Do I HAVE to sell my house?

What if you put your home on the market and then change your mind about selling.  Do you still have to sell your home EVEN if you get an offer that matches everything EXACTLY as you asked (date, asking price, inclusions, exclusions)? No you do not, but the general public does not know this. 

The case in point is a client of mine.  They are interested in a gorgeous condo that has been renovated top to bottom.  They would like to put in an offer conditional on the sale of their home.  The Seller will not accept a conditional offer as they have just done a major price reduction and feel a conditional sale may scare away a firm sale.  I have explained to my client that we can prepare their home for sale (declutter, freshen the home up, rearrange furniture/stage it) and then list it.  While their home is on the market, if someone else puts an offer in on the condo they want to buy, then we just take their home off the market.  Seems simple doesn’t it?

The problem is (and everyone seems to think this)….if they get an offer that matches exactly what they were asking, but the home they want sold before they could put in an offer, they MUST accept the offer on their current home.  NO you do NOT have to sell your home if you change your mind.  It is akin to getting married – you have arranged the caterer, everyone is sitting in the seats watching the ceremony but until you say “I do” you are not married.  If I know my client is sincere about selling and the property they want is no longer available, ultimately I want what is best for my client.

Don’t let this common misunderstanding stop you from pursuing a property you are interested in.

Summer Rea is with CENTURY 21 Miller Real Estate Ltd., Brokerage in Oakville, ON.

The Benefits of Outdoor Living

Get outside and live a little.

The desire to extend the home into the great outdoors has been growing for years and doesn’t appear to be slowing down any time in the near future. According to  Canadian Home Trends Magazine, 48 per cent of home renovations planned by its readers are focused on the patio, deck or outdoor space.

Thanks to weather-resistant furniture, appliances and fabrics, along with more fire pit, planting and lighting options than homeowners can keep track of, it’s easy to take your daily living outdoors, comfortably.

It’s now possible to cook a full meal outdoors and remain outdoors to enjoy it. High-end barbecues now include multiple grilling and cooking surfaces along with warming drawers and added storage. Bar fridges are a common sight in the outdoor kitchen, as well as full counters with sinks and cabinetry. There’s no need to set foot inside all day. There are tons of  great ideas out there.

The outdoor living room has also taken on a life all its own with complete furniture sets, outdoor televisions and custom lighting. Long gone are the days of plastic stacking chairs and citronella candles. Outdoor living has gone posh and can incorporate all the comforts of indoor living with the added benefit of fresh air. Check out options for your outdoor space at

And besides the benefits of expanding your living space and having somewhere to enjoy the nice weather, spending time in a natural setting also improves brain function, restoring your ability to exercise directed attention and working memory.

While dining alfresco and lounging on the outdoor couch, you’ll also be avoiding unnecessary exposure to indoor pollutants and getting that essential dose of vitamin D on a regular basis. Spending  time in the sun and raising your vitamin D levels can help prevent cancer, heart disease, autoimmune diseases and diabetes.

And let’s not forget the social benefits. A patio table, bonfire or hot tub beg for the company of friends. With such a wonderful space in the great outdoors, why not share a laugh with friends and family? A good laugh is some of the best exercise you can get.

Paul Baron is with CENTURY 21 Leading Edge Realty Inc. in Scarborough, ON.