1. SELECTING THE RIGHT AGENT
There's no doubt about it, Your real estate agent has a huge impact on whether or not your home sells quickly, how much you get for your property, and your experience throughout the process.
So you’d be smart to ask, “Why should I sell with you?”
The best way for me to answer that is in a Personal Consultation meeting. I will meet you at your home, explain how I work with clients, and give you an initial idea of what to expect in terms of selling price and timing. This meeting will give us an opportunity to get to know each other; for me to explain my skills and experience; and for you to ask questions and see if there is a good fit. There is absolutely no obligation to proceed.
In the meantime, here are a few highlights of what to expect from me as your real estate agent:
- I listen carefully to your needs and goals, and keep those top-of-mind throughout the process.
- I’m accessible. I’m never more than a phone call or email away when you have questions or concerns.
- I provide you with practical suggestions on how to prepare your home so that it impresses and excites buyers.
- I recommend a listing price that’s the highest possible, without discouraging buyers.
- I prepare a game plan to promote your property to qualified buyers to ensure it sells.
- I prepare the promotional materials, including pictures and property description.
- I create an excitement in the marketplace about your listing. I tell my other private clients about it. I spread the word to other agents.
- I work with you to schedule showings and open houses, with as little inconvenience to you as possible.
- When someone makes an offer on your property, I skillfully negotiate so that you get the best price and terms.
- I take care of the dozens and dozens of details involved in selling a home, so you don’t have to worry about them.
- I help to ensure everything goes smoothly between signing the offer and closing the sale.
You want your house to sell quickly and for the highest price possible. You also want the process to be trouble-free. That’s what I do for clients every day!
To find out more about why you should sell with me, please call or email me to schedule a Personal Consultation.
Phone: 905 926 5554
2. SETTING YOUR PRICE
How do you determine your asking price?
You obviously want to sell your house for the highest possible price. You may even have a number in mind. But, how do you determine if that number is reasonable? You may be concerned that:
- If you list your house too high, few buyers, if any, will see it.
- If your price is too low, you could end up leaving thousands of dollars on the table.
Don’t worry. I’m an expert at creating a pricing strategy that will pique the interest of qualified buyers – and set the stage to get you the highest sale price possible. I’m also a specialist in the local market. I know what properties like yours sell for, and can get yours sold at the high end of that range.
I begin by getting to know your property and all its desirable features. Then I make some calculations to determine its Current Market Value. That value is based, in large part, on what similar houses in the area have sold for recently.
Of course, buyers won’t pay for the sentimental value you place on your house. But special features such as hardwood floors, a newly renovated kitchen or bathroom, or a beautiful backyard patio can have an impact on how quickly a property sells and for what price. I’ll help you understand all the factors that go into setting the list price, and ensuring it is just right for the marketplace and your goals.
3. ATTRACTING BUYERS
How do you attract qualified buyers?
When you list your house, it must attract the attention of qualified buyers eager to get into a property like yours. Otherwise, your house may take longer to sell and you may not get the price you expected.
As an expert in the local market, I can get the word out about your listing to all the right people. I know how to attract serious buyers – so a good offer comes in quickly.
To achieve that success, I’ll implement the appropriate marketing plan. After all, there’s more to selling a house than hammering a For Sale sign on the front lawn. I’ll work closely with you to create a marketing plan which may include some or all of the following:
- Taking pictures and gathering the details on your property;
- Writing a compelling property profile and creating effective marketing materials;
- Uploading your listing to MLS – the Multiple Listing Service that real estate agents and buyers use to search for properties;
- Placing advertisements in print or on-line publications buyers use to shop for houses;
- Showcasing your listing on my popular website;
- Leveraging the internet and social media to promote your listing;
- Scheduling and promoting an Open House to attract a multitude of buyers.
In addition, I meet with buyers regularly. In fact, the moment your house is listed I get in touch with everyone I know who is looking for a property like yours, and encourage them to schedule a viewing. I also tap into my network of other real estate agents so their clients know about your property as well.
My job is to get the right buyers to see your house, fall in love with it, and make a good offer.
4. HANDLING VIEWINGS
How do I ensure viewings are successful?
Private viewings and open houses provide opportunities for buyers to view your property and get a sense of what it is like to live there. Ideally, you will want them to be impressed by what they see – and motivated to make an offer.
As your real estate agent, I ensure we maximize the potential of every viewing and open house. To accomplish that, I advise you on how best to prepare your property, I market it to qualified buyers, and then, at viewings, draw their attention to the great qualities of your house.
Don’t worry about all the details. I take care of all aspects of scheduling viewings, as well as planning and hosting open houses. When it comes to scheduling, I coordinate with you to select days and times that are as convenient as possible.
Make sure your house is neat and clean. Remove personal items such as family pictures. This makes it easier for buyers to imagine themselves living in the house. If possible, remove your pets. You can take them for a walk, or to a local pet sitting service or kennel.
Find a place to go, such as a park or shopping mall. Buyers are more comfortable if they can view the property without you there.
Ensure the walkway leading up to your house is clear. Make sure you're maximizing that curb appeal! De-clutter the front and back yard so that the buyers can walk around the yard as they please. The driveway and walkway leading up to the house should be clear.
I realize viewings and open houses can be a little inconvenient. As your real estate agent, I will do my best to minimize the disruptions. I will focus on bringing in serious buyers, rather than those who are merely curious. This speeds up the process and increases the likelihood of a buyer seeing your property, becoming interested, and making an offer.
To sell your house quickly, and for the highest price possible, it is crucial that viewings and opening houses are done right.
5. DEALING WITH OFFERS
Your Agent Will Handle the Details!
When selling your house, there are few things more exciting than receiving an offer. That means someone is interested in your property and has prepared a formal offer to buy it.
What is an offer, exactly? It’s simply a legal document that shows the price the buyer is proposing to pay, which may or may not be the same as your listing price. An offer will include other details, such as the requested closing date, and may also include one or more conditions, such as “conditional on the property passing a home inspection.”
Ideally, when you receive an offer, you will want to sell your house to that buyer for the highest price possible. In addition, you’ll want to make sure there are no potential problems that might prevent the deal from closing – such as the buyer being unable to arrange financing.
I realize this may sound complicated. Don’t worry. As your real estate agent, I’ll take care of all the details.
For example, I will: Review the offer with you and explain everything clearly. Give you my professional assessment as to the quality of the offer. If there are things that concern me, I’ll point them out to you.? Advise you on whether to accept the offer, reject the offer, or make a counter-offer. Prepare a counter-offer, if necessary, that gets you a better deal, without risking the sale slipping through your fingers. Skillfully negotiate with the buyer on your behalf, so you sell your house for the highest price possible. Prepare all the necessary documents, and work closely with the buyer and his or her agent, to make sure the transaction goes through smoothly.
6. CLOSING THE SALE
Making Sure Your Move Goes Smoothly
There are few things I enjoy more than telling a client, “Your house is sold.” That means I have found them a qualified buyer, got them the price they wanted, and negotiated a great deal.
That doesn’t mean my work is finished. Far from it.
As your real estate agent, I’ll work closely with you to ensure the deal is finalized and that your move goes smoothly.
I’ll take care of the details. For example, if there are any conditions on the offer to buy your property, such as “passing a home inspection”, I’ll coordinate with you and the seller’s agent to ensure that the condition is satisfied and the deal closes.
I’ll also be there for you, as your real estate expert, up to the day you move – and beyond. I provide you with the names of recommended lawyers, contractors, movers, etc. from my network of reputable professionals and companies. I’ll also clearly explain what to expect leading up to closing day and give you advice as to how to prepare.
My goal is simple: To make your house sale and move a positive experience.
7. SECOND MORTGAGES
Your Guide to Second Mortgages
A mortgage loan is a great tool for helping you buy and own your own property. Normally, one mortgage is enough to cover the cost of a home in Bowmanville and help you and your family gradually pay back that cost rather than having to fork over a large lump sum.
The loaned money you receive from a second mortgage can be put toward different objectives, but keep in mind that second mortgages are risky, since they are being borrowed against an asset that already has debts against it.
Because second mortgages are riskier than traditional first mortgages, they are usually higher-interest, and shorter-term. Where a first mortgage might be paid off over 25 years or more, a second mortgage is often for a five year term or less. If the property is sold -- for example, if the lender invokes power of sale -- the money from the sale goes toward paying off the initial mortgage first. This means if the home sale price is less than expected, the lender may lose money on the second mortgage. This is why second mortgages usually include higher interest rates.
People may take out a second mortgage for a variety of reasons. The advantage of a second mortgage is that it provides some financial flexibility even while you work toward paying off a major loan such as a prime mortgage.
A second mortgage might be an option if you need a loan to start a business, or if you want to consolidate debts such as credit card or student loan debt, along with existing mortgage debt, into a single monthly payment. Second mortgages may also occasionally be used to cover major emergency expenses -- repairs from flooding or fire, major car repairs, or renovations, for example.
How Do You Apply for a Second Mortgage?Due to the aforementioned risks associated with second mortgages, these types of mortgages are rarely offered by banks or provincial financial institutions. Instead, if you’re looking for a second mortgage you’ll most likely need to approach a private mortgage lender or broker in your area.
If you’re unsure of the exact terms or conditions you’re looking for with a second mortgage, it’s probably a good idea to go to a mortgage broker -- mortgage brokers don’t lend mortgages themselves but rather connect borrowers to the right lender. A reputable mortgage broker in Ontario will have connections to a variety of different lenders, and can work with you to find a second mortgage loan and lender that suits your budget and financial needs, and can secure the funds you need without putting you in a precarious financial situation.
What Do you Need to Get Approved for a Second Mortgage?
For example, say you purchase a home for $500,000. Your mortgage is worth $400,000, and at the time of purchase your down payment is $100,000. In this scenario, your home has 20 percent available equity, because 20 percent of its total value has already been paid.
This percentage is known as the Loan-to-Value ratio, or LTV, and it’s the factor that independent lenders will look at first when determining whether to approve you for a second mortgage loan. In general, an LTV of at least 20 percent will get you approved, though if you have more equity you may be able to secure a lower interest rate or a larger loan.
8. PRIVATE MORTGAGES
What Is a Private Mortgage?
Bowmanville, Ontario has a population of around 40,000 people as of 2020. With beautiful parks and museums, the city has a peaceful, small-town atmosphere, while its proximity to the urban amenities of Toronto and Oshawa make it attractive for young homebuyers and those looking to start a family.
If you’re considering buying real estate in Bowmanville, Ontario, you’ll also want to look into the types of mortgages and home loans available to you. If you’re having trouble being approved for a prime mortgage from a bank, a private mortgage could be your ticket to owning property in Bowmanville.
A private mortgage is any mortgage lent by a private lender -- usually, this is an individual with their own investment capital who chooses to invest in real estate loans. This means that if you take out a prime mortgage, all the money for your mortgage is coming from a single source, rather than a pool of many investors or financial entities.
Private mortgages tend to be relatively short-term loans. Where a prime mortgage may be paid back over a period of 30 years, or sometimes even longer, the term for a private mortgage is usually fewer than 5 years. Private mortgages tend to carry higher interest rates, and the borrower often has to pay additional fees such as legal fees, appraisal fees, and broker fees. These additional fees and costs help mitigate the risk to the lender.
How Is a Private Mortgage Different from a Bank Mortgage?
Bank mortgages -- sometimes called “traditional” or “prime” mortgages -- are regulated by the federal government in Canada. For borrowers, these regulations often come in the form of strict rules for your financial history and income situation. For example, to get approved for a prime mortgage, you need to have a credit rating of at least 600. You also need to be able to prove that your income and employment are stable.
During the mortgage approval process, you’ll be expected to provide paperwork and documentation including but not limited to T4s, tax returns, records of employment, records of previous debts or loans, investment certificates, and anything else that can help prove that you will be able to afford a mortgage.
Private lenders, on the other hand, aren’t as concerned with your financial history and credit rating. Instead, a private lender will focus more on the value of the property you want to mortgage. This does mean that you’ll need to be prepared to put more money toward a down payment than you might with a traditional mortgage. If you’re purchasing a private home, private lenders usually want at least 25 percent existing equity in the property. If you’re purchasing a commercial property, for example if you plan on starting a business, then the lender will want more equity -- usually around 35 percent.
What Are the Advantages of a Private Mortgage over a Traditional Mortgage?Obviously, the major advantage of a private mortgage over a traditional mortgage is that it’s easier to get approved for. This doesn’t mean that you should seek a private mortgage if you can’t easily afford a traditional one. However, there are circumstances where a person could afford a mortgage, but their financial situation is less than ideal on paper.
For example, you may have self-employment income that is variable or difficult to prove on paper. Maybe you have bad credit from previous debts or investments -- the debt may be resolved, but the bad credit can linger. Or maybe you’re looking for a mortgage as an option to get through a period of financial difficulty -- for example as temporary extra income if you’ve been laid off, or as a way to consolidate debts or cover an emergency expense.
How Do You Get a Private Mortgage?To apply for a private mortgage, you might approach a private lender directly, or you can go through Mortgage Broker Store’s Bowmanville specialists that have experience working with, and connections to, local private mortgage lenders. A broker acts as a middleman between you, the borrower, and the lender, and can help you find a lender that can offer you the best rate, and negotiate your mortgage terms to find a loan that works best for you.
9. STOP POWER OF SALE
What is Power of Sale?
A mortgage loan is a powerful tool for helping you purchase and buy the home of your dreams -- but it’s also a large financial commitment. When you apply for a mortgage, it’s important to think ahead and ensure that you have the financial capabilities to keep making regular payments, even through changing employment or economic fluctuations.
Of course, it’s impossible to see the future -- despite your best-laid plans, you might run into financial difficulty that you’re not prepared for. Perhaps a market downturn leads to a layoff, a large investment depreciates in value, or a natural disaster necessitates costly home or vehicle repairs. What if you suddenly find yourself unable to make your mortgage payments, despite your best intentions? How can you stop power of sale to keep your property and your mortgage?
If you are unable to meet your agreed-upon mortgage payments for several consecutive months, your lender has the right to invoke power of sale. Power of sale is similar to foreclosure -- it’s a clause in your mortgage agreement that allows your lender to take possession of the mortgaged property and resell it, in order to recoup the cost of their investment.
For a lender to invoke power of sale, you, the borrower, must have defaulted on at least one payment, though generally a lender won’t invoke the clause until you’ve missed several consecutive payments. At the time that the lender decides to invoke the clause, they must wait at least 15 days after the default to send you a Notice of Sale Under Mortgage. After the Notice of Sale is delivered, you have 35 days -- or up to 40 days if you own the property with a spouse -- to pay back what you owe and bring your payments up to date. If, after this waiting period, you are still unable to pay, the lender can then apply to take possession of the property.
Once they have possession, they can evict you and any other occupants of the property before reselling it.
How is Power of Sale Different From Foreclosure?Power of sale and foreclosure are very similar -- they’re both legal proceedings, and they both give a lender the opportunity to recoup investment losses by reselling a property. Sometimes, whether a lender chooses to use foreclosure or power of sale simply depends on the province. Foreclosure is most common in BC, Quebec, Nova Scotia, and the prairie provinces. In Ontario, power of sale is more common -- partly because it tends to be a cheaper and more expeditious process.
In foreclosure, the lender takes full ownership of the property -- including its title, and all related liabilities. In power of sale, the lender is able to possess and resell the property, but they do not own the title, and any profits above and beyond the lender’s losses are returned to the borrower at the time the property is sold.
How Can You Stop Power of Sale?The easiest and most reliable way to stop power of sale is to prevent it from happening in the first place. When you apply for a mortgage, be certain that you can afford the mortgage. Work with a reliable mortgage broker or advisor to set up a financial plan that you can reasonably adhere to, even in the event of an emergency or financial downturn. Make sure you have enough savings to cover the unexpected.
Of course, you can’t always be prepared for everything. Prevention is still a good option even if you know you won’t be able to make your next payment -- before your payment is due, approach your lender or mortgage broker and discuss your options. Power of sale is a lengthy legal proceeding, and as such most lenders will only use it as a last resort, when they feel they have no other options for recouping their losses -- that is, if the borrower is unresponsive or uncooperative. If you can explain that you are going through a rough patch but have a plan in place for getting back on your feet, many lenders and brokers will be happy to work out an alternative plan to help you retain your property.
If all else fails, a second mortgage can provide another source of temporary cash and a way to consolidate debt into a single payment once you are able to return to your regular payment schedule.