Are You Ready for the Summer Housing Market?

Are You Ready for the Summer Housing Market? | MyKCM

As the health crisis started making its way throughout our country earlier this spring, sellers have been cautious about putting their homes on the market. This hesitation stemmed primarily from fear of the spread of the coronavirus, and understandably so. This abundant caution has greatly impacted the number of homes for sale and slowed the pace of a typically busy spring real estate season. Mark Fleming, Chief Economist at First American notes:

“As more homeowners are reluctant to list their homes for sale amid the pandemic, the supply of homes available to potential home buyers continues to dwindle.”

With many provinces and states beginning a phased approach to reopening, virtual best practices and health and safety guidelines for the industry are in place to increase the comfort level of buyers and sellers. What we see today, though, is that sellers are still making a very calculated return to the market. In their latest Weekly Housing Trends Report, realtor.com indicates:

“New listings: On the slow path to recovery. Nationwide the size of declines held mostly steady this week, dropping 23 percent over last year, a slight increase over last week but still an improvement over the 30 percent declines in the first half of May.”

Although we’re starting to inch our way toward more homes for sale throughout the country, the number of homes on the market is still well below the demand from buyers. In the same report, Javier Vivas, Director of Economic Research for realtor.com shares:

“Sellers have yet to come back in full force, limiting the availability of homes for sale. Total active listings are declining from a year ago at a faster rate than observed in previous weeks, and this trend could worsen as buyers regain confidence and come back to the market before sellers.”

Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at the National Association of Realtors (NAR) seems to agree:

“In the coming months, buying activity will rise as provinces and states reopen and more consumers feel comfortable about homebuying in the midst of the social distancing measures.”

What we can see today is that homebuyers are more confident than the sellers, and they’re ready to make up for lost time from the traditional spring market. Summer is gearing up to be the 2020 buying season, so including your house in the mix may be your best opportunity to sell yet. Interest in your house may be higher than you think with so few sellers on the market today. As Vivas says:

“More properties will have to enter the market in June to bring the number of options for buyers back to normal levels for this time of the year, nationwide and in all large markets.”

Bottom Line

If you’re ready to sell your house this summer, let’s connect today. Buyers are interested and they may be looking for a house just like yours. Give me a call at 416-779-8732.

Real Estate Will Lead the Economic Recovery

Real Estate Will Lead the Economic Recovery | MyKCM

With more Provinces and States reopening for business this summer, and as people start to return to work, we can expect the economy to begin improving. Most expert forecasts indicate this economic recovery will start to happen in the second half of this year. As we get back to work and the financial landscape of the country begins to turn around, many experts also agree that real estate has the potential to lead the way in the recovery process.

According to Ivy Zelman of Zelman & Associates:

 “Housing will fare better than expected during this severe downturn.”

In addition, CNBC notes:

“Mortgage demand from home buyers shows unexpectedly strong and quick recovery…The quick recovery has surprised most forecasters.”

Robert Dietz, Chief Economist and Senior Vice President for Economics and Housing Policy of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) says:

“Overall, the data lend evidence to the NAHB forecast that housing will be a leading sector in an eventual economic recovery.”

Real Estate Will Lead the Economic Recovery | MyKCM

One of the big reasons why housing has the potential to be such a driving force is the significant impact it has on the local economy. This impact is particularly strong when a newly constructed home is built and sold. According to a recent study by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the average new home sale has a total economic impact of $88,416. As outlined in the graphic above, this is a combination of income generated from real estate industries, expenditures, and new home construction.With so many unknowns today, especially in the wake of a worldwide pandemic, one known factor is the bright spark the housing market can play in local and national recovery. Buying and selling a home goes well beyond personal growth and satisfaction – it supports our economy as a whole.

Bottom Line

According to experts, the economy will begin to recover in the second half of this year. With real estate as a driver, that recovery may start sooner than we think. Thinking of Buying or Selling a Home? Call me today. I’m available for a call or an appointment at anytime to answer anything you want to know as we move forward and emerge from Covid – 19.

National Homeownership Month

National Homeownership Month [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM

Some Highlights

  • National Homeownership Month is a great time to reflect on how we can each promote stronger community growth.
  • Homeownership helps families build financial freedom, find greater happiness and satisfaction, and make a positive impact on our local communities.
  • Let’s connect today if homeownership is part of your future plans.

Two Big Myths in the Homebuying Process

Two Big Myths in the Homebuying Process | MyKCM

The 2020 Millennial Home Buyer Report shows how this generation is not really any different from previous ones when it comes to homeownership goals:

“The majority of millennials not only want to own a home, but 84% of millennials in 2019 considered it a major part of the Canadian Dream.”

Unfortunately, the myths surrounding the barriers to homeownership – especially those related to down payments and FICO® scores – might be keeping many buyers out of the arena. The piece also reveals:

“Millennials have to navigate a lot of obstacles to be able to own a home. According to our 2020 survey, saving for a down payment is the biggest barrier for 50% of millennials.”

Millennial or not, unpacking two of the biggest myths that may be standing in the way of homeownership among all generations is a great place to start the debunking process.

Myth #1: “I Need a 20% Down Payment”

Many buyers often overestimate what they need to qualify for a home loan. According to the same article:

“A down payment of 20% for a home of that price [$210,000] would be about $42,000; only about 30% of the millennials in our survey have enough in savings to cover that, not to mention the additional closing costs.”

While many potential buyers still think they need to put at least 20% down for the home of their dreams, they often don’t realize how many assistance programs are available with as little as 3% down. With a bit of research, many renters may be able to enter the housing market sooner than they ever imagined.

Myth #2: “I Need a 780 FICO® Score or Higher”

In addition to down payments, buyers are also often confused about the FICO® score it takes to qualify for a mortgage, believing they need a credit score of 780 or higher.

Two Big Myths in the Homebuying Process | MyKCM

The Origination Insight Report, which focuses on recently closed (approved) loans, shows the truth is, over 50% of approved loans were granted with a FICO® score below 750 (see graph below):Even today, many of the myths of the homebuying process are unfortunately keeping plenty of motivated buyers on the sidelines. In reality, it really doesn’t have to be that way.

Bottom Line

If you’re thinking of buying a home, you may have more options than you think. Let’s connect to answer your questions and help you determine your next steps.

Is it Time to Sell Your Vacation Home?

Is it Time to Sell Your Vacation Home? | MyKCM

The travel industry is one of the major sectors that’s been hit extremely hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, it’s hard to know how long it will take for summer travelers to be back in action and for the industry to fully recover. Homeowners who rent their secondary properties on their own or through programs like Airbnb, which has over 660,000 listings in the U.S. alone, have been impacted in this challenging time. Some of these homeowners are considering selling their vacation homes, and understandably so.

A recent CNN article indicated:

“With global travel screeching to a halt during the pandemic, a number of Airbnb hosts are planning to sell their properties…These desperate moves come as hosts face the possibility of losing thousands of dollars a month in canceled bookings while bills, maintenance costs, and mortgage payments pile up.”

If you’re one of the property owners in this position, you too may be feeling the pain of decreased travel, especially as we prepare for the typical busy summer vacation season. A recent survey notes that 48% of Americans have already canceled summer travel plans due to the current health crisis. In addition, 36% indicated they don’t have vacation plans, and only 16% said they did not cancel their summer travel.

Is it Time to Sell Your Vacation Home? | MyKCM

The same survey also asked, “How long will you wait before traveling again?” Not surprisingly, only 29% of respondents are planning to travel within the next 6 months. That means 71% are putting their plans on hold for at least 6 months, or are still unsure about future travel. That can continue to add to the significant income loss that many property renters felt this spring.If you’re considering selling your rental property, know that there are two key factors indicating that selling your vacation home now may be your best move as a homeowner.

1. Inventory Shortage

Is it Time to Sell Your Vacation Home? | MyKCM

The inventory of overall homes for sale is well below the demand from potential buyers, so many eyes may be searching for a home like yours. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), total housing inventory, meaning homes available to purchase, is down 19.7% from one year ago (see graph below):Inventory across the country continues to be a challenge, with only a 4.1-month supply of listings available at the current sales pace. For a balanced market, where there are enough homes available for interested buyers to purchase, that number would need to bump up to a 6-month supply. This means we don’t have enough inventory for the number of buyers looking for homes, so selling in this scenario is ideal. Buyers are looking now, and some vacation homes make a great primary residence or second home for those eager to escape from more populated urban areas.

2. Home Prices

The lack of inventory is also keeping homes from depreciating in value. Today, prices are holding strong and experts forecast home price appreciation to continue throughout this year. Selling your home while prices are holding steady is a sound business move. You’ll likely have equity you’ve earned working for you as well. If your home has been vacant for the past few months, the forced savings you have built in your equity may help balance out possible rental income loss due to the slowdown in the travel industry.

Bottom Line

We don’t know exactly when heightened summer travel will return or what it will look like when it does. If you’re considering selling your vacation home, let’s connect today to determine your options in the current market.

The 4 Ps to Maximizing your Selling Price

When you sell, you’ll probably want to get the best possible price for your property. Who wouldn’t? Unfortunately, there are many ways to inadvertently leave money on the table – sometimes thousands of dollars.

How do you avoid that possibility? Just remember the 4 Ps:

Prep. Do everything you can to prepare your home so that it looks great to buyers. Clean, declutter, fix, make improvements. Home staging can also help. In fact, effectively staged homes have been shown to sell for up to 5% more than comparable unstaged properties.

Price. Set the right asking price. That’s crucial. If it’s too low, you’ll attract only deal-hunters — and you might end up getting less than you should. If the asking price is too high, however, you’ll discourage those buyers who might otherwise be interested and willing to make a good offer. Be careful with pricing!

Promotion. There may be qualified buyers out there who would be eager to see your property. But, they need to find out about your listing and the great features of your home first! Reaching these buyers requires more than merely profiling the listing on the MLS. Homes that sell for top dollar often have strong marketing — directed to the right buyers.

Proposal. Once an offer comes in, there may be an opportunity to negotiate with the buyer to maximize the final price you get. This requires deep knowledge of the local market as well as street-smart negotiation skills. If done effectively, these negotiations can help put more money in your pocket.

These four Ps are easy to remember, but sometimes not so easy to implement! That’s why working with a great real estate agent is so important.

Contact me to get the conversation started. (416) 779-8732.

*Morris Marketing*

“Dollar Store” Items that Make your Home Look Great to Buyers!

When you’re selling your home, it’s a little like having company over. You want to make your home look its best. The only difference is in how high the stakes are. When friends come, they simply visit. When buyers come, you want them to be so impressed with your home they’ll want to put in an offer.

One way to do that is to make a trip to the dollar store. There are some great inexpensive home improvement items you can buy that will make a big difference. Here are a few examples:

• New welcome mats for the front door and foyer.
• Replacement light bulbs, with the proper wattage for each room.
• A new lamp or two for areas that aren’t currently well lit.
• A new houseplant or two. (Have at least one with flowers.)
• Colour-matching wood filler pens to repair scuffs and cracks in wood items, such as cabinets and tables.
• Plastic bins to help eliminate clutter from closets and other areas.
• New towels for the bathrooms.

Of course, you can buy these items anywhere – but you don’t need to spend a lot. Everything on this list is relatively inexpensive and can help your home show better.

*Morris Marketing*

🚨 Relocating to a Different Town or City 🚨

Moving around the corner or even across town is relatively simple because you are likely familiar with the various neighbourhoods and you can access them anytime. If there’s a listed home you want to view, you can simply go see it.

Relocating to a different town or city, however, is much more challenging. It may not be possible for you to make multiple visits to see homes for sale. You may also be unfamiliar with the various neighbourhoods.

So what do you do if you want to move out-of-town or need to relocate due to work?

Your first step is to get the information you need. You’ll want up-to-date data on the neighbourhoods so you can pinpoint the ones that are the best fit for your needs and lifestyle. You’ll also want to get a sense of the types of homes for sale in those neighbourhoods — style, size, features, listing price, etc.

Your next step is to schedule a day to view homes. This visit must be carefully planned so you only see those properties that are likely to be of interest. You don’t want to travel all that way only to end up seeing properties you wouldn’t likely buy!

So, if you are relocating, you’ll need help. Give me a call. I can help make the relocation go smoothly for you. (416) 779-8732

⚠️ Staging Doesn’t Have to be Difficult ⚠️

You’ve probably heard of “staging”. It involves setting up each room of your home in a way that maximizes its appeal to buyers. You’ve probably also heard that this strategy can help sell your home faster – and for a higher price.

That’s true. However, if you’re like many homeowners, you’re worried about the time, energy and cost involved in staging your home properly. After all, don’t professional stagers bring in special furniture and décor? Will you have to do the same thing?

Not necessarily. Staging doesn’t have to be a big imposition. In fact, there are many staging techniques that most homeowners can easily do on their own. Among the simplest are: cleaning, decluttering, fixing, and painting.

Rearranging furniture can also improve the look of a room, while putting some furniture into storage can make the room look more spacious. A helpful technique is to think of each room in your home as a product for sale. Then, explore ways to make it the kind of room buyers would want to buy.

When it comes to effective staging, that’s a good mindset to get you started.

Take Control of your Log-In Passwords

When they are required to provide an online security password, many people simply use the same memorable sequence for all logins. This is a bad idea, because simple passcodes can be easily discovered and duplicated by hackers, who could then access any other sites where the legitimate user has assigned the same code.

A good solution that can save time, trouble and anxiety is a password manager app. Once its proprietary software is downloaded on your computer or device, it can help you create a complex and unique password for each website.

Some will save the security code on your device, allowing you to retrieve and apply it without re-keying, while others can recognize the website you are accessing and automatically complete a secure log-in for your initial visit, and recall or rewrite it whenever you return.

Somepopular apps are available free of charge, but they may have limitations. Those available by subscription offer more features, and often provide a free trial period to attract new subscribers. Before choosing, be sure to check the specifications for compatibility with your device (Apple versus Android) and your preferred browser (Safari versus Chrome).

*Morris Marketing*