Caution - the Toronto Real Estate Market Can Be Tricky to Navigate

Last week I had the privilege to present to the wonderful morning crowd at the Cawee breakfast. I told a story about Jack & Jill who wanted to buy a home in Toronto and some of the lessons learned along the way.
  1. One of the most important aspects of your real estate journey is to find the right Realtor for you. Ask around, a good referral is essential. This will likely be one of your largest assets, So whether you are buying or selling, make sure you hire someone qualified to protect your best interest. How to evaluate property value, writing a winning offer and negotiating are all important skills. Don't choose your Realtor based on the one who sends endless postcards into your mailbox, choose the best person for the job.
  2. Get a home inspection. Sometimes you can make your offer conditional on this, other times you may be able to review a pre-list inspection. The report is a visual, non-intrusive overview of the home. Meaning they can't see behind the walls or under the carpet, but an experienced inspector will be able to flag areas of potential concern. Home inspections can find evidence of termites, asbestos, knob and tube wiring, vermiculite insulation and Kitec plumbing, to name a few.
  3. Google the home address. Buyer clients did this recently and discovered there had been a murder in a home they were considering. The listing agent didn't disclose this, even after I sent a message asking if anyone had ever died in the home. A murder, or even a peaceful death can cause a stigma, which can eventually effect market value.
  4. A condo purchase can be affected by a number of factors, such as how high the unit sits in the building, the view, even the unit number. Some cultures don't like the number Four, similar to the North American superstition around the number 13.
  5. Homes are often priced intentionally low to attract multiple offers and set an offer date about a week after listing, to ensure a large number of potential buyers have a chance to view the home. Sometimes a Bully offer will show up prior to the offer date, usually significantly over list price with no conditions and a large deposit cheque to entice the seller to accept their offer prior the the designated offer date. Sometimes sellers don't like bullies, know the rules of the game and how to play them well.
The Toronto real estate market can be fast paced and unpredictable. I help navigate the search, the bidding wars and the many obstacles that can crop up.  Whether my clients are buying or selling, we become a team and have a great time along the way!
Helga Teitsson is a real estate Broker with RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Ltd., she has made a lifetime career of helping people buy and sell homes throughout the City of Toronto, from small homes & condos to large multi-million dollar homes. She has the knowledge, experience and expertise to ensure you make the right move!