All posts for the month November, 2020

Good Time to Remortgage a Home?

Published November 30, 2020 by Real Estate Leads

Clients don’t just see their realtor as the individual who’ll bring a buyer to them when they’re selling a home, or fast-track the process of getting them into the home they want. The professional relationship runs a lot deeper than that, and one thing that’s true most of the time is that these folks will be looking to you to be an expert on the entirety of the housing market and – to a lesser extent – being in the know about smart moves related to being a homeowner.

Even if they aren’t homeowners – yet.

Financing of a home can be a part of that. While most realtors will have a preferred partner that they can recommend to clients as a mortgage broker, there’s still a lot to be said for being knowledgeable about that side of the equation on your own.

Now it’s true that part of being seen as knowledgeable is being reputable, and in large part that comes from being well established as a realtor in the area. When you’re a new realtor nothing gets you to that point quicker than selling homes and bringing buyers to other realtors who are selling homes for their clients. To that end, our online real estate lead generation system here at Real Estate Leads is an excellent resource for realtors who’d like that leg up on the competition. It’s highly recommended.

But back to topic here, and again in relation to the financing of homes for clients. There has been some discussion lately about whether or not now is good time for homeowners to be remortgaging their homes. Is there any truth to that, and if so, why? Let’s have a look.

Unique Opportunity

It’s no secret that historically low interest rates recently have prompted homebuyers to pull the trigger on home purchases like never before, but it’s also presented a unique opportunity for real estate investors.

Let’s take Toronto for example. The COVID-19 pandemic has lessened demand in the condo rental market, much to the disappointment of many investors. The Bank of Canada’s interest rate cuts did create historic lows designed to resuscitate the economy, and what they also did was give investors an opportunity to refinance their mortgages.

In some cases the primary aim was to lower their monthly payments to something that was more in line with what they could afford and still maintain their base of investment funds. The situation now is that they can unlock up to 80% of the appraised value and potentially make it so that the payments are lower than their existing payments.

No Need to Wait for Renewal Time

The best time to refinance a mortgage has always been when it’s due for renewal. However, with mortgage rates as low as they are it becomes a situation where refinancing before term could be worth the outstanding penalty.

Why? Because of the significantly larger amount of equity that can be unlocked, which could then be repurposed into tax-deducible portfolio growth.

Add to this the fact that there are going to be buying opportunities as the market changes, ones where investor buyers can take advantage and take out money for tax deductible investments. For example, say your client takes out an extra $100,000 from a refinance. On account of their property value being higher than when they bought it, they are then paying $210 per month tax deductible on interest.

What this means is that whether it’s your primary residence or a cash flow positive income property where you don’t need the income, you can use that income to invest in more properties and reduce your income for tax purposes.

Further, you can inform your client that the unlocked equity can also be used to consolidate other debts. It is potentially a very shrewd play that can increase the client’s investment capacities down the road, and the solidity is there given how the real estate market has weathered the storm of the COVID-19 economic downturn.

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 only one realtor – you! You’ll be the exclusive recipient of these leads and they’ll be for prospective clients who live in the same area of the country where you do and are working as a real estate agent. It’s a dynamite way to supercharge your client prospecting efforts, and you’ll almost certainly be making more of a name for yourself in the local community as a reputable real estate agent.

24-Hour Touch Ups That Can Help Buyers Legitimize Asking Price

Published November 23, 2020 by Real Estate Leads

This week we’re going to segue back to the topic of things you can do as realtor to help your clients sell their home more quickly and, in some instances, for more than they thought they’d be able to. This may be beyond the standard scope of what clients might expect from their realtor, but don’t think for a minute advice like this won’t go a long way in establishing you as a home sales expert. People talk – and people refer agents they think highly of to their friends and family when the opportunity exists.

And that’s important for many reasons, not the least of which is that real estate is always going to be a competitive business and anything you can do to grow new clients out of existing ones is a big plus. Of course, establishing that original clientele is key, and that’s why our online real estate lead generation system here at Real Estate Leads is such a good choice for realtors who are new to the business. But in truth it’s not a bad choice for realtors who are well established too

But back to topic, here are 7 quick and not-too-difficult jobs that you can suggest to your home seller clients that may make just the difference needed for prospective buyers to pay the asking price for the home, or darn close to it!

  • Refresh Grout For a Sparkling New and Clean Look

Buyers always put a premium on a master bathroom that meets their expectations. Layout and amenities are one thing, but the appearance of the bathroom during a viewing is always a factor too. Specialty grout stain removers and cleaners are never expensive and the job usually only requires and hour or so of vigorous scrubbing and then washing clean. The bathroom will have a much ‘newer’ look to it, and your buyers will likely benefit from it appearing that way.

  • Change Lighting to Create Moods and Ambiance for Rooms

A warm white light from specially chosen LED bulbs makes for a welcoming environment when potential buyers are entering a specific area of the home you and your clients feel is a key part of its appeal. When outdated fixtures are taking away from a home’s otherwise modern styling, suggest they go with more design-neutral replacements that won’t make less of the property’s charms. Again, a fix up that goes a long way while not costing very much at all.

  • Repainting Doors to Create an Updated and Inviting Entryway

Make clear that you’re not asking them to repaint the whole interior of the home here, and stress that repainting doorways with a fresh coat goes a long way for suggesting a well-kept and maintained home. Plus, remind them that the front door of the home is the first thing buyers will see as they approach to view the home. Changing out generic doorknobs and switch-plates to add an updated flare is a good idea too.

  • Shine Up Windows

There’s no debating the fact that cleanliness goes a long way in indicating a home has been well-cared for, and that understanding really resonates with prospective buyers. Cleaning the inside and outside of windows not only refreshes a room, it also allows light to infuse the space more thoroughly and natural lighting in living spaces is a HUGE appeal for anyone considering purchase of a home.

  • Give Some Time to Closet Spaces

Interior storage space is big for buyers too, and especially in regards to closets and cabinets. Let your clients know that spending 30 minute ensuring they’re clean and clear and that hangers are spaced evenly and organized and the floor is clean is a very good idea.

  • Get Rid of Appliance Stains

Most sellers will be selling the home with the installed appliances included for the buyer, and if yours are the same then you should let them know that spending some time and elbow grease getting those appliances as clean as possible – on both the inside and outside – is also a smart decision that will add to the overall appeal for open house visitors.

Suggest they get some stainless steel polish, electric cooktop polish, and stain removing pads for the kitchen sink to take their appliances and make them look much newer to the eye.

  • Organize Garage and Basement Areas

Buyers want to see at least the appearance of space that will be at their disposal in areas of the home like this. This is especially true of a garage. Organizing and decluttering these spaces can add to the positive impact that’s made on would-be buyers. Instead of telling prospective buyers how much storage space there is, have them make it so these areas speak for themselves in that way by making them as tidy, organized, and visually spacious as possible.

Sign up for Real Estate Leads here and receive a monthly quota of qualified, online-generated buyer and / or seller leads that are delivered exclusively to you. You will be the only realtor who’ll receive these leads, and that will mean you can be first in touch with these people who have shown a genuine willingness to make a move in the local real estate market soon. It’s a dynamite way to supercharge your prospecting efforts, and there’s every reason to be all over this opportunity.

The ‘Bully’ Offer

Published November 16, 2020 by Real Estate Leads

We’ve gone on fairly at length about how the Real Estate Market continues to hold strong in the face of the last 7 months of economic adversity in Canada, and one of the things that we’re seeing is that the ‘pent-up’ demand of buyers is creating some not-so-ordinary buyer tendencies given the fact that demand continues to outdistance supply in that part of the equation. Add pent-up demand and what we’re seeing is buyers who may be even more willing to do what it takes to get the home they want.

For some, that means being a bully, and having their realtor submit ‘bully’ offers. It’s been said no one like bullies, and fair enough. But if you’re a real estate agent in Canada it’s best to always be very much in the know about the workings of your business. It’s to be expected if you’re to ask any of the many hundreds of people who’ll be looking for a realtor in Canada, even before this crazy 2020 is through. You need to be the expert, and come across as one. But getting to be first in-touch with prospective clients isn’t easy, this is always going to be a competitive business.

Especially in major metro areas, and that’s why our online real estate lead generation systems for Canada realtors here at Real Estate Leads is the type of powerful ally it is in that regard. You’re given more of the opportunity to make those contacts, but then the chance to show how you’re the best professional to help them with buying or selling a home is entirely up to you.

So of course wide-reaching knowledgeability is a big plus there. If you’ve never heard of a Bully Offer, it’s one of hundreds of different insights you can and should gain into the business.

So let’s get to it.

Pre-Emptive Buyers

A bully offer is also called a pre-emptive offer. What that means is it’s an offer from a buyer to the seller to purchase a home listed for sale on MLS. Nothing unique about that, but with the bully offer it’s an offer that’s submitted before the date that the sellers have indicated they will look at any of them.

Keep in mind that the seller is free to accept any offer on their home, at any amount, at any time. Any given and suggested date for ‘consideration’ is just a statement and there’s nothing contractually binding about it.

In any real estate market that is a seller’s market – where there are more buyers than homes for sale – folks with homes for sale may make the decision when they list their home to hold on offers and wait until a certain date and time to review them. In truth it’s often a smart strategy for a seller who has properly priced their home. It allows the most buyers possible to see the home, and increases the chances of a bidding war starting and potentially driving the selling price up.

The bully offers is a high pressure sales tactic on the part of the buyer, and it’s intended to make a home seller look at the offer quickly with not much in the way to make other interested buyers aware of what’s going on.

Maybe a house is listed for sale on Wednesday. The plan is to allow it to be for sale for an entire week and then offers will be accepted the following Wednesday. By holding offers the agent increases the opportunity to market the home and increase the number of prospective buyers who’ll be aware of it being on the market at a specific price.

Should that real estate agent receive an offer on the home from another agent, but with he provision that the offer will expire before the owner’s stated window for accepting offers, you’ve got yourself a bully offer.

No Obligations

It’s important to first understand here that you and your client are of course under no obligation to accept the offer. The issue is when the bully offer comes with a proposed price that’s attractive to the homeowner. And that’s usually how it’s both intended, and how it works.

Once a bully offer is submitted, your client can choose to accept it, start negotiation, or stick to your original plan and refuse to deal with it until their stated original offer presentation date.

The question then though is are there good scenarios for accepting a Bully offer?

Buyers and their agents know that in order to get your client to accept their bully offer, they’re going to have to make it worth your client’s while. This usually means offering above asking price and with little or no conditions on the sale.

But you – as their agent – should be able to quickly determine if a bully offer is worth accepting. Some considerations:

  • When the price is ridiculously high
  • When showings are slower than expected, or home is listed in volatilely changing market
  • When the offer is firm
  • When you have notified every other buyer who has expressed interest in the property

We’re going to steer clear of any discussion about whether it’s ethically OK to make bully offers. That’s up for you to decide as a realtor. But if you have reason to believe that making one puts your client in the best position to get the home they’re after, it may be something for you to consider. Be judicious about it though, and proceed cautiously if you have reason to believe it will rub the selling realtor the wrong way.

It’s important to always remember that this is a business where it’s very important to get along with others also making their living in real estate. That said, nearly all realtors will be receptive to approaches that help them get clients into the homes that fit them best.

Making a Bully Offer

For those of you wondering on how to make a bully offer, real estate bully offers are no different from regular offers. All that you and your client are doing is disregarding any written instructions on the MLS that say the listing is holding offers. You are submitting your offer early, in an attempt to avoid competing with other buyers. Of course the seller is under no obligation to even acknowledge your client’s offer of this type, much less have to accept it. Keep in mind as well that you – the realtor – are required to convey your offer to the seller and notify all other interested parties.

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 – and ONLY you – for your desired region of any city or town in Canada. It instantly vitalizes your new client prospecting efforts and creates the opportunity for you to have first crack at meeting these would-be buyers or sellers and then wowing them with your level of expertise as a realtor.

October ’20 Confirms Trend – Vancouver Housing Market Continues Surge

Published November 9, 2020 by Real Estate Leads
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One of the things that’s always important is to be able to see through the clutter and hear through the noise, and we imagine that these days that’s more true than ever for people. It was earlier this year that great misfortune was predicted to befall the real estate industry in Canada, but here we are near the end of the same year and the majority of those predictions haven’t come true.

One thing that anyone – not just real estate agents in Canada – will tell you is that the health and vitality of the industry is important because it encompasses the interests of both individual people and that of the economy. That’s not to make less of the need for affordable housing and better access to quality housing for Canadians, but for as long as real estate is a commodity there’s going to be a certain inevitability of it being tied to economic prosperity here.

People will continue to do what they can to work with that reality and be able to buy a home that meets their needs, and in the same way real estate agents will do what they can to be the realtors working with these homebuyer or home seller clients. To that end, our online real estate lead generations system for Canada here at Real Estate Leads is an excellent resource for any realtor doing just that. This business is always competitive, and when you’re new to being a realtor it can be intimidating.

29% Year-Over-Year Gains Last Month

The news that home sales in Greater Vancouver grew by 29% year-over-year in October, with transactions rising to 3,687 from 2,858, is good news on either end of that perspective. It suggests that homes are still being put on the market consistently, and then with the fact they’re selling we can safely conclude that a) there continue to be qualified buyers, and b) homes are selling for at or close-to what the sellers are expecting to receive for their properties.

Sales also increased by 1.2% last month from 3,643 transactions the month previous, September, and were up 34.7% from the 10-year average. This makes it the second-highest total ever for the month, and makes it even clearer that the COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t pushed down activity in the country’s most expensive real estate market.

One thing that’s definitely been a contributing factor is that lockdown measures in the spring were a catalyst for homeowners to upgrade their homes, and this trend has been a co-operator for the trend of homes sales not missing much of a beat in Vancouver and area.

It’s a reflection of a bigger-picture trend where people are rethinking their housing situation, and on both macro and micro levels. Then there’s the role of the Bank of Canada cutting interest rates to historic lows, and this is the biggest reason real estate markets in Canada’s 3 biggest cities have been able to weather the economic fallout of the pandemic.

What’s happened is that low rates have opened the market up to previously not-quite-qualified would-be buyers. Pair that with pent up demand and the never-ending supply and demand equation disparity for housing in areas of the country and you actually have more people coming into the market.

The REBGV data also indicates that detached home sales went up by 42.3% last month from October 2019, and the benchmark price went up by 8.5% to $1,523,800 along with that. There are many different factors coming into play with that buyer preference trend too. This is especially true in ‘satellite city’ areas around the major metro regions in Vancouver and Toronto, but it is definitely a reflection of bigger trends that will likely come to be applicable for small cities too.

Sign up with Real Estate Leads here and receive a monthly quota of qualified, online-generated buyer and / or seller leads that are delivered to one realtor only – you. Sign up and indicate your preferred region of any city or town in Canada and you’ll be able to start receiving these leads and then enjoying the more direct and immediate connection with folks who live in the area and are genuinely considering making a move in the local real estate market. It’s a proven-effective way to supercharge your client prospecting efforts in a BIG way!

Speeding Up 1st-Time Homebuyer Transactions

Published November 2, 2020 by Real Estate Leads

We have dedicated our blog to talking about the ramifications of the COVID pandemic on the housing market for months now, and it’s been quite a while since we’ve dedicated a blog to advice for real estate professional who might be newer to the profession. These days our interests are primarily in the health of the real estate market in Canada, and we imagine it’s the same for most of you too. And so we will continue to talk about real estate in Canada in future entries here.

But today we’re going to segue back to tips for realtors in Canada, and one that will be particularly well received for newish realtors who see the need to close deals with first-time homebuyers more quickly in order to both put them in the home you know is right for them and earn the commission on the services you’ve provided for them. Both of which are important, as one reality that’s never going away – pandemic or not – is that real estate is a very competitive business, and you need to do everything you can to gain advantages.

Which is a big part of why our Canada online real estate lead generation system here at Real Estate Leads is as highly recommended as it is. What it does is harness the power of Internet Marketing and voluntary online surveys to identify prospective clients who are genuinely considering making a move in the local real estate market. And we don’t need to tell you how being able to be the first realtor to get in touch with these folks has the potential to be hugely beneficial and advantageous for you.

So let’s have a look at this topic here today – how to be quicker with closing deals with first time home buyers.

Establish Expectations Upfront and Often

There’s no debating the fact that communication is a cornerstone of a successful real estate practice and client relationship. When you’re conducting a transaction as complex as the purchase or sale of a home, it’s important that no one on either side of the equation gets their wires crossed or has a catastrophic misunderstanding. To this end, it’s very important that the realtor establish communication parameters with your clients up front.

You can start by inquiring about the communication medium they’re most comfortable with. That could be texts, calls, emails, etc. Then you need to establish how you’ll reach out accordingly. Another good idea is to set up a weekly ‘check-in’ time, and this is something you should do even if it’s clear no new progress has been made since the last check-in.

Another helpful tool is to draft a transaction timeline for your client outlining any major milestones along the way, the types of information needing to be gathered, what steps are to be taken, and what possible outcomes exist. This may seem like a lot, but you need to keep in mind that in today’s super-connected digital world clients will come to their own conclusions if you’re not very proactive in doing that for them.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it has the potential to be one.

Be in the Know with all First-Time Homebuyer Programs and Perks

Here in Canada, every realtor will be (or should be) aware of the Federal Liberal Government’s First-Time Homebuyer’s Income Assistance Program. If there are any provincial grants and programs that aid first-time homebuyers in your Province you should be explicitly aware of them too, as well as having at least a functional understanding of how they work.

Sometimes these programs are neighborhood-specific in certain cities, with incentives to buy in up and coming areas. In other instances there are grants that support under-represented minority communities who face greater obstacles when buying a first home. Do your research on all of this, because not only is it part of your diligence in being a realtor in Canada but it also goes a LONG way in establishing you as your client’s real estate expert, and trust goes a long way when it comes to getting them to put their name to paper with buying the home.

Push Mortgage Pre-approvals & Know Where Best Rates Are

Mortgage rates and terms will always vary, and there’s definitely mortgages any new first-time homebuyer should be avoiding. Every reputable realtor anywhere in Canada will have a good, honest, and reliable mortgage broker that they are able to refer to their clients. You need to be the same way, if you’re not already.

They should be able to rely on you to find the rate that suits their long-term housing goals, and trusting that you’ve done that for them definitely helps speed the home buying process. Keep in mind that first-time homebuyers are new to this process, and borrowing and lending processes can be intimidating to them. As an agent, it’s your job to play intermediary and instructor, letting your clients know their options and guiding them towards making educated decisions or – in the case of a reputable mortgage broker – pointing them in the right direction to be able to do that. ,

There’s no doubt that with first-time homebuyers can be an exciting and rewarding opportunity, but you should be prepared – and able – to be much more involved in the process and ‘taking their hand’ as it were when it comes to getting them to take the next step, and the next, and so on until they’re reading to sign the papers. Do it right and you’ll also likely enjoy being referred to their friends and family, many of whom may well become your real estate clients as well.

Sign up with Real Estate Leads here and receive a monthly quota of qualified, online-generated buyer and / or seller leads that are delivered to you exclusively. You’ll be the only realtor to receive these leads, and they will be for soon-to-be buyers or sellers of homes who are living in the same area of any city or town in Canada where you are working as a real estate agent. It’s an excellent way to supercharge your client prospecting efforts, and you’ll quickly see it as a solid investment in your business success.