Why a hybrid broker might be an excellent choice

You would be surprised how many excellent small brokerages are in Ottawa

So what exactly is a “hybrid” broker?
We are adopting the term,  “hybrid” broker as a way of categorizing the growing number of smaller, nimble real estate brokerages that offer a middle of the road option for sellers to consider.  These kinds of brokerages may offer a mix of services and specialties and often offer lower cost listing fee options than the typically higher priced corporate brand name brokerages.  Sellers also can go to the other end of the spectrum and choose a for-sale-by-owner (FSBO) company, but that too has its drawbacks.
So a hybrid broker might be one that provides a middle of the road option between the large, franchise broker and the FSBO option.

How many real estate brokerages can you name?
Most consumers will be aware of a half a dozen major brand name brokerage brands and perhaps a few independents. (particularly those that spend a lot on company advertising or radio shows) These same folks might be surprised to know that there are 176 brokerage members in the Ottawa Real Estate Board.  That’s a lot of choice and a lot of talent, almost all of whom are very experienced and have simply taken the next step in running their own independent businesses.  We are entering our 13th year, as Oasis Realty Brokerage on April 24th.

Why do large brokerages have to charge so much?
In defense of our larger broker brethren, we suggest that even 5% is not a huge sales cost, relative to just about any other product or service one could think of marketing.  So while the dollar cost is large, (and compounded by HST on those services, land transfer taxes and other costs) our current MLS® system in organized real estate, is a very good deal even at 5%.

As most will be aware, real estate commissions are typically split 50/50 between the listing salesperson/brokerage and the buyer representative and brokerage, with both parts most often totalling 5% in commission.  These fees are paid by the seller out of the sale proceeds at time of closing. (so indirectly, the buyer is paying for all the commission in the price of the house, even though the sellers’ lawyer is writing the cheque.)

Larger brokerages have a significantly higher overhead than most hybrid brokerages including bricks and mortar expense, corporate payments, management and administration.  They also have a major focus on recruiting and training salespeople.  Sales people working for these large organizations have to pay for this and these fees can be quite significant.  Thus, the need to stick to the higher 5% type of listing fees.

Many smaller, independent brokerages avoid this corporate administration and overhead and are therefore able to offer equal to or better than services levels at a drastically reduced cost.  In our own case, we are able to do this and pass these savings on our to our clients in a range of 20% to 50% of the fees charged by 5% Realtors!

So why not just call them “discount” brokerages?
Not all hybrid brokerages offer discounts but may have a different sort of focus or speciality.  Though “discount” brokerage is probably an accurate title and is well accepted as a descriptor for many other businesses (ie discount stock brokerage, discount store, discount airline etc.)  the larger organizations in real estate have demonized the term  (and quite frankly in an anti-competitive way) in real estate parlance.  The discount brokerage is bad mouthed every day in large brokerage training rooms and sales meetings with these messages repeated to consumers across kitchen or dining room tables in an attempt to portray the service offered by firms like ours as inferior to their own.

Much fear-uncertainly and doubt (FUD) has been spread by so many big company Realtors for so long, that many consumers actually believe it is true.  Typical assertions sound like this:
-you get what you pay for
-these small, fly by night or part time Realtors don’t last long
-they don’t advertise your property and don’t properly support your listing
-other agents won’t show their listings
yadda, yadda, yadda….

Service and savings! (or other specialties)
Realtors give a tremendous service level and ours is no different.  The difference however, will be seen directly on the amount of equity you have to take with you out of your sale proceeds!  The average residential selling price in Ottawa at time of writing is $451,422 which translates in to average savings of over $10,000 for our sellers (vs 5% fees/commissions)!  That’s a lot of extra cash to put in to your next property!

Sorry for the rant but we just felt that there is clearly an interest from consumers in paying less and still getting quality services and for too long, the only apparent or acceptable avenues are to go from one extreme to other. ie a FSBO or a 5%-er.  So please consider “shopping local” and using one of the 120 (or more) smaller hybrid brokerages who are not constrained by a franchise or corporate management or policy framework.

Gord McCormick, Broker of Record
Dawn Davey, Broker
Oasis Realty Brokerage
613-435-4692  613-371-9691 Mobile/text

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Tough listing decisions, even in our sellers’ market

a lot of key decisions to make before the sign goes in the ground

Our Ottawa sellers’ market continues with limited listing inventory and upwards pressure on prices.  This is tough on buyers and their representatives, as we are seeing many offer dates and multiple offers, especially in the mid-price categories.  So one would think everything is easy for sellers, right?

Though it is a good time to be selling, there are still several important listing decisions to be made by sellers and here are a few of the critical ones:

Who pick for a listing agent?
This is one of the first things to decide and since Ottawa is flush with over 3,100 Realtors and 176 brokerages, there are many choices.  It is important to get this decision done as quickly as possible, so you can establish a good working relationship and work on a cohesive listing and marketing plan.  Scrambling to find an agent after you have found your dream home, may not be the best strategy.

Do I buy first or sell first?
Age old question for those with an existing home to sell and there are pros and cons to each position.  In a buyer’s market or even a balanced market, one may be able to secure a “first refusal” agreement to purchase a property that is conditional on the sale of an existing home.  In these sellers’ market conditions however, sellers are not prone to consider such an offer, unless the price and other offer details are truly exceptional.

When do I list?
Those with a house to sell will probably have the timing dictated by when they find their next dream home, as in most cases, closing dates on the existing property and the new property, will have to line up.

Those with some flexibility, will want to study sales patterns and understand when might be best for their own property.  In a rising market like this, there may be some advantage in listing later but one never knows what market conditions may be even 3 or 4 months down the road.  We have a seasonal peaks and valleys in unit sales, so those must also be considered.

Do I list on MLS® or is it worth considering an “exclusive” listing?
An exclusive listing may save some commission and HST expense but is it really the best vehicle to market the property?  We are seeing more “exclusive” listings these days, although most tend to be of quite short duration.  In some cases it is used as simply a pre-announcement of a pending MLS® listing and in other cases, agents are using it as a means to draw buyer prospects for themselves.

Should I try selling it myself?
There are always challenges in selling privately and even more so in this fast paced market.  Inexperienced sellers potentially face a host of unfamiliar situations such as multiple offers, bully offers or even sales falling through that are best handled by an experienced professional.   In addition, the savings gained are often far less than advertised by the FSBO sales and marketing organizations.

How do I establish my listing price?
Always a critical step and strategies may vary, depending in individual circumstances.  Some may wish to underprice their listing price, in order to generate multiple offers, while others will simply put a strong market price on the property and be prepared to consider offers immediately.

Should I hold back offers?
We are seeing a lot of these “offer dates” this year and this is no surprise.  Holding offers for 5 or 7 days after listing, allows a good opportunity for all buyers to consider the property, have a chance to visit (via private showing or an open house) and decide whether they wish to submit an offer.  While wider exposure is generally good and should generate the best market value offer, many buyers may choose to participate in a multiple offer situation and bypass the property.  Military and RCMP and other government personnel moving on the Federal government Relocation Plan may also not be able to consider waiting for an offer night, given the tight timelines they have to purchase a home. Typically, they have a week or less, so they cannot afford to wait 5 to 7 days for the offer hold back date.

Should I consider “bully” offers?
A “bully” offer is one which a buyer submits during the offer hold back stage ie well before the offer date.  Typically, such an offer will be very attractive on both offer price and terms.  It is intended be so strong that a seller may wish to reconsider waiting for the offer date and consider accepting the bully offer and not waiting for the offer date.  Tough call to make and one best managed jointly with a Realtor.  There are some important protocols to be followed in considering a bully offer and notifying all other parties who have expressed an interest in the property.

Should I put any restrictions on showing times and availability?
In this fast paced market, buyers and their agents will be very active in quickly getting in to see new listings.  Sellers will want to have a strategy for this, including regulating scheduling of private showings.  It can be quite upsetting if the listing is popular to have a half a dozen (or more!) agents and buyers coming through the home at different times of the day.

Should I have an Open House?
Many may feel an Open House is not necessary in this market, yet it may be a way to aggregate or consolidate what would otherwise have been 10 or 12 private showings.  Also, a busy open house is a great way for those buyers to know the interest level on the property.  This is another good discussion to have with your listing agent or broker.


Gord McCormick, Broker of Record
Dawn Davey, Broker
Oasis Realty Brokerage
613-435-4692  oasisrealty@rogers.com

Stittsville sales strong out of the gate in 2019

Stittsville sales hot in winter 2019

Stittsville real estate continues demonstrating strong sales activity, despite the listing limitations and the presence of significant new construction activity in the Stittsville and South Kanata areas.

Overall residential unit sales on MLS® through February were up 51.9% (82 sales vs 54), it’s early yet and these are two of the three lowest sales months of the year!

Stittsville North of Hazeldean Rd. (MLS zone 8211) leads the way in units sold, with 38 sales this year vs 15 a year ago.  Prices in Stittsville North were also up strongly, with an average selling price of $429,530 up 12% vs 2018.

Kanata, meanwhile, also moved ahead with a 9.7% unit sales increase through February and an average selling price of $473,558, an average increase of 8.2%.

Barrhaven posted a unit sales increase of 16.9% at an average selling price of $465,043 which represented an average selling price increase of 11.1% vs last year at the same time.

Ottawa overall:
For comparison, the total Ottawa area unit sales are up 8% and average selling price is $451,446, (up 5.4%)  so the 3 suburban communities noted above are certainly ahead of the overall average thus far this year.

Key trends:
Listing inventory remains extremely low and we have seller’s market conditions.  So while this makes selling a home somewhat easier, the buying side can be a real challenge!

We are seeing listings sell faster and though we do not have definitive stats, it would appear it is another year that will feature many “offer dates” in listings and correspondingly, more multiple offers.

Strongest activity and demand is in the $300-$450K price segment which accounts for over 42% of sales.

Builder sales continue to be strong and prices are also advancing.  Buyers can expect lineups for new lot releases and diminished sales incentives, as builders continue to record strong sales.  Delivery timelines may also be pushed out, as builder resources may be strained in some cases, as they are recording strong sales on top of existing orders for homes under construction or to be built.

Expect to see fewer open houses, (and more cancelled ones) as properly priced homes in the midrange category sell very quickly.

Very fast paced market and probably not one a buyer or seller wants to navigate without a Realtor on board.

Existing homeowners may want to consider a “listing readiness” evaluation, just in case the next “dream home” happens to hit their radar this year.  Even if you have no plans to move this year, be aware that prices could rise as much as 7 or 8%, given the current listing inventory shortage.  This means the average dream home could be going up as much as $30K-$40,000 this year!

We suggest you contact your Realtor to obtain a market evaluation and listing readiness review done, even if you don’t have immediate plans.  Doing so, may help decide on reno’s, updates or repairs that can be researched and completed over the course of 2019.  When one finds the dream home, there is no time for any of these activities.

Feel free to give us a call with any real estate question and we would be happy to assist, if you are not already working with another Realtor, You can also find us online at our website, blog and social media sites below.


Gord McCormick, Broker of Record
Dawn Davey, Broker
Oasis Realty Brokerage 613-435-4692

oasisrealty@rogers.com  oasisrealtyottawa.com

@oasisrealtyOTT  https://www.facebook.com/oasisrealtyottawa/


February 2019 sales limited but average prices surge

snow and cold did not deter February buyers

Ottawa real estate showed a slight unit sales increase in the month of February 2019 of 2.8%, just a handful of sales ahead of last year.  Continuing listing inventory shortages pushed prices up but curtailed unit sales increases.

Here is a snapshot of key indicators for the month’s sales:
Unit sales:
Residential sales were up 3.8% during the month and condo sales were flat compared to last year.
Average prices:
The average residential sale was up 8.6% to $466,540 and the average condo sale was up 5.6% to $288,354
Listing inventory:
Residential listing inventory is 20.1% below last year and condo listing inventory is 31% lower than last year.
New listings:
Further compounding the listing inventory situation is the fact that new listings during the month were also on the negative side, with 6.5% fewer new listings during the month and 21.9% fewer condos.
If these trends continue, we should see continuing upward price pressure and a continuation of the sellers’ market conditions.

For your neighbourhood specific details, contact your Realtor or the undersigned.

Gord McCormick, Broker of Record

Oasis Realty Brokerage  613-435-4692 oasisrealty@rogers.com
text: 613-371-9691

Is Zillow the Netflix or Uber of the real estate business?

Zillow is now in Canada

What is Zillow™?
Zillow is one of the leading online real estate companies in the US and has recently expanded its presence to Canada.  The eventual public availability of sold data via the Competition Bureau vs Toronto Real Estate Board court decision in 2018 was a key milestone in this expansion.

Zillow™ (www.zillow.com ) was founded in 2006 by two ex-Microsoft employees and has since grown to $1.3 B in annual revenue. Headquarters is in Seattle and they are traded on Nasdaq. They have primarily grown by posting listings, attracting consumer clicks and selling advertising to real estate agents and other 3rd parties.  The have also amassed a collection of real estate related businesses and generate a huge volume of online traffic.

Where do they see the future?
While today they would characterize themselves as a real estate advertising and technology company,  in the future it seems clear they see tremendous growth for providing end to end “one-stop-shopping” via an online real estate system that connects buyers to sellers (with or without agents?) inspectors, photographers, stagers, mortgage brokers, lenders. Lawyers and any other party necessary to do a real estate purchase and sale.  They already have a system in the US where consumers can sell their home to Zillow for a guaranteed amount and then Zillow will remarket that property either themselves or via their existing Premiere Agents.
In a recent conference call on their Q4 2018 results, the company apparently has growth targets to get it to $22B in annual revenue in the next 3-5 years.  This is quite a leap from the current $1.3M !

Real estate market disruption:
Many consumers would agree that real estate has been ready for an Uber like disruption for some time and there is certainly some truth in that.  There is even a new business segment called Proptech that has generated large amounts of venture capital and stock market investment in recent years and this alone will push the sector development and growth exponentially.

Zillow™ has either built or acquired quite a few real estate related businesses and technology for providing better service and information to both consumers and Realtors and at a recent presentation here In Ottawa, quite strongly presented the position that organized real estate was an important stakeholder in their system and would continue to be.  In fact, we saw some US stats recently online that said that something like 93 % of real estate transactions in the US (National Assn of Realtors) involved a real estate professional which is actually quite higher than a decade ago.

In Canada?
Zillow ™ started up in Canada with its first hires in 2018 and has been publishing listings which of course are critical to getting the maximum online traffic.  Having the data on sold properties will be huge and eventually allow them to offer their Zestimate ™ feature which allows a consumer to get a real time online estimate of their homes value, using their advanced AI algorithm that depends on the sold data.  Consumers already see lots of these online but mostly rely on a Realtor on the other end to create an evaluation.

Getting this data and data from other sources (tax assessment, etc) and knitting it all together for Canada will take some time and the big challenges will be a) getting a significant % of Realtor listings and b) getting sufficient Realtor advertising funding and c) navigating the provincial regulatory rules across Canada to ensure compliance d) assimilating all the data and getting the word out to consumers e) dealing with all the local issues typical in Canada ie need for bilingual service, small widespread geography

Zillow is one of many but perhaps the best established:
There are many new entrants in the real estate business, and Zillow is but one of many.  They seem to have (for now anyway) an expansion by co-operation with organized real estate.  Many others do not and seek to simply eliminate and streamline the buying and selling process as much as possible and if that means eliminating the real estate agent and brokerage then so be it.

Purplebricks™ is another newer entrant to the Canadian market which is essentially a similar online business (though much smaller) disguised as a for-sale-by-owner company and a real estate brokerage.  Purplebricks™ is a UK based company which bought the Comfree organization in Canada last year.

Interesting to note: like many technology companies and other start-ups, few of these new companies are profitable, including Zillow™ which showed a net loss of $119M in 2019 on sales of $1.3B.

We think Zillow with their long term development in the US, will eventually be a leader in this space, here in Canada.

Just because it’s feasible, doesn’t mean it’s completely ready for prime time:
o there are many interesting changes coming for consumers and organized real estate but things often take a lot longer to materialize on the ground than technology and streamlined visions anticipate.

We are fortunate that we are not on the leading/bleeding edge of all these progressive disruptors and by the time they get to us in Canada, the winners will have been largely decided.  We have already seen failures and bankruptcies in this space in Canada.

In the meantime, Realtors must decide if and how they choose to participate with new entities such as Zillow™ and adjust accordingly.  Given the history of real estate in Canada where a strong national MLS®  program has been built on a very good system of “co-opetition”,  we can expect Realtors to be wary but ultimately adjustable.

Interesting times ahead to be sure!

Gord McCormick, Broker of Record
Oasis Realty Brokerage
Ottawa  613-435-4692 www.oasisrealtyottawa.com




Why the seller or listing agent should order the Condo Status certificate package

Condo status certificate should be available at listing time

What is the condo status certificate?
This is a package of information which contains extensive detail on the legal description, governance, policies and finances of a specific condominium corporation.  It is prepared by the Condominium Property Manager and is a snapshot at a certain point in time, meant to provide pertinent details to a potential buyer and their lawyer, concerning that condo and the unit being purchased.

What is the critical information contained in the package?
All of the information is important but the key things include the Declaration which details the legal description and governance rules under which the condo was created.  The budgets and status of the reserve fund are very important, as is whether there are any pending lawsuits or special assessments.  Condo rules and policies are critical, too.  Ie if an investor wants to rent out a unit, they will need to know what rules are in place. Ie short term rentals may be ruled out thus Airbnb or other short term rentals may be excluded.

What is the typical review process?
These are normally ordered from the Property Manager by the buyer’s lawyer, once a conditional sale has been agreed between buyer and seller.  The Property Manager has 10 business days to update/research and produce the package and make it available for buyer and lawyer review. Normally, this gets done in 5-7 days and some Property Managers also offer an expedited service for a higher fee.  Normal fee for the package is $100 and we have been quoted up to $200 for expedited service.  The lawyer pays this and the delivery charge and gets reimbursed by the buyer.

The lawyer then reviews the package and highlights any unusual circumstances for the buyer and answers any specific buyer questions.

What’s wrong with this process?

Lost buyers and time lag:
Often there can be information contained in the Status package that may cause a buyer to rethink their interest in the unit or the price they might be prepared to pay for it.  If this is so, the buyer may walk from the deal and the unit remains unsold.  Other interested buyers may have moved on by this point and be lost to the seller as prospective buyers, especially given the lag time between the agreement and buyer and lawyer review of the status package which is typically 7 or 8 days after agreement.

Buyer feels committed to purchase at time of agreement:
There is also a psychological tendency for buyers to want to complete a deal once it has been made and they often do not pay enough attention post agreement to details which may deter them from completing the deal.  For this same reason, there is a “cooling off” for new construction condo purchases (often sold in high pressure, if not timeshare manner) while buyers and hopefully, their lawyers review all the detailed information in the new construction or pre-construction condo.
Disclosure package. Unfortunately, in the case of resale condos, the seller pays a big price should the buyer get cold feet while awaiting the condo package.

Sale falling through delays seller plans and may leave a stigma:
When a conditional sale falls through, it listing gets put back on the active market but this takes some time and there may be a question mark or stigma attached to the listing.  Other buyers and their Realtor will be asking: why did that sale fall through?  Is there something wrong with the property? Something come up on inspection? Something in the condo docs?

Best practices recommendation:
The seller or listing agent should order and pay for the condo docs (currently, this done by the buyer’s lawyer or agent) , so they are available at time of listing for interested parties to peruse prior to making an offer to purchase.  If this is done the buyer, their agent and lawyer can clarify any details in the condo documents and make a better informed purchase decision.  This is guaranteed to help minimize the number of sales that are currently falling through (which are at an all-time high, 10-15% in our opinion) and potentially set up a multiple offer situation for a condo seller.

$100 seems like a pretty inexpensive way to do all the above, don’t you think?

Gord McCormick, Broker of Record
Dawn Davey, Broker
Oasis Realty Brokerage
613-435-4692 oasisrealty@rogers.com

If you have any comments on this post or any other real estate matter, feel free to indicate below!



Should showings continue after a conditional sale?

What’s the point?  If it’s already sold….

Sellers can be excused for not really wanting to continue with additional showings after agreeing a conditional sale with a buyer.  It is understandable that sellers might wish to take a breather, after all the preparations for listing the property and the rush and stress of the initial deluge of showings.

Buyers, too, generally have little enthusiasm for a property that appears to be already “spoken for” by another buyer.  After all, why get all excited about the property, when another buyer is in control of that property during the conditional period.  Many buyers are afraid that they will be disappointed after seeing the “one that got away”

Even buyer representatives can be somewhat reticent about investing time in showing a property that their buyer’s cannot buy.

For the above reasons and more, the number of showings on properties with conditional sales in place drops 90% or more.

…but what if the conditional sale does not “firm up”?

10-15% of conditional sales are falling through in our current market!
Given the current seller’s market conditions, extremely low listing inventory, offer dates and multiple offers, many more conditional sales are falling through than is usually the case.  Historically, conditional sales don’t complete only about 5% of the time but over the last 18-24 months this figure has grown to the point where as many as 10-15% of conditional sales are falling through! See the number of properties shown as being ” back on market”  in this recent 7 day snapshot from our Realtor dashboard.

See a previous post on why sales fall through here: http://blog.oasisrealtyottawa.com/conditional-sales-falling-like-autumn-leaves/

Property effectively “off the market”
Sellers will have missed buyers during the conditional sales period and there can be a bit of a stigma associated with a sale falling through.   Some buyers and their agents may wonder if there was some issue around inspection that surfaced to kill the previous deal, for example.

Both buyers and sellers should pursue showings:
A buyer may get a “leg up” on a such a property, should it fall through, as many buyers will have moved on and not be in a position to quickly get in to see the property, once it shows up as “back-on-the-market”  An aggressive buyer (and agent) may even want to submit an offer to show the seller their level of interest and if anything happens with the original buyer, they are then in a position to control the property. (still not a high % play, but if it is the “right” property, it may be worth the time investment.)

Sellers: be open to showings and keep the property readily available and accessible. 
We had an interesting experience recently where we booked a showing on a property that had been conditionally sold to find that snow had not been shovelled and the property was not accessible or safe for viewing.  Surprisingly enough, the conditional sale on that property fell through and it was back on the market a few days later. Also no surprise: our buyers had moved on a purchased something else in the meantime.

So while it is normal to lose interest in doing showings post conditional sale, all parties are best to remember “it’s not over ‘til it’s over!

Gord McCormick, Broker of Record
Oasis Realty Brokerage
613-435-4692              oasisrealtyottawa.com


4 hidden MLS listing sections buyers and sellers don’t get to see

Our MLS listings are very detailed and provide lots of opportunity for complete disclosure of information that is pertinent to buyers.  Like all things however, the quality of the listing is only as good as the quality of data input by the individual Realtor.  Also, a lot of brokerages don’t do a terrific job of oversight or quality control on their listings but this is a matter for another post.

What we do wish to discuss here, are the sections of the listing that can be very useful for a buyer to know and can also be critical to the success of the listing, as well as the buyer purchasing decision.

Here are some of the key sections of the listings that buyers don’t see:

Realtor remarks:
This short section allows the listing agent to detail ancillary information like listing conditions, closing date preferences, utility costs, special instructions, special assessments, rental items or lease obligations or other notes that are generally directed to the Realtor members but almost always are pertinent for buyers as well.

This is the acronym for “Commission-to-selling-office”.  This is critically important and both buyers and sellers should know what is contained in this small section.  This section tells the buyer agents what % commission is being offered on the listed property and may be the most important hidden section of all, since it speaks to compensation.

Many sellers don’t understand what is posted there for their listing and what effect it may have on a buyer agent’s enthusiasm for that listing.  Also, FSBO sites or “mere posting”   listings often show $.01 in this field with instructions in the Realtor remarks to contact the seller directly to understand what commission they are offering or not.

Buyers need to know what is shown in this section, as they may be liable to pay directly any difference between their contracted commission rate in their Buyer Representation Agreement and that offered by the specific listing.  While most commission rates to the selling office are 2.5%, they can vary widely.  Government relocations for example may be seen at only 1.85%.  Some brokerages offer 2, some 2.25 and some do a flat fee  commission amount for as little as a $3,000 commission to the buyer brokerage and representative.

Sales History:
The sales history section of the listing is very critical for buyers to see (and also sellers, prior to listing time) as this documents the current sales activity and most previous MLS® listing history.  It can be useful for buyers to know how long the property has been on the market and also what the previous sales timelines and results were.  For example, if a property had some kind of stigma, unique feature or location disadvantage and it took a long time to sell during previous listings, the odds are the same will be true again.  This buyer should try to remember this when calculating an offer price and also remember it in future when their turn comes to sell the property.

Noting when price changes or conditional sales have occurred is also relevant information contained in this area.

Listing attachments:
Our Realtor system has a feature that allows us to any number of attachments to the listing to provide further information such as floor plans, surveys, lease agreements, work orders, permits, upgrade lists, pre-listing home inspections, property appraisals, tax bills, maintenance records/history or any other pertinent record that helps the buyer representative better explain the home features and history to the prospective buyer.

This attachment field is not as well used as it might be, but more and more we are seeing useful and detailed information being added by the most conscientious and professional listing agents.

Both buyers and sellers should be asking their respective agents if there is pertinent information in any of these fields that are pertinent to their decision making.

Follow us on social media for more buying and selling tips and news on Ottawa real estate.  https://www.facebook.com/oasisrealtyottawa/  @OasisrealtyOTT

Gord McCormick, Broker of Record
Dawn Davey, Broker
Oasis Realty Brokerage
613-435-4692  oasisrealty@rogers.com

Strong sales kick off Ottawa real estate 2019

January is normally the 2nd lowest monthly sales in the Nation’s Capital which would be no surprise to most.  This year however, buyers and sellers shook off the winter blues (and the snowiest January on record) and pumped out a 15.8% unit sales increase, in what was a record January.

Listing inventory remained a key factor, as residential inventory was 20.3% lower than a year ago and condo listing inventory was down 30.9%.

New listing trend is somewhat positive, as new residential listings were up 2.2% from a year ago, though condo listings were down 11.8%.  So our seller’s market conditions continue.

Some average price growth, with residential properties sold up slightly by 1.5% to $432,829 and the average condo selling price was $283,990 up 7.7%

If you are contemplating a move to or around Ottawa this year, please give us a call and we would be happy to help you navigate this challenging market.

Gord McCormick, Broker of Record
Dawn Davey, Broker
Oasis Realty Brokerage  613-435-4592 www.oasisrealtyottawa.com


Listing strategy and tough seller decisions for 2019

when is the best time to list my property?

While our Ottawa market has been favouring sellers for a year or two now, they still have a lot of important decisions to make in arriving at their listing and marketing strategy for a successful sale and maximizing the equity from their property.  Here are a list of items we think sellers will wish to consider:

When do I list my property?
Always a critical question, of course and one mostly determined by where one is moving and how long a current property may take to list, sell and close.
Our 3 biggest sales months of the year are typically April (#3), May #1 and June #2 which many sellers consider as the best time to sell.  Given our current low listing inventory situation, however, just about any time is probably OK for most properties.

How long will my property take to sell?
Days on market has improved with our strong market and most midrange properties should sell in approximately 30 days (or less!) and close in 45 to 60 days, although this varies with every property, buyer and seller.

MLS® listing or “exclusive” listing?
The best exposure to the most buyers is always via a full service MLS® listing that is exposed widely to all Realtors and their buyers through the MLS® ecosystem, especially realtor.ca. Some Realtors are plugging an “exclusive” listing strategy which has its purposes but is not as widely seen and generally not as effective for a seller in maximizing their marketing opportunity.

Pre-market via use of a “Coming Soon” sign on my lawn?
These signs have become quite prevalent, as listing agents seek to both do advance marketing and try to prospect for new clients via this grey marketing of listings that are not widely published via the MLS® system.  Though there are some legitimate uses for such a strategy, in most cases we think is more to the listing agent benefit than that of the seller.

Do I hold back offers until a certain date?
A very common strategy is to hold back offers during the first week or so a property is listed.  This gives as many buyers as possible the opportunity to view the listing in person and determine if they wish to submit an offer.  Multiple offers generally means the best market selling price available at the time but sellers may lose some buyers as a result.

Some buyers are not interested in the multiple offer process which can be stressful and seem like an auction.  Military or out of town buyers may not have the time to wait around until a seller offer date, as they are on tight timelines to identify and purchase a property, so one will lose most of these buyers by holding back offers.

What about a “bully” offer?
A “bully” offer is one that is submitted during the offer holdback period.  Such offers are typically very strong offers and also call for an immediate decision by the seller.  Tough call for sellers to make, as this buyer may come back on offer day or they may move on to the next property on their list instead and a seller may or may not get as good an offer come offer night.

Do I need to have an Open House in this market?
We suspect the number of open houses is way down these days, as properties sell quickly.  An occasional open house may still be useful for that casual buyer who is not working with a Realtor or the “I’ll-know-it-when-I-see-it-buyer”

How much commission should I pay?
There are two important components here: one is total commission to be paid but also the split between listing agent/brokerage and buyer agent/brokerage.  Sellers should understand both carefully, as there are a number of commission plans out there that may offer an attractive lower commission rate but also restrict the amount of commission being offered to the buyer representative and brokerage which may impact the interest level around that listing.

We are able to offer significantly lower commission costs than almost all other realtors, due to our status as an independent non franchise brokerage with less overhead to cover.  Give us a call and we can discuss your plans and how we can optimize your marketing opportunity and transaction costs.


Gord McCormick, Broker of Record
Dawn Davey, Broker
Oasis Realty Brokerage 613-435-4692  oasisrealty@rogers.com oasisrealtyottawa.com