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The Value of a Realtor – Do You Really Save Money Selling On Your Own?

Thu, 11th August, 2011 - Posted by Sean Kavanagh | Please Comment

Every time we encounter a HOT real estate market, we witness the emergence of alternative methods to buy and sell property. However, even in the hottest markets, more than 90% of Canadians still choose to enlist the services of a professional real estate agent to sell their homes.

‘For Sale By Owner’ companies advertise a unique system for selling real estate promising thousands of dollars in saved commissions. They will tell you the process will be stress free (which it isn’t), you will save tons of money (which is not always the case) and that you don’t have to pay commissions (which is never true if an agent brings the buyer to your home). The reality is that you will most likely have to pay 2.5% commission to an agent who is out actively searching for properties for his client. This results in a 2.5% savings to the seller. Calculating the time and expense necessary to market a home properly, the stress of walking strangers through your home, and the uncomfortable situation of having to negotiate the sale price of the home, do you really save any money? Also, untrained real estate negotiators will rarely get top dollar for their home as they do not have all of the information at their disposal to back up their reasons for keeping the price where it should be sold at.

If it was that easy, wouldn’t more people be doing it? What if I told you that even the owner and founder of ‘ForSaleByOwner.com’ couldn’t sell his property on his own and had to list with an agent? Not only could this guy not sell it on his own, when he enlisted the services of a real estate professional, he sold for $150,000 over what he originally listed it for. The ‘unique selling system’ they are selling you is unique in the fact that you will most likely end up hiring a real estate professional to do the selling for you.

Also, a large portion of the 10% who attempt it on their own, end up hiring a real estate professional as it is not as easy as they had originally thought, considerably more stress then they had expected, and finally found the value in hiring a real estate professional to get the job done.

It should also be noted that these companies that help people sell properties on their own are not regulated and not licensed to sell real estate. Ask yourself if you would hire someone with no experience and hire a company that is not regulated to manage the sale of your largest financial investment? Would you take your car to a mechanic that wasn’t licensed to fix your car? Would you hold your life savings in an unregulated bank? Would you seek legal advice from your cousin Billy Jim Bob who has not passed his bar exam but has ‘a pretty good idea of how this law stuff works’? It is often attractive to look at the cheaper option, but as in most cases, people always know that you get what you pay for.

Real estate professionals are far from perfect, but if you do your research and interview carefully, you will find one that will help guide you through the difficult process of drafting a contract and negotiating a contract. You will have someone on your side who will answer your phone calls when everyone else is gone for the day. You will have a trusted partner who is obligated by law to serve your best interests. You will have an expert who is qualified, educated and regulated to help protect the largest investment your family will ever make. And if you are still not sure about the benefits of hiring a realtor, just ask the owner of ‘ForSaleByOwner.com’.

To discuss your real estate options, please email me at sean.kavanagh@century21.ca or visit www.seansells.ca for mor information about buying or selling real estate.

Category: Burlington / Market Updates / Real Estate

5 Steps to Keep Fence Posts from Rotting – By Sean Kavanagh

Tue, 8th April, 2014 - Posted by Sean Kavanagh | Please Comment

When buyers purchase a property, home inspections often reveal deficiencies in wood fencing, more specifically, rotting posts. If your cedar fence posts are rotting at the bottom, you need to replace them. The rot probably developed because the posts were installed improperly. When you are installing a fence, be sure the posts are put in properly to ensure the fence has a long life. Here are a few things you can do to ensure you have a strong and stable fence simply by installing the posts correctly.

Cedar has a reputation for durability, but unless a few guidelines are followed, cedar posts can fail in as few as five years. Three factors contribute to this early failure: poor drainage, low-quality wood and poor protection against insect damage. To get the most out of your new posts, here are five things you can do:

1. Soak the bottom of the posts in a wood preservative containing copper napthanate, such as Cuprinol. Available at some paint stores and home centers, this wood treatment is specifically designed for in-ground applications.

2. Place about 6 in. of aggregate in the bottom of the posthole to allow for drainage. The bottom of the post should extend a few inches into the aggregate as shown.

3. Pour the concrete so that it’s above the soil level. Trowel the top smooth and slope it so that water runs away from the post.

4. Apply high-quality exterior acrylic latex caulk, or silicone specifically designed to adhere to concrete, at the base of the post. This will seal the gap between the concrete and post that’s caused by freeze/thaw cycles.

5. Don’t use posts that contain sapwood. Sapwood is lighter in color (usually yellow) than heartwood, which is dark. Instead, use heartwood, because it’s denser and more insect-resistant.
* The Family Handyman

Category: Burlington / Burlington Real Estate / Home Improvements / Home for Sale Burlington / Home for Sale Hamilton / Home for Sale Oakville / Home for Sale Toronto / Real Estate

2433 Redfern Road for sale – $514,000 – by Sean Kavanagh

Thu, 3rd April, 2014 - Posted by Sean Kavanagh | Please Comment

5 Bedroom/3 Bath home sits on a quiet court in South Burlington. Remodeled eat-in kitchen overlooking spacious family room. Walkout to backyard with deck, in-ground pool and hot tub. Finished basement with 5th bedroom and newly remodeled full bath. Hardwood throughout, A/C and Furnace(05), Roof(06). Steps to the Burlington Mall and minutes from the QEW.

CLICK HERE for the virtual tour

Category: Burlington Real Estate / Featured / Home for Sale Burlington / Real Estate

‘Attention to details, honesty, perseverance, overall effort, solid real estate agent and a great person’ – His words, not mine!

Sat, 8th March, 2014 - Posted by Sean Kavanagh | Please Comment

As a first time home buyer I was looking for a real estate agent that would give it to me straight, while keeping my best interests in mind – Sean did just that. He is the ideal professional; business oriented, but at the same time very personable, which made me feel more like a friend than a client. I worked with Sean for approximately four months. I really appreciated the emailed listings, his reliable nature when it came to scheduling home visits, and his consistent work to ensure that I was protected in my home purchase. His attention to details, honesty, perseverance, and overall effort is what made him stand out to me as a solid real estate agent, and most importantly a great person. Our business partnership ended months ago, but Sean is still available when I ask him for his advice. Sean’s a fantastic real estate agent and great friend.


Brian Farnsworth

Category: Burlington / Real Estate / Testimonials

‘I thoroughly appreciate the top notch level of support and advice’ – His words, not mine

Sat, 8th March, 2014 - Posted by Sean Kavanagh | Please Comment

I had the privilege of working with Sean during my recent housing search and couldn’t be happier with the unparalleled level of service that he provided to me from the get-go and onwards. He knows the market extremely well and did a tremendous job of (patiently) showing me as many properties as I wanted to see, while answering my millions of questions and providing me with comparative market/property data to help put things in perspective.

The professionalism and diligence that Sean displayed at all times helped to make the home buying process that much more comfortable, as he was always quick to follow up and follow through on any given inquiry and/or request. I thoroughly appreciate the top notch level of support and advice provided and would highly recommend him to anyone looking for someone who goes above and beyond in helping you to buy and/or sell your home.


Rob Hughes

Category: Burlington / Real Estate / Testimonials

First Time Buyers – Saving for your downpayment – By Sean Kavanagh

Mon, 3rd March, 2014 - Posted by Sean Kavanagh | Please Comment

For many first-time homebuyers, saving the 5 per cent downpayment is one of the biggest obstacles to home ownership, especially if you’re paying rent, paying down student loans, and trying to live a life. Here are some programs and tips that can give your downpayment a boost – to get you into your home faster:

1. The federal Home Buyers’ Program (HBP) lets first-time homebuyers withdraw up to $25,000 each (or $50,000 for a couple) tax-free from their RRSPs. You’ll need to pay those funds back, of course, on a repayment plan.

2. A financial gift from a parent or blood relative can be used as a downpayment. You’ll need to document in writing that the funds are a gift and that you are not required to pay the money back at any time.

3. A parent or grandparent could also provide a loan with a modest interest rate and reasonable expectations for loan repayment. Or you could look at borrowing the downpayment through a loan or unsecured line of credit.

4. If your dream home is out of reach, look for a starter home. Use today’s low interest rates to start hammering down your mortgage, then watch for the opportunity to get the home of your dreams – using the equity and credit rating you’ve been building!

If you are a first time buyer looking to jump on the property ladder but may need some help structuring a plan that will lead to home ownership, I am always available to meet for a personal consultation. Give me a call or send me an email and I would be happy to sit down with you to demystify the process.

Category: Burlington / Burlington Real Estate / Buyers / Home for Sale Burlington

Day 53 of 365 Things to do in Burlington – Bronte Creek Provincial Park’s 17th Annual Maple Syrup Festival

Fri, 28th February, 2014 - Posted by Sean Kavanagh | Please Comment

Bronte Creek Provincial Park’s 17th Annual Maple Syrup Festival

Fresh Ontario maple syrup has been the focus of Bronte Creek Provincial Park’s Annual Maple Syrup Festival since 1998.

“We are so excited to be partnering with the Friends of Bronte Creek Park who will be bringing a few new attractions to our festival.” Says Festival Coordinator Andrew Cirtwill. “You now have 4 more reasons to visit the already fantastic Maple Syrup Festival:
1. Maple Kettle Corn*
2. Maple Cotton Candy*
3. Hot Apple Cider*
4. Pony Rides*

Cirtwill adds “We were identified as one of the top Festivals in all of Ontario in 2013 and now with the help of our Friends we hope to.”

The Maple Syrup Festival in Bronte Creek Provincial Park kicks off this Saturday at 9:30am and is open to the public from 9:30am to 3:00pm every weekend in March and from 9:30am to 3:00pm daily through the March Break.

It is too cold for the sap to run, but they are still offering 2-3 hours of activities for the whole family to enjoy including hot pancake meals and fresh taffy. Enjoy a guided tour of the Maple Lane, where 1890s costumed interpreters demonstrate how to tap maple trees, make maple syrup and maple sugar. You can even pick up a bottle of maple syrup to take home with you. Hop on a wagon that will take you to a heated pancake house where you can enjoy fresh, hot pancakes with pure maple syrup and sausages.

Due to this lovely weather we have been having, the ice skating rink will be extending their hours and remain open throughout the festival times. Treat your family to how outdoor skating used to be … Old-time skating: change into your skates beside the rink!

The rink is open daily 9:30am – ½ hour before dusk (weather permitting). Visitors are reminded that it is a good idea to call ahead to check condition before heading to the park. For more information on ice conditions, park events and facilities please call 905-827-6911.

Daily Vehicle Permits are $16.00/ vehicle or $53.82/ bus. For more information or to book your school field trip, call 905-827-6911 or visit www.BronteCreek.org.

Category: 365 Things to do in Burlington

Client Appreciation Wine and Cheese Extravaganza!

Thu, 13th February, 2014 - Posted by Sean Kavanagh | Please Comment

Client Appreciation Wine and Cheese Extravaganza!

Christmas is the time for giving and this year we were able to help a family have a Christmas they would never have imagined if it weren’t for the kindness and generosity of my wonderful clients. Every year I hold a ‘Client Appreciation Wine and Cheese Extravaganza’ to say thank you for trusting me with their business and referring my business to friends and family.

This year we wanted to do a little more! I decided to partner with the Compassion Society in Burlington to help out a family in need and provide them with a Christmas they wouldn’t forget. The Compassion Society connected me with a mother of 5 who was having trouble making ends meet, never mind being able to buy Christmas gifts for her 5 children and giving them a Christmas dinner. This woman didn’t know where to turn as her situation was quite dire. She is trying to raise 5 children on her own (17, 10, 9, 16 months and 2 months) as her husband recently left her and she is battling MS.

I decided to hold a casino night as part of this years Client Appreciation Party to raise money for this family. Over 50 clients came to the party and all helped to raise over $700 to help make a special Christmas for this family. Even the clients who didn’t know the first thing about blackjack joined in a few games to help out. It was a great evening in support of a great cause.

Weeks after Christmas I received this lovely note from the people at the Compassion Society:
“It wasn’t going to be much of a Christmas, and we got such a surprise!! I dont even know what to say. My kids are my whole life and someone cared about me and my kids!” I will never forget it!”

I read a quote that said ‘A man’s true wealth is the good he does in this world’ and Anne Frank once said, ‘You can never become poor from giving’. I think we all became a little wealthier that night.

Thank you again to all of my wonderful clients who came to the party and helped make it a huge success. I look forward to seeing you all again at the summer Client Appreciation Family BBQ!

Category: Burlington / Burlington Real Estate / Buyers / Real Estate
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