When you list your home, I know that all sellers dream of having multiple offers, how much better can selling your home get, it sells quickly and you get to choose the best offer of the bunch! If multiple offers are what you are looking for, here are some tips on how to create multiple offers and some things to watch out for if they come up.
Price your Home Right: Price is what drives buyers into your home, if they don’t perceive it to be priced right they won’t be willing to look at it quickly. If a buyer or that buyer’s agent believes that the home is priced below market value, they will be willing to drop everything and look at your home right away, only when you get multiple buyers in your property quickly can you get multiple offers.
Have a great Product:
Price might bring them in the door, but the quality of your home is what will get them to buy. Make sure that your home is fully ready for sale before you list it, if items are incomplete or it’s not cleaned, decluttered and staged then your home won’t stand out and make those buyers feel that they had better buy this one before someone else does.
List close to an Open House:
If you list your home and have an open house planned for a few days later, buyers will feel the pressure to look at the home before the open house and to possibly offer before that open house as well, remember a buyer feels that the less eyes on a property the better the chances they will not have to end up in multiple offers
Make sure your Agent works for multiple offers:
If you are looking for multiple offers, make sure that your agent is calling all agents who have been through the home that have showed interest or haven’t left any feedback at all. Your agent should be making sure that they are exploring all options for more offers if that is what you are looking for. Also, keep in mind
that some buyer’s will shy away from multiple offers, so you do risk losing those buyers if you are too aggressive.
Once you receive the Offers:
once you have been advised there are multiple offers coming in, you will meet with your agent and all of the offers to choose which one works best for you. Remember that the buyers have put their best foot forward, so you won’t often be able to send them back for more money. While price is obviously a very important factor when you look at the offers, other factors to consider can be close date, conditions like financing, inspection and even sale of the buyer’s home. Make sure that you choose the offer that works best for you and if you have to ask the buyer to make a few tweaks hopefully it can be done. Be cautious of accepting an offer that has no conditions, in a few cases, buyers can get caught up in offering on a house before they have their financing pre-approved and could end up backing out of the offer, at which point, you would have to go back to the other buyers and hope that they are still interested in buying your home. Not only can choosing the wrong offer cost you valuable time on the market, but it can also cost you more money if the other buyers are not interested, of have chosen to lower their original offer.
Whether you end up with multiple offers or just one offer, remember the end result is the same, your home will sell for market value and you’ll be moving onto your next adventure!
Multiple offers are the things dreams are made of for sellers, but a nightmare for the buyer. Today I wanted to provide some tips for buyers who end up in a multiple offer situation.
1. Don’t wait: If you’ve found the one, don’t wait to offer on it. Every day that you wait, other buyers are looking at the property and the more people that see it, the more likely you are to end up in multiple offers
2. Be Ready: Have your mortgage pre approval, once you have your mortgage pre approval you’ll know what you can afford and you’ll be confident when you put in an offer. If you have a questionable pre approval it is advised to not get into a multiple offer situation
3. Have your Professionals Ready: If you do in fact end up offering on a multiple offer situation, you may be asked to tighten up your time frame to complete home inspections and final mortgage approvals and even lawyer tasks. It is best to know who you will be using for these services and to make sure that you have them ready when you are.
4. Let you agent know your position: Having open and honest communication with your real estate agent is best and you need to let them know how you feel about multiple offers. If you are willing to compete for the perfect house or if you are willing to walk away and keep looking. If your agent doesn’t know your true feelings for the house or your motivation, they won’t be able to properly assist. Remember, with a signed buyer’s commitment, your real estate agent is working for you and you are free to tell them how much you love or hate a house and don’t be afraid to hide your true feelings, chances are your agent doesn’t own that house and won’t be offended.
5. Plan a Strategy: I can’t give up all my multiple offer strategy tips here, but those of you who have worked with me in multiple offers are aware of what can be done. One tip that I will provide to everyone is don’t compromise on the big items, if your agent is asking you to remove your conditions of financing (if your financing is unsure) or to remove a home inspection, those aren’t items you should be compromising on. Maybe not asking for that wall mounted TV or appliances you know the owners want to keep are good items to remove from the offer, but not items that can affect your ability to purchase the house, the added stress isn’t worth it.
6. Remember it’s your Best Shot: Make sure when you are choosing what price you are going to offer in a multiple offer situation that what you are offering is your one and only chance. This price is the price you have to live with, make sure it’s a number you can afford, a number that doesn’t make you second guess how much you spent on the house and a number that isn’t just below the other offer and when you found out you lost the house over $1000 you don’t want to kick yourself over and over again.
7. Feel Good about your decision: Remember that if you don’t get the house you wanted there is always going to be another that you love even more. If you did get the house in the multiple offer, Congratulations don’t worry if you paid a little more than you wanted, the house was the one and you’ll be there long enough to make a return on your investment.
Multiple offers can be exciting and nerve racking at the same time, make sure you are prepared if the situation arises and remember if you work with a good agent and the home is meant to be yours, it will be!
As Spring finally comes to us (We Hope) and the Spring home sales heat up we find a whole new set of criteria to help attract the elusive Buyer to your home. Never disregard the importance of first opinion both in the inside and on the outside of the home for sale. A few tips to consider and things you can do to help attract Buyers are listed below.
UNUSED THINGS: Put the snow shovels away in the shed, the snow blower and your snowmobiles.
LAWN: Rake it to get rid of the winter residue of branches and road dirt.
Fertilize it because like paint inside the home, a few dollars spent outside to make your lawn nice and green goes a long way. Keep it cut, more than you’re usual once a week or so.
GARDENS: Clean out the garbage and put on some new mulch. Plant some nice bright annuals.
SHRUBS: Trim them up nice, Remove their dead wood and remember they look great for many years, but they do get big and sometimes ugly so remove them if their time has past.
TREES: Keep them trimmed up and out of the way. If it’s fall rake the leaves to show your nice lawn.
FRONT DOOR: Clean the windows, and paint the door and the door frame. Sweep the porch and walkways. Remember while the Buyers are waiting for their Realtor to unlock the lockbox and open the door, they have nothing to do but stand there and look around at what’s close to them so get rid of those cobwebs!.
DRIVEWAY: Power wash it and give it a coat of sealer. If your car sinks into permanent indentations when you come home consider having it repaved.
SHINGLES: Is it time to replace them? A prospective buyer will want to knock off twice as much from the price of your home as the work is really worth. Better to bite the bullet and do it now while you are in control. Other wise get a reasonable quote and leave it out to prove the real worth of the job.
PAINT: Garage doors, Front doors and Window frames. A house with flaking and peeling paint indicates a home that’s not well maintained and starts the Buyer looking for other issues while looking at your home.
WINDOWS: An important factor when looking to buy a home, but expensive. If they need replaced and you aren’t going to do it then al least paint them up nicely and keep them clean.
WALKWAYS: Keep them clean, weed free and level. You don’t need a prospective Buyer to trip on your uneven walkway or loose step and sue you and then buy your house with the proceeds.
Remember its all about FIRST IMPRESSIONS. The outside of a well looked after home will attract Buyers eyes from the street. Welcome them and say, my owner loves me and takes care of me.
Do you operate a business from your home? Does your insurance company know about it?
Many small businesses are run from a home. As important as it is for a company operating out of a commercial location to have insurance, it is just as important to have your home business properly insured. If you’re running a business form your home and the insurance company is not aware, you could be running the chance of having a claim denied. Home business endorsements are not costly and provide protection for your office equipment, inventory, some tools of the trade, receivables, liability, advertising injury liability, and even business interruption. You will also have coverage for equipment such as laptop computers when used off premises.
Most insurance companies will allow an insured to add an endorsement (additional option) to be added to a policy to allow an insured to operate a home business. There are several restrictions to this kind of endorsement including maximum revenue and types of business that qualify. Most companies will only allow for only one company to be run from the home and have a limit of the number of employees not including family members. The principal use of the home must be residential. If your business will involve customers or clients coming to your home for any reason, the insurance company must be aware.
So if you have a home office where you see clients, or if you have a home based business make sure that you discuss it with your insurance professional.
Mark Carruthers is a Registered Insurance Broker with Pioneer Insurance Brokers in Kitchener, Ontario. firstname.lastname@example.org
Information from the Environmental Protection Association:
Most mechanical air filters are good at capturing larger airborne particles, such as dust, pollen, dust mite and cockroach allergens, some molds, and animal dander. However, because these particles settle rather quickly, air filters are not very good at removing them completely from indoor areas. Although human activities such as walking and vacuuming can stir up particles, most of the larger particles will resettle before an air filter can remove them.
Consumers can select a particle removal air filter by looking at its efficiency in removing airborne particles from the air stream that passes through it. This efficiency is measured by the minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) for air filters installed in the ductwork of HVAC systems. The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, or ASHRAE developed this measurement method. MERV ratings (ranging from a low of 1 to a high of 20) also allow comparison of air filters made by different companies.
Flat or panel air filters:
Filters with a MERV of 1 to 4 are commonly used in residential furnaces and air conditioners. For the most part, such filters are used to protect the HVAC equipment from the buildup of unwanted materials on the surfaces such as fan motors and heating or cooling coils, and not for direct indoor air quality reasons. They have low efficiency on smaller airborne particles and medium efficiency on larger particles, as long as they remain airborne and pass through the filter. Some smaller particles found within a house include viruses, bacteria, some mold spores, a significant fraction of cat and dog allergens, and a small portion of dust mite allergens.
Pleated or extended surface filters:
o Medium efficiency filters with a MERV of 5 to 13 are reasonably efficient at removing small to large airborne particles. Filters with a MERV between 7 and 13 are likely to be nearly as effective as true HEPA filters at controlling most airborne indoor particles. Medium efficiency air filters are generally less expensive than HEPA filters, and allow quieter HVAC fan operation and higher airflow rates than HEPA filters since they have less airflow resistance. They are a good choice for most makes of standard residential furnaces.
o Higher efficiency filters with a MERV of 14 to 16, sometimes misidentified as HEPA filters, are similar in appearance to true HEPA filters, which have MERV values of 17 to 20. True HEPA filters are normally not installed in residential HVAC systems; installation of a HEPA filter in an existing HVAC system would probably require professional modification of the system. A typical residential air handling unit and the associated ductwork would not be able to accommodate such filters because of their physical dimensions and increase in airflow resistance.
Some residential HVAC systems may not have enough fan or motor capacity to accommodate higher efficiency filters. Therefore, the HVAC manufacturer’s information should be checked prior to upgrading filters to determine whether it is feasible to use more efficient filters. Specially built high performance homes may occasionally be equipped with true HEPA filters installed in a properly designed HVAC system.
Electronic air cleaners:
There is no standard measurement for the effectiveness of electronic air cleaners. While they may remove small particles, they may be ineffective in removing large particles. Electronic air cleaners can produce ozone — a lung irritant. The amount of ozone produced varies among models. Electronic air cleaners may also produce ultrafine particles resulting from reaction of ozone with indoor chemicals such as those coming from household cleaning products, air fresheners, certain paints, wood flooring, or carpets. Ultrafine particles may be linked with adverse health effects in some sensitive populations.
Is your couch so large that it's affecting the sale of your home? We all know that we want the largest, softest, most comfy couch when we veg out and watch TV. Cuddled up with our blankets, popcorn bowls, books, remotes, dogs and kids, the need for a large couch space is apparent, but is your beast of a couch slowing your home sale?
Often I find clients trying to fit their furniture in the home for sale and if the furniture in their potential new home is much larger than what they have, they will find it hard to think that their furniture will fit. Less truly is more, letting people know that there is room for a full couch and a loveseat is great, but they don't need to see your mammoth couch and 2 more matching lazy boys too!
Here are some tips on picking the right couch for the space that you have:
If you have high ceilings, choose a couch with a tall back or oversized back cushions to help soften the rooms starkness
If you have a small living space, try an apartment sized sofa, or a loveseat paired with 2 chairs to give a conversational space, odds are that people won't notice it's not a full sized couch if it's laid out right
If your space is open and you have it broken into 2 room spaces - consider a sectional couch if the space is large, it will help your mind break up the space into 2 different rooms and make it feel more spacious, there is nothing worse than an open concept home with too much furniture
If you have a lot of furniture, consider removing it for selling your home, take out that bulky couch and matching chair, they take up too much space and probably look worn anyways - that's why they are so great for relaxing, but that worn in look doesn't sell homes.
If you need to rent furniture to make your space work , the small cost for the month that you may need to rent will pay off. The better your home looks, the quicker it sells and the quicker you can go back to regular life and well, packing!
Using Your RRSPs To Buy A Home - The Home Buyers' Plan (HBP)
Tuesday, March 25, 2014
The Home Buyers' Plan (HBP) is a program that allows you to withdraw funds from your registered retirement savings plans (RRSPs) to buy or build a qualifying home for yourself or for a related person with a disability. You can withdraw up to $25,000 in a calendar year.
Your RRSP contributions must remain in the RRSP for at least 90 days before you can withdraw them under the HBP, or they may not be deductible for any year.
Generally, you have to repay all withdrawals to your RRSPs within a period of no more than 15 years. You will have to repay an amount to your RRSPs each year until your HBP balance is zero. If you do not repay the amount due for a year, it will have to be included in your income for that year.
Before applying to withdraw funds under the HBP you must meet the following conditions (as quoted on CRA site):
•You have to enter into a written agreement to buy or build a qualifying home for yourself, for a related person with a disability, or to help a related person with a disability buy or build a qualifying home. Obtaining a pre-approved mortgage does not satisfy this condition.
•You have to intend to occupy the qualifying home as your principal place of residence no later than one year after buying or building it. If you buy or build a qualifying home for a related person with a disability, or help a related person with a disability buy or build a qualifying home, you must intend that that person occupy the qualifying home as his or her principal place of residence.
•You have to be considered a first-time home buyer.
•In all cases, your repayable HBP balance on January 1 of the year of the withdrawal has to be zero.
Repaying your withdrawals:
Over a repayment period of no more than 15 years, you have to repay to your RRSPs the amounts you withdrew under the HBP. Generally, for each year of your repayment period, you have to repay 1/15 of the total amount you withdrew, until the full amount is repaid to your RRSPs or PRPPs. Your repayment period starts the second year following the year you made your withdrawals.
To make a repayment under the HBP, you have to make contributions to your RRSPs or PRPPs in the year the repayment is due or in the first 60 days of the following year. Once your contribution is made, you can designate all or part of the contribution as a repayment under the HBP.
In 2011, Robert withdrew $6,000 from his RRSPs to participate in the HBP. Robert's repayment for 2013 is $400 ($6,000 ÷ 15).
In 2013, Robert contributes $8,200 to his RRSPs. Robert could deduct the full amount as an RRSP contribution on line 208 of his 2013 income tax and benefit return because his notice of assessment for 2012, shows that he has an RRSP deduction limit of $11,000 for 2013. However, he knows an HBP repayment is required.
Therefore, Robert files Schedule 7 with his 2013 income tax and benefit return and records his $8,200 RRSP contribution on line 245. He designates $400 of this amount as an HBP repayment on line 246 of Schedule 7. Robert deducts the remaining $7,800 as an RRSP contribution on line 208 of his 2013 income tax and benefit return.
The HBP can be an effective way to own your own home. Please ensure to speak to a financial advisor for assistance and consult a licensed account when filing your repayments.
Planning on renovating your home? Or, buying a new home and planning extensive renovations before moving in? Well here are some important points to consider concerning your home insurance.
Home renovations can increase the value of your home, help keep it in good shape or provide you with that extra living space you want. No matter the reason for your renovation, you need to let your insurance broker or agent know about your reno. Some renovations can even create a discount in your insurance. Quite often an endorsement for renovations will be added to your policy during the period of construction. Make sure to discuss the possible exclusions or limitations with your broker so that you understand the changes in coverage during the process.
Most homeowner policies include replacement cost for the home itself. If you increase the value by doing renovations you may find yourself with inadequate coverage.
If your home is going to be vacant for any period during renovations, even if the workers are going to be there on a daily basis, it’s very important that your broker be informed. A vacancy permit from the insurance company may be required.
Don’t be shy about asking your contractors for proof of insurance and find out who will be responsible for getting the building permits. Tell them that you require a certificate of insurance before you agree to sign the contract. If the contractor is not properly insured, you could find yourself liable for the cost of damages and injuries.
So the best renovation plans include talking with your insurance advisor about the changes that plan to make sure that your home is properly covered. Wouldn’t you hate to have something catastrophic happen to the house after you’ve spent a lot of money on getting it just the way you want it just to find out that those changes may not be covered because you didn’t inform the insurance company?
Mark Carruthers is a Registered Insurance Broker with Pioneer Insurance Brokers in Kitchener, Ontario. email@example.com
With the kind of winter we’ve been having this year; more and more people are looking into having a woodstove or pellet stove installed. Here are a few things to consider:
If you are purchasing a house with a fireplace or woodstove, you can expect to have your insurance company request a WETT inspection to ensure that the appliance was installed within the manufacturer’s specifications and that the chimney is in good repair. The cost of a WETT inspection will fall on the homebuyer and will cost anywhere from $150 - $300 depending on the unit.
Insurance is concerned about good wood heat safety, and making your system safer ensures you the best possible premium for your insurance. Call your insurance representative to review your coverage and inform him or her when you make any changes. This includes adding or changing a wood stove, modifying a chimney – anything that may influence the safety of your system. Your insurance representative will want to know if your unit is certified by Underwriters' Laboratories of Canada (ULC) or the Canadian Standard Association (CSA). Many insurance companies will refuse to insure your home if the stove is not certified.
Insurance companies will want to make sure that you keep your wood burning system in top shape by having a qualified, preferably WETT certified professional clean and inspect your system each year. Not only will it keep your insurance company satisfied, it will ensure the safety of your system and your family.
Mark Carruthers is a Registered Insurance Broker with Pioneer Insurance Brokers in Kitchener, Ontario. firstname.lastname@example.org
Everyone knows that when they list their home for sale that they have to de-clutter and keep their home cleaner than usual. Vacuum twice as often, fluff the pillows, make sure your bedroom is bright and beautiful. But does your home show that you are always that clean or that you just rushed around and make it extra clean on the surface for the sale. Some telltale signs that I look for when showing a home can give a lot of insight as to what goes on in the home usually and how clean the owners truly are. The following is a list of what I check for when a buyer is concerned with a clean home.
Tubs – I always check the tub, it’s one of the hardest areas to get clean if you don’t keep it clean on a regular basis, a sparkling tub says that the home owner is clean or just replaced the tub. Discolouration, peeling or damaged caulk are all signs that your tub is not a first priority.
The Furnace – I know it’s a weird spot to check, but a clean furnace can say a lot about the home owner. Most people let dust pile up on their furnace, this amount of dust can make the furnace look older than it really is, so take a duster to your furnace and give it some new life. Don’t forget to change that furnace filter too.
Windows – I don’t only look to see if the glass has been cleaned both inside and out, but the tracks. A home that has been neglected will often have tracks full of black dirt or dust, a toothbrush and some patience can take care of this issue and make your windows look newer and the buyer is less likely to mention they need to be replaced.
Dishwashers – Appliances that are built in stay with the home, so I check them. A person who keeps their home in tip top shape will not only wipe the outside of these appliances, but they will also make sure the inside is clean too. I check the outside edges and if visible I look in the trap. This cleaning is another quick tip to make your home look like it’s in tip top shape. Even if the appliance is not staying, check ovens and washing machines, they can also be areas that show home neglect.
Trim, crown molding and ceilings – buyers are look for your home to clean from top to bottom, that means dusting or washing your trim, crown moldings and ceilings. If you have to repaint some areas that are bit grungier, you should, this quick job will give your home the shine it needs. You'll also be surprised how much cleaner a fresh coat of ceiling paint can make your home look, give it a try one weekend, you'll be happy you did.
If you really want your home to show well, make sure to touch on these spots that I often find are missed in a quick cleanup. Most home owners are so focused on removing items that they aren’t seeing what’s right in front of them. If you have to hire a professional cleaner to make these items shine, it’s well worth the money and they can make sure all these spots are clean quickly and your home will be ready to be placed on the market.
This is great Steph, and so true. Having sold a few homes, one thing that we always did was hire someone for one day, roughly $150 to help get things 'extra' clean. In fact, the extra clean is something we now do on an annual basis (let's face it, who has time to clean those nasty baseboards!).