More and more of my condo-buying clients come to me knowing exactly what they’re looking for.
They know the exact neighborhood, the particular building, and quite often they have their future home in their mind’s eye.
The only thing left to do, is wait…
I often find it distracting to write my blog posts while listening to music, but after posting that Joshua Tree picture above, I decided to open I-Tunes and play the very song that I’m referencing in my title.
And finally, I see exactly what Bono is talking about…
Think about it:
“I have climbed the highest mountain”
“I have run through the fields”
See – Bono is talking about the great lengths I go to in order to find my clients the best properties and the best deals!
“I have spoke with the tongue of angels”
“I have held the hand of a devil”
Boy oh boy, if that second line isn’t talking about the average day in the real estate industry, then I don’t know what else it could possibly mean!!
A couple days ago, I took my client, Nell, to see a condo in my building at 230 King Street. We walked inside, she quickly scampered through the living room, bedroom, and den, poked her head into the bathrooms and then said, “Nah.”
Nell knows exactly what she is looking for.
And it produces a process that is part simplified and part frustrating.
Nell currently lives at 230 King Street as a renter, and she’s decided that the time is right to purchase. We’ve looked at units in 168 King Street, but I think that in Nell’s mind, she’s already got one foot in the door of 230 King.
As Nell’s real estate agent, there is only so much I can do. She’s looking for a 1-bedroom-plus-den with a $300,000 max, and when those units come onto the market, I email call her right away to set up a viewing.
Nell knows within thirty seconds of setting foot in the unit if this is her future home.
And I actually think that thirty seconds is about twenty seconds more than she really needs.
Knowing exactly what you want really simplifies the process, since you don’t need to spend every weekend comparing different neighborhoods, buildings, units, and of course there is no homework to be done on what restaurants, public transit, and the rest of the infrastructure is like.
But knowing exactly what you want is also frustrating because it becomes a waiting game, and you really have no idea how long you’re going to wait.
Is the perfect condo going to come out tomorrow?
Or will the 2-bedroom and bachelor condos that you don’t want end up being listed over and over for the next three months?
Nell is not alone, by the way.
My client, Rakhran, is looking for a condo at 60 St. Clair West.
We have viewed four condos in this building since last fall, and she has yet to walk into one and say, “Yep. This is it.”
She’s looking for a 2-bedroom, or a 1-bedroom-plus-den, and while we’ve found those before, they just weren’t “right.”
The 2-bedroom unit was on the second floor directly above the party room, and her balcony was over the party room patio. The unit was perfect, the price was right, but the location in the building was something we just couldn’t get past.
The 1-bedroom-plus-den on the 14th floor was the perfect size, but the layout was ridiculous as there were so many hallways, zigs, and zags that there was no dining space even though the condo was 750 square feet.
Rakhran knows exactly where she wants to live: 60 St. Clair West. But until we find what she’s looking for, she can’t do anything but wait.
Then there is Janie, who wants to live in the St. Lawrence Market at any of 3-4 buildings, but listings are scarce and we’ve been looking for three months!
A unit at Rezen fit the bill, but the developer wouldn’t budge on his inflated price, and we let it go.
A unit at King George Square showed beautifully and was in her #1 ranked building, but it was just a touch too small.
Even when we added the townhomes of the Jarvis Street complex to the mix as a possible area, we saw 3-4 awful units and have been waiting six weeks for a 3-storey, 2-bedroom with a rooftop to come onto the open market. But it has yet to hit MLS…
Janie knows what she wants, and her option set is larger than most, but what she’s looking for just isn’t out there.
Eventually, however, the light at the end of the tunnel brightens and the wait seems worth it.
Marc was looking only for a townhouse on Everson Drive at Yonge/Sheppard, and when one sold out from under us due to a very shady agent who pocketed the listing and then left it as a “FOR SALE” on MLS for nine days, we thought we’d be waiting till August.
We looked at another unit that might have been acceptable if not for the fact that it backed on to three acres of raw land that had just been serviced and looked as if construction was imminent!
I checked the new listings every single day for about five straight weeks until finally one day I saw a new unit listed at $265,000. We saw it that day, and had an offer prepared that night.
The wait was tedious, and at times it felt futile, but Marc is due to move in this summer and the unit meets all his needs to a T.
I keep telling my clients, “It’s my JOB to sell you something, trust me! But there’s just nothing out there that suits your needs. I’m not going to force you on something that isn’t right.”
It seems like ALL my clients have their minds made up already!
Jake & Stella are looking for a $300,000 condo at either 88 Broadway or 188 Redpath.
Andrea is looking for a 2-bedroom at 23 Hollywood Ave for $289,000 – $299,000.
Rob wants an “original Cabbagetown cottage” on either Sackville, Winchester, or Amelia but they’re rare and one has to become available before he can sign on the line which is dotted!
Sometimes a buyer can be hot-to-trot, but depending on what’s available, the process could take a day or it could take a few months.
To steal another line from the philanthropist singer who’s always wearing sunglasses, the real estate market certainly moves in Mysterious Ways…