My Agent Mike

Hi! I'm Mike Rapkoski.

Sales Representative, Keller Williams Referred Urban Realty Inc., Brokerage

I have spent the past 18 years assisting clients build their wealth through making wise choices with their real estate buying and selling. I am passionate, dedicated and committed to providing world class service to my real estate clients.

04 November 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Follow up and opinion to Remax condo article

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It seems over the past few years any bit of positive real estate information to be published from any of the big real estate brokerages is met with some surefire opposing opinion critique (mostly opinion) by main stream journalists and publications.

And it almost always reeks of the same rhetoric. Reports published like the recent condo market findings by Re/Max Ontario/Atlantic is most obviously biased and self serving (Toronto Life online John Michael McGrath November 2nd) because that’s what all us “real estate” sales people, brokers or companies do. Pass along only one sided (read self serving) information to paint a picture that will allow real estate agents like me to go out and sell more houses.

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02 November 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Condominiums first step to homeownership in most major centers, says Remax

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Given serious escalation in detached housing values, condominium apartments and towns have now emerged as the first step to homeownership, says RE/MAX Ontario-Atlantic Canada.

Affordability has fuelled buying activity across the board, according to the 2010 RE/MAX Condominium Report, highlighting trends and developments in eight Ontario markets and one in Nova Scotia. Condominiums now represent one in every three homes sold in the Greater Toronto Area; close to one in every four homes sold in Ottawa and Hamilton-Burlington; and almost one in every five homes sold in London, Kitchener-Waterloo, and Collingwood. The trend has translated into a solid upswing in unit
sales activity, with 78 per cent of markets posting an increase in year-to-date sales (January – September 2010 vs. 2009)—with percentage gains outperforming overall residential sales in most markets examined.

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29 October 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Hey Mike we want to sell our home (part 3 and yes final part!)

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Okay so how does the rest of my appointment go? Well two and a half hours later (yes you read correct!) my clients are now much more educated about their options on selling their home. At this time I tell them I’m not offering the low flat fee service model of “list you and leave you” and that I am sticking with the model I have been using for over fifteen years successfully looking out for my clients biggest financial asset. Sure I could take a couple of thousand dollars from you and say “all the best” and guarantee myself a nice little annual income. But only I would be winning in this scenario. I would rather stick by the formula that I know works and is of benefit to all involved. I have always offered a variety of commission fee options that my clients are free to choose from and have been a bit of an industry leader on this in my opinion. It must work because for the past eight years 94% of my entire business has come from past clients and the referrals they so kindly introduce me to.

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29 October 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Hey Mike we want to sell our home (part 2)

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So to continue we pick back up with me meeting with my clients to discuss the selling of their home. From the moment I arrived at their house I could sense although they were really happy to see me (we had remained in touch through email and phone conversations but we haven’t seen each other in a couple of years) their was some obvious tension on their behalf.

Being first time sellers they had a lot of questions about how the selling process worked and whether they should buy first or sell first since they would be needing another home. As I answered their questions I could feel the tension from the onset disappear and become replaced with a level of confidence and relaxation. When the conversation turned to what it would cost to sell their home the tension started to come back. They admitted to me at this point that being first time sellers they didn’t know what to expect cost wise and that with all of the recent media attention with regards to the Canadian Real Estate Association they had heard that selling your home and the costs involved had now dramatically changed.

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29 October 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Hey Mike we want to sell our home (part 1)

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Today I had a listing appointment with past clients of mine who purchased a house with my assistance four and a half years ago. They were first time buyers back then and I still remember vividly on the night of our offer presentation the frantic nerves and anxiety as the reality of being involved in a multiple offer situation (media slang would be bidding war) was quickly settling in.

That night almost five years ago we ended up competing against six other interested buyers (yes the house was purposely listed below market value to attract such a scenario) and our offer ended up being the one chosen by the sellers as the best offer.

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25 October 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Changes Approved by Canadian Real Estate Association

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Today somewhere in Newfoundland member real estate boards across Canada voted 97% in favour to the rule changes set out  by the competition bureau in its investigation into the “monopoly” of the CREA.

So what does this mean now? Mainly that licensed real estate agents can now offer services and fees similar to what FSBO (for sale by owner) companies have been offering to sellers who have opted not to use the services of a real estate agent to list their home or property for sale. It’s important to note that even though the seller in the past has tried to sell privately, in most instances a fee was paid to the agent representing the buyer. So in essence, a real estate agent was involved in selling the house, just not in listing it. Let’s see the future of FSBO companies now that a seller can get more exposure for the same expense by using a licensed real estate agent! Now were talking monopoly!!

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24 October 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Ottawa ponders further tightening of mortgage rules

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Garry Marr and Paul Vieira, Financial Post

The federal government is once again looking at tightening rules in the Canadian mortgage market, according to a source close to the situation.

Finance officials are set to meet in Ottawa on Monday with some of the country’s leading economists for pre-budget discussions and the subject of whether to tighten housing regulations may come up.

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19 October 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Buying a new loft or condo? Caveat Emptor!

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Recently I have been dealing with a higher than average amount of frustration regarding brand new lofts and condos purchased by both clients and myself (yes even a real estate insider is not totally void from some mishaps).
A little background information…every year I typically assist a half dozen or more clients with the purchase of brand new construction of either lofts or condos in the downtown Toronto area. The new condo/loft real estate market has been a busy one alongside the robust market conditions being experienced in the resale market. Pre sales that were written three to four years ago are being completed and coming into the marketplace in 2010.

18 October 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Choices and information overload

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I was speaking with a colleague last week about TD Bank’s switch to collateral-charge mortgages and the anticipated affect it would have on TD’s mortgage business. Would this monumental change increase the banks mortgage portfolio or would the lender become out of favour with independent mortgage brokers who may look at this move as an attack on their business model? “I don’t know I replied” and truthfully, I don’t much care. What I mean by this is that as a respected real estate professional my focus is on my client and their needs. New products that a bank comes out with to increase their business is good for competition. Competition leads to choice, and more choice is better in the end for the consumer. I get this and I think its great. We all are consumers in one way or another on a daily basis. Part of what I do as a real estate professional is to make sure I am up to date with current finance options that are available to my clients and that would be of the ultimate benefit to them. Personally I get my mortgage information from two sources and neither one is the newspaper. The first is a very well connected mortgage broker whom I’ve been associated with for over 15 years. The other is a personable and connected bank manager whose employer doesn’t use the services of outside mortgage brokers. Both are active committed professionals in their fields and communicate regularly with me on the goings on in the mortgage finance world. There is too much information coming at us on a daily basis that it would be impossible for anyone to try and master the many areas of complexity that make up the entire real estate market. But by working with an active, committed real estate professional (yes I mean me) who has aligned them self with like minded mortgage brokers/banks, real estate lawyers, home inspectors and various other trade professionals the consumer can be assured that all areas they need advice and guidance in when buying or selling a home, is covered in an exceptional way.

11 September 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Housing Bubble…to be or not to be?

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The day before the last Bank of Canada interest rate announcement CP24 news reported that 80% of economists now think the BofC would be raising the bank rate the following day with most agreeing by 0.25 basis points. Others felt 0.50 basis points would be the outcome and the small minority thought no rate adjustment would be taken. I make mention of this point for two reasons: 1) to highlight that opinions varied widespread with economists (most of whom work for competing banks) on what path the BofC would be taking on a topic that receives much heated debate. And 2) that mere days leading up to the rate announcement the forecasts by said economists were all over the map on what the outcome would be!

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