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 Planning Your Move

An organized approach and checklist can make “The Moving Process” a lot easier!


Book the movers. It’s a good idea to obtain estimates from several different companies. (Note: There are different rates for different times of the month). You can choose to have the movers pack everything, some of your more precious or breakable items, or pack everything yourself.

If packing yourself, make arrangements for special boxes on moving day for mirrors/pictures etc. and make special arrangements for moving your pets and perishables, such as food and plants.

Ask the movers if they provide or sell boxes. Some of them will give you used boxes to start the process. If none are provided, there are stores that cater to moving. Check the yellow pages or speak to us. We can point you in the right direction. It is a good idea to devise a colour code system with stickers for boxes going to different rooms on moving day.

Be aware that you do not own the new home, (and are not entitled to possession) until after the transaction closes. If you are closing and moving on the same day, you may not have possession until later in the afternoon.

If you rent your present home:

Give the necessary written notice to your landlord, and make arrangements of any monies you may have on deposit.

If you own your present home:

Call the gas and electric companies and let them know you are moving. Arrange to have the meters read on the appropriate date.

If your water heater is rented, arrange for the transfer of the rental agreement to the new owners.

Instruct your heating oil supplier to fill the tank on the appropriate date. You will be credited with the cost at closing. If the new owners are converting to gas, make special arrangements with them.

Advise the telephone and cable companies of your move and have them discontinue their services on the appropriate date.

Advise all of your present service companies of your new address and closing date, so final billings may be directed to you.

At your new home:

Make arrangements with the gas and electric utilities, telephone, cable and other services to be connected or begin on the day of closing.


Obtain “Change of Address cards” from the post office and send out well in advance.

Have the post office forward your mail to your new address.

Inform gardening, dry-cleaning, newspapers, magazines, diaper and other home services of your new address.

Obtain a letter of introduction from your current bank to help establish new accounts. Transfer trust or bank accounts and securities.

Inform all creditors (Visa, Master Card etc.) of your new address and the date it becomes effective. (Don’t forget pre-authorized payments)

Cancel or transfer social, athletic, civic, religious or business affiliations and memberships.

Arrange for the transfer of medical and dental prescriptions and optical records.

Consider having a “Garage Sale” to dispose of unwanted clothes and furnishings.

Change your address on your driver’s licenses, effective the date of your move.

Collect all items out of cleaning and storage.

Safely dispose of all flammable liquids, as it is illegal for movers to carry them.

Arrange with your lawyer for access and keys on the closing date.

Leave a note in the house with your address for the new owners or occupants in the event that someone wasn’t notified.

Take advantage of the Lakeview Realty Inc. “Concierge Service” to make your move an effortless one and to help you on your way! 

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Steps in Making a Purchase Offer

Making An Offer? Keep these items in mind.


Prior to making an offer, we will have discussed agency with you, and you will have chosen in which capacity you wish Lakeview Realty Inc., to represent you. (Either as a customer, or a client).

Deciding & Preparing

When it comes time to make an offer, (and assuming you have chosen to work with us as our client.. a buyer broker relationship), we can provide information and advise as to the current market information to assist you in making your decisions.

Major elements of a real estate offer:



This depends on the current market conditions, but generally, in a normal or buyer’s market, the price offered by the buyer is different from the asking price. In a seller’s market, however, (and if there is more than one offer), the offering price is often over the list price.


The deposit shows the buyer’s good faith and will be applied against the purchase price of the home when the sale closes. Between 5% and 6% is a bit of a benchmark in the City of Toronto. A Lakeview Realty Inc., Professional can advise you as to an appropriate amount.


Includes the total price and deposit which the purchaser is offering as well as the financing details. The buyer may be arranging their own financing or may ask to assume your existing mortgage if you have an attractive rate and term. (Usually in a market when rates are higher)


These might include “subject to home inspection”, “subject to the sale of the purchaser’s property”, “subject to obtaining satisfactory financing” etc. In a seller’s market, try not to have any conditions. Work out all the details ahead of time.

Inclusions and Exclusions:

These might include appliances, certain fixtures such as light fixtures, heating systems, air conditioning, window treatments etc. If there is something you are not sure about, spell it out. Don’t get caught up on the little things. You are purchasing a home, not chattels.

Closing Or Possession Date:

Generally the day the title of the property is legally transferred to the buyer, and funds are received by the seller. (unless otherwise specified).

You may have made the offer conditional on certain events occurring (i.e. financing/inspection/ sale of purchaser’s property etc.). This is not recommended however if it is a seller’s market and you are in competition. The offer will be prepared, after discussing the details with you.

Presentation & Negotiation

We will then present and negotiate the offer to and with the Vendor on your behalf, along with the listing broker. As mentioned, in a seller’s market, there will often be more than one offer and you will be guided and directed through this process.

The vendor will then have the choice of accepting, rejecting or countering your offer. The counter offer could be for any number of reasons (i.e. the price, conditions, closing date or any other items).

The offer can be countered back and forth until an agreement is reached or the negotiations cease.

Acceptance & Closing

After an agreement is reached, the parties acknowledge receipt of a copy of the agreement. You will continue to be assisted with satisfying the conditions, delivering copies to the lawyers and following through with you until after the transaction closes… and beyond.

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Residential Real Estate Sale Costs

Important Note: This outline and costs are for Residential Re-Sale/Single Family only. Different rates may apply to New Homes & ICI properties. Please check with your professional advisors for specific amounts as this is only a guideline.

Don’t Be Surprised!

Buyers and Sellers are sometimes surprised on closing day with extra costs they had not anticipated, or been advised about. The following is an outline of normal costs. We hope you find it helpful.

Vendor’s Closing Costs

Discharge of Mortgage/Charge

Check with your mortgage, but a standard procedure with some financial institutions (unless an open mortgage, or specifically written in the mortgage document) is to charge a 3 month interest penalty, or the interest differential (whichever is greater). Check this out.

Real Estate Commission + GST on the Commission.

Moving Costs

Moving costs vary. Rates are usually from about $65.00 to $95.00 per hour, depending on the company and the number of people. It will also depend on the size of the vehicle and the time of the month you are moving. (The days around the middle and end of the month are busier and more costly) If they participate in the packing, the cost increases.

Legal Fees

This varies according to the lawyer. Most lawyers charge a flat fee, plus disbursements.   It is a good idea to get a couple of quotes. Make sure you ask what the fee includes (i.e. title insurance/disbursements etc.)

There is usually an extra fee if the lawyer is also acting for the mortgagee. Fees probably will range from about $600.00 and up depending on the Sale Price. Some Title Insurance companies are now doing a closing package.

Note: Some purchasers like to involve their lawyer prior to signing an offer.


Purchaser’s Closing Costs


At the time of presenting an Agreement of Purchase and Sale, you will have an option to submit a deposit cheque payable to the listing broker, or deliver on acceptance. This will be held in trust until closing. The cheque is usually certified and deposited on the day after acceptance. (If you are in a competition situation, it is a good idea to have a certified cheque on presentation.).

The amount of the cheque is usually from about 5% – 6% of the offering price, or more depending on the circumstances and closing date. If you have a home to sell or your money is tied up in a term deposit etc., you can often make arrangements with your financial institution for a short term loan or line of credit.


If there is not a survey showing the current location of fences, buildings, and structures, (and the agreement of purchase and sale does not state that the vendor will provide one) then it may be necessary to arrange for one. The mortgagee will either require a new survey or title insurance. This will vary with financial institutions.

Even if the mortgagee doesn’t require one, you may wish one. (especially if you are planning to do any extensions etc. in the future).

Costs vary from about $700 to $1000.

Title Insurance

This is becoming more popular, especially when there is no up-to-date survey. (As mentioned) or where there may be potential problems, such as encroachments etc. It is often used with mortgage refinancing or assurance for a minor title problem. The fee is in the area of $200 to $300 but could vary with more expensive homes.

The fee is in the area of $200 to $300 but could vary with more expensive homes.

Legal Fees

This varies according to the lawyer. Most lawyers charge a flat fee, plus disbursements. It is a good idea to get a couple of quotes. Make sure you ask what the fee includes (i.e. title insurance/disbursements etc.).

There is usually an extra fee if the lawyer is also acting for the mortgagee. Fees probably will range from about $600.00 and up depending on the Sale Price. Some Title Insurance companies are now doing a closing package. Note: Some purchasers like to involve their lawyer prior to signing an offer.


These are costs that your lawyer will have to pay on your behalf. They include things like the following: Photocopies, Tax Certificates, Zoning clearances and Work Orders, Couriers, Registration of Deeds/Mortgages, Postage, Long Distance Calls, Mortgage Schedules, Sheriff’s Certificate, Condominium Estoppel Certificate, etc. These will vary on different properties, but probably in the area of $600.00 and up.

Statement of Adjustments

The balance due on closing is the difference between the sale price and the amount of your deposit which was presented with the offer. However, there are a few things that get adjusted at the time of closing. The vendor is responsible for everything up to closing date and the purchaser is responsible from then on.

This would include things like Realty Taxes and fuel oil (if heated by oil).

The normal procedure is for the vendor to fill the fuel oil tank (200 gallons is standard) on closing and charge for a full tank. (Unless the purchaser is converting to gas, at which time other arrangements will be made.)

Utilities and Gas (which is metered) will be read on closing.

There may be other adjustments if the purchaser is assuming a mortgage. (Or if purchasing a new home)

Home Inspection

Usually done within 2-3 days from acceptance, although if thought to be in competition, some purchasers will do a pre-inspection. Usually between $300 to $400, plus GST. There may be additional charges if inspecting something specific, such as termites.

Home Insurance

From about $400 and up. Call for quotes. All mortgages must be noted on the policy. There is also an 8% insurance tax.

Note: If purchasing an older home with the old “knob and tube” wiring, you may have to shop around, as some companies will not insure the home unless it is replaced.


Most residential resales are exempt from GST, however, most of the services involved with the transaction will be subject to GST (e.g.- real estate commissions, lawyer’s fees, appraisals, processing fees, homes inspections, insurance, moving costs, etc.) Financial services are exempt (mortgage, brokerage, etc.)

Substantially renovated houses – are subject to GST if purchased from the Builder/Renovator.

Note: GST is a Tax and will not be added to the value of the home for finance purposes.

Land Transfer Tax

This tax is payable at the time of closing and these rates apply to residential resale only. See our post on Land Transfer Tax for rate estimates.

Arranging the First Mortgage

For a conventional mortgage, (75% of the Sale price) there could be a processing fee (from $200 to $300), and/or an appraisal fee (about $200) for arranging the first mortgage. If you choose to pay realty taxes with your mortgage payment, there could be a tax hold back from about 1/3 to 1/2 of the annual taxes or more. This would be for the purpose of building up a reserve to pay taxes in the following year.

Note: If arranging a mortgage over 75% of the Sale price (i.e. high ratio) the processing fees could be about $275 or more (an insurance premium on the principal amount of the mortgage would also apply, but this is usually added to the mortgage and not a closing cost.. from 0.5% to 3.75% depending on the down payment. There is also an 8% insurance tax)

Second Mortgage costs 

If arranging a second mortgage rather than a high ratio mortgage, there would be additional legal fees and Appraisal and brokerage fees. Approximately $500.00 and up PLUS Brokerage of about $475.00 and up.

Closing Date

Just a reminder at this point as to the procedure on the closing date. It will be necessary for your lawyer to obtain the money from you and the mortgagee, either the day prior to/ or the morning of the closing. They then have to arrange a time to close the transaction with the lawyer on the other side of the transaction. It is advisable not to order the moving truck too early in the day, as you are not entitled to the key/ and possession until the deal is closed. You then have to obtain the keys from your lawyer. Don’t pay for a mover to sit outside your new home.

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Understanding Real Estate Market Conditions

The real estate market is always changing. Sometimes quickly, sometimes more slowly.
Lakeview Realty Inc. knows the market and how it will affect your home sale and/or buying decisions.

It is important for you to understand the three basic types of conditions.

Market Type Characteristics Implications
for Buyers
Buyer’s market

(The supply of homes on the market
exceeds the demand, or number of buyers)

  • High Inventory of Listings
  • Few buyers compared to availability
  • Homes on Market longer
  • Prices more stable or dropping
  • You have more time to make a decision
  • More negotiation power
  • More product to choose from
  • Conditional offers considered
Seller’s Market

(The number of buyers wanting homes
exceeds the supply or number of homes on the market)

  • Minimal Inventory of Homes
  • Many buyers
  • Homes Sell Quickly
  • Prices on Increase
  • You may have to pay more than
  • You may have to make decisions quickly
  • Conditional Offers may be rejected
Balanced Market

(The number of homes on the market is
equal to the demand or number of buyers)

  • Demand Equals the supply
  • Sellers accept reasonable offers
  • Houses sell within reasonable time
  • Prices generally stable
  • More relaxed atmosphere
  • Reasonable Number of homes to choose
  • Normal negotiation process
  • Conditional offers probably considered


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Do You Need A Real Estate Sales Representative?

Working with a sales repWith the easy accessibility of information on the internet today, many purchasers ask themselves the question, “Do I need a real estate sales representative?” Many people start their search on “the net”, by checking out the industry sites for listings of homes in neighbourhoods of interest, information on financing, costs related to buying, etc.

This is actually a good idea at the beginning, especially if you are not sure where you want to live.

With all of that information so available, would you want to work with someone exclusively?

Following are just a few of the reasons why you should:

Sales Representatives and Brokers are aware of homes a number of days in advance of their appearance on the Internet. We also have more details about the specific homes then may be displayed on websites.

Once you have decided on the type of home and preferred locations, sales reps can notify you quickly once new listings appear on the “hot sheets.” Most new listings are published right away, but, some are not! You could miss the one you are waiting for. We check a couple of times a day for new listings and have automated systems checking more often than that.

Sales reps can be pre-inspected for you, so you don’t waste valuable time looking at those that would be of no interest. We all know the following… some ads or pictures may make it actually sound better than it is.

You may also require assistance with neighbourhood information, sale prices and home values, schools, etc. Sales reps also understand the condition of homes; costs of buying; agency and how it affects you; explanation of the offer and closing procedures; trends, negotiation and much more. Often they can point you to better financing options.

Contact us at Lakeview Realty Inc. to explain the full benefits of working with one of our sales representives.

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What do all those abbreviations mean?

What does it all mean … all of the short forms in listings, ads or feature sheets?    

The following are just a few of the common abbreviations you might see.

A/C Air
Apt. Apartment
Appls. Appliance
Bach. Bachelor
Balc. Balcony
B/I Built-in
Bkr. Breakfast
Bsmt. Basement
Bed., Bdrm.
where laid
Bldg. Building
Bung. Bungalow
C/A or
air, central air conditioning
C vac,
C/vac., Central vac.
Condo. Condominium
Det. Detached
Db. Double
Elf. Electric
light fixtures
Ex. Exercise
Exp. Exposure
Ext. Exterior
Foy. Foyer
Fncd. Fenced
Fpl., Fp.
Fl. Floor
Fur. Furnace
Gam. Games
burner & equipment (furnace)
Gar. Garage
Flr., Hrdwd Flr.
Incl. Included
Lau. Laundry
Lib. Library
Lof. Loft
LR. Living
Lux. Luxury
Nur. Nursery
Obf. Open
brick fireplace
Off. Office
O/L’s Over
Pan. Pantry
Pla. Play
Ph. Penthouse
Pc. Piece
Rec. Recreation
Rm. Room
Sit. Sitting
S/L Storage/locker
Sol. Solarium
Spac. Spacious
Stry. Storey
S&S Storms
& screens
Tan. Tandem
Twnhse. Townhouse
Utl. Utility
W/O Walk
W/W Wall to
W/D Washer/dryer
Wkshp. Workshop
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Agency Overview – Working With a Brokerage

Realtors work within the Law of Agency

As of January 1st, 1995, the Ontario Real Estate Association required agents to disclose to everyone involved, who it is they represent.

The Way It Was

In the past, many buyers thought that agents helping them were working in their best interests. The law, however, states that their duty lies with their client. Until now, that was always the Vendor. A buyer could always expect competent service, but in most cases, both agents were “working for the Vendor”

Now.. The buyer has a choice as to how he/she is represented.

  • The Agent is the Real Estate Company (the Broker) and all it’s salespeople
  • The Client is the party who contracts for an Agent to act on behalf of that party and assist with their real estate transaction
  • A customer is a person who receives services from another person’s agent, but they are not the Client of that person

Clear as mud?

Client.. Buyer Broker Situation.

This has become probably the most common situation now because a purchaser can hire an agent to work on their behalf to negotiate the best price and terms for them.

The buyer then becomes “their Client” and the agent must disclose any information that may affect their decisions.

The Sales Rep owes a fiduciary duty to that buyer.. confidentiality, disclosure, accountability etc. and will be able to give direct advice as to market activity, strategy etc.

The agent would work with the buyer to the fullest, making sure their interests are protected. This would include providing regular information on new listings, sales, and other pertinent information.

The best part is … There are no additional costs to hire an agent to represent you. (unless otherwise arranged). The buyer’s agent can be paid by the listing broker, as agreed upon in the listing agreement and MLS arrangements.

If the buyer chooses to be a client, then he/she must sign a Purchaser Agency Agreement with the agent, whereby the buyer agrees to work with that agent exclusively for a designated period of time.

If a buyer doesn’t choose this, then the agent is working for the Vendor, as before.

This can be a fairly lengthy topic, and this is just meant to be a very brief overview. Here are a few facts that may help you understand the relationships a little better:

REALTORS are governed by the legal concept of “ Agency.”

An agent is legally obligated to look after the best interests of the person he or she is working for. The agent must be loyal to that person.

A real estate company may be your agent – if you have clearly established an agency relationship with that REALTOR. But often, you may assume such an obligation exists when it does not.
REALTORS believe it is important that the people they work with understand when an agency relationship exists and when it does not – and understand what it means.

In real estate, there are different possible forms of agency relationship:

1 . Seller’s Agent

When a real estate company is a “seller’s agent,” it must do what is best for the seller of a property.

A written contract, called a listing agreement, establishes seller agency. It also explains services the company will provide, establishes a fee arrangement for the REALTOR’s services and specifies what obligations a seller may have.

A seller’s agent must tell the seller anything known about a buyer. For instance, if a seller’s agent knows a buyer is willing to offer more for a property, that information must be shared with the seller.

Confidences a seller shares with a seller’s agent must be kept confidential from potential buyers and others.

Although confidential information about the seller cannot be discussed, a buyer working with a seller’s agent can expect fair and honest service from the seller’s agent and disclosure of pertinent information about the property.

2. Buyer’s Agent

A real estate company acting as a “buyer’s agent” must do what is best for the buyer.

A written contract, called a buyer agency agreement, establishes buyer agency. It also explains services the company will provide, establishes a fee arrangement for the REALTOR’s services and specifies what obligations a buyer may have.

Typically, buyers will be obliged to work exclusively with that company for a period of time.

Confidences a buyer shares with the buyer’s agent must be kept confidential.

Although confidential information about the buyer cannot be disclosed, a seller working with a buyer’s agent can expect to be treated fairly and honestly.

3. Dual Agent

Occasionally a real estate company will be the agent of both the buyer and the seller. The buyer and seller must consent to this arrangement in their listing and buyer agency agreements. Under this “dual agency” arrangement, the company must do what is best for both the buyer and the seller.
Since the company’s loyalty is divided between the buyer and the seller who have conflicting interests, it is absolutely essential that a dual agency relationship is established in a written agency agreement. This agreement specifically describes the rights and duties of everyone involved and any limitations to those rights and duties.

Who’s working for you?

It is important that you understand who the REALTOR is working for. For example, both the seller and the buyer may have their own agent which means they each have a REALTOR who is working for them.

Or, some buyers choose to contact the seller’s agent directly. Under this arrangement, the REALTOR is working for the seller, and must do what is best for the seller, but may provide many valuable services to the buyer.

A REALTOR working with a buyer may even be a “sub-agent” of the seller. Under sub-agency, both the listing agent and the co-operating agent must do what is best for the seller even though the sub-agent may provide many valuable services to the buyer.

If the seller and the buyer have the same agent, this is dual agency and the REALTOR is working for both the seller and the buyer.

Code of Ethics

REALTORS believe it is important that the people they work with understand their agency relationship. That’s why agency disclosure is included in a self-­imposed Code of Ethics, which is administered by the Real Estate Council of Ontario.

The Code requires REALTORS to disclose in writing the nature of the services they are providing and encourages REALTORS to obtain written acknowledgement of that disclosure. The Code also requires REALTORS to enter into a written agency agreement with any sellers or buyers they are representing.

For more detailed information, please contact us.

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How Canadians can boost home value through renovation

By Gail Johnson

With the popularity of home-decorating shows like Trading Places soaring, suddenly everyone’s an interior designer. But from a real expert’s point of view, where are homeowners’ renovation dollars best spent?

“Kitchens and bathrooms are the best places to start,” says Toronto’s Howie Track, owner of Traxel Construction, which specializes in high-end residential and commercial renovation and construction. “Kitchens and bathrooms are the first places people look, and if a new buyer sees that the kitchens and bathrooms have been done, then there’s less for them to do.”

Figures from the Appraisal Institute of Canada support Track’s claim. According to the Ottawa-based property-valuation association, bathroom and kitchen renovations continue to be the most popular on the list of perennial home improvements, with a recovery rate of between 75 and 100 percent.

The organization defines “recovery rate” as the likely increase in a home’s resale value that could be attributed to a renovation. If a $10,000 renovation increases a home value by $6,000, for example, the recovery rate is 60 percent.

Landscaping vies for top spot too, according to Track. “If you can wow potential buyers with some curb appeal and the kitchen or bathrooms have also been done, then selling will be that much easier,” he says.

When it comes to renovating older homes, Track suggests updating wiring and plumbing. “Most knowledgeable home buyers will see this as a definite bonus. That said, many first-time homebuyers may not appreciate the work that has been done.”

Approximately 1.9 million households in 10 major Canadian centres did renovations in 2010, totalling almost $23 billion. The average cost of renos was nearly $13,000.

According to the AIC’s most recent data, energy-efficient upgrades are another popular focus for renovations, with an average recovery rate of 61 percent.

Other renovations that have higher recovery rates include the use of non-neutral interior paint colours (67 percent), the addition of a cooking island in the kitchen (65 percent), and the installation of a Jacuzzi-type bath separate from the shower stall (64 percent).

The biggest mistake people make when it comes to renovating is expecting Champagne-style results on a beer budget.

“Clients will say to me, ‘Get a few prices and we will go with the cheapest,'” Track explains. “In construction, you get what you pay for, and if you only consider price, then you are asking for trouble. It’s important not to overpay, but quality trades come at a cost. I always tell my sub-trades that I want good work at a fair price.”

Above all, planning is crucial. It takes at least two to three months to plan for a simple kitchen renovation, Track notes, urging people to read magazines and clip pictures of everything from layouts to paint colours.

“People who don’t plan always run into problems,” Track says. “People need to hire a good architect and a good designer to help them make informed decisions on materials and design. So many times I have clients who don’t want to spend money on a good architect or designer, and inevitably this leads to problems. The better you plan, the less the chance of making mistakes and the better the chance of coming in on time and on budget.

“Try to make as many decisions as possible before you start,” he adds. “By planning, you’ll have a better idea of how long the job will take and how much it will cost. Also, make informed decisions about materials and do some research.”

Budgeting is another basic, as is asking contractors for references and asking for examples of past projects.

“If you set a realistic budget for a job, you have a better chance of not exceeding it,” Track says. “It’s common for contractors to low-bid a job so that they get it. Once the job is underway, the client has no alternative but to pay all additional costs that arise in order to get the job done. There’s a square-footage or unit price for almost everything in construction, so the only real difference between contractors should be the fee they charge.”

Renovations that add features to a home that others in the neighbourhood already have, such as a second bathroom, have higher recovery rates than features not shared by adjacent properties, according to the AIC.

Poorly done renovations may have no positive impact or could actually reduce the value of a home.
Recovery rates and resale value aside, the AIC can’t put a cost on professionally done renovations when it comes to home owners’ sense of satisfaction and enjoyment. That’s priceless!