Saturday, March 23, 2013

Information: three real estate agents who are stepping up to the plate

Have you ever noticed how so much of the real estate industry seems geared towards sellers? 

When it comes to buyers, the industry (on the whole) seems to obsess with whipping them into a frenzy and urging them to snap up property at going rates (or higher).

Who is there to guide their interests and provide them with the data they need to make critical decisions?

This is why critics the frankenumber HPI.  As Garth Turner recently said, "the HPI is to houses what moving averages are to stocks. Instead of telling you what properties sell for now, it tells you what they averaged over time. Realtors love this since it filters out peaks and valleys, making markets seem serene and predictable. But the HPI is as useless to a serious buyer as a four-month-old stock quote is to a trader."

As credit tightens and the easy marriage of sellers with hyped up buyers becomes a distant memory, there are astute realtors who realize buyers need quality information about what is going on in the market today. 

And there is nothing more important than information that gives them both an accurate view of current pricing and information which reflects current market momentum – elements critical to an informed home-buying decision.

On Thursday we showed you how realtor Larry Yatkowsky is now providing median prices of Vancouver homes which, while imperfect, is a tremendous asset for buyers.

Yesterday we profiled the latest market report from realtor James Wong who gives a frank, upfront assessment of the current market conditions.

And today we bring you two of  'Alphabet Arnie' Shuchat's latest contributions.  The first is the Top Price Reductions on Homes for Sale in Richmond.

(make sure you click on the link to see the full list. Screen shot only shows part of the list)

And the second it AA's Biggest Price Declines for Homes in Greater Vancouver. From Arnie's narrative:
A list of every price reduction in the Greater Vancouver market within the Real Estate board of Greater Vancouver (not Fraser Valley) within the last 7 days. I have included the addresses of every price reduction in excess of 5%. To be honest, the current number may only be an indicator of original delusion and may not "yet" reflect a "deal". The property could well have started off too high. I would have to look at each property specifically to see if it could be called a "deal". But the list is a starting point for interested shoppers. You can search the details of the addresses of interest by going to the "Properties" tab on our homepage and clicking on "address" search. I appologize if you are unable to determine what the selling areas are, but they are all encoded. If you are interested further, do not hesitate to call. Shockingly, the total list for the last 7 days for all price changes amounted to 244 properties of which 149 were in Richmond!

It's the buyer's biggest ally and there is tremendous opportunity ahead for agents who go out of their way to service this need.

(Note: we would be remiss to overlook a shout-out to Realtor Paul Boenisch who provides the daily inventory stats we use on the right of this blog and whose motto is "knowledge is power")


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  1. Makes me wonder, seeing the current market conditions(i.e. low sales volume) and the lack of information/representation for buyers if there might be a good niche market for a realtor to take advantage of it.

    Marketing yourself as a 'buying only' agent could potentially bring in a lot more business, at a time when sales are low and finding the buyers is the hardest part of the job - and couple the service with above industry standard information disclosure to clients.

    1. Excellent point.

      Someone who provides reams of marketing data combined with strategic advice of, not oly the best deals, but advice counseling against buying at a given time based on portfolio and market conditions might be an unrealized opportunity.

      Think of it like a sports agent for prospective homebuyers.

      If well done,

    2. It's about time buyer realtors started to earn their keep. I can drive myself to open houses, write my own offer (no you don't have to use the "official" forms), and negotiate my own price, but what I can't get is comprehensive market data. In the US they at least have Zillow, which while far from perfect, and far from replacing realtors, provides at least an order of magnitude more information and analysis than your average Canadian realtor does.

  2. Thank you, and many thanks to those realtors.

  3. We have been looking at retiring and moving back to Vancouver for quite some time. Have been searching GVCR and Fraser Valley, contacting realtors on specific properties. Number one question always is assessed value. The minute I broach the subject of price erosion interest from the agents disappears. There is a serious misconception in the RE industry. Its the buyers that have the money, not the sellers. Pay attention to us-we are the ones that pay your commission.

    The days of order taking is over. You are going to have to earn the buyers business. The only agent we are interested in is the one who treats each sale like it is his/her own purchase and wants the best possible deal available.

    1. Seriously Anon? I am not sure where you are looking, but I am itching so much more to go hunting than to be the hunted right now. It's a safari and the sellers are the wildebeasts. They just haven't figured out if they have to cross the water yet. Many are only 2 years into their 5 year mortgage..... wait until they discover they'll have to go for an insured mortgage (max=$1mill) to refinance. Be pre-approved; be available and be ready to pounce. It is guys like you that can make this market efficient.

  4. Now this project go us excited - new product - 20% off. I contacted the realtor and he said that they were 97% sold out. All the units we were interested in were gone.

    See the info below from a prior whisperer blog...

    ...'Our last offering for you is the condo development at 2300 Kingsway. This is the site of the old Eldorado Hotel and Mulhern's Irish Pub.

    Ya gotta feel for the Mulhern's, the simply waited too long to make the real estate play here.

    The townhouse at 4858 Nanaimo (1228 square feet) was listed for $499,000 and sold for $395,000.

    Another at 4878 Nanaimo (40 square feet smaller) listed for $499,000, reduced to $449,000 and sold for $401,000.

    With over 50 units left to clear out in this development, it's fire sale time.

  5. " Have you ever noticed how so much of the real estate industry seems geared towards sellers?"

    Isn't that the way that the contract works? The Realtors are actually in the "employ" of the sellers? Isn't it the responsibility of the Realtor to get as much as possible for the sale of his "employer's" asset?

    OTOH, I have only dealt with a couple of Realtors and I cannot even remember their names. Although each house was memorable, the agents were not!

  6. The RE industry is geared toward buyers. Without buyers there would not have been a bubble. Buyers fueled this bubble. Buy now before you're priced out buyers. 0% down 40 year term buyers. Kids on the way nesting hormones buyers. Buy 10 units at a time pre-sale buyers. Buy and flip buyers. Buy and hold for the long term buyers.

    Those buyers have run out. The RE has to look for new buyers. Homeownership % is highest it's been in decades. Who's left?

  7. I've just had a re-freshing chat with that realtor I mentioned here who's selling an investor-held unit in the OV. He told me that Rennie has applied to the City to have certain, hand-picked units at the OV reduced by 20%. Can't find any substantiation on that but Whisperer, this guy is very straightforward and has insight into how investor bulk buying works. I'll pass on his co-ordinates if you want them.

  8. As the city of Canada is open to start any kind of business,regulations and restriction should make into practice for any kind of real estate agent.If it's not,it will affect the goodwill of
    largest brokerage firm
    in the country.

  9. Hi Whispers, this is the news worthy of mentioning in a separate blog:

  10. Thanks to Realtors who always give their customers a right information about the current marketing business values.