How to Get More Money For Your London Ontario Home

  Here’s an informative  guide  to  help  you  realize the  most  profit  from your London Ontario home,  and perhaps avoid  costly  repair  rip-offs.

There’s a little-known dynamic in real estate that can dramatically affect the successful, top dollar sale of your home.

The Elements That Motivate a Quicker Home Sale…

Are the Same Elements That Sell Homes for Top Dollar

      Each year thousands of homeowners needlessly lose thousands of dollars when selling their home.  But they don’t lose the money for reasons you might think. They lose money because they unknowingly left it on the table…for the buyer to pocket…by failing to recognize the hidden profit potential of their home.

And those hidden profits exist in two areas.

First, most homeowners never discover that certain small, even inexpensive repairs to their existing home could generate many times their cost in additional home value.  But on the other hand, other repairs and improvements can cost you dearly.  It’s critical to know what repairs and improvements to spend money on…and which ones to leave alone.

Second, when many savvy homeowners decide to make profitable repairs before selling, they expose themselves to the ruthless world of some contractors and their potentially deceptive schemes that drive up the costs of home repairs.Get More Money for your London Ontario Home

Between not knowing what to repair for maximum profit, and dealing with the world of contractor woes, it’s easy to understand how you might become overwhelmed with the whole process.  But don’t despair.

That’s Why I Created This Helpful Report

       I am going to reveal to you exactly what areas make sense to fix and what areas to leave alone…not using “opinion,” but real world facts.  Then, I’m going to give you a “behind the scenes tour” of the games some contractors play when fixing your home (by the way, not all contractors are sinister – I know many with stellar reputations).

This way you’ll be armed to the teeth with knowledge and strategies to stay one-step ahead of the game…and maximize the value of your home when you sell.

Many of the improvements that have the most value for you as a homeowner end up being the worst-performers as far as resale value is concerned.  ​

I will cover:

  • How to Select Home Improvements That Pay Dividends

  • Functional and Structural Improvements 
  • How to Dodge Repair Rip-Offs When Improving Your Home

  • Selecting Painters     


  • Selecting Plumbers

  • Selecting Electricians

  • Selecting Roofers

  • Selecting HVAC Specialists   

Here it is

Using an Appraisal To Sell or Buy a Property in London Ontario?

Have you ever had a feeling that the price of a property is too high? That you feel your home is worth more than what a Realtor says? That you and the buyer or seller cannot agree on price?

One of the tools I use is hiring an appraiser or two.

I went on a listing presentation a month ago and the price the seller wanted for her house ( she was told by her friends, neighbours, her dentist, even her niece who was a Realtor in the GTA what her house was worth) and the price I thought it would sell for was considerably less.

After going through all the discussions and neighbourhood values, she still did not want to list her house at my number but really wanted me to be her Realtor.

I said ok, but we would put 6 names of local appraiser’s names in a hat, she would reach in and pull out 2, and get two appraisals. We then would add the two, divide by two and that would be the range we would list her house for.

I even agreed to pay for the two appraisals.

Guess what?

Both appraisals were within a few thousand dollars of my price but considerably lower than the price her well meaning but misinformed circle of influence advised her.

We listed the house and it sold for my original price I thought it would sell for! A hero? Not necessarily but functional and practical.

I also used the same tactic between a buyer and a seller of a commercial property who were miles apart in price. We actually used 3 appraisals and add those up and divided by three!

So, in ending, there are many ways to consummate a sale and see the article below, it may help as well.

The following article was written by the  Appraisal Institute of Canada (AIC) and will validate what I believe can be another solution to help buyers and sellers of real estate in London Ontario.

Real estate bidding wars are now the new norm in the over-heated Toronto and Vancouver property markets. Sales can end up hundreds of thousands of dollars above asking prices.

It’s a bonanza for sellers, with head-spinning multiple offers giving them a tidy sum of extra cash. For buyers, the process of finding a home is frenzied and emotional. If you are the REALTOR® caught in the middle, you may need an unbiased independent opinion to ensure that all involved have the information and research they need to make the best decision possible.

Market volatility is a concern for the Appraisal Institute of Canada (AIC) which is why the organization is encouraging REALTORS® to engage professional appraisers to get unbiased, independent opinions of property values to help them advise their clients.

“The more information you have in your hand, the better off you’re going to be,” says Keith Lancastle, chief executive officer of AIC, a self-regulating organization that has more than 5,000 members across Canada with Accredited Appraiser Canadian Institute (AACI) and Canadian Residential Appraiser (CRA) designations. “It’s prudent to help your clients make one of the most important investments in their lifetime with both eyes open.”

AIC members perform approximately 1 million residential appraisals in Canada of properties worth a total of more than $500 billion, and this amount is increasing every year. The majority of residential appraisals are completed for lenders for the purpose of mortgage financing. The lender wants to ensure the value of the collateral and that the Loan–to-Value ratio meets their guidelines. Mr. Lancastle says. “If your client buys a piece of property that is higher than the appraised value, it is important to remember that the lender will not underwrite the loan on that emotion.”

Dan Brewer, AACI, P.App president of AIC and a senior appraiser at Appraisers Canada Inc. in booming York Region north of Toronto, says that under guidelines set out by the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions, on-site appraisals are required to ensure that buyers do not borrow an amount larger than a property’s value.

“You can’t finance your dreams,” Mr. Brewer comments, noting that much of the escalation in homes price in Toronto and Vancouver comes from a lack of inventory, time pressures and the fact that buyers and sellers are often “making decisions without knowing all the facts.” Bidding wars skew market values, and those who pay “out of whack” prices should be prepared to “pull a lot of money out of their jeans” and to consider whether they can recover that amount if they sell, he notes. “Cost is not synonymous with value.”

AIC-designated appraisers undertake comprehensive curriculum, experience and examination requirements and are experts in estimating the value of a property; real estate agents are experts in selling and purchasing property and home inspectors determine a property’s structural integrity, Mr. Brewer explains. An appraisal report helps property owners better understand a market’s sales and listing history, the exposure time to sell a property, supply and demand for similar properties, structural characteristics, assessment data, title restrictions, zoning and land-use controls.

“You’re interpreting the marketplace,” says Mr. Brewer, noting that qualified appraisers “are an integral part of the process,” helping homeowners do everything from understanding their equity positions to evaluating the value of particular upgrades they opt for. “We quantify those things, we monitor them, we measure them, we give guidance and direction.”

Mr. Lancastle says that in a larger sense, appraisals ensure that there are true values in the marketplace. “We are protecting everyone involved in the real estate transaction including the REALTOR®, the financial system and Canadian consumers.” He adds that AIC members also do appraisals for purposes such as estate planning, property tax assessments, mortgage refinancing and to help homeowners plan for and follow up after renovations.

Fixer Uppers in London Ontario

I get calls or emails everyday about fixer uppers in London Ontario. It is usually after someone has watched reality shows on TV or read a get rich quick book with no money down or a book about how easy it is.


What if you bought a fixer upper to live in for a few years and then repeat the process?

What about a couple who are handy or even want to be handy and who do not have to keep up with the Jones’s for appearance sake? Instead of buying that $200,000 or $300,000 home with the finished basement, nice schools, close to work, 2 car garage and then busting your butt to ensure all your monthly bills are paid? And, hoping that your home will increase in value in 5-10 years.

Fixer uppers in London Ontario

What about the couple who buy a small home outside the city for cash or 5-10% down, are prepared to drive a bit to get to work and have a 1-2 year plan to fix the place up and sell it and repeat this 4-5 times in 10 years?

Look at the math. Instead of a $1000 plus going to interest every month, you buy something where that interest goes perhaps $600-$800 goes to fixing your place up. after 1-2 years you sell it, you may earn $10,000 plus but lets say you only net $15,000? That’s low but stay with me here.

You do that 5 times or more? If you compared the couple who has had only one house after 10 years, mortgage poor or to keep up with their friends, go deeper in debt and get a bigger home, or the couple who uses their sweat equity and common sense after 10 years?

I have 14 couples now who followed this plan and let me give you 3 scenarios:

  1. Couple number 1 lives in a $260,000 home, no mortgage and are under 35 years old and have no debt
  2. Couple number 2 live in a condo now, no mortgage and are living off the rental income of their last 7 homes they bought, and instead of selling, they rent out
  3. Couple number 3 are into house 3, it’s worth about $275,000, they owe just under $100,000 on it and their first home they bought, they scraped, borrowed and begged to come up with a $5, 281 down payment!

Are the above 3 different than most? Yes. you see, they are willing to pay the price in time, effort and ego to build their financial stability. Now, at the end of the day, 10 years from now, who is living the good life?

smart home owners London Ontario

Is it easy? Safe? Nope! Is it wise and financially prudent? You bet! So I ask, do you have what it takes or are you going to go through the rest of your life in debt and looking well off or no debt and feeling well?

Why Overpay For London Ontario Real Estate?

Over the past 3 months, we have seen a sellers’ market in London Ontario, which is great for those selling their house or condo in London Ontario and in some cases, not great for buyers.

Overpaying for a London Ontario Home

Jim Rohn wrote: “The pain of discipline weighs ounces, the pain of regret weighs tons!”

With some homes receiving 7-15 offers that have no conditions and some homes selling 12-18% over the asking price, is the ‘winning’ offer prudent?

I have been in several of those offer situations, have won some and some say ‘lost some’, but my clients can’t lose something they never had. My client and I do a threshold price and stick to it, we try to keep the emotion out of it and avoid one of the biggest motivators in the world, “fear of loss”.

A threshold price is one where you can be confident that you are offering a fair price and confident that in the future, if the market does take a down turn, your financial world will not be turned upside down.

Speculation is dreaming and though we read about the money 5% of speculators make, we very seldom here about the other 95% of speculators who lose. It may not be in the short term, but long term, history has a habit of repeating itself.

I have taken the liberty of rearranging one of Warren Buffet’s beliefs and changing the word stock to property: “It is far better to buy a wonderful property at a fair price than a fair property at a wonderful price.”

Choosing a Real Estate Person to Sell A Home in London Ontario

           Our Core Values. Not All Realtors Are The Same!

It is both mine & the brokerage’s goal to consistently provide the highest quality, most innovative and exceptional real estate service available anywhere in the London and surrounding areas.

Our client’s needs always come first. We are not # 1, you are! We strive to always provide value far in excess of what other real estate sales representatives do. Our constant goal is mutual respect, and long term relationships that are beneficial to all parties.

We run a clean, organized, and efficient real estate brokerage.

We do not rest on our accomplishments. We constantly strive to create, develop, and implement new ideas, strategies, and services that will benefit our clients.  We endeavor to seek continuing education in all aspects of our business to increase the level of service we offer our clients.

Core Values

  • Brutal honesty at all times and in all situations.
  • Strategically driven, not market driven
  • Continually improve
  • Create and nurture a fun, exciting, creative and productive work environment.
  • Work with only the most enjoyable and motivated clients and co-workers.
  • When having the choice to being right or being kind, be kind

Sellers come to us because of our reputation for getting homes sold; buyers come to us because of our reputation of having desirable properties- many to choose from!

We are:

  • A firm that is known in the community to have a reputation for professionalism.
  • A firm that invests a considerable amount of time & money exposing real estate to attract qualified buyers.
  • A firm that can serve you and a buyer with hundreds of different financing sources to assure qualified buyers can obtain the funds to buy your property.
  • A firm that has at its fingertips a contact list of skilled trades, movers, cleaners & legal & financial professionals.
  • A firm that will screen possible buyers so only those who are qualified, that is, who can afford and have the money to buy your property. (See our Dedicated Buyer Program. We attract high end buyers daily!)
  • A firm that is not afraid to tell you the brutal truth and not just what you want to hear.
  • A firm that sells properties, not just lists them!

Sold by Ty Lacroix

To make sure Sutton Group Envelope Real Estate Brokerage is more than prepared when we work with a home seller, we always make sure we are 100% certain of what will lead to a timely sale for the best possible price before any property we represent even gets near the active London Real Estate market.

Those extra few days, effort and diligence we spend is to make sure it is being done right and saves home sellers weeks if not months of market time in the end and is worth every second of preparation it takes.

 First impressions are everything

A recent study has shown that over 94. 6% of all homes sold were viewed for the first time on the internet by the eventual buyer. This is an enormous change in a short time for the real estate industry and has literally made how well a real estate company in London “markets” a property their most important skill set.

At Sutton Group Envelope Real Estate we truly grasp that technology plays a huge role in the art of selling a home and we are always up on the latest technology, but at the same time, understanding that real estate is still a people business!

Courtesy, professionalism and good work habits are integral traits of a very good Realtor.

From virtual tours of your home from a buyer’s desk top or handheld device, we spare no expense to insure our listings are presented online in the best possible way. Along with our distinctive signage, social media, and blogging and on over 50 websites, your home is seen!

The pictures and other web based presentation tools are now truly the difference between a buyer seeing and potentially buying a home and a buyer simply deleting it from their search never to be considered again as a viable purchasing option.

We create a personal website for all of our listings so we can direct buyers to as much detail about our listings as possible.  When you go on to most real estate company’s websites to look at a particular home for sale, your home and every other agent’s home is shown as well. Who is competing with whom?

Buying a House London Ontario

There are always many homes for sale in London Ontario and making our listings stand out against our client’s competition is our most important role.

Market Based Pricing

When the initial list price for a property is too high for the current market, it guarantees that the property will be on the market for an extended period of time. A consequence of an extended time on the market is that potential buyers develop an unfavorable opinion of the home prior to even viewing it.

Rational or not, buyers often believe that there must be something wrong with a property if it has been listed on the market for a long period of time.

To avoid this, Envelope Real Estate Brokerage uses an exhaustive market based comparison approach to insure that your home is priced right from the start, allowing us to sell your property for the best possible price in the shortest time possible.

(Our research on your property, neighbourhood sales, and market data takes on average 3 hours which we invest before we even meet!)

At least, check us out, there’s more

London Ontario Home Sales Sets Another Record

Well, here we go again, The London and St Thomas Association of REALTORS® (LSTAR) announced another record month for residential sales in April, with a total of 1,220 homes sold, an increase of 14.2% over the same period last year. This represents the best results ever for April, since LSTAR began tracking sales data in 1978.

In April, a total of 971 detached homes were sold, an increase of 11.7% over the previous year, while there were 249 condominium sales, up 25.1% from 2016. The average sales price was $347,062 up 5.4% from the previous month. The average year-to-date sales price was $325,286 up 16.6% from 2016 average home price of $279,057.

St. Thomas also had a very healthy April, with a total of 97 homes sold, up 12.8% from the same time last year. The average home price in St. Thomas was $270,439 up 9.3% from the previous month.

What are the reasons?

  • More buyers than sellers (less homes for sale)
  • The rest of Ontario is realizing that London Ontario and area remains one of the best communities to live in plus affordable housing.
  • Ample employment
House Style Units Sold Average Price
2 storey 287 $506,988
Bungalow 119 $286,981
Ranch 114 $429,585
Townhouse 97 $204,960
High rise apt. condo 69 $200,007

The best-selling house style in April continues to be the two-storey, followed by the bungalow and ranch. The average price for a detached home in April was $372,461, up 4.7% from the previous month, while the average price for a condominium was $248,020 up 14.5% from the previous month.

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

Home prices in Canada

Some neighbourhoods in London have experienced a significant rise in prices and in most cases, bidding wars.