Royal LePage

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Once again sales at the Ottawa Real Estate Board have exceeded last years sales and have shown significant increases in value, especially in the condo market.

A shortage of available condos have driven the market to new values helping what has traditionally been a week market in Ottawa.  Lots of bidding wars, lots of buyers but a shortage of available units is the formula that has created this increase in sales and value.

The freehold market has also seen increases in the number of units sold and the values too.  This market has become a little more balanced but remains a strong seller’s market.

What do you do if you’re in a seller’s market?

Well, that all depends on which end of the transaction you’re on.  If you’re buying it is more important than ever to do your homework!  Working with a professional real estate agent with lots of experience is your first step.  A good sales rep should be able to guide you through the steps you’ll need to be prepared.

  1. A solid mortgage commitment from a lender.  This will make sure you’re ready at a moments notice to put an offer in on that hot property.  Get something in writing so you can prove, beyond doubt, that you are qualified.
  2. Have a building inspector on speed dial.  Your sales rep should be able to provide referrals to several inspectors.  Make your choice early in the process.
  3. Get yourself a lawyer who works with real estate transactions.  You’ll need one for any transactions in Ontario.
  4. Be prepared to move fast in today’s market.  Make sure you are available to be in constant contact with your agent.  Cell phones, email and texting are all important tools when the pressure is on.  Don’t head out on an African Safari in the middle of an offer to buy a home.
  5. Finally, be ready to break the rules.  Putting an offer in without what has always been considered common and practical conditions such as financing and inspection may not get you the home you want.  That’s why we have strongly recommended making sure your financing is in place and accurate.  You may want to also consider, if time allows, to do a pre-offer building inspection.  Yes, if you don’t get the home you will loose the cost of the inspection which today ranges from $500.00 to $800.00 but it may give you peace of mind.

These are just a few of the things to think about when you are getting ready to buy.

Selling in a Seller’s market?

  1. Don’t think that any home in any condition will sell.  Prepare your home properly as if you were competing with many other homes.
  2. An experienced REALTOR® will help you read the market, set the right price and guide you through some of the strategy you can use in a seller’s market.
  3. Delaying offers until a specific date is a strategy that has been very effective in building interest in a home and creating multiple offers.  BUT if must be done at the right time in the right market.  As markets cool, this strategy can backfire and chase potential offers away.
  4. Know what your plans are for the future.  Buying another home?  Moving to a rental or to retirement living?   You may now become a buyer so you’ll need a plan on where you are going.

There is a lot more to know when selling even in a hot market.  If you’re thinking of buyer, selling or both, fell free to write or call and we’ll be happy to work with you to get to your end goals.


So far this has been an incredible year and the market in the Ottawa area just keeps on going.  Even as the weather cools the real estate market continues to be hot, hot, hot!

Condos have been on fire for months now and buyers have got to move fast!  For sale one day and sold within days.  Town homes are another hot item.  We don’t see too many good townhomes on the market for more than a few days before they are scooped up and are also selling considerably above asking price. Five, six, seven or more offers on a home is not unusually theses day.

Buyers are to say the least getting a bit frustrated with the process.  Putting in offer after offer and not getting the home you want can really get under the skin of a buyer causing them to loose hope and sometimes their temper.

If you’re a buyer out their in this situation try to push through these disappointments.  Many have just given up but if you need or want a home you have to be in the market to get a chance.

So, what do you do to give yourself the best chance?  Here are some tips.

  1. GET PRE APPROVED FOR A MORTGAGE THROUGH A MORTGAGE BROKER OR BANK.  Why am I shouting this?  Because in a competitive market like it is now, you may loose to other offers that do not have a financing condition.  So if you’ve done you homework and are pre approved you can try to offer on a home without a financing condition.
  2. Make sure you have your pre approval in writing.  Savvy listing agents and their sellers will want to see proof that you can afford the home without having to put a financing condition in the offer.  They will not just “take your word for it.”  Look, they don’t know you.  The seller has no idea if your honest or financially capable.  Its not personal but when they have 4,5, 6 or more offers sitting in front of them, they want to make the right decision and if you can prove that you have your financing ready to go, that’s a big benefit to you.
  3. Consider a pre offer building inspection.  Many sellers are not accepting offers for a few days after their home goes on the market.  This has some benefit for you.  It gives you a chance to arrange a building inspection before offering.  This way you’ll know if there are any serious or just cosmetic issues with the home and judge if you; A) even want the home or B) can adjust your offer based on the work needed.
  4. Most importantly you need information.  Only a real estate agent who has their finger on the pulse of the market can help you though this tricky market.  So get yourself a seasoned professional.  Ask friends, neighbours and relatives if they have used a real estate agent and whether or not they were happy with what that agent did.

Now you’re ready!  You’re pre qualified, you are ready for a pre offer inspection. You can potentially make an offer without those two very important conditions and you have an agent helping you through the twists, turns, timing and pitfalls of a hot real estate market.

If you are interested in talking to us, please don’t hesitate to write, text or call.  We have over 30 years each in the real estate industry and have seen hot markets, cold markets and level markets.  We have our fingers on the pulse of Ottawa.  Call or text to 613-795-7982.


Ottawa is having one of the hottest real estate markets we can remember and we’ve been selling real estate for over 30 years!  Everyone wants to know what’s causing this, how can I take advantage and when will it end!

None of the answers to that are easy or very predictable.  A new government in Ontario, Alberta provincial election and a federal election are just around the corner.  Plus the ongoing tug of war over trade with the U.S. can individually and in combination make significant changes to a real estate market.

But Ottawa is somewhat insulated.  There are two major economic forces here.  Public service and high tech.  For the foreseeable future (unless a new federal government launches major cuts) Ottawa will remain very stable and this is part of the reason Ottawa’s market has always been a good.  Almost no declines in value and steady although too slow for some, growth.  But with prices in other major cities out of sight high, (Toronto and Vancouver just to name two) Ottawa has become very attractive to those who can be mobile either due to retirement or job opportunity.  Won’t you rather be in a city where $500,000 – $600,000 could get you a nice single family home in a good neighbourhood or in a city where the same dollars gets you a rundown fixer upper in a not so great areas.

Sure, Toronto has it all, Broadway theaters, concerts from all the big names in music, Film festivals, aquariums and more.  But that doesn’t address the day to day living that an affordable city and very well serviced city like Ottawa has to offer.

On top of an influx of movement to Ottawa there is a housing shortage here.  New home builders can’t keep up.  I the “good old days” you could walk into a builder an have a home built and ready to move into in 90-120 days.  Now you’re looking as 10-12 months.

With a hot market some potential sellers are holding back as they are scared that they will sell their homes and have no place affordable to go.  So it goes round and round and round.  Not enough homes to buy?  Let’s stay where we are.  Therefore that house is not for sale and buyers can’t find enough homes.

In the past few moths we have sold seven of our listings within a week and that counts days that we did not accept offers.  In fact, all of them sold on the first day offers would be looked at.  And all of them sold above asking prices.  Some only a few thousand dollars and others as much as $30,000.00.

So, the good:  If you’re selling, values are high, homes are selling quickly and for top dollar.  All that being said, we are still finding homes that are not in good condition or poorly marketed, not selling at all.

The Bad: Exactly the opposite of the above for buyers.  To get a chance at a good home you MUST get your pre-approval at a lender ASAP.  Be prepared to either spend $500-$600 for a pre-offer inspection (if you even get a chance to do that) or risk going in with no inspection condition.

The Ugly: When a market is unbalanced in favour of either the seller or the buyer, there are always hurt feelings, finger pointing, loss of funds and disappointment on one side or the other.  Right now it’s a seller’s market so we are seeing many buyers and their agents upset and angry.  “Why didn’t we get that house?  We offered more money but the other buyer got it.  How come we can’t know what the other buyer is offering?  We could have then beat it!”

These are the realities of real estate in Ottawa today.  What you need is a representative who can guide you though this.  Is their a representative out there that can guarantee to get you the home you want?  NO!  There are too many factors and people involved to make that kind of claim.  What we can promise it that we’ll give you the straight facts.  No fantastic promises.  Just the facts and how to best navigate the market!

8 reasons selling without a real estate agent is a recipe for disaster

So, you want to save money.  That’s the goal of most people who try to sell their home privately and go the For Sale By Owner (FISBO) route. It certainly can’t be for the fun of it.  Making appointments, showing strangers through your home, not knowing if the stranger is a legitimate buyer or just casing your home, not knowing what to say to buyers and what not to say, dealing with lawyers, inspectors and reviewing offers that you have no idea what is really in them. You need all the facts when making a decision to sell yourself and one of those facts is that even for sale by owners or those using mere posting real estate services (lower commission but no representation or services) end up paying a real estate agent some commission.  And that agent is working for the buyer and not for the seller.  Real estate agents will search for the best homes like the ones from that are for sale that they have information about but they won’t bring their buyer to a FISBO for free.  If the buyer has to pay their own agent they will just deduct it from their offer as it is normal practice for the seller to pay commission.  Right away you are not saving as much as you might have thought and more times than not, loosing money.

Let’s face it, selling a home without a real estate agent is just plain risky. FSBOs jeopardise time, money, and most importantly, an advantageous outcome.

But, despite research that shows that FSBO listings sell for about 5.5 percent less than comparable properties sold through the MLS, some sellers still want to go the do-it-yourself route, forgoing the cost of commission and the aid of an agent. Toronto real estate experts provide exceptional service and results to her clients.

In reality, a listing agent brings more to the table than most homeowners realize. Here are 8 valuable reasons why you should use the services of a full time, full service real estate agent.

  1. Knowledge

What you don’t know can absolutely hurt you, and it can come back to bite you even worse.

A real estate agent’s knowledge is priceless.

Agents know what the internet doesn’t tell consumers, and we can provide insight that consumers can’t get online.

Agents know how to make sense of the data and the entire selling process so that sellers and their home are fully prepared before hitting the market.

  1. Time

Everyone’s time is valuable, but do sellers truly have time to attempt to play the real estate agent role?

Are sellers available to show their homes in a safe manner, and is it accessible on a moment’s notice?

How will sellers handle showings when they are on vacation for a week and there are cash buyers in town?

Can you say “lost opportunity”?

Do sellers have the time to devote to scheduling and managing showing appointments? What about feedback? Do sellers know what questions to ask and the best way to reach agents to elicit a response?

Are they able to aptly respond to agent and buyer questions, concerns and objections in a manner that will help overcome the hesitation to move forward?

Are sellers able to offer solutions to buyer-perceived obstacles with the property? Can they furnish expert resources such as architects, contractors, designers, engineers or other experts?

  1. Presentation

Image is everything when it comes to real estate. You never get a second chance to make a first impression, and the same goes for putting a property up for sale.

Do sellers know how to properly prepare their home for sale, and do they know what it needs or doesn’t need?

  1. Are they able to stage it or bring in someone who can? What about professional photography, drone, video and 3D? Are they able to orchestrate photo and video shoots with ease and know who to contact? What about photo styling and having an eye for how a space will translate on camera?
  2. Marketing

How are sellers going to market their property? Do they know who the buyer demographic is for their home and/or neighborhood? How do sellers reach buyers?

Do sellers have access to predictive analytics or know how to strategically promote the listing to other agents in the community and on social media?

What kind of print media is appropriate for the property, and how will sellers have that created and printed? What agents are most likely to have buyers for the home?

Are they local or regional, or must sellers reach out nationally or internationally?

In real estate, the world doesn’t seem so vast as agent networks are strong, and six degrees of separation often ensues when an agent in Ottawa, Toronto or Vancouver reaches out to his or her agent contact in Calgary, Halifax or Montreal about a buyer for a property.

  1. Negotiation experience

So the sellers received an offer. Now what? How do they respond? What do they look for in that purchase agreement?  What is good or bad?  Are they protected or left exposed?

In this hot seller’s market, are sellers prepared to take multiple offers and milk a bidding war to get the best deal?

What terms and conditions could be disadvantageous to the sellers? What costs should or shouldn’t they incur? Do they know how to negotiate to keep the buyer in the game versus walking away?

How do they strike a delicate balance between protecting their interests as a seller and working with the buyer toward the goal of putting an agreement together?

Here’s where what sellers don’t know can hurt them the most.  And there is a lot that most seller don’t know that they don’t know!

Recently I came across the concept of VA home loans, I personally have seen many homes being financed for veterans, but none offered the services such as VA home loans are offering. If you are a veteran and are having a hard time in finding the right house for yourself due to financial issues, then I highly recommend you check out VA home loans to avail offers like 0% downpayment and low-interest rates.

  1. Inspectionand repair know-how 

This is one of the most difficult parts of a real estate transaction, even for real estate professionals. Do sellers know what inspections they should expect?

How should they handle items that are flagged as needing repair or replacement by an inspector? What kinds of repairs are usually done by a seller, except for the obvious ones: HVAC repair, flea management with the help of services like Pest Control Chicago, etc?

Do they have a roster of repair people at the ready who can come out on a moment’s notice?

Hint: It’s typically not who you find in the Yellow Pages or by doing a Google search.

If sellers don’t know better, they could find themselves making an improvement, not a repair on their home for a new buyer.

  1. Transaction management

So the home is under contract with a buyer. What do sellers do next? Do they know who they need to be in contact with?

Who is going to be handling the closing? What items should they be following up on? How will they handle challenges like the property not appraising for the contract sales price or the deal potentially derailing due to home inspection issues?

What happens if the buyer’s financing is shaky?

  1. Closing finesse

Do sellers know what the closing protocol is in their market and what the expectations are? When do sellers have to be completely moved out of the house?

In some markets, that means by the day of closing, and in others, the seller has possession for a few days after closing.

What condition are sellers expected to leave the home in? How do they handle unexpected, last-minute issues that may arise: the movers damage the home when moving belongings out, the air conditioner is on the fritz, or worse yet, the moving crew doesn’t show up when they are supposed to.

Selling a home without an agent is like throwing caution to the wind along with the commission.

The perceived savings can come back to bite sellers in terms of uninformed decisions and costly mistakes that — in the long run — end up costing sellers more money than if they would have used an agent to protect their interests and help them justify their home’s value in the first place.


It’s Canada Day again at lets hope this time Parliament Hill is more accessible and lets us all enjoy being in Ottawa during this festive weekend.

We really should be celebrating being Canadian and living in a country that does its best to be inclusive and fair.  Sure, it’s not perfect and there are many areas we can do better in but just look South and you’ll see what could be.

No matter what your background, faith, beliefs or political stripe



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