Selling in the Wintertime

Selling in the Wintertime

Traditionally the winter time is not seen as the best time of year to sell your home.  That isn’t as true as it used to be, today we live in a digital age and the internet is open 24/7 allowing people to look for their perfect home any time that they want to.  If you are thinking of selling or you have to sell because of a job move there are some perks to selling in the wintertime.

Buyers are More Serious

If a buyer braves a polar vortex to come and look at your home during an open house then they are definitely serious about buying a home and they aren’t just there for the free cookies.  Everybody checks out open houses during the spring and summer but December and January are about the real buyers.  This is better for you as Mother Nature has weeded out those who aren’t really looking for a home.

The Internet is Always Open for Business

Today  most people shop for homes on the web rather than contacting an agent to show them around to houses.  Sites like or Zillow make is so much easier for buyer’s to shop around the local market and check out the houses that are available.  Something like 42% of all buyers shop the web before ever having a conversation with an agent.  If you are a seller then you also need to recognize the need to have your home properly listed across the web so that a potential buyer sees your home.

Less Inventory on the Market

We have already established that buyers during this time of year are generally serious about finding a house.  On the plus side for you is that there are fewer people selling houses.  Less demand means a better price for your home.  Often houses that are listed in the wintertime close quickly and aren’t on the market for months at a time.

The Drawbacks

Yes this time of year is busy, it’s busy for everyone but so what.  Moving is always stressful no matter when you do it, but you just have to struggle through it.  First work with a realtor so that showing and offers and most of the real estate tasks can be handled by them and not you.  Focus on doing what you need to do, break down your to do list into manageable chunks, you would be surprised at just what you can accomplish when you have to get it done.


Understanding Deeds When Selling a Home

What is a deed for a house

Understanding deeds when selling a home is one of the most important aspects of the deal. Deeds are an important legal tool that a lot of folks don’t understand as well as they should. It acts as a record of ownership and the transfer of ownership in regards to certain kinds of property, such as real estate. Improperly recorded deeds can cause far ranging legal complications that could be prevented by taking a little time to understand a deed.

A house deed is proof of property ownership. In most provinces they become public records; usually requiring to be filed and notarized. They document both the current owner, as well as future and past owners of a property, and their signatures.

Some deeds provide legal protections for new owners while others do not. A quitclaim deed provides almost no protections for the new owners of the home. It is mainly a document that states that the current owner is foregoing their interest in the property and transferring it to a new individual. These are used frequently in regards to marriages and divorces. Often times a spouse or relative will use these as well to add a new family member, typically a husband or wife, to a deed. Hence, they provide little legal protection since the point of the deed is to declare one party giving the property up. 

Quitclaim deeds are also used in the case that a title company finds a potential claimant to a property. They will generally ask the potential claimant to sing the quitclaim in order to clear up the title for a proper transfer. 

A warranty deed, which is also know as a vesting deed in some jurisdictions, on the other hand provides more protections for problems that may occur with the tittle and more. There are two types of warranty deeds. The main type is a general warranty deed. General warranty deeds guarantee that the property is free of any debts or liens associated with it. They likewise ensure the buyer that the seller will take responsibility for any legal claims made against the house that date back through it’s entire history. Special warranties are deeds that act in the same way as general warranties, but special warranty deeds only cover claims and problems that pertain only to when the seller occupied it. 

To better illustrate the difference, the general warranty would cover a newly discovered lien placed on the house at a point before the seller lived in it. The special warranty however would not make the seller liable for a lien placed on the property before the seller ever occupied it. 

Another type of property deed is an “bargain and sale” deed. These types of deeds are for more common in the United States than Canada, especially in the state of New Jersey. These deeds generally convey a property to a new owner without a sale nor any liabilities to the former owner. These deeds are used in the case that a property owner wants to pass down some property to a family member or friend. It is also common that these sorts of deeds are used when placing a property into a trust. Foreclosure sales tend to use these types of deeds as well. 

Grant deeds are deeds that assure the buyer or new owner that you won’t turn around and sell the property to another person, as well as that there are no liens or restrictions on the property. These sorts of deeds are used mainly when the purchase is made in cash or is given as a gift to a person or trust. 

How does all of that translate to you selling a home? In general, a normal home sale will most likely use a warranty deed of some sort. On your end as a seller, the main thing you should make sure of is that you don’t have any debts like liens outstanding against the home. This can make the sale of the house much easier. 

The bottom line is that deeds are legal proof of who owns or will own a property, and what rights they are afforded by the deed. Before selling or buying a home, carefully study and examine what a deed means and what it legally affords you. In some cases, it is recommended to contact a real estate attorney for questions regarding your deed or potential purchases. Keep in mind that this article isn’t legal advice and the law is constantly changing. You should always talk with an attorney about any legal questions involving your deed that you might have. 


Recognizing Market Trends

Recognizing Market Trends

The real estate industry has trends just like any other and these trends can change quickly.  What was a seller’s market today can quickly turn into a buyer’s market tomorrow.  How do you recognize market trends in real estate and make them work for you?  Recognizing market trends means staying up to date with not just housing prices but the volume of inventory on the market along with interest rates and what is happening in the local economy.  If you are looking to buy or sell a home then working with a realtor who understands the local real estate trends is your best bet.  Let’s look at the various things that can affect the market.


You want to sell your house in the shortest time possible for the most amount of money.  Time can make a huge difference in the housing market.  The right time of year can mean a huge difference in the selling price.  The springtime is one of the better times of year to list your home.  There are more buyers looking to break into the market.  If you need to sell in winter because of a job transfer then you may need a more aggressive pricing strategy.

Regional Concerns

How the local economy is performing will drastically affect the housing market.  For instance if your town has a booming economy and people are moving there because of employment opportunities then housing prices rise.  Declining economies affect the housing prices in the reverse.  When buying or selling you need to pay attention to what is happening locally.  The number of houses on the market will also affect pricing, more inventory is a good thing for buyers but not so much for sellers.

The Economy

The biggest factor that will affect real estate market trends are interest rates.  When interest rates climb so do mortgage rates and that in turn means higher monthly payments for the average consumer.  That also makes it harder to qualify for a mortgage.  When the interest rates drop that means there are more buyer’s that qualify for mortgages and it is easy to buy and sell a home.

Type of Housing

Sometimes parts of the overall market perform better than others.  Condos will outsell single family homes or luxury markets are moving faster than mid-range housing.

If you are buying or selling in the near future then it is in your best interest to understand market trends and how to make them work for you.