Podcast Feature

What can I learn from military moves?

Ottawa is a city that sees many government and military moves in and out every year. What can a homeowner or homebuyer learn from our experience working with dozens of military and government clients?

Realtor in Your Pocket

Nick Fundytus is the host of “Realtor in Your Pocket,” a podcast for homeowners, homebuyers and tenants that provides valuable information and insights so that you can make your best move. 

 

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Top Tips: Buyers

Government relocations to Ottawa often begin remotely, months ahead of the move, and may have to be timed with the sale of their home elsewhere. In S2E3 of the podcast, our colleagues share some of their top tips from hundreds of moves:

  • Assemble the team – Choosing a great mortgage broker, Realtor (that’s us!), lawyer and home inspector at the beginning makes everything go more smoothly. You’ll have the advice and knowledge base you need to reduce risk and stress.
  • Get realistic – Government relocation clients are often on a House Hunting Trip that gives them a week to secure a home. In addition to pre-screening the market and narrowing down the search to the most suitable homes, buyers have to be realistic about what they really need, what they want and what they can realistically afford. Contrast this with some homebuyers who might be “dreamers;” if your target is defined, you have a much better chance of hitting it.
  • Have a contingency plan – With our relocation clients we’ll often pre-book home inspections to occur in the middle of a house-hunting trip, meaning that we’ll have to find a home to inspect by then. This is all part of having a contingency plan: if the inspection goes poorly, there’s still time to pivot to plan B. On a more typical home search, the lesson to learn is not to fall in love with a home until you’ve got a firm offer in place, because the unexpected can (and often does) happen.

Top Tips: Sellers

Annalee, Manfred and Sarah share their top tips for sellers. Each is highly experienced with military and government clients and are well reviewed.

  • Dress to Impress – Staging, cleaning and touch-ups sell homes faster and for more money. Our team includes these (and much more) for all of our Seller clients. If you’re outside of Ottawa, ask your Realtor to include these things if they’re a full-service realtor, or consider paying for them if you’re listing by owner. They’re worth it.
  • Get Out – Unless you’re selling without a Realtor (and sometimes even then), vacate the home for showings and open houses. It’s much more comfortable for the prospective Buyer and their Realtor to speak openly, and therefore much more likely they’ll bring you an offer.
  • Inspect and Disclose – It’s true that no one likes flaws in a home. Most of us want our homes to be move-in ready. You know what’s worse to a homebuyer, though? Surprises or worse, the feeling that the Seller is hiding something. Few things will kill the good will and chance of an offer like those. My team includes a professional home inspection with every listing we do. It helps homeowners avoid surprises and have a chance to fix problems before the home is listed, or at least disclose them. 
Watch or listen to the whole episode for even more great tips and insights on making a smooth relocation for you and your loved ones!

3 Ways to make any house-hunting trip go smoothly

1

Put on your “Buyer Glasses” – Glasses wearers know what I’m talking about: you’re in the optometrists’ chair and he asks “which is better: lense one or two? Okay, how about one or three?” Treat your home search like this. You’re only going to buy one property, so always match the two “best” ones you’ve seen so far up against each other so that you can come up with a winner. It needs to check off all of your needs, as many of your wants as possible, and still be within budget.

2

Batch your showings – Sometimes we have to go see a home the same night. Mostly, though, we can plan ahead as buyers. Work with your Realtor to schedule showings in blocks of 3-5 to tackle in an evening or on a Saturday afternoon. Ask your Realtor to drive; it lets you focus on the homes and neighbourhoods and lets your Realtor hear the chatter that helps them get on your wavelength quickly. Best of all, it uses your time efficiently and reduces the stress of the search.

3

Comfortable Shoes – Sure, this seems like a small tip, but unless you like tying and untying your shoes twenty times in an afternoon as you go in and out of homes (sorry, not sorry to the Americans who wear their shoes indoors, but that’s disgusting) it’s a great idea to wear something comfortable and easy to slip on and off. 

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