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They do it differently down there…

By Robert Hof

I have recently heard about the goings-on in the Toronto real estate market. A friend of a friend listed their modest row home for $269,000. The agent held an open house which was mobbed, and buyers were told to submit offers which would be dealt with the following Tuesday. There were 14 offers, all higher than asking, and the home sold for $335,000! And this is not an unusual situation. An unimproved bungalow in a desirable area listed at $750,000 and sold for $1.1 million according to the Toronto Star. It is apparently common practice for agents in Toronto to under-list properties hugely and create a bidding war.

Does this sound like good practice? Not in my book, and I hope it never happens here. This extremely inflationary way of selling a property may make the Sellers very happy – until they are on the other end of a transaction as a Buyer!  And what will happen when interest rates go up and the crazy Toronto market cools? Just doesn’t bear thinking about.

Here in Ottawa we list a property pretty well at market value and buyers do not have to go to war to buy a new home. This is our way and we going to stick with it. I hope!

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