for TOP DOLLAR
  • A complete Community Sales report including recent sales, current listings, and a printout of your home as it appears in the database 
  • 27 Valuable Tips for Quick and Easy Fix-Ups guide.
  • Preparing to Sell – Checklist for getting your Home Ready for Sale
  • Our Marketing Program
  • Personalized Online Home Seller Video of How we Can Sell your Home For TOP DOLLAR.
  • How we can get your Home Sold – GUARANTEED!

Order your own personalized kit right now by clicking here and filling out our form: www.top27homesellingtips.com

or Calling 1-833-213-7424 and enter ID #1023 Leave a message on our Toll Free Hotline with your name and address you would like your Free Home Seller Kit sent to and we will mail it to any home in the Hamilton or surrounding area.

Any questions, CALL OUR OFFICE: 905-297-4885


Comment below with one thing on the 27 Tips List that you found the most helpful!

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Hamilton/Burlington Real Estate Market Trend Report November 2017

The REALTORS® Association of Hamilton-Burlington (RAHB) reported 1,096 sales were processed through the RAHB Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System in November, 16.7 per cent fewer than the same month last year but 3.3 per cent higher than the 10-year average.

All property listings were 8.7 per cent higher than the same month last year, 18.9 per cent higher than the 10-year average, and fell just short of the high for the month of November.

“We continue to see a healthy number of listings coming onto the real estate market, which is a welcome relief from the low inventory earlier this year,” said RAHB CEO George O’Neill. “Although sales are down compared to last year, they are still higher than average, which means there are also still lots of buyers.”

Seasonally adjusted* sales of residential properties were 10.8 per cent lower than the same month last year, with the average sale price up 5.1 per cent for the month. Seasonally adjusted numbers of new listings were 15.6 per cent higher than November of 2016.

Seasonally Adjusted RAHB Chart November 2017

Overall residential sales of 1,052 units were 16.6 per cent lower than the same month last year. Residential freehold sales were 15.6 per cent lower than November of 2016 while sales in the condominium market were 20.7 per cent lower than the same month last year.

The median price of freehold properties increased by 4.8 per cent over the same month last year while the median price for condominium properties increased by 7.5 per cent compared to the same period.

The average price of freehold properties showed an increase of 3.6 per cent compared to November of last year; the average sale price in the condominium market increased by 7.6 per cent compared to the same period.

Average sale price is based on the total dollar volume of all properties sold through the RAHB MLS® System. Average sale price can be useful in establishing long-term trends, but should not be used as an indicator that specific properties have increased or decreased in value. Contact a REALTOR® for information about your area or property.

“Two months ago, in September, we saw a dip in what had been a weakening seller’s market, and then a bit of a rebound in October as is often expected. This past month, in November, the sales-to-new-listing ratio was around 67 per cent over the entire month, but is now trending downward toward a balanced market.”

The average number of days on market increased to 37 days from 25 days in the freehold market and increased to 36 days from 26 days in the condominium market, compared to November of last year.

“Now that we are going into the year-end holiday season, we expect to see a bit of a lull – that is the traditional rhythm of the real estate market,” noted O’Neill. “We continue to urge buyers and sellers to contact a REALTOR® to learn more about new mortgage guidelines coming into effect on January 1, 2018 – the new guidelines may affect their purchase or sale.”

Every community in RAHB’s market area has its own localized market. Refer to the accompanying chart, and please ensure you contact a local REALTOR® for professional advice.

*Seasonal adjustment removes normal seasonal variations, enabling analysis of monthly changes and fundamental trends in the data.

November 2017 Stats Breakdown:

RAHB Comparison Chart November 2017

RAHB Market Activity for Nov 2017

Residential Market Hamilton Chart Nov 2017

Residential Market Burl November 2017

 

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The Bush Team Home News FALL ISSUE

Is Your Glass Half Full or Half Empty?

You have probably heard that phrase before. As you know it’s often associated with ‘Positive Thinking’ or lack of it. Is it possible to walk through this life with a positive attitude – even when things are not going well? You probably know people who do. Would others say that YOU are one of those  people?

Make no mistake about it there is deep concern on behalf of everyone at our real estate company for the very real pain, difficulty and struggle many experience as they walk through life. Our belief is that in order for us to be a positive force for others, Positive Thinking is   required. Please allow us to share some of that ‘core value’ with you in this season’s issue of Home News.

In Dr. Norman Vincent Peale’s classic book, The Power of Positive Thinking, he teaches the cultivation of ‘peace of mind’, not as an escape from the realities of life, but as a ‘power center’ out of which comes driving energy for constructive personal and social  living.

It seems every time we put the news on or glance at social media, there is a barrage of  negativity. We have to look hard to find the ‘good news’. But as we walk around and live life in practical terms, we see a great deal of love and positive energy coming from and among people. We’re not sure of the disconnect, it could be just us and our perceptions. We are reminded of the importance of staying positive as it relates to just about everything. Even in the midst of great tragedy, there is a more productive way to think. We wrote about this in the last issue of Inhouse sharing with you Dr. Ike Reighard’s story from his book Treasures From The Dark.

Positive thinking is really just faith in action. When things are not   going well, it is easy to develop a negative attitude. But in our  experience, the fastest way to lift ourselves up when feeling down is to go help someone else who needs a hand up. We all know how comforting it is when life has dealt us a bad blow and a friend or someone we love brings us their positive energy. Positive, faith-filled thinking and resulting action is contagious.

With practical techniques discovered in Dr. Peale’s book, it is not just possible but likely to change someone’s life. Another way to describe Positive Thinking is that it gives yourself the vision and   initiative needed to work out your ambitions and hopes.

Take a look at people you would say have ‘determination’. Determined people are Positive Thinkers. So, conversely we can say that Negative Thinkers lack determination. We’re not sure it is  possible to be determined to succeed and not possess Positive Thinking.

We’ve never seen successful people who are negative. They are the opposite, they attract, influence and share – the very definition of Positive.

With positive thinking we learn to:

  • Expect the best and get it.
  • Believe in yourself and in everything you do.
  • Develop the power to reach your goals.
  • Break the worry habit and achieve a more relaxed life.
  • Improve your personal and professional relationships.
  • Assume control over your circumstances. Be kind to yourself.

Positive thinking is not a means to fame, riches or power, but the practical application of faith to overcome defeat and accomplish worthwhile creative values in life. It teaches a hard, disciplined way of life; One which offers great joy to the individual who achieves victory over debilitating attitudes and emotions and exacts benefits from the difficult             circumstances of life.

In a past newsletter we wrote about how Words Matter. The words we speak have a direct and definite affect upon our thoughts. Thoughts create words. But words can also affect thoughts and help to condition our thoughts to not create  attitudes. In fact, what often passes for thinking starts with talk.

The man who assumes success tends to already have success. Our hope is that YOU will expect the best and get it.

William James, the famous psychologist said “Our belief at the beginning of a doubtful undertaking is the one thing that insures the successful outcome of your venture”.

One concern as parents, is to get our children involved and hanging out with others who are good, noble, caring, who ‘do the right things’ kind of kids. Most parents have an instinct to realize when their kids are hanging out with the wrong crowd. There is little they would not do to get their child out of that environment. It is a universal truth that you will   become who you hang out with. What amazes me are adults that won’t apply this same rule to themselves. They engage in damaging behavior in WHO they watch, follow, and hang out with.

Our belief is that God put us here to accomplish great things. We are capable of far more than we can imagine. Success starts most definitely between our ears: WHAT you think about and HOW you think about things.

Oh yeah… our glass? It is running over!

 

Blessings,

Craig and Coleen Bush

(Sales Representative & Broker)

The Bush Team with Re/Max Escarpment Realty

 


2017 Award Winner of the Daniel Passante Entrepreneur Award

 

In August the Bush Team was awarded the Daniel Passante Entrepreneur Award which Is awarded to the most innovative, inspiring and successful Team leaders. We are truly blessed to have received this award and we wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for our spectacular clients who continue to refer business to us and help our business grow!

 

 


Your Referrals Help the Kidz!

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Over the years, we have some ask us why we support CityKidz. We have  personally seen how this organization has changed the lives of children living in the inner city of Hamilton. We have personally participated in packaging gifts for Christmas, Coleen and our kids have assisted with their programs and home visitations. Children are our future and we are committed to make a difference in our community.

OUR MISSION IS TO RAID $10,000 TO CITYKIDZ AND WE NEED YOUR HELP ACHIEVING THIS!

For anyone considering a move that we help, you can rest assured that not only will they get the award winning service we are known for, but that a solid portion of the income we receive from the transaction will go toward a very worthy cause.

We want to make it easy to refer your friends, neighbors, associates or family members considering making a move, so here are your options:

  1. You can pass along our business card to them, we have enclosed a couple here for that purpose.
  2. You can go to www.HelpTheKidz.com and enter their contact info on line or forward the link to who you know considering a move.
  3. Of course you can always call us direct as well at 905-297-4885.
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Feature Investment Homes in Hamilton!

ATTENTION REAL ESTATE INVESTORS! We have some awesome investment properties that will surely get your attention. These homes have good bones but are in need of an update! So if you are up to the challenge keep reading or call us at 905-297-4885 to book a FREE showing of any of these homes!

 

WELCOME TO 670 DUNN AVENUEThis home JUST reduced it’s price to $250,000!

Welcome investors/first time buyers to this diamond in the rough located in a great area of east Hamilton with easy access to the Red Hill expressway and QEW. This 1.5 storey needs some TLC but has wonderful potential. Newer furnace, 100 amp on breakers, most windows on main level are newer. Loft on second level provides so many possibilities. For the hobbyist, a 10′ x 20′ garage with hydro. Comfortable backyard to relax in. Enclosed porch in front/back entrance ways. CALL 905-297-4885 TO VIEW THIS HOME TODAY!

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For more details and pictures please follow this link: http://670dunnave.bushrealtysystems.com

 

WELCOME TO 380 BEACH ROAD!

Welcome to this wonderfully updated 2 storey 3 bedroom brick house that is honestly ready to move in and is nicely located with close access to shopping and the Redhill Valley Parkway. Consider the list of updates: This house has a brand new kitchen with all new cupboards and counter tops and all brand new stainless steel appliances which include fridge, stove, dishwasher, microwave. Updated 4 piece bathroom. Oh, by the way, the washer and dryer are new. The hardwood floors give this house a touch of the classic look. This beauty has had its plumbing and electrical updated with 100 amp service on breakers. The furnace, a/c and roof were completed 2015, with the eaves being completed in 2016. This gem of a house has a great size backyard with new front and back decks. No disappointments here! Easy to view!

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For more pictures and details please follow this link: http://380beachrd.bushrealtysystems.com/

 

WELCOME 17 HOWARD STREET, PEACOCK POINT

You will love to spend your summers at lovely Peacock Point. This rare property boasts 2 cottages on one deed. Both cottages offer 2 Bedrooms, one for you and one with an extra loft area for the kids and their friends. They are both mechanically sound, but will need some work including shingles and cosmetics. The location is ideal across from the Park with Lake views and the lovely sunsets from the front porch. Water supply is from Peacock Pt at approx 400 from May-Oct. Opportunities like this do not come up often. Call us direct at 905-297-4885 to arrange a free tour today!

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For more pictures and details please follow this link: peacockpoint.bushrealtysystems.com

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October 2017 Market Trend Report

The REALTORS® Association of Hamilton-Burlington (RAHB)reported 1,317 sales were processed through the RAHB Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System in October, 6.5 per cent fewer than the same month last year and 10.9 per cent higher than the 10-year average.

All property listings were 12.2 per cent higher than the same month last year, 14.3 per cent higher than the 10-year average, and set a new record for the month of October.

“We are continuing to see more listings come onto the market after the severe shortage we saw earlier this year,” said RAHB CEO George O’Neill. “Sales have also rebounded a bit after the lower sales we saw over the last three months, resulting in a sales-to-new-listing ratio at 69 per cent in the residential market. After a few months in a more balanced market, we have just had a month where we moved to the lower end of a seller’s market again. We don’t know if this one month is indicative of a shift in the market or just a one-month result.”

Seasonally adjusted* sales of residential properties were 18.7 per cent lower than the same month last year, with the average sale price up four per cent for the month. Seasonally adjusted numbers of new listings were 17.1 per cent higher than October of 2016.

Seasonally Adjusted Oct 17

Overall residential sales of 1,272 units were 4.9 per cent lower than the same month last year. Residential freehold sales were 12 per cent lower than October of 2016 while sales in the condominium market were 23.6 per cent higher than the same month last year.

The median price of freehold properties increased by 9.5 per cent over the same month last year while the median price for condominium properties increased by 2.4 per cent compared to the same period.

The average price of freehold properties showed an increase of 11.4 per cent compared to October of last year; the average sale price in the condominium market increased by 3.9 per cent compared to the same period.

Average sale price is based on the total dollar volume of all properties sold through the RAHB MLS® System. Average sale price can be useful in establishing long-term trends, but should not be used as an indicator that specific properties have increased or decreased in value. Contact a REALTOR® for information about your area or property.

The average number of days on market increased to 31 days from 22 days in the freehold market and increased to 27 days from 24 days in the condominium market, compared to October of last year.

“One of the unknowns right now is how new mortgage guidelines coming into effect January 1, 2018 may influence listings and sales over the next two months,” noted O’Neill. “Buyers and sellers who are contemplating buying or listing their home in the near future should contact a REALTOR® to find out how the new guidelines may affect them.”

October 2017 Stats Breakdown:

RAHB Comparison Oct 17

RAHB Market Activity for Oct

Residential Market Ham Oct 17

Residential Market Burl Oct 17

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ATTN INVESTORS- We have the PERFECT Home for Sale!

Welcome Investors to 670 Dunn Avenue

Welcome investors/first time buyers to this diamond in the rough located in a great area of north/east Hamilton with easy access to the Red Hill expressway and QEW. This 1.5 storey 2 bedroom with 3/4 bedroom potential needs some TLC but for the person who is not afraid of some work, a wonderful home is very conceivable. Newer furnace, 100 amp on breakers, most windows on main level are newer. Loft on second level provides so many possibilities. For the hobbyist, a 10′ x 20′ garage with hydro. Comfortable backyard to relax in. Enclosed porch in front/back entrance ways.

 

 

FOR MORE DETAILS AND TO BOOK A SHOWING PLEASE CALL US DIRECTLY AT 905-297-4885!

 

 

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New Mortgage Rates in January will Limit what Buyers can Afford

Hamilton realtors are warning their clients about mortgage rules that will make it more difficult to qualify for a mortgage beginning in January.

They’re warning buyers that if they wait until the new year to jump into the market they may not be able to get the house they’re after — and might have to lower their price range by 15 per cent or more and consider different neighbourhoods.

“I’m contacting all of my current buyers to make sure they understand,” said Joe McMahon, a Burlington-based realtor. “Most of the public don’t realize how much this is going to affect them.”

But the impact of the new rules may not be that straightforward.

The new rules require borrowers to pass a “stress test” on their mortgages, where banks qualify them based on whether they could still afford their monthly payments if interest rates were 2 per cent higher. They take effect Jan. 1.

In addition to lowering the amount buyers can finance, the move is expected to dampen demand by allowing fewer people to qualify for loans. But that in turn could bring prices lower as sellers find fewer buyers able to pay premium prices.

 

‘Trying to time the market on home prices is difficult’

While realtors always have a vested interest in buyers buying and sellers selling, they’re especially concerned about getting out the message now that buyers and those looking to refinance will face a different environment after the new year.

It’s unclear how much of an effect the new rule will have on pricing, as it may bring a new wave of buyers from Toronto and elsewhere similarly affected by the new rules in that city.

And that means it’s not as simple as act now or be priced out forever, or wait and see if prices tank as a result.

“It is going to mean that there are borrowers who are not able to borrow as much as they were and that affects the price that they can pay,” said Tsur Somerville, senior fellow at the UBC Centre for Urban Economics and Real Estate.

Somerville said rushing to buy something because you feel pressured by changing rules isn’t prudent. Neither, necessarily, is waiting because you think prices will surely drop, he said.

“Rushing into home-buying decisions is usually a bad idea,” Somerville said. “I think that trying to time the market on house prices is difficult.”

The government passed similar stress test rules last year for insured borrowers, who make down payments of less than 20 per cent of the house price.

But these rules, announced last week by Canada’s top banking regulator, apply to all borrowers, no matter how much you have to put down.

 

“The spring market is going to interesting this year,” McMahon said. “I don’t know what it will bring.”

 

‘Will prices actually go down?’

McMahon just sold a house on Margaret Street in Strathcona on Friday night. He wouldn’t disclose the sale price, but it was listed for $424,900.

He used that house as an example of how affordability will change.

“People who are qualifying for $400,000 today, they won’t qualify for that same mortgage January 1,” he said. “Will prices actually go down? That’s a hard call. I think they’ll at least level off.”

The rules will lower the maximum amount that people will qualify to borrow when they go see a new lender with the intent to buy or refinance their home. The rules actually target banks, not the housing market — the idea is to make sure banks can be resilient and weather rising interest rates.

The new rules come as prices in Hamilton have been dropping since spring, when the provincial government introduced new rules intended to cool down overheated Toronto and Greater Golden Horseshoe housing markets.

Hamilton home prices were down about 13 per cent in September from a high reached in April, according to numbers released earlier this month by the Realtors Association of Hamilton-Burlington (RAHB).

The median price of a home sold in September was $466,500. That’s down about 13 per cent from the $535,000 median price of homes sold in April.

But prices were still up about 7 per cent from September last year.

 

‘When you knock your first-time homebuyers out of the market, you’re going to do some long-term damage.’– Suzanne Boyce, mortgage broker, The Personal Mortgage Group

‘This is a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist’

Lou Piriano, president of the Realtors Association of Hamilton-Burlington, sees the stress test as definite bad news for the Hamilton market.

The regulator’s move is heavy-handed and will hurt people it shouldn’t, he said.

“I have a problem when the government puts their thumb on the scale,” said. “I can understand why they’re trying to protect the Canadian taxpayer. But this is a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist.”

Suzanne Boyce is a mortgage broker who says borrowers may still have options to go outside of the big banks and get mortgages from credit unions, which are provincially regulated.

She said the stress test for bank borrowers “is not the worst news in the world” but will keep some people from participating in the housing market.

“When you knock your first-time homebuyers out of the market, you’re going to do some long-term damage,” she said.

 

This article is courtesy of Kelly Bennett of CBC Hamilton News.

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4 Ways Mortgages Have Changed

A new year brings plenty of resolutions, and this year will also bring plenty of change when it comes to mortgages. These changes will affect the market in several ways, according to a 2016 Digital Money Trends Report. Here are some trends that may be here to stay in the year ahead.
 

  1. You’re going to need a bigger down payment.
Although the down payment requirements haven’t changed, having more money upfront has a bigger impact on home purchasing, especially for first-time buyers. “As mortgage policy in Canada continues to evolve, the benefits of having a 20 per cent down payment on a home continue to grow,” the report reads. “In addition to saving on mortgage default insurance, having a 20 per cent down payment is now the only way for first-time homebuyers to qualify for a mortgage at the contract rate. The increased importance of reaching this savings milestone may lead to an even higher percentage of first-time homebuyers sourcing some (or all) of their down payment from family.”

 

  1. Asking for help will be the norm
In order to reach that coveted 20 per cent down payment, most first-time homeowners are going to need help. Although monetary gifts from parents to their children has certainly been a common practice over the years, it’s no longer a bonus; increasingly, it’s the case that young adults can’t break into some housing markets without that help. Fourty-four per cent of millennial first-time homebuyers receive financial help from family on their down payment, according to the report.
 
  1. Five-year fixed falling out of favour
The five-year fixed mortgage is a popular product, and for good reason. It promises a period of stability during which your mortgage payments will not change. A 2015 survey by Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals (now Mortgage Professionals Canada) shows that for all homes purchased between 2013 and 2015, 72 per cent of first-time buyers had fixed rate mortgages, and 67 per cent of those where for a five-year term. The product has become even more attractive recently, as that the gap in interest rates offered between variable rate mortgages and fixed rate mortgages narrowed greatly in 2016, reducing the need for buyers to opt for a variable rate mortgage because of a much better interest rate. One of new mortgage rules that came down in October, however, was that five-year fixed rate mortgages now have to be qualified at the Bank of Canada rate as opposed to the proposed contract rate. This is a big deal, as the Bank of Canada rate is more than two per cent higher. “Prior to October 2016, the five-year fixed rate mortgage had a key advantage in that it was easier to qualify for,” the report reads. “New rules now require Canadians with a down payment of less than 20 per cent to qualify for all mortgage types and terms using the Bank of Canada’s qualifying rate. The loss of this incentive could lead to a more even distribution in the popularity of rate types and terms in the near future, especially among first-time homebuyers.” In other words, more people who may not be able to qualify for the five-year fixed rate mortgage will be more inclined to look into other options, whether they’re variable rate mortgages or shorter fixed-rate mortgages.

 

  1. Revitalized use for mortgage brokers
Tougher rules mean that it’s getting more difficult for consumers to wade through information on their own and truly get the best mortgage for their particular circumstance. “There’s a lot of confusion right now, there’s a lot of misunderstanding about mortgage rules, qualification standards, and what it means to the average family,” said Gary Mauris, president of Dominion Lending Centres. “I think in many ways, there’s never been a time when Canadian consumers really need the clarity that mortgage professionals can bring to them.” Although the majority of home buyers still head to banks for their mortgages, mortgage brokers have been growing their share of the mortgage market, and more people may turn to mortgage brokers in order to help them decipher the new qualification requirements and find the best lender.
Article courtesy of Which Mortgage
Call us today at 905-297-4885 for our list of trusted mortgage brokers!
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September 2017 Hamilton Burlington Market Report

The REALTORS® Association of Hamilton-Burlington (RAHB)reported 2,296 new listings were processed through the RAHB Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System in September, which is 17.2 per cent higher than the same month last year and 16.7 per cent higher than the 10-year average.

All property sales were 23.4 per cent lower than the same month last year, and 13 per cent lower than the 10-year average.

“The trend to higher numbers of listings and fewer sales through the month has continued,” said RAHB CEO George O’Neill. “This month’s listings were actually the highest we’ve seen for the month of September. Our sales to new listings ratio is down to the 44 per cent range, which is a big change from the 80 per cent-plus it was earlier this year and the 70 per cent range from last September.”

Seasonally adjusted* sales of residential properties were 18.9 per cent lower than the same month last year, with the average sale price up 8.5 per cent for the month. Seasonally adjusted numbers of new listings were 24.3 per cent higher than September of 2016.

Seasonally Adjusted_September

The median price of freehold properties increased by 4.7 per cent over the same month last year while the median price for condominium properties increased by 10.2 per cent compared to the same period.

The average price of freehold properties showed an increase of 7.3 per cent compared to September of last year; the average sale price in the condominium market increased by 7.4 per cent compared to the same period.

Average sale price is based on the total dollar volume of all properties sold through the RAHB MLS® System. Average sale price can be useful in establishing long-term trends, but should not be used as an indicator that specific properties have increased or decreased in value. Contact a REALTOR® for information about your area or property.

The average number of days on market increased to 32 days from 23 days in the freehold market and increased to 31 days from 25 days in the condominium market, compared to September of last year. Compared to last month, average days on market decreased from 33 days for freehold properties and increased from 29 days for condominiums.

“Listings are up, sales are down, properties are on the market for a longer period, yet the price drop many were expecting has not occurred – the median and average residential sale prices for the month are still up 7.2 per cent compared to last September,” noted O’Neill.

Every community in RAHB’s market area has its own localized market. Refer to the accompanying chart, and please ensure you contact a local REALTOR® for professional advice.

*Seasonal adjustment removes normal seasonal variations, enabling analysis of monthly changes and fundamental trends in the data. 

September 2017 Stats Breakdown:

Comparison Chart_September

RAHB Market Activity_September

Residential Market Hamilton_September

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New Listing: 144 Lorenzo Drive

Welcome to 144 Lorenzo Drive!

This simply Stunning home is located in a quiet family-friendly neighbourhood close to shopping, Highway & every convenience. You pull up the double Stamped concrete driveway to the two car Garage with opener. You enter this lovely home into the spacious foyer & 2 piece bath with main floor laundry from the garage. The dining room impresses with pillars and rich hardwood floors. It is an ideal place for entertaining. There is extensive use of Hardwood flooring & ceramics thru-out main level. Relax in the cozy family room and enjoy the gas fireplace & view overlooking the lovely private fenced yard. The Family-Sized eat-in Kitchen features lots of counterspace. The built-in Dishwasher, Stainless Steel Fridge, Stainless Steel Stove, and microwave Oven Rangehood are included. The dinette is perfect to enjoy your mornings & you can step outside to the stunning private fenced backyard with huge patio with Gazebo and shed. Upstairs is your Master bedroom retreat with private ensuite. There are also 3 generous bedrooms and the main bath. The basement Recroom with Gas fireplace, kitchen and bathroom are nearly finished. Homes with this kind of value don’t come up very often. Hurry on this one.

CALL US TODAY FOR A FREE VIEWING OF THIS HOME: 905-297-4885

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Are you looking to buy in the Hamilton Area? Go to www.Top10HomeBuys.ca for a free list of active homes for sale!

Curious to know what your Hamilton Home is worth? Go to www.HomeSaleGuarantee.ca for a FREE, No obligation, online home evaluation!

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