Monday, January 19, 2009

How suite it could have been?

I try not to use this blog as a political soapbox. Sometimes I can't.

In today's TC (H/T to Muriel for the tip), newly-elected Mayor of Victoria Dean Fortin announced a program to create incentives for homeowners to develop secondary suites. The program, to cost $250,000, is meant to add up to 50, yes that's right folks, 50 suites to the pool of rental housing and get the proverbial 3 kids and their mom out of some Gorge Road hotel suite.

The suites are already there Dean, they just aren't suitable for more than two people, and many people won't rent secondary suites to families. The real problem in Victoria is no one officially knows the true number of scondary suites and everyone thinks they are rented, even when they are not.

This $250,000 would have been better spent on a civic registry and database of suites so that Victoria could have a more accurate accounting of rental accomodation and vacancy rates. The current system, courtesy of CMHC, doesn't count secondary suites or investment condos. Heck, it probably doesn't count anything built after 1978.

The suites exist. The problem is the tools to influence the market don't. Everyone thinks there is a dearth of vacant properties in Victoria. That's why new homeowners think it's true market value to charge $800 a month for a mouldy basement bachelor with five and a half foot ceilings. And the lack of true information is why renters in this town grudgingly agree to pay Cook St Village prices for a leaky basement suite behind George Jay school.

Dean's incentive program only applies to residential neighbourhoods like Fernwood, James Bay, Vic West and Fairfield; that's right, take a drive through any of these neighbourhoods and you can see the vast number of suites that already exist based purely on the lack of street parking and the foot traffic headed around the side of homes. How can you possibly add suites to areas already saturated with them?

Dean, you just created a useless nightmare: you'll have no impact on rental numbers or availability and your office will be flooded with irate homeowners pissed because it's hard enough for them to back out of their driveways without hitting a parked car as it is.

Your program will do nothing substantial to help the people that need it: I'd rather support you if you had announced you were going to hand five grand a year to 50 single parent families living in a hotel room to offset the cost to get into market housing. Of course, then you'd have to deal with the irate voters complaining their money will just be spent on beer and popcorn.

The suites are already there; I believe the vacancy is too. Renters just need to learn about this and stop agreeing to pay outrageous rents. This, to me, is a missed opportunity to do something real for a problem that may not be as bad as we collectively think it is. We gave control of the information to the people who have an invested interest in driving prices upwards (higher rents support higher house prices). That was our first mistake. If this program passes, I'm sure it will be mistake number, er, well I'll let you decide if giving himself a $23,000 pay raise after a couple weeks on the job was Mayor Dean's first.

If you agree with me, send Mayor Dean Fortin a note. If you don't, tell me where to go in comments.

47 comments:

HouseHuntVictoria said...

From VicREbear in previous thread:

"I loved this part:

"It's recognizing that we are facing a downturn in the economy; recognizing we at the municipal level have an opportunity to strategically help homeowners, the construction industry and homeowners who have actually bought a home and are now going, 'How am I going to pay this mortgage?' or homeowners who are thinking of doing it but may not," Fortin said."

"'How am I going to pay this mortgage?'" Shouldn't they have thought about that BEFORE taking on the mortgage? Shouldn't the lender have thought about that? Why should my property taxes now go to subsidizing idiots who "buy" houses and then after the fact think, 'How am I going to pay this mortgage?'

I could scream."


Me too. Re.di.cu.lous.

VicREBear said...

Oh - another thing. Is it now so common in Victoria for people to "buy" houses and then after the fact wonder how they are going to pay the mortgage, that the Mayor is planning economic policy based on that as a recurring scenario? If so, the soothing reassurances of our local RE vested interests should be significantly less comforting to the hitherto oblivious masses here.

Nick said...

Luckily as a current renter, I don't directly pay property taxes so my sense of outrage is somewhat diminished. But I really don't think a 25% grant of up to 5,000 bucks is going to spur any new rental conversions. I would think that if you are sitting around wondering how you are going to pay your mortgage, the thought of spending 20 grand you don't have on renos wouldn't really cross you mind. Then again, if you have taken on a mortgage you can't afford, maybe it would cross your mind to spend 20 grand you don't have on renos. :)

I totally agree that getting a sense of the true rental/vacancy rate would be a much better use of government money.

Is there a sort of suite license in Victoria? I looked for that information on the web with no success. You have to register your bloody dog with the city, I'm surprised they don't require you to register your rental accomodation with the city.

Just Jack said...

Actually throwing $250,000 at this problem is too little. All this sounds like is political rhetoric. Its enough money to hire a consultant to give recomendations. Then shelve the recomendations because by the time the consultant has finished the report, the vacancy rate will have improved. The mayor is perceived as doing something where there really is no viable solution.


Every time the market goes through an upswing, afordable housing becomes an issue. When home prices and rents decline, the issue goes away. As in the decades before, the best political solution to the affordability problem is just to delay.


A long term solution may be private/public construction.

The city provides the land. A non profit society constructs the building. The non profit society (elks, masons, odd fellows) is allowed, say a 10 percent, return on the investment. Anything over 10 percent must be rebated back to the tenants when they vacate the apartment. This allows the tenant an ability to get a down payment and should encourage them to move on, thereby freeing up a space for the next person.


Thats my solution - anyone else?

hhv said...

I think they've (Victoria) only made secondary suites "official" or "legal" in the last several years? Suites are still "illegal" in Saanich, but they turn a blind eye as long as no one complains.

I doubt very much if a suite registry system exists.

The problem with a suite registry is that it could lead people to shut their rental accom's down out of fear of increased taxes. You're supposed to pay income tax on suite income, and I'm not sure, but there may be some bylaw issues around zoning and secondary suites (e.g., if you are zoned R2, operate a secondary suite, but only pay taxes as a SFH and not a duplex, could the city come at you for a duplex tax assessment?)

Anonymous said...

Politics sometimes is a big factor for the RE market, like the Olympic in Vancouver (politician showcase); and sometimes is not, like in the US (Obama’s inauguration can’t lift the RE bottom).

The new Vitoria mayor has to do something right away on the red hot issue of homeless in the easiest and most eye catching way. It is understandable. Homeless is like a scar on the face. Around election it has to be covered or make some ambitious plan to remove it. After election – who cares. Effects on the market? little.

hhv said...

JJ,

You get my support. I think that's a great idea.

In the US, many rental construction projects get "free" land, low- or no-interest loans for the developer from the feds and in exchange accept rent control.

This announcement is all about optics. But what's he going to say: "give it time, the market will take care of itself"? Imagine the outrage from his voter base.

B2B said...


The city provides the land. A non profit society constructs the building. The non profit society (elks, masons, odd fellows) is allowed, say a 10 percent, return on the investment. Anything over 10 percent must be rebated back to the tenants when they vacate the apartment. This allows the tenant an ability to get a down payment and should encourage them to move on, thereby freeing up a space for the next person.


I like your idea as well, JJ. I have a similar idea but it would involve establishing "ethical" REITs that similarly limit the returns to investors to about 6% (I would go for something lower than 10%, say double the GIC rate. 10% is pretty racy to expect year after year).

These REITs would build apartments that charge modest rent, since the rent would be subsidized by the limit on yield. But I wouldn't rebate money to the tenants - the whole point is to keep rent low, and if you give money away to the tenants, to take away when they move out, you're robbing the enterprise of its capital.

To me, the "rebate" or reward to the tenant is getting lower rent because the landlord is forced to accept lower yield. Any extra money accruing in the trust would be used to build new apartment complexes.

olives said...

Municipalities are suffering due to drastically reduced revenues and are cutting back their spending. If anything there will be cuts in hiring and services. I'd bet the vast majority of Victoria taxpayers will agree that they don't want to "subsidize idiots" who bought homes they couldn't afford.

roger said...

HHV,

Sorry to be off topic but a news release that just came out of Toronto is very interesting.

Greater Toronto REALTORS® reported 888 sales during the first half of January compared to 1,776 in the first 15 days of 2008. “According to Statistics Canada the economic situation throughout Canada changed noticeably over the past year with job losses in the fourth quarter of 2008. Toronto is not immune to this, the GTA housing market has been impacted,” according to TREB President Maureen O’Neill.

It looks like Just Jacks stats for the first two weeks of January are lining up with those in TO. I suspect this is happening all across the country. Prospective buyers know that we are in recession and are staying firmly on the sidelines.

hhv said...

Interesting Roger. I wonder why they want to release this info? I guess by speeding up the pain they figure they can pull out of it sooner?

roger said...

HHV,

Toronto has been releasing mid-month and month end figures for some time. This works well in a rising market because it keeps the "better get in now" spin rolling. But now it is beginning to backfire.

It is interesting to see what different boards do. In Ottawa, where I used to live, they hardly issue any stats at all. You have to go to CMHC stats to find anything out about the market. Saskatoon releases residential averages which is a mixture of condos, towns and houses. VREB releases a fairly good package but all the detailed stuff (DOM, sales breakdown, ratios etc.) is only sent to those in in the RE industry.

BTW - Have you been on the Real Estate Talks site lately. The bears are running wild over there now. Even a few real estate agents have jumped on the "RE sinking bandwagon".

Anonymous said...

Homeless is an election tool. “ Can we solve this problem? YES, WE CAN”

After the election, “We are doing our best, but we need help from A, B, C…and we need more time, maybe 100 years bla bla…..”

Totally politics.

Nick said...

hhv said: "The problem with a suite registry is that it could lead people to shut their rental accom's down out of fear of increased taxes."

Yeah, that's probably true, although that might be the same for this renovation plan too. They'll have your name and address on file if you apply for the grant.

I've heard that said quite often when talking about checking for code violations in suites too, that people will shut them down if they actually have to comply with the law. It seems odd that we've allowed ourselves to get into a situation where there's such a shortage of rentals that landlords get to avoid taxes and not comply with building codes.

Anonymous said...

The Mayor is nuts, just plain out of his mind.

With THOUSANDS of unsold unoccupied flipper condos coming onto the market as rentals to try and stop the bleeding on THEIR mortgages, the only thing suiting out more big houses will do will make them unsellable at ANY price. People in this market who can afford a big house, want to buy a BIG HOUSE, not a 2 or 3 unit apartment building. And they're NOT interested in providing their live-in housekeepers with their own kitchens!

With rising unemployment, a glut of available rental property flooding the market, rents will be coming down; WAY down as the competition for tenants will be getting fierce and eventually, impossible.

No one in their right might should be suiting out their house NOW, nor even be DREAMING of buying a house with a suite, or worse yet, more than one suite.

The Mayor is clearly insane. Or maybe not. Maybe he lives in Broadmead, where suites are not allowed, and he's trying to pump up the local neighborhood value as the only place people will be able to find a big house that hasn't been ruined.

Anonymous said...

Lets start off by first by not allowing rent and age restrictions in condominium buildings.

Primary dwellings receive a owners discount on their property. How about a discount on property taxes for rented properties. Vacation homes or empty condominiums would not get any discount.

boomer said...

I imagine that some strata councils will be rethinking their "no rentals" "no pets" policies , simply to make their units slightly more marketable......
----most of the older condos in fairfield, james bay, and around the cook st. village have these restrictions. I suppose many of the owners like their seniors ghettos as the are, but may make them even less saleable.

Anonymous said...

According to the CMHC stats I've seen or heard of for Victoria, suites and rental condo market are about 40% of the total rental market, whereas the traditional apartment building (3 suites and more) is the other 60% or so.
I believe these are very rough estimates but a good starting point.

Dumb Canuck said...

Dean is a good guy - his intentions are good. If someone presents to him a true picture of what is happening in the market, then he'll likely make an attempt to understand it. For the moment, he's probably listening to a few construction guys desperate for money, or some people with possible suites.

The true solution is of course to both list the true market data, and prepare for a large number of condos to turn into rentals. Unfortunately those with vested interests don't want to see that occur. When I run into him next, I'll see if I can plant a seed. (and no, I am not politically connected)

Dumb Canuck said...

All that discussion over the last few days on Vibrant Victoria makes me think G-Man is out of the closet. It would fit quite well.

patriotz said...

How about a discount on property taxes for rented properties.

Property taxes are already deductible against rental income. That enough AFAIC.

Why should anyone get a break on their property taxes just for renting out a property? That makes no economic sense. You could have two homeowners rent out their houses or condos to each other to save property taxes.

Muriel said...

I also believe the mayor is coming at this from a genuine intention to find solutions to the lack of affordable rental housing in Victoria. Admittedly I am a supporter, so that's my bias. But part of the reason I support him is because of his demonstrated concern and action on finding solutions to homelessness and the lack of affordable housing - he spent 17 years as director of Burnside Gorge Community Centre, which has an active and successful outreach project for families that are homeless or unstably housed.

I don't think he's listening to construction people or real estate people or stretched homeowners on this - I think he's trying to actually use the tools available to him and that are within municipal jurisdiction. This plan won't solve the affordable housing problem - no one action will, but it could be a piece of the solution.

For those who talk about all the vacant flipper units about to become available, you're not talking about the same people/problem that the mayor is trying to solve. A low-income single parent supporting one or two children can't afford to pay $1,200 for a downtown condo or something on Bear Mountain, and would not be a desirable tenant if they could.

To Anon 1:03 who thinks the mayor is "nuts, completely out of his mind" I can only....sigh. Why do you think this is all about huge houses? There are plenty of people who currently own, or would like to own, very modest size houses - say 1,200 sqft - that have similar sized basements. If more of these were suited, there would be more affordable housing, and we would be creating more compact walkable communities at the same time. I guess you just don't like suites - and that's a political position you have a right to take, but I disagree with it and side with smart growth advocates who support this kind of development.

I agree that we shouldn't try to bail out people who didn't think through what they could afford before they bought, but I don't think this is the intention of the plan - the mayor is coming at this from the point of view of creating more affordable rental housing, and I still think there is a serious shortage of that. If the plan also helps out some current or future homeowners, bonus.

Also, HHV, on the salary increase, some more informative recent background here, but as point of information:

TC,Dec. 2, 2008
"When fourth reading comes up in two weeks, council, in effect is simply formalizing a decision that was reached by a previous council."

My recollection is that though not finalized, the proposal from the independent panel that recommended these compensation changes (including elimination of tax free allowances) was already voted on by the previous council and known to the public before the November civic election - so people who cared enough to pay attention and vote did have an opportunity to express their opinion and cast their ballots accordingly.

Anonymous said...

Muriel, you can support it all you want, but 1, those condos aren't going to be renting for anywhere near $1200 when this is all finished, and 2, 75% or more of all suites in large houses are going to sit for years, unoccupied.

You simply can't make judgments based on the way things have been since the 80's. This is an entirely new paradigm.

To come close, you have to go to the 30's, and demographics and the situation was so different here then that it's hard to even fathom what we will be facing.

More suites is exactly the opposite strategy that needs to be taken when several thousands of unsold condos are going to be coming online as very, very cheap rentals in order to compete for a decreasing number of tenants once unemployment reaches Depression peaks.

Not to mention the smart renters that will have left the market by saving their money and being able to buy the houses they want at pennies on the dollar.

In Detroit, right now, ANYONE can own a house.

Victoria is going to need far LESS rental property; not more.

Anonymous said...

That is absolute bunk...The new condos are not suddenly going to sit empty, people will continue to move here - like it or not, and the rental market will remain relatively tight. Affordable housing remains a problem just as it has been for 30 years.

As for a number of other misconceptions or comments:
1. The city was attempting to register all suites (through business permits) and this appears to have been dropped. Who would that cost be passed on to?
2. Rental income less expenses from suites is fully taxable. Anyone not reporting positive income from suites is at the very least grossly negligent, maybe even fraudulent. CRA takes a very dim view of this and applies significant penalties, even criminal charges, to those that break the law.
3. We have a legal suite in our home. The city does not charge us extra as a duplex. We are billed for extra garbage pickup and we pay for additional water and sewer - these are both usage based charges and are both passed on to the tenants as additional rents.
4. Someone suggested not allowing rental and age restrictions in condos. These are PRIVATE properties, the owners bought there because this is what they wanted; the city has no business attempting to further influence these properties. Do you want the city telling you have to do with your basement? It's no different.

5. Tenants do pay for costs including property taxes, water and sewer, heating, hydro, CARBON taxes, garbage collection, etc etc, it just happens to be included in most rents. These costs are easily adding up to $350-$500 per month. Total overall costs (not including mortgage interest) on a small rental property should be no more than 30% of gross. The direct costs associated with our suite is at least $400 per month. How much rent do you think is reasonable - if you don't like $1,200 per month, contact the City and the Province regarding their constantly increasing taxes. They are out of control.

And no, I'm not going to have an empty suite anytime soon - unless I decide to use it as a very large rec room, which is possible.

Anonymous said...

Well anonymous 6:29, we happen to live in a society and that society protects those less fortunate. And if that means, passing a city bylaw that opens up those complexes that discriminate based on age and rentals then that is too bad for that complex.

olives said...

Funny, Muriel is saying a low-income parent can't afford to pay $1,200 for a condo, and yet Anon @ 6:29 is saying $1,200 is reasonable for his/her basement suite.

In that case, how are more of these high-priced basement suites really the solution?

Anonymous said...

The 'affordable' rental market is tight but not the rental market.

Check out Used Victoria, Craigslist, UVIC website.

There is no shortage of rentals and even more will come on line when the builders have to rent out some of their new condos because the banks are breathing down their necks.

I don't believe that there will be so many people moving here that all of these new condos, houses and basement suites will fill up but thinking this seems to help people believe that the status quo will be maintained.

S2

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:29 said: "That is absolute bunk...The new condos are not suddenly going to sit empty, people will continue to move here - like it or not, and the rental market will remain relatively tight. Affordable housing remains a problem just as it has been for 30 years."

rofl... and real estate will keep going up forever, and Victoria has the best climate on earth, and all the baby boomers who are unable to sell their houses elsewhere at any price will be moving here and paying top dollar in perpetual bidding wars, and first, and foremost, WE are an ISLAND, and we HAVE NO MORE LAND (except for multi millions of acres of forests soon to be dead because of beetles.)

And no, I'm not going to have an empty suite anytime soon - unless I decide to use it as a very large rec room, which is possible.

News flash: You're going to have a very large rec room, and very soon, I suggest you COUNT ON IT.

And when you do, I guarantee that second postage stamp kitchen will grate on you every day of the rest of your life, but you'll never yank it out, because "one day, you'll see, the South will rise again, Rhett, and the renters will come back. You'll see! You'll see!"

rofl

Denial... it ain't a river in Egypt; It runs north-south right through the center of the Saanich peninsula.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone else been on MLS lately and seen the large amount of empty houses and condos up for sale? There appears to be a larger amount then usual.

S2

patriotz said...

A low-income single parent supporting one or two children can't afford to pay $1,200 for a downtown condo or something on Bear Mountain, and would not be a desirable tenant if they could.

Yeah OK so the $1200 condo gets rented out to someone who can afford it. But what happens to that person's former rental? It has to be rented out to someone who can afford that. Keep on moving down the chain and you get to an apartment that has to be rented out to the single parent, because there isn't anyone left to rent to.

Or to put in more sexy terms - if there are 50 guys and 50 women in a nighclub and 10 supermodels walk in, how many guys get a better looking dance partner?

This isn't just theory - US markets that have seen overbuilding are seeing rents go down across the board.

roger said...

anon 7:46 said,

Well anonymous 6:29, we happen to live in a society and that society protects those less fortunate. And if that means, passing a city bylaw that opens up those complexes that discriminate based on age and rentals then that is too bad for that complex

The city does not have the legal right to override an existing strata property contract that has been legally entered into by property owners.. The BC Human Rights Act does not allow discrimination of tenant older than 19. However occupants of units in a strata can be restricted to 55 or older via a strata corporation bylaw and this has been upheld by the courts.

omc said...

What will really affect the rental market is the same reason that the unemployment #s are so low in this town to begin with. There are very few jobs on vancouver island. If you loose your job here in a recession, you had better move on quickly. It happened to me when I was younger and less experienced in the last downturn (early 90s). I look back on it and it wasn't really a negative as I was given far more responsibility and gained far more experience in Vancouver than I could have ever dreamed of here.

We will soon be back to the old saying of "Victoria eats it's younge".

hhv said...

I follow a local REALTOR on Twitter. According to him, he has had two accepted offers in two days and has a third in the works. He thinks buyers are "coming out."

Maybe he's right?

Are Victorians' not feeling recessiony? Are prices too compelling?

roger said...

HHV,

Sure buyers will "come out" with the low interest rates tantalizing them. One has to remember that many people want things right away once they start thinking about them. However, they still know that prices are going down and so the savvy ones are lowballing. I have seen some good haircuts this month.

We need those buyers out there lowballing. That is the only way prices will fall. I am happy to hear agents talking about "deals" because it is a sure fired way to get price expectations lowered.

But many more potential buyers will stay glued to the sidelines. The BOC firmly stated today that we are in recession. Your old pal Helmut said the unemployment rate will rise to 6.7% in 2009 and 7.5% in 2010. Then the news that BC Ferries (considered a "safe job") has cut 35 non-union positions and the union is next. And to top it off the TSX has fallen two days in a row - over 400 points.

roger said...

The TC has another "we are different here article".

Optimism outshines gloom of recession

A young woman spent $240 -- mainly on cat toys -- in a pet shop and salon yesterday to celebrate her pet's birthday, said Tamara Kourchenko, co-owner Bark, Bath & Beyond Pet Boutique, 2041 Oak Bay Ave..The shop opened Nov. 5. "Our business is doing really, really well," she said.

Peter Leitch, chairman of the Motion Picture Production Industry Association, is also optimistic, saying, "I think it will be very comparable to 2008 and, hopefully, even slightly stronger."

Meanwhile, "We're as optimistic as it gets here," a cheerful Jessica Moulson said yesterday on the opening day of a new business, Vibes Fitness, 1821 Fort St.

Media reports are scaring people, said Ali Laal, who with wife Debbie, opened a new People's Pharmacy at 890 Head St. on Thursday. They already own PharmAesthetics on Quadra Street.

"There is no recession. I don't see any evidence," Ali Laal said. The current environment is "fantastic" for opening a business but it's difficult to find staff in the tight employment market.

mln said...

That article is bang on!

It's okay if the construction industry falls apart, we'll just fall back on the lucrative pet store and retail pharmacy industries. Why didn't we see this earlier?

Anonymous said...

Don't buy real estate - buy a car!

B.C. auto sales bomb.

Sales of new cars and trucks in British Columbia fell 31% in December from the same month in 2007 and 9.6% for the entire year, the worst drop in percentage terms of all provinces, according to DesRosiers Automotive Research.

Anonymous said...

"A young woman spent $240 -- mainly on cat toys -- in a pet shop and salon yesterday to celebrate her pet's birthday..."

Obscene. She should return $230 of that "merchandise" and give the refunded money to the SPCA.

Victoria needs an enema.

Anonymous said...

More hard hitting news from the TC. I await the obama-gasm in tomorrow's tc.

Anonymous said...

"There is no shortage of rentals and even more will come on line when the builders have to rent out some of their new condos because the banks are breathing down their necks."

I personally do not believe we will see mass rentals by developers. As soon as they rent their units (subject to certain rules) they have to self-assess GST on their units. On a $400,000 unit we're talking a GST payment per unit of $20,000 less possible builder rebates. That buys a lot of rents.

From there, there are untold numbers of income tax and bank requirement consequences around renting these developments instead of selling them (not to mention Strata Property Act requirements such as seed money for strata fund.)

Even at that I'm over-simplifying. This is a topic that could take a full month to get to the bottom of and is not as simple as, "OK it didn't sell, let's rent our $400,000 condos for $1,600 per month." Insurance, management fees, property tax, new appliances all around. They may as well walk away.

What is more likely is a mass sell-off, so get your cheque books shined up.

Anonymous said...

Yes, very true. A massive sell off. I agree. Are you thinking of an auction scenario?

S2

Art Vandelay said...

Muriel, you conveniently avoided mentioning that Fortin was a member of the previous council that voted itself that obscene pay hike. He, like all politicians, is a parasite.

@ anon 7:46 a.m.'s notion that the world-improvers and do-gooders should be able to negate private contracts when it suits them, thanks for rreminding us what dangerous maroons lefties are.

And I don't know whether HHV's realtor friends is dealing the truth, but as of Monday there were 102 board transactions. I suppose this realtor could have 2-3 of the projected next 50. Somebody has to be selling whatever few units are changing hands. But I talked to a fellow broker today. We tried to guess how many hundred of the 1400 Victoria realtors will be turning in their licenses in the next 45 days. I hear they're lining up at the Vancouver board to quit.

patriotz said...

I personally do not believe we will see mass rentals by developers.

NFW will developers rent, and the overriding issues are cash flow and financing. There is simply no way that they will be able to get or service financing on rental yields that are as low as they are now.

If it made any sense for developers to rent, they would be building rentals to start with.

They will sell the units for whatever they can get, and if that doesn't cover the construction financing, it's bankruptcy time.

hhv said...

Art,

I was wondering the same things about the claims... for one guy in a city of 1400 to make 2 or 3 deals in a month that will have a hard time hitting 200 total deals... well... seems either he's salesman of the year or...

we'll see at the end of the month if they go through or not.

roger said...

HHV,

I don't find it at all unusual that an agent makes a couple of deals in a slow month. The better agents are always doing better than those who are sitting around waiting for the phone to ring.

If an agent maintains good contact with buyer clients, keeps on top of new listings and price reductions, takes duty agent assignments, engages folks at open houses, advertises and participates in community activities they will make sales. If they are used to getting a listing, putting it on MLS and sitting back waiting for offers their career days are coming to an end.

roger said...

Further to my last post....

Also if a buyer's agent is ready and willing to lowball and not concerned about what the listing agent might think of them personally they can also do well. Sellers are nervous now and if you want a condo or townhouse you will find a seller that will accept a lowball. If the lowball is accepted you can bet the buyer's friends will be contacting that agent for a similar deal.

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