Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Pricing Your Property To Sell

Notwithstanding the fact that area real estate sales are up 65% in terms of units for the first quarter of 2010 indicating a strong demand, pricing your property to be in the market and not just on the market is key to achieving a sale.
For five consecutive years (2005 to 2009) the annual number of "expired" listings in the MLS® system of the Georgian Triangle Real Estate Board have exceeded the number of properties that have sold. That to me is a very telling number indicating that sellers and their REALTORS® are failing to price properties reflective of their current market value.
Factors that do not have a bearing on the value of your home are what you paid, what you may have spent on renovations/upgrades, what you owe, what you need to net out to purchase your next home and so on. The most fundamental factor that does serve to establish the value of your property is what have other properties similar to yours sold for?
When contemplating the sale of your home, condo or other property, it is absolutely imperative that the REALTOR(S)® you interview prepares a "Comparable Market Analysis" (CMA). I an increasingly competitive market, it's no longer effective for a REALTOR® to simply walk through a property shooting from the hip to throw out a price. Your response should be "show me!"
Not only will a well prepared CMA help to establish an accurate List Price for your home, it can also be used to illustrate and counsel a potential buyer(s) as to the property's value and what a credible offer price should be. Today's buyers are fearful of paying too much and with a good inventory of properties on the market they don't have to. Furthermore, thanks to the Internet, buyers today are much better educated and informed. They know what is on the market, how long it has been listed and they are readily able to compare various listings to one another quickly establishing a sense of which ones are over-priced.
Just as over-pricing is an issue, so is under-pricing a property. I recently secured a listing which another competing agent had priced $35K to $40K below my price, a difference of almost 20%. Their price represented little more than the "assessed" value which in many cases is still well below market value. Within three days the home in question received two offers and sold for in excess of 98% of the asking price.
Pricing is indeed everything and some good research and effort going in by the REALTOR® you are working with whether it is for a sale or purchase, will make the whole real estate selling/buying process more successful and less stressful for everyone involved.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

It's Full Steam Ahead at the Shipyards

With all of the construction activity going on around the area including the reconstruction of Hurontario Street, the completion of First Street, exterior finishes to the new library, the revitalization of Heritage Park to name a few, none is a more welcome site than the Shipyards. After languishing as a weed infested "no man's land" for the better part of two decades, this much anticipated re-development of the former Collingwood shipbuilding site is really taking shape. Sales/interest in the project is obviously good given the number of units currently under construction.
In my opinion, the highlight of the development will be the waterside promenade that starts at the foot of Hurontario Street and follows along the former side-launch basin out into the harbour. This is sure to be a major draw to both residents and tourists alike creating a waterfront atmosphere that will inject some excitement into our downtown core.
If there is anything about this project that is a bit of a letdown it's the architecture. I've heard many comments about how uninspiring the buildings look on the outside with nothing to differentiate them from any run-of-the-mill condo development you might see in Mississauga or throughout the GTA. This is one of the common shortcomings that we often see throughout the area where both builders and in some cases individual homeowners build the wrong thing resulting in a product that lacks the characteristics buyers are looking for and can be difficult to sell. This is not an "urban" environment and many buyers looking to the area expect if not demand something different to match the lifestyle change they are making by coming here in the first place. In this day-and-age of computer aided design, a little human imagination could be expended to create something truly different and unique. In the case of the Shipyards, something perhaps with a bit of a nautical touch would remind us of the former role this property played in the history of Collingwood.
I do not profess to be an architectural guru but I often read the comments of Christopher Hume the architectural critic for the Toronto Star. Mr. Hume has been to and spoken in Collingwood, perhaps at some point we may here his comments further regarding this particular project.
There are currently 5 MLS® listed Shipyards units for sale and at least one unit with a private for sale sign. No doubt some of the early buyers are looking to flip their properties for a profit others may have just had a change of heart. Whatever your take, this will be a very successful development and a welcomed re-birth of Collingwood's long neglected waterfront.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Collingwood's New Library Now Open

This past week I finally made a point and took the time to visit Collingwood's new public library.  Notwithstanding the fact that numerous details remain to be finished on the exterior, the library has now been open for a couple of weeks and by all accounts is receiving a positive response from the public. 
Libraries have often been the focal point in many smaller communities and hopefully ours will continue to be as well. The exterior stills lacks some final touches but overall, the faux heritage look fits in well with the downtown core.  Overall, I sensed a much more intimate feel on the inside as the interior dimensions seemed to create the feeling of a much smaller space than what the three storey exterior would suggest.  The children's area is well done and overall the building offers ample space to sit and relax in bright sun filled spaces.
  Perhaps it's a bit early to tell but I was anticipating more "gallery" space throughout the building that would serve to feature the work of local artists. As a budding artist myself I have always enjoyed viewing the various paintings that often graced the meeting room in the old library and this was a facet of the new building that I had hoped would be expanded.
This building came at a significant cost and there have been times when I questioned whether or not the municipality should be spending the money given the town's increased debt.  In this day and age of digital print media and devices such as Amazon's "Kindle" and Apple's new iPad, you really have to question the wisdom of spending millions on the bricks and mortar inventorying and delivery of reading materials. 
Every effort should be made to leverage this facility to its fullest extent the potential for which goes far beyond the loaning out of books.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

1st Quarter Real Estate Newsletter

Further to my prior post summarizing the year-to-date sales activity for area real estate, my Georgian Triangle Real Estate Newsletter is now available to download herein or via the link on our website at
In other news, I am pleased to announce the addition of a new member to my real estate team, Mary Ann Burgess who has recently become licensed as a real estate Sales Representative.  Mary Ann possess a keen business sense and an enthusiastic attitude which will be invaluable assets in executing her duties as a real estate sales professional.  

Mary Ann joins myself and Doug Brown as part of the "Real Value" Team.  Our mandate is to provice you with unparalleled service for all your real estate needs, be it a residential home or condominium, recreational property, rural farm/acreage or with a commercial  property for investment or business purposes.
Please feel free to Contact Us for a no obligation consultation regarding your real estate buying or selling needs.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

1st Quarter Real Estate Sales Jump 65%

Area real estate sales rebounded significantly in March with unit sales for the month increasing 89% over March of last year. Historically low mortgage rates, strong consumer confidence and a good selection of properties throughout the area during the 1st quarter of 2010 resulted in many buyers realizing it was the time to buy.

Unit sales activity during the 1st quarter rose sharply from the 1st quarter of last year with 388 properties changing hands this year versus 235 in the 1st quarter of 2009, an increase of 65%. The 1st quarter exhibited strong sales activity throughout most segments of the region, with sales volume of $106,750,950 up 91% over that of $55,234,868 in the first 3 months of 2009. Comparing 1st quarter 2010 to the strong 4th quarter results of 2009, unit and dollar volume are down 17% and 16% respectively, reflecting a typically quiet 1st quarter start in annual sales activity. Of the 388 sales during the 1st quarter, 200 alone occurred in March (51%) generating $57,114,570 (53%) of year-to-date 2010 sales volume. 1st quarter 2010 sales increased in every price range over the first three months of last year. Property sales below $250,000 increased 20%, 1st quarter sales between $250,000 - $500,000 increased a substantial 183% while sales from $500,000 - $1 Million increased 92%. Sales over $1 million totalled 2 properties versus 1 sale in the first quarter of 2009. Of significant note, the two sales over $1 million in March were in excess of $2 million, a price which has only been attained on two prior occasions in the MLS® sales history of the Georgian Triangle Real Estate Board. Unquestionably this spring has seen a seasonal upturn in market activity of unprecedented proportions.

The number of new MLS® listings during the 1st quarter of 2010 totals 1,457 units, up 33% from the last quarter of 2009 and 7% ahead of the 1,360 properties listed in the 1st quarter of 2009. In particular March 2010 reflected strong listing activity with 614 new listings which represents 42% of the year-to-date new listing total of 1,457 properties coming to market through the Georgian Triangle. To date, 723 listings expired in the 1st quarter of 2010 down 14% from the number of expired listings in the first three months of 2009.

While market conditions are expected to remain stable in 2nd quarter, sellers who are contemplating listing their property in the months ahead may want to do so earlier so as to avoid the added selling costs associated with the introduction of the H.S.T. on July 1st.  For additional market information specific to your area or to discuss your p[articualr real estate buying and selling needs please feel free to Contact Me with your questions.

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Royal LePAGE Locations North (Brokerage)

330 First Street, Collingwood, ON L9Y 1B4


Direct: 705-443-1037

Office: 705-445-5520 ext 230


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