The Riz Team Blog

Posts Tagged ‘sellers’


Wednesday, February 7th, 2018

The Riz Team January Stats

There were 270 residential sales in January through the Multiple Listing System (MLS® System) of the Kitchener-Waterloo Association of REALTORS® (KWAR), a decrease of 18 per cent compared to January 2017.

“On the surface, activity appears to be somewhat sluggish in January, says Tony Schmidt, KWAR President. “However if we set aside the past two years, it was a very typical January in terms of the number of sales. What is less typical is that listing inventory is still at historic low levels, and we continue to see multiple offers on properties putting upward pressure on prices.”

Total residential sales in January included 149 detached (down 23.6 per cent), and 70 condominium units (down 11.4 per cent) which includes any property regardless of style (i.e. semis, townhomes, apartment, detached etc.). Sales also included 27 semi-detached homes (down 18.2 per cent) and 22 freehold townhouses (up 10 per cent).

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Why more home sellers are listing in January

Friday, January 11th, 2013

With an uncertain housing market, more homeowners are opting to put their houses on the market in January. Here are some tips for buyers and sellers to negotiate a safe and successful winter home sale!

By Mark Weisleder |   Fri Jan 11 2013|

January is a slow month for real estate as most sellers choose to wait until the middle of February in the hopes of capitalizing on the early spring market. However, given the uncertainty in the housing market right now, more sellers are opting to put their house on the market in January.

This presents an opportunity for buyers. Most people are reluctant to uproot their families during the school year, so that means less competition — and fewer bidding wars. Lenders will not be as busy, so buyers can expect a more efficient process to get approved for a mortgage to ensure they have financing in place before making an offer.

But there are things you simply won’t be able to inspect during the winter. Here are some tips for protecting yourself when making a deal during the winter months:


Spruce up the outside: Use urns with light wood branches to brighten up the exterior of your home, to compensate for any overcast day or snow on the ground.

Get rid of the Christmas lights: homes that look dated on the outside give the impression that they are probably dated on the inside.

Make sure your fireplace is working during any showing, that the temperature is comfortable in the home and that any interior lighting compensates for what is usually grey lighting from outside.

Have pictures of your landscaping available from the summer and autumn, showing how beautiful your home looks year round.

Have available any inspections that you may have done on your air-conditioning unit or swimming pool before they were closed for the winter, as buyers will likely not be able to conduct inspections on these items and will have questions.

Consider inviting a company to do an environmental audit on your home in advance, confirming that there is no moisture behind the walls that could lead to mould and that you have sufficient insulation behind the walls.


If there is anything that cannot be inspected because of the winter, such as the air-conditioning system or any swimming pool, then negotiate an extended warranty in the agreement, to give you until at least May 1, to inspect and have the seller be responsible for any damages. In addition, also negotiate a holdback of, say, $2,000 so that if a problem arises, the money comes out of that fund to fix it and you don’t have to chase the seller in court later.

Be careful about snow accumulating around the base of the home. It will be difficult for a home inspector to figure out whether the grading is likely to cause water problems in the basement later. Consider doing your own environmental audit to check for moisture behind any walls.

If the snow on the roof looks like it is evaporating faster than the snow around the house, it is likely a sign that there is not enough insulation in the home.

Check with your insurance company early as to whether you will have any difficulty obtaining insurance on the home; for example, by finding out whether there have been claims made in the neighbourhood about water damages or sewage backups.

Check whether snow accumulation makes it more difficult for street parking, as this may be the only parking available on certain streets. Also see how bad weather may affect your morning commute.

Check the last electric/gas bills, to determine how energy efficient the home is in winter.

People tend to hibernate and stay at home in the winter, so take the opportunity to get to know the neighbours before you finalize your purchase.

By being properly prepared in advance, buyers and sellers can negotiate a safe and successful winter home sale.

Read more stories from Mark Weisleder: click here.

Mark Weisleder is a Toronto real estate lawyer. Contact him at



10 Cheap Home Selling Tips

Friday, October 12th, 2012

Easy ways to make your home more attractive to potential buyers

ByYuki Hayashi

Getting ready to sell? Move your property fast – and for the highest selling price possible – with these easy, affordable staging tricks. These deal-sealing changes will make your home attractive to the largest pool of potential buyers, and the best part is, you can start at any stage in the game. Who knows – you may love your home’s new look so much that you decide not to list after all!

1 Paint!

Dollar for dollar, a fresh coat of paint gives you more bang for your decorating buck than anything else. Even if your current palette is relatively new, any scuffs or wear marks will channel an unkempt vibe. And an unusual colour choice – even if the height of fashion – may limit your home’s appeal. So break out that roller and slap on a couple coats of crowd-pleasing warm white or sand paint.

2 Improve the lighting
Replace any dated light fixtures ASAP. How can you tell if it has to go? If it’s over 15 years old and looks it – yet isn’t a vintage (50-75 years old) or antique piece (older) – it should probably go. “Retro” is not something most homebuyers are looking for. You don’t need to break the bank, just head to IKEA or Canadian Tire.

3 De-clutter
Take the collectibles off the mantel, put the mismatched armchair into storage (or better yet, donate it) and pare your closets down to what you’re actually wearing this season, packing away the rest. Ideally, all this extra stuff would head to charity (if in good, saleable condition), the garbage dump, or into storage. The more you store onsite, the more cluttered and small your home appears.
4 Give dated bathrooms a facelift
A nice bath helps sell a house but, don’t invest in a total renovation. Renos are costly, and you won’t recoup your costs unless you find your exact décor doppelganger. Bring an out-of-date bath up to speed with gleaming white walls whether via a fresh coat of white bath and kitchen paint or ceramic tile and new lighting (Home Depot excels at affordable, stylish bathroom vanity lighting). Buy neutral new shower curtains, a simple new bath mat and vanity set, and have fresh flowers in the room during open houses.

5 Take down curtains
Dated window treatments need to come down, pronto (if it’s over 10 years old, get rid of it). If privacy isn’t an issue, just leave the windows bare to maximize natural light and make the room’s dimensions seem more generous. Otherwise, buy basic-issue cotton or linen drapes from Linens ‘N Things or another well-priced retailer. Always tie drapes back during viewings and open houses.

6 Put up mirrors
Make small rooms appear bigger and dark rooms seem brighter by adding an attractive wall mirror. A boxlike dining room will benefit from a leaning floor mirror (Lowes sells well priced ones, and HomeSense often has great deals) and an entranceway more welcoming with a console mirror.

7 Update porch hardware
Increase your home’s curb appeal by updating the hardware on your front porch. Buy a doorknocker or bell, mailbox, kick plate, doorknob and lockset in a set or in complementary styles. Brushed nickel is a neutral finish that will never date, while oil-rubbed bronze is another favourite.

8 And the porch light
Update your porch light to coordinate with the new hardware, if needed. They don’t have to be an exact match or even come from the same period, but the finishes and styles should look pleasing together.

9 Spiff up the front yard
Refresh your front yard according to the season. In spring, summer and fall, trim back dead plants and foliage and plant attractive annuals or perennials in flowerbeds. In winter, keep the walkway shoveled and cut back any tree or shrub branches damaged by heavy snowfall. A pair of planters flanking the front door and filled with seasonal arrangements instantly conveys pride of ownership.

10 Tend the backyard

Simple fix-its will make the most of your existing yard layout. Replace any damaged boards on your deck or fence, and apply a fresh coat of paint, or stain and sealant if the finish needs it. Weed and groom your garden and add some perennials for colour when in-season. If kids’ toys are taking over the space, put some in storage. Think “tidy,” “update” and “refresh”: never do anything costly or major like adding a swimming pool or pond, which may put off potential buyers.



How Fight Over a 19-foot Bookshelf Ended up in Court

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

If a wall unit is attached by a hook or other device that can be easily removed, then it may not be included with the house

By Mark Weisleder |  Tue Oct 9 2012

When there is confusion about what fixtures are to remain in a home after closing, it often ends up in court. The lesson is to be careful and clear when you write up your contract so you don’t have to sue later.

In 2009, Mark and Denise Holland bought a house on Sherwood Road in Ajax. The listing said a “built-in” bookcase in the recreation room was included. This bookcase was 19 feet long and 7 feet high.

The couple’s offer said that all “built-in cupboards” and permanent fixtures were included in the price, but when they moved in, the bookcase was gone. The sellers said it was a mistake that it had been included in the listing and since the bookcase was not attached to the wall, it was not a fixture.

The agent admitted that the bookcase was mentioned in the listing by mistake. The buyers complained to the Real Estate Council of Ontario. The council ruled that the error was made by the listing agent, and that the sellers were not properly protected and the buyers were misled by the false advertising. However, the council does not award damages, so the buyers had to sue in small claims court for the cost of the bookcase.

In court, the seller’s daughter testified she was present when the buyers toured the property and were told explicitly that the basement bookcase did not go with the house. The buyers admitted they did not closely examine the bookcase to see whether it was attached to the wall. In a decision on September 2, 2011, Justice Albert Cooper accepted the daughter’s evidence and noted that the buyers offered no evidence to contradict her story. He ruled that the buyers were not entitled to the bookcase.

I had a situation where the offer said “built-in microwave.” The microwave was not built-in so the sellers took it with them. The buyer complained after closing. When I asked the sellers whether there was another microwave in the kitchen, they said no. So I asked them, what did you think the words built-in microwave meant? They could not answer and eventually agreed to give back the microwave.

Related: They walked from house deal and were sued

When you are buying any home, you can never get too detailed about what you expect to be included. Ordinarily, the rule is that if it is attached to the house, it is a fixture and it stays with the house. If it is not attached, then it is considered a chattel, and it doesn’t stay with the house unless the buyer includes it in the contract.

Try to avoid general statements such as “built-in.” They may not be built in after all and may only be attached by a hook or other device that can be easily removed. Instead, be careful to list the make and model number of all appliances, and also note the colour and location of any drapes, carpeting, closet organizers, cabinets, bookcases, mirrors, pool equipment, satellite dishes, barbecues, sheds, garage door openers and anything else that you expect to be on the property after you move in.

Take pictures of the items during your home inspection so that you have proof in case the seller tries to replace anything with cheaper items.

By being careful and clear when you write your contract, you can avoid aggravation after closing.

More Mark Weisleder real estate columns

Mark Weisleder is a Toronto real estate lawyer. Contact him at


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