Does a 2% difference really matter?

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Most of the time, two percent doesn’t matter much either way.

Order a drink and they pour two percent more liquid than normal and you probably wouldn’t notice.  If you do notice, it’s clear to me that you really need that drink.

In fact, I think that percentage differences really only matter at either low or high numbers.

If someone gets a 44% on an exam or a 46% on an exam, it doesn’t much change the outcome.  You my friend, are going to redo that course.

But when it we’re at the low end or the high end of a scale, two percent makes a big difference. Continue reading

Should I include my first-born child in the offer?

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I haven’t actually been asked that question yet, but I feel it is only a matter of time before one of my client’s offers their future progeny in order to get a home.

Buying a home these days can feel like an insurmountable challenge

I say “these days” but it has been going on a while.

Back in February, 2012, I wrote an article about how to buy a house in a seller’s market and it still holds up pretty well four and half years later!  Mind you, I wrote it on February 29, 2012, which I think means it has technically only been a year and half.  Damn leap years ruining my prognostication bragging rights.

One of the most common questions I get from my buyer clients is “How much is this property going to sell for?”

It is a tough question to answer, in part because one of the hallmarks of our seller’s market has been the increasing trend to holding back offers for properties. Continue reading

This is what happens in the Fall real estate market.

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I know you’re upset.  I know.

This was supposed to have been the summer that it all happened.  You were going to golf more, get to the cottage more, buy a boat, spend time at the park with the kids.

Yet here it is….September.

Fall is upon us and I didn’t even manage to have a garage sale.  I’ve got a garage full of junk and I’d look like a fool trying to sell it now.  I imagine it will be worth more next year, because old stuff you don’t want becomes more valuable the longer you leave it in an unheated garage, right?

The one upside to the arrival of Fall is that the real estate market once again speeds up. Continue reading

Here are the secret Realtor codewords.

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I imagine this post will be taken down by the secret association of Realtors Protecting Realtorspeak (the benevolent order of RPR) pretty quick, so make sure to read this one right away.

If my undergrad studies in sociology taught me anything, it’s that specialized vocabulary (or argot) is one way for a societal group to distinguish members from non-members.  If you’ve ever gone with a significant other to a get together of people in their industry, you’ve experienced this first hand.

Realtors have their own way of speaking and you can often tell new agents from experienced agents from the way they describe various aspects of a property.  Without further ado, here are my favourite examples of Realtorspeak. Continue reading

Wait 5 years before you sell? How about 5 months.

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When I’m out and the conversation turns to real estate, people often talk about how expensive it is to buy and sell homes.

They talk about the land transfer tax, the legal fees, the bank charges and the realtor commissions.

If the people I am with know I’m a Realtor, at that point I tend to get an elbow in the ribs or a jibe about how that’s all the fault of greedy real estate agents.

It’s awkward and I tend to excuse myself at that point, to go the washroom, or get another glass of Dom Perignon.  As I wipe my brow with a $50 bill, I say to my entourage that they don’t know the truth.

With sale price growth in the GTA being what it is, it’s pretty damn expensive to not buy a home. Continue reading

There is nothing worse than forgetting something important.

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Let me rephrase that.

There is nothing worse than the feeling of forgetting to do something you really should have done.

That slowly dawning realization when you look at the date and your brain finally wakes up to the fact that there was something about today.

Something you had to do today.

It really is an awful feeling.  The realization that something you had planned can no longer happen because you forgot to do an important step.

You start thinking about the consequences of forgetting about it.  The calls you have to make, the apologies, the costs and effort to have it happen at a later date.

Just awful.

In real estate, I think it’s fair to say that planning ahead is crucial. Continue reading

There are two great things about my job.

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I like a lot of aspects of working in real estate, but if you asked me to narrow it down to my favourites, I would have to say that there are two really great things about my job.

The first is that I get to meet great people.

People I wouldn’t otherwise get a chance to know, because we work in different industries, live in different neighbourhoods, do different types of fun activities.

I meet these people when they are looking to buy or sell real estate, or when they are looking to rent out or find a rental property, or when they are looking for investors or to invest.

In short, I meet people who are looking for other people.

Which leads me to the second great thing about my job. Continue reading

Yes, I’ll sell your home while you’re on vacation.

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Looking at that post title, I realize it could come across as a threat.  As if, any time you head off on a trip, you have to be concerned about coming home to find another family moving in and a big SOLD sign on your lawn.

Fear not, the odds of me selling your home when you are on vacation are slim unless we’ve agreed to it beforehand.

I made just such an arrangement with a client in Aurora and while she is away with the kids at a resort, we are listing her house.  In fact, we’re listing it today.  Take a look at  Continue reading