Toronto Real Estate Prices Heading Higher in 2017-Diane Plant

The Toronto Real Estate Board is expecting another year of double-digit price increases and a similar number of property sales to those last year.

It says the average price for all types of housing is expected to rise to about $825,000 _ up from $730,472 in December and $729,922 for the 2016 calendar year.

The board says the highest year-over-year price increases will be for low-rise types of housing such as detached, semi-detached and townhouses.

It estimates there will be between 104,500 and 115,500 home sales this year through its MLS system _ more or less similar to the 113,133 recorded last year, despite a shortage of property listings.

The group is repeating its call for the private, public and not-for-profit sectors to seek solutions to increase the supply of properties for sale in the Toronto region rather than attempting to reduce demand from would-be buyers.

The board says the active listings at the end of December in the Greater Toronto Area were at their lowest level since before 2000.

“It is unlikely that the shortage of listings will improve to any great degree over the course of the next year,” Jason Mercer, the board’s director of market analysis, said in a statement Tuesday. “This will put a ceiling on sales growth.”

Buyers should get pre-approved and start working with a realtor they are comfortable with, knowledgeable in handling multiple offers and honest with their clients. This market will not allow buyers to sit on the fence if they want to get their dream home.


Top Frequently Asked Questions From Home Sellers


Top Frequently Asked Questions From Home Sellers

It’s known that the home buying process comes with many frequently asked questions and the home selling process is no different.  Whether you have never sold a home or have sold half a dozen, there are many questions that come with the process.  This certainly is due to the fact that selling a home isn’t a process that is practiced regularly by home owners and also that rules, regulations, and the industry change on a daily basis.

The top frequently asked questions from home sellers begin to accumulate before even starting the home selling process.  If you’re going to be selling your home, it’s suggested you are prepared and have a strong understanding of the process.  Many times the best way to understand the process and be well-prepared is by asking questions.

The importance of knowing how to interview a Realtor when selling a home certainly cannot be overlooked.  A top Realtor should be able to reduce the amount of questions a home seller will have when selling a home because they will address many of these frequently asked questions before they become a question.

So what are the most frequently asked questions from home sellers?  Here are the top frequently asked questions that home sellers ask before listing a home for sale, questions relating to home value & pricing, questions relating to contracts, and questions relating to purchase offers.

Frequently Asked Questions Before Listing Their Home For Sale

When is the best time to sell my home?

This frequently asked question cannot be answered with a simple or general answer.  Every real estate market is different, therefore, the best time to sell a home will be different from real estate community to real estate community.

Since every home sellers situation is different, you should discuss the timing of your home sale with your Realtor.  In some cases, selling a home during the fall and winter months actually maybe better than waiting until the spring real estate market.  This is due to a combination of many factors including lower competition and that serious buyer’s are always looking for a home, just to mention a couple factors.

How is the real estate market right now?

A frequently asked question from home sellers before listing their home for sale is related to the local real estate market.  There are many market indicators that a top producing Realtor should be able to share with you to help explain the condition of the local real estate market.  One of the most important indicators on market conditions is average days on the market.  The average days on the market can indicate to a seller how quickly homes are selling when listed for sale.

Other examples of market condition indicators that a top producing Realtor will provide a home seller before listing their home include number of closed transactions year-over-year for a given month, average sale prices, and average list price to sale price ratios.

What steps should I take to prepare my home for sale?

There are several things you need to know before listing your home for sale!  A frequently asked question from home sellers before listing is what steps should be taken before listing their home.  Not properly preparing a home for sale can put a home owner at a huge disadvantage.

The expression “You never get a second chance to make a first impression” is absolutely true when it comes to selling a home.  When selling a home you must be sure that your home presents itself in the best possible light.  Making sure clutter is at a minimum, freshly painting rooms, installing new carpeting, or ensuring odors are non-existent are just a handful of things that should be done before listing your home for sale.

What should I disclose to potential buyers?

When selling a home, it’s important you disclose to potential buyers anything you are aware of in your home.  Nobody likes “getting the raw end of a deal” when it comes to buying a home, car, or anything for that matter.  If you’re aware of defects with a roof, leaky basement, carpenter ants, termites appliance, or home in general, you’re always going to be better off being honest and upfront.  If you’re aware of defects, whenever possible, fixing them before going on the market is best.  This can avoid potential issues and/or lawsuits once your home is under contract, after inspections, and even years after you have sold your home.

 Frequently Asked Questions Relating To Home Value & Pricing

Top Home Value & Pricing FAQ’s

How much is my home worth?

Most home owners want to know how much their home is worth.  This frequently asked question is another one that cannot be answered with a generalized answer.  One of the best perks to owning a home is the ability to make it your own and improve it how you’d like.  Finding out how much your home is worth is not something that should be done without asking a top local Realtor.

Why is the assessed value different than what you say my home is worth?

Assessed value is not the same as market value or appraised value.  There are many homes that could be sold for significantly more than an assessed value and others that maybe sold for significantly less.  The assessed value of a home is used for the purpose of taxes in your local municipality.  The assessed value of a home is multiplied by the local tax rate to determine what your yearly taxes are.  The assessed value has no impact on how much your home is worth to a potential buyer in the marketplace.

Unfortunately, there are many home buyer’s who believe that a home that is listed higher than the assessed value is overpriced.  This is the furthest from the truth.  Home buyer’s also question if something is wrong with a home if the list price is much less than the assessed value.  The bottom line is the assessed value has no impact on how much your home is worth.  There are home owners who don’t pay attention to their assessed value, just to find out their municipality has been slowly raising it, year after year, even though the market value hasn’t been increasing.

What is the difference between a list price and sale price?

This frequently asked question can be answered very easily.  The list price is the price a home is currently listed for sale at.  The sale price is the price a home is sold at.  A top Realtor should be able to suggest a list price that ends up being very close to the final sale price.

How do you determine how much my home is worth?

There are a handful of methods that Realtors use to determine the value of a home.  The most common method to determining the value of a home is by completing a comparative market analysis.  A comparative market analysis is an in-depth evaluation of recently sold “comparable” homes in the past 6-12 months.  A comparative market analysis, also known as a “CMA,” isn’t a crystal ball that determines what a home will sell for, however, if performed by a top Realtor, it should greatly narrow the sale price range.

A professionally completed “CMA” will take into account many features of not only a home, but also the local area and neighborhood.  Considerations that a professionally completed “CMA” include, but is not limited too:

  1. Square footage (if available)
  2. Number of bedrooms
  3. Number of bathrooms
  4. Upgrades to kitchen
  5. Window quality
  6. Roof age
  7. Lot features
  8. Location; primary or neighborhood street?
  9. Style of residence
  10. Flooring type

Should I price my home higher to leave room for negotiations?

This frequently asked question often leads to a common pricing mistake that sellers make.  Many sellers believe they should price their home $5,000 higher than what a top Realtor suggests to leave room for negotiations and low-ball offers.  A well priced home will sell quickly and will sell for close to the listing price.  There is no need to leave room for negotiations, as today’s home buyers are very well educated.  A seller who prices their home high to leave room for negotiations can actually be costing themselves more money than if they price it to reflect the suggested market value.

Frequently Asked Questions Relating To Exclusive Right To Sell Contracts

How long does the listing agreement last?

Most of the frequently asked questions that relate to exclusive right to sell contracts are not able to be answered with a universal answer.  When it comes to the length of a listing agreement, every real estate agent will have a different preferred length.  One thing to keep in mind when asking about the length of a listing agreement is the average days on the market.  If the average days on the market in your local real estate market are 75, a 90 day listing agreement may not be enough.

How much commission do you charge?

Top Frequently Asked Questions – Real Estate Contracts & Listing Agreements

Commission is negotiable, period.  Don’t let any Realtor tell you otherwise.  This being said, the saying “you get what you pay for,” often is true when it comes to real estate.  If a Realtor offers a lower commission, do you think they will negotiate aggressively on your behalf when it comes to the price?  Also, if you were working for a reduced hourly wage from your “normal,” would you work as hard as you normally would?  The answer is likely not.  Choosing a Realtor based solely on the fact they offer the lowest commission amount is a top mistake made by home sellers when choosing a Realtor to sell their home.

What happens if I’m not happy and want to cancel the contract?

This frequently asked question is not one sellers like to ask when selling a home, however, it can come up frequently.  The hope when selling a home is a quick sale and top dollar.  This isn’t always the case though.  Every brokerage has different terms. Generally speaking, if you decide to cancel the listing agreement, you could possibly be responsible for any expenses incurred by the real estate agent and their brokerage.

Do I need to provide permits or anything for my deck, shed, fencing, or additions?

Every municipality is different, but in general, when making an improvement or change to a piece of property or land, a certificate of compliance (and/or permit) is required.  When selling a home, potential buyers  have the right to ask for certificates of compliance for any improvements, such as decks, patios, or sheds.  Some buyer’s may not ask for any permits and some may.  Technically, you do not need to provide any permits or certificates of compliance, however, you could lose a potential buyer over a simple fence permit.

Frequently Asked Questions Relating To Purchase & Sale Contracts (Offers)


How do I respond to low ball offers?

When selling a home, it’s best to think of any decision as a business decision rather than an emotional one.  Low ball offers still happen, unfortunately.  Dealing with low ball offers can sometimes lead to the sale of a home, if handled properly.  The worse decision you can make if you receive a low ball offer is not responding.  Some home owners are so upset they decide they do not want to respond to a low ball offer, which ultimately ends any potential chance for a deal.  A counter offer, even if it’s close to the list price, is better than letting a potential buyer walk!

What happens if the appraised value comes in too low?

In addition to ensuring there are no safety hazards at a home, the bank appraiser is also making sure that the home value is at least what a buyer and seller agree too.  This isn’t always possible though.

Buyer Comes Up With Difference

If an appraiser determines the value of the subject property is lower than the agreed purchase amount, the burden is on the Buyer to come up with the difference.

The buyer’s agent should pre-warn the buyer that this could happen and they will be responsible to come up with difference. In normal real estate there should be a condition on financing in every offer to allow the buyer to go forward or back out.

 The Transaction is Cancelled

Unfortunately for both the seller and buyer, this is a common result from a property under appraising.  If the buyer does not want to bridge the difference and the seller does not want to make the concession and adjust the sale price, the transaction is cancelled.

Challenge Appraisal

Challenging an appraisal is not an easy task.  It is something that must be done with much care and consideration, otherwise the chances of an appraised value being changed, is slim. The Buyer’s agent should be on hand for the appraisal with comps in hand. This can facilitate a positive appraisal.

What is a conditional sale?

Some buyer’s decide when buying a home they would like to find a suitable property before selling their existing home.  A condition on the sale of the Buyer’s home is one that sellers see in purchase offers.  This condition means that the potential buyer of a home must sell their existing home, before being able to purchase the “new” home. A seller should also have the right to continue showing the property and taking an offer that is conditional on the present offer being firmed up within  a few days.

How does the inspection phase work?

Inspections are another common condition that buyer’s make their purchase offers subject to.  There are many different types of inspections and tests that a buyer has the right to perform.  In most cases, inspections are at the expense of the buyer.  They have a specified number of days to complete the inspections and also a specified number of days to either remove the inspection condition or request the seller address findings from the inspections.

Other Miscellaneous Frequently Asked Questions From Home Sellers

What are the common closing expenses for home sellers?

Other Miscellaneous Frequently Asked Questions From Home Sellers

Another popular frequently asked question from home sellers is how much it will cost to sell a home.  There are expenses that the buyer will have that the seller will not and vice versa.  Typical closing expenses for home sellers include real estate commissions, pay the balance of property taxes if outstanding, satisfying any work orders/liens on the property , legal fees and balance of utilities to the date of closing.

Should I include appliances or leave them as negotiable?

In many cases, the appliances in one home will not fit or look right in another.  The decision whether to include appliances or make them negotiable is ultimately up to the seller.  One thing to remember when deciding whether to include your appliances, they do not add much value to a home since appliances are considered personal property.

How do you plan on marketing my home?

A comprehensive marketing plan is something that you should expect from your Realtor when selling a home.  The days of placing a sign in front of a property and waiting for someone to sell it are over.  With the evolution and the impact the internet has had on the real estate industry, it’s critical that not only is your home marketed through “traditional” avenues, such as newspapers and mailings, but it must also get maximum exposure online.

A top Realtor should have a quality website, quality real estate blog, and a strong social media presence.  The importance of where a Realtors website ranks in search results is critical since over 90% of buyer’s are beginning their home search online!

Why isn’t anyone looking at my home?

This frequently asked question can be a fairly complex answer.  In most cases however, the reason your home is not being looked at by potential buyers is due to the price.  Buyer’s who feel a home is priced to high will choose to look at other homes before yours, likely finding one before they reach yours.  Other possible reasons your home is not being looked at could include a poor curb appeal, a poor location, or lackluster marketing efforts from your Realtor.

Can you recommend service providers who maybe needed throughout the transaction?

No matter what industry, top professionals enjoy working with top professionals.  This is no different in real estate.  A top Realtor should be able to provide high quality mortgage professionals, attorneys, contractors, movers, or other services needed throughout the home selling process.

How frequently and by which methods do you communicate with your home sellers?

Like many of the answers to these frequently asked questions, the frequency and methods of communication will vary from agent to agent.  At a bare minimum, you should expect to hear from your Realtor at least once a week when selling your home.  The methods in which a Realtor communicates with their sellers should be tailored to each individual seller.  If a home owner prefers communication via e-mail, the Realtor should communicate via e-mail.  The same can be said about text messaging, phone conversations, or face-to-face interaction.

What should I do to prepare my home for showings?

Preparing a home for showings can be a job in itself.  A home that is well prepared for home showings will likely sell faster than its competition.  Making sure a home is cleaned, de-cluttered, bright, and that no foul odors are present are just a few things that sellers must do to prepare their home for showings.

Should I be present during showings at my home?

Easy question to answer – no!  There are many reasons why sellers should not be present during showings.  The primary reason why you should not be present at showings of your home is potential buyers can feel uncomfortable to talk open and freely with their Realtor about your home.  They do not want to say something that could offend you, the seller.  The best idea is to leave shortly before the scheduled showing and come back once you are certain the buyer and their Realtor have left your home.

Will you be holding open houses?

Believe it or not, open houses are a fairly controversial topic in the real estate industry.  Some Realtors will convince a seller that they will get their home sold because they hold it open every weekend.  Unfortunately, these same Realtors are not being honest with the seller.  The truth is, open houses are not necessary to sell a home.

The primary reason a Realtor will convince a seller that open houses are necessary is because they are hoping to pick up additional buyers.  The percentage of homes that sell due to an open house is less than 5%.  Ask the Realtor what their thoughts on open houses are and make sure you’re comfortable with their response.  It’s important you’re on the same page as the Realtor when it comes to open houses.

Final Thoughts

The above frequently asked questions from home sellers are all great questions.  There are no “dumb questions” when it comes to selling a home.  The reality is that selling a home is not something that is frequently done, therefore, questions are a great way to be prepared and well educated on the process.

If you’re thinking of selling your Toronto and the GTA  the above frequently asked questions should provide to be a great resource.  Certainly if you have other questions regarding the home selling process, please contact me and I’d be happy to provide you with the information and answers you’re looking for! 

The Colours That Help (and Hurt) Your Home’s Selling Potential

When decorating a home it’s easy to appeal to your own personal taste: A kitchen painted your favorite shade of red, or a brightly coloured statement chair in your living room, can instantly make a new house feel like home.

But, if you’re ever planning to sell your home, you should know how your colour choices now will affect a buyers’ view  of your home later.

In a recent survey by Better Homes and Gardens, 400 homeowners were polled on the colors they’re most and least attracted to. The results showed strong preferences—not just for colour in general, but also for how and where each hue was used.


Avoid these three colors

Orange, black, and violet: Of the homeowners polled, 58% said they’re least likely to decorate with orange, claiming it’s “way too loud.” Black and violet followed, snagging the second and third spots on the list of colours homeowners would rather live without.

A fan of these condemned tones? Well, we’re not saying they’re banned. Just try to limit them to small surfaces and keep them off your walls—they can be overpowering for buyers.

Don’t oversaturate your interior

When it comes to colour, the biggest fear among homeowners (read: your potential future buyers) is that they’ll get sick of the colour they’ve chosen. That means if you’re going to use saturated hues , you’re going to want to see them limited to certain rooms and decor.

Those polled ranked the living room (63%), kitchen (53%), and bathroom (52%) as the top three spots where colour is most likely to be used. In other spots, you’ll want to go easy on the saturated shades—specifically, the foyer (36%), dining room (24%), and adult bedroom (24%).

Think accent, not statement

When it comes to buyer-friendly decor, you can still use the colours you want, but small doses are best: 41% of participants preferred using color as an accent throughout the home.

We think you know what this means. Leave large surfaces—walls, floors, and ceilings—neutral to act as a backdrop for your furnishings and accessories. When it comes time for a walk-through or open house, the potential new owners can imagine their life and belongings in the home without being overwhelmed by your design .

Go bold—outside

Have a penchant for colour but afraid of the consequences when you go to sell? Take that personality to the exterior of your home and opt for a front door in a shade other than white.

Bringing a touch of color to the front of your home will feel welcoming.  But keep it tothe front door or shutters—only 8% say a bold -coloured exterior would be something they’d consider.

Feeling blue is actually a good thing

When it comes to decor, that is.

The calm shading won the most affection from homeowners, with 62% favoring a palette rich in blues. The fervor for earthy hues continues with green as the second favorite; neutrals follow as the most common choice on interior walls.

So, whether you’re hoping your house sells in the next 20 minutes or you’re planning to put it up for sale in 20 years, you should consider the consequences of your colour choices.

During your time in a home, decorate for yourself (and enjoy it!). Opt for a throw or a bright piece of artwork to add personality to neutral-coloured rooms. And, if you so dare, paint a room in a bold shade—just be ready to repaint or tone it down with neutral furniture when it’s time to move on.



Why Millennials Need A Toronto Realtor

Why Millennials Need Realtors In Toronto


When people hear the word millennial, certain phrases usually come to mind. You are ambitious, impatient, and want to succeed quickly. Well, let me tell you this: if you want the quickest sale, the best home, and the most successful find, you cannot do it on your own. Listen up and learn why millennials need realtors in Toronto!

Truth is, several of you are moving back in with the rents after university- and you know what? That is okay! But, when it finally comes time to leave the nest, whether that’s your choice, your fiance’s choice, or mom’s choice, it’s good to reach out for help. Millennials are the generation that has been most affected by student loan debt and also the generation that saw our parents go through the recession and home market crash. You don’t want to spend all of that money you just don’t have. You are weary and want to do it right.



Something you can all agree on is that you like things the way you like them. So, if you aren’t wanting to spend the big bucks, why not look for a “fixer-upper”? Right now is the best time to find fixer-uppers, as well. There are several reasons for this:

1. Looking forward. Most neighborhoods are turning, meaning they are buying up older houses to use the land for new construction. Can you say ‘hello buy out’?

2. Room to be creative. Who doesn’t love Scott McGillivray’s show Income Property or  Mike Holmes Holmes on Homes? That’s right, no one. Hint hint: this is your chance to embody their wonderfulness!

3. Appreciation is a beautiful thing. Property is one of the few things you will buy, my friends, that will actually appreciate in value. That Honda Acura you just got? Yeah…unfortunately it depreciated in value the minute you drove it off the lot. But no matter! You have your very own “fixer-upper” awaiting you.


What else do millennials like? Things that come easy. It is not because you are lazy — well, maybe at times you enjoy binge watching Netflix and not getting off the couch, but that is beside the point. You like things that come easy because there is so much you want to do and so much you strive for. You do not want your time to be occupied by things you don’t care about.

So, here’s a trick for you – give all that annoying time demanding paperwork to – bingo, you guessed it – your realtor!

Let’s step back for a second, though, and talk about renting vs. buying. Although rent that is $1500/month appears to look so much nicer than a big down payment on a house or that astronomical asking price, over time those rent payments pile up and you never get any of that money back. When you buy a house, however, you are basically just putting money down that you will end up making back in the long run. This is of course not always the case, but if you do it right, that is the end goal. And how could we forget, of course, your parent’s basement is the cheapest option, but where’s the autonomy and fun in that? Don’t overlook the basement in your home can be income potential helping toward that monthly mortgage payment. 

So be ambitious when finding the realtor that best suits you. Be impatient in not wanting to waste time but rather focus your time on finding your dream home and living the life you want to live. And succeed with the help of your realtor!

                                                               Find Your Realtor Now


Diane Plant’s Spicy Brussel Sprouts Made Easy on the BBQ

A simple, yummy BBQ recipe for brussel sprouts

brussel sprouts

Preheat BBQ to 400F

Trim and wash brussel sprouts  about 1lb.

Cut in half top to bottom

In a mixing bowl-make a mixture of
1/3 C olive oil, 1/4 tsp of crushed chili peppers (more if you like it hotter)

1 tsp garlic powder

Mix together

Add brussel sprouts and coat them welll with oil mixture

Using a vegetable grill tray-spray with vegetable oil

Place sprouts on tray

Place tray on BBQ and close cover.
Turn after 20 minutes. Test for  tenderness after another 20 minutes.
Remove to a bowl.

Serve warm or cold

(this recipe can be done in a 400F oven for 45 mins to 1 hour on a lined baking sheet)




Toronto Home Sales in May 2016 Soar To New Record Selling Prices

sold 3

There were 12,870 homes sold in May, 2016, 11 % higher than last year, according to the real estate board in Canada’s biggest city. With listings falling 6.4 percent from last year, average prices rose 16 percent to C$751,908 ($581,207). Detached homes in the suburbs led gains with a 21 percent rise while detached homes in the city center rose 15 percent to C$1.3 million.

“While the record number of home sales through the first five months of 2016 is not necessarily surprising, it does sometimes mask the larger story in the GTA: the shortage of listings, which has resulted in strong upward pressure on home prices,” the real estate board president Mark McLean said in a statement.

Toronto joins Vancouver in a record month for sales, as that western city’s real estate board said yesterday 4,769 homes traded hands, an 18 percent gain from the prior year. The hot markets in the two cities prompted the heads of National Bank of Canada and Bank of Nova Scotia to suggest tighter mortgage rules to cool the market.