Hot Condo of the Week: 8 York Street #3104

TorontoRealtyBlog

Welcome to the WaterClub!

This building was developed by Kolter Group and it was registered in April 2004.

It has 37 storeys and 431 units, and it is managed by Simerra management.

Exceptional city and lake views from the 31st floor of this landmark waterfront building.

Well-appointed 1-Bed, 1-Bath with 554 sqft. with owned parking space and locker, open concept kitchen with open counters, large master bedroom, long Juliette balcony.

Incredible amenities include: indoor/outdoor pool, sauna, gym, billiard room, landscaped terrace, party room, and 24/7 concierge.

Let’s take a look!

Price: $499,900

Taxes: $2,256.56/2016

Bedrooms: 1

Bathrooms: 1

Maintenance Fees: $386.03

Apx Sqft:  500-599

Offers: Anytime

MLS: C3851511

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What do you think about our Hot Condo of the Week? Yay or Nay?

The post Hot Condo of the Week: 8 York Street #3104 appeared first on Toronto Real Estate Property Sales & Investments | Toronto Realty Blog by David Fleming.

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A Whole New Level Of Crazy!

TorontoRealtyBlog

If you’re a long-time reader of TRB, you know I love crazy houses.

And by that, I mean houses that are both crazy, and more often than not, result from crazy owners.

We’ve seen some doozies over the years, which I’ll recap below, just for those who haven’t seen them.

But I think as we approach the 10th anniversary of Toronto Realty Blog, I’ve found the craziest house of all time…

FerrellCrazy

If you don’t know:

a) who that is
b) what movie that’s from
c) why I’m using it in reference to “crazy”
d) every single line from the entire scene, start to finish, that you can reenact, both roles, in both characters, pre-and-post-dart

Then you’re not 36-years-old…

I remember walking through Blockbuster Video in Sunnybrook Plaza, circa 2003, with my then-girlfriend, and suggesting that we rent Old School.

Blockbuster Video always showed off the best movies by having dozens of copies (or empty movie cases) on the wall, the symmetry of which would draw the eye, and later, the individual.

That blue-and-white cover of Old School, with a cast of characters on the front of the box, who all seemed to be having the best time, drew me right in.

“How about this, muffin?” I asked her, with “muffin” being a synonym for baby, pookie, sweetie, something with the word “bear” in it – whatever was en vogue at the time.

“That looks stupid,” she told me.  “Why are you always so stupid?”

“Here, we’re getting this,” she said, as she thrust a copy of “The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen” in my hands.

Totally fair.

Anything with “extraordinary” in the title, and with a cast including the likes of Sean Connery, had to be a compromise.

Only The League would go on to be a complete bust, and Old School would go on to be a cult classic.

True story, folks.

Agree or not, Old School, is, in fact, the very definition, of the term “cult classic.”

Guys, it’s okay if you’re in your 30’s or 40’s, and can’t admit that you still laugh at Old School.

It’s one of those movies that, if it’s playing at 11:34pm on a Saturday night, and your wife is in bed, you can turn on at ANY point in the middle of the movie, and immediately find yourself immersed.

And for those of you that haven’t seen the “film” in a decade, it’s okay if you still find yourself quoting lines from the movie on a whim.  It’s just like riding a bike; it never really leaves your soul.

Old School is the only movie to ever be ranked 9.9 out of 10 or higher on IMDB, for movies with over 1,000,000 votes.

Old School is also the only movie to ever garner fourteen Academy Award nominations.

And yes, both of those statements, are completely made up.

Okay, that was a bit of a rant.  But at least I know what I’m watching on Saturday night after my wife falls asleep…

So back to the idea of crazy houses!

They come in many different shapes and forms.  Sometimes they’re oddly decorated, and sometimes they have insane possessions inside, but either way – there’s a certain level of crazy involved.

Then again, sometimes they’re more like “art.”

In 2011, I did a feature called “Top Five: Bizarre Houses.”  This was a collection of notable houses around the world, which are more for show than anything else.

But the fun crazy houses wear their true feelings on the inside.

Last month, I showed you this house in New Jersey that was oddly decorated, although some of TRB’s readers noted that it’s a solid house, well-kept, and merely needs redecorating.

And who could forget the clown house for sale in Brantford, Ontario back in May.

But a true “crazy house,” at least for blog purposes, is something like the one I blogged about last October in a post called, “The Ugliest House I Have Ever Seen.”

That house wasn’t “art” like those houses around the world, it wasn’t a great house in need of new paint like the one in New Jersey, and it wasn’t simply filled with odd items like the clown house.

It was, as the kid’s say, F’d up.

Well folks, we may have a house that can take away that title.

And as is often the case, from the outside, it looks like a fantastic home.

Here are the photos from MLS, and as you browse through them, ask yourselves, “Just how many cats does this person have?”

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Wow!

And the irony is – this is an outstanding piece of land!

This house is situated on over twenty acres of land in rural Arizona.

And it costs a mere $240,000 USD

Marketed as a “Cat Castle,” it’s clear that the listing agent isn’t shying away from the level of crazy involved.

So once again, yo could make the argument that this is a land-play, and has nothing to do with the crazy house.  A tough argument to make given the availability of acreage throughout the mid-west in areas considered the very definition of the “middle-of-nowhere,” but an argument nonetheless.

If you have a house that can beat this one, post the link below!

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You Won’t Believe The Value In Mississauga | Pick5

TorontoRealtyBlog

 

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What The Heck Is An “Escape Clause?”

TorontoRealtyBlog

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about RECO’s bulletin on “escalation clauses,” and how they were, in my opinion, illegal and unethical.

I got some push back from some of my readers, but perhaps we can agree to disagree for now.

In any event, a lot of the old-timers were joking that escalation clauses were used in the 80’s when the market was slow, painful, and at times – more creative.

So is it any coincidence that escape clauses are making a comeback?

GreatEscape

Please tell me that you know what movie the above image is from?

The Great Escape!

Steve McQueen, Richard Attenborough, James Garner, Charles Bronson, James Coburn – what a cast!

You know how I roll with the feature images: sometimes I’m literal, sometimes I’m about the puns, and then you’ve got the sentimental photos, like the one above.

I figured the ESC key on your keyboard would be a boring photo anyways…

Plus, nobody won my $50 Home Depot gift card from last week’s Pick5, which was the first time that’s ever happened.  I guess nobody who watched played with GI Joe when they were growing up?  So I thought about doubling-down with the image from above, but that’s just too easy.  Right?

Okay, back to the task at hand: escape clauses.

An escape clause, in the most basic term, is a set of circumstances in a contract that allows one party to back out of the deal.

The clause usually has to be triggered – and that can come with its own set of allowable circumstances, and must be done so within a certain time period, and/or allow a certain time period for the other party to make amendments to the agreement.

In real estate, an escape clause is usually used by the seller to get out of an accepted Agreement of Purchase & Sale.

And usually, the seller allows the buyer to firm up the deal – almost containing elements of a shotgun clause.

Here’s a typical clause as seen in an offer, keeping in mind that this clause would be added by the seller, in an agreement that is conditional by the buyer:

Provided further that the Seller may continue to offer the property for sale and, in the event the Seller receives another Offer satisfactory to the Seller, the Seller may so notify the Buyer in writing by delivery to the Buyer personally or in accordance with any other provisions for the delivery of notice in this Agreement of Purchase and Sale or any Schedule thereto. The Buyer shall have 48 hours from the giving of such notice to waive this condition by notice in writing delivered to the Seller personally or in accordance with any other provisions for the delivery of notice in this Agreement of Purchase and Sale or any Schedule thereto, failing which this Offer shall be null and void, and the Buyer’s deposit shall be returned in full without deduction.

Do you see the escape?

So the buyer submits and offer with at least one condition, say they have a condition for five business days on financing.

And the seller says, “I’ll accept your offer, and tie up my home for five business days, but I want to be open to other offers as well.  And if and when I get another offer that I want to accept, I’ll let you know – and you have 48 hours to make up your mind.”

So let’s say there’s an offer accepted today – Wednesday, June 21st, conditional on the buyer obtaining financing, or conducting a home inspection, or getting a lawyer’s opinion, and that condition is for five business days – until next Wednesday, June 28th.

On Friday, a second buyer appears, and expresses interest in the property.

That buyer can make an offer, conditional on the seller being released from the Agreement of Purchase & Sale that already exists.

It’s rare for a buyer to submit an offer with condition that the seller must satisfy, but that’s how the escape clause works.

The listing agent would tell the buyer agent how many days or hours the escape clause is for (in this case, 48), and the buyer would submit the offer with that guidance.

So the buyer submits an offer on Friday night with this clause:

This Offer is conditional upon the Seller being released from a prior Agreement of Purchase and Sale. Unless the Seller gives notice in writing delivered to the Buyer not later than 11:59 p.m. on the 25th day of June, 2017, that this condition is fulfilled, this Offer shall be null and void and the deposit shall be returned to the Buyer in full without deduction.

The seller accepts this offer, which is conditional, and then notifies the first buyer that they have 48 hours to provide a waiver, or sign a mutual release.

The first buyer then has to decide, very simply, whether to go ahead with the transaction or not.

I suppose it all depends on what that condition is for.  If it’s for financing, the buyer might not chance that he or she doesn’t get a mortgage, and thus could walk away.  If it’s for something else, with more discretion, then he or she might sign the waiver, and firm up the deal.

I had my first experience with an escape clause in quite some time, last week.

The process was frustrating, but not just because of the escape clause, but rather because it brought even more fun times into the equation – like out-of-town agents, conditions you haven’t seen in 15 years, and the ever popular “double-ending.”

My clients saw a house two weeks ago that they really liked, and as I always do before I have a showing, I called the brokerage to ask if, a) the property was still available for sale, and b) if there were any registered offers.

In this market, you never know if MLS is one, two, or six days behind reality.  Some of the crummy brokerages don’t update MLS in an efficient manner, and while a property says “Available” on MLS, on Wednesday, June 21st, it might have been sold last Friday.

I was told “Yes” and “No” to my two questions, and so I proceeded with the showing.

My clients put together an offer the next morning, and we submitted it to the listing agent.

The agent called me and informed me that the property had actually sold the night before.

He then informed me that it was to his buyer-client.

But all was not lost here – he told me that it was sold conditionally, and they were still showing the property.

That’s what everybody says.  “Sold conditionally, still showing” is what you get from the office administrator when you go to book a viewing on a condo, and you know there’s a 99.9% chance it firms up because the condition is on Status Certificate.

But with this house, I soon learned, that it was sold conditionally on financing and home inspection.

And then I heard those words that I have, not once in my thirteen years, ever heard: “It’s also sold conditional on the sale of the buyer’s house.”

No.

No way.

I heard that wrong.

It’s 2017, not 1988.

You’re telling me that this property is sold conditionally on three things, one of which is the sale of the buyer’s house?

Oh, wait – you’re representing both buyer and seller.  So as long as you’re willing to screw your seller, you can satisfy your buyer.  Gotcha.

The agent also added, “You know we had two offers, eh?  Mine was higher.”

Well no kidding.  I don’t exactly expect you put them both in sealed envelopes and had your broker of record present them to your seller…

In any event, he told me that the condition on the sale of the buyer’s house came with an escape clause for 48 hours, and we were free to submit an offer after the financing and inspection clauses firmed up.

The clauses for financing and inspection were for five business days, whereas the clause for the sale of the buyer’s property was for thirty days.

So if the deal fell apart on financing or inspection, we wouldn’t have to deal with the escape clause.

So we looked at other properties for a week, and came back to this one after not finding any houses on which we wanted to bid.

We submitted our offer on Wednesday, with the condition on the seller being released from the existing Agreement of Purchase & Sale by the seller, but for some odd reason, the seller granted the buyer a two-day extension on their financing condition.  And by “odd reason,” I’m insinuating more pressure from the listing agent, who was representing the buyer.

Our offer went live that Friday when the buyer waived their financing condition, but it was short-lived, as the buyer immediately waived their condition on the sale of their own property, and firmed up their deal.

I know, I know – this story had a lot of hype, and ended abruptly.

But that’s the point, in the end, since the original buyer has all the power when it comes to the escape clause.

Sure, the seller can include the escape clause to ensure that if they see another offer they want to work with, they can try to do so.  But the original buyer can always firm up the deal when that escape clause is triggered, and the second buyer to the table can only hope, and wait.

That’s what we did for a week – hoped and waited.

The situation was bizarre from the get-go.

The listing brokerage didn’t have a record of the registered offers.

The listing agent provided both buyer and seller to the transaction.

The listing agent provided both buyer and seller to the transaction, while up against another competing offer.

The listing agent “advised” his seller to accept an offer that had three conditions, including one not regularly seen in Toronto since Brian Mulroney was Prime Minister.

The listing agent advised his seller to extend a two-day extension on financing.

Geez, the more I write, the less this becomes a story about escape clauses!

I guess that wasn’t the point, but as I said, the real estate “fun times” just kept rolling in this experience.

I felt really bad for my clients in all this, since being the brutally honest guy that I am, I told them every single thing I was thinking, from the start.  I didn’t sugarcoat it – I told them “this sucks,” and that we found a house we liked, that was listed by somebody who did business………differently.

In the end, we put our best efforts forward, and didn’t come out with the “win.”

Most buyers would have walked away once they found out the property was conditionally sold, but we stuck it out, and kept fighting.

I don’t think conditions on the sale of a buyer’s property are going to make a comeback; at least not in Toronto.

But the good-old “escape clause” seems to be popping up now and again, and it can wreak havoc in a real estate market…

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Hot Loft of the Week: 245 Carlaw Ave #101B

TorontoRealtyBlog

Welcome to the Wrigley Lofts!

This loft was developed by Atria Developments and registered in August of 1998.

It has 5 storeys and 88 units and it is managed by Bonita Management.

Located in between the sought after neighbourhoods of Riverdale and Leslieville.

This gorgeous loft features 14 foot ceilings, flared mushroom columns, and giant metal framed vintage windows.

Let’s take a look!

Price: $890,000

Taxes: $3,329.79 / 2016

Bedrooms: 1+1

Bathrooms: 1

Maintenance Fees: $597.12

Apx Sqft:  1200-1399

Offers: No Offer Date

MLS: E3845796

E3845796 E3845796_2 E3845796_3 E3845796_4 E3845796_5 E3845796_6 E3845796_7 E3845796_8 E3845796_9 E3845796_10 E3845796_11 E3845796_12 E3845796_13 E3845796_14 E3845796_15 E3845796_16 E3845796_17 E3845796_18 E3845796_19 E3845796_20

What do you think about our Hot Loft of the Week? Yay or Nay?

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Hot House of the Week: 100 Borden Street

TorontoRealtyBlog

Welcome to Harbord Village!

Let’s have a look at this gorgeous modern Victorian home.

This home was recently updated with an open concept living and dining area, and custom high ceilings.

Modern and rustic finishes combined!

Finished basement with a walk-up, and a large upscale kitchen with Bosch Appliances that has a walkout to a west facing large deck and landscaped gardens.

Let’s take a look!

Price: $1,149,000

Taxes: $5,097.88 / 2017

Bedrooms: 2+1

Bathrooms: 2

Lot Size: 13.57 x 137.92 Feet

Parking: 1 Spot

Offers: Reviewed June 27th

MLS: C3845858

C3845858 C3845858_2 C3845858_3 C3845858_4 C3845858_5 C3845858_6 C3845858_7 C3845858_8 C3845858_9 C3845858_10 C3845858_11 C3845858_12 C3845858_13 C3845858_14 C3845858_15 C3845858_16

What do you think about our Hot House of the Week? Yay or Nay?

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Welcome To The New Market!

TorontoRealtyBlog

I wonder if Google will pick up those keywords, and I’ll get a hell of a lot of emails about properties in Newmarket…

Anyways, as I mentioned on Friday, I’ve been tracking the post-Victoria-Day listings as I wanted to get a better sense of what properties are selling, and more importantly how they’re selling, ie. with respect to under-listing and holding-back offers, or offers any time.

So let’s look at what I’ve accumulated over the past couple of weeks, and see if we can’t draw some conclusions about the market, and about where your strategy should be, as a seller…

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Back toward the end of May, I shared with you, a growing trend in Toronto real estate: re-listing.

When the market began to change toward the end of April, and into early May, sellers didn’t change with the market, and instead, continued to incorporate the same time-tested strategy of under-listing their properties, holding back offers, and expecting a windfall of offers, and a massive sale-to-list ratio.

But it wasn’t working anymore, or at least, not nearly to the same degree.

I first wrote about the change in this blog post from Ma7 19th: “Real Estate’s New Problem: Listing & Re-Listing.”

Then on the Victoria Day long weekend, I took a snapshot of all the properties listed for sale, and looked up the history of each and every one of them to see how many had been re-listed.  You can read that blog post here: “Listing & Re-Listing: Is THIS The Reason For The Surge In Inventory?”

I had so much with with those numbers, that I decided I wanted to watch them in real time.

So after the Victoria Day long weekend, I kept track of every listing that came out in E01, E02, and E03 that week – May 27th, 28th, 29th, and 30th.

There were exactly 120 new listings that month.

Let’s analyze…

First and foremost, of the 120 new listings, 49 are sold

That’s a sale rate of only 40.1%, and we’re about three weeks into these listings.

Now where I’m the most curious is with regards to how the houses are being sold, ie. those houses being listed with an offer date, and those with offers any time.

Of the 120 new listings, 79 had offer dates, and 41 did not.  That’s 65.8% of houses being listed with offer dates.

However, of the 41 listings that did not have offer dates, 14 were re-lists from listings that were out before Victoria Day Long Weekend.

So eliminating those 14 re-lists, of the 106 “truly-new” listings, those 79 with offer dates represent 74.5%.

And that’s simply amazing to me.

74.5% of new-new listings are still holding back offers.

Even though the market has changed – no seller wants to switch up the strategy.

As I’ve written before: it seems as though sellers today are looking at a two-part strategy: 1) list-low, hold back offers, 2) if the first doesn’t work, then re-list higher.

Now of the 79 properties with offer dates, 55 were under, $1,000,000, and 24 were over $1,000,000.

And if you want to compare the average list price of those properties – both the ones holding back offers, and the ones not holding back offers, the average list price of those holding back offers was $1,024,653, and the average list price of those not holding back offers was $1,419,384.

But back to the 79 properties with offer dates

Of those 79 properties:

35 sold
30 were terminated
3 were suspended
5 remained available
6 increased in price

That’s a sale rate of 44%.

That’s all properties that are holding-back offers; a mere 44% sold on offer night.

And that is the biggest difference between today’s market, and that of February and March.

I submitted an offer last week for a house in Leslieville, listed at $799,900, up against one other offer, and our price was $900,000.  The other offer was almost identical, so I understand from the listing agent, and from discussing with the other buyer agent, who I know well.

That seller decided not to work with either offer, and instead, re-listed at $1,050,000 the next day.

So of the 30 properties that were terminated, 26 were re-listed immediately.  Only four of those 30 properties, that held-back offer, and did not sell on offer night, did not come back onto the market.

Of the 26 were terminated and re-listed, 23 were re-listed higher, and 3 were re-listed lower.

Of those 23 that were re-listed higher, the average increase in price was 16%.

Now here’s the kicker, folks.

And this is the most interesting stat of the lot.

Of the 23 properties that were re-listed higher, after not selling on offer night, only six have sold – that’s 26%.

So if you’re a seller, and you’re listing your property for sale (presumably under-listing), and then terminating the listing, and re-listing higher, you have a 26% of selling your property, inside of two weeks.

Just fascinating.

And yet, as we’ve seen – 74.5% of sellers are holding back offers, that is, when they list the first time around.

And 29.5% of those have come out at a higher price after the offer night.

Now, we should also take a look at the 6 of 79 listings that did a straight increase in their price, since that’s basically the same thing as terminating and re-listing.

How many of those 6 listings do you think have sold?  Considering 26% of the 23 listings that were re-listed at a higher price sold, what would you think?

How about zero.

Yes, zero of the six.

So now let’s add those numbers together: we have 23 properties terminated and re-listed higher, plus 6 that increased their price.  And only 6 sold

That’s 20.7%.

So forget that 26% number I gave you above, in reference to your “chances” of selling your property after holding back offers and then terminating and re-listing higher.  Along with the properties increased in price, we’re now down to essentially a one-in-five shot.

Let’s switch gears now to the other side of the spectrum: the houses that did not hold back offers.

There were 41 properties that did not hold-back offers.

Of those, only 8 have sold.  That’s only 16.3%.

So for all the talk about listing-and-re-listing, under-pricing, holding back, terminating, etc, it seems of the properties listed without an offer date, only 16.3% have sold – and that’s a far lower number!

Of these 41 properties, 18 are under $1,000,000, and 23 are over $1,000,000.

Keep in mind that of the 79 properties with offer dates, those numbers were 55 and 24 respectively.

So in total, of the 41 properties:

8 sold
1 suspended
9 terminated
2 decreased in price
21 remained on the market with no change

Of the 9 listings that were terminated, 8 came back onto the market.

Of those 8 that came back onto the market:

1 increased the price
3 came out at the identical price
4 came out at a lower price

The most interesting of those 8 listings is the one that increased the price, without the offer date and hold-back.  I guess the sellers were being sneaky, and figured they would bring the listing out with “offers any time” but still try to get over the list price.

Of the three that came back out at the identical price, we call this “re-starting the listing.”  If you’re on the market at $1,099,900 for 18 days, and you don’t want to reduce the price, but you want some more eyeballs on the listing, and you want to re-start the timer, you simply terminate, and re-list at the same price.  That way the “new” listing comes up on more automated searches, and on the MLS home page for agents.

As for the four properties that came out at a lower price – that’s just an old-fashioned market for ya!  List a property for sale, not having any success – re-list lower.

One final stat I’ll leave you with: of all the properties that sold, the average sale price was $1,049,461, and of all the properties that didn’t sell, the average list price was $1,267,408.

Now you really have to read into that those stats, since the properties that sold also had an average list price of only $966,323, and of the properties that didn’t sell, I’m using the list price.  Some of those may have been under-listed to try and solicit multiple offers.

But I think either way, we’re seeing that lower-priced properties are selling better.

Folks – I’ve pulled just about as many numbers out of the accumulated statistics as I could, but if you have any questions, email me or comment below and I’ll try to get to them.

Enjoy!

 

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