Pointing And Laughing!

This is a follow-up on two posts I wrote over a year ago.

I’d like to point out how NOT to sell your property, by giving you an update on these two sad sellers who I had already dissed in 2008, but deserve it again as they both STILL try to sell their properties in late 2009!

I make fun, because – I can…


Where do I start?

Or rather – who do I start with?

The crazy, chicken-clucking Eastern-European condo owner?  Or how about the holes-in-socks, toothpick-chewing, supposed lawyer?

The following are two stories about how NOT to sell your property.  I don’t care if you think you’re the biggest hard-ass in the world, and you’re going to work your real estate agent to the ground for every last dollar – eventually you have to realize that nobody is going to give you a kajillion-dollars for your property, and that isn’t your agent’s fault….even if you switch agents four times…

Let’s start with Hans from King West.

I first wrote about “Hans” in March of 2009 in a blog post here.

I went to The Hudson to meet with Hans and it was one of the most bizarre experiences of my career.  He had taken this beautiful condo in a luxury building and completely destroyed it with his living “style.” 

On top of his gorgeous granite countertops were about 15-20 tea towels which he had placed one next to the other like a jigsaw puzzle, completely covering every square inch of the counters.  I had to actually peel up these small towels to check and see if the counters were granite!

There were dust-bunnies the size of baseballs all along the baseboards.  And no, I’m not exaggerating when I say baseballs!  They weren’t marble-sized, nor did they look like golf balls – they looked like baseballs!  It was absolutely disgusting and I didn’t even want to sit down in his condo.

His bedroom was anything but a place to sleep as he had hundreds of boxes up to the ceiling, and placed his bed in the middle of the living room.

But despite all this, I didn’t know he was a raving lunatic until he told me that he wanted me to list his condo – which he had purchased only six months earlier for $328,000 – for a whopping $400,000.

He sounded like a nut as he ranted on and on, “Maybe somebody come buy it, you know?  Maybe somebody like it and like the paying of $400,000.  Maybe I get my $400,000, you know?  That’s the thing – right?  That’s just the thing!  Somebody out there – somebody pay me!”

I had no clue what he was talking about, but I walked out of there and never called him back.  He bought this condo for $328,000 and destroyed it with his tea towels, boxes, and dust bunnies.  I couldn’t imagine trying to convince this guy to spend $4,000 to clean and stage his condo.

I figured his condo was probably worth what he paid for it: about $328,000.  He might see a modest appreciation in the six months since he purchased it, but in the disgusting condition it was in, it’s an impossible sale.

But he did find somebody to list the condo for $400,000!  There are 28,000 Realtors in the GTA, and you can always find somebody to play ball!

4/2/2008 – Hans uses RLP to list his condo at $399,900.  It sits on the market for 92 days.

7/15/2008 – Hans again chooses RLP and the same agent to list his condo for $399,900.  This time he suspends the listing after 36 days.

Fast forward more than a year, and consider all that happened in between with the global economy crashing, the Toronto real estate market dropping, and then slowly climbing back…

8/5/2009 – Hans chooses RAH in Mississauga to list his condo at…..wait for it….$489,900!  I wish I was a fly on the wall in this man’s brain!  He couldn’t sell his condo for $399,900 the year before, so why not just add $90,000 to the asking price?  It’s a drop in the bucket!  This listing sat on the market for 84 days before it was dropped in price to $403,900.

11/17/2009 – Hans chooses R/M in North York to list his condo at $399,900.  And my favorite part – they decide to hold-back offers!  Everybody’s doing it, so why not get into the mix, eh?

In nineteen months, Hans listed his condo four times with THREE different real estate agents!

And the craziest part is – I still think his condo is only worth about $375,000.

As bad as my experience with “Hans” was, there was an even worse experience with a home-owner named “Sam” in November of last year.

I wrote about the whole experience here.

This man seemed to have all of his marbles unlike Hans, but he was clearly wasn’t using them for good instead of evil.

During the course of our meeting, Sam not only picked his nose and flicked the remnants onto the floor as I stood and conversed with him, but he picked his teeth with a toothpick and ate his findings…

He had holes in his socks, which I found somewhat amusing since he described himself as a “rich lawyer,” and his house was in WORSE shape than Hans’ condo.

In fact, what gave me the idea to write today’s post was a story that a colleague of mine told me from last week when she arrived at a property with her client and the client refused to walk through it after just looking into the home from the front door.  It was so cluttered, dirty, and revolting that the client was afraid of getting bed-bugs or H1N1 and she walked out.

That house just so-happened to be Sam’s house, which is still on the market!  And thus the idea for today’s post…

I’d like to take a moment to pat myself on the back, since in November of 2008 I met with Sam and told him his house was worth $799,000.  Well actually, I think it should have been listed at $799,000; who really knows what it’s “worth.”

My favorite quote from Sam, and there are many, has to be when he informed me, “I’ve been told I should list it at $949,000 and create a buzz.”

The only buzz he should have been creating was that of a steam-cleaner as it past back and forth over the carpet which turned your white socks black.

I called Sam back a week after we met, and I got as far as saying, “Hi, it’s David Fleming from Bos…” before he shouted “house is listed, house is listed” into the phone and hung up.


It was indeed listed with HK for $949,000.

Follow this sequence of events:

11/14/2008 – Sam lists with HK for $949,000 and during the 126 days on the market, he reduces it to $899,000.

6/3/2009 – Sam lists his house with FH for $849,000 and terminates the listing after 12 days.  My guess is: the listing agent fired his own client.

6/19/2009 – Sam lists his house with R/M for $829,000 and this time the listing lasts a whopping 26 days before it’s terminated.

8/9/2009 – Sam lists his house at the same price of $829,000 with RLP from Mississauga, and during the last 107 days he has reduced the price to $799,000.

In summary, during the last twelve months, Sam has used FOUR different real estate agents to try and sell his disgusting 2-bedroom house with no finished basement for several-hundred-thousand more than it’s worth.

Oh he says it’s a four-bedroom, and even forced the first listing agent to put this on the MLS data sheet, but the 4th bedroom is in the basement which we call a “+1” and the 3rd bedroom is the size of a closet and can’t fit a single bed!

The price has come down from $949,000 to $799,000, and I’m thinking that the house is probably worth about $700,000.

But how can you sell a house when buyers are afraid to go inside due to the smell and the dirt?

I can’t make this stuff up, folks!

These two sellers really do exist, and they’ve really wasted 12 and 19 months respectively trying to sell their properties.

The condition of the properties (dirty, disgusting) is a coincidence, and wasn’t really intended to be the focal part of this blog post.  It’s the thought process of the sellers that I struggle to understand.

How do these sellers come up with the values in their heads?

What made Hans think he could flip his condo for 22% profit after six months?

What made Sam think he could shatter the previous record for highest sale on his street by $200,000 when his house was anything but spectacular?

Were these guys ever really serious about selling?  Were they dreaming?  Were they hoping and praying every night?  What could they possibly have been thinking?

NINETEEN MONTHS!  That’s how long Hans was trying to sell his condo for!  And at one point he was looking to add a 49% increase over what he had paid for it a year earlier.

It’s insane.

But it happens all the time in our city.

And it makes for quite the amusing Monday morning blog post…


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  1. Liza says:

    The listing for Hans’ condo only shows photos of the building exterior and lobby – no pictures of the actual unit. Must still be as scary as you said it was. (Or scarier, now that 19 months have passed.)

  2. James says:

    I think I already know the answer to this question but what is the motivation for a real estate agent to take a listing from a seller who has already listed four times in the previous year with four agents? Isn’ there a massive red flag here?

  3. vk.net says:

    Man you can’t stop this stuff from happening it’s the same in every market in every city all across the world. Havent you watched HGTV shows about people who hold out for that last thousand dollars and the deal goes south? Its like the stock market when somebody refuses to take a loss on a stock and watches it go all the way down to nothing.