The Sold Data Saga...

So you may have heard that the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) has lost its appeal against the Competition Bureau regarding releasing sold data to the public. And my understanding is that they will be appealing again...sigh. It could take another year before we have a decision again & that's very frustrating for both consumers & forward thinking REALTORS®.

A few thoughts on this:
  • A REALTOR®'s value is NOT in being the gatekeeper for the sold data, our value is interpreting that data & educating consumers to help them make informed decisions. Taking the raw data & determining how it applies to a property that is to be bought or sold is the difference between success or failure for our clients. 

  • We bring additional value through our experiences in different market cycles, continuing education, knowing how & what to do to protect our clients' interests, innovative marketing strategies, our trusted network of contacts who can get done things done for you, when you need them done...guidance, counselling, mediation, helping people make their dreams come true...THIS is the value we bring to the table & the list truly goes on & on!
  • Am I concerned about the never-ending government intervention in the private sector & free market all in the name of the "common good"? Yes.
  • Am I questioning the yearly & monthly dues I pay to collect, distribute & access the data in question? Kind of...I have no problem with free public access but MY access to the same information costs BIG BUCKS & the fairness of that gives me pause in this debate.
  • TREB did not consult with its member REALTORS® regarding the first appeal or this one either. The amount of time & money spent fighting this is just mind boggling!
If we can keep our competitors focused on us while we stay focused on the customer, ultimately we'll turn out alright   -Jeff Bezos

This is by no means a comprehensive analysis of the situation, just a collection of random thoughts that have been percolating in my brain in the past week since the verdict was announced...

#educate      #empower      #athomeindurham     


Have a fabulous day!

16 Offers....A Tale from the Trenches


Online ads that say "Sold for $100+k over list" & beautiful homes selling for under market value....how do we reconcile these 2 things in the same market?


Marketing? Strategy? Luck? (or bad luck as the case may be)...

Let's tackle the "Sold for $100+k over list" property first:

Reality: There was a listing strategy in place to attract as many buyers to the property as possible with an unrealistic listing price that was $100+k below what it was expected to sell for.

Result: The property sold for roughly the same price that similar properties in the same condition sold for in the same neighbourhood in the same time-frame. It's only fair to note that this strategy can also result in a selling price OVER the expected market value & I've successfully used this strategy myself as well. Why? Because when we represent the seller, that's what's in the seller's best interest.

Winners: The sellers obviously - they can feel confident that the property sold for the highest price possible given that they had 16 offers, lol, AND the listing agent has also enhanced their reputation to future sellers by being able to advertise such a shocking statistic.

Losers: The Buyers & their agents. This strategy always brings at least a few buyers to the table who can't afford the property if their agent isn't properly advising them. This scenario also creates a ton of confusion & questions like, if it sold above market value, will it appraise? Will the "winning" buyer be able to close if it doesn't appraise? It also raises red flags for lenders when they see a property sell that far above the listing price.

This scenario can backfire as well, like in the case of a beautiful home that I showed my buyers last week which sold for less than I think it should have:

Reality: A beautifully updated home was listed for sale with a set date to review offers. The price I felt was a little under market value, but certainly nowhere near as under-priced as the property in the 1st scenario. My clients loved it!

Result: The property only got 1 offer on offer night, and it sold for the asking price. My clients decided not to make an offer because we felt the true value of the home was above their budget & they wouldn't stand a chance in multiple offers.

Winners: The buyer who bought the house for asking price. I think they got lucky & ended up with a great deal being the only offer on the table but that could easily have changed if another buyer had come forward.

Losers: The sellers. By about 3-5% in my opinion. How many other buyers were afraid to compete?Had there been more offers it may have pushed the price to where I think it should have been. Or if the sellers had listed it at actual market value they may have gotten the higher price or at least closer to it than where they ended up.

So what can we learn from each of these scenarios? Well it depends on who you are...


As a seller, strategy matters...A LOT! It's not enough to have a beautifully renovated & staged home in a great neighbourhood in order to sell for the highest price possible.

As a buyer, get educated on the market; understand the different nuances that affect the price of a home; be prepared to cut through the noise & distraction of marketing & strategies to see if a particular property is worth your time & effort. And so many more...but I'll leave it here for today!

Until next time,


My 5 Most Recommended Fix Ups Before Listing Your Home

The following 5 updates are the ones that I most often recommend that homeowners focus on prior to listing their homes for sale. In no particular order...

1. Update Your Lighting - This doesn't have to cost you a fortune! I troll sites like kijiji.ca & varagesale.com on a regular basis looking for lighting options for my clients. Why? Because it can greatly contribute to the overall sense of value that a home offers.

I recently picked this one up for $30 to replace a typical 80's fixture that was original to the home...it was such a score because it was just perfect for the spa feeling I envisioned in this bathroom! Other changes we made were to swap out the vanity light from the older-style Hollywood strip light to something more modern looking, and remove the wallpaper border. I'd really hoped that we could deal with the border without having to repaint the bathroom... but that's a story for another day :)


Spray painting fixtures is also a really inexpensive option...I recently gave a pair of spotlights (track lighting) that were a really shiny gold a quick spray with some matte black and that's all it took to give them a modern update!


I also pick up lights when it's too good of a deal to pass up, knowing that I'll find the perfect spot for them eventually! Like this one that I bought last summer for $15 which eventually found its way into this master bedroom to replace a ceiling fan, 6 months later!



2. Repaint Trim & Doors - This instantly freshens everything up! Are you familiar with the domino effect? A good example of this can be when you repaint a wall...the wall looks wonderful, but all of a sudden the trim & doors look terrible as a result. And then you have to repaint those as well and now you've doubled the work you need to do...but if you start with the trim & doors, it can often make enough of a difference that it's the only painting that you'll need to do! I originally thought I'd recommend a couple of my favourite colours, but that's not necessarily going to get you the best result! Read THIS article about how to pick a trim colour, because there are a lot a variables to take into consideration and they're all based on your individual space!

3. Clean Up Your Curb Appeal - This is such an important one! What you're able to do is going to depend on the season, but for most of the year mulch is going to be your new best friend if you've got garden beds! It's like the trim paint that I mentioned above, it's an instant refresher! It creates clean lines & if you throw in a few new plants, it's an easy & very impactful update! Of course you can never go wrong with some pretty seasonal planters too!  I wrote this post on the value of curb appeal HERE


4. Create Your Wow Factor - If you don't have wow factor to highlight already, then create your own! In this open concept space, the kitchen was the first thing you saw when you walked in the door. And we needed to make that first impression as good as it could be without renovating. We started off with honey oak cabinetry, older appliances & country decor touches. Bringing in a more modern look was the way to go to maximize the value of this home. Based on my recommendations, the homeowner added the backsplash which incorporated all our colours & newer used appliances. I had suggested black, but the white appliances definitely work too! We made specific and intentional choices in order to bridge the gap between the existing style and the one that we wanted to portray through the staging plan. By carefully incorporating the honey tones into the rest of the space, we were able to create flow and an overall updated look and feeling. Unfortunately I hardly ever remember to do before & after shots so we just have the after...

5. That One Thing That's Left To Do - Whatever it is, do it! For example, in this home the kitchen cabinets had been painted by the previous owners & my clients added really nice high-end appliances while they lived there...but the countertops were still original and they were green. Like really green... I suggested that they replace the countertops to continue the neutral palette that flowed throughout the rest of the house. Witness the evolution of this kitchen through MLS® pictures, lol:


 And then there was this one...this was a whole house project that took months to bring to the market. Towards the end I really felt that there was no way that we could leave the bleached oak kitchen alone...not when there was veneer that didn't match in some places! Not to mention the fact that by creating some contrast, it improved the look of the blah countertop & also made the very nice backsplash pop a little more! Once again, the changes we made here created the all-important flow with the rest of the house:



So many stories, so little time to find more pictures to go along with those stories, lol...but I think you get the idea, right? If you want your home to command top dollar, it's details like these that will help take you to the next level! Remember what they say...the devil's in the details!

Create a plan ~ Make smart purchasing decisions ~ Reap the rewards when you sell ~ The End

Honourable mentions also go to: toning down strong paint colours, small repairs that you always meant to get to but never did, fixing previously done bad repair jobs & decluttering and/or purging as much as possible!

I offer a variety of options & services to my selling clients in order to help them maximize the value of their homes. If you're interested in finding out more about the options available to you or to discuss what projects would get you the most bang for your buck when it comes to your home, then reach out to me at 905-447-4077 or Kelly@HomeInDurham.ca & let's talk!

Have a fabulous day!


Not In My Backyard!



Investors, Developers, Custom Home Builders who want to build spec houses...everyone wants a piece of our HOT market here in the Durham region!

I'm not saying that I think it's necessarily a bad thing, I work with a number of investors & this past summer I even helped clients get their bungalow approved as a legal 2-unit dwelling in order to maximize the selling price. This was the Highest & Best Use for the property as demonstrated by the $72,000 increased selling price over the similar, but non-duplex property a few doors down which had sold a few days prior to our hitting the market. But this home was located in an area that was popular for rentals & it totally made sense!