Award-Winning Sales Representative
Right At Home Realty Brokerage
Office: 416 383-9525 Direct: 416 252-2221
Real Estate Newsletter
TIPS FOR SELLERS FROM A PRO:
How to Showcase Your Home with
The Hottest New Tool - Virtual Home Staging.
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.
THE MAGIC OF
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
Create a Room Where None Exists
Glamorize Any Room with Virtual Decor
Right at Home Realty Inc.
Home Staging Specialist
DIRECT: 416 252-2221
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!
Lynn's Crystal Ball
Looking back, Toronto's booming real estate market peaked in February 2022. Sharp hikes in mortgage rates pricked the bubble and hammered the explosive price spiral of the past two years. The Feds wanted to tame inflation, but they succeeded in rapidly cooling an over-heated market.
Cheap money is gone. Over the past few months, mortgage rates have jumped from 2% to nearly 6%. Add a further 2% stress test and many buyers are pushed to the curb. Buyers are cautious and many listings languish, especially if they are over priced.
This recent downward shift is challenging for sellers, but creates tempting new opportunities for buyers and long-term investors.
Due to relative affordability, condo values are holding and bucking the downward trend with prices actually, in some prime areas, increasing slightly since last year. The average Toronto condo price is about $750K, compared with $1.3 for most GTA houses.
Clearly, the crazy-hot Seller's Market of early 2022 is stone-cold dead. Yes, many arrows are still pointing down, but the trend may be temporary and not entirely catastrophic. Moderate price drops are tolerable considering that homes appreciated about 40% in 2021 and 2022. Owners are still ahead of the game.
Moreover, rapid interest rates hikes are initially jolting, but manageable as the current cost of borrowing is comparable to pre-pandemic rates in 2017. We are coming off a giddy, sugar high of historically low rates so everything suddenly tastes bitter. Who remember when interest rates were 16%? We shall adjust. End of sermon.
(Source of Statistics TRREB Market Report )
SPRING 2023 UPDATE
Call me Nostradamus. I knew in my bones that the Post-Covid, raging bull market was not sustainable. I predicted a tipping point and it happened. In the last 6 months of 2022, sales volumes and prices fell off the cliff.
What about my 2023 forecast? I predicted a significant correction followed by a gradual rebound. This bold prophesy seems to be on target. The Toronto Spring Market is showing signs of life. We may have reached the bottom. Sales volumes are perking up, prices are inching higher, month over month and bidding wars are returning. Blip or trend? Time will tell. .
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. Be patient.
For buyers, your moment to shine may be coming to an end: Lock in financing before another hike, go bargain-hunting, shop around, strike now and try to negotiate tight deal. Avoid bidding wars, look for properties that have been listed for a while.
More than ever, an expert, seasoned realtor is your best friend. Contact me. I have someone in mind.😊
(Written May 2023)
FORECAST FOR 2023.
LAZARUS MARKET COMING?
Short-Term Pain. Long-Term Gain
These are uncertain times. My crystal ball has a few Covid crack, but here is my two cent's worth:
I see storm clouds for real estate with gradual clearing by late 2023. It will likely be a sober Buyer's Market, followed by a recovery to a Balanced Market in 2023, with modest, single-digit price appreciation. In my view, a correction is more likely than a total collapse. 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 Goldilock's 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 decline, but eventual recovery. There will be challenges for Sellers, but opportunities for Buyers. The rebound could be sooner if interest rates stabilize. 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: Two wild cards in my forecast are another deadly wave of Covid or a recession. Either factor could crush real estate sales in 2023. Fingers crossed.
(Written January 2023, Statistical Source TRREB Market Report))
AFFORDABILITY CRISIS CRUSHING BUYERS
Tips for Tackling High Prices:
Survival Strategies for Buyers
OUCH! 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:
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.
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.
LYNN'S NEW LISTING - DREAM PENTHOUSE
KINGS LANDING, 480 QUEENS QUAY W., HARBOURFRONT
Iconic Building! Posh Penthouse!
Awesome Views! $3,700,000.
JUST LISTED - Spectacular Sky Mansion, Sprawling 3000 Sq. Ft., 30-Foot Great Room, Media Lounge, Library, Gourmet Kitchen, 2 Home Offices, 2 huge Bedrooms, separate Guest Wing, 2 Solaria, 3 Spa Baths, 2 Terraces, 3 Parking Spaces! Wow!
Rare, world-class, one-of-a kind, V.I.P Penthouse with Star-Quality. Totally renovated by television's award-winning designer, Jane Lockhart. Tasteful and refined magazine décor with Art Deco touches and top-quality finishes.
Includes: Elegant herringbone floors, coffered ceilings, brass-inlaid doors, built-in bar, stunning Birdseye Maple wall units, custom mood lighting, window treatments, sound system, storage galore, wine fridge, wall safe. Luxurious main bath, Pompeii tub, double sinks, separate W.C. Two generous walk-in closets.
Very private corner suite, no neighbours above or beside, sun-drenched S.W. exposure, twin terraces for BBQ's, entertaining and relaxing. Breathtaking views of the lake, Music Garden and Yacht Basin.
Most prestigious, landmark waterfront building, Harbourfront's finest, by pre-eminent architect Arthur Erickson. Exclusive boutique address, only 100 ultra-lux suites, a legend in luxury.
Enjoy 5-Star resort lifestyle, every amenity: pool, hot tub, gym, yoga, sauna, billiards, golf, tennis! Superbly located in Toronto's glittering waterfront hub: acres of parks, trails, nature, beaches. Stroll to cafes, fine-dining, shops, clinics, galleries, hotels, theatres, outdoor markets and events. Transit at your front door, minutes to Financial Centre, Entertainment District, SkyDome and the Mink Mile. 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.
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.
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.
LYNN'S RECENT LUX CONDO LISTING
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!
Rare Opportunity! Prime suite, dazzling lake views, trophy building. This is the one!
LYNN'S PAST SALES
Your Leading Waterfront Enthusiast
from Habourfront to Humber Bay
Your priorities are my obsession!
Spectacular Drone View. Marine Parade Drive and 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 :)
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
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Until next time dear friends and clients, stay well, stay safe, keep smiling !
Award-Winning Realtor, Right at Home Realty Brokerage
DIRECT: 416 252-2221 OFFICE: 416 383-9525
Your Million Dollar Agent
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