Saturday, June 2, 2012

Bad Apples

The stereotypical image of the used car salesman is that of a carney side-show huckster. Every car is a 'deal' and each one is 'priced to sell fast'.

When it comes to qualities like honesty and integrity, survey after survey has the used car salesman's knuckles scraping the bottom of the barrel alongside those of politicians, insurance agents and telemarketers.

Is it fair?

Not really. Despite Web sites filled with consumer vents against lying auto salesmen, there's no real evidence that they lie more often than anyone else does.

If a car salesman claims that his lot's signature sedan offers a smoother ride than other guy's, is that any more dishonest than a brand of toothpaste claiming it gets teeth "as white as they can be" or a sign in a café window touting the "world's best coffee?"

Ultimately those well worn catch-phrases become immediate signal that you are being conned in some way. And you immediately get you back up when you see them.

It's the same in real estate these days.

As soon as you see those catch-phrases, alarm bells go off.

One of my favourites is that beauty phrase: 'priced to sell fast.'

When you see that you almost immediate question it.

Such is the case with this listing pointed out by the blog Vancouver Price Drop:

The address is 4875 Skyline Drive in North Vancouver. From the description:
Panoramic view of Lions Gate Bridge, city & water. Enjoy this gorgeous fully renovated stylish home. New roof, new kitchen, new floor &new bathrooms. Infloor radiant heating with heat recovery ventilation system, double glazed brand windows, hardwood floors, too many details to mention here. Beautiful open plan great for your parties. This house present 4 bdrms, 3 full baths, living room & rec room. Entertain your family & your guests here. Family friendly & one of the most prestigious area in North Vancouver. Come & See it for your self. The property is gated with a FLAT driveway & giant grassy yard for the children to play in. Very quiet area. Handsworth Sec School catchment area. Call LS for showing. Priced to sell fast.
Ahh yes, priced to sell fast.

You believe that, right?

But because Vancouver Price Drop makes it their mission to track properties in the Lower Mainland, we now know that the current owners of the house bought the place less than a year ago for $960,000.

Based on the old pictures of the unit, they appear to have done very little in renovations ($100,000 max according to Price Drop).

Next the home is listed for $635,000 more than they paid.

The house sits on the market with no interest being shown in the property and the owners drop their asking price several times over a period of two months.

The listing is then pulled, the price RAISED by $300,000 to $1,750,000!

This tops out at almost $800,000 over what they originally paid... and the realtor has the nerve to advertise the property as “priced to sell fast” in the description?

Would you trust the realtor listing this property anymore than you would trust the man pictured at the top of this post?

It's these types of shenanigans that give good realtors a bad name.


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  1. I was at a party attended by mostly lawyers. At some point a girl strongly stated in a joking manner: Its the 99% that give the rest of us a bad name. That one stuck with me.

  2. Denial - 2008

    Listing price two years ago: $979,000. Listing price now: $599,000.

    “I always figured the market trend wouldn’t catch me,” said Rafael Diaz, the owner and builder. He turned down $770,000 more than a year ago, he said, and has come to accept that he will never get the $700,000 he said he needed to break even. “By the end of the year,” he said, “I might just turn it over to the bank.”

    Pulled an old calculated risk post with lessons we should all learn from. Get out now and keep your money safe.


    And it's still there.

    The real estate industry seems at it again -

    182 E Queens Rd

    Bought in December 2014 and listed in February 2015 at 100-200K more