Negotiating skills are useful for just about any situation but there are certain scenarios that may require a professional. This month’s main article discusses the importance of strong negotiating skills.
There are also some strategies to help your kids settle into a new school as well as a few apps to help you manage your stress levels.
Thanks so much for checking out this month's newsletter. Please get in touch if you have any questions or comments regarding the articles, or real estate in general -- it'd be great to hear from you!
The Kitchener-Waterloo Real Estate Market Report
Hot home sales in August for the Kitchener-Waterloo area!
There were a total of 598 home sales in Kitchener-Waterloo and area though the Multiple Listing System (MLS® System) of the Kitchener-Waterloo Association of REALTORS® (KWAR) in August.
This represents a 26.4% increase in sales compared to August of 2015. It also ranks as the most active August on record and 37.6% above the 5-year average for the month.
Year-to-date sales also climbed to new heights with 4,703 residential sales so far in 2016. Again, this is the highest on record for this period and 23.4% above the 5-year average.
Active residential listings continue to remain depressed in comparison to the same time last year. The number of active residential listings on the KWAR’s MLS® System to the end of August sat at 863 which is 46.6% lower compared to same period last year’s 1,616 homes that were on the market.
“It wasn’t just temperatures heating up in August”, says KWAR President Charlotte Zawada. “We’re still experiencing tight market conditions in terms of available homes for sale and this continues to push home prices in the Region upward,” says Zawada.
August’s sales included 353 single detached homes (up 19.7% compared to August 2015) and 151 condominium type units (up 36.0%) which include any property regardless of style (ie. semis, townhomes, apartment, detached etc).
Sales also included 40 Semi-detached homes (up 14.3%) and 49 freehold townhouses (up 69.0%). The average sale price of all residential sales in August increased 15.2% to $402,000 compared to August 2015.
“We saw strong residential activity this summer season and with record setting year-to-date sales it’s clear that buyers remain confident about the value of homes in Kitchener-Waterloo,” says Zawada.
Single detached style homes sold for an average price of $487,050 an increase of 20.9% compared to last year. The average sale price for an apartment style condominium was $233,302, an increase of 7.9%. Townhomes and semis sold for an average of $298,148 (up 10.2%) and $299,353 (up 5.5%) respectively.
Kitchener Waterloo Oktoberfest Celebrations
There’s so much to do in K-W during the month of October!
October is a busy month for K-W with a variety of pumpkin patch farms and Halloween themed activities taking place in and around the Region.
Of course our biggest event is Oktoberfest which this year runs from October 7th through to October 15th so mark your calendars now!
The various festhalle events are extremely popular but there are also over 40 different family and cultural events that are part of the celebrations. Friends, family and having a great time is what the ultimate Oktoberfest experience is all about!
This year, the newest addition to the Taste of Octoberfest Culinary Event Series is OktoberLICIOUS which provides a great opportunity to explore the various cuisines that are available throughout the Waterloo Region. Hope to see you out and about -- Prosit!
The Importance of Strong Negotiating Skills
Strong negotiation skills aren’t just for business transactions.
You often don’t realize you’re using them but whether you're renting a car, asking for a raise or trying to get your kids to clean up their room, strong negotiating skills are essential.
Negotiating is a life skill that can be easily learned and eventually perfected. Your success is partly based on how well you're prepared so it’s important to do your homework.
Also, never make assumptions but instead ask questions and listen to the other party’s perspective in order to gain their trust and to gather valuable information that may come in handy later.
There are certain scenarios where it’s best to use a third party negotiator. The home buying/selling process can be very complex. In order to successfully negotiate, you need to understand local market conditions but you also need to be able to identify specific psychological aspects in order to work around certain fears and motivations and turn them into advantages.
Even if you consider yourself the world’s greatest negotiator, emotions can often tear things apart. If you negotiate with someone directly in such an emotionally charged situation as selling a home, chances are that negative personal feelings will get in the way. It's hard to recover once that happens and oftentimes, the home of your dreams will be lost due to ego, pride or principle.
Emotions run very high when it comes to buying or selling a home which is why it's important to have a real estate agent represent you as a third party negotiator. Professionals are able to see things through to the end by remaining calm and not letting their emotions get in the way. If you're thinking about making a move, please get in touch so that we can discuss your options.
Helping Your Kids Adjust to a New School
Starting fresh at a new school can sometimes be a challenge.
Switching to a new school can cause children considerable stress and anxiety. If your child has just started at a new school, the following tips will help them settle in:
- Be Positive- Discuss your children's fears while encouraging a confident approach to making new friends
- Fear Not- Chances are you'll be a little nervous too. Be careful not to transfer your anxieties over to them.
- Join Up- Encourage your children to join school clubs/teams and participate in after-school activities in order to meet new friends and have fun.
- Join In- Parent teacher groups are a great way for you to connect with the school community. Attending field trips is another great way to get involved!
Moving to a new school can be a difficult transition so try to emphasize the positive when discussing the challenges and opportunities your children face. By encouraging them to share their feelings with you, it'll be much easier for them to adjust to their new surroundings.
A Few Apps to Help You Keep Your Cool
So many emotional and physical illnesses are related to stress.
Instead of being the source of your stress, your smartphone can actually help you relax with some great apps designed to relieve stress and anxiety.
Meditation is a huge stress reliever and apps such as Headspace are great at helping to guide you through the process.
Being grateful also reduces stress and increases happiness. There are various apps like Grateful Journal to help you record your moments each day.
Finally, exercise is a great stress reliever but it can be hard to find the time. Apps such as the 7 Minute Workout contain bodyweight resistant exercises including squats and push-ups to pump up your endorphins and help you feel great!