For Sale By Owner- Sort of

Thoughtful agent in Ottawa completed a property transaction with a sweet couple who were represented by a real estate brokerage that provides minimal, and I mean minimal service to the seller but also at the lowest cost. Frankly, I was astonished! Reminds me of the adage that you get what you pay for, or in this situation, you get what you don’t pay for too. And seller and buyers beware!

I was alarmed at how poorly prepared the sellers were for the legal paperwork. The sellers were unprepared for the quick action required. They had no ready council. The notion of “time being of the essence” or in plain language dead lines and expiry dates was disregarded. They were unaware of the legal, fiduciary responsibilities of agency. They appeared to be unaware of the function organized real estate professionals play in representing buyers and sellers. And finally I’m not certain they were adequately aware of the recent values of community houses and how theirs house fit into the larger housing market.

I frequently found myself explaining terms and concepts to clarify terms of the the current Ontario Offer to Purchase, to the sellers and this was done in parallel to my presence as negotiator for the Buyer.

I don’t mind freely sharing my knowledge and experience. I will only do this in an impartial and honest manner. I know people are unaccustomed to the practices, and strategies or property transactions involving millions of dollars. Contract law can be daunting, but if I see an advantage for my client I’ll freely exploit it to their benefit! Oh! Yes!

When one party wants everything and there is no sense of fair negotiation, no balance. The going can be painfully slow as it was with this transaction. Unfortunately the seller had to frequently break off discussion and call their lawyer about details when they should have been guided by their trusted real estate agent. I’m sure their lawyer will charge for their time and expertise. Somebody has to “pay the piper”! And it’s not over yet. There’s a building inspection and possible amendments to closing dates for the seller. Rigid negotiation is like an echo. It has a way of returning to bite the caller! Hopefully, not in this situation

For a useful Glossary of Real Estate Terms visit under the Buyer column.