More MLS Musings!

MLS Musings! | July 5, 2018

MLS Musings

I’ve never been one to spoil a surprise, but this time, I have no choice.

Toronto Realty Blog Version 6.0 will be launched in the next two weeks, and while the plan was to simply post a “Be Right Back” message today, as is often the case with these things, we’re not entirely sure if we’re on schedule.

So in the meantime, how about some “funnies,” as old people say, when they’re referring to comics.

Oh – and just to whet the appetite, TRB6.0 will have a data feature on aggregate sold prices that isn’t available anywhere else on the Internet…

I’m not going to get into yet another discussion about commission today.

A cooperating brokerage can offer 2.5%, or 2.0%, or 1%, or even $1.00.

But I’m pretty sure this isn’t permitted:

Commission01 (2)

I’m just going to throw this out there…

Being a listing agent means more than just putting the property up on MLS.

There are a slew of duties and responsibilities, and with this, comes skill, and often taking on the tough jobs.

So when I see the following, it reeks of an agent that can’t stand up to his or her client:


What the hell is this about?

And no, this property wasn’t tenanted.

This was a seller making demands on showing times, which might not be the end of the world, except, there’s an offer date!  This property was seemingly priced for competition, and the agent didn’t have the guts to tell the seller that he or she was being ridiculous.

It didn’t sell, FYI.  I’ve been watching this one a while.

While on the subject of agents, how about this agent, who is apparently so proud of his or her listing and the surrounding area, but doesn’t actually know the correct school:


“South Lea” is not a school.

It’s Northlea.

But this is on the south side of Eglinton.

So the school is Bessborough.


Rental discrimination is a hot topic, and will continue to be, as the market remains competitive, and the rules and regulations from the previous provincial government remain in place.

So when I receive an offer to lease on a property I’ve listed for an investor-client, I always handle the process of telling the other side, “Thanks, but no thanks,” very delicately.

I can’t figure out why somebody would put this on MLS:


Asking for a minimum income isn’t unreasonable, but I wouldn’t put it  in writing.  Just say “no” to any prospective tenant that doesn’t meet your criteria.  Many of you will say, “But David, you’re just wasting people’s time!  Why not specify the requirements, and save a lot of people, a lot of energy?”

Ordinarily, I’d agree.  But think of the sociopolitical climate we’re in right now, where every complaint finds an eager audience, and absurd, backwards-Liberalism has made it impossible to tell a colleague, “You look nice today.”

Do you want to be the person on the other end of a rental discrimination claim?

Asking for photo ID?  Really?

This landlord is just begging for trouble…

I’m into some weird stuff, just like the next guy.

But I’m pretty sure this isn’t my thing…


I always marvel at agents’ attempts to market nothing.

Like writing “This Unit Has Running Water!” in an MLS listing.

Next-to-nothing is how I would sum this up:


28 square feet isn’t anything to write home about.

Granted, it’s more than a Juliette balcony, or no balcony, so I’ll give it that.

But to say “balcony” is sufficient.

To say “28 square foot private balcony” assumes:

a) 28 square feet isn’t literally the smallest balcony possible
b) it’s private, and we should feel fortunate that it’s not shared

This is my favourite from the past little while.

I love, and by that I mean hate, when people use quotation marks when they’re not supposed to.

Like, what is this trying to say:


It reminds me of….



Every listing agent can determine how he or she wants to handle offers.

Within reason, of course.

Earlier this year, a colleague of mine had his offer rejected – the agent refused to present it, because my colleague emailed and faxed the offer.

This is clearly not allowed.  All offers must be presented to the seller, no matter the medium.

But I wonder how the following offer presentation is going to go down:


Offers gracefully previewed at the listing brokerage on July 10th?

Oh boy.  This opens a huge can of worms.

Who is going to define “gracefully?”

And how much grace is needed?

Are we talking like Jackie Kennedy levels of grace?  Or something out of 1400’s France?

I’m actually really glad I don’t have an offer on this property.  I picture offers being presented to the seller like this:


You know I really dislike MLS photos of inanimate objects, right?

The towel rack on the wall, the candle on the counter, the microwave door opened.

But what about a photo of an inanimate object, and that photo being the MLS “feature photo” as well?


I really do like showing photos of a condominium’s amenities on the MLS listing.

I always try to get my photographer access, and encourage him to just try to shoot around whoever is working out on the treadmill in the gym, or whichever family is celebrating their grandfather’s 100’th birthday in the party room.

But what do you do when you can’t access the amenities?

Apparently, this:


And last, but certainly not least, let’s take a look at a photo array that really caught my eye this week:


Let’s see, nice kitchen, spacious dining, floor-to-ceiling windows in the master bedroom.

It’s modern, it’s clean, it’s open.

The photos have great colour.

What’s my issue?

Well, who the hell is standing in the middle of the photo of the view of the CN Tower?


This has to be some sort of joke, right?

Have a great weekend, folks!

Don’t be surprised to see the blog down on Monday and Tuesday as the server propagates.

Or, don’t be surprised to see a new post on Monday, as we scramble to try to adjust our watches…

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  1. Appraiser

    at 6:29 am

    TREB stats for June are out today. Bears ‘gonna cry. Sales and prices up year over year. Average sale price holding firm over $800,000.

    Some crash.

    1. Ralph Cramdown

      at 7:47 am

      I especially like TREB’s claim that sales were up 17.6 per cent from May, reported verbatim by the lazy press. I think the new guy is still learning how to cook the numbers without over-egging the pudding.

      June 2017 — turd sandwich. 2018 — …with a pickle on the side. Condo owner = happy, detached owner = sad.

      True pathos in David’s story in the recent G&M article, though. When your not-yet-ex-wife is living below you in the mortgage helper and you can’t afford to sell. Happy stories go in the Real Estate section, but sad ones are filed under Life.

    2. Housing bear

      at 9:45 am

      LOL as soon as I saw today’s numbers I knew you would be out of hiding and regurgitating one of the spins or another. I’ve said multiple times we could have YOY gains again in summer months this year. Sales are still brutal compared to anything in the last 4 years. Only thing I see as bullish is the fact that we had a slight MOM gain from May. Even David has been more bearish on his twitter feed. Posting shit about people who lost big in the market and even retweeted a Better Dwelling article. Why have you been in hiding though appraiser. Starting to see things first hand by any chances? Maybe have had to give some sad owners an underwater value?

      1. Appraiser

        at 8:54 am

        New listings down 18.6% year over year. Months of inventory in the 416 is a paltry 1.9 with a sale price to listing price ratio of 101%.

        1. Housing bear

          at 11:23 am

          Price to listing is garbage. Flood of new listings last year after fair housing plan. Down this year in comparison but total inventory up and sales down- despite being compared to a terrible month

      2. Appraiser

        at 9:02 am

        “The funny thing about bears is that when the numbers don’t support their narrative – they’re no longer relevant.”

        ~John Pasalis.

        1. Housing bear

          at 11:21 am

          Feel like I should just be speaking with John. Do you have anything to say?

          1. Housing bear

            at 11:24 am

            John also posted something the other day about how days on market should be three times what TREB reports. Keep cherry picking and try again

    3. Jackie

      at 1:35 pm

      The real loser is city of Toronto. YTD City of Toronto resale volumes are down ~ $5 billion.

      From May “City officials are still predicting that by year’s end, the tax will bring in the full $817-million they had banked on, the same total it produced last year. As a precautionary measure, the city’s 2018 budget assumed that the land-transfer tax would remain flat, despite the fact it usually brings in tens of millions more than projected each year.”

    4. Chroscklh

      at 7:41 pm

      The David! Congrat on own broker team for realty blog. Is great idea. I know the many people who read blog for information on Toronto market – even from other country. Is lead to good business for you. Maybe I use too, I not do many real estate deal since 2016 – very happy with small portfolio, plus I was disappear to re-education facility for 24 month for critsizing president back home my country.

  2. Geoff

    at 9:01 am

    I’m not going to wade into the bears/bulls argument. My canary in the coalmine was that the house two doors up from me sold firm, after 10 days on the market. Yes, one example does not mean all that much in the market. But I also really don’t care that much about Pickering, or Markham, or even the Beaches. I care mostly about my street. And on my street, the house was listed at $998 and apparently sold for $997 per mongohouse. So the house I bought in 2007 is doing fine, which is all I really care about.

  3. Kyle

    at 10:25 am

    GTA prices are up 2.4% Y/Y and 416 prices are up 5% Y/Y (which to Geoff’s point is the one i actually care more about). Some will point out that these price increases are compared to last year’s pull back, which is true. However the point is prices are no longer pulling back and if you look at the trend below, simply put prices bottomed out last summer and are now recovering.

    Jan 2018 Y/Y = (4%)
    Feb 2018 Y/Y = (12 %)
    Mar 2018 Y/Y = (14%)
    Apr 2018 Y/Y = (12%)
    May 2018 Y/Y = (7%)
    Jun 2018 Y/Y = (2%)

  4. Ralph Cramdown

    at 10:34 am

    Halftime here at the great 2018 Toronto Real Estate Derby. I looked at GTA sales dollar volume per capita for the first half of 2018, and compared it to prior years, deflating the dollar figure by the Consumer Price Index (constant 2018 dollarettes). This should give us a comparable measure of the impact of real estate transactions (and associated stuff, e.g. renovation, furniture, RE and financing services…) on the economy.

    2018 $3,667
    2017 $7,174
    2016 $6,746
    2015 $5,478
    2014 $4,574
    2013 $4,103
    2012 $4,488
    2011 $4,066
    2010 $4,137
    2009 $3,092
    2008 $3,421
    2007 $3,951
    2006 $3,533
    2005 $3,382
    2004 $3,370

    1. ed

      at 2:25 pm

      The city of Toronto will be hurting this year. So far this year the rough calculation shows that they will collect just over 50% of the Land Transfer Tax that was brought in last year. WWJTD (what will John Tory do)?

      1. Ralph Cramdown

        at 5:16 pm

        I think I read that land transfer tax on an unexpectedly high volume of commercial deals is making up (+/-?) for the lower residential.

        But John Tory! Last year he was expecting (hoping for?) a relatively easy reëelection victory over Ford. Now Doug Ford is Premier and Minister for Intergovernmental Affairs in an (ahem) slimmed down cabinet.

  5. lui

    at 1:09 pm

    Condos still looks strong,semi detached in average areas not so strong.Inflation worries and higher interest rates could weaken the economy.There is only so much debt a middle class family can carry before they decide to reduce spending.

  6. Not Harold

    at 2:58 pm

    My personal belief is that condo listings should never include photos of building amenities. Show the unit – people can (and will) google for far better photos of the amenities than you can provide on MLS. I understand the arguments for photos of the building’s front door and while I disagree I accept that there’s enough people for whom it would be helpful to that it’s a coin flip (or there may be data that shows it is actually helpful and I’m weird).

    There are so, so many illegal rental ads.

    Especially popular are those that specify religion, ethnicity, and culinary practices.

    But since these ads are all by “New Canadians” nothing is done and the law is not enforced.

    Someone like me – a “kuffar”, “gwei-lo”, “ferang”, “mangia cake”, etc would never be accepted as a tenant but I would never want to deal with a landlord like that nor rent the kind of spaces offered in the areas offered that these demands are made.

    Many people don’t have my options and this kind of behaviour creates severe inter ethnic resentment. Whether it’s Joe Sixpack working at the GM plant, Navdeep who can’t get a rental in Richmond Hill, Mr Kim or Park who can’t get a rental in Brampton, letting this crap go as long as it isn’t by people with blond hair is unhealthy and how you end up with Trump or (far) worse.

    But hey David never would have rented to me either. He’s just smart enough to not put his prejudices in his ads (but dumb enough to put them on video and blog).

    1. Clifford

      at 4:25 am

      *plays smallest violin*

      What’s bothersome is there’s a lot of people who think like you.

    2. jeff316

      at 9:55 am

      Cant’ speak to all the terms there but you’re using the term mangia cake completely incorrectly. It has the opposite meaning.

    3. Chroscklh

      at 7:50 pm

      This guy want police task force for condo and rental add. Back home my country, govt get involved in many these thinks – you no like result. Trust me. Also, is guy say reverse white privilege? Cant rent apartment? Arent guy like this all for property rights, but not in case of immigrant choosing tenant? My friend I am opposite – i never choose tenant from my country because people my country no care about exotic pet law – have bear as pet 100% of time and it destroy home. I mean, I have bear too but is my home.

    1. Housing bear

      at 11:18 am

      Record low inventory in Jan- mid March of 2017. Started to rise end of March through April. Then spiked big time in May and June following fair housing plan. We still had more this year despite that. Plus sales haven’t been this low in years. Try again

      1. Housing bear

        at 11:52 am

        Correction. Sales actually up slightly YOY. Guess I’m completely wrong. Too infinity and beyond!

    1. Housing bear

      at 11:20 am

      Could have said the same thing last month. Plus you should read the rest of scott’s posts from yesterday. 90% were about how not to believe TREB spin. Try again

      1. Appraiser

        at 4:52 pm

        Not only are average TREB prices up for June of this year over last, they are 8% ahead of 2016 and 21% greater than 2015.

        1. Housing bear

          at 6:27 pm


          Was up more than 100% from 2007 as of last April. Massive price growth is normal before a bubble collapses. Get with the program.

          Oh! You thought that would prove me wrong. Try again

          1. Appraiser

            at 7:20 pm

            And…the vast majority of homeowners are ecstatic.

          2. Housing bear

            at 8:15 pm

            For now anyway. Soon payments go up, but they get to say “at least I’m up X” a year or two later get back to me. And for the record I was e

          3. Housing bear

            at 8:30 pm

            *Ecstatic too. Couldn’t believe the gains I had. When I was getting in back in the late 2000s people told me I was crazy because of US recession. Anyway when some bull shit lot, tear down bungalow close by to me sold for over a million, I knew something was off. Got those chips off the table and ready to starting vultching once this bad boy hits the fan. Did keep my cottage though. It’s also doubled and will probably fall harder than GTA. (Guess no one is perfect)

  7. Appraiser

    at 9:33 am

    Latest labour force data from Statistics Canada today:

    “In Ontario, employment rose by 35,000 in June, bringing year-over-year gains to 157,000 (+2.2%).”

    Allow me to take a wild guess and state that most of the new jobs in Ontario are located in the GTA.

    Yup, sure sign of a housing crash.

    1. Housing bear

      at 11:36 am

      I’ll dig deeper into the actual numbers on this later. Interesting to see breakdown of part time vs full time. Private sector vs public sector.

      That being said if these are good solid

      1. Housing bear

        at 11:40 am

        Woops hit reply to quick. Pretty much guarantees a rat hike next week now and probably another before year is through. Maybe a super charged US economy can help the Canadian engine keep going. Offset some of the job loss that will start hitting RE related industries soon. Does mean rates will keep chugging higher though. Pick your poison.

      2. Housing bear

        at 6:32 pm

        So private sector had a net loss and most of private gains were in construction. Makes sense record pre sales last couple years. Someone needs to build it………. still solidifies rate hike

  8. Appraiser

    at 2:17 pm

    RBC’s Robert Hogue on Toronto real estate: prices will likely stay relatively flat for the foreseeable future. The “bottom has been reached,” he said, noting that those hoping to see more affordable home prices in the city would likely be disappointed.

    1. Housing bear

      at 6:25 pm

      A spoke person for a bank with massive exposure to the housing market says everything is fine and dandy. I’m sold………. try again

  9. Appraiser

    at 2:19 pm

    Toronto home sales jump most since 2004 as buyers return to market (Financial Post commenting on TREB data).

    “Toronto home sales jumped the most in more than a decade last month, a sign that Canada’s biggest housing market is rebounding from the chill brought on by tighter lending regulations and higher borrowing costs in the past few months.”

    1. Housing bear

      at 6:29 pm

      Already attacked this point below. Try again

      On a side note. When you are doing an appraisal do you have anything free thought? Or do you just regurgitate a price a RE agent came up with?

      Hope not to make bank loans are securitized to a value you applied…….. bad news for taxpayers

        1. Housing bear

          at 8:13 pm

          Good thing I only had 1 typo then. Want to make sure we are on the same page. *many

    2. Ralph Cramdown

      at 11:47 am

      Good PR, too bad it’s a lie.

      June 2009’s sales were 14% higher than May’s. This year it was 2%. So that presser contained falsehoods that seasonal adjustments can’t fix. I guess that’s how the new guy “seasons” his monthly emanations.

  10. jeff316

    at 10:04 am

    Having once house- and child-sat in a house that was an open summer listing, I can understand the viewing timeslots.

    It just wasn’t possible to live outside the home from for a full week from 10 AM through 10 PM.

  11. Livia

    at 5:30 am

    I was so confused about what to buy, but this makes it unaadstdnreble.

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