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Posts tagged with: homes

Should You Compete In A Bidding War?

May 10, 2014 - Updated: May 10, 2014Buying Real Estate


Some of the most dread words for a home or condo shopper to hear are: “multiple offers”.  The first thing my buyers think is… “I am not going to compete in a bidding war because I don’t want to over pay”.  That logic is pretty standard as I don’t know anyone one who willingly wants to over pay for anything.


Obviously people still engage in this seemingly cavalier behavior and end up winning the bidding wars despite this.  Do they have regrets?  I’m sure some do.  I’ve heard from people who felt the agent involved gave them the wrong advice and made them offer way too much money and in retrospect they could have offered less to win.


On the other hand perhaps some people may have the opposite feeling, one of happiness because they were the victor.  In this scenario the asking price may have been priced low and therefore the well informed buyer makes a conscious decision to give an offer higher than asking price but in reality they are still paying market value.


A third scenario can also be true.  Sometimes there are extraneous circumstances which prevail and the buyer has no choice.  I had a client some time ago who needed to buy an apartment next door to their own so their family can be close by for medical /safety concerns.  So they waited and waited until the neighbor finally decided to sell.  These buyers would have to decide on how important it was to own the unit next door vs. if they would have to compete in a bidding war.


The condo or home shopper really has to consider several things when shopping these days.  Does there budget meet the asking price of what they want or is it more realistic to find something cheaper.  How do they know their budget?  Did they get a real pre-approved mortgage or did someone ask them 3 or 4 basic questions and gave them a rough idea?  Confidence plays a huge role in a buyer’s strategy in multiple offer scenarios.


Many of my clients lately have been shopping at the top end of their budget.  They find homes they like but guess what other parties like the same homes too.  The thing is these clients are stretching to make an offer and are relying on negotiating the price down to be able to buy.  With all these multiple offers out there they will almost surely not be able to compete should the bidding war happen.  Now they have to look at a condo or home maybe in a different area to get the price to match or sacrifice something else.


Should the buyer wait until something else comes onto the market?  Maybe it does maybe it doesn’t.  I recall one time a client of mine found THE perfect condo.  They waited to see if the owner would reduce the price and before they made an offer someone else did.  They didn’t want to engage in a bidding war and lost their chance.  It’s been 3 years and they still haven’t found anything like the one they lost.  And the kicker is prices have gone up so much since then it would have been better to have at least tried to win a bidding war.


The usual manner for which a multiple offer is conducted is as follows.  The seller agent will inform the agents representing the buyers there is indeed multiple offers for the property.  The buyer agents are usually invited to meet at the seller agent’s office to make finally offers to the seller(s).  This is done for transparency.  The buyer agents can feel confident they are not being played because they are able to see all the agents present to make offers.  But, no one knows what the other’s offer is so the buyer is asked to bring their best offer forward.


After the seller is presented the offers they will discuss with their representation the merits of each offer and reach a conclusion as to which is the best offer.  The best offer is not always the one with the most money offered.  Other variables are at play such as the deposit amount which too low could mean the buyer is not as serious, the closing date may or may not be good for the seller and the clauses for finance and inspection may be waived making the deal more “firm”.


If you are an informed buyer and can understand you budget, need and your timetable requirements are tight then go for it.  You probably won’t have regrets afterwards.  For those who know you don’t have the budget then don’t bother wasting people’s time and energy and move on to something more realistic.  For those buyers who can “wait” years just understand prices are only going up and if you factor in the price increase over years you might be wiser to buy now.  In the end you win some and you can lose some.  But if you want to be the last man or woman standing you have to at least try.


By Todd Lee.  Be social and share Google+

Tagged with: bidding war buying multiple offers mississauga real estate blog condo condos houses homes

Selling Hot Homes!

November 24, 2012 - Updated: January 23, 2013Selling Real Estate

Staging to sell real estate

    Location, location, location! What about presentation? When it comes to selling a property presentation is key. Home buyers have a hard time imagining what the home could look like. Most home buyers won’t give you (the seller) the benefit of the doubt. Home buyers have to be physically shown why your property is worth their investment.

    But…how do you show them their dream home? The answer is home staging! Home staging transforms any property into a perfectly packaged product. This is the art and science of preparing a property for sale. Like any other product in today’s markets, a property has to be beautifully packaged and presented to generate interest and stimulate sales.

    In today’s market you have to be competitive. Homebuyers have many choices and they always want the best. Staged homes generate more buyer traffic, sell faster, and sell higher.  Every type of property can be improved with staging. Whether the property is vacant, partially furnished, or still lived‐in (occupied). Each case has its different challenges, and home staging helps by addressing factors that contribute to the overall presentation of the home by positively influencing the potential buyer’s state of mind.

    Homebuyers don’t just buy a property, they buy a lifestyle. By showing them an empty room, they have to imagine how everything in their life might fit. Where should I place the furniture? What colors would look good? It’s hard for buyers to make an emotional connection with the home and get excited when they’re trying to figure out how they could possibly fit a well‐sized dining table in this space. Make it easy on the buyers. People want to buy what they see! Home staging shows them the lifestyle they could have. It not only shows them how the furniture would fit, it shows them how amazing all the features of the home can look when they’re accented by the perfect furniture and décor. Home staging shows the home at it’s full potential.

Empty dining room before staging. After dining room staged.
Dining room before staging Dining room after staging

    Lived‐in homes are a bit different in the sense that you usually have to de‐clutter and de‐personalize before you can add anything else. The benefit of de‐cluttering and de‐personalizing a home is to make the rooms look more spacious, neutralize the colors, and make the home appealing to the widest range of potential buyers. Homebuyers want to envision their own family living in a space with the lifestyle that they are accustomed to. By de‐personalizing and de‐cluttering you are creating an inviting feeling for anyone who walks in.

Lived in bedroom before staging. Bedroom after staging.
Bedroom before staging bedroom after staging


Family room before staging. Family room after staging.
Family room before staging Family room after staging

    No matter what the case is. There’s always something you can do to improve your chances of completing a better sale. It is important to prepare your property before you list it because you want to show it at its best when it’s still “hot on the market”. When properties sit on the market for too long, they usually get a price reduction to entice buyers to at least come and view the property. Why list an unprepared property and risk a price reduction when home staging costs a lot less than the first price reduction? How many properties are listed that are similar to yours within 10 kilometers? How will you attract buyers and stand out amongst the competition? You can’t change the location but you can help the presentation.  Remember, you’re not just selling a property, you’re selling a lifestyle!

Chandra Bradley
Home Staging Visuals Inc.
CEO, Lead Stager & Designer

Watch the Todd Lee TV video of this house here.

Tagged with: staging selling homes homes houses

Don’t forget to negotiate for the man cave when you buy Mississauga Real Estate.

November 2, 2012 - Updated: April 18, 2014Houses

   Here’s the scenario.  Being a modern family man you are no stranger to making sacrifices for your wife and children.  You wake up early; you go to work, help with children, clean the house, fix anything that’s broke and even make dinner.  All of these things you gladly do usually without receiving any gratitude. But that’s cool…it’s for your loved ones.  So you have some time to watch a football game on a Sunday afternoon, but the kids own the living room.  Your bedroom is neatly tidied up and your wife will give you heck for messing it up.  Besides, you don’t bring pizza and beer to the bedroom anyways.  You could in a Man Cave.  The problem is you forgot to negotiate with your wife for one before you bought that dream Mississauga real estate!

    Some people might say ... the man of the house can always build one later, either in the basement or the garage.  The truth is the garage is for cars.  This is Canada folks and it’s kind of cold there in the winter time.  The basement option would probably turn out to be a corner and the rest of the space dedicated to the children and storage of things like photo albums and dresses from the wife’s wedding and prom.  In the end, the man cave in the corner is only a good idea for the woman and children of the house, but it’s a pretty pathetic option for the man.

    A true man cave has to accomplish these two things.

  1. The sanctity of the man cave should be preserved and free from all external disturbances.  Only then will the man be able to fully recharge his batteries to take on the rigors of life.
  2. The Man cave must be a place where the surroundings are catered for the man’s entertainment and relaxing pleasures. 

    Here are the ingredients for a basic man cave. The man cave will have a place to relax such as a comfy couch.  There’s usually a place for refreshments such as a bar.  While relaxing the man of the cave will want to watch his favorite television programing.  Hence forth he will have a big screen TV to watch while sitting on his comfy couch and he will want the company of his fellow man friends and they will want to watch football and drink beer.  Other notable requirements for a man cave would be to play games, such as billiards or cards or Xbox.  If a man had this room to relax, his life will be blessed and he will live long and merrily.

    I’m not saying to ignore your family.  I think they would really like the idea of a man cave especially when they understand their benefits.  I’m positive the wife would enjoy watching a good movie from time to time with the big screen TV.  Kid size games can entertain the little ones.  When the children get to be older they will love to hang out with their friends at home.  For parents this is a great way to give teens space, but have them close by.  Therefore I say men, go for it.  Negotiate for that man cave when you buy Mississauga real estate.

By Todd Lee

Tagged with: mississauga real estate house homes

Detached Homes – Real Estate 101

September 25, 2012 - Updated: April 18, 2014Real Estate

    I am frequently asked questions by clients about the differences, advantages and disadvantages of the different classes of real estate people live in.  I often give really simple answers like a town home is the same thing as a row home or a detached home is the most desirable style of home because there is no sharing of a common wall. In truth there is a little bit more I should say and I think this is a better forum to educate.  This first part of Real Estate 101 I will delve into the topic of Detached Homes and answer the questions...What is a Detached Home?  What are the different types of Detached Homes?  What are the strengths and weakness of Detached Homes?

    A Detached Home is defined as being a single family dwelling on a plot of land. In Ontario we are accustomed to seeing this type of residential structure everywhere and in many different styles.
    The Bungalow is characterized as having all the main living quarters on one floor ex. bedroom(s), kitchen, family room, dining room etc.  Historically this style was popular in the 1900’s to the 1940’s.  These days the popularity of the bungalow stems from not having any stairs in the main living area, thus making it a dwelling sought after by empty nesters. These homes were typically small and did not have a garage.  Typically in Canada, these types of homes would have a basement because of the frost line, but overall this was not a good design as the building foot print required lots of land. 
    Ranch Style Bungalows were big during the 1970’s to 1980’s adding to the attributes of the basic bungalow.  These included an extended size to about 2000 feet and a double garage that was attached to the main structure. Like the basic Bungalow, these homes were not efficient with the use of land.
    Another variation of the Bungalow is the Bi-Level Style or Split Entrance.  In this formation, the main entrance is located below the main level where all the living quarters were and above the basement.  This created more useable space in the basement for larger windows, which in turn gaves more ventilation and sunlight.  The efficiency of the use of land was increased by using this style versus the Ranch and basic Bungalows.
    The One and One Half Storey Home differs from the Bungalow as it has about 60% of the living space on the main floor. Because the roof slope was steep the “half” was space created in the roof often used for living space ala a bedroom. This was a more economical use of land and became popular in the 1950’s.  The Cape Cod Style is the One and One Half Storey home with dormers which added more ventilation and sunlight to the upper living space.  The drawback to the One and One Half Storey home was the ceiling angles limited the living space caused by the slope of the roof. 
Detached Home Sample    The Two Storey is the most popular style of detached home since the 1980’s.  Advantages of this style is, a combination of large living space, upper levels don’t have angled ceilings and there is a distinct level for sleeping in the upper level, living on the main level and storage in the basement.  While this choice offers many advantages, its drawback is many stairs to traverse between levels.
    First built in the 1960’s the Split Level Home is a style that attempts to combine the strengths of the Bungalow, Split Entrance Bungalow and the Two Storey home.  The idea is to provide easy moving from one floor to another by having shorter stairways in between levels.  The main entrance would be below the living area and above the basement just like the Split Entrance Bungalow.  The living area will move up a half a flight of stairs from the main entrance.  The top level would be another half flight of stairs above the living area.    Split Level homes could be constructed as either a Back Split or a Side Split.  Because of the many small stairways inherent to this design, detractors will point out that feature does not help flow, but instead hinders it.
    As a final commentary of Detached homes, I specifically would like to turn the focus to the area I work the most, Mississauga.  Typically if you are shopping for detached homes of the bungalow, split level or one and one half storey styles you would need to search the older areas of Mississauga. Generally in the east close to Etobicoke such as Applewood, Lakeview, in the South Central like Mississauga Valleys, Cooksville, Mineola, Port Credit and in the west like Lorne Park, Clarkson, Erin Mills and Sheridan and to the north like Streetsville.
    Two storey homes will be found everywhere in Mississauga, but are generally newer built in central Mississauga like Fairview and Erindale and west and north such as Central Erin Mills, Hurontario, East Credit, Meadowvale Village, Churchill Meadows, Meadowvale and Lisgar. For current listings of detached homes in Mississauga please go to my Detached Homes For Sale webpage.
    Thank you once again for reading my blog.  I hope you found it to be informative and generally helpful.  If you have any questions regarding real estate in Mississauga please contact me at
By Todd Lee
Tagged with: detached homes mississauga bungalow split one and one half two storey house houses definition todd lee advantages disadvantages questions real estate

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