January 2, 2024 | Selling

Client Success Story: The TRG Difference

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This tale doesn’t exactly highlight all the good in our industry, but it’s a story that I’m personally proud of, as it not only illustrates our value as a brokerage but also really made a difference in the lives of our clients.

It all started with a rather odd phone call from Peter who began the conversation with “I need your help!”. And although we get asked for help a lot, I have to say it’s still rare to begin a relationship with this level of urgency. So much so that I began to suspect that Peter was either joking with us or maybe trying to sell us some third-party product. But we listened to his story and the more we heard the more we realized that Peter really did need our help.

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Peter had recently lost his father and while dealing with his family estate, he had also been tasked with helping his elderly mother with the sale of her condo. He told us that she had already signed on with another brokerage prior to speaking with him and he had been dealing with that nightmare for over two months. I’d never heard of the agent, or the brokerage for that matter, and we still don’t know how Peter’s mother connected with her in the first place, but “unprofessional” would be an understatement to describe their experience.

Peter suspected from the outset that the agent had somehow swindled his mother into signing a listing agreement without the chance to perform any due diligence. Although they were promised the unit would sell within a matter of weeks, Peter was still dealing with this agent and her antics months later.

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From the beginning, the agent did not prepare or stage their unit for the market in any way and used poor-quality photos for the listing. Despite this fact, the agent had also told Peter and his mother that she planned on listing the condo with a stated offer date with the intention of receiving multiple bids. Now usually this would involve the use of a slightly lower list price, but this agent also listed the property well above its market value.

This was in June, which is a great time to list a property, but on their first day out, they showed the market an overpriced, underwhelming listing, and signalled that they were expecting to sell in competition. Well probably not to anyone’s surprise, the strategy failed, and they didn’t see any offers after only a handful of showings.

Learn more about selling your home in a changing market with this blog.

Now this story alone would not solely constitute a nightmare, as there are certainly lots of terrible listings on MLS represented by agents with little or no experience who have clients that don’t think this will make a difference to their bottom line. However, in this case, it turned out the listing agent had set out from the very beginning with the intention to fail. She had in fact never had the intention to sell the unit on offer night and after further investigation, it became apparent that she was doing everything she could NOT to obtain an offer.

But why you might ask…. because she wanted to find her own buyer and “double end” the listing!

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After the first month on the market, Patrick and his mother finally called her out on this tactic and asked for her to terminate the listing. However, the agent kept referring to their contractual agreement and eventually became despondent. Regardless, over the course of the next three months, this agent continued to promote and show the listing to her own clientele while continuing to block others from accessing the unit. At one point she even refused to release the keys back to Peter and his Mom, essentially hijacking access to their condo completely.

Peter and his mom were stuck and although they did speak with the broker of record at the agency and filed a complaint with the Real Estate Council of Ontario, nobody would help terminate the listing. The market was also changing as interest rates were rising and they were essentially losing money every day without a firm offer in hand.

Finding a great real estate agent is essential to your sale. Read our blog about finding the right agent right here.

So Peter put a plan together and reached out to us the second his mom’s contract expired. He explained the situation and we of course jumped in to help. This was now already well into the start of the Fall market and the number of listings in the area was now at a five-year high; time was of the essence.

We mobilized quickly and had our team on-site to paint, stage, and photograph within the week. We listed the condo on the following Monday and after just one very long week we had not one, not two, but three buyers competing for the listing.  

We sold the unit for a great price, but even better for Peter and his Mom, we managed to negotiate a firm offer with a quick 30-day closing! They were over the moon.

The experience gave me two very distinct feelings; one of embarrassment for the general lack of standards within the industry I work in, but also one of great pride that we not only helped right a wrong but were also helping to clean up the industry just a little bit.

Looking to level up your next buying or selling experience? Give us a call at 416.642.2660 or email us at admin@torontorealtygroup.com today.

Written By

David Fleming


p: 416.275.0035

e: david@torontorealtygroup.com

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