Have us in early blog!!

If you’re not selling until next year, why do you need us now?

Quite often, we get called in to discuss your listing a few days before you expect to go to market. As we are an experienced and organized team, we do have to ability to get you up and running with 48 hours of our meet if need be. However, here are the top 10 Reasons why you should consider calling us in as soon as you are starting to think about selling your home.WE’D


Often, we find Sellers feel they have to do way too much work on items around the home that we feel may not be necessary before listing. We like to promote “Cheap and Cheerful” in getting you to market. Walking through your home in early days and discussing your plans for fix ups can save you time and money.


You have walked up those stairs 15 times today and no longer see the scuff marks along the hallways as we all miss areas in our home that may need attending. For every listing, we insist on a room by room edit to draw your attention to areas for quick fix ups. We are good at finding cost savvy solutions that provide the most “bang for your buck”. We know what draws positive buyer attention and we know what turns them off a home. The walk through is vital.


Depending on the season in which you are planning on selling, we may suggest attending to marketing components done early such as property photos and video tours. If you are launching in the winter for instance, let’s get those photos and tours done in the sunny days of summer! Does your home fit into a niche market? Giving us time to research new avenues of niche marketing to extend your demographic reach is always helpful!


If you are totally open on the timing of listing your home, have us in early to chat about the current market conditions in your neighborhood, the amount of inventory available and recent sold prices. These speak to your list price and selling expectations. We may suggest going ahead now, waiting until inventory subsides or waiting until after a certain holiday. For example, coming to market over a 3/ 4 day holiday is never a good time to launch.


It is very important for us to understand you’re buying and/or selling goals in order for us to implement a strategic plan that will not leave you between homes. There are pros and cons to each buy/sell or sell/buy scenario depending on what you are selling, when, the market climate in your neighborhood and where you are going.


The main goal of the inspection is for us all to understand the features and details of your home from the perspective of a qualified third party. Whether you choose to offer the inspection to the buyer population is another discussion altogether. Often, there are many bothersome, little items around your home that can be quickly and easily repaired presenting a picture of a well maintained home to buyers. If there is anything of significance that the inspection turns up, we have a chance to discuss and then decide our strategy well in advance of hitting the market.


There are a lot more condominiums for sale now in Toronto than there are homes at any given time. Understanding the difference in markets for homes, condos and townhomes is critical. While the $600K market for condos is full steam ahead (and usually with multiple offers at the time of this writing (12/17), it might take you a bit longer to find your perfect dream home. This is where experience in timing strategies speaks loudest!


In certain parts of France, it can take a property 8-12 months to sell!  My lovely Frenchie client almost had a heart attack when I said houses in our area, when priced properly, move inside of a week!  We can help you research the area that you are moving to in hopes of coordinating the time lines on your sale here. We refer across Canada to RLP brokerages so that you and your time lines work together on both sides of the transaction.


It may sound obvious but the more time you have to clean out after our room by room edit, the better for you. We can help you assess what needs to go, what can be re-organized or re-purposed and lots of ideas on where to send “your stuff ”, be it into storage, or be it gone! We have all kinds of suppliers for downsizing and should you need them, organizers to help you along the way or after the sale.


While not an option for everyone, have you considered cleaning once and leaving town while showings happen? Having the time to chat with children about the upcoming move, making arrangements for pets while listed, informing family and friends before the sign goes on the lawn, having paperwork such as taxes and surveys ready, employing a “10 minutes a day tidy up plan” for last minute showings are some areas which can help alleviate the potential stress of a move. We have lots of ideas on this subject!

Now that you are as prepared as possible, BREATHE and give us the reins. Let us make the listing and selling process as organized and as easy as possible. We are good at it and adhering to as many of the ideas above can help us, help you!  Cheers and Happy Selling!

Royal Le Page Market Stats April 2018


April 2018 Market Stats

Home prices down but market shows signs of stability

housing market

Sales through the TREB MLS in April 2018 on a year-over-year basis were down by just over 32 per cent. Compared to April 2017, which had the highest average sale price on record for the Board, April 2018’s average selling price was down by 12.4 per cent. April’s average sales price was 0.2 per cent below the average sales price in March this year. The month-to-month sales numbers suggest a leveling over the past two months from the drops seen in January and February of this year, and might further indicate that the impact of the tougher new mortgage qualification rules introduced January 1st may already be moderating.

The jpeg above visually interprets the stats and is something you can use for posting to your website and social media. To save the jpeg version, right-click on the image and select Save Image As. The pdf version can be used as a monthly touch piece for your clients and prospects, as well as be included in your Pre-Listing Packages, Listing Presentations, Buyer Consultations or other communications and marketing.

Click here for PDF Version

To your success,



Debra Harris
Vice President, Business Services Corporate Brokerages

Market Watch-April 2018 from TREB

GTA REALTORS® Release April Stats
TORONTO, ONTARIO, May 3, 2018 – Toronto Real Estate Board President Tim Syrianos
announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 7,792 sales through TREB’s MLS®
System in April 2018. The average selling price was $804,584. On a year-over-year basis, sales
were down by 32.1 per cent and the average selling price was down by 12.4 per cent.
The year-over-year change in the overall average selling price has been impacted by both
changes in market conditions as well as changes in the type and price point of homes being
purchased. This is especially clear at the higher end of the market. Detached home sales for $2
million or more accounted for 5.5 per cent of total detached sales in April 2018, versus 10 per
cent in April 2017. The MLS® Home Price Index strips out the impact of changes in the mix of
home sales from one year to the next. This is why the MLS® HPI Composite Benchmark was
down by only 5.2 per cent year-over-year versus 12.4 per cent for the average price.
“While average selling prices have not climbed back to last year’s record peak, April’s price level
represents a substantial gain over the past decade. Recent polling conducted for TREB by Ipsos
tells us that the great majority of buyers are purchasing a home within which to live. This means
these buyers are treating home ownership as a long-term investment. A strong and diverse
labour market and continued population growth based on immigration should continue to
underpin long-term home price appreciation,” said Mr. Syrianos.
“The comparison of this year’s sales and price figures to last year’s record peak masks the fact
that market conditions should support moderate increases in home prices as we move through
the second half of the year, particularly for condominium apartments and higher density low-rise
home types. Once we are past the current policy-based volatility, home owners should expect
to see the resumption of a moderate and sustained pace of price growth in line with a strong
local economy and steady population growth,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market

Royal Le Page – March 2018

March 2018 Market Stats

royal le page march 2018

The jpeg above visually interprets the Royal Le Page march 2018 stats and is something you can use for posting to your website and social media. To save the jpeg version, right-click on the image and select Save Image As. The pdf version can be used as a monthly touch piece for your clients and prospects, as well as be included in your Pre-Listing Packages, Listing Presentations, Buyer Consultations or other communications and marketing.

Click here for the PDF version



An open house sign.
An open house sign.

AGENTS! Agents open house

AGENTS!  This is an AGENT open house! 

I am sitting at an AGENT OPEN HOUSE  on one of our listings. It is clearly advertised on line as an AGENT open house.
Unbeknownst to me, today must be a brand new day in the world of agent open houses apparently as I have had 3 sets of buyers come into the agent open house on their own, without their agent anywhere in sight!  AND  their agent told them it would be fine to do so?
Not one of their agents bothered to call me to ascertain whether this would be ok, to send their buyers through unaccompanied.
When I asked for their agents business cards. not one buyer had them. When I asked where their agent was, the answers were varied.
  1. “They are too busy downtown to come out to the west end” Hmmmm, which I guess means the buyer will run around on their own to open houses, both agent and public, and their agent will draft the offer which takes 15 minutes, and get paid a huge chunk of cash. If this happens to you, fire your agent and use a local agent who can be bothered to take the time to actually show you a home.
  2. No clear answer as to where their agent was, simply this “ they told me this would be fine”  On what planet? I SMELL  A LAZY AGENT
  3. And my personal favourite “They have so many clients that they are too busy this morning to meet me here” and …… WAIT FOR IT  ….”whats the big deal to you”?  WT??????
What is going on here? Agent open houses,  without the public, actually serve a purpose believe it of not. It is a forum for agents to chat amongst themselves and with the listing agent regarding the property, its history, its potential, pricing ideas and whats happening in their marketplace. This morning at one point,  I had 3 agents in the house trying to ask me questions regarding the actual property which I could hardly answer as one of the buyers was drilling me with questions. Questions that should have been directed to and answered by their own agent, if their agent had taken the time to bother to show up!  Agent open houses cater to agents.
Public open houses are a different forum all together. They are for the benefit of the buyer and cater to buyers in an effort to answer all their questions etc..
At times, in the past, I have had agents call me in certain circumstances, and ask if they can bring their buyers through the agent open house. I always say sure, I appreciate the courtesy and understand there are often challenges with a buyers and an agent’s  time. I can give them a convenient time, I can have a feature sheet ready for them etc. This is done as a courtesy, it is not a standard.
It is one of my jobs, as the listing agent holding the agent open house,  to make sure the property is kept safe and secure. How can I do that when agents are telling their buyers, “ sure go through, its fine” without calling me or at the very least, giving these buyers their business card so I can at least confirm some type of identity?
Why should I look like the “bad guy” when I am just doing my job?  Why am I being put in this frustrating position? I hate to be a bad guy and not let these potential buyers in. Who knows, yes, one of these buyers may actually but the property, that is true but so is the safekeeping of their home and applying the standards to which I agreed when I listed it.
Agents, do your damn job. Show your buyers properties that work around their time lines and not your own. AND pls don’t tell your buyers that walking through an agent open house is fine…..because it is not…

Market Watch – March 2018 from TREB

Market Watch

April 4, 2018 — Toronto Real Estate Board President Tim Syrianos announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 7,228 residential transactions through TREB’s MLS® System in March 2018. This result was down by 39.5 percent compared to a record 11,954 sales reported in March 2017 and down 17.6 percent relative to average March sales for the previous 10 years.

The number of new listings entered into TREB’s MLS® System totalled 14,866 – a 12.4 percent decrease compared to March 2017 and a three percent decrease compared to the average for the previous 10 years.

“TREB stated in its recent Market Outlook report that Q1 sales would be down from the record pace set in Q1 2017,” said Mr. Syrianos. “The effects of the Fair Housing Plan, the new OSFImandated stress test and generally higher borrowing costs have prompted some buyers to put their purchasing decision on hold. Home sales are expected to be up relative to 2017 in the second half of this year.”

The MLS Home Price Index Composite Benchmark was down by 1.5 percent on a year-over-year basis for the TREB market area as a whole. The overall average selling price was down by 14.3 percent compared to March 2017.

While the change in market conditions certainly played a role, the dip in the average selling price was also compositional in nature. Detached home sales, which generally represent the highest price points in a given area, declined much more than other home types. In addition, the share of high-end detached homes selling for over $2 million in March 2018 was half of what was reported in March 2017, further impacting the average selling price.

“Right now, when we are comparing home prices, we are comparing two starkly different periods of time: last year, when we had less than a month of inventory versus this year with inventory levels ranging between two and three months. It makes sense that we haven’t seen prices climb back to last year’s peak. However, in the second half of the year, expect to see the annual rate of price growth improve compared to Q1, as sales increase relative to the below-average level of listings,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis.

Download the full report- Market Watch – March 2018 

Maurice Poirier, one of the owners of Century 21 Absolute Realty Inc., is pictured.
Maurice Poirier, one of the owners of Century 21 Absolute Realty Inc., is pictured.

N.B. strips real estate agents’ licenses

N.B. strips real estate agents’ licenses for taking ‘egregious advantage’ of senior

New Brunswick’s financial and consumer services commission has stripped the licenses of two real estate agents after it was deemed they took “outrageous and egregious advantage” of a vulnerable senior citizen in the province.

Alaina Nicholson, the acting-director of consumer affairs — who functions as the commission’s regulatory body — has found that Tanya Hannah and Maurice Poirier, owners of Century 21 Absolute Realty Inc. in Moncton, N.B.,  are unsuitable to be licensed as real estate salespeople under the province’s Real Estate Agents Act.

Century 21 Real Estate says that Hannah and Poirier have not been affiliated with the company since August 2017.

Financial issues

According to a release from the commission, in early 2013 the pair entered into a listing agreement with an unnamed senior citizen for the sale of his residential property.

“After the property stayed on the market for a few months, Hannah reportedly purchased the property for $238,000 instead of its listed price of $324,900.”

The deal also involved the senior providing an interest-free loan and a “substantial” $138,000 renovation credit to Hannah in return for a $100,000 collateral mortgage against the property.

The senior would also receive a monthly stipend of $1,000 that would partially cover his rent.

By the end of the deal, the commission says documents show that the senior received less than $17,000 in rent payments for the sale of the property.

It was a deal that the regulator deemed “took extreme financial advantage of the senior.”

“It is clear that they gained substantially from the transaction to (the senior’s) detriment,” the regulator wrote in her decision.

“He lost his home, his only asset, and was provided with nothing more than a year-and-a-half’s rent.”

Health issues

Since 2013 the senior had designated Poirier the executor, trustee and sole beneficiary under his will while Hannah was appointed as the alternate executor, trustee and beneficiary.

The senior was admitted to hospital on April 2, 2015, after being brought in to the emergency department by the RMCP and was found to be in a state of “serious self-neglect” and had suffered an illness present for at least a year or two.

The senior has since been found to be mentally incompetent and the province’s public trustee — the government agency set up to protect the personal and financial interests of New Brunswick ‘s vulnerable people —  has stepped in to represent his interests.

They since filed a motion to revoke the will that gave Poirier and Hannah power of attorney and made them executors of his will. They’ve also begun a civil action on the senior’s behalf in order to recoup the money owed on the collateral mortgage between the senior and Hannah.

N.B. strips real estate agents’ licenses

The director of consumer affairs has found that, Tanya Hannah and Maurice Poirier, owners of Century 21 Absolute Realty Inc. in Moncton, N.B., are unsuitable to be licensed as real estate salespeople as a result of their actions

The commissioner wrote in her decision that she had “substantial concerns” about the pair.

“Were I to licence Poirier and Hannah again [I have concerns] that they may use their position as licensed real estate salespeople to again benefit financially to the detriment of their potential clients,” she said.

Her report also found that neither Hannah nor Poirier had taken responsibility for their actions and seem to be unaware of the “precarious position” they put the senior in.

As a result of the decision, the pair cannot re-apply to be licensed until Feb. 5, 2019.

A call to Poirier and Hannah was not immediately returned.

The commission says that Poirier has since filed a motion to appeal the decision with New Brunswick’s financial and consumer services tribunal.

A date has yet to be set for the appeal.



Palmerston home buyer disparaged for paying $600,000 over asking

Global and mail Carolyn Ireland, Published 3/23/2018: Palmerston home buyer disparaged for paying $600,000 over asking.
Agent says naysayers fail to factor in the emotional draw a property can have…

In early 2018, the Toronto-area real estate market has become a far more genteel place than it was at this time last year. Sellers no longer have an iron grip on desperate buyers and negotiations between the two sides are common.
But that doesn’t mean that some eye-popping sales aren’t still happening. Competition is still fierce for singular properties.
One sale last week was labelled a “blood bath” by some market watchers, who were merciless in their deprecation of a buyer who paid $600,000 above the asking price for 822 Palmerston Ave. in the city’s west end.
Leslie Battle of Royal LePage Real Estate Services Ltd., who represented the buyer, finds the comments vexing. “Everybody has different motivations and it’s not always money,” she says.
The detached, two-storey house near Bathurst and Dupont streets was listed with an asking price of $1.822-million. After a week of showings and buzzing open houses that included a food truck parked at the curb, 13 bidders put offers on the table.


‘Everybody has different motivations and it’s not always money,’ agent Leslie Battle says of her client’s decision to make an offer of $2.417-million.
When the top three were invited back for a second round. Ms. Battle asked her client what she would like to do. “I want the property – go do what it takes,” the buyer told her. At the end of the night, the sellers accepted her offer for $2.417-million.
What the naysayers fail to factor in, Ms. Battle says, is the huge emotional draw of a particular property.
In this case, the buyer is downsizing and wanted to return to the Seaton Village neighbourhood where she raised her kids and still has friends. She also loved the home’s interior, which had been renovated without removing all of the charm and quirkiness, Ms. Battle says.
She says they arrived at the final price by looking at such factors as the number of bidders and the current low inventory. The only other nearby detached that sold in the past year went for more than $2.7-million.
The house, with three-plus-two bedrooms, includes a separate suite above the double garage. That suite could provide the potential for rental income if the owner wants to apply for a permit in the future, she points out. “That’s often the case with buyers, they’re buying a little bit of potential.”

Ms. Battle adds that since her client had sold another house, she has much more flexibility in deciding how much to pay than someone relying on debt. She says it’s much tougher for first-time buyers or others without a lot of equity.
One aspect that seemed to bring out snark in the comments was the food truck serving up mac and cheese and other comfort foods. But Ms. Battle says that attraction did nothing to sway her client. “I don’t care if she has five food trucks and Santa on the roof. We can’t pull offers out of thin air.”
Alex Brott of Sage Real Estate Ltd. represented the sellers. The food truck was her idea. She says the Palmerston house was the ideal location because she could have the truck parked in front of the driveway without taking away parking from neighbours who park on the street.
“It was a ton of fun,” she says. “I think it made the people who came back for their second visit or their third visit stay a bit.”
Ms. Brott says she set the asking price for 822 Palmerston slightly below her estimate for market value. She wanted to draw a large number of house hunters without making the list price insanely low.
“The market will dictate what’s it’s worth,” she says. “What I didn’t know was that it was everyone’s favourite house in the neighbourhood.”
Ms. Brott says there were some low-ball bids in the first round and the others were spread across a range, but the top two bids were very close at the end. “The person who won the deal won by a painfully small margin.”
In addition to practical matters such as the parking, Ms. Brott says potential buyers appreciated the character in such elements as the arches and curves of the plaster walls. A wide front porch faces Vermont Square Park across the street. “The emotion that that house brought out was fascinating. It had such a warm vibe. It was unusual. But not the unusual you want to back away from.”
Many agents are anxious to see if listings will become more plentiful after the Easter and Passover holidays. Ms. Brott says demand is high – particularly among move-up buyers.

PalmerstonAlex Brott, who represented the sellers, says potential buyers appreciated the character in such elements as the arches and curves of the plaster walls.
Listings are relatively tight, however, and sales in the Greater Toronto Area in February plummeted 35 per cent from the same month last year. Many are predicting that March sales will also come in far below March of 2017.
David Madani, senior Canada economist at Capital Economics, warns that he sees signs of a national house price correction. He believes the country may face a debt-driven deleveraging process this year. He calculates that the seasonally adjusted household debt-to-income ratio stood at 170 per cent in the fourth quarter, down from what was probably the peak at 170.2 in the second quarter of 2017.
The economist says that heavily-indebted households found out last year that a modest rise in interest rates can lead to significantly higher debt servicing costs.
His bigger concern is that these large debts may have been used to finance speculation in real estate and bid home values up to what he considers ridiculously high levels.
“Although household assets have risen in value faster than debt, they are highly variable, whereas debts are fixed,” he points out.
Ms. Battle says the current fervour in downtown Toronto neighbourhoods is partly driven by the lack of listings. Sales in areas farther out of the core are moving more slowly. But while year-over-year February sales fell in the GTA, early 2017 was a phenomenon, she says. “Our previous February was off the charts. That was an anomaly.”
Ms. Battle has participated in six offers in the past 10 days, in price segments ranging from $600,000 to $2.4-million. All six have sold in competition, she says. It’s particularly difficult for people trying to enter the market.
She senses that a lot of sellers are hesitant to list because they are waiting to see how this market shakes out.
As such, market conditions remain difficult for buyers who want to get into prime pockets, she says. “As far as first-time buyers go, it’s a miracle they hang in sometimes.”


home energy audits
home energy audits

Ontario Mandatory Home Energy Audits

Province has Put the Brakes on Mandatory Home Energy Audits

March 19, 2018 — TREB, along with OREA and other industry stakeholders, participated in a government working group to address the province’s push to make home energy audits mandatory for homeowners at the time of listing on the MLS® System. We opposed the mandatory requirement, and TREB is pleased to announce that, for now, the province has listened to our voice and has recognized the complexity and inefficiency of that plan. Instead, the province is moving ahead with supporting alternative solutions to fight climate change, namely the launch of the GreenON Challenge.

This program will support the exploration and development of new projects to reduce pollution, advance the province’s low-carbon economy and meet Ontario’s greenhouse gas reduction targets. For complete details of the government announcement, please click here.

Even though mandatory energy audits have been deferred for now, TREB, along with other industry stakeholders, will continue to work with the province on alternative solutions to encourage the public to pursue energy audits as an optional choice.

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