Monthly Archives: June 2008

“Not a Single Offer!” – Change in the Vancouver Real Estate Trenches

This from realtor Jeff at Rob Chipman’s blog 06.22.08 at 10:10pm -

“No open houses for me this weekend. Why bother, no one would show anyhow. I have 8 listings sitting on the MLS and I got 1 phone call for a showing for Monday evening. The seller did 2 price drops on that particular listing and the 2nd price drop got processed on Friday. Time and time again, I have proof that price is the single biggest factor influencing the sale of a property. If any Realtor tells you they have a 20 point marketing plan… it’s BS. If they tell you they have a full marketing program and promise significant exposure… again it’s BS. I’ll tell you what sells properties… MLS and PRICE.”

This from house browser Anonymous at Rob Chipman’s blog 06.22.08 at 9:41 pm -

“Went to total 10 open houses this weekend. Most were recent listings (2 weeks or less) and the prices were “reasonable” (priced sharply!). With at least four of the openings, we were the only family there at the time. At all of the openings we attended, the real estate agents were extremely courteous and took their time showing us place and answering our questions. (One called me back today with an answer to a question I had from a showing yesterday!). There were 2 homes where the real estate agents said the sellers were very motivated and would like to see an offer. I just may put an offer on one of the homes.”

This from house browser exx at Rob Chipman’s blog 06.22.08 at 9:46 pm -

“We went to 6 open houses today in Port Moody, completely at random but all 2bed/2bath, which is what we’re looking for. They ALL had 3 things in common: 1. 60+ DOM, 2. Motivated Sellers, 3. Prices reduced repeatedly (20-40K). Another thing in common, though with the realtors, was the acknowledgement of a very different market. A couple of them pushed the “It’s a buyers market now, you have room to negotiate” line. Room to negotiate? Yes. Buyer’s market? Not yet, but it’s getting there! I got to talking with one of them who went off about how last year at this time there would’ve been multiple offers. Now she’s insisting to people, us included, to just MAKE an offer.”

This from Anonymous at Rob Chipman’s blog 06.23.08 at 10:05 pm -

“Spoke to our realtor yesterday (Master Medallion 7 years, sold our house in a week last year). He has 12 houses posted on MLS and not a single offer!”

“Three Anecdotes From My Workplace”

Wonderful anecdotes of RE excess and greed from Anonymous (at Vancouver Condo Info June 21st 2008 at 8:11am) :

“#1) A self-proclaimed ‘flipper’ has been trying to flog a SFH in Pt. Moody for the last six months. He finally took it off the market 3 weeks ago. He made no price reductions cause he can’t afford to; he ‘owns’ a BMW M3, a Harley and a ‘08 f150, and he was working on his taxes at work and he had borrowed extensively from his RRSP to just maintain his ‘lifestyle’. When I asked him if his house had sold he replied that he was taking it off for a couple of months and he’s going to put it back on when the Market ‘heats up’ again. In the meantime, he is trying to rent it out because he kicked out the previous tenants to do some renos before selling. No luck there either; few calls, and very little interest.

#2) Two guys I work with bought an older townhouse together in North Burnaby for a quick flip. They felt that it was underpriced and with a few quick reno’s and some sweat equity, they could turn it over for a tidy profit. After a kitchen and bathroom reno, they put the POS on the market for 60,000 more than they paid. Open house after open house the thing just sat. They took it off the market, and decided to do a major gutting of the rest of the place, and then rent it until things heat up again. They are a little worried because the strata is one unit away from reaching the rental limit. They are just hoping that they can get the reno finished before someone else in the complex decides to convert their place to a rental.

#3) Another dude sold his house in Pt.Moody, just up the Hill off the Barnet for the High 900’s. They bought a lot in Coquitlam and are in the midst of building a new hoouse, which will be worth 1.3 million (his estimate). The builder is building a spec home beside their lot, which he plans to sell. The guy I work with is watching that closely as he wants to buy a Porsche 911 with a HELOC ( if the house sells for significantly higher than his estimate of his home’s worth, then, by extension, his home is worth a lot more money and he can afford the car). Well, the other house is sitting. Interestingly, this guy and I were talking with a consultant that we use from Santa Barbara. He bought his house for 1.2 million two years ago, and it overlooks the pacific and is just gorgeous. When my workmate heard that, I think he started to understand how f’ed up things are when homes in Coquitlam are more expensive than homes in Santa Barbara! “

Empty Open Houses – “The surreal experience of being the only ones there”

The slowdown has very definitely commenced. Here are some observations from umdesch4 at Vancouver Condo Info June 7th, 2008 8:46am -

“Price declines are already starting in some areas. One SFH we saw two weeks ago (in Port Moody) dropped the listing price from $719K to $688K overnight. Just in the time we were looking, a couple of other places in Coquitlam fell off the MLS listings, only to re-appear cheaper. Otherwise, all of the couple dozen or so listings we started looking at between a month and 6 weeks ago are still up. Oh, and did I mention the open houses? Two weekends ago, we had the surreal experience of going to 4, and being the only ones there. I’ll admit that this is only anecdotal, based on a small sample (of SFHs only), and in the outlying areas of the GVA…but I can’t help thinking it might be a sign of things to come.”

Realtorese – “House Renovated by European Craftsman”

This gem from Orcbait at RE Talks 2008 Jun Sat 07, 10:35 pm -

“Some years ago, a colleague of mine at the office drywalled his basement by himself in his “Vancouver Special”. He happened to be born in Montreal. When it was time to list the house, the realtor asked him about his name, “Hey, that’s French, isn’t it?’, “Well, yes” said my friend.
“And you did this work yourself, right?” the realtor asked.
“Right”, my friend said.
Ok then, and no, I am not making this up at all, when the ad comes out, it says “House renovated by European craftsman”. “