Tuesday, November 25, 2008

FSBO sites and embellished claims

I wish I could afford to buy a PUFF piece like this in the Financial Post. Maybe the author; Derek Sankey, Financial Post has a dog in the race. Read the advertorial

PropertyGuys.com is trying to exploit an overlooked niche in real estate sales -- private home sales -- but with a twist. The firm acts as the marketing arm for people who want to handle the heavy lifting themselves, such as showing the home, fielding calls from potential buyers, negotiating price and other details.

Every FSBO website advocates the benefits of advertising with them as the biggest, highest hits, newest, website. You pay them to advertise your house on a website. They sell you a sign and a webpage from $300 to $ 1500.00 The blank forms you can buy at Chapters for $29.95 but the forms have a disclaimer that a lawyer should be consulted to properly create the offers.

FSBO websites are now co operating to trade content (advertising each others listings) to attract additional viewers and justify additional advertising revenue. So.. I took a quick look at the west side of Toronto and scanned 100 listings, (Toronto Real Estate board has thousands) Some were sold on the MLS. There are no dates, no way to query new or old. Most were listed also on the MLS. Yet when the homes sell the FSBO sites claim them as THEIR sales.

Realtors are paid based on performance at successful transaction completion, and if they didn't search title sometimes not at all.

This article states that 50% of the real estate business will be internet based and not require a realtor but they will provide property details for purchasers, negotiate on your behalf and other details. "The firm acts as the marketing arm for people who want to handle the heavy lifting themselves, such as showing the home, fielding calls from potential buyers, negotiating price and other details."

That is called trading in real estate. Colour the issue how you wish, as soon as they offer any advice they are trading. If they provide last sold details about the neighbourhood from a map or however they garnered the information they are providing advice. Do they carry errors and omissions insurance. Will they create agency law obligations of honesty and diligence, fiduciary care with their clients? Its a slippery slope out there.

Why Hire An Agent ?

"WELL, HOW ABOUT .......PEACE OF MIND AND INSURANCE (the agents insurance)

The Consumer for his own protection, must establish in writing that they have engaged the services of the Agent in a fiduciary relationship, whereby the Agent is legally bound to protect and promote the best interest of their Client, together with many other duties imposed upon them under the Law of Agency.

The Retainer Agreement engaging the services of the real estate agent is in this instance generally described as either the “Listing Agreement” executed by a Seller or a “Buyer Representation Agreement” executed by a Buyer, either one of these standard forms in Ontario will establish a fiduciary relationship between the designated parties and their Agent.

Now ..... to the best of my knowledge, a consumer acting for themselves in a residential real estate transaction, cannot purchase errors & omission insurance, per se or even afford it if they could, but they can gain protection under their Agents insurance coverage by hiring and holding their Agent liable for any error & omission as may have been committed by their Agent, while acting on their Client's behalf. "

Don't use me because you can sue me; Use me because I have done it hundreds of times over the last two decades. Check what a few others have had to say. If you are new to town starting a new job, Do you have time to negotiate with a Private vendor? DO you want to see ALL the listings? But here is the real truth. In a changing values market You want to be sure that the purchase you are making is financially sound and at market value (or below). Have a CMA provided by a professional agent as a part of your purchase package.

Experience is not expensive. It's PRICELESS!

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