Thursday, January 28, 2010

Buy a house at the Grocery Store

Attention Kmart Shoppers Blue Light Special on Aisle 5 NEW and improved? Shopping for your home in a grocery store?

Some consumers will now be able to go to their local supermarket and pick up a more substantial purchase than dinner -- a house. RE/MAX of New England is teaming up with a large supermarket chain to open "micro" real estate offices in grocery stores, the franchise real estate brokerage announced this week.

The company has signed an exclusive, five-year agreement with Quincy, Mass.-based Stop and Shop Inc., one of the largest supermarket chains in New England with more than 375 stores throughout New England, New York and New Jersey, according to Stop and Shops Web Site.

"The (real estate offices) will be at the front of the store. We wanted to have facilities where we could have additional awareness to our brand and our agents. Stop and Shops have such a large traffic volume that they seemed to be a perfect fit," said Jay Hummer, executive vice president of RE/MAX of New England.

I don't know about your shopping experience.. I know about mine. Last night, I googled the evening menu, found a recipe I liked, thought about the ingredients that I would need and snuck from the office a little earlier than expected to cook dinner for my lovely bride. With my printed recipe in hand I hit the fresh fish counter, mused about some cheese appetizers, lamenting the winter fresh vegetable prices, made my selections, selected a wine and hurried home to prepare dinner.

At the entrance to the store is the Local Newspaper giving free copies with every subscription. [I don't have a bird and there is no puppy in my condo.] Have you seen how many people have not removed their yellow pages to the recycle bin? The financial services group has a 10 x 10 foot "booth" that is always staffed, grabbing your attention by having the bank machines [ATMs]. I look inside they are no cheerful smiles, no private quiet spaces to ponder your selections, just the hub bub of the food store with their open public address system. There are pamphlets on a variety of services you may need.

There is a segment of the real estate market that is promoting the concept of "boutique" real estate offices that service a select clientelle. OK, so here's the scenario. We will provide you with a lounge, endless video's about proposed construction, views and the building amenities and interiors, [There will be no alcohol as you may be drunk and TRICKED into a financial transaction] Just sign here...

What happened? You still want to see it, touch it, feel it, see who the neighbours might be, check the actual view vs staring at the 60 x 30 foot advertising tablet from Astral Media that will flash like the Star of David 24 hours a day, (outdoor pixel billboard) walk the underground garage to see where your parking stall and storage unit are. Some buyers are equipped to invest and risk what may be around them for the values that are available in pre- construction pricing. Other buyers are hesitant and want to feel their space. Each buyer is unique. Each buyer is correct.

The important issue for us in the Toronto GTA is to buy before the HST crushes us all. Hurry it may be gone is no longer a hollow sales rally cry. Ready to go shopping? email me or visit and start your own shopportunity.

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