Real Estate News from Thom Gallagher December 2016   

If you're planning on selling your home, it’s important to be aware of some common mistakes that sellers often fall victim to.  This month’s feature article discusses what not to do when selling your home.

There’s also some advice on how to spot online scams that are so popular during the holiday season as well as a few tips on how to avoid the flu.

Thanks so much for checking out this month's newsletter.  Please get in touch if you ever have any questions or comments.  In the meantime, here’s wishing you all the best during the holiday season!


In this issue...
Bank of Canada Interest Rate Update 
Bank of Canada keeps rates on hold citing uncertainty.

The Bank of Canada announced on December 7th, 2016 that it was keeping its trend-setting target overnight lending rate at 0.5 per cent.

The Bank is currently taking a wait-and-see approach amid heightened uncertainty on a number of fronts, including the actual policy outcomes of the U.S. election.

On balance, the Bank said there remains “a significant amount of economic slack” in Canada.

Indeed, underlying inflation pressures are actually lower than various Consumer Price Index measures might suggest due to past exchange rate depreciation.  That said, this phenomenon is fading at this point.

The Bank said it remains concerned about consumer debt levels and the housing market, but expects recently announced policy changes to home financing to mitigate these risks over time.

All things considered, the Bank will likely keep interest rates on hold for at least another year and perhaps even into 2018.

As of December 7th, 2016, the advertised five-year lending rate stood at 4.64 per cent, unchanged from the previous Bank rate announcement on October 19th as well as from a year ago.

The next interest rate announcement will be on January 18th, 2017, with an accompanying update to the Monetary Policy Report at the same time.

Sellers Behaving Badly 
There are various emotional side effects to selling your home.

Mistakes mean your home will sit on the market longer and eventually sell for less.  Try and get it right the first time by avoiding the following:

  1. Overpricing - Home sellers are often tempted to price their home way above market value but this tactic usually backfires.  The longer a home sits on the market, the more of a stigma it'll develop.

  2. Restricted Access - It’s easy for buyers to skip your home if it's not easily accessible.  The goal is to show your home to as many people as possible so using a lockbox is key, pardon the pun :)

  3. Hanging Around - Owners should always leave before a showing so buyers can browse without distractions.  If a buyer can make themselves feel at home, they’ll be better able to envision themselves living there.

  4. Poor Staging - You may love the statement your pink bathroom makes but odds are others won’t so consider a more neutral shade.  Also, make sure to get rid of excess clutter and take care of any outstanding repairs to portray pride of ownership.

  5. Going It Alone - Selling your home can be an overwhelming experience.  A real estate agent’s job is not only to expose your home to the masses but also to act as a 3rd party negotiator to help you get the highest price in the shortest amount of time.

Your home is most likely your biggest asset so when you decide to sell, it’s important that you do it right. Viewing the sale of your home as a business transaction and putting aside any emotional ties you may have is a great start to ensuring you sell your home quickly, easily and for top dollar!

Shopping Scams are Coming to Town 
Make sure to be on high alert for online scams this holiday season.

It’s convenient to shop online from the comfort of your home during this busy time of year but the hectic holiday season is also a popular time for cybercriminals.  Here are a few scams to be aware of:

  1. Delivery Details - Be wary of emails claiming “you have a parcel delivery but your address needs to be verified” as it’s likely a scam.

  2. The Hot Ticket - Desperate shoppers eager to score hot holiday gifts are easy prey for cybercrooks who set up legitimate looking websites that show the popular item in stock.

  3. Fake Shopping Apps - Fake retail and product apps designed to steal your personal or financial details are increasingly common and hard to recognize as they closely resemble popular brands.

  4. Holiday eCards - Don’t open eCards if you're not sure who they’re from.  Instead of a warm holiday greeting, it could be a cyber scammer whose gift comes in the form of a virus or spyware.

Unfortunately, there are many people out there who aren’t thinking about holiday cheer and goodwill to all.  Keep yourself safe by updating your antivirus software, visit only trusted, secure sites and never open messages from people you don't know.

Forgotten Flu Spots 
Your home could be a breeding ground for the flu.

It’s no fun having the flu, especially during the holidays, so it’s important to clean shared spaces and frequently touched surfaces.  Here are a few spots to focus on:

  • smartphones & tablets
  • computer keyboard & mouse
  • light switches and remote controls
  • door knobs and handles on appliances and cupboards
  • car steering wheel, seat belts and shifter

Washing your hands with soap and water is the best way to fight germs but regularly sanitizing common germ infested hot spots is also key.  Remember to keep the hand sanitizer on hand (pardon the pun :) and hopefully you’ll be able to avoid the flu this year!

PS Let me help you, or someone you know, achieve your residential or investment real estate goals. You bring the vision and I help you get it done. Call me today at (416)524-6530 to discuss your plans or visit my web site to start your search. I look forward to wowing you with top notch service. 

Not meant to solicit clients already under contract.