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All posts for the month June, 2014

Filipino Real Estate Agent In Toronto Scarborough Markham

Why on earth would you want to know more about who’s looking at homes? Simply put, to help you sell it! The more you know about the types of buyers in the market, the better prepared you and your Realtor will be to package your house for sale.

In real estate there are some commonly used classifications that cover the bulk of home buyers. They are First-Time Home Buyers, Trade-Up Buyers, Trade-Down Buyers, and Empty Nesters.

First-Time Home Buyers:
More than one-third of all home buyers fit into this category. The homes they look for are modestly priced, often just enough to get them out of an apartment or other rental. This first home will hold them until their family or finances begin to grow and stabilize.

Coming from a rental situation, their requirements are privacy and storage space, although the true motivation is pride of ownership and getting away from paying rent.

Because this is a new experience for them, they’re more nervous about buying than someone who’s done it before. A special effort has to be made to assure them that they’re considering a sound investment, which they’ll have no trouble selling in later years.

Usually when you work with a first-time home buyer, financing is the biggest obstacle to getting the house sold. The key to this transaction is a great mortgage lender. Many people in this group who actually could buy your property don’t believe that they have enough money or good enough credit to own a home.

Trade-up Buyers:
This group is typically well-established in their careers and has stability in both their professional and personal lives.

With today’s economy and the influx of Internet entrepreneurs, many of these families are getting to this stage in their early 30s. Bearing in mind the shrinking family size, the trade-up buyer is motivated by prestige; therefore curb appeal and nice neighborhoods are high on their priority list.

Their principal goal is to find a larger home. Specific features that this group considers important include a formal living room with a separate family room, a formal dining room, extra closet and pantry space, and an impressive entry.

Price is not as important to this segment as the size of monthly payments, a motive that provides the opportunity for creative financing.

Trade-Down Buyers:
As the baby boomers head toward retirement and life span lengthens, there’s a growing category of buyers who are moving from large homes to smaller ones. This group includes those who because of divorce or financial difficulty have decided to move into a more manageable space. The other component is the people whose children have grown up and left a home that has become too large for two people – the Empty Nesters.

With the prevalence of divorce, there’s been an increase in single-parent households. Trade-down buyers often have the emotionally difficult task of facing a cut in their standard of living. These buyers want to have the shock minimized by being offered similar lifestyle statements provided to the trade-up buyers.

Empty Nesters:
Nearly 60% of people 55 and older who plan to move, do so to smaller homes. They want lower cost and maintenance, better security and more convenience.

They also prefer a more casual living space. They would opt for a great room over a formal living room and they prefer a combined kitchen and eating areas.

By emphasizing different features of your home, you can appeal to the special needs or desires of each market segment.

The unique skill of the Realtor is to match a home buyer with a home seller, so they both get what they need and desire out of a home. Chances are, as a seller, you’re also in one of these categories. What are you going to do after you sell? Move into a larger home, or move into a smaller one?

Tips: Spend a Little Get a Lot

  • Use the proper type of paint for each surface you need to cover. Kitchen and bathrooms require paint that can withstand heat and moisture. Consult a professional at a paint store for advice.
  • Create an information booklet containing property tax statements; records of maintenance, service work, warranty work and improvements made to the house; utility bills; and warranties for the roof, pool, spa, electrical systems and major appliances.
  • Immediately before showing the house, make the home inviting by cleaning windows, opening the drapes, turning on lights and playing soft music.
  • Keep under-the-bed storage containers handy for last minute clean up. Fill them with clutter and shove them out of sight.
  • Light a couple of lightly scented candles to give a feeling of warmth and add a nice aroma

Movers

We’ve all heard the horror stories about movers who didn’t deliver (literally) what they’d promised, or the priceless vase from Great Aunt Edna that got broken in a move. Here are some things to help you find the best mover that you can.

1. Identify only licensed, insured, and bonded moving companies.

Think about what you’re moving. What is it worth to you to know that it will get to your new home safe and sound? Licensed, insured, and bonded companies take the extra step to ensure that your things get to your new home, because they’re held responsible if they don’t.

2. Ask for estimates from two to three companies.

Shop and compare prices. Invite a mover’s representative to inspect the contents of your home.
They should be able to tell you how long the move will take, what it’ll cost, and the size of the truck you’ll need. Long-distance moves can cost anywhere between $3,000 and $10,000. This is a large investment, so treat it like you would any other – and shop around.

Be sure of what you’re buying. Typically, movers charge by weight and mileage. If you can get a flat rate, you’ll probably be better off. Get definite dates (in writing) of when the contents of your home will be picked up AND delivered.

3. Get extra liability protection.

Declare the value of the contents of your home with the mover before you move. Otherwise, your furnishings will be valued at $1.25 per pound as a lump sum. This means that a truckload containing the contents of your home that weight 3,000 pounds is only worth $3,750. Heaven forbid that it should happen – but could you replace the things you need for that amount? This is why declaring the value and adding extra protection are so important in ensuring your sanity during your move.

4. Stick around.

Stay with them as they inspect, pack, fill out the inventory, and weigh the contents of your home. The weight is particularly important because this is used to figure the final cost in most long-distance moves.

What Buyer Asks

Before you list your home, think about the five questions that home buyers will ask themselves about your house – and be prepared to answer them. If your house measures up the best against others when these questions are asked, yours will be the quickest to sell.

1. Is this a good location?
We’ve all heard the adage, “location, location, location.” There’s a reason for that. No one wants to live in a bad neighborhood. They’ll even drive a little further to get to work if they love the neighborhood and/or their kids can go to better schools. Think about how many people live in Markham ON., and commute into Downtown Toronto. Why would they do this? The perception of better schools, cleaner air, more house for less money, more space, and people like themselves, among other things.

You have to create the perception of a great neighborhood – that you’re “next to” the ritziest area of town, or near a great park or museum, or in the best school district, or have great access to the highway or metro for commuters, or that it’s the “new hot place to live.” Think of the benefits and create a “headline” of the benefits.

2. What does it cost?
Be realistic. You’re competing with other people who have a three-bedroom, two-bath home to sell. If you ask much more than the market will bear, it will take longer to sell your home.

When you sit down with a Realtor to list your home, you should ask what other homes have sold for in your neighborhood – and what homes in similar condition, with similar features, are selling for in your area.

3. How does it look?
Make your home the jewel of the neighborhood – the place that everyone wants to be. Assuming nothing is majorly wrong, here are a few things that you can do to give a great first impression.

Fix the driveway. It’s the first thing they see close-up, and sets the tone for how the buyer will see the rest of your home. If it’s cracked or stained, they’ll look for similar problems inside your home.

Mow the yard, trim the shrubs and plant some flowers – this gives a warm, inviting feeling. Think about how new homes are always so perfectly landscaped and strive to be the same.

Paint the front of the house – or at least the front door. This is the first actual contact that a buyer has with your home; give it the feel of a well-tended home.

Lastly, unclutter the place. Start packing the knick-knacks and moving your furniture into storage. This gives you a head start on moving, and gives the buyer a chance to imagine their own “stuff” in the house, leading them one step closer to making it their own.

4. How will I pay for it?
Many homebuyers are frankly afraid of having someone reviewing their finances and opening themselves up to rejection – by a bank or mortgage lender, particularly when those people are strangers. This can delay them making an offer for your home.

If you, as someone they’ve already met, can afford to offer them financing, you’ll be more competitive than the seller who forces every buyer to go through a bank or mortgage company.

5. When can I move in?
Many people are looking for a home because they’re transferring into the area or are tired of apartment living NOW! For these people, the ability to move in quickly is an added incentive to buy your home. You’re moving anyway; why not speed up the process?

On the other hand, some buyers need to sell their home before they can buy yours. This doesn’t make for a quick sale, but it gives you time to get your own move planned and executed.

Let me close with this story. I know a young couple who looked at a home twice, with two very different impressions. For a background, they had been looking for a home in this particular neighborhood for sometime. They didn’t have an urgent need to move, but were getting tired of apartment living, so a quick move was preferable. They’d contacted a Lender and pre-qualified themselves for financing, and knew the general amount they wanted to spend.

The first time they saw the home it was decorated very tastefully, but in a very formal manner. For some reason it gave them the impression that a lot of work would have to be done to make it their own. So they decided to wait until something else came along in the neighborhood.

Several months later, another home came on the market in the very same neighborhood. Because this first house was still on the market, and the seller had already moved out, the couple stopped in to have another look. Without the furniture and décor of the seller, the house took on a wholly different feel. In each room, the couple discussed what would fit where, and had already named their offices. Within 24 hours they’d made an offer. Within a month, they’d moved in.

Every time I talk to them, they tell me how happy they are in their home, which suits their needs perfectly.

FREE Tips: Spend a Little Get a Lot

  • Your house should be comparable to others in the neighborhood. For example, if most of your neighbors have granite counter tops or tiled floors, consider upgrading yours.
  • Begin the repair process by making your own home inspection. Walk around the yard and through the house and take notes about the problem areas, needed repairs, items to discard or store, and things to replace.
  • Crayon and marker on walls require treatment before painting the room. Sand the marked area with sandpaper; seal it with shellac and then paint over the spot. This will enable the paint to stick and cover the marks.
  • As you self-inspect your home, make notations on Post-it Notes and stick them in the area that needs attention. This gives an instant visual reminder of what needs to be done in each room.

Tips For Applying Mortgage

Lenders approve loans based on their impression of your ability and INTENT to pay it back. To figure this out, they look at five things: creditworthiness, income, job longevity, job stability, and future income prospects. We’ll tell you how to make sure you look good in each of these things, so that you’ll get a “YES” when you want to borrow money for your new home.

1. Creditworthiness

Creditworthiness is your history of borrowing and repaying against things like loans, credit cards, rent, and whether you’ve ever filed for bankruptcy. Find out what credit bureau the Lender uses, then call or visit that same bureau for a copy of your credit report. Some are even available online.

This is to make sure that there are no errors or surprises that you’ll have to explain to the Lender. If there are mistakes, it can take a few months to resolve, so it’s good to have a compelling explanation ready when the Lender sees it! The best way to demonstrate that you are “creditworthy” is to pay your bills in full and on time, particularly for the year or two before you want to get a loan.

2. Income

Lenders want to know that you have a history of sufficient and consistent income – so that you’ll be able to repay the loan. So, when you submit your paperwork to a Lender, make sure to take a letter verifying your employment (how long and what your salary is), your last couple of paychecks, and your last couple of W-2 forms.

3. Job Longevity

Lenders are looking for borrowers who have a stable source of income. If you can show that you’ve been employed at least a year in the same company, you should be fine.

4. Job Stability

Again, lenders like stability – they tend to think that your loan payment behavior will reflect your employment behavior. So, don’t make lateral moves between companies just for the sake of change. If you make moves, do it for promotion, or to earn more money.

5. Future Income Prospects

Because most loans are paid back in 15 to 25 years, Lenders are interested in people who
will have income for that amount of time. Young professionals, or those with high-demand skills, are the most appealing to Lenders because their income will only increase over time. If you can demonstrate that you have a career plan that only gets better over time, you’ll be in a strong position to borrow.

So essentially, pay your bills on time, stay with an employer, have a career path that shows potential, and you’ll be sure to get a “YES” when you borrow.

Lenders are required to tell you what the APR is on any loan that they’re offering to you so you’ll know what the real interest rate is, including all of the additional costs.

So, when you’re calling around looking for the best rates, make sure and ask what the APR is on each loan you’re being told about!

Mortgage Tips
When you get a mortgage, there are three important terms for you to remember.
• Interest Rates
• Points
• APR

I’ve combined these three terms here because they’re related, and you’ll understand them better if I explain them together.

Interest Rate: “Interest Rates” are the price that Lenders charge for the use of their money. So, when interest rates are high, it’s because Lenders are charging you more to use their money right now.

Again, it’s a trade-off between now and later. Lenders are only going to give you so much money to use over the next 15 to 30 years (the life of your mortgage). They work backwards from that figure using interest rates.

If you have a higher interest rate, you have less money to spend now. If you have a lower interest rate, you have more money to spend now.

Points: I want to tell you about a funny word – it’s one of those words that doesn’t mean what you might think it means when you hear it. (Like when the waiter at the restaurant asks you if you would like your “check,” and somehow you know that what they really mean is your bill, but you say, “Oh yes, thank you.”)

When you hear the word “points,” what do you think of? Maybe points in a football game? Maybe a test score?

Well, some smart person in the mortgage industry started using the word “points” to mean 1% of your entire loan amount, that you get to pay up front, as a fee for certain things.

So let’s say your mortgage is for $200,000. One “point” would mean $2,000.

Now I’ll tell you about the third term and how it relates to the first two.

APR: “APR” stands for “Annual Percentage Rate.” That sounds friendly, too, doesn’t it?

The APR is what you get when you add the interest rate, the points, and all of the other fees together and then calculate what the loan will cost you each year, based on all of the fees added together.

How To Price A Home

How Much Should I Offer?

Clients often ask, “How much under the listing price should we offer?”

The best way to understand market value is through comparative research. Professional real estate consultants review and study at least 40 to 60 listings, visit 10 to 20, and inspect 5 to 10 properties to develop a sense of relative worth for properties in a given area.

Additionally, a professional appraisal factors into determining the fair market value of the home. An appraisal protects you because Lenders want to make sure that you don’t overpay for a home. If the home value does not meet the sale price in the eyes of the appraiser, they’ll let you know. At that time, the Realtor can renegotiate the sale price or void the agreement and refund your earnest money deposit.

There are four basic factors that influence how sellers price their homes.

1. Sellers Get Poor Advice
Some real estate agents inflate the value of the seller’s home in an effort to obtain the listing. There’s a natural tendency on the part of sellers to list with the real estate agent who gives them the promise of the highest selling price.

When homes are overpriced, they
• Stay on the market longer
• May not sell

2. Sellers Set an Unrealistic Price for Emotional Reasons
These sellers believe their home is worth every penny of their asking price for personal reasons. Sometimes they lose their objectivity and focus on features that seem more valuable to them (rather than to the buyer). For example, the suede wall-covering in the master bedroom may not appeal to potential buyers.

Additionally, some sellers, anticipating reticence to buy, feel it’s a good idea to leave a little “negotiating” room in the asking price.

3. Sellers Price their Home at Fair Market Value
These sellers carefully and realistically study other homes for sale, and may consult with a real estate professional. They price their home competitively, and it usually sells quickly at (or very near) the asking price.

4. Sellers are Motivated to Sell
When sellers want a fast sale, they price their home below fair market value. These homes usually sell right away, at or above the listed price. There are usually competing offers.

This free report is courtesy of:
Alex M. Macale, Century21 Leading Edge Realty Inc.
Tel.: (416) 803-5021 Email: alex.macale@century21.ca

We’ll help you determine the fair market price for any home. Our job is to ensure that you have the tools and information you need to make an informed decision. We’ll help you every step of the way.