What is the difference between a regular realtor and a divorce realtor
First, it's important to realize you have a legal process underway at the same time as the sale of a home. In regular real estate, the courts are not involved in the sale of a property.
In regular real estate, one realtor is representing the sellers together, whether it’s a husband and a wife or any two owners. They usually both have the same goals. This is not the case in divorce real estate. Owners who are going through divorce often have opposing views.The divorce realtor has special expertise in mediating these conflicts while still maintaining a fiduciary position to both.
In both regular real estate and divorce real estate, emotions run high. But in divorce real estate, the stakes are even higher. Anger, distrust and fear are emotions that impact the sale of a home.
The Graff Girls have decades of experience dealing with divorce sales and emotionally charged owners and have successfully assisted couples with the sale of their home.
Recently, Samantha and Cheryl helped a husband and wife during their divorce. The wife arranged for the house to sell. The husband didn’t want to sell. The paperwork had been completed, the photographer sent in, the sign ordered and the stagers booked. But the husband was not willing to cooperate. The Graff Girls held meetings with the husband, discussed his worries, his wishes and his views. The house was sold and the husband, with the help of Samantha and Cheryl, bought a new home for him and the children.
This is the thank you note from the husband:
“Samantha and Cheryl
I do not know how you both do it but you were so professional.
You never lost your patience or class.
You made a very challenging situation smoother than I could have imagined.
Thank you for making this transition of life as easy as possible for myself and my children.
We have enough going on and you both made it that much less stressful.”
If you are considering divorce, contact Samantha and Cheryl for advice.
Can NEW APPLIANCES increase the value of your home?
Home buyers are influenced by many factors, mainly visual. A kitchen with new appliances is a very attractive feature for most buyers. Will people pay more for a home because of new appliances ? Probably not. But will people be attracted to a home that appears updated ? Yes and that then drives buyer interest, multiple buyers and ultimately a raising of the sale price.
The Graff Girls love to hear when our clients tell us they just replaced their kitchen appliances and laundry machines and prospective buyers love it even more.
Call The Graff Girls to maximize your home sale…appliance by appliance.
The second week of September produced an upward spike in home prices on new properties in desired areas in Toronto.
Just this weekend...
In less than 5 days on the market, a detached home in Avenue Road and Lawrence area SOLD for more than $300K over asking.
In less than 3 days on the market, a semi in Wychwood Park SOLD for more than $150K over asking.
Now you ask, what about the home that sat on the market for months...the home that switched agents...the home that reduced the price...the home that SOLD way below what the owners ever anticipated?
If you hire realtors who are honest, have integrity and are experienced in all markets, they will guide you responsibly. Some realtors will tell you what you want to hear just to get your business. So choose wisely.
If you have any questions about home sales in your area, call THE GRAFF GIRLS for advice you can trust.
Should I sell my home now or wait till Spring 2019?
This is the #1 question that clients have been asking The Graff Girls over the last few weeks.
There is risk on both sides. Yes, the market has softened, but it also rose exponentially in the last 10 years. It may stay steady or drop. Some of our clients do not like risk and, since they were thinking of selling in the next few years anyhow, they are selling now. That is the least risky choice to make.
With over 50 years of combined real estate experience in the GTA, we have seen market highs and lows. We also have a positive, but realistic, outlook as we believe Toronto is a highly desirable city to live and invest in. Are there obstacles to a stronger upward market? Absolutely!
Want to know what they are and how that affects your home and your neighbourhood?
Together we will educate you to maximize your sale price and reduce risk.
Book a meeting with us to discuss the sale of your home in the present real estate market versus the spring market.
What are your options when you do not get the sale price you expected for your home?
This is a common question often asked. This is especially commonplace when using the strategy of holding back offers (ie. delaying the acceptance of offers until a target date to build up hype).
Option one: Stay put, don’t sell and wait to see what the market brings you later. You do not have to sell your home just because you listed it for sale. It may fare better in a subsequent market. With the exception of sellers who are forced to sell due to divorce, death or because they already bought a new home, you are the one in control.
Option two: Accept the highest price, sell and move on. You may sell for lower than expected but you may also be buying at a lower price. Even if you are not, whatever you earn is tax-free.
Option three: Cancel your listing, allow a period of time to pass and then come out as a new listing at a price you are willing to sell your home. That way, your listing is seen as fresh and the DOM (days on market) is low and not a negative factor.
If you need a second opinion on selling your home, let The Graff Girls discuss their sales strategy with you.
OPEN THIS WEEKEND SATURDAY & SUNDAY AUGUST 18 & 19 2-4PM
BUT FIRST READ MORE ON WHAT THIS FAMILY ORIENTED NEIGHBOURHOOD HAS TO OFFER...
The Graff Girls are your local experts and can guide you to the right streets and the best home for your family.
Did you know this about the Cricket Club area?
Cricket Club encompasses the area between Avenue Road and Yonge Blvd. running south from Wilson to Brooke
Cheryl and Samantha know it extremely well and therefore understand why you are interested in this area. It is one of Toronto's most charming family oriented neighbourhoods. The Graff Girls explain that the name “Cricket Club” stems from The Toronto Cricket Skating and Curling Club which opened in 1925 and has been a neighbourhood landmark ever since.
The original homes in this neighbourhood were built during the 1920’s and were a mix of bungalows, Tudor, cottage-style houses and larger Georgian-style homes with spacious centre hall plans.
So The Graff Girls understand why you are thinking of buying a house here. Today, The Cricket Club area is a flourishing area. Streets are lined with mature trees and large lots.
Today, these homes are being re-developed with larger, custom-built executive homes. There are also many luxury condominium apartments and townhouses in the area.
Dining in The Cricket Club area
The area boasts numerous options for casual and fine dining with easy access to both Avenue Road and Yonge. Boutique grocery stores such as Bruno's and Pusateri's as well as Loblaws are minutes away for home dining options, as well.
What about medical care in The Cricket Club area?
The Graff Girls explain that medical care is excellent. World renowned Sunnybrook Hospital is located just south of York Mills on Bayview Avenue. The area now is home to dozens of healthcare providers from western medicine to naturopaths to energy practitioners and many more.
Are there nice parks in The Cricket Club Area?
Samantha and Cheryl will share with you The area is known for leisurely street walking due to its mature feeling. Plus, the community boasts a hockey arena, baseball diamond, tennis courts, and the Don Valley Golf Course. The Cricket Club itself still remains a main destination for many families from dining to recreational activities
You like to shop?
The Graff Girls say between the offerings of boutique shops on Avenue Road and Yonge street you are in the know! Yorkdale Shopping Mall Is an easy pop on the 401 and only 5 minutes of driving. You will not have to drive far to get the best shopping that Toronto has to offer.
If you are looking for expert advice on the purchase or sale of a home in The Cricket Club area, the only realtor team to call is The Graff Girls.
Thinking of buying a home at Bayview and York Mills?
The Graff Girls are your local experts and can guide you to the right streets and the best home for your family.
Did you know this about Bayview and York Mills?
Bayview and York Mills encompasses the area between Yonge Street and Leslie Street, running south from Highway 401 to Lawrence Avenue.
Cheryl and Samantha know it extremely well and therefore understand why you are interested in this area. It is one of Toronto's most affluent neighbourhoods. The Graff Girls explain that the name “York Mills” stems from the former Town of “York” and the many saw “Mills” that operated in this valley from 1804 until 1926.York Mills had a distillery, a tannery ,a blacksmith shop, 3 churches, a school, a post office, a toll gate and the Jolly Miller Tavern, built in 1857, which still operates today as The Miller Tavern.
The Graff Girls explain that the transition of York Mills from a rural village to a prosperous neighbourhood started in the 1930's on the hill near St. John's Church and Hedgewood Road area, just south of York Mills Road. The highly respected St. Andrew's College owned the land East of Yonge Street to Bayview Avenue in the early 1920's before moving to Aurora. The property was purchased by St. Andrew's Estates which used the land as a championship golf course until the 1950's.
This neighbourhood really began to take off as a suburb of Toronto in the 1950’s. In 1952, E.P. Taylor, the wealthy business man and horse breeder, owned a large property which is now the Canadian Film Centre.
So The Graff Girls understand why you are thinking of buying a house here. Today, York Mills is a flourishing area. Streets are lined with mature trees and large lots. Many of the original homes built, when the area was first developed after the first World War, were in the Tudor and English Cottage design. Then mid-century, many sprawling split-level and ranch bungalows were built.
Today, these homes are being re-developed with larger, custom-built executive homes with a Classical or Georgian style. The infill housing reflects designs mimicking homes in The Bridle Path, one of Toronto’s most exclusive neighbourhoods, located directly south of York Mills. There are also many luxury condominium apartments and townhouses in the area.
Dining in Bayview and York Mills?
As for fine dining, Samantha and Cheryl are very familiar with the exquisite Auberge du Pommier restaurant located on the site of what were originally two woodcutter’s homes from the 1860’s. The area now boasts many other family style and finer restaurants.
How are the schools in Bayview and York Mills?
Feel free to ask Cheryl and Samantha about the local schools. There are several schools, public, secondary, Catholic and private, in the area, including Harrison and Owen Public Schools, St. Andrew’s Junior High, York Mills Collegiate, Loretto Abbey, The Crescent School, The Toronto French School, Bayview Glen and Crestwood School.
What about medical care in Bayview and York Mills?
The Graff Girls explain that medical care is excellent at North York Hospital, located at Sheppard Avenue and Leslie Street. World renowned Sunnybrook Hospital is located just south of York Mills on Bayview Avenue. The area now is home to dozens of healthcare providers from western medicine to naturopaths to energy practitioners and many more.
Are there nice parks in Bayview and York Mills?
Samantha and Cheryl will tell you that no area in Toronto has better parks than Bayview and York Mills. The area is known for Edwards Gardens, Wilket Creek and their many walking trails. Plus, the community boasts a hockey arena, baseball diamond, tennis courts, and the Don Valley Golf Course.
You like to shop?
The Graff Girls say that Bayview Village is the most upscale mall in the GTA. Then there’s The Shops of Don Mills and Fairview Mall within minutes of driving. You will not have to drive far to get the best shopping that Toronto has to offer.
READY TO VIEW ONE OF OUR LISTINGS IN BAYVIEW AND YORK MILLS?
When working with buyers with children, The Graff Girls know the best school districts for top-rated public schools and nearby private schools.
According to realtor.com, 3 out of 4 home buyers said school boundaries are an important consideration. In fact, buyers agree to give up features just to get into a good school district in the following ways:
1) Number of Bedrooms
2) Updated kitchen
3) Outdoor living space
5) Large backyard
What do buyers claim are the hallmarks of a good school?
2) Accelerated programs
3) Music programs
If you are looking to make a move based on a school district or proximity to a private school,
call The Graff Girls...we have been working with families and placing them within the best school districts since 1995.
For Sale By (Divorcing) Owner: Hiring the right realtor will make a huge difference
Once upon a time, when a couple separated, one spouse kept the home and the other one was bought out. However, in Toronto, rising real estate values have made this practice an impossibility. With the average price of homes in Toronto exceeding $1 million, and with the stringent lending rules in place for mortgage approval, it has become extremely difficult for one spouse to buy the other one out at the time of divorce. As a result, divorce usually triggers the sale of the matrimonial home. This then results in the need to select a realtor to represent both spouses through the sale process.
Just like no two lawyers are the same, likewise, no two realtors are the same. This is especially the case when it comes to divorce. For spouses going through divorce, matters of trust, honesty and cooperation are more challenging then before.
Realtors who assist separating couples with the sale of the matrimonial home must have unique skills to be able to handle the circumstances of sale.
The Graff Girls are an award winning mother/daughter team who have been serving divorcing couples with their real estate needs since 1995. Cheryl and Samantha have established close relationships with some of Toronto's top divorce lawyers, financial planners, therapists and coaches.
Cheryl and Samantha know that the matrimonial home is the family's largest asset and, because of divorce, the spouses are extremely concerned with maximizing their sale price and net profit. More importantly, the spouses require ongoing communications and complete transparency with respect to the sale process. In fact, Samantha and Cheryl have been so successful in establishing their integrity and trustworthiness that their clients have chosen to subsequently retain them to purchase new homes.
The Graff Girls have developed a plan of action for the sale of matrimonial homes during divorce that ensures a speedy sale, maximum sale price, preferred closing dates, least inconvenience to the spouses and the children and, most importantly, the removal of any communications between the spouses with respect to the sale. Cheryl and Samantha regularly report to the spouses’ lawyers, mediator and therapists on the status of the sale, as part of the group of professionals assisting the spouses.
Cheryl and Samantha have impressed hundreds of clients with their expertise, experience and skills. Their reputation has preceded their names. A recent divorcing spouse admitted: "The only thing I think we agreed on was to call you ladies in!"
If you are divorcing, or a professional helping a couple with their divorce, contact THE GRAFF GIRLS for a consultation.
Many people struggle with the decision of whether to buy a condo. The stage of your life has a lot to do with the answer to this question. For those in their 20’s and 30’s, the only property that they can afford to own is a condominium. For empty-nesters, it makes most sense to sell the family home and move to a condo. There are many lifestyle considerations that guide this decision.
The following is a list of the advantages and disadvantages of buying a condo.
Amenities: Condos come with underground parking, concierge service, mail service, pools, exercise rooms, party rooms, libraries, computer rooms, business centres, etc. How nice would it be to have a pool for your friends, kids or grandkids to swim in? How about walking into a warm car in the middle of the winter?
Community: In condo living, you get to know your neighbours. Many condos hold social events, classes, card games and shows where you get to meet your neighbours.
No more maintenance: The days of mowing the lawn, shovelling the driveway or fixing the shingles on your roof are over. This is especially ideal if you travel for business or pleasure. You just lock your door and leave all your worries regarding your property to the condo managers.
Location: Although condos are available everywhere, many people are motivated to purchase condos to move into the city and enjoy city life. Very few people can afford to live at the most prestigious locations such as Avenue Road and St. Clair, Yonge and Bloor, King and Bathurst, or Yorkville. There are fabulous condos throughout the city and new ones under development.
Security: Entry into condos is very secure. Guests need to be authorized to enter. Anyone else is unable to enter without the approval of a condo owner. Almost all condos employ lobby security guards.
Comfort: Young or old, healthy or compromised, condo living is for everybody. Parking is underground. Access to all floors is by elevator. The entire space is on one floor. No more stairs, floors or basements.
Affordability: Condos are available in all sizes, neighbourhoods and levels. There are high-rises and low-rises. There are adults-only condos and family-friendly condos. There are condos that permit pets and those that don’t. There are condos on the subway and condos outside of the city. Maintenance fees vary from building to building depending on the number of units and the amenities offered. Condos usually cost considerably less than a home. Choosing the right condo requires careful investigation and research. That is why most people find the right match by using realtors who are most familiar with the condo, the condo manager and the original condo builder. Realtors like The Graff Girls are extremely knowledgable and familiar with condos in Toronto so that your particular lifestyle and economic needs are met by the right condo.
Condo Fees: All condos levy a monthly charge on its owners for services such as maintenance, services, security, garbage removal and landscaping. Condos with lots of amenities have high condo costs. There can also be special assessment for unforeseen expenses. Condos with many units spread the expenses amongst many owners and can be lower. It is critical to seek advice on the quality and quantity of the particular condo’s services when considering options.
Parking: Parking is generally limited. Normally each owner is granted 1 or 2 parking spots. Although there is guest parking, some condos charge for guest parking and prohibit overnight parking.
Elevator: In some condos, the wait for the elevator can be long and frustrating. Moving furniture or large items can be challenging. The elevator always needs to be reserved in advance.
Less Privacy: In condos, walls, ceilings and floors are all shared with your neighbours. Although most condos are constructed with noise prevention, there are cases where the noise from the neighbour is heard. For some, this could be distracting and frustrating.
Rules & Bylaws: Condos have lots of rules. Condos have rules for guest parking, barbecues, door hangings, balcony use, etc. Most of the rules are created in order to ensure a consistent and uniform appearance, as well as the safety and security of the occupants. But for some, the rules could be annoying.
In conclusion, condo living can be amazing, exciting and comfortable. However, in a city like Toronto, with so many options for condo living, it is critical to be guided and advised by a realtor who has the experience, familiarity and expertise in condominiums. The Graff Girls have represented buyers and sellers of condos for the last 25 years and are able to ensure that you make the right choice, to buy the right condo, in the right place, from the right builder, at the right time.