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.

12 January 2011 ~ 0 Comments

January and it feels like spring

This morning as I was driving to our local real estate board for my companies monthly office meeting I couldn’t help thinking how on January 5th it was roughly zero degrees out and the sun was shinning strong!

The nice weather (well nice by Toronto winter standards at least) is welcome to me in more ways than one. You see when the weather outside isn’t frightful (please forgive me) and instead is delightful it makes for an active real estate market.

Sellers are encouraged that buyers will be out searching for a home and not stuck inside due to a snowstorm. And buyers are motivated to beat the “spring buying rush” that typically have seen multiple offers (bids) over the past seven spring markets.

During the fall I try and poll my clients to see who will be considering selling in the next year. The reason I do this is that like our current weather conditions this can lead to a great opportunity to sell and buy. And since many sellers are repeat buyers it pays to be ready.

As a seller if you are going to buy first before you sell it’s comforting to know that your house is prepped and ready to go when need be. I have three seller/buyer clients who as of Monday are ready to accelerate their buying plans. I’m certain when the spring market plays out they will find themselves happy with their decision to do so and I’m also certain financially they will have benefited positively as well.

05 January 2011 ~ 0 Comments

Home inspection changes still not enough

I myself have worked with some very good Home Inspectors over the past 15 years and they can be of incredible value in certain situations. But I have also during this time witnessed some savoury characters and straight up crackpots who have done an incredible disservice to all parties involved.
Let’s be open and acknowledge that every profession today have its fair share of shoddy individuals. We are constantly bombarded daily with news reports of bad cops, doctors, accountants, investment professionals, day care workers, and so on. Yes the list includes real estate agents as well! 🙂
But I have to think that hard working professional Home Inspectors are going to love these changes. All it takes is a few bad eggs to tarnish an entire industry and with professional standards the bar gets raised for all. Most likely it won’t be the cure to all that ails the Inspection industry but it will bring it in line with Realtors and Mortgage Professionals who are also a crucial part of the home buying process.
My advice to those looking for a competent Home Inspector is to find a trustworthy, professional competent real estate sales representative first and then ask them. I’ve built my career on my name and reputation with over 92% of my business coming from past clients and their referrals. Whenever I have referred an Inspector to a client I have done so after much research and communication with the individual. And then I stay involved throughout the entire process. If the house has major problems that we should be aware of I want to know up front while we (the buyers and I) can do something about it. If the issues are minor or reflective of the purchase price paid then we can decide then to proceed or not. My clients are totally in control knowing that their agent as well as his team (Home Inspector, Lawyer, Mortgage Broker and others) is looking out for the buyer’s best interests. Comfort and satisfaction at its best!

24 December 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Home Inspectors Update Qualification Requirements

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I recently came across the article below and all I can say is…it’s about time! This is so long overdue I’m surprised it hadn’t already happened five years ago.

Read and let me know your thoughts? I will post a blog on my thoughts as well.

Reprinted from www.propertywire.ca

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14 December 2010 ~ 0 Comments

How’s the Market?

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A lot of times I get asked the simple question “hey Mike how’s the market doing”?

To which often I reply…”well that depends.  Are you asking about buying, selling, leasing or an investment property”? Not such a simple reply on my part but a reasonable question to ask none the less.

You see the real estate market can be divided up in to “sub markets” and ofter these markets work in contrast to one another. For example. If you are in the market for investment real estate November/December may have some sellers looking to sell by year end to offset any capital gains against capital losses incurred elsewhere, or vice versa.  Or you may have sellers looking to sell with a January closing to extend any capital gains payable until the following tax year.

Now compare this to a buyer looking to purchase a house or condo and absolutely want to take possession before Christmas and the holiday season. Not only to they want to buy in the October/November/December they would like to close it before Christmas.

You see, two different markets. I have many times over the years represented clients in both situations and getting good advice about “how’s the market” can save you tons of money. In our current environment of indebtedness the correct advice is priceless.

05 December 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Why a buyer’s real estate agent matters even more

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By Mark Weisleder

When you use an agent to sell your home, you may agree on a commission as high as 5 per cent with the proceeds split two ways. One half goes to the agent who works for you and the other half is paid to the agent who finds the buyer and helps negotiate the deal.

Now that the federal government has brought more competition to buying and selling a home, there are more ways for you to sell a home by yourself. That means the role of the real estate agent acting for the buyer will become even more important to you and the buyer.

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24 November 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Let the Buyer Beware! Yikes!

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You know that often used Latin term muttered when things go wrong as you hear of someone who is stuck with some bad real estate…caveat emptor (let the buyer beware). Well today I had to shake my head as I was out looking at potential properties for a client.

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18 November 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Boulevard and Front Yard Parking Informatiom

With front yard parking (boulevard parking in some areas) being a major headache for home buyers throughout many neighbourhoods, the city of Toronto is trying to make access to getting information on what is legal (or not) more easily accesible.

Many times I encounter sellers during a listing presentation (audtioning to be their choosen agent to represent them during the sale) who will tell me that their property has one (two, three) parking spaces. When I ask them if they are legal spots (most front yard parking spots need a city permit license) I typically get a “i’m not sure, but we’ve never had a problem”.

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16 November 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Building wealth through real estate investing

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I recently took ownership of a loft I purchased as new construction in March 2007 and it got me thinking about my property investment portfolio and also the dozens of clients whom I have helped purchase similar investments over the years.

Although the bulk of my time is spent assisting buyers and sellers with their residential principal residence needs I have personally been buying investment real estate for myself and clients for the past twelve years. Mainly I have focused on duplexes, triplexes, condos or lofts and the odd small commercial building.

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15 November 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Time to re-think the way we build cities

Comments from me: This article was originally posted in the Globe and Mail December 3rd, 2009. I saved the article and was reading it yesterday and thought it brings up some interesting points to discuss. What are your thoughts?

It may be time to ask a key question: Are Canadian cities marching in the right direction? Many very smart people say no.

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13 November 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Affordability a key issue for this panel of experts

Stephen Dupuis – Toronto Sun

In an interactive webinar earlier this week, RealNet Canada Inc., BILD’s official, independent source of new home market intelligence, provided an in-depth analysis of the housing market’s performance in the third quarter of 2010.

I was on the panel as one of the speakers, and I was in very good company with RealNet president, George Carras, Toronto Real Estate Board senior manager of market analysis, Jason Mercer and N. Barry Lyon Consultants Ltd. president Barry Lyon.

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