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Advice on how to get an accepted offer in a CRAZY seller’s market.


If you have been following the real estate market in Winnipeg you know it is a seller’s market. There is a lack of inventory and an oversupply of buyers, likely a response to extremely low interest rates. If you have recently sold your home or plan to do so soon, congratulations things are looking great for you. On the opposite side of the spectrum, if you are a buyer trying to get into the market, I have some tips on what you can do to maximum your chances of getting an accepted offer without sacrificing everything!



Working with an agent you trust

This is always #1 in my books. I feel like finding the right agent is almost the same as find your soulmate – I did say almost! Working with an agent you trust and believe in will make the already stressful process of buying that much less stressful. Your agent will be able to give you up to date information about the market and/or specific listings, they will manage their time and yours efficiently, walk you through the process of buying (if you are new to real estate), give you tons of information about homes you are interested in. An agent has the knowledge and experience to tell you the positives and negative aspects of the house, things that might need maintenance soon, what comparable homes in the neighbourhood have sold for, etc. In this crazy market it really is in your best interest to find the right agent for you! So... take the time to link up with an agent, do some research, ask questions, and finally get to shopping!


Pre-approval is Key

Getting pre-approved from a reputable bank or mortgage broker is one of the smartest things you can do to increase your chances of getting an accepted offer on a home you love. If you were to make an offer on a property and you are not pre-approved for, the homeowner may assume you were not a serious buyer and might overlook your offer entirely. If you want to be competitive in a seller’s market a pre-approval is a must. Once you have received your pre-approval, your mortgage broker should provide a letter indicating the details of your pre-approval which can be included with the offer to show proof that you have done your due diligence. As Realtor, we advise getting a pre-approval before your start your search. So... if you are looking to buy a house soon and do not have a pre-approval GET ONE!


Home inspections in Winnipeg ManitobaWrite Your Best Offer First.

In a seller’s market a buyer should be doing any and everything they can to increase their chances of getting an accepted offer. In some cases, as a buyer, you might be competing against 40+ other offers so writing your best offer is extremely important because usually you do not get a second chance to alter the offer once the selling agent has started presenting. A couple of things you should consider before you write an offer.  Is a home inspection a must? Most agent would strongly encourage their clients to complete a pre-inspection. It is extremely valuable to be well informed of the condition of the house you are interested in. I would never tell someone to not do a home inspection. I learn something at every home inspection I attend, and think they are fantastic. In a seller’s market it is more challenging to get an accepted offer if you include a post-purchase inspection as a condition. So that is where the PRE inspection comes in. This is when a home inspector will inspect the home you are trying to purchase before you submit the offer. Yes, that means spending the money on a home inspection before the offer is accepted but again it is all about writing the best offer you can. Pre-inspections may cost between $200 to $300 up front, but for the piece of mind, and for the sake of a strong offer, I would say it is worth it. The second point is an easy one – do not ask for the extras. If the house, you are wanting has a freezer and an extra fridge and it is not included in the listing – don’t ask for it. The third point is if you can write a cash offer DO IT. An unconditional offer is very appealing to a seller and greatly increases your chances of getting an accepted offer.  However, this is something we would need to discuss further prior to writing as many of us can not afford to do pay all cash for a house. 


Deposit Amount

A deposit is to be included along with the offer. It forms part of the purchase price. The amount suggested will vary based on the property and situation in which you are offering. However, the amount you provide shows how serious you are as a buyer because this money ultimately protects the seller if the buyer decides to walk away from the deal after conditions have been satisfied. So…the larger the sum provided as a down payment the more enticing your offer will be to the seller.

 

Buying a house in this seller’s market is tough, but I encourage you to hang in there. Try some or all of these tips to help you stand out from the competition and put you that much closer to an accepted offer! Happy House Hunting!


Top realtor in Winnipeg Amy McDermid

#AgentAmy


Amy McDermid

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

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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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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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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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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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To decorate or not to decorate? That seems to be the question of the season.  Or at least one that I have encountered enough times that I feel it is blog worthy!


The short and simple answer, YES! Feel free to decorate your home for the holidays.  Here are some of my recommendations for how to get your house on every buyers’ wish list:


The Proper Foundation: Is your home normally clean and tidy?  Would you consider it to be in a “staged state” prior to your decorating?  If so, then adding a few decorations will create a lovely ambiance.  However, if your home is cluttered adding additional nick knacks is a big Ho-No (see what I did there?).


Make it Cozy: I don’t mean jam pack the space so that people can’t easily navigate their way through it.  Remember, less is always more.  BUT the right festive holiday touches can go a long way.  Have some cider simmering on the stove, start a fire (ONLY if you have a fireplace), turn on some flameless candles, leave out some cookies, place a great wreath on the front door – and you’ve created an ambiance that will appeal to any buyer!


Complement Existing Décor:  Are the colours you are decorating your home consistent with the esthetic of the home?  Remember, buyers like consistency.  We do not need to be jarring them with opposing colours or designs throughout the home.


Accentuate the Positive: Done right, holiday décor can be used to dress up the key features of a home.  Do you have a beautiful fireplace?  Then make it stand out as a focal point in a room with beautiful garlands.  Or do you have high ceilings?  Accent that with a large wreath or other décor.


Go Classic with the Lights: Curb appeal is incredibly important as it creates that (hopefully positive) first impression. Stay away from the large cartoonish inflatables or bright flashing lights. They are too distracting and take away from the home itself.  As a side note, I do own an inflatable Christmas Minion that we proudly have in our yard every year.  But I would not put it up if our home was for sale.  Stick to the more classic white/yellow bulbs placed tastefully along the eavestroughs. It adds a look of sophistication and class.


Decorating the Tree: I would advise against getting a wide and bushy tree.  It will make the space feel smaller.  Instead opt for a skinnier version, and similar to the point above about complementing your existing décor, keep the tree décor more consistent as well.  Stick to three colours or less, and no homemade items.  It’s too personal and makes it difficult for the buyer to picture themselves in the home.


A few other points I would like to make for those people that are selling their home this holiday season:

Do your best to keep the home accessible.  I do not expect you to be showing on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day (although it has happened), but try and keep the place as neat and tidy as possible so that it is not such a daunting task to entertain a showing request on December 27.


Competition Dries Up: I have found year-after-year that listings that may have been sitting in December all of a sudden sell through in the three weeks following Christmas.  Why? Because inventory is SO limited at this time of year.  A lot of people seem to take their home off the market during December but that doesn’t mean that buyers stop looking!


Only the Most Serious Buyers: Truthfully.  Who actually wants to look at houses during the holidays?  Only those buyers who seriously need a place.  Whether it be expiring leases or their own home having recently sold or any other combination of unique circumstance, the most serious of buyers are out and looking at this time of year and they tend to be much more decisive and strong in their negotiations.


And finally, DO NOT let selling your home ruin your holiday.  Work with your Realtor to determine blackout dates and even visiting hours that are appropriate for you over the holidays. Quite often they can post the schedule in Realtor Remarks so that other Realtors know when they can and can’t show the property. While it is important to keep the home as accessible as possible, it does not have to be to the detriment of your enjoyment of the holidays. 

Thank you for reading.  I hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday season filled with love, laughter, family, and friends.  And from my family to yours, Merry Christmas!


The Jennifer Queen Team

Jennifer Queen

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

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