Archive for January 2021

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Why YOU Should Insist You Sign a Buyer Representation Agreement with your REALTOR

Clients often ask me about the Buyer Representation Agreement or B.R.A.  They don’t know what it is or how it benefits them as a client.  And they wonder if they should be concerned about signing it.

The B.R.A. has to do with what real estate calls agency representation. Agency representation is a written agreement that protects the clients and their information.

At one time, there was only seller representation. We had no buyer representation. Depending on when you last bought, you may not have encountered this document. Even though I might be helping you buy a house, I would really be working for the seller.

Well, not having a client agreement means you are unrepresented by me as a Realtor. Sure I can take you to see houses and spend weeks or months assisting you, but that doesn’t mean I am representing you.

Without that representation agreement, by law I can disclose any of your information or intentions to the other side.

When you ARE represented, it means I have an exclusive relationship with you and I am bound by law to relay any information I learn about a property to you. I also must keep your interests first and foremost, and I must maintain confidentiality around your interest in a property.  If I learn of your purchasing strategy, I am prohibited from disclosing that information.

Remember, without a written, current Buyer Representation Agreement, you are unrepresented.

You remain a customer, not a client. A Customer agreement states I am not working for you as a buyer. I only have a duty to treat you fairly, honestly, and with integrity. I am unable to provide you with advice or an expert opinion, just data.

Some additional benefits to you:

– There is nothing in the agreement that states you must buy anything at all.

– There is no extra fee to have my services as a client.

So find a Realtor you know, like and trust and sign a Buyer Representation Agreement. Protect your interests and hire a real estate expert like me who will work on your behalf.  Call me anytime. Let me help you find your dream home.

– Chip Barkel, CLHMS, MCNE, SRES, eXp Realty, Toronto Real Estate. Extraordinary Service. Top Results.

Chips Charities: Toronto Firefighters Toy Drive

My grandfather was a fire chief and my Dad was a fireman. In fact, my Dad was born on the day of a big parade firemen were scheduled to march in, so my Dad was made an honourary fire chief the day he was born. Even after my Dad was no longer active, I remember being awakened to “bring your pillow, we’re going to a fire.” I assumed all kids did this and never questioned it. Off we’d go in our station wagon and we’d have a front-row place to watch the excitement. Usually, my Dad would help in directing traffic or something. It was a small town, and the fire department was in his blood.

I also remember a few very special Christmases where I woke up to a bicycle under the Christmas tree. Well, the first technically was a tricycle, but no less special.  I would have been 3, 6, and 10. Great memories. I grew up to love cycling. I have done many long-distance cycling trips including Niagara, Falls, Vermont, Boston to Philadelphia, and San Francisco to Los Angeles.

Since I started in real estate, I have always given a portion of my income to a community charity. I have decided to dedicate those monies to the Toronto Firefighters Toy Drive. I thought this was just a Christmas campaign, but I found out it is a year-round effort, since fires happen all year long and children lose their toys when their family loses everything. I love the thought of giving new memories to kids who have suffered a loss. My loyal clients create the opportunity for me to do that.

This Christmas I donated four bicycles to the Toronto Firefighters Toy Drive.  Tamara Sylvan told me there was a distinct need for ages 10 and up, so I purchased two appropriate for 10-year-olds and two larger ones for older ages. Tamara told me when she delivered two of them, the children receiving them screamed with delight.

I am hoping to be able to make even more children scream with delight at Christmas 2021.

Pantone Colours of the Year for 2021

Pantone Colours of the Year for 2021
“Illuminating”  and “Ultimate Gray”

Pantone has chosen not one, but two colours this year as the 2021 Colours of the Year. 2020 was a difficult year for many: being in lockdown and not able to move about of see friends and family, cancellation of weddings, living with or in fear of infection, and inability to visit friends in care facilities or even attend funerals of loved ones.  Ultimate Gray is a soothing colour of stability and represents a timeless neutral solid foundation. In contrast, Illuminating is a bright, happy, and hopeful yellow signifying that brighter days are ahead in 2021. The sun shines brightest after the storm.

Pantone’s executive director Leatrice Eiseman described Ultimate Gray as “emblematic of solid and dependable elements which are everlasting and provide a firm foundation such as the colours of pebbles on the beach,” while Illuminating is “a bright and cheerful yellow sparkling with vivacity”.

Pantone colours provide an excellent opportunity to work them into your 2021 home décor while supporting local business.

DM Stitches, a small business proudly based in Toronto, creates custom textiles in your choice of colours and fabrics. In addition to providing custom sewing services to other businesses, DM Stitches sells face masks, pet accessories and home décor direct to consumers through their website.

Shown below are some throw pillows and a dog bed sporting Pantone’s 2021 colours, Illuminating Yellow & Ultimate Gray.

 

Contact DM Stitches:
Email: dm@dmstitches.ca
Website: www.dmstitches.ca

Discount: 10% off until Feb 28
Coupon Code: chipbarkel

December 2020 Toronto Real Estate Report

December 2020 Toronto Real Estate Market Stats

 

December 2020 Toronto Real Estate Market Report

The December residential resale market continued at a gallop. Excellent results for any month, but extraordinary considering it was a holiday month. 7,179 properties were reported sold, less than a month earlier (-1,582), but an unbelievable 63.2% higher than December 2019. These numbers are more indicative of a Spring market, rather than a December market. There were only 4.399 residential properties reported sold last year in the same month. December’s numbers continue the Toronto real estate marketplace’s record-breaking streak. Days on Market (DOM) has increased to 24 days, which is healthier, giving buyers a chance to actually view properties. The number of sales for the year came in at 95,147, an 8.4% increase over 2019, the highest since 2016.

Prices were up on a year-over-year basis for all major home types, both in the City of Toronto and surrounding GTA regions, with the exception of condominiums. In December the average sale price for all properties sold in the greater Toronto area came in at $932,004, slightly less than November’s average price of $955,613, but a healthy 11.2% higher than December 2019’s average price of $837,788.

In the City of Toronto, the average sale price came in at $894,576 which represents a -8.7 change over last month and a -4.0% difference from the Toronto Real Estate Board’s overall numbers. This could be indicative of what people have been reporting anecdotally: many are choosing to buy in the suburbs where their money buys more square footage, larger gardens, and closer proximity to green space.

It is also worth noting that the higher end of the marketplace continued to be robust, as well.
In December, 150 properties having a sale price of $2 million or more were sold, only 12 of which were condominiums. By comparison, only 83 properties in this category were reported sold last year (8 were condos), a healthy increase of 80.7%.

In December condominium sales were up, 73.8% compared to last year. Sale prices however were down (-2.0%) to $600,840 in the Greater Toronto area. In the City of Toronto’s central core, the average sale price was $625,828. It should be noted, however, that this number is down slightly from $640,208 last month, a decrease of 2.2%.  Condominium apartment showings and prices are both down. It is not uncommon for listing prices to be reduced after the initial listing on TRREB’s MLS. This is significant because buyers have taken notice that condominium prices had dropped by 10% or more and a huge number of buyers have jumped back into the condo market. Price drops in Toronto, as well as price increases in the 905 region, have both contributed to the increase in the number of condo sales. The trend of buying in the near suburbs and countryside also seems to be continuing.

While the strength of the December 2020 market is surprisingly strong, it could be the result of pent-up demand. People who postponed a move in 2019 were delayed again by the Covid-19 pandemic in Spring 2020 and they seem to be playing catch up. Considering activity came to a standstill in the Spring, it’s amazing we finished 2020 with an 8.4% increase in sales over last year. The number of sales and the increase in average prices support this as does the interest and activity I am already seeing for 2021. Low-interest rates and continued demand bode well for the new year.