On Monday news came out of Nova Scotia that a home seller was scammed out of a few thousand dollars by someone who appeared to be their realtor.

An email told them to e-transfer some money to be held in trust pending a home inspection. After the money was accepted the client called the realtor only to find out the realtor hadn't asked for any money. The realtor's emailed was hacked.

If you haven't bought a property before or haven't in eons, you should know that there is no reason for your realtor to ask you for money. If you are providing a deposit on a new home, the bank draft or certified cheque is made out to the selling realtor's brokerage and it is held in trust. Say, for example, you buy a property that I've listed the draft is made out to Maxwell Canyon Creek. Your realtor comes and picks up the money from you and delivers it to my office and you get a stamped copy of the cheque so you know it's there. You can deliver it yourself if you wish.

No cash. No e-transfer. Nothing.

Home buyers do pay for their own home inspection but it's done on site immediately after the inspection is completed. The realtor isn't involved.

So, if you get an email from your realtor asking for money just ignore it.  Like any email asking for money, right?

The only variation of this is if you are not in the immediate area and it can't be delivered in person. In that case, the selling brokerage provides your realtor with their bank's information. You go to your bank, send a wire transfer and it goes into the selling brokerage's trust account from there.

Tacked on the bottom of the Canadian Press story I read about this case is the following message:

If you or a family member has fallen victim to this fraud, please report to your local police service, as well as to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre. Contact the anti-fraud centre by phone at 1-888-495-8501 or online at www.antifraudcentre.ca.

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A pretty gross photo showed up on Facebook this week from a Calgary realtor.

It was the carpet in a room at one of her listings. Another realtor brought clients to see the home and they brought their dog, which left something behind.

The prospective buyers were obviously not keeping track of the dog and looks like the other realtor didn't go around and make sure everything was left the way they found it.

It spawned a rather lengthy thread where naturally the consensus was: what the fudge!

Turns out the showing realtor was horrified when confronted and paid for the carpet to be cleaned.

There's only been a couple of times that I've had people show up an an open house with their pets. They've both been pocket dogs that stayed in their owner's arms the entire time. I know this because I followed them around the house to make sure the dog wasn't let down to lift its leg on a lamp.

If you must bring your dog with you for whatever reason I found this common sense practice  on a Houzz discussion. Do this:

 
Take the dog with you when viewing homes. If weather permits, leave the dog in the car for a bit while everyone views the home. But if leaving dog in car won't work (weather, realtor's car, etc) , then you can decide to have one dog owner stay outside with the dog while the other views the home dogless.

However, what if husband and wife love the home and want to view it together to discuss options. Maybe they both viewed the home individualy already while the dog stayed outside with the other person.

When we were looking, if my husband and I happened to be driving around with the dog and saw an open house, we would leave the dog in the car or if it was hot, one of us would stay outside with the dog, while the other looked.


I've offered to hang out with dogs in the front yard when people out walking their buddy have stumbled across my open house and wanted to take a peek. So far no one has taken me up on the offer.

Service dogs are another story. As someone pointed out on thread they are always well trained/behaved.  I've never had that anyone bring their service dog to a listing either. Aren't service dogs always Labs? Labs are cool.

I read recently that someone wanted to bring their service chicken on a plane with them. Wonder what I would do if that ever happened at an open house. I would offer to hold the chicken for them I guess.

I'd write a blog about that for sure.



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Interesting story in Tuesday's Globe and Mail about the practice of terminating listings and then relisting so the 'days on market' or DOM starts from scratch. Kind of like turning the odomoter back to zero.

The story focused on the Toronto market, but it's done everywhere.

Just a couple of minutes ago, on my morning scan of new listings, I saw a brand new listing where this was just done. First day on the market? Not really.

I opened up 'Property History' — which is not available to the public — to discover it was taken off the market in September after a rather lengthy time without any action. By leaving it off the market for a month the clock started back on Day 1. Pulling it off the market one day and putting it back on the next does the same thing in the public eye.

So, if you are working with a realtor make sure you ask them to send you the property history for every home you are considering. It tells you if the sellers had it listed before, for how long, at what original list price and as well any price reductions along the way. It also tells you when it last sold and for how much.

You want to know how long it has been on the market in total —  cumulative days on the market (CDOM) —  since it first became available and if there were any price reductions since that time. What did it start out at in terms of price?

Days on the market (DOM) can be a bit of trickery. Sometimes, though, the listing period just ran and it just needs to be relisted all on the up and up.

Same thing if you walk into an open house — ask for CDOM not DOM.

The story details one home in Toronto that was listed three times between Sept. 11 and Oct. 15 then sold on the third try with a $400,000 price reduction. The record would only show the DOM of the last listing period so it affects the market statistics for that area.

It could also be that the listing expired a month ago and it took the sellers a month to find another realtor to go with.

However, the most important consideration in all this is: Do you like the house or not? If you do, does it really matter how long it's been sitting there? It may just be the sellers listed too high and it's taken them awhile to get to a realistic price. Maybe they had a conditional sale and it fell through over financing? Your realtor can find out.

If there's something wrong with the home, a good home inspector will tell you, so you can't sign a non-waiver of conditions and move on.

Days on the market can be longer these days because it's not exactly a great market and there are fewer sales than in past years.

You want to know everything you can about a property and CDOM vs. DOM is an important distinction.

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