Well it is almost 11:00pm. Today was a busy day. Drove almost 120 kms today, 3 showings with 2 different buyers in Abbotsford and Langley.
One offer was made early this morning on a town home in Cloverdale. The buyer, his 4th attempt on getting a town home for himself. Other offers he previously had made had not been accepted, all of which he made were over asking. Meanwhile, on the other side of Clayton Heights, a young family made an offer on a large town house. This family it was there 3rd offer, Both previous ones not accepted, both offers were great offers and again for over asking price.
This is spring 2017 Real Estate in BC.
From Vancouver, to hope, every where in between we are welcoming back two un wanted guests for the most part; The Multiple offer scenario and The Subject Free offer. Both of whom from active potential buyers and even more so Real Estate Agents working with large amounts of Buyers are already fed up with and wishing they would both Go to hell already. This is the sometimes often over heated, frustrating and hard to fathom market place we are in when it comes to Real Estate.
For the two buyers, I was working with today, evening came with not great news. Both homes they loved, not able to buy, both sold to someone else. Subject FREE, once again. Now, at some point in time frustration sets in. For most of my some dozen active buyer clients its after the third or fourth un accepted offer when things get to the point of hair starting to be pulled and names starting to be called, often cursing at the listing agent or seller, or everyone from Christy Clark and the liberal government to the PM himself. One thing is certain; Something has to give. In the media, there is reporting of changes to mortgage finance get little attn these days, but one thing that seems to over shadow is the media reporting on increasing housing costs. As of today, March 2017, the government has introduced a foreign buyers tax, a vacant home tax (vancouver city) and stricter rule changes to mortgage sector, favoring the big banks. Taking away choices to the consumer, less competitive interest rates for qualifying, and now even a potential loan interest free for 5 years to spark first time home buyers and help get into the market.
But, as it stands there is a definite issue at hand that seems to get no attn or little with other then the main players at stake who value there client over there pay check most days, for example Mortgage guru Dustin Woodhouse. He recently published an article (available on his blog at http://dustanwoodhouse.ca ) Calling out for a change to material of the purchase contracts for pre owned homes, suggesting perhaps we have a mandatory recession period to a real estate contract similar to that of a new construction contract, where a buyer could with draw from a deal within a certain time frame.
But the issue, like Mr. Woodhouse discusses very passionately is particularly concerning when discussing the over heating of the market, and the frustration of those trying to get in.
As a Full Time real estate agent who is proud to produce in the Top 10% of all real estate agents in the Fraser Valley (Medallion Club as its referred to) the offer process has not only become tougher every single year for a buyer to get an offer accepted and become a home owner, but it is probably the toughest time right now to be a Real Estate agent.
The comments of, "Oh the real winners are the sellers and agents" are abundant, but either people making the comments are oblivious to the process involved in buying a home, or are just assuming the sellers agents are the only type of agency relationship out there, Maybe a mix. I can tell you as of now, this is the most frustrating time I have ever had to deal with as an agent of over 5 years. Not being able to call a client with good news is tough. Showing clients 10x the amount of homes it would normally have taken 3 years ago is difficult, but as a buyers agent don’t forget, they are paid when they sell a home and the deal closes. Agents running around and making offers may be busy, but they are not getting paid. They are getting paid if there buyers get offers accepted, that’s it. It is a tough go right now in the real estate industry for agents working with buyers.
And I strongly do believe buyers will eventually start saying no to the high prices sooner or later. Which is going to fuel the rental market even more.
When does this all end? do prices just continue to soar past the bulk of most of pur annual earnings? Will a bubble pop? Will the idiot wall street hedge fund who ever actually predict a melt down for the 589th time and actually get it right?
Does not look like it right now. In fact, looks to be getting busier then last week. Busier then last month. Busier then last spring. But when? Surely prices can not just keep going up every where..
Some people are asking what can be done? How they can get into the market? Why our government who seems to want to be active in policy and change, are not stepping in to help potential buyers who want to own a home get into the market, why no substance change has been met, or for that matter why there is no one lobbying at the moment to help cool things a little.
I realize a magnitude of changes needs to happen to have any merit or value. Changes to real estate contracts perhaps, maybe a waiting period like Mr. Woodhouse suggests.
Perhaps some type of disclosure if a buyer who is relying on a mortgage is obtaining one, instead of a "subject free offer" and hoping for the best while really just lying out right and leaving them selves us protected while doing so.
I have said it personally for almost 2 years now, perhaps a multiple offer registry needs to be done where agents maybe are forced to actually follow rules of co operation and professional standards and clean up the way offers are coming in, levelling a playing field and perhaps showing how many offers are received and dates and times. Maybe even as far as showing if an offer is above the stated listing price on the MLS. with some type of color code.
That part I do not know for sure.
But one thing is for sure, buyers are getting fed up, Agents are getting fed up, and change to policy is needed to cool off and clean up the buying and selling process here in BC. Other wise, if the government did not want to actually cool things off, what was the point of implementing a tax on foreign buyers? besides you know, wanting the extra revenue at the cost of sounding and appearing a tad racist. Trying to recall what the stand our premier was standing behind read at the press conferences held last year, oh yes "Taking action on housing Affordability"