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The Team Awesome blog is an ideal way to stay informed. Submit your questions to team@teamawesome.ca 

March 11, 2024

Dear AI: When Will You Take My Job?

The advent of Artificial Intelligence (AI) has undoubtedly transformed various industries, including real estate. While AI has enhanced efficiency and accuracy in tasks such as property valuation, market analysis, and customer interaction, it's unlikely to render Realtors obsolete in the near future.

AI in real estate primarily serves as a tool to augment human capabilities rather than replace them entirely. Advanced algorithms can analyze vast amounts of data to provide valuable insights into market trends, pricing strategies, and property comparisons. This enables real estate agents to make informed decisions and offer personalized services to their clients.

However, real estate transactions involve complex negotiations, legal considerations, and emotional factors that AI struggles to navigate effectively. Realtors bring human intuition, empathy, and negotiation skills to the table, which are essential in understanding clients' needs, addressing concerns, and facilitating successful transactions.

Moreover, real estate transactions often require a high level of trust and transparency, which human agents excel in building and maintaining. Clients value the guidance, expertise, and personal touch that Realtors provide throughout the buying or selling process, from property search to closing.

While AI can automate routine tasks and streamline administrative processes, Realtors remain indispensable for their ability to offer personalized advice, local market knowledge, and negotiation expertise. Human interaction and relationship-building are central to the real estate industry, and these qualities are unlikely to be replaced by AI alone.

In conclusion, while AI continues to revolutionize the real estate sector by enhancing efficiency and data analysis, the role of Realtors remains vital. The human element of empathy, negotiation, and expertise is irreplaceable in the nuanced world of real estate transactions. Therefore, while AI will continue to augment and complement real estate professionals, it's improbable that it will make Realtors obsolete in the foreseeable future.

___________________________


Phew. I like to check in on HAL every now and again just to be sure. I get nervous, not so much for myself, but for my kids. My oldest is currently on the path to becoming an accountant and, let’s face it, accounting is a LOT of numbers and computers are REALLY good at numbers. There will always be a need for the human touch, but it seems to be getting less and less frequent. Anyone else feeling the same way?

Feb. 13, 2024

Every Realtor in Canada Just Got Sued??

Well, not Realtors individually, but the associations they are required to be a part of. Let me explain...

In order to list your home for sale and have it appear on Realtor.ca, you will need to list it with a Realtor. Alternatively, you can list with a “For Sale By Owner” company (FSBO) that has an affiliate licence that can place the listing on the website for a set fee. So far so good - no issues here.

Now, every practicing Realtor in Canada is required by law to be a member of a regional “Real Estate Board”. Ours is called the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB). These regional boards are then subject to the respective Provincial associations, which are in turn subject to the Canadian Real Estate Association. So, a few levels of bureaucracy there. Still, no biggy.

Here’s where it gets interesting.

Every regional board has a REQUIREMENT in its bylaws that any Realtor who lists a home MUST share a portion of their commission with a cooperating buyer’s agent. And this is where the lawsuit starts.

The recent claim states that the Boards, by forcing a seller’s agent to share a portion of their commission with a buyer’s agent, have violated competition laws. And in so doing, have caused Realtor commissions to become artificially inflated and also causing house prices to rise. 

This is a class action suit, Canada-wide, and is worth BILLIONS of dollars. 

Included in the suit are most of the major real estate franchises,  the regional boards as well as the Canadian Real Estate Association. The have all been accused of colluding to create a “price-fixing scheme”.

For reference: Missouri real estate professionals just lost their case to the tune of $1.8 billion in damages.

I have no idea how this will shake out, but it’s a big one. I don’t know if the boards, brokerages, etc even HAVE that kind of money to pay out if they lose this case. They are vehemently defending the claims, saying the allegations are “without merit”, but, hey, Missouri said the same thing... 

Oh, I should mention...the minimum amount a seller’s agent MUST share with a buyer’s agent according to Board rules? One dollar.

Curious to hear YOUR thoughts on the matter...

Posted in Monthly Newsletter
Dec. 8, 2023

Spring Market Starts in...December??

Yup, let me explain:

As many are aware, the real estate selling cycle follows a fairly predictable path:

Winter brings a general hibernation with listings coming off the market, and buyers pausing their searches as folks settle in for evening hot toddies and general holiday shenanigans. Cuz let’s face it, moving in the winter sucks. 

Spring comes to thaw the hearts and intentions of eager buyers and sellers, creating a flurry of new listings and shoppers to match.

Fall and Summer are the middle children of the market and stay generally well behaved in ‘Shoulder Season’ territory.

So you are now asking, “How, pray tell, does the Spring market start in December?? And please hurry, this text is quite small and my patience waning...”

Okay:

1. Historically, sales begin to increase in FEBRUARY. Some refer to this as early Spring, and the start of the shift from the chilly Winter market.
 
2. However, in order to record a sale in FEBRUARY, the home will have likely been listed in JANUARY. This due to the time it takes to perform showings, secure an offer, perform due diligence, and eventually complete.

3. THIS means that JANUARY is the month when buyers start shopping around again in increasing numbers, not FEBRUARY.

4. So, in order to get your home ready to present to these  beautiful, hungry, and newly invigorated buyers, who will start shopping in JANUARY, and will eventually complete in FEBRUARY, you should begin your preparations in:

DECEMBER.

This is a clearly simplified version of events but illustrates that Spring comes sooner than you think.  If you’re thinking of selling in Spring, it’s a great idea to get a jump on things to give yourself every advantage before the flood of listings hits the market.

In the meantime, have a Merry Christmas and an amazing New Year - hopefully with a bunch of lovely/annoying family!!

Posted in Monthly Newsletter
Nov. 9, 2023

Every Realtor in America just had a nervous breakdown…

In case you haven't been following: the US, specifically Missouri, has been embroiled in a class action lawsuit targeting the way Realtors get paid. In short, the lawsuit claims that it's been illegal this whole time. 

 

Whaaaaaat??

 

As most folks know, if you hire a Realtor to list and sell your home, there will be a fee involved.  Not every Realtor charges the same fee and not every seller agrees to pay the fee. After a few chats and a few meetings, the seller decides to either hire the Realtor or not. If the seller decides to hire the Realtor, a listing agreement is signed, which lays out all the terms of the sale as well as the agreed upon fee to do so. 

Straight forward, right? 

Here's the rub: In order to increase the chance of selling a home, every listing Realtor will offer to share a portion of their fee with a buyer's agent if that agent brings a buyer for the home - usually around 50%. This portion is stated in the original listing agreement and agreed to by the seller and listing Realtor. It does not change the original agreed-upon fee, it is now just shared.

And therein lies the lawsuit…

The suit claims that the portion of the listing fee that was shared with the buyer's agent was a forced and illegal kick-back and now needs to be refunded.  The Plaintiffs were asking for $1.6 billion.  They won the case and were awarded… $5 billion.  

Whaaaaat??

Well, that's America, a famously litigious place, right? Not so fast folks – they are launching a similar suit in Toronto as we speak which could be worth a staggering $22 billion… Incredible.

I have my own thoughts about this but I would love love LOVE to hear yours as a homeowner:

1) Should a listing agent be permitted to share a portion of their fee to help facilitate the sale of a listing?

2) Which version of this ruling would be better for sellers? Buyers?

3) What does this mean for the validity of, and general confidence in, agreements/contracts?

Posted in Monthly Newsletter
March 9, 2020

3-2-1... Launch Team Awesome

Hey Nanaimo, It's Official!

Vancouver Island is home, and we are thrilled to bring our experience and passion for the real estate industry, to the residents of Nanaimo & area! We look forward to offering a unique perspective as it relates to buying and selling homes on Vancouver Island. Stay tuned!

Team Awesome Real Estate Nanaimo

Team Awesome is a high-touch real estate group, with an unmatched devotion to it's clients. Curtis Simmons/REALTOR® and Todd Gallant/Marketing Director (Unlicensed), hold a commitment to exceptional customer service, offering relevant and candid advice.

Looking for real estate in Nanaimo, Lantzville, Parksville, Qualicum Beach, Cedar, Ladysmith or Chemainus? Contact Us!

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Use our Interactive Map Search to carve out the perfect area. INSTANTLY see new listings, solds and price changes!

 

March 5, 2020

Curious About Local Real Estate?

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Curious about local real estate? So are we! Every month Team Awesome reviews trends in our real estate market and considers the number of homes on the market at each price point, days on market, neighbourhood trends, average price and square footage of each home sold and much more! We’d love to invite you to do the same!

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Do you have an eye to buy in a specific area? Easy. Use Team Awesome to drill down and find the ideal home, in the perfect community. Team Awesome offers focus and results! Use our Interactive Map Search to carve out the perfect area. INSTANTLY see new listings, solds and price changes!

You can sign up here to receive your own market report, delivered as often as you like! It contains current information on actual properties in your neighbourhood. You can review your area on a larger scale, as well, by refining your search to include properties across the city or Vancouver Island. As you notice price and size trends, please contact us for clarification or to have any questions answered.

We can definitely fill you in on details that are not listed on the report and help you determine the best home for you. If you are wondering if now is the time to sell, please contact us for a no obligation home valuation! You’ll get an estimate on the value of your property in today’s market. Either way, we hope to hear from you soon as you get to know our local real estate market better.

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Curious about selling Nanaimo, Parksville, Qualicum Beach, Lantzville, Ladysmith Real Estate? Get interactive and create a custom market report to see what’s active in your new neighbourhood!

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Posted in Market Updates