When Is The Best Time To Sell My Ottawa Condo?


Of the top questions that I get asked is regarding when is the best time of the year to sell a condo in Ottawa. While the answer will vary depending on your specific situation, let’s dive deeper into the general answers.

Most people are aware that the busiest time of the year for real estate (when most transactions take place) is the spring, followed by the fall, summer, and then the winter. This is when most listings are typically active, and when most buyers are out looking. 

However, that is generally based on the standard residential freehold buyer. Think traditional family with two kids and a dog buying a suburban home. This freehold buyer or seller is very different than the standard condominium buyer or seller in Ottawa. The freehold buyer and seller and thinking about timing the move with the kids' school year. Simply put… they want to move when it is easier for them and their family. While the majority of condominium buyers don’t have kids or even a partner to be concerned about - their lifestyle is very different. Even holidays and vacation - the condo buyer treats the holidays differently and goes on vacation differently, than the typical residential buyer. December is usually one of our busiest months with condo sales! We find that condo buyers are out with holiday parties, visiting friends/colleagues, and seeing the lifestyle that they don’t currently have. They are getting that itch to move, to upgrade.

I have a silly saying that there is “no snow in condo land”, which essentially means that condos are not affected by snow, unlike residential freehold homes. Many buyers would never buy a home in the winter - you can’t see the roof, can’t see the yard, who knows maybe there is a huge hole in the yard. While with condo’s that doesn’t affect you. Often the views in the winter are even more magical (especially at night when it is snowing). 

Location can even play a heavy role in timing. For example, usually July and August can be absolutely crazy for condo-buying that is located within walking distance to Ottawa University, Carleton University, and Algonquin College, as parents are trying to find a condo for their kid. While the freehold market is on summer break and things are usually very quiet. 

Often your situation will specify when you will need to sell. Depending on if you are up-sizing and have already purchased and need to align your moving dates. Maybe you are being transferred for work? Maybe your tenants just gave their notice, and you don’t really have the ability to sit with a vacant unit for four months trying to “time” the market. Maybe the tenants have kept the unit in very bad shape and you will need the unit vacant before listing it for sale.

Maybe you have the luxury of not needing to sell? Maybe it will depend on the market and if it is a seller's market or a buyers market? Right now in Ottawa, we are in a seller's market and for someone thinking of selling it can be prime to take advantage of the market.

When you are thinking of selling, we start by deciding who is most likely to be the purchaser of your condo. Investor? Owner-occupier? We break down the demographics for the building (age, income, sex, etc.) to help us craft possible options. A brand new 400sqft condo downtown will be a very different buyer than a 1200sqft condo that was built in 1970 located in Kanata. Not only does this help us when helping you decide when the best time to sell could be, but also how we market to that person (or groups if there could be more than one). It becomes more of a proven science than a shot in the dark without any idea of the target.

Want to chat about selling your Ottawa condo? Fill out the form at the bottom of the page.

Sellers Guide To Condo Assignments In Ottawa


Did you purchase a pre-construction condo in Ottawa, and are looking for a way to sell before your closing? You might have heard the term assignment, or seen units that are being sold as “assignments”. While not an easy task, an assignment can provide you with the ability to sell your “condo” without needing to close on it.

What is an assignment?

An assignment is a transfer by the Assignor (original purchaser) of the original Agreement of Purchase and Sale to the Assignee (new buyer). This means that they are not selling or buying the actual condo, but rather their interest in the deal. The Assignee is buying the ability to become the Assignor. You often hear assignments referred to as selling “paper” or selling the deal.

Why do condo assignments occur?

Condominium assignments typically occur for a few reasons. Often, the original condo buyer has had a change in circumstance and no longer wishes to close on the condo. a.k.a. partners, babies, pets, jobs, etc. The buyer might not have the funds to close or be able to secure a mortgage. Sometimes the original purchaser was a speculator who purchased with the intention of assigning the contract to profit from the increase in price or value.

Why can it make sense to assign my condo?

Money. One of the largest reasons it makes sense to assign your condo is that you don’t have to close on it. You don’t need to secure a mortgage and you don’t need to pay the closing costs. The new buyer will take on the builders adjustments or development charges. We have seen builder APS that states an additional 5% deposit payment on occupancy. If occupancy has not yet occurred, it would be the responsibility of the new buyer. The new buyer would also be responsible for the Land Transfer Tax, any interim occupancy fees, etc.

HST. You don’t have to worry about the HST rebate qualification.

First Time Buyer? If you are a first-time buyer, you would retain your status for the next purchase and be entitled to the credits when you do buy and take possession on some other property.

Why might it NOT make sense to assign my condo?

Restrictions. Marketing restrictions are often put in place by the developer when they allow the assignment. This can include restrictions to marketing the condo assignment on the MLS or even advertising it online. This alone can make the process very difficult. Thinking of advertising anyway? Builder contracts often state that if the assignment is advertised online, the builder can cancel your contract and keep your deposit. Not worth the risk.

Cost. Even though you are not closing on the property, there are still fees that you are responsible for. A builder will often impose a fee to allow you to assign your condo. This can range up to $8,000, plus charge their solicitors' fee’s (we have seen up to $2,000). You will likely have to pay a real estate commission (unless you find a buyer yourself). Plus your lawyer will charge slightly higher legal fee’s since the process is more complicated.

Tax. Any profit made will be taxed as a capital gain unless you are in the business of buying and selling real estate, in which case it will be treated and taxed as income. Yes, there was a time when you could get away with this, however, CRA has cracked down and is paying attention to real estate transactions. While these do not get registered on a title, assignments are still handled by the builder and are able to be caught by CRA.

Responsibility. Builders will always include a clause that states the original buyer is still responsible if the new buyer does not close. While it might originally seem like you are completely off the hook, the last thing you want is to find out that you need to close, or are responsible for the default of the assignee.

Top Dollar. While every project and unit is different, selling a unit without the ability for the buyer to see inside, or while a building is not fully finished can hold back the full value of what you can sell your condo for. For example - It is really hard for a buyer to get an idea of what exactly they can expect if the amenities are not finished, especially if the buyer will be an end-user. As well, there might be increased competition due to a surge of units.

Important things to know about condo assignments

Builder Approval. The first step in assigning your condo is finding out if the builder is allowing assignments. This is necessary because most original purchase and sales agreements have restrictions regarding assignments (or listed separately in a schedule). If the builder will consent to an assignment, the builder will need to provide written consent. This consent is usually a condition of the assignment agreement.

Deposit. Assignors typically want their money up front (this includes the original deposit(s) paid plus any profit) and wish to be out of the deal once the assignment agreement is firm. This is usually not practical because most buyers require a mortgage to fund the purchase and they will not get their mortgage until the building is registered and title can pass to the property. Expect the deposit to be held in trust until closing.

Time. Aside from the time, it will take to find a buyer and negotiate the details, you should plan for a number of days before the assignment deal is firm. Both lawyers (yours and the new buyer) will have a condition to review the documents - usually five business days or so. The buyer will want a condition for financing, which can be five business days or longer. Keep in mind that convincing an institutional lender to lend based on an assignment price is not as straight forward as normal financing. There are few sales for appraisers to base the new value on. And finally, you will need developer consent, which could take up to two weeks (or longer sometimes!), regardless if you had already asked before you started or not!

The world of condo assignments is a difficult and tricky one. If you are looking to get more information about assigning your pre-construction condo in Ottawa, fill out the form below and let’s chat.

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Tips For Selling An Ottawa Condo In The Winter


Thinking of selling your Ottawa condo in the winter does pose a few different problems that are not usually addressed in the freehold (suburban house) market. Here are some tips to help you sell when there is snow falling outside!

- Remove Boots Sign. While you don’t have to deal with snow, the buyers did just walk outside and to the building. Most of the time they have boots that are covered in salt and snow. While it would be obvious that one would remove them before walking around (bonus points for leaving boots in the hallway during a showing), some still don’t. Remind them with a small sign at the entrance. It certainly helps! We have a sign that we put at every listing to help remind people!

- Proper sized welcome mat. When walking inside a unit, and we are trying not to step off the mat, it can be difficult, especially if the mat is too small. You can get large mat’s at Costco or Home Depot (and then trim them with scissors to fit perfectly). Last thing you want is the first impression of the condo to feel too small! Plus use a new, clean, quality one!

- Lights! Winter brings dark rooms, and an early setting sun. Make sure that lights and switches make sense to a buyer walking in. If a room does not have a light, then make sure you find a lamp for each space and room to ensure that it can be seen after dark.

- Light bulbs are all working! A simple one, but I see it too often, where only one bulb works and it doesn’t show the space as best as it can. Bonus: have all of the bulbs in the unit on the same light “colour” - such as daylight or warm white.

- Leave lights on! While it is not as eco friendly as we would like, if it is possible to turn all of the lights on before leaving the property will certainly show better.

- Turn up the heat! Again, this isn’t the time to be thinking of saving a few dollars. Even more important on a colder day, heat the condo a degree or two warmer than usual. It will help make the home cosy and comfortable to a buyer who was just outside in the cold.

- Make sure that the walkways on the outside of the building are shovelled and salted. In most buildings, the building caretaker or super is tasked with ensuring that the exterior area’s are safe and kept clean. Sometimes this means a few constant reminders to the condo board or even a gift card or nice gesture directly to the person who is in charge of the cleaning and maintenance.

- Does your condo have a balcony or terrace? Make sure it is shows the best that it can. This might mean shovelled (if you are able to remove the snow over the edge - without getting in trouble) or make a small pile if possible. Also think about having another mat, so people can go outside (most buyers wont for smaller or normal balconies).

- Do you have seasonal photos? Some views are very different in the winter vs summer. Especially for lower floors that are more impacted by trees for privacy. Leave these photos out for buyers to see. If you are able, get professional photos done in the summer - especially if you know that you will be selling in the winter.

Thinking about selling your Ottawa condo while there is snow on the ground? Let’s chat! Fill out the form below.

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Top Condo Renovations for Maximum Return


A common question that I am asked is regarding which renovations will bring the best return when looking to sell an Ottawa condo or loft. Typically my answer can be very specific to the unit, however, there are some general ideas that you should start with.

1. Painting. Without a question, one of the most common things that is suggested to a client is a fresh coat of paint on the walls and trim work. Sometimes there are hairline cracks in the ceiling or scuff marks on the trim, and for the cost, it is the typically the best thing you can do to prep the condo for sale. A nice light grey goes a LONG way!

2. Kitchen. While not usually the cheapest option, more units around the city are starting to have slightly dated cabinets and counters. While replacing the counters is (essentially) an easy task, replacing the cabinets is a serious overhaul and a lot of work. However, depending on the unit and the cost it can make a HUGE difference in the unit. Remeber that a condo doesn't have numerous rooms or places to spend money - so having the main room look its best does a lot for sale price.

2.5 Parts of the kitchen. Even replacing the handles or painting the cabinets will give a fresh and serious change to the space. You don't always need to spend a boatload of cash to get results. 

3. Flooring. One of the first things most buyers notice when they walk into a unit is the quality of the flooring and the shape that it is in. Do you have carpet? Has the dog put deep scratches all over? Shoe or furniture imprints throughout the unit? These are a huge turn off for most buyers. Resist the urge to throw down low-cost laminate flooring, as it doesn't last. However every unit and budget is different.

4. Bathroom. Similar to the kitchen, there are not many rooms to spend money in a small condo. However, a new cabinet, mirror, or sometimes even just a shower curtain will go a long way in revamping the feel of the en-suite bathroom and can cost a lot less then in the kitchen. Some "modern" buildings from the 2003-2005 era have a very "interesting" yellow mustard tile - again, a huge turnoff for buyers.

5. Closet System. One of the first things we did in our condo was to remove the current standard "builder" closet and replace it with a closet system. This allowed us to fit two to almost three times the amount in the same space. It completely changed the way we were able to use the space and in a condo, every inch counts. There are numerous options available from DIY at Homedepot or Lowes, to custom built options! 

6. CLEAN. Yes, it isn't exactly a renovation, but you would be surprised by the number of people who don't DEEP clean, or even just clean period before putting their unit up on the market. A buyer wants to feel like they can live there and they want to feel that YOU love living there. If you don't take care of the space it subconsciously tells them that you don't like it and that they won't either. Go crazy with the cleaning - it will pay for itself!

While every unit is different, these are typically what I seem to mention when a client is asking what the can do in order to increase the value for selling. Want to chat about your unit specifically or just get more information about selling your condo? I would love to chat and answer any questions that you have.

Top Questions to Ask When Choosing Condo Listing Agent

Questions when Choosing Condo Agent in Ottawa.jpg

A quick Google search will reveal that there are about a million blog posts with the same "questions to ask your agent". How long have you been in the business, how many homes do you sell, what is your percentage of phone calls to sold signs... blah blah. Yes, these are great and you should ask away - the more you ask the better. That being said, here are eight questions to ask your agent when selling your Ottawa condo.

1. Do you focus on condos?
- You would have no idea the number of times I have heard wrong information given out by agents to clients about condos. Sure, we can't know everything - but even having a basic understanding should be expected. Example. I overheard an agent once tell his client that the condo fee rises the higher a condo is within a building. facepalm. Yes, my license allows me to sell a commercial property, and I have even taken a mandatory commercial property course - but I don't know everything about commercial deals and am not the best agent to handle a commercial deal. Condo living is different that freehold living, and buying/selling a condominium is taking freehold properties and adding extra complexities. The deals are done on different forms, there are extra conditions and clauses only for condominiums, and extra knowledge that you only know by "being in the trenches".

2. Have you sold my floorplan or sold in my building? 
- How familiar is the agent with your specific building? Some buildings I have sold every floorplan since it has been launched. Does the agent know where the amenities are and how to get around the building? Even details like having a good relationship with the concierge, security, or property manager goes a long way when we need something. 

3. Who is most likely to buy my condo? 
- One of the first steps when creating the marketing plan for each listing is sitting down and walking through who potential buyers are for the condo. Owner-occupied or investor? Older or younger. Married? Kids? Most buildings have a mix of people, but there is a general trend. Can the agent see the trend? Targeting these buyers, rather than wasting resources on buyers who are unlikely to buy it. Modern two story loft with stairs? Willing to bet it isn't being bought by an older couple looking to downsize. 

4. Other than units in my building, what units/buildings are our biggest competition?
- Having a knowledge of other units and other buildings will help you get a better perspective on the market and what to expect. Knowing that there are three hot units in a building across the street, will help when pricing. 

5. What are the largest issues we will have with selling the condo?
- You can't sugar coat everything and most places have something that isn't going to work for most buyers. Is it size? Is it the damaged floors? Is it the view, building, location, furniture, etc? Can you address it beforehand or mitigate the issues early on? 

6. How will you market the condo?
- Unlike a residential home, most buildings will not allow a for sale sign. Some buildings have banned open houses. The agent needs to have the tools (not just know about them) to sell in today's world. Facebook, Google, Instagram, targeted ads, VR.... what is the agent going to do in order to get in front of the right buyers? Do they have a plan to get the condo sold?

7. Do you do your own photography?
- The number of horrible photos that are used on the MLS blows me away. Hiring the best agent means having an agent who knows the value of highering a professional photographer. This should almost be the first question that you ask - it's that important. Have they done dusk shots? 

8. Do you have a handyman that has experience with condos?
- If you need any work done (such as replacing floors, or sometimes even painting), there are almost always extra steps that are needed before work can be done in the condo. Getting condo board approval is the most important, but even just keeping the neighbors happy can go a long way. Many trades are used to working on job sites that are loud and dirty, not in modern buildings with shiny elevators and neighbors who can hear everything. Some buildings have specific rules about construction waste or using the elevators.

Thinking about selling your Ottawa condo? I would love to chat more - fill out the form below!

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Breaking News - Change to Minimum Downpayments In Ottawa

Earlier today the Finance Minister announced a big change to CMHC-backed mortgages over $500,000. Starting February 15th, 2016, purchasing an Ottawa properties over $500,000 will require a minimum downpayment of 10% instead of the current 5%. However, this only applies to the portion above $500,000. 

This change will not affect
- those who are purchasing under $500,000.
- those who are renewing regardless of being over $500,000

This change was put into place to ensure security in riskier transactions, specifically in markets such as Toronto and Vancouver. The government claims that this should only impact about 1% of Canadians.

Looking for more information about buying or selling, or just want to talk about how these changes could affect you? Fill out the form below.

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Is The Fall A Good Time To Sell My Ottawa Condo?

Selling Ottawa Condo in the Fall

NOTE: I don't mention the possibility of price changes. I don't have a crystal ball and not able to tell the future. Maybe prices will rise, maybe prices will fall. This article leaves price factors out of the equation.

Yellow school busses, #PSL, and football are all back which can only mean summer is almost over. This time of year we are finding people coming back home from vacation, back to work, and noticing that they would like to make a move before winter (aka the deep freeze).

A common question we hear around this time is from those who are thinking of selling, but are wondering if the fall is a good time to sell. Every person's situation is different, but generally the answer is yes. Typically the busiest time of the year is the spring/early summer, followed by the fall. This is when we see the most activity of people buying and making a move - more buyers!

Should I wait till the spring to sell my condo?
Some ask if it is worth it to wait till the spring to sell their condo. Depends, can you wait? (some can't - surprise baby (nine months isn't a surprise but you get the idea), divorce, tenant vacated...etc. If you have the time to wait use it wisely. Use this time to prepare the condo to show its best. Get an outside perspective of what is holding the unit back from showing a 10 out of 10. Are the floors scratched up, need a coat of paint? Maybe it is worth the cost to repair - maybe it is not. Typically people forget that staging take a week or more to arrange and have set up, all time that should use to plan.

Who is the buyer?
When I work with clients to list a condo for sale, I always sit and figure out who the potential buyer(s) will be. Is this an investment property, mature couple, young professional, etc. When you are looking at selling, think about that buyers life... Typically it is different than the standard family with two kids, so keep in mind the condo buyer isn't subjected to back to school season, and December holidays. While we are still impacted by weather (snow, cold, rain, etc) in Ottawa condo land, we typically still have buyers looking throughout the winter. Our buyers are not as affected by weather as much - "There is No snow in condo land!". Take a look at your life to get a sense of the possible buyer - do you travel during the summer, or visit family around holidays? Long weekends are usually very busy, or very slow - depending on the time of year! Use this to plan your dates!

For those who want to sell now a few things to keep in mind. While it is important to have the home prepared and showing as best as it can, it would depend on how long would it take to get there and how much effort you are willing to put in. You might only be willing to invest a certain amount of energy and time to getting it show ready. Don't waste time. If you are going to list now, don't waste a month - buyers are out looking now. Get it ready and get it listed.

So... Fall?
There is no clear answer since everyone is in a different situation. The fall is the second best time of the year to sell. So if you don't/can't/wont't wait another seven months - then give me a call and let's get things started. If you are thinking of waiting, or need a better idea - let's chat. I can help you decide what might be best, or what you are looking at. 

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Should I Sell My Condo With A Tenant?

Selling Tenanted Condo In Ottawa

This is a pretty common scenario that I am seeing right now here in Ottawa. An owner wants to sell their condo, but has a tenant inside that has a number of months left on the lease. The owner is trying to figure out the best thing to do. Keep in mind I am going to answer this quite generally - every scenario and property is different (things like how the unit shows, the tenant, list price, area, etc will all come into play).

First thing I would ask is - Who is the potential buyer for the condo? Owner, Investor, etc? Most likely it is going to be an owner looking to occupy the unit. Depending on the price/unit, the majority of buyers we are seeing are not investors looking to rent out the unit, but owners looking to move into the unit. That being said, most people are not willing or able to buy a place, pay the mortgage (the costs will not cover the rent) and pay to live somewhere else, until the place is vacant. As a buyer, the risk you are taking with the tenant is quite high (yes, you can vet the tenant and verify everything, but the risk is still there). 

Why not an investor? Well, there is nothing certain in real estate, so knowing my luck the next buyer will be an investor - BUT generally at these prices, resale units do not cash flow under standard financing terms. I have units that cash flow (after ALL expenses) $600 month, on a $250,000-$260,000 purchase price - so compare to the one beds that list around the same price, you would be loosing money every month.

Back to the original question... Put yourself in the shoes of the buyer and ask yourself - Would I rather be provided vacant occupancy on closing, or have to worry about kicking out (or waiting for the lease to end) some tenant? Especially when there are other options to buy that could be currently vacant. 

Most downtown Ottawa condo buyers are looking for 30-60 day closing periods. So typically once the tenant gives the 60 days notice, then it starts to make sense to list the condo for sale. Since you will be able to give a reasonable time for the tenant to have vacated. More than two months notice and 

Tenant just gave me her 60 day notice to leave! Now what?

This is when I get to work - how does it show? If it shows badly would it make sense to wait until they leave, paint, stage, and list it, or sell right now? Is the tenant cooperative? I value communication as one of the most important aspects of my job. Communication with the owner, communication with the other agent, and obviously communication with the tenant. If the tenant is unhappy, they won't give two shits about how the unit looks for a showing, and will ensure that 24 hours notice for every showing. When you are selling with a tenant, you want the tenant to be part of the team and on good terms. Right from the start, we make sure that the interactions with the tenant are positive, honest, and open. We need their help to sell!

There is more than two months left, what are my options?

If you still have more than two months remaining on the lease, obviously you can still list the unit for sale, but finding an interested buyer will become much harder. Keep in mind there is always negotiations with the tenant. While you can't kick a tenant out during a lease, they are not able to leave early - UNLESS you both agree. What is $1,000, the cost of movers, or sometimes even just a case of beer in the grand scheme of things? While you need to make sure that the timing is right - last thing you want is to let the tenant out of the lease, and then the deal falls apart and you have a vacant unit and no buyer. Sometimes buyers love a certain building and would consider moving to another unit within! This is all part of that communication with the tenant, and seeing what options you have as the landlord.

Thinking of selling your investment condo in Ottawa? I would love to chat more. You can reach me at or fill out the form below.

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Condo Selling - 10 Tips For Selling Your Ottawa Condo


My top 10 tips for selling your Ottawa condo

Preparing your condo for sale should be done іn a prearranged and structured manner. Here are my top 10 ways to do so, in no particular order, as some might be more or equally important to your situation.

1: DE-CLUTTER - First and foremost. Creating the illusion of more space is a magical thing. An impression of a cluttered, messy space is certainly not. An open, inviting space is and will be more accepted than a messy, bogged down one. Put stuff away! This includes everything from remote controls, to laundry, to dishes, to movies, and video games. Also, some people think they can just toss everything into their closets as a quick fix. NOPE! If it seems like your closets are jam packed and ready to explode, the potential buyer will come up with an image of their belongings not fitting either. The main word would be purge. If you haven't worn it in a year, you don't need it. This is especially true for here in Ottawa where we have such different seasons, it helps to completely remove the off season items that are not needed. Summer shoes or winter boots, coats, hats, mits etc. This will really help free up some space!

2: DE-PERSONALIZE - Yes, everyone is impressed with your gleaming certificates plastered all over the walls, but when you're trying to sell, lose them. This goes for personal/family pictures, religious objects and so on. Potential buyers are already trying to get in the picture mindset of living there, so try and make it as easy as possible for this to occur. Someone might not like your property because of your tastes, beliefs or opinions, believe me - I have seen stranger things happen. Slowly comb through your condo and try to eliminate anything that is overly characteristic or personal.

3: AROMA - I'm sure you've read loads of articles and tips about baking cookies before an open house or showing. That is great, but do not over do it too much. Granted fresh cookies and febreeze does smell better than an avoided bathroom and four day old dishes, but we don't want the smell to be too overpowering upon entering. Remember, there are people with all kinds of allergies. Consider investing in a couple of soft tone glade plug-ins or candles. A nice, soothing, calm and continuous aroma will ease the minds of buyers and assist them in sticking around for a while.

4: FІRЅТ IMPRESSIONS - I figured I would follow aroma with this category. A great first impression is crucial in captivating a buyers interest. From a large reflective mirror, to a stunning piece of art, to a simple and open clear sight line of the view, use what you can to create a quick wow factor. This of where your eyes would shift upon entrance. Work on overselling the first impression and the buyers will be craving the full, interrupted tour. But remember, first impressions do start before actually entering the condo. Make sure your property management company is on the ball with providing a clean, inviting atmosphere.

5: STAGING - Vacant condo? If you are sitting on a vacant Ottawa condo, staging is something to think about. There is nothing more bland and unappealing than a lonely, vacant condo. Consider hiring a staging consultant to walk through the house. Remember, staging creates a lifestyle and existence that buyers crave and ultimately desire. For a fairly affordable monthly cost you could have an exquisite looking suite and really push for an offer. Staged condos do statistically sell faster than vacant suites so check out your options and use your resources. 

6: COLOR/TONES - Tone down the color. Eliminate any strong, dark, or personalized walls. You might like the bright red feature wall in the living area, but it will scare away a potential buyer. Dark colors actually squeeze the visibility out of the space and make it appear smaller. The key word is neutral. If you have to hire someone to come in and repaint the majority of your space, it will be worth it. Try a cool, modern and refreshing colour to liven up the area but consider how it will look with your accessories, art, etc. Don't go out and break the bank finding something nice that you adore, as the new buyer might have plans to paint over it again once they move in. Be resourceful yet practical.

7: AMBIANCE - Create an atmosphere that revolves around your target market. Part of our marketing is to walk through potential buyers and this will help when you are trying to style your condo. Create аn atmosphere that revolves аrоund уоur target market. Plug іn thе calming water fountain, flick оn thе fireplace and hit play on thе stereo. Remember whо уоu аrе trуіng tо sell tо thоugh. Fоr а stylish, urban condo set thе mood wіth sоmе upbeat house music. Fоr а quaint, large space utilize thе fireplace аs а relaxing focal point. Usе уоur discretion аnd channel thе energy оf thе space intelligently. Generate а fitting mood аnd еvеrуоnе will feel pleasant аnd аt hоmе whіlе viewing.

8: FOOD/TREATS - Wаnt people tо stick аrоund fоr longer? Graciously leave а snack tray оr sоmе sort оf offering fоr thе individual(s) interested іn уоur hоmе. Bottled water іs а great touch аnd а personal favorite. Тhеу mіght sее 3-5 properties thаt day, but thаt water shоuld lаst fоr а whіlе, аnd thеу will remember thаt іt wаs frоm уоu! Cookies, mints, gum, wrapped chocolate, еtс... аnуthіng аlоng thеsе lines іs а nice, thoughtful touch. Rеаllу wаnt thе wow factor? Gеt creative аnd consider sоmеthіng lіkе а catered open house!

9: SANS SMOKE/PETS - Тhіs category mау nоt apply tо еvеrуоnе, but іt іs tremendously іmроrtаnt tо сеrtаіn households. Іf уоu smoke, tаkе іt outside...and nоt lean оut thе window type оutsіdе, аll thе wау. Smoke іs sоmеthіng thаt ultimately lives іn уоur walls аnd will constantly bе lurking аrоund. Buyers definitely dо nоt wаnt thіs. Buyers wаnt tо thіnk thіs hоmе іs thеіr fresh start, nоt а second hand ashtray. Іf роssіblе, pets shоuld bе removed fоr showings аnd аlwауs fоr open houses. Аs buyers, thе lаst thing wе wаnt tо sее аrе stains оn thе carpet, pet hair, and/or а big litter box staring bасk аt us. Yоur pet іs а member оf thе family...remove thеm fоr showings аnd сеrtаіnlу clean uр аftеr thеm. Тhе main thing hеrе іs thаt уоu dо nоt wаnt а questionable issue іn thе bасk оf thе buyer's minds.

10: FENG SHUI - Аn intriguing ancient Chinese art form developed mаnу years ago. Feng Shui іs а knowledge whісh reveals hоw tо balance energies іn а space tо bring health, positivity аnd good fortune fоr thе individuals living thеrе. Тhеrе аrе nіnе quadrants thаt define dіffеrеnt areas іn уоur hоmе аnd life. Іf you're lооkіng fоr mоrе money, work оn уоur prosperity corner. Іf you're lооkіng tо improve уоur relationships thеn work оn altering thаt corner. Тhе list gоеs оn. Ву accepting Feng Shui іntо уоur life аt hоmе, уоu will create а natural flow аnd energy іntо аnу space. Еvеr hаd а good оr bad feeling uроn entering а property? Тhіs mау bе whу! Еvеn іf you're nоt selling, trу dіffеrеnt aspects оf Fung Shui іn уоur personal life...the rеsults соuld astonish you!

Thinking of making a move? I would love to help... Click on the button and lets start talking.

Written by Matt Richling

Matt is a licensed salesperson at RE/MAX Metro City Realty in Ottawa, Canada. Matt loves helping sellers and buyers find the perfect home that fits their lifestyle. 

Electronic Signatures Starting July 1st!

Electronic Signatures Starting July 1st Real Estate Ontario

Word starting circulating late last night amongst the realtor crowd across Ontario that the wait for electronic signatures is finally over! After years of being told that electronic signatures were "coming soon" by different levels of government, starting July 1st we will be able to sign The Agreement Of Purchase And Sale (the main document to sell a property) digitally. No more scanning, no more driving around at a late hour or rushing for a last minute signature, no more faxing (well that was a given), no impossible to read documents from sending back and forth. 

I have been using electronic signatures for other documents (listing agreements, price reductions, etc) but now the full transaction could be signed digitally. Almost every client who has used this, prefers it. Saving the client time, and ensures no missed signatures or initials. As the client, you can read, review, and sign the document at your pace.

Real Estate 2.0 is here!

Selling Downtown Lifestyle - Candlelight Yoga

candlelight yoga ottawa condo

In an attempt to show just how relaxing a space can be, we held a candlelight yoga session at dusk inside the sub penthouse listing inside Mondrian. It was such a great experience and helped us bring more attention to this beautiful Ottawa Condo. We focus on selling lifestyle, but more specifically the lifestyle that a person would have by living in that building, or that unit.

Want to chat about selling your space? I would love to help, contact Matt.

Ottawa Citizen Feature - Perks Help New Centretown Condo Sell Quickly

Ottawa Citizen Condo sold

This past weekends Ottawa Citizen that profiled a recent sale. Click here for the online version. 

Perks Help New Centretown Condo Sell Quickly
Jennifer Campbell - Ottawa Citizen - March 3rd 2015

Location: Tribeca, 179 Metcalfe St., Unit 1607
Features: Large and stylish one-bedroom, one-bathroom. Price included parking, hardwood floors and storage locker.
Asking price: $354,900
Selling price: $348,000
Days on market: 25

Word from the sales rep: “This is a unit that shows beautifully, with stunning views looking south over the city, and we priced it competitively,” says Matt Richling, a condo sales rep at Re/Max Metro-City Realty. “The Tribeca (built by Claridge) is brand new, with some of the best amenities in the city, and the perfect location. Add this all up, and it’s no wonder the buyer fell in love.” (The buyer was represented by David O’Reilly at Keller Williams Ottawa.)

What’s good about the ’hood: Walking distance to the ByWard Market, Elgin Street, Rideau Canal, Glebe, Chinatown and Parliament Hill.

Best Day Of The Week To List My Condo?

Ask any agent when the best time of year to sell and you will get two answers (usually), being "Yesterday" and the other more obvious "Spring and Fall". However what about the best day of the week? Typically there is no rhyme or reason that any certain day of the week is better than the other. However I seem to have a few ideas and Ill explain why. (Over thinking it? just maybe...)

First off, a few things to remember about what happens when a property is listed. I typically plan anywhere from four to seven days in advance (or less, really depends on the owner), to be able to have time to create all the marketing materials, get the photographer in, photos processed, etc. So a day here or there can be picked in advance, not just at random. When we list a property on our back end site (MLXchange), it immediately sends out an auto-notification email to any buyer who has a criteria setup  that matches that property. This notification email is a significant, and is a huge tool we rely on, especially during busy buyer months. Depending on the property you can match to 300 or even over 1000 different buyers, being hand delivered to each buyer, with all the information. Then within usually 24 hours, the property is uploaded to the full MLS or

Mid Week Theory

Typically the busiest time of the week for showings is during the weekend. This is when most people are going to be out looking (not at work), and have the flexibility to drive around. As an agent, we typically will book all these appointments the day or so before (usually Friday - if we have that much notice). Which means we send the property search results to our clients the day or so before that, for them to browse through and decide which ones they want to see. SO, if you list a property mid week, Tuesday, Wednesday or even Thursday, then you will be able to get many of the people who are going to be booking for the weekend.

After Work or Weekend Theory

For these auto notification emails to be effective, they need to be opened, and read. This means not only must they have photos (HUGE NO NO, why list if you don't have photos??), but also the buyers attention when the email is sent. If I am a buyer at work when the email comes and I can't focus on it, I will either miss/ignore it, or archive it. However if I am not in the middle of something the chances of me reading that email, and looking at the property are much greater. So the other theory is to list a property in the after work hours or on the weekend when you are less stressed about work, and more able to have the time to read the emails.  


While all marketing materials need time to be created, there are always buyers who are currently looking and placing offers. What if the perfect buyer for your condo placed an offer on another one last night, or today? ..... !

Basically there is no perfect answer, or at least for now, and we can only just guess at what makes the most sense. Do you have a suggestion to the best day of the week? I would love to hear it.

Ottawa Citizen Article - Condo Roundup - Take Aways

The Ottawa Citizen published an article today about the condo market in Ottawa, along with some insider forecasts on the current and future market. You can read the full article here. I have summarized the important take aways, then going to run through exactly what it means for buyers, sellers, and everyone else. 

Coles Notes:
- CMHC reports lowest condo construction starts this year since 2009.
- CMHC says the unsold inventory is to blame
- CMHC forecasts another smaller decline in 2015, then rallying back in 2016
- An industry analyst (from PMA Brethour Realty Group) predicts condos will represent ~18% of sales in 2014, compared to 25% in 2013, 29% in 2012.
- PMA blames poorer job prospects, and more cautious first time buyers, and investors are buying less than previous years, are maxed out, or scared by still-increasing prices.
- PMA sees condo sales increasing over the next year when first time buyers return to market. 

What exactly does this mean for those looking to buy in Ottawa?

Donald Trump is famous for saying you make money in the buy, not the sell. During the meltdown in the USA, Warren Buffett was advising to buy residential real estate before prices went back up. Over the next year or so, CMHC along with other analysts, are expecting the market to continue to soften, and then start to rise again. If you are in the market to buy, there is no better feeling then knowing the prices are going to lower (allowing you to buy low), and then rise. Obviously, you want to take your time and find the perfect place, at the best price, that suits you and your future. *NOTE* Plan on holding your property for at least three years, (preferably five), other wise the costs will outweigh your benefits. So think hard and long about your future or if uncertain, at least look at units that can cover the costs by renting it out. This also means the style of property. Are you dating? Chances are that 500sqft unit wont work for the future couple. Want a dog or kid? same thing. Think ahead and save yourself down the road.

What exactly does this mean for those looking to sell in Ottawa?

Certainly not great if you purchased your condo since 2009 and are looking to sell in the next year or two. You have more competition, and harder pricing. You will need to make your property stand out among the rest, and be willing to work with a buyer for a sale. ***Chances are, you have/will never heard/hear an agent say this but....*** if you can hold out, do it. Wait it out. This is the opposite of what we are "supposed" to say, but this is your largest investment - treat it as such. While you wait, the mortgage is getting paid down, and you will have more room later on. THE FLIP SIDE of this, if you need to sell, take the hit now (hopefully as small as possible), and find a great deal that will have a better return. 

What does this mean for those who are just checking in, with no immediate plans to buy or sell?

Don't panic. Everything goes up and down, and while we have seen a slow but constant increase, corrections are due to happen. Re-evaluate your life plan and see how your living situation will fit in the property over the next four or five years. Then try and plan accordingly. 

Do you want to chat about planing to buy? Or make a plan to reduce the hit you will take when selling? I would love to help you out, click the button below.

Matt Richling Ottawa Condos For Sale.jpg

Written by Matt Richling

Matt is a licensed salesperson at RE/MAX Metro City Realty in Ottawa, Canada. Matt loves helping sellers and buyers find the perfect home that fits their lifestyle. 

Pretoria Ave - Interview with Andrew Reeves

We spoke with Andrew Reeves, the senior Architect at Linebox Studio about their work at 124 Pretoria Ave. Andrew walked through what inspired the design, and how the process was different than normal. This change of approach is what allowed them to push the boundaries with the space and end up such good balance in the design. 

For more information on 124 Pretoria, and for the full experience, visit the website at

Are you looking to sell and want your home's storey told? Let's talk...

Lifestyle Photoshoot - Edgecliffe Avenue

Ottawa Lifestyle Photoshoot Home

Selling a home in Ottawa is more than just sqft and number of bedrooms. It comes down to feelings, emotions, and the future lifestyle for the buyer. While the buyer is looking at numbers and prices, they are really searching for a certain lifestyle that they do not have now. A large kitchen to cook and entertain in, or bathroom with a tub that lets them relax, or even as simple as a space they can see their future kids running around. Sell the lifestyle of the home or condo that the new buyer will have, rather than just selling by price and upgrades. 

Anyone can put a home on the MLS, but pushing top dollar for your home or condo can only be done with experience. Thinking of selling? I would love to chat more.

Check out more photos and all of the information of the home 1487 Edgecliffe Avenue.

Canadian Military Relocation Policy Changes!

Photo cred -  Jennifer Molleson

Photo cred - Jennifer Molleson

After a number of local high-profile news stories that showed same-city moves with very high expenses, a change has been announced for the Canadian Military Relocation Policy.

The federal government will no longer cover moving costs for retiring members who are relocating within a 40km radius. This change will align the IPR policy with those of the other federal departments and agencies. The Department of National Defence said they will make "compassionate exceptions for medical reasons and extenuating personal circumstances".

The policy was originally designed to allow soldiers and their families to expense on final move when they retire so they can choose where they will live. Having multiple family members in the Canadian military, I understand how difficult in can be to find the perfect house on a HHT (house hunting trip), especially if your spouse is unable to make the trip as well. 

If you have been posted to Ottawa, and are getting prepared for your house hunting trip, I would love to help. Click the button below to have me contact you directly.

Matt Richling Closeup.jpg

Written by Matt Richling.

Matt is a licensed salesperson at RE/MAX Metro City Realty in Ottawa, Canada. Matt loves helping sellers and buyers find the perfect home or condo that fits their lifestyle. Having helped numerous military families and with immediate family in the Canadian military, Matt understands what you need and what you are looking for when you are posted in or out of Ottawa.

Selling: Millennials Are Here, And Looking To Buy Your Condo

This is an Ad for SOHO, which targeted Millennials. Offering a free lease of a brand new Mercedes CLA with purchase of select units.

This is an Ad for SOHO, which targeted Millennials. Offering a free lease of a brand new Mercedes CLA with purchase of select units.

When you sit down and prepare to sell your Ottawa condo, knowing who your target market is, will help you stand out and get results. Millennials, like baby boomers or Gen X, don't have a single definition, but the are typically considered to be people born between 1980 and the late 1990's. They are addicted to technology, and are now one of the larger demographics buying real estate across North America. 

If you are not going to include or pay attention to Millennial clients, then you are cutting out a large pool of possible buyers from your condo.  So, you ask if it is just marketing hype? Should you even care?

Take a peek at these economic and real estate statistics below that indicate Millennials are ready to purchase in the coming months - and beyond.

Nearly 40% of buyers are first-timers, with Millennials making up 76 percent of the demographic.
— National Association of Realtors

Half of 25-to-34-year-olds project to account for half of first-time buyers in the next decade. (Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies

A third of homebuyers during the first quarter of 2014 were Millennials. (National Association of Realtors)

Mortgage rates should remain near their record lows through the end of the year and start of 2015. (Bankrate)

Credit standards are easing for first-time buyers, which is great news for many Millennials with low scores. (Wall Street Journal)

Home prices are expected to improve between May 2014 and May 2015, with a predicted rise of 6%. (CoreLogic)

Homebuying sentiment remains high for 94% of potential buyers, including many Millennials
— Discover

77% of Millennials are confident they’ll know how to organize personal finances in the future. (Wells Fargo)

From 2015-25, Millennials are forecast to form 24 million new households. (Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies)

Many young renters aspire to buy homes soon, as they view homeownership as more ideal than renting. (Fannie Mae)

Gen Y finances are improving: A third of Millennials are saving 6-10% of income for retirement.
— Wells Fargo

From February 2013 to December 2017, home values are forecast to improve by an average of 22%. (Zillow)

Over 80% of Millennials say they are either currently comfortable financially or will be soon. (Pew Research Center

Eight in 10 Millennials cited the recent U.S. recession as the main reason they’ve become better savers. (Wells Fargo)

Older residences, including foreclosures, are providing Gen Y'ers countless affordable home options. (National Association of Realtors)

Take advantage of this knowledge and contact me about selling your Ottawa condo. Click the button below. I would love to help you out!

Written by Matt Richling

Matt is a licensed salesperson at RE/MAX Metro City Realty in Ottawa, Canada. Matt loves helping sellers and buyers find the perfect home that fits their lifestyle. 

When Is The Best Time Of Year To Sell My Ottawa Condo?

349 Mcleod Entrance - Central Condos

When it comes to selling, one of the most common questions I am asked, is "when is the best time to sell?" 

The best time of year would be when there is the most demand for buyers and sellers. When both buyers are looking and sellers have their condo listed for sale. This is usually the Spring, followed by the fall, which are both our busiest time of the calendar year. The spring market in 2014 started much later than usual due to the weather, but normally mid-March or mid-April, lasting till mid-July.  The fall market being mid to late August till early-mid December. It cools off over summer and the December holidays.

Keep in mind, my favourite saying in relation to selling condos is, "There is no snow in condo land." Meaning there are always buyers looking and the condo market is less affected by the weather and the seasons. Condo market starts earlier in the spring, and will go later till the holidays in December. Buyers are less likely to be dependant on families and more on their own schedules/wants.

One hidden/unknown time is always the mid-January rush, where we have the buyers who have finished holidays (or a family house that was way to small with all the family over) and can't find what they are looking for since the sellers are waiting till spring. 

That being said, there are ALWAYS properties selling and buyers looking. If you are looking on new years or Christmas day, you are a serious buyer who is in need of a home. So don't be so quick to say no if you get a showing request.

Click the button below to learn more about selling your condo here in Ottawa. I would love to help you!

Written by Matt Richling.

Matt is a licensed salesperson at RE/MAX Metro City Realty in Ottawa, Canada. Matt loves helping sellers and buyers find the perfect home that fits their lifestyle. 

New Property Teaser Video - Edgecliffe Ave

Here is a short property teaser that we threw together for a new listing that is coming to the market.  Edgecliffe Ave., located just south of Carling and Kirkwood sits above the homes to the north which provides stunning northern views and tons of privacy. This large house was completely renovated and is move-in ready for the new owners.

Are you looking to sell and would like a similar high quality marketing product for your house?

 Fill out the form below to contact me, I would love to help!

Name *

Written by Matt Richling.

Matt is a licensed salesperson at RE/MAX Metro City Realty in Ottawa, Canada. Matt loves helping sellers and buyers find the perfect home or condo that fits their lifestyle.