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What Clients Want from Their Real Estate Agent

Published March 26, 2019 by Real Estate Leads

Every once in a while it’s good to get back to the fundamentals, and that’s true whether you’re talking about your career, your golf game, or even your culinary capabilities. Often you’ll find that by reorienting your foundation in smart ways means everything that’s built on top it is improved as well. Being a service-plus real estate agent in Canada is no exception, here.

While experienced realtors will quite likely have a firm grasp on strong fundamentals in the real estate business, it is novices like many of you taking advantage of our opportunity here who’ll benefit from first understanding them, and then revisiting them often.

Speaking of opportunities first, however, our online real estate lead generation system for Canada here at Real Estate Leads comes extremely well recommended for any realtor who’d prefer to hit the ground running and build up his or her real estate business with greater rapidity. Long story short, it puts qualified leads for you area in the hands of one realtor and one realtor only – you. Of course, those leads are only opportunities – what you do with them is up to you, but a market and industry-savvy realtor is always up to that challenge.

Back to today’s topic though – what are the fundamental basics of what clients want from their real estate agent?

Buyer Client Expectations

The first difference to understand with buyers in comparison to sellers is that they’re a whole lot more complex and varied with their prerogatives most the time. There are different levels of experience and requirements. First-time buyers often need an overly guided approach to their buying a home. Investors, on the other hand, will usually want lots of data. Transactional help, lots of interpretation of documents, and help with decisions are often also standard wants / needs for buyers.

But that’s likely quite obvious for many of you, so let’s look at specific buyers based on the properties they’ll be evaluating.

If a client is focused on the vacation or resort home market, they’ll almost always need even more support. Many of these properties are in rural, mountain or seaside areas, and these are areas that often have strict environmental, developmental and building codes. If your client is an out-of-area buyer they will be looking to you to provide skilled representation to ensure they aren’t buying something with hidden future problems.

When representing buyers in other specialized areas or property types, these buyers will tend to lean more on your expertise and local market knowledge. Condominiums are the purchase of-choice for most buyers these days in Canada’s large urban centers, and they’re that way very much out of necessity. Condo rules (via strata) and financial particulars will be extremely important to these buyers, and they want their realtor to be explicitly in the know about them before they go to see the property together for the first time.

Next, investment property buyers. As a whole, these buyers will usually be the most ‘informed’ demographic you’ll serve as a realtor, and just because this ‘isn’t their first rodeo’ as the expression goes. When it comes to these buyers, they often approach you with a great deal of market knowledge. Interestingly, what they value most in a realtor is an ability to take an aggressive approach to helping them locate good investment deals, and then strong negotiating skills to help them get their desired property at the right price. A real estate professional who can catch things they may have missed and bring them to their attention before an investment mistake is an invaluable resource for them.

Seller Client Expectations

It’s inadvisable to look at sellers as individuals who just want to sell their home quickly and for as much as possible. Yes, on the whole sellers are less likely to be overly reliant on their agents for help in the process. Most sellers will know how technology has changed the game in as far as how a home is marketed to the masses these days.

So where are their priorities now, and what do they want most from a listing realtor? Their hope will be that you will take the initiative when it comes to commissions and finding ways with creating lower costs with roughly equal marketing options. If you’re working with aa full-service commission arrangement, you need to have at least a few instances where you’ve gone ‘above and beyond’ and left them with the impression that it’ more than they might have received from a lesser real estate professional.

One very interesting trend that’s been observed from client satisfaction surveys in real estate for North America is that some home seller client really appreciated how their realtor was able to effectively and rationally explain to them how commission-free or low-commission real estate services (which are popping up absolutely everywhere these days) are inferior to that provided by a genuine in-the-flesh / at-your-door real estate agent.

This doesn’t mean simply stating – however truthful – that these homes tend to stay on the market longer. Instead, you should be able to explain why that is and what you’re able to do counter that eventuality if they choose to work with you.

Be in the know – and very in the know preferably.

All Consumers

We’ll conclude here today with a bullet point list of the skills and qualities actual home buyers and sellers of all types will typically be looking for in their realtor:

  • Honesty and integrity
  • Knowledge of purchase process
  • Responsiveness
  • Knowledge of real estate market
  • Communication skills
  • Negotiation skills

There are others, including people skills and technical skills, but these 6 are boxes that you need to be able to check and list out how you meet those needs exactly. Your marketing may feature these skill sets, or it may not. Either way, there’s always room for improvement doing your very best in these areas.

In conclusion, we can say that the qualities of a good real estate agent will vary based on consumer needs but the basics will always apply and are worthy of ongoing focus as a result.

Sign up with Real Estate Leads here and receive a monthly quota of qualified, online-generated leads provided to you – and only you – for your similarly exclusive region of any city or town in Canada. Nine times out of 10 that’s going to mean more in the way of client prospecting successes for you and you’ll be in the position to do what realtors do best most often – putting people in touch with the best buyers for their property, or finding that perfect property for a buyer.

Check out our testimonials for stories from actual realtors who’ve gotten on board with the service and are now continuing to benefit from it immensely.

 

Maximum Loan Amortization Extension from Feds Has Major Potential Ramifications

Published February 26, 2019 by Real Estate Leads

Most people in the real estate industry will agree – even if grudgingly – that the new mortgage stress-test regulations rolled out by the Federal Government a year+ ago we’re entirely necessary to normalize the market and prevent hundreds of thousands of Canadians from becoming ‘house poor’, as the expression goes. This of course has had the effect of their being fewer qualified first-time home buyers, and the direct correlation between that and less business to be had for real estate agents is easy to understand.

It would seem now that the Federal Government is considering a reactionary move to improve the housing market, and we can safely assume that it’s in large part a response to the pinch felt by industries that are directly tied to the home construction and renovation industry, and to a lesser extent to stimulate the housing market as a whole.

These are trying times indeed, and it’s unlikely that we’ll see the the limited numbers of qualified buyers increasing anytime soon. As is always the case, when the going gets tough the tough get going and realtors now must work harder to secure new clients. Here at Real Estate Leads, our online real estate lead generation system is an excellent means of putting the power of the Internet to work for that aim. It’s highly recommended, but let’s get back on the topic here and discuss why this move by the Feds may have some rather unintended consequences.

Longer Amortizations, Lower Payments, More Interest

That’s the long and short of what this possible move is going to entail. The Government’s Ministry of Finance may not be intending to increase household debt with this move, but that’s what it will almost certainly do in the long run. In the short term, however it promised to be beneficial. Economists and those most familiar with the housing market are saying that – most relevantly – it’s likely to drive prices even higher when the next housing cycle begins.

What we would see is lower payments relative to 25-year amortizations, in exchange for paying more interest, and a proliferation of 30-year mortgages for first-time homebuyers.

What’s in Amortization?

As mentioned, the Feds are considering extending the maximum amortization schedule on mortgages. Amortization is the length of time determined for a borrower to be paying off their loan before it. Currently, insured mortgages are limited to a 25-year term, meaning that buyers can plan on paying off the home in 25 years. That’s not short period of time, but the reason we’ve become fairly accustomed to that in Canada is – plain and simple – that it allows Canadians of lesser financial means to buy a home.

What we’ve recently become aware of is that Canada is considering allowing first-time buyers the ability to amortize for 30 years. The aim is to increase affordability, but is that what we can expect it to do.

Hard Numbers

Let’s look at a typical scenario here; at typical Toronto home costing $761,800 (average median price for a detached single-family home at this time). Let’s assume next the the borrower has 10% down and is then borrowing at a rate of 3.59% on a 5-year fixed rate throughout the whole mortgage, which underestimates the cost.

What we see is that the minimum monthly payments drop roughly 12.5%, and that’s what makes it appealing to the would-be buyer. This is a result of lengthening the amortization, and while it might seem appealing it increases the amount of interest these buyers will be paying if they take they full time to pay off the mortgage (which nearly all buyer do nowadays).

It’s not going to increase it a bit, it’s going to increase it quite a lot, and that of course means increased household debt. Many people would agree that with this you’d be making people less house poor, but more indebted long term, and that the two sort of cancel each other out to really offer little to no tangible savings or affordability benefits for prospective homebuyers.

So going back to that average Toronto homerunning those payments on the 25-year amortization models works out to a hefty $351,103 in interest payments over the term. Bump that up to a 30-year amortization and it climbs to $431,511.

Not as appealing as it might have seemed, is it?

More Expensive Housing in the Long-Term

We tend to agree that extending amortizations only makes housing more affordable temporarily, since credit inflates prices. Lowering the cost of borrowing is often thought of as a way to increase affordability. It may, but not in the long run and if you’re in a 25 or 3-year amortization mortgage the ‘long run’ is definitely part of your reality

Disposable Income to Service Debt Ratio

Over the past 5 years real home prices across Canada have increased 42.65%. The amount of disposable income to service this debt increased only 12.65%. Affordability today actually improved across Canada by 7.29% since 2007. Real home prices have gone up 86.54% over that same period.

Real estate agents are always inclined to wonder whether home prices will go higher, but perhaps now more so than ever. remember that’s long-term. Real estate works in a cycle, and right now prices need to correct for new buyers to enter. The most important consideration here is that borrowers with a 30-year amortization will pay less towards principal. In the long term that costs borrowers more, and it inflates home prices – which of course will be viewed very negatively in the not-too-distant future.

 

Sign up with Real Estate Leads here and receive a monthly quota of qualified, online-generated buyer and / or seller leads delivered to you exclusively and for your very own, protected region of any city or town in Canada. It’s a proven-effective way to get more out of your client prospecting efforts, and we’re nearly certainly you’ll quickly come to see it as a very worthwhile monthly expense when it comes to promoting your Real Estate business.

 

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.

 

Census 2016: A Quick Review for Real Estate Agents

Published November 9, 2017 by Real Estate Leads

census, red stamp on a grunge paper textureFor the average Canadian, home ownership is on the decline, we can look at the high ownership cost in the three flagship cities as a direct correlation for this downswing. However, a higher rate of homeowners is now taking on mortgages, as well as a cost of carrying a home continues to show large growth. This is great news for those looking to sell homes on the market, and here at Real Estate Leads, we have the breakdown that matters.

5.6 million and counting

The total number of mortgages in the country grew to a staggering 5.6 million. Census 2016, which was conducted in early and mid-May 2017 showed 5,686,576 residential homeowners were still paying down a mortgage. This represents a 7.66% increase from the last long-form Census which was completed in 2011. However, this number is a little higher than expected, as unlike official numbers, the Census 2016 is self-reporting, and includes private mortgages. This is not normal for most real estate guides and does skew the numbers just a tad.

3% rise in homeowners with a mortgage

Another interesting stat to come out of the Census 2016 is that the rate of homeowners with mortgages got a 3% lift. Compared to 2011, the rate raised by 3.58% up to 60.7% of Canadians homeowners having a mortgage. This is an interesting trend, as although general homeownership is down, the rate of homes with a mortgage is up.

Homeowners costs are up 15.54%

Since 2011, we have seen costs go up substantially, but no more than those associated with homeowner costs. This median has risen over 15% to 15.54%, which is astronomically high. This would mean that the median cost of shelter from homeowners is $1130. Think about it this way, inflation growth over that same time period would only be 8%, this is almost double it. Consider the fact that we have a rapidly ageing population in this country, and the issues of affordability in our largest cities, it might represent a bit of a downturn in the market due to the cost of new homes.

So now what, well for us in the real estate business it is business as normal. Consider that only 1 in 7 people in Canada have a mortgage, and of the Canadian population, under 50% are currently part of the workforce. We have a new generation of home buyers, and although they have yet to start to flood the market, for those in the know, it is coming. Expect to be working with a smarter and better-educated client, and that is not a bad thing. What trends do you think will come out of the next long forum Census, continued decline in home ownership, or will we start to see things even out for the next generation? Leave your comments below!

Six Hallmarks of Successful Real Estate Agents

Published October 30, 2017 by Real Estate Leads

Attractive Mixed Race Woman in Front of House and Sold Real Estate Sign.It’s been a while since we offered a blog post that wasn’t related to the nature of the market or the ins and outs of buying or selling a home for clients. Statistics reflect ever greater numbers of realtors becoming REB certified in most major cities in Canada, and while that’s to be expected it still poses competition issues for those who are new to the ‘game’ and feel a real need to start building their business with some expediency.

Here at Real Estate Leads, we’re happy to make our online real estate lead generation system available as a means of allowing these new realtors to start getting in touch with legitimate prospective clients in their area. We of course extend that invite to all of you, whether you’re new to the real estate business or well experienced. But today let’s get back to the basics and share tried-n-true approaches to getting your establishing yourself as a successful realtor, and sooner rather than later!

They are Genuinely Passionate about Real Estate

Quite plainly, nothing is more important than a genuine passion for both homes AND putting people in the right one for them. You need to get a real ‘kick’ out of doing so, and it MUST be more than simply a means of getting your commission. We can’t state this strongly enough.

They Return Calls and Emails with Little to No Delay

These are the realtors that take the opportunity of a lead and make something out of it the majority of the time. They immediately make contact and they follow up, answering any questions and perfectly happy to stay on the phone with clients for as long as the client needs to stay on the phone. They are never disconnected from email, text, and phone and they don’t loosen up on that until the entire client-service experience and transaction is complete.

What this does is foster and understanding in the client that they are very important to you, and that’ obviously a huge plus. In addition, be open to switching your communication avenue to match the client’s preferences. If the client prefers text, then text. If the client prefers calls, then call. Pretty simple really.

They are Familiar and Capable with the Latest Tech

This may be a challenge for some, and older newer realtors in particular. If you’re not 100% adept with modern communication devices and applications, putting time (and perhaps money) into getting up to speed with them ASAP is highly recommended. Most successful realtors are all about their tablets and smartphones, and you’ll find many are also quite capable with higher-end DSLR cameras. They make sure they have great data plans so they are never stuck without a remote internet connection. They try to go paperless as much as possible. They put nearly as much time into learning about technology as they do learning about the changing real estate industry in Canada.

They Know Their Neighbourhoods Explicitly Well

You want to become a “neighbourhood expert” as soon as possible. All top agents are walking, talking encyclopedias of what the neighbourhood offers for a prospective new home owner considering buying in the area. They know what’s on the market, what has sold recently, and the overall status of the neighborhood, including planned changes and developments lined up for the future. Becoming this way doesn’t just ‘happen’, you have to put in the time to learn and always have your ear to the ground to stay on top of what’s new in the neighbourhood.

They Are Entirely Open and Transparent Regarding Their Work

Successful agents don’t just make themselves available and then conduct their work out of sight until the client has a buyer for their home, or a new home to buy. The best ones are very active in ensuring their actions are entirely on display and relatable for the client. When they meet with the client for the first time they explain the process, the potential roadblocks, and any of the more likely scenarios that could occur. They keep the client entirely in the know with negotiations, and in this regard it’s better to be ‘overloading’ the client with information rather than supply a ‘reasonable’ amount of it.

Further, they discuss any perceived need to adjust their strategy with the client very proactively. Try to aim to make yourself so transparent in your operations that it’s unlikely that clients would even have the need to inquire about what you’re doing. But when they do, go on at great length and be very clear in why you think it’s the best course of action.

They Generate Leads by Any and All Means Necessary

Leads are nothing more than opportunities, and not all opportunities will lead to a new client. This is true in many cases where even doing everything in your power isn’t going to convert the lead into a client. That’s the nature of the business, always has been and always will be. Smart agents are experimenters, they try out different types of lead sources, they explore different types of ad campaigns, and they analyze what works and what doesn’t. They understand that having a social media presence is important and that advertising and promotion efforts need to be constantly reevaluated and changed given the current climates in the business.

They Have GREAT Networks

The best and most successful agents don’t just have a network to generate clientele, they have a network of top-notch real estate agent partners who have the same understanding of what’s required of them to be the top agents they are. They know the best contractors, appraisers, lenders, and insurance providers in the business. Aim to be a hub of a group of professionals that can advise and assist with anything real estate or home related. Top agents care for their network and are happy to refer clients to other agents from whom they can rely on receiving the best service. Further, they know and can identify realtors who don’t make the grade in this regard. Admittedly, the second part of that equation is one that takes some time to acquire

The best realtors are knowledgeable, authentic, and equal parts driven and passionate to really help people find themselves in the right home for that stage of their life. You too can become one of them, and signing up with Real Estate Leads here is a great start to begin generating those ‘opportunities’ we’ve been talking about. Follow the tips we’ve laid out for you here and you’ll almost certainly see more of your opportunities successfully converted into clients.

4 Pre-Construction Closing Costs Homebuyers Should Be Aware Of

Published October 2, 2017 by Real Estate Leads

Sanierung EinfamilienhausThere’s no debating that buying a home during a pre-sale or even further in advance of construction beginning has many benefits. In addition to more agreeable pricing as the first buyer, your clients will also have more in the way of options for customizing their home, modifying it to accommodate a mortgage-helper suite if need be, etc. etc. As well, presale buyers will often have a grandfathered-in clause allowing them autonomy over whether or not they choose to rent out their unit, independent of complex-specific rental restrictions.

Here at Real Estate Leads, our online lead generation system for realtors in Canada has been so especially well received by realtors coast to coast, and we believe that helping you have further success with the increased opportunities it’s providing for you is beneficial for one and all. A knowledgeable realtor is always one held in high regard by prospective clients, so this week we’ll yet again share information on a subject yours may well want to know of – pre-construction closing costs.

They tend to be rather unexpected surprises for many a buyer, and you’ll be fostering better relations between them and yourself if you can make them better aware of these costs long before they near their closing on purchasing a home.

A Few Last Pricey Hurdles

It’s easy to get caught off guard with closing costs when buying a pre-construction home. They’ll vary depending on the value of the home, the municipality in which it’s located, and whether you’re a first-time home buyer or not.

As a general rule of thumb, advise your clients to have 2 – 4% of the purchase price earmarked for closing related costs.

Some of the most common of these added closing costs are:

  1. Development Charges

Pre-construction properties most often have development levies at the insistence of the city. The property developer will almost always pick up the lion’s share of them, but a portion of these costs are still passed on to the individual or couple purchasing the home. These development levies are very necessary; they go towards capital and operational expenses for the city, like building new schools, maintain utilities infrastructure, or funding new transit initiatives.

Clients considering buying a pre-construction home should aim to be very clear on whether or not there’s a cap on development charges, unless they’d like to be surprised at closing perhaps. Low rise homes will have their own specific charges, for benefits such as driveway paving, community tree planting, and work needing to be done to meet municipal building specs. Of course, every situation is different – you can go ahead and recommend your clients consult with a real estate lawyer you trust, in order to review the documents and be 100% clear on applicable fees.

  1. New Home Warranty

A New Home warranty is the term used for a warranty for a buyer’s pre-construction home. What’s typically covered within it?

  • A multi-year warranty for major structural defects
  • Deposits (paid to the builder in advance of the construction of the home)
  • Certain defects in work and material Protection against unauthorized substitutions
  • Coverage for common elements in condominiums
  • Compensation for construction delays or occupancy
  • Against financial loss for contract homes

More information in regards to these different coverages are found at the different new home warranty providers’ websites, depending on your Province. The cost of enrollment is – not surprisingly – dependent on the purchase price of your client’s home.

Ontario – Tarion

British Columbia – New Home Warranty via BC Housing

Alberta – ANHWP

Saskatchewan – NHWP.org

Manitoba – MBNHWP

Quebec – RBQ

New Brunswick / Nova Scotia / PEI / Newfoundland – AHWP

  1. Taxes

There are a pair of main taxes on pre-construction homes; the first is the provincial land transfer tax, and the next is provincial sales taxes. If your clients are purchasing a new townhouse, condo or house, however, there may also be an additional municipal land transfer tax.

In Ontario, for example, rates vary with their land transfer tax, depending on the purchase price of the home. Using the same example as above, a $532,000 home would correlate to a land transfer tax bill of approximately $7,100. Keep in mind that first-time homebuyers will likely be eligible for a $4,000 rebate.

To make it simpler, I recommend using RateHub’s land transfer tax calculator to determine the approximate amount your clients will come out at. (Can be used for any Province)

Pre-construction project pricing usually include the GST, or HST depending on your Province. In fact, the builders get a tax rebate on your behalf. Keep this in mind though – if the property is not going to be their principal residence and instead is going to be an investment property, in some (not all) Provinces you will face a tax bill that’s a percentage of your home’s purchase price. If you’re planning on using the home as an investment, be sure to budget for this additional tax.

Foreign buyers should also keep in mind that there’s also an additional 15-per-cent Non Resident Speculative Tax (NRST) for buyers in Metro Vancouver and Metro Toronto, which of course has been smartly implemented to protect housing for Canadians living in those metro areas.

  1. Lawyer Fees

Last but not least, there will also be lawyer fees that need to be accounted for. Real estate lawyers have a pair of main responsibilities; the first is conducting a title search, and the second is preparing an adjustment statement. This includes closing costs plus any additional applicable fees. It’s typical to expect to pay somewhere between $1200 – $1700 in legal fees, depending on the purchasing specifics. It’s always best to shop around for competitive rates, and going with experienced real estate lawyers is best.

It’s definitely stressful, but buying a new home is overall an enjoyable experience for most people. As a realtor you have the most power to make it so your clients’ experience, and by signing up with Real Estate Leads here you’ll have all the more opportunities to do what you do best and ensure your clients are 100% happy with every step of the process AND without too many unexpected surprising costs.

7 Unobtrusive Friendly Tips to Offer to First-Time Home Sellers

Published August 29, 2017 by Real Estate Leads

Business partnership. House agent greeting customer in officeYou’ve secured your client and they’ve agreed to list their home with you. Great, you’ve turned your opportunity into a client and your prospecting strategies are paying off. There’s standard protocol choices that a realtor will go through when he or she determines that the client is a first-time home seller, and it’s good to have a less-procedural approach sometimes as you move through the stages of listing and selling their home.

Here at Real Estate Leads, our online real estate lead generation system has been very helpful for realtors all across Canada, and as we’ve stated many times, prospecting effectively in real estate is all about establishing relationships, expanding your skill base, and – most importantly – making every opportunity into the most it can be. Sellers who sell their home quickly and / or get their asking price or beyond will hold you in very high regard, and quite likely request your services again years down the road.

As regards that less-procedural approach, it can be very helpful to make less-important but still valuable tips to your clients and present them in a very conversational way. Let’s discuss a few of them here:

Know and Suggest the Best Day to List the Home

Experienced realtors will know the best days and seasons to list a home based on it’s specifics and / or location . This time period will vary depending on the local community, the weather, time of year, and a host of other factors, and of course including the vibrancy of the present real estate market – or lack of it. This is a great one to discuss with your new clients very early on in the process

Be Direct About the Suitability for Immediate Showing

It’s perfectly acceptable and entirely advisable to be up front with people about whether their home is ready for showing, or what it needs to get to that point. Allow an open house if the home is conducive to an open house.

Showing a home that is not ready for it can mean a squandered opportunity with a potential buyer who may have been willing to pay asking price, a big loss for owners who are looking to move their home quickly and for the price they want.

Be Proactive in Preparing a House for Showing

Related to the above, an agent should be very involved in both recommending and working to make the home truly ready for sale. Most homes show better with about half of the furniture removed. Ideally buyers walk in the door and can get the feel for the space they’ll have at their disposal. Another industry-wide choice is home staging to boost selling power and appeal.

Painting is often the single best improvement you can make. Dings in the woodwork or gouges in the walls make your home suggest there’s going to be deferred maintenance. Always a big negative for an prospective buyer.

Advise Flexibility with Showings

In as simply a suggestion manner as possible you should suggest your clients be flexible with showings. If they’re too much of an imposition, you might suggest they go away the first weekend their home is on the market. Sure, some might think it a bit intrusive to make a suggestion of that magnitude, but you’d be surprised how many couples are quite receptive to it. The best way to sell your home is to let a buyer inside with the buyers’ agent to tour in absolute peace and quiet.

Use your judgment whether or not to suggest having a family member or pet of any sort be absent from the home during showings. Again, you are being a professional and working in the ENTIRETY of your clients best interests. They should be understanding and appreciative of that Use judgment, but do be firm in saying what you feel needs to be said.

Recommend Professional Photography

Most clients will make this move on their own, but if not you are wise to make very clear how much they’ll benefit from working with a professional photographer who has a high-end 20+ megapixel DSLR camera. Advise them that it’s not enough to just get the angle right in the photo, the most popular photos are rich in colour, depth, and sharpness and they are visually appealing in a way that a series of snaps from a smartphone or point n’ shoot camera simply can’t be. Suggest further that they approve the virtual tour or photo tour before it is published online and / or in print.

Suggest Regular Monitoring of the Listing Online

Homeowners will know the property better than anyone, and it’s quite common to have ones make suggestions, queries etc. on the listing of their home as they are exposed to each day or several days a week via their computer or smartphone. As such, suggest your clients review their listing online regularly. Suggest that they can look at their home listing on various websites, also to make sure the information is always being stated accurately.

Agents do their best to ensure accuracy, but since it is their home, they’ll know the details better than anyone. When they spot something may be amiss, they’ll contact you immediately and you can react from there.

Share the Advisability of Booking Movers Well in Advance

Once an offer is accepted and a possession date is confirmed, tell you clients about how it’s very much in their best interests to book a moving service early if they intend to use one. The end of the month is always the busiest time of the year due to the rental market, and they can also help themselves out by starting to pack once the offer is accepted, even if the possession date has yet to be agreed upon.

Sign up with Real Estate Leads here to have online generated qualified real estate buyer and seller leads delivered to you exclusively and for your own protected region of the country. We’ll get you some leads, and you’ll work your magic in turning those opportunities into clients!

Appraising Clients on The Best Ways to Approach Bidding Wars

Published August 10, 2017 by Real Estate Leads

3D Render of Morph Man with house and gavelReal Estate markets in certain locales across Canada are as hot as they’ve ever been, and there’s no getting around the fact that it means that bidding wars are often the norm for attractive properties. Here at Real Estate Leads we’ve put a lot of effort into providing our online lead generation system for realtors together, but another part of what we do is share industry insight that realtors can share with their clients OR those clients can benefit it from it themselves directly.

As stated, these bidding wars are standard procedure in many parts of Canada. More and more prospective buyers are facing off against another buyer for their dream property, and no doubt it can be stressful. Far too many people go above and beyond their REAL purchasing means, but there’s no reason you have to drain your bank account in order to purchase a home you love. Realtors who have been involved in many multiple-offer situations during their careers have loads of advice on how you can best approach a bidding war and act prudently within it.

Every bit of their advice circles around one particular maxim; make homeownership decisions with your head, not your emotions. We’ll add to that it’s often far too easy for prospective buyers to falsely insulate their perception of what makes the home a ‘must-have’ when the prospect of a bidding war is looming. The token first consideration is to be 100% honest with yourself and always be reevaluating your position with an especially critical and objective view. After all, the purchase of a home is very much not one to be taken lightly!

Anyways, here we go with our 6 tips for being in a bidding war for a home.

Understand Market Value

Regardless of what a house may be listed for, it will typically end up selling for what it’s truly worth. It’s recommended to determine the home’s market value by consulting with a real estate agent or looking up comparable properties via the local MLS before bidding accordingly. For example, if the house is listed for $100,000 less than it should be then most of the offers won’t extend past the initial round of bids. In these instances, prospective buyers who bid low likely shouldn’t have been there in the first place.

Don’t Hold Back on Putting in Your Best Offer

Should you be up against 2 or 3 other bids, it may surprise people to learn that it’s best to give their best offer right away. You can then be of the perspective that if you don’t get the house, you can have some assurance in knowing that you gave it your best bid. Keep in mind that putting in your best offer doesn’t always mean going beyond your budget – determine a limit and stick to it. This is about getting the most ideal home for you, and not about ‘coming out on top.’

Nix Your Conditions

It will also be beneficial to have any and all prospective homebuyers understand that removing conditions from your offer may make your bid more appealing to the seller, and particularly so if your bid is similar to that of another buyer who’s less flexible in this regard. The financing condition is fairly easy to remove, as long as you have completed the mortgage approval process in advance of your bidding. Another recommended consideration is to think about eliminating the home inspection condition. That doesn’t mean you forego the actual inspection, however, as if you’re really interested in a home you can then pay on your own for an inspection before you state your offer as compared to doing so after you bid.

Bring a Certified Cheque

This one is big; If you’re serious about purchasing a home then bring a bank-certified cheque in the amount of the offering you’re prepared to make so that – should it be accepted – the sellers can deposit the money into their account right away. This has twofold benefits; one, it shows them you’re 100% committed to going through with the purchase, and two – it really gives them explicit incentive to move forward with your offer on the home.

Leave Ego Out of It

As suggested above, it’s unfortunately all too common to have problems arise when buyers get carried away with the competition and become compelled and singularly focused on winning the bidding war. Nothing is worth stretching yourself beyond your means financially. Being house poor is a real condition and increasingly legitimate problem for every greater numbers of people these days.

There’s no debating that having the wherewithal and good judgment to be able to accept that you’ve been eliminated from the bidding war is SO important if you want to eventually be in an ideal home AND one you’ll be able to afford. This cannot be shared with your clients earnestly enough!

Which leads to the final tip,

Be Prepared to Walk Away

Go ahead and be optimistic about your max bid but also be ready to move on. As is the common belief in the industry amongst realtors, there is a 90+% chance that any home that you see as being ‘perfect’ and ‘can’t miss’ will be outdone by one that’s either already on the market, or will be on it before long. This advice is even more practical for buyers who are already living in a home that they either own outright, or the majority of it. They absolutely do NOT want to be making ill-formed decisions with the equity they’ve worked so hard to build.

Being informative and helpful for your clients begins with establishing prospective buyers and sellers AS clients in the first place. To that end, our system is a great choice for profit and business growth-minded realtors across Canada. Sign up for Real Estate Leads here and receive qualified online-generated leads delivered to you exclusively for your protected region of the country.

From there, take those opportunities and work your magic putting people in homes they love on the way to making a strong name for yourself as a realtor in your community!