By: Beth & Andrew | Home Team

Ahh a long weekend...we have been waiting for this. Don't have plans for the Victoria Day May long weekend yet and need some help? We have listed some fun activities and things to do below to make it easier for you.


Victoria Day Weekend Tulip Festival Fireworks


The Canadian Tulip Festival joins the rest of Canada in celebrating the May long weekend with a spectacular fireworks show. Enjoy spectacular fireworks over Dow's Lake.

  • Commissioners Park, Ottawa
  • May 22, 2022
  • Price: FREE



Victoria Day Fireworks

 

Celebrate the long weekend with a bang! Join us for a free dazzling fireworks display at Rideau Carleton Casino on Monday, May 23 at dusk. Outdoor family entrances will be available, and free parking as always. The casino is open and rockin’ 24/7 all weekend long. Enjoy fun filled slots, electronic table games, dining options, and live horse racing on Thursday and Sunday nights, 19+ PlaySmart.

  • Rideau Carleton Casino - 4837 Albion Rd
  • May 23, 2022
  • Price: FREE



Pirate Life Ottawa

A Pirate's Life provides interactive 'pirate life' theatrical experience with a boat cruise in a look-a-like pirate ship. Join the scurvy crew and live the Pirate Life: Adventure, Theatre and Cruise. An interactive adventure, become a buccaneer with costumes, face paint and a pirate alias!

  •  1067 Rue Jacques-Cartier, Gatineau
  • May 21, 2022 - October 30, 2022
  •  Price: $25 - $35



Victoria Day Weekend Boat Party Gatineau 2022


Gatineau Boat Parties and Oceanic Entertainment presents!

Be prepared to drop it down and bring it up, it’s time to party Gatineau! Celebrate Victoria Day Long Weekend Boat Party in Gatineau 2022! Join us for an unreal day as we drink up on a sunny summer day and celebrate the long weekend on a PARTY Boat! You will be one of Gatineau’s #1 Floating Nightclub to celebrate this important holiday with sunset vibes, tunes and a whole lot of partying.

  • Ottawa River Queen - 799 Rue Jacques-Cartier, Gatineau
  • May 21, 2022
  • Price: $20 - $50



Canadian Tulip Festival


Ottawa’s award-winning flagship festival since 1953, the Canadian Tulip Festival is one of the largest events of its kind in the world celebrating Ottawa’s official flower as a symbol of international friendship and peace. The Canadian Tulip Festival is an event of the Canadian Tulip Legacy, a non-profit charitable organization established to celebrate the historic Royal gift of tulips from the Dutch to Canadians after World War II.

  • Commissioners Park
  • May 13, 2022 - May 23, 2022
  • Price: FREE & ticketed


 Barrhaven Ribfest


Join us for the best in Ribs, Chicken, and Pulled Pork and more including Mini Donuts Express, Loaded Funnel Cakes, Deep Fried Cheese Cake and Mars Bars, Ice Cream, Churros, and then wash it all down with a delicious Craft Beer from Joe Mufferaw Brewing and Perth Brewery. We Got The Meat!

  • Clarke Fields Park, 93 Houlahan St, Ottawa
  • May 20, 2022 - May 23, 2022
  • Price: FREE




Source: ToDoCanada


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By: Beth & Andrew | Home Team

MARKET MONDAY!


Consider these factors when understanding the April 2022 stats: rising interest rates, Buyer frustration and housing supply. 


Over April last year we saw an increase of 11.6% in average residential sale price at $829,318 and fewer properties sold at a decrease of 23.4% resulting in 1,419 residential properties sold.


Condominium average sale price percentage increased about the same at 11% with an average sale price of $473,702. Number of condos sold this past April 2022 was 470; result of a 13.1% decrease over April 2021.


Year to date, total properties sold decreased 21.1% resulting in 1,889 properties sold, but an increase of 13% residential average sale price at $830,588. Condominium average sale price increased by 12% resulting in an average sale price of $469,603. Decreased number of sales this year is due to the fact that there is an inventory shortage.


The fact of the matter is that it is still a Seller’s market. Bidding wars & multiple offers still exist in some areas, and prices continue to rise, but at a more moderate pace.

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By: Beth & Andrew | Home Team


This simple and sweet DIY herb garden will fill your kitchen with the feeling of spring. With just a few materials and six easy steps, you’ll have all your favourite fresh herbs within reach while cooking or stirring up a fancy drink!



Materials Required:       

  • Mason jars
  • Decorative stones or rocks
  • Activated charcoal
  • Potting soil
  • Seeds or seedlings
  • Chalkboard labels and marker
  • Twine or ribbon



Step One: Place Stones in Bottom of Jar

Cover the bottom of a 32-ounce mason jar with a layer of decorative stones or rocks from your backyard. This will help your herbs with water drainage. Use colourful stones for an eclectic look or garden rocks for a natural vibe.



Step Two: Sprinkle Activated Charcoal Over Stones

Sprinkle a generous layer of activated charcoal over your stones to help keep your herbs healthy and your soil clear of unwanted impurities, mold, and odours.



Step Three: Add Potting Soil

Fill the jar halfway with some regular potting soil. Be sure to leave enough room to plant your herbs. If you’re using seeds instead of a seedling, fill the jar almost completely leaving about an inch to the top.



Step Four: Plant the Herb

Place your herb in the soil and push down slightly. Fill the space around your seedling with more potting soil and gently pat down around the herb. If you’re using seeds, sprinkle several in the center of the soil and add some more soil over top. Water generously.



Step Five: Decorate the Jars

Once your herbs have been planted in the jars, you can create fun labels or decorative tags-think large white gift tags, rustic wooden tags, or chalkboard sticky labels. Kids can also help decorate the jars with colourful stickers. Finish by tying a ribbon or kitchen twin at the mouth of the jar.



Step Six: Find a Sunny Spot

Arrange your herb garden on a windowsill or sunny kitchen island or countertop. You can also place the jars in a wooden crate or wire basket by the fridge or stove for a tidy little garden that will bring a lot of life to your space.

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By: Beth & Andrew | Home Team


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By: Beth & Andrew | Home Team

The greatest canvas in your home are the walls. And the paint colours you choose are one of the boldest ways you can put your personality on display. But with millions of colour permutations out there, how do you possibly narrow down your favourite shades? Why not start by perusing this list of top paint colours for 2022.

This year’s paint trends are all about serene, tranquil colours that bring nature indoors. They’re subtle, warm, and allow you to be versatile in your design—which means you’ll be able to put them in almost any room for a fresh, earthy atmosphere. And whether your aesthetic is modern, traditional, cottagecore or anything else, these top paint colours will seamlessly fit into your style.  

Let’s dive in, shall we?

Botanical greens 

Paint brands Benjamin Moore, PPG, Glidden, and Sherwin-Williams have all put forward earthy, natural greens as their top paint colours in 2022. Look for October Mist, Olive Sprig, Guacamole, and Evergreen Fog respectively and apply generously in your bedroom, living room, or kitchen for a harmonious and rejuvenating vibe.



These paint colours will pair well with floors and furniture in blonde and warm wood tones. Decorate with gold and black accents if you like sleek and modern, or for a more organic feel, embrace beige and camel. For your kitchen and bathroom, you can’t go wrong combining any of these botanical greens with white subway tile. 



Thalassic blues

Graham & Brown and Behr are both on board for the blue paint trends in 2022, offering you refreshing hues in Breathe and Breezeway, reminiscent of sea glass and sea foam.

These soft blues are well suited to colour drenching, the practice of painting everything on the wall including trim and doors. They’ll be perfect for living rooms and home offices, bringing the outside in, like a breath of fresh ocean air. 




Accent Breathe with deeper blues and mustard yellow and Breezeway with terra-cotta, pinks, and earthy tones like white, taupe, and soft brown. For a modern and sleek look, opt for a monochromatic palette. These shades will both pair well with natural textures and fabrics, such as leather, rattan and even reclaimed and rough, minimally treated wood. 



Warm neutrals

Valspar’s Subtle Peach isn’t quite neutral, but it’s soft, subtle, and a beautiful colour perfect for intimate spaces. But don’t limit yourself to just closets and bedrooms for its use—it’s also perfectly suited to bathrooms and living rooms, especially if you want to feature a bold piece of art or a gallery wall. It blends well into the background and won’t steal any attention away from your showstopping décor.  




Also in this category is Valspar’s Gilded Linen, a warm white that will suit open plan spaces, entries, and hallways. According to Valspar, Gilded Linen is an “ultra-clean neutral that organizes and connects spaces throughout the home.” They recommend it for minimalist décor, and to mix it with wood and greenery for a natural feel.



Paint trends for every personality

Whether you’re in the suburbs or the heart of the city, these top paint colours of 2022 will have you feeling like you’re surrounded by nature with wide open sky above you.

Green, blue, peach or white, these paint trends befit the rise in sustainable and eco-friendly living practices, combining harmoniously with reclaimed wood, natural textiles like cotton, jute, and rattan, and vintage furniture and décor elements. There’s simply nothing artificial feeling about these paint trends and depending on personal style, they can be matched with a variety of design aesthetics.

What’s most important is the top paint colours of 2022 promote flexibility so it’s your personality always shining through. 



Source: Royal LePage blog

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By: Beth & Andrew | Home Team
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Here’s the scoop on February’s year-to-date market stats over last February 2021.


Based on February last year, we saw a 2.6% increase in total number of properties (residential/condo) sold this February 2022.


While the number of condominiums sold decreased by 10% over the last year, the average sale price rose 14.5%! This is a result of fewer condo properties being available. 


Additionally, not only did the average sale price for residential homes rise 16.8%, the number of freehold properties sold also increased by 7% over February 2021.


It is still a good time to sell or buy!
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By: Beth & Andrew | Home Team

The time between inking the deal on your first home and move-in day is sure to be filled with anticipation and excitement. You’ll be thinking about the empty rooms in your soon-to-be-occupied home and the promise they hold. But it’s important to give yourself some time in the home to let your ideas evolve into better ones.

By all means visit stores, gather information, ideas, colours and fabric samples to begin your decorating plans. But remember, a truly comfortable and functional home that reflects your personal style will develop over time.  These tips will help first-time homeowners to furnish and style their new abode:

1. Resist the temptation to immediately purchase new furnishings. Organize and move in with what you have, placing furniture in rooms and finding places for items that go in closets, cupboards and drawers.

2. Measure and make a plan for each room on paper. Explore options on graph paper and consider using masking tape to mark out dimensions on the floor or walls of any furnishing you might purchase. This will ensure the pieces will work within your available space.

3. Consider unwanted elements. Home ownership affords you the luxury of making choices.  If you don’t like a lighting fixture or the wallpaper border in the kitchen, you are at liberty to replace it.

4. Consider any changes you would like to make to flooring. Carpeting from the previous owners may be crying out for replacement. Research and price out replacement options with consideration to available products, the temperature underfoot, and any need for noise reduction.

5. Create a budget. Apply a realistic price tag to your wish list and establish a time-frame to achieve your goals. Do things one step at a time and keep a tally against your budget as you go.

Soon enough, your first home will reflect your style and dovetail with your lifestyle.


Source: Royal LePage

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By: Beth & Andrew | Home Team

Find out how the aesthetic and design philosophies of other cultures from Sweden to Japan are making their way into our living rooms and bedrooms.


Wabi-Sabi

The Japanese concept of wabi-sabi celebrates the imperfect beauty of nature, with all of its flaws and blemishes and its natural cycle of birth and death. So instead of expending fretful mental energy trying to make your home perfect from top to bottom why not find the beauty in a lack of symmetry and odd numbers, in unique materials, handmade pottery, worn and aged items and nature?



Hygge

This Danish lifestyle trend celebrates values of home, hearth and family and the coziness and togetherness that bring us comfort and joy. How to achieve hygge? It's relatively easy: add candles to your home, spend time cuddled up with family, invite friends for dinner and get rid of distracting clutter. The surge in Scandi design and features like faux and real animal furs draped on chairs or couches is a definite hygge-influenced design trend. The Danes are considered the happiest people on the planet, so it's definitely worth taking a page from their hygge playbook.



Cwtch

This Welsh term translates to cuddle and you can see evidence of cwtch in the trend for sprawling comfy couches, throws, pillows and fireplaces which enhance the kind of cozy, cuddly vibe that gives us a sense of well-being. 



The KonMari Method

North Americans seem to have a bottomless thirst for decluttering and storage. And much of that desire for order can be traced to the influence of Marie Kondo's mega-bestseller book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. And when it comes to wellness, saying goodbye to unnecessary objects, and streamlining your possessions can bring a sense of calm and renewal to your life as well as "sparking joy." Design can certainly be a way of influencing your state of mind Kondo teaches.



The 72-Hour Cabin

There is no denying that she-sheds, outbuildings, tiny houses and artist studios are popping up in backyards around the country. A need for a room of one's own, tranquility and a life cut-off from distractions and devices finds its ultimate expression in an innovative project called the 72-Hour Cabin project. In this 2017 study, five subjects with incredibly demanding jobs and high stress levels had their heart rate and other indications of well-being studied after they engaged in what are considered key components of the Swedish lifestyle: solitude, swimming and fishing and contemplating nature from a glass-walled cabin in the wilderness. After 72 hours, participants found a 70 percent decrease in their stress levels. How to bring this trend to your home? Large windows that face views of nature, a commitment to unplugging and reading instead of web surfing and finding opportunities for exercise and self-care can alleviate stress when a trip to Sweden isn't in the cards.



Lagom

Another Scandinavian design trend that many see as the Swedish spin on Danish hygge, lagom is rooted in the Swedish idea of "just right." Lagom is about focusing on needs rather than wants and knowing when you have enough. Rather than blind accumulation, lagom emphasizes buying only the items you need to live. Scientists have found a connection between acquisition and unhappiness and the Swedes are certainly proponents of quality of life over material accumulation and being present in the moment rather than obsessing about what to buy or do next. So create a soft, welcoming space for your family, and feather your nest with comfort, just don't go overboard and think that it is the things you buy rather than time spent with family that are primary. Part of lagom is decluttering, connecting to nature, whether by bringing plants indoors or capturing the view outside with enormous windows and connecting to those around you every day.



Niksen

The Dutch practice of Niksen is basically about doing nothing: unplugging, daydreaming, allowing yourself the opportunity to be still and even bored. What better way to do so than to have designated, private space in your home away from media, televisions, charging stations and distractions where you can look out a window or snuggle up and let your mind wander. The key is to truly allow yourself to simply "be" which researchers have said leads to more creativity and lower stress.



Feng Shui

The ancient Chinese practice of feng shui is meant to create balance between individuals and their enviornment and harmony with the natural world. Inviting positive energy or "chi" into your home is the goal. Feng shui can be achieved in numerous ways, some of which are used in other wellness traditions, like ridding your home of clutter which both literally and symbolically removes obstacles from your path. Keeping pathways clear, especially to the front door, invites energy into the home and a front door that opens inward invites energy in rather than one that opens outward to push it out. Creating areas to pause and reflect, like a bench or a piece of artwork also allow energy to flow in a calm and unhurried way through the home. Allowing light into our homes in drapeless windows or with mirrors that bounce light around can also enhance positive energy and good feelings for occupants. Another founding feng shui principle is checking the commanding position of items in three key spaces. Your bed represents you, your desk represents your career and your stove represents wealth. You should be able to see the door when you are in or at any of them but not be directly in line with the door. And your back should never be to the door when you are at your desk or in your bed, which inhibits your ability to receive positive energy.



Friluftsliv

This Norwegian word coined by playwright Henrik Ibsen describes the joy and contentment that comes from outdoor living and finding opportunities to socialize, exercise, play and dine outdoors. The term loosely translates to "free air life" or "open air living." We've seen this trend play out in the current obsession with design-savvy vans and campers to experience the great outdoors. And friluftsliv is also at play in our at-home outdoor spaces kitted out with firepits and kitchens used to expand our year-round living options and fight the stuck-at-home blues. Many wellness experts have testified to the increased contentment, decreased stress and soul-stirring satisfaction we get from spending time outdoors.



Fika

The Swedish concept of fika isn’t quite as well-known as Denmark’s hygge, but it’s just as delightful. It’s the practice of taking time to be relaxed, present and social — like sharing hot drinks and snacks with a friend at a cafe, on your front porch or over Zoom. You don’t need to drink hot cocoa out of anything fancy in order to enjoy this, but a handmade cup that’s a work of art worthy of permanent display on open shelving in your kitchen can be a smart splurge. Sure, you can get a $2 ceramic mug at Ikea, but if you can support a local artisan with a $20 mug that will make you smile every single day because it’s just so you, we say go for it.


Source: HGTV

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By: Beth & Andrew | Home Team

Below are some tips to help you organize different parts of your home:


Living Room


Welcome the Wastebasket

If trash tends to accumulate in the family room, adding a wastebasket might cut down on clutter. Few family rooms actually have a wastebasket in them; they're not attractive and they can smell. Counteract this by choosing a can that fits your room's decor. If you know food will be thrown away here, get one with a lid and some deodorizing trash bags.


Keep Flat Surfaces Clutter-free

Papers, books, brochures and magazines tend to accumulate on flat surfaces all around the house, and the family room is no different. In fact, the family room is often more cluttered because it's a central gathering place in the house. A two drawer lateral file is recommended as an ideal solution. Make a quick sweep of all flat surfaces by piling papers in a bin, then sorting and purging as necessary. Take a vow, and get your family to follow it, to put papers in files rather than on the coffee table.

Control Out-of-Control Cords

Until the world goes wireless, we'll forever be stuck with tangled cables behind our entertainment centers. Fortunately, there are several options for taming cords in the family room. The most attractive is the slim Cableyoyo. It neatly coils up to six feet of cord and comes with an adhesive backing that sticks onto nearly any surface. A cable caddy usually sticks onto a desktop (or behind the TV console) and has a space for several cables to clamp into. Your cords will still dangle freely, however, so a cable zipper, which encloses all the cables in a tube, might be the best bet.

Create a Play Zone

If toys are taking over your family room, it's time to put them in timeout. Unused corners of a family room transform into great play areas because the walls serve to block encroaching clutter. Corners are also good areas to put a small bookcase or children's table. Add rolling bins for toy storage so your child doesn't have to feel confined, but is encouraged to pick up after he or she is done playing.


Coffee Table Functionality

If you have a coffee table (or forgot you had one due to the clutter) it's time to reassess its organizational capacity. Coffee tables that look great but don't have any storage for magazines, remote controls or even drink coasters, are probably making life more difficult. If you don't have the budget for a new one, consider adding low storage cubes, rolling baskets or bins to stick under the table.



Designate a Game Area

For a family that likes to play together, a game cabinet for board games and cards is both functional and fun. Games usually end up in a TV armoire, but it's helpful to designate a separate space for them, whether in another shelving unit, a bookcase or in plastic containers below the sofa (if the sofa has a skirt). Creating a single game space will free up other areas of the room for storage. If a computer is part of your gaming area, Julie Morgenstern recommends against a computer armoire. She's rarely seen them work well and recommends instead a desk that has a separate work surface, paper storage and a surface for the monitor.


Creatively Display Photos

If you have a lot of small, photo frames that tend to clutter your family room it's time to take control by displaying them in new ways. Photo albums and collage frames are great options for storing lots of photos at once, and a digital photo frame is especially handy for those who don't use film. Don't just use the mantel or side tables; use vertical space on the wall. Organizing your photos by date or occasion in photo boxes is especially helpful for scrapbookers, who can keep these in one central location on a bookshelf.


Take Advantage of Space Behind the Sofa

Organize extra blankets, pillows, candles in an accessible place - behind the sofa. It's a great place to put a trunk, cabinet or low bookcase. Plus, it gives you another surface to put a lamp or show off some treasured objects.



Decluttering the Entryway


Focus on Floors

In the entryway, the outside meets the inside and brings plenty of mud and moisture with it. Place entrance mats on both sides of the door to trap tracked-in dirt and rainwater before it hits your clean house.


Clear Clutter Regularly

Family comings and goings tend to deposit mail, paperwork, newspapers, magazines, library books, broken items and extra clothing at the door. Schedule regular STOP clutter sessions in the entryway.


Family Launch Pads

Just as a spaceship must have a dedicated structure to support liftoff, so family members need a Launch Pad to stabilize them as they blast out the door in the morning. What is a Launch Pad? It's a dedicated space — perhaps on a bookcase shelf — to contain all the "out-the-door" essentials for each person.



Organizing your Bedroom


Opt for Storage Under the Bed

Get more mileage out of the horizontal space in your bedroom with sliding or rolling under bed storage bins. It's a great extension of your closet, allowing you to rotate your seasonal items or even store bigger, bulkier items like backpacks, purses and blankets. Plus, the storage hidden if you have a bedskirt. Stick a label on the outside of each container so when you peek under the bed you'll know exactly what you're looking at. Short on linen closet space? Another idea is to keep extra sheets for your bed here.


Make Your Bed Every Day

Treat your bed as the sanctuary it is by positioning it for use every day. If you spend three minutes each morning to tuck and fold, you'll develop a habit of keeping order in the room, which may translate into motivation for picking up the pile of clothes on the floor.


Tame the Shoe Pile

Bags tend to sag and take up valuable hanging space, which most people can't afford to give up. Plus, an expanding tiered shoe rack below your clothes keeps them accessible and away from dirtying or staining materials. If you have a mountain of shoes, don't throw anything out! Get all 20 pairs of identical black heels lined up nicely. If you enjoy abundance, often in about a year you'll give in to those 20 pairs and be ready to let some go.



De-Junk your Junk Drawer


Remove the Drawer
First thing’s first -- take out the whole drawer and take inventory. Be sure to have a trash can handy, because chances are you’re going to find a lot of expired coupons, worn-out recipes and to-go cutlery.


Sort Into Piles
For anything you deem worthy of sticking around, create piles with like items. Do you have duplicates? Get rid of one. Are your safety pins and paper clips taking over the entire drawer? Collect them all, so you can see what you’re working with.


Keep it Separate
Now that you’ve narrowed everything down to what you actually need, find containers around the house that can keep everything divided and easy to find once you put it back in the drawer. If you don’t already have boxes or drawer dividers, you can use ice cube trays or old muffin pans. Or cut out the bottom of old cereal boxes for a cheap solution that can be dressed up with washi tape or wrapping paper.

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By: Beth & Andrew | Home Team

Thinking of putting your home on the market? These 13 tips can help you get the most for your property.


1. Choose the right renovations

Big ticket items like a new roof, windows or a furnace add the most value.


2. Keep it clean

If you think staged homes look impersonal, that's the whole point - you want buyers to imagine themselves living in your house. Be ruthlessly unsentimental about packing away knick-knacks and family photos.


3. Fix little signs of wear and tear

Even scuff marks and chipped baseboards. Even if your home is otherwise in great shape, the buyer may perceive it as needing work, which could hurt in price negotiations.


4. Tell your selling agent everything about your home

Any flaws you knowingly conceal - lead in the drinking water, for instance - could come back to haunt you later in the form of a lawsuit.


5. Choose your price wisely

Consider setting a price that's slightly below the market value for your area. This can help generate offers for your listing, creating a buzz that could result in a bidding war. 


6. Don't limit yourself to popular times

Spring is the traditional start of house-hunting season, but as a buyer, you'll find deals if you purchase during the colder months. 


7. Be flexible

Broadening your parameters can lead to a great find.


8. Stick to your budget

Resist the urge to look at homes beyond your price range, even if the market is red-hot. Those monthly mortgage payments are relentless and they add up over time.


9. Bid like pro

How to survive a bidding war on your dream home: an experienced agent can guide you through these negotiations, but make sure to arrive with a pre-approval letter from your lender, and include an escalation clause to limit how high you'll go.


10. Go for an emotional appeal

If you've got your heart set on a property but can't afford to outbid other buyers, try your luck appealing to the seller's emotions' With your offer include a letter explaining what the home would mean to you, stressing hoe much you value what they've put into it and what you could bring to the community.


11. Trust the pros

A small minority of homes sold in Canada change hands u=in "for sale by owner" transactions. The biggest motivation: sellers want to save money on agent commissions, though there are pitfalls aplenty. Real estate is a complicated transaction. It's also difficult to price a home and market it properly without an experienced agent's help.


12. Realtors aren't always pulling in fat commissions

In Ontario, the standard is around five per cent of the purchase price, split between buying and selling agents.


13. Commissions are always negotiable

They depend on on the services provided and the market. Full-service agents may provide professional staging, photography, drone flyovers and other tricks to gussy up your listing, but you'll pay far less for a more bare-bones approach.

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