All posts for the month July, 2018

6 Spots You’d Never Guess Buyers Will Look At When Viewing a Home

Published July 31, 2018 by Real Estate Leads

Young man checking looking inside small closet in new room after or before moving in, during open house

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again; a lot of what makes a realtor a reputable one in the eyes of prospective clients is the relation of being knowledgeable about the industry in a way that your average realtor is not. As a new realtor, you want to become that realtor sooner rather than later, so doing everything you can to get up to speed on every aspect of what the businesses of buying and selling homes entails is highly advisable.

Of course, all of this hinges on actually having those prospective clients in front of you. That in itself is nothing more than an opportunity. What you do then will determine whether or not they become clients. Here at Real Estate Leads, our online real estate lead generation system is an excellent way to create more of those types of opportunities. Today, we’ll share some proven facts about spots in a home that you would likely never guess a prospective buyer would look at during an open house, but in fact they do. Brush up, and share your knowledge with your prospective clients when the opportunity arises!

  1. The Kitchen Cupboards

Advise home selling clients to take the time to neatly organize their cupboards, as buyers are quite likely to sneak a peek inside. If those cabinets are bursting at the seams, the impression given will be that there’s not enough cupboard space. Have clients pack up dishes, kitchenware, and non-perishable foods that they seldom use, and leave only a tidy array of a few dishes and other serving wares in the cupboards. In addition, giving the insides a good wipe and covering up scratches with shelf liners are also good ideas.

  1. Under Sinks

When buyers are genuinely interested in a home, they’re certainly going to be on the lookout for any indications of plumbing problems. Have it seen to that any under-the-sink cabinetry is tidy and clean. If leaks exist, of course your clients will have to have them professionally repaired.

  1. Bedroom Closet

Most house hunters will take a quick peek inside a bedroom closet to survey the space. Closet appeal can be boosted big time by packing up at least a quarter of the clothes your clients have hanging inside, and making some space on the shelves is advisable too. Even if it’s a smaller closet, these moves will suggest to would-be buyers that the closet space is more than sufficient.

  1. Cold Cellars and Cubby Holes

Most detached houses will have one: a little room or space built out of sight, where only the most unused household possessions will be located for those once-in-nearly-forever times they’re needed. Prospective buyers may well find their way into them as well, so be certain to sweep away the cobwebs, and show off the storage potential rather than a strange and uninviting or perhaps even intimidating area of the home.

  1. Inside the Shower

Be assured that drawn shower curtains won’t convince prospective buyers to not have a look at the tub and / or shower. They will want to know what they might be faced with every morning. Missing caulking or water or mildew staining or discolouration is a big no-no. Have your clients repair what they can, keep shampoo and soap tidy with a shower caddy, and last but not least wipe everything dry before buyers arrive to see the home.

  1. The Garage

Yes, it is perfectly natural to make the garage a catch-all for what’s been cleared out of any space in the home but isn’t ready to be disposed of quite yet. Make sure your clients understand that would-be buyers will come with the perspective that this is where they’re going to place their vehicle. The centre space should be kept clear, and using hooks and shelves to keep tools and other items organized is advisable too. Don’t forget to have them sweep up any leaves and outdoor debris.

When a house is on the market, there’s virtually no space that’s off limits to buyers’ prying eyes. Keep in mind that you’d be the same way, and also that how thoroughly they look around is often a reflection of how interested they are in buying the property.

Sign up for Real Estate Leads here and receive a monthly quota of qualified, online-generated leads delivered to you exclusively for your similarly exclusive area of any city or town in Canada. More opportunities means more chances for you to take these leads and turn them into clients of your real estate business.

Poll Shows More & More Seniors Committed to Staying In Family Home Through Retirement

Published July 23, 2018 by Real Estate Leads

Seniors in a homeReal estate agents are as familiar as anyone with what is, or at least has been, the typical cycle for families in relation to home ownership in Canada. Once the kids have grown up and moved out and you’ve reached what’s called ‘empty nest’ status then typically it was often the case that a couple approaching or already in retirement would consider downsizing to a home that meets the much lesser needs of the two of them.

According to a recent Ipsos poll nationwide, 9 out of 10 seniors now feel it’s at least somewhat important to stay in their current home through their retirement. The poll surveyed Canadian homeowners of all ages, and found that those aged 65 and up are more likely than younger homeowners to value living out their retirement years in their home.

That’s quite a departure, and the fact that many of these homeowners live in detached single family homes in urban hotbeds like Vancouver and Toronto definitely has the potential to sway the real estate market and change how realtors approach their business. Here at Real Estate Leads, our online real estate lead generation system is a great way to get the power of the Internet helping you with building your client base. But it seems that some of the bigger fish, if you will, won’t be in the pond now.

Reasons for the Putting Off or Delay in Downsizing

As mentioned, detached family homes are few and far between in Canada’s major housing markets, and this trend of older owners staying in spacious detached homes may leave new homebuyers in something of a lurch. It’s a fact that construction of new detached homes in Toronto and Vancouver has declined to the lowest rates in decades, much of that attributable to rising land prices and municipal density requirements.

The situation is then becoming that new homebuyers are largely competing for existing homes even as city populations continue to grow, and that has certainly fuelled the soaring prices of recent years.

Why the new reluctance?Seniors may be avoiding downsizing for a fear of not getting as much bang for their buck as they’d hoped, particularly as the market begins to cool in Canada’s major metropolitan areas. For this reason, seniors thinking of downsizing to free up some cash for retirement may be reevaluating their expectations, especially if their live in Toronto or Vancouver.

While prices for single-family homes in both cities are dropping or moving in a straight line at best, condo prices are still soaring. This is typically where many ‘downsizers’ will be focusing their purchase interests, having long been able to buy one and then ‘pocket’ a nice retirement fund from the sale of their detached home.

Knock, Knock

More relevant to you here , however, is the fact that this may also explain the increase in realtors approaching homeowners about selling their home, and especially in Ontario. Another survey found a quarter of those over 75 responded that they’d been approached by a realtor unsolicited, meaning they’d never expressed interest in selling their homes before.

Successful realtors adapt, and those who are door knocking here are most certainly showing the hustle needed to adapt in these new market environments.

We see now that without an influx of homes coming back on the market as Canada’s population continues to age, it may be even more difficult for new homebuyers may to compete for buying the home they need.

Things Looking Up?

2018 to date has had cities like Vancouver and Edmonton seeing a surplus in home inventory for the first time in years, keeping in mind that prices have yet to react.

Homes for sale in Metro Vancouver reached a 3-year high in June, according to REBGV. This is believed to be because buyers are less active today, making for a volume of homes for sale not seen in the last few years. Edmonton is at a similar peak, the highest since 2008 for that city.

Sign up for Real Estate Leads here and receive a monthly quota of qualified, online-generated buyer and / or seller leads delivered to you exclusively for your similarly exclusive area of any city or town in Canada. Make the most of each of them and you’ll almost certainly see your client directory growing in a hurry.

3 Solid Strategies for Move-Up Buyers

Published July 17, 2018 by Real Estate Leads

Home buyersMoving up has always been a common strategy for homeowners looking to work their way into the home that is going to suit them long term. My parents started in the smallest of row homes here on the West Coast of Canada some 30+ years ago and now they’ve got a beautiful large home with yard in one of the most beautiful parts of the country. Real estate is an investment, and making judicious decisions when it comes to purchasing real estate with the idea of selling the home for profit in the future is very important.

A good realtor is a knowledgeable and helpful realtor, and for those of you who are new to the business there’s so much you can learn – and share – about how to best buy real estate given your clients’ long term plans. Here at Real Estate Leads, our online real estate lead generation system is dynamite for getting your more in the way of qualified leads that you can contact and then have the opportunity to secure clients. We stress the word ‘opportunity’ though, because that’s all it is. Your prospective home buyers or sellers will expect you to know the business!

Moving up to their ‘forever home’ is exciting for people. Most move-up buyers typically will have some savings and home equity to work with, making their next move feel less like a compromise and more like a thoughtful selection. However, move-up buyers face their own set of challenges that call for a very evaluated and measured strategy.

Here are 3 options for your smart move-up homebuyers and sellers with a plan!

Sell First

The ‘sell first’ strategy is ideal for move-up buyers who are unable to afford to pay two mortgages simultaneously. Having them sell their property first eliminates the risk of having to carry two mortgages, conditional upon not selling the existing home in time. This also reduces the chances of them having to reduce their asking price in response to a need to speed up the sale. This is a good option for move-up buyers who are banking on the proceeds of their sale to fund their new (and likely more expensive) property. By selling first, they’ll know exactly how much money they have to purchase their next home.

Determining Suitable Asking Price

When homes in a clients’ area of choice are selling faster than the sign can hit the lawn, it’s often that a ‘buy first’ strategy is the way to go. Buying a new home before selling their old one removes any rush to settle into a sub-par property, or having to seek alternative temporary housing options while you continue the process. This move-up buyer still lives in his or her existing home and this allows them time to shop around, and keep on with looking until they find that perfect place. This move-up buyer will typically require a bridge mortgage.

Understanding Mortgage Options

Acquiring an agreeable mortgage as a move-up buyer approach is most ideal for anyone, but making that acquisition is increasingly challenging these days. Having clients align their purchase and sale closing dates can be tricky. It’s a 3-way dance – the client, the person they’re buying from, and the person who’s selling the property your clients would like to buy. Have them keeping in mind that they’ll also have to move out and move in on the same day, so time is their best friend if it can be managed effectively. This means they need to plan ahead – researching neighbourhoods, being pre-approved for a mortgage, and beginning the ‘purge’ that should come before a big move.

The right move-up buyer strategy of course depends on a number of factors, such as your clients’ financial situation, current housing market conditions, their personal comfort level and their predispositions as buyers. Have them consider all these when making their decision. You are the pro who’s there to ensure a smooth transaction on both sides of the bargaining table.

Sign up with Real Estate Leads here and receive a monthly quota of online-generated, qualified buyer and / or seller leads that are provided for you exclusively and for you similarly exclusively-served region of any city or town in Canada. It’s a great way to supercharge your prospecting efforts and build your client base when you make yourself as the expert who can help these people with a purchase of this kind of magnitude!

Summertime Property Preparation for Home Sales

Published July 10, 2018 by Real Estate Leads

Junge Frau enrfernt Unkraut vom WegIt’s no surprise that the Real Estate market typically peaks in the summertime in Canada, and it’s in large part due to the fact that the weather is usually great and it’s as agreeable place to live as any you could find. Now, of course, we do have Canadian winters too but most people enjoy winter activities like skiing, snowshoeing, and ice fishing as much as they do enjoying outdoor activities in the sun and warmth of the summer. A well kept home with a nice front and back yard looks especially good at this time of the year, and it’s a fact that many a man actually enjoy taking out the mower and cutting the grass.

Anyone selling their home at this time of the year is putting both the home itself and the lifestyle it offers on display for prospective clients. Savvy realtors will be able to advise clients on the importance of ‘curb appeal’ and other perspectives that are relevant when a buyer is evaluating a property for sale as much as the home itself. A good realtor is an experienced realtor, and here at Real Estate Leads our online real estate lead generation system is a great way to invest in your prospecting efforts for real results and build your client base more quickly.

Here’s some tips that are good advice for home sellers:

Consider a fresh coat of paint

Time and weather wear on your wooden porch or fence big time over the years, but other painted outdoor surface can also degenerate quickly in tough Canadian climates. Thoroughly cleaning and then painting a home does much for making a yard look fresh and full of potential. Ideas for owners to consider would be painting a front door or redoing paint on pillarwork around the exterior.

Take a Look at Paved Areas

Driveways, walkways, and sidewalks can be redone for much less than owners would expect, and more often than not what is commonly done is more of a makeover. Edging to remove overgrown grass can creates clean, defined lines along entryways and flowerbeds and removing weeds from cracks is advisable as well. Power washing or resealing the driveway are also good choices to add to a clean appearance. Levelling out uneven paving stones is smart as well and not much is required to do it.

Trim and Shape Vegetation

Tidy up flowerbeds to a reasonable level of presentation shouldn’t take more than a full afternoon’s work. Simply cut back any dead foliage, rake out straggling leaves, and then if inclined you can also add in some mulch or coloured wood chips to give beds a crisp, fresh look. Decorative trees or shrubs should be trimmed and they should be sure to dispose of yard waste as thoroughly and as soon as you can before the home is shown. Something you’ll also want to prevent buyers from seeing is yellow spots in their grass left by pets. At least show that you are aware of this issue and are treating and re-seeding the area currently.

Add Final Touches

A few basic planters – hung or planted – with colourful blossoms will they enhance a clients’ home’s charm. Another great idea is to suggest they add some light staging to their outdoor areas. Many stagers will arrange patio furniture to create a space for conversation, adding a few outdoor throw pillows and perhaps an outdoor table setting. Have the place looking great, with a sharply manicured lawn and garden on display!

Sign up for Real Estate Leads here and receive a month quota of qualified, online-generated leads delivered to you exclusively as the only realtor servicing a specific region of any city or town in Canada. It’s a great way to supercharge your client prospecting efforts as a new Canadian realtor.

2018 2nd Quarter CREA Real Estate Report

Published July 3, 2018 by Real Estate Leads

Rising house sales conceptThe 2nd Quarter of the 2018 year has now passed and the overseeing body for real estate in Canada, the Canadian Real Estate Association, has released it’s 2nd quarter report. It indicates that housing market fundamentals continue to be strong in many parts of the country but that several housing markets continue face adversity due to policy headwinds.

Understanding the temperature taken for the housing market nationwide is of course going to be of great importance for all realtors, but in particular for new agents who understand the value in having a grasp of the big picture for the business – and the profession of serving it – in the country. There is of course a correlation between these statistics and a realtor’s ability to generate new business. Here at Real Estate Leads, our online real estate lead generation system is highly recommended for new realtors looking to get more out of their efforts in this regard.

Back to the report; The new mortgage stress test introduced last October was expected to result in homebuyers rushing to purchase homes in advance of the new rules coming into effect in January. This was then expected to create a ‘pulling forward’ of sales activity that would then result in fewer transactions occurring during first half of 2018.

However, that hasn’t been the case. Seasonally adjusted national home sales last December having surged to the highest level ever recorded before dropping considerably by the time early 2018 had arrived. Actual national sales figures represent ones that are not seasonally adjusted, and these ones for March, April and May are usually among the most active months for any given year.

Delayed Response

It’s interesting to note then that combined sales fell to a nine-year low for this three-month period in Canada for 2018. This trend indicates sales momentum has not yet begun to rally as many expected it to. Consider as well that interest rates are expected to rise further this year and in 2019. Home sales activity is still expected to strengthen modestly in the second half of 2018 though, as housing market uncertainty decreases moving forward.

With these factors taken into account, the national sales forecast has been revised downward with a projected decline of 11% working out to some 459,900 housing units this year. This decrease is powered primarily by weaker sales in B.C. and Ontario and resulting from heightened housing market uncertainty, ongoing supply shortages, provincial policy measures, high prices for detached homes, and then the aforementioned new mortgage stress test.

The national average home price is projected to go down to $499,100 this year, and that is not much of a departure from the CREA’s previous forecasting of a decline of 2.1% from 2017. However, only in Newfoundland and Labrador are average prices expected to dip that significantly, while more than half of all provinces can expect to see increases. The national average price reduction also incorporates fewer numbers of transactions in and Ontario and B.C.

The average price decline predicted for Ontario is -1.7%, and that is largely a reflection of fewer higher-priced home sales in Toronto. This is especially relevant during the important spring market, which typically exhibits seasonal jumps in the average price that this year failed to materialize. This seasonal pattern is expected to resume in 2019, but the increase to the annual figure from the spring push hasn’t been observed this year.

Eastern Canada Rises

Contrasting to all of this is the way that home prices in Eastern Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, P.E.I. and Nova Scotia are expected to continue moving up in response to increasingly firm market conditions seen over recent years. Not surprisingly, British Columbia is now forecast to see its average price rise in 2018 as well, with prices in the province being more resilient than than had been expected previously.

  • Alberta home prices should dip down by 1%
  • Saskatchewan is predicted to decrease by 1.5%
  • Newfoundland and Labrador is predicted to decreased by 2.9%, with supply remaining elevated in relation to demand as it has been for years

In 2019, the forecast for national sales is that they should rebound modestly to 474,800 units but remain below annual levels seen from 2014 to 2017. The anticipated partial recovery in sales for the second half of this year from deferred purchases made from January to June in Ontario and B.C. is subsequently expected to diminish through 2019. The consensus is that this is because interest rates will continue to rise. This trend is also predicted to occur in other provinces, but be most significantly seen in Ontario and B.C. Transactions in these two provinces have dropped sharply over the first half of 2018, and this occurred even though housing demand seems to be buoyed by relative economics and demographics.

Further, the national average price is also predicted to bounce back to $518,300 in 2019, and this is seen to be in response to an expected return to normal seasonal patterns for spring sales activity and prices in Ontario housing markets. It’s good to see that the MLS® Home Price Index is rising in prominent urban centres in B.C. and Ontario.

Market balance also continues to firm in Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island. Added price increases, albeit modest ones, are expected to be seen in these provinces, but with rising interest rates holding price gains in check. Prices in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Newfoundland and Labrador should remain relatively stable from this year to the next.

Sign up with Real Estate Leads here and receive a guaranteed monthly quota of qualified, online-generated buyer and / or seller leads delivered to you exclusively for your protected region of any city or town in Canada. It’s a proven-effective way to generate more clients for your real estate business, and accordingly nearly every realtor will see it as money very well spent!