Sold In Eight Hours?!?!


4 minute read

June 19, 2009

How hot is the market right now?

How far have we come since the bottom of the real estate market last January?

Properties are selling day and night, and agents and buyers are becoming frustrated.  But a property selling in eight hours?


Believe it or not, I actually do read other people’s real estate blogs.

More specifically, I read forums where Joe Public and his band of merry men get together to field their opinions on the real estate market, informed or not.

What I enjoy most is reading the predictions for the real estate market; the forecasts made by people who have no business forecasting.

Like this one:

“The bottom of the real estate market for Toronto will hit in early to mid 2011 when prices will have declined in the neighborhood of 25-30% from 2008 numbers.  The drop in prices in early 2009 will seem like a blip on the radar.  It’s cycles and everybody knows it.”


So what are these numbers based on?

And who is writing this?

I picture a 15-year-old nerd eating Cheetos in his mother’s basement, taking time away from his XBOX-360 to jump on a Toronto real estate forum and post an opinion based on absolutely zero knowledge of the market.

Or, it could be a 55-year-old real estate investor who knows more about the market than any of us.

Regardless, none of us have a crystal ball.

Personally, I feel that as a Realtor it is my job to work under current market conditions, and not try and forecast future levels.  I’m not a financial planner, nor am I that cheese-eating desk-jockey from every single CIBC, BMO, Scotia, and TD television commercial who invites people to come in and “have a talk” about their future.

I can’t work in the future.  Only in the present…

Presently, the market is red hot, once again.

If the “recession” is over, it was a short one!  Five months, to be exact.

My latest experience with a condominium on Jarvis Street puts the current market conditions in perfect perspective.

Wednesday, at around 2:00PM, a condo was listed for sale on MLS for $305,000.

For $305,000, the unit was 723 square feet consisting of one bedroom, a den, one bathroom, and included both a parking space and a locker.  The price for this unit, in this building, and of this size seemed too good to be true.

My client, Nelly, has been looking for a condo in the St. Lawrence Market area for the better part of six months.  She has very particular tastes, which is to say that she knows exactly what she wants.  That makes things easy when the property is out there, and tough when it’s not!

While she knows she’ll probably end up at 230 King Street, this new listing had peaked her interest, and we made plans to see the condo on Thursday at 3:30PM.

But on Thursday morning at around 9:00AM, I received a page from my office: “CANCELLED: XX JARVIS STREET, TODAY 3:30-4PM, SOLD FIRM.”

I couldn’t believe it.

Well, I mean ‘I couldn’t believe it’ in the metaphorical sense, because I actually could believe it, given the current market conditions.

I spoke to the listing agent and she told me that the property had sold on Wednesday night, and the deal was firm.

Most deals are conditional on a review of the Status Certificate, yet this deal was firm.

My head started spinning…

This condo was listed at 2PM, and my guess is that it was sold somewhere around 10PM.  This means that an agent saw the condo come onto MLS, notified his/her client, showed the property, and probably had an offer already prepared that the client signed while in the unit.

There was no condition on Status Certificate, and a “clean” offer was presented.

The condo was sold less than eight hours after it came onto the market.

I would assume that the buyer had this building targeted for quite some time, and when the listing came out, the buyer pounced.  The buyer was ready, and made an on-the-spot decision.

Or, perhaps the decision was subconsciously made already before the buyer ever set foot in the condo!

Regardless, there were probably less than three showings on the property yesterday, and I gather that as many as thirty buyers would have viewed the property between Thursday and Sunday.

So this brings me back to the age-old debate: should agents hold-back offers?

I’ve sat on both sides of the fence on this debate, and here is an instance where holding back for only one day might have helped a few buyers get their foot in the door.

I think that the listing agent has a responsibility to the seller to expose the property to the market, and she didn’t do that.  To sell a property only hours after it’s listed is not exposing the property to the entire market.

Maybe they could have received more for the property.  I would hazard an educated guess that they could have.

There is no such thing as “fair” in real estate, or any market, for that matter, but perhaps it would have been more fair if the listing agent had put a disclaimer “NO OFFERS UNTIL THURSDAY” on the listing.

I had clients back-to-back-to-back yesterday starting at 4PM, I had to attend a Board of Directors meeting at Rezen from 6:30 – 9PM, and I had to coach a kids baseball game (which happened to be rained out) from 5-8:30PM.  I had commitments overlapping, and with showings on the Jarvis property only permitted up until 7PM, how the heck were my clients and I to see the condo and make an informed purchase decision?

This is one instance where holding back on offers just for 24 hours would have benefited many buyers and their agents, but I also think they could have received multiple offers and over-asking for the unit.

In any event, I’ve been involved in multiple offers on both a sale and a lease this week (lost on the sale, “won” on the lease), I’ve had many, many properties sell before I’ve been able to view them with my clients, and now I’ve witnessed a property sell within hours of coming onto the market.

Say what you want about the recession, the market ‘bottom,’ or your own forecasts for the future of real estate in our city.

But from where I stand right now, the market is nuts.

And it’s incredibly frustrating for everyone involved…

Written By David Fleming

David Fleming is the author of Toronto Realty Blog, founded in 2007. He combined his passion for writing and real estate to create a space for honest information and two-way communication in a complex and dynamic market. David is a licensed Broker and the Broker of Record for Bosley – Toronto Realty Group

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  1. dave

    at 10:08 am

    What I enjoy most is reading the predictions for the real estate market; the forecasts made by people who have no business forecasting.
    Like this one:
    “The bottom of the real estate market for Toronto will hit in early to mid 2011 when prices will have declined in the neighborhood of 25-30% from 2008 numbers. The drop in prices in early 2009 will seem like a blip on the radar. It’s cycles and everybody knows it.”

    How ridiculous! It’s obvious that the 25-30% bottom won’t hit until 2012/13! 🙂

  2. Duncan

    at 2:08 pm

    It is def nuts out there! I seem to be staging them and then destaging them in about a week at the moment! But no complaints!

  3. PI

    at 7:44 pm

    I watch Beach real estate closely. My agent told me that a house was listed for $3.2 million (highest asking price ever in the Beach) and it sold for asking price just 3 hours after it was listed!

    Prices are now over peak prices….I hope that they don’t continue to climb further at an aggressive rate (i.e. faster than income growth.) If they do, we could end up in the same situation as the U.S. Prices are at 5X incomes in Toronto (ave house price vs. average income) and the norm is 3X. If we move to the 6,7,8X income level a severe correction will eventually come (but impossible to know when though.) As a homeowner, I do not want this to happen!

  4. JD

    at 2:14 am

    The condos that seem to be selling are all relatively affordable – i.e.

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