Knockoffs

SNOW modified

At great personal risk, I write for a final time about do-it-yourself house sellers. Normally I’d ignore the topic as I try to do with people who shop at Costco or buy Kias, but recent comments that I trash FSBOs because I love Royal LePage are simply over the top.

Houses cost a lot. Too much. So why would you ever buy one without adequate representation and protection? It sure won’t save you any money, and could well cost you dearly. It’s just a nutty idea embraced by the kind of iconoclastic, anti-establishment, rebel, antisocial, outcast, regulator-snubbing, tight cheapskates who populate this pathetic blog.

So, herewith, ten reasons FSBO sucks:

(1) If you’re a do-it-yourself seller, never expect Chuck the ace local Re/Max guy with a listing down the block to bring a client over. It ain’t gonna happen, since he stands to get nothing from you but a fight and a sneer or, at best, a token payment. So what, you say? So your property isn’t exposed directly to the primary target market – people ready to buy, now, on your street. As a result, you’ll probably end up selling for less, and save yourself nothing.

(2) Most people hate dealing with FSBOs because they are, by their very nature, cheap, smug, misguided and almost always inexperienced vendors. The prime motivation for self-selling is to save money by avoiding a real estate commission. That should mean that FSBO listings are always priced 5% below comparable MLS offerings. But, of course, that never happens. In fact, most FSBOs are marketed above fair value because the flip side of cheap is greed. Buy from such a seller, and get ‘em both.

(3) Buyers hate FSBOs because they utterly lack perspective. Unlike a real estate agent who is in and out of candidate properties all days, the self-lubricating seller knows only his or her house intimately, but will not hesitate to insist it’s far superior than every other one in the hood. Nothing a FSBO tells you is actually credible.

(4) Buyers hate dealing with FSBOs because it’s not easy. There’s no receptionist to take your call, no appointment desk to schedule a showing, and no guarantee you can see it when convenient. Plus there  will be no agent to include two or three other comparable listings during your tour, giving perspective and balance.

(5) Experienced buyers shun FSBOs because they understand the importance of market research, which no DIYer is ever going to provide. A buyer dealing with a competent agent will have access to detailed comps not only for the street and the area, but for similar-type homes in the region. You need to understand not just recent selling prices, but days-on-market, price adjustments and overall market value trends. A good agent will also tell you what external factors influence a property’s price, like proximity to shopping, or a parking lot, or transit, a multi-residential building, or a roadway that might not look busy when you first see it. Local knowledge is critical. Expect every FSBO to lie.

(6) Buyers hate FSBOs because the negotiation process can be emotional, difficult and personal. Sitting across the kitchen table arguing about price, closing date, inclusions and conditions is as much fun as a divorce. An agent gives you distance and leverage, and will almost always save the buyer money.

(7) Buyers can expose themselves financially and legally with FSBOs since most of them are first-time sellers with an amazingly thin grasp of real estate law. Agents using pre-lawyered, authorized purchase and sale agreements and trust accounts offer protection against the loss of deposits prior to closing, adequate escape in the event of a failed home inspection and the correct wording of conditional clauses that can let you walk. For example, most FSBOs have no idea of the difference between a vendor’s warranty and a condition. Making a deal subject to lawyering could force you through this distasteful process twice.

(8) Cheap people apparently don’t value their privacy or safety. Sticking a FSBO sign on your front lawn is an invitation to any thief, con artist or pervert who might be looking for someone to loot, identity-steal or assault. Opening your home to some guy you know nothing about, who merely expreses an interest in ‘looking around’ could be the day your life changes. Do you really want your wife conducting a showing while you’re at work? Are you a complete idiot?

(9) Buyers take on more risk dealing with a FSBO. If a deal goes bad after closing there’s no listing agent or brokerage to seek redress from. No mechanism for appeal, since it was a private, unbrokered contract. The seller may be gone in a flash, in which case pray you picked the right lawyer and bought enough of the correct title insurance.

(10) Cheap, unprofessional, self-serving, naïve folks who think they can line their pockets with even more capital gains tax-free profits. Are these the kind of people you want to haggle with, hand over thousands (or tens of thousands) in the form of a deposit, and then hope closing day actually happens after you’ve already sold your home or arranged financing?

If so, you deserve each other.

Note to Ross Kay fans: Your latest CREA-bashing, moaning and slashing is here.

237 comments ↓

#1 TurnerNation on 12.17.13 at 8:33 pm

From the pic I see Bandit’s lost some weight.

Smoking man way ahead of you. Re. Google; for years I have explained this to people, that their slogan “Don’t be evil” logically is a fallacious statement-of-logic. Try “being” evil. Go on, try it right now. You cannot.

Evil is an ACTION. Notice they don’t say Don’t DO evil.

The devil is always in the details.

Ps. they can have the Earth, I don’t want it when I’m gone.

#2 Smartalox on 12.17.13 at 8:36 pm

Great pic!

#3 gladiator on 12.17.13 at 8:37 pm

Nothing wrong with Costco – their products are top notch, price-per-unit-of-quantity is virtually unbeatable and you also earn points by buying your essentials.
Kias, on the other end…

FSBOs, if done the right way, are cheaper indeed. A little research into how to do it will go quite far.
Paying a boob 20-30k for several hours’ work is what makes people hate realtors and when the time comes for me to buy a house – I will just get my license – that’s what my friend living in the US of A did and saved quite a lot. 2 weeks studies for 30k savings? I’m in!

#4 trustee1 on 12.17.13 at 8:38 pm

Link to Ross Kay site is either bad or his site is down right niw.

#5 Liquid on 12.17.13 at 8:39 pm

I always use a realtor when I buy properties. As a buyer, I’m protected from all the issues you’ve stated. Plus an agent can help me find the homes that are most suitable to my needs and he or she will do most of the leg work for me :)

#6 My2USDc on 12.17.13 at 8:42 pm

I wonder why you allow so many provocative messages posted by realtors. It is obvious that this is what they are: provocations. Most of them have no sense. I do not believe that realtors should not be allowed to post here but I do believe that they messages should be censored till they make sense and they prove the intention to engage the readers in a constructive discussion.
Every time when I come here I have to shovel tons of their garbage just to find a couple of worth reading messages.
If not out of respect for your users you should do it out of respect for your own work. Your very own message is lost in this realtor noise.
Someone who is new and unfamiliar with this blog, after seeing the tons of garbage that you allow to be posted will go away or not read the comments section at all.
At this point I believe that you favor the quantity not the quality and that is for business reasons.

My2c

Now I’ve heard it all. — Garth

#7 Bob Rice on 12.17.13 at 8:43 pm

“proper representation”

We rented a house in the spring… the agent claimed she was representing both parties. We were charged a $500 security deposit in the lease, paid up front. It’s against the law to do so, so we learned afterward..

So much for ethical agents… Mark Lamb is the king of ethical agents.

I don’t care for RE agents… they’re redundant today. A good lawyer should look after your interests.. you have to hire one either way, might as well have him take care of things.

And, don’t bother with home inspections. They’re BS. I have plenty of friends who’ve had them and they still found crap after they moved in that needed repair…

In my parents time, no one got home inspections… why need them today? Inspectors will tell you that they can’t do that much for you… shirt of ripping off drywall, what are they gonna see?

#8 Tri-Guy on 12.17.13 at 8:44 pm

I wish costco would team up with comfree to sell FSBO kits. Buy 4 get 1 free

#9 Bob Rice on 12.17.13 at 8:44 pm

By the way, I saved myself about $7000 b/c I went with Comfree.

#10 ILoveCharts on 12.17.13 at 8:50 pm

What’s interesting is how many of those points also apply to a lot of realtors.

#11 mark on 12.17.13 at 8:54 pm

“is an invitation to any thief, con artist or pervert”

Makes dinner parties more exciting!

#12 lilyjoe on 12.17.13 at 9:01 pm

Hi Garth,

I realize you do not like Kia but what about Hyundai?

#13 Tri-Guy on 12.17.13 at 9:02 pm

#4 – Bob
I’m a municipal building inspector and I’ve had dozens of recent home owners bring in their “pre-purchase” inspection reports that is missing major items and ask me what recourse they have. All I can tell them is “buyer beware”

Home inspectors are self-governed and can get a license online in days.

The next big scam is retired municipal inspectors that provide reports to new buyers of outstanding building code deficiencies eventhough it’s sometimes the 4th or 5th owner…all because the municipality still has an active building permit. Turns into a big sh*t-show since some of the builders are long gone or dead.

dont get me started on title insurance

#14 TurnerNation on 12.17.13 at 9:07 pm

Re. Keg, all their sides and some steaks are from-frozen – microwaved – I heard. And as at most any chain whose name ends in an ‘s (I could name ten).

When in Calgary try Charcut and Saltlik steakhouses (within the same downtown block.)
At home I prefer local, organic steak & smoked bacon from the butchery – BBQ’d, natch.

#15 mr-b on 12.17.13 at 9:12 pm

My last sale, sold “privately” to a guy married to an agent. He bought the house to then sell “rent-to-own”.

I saved a bundle. He paid the laywer fees and gave us top dollar. Yes, he showed us comparables. I also had other real estate agent contacts that verified the comparables.

When I bought my new house, you bet your ass I had an agent. He was not the sellers agent. He told me how long the place was on the market, that no-one even looked at it, that the price was too high and that they wanted a quick sale.

I got it cheap because it took me almost a year to clean it up. :-) Apparantly, no one else wanted the hassle.

It was listed originally at $95k we got it for $75,600. That was 2005.

We have almost an acre and a stunning mountain view! No mortgage.

#16 erebus on 12.17.13 at 9:15 pm

It’s blog entries like this one that make me feel extremely happy of being a renter. Oh yeah. Money in the bank, complete mobility, a solid stream of savings and a good portfolio. FSBO, realtors, commissions?? wtf is all that about? I’ll leave it to the lemmings to figure it out.

#17 mark on 12.17.13 at 9:17 pm

Hyundai owns part of Kia and they share design, factories, parts, engineering and testing.

#18 David R McDonald on 12.17.13 at 9:17 pm

Come now, Garth. Costco is a great place. If you fear the Canadian economy is doomed, go there; it will cheer you up.

#19 vancouverite on 12.17.13 at 9:18 pm

very entertaining read! i tried selling on my own a couple times, definitely a waste of time. it may work for some, but not the majority. always look forward to reading the “pathetic blog”!

#20 Paul on 12.17.13 at 9:20 pm

I agree, went to view a home being sold privately a few years ago. Everything you said described the idiot selling his home.
I also do not think highly of RE agents either. We need better regulation and expectations of service. Also, a commission capped at alot less and based on a sale of a home not the amount it sold for. In BC, it would be nice to see RE agents only in the business for buyers not both. This best represent the buyer and the seller pays the commision, its a win win for buyer. However, it would be a tough market for the agent but ethics do come for a price. I believe one of the eastern provinces have such agents.

#21 Smoking Man on 12.17.13 at 9:31 pm

So true TurnerNation. So ture.

Now has Gartho lost his mind, his most devoted herdsters vehemently despise Realtors far more than the Toronto Star hates Ford and wants to see him on his hands and knees begging for mercy.

Is that what happened with you and Harpo?

You demonstrated brilliance moved up fast, got board, had a Bugs Bunny moment, blew it and boom, you’re on the shit list.

Why alienate your disciples, why feed them unpopular truth.

Lie to them man. FSBO is awesome….

What is wrong with you….

Signed SM the greatest bugs bunny ever…..

There you go, giving great advice knowing

#22 Paul on 12.17.13 at 9:34 pm

One reason to sell privately is to save the commission.

One reason to buy privately is to save the commission.

So who would actually get the money well no one.
No service or protection for the buyer or the seller.

#23 conan on 12.17.13 at 9:35 pm

Good article Garth. I have friends in real estate and when these FSBO started gaining traction, they were concerned.

Not so much anymore. The buyers are coming back to the realtors with many stories of bad experiences and wasting of time in stressful circumstances.

If your house is unique and awesome and realtors are always knocking on your door saying they have a buyer then you might be able to FSBO. Otherwise use a realtor.

#24 Paul on 12.17.13 at 9:41 pm

gladiator on 12.17.13 at 8:37 pm

Nothing wrong with Costco – their products are top notch, price-per-unit-of-quantity is virtually unbeatable and you also earn points by buying your essentials.
Kias, on the other end…

FSBOs, if done the right way, are cheaper indeed. A little research into how to do it will go quite far.
Paying a boob 20-30k for several hours’ work is what makes people hate realtors and when the time comes for me to buy a house – I will just get my license – that’s what my friend living in the US of A did and saved quite a lot. 2 weeks studies for 30k savings? I’m in!——————————————————-

Two weeks to get your real-estate license the only boob here is the guy looking back from your mirror every three days days when you shave.

#25 Porsche on 12.17.13 at 9:47 pm

#24
“Paying a boob 20-30k for several hours’ work is what makes people hate realtors”
…………………………………………………………………….

My sister and brother inlaw’s boobette made 20-30k twice. The sale of there home and the home they bought. lol

#26 Freedom First on 12.17.13 at 9:47 pm

That is very gracious of you Garth to write today’s post. And yes, I have heard many people who have tried FSBO, moan and complain about everything you are warning against. Comparing a FSBO experience to a divorce experience is very apt. Both FSBO and marriage carry extreme dangers that few people will talk about to the virgins of either, and yet the failure rate of both puts them in the extremely “High Risk” category. Best warning, avoid both. And Men, in marriage, all the laws are stacked against you. Use extreme caution. Fact. Do your homework.

Garth, thank you for the link to Ross Kay, and bless him for his article once again exposing the assault on Canadians who have a desperate need for some “Consumer Protection” from the system, which only works at allowing Canadians to be screwed over in so many industries, and in so many ways. I know that my consumer protection is found only when I look in the mirror. It is most unfortunate, that in Canada, we have to rely on the brave people like Garth and Ross to expose the corrupt. Messengers are also always attacked by the evil doers, and I know in some countries in the world the penalty is prison or firing squad. Takes steel gonads to be a messenger, especially, as Smoking Man would put it, today we live in such an emasculated world.

#27 Ray Skunk on 12.17.13 at 9:48 pm

“Canadian home sales OVER REPORTED by 7.3% in the month of November because of multiple counting alone!”

Not holding my breath on this making the front page of the Toronto Star, right Susan?

#28 Chickenlittle on 12.17.13 at 9:49 pm

Is that a Borzoi?

#29 T.O. Bubble Boy on 12.17.13 at 9:53 pm

wow – if Ross Kay’s numbers are right, CREA representatives should be put in jail for fraud.

#30 pinstripe on 12.17.13 at 9:55 pm

I have bought and sold several properties using FSBO and have not had any problems. The buyer and seller worked together to provide a balanced deal. Win/Win.

OTOH, the few dealings with a RE agent were not a very good experience. The role of the RE agent is to SELL.

#31 Calgary Renter on 12.17.13 at 10:08 pm

Hey Garth, inner city Calgary seems to be going into a Vancouver-like endless infill process that will likely drive property prices out of reach for most. It is already quite difficult to buy homes here because of all the investors getting the land at any price to build million dollar mansions. Any comments on this?

#32 A Yank in BC on 12.17.13 at 10:09 pm

In spite of all your good arguments in favor of using a Realtor, nothing prepares one for the amount of money that disappears into other people’s pockets at closing on a home that you owned, lived in, paid taxes on, and took care of for 20 years or so. It’s a sobering experience, and you cannot help but ask yourself what these others did to deserve such a windfall at your expense.

How about the windfall the market gave you? Did you deserve it? — Garth

#33 eddy on 12.17.13 at 10:11 pm

5% is blended into market value. This is a fact that involves higher mathematics that FISBOs can’t grasp.

FISBOs think that the 5% that agents have been earning is somehow unfair to the seller, it’s not. The reality is that the Municipal Assessor and the Bank appraiser DO NOT deduct 5% from their evaluation.(but 99% of sellers paid 5%) In other words EVERY HOUSE VALUE IS INFLATED BY 5%, that money (5%) was never the sellers. I’d say FISBOs are more greedy than cheap

#34 live within your means on 12.17.13 at 10:14 pm

#3 gladiator on 12.17.13 at 8:37 pm
Nothing wrong with Costco – their products are top notch, price-per-unit-of-quantity is virtually unbeatable and you also earn points by buying your essentials.
Kias, on the other end…
……………..

Totally agree about Costco – everything one buys is on their database, even w/o a receipt. I bought a whole filet mignon, mo. or so ago, so much fat. Wrapped up just the fat, went to the meat counter to complain & they told me to return it to Customer Service. Got a return on the whole filet mignon. Wasn’t happy with a vac. sealer years ago & returned it 1-1/2 yrs later & they returned my money. Ended up buying a newer version, still not happy w/it but didn’t return it.

#35 Observation Post: GTA on 12.17.13 at 10:21 pm

Nothing to do with FSBO but still funny:

Three glossy cards stuck in our doorknob this AM – love
the sequence:

Happy Holidays from a home “sales representative” (“professional, reliable, experienced”) with free phone card to call “Distant Friends and Family This Holiday Season”

Sunbright Cleaning with “proven track records in cleaning homes with luxury interiors”

Mortgage Alliance: “I will find you the RightMortgage registered mark”

And on the reverse of the mortgage broker’s card:

Debt Strategy Consultants: “Resolving Debt. Achieving Freedom. Absolutely No Up-Front Fees. This is NOT Consumer Proposal or Bankruptcy!”

Welcome to Canada!

#36 Soma on 12.17.13 at 10:28 pm

Well said – Pope Turner, you have truly made an absolute ass of yourself with pointless dribble about FSBOs

Btw costco is much better value than – say Wallmart & Kia is superior piece of machinery than Ford. Those who drive them, in ever increasing number know and have switched for a reason.

Let me guess. You are a Costco-shopping, Kia-driving, do-it-yourself home flipper? — Garth

#37 Soma on 12.17.13 at 10:39 pm

Ha Ha – got your “creative juices” going. – love it

Sorry to Disappoint you – but since you asked.

I am ex-realtor (was’nt particularly good at it) – so went back to my 90k IT job

I do shop at Costco occasionally buy both my cars are Toyotas -best that money can buy. – there, the whole truth !

#38 Paul on 12.17.13 at 10:40 pm

Ray Skunk on 12.17.13 at 9:48 pm

“Canadian home sales OVER REPORTED by 7.3% in the month of November because of multiple counting alone!”

Not holding my breath on this making the front page of the Toronto Star, right Susan?
————————————————————
The real estate boards always over report to cover all the FSBO sales only seems fair

#39 Kilby on 12.17.13 at 10:44 pm

Great blog today…Nailed some pretty good (and tragically funny) stuff…Handing over the deposit cheque…Nice to have that separation from the vendor.

#40 comfortably numb on 12.17.13 at 10:45 pm

In spite of all your good arguments in favor of using a Realtor, nothing prepares one for the amount of money that disappears into other people’s pockets at closing on a home that you owned, lived in, paid taxes on, and took care of for 20 years or so. It’s a sobering experience, and you cannot help but ask yourself what these others did to deserve such a windfall at your expense.

How about the windfall the market gave you? Did you deserve it? — Garth
********************************************
You miss the point Garth. It’s the home owner who signed the mortgage and assumed all risk. He should be the one that benefits from any increase in value, not the agent. BTW for someone who constantly chides us about generalizing about things like HAM you’ve done an awful good job about generalizing about FSBO’s

Where am I incorrect? — Garth

#41 Cici on 12.17.13 at 10:51 pm

Good points Garth, very comprehensive…although you may not have mentioned enough about the risks to sellers.
I heard somewhere in the past that FSBO transactions can pose legal problems for sellers too. For example, if the seller doesn’t know how to properly assess their home’s square footage and overstates the values, they could be subsequently sued by the buyer.

#42 RVP on 12.17.13 at 10:54 pm

Christy Clark announced today that the BC Liberal Government will be amending the liquor laws to allow children into pubs in BC. They are also going to allow Happy Hour.

#43 Canadian Watchdog on 12.17.13 at 10:55 pm

Remax Europe Regional Services

Press Release PDF (Nov 2011)

Little trust in real estate agents and high commission rates often induce people to take the sale of their properties in their own hands. “A current survey shows that only 31 % of the Austrians decide to hire an agent for selling their home”, says Bernhard Reikersdorfer, Regional Director of RE/MAX Austria.  But not only Austrians seem to abandon the help of a specialist when selling their properties. “FSBO (for sale by owner) is kind of a European phenomenon. In Canada and the United States almost every property is sold with the support of an agent”, says Michael Polzler, Managing Director of RE/MAX Europe. “The FSBO share in Canada is as low as 5 % at the moment, while we have FSBO shares of approximately 50 % in Italy and Slovakia and 62 % in Spain."

#44 Mike T. on 12.17.13 at 10:55 pm

Now I’ve heard it all. — Garth

you wish

just wait…

#45 Shawn on 12.17.13 at 10:56 pm

Costco

It’s a wholesale store. For those who want to buy in bulk.

As a business it is a category killer. I makes a decent profit while marking things up a maximum of 15% (17% if you average in the membership fee). Compare that to Walmart which marks of about 30%.

Costco is a low cost operation and other retailers can’t touch its prices on a consistent basis.

As for KIAs I don’t know. I am waiting for Canadian Tire to start selling a line of Indian or Chinese cars. No haggle pricing. 4 figure prices. Would be a category killer.

Also I read someplace about Costco selling Hondas in the U.S. Car dealers take warning.

#46 A Yank in BC on 12.17.13 at 10:59 pm

How about the windfall the market gave you? Did you deserve it? — Garth

I might have deserved it had there been one. Despite all the improvements I made to it, my home’s value did not even keep up with inflation. Nowhere even close.

#47 raisemyrent on 12.17.13 at 11:02 pm

Kia hahaha nice comparison

some people deserve Kias though, Garth

ƒ**k Costco

#48 Spiltbongwater on 12.17.13 at 11:02 pm

Not a Costco member but if you walk in the exit you can eat cheap at their restaurant. Me and the Mrs. went and got chicken strips and fries, and 2 hot dogs and 2 fountain pops and got change back from the $10 I handed them. Don’t think Garth would slum it with the rest of us hard working penny saving citizens cause he thinks The Keg is garbage food.

#49 Smoking Man on 12.17.13 at 11:05 pm

This sucks, just discovered today my connection to the great Yoda will be lost.

Smartest man I ever met bar none. Big lose.

Good luck on what ever planet you land on.

Next time your in this galaxy, beers at the Duke on me:)

#50 Bottoms_Up on 12.17.13 at 11:09 pm

Glad you took the stand on the FSBO Garth. I agree completely. Get yourself a good selling agent that knows the local market. Your house will be priced right to attract attention (i.e. weekly showings), and it will not be boycotted (I’ve witnessed this first hand where our buying agent was very hesitant about going to view a FSBO). The selling agent will arrange the listing, take the calls, conduct the showings, do the negotiating, do the paper work, have the appropriate wording and clauses, dot the i’s and cross the t’s etc. On average, it will save you time and money.

ps. Costco does rock….to put it in perspective, Walmart has something like 60% margins…..Costco is 35%. The $60 membership fee pays for itself during the 1st shop. Plus they offer very high quality items.

#51 Brendan on 12.17.13 at 11:12 pm

Why the hate on Costco? They actually pay their employees livable wages.

OR is the hate just aimed at the Costco fanatics that are a penny wise and a pound foolish?

#52 Stuart on 12.17.13 at 11:12 pm

I read that about 20% of sales in Quebec are private and not uncommon. But being pestered by agents is a concern.
I bought my house privately with no problems as I selected the notary told him when to settle and they rushed me for a week but got it done.
I even made a private offer to another property and marked on a real estate contract that I must accept the building inspection as acceptable and when it failed I withdrew my offer. The woman already told me she bought her ticket to return to France and sent me a nasty letter which I reported. A real estate agent refused to present my offer with my wording on an inspection. Agents wasted my time calling me and showing me houses I told them I was not interested in seeing. Agents are unreliable until proven otherwise which is easy to do. Yes they act to hold the deposit but really is that not a conflict of interest being a trustee when they are not a third party? The turnover rate for agents is about 30% or more.

You can buy a book and learn on the internet.

Garth get balanced.

http://life.nationalpost.com/2013/10/01/stressless-selling-five-tips-to-prepare-your-house-and-yourself-for-listing/

#53 Brendan on 12.17.13 at 11:13 pm

That comment about Costco selling Honda’s, that was in a Jessica Simpson movie. Don’t ask me how I know that.

#54 Bottoms_Up on 12.17.13 at 11:18 pm

#9 Bob Rice on 12.17.13 at 8:44 pm
—————————————–
You *think* you saved yourself $7000, but your house wasn’t reaching the full target audience. Supply and demand my friend. By doing FSBO, you cut out the demand side of the equation, perhaps by as much as 80%. How much higher of a price could you have got for your home if you had been for sale to all potential buyers?…..

#55 Soma on 12.17.13 at 11:21 pm

“Let me guess, you are a Costco shopping, Kia driving…”

Ha Ha got your “creative juices” going Gartho!

Since you asked, I am ex-realtor (not a particularly good one admittedly) back to my 90K IT job

I do shop occasionally at Costco, but both my cars are Toyotas – best that money can buy !

#56 45north on 12.17.13 at 11:25 pm

Do you really want your wife conducting a showing while you’re at work? Are you a complete idiot?

this summer I had tickets to Emmy Lou Harris in Ottawa but then found a better show in Toronto. So I put the tickets up on kijiji.

oh wait a minute

#57 Sparky55 on 12.17.13 at 11:26 pm

What’s wrong with Costco?

#58 recharts on 12.17.13 at 11:38 pm

#43 Canadian Watchdog on 12.17.13 at 10:55 pm
Remax Europe Regional Services

Press Release PDF (Nov 2011)

Little trust in real estate agents and high commission rates often induce people to take the sale of their properties in their own hands. “A current survey shows that only 31 % of the Austrians decide to hire an agent for selling their home”, says Bernhard Reikersdorfer, Regional Director of RE/MAX Austria. But not only Austrians seem to abandon the help of a specialist when selling their properties. “FSBO (for sale by owner) is kind of a European phenomenon.

It is the time for http://www.greaterfool.eu (or .at if you wish)

#59 Cheep cheep on 12.17.13 at 11:49 pm

Polls have shown that real estate agents are about as well liked as politicians in this country. If polls asked about the popularity of FSBO people, I don’t think they’d do much better.

There are good agents and there are bad agents. Having bought 6 houses and sold 5, I believe that having a good agent is valuable in the process. For my last purchase, I gave my RE agent my price point, list of must-have features and she sent me listings for months – all within my specifications – before I found properties worth my time to visit. In the end, I only had to tour 4 homes before I found a place that was reasonably priced, in excellent shape and in the right location, location, location.

One of the points Garth didn’t mention (maybe too touchy-feely for him) is that it’s awkward to analyze someone’s house with the owner standing right there. I’ve toured a couple of homes (with agents) where the owners were foolish enough to be present for the showing and I couldn’t get out fast enough. The home that you have loved and cherished for years, to a prospective buyer is just a property, to be objectively viewed. A good real estate agent is an asset here too, to point out areas of concern and to unemotionally provide advice.

As for home inspectors, once again, find a good one. It’s unfortunate that just about anyone can hang up their shingle and call themselves a “home inspector” but if you find a qualified professional, they are well worth their fees. I did not have a home inspection done for my first home (early ’80’s, what did I know?) Since then, I’ve always had a home inspection done and in each case, I have had necessary repairs done at the seller’s cost or negotiated a price reduction that more than offset the inspection cost.

A previous post mentioned Calgary in-fills. It really is ludicrous here – newly built, semi-detached homes across the street from “Canadian slums” selling for $750k or more. And one of the most obvious signs that people are overextended (or couldn’t care less about their largest asset) are the number of houses that are so badly in need of repair – people can’t even afford a gallon of paint or some caulking? Seriously?

#60 DON on 12.17.13 at 11:54 pm

I like the idea of taking the real estate course – not exam, and getting a good lawyer before buying. But then again an ethical realtor would save me time/effort. We’ll see…

Thanks for the link to Ross and thank you for the knowledge, both you and the blog provide.

Merry Christmas Garth. And to all Blog dogs Happy Holidays!

Whatever did become of both “Devils Advocate” and “Best Place on Earth”? Let’s speculate.

#61 jd on 12.17.13 at 11:56 pm

#3 Gladiator:

Thank you, you have just validated everything Garth says and made me smile. As I read his article I thought, “Wait for it, wait for it, it’s gonna come–the smug, self-serving, in denial comments.”

#62 TakingResponsibility on 12.18.13 at 12:01 am

To add to the discussion regarding Realtors, I would add that one must do Due Diligence choosing an agent.

Know the Real Estate Act in your province. And, peruse your provincial Real Estate Council’s website (thanks to this digital age, it is easy!) to gain an understanding of the complaints / investigation / disciplinary process. Get an idea of how the Real Estate Industry’s operational and governance system works.

Yes, check past disciplinary actions to see if your potential agent had issues. That may impact your decision to work with said agent.

I agree that agents can benefit buyers/sellers but do not ask them for financial advice as that is outside of their role and skill set. Plus, after a quick perusal of just the administrative penalties of the Real Estate Council of Alberta, I found almost half of the fines were imposed due to agents’ not informing the Council that they were going through bankruptcy proceedings!! I was surprised.

http://www.reca.ca/consumers/content/complaints-discipline/administrative-penalties.htm

: D

#63 Retired Boomer - WI on 12.18.13 at 12:02 am

Agree with Garth on the FSBO’s.

When I buy a property, I want quality representation. When I SELL a property I expect the same.

I shop my Realtors when selling, and when buying. I work with a “professional” who knows their business, who knows the area, and represents MY interests, both in selling, as well as in guying
9buyer’s agent). I PAY for that professionalism. In my past transactions I, and my lender have had NO regrets.

I also shop for products. Kia and Hyundai are NOT currently only kiss for acceptable transportation of my aging ass.

I own stock in COSTCO and have been in their stores, but am not a member as my nearest store is over 90 miles away. That’s quite a hike to buy discount TP. I am quite happy as a common stock holder to date. I am impressed with their stores, their business practices, and if one opens closer will reconsider membership. As a disclaimer I am not impressed with Wall-mart, or Sam’s club, but I also don’t care for their business practices and don’t shop there.

At some point in time, might explore FSBO as a seller, but not as a buyer, who knows. I’ve learned never to say never about the future.

#64 Canadian Watchdog on 12.18.13 at 12:09 am

China November home prices rise 9.9 pct y/y

Dec 18 (Reuters) – Average new home prices in China's 70 major cities in November rose 9.9 percent from a year earlier, a fresh record growth rate, according to Reuters calculations based on official data published on Wednesday.

In month-on-month terms, prices rose 0.5 percent in November, slowing from October's rise of 0.6 percent.

The National Bureau of Statistics said new home prices in Beijing rose 16.3 percent in November from a year earlier, compared with October's year-on-year increase of 16.4 percent.

Shanghai prices were up 18.2 percent in November from a year ago, versus 17.8 percent annual growth in October.

China still faces record home prices despite government measures to calm the market, in large part due to a strong view that property remains one of the best investment options and also to local government land sales for much-needed revenues.

Reuters started its weighted China home price index in January 2011 when the NBS stopped providing nationwide data, only giving home price changes in each of 70 major cities. (Reporting By Xiaoyi Shao and Jonathan Standing)

Umm, this is kind of a big f n' problem when the PRC's economic policy is to urbanize a few hundred million rural mainlanders into major cities. Even with real wages growing at 9%, home affordability in cities like Guangzhou, Shanghai and Beijing is almost declining by half every year, while other major cities are more or less flat, keeping  price-to-income ratios for rural mainlanders miles apart. Chart

Seriously. This is not a good situation. The PBOC or PRC may be forced, by their own hand, to do some sort of "Volcker shock" move to curb prices; an event that would certainly cause major loses for recent home buyers. 

This is what happens when keep governments keep kicking the can down the road. The problem just gets bigger.

#65 Jon B on 12.18.13 at 12:13 am

I sold my penthouse condo in a hot 2007 seller’s market myself. Got a great price, buyer was easy to deal with, totally smooth transaction. I would recommend FSBO despite the advice above to the contrary. Realtors are simply over paid match-makers. It is the lawyers that do the heavy lifting in the transaction itself. Only in a buyer’s market would I hire a professional realtor if I was selling.

#66 Gekkomaniac on 12.18.13 at 12:22 am

I’m willing to accept any reasonable argument for and against FSBO, except for the economic one.

Garth, you argue (correctly) over and over again that every transaction is between two willing participants at the end of the day. If a FSBO property exchanges hands, it does so at a price acceptable to both parties, which is no different than a regular sale with an agent.

I would argue that it’s in the country’s economic best interest to have residential real estate change hands with as little “prodding” as possible, in either direction. Yourself Garth argue repeatedly not to let anyone scare you into paying more than you think something is really worth. Similarly, one shouldn’t accept a price lower than what they think it’s worth, unless – as you so aptly put it – the seller is ready to eat the furniture.

One thing is clear: real estate lawyers who charge a fixed fee are a definitely a viable long-term alternative to covering your ass compared to a commision-based real estate agent, especially as the internet will eventually completely loosen the monopolistic grip real estate brokerages have on the market (and the MLS)

In any case, a better time to revisit the FSBO issue will be when prices start to make sense in comparison to incomes and rent. That could be a long time especially if the bubble deflates slowly. As Garth always says, you are NEVER compelled to buy a home, renting is always an alternative if your life circumstances or the circumstances of the market are not suitable for an actual purchase, whether mortgage or cash.

BTW I want more Smoking Man. Where the hell is he?

#67 Alwyn on 12.18.13 at 12:27 am

Having realtors receive fixed percentage commissions mean they have little financial incentive to obtain the highest possible selling price for the seller. This is especially true when properties are selling quickly and realtors can make more income by selling as many houses as quickly as they can.

One way property sellers can offer realtors incentive to obtain the highest possible selling price is to negotiate an escalating commission percentage which steadily increases as the selling price increases.

For example, if an agent values a house at $750,000, he would receive 1% commission on any selling price up to, say, $600,000; 2% on the next $100,000; 10% for the next $50,000 and $20% of amounts in excess of $750,000.

In this example, the RE fees would be $8,000 if the house sold for just $700,000; $13,000 if it sold for $750,000 and $23,000 if the realtor sold the property for $800,000 ($50,000 over valuation).

#68 Spectacle on 12.18.13 at 12:34 am

Thanks Garth.

Re :
#6 My2USDc on 12.17.13 at 8:42 pm
I wonder why you allow so many provocative messages posted by realtors………..but I do believe that they messages should be censored till they make sense……
Every time when I come here………I believe that you favor the quantity not the quality….

My2c

Now I’ve heard it all. — Garth

Gosh! The things Garth has to put up with! Ugh.

Point of reference;
Some people actively prefer & choose “Knockoffs” .
They bring knockoffs into their life instead of authenticity .

A cheap ( knockoff ) tool can injure you, much like fast food. Or the Tata companies first electric sedan for under $5000, nearly torched its first customers family alive in 20 seconds on the ceremonial platform! Ouch!

In our current market/economy, sage advice is to hire professionals. It’s getting pretty risky ( some would say extremely so! ) in construction/real estate & investments of any kind.

Thnx

#69 MEANWHILE IN FRANCE on 12.18.13 at 12:42 am

There’s not much we miss here in France. But COSTCO we do really want to come over here and open up.
If just to show Europeans who stole their customer service skills.

If all big box companies would be run as sincere as Costco, there’d be a lot more happy people around. Employees and customers alike.

#70 bentoverandpayingtaxes on 12.18.13 at 12:48 am

This list is out of line. Having once created and managed several large real estate offices I can state without equivocation that a majority of the agents on the street at any one time are incompetent boobs. I spent a lot of time in RE Board disiplinary hearings salvaging careers and mitigating litigation threatened by angry vendors, legal representatives and the constantly squabbling competition. Don’t even suggest that what actually goes on in the real estate sales arena is entirely professional and above board 100% of the time. I’d name names and call them chimps…but that would cast unfair negative aspersions on the simian population.

1) Offer Chuck an exclusive listing for the hours it takes him to show his clients at a negotiated commission of $1000…..an effective tactic for dealing with realtors who flock to FSBO listings.

2) FSBO’s are organized and usually have done enough homework in the sub area to possess more local knowledge than any realtor. Is cheap a politically correct crime in Canada?

3) Calling all FSBO’s liars is as absurd as calling all realtors honest

4) Call forward your h-ome number to a cell so that buyers have instant access to you for appointments.

5) Already answered….saying that a FSBO doesn’t know anything about the schools and transpo in the area is a stupendous statement.

6) Agents use boiler plate standard real estate contracts and buy them from stationary stores/ wholesalers at .35 cents a piece in bulk like anyone else……they come in packages..or singles….every law office…notary office gives them out like free candy hoping to get the conveyancing biz upon sale.

7) Appointments like reservations are made to everyones conveiance….unless you were brought up in a barn…to suggest that a woman will be robbed or raped is to suggest that no realtors are raped or murdered doing an open house. In fact the stat for stranger murder is 19000 to 1 in Canada.

8) Contract Law came with the Magna Carta….not the Real Estate Act. Of course people are protected by contract law……the lawyer or notary will have placed the deposit money collected In Trust. I can also state that historically many real estate office managers, notaries and lawyers have absconded with the trust funds in equal measure to disappearing buyers/vendors. Look up liquidated damages for example as a handy clause.

9/10….A realtor has no more power to force a reluctant buyer/seller than the clerk at McDonalds….thats your lawyers job. The realtors action in the event of failure is to withold the deposit so as t attach their commission. The standard rule for a real estate sub agent is ‘to collect a deposit equal to or greater than your commission’.

Todays post is contrary and salacious… I have to conclude you’re just swinging the bat and getting people riled up for kicks. I hope I’ve cleared up the confusion…..happy capitalism.

#71 John on 12.18.13 at 12:48 am

#6 My2USDc

Seriously??!!!

Kia’s suck as do cats….

#72 Rural Rick on 12.18.13 at 12:56 am

I have done it both ways more than once. Bought from relatives and sold to a tenant no agent required the properties price was adjusted to reflect this. Bought and sold other properties with an agent because a good one is really worth it.

#73 frogblender on 12.18.13 at 1:01 am

I don’t know, dude. If a half-smart buyer has a half-smart lawyer, I don’t see alot of downside. Your points:

1) With fsbo, house will “probably end up selling for less”. Isn’t this a good opportunity for the buyer???

2) fsbos are “cheap and greedy”. Maybe. So what.

3) “Nothing a FSBO tells you is actually credible” Is that any different from a commissioned realtor?

4) “no receptionist”. Eh. “no comparables” Comparables, I’ll give you.

5) “Expect every FSBO to lie.” see 3)

6) “negotiation process can be emotional”; “agent … will almost always save the buyer money.” Any buyer who’s been through the late-night negotiation will invariably tell you their agent was pushing to close – the agent wants to go home, with a big commission. And the more the buyer pays, the bigger the commission.

7) “Buyers can expose themselves financially and legally” That’s why buyer needs a competent lawyer. No different than non-fsbo.

8) not the buyer’s prob.

9) Again, buyer needs a lawyer, fsbo or not.

10) Garth thinks fsbo-types are ahols. Maybe. But if you just hand them your written offer and walk away, you don’t even need to speak to them.

#74 Rural Rick on 12.18.13 at 1:05 am

Not going to look at a private listing ever because FSBO folks are unrealistic and hard to work with. Who needs it when you can find motivated sellers. I just don’t even look at them. I am pretty sure I am not alone in this view

#75 AB Boxster on 12.18.13 at 1:10 am

Garth,

Every point you make regarding FSBO sales was made at one time or another by every industry.

Only buy securities from a stock broker (remember them) as only they have your best interest at heart and its all very complex.

Only buy your computer from a trusted computer sales store as only they understand the complexities of these tools. (Remember ComputerLand circa 1980)

Only buy software from Soft Options.
You know because software is very complex.

So here’s the real issue.
Do I care if a seller wants to use the services of agent of some sort to help him through the process of finding a home and negotiating a price?
Nope. If there is value to the seller then why should I care?

But if I don’t get any value out of it, why should it cost me money?
Let the buyer pay, they need the service.

However, as you describe realtors have decided that rather than deal with private sellers, they will deal ‘only’ with other realtors.

Sounds like a cartel to me.

Can you imagine a car dealer refusing to sell me a car, unless we both had car buying agents to address all the issues you describe in your blog?
Cuz cars are very complex dontcha know.

Am I willing to compensate the buyers realtor for bringing me the seller?
Sure. 5% of the value of the property. Nope.

The fact that realtors ‘own’ this market, and refuse to work with FSBO sellers is more to do with preserving dollars and control than it is with protecting consumers.

I mean if we’re talking about greed, lets give realtors their due.

#76 Questions on 12.18.13 at 1:11 am

Curmudgeon

#77 Obvious Truth on 12.18.13 at 1:13 am

Food basics and no frills blow away costco with weekly specials. Produce is way better too. Although this can depend on the franchise.

Local meat and produce during the right season is hands down better and comparable in price.

I love local bakeries.

I’ve done my fair share at costco too and the customer experience is good from electronics to tires. Kids love the cashews. And the hotdogs.

The shoppers in there are often grumpy though. Like some bloggers recently. Lighten up. Housing seems to have rolled and the same catalysts considered good for housing have now turned to become headwinds. But it’s the first inning. Pitcher won’t get tired till the seventh. Be patient. Fsobgyn will be meaningless then. And we will soon see hybrid models anyway. Internet is ultimate deflator.

In the meantime find great places to invest and enjoy. I’m going to eat a local apple from my cold room.

And why is gold being stubborn? It won’t go down on news that should crush it. Weird. The stocks don’t care that everyone says they can’t make money maybe ever. Anyone else see a hanging curve ball. And by no means do I think the world will end. But the fed will get inflation through full employment. It’s mandated by congress. They are very smart. Are any economists betting on lower interest on reserves plus bond buying for a while? That would be something. Like a timlin henke combo.

Wholly crane operators. Just saw that. We’ll done everyone. People are good. Can’t put a price on that.

Way to go go Captain Agnew and crew.

#78 Berniebee on 12.18.13 at 1:26 am

Hmmm….Sold in Ottawa FSBO using Grapevine last summer. Compared prices in hood of similar homes, made up a listing sheet, saw a range of offers, picked one. Accepted an offer. Financing did not go through.
Called a couple of other buyers back and accepted another offer… which turned out to be a little higher!
Sold price was slightly higher than two other very similar properties. (Yup, I visited them.) Full disclosure: I know how to wash windows and floors, and how to put down toilet seats.
I estimate the 5% commission I saved, divided by the hours for showing the house, taking phone calls, making up the listing, etc, worked out to over FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS AN HOUR. Non taxable.

Now maybe I got lucky. And maybe I got lucky selling four other houses privately. In two other cities. Over a 15 year span.

The idea to sell privately sprang from a realtor’s blurb. That’s where I first saw the line about the most important things determining the value of house being “location, location and location. ” I realized then that a RE agent is not even in the top three. Go figure.

#79 bobbyk on 12.18.13 at 1:29 am

once bitten

found a few houses for sale in my desired neighborhood,
made an offer to purchase FSBO home, they backed out of the deal on me over a three month period when the market was heating up and I lost momentum and never found another place for another year and a half, in the end got priced out of the neighborhood

expensive waste of time, realtor would have ensured deal went through

#80 JimH on 12.18.13 at 1:30 am

Costco does indeed sell cars by providing discounts through some 3,000+ New and Used car dealerships in the US, and this encompasses most makes and models, foreign and domestic. (www.costcoauto.com)
Costco offers many great products at discount prices, and provides outstanding customer service.
They don’t sell Hummers… Or any other Chinese cars that I know of.

#81 TRON on 12.18.13 at 1:32 am

Can’t agree with #8. Makes no difference as people are going through your place with an agent who is not doing background checks on the perspective buyer. Only an idiot would schedule a walk-through when the wife is home alone.

#82 Mississauga to Vancouver on 12.18.13 at 1:32 am

Sorry Garth…laughable. When disruptive technologies such as Zillow-like services come to Canada (and they will) there will be no need for 6-month night school course lepers. All the more power to the FSBOs!

#83 mac on 12.18.13 at 1:35 am

I 100% agree with you today, Garth.

You forgot one:

(11) FSBOs hang around you like a bad smell while you’re looking around the open house. They point out too many useless things they love about their place, that you won’t, and get cagey when asked a direct question like what repairs have been done to the building and how will you deal with a negotiated price.

#84 ryan on 12.18.13 at 1:38 am

People who shop at Costco are the same ones that buy these cheaply built houses out in the suburbs at ridiculous prices, need to have the latest phone, don’t know how to drive in the snow and think Canada’s healthcare is the greatest in the world and actually think its free. I could go on and on, but you get the point.

#85 The American on 12.18.13 at 1:41 am

At #45: Shawn, okay, it is really funny how Canadians may read about Costco “selling Hondas” in the U.S. I swear to God on my left nut I have no idea how much propaganda and B.S. is fed through Canadian “news.” Costco does NOT sell Hondas or any other car manufacturer, for that matter. Costco forges strategic partnerships with local dealers within areas of which each Costco is located. Those dealers chose to participate in a discount program, sponsored by Costco, dedicated specifically for Costco members for a “no haggle and fair price.” These deals can be found for not only Honda, but for Toyota, Mercedes Benz, Audi, BMW, Hyundai, Kia, Chevrolet, Ford, Volvo, Subaru, Mini, and a plethora of other makes. You simply contact your Costco store in advance, tell them what kind of car you are looking for, and they connect you with the dealership. The dealership then takes it from there and provides you the “no haggle price,” which is actually a pretty sweet deal from my research. Seriously, WTF?!?

#86 The American on 12.18.13 at 1:47 am

At #45: Shawn, Costco isn’t just a low-cost provider or a bulk provider. Costco’s business model is quite different from low-cost or bulk providers. The difference? Take for example a Sam’s Wholesale (wholly owned by Wal-Mart)… All Sam’s sells is bulk items at cheap prices, without much thought to high quality. Costco, however, takes into consideration a value-add business model… meaning that Costco realizes lower costs for bulk items, however, it will only sell items that meet the “best bang for the buck.” There is VERY RARELY an item/bran from Costco with which you would find yourself dissatisfied. BTW, Costco is a Seattle-based company. Canadians literally cross the border on a daily basis and annihilate the milk/dairy and meat isles at Costco in Bellingham, WA. It’s true.

#87 raisemyrent on 12.18.13 at 1:58 am

@ #48 Spiltbongwater
the keg is run of the mill franchise crap; one step above swiss chalet (which is a step above KFC/Poulet Fuké) IMO

#88 joseph on 12.18.13 at 2:03 am

COSTCO literally saves my family $1000’s per year. I am not a fan of other grocery chains though as everything is far more expensive per unit. You are missing something in this equation… bad experience perhaps?

#89 KommyKim on 12.18.13 at 2:08 am

RE: #57 Sparky55 on 12.17.13 at 11:26 pm
What’s wrong with Costco?

Having to pay a yearly membership to shop. Seems wrong to me. I refuse to do so.
MEC’s method of a low one time CO-OP membership fee is much more palatable.

#90 Christopher Lackey on 12.18.13 at 2:13 am

Just because with the internet you can technically learn to do anything yourself it doesn’t mean we need to heap scorn on professionals who, on average, know a hell of a lot more than homes and home buying than you do, unless you have that valuable, precious commodity which can’t be bought known as experience.

I know from putting in two offers in my neighbourhood recently for the first time working with the agent was a far superior experience than working with a FSBO. You have an intermediary to do all your dirty work and talking for you as a buyer – for free. They have all the intelligence, range, and long term data on the neighbourhood – what’s good and bad where, who likes what, and the inside stories behind recent sales.

Versus a guy who was nice and everything but with whom I didn’t even know where to begin. Trying to copy all the good stuff from my last botched offer the agent wrote. The only perspective I have on this transaction is the seller’s trying to get out of paying a normal seller’s expense. In the end we backed out for the same reason this blog pounds night in and night out – we felt it was overpriced. A realtor would have helped us make a realistic offer and we wouldn’t have had to worry about clauses contract law etc.

Look, I do my own taxes, investments, computer repairs, cooking, and oil changes but for all you realtor haters who want everyone to become experts in real estate overnight – DIY has its limits.

#91 S on 12.18.13 at 2:14 am

Agree with most of what I read here, but why rag on Costco? Their product quality is pretty solid while warranty and return policy unbeatable in this country. Where else can a buyer return a computer after having used it for three months? Biggest benefit of shopping there, however, is eliminating commission based salesmen. I get the realtor thing, but why anyone would voluntarily hand over commission money while buying a stereo or a car when there are other options beats me.

#92 cynically on 12.18.13 at 2:31 am

I would think that Ross Kay’s CREA bashing would be a pro for FSBO as CREA represents sales agents in a manner of speaking. However maybe FSBO might get some traction in the money-manager industry. Just a joke, Garth.

#93 HDJ on 12.18.13 at 2:34 am

I’ve sold two and purchased one FSBO – each property was a gem. Also, let me say that it isn’t necessary to become a liar when using the FSBO method. And in my experience, if you do our homework the process can go smoothly. Your “ten reasons FSBO suck” are full of half-truths and exaggerations. If I were selling my current home I would first try selling it myself, before resorting to the unpleasantness of dealing with a real estate firm and submitting myself to their exorbitant and undeserved commissions.

#94 DC on 12.18.13 at 2:54 am

I had this FSBO idea a while ago when I drank more often; now sober still believe its a good idea

Anyway a FSBO seller needs to find another FSBO seller and simply trade houses (and top up the difference in values). If there are any problems after the deal you know where the other person lives. I think this solves a lot of problems.

#95 meslippery on 12.18.13 at 3:52 am

You probably do not understand …..
minimum wage is not $10,000 of k for one or two
weeks work.
Garth talks about 5 to 7 % return per year??
5% for one or two weeks …???

#96 meslippery on 12.18.13 at 3:58 am

Oh and not there money.

#97 Buy? Curious? on 12.18.13 at 4:39 am

Garth, a bit of a let down with ol’ Rossco Peako’s post (Oooo! I’ll get them there Duke Boys!). Though his message was cool, did he reference Ross Kay Consultants a few times? (Ego much?) If CREA’s MLS numbers are so off why aren’t more people screaming for an independendent audit of the numbers? Why doesn’t the government send in PriceWaterhouse Coopers in for a little butt smacking? If there is such a danger to boomers wealth, why isn’t there a sea of mobility scooters up on Parliment Hill? Unless….this is all part of the plan. Quick! Garth, put on your Batman suit and meet me at the corner of Church and Wellesley! We’ll get a latte.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPtfsk4ETjM

#98 Jason Wood RE/MAX Vancouver on 12.18.13 at 4:45 am

I was referred to this article by my Vancouver mortgage broker friend, John Chan with Dominion Lending and I think its a great read with many excellent points.

Prior to becoming a Real Estate agent I had the mentality that I myself would sell my own properties as FSBO and purchase properties on my own without an agent. I felt the same as all those pro-FSBO’ers out there.
It wasn’t until I went to school to become a licensed agent and even more so, after becoming an agent, doing open houses and meeting an enormous amount of people who had chosen to represent themselves, that I had started to realize how many problems people encountered without proper agent representation.

Believe me, I am seriously one of those types of people who love to do things on my own but knowing what I know now, I would NEVER represent my own transaction. Furthermore, for those that are not aware, Real Estate Agents although allowed to represent themselves for their own homes, they are HIGHLY discouraged to do so and the Realtor Insurance companies that back us up when we make mistakes (Real Estate Errors and Omissions) do not cover Realtors self represented transactions.

Again, great Post!

Jason Wood
bchouseandhome.com

#99 gmc on 12.18.13 at 6:55 am

check this out, our politicians lied to us about canada s fives biggest banks, no bank run,, bull!!!!
next bank bails in??????, maybe not but at this point why trust anyone. smaller banks and credit unions could be the solution until this mess is resolved.
Trivial pursuit question: who said
YOU WON”T RECOGNIZE THIS COUNTRY WHEN I AM DONE
Check this out:

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/quantifying-big-five-canadian-banks-114-billion-bailout

#100 Tony on 12.18.13 at 7:02 am

For the little work a real estate agent does i’d estimate it would be to the advantage of at least 99 percent of Canada’s population to get a mls listing and go out and get a real estate license and sell your house yourself. The only exceptions would be selling out of province, state or country. First sit down with a calculator and estimate what a real estate agent makes per hour. Yes some make more than company Ceo’s.

#101 Tony on 12.18.13 at 7:09 am

Re: #41 Cici on 12.17.13 at 10:51 pm

When you buy a new house all you have to do is ask for the blueprints if they aren’t supplied which are generally free. It’s that simple.

#102 Sven gunder on 12.18.13 at 7:21 am

We put our house on the market wih a realtor early this year. The agent kept lying to us and tried to sell buyers other people’s houses as well as ours (we had a friend check up on him at a showing). So we dumped him and sold it ourselves with Property Guys. There wasnt much to it and the lawyer did all the paperwork. Just price it fairly and you will be fine.

#103 I'm stupid on 12.18.13 at 7:28 am

I was at Yorkdale yesterday, finishing off my Xmas shopping. The mall didn’t look that busy and very few people had bags in their hands. Has anyone else noticed this? I didn’t need to fight to get a parking spot, no long lines and many of the stores where empty. I even walked by someone at the Bay talking to a co-worker saying how board he was and that he wanted to go home.

#104 Marta on 12.18.13 at 8:21 am

Just a note to all the righteous idiots who think that realtors make tens of thousands of dollars for a few hours of work – I work 8am-8pm, and sometimes later, seeing my kids half hour before bedtime. What do I do? I drive buyers around showing homes, I drive from one end of town to another delivering deposit checks and other documents to lawyers and brokerages, I meet with my clients after they’ve finished work, because they can’t meet with me during the regular business hours, I negotiate with listing agents FOR HOURS at a time, I meet with mortgage brokers, so my buyers can get the best financing, and a lot more things. When eventually, one of five or six buyers I work with each given moment, not only decides to make a purchase, but gets his offer accepted, gets financing he likes, AND closes two-three months later, I get paid 7K-10K. And you call that a few hours of work? Do I really look overpaid, earning about 4-5K per months for days of very hard work?

#105 AllYouNeedToKnow on 12.18.13 at 8:31 am

If stats were collected, I’d love to see how many RE Agents handled their own personal deals, and how many got one of their trusted colleagues to do it.

I know a few, and they preferred the professional detachment that came from letting another agent do the work.

(Then again, they were probably able to negotiate a sweetheart deal on commission, so maybe that tips it)

#106 Marta on 12.18.13 at 8:34 am

and by the way, real estate license is 4 long courses, which are usually done within a year, and then you have to finish 3 more, while already working. then there is the continuing education requirements. not a few hours course, by any stretch of imagination.
and then, without actual experience you’re still a pop in the woods. that’s to all the guys who believe it will be cheaper and easier to finish RE license to sell your own house.

#107 recharts on 12.18.13 at 9:01 am

#98 Jason Wood RE/MAX Vancouver on 12.18.13 at 4:45 am
I was referred to this article by my Vancouver mortgage broker friend, John Chan with Dominion Lending and I think its a great read with many excellent points.

Let’s us know if you want us to point you two to other articles who also have excellent points about your industry and the Real Estate misery that the people of Vancouver are enduring these days.

PS: a friend of mine pointed me to this site where I can get free advertising

[email protected] Canada

#108 paul on 12.18.13 at 9:06 am

I didn’t want to put my personal storey out here for obvious reasons but here goes. I have been a agent for 30 years and sold about 25 personal properties that I owned from single family, Condos and commercial businesses. I put them all on M.L.S. and only once did I sell one myself. All of the others were sold to buyers working with agents representing them as I could set the commission on the selling side as I pleased but I always paid them 3% and happy to do it. There are approximately 35,000 agent on the Toronto board when the listing goes online they are there with the buyers.

#109 Rational Optimist on 12.18.13 at 9:19 am

Re: 159 Shawn on 12.17.13 at 6:10 pm
A CANADIAN DOLLAR IS ALWAYS WORTH A DOLLAR IN CANDADA

Rational Optimist just above said:

It’s going to be great: we’ll be 20 or 30 percent poorer (how low can the Canadian dollar go? A long way, it was below 80 cents just four years ago), but it’s okay, we’ll hardly notice.

**********************************

We’ll hardly notice because it’s not true. Just like most peolple were not noticeably richer when our dollar rose dramtically, only those who spend much outside of Canada.
……………………..

“A Canadian dollar is always worth a dollar in Canada.” Right, but what’s a dollar worth? Query your neighbours about their top destinations for a vacation next winter. You may believe you aren’t buying any imports, but for most Canadians, that’s not the case.

#110 paul on 12.18.13 at 9:24 am

81 TRON on 12.18.13 at 1:32 am
Can’t agree with #8. Makes no difference as people are going through your place with an agent who is not doing background checks on the perspective buyer. Only an idiot would schedule a walk-through when the wife is home alone.
.—————————————————————If you think a agent is going around showing homes most times with the owners at work or the place is vacant or a power of sale grow-up with out doing some checking on the buyer ie. name,address,phone number,car make model plate,place of emplotment ,Will you be coming with the wife and kids? OR Heaven forbid a buyers representation agreement you are THE IDIOT(did not want to go there but)

#111 recharts on 12.18.13 at 9:34 am

#67 Alwyn on 12.18.13 at 12:27 am
Having realtors receive fixed percentage commissions mean they have little financial incentive to obtain the highest possible selling price for the seller. This is especially true when properties are selling quickly and realtors can make more income by selling as many houses as quickly as they can.

One way property sellers can offer realtors incentive to obtain the highest possible selling price is to negotiate an escalating commission percentage which steadily increases as the selling price increases.

For example, if an agent values a house at $750,000, he would receive 1% commission on any selling price up to, say, $600,000; 2% on the next $100,000; 10% for the next $50,000 and $20% of amounts in excess of $750,000.

In this example, the RE fees would be $8,000 if the house sold for just $700,000; $13,000 if it sold for $750,000 and $23,000 if the realtor sold the property for $800,000 ($50,000 over valuation).

I think that this has been changed recently, at least in Ontario now it is possible to negotiate a fee structured as you described above

#112 Sean on 12.18.13 at 9:41 am

#12 lilyjoe on 12.17.13 at 9:01 pm
Hi Garth,

I realize you do not like Kia but what about Hyundai?

——————–

Classic question! How could you let this go unanswered Garth? BTW, great post tonight.. I love it when you sugar coat things, and use kid gloves.. lol!

#113 High Plains Drifter on 12.18.13 at 9:46 am

I sold in Sept. 08, in Edmonton. The value of the property dropped 50 biggies the next few months. My realtor was a godsend. That 50 was a domino, that if it fell, well I think it is safe to say even the Jockey Motel may have punted me.

#114 Sean on 12.18.13 at 9:48 am

And BTW, my two cents worth.. I think your criticisms of FSBO are bang on. BUT… the problem is the alternative! Uneducated, unethical simpletons… often willing to spew out whatever random idiotic thought or lie that pops into their head, in the hopes of closing a sale. Not all realtors fit this description, of course, but the problem is that the “realtor” designation is meaningless, and no guarantee of competence (somewhat like a university degree). The solution must lie in a much more stringent qualification process, and eventually in the application of more technology (like Zillow), putting more power and personal responsibility into the hands of both buyer and seller.

#115 Castaway on 12.18.13 at 9:49 am

Garth, you inadvertantly changed this into a freakin Costco blog site!

People please do some basic research before you post. Costco is not a discount chain. Its business model is to move popular goods in volume and only stock what moves. They also carry top end lines of electronics etc and even fine wine in the US (but can’t in Canada due to archaic liquor laws). And they never mark anything up by more than 15%, ever.

If you think that is like Walmart your an idiot. Oh, and their stock is about about 300% over last 7 years. I will keep my shares and keep shopping there.

Now Kia that another story!

I did not write about Costco. I referenced the people who shop there, which appears to be everybody on this pathetic blog. — Garth

#116 RVP on 12.18.13 at 9:57 am

In Vancouver area, it seems that the prices at Superstore are cheaper than Costco–and there are no membership fees at Superstore and more locations than Costco.

#117 rosie "moving forward" in the knowledge that, "this won't end well" on 12.18.13 at 10:09 am

FSBO, the trend is not your friend.

http://pvpost.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/FSBO.jpg

P.S. Costco is a store.

#118 Penny Henny on 12.18.13 at 10:33 am

It’s just a nutty idea embraced by the kind of iconoclastic, anti-establishment, rebel, antisocial, outcast, regulator-snubbing, tight cheapskates who populate this pathetic blog.-Garth
—————————————————–
iconoclastic- no idea what this means
anti-establishment- check
rebel- check
anti-social- bugger off
outcast- maybe others think so
regulator-snubbing- check
tight cheapskate- I prefer frugal

I’m 5, or possibly 6, out of 7.
Pretty good Garth.

#119 Peterk on 12.18.13 at 10:42 am

Agreed Garth. But try to find an agent who does their job. Impossible. Everyone I know that has bought in the last 5 years (Yes I told them to rent) found their home in MLS on their own. Agent just followed up and encouraged bid over ask.

#120 davej on 12.18.13 at 10:47 am

Interesting blog today, the idea of the FSBO is seriously flawed! There is a much more reasonable way, I’m from the UK (where they still pay much higher prices for their homes) the average. UK real estate agent earns about 50,000 CAD per year (and is considered a ‘boob’ by most :)), is salaried with a small percentage of sales going to him. Most of the 2% total sales commision, which includes buyer sales commision goes to the brokerage firm. I’m sure everyone would be a lot happier if we weren’t forced to pay the average unreasonable 5% commision.

My real reason for writing though is Costco! Why do you hate Costco Garth?

It pays its vendors top dollar, sells only quality products, tacks on around 15% margin, clean, amazing customer service\return policy and pays staff way above average wage of similar retailers, is incredibly efficient.

My guess is you have never shopped there!

Of course not. My chauffeur handles such tasks. — Garth

#121 Infused with Opiates on 12.18.13 at 11:05 am

67 Alwyn – the downside of that structure is that it wont
give agents the incentive to present what is actually a
realistic, fair offer.

#122 Kilby on 12.18.13 at 11:07 am

#7 Bob Rice on 12.17.13 at 8:43 pm
“proper representation”

We rented a house in the spring… the agent claimed she was representing both parties. We were charged a $500 security deposit in the lease, paid up front. It’s against the law to do so, so we learned afterward.
_____________________________________________

In BC you pay a damage deposit of one half a months rent when you first sign the lease, if you have pets it is usually a full month. Perfectly legal and necessary in most cases.

#123 rosie "moving forward" in the knowledge that, "this won't end well" on 12.18.13 at 11:08 am

Hipster heaven has a problem, creatively speaking. But it is different here.

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2013/12/expensive-cities-are-killing-creativity-2013121065856922461.html

#124 Time Bandit on 12.18.13 at 11:11 am

#70 bentoverandpayingtaxes

Well stated. Should I be calling you Lou Schizas ?

#125 Kilby on 12.18.13 at 11:11 am

#25 Porsche on 12.17.13 at 9:47 pm
#24
“Paying a boob 20-30k for several hours’ work is what makes people hate realtors”
_____________________________________________
How about 6 months work? Several hours is just a figment of “thrifty” peoples minds.

#126 20something on 12.18.13 at 11:14 am

Somebody at Ross Kay should be proofreading the website. There are several spelling and grammatical errors that undermine the credibility/authority of the organization.

#127 Oceanside on 12.18.13 at 11:17 am

We have been looking actively for a home here on Vancouver Island for over a year….Don’t even try and look at FSBO’s anymore, the first few were just too weird, asking too much and really awkward to view, don’t like home inspections, waaaay too much hassle. The few we did look at the sellers were so defensive, couldn’t take any criticism of the properties, I like the separation when using an agent.

#128 MiniMe on 12.18.13 at 11:18 am

#104 Marta on 12.18.13 at 8:21 am
Just a note to all the righteous idiots who think that realtors make tens of thousands of dollars for a few hours of work – I work 8am-8pm, and sometimes later, seeing my kids half hour before bedtime. What do I do? I drive buyers around showing homes, I drive from one end of town to another delivering deposit checks and other documents to lawyers and brokerages, I meet with my clients after they’ve finished work, because they can’t meet with me during the regular business hours,

I know a delivery pizza guy exactly in the same situation
If you are not happy with that try taxicab driver. That needs 5 years of university in Canada.
You are ridiculous.

I negotiate with listing agents FOR HOURS at a time, I meet with mortgage brokers, so my buyers can get the best financing, and a lot more things. When eventually, one of five or six buyers I work with each given moment, not only decides to make a purchase, but gets his offer accepted, gets financing he likes, AND closes two-three months later, I get paid 7K-10K. And you call that a few hours of work? Do I really look overpaid, earning about 4-5K per months for days of very hard work?

Give us a break will you?!
You negotiate “for hours” once or twice a month when you have an offer otherwise you don’t have what to negotiate. You are contradicting yourself. What …do you want a medal for that?

And you conveniently forgot to say how difficult is to have an open house in the Danforth area and to sit there and collect the 10.000 offers of a bidding war and to receive the commission …OMG. I always wondered how could you guys endure that??

#106 Marta on 12.18.13 at 8:34 am
and by the way, real estate license is 4 long courses, which are usually done within a year, and then you have to finish 3 more, while already working.

As indicated above, try “cab driver”. A lot less paid, 5-6 years of university
Or better try IT …you know, in IT we get vacations to learn. This is how it should be. We do upgrades at night, MS,Oracle,VMWare etc they all change their products every year. A new release a new set of certifications (-3-4-5 exams each)
Also you could try CGA. Get 50-60K/year after you finish your studies (2-3 years after 5 years of university).
Also you could try to become a doctor. I am not going to tell you what it takes to become a doctor and what it takes to stay up to that with the latest in the medical world.

Yeah, we all learn, pass exams etc etc. but many of us need years to reach the 100K level of salary with no less work than a Real Estate agent.

then there is the continuing education requirements. not a few hours course, by any stretch of imagination.
and then, without actual experience you’re still a pop in the woods. that’s to all the guys who believe it will be cheaper and easier to finish RE license to sell your own house.

I almost cried in the end. When you have a couple of minutes to spare drop by I have some change. It is that season when we all feel the need to be generous …I will give you what I have.

You should sign your messages Martyr not Marta

#129 Squatter on 12.18.13 at 11:25 am

My guess is you have never shopped there!
Of course not. My chauffeur handles such tasks. — Garth

And your real estate agent handles your RE deals.
You are a busy man, we understand :-)

#130 Castaway on 12.18.13 at 11:28 am

#120 davej on 12.18.13 at 10:47 am
Interesting blog today, the idea of the FSBO is seriously flawed! There is a much more reasonable way, I’m from the UK (where they still pay much higher prices for their homes) the average. UK real estate agent earns about 50,000 CAD per year (and is considered a ‘boob’ by most :)), is salaried with a small percentage of sales going to him. Most of the 2% total sales commision, which includes buyer sales commision goes to the brokerage firm. I’m sure everyone would be a lot happier if we weren’t forced to pay the average unreasonable 5% commision.

My real reason for writing though is Costco! Why do you hate Costco Garth?

It pays its vendors top dollar, sells only quality products, tacks on around 15% margin, clean, amazing customer service\return policy and pays staff way above average wage of similar retailers, is incredibly efficient.

My guess is you have never shopped there!

Of course not. My chauffeur handles such tasks. — Garth

F’ign Brilliant. Lmao.

#131 MiniMe on 12.18.13 at 11:28 am

I did not write about Costco. I referenced the people who shop there, which appears to be everybody on this pathetic blog. — Garth

That was racist and politically incorrect
Double mistake

I apologize to the Costco race. I am super, super sorry. — Garth

#132 Canadian Watchdog on 12.18.13 at 11:33 am

#117 rosie

That data is based on US stats, that would have been highly skewed from foreclosures and sellers with negative equity. I'd also be skeptical about numbers produced by NAR (a competator of FSBO), since they have a history of fudgding numbers.

The truth is, there isn't good quality data on FSBO because it's private. Although there are some surveys (I'm not a fan of them) that suggest Canada's FSBOs have grown substantially over the years and currently make up 10-30% [1] of residential sales.

In hindsight, according to a research poll conducted by Kijiji Canada back in 2011, 61% [2] of Canadians would consider FSBO if it was easy and more affordable than using a real estate agent, of which 22% who have sold a home in the past have sold a home on their own at least once.

The question that has to be asked here is what would FSBO sales be if third-party websites (FSBOs, VOWs) had access to MLS data [3]. If competition is being contrained by data access, then it's only a matter of time before the private sector out-innovates those protecting MLS data and lobbying to preserve an outdated platform.

Every monopoly that tries to force an outcome that is opposed to the direction of demand eventually fails.

[1] Developing a Residential Property Price Index (RPPI) for Canada PDF

[2] Research reveals Canadians would like to sell their own home, but lack the selling savvy Link

[3] For sale by owner: realtors are still trying to keep the public’s hands off MLS, but you can’t hoard information in the information age Link

#133 Daisy Mae on 12.18.13 at 11:33 am

#83 Mac: “(11) FSBOs hang around you like a bad smell while you’re looking around the open house.”

*********************

An agent would do the same. Do you really believe an FSBO would let you wander thru their private home without an escort? Besides, they’re there to answer questions.

#134 Paul on 12.18.13 at 11:34 am

102 Sven gunder on 12.18.13 at 7:21 am

We put our house on the market wih a realtor early this year. The agent kept lying to us and tried to sell buyers other people’s houses as well as ours (we had a friend check up on him at a showing). So we dumped him and sold it ourselves with Property Guys. There wasnt much to it and the lawyer did all the paperwork. Just price it fairly and you will be fine
———————————————————
So I take it you did noy price

#135 Paul W on 12.18.13 at 11:34 am

Garth offered his professional opinion, take it or leave it. Realator, Broker, Mechanic etc. I have always asked friends, coworkers who they go to. When I have a positive experience I go back and I tell others. Make the best informed decision you can, then own it, good or bad…

#136 Paul on 12.18.13 at 11:35 am

102 Sven gunder on 12.18.13 at 7:21 am

We put our house on the market wih a realtor early this year. The agent kept lying to us and tried to sell buyers other people’s houses as well as ours (we had a friend check up on him at a showing). So we dumped him and sold it ourselves with Property Guys. There wasnt much to it and the lawyer did all the paperwork. Just price it fairly and you will be fine
———————————————————-So I take it you did not price it fairly with the agent?

#137 Tom from Mississauga on 12.18.13 at 11:36 am

Friend recently bought FSBO. Hearing what they had done I suggested an appraisal. Appraised was 100K less than the agreed purchase price. Total disaster.

#138 Daisy Mae on 12.18.13 at 11:38 am

BTW, I personally wouldn’t be a FSBO. The safety issue alone would deter me. And the looky loos? Forget it. But I would negotiate a reasonable commission based on the work the agent actually does.

#139 Daisy Mae on 12.18.13 at 11:41 am

….and no BRAs!

#140 Jerry Charlton on 12.18.13 at 11:41 am

As a FSBO buyer do you feel that the FSBO seller should collect the fee’s from you that is generally paid to a Real Estate Brokerage?

A FSBO is trying to pocket the Real Estate Brokerage Fee’s that the FSBO has added into the selling price.

The FSBO buyer says – no way – your not a realtor and discounts the price accordingly.

So in the cases where FSBO’s do sell, it can end up the same or less money in their pocket as if they used a Real Estate Brokerage.

FSBO’s will always be a part of the market and they will continue to learn the hard way, mostly because they don’t have all the information they need to make sound decisions.

Leave the Real Estate work to us – we will take care of you – and you can get on with your life!

Jerry Charlton Real Estate – Calgary
http://www.jerrycharlton.com

#141 Squatter on 12.18.13 at 11:45 am

#118 Penny Henny on 12.18.13 at 10:33 am:
iconoclastic- no idea what this means
anti-establishment- check
rebel- check
anti-social- bugger off
outcast- maybe others think so
regulator-snubbing- check
tight cheapskate- I prefer frugal

I’m 5, or possibly 6, out of 7.
Pretty good Garth.
————————————————-
I score quite high me too!

#142 TnT on 12.18.13 at 11:47 am

Costco is the perfect barn for our Cattle Society.

1) The Cattle Society believe that quantity is better than quality

2) “Smart Centers” are really just “Smart Barns” that herd The Cattle more efficiently for milking them of their money

3) “Carding” The Cattle upon entering makes them feel they are “human”

4) Herd The Cattle through the perfect maze of “Stuff” with oversized carts

5) The Cattle get excited as they throw “Stuff” in their cart

6) The Cattle line up for the milking at the cash register

7) Load your “Cattle Cart” mini-van with all this new “Stuff”

8) Make your way back to your suburban neighborhood

9) Now you get to stuff your barn and face with all this “Stuff”

10) Next week rinse and repeat when you are feeling “mad cow’ish”

Anyone who has ever worked a milking farm will know what I am talking about here…

#143 johnny d on 12.18.13 at 11:47 am

Garth you should love Costco… You get to pay a fee to shop there, not unlike the fee you get to pay to a Realtor who sells your house. Lol jk :)

#144 AB Boxster on 12.18.13 at 11:49 am

# 106 Marta,

I think your comments just confirm why come people actually get their realtor license. Because its so simple and can save you so much money.

4 courses in a year?

Name another industry that will give you a certification and a seat in a monopolistic industry (CREA)and will allow you to earn even $50,000 a year (and mostly much higher) yet requires training of 1 year and 4 courses?

#145 Paul on 12.18.13 at 11:50 am

Of course not. My chauffeur handles such tasks. — Garth

Garth ,you promised you would never tell anyone you sent me in there!

#146 johnny d on 12.18.13 at 11:50 am

Seriously though, trust towards the real estate industry seems a little thin on this site. Recommending Realtors and then posting a link to Ross Kay dismantling all the b.s. numbers they use to hype the market seems starkly contradictory.

You want dogma? — Garth

#147 Derek R on 12.18.13 at 11:52 am

#69 MEANWHILE IN FRANCE on 12.18.13 at 12:42 am wrote:
There’s not much we miss here in France. But COSTCO we do really want to come over here and open up.

Head through the Chunnel for a day trip to the UK then. Plenty of Costco stores there.

#148 John Prine on 12.18.13 at 12:07 pm

Off to Costco for imported cheeses, good coffee and a Christmas ham. Feel sorry for people who have not been customers there, missing so much.

#149 gladiator on 12.18.13 at 12:07 pm

@122 TnT: are you a machine? What is “stuff” for you is food for me – you know, those dead animal body parts called meat, or pieces of slaughtered fish and chicken. Throw in there cheese, pasta, eggs, bread, olive oil, canned food. I got kids and need to buy them books – they’re a steal at Costco. I also shop at 2-4 other grocery stores each week, so I get the most for my buck. The savings I get cover by far the price of extra gas and time I spend. The yearly fee I have to pay to Costco for getting access to high-quality necessities that I need in order to stay alive and function properly is a very small price.

Garth, I bet you didn’t know you had so many Costco lovers among your fans LOL

#150 eddy on 12.18.13 at 12:08 pm

I was in a Toronto Costco recently. They had about 10 laptops on display, ALL but One were Hewlett-Packard.
Same with printers etc. In US Costco it’s a similar push of Hewlett-Packard. So you want a laptop? pick a Hewlett-Packard. If anyone thinks this is in anyway by chance, think again. Hewlett-Packard is one of the worlds biggest military industrial complex profiteers. I pay to shop at Costco, buy they’d have to pay me to buy Hewlett-Packard (HP)

#151 -=jwk=- on 12.18.13 at 12:13 pm

+1 for Costco here. A new one just opened nearer to use so it is even more convenient…I accept Garth’s apology :)

#152 DR on 12.18.13 at 12:16 pm

#133 Daisy Mae on 12.18.13 at 11:33 am
#83 Mac: “(11) FSBOs hang around you like a bad smell while you’re looking around the open house.”

*********************

An agent would do the same. Do you really believe an FSBO would let you wander thru their private home without an escort? Besides, they’re there to answer questions.
—————–
Answer questions? I wouldn’t think they are biased covering up the fact the basement leaks right???? that’s right the basement leaks..in spring…when it rains…and you bought it in January.

#153 rosie "moving forward" in the knowledge that, "this won't end well" on 12.18.13 at 12:18 pm

#132 Canadian watchdog

A picture is worth a couple thousand words, therefore, I win.

#154 Enthalpy on 12.18.13 at 12:21 pm

Im really not seeing a problem with FSBO’s. If you dont want to go down that path. Don’t. Doesnt mean its necessarily the wrong thing to do. It has worked out for many folks. There will always be negative experiences regardless of which you choose.

#155 Derek R on 12.18.13 at 12:31 pm

#145 Paul on 12.18.13 at 11:50 am wrote:
Of course not. My chauffeur handles such tasks. — Garth

Garth ,you promised you would never tell anyone you sent me in there!

You are aware that Garth only employs Amazon chauffeurs, aren’t you?

#156 Canadian Watchdog on 12.18.13 at 12:32 pm

#137 Tom from Mississauga

Friend recently bought FSBO. Hearing what they had done I suggested an appraisal. Appraised was 100K less than the agreed purchase price. Total disaster.

As regulators learned during the US financial crises commission hearings, banks and large brokers would kept a blacklist of appraisers who undervalued properties, that is, they kept tabs on appraisers who inflated property values and hired or recommended their services over those who undervalued properties.

The Commissioner of Competition v. The Toronto Real Estate Board (Dr. Greg Vistnes)

MLSs, including TREB’s MLS, do not include “for-sale-by-owner” (FSBO) homes in which the owner is trying to sell the home without the help of an agent. MLSs also typically exclude new construction. Most other homes are sold through the MLS: "90 percent of homes are sold through a realtor because realtors provide additional services that clients can use to enhance the value of their listing."

Perhaps your friend was unlucky to have hired an honest appraiser.

#157 frank le skank on 12.18.13 at 12:33 pm

#104 Marta on 12.18.13 at 8:21 am
There are a lot of posters on this site that like to make generilizations. There are good realtors and bad realtors, like any other profession. Try not to take it too personally and remember they are anonymous.There’s a good chance that the comments they make are a reflection of their work ethic, personality or bad decision and not reality.

FSBO – there is risk involved which COULD cost a lot of money
Costco – get a membership that returns a certain percentage of your purchases
Rob Ford – will vote for him based on dancing skills
Kia – lease it, as it will probably disintegrate after a few years

#158 TnT on 12.18.13 at 12:46 pm

#149 gladiator

If a farmer dumps a truck load of grain in the middle of a field then all the wild animals, birds, rodents, foxes, coyotes and deer become grain eaters and they all praise the convenience and how smart they are…. they will all forget what real food is… how to hunt and how to live…

#159 Buy? Curious? on 12.18.13 at 1:04 pm

FSBO sales wouldn’t be so difficult if the numbers that CREA currently has a monoply on were published online.

Gawd! From real estate agents complimenting Garth on why people should be using agents instead of selling your house yourself to the gawddamn whinging and moaning of others talking about how life is not fair, and all the fricking dog pictures, I’m starting to wonder what the hell is going on with this blog. Can we get back to talking about how to make money and sexual suggestive pictures please? PLEASE?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pfmkRi_tr9c

#160 Renter's Revenge! on 12.18.13 at 1:06 pm

You know a company is part of the “military-industrial complex” when it has two names in its name:

Lockheed Martin
Northrop Grumman
Hewlett Packard
Procter & Gamble
Baskin Robbins

#161 Bill Gable on 12.18.13 at 1:14 pm

BEIJING — A Chinese bitcoin exchange platform announced on Wednesday that it had stopped taking Chinese yuan deposits, sending the price of the virtual currency down sharply as China broadened its crackdown on domestic bitcoin trading.

Shanghai-based BTC China, the world’s largest bitcoin exchange by volume, posted a notice about the new regulations on its website, two weeks after Beijing banned financial institutions from trading in bitcoin, due to the risks involved.

“Due to new government regulations, BTC China will temporarily suspend CNY deposits. BTC deposits/withdrawals and CNY withdrawals are not affected, and will continue to operate in the interim,” BTC China said in the notice.

http://tinyurl.com/ke3mnhh

Oooops.

#162 Nemesis on 12.18.13 at 1:16 pm

Hey, AuldPol… like, Bruce&John shop at Costco, ya know…

http://youtu.be/bRte_2GGMxc

And they prefer Fords…

http://www.costcoauto.ca/ford/Default.aspx

#163 Rabbit One on 12.18.13 at 1:33 pm

Friends and family kept telling me to shop at Costco.
Visited twice in the past 15 years, wasn’t impressive to me that time.
2013 – Jan, I finally signed up for Costco membership, Gold? one.
Went twice since, too much volume for my family.
No need 2L P&G brand shampoo.
I still find some stuff good value, like organic soup, frozen seafood.

But many above posters saying Costco offers ” good quality products”, I am not sure.
Maybe I am not looking enough, but what I see is same large national brand goods (Nestle, P&G, Gillet, Kellogs, etc) big bulk, maybe cheaper per grams, but each costs you $20, $30 and up.
I saw people in line ending up spending hundreds of dollars.
Anyways, my spouse and child like the place, especially the testing sample.

#164 James on 12.18.13 at 1:42 pm

Say what?

http://www.thestar.com/business/2013/12/18/investors_own_less_than_a_quarter_of_toronto_condominiums_cmhc.bb.html

#165 REK on 12.18.13 at 1:45 pm

Baby boomers in USA – are they different from Canada?

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-12-18/at-61-she-lives-in-basement-while-87-year-old-dad-travels.html

#166 Renter's Revenge! on 12.18.13 at 1:45 pm

@Tnt: People are a social species. It’s not necessarily bad that we exhibit some “herding” behaviours, similar to cows. Things (usually) tend to run more smoothly and efficiently when we all do the same thing. Except when it comes to investing, of course. If you’re tired of being part of the herd, maybe offend some people on a blog with cynical comments and see it how it feels to be ostracized. Oh wait

#167 Paul on 12.18.13 at 1:49 pm

#159 Buy? Curious? on 12.18.13 at 1:04 pm
FSBO sales wouldn’t be so difficult if the numbers that CREA currently has a monoply on were published online.

Gawd! From real estate agents complimenting Garth on why people should be using agents instead of selling your house yourself to the gawddamn whinging and moaning of others talking about how life is not fair, and all the fricking dog pictures, I’m starting to wonder what the hell is going on with this blog. Can we get back to talking about how to make money and sexual suggestive pictures please? PLEASE?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pfmkRi_tr9c

#160 Renter’s Revenge! on 12.18.13 at 1:06 pm
———————————————————————-
The sale information. Is not puplic

#168 EB on 12.18.13 at 2:04 pm

#160 Renter’s Revenge! – You know a company is part of the “military-industrial complex” when it has two names in its name

Milton Bradley?

#169 Ralph Cramdown on 12.18.13 at 2:04 pm

#20 Paul — “This best represent the buyer and the seller pays the commision, its a win win for buyer.”

#22 Paul — “One reason to sell privately is to save the commission. One reason to buy privately is to save the commission. So who would actually get the money well no one. No service or protection for the buyer or the seller.”

#140 Jerry Charlton — “So in the cases where FSBO’s do sell, it can end up the same or less money in their pocket as if they used a Real Estate Brokerage.”

These comments and various others are all examples of the fallacy of the immaculate 5%. Realtors try to convince buyers that their service costs nothing, and to convince sellers the same thing. This is obviously false, but that doesn’t stop them from claiming it.

#170 broadway skytrain on 12.18.13 at 2:04 pm

costco rocks – and if you bring kids they will run to every free sample, getting a full and balanced meal while you shop.

food is unbeatable
clothes too (16$ mens jeans! /best size selection) super tough but also for her in the office and at home at non idiot prices
but even without food or clothes
thedeals! sports/homegarden/play/work/car/kids stuff… 2% card pays for the membership AND sends me a cheque every year (pays me to shop there!)
tennis balls/snow gloves/pfd’s/watercraft much of the stuff you need to go out and play properly – it;s there at 30-50% off ‘retail’.
——–

*room sizes are approximate, buyer to verify* – sounds like most agents cant use a tape and calc but overestimate sqft 98.4% of the time – just random, i’m sure.

but they are ‘protecting’ you?

——————
bitcoin bargain?

garth, after you kept mentioning bitcoins , over and over, recently, i went ‘all-in’ at $999/bt
now im looking at a 40% loss – i think you need to personally cover my losses ;)

#171 Victor V on 12.18.13 at 2:14 pm

My home owner friends shop at Costco and litter out dinner parties with strange tales from the checkout line, parking lot, cafeteria etc

We rent and shop at Whole Foods and get takeout prepared foods from Cumbrae’s. On occasion we’ll drop into Loblaws or Metro for incidentals.

Our net worth is easily 2-5 times that of our mortgaged-to-the-hilt friends.

Life’s going according to plan.

#172 Montrealer on 12.18.13 at 2:14 pm

Number 1 is the exact reason buyers don’t want to use a realtor. They don’t show you half of the available listings and often send you listings that you really don’t care for.
Number 5 is exceptionally rare. They usually don’t take the time to check comparables, they only want you to buy the highest priced house you can afford so they can make their commission and move on.

I think you have a skewed view of realtors maybe because you have gotten good help from them as you are buying multiple properties and gave them huge commissions. But for the regular joe, realtors are often really, really poor and don’t deserve their commission.

#173 joblo on 12.18.13 at 2:16 pm

Tonite I would love to read all about
IKEA

#174 gladiator on 12.18.13 at 2:21 pm

@158 TnT:
do you suggest GTA people to go hunting and gathering?
I will not reply to your posts anymore. Just look at what the majority here write about this well-run business that offers top-notch necessary products at very competitive prices.
It’s hard not to like it once you’ve shopped there.
Wish Trader Joe’s came to Canada as well.

#175 dv8 on 12.18.13 at 2:23 pm

A chart for Garth to explain
http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2013/12/20131218_MTG1.jpg

Easy. People refinance when rates fall. They have risen. Duh. — Garth

#176 recharts on 12.18.13 at 2:29 pm

#161 Bill Gable on 12.18.13 at 1:14 pm
BEIJING — A Chinese bitcoin exchange platform announced on Wednesday that it had stopped taking Chinese yuan deposits, sending the price of the virtual currency down sharply as China broadened its crackdown on domestic bitcoin trading.

Shanghai-based BTC China, the world’s largest bitcoin exchange by volume, posted a notice about the new regulations on its website, two weeks after Beijing banned financial institutions from trading in bitcoin, due to the risks involved.

“Due to new government regulations, BTC China will temporarily suspend CNY deposits. BTC deposits/withdrawals and CNY withdrawals are not affected, and will continue to operate in the interim,” BTC China said in the notice.

http://tinyurl.com/ke3mnhh

Oooops.

That shows you how much the chinese can influence a market or a currency.
Some believed that bitcoin has all the attributes of a real currency and they bought bitcoins to hold them.
It is like holding a grenade :D. I think I mentioned this there but apparently this blog has little audience in China: bitcoins is for barter, it is for trading, it is a vehicle if you want. I would not hold it longer than a week. That would be if I had no choice, otherwise, the shorter the better.

#177 Devin Nadeau on 12.18.13 at 2:31 pm

This post came across my desk today. I am a Realtor in London, Ontario and find the top 10 list to be quite accurate. Most of the time my dealings with FSBO’s have been dreadful, however there is the odd time where they go smoothly.

Thanks for the post and I hope you dont mind I shared it on my personal blog at http://www.devinnadeau.com/eblog

#178 DR on 12.18.13 at 2:34 pm

#164 James on 12.18.13 at 1:42 pm
Say what?

Here’s another

http://www.thestar.com/business/2013/12/17/winter_has_yet_to_dampen_gtas_hot_housing_market.html

#179 Smoking Man on 12.18.13 at 2:34 pm

http://nolapdogmedia.com/9-year-old-suspended-for-saying-merry-christmas-to-teacher/

9 year old suspended by teacher.

His high crime.

Saying Merry Christmas.

Unreal

#180 Bottoms_Up on 12.18.13 at 2:40 pm

#142 TnT on 12.18.13 at 11:47 am
—————————————
Not everything at Costco is ‘over-sized’.

Tires: Save $200-400
Milk: Save $1 per bag
Cream: Save $1 per carton
Coffee beans: Save $20-40
Cheese: Save $$$$
Fruits/Veggies: Save
Meats (wide variety of various cuts): Save
Cooked whole chicken: Save!!
Clothes: Save
Snacks: Save
Video games, DVDs, Books: SAVE!!
Frozen foods (high quality): Save!!
etc.
etc.

#181 Garth's Chauffer on 12.18.13 at 2:43 pm

Costco sells quality food? Are you kidding? It is a really efficient delivery model for the factory farming and industrial food industry. Processed and factory farmed food is all you will find there.

#182 broadway skytrain on 12.18.13 at 2:50 pm

seriously though, now at 592/btc, it’s more than a 50% loss from the start of Dec.

wait to buy at 150.

#183 Dual Citizen in Canada on 12.18.13 at 2:55 pm

How hard could it be for FSBOs? Seriously, get a lawyer, ask him what you need to do because you are paying him for his services and go to town with all the free advertising publications. I would look for a home on Kijiji.ca, what’s the big deal? Realtor.ca is just another website publication.

#184 Penny Henny on 12.18.13 at 3:03 pm

The average amount of equity for homeowners with mortgages was 47%, and 71% have at least 25% equity in their home. Only 7% had less than 10% equity as of April 2013, suggesting only about 7% of homeowners would be “under water” if prices dropped more than 10%.

http://business.financialpost.com/2013/12/18/chmc-draws-a-line-under-condo-bubble-fears/

#185 Old Man on 12.18.13 at 3:03 pm

I will never shop at Costco as am too cheap to buy a membership, as why pay to shop? Now with selling real estate on your own the buyer will want a discount knowing full well the commission you want to save should go into their pocket as well. This sets up a conflict of interests; not to mention the writing up of the offer. The cartel has a system in place so with selling any property list it, and take the shot as an expense. Laptops to be bought must me shopped here there and everywhere for a bargain for the best deal, and manufacturer; know where but am not telling.

#186 father on 12.18.13 at 3:07 pm

TAPER oh yes baby

#187 old phart on 12.18.13 at 3:07 pm

“Anyone who has ever worked a milking farm will know what I am talking about here…”

Actually it would be dairy farm…but I agree with your concept.

Being on the downside of 70 yrs I have a hard time wrapping my mind around the idea of paying to shop.

Today’s world is a hard go for us old rural folks and perhaps for some of the young Dawgs on here as well.

#188 DM in C on 12.18.13 at 3:08 pm

Garth you should be charging the realtors who comment on the site with links back to their websites. I thought this was an ad-free site.

#189 Canadian Watchdog on 12.18.13 at 3:23 pm

Investors own less than a quarter of Toronto condominiums: CMHC

I'm always amused at CMHC's comments regarding condo investment activity, when they've already shown to have absolutely no damn clue as to how many condo assignments really exist when they were asked to participate in Urbanation's assignment survey.

Two months later, Urbanation canceled their survey due to a lack of developer participation. Gee I wonder why.

What's interesting is that CMHC's 25% estimate comes from their Rental Market Survey and Starts and Completions Survey, which defines the following as:

The term “owner” refers to mortgage applicants who construct or arrange with subcontractors to construct dwellings for their own occupancy.

The term “builders” refers to builder applicants who construct dwellings for sale to home owners. These may be multiple dwellings, as with condominiums and co-operative tenures, or predominantly single-detached and semi-detached dwellings on freehold tenure.

The term “rental” refers to dwellings constructed for rental purposes, regardless of who finances the structure.

Ahhh, and there lies one big margin of error, because if you're a builder like Empire Communities who holds condo inventory (self financed structures) with the intention of selling units to global investors with rental management, and, happen to be a participant in CMHC's Rental Market Survey and Starts and Completions Survey, it wouldn't be in your best interest to submit just how many condos (including assignments) are intended to be rented out.

Not to mention how many domestic investors fill out their mortgage application as a primary residence with the intention of renting. And lastly, regarding real inventory: what happens when an presale or assignment purchaser defaults? Surely a builder isn't going to voluntarily re-submit any added inventory from completed and sold to completed and unabsorbed, when it could sit offline without nobody but the builder and city knowing.

And that folks is where shadow inventory sits cold and empty without anybody knowing.

#190 Old Man on 12.18.13 at 3:24 pm

I am going to give a tip for the greater fools in this room, as today will be paying my protection money for it will pay dividends as an investment. In any condo or apartment highrise building is a property manager on site that appreciates an xmas card with $100 inside and this alone is worth the price. Its a hidden cost of getting things done; being granted a few favours; and there will be no problems in your life ever. Do not ever forget the onsite property manager, as he or she will never forget you; its called greasing the wheels a bit.

#191 Paul on 12.18.13 at 3:28 pm

155 Derek R on 12.18.13 at 12:31 pm

#145 Paul on 12.18.13 at 11:50 am wrote:
Of course not. My chauffeur handles such tasks. — Garth

Garth ,you promised you would never tell anyone you sent me in there!

You are aware that Garth only employs Amazon chauffeurs, aren’t you?
———————————————————-
Whyyy yesss I do he calls me Pauleen

#192 economictsunami on 12.18.13 at 3:36 pm

When COSTCO arrived in our neck of the woods I thought I’d just go in and take a look/see.

I tried to walk right in put was accosted by an employee who wanted me take 10 minutes to fill out a prepaid customer application.

I told him I only have 10 minutes to spare and I wanted to spend that time doing a walkabout and if I liked what I saw that I would take an application home with me or fill one out online.

I was refused. I was told to fill out a ‘paid application for the right to be their customer’ and if I didn’t like what I saw they would shred my application.

Most stores or cards value me as a customer and in some fashion pay me to shop there; with either points card, sales or 0% financing. The misses has me well trained and debriefs/critiques me after all major purchases.

Needless to say Costco (and their hundred roll pack of toilet paper that you’ll need to store in the garden shed or rafters of the garage) won’t be able to pry their customer fee from my cold dead hands anytime in the near future.

Forhoorar: Three Things to Know About Tapering…

http://business.time.com/2013/12/17/three-things-to-know-about-tapering/

Definitely don’t fight against the size of the tide from several CB balance sheets (sitting at over $10T) but neither feel overconfident by trained illusionists.

Remember, when the tide massively recedes, never go down to the shoreline to dig clams…

#193 Mike T. on 12.18.13 at 3:41 pm

I just got back from Costco in my fancy coloured Kia.

Did I miss anything important?

OH! Looks like the tapering starts in a couple of weeks, one more feather for the hat Mr. Turner?

http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/u-s-federal-reserve-tapers-bond-buying-to-75b-us-a-month-1.2468578

#194 pbrasseur on 12.18.13 at 3:56 pm

So tapering begins…

Canada put on your helmet, time to descend!

#195 Rainclouds on 12.18.13 at 3:58 pm

Gotta Love the “journalism” where RE calls the shots.Pathetic……………

http://www.vancouversun.com/business/commercial-real-estate/Vancouver+condo+values+enjoy+robust/9301293/story.html?__lsa=cd18-5005

#196 Paul on 12.18.13 at 3:59 pm

I just got back from Costco in my fancy coloured Kia.

Did I miss anything important?

OH! Looks like the tapering starts in a couple of weeks, one more feather for the hat Mr. Turner?

http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/u-s-federal-reserve-tapers-bond-buying-to-75b-us-a-month-1.2468578
———————————————————-Don’t glue that feather in to tight just yet

I said tapering would occur. It did. This is just the start. — Garth

#197 Smoking Man on 12.18.13 at 4:03 pm

#194 pbrasseur on 12.18.13 at 3:56 pm

10 Billion, probably a last minute change because of the housing numbers.

It’s more of a shout out, a dog barking in the wind to see if another dog barks back.

Bond market barely budged.

USA not out of woods yet

Real smoking men can say those three words: ‘I was wrong.’ — Garth

#198 Robbie on 12.18.13 at 4:13 pm

#179 Smoking Man

The post you refer to starts off with “This Post is Satire” Also, by “Googling” the post you would have seen that SNOPES calls it “False”.

Best to check out your facts first before reacting to satire/lies. Santa may be bringing you some coal for being naughty! ~

#199 Canadian Watchdog on 12.18.13 at 4:14 pm

#194 pbrasseur

A $5 billion reduction with “enhanced forward guidance” (further accommodation) nets out to zero change. This announcement is meaningless.

Up up for stocks, down down for fundamentals. The paranormal economy continues.

The reduction is $10 billion and will be followed by several more until QE is finished by the end of 2014. You were absolutely incorrect, as with gold. — Garth

#200 quebec economist on 12.18.13 at 4:14 pm

flipping the coin

Recent article highlighting CMHC annual report.

http://business.financialpost.com/2013/12/18/chmc-draws-a-line-under-condo-bubble-fears/

Presented as a good thing. Can switch the wording and and look at the values to come to another conclusion….will do it the work for you:

FP said: 44% had their payment set above the minimum

I say : 56% only pay the minimum payment

FP said: 71% have at least 25% equity in their home.

I say: Almost 30% have less than 25% in equity in their home.

FP said: As of June 2013, 0.31% of residential mortgages were three or more months in arrears, compared with 0.33% 12 months earlier

I say: no measurable change in arrears in the last year. (0.02% is within the error of such a value)

FP said : As a consequence of population aging and the increased tendency to live alone, one-person households are expected to show the fastest pace of growth to 2036, making it the single biggest type of household by the 2020s

FP says: (from the above) condos (market), will grow.

I say – Homes will decline

In other words the CMHC report does not tell us that all is fine…it does not say that things are bad either, other metrics suggest that.

#201 father on 12.18.13 at 4:33 pm

do 5 year rates rise now?

It’s only been 94 minutes. — Garth

#202 father on 12.18.13 at 4:38 pm

I was watching the count down on the business insider for 29 minutes kinda like new years. I just had a feeling it would happen.

#203 DM in C on 12.18.13 at 4:41 pm

KnockKnock

Yes, it is. I mean in a paper. New book?

+++

Garth HAD regular newspaper columns, back in the day. Welcome to the 21st century. Newspapers are yesterdays news before they’re even printed.

What’s wrong with reading online? Too hard to hit F5?

#204 Nemesis on 12.18.13 at 4:45 pm

TheParanormalEconomy!…

Hitherto secret NSA surveillance of post-GFC FOMC meetings leaked by Edward*:

http://youtu.be/BAQjps8u0ak

[*Wood. NotSnowden.]

#205 Chris Walker on 12.18.13 at 4:47 pm

Ok Garth, at first I was upset at your uncritical support for the Realtors but a quick call to a CREA informant confirmed that they have indeed kidnapped your dog and forced you to write this nonsensical defence.

I sympathise with your predicament and forgive you.

I hope Rover appreciates your sacrifice.

#206 Suede on 12.18.13 at 4:50 pm

CAD just got Chuck Norris roundhouse kicked

#207 economictsunami on 12.18.13 at 4:50 pm

$10B is a rather insignificant amount of liquidity to withdraw from either bonds or MBS but the U$D is after all the WRC; for now at least.

Not exactly a vote of confidence on the US economy but other CBs are sure to pick up the slack…

Kurtz: Noise in claims data makes the measure useless for now…

http://soberlook.com/2013/12/noise-in-claims-data-makes-measure.html

Root: Do you trust the November jobs report? The employment picture is much worse than it seems:

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/do-you-trust-the-november-jobs-report-2013-12-16

Admit it. — Garth

#208 jess on 12.18.13 at 4:54 pm

Shanghai prices up
hotel built inside a rock quarry /Shimao Shanghai Wonderland theme park.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/luxury/travel/2843/five-star-cave-hotel-to-open-in-china.html

#209 Old Man on 12.18.13 at 4:57 pm

Its the Holiday Season, and need to tell you a love story that am involved with to save money. This gal who is 33 years old is madly in love with a 46 year old man who works with her dad, as wants marriage. So the man in question asked her daddy if he could give her a ring, and he said ok, as they are both cops in Boston.

She comes to me in my chat room saying my daddy will pay for all, so what will this cost, and said from start to finish about $25,000 in Boston, but if you get hitched at City Hall the fee is $75.00, so concentrate on the reception party and the honeymoon costs to save some money. She said will you help me, as don’t want my dad to pay so much, as know you have connections.

I said know of a private old money club in the core and you can pull off a combo with the wedding ceremony, the reception, food, booze, a grand piano, dance floor, filled with antiques, an 18 foot ceiling, and all you heart desires for a seating of 58 max, but they will open up other rooms for $5,000 tops. So con the dad to save him a fortune, as now he needs to pay for the honeymoon trip.

#210 TorontoBull on 12.18.13 at 4:57 pm

@142
COSTCO sells high quality produce. Next time ask some member to buy you the stakes and the ground meat. The trout is the best I had in Canada. Go and compare it the the rubbish at Loblaws, Longos, Metro, etc…

#211 Entrepreneur on 12.18.13 at 4:58 pm

Choices: FSBO or realtor, big box store or small business, buy food from store or locally grown, etc.

We use choices for our various reasons: cheaper, safer, healthier. These are the obvious ones and for individual needs. All dear to our hearts and home.

Consumers have the power for what is available and what is not. They also have the power not to buy when the choice is not to ones standards. A consumer must think about his money transactions and how it is supporting not only his homelife but his surrounding community, environment and wildlife.

For me, I will buy only wild not farm fish. Alexandra Morton and salmonconfidential.ca is one of my concerns (small business is another).

#142 TnT: That was good. Wonder where Smoking Man shops; who does he support with his dollars and cents.

#212 jess on 12.18.13 at 4:59 pm

grits/ grats/sograts zeroed-out trusts
http://www.moneynews.com/Personal-

Finance/Accidental-Tax-Break-Wealthiest-Americans/2013/12/17/id/542255

#213 Smoking Man on 12.18.13 at 5:00 pm

#197 Smoking Man on 12.18.13 at 4:03 pm

#194 pbrasseur on 12.18.13 at 3:56 pm

10 Billion, probably a last minute change because of the housing numbers.

It’s more of a shout out, a dog barking in the wind to see if another dog barks back.

Bond market barely budged.

USA not out of woods yet

Real smoking men can say those three words: ‘I was wrong.’ — Garth
………………….

It’s been so long since I have to use the words (I WAS WRONG)

I forgot how to spell it. :)

But I’ve been distracted, trying to write a book not easy being a full blown dyslexic, the little crazy voice in my head taunting me to go for quads next time in ingage in short term rentals. I keep telling him, dude one is too much.
Pressure of taking care of 90 year old, and helping my kids build a business all while getting beat up at the tax farm.
Managing a pretty big portfolio, and hammered almost every evening. As a hobby working hard to try and de thrown the Queens Park spendohalics.

The most you will get out of me today is. 10b of 85b

I was 88.24% Right.

Or 11.76% wrong.

#214 Paul on 12.18.13 at 5:09 pm

#203 father on 12.18.13 at 4:33 pm

do 5 year rates rise now?

It’s only been 94 minutes. — Garth
————————————————————
Just heard it’s to the future 1980’s five year rate 13.5 % is back lol

#215 TnT on 12.18.13 at 5:11 pm

#166 Renter’s Revenge!

Resistance is futile!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Borg_(Star_Trek)

************************

#174 gladiator

I agree it is a well run company

I disagree with exchanging life experience for money

The money you “save” is sucked up in un-intended purchasing when buying milk AND a shirt AND some book on sale etc… PLUS you eat more than intended by the nature of bulk food packaging… e.g. 3 chickens? 2 roasts? 4 pounds of bacon? 24 cans of soup? etc…

************************

#180 Bottoms_Up

Penny wise pound foolish? see above..

Cost of ones sanity and living with variety? priceless

************************

#187 old phart on

After watching 350 cows slowly move through the milking process twice a day, 365 days a year its hard not to see the resemblance at Costco, Ikea or any All-you-can-eat buffets….

#216 Paul on 12.18.13 at 5:12 pm

#196 Paul on 12.18.13 at 3:59 pm

I just got back from Costco in my fancy coloured Kia.

Did I miss anything important?

OH! Looks like the tapering starts in a couple of weeks, one more feather for the hat Mr. Turner?

http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/u-s-federal-reserve-tapers-bond-buying-to-75b-us-a-month-1.2468578
———————————————————-Don’t glue that feather in to tight just yet

I said tapering would occur. It did. This is just the start. — Garth
———————————————————-
No question you called it

#217 happity on 12.18.13 at 5:21 pm

The x-mas Tiny Tim Taper, lol.

The only real result is another great year end bonus for bankers.

#218 T.O. Bubble Boy on 12.18.13 at 5:32 pm

#203 father on 12.18.13 at 4:33 pm
do 5 year rates rise now?

It’s only been 94 minutes. — Garth
———————————
Short answer: YES. But, there hasn’t been that much movement in the CDN 5-year rate yet:
http://www.investing.com/rates-bonds/canada-5-year-bond-yield

#219 T.O. Bubble Boy on 12.18.13 at 5:44 pm

@ #219 happity on 12.18.13 at 5:21 pm
The x-mas Tiny Tim Taper, lol.

The only real result is another great year end bonus for bankers.
————————–

bankers… and anyone holding equities.

S&P 500 up 1.66% today plus another 0.5% from USDCAD gains.

#220 Penny Henny on 12.18.13 at 5:46 pm

The reduction is $10 billion and will be followed by several more until QE is finished by the end of 2014. You were absolutely incorrect, as with gold. — Garth
———————————————————
I got a fiver that say’s it’s going to take longer than that.

#221 TnT on 12.18.13 at 5:53 pm

#206 TorontoBull on 12.18.13 at 4:57 pm
@142
COSTCO sells high quality produce. Next time ask some member to buy you the stakes and the ground meat. The trout is the best I had in Canada. Go and compare it the the rubbish at Loblaws, Longos, Metro, etc…

*******

Try grass fed beef, you only need a little bit few times a month to satisfy any “meat” cravings. Costco makes you buy the whole cow to save pennies. Half of it gets sent to the freezer when you get home anyways… not fresh after that…

Try wild fresh fish from any fish monger, that beats anything at Costco. Al Premium in Scarborough is a new place I recently discovered, lots of fresh seafood there…

Check out any low cost grocery store like Freshco for all your produce… beats the high end chains every time and you don’t need to buy a 20 pound bag of carrots to save pennies…

Making many trips to the local grocers if a way of life. I cook meals for a family of 5 every day without going broke. Hitting all the ethnic shops for variety adds to the adventures…

We eat less and buy quality over quantity…

Costco adds value through bulk purchases, the shopping experience is horrible and it becomes a cyclical mind numbing trap…

Chicken Thursday people… Chicken Thursday…

#222 economictsunami on 12.18.13 at 6:13 pm

“Admit it. — Garth”

Yes, you were correct G but it is a mistake to taper based on inconclusive/ ginned up numbers.

Your prediction of total removal of QE by the end of 2014 is over confidently bold. If it were to indeed occur, I’m sure another program from the Fed and/or by another CB would replace it.

How many times did it take before the BOJ learned their lesson?

When inventories account for a rather prominent proportion of GDP, labour slack grows, over capacity persists, final consumer/business/ government demand remains weak, just as all three are in the midst of re rationalizing their balance sheets…

#223 John on 12.18.13 at 6:19 pm

#215 Smoking Man

Wrong…. again… just like your dollar prediction a few weeks ago.

#224 Bigrider on 12.18.13 at 6:54 pm

David Dodge, former bank of Canada governor, on BNN just now quote” CMHC is a force for stability not risk”.

Give it up Garth. Nothing is going to stop the religion of home ownership and continued appreciation.

Nothing.

#225 eddy on 12.18.13 at 7:00 pm

#173 joblo on 12.18.13 at 2:16 pm

Tonite I would love to read all about
IKEA
—–

The IKEA restaurant is the ‘soup kitchen’ of the 21st century.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soup_kitchen

#226 Obvious Truth on 12.18.13 at 7:12 pm

#223

I’m with you TNT. Fish at Costco is pretty tasteless. Beef is just ok for me.

Best freshwater fish is from northern Ontario. Best readily available meat is in north Waterloo.

#227 Obvious Truth on 12.18.13 at 7:19 pm

Was too hasty. East and west coast clearly have great seafood. Alberta has great bison. Quebec has got dairy and I’m sure Manitoba is similar to Ontario.

Now that I write I’m wondering why we have costco.

What a country.

Somebody tell me about sask.

#228 Smoking Man on 12.18.13 at 7:23 pm

.

 Bigrider on 12.18.13 at 6:54 pmDavid Dodge, former bank of Canada governor, on BNN just now quote” CMHC is a force for stability not risk”.

Give it up Garth. Nothing is going to stop the religion of home ownership and continued appreciation.

Nothing.
………………

Their is one thing, it’s called WYNN

http://www.torontosun.com/2013/12/18/hide-your-wallets–kathleen-wynne-and-the-ontario-liberals-are-at-it-again

The above link

#229 Ronaldo on 12.18.13 at 7:53 pm

#181 Garth’s Chauffer on 12.18.13 at 2:43 pm

”Costco sells quality food? Are you kidding? It is a really efficient delivery model for the factory farming and industrial food industry. Processed and factory farmed food is all you will find there.”

Like this for instance?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aaf7KZPn2Vo&list=PLF7198D24E5EC5B3C&index=105

#230 Ronaldo on 12.18.13 at 8:10 pm

#166 Renter’s Revenge! on 12.18.13 at 1:45 pm

”@Tnt: People are a social species. It’s not necessarily bad that we exhibit some “herding” behaviours, similar to cows.”

Like this? Only watch if you need a good laugh.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HiO8m88gBhw

#231 Canadian Watchdog on 12.18.13 at 8:14 pm

The reduction is $10 billion

It's five billion in bonds and five billion in MBS. A psychological move to buy credibility into Yellen's chairmanship.

Gee, 5 + 5 = Yellen’s credibility? You are weirder than I imagined. — Garth

#232 Nemesis on 12.18.13 at 8:53 pm

@Ronaldo/#230…

This is, like, WayShorter/infinitely more poignant:

http://youtu.be/lUtnas5ScSE

[NoteToSaltyDogz: Every now and again the Creatives ‘sneak’ one past the client… although I dare say Chipotle scarcely realized that. Forget about TheSponsor and focus on TheMessage, SaltyDogz. AllHail: Fiona Apple, CAA Marketing and the Oscar-winning animators at Moonbot Studios – http://www.adweek.com/news/advertising-branding/ad-day-chipotle-makes-magic-again-fiona-apple-and-dark-animated-film-152380 – “Want to change the world… there’s nothing to it.”]

#233 Nemesis on 12.18.13 at 8:55 pm

Erratum: that was in response to Ronaldo’s 229

#234 Daisy Mae on 12.18.13 at 9:56 pm

#152 DR: “Answer questions? I wouldn’t think they are biased covering up the fact the basement leaks right???? that’s right the basement leaks..in spring…when it rains…and you bought it in January.”

**************

I expect the buyer would have the good sense to look for damage of any kind. Leakage should be evident.

#235 T.O. Renter on 12.18.13 at 10:23 pm

What Marta said!

Stop trivializing what agents do. Many work insane hours and are honest.
Yes, many are sleazeballs. I’ve seen it first hand as a buyer.

#236 SuperGirl on 12.19.13 at 3:25 pm

“(2) Most people hate dealing with FSBOs because they are, by their very nature, cheap, smug, misguided and almost always inexperienced vendors.”

Wow! You just insulted every single FSBO out there. Cheap, smug and misguided? Every one of them? Really? To be honest, I’ve bought from FSBO’s in the past and had no issues.

“The prime motivation for self-selling is to save money by avoiding a real estate commission. That should mean that FSBO listings are always priced 5% below comparable MLS offerings.”

Why the heck should a FSBO do all the work and make zero extra money? Sorry, that makes no sense.

“(3) …the self-lubricating seller knows only his or her house intimately, but will not hesitate to insist it’s far superior than every other one in the hood. ”

More blanket statements with no merit.

“(6) Buyers hate FSBOs because the negotiation process can be emotional, difficult and personal. Sitting across the kitchen table arguing about price, closing date, inclusions and conditions is as much fun as a divorce.”

Who says you have to do it in person? Keep you distance. Write up your offer and deliver it. Then wait for their written counter offer. No big deal. I’ve done this, and it works just fine. To be honest, I appreciate the access to the seller that I get when looking at FSBO properties – sure, you’d be a fool to believe everything they say, but often you can get some useful info on the property from them.

“(8) Cheap people apparently don’t value their privacy or safety. Sticking a FSBO sign on your front lawn is an invitation to any thief, con artist or pervert who might be looking for someone to loot, identity-steal or assault. Opening your home to some guy you know nothing about, who merely expreses an interest in ‘looking around’ could be the day your life changes.”

So much wrong with this that I don’t know where to begin. Whether you sell on your own, or via an agent, you’ll have strangers traipsing through your house. At least if you sell on your own, you’ll always be home to protect your property from any potentially thieving buyers – no-one will care more about watching your stuff than you will. Agents certainly don’t do background checks on anyone they take to see a property – anyone who thinks otherwise is deluding themselves.

“(9) Buyers take on more risk dealing with a FSBO. If a deal goes bad after closing there’s no listing agent or brokerage to seek redress from. No mechanism for appeal, since it was a private, unbrokered contract. The seller may be gone in a flash, in which case pray you picked the right lawyer and bought enough of the correct title insurance.”

Guess what, buying via an agent won’t protect you either. If the seller lies about foundation problems or whatever, the listing agent says “I had no idea!” and is off the hook so you’re on your own with potentially tens of thousands of dollars in expenses.

“(10) Cheap, unprofessional, self-serving, naïve folks who think they can line their pockets with even more capital gains tax-free profits. Are these the kind of people you want to haggle with, hand over thousands (or tens of thousands) in the form of a deposit, and then hope closing day actually happens after you’ve already sold your home or arranged financing?”

Any smart buyer will ensure they enlist the services of a lawyer to approve all contracts before they are signed. It would be idiotic to do otherwise.

Anyhow, I hope you don’t honestly believe every word you wrote here – maybe you’re just trying to be provocative and get more attention to your blog?

#237 reality check on 12.20.13 at 11:10 pm

The perfect solution ..I paid a Realtor to list my house on mls for 500.00 and was sold in no time, we used the same lawyer and everyone was happy ..case dismissed saved lots of $$$$$$