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CondoChris Merry Christmas and A Happy New Years: Predictions for 2014

Hi I’m Chris Borkowski. You know me as “Condo Chris” and I am a broker with RE/MAX Hallmark right here in the city of Toronto.

Now, If you watch my blogs you’ll remember when I revealed that I was using “Crystal Ball” technology to predict the future of the real estate market. I do this because I found that i was often being asked questions like “whats the market gonna be like next year?” or, “whats my house going to be worth in six months?”. Last year I used the crystal Ball to make a few predictions, lets recap: “crystal ball – Are the leafs going to win the Stanley cup in 2013? (wha, wha, wha…….) Well, you heard it here first folks: There will be no real estate crash in 2013 AND the leafs are not going to win the Stanley Cup either”…. Ouch. Well we all know what happened to the Maple Leafs in 2013 AND there was no real estate crash either. In fact, across the board in the City of Toronto prices were up over 10%.

So, now we come to the time of the year when we look into the crystal ball and make a prediction for 2014. Now we could ask about the leafs again, but we don’t really need a crystal ball to see where that ones going, do we? So, instead lets ask about the upcoming municipal election: “Crystal Ball, who is going to win the upcoming municipal election in the city of Toronto in 2014” …. Rob Ford! Well, you heard it here first folks, the crystal ball doesn’t lie – Rob Ford will win the election in 2014 and maintain his title as the Mayor of the city of Toronto!

I’d like to take this time to thank all of my clients, colleagues and friends for their patronage and support this year and I would like to wish everyone a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR. ALL THE BEST IN 2014!

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Condo Chris Helps Renters!


Today I’m at 81 Navy Wharf. This is my newest listing and it’s gorgeous- overlooks the Sky Dome!

I’m here to talk to you about the future. I’ve been reading a lot of blogs and newspapers. There’s a lot of people out there predicting a real estate crash. “Oh, a crash is coming, a crash is coming!” In Toronto in 2013. They think there’s too many condos!. I’m here to tell you absolutely, 100%, unequivocally, there is no real estate crash coming in 2013!

Now, you’re probably saying, “Hey, Condo Chris, how do you know this?” Do I know this because I’m up at 6:00 in the morning reading papers, watching interest rate announcements? Is it because I’m sitting in nice condos like this or houses uptown (my listings)? I see how many buyers are coming through, how many agents are brokering appointments. You know, one of the coolest things I do is I talk to real estate mortgage brokers that I know and I ask them, “How many pre-approvals do you have lined up?” Pre-approvals are people waiting to buy that haven’t bought yet. You know, most of the ones that I know have a stack this big.

There’s lots of buyers waiting in the wings.

Now, do all of these things lead me to make an educated guess that there’s no crash coming in 2013? Or maybe it’s something more fantastical? Like maybe a crystal ball? Maybe that’s how I can tell the future because I have a crystal ball. Well, today I’m here to tell you the truth. Do you want to know what it is? It’s a crystal ball! I wasn’t lying. To Hell with reading the newspapers. You know, in my world as a real estate agent, I’m constantly being asked, “Hey, what’s my house going to be worth in six months?”, “Hey, where is the market going to be in six months?” or, “What’s going to happen two years from now?”
You know, I thought, I’m sick and tired of trying to answer these questions without a crystal ball. I went out and invested in one! It’s not an iPad or anything fancy like that, but this is low-tech and it works like a charm. For predicting the future, this thing is dead nuts accurate. Listen, why don’t we ask it a question right not and get an answer?

Crystal Ball, will the Toronto Maple Leaves win the Stanley Cup this year? Oo, sorry folks. You heard it here first: there’s not going to be a real estate crash here in Toronto in 2013 and unfortunately, the Toronto Maple Leafs aren’t going to win the Stanley Cup either. You know, if your realtor isn’t using crystal ball technology, maybe it’s time you found a realtor who did.

My name’s Chris Borkowski and I’m realtor with Re/Max Hallmark right here in the city of Toronto. If you’d like to come take a look at this property at 81 Navy Wharf or if you have any real estate questions for me or the crystal ball, feel free to give me a call at 416-486-5588. Thanks for watching!

If you have any questions, or you’re looking for a great Toronto real estate agent, Toronto real estate investment, or office space, call me at 416-486-5588 or email condochris@gmail.com.

Welcome to 2013

The ‘Grain of Salt’ Factor

Where the Heck is Mimico?

The Condo Chris Guarantees

Selling a Business

There is no “I” in Team

Catching Big Fish

The Numbers DON’T LIE

HOW MUCH was that Listing?

Today I’m in King West Village to talk to you about pricing Toronto real estate.

Now, you know when you walk into a store and you see a product listed at $3.99, you know it’s really a $4 product but they listed it at $3.99 to try to trick your brain into thinking that it’s cheaper than it really is. Now, that’s a technique that marketers have been using for generations and it’s worked fairly well for them. They call this a heuristic tendency. That’s a shortcut your brain uses to determine value.

I’m going to tell you about a study that Cornell University just did and they published it in their journal Marketing Science. They looked at buyer attitudes towards precise numbers. They took these subjects and they showed the strings of numbers and they asked them to rate them in terms of value; which one looked highest, which one looked lowest. Surprisingly enough when they showed them this number ($511,534) it consistently rated as appearing lower than this number ($510,000). Why? Because it’s a precision number. Even though it’s higher, it appeared to their brain as lower. This number over here ($401, 298) consistently appeared lower than this number ($400,000). Same reason, because it’s been rounded off.

They call this the precision heuristic. A heuristic is a shortcut your brain uses to make a snap decision about something. In this case, value. When your brain looks at a number, it has to make a decision quickly as to what it’s worth. When the number’s rounded off, it’s easier to figure out. When it’s a precise number, it takes your brain a moment to juggle it around and figure out what it’s worth.

In the marketplace they looked at about a thousand listings in both Florida and New York City. All these listings sold under asking, so there’s some negotiation involved. Consistently, the listings with the precision number sold for 0.75% higher than those with a rounded off number. On a $500,000 house that’s over $3700. Does it matter to you? You tell me. It should, because it’s going to make you more money.

Their number one tip: don’t use zeroes. Their number two tip: don’t use nines.

Listen, if you need help pricing your property, give me a call. My name’s Chris Borkowski. I’m a broker with Re/Max Hallmark here in the city of Toronto.

If you have any questions, or you’re looking for a great Toronto condo, Toronto real estate investment, or office space, call me at 416-486-5588 or email condochris@gmail.com.


The TRUTH about Open Houses

Today I’m downtown Toronto on King West to tell you the truth about open houses. You know, Toronto open houses are really popular. They’re standard in the real estate industry and it’s the number one thing that clients tend to ask me when I list their place: “When’s the open house?” After the open house: “How’d the open house go? What kind of results did we get?”

Listen, I’m here to tell you one thing. The truth about open houses is this: open houses don’t sell properties. Open houses are a figment of the days before Internet. Before the Internet, how did you search for properties? You woke up on the weekend, you loaded your family into the car, you drove to the neighborhood you want to live in, and you drove around looking for these things: open house signs. When you see one, you get to check out the property. There was no other way to do your research.

Nowadays, you don’t drive to properties, you surf there. That’s how qualified buyers find listings: they search them on the Internet. You know, your most qualified buyer isn’t someone who’s going to walk in willy-nilly off the street and buy the biggest purchase they’ve ever made in their life on a whim. Qualified buyers, the ones that are going to bring you the best price for your property have already been qualified by mortgage brokers so they know what they can spend. They’ve already done their research online, so they know about your property, and generally they have an agent representing them.

So who’s coming to these Toronto open houses, then? You do an open house, who the heck is showing up? I’ll tell you who’s showing up: nosy neighbors! Why do they show up? Who cares. They want to see what your place looks like, they want to compare your place to their place, they want to see your wallpaper, but most importantly, you know what they want to know? What’s their property worth? I’ll tell you what else, agents love open houses. Why? Not because they think they’re going to sell your property, they get to meet your neighbors. Your neighbors come in, oh, someone’s listing their place for this much? How much is my place worth? Great, let me take a look at your place and I’ll tell you. Next thing you know, we’ll have your place listed snap, bang in a hurry.

So do yourself a favor. If you’re stressed about your open houses, if you’re worried that there’s not enough or that you haven’t had enough response, you haven’t had people coming through, or you’re trying to pile a bunch of them in weekend after weekend after weekend, tone it down, take it easy, relax. An open house is probably not going to sell your Toronto property.

If you have any questions, or you’re looking for a great Toronto condo, Toronto real estate investment, or office space, call me at 416-486-5588 or email condochris@gmail.com.

The WORST Mistake in Real Estate

Renovation Matrix

Is Your Realtor from`the Burbs’?

Are You shopping for Real Estate by Yourself?

Why I choose ReMAX

You can use Feng Shui to sell Your Condo!

Make Money from Your Garage!

You probably think I’m in a killer loft or Toronto condo downtown.

Do you know what this is?

This is a garage in the back of an investment property that I sold my client a few months back. Initially he had thought of turning this into a parking pad or tearing it down and turning it into a lawn for his tenants, but when we looked at the bones and saw what was here and there was enough space to do it, he decided that he would turn this into a functional space.

Check out the stairs in the video. Aren’t they great? These are by a company called ARTE. You can find a link on my website. This is a totally modular stair system. You can make it in a spiral, you can do it on an angle, you can do a lot of things with this staircase. You can use it in very small spaces like my client has done here. Initially when we bought my client this house, he had thought about tearing this structure down. He thought about maybe making pad parking or potentially putting a lawn back here for his tenants to enjoy during the summer. Once we took a look at the footprint and realized it was a solid brick building, he thought maybe with a little bit of ingenuity and a little bit of money, he could renovate it and turn it into an income producing portion of his property. As of this afternoon I know that he is interviewing a potential tenant who’d like to use it for an office and I believe his asking price right now is about $650 a month.

The total cost of this improvement to this particular structure was about $10,000, so if he does manage to get his $650 a month that he plans on renting it out for, this structure will pay for itself in less than two years and after that it’s all gravy. $650 is a much as a part time job to most people, so that’s quite a bit of money and in my mind it was a great investment for him.
Now, there’s no kitchen in here, but you can see in the video that what he has done is added a simple bathroom so this space now functions perfectly for maybe a recording space, someone who’s got a small business to run can do it in here no problem and actually there’s free parking out there on the streets, so even though this is in the east end, it’s way more cost effective than renting out a space downtown Toronto.

If you have any questions, or you’re looking for a great Toronto condo, Toronto real estate investment, or office space, call me at 416-486-5588 or email condochris@gmail.com.

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