“SASKATCHEWAN REAL ESTATE MARKETS REBOUNDING AS PROVINCE RE-OPENS: Strong Recovery Expected”
The May 2020 market stats are out and signs remain positive! We have seen a lot of activity in the market since the beginning of May when our provincial re-open plan began and the hopefulness & positivity we see in our province is reflected in both buyers & sellers appetite to make a move in real estate!
Here’s a snapshot of what happened in our market in May:
* Sales in Regina held in May at 293 vs 289 in April, but still down from 339 sales YTD.
* The number of new listings in May 2020 rose dramatically to 644 from 286 new listings in April this year, but more on par with new listing numbers from a year ago.
* Homes in Regina stayed on the market an average of 66.3 days in May—up just slightly from 62.7 days in April (and from 61 days a year ago).
* Average home prices in Regina went from $287,925 in April to $294,390 in May (an increase of 2.2%).
* The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI)—a more accurate measure of house price trends—is up 3.7% from $267,200 to $271,300. Year-to-date, the median home price in Regina was $286,735 which is essentially unchanged from the $286,690 price, from the same time last year.
So what does all of that mean to you? In a nutshell, we have thankfully not seen any measurable effect of a COVID-19 world in regards to our local real estate market….so far so good!
The National picture may be different because every province is in a different situation right now and of course, we have all heard about the controversial decision CMHC has made in regards to new mortgage rules…here is an excerpt from our SRA Market media update in reference to that topic:
“Saskatchewan’s market strength calls into question CMHC’s recent projections about the province’s real estate market, and CMHC’s Housing Market Outlook ignores the local nature of real estate. For instance, Saskatoon and Regina account for over 50% of the sales in the province, and these two markets alone can have a significant impact on the province’s overall performance. In addition, even at the height of the province’s state of emergency, year-to-date (YTD) sales in North Battleford, Estevan, and Yorkton were up more than 10% from last year, and YTD prices in several markets were also up.
“I hear more frequently that our members are receiving multiple offers”. So while the real estate sector in the province has been hit by COVID and continues to feel its effects, the outlook isn’t nearly as grim as some are making it out to be, and we’re already starting to see signs of recovery going into summer. “As the province continues to open up and our members take action to protect public safety,” says Yochim, “I expect markets to make a strong recovery.”
“SASKATCHEWAN REAL ESTATE MARKETS FARE BETTER THAN EXPECTED: poised to help boost provincial economy”
The April market stats are out and as the headline reads, the numbers are “better than expected” and actually mirror exactly what we have experienced personally in our business.
We have seen less activity in the market in April, more so on the selling side than buying, and most transactions were necessary rather than discretionary. But because there were less listings, we saw homes selling quickly and prices holding.
The National picture may be different because every province is in a different situation right now but we knew that the effects of a COVID world on real estate in Regina, and the province as a whole, would be directly related to the time it took to re-open our economy…so far so good!
Here’s a snapshot of what happened in our market in April:
* Sales in Regina were down 50.2%, going from 289 in April 2019 to 144 in April 2020
* The number of new listings in April 2020 fell significantly from the number last year. In Regina, new listings fell 50.8%, going from 581 to 286
* Active listings also fell 17.0% in Regina (down from 1,457 to 1,209), which just means that some sellers chose to remove themselves from the market in this time of COVID.
* Homes in Regina stayed on the market an average of 62 days in April—up a modest 1.6% from 61 days last year.
* Median home prices in Regina went from $283,000 to $287,925 (an increase of 1.7%) and were approximately 1.8% below the 5-year average median price.
* The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI)—which is considered a more accurate measure of house price trends—was down just 0.2% from $271,300 to $271,100, year to year.
For the full SRA media release with all the provincial stats for April check out the link below:
We know that there is a lag time between when you start thinking about selling your home and when you actually start the process. There's a lot to do to get ready to list your home so we're helping you out with a room by room guide to get you started!
It's already overwhelming enough so we're breaking the to-do list into two parts for you. Here is Part One to start the ball rolling.....
1: Change Light Bulbs and Update Light Fixtures
It’s easy to forget about all the bulbs that have burned out over the years, but you want your home to be as bright as possible. Lighting makes an incredible difference in how a home looks to potential Buyers. If you have dated light fixtures, make a quick trip to Home Depot or one of our great local lighting stores and pick up some modern…budget friendly… ones to update your space!
2: Dig Out all that Paperwork
Buyers and agents are going to ask a lot of questions, so start digging out the paperwork now: utility bills, renovation details, warranties, survey certificate if you have, floor-plans and rental contracts for things like your water heater & water softener and alarm system.
3: Pick up Boxes or Containers
A big part of preparing to make a move involves reducing clutter, and starting that process before you list your home is a great place to start! Having a supply of those boxes and containers handy allows you to start the process room by room anytime you have some time to spare. PS: Remember to mark the boxes with the room those items go back to after the move.
If you’re going need to remove a lot of stuff out of your house for the sale, consider renting a storage pup – you fill it up at your house, it gets hauled away, stored and delivered to your new home when you move in!
4: Make an Extra Set of Keys
We will need a set of keys for the lockbox so agents have access your home for showings, so you’ll need to get an extra set cut which you can do at any hardware store.
5: Tackle The Bathrooms
Remove all the toiletries you have on display and tuck in a cabinet (we know it’s nice to have them handy but they don’t look great in photos or add value to your space). Make a quick stop at Winners for some new white towels and bath mat (and no, you don’t get to use them). If your toilet paper holder and towel rack/hooks could use refresh consider updating those as well! A freshened up bathroom goes along a way when buyers are viewing your home!
6: Declutter the Kitchen
The kitchen is one of the rooms Buyers are most attracted to so if you’re looking to skip a room, this shouldn’t be it. Remove your blender/toaster/bread machine from the counters – you want the counters to be as clear as possible. Clean inside all the cupboards and eliminate anything you don’t use and don’t want o move! You want your cupboards and pantry to look spacious and organized. Clean inside the fridge (and remove the magnets, photos and reminders from the front). And now is the time to clean your oven! Yes people do look! When it comes time for photos, consider investing in some fresh flowers and a beautiful bowl with some fresh fruit in it. Those are things that do look great in pics!
7: Next up: The Bedrooms
The bedrooms should be inviting, and that means more cleaning and decluttering. If you don’t already have one, invest in a neutral-coloured duvet cover and some new pillows/cushions. Th good news is those go with you! Straighten the bookshelves, remove some of the personal photos(it doesn’t have to be all of them…this is still your home for now), minimize knick-knacks and personal grooming products.
Clean out the closets and if you have a large dresser or armoire that doesn’t really fit into the space, consider removing in prep fr sale…it will make the space look larger.
8: Tackle The Living Room
Clean the sofa and chairs and invest in some new throw pillows. …on that stop to Winners!
Take a photo of the space and remove any clutter that you see! Of possible tuck any & hide the wires from your TV/stereo/speakers.
9: Make Your Dining Room Look Like a Place People actually Eat
Remove the kids’ homework and the piles of stuff that have accumulated on the dining room table and add a simple table centre ….think flowers or the bowl of fruit!
10: De-clutter, Organize and Clean the Basement
Ok so this is likely going to take more than one day so you may need to plan room by room. Whether your basement is finished or just a storage area for extra stuff you never look at, now is the time! You’ll need to invest the time to make it look as spacious and clean as possible….and making it smell nice is a good thing too! You will have to do this before you move anyway so it’s a good investment of your time to do it in preparation for selling your home!
11: Tackle the Closets and Storage Areas
No you can’t just take all of the stuff off counters and shelves and stuff them in closets….because buyers open closets too! The last thing you want is for Buyers to think there isn’t enough storage in your home, so take the time to pack away what you don’t need in the immediate future. Store, Toss or Donate!
12: The Entrance - First Impressions Count!
Remember that most Buyers will have an immediate emotional reaction to your home so what they experience at the entrance is very important…with inside & outside! You want your entrance to be clean, de-cluttered and inviting. Make sure that your front steps are clean, your light and door handle is clean and having a new inviting door mat is a nice touch as well!
Follow the Store, Toss or Donate rule when it comes to your front entry & closet….eliminate all unnecessary coats, shoes & boots and have nice clean doormat inside as well!
13: Minimize the Things That Make Your Home Yours
Ouch, we know that one is tough. You want your house or condo to appeal to as many Buyers as possible, and that will only happen if they can picture their own stuff in your house. Minimize the family photos, collections & souvenirs from your travels. Here’s a great tip….walk through every room in your house and pretend you’re a Buyer. If what you see identifies you & your life, remove it.
14: Paint Touch-ups and Re-painting
A fresh coat of neutral paint is one of the cheapest ways to freshen up your home. Bold colours might be your jam but that may also just be a turn-off to some Buyers, so to appeal to the most people possible take the time to re-paint that red bedroom and blue bathroom. Don’t forget about baseboards and ceilings – they might need a touch-up too.
Well that will give you a good start on your projects....watch for Part Two of our to-do list coming soon!
If you have specific questions about your property and what you may need to do to in preparation for sale, don't hesitate to ask! We're here to help.
Ready to file your 2019 tax return? If you sold your home last year or are planning to sell in 2020, we want to make sure you understand the rules about reporting the sale of your home!
What are the tax rules about principal residences?
The new rules were introduced in October 2016 and they changed the reporting requirements concerning the sale of your principal residence.
Before 2016, if you sold your principal residence, you did not have to report the sale on your income tax return, but now it is a requirement.
What do I need to do as a homeowner?
The good news is that you still don’t have to pay capital gains taxes when you sell your principal residence (provided you’re a Canadian resident and otherwise satisfy certain requirements under the new rules). But now, you need to include some details about the sale of your home on your tax return.
You’ll need to provide the year you purchased your principal residence, address and sale price.
The form to use is included in your tax package (Schedule 3 of your tax return). There has also been a change to the way non-residents calculate the length of time they’ve owned their principal residence.
What is a principal residence?
According to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), a “principal residence” is any residence ordinarily inhabited by you or a family member in the applicable year.
There’s no need to live in the property for the entire year, and even short periods of time during the year (like vacations) can meet theh criteria. Your principal residence doesn’t even have to be in Canada, but only one dwelling can be a principal residence at a time, and you can decide which dwelling it will be.
If you sell a property that you haven’t designated as your principal residence, you must report half of any capital gains from the sale and pay tax on them.
So why are there new rules anyway?
The new rules were designed to close a loophole. In theory, the change to the way property owners calculate the number of years they owned a property should hypothetically reduce the number of foreign investors and "house-flippers" who previously avoided paying capital gains taxes on the sale of residential real estate by claiming their properties as their principal residences.
The reporting requirements also let the CRA monitor compliance with the rules, to ensure that only those entitled to the “PRE” Principal Residence Exemption, can use it.
What happens if I don’t report?
If you don’t, you may be liable for capital gains on the sale, plus late charges and interest. The penalty is $100 per month for each month you’re late, to a maximum of $8,000.
So the bottom line is, when you sell your principal residence you will need report it on your tax filing for that tax year.
Whether you’re buying or selling a home, it’s important to understand from the outset how professional representation can help you at every step of the process.
Buying or selling a home is a major financial (and emotional) undertaking and
your REALTOR® is more than just a "salesperson".....we act on your behalf as your advocate, providing you with professional advice and guidance.
While the Internet has opened up a world of information not previously available to consumers, the data on listings available for sale, while interesting, is only relevant in context in our local market. In a competitive market, whether you are buying or selling, you need the most current information about what has sold or is currently for sale, any pertinent changes in pricing, as well as any addiotnal information we have about specific properties beyond the listing details.
The way to ensure you have that information is by enlisting the help of a REALTOR®.
Buying a Home:
As a buyer, there are many advantages to having a REALTOR® work with you:
We simplify the process of finding you the perfect place by matching up properties that fit with your criteria & arrange all property showings. As buying or selling your home is a very personal transaction, many people tend to feel more comfortable using an agent as a liaison rather than having to deal face to face with potential buyers or sellers. The best part is it doesn't cost you, the buyer, anything to have a REALTOR® work on your behalf as buyer’s agent is compensated via a percentage of the seller’s brokerage commission.
Once we find the right property for you, we will develop a negotiation strategy based on our industry knowledge and experience, facilitate all the contracts and paperwork, as well as negotiate the purchase on your behalf including price, possession, inclusions & any conditions to the purchase.
We can recommend industry professionals, such as mortgage brokers, certified home inspectors, real estate lawyers, insurance agents, movers, & even proven contractors for any projects that need to be addressed. We will be with you through your home inspection and will help guide you through that process as well.
We also work closely with all parties involved in your home purchase & ensure that all documents are provided to your Lender & Lawyer.
Selling a Home:
When you're selling your home, you gain access to the most qualified buyers by being listed on the Multiple Listing Service. Whether you are buying or selling a home, MLS® is your best tool. By having your listing as part of the MLS® system you instantly have all of the REALTORS® in the city considering your property for their qualified buyers as well as national exposure to potential buyers relocating to the Regina area.
That is really the key....getting it in front of the highest number of people who are actively looking for a property with the same characteristics as yours, in your price range and neighbourhood.
We are your liaison with other local real estate agents to help promote your property & to work together to help affect a great end result for you!
One of the most important things we do is to help you price your home correctly through our experience and understanding of the market & comparable sales.
Great marketing of your property starts with professional photos & video tours. We will arrange that for you and we will help to advise you & give you our recommendations to ensure that your home & yard are photo ready and engaging to potential to buyers.
Because today's home buyers and sellers are so much better informed than in the past, our expertise and ability to communicate that, are becoming much more important. Our profession and the service we provide is evolving and we are becoming as much a "guide" through the process as a "salesperson".
We are your personal representative when you are buying or selling a home and we will be with you every step of the way!
We look forward to working with you & if you have questions about anything real estate, we are here to help! Email us at email@example.com
Did you know that divorce ranks as life’s second most stressful event?
Decisions over what to do with the family home and who is going where, create some of the most challenging conversations between couples who are parting ways.
Beyond the emotional ties to a family home, shared real estate comes with its own legal issues that need to be sorted out before the dust can settle, and you can both move on. It’s certainly more complicated than simply dividing up the furniture, TV’s and wall art.
However, with 38% of all Canadian marriages ending in divorce, you’re not alone in this and there are industry experts, who have been there too and understand the emotions & the difficult decisions to be made.
We are here to help you navigate the process and answer all of the questions you may have, and while it will likely never be easy, we believe that working with a team who has experience will make it less challenging for you. Or ideally, that’s our goal for you!
We have years of experience working with clients going through this super stressful time in their lives and our job as REALTORS® is to be a neutral 3rd party with the clear & simple goal in mind, of helping you move on with your lives.
Through our video series, W2 Talks: Divorce & Real Estate, we’re tackling some of the questions you may have, with help from professionals in the field, including a mortgage broker & family law attorney.
The Legal Aspect:
No matter who you contact first in the process, ultimately the financial details of your separation will dictate how you move forward, so a formal separation agreement will be paramount. To discuss the legal aspect of Separation/Divorce and how that impacts your decisions regarding your family home & what options you have, we were joined by
Foster Weisgerber, McDougall Gauley LLP, who shares his thoughts on where you should start.
When it comes to deciding what your next move is, there will be lots of questions….can I purchase another property right away, what can I afford….where do I even start with financing a new home? It’s usually the case that one or both spouses want to keep the house, but the real question is if either one of them can afford to do so on their own.
Of course, there are lots of good reasons to keep the family home if possible:
You have children and want to maintain the stability of the home.
The house is in an ideal location and near your work, family, and friends.
The market conditions aren’t ideal to sell.
You bought the house recently and haven’t had time to build equity.
The financial feasibility of that decision will come down to your specific situation and that’s where your lawyer & mortgage broker will help to guide you.
Mortgage & Financing:
When the time comes, the sale of your home or the purchase of a new home requires teamwork between your REALTOR® and your mortgage expert/lender. To help answer those questions and more, we were joined by Candice Carr from TMG: The Mortgage Group.
Our Closing Thoughts
Whether we, as REALTORS®, are your first point of contact or somewhere later in your process, we will be here with you through every step to help find you a new space to call home …and we will help to ensure you have access to all of the information & guidance you need as you move onto a new chapter in your life!
If you have any questions, general or specific to your situation, and would like to reach out for more information regarding your options, you can confidentially contact any of us with the details below, and your information will remain private.
If you would like to reach out to Foster for more information:
We know there a million things to do as you prepare your home for sale so we are starting with just a few projects to tackle before the snow comes & Winter is here to stay! We will take on the indoor list of to-do's in our next blog!
If you're not sure where to start here is some inpiration:
Focus on the Front Yard
Curb appeal is everything and will significantly impact a potential Buyer’s first impression of your home. Stand out on the street and take an objective look, or even better a photo, of your house & yard….What do you see that could be improved?
At a minimum, clean the scuff marks off the front door and touch-up the paint… or give it a fresh coat if weather permits! And if your front door has seen better days, consider investing in a new one….that is a Buyer’s first view to what is inside ad it sets the expectations!
If you have a front porch, make it look inviting (not just a place to store your stuff)
Invest in a cute new door mat & some seasonal evergreens to put in planters at your front door or add a welcoming wreath. Of course at this time of year, inspiration is everywhere!
Make sure to clean up the lawn, planter & garden areas of leaves & debris.
As our days are now growing shorter, many Buyers will see your home at night, so make sure that your outdoor lighting is highlighting your home. Pathway lighting is always a great idea as well and can be accomplished inexpensively with solar lights.
Be sure to replace bulbs & clean your outdoor light fixtures, or update them if necessary.
Have the Windows Cleaned
We know, you probably don’t even think about cleaning your windows at this time of year, but weather & wind can really make your windows dirty and we don't always notice those things when we live in our homes but trust us, buyers will notice and we want them to focus on your great house not on dirty windows! We like companies like Men in Kilts for affordable window cleaning.
Don’t Overlook Your Backyard
What you can accomplish in the back yard will of course depend on weather, but before we get snow that stays make sure you do one last lawn mowing, clean up leaves & blow out your sprinklers if you have in-ground.
Now is the time to put away or cover your patio furniture, BBQ, plant pots & garden utensils and do what you can to make the back yard presentable for Winter!
If you have a garage now is the time to tidy it up and get rid of clutter before Winter sets in! If your garage door or operator need updating, then consider replacing those in preparation for listing your home for sale.
If you have questions about the market ....when is the right time to sell, what is my home worth in the current market and where do we start....we are here to help you navigate the process from beginning to end! Feel free to contact us with your questions.
We were recently discussing pricing with a client and heard the words we have heard many times before……
” I would like to list my home at this amount and we need this amount out of it".
If only it were that simple, we would make it happen exactly that way! Unfortunately our job is to be objective and to provide the best advice we can to help put you in the best position to sell your home, not just to tell you what you want to hear.
It's so important to work with a REALTOR® that you trust has your best interests in mind and then to work together as a team to get the best result for you!
The process of determining a list price for a property requires consideration of a number of factors including:
1. Recent comparables (Active listings but more importantly recent Sales)
2. Market conditions
3. Specific Location (Neighbourhood, Large lot, Backing Greenspace, Proximity to Schools & Services, etc)
4. Condition and Features of the property
While we are always mindful of what a client needs or wants to see from the sale of their home, that can’t be the primary factor in pricing, but rather the deciding factor as to whether or not you want to sell at any given time. And keep in mind that your agent wants you to get the highest number possible for your home as well!
This is where it’s helpful to understand the process and trust the guidance your agent is giving you in regards to pricing.
Market Value is, simply put, what someone is willing to pay for a property on any given day, but overpricing can result in potential buyers overlooking the property completely because it falls outside their range. So rather than presenting an offer and finding some middle ground, they may eliminate it from their list of possibilities altogether.
So when is the best time to buy or sell…..whenever you need to or decide it’s time for a change! You never know who might be looking for a house or condo exactly like yours today and people move at all times of the year.
Of course, if you are a buyer today, there are lots of options for you!
If you need help determining the value of your home or if you would like to see what is in the market that might be of interest to you as a buyer, we’re here to help!
For any questions feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Karin & Jen
Your Proven #YQR Real Estate Team
JC REALTY REGINA || 2241 Albert Street || Regina, SK
Many home buyers decide whether they even want to look inside a house or pass on it based on curb appeal—the way the house looks on the outside is often an indication of what you may see on the inside, so curb appeal & first impressions matter when you are trying to sell your home. You can help ensure buyers want to view your property by spending a little bit of time working on its exterior appearance.
Remember that staging a home affects the entire property. While it is important to make the interior look larger by keeping things clean and simple, the outside of the home shouldn't be overlloked or neglected. Picking up trash and other debris from the yard, driveway, carport, and other areas surrounding the home gives visitors an idea about what to expect from the inside. Pressure washing the siding, deck, and concrete is an inexpensive investment that has the potential to add significant value to the sale price of a home.
Owners and potential buyers don't look at a house the same way; we as owners often can't see our home's faults because we are just used to the way it is.
When the time comes to sell, it's important to try and remove the emotional attachment you have to your home and remember that it is now a commodity that you want to sell for the highest price possible! We know that's sometimes easier said than done and we will be there to guide & support you through the eprocess!
Curb Appeal Exercise:
Many buyers will walk or drive by a listing before viewing so to see it from their eyes, the next time you drive up to your own house, make note of the following as if you are seeing it for the first time:
What is your first impression of the house and yard?
What are best exterior features of the house or lot?
What exterior features of the house can be improved?
Is the yard clean and tidy?
What could you do to make it more attractive…exterior lighting, plats on the step, new paint, clean the windows?
Take photos of your home's exterior….you will be amazed at how differently you see it from that perspective! What jumps out at you immediately…good or bad?
Clean and Repair:
Now is the time to make a list of the problem areas you discovered. Tackle any basic clean-up and repair items first, and then put some time into projects that make the yard more attractive.
Stow away garden implements and tools, extra pots and soil etc.
Pet Peeve….garbage bins visible from the street! If you can, make room on the side of your house, or even better, in the garage to store the bins.
Clean windows and gutters.
Pressure wash siding and decks, driveways and exterior lights to freshen them up after winter.
Edge sidewalks and remove vegetation(ie weeds) growing between concrete or bricks.
Mow the lawn and get rid of weeds.
Trim tree limbs near, or touching your home's roofline.
Don't Forget the Rear View (So to Speak!):
A backyard oasis that doesn’t require a lot of work from a potential buyer is a big plus!
Evening Curb Appeal:
Do your curb appeal exercise again at dusk, because many potential buyers drive by houses in the evening.
One quick way to improve evening curb appeal is with lighting:
Low-voltage or solar lighting along your driveway and sidewalks and near important landscaping elements adds great curb appeal.
If it’s been a long time since light fixtures and exterior door hardware have been changed, update the lighting & door handles at your front and back doors.
Make the First Impression Count:
Some buyers can't visualize changes and often won't take a second look at a house if the first look doesn't appeal to them. Thinking like a buyer before listing can entice more people to look at your home and can also help you sell the house faster and closer to the price you want.
There are simple changes you can make that will give you a lot of bang for your buck....consider it exterior staging!
A fresh exterior with clean or freshly painted window trim, a new or newly painted exterior door makes a huge difference. Choose color schemes that are contemporary but also have mass appeal!
If you can't justify the cost of a new door, consider replacing standard door hardware with something more modern & attractive.
Add a new porch light & new garage lights if budget allows.
Add a pop of colour and instant curb appeal by adding some pretty plant pots to your front step or perennials to your front garden beds!
And finally take photos of the Summer landscape so you have them for listing in the Fall & Winter!
If you have questions about selling your home, we are here to help you navigate the process every step of the way! Contact us for more information at email@example.com
Jen & Karin
Your Proven Regina Real Estate Team ...helping you make the right move!
The New Year brings thoughts of change and whether you are purchasing a new home that requires extensive renovations or you just have a room in your existing home that could use an update, good planning helps to keep you focused and may also help you avoid costly mistakes. Yes we have all likely purchased that piece of furniture because it was fabulous and we had to have it….only to find it was not really comfortable or really didn’t fit in the room! Oops ;-)
This article from Houzz has some great tips to help you in the process and might just inspire you to action!
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