Quick Hits!

Sometimes I want to share a story, idea, or opinion, but it just doesn’t constitute an entire blog post on its own.

Consider this micro-blogging, but NOT Tweeting.

Here is a collection of quick hits from the last week…

Small World…

Last week, my sister sold her condo in the Yonge & Eglinton area.

I’ll admit – it was on the market longer than she would have liked, but you never can tell in this particular building, as some units sell in one day, and some units take three weeks.

The offer presentation was delightful.  I’ve had so many awful experiences with shady, rude, and unethical agents in the past five months that it was a delight to deal with this Re/Max agent who brought us the offer.

She told us that her client, the buyer, was a “roadie” for the band Motley Crue!

My sister had staged her condo as if it were right out of a Sarah Richardson catalogue, and yet it appealed to a guy who travelled with an 80’s hair band!

The listing agent described him as “a gentle giant” and said that despite his tattoos and facial piercings, he was the nicest guy in the world.

He came to meet us at my office to sign the final papers, and as he walked up the steps to reception, I recognized him!

“John?”  I said.

He simply replied, “Yes,” as if to say, “That’s me.”

So I starred at him for a bit to see if he’d remember me, and I shook his hand for about ten seconds.

“Joooooooohhhhhnnn,” I said, as if leading him towards the conclusion that there was something more here, and that’s when the light-bulb went off over his head.

“No…..freaking…..way!” he said.  He remembered me after twelve years.

John and I worked together at Shark City back in the summer of 1999 when the nightclub/restaurant was at the peak of its popularity.

I walked John into the room with my sister and John’s agent, and with my arm around him I said, “You’ll never believe this….”

As we signed the papers, John and I reminisced about Shark City “back in the day.”  I swear – I don’t remember being born, but I remember just about everything else in life.  I’ve never found somebody that could rival my memory, but John might fit that bill!  John remembered every name, every night, every story, and every incident.

TWELVE years!!  I couldn’t believe it!

After all this time, he even remembered my first night at Shark when he trained me in May of 1999.  We must have swapped about twenty stories in a half hour as my sister and the other agent sat and listened – and marvelled – at the memories!

They say that real estate is a “people business,” and after this experience, I’d have to agree.

I hope John is happy is his new condo – and with Motley Crue’s busy touring schedule this summer – I hope he has time to spruce up the nest!

Bully Offer…..Under Asking?

Here’s something you don’t see every day…

You all know what a “bully offer” is, right?  An offer that is made ahead of the set offer date, presumably so attractive in its terms and conditions, that the seller would accept the offer and forego the bounty on offer night.

Well until last week, I had NEVER heard of a bully offer for under the asking price!

A property came onto the market and in the MLS listing it said, “Offers kindly reviewed on May 9th, 2011 at 7PM.”  I’m sure to 99.9% of the people in the business (or the buyer pool!), this unit was a dead-ringer for multiple offers.

So I was shocked to see that the property sold for $4,000 under the asking price, and the bully offer was accepted one day before offer night.

What could the seller possibly have been thinking?

I spoke to the listing agent and he said that they only had three showings in six days, so they panicked.  They figured that no offer was forthcoming on offer night, and $4,000 was a negligible amount.  The downside, they thought was much larger!

Well, hindsight is 20/20, but I think they could have done better.

And maybe they would have got multiple offers had they waited until offer night!

I guess we’ll never know…

I Win…..AGAIN!

I submitted an offer on a house in uptown Toronto last week, and the listing brokerage was a very small, very obscure shop with only a couple of agents.

I knew there would be multiple offers on this property, and I was a little disappointed to hear that the listing agent had her own offer.

But I was shocked to see that when I arrived at the house to present my offer, only the listing agent and the seller were there!

Where was the manager?

Where was the broker?

If you’re in multiple offers, and you have your own offer, how are you going to handle it?

At Bosley Real Estate, our broker of record or manager will help facilitate the offer process to keep things kosher, for lack of a better word.  I think it goes without saying that if a listing agent had his or her own offer, then a huge advantage could be gained.

At my company (and many other reputable brokerages), the manager/broker will present the offer on behalf of the buyer-client, all the while – the listing agent doesn’t know its terms.  Alternatively, the manager/broker could help the seller to review all the offers, and the listing agent could represent his or her buyer-client, without any involvement in the review of the multiple offers.

So how did my night play out last week?

The listing agent reviewed the offer with her seller, and then called all the agents to say “Sorry, you didn’t get the property.”

The next morning, the listing was updated on MLS and we saw that the listing agent “double-ended” the deal, and her buyer had the highest offer.


With no manager/broker present to help keep things impartial, independent, and ethical?

I’ll let you decide…

Really, REALLY “Soft” Lofts

There are a few soft loft in the city of Toronto that are so poorly built, it’s scary to think about what else is wrong in the building.

Two of my clients are in a soft loft that has more noise-transfer between units than seemingly any loft in the city.

So they cut a hole in the drywall of their living room and found that other than some insulation, and metal framing, there was nothing there….other than the sheet of drywall four inches away on the other side!

The developer of this condo didn’t use poured-concrete for the walls – he just used sheets of drywall!

There’s no difference between the wall between the units in this condominium, and the wall that separated your bedroom from your little sister’s when you were a kid.

When your neighbour in the unit next door sneezes, you should probably yell “Bless You!”

Buying A Locker From The Developer

Be careful – if the developer in your condominium has lockers for sale, and you contract to purchase one, make sure you read the agreement very carefully!

Many developers sneak-in a clause that says you will pay THEIR legal fees, and they don’t bring it to your attention until after you’ve signed the agreement.

Your $3,500 locker has HST – making it almost $4,000.

Then you’re paying about $600 in legal fees for the developer (which also has HST), in addition to your own fees.

That $3,500 locker is going to cost you well over $5,000.

Unfortunately, if you stand up and say “Hell No” to the developer, they’ll probably just sell the locker to somebody that will pay their legal fees.

Harold The….Mortgage Broker?

Good news!  Harold The Jewellry Buyerthe guy who advertises on late-night TV and offers to buy your jewellry – is now offering mortgages!

Wouldn’t YOU like to get your first mortgage from a guy who buys gold trinkets from desperate people?

And he’s conveniently located in between a pizza parlour and a falafel shop!

Way Off The Grid

I wrote my first column for “The Grid” last week, and the feedback has been very good……except for the user comments which are lambasting me.

So let me see here…..a bunch of  anonymous commenters are posting slandering remarks in reference to my article on www.thegridto.com, and I’m left to see if I care in the slightest.

So how, exactly, is newspaper writing any different from blogging? 🙂


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  1. trbadmin says:

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  6. Smith says:

    For what its worth I bought via Bosley through a double representation and were completely satisfied… but then I had the only offer and I was the buyer, so I may be biased.

    I did feel everything was strongly above board.

  7. Mike says:

    ohh definitely like the quick hits segment though..!
    maybe wednesday “hump” day should become quick hits day..

  8. Mike says:

    party wall…the “code” requires two sheets of 5/8ths inch drywall on both sides of any “party wall/adjoining wall” whether it be a condo or semi detached home or town home..its fire code..

  9. Geoff says:

    “…but Tom Bosley and Ann Bosley have both served as TREB, OREA, and CREA president. We are the industry leaders in ethics, and we try to set the bar.”

    As president fo these organizations, couldn’t they have established industrywide regulations on this very issue?

    I’ve said this before but being president of an organization that allows unethical realtors to be a member of, to reinforce that the presidents are ethical, is questionable logic at best.

    Epic fail.

  10. Darren says:

    I lived in a condo that only had double drywall and insulation between units. When my neighbours fought it was like they were in my room. Totally pathetic but also within code!

  11. johnny chase says:

    David: I laugh when I hear that the “Manager” is representing the buyer when listing agent has their own offer… this is smoke and mirrors bs. Dave does the manager keep the selling commission if the deal goes though? If not, then I don’t see how this stunt protects any of the other buyrs.

    Does anyone really fall for this?

    1. David Fleming says:

      @ Johnny Chase

      You have a right to be skeptical. In fact, I’m one of the largest complainers on the subject of ethics in real estate.

      But I can speak for my own company and say that in multiple offers, when a manager steps in, it’s completely ethical and impartial.

      I had my own offer once on my listing and I lost. There were four offers on a property that I had listed, and I pulled a buyer from the open house. My sellers gave me the “okay” to represent the buyer, and my manager represented the sellers to review all offers. I put forth what I thought was an excellent offer, and I presented it to my sellers on the other side of the table. In the end, my buyer lost.

      Never during the process did my manager “tip his hand” or make any hints or gestures. Would it be ethical to do so?

      I’m sure that there are LOTS of brokerages that don’t adhere to our strict ethics, but Tom Bosley and Ann Bosley have both served as TREB, OREA, and CREA president. We are the industry leaders in ethics, and we try to set the bar.

      I’m not naive enough to think that other brokerages will follow our lead, but I want you to know that not ALL brokers/agents/managers can be painted with the same brush…

  12. Joe Q. says:

    The double-agency bit is very troubling — the conflict-of-interest potential is massive. I’m continually amazed that it’s even legal.