Open Question: Realtor pitches to sellers.

In the spirit of ‘ask VHB’ I’m posting an open question received via email regarding what realtors are saying to potential sellers in Vancouver these days:

We’ve all heard the realtor mantra ‘Buy now or be priced out forever’ but what are realtors saying to those that are on the fence about selling?Is there anyone out there that has sold recently that can enlighten us on what the sales pitch is on the other side of the market? The upsurge in listings recently in conjunction with the now obvious bad news in the United States suggests that they might be pushing for sellers to enter the market now in an effort to maximize revenue and commissions before the bottom falls out of the market.

I don’t know if ‘buy now or be priced out’ is a realtor mantra, I think its more of a general fear amongst potential first time buyers, but I’d be interested in all angles of this question: if you’re a realtor are you finding it easier or harder to find sellers? If you’re looking to buy or sell what are you hearing from realtors? Is there any discussion about the US market popping up amongst local realtors?

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Rob Chipman
Rob Chipman
13 years ago

pope:I find that younger Realtors tend to work buyers more (they know fewer owners, after all). Older/more established Realtors do both, depending on their personality. That said, listings are picking up again for us.If I had a client who wanted to sell any time in the next five years I'd quiz him a bit before I proceeded. If he was selling due to age (cash out) I'd list now. If you're in your 70s it's harder to wait for the next uptick if we're at the top now than it is to forgo an additional 5%-10%-15%. Selling due to terminal illness and estate clean up, same thing. Sell now, leave cash for heirs, unless the heirs are active investment types. If he was selling because he thought the market was going to correct, I'd talk about arranging financing at today's… Read more »

the pope
the pope
13 years ago

Rob: I agree, thats why I said "I think its more of a general fear amongst potential first time buyers" rather than a 'realtor mantra' in the original post.Are your realtors finding it easier or more difficult to find properties to list these days? Inventory is certainly going up, but it looks like quite a lot of expired listings are being put back on the market.If you had a client that wanted to sell any time in the next five years would you say now is a good time or advise them to wait?

Richard
Richard
13 years ago

"…When housing prices rise one of two things happens: incomes rise (wage inflation) or housing prices drop"Oh! So that's why my wife got a 50 cent increase per hour this year! And all along I thought it was just because she was doing a good job.

Rob Chipman
Rob Chipman
13 years ago

Pope:I wouldn't say "buy now or be priced out forever" is a Realtor mantra. I'm sure some use it, but I haven't actually heard it aside from out of the mouths of potential buyers on blogs. When housing prices rise one of two things happens: incomes rise (wage inflation) or housing prices drop. domus aureas:"Chipman knows about facts as much as anyone else……why do you think the sudden hurry in completing his flip/conversion"?Now THAT is funny! If you're concluding that I'm flipping my house then you're obviously not too bright. If you're not too bright with that deduction, I think it makes your subsequent conclusions somewhat suspect as well. Keep 'em coming!

duck
duck
13 years ago

Is that for real?yessirree, dont think i made a mistake on that one.

the pope
the pope
13 years ago

duck: Those anagrams are priceless, I'm having a hard time believing the 'buy now' one, but I dont' have the energy to check. Its too perfect. Is that for real?

duck
duck
13 years ago

more little known facts:realtor can be rearranged to: rear lot, roarlet, err a lot, rat role.realtors can be rearranged to: star role; loser rat.real estate agents can be rearranged to: a satan gee letter; a tartans glee tee; a gentle tease rat.Vancouver house prices can be rearranged to: Our Sun perceives havoc; Chaos uncover pee virus; Voice nervous purchase; Purchase our vices oven.buy now or be priced out forever rearranges to: Peon overbid, rob future, cry, woe.

duck
duck
13 years ago

Most of realtor in canada are very niceon this i agree. but lots of people are nice. indeed, lots of things are nice. For example, "what a nice car.", "have a nice day", "hey, nice bruise you got on your face, dude".mostly, nice relates to niceties which has the connotation of diplomatic exchanges; this of course focuses our thoughts on insincerities.and this is how i see realtors … as insincere. so when you say realtors are very nice, i read that as very insincere.i've been fooled every time by them.little known fact: if you combine and rearrange the letters in nice with the letters in rinse, you can make insincere. i think there is a hidden message here, but i don't have a clue what it is.

satv
satv
13 years ago

20 HOURS ( with realtor)CANADIAN REALTORSHonest ,trustworthy, reliable,Most of realtor in canada are very nice,They give us Idea estimate and round the clock advice free when ever we need.Hire a lawyer and pay as you talkHire a realtor pay only when sales finish.Some time we need patience and education to understand them but most of time they are acurateOk Realtor1 it was my first purchase only 4 month on current job and I purchased one bed room suite I never understood how does that happen.now its been 10 year and I am thanking that realtor who also convinced broker and brought him in my house.Realtor2That was second purchase 4 partner after the deal finished I realize that he hose us on the deal as he help us hook up with mortgage broker we have to buy high risk mortgage but… Read more »

tulip-Mania2
tulip-Mania2
13 years ago

Boom, Duck, keep an eye on the local media. The "usual suspects" will begin to pump out reports from the "impartial think tanks" on how Vancouver is insulated from the rest of the world.They usually start on Thursdays, we will know soon how much trouble the industry is in, if they start spouting the touchy feely bs, about how homeownership is about kids, and puppies, and of course it’s a long, long term investment

duck
duck
13 years ago

I on the other hand feel the need to tell out loud at the mall about:the default tsunami!dearest tulip, i expect a well-travelled blogger such as yourself will have seen the latest post on CR, but just in case you haven't, it fits in well with your "default tsunami" post.Click on the second map for a glimpse into the future:http://tinyurl.com/32a95r

Boombust
Boombust
13 years ago

Yes, Tulip. As Trudeau said, "Perhaps the universe is unfolding as it should."

tulip-Mania2
tulip-Mania2
13 years ago

If you bring up the US market, the local realtors will use: "the standard Chipman maneuver" and tell you they are not experts outside their area.I on the other hand feel the need to tell out loud at the mall about:the default tsunami!PS It won't be long before I no longer have to post:Tick Tock, Tick Tock

Jesse
Jesse
13 years ago

domus aurea all good arguments.re mortgage troubles. Yes I think there will be trouble here too though I cannot see it being as wild-west as down south. That said, I have concerns over the risk of "stated income" on some Canadian mortgages.re employment. Your point is valid. I am having a hard time separating employment from the loan profligacy. We can say that if unemployment went higher the problems in the US would be way worse.re family loans. This will never "dry up" completely. I guess the argument is whether it is more prevalent now than before. There is a big hump in the population that chooses to work but could retire, likely more than 10 years ago."Speculative markets collapse under their own weight."Yes but the market is not entirely driven by speculation. There are still people that can afford… Read more »

rentah
rentah
13 years ago

jesse: “The three primary factors are that mortgages are generally not in trouble here, employment is high, and FTBs are being helped out by their families.''Speculative markets collapse under their own weight.Sure, a reversal of the 'Goldilocks' picture will speed that (and is also inevitable), but this market could crash with all the things you list remaining the same. Exhaustion of rate of demand.

domus aurea
domus aurea
13 years ago

“The three primary factors are that mortgages are generally not in trouble here, employment is high, and FTBs are being helped out by their families.''Jesse:thanks for the pointers.As for point 1, i think it is a matter of time before we start seeing some serious mortgage troubles here. I feel that here, like the US, many people leveraged their position under the assumption that house price increases would rescue them. If appreciation stops (even if prices do not go down) lots of people will find themsleves in high, stormy waters.As for point 2: high employment is true also in the US. In fact i think the US is experiencing levels of low unmployment unprecedented in the past 30 years. I guess what matters is really your income vs your liability: having a job is no guarantee of meeting your repayments… Read more »

Jesse
Jesse
13 years ago

My motives are irrelevant though economics for me is a hobby. My happiness is also irrelevant. But thanks for caring. :)FWIW, the chances of me being right are far below 50%. There are extremely compelling arguments for prices to go down but playing devil's advocate never hurts.

ReductiMat
ReductiMat
13 years ago

jesse, if you are so sure of yourself, why do you constantly visit this place?I imagine your life would be a whole lot happier otherwise. Unless, of course, you're in someway addicted to cortisol.

Jesse
Jesse
13 years ago

"If you have any arguments supporting your views I'd be glad to hear them"The three primary factors are that mortgages are generally not in trouble here, employment is high, and FTBs are being helped out by their families. Any can change and will precipitate a correction but I personally don't think it is this year. I still think prices will be up 5% from the 06 peak this year.You are right that eventually the market must move below the average, or the average has to change. Consider if there are any structural changes that could have caused the average to change.If you pare back everything but the necessities, food, clothing, and shelter (mortgage), how much could your mortgage be? I think that is the absolute affordability wall if someone really wants to own property. Don't know how many people are… Read more »

domus aurea
domus aurea
13 years ago

Jesse:if I was you I'd be much less smug. Anyone can be wrong: however this call is rather simple to me. Any further appreciation will only result in a larger crash. If you have any arguments supporting your views I'd be glad to hear them: but it seems that all you do is repeat that the market is always right and will never cease to go up……

Jesse
Jesse
13 years ago

At this time of year, like most other years, Realtors are making educated guesses about pricing. It is akin to the murmor before the opening bell (see the movie Trading Places). You will see prices over the map until actual transactions of the new inventory sets the price. Remember this is not an exchange market:- There is a multiple day lag to present pricepoints and changes, as well as to present actual sale prices, to the market.- Bids are for the most part "secret".- There are generally few "comparables" though downtown condos are coming close to commoditisation.slugora is right that the market direction will be known in late April and May. Deep down, bears, you know what is coming. The best investment you can make now is buying a nice bottle of Scotch. Certainly a lot cheaper than a house… Read more »

domus aurea
domus aurea
13 years ago

licketyclit:Chipman knows about facts as much as anyone else……why do you think the sudden hurry in completing his flip/conversion?Realtors are realizing that it is safer to unload their properties sooner rather than later.Incidentally, I know of at least 3 realtors who are doing just that: selling condos that they bought years back…..they did not seem to be in a hurry last Fall but things must have changed.Chipman is no different: he must have realized that he does not have much time to finish his work, hence his heightened working speed.Funny how quickly things change: all of sudden I have an absoulute certainty that Vancouver housing is going to hit the ground.

licketyclit
licketyclit
13 years ago

So what do they know that Chipman does not?

MillionPitfall
MillionPitfall
13 years ago

Myles,The realtors own the properties for sale. It is their own homes they are selling.

Brenda
Brenda
13 years ago

I can only comment on sales in my neighbourhood (Grandview). I'm not a realtor, nor am I actively looking. My information comes from attending open houses and noticing for sale signs.There are more for sale signs than in December, but no more listings on the MLS than usual. You rarely see a house for sale in the area and the number of condos is normal between 14 and 20. Currently there are 12 on the MLS.Places seem to be taking longer to sell compared to last fall when a house would sell (remodelled character ones for almost a million) in three or four days and a condo in a couple of weeks. It now seems to be taking a few weeks. Last fall, condos and houses were going for over the asking price. Two condos is my building just sold… Read more »