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2020 has been an absolutely strange year.  At the beginning of the year (in Winnipeg) at least there were rumblings of the Coronavirus in Asia and I don’t think we were prepared for what the next few months would bring.  With early spring/summer seeing the first cases in Canada and Manitoba there were predictions for the Winnipeg real estate market of a complete decline in sales and home values.  From this REALTOR®’s perspective that couldn’t have been further from the actual scenario.  With homes consistently selling for over list price in multiple offer bidding wars throughout the city it became clear early on that this year would not be the same as many previous.


Winnipeg Realtors Helping in Bidding WarsAs an observation on the market I believe a large proportion of the reason for these bidding wars has been a higher number of people who are currently in a smaller property, whether that be renting an apartment, or just living in a smaller home have realized that they wanted something with some more space to allow for working from home, home schooling and general isolation due to our situation with the coronavirus. This has brought out a massive demand for similar property options around Winnipeg, while the amount of homes actually going up for sale has decreased approximately 30% on average compared to 2019.  This has limited the amount of options available to the people looking to purchase and has created our heated bidding and offer system, and also increasing home prices significantly versus the same time last year.


That being said we have also seen issues with appraisal values due to the overpayment of properties, we have seen plenty of banks who offered pre-approvals not give financing to the same clients after an offer was presented on homes.  It seems like even though there is demand for homes there are still barriers to entry into the market during this pandemic. 


Some things to note during this pandemic are that the real estate industry is listed as an essential service and as such we are still operating, but not as usual.  Some of the new systems in place during this pandemic include new guidelines and rules for how to view a property, who can view a property and also when you can view a property.  Below are some guidelines for potential purchasers or sellers that have changed due to the Coronavirus:


1. PREAPPROVAL

  • If you want to tour a property, ensure you have a valid, recent (withing the last 1-2 months) pre-approval in place.  Agents are required to pre-qualify buyers before showing them a property and it is in your best interest to know what you can afford especially with all of the bidding wars happening on properties

2. WHO can view a home?

  • The Winnipeg Realtors rules for viewing homes have changed and only 2 people (not including the realtor) are allowed in a home at a viewing.  Also, only the people who are going to be on title for the home should be viewing the property.

3. When can you view a property?

  • With the new COVID-19 rules we as realtors are not allowed to overlap any showings with other groups.  This means that now you are required to book a viewing (in 30 min intervals) and to go through the property as quickly as possible.  The goal is to limit the amount of touching and overlap between people in any given property.

4. Additional requirements

  • Some additional requirements for viewing properties include a requirement to fill out a COVID-19 declaration form.  This for is required for EACH viewing of any home. If you view 5 homes you need to complete 5 disclosures.  These ensure that you are healthy, have not had an opportunity to trace infect yourself or anyone else if you have been exposed to the coronavirus.


The big things to take away from this new system is to get yourself pre-approved prior to any requests with a realtor, ensure that if you are sick you are not viewing properties, and to not unnecessarily tour properties during the pandemic.


If you have any real estate related questions about the new rules, or want to know any other information on the current market feel free to contact us. 


Top Realtor in Winnipeg Logan Queen#AgentLogan


Logan Queen

Tel: (204) 226-1261
Email: Logan@JenniferQueen.com

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July has been and interesting month for Jen and Me.  We came off one of the busiest months of our careers both for the Winnipeg market as a whole as for our team.  Jen and I together did 28 deals in June, which definitely kept us on our toes.  We also capped off the month with a new addition to our family.  Our son, Asher Logan Queen, was born at 12:26 am on June 30th, which put the icing on the cake for an amazing month for our business and our family.



We have been adjusting to life in this Covid-19 era just like many of you have. We have adjusted a lot of our business to be from home, or to limit our exposure to others as much as possible.  Which is not easy when your careers literally mean meeting new people all the time and leaving the house to view properties.  We have been granted some tools to help us though.  We have been granted the ability to digitally sign documents for the first time in Manitoba.  They say that it is only temporary but they are going to have to pry it from my cold, dead fingers! It is so much more convenient for agents and clients alike!Realtor Family in Winnipeg


Other changes you may have noticed if you are actively looking for a home or watching the market is that Winnipeg has been a strong Seller’s Market.  There are a significant number of homes selling for over list price, similar to what the market was seeing back in 2008!  Personally, I have had a bunch of clients have to compete in multiple offer situations and in my honest opinion it is not a lot of fun.  I truly think the only people who enjoy it are the vendors.  Even as the realtor representing a multiple offer sale you have to deal with a lot of scrutiny and a lot of uncomfortable phone calls, messages and conversations with other realtors who are attempting to get the home for their clients. 


That being said there are some tips for people who are trying to buy and are having a hard time dealing with competing offers. Here are some of mine:


  1. Get a Buyer’s Agent to represent you.  The best way to go into an offer situation is to be prepared.  Having an agent represent you who knows the market and can give you the best advice for pricing on a home is a great place to start.
  2. Make a plan.  I know that sounds silly, but a multiple offer situation with 2 offers is different than one with 10.  Speak with your agent about the possibilities of the offer and what could potentially happen on offer date.
  3. Make your offer as attractive as possible.  What does that mean? To be honest the best way to make your offer attractive to a buyer is to leave out as much uncertainty as possible, which usually means less conditions.  Some people are comfortable writing offers without conditions and some are not.  You have to assess the risk involved with writing offers without conditions and what could happen if something went sideways. If you need to have conditions for the purchase, then finding other creative ways to make your conditions look less uncertain helps.  Feel free to contact me if you want some ideas!
  4. Be patient.  I know that some people are on deadlines and don’t want to wait, but truthfully, I don’t believe this can last forever.  The market will shift again and there will be changes that allow buyers to have a more reasonable opportunity to purchase a home.


So what can be said about the current market in Winnipeg? Well I don’t think it has turned out the way anyone thought when COVID struck earlier this year.  Record months, record sales numbers, multiple offer situations and lots of demand for homes were definitely not projections made by many real estate professionals in Winnipeg and throughout Canada.


That being said if you want some help navigating this crazy market we would love to help you.  We are always just a call, text or email away!


winnipeg real estate agent#AgentLogan


Logan Queen

Tel: (204) 226-1261
Email: Logan@JenniferQueen.com

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Having a backyard oasis is one of my life goals! My family and I have  been spending  A LOT of time outside! My husband and I are currently trying to transform our backyard into something beautiful so I thought other might be able to benefit from our experiences. Now that the worms are gone we can finally start tackling some of our projects. This year we are planning some big exterior projects; shingles, soffit, fascia, eavestrough, grading, and a garage. In past years we have painted our exterior stucco trim and all, grading, added flower and vegetable gardens! I know our summer is a short season but undertaking the projects little by little you will be able to achieve that beautiful backyard oasis! 


Here are a couple exterior projects to help you add value and enjoy your outdoor space!


PaintJust like the interior of your house, paint can be a great way to spruce up curb appeal without breaking the bank. Keep it neutral and add that splash of colour with flowers, planters or a freshly painted front door! A great tip if you don’t want to spend a bunch of money on exterior paint, visit some paint store and ask about their mis tints. They sell them at a reduced rate and you might just get lucky! My husband and I did this a couple years ago and ended up getting a white mis tint! We were able to tint it any colour we wanted for a ¼ of the price!


Landscaping This is a big one. Landscaping and grading are very important. While a level yard and pretty gardens make your yard aesthetically pleasing, they also serve a very important role in the overall maintenance of your house and foundation – water management. You always want to make sure you have positive grading, which helps direct water away from the foundation. Installing gardens around your foundation helps absorbs excess water and adds extra curb appeal!


Add or Fix Driveway Adding or Fixing a driveway isn’t always the cheapest renovation but it will go a long way. If your home already has a driveway, make sure it is clean and eye appealing. There are companies in Winnipeg that help fix uneven driveways so just because your driveway has a couple cracks and dips in it make sure you researching and look at all your options before you hire a company to tear up the old driveway and add a new one!


Decks and patios Adding a deck or patio area to your backyard is an important step to creating that oasis! Having a deck or patio area is a valuable addition to your home and can act like a second living space during those summer months. It is a great space for entertaining, eating,  playing, relaxing, etc. This is something my husband and I don’t have and I dream about it all the time! Hopefully we can find some room in the budget this fall or next spring.


Top Real Estate Agent in Winnipeg

#AgentAmy


Amy McDermid

Phone: (204) 470-5356
Email: Amy@JenniferQueen.com

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As I approach another anniversary in real estate, I always feel a sense of overwhelm as I look back and reflect on all the good that this career has brought into my life. It has taught me a variety of life lessons. I will try and highlight my favourite nine (for my nine years in this career) for now:


1.There is a solution to every problem

While the solution may not always be immediate or obvious, sometimes you just have to get creative and think outside the box.  This is where difficult transactions or listings not only help us use our more creative side, but to also expand our professional toolbox.


2. Honesty is STILL and will ALWAYS BE the Best Policy!

I think I have highlighted this lesson in each of these annual blogs for the last few years, but every year it rings true for a different reason.  This year, for whatever reason I decided to try and conceal in a lot of my listing presentations the fact that I was pregnant.  Even though this is my third child and pregnancy has never held me back before, I would not mention anything to potential new seller clients.  I thought it would give them the impression that I couldn’t do my job or was incapable of seeing things through to the end.  Well guess what? I went on a huge losing streak in which for every 10 listing appointments I performed, I maybe got 1 listing.  Maybe it was my lack of confidence because I felt I was hiding something, or these sellers couldn’t tell just how pregnant I was (I’m so huge with this third child), and they didn’t feel that they could ask.  Either way, not being honest and upfront about the “elephant in the room” really did hurt my business for several months.  The funny thing is, when I started talking to people openly about being pregnant – which was much further along in my pregnancy and when I was even larger – it turns out they didn’t care.  A simple acknowledgment that I will be having a baby, that the majority of my career I have been pregnant or breastfeeding, and the fact that I have a team behind me in the event I needed them to step in, was all that these sellers needed to hear.  Honesty (and openness) has always been paramount to success in this business.


3. Awards mean nothing

I swear, in sales there is an award for everything.  They give them out like participation medals.  Oftentimes they are used as benchmarks against your competition.  They are often reflective of sales volume, but give very little insight to the quality of a business that one runs. You need to come up with your own metrics to measure what is important to you and your own business.


4. Respond but don’t React

This is an emotional business.  People selling their homes often have emotional ties to their home and all the meaning it has held for them.  As we become close with our clients during the process, we become emotionally invested in the outcome as well.  However, the best agents tend to have an innate ability to keep those emotions under control and de-escalate any situation in an effort to keep things moving forward.


5. You are your Only Competition

I used to find myself looking to my competitors, both locally and in other markets and compare our numbers.  I would track what they had done, what we had done, and see where we stand in the grand scheme of things.  I would spend a lot of time doing this until one day I realized my focus was being lost on my own business.  I realize now, that my competition is only myself.  My daily goal is to just get a little bit better than I was yesterday.  It’s that simple!


6. You either Win or you Learn

There really is no losing, in real estate or in life – unless you quit.  Take each setback, each rejection, each disappointment and try and garner just one small nugget of learning from it.  Use it as an ongoing feedback loop for improvement. We tend to grow more from our setbacks anyway than from our successes.  So embrace them!


7. It Takes all Kinds to Make this World go ‘Round

Every year it would seem, there is one deal that just doesn’t go according to plan – or perhaps a transaction goes exactly according to plan and results in an almost too quick sale.  Whatever the circumstance, I have had to learn to accept that with the volume of people I help, that not everyone is going to like me.  There are people out there that simply, just aren’t my people. This was initially a tough pill to swallow – but I continuously remind myself that it is ultimately just a numbers game.  If 1 person out of every 100 you help doesn’t like you, then you actually aren’t doing too bad.


8. Relationships are Paramount

To have any kind of longevity in this business, you have to form solid relationships with clients and the community in which you work.  These clients will continue to refer you even in the toughest of times, and will trust your advice even in the most difficult of times.  Even in a pandemic!


9. Invest in what you Believe

Logan and I have started building our own real estate portfolio.  It just makes sense.  As our business continued to expand and flourish, we started thinking about our investor clients and how we have watched their wealth grow through the years.  We truly believe there is no better investment than real estate, and are putting our money where our mouth is and investing in rental properties.  If ever we do want to retire, we will already have a nice portfolio of property that allows us to live on passive income.  To anyone out there that finds they spend most of their money on daily expenses, I implore you to start setting some money aside and investing it in assets that will generate income instead. It doesn’t have to be real estate!  The goal is ultimately to live off that passive income. Create a life in which you don’t need to work, but choose to work!


10. BONUS (I couldn't keep it to 9): Managing Expectations is Key

There has never been a more difficult time to sell a house than during the COVID pandemic.  Not because homes weren’t selling.  As it turns out, homes sold quite well and continue to do so.  What was the most difficult in my experience, was managing the expectations for clients – particularly when we were in a position in which we didn’t know what we could possibly expect! I had many sleepless nights mid-March simply wondering what was going to happen – although my clients likely never knew that.  At the end of the day, doing our best and demonstrating measures being taken, preparing people for what we thought could be a slower market, and providing them with the PPE equipment to keep their showings as safe as possible was all that we could do. Our weekly report cards became extra important as they included market statistics, newest recommendations from the Board and Province, and helped to keep our clients in-the-know. We had clients through the pandemic that were open and receptive to our advice, and had positive outcomes as a result.  It truly was the finest compliment I have received in my career. 



Next year represents my 10-year anniversary.  Hard to believe!  It will also represent the dawn of a new era for both Logan and I.  We had always planned to have three children, as we were both one of three children growing up and enjoyed the dynamics of a family of five.  So this will be the first time in my career in which our family will not have a focus on babies, but rather on toddlers and school-aged children.  While we are still a few years away from having three children in school full-time, I realize it is quickly becoming a reality and that we will have even more time to focus on growing our business.  I can’t wait to see what the next few years bring!


Best Real Estate Agent in Winnipeg#AgentJen


Jennifer Queen

Phone: (204) 797-7945
Email: Jennifer@JenniferQueen.com

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If you would have told me a year ago that I would be writing a blog on how to keep yourself motivated during times of uncertainty as most of the world would be on lockdown, I would have thought you were crazy.  But, here we are.


This has been a learning curve for all of us and if you are anything like me, a very hard lesson. Being a Realtor, it’s always go, go, go. ESPECIALLY during the spring months here in Winnipeg. Although the market has not come to a standstill, people are being more careful (rightfully so!), which means, I am spending a little more time, well, with me. 


At first, I went stir crazy, my usual routine was no more. My husband was now working from home, open houses canceled, clients taking a step back and reassessing and no social interactions from outside the home. So, what did I do? I panicked. We had just come back from our honeymoon in Bali, I hadn’t worked in 3 weeks and now the world is going on lockdown! I didn’t know where to start. 


It took me at least a week to realize, what I should have seen sooner, we have been given an opportunity to Get. Things. Done.  I finally decided to take advantage of the time we were given to focus my energy on bettering my business, tackling the list of to do’s and plan a FULL house renovation. Now, you may think that is a little on the extreme side, but accomplishing even little things everyday has been how I have made myself feel, for lack of a better word, normal.


If you are feeling any of the same emotions I had felt, you are not alone. With the world in a state of uncertainty, you are entitled to those feelings, but by accomplishing little things everyday hopefully you too can get a little normalcy back in your life. Here are some ideas to help you get started: 


Tackle that pile of odd jobs you have been putting off for years.

You’ve been staring at that patched wall now for what feels like a lifetime, today can be the day.  Head over to Home Depot (BUT remember to book extra time to wait in that infamous line), grab a can of paint and get it done! That pesky eave that has been leaking? Replace it! Every task you check off, give yourself a pat on the back.


Real Estate Tips for WinnipegPlant a garden.

Finally, the sun is shining. Why not get out there and build yourself a little vegetable garden. Taking care of your new-found hobby will give you something to get excited about every day!


Organize the basement.

We’ve all been there, you just keep piling and piling things into that storage room and think “I’ll get to it next week”. Well, that day has come. Get in there, go through those boxes you haven’t seen in 5 years… who knows, maybe once all of this is over a garage sale may be in order!


Yard Work.

Yes, I said it, spring has sprung and your yard looks less than ideal. Get that rake and go to town! Having an outdoor space that you can enjoy will make being stuck at home all that more enjoyable.

 

Spring clean.

Who knows what the heck has been living behind your fridge all winter? Make your home feel fresh and clean by doing a thorough deep clean. Next step, open up your windows and bring in some fresh spring air and relax.  


Redecorate.

House feeling dated? I know I’m not the only one with a Pinterest board remodeling every single room in my house… why not give yourself a few DIY projects to pass the time as well as spruce up your home!


Start and exercise routine.

Go for a walk, a bike ride or rollerblade. Whatever it is, start moving. Trust me, I know how tempting that couch can be, adding a little physical fitness to your daily routine will hopefully help boost your mood!


Winnipeg Real Estate and COVID-19Read a book.

That book your co-worker gave you 6 months ago is calling your name. Get inspired. Learn something new, or just read something that makes you happy.


We will always remember COVID-19 and how it impacted society as we know it. Days can all start to blur together without our usual routines, so let’s try our best to make each one memorable. On the bright side, it looks like things are starting to look up here in Manitoba! Hopefully adding a few of these things to your week will help getting you to that finish line that much easier.


To quote one of the best, “Just keep swimming” – Dory.


Top Realtor for River heights Winnipeg

#AgentAshton


Ashton Augert

Phone: (204) 781-1767
Email: Ashton@JenniferQueen.com

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To be perfectly honest I am not sure where to start.  The last few weeks have turned into something straight out of a Science Fiction novel.  Mandatory shut downs, people self-isolating and social distancing. People buying way too much toilet paper, I joke.  Really though I believe this whole Coronavirus pandemic has everyone thinking twice about a lot of things in life. 


I remember watching in January as China had a goal to build a new hospital in 10 days to fight the virus and try to help save lives.  I couldn’t believe that a country could do something that fast.  There is no chance that in Canada, or Winnipeg in particular we would be in a position to do something of that grand scale to battle this crazy illness.  Obviously our governing bodies, both in the province and the country have been watching the spread of this virus and the possibilities that can come from it.  We are lucky that the city we live in has SPACE! Social distancing is something we have the ability to do.  I was in Costco this week, I waited in line like everyone else and got into the store to find roomy aisles, no crowding, no one running carts into each other, it was probably the most pleasant shopping experience I have had in a long time.  People are being smart and while some of that may be an inconvenience it is so necessary.


Agent Logan Queen Top Realtor WinnipegIn our house both Jen and I are Realtors, which as of today was declared an essential service.

This means we will still be working and helping our clients who need to buy or sell a home find what they need.  We completely understand the social distancing and staying home, we have two young children at home, one who’s preschool is closed due to the virus and the other who is usually home with us has a weaker immune system.  So we are not intentionally trying to put ourselves in harm’s way by continuing to work.  We have taken every precaution we know to maintain distance from people, and to keep ourselves and our family safe, as well as our client, and their homes.   


I guess my biggest take away from this so far is how much negativity and doom and gloom there seems to be out there.  Yes we are isolated, yes we are all having to change the way we do things in our daily lives.  However there is a reason for it, and that is to ensure that as many people as possible are able to go back to their normal lives when this is all figured out.  I too can take it for granted when I have two kids screaming at each other because they are bored and want to do something other than be at home, I get it we all would like to have the option to do other things.


However, I choose to look at the good things that have come out of it. Personally I am getting to have a ton of quality time with my family, we are able to eat almost every meal together, prepping and cooking with the kids is a great learning experience and a good test of patience for all of us.  We have been baking, crafting, playing, laughing, crying, but we have been able to do it all together.  We have more time to appreciate our home, yard and neighborhood while we find creative things to do without “going somewhere”.  Finding new games to play with the kids, seeing their enjoyment change day-to-day on what they want to do and how happy they are to just do something out of the norm.  For instance they had an extra long bath in our basement tub (the one with the jets) the Top rated realtor in Winnipeg MBother day with toys they don’t usually get to use in the bath and they loved every minute! For kids it really can be just that simple.


The gist of what I’m trying to say is maybe this is that time to do something you have been putting off, to read a book you have always wanted to read, to build that bird feeder you always wanted to build, or maybe you want to be the best Fornite player in the world.


the point is we have been given an opportunity from a very crazy situation that none of our parents, or even their parents have seen the likes of.  Let’s all embrace it as community, city, country and do what we can to beat this thing. If you can do something to help someone in need, do it.  If you need some help don’t be afraid to ask.  These are unprecedented times and everyone’s needs will be different. Let’s be kind to each other and most of all, stay safe everyone. 








Best Realtor in Winnipeg MB Coronavirus#AgentLogan


Logan Queen

Tel: (204) 226-1261
Email: Logan@JenniferQueen.com

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Looking for some ideas for kids activities during this period of Social Distancing? Download our List of 101 Activities You can do at Home with Your Children.  How many have you done already?  How many do you plan to do?


Download the PDF HERE.


We hope you are all safe and well during this time.

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We have had enough inquiries from fellow Realtors, clients, and partners as to what our Coronavirus Protocol is, so we figured we would post the letter that has gone out to our Sellers below:


As the COVID-19 virus continues to dominate the news, we too are determined to come up with a proactive solution to ensure the safety of our own clients. We are firm believers in everyone doing their part to #flattenthecurve. We are watching and planning non-stop. As a profession that spends time inside the homes of our valued clients, we understand that it is our responsibility to play a constructive role in supporting health initiatives.  In light of the recent cases in Winnipeg, we have reviewed the Novel Coronavirus Bulletin and our own practice. In light of the bulletin, we are now requesting that any agent your home follow the following protocol:

  • View the video of your home online in advance of the viewing (one further step to qualify the buyer in advance)
  • To not tour the home if any individuals in the party have traveled abroad within the last 14 days
  • To not tour the home if an individual feels unwell
  • To not touch anything in your home including the restrooms
  • If children are present to please hold their hands during the tour
  • To practice good hygiene: ensuring hands are frequently washed and in the absence of such to frequently use hand sanitizer with at least a 60% alcohol base


If we are able to get our hands on hand sanitizer and gloves, we do plan to provide them to anyone touring your home. Stay tuned!


To encourage social distancing initiatives:

  • We will be postponing open houses to limit the amount of groups in your home at any given time
  • We will no longer allow overlapping showings.  We will ensure all showings are staggered.


Similar to the recommendations listed above, we are also asking our team members to stay home when sick and exercise an abundance of caution when visiting your property.


Other important notes:  All lawyers, as well as our contacts at the Land Titles offices have indicated they do still intend to process deals and title transfers as usual.  Many plan to enact their own social distancing policies which does mean that many will be working remotely.  Some lawyers have indicated that they may have paperwork couriered or emailed to their clients in advance so that clients simply need to sign and drop off completed paperwork to limit in-person communication.  Some banks have indicated they may need slightly longer for financing approvals as a result of working remotely. Please be prepared to see longer contingency periods on incoming offers.


Thus far, there has not been a significant change in the market.  Homes are still being listed daily and buyers are still actively out looking.  That being said, we have noticed higher volumes of cancellations for both showings and listing consultations.  Only time will tell what the impact on the market will be, if any.  But for now we are feeling cautiously optimistic.


COVID 19 and Real EstateAgain, we are watching this situation daily and will likely be making continued changes based on emerging instructions. As more information surrounding COVID-19 is made available by local, provincial and national authorities, we will strive to keep you updated on ways to maintain a safe environment within your home.


Above all else: Be kind to each other. We will get through it!



Realtor Jennifer Queen Talks Coronavirus#AgentJen


Jennifer Queen

Phone: (204) 797-7945
Email: Jennifer@JenniferQueen.com

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The 2020 spring market is about to ramp up and the Jennifer Queen Team (JQT) wants to help protect you and your investments. We pride ourselves on helping people find their dream home, whether it be your first home, or you’re downsizing or upgrading. Whatever situation you’re in, we don’t want you to fall victim to the dreaded home buyer’s remorse. So this month Agent Amy has come up with 8 ways to help avoid home buyer’s remorse.


Let’s start at the beginning… What is Buyer’s Remorse?


Buyer’s remorse is the sense of regret after having made a purchase. We usually see regret more frequently after making a significant purchase, such as a home or vehicle.  Sometimes we find buyers experience remorse because they have purchased something they can’t really afford, including finding themselves in a significant amount of debt to cover the cost of an item. However you can be responsibly managed with a modest mortgage that properly suits your budget. Keep in mind that buying a house is an exciting decision and is nothing to be afraid of if you are well informed and have the proper support where needed.


Understanding the Buying Process

The first step in avoiding buyer’s remorse is understanding the home buying process. The more information you know before committing to a purchase, the less chance of you finding out something you don’t agree with after closing. Knowing what to look for, questions that should be asked and common technical oversights can be addressed with experience. This is where the JQT comes in….

  • FIND A GOOD REALTOR. If you are reading this blog (which you are) then look no further. You have found the best real estate team in Manitoba (that’s our opinion anyways). We go above and beyond for our clients. We have put together a detailed home buyer’s guide to help inform buyers of the process. Want one? Just ask. We’d be happy to provide you one. We have hard copies as well as digital copies.
  • Once you have found a Realtor, ask to set up a meeting. It doesn’t have to be formal just an afternoon coffee will do. At the JQT we truly enjoy our jobs and we would love nothing more than for you to join us for a cup of coffee, where we can talk about something we are passionate about, real estate, and we’re sure you’ll learn a thing or two! It’s a win win!


Examining the Financials

Financials for Home BuyersThe second step is another important one. It is imperative that you obtain a trusted mortgage broker. This can be a bit daunting because just like Realtors, there are lots of mortgage brokers out there. The JQT has compiled a short list of mortgage brokers we have worked with in the past and would recommend to all our new clients. These mortgage brokers are trusted, reliable people who will work hard for you and will do their very best to help you turn the key on a house you love. If you’ve found a mortgage broker you trust, we have no problem working with them as well. Finding the right mortgage broker brings confidence and comfort during a crucial time of the home buying process. Arranging a pre-approval prior to starting your home search will alleviate stress and anxiety during the process.


Patience and support

If you’re anything like me, maintaining patience is a struggle. Once I commit to do something, I want it done now!! As mentioned previously, buying real estate is an exciting time, it’s important that you are able to keep your composure and stay patient. Personally, I found support to maintain my patients in my husband. We are very opposite in this respect. If you can relate with my lack of patients, you might consider bringing someone else along. Whether it be a parent, trusted friend, boyfriend/girlfriend etc. Someone that is willing to see properties (preferably all of them) and have an unbiased opinion, might be a great option for you. If you need someone like this but don’t have anyone in the city, as your Realtor we can play that role, just say the word! Remember that buying a house is a major decision even though there are times the process may seem rushed, take your time and ensure that you are ready and comfortable with the decision, and keep in mind sometimes this can take a while. The JQT is here to wait with you.


Home Buying Tips to Avoid Buyers RemorseThe List - Want vs. Need

A great way to start your home buying search is to come up with a wants and needs list. This one is pretty self-explanatory, but shouldn’t be taken lightly. Write out a list of things you can’t live without -NEEDS- and things you would like to have but could live without -WANTS. If the patience step gives you anxiety you may want to bring your list with you to showings or reference it on a regular bias. As you view houses, you may become inspired to add to your list, be sure to reflect back on your Needs vs. Wants. This will help prioritize the important items to consider in the house.


Home Inspection

A home inspection is a great resource in helping minimize buyer’s remorse. It allows you to gain loads of knowledge about your future home before you have completely committed to it. Including a home inspection as a condition within your offer will help you get a thorough view of the property, but also allows you to terminate the contract if you need to. I usually tell my clients a home inspection is a great way to become acquainted and well informed about the property and also helps you make a “to do list” that every homeowner has. Whether deficiencies need to be address ASAP or it is something you need to budget for in the future, home inspection can help prioritize the “to-do’s”. If you are finding yourself in competition with another buyer and feel that writing in a home inspection hinders your chances of getting the property, I would suggest you request to conduct a home inspection prior to writing an offer. Yes, it cost money and the owner my not accept your offer, but I feel a home inspection is worth the risk.


Need a great home inspector? We have a short list of great home inspectors we use regularly. Just ask us for our Recommend Service Supplier List. We’d be happy to share.


Stick to Your Budget

Once you have taken the time to meet and commit to a mortgage broker. Make sure you take some time and go over your expenses and decide what an appropriate budget is for you, and stick to it! Just because the bank says they will give you a mortgage for $400,000, doesn’t mean that’s what you’re comfortable spending. Sit down and thoroughly go through your expenses and come up with a mortgage payment you are comfortable with (considering other bills…) and stick to it.


ASK QUESTIONS!

I truly believe there is no such thing as a stupid question and if you know me at all, you will know that I follow this mantra as well. I ask a lot of questions. If I don’t know something I ask. And that’s what you need to do as well, no judgement here. If you don’t know something about the buying process, ASK! If you don’t know something about the house, ASK! Don’t feel embarrassed that you don’t know something – real estate is what I do for a living, take advantage of experience and expert advice. I am a modest person and recognise I don’t know everything, however I have access to my team, colleagues and other experts in the industry and I will find out. Be reassured that knowledge will give you confidence to buy, the JQT is here to help you through this process every step of the way. 


The spring market is going to be heating up very soon (excuse the pun) and we are trying to make sure clients are ready and educated. Our job is to assist you. The last thing we want is for you to regret the major purchase we just helped you through. So take your time, go step by step and enjoy the process. While the process of buying a home can be stressful, it’s a very exciting time and we want you to remember it as such.


Happy Hunting!


Realtor In Winnipeg

#AgentAmy


Amy McDermid

Sales Associate

Phone: (204) 470-5356
Email: Amy@JenniferQueen.com

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Well 2019 was another banner year for the Queen Team! More sales, bigger sales, a larger team, more awards, you get it. But honestly, where did the year go?  As I sit down and look at my calendar from 2019 I see a lot of 14 hour days consisting of team meetings, client appointments, agent mentoring, home inspections, various committees, open houses, etc.  You name it, we did it. We give everyone the funny, the good news, the excitement and the “pretty” on social media. We choose not to post the ugly, because we aren’t expecting people to feel “sorry” for us – it’s part of the job!  There are peaks and valleys in any job and that is what we signed up for! But in truth, the hours can be long, VERY long. There is no “closed” sign for clients – we’re here for them 24/7.


Sometimes we give more to our clients than our own family. We understand that there is a reason and a season, and the simple fact that they chose US, is what keeps our business going.


Milestones for the Queen Team in 2019:

Amy McDermid Top Realtor in Winnipeg#AgentAmy returned from maternity leave! In October, Amy returned to work full time after taking some time off to raise her sweet son, Gavin.  We are so glad to have her back.  She was the first person to ever agree to work with me – the poor soul.  She is a full time licensed realtor that brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to her clients and I know that this year will bring great joys and successes for her, both personally and professionally. Her dedication and commitment as a person shines through in all that she does, including now being a working Mom! She’s more than just a colleague and work wife, she’s become a great friend.


Real Estate Agent in Winnipeg#AgentAshton got married to her amazing husband, Mark!  She managed to handle showers, socials, and the planning of her wedding in 2019 and never broke a sweat! In fact, she had her own banner year in real estate and not only hit the sales goal she set for herself, she surpassed it by 25%.  She continues to astound me and I know that 2020 will bring even more good things for her.  She has a great work ethic, a fun and positive attitude, and her clients absolutely adore her for it.




Realtors in Bridgwater Winnipeg#AdminCarrie continues to be a rock for everyone – her team as well as her family. She is often the first in the office and she runs a tight ship. She has three teenagers; her son just graduated high school and is now in University. Her twin daughters just got their learner permits.  Bless her soul! She has a huge heart, whether it be going above and beyond for one of our clients or team members, fostering dogs, driving all hours into the night to get her kids to their extracurriculars, or working longer hours than she is supposed to just to make sure everything around the office gets done.  The Carrie’s of this world are truly a gift and we feel so lucky to have her.


#AgentLogan and I bought our first two rental properties. We’ve helped many investors over the years and watched as their wealth grew.  Finally we got the nerve to take on the endeavour ourselves!  We have hired a property management company that deals directly with the tenants.  So really, it is a steady stream of passive income.  The goal for 2020 is to buy another 1-2 rental properties. I actually thought that buying rentals was going to be more challenging than it has been, but we have a great bank that has worked closely with us.  All we needed was the down payment and proof that the property rents could sustain the monthly expenses, and we were on our way!  The most important factor is finding the right deal so that the numbers make sense. This is something we are quite capable of doing!


REMAX Realtors in WinnipegWe finally updated our pictures in 2020 as well.  It was time.  My headshot was from the day I got my license in 2011.  I had been reluctant to have new pictures taken as I had a couple of children in that time, gained a few (or a lot) of pounds.  With the picture date in mind I set a goal to lose some weight, and lost 50 pounds in 2020 doing a modified Ketogenic diet.  For a long time I knew that carbs were not my friend, but I love cake.  Knowing these pictures were looming got my butt in gear and kept me motivated.  The goal moving forward is to do more regular updates.  We aren’t secret agents after all!


We finally incorporated our real estate business.  I know this sounds like the most boring piece of information, but it is something I’ve been meaning to do for a few years and was a huge undertaking but now a weight off my shoulders. Fellow Realtors, if ever you have questions about incorporating your own business, please feel free to reach out. I can put you in touch with a good tax accountant as well as a corporate lawyer or just talk to you about my experience with it. There are many tax advantages and strategies that can be implemented to multiply your tax savings!  Some of these tax savings have gone to the down payments for our rental properties!


Realtor Family TeamsOn a personal level, #AgentLogan and I discovered we are pregnant.  Yep, you read that right!  We are expecting our third child.  A lot of people commented when we had our son that we now had the “Million Dollar Family”.  But to us, our family didn’t feel quite complete. I looked at my dinner table in the future and couldn't imagine my life without 3 children. We are both one of three children, and we liked the dynamic that having two siblings brought.  Perhaps that, or we secretly love chaos in our lives.  Being outnumbered by children while running a busy real estate practice – sounds completely sane, right?  RIGHT?


For 2020, we dare to push the limits. 

I’ve written a pretty aggressive business/marketing plan for the year and we want to accomplish more than we have in the past.  We will dream big and aim for the stars. There is no goal we can’t attain and no task we can’t complete. We have exciting new things to come, new members joining and, just like always, creative and innovative marketing strategies to WOW our clients. 2020 - Look out!



Top Realtor in Winnipeg Manitoba#AgentJen


Jennifer Queen

Phone: (204) 797-7945
Email: Jennifer@JenniferQueen.com

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Typically, I love to write blogs about new real estate trends, or how you can maximize your real estate knowledge, but today I wanted to share with you something I discovered this last year that I owe a lot of my success to, in real estate as well as in life.


Last year, on December 4th 2018, I wrote a letter to myself, as my future self. It began, “Dear Ashton Augert…. What a year it has been”. I have to admit, I felt a little silly and not to mention skeptical as I wrote the first few lines. I thought to myself “There is no way ANY of these things are going to happen”. But before I go on, I should first let you know where I was a year ago…


I had just made the big decision to move from my previous brokerage to my current brokerage, and had just began my career with the Jennifer Queen Team.  I had always wanted to be on a team, and when the phone rang with the opportunity of the lifetime, I didn’t hesitate to jump on board. Although I was still fairly new to the business, I was starting to gain confidence in the Realtor I was becoming, and was so excited to be able to join a very successful team, but still had a lot to learn. I had also just recently purchased my first home and was newly engaged. Life was starting to go in the direction I wanted it to, but there were still so many unknowns and goals I wanted to fulfill in the upcoming year.


That was when a little birdie (cough,cough Jen), challenged me to write a letter to myself, as my future self, writing about all of the great successes I had achieved that year. So now here I was, sitting there, writing a letter to myself and thinking, what do I want to achieve this year? And this is what I wanted to share with you. Some of the goals I wrote were so small, that they almost seemed silly to write down on paper, others were so far-fetched at that moment in my life that they seemed more like dreams for another lifetime or at least not feasible in the next year! But the important thing was, that by writing these goals down, and visualizing them as my own future, I was now committed to, at the very minimum, attempting to try to fulfill them (even though I still felt a little silly for doing so).


When I was done writing, I read the letter one last time, signed it Ashton Humphreys (my future last name) and folded it away in a drawer to forget about until the next year.


As I’m sure a lot of you could agree, 2019 came and went in a blink of an eye. Life has a way of making you forget how in only a short period of time, so much can change. Sitting back and reading the letter I had written myself; I couldn’t help but feel proud. The person who wrote that letter a year ago would be amazed to see that I had actually done most of the things I had said I would do, not to mention blew some of them out of the park! We had done the renovations on the house we were planning on doing, our wedding went (mostly) as planned, I sold more houses then I had written down (which seemed unattainable to me at the time) and we did have our new little fur baby. The best part about all of it was it now gave me the motivation to dream bigger.


Motivational Quotes for Real EstateSo, here is my advice to you:

Celebrate the small successes: No goal is too small, seeing the small achievements throughout the year gives you the fuel to reach for those bigger ones. If you don’t quite reach that big goal you set at least you can see that there are so many other things you have achieved, giving you the motivation to keep going.  


Set achievable, yet difficult goals:  Push yourself, if you think you can put aside $5000.00 this year for a down payment, why not shoot for $6000.00? When I say achievable, I mean something that you realistically could achieve. If you are a real estate agent setting a goal of selling 50 houses this year, that is achievable. If you are a real estate agent and your goal for the year is to perform open heart surgery, not so achievable (you get the point). 


Make yourself accountable: By writing down your goals, you will now have to face yourself when the time comes. Just imagine how great you will feel opening that letter a year later and seeing it there in your own writing, all the great things you have accomplished. You may also want to give a copy of your letter to a trusted friend or family member if you need a little more accountability, whatever works for you to keep yourself on track.


Have a good support system: By surrounding yourself with people who also want you to achieve your goals and believe in you will make it that much easier. You don’t have to achieve these on your own.


Reward yourself: It is ok to be proud of yourself. You did it! Give yourself a pat on the back... or maybe treat yourself to that spa day you have been dreaming about. Whatever it is, you deserve it.


Keep going: If you didn’t quite reach the goals you set for yourself this year, keep going. Don’t set the bar lower now because you are afraid of failure. Use it as fuel to motivate you further.


We all have goals; some are smaller such as learning to touch your toes and others are so big that you may not achieve them for years to come. At the Jennifer Queen Team, we truly believe setting goals is the perfect recipe for success. Every Monday we go around the table setting achievable goals for our work and personal lives for that week. The accountability aspect, as well as writing them down motivates us to do the things we may otherwise have brushed off. Setting goals, whether it be weekly, monthly or yearly helps you stay on track.


So, if you are wanting to buy a house in the next year, write it down. If you are wanting to save $300 more dollars a month, write it down. If you are wanting to go see the Eifel tower, you guessed it, write it down. You never know what your subconscious will grab hold of. When you open that letter a year later, you may just be surprised with things you have achieved.


Without that letter to myself, I would not have realized all the small successes I have made throughout the year. It has really given me the fuel to give 2020 all I’ve got. Try it, what’s the worst that could happen?


“By recording your dreams and goals on paper, you set in motion the process of becoming the person you most want to be. Put your future in good hands—your own.” —Mark Victor Hansen



Top Real Estate Agent in Winnipeg Manitoba

 

 

#AgentAshton


Ashton Augert

Phone: (204) 781-1767
Email: Ashton@JenniferQueen.com


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They’re here! They’re here! All of your photos with Santa, Anna, and Elsa from the Queen Team Client Appreciation event are ready for download courtesy of Brian at Empire Photography!  


Our link can be found here: https://www.empirephoto.ca/queen/ and should work for 90 days.


Realtors in Winnipeg ManitobaThanks again to all our clients for coming out to Landmark Cinemas, Grant Park to make this a memorable day! It was so wonderful to see all of you, enjoy some treats, watch a couple good movies, and catch up. We were completely overwhelmed by the positive response and it has left us wanting to do this again, perhaps more than once a year!  Thank you as well to everyone that brought a non-perishable food item for Winnipeg Harvest.  Your donations led to a truck full of food for some very grateful families.  Thank you again to you all.  We truly do believe that we have the best clients, and you all proved that yesterday! We love you! We’ll see you all again next year!


Realtors in Winnipeg Manitoba


Agent Ashton Augert in Winnipeg ManitobaRealtor Client Appreciation PartyRealtor Amy McDermid Top Real Estate Team


Top Real Estate Agent in Winnipeg#AgentJen


Jennifer Queen

Phone: (204) 797-7945
Email: Jennifer@JenniferQueen.com

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Welcome to Winterpeg! If you have lived in Winnipeg for a length of time then you can understand why the nickname Winterpeg sticks with our great city.  If you are new here you may have heard people joke that Winnipeg can get cold in the winter and our winters are the longest season.  Now you may have prepared for this and have come ready with long johns and a warm parka but have you considered some of the implications of purchasing a home in the winter months?  There are going to be certain parts of a home that you will want to know about when purchasing that will not be readily visible in winter, for example a roof covered with snow.


To help out with a purchase in Winnipeg between November and March I will lay out a few pros and cons of purchasing a home in the winter season.


Pros

1. Less competition

Winnipeg is known for having a pretty stable market with a mix of both buyers and sellers markets throughout different areas of the city.  When buying a home in the winter months there tends to be less competition as you head into the new year. As people prepare to settle in for Christmas there is usually slow down with their searches of homes and start to wait until the next year. Families who are searching for homes usually slow down their searches until the end of winter because they do not want to move their children in the middle of the school year. This can be a great time for you to purchase! If you happen to find a house that you love then the odds are good that you will have less competition than you would have if you were searching for a home in the spring and summer months. 


2. Listings

Buying a home in Winter in WinnipegAs the year comes to a close you tend to see less movement on the MLS.  Houses are listed less and the ones that are tend to stick around a bit longer than usual.  Just because most people choose to list in the Spring and Summer months doesn’t change the fact that some people still need to list in the winter.  Maybe they have purchased another house and need to sell the one they are currently in, maybe they need to downsize, the point is that houses still need to be sold in the winter but with less competition from buyers this can lead to a better bargaining position and may help you get a better price for the house you want.


3. Purchase price

Winter months can have an effect on the purchase price of a home.   As listed above there are many factors that will depend on the sale price of a home, but generally the longer times on market in the winter and less buyers looking for homes usually give you the ability to negotiate easier than you could in the summer months.  It is not always the case but usually people are willing to negotiate more to ensure they can enjoy the holidays not worrying about the sale of their home.



Cons

1. Viewings

Something that is harder to come by in Winnipeg in the winter months is daylight.  With most people having to view homes in the evening and the sun going down around 4:30pm it makes viewings in daylight more challenging.  Daylight is important for viewing a home, there are things that you will definitely miss about a property when viewing it in the dark.  Whether that be the paint colours showing up different or portions of the property you simply miss because it is too dark.  Seeing a property in daylight is an important part of the process.


2. Snow cover

Winter House Hunting in WinnipegWhen purchasing a property there are things you want to be able to see around the home when viewing it and a heavy amount of snow can hinder this process.  Shingles covered in snow cannot be seen, grading and landscaping can be completely covered by a blanket of snow.  Disclosure statements are especially important when purchasing in the winter as you will need to have the comfort of knowing what you may have to deal with in the spring.


3. Outdoor fixtures

When purchasing a home in the winter it is important to get the proper information and documentation on outdoor fixtures of the home.  When I say outdoor fixtures I mean things like the central A/C system, hot tubs (if included in the sale), pools, etc.  These are systems that cannot be tested in winter, a winterized pool may look fine but come spring could show signs of necessary repair.  An A/C unit cannot be tested in the winter as it will cause damage to the system.  There are ways to protect yourself when writing an offer to purchase in regards to outdoor fixtures so always ask your Realtor how to insert the proper conditions.


Hopefully this has been a quick guide to purchasing a home in the winter.  There are plenty of great reasons to get out there at look at some homes that have been on the market for a while, especially if you want to be in a new place before Christmas.  If you have any questions about buying in winter or want to know more about what to look for give us a call we would be more than happy to lead you in the right direction.


Logan Queen Top Winnipeg Realtor

#AgentLogan


Logan Queen

Tel: (204) 226-1261
Email: Logan@JenniferQueen.com

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The new First Time Home Buyer’s Incentive (FTHBI) came into effect in September 2019. The program is aimed at making it easier for young people/eligible Canadians to buy their first home by lowering the monthly mortgage payments. The federal government agreed to a $1.25 billion CMHC First-Time Homebuyer Incentive over three years. It will provide 5% of the cost of an existing home up to a maximum of $500,000 and 10% of the price of a new home. While it sounds like the federal government is providing an interest-free loan, know that they also secure shared equity in your home as it goes through gains and losses. This means the amount paid back to the government will fluctuate based on how much your home increases or decreases in value.

There are a few notable conditions to watch out for;

  • Applicants must have a down payment of at least 5% and no more than 20%. (CMHC insurance must apply)
  • Household income must be less than $120,000
  • The mortgage cannot be more than four times the homebuyers' household income.

Buying Your First Home in WinnipegFor example, if you buy a $400,000 home with a minimum down payment of 5% ($20,000) you would be eligible to receive $40,000 for a newly constructed home through CMHC. As a result, instead of taking out a $380,000 mortgage, you will borrow $340,000. On a mortgage at 3.5% the monthly savings over the 25-year amortization period is more than $200.

  • Applicants must not have owned a house in the last four years – exceptions will be made for those in a "breakdown of marriage or common-law partnership."
  • The loan must also be paid back under two circumstances:
    • if you sell your home;
    • or at the end of 25 years

The current mortgage stress tests for both insured and conventional mortgages remain intact, however, as CREA states in their federal budget bulletin, “The government will continue to monitor the effects of its mortgage finance policies and adjust them if economic conditions warrant.”


In addition to the FTHBI the Liberal government also increased the amount first time buyers are allow to withdraw from their RRSP for a down payment. A $10,000 increase in the federal Home Buyers' Plan to allow a maximum withdrawal of $35,000 from one's RRSPs to put towards a down payment on a home. This allowable withdrawal for first-time buyers has also been extended to apply to Canadians after experiencing a marital breakdown in marriage or common-law partnership. The same repayment schedule applies with home buyers required to pay back their RRSPs over 15 years. 

First Time Home Buyers Incentive

Frequently asked questions about the new incentive:

What properties are eligible?

The new incentive is to help first-time homebuyers/eligible Canadians purchase their first home. Eligible properties include: new construction, re-sale home and mobile/manufactured homes. The residential properties can include up to 4 units. The types of properties include: single family, semi-detached (i.e. side by side), duplex, triplex, fourplex, town houses, and condominium units. The property must be located in Canada and must be suitable and available for full-time, year-round occupancy.

Can I buy a house using the program and rent it out?

No. The incentive is to help first-time homebuyers/eligible Canadians purchase their first home with the intent to live the property. Investment properties are not eligible for the incentive.

What are the terms of repayment?

The homebuyer will be required to pay back the Incentive amount after 25 years or when the property is sold, whichever comes first. The homebuyer can also repay in full at any time, without a penalty. Refinancing of the first mortgage will not trigger repayment.

How is repayment calculated?

  • If a buyer receives a 5%, the homebuyer will repay 5% of the home’s value at repayment.
  • If a buyer receives a 10%, the homebuyer will repay 10% of the home’s value at repayment.

Repayment is based on the property’s fair market value at the point in time where repayment is required.

Are there other costs involved with the First-Time Homebuyer Incentive?

There may be some additional cost associated with the Incentive:

  • Legal fees: Your lawyer is closing two mortgages so you may be charged higher fees.
  • Appraisal fees: You may need to have an appraisal done to value determine the fair market value of your home when thinking about repaying the incentive.
  • Other fees: Additional fees may be incurred throughout the life cycle of the incentive, like switching your first mortgage to a new lender or refinancing your first mortgage.

What are the mortgage details?

  • The maximum threshold for debt service ratios are GDS 39% and TDS 44%. This is only applied on the first mortgage and is subject to requirements by lenders and mortgage loan insurers.
  • Total borrowing is limited to 4 times the qualifying income. The combined mortgage and Incentive amount cannot exceed four times the total qualifying income.  The amount for the mortgage loan insurance premium is excluded from this calculation. 
  • The Incentive is a second mortgage on the title of the property. There are no regular principal payments. It isn’t interest bearing and has a maximum term of 25 years.  
  • The Government of Canada will share in the upside and downside of the property value upon repayment. 

 Is Mortgage Loan Insurance required?

  • The mortgage must be eligible for mortgage loan insurance through either CMHC, Genworth, or Canada Guaranty. The first mortgage must be greater than 80% of the value of the property and is subject to a mortgage loan insurance premium.
  • The premium is based on the loan-to-value ratio of the first mortgage only. That is, the first mortgage amount divided by the purchase price. The Incentive amount is included with the total down payment.
  • Mortgage loan insurance premiums may vary depending on the mortgage loan insurer and may be subject to provincial taxes. 

Can I switch my first mortgage to a different financial institution?

Yes, your first mortgage may be switched to a different financial institution without having to repay the incentive. The terms of the first mortgage may not be altered in this case.

If I decide to purchase a new property, can I port (moving the mortgage to a new property) the Incentive along with my first mortgage?

A Port is considered to be a sale which will trigger repayment of the Incentive.



Do you have a question regarding the new home buyer’s incentive? Feel free to contact me, I’d be glad to answer any of your real estate questions.




Top Realtor Amy McDermid REMAX

#AgentAmy


Amy McDermid

Sales Associate

Phone: (204) 470-5356
Email: Amy@JenniferQueen.com

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Your Home is Sold… Now What!?

Congratulations!  You’ve made it from listing to SOLD!  But now what?  I’m going to cover some points that I often go through with my clients once their home sale firms up. 


In my opinion, the hardest part is over.  You have triumphed through showing-after-showing, multiple open houses, some harsh feedback, along with all of the other stresses that come with the sale. Or perhaps you consider the physical packing and moving of your items to be the most stressful.  Either way, things are moving forward and it is best to be mentally prepared!


All of the paperwork that you need to sign with me is now complete.  That's right, you no longer have to see my face.  Unless of course you want to.  Then the feeling is mutual!  But I will not be needing any more signatures on anything at this point, unless you and the buyers agree to amend something in the contract, for instance a possession date.

What you will still need to sign are the land transfer and mortgage discharge documents, etc. usually done with your lawyer a few days prior to possession.  I will have already forwarded all of the paperwork on to your lawyer, so they should have everything they need for your file, apart from your signing hands (and survey certificates if you have them and keys)!  The lawyers will usually get in touch with you about a week prior to possession. So do not be alarmed if you don’t hear from them immediately after the sale.  You only need to give your lawyer one set of keys.  The remainder of the keys can be in the home for the new owners.  The purchasers just need to be able access the home on the date of possession.


Moving Checklist WinnipegThe lawyer will also ask for final meter readings, particularly the water meter reading.  This should be done the day prior to possession.  The lawyer will usually give you instruction on this.  If you do not provide the water meter reading, sometimes the lawyers will do a holdback of funds (usually around $1000), until they receive confirmation from the City that your usage has been confirmed and paid. So it is important to get this reading done prior to possession.  You should also read the hydro and gas meters as well.  For any meter reading, I encourage you to take pictures of the meters, especially with something that shows a date. The purchasers are instructed to take their own meter readings upon possession as well, and then Hydro tends to take the average of your reading and their reading to arrive at a number they feel is fair for final billing.  So far, I have only encountered honest buyers and sellers, but I'm sure there are some that lack scruples and may report inaccurately (hence the picture recommendation).


Other items to keep in mind: It is time now to cancel your insurance.  BUT I would cancel it effective a few days AFTER possession.  Just to be safe.  I've heard horror stories of people showing up for possession and the house having burned down and there being some dispute over when the fire started.  So better safe than sorry.  The extra cost for a few extra days is worth the peace of mind, in my opinion.  


Make sure to change your address on everything (Credit Cards, Schools, Bank Institutions, etc). You may want to look into mail forwarding with Canada Post.  They have options for mail forwarding for several months up until a year.  I have found that there is always some mail that may slip through the cracks (Costco rebate cheques that only Celebrating your home sale in Winnipegcome once a year!).  So if you are feeling paranoid that there is something you may miss, I recommend setting yourself up for mail forwarding.  The Canada Post Website can be found here: https://www.canadapost.ca/cpc/en/personal/receiving/manage-mail/mail-forwarding.page


And my last instructions are to go celebrate.  This one was tough on you guys, but you championed through and you deserve some time to celebrate! CONGRATS!





Jennifer Queen Team - Top Winnipeg Realtors

#AgentJen


Jennifer Queen

Phone: (204) 797-7945
Email: Jennifer@JenniferQueen.com

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The Real Cost of Purchasing a Property

Thinking of buying a house? Most buyers already know there are costs associated to purchasing a home (apart from the obvious purchase price) but what are those costs exactly?


In the real estate world, we refer to these costs as “closing costs”. These closing costs account for all of the extra fees, taxes and more that are required at the time of closing to ensure the property transfers ownership. On average, we tell our clients to set aside 2-2.5% of the total purchase price of the home to cover these closing costs. What this means, is that if you are purchasing a home for $350,000.00, with a 20% ($70,000.00) down payment you would need to have $8750.00 aside PLUS your down payment to close on this property. If this comes as a little bit of a shock to you, don’t worry, you aren’t the only one! Good news is, after reading this article you will be an expert in what to expect when it comes time to writing that big, scary cheque on possession day!


Just a tidbit of advice before I get started, mortgage lenders will usually want proof that you have the amount needed for closing prior to approving your mortgage financing, so having a rough idea how much you will need will help you understand how much you can afford.


THE BREAKDOWN:

Lawyer Fees:

This is the most variable cost of all of the closing costs. Lawyer fees well vary depending on which lawyer you use, the amount of labour needed, what documents are required and much, much more. The majority of real estate transactions go pretty smooth once they are with the lawyers (we have already done the majority of the back and forth!) and if this is your case, you should be budgeting for roughly $800-1200 for these costs.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are NOT using a real estate agent to write the offer, these costs will be significantly higher.


Title Insurance:

We have spoken about title insurance in the past but here is a quick summary once again. Title Insurance is required by most lawyers and lenders when closing on your property. This insurance has replaced the need for a survey of the property. It covers you for encroachments, easements and building permits that were not disclosed to you prior to you purchasing your home. Buyers MUST do their due diligence to ensure this information was not readily available to them prior to them purchasing the insurance. Title insurance will cost between $250-$400 depending on which provider you use.


Land Transfer Tax

This is the big one. This is a provincial tax that is calculated as a percentage of the purchase price of your home. The calculation is a little complicated as it depends on the price of your home. As the purchase price of the home increases, the percentage paid increases as well.  If you would like to see a more accurate calculator you can go to ratehub.ca and go to Land Transfer Calculator and input your information. In Manitoba there is also a registration fee for $70.


Property Tax

Depending on what time of year you are taking possession, and how the previous owners were paying their taxes, you will have to reimburse the sellers for the amount paid already. If they are part of the TTIP program, you will only be reimbursing them for the portion of the taxes they paid for that MONTH after the property transferred. If they paid their taxes in one lump sum in June, you will need to reimburse them for the portion of the YEAR after the property transferred to you. As you can see, this amount can be substantially different depending on how they paid and when. Therefore my advice to you is be prepared to have to pay as though they made one lump sum and there will be no surprises!


Commission

Normally, the buyer does not pay any commission to their real estate agent. The price of the commission has already been built into the purchase price and is paid by the sellers. There are situations where the sellers are not willing to pay commission, when that happens, there is a fee agreement drawn up between the buyer and agent for an amount or percentage agreed to by both parties. This is very rare but does occasionally happen.


Mortgage Default Insurance

This one is an honorable mention, this is not technically a closing cost but it is something to be aware of when purchasing a home. Mortgage default insurance is associated with any mortgage where the buyer has put down LESS than 20% (also called an insured mortgage). This mandatory insurance is tacked on to your mortgage, thus not an upfront cost.


Other costs:

We have covered the fees that will be required on the day of possession but I just want to touch on a few others that may come up during your move!

-          Moving Truck

-          Boxes

-          Internet/Cable set up

-          Renovations 

-          Locksmith

-          Cleaning companies/supplies

-          Storage Locker (depending on when possession is)

-          Painting


Like I had said at the beginning of this article, this may all seem a little overwhelming and not mention expensive. Being aware of the costs to be expected will hopefully take away some of the surprise and prepare you for the realty for what it cost to buy. 


Buying a home in Winnipeg#AgentAshton


Ashton Augert

Phone: (204) 781-1767
Email: Ashton@JenniferQueen.com

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What fun would August be without a little contest?  None!  Okay, maybe that is a little strong, but we wanted to help you in prepping those kiddos by offering back-to-school prizes!  All your little ones (with your assistance) have to do is:


  1. Right-click on the colouring contest page below and print it out (we will have copies at our office if you do not have access to a printer)
  2. Colour using your preferred medium, whether it be crayons, markers, or pencil crayons, etc.
  3. Drop off your finished picture to The Jennifer Queen Team's office at 1601 Buffalo Place, Winnipeg MB no later than 11 a.m. on Friday, August 23rd, 2019. Can’t make it here in person? You can email us a picture of your work to Jennifer@JenniferQueen.com


Top Realtor Team Colouring ContestWinnipeg Realtor Colouring contestRealtors in Winnipeg Colouring Contest 




One winner will be selected from three different age groups:

Group 1: 3-6 year olds

Group 2: 7-9 year olds

Group 3: 10-12 year olds


The winner from each age group will receive a backpack loaded with the goodies seen above.  Just in time to head back to school!  Happy Colouring!


WINNERS WILL BE ANNOUNCED ON OUR FACEBOOK PAGE BY NOON ON MONDAY AUGUST 26th, 2019.

Right-click the image below to print!


Winnipeg Real Estate Team Colouring Contest

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Helping people purchase homes is my specialty yet there are a few things that always come up when dealing with first time home buyers.  One of these things is buyer’s representation.  I get asked all the time “why should we have a buyer’s agent?’ and it is a good question.  Most of the time there is a Realtor representing the home so why not just use them? I am in the industry so the answer to me is clear but I will try and give you my best reasons why I think you should have your own agent for your home purchase.


1. Individual representation

When you see a house you like, whether that be online, at an open house or driving by a sign there is usually a Realtor representing the sale of that home, the Listing Agent.  What you need to know is that the Listing Agent’s initial duty is to the person or persons selling the home.  If you approach the listing agent and ask them to represent you they now have 2 choices: one is to treat you as a customer; and two is to treat you as a client.  If the agent chooses route one then they are still acting in the best interest of the Vendors selling the home and not actually working in your best interest. They may assist you and do owe you honesty and integrity in their dealings, but at the end of the day their loyalty is to the Vendor.  If they choose option two the problem then arises that the agent is now representing both parties, and how easy is it for them to work in the best interest of one party without harming the other? The answer is it’s not simple.  The agent almost acts as mediator between the two parties to come to a mutual agreement. This is one reason why I would recommend picking your own agent before you take interest in a property.


2. Better purchase price


I am asked all the time:  “won’t I get a better deal on the home if I work with the listing agent?”  The answer is almost always no.  If a home is on the MLS there is already a contract signed with the vendors that agrees to pay a buyer’s agent from the proceeds of the sale.  If you decide to purchase through the listing agent all that means is that they receive both the selling and buying commission of the sale, yet as you can see from point 1 that it does not necessarily mean they are representing both sides in the best way possible.  Your best chance of getting a better deal on a home is to have your own agent who is a skilled negotiator and knows the market.  They can fight for what you want.  There is no cost to buyers for using their own agent.


3. Do I need to sign a contract to buy?

This one is a bit trickier as some provinces will not allow people to purchase a home without having what is called a “buyers contract”.  What these contracts do is tie you to a single agent for a home purchase.  Now you may ask why, and the honest answer is: to protect yourself.  You can meet with and interview any realtors you want and if/when you find someone you like you can choose to sign a contract.  This will contractually obligate the agent to help you find a home.  These contracts are not required but IMO are highly beneficial.  Any agent with a signed buyer’s contract is going to work hard to get you what you want.  If you are just seeing things with multiple agents willy nilly, then it is harder for any of them to take you serious and really get you where you need to be for your purchase.


4. Second pair of eyes

Charting the waters of a home purchase can be a daunting and there are a lot of things to look for.  To most people, a home purchase will be the largest purchase in their lifetime.  Yet, we often make these buying decisions in a matter of hours.   Usually people have 1-2 showings before putting in an offer and maybe have a home inspection after that.  That’s it.  Maybe 4-5 hours for something you are going to live in 24/7.  Choosing a buyer’s agent will help you see things you may not think about.  While you may be looking at the sizes of the rooms, the colours, or the layout I will be looking for the potential problems and things that you may overlook.  You have to remember that you are looking at a home and sometimes that emotion can blind you from the necessary diligence needed when going through a home.  Until it is your home it is a house and I will treat it as such.  I will be brutally honest about the flaws, the potential issues, things that need to be fixed.  In any given month I am touring anywhere from 50-70 houses.  I know what to look for and how to write contracts that keep you covered.


I truly think that every person when buying or selling a home should have their own representation from a licensed Realtor.  The benefits to you for protection, knowledge and experience can only be given in its full potential from your own Realtor.  If you have any questions about anything you read above or want to chat more about how a Buyer’s agent can help you, please reach out, this is my specialty after all!



Buyer Representation Agreements

#AgentLogan


Logan Queen

Tel: (204) 226-1261
Email: Logan@JenniferQueen.com

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Pictured: My first sale - a condominium for a lovely couple along St. Anne's Road shortly after getting my license. They had tried to sell privately and gave up.



June 2019 marks my eighth year in real estate.  I ALWAYS wanted to be surrounded by real estate.  I remember going to a multitude of open houses just so I could take it all in.  What actually propelled me to finally taking action was a television show on HGTV about a female realtor in Canada that built a successful real estate business, then team, and ultimately brokerage for herself.  I thought, if she can do it, why can’t I? 



ASIDE: Don’t worry Stan, I have no intention of starting a brokerage after observing what you do day-in and day-out for the last eight years. No thank you! Let me sell things!



I am still learning something new every day, even after 550 deals and counting (if my calculations are correct).  I was recently reading Ben Franklin’s Autobiography and found his 13 Virtues still very relevant for today. He was really onto something.  To that end, I have picked eight virtues that I feel are still relevant to what I have learned in my eight years in Real Estate:



  1. Silence.  Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself. Avoid trifling conversation. We must listen openly and honestly to our clients. We all have our own biases and backgrounds, however we are not truly serving our clients best interests if we try to insert our own beliefs and opinions into their decision making process.  Yes, we are there to provide guidance and an education on the home buying and selling process, but not to influence it with our own opinions or biases.
  2. Order: Let all your things have their places. Let each part of your business have its time.  Sometimes it is okay if you respond to your emails at the end of the day.  Focus on the client you are with, they are the priority.  Learn how to prioritize your business to save your sanity (I am still learning this one). I could go on.
  3. Resolution: Resolve to perform what you ought. Perform without fail what you resolve.  Nike’s “Just Do It” campaign resounded with so many because it was simple, and was a message that we all needed.  Do what you should do.  Set your goals, go out and take the steps you need to achieve them.  Whether that be in a new marketing campaign, new listing, or hitting new sales goals. We are often our biggest obstacles, and getting over ourselves and getting to brass tacks is the only way to achieve true success.
  4. Frugality: Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself: i.e., Waste nothing. There are always new shiny objects: flashy marketing ploys, tools for realtors, etc. Some are useful, but the majority do not stand the test of time.  Look at your core competency, constantly work to streamline and improve it, and grow from there. 
  5. Industry: Lose no time. Be always employed in something useful. Cut off all unnecessary actions. Keep it simple.  Similar to point 4 above, work on those core competencies and just get really good at them. Hone in on them.  Revamp, streamline, improve. Learn to be the BEST at what you do. If you aren’t getting better, you are getting worse.
  6. Sincerity: Use no hurtful deceit. Think innocently and justly; and if you speak, speak accordingly. Judge Judy is my guilty pleasure, and one of my favourite lines from her show is “If you tell the truth, you don’t need to have a good memory”.  She is right.  Honesty is always the best policy, especially when it comes to what will be most people’s largest purchase in their lifetime. Sincerity equals longevity in this business.
  7. Tranquility: Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.  Stealing a line from my lessons blog of last year: there are two ways to build the tallest building in town. I know, this sounds weird, but there are two ways to look at business: 1. You can tear down all of the businesses around you to become the tallest building, or; 2: You can just build the tallest building.  This can be a tough industry as my colleagues or friends within the business are often my competition, and an industry set up such as this can lead to dissension amongst peers and sometimes downright dirty tactics to obtain clients.  But karma exists. Always choose to build the taller building.
  8. Humility.  Which to me means keep your pride in check.  Be humble.  I think to say it most succinctly, “stay hungry, stay humble”. 


So what do the next eight years look like?  I have no clue.  As I write this we sit as a team of four agents and one full-time administrator. We are currently sitting just shy of 80 deals halfway through 2019.  I like the size of this team.  We are small enough that we are all close and know what is going on in one another’s business, but big enough that we can take time off and know that our clients are well taken care of.  We are also the perfect number for two golf foursomes. But growth never came from comfort zones! Stay tuned!


Jennifer Queen Top Winnipeg Realtor#AgentJen


Jennifer Queen

Phone: (204) 797-7945
Email: Jennifer@JenniferQueen.com

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If you’ve been following Winnipeg’s real estate market at all these past few months, you’ve noticed a high percentage of homes are selling over the asking price. You may be wondering, how are there so many buyers that are willing to pay more than what the owners have asked for!? The simple answer: The law of supply and demand.

What is the law of supply and demand? It is a simple economic theory where when demand exceeds supply, prices will rise, and vice versa. How this applies to the real estate market is when there is a surplus of buyers who are looking in a specific neighborhood and there is shortage of homes for sale in that specific neighborhood, the prices of homes will rise due to demand. Resulting in, yes, you’ve guessed right, every buyer’s worst nightmare: the bidding war.



If you are thinking of buying a home in the near future there are some things you can do to prepare yourself in the event that you may encounter a multiple offer scenario.



 

Mortgaeg pre-approvalFirst Off, Get Pre-Approved. 

Being confident in how much you can afford when competing gives you a huge advantage. This will allow you to feel comfortable with the number you put down on that offer… even if it may be $40,000.00 over asking! Secondly, the time necessary for the lender to approve your mortgage will be cut down drastically, allowing you to put a much shorter time to fulfill your financing condition, making your offer a lot stronger. It is not uncommon to see offers written with 24 hour financing conditions or even no financing condition at all! If you want to compete with those offers, having a dialogue with your lender as well as the pre-approval will give you the tools necessary to do so.


(It is very important that if you decided to write an unconditional offer you ask your mortgage specialist/broker and your realtor all the risks involved in doing so).  A pre-approval means the lender has already done approximately 70% of the work, but still has a few key pieces that they require to get the final approval.


Know Your Market.

This is where you need to listen to your realtor. Find someone who is familiar with the areas you are looking in. See how many homes in that area have gone over list and by how much. This will give you somewhat of an idea to what you may experience when it comes time to put in an offer. Although every situation is different, being educated in what trends are happening in your neighborhood will help you prepare and will hopefully reduce some of the stress involved with these multiple offer scenarios. An educated buyer is the best kind of buyer!


Know the Market Value of the Home.

Comparative Market Analysis Winnipeg

Market value is defined as “the price an educated buyer is willing to pay for a specific property”. In a “hot market” properties may be listed lower than market value to attract more buyers.  Your agent should be doing a ‘Comparative Market Analysis’ on the property to determine market value so you can make an educated offer. This is not to say properties don’t go above market value, there are many factors that go into what something is worth to someone. It may be that it is next door to their best friend or maybe they just NEED it. It is hard to know what a specific property will sell for, you need to determine not only market value, but what the home is worth to YOU.


Have a Plan.

Bidding wars are stressful, no doubt about it. Talk with your agent about all likely scenarios and what you would be willing to negotiate on. Knowing your numbers before they present offers helps to keep emotions out of it. Keep in mind, in Manitoba your agent does not know what the other offers are and what situations may be associated with them. For all we know, the offer you are competing against could be the owner’s sister. Plans change, but having the discussions beforehand will help ease your emotions at that time.


Write a Letter to the Seller.

Some may say this is a little tacky, but from experience, these have been known to sway sellers in different directions. Read more about the power of a personal letter in #AgentLogan’s previous blog. Let them know what you love about their home, who you are and what you value. Connecting with the home owner may just help get you in the front running to negotiations, its worth a try!


Home Inspections in WinnipegDo a Pre-Inspection of the Property.

The less conditions on an offer, the stronger it is when competing. Putting a condition subject to a home inspection can result in your offer going to the bottom of the pile. This is not to say we shouldn’t do one! Usually, there is enough time before the offers date that you can schedule a pre-inspection of the property, allowing you to write an offer without the home inspection condition but still being confident in the purchase you are making. The only downside to this is if you still don’t get the property you’ve paid for the home inspection!


Be Patient.

The last piece of advice I will give you is be patient. It is not uncommon to write 4-6 offers before finally getting the house you’ve always wanted. This a marathon, not a sprint. I have experienced MANY multiple offer scenarios in my career as a real estate agent, they are all different and they are all unpredictable. Having the tools necessary in advance and the right guidance is key to navigating these crazy things called bidding wars.


Good luck!


Ashton's Advice on Bidding Wars#AgentAshton


Ashton Augert

Phone: (204) 781-1767
Email: Ashton@JenniferQueen.com

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