More MLS Musings!

MLS Musings!

4 minute read

June 19, 2020

I’d like to start this week with one of the strangest listings I’ve seen in a long time.

Adhering to the TREB rules about unauthorized advertising, disparaging a competitor’s listing, etc., I kind of feel like I have to tell this joke without a punchline, but it’s still worth it.

Here’s the listing:

The first photo of the listing is always an important one, and personally, I’m a fan of using an exterior photo of the home, for freehold (who wouldn’t?) or an exterior shot of the condominium, for condos.  Very, very rarely will I use a non-exterior shot, ie. if there’s a huge terrace.  I find that people are used to seeing a photo of the building, as they browse through 80 of “Today’s Listings,” so while I am a fan of thinking outside the box, I don’t like the idea of flowers sitting on a stove-top as the “Feature Photo.”

Flowers on a stove-top.

That is photo #1 of 24 as you can see above.  But more than that, it’s also photo #2 and photo #3, as you can see from this wacky photo array:


Okay, so we have three photos of flowers on the stove-top, then a photo of the backsplash with the photographer’s reflection in it, then two photos of the cupboard doors open, then a shot of the floor, then the sink, then a wall.

Need a close-up of the first four?  I’m happy to oblige!

The last one is a real thinker because I have no idea what the photographer was doing here.  Taking a photo of the backsplash?  No way.  That can’t be it.

What can it be though?

And when the agent gets these photos, wouldn’t he or she think, “Geez, I’m not using that one.”

Here’s the MLS write-up, and this is where my punchline gets lost:

I read this: “TOTALLY Renovated By (Name),” and I thought to myself, “Who the hell is (Name)?”

I’m not familiar with every designer or architect in the city, so what do I know.

But when I Googled the name, do you know what came up?

A real estate agent.

Yes, this “TOTALLY Renovated By…” refers to the real estate agent, not a designer.

And I suppose it’s the real estate agent that also took the photos of flowers, and then captured his or her reflection in the backsplash?

This is one of the wackiest listings I’ve seen in years.

And, oh yeah, the agent/designer also happens to be the owner

Speaking of “Feature Photos,” this is how the interface looks on our internal TorontoMLS, and why I think the photo is important.

Here’s one that obviously caught my attention, but not for the right reasons:

You could argue that I clicked on this because of how colourful and/or weird it looked, but I don’t know that this is a good thing.

It just looks cheap:

MLS uses landscape photos, and this person has put together a collage of four square photos, as one photo that doesn’t fit properly on the MLS listing:

And another array, just for good measure:

Now why wouldn’t the seller and/or agent use landscape photos, and then include them ALL, as opposed to making a collage?

You get 40 photos on MLS, so one could argue, “Perhaps they ran out of room, or had better photos to use on the listing.”

Sure, that’s a valid point.

But if it were true, they wouldn’t use a photo of snow blowing by the front entrance of the building in the middle of June…

Still speaking of “Feature Photos,” what do you do when selling a locker?

Well, maybe it’s better than the clipart photo of a locker?

Except that this locker is sideways.  I know maybe you didn’t realize that, but then again, gravity would have brought that broom in the corner of the room back down to earth already if it weren’t sideways.

Wait a minute…… says “1 of 3.”  What else is photographed in this spectacular listing of a locker?

Ah, right…

I’m no real estate expert, but $1,920,000 for a one-bedroom house is a bit steep…

Man, this agent has clearly given up.

Haven’t updated the listing in three months, eh pal?

How do you book a viewing for a condo when you have no idea what the unit number is?

This is like issuing a plane ticket at Pearson Airport to an unspecified destintation, with no gate number.

Great way to sell real estate for top dollar, eh?

These neighbours clearly don’t talk…

I mean, what are the odds, right?

On the same day!


At least they have a good handle on market values, right?

If you see a house with a sideways photo, is it possible that the rest of the listing is of a better quality?

Hmmm….probably not…

I love when people build a house and then say “All With City Permits” as if this is worth bragging about.

It’s like taking your in for service, and the mechanic comes out afterwards and says, “Just to let you know, we used new brakes instead of recycled, broken ones, and we actually changed the oil, as opposed to just pretending to, since you’ll never know the different.”  And then you’re supposed to be impressed by this!

People love pot lights, eh?

Just an awful, terrible write-up.

What is “Cedar Glass,” anyways?  I’d love to have been in the lab when the tech was able to fuse together those two distinct materials into one product, wow.


Here’s a fun one!

A particular house has been for sale many times at various prices, with different strategies, and with different agents, and remains unsold.

The first agent was from Hamilton, and wrote the following:

The second agent was from Oakville, and wrote the following:

The Hamilton agent refers to Queen & Leslie as “The Heart of Downtown.”

The Oakville agent refers to Queen & Leslie as “South Riverdale.”

I think we have a winner!

You know me, I just hate “fluff.”  I hate crap like, “Sit On Your Front Porch And Watch The World Go By!”

When an agent uses the word “boasts” in describing a house like this, I know they’re trying too hard.

Last, but certainly not least, I give you this:

An 825 square foot condo, apparently listed for $1,600,000.

Typo, right?

$1,940 per square foot – clearly a mistake, since nothing in Toronto has ever sold for this much.

But the listing has been up for 50 days.

So either one of two things is true:

1) This listing has been up for 50 days with a massive, unfathomable pricing error

2) This seller thinks his or her condo is worth $1,940 per square foot.

Honestly, I think it’s #2.

Which would be worse?

Have a great weekend!

Written By David Fleming

David Fleming is the author of Toronto Realty Blog, founded in 2007. He combined his passion for writing and real estate to create a space for honest information and two-way communication in a complex and dynamic market. David is a licensed Broker and the Broker of Record for Bosley – Toronto Realty Group

Find Out More About David Read More Posts

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  1. Appraiser

    at 9:12 am

    LG chimes in on the market:

    “I’m certainly far less bearish than I was a couple of months ago. I think the likelihood of CMHC’s 18% crash in home prices by year end prediction is looking less and less likely…
    Toronto area home prices are up roughly 10% so far this year which means for prices to end the year down 9% we would need to see a very steep decline in home prices in Q3 and Q4. It’s of course possible but I’m not convinced it’s probable.”

    1. Chris

      at 10:00 am

      LG wrote a full article on the topic, which discusses the bullish and bearish arguments.

      “I expect the summer to remain very competitive and the only thing that might help cool the competition is a spike in new listings.

      As for the fall market, there are still two main risks on the horizon. Firstly, when all the government support for businesses and individuals who lost their jobs comes to an end, only then will we know how many households are impacted and have permanently lost their income as a result of this crisis.

      Secondly, households who have deferred their mortgage payments are going to see their deferrals come to an end this fall.”

      Also commented on listings:

      “New listings in the GTA were only down 11% last week vs the previous year. Sales were down 16%. I suspect by the end of this week new listings should be back at 2019 levels. This idea that “sellers don’t want to expose themselves to COVID” is not really happening”

  2. Appraiser

    at 9:17 am

    Looks like the head of CMHC is married to his lousy predictions. I especially enjoyed Siddall’s “insightful” opinion about multiple offers.
    Evan Siddall
    “House prices lag economic events. Current price resilience proves nothing: don’t take comfort from low volume price action. Multiple offers are consistent with a huge decline in new listings. Government support programs have deferred (& reduced) an inevitable economic adjustment.”

    1. Appraiser

      at 9:19 am

      Link to above

      1. Kyle

        at 9:59 am

        Evan Siddall’s prediction makes no sense and is not at all supported by what is going on in the market. At this point he’s just embarrassing himself now.

        Demand remains very strong and continues to grow. Anyone who believes this is somehow being propped up by Government Support is smoking crack or willfully blind. People receiving Government support are not qualifying to buy homes – that is just a fact, so when those programs stop it will have absolutely zero impact on demand.

        On the Supply side, even LGJP is saying anecdotally that he knows of people who are deferring not because they need to, but because they want to. Those that are no longer in a position to afford their homes due to job loss are not deferring and scraping by on CERB, they have sold or are selling, and as we’ve seen even with those people unloading it hasn’t been enough supply to satisfy the demand, which is why prices are heating up. Like the bulls have said before, the vast majority of job loss is being experienced by lower income, non-home owning households.

        1. Chris

          at 10:14 am

          “he knows of people who are deferring not because they need to, but because they want to.”

          Probably not the best decision.

          “Credit bureaus are alerting lenders when you’ve requested a payment deferral. If you’ve deferred your mortgage, Equifax says you should see one or both of these statements in the comments section of your credit report:

          Deferred Payment
          Affected by Natural or Declared Disaster

          Mortgage deferrals aren’t supposed to hurt people’s credit scores but when a mainstream lender sees you’ve had a deferral, it’s nonetheless a red flag. The lender may:

          – Scrutinize your income/employment more closely
          – Ask for more documentation
          – Decline you if you have borderline qualifications, particularly if you’re employed in a higher-risk industry.”

          1. Kyle

            at 10:23 am

            So what if deferring might add a flag, whoop dee doo. If you’re not applying for more credit anytime soon, this is largely meaningless. Once payments resume and the Mortgagee keeps up a record of maintaining payments. A couple years down the road no one is going to care about this flag.

          2. Chris

            at 10:34 am

            People tend to care about their credit scores and red flags on their credit reports. Hence why, when mortgage deferrals were first offered, many suggested only taking them if necessary.

          3. Kyle

            at 10:44 am

            Practically speaking this flag has little to no impact to the borrower’s financial situation, but sure for those who want their credit report to be pristine, then just know your report won’t be “mint” if you’ve deferred.

  3. J G

    at 9:54 am

    Appraiser, we need your stock market update as it’s good karma. Last time it resulted in a 5% gain within 24 hour of your post.

  4. Chris

    at 10:07 am

    “Immigration slowdown to weigh on Canada’s economic recovery

    That is a complication for the recovery because the Canadian economy relies heavily on immigration to bolster output and consumption. Fewer immigrants will affect the labour supply, housing demand and university budgets, to name some prominent examples.

    “If immigration falls by so much, then there’s a number of aspects of the Canadian economy that may be impacted pretty significantly,” said Andrew Agopsowicz, a senior economist at Royal Bank of Canada.”

  5. Trbber

    at 7:05 am

    Portrait photos should be banned! Then they’ll just be uploaded side ways ????

  6. Clifford

    at 8:49 am

    So many incompetent agents and the sellers are just asleep. Why would you not check the mls listing to make sure it’s correct? You’re paying this person tens of thousands of dollars. Just don’t understand some people. Really makes you appreciate the good agents.

    1. Trbber

      at 3:51 pm

      Agreed! Sometimes I would love to boycott the bad listings… were kinda enabling the bad ones if we keep selling them :/

  7. Jimbo

    at 9:55 pm

    So on 17 Jun 20 I received an email from the CRA.

    Dear :

    This email address has been removed from your Canada Revenue Agency account.

    You will no longer receive email notifications to this email address.

    This is an automated email message. Please do not reply.

    Version française *** The English version precedes ***

    Cher/Chère :

    Cette adresse de courriel a été retirée de votre compte de l’Agence du revenu du Canada.

    Vous ne recevrez plus les avis par courriel à cette adresse de courriel.

    Ceci est un message électronique automatisé. Veuillez ne pas y répondre.

    I honestly thought it was a phishing email, today I logged onto the CRA my account to see if a change request for 2018 tax year had been actioned yet. I saw that “I”had applied for every CERB month available on 18 Jun 20. My email notification was changed and so was my direct deposit information.
    I called TD fraud department (where the DD was going not where I have ever banked). They couldn’t tell me if the money was deposited but I could tell the account was opened in my name…..
    Hopefully I caught this in time, the third business day is tomorrow. Just wanted to pass on to others.
    RAZUTHO@MAIL.COM was the email address. The branch number was 19702 which is tied to the TD at Young and Finch.

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