Getting ready to sell: Decluttering

By Cindy-lou Schmidt

If you’re thinking about selling then it’s never too early to begin to edit your belonging, including donating, throwing away or pre-packing for your upcoming move.

Reducing the items in your home is not only a great way to only keep things you really like or use often, but will help you see a greater return on your home when you sell. If you’re having trouble letting go of your things, watch my video and even read this great book: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing that I have found very useful by Marie Kondo.

Preparing your home for sale is invaluable to the successful sale of your home so make sure that you begin to work with your Realtor sooner rather than later to sell your home for more money, in less time. It’s preparation that you’ll be glad you did for many reasons. Find out more about how to get in your decluttering groove and watch my video!



What is condo?

By Cindy-lou Schmidt

Lately we have seen a substantial jump in the interest in condominium apartments in particular in Waterloo Region. But did you know that condominiums are not just apartment style homes? They may also be townhomes  or single-detached homes as well.

The term condo or condominium is often mistakenly used to describe a style of home but really what it is describing is the form of ownership. The opposite of a condominium ownership is freehold, where you own your own home independently and do not share amenities or common elements with others.

So what is condo?

It is a group of individually owned homes that  are surrounded by common areas that are shared. These homes are owned outright and the owners also share ownership of common areas such as hallways, and amenities such as pools and rooftop patios. These areas are managed by the Condominium Board as well as a condominium management company and a condo fee is paid by each homeowner to support these shared costs.  To learn more, watch my video below:




What is a home inspection and what can I expect?

By Cindy-lou Schmidt

Whether you’re a buyer or seller, there’s a question of what is a home inspection and what will happen next?


A home inspector is an individual that you hire to carry out a home inspection on a home that you are purchasing. There are a few key things to consider:

  1. Selecting a inspector: Choose an inspector after doing your research because not all inspectors provide the same level of quality, knowledge or service. Note that only qualified OAHI members can use the designation of Registered Home Inspector (RHI). Another great way to find an inspector you can trust is a recommendation from your REALTOR or someone who has used one in the purchase of their home.
  2. You should plan to attend the appointment with the inspector to receive the details and feedback first-hand. Your inspector will convey the overall health of the home and highlight any major concerns to you.
  3. You, your agent and the inspector will meet at the home you plan to purchase and it will take between 2-3 hours for most homes.
  4. Expect that unless there is a serious concern that must be addressed, that a home inspection for the most part is a report card on things you should be aware of for budgeting purposes when it comes to the repair and maintenance of your new home…



A home inspection is a different experience for you since you are neither selecting the home inspector, nor will you be present. Here are a few things to help you prepare:

  1. If you have private items you do not want to be found, make sure you put them away in your chattels —  your wardrobe or cupboard — that is NOT affixed to you home and will be coming with you when you move. Remember that the inspector’s job is to check many aspects of the home in preparation for the buyer to take possession so they may be in closets, bathroom cupboards etc.
  2. Anticipate that an home inspection could uncover a serious concern that may need to be addressed by you hiring a company to repair or address the work or by a reduction in the sale price. The solution will be discussed based on the  inspection report and other factors with your agent to decide what the best course of action may be for you as the homeowner.
  3. The home inspector will likely be accompanied by the client who will also be looking in your kitchen cupboards, closets and other spaces. This is normal but if it is a concern for you, don’t put too much weight on things being “messy”. People recognize that we all live busy lives and inspectors have seen just about everything. Overall, if your home is reasonable and you have been courteous in removing your household garbage for example, and maintained your home in “showing” condition, there’s no need to be embarrassed.

Learn more about what to expect in a home inspection by watching my video above!




Simplified Market Update – May 2018 – Spring Market Leveling Out

By Cindy-lou Schmidt

Home sales in Kitchener-Waterloo are seeing some changes along with the spring weather.

  • In April, 616 residential properties were sold, as compared to March’s 540 residential properties.
  • REALTORS® listed 974 residential properties in K-W and area last month, down 2.2 per cent compared to April of 2017.

“Last month 71 per cent of all residential sales were for less than half a million dollars, but the number of homes listed in that price range on our MLS® System right now is a little less than half of all the inventory,”  says Tony Schmidt, KWAR President.

April’s  residential sales units included:

343 detached (down 30.7 per cent)

185 condominium units (down 12.8) {includes semis, townhomes, apartment, detached etc.}

41 semi-detached homes (down 22.5 per cent)

46 freehold townhouses (up 13.2 per cent).

The average sales price of all residential properties sold last month decreased 6.06 per cent to $478,578 compared to April 2017. Accordingly:

Detached homes sold for an average price of $569,169 (down 4.2 per cent)

Average prices for an apartment style condominium was $296,958 (up 10 per cent)

Townhomes sold for an average of $386, 072 (up 2.5 per cent)

Semis sold for an average of $396,932 (down 3.7 per cent)


Cindy-lou’s Simplified Market Summary:

What does this mean?

1. There is a trend of slowing sales when compared to last year’s activity

a) Year-to-year : March was a 25% less busy in terms of home sales as compared to the same time last year, and now April is 30% less busy as compared to April 2017.

b) Month-to-month: While March sales really picked up by increasing over 40% from February to March, March to April only saw a 13.7%  increase.

2. There is a trend in decreasing sales prices.

a) The average sales price change in March compared to the same time last year was 0.7 percent. The average sales price in April as compared to April 2017 decreased by 6.06 percent.

b) While detached homes barely changed in price in March as compared to the same time last year, April 2018 saw a 4.2% decrease as compared to April 2017. Semi-detached homes have also seen a drop in sales price, by 3.3%

The stress test looks like it is definitely creating some impact on buyers as the under $500,000 price range heats up.   This may be part of the reason for the growth in condo apartment sales being the largest according to home style purchases over the last few months. The decrease in sales prices and numbers of detached and semi-detached properties may also be related to the challenges buyers face in getting approved under the most recent mortgage rules.


It takes 21 days on average for a home to sell so you can expect to receive offers with conditions. Don’t hesitate to invest some time in preparing your home for sale including tying up lose ends. Buyers are wanting to make sure they are getting value for their money as their buying power has been decreased due to series of mortgage rule changes.


There were nearly 80% more  active residential listings this April as compared to last year so there are more choices. A little more breathing room is allowing you to have conditions including financing and inspection in some cases. However, you must remain competitive in a  desirable and strong market that is remains low on listings, particularly at the under $500,000 price range.

If you’d like an accurate valuation of your home, contact us for a complimentary assessment. The condition of your home, location, and other key factors matter. For more on the official report on April’s K-W Market Update including statistics from Wellesley, Wilmot and Woolwich Townships, click here.


We’re now on YouTube

By Cindy-lou Schmidt

After getting feedback from our readers and clients, we’ve decided to make the jump to YouTube!

You can expect to get my Simplified Market Update via video along with the blog version each month on the blog as per usual! You’ll also find my discussions on real estate topics that cover Waterloo Region and area.

Subscribe today and stay up-to-date! Be one of the first 100 subscribers and you’ll be entered into a draw to win one of my favourite books as well!