How my agent found the perfect home in a hot seller’s market

A real estate company vice president on his homebuying journey

Posted on Inman News  December 14, 2016

  • In North America, where everyone knows 10-plus agents, the ones who do it right set themselves apart.
  • Good agents don’t just wait for their clients to ask them questions: They are pro-active to ensure the client is getting the information they need.
  • When trying to buy a home in a hot market, it helps immensely to have an agent with a positive, steady attitude.

Selling my home was, of course, just the first of two chapters.

In part one of this series, I wrote about my experience listing my home and the many ways that our agent helped make the selling process easier and more successful.

When my wife and I woke up the next morning, we found ourselves buyers in the red-hot Vancouver housing market.

We wanted to stay, broadly, in the same Kitsilano area — close to my office, the kids’ grandparents and family-friendly community amenities.

We were searching for a three-bedroom condo, ground-oriented, hopefully with some outdoor space: essentially, the same thing every young family was eyeing in that neighborhood.

[Read more…]

Macdonald Realty opens boutique offices in Sidney and Sechelt

Macdonald Realty has opened two new locations, the first in Sidney on Vancouver Island and the second in Sechelt on the Sunshine Coast.  These boutique offices join the province-wide network of 20 offices operated by Macdonald Realty, a B.C. owned and operated brokerage with a 70 year history of service and excellence.

“We’re focused on serving British Columbians in communities of all sizes” says Jonathan Cooper, Vice President, Operations. “Smaller offices like Sidney and Saanich, led by strong local REALTORS®, have become an important part of Macdonald Realty’s growth strategy over recent years.”

In Sidney, the new office opened with six agents and was spearheaded by Chace Whitson, a multiple MLS® Gold Award winner who has been with Macdonald Realty since 2013.  “Having our large office in Downtown Victoria, and now one in Sidney, allows us to serve our clients better across the whole region,” says Whitson. “Our affiliation with Luxury Portfolio International® gives our high-end clients a unique opportunity to market their home to the luxury elite across the globe, something that no other Victoria brokerage can offer.”

The Sechelt office is the result of a meeting between Managing Broker Patricia Place and Medallion Club REALTORS® Barbie Whitworth and Shay Moudahi who decided to switch their office to Macdonald Realty after being attracted by the company’s strong leadership, systems and brand positioning. “The new office is opening at just the right time with the Sunshine Coast market really heating up,” says Place, a part-time Sunshine Coast resident herself who also manages the company’s Squamish, West Vancouver and North Vancouver locations.  

Macdonald Realty Ltd. – Sidney | 2411 Bevan Avenue, Sidney, BC  V8L 4M9  |  Office: 778-426-2262

Macdonald Realty Ltd. – Sechelt | #3 – 5764 Wharf Road, Sechelt, BC  V0N 3A0  |  Office: 604-747-2222

[Read more…]

Tougher mortgage rules could dampen condo, townhome sales in Vancouver, Toronto | The Globe and Mail

Sales of condos and townhomes could soften in Canada’s two largest housing markets as first-time buyers face tougher lending rules that take effect on Monday.

The mortgage changes will likely be felt especially hard in Greater Vancouver and the Greater Toronto Area, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association.

“First-time home buyers, particularly in housing markets with a lack of affordable inventory of single-family homes, may be priced out of the market by the new regulations that take effect on Oct. 17,” CREA chief economist Gregory Klump said in a statement on Friday.

He made the comment as CREA released data showing the average price for various housing types sold nationally in about 100 markets in September reached $474,590, up 9.5 per cent from the same month in 2015. Sales volume increased 4.2 per cent.

Last week, the federal government announced measures to tighten mortgage rules. Ottawa is also closing tax loopholes used by some foreign buyers.

In most cases, homeowners who are looking to upgrade to larger houses must first sell their existing properties before they are able to acquire their next place.

[Read more…]

BNN Interview about Ottawa’s New Housing Policies

The federal government announced new measures for housing market to slow the injection of foreign cash and to tighten eligibility rules on prospective borrowers. Jonathan Cooper, vice president of operations at Macdonald Real Estate Group, joins BNN with perspective on Ottawa’s new housing policies.

Realtor: Ottawa’s new housing policies ‘logical step’

(To view the video on mobile devices, please click here for direct play on BNN.)

About Macdonald Real Estate Group
Based in Vancouver, Canada, Macdonald Real Estate Group (MREG) has an annual sales volume of over $7 billion and over $2 billion in assets under management. With more than 20 offices and nearly 1,000 staff and REALTORS®, MREG offers a full range of real estate services, including residential and commercial brokerage, property and strata management, project marketing, and the MREG Canadian Real Estate Investment Centre in Shanghai, China. Macdonald Realty is the residential division of Macdonald Real Estate Group. For more information, visit www.macrealty.com.

BNN interview about tax evasion in B.C. real estate market

B.C.’s finance minister, Mike de Jong, urges Canada Revenue Agency to “diligently” enforce the law following a report that speculators are flipping homes in B.C. without paying tax. Business News Network (BNN) invites Jonathan Cooper, Vice President of Operations at Macdonald Real Estate Group to share his opinions.

Tax evasion in B.C. real estate market happening but rare

(To view the video on mobile devices, please click here for direct play on BNN.)

 

About Macdonald Real Estate Group
Based in Vancouver, Canada, Macdonald Real Estate Group (MREG) has an annual sales volume of over $7 billion and over $2 billion in assets under management. With more than 20 offices and nearly 1,000 staff and REALTORS®, MREG offers a full range of real estate services, including residential and commercial brokerage, property and strata management, project marketing, and the MREG Canadian Real Estate Investment Centre in Shanghai, China. Macdonald Realty is the residential division of Macdonald Real Estate Group. For more information, visit www.macrealty.com.

B.C. Real Estate In ‘Absolute Mayhem’ Amid Talk Of Sales Collapse|The Huffington Post Canada

Greater Vancouver’s real estate market is in the throes of chaos as buyers, sellers and industry insiders try to adapt to a new tax on foreign buyers that went into effect on Tuesday.

Though a recent poll showed nine out of 10 British Columbians back a tax on foreign buyers of residential real estate, many industry insiders and entrepreneurs are lining up against it, saying it risks destabilizing the housing market and Vancouver’s economy.

The tax has even taken on shades of a political controversy, as a prominent Vancouver real estate marketer and provincial Liberal fundraising chief denies he knew in advance the tax was coming.

B.C. Real Estate In Absolute Mayhem Amid Talk Of Sales Collapse

Vancouver realtor Steve Saretsky told Global News his analysis of MLS data found that detached home sales collapsed by 75 per cent in the few weeks after the provincial government announced it was introducing a 15-per-cent sales tax on foreign buyers of residential real estate in Greater Vancouver.

Saretsky described the market as being in “absolute mayhem.” But other realtors told media it is too soon to tell what the precise impact will be on the housing market.

[Read more…]

Foreign Buyers Tax: Realtors begin to report sales deals collapse | Vancouver Sun

Realtors and lawyers desperate to get in under the deadline filed a record-setting 15,000 property transfer applications on Thursday and Friday, the last business days before B.C.’s punishing new 15-per-cent tax on foreign property buyers went into effect.

More than 9,200 transactions were filed on Friday, breaking the June 30 record of more than 8,400 in a single day, according to the B.C. Land Title and Survey Authority. It also reported over 5,800 transactions on Thursday, representing nearly as many deals registered at month’s end in April.

The demand was so heavy that it crashed the land titles office’s electronic filing service on both days, the authority said.

Now, as a new dawn breaks in Metro Vancouver’s real estate market, realty companies and real estate boards are reporting the first anecdotes of deals falling through as foreign buyers forfeited deposits on binding deals rather than pay the new tax. And they report evidence of local buyers withdrawing offers in expectation that the market will soften.

Elton Ash, executive vice-president of Re/Max Western Region, said it is too early to accurately quantify how many deals fell apart, but he’s heard from realtors in some of the company’s 30 Metro Vancouver offices of cases where foreign buyers who couldn’t rearrange previously negotiated closing dates have already walked away.

“Our expectation is that there will be a percentage of transactions collapse due to the buyer basically defaulting on the contract,” Ash said.

He and other realty experts say it may take up to two or three months to gauge the full effect of the new tax.

Jonathan Cooper, vice-president of operations at MacDonald Realty, expects many cases to go to court because deposits are held in trust by realtors and usually can’t be released without a court order.

“I think the next chapters in this story are going to be written by lawyers,” Cooper said. “There are going to be cases for sellers trying to get the deposit out of trust and maybe suing the buyer for specific performance trying to get them to complete, and/or for damages if they are not able to find a buyer at a similar price point.”

[Read more…]

‘Fundamental Issue in Vancouver Market Is Supply’ | Bloomberg TV Canada

Jonathan Cooper, Vice President, Operations at Macdonald Real Estate Group joins Bloomberg TV Canada’s Rudyard Griffiths to discuss the impact of the 15 percent property tax for non-Canadian citizens and non-permanent residents in Metro Vancouver.

 

About Macdonald Real Estate Group
Based in Vancouver, Canada, Macdonald Real Estate Group (MREG) has an annual sales volume of over $7 billion and over $2 billion in assets under management. With more than 20 offices and nearly 1,000 staff and REALTORS®, MREG offers a full range of real estate services, including residential and commercial brokerage, property and strata management, project marketing, and the MREG Canadian Real Estate Investment Centre in Shanghai, China. Macdonald Realty is the residential division of Macdonald Real Estate Group. For more information, visit www.macrealty.com.

B.C. turns from foreign buyers to investor immigrants as Vancouver’s affordability crisis continues | Georgia Straight

A whopping 90 percent of Metro Vancouver residents support the region’s new 15-percent tax on foreign buyers of residential real estate. At the same time, only three percent of respondents to the same poll, conducted by the Angus Reid Institute, say the tax goes far enough, and 71 percent describe it as simply a step in the right direction.

While the region waits to see what kind of impact the new tax will have on the market, pundits are debating what additional measures the government should take. That’s turned a lot of attention to the Quebec Immigrant Investor Program (QIIP), a path exclusively for wealthy immigrants that, despite its name, lets newcomers settle in B.C. Those home buyers are counted as locals and therefore are not subject to the region’s new tax on foreign nationals. Some observers argue the QIIP deserves much of the blame for driving up the price of a home in Vancouver.

On July 28, Premier Christy Clark revealed she’s approached her Québécois counterpart and opened discussions on the issue.

 “We’re going to work together on it,” she told Global News. “We’re going to try and support him [Premier Philippe Couillard] in finding ways to make sure their program, their investor program, is for Quebec and for Quebec alone. And that when people come into Quebec, that’s where they stay.”

But eliminating this source of wealthy immigrants might not have as sizable an effect on Vancouver real estate as some have suggested.

[Read more…]

Reality of B.C.’s foreign buyers tax begins to bite as realtors report deals collapsing | Financial Post

Realtors and lawyers desperate to get in under the deadline filed a record-setting 15,000 property transfer applications on Thursday and Friday, the last business days before B.C.’s punishing new 15-per-cent tax on foreign property buyers went into effect.

More than 9,200 transactions were filed on Friday, breaking the 2007-2008 record of more than 8,400 in a single day, according to the B.C. Land Title and Survey Authority. It also reported over 5,800 transactions on Thursday, representing nearly as many deals registered at month’s end in April.

The demand was so heavy that it crashed the land titles office’s electronic filing service on both days, the authority said.

Now, as a new dawn breaks in Metro Vancouver’s real estate market, realty companies and real estate boards are reporting the first anecdotes of deals falling through as foreign buyers forfeited deposits on binding deals rather than pay the new tax. And they report evidence of local buyers withdrawing offers in expectation that the market will soften.

Elton Ash, executive vice-president of Re/Max Western Region, said it is too early to accurately quantify how many deals fell apart, but he’s heard from realtors in some of the company’s 30 Metro Vancouver offices of cases where foreign buyers who couldn’t rearrange previously negotiated closing dates have already walked away.

“Our expectation is that there will be a percentage of transactions collapse due to the buyer basically defaulting on the contract,” Ash said.

He and other realty experts say it may take up to two or three months to gauge the full effect of the new tax.

“I think the next chapters in this story are going to be written by lawyers”

Jonathan Cooper, vice-president of operations at Macdonald Realty, expects many cases to go to court because deposits are held in trust by realtors and usually can’t be released without a court order.

“I think the next chapters in this story are going to be written by lawyers,” Cooper said. “There are going to be cases for sellers trying to get the deposit out of trust and maybe suing the buyer for specific performance trying to get them to complete, and/or for damages if they are not able to find a buyer at a similar price point.”

[Read more…]

Thousands of Metro Vancouver real estate deals caught by tax deadline

‘Last week was pretty hectic,’ realtor said of rush to avoid new tax by midnight cutoff

house-key-turning-in-lock-real-estate-tax-image

For some the last few weeks was a rush to wrap up real estate deals before Aug. 2 tax was imposed on Metro Vancouver property deals. (DeWitt Clinto/Flickr)

Thousands of home buyers and sellers in Metro Vancouver reacted with ‘shock and disbelief,’ madly rushing to beat the Aug. 2 deadline of the new 15 per cent foreign buyer real estate tax.

Realtors estimate 3,000-to-4,000 deals were affected.

“It’s so fast. Just everyone is shocked,” said Jin Liu, a realtor with Remax.

After the legal documents flutter to the floor industry watchers warn there will be challenges to the new tax, seen by many as unfair.

Some say it violates the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) which prohibits governments from imposing policies that punish foreigners. Top lawyers say the tax is ripe for a constitutional challenge.

The foreign buyer tax, aimed at cooling Vancouver’s torrid housing market, was announced July 25. The aim was to chill speculative investing and preserve affordable homes for people living and working in Canada.

Up to 4,000 deals affected by new tax

Buyers and sellers were caught in the sting of the Aug. 2 tax that has been applied even to deals struck long before it existed.

“We weren’t given notice …. so most likely the deals will collapse. It’s not fair for everyone,” added Liu.

[Read more…]

Vancouver just hit foreign homebuyers with a massive tax | CNNMoney

If you’re not a Canadian, buying property in Vancouver will cost you.

Starting Tuesday, foreign buyers purchasing property in the Canadian City will be hit with a 15% property transfer tax.

The swift implementation of the tax was in response to exploding home prices in the city, and goes into effect eight days after it was announced.

It will also apply to buyers already in contract.

Real estate in Vancouver has been hot lately, with home prices up 23% from a year ago, according to the the Teranet-National Bank Composite House Price Index.

iStock_000010833733Medium

Low inventory and strong demand has created a highly-competitive market where it’s common for sellers to get 10 offers or more.

Adding to the demand is a flood of foreign buyers investing in the city. In a five-week period earlier this summer, more than $676 million ($885 million Canadian dollars) in foreign cash poured into Metro Vancouver, according to recent government data. During that time, 10% of all purchases were made by foreign buyers.

In Richmond, a suburb within Metro Vancouver, foreigners accounted for almost 20% of total investments.

Many of the buyers are investors looking for a safe haven to park their cash, while others are emigrating to Canada, according to experts.

While there’s little disagreement that affordability has become more elusive — especially for middle-class buyers — the swift implementation and broadness of the tax has some real estate agents worried.

The tax will apply to foreign buyers who are already in contract, but not yet closed. That means their purchase is about to get 15% more expensive, even though they’ve already made the deal.

The benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver was $700,924 in June (917,800 Canadian dollars). The new tax would add $105,139 to the purchase price.

The tax can also have consequences for home sellers. If a foreign buyer decides to back out of the now more expensive deal, the seller could be left in the lurch if they were shopping for another home or had plans for the money from the sale.

The move has already given some foreign buyers pause.

Op-Ed by Jonathan Cooper

Jonathan Cooper, vice president, operations at Macdonald Real Estate Group

Jonathan Cooper, vice president, operations at Macdonald Real Estate Group in Vancouver, said there’s been a rush among foreign clients to close before the tax goes into effect, and that one client decided not to move forward with a purchase.

The housing crunch has been hitting middle-class house hunters particularly hard.

“It is difficult for even dual-income families to create enough to have a down payment to enter the marketplace,” said Jason Soprovich, a luxury real estate agent in Vancouver.

Soaring prices are pushing buyers outside the city to find some relief.

“North Vancouver has traditionally been a middle-class area, but the demographic is changing and young families can’t afford to live close to downtown,” said Dan Morrison, president of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver. “People are moving farther and farther out for affordability.”

While some government officials have said the tax aims to bring more accessibility and affordability for middle-class residents, real estate agents noted that it will be hard to prove its impact.

The market was starting to show signs of some cooling in recent weeks as more inventory has trickled online. Late summer also tends to bring a slowdown in activity.

“It was almost a knee-jerk reaction from the government,” said Soprovich. “A lot of people believe this cold be political posturing with an election coming in the fall.”


The article was originally posted on CNNMoney, August 2, 2016. Written by Kathryn Vasel.

Opinion: The true cost of the new real estate tax

This week, the B.C. government introduced a new 15-per-cent tax on all non-citizen and non-permanent-resident buyers of residential real estate in Metro Vancouver. Macdonald Realty opened its first office in the Kerrisdale neighbourhood over 70 years ago. Though we now have 20-plus offices and 1,000 staff and agents, the heart of our organization is still in Vancouver.

We understand that the government felt the need to take concrete action to curb speculation and related price inflation. We understand also that the increase in real estate prices over the last few years is a topic of much concern to many Metro Vancouver residents. That said, we do take strong issue with the retroactive nature of this new tax. Specifically, that it applies to all transactions that close after Aug. 2, regardless of when those contracts were entered into. This will have profoundly negative consequences for many Canadian families, who weren’t the intended targets of the tax.

To highlight the consequences, let us give you a few real-life examples.

One of our clients is a new immigrant family in the process of moving to Canada. They have both children registered for school — their daughter will be studying English literature at the University of B.C. in the fall. They have already entered into a firm deal to buy a resale home priced at $765,000 (from a Canadian seller), but since the sale closes after Aug. 2, they are now looking at a sudden $114,750 increase in their cost — on a firm and binding contract. This is neither just nor reasonable.

Op-Ed by Jonathan Cooper

Op-Ed by Jonathan Cooper

Our second example involves a Canadian family who recently listed their home for sale in Surrey. They have a firm deal with an immigrant family for $480,000; however, that deal is now in peril, because the buyer’s cost just went up by $72,000. The sellers, as Canadian citizens, weren’t meant to be the subject of this tax, but now it has placed their financial lives in jeopardy.

The Canadian sellers in both examples point to a broader reality: the knock-on effects of this tax throughout the Vancouver real estate market that could be immensely damaging for many Canadians. Real estate is traditionally a linked economic activity. Once they have a firm deal on their property, many sellers promptly go on to buy their next home. If foreign buyers begin defaulting en masse, we could see a contagion scenario wherein a single default by a foreign buyer will result in many more defaults by Canadian buyers. In addition, the resulting flood of lawsuits from these defaults could overrun the court system. We believe that the government has not anticipated this very likely scenario.

There is a prevailing impression that all foreign buyers are big-moneyed cash buyers. But the reality is that there are many more hardworking, middle-class immigrant families who are stretching themselves in order to get a foothold in the Vancouver market and give their families a better life. It is very reasonable that some of these families will not be able to afford an additional 15-per-cent tax that was neither anticipated nor budgeted for. For many, their only option will be to default on their purchase and lose their deposits.

Furthermore, this tax damages our province’s credibility as a place to do business in the eyes of the world. If our government is willing to drastically and retroactively increase costs in one major sector of the market, a reasonable investor would have to conclude that they might be willing to do so in any sector. Do we want to be known as a place where legally binding contracts can be, without recourse, altered after the fact by the government? And in a country built by immigrants, do we want to be known as a place where we impose severe, retroactive costs on families merely because of their country of origin?

Once again, while we do not necessarily agree that the government’s move to implement a foreign-buyers’ tax is the most effective means of addressing affordability, we do understand the immense public pressure to respond to Vancouver’s escalating house prices. However, the punitive nature of the tax’s implementation will cause immense — and completely unnecessary — damage to Canadian families, with no discernible benefit.

Premier Christy Clark expressed concerns that grandfathering would create a run on the market, but this could easily be avoided by only including contracts that were agreed to before July 25, the date on which the tax was announced. Imposing a 15-per-cent tax while exempting existing contracts will achieve the government’s goals without financially imperiling blameless Canadian sellers. In the strongest possible terms, we urge the government to reconsider their position.

—————–

This op-ed by Jonathan Cooper was published in the Vancouver Sun on Friday, July 29th 2016.  Jonathan Cooper is vice-president of Macdonald Real Estate Group Inc.

One in 10 home sales in Vancouver region went to foreign buyers | The Globe and Mail

B.C. Premier Christy Clark says new data that show foreigners bought one in every 10 homes sold in Metro Vancouver’s superheated market over five weeks forced her government to introduce a new and substantial tax on international buyers, but she says the surprise levy is intended to stop the spike in prices, not devalue the equity built up by existing homeowners.

Foreign buyers in B.C.
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Statistics the province released on Tuesday show buyers who were not Canadian citizens or permanent residents made up 10 per cent of all home sales in Metro Vancouver between June 10 and July 14. Those transactions totalled $885-million. An earlier release of data covering June 10 to 29 and not including end-of-month sales found only 5 per cent of the sales in the region involved foreigners.

The proportion of international buyers was higher in the suburbs of Burnaby and Richmond, with nearly one in five of all homes sold in those cities going to people from countries other than Canada. The rate for Vancouver proper was 11 per cent, and 7 per cent across all of British Columbia.

“There need to be more houses on the market that are available to local people,” Ms. Clark told The Globe and Mail.

Next Tuesday, 22 communities will start levying 15 per cent in additional property transfer taxes on any foreign home buyer without permanent residency in Canada, as well as foreign corporations or Canadian-registered corporations owned or controlled by foreigners.

[Read more…]

BNN Interview about the New 15% Foreign Buyers Tax

The B.C. government announced a new plan to introduce a 15% property transfer tax for non-Canadian citizens and non-permanent residents in Metro Vancouver. The move comes as the government attempts to combat the growing affordability crisis in the Vancouver area. Business News Network (BNN) speaks with Jonathan Cooper, Vice President of Operations at Macdonald Real Estate Group about the impact.

 Vancouver realtors unhappy with new foreign buyers tax

(To view the video on mobile devices, please click here for direct play on BNN.)

 

About Macdonald Real Estate Group
Based in Vancouver, Canada, Macdonald Real Estate Group (MREG) has an annual sales volume of over $7 billion and over $2 billion in assets under management. With more than 20 offices and nearly 1,000 staff and REALTORS®, MREG offers a full range of real estate services, including residential and commercial brokerage, property and strata management, project marketing, and the MREG Canadian Real Estate Investment Centre in Shanghai, China. Macdonald Realty is the residential division of Macdonald Real Estate Group. For more information, visit www.macrealty.com.

What I learned as a real estate VP selling my home

In real estate services, you get what you pay for

Posted on Inman News  June 2, 2016

Key Takeaways

  • With real estate agents, you generally get what you pay for.

  • The process of achieving the successful sale of your home begins long before the home is actually listed.

  • Even in a hot market, good agents more than earn their commission by helping you achieve a higher relative sales price, and by de-stressing the whole process.

Jonathan CooperI’ve worked in the real estate business for almost a decade. While my firm (Macdonald Real Estate Group) is active in residential sales, we also have other divisions including commercial brokerage and leasing, project marketing (new homes and condos consulting), property management and our expanding presence in Mainland China (the topic of several past Inman articles).

I’m a “corporate guy” and my job with the parent company mainly involves working with our leadership team to implement the CEO’s vision for the overall operation. But I am surrounded by talk about the real estate market daily: prices, supply of condos or detached homes, buying and selling, etc.

Kitsilano condo for saleIt had been almost a decade since I had gone through the listing, selling and moving process myself. My wife and I live in Kitsilano, on Vancouver’s Westside. We love our 99-Walkscore neighborhood, near the beach and beautiful parks, extensive shopping and amenities.

However, we recently had our second child, and it was time to make a move. This meant listing our home with one of Macdonald Realty’s agents. But with over 230 agents in our three vibrant Vancouver offices, how was I going to choose?

After extensive discussions with my wife, we wound up selecting an agent who was both a neighborhood expert and someone with whom we had a good personal rapport.

The Vancouver real estate market is currently red hot. March 2016 was a record month with over 5,000 transactions in the board, and prices have gone up 15 percent (or more) in the past six months.

A very active market notwithstanding, we didn’t want to take any chances. Our agent visited our home in late January, five weeks before we put it on the market; he gave us extensive guidance as to how and what to declutter and fix up so that the home showed well. He also put us in touch with an excellent handyman, who helped with the tasks we couldn’t do ourselves.

After this work was done, he came back to offer a few final suggestions, and then he brought in a professional photographer, whom he personally supervised. He prepared beautiful online and off-line marketing materials, and he advised us on a price that was geared to generate maximum interest.

We listed in early March, and after a busy weekend of showings and open houses, our agent brought us five offers to consider. Even though all offers were over our asking price, he skillfully lead the negotiations, so we achieved a record price for our building, and we got the dates we needed for moving out.

We achieved a record price for our building, and we got the dates we needed for moving out.

Our market is awash with low-cost competition and firms that loudly advertise 1 percent commission or low flat fees. The message is: cheaper is better. And in a hot housing market, I’ve heard some people ask why they should use a real estate agent when houses are selling themselves right now.

The decluttering and staging advice we received from our agent, the photos and the comprehensive marketing plan, his aptitude in negotiation: these factors I would estimate earned us at least an extra $25,000 on the sale price, far more than we would have saved by going with a discount house.

Our agent helped us get at least an extra $25,000 on the sale price.

As someone who spends his working life deeply enmeshed in the business of real estate, it was great to be reminded of an old truism: In real estate services, as in so many other things, you get what you pay for.

Jonathan Cooper is Vice president, Operations at Macdonald Real Estate Group. You can follow him on Twitter @jtscooper or on LinkedIn.

BNN interview about the Vancouver housing supply problem

Business News Network (BNN) speaks with Jonathan Cooper, Vice President of Operations at Macdonald Real Estate Group about David Rosenberg of Gluskin Sheff + Associates comments on policymakers and housing supply constraints and how they would relate to the Vancouver real estate market.  What change are needed to address the Vancouver housing supply problem?

 

Best policy levers to address Vancouver’s housing supply constraints


(To view the video on mobile devices, please click here for direct play on BNN.)

[Read more…]

B.C. takes aim at shadow flipping in the real estate market

Business News Network (BNN) speaks with Jonathan Cooper of Macdonald Real Estate Group on the BC government’s new regulations aimed at what is called “shadow flipping”. While the aim is to further protect sellers in residential real estate transactions, just how much of an effect will this move have on the hot housing market?

Click the video to watch.

(To view the video on mobile devices, please click here.)
[Read more…]

In search of a great real estate brokerage | Real Estate Magazine (REM)

When you are serious about a career in real estate and want to find a brokerage that aligns with your career aspirations, selecting the “right” brokerage is critical to your success.

A fallacy exists that higher commissions should be your ultimate goal, but agent productivity statistics repeatedly reveal that this is not case. If you receive 100 per cent of the commission, you have to ask yourself what kind of support and services you can expect from the brokerage. The answer should be obvious: you get what you pay for, but this is fine for some.

John Lusink, vice-president at Chestnut Park Real Estate in Toronto, says, “A brokerage’s financial stability question only seems to surface when the economy starts to weaken, but realistically you should always be thinking about this. I also see a shift occurring in the industry back to the ‘truly’ full service, responsive brokerage models, especially as the public and our provincial regulatory bodies focus more on professionalism and competency.”

[Read more…]

Over 300 Macdonald Realty Agents Achieve the Certified Negotiation Expert Designation

VANCOUVER, B.C., Canada (August 11, 2015) – Macdonald Realty is pleased to announce that as of August 11th, 2015, over 300 of its real estate agents have received the Certified Negotiation Expert (CNE®) designation – this represents over 50% of the agents from Macdonald Realty’s residential sales offices.

“In decades past, agents were the conduits of listing information.” Explains Macdonald Real Estate Group (MREG) CEO Lynn Hsu. “Now, there is an enormous amount of listing data readily available to the public online, and the value proposition for the real estate agent has changed.  Agents must provide cogent analysis of the data available, and expert negotiation skills to resolve conflict, build bridges, and bring deals together for the benefit of all parties involved.”

Jonathan Cooper, MREG Vice President, adds: “The bottom line is negotiation skills are fundamental to the real estate business.  Successfully managing the ebb and flow of interpersonal communications—often under considerable time constraints—is vital to real estate transactions, and it’s not something that can be replaced by a computer.”

Offered by the Real Estate Negotiation Institute (RENI), the CNE® course applies up-to-date research in negotiation dynamics to the real estate sales process.  It provides agents with tangible tools and insights to achieve better outcomes for their clients.  Since 2006, tens of thousands of real estate agents across North American have earned the CNE® designation.

Suze Cumming, the Canadian Director of the RENI, has collaborated with MREG over the last twelve months – “I  would like to congratulate Macdonald Realty on being the only brokerage in Canada to have successfully certified over 300 of their real estate professionals in this critical area of expertise.  Their commitment to a higher level of service excellence proves that they are leaders in the real estate industry.”

suze-cumming

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more information, please contact:
Jonathan Cooper, Vice President, Operations
Macdonald Real Estate Group, Inc.
Phone – 604 264 6789
Email – jcooper@macrealty.com
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About Macdonald Real Estate Group:
Based in Vancouver, Canada, Macdonald Real Estate Group (MREG) has an annual sales volume of over $6.3 billion and over $1.75 billion in assets under management.  With more than 20 offices and nearly 1,000 staff and REALTORS®, MREG offers a full range of real estate services, including residential and commercial brokerage, property and strata management, project marketing, and the MREG Canadian Real Estate Investment Centre in Shanghai, China.  Macdonald Realty is the residential division of Macdonald Real Estate Group. For more information, visit www.macrealty.com.

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Jonathan Cooper on Working with International Buyers | Inman News

Don’t take it for granted that you need to know a foreign language to understand where your international buyers are coming from, says Jonathan Cooper, Vice-President of Operations at Macdonald Real Estate Group.

The Vancouver, British Columbia-based brokerage does a lot of business with Chinese buyers and investors, and Cooper says Chinese clients often bring a translator along with them, or work through an attorney.

For many reasons, Cooper says, Chinese “have a cultural predisposition toward real estate investment.” Often, a home purchase is just the first of several real estate transactions.

Macdonald Real Estate Group makes a point of introducing Chinese homebuyers to the company’s commercial real estate brokers — often over a meal — a practice that’s led to some significant deals.

This article was originally posted on Inman News, Mar 21, 2014.  The video has since been removed.