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Five Deadly Mistakes Home Sellers Make In Ottawa

Sooner or later, most homeowners will be in a position to sell their home. This report summarizes the top five mistakes that home sellers make, simply because the experience is new to them.

Mistake #1. Using a Real Estate Agent Instead Of a Realtor When you’re looking for help buying or selling property, it’s important to remember that the terms “real estate agent” and “Realtor” are not synonymous.

–  To be a Realtor, you must be a member in good standing of the National Association of Realtors (NAR). The equivalent organization in Canada is the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). Both are non-profit trade organizations that promote real estate information, education and professional standards.

–  NAR and CREA members adhere to a strict code of ethics founded on the principle of providing fair and honest service to all consumers. Realtor business practices are monitored at local levels. Arbitration and disciplinary systems are in place to address complaints from the public or board members. This local monitoring keeps Realtors directly accountable to the individual consumers they serve.

–  The National Association of Realtors also has earned a strong reputation for actively championing private property rights and working to make home ownership affordable and accessible.

Mistake #2. Failing to Maximize the “Curb Appeal” of Your Home When you’re preparing your house for sale, remember the importance of first impressions. A buyer’s first impression can determine whether they’ll choose to look inside. It’s estimated that more than 50 percent of shoppers decide to purchase a home even before they get out of their car. With that in mind, be sure to stand outside your home and take a realistic “fresh look.” Then ask yourself (and your Realtor) what you can do to enhance the “curb appeal.” It could make a significant difference in your final sales price as well as the speed of your sale. Mistake #3. Not Appreciating the Buyer’s Point of View

Unreasonable though it may be, a prospective buyer would like to see a perfect home from top to bottom and inside and out. To improve the likelihood of an easy, fast and profitable home sale, we suggest that you attend to the following items:

On the outside

  1. Sweep the front walkway.
  2. Remove newspapers, bikes and toys.
  3. Park extra cars away from the property.
  4. Trim back the shrubs.
  5. Apply fresh, clean paint on your home, wooden fence, and outbuildings.
  6. Clean windows and window coverings.
  7. Maintain sprinkler systems.
  8. Maintain sealants around windows and doors.
  9. Make sure roof and gutters are clean and in good condition.
  10. Mow the lawn frequently and plant flowers.
  11. Keep pet areas clean.
  12. Take down out-of-season decorations.

On the inside

  1. The kitchen and bathroom should look and smell clean.
  2. Vacuum rugs and carpets (and have them professionally cleaned, if necessary).
  3. Place fresh flowers in the main rooms.
  4. Put away dishes, unless setting a formal display for decoration.
  5. Make all beds and put away clothing.
  6. Open drapes and turn on lights for a brighter feel.
  7. Straighten closets.
  8. Put away toys.
  9. Turn off televisions.
  10. Play soft music on the radio/stereo.
  11. Keep pets out of the way and pet areas clean and odor-free.
  12. Secure jewelry, cash, prescription medication and other valuables.
  13. Consider removing unnecessary furniture and appliances from counter tops to create a greater sense of space.
  14. Consider baking cookies or lighting scented candles to create a homey atmosphere.

Mistake #4. Thinking You Need To be In the Home to Provide Details to Prospective Buyers Allow your Realtor to do his or her job without you on site. Most potential buyers feel more comfortable if they can speak freely to the real estate professional without the owner present. If people unaccompanied by an agent would like to see your property, refer them to your real estate professional for an appointment. Mistake #5. Over-Pricing Your Home Perhaps the most challenging aspect of selling a home is listing it at the correct price. It’s one of several areas where the assistance of a skilled real estate consultant can pay for itself versus trying to sell your home yourself.

If the listing price is too high, you’ll miss out on a percentage of buyers looking in the range where your home should be priced. Some people think that if they leave some “wiggle room” in the price, they’ll always have the opportunity to negotiate and accept a lower offer. However, chances are the offers won’t even come in, because the buyers who would be most interested in your home have been scared off by the price, and won’t even take the time to consider it. By the time you correct the price, you’ve already missed exposure to a group of potential buyers.

The listing price becomes even trickier to set when prices are quickly rising or falling. It’s critical to be aware of where and how fast the market is moving – both when setting the price and when negotiating an offer. An experienced, well-trained real estate consultant is always in touch with market trends – often even to a greater extent than appraisers, who typically focus on what a property is worth if sold as is, right now.

How to Stop Spending Money on Rent and Own a Home Instead

If you’ve always rented a place to live, buying a home can seem like a monumental undertaking. This report breaks down this home buying process into clear steps.

Seven Steps to Transition from Renter to Homeowner

 

Step One: Identify Your Needs and Wants

Begin your search by considering the kind of home you need and want. Write down your specific requirements, such as the number of bedrooms, size of yard, floor plan, location, schools, etc.

 

Step Two: Determine How Much You Can Realistically Afford

Consider your budget and financial obligations. Decide what monthly house payment you can really afford. Most mortgage consultants advise limiting your payment to no more than one-third of your net monthly income. If you’re unsure, contact your mortgage consultant to assist with the calculations.

 

Step Three: Get Pre-Approved By a Mortgage Consultant

When you know in advance the amount of loan you can obtain, you can focus on searching for houses in your targeted price range. This can save you time when you find that perfect home, because sellers favor buyers who are pre-approved.

 

Experienced mortgage consultants can let you know what specific loan programs are best for you. By taking a look at your financial situation and credit history, a mortgage consultant will tell you if you can qualify for the home you want and will find a loan that best suits your needs.

 

For the approval process, you and your mortgage consultant will complete the required documentation and submit it to an underwriter. A pre-approval is an actual loan commitment from a mortgage consultant or lending institution. This means that you definitely qualify for a loan. Talk to your mortgage consultant about the costs and time involved to secure pre- approval.

 

Step Four: Work With an Experienced Real Estate Consultant

You can learn a lot about consultants by talking to them about their experience. In a short time, you’ll be able to determine if they’re the right person to meet your needs.

 

Questions for Agents:

 

  1. In what areas of town and price ranges do you specialize? (Keep in mind that some agents specialize in only one area or one price range.)

 

  1. My objective is to buy a house by ___________. How will you help me achieve this goal?

 

  1. How often will you update me with new property listings?

 

Step Five: Tips for Successful House Hunting

 

  1. Keep an organized record of your research. Write down comments about the homes you see. Keep track of your likes and dislikes and offer feedback to your real estate consultant. Some buyers are reluctant to tell an agent what they really think of a house; they think the agent might take it personally.       Remember, the homes don’t belong to the agent!

 

  1. Make sure your agent is aware of your time schedule and expectations. Do you like to look at one or two homes per session? Four? Eight? Discuss this with your agent.

 

  1. Tell your agent about any homes you see that interest you and that you’d like to know more about. This includes homes you’ve “discovered” as you explore the area and those advertised in the newspaper and on the Internet.

 

  1. If you like to spend time driving around by yourself looking at houses, ask your agent for a list of drive-bys – homes to consider first from the outside. Your agent can make appointments to show you the interior of the properties that appeal to you.

 

  1. It’s important to know beforehand whom your agent represents.       Some agents work only for the seller.

 

Step Six: Make a Purchase Offer

 

Work with your real estate consultant to determine the most appropriate purchase offer. Your consultant will present the offer on your behalf.

 

Step Seven: Save on Your Initial Investment and Monthly Payments

There are only two major investments to consider when buying a home. These are the initial investment, which includes the down payment and closing costs, and the monthly payment, which includes principal, interest, taxes and insurance. Here are some things to consider.

 

Initial Investment

 

  1. Choose a low or zero down payment loan. You don’t necessarily have to put 20 percent or even 10 percent down. You can pay 5 percent, 3 percent, or even zero down on some loans.

 

  1. Some Lenders have programs to cover your closing costs.       Ask your mortgage consultant about them.

 

  1. As part of your offer, ask your real estate consultant about the seller’s paying some of your closing costs.

 

  1. Shop around for your homeowners’ insurance. A little comparison shopping can save you money.

 

  1. You may be able to deduct money paid for discount points from your gross income before computing your tax. See a CPA for more information.

 

Monthly Payments

 

  1. Get a loan that doesn’t have monthly mortgage insurance premiums. You may be able to reduce or eliminate them by paying a little more at closing. By putting 20 percent or more down, you can eliminate them entirely. Talk to your mortgage consultant about other ways to eliminate monthly mortgage insurance payments.

 

  1. Take advantage of rate lock programs that are currently available. You can generally lock in a low interest rate 30 to 45 days in advance. Secure an appraisal before you lock in a rate.

 

  1. Remember that interest payments on a primary residential mortgage are fully deductible. Your property taxes are also deductible. Tax rates definitely favor homeowners. Be sure to declare both your mortgage interest and property taxes when you file your income tax returns.

 

  1. Consider an adjustable rate mortgage. Adjustable rate mortgages (or ARMs) can be as much as 3 percent lower than fixed rates. Only choose this option when you’re in a position to refinance, should the adjustable rate rise sharply.

 

The Ten Commandments When Applying For A Real Estate Loan

  • Thou shalt not change jobs, become self-employed or quit your job.
  • Thou shalt not buy a car, truck or van (or you may be living in it)!
  • Thou shalt not use charge cards excessively or let your accounts fall behind.
  • Thou shalt not spend money you have set aside for closing.
  • Thou shalt not omit debts or liabilities from your loan application.
  • Thou shalt not buy furniture.
  • Thou shalt not originate any inquiries into your credit.
  • Thou shalt not make large deposits without first checking with your loan officer.
  • Thou shalt not change bank accounts.
  • Thou shalt not co-sign a loan for anyone.

Pricing Misconceptions

It is very important to price your property at competitive market value at the signing of the listing agreement. Historically, your first offer is usually your best offer!

Discard:

  • What you paid
  • What you need
  • What you want
  • What your neighbor says
  • What another agent says
  • Cost to rebuild today

Buyers & Sellers Determine Value

The value of your property is determined by what a BUYER is willing to pay and a seller is willing to accept in today’s market. Buyers make their pricing decision based on comparing your property to other property SOLD in your area.