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         Lynn Tribbling
       Real Estate Newsletter

 

TIPS FOR SELLERS FROM A PRO:
How to Showcase Your Home with
The Hottest New Tool - Virtual Home Staging.                     

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Staged by Lynn.

Window Treatment Virtually Staged

WHY HOME STAGING WORKS?
The Psychology of Seduction

Home staging beguiles with pure fantasy. Skilled home stagers create an enticing and flirtatious first impression which promises untold delights. It hints at a perfect lifestyle of beauty, luxury, order and sensuous comfort  Buyers do not want clutter, repairs, inconvenience, out-dated décor and stress. They already have these in their existing homes.

 

My background is psychology. I recall teaching eager students at Ryerson about Maslow's hierarchy of human needs. Essentially, his theory is that we seek what we are missing in our lives. Simply stated, it is an unsatisfied need that acts a motivation. Once needs are satisfied, we move on to the next priority up the ladder of personal growth.

Buyers want the features and benefits they do not have in their current homes. Staging promises a stress-free lifestyle of pleasure and perfection. Yes, people know when they walk into an exquisitely staged model suite, they are being tricked and enchanted by artifice and illusion, but they are willingly seduced. The promise of bliss is irresistible. The psychology of staging is deliberate and compelling. Staging creates desire. Desire triggers action. Presto! Your home is sold.

SIX STEPS TO STAGING YOUR  HOME

1. SANITIZE ALL SURFACES - Make sure every visible surface sparkles. Pay a professional service to deep-clean the entire home, especially kitchens and bathrooms. Banish spider webs, dust, rust, debris, stains and  odors. Use a lightly scented air freshener or learn how to bake bread before visitors arrive.

2. FINALIZE ANY REPAIRS - Before listing, finish all those pesky repairs you have been putting off for years. Replace dead light bulbs, fix the door bell, re-caulk the shower. Hire a handyman. Make a "To Do" list and roll up you sleeves.

3. MINIMIZE CLUTTER - Dump the junk. Eliminate about 25% of the content of each room. Thin out collectibles, papers, closets, storage spaces and garages. Put away, give away, throw away. Free yourself from the tyranny of stuff. The manta of home staging is: less is more.

4. MAXIMIZE LIGHT AND SPACE - Let the light flood into every room which will increase visual space. Open drapes, lift blinds, add peripheral lighting. Remove furniture from foyers, hallways, create an open, free flowing space.

5. NEUTRALIZE COLOUR - Re-paint your home in shades of white, beige or gray. Eliminate custom, crayon-coloured, accent walls. Strip off patterned wall paper, touch up baseboards and trim. Create a Zen-like, neutral cavass where buyers can project their own contents.

6. ACCESSORIZE WITH FLAIR - Buy new white towels, plump sofa cushions, new duvet and linens. Use a few, carefully curated accessories to create a narrative of the happy lifestyle in your home: 2 glasses and a vintage bottle of wine, serene white orchid in your "spa bathroom". candles by the tub, gourmet cookbook, romantic birthday card on the mantle, friendly snowman in the yard. You get it. Sell the sizzle, not the steak. 

 

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WHAT'S NEW?

THE MAGIC OF
VIRTUAL STAGING

Home Staging works. It accelerates the sale and increases value. The downside is that it is time-consuming, labour intensive and expensive. The latest hot marketing tool for realtors is Virtual Staging. For a fraction of the cost, usually less than $1000, computer wizardry can transform any tired, dated or empty space into a stunning, modern, designer showcase. You can even make clutter magically disappear without lifting a box. Nice.

Virtually Staged Empty Bedroom.
Hard to tell it is an illusion!

 

Virtually Staged Office Area

by Lynn

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Create a Room Where None Exists
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Glamorize Any Room with Virtual Decor

LYNN TRIBBLING

Award-Winning Realtor

Right at Home Realty Inc.

Brokerage

Home Staging Specialist

DIRECT: 416 252-2221

EMAIL: ltribbling@gmail.com

Contact me for staging, remodeling or marketing tips to help sell your home. 

REAL ESTATE TRENDS

SPIKING INTEREST RATES  SHOCK  MARKET:
Sales Slow,  Prices Soften,  Market Sags ... For Now!

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Sharp interest rate hikes hammered any real estate recovery like a Whack-a-Mole Game at the Fall Fair. Prices are still high, but down more than 20% since the peak in 2022. 

 

The Feds wanted to tame inflation, but they succeeded in crushing sales velocity in 2024. Volumes plummeted from 11000 sales per month two years ago, to a scant 6000 by May 2024. 

Alas, cheap money is ancient history. To date, mortgage rates have catapulted from  2% to nearly 7%, the highest in 21 years! Add to this pressure, a further 2% "stress test" and many purchasers, especially first-time buyers, are kicked to the curb. Their buying power has been eviscerated. The average Toronto home requires a household income in excess of $225,000 per year. Ouch!

Yes, the current precarious market is fraught with anxiety and challenges. But, there may be excellent buying opportunities for move-up buyers, downsizers, long-term investors and purchasers with credit and cash.

 

My hunch is that the downward trend is a temporary blip, artificially created by BOC fiscal policies. When rates stabilize, real estate will boom again. Count on it.

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Lynn's Crystal Ball 

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2024  Market Review


Early in the year, I forecast a sluggish first quarter which happened, followed by a Spring rebound, which  did not happen. With brash confidence, I predicted a tidy V-shaped recovery. Oops!  

Sorry folks, but I  never envisioned these interest rate hikes and punishing 6% mortgages. would last. I did not predict that sticky inflation would trigger a wobbly W-shaped trajectory with flat prices and slow sales. 

Seems like buyers are playing a waiting game, hoping interest rates will drop soon. Sellers are being stubborn regarding pricing. As we approach mid-year, it is a stand-off .

Some pundits put a positive spin on the numbers and call it a Balanced Market. I call it a cross between a Waiting for Godot and a Pop Goes the Weasel market. Everybody is waiting for something to happen., including me. 


What's next? Truth is, no one can predict with certainty because the BOC is artificially controlling real estate trends. Men in  suits, not market forces, are determining our fate.

In the mean time, best advice for Sellers: Price your home realistically, tart it up with staging, promote it with top quality marketing, and definitely sell before you buy. Adjust the price after 30-60 days. Be patient.

For Buyers: Lock in financing for a short-term, If you are condo buyer, you are in luck. The market is flooded with investor-owned inventory. Go bargain-hunting, shop around, strike now in the current Buyer's Market and try to negotiate a tight deal. Avoid bidding wars, look for properties that have been listed for more than 30 days. 

It looks like mortgage rates have peaked and we may be at the bottom of the correction. This might be the ideal time to jump back into the market while prices are spongy. They will rise again. Count on it!


Need an expert, seasoned realtor? Contact me. I have someone in mind.😊

  (Written May 2024)
 

 AFFORDABILITY CRISIS CRUSHING BUYERS

Tips for Tackling High Prices:
Survival Strategies for Buyers

YIKES! That is what buyers are saying, along with other X-rated expletives. Slammed by stratospheric prices, smacked by scarce inventory and squeezed by throngs of bully offers, Toronto purchasers are facing a brutal affordability crisis of epic proportions. Take heart, dear reader. Here are some survival strategies:

  1. THINK CONDOS: The average price of a condominium is roughly $800K, about half the cost of most GTA homes at $1.5M.  For example, Humber Bay Shores, a booming waterfront community where I live and work, is a penny-pincher’s paradise. You can still find suites in the $500K range. Yes, they are tiny, but that is how you get started up the property ladder. Start small. Finish big.

2.  TAP THE ROYAL BANK ON MOM & DAD: On bended-knee, ask your kind parents for an advance in your inheritance. Lenders report this is a growing financing trend, especially among Millennials. Family members are providing gifts or loans for down payments or co-signing mortgages. Keep in close touch with your rich spinster aunt. She might catapult your tycoon plans. Kin-funding might be your best source of seed capital.

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3. CREATE A JOINT VENTURE. BUY AN INCOME PROPERTY: Form a group, team, or small partnership of co-owners. Pool your money and have an iron-clad JV agreement drawn up by a lawyer. Look for properties where rental income helps cover the mortgage costs. Choose your partners from trusted friends, relatives or colleagues. Shared ownership is an extension of the OPM principal for investing using Other Peoples’ Money. This is how I got started when I was young and broke. I set up real estate syndicates with some 500 women investors. It worked.

4. HUNT FOR BARGAINS: Do your research. Become annoyingly knowledgeable about real estate trends and active listings. Look for motivated sellers like estate sales, corporate transfers, split-ups, bank liquidations and strapped investor They are out there. Always ask why they are selling? Don’t be afraid of fixer-uppers. A quick lipstick reno boosts profits. The key is to add value. The secret of the universe is: buy low, sell high.

5. FIND A WARRIOR REALTOR: Retain a high-voltage realtor, part gladiator, part detective, part activist for the downtrodden.  Experience matters. Ask about their own portfolio and property successes. Most importantly, select a local agent who is an expert in your target area. Reach out for advice from rock star realtors. Most are happy to help. Don’t be shy to contact me anytime for informed guidance and free psychotherapy to handle the house-hunting stress. I speak fluent real estate and my middle name is Spartacus.

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ACTUAL VIEW FROM BALCONY

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LYNN'S NEW LISTING - PENTHOUSE SUPREME !

THE NAUTILUS, 16 BROOKERS LANE, LPH04 - HUMBER BAY 

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Top Building! Trophy Penthouse!

Awesome Views! NEW PRICE!

Superb Value! $1,999,999. 

 $249K Price Drop! Buy the Best for Less! - World-Class Condo! Spacious 2 Bedroom + Den, 3 Spa Baths, Massive, Wraparound 400 Sq. Ft. Twin Terraces,  Locker, 2 VIP Parking Spaces on Lobby-Level! Panoramic S.E. Lake and City Skyline Vistas from All Rooms. Wow! 

 

Totally renovated, over $100K spent on quality details: custom wine tower, built-in liquor cabinet, surround sound system, mood lighting, organized his/hers closets, cozy fireplace, electric window treatment and more. Stunning magazine décor with glam touches throughout. 

Ultra-lux modern kitchen, Miele appliances, wine fridge, huge, porcelain centre Island for entertaining  Luxurious main bath, deep soaker tub, double sinks, soft-touch mirrors, smart commode!

 

Fabulous Humber Bay location, 5-star resort lifestyle. acres of parks, trails, beaches, nature, minutes to downtown and airport. Stroll to 3 yacht clubs, cafes, pubs, fine dining, shops, services, transit at door.

Prestige address, posh lobby, 1-st-class amenities, pools, gym, party room, guest suites. As good as it gets!

 

 

 STRATEGIES FOR DOWNSIZING

Moving is Easy  ... Said Nobody, Ever.

There comes a moment in everyone's life when it is time to move on. So, if you are thinking about downsizing or right-sizing, roll up your sleeves and get ready to leap into the next chapter of your destiny. Ready, set, go!

 

Transitions are inevitable but stressful. There are so many things to do, so many decisions and a nagging fear of the unknown. A few years back, I studied successful downsizers and wrote a graduate thesis at U. of T. on that subject. Here are four basic strategies which emerged from my interviews. 

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1. PLAN: Decide where you are going. Research alternative lifestyles: smaller condo, retirement community, country property, offshore haven, move in with family. Start organizing your move months in advance. Create an estimated budget. Set monthly goals. Schedule your weekly workflow, make daily to-do lists, 

2. PREPARE YOUR HOME: Refresh each room and improve the exterior curb appeal to appeal to buyers, Sanitize and clean all visible surfaces, Modernize and update kitchen and bathroom deco. Neutralize strong colours, paint walls white, gray or beige. Maximize lighting and space. Minimize personal items and collections. Finalize repairs. Do a cheap and cheerful lipstick renovation of your home before listing.

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3. PURGE: Go room, by room and create a master inventory list of all your contents. Realistically evaluate each item and decide what to do with unwanted, unloved and unnecessary items. Do a quick Google search and you will find many all-inclusive services like Max Sold and Red Coats who handle the whole process from start to finish. I recently hired a professional assistant 3 hours, once a week, for 6 months. We systematically removed 103 large bags of clutter. The goal is to free yourself from the tyranny of stuff and dump the junk. The result is a Zen-like nirvana, akin to bliss.

4. PROFESSIONAL HELP:  Downsizing, like any major change, can be overwhelming. Moving ranks in the top tier of lifestyle stressors. Reach out to experts and specialists in the field to help ease the trauma. Your downsizing team should include an experienced realtor, home stager, contractor, handyman, and ideally, a personal helper. Many hands make light work. 

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LYNN'S RECENT LUX CONDO LISTING 

       

Fabulous Reno!

Designer Gem,

Like New! $2.1M

KINGS LANDING,460 Queens Quay

Suite 601E Harbourfront, Toronto

Approx. 1800 sf.+ Balcony: 2 Bed, 2 Bath, 2 Sunrooms + Private Office.   Magazine-worthy, Open-Concept, Flexible Floor Plan, Euro Spa Baths, Scavolini Dream Kitchen, Custom Built-in Storage Galore. 

 

V.I.P. Address, Luxury 5-Star Building, by Renowned Canadian Architect Arthur Erickson. World-Class Amenities: Pool, Gym, Golf, Spa, Tennis! Pet Friendly, 2 Dogs Allowed!

 

 LYNN'S PAST SALES

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Your Leading Waterfront Enthusiast -
Habourfront to Humber Bay

 

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Lynn's Promise:
Your priorities are my obsession!

Spectacular Drone View. Lake Shore Blvd. W., Humber Bay Shores,
Toronto's Glittering New Riviera,10 Minutes from Downtown.

Thinking of Selling? Summary of Costs:

There are significant costs associated with the disposition of property. It is prudent to know these in advance to prevent surprises. Here is a summary of estimated expenses:

1. REAL ESTATE COMMISSIONS Fees are negotiable, depending on the services provided. Typically, full-service fees are 5% + HST, distributed 2.5% to the listing Brokerage and 2.5% to the selling Brokerage. If there is only one Brokerage involved and only one Realtor, the commission is often reduced to 3% or less. All agreements regarding fees must be in writing. Discount brokerages may offer reduced fees for limited listing services.

2. LAWYER FEES -  Depending on the complexity of the transactions, legal fees generally range from $1000- $2000 plus disbursements. Ask your lawyer for a quotation in advance.

3. H.S.T. - Generally, there is no HST tax applicable upon the sale of your home. Note, however, a tax of 13% is charged on real estate commissions and legal fees which is paid back to the government. Sellers who are flipping pre-construction condos or a totally "new" house, re-built from the foundation, may incur HST liabilities. Ask your lawyer for details.

 

4. PRE-LISTING HOME INSPECTIONS - Professional home inspection reports cost from $400-$1000 based on the size of the home and scope of work. A new home survey can cost $700-$5000.

5. STATUS CERTIFICATES - Cost $100-$125, usually paid by the seller and are required for almost all condominium sales.

6. STAGING, REPAIR, CLEANING, DE-CLUTTERING - This is a discretionary expense and will vary .from a few hundred dollars to thousands. Get quotes in advance from various providers and contractors.

​7. ADJUSTMENTS - These are the amounts due on closing that may be in arrears (taxes, condo fees, utilities) and are taken from the sale proceeds. Your lawyer prepares a detailed final statement.

8. MORTGAGE PENALTIES AND DISCHARGE FEES - These amounts can be significant, especially if you are breaking a closed mortgage. Verify these charges in advance with your lender.

9. MOVING COSTS - Vary considerably depending on services provided, as well as the time and distance involved. Get several flat-rate quotes. There may be security and elevator charges in condo moves. 

10. TAXES DUE ON SALE - These include capital gains tax on investment property and taxes for non-resident sellers. These costs are sizeable, sometimes as much as 25% of the price. There is a new Vacant Property Tax in 2023, equivalent to 1% of the appraised value. Seller beware. The tax man is lurking.  Always consult a tax professional for expert guidance before selling. ​

At Your Service ... Happy to Help :)

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TESTIMONIALS

WHAT PEOPLE SAY ABOUT LYNN :

 

"Lynn Tribbling is in a class by herself. I work with realtors all day long, and no one is as creative and meticulous. She is unique and really understands the psyche of the high-end market. Her knowledge of condominiums is like an encyclopedia and her sense of humour really makes my day!" (Diane Verity, Post Newspaper)

 

Lynn Tribbling is a dynamo with the Midas touch." (Vancouver Province Newspaper)

"I owe you a dozen roses, six kisses and a pocketful of thanks for all the real estate advice you gave me. You are a superb teacher and inspiring role model." (Irene Robinson, Investor)
 

THE LIGHTER SIDE

CLICK ANY BUTTON TO CONTINUE...

Until next time dear friends and clients, stay well, stay safe, keep smiling ! 

Lynn

Lynn Tribbling

Award-Winning Realtor, Right at Home Realty Brokerage

DIRECT: 416 252-2221 OFFICE: 416 383-9525

EMAIL: ltribbling@gmail.com

Your Million Dollar Agent

 
Thank you for taking time to read this. Hope you found one or two things interesting.
I would love to hear your feedback. Please stay in touch.

But, if you hate these newsletter and do not have time to read them in the future,
I understand. Just send me a quick email and your name will vanish from my list.

TO BE REMOVED from the mailing list, contact ltribbling@gmail.com 

(**DISCLAIMER: Not intended to solicit listed properties or buyers under contract. All information is approximate and subject to change. Non-proprietary photos courtesy of Google images. E.& O.E.  )

 

 ISSUE: 2024

OTHER WEBSITE: www.ltribbling.com

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FORECAST FOR 2024.

LAZARUS MARKET COMING?

Short-Term Pain. Long-Term Gain

 

I see scattered storm clouds for real estate with gradual clearing by the end of 2024. It will likely be a sober market which slightly favors purchasers. Prices will remain flat and sales will be sluggish until interest rates stabilize. In my view, yes, we are experiencing a modest correction, but not a total market melt down. Why? 

 

The demand for housing is universal and constant. It is a basic human need. People get married, have kids, get divorced, are transferred, downsize, migrate, emigrate, retire and eventually pass on to that heavenly condo in the sky. They move out, move up and move on. Demand predictably surpasses supply. There will always be buyers and sellers. Everything sells at the right price.

 

As a seasoned realtor, I personally welcome a return to a rational, balanced Goldilocks' market, not too hot, not too cold.

 

It is also reasonable to assume that consumers will adjust psychologically to increased borrowing costs and modify spending priorities. We adapt. Ask anyone who survived a 16% mortgage in the 1980's. A high interest rate is like hanging, you get used to it!

In summary, I see a short-term weakness, but eventual recovery. There will be challenges for Sellers, but opportunities for Buyers. The rebound could be sooner if interest rates start to come down. Consider that the last major real estate correction in 2008 only lasted six months. For the near future. sales and prices may swoon, but like Lazarus, real estate will rise again soon. It always does.

FOOTNOTE:

 

Wild cards in my forecast are inflation and government policies. Already in 2024, new regulations like Vacant Home Taxes and increased Capital Gains Tax are rocking the real estate industry. Inventory jumped some 47% over last year and the pre-construction condo market has tanked as investors abandon ship.

 

(Written May 2024)

LYNN'S  LISTING - WATERFRONT GEM!

500 QUEENS QUAY W., SUITE 808W - New Price $988,000,

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EXCELLENT VALUE! PRESTIGE ADDRESS!
PRIME SUITE! GORGEOUS VIEW!

REDUCED PRICE - Motivated Seller. $160K Price Drop!!!. Spacious 1141 Sq. Ft., 2 Bedroom + Den, Piano Size Living Room for Entertaining, Open-Concept Kitchen, Two Spa Baths. Enjoy Fantastic S.E Vistas of Marina, Lake & Music Garden. Top Harbourfront Building; Two Hot Tubs, Gym, Garden BBQ Area, 24 Hour Security. Steps to Parks, Beaches, Trails, Cafes, Dining, Theatres, Concerts, Shops, LRT, Island Airport. 5-Star Resort Lifestyle 24/7. 

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