Saturday, 31 March 2007

Real Estate Assessment Debate

May I introduce some professional research and conclusion into the debate on so called skyrocketing property assessments? My searches of the MLS® database available to me as a member of the Greater Moncton Real Estate Board reveal the following information.

284 detached single family freehold properties in the City of Moncton were sold on MLS® in the second half of 2006. Analysing these 284 sales reveals that only 32 sold below their assessment. Of these 32, one was a former marijuana grow operation seized by the federal government, five were sold under power of sale, and three were estate sales. All these selling situations are not conducive to achieving a higher market sale price and in my opinion they should not be considered.

Thus, I will categorize 23 of these 284 sold properties as probably over assessed in 2006. My analysis also shows that of these 23 sales, thirteen sold for amounts within 5% of their assessed value. In the City of Moncton in the second half of 2006, assessments exceeded sale prices by more than 5% in a mere 10 of 284 sales. 252 sold for more than their assessments.

Now if anyone wants to fire off a skyrocket, guess how many of the 284 sold for more than 125% of their assessment.

Friday, 30 March 2007

Property tax revolt?

What's revolting is the local newspaper playing up to the demagoguery being spouted by disgruntled citizens.

If one wishes to reduce property taxes then one must reduce the spending! It's this tax warrant that keeps going up. The math is simple. Estimated spending for the year divided by the property assessment base equals the mil rate. If tax warrant spending stays the same and the assessment base goes up then the mile rate goes down and the property taxes stay the same. Got that?

And who sets these spending budgets? The municipal councils and local service districts the citizens elect. Grass roots governments. I didn't bother attending the public part of the Moncton City Council's budget presentation. But I'm not complaining.

However I do wonder if the disgruntled were at that meeting?

I also wonder if they are the same disgruntled that want a government rebate on their heating bill but won't spend some money on better insulation, windows or ventilation to lower their heating bill? But that's another blog.

Thursday, 1 March 2007

Moncton Real Estate Market Report for February 2007

House price bubble? Not in Moncton. Year to date sales are up. Sales to listing ratio is strong. The only area where the average sale price is down somewhat is Moncton East, mainly due to a large number of sales in the lower price range dragging down the average. Moncton North continues to be the most expensive area of the city.

I caution that average price information can be useful in establishing trends over time, but does not indicate actual prices in areas comprised of widely divergent neighborhoods.

ListingsSalesSales/Listings RatioAverage Sale Price
AreaFebYTDFebYTDFebYTDFeb12 Month



Real Estate Charter Of Rights

A Consumer's Guide to
Engaging the Services of
a Licensed Real Estate Agent
in New Brunswick


Real Estate Agents do not sell a product, they sell a service and it's better for both buyers and sellers to close a transaction knowing that they have not made significant decisions alone.

Whether you're a buyer or seller, you have the right to the advice, assistance, and loyalty of your own Agent in the real estate transaction, if you so choose. You should never assume that an Agent is acting on your behalf unless you have made the necessary arrangements for the Agent to be your Agent.

When buyers engage their own Agent, the Agent is obligated to obtain the property at the lowest price and best terms possible. When sellers engage their own Agent, the Agent is obligated to obtain the property at the highest price and best terms possible.

It is your right to make all the business decisions including, especially, the terms upon which you engage an Agent directly or indirectly and precisely how, or even whether, you authorize your Agent to use a Multiple Listing Service®. For examples, you might choose not to offer unilateral sub-agency or you may choose to vary the commission offered to a dual-agent.

Property finders/facilitators introduce prospective sellers and buyers who will communicate, negotiate, and contract directly. Property finders/facilitators are not licensed nor are they Agents; so they owe no loyalty to either party. They may solicit payment from both parties and they cannot be relied upon for any advice or assistance in negotiations.

Single Agents
(Buyer's/Seller's Agents) represent the buyer or seller in a fiduciary capacity. They will either represent buyers or sellers, but never both in the same transaction. Sub-Agents are Agents of the Agent employed to act for the Principal.

Dual-agents can legally represent both the Seller and the Buyer in a transaction, but only with the knowledge and informed consent of both the Seller and the Buyer. There will be conflicts in the duties of loyalty, obedience, disclosure and confidentiality. Disclosure of confidential information may be made only with written authorization. This does not relieve the Agent of the obligation to disclose all know facts which materially and adversely affect the consideration to be paid by any party.


When acting as your Agent, real estate Agents (and their
salespersons) owe the following fiduciary duties to you, the Principal:

  • Undivided Loyalty
    which prohibits your Agent from advancing any interests adverse to yours or conducting your business to benefit him/herself or others.

  • Obedience - which requires your Agent to act subject to your continuous control by not exceeding the scope
    of authority conferred by you and by obtaining and following your lawful instructions.

  • Competence and Reasonable Care -
    which requires your Agent to: a) protect you from foreseeable risks of harm; b) exercise such care, skill, and competence necessary to ensure the transaction of your business to your best advantage; and c) recommend that
    you obtain expert advise or assistance when your needs are outside the scope of your Agent’s expertise.

  • Confidentiality - which prohibits your Agent from using or communicating information confidentially given to or acquired by him/her within the scope of employment as your Agent.

  • Full Disclosure - which requires your agent to disclose affirmatively all information concerning the transaction of your business which might affect your best interest including, especially, information about any existing or proposed interests which might be adverse to yours. To be adequate, such disclosure must clearly and completely disclose all the facts including their real effect on your interests and it must occur early enough for you to be able
    to use the information provided to take steps to protect your own interests.

  • Accountability - which requires your Agent to promptly report to you all money and property received and
    paid out and, upon request, to render an accounting and return all money and property lawfully belonging to you.


When real estate Agents (and their salespersons) act as your
Agent, they must:

* Put your best interests before all others including their own. It is this undivided loyalty that represents the extra value that an Agent's services have to consumers over the services of non-fiduciaries, like dual-agents, who owe no undivided loyalty.

* Not represent interests, adverse to you, in the same transaction in which they agreed to act as your Agent because of the inherent conflict in the obligations owed to the two parties. For example, a Single Agent must not represent the seller and the buyer or the landlord and the tenant in the same transaction. If your Agent is disloyal, (s)he could be required to forfeit compensation unless (s)he can prove that you freely gave your Informed Consent to such disloyalty. For your consent to be informed, your Agent must show that (s)he made Full Disclosure of the entire truth, including its real effect on your best interests, in words that plainly explain the risks and detriments of consenting to any proposal that basically asks you to waive your right to your Agent's undivided loyalty.

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