Buyers: Sellers are listening

By Cindy-lou Schmidt, REALTOR®

Hello and welcome back real estate champions!

As you may or may not have seen in the news, more and more people are using surveillance inside their homes to monitor break-ins, theft, and other activity.

Have you have thought about what happens when you go into a home for a viewing? Today I”m going to cover the top 5 things you should NOT say during a home showing.

  1. Price – in particular in reference to the following
  2. Express how much you’re willing to pay for it (especially over asking!)
  3. Specific reasons why this home is valuable to you
  4. Expressing that you won’t consider any other home
  5. Do not insult the sellers.

Remember that you’re viewing Sellers’ personal home so common courtesy can go far to create a good experience for everyone. While not everyone is monitoring their home with surveillance or will even care to review the footage, these are smart tips to keep our negotiations on the best foundation.

I hope you enjoyed this episode and found it useful. As always I appreciate when you give me a thumbs up on YouTube, Subscribe and of course when you “ring” or click the Bell on YouTube when you’re signed in so you get a notification whenever I post a new video!

Thanks so much and have a wonderful day!


Sellers: Dumping your junk

By Cindy-lou Schmidt, REALTOR®

Hello and welcome back real estate champions!

If you are selling your home for the first time, or you’ve done it a few times already, there are things you can do to make the transition easy and seamless so you can move on with your life.

When it comes to moving you’re often thinking about where you’re going and not so much about what you’re leaving behind other than the house. But that’s an important part of moving so you can help the buyers of your home have a nice fresh start.

Selling your home should mean that you’re leaving your home in clean condition both inside and outside— removing your garbage and your old belongings especially if you decide you don’t want large furniture such as a sofa or mattress.

Planning your move and taking the time to get rid of things early also avoids the last-minute ditching of a mountain of trash when you leave—and makes things much more calm. 😌

This week’s video is about leaving your home in clean, swept condition and that includes the outside—take your junk with you or away to the dump.

When it comes to getting rid of your junk, the courteous thing to do is to not leave it piled up on the curb. This is especially true for large items such as mattresses which have monthly pick up.

Dumping can result in a fine of $300 as well as make our Region not so nice to look at!

I encourage you instead to consider bringing your junk to the Region of Waterloo waste facilities on 925 Erb Street West, Waterloo. Read more about their drop off program here.

I hope you enjoyed this episode and found it useful. As always I appreciate when you give me a thumbs up on YouTube, Subscribe and of course when you “ring” or click the Bell on YouTube when you’re signed in so you get a notification whenever I post a new video!

Thanks so much and have a wonderful day!


Simplified Market Update – January 2019 – Typical trends make a come back

By Cindy-lou Schmidt

There were 5,823 residential homes sold through the Multiple Listing System (MLS® System) of the Kitchener-Waterloo Association of REALTORS® in 2018, a decline of 11.1 per cent compared to 2017.

With 263 transactions taking place last month, December’s home sales were down 13.2 per cent from this time last year and slightly behind the previous 10-year average of 268 sales for the month of December.

The combination of rising interest rates and the mortgage stress test have continued to impact our market here in Waterloo Region. As a result of the changes over the last year and a half, December showed evidence of a trend to typical sales numbers as seen in 2016 and previous.


Total residential sales in 2018 included 3,355 detached (down 16.2 per cent), and 1,553 condominium units (up 6.4 per cent) which includes any property regardless of style (i.e. semis, townhomes, apartment, detached etc.). Sales also included 417 semi-detached homes (down 23.6 per cent) and 431 freehold townhouses (down 7.7 per cent).


Cindy-lou’s Simplified Market Update


The average sale price of all residential properties sold in 2018 increased 3.4 per cent to $483,537 compared to 2017. Detached homes sold for an average price of $575,412, an increase of 4.8 per cent compared to 2017. During this same period, the average sale price for an apartment style condominium was $304,676 for an increase of 12 per cent. Townhomes and semis sold for an average of $373,307 (up 5.5 per cent) and $396,391 (up 4.7 per cent) respectively.


265 detached homes were sold in November (up 9.5 per cent compared to November 2017). Of those sold:

  • 152 condominium units (up 52 per cent) which includes any property regardless of style (i.e. semis, townhomes, apartment, detached etc.).
  • 27 semi-detached homes (down 46 per cent)
  • 31 freehold townhouses (up 14.8 per cent).


Sellers: Be very attentive to the price you plan to list at. What matters is what a home sells for, not what it lists for. So don’t set yourself up to chase a market in which your price is set for a 2018-2018 era when it needs to acclimatize to the current market value.

Buyers: Don’t let the declining number of homes being sold make you feel that prices are going to drop and waiting for this drop. Prices will likely continue to appreciate in a healthy manner because of the desirability of Waterloo Region.

Additionally, Realtors are beginning to handle more lease contracts between landlords and tenants indicating an increase in the trend in higher rental costs.


I hope you enjoyed my Simplified Market Update. I strive to keep my clients and readers informed and empowered to live and become Real Estate Champions. 


Full Official Full KWAR Media Release here.

Homeowners: How to think like an investor

By Cindy-lou Schmidt, REALTOR®

Hello and welcome back real estate champions!

It’s a new year and a fresh start this January 2019 and I’m excited to get started with some solid info on how you can continue to grow your wealth even if you can’t buy a designated investment property at this time. Ready to invest like an investor? Let’s do it.

Today I’m going to talk about how you can continue to invest in your financial future and grow your wealth like an investor. Before I get started if you like what you hear, go ahead and like comment and subscribe! It’s always a good thing because it lets me know what info you guys are interested in hearing more about.

For many of you who have managed to purchase a home in the last couple of years in KW, you’re very well familiar with the squeeze of the market and mortgage rules. And of course this is true for those of you who are looking to buy this year!

While many of my clients who are current homeowners have been able to also purchase a second or third property as investments, it’s not always possible. After all we live in one of the top 20 best places to invest and buy in Canada.

Seriously, give yourself a pat on the back if you qualify to buy a home or have purchased a home. It’s hard work and a very real investment your financial, and personal freedom.

With the changing market and rates I hear this more often. So what can you do to continue to invest in property if when you don’t qualify to buy a second one?

What you do is think like an investor. After all although you are technically a buyer, our investors are also buyers. Don’t short yourself.  The difference is your objective and how you think about it.

If you’re not able to purchase a second property at this time what you do is take advantage of paying down your mortgage with intention.

It sounds simple and obvious but often overlooked because well frankly it’s a big mountain to chip away at and sometimes it can be confusing.

There are three things you can do they can empower you and your bank account:

1. Switch to bi-weekly payments — paying every 2 weeks which adds an extra payment at the end of the year.

2. Add an extra $20 or $50 a month on top of your regular payments. Yes this makes a difference!

3. If you have a really nice grandma or aunt that still gives you Christmas or birthday money apply these seasonal windfalls to your mortgage.

4. If you got a raise or you get a great job that pays you substantially more than you used to get paid, consider keeping your lifestyle the same for a year and putting that extra money into doubling your mortgage amount for that year. This could be tens of thousands of dollars — or more.

The fact of the matter is that it may seem like a small amount of money that doesn’t seem to make a dent on your mortgage —  which is likely in the few…or several hundreds of thousands.

But what you’re really targeting is the principal — the amount of money that you borrow that the additional interest that you pay is based upon. When you reduce this amount, you start to really build your equity. Those extra payments go directly to paying down the principal.

Which is really what I’m getting to. When you build your equity it allows you to eventually borrow money to purchase another property had a later date if that’s what you choose to do or of course benefit from this equity when you purchase your next home. It’s like a type of personal bank that simultaneously allows you to put money “away” while also reducing the interest you pay on your mortgage. Every. Single. Payment.

Unless you have a savings account that gives you a substantial return with good interest rate or you’re a person who is very familiar with other stocks for investing, then this is a great way for you to continue investing and focusing on what you already are familiar with.

My number one recommendation when looking to secure a mortgage when you buy or when you refinance is to ask questions about their payment options. Not all lenders will allow you to prepay or overpay. And most lenders will have competitive rates that you can work with. This is also a great way to address being locked in at a higher interest rate without having to refinance.

Just remember: Building wealth is a very real and accessible thing when it comes to real estate. Don’t let it scare you.

I hope you enjoyed this episode I found it useful as always I appreciate when you like and subscribe and don’t forget to ring the bell so you get a notification whenever I post a new video!

Thanks so much and have a wonderful day!