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Let me start with a disclaimer: these are my personal views and don’t necessarily reflect the views of Bosley Real Estate. But if asked, I’m guessing a lot of Toronto realtors would agree with what I’m about to say.
Brendan and I became real estate agents because we saw and heard a lot of negative stories about Toronto realtors. It seemed there had to be a better way. From the very beginning, we’ve run our business with integrity and honesty (“no BS, no fridge magnets”). I’m sure that’s hurt our short-term income, but I’d like to think it will be good to our business in the long run. And we can respect ourselves in the morning.
Now onto the rant... True story. Prices have been changed to protect the guilty (but the net price changes are the same).
- A nice, fully-renovated home in a good neighbourhood for first time Buyers
- Listed $700,000 45 days ago
- Reduced to $600,000 within the first 30 days
- Now priced at $400,000, offers being withheld to generate a bidding war.
There are rules to protect consumers from misleading advertising. Advertising a price nowhere near what you’re prepared to accept sure sounds misleading to me. What would happen if a grocery store advertised milk for 25 cents, and when I went to pay for that milk, they said ‘Actually, we won’t accept 25 cents for that milk, you can’t buy milk for 25 cents anywhere in this city. We just advertised that price so you’d come to the store, but we’ll accept $1.99 for it?
I fully understand the strategy of under-pricing a house by a few thousand dollars to generate interest – we still have a low inventory of houses in Toronto, so often, it is in the Seller’s interest to ‘let the market decide’. But pricing a house by hundreds of thousands less than you think it’s worth, isn’t cool. If you aren’t prepared to accept your listing price, then it shouldn’t be your listing price. Period.
Don’t get me wrong, there are thousands of professional and ethical real estate agents out there. I work with some truly amazing people. But then there are those that ruin it for us all.
On behalf of the good Realtors out there:
I’d like to apologize to all the Buyers who will get their hopes up about this house this weekend.
I’d like to apologize to those who will spend $500 on a home inspection thinking this house is truly within their price range.
I’d like to apologize to all the Toronto real estate agents who will waste countless hours showing this property and preparing offers the Seller has no intention of accepting.
And to the Sellers: I think you’ve done yourself a disservice. I hope no one shows up for your bidding war and the game you tried to play comes to light. And for the record, your house isn’t worth anywhere near the $600,000 you think it’s worth.
It’s funny, earlier this week I got a message from someone I met at an open house 3 years ago, who regularly reads this blog. He was complimenting my approach to business, and finished his note with these wise words: “Ethics are supposed to be profitable. Ethics are the new bacon and bacon is the new black.” I couldn’t have said it better myself.