How Not To Price Your Home in London Ontario

            How not to price your home in London Ontario

  • Take your mortgage balance.
  • Add your credit cards.
  • Throw in your cars.
  • Add a generous portion of all the money you borrowed from relatives.
  • Pile on your down payment for that other house you have your eye on.
  • Last but not least, give yourself an extra $25,000 for just for being you.
  • Get a blank look on your face when you are told by a professional listing Realtor that the buying public doesn’t care what you owe.
  • Wait
  • Wait some more.
  • Decide you’ll stay after all.

​                           how to sell a home in London Ontario

Here’s a better plan:

  • Find out what homes like yours have sold for in the past 90 days
  • Price the house at that number or 5% less.
  • Pack your bags.

The buying public is utterly ambivalent about what you owe to who as it relates to pricing your property. They only care about their own needs. What you need isn’t on their radar, and if you aren’t priced in line with the current perception of value, your listing will get stale and sit unsold for months as you chase the market.

  Chasing the market is always being one price point behind what the public is willing to pay. You enter the market at $459,900 when you really ought to be at $449,900. You lower to $449,000 when the market for the house is $439,000. By the time you hit $429,000, it could be 2 months later and the public isn’t willing to pay more than $420,000. (True story)

Each price drop seems harsh, but your real enemy was you starting out too high.

overpricing a house

  Sellers are in a war of attrition with buyers who lurk before they call, call before they look, and look at everything before they buy. You won’t get a call, look or offer until your price conforms to what the public deems fair.

The only offers overpriced homes get is low ball offers from bold types who wouldn’t pay as much as fair minded people would on a fairly priced home. The only way to win the battle is to price your home at the market price and not allow your ego or personal preferences to cloud your objectivity.

Why go into a battle if you cannot win?

Retiring To London Ontario Is On The Rise

How the wealthy are redefining their retirement and the concept of a “traditional” retirement has changed and I am seeing that retiring to London Ontario is on the rise.

When retirement schemes were first introduced at the end of the 19th century, retirees were lucky to live just a few more years after stopping work. But increased life expectancy means that today’s retirees are often enjoying 20 to 30 years of leisure at the end of their working lives.

london ontario retirees

In Barclays Wealth Insights and their wonderful insightful presentation The Age Illusion How the Wealthy are Redefining Their Retirement” you will find it quite useful not only for yourself personally but potential as a service provider to these people who are sometimes called “Nevertirees

Assessing the impact of the Nevertiree and understanding the role that I, as a Realtor and being  a Nevertiree is exciting and something I can relate to.

(The Nevertiree part, not the wealthy part!)

active retirees

I have many clients who have started second or third careers, or are still growing their business and really enjoying life.

Their real estate needs are quite different than our traditional retiree and the last two years, especially the last 6 months in London Ontario, real estate has  been in demand, especially a one floor home, be it a house or a condo, have been sought after in the $500,000 plus range.

I would say that the majority of my clients are in that high end range which I truly appreciate, not the dollar amount but their vibrancy, maturity, no nonsense approach and who appreciate a professional to help them!

Real Estate Appraisal Myths

London Ontario Real Estate Myths

Real estate appraisers work with their clients to determine an opinion of  market value of a property to finance or refinance their clients’ mortgage. This value is a critical piece of information and there is a lot at stake in its accuracy — for the REALTOR®, the lender and the home owner!

Obtaining a reliable appraisal that is unbiased, independent and based on comprehensive research and analysis is key to the success of this transaction.

There is an overall misunderstanding about how an appraiser arrives at a market value, sometimes leading to a misconception that “the appraiser killed the deal”. This article will debunk these myths and provide additional insight and perspective from a designated appraiser’s point of view.

Myth #1: The purchase price of the property is the same as the appraised market value.

Reality: The appraised market value may not be the same as the selling price of the home- it may be higher, it may be lower.  Individual real estate markets can be volatile and are impacted by the economic conditions of the market.  For example, in a “sellers’ market”, or when there are multiple offers on a home, an inflated selling price above the appraised market value can result.

“Bidding wars” may skew the true market value of the home, when similar substitute properties are not available in the market.  A multiple-offer scenario may be good for the seller, the real estate agent and the mortgage broker in the short term, but in the long-term, the purchaser may face challenges when selling the property in less active market conditions.

Having an opinion of value that is obtained through comprehensive research of the market over time provides the property owner and lender with a realistic value. An appraised value helps to ensure that all concerned – sellers, buyers and lenders – make informed decisions. Consumers and lenders should be wary of selling prices that are inflated – either through multiple offers or other local market factors.

Myth #2:  Appraisers only consider past market/sales data when determining the value of a property.

Reality:  To provide a reliable market value, AIC-designated appraisers consider a number of factors as such as:

  • Sales of the subject property within the last three years;
  • Past sales of comparable properties to the subject property;
  • Comparable properties that are currently for sale; and
  • Current market conditions.

Adjustments are made based on the analysis of the comparable properties which rely on market-derived elements of comparison including property size and other factors.

One of the key requirements under Canadian Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (CUSPAP) is for the appraiser to conduct a three-year sales history and a one-year listing history search and analysis of the subject property. This data considers private sales (non MLS) transactions as well as those on MLS. Other data sources, such as title and property registries, are also reviewed to ensure the most comprehensive and reliable market value is obtained.

For more detailed information about the various methodologies used in real estate appraisals, please view AIC’s  Industry Guide to Understanding the Fundamentals of Real Estate Appraisal.

Myth #3: The appraiser is influenced by the client’s need for a specific value.

Reality: An AIC-designated appraiser has a professional and ethical responsibility to provide an independent and unbiased opinion of the value of a property.  Their work will produce an estimate of market value being the most probable price level – irrespective of the selling price or a desire to “meet” a certain value.

All AIC members must comply with AIC’s CUSPAP, a Code of Conduct and Regulations. As professionals, AIC members are obligated to prepare their work in compliance with these standards.

Myth #4:  When a homeowner is completing renovations they can expect that the value of their home will rise proportionately to the investment.

Reality:  The return on investment depends on the added value of the renovations, the quality of the renovations, and the neighbourhood’s market conditions. Unique designs or improvements that are uncommon for a particular market may even adversely impact the selling price of a home; therefore, the full return on the investment will likely not be obtained.

Obtaining an expert opinion of value from an appraiser will provide an objective perspective on the marketability of the property.

The above was written by The Appraisal Institute of Canada

Do Not Overpay When Buying a Home in London Ontario

Overpaying when buying a home in London Ontario over the past few months is occurring more often than not and I have heard the following statements from buyers and Realtors.

happy buyers

 

  • “There is nothing I can do about it”.
  • “That’s just the way the real estate market is right now.”

Really?

Learned helplessness is a condition in which a buyer adapts to the scarcity mindset, the fear of loss and instant gratification and overpays for a house in London Ontario and feel that there is nothing they can do about it and that the acceptance of their offer is totally out of their control.

Yes, the real estate market in London Ontario is vibrant and as a Realtor, that is quite positive yet the consequences of overzealous buyers and their representatives actions will have a negative effect , as history has proven over and over that the axiom “What goes up must come down”, holds true.

As a home buyer in London Ontario, you have choices and there are strategies you can take to ensure you do not over pay and get caught up in the frenzy.

If you never ever want to overpay for real estate, I will not let you!

London Ontario Real Estate Down a Bit in August

892 homes in London Ontario and area were sold in August 2017 as reported by our London and St Thomas Association of REALTORS® (LSTAR) though the August 2017 numbers represent a slight decrease in homes sales activity.

Will this slight slowdown continue into the fall or will things pick up? I have noticed an increase of homes for sale and a decrease of out of town buyers so the heavy seller’s market we were in may settle down.

In August, a total of 712 detached homes were sold, a decrease of 11.4% from the previous year, while condominium sales were down 7.7% from 2016, with 180 units sold.

The average sales price across London and St. Thomas was $326,122, down 1.4% from the previous month.

The average year-to-date sales price was $329,745 – up 18.2% from the 2016 average home price of $279,057.

The year-to-date sales are ahead by 15.5%, with a total of 8,421 homes sold.

The best-selling house style in our area continues to be the two-storey, followed by the bungalow.

House Style Units Sold Average Price
2 Storey 208 $477,904
Bungalow 165 $251,336
Ranch 95 $377,486
Townhouse Condo 95 $210,114
High rise apt. condo 46 $215,835

The following chart is based on data taken from the Canadian Real Estate Association’s (CREA) National MLS® Report for July 2017 (the latest CREA statistics available). It provides a snapshot of how average home prices in London and St. Thomas compare to other major Ontario and Canadian centres.

Real Estate Across Canada

Logic or Emotion When Buying Real Estate in London Ontario?

There is a Huge Difference Between Logical & Emotional Decisions When Buying or Selling a Home  in London Ontario or any other place in Canada

The majority of Canadians do not buy lor sell logically. Most buy or sell emotionally and then try to justify  those decisions logically.

logic or emotion when selling?

In real estate, some real estate salespeople logically try to convince their clients to buy. That is why they do not sell many homes or help buyer’s buy homes! Knowing that people will get involved in a property emotionally first & then; it is up to the real estate sales representative to provide solid, logical reasons to justify the purchase or even for that matter, the sale of a home.

Everything we buy is an emotional purchase. Take the shoes you are wearing. That is a logical point however the colour & style is your emotional choice.

What about a certain brand of food when there are 5 others just like it? We buy it because of advertising, or your parents or friends bought it. You do not logically decide which brand to buy unless you are a frugal shopper and even then, saving money is an emotional decision!

In real estate, the same thing. Everyone needs shelter of some kind, which is the logical point. The type they presently own or rent is an emotional decision. Buyers may want a home of a certain size or location or like they grew up in, that is an emotional decision. For others, it may be based on what they can afford.

That may sound logical but money and emotions are linked.

So, when it comes time to sell a house or buy a house or a condo, are they logical or emotional decisions?

To effectively get buyers involved in your home, your listing Realtor must help the buyer and their real estate salesperson make your house stand out physically, emotionally and financially.

CHECKING YOUR HOUSE OUT

To effectively help buyers to acquire your home, your salesperson must eliminate those things that create fear or tension and replace them with words; images and information that will make a home buyer want to invest their hard-earned money in your home.

When you are planning to buy, you may wantto do the opposite and from experience, I have seen well balanced people make some poor choices, which were emotional and not logic.

Logic or emotion is your choice! So is the Realtor you choose to help you.

Hyde Park London Ontario Real Estate Prices Still Up

Hyde Park London Ontario real estate prices are indicative of most of other London Ontario neighbourhoods.

2017 prices and the days it takes a house or a condo to sell in Hyde Park in London Ontario are setting all time records, will it continue? We are still seeing a shortage of quality houses and condos listed for sale and buyer demand has cooled a bit, I feel things will settle down late fall early winter.

 From January 1, 2017 to August 29, 2017, 234 houses in Hyde Park were sold through our MLS system for an average price of $400,454 which was 106% above the asking price and these were on the market an average 17 days!

 85 condos in Hyde Park sold for an average price of $252,353 which was 102% of asking and these took about 20 days to sell.

 As you can see, Hyde Park real estate is in demand, where do you stand if you are thinking about selling your house or condo in Hyde Park? What about buying?

What you do over the next 90 days is critical, I am sure you have heard that timing is important? In these roller coaster days of pricing and availability, this is where a professionalism comes into play!

2016

    285 houses in the Hyde Park neighbourhood in London Ontario sold through MLS in 2016 , starting as low as $316,000 and up to $605,000 and these all sold close to asking price in about 31 days!

In 2016, 88 condos in Hyde Park were sold, from $218,000 to as high as $620,000 and these took about 41 days to change owners and for 98.4% of the asking price.

All the houses & condos for sale in Hyde Park London Ontario on MLS

 In 2015,  245 houses changed hands through MLS (on the market an average 37 days)  in the Hyde Park neighbourhood of London Ontario and those that sold, did so for $286,618 which was 2 % less than the asking price.

For condos in Hyde Park, 95 sold for an average $215,645 and these took about 53 days to sell.

 

Hyde Park London Ontario Housings Stats

In 2014

Home sales in 2014 in Hyde Park London Ontario were quite active with 294 houses selling for an average $281,782 which was 98% of the asking price and those that did sell were on the market an average 34 days.

In this same period, 138 condos in Hyde Park sold for an average price of $186,292 which was 98% of the asking price and these took an average 55 days to sell!

All in all, a very stable market and as Hyde Park keeps attracting more retail and service businesses, the housing market will continue to grow.

Hyde Park London Ontario Map

Other London Neigbourhoods

Home Improvements To Sell a House in London Ontario

There are basically two ways to go about home improvements when selling a house in London Ontario.  You’re either going to splurge because it’s your home and you simply want a beautiful place to live, OR, you’re going to take a more logical, pragmatic approach designed to increase your home’s value.

Problem is, it is quite difficult to achieve both. Many homeowners expose themselves to the very problems they’re trying to avoid in the process of home fix-ups.

Take Carol and Tom Morehead, who seven years ago purchased a home for $390,000.  Since buying their home, they’ve spent over $60,000 fixing it up and making it the “perfect” place to live.  A few months ago, they put the home on the market with another brokerage at $519,000.

The best offer they received was only $477,000.

  Their mistake?  Spending money on amenities and features that did not add true value to the home and also, it was the highest priced home on the street. Because their house did not sell, they called me in to give some advice. (You now are reading what my advice was)

Just because you spend $30,000 or $60,000 on the fix-up of your home doesn’t mean you’re going to get it out when you sell.  It doesn’t automatically make your home worth $30,000 to $60,000 more.  And that’s exactly why you may want to know which fix-ups pay off big, and which ones could cost you potentially thousands of dollars.

Another house sold by Ty

Sold by Ty Lacroix

  A Possible Solution?

There is no question, getting the best dollar for your home is not as easy at it appears.  One poor move can cost you thousands. That’s why I  have created a proprietary system meant specifically for homeowners looking to increase the value of their home.  My Home Seller Fix-up report that will get you a great return on your renovation and if you do decide in the future to put your house or condo up for sale, I do what I call my ‘No Charge Home Audit’.

Getting ready to put your home on MLS should be thought out carefully and what you like, maybe most buyers will not.

Why guess? Why gamble?

Ontario Landlords Can Increase Rents 1.8% in 2018

1.8% Rent Increase Allowed for Ontario Landlords in 2018

Ontario Landlords

Ontario Minister of Housing Chris Ballard announced that the 2018 provincial rent increase guideline has been set at 1.8%, up .3% over the current year.
The annual rate of increase is based on the Ontario Consumer Price Index, a measure of inflation that reflects current economic conditions affecting the
cost-of-living.
As in previous years, this amount is the maximum that a tenant’s rent can be raised without approval from the provincial Landlord and Tenant Board, and applies to all new rent increases made between January 1 and December 31, 2018; it is also retroactively effective as of April 20, 2017.
Unlike previous years, however, the ministry’s annual rent control guidelines have now been expanded to include all private rental units, including those built as tenant-occupied premises on or before November 1, 1991.
This anticipated change results from the recently-passed Rental Fairness Act, 2017 that was introduced to protect an estimated 250,000 Ontario renters living in pre-1991 units from unreasonable and/or unpredictable rent hikes.
Ballard, who is also the minister responsible for Ontario’s Poverty Reduction Strategy, said the aim of the expanded 2018 rent increase guidelines is to make the housing market fairer for all, “ensuring that everyone in Ontario has the peace of mind they need…”

 

Please visit
to read the entire Government of Ontario announcement.

How To Set a Price For London Ontario Houses

Setting a Price on A London Ontario Houses, Exciting or Scary?

When most home sellers sit down to interview a Realtor, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of choosing a sales price. More money means more financial opportunities . Perhaps it means you can afford to buy a larger home, help pay off some debt or take that long overdue vacation.

Unfortunately, some home sellers often choose the Realtor who suggests the highest list price, which is the worst mistake a seller can make.

Establishing Value 

The truth is it doesn’t really matter how much money you think your home is worth. Nor does it matter what your Realtor thinks or ten other Realtors think. The person whose opinion matters most is the buyer who makes an offer.

Pricing homes is part art and part science. It involves comparing similar properties, making adjustments for the differences among them, tracking market movements and taking stock of present inventory, all in an attempt to come up with a range of value, an educated opinion.

Even in the present hot market we have in London, choosing a price higher than your neighbour’s house that sold a month or two ago can come back to haunt you.

Why?

The market can shift very quick and even though our market is strong, there are still great homes for sale that have been on the market for 40-60 days, unfortunately, they are price wrong.

pricing a home ls like chess

This method is the same way an appraiser evaluates a home. And no two appraisals are ever exactly the same; however, they are generally close to each other. In other words, there is no hard and fast method  to slap a price price on your home. It’s only an educated guess and the market will dictate the price.

 Is it Too Low? 

Homes sell at a price a buyer is willing to pay and a seller is willing to accept. If a home is priced too low, priced under the competition, the seller usually will receive multiple offers to drive up the price to market value. So there is little danger in pricing a home too low. The danger lies in pricing it too high and selecting your Realtor solely on opinion of value.

How It Starts To Go Wrong :  

Here is a story of a seller who did not even interview Realtors. She plucked the first one off the Internet because, “He looked like such a nice guy and he is with that big real estate company in London.” He priced her home at $499,000.  After 27 days, no offers.

Continues To Go Wrong She then lowers the price to  $489,900 . Lots of showings but not offers. Eventually , another 30 days pass and the price is reduced to $479,900.  A few lookie-loos, tire kickers and eventually an offer of $449,900!

The sad part is the comparable sales in the neighborhood fully justified a price of $475,000, but the home had been on the market for too long at the wrong price, and now the market had softened.

London Ontario House

 Protect Yourself 

The question is how much money does it cost the sellers if a home takes a long time to sell? The financial loss often exceeds the extra mortgage payments paid and goes beyond the uncompensated hassle factor of trying to keep a home spotless during showings. It affects the value that a buyer ultimately chooses to pay because it’s not a fresh listing anymore.

It’s now stale, dated, a market-worn home that was overpriced for too long.

So, how do you protect yourself? An experienced listing Realtor who is willing to tell you the truth about the value of your home and have the strength & skills to back it up  is a start.

Homes that sell within 30 days usually sell for asking price or even more!