What Should I Offer In a Bidding War?

 This is the question of the day in Southern Ontario.
What to offer when you are in competition for a property you really want.  questions answered image
REALTORS(r) sometimes have formulas that vary from market to market. For example,  X amount for every offer in the competition or a certain percentage for every offer in the mix.
It’s something but its not full proof by any means.  In a more normal balanced market we can look at the comparable properties that have recently sold but even that is not full proof in this type of market.
The lack of balance in the supply and demand is throwing all logic out the window.  The bidding war seems to be more impacted by where the other Buyers are coming from ( for example from a higher priced market so everything looks like a bargin).  Also on how many times the other Buyers have lost in competition.  Some get so fed up that they go all in on one they really want and often pay tens of thousands of dollars more than the next best bid.  All information you can not get beforehand.
My best advice is to put in an offer at a price that if you lose and are told it was close you will say “that’s okay, that’s what I was willing to pay” or if you win you don’t say, “oh no, I over paid”.  That is your sweet spot and one only you can determine.
If I figure out the formula, I’ll let you know.                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Wish I had a crystal ball! 
crystal_ball

When you only call the Listing Agent to view properties

There are some Buyers out there who will say they only call the listing agents to view properties they have found themselves online or by driving around looking for signs.  This makes no sense to me.  Real Estate services are the only services I can think of where the buyer gets “free” professional services and the someone else pays for them.  The fiduciary duties are owed to the buyer if he/she enters into a Buyer Representation Agreement (BRA) with an agent.  The agency relationship is with the Brokerage.  Without the Agency Agreement you are a CUSTOMER not a CLIENT.

How do you create this agency relationship you might be wondering.  What is the consideration you owe? You owe loyalty.  You pay nothing as long as you are not in breach of your agreement with the Brokerage.

There are three parameters to the agreement.

Time – length of the contract

Geography – the areas it includes

Type – What does it include? Residential, commercial etc.

Some Buyers believe they will get a better chance at “winning” the property in bidding war if they write an offer with the Listing agent, but that is very dollarsignrarely the case in spite of some of the talk out there.  The duty of the Listing Brokerage is to expose the property to the market and try to get the most favourable agreement for the Seller based on their wants and needs.buyer seller image

We can have a Multiple Representation situation where the Sellers REALTOR(r) represents both parties and that is disclosed to both the Seller and the Buyer.

There are specific guidelines we must follow in these cases.  Some Buyers think that the listing agent can then reduce their commission since they are getting “both ends” and make their offer more attractive.  Yes, that can be done but it must be disclosed to all other REALTORS(r) bringing an offer and in turn their Buyers.

The rules are in place to keep things fair and equitable.  night skyline

The best thing you can do is find a REALTOR(r) you connect with and trust and work as a team to find a home.  It is extremely difficult for us out there right now when dealing with a Buyer. It is almost impossible for a Buyer on their own.

 

Good luck and don’t get discouraged.  Just always take your best shot!

 

 

 

 

 

Hamilton is the Coolest!

“We’ve tipped” says successful award winning developer in Hamilton, Steve Kulakowsky from the Core Urban Inc. We are past the tipping point says Steve. I would agree.  It’s no longer “change is coming” or “we have loads of potential”. It is here!

Watch the tour video here.

Increase in house prices averaging 10% for 2015, driven primarily by the influx of “out of towners” loving the affordability. The in-filling and intercity development and promises of better public transit.  Initiatives like Sobi bike sharing. The increase in concepts like work space sharing in amazing spaces like The Cotton Factory. Offering event space rental as well.

The word is out and Hamilton is The Coolest!  Watch more  Hamilton video’s here.

Want to know more about opportunities in #Hamilton.  Contact me and get in on the action in #HamOnt.  Call or text 905-537-6005

 

 

 

Why Torontonians Are Moving to Hamilton

At first blush it is all about AFFORDABILITY but delve a little deeper and find out that the THE SECRET IS OUT. Hamilton, Ontario is an awesome place to live, learn, work and play.

Some of the reasons:

Nature and the privilege of being between a great lake and the Niagara Escarpment. Creating the Waterfall Capital of the World. Minutes from rich farm land and Wine Country boasting award winning wines and ice wines.2015-04-17 09.14.30

Communities with pride of ownership, tree lined streets and the sounds of children playing. Family friendly city with many activities, festivals, green-space and bike/walking trails.

Location, Location, Location. Check out this graph and page by Hamilton Economic Development.

Historic Neighbourhoods with a respect for architecture. Developers who have a respect for history.

Bike Sharing program, amazing farmer’s market and the Tiger Cats!

Strong, growing  Arts, Music and Theatre community. Including the renowned Theatre Aquarius.  An amazing entertainment venue that is praised by the artists appearing there for it’s acousti2014-08-08 22.04.12cs and layout – Hamilton Place. Check out the Trip Advisor reviews.2015-04-29 21.57.03

A growing and improving night life. Diverse culinary options – some truly fabulous restaurants . This list is from 2014.  I could add some to that list including Lake Road on James North. Full disclosure, my children work there.  Contact me and ask me about it. Food is wonderful.

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Number one employer is the Health Care including education, research and hospitals. Fabulous universities and colleges.  This  page listing the schools says it best.

Innovation and creativity. Known as The AMBITIOUS CITY.  A city of innovators.

I love my city and I would love to talk to you about making a move to Hamilton.

Check out these Hamilton videos, especially love the award winning video “The Ambitious City.  I believe it speaks well to Hamilton’s Heart and grit.

 

Contact me to find out more.  I’m here to help!

 

 

 

 

 

I Want To Buy a Home in the Hamilton area. Where Do I Begin?

You begin with financing. I work with a team of trusted professionals to assist and support my clients. So if you are in the Hamilton area, you should start with a call to me or your favourite REALTOR® who can provide you with the proper contacts. If you are not in the area, I have made many great Real Estate contacts outside of the GHA that I can recommend to you.

It is rather easy and efficient when you have guidance. I believe in being involved from A to Z . I can provide mortgage specialists, inspectors, lawyers and other contractors you may need.  I provide a professional photographer if you are selling a home and as well as my staging advice, and a professional if needed.

Once you’ve received the information from a mortgage person, the process can begin.  I would also provide a thorough evaluation on any existing owned home. Then set up a search of the entire MLS of properties that meet your needs and price range.  You would give me feedback on the properties sent. This is vital to get us on the same page. For me to get “inside your head” and figure out your “must have’s” and your ” I want’s”.

Then comes the Education Day home viewings. We aren’t necessarily expecting to find “the” house this visit especially since many of the properties will have been on the market for a while. So not necessarily the cream of the crop. A great day to get the conversation going. A great way to bring out important questions and to focus on what you are looking for.

Moving forward I am “on it” daily until that perfect home for you does come along. I’ll save the information on the offer process and after the offer for another time.

This is a method that has worked well for me and my clients. I find this step by step process can be completed for first time buyers often within 2 weeks depending on your availability. Longer if you have a home to sell of course. My goal is to save you time and aggravation while finding your perfect home at the best price and educating you on all aspects.

Trust a professional and take your first step by contacting me and let me guide you throughrealtors_know_real_estate_ this process of finding your dream home!

Expect More, Get More!

www.HamiltonRealEstateSales.com

Wondering If You Are Over Paying For Your Home in Hamilton, Ontario?

Hamilton’s Real Estate market is healthy and strong and on a huge upturn, just trying to catch up you might say. I see it increasing at least over the next few years.  Having said that, I don’t have a crystal ball…..gosh I wish I did.  There are always unforeseen things that impact our local markets.  Global events, mortgage rule changes, economic events, local events to mention a few.

Let’s talk about spikes.dollarsign

Even in the rising graph there can be spikes.

As a Buyer, I caution you to be careful in a spike.  These can be influenced by the time of year but lately it seems to be more about supply and demand.  Of course the supply and demand issue is partially influenced by time of year.  Lately in Hamilton we have had a shortage of homes to sell to an extreme and I believe we have been in one of those spikes.  Depending on your urgency to buy you may want to adjust your timeline even if just by a few weeks.  Timing is everything.  However, be careful not to wait to long or you can see the prices rise before your very eyes.

If you are a Seller, waiting too long could mean lost dollars if you end up in the fray with other Sellers putting their homes on the market. This could negatively impact the supply and demand from your perspective.  Waiting to get the landscaping done might be a costly decision. Timing IS everything.

Interesting to go back and read this article in The Hamilton Spectator from 2011.  The word definitely has gotten out. I believe Hamilton still has some catching up to do and is thriving and growing. DowntownHamilton

Hamilton is a pretty safe investment and in fact a very smart one in my opinion.

Ask your Hamilton area Real Estate professional for advice on Real Estate decisions in Hamilton.  There are many factors that should be considered as you make decisions regarding your biggest or one of your biggest assets or largest purchases of your life.

Contact me for more information at 905-574-4600, toll free 1-877-574-4601 or direct 905-537-6005.

Expect More, Get More!

What’s An ELF? Not Santa’s Helper in the Real Estate World

Clients often ask me, “what’s elf’s?”  Well in the Real Estate world it is not Santa’s little helper but an acronym for Electrical Light Fixture.  Unfortunately, there is a lot of information to give and a limited number of characters allowed. We need room for those descriptive words to paint a picture for you, the buying public.

Here are a few more to help clarify.light

RSA – Room sizes approximate
Reno’d – Renovated
SPIS – Seller Property Information Statement (this requires a whole blog on its own, ask me about it)
F/P – Fireplace
B/I – Built-in
pc – piece as in bathrooms
SS – Stainless Steelchandelier
W/ – With
Sep – Separate
cvac – Central vacuum
TLC – Tender Loving Care
Base – Basement
Prof – Professionally
Hrdwd – Hardwood
GDO – Garage door opener

Let me help you interpret the jargon.  There is a lot said in the remarks of a listing by what is not said and the choice of words used.  Maybe my next blog should be on how to interpret what is not said in a listing remarks section.  Stay tuned.

Contact me with any questions you have or for any assistance with your Real Estate needs.

EXPECT MORE, GET MORE!

I’m Trying to Buy a Home In Hamilton!! HELP

As promised here is some advice on buying a home in Hamilton during this incredible booming market.

First find a Realtor® you trust and feel comfortable with and sign a Buyer Representation Agreement. Make sure someone is actively searching for you and is “on it”.  If you attempt to search yourself, you will always be a step behind.  It’s tough for us and we get the information the instant it is uploaded to our Association.

Second, set your search up slightly below where you qualify in this market.  Normally we would search just above where you qualify knowing that the homes will sell slightly below asking.  However, in this market in Hamilton it has become “normal” to sell over asking so this gives you some wiggle room to 2014-07-18 14.12.56offer over asking if you are not looking at your max.

Third, don’t be afraid of competition.  Look at the comparable sold properties with your agent and decide what you feel the house is worth.  There are some who strategically under price their listings so don’t get too caught up on the listing price.  What is the value?  More importantly, what is the value to you?  Does it meet your needs?  What are your short and long-term goals related to real estate? What about the area.  Are there any external factors that affect the value beyond the regular increase in the market?  What is happening there?

What is the magic number in competition?  That is always changing and is different in every scenario.  A question I would ask you after looking at the comparable properties that are similar and have recently sold is; What is the number that you will be okay with if you lose by a little and if you win, you won’t feel you overpaid?  That is the magic number because it’s the one you will be comfortable with win or lose.

I know it is extremely frustrating but this is happening because you are in the hottest market in Canada and there is no sign of that changing. Hamilton is an excellent place to buy and a great investment.

Lastly, don’t let you emotions get the best of you.  Find a Realtor® you trust and have faith.  It is a difficult process but a worthwhile one and the rewards can be fantastic!

For more information on Hamilton and Real Estate in Hamilton, visit my website at www.HamiltonRealEstateSales.com and contact me at 905-574-4600.

Hamilton, Ontario | Hottest Real Estate Market in Canada

Initial reaction, awesome!  Not so if you are a prospective buyer trying to purchase Real Estate in Hamilton. Hamilton’s market is booming due to affordability.  We’re just trying to catch up. We are seeing a huge influx of buyers from the GTA.  Then of course there is our diversification, growing grassroots arts 2014-07-15 16.49.20-1and music community, loads of green space, trails and waterfalls, improved commuting options and just the fact that we are getting on the map.  TheHamilton%20Ontario%20Skyline best kept secret is no more, the word is out.  A strong commitment by city and developers to urban revitalization.  Hamilton is a fabulous place to live, work, learn and play and a great place to raise a family. A great place to invest with no sign of slowing down.  Continue reading Hamilton, Ontario | Hottest Real Estate Market in Canada

Hamilton, Ontario | A Great Place to Raise a Family

The first European settlers came to this area around the time of the American Revolution and the War of 1812.  In 1815, after the war George Hamilton settled here and created a town site. Hamilton became a city in 1846.

Hamilton became a city of heavy industry and was a hot bed of working-class activism.  In 1872 it was a strong voice encouraging the maximum nine hour work day.  Hamilton became an imprtant city providing iron and steel.  During the First World War Hamilton boomed as the demand for steel, arms, munitions and testiles increased.  This created a building boom.  However, in the 1930’s Hamilton was greatly affected by the Great Depression.  The Second World War created a turn around in Hamilton’s economy but cost the city dearly in lost lives of young men at Dieppe.

Hamilton has been nicknamed Steeltown, Ambitious City, The Hammer, Hammertown, and the Lunch Bucket City all due to Hamilton’s history as a major steel producing industrial city.

Things have changed and today different aspects of Health Care have taken over as the number one employer in Hamilton.  There has also been extensive growth in the areas of Education, Government Services and Technology as well as Agriculture/Food Processing.

It is very exciting for me to watch the evolution of this beautiful waterfront city as we change and re-define ourselves.  All the while we are still enjoying a vibrant manufacturing and transportation sector.

What an incredible location we have in the “Golden Horseshoe“.  We have bragging rights as “The Waterfall Capital of the World“.  Beautifully situated between Lake Ontario and the Niagara Escarpment and extending over the escarpment.

Hamilton has a population of over 500,000 people and a stable economy and Real Estate Market.  In 2011 Hamilton was ranked by the Real Estate Investment Network of Canada as the best place to invest in over the next five years and the third best in all of Canada.  The FDI Magazine a publication of the Financial Times ranked Hamilton in third place of the large North American cities for quality of life.

Hamilton boasts a diverse community rich in culture, history and incredible architecture.  Hamilton is also a city with a fast growing vibrant community in the arts, including music, theatre and art.  If this is of interest you won’t want to miss the Art Crawls!

We are a city with a desire to grow and improve and a wonderful city to raise a family.

Contact me for more information on Hamilton and on the Real Estate Market in Hamilton, Ontario

I Love my city!