All posts for the month August, 2018

Shinier Than Should Be: Canadian Real Estate Majorly Overvalued – Economist

Published August 20, 2018 by Real Estate Leads

Real Estate and Conctruction Market Going Up. Bright Sunny Real Estate and Economy Concept 3D Illustration.It’s been long understood by nearly anyone with any level of interest in real estate investment that Canada’s real estate has become something of a bubble, and one in large part fuelled by speculation and a housing inventory that is seemingly always dwarfed by the demand over recent years. There are many factors that make Canada unique in the way it is at the mercy of market economics in real estate, but the simple and most plain truth is that homes have and continue to be sold for prices that many would deem to be completely out of touch with what the real value of many of these homes should be.

For real estate agents, there’s no debating that this is truly something of a golden goose in the way elevated sale prices mean larger commissions for realtors in Canada. Most will be equally aware that this goose was not something to be relied upon for any indefinite period of time. Things change, and in many ways they have make quite a marked departure already.

Even in the best of times client prospecting can be a challenge, but our online real estate lead generator here at Real Estate Leads is a proven effective way to have the power of the Internet working for you. You’ll be put in touch with greater numbers of people who are either ready to work with a realtor, or will be in the near future. From there, the opportunity to make them your clients is there for you to do with it what you will.

Back to our discussion regarding overvaluation; A new global price analysis put out by The Economist ranked Canada as the 3rd most overvalued country in the world in terms of housing values, coming in just behind New Zealand and Australia. The study measured the average housing price versus the median incomes of 22 major global markets, and came to the consensus that Canadian real estate is valued some 56 percent higher than it should be.

Not surprisingly, Vancouver is the Canadian city leading the charge in these overvaluation rankings. The fact that homes there were priced 65% higher than they should be based on local incomes is a very telling indicator. The average housing price in the city has increased by around 12.3 percent annually since 2011, and then by 60.4% over a 5-year period stretching back to the midway point of 2013.

Lotus Land (as Vancouver is called by some) was ranked the 5th most overvalued metropolitan real estate market worldwide, with only Hong Kong, Auckland, Paris, and Brussels being more so. It’s well established that the past few years have seen rising prices and increased inflows of foreign capital establishing Vancouver’s real estate segment as a vital component of B.C.’s economy, but that comes with some very pronounced inherent risks.

A recent FINTRAC report cautioned that B.C. properties are particularly vulnerable to money laundering. The report found that approximately 88 percent of real estate entities in the province have had insufficient anti-money laundering controls in place for years, and continue to make progress in getting up to snuff in this regard.

Risk assessment, client identification, record keeping, and reporting policies and procedures were spotlighted as specific areas of weakness. Money laundering via real estate is a very real and disappointing phenomenon, with widespread property speculation being blamed for the skyrocketing of Vancouver housing prices.

Nearly all ethical professionals in this business will believe in and work around the principle that homes are for housing families, and as such it is hoped that these illicit and very harmful practices are eventually disabled in the housing market in Canada. It will be better for everyone.

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Saleability Factors Clients Are In Control Of When It Comes to Selling A Home

Published August 15, 2018 by Real Estate Leads

AdobeStock_68634522Even the greenest realtors will quickly find out that selling a home is stressful for clients, and particularly so if the market is more of a buyer’s one that an a seller’s one. That part of it is of course dictated by market forces and isn’t something either you or your clients should be dwelling on. Your clients will be looking to you to be the voice of authority and experience that is guiding them along the way to their receiving the best possible outcome with the sale of a property that they’ve likely invested a lot of their time into owning it. Needless to say, dropping the ball in that regard isn’t an option.

Now we do know that you don’t need to be convinced of that. Gaining clients isn’t easy, and it’s also very competitive in this industry. There hasn’t been enough ‘pie’ to go around for decades, and it’s pretty safe to say it’s never been more challenging than it is today. Here at Real Estate Leads, our online real estate lead generation system is an excellent way to reinforce your efforts there. Once you’ve made initial contact with these potential buyers or sellers, then you have the opportunity to wow them with your knowledge of the biz

Nothing is more assuring for folks in the early stages of the home being on the market than a realtor who can be the voice of reason. And further, if you can take that voice of reason and help them with saleability of the home, you’re well on your way to becoming ‘their’ realtor.

So, here are 5 saleability factors that are very much in your client’s control, that will help get their home sold at the right price.

  1. The Property’s Condition

The home in question may meet all of a buyer’s criteria (and look great on paper) but if it’s ‘run down’ in any way when a buyer comes knocking, he or she will likely leave quickly and scratch your client’s home off their list. Advise them that it is very much their job to make sure their home is in tip-top shape to ensure the home is sold at the best price possible. Make it clear they need to be certain that everything in the home is well-maintained. A good start is to have them declutter their home and make sure everything is orderly and well-serviced. A home that’s been cared for very well and promises to require very few repairs if any and minimal ongoing maintenance is very attractive.

  1. The Terms

Suppose your clients have met with a keen buyer. Here’s what they should do to do themselves a favour and make the purchase an easy decision and smooth process. A good many interested buyers opt out of a potential purchase for no other reason than that the terms are just too complicated or inconvenient. Advise your clients to be proactive in defending agains this. Investing in a home inspection report and dealing with the issues before their home hits the market is HIGHLY advisable. Doing so will help them seal the deal and enable you to reach a larger market as their realtor. Another factor to keep top of mind is their move-out date, and ideally one in the near future. Showing potential buyers that they are able to vacate the home quickly will work to their advantage.

  1. Availability

A client’s home could be the best-looking property on the local market, but what good is attracting buyers if there’s never any available time to meet with them? It is essential that clients adhere to a schedule that meets the buyer’s needs and to also be able to accommodate last-minute viewing requests – even if they will be disrupting their lives. It’s in their best interest to be flexible. Let them know that a buyer’s sense of urgency could be a positive indication that they want to move fast. Denying requests to see the home could mean your clients losing out on a sale. When they are preparing to sell their home, prompt them to take note of any issues that should be dealt with before it hits the market.

  1. Upgrades and Extras

Upgrades and extras go a long way in improving on a home’s saleability. From kitchen renos to installing a new heating system to window upgrades or even simply patching up holes and then applying some fresh paint. Advise clients to stick to practical renovations, as decor renovations are particular to a person’s taste and of course tastes vary wildly from one person to the next.

  1. Price Setting

Speaking with a realtor and being open to his or her suggestions as to what is the right price for a home makes so much sense for clients, and it is perfectly acceptable to state plainly tha pricing a home realistically gives them a much better chance of selling their property quickly. When pricing their home, they should set emotions aside to ensure that their price is fair and justifiable. Explain that the home’s value is best and most realistically indicated by reviewing the comparables. Researching homes that have recently sold in their market and which possess the same characteristics as your clients. Then sit down and show them what you’ve learned, and how it should dictate the way they approach pricing their home as it is prepared to be put on the market.

Sign up for Real Estate Leads here and receive a monthly quota of qualified, online generated buyer and / or seller leads that are delivered to you exclusively and also for your own privately served area of any city or town in Canada. It’s a proven effective way to get so much more out of your prospecting efforts as you move towards becoming an established and trusted realtor in whatever part of the country you’re serving as a reputable real estate professional.


Market for Detached Homes in Canada Now Officially ‘Flat’

Published August 8, 2018 by Real Estate Leads

Front elevation large single family homeRealtors all across Canada have certainly been beneficiaries of the tear Canada’s housing market has been on for years. Come mid 2018 and we’re seeing that that era may now be over, and in hot markets like Vancouver and Toronto it’s becoming the ‘bubble’ isn’t going to exactly burst as predicted, but it isn’t getting any bigger either. That of course means something of a plateauing for home values, and particularly for detached homes that were nearly always selling for way over asking as a result of bidding wars. This and the larger number of qualified buyers looking to buy homes before the new Mortgage Stress Test Regulations via the BoC.

Home sale volumes for the period between March and April hit a nine-year low, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), and that of course has effects of all sorts as the increased amount of inventory make it not so slantedly a seller’s market anymore.

Of course, realtors will have fewer prospective detached home buyers as a result of both these trends. Here at Real Estate Leads, our online real estate lead generation system is a great way to get more out of your client prospecting efforts and connect with individuals you want to be in touch with as a new realtor.

No Pop, For Now

Home prices for the most part aren’t dropping, at least for now. The national average home price slid 6.4% last month as compared to May 2017. Most of that’s attributable to the fact that the mix of homes being bought and sold now includes greater numbers of comparatively inexpensive properties, like condos and to a lesser extent townhomes, and less in the way of detached houses. The national average lower is skewed lower accordingly.

Looking at CREA’s benchmark home price, home values were up 1% in May 2018 compared to May of last year. That’s not cause for alarm, but it’s still a very big dip from the often tens of thousands of dollars worth in annual home equity gains many Canadian homeowners had been basking in.

The reality now seems to be price increases in the low-single digits. CREA predicts national average home prices to rise by 3.8% in 2019, with gains in Ontario, British Columbia, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, and prices staying stable in the Prairies and Newfoundland and Labrador.

That trend of stagnating or modestly rising pricing, if it holds up, has implications for home sellers, home buyers and even homeowners who aren’t planning to sell.

Bidding Wars Becoming Fewer

Clients thinking of putting their home on the market should no longer rudimentarily assume that their home will sell for a higher price than their next-door neighbour received last year. There will be exceptions to that, and most likely in Ottawa and Montreal, where home prices are still recording healthy gains.

As a real estate agent, you should have a firm idea of how to price a client’s home competitively by looking at price trends over the past three months in your particular area. Being in the know up front prevents any type of misstep on the part of the seller that may hinder or disappoint them in the future. Know market value, and suggest listing prices accordingly.

Have your clients best interest firmly in place, and have all 3 of you ‘know’ your story as you say, knowing how to defend your price. Ideally, you’ll be able to present the buyer and the buyer’s agent with a spreadsheet showing prices for similar properties in your area over the past few months.

Pricing a home in the ‘high range’ of what it’s worth gives you and your clients room to negotiate, while underpricing a property with the idea of sparking a bidding war isn’t nearly as advisable as it used to be.

See bank appraisals for reasons for that. They’re not as assured as before either, and banks want to protect themselves as well in case of any downturn. Long and short of this is banks won’t lend more than a home’s appraised value. The winner of the bid war may not have the finances to cover the difference once the bank looks at mortgage terms.

It’s important to also have an end date for your client’s listing, to avoid their property languishing on the market and to place a cap on expenses incurred within listing the home professionally.

Downsizing Reconsidered More Often

As we mentioned in our blog of 2 weeks ago, more and more detached homeowners are staying put and not downsizing to smaller living spaces as has been the trend for a long time now. That’s because these owners are now having to resize their expectations, especially if home is Toronto or Vancouver.

Yes, sellers will still make a profit, but it won’t necessarily be the big gains they’d been planning on, and naturally their predisposition will be to hold tight for now

Relatedly, condo prices are soaring in all major urban areas in response to this and many other trends in Canadian real estate.

The prospect of getting a home for slightly less than the asking price has improved, and that’s good news for some buyers. Sign up here for Real Estate Leads and receive a monthly quota of qualified, online generated buyer and/or seller leads delivered to you exclusively for your independently-serviced area of any city or town in Canada. It’s a great way to supercharge your prospecting efforts and generate meeting opportunities with potential new clients.