Laird Estate Has Moved

My business has grown and so has my blog.  I hope everyone who is following Laird Estate, will sign up to receive the same up to date news and information on Ottawa’s real estate market from my new site,  Thank you very much for your continuing support and I hope you like the new site. Click the thumbnail below to head over over.


Ottawa Versus THE WORLD

A recent trip to New York City and a brief conversation with one of its residents, has inspired me to look a little a deeper into the world’s real estate markets.  Boy am I happy to be living in Ottawa.  The average cost per square foot in down town Ottawa is roughly $465.00, making a 550 sqft space approximately $255,750 with out parking.  Now let’s take a look at what that 550 sqft of space would cost you around the world.

So next time you out looking for a home and begin to think that the prices are little unreasonable for such a small space, take a deep breath and think back to this post.  For a complete list of all homes under $300,000 in Ottawa, please send me an email.  Thanks for reading.

10 Inside Tips for Selling Your Home Yourself

If you ask anyone who has ever tried to sell their home themselves they’ll tell you that from the moment the “For Sale by Owner” sign goes up, the phone begins to ring. Unfortunately, many of those calls will not be from prospective buyers, but rather from real estate agents looking to obtain your listing. Obviously the idea of not having to pay a commission to a real estate agent is attractive to any home seller. But because of all the issues involved in the process, selling a home on one’s own can be challenging as many home sellers will attest to.

The key is to be properly prepared. If you are not, your home could remain on the market longer than you expect because you are not attracting and getting offers from qualified buyers. This can be a point where many homeowners become frustrated and consider giving up their dream of selling their home themselves. However, there are sellers who accomplish selling their own homes, very well. You can be one of them.

This post has been especially prepared to assist home sellers, such as yourself, understand the elements involved so you, on your own, can sell your home quickly and for the most amount of profit. To help you prepare, here are 10 inside tips that you should be aware of before you make the decision as to whether or not this is the right approach for you.

1. Price it Right

Correctly setting your asking price is critical. Setting your price too high can be as costly as setting it too low. Home prices are determined by fluctuations in the marketplace not by your emotional attachment or by what you feel your home is worth. In order to establish a realistic price for your home, objectively compare the price, features and condition of all similar homes in both your neighborhood and other similar ones which have sold in recent months. It is also important for you to be familiar with the terms of each potential sale. Terms are often as important as price in today’s market. Carefully budget your selling costs and prepare a net proceeds sheet to calculate your best estimate of what you will take away from your home sale. Prospective buyers may also request this kind of analysis of buying costs.

2. Prepare Your Home for Sale

First impression is crucial. Make sure your home makes a positive statement by carefully inspecting all details and viewing it through the objective eyes of a buyer. Don’t gloss over needed repairs and fix-ups, as your prospective buyers won’t. Your job is to ensure that your home stands out favorably from the competition.

3. Prepare Yourself With All Necessary Legal Documentation

Not surprisingly, there are many important legal contracts and documents which you must assemble, complete and understand. A partial checklist of forms that you will require for prospective buyers and for legal documentation is as follows:

  • Mortgage Payoff
  • Loan Application
  • Deposit Receipt
  • Property Profile Fact Sheet
  • Buyer’s Cost Sheet
  • Closing & Settlement
  • Personal Property
  • Exclusion List
  • Property Survey
  • Sellers Statement /Plot Plan of Representation

4. Market Your Home Effectively

Beyond the sign you will put on your lawn, you should find effective ways to spread the word about your home. Local buyers can be reached through the newspaper, but this is only a small part of the market you are after. Be sure you include the many buyers who could already be working with a Realtor®. To locate them, target as many top agents as possible in your market to see if the criteria of their buyers matches that of your home’s. Because out-of-town buyers are also an important target, you should create a strategy to reach these people as well. Above all, you should be very service minded and make it easy for pre-qualified buyers to view your home. Ensure that there is always someone available to answer the phone, pick up messages promptly, and be ready to give qualified prospects a tour of your home as soon as possible.

5. Remain Objective During a Showing of Your Home

Keep emotion out of the sale of your home, and the best way to do this during a showing is to remain physically in the background. If a prospective buyer says something negative about your home, it is better to counter-balance this point of view by illustrating the positives rather than becoming defensive.

6. Pre-Qualify Your Prospects

Don’t waste your time entertaining buyers who could never afford your home. Research their financial steadiness with respect to job security, salary, debts, liabilities and credit standing.

7. Negotiate Effectively & Knowledgeably

There will be many details to resolve before a sale can be considered final: price, terms, inspections, possession date, buyer concerns and objections. Make sure you fully understand the contract you have drawn up so you can in turn explain details and ramifications to the buyer and make any amendments to the sale that are necessary. The contract you use should be thoroughly examined by your real estate attorney. Some real estate brokers may be willing to help you do this. While this is going on, manage the buyer’s interest in your home so that it doesn’t wane during negotiations.

8 . Know Your Buyer

Your objective during negotiations is to control the pace and set the duration. Try to determine what your buyer’s motivation is. Does he or she need to move quickly? Do they have enough money to pay your asking price? Knowing this information will give you the advantage in the negotiation because you will know up front, what you will need to do in order to get what you want.

9. Don’t Move Out Before You Sell

Studies have shown that it is more difficult to sell a home that is vacant. It looks forlorn, forgotten, simply not appealing. It could even cost you money. If you move, you’re also telling buyers that you have a new home and are motivated to sell fast which can, of course, give them an advantage at the negotiating table.

10. Know Why You’re Selling and Keep it to Yourself

The flip side of “understanding your buyer” is to “understand yourself”. Your reasons for selling will affect everything from your list price to how much time and money you will invest in getting your home ready for sale. Your motivation will help you determine what is more important to you: the money you walk away with, the length of time your property is on the market, or both. Different goals will dictate different strategies. As someone who wants to sell without a real estate agent in an effort to save the commission, it is likely that money is one of your primary considerations, (see, “How to Assess Your Net Gain” below). Whatever your reasons, however, it is very important to keep them to yourself so as not to place yourself at a disadvantage at the negotiation table. When asked, simply say your housing needs have changed.

How to Assess Your Net Gain

To analyze whether or not you will end up ahead by choosing to sell on your own, consider the fact that most buyers do use a real estate agent because it doesn’t cost them anything for this service (i.e. the seller pays the agent’s fee). Be cautious as buyers, investors and speculators who seek out For Sale by Owners are typically those in search of a bargain. The low-ball offers from these types of buyers will often net you much lower in the long run. What you will have to judge for yourself is the following:

  1. Be as prepared as possible with your marketing, negotiations, evaluations, showings and all legalities.
  2. Consider what it will cost you to effectively market your home and assemble all necessary materials from the “for sale” sign to any contracts.
  3. What price will a buyer offer you as a For Sale by Owner minus the costs identified in point 2 above. Is this net price higher than the price an experienced agent could net for you minus his/her commission?

For a free home evaluation to ensure that you price your home correctly, please feel free to give me a call at 613-614-0412 or send me a quick email.

My Customer Service Guarantee

This is how happy I am with my experience.

Customer service is pretty much dead, but we have known for that for years.  We always complain about how slow the service was here, or how inept that person was there, but we should also recognize that some people/companies go above and beyond to ensure a fantastic experience.  Even though it really doesn’t have much to do with real estate, I am going to take a second and do that now.

Last weekend, I installed the new Apple operating system, Lion.  Due to an error of my own, I erased half of my hard drive, including every piece of paper work, of every real estate transaction I have ever been apart of.  Thankfully, I have all of the hard copies at the office.  After a half-dozen phone calls and then finally  a trip into the Apple store (You’re the man Beau),  I finally now have a fully operationally Macbook Pro, running both Lion OSX and Windows 7.  Every single person that I dealt with along the way did everything they could do, to help me solve my problem.  Even though my warranty expired, they said “because I downloaded new software” they would be able to extend my warranty so that they could help me for free, which they absolutely didn’t have to do. When I called windows for help, they told me in order to speak to support, I would have to pay $59.00. My experience was phenomenal with Apple and from now on, I will only buy Apple products. You should too.

This process got me thinking.  In real estate, there is nothing more important than having open, honest, and prompt communication with your agent.  With this in mind, I’m going to pledge to make customer service one of my top priorities. This is my guarantee to you.  If you are working with me and I do not get back to you with in 24 hours of your phone call/email/text/BBM with an answer, I will pay you $100 cash on closing for every single time this happens.  So call me and lets get to work.  Have a great day.

What can you get for $1,000,000….?

There are currently 62 listings right now in Ottawa that are between $985,000 and $1,400,000.  A $1,000,000 house would cost you  roughly $3786.00 a month in mortgage alone. Here are some examples.  For a complete list of million dollar listings, just send me an email.  Click on each address for more information and additional pictures of these listings.

14 Powell Ave – $1,395,00

241 Glebe Ave – $1,375,000

267 Kirchoffer Ave – $1,200,000

1023 Tomkins Farm Cres – $985,000

Awesome New Project – Cathedral Hill

Cathedral Hill will lay claim to some of the best views of the Ottawa River and Gatineau Hills that Ottawa has to offer.  Its ideal location will alow its residents to walk to Parliament Hill and everything else downtown Ottawa has to offer.

What: A 12 storey office building, a 21 storey residential tower and a minimum of 8 high-end town homes

Where:  The corner of Bronson and Queen – Christ Church Anglican Cathedral

Who: Windmill Developments, the lead partner in the joint venture along with ONE Development, is Canada’s premier developer of sustainable communities, having completed projects such as Dockside Green and the Currents (located at Holland and Wellington above the Great Canadian Theatre Company) to a LEED Platinum standard.  Cathedral Hill will continue that commitment to sustainability with a design that provides superior energy performance, water conservation, enhanced comfort and a healthier indoor environment.

When: Launching Mid-September (I would estimate completion to be end of 2014 and into 2015)

For more information or to be registered for the launch of Cathedral Hill, send me an email with you contact information to

Just Listed – 2126 Rice Ave – $549,900

Gorgeous and charming sun filled home located seconds from the Ottawa River.  This four bedroom, two bathroom plus loft includes deep baseboards, original refinished hardwood, high ceilings, open concept living, and large yard with pool.   The cozy main floor family room has a gas fireplace and side entrance.  Bike and walking path located just across the street.  Walk to the beach.  Turn this into your dream home today!  For more pictures and additional information click here.


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