Clean, Declutter, Discard – SELL

Moving is an emotional experience and getting ready to sell can be equally trying. Here are tips to get ready:

1. Study the entire house – Go room by room. The end result should be to make rooms resemble those in a hotel.

2. Create a spreadsheet – List tasks by room. Paint, accessories, and staging elements.

3. Empty Closets – Buyers LOVE clean, spacious closets. Most people wear 20 percent of the clothes 80 percent of the time.

4. Make these Piles – Items to keep, Give to family or friends, Donate to charity (see my previous blog), Sell online, or Junk.

5. Clear off counters and bookcases – Get rid of 80% of the books. Add home decor items.

6. Spruce up the Kitchen – Unstuff pantry and cabinets. Clean out the Fridge. Less is more.

7. Make Bathrooms spotless – Clean grout, tiles, shower door, vanity and tub. No leaky faucets. Clear out the medicine cabinet. Add crisp white towels, fresh soap, and a plant.

8. Professionalize the office – Most homeowners reference only 5% of their files. Clear up paper piles and file documents. Less is more applies here too.

9. Purge basements, attics, and garages – Move stuff into portable storage bin. You can have it moved to your new home later.

10. Check Curb Appeal all around – Maintain front yard, backyard, lawns, shrubs, fence ,and air conditioner.

2014 Market Predictions

My predictions for the 2014 real estate market:

1. The real estate market will not crash – I reviewed lots of articles on predictions of last year’s real estate market and found most economists and newspaper articles were proven wrong by the market’s performance. The latest consensus seems to be that the market will grow at a similar pace and teeter between a seller’s market and balanced market. This will translate to price appreciation anywhere from 6% to 10% depending on exact location and type of home. Good news is no one expects prices to fall in Mississauga, Oakville, and Toronto. The exact price is always dependent upon supply and demand of homes in your immediate area and I constantly blog about that.

2. There are no bad markets, only overpriced listings – Sellers will be tempted to list their prices at higher levels and will require price adjustments to sell. Don’t be surprised if some homes sell at 2013 prices.

3. Toronto’s Waterfront – South core will attract more projects. BTW, when on Earth are they going to finish that dog’s breakfast on the Queens’ Quay. I don’t expect any let up on construction till  Pan Am Toronto 2015.

4. Condo Projects – A few thousands units are expected to be ready for occupancy in 2014. A lot of investor owners will rely on rental demand to get these units occupied. Last year the downtown core had vacancy rates of around 1% and with demand like that, most units should find tenants.

5. Pre-sale Condos – Construction cranes everywhere in the downtown core represents more competition for sellers and more options for buyers. Not all new condo projects will be worth investing in. High demand areas in the City with quality builders (no glass falling) will continue to attract buyers.

Let’s make 2014 a great year !

De-clutter to Charity

Getting ready to move or just de-cluttering in preparation for sale of your home?

What to do with all the clothes, footware, blankets, TVs, furniture, sporting equipment, and toys ?


Why not donate to Charity. Here’s a list:


Canadian Diabetes Association     1-800-505-5525

Children’s Book Bank     416-922-7323

Furniture Bank     416-934-1229

Goodwill                  Find a donation centre at

Habitat for Humanity       416-755-7353   Find location at

Jessie’s, The June Callwood Centre for Young Women              416-365-1888

New Circles              416-422-2591

Oasis Clothing Bank     416-751-0553


Great way to start 2014.     HAPPY NEW YEAR !

“Exceptionally Healthy” forecast for 2014

Re/Max forecasts ‘exceptionally healthy’ real estate market in 2014

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. – Canada can expect an “exceptionally healthy” housing market in 2014 thanks to improvements in the overall economy that helped produce a surge in the latter half of this year, a leading real estate group said Wednesday.

Re/Max says that nationally, home sales are expected to climb two per cent to 475,000 units next year after a three per cent increase to well over 453,000 projected for 2013 when all the numbers are in.

At the same time, the value of an average Canadian home is forecast to escalate three per cent to $390,000 in 2014 after rising four per cent to $380,000 in 2013, according to a survey of the group’s independent brokers and affiliates.

Meanwhile, the outlook is for the residential housing market to remain in “clear balanced territory” throughout 2014, although some pockets and price points may see continued shortages.

Re/Max says its optimism is largely based on an improved outlook for Canada next year which is expected to see the country enjoy economic growth second only to the 2.8 per cent rate of the United States among Group of Seven countries.

And it says that while Canada’s economic growth is currently forecast at 2.3 per cent , it could move higher given the impact of strengthening global economies on the Canadian manufacturing sector.

“Canadian housing markets are on solid ground after a somewhat harrowing first and second quarter of 2013,” said Gurinder Sandhu, executive vice-president and regional director, RE/MAX Ontario-Atlantic Canada.

Better than expected economic performance, relatively stable inventory levels and the threat of higher interest rates down the road “proved mid-year game changers, providing the stimulus necessary to jump-start home buying activity,” Sandhu said.

As a result, the momentum that emerged in the latter half of the year is expected to spill over into 2014, setting the stage for continued growth and expansion in most residential markets, Re/Max said.

For the complete RE/MAX 2014 Market Forecast, send me a quick e-mail.

Market Update – Mississauga, Oakville

Thank you for tuning in. I’ve decided to give video blogging up for a bit and switch to writing. Let me know if you prefer this over video.

Let’s a have a quick look at the market in the West GTA for November 2013. Mississauga currently has 1,790 active listings and actual sales posted for November are 705. The total number of sales are actually down by 1% from this time last year, however the listing to sale ration of 2.5 suggests that we are still in a seller’s market. You wouldn’t think when you listen to all the negative press these days. Oakville had 176 sales in November and presently there are 520 active listings. Now this is much higher than last year and with a 3.0 month supply of homes (same as active listings to sold ratio) we are in a seller’s market. This means that all things being equal, prices will continue to rise. This is not a ticket for overpricing your home, in which case it will not sell.

A lot of people are holding off in listing their homes till the New Year. I do understand that December can be a hectic month with kids at home, shopping, Christmas parties, etc., it is still a very good time to get your home on the market. You can decorate your home for the Holidays and make it look very festive and appealing to prospective buyers. You’d be surprised how many people are actually out there looking for homes during this time – maybe even more seriously than any other time of year.

We’ll talk soon.     – Andy

Market Update for Sep 2012

Have a glance t the sales numbers below for Sep 2012 and compare them with my last post with the numbers from August 2012. Prices are up for the homes that sold, but the monthly inventory ratios are steadily creeping up to a point where if no other homes come on the market, it will take between 3.5 to 4 months to get a home sold. The market in the West GTA has definitely found a direction from July, August to September. 

We saw this market in 2008. There are plenty of homes selling and there is great choice for buyers. Understanding the market numbers is the first step is making your real estate decisions – with confidence and without emotion. 

2012 Sep Active Sold/mo Monthly Inventory Sold in 2012 Ave Price Up from Sep 2011
Brampton 1840 501 3.7 6,589 404,526 7%
Mississauga 2,238 661 3.4 8,077 456,806 9%
Oakville 608 155 3.9 1,792 709,129 9%

Market Update for August 2012

The following table outlines market stats for Mississauga, Oakville, and Brampton for August 2012. Sales and buyer activity remains very high as the average price in Aug 2012 rose between 8% to 10% from the same time last year. As you are following in the news that the Government is taking credit for tightening mortgage lending rules in order to curb price appreciation in housing. We shall see over the next few months how this plays out in the real world.

The number of sales in Brampton at 661 are virtually unchanged from the same period last year. In Oakville,  174 homes changed owners, up from 151 last year. Mississauga saw a decline in sales at 775 down from 934. Active listings are now on the rise and the monthly inventory figure stands at around 2.7 months. This means that if no listings come on the market, it will take 2.7 months to absorbs all the homes on the market. This is a key number to watch as it has risen from 1.8 over the past few months. This number has a direct impact on home prices. 

Every home has it’s own supply and demand curve and when selling or buying, it is very important that you understand the supply and demand for your particular home. 

2012 August Active Sold/mo Monthly Inventory Sold in 2012 Ave Price Up from Aug 2011
Brampton 1696 661 2.6 6,101 404,370 8%
Mississauga 2,122 775 2.7 7,435 456,877 10%
Oakville 509 174 2.9 1,639 710,141 9%