Monday, 25 July 2011

The Wacky Pride of Parkdale

Parkdale's a wacky place. Just the other day I was standing on a leafy, pleasant street in this emerging neighbourhood with a client who just purchased a property here. I was speaking to him on the sidewalk  when a local Mom, possibly a little on the crazy side, or maybe just looking a little tired from the heat, walked by with her kid in a wagon. As the Mom and 3 year old passed me, the kid wound up and punched me in the leg. It didn't hurt, but it was strange that the Mom didn't turn around to respond to it. Of course,  I didn't say any thing either. Somehow, because I was in Parkdale, I expect that odd things will happen from time to time and I'll just be fine with that.

Nowhere else in the city are you going to find the same mix of cool kids, urban professionals, half-way homes for the mentally challenged and some of Toronto's best rotis in the same neighbourhood.  You would think there would be more friction with this mix, but instead you find inhabitants who are incredibly proud to be part of such a distinct place. They brag about how close it is the to city, and they really own it's gritty side. Case in point: In the Parkdale property my client purchased, the seller explained how she had found a newpaper from the 1920s when she was renovating her home. She offered to frame it and give it to my buyers as a gift. My buyer was thrilled. Just in that act alone, he could see how proud Parkdale owners are of their homes and neighbourhood.

Monday, 11 July 2011

The Unreachable Traveling Seller

In the Toronto world of selling real estate, some salespeople hold back offers in a healthy seller's market to help boost the price, and give the public time for buyers to see the house. I've used this strategy myself. It basically says don't bother giving me an offer until a certain date, usually around a week after the listing. At this point the seller will view all offers. Of course the buyer's agent can come in with a bully offer at any time, but usually every one gets in line, and if there are any offers that come in, they come in on that date. It's fair and straight forward. We're not seeing any offers until such and such a date.

Another tactic that seems to gaining some momentum is the 24 or 48 irrevocable used by the seller. With this, the seller will accept the offer any time but would like to have either 24 or 48 hours to be contacted, and then make up their mind about the offer. During this time, the seller's agent will likely call every one that went through the property to see if they would like to put an offer. The 24 or 48 hours allows the seller agent enough time to drum up a multiple offer situation. 

The bottom line though, the buyer's agent doesn't have to give the seller agent this time frame.  So often there is a popular excuse given as to why a seller can't respond to an offer on the most important sale of their life. That is: They're traveling.  And that's what drive me a little crazy. It's like every one who is selling their home has suddenly left for a remote part of the world where their is no internet, cell access or faxes. I'm sure some people are traveling and do need time. But let's be serious. One look at the mls you would think that a good chunk of people who want to sell a house had decided to do that lion safari in remote Kenya or climb mountains in Nepal at about the time they were selling their house. 

I can certainly see when you're selling a home how this strategy can be helpful. I used it myself when my client was up north at a cottage with no cell access. Honestly! But if I am working for the buyer, it's best to call up the seller agent and see just how accessible the traveling seller really is.