Having previously lived in the U.S. (Chicago) and travelled extensively across the country, combined with the fact I have American friends and family living there, I perhaps have a little more interest and insight into U.S. politics.
My U.S. residency (1992-1996) was during the Bill Clinton years and the big news of the day was Monica Lewinsky. While the past four years of the Trump Presidency have been tumultuous to say the least, this past last week has been among other things tragic, sad and hard for most Canadian to understand.
Last night while staying up late to watch the vote to remove Trump from office via the 25th Amendment, I recovered a call from my daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter in Maui. Like most of us, they are shaking their heads at what has gone on in Washington during this past week. Thankfully, the Hawaiian islands are unlike the U.S. mainland so for the most part it’s a peaceful place removed from the violence. During the riots and uprising over George Floyd’s death where people looted and burned stores and property, people on Maui went out on their surf and paddle boards to toss flowers into the ocean commemorating George’s passing.
Throughout my life, whether personal or for business, I have always approached and thought things out in a logical, common sense manner. Perhaps that’s a fault but in my corporate jobs prior to entering real estate I had to think that way. Often my decisions affected hundreds of employees, their families and large sums of money and I was paid to make sound, rational decisions.
As a real estate Broker for over twenty years, I approach real estate transactions with the same sense of logic and rationale that I have used throughout my life. Buying and or selling a property is often the largest financial investment many of us will ever make. Further, our homes often have enormous emotional attachments. It’s where you may raise your kids, celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah and other holidays. A sanctuary to escape your work, the outside world and to make memories that you will cherish a lifetime.
For those of us in the real estate profession, one of the key aspects of our duty as REALTORS® is to remove the emotion. Buying or selling a home or other property is essentially a business transaction and to best serve seller and buyer clients we as REALTORS® must treat it that way. Failure to do so can and often does result in problems if you are not careful and duty of care is an important part of our role and very Code of Ethics. Every transaction is or can be different. Buying a single family house is not he same as buying a condominium or a commercial property.
In recent years we have all heard about the property(s) that had multiple offers and sold for well over the asking price. Sometimes those circumstances are planned by the seller and their REALTOR®, list the property below market value to attract multiple offers knowing that in all likelihood a sale price will be generated well over the asking price. A house near me was recently listed for sale at $899,000 and sold for $1.3 million. Did the buyer see $1.3 million in value or did they caught up in emotion to the point of paying $300,000 more than what the seller was asking? Personally I believe the latter but only time will tell if they paid too much.
Recent circumstances both in Canada and the U.S. have created and were driven by a great deal of emotion and this is where the line between real estate and politics gets blurred. The arrival of COVID 19 has certainly had an impact on real estate activity in our area. Many buyers who have been wanting to escape the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) for a different lifestyle have made the decision with more and more buying properties here. The onset of COVID 19 has helped to fuel that. That’s emotion. Many of the comments being made online about how the various levels of government have responded to the pandemic have been politically driven criticizing the Ford government, the Prime Minister and even local Mayors and Council members. That’s emotion. When I and others have made benign, non-political comments about the need for each of us to make some sacrifices and use common sense to help stave off this pandemic, some have responded “you must be Conservative” which I am not. That’s emotion talking.
The four year Presidency of Donald Trump have been nothing but emotional rhetoric culminating in last week’s insurrection on Capitol Hill in Washington. It was an emotional inferno four years in the making. The fire was started with promises of “Making America Great Again” and in recent months was fuelled with unproven accusations of fraud and stolen votes. It’s a tale of emotions being stirred and used for the worst possible reason, to satify one person ego and personal agenda. When asked specific questions about their reason to suspect President Obama is not American or what lead they to believe votes were stolen and Trump was robbed of a second term in office etc., I have yet to hear a Trump supporter provide any tangible evidence or answers as to why they believe what they do. That’s emotion and when politically driven it’s potentially far worse than someone selling or buying a property for the wrong reason, at the wrong time and perhaps at the wrong price.
While your real estate needs may to a degree be emotionally driven such as a divorce, a death in the family, job loss or other financial hardship etc., our job as REALTORS® is to help guide you through the process by making informed, qualified decisions without the emotional baggage that too often drives and clouds both real estate and political circumstances. As stated above in addition to being qualified professionals, our Code of Ethics required us to act and provide such a service.
The coming year is shaping up to offer us all some ongoing challenges. With yesterday’s implementation by the Provincial government of a second “stay-at-home” lockdown, it would appear that neither our lives nor the real estate or business community overall are going to be returning to normal in the foreseeable future. Contact Me for a no obligation confidential discussion about your particular real estate needs and goals. Logical, common sense decisions have always worked for me in my life and I am committed to provide the same for you with respect to your real estate needs in 2021 and beyond.
Stay safe and stay healthy,