Quick Tip: Be Aware you might be on Candid Camera!

This day and age there is a lot of seller leveraging information technology to protect themselves, and to get a leg up on the competition. Be aware that when viewing homes, with your Realtor or at open houses, there is a good chance you're being recorded.

Market Update July 2014- Record setting numbers yet again..

That makes it the third month in a row that the sales statistics in the LSTAR jurisdiction (London) have hit record highs. We see it in the streets every day and the buzz among professionals is this have only been getting busier and busier. Our days often begin at 6-7am and end at well after 11pm as the buyers and sellers are making moves at all hours of the day. This month included 4 Multiple on 4 different properties, 20+ contract drafted, 7 new listing opportunities and countless inquiries as to what is going on out there in the wild(literally we were standing in a cow pasture listings a farm with a very friendly cow last night.).  Granted, Real Estate is hyper local and every single community within a city is experiencing differing degrees of activity, so if you're wondering where these are an what types of transactions are happening feel free to give us a call. We'll be happy to tell you what your neighbours place just sold for or what to expect in the next 3-6 months to help you plan accordingly.  519-860-6547 or by email

More Bylaw Changes Looming


City Planner are looking at possibly changing yet another bylaw in London to ban Granny Flat's in North London.  Planner Eric Lalande states that in the long run the by-law change would make it easier for people to build granny flats as "“If it’s a legal granny flat, then it would remain legal. If it is not conforming or an illegal granny flat, then it would have to comply with the new policies.”

Seems to us like the general consensus among people is why change something that isn't broken? It would be understandable if the flats were causing undue harm to the neighbourhoods or impacted our city on a social or economic level but that doesn't seem to be the case. Coun. Sandy White is looking to defer the proposed change until Tuesday.  

"What’s a granny flat?

  • Part of a house turned into a self-­contained unit that houses one or two people, typically in a basement or attic
  • Often used for aging parents, a young adult in the family or nannies.

Among proposed rules

  • Banned in a large swath of north London.
  • Allowed in single detached and semi-detached dwellings and townhouses.
  • Maximum one granny flat per dwelling, must be on same lot
  • Maximum one bedroom per granny flat, no more than five total in granny flat and main house
  • Must be licensed
  • Site plan approval not required for granny flat in main house"


Three lessons for landlords and homeowners


If are looking to becoming a landlord or homeowner, here are three simple lessons to help get you off on the right foot. 



#1. Do your research; 

One of the most overlooked aspects of Real Estate is

the information that is so readily available. Since it's inception the MLS system has undergone a number of changes. Back in the day in order to buy property you would contact a Realtor who would show up with a book of properties of which you would be directed to the ones you would like to see (sometimes with some serious arm bending.) . When the MLS system when public there was a consensus among Realtors that the "sky was falling" and it would spell the end of our industry.  Fast forward a number of years and we have seen the same perspective when it came to releasing the MLS data to consumers. Guess what? Having consumers have access to the same data that we do at our fingertips makes us better at our jobs. Being able to discuss properties and deals in real time with our clients gives us the ability to service them better and be more nimble and close more deals. The naysayers that fight against the purveyance of information can keep doing so, we'll gladly assimilate this into our business model and lift our clients to new heights. Rant over........


Now that you know you have access to tons of information have some fun! Determine what types of properties interest you and what areas you are excited about investing in. Isn't that your job? you say?- Yes and no. We are here to support you and provide guidance and understanding of the market and it's prevailing condition but don't count yourself short. You're intelligent and capable, and being part of the process will make for more intelligent and educated decisions.   Look around you-Real Estate is after all local so take note of properties you could see yourself owning as you go about your day to day life.  Feel free to be broad on this search, dream a little! The more concise you can get with you're ideal the property the better we can serve you!


#2. Don't be so sensitive

Whether it be buying your first starter home or 3.4 Million Dollar 40 Plex business is business. We stand by our credo that making a decision when it comes to an investment is a business decision. We've seen people get emotionally attached to a concept or idea of property ownership and we've also seen people pushed into deal by advisors as if there will never be another deal. Real Estate is cyclical and inherently properties will always be changing hands. There will be another home, investment property and piece of vacant land for you to buy. Make sure the property is sufficiently vetted and invest where the numbers make sense. Now let me state that being passionate about investing is a whole different beast. Feel free to let that out and have some fun while you're going through the process. You should feel a sense of excitement and growth as you move along the buying process and if you don't, on to the next one!

#3.Build a team

Yes we are going to tell you to hire a Realtor. Yes we are Realtors. We understand the assumption that everyone makes when they're getting an opinion from someone in the industry they are working in. We are also going to tell you that you should have a team of professional s around you. Just like  head coach Chip Kelley of the incredible Philadelphia Eagles has a supporting cast of offensive and defensive coordinators, you'll need a team of lawyers, accountants, Mortgage professionals and yes...Realtor as your supporting cast. 

The #1 thing we'd recommend in selecting your team. TRUST. Make sure your team is looking out for you and hire the right people to represent your interests. This is the customers service business after all!

Some facts: 

  • REALTORS® must adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and Standards of Business Practice ; your guarantee of professional conduct and service excellence.
  • We have the facts on comparable pricing, neighbourhood trends and housing market conditions, data you can use to set your best course of action and maximize your investments resale 
  • The Real Estate Assurance Fund is available to you in the rare event of fraud, or breach of trust by a REALTOR®. It is your protection against financial loss. This fund is financially supported by our members; and,
  • A licensed brokerage supervises the business conduct of all REALTORS® to ensure their compliance.
  • We take into account each clients unique wants and needs and tailor our work around them. We understand that every situation is different and put in the hours needed to ensure the attention to detail is provided from start to finish. 


Why using us can be free!


A common misconception in our industry is that as soon as a Realtor is involved we tack on a hefty commission. The fact of the matter is when you are buying property (commercial or residential) and or leasing space , typically the commission is paid our on the listing side. What does that mean? It means the person trying to sell or lease the space is paying for YOUR Realtor. The reason we are bringing this topic up is that if that's the case, why  wouldn't you want a talented Full-Time Realtor who will get you the best price for your property or lease?


Here's what is looks like from our end: 

We can:

-Find our what the going market rate for the property is

-Access property history to give you an exact breakdown for the seller or lessors position

-Represent your full interests and negotiate on your behalf to ensure you get the best price and conditions.  

--We have a finger on the pulse of the housing market and is knowledgeable about developments and trends in real estate

-We can negotiate the best deal. There are myriad negotiating factors of which we eat and breath on a daily basis. 

-REALTORS® must adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and Standards of Business Practice; your guarantee of professional conduct and service excellence. 


Our business is build on honesty, integrity and hard work. We earn our business and hold ourselves in the highest regard when it comes to customer service. If you are looking to buy or lease property any time soon we are here for you. Contact us any time with any questions or inquiries. It's our goal to be your true partners in all things Real estate. 


Attention to detail crucial at open houses


First impressions can apply to property as well as people.

As the busy spring season kicks off in real estate, many salespeople will be hosting or assisting at open houses. Make sure that the property you are showcasing appears at its best and you will likely expedite a faster, smoother closing sale.

Anna Vozza of Windsor, a real estate salesperson with 12 years of experience, has developed a checklist to ensure that her open houses are seen to their best advantage.

“When I plan an open house for a client, I try to take the same care and time that I would if it were my own house,” says Vozza, also a member of the Ontario Real Estate Association board of directors and past president of the Windsor-Essex County Association of REALTORS®.

“There’s nothing like walking into a crisp, clean house,” she says. “Before I arrange the open house, I try to think what qualities would make this property appealing to me and what could be improved, and then I take the steps to apply that. Otherwise, you aren’t giving the home the best exposure that you can.”

Advertising in advance and making use of technology and social media to share details of your open house are also vital, says Vozza. “The potential buyer is no longer just the person driving through the neighbourhood on a Sunday afternoon or looking for open houses in the local paper,” she notes. “Many people now use technology as part of their search and this is the future. Now that the internet and social media are with us, we must use those tools to communicate with consumers and with other REALTORS®.”

Before throwing open the doors to potential buyers, she advises home sellers, brokers and salespeople to use the following checklist:

De-clutter. This can't be overemphasized. A cluttered home is a turnoff to most buyers. It's also potentially dangerous: you don't want people injured as they navigate through the clutter. And don't stuff everything into cabinets and closets -- people will be looking there to assess storage capacity. Either get rid of it or store it offsite.

Clean up. This goes beyond everyday cleaning like dusting, sweeping and scrubbing the bathtub. Think “deep clean”. Carpets should be steam-cleaned, drapes washed or dry cleaned, upholstery vacuumed and shampooed, if necessary. Attend to often-ignored areas – the top of the fridge, cobwebbed corners and the interiors of cabinets and ovens. The bathroom and kitchen should be spotless. A maid service is a worthwhile investment to get the best offer.

Get a check-up. Consider having a pre-listing home inspection report prepared. Potential buyers can examine it, noting repairs you've made over time and easing their mind about the property.

Revive and repair. A fresh coat of light, neutral paint is practically obligatory. If you have decent hardwood underneath grungy or out-dated carpet, get rid of the carpet and refinish the floors. Take care of scuffed woodwork, ripped wallpaper, water damage and exposed wiring. Half-finished home improvement projects deter buyers; complete any such projects if possible.

Enhance curb appeal. Most buyers form conclusions about a property from the curb. Cast the same critical eye on your home's exterior. Does the roof need repair? Are the gutters overflowing with debris? Does the front lawn look like a junkyard? Does the driveway need sealing? Make any necessary improvements. Try buying a new doormat and decorate with some container plants.

Lawn and order. If you haven't paid attention to landscaping, it's too late to start planting trees. Prune, trim and weed whatever you have. Consider having a professional landscape plan done, which may help buyers envision potential for the home. Don't forget interior landscaping: if you have no healthy house plants, buy a few attractive specimens and locate them strategically around the house. Dump any dead or dying plants.

Depersonalize. Put away family photos, children's artwork, trophies, pet toys, etc., to help buyers imagine themselves in your home. Clear all the junk off the fridge; the kitchen will look bigger and cleaner.

Take the sniff test. Check for off-putting odours that can cost you a sale. Advise your clients that you (or a trusted friend or neighbour) can help identify bad smells in the home. Common culprits include cigarette smoke, laundry, bathroom mould and mildew, garbage cans, musty basement, cooking smells, litter boxes and other pet paraphernalia. Don't attempt to cover up bad smells with deodorizers and air fresheners -- address the problem.

Light up your life. Check that every fixture in the house has a working light bulb of the maximum safe wattage. Clean all the windows so buyers can appreciate the brightness of the rooms.

Get it out of sight. Before allowing strangers to tour your home, stash all valuables in safe places. Jewellery, cameras, credit cards, ID, medications and other small, easily pocketed items should be locked away. Remove fragile items from harm's way. Make sure that the insurance policy is up-to-date.

Following these tips will help you to maximize the impact of your open house and ideally move you closer to a sale.