Tuesday, June 12, 2018

What's In A Seller's Best Interest

  Late in 2016 and early 2017, real estate For Sale signs began appearing in our market with the added message "Coming Soon To Realtor.ca."  Consumers were and still are often confused not knowing what this statement implies so let's clear the air.

  Many of us visiting a movie theatre to take in a film often sit through a parade of ads highlighting upcoming films that are coming to the theatre soon.  "Coming Soon To Realtor.ca" signs have been used in markets such as Toronto and elsewhere for years and are a way in which a listing REALTOR® may choose to pre-market a property for sale before it hits the Multiple Listing Service (MLS).  Often this is done while the property's owner(s) complete some last minute preparations to list their home or condo for sale on the local MLS and this may include such tasks as interior or exterior painting, decorating, the staging of furniture, yard clean up, completing property photos and so on.  While the overall intent of using a Coming Soon To Realtor.ca sign on a property may seem legitimate the big question is, does doing so best represent a seller in exposing the property to as many potential buyers as possible thus helping to ensure they get the best sale price and terms possible?

  As REALTORS® we are governed by provincial law namely the Real estate and Business Brokers Act (REBBA 2002).  This act includes a variety of requirements pertaining to advertising none of which can be viewed as being false, misleading or deceptive.  Let me ask this question. If as a buyer you noticed a property with a For Sale sign that further said "Coming Soon To Realtor.ca," you had a potential interest in the property only to find out that it was sold and never got listed on MLS, how would you feel?  Falsely excited? Mislead? Deceived? I certainly would.

 As a licensed real estate Broker, this is not a practice that I have or would use.  First, installing a For Sale sign of any type on a property must include written consent from the seller(s).  This consent must have an effective date as well as written direction from the seller(s) as to how and when showings of the property are to be managed as well as the date on which offers will be accepted.  Too often these details are overlooked.  Too often the listing REALTOR® may just be trying to find a buyer on their own.  Again, is this in the best interest of the seller(s)?  The answer is probably no!

 The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) owns and manages www.realtor.ca.  The only "Coming Soon" sign allowed and or endorsed by CREA is "Coming Soon To Realtor.ca."  "Coming to MLS" is not allowed neither is just "Coming Soon" as is begs the question coming soon to what?  Some real estate boards and associations across Canada do not allow the use of such signs as part of the MLS rules and regulations, personally I think it's time to perhaps consider the same here in our market.  Seller's deserve and are entitled to the best possible service we as REALTORS® can deliver and the same applies to buyers. 

  Ultimately a property is either for sale or it's not.  Let's stop playing games and service our seller and buyer clients in the best way possible with knowledgeable, timely and forthright service that demonstrates the value that we as REALTORS® bring to the real estate transaction.  I would love to hear your opinion on this or feel free to Contact Me with any questions you may have.
        

Thursday, May 31, 2018

  Back in 2008, the City of Toronto brought in their own "municipal land transfer tax" MLTT which was applied to purchases and paid by the buyers of real estate within the city.  For years, buyers of real estate in Ontario have paid a provincial land transfer tax based on a scale that increased as the total purchase price went higher. 

  I have been a full time REALTOR for 16+ years and the provincial land transfer tax rate has always been the same.  On the first $55,000 of the purchase price, the buyer pays a tax rate of .5%.  From $55,000 to $250,000 the tax rate increases to 1% and for any amount over $250,000 up to $400,000 the land transfer tax payable is $1.5%.  Above $400,000 and up to $2 million the rate increases to 2.0% and for any amount over $2 million the land transfer tax increases yet again to 2.5%. 

Example: It a home outside of Toronto sells for $500,000, the total provincial land transfer tax payable is as follows:

- On the first $55,000 @ .5%  (1/2%)             $275.00

- From $55,000 to $250,000 @ 1.0%          $1,950.00

- From $25,000 to $400,000 @ 1.5%          $2,250.00 

- From $400,000 to $500,000 @ 2.0%        $2,000.00

TOTAL LAND TRANSFER TAX                  $6,475.00 


 The total land transfer tax payable on that same property if located in Toronto would be the provincial tax of $6,475.00 plus the Toronto land transfer tax of another $6,475.00 for a total payable of $12,950.00.

  Municipalities across the province in general have not been prudent managers when it comes to managing expenses forcing them to look elsewhere for sources of revenue and implementing a municipal land transfer tax in Toronto was a good example.  Based on Toronto's success, many other municipalities jumped on the same tax grab bandwagon hoping to increase their revenues while jeopardising the dream of home ownership for many.  Thankfully the province stepped in and with some added pressure from the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) the opportunities for municipally implemented additional land transfer taxes was thwarted.

  Is it now safe to go back in the water?  No so according to an email I received today from OREA.  Apparently municipal Councillors in York Region north of Toronto have demanded that the province give the them the required municipal power to implement their own MLTT. 

  Here we go again, municipal spending continues to drain a region's economic well-being and the answer is?  Let's pass on another tax to the public.  The same politicians that advocate increased property and additional land transfer tax implementation are the same ones that lament about the lack of affordable housing.  They just don't get it.

  This is not only a provincial election year but a municipal one as well.  We had all better get out and make sure our voices are heard.  I know that I will.   

 

Monday, April 2, 2018

LED Bulbs May Not Always Be Your Ideal Choice

 In the sixteen plus years I have been in real estate, technology has played a huge role in not only expanding the real estate business but it has also impacted our daily lives in many many ways.  Between advancing my real estate skills, computer knowledge and other facets of life I have always embraced technology and it has served me well.  At the same time however, technology can sometimes backfire and I recently learned this with a problem at my house.

  As may of you are aware I recently sold my own home and moved from Collingwood to Clarksburg which is adjacent to Thornbury.  My better half and I have been living in our own homes for many years and it was time to consolidate two residence into one.  She and I both work long hours, this combined with maintaining two homes plus a cottage(s) I have owned for many years on Manitoulin Island had become more than full time jobs and it was time to simplify our lives.

  I had made many improvements to my Collingwod house including steps that were aimed at reducing my energy consumption and expense.  In addition to newer appliances, a hi-efficiency gas furnace and central air conditioner I had also switched most of my interior lighting to LED's. One area in my home where the LED lights backfired so-to-speak with on my garage door opener. The standard incandescent light bulbs on my opener were always burning out mostly the result of the excess vibration they had to endure from the opener itself every time the door was opened or closed.  Even rough service bulbs seemed to fail fairly often so I switched the standard bulbs over to LED's.  I also did the same on mt spouse's garage door opener.

  Things worked fine with better lighting in the both garages other than we found the garage door remotes had lost some of their effective range and they would often fail to activate the door openers unless you were very close by.  Ultimately I discovered that the problem was not the opener or the remotes, it was the LED bulbs.  LED bulbs have a frequency of their own and this was creating a conflict with the frequencies of our garage door openers and their respective remotes.  Once I removed the LED bulbs and replaced them with normal incandescent bulbs the remotes went back to working as they always had.

  A move that was implemented to lengthen the life of the garage opener light bulbs ended up causing more frustration than just having to replace the standard type of bulbs on a somewhat regular basis.  If you are having trouble with the performance of your garage door opener and you too have installed LED bulbs on the unit, this is more than likely the problem.

  We have plenty of LED bulbs throughout the interior of our Clarksburg home. The garage door works perfectly with the tried and true incandescent filament type bulbs, I will just have to be content replacing the door opener bulbs more frequently when they fall victim to the wear and tear they are subject to via the opening and closing of the garage door.  Lesson learned.


     

Contact Me

Royal LePAGE Locations North (Brokerage)

330 First Street, Collingwood, ON L9Y 1B4



Email:
rickcrouch@propertycollingwood.com



Direct: 705-443-1037



Office: 705-445-5520 ext 230




Website:
www.rickcrouch.realtor















My Profile

Rick relocated to Collingwood from Toronto in 1985 through a transfer with Goodyear Canada. In 1987 Rick was recruited by a major client of Goodyear’s, managing their Canadian business based in Barrie before moving to Chicago in 1992 as Vice President of Sales & Marketing. Upon returning to Canada in 1996, Rick ran an industrial products manufacturing company in Stratford, Ontario. In 1998 Rick returned to Collingwood with his two children. Rick is a licensed real estate Broker with Royal LePAGE Locations North in Collingwood and holds his MVA designation (Market Value Appraiser-Residential). He is an active volunteer in the community serving several years on the Board of Directors with the Collingwood Chamber of Commerce as Treasurer, 6 years on the Board of Directors for the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS® of which he is the Past President (2008) and currently serves on a committee with the Ontario Real Estate Association. Rick is a diverse executive manager with extensive experience in strategic planning, manufacturing, finance, human resources and quality assurance management.