toronto real estate advice

Toronto home buyers are getting awful real estate tips from their clueless parents

Millennial and GenZ homebuyers are known for their reliance on the "bank of mom and dad," but sometimes this financial assistance influences young newcomers to Toronto's cutthroat housing market to put a bit too much stock into the opinions of their beloved parents.

It's got to be hard to say no to the people who raised you, especially if they're helping to fund your overwhelmingly expensive purchase or investment, but experts are warning buyers about some of the awful advice doled out by parental units.

Real estate experts at Strata.ca have issued a stark warning for anyone who blindly accepts the real estate musings of their trusted guardians, revealing some of the worst parental advice buyers would be wise to avoid.

One of the worst blunders you can make in a real estate transaction is walking away from a steal of a deal just because your parents can't see past the little things.

Agent Sam Massoudi notes a client who fell in love with a unit, but passed after his parents balked at the condition of the condo, complaining about superficial scuffs on the walls that would have been fixed by a simple coat of paint.

Massoudi says it took the buyer another two months to find a unit, claiming that while he "saved $1,500 on painting, the market was up by another 2 per cent by this time," and the client ended up paying an extra $11K.

Whoops.

Older generations had an easier time in Toronto's real estate market, so it's understandable that they look at transactions through an old-fashioned lens. One of these outdated ideas is the concept of making low-ball offers that plunge far below a seller's asking price.

The problem is, nobody in their right mind makes low-ball offers in such a highly competitive housing race, and those who do risk offending sellers and snuffing out any chance of future negotiation.

It's probably best to explain this to your folks, instead of bowing to the pressure and risking making enemies in the market.

Advice to hold out for that 'forever' home could be another symptom of the housing accessibility boomers and other older generations experienced, but this idealized goal of finding a home to retire in just doesn’t apply to many first-time homebuyers.

"The problem with this advice is that it's not even realistic in places like the GTA where property values are already so expensive," says Massoudi.

Another bit of advice to avoid is using the seller's listing agent to represent your interests.

This one seems plainly evident, as it's right there in the name. Listing agent. If you aren't listing the unit, this agent isn't necessarily on your side. It may seem cheaper on the surface to use the same agent as the seller, but the negotiations are almost guaranteed to go the seller’s way.

"The seller's agent represents the seller, so they don't owe you anything in the negotiations," said Strata realtor Jenelle Tremblett.

At the end of the day, there are plenty of departments where parental advice will guide you through the trials of life. But if your parents are offering any of these ill-advised pointers, it might be a good idea to look elsewhere for your real estate tips.

Lead photo by

Jack Landau


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