Seller checklist for summer listings in Ottawa real estate
26 May 16 01:49 PM | Gord McCormick | 0 Comments   

(updated from a previous post in June 2014)

Late spring and early summer should be the best time to sell a residential property, as most properties will look their best and we experience peak sales volume during these months.  Peak season goes by quickly; however-so sellers are reminded of a few basics to make sure their listing is as ready as can be: 

1. Remember:  buyers shop online first, so make sure your house and property are 100% ready for listing and that you get the best photos possible. A professional real estate photographer is recommended.

2. Curb appeal counts!  How does your property look from the street?  What could be done to make it more appealing?

3. Lawns, gardens and trees should be well maintained and be an attractive accent not an eyesore.  Buyers will assume the whole home is poorly maintained if the exterior property has not been looked after.

Hire a lawn service, gardener or landscaping company if necessary.

Replace any dead, damaged or diseased plants, limbs or branches.

Fertilize lawn in early spring and again late spring. Cut grass at least once weekly.

4. Paint, stain and caulking: decks, fences, trim, garden sheds and caulking should be reviewed and updated where necessary.

5. Stage your outdoor space front and rear! Replace faded furniture or cushions or buy new furniture to highlight your best outdoor spaces. Key features like decks, patios and verandahs should get special attention and investment if required.

6. Check roof shingles, flashing and eaves trough.  Clean and repair as required.

7. Seal your driveway

8. Organize your garden shed and garage so buyers can see there is lots of room for their “stuff”.

9. Make sure garbage cans or composting does not produce any odour.

10. Indoor temperature at 21-23 C. (70-75F) One wants visitors to know the AC works well but don’t make it too cold or contrasting with the outside temperature.

11. Basement dehumidifier may be required as dampness and poor air circulation can produce a stale even musty odour in basements during this humid time of the year. Portable fans may also help or one can run the furnace fan if it is not too noisy.

If you have them, make sure your HRV (heat recovery ventilator) and your furnace humidifier are turned off, so you are not allowing additional moisture and humidity in the home.

12. Check window wells for drainage and remove any clutter or debris.

13. Clean all windows inside and out or have a professional company do it.

14. Check for unwanted wildlife, insects or pests and take remedial action i.e. remove wasp or yellow jacket nest.

15. Make sure all pet damage or droppings are attended to.

16. Remove any surplus or extraneous material that may be cluttering any portion of outdoor space.  When in doubt…move it out!

17. check your front door and surrounding area to make sure it is clean, well maintained and dust and debris free-this is the entry to the property and reflects the care taken with the whole property in the eyes of buyers.

18) encourage friendly neighbours to keep up their yard work and property maintenance-after all; what you sell your property for will have an impact on what they sell theirs for in future!

Happy selling!


Gord McCormick, Broker of Record
Dawn Davey, Broker
Oasis Realty Brokerage



"Coming soon" and "Exclusive" listings: who really benefits?
10 April 16 08:31 AM | Gord McCormick | 0 Comments   

You may be noticing more and more listings coming out with either a “Coming Soon” flag or sign on them or the qualifier that they are “exclusive listings,  ie “…so don’t miss out and call me right away!”  Do these types of listings really benefit the seller, the buyers, the market place or the listing agent?

“Coming Soon”:

A pre-MLS® listing announcement flagged when a seller and listing agent wish to pre-announce that the property will be for sale soon and if buyers are shopping the area they may wish to hold off on a purchasing decision until they get a chance to consider their pending listing.  Often, sellers are busily getting ready to list and hope to be listing in a short period of time.  Unfortunately, there are no rules around this type of listing and we have seen “Coming Soon” signs on listings that don’t go to MLS® for 3 or 4 weeks which certainly does not qualify as “coming soon” in our definition.


Exclusive listing: valid approach or simply “call me first-don’t lose out FUD”?

There are some valid reasons for using an exclusive listing but most often we believe it is used in an attempt to generate some FUD (fear-uncertainty and doubt) in buyer prospects where they do not want to miss out on a “hot new listing”.  Many agents will give the impression that they have a whole lot of these hot new listings and you should be signing up with them or your run the risk on “missing out.”  Advertising or promoting these “pocket listings” or “exclusive listings” is primarily for the benefit of the listing agent and or helps them secure the listing in the first place.  See our previous blogpost here on the subject:


Availability and Access is a big criterion:

If a Realtor is using the approaches above, they may simply be controlling access to the listing and trying to generate buyer prospects themselves.  Is this really for the benefit of the seller or the listing agent? (principal duty to client obligations would suggest not but pretty much anything an agent can convince their client of, is OK, legally…)

A listing agent who denies the public and other Realtors access to a listing while they try to sell it themselves to their own customers, is definitely not working in their seller’s best interest, in our opinion.  No matter how active the neighbourhood Realtor may be, they have a tiny, tiny portion of the buyers who are represented by the other 3,100 Realtors in our Board and this is one of the many strengths of the MLS® system. 



A few years ago we had a situation like this where a “For Sale” sign was posted but when we called to book an appointment for a buyer client we were told that showings did not start for several days.  Independently, our buyer called to inquire about the property and was booked to see the listing the same day we had requested!  When we called the brokerage manager for the listing sales person, he closed ranks and said his agent had done “nothing wrong”, knowing full well his listing agent had broken both the MLS® rules and ethics rules by dealing with a client of another Realtor and also by allowing preferential treatment to his own buyers over those of other MLS® buyer representatives by controlling access to an MLS® listing.  


While there are valid reasons for using both of this listing tactics, there are just as many using them to generate more Realtor business and try to create scarcity and fear of losing out which most Realtors on MLS® do not do.  The widest exposure and access always yields the most buyers and the best demand and is therefore best for the seller.  This is one of the cornerstones of MLS® after all.

If you would like to follow more real estate news, tips, stories-check out our social media below for a larger range of news and views.


Gord McCormick, Broker of Record

Dawn Davey, Broker

Oasis Realty Brokerage







Listing inventory is the critical indicator to watch in 2016 Ottawa real estate
31 March 16 07:43 AM | Gord McCormick | 0 Comments   

We have had some positive signs in the local real estate market over the last few months and most industry watchers and participants would expect it to be a good year in our marketplace.  There are a still a couple of potential “potholes” though and sellers will want to keep a close eye on what is happening day in and day out. 

Overall # Active Listings in 2016 vs 2011:
We think the most critical issue is listing both in aggregate and by price range.  While total listing inventory has decreased slightly in recent months, we are still carrying a very high number of listings compared to only a few years ago.  For example, a quick statistic from our Realtor system shows that total active listings at the end of January and February 2016 were 75.1 and 56.1% higher than only 5 years ago in 2011.  Unit reported sales have not increased significantly to cover this excess inventory. 

Listings by price range/level:
A dominant result of sales in 2015 showed a marked increase in housing priced $300-$400K and $200K-$300K and if results continue to skew in this fashion, does this mean we may have a shortage of listings in these price categories?  Does it mean higher priced properties will suffer?  

Supply and Demand can differ by neighbourhood and housing type also:
Real estate is local and of course supply and demand may be different in different locations across the area.


How long will it take my house to sell?
Probably the question not asked (or answered) enough by sellers of their Realtors.  Facts are as follows: for the year ended Dec 2015 the average residential property sold in a cumulative 83 days on the market and the average condo took 103 days.  So if you need to have your house sold in 30 days or less, this needs to be a big part of the conversation and marketing and pricing plan for your property/listing. We believe mid range properties should sell within 30 days at this busy time of the year.

Market is dynamic and moves fast at this busiest time of the year:
Things move very quickly over the next 10-12 weeks and sellers (and buyers) will want to make sure they are connected with a Realtor who can help them stay abreast of market dynamics and all the competitive pressures (ie don’t forget new home construction in the area!) that might get in the way of obtaining a successful sale.


If you don’t already have a Realtor you are working with, please give us a call and we will put our research and marketing programs to work to get your listing sold and to help meet your overall housing objective….and by the way, most sellers save 20-40% in real estate commissions and HST by working with us vs the typical 5% fees of most franchise or corporate Realtors. 

Also FYI.  Our facebook page was recently ranked as the #1 Realtor and Brokerage facebook page in Ottawa and #11 in the country by an online marketing company. (March 26th 2016



Gord McCormick, Broker of Record
Dawn Davey, Broker
Oasis Realty Brokerage







Ottawa sellers: don't miss out on busy spring relocation market
31 March 16 07:34 AM | Gord McCormick | 0 Comments   

We are on the cusp of the busiest few weeks in Ottawa real estate as March draws to a close.  With the new Federal budget year starting April 1st, comes the beginning of prime government “moving season” which sees a large number of military and RCMP personnel relocations happening between April and August. 

Up to 1,000 moves in to Ottawa and the same number move out annually, many of these originate in April and May.  Those relocating on the Integrated Relocation Plan (IRP), typically must sell their existing property (with a firm agreement of Purchase and Sale) at point of origin before making their house hunting trip to Ottawa.

Those moving to Ottawa would typically be seeking July or August closing dates to facilitate school registration. 

When relocating employees visit Ottawa for their formal house hunting trip, they have a very truncated period to make a purchase decision, normally a week or so.  This puts a lot of pressure on the family moving and their real estate team, particularly if the family is not familiar with Ottawa.

What often happens is that these buyers try to cram as many house visits as possible in to their first few days (15-20 houses daily is not uncommon!) and then narrow their search down as quickly as possible.  Trying to schedule and juggle timelines is a real job for the Realtor and also can be a mind boggling exercise for the buyer(s)! 

Sellers (especially FSBO’s) can lose out if:
-their house is not on the market when out of town buyers activity is most concentrated (mid-late April-early June)
-their property is not listed on MLS®. Virtually 100% of these buyers will be represented by Realtors and it is typically much easier for a buyer to schedule a property showing for an MLS® listed property with Realtor and brokerage support.
-they are not able to manage showings on short notice or be flexible in showing times/duration or other scheduling issues.
-overpriced listings may miss key search parameter levels of incoming buyers and therefore not even get consideration from this important segment.
-poorly maintained or presented properties or other unique properties will also have trouble as most of these buyers want “move-in-ready”.
-they are not able to accommodate a buyer closing date, as this is probably tied to both their existing home sale and their report date here in Ottawa.
-sellers who wait too long to adjust their plans or pricing may miss the wave.  If you don’t sell your midrange property in 30 days or less at this time of year then something is wrong.  Talk to your Realtor and take some definitive action!  

If you know anyone moving in our moving out of Ottawa this year, by all means please send them our way, if they are not already working with another Realtor!  We can often also assist in finding a Realtor for them in their destination location. 

Gord McCormick, Broker of Record
Dawn Davey, Broker
Oasis Realty Brokerage





Lots of potential potholes in Ottawa real estate for 2016
07 February 16 02:46 PM | Gord McCormick | 0 Comments   

Like it or not, our local economy is dominated by Federal government activity and there are a lot of potential potholes we may face as the new government sets out to try and keep all the promises it has made.

Will Liberal history repeat itself?
Trudeau Sr. decimated the oil patch with his disastrous National Energy Program in the early 1980’s.  Will Trudeau Jr. further “pile on” the oil industries, wreaking further economic damage- to live up to his “carbon tax” mantra?

Chretien Liberals gutted the public service in the ‘90’s:
Jean Chretien and Paul Martin took about 25,000 to 30,000 jobs out of the Ottawa public service in the early to mid 1990’’s and on top of a general recession, we had the worst decade in real estate in 50 years.  Let’s hope the Government doesn’t have to resort to those draconian measures to try and get re-elected in 4 year’s time and pay out on all their promises.

Wither the military…
“ More teeth and less tail”, “peacekeeping and training”.  These seem to be some buzz words about the place of the military in this government.  The Chretien Liberals also decimated the military in the 1990’s in what insiders call “ the decade of darkness”.  Does the ideological bent of this government mean fewer personnel in the military and fewer personnel deployments?  If so, that does not auger well for our market, as the spring and summer season is bolstered by approx. 1,000 military moves in to Ottawa and 1,000 moving out of Ottawa.

The previous Conservative government, though clearly not too popular with the public service, was pretty good to Ottawa employment levels.  Things were quite centralized and though there was some belt tightening over the last 3 years with fewer Federal workers, the early years of the Harper government saw Ottawa federal headcount expand fairly significantly.
Any further headcount reductions in Ottawa or movement of departments or functions out of Ottawa, naturally would have a negative impact on our local economy.

Will idealism and realism both be present in the budget?
Our one Ottawa cabinet representative and climate change leader is often quoted as saying: “ we have to make some tough decisions”.  This raises a few scary thoughts about what this might mean.  Let’s hope there is at least a dose of realism blended in with the idealism that is surely behind this quote.

Will lower priced and medium priced housing continue to dominate sales in 2016?
Throughout 2015 we saw a higher proportion of sales transactions in the $300-$400K range and the $200-$300K range than usual.  This could make selling the $500K+ home more difficult, as it did last year.

Is our listing inventory issue solved?  Or simply hibernating?
We carried a lot of excess listing inventory in 2015 and had as much as 30% more residential listings and 70% more condo listings than 5 or 10 year averages.  This meant a buyer’s market for most of the year, although inventories did diminish in the 4th quarter.  It remains to be seen if these sellers no longer plan to sell or whether they are just awaiting the spring market.

So there are a lot of issues to keep an eye on, as well as having your existing property in tip top shape and ready to sell.  Your Realtor can help you get a realistic grasp on all market conditions and how best to optimize the marketing of your property and the purchase of another.  If you do not have a Realtor and wish to take advantage of our expert buyer representation or listings services, by all means send us a note  and we can help you start your planning today!


Gord McCormick, Broker of Record
Dawn Davey, Broker

 Experienced, professional brokers with lower fees for sellers!

Optimism lifts residential and condo sales in Ottawa November 2015 results
15 December 15 11:45 AM | Gord McCormick | 0 Comments   

Optimistic unit sales for both residential and condo markets in November:


Ottawa buyers and sellers were active in November in the fresh optimism generated by the new Federal Government.  Unit sales were very positive for the month with residential sales up 9.7% for the month vs November last year and condo unit sales up nicely by 17.1%.

On a year-to-date basis residential unit sales are up 6.1% and condo sales are flat at +.7%.


Prices remain pretty flat overall:

Year-to-date average prices for residential sales are up by 1.7% to $392,183 and the average condo price sold this year has dropped by 1.1% to $260,278.


How long does it take to sell on average?

The average residential property sold this year after a cumulative listing period of 82 days on the market vs 77 days last year.  The average condo sold in 102 days compared with 87 days a year ago.


Listing inventory easing slightly overall:

Overall listing inventory has pulled back slightly from some record setting levels mid-year.  Residential listings are currently15.6% higher than the 5 year average and condos are 31.9% higher.

Listing inventory is overweight higher end properties at $500,000 and above, compared to recent sales patterns.  Currently listing inventory above $500K is over 20% of all listings while sales above $500K are only about 15% on a year-to-date basis.


Rental market on MLS® continues to surge:

Realtors continue to generate more rental listings and lease agreements for their clients than ever and rental inventory is up 50% compared to the 5 year average.  Whether this reflects more investor owners or simply sellers who were not able to sell at a desired price point, we cannot be sure.


Listing cancellations, withdrawals and expiries remain high:

The number of listings that don’t sell and expire or are terminated by the sellers remains at historically significant levels.  If these sellers have quit the market then this is a good thing as it lessens what has been a supply/demand imbalance in favour of buyers.  If however, these properties are just off the market temporarily and will return to active listing status in 2016 this may mean our inventory issues will continue. 


It is never too early to plan your purchase or sale for 2016, though we escape for several weeks in the New Year, we are always available by email, text or skype/cell to help you meet your objectives.


Merry Christmas and best wishes for a successful 2016!


Dawn Davey, Broker

Gord McCormick, Broker of Record


Oasis Realty Brokerage

613-435-4692 office

613-371-9691 mobile/text



Selling in December: "to tree or not to tree? "
20 November 15 10:29 AM | Gord McCormick | 0 Comments   

When I’m selling in December…should I decorate my home?


Perhaps not the biggest question sellers and their Realtors may have on their minds late in the year but one that warrants some consideration.


Christmas is an important time of the year for many of us and a big part of the excitement is decorating the home as part of the seasonal celebrations.  So if my property is still going to be listed for sale…does this change how I choose to decorate?


Bah, humbug!…don’t decorate at all!

One school of thought might be that one should not decorate at all and let buyers see the property without all the distraction that could be associated with Christmas décor.  This argument would also suggest that adding decorations personalizes the home and may detract from the overall space.


To tree or not to tree?

Christmas trees may be an important centre piece in one’s seasonal decorations; should we forego the Christmas tree this selling season?  Trees take up a lot of space and also could be quite a distraction for visitors.  While it is one’s prerogative to “tree or not to tree”, we think smaller homes and condos may show best without a Christmas tree.


“It’s our last Christmas here…”

There is a lot of sentiment around the Holiday season and if it won’t feel like Christmas without the tree and all the trimmings then by all means “go for it”.


Withdraw listing or restrict showings:

A compromise solution might be that one either temporarily withdraws the listing from MLS® or introduces some showing restrictions during the Christmas season.  (Your Realtor has forms for doing this.)


Bottom line:

Homeowners make their own choices of course and as Realtors we also encourage sellers to balance the listing needs with their own, as they still are living in the home and should not feel that they are in some sterile environment which is void of any personal touches.  We would generally suggest that a “lite” version of one’s typical seasonal decoration is the best way to strike a compromise.


Merry Christmas and Happy selling!


Dawn Davey, Broker

Gord McCormick, Broker of Record

Oasis Realty Brokerage



Should I be buying or selling real estate in Ottawa winter?
17 November 15 11:20 AM | Gord McCormick | 0 Comments   

While most Realtors would suggest “there is never a bad time to buy or sell a property”, there are certainly a number of issues to be considered in buying or selling a property in the Ottawa winter.  Here are a few items to consider: 

The case for listing in the winter:

Most years, the assumption has been that while there are fewer buyers in the market there are also fewer sellers.  With listing inventory levels running at historical highs, this will not be the case for this winter. There is significant competition for both residential properties and condos from both the resale and new construction markets.


Get a “jump” on the spring market?

There is also a case to be made that while buyers may not be “buying” (in large numbers), they have already started shopping and doing their online research in advance of the season.  There is some validity in this position; particularly as we get to mid-February when “cabin fevered” Ottawans are looking ahead to spring.  Open Houses also see a pickup in activity, especially when we get a warm(er) and sunny day.

It is equally as likely that a REALTOR® may be trying to “get a jump” on the spring market by securing a listing but that is another discussion.


Perhaps I can beat the MLTT or Home Energy Rating and Disclosure Programs? 

For 2016/17 we potentially face these two Provincial programs which may have an adverse affect on buyers and sellers, so some may feel that it could be advantageous to buy &/or sell before these two programs are in place.


Should I continue to list it over the winter?

Those who have had their property already listed through summer or fall often feel they “may miss a buyer” by taking their property off the market.  This may be true but it is more likely that a property which has already been listed for any significant period of time (60 days or more) may have some other issues inhibiting the sale and continuing the listing over the winter is not likely to produce a better result.

Continuing to list a property for an extended period can make the listing become “stale” and buyers tend to wonder; “what’s wrong with it?  Or “why hasn’t someone else bought it already?

Remember that online buyers have the very short attention span and if they have not gotten interested at first glance; then likelihood of their coming back to revisit a property deemed not to have measured up the first time is slim.


Sales are definitely slower:

November through February is the slowest sales period of the year and while sales don’t cease completely, they do drop off to only 33% to 66% of average sales during the other 8 months.  This is especially true of December and January.


Competitive disadvantage with those listing later:

By having one’s property exposed to the market earlier, those in the market get to have a look at the property and compare it to determine their potential interest.  A seller can also judge their pricing, based on market feedback.  However, equally true is that sellers who plan to list later on and their REALTOR® have a chance to plan their pricing and marketing strategy by knowing what the competition is.  (kind of liking seeing a competitors poker hand)  Subsequent listings will do their best to take advantage of this knowledge and present a more attractive marketing package for buyers.  This is why we see many new listings sell in the first week or two, as these sellers have adjusted and improved their offering compared to the existing already listed competition.


Buyer challenges:

Visiting properties in winter can be awkward/ difficult and many do not want to move in the depths of winter.

Many buyers also have a property to sell and therefore face the same slower market in trying to get a deal done on their own property.

Curb appeal and outdoor features suffer:

When we are mired in our 90 to 120 days of Ottawa snowbanks and deep freeze, most homes will not show their best, particularly those with key outdoor features such as decks, patios, pools, gardens, interlock, trees and privacy.

Also buyers are unable to as carefully inspect roofing, foundations, decks, fencing, sheds, air conditioning, swimming pools or other outdoor features and amenities.

Some negative features may stand out:

Properties with older or poorly designed heating systems may expose themselves in winter and focus buyer attention on cost of replacement and utility costs.

Older windows may emit drafts or show moisture/icing

Cool floors, bedrooms or basements may be highlighted
low light conditions may make some homes seem “very dark” or devoid of natural light which can be a big issue for buyers.

Street parking, snowbanks, driveways and walks and their maintenance needs in winter are all highlighted.  We see properties with large icicles hanging from the roof and eaves in winter, pointing to another inspection issue.

Homes that do not have eavestroughing may have glaciers forming on walks and driveways, depending on their exposure.

Homes or condos without indoor parking may be less of interest to buyers on a cold, snowy and windy day.

Buyer Opportunity:

As many buyers are focused on a distinct set of features, housing type, price point and location; some buyers may find that unique property becomes available or drops in to their price range in winter and choose to close a deal.  This is most likely advantageous to first time buyers or those who do not have another property to sell.


We are certainly available to discuss buying or selling requirements and plans for 2016 at any time and look forward to hearing from you!* For more about us and Ottawa real estate,  see our top ranked social media sites below.

* not intended to solicit those with existing representation agreements


Gord McCormick, Broker of Record

Dawn Davey, Broker

Oasis Realty Brokerage




Protecting your equity with 2 broker support and lower listing fees!



16 tips to guarantee a successful sale in spring or summer 2016
15 November 15 01:18 PM | Gord McCormick | 0 Comments   

1. meet with your Realtor to discuss plans and get an up to date market evaluation and check up on your existing property.

2. establish a well buffered estimate of baseline selling price for your existing property.  This will help establish net equity in the existing property to apply towards purchase.

3. calculate all closing costs on selling existing property and purchase of new property.

4. estimate total costs of ownership for new property including; taxes, utilities, condo fees, maintenance and any other recurring costs ie rentals, leases, service contracts etc.

5. Meet with your mortgage broker or bank to review financial ramifications and build a plan.

6. book a home inspection now to check on all critical home systems and insure there are no hidden defects.  Inspection may result in recommendation for additional expert review or service call.

7. invest in a professional Staging consultation to determine what might be done to show your property to its fullest potential and what this would entail financially.

8. keep a close eye on properties selling in your own neighbourhood, so you have an up to date feel for the market and at what price properties are listing and selling. Your Realtor can set this up for you.

9. Have an auto search set up for properties to purchase in your desired area, style and price range. Again your Realtor can set this up for you.

10. Review all items and recommendations coming out of the Realtor evaluation and Staging or inspections and determine which have the highest priority and how it will help marketability of the property.

11. Schedule key preparation activities well in advance, particularly those involving professional trades, as can often be difficult to find when the spring busy season comes around.

12. Start to depersonalize and declutter now and make plans for offsite storage, if required.

13.  Gather all paperwork you have that will support a quality listing including; taxes, utility costs, floor plans, maintenance or upgrades done, manuals and warranty paperwork, leases or rental agreements (especially hot water tank.)

14.  Get all inside preparation done during the fall or winter, so you can focus on any outdoor work once weather permits in the spring.

15. Visit existing property listings and open houses to get an idea of what is available in person, don’t simply rely on online analysis, as listings and photos may not tell the whole story or do the property justice.

16. Always keep asking:  “…if I found my dream home tomorrow, how long would it take me to get my current property ready for sale?


For a related post from our blog archives feel free to check out:  “Why buying your second home may be more difficult than your first”:  


Gord McCormick, Broker of Record

Dawn Davey, Broker

Oasis Realty Brokerage


@oasisrealtyOTT  One of Ottawa’s top ranked facebook real estate pages…check it out!


Ottawa real estate report November 2015
10 November 15 10:35 AM | Gord McCormick | 0 Comments   

Some positive signs of improvement in October real estate results: 

Residential Sales pretty solid:

Sales for the month were up 3.7% and year to-to-date are 5.9% higher than 2014.

Average selling price for the month was up 2.8% to $380,075 and year to-to-date the average selling price is up 1.8% to $393,078


Condo sales and prices continue to sag:

Condo sales continue to struggle due to oversupply in both the resale and new construction markets.

Though condo unit sales were up slightly over last October, they were still down 9.4% compared to the 5 year average.  Year-to-date unit sales are down .5% compared to last year.

Prices took a beat of a beating in October and on a year-to-date basis are down 1.9% compared to the first 10 months of 2014 at $258,995.


* average selling prices are affected by the price mix of properties sold and in the current market there is more activity in the lower to mid-priced market segments ie $250K-400K which keeps the overall average price in check. 


Listing inventory surplus eases:

For the first time in a long time, we have seen some improvement in the amount of listing inventory surplus on hand.

Residential listings are only 19.5% higher than the 5 year average at the end of October and condos are 42.5% higher.

New listings in October for residential properties actually were less than during the previous 3 years and 4.6% lower than the 5 year average, so this is potentially a very good sign.

We note however that listing cancellations, withdrawls and expiries continue to run at high levels with residential properties 14.4% higher than the 5 year average and condos 55.3% higher. If some of these sellers have moved to the rental market that would be OK as the rental market seems pretty active.  If on the other hand these sellers are just waiting to relist at a later date then perhaps there still may be an overbalanced equation on the supply side.


Rental Market listing inventory is up 58.7% over the 5 year average but the number of rentals done by Board members is way up also, so this is not a particularly worrisome stat.

Time on market to sell increases also:

Both condos and residential properties have taken more time on market to sell this year with residential properties selling in 80 days vs 75 last year and condos taking 101 days to sell vs 86 days last year.


New home sales:

Builder sales are down approximately 6% on a year-to-date basis but this has improved over how it was looking earlier in the year.


Great time to plan ahead for Spring/Summer 2016:

Believe it or not…right now is a great time to start planning and activity for a successful 2016 purchase or sale.  Call your Realtor and get an update or call us and we will be happy to discuss the myriad of steps you can take over the next several months to optimize your buying or selling process next year.


Gord McCormick, Broker of Record

Dawn Davey, Broker

Oasis Realty Brokerage



You can have our (listing) data when you pry it from our cold, dead hands!
18 September 15 09:50 AM | Gord McCormick | 0 Comments   

Tribunal hearing pits the Federal Competition Bureau against the Toronto Real Estate Board: 

In what may result in a watershed ruling affecting real estate historical listing information, the Competition Bureau Tribunal will be conducting hearings in both Toronto and Ottawa over the next few weeks to determine how much listing data can be provided by online real estate marketing companies.  This matter has been winding its way through various regulatory and legal processes for some 4 years now, including the Supreme Court-which refused to hear the matter.


What does the Bureau want?

The Bureau wants MLS® listing and sold data to be more widely available to consumers and 3rd party online marketers like Trulia and Zillow in the US.  This would allow more information for both buyers and sellers and a new range of online services.  Currently, Realtors control this data and provide it to their customers or prospects.


The Bureau argues that TREB (and by extension MLS® as a whole) uses its monopoly over access to this listing data to prevent new services and business models and that consumers have a right to access this data without having to go through an MLS® REALTOR® member, as is the case in some other countries.

NB.  The issue fundamentally relates to historical “sold” data and listings, as active listings are already widely distributed to the online 3rd party real estate community via the MLS® Distributed Data Facility (DDF).


What is organized real estate’s position?

Organized real estate feels very strongly that historical listing data is proprietary to MLS® members as they have assembled/created and paid for the whole system that collects, aggregates, stores and distributes the listing data.  Listing data goes far beyond simple listing and selling prices and includes photos, videos, room sizes, special features etc.

This comprehensive data set is what is necessary to form any kind of baseline for pricing a property to be listed in future.  Simply having the selling price of a property without all the ancillary information included in a typical MLS® listing is fairly meaningless and is already available to the public via MPAC (up to 24 properties in Ontario) or the local land registry office.(for a small fee)

Organized real estate also argues that even private sellers (for-sale-by-owner or FSBO sellers) have access to comparable sold data, as the major FSBO sales organizations are generally affiliated with a real estate brokerage that can provide that information.  FSBO sellers can also have their properties posted on MLS® subsequent to a previous agreement between the Bureau and the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).

We believe the bottom line on the whole exercise is “…let’s not try to fix what’s not broken”.


Which side would the public support?

We suspect most members of the public with only a cursory knowledge of the issue might choose to support the Bureau and hope that the Tribunal decision forces the MLS® membership to make sold listing data widely available without REALTOR® involvement or engagement.  However, it is a complex matter and the results of such a change may have some unintended consequences that may not serve the consumer well at all.  Our current MLS® system is the envy of many around the world and provides a strong centralized national and regional platform for the distribution of listings for sellers and easy access to those active listings for buyers. (without commercial messages or advertising on )  Furthermore comparable sold data is readily available for both sellers and buyers from a large and diverse REALTOR® population who compete via a variety of business models for consumer business.  We believe the consumer is well served by the current system.


Be careful what you wish for... 

While there are arguably some positive aspects of wider access to MLS® sold listing information for consumers, if such a change ultimately resulted in a significant change to the MLS® landscape both consumers and real estate professionals would be poorly served.  We hope the Tribunal considers all possible consequences in rendering its decision.

Our belief is that by and large professional real estate is fairly intractable on this issue, so who can say what may transpire if the Tribunal rules against TREB?


Stay tuned for news coming out of Ottawa on this issue, as it remains to be seen whether this will simply be another skirmish between the Competition Bureau and organized real estate or if in fact it will be a decisive battle. 


NB: we offer this note as our personal opinion only as experienced real estate brokers and not as representatives of any Association, Board or entity, as we do not have detailed knowledge of the legal complexities nor do we represent organized real estate in any way, concerning this matter.


Gord McCormick, Broker of Record

Dawn Davey, Broker

Oasis Realty Brokerage








Ottawa real estate market report Sept. 7th, 2015
07 September 15 08:40 AM | Gord McCormick | 0 Comments   

Ottawa real estate has had a pretty good summer all things considered, though prices are still pretty flat and we still have some listing inventory concerns, August was a pretty good month with decent unit sales increases for both residential properties and condos.  Sellers may have compromised on price expectations, as both residential properties sold were flat and the average condo sold during the month was down 7.3% compared to 2014.


Year-to-date performance:

Residential unit sales are up 5.3% YTD and the average selling price is up 1.9% to $395,437.

Condo unit sales are down slightly by .5% YTD and the average selling price is down by 1% to $260,017.


Listing inventory:

Residential listings continue to run at quite high levels with the number of listings currently reported by the Board being 31.8% higher than the 5 year average.  The number of current condo listings is 52% higher than the 5 year average.

We can expect to see continued price pressure with these listing inventory levels, particularly in the $500K+ market for residential properties and $300K+ condo market, where we have a fair amount of excess inventory.


Are some sellers leaving the market?

There may be an indication that some sellers are leaving the market, as the month of August showed a very high level of listing expiries, cancellations and withdrawls.  This number in August is 49.7% higher than the 5 year average for residential and 74.9% for condos and might mean some sellers are rethinking their marketing plans or waiting to relist at a later date, perhaps even next spring.

Some sellers may also be selling now and renting, as they await a new construction home or simply to ensure they get their existing properties sold prior to purchasing another. 

Rental transactions involving Realtors are way up this year so many sellers may also be looking to rent their properties if they cannot secure a satisfactory sale.


September and October the best time to sell before next March:

Fall business is steady in September and October but starts to fall off in November, so sellers will want to plan accordingly.  With properties generally taking longer to sell in our current market, the best time window for getting a property on the market is now!

If you are not working with another Realtor and would like to discuss your plans for a fall, winter or spring/summer 2016 sale, please give us a call.  613-435-4692 It is never too early to plan your housing strategy.


Gord McCormick, Broker of Record

Dawn Davey, Broker

Oasis Realty Brokerage



How will Federal election results impact Ottawa real estate?
06 September 15 08:55 AM | Gord McCormick | 0 Comments   

As we reach the halfway mark in a hotly contested (and for us, lengthy) campaign, we were wondering what the election outcome might mean for our local real estate market.  Though few can have an accurate crystal ball on this issue, we did a little history checking and offer some thoughts on the matter:


Price growth history:

  The good….

2004-2011 was a period where we had minority Federal governments in power and this was a pretty good time for Ottawa real estate.  Average prices during this period rose some 45.8% to $343,701.

Ottawa also fared pretty well under a Liberal majority government between 1999 and 2004 where average prices rose from $149,650 to $235,678 a whopping 57.5% increase.

….and not so good:

Ottawa had not fared so well under Liberal majority governments from 1993-1999 when the Chretien Liberals decimated spending and public service headcount to balance the Federal budget.  Average prices in this 6 year period rose a total of just 1% from $148,129 to $149,650.

In the first years of the Chretien majority government housing transactions in Ottawa dropped by almost 30%, reflecting the drastic change in the local economy when the government was slashing budgets and personnel to react to a large deficit and a recession.


Current Market:

The current Conservative government elected with a majority in 2011 have curtailed government spending and headcount growth here in Ottawa to balance the budget and as a result our market has slumped somewhat during this time.  In fact, 2011 was our last solid year of average selling price growth which saw prices increase by 5.2%.  From 2011 to present, we have seen average price growth of only 8.6% total over the 3 and a half year period.


Bottom line:

A government that is not focused on balancing the budget or believes in “tax and spend” for new programs, is best for our local real estate market, as bigger government and more spending is generally good news for the Ottawa area economy.

Though we have fared well under both majority and minority governments, it is our view that a minority government is probably the safest, as there is less chance for drastic change in government management that could be made by a majority government and spending and head count are unlikely to be severely threatened.

You guess is as good as ours about what it going to happen in mid-October but at this stage it appears the many possible outcomes are unlikely to hurt our local real estate market and in fact, it is most likely we will see more spending rather than less.


Gord McCormick, Broker of Record

Oasis Realty Brokerage






Is fall a good time to buy or sell Ottawa real estate?
06 September 15 08:47 AM | Gord McCormick | 0 Comments   

Our peak real estate season is fading with the last weeks of summer but what is the outlook for those looking to buy or sell in the fall market?


Business steady if unspectacular in Sept and Oct:

As one can see from the table below, September and October continue to provide reasonable sales activity, although unit sales are off 30-40% compared to the peak sales months of April through July.


Short “runway” for fall sales:

Sellers should be aware of sales activity levels and competition for their listing, as the steady fall sales level diminishes considerably after the end of October and we hit the winter doldrum months (Nov-Feb) which is our weakest period for real estate in Ottawa. Sales drop off another 20-40% during the winter months.

Sellers will also want to consider the average days-on-market (time to sell) in planning their listing and sale.  Current average year-to-date is 47 days for residential properties and 59 days for condos.


Listing inventory continues at elevated levels:

Lots of inventory out there overall and generally the market is overbalanced in the higher price ranges ($500K+) 81% of all residential sales this year have sold at $500,000 or less and 95.7% below $750,000. Competitive listings and other market factors are critical areas for a seller to review regularly with their Realtor. 


Tough seller questions:
do I drop my price? should I do some reno's on my existing property to enhance marketability? do I pull my listing off the market and bring it out at a later date? do I try another form of marketing altogether?  What are my overall objectives and how best can I optimize or mitigate these objectives, given the current market situation? Will the market be better or worse down-the-road? What is the opportunity cost of not selling now?


How are buyer prospects this fall?

Buyers who do not have a property to sell are certainly in a good position this year, given the excess listing inventory, as some sellers may have to adjust their price expectations to get a deal done in view of both resale and builder competition.  While new listing activity diminishes along with sales activity, there is a very good chance that some price action might occur on a currently listed property that will make it a more reasonable prospect for a buyer.  Buyers will want to watch pricing closely and be sure to have an auto notification set up with their Realtor to ensure they see list price changes the same day as the Realtors and before they hit the public MLS® sites, as these properties may sell quickly, once a price change has been completed.


See table below which shows unit sales history by month which has been pretty similar over the last 4 years.

















































































If you are not already working with another Realtor, feel free to give us a call and plan your fall or spring 2016 sale!  Also get to know us by checking us our at some of our online sites or accounts below.


Gord McCormick, Broker of Record

Dawn Davey, Broker

Oasis Realty Brokerage




Ottawa listing inventory highest in 12 years!
10 July 15 06:43 AM | Gord McCormick | 0 Comments   

Many sellers face a long, stressful summer in Ottawa real estate 

June sales results were generally positive with increases in unit sales and average prices but listing inventory continues to grow and make life miserable for many sellers.


Listing inventory may be the highest ever!

We checked back as far as our available stats permit and our current inventory levels are the most for any month during the last 12 years.   Though our demand level is reasonable overall, there are just too many sellers in the marketplace.  On the good news side, many of these sellers will also become buyers if their existing properties sell.


Who is having the most trouble selling?

There are a number of categories that suffer more than others in this type of buyer’s market, best to check with a Realtor to see how these circumstances might affect a particular property.  We’ll have a post on this later this week.  Unique properties, non “move-in-ready” properties, condos, higher priced listings, FSBO’s and those with excess improvements head the list of “tough to sell” listings right now.


New home sales off about 20%:

New construction sales and starts are down about 20% this year, so builders are offering significant incentives for buyers to consider new construction.  This adds to the competitive choice for buyers but also makes even more competition for the resale listing, particularly for newer homes in areas where the builder is still building the same or similar models.


What to expect this summer/fall:

We expect to see continuing price adjustments by sellers who have now missed the peak spring market which should help keep residential unit sales in positive territory during the summer. Condos may be another matter altogether.

Sellers with committed buying plans or other financial plans who have not had success in marketing their properties will certainly want to be aggressive in getting a deal done before the end of September when sales levels start the fall seasonal decline. (Summer sales levels are about 20-25% lower than spring and fall levels are 40-50% lower than spring)


Save $1,000’s on commissions and get it sold now!

We have some amazing commission saving programs and marketing plans to help ensure sellers get deals done this summer! If you are not already working with another Realtor and would like to discuss selling and/or buying options please give us a call 613-435-4692

* not intended to solicit those with existing representation agreements


Gord McCormick, Broker of Record

Dawn Davey, Broker

Oasis Realty Brokerage 




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