No Area Is Safe From Bidding Wars

No Area Is Safe From Bidding Wars

Bidding wars for the past few years have been exclusive to Toronto and some hot neighbourhoods in the GTA. Well if you’ve been looking for a house lately in Ontario, you will know that it is crazy out there.

I personally have been inching further and further away with my clients because prices have been getting higher and higher.

The reasons why we have bidding wars are simple, and is a perfect storm for a sellers market.

1. Interest Rates: Interest rates have been low and steady

2. Demand: There has been a steady demand

3. Low Inventory: There is not enough inventory for the amount of buyers out there

4. Employment: Unemployment has been low.

5. Foreign investment: American & Chinese investment has been high.

After all these factors the main thing that I’m seeing is that a person sells their house on a street, another home owner realizes that for a little bit more they can move up to a bigger house, and now everybody is thinking this, and thus starts the demand.

Since the closer you get to Toronto the prices are astronomical, the prices in and around the GTA are growing due to all these factors and everybody is looking to move up in the world.

Your Information May Be Public Soon

Your Information May Be Public Soon

It is not clear what or how information will be distributed in the future, but one thing that is going to be true soon, your information is going to be public soon. 

A ruling has been passed that the Toronto Real Estate board practices are anti-competitive with regards to information regarding properties. 
The most “Valuable Information” that people want is sold information. That is what is going to be public most likely. Whether or not owners names, or more information is going to be released is yet to be seen.
Before any of this happens, TREB, will be appealing the decision. TREB’s stance is that your information being released will be a violation of the public trust. 
So what does this mean for the future of Real Estate?
Well this will dramatically change the landscape of how Real Estate is sold. It will change how the model currently exists, and everybody will have the same information. So will this kill the Real Estate Agent?
My answer is no, for some, and yes for others. I have long held the notion since websites and information has become more widely available, that Real Estate agents are not just statistics. I believe those agents were, are and going to be a dying breed. While the information they give is valuable, the job is so much more, that stats, and sold info is an afterthought now. 
If you look to our neighbours to the south, the public currently have all the information they want. So what has this done to their market? It hasn’t changed much, and in most cases, the clients are much more informed. 
What it has done has sprung up a lot of data mining companies that gather your information, and sell it to Realtors or to the public to neatly organize everything for you. 
There is also a curiosity of CREA only wanting to make available the Toronto Real Estate board information. While this is very curious, I do not understand why one board would be targeted amount thousands across Canada. It may be the competition tribunal does not have the funds to attack every board, and that by attacking the biggest one, it may think that the others would voluntarily submit to the same fate as TREB. 
So my predictions are that many people are not going to want their privacy violated and that some rich people will revolt and file lawsuits. The next thing I can see is the MLS system becoming obsolete, and the big real estate companies joining a data sharing among themselves. The next thing I think we will see as long as the market is hot, is a lot of pocket and private exclusive listings. Finally I see a lot of transactions being done by numbered company. 
Either way get prepared for your neighbour to know everything and anything regarding the house you just bought and all of the other investments you might have. 

Buying a House is a Split Second Decision Now

Buying a House is a Split Second Decision Now

If you have been looking for a house in this market, you will certainly know that buying a house now is a split second decision. Long gone are the days of waiting it out, and seeing what else comes up on the market and thinking about putting an offer. Chances are if you do, you already lost the house to the next person looking at the property.

Buying a house is one of the biggest decisions you can make, and while, I do not downplay that fact, the simple truth is that there is just simply not enough inventory out there. Surely in the coming months there might be a lot more houses on the market when the whether heats up but for now, it is go time for buyers.

So what does it mean to buy a house with no time at all to weight the pros and cons for days at a time? It means going to see a property as soon as it comes out, and for me as an agent, having my iPad and paperwork ready to put an offer on this house. In some cases, if they are accepting offers next week, we must try to bully the offer date or make our offer better than waiting for next week for the sellers, and possibly walking away from this house. It means no financing clauses, and no home inspections. It means even with that getting into a bidding war on the first day a house is released. It means putting an offer in, higher than the listing price. (Disclaimer, there are ways around getting a financing clause, and home inspection in, and still removing the clause. Contact me directly for my strategy)

Unfortunately this is the result of too many buyers, low interest rate, and not enough inventory. If you do not jump on the house, then if you delay, the house in most cases will be gone, or you will be in multiple offers right away. Sometimes the early bird gets the worm.

So there are a few things you as a buyer can do to make this decision a bit easier and move the thought process faster.

1. Have a list of criteria that you want for the house.
2. List the possible renovations that need to be done.
3. Price out things that must be renovated now.
4. Find out how much you might get for your house.
5. Get a Walk through home inspection.
6. Get a Pre Approval for your financing.
7. Set up a strategy for each house you enter.
8. Figure out how much you really want this out.
9. Figure out how much you really want to pay for this house you are looking at.
10. As Soon as you go through the house, do you see yourself living in this house for 5-10 years?

No Land Transfer Tax

No Land Transfer Tax

People outside of Toronto can breath a sigh of relief. There will be no municipal land transfer tax added to the already ridiculous provincial land transfer tax already in effect.

Municipal Affairs Minister Ted McMeekin announced the Liberal government would not allow towns and cities to impose their own land transfer tax on top of the province’s. He said that “No One Was Asking for a Municipal Land transfer tax”.

This is great news for territory outside of Toronto because it has been claimed the municipal land transfer tax has already cost Toronto up to $2.3 billion in lost economic activity and 15,000 jobs, but there are no indications it has cooled down the city’s real estate market.

“We are currently reviewing that feedback and can tell you there has been no call, at all, for a municipal land transfer tax, nor is there any legislation before the house that would allow this,” he said. “Let me be clear: there will be no extension of the ability to have a land transfer tax to any municipality (outside Toronto).”

OREA the Ontario Real Estate Association said that this was a “huge win” for people who dream of buying Real Estate.

Although many sources have said that this is the end, it is hard to say whether or not those millions of easy cash grab dollars will not be up for debate again.

New Regional MLS System Implemented

New Regional MLS System Implemented

There are two MLS systems that matter in South Ontario, TREB MLS or Toronto Real Estate Board and the new Regional MLS system. There used to be many board MLS systems such as Oakville, and Hamilton. Now a bunch of boards decided to get together and share information and use one mls system. Toronto is still on its own and doesn’t want to play.

What this means?

If you hire an agent from Toronto, and the agent doesn’t have access to the Regional system, they will not be able to post a listing in Oakville. While Members of TREB will be able to see that listing, members of the Regional system will not see it. The same goes for an agent that has a listing in Toronto, but only posts it on the regional system, TREB members will not see that listing unless they are looking at that system.

Why this matters?

If your agent is in Mississauga and your house is in Oakville and the agent is only on one system, they are cutting off agents from a whole network. Less traffic, less exposure. While this doesn’t apply to or CREA websites, for the public, active buyers who are using an agent and not looking at, will not get your listing in their search feeds.

The solution?

Ask your agent what they are a member of and make sure your agent is exposing your property to as many boards as necessary. Your agent can post on a board for a one time fee, even if they are not a member of it.

New Anti-Phantom Offer Forms Won’t Matter

New Anti-Phantom Offer Forms Won’t Matter


As I see more and more years in the Real Estate Industry, I see good things and bad things as well as agents. The one thing that I’ve learned is that you can walk two paths, the ethical one, or not. Going in the not directly is a slippery slope. Lives, laws and morals are at stake going down the dark path Obi wan.

There is a new form Agents must fill out with each offer and counter offer. It basically details each offer and counter. Its part of the deal now. In some cases a brokerage must keep a copy of those offers digitally or in the brokerage. While this is supposed to deter phantom offers, it won’t in the very least bit.

What I discovered some agents are doing truly disgusts me and brings down the whole industry. I’m writing this to warn you to hire an agent that you truly trust. Ask the right questions, do your own checks and balances, and do not go for the cheapest agent. Here’s why

If you live in the GTA, chances are, that you might have a bidding war on your hands when you sell your house. Not all agents can provoke this but it is a norm in some markets.

So you put your house on the market. First your listing agent convinces you to under price your house to generate a lot of interest. Great. now you get showings; you have an open house; you get marketing done; and all the bells and whistles.

Your agent without the you knowing declares that offers will be presented lets say on a Wednesday. A Real offer comes in. A little over asking price, and with no conditions. (Typical in this market) Not exactly the price the client wanted but over asking. No other offer comes in but…Your agent calls a couple buddies at another brokerage, to put in a couple low offers, and terms that are not great such as finance clauses and home inspections.

Wednesday comes around and your agent convinces you to take the offer that is just over asking it is the best one. You of course take it because you saw the other offers and are convinced that this is the best you will get and that is what the market is. Most people will go for this. The agent sells the house in less than 30 days, you think they are the best agent in town, and all is well. Little did you know that you could have made more money, or that they were deceiving you.

Why agents will do this?

Because they don’t want to spend any time on your house, you paid the lowest possible commission to them.

Because they have too many clients to worry about your house. They deal in volume.

Because they are artificially creating a market in your area, they are setting the price. You are referring them to your neighbours in the area now.

Because even with the new form they have to fill out, if you pick one of their friends offers, they will just come out of the offer at the last possible moment. Not deliver a deposit or something.

Beware of these practices, its very common and with all this money flying around in this market you must use an agent you trust!

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