Guelph Realtor Ethics in a Wild Seller’s Market

Seller's Market in Guelph - Realtor ConsiderationsI’m not going to sugar-coat it: Buying a home in Guelph right now is tough—extremely tough. Resale inventory isn’t even close to meeting current buyer demands. Competition is fierce. And multiple offer situations have become the norm. Many buyers are waiving all conditions, throwing caution to the wind, and finding ways to rationalize their decisions to do so… and in MY honest opinion – to flat-out over-pay for property.

It’s a hot seller’s market in Guelph and, in short: For sensible buyers and ethical Realtors, these are not easy times.

Heading to what we used to call the negotiating table (but what is, today, more like a ‘bring your best offer and maybe we’ll accept it’ table,) many buyers are starting to lose faith in the process—and, often, in their Realtors. Regrettably, the latter is justified in some cases.

Are there outstanding and ethical agents out there? Absolutely! I’m not only proud to be one, but I also chose to work for a brokerage where professionalism, ethics, and consumer advocacy are fundamental to our belief system. But, based upon what I see out there, we are the exception. And, no, I’m not afraid to say it as plainly as that.

2016 – Seller’s Market in Guelph Year-Round

In 2016, I’ve helped a number of clients both on the buying and selling side in multiple-offer situations. On the buying side, we talk a lot about the realities of the market—and ways to deal with that, and try to work around it. Can we include standard conditions? Could we do a pre-offer inspection, or get financing locked-down prior to the date of offers? These and other questions are what we focus on, as we work together in these challenging times… knowing that the goal is a house, but not at any cost.

When I work on the listing side, my approach is very straightforward. I want to generate as many offers as possible, and to get my clients top-dollar for their home. But, equally as important, I want the process to be fair to all parties involved.

For example, if we’re holding off on offers (and right now, honestly… most likely we will be) there will be a firm deadline for offer submissions. We clearly state that in our listing notes.

Bully offers? Please just… stop. Again, rationalizations are an amazing thing, and some like to shout from the roof-tops that “they’ll do anything for their buyers.” Really? Anything? Like circumvent an established process and try to “win” through any means necessary?

Look, these tough times won’t get any easier with Realtors lowering their professional standards under the guise of “working for their clients.”

Let’s Remember… It’s “Just” a House

Funny thing is this. For years, I’ve told my buyer clients, “Houses are like buses. If you miss one, just wait for the next one to come along.” Yes, I realize it’s a bitter pill to swallow after “losing” in competition—but, again, let’s remember that nothing about this crazy market will get less crazy by acting on impulse and breaking rules.

Someone asked me recently if, when I listed properties, my clients had a problem with my stance on things like Bully Offers and the like. My answer was simple, and honest. No—I have never had a client balk at that. In fact, what I hear is that the opposite. Both on the selling and buying side, most consumers do want the process to be fair.

Is this seller’s market a tough market? You bet. But if Realtors and consumers continue to abuse the process and lose sight of personal and professional ethics, it’ll only go from bad to worse.

Food for thought.

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