To The Pointwith Boris Bozic
Commentary, Opinions, Thoughts and Discussion on Current Events, Politics and The Mortgage Industry

3 Comments Bidding Wars – An Easy Fix

Article written by on the 28 Mar 2014 in Mortgage

I wonder if purchasers who went through the bidding process would do it over again?   We’ve all made bad business decisions, it happens.
But if the purchaser feels like they were played, well, that’s not good for any of us.  The integrity of the real estate sales process is sacrosanct.

I assumed that real estate bidding wars was specific to pockets in the Vancouver and Toronto market place.  You know? Big home values, big incomes – the bigger-better syndrome.  Alas, my assumptions were incorrect.  I made a stop in Winnipeg a few weeks ago to meet with some of our broker supporters, and I was surprised to hear how prevalent bidding wars are in the Winnipeg market place.  I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, given the Globe ran article recently about what to do if you find yourself in a bidding war.  People on the front lines are talking about it, and Canada’s self-proclaimed National newspaper is providing advice on what to do if you find yourself in real estate auction.  I’ll assume that real estate bidding wars are no longer a one off or the exclusive domain of larger urban centers.

Should we care? I think we should.

Some would describe real estate bidding wars as the free market economy at work- a willing seller and a willing buyer.  The flip side of the definition is; the manipulation of the real estate process, predicated on an unsuspecting and uniformed buyer.  An argument can be made for both definitions.  Here’s where I stand -

I think it’s an unseemly practice, and should be stopped or at the very least an attempt should be made to curtail it.  Here’s how it works, the real estate agent convinces the vendor to list their property for slightly less than market value.  The listing states that no offers will be entertained for a period of time, somewhere between five to seven days.  Enough time is given to view the property, and hope that perspective purchasers, especially those who are frustrated and disillusioned because they’ve done this a number of times and have no home to show for it, will submit an offer on the prescribed date.  The hope is the offer will be based on emotion, excuse me…market reality, and over pay.  And that’s what’s happening with greater frequency today.  I often wonder if purchasers who went through this process could do it over again, would they?  We’ve all made bad business decisions, it happens.  But if the purchaser feels like they were played, well, that’s not good for any of us.  The integrity of the real estate sales process is sacrosanct.

The best way to ensure that the integrity of the real estate sales process is not questioned is by way of transparency.  The Competition Bureau’s attempt to have CREA (Canadian Real Estate Association) publish the historical sale price for the listed property, is a step in the right direction.  CREA is fighting this because of “privacy” legislation. I find that interesting given that the information is already public, and one can find it if they have the time, and know where to look.  Finding historical sales data shouldn’t be laborious or treated as tradecraft.  We live in an age of instant information, and there’s no conceivable reason not provide this information to purchasers, and existing home owners.  If you want an example of how this can work, go to  On this website is the listing of every property there is for sale in the U.S. It also provides estimated property evaluation, and historical sales activity for all properties.  It would be a valuable tool for anyone finding themselves in a bidding war.  If a realtor councils perspective purchasers to go in at “x” dollars, the council can be judged and validated as quickly as the purchaser can tap his/her tablet.  Transparency and information assists the purchaser to make a better decision.  A home is shelter, it’s also the biggest single investment decision that most people will make in their lifetime. 

There’s a self-serving reason why I would like to see theses bidding wars come to an end.  If the purchase price of the home is over market value, the appraisal is not going to come in.  That’s the point when everyone who was party to the over inflated purchase price runs for the hills, and start blaming those who are left to try and fix it, the mortgage broker and lender.  Rather unjust.

Oh yeah, my quick-fix solution is this, the mortgage amount is based on the purchase price or appraised value, whichever is lower.  We should add the listing to that as well.  That would pretty much end the gaming of perspective purchasers.

Until next time,


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0 Comments The Winter That Will Never End

Article written by on the 14 Mar 2014 in Canada,Personal,Travel

It seems that everyone I talk to is suffering from winter fatigue, and looking for a respite.

Well, it sure as hell feels like that.  Canadians are known for their climate infatuation, and we spend a great deal of time talking about the weather.  “Is it hot/cold enough for you” etc.  Somehow, some way…it always gets back to the weather.

But this year, even the most pragmatic among us, those people who are always reminding you that extreme weather conditions are a part of living in this country, are spending time trying to book a vacation and escape.  It seems that everyone I talk to is suffering from winter fatigue, and looking for a respite.

I was talking to my travel agent this week and she indicated that she’s swamped.  With every new blast of sub-zero temperatures, with predictions of yet another snow storm, her phone ends up ringing off to hook because people want out.  It will be interesting to see the stats provided by the tourist bureaus in California, Arizona and Florida with respect to Canadians vacationing in their states this year.  Throw in Mexico and the Caribbean, and I would be willing to wager there’s a significant spike this year of Canadians looking for relief in warmer climates. This winter has been been brutal!

It’s March break in Ontario, and like thousands of others, we got out of Dodge for the week and headed to Florida.  Even with all its quirks and peculiarities, Florida is a great place to visit.  Sunshine, warmth, and all the amenities of home. What’s not to like?  Okay, so their beer is nothing more than flavored water, but it’s an easy hardship to put up with. If it comes down to shoveling the driveway, scraping ice of the car windshield, putting on twelve layers of clothing to go out and get a coffee, I’ll gladly inhale another American Coors Light…it’s refreshing and yummy.

Hopefully we’re in the last stages of the winter from hell. That’s a bit of oxymoron. If you’ve had the chance to get away,  good.  If you haven’t, what are you waiting for?  One final note, for all those who live in Ontario, and complain about the heat and humidity in the summer, remember: February is just around the corner.

Until next time


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