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September 23, 2016 in Buying Toronto Real Estate, Canadian Real Estate Market, For Sale By Owner, Location, location, location, New in New Homes, Pay what you want listings, Real Estate Investments, Save on Comission Fees, Selling Toronto Real Estate, Sold Watch, Toronto MLS Listings, Toronto MLS Sales, Toronto Neighbourhoods, Toronto Real Estate Trends, Toronto Real Estate Update, What's next (in real estate) | Permalink
Just Listed : Just Sold : Just Facts
For those of you that would like to be able to easily and quickly reference the new MLS® listings for a geographic area here's a solution. Select/Plan Real Estate has introduced a Just Listed report as an online subscription service. The New Listings are reported early each morning with links to all of the listing published the previous day on the Toronto Real Estate Board's MLS® system. See detais on subscribing here →
There is a monthly subscription fee of $1.00 (paid $3.00 quarterly).
This is an online service with the reports appearing on the Sold.Watch website behind a login -- it does not currently include email distribution.
The greatest advantage of the Just Listed report, in my opinion, is that you can stay fully informed on the local real estate market without ever having to contact an agent. You have assurance that you will never, ever, be contacted by a salesperson or marketer because of you participation in this service.
Discover the benefits of the “logged in experience” →
Toronto Listings in short supply
Greater Toronto Realtors report on June mid-month market.
The number of sales and the average selling price reported by Greater Toronto Realtors were both up during the first 14 days of June 2011. Sales through the first two weeks of June amounted to 4,787 – up 16 per cent over the same period in 2010. The average selling price for these transactions, at $477,853, was up nine per cent.
“The spring has always been the busiest time in the resale market, but the results for May and the first two weeks of June represented a marked improvement over last year. Low mortgage rates have kept affordability in check and buyers have felt confident in paying for a home over the long term,” said Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) President Bill Johnston.
The number of new listings on the Toronto ®MLS between June 1st and June 14th was down by eight per cent compared to 2010.
“Listings have been in short supply this year, while a lot of people have been looking to buy. The result has been enhanced competition between buyers and more upward pressure on price,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Senior Manager of Market Analysis. “Strong price growth will prompt more home owners to list as we move toward 2012.”
Know your rights when buying
There’s been a revolution in real estate in recent years. Unfortunately, many customers are still in the dark about it. Ellen Roseman writing in Moneyville talks about working exclusively with a real estate agent to buy property and buyer agency agreements agreements.
Here's an example of her answers to frequently asked questions about a buyer’s relationship with a realtor:
Q: I was shocked to hear I had to sign a three-month exclusive contract with a real estate agent in order to submit an offer or even to look at property. This was supposed to cover the time and expenses in finding the right home. Do I have to sign?
A: No, you don’t have to sign an exclusive contract with a real estate agent when buying a home. It’s your choice.
The law requires buyers to sign a document, called Working with a Realtor, at the earliest practical opportunity. It’s better to have a conversation about it when you start looking at homes together, rather than in the hectic time before you submit an offer.
Having an exclusive contract, known as a buyer representation agreement (BRA), is just one of the ways you can work with a realtor. If you prefer not to sign, look for someone who won’t insist on exclusivity.
You can negotiate the contract terms, such as signing for a shorter period than three months (even a month or 10 days). You can limit the contract to a specific property, street or neighbourhood, if the agent agrees.
See article by Ellen Roseman in moneyville.ca
Shocked by Realtor’s fine print
Julie’s story is a great example of what not to do. She and her husband, looking at cottage properties in the Muskoka area, had made appointments with several realtors. “The agent pushed a form across the desk that said `buyer agreement’ on it. She told us she could not take us to the first showing until we had signed this document,” Julie said. “We drove in our car, following the agent in her car, to four properties. At most 1.5 hours later, we said goodbye.”
Only when they returned to Toronto did they read what they had agreed to. They were locked into an exclusive relationship for six months, covering any properties in the Muskoka area. The broker of record at the firm offered to assign a more experienced agent to work with them, but refused to rip up the document.
The couple waited until the agreement expired to look in Muskoka again, not wanting to deal with a firm that abused their trust by filling out forms without consulting them. “We went on a blind date and turned out to have signed a marriage license,” Julie
Tips for Toronto home buyers
1) Get pre-approved for a mortgage before you make an offer.
When you are trying to buy a house in a competitive market, your offer to purchase should contain as few conditions as possible. An offer that is conditional on obtaining financing is often a deal killer. The seller may accept a competing offer for less money rather than take the risk that you won’t be able to raise mortgage money. A pre-approval letter from your lender tells the seller you are ready and able to commit.
2) Know when to quit.
When you act on emotion, rather than reason, you may end up paying too much money. This can happen when you fall in love with a particular house and start fantasizing about how great it will be to live there. Another reason you may be driven to pay too much is that a bidding war triggers your competitive instincts and you must buy the house at all costs – which you will regret later.
3) Set enough money aside to cover closing costs without having to forgo eating for a couple of months.
You’ve put together a down payment. Be aware that there is also a long list of expenses you may have to pay at closing, depending on where you live and who your lender is. Closing costs can add up so get your real estate agent to compile a list of other expenses.
4) Coordinate the date you take possession and your moving date.
If possible, avoid a situation where you’ve got to camp out with relatives or find a short-term rental because you must vacate your old house or apartment before you can move into your new digs. Moving once is enough.
5) Insist on a home inspection.
The first really cold day you spend in your new house is way too late to find out that the furnace doesn’t work. The one condition you should always include in an offer to purchase is a home inspection. Find out how much it will cost to fix any defects and have the seller fix them before you agree to buy or deduct the estimated cost from the final price you offer. If the seller won’t help bear the costs, and you want to go ahead with the purchase, make sure you can afford the necessary repairs on top of your mortgage.
The battle to unlock the housing market
In the U.S., you can find and bid on a house using an iPhone. So why is it that in Canada, much of the information prospective home owners need is a tightly held secret, unlocked only by real estate agents?
The battle to free real estate data is well advanced in the United States. Now, it is coming to a head in Canada as the technological attack on the old order is bolstered by both industry rebels and government: The federal Competition Bureau accuses the industry of dampening competition and consumer choice. To consumers whose houses often sell in a few days – but still net agents tens of thousands of dollars in commissions – Canada's real estate boom has made MLS's monopoly on information seem all the more anachronistic.
Like sectors such as travel and retailing before it, the multibillion-dollar Canadian real estate industry is finally facing a reckoning with the Internet's power to make data free and open.
Competition Bureau intervenes?
“There is a lack of information and a lack of transparency in this industry that simply does not exist in any other industry,” says Bill McMullin, an industry dissident who owns Halifax-based ViewPoint Realty. “The real estate industry may be uncomfortable with this, but once you automate a lot of that data, you circumvent the need for a realtor. Things are changing, and they are changing quickly.”
In 2009, 465,251 homes changed hands on the Realtor.ca system, at an average price of $320,333. Owned by the Canadian Real Estate Association, the database amasses listings from Canada's 101 local real estate boards. Only registered real estate professionals can obtain key data such as selling prices, and only they may use the site to connect buyers and sellers.
CREA tightened its access policy in 2007, after rival real estate websites such as Toronto-based Housing123.com emerged. The interlopers downloaded data from MLS and enhanced it to draw consumers to their own services.
But the clampdown backfired, catching the attention of the federal Competition Bureau, which told the CREA that its rules “restricted consumer choice and limited the scope of alternative business models.” The bureau questions whether consumers should continue to be forced to employ a registered real estate agent to represent them throughout the entire listing and sale process on MLS, including the shepherding of all offers and counteroffers.
In a letter written last October, CREA said it hoped to resolve its differences with the Competition Bureau by Christmas. The bureau says it is willing to wait for a negotiated settlement, but it will move unilaterally if necessary. CREA says it needs more time to figure out what to do next.
Toronto home prices may flat-line
Home price appreciation will slow in the Toronto market this year as a looming supply of new homes is completed, giving consumers more choice and helping to mitigate future gains, a bank study said. "The stock of new construction is rising and that will have the effect of slowing any price increases," National Bank of Canada senior economist Marc Pinsonneault said Tuesday.
Toronto prices were up 4 per cent at the end of 2009, with sales rising 17 per cent year over year, as homes sold in an average of 23 days, the shortest interval in recent history.
However, a record number of completions this year will help bring more listings to the market. Move-up buyers, meanwhile, are expected to put more homes up for sale, alleviating the supply crunch.
Given those factors, the bank echoes other analysts who say price appreciation likely will be much slower, or flat line this year.
Power back in Toronto buyers' hands
Dig through the clutter of statistics — of sales declines, project launches, economic growth forecasts, volatile investment markets — and the future for Toronto condominium sales does not look bad at all. In fact, according to a number of industry experts, we are probably heading into a buyers' market.
"I think we are getting back to the days when sales people in new condo projects can't just be order-takers," says Barry Lyon of N. Barry Lyon Consulting Ltd.. "Buyers are no longer going to be numbers on a chart. Developers are going to have to be a lot more innovative and offer incentives to make sales.
"I can see the next six months as being a great opportunity for new condo buyers."
Untouchable Toronto Neighbourhoods
With a slowing economy and a tanking stock market, everyone’s looking for a little security -- in real estate?
Toronto Life magazine has identified some if the city's most crash-resistant neighbourhoods. The most important consideration in buying crash-proof real estate, they say, is the overall vitality of a neighbourhood. Look for areas with thriving local businesses and well-maintained homes that are accessible by TTC. Districts with a diverse mix (detached, semis, towns, apartments and condos) at a variety of price points means you won’t run the risk of living in a bust area if, say, townhouses go out of fashion (ultra-high-end condos, which tend to attract foreign investment, are the exception).
Flexibility is another key they identify; properties that are easily converted between single-family and rental units will ensure against a property value–lowering fire sale if your neighbour is desperate to sell and can’t hold out for a decent price. Regions populated by those who work in IT, advertising, design and media will fare better through a downturn than nabes with high-flying financiers or auto workers.
Areas with artsy professionals often have a high proportion of cafés, galleries, boutiques and other value-maintaining amenities. Having a permanent attraction such as a museum, park or waterfront, and residents with fixed incomes (such as students and seniors) provides a steady support system for local businesses. Emerging areas with undervalued properties are money-makers when gentrification hits.