Ottawa Real Estate News from Ron DeCaen September 2015   
  Real Estate News

Ron DeCaen
Sale Representative

Action Power Team Ltd. Brokerage
15-1420 Youville Drive
Ottawa, Ontario
613.797.9366 (cellular)
613.837.3800 (office/24/7 pager)

When having an open house, it's important to ensure your home's in perfect order.  This month’s article offers some simple yet effective tips on how to plan a successful open house.

There are also a few ideas to help you easily kick start conversations as well as a list of important items that you should always have in your first aid kit.

Thanks so much for checking out this month's newsletter.  Please get in touch if you have any questions or comments regarding the articles, or real estate in general -- it'd be great to hear from you!


In this issue...
Strong Summer Performance for Ottawa's Resale Market 
Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 1,279 residential properties in August through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 1,200 in August 2014, an increase of 6.6 per cent.  The five-year average for August sales is 1,234.

“Ottawa Real Estate Board members had a busy August, with units sold coming in higher than the five-year average and a healthy increase from last year’s sales,” says David Oikle, President of the Ottawa Real Estate Board.

“In addition to an increase in units sold, inventory levels of residential and condominium properties dropped by 5.3 per cent since last month, and cumulative days on the market was an average of 89 days.”

August’s sales included 259 in the condominium property class, and 1,020 in the residential property class.  The condominium property class includes any property, regardless of style (i.e. detached, semi-detached, apartment, stacked etc.) which is registered as a condominium, as well as properties which are co-operatives, life leases and timeshares.  The residential property class includes all other residential properties.

The average sale price of a residential-class property sold in August in the Ottawa area was $379,946, a decrease of 0.1 per cent over August 2014.  The average sale price for a condominium-class property was $244,801, a decrease of 7.3 per cent over August 2014.

“It is important to note that the increase in units sold is for both residential and condominium properties,” says Oikle.  “Also, we continue to see an increase in the number of condominium units sold in comparison to 2014, and the year-to-date condominium sales are now close to on par with last year.”

“The majority of buyers in Ottawa continue to buy properties in the $300,000 to $400,000 price range, closely followed by the $200,000 to $300,000 range,” says Oikle.  “In addition to residential and condominium sales, OREB members assisted clients with renting 295 properties in August, and over 2,000 since the beginning of the year."

Oktoberfest Ottawa 
Don’t miss out on Oktoberfest in Ottawa this year!

You’ll want to mark your calendars for Creemore Springs Oktoberfest Ottawa which is being held between Thursday October 1st and Saturday October 3rd.

This traditional Oktoberfest event serves up local beer and food while you enjoy the sounds of local performers!  The event is being held in the 27,200 square foot Myers Volkswagen Auto Haus at Clarke Fields Park in Barrhaven.

On Thursday, Canada’s hottest country duo High Valley will be performing while Friday allows you to take part in setting a Guinness World Record for the largest beer tasting in the world!  Saturday is the main festival day and will include 13 hours of great bands, hilarious contests and fantastic food and drink!

How to Plan a Successful Open House 
It’s critical that your home has the WOW factor during your open house!

Despite the popularity of online virtual tours, open houses are still important as buyers like to get a “feel” for the home in person.  Here are a few open house tips that are essential for success:

  1. De-Clutter - Remove personal items like photos and souvenirs and put away small kitchen appliances to increase counter space.

  2. Deep Clean - Thoroughly clean your home from top to bottom.  Serious buyers will look everywhere including under the kitchen sink and inside closets so make sure everything's in order.

  3. Lighten Up - Wash the windows and open up the blinds to let in as much natural light as possible.  Flowers also help brighten things up and they’re a great way to draw attention to a feature such as a bay window.

  4. Hype Up the Curb Appeal - Buyers are looking for a tranquil outdoor setting to relax in so cut the grass and pick up the kid's toys.  A few planters on the porch will also boost your home’s curb appeal.

  5. The Nose Knows - Baking just before an open house will leave a pleasant aroma that'll remind people they’re in a home rather than just a house.  You can even leave some out for your visitors!

  6. Hide Pet Clutter - Pets and their associated smells will be off-putting to many buyers.  Put away pet dishes, toys, beds, etc. before your open house and if possible, remove Fido and Fluffy.

  7. Seasonal Pics - If your open house occurs during the winter, make sure to showcase your garden by displaying some photos during the summer when your home’s at its best.

The day of your open house should find your home sparkling clean and completely de-cluttered.  It’s always best if the homeowners aren’t present during the open house as potential buyers need to be able to envision themselves living in your home and be able to voice concerns openly.

The Gift of the Gab 
Starting conversations with complete strangers can sometimes be difficult.

Making conversation is easier than you probably think but it can be daunting if you can't think of anything to say or you fear awkward silences.  Here are a few helpful tips that'll have you chatting up a storm in no time:

  1. Listen Actively - Rather than worrying about how to respond, listen to what others are saying so you’ll be able to respond naturally.

  2. Weather the Storm - We may think it’s boring to start a conversation with small talk such as the weather but it can relax you enough to trigger a more meaningful conversation.

  3. Find Commonalities - Try and find similarities so that you can build upon them.  It might be as simple as the fact you’re at the same party or live in the same area.

  4. Be Open Ended - Ask questions as people love to talk about themselves but try to always make sure that they’re open ended questions.

  5. You Name It - When you’re introduced to someone, use their name right away as people love to hear their name and by saying it out loud, you’re more likely to remember it.

  6. Smile and Be Positive - Most individuals are drawn to positive people so watch your body language, smile and keep your conversation upbeat.  Don’t fill them in on your woes and worries!

Making conversation is actually really easy -- you just need the confidence to pull it off.  Instead of awkwardly fidgeting when you’re introduced to someone, just remember to relax, listen carefully so you can try to find something in common with them and above all, be yourself!

Medical Must-Haves 
A well-stocked first aid kit shouldn’t be an afterthought.

If you’re faced with an emergency, you need to be confident that your first aid kit has everything you need.  Here are some of the most important items your first aid kit should include:

  • a first aid manual
  • an assortment of bandages & sterile gauze pads
  • cleansing agent/soap/antiseptic
  • adhesive tape
  • instant ice packs
  • safety pins, scissors and tweezers
  • an epi-pen

Store your first aid kit in a dry place and always replace used or outdated items straight away.  It’s also important to review the first aid manual so you’ll know how to use the contents should the need ever arise.

PS Are you sick of scouring the paper and MLS sites looking for homes? Tired of playing telephone tag with agents only to hear the home's already sold? Sit back, relax and let me do the work for you! Just visit my website and check off the features you're looking for. Whenever a home matching your criteria hits the market, it'll be automatically flagged and emailed to you so you'll never have to worry about missing your dream home. This service is free and there's no obligation! Click here to get started.

Not meant to solicit clients already under contract.