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Thread: A new level of weird

  1. #1

    A new level of weird

    Buying a house in Toronto is uniquely different from other places in Canada. A fixer upper can go for $500,000.

    I've been trying to buy a house for 2 months now and I'm definitely figuring out all the tricks. The standard game agents play is list the house on Thursday or Friday. Price it for well below what other houses in the neighbourhood have been selling for. Hold an open house on Saturday and/or Sunday at 2-4pm. Hold all offers until Tuesday at noon. Rapidly call all the people who made an offer and get them bidding against each other. If you price the house $50,000 to $75,000 below a reasonable price you can get someone to go nuts and pay $120,000 above asking.

    Put offers in on four houses. Lots to stuff like this. This is just normal.

    This past weekend our agent was holding an open house (he doesn't do this stuff; his are just open houses with no bidding wars) but told us there was a property listed having an open house. So we go to the house. It is very well renovated (a surprise; usually it is 'lipstick and mascara', i.e. cover-up). We ask the agent when they are hold offers until. He convincingly says that they are taking offers and dealing with them as they come.

    We call our agent on Monday and have a second look at the place with our agent. I think the place is worth $715,000 tops. Wife wants to pay more. Agent agrees with me.

    We try to present our offer at 4pm. They say they can do it at 8:45pm. Odd. our agent shows up at the house and presents our offer. Before he begins they announce that the house is going to be part of a Home and Gardens TV show. This is something our agent (25+ years experience) has never had before. He has been on TV shows but never at 9pm at night, with no prior warning, and in the middle of presenting an offer.

    He presents our offer and waits outside for them to respond. Calls us and tells us something odd is going on. As he is waiting outside another agent (who he knows very well) goes into the house. Before the second agent goes in they chat. The other agent feels our agent out for multi-offers, how many, etc. Tells our agent he is not presenting an offer. Why is he there then?

    When our agent goes in they have created a last minute competitive bid situation. The other agent is presenting an offer. They want him to sign a release form so he can be on a new reality show called 'Agent versus Agent'. He says he needs to talk to us and steps outside. We talk with him. Our offer dies at 10pm so we kill time until it is 10pm. He goes in and tells them our offer is dead. We don't want to participate any further and he is not interest in being on the show.

    VERY bizarre.

    This is the second time our agent has been in a situation he has never been in before (remember 25+ years). Toronto is getting REALLY weird.

    The hunt continues. We are homeless in 3 more weeks.

    P.S. they wanted to know if we were close by. We are guessing, so we could be involved in the show. My wife works in a job were colleagues have had to get restraining orders on clients, one person had to get relocated due to death threats, they have a panic room and training on how to survive until security rescues you. She does NOT want to be on a reality TV show. If some of her clients knew where she lived we'd have to move.
    Last edited by scubadiver888; 07-21-2009 at 09:43. Reason: added postscript

  2. #2
    Barracuda
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    Many, many levels of weird.
    - Fisheater

  3. #3
    Grouper
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    my oh my, how I hate the nastiness of "reality" shows The closest I came to watching 1 was.... Mantracker (OLN Channel), more of a game show, with no prize, just the thrill of the rare win .
    Lived in T O from 71-94, the last real estate phenom I witnessed there was when people leaving Hong Kong, before the switch over and wanting to get their money out were walking around Unionville (my aunt & uncle lived there)with breifcases full of cash, knocking on doors asking to purchase at 1.5 x's the value.
    Thankfully you escaped the beast.
    Good luck with the hunt!
    With the privilege of diving, comes the responsibility of conservation.

  4. #4
    Barracuda Founding Member
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    This is precisely what used to go on in parts of the US prior to the economy crash. Nice to see they even had the open house on the weekend. When I lived in California, they would hold them during the week as to not inconvenience the sellers.

    Of course, those housing markets have sinced collapsed, and those holding houses can be really underwater.

  5. #5
    Shark
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    Before anyone mentions the price... keep in mind it is Canadian dollars... just think what y'all can do with your $50 american dollars when you come up here, eh?
    Rock on, go big or go home, hit the ground running, hang in there kitty... don't eat the yellow snow...

  6. #6
    Barracuda
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    Quote Originally Posted by boates View Post
    Lived in T O from 71-94, the last real estate phenom I witnessed there was when people leaving Hong Kong, before the switch over and wanting to get their money out were walking around Unionville (my aunt & uncle lived there)with breifcases full of cash, knocking on doors asking to purchase at 1.5 x's the value.
    Thankfully you escaped the beast.
    Good luck with the hunt!
    There were also cases of people from HK buying, site unseen, from web sites / real estate ads. Somehow I can't imagine plunking down upwards of $300K on a place without walking around and getting a feel for it and the neighbourhood. When we were looking for our home the differences between the web/ad and reality were huge. Creative writing at its best.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by boates View Post
    Lived in T O from 71-94, the last real estate phenom I witnessed there was when people leaving Hong Kong, before the switch over and wanting to get their money out were walking around Unionville (my aunt & uncle lived there)with breifcases full of cash, knocking on doors asking to purchase at 1.5 x's the value.
    Thankfully you escaped the beast.
    Good luck with the hunt!
    Everything north of Steeles Ave. E. (Markham, ON) to Unionville is a HUGE Chinese community. Many of the stores don't speak English. It is like being in China in some cases. Kind of interesting.

  8. #8
    Grouper
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    Quote Originally Posted by bennerman View Post
    Before anyone mentions the price... keep in mind it is Canadian dollars... just think what y'all can do with your $50 american dollars when you come up here, eh?

    Not much.... $55
    50 usd to cad - Google Search

  9. #9
    Barracuda Founding Member
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    So - Does one get paid for being on the reality show?


    Also - What sort of house was it for $715K? Around here I would expect three stories, an indoor pool, 7 bedrooms, and a cute little maid

  10. #10
    Shark
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    Quote Originally Posted by acamato View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by bennerman View Post
    Before anyone mentions the price... keep in mind it is Canadian dollars... just think what y'all can do with your $50 american dollars when you come up here, eh?

    Not much.... $55
    50 usd to cad - Google Search
    Why did you have to ruin it? :P
    Rock on, go big or go home, hit the ground running, hang in there kitty... don't eat the yellow snow...

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