Recently, I had the privilege to represent a young lady who had saved up enough to buy a small condo in Toronto. She was a first time buyer and was eligible for the province’s assistance of an interest free second mortgage that need not be paid off until she sells the unit.
Fortunately for us, A project was presented at our brokerage stating that a certain number of units of a particular type in this project were eligible for the provincial assistance scheme. They provided a date for the following week when the units would be released to Real Estate Sales team to register our clients for units.
The day arrived and I was among the first to reach the venue. There were almost 400 Realtors. A senior marketing official announced the project and said registration starts at 5 pm.
At 5 pm, I was there with my client. A helpful staff member on site gave us a yet unpublished URL to register our client. I was told that they were taking three choices of units and that the builder would review the registrants and decide on allocation. We would be given an appointment later and at that time, we can review the allocated unit, customization etc., and pay the deposit. We were assured that we were among the first few people to register.
The following week, I kept following up for a timeline and providing updates to my eager client. There was no news from the project. A week later, I got an email in my inbox proclaiming my last chance to register clients with inaugural prices. I wrote back reminding them about my client. They informed me that the units that we registered for were already sold to the builders family and friends before the release.
I was very angry because, my client was young, saved up and was exactly the demographic the province wanted to assist in this heated real estate market. She lost out even before she started. Wonder if those friends and relatives that got the units were qualified for provincial assistance! Will there be any audit of these schemes to make sure that the benefits go to the targeted audience?
Today’s Globe & Mail article highlights this practice: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/vancouver-developers-shutting-out-regular-buyers-with-insider-condo-sales/article30498453/