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Toronto realtors warned on handling of pre-emptive offers in red-hot market

This problem is wide spread through the GTA market. Many agents and brokerages ignore the law and ethical guideline or just don't care. Most believe they are free to do whatever they want because nobody is watching and they are immune from any consequences. In many cases Buyers are treated very very badly because the listing agent illegally communicated an competing offer price to their own Buyer or a favoured Buyer agent. This is very hard to prove but it definitely happens. On the subject of this article, viewing pre-emptive offers without notifying other interested Agent/Buyers is self serving and does not do justice to the Agents Seller clients. In the end the Seller is in most cases highly impressed with the eventual sale price as it is usually much higher than their asking price so they will believe that their agent did an outstanding job when in reality they shut out many Buyers who may have paid more money and they broke the law by not keeping all interested parties informed of the offer presentation process ( a duty they are expressly required to do ). They do this not to serve their client under their role as Agent but rather for self centred, greedy reasons which are in direct violation of their legal agency duties to their clients.
In my view The Real Estate Council of Ontario should invite Buyers and Licensed Registrants who have legitimate complaints on these matters to make their complaints as soon as possible and devote resources to fast tracking investigations and convictions while it will make an immediate impact. Not 6 months later when many many more incidents will have impacted Consumers.


Some sellers’ agents say they will no longer notify other interested consumers when their client decides to entertain a pre-emptive bid, and not wait for the date they set to consider all offers.

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So much of the Real Estate Industry advertising expenditure is directed at Self Promotion. While the homeowner who may be considering selling their home may be highly impressed that their home is being presented in print or other media. They very often look no further for an Agent. However if you look at the motivation of the agent you might reconsider your choice.  Their goal is to promote themselves. The idea is to present themselves in a way that implies great success whether that is true or not. But the reality is that most property listings if well-presented and reasonably priced will sell in a relatively short time. If your agent is pushing their huge cranium ahead of your home, It is for selfish reasons the "movie star” syndrome. Need for attention, narcissism whatever the reason but it is not aimed at selling your home. If it were directed at selling your home, there would be a large clear photo of your property with a very well written, well thought out ad. Not the generic and usual 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms and Stunning Decor!

At 10, 20, 30 Thousand plus commission you deserve better promotion which is directed at selling your property not someone's huge glamour head taking the attention off away from the property that they were entrusted to sell. 

The point! When selecting your Realtor do not stop at the agent with the greatest amount of advertising. Truly great representation is far more involved than just placing a small ad in the local paper.

Interview and ask direct questions

You deserve the best service and the best results!


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Have you ever heard the saying “the more things change the more they stay the same“? In my 33 years in Real Estate many, many things have changed. I remember when the fax machine was a new and revolutionary development. Now 33 years later we transmit information and documents globally within seconds and take it for granted.


In the 80’s and for decades before, there were many more registered Real Estate agents than the Industry required to service the amount of business. Now in 2016 there are still many more agents than the Real Estate Industry needs to service the number of transactions.


In nearly all other service industries the work force is generally “right sized “to meet the demand.

Why then does the Real Estate Industry continue to be burgeoned with far too many Sales People than economic realities would justify?


The reasons are many and varied, but the most prevalent reason is that Real Estate has a relatively low Education Requirement as opposed to many other similar financial Industries. It also has relatively low costs to become licensed, remain licensed and remain current with all the governing authorities having jurisdiction over the Industry.


The reason above was a much larger factor in the past, but the evolvement of the “ desk renting “ phenomenon has transformed most brokerages from centering on Sales Production and enjoying a commission split from each sale, to renting out office space or in many cases a desk, or just access to basic office facilities. The owner broker focuses on collecting fees from the agent and is much less concerned with sales. The more agents that the brokerage has under their umbrella the more fees that are collected.


Some of these Brokerages make it relatively easy and inexpensive to remain in the Industry and in many cases, Sales People remain for many years paying the basic costs and producing little to nothing in the way of sales. Therefore gaining little to no practical experience or guidance. It is very easy to remain licensed in the Industry if you are otherwise employed or have a spouse who works. Some just exist in the Industry to justify tax deductions on their vehicle etc.


The Industry, from the governing authorities to the various Real Estate associations and Real Estate boards, encourage maintenance of the higher numbers as the high numbers provide employment security to all of them.

Is this good for Consumers of Real Estate Services? I say generally no! However it is not a simple answer.

As there are many Sales People who might do only a few transactions a year, but are diligent and keep up with education, many other changes and who do an excellent job on each transaction, there are also top producers who do not do a particularly good job but have managed to brand themselves in a way that brings them a vast amount of business.


While the number of salespeople and brokerages gives the consumer a lot of choices it also creates a lot of hidden pitfalls.


I believe that the time has passed where the Industry should be less concerned with harbouring an unreasonable number of sales persons than making sure that each operating licensee is qualified, educated, available and has the management back up in place to facilitate good business AND trustworthy  practices in each and every transaction. The current system allows many agents to work at other jobs, be unengaged in the industry for months, even years but remain legally eligible to handle a transaction on their own.


As a consumer of Real Estate services one should expect that the sales person they have chosen has a reasonable level of knowledge and experience to know how to handle their business in a professional and knowledgeable manner. Should the Consumer not expect that if that agent is committed to a full time job in another industry, hadn’t been active in Real Estate for months or perhaps years, didn’t have direct back up or support from their Brokerage, perhaps had never handled a Real estate transaction ever on their own, that this should at least be required to be disclosed to the Consumer to allow them to make an informed choice? Yet it is not required!

This is exactly the reason why the numbers of Agents in the industry needs to be finally “right sized “, and the remaining Sales People need to be completely compliant with the law. A requirement for Sales Persons to fully disclose any factors that might affect their availability or ability to carry out their duty in a reasonable manner should be implemented.


The Consumer is blind-sided to realities and often ends up the wrong Sales Person. Often the results are very costly and very often the Consumer never knows.


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