My Life as a Realtor Part 2


By Cindy-lou Schmidt

This week I’m covering the rest of the questions about what life is like as a Real Estate Agent.

I’m going to talk about:

1.  The best part of my job

2. The worst part of my job

3. The best thing that I’ve encountered

4. The weirdest things I’ve encountered

5. A meaningful lesson that I’ve learned

https://youtu.be/ZyT4Z07oPEA

Watch for the full details! And in case you’re thinking about getting into real estate yourself, be sure to message me and ask me about our Career in Real Estate Seminar! It’s a great place to connect and learn more about the process and if it’s right for you.

Kindly,

 

My Life as a Realtor PT. 1


By Cindy-lou Schmidt

 

I often get asked questions about my job as a REALTOR, including how and why I decided to become a real estate agent, tips for people thinking about becoming an agent, and what life might be like on an everyday basis.

Today I’m going to talk about my reasons for becoming a Realtor and give you a few tips!

Kindly,

 

Life in Waterloo Region: Citizenship Ceremony


By Cindy-lou Schmidt

Waterloo Region is an amazing place to WORK. PLAY. and LIVE NOW.

That’s why I love to help families from all over Ontario relocate to our wonderful neck of the woods to share in all we have to offer. Sometimes, I even have the opportunity to meet people who have done plenty of travelling to share their stories with me while on their journey to buy a home.

For my clients Gita and Rizal Dharmawan who are originally from Indonesia travel has played an important role in their lives. They found love in the Netherlands while employed there in the tech sector, shortly after which they married and started their family. After a number of years there, Gita and Rizal decided to make a big move to Canada, and after living in London, and Mississauga,  Rizal decided to add to his knowledge and experience and recently completed his education in mechanical engineering in Waterloo Region.

It never occurred to me that Citizenship Ceremonies happened right here in Downtown Kitchener and it was an honour to be invited to their special day.

Here are some facts about immigration in Waterloo Region from CBC:

“The majority of immigrants living in and around Waterloo region were born in the United Kingdom, followed by India and Portugal.

In recent years, since 2011 as noted in the Kitchener CMA, newcomers have mainly come from:

  • India: 1,835 (13.1 per cent) .
  • China: 1,395 (10.0 per cent).
  • Syria: 1,055 (7.5 per cent).
  • Iraq: 850 (6.1 per cent).
  • Pakistan: 625 (4.5 per cent).

According to 2016 census figures, 21.9 per cent of Canadians report being or having been an immigrant or permanent resident, nearly matching the high of 22.3 per cent in 1921 and up from 19.8 per cent in 2006. The number was slightly higher than 21.9 per cent in 1931 too”.

Congratulations to Gita, Rizal and their children but also to the other 40 or so new Canadians that made it official on Tuesday, September 18, 2018!

 

Kindly,

 

Buyers- How to get Value from your Agent


By Cindy-lou Schmidt

Once you choose the REALTOR® you’re going to work with and have signed your Buyer Representation Agreement, they’re now representing you as your Agent in your buying transaction and are ready to protect your interests.

But there’s many things that lead up to the actual purchase and plenty of things after the closing that your Realtor can do to help you have a smoother, more successful buying experience.

If you follow these tips in the following situations, you can feel confident that you’re not bothering your Agent and are in fact showing your Agent that you want their help and guidance, and that you value their time so they can continue to do an even better job for you.

1. New Build Developments: Let the representative know if you call or drop in the Showroom that you have your own Agent and that they will be assisting you in the purchase. You can pass on your agent’s name or give the representative your card. You should also let your agent know that you’re interested in new build opportunities so they can give you a helping hand in finding some that might suit your interests as well as follow up with the Representative if you do indeed find a particular development worth looking into further.

2. Open houses: When you visit open houses, let the Agent hosting the open house know that you have your ow Agent representing you, and feel free to pass on your agent’s card.

In both an Open House situation and a New Build situation, there are 3 main reasons you should do these things.

a). It’s courteous to the Representative assisting you so that they can focus on their own clients and developing their business. Realtors are not permitted to solicit business with clients of other Agents so this helps them avoid this faux pas if they forget to ask and saves everyone time.

b) It’s helpful to tell your Agent so that they can understand what kind of homes you’re interested in and help you identify viable opportunities.

c) Your agent works on a commission basis, so it’s good if you help your agent get paid so they can make a living on the time they spend assisting you 🙂

3. Ask your Realtor questions. This is how you and your agent can continue to narrow down what could be a great match for you. This helps you be a more confident buyer, and helps you more purposeful in your home hunt by being prepared with the info you need.

4.  Look at homes within your budget and also consider the other expenses including utilities or property taxes.  It avoids having you feel disappointed or frustrated because your goal is to buy a home that you are financially comfortable with that suits your needs.

5. Be prudent about viewing homes. You should be using the Portal and attending open houses to help familiarize yourself with the current market and what it has to offer. You should also be requesting viewings for homes that you see at viable options. When you do so, think about how the home made you feel regarding location, condition, etc. This will help you narrow down what you do and do not want to see moving forward so you avoid Buyer fatigue and can stay focused on the goal.

Watch the video for additional info not covered here!

Kindly,

 

5 Tips for Staging your Home


By Cindy-lou Schmidt

When people think about staging their home for sale, they often think of rented furniture and fake fruit. But staging begins with some pretty important foundations. In addition to the obvious repairs, and all the glitz, there are some basic points you’ll want to start with:

  1. Cat litter: Purchase the best cat litter you can afford to keep the smell managed to the highest degree and put the litter in an area that has low traffic.
  2. Odours: If you have a dog that loves to hang out on your sofa, rugs and carpets, have a professional come in to clean them or rent a rug and upholstery cleaner from your local hardware store. It makes a big difference both in the smell of your home, but also in the appearance to display the carpets be in better condition. This is equally if not more true if you’re a smoker. Smoking indoors can reduce the sale price of your house by up to 20%!
  3. Declutter: Get rid of anything that you can store away for the next 3-4 months. Donate, throw it out, and prepack
  4. Musty basements: Humidity is here to stay in Southern Ontario so make sure you manage any moisture in your basement at all times. If you haven’t, it’s never to late to start–especially if you’re thinking about selling.
  5. Clean, clean, clean: Even if you think it’s pretty clean it can always be cleaner. A clean home simply sells more quickly and allows potential buyers to focus on your home.

Watch the video for additional info not covered here!

Kindly,

 

5 Tips for Bickering Couples


By Cindy-lou Schmidt

 

Moving in together? Even if you’ve been living together for a while you’re likely arguing some of these top five 💩💩💩💩💩 things! .

Whether it’s hogging the blanket or dealing with that pesky alarm clock, I’ve got you covered! 😇

Watch for my simple solutions so you can live happily ever after!

 

Here are the products I suggested in my video if you’d like to check them out:

Multi Hook Shelf

https://etsy.me/2MMf2da

 

Choose Love shelf

https://etsy.me/2ML8740

 

Blanket Clamp

https://bit.ly/2dXlUU6

 

PHILIPS Sunrise Simulation Bedside Light

https://amzn.to/2HM2hKB

 

More Fancy version of the alarm:

https://bit.ly/2waBumD

 

Kindly,

 

Signing a Buyer Contract


By Cindy-lou Schmidt

For first-time home buyers, or those who haven’t purchased a home in a while, the mention of a Buyer Agreement contract may make you wonder if it’s necessary. It’s not only necessary for great service, it’s also necessary part of the paperwork to buy a home with a Realtor.

In this video I’m discussing what the contract covers in general and what you can expect. I also talk about why signing the contract is an advantage for you!

There are some main points you’ll want to consider:

  • The contract is going to introduce you to the Relationship between you an your Realtor. You’re essentially agreeing that you’re choosing your agent to represent your BEST interest, provide fiduciary duty, and protect your confidentiality as their client. This is known as a Client relationship, the highest form of obligation. The other alternative is to be served in a Customer Service fashion which is more of a way to document the services provided to a buyer or seller and is provisioned with a restricted level of service while maintaining honesty, fairness and integrity.

My clients always choose “Client”. The other way to put this is that I choose to work with Clients and not Customers. It’s simply the most effective, advantageous way to buy a home.

  • You will discuss the term of the agreement ex. 6 months or 1 year
  • There is an understanding that your Realtor is representing the Brokerage and the Agreement is between you and the Brokerage your Realtor is working for.
  • It will outline what commissions are due. In most cases as a buyer, you are not going to be paying a fee to  your Realtor’s brokerage. For the most part, this fee is already decided between the Seller of the home you will purchase and their Listing Agent.
  • If you want to break up with your Realtor, it’s good to tell them why so they can have a chance to do a better job or at least improve their service in the future. If you don’t want to tell them why, then it’s a good idea to let them know you don’t want to work with them anymore before moving on.

Ultimately, having a Realtor to assist you in the buying process is more than just helping you with paperwork. There are a lot of details that happen behind the scenes and you’ll want to work with someone who does this as their full-time job. It’s important that your agent be familiar with the activity in a thriving real estate market like Waterloo-Region.

Watch the video for additional info not covered here!

Kindly,

 

What’s in store for 2017?

As construction of the light rail transit system (LRT) continues, Kitchener-Waterloo is expected to continue to thrive economically. In combination with the continued increase of Go-Train frequency between Kitchener and the GTA, along with the healthy tech sector growth, the region will continue to attract buyers looking to find more value for their money arriving from Toronto and area, as well as commuters, and those employed or looking to become involved in K-W’s technology parks and increased business growth.

The RE/MAX 2017 average residential sale price expectation for Kitchener-Waterloo is an eight per cent increase in home prices, increasing to $413,313 for the average residential sales price, up from $382, 687 in 2016. Spring 2017 should also bring increased inventory levels, along with some new developments coming to market. However, 2017 is expected to stay a seller’s market with an expected 8 per cent increase in home prices.

For sellers, these numbers provide even more incentive to ensure you present your home in the best light, to make the most out of the sale of one of your biggest assets. This includes making repairs, maintaining home systems including HVAC, and water lines, as well as keeping your curb appeal in tip-top shape.

If you’re thinking about selling your home and want to maximize your profits, ask us how! We’ll provide you with a free home evaluation and get you started on understanding the value of your home in our current market.

Move-Up and Luxury Home Buyers- Kitchener-Waterloo Real Estate Trends 2016

Kitchener-Waterloo was characterized by strong real estate market throughout 2016 with house prices increasing by an average of 10% over home prices in 2015. A series of broken sales records combined with low inventory has had a rippling effect on everyone.

Move-up buyers in particular have enjoyed the maximization of their equity. Owners who have sold their homes in 2016 are benefiting from the substantial activity at the lower end of the market, which has allowed them to move into larger, new homes, often in the luxury $1 million+ range. While there has been some multiple-offer activity in the luxury home market, competition is remarkably less than that found below $500,000.

Luxury Home

However, there are only a few weeks left in 2016 for buyers of luxury homes to enjoy the original land transfer rates. New mortgage policy has updated or “modernized” land transfer rates to reflect the prices of luxury homes, with purchases of homes over $2 million seeing a .5% rate increase to help accommodate the doubling of the First-Time Home Buyer land transfer rebate announced in November 2016.

“Modernized” Ontario Land Transfer Tax Rates
Home Purchase Price      
       Tax Rate
Up to $55,000                                 0.5%
$55,000 to $250,000                      1.0%
$250,000 to $400,000                    1.5%
$400,000 to $2-million                    2.0%
$2-million and over                         2.5%

 

First-time Home Buyers to get Double the Land Transfer Tax Rebate

Yesterday afternoon Finance Minister Charles Sousa announced an increase to the land transfer tax (LTT) rebate for first-time buyers. The rebate is being doubled from $2,000 to $4,000. The announcement came as part of Ontario’s Fall Economic Statement and is specifically aimed to help first-time buyers enter the housing market. Buyers can start claiming the rebate effective January 1, 2017.

couple-first

Although home prices continue to rise, every little bit helps to allow buyers a chance to get into the market and begin to build equity and wealth. With the new change, first-time home buyers who are permanent residents will not pay land transfer tax on the first $368,000. In many cases in Kitchener-Waterloo and area, the rebate will translate to these buyers not paying land transfer tax on the purchase of their first home at all.