Welcome to Toronto — land of the housing market armchair expert and a place where everyone speaks the language of condos, houses, and the latest Toronto Real Estate data.

When you live in a city where real estate is at the tip of everyone’s tongue and in the grasp of their fingertips (online, in magazines, newspapers, etc.), it’s routine for me, a top producing Toronto Realtor Estate Agent working 7 days a week buying and selling downtown, to be schooled on the market by non-Realtors. Which is hilar, considering it’s my profession…and what I eat, breathe and sleep every day. But, I get it. Real estate is not only a hot topic but something that affects us ALL. And everyone loves to weigh in — whether they know what they’re talking about or not.

It’s no different, really, than when the Super Bowl comes back around — or the lead up to the finale to The Bachelor  — and suddenly every Johnny-or-Jill-come-lately has an opinion, even if it’s a largely uninformed one.

Well, opinions are like you-know-what’s, right? And everybody has a you-know-what. (Keeping this PG rated, here!)

Since one of the biggest parts of my job is that of an objective educator, I thought I’d present you with a little Toronto real estate quiz — touching on a few of the biggest myths and misconceptions around — to test just how informed you are. Let’s see how you do…

THE TORONTO REAL ESTATE QUIZ

1) TRUE OR FALSE? You need to be rich to buy property in Toronto… 

2) TRUE OR FALSE? When selling a home, price it above actual value to create room for negotiation… 

3) TRUE OR FALSE? If your realtor finds out that the property their buyer is interested in is ‘haunted’, they have to tell you… 

4) TRUE OR FALSE? The first two weeks on the market promise the best opportunity for getting the most money on the sale…

5) TRUE OR FALSE? Close to half of the 40,000+ Realtors in Toronto are doing next to no business… 

6) TRUE OR FALSE? If you’re a buyer, schools don’t matter when you don’t have kids…

7) TRUE OR FALSE? Sellers who go it alone leave money on the table… 

8) TRUE OR FALSE? Agents will say anything to make a sale… 

9) TRUE OR FALSE? The Realtor.Ca website is always up to date… 

10) TRUE OR FALSE? Spring is the best time to sell a home… 

 

(Scroll down for the answers)….

 

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THE TORONTO REAL ESTATE QUIZ ANSWERS

1) TRUE OR FALSE? You need to be rich to buy property in Toronto… 

FALSE! I actually covered this in last week’s post. READ IT HERE! The point I made there — and will stress again now — is that while your current income, wealth and financial standing are definitely important, they alone do not dictate the odds of landing a house in Toronto. Look at smart early investors, or savvy savers, or DINK (double income, no kid) couples, or those making withdrawals from the ‘bank of mom and dad’. Bottom line? You’ve got to plan ahead, live in a fiscally responsible manner, make prudent economic decisions that could take years to pay dividends, potentially rely on family and follow the examples carved out by successful buyers before you.

2) TRUE OR FALSE? When selling a home, price it above actual value to create room for negotiation… 

FALSE! In my opinion, there is maybe NO more important thing to nail when selling a home than price. Getting it wrong can serve as your coup de grâce — a deathblow, if you will. This certainly applies to pricing a home higher that its real value, so there’s room for negotiations with a potential buyer. Remember, the internet has made today’s buyers more educated than ever. So most won’t consider a property that’s been so obviously overpriced by tens of thousand of dollars. Trust me, they won’t even come look at it, that’s how instantly they pass. The result? Not just a house that sits on the market for ages, but a whole lot of exasperation on your end.

3) TRUE OR FALSE? If your realtor finds out that the property their buyer is interested in is ‘haunted’, they have to tell you… 

TRUE! Realtors must be very aware of their obligations around disclosure when it comes to stigmatized properties. While I haven’t had many clients worry about a ghost camping out in the attic, I would have to let them know about any sinister stuff that may have taken place their in the past. It’s important to note that sellers and their agents have no legal obligation to disclose information about suicides, murders, or any other matters which might stigmatize the house. However, as a buyer’s agent we are required by our regulator, the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO), to “discover and verify the pertinent facts relating to the property and the transaction.”

4) TRUE OR FALSE? The first two weeks on the market promise the best opportunity for getting the most money on the sale… 

TRUE! The most qualified and interested prospective buyers are present at this time. They’ll be the ones waiting outside five minutes before your open house starts, and five hours after to scope out what kind of activity it got. So your pricing here is critical, because if you get two or more intent buyers, then you may have yourself a multiple offer situation, which means more profit for you. Yay!

5) TRUE OR FALSE? Close to half of the 40,000+ Realtors in Toronto are doing next to no business… 

TRUE! Don’t just take my word for it, however. The Toronto Real Estate Board went on record about this only a couple years ago. By their count in 2015, there were 42,825 agents in the GTA. 17,536 of them — or 41% — had recorded zero or just one transaction in a year. Fast forward to the fall of 2017 where we have 48,000 agents…but the percentages are still up and around the same.

6) TRUE OR FALSE? If you’re a buyer, schools don’t matter when you don’t have kids… 

FALSE! Here’s another matter that I already addressed, once upon a time. Houses in good school zones tend to appreciate at a much higher rate than those which do not. It’s a matter of value!

7) TRUE OR FALSE? Sellers who go it alone leave money on the table… 

TRUE! Back in 2015, FSBO (for sale by owner) transactions comprised 8% of home sales. This according to the National Association of Realtors down in the US of A, that is. Here’s the stat which really counts, though: of that 8%, the typical FSBO home only sold for $185,000, as opposed to the $240,000 generated by agent-assisted deals. Moreover, getting the right price was deemed the most difficult task for most FSBO sellers. Well, same applies here in Canada.

8) TRUE OR FALSE? Agents will say anything to make the sale… 

FALSE! I mean, yes, it’s an unfortunate reality that some agents will bend the truth to get things done. But in this case, one or two bad apples really don’t spoil the whole bunch. Upholding a client’s trust is paramount to top producing agents, who maintain a healthy reputation in their community. Which affirms that practicing real estate with honesty and integrity is the only way we know how to do the job. Also, making false statements or misrepresentations is against the law. Agents that break fiduciary relationships are not only subject to losing their license to sell real estate, but even prosecution.

9) TRUE OR FALSE? The site Realtor.Ca is always up to date… 

FALSE! In fact, many of the properties that appear on the site have, believe it or not, already been sold (or sold conditionally). Or, you’re seeing certain listing days after your Realtor and/or buyers with their own Realtors have seen them.

10) TRUE OR FALSE? Spring is the best time to sell a home… 

FALSE! I’d go ahead and call this one of the greater myths of selling your home. Right up there with thinking you can do it all on your own without the help of a professional. (Yes, that was something of a shameless plug for me!) Real estate isn’t seasonal, especially in a sellers’ market like Toronto’s, where some months may experience relative lows — but all feature aggressive action through rain, hail, sleet and snow. (In 2017 here, the best 4 months to sell your home was the greyest, coldest months of January, February, March and April. The spring flowers weren’t helping anyone deal with the falling prices by May.) 

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