Average Will Only Get Average Results When Selling a London Ontario Home

  When selling a London Ontario home, the first 10 days are critical and will make the difference how quickly it sells and for how much!

Checklist before you list your home

The most important time for a new listing in London Ontario is 2 days before it officially goes on MLS and the 8 days after!

Why 2 days before? I have found that when we have prepared and gathered all the necessary marketing tools the following happens:

  • The  documents are completed accurately and thoroughly, no mistakes or missing informationn & care can be taken to describe the home to prospective buyers.

  • All the pictures are taken, edited or retaken to show the home in the best way possible way.

  • All the marketing material is ready such as feature sheets, your “Buy me” binder, your www.youradress.com webpage and cards!

  • All the websites are loaded, social pages, virtual tours are ready

  • The home owner can do the final touch ups or any cleaning that may be required.

  • The For Sale sign is up and any directional signs if needed are placed

Your house on MLS

  Day 1 to Day 8: 

This is when buyers and their Realtor are searching the Internet for buying a home in London and certain streets for something new. When excitement is the highest. You can now:

  • Be ready for all showings, have all the marketing materials and home information ready for that one buyer who loves your home!

  • You have at least one weekend when historically home viewing is the busiest.

  • If no serious offers, the pricing may be wrong or if not enough showings, the marketing needs to improve  after 10 days!

 Once day 11 starts, do something drastically to attract new buyers to your home!

The way a transaction starts is indicative on how your sale will go, quickly or a long rocky road before you sell your home.

 

Listing with a strong listing Realtor who has a reputation for being thorough will never do you any harm. Who uses the web dominately, has an above average follow up system and the finances to market your home.

Ensure that before the sign goes up and the listing gets to the MLS, everything from the lock box, listing brochures and presentations is in place and ready to go. Make sure your listing Realtor has a system to let you view the comments and feedback about your house on a special listing website . Do they have a check list (we have 201 items on it) that they share with you before it even gets on MLS?

 Do not allow average to get you average results!

In summary, the most important time for a new listing when selling a home in London Ontario is BEFORE it gets on MLS.

Get Your Home Sold

How do I know this? We sell alot of homes, let’s get yours sold!

What Turns Home Buyers Off When Looking At London Ontario Homes For Sale?

What Turns Home Buyers off  When Looking at London Ontario Homes For Sale & Surrounding Area?

A messy House does not sell

 ODOURS …Overwhelmingly, the #1 complaint among prospective buyers was unpleasant odours in the  home.  The chief offenders were smoke, pet odours, and strange cooking aromas.  Some buyers turn right around and walk out because they found the smells so oppressive.  Most of us are unaware of the ‘peculiar’ odours of our homes because we become immune to the smells – the buyers are not immune to these same odours.

CLEANLINESS...This # 2 complaint  was that the seller simply did not bother to clean.  We’re not talking about home staging (which will help) or even unrealistic expectations of the home being spotless – just simple old-fashioned cleaning.  Selling your home can be a bit inconvenient, but when you have advance notice that a buyer is coming to view your home – clean it up!!!  At the very least, remove the pile of dirty dishes from the sink.

keep your house spotless when selling it

SELLER AT HOME…Coming in at #3 is having the owners at home while the buyers are trying to view it.     Most buyers felt very uncomfortable with the seller there.  Many said they could not take the time to really look at the features of the home because they were in such a hurry to get away from the seller.  This is a real problem for those selling their own home as they are usually the ones showing.

CLUTTER...The #4 complaint is related to the cleanliness point – the dreaded clutter.  We have all seen it on the home shows, many buyers have a hard time seeing your home because of all your stuff.

 UNFINISHED PROJECTS...Unfinished projects take the #5 spot.  If you are planning on selling your home, finish up any on-going home improvement projects before placing it on the market.  Homes with half-finished painting, flooring, trim, etc. gave buyers a bad overall impression.

If your home is priced correctly and you have addressed the other items on this list, it will stand out and sell!

Exclusive Envelope Real Estate Home Audit

Our ‘Exclusive Home Audit’ that we do before putting your home on MLS, on all our websites, on all our social media pages, our blogs, our signage entails these 5 and 31 other points.  We go over everything with you so that you can sell your home quicker, for more money!

  Why is That?

Because we excel at exciting buyers & their Realtor about your home!

Rent Prices Soaring in London Ontario

What are causing rent and lease prices to rise in London Ontario? Shortage of rental units, property taxes, property prices or just because a landlord wants to finally make some money?

rents rising

I have been getting  our new investor clients tenant leases that make them more than happy and all to glad to invest in London.

Our existing investor clients know that rent and lease prices have increased in London Ontario substantially over the last 6 months and this London Free Press article backs it up!

Problem Solvers Or Just Another London Ontario Real Estate Company?

     People buy or sell a home in London Ontario for one reason and one reason only, to solve a problem!

  Our happy buyers & sellers

  • Tired of Renting? -Solve the problem by buying a house or a condo

  • House or condo too small?Too big? Solve the problem by buying something bigger or smaller

  • Too Expensive? Solve ……..
  • Relocating? Solve …….
  • Don’t like the neighbourhood? Solve ……
  • Divorced? Living Together? Getting Married? Solve ……
  • Fill in the blanks ___________________? Solve ………

I have been a Realtor for quite a few years and own a real estate brokerage and have learned that people do not hire us because we are just a Realtor who can help buy or sell a home, anybody can do that, that is what the average do.

People hire us because we solve problems, we identify them, take a focused view and solve the problem, end of story!

You don’t hire  a Realtor because you need a taxi driver,  or because they are pretty, ugly, skinny, fat, bald, young or old, you have a problem(which can be good or bad) and you want someone to listen and solve the problem quickly and save some money as well.

And, can back it up with proof, not talk!

Ontario New Rental Lease Law is Flawed

Ontario’s flawed standard lease is now law

Ontario Lease Agreement

It should never have happened this way. It’s true that written tenancy agreements for Ontario’s residential landlords have been confusing and inconsistent. Many leases are jam-packed with illegal clauses, confusing provisions and in some cases, there is no written lease at all.

Some small landlord investors are of the mistaken belief that it was easier to terminate tenancies if there is no written lease. A lot of landlords also confuse the term lease with the concept of lease term. So yes, confusion abounds, but now it gets worse, not better.

Now, for all new residential tenancy agreements that are signed (with a few exceptions), landlords must use Ontario’s new Standard Form Lease. This lease attempts to remove some confusion from the current chaotic state of affairs. No homemade leases are allowed! Its use is mandatory for condos, apartment buildings, single-family homes, rooming houses and basement apartments. This lease also replaces the agreements Ontario Realtors traditionally have provided.

The provincial lease has two parts. The first has some basic provisions along with a place for signatures at the bottom. The second part is an appendix, but really, it’s just an explanation on some of the finer points, including some details about what provisions may or may not be legal.  In Ontario, you cannot contract out of the Residential Tenancies Act (the RTA), so landlords and tenants signing the new lease can be assured that what they are signing is enforceable through the Landlord and Tenant Board.

While well-intentioned, the lease is extremely bare-boned. The standard form lease tries to be all things to all people and ends up being suitable for no one. Because it tries to be generic enough to fit all tenancy situations, it ends up fitting no tenancy situations.

Fortunately, the government is permitting additions to the lease in the form of an appendix that the landlord may draft. But keep in mind, the provisions in the appendix cannot contradict what’s in the lease and cannot violate the terms of the RTA.

The standard government lease, being inaccurate, incomplete and confusing, will likely cause more litigation and confusion. I can almost guarantee you that if you use it on its own, you will have misunderstandings with your tenant, or find that you are without a remedy when you need one. If you are interested, here’s a link to a blog I did analyzing the required lease.

The government could have resolved the issue of illegal clauses and ignorance of basic tenancy rights by creating a mandatory appendix, required to be attached to every new lease, with the same penalties to landlords if they failed to provide it as there is for failing to deliver this new lease to a tenant. However, the Ministry of Housing chose to use a hammer to swat a fly. By doing so they further confused an already confusing regulatory system.

Prudent landlords will need far more than the Standard Form Lease to protect their interests. Our firm and others are providing clients with appendices to be used in conjunction with the Standard Form Lease. As a landlord, don’t even think about using the standard lease on its own.

If you are interested in finding out more, take 15 minutes to view my free YouTube video on the new standard lease, and how you can protect yourself.

By Harry Fine

Are Stairs Becoming An Issue With Your London Ontario House?

Are you having trouble getting around your 2 story London Ontario house because of stairs or narrow hallways, or, think you may in a few years? Are you worrying what to do?

age and real estate

You love your home, you have fond memories and perhaps love to putter in the yard or garden and worry about giving it up.

Last month I worked with a couple who have lived in their London home for 44 years and they were tired and having trouble maintaining their large home.

We found a great one floor ranch/bungalow close to where their son lives and offered some great amenities that their present home did not have. They have a yard but it is smaller and they can still do the same things they used to.

By the time I sold their 2 story home and helped them buy their bungalow, they were thousands ahead in dollars and their monthly expenses decreased!

I had another client whose children had moved out 8 years ago and their home in Byron was too large for just the two of them. They were 2 years away from retirement and thougt it it would be nice to be able to spend more time to travel and visit their grandchildren, two of them were in BC and one in Texas.

I helped them buy a one floor townhouse 2 miles from their previous house, they have no exterior maintenance at all and are enjoying their freedom!

If you think it is time to review your living, wealth and health styles in London, I can guide you through the process to ensure your change of address is smooth when you do decide to make a move!

It is a huge decision to make and especially now with the London real estate prices being the highest ever and the demand for homes very strong!

By the way, at present there are 19 nice ranch/bungalows & 16 one floor townhouses & town homes to choose from!

When Selling a House in London Ontario, How Do You Decide Price?

   What price do you choose when deciding to put your house or condo for sale on MLS? I won’t go into the debate about “free advice”, you know, your hairdresser, co-worker, Uncle Ted who knows everything about everything, your financial advisor, or the “Free Market Evaluation” postcard or online generalities.

   Selling a House in London Ontario

 Below are a few things you may want to give considerable thought to when selling a house in London Ontario:

  • Not choosing the right price when a property is first listed. In other words, thinking “We can always come down”.
  • Putting the property on the market at an unrealistic price. A property must be priced on a comparative basis to the other properties which are similar. (I should add, everyone thinks their home is different but buyers and their Realtor do not think so.)
  • Not relating marketing time to price. Generally, the quicker you want to sell, the less you should be willing to take.
  • Calculating brokerage fees on top of the sales price. A home is worth what it is worth, with or without a commission.
  • Thinking that buyers aren’t comparing your home, on a dollar-for-dollar basis, with every other home on the market     ​
  • Do not add up all your credit card debt, car loans, line of credit, mortgage, that one month luxury cruise and then $20,000 just for the heck of it, and that is the price! (Think I am joking here, I actually was on a listing presentation and the price they wanted was to be able to do the above. First off, I did not take the listing because they wanted $66,000 too much, plus, they went through 3 Realtors and 10 months and got $81,000 less than their original asking price!)

​  There is a better way!

 

7 Things You Do Not Want A Buyer To Say When Selling a House

When selling a house in London Ontario, at a minimum there are 7 things you hope you do not hear from a buyer or their Realtor. All sellers want to sell you would think?

At times I question if home sellers even know that they may be harming their opportunities to sell.

Hoping To Sell A Home London Ontario

Over the years I have shown hundreds of buyers many homes in all price ranges and here are some of their questions to me as they too question if the home seller is serious about selling.

  • Where did they ever come up with that price?
  • This is a nice house but not at that price, the others we have seen are in better shape and for less money!
  • Don’t the sellers know we are here only for this weekend, why can’t we see their house?
  • It said in the listing it was a short walk to schools & amenities, a short walk if you were a professional marathon runner!
  • It said in the listing ‘newer appliances’, these are at least 8 years old! Or, newer roof, furnace, flooring or fill in the blank newer ___________!
  • How long has this home been on the market?
  • Why wouldn’t the seller fix that _______________?

When selling a house or a condo in London, do it properly or you may have to do it again!

Younger Canadians Becoming Landlords

A new CIBC poll says Canadians who own a rental property earn about $2,189/month – 50 per cent more than their monthly costs – and those who rent out space in their home offset their housing costs by 70 per cent.

Ontario Landlords

“High housing costs and the growing appetite for additional revenue streams make renting out space a popular choice, especially among younger Canadians,” says Jamie Golombek of CIBC Financial Planning and Advice. “While most homeowners believe the tax benefits alone make an income property a worthwhile investment, it’s critical to understand how it fits into your overall financial plan and be mindful of all of the tax implications of going this route so you can make the most of the venture.”

In a new report, Golombek and colleague Debbie Pearl-Weinberg address some of the tax considerations for homeowners currently earning or planning to earn rental income.

Key poll findings:

  • More than one in four (26 per cent) Canadian homeowners are already landlords (15 per cent) or plan to earn (11 per cent) rental income by letting out space in their primary residence or from a separate rental property
  • Almost two-thirds (64 per cent) of current landlords own one or more investment properties used exclusively for rental income
  • $2,189 is the average amount they earn in income each month
  • $1,461 is the average amount they spend on expenses each month
  • Nearly a third (31 per cent) of current landlords rent out a portion of their primary residence for long-term (22 per cent) or short-term stays (nine per cent)
  • $1,287 is the average amount they earn in income each month
  • $1,888 is the average amount they spend on their total household expenses each month
  • 72 per cent of all homeowners believe investing in real estate is an excellent way to earn supplemental income
  • 37 per cent of homeowners say they would opt for a home with a source of rental income if buying a home today

The poll findings reveal that Canadians aged 18-34 are more apt to be landlords than any other age group. Almost half (47 per cent) of millennial homeowners are already landlords (30 per cent) or plan to be (17 per cent), compared to only 29 per cent of homeowners aged 35-54 and 12 per cent of those aged 55+.

Get More Money for your London Ontario Home

Moreover, if buying a home today, twice as many millennial homeowners than boomers say they would opt for a home with a source of rental income, at 54 per cent and 25 per cent respectively.

More than half (55 per cent) of millennial landlords own a property exclusively for rental purposes, while 40 per cent rent out a portion of their home for extended stays of a year or more (30 per cent) or short stays (10 per cent).

Among those who let out a portion of their home, an almost equal number cite additional or surplus income for spending on non-essentials (29 per cent) and to offset mortgage or housing costs (26 per cent) are their top reasons for sharing their space.

“Younger Canadians are more open to sharing their space because they see it as financially advantageous,” says Scott McGillivray, a real estate investor, contractor and television personality. “There’s definitely a shift in attitudes and a growing interest in income properties, in part driven by a desire to offset high housing costs, but also because it can be a smart way to create extra income and build wealth.”

The survey finds that the majority (80 per cent) of homeowners agree that renting out space in their home makes financial sense but value their time and privacy too much to pursue it. Further, 30 per cent of landlords say their top concern is dealing with unexpected costs for maintenance and repairs.

Despite this, more than half of landlords (52 per cent) believe it’s “worth the headache”. Among those who own a separate rental property, half say their top reason to invest is to generate passive income now (22 per cent) or in retirement (28 per cent). Another 20 per cent have invested for long-term property appreciation, and only 14 per cent cite future occupancy by themselves or their children as their main reason to invest.

Further, 74 per cent of landlords believe that even with a negative cash flow, the benefits of tax deductions alone make owning an income property a good investment, but Golombek warns that if expenses exceed income on a consistent basis, you may not be able to claim those deductions.

“Being a landlord can be financially rewarding, but it’s not easy money, and would-be landlords often underestimate the taxes they’ll pay on rental income and may overestimate what deductions they can claim,” says Golombek. “It’s important to be clear on what can and can’t lower your overall tax bill.”

Run the numbers

While landlords who own a separate income property can deduct both capital expenses (renovations, real estate commissions) over time and current expenses (insurance, interest) immediately, those who share their primary residence with a tenant can deduct only a portion of their expenses, which relate specifically to the rental area.

The poll also found that most (69 per cent) landlords admit they would discount the rate if renting to family and friends, but Golombek warns that this could limit the ability to deduct expenses or claim a loss from a tax perspective.

“It’s well worth your time up front to consult with a team of experts including your financial advisor, lawyer and Realtor to be clear about the perks and perils before jumping in,” he says.

This blog first appeared in REM Magazine, a publication for Realtors.

Don’t Forget These Extra Costs When Buying a London Ontario Home

    Don’t Forget These  Extra Costs When Buying a  London Ontario  Home

Buying a home in London Ontario will take much more money than just the purchase price of the property, and not the  things like moving costs, furniture, paint, rakes or shovels, blinds and all the thing most of us never even think about!

I’m talking about the actual costs of buying real estate, below are some costs, either hidden, or included in your mortgage or money that you will have to spend right away. Of the hundred’s of transactions we do, very few people even take these into consideration.

 Now, you can!

it takes more money buying a home

  Purchase Price
duhhhh! you say, of course, but this is just the starting point in your calculation.

  Registration Fees
Fees paid to the provincial government for recording a title transfer, mortgage registration or other instruments.

  High Ratio Insurance (CMHC)
Must be purchased if you are buying a home for less than 20% down. A sliding fee scale applies, depending on the percentage of the purchase price required in a first mortgage (some minor exceptions) which can be added to the mortgage. More information.

  Compliance Letter
Obtained by your lawyer and required in many municipalities throughout Canada before a property transfer can take place. This is an acknowledgment from the building department that the property either has, or is clear of outstanding work-orders. Work-orders are specific clean-up or fix-up requirements that the owner is legally required to do, and which must be completed before ownership can be transferred.

paperwork for buying a house London Ontario

  Tax Certificate
Obtained by your lawyer at the time of sale to confirm that local taxes have been paid and are up-to-date. If they are not up to date, the seller is required to pay them from the proceeds of the sale. If there are insufficient proceeds, then you may be legally required to pay the outstanding taxes. If, on the other hand, taxes have been prepaid, you may have to compensate the seller for them.

   Provincial “New Home Warranty Program” premiums — New Homes Only!
A third party (provincial) warranty program between a builder and a buyer. With the exception of Ontario and Quebec, membership in such a program is voluntary for the builder. Through these programs, your home is guaranteed against defects for at least one year.  See Tarion. 

   Mortgage Appraisal and Application Fees
Application feees &  appraisal fees are common. Generally $150 — $235 each would apply. (Be careful here, ask your lender what the fees are and if they can waive some or all of it)

  Home Inspection
A report commissioned by the buyer, usually to verify the condition of a property prior to the “firming up” of a purchase agreement. The scope and detail may vary, but most reports outline any particular problems and associated repair costs. Unfortunately, home inspectors in Ontario are not licsenced!

   Land Survey
The legal written and/or mapped description of the location and dimensions of your land. The survey should also show the dimensions and placement on the lot of any structure, including additions such as pools, sheds and fences. An up-to-date survey is often required by a lender as part of the mortgage transaction, although Title Insurance is more prevalent and is usually included in your lawyer’s fee.

  Title Insurance
Title insurance can be purchased by home buyers to protect against potential deficiencies in a number of areas, such as the land survey.  More about title insurance.

  Connection Charges
Some local utility companies (hydro, gas, oil) charge a fee on closing to connect new buyers up to their service. More common, however, is an extra charge on the first billing.

property taxes in London Ontario

  Property Tax and Prepaid Utilities Adjustments
If the previous owner prepaid property taxes or other utilities, they will be credited the prepaid portion on closing. If they paid all their taxes by April, expect a large adjustment cost on closing!

  Interest Adjustment 
If you arrange to make your mortgage payments monthly on the first day of the month, and your transaction closes after the first day of the month, your lender will charge you interest on closing to the next interest date, called the Interest Adjustment Date (IAD), when your payment cycle will commence. This can be a sizeable amount, but it is the correct interest you should pay. For example, close on June 15th, pay 15 days interest on closing and start payments on August 1st.

 Property Taxes

Depending on your down payment, your lending institution may decide to include your property taxes in your monthly mortgage payments.

Property Insurance

Home insurance covers the replacement value of your home (structure and contents). Your lending institution will request proof that you are insured as it protects their investment on the loan.

 Legal Fees

Shop around here; rates vary depending on the complexity issues or experience of the lawyer or the cost of their overhead and associates.

  Mortgage Loan Insurance Fee

In the event of disability or death, your insurer will pay your mortgage or mortgage payments. *** Be very careful here; compare rates with your lending institution and your life insurance sales person.

 Mortgage Broker Fee

Shop around; most lending institutions will pay the mortgage broker’s fee, not you. Ask up front, “Do I have to pay any fees by using your services?”

 Mortgages & Buying real estate London Ontario

 Moving Costs

$50-$100/hour for a truck and 3 movers, 10 –30% higher at end of month and other peak times

 Maintenance Fees

Condos charge monthly fees and vary depending on the building.

 Water Quality and Quality Certification

If the home you purchased is serviced by a well, you will require and should get regular water portability tests by your local heath unit.

 Local Improvements

If the area you are moving to has made local improvements (such as sidewalks or addition of sewers), this could impact a property’s taxes by thousands of dollars.

 Land Transfer Tax

This tax is applied whenever property changes hands and the amount varies on the purchase price of the property. Your lawyer or I can let you know what this amount will be. More info.

 Congratulations, you’ve read this far! Believe it or not, you are a minority and the type of person we like to work with, thorough, willing to learn, careful and prudent!

As you can see, there are extra costs to consider before you make that purchase. By working with a very good Realtor, you will be aware of these and some you may prevent.

We use a spread sheet that we developed that comes pretty close to giving you an idea of how much extra you may need when buying a home in London.

Do not stress yourself out! Be prepared! Let us organize your steps towards getting the house you want!

Contact us- Sutton Group Envelope Real Estate