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Century21 Northumberland Realty, 629 Water St., East, Summerside PE C1N 4H7 Phone: 902-436-2265
PEI Real Estate Information
Water front and water view properties on PEI have seen an increase in demand, and in price over the past 5 years.
We will look at the history, availability and quality of these fast moving properties.
Demand for PEI Ocean and River properties have been on a steady increase over the past 5 years. With 2006 boasting 87% increase in the amount of water frontage or view parcels sold over 2002. The increase in demand was accompanied by a steady increase in price...the two are never far apart of course. The Mid Island locations of Anne's Land and Charlotte Shore are still more popular and more costly then say West Prince or the Kings County areas although the gap is closing as availability becomes a little more scarce in the middle of the Island.
What has caused this increase in demand? Well there is never a single factor of course but a few relationships can be established.
Even though the price of water front and view properties have increased over the past 5 years, many off Islanders have stated that our pricing is still substantially lower then any other place on the Eastern Seaboard. Moreover, many are discovering that PEI offers 6 solid months of enjoyable weather and is a perfect place to hang your hat during the months of May until October. This offsets the snowbirds journeys very well. Migrating south in winter and returning to enjoy spring, summer and the colors of fall available on the Island. Add to this quality developments like www.sunsetdunespei.com, and www.sunburycove.com which satisfy buyers need for safe & enjoyable investments - buying land in PEI has been made simple. World events have lead some to look towards PEI as a alternative haven for self and family. The fairly docile weather enjoyed by Islanders sheltered from Hurricanes, floods, wild fires, and any other number of natures furies have attracted others. Golfers have come to know the Island as Canada's #1 Golf Destination. The natural beauty of Prince Edward Island has attracted more than a few others to want to spend as much time as possible here. PEI's Life style is often described as unhurried and uneventful. Characteristics that are very sought after by most involved in a tense, hurry up world that awaits as soon as you cross the bridge back or take the ferry away from us.
As eluded to above, availability of Mid Island locations had become a little harder to find but this year has proven to be an exception. Higher prices have allowed us to list many more properties in these areas then over the previous years. However, as the quantities dwindle, you should expect prices to rise again. Anne's & Charlotte's areas are prime tourist country with multiple attraction sandwich between the Islands two cities. More cottage communities are also found here. Demand and prices are at there highest and you can expect to pay in excess of $150,000 for an ocean front property. River front properties are now above $100,000 (this is a generalization of course).
West Prince is a new area that is slowly being discovered by non Islanders. This area appeals to those not looking for Sub Divisions lifestyles. A little more secluded or remote but not difficult to access, this area has not seen as much tourist development or cottage industries. Hence it is still possible to find a couple of private acres right on the ocean. Prices tend to be somewhat less and availability is reasonably good at this time. Oceanfront lots can be acquired for around $100,000 while river front property can still be found in the $50,000 range and up.
The Eastern portion of PEI (east of Charlottetown) is a cross between the busy tourist sector of the middle and the more rustic features of the Western part. This relatively flat, open landscape still offers magnificent ocean or river properties. The extreme Eastern part around the towns of Montague and Souris have some really nice vistas and quality tourist sites including very challenging golf courses. Prices here are very quickly equalling to range of prices found in the middle of the island.
Not every offering is equal in quality or more accurately offer the same services! Now lets qualify this before we go further. For some, the developments offer guaranteed standards and services that are a priority in terms of buying. But for others, community living is exactly what they don't want! Privacy, tranquility, nothing in site but the ocean is what will cause one to buy. So inequality only assures that everyone will find what they are looking for.
However you should not expect to pay the same price for an un-serviced piece of land as oppose to one which has well, septic, buried electrical, paved roads and covenants in place.
The Island has both and everything in between. From parcels that once purchased, you can build on with out further delays, to a piece of land that you will need to have perc tested, well and septic installed, electricity brought to, and you will always access via a red dirt road.
Sunbury Cove, Granville on the Water, and Sunset Dunes are glittering example of successful developments were most if not all amenities are in place and you are ready to build the moment you purchase. Other sub divisions in our inventory offer varying degrees of these service. Of note is Haven S/D in Stanley Bridge, this newer development is poised to become one of the classic mid island development.
Alternatively, single plots of various sizes are available generally with only the severed land as the object of the contract. We have these is sub divisions as well but they are more characteristic of individual plots being sold off. Less readily available services but fewer rules and regulations in that they are not usually accompanied by covenants.
Quality then in this sense is relative to services offered. Quality can also of course be a matter of other characteristics, like building suitability, panorama being offered, slope of land, cleared, covered or a combination of all of the above. None of these being outright good or bad, but rather dependant on the purchasers desires. However, in general terms the more the services the higher the price because septic, roads, buried electrical and other such services cannot be implemented without cost to the developer
In 2006 Summerside Prince Edward Island made 50Plus Magazine’s top Canadian cities list! While polling the nation, the criteria for their annual pick of great spots in Canada included: the availability of leisure & cultural activities; housing & rental prices; proximity to special health-care services; employment; and weather & climate.
Certainly lifestyle is an important factor when it comes to selecting a place for your retirement. Most individuals tend to stay in the city (or area) they have been resident in for a majority for their adult life. A few however decide that retirement means the freedom to select where they want to spend their time versus where they had to spend their time. With choices come decisions and benefits. Taking stock of what is important to retiring individuals; let’s have a brief look at the major items.
Summerside offers a wealth of cultural activities for all ages; visit their web site to get a better idea http://www.city.summerside.pe.ca/. Activity is often considered an essential component to long and enjoyable retirement. Things to do; people to see and places to go; keeps one young and healthy. How much activity is individually dependant but having the ability to choose from multiple resources will allow sufficient choices to satisfy all lifestyles.
Summerside enjoys a new Hospital with all essential services. Specialty services might require a trip to Charlottetown or Halifax. Generally speaking, health care is good, the major issue is with shortage of family doctors. The city is actively trying to address by aggressively recruiting new doctors. Of the clients I have dealt with in the past year, the average time to find a family doctor can take 3 to 6 months. Obliviously medical clinics and emergency ward are available to assist in the interim.
Here in lies the gem within this article and one of the main motivators for considering moving to Summerside. Many of our new residents are from major Canadian centers. With the price of housing in these areas, retirees elect to sell their home to access the equity from them and buy a comparable home here for much less. Many save $100,000 + and reinvest these saving into their retirement funds. The extra equity can lead to a better income over the entire retirement period.
Prince Edward Island has outstanding beauty most months of the year and even the winter months are often milder than what most residents of Canada are accustomed to. Summers are never humid and the mean average winter temperature hovers around -10 C. The country side provides endless venues for adventure and exploration.
The city of Summerside offers its residents one of the safest place in North America to hang your hat. As Canada’s smallest city, residents here are still ‘small town’ in that they get to know their neighbours, like to help and respect other individuals.
Reading through mounds of materials by expert/consultants on investment would lead one to conclude that real estate investments are a good solid place to put your money. Well I can't agree more!
But not every real estate market is created equal. Certainly the Maritime markets and especially the PEI`s real estate scene differs drastically from that of Toronto's or Calgary's. Were real estate markets in some parts are subject to wild up swings and sudden downward adjustments, PEI has proven to be isolated from both in most parts.
Property values on the Island increase rather predictably from year to year with one exception...Oceanfront. The past five years have seen a steady, healthy increases in the price of water front properties on the Island. As most of the Eastern Seaboard has been bought up and bid up, more individuals have come to realize that true value lies on the little emerald island. Even with the increase in value, ocean front properties are still a bargain when compared to any other local on the Atlantic coast line. Moreover, the season is a minimum of six month long (May to Oct) with mild temperate weather that offset more expensive acquisitions south of the border were the summer season is somewhat less attractive. As the trend continues, and with increasing interest in Island recreational properties, the market prices are not likely to go in any direction but upwards.
In addition, there is still land available for development on PEI. Now having said that, you need to understand that there is legislation in place to protect the Island from unscrupulous developers looking to make a quick dollars at the expense of locals and the environment, but this legislation does not impede properly conceived and managed projects. We have enjoyed much success over the past few years with projects like, Sunset Dunes, Granville on the Water, and Sunbury Coves. All the while, our partners in these projects have enjoyed financial success and the satisfaction of watching their creative endeavours take form.
What about the residential housing market; slow and steady is the answer. Average property increases in Summerside range around the 3% - 4% mark per year and Charlottetown's would be comparable if not somewhat higher. The key to a residential market boom is apparent when we view Alberta. Economic development equates to more demand for housing by migrating workers which drive prices upwards. The likelihood of finding oil in PEI is not that great however. But the principle involved in generating the wealth from the market would be similar...jobs.
In a small locale like Summerside the creation of 500 jobs would be front page news for some time, where as in Toronto you may get a foot note on page 53. When companies move in, and they have, they bring with them a core of personnel to ensure a smooth start up. In time some stay, while others return to the parent company. These events can be traced in the local real estate markets as they correlate with increases in new construction and real estate sells to accommodate the incoming work force. Similar to Alberta, but on a smaller scale of course.
With the shrinkage of the global, advents in technology and the strategic location of Summerside with sea port, air port and road network, some have opted out of paying huge overhead costs that accompany doing business in other parts of the world and settled here. There is a formula for profit in real estate investments that becomes apparent with this strategy.
If you were to buy up land at current market values in the Summerside area, and then relocate industries to the area creating new employment in the process. A percentage of the work force would be migrated in to provide required expertise. Since the market is fairly a tuned to demand, existing residential numbers would prove insufficient for an y substantial in bound migration. You would in turn be well positioned to develop those assets and stand to make substantial gains. All be it dependent on the numbers involved in the migrating work force.
Like most places in the world PEI offers a different perspective to a visitor than what it does for its inhabitants. However, on the Island the two worlds do mesh quite well. In that, I mean PEI as a tourist destination is very much the same as PEI as a place to call home and the allure is similar in most parts for both parties.
What brings over a million visitors to this little piece of eastern Canada every year? Lifestyle! The island is a wash in natural beauty, from its oceans to its gently rolling landscape. It is rich in heritage and culture of all its founding people (Celts, Native or French Acadian). It is a family oriented tranquil destination with a focus on the outdoors, quality time, succulent feasts, and down time.
That is not to say there is nothing to do. To the contrary if you want to keep busy as opposed to wasting days on a beautiful beach enjoying the sound of surf, warm sun on your skin and the scent of nautical air enveloping you like a gentle friendly hug, you certainly can.
Golfing is one predominate activity in PEI during the Spring, Summer and Fall months. With an endless array of quality courses that can challenge any player it is no wonder that the Island has been named Canada's #1 Golf Destination numerous times. But we don't stop there. Eco tourism, placing you back where you belong and harmonizing your soul with the beauty of creation is also bringing many to us. Be it canoeing, kayaking, gentle strolls through nature, more robust hiking & biking, or just hanging around the campfire site...its all here for those who long to remember life as it should be.
In short, people choose PEI for their holidays because of lifestyle. Moreover, as an opportunity to leave cell phones, 16 hour days, dense traffic commutes and all that represents the modern busy city in order to harmonize the spirit with nature and peaceful tranquility.
If you would like more information about a holiday in PEI or want to plan your next adventure, I recommend this site as a good place to start www.gov.pe.ca/visitorsguide
Don't forget to visit us here in Summerside, we offer many activities for the happy wonderer . You can visit the city's website for all the details www.city.summerside.pe.ca
What is involved when you buy a
property without services. What is a perc test or building suitability test?
Permits, where to get them and what to expect. In order to build you will need a
Site Suitability Test, draw Electricity to the site, get approval for a Culvert,
and obtain a building permits. The following link will provide all your
required information and then some
http://www.gov.pe.ca/infopei/index.php3?number=11311. Prince Edward Island
has all of your required services available to you through the ACCESS PEI sites
strategically located across the Island. The following is reproduced from
various government site and all forms are available for download.
SITE SUITABILITY TEST
If you are not interested in development or subdivision of land at this time and would like to know if a parcel of land is suitable to subdivide or develop, you can apply for a site suitability assessment at the Department of Community & Cultural Affairs. A Property Development Officer will complete a site assessment of the property for safe access onto the Provincial Highway and a test pit inspection to determined soil conditions to support an on-site sewage disposal system if required. This is initiated by the applicant making application and attaining the services of a backhoe operator to dig the test pit.
Consider having a site assessment completed if you are interested in buying a parcel of land for development or own the land and wish to see if it can be subdivided or build on for the future.
For More Information
Site Suitability Assessment Website
Request for a Site Suitability Assessment
For requesting assessment of a parcel of land, that it be used for a certain purpose, eg, developed, subdivided, etc.
Printable version of this form [73 KB PDF File]
Where can I apply for an Electrical Permit?
In this province an electrical permit must be issued before any electrical work can commence. Only electrical contractors licensed to do work in this province can apply for a permit. A fee is applied to all permits, and the amount is dependent upon the degree of work done, as per the adopted fee schedule.
Who do I speak to about getting a culvert for my property?
Before getting a new driveway culvert, you must first apply for an entrance way permit. Applications for Entrance Ways can be obtained through the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs, by contacting the Department's Capital Projects Division or by contacting one of your local representatives.
For More Information
Website: Culvert Website
Access PEI Summerside
Gallant, Randy (Property Development Officer)
Parks, Allan (Property Development Officer)
Transportation and Public Works Building
Berrigan, Mike (Highway Maintenance Superintendent, Western)
Government Garage - Riverside Drive
Lund, Gordie (Highway Maintenance Superintendent, Central)
J. Elmer Blanchard Building
White, John (Property Development Officer)
Carragher, Garth (Property Development Officer)
Quinn, Sharlene (Property Development Officer)
, (Inspection Services Information)
How do I obtain a Building Permit?
A building permit is required for new development (building), additions, mobile homes, mini homes, changing the use of a building or changing the location of a building or structure on a site.
Before you commence construction, locate or change the location of any building or structure on a site, you are required to make application and attain a development permit.
For the regulatory authority on where a building permit is required see Section 31 or the Planning Act Subdivision and Development Regulations.
Charlottetown City Hall
Lewis, Kingsley (Acting Planning and Development Officer)
J. Elmer Blanchard Building
Buell, Dolly (Safety Standards Technician, Administration and Customer Services)
Quinn, Sharlene (Property Development Officer)
White, John (Property Development Officer)
Carragher, Garth (Property Development Officer)
Can a non resident acquire property on PEI. Yes, of course! What are the rules & how is the process different? Actually there really is not a huge difference when it comes to acquiring property on the Island whether you are an Islander or not! Most differences pertain to the acquisition of Ocean or River frontage. Individuals wanting to buy more the 165ft of frontage on a body of water or a piece of land greater then 5 acres must apply to the Island Regulatory Commission for approval. Should there be multiple names on a deed (let's say husband and wife) they the limits are doubled and the entitlement is 330 ft or 10 acres. Most questions you may have can be quickly answered by visiting their web site http://www.irac.pe.ca
Should your desired purchase go beyond the non restrictive acquisition a process must be followed to allow you ownership of that property. As a summary, an appeal is made by your lawyer to the commission who's approval must be obtained for the deal to mature. Most agents would place a condition on the offer contract that roughly states "pending IRAC approval by set date". Thus ensuring the refunding of your deposit should approval be denied. The chance of approval is very good. The commission's role is more of a safeguard to Island water front property such that development is thoughtful, environmentally conscious and would prevent the division of large parcels into unmanageably small lots. The largest concern from a realtors point of view is the added cost incurred by clients for such hearings (1% of property value as a general guideline) + extra legal fees.
This article is not meant to be an authoritative discussion of the matter but rather a general presentation. What follow is a direct copy of the FAQ section of the IRAC web site. We encourage you to visit the site for greater details.
On a final note, the commission is also responsible for other aspects of Island life many of which will not be of interest to individuals acquiring property.
The Prince Edward Island Lands Protection Act
Frequently Asked Questions
Including Information on Non-Resident & Corporate Applications for Land Acquisition in Prince Edward Island
Why is there a Lands Protection Act?
The issues involving land ownership and land use in Prince Edward Island began in the early history of the province. The Island was initially divided into sixty-seven 20,000-acre lots or townships. These lots were allocated in advance of settlement to a relatively small elite group of absentee proprietors. Over time, the land was purchased from the absentee landlords and returned to local ownership.
Issues associated with absentee landlords resurfaced again in the 1960’s, as non-residents began investing in local real estate throughout the province. As a result, substantial amounts of land in the coastal areas fell out of the control of local residents. In 1972, Government introduced amendments to the Real Property Act to restrict the purchase of land by non-residents.
In 1981, an application by a non-resident corporation to acquire 6,000 acres prompted public concern over the perceived impacts of land ownership distribution and its implications for the future. Some viewed this as giving pre-eminent control of the province’s agricultural industry to one company. This led to the introduction of Bill 37 - the Lands Protection Act (the Act) in 1982.
What is an Aggregate Land Holding?
A person’s aggregate land holding consists of all land holdings of that person and of his/her minor children; and the relevant amount of land holdings of any corporation in which he/she, they or any of them, hold more than 5% of the issued voting shares.
A corporation’s aggregate land holding consists of all land holdings of that corporation; and all land holdings of any person who holds more than 5% of the issued voting shares in that corporation and of his/her minor children; and the relevant amount of the land holdings of any other corporation in which the corporation in #1 or any person in #2 holds more than 5% of the issued voting shares.
What is the Commission's Role?
The Commission is responsible for the general administration of the Act. It reviews and obtains pertinent information and makes recommendations to Government on applications for land purchases governed by the Act.
What is Government's (Lieutenant Governor in Council's) role?
Government makes the final decision on applications for land purchases governed by the Act based on the recommendations of the Commission.
What Factors Does the Commission Consider?
Among the factors considered by the Commission are:
Who Must Make an Application?
A non-resident person or corporation, or a resident corporation must make application if the person or corporation will have an aggregate land holding in excess of 5 acres, or having a shore frontage in excess of 165 feet.
A non-resident person who acquires a land holding by gift, devise or inheritance from a spouse, sibling or direct descendent or ancestor is exempt from making application.
What Could Happen to My Application?
Government may decide to approve, approve with identification for non-development use, approve with special conditions or deny an application for a land purchase.
Under What Conditions Can an Application be Approved?
Government may approve a land purchase with conditions, including:
For What Reasons Have Applications Been Denied?
Applications have been denied for the following reasons:
What is the Maximum Amount of Land that a Person or Corporation Can Hold in Prince Edward Island?
A person or corporation can hold an aggregate land holding of no more than 1,000 acres for a person; and 3,000 acres for a corporation
How Long Does it Take to Process an Application?
Generally 3-4 weeks is required from the date an application is filed to the date a decision is rendered. However, depending on the complexity of the application, additional time may be required.
The Order confirming Government’s decision is usually issued within one week to 10 days of the date of the decision and should be registered with the deed.
Please see the Application Review Process at the end of this publication.
What is Required in Making an Application?
An application for a land purchase must include the following:
Is the Application Fee Refundable?
When an application is denied or is approved but no part of the purchase has been or will be completed, the Commission may refund up to 50% of the application fee upon application. An application must be made to the Commission within six months of the date of the decision and must include a statutory declaration stating the grounds for the refund; and the original Order that granted or denied permission to acquire the land.
Does the Commission Monitor My Land Holdings?
A person having an aggregate land holding in excess of 750 acres or a corporation having an aggregate land holding in excess of 2,250 acres is required to file an annual land holding disclosure statement with the Commission.
How is the Act Enforced?
Pursuant to subsection 15(1) of the Act, the Commission may request information and conduct an investigation for the purpose of determining whether a person or corporation has contravened the Act or the regulations.
Further information can be obtained by contacting:
The Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission
Prince Edward Island
5th Floor, National Bank Tower
134 Kent Street, PO Box 577
Charlottetown PE, Canada C1A 7L1
Tel. (902) 892-3501 Fax (902) 566-4076
The Application Review Process
The information contained in this publication is intended as a guide and not as a legal reference. The PEI Lands Protection Act should be consulted for an exact statement of law.
Initially Published: 1997-08-25
Last Reviewed or Updated: 2007-09-13
The process of searching for a property with my assistance will prove to be both informative & enjoyable. Needless to point out that buying a home is a big decision for most of us. What should you expect from me? What should you look for when you're viewing and what is the decision making process that leads to placing an offer? What will I do once the offer is in place?
YOUR AGENT... hopefully me
Much as I hope that you choose me as your PEI real estate agent, I realize that I must earn your trust and business. Part of earning your trust is speaking openly here as I am now about what makes a great agent and putting myself 'on the line' to deliver the services as described here. From here on I will simply refer to "your agent", as what is discussed here applies equally to any real estate agent.
The first step in looking for property is to enlist the assistance of an expert. Your agent should demonstrate a solid understanding of the process involved from helping you narrow your search list, completing the required paper work, good negotiation skills and the ability to handle the little bumps that come along after the paperwork is signed and the deal is being processed. Yes there are often little bumps and having a good agent makes all the difference in these matters.
How to begin? Give your agent a wish list! In the list include the must have items and a would be nice to have items. The type of information that is useful includes number of bedrooms, bathrooms, size of lot, city or country, water front/view or not and of course price range. More criterian are possible of course. Allow your agent the time to research the market for active listings that meet your must have and that incorporate as many of your would be nice list. This can easily be done online as a precursor to visiting properties. This list should be rather inclusive vs. exclusive. Allowing you the option to view or disregard specific properties. Your responsibility in this exercise is to be realistic. No agent can find you a perfect home on the ocean for $50,000 (and yes such requests are made). Having narrowed down the list, it is time for your agent to gather as much details with respect to the short list as possible. Pictures, conversations with listing agents, sometimes previewing the property is feasible. Demonstrating a solid understanding of the market does not imply that your agent should know every property you may be interested in at the finest level. There are at any given time thousands of listings and it is impossible to have an intimate knowledge of all of them. However, as you narrow your search list you are helping your agent focus their attention on the details of those homes. If your narrowed list involves two dozen listings, you're defeating the purpose. You're responsibility in this part of the exercise is to keep the list relevant.
Through your agent, arrange a visit to these properties. Setting up multiple viewing, especially over large geographical areas can be challenging. Seeing 6 homes in one day is generally considered the maximum reasonable number for proper comparative assessments. Having said that, sometimes when clients are from out of Province we need to push this number beyond the limit to accommodate viewing all of their prospective properties. Again, properly completing step 2 will allow you great leisure and better evaluations if you keep your numbers down. One tactic is the keep 2 rule. As you view the properties and you get to property #3, one has to drop off your list. By the end of the day you should be left with the best 2 candidate for your needs. Now you can really focus! You may want a second showing on the next day that involves just those 2 properties head to head. This should help you make a decision as to which one will receive the offer but allow you a back up residence should negotiations on the primary property not go quite as well as you would like.
During the viewings, your agent has rules and regulations set forth by the PEI Real Estate Association that they must honour. Some consider these next 2 rules somewhat contradictory but they are manageable. First, they have a responsibility to the home owner to show the property in its best possible profile. Highlighting the strength of the listing. At the same time, they have a responsibility to the purchaser to declare any known material fact about the property that might influence your decision about buying it. These 2 elements of their job can be conflicting but must be honoured.
In addition to viewing the general appeal of the property, you as a potential purchaser should be focusing on the 'big ticket' items, like roof, electrical, plumbing, and foundation. No you're not a home inspector but in many homes if an issue exists it does not require an expert to see the signs of the issue. You can then instruct your inspector (if you choose to have one) to focus their attention on those matters. No home is perfect and no home is a poor purchase if you are aware of all major issues and are paying a fair price for it. Your agent can help, but the responsibility is yours as is the final decision.
OK, you've made up your mind on which property you want, what next? With the assistance of your agent you fill out an offer for the vendor (this involves multiple forms). Your agent will help you focus on the points of importance with the offer. From advising you on offer price, to setting dates for inspections, financing, water testing (if rural), and setting up any other required conditions. A note here, the more conditions, the weaker the offer especially if you find yourself in a multiple offer scenario. From the Vendors point of view, each condition maybe a lost of sale or a hurdle in any event until close. From your point of view, these are necessary insurances that will clear the property of any doubt. There are no right or wrong here. Both parties have to be satisfied with all terms before a transaction can go forth. Your agents ability to negotiate on your behalf is paramount to success, however you have a responsibility to your agent and the Vendors side to make your offer realistic. Dropping the asking price by 25% will probably not even get you a response from the Vendor or at least one that your agent can repeat to you.
Having negotiated the offer, your agent's work has just begun. Now the coordination of all activities to remove the clauses must begin and timing is paramount. This is a legal contract and if you don't wave your financing clause on time for example, you leave the door wide open for the Vendor to accept any other offer that might of presented itself since the time you've placed yours. However, if everything gets done in a timely matter and conditions are waived properly the door is closed even to an offer double the amount of yours. Setting up and executing all of these steps, and dealing with there results is were your agent can become invaluable.
Let say for example your home inspection reveals a major issue that might cost you $7,500 to fix. Is the deal gone? Maybe, it depends on you and the Vendor. If you, through your agents can find acceptable common ground then the sale maybe proceed. Otherwise if the parties are at loggerhead, then your back to step 6 looking to offer on your second choice if still available.
Most deals have little bumps along the way but they are usually dealt with quickly and effectively by your agent with your input. In the end the goal is to ensure your satisfaction as well as that of the Vendor.
The process of acquiring a property is a lot less daunting with an expert by your side. In addition to some of the assistance an agent can provide itemized above, they can also be an invaluable reference source for contacts (legal, contractors, general information like school districts, even places to stay or eat while your looking around).
Selling your home can be a fairly stressful event. Most individuals have a difficult time being unbiased when trying to sell their residence. Memories, sweat equity, pride and needed returns all factor into this bias. Unfortunately, your house is not being sold on any of those basis. Your house is competing on the market against other homes in a similar price range. If your in Summerside or Charlottetown the competition extends to the burbs and not just your neighbourhood. To drive from Cornwall or Miscouche is not a deterring factor in home acquisition like it would be in major centers where crossing the city is a multiple hour venture each way. What can you do to make the deal happen?
I've discussed the impact of pricing in another article, as well as the role of hiring a real estate agent, please refer to other articles in this series for more information.
In response to my advertising efforts, people will want to take a closer look. This can be achieved by private showings that are guided by myself or it can come through an open house that I will host. Doing the little things MATTERS! People are prone to judge by appearance and your home is not excluded from that judgment. A clean; tidy; uncluttered home presents itself much better then its unprepared competitor.
Look at your home from the outside - in. Start with the first impression a potential buyer will see and work your way through the house as if you were buying. What would concern you, what would deter you, what do you not like? Can you fix, or remedy any of the items on your list? If you watch some of the Real Estate TV shows, you will understand what a fresh coat of paint, a little flower arrangement and other such relatively inexpensive touches can do for you. I invite you to visit http://www.movingdesignz.com for more great ideas and to speak with some one who can assist you in making your home standout from the competition.
The purpose of the whole exercise is to receive an acceptable offer and sell your home. Again, unlike large markets, homes in our areas do not sell overnight (rarely) or receive offers above the asking price (extremely rare). However they do sell and for a fair price. Dealing with an offer can involve subtle nuances that I can clarify and look after your best interest. Most however, follow a fairly systematic process and are a stepped process leading to a closing. Let's begin with the offer presentation. I will go over these items with you, and in the case of a multiple offer scenario will offer advice on the strength and weaknesses of every offer on the table. The final decision as to accepting or rejecting an offer is solely the responsibility of the vendors. Most offers contain the following items:
Any failures in these steps can cause a deal to fall apart. I am as much a facilitator when it comes to what is termed "bumps a long the road" as I am the person responsible for getting you the offer. We have a saying in real estate that sums up to: "the work really begins with the acceptance of an offer".
Once both parties have agreed on a price, then each has a set of responsibilities to accomplish to allow the deal to proceed. Myself and the other agent work to ensure that the time line is honoured, or if required extended, to allow compliance.
It is the responsibility of the purchaser to provide proof of financing within the set time line of the contract. This is a letter from the mortgage company stating that they will provide the funds on closing day. On occasion this step can fall apart very late in the process because of a late observation or requirement from the mortgage company. When this happens it is the most frustrating situation for you and the agents to deal with. Fortunately this is a very rare occurrence. The purchaser is also responsible for setting up the home and insurance inspections.
Home inspections can be professional companies, a relative or yourself for that matter. The inspection has for a purpose to appraise the state of the infrastructure. Roof, electrical, plumbing, foundation and other expensive components of a home. Although professional home inspectors will have a lengthy list of items they want to check, like whether the property grade slopes sufficiently away from the structure or if there are safety railings for the deck or stairs, these none critical items should be viewed as a to do list for the new home buyer rather then a deal breaker. Let's face it, you own a home, there will always be things that need to be done. Major components that are substandard however present additional large expenses and usually require immediate attention. When an inspection reveals up until then unknown issues with a major structural component, this can cause a buyer to rethink his or her position.
I can provide invaluable assistance in these matters. First, it is important to note that the home inspector (professionally trained or otherwise) is not an electrician, plumber or any of the other skilled set of labourer and can only expression concern over the findings. They should not quote you a repair price and if they do, you would be best served by getting industry professionals to appraise the situation. Usually I can recommend 2-3 tradespersons with reputable backgrounds to provide this service. Once a true price of repairs has be established, it is often customary to have the two sides renegotiate. With a willing seller and buyer this can still be remedied. As an example, on one particular deal for which an offer price was accepted, it was found during the inspection that a large roof structure would need to be redone. After establishing the price of repairs, both parties agreed to split the cost. The deal closed with two satisfied parties. Insurance inspections are usually less problematic although just as important for without insurance there is no mortgage! Insurance inspections focus on items that may cause the insuring company to have to payout. Items that are focused upon would be the state of the electrical system, and any installed woodstove or fireplace. Are they up to code?
It is the responsibility of the vendor to ensure the oil tank is tagged and that a zero based water test is obtained. Should the oil tank fail, the vendor has to replace it prior to close. Your oil provider can assist. If a water test fail, it is up to the vendor to remedy this situation. Water test can be very finicky subjects and knowledge of proper steps (or lack there of) can often mean the difference between success and failure. I recommend speaking with Manderson Well Drilling http://www.driller.ca or hiring WaterWise to do the test.
Once all of these items have been satisfied for both parties and within the time line; the real estate agents will request the signing of a removal of clause form and send the entire file to your respective lawyers. Law firms, although they may be in possession of the documentation from the very onset, will usually wait for the agents to send a removal of clauses before beginning the task of verifying the property. This is to avoid handing you a bill should the deal fail to get through any of the steps above.
Having completed all the steps above, parties meet with their legal representative on the appointed day to arrange the final distribution of funds and transfer of titles.
Now that was easy wasn't it! In actuality it was. This synopsis represents a pretty straight forward transaction in the real estate world. Hence the saying that the work only begins with the offer process. Having a trusted real estate agent and lawyer by your side can prove to be invaluable to you for more reasons than would be apparent on the surface.
That is not to say that the sign in of it self has no value, but rather I am stating that it is not enough to guarantee a sale. Unlike booming markets like Alberta, Toronto or Vancouver, I, as your agent must spend a lot of energy, thought and more importantly resources advertising your listing if you hope to sell. The average length a time it takes to sell a home in Summerside is 3 months. Roughly 6 months if the residence is located out of town. This is based on a generalization from MLS statistics. Obviously some homes spend less time and others more. Most clients like the less time factor and worry about the more aspects. There are many factors that affect a homes ability to sell quickly in our market but a few of these are absolutely fundamental to success.
I usually use an absurd example here to get my point across. If you list your house for $1, I will guarantee it will sell within 24 hours (worst case scenario I'll buy myself!). However if your home is worth $150,000 and you ask me to get you a cool $1,000,000...then don't pack up the kids just yet. The point is simple, you have to be priced according to the market. Again this being a smaller market, no two homes are identical. However, I can help you by providing you with a CMA, a comparative market analysis. It will show you what is on the market in your range, what has sold recently, what they got and what is still sitting. The hardest part for home owner is to settle on an asking price. We (myself included) always think our home is worth more. I am objective and can guide you but in the end you have to be happy with the price also. Most agents will give you a range, the lower end will sell faster the upper end will take a little more time and effort. Some agents will walk away from a house priced to high and recommend some else take your listing. Why? Your agent runs a self employed business. His/Her paycheck will come from selling your home. Until then they will incur all advertising costs...and they mount quickly. If there is no hope of selling; then all they would be doing is throwing money out the door. Experience agents, such as myself, understand this principle, that's why they are still in business servicing their clients.
Ok so you've finally come to terms on price, now I can begin my work on your behalf. The paper work gets submitted, the property gets listed on MLS and a sign goes up. Wonderful! Now all I have to do is sit around and wait for the offer to come in to make a living...WRONG! There are many things a knowledgeable agent will do for you at this time. These steps vary from agent to agent or in the order they might execute them but this is all behind the scene stuff that makes the offer become a reality. This includes inviting the office to view the listing during their weekly meeting. Having other agents familiar with your property will help sell it. How? Because when their buyers give them a list of what they want and your house matches most of those criterian, they will not hesitate to show it so they can achieve the sale part of the deal. (For those of you who aren't that familiar with MLS, that is how it works. Agents split commissions between listing and selling side. One agent from one company can list your home and another agent from another company can sell it and they both get half the commission). MLS helps other agents from other offices know about your listing. Sometimes an agent will hold an open house 'for agents' only from all companies. Now every agent on the Island knows your house is for sale - great it is bound to sell now. Well maybe. It does not hurt to notify the general public that it is for sale. After all it will be someone from the public that will eventually make the offer. How do I do that? Depends on the agent/office. Now I will focus on what I do for my clients.
Locally I advertise your property in the newspaper, and on the Home Show on Cable TV channel 9 (check it out if you haven't seen it). In addition, I list your home on over a dozen individual web sites with different focuses (some more on the local market and others design to get the attention of the "Away" market). My Island coverage also includes the advantage gained by my company running offices out of Borden, Kensington and Summerside. During the spring you can visit us at the 'Home Show' & in the summer you can see us at Spinnackers' Landing. Century21 Northumberland currently runs 4 pages in every issue of the Real Estate Book that covers the Island with a classy real estate magazine. We cover the Island with print, TV, web, and locations. In addition; to attract potential off Island buyers; we list your properties on large multi national web sites like BobVilla's, Living Choices, Earthlink, and many more. There are many more methods that we use to help sell listings for our clients. They include email marketing, direct marketing, agent handshaking, we've even sent agents out to Alberta, Toronto, Las Vegas and China this year alone to help establish relationships with potential buyers. During the course of the year you can find the Century21 Northumberland properties advertised in single issue national publications, here national radio and TV ads or any multitude of venues. I also have my own methods of marketing your property that simply enhance your opportunity to find a buyer. The equations is simple, the more people that know your property is for sale, the better the chance of finding a qualified buyer.