It goes without saying that spring and summer are excellent times to put your house on the market; the weather is warm and potential home buyers are in the mood to window shop.

That said, there are also some real advantages that come with listing in the fall and winter. People are travelling less. and there’s typically less competition to contend with – among other benefits.

As we embrace the hygge and cooler weather (and brace ourselves for the winter months ahead), let’s consider what the fall and winter markets have to offer. Here are five reasons why you might want to think about selling your home sooner rather than later.

1. The Internet has no seasons

The world wide web has changed the way we shop for homes. During the colder months, people can research and view properties with the click of a button, which means there are potential home buyers actively looking at any time, no matter the season.

2. Curb appeal is a cinch

During spring and summer, buyers are looking for perfectly manicured lawns, flowers and impeccable landscaping, which can cost you a tremendous amount of time and money. By fall, however, most plants are already dormant. All you need to do is rake the leaves or make sure your snow is well shovelled before the open house. Some festive pumpkins or a seasonal, inviting wreath can also work wonders.

3. There's often less competition

Listing your home during a less popular selling season means there will be fewer new properties on the market. Less competition makes the market less crowded, providing you with a great opportunity to really make your home stand out.

4. Buyers are serious

Many buyers will choose to ease into the market in the summer, looking around to see what neighbourhoods, features and amenities will best meet their needs. And, if they haven’t purchased over the summer, by the time fall and winter comes around, the window shoppers often have a clearer idea of what they want.

5. You can enjoy spring and summer in your new home

Nobody wants to spend the warmest months of the year planning for and stressing out over a move. If you put your home on the market in the fall or winter, there’s a better chance you’ll be settled into your new home by the time spring arrives, so you can enjoy a hassle-free summer!

Planning to sell? A REALTOR® can help you get your house market-ready!

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If you've been considering buying a home, the time may be now. 

The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) has announced changes to its coverage criteria for insured mortgages starting July 1, 2020. The changes are likely to make it more difficult for aspiring home buyers with down payments of less than 20%. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected all sectors of Canada's economy, including real estate. Job losses, business closures, and a drop in immigration are all adversely affcting Canada's housing markets, and in order to protect future home buyers and reduce risk, CMHC is changing its underwriting policies for insured mortgages. 

At least one applicant’s credit score will need to be 680, up from the previous minimum of 600. To ensure borrowers can keep up with payments, maximum total debt service ratios will be lowered from 44 to 42. The gross debt service ratio drops from 39 to 35.

The CMHC also says “non-traditional sources of down payment that increase indebtedness will no longer be treated as equity for insurance purposes.”

In other words, buyers will no longer be able to borrow money for a down payment.

CMHC is also suspending refinancing for multi-unit mortgage insurance unless the money is being used for repairs or reinvestment in housing.

The changes are effective July 1, 2020.

“COVID-19 has exposed long-standing vulnerabilities in our financial markets, and we must act now to protect the economic futures of Canadians,” said Evan Siddall, CMHC’s President and CEO, in a release.

“These actions will protect home buyers, reduce government and taxpayer risk and support the stability of housing markets while curtailing excessive demand and unsustainable house price growth.”

If you have any questions on how this can affect you, send us a message.

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