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Written on September 1st, 2016

It’s Alright Ma, I’m Only Bleeding
Vancouver real estate continues to be a popular topic this summer. There has been a lot of raised eyebrows on everything from realtor misconduct, vacant properties, 15 % tax on properties bought by foreigners and concerns over the legal nature of some of this money coming in to Canada: i.e. suspected money laundering.

FINTRAC: the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada, is an agency of the Government of Canada responsible for facilitating the detection, prevention and deterrence of money laundering, terrorist activity financing and other threats to the security of Canada.

FINTRAC’s responsibility should NOT fall directly onto the laps of realtors. It’s like putting kindergarten kids in charge of illegal immigrants. The question of whether or not a buyer’s money is dirty or not should be vetted by the financial institutions where the money has first arrived in the country.

I doubt the FINTRAC forms that realtors are mandated to fill out have any impact in curbing money laundering . At this level it’s just a waste of paper and time. I don’t see many realtors willing to forego their commission by flagging their multi million dollar buyer as a suspected criminal. That’s not just because of the lost sale but mainly because realtors aren’t equipped with enough information to warrant any accusations.

The Times They Are A Changing

Dan Morrison is the new President of the Real Estate Council. He is a good pick. He comes from a realtor background and is very capable of steering our industry through some changes. Dan had the misfortune of being elected in the most turbulent time in Vancouvers real estate history. Gerald Ford, when he took over for Richard Nixon, didn’t have it as bad as Dan. If I were in Dan’s shoes I would make a long term change in the education and licensing program. It’s too easy to become a realtor and there are too many of us in the field. I don’t think realtors should be able to take a course for six months and then be expected to handle what is quite often a client’s biggest asset.
Some suggestions:

  • Require a business degree as a prerequisite to get your real estate license.
  • Or how about a mandatory two year apprenticing policy under a designated licensed realtor before being fully licensed.
  • Or simply, limit the amount of realtors getting licensed.

Gotta Serve Somebody
For realtors, the easiest way to make sure you are making a correct decision in any dealings is to ask yourself “who benefits from my actions?” If the answer isn’t clearly “your clients” then it will be the wrong decision and it’s a good time to call your manager for advice.

Finally, there needs to be a way to regulate the way multiple offers are handled when the listing agent also has a buyer. This is what they mean by a double ender. There is nothing wrong with double ending as long as the process is fair to all buyers and is transparent to the buyers sellers and agents.

Next issue I’m hoping will be an interesting read and provoke some discussion. I want to see if my opinion of what makes a good realtor is the same as yours. An insiders view on how to pick a realtor and why? But, before I do that I would love to hear from you and your replies to the following:

  • what do you look for in a realtor that determines whether you choose him or not?
  • what do you think is the most effective way to sell a house? ie open houses, ads in NS News, glossy magazines or at bus stops?

All emails will be held in strict anonymity I will not publish any email names or addresses but will reference any suggestions and ideas. Enjoy the rest of summer!

Contact Grant Connell Realtor® at 604-250-5183 or gconnellrealty@gmail.com