18 October 2013 ~ 0 Comments

Understanding The Housing Market

Everywhere you look today you can find information relating to the housing market. With the advancement of social media sites, the web and a record number of real estate agents in Canada, one doesn’t have to look hard to find a multitude of articles discussing housing or condos.

But just because you can find it does it mean you really understand it?

Important to note is that almost 99.9% of the information out there on the web or social media is that of personal opinion. How trusted are the sources you use to find this information, and what, if any is the reasoning behind it?

The Ontario Real Estate Association along with the Canadian Real Estate Association have dedicated sites on why you should use the services of a Realtor.  Yes some of you are rolling your eyes right now thinking…it’s a self serving mandate. In part some of it is. But another angle to consider is that both of these organizations are responsible for educating their members, which ultimately they have very little control over how each member interprets the data, as well as how involved each member gets in furthering their own education, training and experience. This is part of the beauty of the real estate industry in its attractiveness to people who choose to get their license.

Some are looking for a new career and are “giving it a stab” (told too me a few month’s ago by an ex-car salesmen), others are looking for the part time job to top up their income or vacation fund. And then there are the committed ones, the ones who are committed to the public, the industry and to them self. I am of these, the entrepreneur who chooses it to make it my one and ONLY career focus.

http://www.wedothehomework.ca and http://www.howrealtorshelp.ca are good sites in getting the point across on why you should choose a Realtor. Yet still, according to the National Association of Realtors most recent stats (2012),  9% of people opt to go it alone. 2012 National Association of REALTORS® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers

Now this number isn’t too far off figures I’ve been told dating back almost 20 years since I’ve been a practicing Realtor, and has actually dropped in numbers. The problem today is when I encounter an unrepresented buyer or seller, in the course of either representing my own buyer or seller, and they think they are experts in the field of real estate!

I won’t go into the many problems with this because really, I don’t give a rats bum about someone who chooses to go it alone. It’s entirely their prerogative. But when it hinders the process or makes them impossible to reasonably deal with, it can affect MY relationship with my client. Trying to unemotionally deal with someone representing themselves should almost be ruled illegal, but we have this damn thing called freedom and democracy which rules us. 🙂

Case in point, the other night I am representing a seller who has nine offers on their home to consider. The process on presenting the offers to me and my client has been told to all nine interested parties. We review the nine offers and now I need to delicately inform the eight who will not be buying this house tonight, that we are working with another offer. One of the parties is representing himself.  As I thank him for his efforts and time and that we have chosen the offer we would like to work with, he refuses to accept this. Now, his offer price was the second lowest of the nine, only which me and my clients are aware of.  Yet in front of a few other close by agents and their clients, he says he wants to speak with my clients the seller (whom he has already had the chance to during his presentation). I inform him that is not an option and thank you once again for your time. He is still not leaving my office reception area and now starts to ask if he can change his offer to more money? A Lot more money by the way! His eyes almost have tears in them and his wife is sitting beside him and I really do feel bad for him. But the process has to be fair for everyone and the eight other professionals all respectively followed the rules. His emotions are making it an uncomfortable situation not only for the agent and her clients who had the best offer and was siting right across from them, but for me and everyone else in hearing distance, including my clients.

There is always going to be a segment of DIY’ers who want to go it alone for a variety of reasons, with the main one being thinking they are going to save themselves some money. Often they don’t, especially when they make it difficult to deal with. Part of an agents job is to shield their client from unneeded drama or stress, and to allow them to focus as best as they can on making the informed choice before them. I’m sorry, buying or selling your own home is incredibly difficult and stressful if you want to do it right! I’ve been a top Realtor in sales volume for the past 12 years and even I don’t sell my own home. I hire an unbiased, emotionally removed professional real estate agent to advise and guide me through the process.

As our industry continues to go through changes I suspect policies will be put in place to better deal with the self represented person, and to protect the integrity and professionalism of the truly committed agents. After all, most people in their lifetimes will maybe purchase a home 2 or 3 times max! All the reading in the world won’t make you a true expert.





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