adplus-dvertising
Connect with us

Real eState

How your home could be fraudulently sold without you knowing

Published

 on

It was January 2022, as fewer properties were being listed and market conditions were tightening in the Greater Toronto Area – this is when police say Toronto homeowners who were away on an extended business trip discovered their home was sold without their consent or knowledge.

Toronto police are now looking for two people they allege impersonated the homeowners, hired a real estate agent and listed the Etobicoke property for sale. The home was sold to new owners who took possession. Investigators say the legitimate homeowners never found out their property had been sold until several months later.

How can something like this happen?

300x250x1

Ronald Alphonso, a real estate investor and president of Mortgage Broker Store, says this occurrence may be more common than one might think.

“Somewhere along the way, a person with access to the land registry system, whether it’s a lawyer or another person, transferred the title from the present homeowners to someone else, illegally,” said Alphonso.

That land registry system, Alphonso says, is administered and owned by Teranet on behalf of the Ontario government. Real estate lawyers and others who are authorized to transfer titles and sell houses have access to it through specific keycodes.

“If their keycode is taken by somebody else or copied by somebody else or misappropriated in some way, that person has access to the system and whatever they want. They can transfer one house or a hundred houses,” said Alphonso.

And it doesn’t take long to do it, Aphonso says.

“The actual transaction is only a few keystrokes at some computer so it can happen within minutes, that you are removed from title,” said Alphonso.

But when does the homeowner actually find out that their property has been fraudulently sold? Alphonso says it could be a month or even six months later.

“They’ll only know when they actually get a document that says they are no longer an owner, such as property tax saying you don’t own the house anymore,” says Alphonso.

And by that time, he says, the fraudsters have usually left the country with little to no trace.

Alphonso says, thanks to COVID precautions, this type of fraud is relatively easy to pull off. Pre-COVID, clients need to go to a lawyer’s office when buying a home to sign documents, where they would answer questions and present identification in person.

“Now, you can do what is called docusign, or electronic signing online,” says Alphonso. That makes it difficult for police to match handwriting in the case of fraud. But what of photo ID requirements?

Police have released a photo of a man and a woman wanted on fraud charges after allegedly using fake identification to impersonate the real homeowners.

Police have released a photo of a man and a woman wanted on fraud charges after allegedly using fake identification to impersonate the real homeowners.


Toronto Police

“You can easily go into photoshop, just copy a passport, change a picture here and there,” says Alphonso. “The lawyer is not going to go back and check all of the information on that passport. You can do the same thing on a driver’s licence. The lawyer is going to accept them at face value.”

In the Etobicoke case, police have not released the names of the accused, only two photos. Global News reached out for more information, but police have remained tightlipped, directing all queries back to their release.

As for how homeowners and buyers can protect themselves against this type of fraud, Alphonso strongly recommends purchasing title insurance.

“That protects the buyer against fraud, illegal transfer of title and a whole range of items,” Alphonso says. “Let’s say you bought the house 10 years ago. The title insurance is still valid. It still insures you against an illegal transfer of your title. So that’s for the existing homeowner. The buyer (can also) get title insurance — it also protects them just in case the title was illegally transferred.”

728x90x4

Source link

Continue Reading

Real eState

Top 10 real estate sales in North and West Vancouver 2022 – North Shore News

Published

 on


Wine room? Check. Heated driveway? Check. Infinity pool, boat lift, putting green? Check, check, check.

While the real estate market took a cooler, even icy, turn in the last six months of 2022, that doesn’t mean that sales of luxury real estate vanished on the North Shore.

Au contraire!

300x250x1

In fact, those for whom the mortgage “stress test” isn’t a worry were still flexing a certain amount of buying power. Buyers at the high end of the market favoured large mansions – most clocking in at around 10,000 square feet – along with large lots, waterfront or expansive water views. Finishing touches like outdoor fire places, movie theatres, gyms, spa rooms and hot tubs didn’t hurt either.

Here’s a look at the top 10 real estate sales of 2022 on the North Shore.

web1_2910-park-lane2
This five-bedroom, seven-bathroom luxury estate at 2910 Park Ln. on the Altamont waterfront sold for $21.5 million on Aug. 10. It was the top real estate sale in 2022 in West Vancouver.| Zealty.ca

1. 2910 Park Lane

According to public real estate records, the top sale on the North Shore last year was an iconic five-bedroom, seven-bathroom luxury estate at 2910 Park Ln. on the Altamont waterfront which sold for $21.5 million on Aug. 10.

The 14-year-old, 9,400-square-foot home sits on a lot of almost half an acre of high-bank waterfront, including 98 feet of shoreline.

The home was built in 2008 by its former owner Mossadiq Medaly, a former chair of BC Hydro and a leader in the renewable energy industry, on the site of an apple orchard formerly owned by a member of Vancouver’s Woodward family.

Designed by architect Peter Grant, the home features luxuries like an elevator, indoor-outdoor speaker sound system, in-floor heating system, heated driveway, five fireplaces, infinity pool, floor-to-ceiling windows and a professional music room.

The luxury home, assessed at $14 million, was originally listed for sale at about $30 million.

web1_754-beachview-north-vancouver
A home at 754 Beachview Drive in North Vancouver sold Sept. 8 for $14.9 million. | photo Zealty.ca

2. 754 Beachview Drive

A deluxe six-bedroom, eight-bathroom home at 754 Beachview Dr. was the only home in North Vancouver to make the Top 10 sales list. The luxury home on three-quarters of an acre was assessed at just under $12.55 million this year. The 8,850-square-foot home sold in September for $14.9 million.

Features of the oceanfront mansion include an infinity pool, 10-person hot tub (now that’s a party!), golf putting green, dock with boat lift, four-jet-ski slip and private ramp. Inside features double height ceilings, Miele appliances, movie theatre, billiard area, gym, sauna, steam room and wine room.

web1_2975-palmerston
This modern mansion at 2975 Palmerston by architectural firm Battersby Howat in West Vancouver’s Altamont neighbourhood sold for $14.75 million in February. | Zealty.ca

3. 2975 Palmerston Avenue

Located in West Vancouver’s sought after Altamont neighbourhood, this distinctly modern mansion by architectural firm Battersby Howat sold for $14.75 million in February after just 24 days on the market. The six-year-old, 10,000-square-foot three-storey house on a landscaped half-acre lot sold for close to its asking price of $14.88 million. The home features floor-to-ceiling windows and glass doors that create a dramatic open feel leading to spectacular garden views. Outside, a hot tub and pool beckon. The home also boasts an array of technology for controlling lighting, a private elevator, security system, air conditioning and garage parking for five vehicles.

web1_1335-chartwell2
This home at 1335 Chartwell Drive, in West Vancouver’s British Properties, sold for $12.8 million July 23. | Zealty.ca

4. 1335 Chartwell Drive

Homes in the British Properties are among those often sought out in the higher echelons of the real-estate market. It’s all about the views up here, and showing off luxury details. The fourth-highest sale on the North Shore, at 1335 Chartwell Dr., which sold for $12.8 million July 23 after just 15 days on the market, ticks those boxes. A one-year-old custom build, the six-bedroom, eight-bathroom 10,000-square-foot house features a “grand foyer” with a 20-foot hand-painted dome ceiling rising above a crystal chandelier. Italian tile, Miele and Wolf appliances, four marble gas fireplaces and a wine cellar, theatre, sauna, gym, pool, hot tub and heated driveway complement the bling.

web1_2919-mathers
This 8,000-square-foot Mediterranean-inspired home in Altamont sold for $11.8 million on April 11. | Zealty.ca

5. 2919 Mathers Avenue

A “health and wellness wing” including a massage room, separate “staff quarters,” “butler’s pantry” and a 27-foot, 11,000-litre tropical aquarium are among the unique features of the fifth-highest property sale on the North Shore in 2022 at 2919 Mathers Ave. The seven-bedroom, 11-bathroom 8,000-square-foot Mediterranean-inspired home on almost a half acre in Altamont sold for $11.8 million on April 11 after 55 days on the market. That’s significantly less that the original asking price of $14.3 million. An integrated Band & Olufsen audio visual system, fitness room, infinity pool and jacuzzi complete the package.

web1_3704-mckechnie-view
This contemporary 5,300-square-foot home next to McKechnie Park sold for $11 million on Feb. 18, 2022. | Zealty.ca

6. 3704 McKechnie Avenue

A contemporary custom-built home, nestled among trees on a “trophy property” backing on to McKechnie Park, this three-year-old 5,300-square-foot home at 3704 McKechnie Ave. sold for $11 million on Feb. 18, 2022 – less than the asking price of $12.8 million.

The five-bedroom, six-bathroom home on a third of an acre in Westmount features an open floor plan drenched in light with all rooms offering sweeping ocean views.

2860-mathers
This home at 2860 Mathers was the seventh highest real estate sale on the North Shore in 2022 at $10.7 million.

7. 2860 Mathers Avenue

A 17-year-old 12,000 square-foot home on Altamont’s “Golden Mile” was the seventh highest real estate sale on the North Shore last year. The three-storey, seven-bath, six-bedroom home at 2860 Mathers Ave. sold for $10.7 million, considerably below the $14 million asking price, on April 20, after 75 days on the market. The modern concrete home features a wine room, gym and indoor swimming pool and has geothermal heating and cooling. There are also solar panels for hot water, a rainwater reclamation system and a heated driveway.

web1_1022-eyremount-pool
This British Properties mansion at 1022 Eyremont Dr. sold for $10.5 million Sept. 18. | Zealty.ca

8. 1022 Eyremount Drive

If a mini golf course and elevator are among the luxurious touches you expect in home, this one-year-old British Properties mansion fits the bill.

The almost 10,000-square-foot home at 1022 Eyremount Dr. features gasp-worthy views of the ocean, city and Lions Gate Bridge. The five-bedroom, eight-bathroom mansion is billed as having “every imaginable luxury” including a walk-in wine cellar/cigar room, billiard area, home theatre and sauna, as well as five fireplaces. It sold for $10.5 million Sept. 18, after 69 days on the market, a relative bargain compared to the asking price of $16 million.

web1_1578-chippendale
This home at 1578 Chippendale in the British Properties sold for just under $10.3 million April. 15. | Zealty.ca

9. 1578 Chippendale Road

Amazing views from the British Properties are the key feature of this 9,700-square-foot 23-year-old home on a huge flat lot at 1578 Chippendale Rd. The three-storey, six-bed, five-bathroom mansion sold April 15 for just under $10.3 million. Almost 300 feet of frontage allows for a “massive street presence.” A library, sauna and media room are also among the features of the home.

web1_3874-marine-drive
This 73-year-old home on the West Bay waterfront in West Vancouver at 3874 Marine Drive sold for $9.8 million. | Zealty.ca

10. 3874 Marine Drive

This two-storey, four-bedroom four-bathroom home on the waterfront in West Bay at 3874 Marine Dr. is the smallest of the top ten homes to sell last year at 3,700 square feet. It’s also the oldest at 73 years. But what it lacks in sheer size it makes up for in gorgeous west coast character on a spectacular 17,600-square-foot property that slopes gently to the water’s edge. Tiered patios, a waterside pool and boathouse lead down to about 80 feet of natural shoreline. There’s also tranquil gardens a pond and gazebo. Inside features large rooms with stunning views, all in a comfortable home.

This home was the only one on the North Shore’s top ten sales that sold for under $10 million last year, fetching $9.8 million on Sept. 17, after just 17 days on the market.

jseyd@nsnews.com

twitter.com/JaneSeyd

web1_3874-marine-drive-pool
A pool on the water’s edge is one feature of this 73-year-old home on the West Bay waterfront in West Vancouverat 3874 Marine Drive sold for $9.8 million. | Zealty.ca

Adblock test (Why?)

728x90x4

Source link

Continue Reading

Real eState

Housing market: Jason Oppenheim warns of an 'armageddon' in the real estate industry – Yahoo Finance

Published

 on


The real estate industry could soon be upended, says star broker Jason Oppenheim.

Oppenheim – who leads a team of glamorous agents on Netflix (NFLX) reality series “Selling Sunset” – recently sat down with Yahoo Finance to talk about the current state of the U.S. real estate market. During the far-ranging conversation, he warned that the industry’s commission structure could soon change forever.

“To be specific about real estate agents, we’ve got federal regulators and a couple of lawsuits coming down the pipeline that at worst case could be an armageddon for real estate agents,” he said. “You might see regulators uncouple the commission structure where the seller is now essentially paying for the buyers’ and agents’ commission.”

300x250x1

In 2019, two home-sellers filed a lawsuit [Sitzer et al v. National Association of Realtors (NAR)], alleging that several NAR rules violate the Sherman Antitrust Act, an 1890 law which prohibits activities that restrict interstate commerce and competition.

One of the NAR rules in question requires listing brokers to offer buyer brokers a commission to list a property. The lawsuit alleges that this practice inflates sellers’ costs and, therefore, is anticompetitive.

Traditionally, it takes two agents to sell a house: a buyer’s agent and a seller’s agent. However, if NAR loses the suit, the real estate industry would effectively see buyers’ agents removed from the equation. That means the number of real estate agents in the U.S. (there are 1.5 million right now, according to NAR), could drop precipitously .

A home for sale in Silver Spring, Maryland. REUTERS/Gary CameronA home for sale in Silver Spring, Maryland. REUTERS/Gary Cameron

A home for sale in Silver Spring, Maryland. REUTERS/Gary Cameron

“You could see hundreds of thousands of real estate agents leaving the profession, and major brokerages go out of business,” said Oppenheim. “We’re on the precipice of an armageddon that nobody talks about.”

There’s hope for a settlement with regulators or an appeal process, but there’s a high likelihood the marketplace for real estate agents is about to get majorly overhauled, said Oppenheim. He added that we could see the U.S. ultimately turn towards a model with lower total commissions, as is the case in Australia.

“I think there are too many real estate agents anyway, so I don’t think that’s part of the problem,” he said. “I think the problem is that if we remove the buyer’s agent’s commission, you’ll see the listing agent representing the buyer in 90% of transactions. It’s called dual agency,” said Oppenheim. “I don’t think that’s healthy for the consumer, because I think that the buyer should have their own representation. It would be no different than going into a courtroom and you have one lawyer, representing both sides.”

This could create a situation where the agent would have a fiduciary duty to one side, the seller, Oppenheim added.

In 2022, a federal court ruled that a private real estate listing service could sue the NAR over anti-competitive practices. Earlier this month, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected the trade association’s attempt to challenge the ruling.

“It’s something that’s not talked about that much, and it could be difficult, probably more in 2024, but it’s coming,” Oppenheim said.

Dylan Croll is a reporter and researcher at Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter at @CrollonPatrol.

Click here for the latest trending stock tickers of the Yahoo Finance platform.

Read the latest financial and business news from Yahoo Finance.

Download the Yahoo Finance app for Apple or Android.

Follow Yahoo Finance on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

Adblock test (Why?)

728x90x4

Source link

Continue Reading

Real eState

Real estate agents say they can't imagine working without ChatGPT now – CNN

Published

 on




CNN
 — 

If you came across a four bedroom, 3.5 bathroom home listed for sale recently on a quiet cul-de-sac in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, you might not think twice about the online listing. It included typical real estate descriptions like “ideal for entertaining” and “ample space for relaxation.”

But JJ Johannes, the realtor for the home, created the description in less than five seconds by typing a few keywords into ChatGPT, a viral new AI chatbot tool that can generate elaborate responses to user prompts. It’s a task, he said, that would otherwise have taken him an hour or more to write on his own.

“It saved me so much time,” Johannes told CNN, noting he made a few tweaks and edits to ChatGPT’s work before publishing it. “It’s not perfect but it was a great starting point. My background is in technology and writing something eloquent takes time. This made it so much easier.”

300x250x1

ChatGPT passes exams from law and business schools

Johannes is among the real estate agents experimenting with ChatGPT since it was released publicly in late November. Some residential and commercial agents told CNN it has already changed the way they work, from writing listings and social media posts to drafting legal documents. It could also be used to automate repetitive tasks such as answering frequently asked questions and doing complex calculations.

ChatGPT is trained on vast amounts of online data in order to generate responses to user prompts. It has written original essays, stories, song lyrics and research paper abstracts that fooled some scientists. Some CEOs have used it to write emails or do accounting work. It even passed an exam at an Ivy League school. (It has, however, raised concerns among some for its potential to enable cheating and for its inaccuracies.)

Miami real estate broker Andres Asion.

In less than two months, ChatGPT has sparked discussions around its potential to disrupt various industries, from publishing to law. But it’s already having a tangible impact on how a number of real estate agents around the country do their jobs – where much of the written work can be formulaic and time consuming – to the extent that some can no longer imagine working without it.

“I’ve been using it for more than a month, and I can’t remember the last time something has wowed me this much,” said Andres Asion, a broker from the Miami Real Estate Group.

‘As soon as I tried it out, I was sold”

Recently, a client reached out to Asion with a problem: the woman had moved into a pre-construction home and couldn’t open her windows. She had attempted to contact the developer for months with no response. Asion ran a copy of one of her emails through ChatGPT, asking it to rewrite it with an emphasis on the liability implications.

“ChatGPT wrote it as a legal issue and all of a sudden, the developer showed up at her house,” he said.

How Microsoft could use ChatGPT to supercharge its products

Asion has also used the tool to draft legally binding addendums and other documents, and sent them to lawyers for approval. “I fine-tune all kinds of drafts with ChatGPT,” he said. “Sometimes I’ll tell it to make it shorter or funnier, and it gives you so many samples to pick and edit from.”

ChatGPT is free for now, but OpenAI, the company behind it, is reportedly considering a monthly charge of $42. Asion said “it’s not even a question” he would pay for access. “I would easily pay $100 or $200 a year for something like this,” he said. “I’d be crazy not to.”

Frank Trelles, a commercial real estate agent at State Street Realty in Miami, said he’d also pay to keep using the tool, which has already impacted the way he does business. “As soon as I tried it out, I was sold,” he said. “I went to sign up for a package, thinking it would be at least $100 a month, and was blown away that it was free. Nothing in this world is free though – and that made me a bit nervous.”

Trelles said he uses ChatGPT to look up the permitted uses for certain land and zones in Miami-Dade County, and calculate what mortgage payments or return on investment might be for a client, which typically involve formulas and mortgage calculators.

“I can be in a car with a client when they ask me what their mortgage payments might be,” said Trelles. “I can ask ChatGPT what a mortgage payment would be on a $14 million purchase at a 7.2% interest rate amortized over 25 years with two origination points at closing, and in two seconds, it gives me that information. It also explains how it got the answer. It’s amazing.”

Lots of potential, and some limitations

There are some limitations, however. The tool has, for example, struggled with some basic math before. Trelles said it’s helpful for approximations on the go, not for exact numbers.

Serge Reda, a commercial real estate executive and adjunct professor at the Fordham Real Estate Institute, said some use cases for ChatGPT are better than others. ChatGPT may help save brokers time when writing listings or responses, but automating client responses may not be the best tactic because generating leads and closing transactions typically requires a personalized approach.

New York City public schools ban access to AI tool that could help students cheat

“It’s accessible to everyone right now because it’s free and they can get a taste of how this powerful tool can work. But there are definitely significant limitations,” he said.

While ChatGPT has generated a wave of interest among realtors, incorporating artificial intelligence in the real estate market isn’t entirely new. Listing site Zillow, for example, has used AI for 3D mapping, creating automatic floor plans and for its Zestimate tool, which can scan pictures to see if a home has hardwood floors or stainless steel appliances so its price estimation better reflects market conditions. Earlier this week, Zillow rolled out an AI-feature that lets potential buyers conduct searches in a more natural language (something that’s long been mastered by Google).

Matt Kreamer, a spokesperson for Zillow, said the real estate industry has been slower to innovate, but “I think we’ll be seeing much bigger strides very soon.” He said Zillow sees no clear concerns with agents using ChatGPT to help streamline the work they already do and save time.

“We aren’t promoting or wary of ChatGPT but are interested in how it’s being used and watching it,” he said.

Although it’s too early to say if the tool will become a mainstay in real estate, realtor Johannes believes AI in general will transform his industry and others.

“It may not be with ChatGPT,” he said, “but I believe some form of artificial intelligence like this will become a big part of how we work and live our lives.”

Adblock test (Why?)

728x90x4

Source link

Continue Reading

Trending