As we were getting ready to write this month's blog or "newsletter", as usual, we thought about starting it with complaining about the weather, and that how cold it still is in March and Spring would eventually come, blah blah blah. But then we realized, what if you as a reader don't care about a lot of the "sales'ey" stuff we share month over month. And what if you still don't really know much about us. So starting now, we have made a conscious effort to keep all the "self-promo" and sales stuff out of this. Instead, we'll take you inside our world and talk about a thing or two we learn in our work that could either be fun to share or perhaps simply a good piece of info. to know. We will continue to share some key data points that most of our readers do find useful so can't avoid that. So here we go!!
CONSUMER MINDSET IS SHIFTING A BIT FROM LAST YEAR
In the last month or so, we did notice that a number of our prospects or clients who had been sitting on the sidelines in 2018 or have been on the fence (although wouldn't it be uncomfortable sitting on the fence for too long...), started to come out of their hibernation and now thinking seriously about either listing their homes or ready to buy over the next 3-6 months. Like any major change in regulation, we notice that it takes consumers 18-24 months to get acclimatized to the change, and adjust to the new law of the land. We believe that we're reaching the cusp of that psychological barrier as a result of the mortgage stress test rule (B20). Make no mistake though... February was still a fairly slow sales month for the Greater Toronto market (stats below). However, the low sale volume is keeping the prices fairly stable. Think we're going to see a lot more activity after the March Break.
SOME OF US REALTORS TRULY SUCK
No kidding. We have to admit that there's a reason why people dislike Realtors and think we get "paid" for doing nothing. While, we of course, are not one of those agents :), we did come across one this month that literally was a big disappointment for our profession and of course our clients who were left helpless in the situation. A lakefront condo came up for lease. Nice condo. Market value. Our clients liked it. So we put an offer in with a reasonable irrevocable time period. Irrevocable time came. No response from the agent. Offer expired, still no response. Finally, got hold of the agent, and response was, "Well, I'll speak with my client in the morning, and let you know later tomorrow". So if you're not overly familiar with the irrevocable clause, every real estate offer is time sensitive, and we as agents have to be on top of it when advising our clients so both parties can respond within the bounds of the irrevocability. It's the right thing to do and shows professionalism. Anywho, long story short, the Lessor (Landlord) thought the unit was listed too low and they'd re-list at a higher price. Ok, sure. So we waited for it to be re-listed. It was out on the market with a higher price, we put a new offer in at that higher price, and....same outcome. The offer literally went in thin air again. No response from the agent. We're trying to find the proper recourse but all we can say is that it's actually unfair to both parties when represented this way. And it just sucks!!
TO STAGE OR NOT TO STAGE
We recently took on a high end condo listing in late January. Slow month, right? And on top of it, this particular condo struggled to sell last year in a very hot Toronto condo market. We kept scratching our heads why this particular condo was not selling while everything else in the building was going within the avg. time frame for the area. It was priced at market value so should have attracted at least 1-2 offers. But nothing... So after looking at the previous listing's photos and overall marketing, we came to the conclusion that this condo needed just a little bit of TLC complimented by proper staging so its true character could come out. And Voila!! The magic happened. No rocket science, no clever marketing... just tasteful staging to show the industrial look of the unit which was its true character for the style and location. The right buyer was found, offer came within 10 days, got firm, and everybody happy. So moral of the story... never underestimate the power of a staging consultation, some decluttering, and of course, take our advice from time to time!
FEBRUARY 2019 MARKET STATS
Here's a quick snapshot of the 3 markets we keep a close eye on. It covers all property types in Toronto, Oakville, and Mississauga. But keep in mind that real estate data is very local in nature. For instance, average price of a detached home in one neighbourhood may be totally different from the avg. price of a similar home in a different neighbourhood. So always review these numbers with a grain of salt. And you can find detailed market stats here.
Data Source: Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB)
Well, that's enough to bore you for this month. Let us know if we could help answer any of your questions when it comes to our beautiful world of real estate. By the way, if you're interested in new projects, new listings, etc. etc. do like our as we'll continue to add relevant updates there. Can't just stop communicating what we actually do, right?
Have a great rest of March!!