Published on Thursday, May. 20, 2010 12:48PM EDTLast updated on Friday, May. 21, 2010 1:49PM EDT
The GTA’s new homes market has reached a significant milestone. Anyone with a family income of less than $100,000 a year and a down payment of 10 per cent or less doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in July of qualifying for a mortgage on any condo with a price tag greater than $410,000 or a detached home costing more than $450,00. Continue reading →
“There are good real estate agents who provide value. The problem is that the good ones are the exception rather than the rule. There are two basic problems:
1. The rate of commission for what is done; and 2. The rules that allow the agent to represent both the buyer and the seller (this one is practically criminal).
1. Rates of commission – take a house in North Toronto that sells for 1,500,000. At 5% this would be $75,000.00. An agent would have to add more than $75,000 worth of value to justify this. Very few do. Most of the value the agent provides is to get the property into the MLS system. That said, you no longer need an agent to accomplish this. (If you add both the Ontario and Toronto land transfer taxes, the costs to buy and sell this house are approximately $125,000. The bottom line is that agents and taxes are contributing to property inflation. It’s time for agents to go or at the very least justify their value.)
2. The rules that govern real estate agents allow them to act for both the buyer and the seller. Under the common law, the agent owes a fiduciary duty to the client – in most cases the seller. But, by allowing the agent to act for the buyer at the same time, the real estate agent cannot and does not act in the best interests of the seller. Rather, the agent acts in the best interests of the agent (who could have known?).
It is the dream of every agent to both list and sell a house (“double end” the transaction). Since, this can be done only by acting for both the buyer and the seller, it is clear that that it is the dream of every agent to NOT act in the best interests of the seller client.
Charlottetown — Globe and Mail Update Published on Wednesday, May. 19, 2010 7:50PM EDTLast updated on Thursday, May. 20, 2010 7:00AM EDT
Gordon Ives is the sort of customer who keeps real estate agents awake at night: a former customer.
Last year, after several years of trying to sell his Charlottetown home through an agent, the retired banker decided to change tack and find a buyer on his own. He calculated how much a conventional sale would cost him in commissions and sliced that much off his asking price. Four months later, it sold.
Net cost to him of selling it himself: zero. Net cost to the real estate industry: about $15,000 in lost commissions – and one client who is determined never to use an agent again. Continue reading →
Ontario drivers who refuse to pay their share of more than $1 billion owed in outstanding speeding tickets had better watch their property tax bills.
The government last year gave municipalities the power to tack unpaid speeding tickets onto property tax bills, says Attorney General Chris Bentley, although he isn’t sure if local governments are pursuing this collection method yet. Continue reading →
Some homeowners who were waiting for their gardens to spring to life before they listed their houses for sale are wondering if they would have been better off planting a sign on the lawn in the barren days of February and March. The answer, most likely, is yes. Continue reading →
That’s the total value of Toronto’s 573,948 single family homes, according to the property assessments, although in our current, overheated real estate market the actual sales figure could be 20 per cent more. That huge number is based on an exclusive Star analysis of the Municipal Property Assessment Corp’s (MPAC’s) property assessment data. Our number-crunching provides a snapshot of Toronto real estate that’s never been taken before, and has unearthed some startling statistics: Continue reading →
OTTAWA — Marie-Yvonne Paint, a real estate agent in Montreal, has the kind of problem most of her counterparts in the United States can only dream about.
“We have a shortage of inventory right now,” said Ms. Paint, who focuses on the exclusive and expensive municipality of Westmount. “It’s very annoying. We have buyers ready to buy and not much to show.” Continue reading →