03.8.23 | For Sellers

Selling Under Balanced Market Conditions

First, what is a balanced market anyway? This is when the supply of residential properties matches the level of demand from buyers. The two other types of housing markets are buyers and sellers: the former is when an enormous volume of units exceeds prospective homeowners, while the latter is when supply is far outpaced by demand.

Indeed, homeowners easily sold their homes above the asking price for the last couple of years. However, the Canadian real estate market has changed, so selling these homes has become more challenging.

Here are five tips for selling your home in a balanced market:

#1 Set a Competitive Price

Because active or new residential listings are now keeping up with the number of buyers, it is crucial to establish a price that lines up with current conditions. In addition, real estate experts contend that buyers may be a bit more fastidious when the broader housing sector is calm. As a result, it is essential to price your home correctly based on what the neighbourhood is doing and what agents recommend.

#2 Home Inspector

Before listing your home on the market, it is critical to hire a contractor or a home inspector and determine if there is anything wrong with the property, be it something that needs to be repaired or replaced.

During the pandemic-era boom, many buyers had ditched the idea of hiring a home inspector since it might have lost them the single-family house, attached property, or townhome. Today, it is a bit different, and even minor repairs might deter buyers from submitting an offer.

#3 Clear Your Things

When interested parties arrive at your home, they want to envision what their stuff will look like in the living room, bedroom, or kitchen. They do not want clutter to distract them from where they would potentially install their things. Therefore, as a rule of thumb, sellers need to clear at least 50 per cent of their furnishings, decorations, or items from each room. The more space, the better an idea visitors will have of how they will look in the new home.

#4 Add Incentives

While you do not need to go overboard in trying to strike a deal, you may need to add modest incentives to attract buyers. This could consist of new appliances, or a new television. The little things can ensure the home is sold faster and without complications or headaches. This might not be necessary for some regions of the national housing market, but it may be imperative in a part of the country with little sales volumes.

#5 Wait and See

In the previous boom, it was almost guaranteed that the listing would sell over the asking prices. Today, everything has been turned upside down, so you will know how much of the actual selling price you will receive once an agreement has been made. This can be difficult if you are in the market for a new home since you do not know how much equity you will possess. Because of this, you may need to wait a while until you can determine what you can afford.

Or course, working with the Barnett Real Estate team we are able to help guide you through the process, regardless of the market conditions.

05.9.22 | For Buyers

How Will Rising Interest Rates Affect Buyers?

Have you thought about buying a new home but are feeling discouraged by the fierce competition and out-of-control prices? If so, you’re not alone. Property values have soared all over the country, and the average cost is higher than ever. 

The Bank of Canada introduced a record low interest rate at the beginning of the pandemic to try to stimulate the economy. This added fuel to an already hot seller’s market. 

However, over the last month, there have been some changes. 

The great news is that it is a better time to buy now than it has been for at least two years. Are you thinking of taking the plunge? If so, these resources can help:

The low interest rates were only a temporary solution. In 2022, we have already seen two increases. What will happen to the real estate market as the interest rates rise? No one knows for certain, but here’s what we have noticed so far:

More Listings Are Available

If you tried to buy a house three months ago, you would have faced fierce competition. There are far more people out there looking to buy than homeowners who are willing to sell. Even those who wanted to sell hesitated to put their house on the market for fear of not being able to find a new place. 

This competition resulted in many multiple offer scenarios and even triggered bidding wars. Buyers tried everything to find a suitable home, from dropping off letters around the neighbourhood to submitting bully offers on the few listings they could find.

Now, we’ve just entered the Spring market, and for the first time in years, more listings are available. The scales haven’t tipped completely. The market still favours sellers, but it is slightly less competitive. Not every house receives multiple offers, and the percentage of “sold over asking” has decreased. In rare cases, some homes don’t sell at all and are pulled off the market.

Will this trend continue? It’s impossible to say, but the market may become more balanced if there is another interest rate hike this June.

Why Do Interest Rates Affect the Market?

When interest rates are low, the cost of borrowing decreases. Low rates make it easier for some people to purchase houses that would otherwise be out of their budget. When you’re talking about a mortgage loan of hundreds of thousands of dollars, any change to the rate can affect your payments. 

As rates go up, the higher cost of borrowing will make it more difficult for some buyers to qualify for financing. Others might drop out of the market to ensure they don’t get in over their head financially. The current inflation rate and high cost of living may also make some potential buyers more reluctant.

Good And Bad News For Buyers

The good news is that with fewer people searching for properties, there is less competition for those still intending to buy. The bad news, at least for now, is that there doesn’t seem to be any sign of significant price drops. Many analysts predict that the out-of-control price increases will slow down, and buyers won’t have to bid as far above asking. 

However, the market will continue to favour sellers for the foreseeable future. You have a better chance of finding your ideal home now than you did even a few months ago, but you are likely to pay a premium price for it. 

Financing Options to Protect You From Rising Interest Rates

The Bank of Canada is expected to make another announcement about interest rates in early June, which is causing a bit of alarm in the market. However, there really is no cause for concern. The rates are still much lower today than they have been in decades. 

If you bought a house in the lower or middle of your budget, you have very little to worry about. You may need to readjust your budget to allow for a slight increase in your monthly payments. 

What if, like many people, you had to buy a home at the high end of your budget? You should talk to your financial advisor or accountant, but options are still available to keep your payments affordable. 

  1. You may be able to keep your monthly payments the same. The bank will adjust the ratio of interest to the principal. It will take longer to pay off your loan, but you don’t have to worry about fluctuating monthly payments.
  2. Leave room in your budget to allow for rising interest rates but pay off your mortgage faster.
  3. If you are up for refinancing, choose a fixed rate to protect you from any future changes.

In addition to flexible payment options, the stress test is designed to ensure that you will not encounter financial difficulty even as interest rates rise. 

Find out more about the new rules for the stress test here. 

Homeownership is becoming more attainable thanks to more stringent regulations and the abundance of financing options, and the default rate for mortgages in Canada is extremely low. 

Are you a first-time buyer hoping to purchase a new home soon? Our “First-Time Home Buyer” webinar will guide you and answer your questions. Sign up for free here.


04.21.22 | For Sellers

How To Sell A Home on Behalf of Your Elderly Parents

Selling a house on behalf of your parents can be challenging, both legally and emotionally. Involving them as much as possible will help them feel engaged and respected throughout the process. With or without legal authority, there are countless small ways that you can help your parents enjoy a smooth transition into the next phase of all of your lives. 

Organize All Documentation

Selling a house involves a lot of paperwork. First and foremost, you’ll have to prove that your parents own the home before you can list it on the market. Documents you will need include:

  • Government-issued identification
  • Mortgage information, if applicable
  • Property Tax Receipts
  • Land Surveys
  • Transferable Warranty Documents

Once you have gathered all of the necessary documents, you’re ready to help your parents with the next steps. 

Before you sell a home, it’s essential to find out what it is worth in the current market. You can schedule a free home evaluation here.

Consult With a Lawyer

If your parents don’t want to or are unable to handle the legal aspects of the sale, it’s time to consult with a lawyer. You cannot sell a house on your parents’ behalf until they assign you Power of Attorney status (POA). What does this mean? Power of attorney is a legal document giving someone else authority to manage your personal affairs. 

Selling a house for someone with diminished capacity can get complicated if they did not assign a POA ahead of time. A person must be mentally capable at the time of signing. It can be a difficult conversation, but it’s vital to have a plan in place if your parents can no longer act in their own interests. The time to take care of this matter is while they are still young and healthy enough to make these decisions. 

There are Different Types of Power of Attorney

  • Power of attorney in matters of health gives you the authority to make decisions on medical and personal care. This clause comes into effect if your parents ever lose the cognitive ability to care for themselves.
  • Power of attorney for financial matters and property grants authority to manage money and property on behalf of another person. If your parents ever become unable to handle their affairs, you will need continuing power of attorney status that does not expire. 

One of the hardest things about moving is missing all of the fun things you used to enjoy. Want to know more about activities in the Milton and Burlington areas? You’ll find a few ideas here: 

Helping With The Practical Details

If your parents still have the cognitive ability to understand the legalities of selling a home, helping them will be much easier. Only the legal owner can authorize the sale of the property, so ultimately, every decision will rest with your parents. However, you can support them emotionally and assist with all of the practical matters. 

Cleaning and decluttering 

Getting a house ready to sell can take a long time, especially if they have lived there for several years. You can help them sort through their belongings and decide what they no longer need. 

Performing minor repairs

A few small updates and repairs can go a long way to adding value to the sale of the house. If you’re handy, you can help by making these upgrades yourself or interviewing and vetting potential contractors.

Handling online research

Some older people are as tech-savvy as their grandchildren and can easily handle any online research or forms. Others are intimidated by computers, tablets and smartphones and will appreciate any help you can provide. You can guide your parents through virtual tours and by researching the steps involved in listing their house for sale.

Deciding on a real estate agent

A professional real estate agent is your ultimate resource when selling real estate. They will guide you step by step throughout the process and ensure your parents get the maximum value for their home. Helping your parents decide on a real estate agent is one of the best ways you can ease the workload of selling the house.

Finding their new home

Once your parents sell their house, you can sit down with them and review the pros and cons of buying a smaller house or renting an apartment.

Packing their belongings 

Packing for a move is time-consuming. Breakable dishes have to be wrapped one by one. Everything needs to fit into moving containers without making them too heavy to lift. Most importantly, it can be emotional for your parents to see their precious memories shoved into boxes. You can be there to support them and keep them excited about their new home.

Moving day. 

Moving into a new house is exciting, but it involves a lot of work and heavy lifting. The best thing you can do to help elderly parents is to find a professional moving service they can trust. 

Getting to know the neighbourhood

The first few days in a new place can bring mixed emotions. Overall, your parents may feel happy about the move but will still miss their old home. You can help them adjust by taking them to brunch in a nearby restaurant or on a sightseeing tour of their new neighbourhood.

Selling your parents’ house on their behalf can be one of the most challenging tasks you’ll ever undertake. One of the best things you can do is help them celebrate and make new memories in their new home.

Are you ready to sell? We have a Comprehensive Seller’s Guide you can download for free here.


02.22.22 | For Sellers

How to Maximize the Sale of Your Home with a Real Estate Agent

With houses selling faster than ever, many homeowners are choosing to sell without the involvement of a real estate agent. Why would anyone do this? For someone unfamiliar with the industry, it looks like a good idea. By selling your house on your own, you avoid paying a commission to the agent. And in this market, you don’t need a lot of exposure to bring in the offers. Simply listing your house on MLS can generate a lot of interest. 

As a result, you see “For Sale By Owner” (FSBO) signs popping up more often.

Many sellers believe they’ll end up with more money in their pocket by selling without an agent. However, this is rarely the case. An agent will almost certainly earn more for you than you ever could on your own, even in this fast-paced seller’s market. How could this be? 

Licensed agents are well trained, certified and have access to many resources an FSBO seller does not.  

Here are a few of the many ways an agent can help maximize your sale.

Listing at the Right Time

When you hear the term “Seller’s Market,” it’s a general principle that more people are looking to buy a home than there are houses for sale. However, prices fluctuate in every market, and timing matters greatly. You can’t rely on general principles if you want to maximize your sale. For example, everyone “knows” that Spring is the best time to list your house. But each city is different, and there are other factors at play. Sometimes a new law comes into effect that can affect housing prices. 

Nothing feels worse than selling your house today, only to find out you might have gotten thousands more by waiting a couple of weeks. 

No matter what the market is doing, there are still better times than others to list your house for the maximum return.

Upgrading the right way. 

As a seller, you know you need to get your house in tip-top shape before listing it on the market. But do you know what upgrades to make? Some renovations will increase your bottom line by thousands of dollars.

Some won’t help at all and are a waste of your time and money. Other upgrades can actually hurt your sale. An agent with experience in your area knows what buyers are looking for. This insight will save you a lot of expense and hassle from performing unnecessary renovations.

Effective marketing strategies 

Many home sellers list their homes on the MLS, and that’s the extent of their marketing. But the biggest single factor in getting the most profit from your house is finding the right buyer.

An experienced agent often has a roster of clients who are already searching for a home in your area.

Finding a highly-motivated buyer means your house will sell quickly, with minimal hassle and at a price you can be satisfied with. 

Expert Selling and Negotiation Skills

Without representation, you’ll have to deal personally with everyone who expresses interest in your home. This means constant phone calls, emails and sudden knocks at the door from passersby who saw your sign.

Do you know how to weed out those who want to beat you down on price and those who just want to walk through because they’re nosy?

And when you do stumble across an interested prosper, are you prepared to do a complete sales presentation and negotiate top dollar for your property? 

As you can see, selling a house is more complicated than you may have thought. And we haven’t even talked about the paperwork yet.

Handling the legalities 

Every real estate transaction involves several legal, binding contracts.

If you accidentally violate one of these agreements, you may end up spending your profits on lawyer’s fees. Or a sale you thought was a sure thing could fall through because of some faulty paperwork.

Think of your agent as an investment.

Many real estate agents provide complete service, start to finish. They even pay many of the expenses of selling your home out of their own pocket, including the staging and marketing expenses. 

If your house doesn’t sell, it costs you nothing.

At the highest commission rate, you only have to sell for 6% more to earn back every penny of your agent’s fees. However, you can expect much more. The average sale through a Realtor® is 20% higher than a sale by owner. What does that math look like?

Let’s say you sell your house for $500,000. An agent would add an extra $100,000 to your final price.

Since the maximum commission would be $36,000, you’d have at least $64,000 in extra profits.

Perhaps even more important than the price is the peace of mind that comes with using an experienced real estate agent. You will likely get more money from your sale, and you’ll have less to worry about and fewer expenses. 

Want to know more about how to sell your house the right way? Here are some other articles that will help:

Are you ready to take the first step in finding an agent to help sell your home? You can learn more about our process in our free seller’s guide.


Your Quick Guide to Real Estate in Burlington

02.9.21 | Burlington

Your Quick Guide to Real Estate in Burlington

Every year, home buyers who swore they’d never leave Toronto are moving to greener pastures. Without a doubt, Burlington is one of their top choices. From its beautiful lakefront views to the all-around high quality of life it provides, this thriving city has never been more popular. That said, many enthusiastic buyers aren’t quite sure where to begin. Sound familiar?

If this city is relatively new territory for you, start by getting the lowdown on local neighbourhoods, homes, and prices. You can find out more here in our Burlington real estate guide…


Your Price Range

Home buyers have been flocking to Burlington in recent years, and for good reason. The fantastic quality of life in this little corner of Ontario is no longer a secret. In fact, the city has earned the impressive titles of “Best Community in Canada” and “Best Place to Raise a Family” by Maclean’s Magazine.

Home prices have grown with Burlington’s popularity, but there’s still a fairly wide range available. You can find starter condos for as little as $500k, or spacious waterfront houses that sit near the $6 million mark. It all depends on what you’re looking for—and whatever it is, you’ll probably find it here.

Neighbourhoods To Meet Your Needs

In Burlington, you’ll find a wide variety of homes to meet nearly every set of buying needs and preferences. Here are just a few fantastic local options.

Ideal For Families

The Orchard

Situated in Northeast Burlington, the Orchard is a relatively new neighbourhood (think 1990s). The area is known for its beautiful suburban houses and reputable local schools. Proximity to the majestic Bronte Creek Provincial Park—along with plenty of outdoor trails and playgrounds—make the area ideal for parents with little ones. with Appleby Plaza nearby, you’ll also find no shortage of retail and dining options.


With its attractive trails and scenic waterfront views, Tyandaga is a favourite among families. This community to the northwest features public tennis and golf clubs, which means there’s never any shortage of fun things to do. You’ll also find some beautiful homes, including many in the Georgian, Colonial, and Tudor styles. Some of these houses are on the slightly more affordable side—at least by Burlington standards.


If you’re looking for a well-established neighbourhood near the city’s core, consider Plains. The area is more affordable than many, with a mix of well-maintained older and newer homes. Thanks to nearby GO transit and the Fairview Mall, it provides a low-hassle lifestyle for families. Plains is also close to the Royal Botanical Gardens—a lovely spot for weekend picnics with the kids!

Historical Gems


If you’re looking for a bonafide heritage home (we’re talking about century-old houses with pretty period details), look no further than the downtown core. Along with these historic jewels, the area contains charming townhouses, luxury condos, and everything in between. Of course, the local homes aren’t the only thing to love about living in the city centre. From beautiful Spencer Smith Park and the urban waterfront to a plethora of retail and dining hotspots, Downtown Burlington has it all.


Whether Roseland residences count as “historic” depends on your definition. Sure, the older homes here fall shy of the 100-year mark—and there are plenty of newer, custom-built affairs. That said, you’ll find an abundance of half-century-old houses here that are nothing short of stunning. Mature trees and lakefront views only add to the splendour—while proximity to the QEW and Burlington Mall make day-to-day life ultra convenient. Needless to say, home prices tend to be on the steep side.


In the south end, you’ll find a prestigious neighbourhood with an abundance of charm. Like Roseland, Shoreacres is made up of majestic streets lined with beautiful homes that are around 50 years old. There are also plenty of green spaces (including Paletta Lakefront, Henderson, and Strathcona Parks). Nearby Appleby Mall puts all the conveniences residents need at their fingertips, while the presence of John T. Tuck Public School (which gets top-notch marks from the Fraser Institute) makes the area an ideal one for families.

Newer Homes

Alton Village

If only a brand new home will do, you may want to consider Alton Village. Situated in North Burlington, this lovely suburban community is home to some truly beautiful houses (including many from heavy-hitter developers like Mattamy and Fernbrook Homes). It’s also the site of Norton Community Park (with its play structure, fields, and off-leash park, among other features). Lastly, the area is a commuter’s paradise, providing easy access to the 407, QEW, and the nearby Appleby GO Station.

What to Know About Burlington Real Estate…

Trying to decide whether Burlington is right for you? There are a few major benefits that may tip the scales in the city’s favour. For one, your home-buying dollars will go further here than they would in a place like Toronto. While it’s true that prices have risen in recent years, the value for money in Burlington is well worth considering. In other words: if you’re looking for more space to spread out, this a great place to find it.

In particular, many of the city’s neighbourhoods feature an abundance of bungalows. These layouts have been making a major comeback, thanks to their practicality—and how flexible they are. Whether you’re looking for a place that could accommodate a home office, an extra bedroom, or whatever future renovations you desire, a bungalow with good bones could be ideal.

The truth is, Burlington has a lot more to offer—in terms of communities and housing stock. By speaking with an agent who knows the city intimately, you can find a place that fits your budget and checks off all your boxes!

Are you starting the search for your perfect home and have questions about the Burlington real estate market? Reach out today!

Your Quick Guide To Milton Real Estate | The Katherine Barnett Team

11.25.20 | For Buyers

Your Quick Guide To Milton Real Estate

Are you ready to buy a home? Before you jump into the Milton real estate market, you should make sure you know what you want. From price points to property types to local schools and green spaces, there’s no shortage of things to keep in mind. Fortunately, getting to know the town—and taking a bit of time to set your home-buying criteria—can help ensure that you find the picture-perfect place to live.

Learn how to find the right home here in our Milton real estate guide…


Your Price Range

Wondering how much your dream home will set you back in Milton? If you’re in the market for a house, you can likely expect to pay somewhere between $850,000 and $1.5 million. If you’re more interested in a condo, prices will probably be in the $450,000 to $600,000 range (with two-bedroom units typically on the higher end).

Affordability is one of the most important things to consider as you embark on the home hunt. When you start budgeting, be aware that experts recommend spending no more than 30 per cent of your monthly income on household expenses—including mortgage payments.


Neighbourhoods To Meet Your Needs

No matter what you’re looking for in a home, you’ll likely find it in one of Milton’s wonderful communities. Here are just a few of our favourite options.

Ideal For Families


If you’re looking for the ideal family-friendly community, you can’t go wrong with Beaty. This idyllic area contains twelve parks, a wonderful library, and two of the best places for kids to get an education in Milton (Hawthorne Village Public School and Guardian Angels Catholic School).

When it comes to real estate, you’ll find a mix of single-family homes, townhouses, and semi-detached options. Brick facades and front porches give these properties a comfy, traditional feel.

Dorset Park

It’s one of the oldest neighbourhoods in Milton. Leafy greenery, convenient amenities, and easy access to GO Transit make Dorset Park perfect for families. While this picturesque community is located near the core, it feels like a hidden gem.

There’s plenty of wonderful housing stock here, including beautiful Neo-Colonial and Tudor options, bungalows, and even some townhouses. Spacious lots and mature trees only add to the appeal of this charming neighbourhood.


In the heart of Milton, you’ll find Timberlea. Its tree-lined streets and central location make it a favourite among home buyers. Close proximity to great schools and fantastic shopping (including Milton Mall and the retail along Nipissing Road) only make it a more in-demand place to live.

Most Timberlea houses are a few decades old, and they tend to be on the larger size—as do the lots they’re built on. The area is home to an abundance of split levels, many of which feature garages and plenty of storage space. Needless to say, this community is one of the most attractive in town for growing families!


Historical Gems

Old Milton

Looking for a gorgeous historical home? In Old Milton, you’ll find an array of spacious older houses—many of which have been here for over a hundred years. The lots are generous too! If you’re searching for something a little more economical, check out the local selection of post-war bungalows.

Old Milton is also home to some of the prettiest parks in town Rotary Park is ideal for tennis enthusiasts, while Mill Pond features a picturesque gazebo and waterfront). Quaint local businesses, which include buzz-worthy eateries and boutiques, keep things lively.


Newer Homes

For some buyers, there’s nothing quite like a brand new living space. Here are a couple of communities where the homes are pristine.


Ford is one of the newest neighbourhoods in Milton—and one of the most family-oriented. With its great schools (including several Catholic options), ample green space, and access to grocery stores and other amenities, this pretty community is the perfect place to raise kids.

Here you’ll find spacious new-build homes situated on wide lots. Typical features include garages, front porches, and big windows that look out onto the street. The area is also highly walkable, and there are plenty of bike lanes for local cyclists.


Willmott is a perfectly-planned community that was developed in the mid-2000s. Its key attractions include Milton Community Park (a 7.2 hectare green space) and Milton Sports Centre (with fitness, aquatic, and sports facilities).

Large single-family homes, townhouses, and semi-detached options are plentiful here. These recently-built living spaces are in great condition—and the red-brick exteriors that many of them boast lend the area a certain charm.


If it’s gorgeous green space you’re after, you’ll find it in Scott. Parkland and protected natural areas surround the community, providing plenty of natural beauty. For those who want to give their kids a faith-based education, nearby Queen of Heaven Catholic Elementary is highly reputable.

Homes here tend to be on the pricier side, but they’re worth it. We’re talking about plenty of square footage, immaculate interiors, and yards that serve as private oases. Another housing highlight is the Green Life condo building, which offers low maintenance fees and incredible energy-efficiency!


Advice For Buyers

If you’re preparing to buy the ideal piece of Milton real estate, there’s one thing to keep in mind. The town is growing incredibly quickly. In particular, detached homes are in high demand—so make sure you’re ready for the competition.

One of the best ways to appeal to sellers is by making a firm offer. That means no conditions. To take this step safely, you’ll want to have your financing in place—and be comfortable accepting the results of a pre-listing inspection.

You should also ensure that your deposit funds are easily accessible, since you may have to act fast when you find the right property!

Are you starting the search for your perfect home and have questions about the Milton real estate market? Reach out today!


Take the Tour

October Market Statistics

11.13.20 | For Buyers

October 2020 Market Statistics

October Market Statistics Milton October Market Statistics Burlington


Do you have questions about the GTA real estate market? Reach out to learn more about your local market—and how we can help!