How to Read and Decode a Toronto MLS Condo Listing

 

If you are looking at one of these property information monstrosities called a “Toronto MLS condo listing” than there is a good chance that you’re already know what type of property you want and already working with Realtor who sends you these annoying daily market updates. You might have no idea what half of these terms mean since you are not yet familiar with Realtor lingo. Not to worry. You are in the right place. Let’s decode it. To make this endless list of terms easy to digest I highlighted the most important parts.

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Top part of the Toronto MLS listing

  • Price and Address
  • Taxes— Annual taxes are calculated based on MPAC assessment. Make sure that the year of the tax amount is current. Sometimes agents enter tax amounts from previous years which can be substantially lower.
  • DOM— Days on the market. The longer property sits on the market, the higher your chances of negotiating the price and terms of the deal. TREB indicates an average of 30 days on the market in the month of July, 2015 for resale condominium apartment in Toronto.
  • Bedrooms — Number of bedrooms. If there is (0)or nothing indicated then it’s probably a Studio Apartment. If there is (+1) after the number of bedrooms it indicates that there is a Den.
  • Washrooms— First digit is the number of washrooms and the second is the number of pieces in each washroom. 1X4 (Sink, toilet, shower, tub), 1X3 (Sink, toilet, shower OR tub), 1X2 aka Powder Room (Sink and toilet).
  • Level — Indicates the level (floor) of the unit. In Toronto it does not necessarily match first digits of your unit number. There are numerous condominium towers in the city which don’t have 13th floor or any floor with “4” in it (Considered an unlucky number in Chinese because it is nearly sounds like word “death”). So that unit 3905 which you really liked might in fact be on the level 35.
  • Property Mgmt — Property management company. As much as quality of management in the building depends on residents and the property manager on site it’s still a good idea to do some due diligence on property management companies in Toronto. Some of them do have a bad reputation.
  • Occup — Indicates whether the unit is currently Vacant, Tenanted or Owner Occupied
  • Possession — Indicates a perfect closing date for the Seller.
  • SPIS — Seller’s Property Information Statement. Document which is sometimes completed by the seller of the property with all known information about it. Usually completed for houses and not for condos.
  • Corp# —Legal registration number of the Condo Corporation
  • Unit# — Number of the unit.
  • Zoning — Zoning information. Mostly relevant when dealing with houses. Usually is included for use by Lawyers and Realtors.
  • Dir/Cross St — Closest major intersection
  • #Shares% — This is only applicable to Co-ops
  • Locker# — Legal description of the storage locker if it is included in the sale. Usually is included for use by Lawyers and Realtors but most of the time is left black.
  • Rms — Total number of rooms. Sometimes agents count combined living and dining room as two separate rooms. Thus don’t get too excited about 1 bedroom condo with 6 rooms:-)
  • MLS# — MLS number for internal use or a quick reference .
  • Bldg Name — Name of the building. Usually left blank by lazy Realtors:-)
  • Status Cert — Indicates whether a Status Certificate is already on hands or it has to be ordered. Your lawyer or Realtor usually will take care of it.
  • Pin# — Property identifier used by the City

Mid part of the Toronto MLS listing

  • Heat — Indicates the kind of heating system which is used in the building
  • Apx Age — Approximate age of the building. Usually a range. Ask your Realtor should clarify this info
  • Apx Sqft — Approximate square footage of the unit. Usually a range. Could be clarified through MPAC
  • Sqft Source — Source from where the square footage was obtained. Oftentimes includes what is claimed to be an exact size but always has to be clarified
  • Exposure — Which side is the unit facing? East, West, North or South. Crucial piece of information if there is a highway or railroad nearby
  • Pets Perm — Indicates if the pets are permitted.
  • Locker — Indicates if the locker is owned or rented.
  • Maint — Indicates monthly maintenance fees (aka Condo Fees)
  • A/C — Indicates if the unit has an air conditioning
  • Elev/Lift — Indicates if the building has an elevator. Something to watch for in older low rise condos.
  • Taxes Incl — Indicates if property taxes are included in condo fees. Usually not but there are some cases with older Victorian houses which are converted in 2–3 unit condominiums where you’ll find taxes included in monthly maintenance.
  • Heat Incl — Is the cost for heating of the unit included in condo fees?
  • Cable TV Incl — Is cable TV included in condo fees? You might find such cases in older buildings.
  • Bldg Ins Incl — Indicates if the insurance for the building and its common elements is included in condo fees.
  • Com Elem Incl — Indicates if the maintenance of common elements (building amenities and common spaces) is included in condo fees. Unusually they are included.
  • Retirement — Is the building a retirement home? Believe it or not but some Realtors will send you these years before you might actually need one.
  • Water Incl — Indicates if cost of water consumption is included in condo fees. Rarely it is not included.
  • Hydro Incl — Indicates if electricity (hydro) is included in condo fees
  • CAC Incl — Indicates if electricity (hydro) consumed by A/C is included in condo fees
  • Prkg Inc — Indicates if the maintenance fees for the parking space are included in condo fees.
  • Balcony — Is there a balcony? What kind? Is it Juliette, Open or Terrace?
  • Ens Lndry — Is there a laundry in the unit? Some older condos have laundry facilities downstairs or in the hallways.
  • Park Type — Indicates if the parking space is owned or rented
  • Park Spcs — Total number of parking spaces included in the listing
  • Bldg Amen — List of amenities in the building. Usually not all of them are listed due to limited space. Your Realtor will provide you with full information.
  • Kitchens — Number of kitchens
  • Fam Rm — Indicates if there is a family room. Usually left at (N).
  • Basement — Indicates if there is a basement. Not applicable to condos.
  • Fireplace/Stv — Does the unit have a fireplace?
  • Assessment — The value at which MPAC assessed the unit. Usually left blank
  • Spec Desig — Indicates if the building has a special designation. For example it might be partially or fully considered as a heritage building
  • Central Vac — Is there a central vacuum system in the condo? Never seen one personally.
  • UFFI — Urea Formaldehyde Foam Insulation (aka very very bad stuff). Usually the field is left blank and is not applicable to condominium apartments.
  • Cert Level — My best guess that it has something to do with environment. Usually it is never filled out.
  • Energy Cert — Indicates if the building has green energy certificates
  • GreenPIS —Same as “Cert Level”. Something to do with environment.
  • Lndy Lev — Indicates the floor on which laundry facilities are located
  • Exterior — Indicates the material of the exterior walls
  • Park/Drive — Location of the parking space. Underground or above ground
  • Park $/Mo —Additional monthly fees for the parking space if applicable
  • Prk Lgl Dsc — Legal description of the parking space. Usually included for use by Lawyers and Realtors but most of the time is left black.

Lower part and description of the MLS listing

  • Room description — Contains sizes and short descriptions for most of rooms excluding washrooms or any type of hallways.
  • Client remks and Extras —Usually contain a detailed description of property features written by Realtor representing the Seller

In the very bottom you will find the name and contact information of the listing brokerage representing the Seller.

Good luck with your search!

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