Easy to Buy, Easy to Sell

In early June, the Ottawa Real Estate Board announced that May’s sales in Ottawa included 444 in the condominium property class, and 1,856 in the residential property class. They further noted that:

Not only was May 2017 the best May on record for unit sales, it also surpassed the record for highest unit sales in a single month ever; blowing the previous record out of the water by 315 units,” says Rick Eisert, President of the Ottawa Real Estate Board. “One of the reasons for these stellar numbers can be attributed to the condo market, which has really helped strengthen the whole market over the past several months. This is quite evident in May, where units sold increased by 44.6 per cent over May 2016.

Martin Elder Real Estate Group FREE Home EvaluationSo, what does this mean for those looking to buy and sell a home? While sales activity across Ottawa is showing a trend towards a seller’s market, we have not reached that point. Instead, we are seeing a balanced market; whereby both those buying and selling have an opportunity to seek out the perfect home. Keeping in mind, however, that prices and demand will vary from neighbourhood to neighbourhood – with property and home types coming into play.

In fact, there are still neighbourhoods (like Westboro, Wellington West, etc) where homes are in greater demand and may cause bidding wars. For this reason, it is best to work with a knowledgable and trustworthy relator who understands what your home is worth. For a FREE home evaluation, connect with the Martin Elder Real Estate Group.

Martin Elder is committed to the delivery of an Exceptional Real Estate service. Martin promotes and supports the advantages of community. Let Martin help you Sell Your Home for Top Dollar or find your Perfect Dream Home. For free information, assessments and advice, contact us today »

Cats have feelings, too!

Martin with the new addition to the Elder home, Mila.

House pets are a welcome comfort in the home. I love dogs but for practical reasons, cats have been my chosen companions for years.

As a child I remember going to the corner store to buy Black Cat cigarettes for my Dad! You can’t do that today! Black cats have since been my favourite.

House pets rely on us, their caretakers, for their wellbeing. When selling a home, extra care should be taken to prepare them, and the house, for the special Buyer who walks through the front door. Take steps to prepare your house pets, especially cats, for the change in routine. Cats have feelings, too!


Ottawa Real Estate Board Announces March Resale Market Goes Out Like A Lion

ottawa rideau hall real estateOn Wednesday, April 5, 2017, the Ottawa Real Estate Board (OREB) announced that March 2017 saw a near-record number of resale property sales. In fact, OREB also noted that Realtors saw the return of multiple offers throughout the month; a trend not seen in the region for some time. With lower inventory levels across the Ottawa region, sellers should be prepared for a hot spring market!

If buying or selling is in your near future, especially during the busy spring and summer seasons, put my experience to work for you. Buying and selling is more than just “finding the right home”. It is also about ensuring you find the perfect neighbourhood, community and lifestyle fit. Let’s connect and talk about your needs. I can be reached by phone 613-236-5959, at my Westboro office 613-722-3733, by cell 613-296-8065 or by email Martin.Elder@hallmarkottawa.com

Following is the OREB News Release in its entirety:

Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 1,485 residential properties in March through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 1,160 in March 2016, an increase of 28 per cent. The five-year average for March sales is 1,240.

“The busy spring selling season descended upon Ottawa early this year,” remarks Rick Eisert, President of the Ottawa Real Estate Board. “Unit sales for March marked the second-best on record, only 13 units down from the record set in March 2010. We’re also starting to see properties move faster, with the average cumulative days on market sitting at 82 days. With all these positive numbers, it’s still important to emphasize that price and conditions vary from neighbourhood to neighbourhood.”
March’s sales included 314 in the condominium property class, and 1,171 in the residential property class. The condominium property class includes any property, regardless of style (i.e. detached, semi-detached, apartment, townhouse, 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.
“We’re seeing a lot more multiple offers than we’ve experienced in a while, mostly due to lower inventory levels,” says Eisert. “The number of properties listed in March also experienced a decrease over last year, and is about 100 units shy of the five-year listing average for March.”
The average sale price of a residential-class property sold in March in the Ottawa area was $415,467, an increase of 5.3 per cent over March 2016. The average sale price for a condominium-class property was $272,597, an increase of 5.3 per cent over March 2016. The Board cautions that the average sale price 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 calculation of the average sale price is based on the total dollar volume of all properties sold.
“We’re seeing a trend since the beginning of the year, with 50 properties sold over $1 million in the first quarter of 2017, compared to only 22 in the first quarter of 2016,” explains Eisert. “Again this month, a higher number of properties in the over $1 million price range were sold. These gains were in both the residential and condominium property classes, with seven more residential units and four more condo units sold this year over last year. These high-end property sales are taking place throughout the market with Rockcliffe Park, The Glebe, and Westboro leading the way.”
“The two most active price points in the residential market in March were the $300,000 to $399,999 and the $400,000 to $499,999 range, accounting for 53.7 per cent of the market. Within the condo market, the most active price range was in the $150,000 to $249,999, accounting for 51.2 per cent of the market,” says Eisert. “In addition to residential and condominium sales, OREB Members assisted clients with renting 639 properties since the beginning of the year.”

Spring: The Season of Open Houses

[et_pb_section admin_label=”section”][et_pb_row admin_label=”row”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text” background_layout=”light” text_orientation=”left” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid”]

Spring Has Sprung In Ottawa!

A sure sign of spring in Ottawa is the growing list of open houses to visit each and every weekend.

Whether you are a first time home buyer, a homeowner looking to upsize or downsize, or an investor seeking property, be sure to explore all four of the amazing open houses Team Elder Home Sales is hosting in #Ottawa the weekend of April 1st and April 2nd, 2017.



[/et_pb_text][et_pb_gallery admin_label=”Gallery” gallery_ids=”236873,236874,236875,236876″ fullwidth=”off” show_title_and_caption=”off” show_pagination=”on” background_layout=”light” auto=”off” hover_overlay_color=”rgba(255,255,255,0.9)” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid”] [/et_pb_gallery][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]

April 2017 Westboro Highland-Park Market Report from Martin Elder

In the April 2017 Edition of the Westboro Highland-Park Market Report from Martin Elder:

  • Review the Ottawa Resale Home Sales data
  • Check out the Average House Price data
  • Discover how the Internet continues to influence and leverage property listings
  • See the new Mizrahi condo development at 1451 Wellington
  • Meet one of Martin Elder’s trusted partners, Dennis Smith from the Royal Bank of Canada
  • and learn so much more!

Preview the newsletter online or download your copy of the February 2017 community flyer, today!



Advance Signs of Strong Spring Real Estate Market in Ottawa

[et_pb_section admin_label=”section”][et_pb_row admin_label=”row”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text” background_layout=”light” text_orientation=”left” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid”]

ottawa real estate market conditionMartin Elder shares the latest edition of Westboro Highland Park Community News.

With Ottawa West and Ottawa South considered prime hot spots for buyers, all signs are pointing to a strong spring market in the communities known as Hintonburg/West Centretown, Ottawa West/Tunney’s Pasture and Westboro/Hampton Park.

If you are planning a move, now is the time to prepare. Connect with Martin Elder today at 613.236.5959 or email martin.elder@hallmarkottawa.com to discuss your options.


Selling Your Home During An Ottawa Winter

With more home sellers and home buyers looking to get a jump on the spring market, the days of “no listings in January” are long gone. Instead, agents are providing guidance and resources to ensure a home can be marketed – regardless of the season!

Selling Your Home During An Ottawa Winter

Grey skies, freezing rain, snowstorms. Ottawa is notorious for long, harsh winters, and yet, it is also home to a long list of amazing things to see and do. Therefore, if you plan to sell your home during the mid-winter chilling months, you will need to spend a few extra minutes making your home welcoming and attractive.

ottawa real estate winter shovel showingEmbrace the Shovel
While you may have grown accustomed to entering and exiting your home via the garage during the winter, potential buyers will be using your driveway and walkway. Make a point to have your driveway cleared and walkway shoveled after every showfall. If freezing rain is the flavour of the day, be sure to use a traction or ice melter product. Remember: First impressions count!

“Welcome Home”, Cheerfully
In the deep winter months, there is nothing more refreshing than visiting a home with a vibrant, seasonal display. From a tasteful wreath, to urns or potted displays, there is no shortage of creative ways to bring colour to the front step of your home. Thankfully there is an abundance of inspiration on websites like Better Homes & Gardens or Pinterest. If home décor is not your forté, never fear – stores like Costco Canada, Home Depot, Lowes, Rona and other retailers have a wide assortment of displays certain to enhance the curb appeal of your home.

ottawa winter home sales curb appealGet Staging
On the heels of the exterior décor elements comes an invaluable interior décor suggestion: staging. Winter is bleak and dreary, therefore to ensure you can get top dollar for your home, staging is a necessity.

Real estate agents and professional stagers know how to make your home look appealing to potential buyers. It could be something as simple as a pop of colour with vibrant sofa cushions or repositioning furniture to enhance the natural light entering your home. Imagine the pride you will feel knowing your home is picture perfect!

If your real estate agent does not include staging as part of their marketing package, it would be best to seek referrals for a home staging company in your area.

Goodbye Shadows, Hello Sunshine
Daylight hours are limited during the winter, so home sellers must take advantage of the natural light. Real estate agents will always do their best to schedule daytime visits where possible. This means before leaving for the day, you should make a point to open your blinds and curtains – it’s time to let the sun shine in!

On the rare occasions when the sun is shining, you might have noticed how dirty your windows look. Turns out in the spring, summer and fall, nature’s beauty tends to block the natural sunlight from fully hitting your windows. Once winter hits, every imaginable fingerprint, streaking or residue from glass cleaner will be visible. Where possible, spend a few extra minutes to keep your windows clean. The same applies to your window screens. If they are accessible from the inside, use a vacuum attachment to provide a gently yet effective cleaning.

winter ottawa home sellers tipsHeat It Up
We are all feeling the heat from the rising utility rates, but when it comes to selling a home for top dollar – frugality is not a good selling tool. Always turn up the heat in your home before you leave for showings. Prospective buyers will appreciate walking into a warm, cozy home.

In the event you have a gas fireplace, either turn it on immediately before a showing or ensure your real estate agent knows how to turn it on. While wood fireplaces certainly create the ultimate feeling of comfort, you should never leave a wood burning fireplace unattended!

Let There Be Light
Not every potential buyer will be able to see your home during the day. For this reason, it is critical to ensure all the light fixtures, lamps and bulbs are in perfect working order and give off as much light as possible.

To capture the eye of the “drive by” clients, setting up a selection of indoors and outdoor lights on a timer is a great trick. It makes your home look inviting and ultimately enhances the curb appeal.

Selling your home during an Ottawa winter is indeed possible. By taking the time to look at your home from a buyer’s point of view, you can highlight quality elements and draw attention to popular winter-only features like a fireplace. If you have been contemplating the sale of your Ottawa home, let’s connect and discuss ways to best market your home.

Martin Elder 
Phone: 613-236-5959
Westboro Office: 613-722-3733
Cell: 613-296-8065
Email: Martin.Elder@hallmarkottawa.com


Real Estate Commissions

Housing prices have been making headlines for the last few years. And with the soaring prices comes the discussion around affordability and whether Realtors charge too much in real estate commissions. From comments about “outrageous fees and for what?” to “my last realtor did so little work”, it is a topic I have had to address on more than one occasion. For this reason, I wanted to share some insight into what a real estate agent does to earn their commission.

Work Week

Did you know most Relators work a minimum of a 40-hour work week, some escalating well beyond this number to ensure they are accessible at all times? Real estate transactions can cause a lot of fear and worry, so a Realtor needs to be proactive and readily available to answer questions or concerns.

ottawa real estate commissionsNumber of Sales

Week in and week out, a Realtor works hard to close a deal. Yet according to statistics, 1 in every 5 Realtors does not close a deal in a year. This is not an indicator of disinterest or unwillingness to work, but a reminder there are so many agents to choose from – therefore the pool of homes for sale or available buyers is heavily diluted. So what is the average number of sales? For most Realtors, it is six.

Cost of Doing Business

By now you’re probably thinking – six sales, that’s a lot of commission! Unfortunately, this is where we get into the cost of doing business.

First, there are Realtor commission splits. In Ontario, the rule of thumb is 5% of the sale price – which is then split between the two Realtors at 2.5% each. Then comes the Office Splits (payment to the Brokerage). Next up, the government wants to ensure we pay our taxes! Thereafter, we have the costs for transportation (car, gas, insurance, maintenance); Dues to OREA, CREA and others; MLS Fees; Relator License; Professional Fees; Business Insurance; Continuing Education Fees; Marketing and Advertising (signage, feature sheets, website, social media, direct mail, etc); Office Expenses (Phone, Mobile, Internet, etc); Assistant for busy office; and Fines.

According to the US field data (updated December 2016), “the median gross income of REALTORS® was $39,200 in 2015”.

So while it can be easy to say real estate commissions are too high and Realtors are making too much money, there are indeed plenty of factors driving the average 5% here in Ontario. If nothing else, consider this: Higher home sale prices means there is more money for the home seller.

Home Renovations: Plan Wisely

As fall approaches, the real estate market slows down and I begin to think; don’t wait for spring… do it now!

team elder home sales ottawa westboro home renovationsFor me, fall is a time to think about home improvements; comfort features or improved energy efficiency, upgrading the look of the house. Studies show that on resale, a well maintained home fetches top dollar. Newer windows, furnace, kitchens and baths are high on the list when buyers come knocking.

Although granite kitchen counters add a “WOW” factor, fresh neutral paint, sanded floors, and new siding return 96% of invested value same as the kitchen remodel.

In this photo, Leif Elder is completing the finishing touches to my newly expanded home office with sparkling new oak hardwood floors.

When it comes to home renovations: plan wisely! You deserve a second opinion. Call for my thoughts and advice before you begin.

– Martin Elder
613-722-3722 -or- www.martinelder.ca

Housing for Newcomers to Ottawa

Welcome to Canada and the Nation’s Capital – Ottawa!
With years of industry experience, from apartment rentals to home sales, to commerical properties to cottages, Martin Elder’s team can provide newcomers with a variety of services, resources and tools to make the housing hunt a little easier.

Renting. Buying. Mortgages. 

Housing for newcomers to Ottawa can vary from bachelor apartments to multi-bedroom homes and everything in-between.

martin elder newcomers to canadaFor those looking to rent, Team Elder Home Sales can walk you through the steps: reviewing apartments, understanding what is and is not included in the base rent, first and last month’s rent, even the steps involved in signing a lease agreement.

For those interested in buying a home or condominium, our team can delve into key areas including what to look for when buying a home, the importance of location, access to transportation, the accessibility and availability of community resources, how to determine what you can afford and how financing works, and ultimately, we can help you through the negotiation process – making and offer and closing the deal.

Helping New Canadians Call Ottawa Home

If you are new to Ottawa and need real estate housing assistance, get in touch with Team Elder Home Sales. We are eager to welcome you to the neighbourhood!