Agents & Clients Watch Too Much TV

Agents & Clients Watch Too Much TV

couple-watching-tvI’ve noticed a trend lately. Real Estate agents think they are on TV. All these shows that are infiltrating the sphere of influence out there are bad for people buying and selling Real Estate.

Real Estate transactions can go on for months at a time bey the time you start looking until you move in. Then If there are renovations, it could take even longer. These shows do it in an hour. It gives people looking to buy and sell Real Estate an unrealistic view of the process, and also the value of these renovations and staging.
Many of these shows get their material for free because they give the provider or contractor promotion at the end. They also put some sort of manufactured pressure on agents (rookie) to perform like a clown. I’ve noticed that agents are performing like they were on T.V., I don’t get it, but its happening.
The most important thing about these shows is that they are manufactured. I know many people who went on these shows and I have participated in a few which are totally manufactured. In some cases the transaction was already done.
In my experience, they wanted to me to downgrade the house these people were living in. I was very shocked when they told me that they wanted me to say that. They also wanted me to say that they should sell the house because it was too much to fix. I took the couple aside and told them not to sell their property and that it was worth more.
MLS For Everyone

MLS For Everyone

There is a big debate & lawsuit happening right now regarding the biggest MLS system in the country. This lawsuit could become a model for all of the MLS systems in Canada.

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The US has already adopted a free information system which many Real Estate Agents in Canada are trying to prevent.
First it was the ability for different Real Estate models to post mere listings on the service. Now the competition bureau is going after your information. They want to release all data, all home information, all previous sales to the public for free.
The argument the Toronto Real Estate Board is making is that they are saying it is a breach of your privacy that anyone can go on there and access that information. I do agree with that portion of the argument. I’m sure some spy or devious Illuminati will eventually get this information and use it for evil.
Here’s the thing, I’m an agent, I pay for all these privileges, and I don’t like that it will be free for all. While thinking about this conundrum, I had a serious thought about what the world would look like if that information got loose. Buyers would be able to educate themselves without an agent, and they could possibly go do deals on their own because they have a new set of info, and they will also be able to check out how much their friends bought and sold their house for. I’m also sure that there will be a lot of lawsuits regarding privacy etc.
In my second thought, I thought about what my job is. Is it really to grab sold data and give it to my clients? Well My thinking is that my job to tell them what has just sold, but my job is really to crunch the data in accordance with what we are looking at. My job is also to negotiate the best deal for my clients based on that information and other information I gather, also my job is to guide my clients to the best decisions and provide them with a list of ancillary services, like a lawyer, mortgage broker, inspector etc. The most important thing I do is use my experience to make their transaction a good one and guide them in the steps to doing one. There’s more but I won’t bore you.
Now if my clients are better educated it might change the way my clients come to me but having more data can only make the process better. I know some agents prefer stupid uneducated clients who they have to hold their hand.
If the only thing that I do as an agent is take information off a website and give it to my clients then I don’t deserve to be an agent, and the clients that come to me shouldn’t.
How To Win A Bidding War! Plain & Simple

How To Win A Bidding War! Plain & Simple

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Toronto’s market is getting crazy. Houses are going for over asking, partly manufactured by Real Estate Agents, and partly by buyers who will stop at nothing to win a fight!

1. Get Pre-Approved for a mortgage, and be 100% sure you will not get turned down. Before you put an offer in, send the listing to your broker or banker, and double check they will finance this property without any finance condition or appraisal. Have a backup plan in case you need some more money, like a line of credit, or mommy & daddy. This will allow you to drop the finance clause.
2. Pre-Inspect: Usually agents are not taking offers for a few days, if that’s the case sellers will let you do an inspection before you buy the house, with your own inspector. While it might cost a few hundred dollars and time to get this done, it could save a lot of money after the fact. This will allow you to drop the inspection clause. The only problem is this could get costly if you lose a lot of bids.
3. Be prepared to go above asking: Make sure your agent is checking comparables, and what’s for sale now to determine what the real price should be for this house. Don’t get fooled by asking price.
4. Put Your best offer. Some presentations only go one round or two. The best thing to do is go all out remove the clauses, and give it your all. Of course if there is two rounds, they will ask if you want to go higher. This is typical. You could save a little for this second push, if you have that little bit extra, but I’ve been to negotiations where there hasn’t been. You usually find out before.
5. Have a Great Agent! This is key, an experienced agent will be able to gage the negotiations, ask some questions and determine what it might take to get this deal done.
There is a flip side to all of this. After buying this house and winning, did you overpay for this house. Are you willing to live with that. Sometimes it could take years to recoup that overpayment, in some cases not at all. You could end up losing money years down the road when you want to sell the house. Just because you can win the war, should you?
Inventory Lower Than Normal

Inventory Lower Than Normal

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With prices in the Greater Toronto Area skyrocketing this fall and winter, you would think that more people would be listing their house for sale. There are a few reasons why there isn’t more inventory out there and why it may be a while before the crazy Real Estate year of ’14 is slow to get started.

1. Weather Weather and more bad weather: The winter storms have been crazy this year. It seems as though there is a major storm every week or so. This will deter people from listing their house. Its a major factor right now. Expect this number to significantly go up as the weather gets hotter.
2. People think the market hasn’t gotten high enough: Every time there is an up swing in price or market craziness, there are always a bunch of sellers that think the market hasn’t gotten to its highest peak. I’d like to let you in on a secret, nobody knows when the market will peak, when it does, it’s already getting lower.
3. School year: Most sellers want to wait for the school year end to be a bit closer. Nobody with kids want to move now, there’s too much going on with March break etc. Expect the peak month for listings to be in April.
4. Interest Rates: Some people are waiting to see what the interest rates are going to be. Some might wait until they possibly go lower. The reality is that the interest rates may go higher rather than lower.
5. Neighbourhood Sales: There may be a few properties in the area that are similar and are for sale right now. People wait until those sales are final in order to act and see what price they got for their house. If it looks good then the comparison starts and more inventory shows up.
In years past Toronto has had a balmy winter which jumped the busy Real Estate season early. With the way that the weather is going this year, expect another 5 months of this stormy bad weather and a slow but steady Real Estate market until it gets hot!
Crazy Theories About Buying or Selling Real Estate

Crazy Theories About Buying or Selling Real Estate

Selling or Buying a House or Condo can be a very, I stress, very stressful time. As an agent, I try to reduce that as much as possible. In most cases its just a matter of patience and time before a buyer or house comes. You only need one buyer or one house to buy.

With this stress of buying or selling a house, I notice many people instead of listening to their Real Estate agent, they start listening to their friends who know nothing but what they heard on the news, or they start making up theories as to what to do next.
Here are a few things that I’ve heard that people under stress have told me.
1. We need an open house every week. While “an” open house is good to bring a few people in, open houses weekly, just looks desperate. It got to a point where these people wanted me to sleep over to have daily open houses to anybody driving by. I kept telling them their house was overpriced from the beginning.
2. More Showings = Sold House: Do you need 150 noisy neighbour  showings on the weekend, or do you need 5 interested people who qualify to buy your house and make an offer on Monday?
3. We Can Do This Our Selves: While some people may be able to sell or buy their own Real Estate, (Shameless promotion coming) I think its crazy to think that. One of the reasons why I think its crazy is that there are so many rules and regulations, lawsuits, marketing, appointments, phone calls, countless hours of paperwork, referrals of other services etc.
While some people can sell or buy their own Real Estate, I don’t recommend it. Hours upon hours of training, years of marketing schooling, photography, video, and of course negotiation, and there is much more. nuf said!
4. What’s The Difference Between you and the Next Guy: I always say the same thing. I’m Kit from the future & their Pinto from the past.
5. This is an agent thing but its funny. “Free Market Evaluation”
When did Agents charge for evalutations? What year was it?

6. “I’ll Never Buy or Sell this house”. While there may be struggles with either side of the transaction, I’ve never had a solution that couldn’t solve these problems. The crazy thing would be to do the same thing over and over. Either the market changes to buy or sell a house, or your plan will change. Either or, it will get done.

7. My house is worth more! Everybody thinks their house is worth more. In some cases upgrades will increase the price, but generally speaking everybody thinks that they should sell their house high, and buy a house low.
8. Foreclosures: Everyday, I get asked to be put on the foreclosure list. Banks are not stupid anymore. They will price the house according to market conditions, unless you live in the U.S., or in a really struggling market. THE BANK WILL NOT LOSE MONEY.
9. A House on the market for a long time will accept less money: Generally speaking there are a few reasons why a house will stay on the market, the first reason being that it is overpriced. The second being that it’s overpriced and there is something wrong with it. The Third reason being its overpriced & The owner is not gonna budge.
10. We Should Limit the Amount of Pictures or Video. I’ve heard this from agents as well as sellers. Try to keep the mystery about the house. All this does is expose your house to people not interested in your house. If your house is not desirable to people looking at photos or videos, then there is something else wrong. Price, Location, market or anything else could be the reason for your house not selling. MLS limits photos to 9 anyway.

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