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,

 

Four things to check when hiring a renovation contractor


By Cindy-lou Schmidt

Summer is a popular time to for renovations but how can you help to make sure you hire a contractor that is reputable and won’t dissappear into the night?

There are no guarantees in life, but there are ways to address this issue. One popular way is to hire a well-known company that has been around for years, or a company with the biggest advertising.

But what if you’re looking for someone who you can have more of a personal relationship with, that fits your budget, and maybe you just like giving the small guy your business?

https://youtu.be/awq7N7CLZpw

I recommend the following four things to look into when hiring a contractor.

  1. References – ask for references from homeowners who have worked with the contractor (preferably within the last 3 months)
  2. Reviews – check for Google reviews and see if they have a website and and if it corroborates an idea of how long they have been in business. Now not everyone gets a website going right away or is on top of reviews so cut them some slack if the timeline doesn’t line up perfectly).
  3. WSIB- An owner who hires a contractor to perform construction work should obtain a WSIB Clearance Certificate unless the contractor is performing “exempt home renovation work”.  To contact WSIB with your questions and to confirm registration here
  4. GST registration number – Use the GST/HST Registry to confirm that the business charging you GST/HST is registered. This will help ensure that your claims for input tax credits only include GST/HST charged by someone who is registered for GST/HST. You can get more information here.

Finally, check or get a copy of their driver’s licence so all the information you look up matches and you have the correct information to cross-check!

Happy reno adventures!

Kindly,

 

New Bluetooth Lockboxes


By Cindy-lou Schmidt

As of July 3, 2018,  REALTORS®  with homes listed on the Kitchener-Waterloo Association of Realtors Board will be implementing a new lockbox program replacing the conventional mechanical lockboxes that have been commonly used throughout Ontario for over the past 30 years. The new devices feature state-of-the-art technology to ensure KWAR REALTORS® continue to provide the highest standard of professional services to our clients.

This new program is a partnership with SentiLock LLC who are owned by the National Association of REALTORS® and currently provide services to over 400,000 REALTORS® in North America, and over 30,000 REALTORS® in Canada.

The SentriLock lockbox is Bluetooth compatible to allow the REALTORS®’s smart-phone to become their key, eliminating the use of  static passcodes.

Features of the new lockboxes include:

  • Accurately records the time, date and specific authorized REALTOR® who opened the lockbox.
  • Touch ID and Facial Recognition to open Lockbox through the REALTORS®’s app.
  • Notify the listing brokerage in real time when a lockbox is opened.
  • Individual lockboxes can be programmed to only operate during the showing hours approved by the seller.
  • Lockboxes are assigned to the property, creating a detailed and accurate record of all showings.
  • Operate in severe weather.
  • Long-life batteries.

It’s an exciting new change in our industry and I am looking forward to implementing a higher level of security and professionalism with my clients.

Kindly,

 

How to have an effective final walk-through


By Cindy-lou Schmidt

Once you fall in love with a home and decide to buy, you’ll want to make sure that it’s in the same or similar condition once you take possession. Whether it’s a fixer-upper or an immaculate luxury home, the point is that, you’ll want to get what you bought.

That is why you’ll want to have an effective final walk-through. A final walk-through is an appointment that your agent will book within 24 hours of your closing day when you legally take possession of the home. The idea is to get the appointment as reasonably close to the time in which the responsibility for the home will shift from the seller to you.  Because once you take possession, that  burner that blew on the stove that you didn’t check is now your responsibility.

During the final walkthrough, you’ll want to be more purposeful that the previous in which you may have measured for furniture or show family and friends your new home. Why? Because the final walkthrough has a purpose!

The purpose of a final walkthrough is to go through the home and check to ensure that everything is working as it should. Fixtures such as toilets and faucet and drains should be checked to make sure they are operating correctly (no one wants a toilet that doesn’t work on moving day!)

You’ll also want to check for any apparent damage that has happened since the last time you were through with your agent. For example, while we can expect some minor scratches and bumps during the process of moving and normal wear and tear from the seller living in the home, there are things you’ll want to definitely take note of. For example, say the seller had to move their giant CRT television that sat in Grandpas bedroom floor since 1983. If say, someone lost their grip and it came careening down the stairs and into the foyer a wall—that’s something you and your Realtor will want to address. (Remember when televisions were furniture? :D)

A final walk-through is not a time to be needlessly paranoid, but it is a time to be purposeful and prudent. Your REALTOR will be happy to help inform and guide you through your final walkthrough appointment, but ultimately as new potential homeowner it is good to become familiar with a home and everything in it because you’ll be the new owner in just a few hours.

Kindly,