Monday, September 24, 2012

Breaking your mortgage? Your penalty MAY differ depending on which lender your mortgage is from!

Great article on how different lenders calculate your mortgage penalties...IT IS NOT A STANDARD CALCULATION. Depending on your lender, your penalty can be higher or lower!

Penalty Calculators

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

No rate hikes for 2011?

good article on interest rates for the rest of this year

A recent report from TD Economics has just pushed back forecasts for interest rate hikes during 2011.

Many economists, TD included, believed that interest rates would begin to climb in mid-2011. However, economists have adjusted their earlier report in its Quarterly Economic Forecast regarding its outlook on monetary policy and interest rates.

Currently, TD does not expect the Bank of Canada to hike rates at any point in 2011, but rather they would start to increase in 2012 with the overnight rate finishing off 2012 at the 2.00% mark.

The TD report goes on to say that traditional thinking about monetary policy doesn’t bode well in this out of the ordinary recovery – the global economy hasn’t recovered at the pace forecasted at the onset.

There are a number of key factors considered by the TD economists when making their conclusions about interest rate movement. Firstly, they believe that inflation potential is well anchored and we have a reputation as an inflation fighter. As the output gap minimizes, the risk of inflation is limited since the markets will determine the price of commodities.

Secondly, there is a whole lot of risk at this point. Even though Canada doesn’t have a great deal of exposure to the real risky countries in Europe, the meltdown would have its effect in North America. The biggest concern is the recovery in the US. Right now there is a huge inventory of homes and many more on the brink of foreclosure, so it appears that the market will be flush for quite some time. The US Government has quite the juggling act with ensuring it doesn’t drive up inflation while still trying to stimulate the nation’s economy. Obviously, this has a far greater direct impact on Canada versus the rest of the world.

High energy prices as of late are a big concern to dragging down growth while heating up inflation, which is related to the unrest in the Middle Eastern nations. Factor in inflation in emerging countries like China and the natural disasters in Japan; it poses a barrier to progressing economically.

All of this uncertainly has lead to the conclusion by TD economists. When the Bank of Canada does move forward with rates, they still have mitigating factors to include and any slight changes could alter their path. These economists figure that once we reach the 2.00% mark we may pause there for a breather and take a look around to see how everyone else is faring. This gradual approach will also limit the upward pressure of our very strong loonie.

Like any economists prediction, it has a short shelf life because assumptions may prove incorrect and factors may change out of nowhere. There are many factors like those mentioned in the report that could change in a snap and force industry players to re-align their forecasts. If we start to fall behind inflation then we may have to kick into gear and start edging rates up.

Buying or Selling, through an agent or by yourself (, my office can assist you with your real estate transactions as well as your Wills & Estate and Corporate needs!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Using an Agent to Buy a Home? Use a Buyer's Represenation Agreement!

Great article on signing a Buyer's Representative Agreement


While you always have your client’s best interests at heart, you are in business to make money. And when it comes to making money, there needs to be regulation and processes in place to protect the interests of all involved.

In real estate, investment of your professional time into a client literally translates to your bottom line. Time, in the truest sense, is money- especially when acting on behalf of a client looking for a home.

In all relationships, communication is the key to success. The relationship between client and real estate professional is no different. What a Buyer's Representation Agreement (B.R.A) does, is lay the foundation and the framework for this relationship- and write out the expectations.

The Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO) has this advice for consumers: “A representation agreement defines the nature of the relationship between you and the brokerage, including the broker or salesperson...The agreement should be in writing in order to protect the interest of all parties...Your broker or salesperson wants to provide you with the best service he or she can. To make the most of this relationship, it's important to clarify your needs and expectations. To avoid misunderstandings later on, it's important not to make any assumptions. You should also take time to ask what the broker or salesperson expects from you and what your obligations are.”

Consumers are well familiar with listing agreements, but what if they balk at signing a B.R.A.? Here are some ideas on how to persuade them, while protecting both their interests and yours.

Don’t Hard Sell

Like a nervous soon-to –be wed person asking their betrothed to sign a pre-nup, you don’t want this entrance of contract and documentation to change the tone of the relationship. Rather you want it to solidify it- and essentially give it room to grow. In the business of people, you must constantly be fostering and nurturing relationships, mindful not just of the deal at hand, but at future business and referrals.

Education is Your Ally

Many consumers do not understand the implications of a B.R.A., and may be suspicious and reluctant to sign. Make sure that they understand everything clearly; direct them towards third party information about B.R.A.’s so that they feel as though they are in charge of their decision. Transparency is key in expressing expectations on both sides, because it not only builds confidence by means of education; it also builds trust- which is the essential ingredient to a long-term relationship.

Your Business Is Not Transactional

You are building a relationship here and, in theory, you will only be able to commit yourself fully if you feel protected. Real Estate Professionals are bound to constantly honour the interests of a clients above their own, but you can present this agreement to the client in such a way that communicates your dedication and intent over the long term.

Feature and Benefit

Sales 101- you present a feature to a client with an associated benefit. The feature is exclusivity with you- the benefit is your spectacular service, attention to their needs, and the chance to find the home of their dreams for the best possible price. If they will commit to you, you will commit to them. This is not quid pro quo, it is articulation of value.

Client vs. Customer

The language here might be one of your greatest tools. Although the words are essentially synonymous, in Real Estate they most certainly are not. In signing a BRA, a customer blossoms into a client, and obligations are different.

Also, from a consumer standpoint, there is a distinction. It is a passage from transaction to relationship, and the value add is implied in the nature of the relationship. Customers are the revolving door; your client base gets your undivided attention.

Your Knowledge is their Knowledge

As a Real Estate Professional, you have specific training and access that make you well equipped to be the go-to for buyers. The key about your knowledge, is access, and signing a B.R.A. is the bridge.

Peace of Mind

By signing a B.R.A., you are giving your buyer the option for peace of mind. An agreement in writing serves as a guarantee that they will only get the very best- and that there will be full disclosure along every step of the way.

No Obligation

Make sure that clients know that they are not obligated to purchase anything. They are simply agreeing to work with you towards their goal of purchasing something.


In signing on with a Real Estate Professional, buyers will be able to have listing on the Buyer Registry Service, so that sellers are able to know what client property requirements are.
Again, this is about access- and about articulating the value of access.

Dialogue, not Iron Fist

Clients may be more willing to sign an agreement, if you are willing to negotiate on the length of the contract. Try and understand their reasons for their feelings. Having an open discussion with the option of committing to a shorter length, may increase the comfort level- maybe even enough to leave the length of the contract as is.

Buying or Selling, through an agent or by yourself (, my office can assist you with your real estate transactions as well as your Wills & Estate and Corporate needs!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

45% of Canadian want to sell privately according to a study commissioned by Titleplus

(re-posted with permission from

A survey has found that almost half of Canadians would consider selling their homes privately, but few are aware of exactly what a recent law change means.

Canada is very much like the UK, with most homes traditionally being sold by agents. However—again like the UK—the Canadian Competition Bureau recently changed the law, to allow Canadians to use agents in order to list their property on the Multiple Listings Service (MLS), which is the largest real estate sales portal in Canada. As a side-note, it will be interesting to see the change this makes in private sales figures, given that the UK's biggest portal (Rightmove) is still presently blocked from private sellers.

Now, an Environics poll sponsored by the TitlePlus has found that while 45% of Canadians would consider selling their home without a real estate agent, only 11% are aware of how the law change makes this task easier.

Looking on the web using the the (Canadian Google) search engine I can't find any Canadian portals specifically aimed at private sellers, not to say that they don't exist. Given this, the MLS would pretty much be a must for Canadians, perhaps even more so than Rightmove is to private sellers in the UK. Thus the new law has the potential to really increase private property sales in Canada, which could be good for the market.

Some argue that house prices should not be determined by people who make profits proportional to sale prices (agents charge percentage-based commission) and that removing agents from the house sales equation on a wider scale could alleviate the boom-bust cycle most markets around the world fall prey to. Unfortunately for Canada there is no real voice behind private sales to push forward information about the new law, and unless one pops up the change could well prove to be even slower in Canada than it is in the UK.

Read more:

Buying or Selling, through an agent or by yourself (, my office can assist you with your real estate transactions as well as your Wills & Estate and Corporate needs!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Compare Interest Rates Easily

Check out this website to compare interest rates from different lenders!

Open Mortgages:

Closed Mortgage:

Buying or Selling, through an agent or by yourself (, my office can assist you with your real estate transactions as well as your Wills & Estate and Corporate needs!

Competition Bureau sue Toronto Real Estate Board

interesting article

Competition Bureau sue Toronto Real Estate Board for anti-competitive behaviour

Buying or Selling, through an agent or by yourself (, my office can assist you with your real estate transactions as well as your Wills & Estate and Corporate needs!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Marketing, Open Houses and Viewing

(Re-blogged with Michael Forcier's permission.) will be your most effective marketing tool, but you will also want to consider other options including print advertising and open houses.

Classified word ads directing potential buyers to your detailed listing on are worth considering, particularly if you choose to hold one or more open houses.

Open houses and viewings of your house are effective marketing opportunities you should consider, but be sure to ask people for their names, addresses and get identification from them when you let them into your home. (You wouldn’t let strangers into your house at any other time without knowing a little bit about them.) Serious potential buyers should not be put off by this request.

When showing your house make sure you have put away all valuables and any objects that could easily be taken. When potential buyers are viewing your home make sure you or some other responsible person escorts them through your house. You do not know these people . You do not want them in your house without someone you know with them. Prior to having a viewing or open house it is important to prepare your house so you make a good impression and also ask some questions of the potential buyers to qualify them that they can indeed afford to purchase your house (see Selling tools below for detail lists on qualifying potential buyers and preparing your home for viewing or open house).

Have copies of a fact sheet to hand out at your open house (you can simply print whatever pages you choose from your listing on

With the business arangement has with Best Value Real Estate you can also get your property on the and websites.

Buying or Selling, through an agent or by yourself (, my office can assist you with your real estate transactions as well as your Wills & Estate and Corporate needs!