Category Archives: saskhouses

Average house prices remain high in Saskatchewan

The average asking price of a listing in Saskatoon on Saskatchewan’s leading website for private home sales in 2013 was $375,876.

Home prices continued to slowly rise throughout much of Saskatchewan in 2013 as the province set new population records, and demand for housing continued to be strong.

The average asking price in Saskatoon bedroom communities wasn’t far behind the asking prices in the city.

In Martensville, the average asking price in 2013 was $359,262, and the average asking price in Warman was $360,529.

Prices were also very strong in Prince Albert, with an average asking price in 2013 of $327,405.

Most forecasters are predicting house prices to remain strong in Saskatchewan in 2014, as the province’s economy and population continue to grow.

First impressions are crucial in the sale of your home

A study conducted by the Bank of Montreal verifies just how important it is that home buyers have a positive first impression when they first walk into your home.

In a report titled Psychology of House Hunting, the Bank of Montreal found 80 per cent of prospective homebuyers know whether a house is the right one the moment they step inside.

The study also found that buyers also rule out a lot of homes the moment they step inside, if they don’t have a positive first impression.

The average home buyer visits 10 homes before making a decision on which one they will buy. While every buyer is looking for the perfect home for them, 68 percent of respondents to the survey said they would be willing to settle for a home that is not “perfect”.

But it’s that all-important first impression – the first 5 or 10 seconds after a buyer enters your home that could decide if your house sells, or stays on the market.

Making sure your home makes a good first impression doesn’t have to be difficult. The most important thing to remember is to make sure your home is clean, and de-cluttered. Open blinds and turn on lights so when people come in the home feels bright and warm. Make sure the home smells nice too – fresh baking or scented candles can make a home feel homey, and help to make that crucial first impression a good one.

And greet the buyers at the door with a smile – be friendly, and let them know you are happy they’ve come to see your home.

 

8 great reasons to sell your home privately

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1. You have control of the selling process

When most people sell anything other than their home, they sell it themselves. They set an asking price, advertise for buyers, and negotiate the selling price and conditions. It isn’t very difficult. When it comes time to sell their home, many people have been led to believe it is a much different process. But in reality, it isn’t. You need to find a buyer and agree on a price and conditions, the same as selling anything else. And in the case of your home, your most valuable possession, wouldn’t you rather be in control of that process, rather than handing it off to a third party?

2. You don’t have to leave your home every time a buyer wants to come and see it

One of the most frustrating things about using a third party to sell your home is that you have to leave your home every time a buyer wants to come and look at it. Our last experience selling a home through a Real Estate Agent was  when our kids were still young. We would either go for walks in the neighbourhood, or go for drives, stalling for time, waiting for the agents and buyers to leave our house so that we could go back to our home, all the while wondering who was looking at our home, and what they thought about it.

When you sell your home through an Agent, you can expect to be given short notice to get out of your own home so someone can come over to see it. You’ll also be asked to leave for entire afternoons, so an open house can be held without you.

When you sell your home privately, you can schedule open houses and viewings around your schedule, as opposed to the schedule of a third party.

3. You get to meet the people who will be buying your home

One of the nicest things about selling privately is that you actually get to meet the people who will be moving into your home after you move out. It is nice to be able to put faces and names to the people who will take over the space you call home.

The same is true for the buyers. They get to actually meet the owners of the home they are thinking about buying.

4. No one knows your home as well as you do

No one knows your home as well as you do, so why wouldn’t you want to show it to buyers? You know about all the upgrades and improvements you’ve made to your home, and about any areas of concern as well. You would think Real Estate Agents would want the owners of the house to be around when they show a home to prospective clients, in case they had any questions or concerns, but for some reason, they don’t want them anywhere near. Do they really think they know your home better than you do?

5. You are directly involved in the negotiations for the sale of your home

For most people, there is no reason you can’t look after the negotiations for the sale or purchase of a home yourself. You know how much you want or need to get out of the house, or how much you are willing to spend. It is not a complicated or hard process. Thanks to the internet, it’s easy to do your own research to determine a fair asking price for your property, and once you have that, the process is just like selling anything else. A buyer will hopefully make you an offer, and you can either accept it, refuse it, or make a counter offer. And you won’t have a third party pressuring you one way or the other.

6. You can save a lot of money

The average commission when Real Estate Agents are involved in a sale is anywhere from 3 to 7 percent of the selling price of the home, plus GST & PST. A lot of Brokerages in Saskatchewan are using the 6, 4 & 2 commission system right now, which is 6 percent on the first $100,000 of the sale, 4 percent on the second $100,000, and 2 percent on everything else. That means that on a $400,000 home, the commission would be $14,000 plus GST &PST – for a total of $15,400.

In that case, the Commission plus Taxes would end up being 3.85 percent of the total sale price. But if you still owe $300,000 on the house, it would be 15.4 percent of your equity. It’s a lot of money, either way.

When you sell your home privately, the only fees you pay are the advertising you decide to do on your own. That can be as simple as putting a For Sale by Owner sign in the window, or advertising online through websites like www.saskhouses.com – all at a small fraction of the price you would be paying to use a Real Estate Agent. The price of your home shouldn’t be higher just because you are using an Agent to help you sell, nor should it be lower because you are selling it on your own. But by the same token, a private seller might have a little more wiggle room than a seller using an Agent, because no third parties are getting part of the proceeds of the sale.

7. There is a lot less paperwork

When you sell your home privately, you usually only have to complete one form – an offer to purchase form, which is signed by the buyer & the seller, along with a witness, and taken to a lawyer. Often, the form can be signed in the Lawyer’s Office. That’s it – the Lawyer will look after everything else, to make sure the buyer gets the title to the house, and the seller gets the money for the sale of the house. When you sell with an Agent, there are a lot more documents to complete and sign, but most of them deal with your relationship with the Real Estate Agent, not with the sale of your home.

8. It is empowering

Anytime you are able to accomplish something you’ve been led to believe you aren’t capable of doing, it gives you a sense of empowerment. And selling your home yourself will do just that. Over the years, the Real Estate Industry has spent a lot of money on fear-mongering ads aimed at chipping away at the self-confidence of people who might be thinking of selling privately. Their most recent ad warns that if you buy a home privately, there is a good chance you’ll end up with termites, facing a lawsuit, living right next to a busy railroad track, and that your neighbours will be front-yard nudists. Don’t believe it, and don’t be afraid. In reality, if you try selling your home privately, you will likely be amazed by how easy and enjoyable the process was, and by how much extra money you end up with in your pocket.

Another record breaking year for Saskatoon Building Permits

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The City of Saskatoon is reporting that more than 1 billion dollars worth of building permits have been issued in Saskatoon so far in 2012. The total amount of building permits issued as of the end of November was 1.05 billion dollars, with residential housing making up most of that new construction.

The dollar value of building permits in 2011 was $936.9 million dollars, and in 2010 it was $666 million dollars.

Much of the new residential construction has taken place in the City’s new neighbourhoods of Evergreen, Willowgrove, Rosewood, Hampton Village, and Stonebridge.

The City says it is anticipating another billion dollars in new construction in Saskatoon in 2013.

Average Saskatoon asking prices continue to slowly rise

We’ve been tracking the average asking price of our Saskatoon sellers for the past few years, and the latest evidence shows that averaeg asking prices are continuing to slowly increase in the Saskatoon area.

The average asking price of Saskatoon listings on saskhouses.com during the month of November was $363,965, an increase of just over $17,000 from the average asking price in November of 2011, and about $19,000 more than the average asking price of $344,249 in November of 2010.

Average Saskatoon asking prices hit a three year high of $386,591 during the month of October. The lowest average asking price we’ve seen since we started tracking them was $302,806 in January of 2011.

The chart below shows the average asking price of Saskatoon listings since January 2010.

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What’s our success rate for sellers?

Over the years, one of the most common questions we get from prospective customers is, what’s your success rate? Our pat answer has usually been that we can’t guarantee you will sell your home if you advertise through saskhouses.com, but we can guarantee you’ll be amazed by how many people see your home if you advertise it on our website. The rest is up to you.

But we’ve always believed the success rate of our customers is pretty similar to the success rate of sellers who choose to market their homes through the MLS system, and at the start of this year I decided to start gathering some empirical evidence to see if that belief was in fact true.
In January, I started keeping track of customers who were successful in selling privately, and those who ended up going with a real estate agent to help sell their homes. Here’s what I have found so far.
In the month of January 2012, we had a total of 102 listings. Of those, 59 sellers reported they were successful in selling privately – a success rate of 57.84 percent. 12 sellers ended up listing their homes with a real estate agent, and 31 sellers, or 30.39 percent of our sellers did not report they were able to sell their homes during the six month advertising period on saskhouses.com.

In the above image, the listings highlighted in yellow were successful private sales, the listings highlighted in red were either sold by agents, or listed by agents and taken off of saskhouses.com. The listings highlighted in blue were unsuccessful in selling, even though they had reduced their asking prices, and the listings in white were sellers who did not report selling their homes through their six month advertising period.

In February, 53.70 % of saskhouses.com customers were successful selling privately, in March the success rate was 57.86 %, in April it was 51.74 %, in May it was 62.94 %, and in June it was 57.04 %. The success rate of our July customers so far is 43.63 %, 43.75 % of our August customers have reported their houses sold so far, and the success rates for September and October customers so far are 37.03 %, and 12.14 % respectively. We expect the success rate in the months of July through October will continue to increase as more customers report that their listings have been sold.

Overall, from January through the end of October, 731 of our 1470 customers have reported they were able to sell their homes privately – a success rate of 49.72 percent. How does that compare with the success rate of sellers on the MLS system? The Saskatoon Regional Association of Realtors doesn’t keep track of their success rate quite the same way we do, but so far this year, from January through the end of October, a total of 9,490 properties have been listed through the MLS system in the Saskatoon Region, with 4,881 reported sales. That’s a success rate of 51.43 percent.

I think the success rate of our customers is pretty impressive, especially when you consider that we are not involved in setting the asking prices of the properties, or in the negotiation process with buyers. And it shows that private sellers are just as savvy, and just as successful as sellers who choose to have a third party involved in the sale of their home. And by selling commission free, they can do it for a fraction of the cost.