Friday, October 28, 2005


Ben Bernanke: the new Era of the Feds.

It is the economic news of the week that President Bush has appointed Ben Bernanke, B.Econ, Ph.D. as the new Chairman-designate of the Federal Reserve System. Mr. Bernanke - if approved by the Senate Banking Committee - will take over the powerful post from Alan Greenspan early next year. It is almost certain, albeit not guaranteed, that Mr. Bernanke will pass the Senate test. Once that happens, a new chapter will open up on how the Federal Reserve will steer the greatest economy on the planet and, by reflection, the economies of the leading industrialized nations. The purpose of this post is to explore what we can expect in the new Era of the Feds.

To those of us who make it a point to be updated on economic matters, Ben Bernanke is perhaps most famous for his paper entitled 'Monetary Policy and Asset Price Volatility' written in February, 2000, where Prof. Bernanke explores the implications of asset price volatility for the management of monetary policy. Bernanke is also famous for his comments on deflation (as opposed to inflation), a destabilizing period of falling prices, made in his two and a half years as a Fed Governor. Bernanke is best known for raising the novel concern that the U.S. economy could be devastated by the type of deflation that has crippled Japan for many years. In a November 2002 address to the National Economics Club in Washington, DC, Bernanke raised the issue and outlined a series of tools at the Fed's disposal for "making sure 'it' doesn't happen here" as he subtitled his speech. The “Bernanke Option”, as it was described, would be used in the event that short-term interest rates fell to near zero and the Central Bank needed other ways to stimulate the economy.

In practicality, Bernanke appears to be the apt successor of the legendary Greenspan. But there are some subtle differences of opinion between the outgoing and the (hopefully) incoming Chairman that may dictate some differences in the Feds' approach to the handling of economic affairs, most notably monetary policy. Bernanke is a Monetarist - but not as much as Greenspan. Bernanke favors an explicit inflation "target," while Greenspan has pursued a more flexible policy with no stated target. Bernanke is a theorist whereas Greenspan (like Paul Volcker, his predecessor) is a practical man. But perhaps more important of them all is the fact that Bernanke is a firm believer in free trade, much more than Greenspan.

Taken altogether, these differences may signal some changes of policies. As they relate to Canada and real estate, here are the most important:

Prof. Bernanke is 51 years old and was born on Dec. 13, 1953, in Augusta, Ga. He holds a B.A. in Economics, 1975, from Harvard University; and a Ph.D. in Economics (summa cum laude), 1979, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is married to his wife Anna and has two children.

Luigi Frascati

As Featured On Ezine Articles

Real Estate Chronicle

Wednesday, October 19, 2005


The Economic Impact of Home Sales: a Canadian Study.

It is an undisputed fact that MLS resale housing transactions generate significant economic activity. This certainly should not come as a surprise, considering that MLS residential transactions throughout Canada account for 95 percent of all residential transactions. The question is: how much of an economic activity is generated?

A new study by Clayton Research Associates finds that the purchase and sale of homes through the MLS system generates an average of CAD $19,800 per transaction in additional consumer spending. Clayton Research is a firm of urban and real estate economists providing strategic information, analysis and advice to private and public sector clients across Canada. The firm specializes in real estate market analysis, land use planning issues, consumer spending and borrowing research, and building products demand. The study, which was commissioned by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) found that the $19,800 increase generated by each single real estate deal includes:

During the span of time scrutinized by Clayton, which ran through the period between January, 2000 through November, 2002 an average of 381,800 homes changed hands annually.

The study found that when Canadians move, they typically purchase new appliances or furnishings as well as renovate. As a result, resale housing transactions generate CAD $7.5 billion per year in additional consumer spending and help create more than 101,600 jobs attributable to moving. This is, unquestionably, a significant contribution to the Canadian economy. More specifically, consumers spend their money as follows (all figures are in CAD):

Clayton Research Associates maintains a website at .

Luigi Frascati

Real Estate Chronicle.

Sunday, October 16, 2005


A brief History of Real Estate: the Fee Simple Ownership.

Arthur Wellesley (1769-1852), Duke of Wellington, is reputed to have been the one to exclaim 'All good things come from England, but cavalry is not one of them' while facing Napoleon's French Army at Waterloo on June 18, 1815. Wellesley had learnt his military trade in India applying his study of the art of war and had became a master of the reverse-slope tactic - keeping his forces screened from artillery fire behind the brow of a hill. At Waterloo, however, Wellesley's Armies were outwitted by Napoleon. The French Emperor had imitated Wellesley's tactics by positioning 200 heavy artillery guns behind a ridge at La Haye Sainte. When the Hussars and Dragoons cavalrymen led by Lord Uxbridge attacked in the famous Charge of the Scots Greys, Napoleon commanded the guns on the topline of the ridge and one of the epic artillery bombardments in history began. It was at this very moment, at the height of the Charge and while his 3,000 cavalrymen were being slaughtered by the rapid artillery fire of Napoleon's heavy guns, that the phlegmatic English General is reputed to have exclaimed his now famous remark, directed at Lord Uxbridge who had apparently ordered the Charge without Wellesley knowing it. The day was saved by Gebhard von Blucher (1742-1819), Field Marshal of Prussia, who led the assault of the Kaiser's Prussian Cavalry against the French right wing, thus causing the entire French line to collapse.

Wellesley's famous remark has been retouched several times throughout the years, depending on one's point of view. The British dropped the second part - the reference to the ill-fated cavalry charge - thus creating the popular short version 'All good things come from England' - period. When about a century later Britain had the unwise idea of attacking the Ottoman Empire and the British and French Armies were fighting the Turks side-by-side in WWI, General Mustapha Kemal - the English-speaking Commander of the Turkish Garrison and victorious defender of Gallipoli - paraphrased the English dictum after 289 days of siege by turning it, somewhat deprecatingly, into: "No good things ever come from England". And Mahatma Gandhi throughout his teachings of non-violent conflicts resolutions makes reference to the fact that "All good things come from India".

Alas, no matter what your point of view is, I shall submit to readers of my Blog that "at least two good things come from England" : Fee Simple Ownership and Organized Real Estate.

English real estate law (or 'Estate Law' as it was known back then) was imported, through colonization, into the earlier forms of law in the U.S.A., Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Many of these states, or their territories, have since modified this historical law, to varying degrees. A study of the old feudal land system of England provides us with an invaluable glimpse of legal history regulating the most valuable asset of them all: land. In medieval times, land was the sole form of wealth and it depended primarily on possession. You had it, you owned it. You wanted it, you fought for it. You found it, you kept it. There were no courts or police force ready to recognize or enforce "legal rights" as we know them today. All this changed with the Norman conquest of England in 1066. William decreed that he owned all of the land in England by right of conquest. Not one acre of England was to be exempted from this massive expropriation. This sudden vacuum of privately-held land was promptly filled by a variety of huge land grants given by the new King to either his Norman officers or to those of the English who were ready to recognize him as king. The device used by the King to control and administer his land was that of tenure. Tenure was the key component of the feudal system. The King struck a bargain with a Lord for a large chunk of land. The Lords that held their tenure directly from the King were called Tenants-in-chief. It was this group of persons who formed the basis of English aristocracy and began, by the process of subletting the King's land, the implementation of the feudal system.

Tenures were of a variety of duration known as "estates" and the Fee Simple Estate was the most extensive and allowed the Tenant to sell or to convey by will or be transferred to the Tenant's heir if he died. In modern law, almost all land is held in fee simple and this is as close as one can get to absolute ownership in common law. It was in this context that the British began their dominion over the seas and their explorations which led to the modern nations of Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States of America. The concept of developing an informal association of local real estate agents originated in the United States in the 1880s, and by the turn of the century about 15 Real Estate Boards had been established. The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) was formed in the U.S. in 1908 with 19 boards and one state association. Organized real estate in Canada is almost as old as the country itself. The very first Real Estate Board was set up in 1888 in the growing community of Vancouver. Back then, a commercial lot on Hornby Street near the Hotel Vancouver sold for $600. The Vancouver Board - as it was known then - was active until the start of the First World War, when operations were suspended. It resumed in 1919, and has been operating ever since.

The distinction of the oldest, continuous running Board belongs to Winnipeg, Manitoba. It started in 1903, and the Winnipeg Real Estate Board was the first in Canada to celebrate its 100th anniversary. The Toronto Board was incorporated in 1920, followed by boards in Ottawa, Hamilton, Regina and Victoria in 1921. More than half of the existing Real Estate Boards in Canada were created after 1955, in part because of the evolution of the “Photo Co-Op System” that was introduced in 1951. That was the forerunner of today’s MLS®, introduced in 1962. The Co-op System not only created a need for an organization to establish rules and promote co-operation among agents, but also to provide funds to operate a real estate board. That’s when technology first changed the real estate industry.

Luigi Frascati

As Featured On Ezine Articles

Real Estate Chronicle.

Thursday, October 13, 2005


Fundamentals of Contract Law.

No matter where you live in North America, you must have seen some humoristic vignettes depicting a not-so-trustworthy Realtor intent at selling a house to some innocent-looking couple. My favorite vignette, which still makes me chuckle today, goes back to a few years ago when I was practicing real estate at United Realty. It involved a Real Estate Agent of Pompeii Realty, briefcase in hand, in the process of selling a house to an ancient Roman couple sometimes around 100 BC . The house is overlooking Mt. Vesuvius. There is a black, threatening, ominous plume of smoke coming out of the top of the volcano, and the Roman couple looks somewhat startled when the Real Estate Agent - big smile on his face - delivers the punchline: " Plus, with a view like this what could possibly go wrong" !

What is it exactly that you do when you sign a 'contract' . The term 'contract' means a promise or a set of promises made by one person to another, which the Courts will enforce. A contract can contain a number of promises or 'terms' to be performed by either party. The person who makes the promise is called the 'promissor' and the person who can enforce that promise is called the 'promissee' . If the contract contains several mutual promises, each party will be both a promissor and a promissee. Contracts of Purchase and Sale of land and interests in land usually have lots of mutual promises. Contracts are a crucial part of every business transaction, but not nearly as much as in Real Estate. For instance, some contracts are made verbally while others are made by simply exchanging letters or even e-mails. This is not the case in Real Estate, where it is a requirement at Law that contracts be written down in usually lengthy legal forms to avoid uncertainty, ambiguity and to be binding .

A contract has seven essential elements:

Each of these elements must be present for a contract to be binding and enforceable. Let's examine them individually.


An offer is the promise made by one party to another. Save and except in Real Estate where the offer must be in writing, an offer can be made in any form. In all circumstances, however, an offer must be made in clear an unambigous terms. If more than one interpretation can be given to an offer, neither interpretation will be followed by the Courts. There are 'unilateral' and 'bilateral' offers. Offers to purchase real property are bilateral, i.e. containing the exchange of mutual promises.

An offer is not made forever. Offers can either be finalized, when all mutual promises are fulfilled. Or they can expire, if not timely accepted. Or they can be released, if one of the parties does not - or cannot - deliver on the promise. Offers can also be revoked after acceptance, unless a term of the offer stipulates that revocation is not allowed.- as it is now the case in British Columbia for offers involving land. A 'counter-offer' is simply an offer from the offeree back to the offeror. The legal effect of a counter-offer is to terminate the original offer and substitute the offer of the offeree. What this means in practicality is that if the counter-offer is not accepted, the offeree cannot try to accept the first offer unless it is tendered again by the offeror. This is a point often times neglected in Real Estate, which has caused several tears to be spilled.


The acceptance, like the offer, must be given in clear terms. It must be a positive act. For instance, an offer cannot state "If I don't hear from you, I will assume you have accepted". Doing nothing will never be considered legal acceptance. The rule at Law is that where an offer is required by statute to be in writing, then also the acceptance must be in writing in order for the offer to become a contract binding on both parties. Such is the case in Real Estate. An acceptance has no effect until it is communicated to the offeror. Communication can be made by 'instantaneous means' as in the case of telephone or teletype or fax communications, or e-mail or hand-delivery and by 'non-instantaneous means' such as postal mail. The Law gives the responsibility to the offeror to specify how he wants the offer to be accepted. If the offeror chooses a method like slow mail, then he assumes the risks involved in that type of service (such as misdelivery).


For an offer and acceptance to form a contract there must be consideration or the contract must be signed under seal. Consideration is defined as 'some right, benefit or profit accruing to the promissor or some forebearance, detriment, loss or otherwise responsibility suffered by the promissee' . What this means is that the party trying to enforce the contract must have 'paid' something in exchange for the promise of the other party. Consideration must be of real value, but it does not have to be money. For example, a mutual exchange of promises is consideration per se.


For a person to be bound to a contract, he must seriously intend to create legal obligations. For example, inviting a guest for dinner would normally not be considered a contract intended to create legal obligations. The Law presumes that there is legal intention in a contract involving total strangers. On the other hand, if the contract is between family members the Law presumes that there is no intention to be so bound (non arm-length transaction). However, this presumption can be reversed if there is evidence to show otherwise.


Even when all the foregoing essential elements exist, a contract can still be void, voidable or illegal. A void contract is one which is deemed at Law never to have existed. A voidable contract is slightly different: it exists until it is repudiated by one of the parties. An illegal contract is one which is made for an illegal purpose, and which is therefore always void. Examples of voidable contracts are the ones made when one of the parties is an infant, i.e. a minor or under the majority age. In this case the contract can be voided by the infant. Likewise, when one of the parties is legally insane, the contract is voidable. A special case is a contract stipulated when one of the parties is a limited company or corporation. Three questions must be first answered before the contract can be enforceable: 1) whether the corporation does in fact exist and 2) whether it has the capacity to enter into the contract and 3) whether the person signing on behalf of the corporation is, in fact, the authorized signatory.


Quite aside from blatantly illegal contracts such as, for examples, contracts to commit a crime or tort until recently here in British Columbia certain other types of contracts where considered illegal. For example, until the mid-80's contracts involving the sale of land made on a Sunday were deemed to be a contravention of s.4 of the Lord's Day Act(now repealed) and, thus, illegal and void. Since then, the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that the application of s.4 - in fact the entire Lord's Day Act - is unconstitutional in that it infringes on the freedom of conscience and religion guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom.


If one of the parties makes a misrepresentation or if the contract contains an inherent mistake, the contract may still not be binding. A misrepresentation is, by definition, a statement which is false and which must have induced one of the parties to enter into the contract. A misrepresentation can be innocent, negligent or fraudulent and different remedies are available to the party suffering damages because of the nature of the misrepresentation. If the representation is innocent, the party can sue for rescission of the contract. In the case of negligent or fraudulent misrepresentation, the affected party can sue for damages as well. Although misrepresentation requires a statement to be made, in Real Estate silence too can result in some form of misrepresentation. Disclosure of latent defects is one such example: failure to disclose latent defects on the part of the Seller will not, by itself, affect the consent of the parties but will have similar consequences as misrepresentation.

In the case of inherent mistake, true consent of the parties does not exist. The logic behind this notion is that the parties were negotiating for a subject matter other than the one stipulated in the contract. A specific type of mistake is sometimes referred to as 'non est factum' , Latin for 'this is not my deed' . This occurs when a person executes one form of document thinking the document is something else. Duress and undue influence both affect the genuine consent element of a contract. Duress occurs when a person is forced to enter into the contract against his will. As a result, the Courts will find the contract voidable at his option. Undue influence, on the other hand, is more subtle. Like duress it results in one party losing his free will to contract out. However it occurs more frequently when a person is in a superior or dominant position in relation to another and uses this influential position to induce the other to enter into the contract. Again, if undue influence is found, the contract is voidable at the option of the innocent party.

Luigi Frascati

As Featured On Ezine Articles

Monday, October 10, 2005


What it's really worth: a look at the British Columbia Assessment Evaluation Process.

Every year in January property owners throughout British Columbia receive their property Assessment Notices. Yet, every year in January the evaluation estimates brought forth by BC Assessment (BCA) differ considerably from market values determined by Realtors. In some cases the difference is over thirty percent less. What accounts for this discrepancy?
BCA is a provincial Crown corporation that determines the market value of all real properties in British Columbia. After determining the correct classification, actual value and exemption status of every property, BCA provides taxing authorities with an Assessment Roll, which lists all properties, names of the owners and the taxable values of the land and any improvements (buildings). The assessment and taxation of real estate in British Columbia has existed since before 1860. BCA was established in 1974 to replace municipal and provincial government assessment offices. The independent, publicly funded corporation was created under the Assessment Authority Act to produce and maintain uniform property assessments across the province. BCA evaluates most properties in B.C. based on market value, which is considered the fairest way to assess property.
This market value is determined by following generally accepted appraisal principles. Each year the assessor takes into account location, size, topography, shape, replacement cost, age, condition, rental income and sales of comparable properties in the area, as well as any other factors that might affect the value of the subject property, to determine what the property would sell for. The market value of the property is then recorded on the annual Assessment Roll.
There are two main reasons for the discrepancy between market value as determined by the assessor and market value determined by a Realtor:
  1. BCA sends property Assessment Notices each January based on BCA's estimate of market value of the property as of the previous July 1st . On the other hand, the value a Realtor places on the property is current as of today's date, thus resulting in a more up-to-date estimate.
  2. BCA maintains a database of 1.6 million properties. When a new property is created through zoning, re-zoning or construction, or the classification of an existing property changes (as in the case of industrial warehouses turned into residential lofts), a BCA appraiser visits the site and takes into account lot or strata lot size, structure, cost of construction, replacement value, selling data and other factors. To update values, BCA appraisers do not visit properties annually. Instead, they use a mass appraisal system. Values are calculated by evaluating prices for homes sold in each neighborhood around July 1st and then by applying the data to get an average price. BCA, furthermore, uses a broad range of variables that add up to sixteen screens of data for each property.

A Realtor, conversely, scrutinizes the most recent comparable data for homes sold in a neighborhood, or apartments sold in a certain complex. Realtors also examine the exterior and interior of properties in detail, noting alterations and major renovations such as a new kitchen or bathroom that affect the value of a home. They also take into account view lines and architectural styles. In the eventuality that every home and every lot on the street are essentially the same, both BCA's and Realtors' evaluations will be similar. Differences will be more likely to occur in neighborhoods where every lot on every street is different, every home's architecture is unique and every view is distinct.

Luigi Frascati

Friday, October 07, 2005


Goods and Services Tax (GST) on Property under Construction: the New Residential Rental Property Rebate.

In response to a recent post of mine published here in the Real Estate Chronicle on September 14, 2005 and entitled "The Goods and Services Tax (GST) and Real Estate: what You need to know" I have received two e-mails from readers. The first e-mail has to do with GST applicable to the purchase of property under construction. The second reader requests information on the new residential rental property rebate. I apologize if this post sounds a bit too technical, but it's just the nature of the subject matter being discussed. Here are the responses to both inquiries:
if you are the Purchaser of:

then you may be eligible for a GST residential rental property rebate if the complex qualifies for the rebate. In all cases the rebate applies to real property that is or will be used as residential real property for the first time. In fact, to be more specific

a qualifying residence includes:

In addition, in order to qualify for the rebate all the following conditions must be met:

  1. The unit is a self-contained residence.
  2. The person holds the unit to: a) make an exempt lease or sub-lease of the unit; or b) make an exempt sale of the unit and an exempt lease of the land; or c) occupy the unit as a primary place of residence as long as another unit situated in the same complex is leased to another person on an exempt basis.
  3. The first use of the unit will be - or can reasonably be expected to be: a) the primary place of residence of the person or a lessor who will occupy the unit continuously for one year; or b) the primary place of residence of the person or lessor who will occupy the unit continuously for less than one year if, after that shorter period, the unit is sold to someone who will occupy the unit as a primary residence; or c) if ninety percent or more of the residential units of a residential complex that contains ten or more residential units qualify for the rebate. In this instance, all residential units in the complex are considered qualifying residential units.

Are you eligible to claim the rebate? You may be if:

Finally, there are four different types of rebate applications.

I would like to thank these two readers for posing me these questions and trust the above post will be satisfactory. Additional information can be gather from the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency's website at . I also would like to invite all readers to submit questions online using the 'comments' section of this Blog. This way all requests will be publicized as well. You do not need to leave your e-mail address if you do not want to. As always, all questions will be answered.

I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving and, to all my American friends, a Happy Columbus Day.

Luigi Frascati

Tuesday, October 04, 2005


Suspicious Real Estate Transactions.

In this day and age of increased criminal activity it was only a matter of time for the latest crime wave to reach Real Estate. I am referring to money laundering. Real Estate brokers and sales representatives must report suspicious transactions if there is reasonable grounds to suspect that the transactions are related to the commission of a money laundering offence.
The Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act requires Realtors to report suspicious transactions to the Financial Transactions and Report Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC). Suspicious real estate transactions come in different flavors: for example, when a Client arrives at a real estate closing with a large amount of cash (it has actually happened - twice, in both instances in Toronto), or when the Client buys a property in the name of a nominee, like an associate or a relative. Naturally not all transactions involving nominees are symptomatic of shady dealings, but some may be. Another situation that may raise eyebrows is when Clients do not want their names to appear on documents connecting them with the property they are in the process of acquiring, or when they insist on using different names or fictitious business names on documents and forms. Or when they change the name of the purchasing party at the very last minute and fail to adequately explain the reasons for the substitution.
There are, of course, explanations for changes that the parties - especially Buyers - may wish to make, and some of these explanations are absolutely legitimate. For instance, in a recent transaction where I was involved the Buyer made an offer to purchase a restaurant in New Westminster, then was advised by his own accountant that it would have been tax-proficient for him to complete the transaction in the name of his limited company. I prepared an Amendment to the Contract of Purchase and Sale, had the parties sign it and that was the end of it.
There are instances, however, when changes cannot be reasonably explained. Take a look at this one, happened right here in Vancouver a few months ago: a Buyer negotiated a purchase price through his Real Estate Agent, but then requested his own Agent as well as the Agent for the Seller to record the transaction at a lower value on all documents, as he was going to pay the difference in cash 'under the table'. A quick report to FINTRAC by both Agents uncovered a money laundering scheme involving marijuana. A variation of this example is when a Seller agrees to sell his property for below market value requesting an additional 'under the table' payment. And in another recent case (again in Toronto - which is not developing a great reputation these days when it comes to money laundering in real estate), a Buyer proceeded to purchase a property by making a large down payment in cash and financed the balance through an unusual offshore banking institution.
Some of these crooks have no business sense at all. Take for instance the Tenant that proceeded to lease an apartment right here in Downtown Vancouver. The term of the Lease was one year, and the Tenant showed up at the doorsteps of the Property Management Company with all twelve monthly installments plus the half-a-month security deposit ... all in CAD $20.00 cash bills. The whole CAD $15,000 in $20.00 bills, in advance ... now, you tell me if this is not dumb.
When there is a grounded suspicion, the real estate professional has a duty imposed on to him to report the transaction to FINTRAC within 30 days. FINTRAC maintains a toll free telephone number at 1.866.346.8722 and a website at . Once the report is finalized, moreover, the real estate professional has an obligation not to inform anyone of such reporting, including of course the Client, if this could harm or otherwise impair a criminal investigation. No legal proceedings can be brought against the Agent for making a report in good faith.
Luigi Frascati

As Featured On Ezine Articles

Saturday, October 01, 2005


Stats ... Stats ... Stats ....

Is the Internet sending Realtors the way of the dinosaurs ? New research indicates the very opposite is true. We all love statistics and I have just found a bunch of them for the aficionados of my blog. This material has been compiled and is reprinted with permission of the National Association of Realtors, a.k.a 'NAR' - and not to be confused with 'NRA' which is a totally different thing. Although, one might add, there have been times in my career when I have felt a membership in the NRA would have been more practical - but that's a story for another post.
In its 2004 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers NAR has found that two-thirds of homebuyers with Internet access now use the web to shop for a home. But these same Buyers are more - not less - likely to use a Realtor to handle the transaction than traditional homebuyers. The 2004 Profile is broken down into sections, some of which are very interesting. Here are a few:
Realtors - how do they spend their time
Real Estate Agents work an average nationwide of 46 hours per week, have a gross personal income of $62,300 (adjusted for 40 hours weekly) and have been in the business an average of nine years. 46% are male and 54% are females. Respecting their level of education, Realtors can be grouped as follows:
45% with some college/associate degree
26% hold a Bachelor degree
9% are just High School graduates
11% have pursued graduate studies and above
9% have a graduate diploma
Homeowners - it's a crazy world
So you think that property taxes have reached unconscionable levels ? Here is why: 70% of all tax revenues generated by local governments are derived from property taxes. Of this 70%, homeowners have contributed roughly 43% while the remaining 57% comes from commercial properties. Households spend 30% to 40% of their disposable income on housing-related expenses. This has a positive impact on the economy though, since there are 2,448 jobs per 1,000 single-family houses created by all this furious spending.
Clients - what do they look for in an Agent
58% want a Realtor to find the right house to purchase. 12% want to know what comparable houses sell for in the neighborhood. 9% want help with the paperwork and also 9% want help with price negotiations. 4% want their Agents to tell them how much they can afford and only 2% need help in finding and arranging financing.
Advertising - the name of the game
What makes a house sell (other than your Agent's pretty face) ? Here it is :

Furthermore, 90% of Buyers consult a Realtor to search for a home, 77% of them actually use a Realtor to buy, 12% buy directly from a builder without the assistance of an Agent and only 9% buy directly from a Seller. In fact, if you are or intend to be a direct Seller (FSBO), beware: the typical FSBO home sold for $163,800 compared to $189,000 for agent-assisted home sales.

And finally, between 1980 and 2000 the number of households headed by unmarried women has increased by about 10 million. NAR maintains a comprehensive website at your fingertips by clicking :

Luigi Frascati

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