Jeffrey I’m here again with Patrick Rocca who’s a real estate agent in the Toronto area. And Patrick, why don’t you introduce yourself and let us know whereabouts you work and what you specialize in?
Patrick Sure. good morning, Jeff. Patrick Rocca with Bosley real estate. Predominantly work in the central core of Toronto specializing in the Leaside & Davisville markets. My office is right here in the community as well.
Jeffrey Perfect. And Patrick, I know we’ve been talking for quite a while, a number of years now. And you’ve been doing this for, are you onto your 28th year here? Yeah, and I bet because the market over the past year has been well even the past three, four or five years, it’s been a little bit crazy. I’m thinking back to one year ago around February, 2020, and nobody could have predicted what was happened with the pandemic. Now that we’ve been through the first phase lockdown in 2020, then the summer back into the fall. Now we’re into 2021 and where a lot of people were predicting, the market was going to decline. In fact, we’ve seen the opposite. Maybe you can tell us a little bit more about that.
Patrick Yeah. And you know, we, we have had several discussions over more specifically in the last year as well with regards to the pandemic and its impact on the market. And you know, as, as I’ve said, several times, you know, my crystal ball is, is, is broken. Honestly the, the market just continues to defy all odds. You know, when, when you think things are gonna slow down they just pick up and you know, I hate to sound like a broken record, but it’s, it’s truly been driven by lack of supply, a ton of demand. There just literally is no inventory. I mean, like, just for an example right now in Leaside, there are only eight houses for sale. And that’s, in my opinion, I can’t even remember it’s historic low. I’d never recalled single digits in terms of listings even over the Christmas season. So, and you’ve got a lot of buyers out there. I mean you know, I had a semi-detached last week we listed it on a Thursday and, you know, over five days we had over 45 showings and we ended up with eight offers and we, we got substantially more than what we really anticipated we were going to get.
Jeffrey Yeah. And one of the criteria is of a healthy market is a good balance between buyers and sellers. And like you said, I think over the past 12 months, there’s been a real pent up demand among buyers who are maybe holding off because, you know, they weren’t sure of their economic situations or, you know, they were not really comfortable with the way that properties are being shown. And one of the criteria that I’ve heard, you know, real estate agents use is the number of offers they get on a property, but really, you know, that’s not necessarily a measure of success, is it
Patrick Honestly, it really depends. It is a measure of the demand for sure. I mean, I know of another property in the Lawrence & Lesley area this weekend $2 million property and it had 17 offers prior to the offer date offered it wasn’t till tomorrow. And they ended up getting 17 offers on Saturday and talking to the agent within the first 24 hours I had over 50 showings. So it’s clearly an indication of demand. And again, the lack of supply and it just seems to continue to get tighter and tighter. You know, and I’m telling people, I mean, even in the middle of a pandemic with numbers, you know, coming down now, thankfully but when they were going up, I mean, I was telling people, you, if you can, and if you are comfortable it is a great time to sell. Because there are buyers out there. I mean, and we’re using obviously very strict protocols around COVID and showings and, and all that sort of stuff. But there are many, many people looking to buy.
Jeffrey Yeah. And I think that that’s a key indicator of, you know, what the strength of the market is not only in residential houses, but also in condos, which have staged a, a bit of a calm comeback. Can you let us know a little bit about what you’ve seen in that area?
Patrick Yeah. The condo market’s actually come back slightly. And I started noticing it around mid-December interestingly enough because I did have some clients that were, you know, actively looking, calling me in November and thinking, you know, let’s really get into this in the new year because I think that there’s going to be some opportunities in, in, in maybe even some more price drop and lo and behold the market started coming back downtown now. I mean, there’s still a glitch of condos and there’s still a lot of condos on the market, but we started noticing stuff that was sitting for 60 days. All of a sudden was selling we had one buyer in particular. We took out two weeks ago tried to book seven showings and out of the seven, four of them had sold already.
Patrick And I think one or two we couldn’t get into. And then one of the other ones that we did see that had been on the market for awhile we ended up buying it. So I mean, there is a bit of a surge and a bit of a comeback in the condo market now as well. I mean, I think with the positive news about the vaccine and the anticipation that, you know, we could be maybe turning the corner in terms of that later this year. So I mean, I think that, that that’s positive news and it’s, it’s sort of made investors say, okay, let’s, let’s do this. So I mean, I think there’s some positive there.
Jeffrey Yeah. And like we’ve been seeing, I think that people are still getting used to the way the market is, even in terms of having very strict protocols in terms of the showings. So, you know, as you’ve said, there were sometimes 50 showings over a weekend. Each agent has maybe a 15, 20 minute or half hour slot. And if they miss it, they miss it. And so there’s been, I’ve heard a lot of sort of competition among those agents who maybe their clients are a little bit late. Maybe they go over and into the next slot. So it’s almost getting, you know, like you have to be exactly at the right time at the right place to get the showing.
Patrick Yeah. And most agents are respectful of the time allotments. I mean, with my listings, I’m not doing any double bookings and I’m only allowing 30 minutes showings. You do get the odd agent that, you know, will show up late and not announced. So that can be frustrating, but that’s, that’s par for the course anyways,
Jeffrey In terms of your advice for sellers now like you said that the vaccine will be here it’s being distributed right now. People I know are actually getting their first dose. So under that, what would your advice be for sellers who are looking to list in the spring market?
Patrick Well, we are in the spring market and I mean, and, and I, you know, I’ve said this before I, my, my concern was is that we were going to get inundated with a bunch of listings in the new year, which did not happen. So what I’m saying to people now is if they have the stomach and if they, they, they, they are comfortable with the current situation that they should list sooner than later. I mean, again, there’s always that fear that, you know, come April, may when people really think spring there could be more product but it’s a catch 22 for a lot of sellers. I mean, I have sellers right now that are looking to buy out of, out of the city you know, looking for a specific property in the city and they can’t find it so they can’t sell, or they don’t feel comfortable selling until they have purchased. So there’s that as well. Right. So, I mean you know, if I could just find some of my client’s product or the right product, I would have listings. So but I’m telling people if you, if you can, and, you know, if, if you are comfortable with it, it’s a great time. There is there, there’s nothing on the market and there’s a ton of buyers.
Jeffrey Yeah. And that’s, that’s great advice, you know, even putting aside what’s happening right now obviously you’re looking to sell what you can get the most dollars for, for your product. Again, a bit of a log jam. If you’re looking to stay in the market, you will then have to purchase something. But you know, if, if somebody says, you know, what are the number one things that I could do in selling my house in the next sort of four to six months, what would be some of the things you’d suggest
Patrick In terms of getting it ready for sale? I mean, that really has not changed. I mean, it’s all about you know, in my opinion, there’s four things that have to be in place when you’re selling a house. Number one is it has to be properly priced. It has to show well. So presentation is a real big factor marketing and timing. And I mean, you know, marketing has changed dramatically in the last year with, with the onset of COVID and how we, how we expose homes to the open market. There’s a, you know, I’m, I’m listing quite a big home in the next 30 days. And, you know, we’re going to be doing, you know, as I said, virtual tours, MatterPort tours for plans. And even in this particular listing, we’re gonna be doing a drone because it’s got a nice piece of property. So, I mean, you have to be really, really showcasing your homes, because I think it’s important that, you know, if you can eliminate a non-interested buyer before them just showing up at the house, it helps in in order to do that, you have to have the right marketing materials.
Jeffrey And, and that’s a really great point. I don’t think we’ve talked about that enough is kind of eliminating or limiting the amount of non interested buyers in, in this market. There are so many people who are shopping online and, you know, may be interested, but not committed to buying something. And so, like you said, having the right materials to kind of focus in on, you know, maybe the right person, right. Family who this product would be, would be useful for.
Patrick Yeah. I mean, it’s very important it’s from, from, from everybody’s standpoint, from, you know, from, from health for, for us as agents for the sellers and for the buyers. I mean, if you can eliminate as much contact I think it only benefits everybody
Jeffrey And going back to something you said about pricing, I’ve seen a bit of a trend come back and, you know, trying to generate multiple offers. So there’s a property in my neighborhood, which has priced quite a bit below what a lot of the comparables are, are priced at. It’s one of these sort of everything is priced around, say 1.3, 1.4 for the median round there for comparables, this is priced below 1 million trying to yeah, that’s right. That’s right.
Patrick And as a matter of fact, yes, I noticed that when he came to market and it’s not an area agent but I mean, there’s a saying in our business that, you know, you can’t, you can’t, underprice something the market will take care of itself, but I mean, you do then get buyers. I mean, and we, we, you know, we’ve had a few buyers call us about it and they actually think they can get it for under a million. Well, it’s not, it’s going to sell for one, two plus. Right. and, and, and it is under priced. I, I’m not a fan of underpricing. I’m a fan of pricing of property at the market. You know, I had the semi that I had a couple of weeks ago that I just sold. I mean, we listed it just under 1,200,000. It was, it was on a, on a busier street. And we suspect that we were going to get multiple offers. We got way more than we expected. I mean, so under listing that would have been, you know, much like the one you’re discussing them under a million and that’s, that’s sometimes it can backfire on you. Right?
Jeffrey Yeah. And one way I’ve heard it backfires. If you do get 37 offers, then there are so many different permutations where, you know, if the property is going to sell potentially higher than market’s higher than what the bank would appraise it for those buyers would then be, you know, responsible for that difference. Is that correct?
Patrick That’s a hundred percent correct. I had one last year where we kind of set a record for a specific property, and yet it had a hard time appraising. I mean, I was representing the seller. So, I mean, the seller was hoppy, but yeah, it was, it was interesting. And you can run into those situations and I’ve, I’ve had a few of those last year where, you know, your concern is, is while you’re getting all these offers and you’re getting crazy prices, will it appraise and, you know, touch wood. I have not had a problem with something, not closing because it didn’t appraise, but there’s always that risk.
Jeffrey And the risk to the seller is that if it doesn’t close, then they either have to go down to the second or third offer. Or I think from real estate agent experience, when you see an offer, you try to understand how leverage or, or how well equipped the buyers would be if something like this would happen. And so if they need to pull additional capital to do that financing that is available, even if it might be a lower monetary offer.
Patrick Yeah. And I, and I had a situation a couple of years ago when we sort of peaked there in ‘17 where a property sold. And it did not close because the market then tanked after they brought in the foreign tax and we, we ended up putting it back. So the individual sold it privately to a neighbor, which is always a mistake. And it did not close because the market tank, because it wasn’t worth what the buyer paid for it when it closed. So it decreased in value. And so then the seller called me and said, I got a problem. I have to put this on the market now. And, and I just was very direct with him. I said, you know, the number I gave you back a few months ago, I said, well, it’s not that number. I mean, and you’re going to get a lot less. And, and we did, we ended up getting a lot less than there was in there, ended up being a lawsuit. And, you know, obviously the, the seller goes after the buyer for the differential. And you know, that can take, that can take ages to settle. Right?
Jeffrey Yeah. And it’s one of those things that I know some sellers do think about it. They think about, well, if I’m going to be saving this commission, I’m going to sell privately, I’ll put that money in my pocket. But the downside is, you know, I’m not saying it always can go this way, but if you do end up with a situation like that, how much is that worth in terms of saving the commission to lose a couple of hundred thousand dollars and be embroiled in a lawsuit?
Patrick Well, and that’s it. And in this particular case, I had talked with the individuals and you know, they were very grateful of my, my, my advice. And when they called me and told me that they had sold it privately and told me what they got, I said, well, that’s what I told you. You were likely going to get. So congratulations. And the only thing I said was, I hope you got a big deposit. And there was no comment. They didn’t really address that. But then I found out later when it didn’t close, they didn’t get a big deposit. So, you know, there, there was an issue there as well. So yeah, it’s you know, to save, to save a commission, isn’t always, it’s definitely usually worth it. I very rarely see that as a win, especially in this market, I mean you know, if just an example, the one that I sold last week, we never expected to get that. And let’s say that they would have accepted less privately, you know, what they would have given up that opportunity on the open market to get more and more than covered the commission. Right?
Jeffrey Yep. Yep. I agree. And it’s one of the things where, you know, I never say, would you do your own dental work or would you do here on medical work? If you’re not a specialist in the field, you don’t have time, you don’t have the experience. And it’s people think it’s super easy to sell a house, but it’s actually, it’s not it’s relationships. It’s the time in the industry. It’s, it’s the pricing, it’s the understanding of the, the area, which is all folded into how the house is presented and what it’s priced at
Patrick A hundred percent. I mean, it really comes back to the agent and their, their, their worth and their value. And I mean, I know interestingly enough, I’m just doing my monthly newsletter. And, you know, if you look at my personal stats from last year, I mean, you know, I, I consistently got my clients approximately a hundred, 5% of asking and my home sold quicker than, than the average agent in the area. So, I mean, there’s value in that in a lot of times that’s disregarded for, for agents in particular, but it is what it is.
Jeffrey And just to clarify, you work both for sellers and buyers
Patrick A hundred percent. Yeah. Yeah. And you know, obviously listings are my specialty. I mean, they’re obviously two different sort of attacks. And I do have a buyer agent that works with me that works with a lot of my buyers, but yes, absolutely. I work with both
Jeffrey Well, that’s it’s been great to chat again. I, we always end by saying, you know, where do you see the market going in? You usually respond that your crystal ball is broken, but anyway
Patrick I mean, it still is, and it’s even shattered. It’s not broken, it’s shattered. And I mean, I think when we last talked prior to Christmas, I mean, I was concerned about at the beginning of the year and now I’m, I honestly, it’s just, it’s a, it’s a great time. If you’re in the market and if you are looking at selling, is it stressful? A buyer a hundred percent? It’s very stressful for buyers right now. And that’s not just in Toronto. I mean, you go outside the nine Oh five is just a stupid, I mean, I say stupid, stupid in a good way. I mean, there’s stuff selling like crazy. Right. so yeah, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s a good time in the market. You know, I don’t see anything changing. Short-Term. I mean, if you look at CMHC, they came up with some crazy stat a week or two ago that they said that the market could drop 50% this year. Well, I mean, they also said it was going to drop 19% last year and it went up 14. So, I mean, I don’t think they know what they’re talking about, but the reality is, is it’s very healthy. It’s a good time and rates are low and there’s good opportunity.
Jeffrey Fantastic. As always Patrick, if people want to get ahold of you, what’s the best way for them to contact you?
Patrick They can call me through my office at Bosley at (416) 322-8000 – emails, always very efficient as well because I have my phone attached to my body. It’s mail@PatrickRocca.com . The website is www.patrickrocca.com
Jeffrey Fantastic. Thanks again, Patrick. Really appreciate the overview and I know we’ll be in touch in a few months and we’ll see what’s happening towards the, the end of the spring.
Patrick That’s great and lovely talking to you and happy new year.
Jeffrey Bye bye.