Tag Archives: Toronto Real Estate

questions? and answers!

Over the years, I have found that buyers, who i speak with at an open house or over the phone, tend to ask the same questions before they have even walked around the property or asked for the  list price.

1) How old is the home?

2) How many square feet?

3) Why are they selling?

I will address the questions insignificance and how the answer is equally if not less important.

Questions and Answers signpost

I like to answer the first question with a question – “are you looking for a house built in a specific year?” the answer is ALWAYS “no”.  A pile of junk property with foundation issues, leaks and uneven  floors can be built in any year since the first day houses started being built.  Any architectural masterpiece is no different and in fact an art deco design can be built today and fool the most seasoned veterans to believe that it is 100% authentic from the 30’s or 40’s. The year a house was built is redundant. A smart and very important questions you should be asking instead is a 2 part question; what are the upgrades/renovations done to the house and when were they completed? If you have heard from someone that there is no such thing as a dumb question they are wrong, questions #1 is a dumb question.

When I hear people ask these questions, I wonder if its the first questions that come to mind and they don’t really care about the answers.

The second question is the most common.  Not necessarily dumb, but rather it is as important as knowing how many steps there are on the second floor staircase.  Very, very few people actually know what 2000, 500 or 5000 sq ft looks like.  Even if you live in a 2000 sq ft house I can show you a 2500 sq ft house that you would swear is smaller.  I could show you a 500 sq ft condo and you wouldn’t be able to guess the size within 100 sq ft, that’s right, you will be off by over 20%.  So if you can’t tell the square footage of a house why does the actual number matter? The truth is you need to see the space and spend a few moments in the most important rooms to determine if the space will fulfill your needs.  In summary, just don’t ask this question.


Last but not least is why the sellers are selling.  I’m sure every buyer who asks this is hoping the answer is; the sellers have run out of money, lost their jobs, and have bills piling up to the rafters, they are desperate to sell.  Well here is a news flash, even if that were true, if I’m the sellers agent I have signed a contract that obligates me to do what is in the best interests of my client, the seller.  That includes keeping all their personal and financial information confidential.  I would bet that if you ask a buyer who always asks this question, they would tell you the most common answer is; “the sellers are just looking for change and are in no rush”.  What this means in a polite way is;  frankly it’s none of your business!


The moral of the story here is; don’t ask these questions. Look through the house, collect any marketing materials if your interested in the house (floor plans, feature sheets, copy of the survey etc.) and ask your buyers agent to find out the answers to your questions if you have any.

If you don’t have a buyers agent yet drop me a line and you will be glad you did.  If you think i’m wrong, let me know by commenting below.

The bitterness of poor quality lasts much longer than the sweetness of low price

There are over 44,000 Realtors in the GTA and to say the least there is quite a bit of competition and just as many choices for you, but when the only differentiating factor (on the surface) is how much commission you charge? What do you get from the Agents who cost 3% total commission’s vs. the Agents at 6% and higher?

Publication1In my experience, people heavily question or challenge things that cost a lot of money, and rightfully so, but a MAJOR mistake people make is not to question and challenge with the same intensity when something is priced (seemingly) like a great deal.

There is a question that comes to mind that few people ask themselves: If an agent isn’t going to put up a fight or negotiate hard for their own money, how hard are they going to work for yours?

Lets look at an analogy when considering hiring an inexpensive or a higher priced Realtor.  If your boss wanted you to work for 1/3 of your normal weekly salary, would you work at 100% productivity? Or would you work at 33% to justify being paid that much less? Even if you said you would work at 100% in the back of your mind you know that you’re being undervalued so you might take an extra 10 minutes on your lunch break or reply to a few personal emails, maybe even catch up on some blogs you follow on company time.  For the sale of the single most expensive item you own “taking and extra 10 minute lunch break” could easily cost you $10,000!

The fact is, don’t just hire the Realtor who gives you the best price, question why there is a deep discount in their commissions and really get to the bottom of what the catch is that comes along with the low price.  When you do, I think you will be surprised and even more importantly, you will be able to make an educated decision regarding who is truly going to work in your best interests and make sure no stone is left unturned.

I have always believed that quality is superior than quantity and I can say with confidence that it will cost you more money by NOT hiring a quality Real Estate Sales Expert.

to renovate or not to renovate?…….that is the question!

I am often asked by people if they should renovate their kitchen or bathroom before selling their loft, home, or condo.  Others ask; “Why should I spend any money on my property before I sell as there is no guarantee I’ll get it back, and any improvements made may not be to the liking of the purchaser?”

for sale sign

These are both very valid questions and there isn’t a concrete answer to either of them.  The right thing to do is contact your Realtor or better yet me before you even think about THINKING of selling your property.

For every property I have seen in nearly perfect condition, I have seen 100 that aren’t.  The majority of the dud properties wouldn’t require breaking the bank to make what’s wrong, right.  The consequence to having various deficiencies is the average buyer will cost out those flaws somewhere between 3 and 4 times more expensive then they actually are.

To properly assess if a major kitchen or bathroom renovation is advantageous to do, you have to consider if it will cost you more money not to do it?  This is nearly impossible to know unless you have seen tens of thousands of properties (magazines and TV shows don’t count) and have a trained eye for looking at a property.   Too many agents are interested in throwing their sign up and listing a property on MLS as soon as possible.  It’s much more advantageous to the Seller if time is spent in the preparation of the property going to market to ensure the highest possible sale price in the shortest period of time.

As far as whether to spend any money before selling, you should ask yourself:  would you take your car through the car wash first before you showed it to a potential buyer?  If the answer is no you need more help than you think.  If the answer is yes, then your next question should be; “Will, can you come to my home to evaluate what I need to do before it goes on the market?”

There are dozens of things that can be replaced, repaired or removed from a property to make it show better and ultimately sell for more.  Most buyers would rather pay fifty or one hundred dollars a month more on the mortgage than save forty thousand on the final purchase price if it meant they had to renovate in order to update the home they are considering buying.

I take passion in the process rather than treat the sale of your property like a job.