Toronto Real Estate News from Helene Kerr February 2019   

 
Strong communication between you and your agent will help ensure you receive a top-notch real estate experience. This month’s article shares a few tips on how to get the most out of your real estate agent.

There are also a few tips on how to make this the best year ever by stepping outside of your comfort zone, as well as some simple yet effective travel packing hacks!

Thanks so much for checking out this month's newsletter. Please get in touch if you have any questions or comments regarding the articles, or real estate in general -- it'd be great to hear from you!

Cheers!
Helene

In this issue...
Toronto Real Estate Market Update 
Home sales up slightly from same time last year.

TREB President Garry Bhaura announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 4,009 home sales through TREB's MLS® in January 2019.

This was up by 0.6 per cent compared to January 2018. On a preliminary seasonally adjusted basis, sales were up by 3.4 per cent compared to December 2018.

"It is encouraging to see the slight increase in January transactions on a year-overyear basis, even with the inclement weather experienced in the GTA region during the last week of the month. The fact that the number of transactions edged upwards is in line with TREB's forecast for higher sales in calendar year 2019," said Mr. Bhaura.

The MLS® HPI Composite Benchmark price was up by 2.7 per cent compared to January 2018. The condominium apartment market segment continued to lead the way in terms of price growth. The average selling price was up by 1.7 per cent on a year-over-year basis. After preliminary seasonal adjustment, the average selling price edged lower compared to December 2018.

"Market conditions in January, as represented by the relationship between sales and listings, continued to support moderate year-over-year price increases, regardless of the price measure considered," said Jason Mercer, TREB's Director of Market Analysis and Service Channels.

"Given housing affordability concerns in the GTA, especially as it relates to mortgage qualification standards, we have seen tighter market conditions and stronger price growth associated with higher density low-rise home types and condominium apartments, which have lower average selling prices compared to single detached homes."

The National Home Show 
Get a head start on your springtime gardening and renovation plans!

The annual National Home Show along with Canada Blooms is coming to town which means that spring is just around the corner!

North America’s largest home and garden event will be setting up shop in Downtown Toronto between Friday, March 8th and Sunday, March 17th at The Enercare Centre, Exhibition Place.

The National Home Show is a great place to visit if you’re looking for home improvement ideas while Canada Blooms offers amazing garden displays with some of the world’s top designers competing to win coveted awards for their unique creations.

Enjoy the co-location of two world-class events to help you get a head start on spring with fresh inspiration, insightful tips and innovative products. Hope to see you there!

How to Get the Most Out of Your Agent 
Teamwork makes the dream work when you’re out house hunting!

The relationship between you and your real estate agent should always be productive and honest which is why having an open line of communication is absolutely critical to ensuring a win-win partnership!

Once you’ve discussed and agreed on your agency relationship, it’s time to start working on ways to communicate effectively. Communication is a two-way street, so both parties need to be open and honest at the outset.

Start with the basics by discussing your contact preferences. For instance, specify whether or not you can be contacted at work should your dream home suddenly hit the market. Clarifying these details ahead of time will result in fewer miscommunications down the road.

Also, be clear on which features are essential for your new home. Ranking your priorities will help your agent conduct a more efficient search. However, always try to keep an open mind as it can sometimes be a good idea to “look outside the box” and view homes that don’t entirely match your criteria.

If you're selling your home, make sure you discuss any issues that could either help or hinder the sale. Agents can offer great advice on staging so show them everything no matter how insignificant. For instance, that tiny crawl space you weren't even thinking of mentioning could be marketed as a unique selling feature!

Finally, let your real estate agent know if your needs change and don't ever hesitate to ask questions. If for whatever reason you're not completely satisfied with the way things are going, be completely honest so you can resolve the problem straight away before any hasty decisions are made.

The key to any successful relationship is communication, and the partnership between you and your agent is one that will hopefully continue long after you’ve landed your dream home. That said, please don’t ever hesitate to get in touch with any real estate related questions you may have.

Jump Outside Your Comfort Zone 
If we don’t leave our comfort zone, we’ll never realize our full potential.

If you want to make 2019 your best year ever, you’ll need to dive (or at least step) outside of your comfort zone. Here are a few ideas to help get you started:

  1. Risk vs. Reward - Fear keeps us safe, but it also limits our potential. Make it a habit to take a risk every day as it will challenge your brain and allow you to move forward in exciting new ways!

  2. Just Do It - Tackle a "to-do" you've been putting off by taking small, steady steps. Your newfound confidence will then make it easier for you to achieve other goals.

  3. New You - Take up an activity that excites yet scares you. It can be something thrilling like rock climbing or perhaps enrolling in a new class that pushes you outside of your comfort zone.

  4. Visualize Success - We tend to obsess over potential problems that come along with trying new activities. Instead, focus on the positive aspects and how amazing you’ll feel when things go smoothly!

When you step outside of your comfort zone, exciting changes will start to happen. If you replace negative, fearful thoughts with positive ones, you'll begin to naturally expand what you feel comfortable with, which will continuously fuel your personal growth!

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“The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.” - Joseph Campbell

Space Saving Packing Hacks 
These packing hacks will help you make more space in your case!

Packing always seems like a chore as fitting everything you need into a suitcase can be a real challenge! Here are a few tips to help you make the most of your case.

First off, divide and conquer your suitcase with the help of a few packing cubes as they’re great for organizing and maximizing space.

Also, stuff socks and other small items inside your shoes and roll up clothes rather than folding them. A sunglasses case is great for storing charging cords or earbuds while pill bottles are perfect for storing tiny items like earrings or sim cards.

Finally, your suitcase will likely receive a fair amount of roughhousing so place a strip of plastic wrap under the cap of your lotions before sealing them up in Ziploc bags to protect other items from getting ruined. Hopefully, these tips will help you maximize space and become a pro packer. Happy travels!



PS Are you sick of scouring the paper and MLS sites looking for homes? Tired of playing telephone tag with agents only to hear the home's already sold? Sit back, relax and let me do the work for you! Just visit my website and check off the features you're looking for. Whenever a home matching your criteria hits the market, it'll be automatically flagged and emailed to you so you'll never have to worry about missing your dream home. This service is free and there's no obligation! Click here to get started.

Not meant to solicit clients already under contract.