How is this Ontario Fair Housing Plan going to impact me?

For a number of months now, I’ve been saying that the government is going to intervene into the housing market in the GTA.

Less than a month ago I wrote an article, cheerfully called The End is Nigh  where I recapped what I had been saying and reiterated my belief that the government would be stepping in with a number of changes.  When that happens, I said, we will see a shift in the market.

I don’t mind telling you that this didn’t go well with everyone.

Realtors I had known for years called me a fool.  One even called me a ninny.

People I walked by on the street muttered and glared at me.  One old woman made the symbol of the evil eye at me.

While I was strong on the outside, on the inside I worried.

Was I in fact right?  When I advised buyer clients to stay calm, a shift was coming, was that the right thing to do?  With my seller clients, when we discussed timing and I raised the issue of coming changes, did I push them to list earlier for no reason?

It all came to a head yesterday when the Ontario government announced the Ontario Fair Housing Plan. Continue reading

And…a 1,2,3!

Let’s talk about timing.

There is a case to be made that life is all about timing.

Ask the right question, to the right person, at the right time…and your life can change.

Whether it is a business decision, a relationship issue or a family situation, the same action can have dramatically different results at different times.

In real estate, timing is crucial.

As a loyal reader of my articles, you are now smarter than the average bear when it comes to real estate.  I bet you’ll ace this quiz below. Continue reading

Three Things to Know about March’s Real Estate Market

A few days ago, the Toronto Real Estate Board released market statistics for March, 2017.

I think the term “released” is particularly appropriate given the content.  I say that because I can imagine the good folks at TREB wanting to hold on to the data a bit longer.

I bet the conversation between the Director of Market Analysis and the Board of Directors went something like this. Continue reading

The End is Nigh

In retreospect, that sounds more than a little dramatic.

When I say the end is nigh, I don’t mean the end of the world.  We all know that the lizard people don’t invade until the summer solstice that coincides with a major earthquake that drops most of the west coast into the ocean.  So, we’ve got at least 20 to 30 years for that.

The end I’m talking about is the end of the seller’s market that has been going on for a number of years now.

Is it because rationality is finally settling in?  Are we all collectively realizing that when home prices are unaffordable for almost all buyers, it is a bad idea?

Nope, but the government is about to step in and make some changes. Continue reading

I don’t know, looks a little high maintenance.

Have you ever heard a friend refer to someone as high maintenance?  It’s usually said after a compliment of some sort, where the person is attractive in some way, but high maintenance.

The idea behind that sentiment is that the positives of the person are outweighed by the negatives.  While it may look good on the surface, you have to do a lot of work in order to keep it from all falling apart.

I’ve known a few high maintenance people (not you of course, you’re wonderful) and it can be a challenge.  It can get even worse over time as the positive aspects diminish and the negative aspects keep right on going.

The same holds true in real estate and it is most apparent with condo apartment buildings and maintenance fees. Continue reading

Three Things to Know about February’s Real Estate Market

Earlier this month, the Toronto Real Estate Board released market statistics for February, 2017.

As you would no doubt expect, it showed a slow down in real estate, with lots more properties coming on the market and a more balanced market arriving.  People can sell homes for a fair price and buyers can move without worrying about for how much they can sell their oldest born child.

Sorry, I drifted off there for a second into a pleasant day dream.  Where was I?

Ah yes, the February real estate market.  Continue reading

Will we see a Foreign Buyers Tax in the GTA?

For a little while now I’ve been talking about the likelihood of the government fiddling with the Ontario housing market again.

When it arrives, it will probably be called an intervention or policy change or some other wording that communicates certainty and precision.

Make no mistake though, it will be fiddling.  I call it that because it will be done with the hope it will help, rather than the certainty it will help. Continue reading

Read between the lines

Did you ever hear that 90% of communication is non-verbal?

Or that it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it?

The longer I work in real estate, the more I realize that communication is one of the most crucial factors in succeeding (or failing) to help a client.

Fortunately, me speak words far bester than mostly of agents.

In all seriousness, when I talk about communication being important, I’m not talking simply about being able to clearly express myself.  Now, I know my clients appreciate it when I can break down a complex process like buying or selling a home into clear steps.

There is another aspect of communication that is also extremely important for a Realtor – the ability to read between the lines. Continue reading

Three Things to Know about January’s Real Estate Market

Earlier this month, the Toronto Real Estate Board released market statistics for January, 2017.

Traditionally, January is one of the slowest months of the year.

Mind you, traditionally we rode horses and went to sleep as soon as it got dark.

When I read these latest statistics about the GTA real estate market, I started yearning for the good old days.  I don’t know how to ride a horse, but I think I might learn. Continue reading

About 20,000 people came to my family reunion!

I know that 20,000 people seems excessive when it comes to a family reunion.

Truth be told, I’m not related by blood to those 20,000. My own family is shy by about 19,970 of that number.

The family reunion I’m talking about is the Keller Williams Family Reunion, which is the name of our annual conference where we get together, hear about how the company is doing, our plans for the upcoming year and learn from the best of our company. Continue reading