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Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 1,167 residential properties in March through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® system, compared with 1,388 in March 2012, a decrease of 15.9 per cent.

“The Ottawa market has been described as steady and stable for the past few years. It’s not going up drastically, and it’s not going down drastically,” says Tim Lee, President of the Ottawa Real Estate Board. “The market was forecasted to slow down in 2013 as a result of recent mortgage changes, and indeed it has.”

“According to chief economists at the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and intelligence garnered from large mortgage lenders, large mortgage brokers, and large real estate brokers, the most recent changes to mortgage rules and guidelines has largely impacted first-time buyers by forcing them to focus on more affordably priced homes.

They were, to a much lesser extent, priced out of the market,” explains Mr. Lee. “When the changes were first announced, those who were actively shopping had to re-evaluate how much home they could afford to finance. Another factor for the slow-down of the Ottawa market could be the role of public service employment cuts in the local economy.”

March’s sales included 253 in the condominium property class, and 914 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 residential properties, including condominiums, sold in March in the Ottawa area was $358,102, an increase of one per cent over March 2012. The average sale price for a condominium-class property was $267,604, a decrease of 4.1 per cent over March 2012. The average sale price of a residential-class property was $386,197, an increase of 2.7 per cent over March 2012. The Board cautions that average sale price information can be useful in establishing trends over time but should not be used as an indicator that specific properties have increased or decreased in value. The average sale price is calculated based on the total dollar volume of all properties sold.

The MLS® system is a member based service, paid for by the REALTOR® members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board. The MLS® mark symbolizes the cooperation among REALTORS® to affect the purchase and sale of real estate through real estate services provided by REALTORS®. MLS® commercial and residential listings are available for viewing on the Board’s internet site at www.OttawaRealEstate.org and on the national websites of The Canadian Real Estate Association at www.REALTOR.ca and www.ICX.ca.

Selling a house involves more than just putting a house up for sale. In order to stand out among all of the houses for sale, you need to market your house to potential buyers, make sure your home listing is appealing, and eventually handle all of the necessary paperwork for selling a home. This is why it is important to work with a qualified real estate professional when placing your house for sale.

If you are looking to buy a house, you will definitely need the help of an agent who is a local expert in your neighborhood. As you browse through home listings and neighborhood data, you will inevitably have questions about a particular home listing or neighborhood. Also, an agent may have information on additional homes that you may not discover during your home listing search.

Remember that not all real estate agents are Realtors®. Realtors® are members of the National Association of Realtors®. People often use “Realtor®” and real estate agent interchangeably, but they are not one and the same.

Selling a house can be stressful. Making the decision, preparing the house for sale, keeping it clean, waiting for a buyer, dealing with offers, and advancing to the closing table – all of these steps can involve discomfort. This is a huge financial transaction with many emotional aspects. But you can get it done , and it may even be easier than you anticipate.

One thing to keep in mind is that you’re not alone. An experienced, professional real estate agent can guide you through the process, help resolve any issues that come up, and ensure that your home sells for the optimal price in a timely manner.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when putting your home on the market and learning how to sell your house:

  • THE RIGHT LISTING AGENT
  • HOW AN AGENT MARKETS YOUR HOME
  • PRICING YOUR HOME TO SELL
  • PREPARING YOUR HOUSE FOR SALE
  • CONSIDER A HOME INSPECTION WHEN SELLING

Experienced agents understand how to accurately price your home and make it stand out in the market. They also have access to a vast referral network, enabling them to connect with potential buyers across town or around the world.

Here are a few avenues Power Marketing Real Estate agents may use to market your home, both online and off.

Multiple photos: Studies show that buyers are more likely to visit a home that includes multiple photos of the listing. Well-lit, wide-angled photos highlight your home’s best features and important rooms.

Designated website: A customized website for your home is an effective online marketing strategy. It can showcase your home with photos, virtual tours or videos, and details about the property and surrounding neighborhood.

Virtual tours: Video tours can be posted with or without a designated property website. Giving buyers an inside look at your property online can get them interested enough to schedule a showing.

Home search websites: More than 75 percent of buyers start their home search online. It’s important that your listing receives full exposure in the MLS and in search engine results. Posting your listing on Craigslist, Facebook, newspaper websites and elsewhere can also be effective in reaching potential buyers.

Smart, competitive pricing is essential. When you price too high, your home stays on the market longer, prolonging the process and increasing your expenses along the way.

Home Seller Mistake No. 1: Pricing Too High

“I can always lower the price later if I don’t get any offers.”

That statement costs home sellers millions of dollars every year.

Yes, you can always lower your asking price, but that’s not a good strategy. Time and time again, experience shows that sellers who list competitively from the start get a better price than sellers who list high and then go lower and lower.

Why? Psychology.

When you price too high, here’s what buyers think:

“Wow, three price cuts in the last four months… There must be something wrong with that house.”

“With all the price cuts on this house, the sellers must be desperate. Let’s offer them far below what they’re asking and see if they bite.”

Sound Pricing Strategies

A far smarter approach is to find a knowledgeable agent who understands the local market and then work together on setting the right price. A good agent can help you avoid the overpricing trap.

An experienced agent will help set the right price for your home by considering the following:


Similar homes, via a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA): Your agent will provide a professional analysis that goes deep into stats about recent sales and current listings similar to your home in size, age, condition and features. Sales within the past six months are especially relevant.

General market conditions: Is it a seller’s market or a buyer’s market in your community? It’s important to note that what’s happening nationally may not reflect local conditions. Your agent can explain the difference and clear up any misconceptions you may have.

Potential buyers get an impression of your home , either positive or negative, within 30 seconds of walking through the door. Having them see your home in tip-top selling shape is an absolute must.

There are countless ways to put the freshest face on your home, many of them costing little more than a bit of your time. Here are a few pointers for the most significant impact:

Outside: The Power of Curb Appeal


• Clear any clutter and keep lawn decorations to a minimum.
• Mow your lawn and trim shrubs.
• Add bushes and/or colorful flowers.
• Sweep sidewalks, porch and driveway.
• Remove or update any dated or personalized fixtures.
• Put all toys away.
• Fix damaged gutters, shutters, siding or roof shingles.
• Add a tasteful welcome mat to the front door.
• Clean all windows inside and out.

Leave your house while it’s being shown to potential buyers. Your presence can make them feel anxious and awkward.


Write a letter about your neighborhood that your real estate agent can share with potential buyers. Include information on local events, neighborhood amenities and other factors that define the community.

Inside: Leave No Trace


Clean everything! Check for cobwebs on ceilings, dust on baseboards – everything.
De-clutter. Then De-clutter again. Rent a storage locker if you need to. This is very important for increasing your home’s appeal.

• Add a fresh coat of paint to the walls.
• Remove family photos and excessive wall decorations.
• Remove personal items, such as DVD collections and trophies.
• Replace worn carpets, and shampoo carpets that are dirty but still in good shape.
• Polish wood floors.
• Add fresh flowers or plants, but don’t overdo it.
• Maximize your home’s natural light by opening blinds and shades.
• Do a smell check and address any odors.
• Pet owners: Take Fido or Fluffy with you while your home is being shown.

Your agent can provide additional advice on prepping your home, and also give you insights into the preferences of local buyers.

Easily fixed pipes or a few outdated electrical outlets are no reason to back out of a deal. However, other issues that come up during a home inspection should give you pause to think about whether or not to proceed.

Here are some red flags that warrant closer attention.

1. Water intrusion and grading problems Water in the basement, condensation on the walls and mold in the air indicate moisture and drainage problems that could cost a lot of money to fix. These issues often suggest improper grading.

2. Structural damage Cracks in walls, ill-fitting windows and doors, and visibly shifted bricks on the exterior are all signs of structural damage. Your cost to fix these types of problems? Anywhere from $20,000 to $200,000.

3. Roof repairs Old shingles, water stains on the ceiling or rotting rafters are all signs that the roof may need to be replaced. This is another extremely expensive undertaking, so pay close attention during the roof inspection.

4. Window replacement Windows that don’t work, fit the frame poorly or show condensation between the panes may need to be replaced. Depending on the number of windows, this could easily run between $5,000 and $8,000.

5. Insect infestation A general inspection should show you whether the home has a pest problem, which may prompt a need for a more detailed report from a specialist. This is a serious issue because some pests can cause structural damage.