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Archive for September, 2008

11th Annual Burlington Regional Home Show

Tue, 30th September, 2008 - Posted by Sean Kavanagh - (0) Comment

If you are looking to increase the value of your home but just don’t know what you can do, head to the Home Show.  You can ask experts about improvements, discover the lastest innovations and save money when you make purchases at the show!  Save on everything from window coverings to vacuums, from heating and air conditioning units to home security systems.  If you are thinking about renovating your kitchen, speak to an expert.  If you are looking to replace your windows, speak to an expert.  If you are looking to redecorate your interior, speak to an expert. 

All this at the Mainway Arena and Auditorium, 4015 Mainway at Walker’s Line, just north of the QEW.  Check your Burlington Post for a complete list of all exhibitors and to receive your free family pass.

Show Hours:

  1. Friday: 1:00pm to 9:0pm
  2. Saturday: 11:00am to 5:00pm
  3. Sunday: 11:00am to 5:00pm
Category : Burlington

Thinking of Selling?

Mon, 29th September, 2008 - Posted by Sean Kavanagh - (0) Comment

Getting the most money for your house in the quickest possible time with the least amount of hassle is usually the goal…..well, I guess it’s always the goal!

The question then becomes ‘when is the best time to sell?’ The answer is not an easy one and is often determined by your current lifestyle situation. A teacher may believe that selling in the summer is the best time to move as there is much more time to prepare. Other teachers may not want to waste their vacation on the stressful task of moving. Some people listen to what the economists say about the economy and base their relocation decisions on that, where others simply follow tradition and wait for the spring.

For those of us up in the Great White North, there are at least two factors that deter home owners from putting their houses on the market; the weather and holidays. Nobody wants to put their home on the market in the middle of a snow storm or on the 23rd of December! Parents faced with the stressful task of preparing their children for the return to school will not want to move on the Labour Day weekend and they will not want to relocate their kids in the middle of the school year. Depending on who you will be marketing your property to, you should consider all of these factors.

As most people wait for the spring to sell, it might be worth it to put your house on the market in the fall or winter when supply of available housing is low. With the large supply available in the spring, your property could get overlooked and it could stay on the market for longer than you would have initially intended it to. That being said, selling at a time when fewer buyers are in the market could also cause similar results.

It is also wise to monitor interest rates. Read financial publications, talk with your bank or mortgage broker OR call ME to discuss trends in the economy related to the fluctuation of interest rates. It is always wise to upgrade your home when the interest rates are lower than your current one. You can get your dream home, and due to the interest rate drop, your monthly payments won’t become too difficult to carry.

The Cost of Selling

Everyone thinks they live in the perfect home, but every home will need some work when you sell. Not every buyer is looking for a bathroom painted pumpkin orange! A home inspection will always reveal minor issues with the property that the potential buyer may not be willing to accept. It then becomes a question of pay for the repairs yourself, or lose the sale. Always remember to factor in all of the closing costs. As your realtor, I would be able to walk you through the steps to ensure you don’t have any huge, unmanageable surprises at the time of closing. Always check with your lender to be clear on any discharge fees that may be levied. And then there is always the sales commission to be paid as outlined in the listing agreement.

Should I Buy First Or Should I Sell First?

There is never a right answer for this one. You may find your dream home and just can’t let that opportunity pass you by. The risk then becomes carrying two mortgages if your sale doesn’t close around the same time as your purchase. The flip side to that would be selling without a new place to live. This could be fine if you don’t mind living in a hotel or with your in-laws until you find your new home! This, however, is a natural part of the process and the stress can be alleviated by educating yourself about the real estate market in your neighbourhood, as well as the market of where you wish to move into. Call me and I can clearly explain all of your options so you can make a decision that best suits your needs. If you find your dream home before you sell, you can always make the offer conditional on the sale of your house. If you don’t sell, you don’t have to buy. Also, if you sell before you buy, you can always make that transaction conditional on finding your new home. Either way, you can always protect yourself!

Thanks for reading. Please visit again soon for current and relevant information on the Burlington, Oakville and Toronto real estate markets. If there are any questions you may have regarding market conditions, mortgage rates, investing in real estate or how to sell your house for maximum profit, please don’t hesitate to call or email me with whatever is on your mind.

Category : Sellers

Investing in Costa Rica!

Sun, 28th September, 2008 - Posted by Sean Kavanagh - (0) Comment

Have you ever thought about buying property in a foreign country but haven’t pursued it because you just didn’t know where to begin? Do you think that buying ocean view property in a tropical country is only for the wealthy? Let me help demystify the buying process and set you on the way towards realizing your tropical dream.

I, partnering with sales representatives residing in Costa Rica, provide you with all the advice you will need to be comfortable with your purchase. Our goal is to listen to what you want and provide the most optimal matches for you to choose from. We assist you in all negotiations and safeguard your interests throughout the legal process. We are with you at every step of the way and we haven’t done our job until you are 100% satisfied with our service.

It is important to know that there is still an abundance of affordable investment property that you can own with full title. There is no need to have a Costa Rican co-signer to acquire property as is the case when investing in a number of other foreign destinations. It is also important to know that property is available to suit all budgets. You would be surprised to how little you need to buy land in the “Rich Coast.”

All this information PLUS a video presentation is just a phone call or email away. I would love the opportunity to sit down with you to examine all of your options and to educate you on all facets of the Costa Rican investment process.

Call today and get one step closer to your dream! 

Thanks for reading. Please visit again soon for current and relevant information on the Burlington, Oakville and Toronto real estate markets. If there are any questions you may have regarding market conditions, mortgage rates, investing in real estate or how to sell your house for maximum profit, please don’t hesitate to call or email me with whatever is on your mind.

Category : Real Estate

What should I do to my property before I list it for sale?

Sat, 27th September, 2008 - Posted by Sean Kavanagh - (0) Comment

• Wash walls, ceilings, and baseboards. Consider painting with light, neutral colours. Repair cracks.
• Tighten loose knobs, towel racks, switch plates, and outlet covers.
• Fix tight doors and windows, squeaky floorboards and loose stair banisters.
• Clean and repair caulking around tubs and sinks. Fix leaky faucets and remove water stains.
• Clean and organize the basement and attic (this is a good opportunity to throw out all the bits and pieces you don’t want to move.)
• Organize closets. Get rid of the clutter. Limit the number of items stored overhead or on the floor.
• Clean out kitchen cabinets, and remove clutter from countertops.
• Clean drapes, blinds and curtains. Shampoo carpets and wax floors.
• If smokers live in the house or there are pets, use odour cleansers to keep the air fresh.
• Arrange furniture to make rooms appear as spacious as possible.
• Remove all fixtures you intend to take with you.
• Keep grass well maintained and remove all garbage from the property.

For a personal consultation on how to dress up your house for a quick sale and to get you the most money at the time of sale, contact me at 905-220-9198 or at sean.kavanagh@century21.ca.

Thanks for reading. Please visit again soon for current and relevant information on the Burlington, Oakville and Toronto real estate markets. If there are any questions you may have regarding market conditions, mortgage rates, investing in real estate or how to sell your house for maximum profit, please don’t hesitate to call or email me with whatever is on your mind.

Category : Sellers

How long will it take you to sell my house?

Fri, 26th September, 2008 - Posted by Sean Kavanagh - (0) Comment

That answer is a difficult one to answer as there are many factors, often ones beyond our control, which will contribute to the length of time your house stays on the market. High interest rates will cause potential buyers to wait for more favourable conditions before they choose to buy. This is just one of the many factors that will affect the length of time it takes for us to sell your house.

Timing: As with a good joke, cooking thanksgiving dinner or hitting a baseball, timing is everything. Basic economical supply and demand principles greatly affect real estate markets. If you put your house on the market when the supply in your area is high, it will likely take longer to sell your house. When you decide it’s the right time to sell, you must then look at who else is selling at that time. This will be your competition.

Competition: Sales representatives look at comparable properties to establish where they place a house in the market. Potential buyers, who come to view your house, are also going around the neighbourhood viewing all other houses of comparable value. So, what have you done to your house to put it at the top of the heap? Be sure you prepare your house before it goes to market and blast your competition out of the water so it leaves a lasting impression with the buyers.

Price: If we have a clear understanding of the current market conditions, and we know our competition, then pricing your house shouldn’t pose much of a problem. Price is only what a buyer is willing to pay for the property. Buyers have looked at the other houses in the neighbourhood and will determine what they are willing to pay. If your expectations are vastly different from what the buyer is willing to pay, you will watch neighbouring houses throw up SOLD signs while your house sits collecting dust. Get your sales representative to put together a comprehensive comparative market analysis and read it until you thoroughly understand the contents. You will then understand what all other buyers know when they begin their property search. Know your competition and price to sell!

The Property: What impression will be left with the buyer if they view your house and find crayon murals all over the walls in the great room? What would they think of loose doorknobs at the entrance to the master bedroom? How about mouldy caulking lining the tub in the bathroom? Well, the answer should be clear and the solution simple! Either spend some money to fix up the areas of concern or be prepared to receive offers well below your list price….or worse, receive no offers at all! Don’t be afraid to spend a little to get a lot more in return. If you do nothing………be prepared for nothing.

Financing: As mentioned in the introduction, the economy and the cost of borrowing money will prove significant in relation to the time it will take to sell your house. The list price of a home becomes less of an issue as interest rates rise. If a buyer is unable to find terms they can afford, they won’t be buying. Unfortunately, the national economy and lender’s interest rates are beyond the scope of our control and we sometimes just have to be patient during these times.

Marketing: This is where we have all the control! Every sales representative develops a marketing plan (or at least we hope so) that factors in everything mentioned above and sets out a course of action to sell your house at the best possible price (as determined by the present market), in the shortest period of time with the least inconvenience to you. When you interview sales representatives for your business, be sure to pay special attention to this portion of their presentation. This will ultimately determine how long it will take to sell your house.

For a free home evaluation, competitive market analysis or just a chat about Real Estate in your area, give me a call or send me an email so we can set up a time to meet. Keep visiting my website as I will continually be updating it with information I hope you find useful. If there is a topic you would like to read about, send me a quick message and I’ll be sure to write a post on that topic shortly after receiving your request.

Thanks for reading. Please visit again soon for current and relevant information on the Burlington, Oakville and Toronto real estate markets. If there are any questions you may have regarding market conditions, mortgage rates, investing in real estate or how to sell your house for maximum profit, please don’t hesitate to call or email me with whatever is on your mind.

Category : Sellers

Problems with Overpricing

Wed, 24th September, 2008 - Posted by Sean Kavanagh - (0) Comment

When you sit down to decide what price you should list your property at, there are a few questions you need to ask yourself.

How did you come up with that number? Is that price going to get my home sold quickly, with maximum profit? If you simply checked MLS prices to determine where you want your property priced at, you could be making a few costly errors:

1) Without having a sales representative complete a comprehensive market evaluation of your property, you may not be considering all of the factors that help to determine price.

2) Remember! MLS only displays list prices. You should always base your price on properties that have already been sold…..not on houses that are currently for sale.

Here are a few other potential problems that can occur if you overprice your home:
• You will make other similar properties look like a bargain. You are effectively helping to sell all other houses…except your own!

• Where properly priced houses will sell in a reasonable amount of time, your overpriced property will sit on the market collecting dust.

• Sales representatives will avoid showing your house to potential qualified buyers. With a surplus of houses on the market, it won’t be worth their time showing clients overpriced houses.

• You could create a negative impression of the property before people even have a chance to step inside.

• With the house staying on the market for longer than desired, you could end up having to accept less money than if you were to price it properly in the first place. The longer your house stays on the market, the more chance it will be deemed stale or riddled with problems. This is a downward spiral you don’t want to find yourself in.

Here are a few factors that should not affect your asking price:

The original cost of the property. As price is determined by current market conditions, you can’t consider what you originally paid for the house.

Your emotional attachment to the house. Your emotions have no affect on what a buyer is willing to pay.

The opinion of friends, family or neighbours. Sales representatives can assist you in understanding current market conditions and use the prices of recently sold properties to determine the most appropriate price for your home.

If you are considering selling your house, give me a call for a free market evaluation. We’ll look at recently sold properties and current market conditions to determine a price that will have your house sold quickly while yielding maximum profits.

Thanks for reading. Please visit again soon for current and relevant information on the Burlington, Oakville and Toronto real estate markets. If there are any questions you may have regarding market conditions, mortgage rates, investing in real estate or how to sell your house for maximum profit, please don’t hesitate to call or email me with whatever is on your mind.

Category : Sellers

10 biggest mistakes a seller can make!

Wed, 24th September, 2008 - Posted by Sean Kavanagh - (0) Comment

  1. Wrong Price: Price is ALWAYS determined by what the market dictates in comparison to all other properties sold of similar value. Sales representatives complete market evaluations on every home to ensure each house is priced properly. If you disregard that advice and feel adamant about setting the price high, be prepared for the house to sit on the market while all the other similar properties get scoped up. After looking at your ‘over-priced’ property, all the other houses will seem like a great bargain that can’t be passed up. Your neighbours will thank you.
  2. As-Is Condition: Buyers walk through houses with a calculator and immediately begin hitting the subtract button with every flaw they find. Before the house goes to market, spend a few extra dollars to bring up the perceived value of the house. A $500 paint job could yield a $1000 increase to your list price, where an unpainted house will result in at least a $1000 reduction.
  3. No Curb Appeal: As in dating or job interviews, first impressions are lasting. Houses are often dismissed before the potential buyer has even stepped onto the property. Have a look at what your neighbours have done to improve the look of your house from the street.
  4. Leave the Cleaning for the Buyers: Clean, Clean, Clean! If you don’t have the time, hire professional cleaners to come in and give your house a thorough cleaning. This is the easiest thing to do, but most often forgotten. Buying a house is always more about ‘feeling’ than it is about the actual house. Create a positive ‘feeling’ for the buyer by showing a clean house.
  5. Over-Improving: It is important to make improvements, but a paint job is drastically different from renovating a bathroom. Buyers rarely receive 100% return on home improvements. The Law of Diminishing Returns states that improvements will yield greater returns up to a certain point. Beyond that point, no additional value is added which means the improvements are actually creating a loss in value in relation to the money invested. Don’t spend too much on your improvements before putting the house on the market. Buyers will think the price is reflective of you trying to recover the costs of those lavish improvements.
  6. FSBO (For Sale By Owner): For those who believe they can sell their house on their own, do yourself a favour and at least interview a few sales representatives so you know what services you will be missing out on when you go it alone! Be prepared to receive lower offer prices as well as having your house sit on the market for longer periods of time. Please call me so I can go over the pros and cons of selling on your own.
  7. Not Leaving the House for Viewings: It is not necessary to leave your house when potential buyers come to visit, but it is strongly recommended that you do. It is hard for buyers to imagine themselves living in a home when the current owners are still in the house. It is very distracting for the buyers as they will be uncomfortable by your presence. They will often leave such viewings without thoroughly evaluating the house. Something they would have done if you were not there.
  8. Restricting Viewing Times: If it is too inconvenient for potential buyers to view your house, people won’t bother coming. There are plenty of properties on the market and yours will be skipped if the showing times are too restrictive.
  9. Fighting for Every Last Dollar: A real estate transaction should be viewed as a peaceful negotiation, not a 12 round heavyweight fight. Selling and buying real estate is a very emotional process and quickly become a negative experience if not kept in perspective. Sellers tend to start high, buyers offer low and the goal is to come to a happy middle ground. It is important to understand that if your house is priced appropriately, there should only be approximately 5% room for negotiation anyway.
  10. Don’t Respond Quickly to Buyers Offers: The longer you wait to reply to a buyers offer, the more time you give the buyer to think about it and back out of the deal. Don’t lose a transaction due to stalling.

If you have any questions on how to avoid all these potential pitfalls when selling a house, I’d love the opportunity to meet with you to discuss it further.

Thanks for reading. Please visit again soon for current and relevant information on the Burlington, Oakville and Toronto real estate markets. If there are any questions you may have regarding market conditions, mortgage rates, investing in real estate or how to sell your house for maximum profit, please don’t hesitate to call or email me with whatever is on your mind.

Category : Sellers
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