experts: real estate column Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Yes, We Do Have A Choice

A buyer or seller has the right to be exclusively represented by an agent of their choice.

By Alan  Skinner

Forgive me if I depart slightly from my otherwise lighthearted commentary on the state of the market. One of the facets of Real Estate that impacts ALL players is "who represents you?" or in legal terms, the question of Agency. Bottom line - each party, buyer or seller has the right to be exclusively represented by an agent of their choice. Nobody is obliged to deal with the person who is holding an open house, just because that "seller's representative" is there. You (as a buyer) can deal with an agent who is totally independent of the one who represents the seller. It is that independent, experienced practitioner with their local knowledge, undertaking an in-depth investigation of the subject property, who can best serve your needs as a buyer. To put it another way by way of illustration, imagine your reaction if a Realtor representing a buyer approached you, saying that their client was interested in buying your home and insisted that they should represent your interests. Technically possible, but wise? Indeed, a number of US states have outlawed the process of one agent acting for both parties.

While we are focusing on choice, remember that the person seeking out possible homes for you will - provided you find an acceptable property - be negotiating your side of that purchase contract. Do not assume that the person you initially meet will be that negotiator. Find out if you will be handed over to a less experienced novice who might be part of the "team". Have a look at the brochure "Working With A Realtor" - I'd be most happy to send you a copy: e-mail me at alanskinner@shaw.ca.

Number of N/Van detached sales are now exceeding the same period last year - up 1%. Average prices +10% and inventory down 22% over last year. On the attached (t/hse) front, sales numbers up 23% while apartment sales show increased growth of 8%. Average prices up 11% (t/hse) and 17% (apt). Inventories at -31% (t/hse) and -37% (apt). Demand here (buyers) is still strong while inventory continues to be well below '04 in all segments.

W/Van detached still has a YTD drop in number of sales (-2%); average price continues its rise at +11% and inventory now down 25% from 2004! The condo picture remains mixed - attached (t/hses) down 20% in number of sales; average prices remain strong (up 27%). Active listings still higher than last year at 36 units (9 less than Aug/05 however). Apartments show 187 sold vs 138 last year (+35%); with average prices up 14% and active listings standing at 80 vs 59 (2004) still reflecting the new building activity. Note: 115 new units listed to date '05 vs 15 in '04.

I'll finish with a comment I heard at a presentation last week given by Vancouver area demographer, David Baxter. "If folk ask me when the current market is going to slow down, I tell them 'Oh, about 12 months ago' ". The Real Estate Board's Greater Vancouver graph confirms a marked drop off in the RATE of increase in values at that point. "Bubble rhetoric" - be gone!

Remember that OnTopOfTheMarket.ca is the place to visit for North Shore R/E information. This work in progress strives to be the "go to" site for North Shore Real Estate analysis. A jumping off point for FULL market listing information, it also offers a "no obligation" estimate of value for your personal Real Estate. Please use it and continue your valuable feedback.

Questions regarding the market, decisions, contemplations, opinions of my musings, are welcomed via e-mail (or phone) - hey, pop-in and say "Hi" to me at an open house - I'd love to see you.




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Recent Articles by this columnist:

Keeping Realtors Honest
Tuesday, August 12, 2014


How well do we stack up?
Tuesday, July 29, 2014


Resistance to change and compliance delay
Wednesday, June 04, 2014


Of urban planning and municipal wisdom
Thursday, April 17, 2014


Yes, it's official - demand is rising
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All articles by Alan  Skinner

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