Saturday, June 19, 2010

Can you do it alone?

If you could have sold it alone....
You would have sold it already

If you haven't been able to attract buyers to see your home and are finding that you are dealing with unqualified people, looky lous that want decorating ideas, couples who are out for a Saturday or Sunday drive just looking at homes incase they decide to buy...
Yes, you know your home the best...
But the buyers interests and focus are not necessarily the same as yours. You are holding your own open houses but, people are reluctant to give you their name and phone number. They don't know who will be calling them back!

You want to save the commissions and expenses...
But you are realizing the weekend print ads are easily $500 - $600; There is no guarantee that the phone will ring and may not really drive any traffic. Gambling on weekend open house traffic is fickle and the market has softened.

The contract bundle at Chapters doesn't contain the clauses you need. It is just blank forms. The package of forms clearly states on the cover VOID if used improperly. The forms online from OREA and TREB are to educate you, permit you to read the content in the comfort and privacy of your own home, they have plain english explanations to interpret and explain, not to copy and use as a template.

The Lawyer charges $450 per hour to prepare contracts based on what has already been agreed upon. A lawyer will not enter into a negotiation unless he is being paid.

The Buyer wants to save the same money you do and is asking a lot of questions that make you a bit uncomfortable answering. How motivated are you? Whats your BEST price? Have you bought already? Have you been transferred? OR the big D questions; Death, Divorce, Disaster and Debt. A skilled Buyer has asked all the questions necessary to find your lowest bargaining position without putting up any money to negotiate an offer.

Has the buyer, who is in your house, been qualified or pre approved for a mortgage. Are they capable and interested in concluding a transaction or just testing the waters for a deal?

Have you confirmed the Buyers details with the mortgage broker?

You don't pay anyone until you have commited to a sale that has terms and conditions acceptable to you. At this point you know exactly how much you have sold your home for and what portion will be in your pocket. We have dealt with home inspections and what you will need to give up or gained to walk away, We will have inquired with your mortgage lender about their prepayment penalties or will you port and increase to blend the new mortgage. Land Transfer Taxes apply to your purchase, not your sale.

When you are buying .... will you be using an agent? Why is that?
Because the agents help you sift through all the extraneous details to finds the salient points that concern you as a buyer... Helping you to make a sound financial decision.

If this is not the type of real estate advice you are receiving; you need to ask why not.

Will we Tax revolt Like California?

No one wants higher taxes and user fees.

No one wants an increase in property taxes.

Legislation in California requires that they have their operating budget balanced annually and they are not permitted to run a deficit.

Case files piling up by the thousands, phones ringing off the hook, forced midweek courthouse closings and occasional brawls as frustrated citizens queue for hours to pay parking fines.

“People think we’re becoming a Third World country,” said Ms. Sims, 55. “They don’t understand.”

It’s a story that’s being repeated all across California – and throughout the United States – as cash-strapped state and local governments grapple with collapsed tax revenues and swelling budget gaps. Mass layoffs, slashed health and welfare services, closed parks, crumbling superhighways and ever-larger public school class sizes are all part of the new normal.

The result? The State of California is potentially facing bankruptcy. They are seeking a BAILOUT in the same afforded to business. This is a larger and looming issue compared to the financial failure in Greece. In a competitive economic climate for jobs, California is laying off teachers. Municipal services are being reduced [no one answering phones or accepting traffic fine payments] as the property tax base is reduced by market value adjustments and vacancy. Is that were we are headed? Political Gridlock while other economies/ countries and their investment dollars pass us by?

Are there lessons here for us in Canada? Especially here in Toronto?

Our own political systems has become mired in polarized debates about procedures and finger pointing about expense accounts. Public service means a service to the public. Not lavish spending and retirement parties for favored employees or politicians. I want leadership and decisions, forward planning that is fiscally responsible to future generations.

We have our own issues about Municipal Property Tax Assessments; Increasing Property Values and Market Value Evaluation. We need to address a cohesive transit solution that will reduce gridlock that is wasting Billions of Dollars in opportunity cost for business by being "parked" in traffic. This traffic solution needs to include ALL the municipalities of Vaughan, Mississauga, Brampton, Ajax, Oshawa, and up to York region, Markham and Thornhill. We need to post a News Conference that Toronto is open for investment and a great place to safe haven your money in Canada; with one of the safest banking systems in the world. We need an ECO energy solution that doesn't pit the NIMBYism of one neighbourhood against another.

Toronto has a stable and growing knowledge based economy, interest rate stability, quality of life beside a lake, recreation opportunities, employment opportunity and excellent Universities to name but a few; But maybe I see our City through rose coloured glasses.

What are your thoughts?

Doug Holyday said "There are serious savings to be had through amalgamation that have not been realised" Why not?

Add your voice.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

G20 Summit in Toronto!

Exciting Opportunity! Yes Opportunity!

G8 is dealing with issues like Global Warming, Moving Forward with Financial Recovery post a global recession. And Canada is Hosting! What an Honour! Last three in Canada were in Quebec, Nova Scotia and Alberta

G20 is created / expanding to include other involved nations as our problems truly are global in nature. Business, Global Warming, Economies, Manufacturing, Trade, Jobs! If you don't think that global trade, jobs and Business are related; you need a quick economy update.

The financial sector and banking controls alone and the events of 2008 showed us how interdependent, intertwined and joined all the global economies are. While Canada faired better than others; Houses bought and sold in the United States were ultimately financed by Mortgages bought and Paid for with Foreign Investment Dollars, (Packaged as Million Dollar blocks of Housing Mortgages and sold on global markets as investments) When the home owner defaulted the investments lost value and ultimately a small town in Iceland declared bankruptcy. All these things are related.

We are all related.

Let's not let a few protesters and naysayers hijack the global stage that is Toronto. A shining beacon of how multiculturalism, racial tolerance, the melting pot of cultures can co exist in peaceful harmony within our city. Lets name 10 great things about Toronto!

Lets showcase how our building, construction and housing sector is leading the financial and
employment job growth markets. ( Every crane you see on a construction site is a 15% down payment with a financial commitment to pay on delivery for the condo ordered)

Vandalism is Vandalism. Hooligans spraying TTC shelters with spray bombs are merely misguided. Call the police if you see these things happening. Take a picture with your cell phone, iPhone cameras. Video the event! How does spray painting an ATM machine indicate protest? Was their debit card over limit? Is life in Canada that Harsh?

We all came here for a better life; Sound investments, a safe place to raise a family, better education and health care, a cleaner place to live, business without theft or corruption, Consumer protection laws and EMPLOYMENT with real wages. Now, if we could fix the real issues, POT HOLES and summer construction. We need to deal with Toronto Transit Issues, Funding and Taxation, Garbage Incineration, Hydro Generation, Windmills and Clean Energy. We are moving quickly to a knowledge based economy.

Lets not let this opportunity to showcase Toronto on the world stage pass us by.

If you would like to invest in a growing economic center, a destination for immigration and migration, a place where peoples cultures are shared, and enjoyed, then come and let's find you some investment properties in Toronto.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Continuing Housing Bubble Rhetoric Toronto

The Bubble Heads are determined to prove to you that the housing market is going to collapse. As long as you are nervous, you are listening to their rhetoric and are buying in to their the glass is half empty philosophy. Click here to enlarge the chart to the right to see how Mortgage defaults have increased in Canada.

The Chart indicates that in 2005 the number of mortgage defaults in Ontario was 0.25% and this has steadily increased to 0.42% as of January 2010. This is in stark contrast to my understanding of the American Mortgage Crisis where; a) You walk away from your debt if you owe more than the value (Underwater) and suffer through a Short Sale, b) Mortgage defaults are in excess of 14%. In the United States they either take the house or sue you. In Canada, they do both.

All of the economics and studies aside, they have not included the numbers of homeowners who are not in default and carrying a minimal mortgage amount. These figures are explained below in the information quoted by CAAMP.
Profile of Mortgage Holders
There are currently about 9.3 million home owners in Canada, of whom about 5.55
million have mortgages.
About one-quarter (24%) of home owners had some form of mortgaging activity during the past 12 months: taking out a new mortgage on a home that was newly purchased or which previously did not have a mortgage (7%), renewing, refinancing or transferring an existing mortgage (17%), or paying off an existing mortgage (3%)1. The remainder (76% of home owners) did not have any mortgaging activity during the year.
The average outstanding principal is $138,000. Based on the survey findings, it is
estimated that outstanding mortgage principals on primary residences total $770 billion.
Mortgages that were originated during the past year have a current total principal of
$127 billion; mortgages renewed, refinanced, or transferred have a total principal of
$180 billion; and for mortgage holders who were inactive during the year the current total principal is $494 billion2.
Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals May 2010

If you calculate the number above in reverse in excess of 40% of Canadian have no mortgage debt. So what is the point. The point is that, If they get your attention with a horrific headline, you will watch the news. But is that the reality? Will interest rates SKYROCKET? (that headline had a picture of the Shuttle) Yes, rates increased from a variable of 1.6 % increased to 1.9% How can Canadians default on debt they do not have?

How can the North American Media and Economists predict with such certainty the impending Bubble for Real Estate in China or the entire Asian Rim if they so blindly did not see the loan manipulation that was occurring in their own markets in America.

The Global financial crisis that was caused by the American system of Banking and now is the topic of the G8 and G20 summits (do we need to tax banks and limit their lending policies?) and how banks are being regulated. Do Canadians need to suffer the additional expense of a bank tax where Canadian banks lead the world in fiscal responsibility? Canadian Banks number in the top 20 in the world, we proudly have two in the top 10.

Yes, seniors will be buying fewer less expensive homes in the coming years. Couples and Empty Nesters will be downsizing as they retire; but it is all as David Foote predicted in the book "Boom Bust and Echo" when they examine the ebb and flow of generational spending. We have been aware of that demographic cycle since 1996.

Lets recap; Ontario and Toronto are moving to Knowledge Base Economics. We are currently at an employment rate of 91% (Unemployment is quoted as 9%) The United States is higher. Mortgage defaults are not what they seem when quoted in the media. Buying a house at 20 - 30% below market value is the rhelm of late night television, The HST is coming July 2010, and builders are nervous at how people will react to an additional 13% displayed on prices over 400K. The media continues to predict that Toronto will fall victim to the soon to arrive housing bubble. If prices move upwards in the New Home Sales Prices, Buyers will move enMasse to the resale market

Also arriving are recently moved in Canadians that are regionally displaced by seasonal employment or manufacturing sector changes; Students to gain a better education internationally and students locally; Immigration by Statistics Canada permits the entry of 250k applicants for permanent residence and skilled labour. Their city or region of choice appears to be the Golden Horseshoe. Traffic on a daily basis does not indicate to me that we are in an economic recession.

Housing inventory is the number of homes for sale at any given time. The number of units sold will give you an absorption rate. We are moving slightly to a more Balanced Market that will provide a greater selection for most Buyers. The real estate market does not flip like a light switch from negative to positive or from a Sellers Market to a Buyers Market overnight. The transition can take months, and even years. Lets enjoy the low interest rates while we can.

Would you like to add something to the conversation?

Monday, June 7, 2010

Profiles - Making your profile easier to find

Profiles - Making your profile easier to find

Selling yourself but on the MLS

You do have the right to sell your own home anytime you wish. To anyone you like. For what ever price you select.

You found a Realtor ® to place your home on the MLS system with a co operating broker commission of $50.00. It sat there for 3 weeks without any action. The listing was then terminated and reposted as the same information but now with 2.5% showing as the co operating commission.

I get It! You don't feel real estate agents are worth anything and you have the right to say so in your listing. I understand that you are angry. You should have the right to bring your home directly to Buyers without my interference.

Brenda Gwilliams from the Toronto Real Estate Board, Rules and Regulations department says that the Vendor now is able to conduct their own Open Houses as they see fit, as was updated from RECO and the response to the Competition Bureau, under the limited services options available to sellers they can do what ever they like. So ..When I bring a client through your open house, or I have a client under contract who invites me to your open house.. Merely asking questions of the Seller at the house or the unlicensed person representing the owner places me in a conflict in that I am negotiating with the Seller in the absence of their LISTING AGENT!

The Owner of the house had placed a number of OPEN HOUSE signs leading to the property. My Buyer Client Prospect (under Buyers Agency BRA) found the listing on the site and took a drive out Saturday to scope out the neighbourhood. [They] called and asked that I might join them at the Open House to inspect and view the property as a second opinion.

The Owner of the property was initially friendly and then became frosty and moved directly to hostile. As long as the Purchaser was unrepresented, the seller was interested and eager to explain, divulge, demonstrate, show the property in detail. When I asked questions about the property or when they wanted to move I was met with.. "Why am I asking anything?" types of responses.

This opens a number of different issues for me. As a realtor there is a mechanism for you to complain; My Broker Manager, RECO, the police. As a prospective shopper you are now potentially entering an open house with what ever SELLER and their PUSH for you to buy their house. Do you leave your name and phone number with that SELLER to contact you as they see fit? Are they in conflict with the Privacy Legislation by asking for and keeping your contact information?

This is completely new territory for us in Toronto (Ontario) and I would be interested to hear how the southern states handled the discount brokers concepts of partial service MLS representation. Is this the best way to handle your sale?

Your comments are truly invited.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Welcome a Balanced Market in 2010

Canada’s housing market is expected to cool this year and next, but isn’t at risk of falling victim to a U.S.-style foreclosure crisis anytime soon; Canada will continue to do well in comparison to our neighbours to the south.

That is because lending practices here are much more sound than in the U.S. The likelihood of Canada having a meltdown like they had in the U.S. is extremely low; This is a combination of the lending practices prior to the peak in 2007 — they were more restrained, better underwriting practices in Canada. We also think there are a number of factors in the Canadian market which have lent themselves to more prudent lending.

The HST now factors heavily into home buying decisions in Ontario and is creating indecision.

Reviewing the most recent Toronto Real Estate Board statistics. Sales are moving along well and the inventory levels are continuing to rise at a pace that is typical for this time of year. For May 2010 there were 9,460 sales reported to TREB! Unlike recent record breaking months, this falls below the record breaking territory we hit in May 2007, but is similar to other May numbers we have experienced in previous years. Currently there are 25 K homes for sale up from 22 thousand 6 last month. Last year, there was actually a decrease in the available number of homes between April and May. This year there was an increase, which is seasonally typical. This is causing us to go into more of a “Normal or Balanced Market” and step away from some of the silliness we’ve been experiencing over the last year.

In select pockets and price ranges, inventory is still pretty scarce, but in the majority of neighbourhoods of Toronto there is more selection for the buyers out there. That means there’s a greater likelihood this year that there may be a correction or softening in housing prices rather than a continued increase. We expect the market to continue cooling through out the year and continue to cool into 2011. The TD Bank predicts prices will decrease by 2 - 3% by the end of 2011.

Professional Promotion & Marketing, Google Presentation and Proper Pricing are more important now to have your home enter the market at the right price point, attract willing buyers and be sold within a few weeks. Call David Pylyp 647 218 2414

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Housing Bubble Speculation Continues

Except this time there is a calmer voice joining in to the endless chorus The Toronto Housing Bubble will burst conversation.

The CBC was following up a piece that was run May 28th 2010 by the Financial Post. The Post is quoting the DBRS (Debt Bond Rating Service) that the continued stability in Canada, our banking systems and stricter credit policies all enforce the concept that the Canadian banking system and mortgage portfolio is doing just fine.

Canada’s housing market is expected to cool off this year and next, but isn’t at risk of falling victim to a U.S.-style foreclosure crisis anytime soon, according to a new report by debt-rating firm DBRS Ltd.

DBRS said in the report that Canada will continue to fare well in comparison to its neighbour to the south when the Canadian housing market corrects itself and interest rates are tightened. That is because lending practices here are much more sound than in the U.S.

“The likelihood of us having the kind of situation they had in the U.S. is extremely low,” said Jerry Marriott, managing director of structured finance at DBRS . “It’s a combination of the lending practices prior to the peak in 2007 — they were more restrained, so there were better underwriting practices in Canada. We also think there are a number of factors in the Canadian market which have lent themselves to more prudent lending.” Read more:

To those who are screaming about pending interest rate increases, Yes, yes, yes! There may be an increase in the bank of Canada Prime from .25% to increase 100% to .50% Let's get a grip eh! We have often and will continue to have ups and downs in the interest rates. They do how ever continue to be the lowest in the last 50 years.

The article is articulate and factual without emotional verve and panic. What does the article omit? The omission is the intangible immigration to centers like Toronto in the Golden Horseshoe for education, employment, business opportunity, a chance to start a new life and open a business. What do we offer? Financial Stability, Good Governance, Excellent Education, a non repressive political regime, Freedom to complain and sound off without being detained and a place to live laugh and play to raise your family.

These 60,000 annual additional households will occupy all those cranes and houses that we cannot believe dot our skyline.

So lets start by welcoming new people to Toronto, enjoy the summer festivities at Caribana and the World Cup Soccer. Quit whining about two days of traffic chaos at the G20 for the opportunity to showcase Toronto and Canada's workforce and knowledge economy to the world.

Add your comments... How do you feel about Toronto's prospects?

While the HST is being implemented and the GST becomes " I miss the GST" there will be shopping opportunities in the Housing Market. Will you be ready to purchase a home? Pre approved and ready to go? Call me... Lets talk.