MLS® listings continue their winning ways: By using agent couple realize hefty profit

Deborah Bilawka and her husband 

Timothy Parr now know the power of MLS® and that a connected network of REALTORS works to their advantage.

They also know that sometimes the best offer is the last-minute offer.

By waiting for a last-minute offer, the couple made an extra $15,000 on the sale of their St. James home.

Brad Nance, a Royal LePage Prime Real Estate REALTOR and Winnipeg Real Estate Board member, said the couple had six offers on their two-bedroom home and were poised to accept what they believed was the best among the batch. 

Then Nance received a call from another REALTOR who had just seen the listing on MLS®. The agent came forward with an 

offer that the couple couldn’t refuse.

“I almost hyperventilated when I heard the offer,” said Bilawka.

“That shows you the power of MLS®,” added Nance.

Only the 1,100 members of the WREB have access to MLS®, a listing service that gives them an advantage in providing the best possible service to sellers and buyers of real estate.

Bilawka said this was the first time they had sold a house and their agent explained in detail the process and made them “feel very comfortable.”

One of the keys to selling their home for the best possible price was that they took their agent’s advice and were “flexible” in showing their home.

At the advice of their REALTOR, the couple even packed up their five birds and a dog and went away whenever a showing occurred. “We left it all in his (Nance’s)  hands,” Bilawka added.

REALTORS tell their clients that the presence of pets can complicate the selling process and scare off potential buyers. It is recommended that whenever possible — the key word is possible, since sometimes it’s not — pets be removed during  a showing.

Preliminary figures released by the WREB for the first two weeks of June show that the local market continues to be hot.

 For the first time ever, dollar volume sales through MLS® surpassed $100 million for a two-week period. By June 15, dollar volume sales stood at $102.5 million. In 2004, dollar volume sales were only $79 million for the same period.

In addition, 726 MLS® properties were sold from June 1 to 15 compared to 658 during the same period in 2004. 

Resale housing activity across Canada has been soaring. In Canada’s major markets  during  May, MLS® activity reached the highest monthly level since March 2004 and the fourth-highest monthly on record, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association.

“The factors that have fueled Canada’s housing market expansion over the past few years remained in effect last month,” said CREA’s chief economist Gregory Klump. “We are continuing to see the powerful combined effect that low and steady interest rates, job growth and high consumer confidence have on housing markets. 

“Recent cuts to mortgage interest rates will continue to support strong activity in the months ahead, especially now that short-term consumer lending rates are likely to remain stable over the summer.”

Seasonally-adjusted home sales via the Multiple Listing Service® in Canada’s major markets totaled 28,288 units in May, up 0.7 per cent from the 28,093 sales recorded in April. 

“May was a phenomenal month on all facets of the MLS® market,” said WREB president Ruthe Penner.

The resale housing market remains tight in Canada’s major markets, causing the MLS residential average price to rise by 8.2 percent year-over-year to $269,127 in May — its highest level ever. 

CREA reported the average price in Winnipeg reached $132,124 in May, which is an increase of 11.4 per cent over May 2004.

“More news about high monthly sales activity and rising home prices might sound a bit like a broken record if it were not for the significant strength and stamina of housing demand,” said Klump. 

“The statistics speak volumes. Resale residential unit sales in May 2005 were just 2.8 per cent below the highest monthly level set in July 2003 even though average prices increased 19.6 per cent over the same period.”