Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Buyers Were Asking: The Condo Inspection - Yes? No?

The Condo Inspection – yes?  no?

This is always a loaded question.  Do you ask for an inspection or don’t you? Depends.  Depends on what?  Honestly, depends on the building, market conditions at the time you are offering and your own personality.  Many, many buyers say, absolutely not.  Home inspections are not worth it.  Really? Why?  Because my brother/friend/husband/father knows more than most home inspectors.  Anything wrong, he can fix it.  

I tend to listen to all the chatter and then advise accordingly but, any realtor doing a fair amount of business knows a good home inspector.  Where it becomes problematic is when the buyer does not trust the realtor.  We hear all sorts of things.  You realtors, you’ll just recommend an inspector who will say there is nothing wrong. Truth is, we want the inspector to find a material problem.  We want to do the very best we can for our clients.  I do anyhow, so, I say always when it is warranted.  

When I am asked about the inner workings of a furnace, air conditioner or if the underground parking is up to code, ummmmnnnn, well, I’m not a contractor.  I sell real estate.  I cannot possibly be a master of everything.  And, I am not touching those questions with a 10 foot pole.  I don’t need a buyer saying….well you advised against a home inspection.  

For the first time buyer, the inspection provides the ideal opportunity to learn about things like, changing furnace filters, or, even how to take screens off windows.  For the downsizing buyer a seasoned inspector is a godsend.  They’ll speak to items such as current code issues as it relates to electrical.  Granted, they are not climbing on the roof to check out the wear and tear, but, they also do not charge a detached home rate.  

As a realtor, we listen to your relative and can sense their knowledge level. Often we hear, ahhhh, well, if there is anything wrong (insert name) can fix it.  The big question is, do they have the time?

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Market Stats: May 2019

We managed to make it through the rainy days of May - it looks like within this first week of June, the beautiful weather has finally arrived!  For both Burlington and Hamilton we saw number of new listings climb even higher than those in April, with average sale price remaining within a couple thousand dollars in both Cities.  While Burlington began to see a fall in total sales within the month, Hamilton saw a 16.2% increase in May!

Reflecting on 2019 versus 2018 for Burlington... while we may not have seen an increase in listings, sales are up compared to last years market. Burlington saw a 13.7% increase in the number of sales, with a quicker turnaround of 27 days on the market, and listings selling for 99% of list price. Though it appears to be a slightly faster market with a higher return in terms of list to sale price, the average sale price dropped immensely from $773,963 in 2018, to $741,699 this year. 

In Hamilton, we're looking at increases across the board for May!  Number of sales across the City rose by nearly 18% from 2018 and even number of listings are up by 14.6%.  The market is moving at about the same speed as last year, reporting 25 average days on the market.  Average sale price follow the rising trend sitting at nearly $15K over last years average for the month.  Hamilton seemed to be booming this Spring, so much so that the Realtor Association of Hamilton did a spotlight on Hamilton Centre for the month of May due to the numbers for that one area alone. 

Here we sit, with the first week of June under our belts.  This first weekend has brought some gorgeous weather which I'm sure will trigger 'summer mode' for some!  For families, the wind down for the school aged kids has begun with a mere 14 days remaining until schools out for summer!  Will we see one final push for all those May listings as we move through the month of June?  Or will these listings hang on tight as the summer market moves in on us?  Time.. and whether this more seasonal weather hangs on, or not.. will tell!  

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

You Were Asking: The Chatterbox

The Chatterbox

We’ve all heard the phrase; ‘Loose lips sink ships’. Nothing could be truer than in our world of real estate.  Telling too much can hurt you, but, sometimes it can work to your benefit.  You just have to know when the timing is right and when it most definitely is wrong.   

EVERYONE and I mean EVERYONE talks about real estate.  I have often grabbed a coffee at a Timmies in between appointments and sat alone just to decompress and gather myself for my next appointment and all around me, I hear discussions related to real estate. Parents talking about their kids moving out and the difficulty they are faced with financing preapprovals. Renovations is a biggie…do we stay or do we go as some kids are still in the nest.  You name it, we hear it.  

Your realtor will always warn you to please keep your mouth closed when your home is on the market.  I love sitting open houses and having the neighbours come in.  Oh how funny it is to hear the whispers and the ‘pretend’ buyers as they wander through.  Come on, let’s face it, people love talking about real estate, but, the versions we hear of situations are down right comical.  Talking too much can hurt a seller so it is best to not be in your home when buyers come.  

What things will get your into trouble?  
  • The neighbour’s barking dog.  
  • The leak you had 15 years ago that has since been repaired.  
  • What price you want.  
Talking too much as a buyer pretty much does the same.  
  • The fact that you have sold your house and have to move.  
  • How much work you feel the house needs….and then staying an hour in the home.  
  • Sending all your relatives in to talk to the rep hosting an open house.  
  • Loudly announcing to other buyers what is wrong with the house.  
What can help? There is a time and place to talk and often that is after the sale has occurred.  We often will ask if a seller can remain in the home for one of the re-visits as that can prove invaluable to the buyer.  They get to learn so much more about the home.  

For the buyer, we love the introductory letter that can accompany your offer.  In this electronic age, actual face to face offer presentations are not the norm. Electronic signing has often eliminated the emotion and turned the buying and selling process into a black and white scenario.  Who will offer the most money, have the fewest conditions and close on the date that you wish.  It becomes a very rudimentary process rather than an emotional one.  

Realize that everything you say can and will be used against you……..

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Seller's Were Asking: Timing & Market Entry

Timing and Market Entry

The pricing of real estate is always a moving target. It acts similarly to financial statements in the accounting world.  As @ is terminology we are all familiar with.  The sale outcome is based upon 4 factors; PRICE, CONDITION, LOCATION and TIMING. Realtors attempt to gauge how all these elements come together to provide you with as accurate a snapshot as we can based upon a moving target......which is timing.  

In a Spring market, timing is so vital as inasmuch as the newspaper reports the market, the news comes AFTER so we hear what happened, not, what is happening as the market evolves.  Various housing styles operate differently at different times.  If we think of life stages, it starts to make some sense.  

The Spring market typically starts somewhere in January after the holiday season. Why?  Because that is when your family buyer starts to consider a move-up. That process can take 3-6 months. Why?  Because moving up take a lot of thought and even more education.  And, because the family home often doesn’t get listed immediately.  

Once the family buyer buys, their homes start to come on the market.  These are often the smaller homes most suitable to the first timers.  When the snowbirds arrive back into town, that end of the market starts to make its move. When?  In line with tax season….that looming April 30th deadline brings the more mature seller/buyer back into town to prepare their homes, so, either that home is a family home, or, it is a condo apartment, dependent on age.  

Then, to add to all this confusion, we have the unfortunate circumstances of death and divorce.  These situations throw the curveball into the mix.  This is why when your Realtor provides you that snapshot in time price range, we are simply trying to give you a range which will cover off a moving target and that is not as simple as it looks.  

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Market Stats: April 2019

April's market stats are in and boy are things just ticking along in this Spring market.  The number of listings are on the rise both in Burlington and Hamilton and average days continued to fall.  As for sale prices, they're maintaining their ground from March through April. 

In Burlington, the average sale price has risen slightly since March with an increase just shy of $4K, though more significantly higher than April 2018.  Number of listings are at a 2019 high, which falls in line with the trend in previous years, where we didn't see the record number until May.  Looks like we're following the same timeline, so should have nearly 30 more days of this solid Spring market, leading us into Summer.  If that's the case, we might see that April's average days on the market, at 27, could be the quickest turn around this Spring.  Last year, while May was strong, this is the turning point for when listings started to take a little longer to sell. Speaking of sales, we're up by 73 dales since March and nearly 150 compared to January/March stats.


Hamilton is following the same pattern with average days having fallen, and listings and sales continuing to make the climb!  While the Average Sale Price fell by a couple hundred dollars, it has remained consistent with a variance of only $8,000 over the past three months!  Looking back at 2018, numbers are upper the Hamilton market.  This April our pricing is nearly $25K more than last year.  Days on the market for Hamilton are quick at 23, and the list to sale price ratio remains equally as consistent at 100% for the third month in a row. 

The market is strong and we would expect to see this flurry of activity continue through May! Enjoy this more seasonal weather we have on our way... 

For all the stats compared month to month, find them here, on our website

Friday, April 26, 2019

You Were Asking: Condition on Sale of Buyer's Property

Condition on Sale of Buyer's Property

This spring we saw a re-appearance of a condition on the sale of a buyer’s property in accepted offers. This is a direct result of lenders requiring a successful sale in order to secure financing on a purchase at most pricing levels. The risks and concerns are very different for a seller vs a buyer. Here’s what you need to know about the condition on sale.

As a seller, it’s important to understand the facts behind the property in question. As such, the condition, price and timing of market entry will all factor into the risk associated with the ‘saleability’ of that back-up home. In a slowing market it’s a much higher risk to accept a condition on sale of a $2 million-dollar home not yet on the market than it is for a $500k townhome in a hot market. It also begs the question of financial stability of your buyer... why do they require the condition in the first place? On the positive side, the inclusion of an escape clause will allow you to continue to offer your home for sale in the event another buyer is willing to make you an offer.

As a buyer, the motivation can vary as to why they feel it’s needed. For some, it’s a financial requirement and others it’s a safety net if they don’t reach their set goals or expectations on the sale of their home. It’s important to understand the ins and outs of what the condition will mean. You are asking the seller to take a chance on your home selling within a set period of time. As such, you should be in a position either already on the market or rather imminently. In that case, your Realtor needs to have an understanding of your home and value in order to properly convey to the other parties involved. We have also seen instances where offers have been ‘bumped’ by a firm offer and buyers not being able to meet their condition on sale requirements so, this cannot always be used as a buffer to get your home on the market.

Overall, proceed with caution when negotiating a condition on sale and protect your largest asset. We have seen the condition used unsuccessfully, but also to reach a very happy end for both the buyers and sellers as of late.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Sellers Were Asking: Preparing for Market

Preparing for Market

It’s easy for most to get caught up in the excitement of making the move that many sellers often ignore or just don’t see the relevancy of preparing their own home. The purchase and sale go hand in hand and can often be a delicate dance of timing. Outside influences such as friends, family members, mortgage brokers or whomever it may be often advise to purchase before you sell your home. Truth be told there is no simple answer to the equation. 

Market conditions aside, a move-up buyer will have a completely different strategy than a downsizer looking to takeaway a set amount. Sticking to the experts in the field, as hard as it may be, will have your best advice on how to approach the next stage of home ownership.

Having a Realtor assess your home can actually cover off more than just the value of your home. It can be a visit about renovations both required or unnecessary, a discussion of financial goals or even of market timing. It also provides your Realtor with the information about how you live and how best to guide you in your next purchase. Not to mention, allows them to gauge how ready, willing and able you are to purchase and sell. 

It’s a common misconception that you should only call a Realtor into your home once you’ve bought, but our advice is actually the opposite... if you’re considering making a move, the sooner the better to seek professional advice!

Thursday, April 18, 2019

You Were Asking: Spring Market

Spring Market

There still seems to be a question in the minds of both buyers and sellers when it comes to when the busiest time of the real estate year is. Always, it is identified by the Spring market. But when actually is the Spring market? 

We Realtors should really be calling it something else as it definitely does not start in April. The best market of the year always begins just after the holiday season. Some years, that means right in January with a rolling start and a mid-way point, typically somewhere in March. April is usually the over half way point with June 1st signaling the start of a market shift slow down. 

Markets in real estate are very weather dependent. And this year, with heavy snowfalls in February, the market at that time did slow up which produced a faster paced March into April. Think of it this way; when parents start to consider summer vacation and daycare as we head to June 30th, their moving plans have either already been made or shelved as they have bigger fish to fry, so to speak. Their closing date will be geared toward June so their kids can spend the summer in their new neighbourhood. So, looking backward a mere 60 days, their purchase will likely occur somewhere in March so they can get their own home on the market. 

Most buyers take at least 30-90 days to, dial that back from April and we have a January start. Then, you start to consider what home you are trying to market and to which buyer? All things considered; the ‘Spring’ market starts in January.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Market Update: Market Conditions and Summer Forecast

Market Conditions & Summer Forecast

This year we saw an early head start on our Spring market in the early days of January. The market continued to stay strong until the weather brought a slow down to the market as indicated by a decrease in February’s market statistics. 

With the return of the warmer weather, as well as return of the area’s snow birds, we saw the family buyer and downsizer collide in the market to create almost a second market resurgence. Buyers are still getting the opportunity to revisit homes a few times over so, sellers must hit the market prepared to be viewed with a more critical eye. 

With values once again increasing in most areas overall we look ahead to the Summer and what it holds in store for our buyers and sellers. All appears to be status quo, with a continued balanced market ahead.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Buyers Were Asking: Smoke Remediation

Smoke Remediation

Recently, we’ve found a few buyers faced with an odorous challenge in their home search - tobacco smoke!  We’re talking ‘hit by a wall of smoke’ upon entry, stained carpets and walls, and everything that once was white is yellow. As result, we’ve had a few chats with ServPro on the topic of smoke remediation in a home.  We gained some knowledge on the process and the importance of doing it right, up front.  

First things first, the items that can go, should go.  Think of your window treatments.  It might be obvious that curtains should all come down but don’t forget that many blinds have fabric cords and pulls - what a challenge for cleaning. You might think carpet can be cleaned to eliminate the odour, but if you haven’t experienced it, you’d be surprised to know just how far smoke can travel.  Not only will years of smoke saturate the carpet, but it gets under it and into the subfloor.  We’ve learnt that without the proper attention, you could be faced with a return of the odour you thought had been eliminated.  When cold weather hits and the furnace gets turned on that subfloor will heat up and all those hidden smoke molecules could be released into the air. 

Next up, there is going to be some washing involved.  In the cases where you can not only smell it, but see it, those walls and ceilings are going to need to be cleaned prior to a fresh coat of paint being applied.  

Not surprisingly, the process used for tobacco smoke is almost identical to that in a fire loss.  This ‘next level’ attention to the damage is where they use a process called Thermal Fogging whereby the deodorizer simulates smoke.  This allows not only for deodorization of surface level damage, but it follows the path the smoke would have followed originally.  The home should be vacated for 12-24 hours following this process - the longer the time, the more effective the process.  

Certainly, this is only a glimpse of the process and we are by no means experts!  If you’re looking for a professional for your smoke remediation visit our Business Directory on our website. 

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

JM Edwards Celebrates 40 Years!

This March, J.M. Edwards Associates Inc. celebrated the 40th anniversary of the company. From humble beginnings in a small house on Plains Road East to one of the City’s largest boutique brokerages and everything in between. We celebrated by asking friends, family and colleagues to reflect back on their fondest memories over the years.

We sincerely thank each and every one of you for all your hard work, your continued trust and of course your loyalty throughout these last 40 years without which this milestone may not have been achieved. Your kind words and enthusiasm for this special event will not be forgotten. 

We toast to you, our clients and friends, as we look towards the future ahead of us!

The words you shared...

I started working for J.M. Edwards as a part-time Deals Administrator in 2012. I now work here full-time still handling deals, but also doing so much more. This is a great brokerage to work for as Jamie and Sherry allow you to grow, take on new responsibilities and be part of a great Edwards Team. Congratulations on 40 years and to many more!



Working for JM Edwards during my high school years offered me incredible work experience, memories, and mentors Jamie and Sherry! From the lakefront house office, to packing and moving 2 times after that, the constant support and trust they had in me, along with all the treats Jamie would bring into the office allowed me to always enjoy my time there. Happy 40th anniversary to an amazing company I’m fortunate to have worked for, here’s to many more!



Working at Edwards was a pleasure, sometimes a lot of hours but necessary.  Lots to learn and always something new.  Sherry always tried to keep us ahead of the crowd and she has accomplished that from what I see now, with a much younger, electronically knowledgeable team and doing a great job.

Jamie on the other hand was most always late leaving for appointments and you had to make the call that he was running a little behind schedule.  He can certainly get the clients because of all the people he has met over the years.  He truly enjoyed looking out his office window at the Old Lakeshore office. He sometimes needed a nudge to get some work done. He would be calling me into his office to see the Kingfisher sitting on the rail outside his office window.  He can now work outside from home and enjoy the same view.  He always talks about how he started the company and it was a lot of hard work that has worked out well. 

My best memory was my retirement/birthday.  Sherry pulled that off beautifully and I had no clue.  Memories of everyone that came and enjoyed the day and evening with me and my hubby.

We still meet occasionally and can just talk which I enjoy.


Congratulations to J. M. Edwards on Forty Fabulous years!  So happy to have been a part of this great company and I cherish the memories of those great years.

Continued health, happiness and success to all.



When I think back to the company that decided to take a chance on an unqualified 14 year old and give her a job through to her first year of university, I am amazed that company is now celebrating its 40th anniversary ;)

I feel lucky and honoured to have been given the chance to work at such an amazing company where everyone truly felt like an extension of my family. I will always have amazing memories from painting the office, Saturday morning coffee chats, the wonderful Christmas parties, having Jamie pick me up from high school because I had missed my bus and through learning through making little (and some bigger) mistakes but knowing that the incredible staff still believed in me.

Thank you for giving me my first job and welcoming into the JM Edwards family. Congratulations on your 40th anniversary. Cheers to many more.



We would like to thank J.M. Edwards for their love and support over the several years we have known them.  They are very good people and truly care for their clients and their employees alike. 

At one point they employed our entire family- they even gave all three of our young kids their first jobs!. We have had some hardships over the years and we could always count on Jamie and Sherry to be there for us in every way!  

We cannot thank them enough and we wish them health, luck and happiness in the next 40 years of their journey.  Congratulations! xoxoxo



We love how we have all grown together over the years both in our business and families. We’ve watched both our families grow as our kids have grown up and we’ve had the chance to get to know all your amazing grandchildren too! Can’t wait to see what is to come in the future as we watch all their future adventures! 

Hope we can meet up in Florida and also some paddling on our lake here again too! 

Congrats & Happy Anniversary from the Lane’s - Candice, Brad, Connor & Abby



There truly is meaning to ‘the Right Place, at the Right Time’ and it all became apparent to me August 2002 when Jamie and Sherry knocked at my door, as my parents’ house was readied for market.  I couldn’t be more thankful for the opportunity I was presented with that day. 

Within weeks I started Part-Time and very quickly was provided with more hours… more opportunity!  It’s always been about the opportunity!  Both Jamie and Sherry have an ability to guide, push (gently!) and encourage everyone who is lucky enough to pass through the doors. 

Over the years my working relationship with J.M. Edwards has evolved through Full Time, Part Time, a leave for School, to explore another path and when that path landed me home with my babies, right back where I am today. Thanking you for every last memory of it all, and most importantly, the flexibility of the best of both worlds today! 

Congratulations… it is the opportunity, the supportive nature and the ability to lead and mentor that makes 40 wonderful years!  To many more!



Congratulations Jamie! 

It is quite a milestone. I’m glad to have been with you for most of the way.

I remember when we were young and fearless.  In the early years, I learned a lot from you on how to develop a business. In later years, I observed what a devoted son you were to your parents. I learned from you that we never stopped learning.

Luckily for me a business relationship became a long-term friendship. Our families grew together with our kids attending the same schools. Notwithstanding the trials and tribulations of work, we managed numerous outings to Blue Jay games, Buffalo Bill games, road hockey games and the memories and stories shared will last forever. 

Through it all, Jamie was always a gentleman and successful entrepreneur. Jamie chose real estate but he would have been successful in any field that he chose. 

Continued health, good fortune and success.



Congratulations to J.M. Edwards Associates Inc. Brokerage on reaching this special milestone!

As a newly licensed realtor green behind the ears and eager to learn I was hired by Jamie in the early nineties. Successful extremely knowledgeable and well respected in the industry Jamie was always available to share his wisdom, I could not have asked for a better mentor.  

Thank you for your support and continued friendship.  Congratulations!



It’s hard to put into words what the J.M. Edwards family means to me and my family. As the best man in my parents wedding, Jamie has always been a part of our lives… his infectious laugh, his ability to connect with anyone who crosses his path and an endless source of wisdom and advice all make up the wonderful man I lovingly refer to as my “Work Dad.” 

Sherry, your belief in all of us has never faltered; you are the first to help us to fly and the first to catch us when we fall. Your personal touch to this business is one I greatly admire and certainly does not go unnoticed by those around you. The skills and opportunities you’ve both given me to succeed in this business I will be forever grateful.  It’s a pretty unique experience to be able to look back at the journey you’ve taken and see the impact you’ve had on the lives of so many. 

Cheers to 40 years of hard work, dedication and sacrifice… and to the continued success in the years to come!



Congratulations Jamie on your 40th year in this great Profession.

You and I have had the opportunity to know each other many years, we began our professional relationship back in the late seventies and over the years have become close friends.  We also served organized real estate together in the 80s, you as President of your local association, Hamilton / Burlington and me as President of my local association Mississauga.  Together, we also moved on to our Provincial association, you serving as President in 1993 and me in 1994.

We have also spent many years in the rink and in tournaments, playing hockey together.  You are always reminding people how well you know me because we have showered together.

Jamie, it’s been a long 40 years and we have had many discussions and seen many changes along the way, but the great thing is we are still here to talk about it.

Both Meg and I value our friendship with you and Sherry and look forward to many years to come.

Good health and happiness my friend!!



It has been a pleasure to work with a Broker who is so well liked and equally respected. We have all benefitted from his contribution to organized real estate and his thoughtful opinion on any issue we face. Happy Anniversary, Jamie. 



Happy 40th anniversary Jamie. You were a tremendous teacher and tutor to me back when I got into real estate in 1983. You were an incredible motivator and taught me to put all the negativity that people were talking to me about in the past and concentrate on the present and the future. Whatever modicum of success I may have achieved I owe a lot to you. 

Congratulations again and I wish you many more years of success. 



I worked for Jamie at his first location on Plains Road, only to move to Guelph Line when Jamie took over Ted Finnigan’s business.  Many great memories of working with Kay Henderson, Ted Brethour, Tom Dowling and Larry Chettle… to name a few!  

One memory that sticks in my mind and always made me laugh was Ted running over to the farmer’s market across the street and buying those huge radishes; sitting at his desk with salt shaker in hand eating them like apples.  Here’s to many more great memories!



Working at J.M Edwards opened so many doors for me, which is even more apparent now as I head into the start of my own professional career. 

When I think of the 3 years I spent there, I think of the patience and kindness of all of those around me, and am grateful to have learned so much from Jamie and Sherry. 

Thank you for everything, congratulations on 40 years



To Jamie and Team Edwards

Congrats on 40 yrs of service with excellence. You have helped thousands of families realize their dream of home ownership to achieved stability, prosperity and comfort. You always find time to help others. Truly “service above self.” Your optimism is infectious and your success is no surprise. 

You are my best friend, my best man, my best campaign manager and the best role model of a loving son ever. Jamie you are truly a “one in one million man.” THANK YOU



Congratulations Jamie - Thank You for allowing me to be a part of the JM Edwards Associates 40 Year History! So many great memories - Moments, People, Places and Friendships we have shared.  We could write another - Hands Across the Border Book!  Enjoy the Journey with many more celebrations of life.  With much Love, Mary Ellen


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