Below are some of my Client Testimonials

By: B. Scott Cawfield, Professor of Business Administration Glendon College, York University scawfield@glendon.yorku.ca

My parents, George and Ina Cawfield, lived in a home on Abbeyhill Drive in Kanata, Ontario for 44 years. It was a comfortable home but with no major renovations over the years. My wife, Diana and I became responsible for the sale of the house in early 2018. In May of 2018, I looked for a sales representative and found SERGE GUENETTE OF REMAX HALLMARK REALTY GROUP.
Because my parent’s home was in Ottawa while my wife and I live in Ajax, Ontario there was a long delay in clearing the house. We did our best on weekends, however, many months turned into a year. Serge was always helpful, informative, and patient. He kept in touch every week, and I found Serge to have the very highest level of expertise in his field.
In May of 2019, Serge put the house on the market, got over 60 expressions of interest, 22 offers, and sold the house for $70,000 or 24 percent over asking price within a week. A Toronto real estate agent claims that he is the best in Toronto, and he is currently advertising that he may be able to get you the asking price for a home. Serge is not just a seller, rather he is an excellent business strategist, and his amazing record in sales success “speaks for itself”.
On a personal level, Serge is a pleasant, helpful and gregarious person, personal characteristics that I think are important in sales. I have no hesitation in recommending Serge and his assistant, Lise, to be your sales representative. You will not regret your decision to work with Serge Guenette. If you wish any more information, you can always write me at the address given below.

By: Christianne Racine Sept. 8, 2020

I chose Serge Guenette as my realtor because of his excellent reputation. He is a well-informed realtor. He was very patient with me and explained clearly the process for the sale of my condo. He had a strategy to sell my condo. He gave me good advice to prepare the unit. Working with him is Lise Legault who is in charge of staging. Serge and Lise are a good team and they did an excellent job. The video for the listing was just spectacular. I certainly would (and I have) recommend Serge as team member to sell your property. The whole experience was smooth and quick. The sale went exactly as predicted. It sold in one week. I sold my condo unit but I also made a friend. Thank you, Serge

By: Ed and Lucie Arvisais – June 25, 2018

We met Serge at an open house in our neighbourhood. He had previously left his door knob card at our place. We were 75-year old’s having not only to downsize but also to move to another area of the province. Over the next 5 months (starting in middle of winter 2017-2018)), he guided us through the decluttering process with a personable and respectful staging advisor and an incredible photographer. He was patient with us. He did a thorough evaluation of the market specific to our neighbourhood and presented it in a binder that echoed professionalism and knowledge. Selling a house with snow and ice is not easy. With his guidance, we got our price and closing date within hours of putting it on the market. This was and remains a “crazy” market with bidding wars and buyers competitive pressure. He was calm and supportive through it all. We recommend Serge as an honest, knowledgeable and aggressive realtor.

By: Annick L. Pilon – le 2 février 2018

Moi et mon fiancé avons fait l’achat d’une première maison avec l’aide exceptionnel de Serge. Cet agent est formidable, travaillant, dévoué et ne compte pas les heures pour satisfaire ses clients. Nous le recommandons à tous les acheteurs qui cherche quelqu’un à la hauteur.

By: Tracy Arnett – February 14, 2018

When you meet Serge, you will feel at ease and know that Serge has your best interest at heart. He is passionate about finding the right home or condo whether it takes 2 days or 2 months. He wants to ensure you have the right home. Serge’s smile and personality make the buying or selling experience so enjoyable. He has patience and expertise that are above and beyond a typical agent. You won’t be disappointed in calling Serge.

By: Lea Ann Ouimet - July 11, 2018

Serge is friendly, professional, attentive and attuned to the Ottawa housing market. He helped us sell our home quickly, with very minimal stress and I’m looking forward to working together as I search for a new place to call home!

By: Ed and Lucie Arvisais – June 25, 2018

We met Serge at an open house in our neighbourhood. He had previously left his door knob card at our place. We were 75-year old’s having not only to downsize but also to move to another area of the province. Over the next 5 months (starting in middle of winter 2017-2018)), he guided us through the decluttering process with a personable and respectful staging advisor and an incredible photographer. He was patient with us. He did a thorough evaluation of the market specific to our neighbourhood and presented it in a binder that echoed professionalism and knowledge. Selling a house with snow and ice is not easy. With his guidance, we got our price and closing date within hours of putting it on the market. This was and remains a “crazy” market with bidding wars and buyers competitive pressure. He was calm and supportive through it all. We recommend Serge as an honest, knowledgeable and aggressive realtor.

By: Francine Blanchette le 15 octobre 2018

Un travail Exceptionnel Serge Guénette, je t’ai confié un défi de taille avec toutes mes restrictions, et en seulement quelques semaines je signais le contrat de vente. Je veux souligner ma grande appréciation du service exceptionnel et professionnel que toi Serge et ton équipe m’a donné tout au long de la vente de mon condo. Lise a été formidable avec ses conseils pour la décoration, la photographe a su accentuer la beauté du condo et vous m’avez rendu la tâche des plus faciles à cause des signatures à distance. Tu as toujours été disponible, tant pour le suivi des visites ou pour retourner mes appels et répondre à mes messages texte, tu m’as vraiment bien accompagné tout au long du processus de vente et je t’en suis des plus reconnaissantes. Serge, ton équipe et toi formez une équipe du tonnerre fortement recommandable et je n’hésiterais pas à vous recommander à n’importe qui cherchant un professionnalisme et un service irréprochable. Merci Serge Guenette et ton équipe pour un travail hors pair.

By: Zach and Laura

A big thank you to you Serge and Christiane for all your help with selling the old and buying our new house. You were both professional the whole way through but not without a few laughs along the way! In record time, with the ink on the representation documents hardly dry we were surprised with, and accepted an offer to sell our house and couldn't be happier! Purchasing the new house then came right down to the wire but we lucked out with your impressive negotiating skills. Knowledgeable and quick to answer any and all questions we had–you both made this a smooth (as can be) process. We will definitely be referring you to anyone else who might be looking to buy or sell! Thank you both again!!

By: Sophie Hisko – March 7, 2017

We would (and have) recommend this team to anyone!

When my fiancé and I started our house hunt last Spring, my aunt quickly swooped in and convinced us to enlist the help of Serge Guenette and Christiane Lafleur (and probably helped us avoid certain disaster!) Convinced we could still do fine on our own (as first-time home buyers, HA! How naive!) we scheduled a meeting just to get more info. We are both SO glad we did. I wouldn't say they sold us a house... I'd say they helped us find our home, as cheesy as it may sound. My fiance and I work odd and opposite hours making communication complicated. Christiane was always so helpful by answering us at near-lightning speed, allowing us to be able to make informed decisions in the 5 or 10 minutes a day we had together. She also had plenty of contacts for other experts when we needed them, referring only the best! Even though we were first-time home buyers, Christiane's simple yet professional and informative emails were always easy to understand and helped us learn a bit about the process along the way. She also made sure to keep our file up-to-date to make sure our experience was always perfectly tailored! We viewed a number of properties with Serge and I have to say my favourite part was his honesty. My fiancé and I both expected a realtor to be a bit pushy in trying to "get the sale" so to speak, which is why we wanted to avoid using one. We never once felt pressured by Serge, at all! He was able to get a good feel of what we were looking for, and when we viewed homes that he knew we wouldn't be happy in, even if we didn't realize it on the spot, he would tell us. When we visited the home we would eventually buy, Serge could tell we were in love with it before we even reacted, just because he knew this was exactly what we were looking for. Serge and Christiane both worked with us on putting in that offer and the subsequent negotiations. They were with us until the very end and made sure we were comfortable and informed every step of the way! We moved in almost six months ago now and we couldn't be happier with our first home. Thank you, Serge and Christine, for helping us find the perfect backdrop to the life we've started. Two birthdays, one Christmas, and an engagement later and we are already building many memories! We would (and have) recommend this team to anyone! But even more so for first time home buyers who have no idea what they're doing but want to feel comfortable and well-looked out for!

By: Jo-Anne Ivey - August 25, 2018

Serge helped with a new house deal for my Mother.She trusted him and could not be happier with his professionalism and caring attitude. He is highly recommended by our family. He is a great person.

By: Marrisa Theresa – February 7, 2017

As first-time home buyers we were a little overwhelmed and unsure of where to start. Thankfully we were connected with Serge and Christiane. They were very friendly and helpful through our journey to buy our first home. They offered honest advice about the houses we saw and we never felt pressured to buy something we were unsure of. They helped connect us to all the right people and followed up with us step by step. We are so thankful for their help in finding the perfect first home for us. We couldn't be happier.

By: Anonymous

Even after our move you continued to support us. I want to take this opportunity to express my sincere appreciation for your great support to me during the recent sale of my home. I came to you because I needed to sell my home and a quick sale was essential. Even after our move you continued to support us. I would gladly recommend you to any of my friends who need a Realtor in the Ottawa area.

By: Anonymous

Tu nous afais vivre une belle expérience. Salut Serge. C'est nous qui te remercions. Au début on avait pas cru que tout se ferait, comme si ça aurait été planifié, et qu'on serait à Ottawa en deux mois. Tu nous asfait vivre une belle expérience. Quand j'entends un petit avion,je dis à Pauline, C'EST SERGE! MERÇI, à toi. PS: Le condo n'est pas assez grand... ou... ton bouquet est trop gros!

By: Taylor Jamieson – July 9, 2017

He will answer every single question you can think of! As a first-time home buyer Serge was absolutely amazing at making the whole process of finding/buying my new home as simple as possible. He will answer every single question you can think of (and believe me, I had plenty), is always available, and won't put on any pressure to make quick decisions. Thank you so much for helping me find my first home, see you again when I buy the next one!

By: Anonymous

They offered honest advice. As first-time home buyers we were a little overwhelmed and unsure of where to start. Thankfully we were connected with Serge and his team. They were very friendly and helpful through our journey to buy our first home. They offered honest advice about the houses we saw and we never felt pressured to buy something we were unsure of. They helped connect us to all the right people and followed up with us step by step. We are so thankful for their help in finding the perfect first home for us. We couldn't be happier!

By: Anonymous

We Also Enjoyed Working with the Stager! We recently sold our house with Serge Guenette and Christiane Lafleur within a couple of weeks from listing! Both Serge and Christiane were readily available to provide us with any information we needed. We also enjoyed working with the stager who made our home look great. We were able to obtain full asking price for our home and couldn''t be happier with the result. Serge also helped us find our new home. His professional approach was really appreciated. He always let us have plenty of time to look at each home, and was very helpful with his expert knowledge of the marketplace. Serge and Christiane expertly guided us through the offer stage of both our sale and purchase. We would highly recommend Serge and his team to anyone looking to buy a home in the Ottawa area.

By: Cindy Frechette and Mark Houlton

The Guenette Real Estate Group helps us find the home of our dreams. This summer, we began our initial search for a new property to combine our households. We had planned to take our time and search out a property over that met all of our requirements. As fate would have it, we came across a completely renovated home in Beaverbrook within the first three months of our search that we fell in love with. Serge skillfully helped us to develop a sound understanding of the value of the property, to execute our negotiation strategy and close on the home of our dreams – this despite a last-minute hiccup with our bank which required Serge’s delicate touch when we had to extend our proposed firm offer date with the anxious sellers. Having concluded the purchase of one home, the Guenette Team swung into action to help us to sell one of properties. From useful tips to improve the resale value of the property to professional staging support, expert videography and building interest in the property through targeted marketing – Serge and his team helped us to conclude the sale at the full asking price with no conditions and within hours of the release of the listing. We had a challenge establishing the list price for the sale of our property because of the renovation that had been completed which made comparables with neighboring properties difficult. While we may have been able to secure a slightly higher price, we managed to come away with the highest resale value in the neighborhood despite the reality of other listings on the street. Special thanks to Christiane Lafleur for the incredible support she provided us throughout our journey. From coordinating our initial meetings, helping us to develop our list of wants/needs, scheduling walkthroughs and putting us into contact with her extensive network of business and industry contacts, she took the stress out of the process with continuous and positive contact.

By: Guy et Suzanne Tremblay – le 13 mai 2018

La disponibilité, la connaissance des marchés et le professionnalisme de Serge Guenette n’ont d’égal que son engagement total et inconditionnel vis-à-vis son client. Notre transaction récente nous a démontré sans équivoque que Serge recherche l’intérêt du client et y parvient avec l’expérience acquise comme stratège et négociateur. Nous sommes entièrement satisfaits de ses services.

By: Léonard Lavoie – le 25 juin 2018

Honnête et dévoué! Monsieur Serge Guenette est l’agent que j’ai choisi pour vendre ma propriété sur la rue Cadboro, à Ottawa. Monsieur Guenette a fait montre d’un dynamisme et d’une efficacité remarquables. Tout au long des semaines qui ont procédé la vente, il m’a tenu régulièrement au courant de l’évolution de la situation et ne s’est pas laissé prier pour venir me rencontrer. J’ai apprécié au plus haut point sa probité et son honnêteté. Finalement la transaction s’est effectuée à la hauteur de mes attentes.

By: Denise Labbé - le 14 Aout 2018

J'ai beaucoup apprécié le professionnalisme, le savoir- faire et la facilité de communication de Serge. Son appui dans l'achat de ma nouvelle maison m'a beaucoup rassuré. Aussi son expertise m'a valu une vente rapide de mon ancienne demeure et ce au meilleur prix. Je remercie Lise, son associée, pour ses bonnes suggestions concernant l'aménagement de ma maison en guise de préparatifs à la vente. Aussi les photos étaient superbes. Je recommande fortement M. Serge Guénette et son équipe à tous ceux qui veulent entreprendre vente ou achat.

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Recent Blog Posts

Maybe your dream home has the intricate details that you usually find only in older construction - wainscoting and crown molding in the interior, the front porch with a swing, an older tree shading the back yard, and the white picket fence. 

Or maybe your dream home has all the conveniences of modern living - open floor plan in the living and dining spaces, large windows, connected, “smart” appliances and security systems, and minimalist design elements. 

Whether you go for a brand new construction or an existing home, both types of properties have their pros and cons when it comes to purchasing. What type of home is right for you will depend on which factors are most important for your lifestyle. 

Build your dream home with new construction

If you’re making a home purchase that’s still in the pre-construction phase, you may be able to customize many of the details. Many home builders will give you the option to add design elements that will give you the exact dream home you desire. If it’s a new subdivision, you may even be able to pick which lot you like best. 

Very early in the building process, you may have more room to customize. For example, if the walls aren’t complete, you may be able to add extra outlets in each of the rooms or custom wiring for surround sound in the media room. Perhaps you could move the laundry room to the top floor instead of the basement. You might be able to get a separate mudroom entrance. 

Later in the building process, you may be able to add marble countertops, an island, and custom cabinets in the kitchen. Your master bathroom could be upgraded with a steam shower, spa tub, and European fixtures. You will want to check with the builder to understand which features are included, and which ones are extra. 

New homes save money with fewer repairs and more efficiency

Once your home is complete, all you’ll need to do is move in. New appliances will be under warranty for a few years if they need repairs, and will likely work well for several years without needing fixes. Often, new construction is under a builder’s warranty, so any repairs needed in the first year should be covered. 

New homes often contain energy-efficient and green appliances, like high-efficiency stoves, refrigerators, washing machines, heaters, or air conditioning units. These energy-saving appliances, along with good insulation and energy-efficient windows, will help you save money on monthly utility bills. 

New homes also often use new building materials that require less maintenance — for example, using composite siding instead of wood, which doesn’t need annual repainting. You won’t need to spend as much to maintain your new home. 

If you customized it during pre-construction, you won’t need to spend any money on renovations or upgrades for several more years. You can just enjoy it and not worry about saving for major home repairs. 

What you need to do to make a good new home purchase

Before you put in your offer, do some research on the builder. Do they have a good reputation? What else have they built? Did their other new properties have issues such as poor construction or unfinished details?

You like the model home, but will you like where it’s situated? After you look at the home itself, come back to the neighborhood to see what it’s like at different times of the day. Walk around during the day and in the evening, and see how you like the area. 

Brand new communities usually attract similar types of buyers—urban professionals, couples, or young families, for example. These will be your neighbors, so you’ll want to make sure that you want to be part of this new, homogeneous community. 

You may also need to be flexible with your move-in date. Builders will only be able to let you move in if they can meet their construction schedule. If the wiring is delayed, the walls can’t be finished. And because there are so many construction tasks that are dependent on the completion of prior tasks, schedules tend to slip. 

Get more variety and established neighborhoods with an existing home

Existing homes are those that have generally been built and lived in between the 1920’s and 1970’s. With existing homes, you will get more variety in home styles, as different types of construction have gone in and out of style throughout the decades. Within one neighborhood, you may be able to find a mix of different styles, like Victorian, modern Tudor cottages, tract style, ranch or split-ranch, or contemporary homes.

Existing homes are situated in established neighborhoods, which may have more amenities nearby that a new home in a brand new subdivision may not have. Your new neighborhood may have restaurants, cafes, and boutiques within walking distance. 

You might also have access to more supermarkets, dry cleaners, discount stores, and gas stations nearby. An established neighborhood might have a nice park, running path, or playground for the kids to enjoy. You might also be closer to a library or the post office. 

Resale homes can be a less expensive purchase 

If you’re considering a resale home, you may be able to get into a beautiful, unique property at a lower purchase price than a new home. 

There are many more resale homes available than there are new homes — according to the National Association of Homebuilders, about 10 times as many. With such a large pool to buy from, the market for resales can be more competitive. You may have more room to negotiate the  selling price of the home. With a brand-new construction, you won’t likely be able to have the same kind of negotiating power. 

Before putting a home on the market, sellers often make home renovations or remodel parts of their homes to make them more attractive to buyers and to be able to potentially increase the list price. If the resale home has a brand new, modern kitchen, an updated bathroom, or even a new roof or upgraded windows, you could end up getting a home that’s comparable to new construction without having to pay the potential more expensive new-home list price. 

Existing homes have already been inspected at least once on the last sale, so you will know about any potential structural problems or repairs that have been made on the home. Knowing the track record on your potential home will help you avoid purchase mistakes—you’re much less likely to end up with a property that has a rotting roof, dangerous electrical wiring, or a crumbling foundation. With a new home, you could end up with incomplete construction or major issues that you didn’t know about because they weren’t yet documented. 

What you need to do to make a good resale purchase

Before you go too far down the road to a purchase, you can protect your purchase by first having the home inspected. A good home inspector will document all flaws, no matter how small they appear. If the inspector finds any major problems, like foundation cracks or leaky roofs, you may be able to counter offer and get the seller to either fix it or reduce the selling price. 

Even if the inspection doesn’t uncover any major issues, you will need to expect the unexpected. Older homes will eventually need replacement appliances, a new air conditioning unit, or a plumbing repair. As long as you know that before you buy a resale home, you can plan for surprise repairs. 

With an older home, you may want to eventually remodel parts of it. Will you be happy living in your house while you’re doing major work on the living room or the kitchen? If you know that it would disrupt your lifestyle too much, you may want to consider whether you really want to buy an older property. 

Whether you choose to buy a new home or an existing home, the best way to get started is to speak with your trusted real estate professional. We will have access to both new properties and resale homes that may fit your goals, and will know which neighborhoods will serve your needs.

The Guénette Group 




Our nation is in the midst of a shifting real estate market. But even as the buying frenzy begins to slow, many properties are still receiving multiple offers.1

So what’s the best way to compete as a buyer–especially if you’re wary about overpaying?

While a high offer price gets attention, most sellers consider a variety of factors when evaluating an offer. With that in mind, here are five tactics you can utilize to sweeten your proposal and outshine your competition.

We can help you weigh the risks and benefits of each tactic and craft a compelling offer designed to get you your dream home—without giving away the farm.

Demonstrate Solid Financing

The reality is, no one gets paid if a home sale falls through. That’s why sellers (and their listing agents) favour offers with a high probability of closing. 

Sellers particularly love all-cash offers because there’s no chance of financing issues cropping up at the last moment. But all-cash offers are rare, and if sellers are assured that financing will come through, buying with a mortgage doesn’t have to be a disadvantage. 

The most important step you can take as a buyer is to get preapproved before you start looking for homes. A preapproval letter shows sellers that you are serious about buying and that you will be able to make good on your offer.2 

It’s also important to consider the reputation of your lender. While sellers may not know or care about a lender’s reputation, their agents often do. Some lenders are much easier to work with than others. If you’re unsure who to choose, we are happy to refer you to reputable lenders known for their ease of doing business. 

Put Down a Sizeable Deposit

Buyers can show sellers that they’re serious about their offer and have “skin in the game” by putting down a large deposit. This, however, is not the same as a down payment. 

The deposit is typically held in a trust account by the seller’s brokerage or lawyer.3 If the purchase goes through, it is applied to the down payment and closing costs. If the sale falls through, however, the buyer could lose some or all of that deposit, depending on the contract terms.

Deposit amounts vary, but offering a higher deposit can help demonstrate to the buyer that you are serious about the property. We can help you determine an appropriate deposit to offer based on your specific circumstances.

Ask for Few (or No) Conditions

Most real estate offers include conditions, which are clauses that allow one or both parties to back out of the agreement if certain requirements are not met. These conditions appear in the purchase agreement and must be accepted by both the buyer and seller to be legally binding.

Two of the most common conditions are:4

Financing: A financing condition gives the buyer a window of time in which to secure a mortgage. If they are unable to do so, they can withdraw from the purchase and the seller can move on to other buyers.

Inspection: An inspection condition gives the buyer the opportunity to have the home professionally inspected for issues with the structure, wiring, plumbing, etc. Typically, the seller may choose whether or not to remediate those issues; if they do not, the buyer may withdraw from the contract.

Since conditions reduce the likelihood that a sale will go through, they generally make an offer less desirable to the seller. The more conditions that are included, the weaker the offer becomes. Therefore, buyers in a competitive market often volunteer to waive or exclude certain conditions.

However, it’s very important to make this decision carefully and recognize the risks of doing so. For example, a buyer who chooses to waive a home inspection condition may find out too late that the home requires extensive renovations. If you back out of a home purchase without the protection of a condition, you could lose your deposit.5 We can help you assess the risks and benefits involved.

Offer a Flexible Closing Date

When it comes to selling a house, money isn’t everything. People sell their homes for a wide variety of reasons, and flexible terms that work with their personal situations can sometimes make all the difference. For example, if a seller is in the process of planning a significant move, they may appreciate an option to advance or postpone their closing date.

This flexibility can provide a powerful advantage for first-time homebuyers. If you have a month-to-month or easily transferable lease, for example, you may be able to offer a more flexible timeline than a buyer who is simultaneously selling their existing home.

Of course, the value of these terms depends on the seller’s situation. We can reach out to the listing agent to find out the seller’s preferred terms, and then collaborate with you to write a compelling offer that works for both parties. 

Work With a Skilled Buyer’s Agent

In this real estate market, one of the greatest advantages you can give yourself is to work with a skilled and trustworthy real estate professional. We will make sure you fully understand the process and help you submit an appealing offer without taking on too much risk. 

Plus, we know how to write offers that are designed to win over both the seller and their listing agent. The truth is, listing agents play a huge role in helping sellers evaluate offers, and they want to work with skilled buyer’s agents who are professional, communicative, and courteous. 

Once your offer is accepted, we’ll also handle any further negotiations and coordinate all the paperwork and other details involved in your home purchase. The best part is, you’ll have a knowledgeable, licensed advocate on your side who is watching out for your best interests every step of the way.

Helping You Get the Right Offer

In many cases, a competitive offer doesn’t need to be condition-free or significantly above asking price. But if you’re serious about buying a home in today’s market, it’s important to consider what you can do to sweeten the deal.

If you’re a buyer, we can help you compete in today’s market without getting steamrolled. And if you’re a seller, we can help you evaluate offers by taking all the relevant factors into account. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

The Guénette Group


Bloomberg - https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-04-12/home-prices-could-start-to-cool-in-canada-s-hot-housing-market

NerdWallet -

Nesto -

Real Estate Council Alberta -

Loans Canada -


To avoid buyer's remorse, be sure to consider your future self when shopping for a home. 

Most new homebuyers don't regret becoming homeowners. In fact, according to a recent survey by Zolo, 80% of Canadians who purchased a home during the pandemic say they're glad they bought their current homes.1 But that doesn't mean newly-minted homeowners don't have any regrets about their buying choices. 

On the contrary, research shows that even the most-satisfied homeowners would change some aspects of their home purchase if given the opportunity.2 Some question their decision to move to a neighbourhood they still don't love. Others wish they had been less picky about where they lived so they could have paid less. Many are afraid they overspent or think they sacrificed too much in their rush to buy a home. 

According to a new survey by Mortgage Professionals Canada, nearly 80% of Canadians still see real estate as a favourable long-term investment. But a growing number of Canadians also admit to being more financially stressed in the short-term due to lingering fallout from inflation.3  

Here are some of the most common homebuyer regrets we see, along with our professional advice on how to avoid them.

REGRET #1: Spending More Than Necessary 

No one wants to overpay for their new home purchase (and, luckily, with the right guidance, doing so is avoidable). But even if you've secured a winning purchase price, there are still plenty of ways to accidentally overspend. 

One of the most common ways to overpay? Choose the wrong mortgage. In fact, in today's higher-rate environment, this can be one of the riskiest mistakes a new buyer can make. 

According to another survey by Zolo, for example, 75% of Canadian homebuyers leave money on the table by not bothering to shop around for the best rate.4 Depending on your mortgage terms, this mistake alone could cost you tens of thousands of dollars over the life of your loan.  

Many Canadians also put off learning more about their mortgage options and don't take the time to fully understand their loans. As a result, more than a third of survey respondents told researchers at TD Bank last year that they were “confused” about how rising rates would affect them.5 

Lesson Learned:  As long as you stick to what you can afford, buying a home can be a boon for your financial health. The longer you live in it, for example, the more your home is likely to appreciate in value and boost your long-term savings. 

But to get the most value from your purchase, it's worth your time to compare financing options and shop around for the best deal. We also recommend getting a mortgage pre-approval before you start your home search so you know what's within reach. We can refer you to one of our trusted lending partners for help.

REGRET #2: Rushing Into a Home Purchase

In a competitive housing market, it's often necessary to act fast to secure a home. But don't let a need for speed tempt you into making an offer before you've thought through or fully vetted a new property.   

Rushing into a home purchase isn’t just risky, it's also one of the most commonly cited sources of homebuyer regret. According to a survey of U.S. homebuyers, for example, more than 1 in 4 felt remorse over how quickly they sped through the purchase process.2 

Getting swept away by your emotions can also lead to buyer's remorse. If you've found a home you love and are competing with other buyers, it can be tempting to overlook key details or bid more than you can afford. That's one reason it helps to have a skilled professional by your side to calmly guide you through the process and ensure you act with reason, rather than emotion.

Lesson Learned:  Buying a home is exciting. But if you don't keep your emotions in check or act too impulsively, you could make poor choices in the moment that are hard to undo later. 

To avoid making last-minute decisions that could backfire, know what you want, what you need, and what you can afford before you start your home search. We can help you set priorities so you’ll be able to move forward with confidence when the time is right.

REGRET #3: Miscalculating the Costs of Homeownership

Though real estate is a great long-term investment, it can be pricey in the short-term, often surprising homeowners who aren't prepared for it. According to some estimates, for example, annual maintenance could cost as much as 1% or more of your home's purchase price.6 Some buyers also forget to factor in additional ownership expenses, such as property taxes, insurance, and repairs.

Failing to think through the costs of homeownership is one of the most common sources of homebuyer regret. According to the survey of U.S. homebuyers, for example, nearly half of the buyers who regret their purchase said they underestimated how much they would spend to live in it.2 Similarly, Zolo's March 2023 survey of Canadian homeowners found that nearly half of recent homebuyers didn't bother to create a budget before they bought their homes.4

However, some homes cost more to live in and maintain than others. So even if you're certain that you can afford the average cost of homeownership, that doesn't necessarily mean that every home in your price range will fit neatly into your budget. For example, very old homes with unique maintenance requirements could be extra pricey to keep up. Similarly, homes with high condo fees or above-average utility bills could also eat into your monthly budget. 

Lesson Learned:  A home should help you build your wealth, not drain it. So it's important to factor in all the potential costs of living in a home—not just obvious ones like your mortgage payment and taxes. To ensure you don't get overextended, add up your estimated maintenance and repair costs, as well as any miscellaneous expenses that are unique to a particular home. 

We can help you with these estimates—and, if needed, present you with some less-costly alternatives.

REGRET #4: Underestimating the Time Required To Maintain or Renovate a Home

One of the most joyful aspects of homeownership is getting to relax in a home that's all your own. But if a home is too high maintenance, then you may not have time to savour it. 

Many homeowners love to spend their weekends puttering in their gardens or undertaking home improvement projects. But if that's not you, then you may not like living in a home with a big yard or with high-maintenance features, like a pool.

According to another survey of U.S. homebuyers, for example, 47% of buyers who feel some regret about their home purchase complain that too much maintenance and upkeep is required.7 

Similarly, buyers who purchase fixer-uppers are often surprised by how much time it takes to rehab their new homes. Although buying a fixer-upper is a great way to save on the purchase price, you could come to resent it if it eats up all your free time.

Lesson Learned:  Renovation and maintenance projects are often time-consuming and stressful. So beware of committing to a property that requires too much of your attention if you don't have the time or patience for it. With that said, home improvement projects can also bring a lot of joy and satisfaction to owners who like rolling up their sleeves.

We can talk through the realities of homeownership with you and help you choose a property that will fit your personality and schedule.

REGRET #5: Ignoring or Skipping a Home Inspection

It’s easy to get swept up in the excitement of buying a home. Sometimes, buyers will agree to skip a home inspection to sweeten their offer in a competitive market. In fact, according to Zolo's survey, only 36% of Canadian homebuyers hired a home inspector last year.4  However, if you skip out on a home inspection, you could come to regret it.

When you hire a home inspector, you get a professional, in-depth examination of the property’s structures and systems before you buy it. It’s a worthwhile investment that can save you money in the long run, either by warning you away from a bad purchase or by providing a list of deficiencies you can use to negotiate with the sellers. 

But even the most thorough home inspection isn't going to be worth much if you don't take the time to carefully consider it. If at all possible, make sure you’re on-site during the inspection so you can observe and ask questions. And don’t forget to re-evaluate any repairs that the seller agrees to make to ensure they’ve been properly completed prior to closing.

Lesson Learned:  A home inspection can reduce your risk and save you money in the long run. But to maximize its effectiveness, you will need to be an active participant in the process.

We’d be happy to share a list of experienced and trustworthy home inspectors in our area. And when the inspection report is complete, we can help you decide if the purchase is worthwhile and negotiate any relevant seller concessions and repairs.

REGRET #6: Choosing a Home That Doesn't Fit 

Homeownership is often a better investment if you’re willing to stay put for at least five years.8 But if your newly purchased home isn’t a good fit, then you may not want to stick around that long. 

Many homeowner complaints come down to simple lifestyle issues. Although a mismatch may seem small at first, the problems can magnify if you make so many compromises that they interfere with your quality of life.

Or, sometimes homebuyers can fall in love with a beautiful home and forget about practicalities. For example, a stunning kitchen can’t replace a needed bedroom or bathroom. And a sparkling pool may sit empty if the home requires a lengthy commute to your office.

Make sure you set some guardrails during your home purchase so you don’t over-compromise or accidentally prioritize your wants over your needs.

Lesson Learned:  When you’re dealing with limited inventory or a fixed budget, it may be necessary to sacrifice some items on your home wish list. In fact, a newly released survey by CIBC found that nearly a quarter of hopeful homebuyers have revised their expectations of a home.9 But if you fail to secure your must-haves, you could come to regret your home choice.

We can help you avoid an ill-fitting home purchase by working with you to set (and stick to) priorities and parameters before you begin your search. 

REGRET #7: Purchasing Without Professional Help

Another path to homebuyer regret? Foregoing the expert guidance and market insight that you can only get from a licensed real estate agent.

Buying a home without professional representation can be extremely risky. Therefore, it’s no surprise that most Canadian homebuyers enlist the help of an agent when purchasing a home.4 And the vast majority find their assistance to be invaluable: According to a survey of U.S. homebuyers, 89% say they would use their agent again or recommend them to others.10

Real estate is hyperlocal and extremely fluid—especially these days when the market is in constant flux. So it pays to have a knowledgeable expert by your side who can guide you through an often-complicated process. 

We can help you avoid expensive mistakes that could lead to buyer’s remorse, all while making your home purchase as seamless and stress-free as possible. And since the home seller typically pays our commission, there’s no added expense for you!

Lesson Learned:  When you work with a real estate agent, you benefit from a wealth of expertise and on-the-ground insight that you can't get anywhere else. We’ll help you steer clear of the missteps that so many homebuyers make, so you can focus on enjoying your new home instead of questioning your choices down the road.

The best part? Since the majority of home sellers pay us a commission at closing, in most cases, we offer our invaluable guidance and assistance at no additional cost to you!


No one wants to look back on their home purchase and realize they made a big mistake. We can help you avoid the pitfalls, so you can buy with confidence. To learn more about how we work to ensure our clients’ satisfaction, reach out today to schedule a free consultation.

The Guénette Group

The above references an opinion and is for informational purposes only.  It is not intended to be financial, legal, or tax advice. Consult the appropriate professionals for advice regarding your individual needs.


Zolo - 

Anytime Estimate - 

Mortgage Professionals Canada - https://mortgageproscan.ca/docs/default-source/consumer-reports/2023/march-2023_mpc-report_final_en.pdf?sfvrsn=c6b39b60_2 

Zolo -

TD Bank - https://stories.td.com/ca/en/news/2022-06-29-td-real-estate-survey-reveals-38-25-of-canadians-are-confused 

Scotiabank - https://www.scotiabank.com/ca/en/personal/advice-plus/features/posts.how-much-should-i-budget-for-home-maintenance-costs.html

Hippo - https://www.hippo.com/blog/2022-hippo-housepower-report-how-homeowners-are-responding-essential-maintenance-during

Wealthsimple - 

CIBC - https://cibc.mediaroom.com/2023-06-05-Canadians-dream-of-homeownership-persists,-despite-affordability-concerns-CIBC-Poll 

National Association of Realtors - https://www.nar.realtor/research-and-statistics/research-reports/highlights-from-the-profile-of-home-buyers-and-sellers#homebuyers