This is when multiple representation makes sense.

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Ever have one of those days where your colleague at work does something dumb?

What about a day when they do this dumb thing in front of your company’s clients or customers?

The whole real estate industry had one of those moments earlier this month, when CBC released a hidden camera investigation on their show Marketplace.  Here’s the link to the video in case you haven’t seen it.

On it, they show footage (via hidden camera) of Continue reading

Three things to know about October’s real estate market.

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Last week, the Toronto Real Estate Board released market statistics for October, 2016.

As is often the case, these statistics were a matter of fierce debate at our monthly Secret Realtor Ball.  Sides were taken, assumptions challenged and outliers were mocked.  A long time husband and wife Realtor team disagreed so vehemently about the impact of agrarian cycles on modern real estate that the rumour is a divorce is in the works.

In all honesty, it is always a very interesting read.  The next time Continue reading

Today We Remember

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Since the end of World War I, a number of commonwealth countries have celebrated a memorial day on November 11th, where we remember the members of the armed forces who have died in the line of duty, as well as those men and women who continue to serve during times of both peace and war.

The date is significant in that it marked the end of hostilities of World War I on that date in 1918. Hostilities formally ended “at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month”, hence our moment of remembrance at 11:00 a.m. today.

Canadian soldiers have often played a crucial role in conflicts (and in peacekeeping) around the world.  Today they do so as Continue reading

Pack your bags Martha, we’re leaving.

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Did you decide what you are doing this weekend?

Or decide where you’re going on vacation?  Which car to buy?  What airline to take on your next trip?  Which bottle of wine to bring to that dinner party?

It’s Friday and that likely means you have had a long week of making decisions.  Some important, some less so.  In retrospect, some decisions you made were good, such as avoiding that sushi lunch at work.  Some decisions were bad, such as saving some money by cutting your own hair.

Make no mistake about it, there were lots of things that needed deciding upon this week. Continue reading

The Road Not Taken

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There is a poem by Robert Frost called “The Road Not Taken” that has the distinction of being the most misread poem in America, according to the Paris Review.

I know what you are thinking.

Yet another real estate article comparing misinterpretations of classic poetry with property appreciation in the greater Toronto area.  If you’ve read one of those emails, you’ve read ‘em all.

I promise I’m going somewhere new with this, so bear with me. Continue reading

Keep Calm and List On

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There is a very famous poster from 1939 that the British government produced in preparation for the Second World War.  Here it is.

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The purpose of the poster was to strengthen morale amongst the British populace in the event of a wartime disaster such as mass bombings.

In the last 10 years or so, it’s been turned into a meme where people take the poster or the saying and adjust it a bit.  My personal favourite used to be Keep Calm and Drink Beer but I’ve got a new favourite now. Continue reading

Three things that happened in September’s real estate market.

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In the first week or so of each month, the Toronto Real Estate Board releases market statistics for the previous month.

It is an exciting time for Realtors everywhere when this happens, brokerages filled with the buzz of gossip and speculation.  New Realtors often burst into tears at the sheer drama of it all, only to be comforted by seasoned pros, telling them to not worry, the MLS Home Price Index will soon be available.

In all honesty, it is always a very interesting read.  Continue reading

This is how the new mortgage rules affect you. Yes, you.

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I’ll get right to the point because the clock is ticking.

In 10 days from now, new rules kick in for mortgages.

Starting October 17, 2016, all buyers with less than a 20 per cent down payment must qualify based on the five-year benchmark posted rate, which is currently approximately 4.6%.

So this means that a buyer works with a mortgage broker or talks to their bank, finds or negotiates a low rate such as 2.39% and then after October 17, 2016, we all have to pretend the rate is actually 4.6%.

The buyer needs to have the debt ratios and income to support a rate of 4.6%, which they aren’t going to have to pay.  If they do qualify at that mortgage rate, they get approved and pay the actual rate the lender is offering, such as 2.39%.

If they can’t qualify with a rate of 4.6%, then they get approved for less money.  It is estimated that buyers will lose approximately 20% of the purchasing power, which means they get approved for 20% less than before.

On November 30, 2016, some more changes kick in, where Continue reading

Three ways to price a property

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I know that we’re constantly told the GTA real estate market is just bonkers right now.

Even other real estate agents I talk with say prices are crazy, that it’s multiple offers for anything put on the market and unless you go in for 130% of asking price you won’t win.

There seems to be a general consensus out there that the is no logic or realistic valuation going on these days and that one day we will be in for a rude awakening when the market adjusts.

Please note as a Realtor I am contractually forbidden from using the word “crash” before or after the word “market”. I saw an agent say it once in a meeting and the Real Estate Council of Ontario broke down the door and took him away. No one has seen him since.

My take on what is going on is a bit different. Continue reading