Vancouver Real Estate – What’s The Rush?

Unfair

A first time Vancouver home buyer called to ask if it was normal for Vancouver real estate salespeople to be unfair. Curious I asked them to expand on that statement.

Almost Excited

They were excited! A new listing had come to market which had been sent to them via my HomeSearch notifier. The home, a great looking bungalow on a well positioned lot, was in their budget. Could this be their new home? They were very interested but they noticed that on day one, Friday, there was an ‘agents open’. Then on Saturday and Sunday there would be open houses for public viewing. The kicker – offers would be presented after Sunday’s open house!

How and Why?

Why they asked would the salesperson follow this marketing process? How were they going to be able to make a reasoned, intelligent decision about their life’s biggest purchase in so little time. At issue, the time allotted was, from a practical viewpoint, insufficient to arrange suitable inspection, reflect on the implications of that inspection and last, since this was taking place over the weekend, being able to re-confirm their financing options. The pressure to act quickly and decisively on such a large purchase seemed to them to be unfair! Why the rush they asked?

Due Diligence

For a number of Vancouver home buyers this scenario is revisited time and again. These home buyers often feel the marketing process employed by some Vancouver real estate agents place them in dangerous waters. The methodology used creates within these buyers undue pressure to act on a major financial decision. By its nature the time lines are limiting and as such preclude adequate reasoned due diligence. In effect they are making an immense financial commitment with their eyes closed.

Viable Alternative

An alternate approach that has in my experience proven to provide benefits as great or greater to both the Vancouver home seller and accordingly the buyer, can be straight forward, transparent, and fair. All it takes is a few days and a schedule in which all interested parties get a chance to do their investigative homework, reflect on the results and make a decision to either go forward or walk away from the purchase. Ultimately, the result is happy customers on both sides of the transaction that have been treated fairly.

Legs

To my way of thinking, the house has not got legs. It isn’t going anywhere. Simply, I don’t get the need for a hell bent rush to have a home sell in 96 hours or less. Really, what is so wrong with an salesperson spending a few more hours or days that allow all interested parties to be able to do the following:

  • have complete thorough property/building inspection by a competent licensed inspector,
  • have the time to digest the results of that inspection,
  • have time to consult with contractors, plumbers, electricians to discuss the cost of any repairs that need be made,
  • revisit their bank to assure that financing is in order
  • have the time to see the home in the light of day and visit it at night to see how many ‘daylight dogs’ come out at night when the owners are home from work
  • talk to the neighbours about the neighbourhood
  • check traffic patterns on a weekday
  • physically checkout schools, parks, shopping to see if they are suitable for their needs
  • visit city hall for a cursory check for outstanding issues with the property

Lament

This may all sound like a lament for some lost deal but in truth it is more a pleading for sanity to prevail. Buying or Selling a Vancouver home is a very expensive proposition. It would be nice, something that is seen less in this business, to know that both parties make an effort to extend good faith with an understanding that taking a few extra days to sell a Vancouver home never hurt anyone.

About Larry Yatkowsky

Larry is a recognized real estate expert. A veteran professional, his experienced counsel leads Vancouverites in his west side community to place their trust in a man passionate about his work. Uncompromising ethics bring a balanced approach to realizing your real estate dreams.

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*Disclaimer: Statistics Courtesy REBGV. While believed to be accurate they are not guaranteed.
**Numbers provided may vary as they are dynamically posted by the REBGV.

Reader Comments:

Ray Says:
May 19th, 2011 at 6:52 pm

Finally, not a bad post. I’ve never seen anyone cover this angle before… and I agree with you. I would never buy a place with multiple offers anyways, I only buy in buyers markets. But I could see how annoyed people would be trying to fight an arbitrary deadline.

Jim Says:
May 19th, 2011 at 7:58 pm

Finally. a post I understood. 🙂
What buyers forget ,I think, is the seller too is making a huge life decision and will do whatever, unfair or otherwise, to maximize their sales price.
As for “no hurry” it depends on one’s belief in market direction. I belive its about to fall so I would not hurry.

May 19th, 2011 at 9:30 pm

@jim
I suggest to you that the seller will make as much or more by instructing their agent to allow a longer period in which buyers can complete due diligence. Of course, if the house has latent defects that will be found via a thorough inspection that is another can of worms isn’t it.

Carla Says:
May 20th, 2011 at 10:22 am

We made an offer on a property a couple years ago and got it. We found out later from the owners that ours was only slightly higher than the second highest, but we did not waive our right to an inspection condition on the offer. The second highest offer did waive their right to an inspection.

Not sure if our experience was unusual. The owners did seem like very nice people though.

vangrl Says:
May 20th, 2011 at 12:12 pm

what about Realtors in the last few years not even offering private showings, only offering open houses. God forbid they should commit more than 2 hours of their time to make their $15,000 commission.
Your s;;t out of luck if you have to work on the weekends.
I remember the good old days when you and your realtor picked out a bunch of places to look at and the realtor would pick you up and drive you around to check out the places, sometimes even buying you lunch…..those were the days

May 20th, 2011 at 1:05 pm

@vangrl

re: good ol’ days
LOL!! blame on the computer and the web. 🙂

Whitebear Says:
May 20th, 2011 at 1:51 pm

Why would more time be beneficial to the seller? It’s the urgency created to stir the bidding war among the buyers that will maximize the profits for the seller.

May 22nd, 2011 at 7:44 pm

@whitebear
Until you experience some of the crap that is presented to a seller as boni fide offers during the ‘boiler room frenzy’ you call a bidding war you will find my statement to be questionable. That’s Ok.

From my perspective the time in question allows buyers to come forward in ‘good faith’ to do business. Allowing them sufficient un-pressured time to do their due diligence hurts no one. With the knowledge gained they often are empowered to offer even more for the simple reason that the fear of being ‘ripped off’ during that much rushed bidding war is negated.

Bottom line – it is far better for a seller to have an offer from a buyer that has taken the time and made the effort to inform themselves. Whether the offers are this week or next is irrelevant. You will still have a bidding war.

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