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The resale market for homes in Ontario has never been hotter. In fact, the demand for housing is so great, some people are receiving unsolicited offers on their property. It is important, however, that no one allows him or herself to be pushed into a bad real estate decision.

Average prices are on the rise in the GTA, and the market shows little sign of cooling down. Current prices are about 27 percent higher than they were this time last year. High demand and a shortage of supply are fueling this increase, and it has reached the point where some homeowners in desirable neighbourhoods have reported getting offers on their homes despite not having them listed for sale.

Although there is appeal to a sudden windfall on the real estate market, it is wise to proceed with caution. The elderly, in particular, are seen as vulnerable to high pressure sales pitches and seemingly generous offers. Unfortunately, there are situations in which aggressive buyers may attempt to bulldoze right over an unprepared seller's rights in order to get the best possible deal.

It may be a very good idea to find a reputable and trustworthy agent to represent one's side of the transaction. It is also rarely advisable to take the first offer given; the market will usually determine the value of a home with accuracy. Taking time to review each step of the process can help to ensure a fair transaction.

Another good idea is to engage the services of a lawyer who handles real estate law to make sure everything is done by the book. Selling real estate is a complex endeavour that requires some legal legwork, and a keen eye to ensure everything is done fairly and correctly. A lawyer who knows the Ontario market can be a great asset when selling a home.

Source: Toronto Star, "Buyers and agents approach resident in hot neighbourhood", Joseph Richer, Feb. 18, 2017

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