Although certain pockets on the Halifax peninsula are performing better than others, don’t let that trick you into thinking your house will sell overnight.
Here are the facts:
Real Estate markets are measured by “Month of Inventory” (MOI). MOI is measured by comparing the number of properties being listed versus the number of properties being sold (if we list more property than we sell, MOI will go UP).
A balanced market runs at about 4months of inventory. That means that if no one else was to list their property for sale on the market, it would take 4 months to sell everything that is available. Anything higher than 4 MOI is a buyers market, anything lower than 4 MOI is a seller’s market.
Currently, in HRM we have 10.3 months of inventory. That might be concerning to some but if you compare that to our 13.3MOI in 2016 and our 14.3MOI in 2017 you’ll realize that our market is headed towards a more balanced state.
Here’s what you need to know if you’re thinking of selling in 2018:
The average price of sold properties is up 7% over last year
Days on market is down 22 days (properties are selling almost 1 whole month faster)
Make sure your house is priced competitively and shows well and it will sell 🙂
Here’s what you need to know if you’re thinking of buying in 2018:
Properties are selling faster
Make sure you have your pre-approval completed
Make sure that when you find a property you love you’re ready to make an offer
Make sure you have a full-time agent working on your behalf
There are a lot of mistakes home buyers make when purchasing either their first or tenth home. Here are a few of the common ones and how to avoid them.
1)Skipping The Home Inspection
Purchasing a house costs hundred of thousands of dollars. For most people it is the biggest investment they will ever make in their lives. You need to protect your investment in all ways possible. The approximate $500 it costs to have a certified professional come and thoroughly inspect your future home is pennies in comparison to the amount of money you are actually spending. You don’t want to be kicking yourself when 6 months into purchasing your new home you have to fork out $5,000 to have your roof re-done when you could have just spent the $500 to have a inspector tell you it needed to be re-done before you purchased it.
2)Budgeting for closing costs
Most people when trying to budget to make sure they have the necessary amount of money to purchase a home they ask this one important question. “How much do I need to put down”. Now depending on who you ask this question to you may get different answers. In most cases mortgage regulations require that you put at least 5% down (although some zero down options are still available). That is a downpayment to cover the loan on the price of your property. This percentage however does not take into many other fee’s you will incur through out to home buying process such as:
Water Quality Tests
Deed Transfer Tax
To be on the safe side you should make sure you have at least 8% to cover all expenses you make incur. This should also allow you a little bit extra in the bank so that you will not be completely house broke when you move in.
3) Always looking for a better deal
In the Halifax the market is such that new properties are popping up on the market everyday and with the exception of a few, most of them will be on the market for at least a month. Therefore there is nothing pushing buyers to “Pull the Trigger” on a property and make a offer. This can turn into a slippery slope. The hesitation to move forward on a certain property because you fear another property will come on the market shortly after and at a better price will never end well. You will never be satisfied with the home you purchase and in most cases you will never be able to make a decision and move forward. It can be difficult on you physically and mentally and can often be a heavy burden on your relationship (if you are purchasing with a spouse/partner).
Be educated, learn to recognize a good deal and when you find one, make a move!
4) Place heavy value on “Assessment Values”
There are 3 main types of Values that are placed on properties. Not many people know what these 3 values are, how they differ and how they are calculated. In some markets these values can be very similar and in some markets these value can be drastically different.
Market Value- this is a value determined by comparing active, sold and expired listings similar to the subject property to determine what a fair price would be for that subject property to sell for.
Assessment Value – is a value used for tax purposes. I won’t get into how tax assessments are calculated as that would require a blog post of its self. Tax assessment values are often not relative to the actual market value of a property. Often times certain features of homes (heat pumps, garage’s, etc) are not even taken in to account when its tax assessment is being calculated. Also, often the current tax assessment may even be what the property was “worth” 2-3 years ago. In most markets these value’s should not be considered when determining how much a home is worth, only to determine how much tax you will be paying on the property.
Appraisal Value– these values are determined by certified Appraisal Companies. These are normally a lot closer to market value’s however they normally are on the higher side. These value’s take things like square footage, lot size, oil tank/furnace age, heating type etc. However they do not take into account things that can make or break properties. Flooring type, condition of appliances, layout/look & feel, counter tops, cabinets, etc. These things can add or decrease property value quiet a bit.
Make sure you look at all three of these values, but don’t place too much weight on one or the other. At the end of the day you want to determine what you would be able to resell the property for tomorrow if you bought it today and the only way to do that is two compare it to what has sold and what is for sale (market value).
5) Letting Emotions get involved
When negotiating with sellers with regards to the conditions of sale. Most home buyers want to “WIN” the negotiation. They want to get the property for the highest amount off of asking price as possible so they can feel like they beat the sellers. Rule #1 of negotiating – “It’s not about beating your opponent”. The goal when negotiating a deal on a property should be to find a common ground that works for both you and the sellers. The goal should not be to get the property for the most below asking price as possible, it should be to get the property for as far below “Market Value” as possible. There is a distinct difference between those two. If you have done your home and determined that a specific home is worth $300,000. When you are in the process of negotiating and the sellers reach there bottom line at $290,000 you should feel comfortable paying that amount for it regardless of whether the asking price was $295,000 or $325,000. The sellers can ask whatever they want for their property. At the end of the day make sure you are a educated buyer regardless of whether the seller is educated or not.
Make sure you have a Realtor of your own that you know, like and trust representing you when buying a home. They have been part of multiple real estate transactions, they will be able to help you budget to cover your closing costs, they will find you a good, reliable home inspector, they will provide you with the information to determine market value on properties and most importantly, they will negotiate on your behalf and help you keep the emotion out of it.
Make sure to call/email/ or text me with any questions you may have before getting started finding your new home.
If you live in Halifax you know that there is no shortage of places to eat. You can’t turn the corner without running into a restaurant. On Valentine’s day you really want to impress that special person in your life and here a few restaurants that will help you do the trick.
The Harbour Stone
A very casual yet contemporary style, this elegant establishment leaves nothing to be desired. Located in the Halifax Marriott this affordable restaurant would make a ideal spot to bring your special someone!
The Five Fisherman
“The Restaurant at Five Fishermen is known for its Nova Scotian Seafood, Alberta Angus beef and an array of Chef-inspired menu items, prepared with uncompromising quality. Recognized annually as one of the best dining experiences in Halifax, it is located in one of downtown’s most historical buildings with connections to the Titanic and Halifax Explosion.”
A history filled pub located on Barrington Street. With great selections of craft beer, ales and traditional pub food. This is a great spot for those of you that want to keep it low key on V-Day.
The Auction House
“The Auction House (built in 1765) is located directly across from St. Paul’s Anglican Church (built in 1750), which is the oldest building in Halifax. Over the past 249 years,the house has changed ownership several times. Many of the owners were from the Uniacke Family, including James Boyle Uniacke, who was the first Premier of Nova Scotia. James had two brothers who held various offices in the city, including Speaker of the House of Assembly, Attorney General and also President of the Bank of Nova Scotia.
In the year 1840, Robert D. Clarke founded the original Auction House on the premises. In 1898, Robert’s grandson Melvin S. Clarke, operated a thoroughly functioning Auction House which was considered to be the largest of its kind in the Maritime Provinces.”
“Located in the heart of downtown Halifax, Nova Scotia, we are one of the city’s oldest historic stone structures dating back to 1759. Historically a press gang was a group employed by a commanding officer to impress, or coerce, other men into service for the navy or army. Our walls, food and philosophy are influenced by the history of seafaring in our city. We offer a unique formal dining experience with a menu of exquisite seafood, meat, game, and poultry dishes to satisfy every palate. Our oyster bar is one of the best stocked in the city, with no less than three different farms featured daily. And we have a vast selection of fine wines, single malt whiskies, and classic and signature cocktails, to be paired or enjoyed on their own.”
“The Bicycle Thief exudes a relaxed, come-as-you-are feel, in an atmosphere that blends Old School style with New School attitude. Drop by for lunch or supper, or pull up a chair to our wicked wine bar for a fantastic glass from our titanic selection. The Bicycle Thief offers North American food with an Italian soul – Maurizio’s Italian soul! Let his legendary cooking steal your heart…”
“In September, 2014 the well established pub decided to make its way across the Northumberland Strait and open up a sister location on the historic Halifax Waterfront and in turn creating Gahan House Harbourfront for even more Maritimes to visit and enjoy their award winning ales.”
“This is a place to relax and enjoy the company of friends. Fireplaces surrounded by comfy eating warm the two rooms, one of which features an attractive bar with inviting stools. Come by and watch the game or have a chat with friends in the lounge.”
“Chives Canadian Bistro is conveniently located in beautiful historic downtown Halifax at 1537 Barrington Street. The restaurant boasts a warm and unpretentious décor where you will enjoy extraordinary casual dining in a chic interior that captures key elements of the Canadian landscape; water, wood, rock, and sand. Join us for dinner and you will discover how our urban café décor introduces elements of traditional French urban bistros with long banquet seating, richly painted walls, and chalkboard menus.
Another key feature of our restaurant is The Vault, a leftover from the 1950’s when our space was occupied by The Bank of Nova Scotia. The actual money vault now stores our wine as well as a unique and intimate dining space.”
“Ristorante a Mano brings the feel and warmth of a truly authentic Italian trattoria to Halifax’s dynamic waterfront. Relax, feel at home, whether for a casual dinner, a romantic evening, a family-style Italian Feast, or a phenomenal scoop of our renowned Gelato a Mano.
Rustic decor, soft lighting, Italian music and old Italian films – together with the incredible aromas of our handmade Italian food wafting from our brick oven…all combine to capture the charm and taste of Italia”
“We cook the food we as chefs love to eat: Fun, rewarding, delicious, unpretentious recipes made from scratch with great attention to detail.
The food at 2 Doors Down follows the same culinary DNA as our sister restaurant Chives Canadian Bistro. Chef and owner Craig Flinn and our chef de cuisine Andrew Farrell collaborate to bring a fresh, modern style of casual dishes using a local and seasonal ingredient base. Working closely with Nova Scotia and some Maritime farmers and artisan food producers, our menus change with the seasons and always attempt to showcase the best of what our great region has to offer.”
“Our cocktails, food, wine and beer will leave a lasting impression, because we’re sourcing the best ingredients, searching for the most quality products and keeping up with techniques behind the bar, and in the kitchen. The ingredients we use, whether home staples or exotic imports, are showcased in a new light, made to satisfy and surprise. Having tasted the world we’re inspired by those flavours, yet even prouder of our own backyard and terroir. Our abundant local pantry, along with the influence of foreign cultures, are the backbone of what we offer our friends and guests.”
“Salty’s Bar & Grill & Patio are about as close to the Halifax Harbour as it gets. Our casual atmosphere and waterfront location make Salty’s a natural for gatherings during the day and well into the evening.”
“Tempo Food + Drink is a contemporary, urban open kitchen eatery situated street side on the busiest corner in Halifax. Tempo offers fresh regional cuisine with a twist morning, noon, and night. The convenient Grab + Go section takes the guess work out of your brown bag lunch decisions and fills the morning emptiness with its made from scratch all natural products! Something fun, funky and fresh for everyone. Great wines by the glass and inspired cocktails are dished up by our creative mixologists in a hip and trendy lounge, making it a great place to end your day or start your night.”
The first step when you decide to sell your home is to determine what your home could sell for. Most homeowners confuse what your home is worth with what your home could sell for. Although these two meanings could be similar, in some markets they could be very different. In a buyers market with lots of inventory and low sales, it is extremely difficult to make your property stand out over the 100’s of others that could be listed in your neighbourhood. One way to make your property “POP” is to price is better then your competition. By pricing yourself more competitively then your neighbours you may not get the full amount that your home is worth, however you will be more likely to ensure a sale. It is extremely important to know which houses are for sale in your neighbourhood and how they compare to your home. Pricing your home is not as simple as using the amount you paid for it 4-5 years ago and tacking a extra 30-50 grand on to the price. It requires a lot of thought and is one of the most important decisions you will make when selling your home.
Pictures are everything! The days of buyers going out with their Realtor and viewing 20-25 properties is long gone. Over 90% of home buyers are searching from properties online. Most of which are using mobile phones or tablets to do their searches. Your pictures are what is going to make buyers stop scrolling and take the time to read the information about your property. If you are just going to walk through and snap a couple photo’s with your iPhone that’s probably not going to turn too many heads. Lets put this in perspective. You are attempting to sell a property that costs hundreds of thousands of dollars, spend $100 to have some quality, professional photographs taken by a professional photographer.
There are a millions different avenues you can go down to market your property to potential buyers. It is important to determine what demographic is most commonly buying in your neighbourhood.
Each one of these groups of people are going to respond to marketing in a different way. For example; a young couple may find out about a property for sale from scrolling through their Facebook news feed however retirees and seniors may be finding out about properties through the local paper/ classifieds. If you are advertising a property that is most likely going to be purchased by a young couple or professional, advertising in the local paper may be a waste of time and resources. Obviously the more avenues you can pursue the better chance you have a reaching all of the potential buyers out there.
Some of the most common avenues people use to find buyers are as follows:
Online Advertising Agency (Property Guys)
One of the biggest reasons why most people struggle to sell their home is because they are very inconsistent with their marketing techniques. If you post ONE Kijiji ad and it does not generate any potential buyers for you that does not mean you should stop running Kijiji ad’s entirely. It is important to stick with your marketing plan. Set a schedule of when you are going to run certain ads and post certain links. Follow that schedule and you WILL get results. Same goes for all forms of advertising and marketing. If you are paying for news paper ads. You need to run those ads consistently if you want to make them work. In todays world there is so much information being shared everywhere it takes people seeing something more then one time for them to remember it.
Showing Your Home
Congratulations! All your marketing and advertising has payed off. You have a interested buyer that wants to come take a look at your house. This is wear almost all home owners go wrong during the sale process. Do NOT show your home to just anybody with out pre-qualifying them. The last thing you want to do is let a complete stranger into your home without finding out if they are serious about buying it or not. Some questions you should ask before showing your home are:
Have you been Pre-Approved for a Mortgage?
Do you have a house you would need to sell first in order to purchase this one?
If so is it currently on the market?
How many houses have you looked at so far?
Typically when home owners are getting their homes ready to show there are a couple things they do not keep in mind. First thing is cleanliness. The last thing someone wants to walk into is a dirty house. Second is clutter. A kitchen with a lot of appliances (coffee makers, toasters, blenders etc). Having a lot of appliances in a kitchen can make it appear like their is very little countertop space and ultimately make it look smaller. A living room with a lot of furniture in it. This can make the room look smaller and less open. Little things like this can go a long way. One last issue that some owners have is having a lot of personal, family related pictures and memorabilia around the house. Potential buyers hate to feel like they are intruding when viewing a house. They also want to be able to picture how their own possession would look in the house. You don’t want the house to be bare, but you also do not want to have a ton of personal items everywhere. It’s important to find that happy medium.
People tend to want to give potential buyers “The Tour”. Although this can be beneficial since you know the home the best, however people want to be able to go through at their own pace. It is important to give people their space and let them browse at their own pace.
Two things people tend to do after a buyer shows interest in their property.
Wait for them to call them and place a offer
Bombard them with phone call and emails trying to force a offer
You absolutely need to follow up with the potential buyers that are looking at your property. However if you harass them they definitely will not want to do business with you. Make sure when you call someone to see if they are still interested you have some information to give them. Information on price, utilities, or other interest from other buyers. Do not lie about have other interest, people will be able to tell when you are serious or not.
Price your home properly right out of the gate, take great quality pictures, market your property consistently and effectively. Show your home strategically and follow up with your potential buyers!
CLICK HERE or scan the QR code to get help selling your home from a professional.
There are so many reason why people love living in Halifax. From the food, beer, and bars all the way to the beautiful scenery and events. Halifax is sure to keep you busy and will never let you forget the beauty on living on the east coast. Here are just a few photographs that prove just how amazing of a place Halifax is to call home:
1) Citadel Hill
Photo Credit: @james.turnham
Whether you are looking for a place to learn about the history of Halifax or you are just looking for a place to sit, relax and have a picnic. This is a great spot to kick it on a sunny afternoon!
2) The Waterfront
Photo credit: @elysiamariee
Though it can be very cold at times. The views and the historic building will be sure to warm you up. Grab a bite and a drink and enjoy the views of the Harbour.
3) Theodore Tugboat
Photo Credit: @larrygunslinger
This little tugboat is sure to put a smile on kid’s faces.
4) The Halifax Library
Photo credit: @minerempire20
You can do a lot more then just check out books at this new piece of architectural genius. This amazing building opened in late 2014 and without doubt made CNN’s “Top 10 Eye-Popping new building of 2014”
5) Garrison Brewery
Photo credit: @garrisonbrewing
The Garrison Brewery is one of the most iconic breweries in Halifax. Craft beer is big on the east coast and Garrison Brewery is a must visit spot for tourists and natives of Halifax. Located by Pier 21 this brewery is one of a kind and supports what Halifax is truly all about.
6) Duncan’s Cove
Photo credit: @hilaryhendsbee
A explorer’s dream. Once a small finishing community in the 1800’s this amazing spot has one of the most amazing views of the Atlantic.
7) That was a Cold One
Photo credit: @chaseinthecrowd
Nothing goes better with a nice cold beer then live music! Halifax has plenty of both. No beer is more recognizable for being from Halifax then Alexander Keith’s. Go on a tour of the Keith’s brewery and then sit down for a bite to eat at the Red Stag Tavern and enjoy some more cold beer and some live music!
8) Snip Snip
Photo credit: @sailorbupsbarbershop
You’ll notice some crazy haircuts floating around Halifax and that has a lot to do with the amazing Barbershop’s we have locally. If you really want to fall in love with Halifax, talk to a local barber and they will tell you exactly how amazing it is while you get a nice cut and a hot shave.
9) The Gahan House
Photo credit: @gahan.halifax
10) Go Moose Go
Photo credit: gomoosego
We may not have any NHL teams on the east coast but we sure do love our hockey. Any night of the week you can watch up to 20,000 Haligonians cheering on their prized MooseHeads
11) Donair Everything
Photo Credit: @ficklefroghalifax
Donair is the official food of Halifax. However is Halifax getting just a donair doesn’t cut it. Donair Pizza, Donair Egg Rolls, Donair Burgers and last but not least Donair Poutines. The ultimate drunk food can be found on pretty much every corner in Halifax.
Photo credit: @efraser1o3
13) Peggy’s Cove
Photo credit: @elysiamarlee
Peggy’s cove might be the most iconic spots in Halifax. The infamous light house draws people in no matter what time of year. It is a absolutely beautiful spot and a must see for everyone!
14) Point Pleasant Park
Photo credit: @tsimony
190 Acres of beautiful trees, trails and amazing views of the Atlantic. A park dedicated to the history of all the service men that served during all of the wars, this park stretches up and down the northwest arm of Halifax
15) DOWNTOWN HALIFAX
Photo Credit: @matthewjohnmcneil
Halifax is a absolutely beautiful city on the East Coast of Canada. With a population of roughly 390,000 there is always lots to do. A lot of us residence of Halifax take for granted just how beautiful of a city it truly is. Get out and explore, there is always lots to do.