Rob and Jenn

Our Intent

To publish this newsletter four times a year. This will coincide with the changing seasons, keep you informed and up-to-date with what is happening on the local real estate market. Real estate is an ever-changing scene with fluctuating prices, styles and trends in design and décor, along with investment opportunities.

We Are Here To Help

We understand that buying or selling can be a stressful situation with so many details to think about and we would like to make that experience a more relaxed and enjoyable one. We will accomplish this by providing four or five short stories on topical aspects of the real estate business that we believe will be useful to anyone interested in buying or selling.

General Topics

  • Buyer Representation Agreement
  • Comparative Market Analysis
  • Over Pricing a Home

Our newsletters will be sent out when published and anyone will be able to access a past issue by going to our website. This is our way of saying ‘thank you’ to our past clients, friends and staying connected with local people. We have also designed our website to help you along with the selling or buying process.  Under the resources tab, you will find mortgage calculators and connections to our community for home inspectors, contractors, lawyers, mortgage brokers, and more.

If there is a topic of interest to you and you want additional information, please contact us at any time to discuss it.

Buyer Representation Agreement

When you are looking to buy or sell a home with a registered real estate salesperson or broker, you may be asked to sign a buyer or seller agreement. For a seller, the written contract — often called a listing agreement — between you and the brokerage is what permits them to market your current home. In your situation, the written agreement — often called a buyer representation agreement — allows them to help you buy a new home. A buyer agreement must be in place before an offer to purchase can be submitted on behalf of a buyer. Signing a representation agreement, which is a legally binding contract, puts into writing that you are a client of the brokerage and outlines the terms, rights and obligations of the brokerage-client relationship. As a client, the brokerage has a responsibility to follow your lawful instructions, protect your confidential information and promote and protect your best interests.
  • Be clear about your needs and expectations. Your salesperson wants to provide you with their best service. To make the most of this relationship, it’s important to open and honest about what you expect before you sign. Understand the terms and expectations of the relationship as they apply to you. Discuss all the services that will be provided and understand what won’t be. This is the time to clarify fees and costs, and make sure the written contract is clear. For instance, understand how much you will pay in a scenario where the seller offers to pay less than what you have committed to paying the brokerage. Also know what the broker or salesperson expects from you — for example, being honest about what you like and don’t like.
  • Don’t sign if you don’t understand it. Take the time to read the agreement thoroughly. Ask questions. Your broker or salesperson can’t provide legal advice, but they are familiar with these agreements and should be able to answer your questions and explain the clauses and their effects. You may want to seek legal advice.
  • Understand the “holdover period.” Generally, this clause means that if you buy a property that was introduced to you during the term of the agreement, you may be responsible for paying commission to the brokerage within a specified amount of time after the agreement expires. The length of the holdover period may vary. A similar obligation typically applies to a listing, or sellers’, agreement. If you are not comfortable with certain terms of the representation agreement, discuss your concerns with the salesperson or the brokerage manager. They may have ways to address your concerns.

Comparative Market Analysis

Difference between a comparative market analysis, opinion of value, and an appraisal.

All three provide information about the value of a property. A CMA or an opinion of value can provide useful information to kick off the selling process but if you need more information, a full appraisal can provide an in-depth analysis.

CMA (generally free and done by most real estate agents)

Difference between a comparative market analysis, opinion of value, and an appraisal.

All three provide information about the value of a property.   A CMA or an opinion of value can provide useful information to kick off the selling process but if you need more information, a full appraisal can provide an in-depth analysis.

CMA (generally free and done by most real estate agents)
A comparative market analysis (CMA) is a report prepared by a real estate agent to help a client determine the value of a home.  The report generally analyzes three or more recently sold properties like the home in question, usually chosen based on their similarities in size, location, age, and quality.

CMAs should include descriptions and data points for the comparable properties (called ‘comps’ for short) that help determine the fair market value of the home being evaluated.  The most accurate comparable homes are typically sold within the past three to six months.  However, in rural areas or slower real estate markets it can be challenging to find recently sold comps.

Properties that will likely be omitted from a CMA are active listings, pending listings and deactivated listings.

No two homes are identical, so finding an exact match is impossible.  Agents will try to get as close as they can to the home in question and then adjust as necessary to make an informed recommendation as to the home’s value.

Opinion of Value – (generally used by lawyers/banks for probate)

A broker or salesperson may also provide a letter that briefly provides their Opinion of Value in written form. The opinion of value typically contains less background information than you would receive from a CMA.

Appraisal – (done by a qualified appraiser for a fee)

The steps taken for an appraisal are more extensive and formal.

As part of their analysis, an appraiser will visit your home to look at aspects of the property that would influence its value, including its size, design, finishes, systems, the quality of any improvements, lot size and any amenities, deficiencies or required repairs.

The appraiser will then research comparable properties that have recently sold or are active in the area. With that information in hand, they’ll focus on the most comparable sold properties and make calculations to account for the differences between those properties and your home. That information plus data on general market conditions will then allow them to provide an appraised value for your home.

They’ll also produce a detailed report with their analysis. The appraisal report may also contain a summary of the appraiser’s qualifications and any limitations of the report. When disputes arise about the value of a property and end up in court, typically an appraisal is required.

Benefit of using a Real Estate Agent

CMAs are an important tool in the home buying and listing process.  Without a properly prepared CMA, you risk overpaying for a home or listing too high and as a result selling for less than market value.

Real estate agents have access to additional information that buyers themselves may not.  For example, if an agent sees that a comparable property sold for a usually high or low price, they may be able to call the listing agent to ascertain why.  Offers could have been unconditional or the closing date being offered was prefect for the seller or perhaps a stigma.  Sometimes issues happen with the home inspection and/or septic that really influence the final selling price point.  Real estate agents also have a good understanding of the local area and what types of homes are in the highest demand.

 

Over Pricing A Home

It has been said that the most important part of marketing a home is setting the right price.

How to know if your home is Overpriced!

What is overpricing?

Overpricing is the act of setting a higher price than the value of a product or services.  From an entrepreneurial standpoint, overpricing means setting a price that’s higher than what the market is willing to pay. 

 

How you selected your Realtor.

You interviewed three Realtors to give you the market value of your home.  None of them told you what you wanted to hear so you continued to conduct interviews until you found that Realtor who was just so agreeable, they were an amazing realtor in your eyes. 

 

How you set your Price Point.

You figured out your asking price by calculating what you paid for the home even though the market has dropped since you purchased it.  During this time, you have failed to follow the real estate market to realize that the market isn’t what it was just 6 months or 1 year ago.

or

After calculating what you paid for the home, you went on to figure out all the awesome improvements you have made to the home including the new pool, septic, and roof.  All nice improvements and two of them a must but money spent doesn’t always mean that the home when sold recovers the cost of improvement.

 

Also, maybe your emotionally invested in the property such as a family homestead or you had designed and built to your needs and wants and have an expectation that others will have those same wants.

 

Signs that your home is Overpriced.

Homes currently on the market, the first 30 days will provide more than adequate feedback on your home’s pricing. 

  • Home that is underpriced … tough to get a showing scheduled as the buyers and realtors are lined up to view the property
  • Home that is priced right … lots of interest and lots of showings booked right away.
  • Home that is overpriced … very few showings booked or a couple the first few days it is listed and then maybe a showing a week or nothing.

 

Your home has been on the market for 359 days and counting.

 

Your home has a couple of showings a month but a similar home down the street has had a parade of people having a look at it.  The feedback you have been getting is that your home is overpriced by you conclude that people are lying just to get a deal.  Note:  realtors are showing your home just to show what a deal the house down the street is for their buyers.

 

Five other homes like yours have sold in the neighbourhood over the last year. 

 

You start asking your realtor to put a full page spread in the Toronto Sun about your home, crying that it must be the realtor’s marketing that is not getting the job done.  If fact you also want round the clock display advertising in all the local papers.  Putting it out there on the internet is doing a good enough job.

 

 

What happens when a home is Overpriced.

When selling your home, first impressions matter because new listings generate the most interest.  An overpriced home can create a bad first impression even before buyer check out the property.    Bad first impressions will result in a lack of interest and offers on your home.

 

Everyday a property sits on the market makes it less valuable in the minds of the buyers, and today’s buyers are completely value driven.  The older the listing is, the less the appeal it has.  Most buyers will start wondering what’s wrong with the property.  Could it have a major flaw that will cost a lot to repair?  Is there something wrong with the neighbourhood?  Or perhaps the seller is stubborn about dropping the price?

 

Some considerations for Sellers when selling a price

Buyers determine the right price for a property, not the Sellers.

The market price for a property is determined by what an able and willing buyer ultimately pays for it. 

 

The longer a house is on the market, the more it will cost you time and money.  Even if you renovated before listing, living on site as you wait for potential buyers will cause signs of wear and tear, you’ll need to touch up on.  If you’ve decluttered your home and you’re using a storage unit, that’s another monthly cost added.  Keeping your house tidy and staged for viewings will also take up your time.  

 

There are certainly things that homeowners can do to influence buyers’ perceptions of their home’s value and hence increase the price buyers are willing to pay for it.  But ultimately, the buyers will set the price.

 

One of the biggest reason buyers don’t make offers on overpriced homes is because they don’t want to offend the sellers.  It goes against human nature to offer substantially less than asking price.  It can be insulting to the seller and embarrassing for the buyer.  Buyers also erroneously believe sellers know when their homes are overpriced, and if they were willing to sell for less, they simply would lower their prices. 

 

The reality of the situation.  Most buyers today have little patience for making low-ball offers on overpriced properties.  They will wait until the seller lowers the price to the level, they believe it is worth, before making an offer. 

 

What happens if you do sell an overpriced property?

Appraisal problems – if you are lucky enough to find an emotional buyer (one that doesn’t mind the inflated price) 90% of the time buyers will use financing to pay for their home purchase.  If the property does not appraise for the purchase price the deal will die due to the buyer unable to obtain a mortgage.  Plus – you will have wasted a lot of time, energy and emotions on a fail transactions.

 

Overpricing helps sell the property down the street as the price point for the other property seem like a bargain.

 

Conclusion

The first days of a new listing are the property’s best shot at attracting its highest offer.  Buyers and real estate agents rush to see a properly priced property and are ready to place an offer if the house is right for them.  Don’t waste this opportunity, Price it properly and you may not need to negotiate.

 

Be realistic, price your home in line with similar properties that have sold in the neighbourhood, monitor feedback and then adjusting as required (pricing, staging or repairs) will position you to receive the highest return on your home. 

Your name and contact information was obtained from my address book as someone who I have dealt with (family, friend, real estate connection) that I have kept as an active contact. If you wish to unsubscribe from our mailing list, please send me an email and it will be done.
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