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When considering a broker, think about the dollar value of peace of mind

April, 2011

The Greater Montreal Real Estate Board recently announced that the real-estate market in Montreal is becoming more balanced.

First, the market eased the most for single-family dwellings in Vaudreuil Soulanges and on the north shore, while condominiums moved toward a more balanced market in the north shore and Laval.

Conversely, on Montreal Island, the market favoured sellers, both of single-family dwellings and condos.

Second, in February 2011, compared with a year earlier, more modest price increases were seen. For example, the median price of a single-family dwelling and a plex (two to five units) increased by only four per cent and three per cent respectively. Only condominiums maintained a sustained increase of nine per cent.

Furthermore, sales transaction numbers reduced in Montreal in 2011 in comparison with 2010, by seven per cent for single family dwellings and condos and 11 per cent for plexes. This was also the case in January, which was down nine per cent overall.

Finally, the number of active listings in the Multiple Listing Service increased by 13 per cent overall in February 2011 vs. February 2010. This will give more choice for buyers and may slow average price increases for various types of properties. So what does this mean for buyers and sellers? It would be beneficial to know the market conditions in any place that they are looking to sell or buy given that there are indications of market changes in various sectors and for various types of properties. Buyers and sellers would benefit from working with a real-estate broker. Recently, the real-estate board interviewed numerous consumers who were looking to sell and/or buy properties. They were questioned about their experience working with a broker and what value it brought them.

Sellers appreciated the brokers’ market knowledge in establishing reasonable asking prices.

The timing of the sale, which was based on market conditions best suited for this goal, was factored in. Additionally, management of the sale process, which included marketing, visits, taking offers and negotiating, was discussed. Peace of mind and being able to continue to lead a normal life throughout the process was emphasized.

Buyers also appreciated the negotiation skills of their brokers but added their appreciation of the research on the property conducted by the broker in finding the home and potential pitfalls with buying the home. They also noted the buying process, which included the presentation of the offer, the management of the inspection, and pre- and post-sale problems that can occur.

Buyers emphasized that using an agent does not cost a thing and even vendors stated they could sell on their own and save the commissions, but in the end, sellers questioned whether there would be a savings given that they would be responsible for marketing and selling their property with their own money and time. In the end, do you really save money selling on your own?

One seller stated that selling with a broker brought peace of mind, which is hard to place a dollar value on. Furthermore, another seller stated that they did not feel that the commissions were high. The word used was “fair.”

So, long story short, take advantage of the knowledge and expertise of a real-estate broker. It will be worth the money you pay and the peace of mind you achieve throughout the process of selling or buying, especially in fluctuating market conditions like we are seeing in the Greater Montreal area.



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