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Selection may be better with a broker

May 2012

March was yet another exceptional time for sales in the greater Montreal area. Sales were up four per cent over March 2011, mostly because of an increase in sales of single-family dwellings for the 10th consecutive month.

In Montreal, condo, single-family and plexes increased, as did the median price despite the larger inventory of listings.

Quebec City lawyer Stéphan Pagé explained during an interview that along with this increase in sales, so too are the numbers of buyers and sellers going to him with problems, and those paying for legal advice after trying to sell or buy privately.

Pagé said buyers were purchasing without completed conditions, such as financing or inspections. Because the industry is not regulated, some inspectors did not have proper qualifications or insurance.

Furthermore, buyers and sellers did not have the proper knowledge of the law and did not utilize the proper sale tools.

Situations of improper documentation, poorly prepared documents, improper certificates of location and property-related issues that could increase the cost to the buyer were not declared. Pagé advocates the use of professional real estate brokers.

Besides minimizing problems, the selection/exposure to properties is often higher when using a broker.

I searched DuProprio, a website designed to match buyers and sellers without a broker, for condos in Dorval, Lachine, LaSalle and Verdun. There were 54 choices. For the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), which is supported and maintained by brokers’ listings, there were 915 choices.

Within a one-month period, 12 properties were sold through DuProprio; there were 173 sales through MLS. Some of the DuProprio listings were also in the MLS, which suggests some sellers realized that selling on their own is more difficult and time consuming than they thought.

Whether buying or selling, brokers are available to answer complex financial and legal questions.



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