I had a little help with this one, I will admit.
A few readers emailed me over the past week, one as recent as Thursday, taking issue with, um, how will I say, “real estate practices.”
So in no particular order, here are some of my recent real Estate Pet Peeves.
Sold in Zero Days!
A reader emailed me about this during the week, and I’ll admit, I’ve seen my fair share of this.
I mean, the agent could simply lie. That’s easy, and there’s already a ton of that going on.
But for the (somewhat) honest agent, there’s an alternative.
When you receive an offer on the property, and successfully negotiate to a firm sale, simply terminate that listing, then re-list the property anew.
Zero days on market!
This was recently done in North Toronto where the listing DOM, or “Days On Market” for you non-MLS junkies, reads a proud zero.
So this agent, technichally-speaking, can claim to have sold this property after zero days on market.
And even if he or she didn’t take that route, which I still expect most agents would, the TREB stats would show zero days, as would the IMS stats; IMS being the third-party company that takes our data and sells it back to us, seemingly with TREB’s blessing.
Is this tactic about stats, or is it about ego?
Personally, I don’t care about “Days On Market” as a stat because I have three different listing strategies that all result in different DOM:
1) List for an immediate sale, whether you have a 24-hour holdback, or expect the first 1-2 people through the door to pay full ask, or more.
2) List with an offer night exactly seven days later.
3)Over-list with a built-in cushion for negotiation, knowing that a 3-4 week sale is likely.
Sold Over Asking!
Is this still going on?
I was musing this afternoon that most agents are always six months behind the market, and we see this when they demonstrate zero knowledge of current market conditions. Either the market is red-hot, and they’re coming out of a slow market whereby they don’t see how hot their listing is, or they’re holding back offers on a property that’s probably going to take weeks to sell at their current price point.
Agents can be clueless, and I don’t understand how some agents out there still think that “sold over asking” is a feather in their cap.
Back before the “under-price and hold back offer” strategy became commonplace, you would actually see the odd property sell for over the asking price. This was often a testament to the agent’s hard work, either by stalling the offer-in-hand to wait for another, or by working the phones to drum up other interest, or simply by negotiating the pants off the buyer-agent and getting that agent to bid higher for no reason.
But that was then, and this is now.
And when you take a $1,000,000 house, list it for $899,900, and sell it for $1,000,000, do you really think people want to hear about how you sold the property for 111% of the list price?
More to the point, when you laughably under-list a property, say, a $1,500,000 house for $999,900, hoping to get 50 offers and waste people’s time, do you really take pride in marketing that you sold the house for over 150% of the list price?
I think it turns people off.
It’s so pointless, and so old. I think it makes these agents look self-congratulatory, and out-of-touch.
Seller Reserves The Right To Accept Pre-Emptive Offers Without Notice
Remember the spring of 2017?
Remember when the market was absolutely insane?
Remember when pre-emptive or “bully” offers were rampant?
And remember how some listing agents decided they were going to deal with them?
Rules are rules, but back in early-2017, a lot of listing agents decided they simply didn’t care. When it came to protocol for dealing with pre-emptive offers, they simply threw all that out the window.
If you receive a pre-emptive offer on a listing, and if the seller decides to work with it (ie. forego the scheduled “offer night” a week later, and sell the property today), then you must notify every person who “expressed an interest” in the property. That means contact agents who have booked showings, whether they have conducted that showing or not.
In early-2017, listing agents started doing this:
And it was chaos.
The argument was simple: “Oh, sorry officer, I know I ran that red light but I said that I was going to do it. Bye!”
Listing agents felt as though so long as they disclosed that they were going to break the rules, that this made it okay.
There were essentially two reasons for doing this, and neither of them involved working in the best interest of the seller-client:
1) Looking to double-end a listing.
I don’t know which reason is worse, honestly.
But guess what, folks?
That screenshot above is from a listing that came out on Thursday, and it’s one of many like it.
I was filming my Pick5 on Wednesday, and came across another listing that had this disclosure, and I went nuts. On camera, no editing, I just left it there for people to view. As I said in my video, I can’t understand why this isn’t an automatic $10,000 fine. It’s been TWO YEARS since agents were told not to do this, and they’re still doing it. It’s so disrespectful to cooperating agents and to the buyer pool, and it simply spits in the face of TREB, who clearly isn’t doing anything about it.
FYI – if you ever see anything you don’t like on an MLS listing, email [email protected] and report it.
Buyer To Verify
What are we?
As agents, I mean. What are we?
Are we professionals? Are we competent? Are we people who deal with others in good faith, and with fairness, and integrity?
Do we do our job to the absolute minimum of our abilities, or do we strive to something better?
Because frankly, I’m tired of seeing this in MLS listings:
It’s lazy, ignorant, and insulting.
As a listing agent, one of your jobs is to verify the information pertaining to your client’s listing; the client who has hired you, and is paying you, to represent their best interests.
If you are too lazy to look up a few numbers, and/or verify them, then what is your value?
And folks, don’t believe this is something it’s not – this is far, far from anything that would every hold up in court! You can’t just write, “Buyer to verify taxes,” and then detail the taxes on the MLS listing as $2,000 per year, when they’re actually $5,000 per year, and then say, “Too bad, so sad.”
So why even bother with this?
Well, because agents are stupid.
And to be honest, and blunt, the same agents that think they can write “Seller Reserves The Right To Accept Pre-Emptive Offers Without Notice” and get away with it are the same ones writing “Buyer To Verify Measurements.” And they aren’t mid-town agents from reputable firms, that’s for sure. Read into that however you want.
The idea that a listing agent can detail on a listing that maintenance fees are $350.00 even, when he or she has no idea what the fees are, and hasn’t checked, is absolutely beyond comprehension.
I feel dirty just writing this. God I’m mad.
Feeling You’re Smarter Than People And Trying To Turn A Negative Into A Positive
What does a listing agent say when you ask for a copy of the home inspection, and they haven’t done one?
A few things come to mind:
“I’m too cheap to do one.”
“My sellers don’t want to reveal all the things wrong with this house.”
“I don’t really know much about listing properties, so it never occurred to me that this might be a good idea.”
All of those statements are likely true, but that’s not what an agent would say.
The most canned response is:
“The seller has elected to allow the buyers to perform their own inspection, at their convenience.”
Oh, well then!
If that isn’t a load of BS, then I don’t know what is.
This absolutely reeks of “Piss in my ear, and tell me it’s rain.” I can’t think of any better way to put it.
It’s taking a negative and trying to spin it into a positive, sounding absolutely stupid in the process. There’s not a human on the planet that would hear this and think, “Oh, wow, well, that’s really nice of the seller to allow that, and very thoughtful with regards to the buyers’ convenience as well.”
So take this a step further, dumb it down more, and you get this:
This is like saying, “Termite-Filled House Represents Fantastic Opportunity For Buyer To Convert To Non-Termite House According To Wishes And Desires.”
Don’t insult us with this crap. Buyers are too smart for this, and it turns them off.
No words needed here:
Basic Data Entry
I’m no genius, but $899,900 looks like a lot for a parking space:
One Plus Media
You’ve all seen my video about the condo den, right?
Well, that last one isn’t true. Not to toot my own horn here, but you’d remember if you saw this:
You know I hate how the idea of a “den” has become this stupid, tiny, useless room in a condo.
But do you know what I hate even more?
This notion of “media.”
A true “plus one” on the MLS listing was always intended to be a below-grade room in a freehold, hence the “5+2” rooms, or the “3+1” bedrooms. Then when condos came along, the “plus one” was intended to be an “almost-bedroom,” ie. a den.
So you’re used to seeing this on a condo listing for a 2-plus-den:
That’s fine, we’ve adopted to that.
But this idea of “media” as an accepted “plus one” is not okay with me.
What is a “media?”
I’m sorry, but that desk pushed against the wall is nothing.
It’s a desk pushed against a wall.
Just because pre-construction condo developers have invented this stupid notion of “media” to further exploit naive, unassuming consumers and have them pay a higher price in the process does NOT mean this needs to carry over to MLS.
We cannot have this “media” described on MLS as the new “plus one.”
And of course, by “we cannot have,” I mean, “we already have.”
Weekend, you can not have come soon enough…
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