Picky clients a thing of the past, agents say

by Olivia D'Orazio07 Oct 2014
Phew! Prima donna clients may increasingly be a thing of the past as Toronto buyers – even the well-heeled ones – show new willingness to overlook “nuisance features” in today’s tight market.

“I think as you deal with people who are more in the core, people start to realize that if they’re looking for quiet solitude, for example, they’re going to be disappointed,” says Matt Elkind, a real estate agent in Toronto.

As certain listings – such as detached homes in the city – become increasingly rare, more clients are willing to overlook the kind of nuisances that traditionally cancel buyer interest. For agents, it means adjacent bus stops, busy streets and, ahem, railroad tracks aren’t the immediate deal killers they once were.

Eric Coulombe, a real estate agent in Vancouver, says his clients are also opening up to neighbourhoods they hadn’t considered before.

“There are three bars that people have to adjust – price, the kind of product or house they want and where they want that [house] to be,” he says. “People are shopping at the top of their budgets so that [bar] doesn’t move, so it’s either something smaller or they’re going further out [from their first-choice neighbourhood].”

Adjusting those bars, Coulombe says, may involve looking at a noisier street than clients want if it means staying in their choice neighbourhood, for example.

Elkind says that many buyers who look beyond those nuisances eventually settle into their new homes without issue.

“You notice it for a few days then you don’t notice it again,” he explains. “It becomes the white noise of your life.”

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