Mistakes to Avoid While Selling Your Home

Mistakes to Avoid While Selling Your Home

Selling your home is a big deal. With all the steps involved, it can be overwhelming and cause you to overlook important elements, resulting in some big mistakes. In order to help you avoid doing this, here is a list of some of the biggest mistakes homeowners make when selling their home:

  1. Misunderstanding the costs of selling. Most people are comfortable with the percentage allocated towards the agent’s commission. However, the total cost to sell a home can amount to more than that because you have to consider other costs associated with closing, including repairs and other concessions to the buyer, which can increase the total cost. 
  2. Setting the home at the price you want, which can be very different than what the market will pay. Setting an unrealistic price comes with consequences because if you ask too much, then your home may not sell and will just sit on the market for a very long time. If you ask for too little, then you’re not getting full value, meaning you run the risk of leaving money on the table. Setting an appropriate listing price is tricky but it’s important that you do it right and the price may be different than what you had in mind.
  3. Failing to complete major repairs. A potential buyer is not going to be impressed if the home comes with a long list of things they need to repair after moving in. Remember that major issues will turn up during a home inspection, which most buyers require and that can decrease the value of your home. Make sure nothing is broken or in such poor condition that it may affect the structure or functionality of your home. This will be sure to turn buyers away. 
  4. Not caring about the appearance of the interior or exterior. Preparing your home for sale is a very important step and the cleaner, less cluttered and well decorated a home is, the better your chances are of selling it. Making sure both the interior and exterior of your home are in good condition will make it more appealing to a buyer because they will be able to picture themselves living there.
  5. Failing to be flexible for showings. You must be accommodating to the agent, even if the timing is inconvenient. You may have to vacate your home for several hours, even on weekends, but keep in mind that the person coming to see your home during dinnertime can potentially be the one to buy it, so cooperate and be flexible, even when the timing is not ideal.   

If you’re planning on selling your home, Norm Merz is who you need to call! He has access to all of the houses for sale in the Hamilton area and his experience with selling homes means your house will not be on the market long. Contact him today for a free home evaluation!

How Free Home Evaluation can Build trust of your customers

How does your home match up in value against others in your neighbourhood? How do you increase the value of your home? That is not for inexperienced home sellers to know. 

Selling your home takes a lot of work. In today’s market where homes sell for a dime a dozen, it’s important to make yours stand out so you get top dollars for your investment. 

It is important to choose a committed, experienced realtor who knows how to evaluate your home, weigh its worth against other similar properties in the city and neighbourhood, and help you design an integrated, multi-tiered approach. You need a trustworthy local expert who can plan a pre-listing inspection, home staging, impressive presentation to serious buyers and price it appropriately to earn its true worth. You need a realtor who has a proven track record of home selling success.

If you are interested in selling real estate in Hamilton or surrounding areas, you can rely on Norm Merz to take care of it all smoothly, from start to finish. Norm provides all the support services you need from inspectors for home evaluation to interior designers and photographers for home staging, electricians to mend wiring, plumbers, mortgage brokers, legal experts, the works! The aim is to exceed your expectations by adding value to every real estate transaction, provide information, full-service support and solid advice so you can take an informed decision. 

Please fill out the Free Home Evaluation form for your home appraisal. Norm will do the rest to bring you maximum value in minimum time.

What are the Risks of Buying a Home Without a Real Estate Agent?

What are the Risks of Buying a Home Without a Real Estate Agent?

Want to buy a home but wondering if it’s worth hiring a real estate agent to help you? Buying a home is a big deal and requires a lot of research to comprehend the complex real estate market. It may seem like the norm to go through the process of buying a home through a real estate agent. But many first time home buyers or even experienced ones, don’t understand why they need a professional real estate agent to help them.

There are many reasons why. Let us take you through the risks of purchasing a home without the help of a real estate agent so you are more aware during your search:

Lose out on a bargain

When you don’t have a professional helping you with the buying process, the home seller may not take you seriously. Negotiation can get you an amazing bargain on a home, however, it can be difficult as a buyer needs to be taken seriously. An experienced professional can do the negotiation for you in a professional way and make you appear like a serious buyer. A real estate agent knows how to get the asking price reduced to fit your budget; however you may not be proficient or comfortable in doing so.

Unaware of market knowledge 

The average person doesn’t understand real estate language or how the market works. This is essential when searching for a home so you make the right decision. Although it’s possible to try and learn about real estate online, can you really afford to make a huge life choice based on internet information? 

A real estate agent has the proper insights into the market changes, legal issues, various neighbourhoods, and home listings to help you make an informed choice.

Not asking all the questions

Having an expert go through the legal paperwork and answer questions on your behalf can be a lifesaver. An agent knows all the questions you need answers to, from enquiring about seller disclosures to closing costs and maintenance fees. An expert will have the answers ready to questions you may have not even thought of. This will relieve you of the stress of trying to handle every single aspect of home buying yourself, and you enjoy complete peace of mind.

Improper house inspection

Real estate professionals are required to vet a potential property fully for any risks to your health, water damage, and other dangers. They are trained to look for issues that an outsider might miss. Having an expert clear a property for move-in is more reliable for doing it yourself. You never know what you may miss during the house inspection.

Norm Merx is a top real estate agent who can help you find your dream home in a short time! With over 20 years of experience, Norm has the right tools and knowledge to find your property within your budget in no time. Simply fill out your contact information and your search criteria based on price, property type and the neighbourhoods you prefer to get started. If you have any more questions, feel free to call or send an email!

How to Buy a Home for a Great Price

How to Buy a Home for a Great Price

No one wants to pay more than necessary for a home, whether you’re on a tight budget or have millions of dollars to burn. To make sure you have the tools you need to purchase a home at a fair price, here are six tips to keep in mind.

Compare Other Listings

Whether you’re interested in these homes for sale or not, it’s a good idea to visit different open houses to get an idea of the size, amenities and overall condition you’re considering. You can also compare the prices to determine what seems fair and what’s greatly overpriced compared to market value.

Look at Unsold Comparables

You could find a house for sale you’re interested in, but it’s priced in a similar fashion to unsold homes recently taken off the market. If that’s the case, then the home you’re interested in is probably overpriced. Be sure to check for unsold properties in the areas you’re exploring to evaluate that housing market.

Get Your Realtor’s Opinion

If you’re working with a skilled real estate agent, they likely won’t even need to analyze the data to tell you whether or not a property is worth the asking price. Thanks to years of experience, your realtor will be able to tell you what is and isn’t a fair price for the specific property.

How Does the Price Feel?

A good rule to remember when buying a house is this: don’t buy something you’re not happy with. Purchasing a house is a huge investment, and is something you’ll be stuck with for decades. Don’t buy a house just because the price is great, you’ll soon regret your decision once move-in day arrives. As well, it’s also fine to pay more than the market value suggests if you absolutely love the house.

Test the Waters

If a property you’re interested in is priced at market value, that doesn’t mean you can’t submit an offer that’s lower than the asking price. If it’s still close to the asking price, the sellers might accept it or start negotiations. However, don’t offer something that’s too low, as you might insult the seller and they’ll reject your offer entirely, seizing your ability to purchase the house.

Have the Home Appraised

To protect the house’s financial interests, the lender with have a property appraisal done once you’re under contract. This is to ensure that, if you stop making mortgage payments, a reasonable amount of money can still be made upon foreclosure. If the appraisal is much lower than the offering price, then you’re likely not getting much of a deal.

At Norm Merz Remax Centre, we’re ready to match all commission rates from our competitors. With over 20 years of experience selling real estate and an unconditional 30-day listing guarantee, be sure to call us if you’re looking to sell your home. Interested in buying a home instead? We can help with that as well! For more information, visit our website today!



Tips for Investing in Real Estate

Tips for Investing in Real Estate

Investing in real estate is one of the smartest ways to build ongoing wealth. Even if you don’t live in the property yourself, you can rent it out to generate a passive income. However, it takes significant savings to be able to afford a home. Home buying expenses don’t end there. There are ongoing maintenance costs to look into, renovations in the long run and extra expenditure to pay off the mortgage when there are long gaps between tenants. Here are a few useful tips to invest in real estate without stress.

Plan Budget
The first thing you need is to take stock of your finances. Make a note of all the expenses real estate investment will involve. This way you will be prepared to budget your finances. Consider the down payment, utilities, maintenance costs and taxes. Property taxes differ from city to city. Make sure you are aware of the taxes in yours. Even if you are planning to rent, surplus money needs to be set aside for repairs and mortgage in the event of gaps between tenants. Pay off any debts and improve your credit score to qualify for better loans. A large down payment helps you bring down your monthly mortgage payments and insurance.

Before you invest, make sure you know the neighbourhood and geography of the area well. Is it prone to floods? Is construction planned in the coming months? Is there a mall, supermarket or convenience store in the neighbourhood? How good is the school in the vicinity? Is the area safe? Considering comparables helps weigh the pros and cons so there are no surprises or inconveniences later. It also helps you pay the right amount for the property. You don’t want to overpay or settle for an unsafe neighbourhood simply because it is cheaper. The value of your home will go down, then if you plan to resell later.

Small Investment
You may not get every single thing you want in the very first property. Be prepared to compromise. List your priorities to help you focus. Location is always the most important consideration. A good location will always make things convenient, cost-effective and enjoyable, as well as give you good returns when you plan to sell or rent. Would you rather pay more for a smaller home minutes away from your work or a larger suburban home that’s farther away? A small first home helps you pay off your mortgage faster. Starting small also helps you get familiar with the business of real estate investment. Once you treat it like a business, you will
learn to develop solid actionable plans with the intent of raking in bigger returns when property value appreciates.

Business Plan
Real estate investing works best if you prepare for it with a proper business plan. Never settle for the first property that tugs your heart. There is more to it. Plan it well with a clear mind and good understanding. It is important to have milestones to make your investment work best for you, and generate profits in the long run. The simplest way to gain a good understanding of real estate trends, plan your budget, mortgage, learn about your neighbourhood or identify your priorities and learn about ROI is by consulting a friendly, informative real estate professional.

Norm Merz is a Sales Representative with Canada’s #1 brokerage ReMax.
Check out the website to find listings that match what you are looking for. Feel free to call for any guidance.


Weeding Tips and Tricks

Weeding Tips and Tricks

Weeds can be aggressive and invasive to your beautiful lawn so it’s important to learn how to best get rid of them and keep them away. Even though it takes some work, it is worth it, in the end, in order to enjoy your lawn and gardens without pesky weeds.


First, the most important rule to remember when weeding is to not leave the roots behind. After you pull it out, if the roots are left the weeds will grow back. So be sure to grab it close to the ground and not leave any behind.

Tug of war

Another key trick to help make weeding easier is to do it when the grass is wet after the rain. This helps the weeds to pull out easier. If there is no rain in the forecast, you can water your garden and lawn yourself before you start pulling.

Clean fill wanted

When planting your garden remember to not leave bare spots for the weeds to move in. Space plants apart as recommended and fill in unused spaces with a liberal amount of mulch. Use mulch as much as possible as it retains the moisture and doesn’t let weeds grow.

Natural weed killer

To kill tough weeds you can make a solution with vinegar and water in a spray bottle, which works as a weed killer. Just be sure to only spray the weeds and not the plants.

Keep away

The last tip is after you pull the weeds out, do not throw them in a compost pile as any seeds that have already formed might spout. Keep on top of the weeding to make it a less tedious job and achieve that desirable weed-free yard you’ll love.

How to Price Your Home for Sale

How to Price Your Home for Sale

One of the most important – and trickiest – considerations when selling your home is listing it for the right price! An overpriced home is the number one reason it won’t sell. When it’s priced too high it can sit on the market for far too long and turn into a stale listing. Here are some ways to best find out how much your house is worth.

Nice price
Pricing is all about supply and demand and turning to someone with experience in the market will really make a difference. Real estate agents are professionals with in-depth knowledge and can guide you to set the price just right. Also getting a licensed appraisal done by an expert appraiser is a great way to get professional advice to make this important decision.

Neighbourhood sales
The best place to start determining what your home is worth is to check the sale prices of homes in your neighbourhood, known as ‘comparables’. Look at every home that’s been listed in your area in the last three months. Keep in mind you want to compare apples to apples, so find homes listed with similar age and square footage. You’ll have to adjust prices for lot size variances, configuration and upgrades. Also, compare the original list price to final sale price to see any price reductions.

Market watch
Another key factor is knowing where the market’s at. In a seller’s market, you might add 10 per cent more to the last comparable sale, because when there are little inventory and lots of buyers, you can ask for more. In a neutral market, you may want to set your price at the last comparable sale.

And remember to leave a bit of a cushion for negotiation. Buyers love to haggle, so don’t start out with the absolute lowest price your willing to go.

Taking Care of Your AC

Taking Care of Your AC

Hot, sticky summers can be more bearable by cooling off at home with air conditioning (AC). To keep it running efficiently and properly, it’s important to observe proper maintenance. This will help you save money and increase its lifespan. With some regular attention, you can increase the efficiency of your AC unit. Here are a few ways to make sure it runs at its best for you this summer.

Professional inspection
Keep on top of maintenance and inspection. Having a professional inspect the unit will help find any problems to keep it working in perfect condition. You can also check for common problems yourself, such as weak airflow and leakages which could indicate that there’s a blockage in the unit itself or the filter is clogged.

Clean & clear
Clean the unit and keep the area around it clear. To clean the unit turn off the power and then remove the fan cage to clean away the debris from the interior by hand or with a vacuum. Next, clean the fins by using a brush attachment or a Shop-Vac to remove dirt. Then rinse the outside with a hose. Clear the area around the condenser unit by removing any debris that could be obstructing airflow from the condenser fan. Rake back leaves and cut back branches at least two feet in all directions.

No filter
Check the filter every three months and either clean or replace as needed. A clogged air filter can make the unit work harder, waste energy and shorten the compressor’s life.

By doing these easy steps you’ll keep your AC running smoothly all season.

July Happenings in Haldimand County

July Happenings in Haldimand County

There is always something to do in beautiful Haldimand County! This peaceful, scenic area throws lots of fun events for the community, including the following.

Mysterious Night Skies
July 6-7
Visit Rock Point Park in Haldimand County for Mysterious Night Skies.  Be led by park staff and special guests from the Royal Astronomical Society through an information and viewing session of the twinkling night sky. Visit www.ontarioparks.com/park/rockpoint for more information.

No. 6 RCAF Dunnville Museum Open House
July 7
For anybody new in town who wants to learn a little about Dunnville, they may want to visit No. 6 RCAF Dunnville Museum Open House. Tour historical exhibits and vintage aircraft while visiting arts and crafts vendors from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Free admission.

Pool Days!
Cool off in the pool and get a bit exercise too!  Visit www.haldimandcounty.on.ca for the full aquatic event schedule. Choose from aquafit, public swim, and fitness swim times.  Dip into your local community centre and find out how.  Parents can also bring the little ones to cool off at the Splash pad in Hagersville or the Dunnville Wading Pool.

Summer days at the library
Parents and children can meet up at the library for lots of activities, story times and Lego Ukulele Club and more. Visit www.haldimandcounty.on.ca/ to learn more.

Dunnville BIA Sidewalk Sale
July 8
Calling all shopaholics! Dunnville BIA Sidewalk Sale is taking over downtown.  Dine and shop away your SundayFunday in Dunnville. This annual event is a great way to support and interact with local business owners in the community.

Charm of Haldimand County

Charm of Haldimand County

Haldimand County is a vast and beautiful region with plenty of great small communities located along the Grand River and Lake Erie.

Hagersville is small community located along Highway 6 that has everything a growing family could possibly need.  It’s a great rural neighbourhood perfectly situated between both Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. Hagersville is home to Catholic and public elementary schools, a secondary school and West Haldimand General Hospital.  Residents can be at the lake or river in minutes or they can go for a dip at Hagersville Lions Pool.  Hagersville has its own arena and public library branch for all sorts of extra curriculum programs for all ages. Be in downtown Hamilton or with feet up in the sand within an hour in either direction.  A great mix of home styles, big box retailers, franchise eateries and amenities makes Hagersville a must see for homebuyers!

Peacock Point is a hidden gem along the Lake Erie coastline.  This small hub is  surrounded by shoreline and the Haldimand Conservation Area and Selkirk Provincial Park.  Being more of a cottage community, Peacock Point doesn’t have schools and is essentially supplied only by Peacock Point Variety Store.  However, it shouldn’t be overlooked if you’re looking for your next summer home or vacation spot. Take a cruise along South Coastal Drive and see the properties for yourself.  Peacock Point has so much to offer seasonally and exclusive vantage points to Lake Erie.

Haldimand is a vast county with so much conservation and farmland.  Great fishing, beaches, conservation areas and provincial parks make it a wonderful place to call home.

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