The Home Selling Process in Etobicoke -

1. Do Some Preliminary Planning

2. Selecting a Realtor

3. The Listing Agreement

4. Pricing your Home

5. Showing your Home

6. Dealing with Offers

Start by Planning

  • Get together any pertinent information on your home or condo such as the deed, survey, tax bill, mortgage statement, utility bills, information on upgrades, floor plans, garden pictures and improvements etc.

  • Fix all minor repairs; loose doorknobs, leaky faucets etc.  Make sure that the doorbell and all electrical fixtures work and replace any burned out light bulbs.  Read a complete list of Ideas and Suggestions to get you more money when you sell.

  • Clean your home from top to bottom.  Kitchens and bathrooms should sparkle and clean windows are impressive.  Watch for and remove cobwebs on the ceilings.

  • Thin out all of your closets and storage areas.  If necessary, rent a storage locker temporarily or give away items you no longer use.


    Choose your Realtor carefully

    • Interview one or two agents who are experienced within your neighbourhood and make sure they are full time agents.

    • Get answers to any questions or concerns.  Read the questions to ask your agent first.

    • Find out how they would market your property, discuss commissions and how much they offer to the selling agent and ask what they expect of you.  Do they charge additional marketing costs to the selling agent?

    • Do not be taken in by an agent who suggests the highest price but may not be able to deliver.  Watch out for "The high price tactic"

    • Read Agency Relationships Explained provided by the Toronto Real Estate Board or Working with a Realtor published by the Ontario Real Estate Association and discuss agency issues with your realtor.  Make sure you understand it.

    • Choose a realtor with whom you have rapport, who listens to you and understands your needs and in whom you have confidence.

    • The Canadian Real Estate Association website has excellent information too, see here.

    • Have me in after you have interviewed your other prospective agents and you will be able to see and compare all of my services to the others.  You will see that what I offer is far superior to the others and that you will benefit the most with my strong marketing and negotiation skills.

    • The Listing Agreement

      • The listing agreement is a contract between the you (the seller) and the listing broker (RE/MAX Professionals Inc.).  Did you know that your agent (me) is legally an extension and representative of the Broker (RE/MAX).  The listing describes the property to be sold and the terms under which it is to be sold.  This document also sets up our agency relationship and sets in motion all the duties and obligations that come with the law and Agency.

      • The listing agreement is on a standard form provided by our local real estate board (for us, it's TREB - which stands for Toronto Real Estate Board) and we must comply with their rules and regulations.  For example: a TREB rule is that 60 days is the minimum number of days on an MLS listing

      • You are appointing us to market your for a specified length of time and agree to pay us a commission (usually a percentage of the sale price) for bringing about an acceptable offer and successful completion of the transaction.

      • On the MLS listing the listing broker agrees to share the commission with the co-operating broker (i.e.: the agent who brings the offer from the buyer).   You should discuss with your agent how the commission will be split and how much they offer to the selling agent and whether they deduct marketing fees.  This practice is growing but is considered unprofessional.

      • Commissions are negotiable and in Etobicoke (members of the Toronto Real Estate Board) only the amount paid to the selling agent is published on the MLS listing.  The total commission is kept confidential so no one knows for sure what the listing agent is paid and this can be subject to negotiation.

      • You must also indicate whether you want the property to be advertised either by only by the listing broker or whether to allow other agents to advertise it as well.  Whether your address is published on the internet mls sites is also a decision you have to make. 

      • There is a holdover clause stating that if a buyer who was introduced to the property during the active listing period and that buyer ends up buying the property within a stipulated time period (the holdover period) after the expiry of the listing you will still have to pay commission to the realtor.  This is to protect the realtor from the situation where the buyer and seller make a private deal to wait until the listing expires to avoid paying the realtor who introduced the buyer to the property.

      • Pricing your Home 

        • Pricing your home right is the key to selling it quickly and for the best price.

        • Obviously, you, the seller, sets the asking price for your home but ultimately the buyer determines the value.

        • Homes sell quickly and usually for the most money when they are priced properly from the beginning.  See a pricing versus time graph that represents this important part of the process.

        • I will provide you with all the information about similar properties which sold recently and properties currently for sale in your neighbourhood.

        • A good strategy is to list slightly more than the price of properties recently sold and slightly less than the current competition on the market.

        • Highest prices are obtained when there are multiple offers which often generate a "bidding war".  This occurs when a property is perceived to be a good buy.   Pricing it right can result in a sale price higher than the asking price.   Read some Negotiating Guidelines to help you at this critical stage.

        • A buyer will pay a price similar to what he would have to pay for similar properties.   The buyer will compare your home with other similar properties on the market and then decide which one meets their needs "best" and the one that is also a "fair" price to pay.

        • Things that don't affect value are your original cost, the cost to rebuild it today, your investment in improvements, personal attachment, what you need, certain types of improvements.

        • The dangers of overpricing are: reduces the number of showings, reduces advertising response, loses potential buyers, eliminates offers, helps sell the competition, can cause appraisal problems, extends market time.

        • To help you at this early stage I can provide you with a quick 'Over the Internet' Evaluation of your home?

        Real Estate, Homes for sale, Agents, Realtors, Houses, Residential in Etobicoke

        If you are thinking of selling your real estate and/or have a home you need to sell or need the servieces of a a professional agent, calling Realtors on their houses and residential listings, do you require a single family, condominium, townhouse listing search through the multiple listings database, then you have come to the right place!

        How to establish an effective List Price

        When you sell, let's do it in order, First Things First.

        1. The first step is to help you establish a list price that is the TOP market value.  This value should not be too high, as your home will not sell.  We do this by having a thorough understanding of the market value.  What is the Market Value of your home?  This is critical and I will prepare a personal market analysis on your home, as the first step.  I can prepare this analysis similar to a certified appraisal.  This ensures your comfort and confidence in working together to achieve this important first goal.

        2. How much higher than average market value depends on my efforts placed on marketing and promotion, accessibility of your home, the current state of the market and motivating the buyers.

        3. My clients are my top priority.  I am willing to go that extra mile and do whatever it takes to help you get top dollar.  My 16 point marketing plan is second to none.  Even after your home is sold, Kathy does not "drop the ball" and continues to treat you like the valuable customer you are.

        4. With more than eighteen years experience, I am committed to offering you the highest standards of professional service and advice.  You will see that I thoroughly enjoy working with people and dedicate myself to getting you the best possible price through strong marketing and professional negotiation skills.

        5. You will find me professional, reliable and enthusiastic in my endeavor to serve you well.

        6. E-mail me or call me at the office at 416-236-1241  You can always ask for your free quick market analysis over the Internet.


        Showing Your Home

        • We may want to hold an open house for agents on the appropriate day or the day the listing appears to allow all agents at once to preview your home with the least inconvenience to you.

        • It is your responsibility to have the house looking good for showings.  It should be clean, tidy and odour-free, and pets and children should be out of the way.  Curtains should be open in daytime and closed at night with lights turned on.

        • You should try to be out of the house or at least as inconspicuous as possible.  Allow the agent to show the property without interfering.  Do not get involved in a long and drawn out conversation with the purchaser as it may end up being used against us during the negotiations.

        • Showings are by appointment only and buyers will always be accompanied by an agent.  We will keep a record of all the appointments.

        • It is standard practice to provide a lockbox which makes a key accessible for agents to show your property when you are not home.

        • Sometimes we may want to hold open house for the public on weekends.  This is a marketing strategy which is advisable in some situations but not always necessary. 

        • Other ideas and suggestions when your home is shown can be found here

        Next step - How to Deal with Offers

        Dealing with Offers

        • When an agent prepares an offer on your home they advise me of this fact.   I will then tell you we have an offer and make an appointment to present it to you at a convenient time and place.  Often we fax offers back and forth to save time.

        • Sometimes both myself (the listing agent) and agent representing the buyer meet with you to present the offer.  We would read through the offer, I would explain the terms and conditions to you.  You can ask for clarification of any questions of concern to you.  

        • You can request that the selling agent leave the room so you we can discuss the offer confidentially and go over all of the terms and price. 

        • I will thoroughly explain any clauses and conditions and advise you what is normal wording and what is unusual or items that may be of concern.

        • Offers are on standard forms provided by our local real estate board (either TREB or OREA standard forms are used) with many standard clauses to satisfy the lawyers.

        • Besides identifying the parties and properties, the offer lists all the items the purchaser wants included in the sale and any fixtures to be excluded.  Read some Negotiating Guidelines to help you.

        • There is an irrevocable date and if you don't accept the offer by that time the purchaser may revoke it.

        • You may either accept the offer as is, reject it, or make changes and sign it back to the purchaser to see if they are willing to accept your changes.   If you make changes to it, this means you have rejected the original offer and they are no longer bound by their original offer.   It is the buyers option to either accept your counter-offer with the changes, reject it or come back with another counter-offer.  This process continues until either you can reach agreement or the negotiations terminate.

        • The purchaser submits a deposit with the offer which is turned over to the listing broker once the offer is accepted.  The deposit is held in our trust account to be applied to the purchase price on the closing date.  The total commission is usually deducted from this deposit on the closing date and if there is a deficiency your lawyer is instructed to pay the balance of the commission owing from the proceeds of the sale.

        • Once agreement is reached and any conditions are waived, the documents are handed over to your lawyer who prepares the transfer papers, deals with any adjustments, and meets with the purchaser's lawyer on the closing date to exchange the keys for the payment.

        • See the complete selling process here.

        • Typical Flowchart of events and sequence when Selling a home

          Flow Chart When Selling or Buying a Home 
          for a Typical Real Estate Transaction

          Including New Mortgage Financing

        • Note: This flow chart is intended as a guide - a thorough consultation with a qualified solicitor is required.

          First Step: Finding a home and making an Offer to Purchase. 

          1. Initially you would have an interview with me (Sales Representative) or one of my team members to discuss your wants and needs and for me to explain the entire buying process to you. 

          2. You would visit or call the lender of your choice to obtain mortgage pre-approval. 

          3. You and I would conduct a thorough search of the marketplace and find the home of your dreams (easier said than done!). 

          4. You would then submit your offer to purchase on the property.  Often you have conditions such as:

            i) Confirmation of mortgage final approval 

            ii) Home inspection approval

            iii) Spousal Approval condition or Property Disclosure approval etc. 

          5. The offer is negotiated to acceptable terms and conditions for both parties.

          6. Seller accepts Purchaser's offer to purchase.

          7. Your deposit money is placed "in trust" on your behalf in the real estate brokers trust account until the closing.  In Etobicoke the deposit is usually between $5,000 and $10,000 depending upon the property value. 

          8. Condition removal process: This typically takes from 5 to 10 business days and usually removed in the following order. 

            i) Review Property Disclosure & approval. 

            ii) Have the home inspected by a professional home inspector and then remove your condition once you are satisfied that the property is in good condition.

            iii) Other conditions met & approved.

            iv) Confirmation of mortgage final approval 

            If any of the conditions are found unacceptable to you, the sale can be and usually is voided. 

          9. Waiver of conditions; as each condition is met you must remove (waive) the condition(s) from the Offer to Purchase within the predetermined condition removal time period.  If written waivers are not completed and presented to the Seller within the time frame allowed, the agreement of purchase and sale may be voided. 

          10. Usual time frame is 3 to 12 days from the time the Offer is accepted to remove all conditions

          Step 2: Taking care of the details before your move. 

          1. The firm agreement of purchase and sale is delivered by me to your lawyer.

          2. Often you want to estimate what your moving costs will be.  Click here to use a very handy Moving & Storage Calculator.

          3. About 2 to 3 weeks before the closing you instructs your lawyer how to complete title description. (How you want your names to be registered on the title to your property.) 

          4. You make arrangements for transfer & connection of utilities (you can find local phone numbers here), telephone, mail forwarding etc. (A moving checklist is available from me on this website.) 

          5. Instructions to prepare mortgage delivered to your lawyer from your financing institution. 

          6. The seller's lawyer obtains description of property and prepares transfer deed for execution (signing) by the Seller. 

          7. Seller execute (signs) transfer with their Lawyer. 

          8. Your Mortgage documentation is prepared and finalized. 

          9. The Seller's lawyer delivers transfer of deed and land documents to your lawyer under trust conditions 

          10. You need to be sure to arrange for home insurance to cover you & mortgage or you may not be allowed to move into your home until this is finalized and proof is delivered to your lawyer. 

          11. Pre-Move Checklist is almost complete

          12. Your Lawyer will calculate the cash balance you will need to close your home purchase, taking into account all adjustments & fees. 

          13. Your lawyer delivers this "Statement of Adjustments" to you for your approval and review.

          14. You would then execute (sign) the transfer & mortgage documents & deliver cash difference (balance owing) from the Statement of Adjustments. 

          15. Balance owing to the vendor would be forwarded to Seller's lawyer under trust conditions. 

          16. Your Lawyer submits transfer and mortgage documents to Land Registry Office for registration 

          17. Seller's lawyer receives balance owing and holds it "in trust" pending completion. 

          18. Registration of transfer and mortgage obtained - title is now in your name subject to any mortgage you had to get to purchase the property. 

          19. Your lawyer requisitions mortgage funds and forwards the mortgage funds to the Seller's lawyer "in trust" that any unacceptable title encumbrances be removed. 

          20. Seller's lawyer receives mortgage proceeds and holds "in trust" pending completion. 

          21. Seller's lawyer obtains discharge of encumbrances and reports to your lawyer.  Then they pay out the Seller's mortgage, if any. 


          Step 3: Move in time

          1. The Seller's lawyer releases keys to your solicitor or advises Seller's Agent to release the keys directly to you or me. (Often prior to lawyer receiving mortgage proceeds.) 1 - 2 days before the possession day.

          2. Before or upon receiving the keys you would do a pre or post possession walk through of home.

          3. Copy of acceptable title, in your name is delivered to your lawyer 

          4. Your lawyer would also give a final report to your financial institution 

          5. Seller's lawyer reports to Seller: accounts for funds received and releases funds to Seller. 

          6. You lawyer would give you a final report showing all aspects of the purchase. 

          7. The transaction is now complete!

          Pricing Strategies - How to price your home in our Etobicoke Market

          BONUS TRUTH - The "High Price Tactic"

          This is another truth regarding Real Estate that I am sharing with you.  Beware of the high price tactic.  It has been used for years and continues to hurt uninformed sellers.  Once you read this page you will not only be able to see when and why this strategy is being used on you but now you will be able to profit by avoiding it!  This tactic is also called "Buying Your Listing".


          There are 4 common strategies that most sellers use to price their homes.  It is unwise to assume that a higher asking price will net you a higher selling price.  In fact, often this equation works in reverse, especially if you're not paying attention to what the market is telling you.  Remember, you cannot "fool the market" with a high price.  Please consider these facts when you set your asking price.

          1. Clearly Overpriced - Every seller like you wants to realize the most amount of money they can for their home, and every real estate agent knows this.  If more than one agent is competing for your listing, an easy way for the agent to win you over is to over-inflate the value of your home.   Often we will see new listings that are priced at 10 - 20% over their true market value.  This is very unfair to you - and once you are listed with the agent who convinced you to go with the high price, that agent will persistently ask and pressure you for price reductions in order to sell... ouch!

            This is called the "High Price Tactic" and is clearly not in your best interest.  In most cases the market won't and can't be fooled.   As a result, your home could languish on the market for months, leaving you with a couple of important drawbacks: 

            - your home is likely to be labeled as a "troubled" house by other agents, leading to a lower than fair market price when an offer is finally made 

            - you have been greatly inconvenienced with having to constantly have your home in "perfect showing" condition for months ... for nothing. 

            - homes that are clearly overpriced often expire unsold, forcing you to go through the whole listing process all over again, often with poorer results than had you listed at the right price in the beginning.

          2. Somewhat Overpriced - Often about 3/4 of the homes on the market are 5-10% overpriced.  These homes will also sit on the market longer than anyone would want.  There is usually one of two factors at play here: either you believe in your heart that your home is really worth this much despite what the market has logically indicated (after all, there's a lot of emotion caught up in this issue), OR you've left a little too much room for negotiating.   Either way, this strategy will cost you both in terms of time on the market and ultimatey the price you will receive.

          3. Priced Correctly at Market Value " What is Market Value? " - Smart sellers understand that real estate is part of the capitalistic system of supply and demand.  They will carefully and realistically price their homes based on a thorough and complete analysis of other sales and the "competing" homes on the market.  These competitively priced homes usually sell within a reasonable time-frame and sell very close to the asking price.  When your home is priced correctly, it should sell for 97% to 99% of asking price!

          4. Priced Below Market Value - Some sellers are highly motivated and require a quick sale.  These homes attract multiple offers and sell fast - usually in a few days - at, or above, the asking price.  Be cautious that the agent suggesting this method is making this recommendation with your best interest in mind.


          • When you decide to sell your home, setting your asking price is one of the most important decisions you will ever make.  Depending on how a buyer finds your home, price is often the first thing he or she sees.  Many homes are discarded by prospective buyers as not being in the appropriate price range before these homes are given a chance to be shown.  See the proper pricing graph

          • Your asking price is often your home's "first impression", and if you want to realize the most money you can from your home's sale, it is imperative that you make a good first impression.  Read more ideas here.

          • Because this is not as easy as it sounds, your pricing strategy should not be taken lightly.  Pricing too high can be very costly to you.  Taking a look at what homes in your neighbourhood have sold for is only a small part of the process, and this on it's own is not nearly enough to help you make the best decision for yourself and your family.  I will guide you through the process along with educating you about the other items to consider.

          • The information I give you here will help you understand some important factors about pricing strategy to help you not only sell your home, but sell it for the price you want.


          Before you can begin to know what your home is worth, you should do some research, bearing in mind the following:

          • An analysis of what homes have recently sold for in your neighbourhood is NOT enough to help you properly price your home.  A quick scan up and down the street at the prices of homes that have recently sold will give you a starting point.  However, this is not nearly enough for you to base your entire pricing strategy on.  It is most important for you to understand how buyers look for a home.

          • Go back in your memory and think about how you conducted your house hunting search to find the home you are now thinking of selling.  You most likely did not confine your search to a single neighbourhood, but perhaps you looked in different neighbourhoods or areas in order to find the home that best matched your needs and desires.

          • The prospective buyers who will be viewing your home, will conduct their searches in a similar manner.  That means they will be comparing your home to, for example; brand new builder homes, century homes, 10-20 year old homes, etc.  They will also consider different suburbs or possibly even country properties.   Each home will have a different look and feel and it's quite possible that a prospective buyer might consider all of these variables in the search for their home.

          • You can see when you're selling your home, you're not just competing with the home around the corner, but also with all homes in other areas which have the same basic characteristics: i.e. number of rooms, overall living space, features and extras, etc.

          In conclusion,

          • Remember the importance of understanding buyer behavior when pricing your home.

          • Your asking price should be competitive with EVERY type of home that shares the same basic characteristics as yours.