The periodic review of your home’s value, say every three years, will bring other topics to the forefront for discussion such as the ideal time to offer your home for sale thereby allowing for proper planning.

Selling a home always involves stress and emotions.  And the longer one has lived in their home, the more attached and the more difficult the process of selling one’s home becomes. The reasons for selling are many.  It could be relocation due to a job, empty nesters downsizing, or simply because the home is no longer needed due to old age, illness or death.  Not pleasant reasons, but real life reasons we all are faced with eventually.


These reasons alone are enough to cause stress.  Now imagine adding to it the stress of selecting the right realtor, timing the market, determining the right listing price, preparing the home and finally negotiating the offer and hoping the closing goes through without a hitch.  Wow!


There’s got to be a better way!  And luckily there is and that involves a proactive approach of being prepared and doing a lot of the planning work upfront.


First of all, the benefit of starting the planning process of selling your home even if not for quite some time is that there isn’t the stress of a deadline.  So, in having to select a real estate agent, you are not under time constraints to select the first one that returns your call, but rather, you have the luxury of interviewing a few to see not only which realtor is the most qualified for your area, but also to determine if their personality and style matches your own.


Next, by having a professional take a look at your home, you can get ideas, free of charge, of areas that may need to be improved if top dollar is desired, or at very least, to prevent a buyer from using the home’s condition as a reason to negotiate the price downward.  And if a significant repair item is detected such as a roof that needs replacing, mold detected in the basement from foundation issues or a furnace that is nearing the end of its economic life, then having advance notice certainly helps to shop around for the most cost effective solution.


In addition, in the event that you were of thinking of renovating your home, a realtor can advise you of which home improvements will yield the highest return for you upon resale so that you are targeting your renovation dollars wisely. Kitchens, bathrooms, storage and landscaping/curb appeal are generally thought as the highest return.  Carpeting, custom paint jobs, swimming pools and finished basements may not necessarily increase your resale price and may in fact result in no benefit, or worst, a decrease in resale value.


The periodic review of your home’s value, say every three years, will bring other topics to the forefront for discussion such as the ideal time to offer your home for sale thereby allowing for proper planning.


After living in your Etobicoke home for awhile, you inevitably get to the point where you want to make changes to the home, either freshen it up or in response to changes in your life. Although it may not be the first question that comes to mind, the question you eventually ask yourself is whether it makes more sense to renovate or just relocate.  Here are the top reasons why people move.  Pay close attention to each one and see how you feel about the applicability to your particular situation.  It may shed light on your situation and whether you should renovate or relocate.



Although the home initially met your space requirements when you bought it, you now find there just isn’t enough room.  The classic situation is where a single person or a couple buy a home together, but with the arrival of their first child, that 2 bedroom bungalow no longer is enough.  So do you renovate the unfinished basement to create more living area or do you relocate to a 3 or 4 bedroom home?



Having your child attend the school of your choice usually requires that you reside in the same postal code or district - unless of course it’s a special education or private school.  Parents often want to be close to the desired school since it enables their child to develop close ties with other kids in the neighbourhood and sense of community, as well as eliminating or minimizing any travel time needed for drop offs.



Especially if you have just started a new, you may find yourself in the unfortunate situation where your commute time has been significantly increased.  This can be a very strong motivator to relocate given that with ever busier lives, people look for ways to get back time so they can spend it with family, friends and personal interests rather than commuting.



Renovations are stressful, period. Amidst the chaos and uncertainty of it all, there are a lot of decisions and considerations that need to be made.  Getting quotes, having a basic understanding of the scope of work required, and then following up and keeping on top of the trades or the general contractor can be too much for some.  And if you have a busy professional career, this can become impossible and so relocating is the only choice.



Neighbourhoods change with time.  Sometimes the change is welcomed as in the case of a transitional area that is gentrifying with improved amenities, desirability and increasing property values.  But the change can also be undesirable to you if it gets noisier, or in the case that you are a single person, more families with young children move in and your single neighbours start moving away.



With time, you may develop new ideas for your preferred floor plan for the home, but in the end, it may be too costly to create your desired space and it may be easier and less costly to buy an existing home with the layout you desire.



Depending on your interests, you may want a large yard for gardening, entertaining or to install a swimming pool.  On the other hand, if you are too busy to handle the yard work, then a small yard may be what you need.



When it comes to resale value, ideally you never want to be the largest or nicest home on your street.  If your home is already one of the more desirable ones, then it may not make any sense to upgrade it.  Or if your home is on a street of bungalows with single car garages and you want to add a second storey onto yours, you are creating a home that is uniquely out of step with the neighbourhood.  Relocating to another street and purchasing a larger home that fits your new needs, yet is one of the lesser homes on the street is typically a smarter financial decision.



 If you are certain that you will be moving in the next 1-2 years, then it’s not in your best interest to remodel unless you are cost conscious and doing so purposefully to optimize your sale price and you know exactly what renovations to do and which to skip.  Not having the proper know-how can potentially expose you to cost over-runs and /or renovations that are not in keeping with what today’s Buyers are looking for.


The Seller of a property, especially if they have owned it for many years have a distinct advantage over any Buyer in that they know all the property’s faults.  They know what work has been done, to what extent and what repair items may be next on the list. Buyer beware!  That’s why it’s highly advisable that all Buyers get a Home Inspection on any property that they intend to purchase.  This is typically an easy task if there is no time constraints and especially if the Buyer isn’t in a multiple bid situation with a deadline.  Either way, most Buyers as well as Sellers recognize the importance especially if buying an older home (like many in the south Etobicoke neighbourhoods of Mimico, New Toronto, Long Branch and Alderwood).


Although intended to protect the Buyer, sometimes the unintended effect is that during the course of an inspection, a material defect is found that the Seller is unwilling to fix and the Buyer is unwilling to accept and so the transaction falls apart.  The disadvantage in all this is that now the Seller not only has no Buyer, but is faced with the stigma of a failed transaction due to a home inspection - the details of which the Seller is unaware.


Hence, it has been suggested as good idea for the Seller in any negotiations and certainly before accepting the Conditional Offer that should there be a Condition on Home Inspection, that if the Buyer decides in their “own and unfettered discretion” not to pursue with the transaction, that the Buyer will provide the Seller with a copy of the Home Inspection Report within twenty four hours.


This serves two vitally important purposes.  Firstly, if there is a serious concern, the Seller will be made fully aware of it and then can take corrective measures or else adjust the price accordingly.  And secondly, it keeps the Buyer negotiating in good faith and with honorable intentions and doesn’t permit the Buyer to use the Home Inspection Condition as an unwarranted basis to terminate the transaction thereby having wasted the Seller’s time and having taken the property off the market for the period of the condition.


In most cases, both parties will agree to this as it helps further the real estate transaction and should the Buyer not agree to this request, it will red flag the Buyer’s intent to possibly use the Home Inspection Clause for other than what it was intended.


Here is a quick and easy moving check list designed to help you plan your home move and make it as stress free as possible.  Hopefully you're moving into one of the up and coming neighbourhoods in south Etobicoke (Mimico, New Toronto, Long Branch, Alderwood).  Although not an all inclusive list, it will get you thinking of some of the key items that you’ll need to take care of and make your move as seem-less as possible.



  • Using professional movers? Get a few quotes from select moving companies.
  • Moving yourself? Get rental costs from a few trucking rental companies and confirm availability. Remember that July (and summer months in general) are the busiest moving months and renting a truck can be challenging.  Don’t leave it to the last minute.  If moving yourself, not a bad idea to call on those individuals you will enlist to help you move to make sure they’ll be available.
  • Prepare a floor plan of your new property showing where major furniture and appliances are to be located.  This will minimize the need to move large pieces more than once.
  • Create a filing system for all move related receipts so you’ll have a complete list.
  • Got kids?  Notify new school of move and arrange for transferring of school records.
  • Contact trades (carpenters, plumbers, roofers) that will be required to work on new property to take care of 1) immediate repairs and 2) remodeling



  • Fill out Canada Post Office change-of-address forms
  • Make arrangements for public storage rental (if needed).
  • If moving to another city, find new doctor/dentist etc and arrange to have medical /dental records sent to new medical professionals.
  • Got antiques, valuable art or jewelry?  Get them all appraised.
  • Start the process of cleaning out all closets and drawers and packing.
  • Start consuming foods and using cleaning supplies that are inconvenient to move.



  • Contact all utilities and phone/cable/internet to advise them of the transference date of all these services.
  • Call your insurance company to advise them of your move and to adjust your contents insurance (if any).
  • If moving yourself, reserve a truck from the rental agency already selected.
  • If packing yourself, obtain cardboard boxes and packing materials.  A good place to obtain them are the specialty moving stores.
  • Check with your insurance company to see if possessions will be covered during transportation.
  • If moving to another city, make travel and accommodation plans.
  • Do you need moving permits?
  • If possible, plan a moving or garage sale to get rid of unwanted items rather than throwing out.



  • Dispose of items that are awkward to be moved (eg. hazardous/flammable liquids).
  • If moving to another Province, notify Ministry of Transportation and car insurance company of new address.
  • If you are moving in or out of an apartment or condominium, arrange or book the elevator.
  • Plan out the logistics of your move.



  • Dispose of any items not sold from moving sale or donate to Goodwill at any of their locations in East York, North York, Scarborough or Etobicoke.
  • You’ll be busy next few weeks so don’t neglect your car.  Get car oil change and other routine maintenance.
  • Take pet-animal(s) to vet for immunization (if necessary).
  • Got newspaper or other routine deliveries? Cancel or transfer them.
  • Mail out your new address to your data base.
  • Put aside critical items (credit cards, ID, checkbook, tools, paper plates, paper cups, bandages, flashlight, extra keys, toiletries, etc).
  • If planning on changing the locks at your new place (recommended), buy a lock and have ready for moving day.



  • Transfer your bank account.  Notify other financial institutions of your address change (mutual funds, GICs, etc)
  • Drain power equipment of oil and gas. Drain water hoses.
  • Defrost the refrigerator, freezer.
  • Let movers pack belongings (unless it's a do-it-yourself move).
  • Disconnect and prepare major appliances for move.
  • Set aside anything that will travel in your car so it will not be loaded on the truck.
  • Confirm arrival time of your moving van/truck to your old place.
  • If moving yourself, dismantle beds and other large furniture.



  • Note all utility meter readings at old and new property (not applicable for condominiums).
  • If winter months, turn furnace down to low setting at old property and make sure it’s on at the new property.
  • If using a moving company, read your bill of lading and inventory carefully before signing. Keep this paperwork in a safe place.
  • Change all locks on new property.



  • If missing garbage/recycling containers, can get new ones from the city
  • Engage trades to do any scheduled repairs or renovations.


Congratulations ! You're finally done. Enjoy your new home!!


The equity in your home is like any other investment - it needs to be monitored. Homeowners should have their equity evaluated once a year. Now might be the perfect time...


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RE/MAX Professionals Inc.
1 East Mall Crescent, Toronto, ON
M9B 6G8
Cell: 416.568.5821
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© 2016 Edward Frezza, Broker for RE/MAX Professionals Inc.