Realtors try to remain upbeat

| 04/05/2020 | 156 Comments

(CNS): With a 50% drop in real estate sales in March and April, according to figures from the real estate sector body, CIREBA, realtors are trying to remain upbeat about the future. The sector, known for its public optimism even in the worst of circumstances, may be in for a rough time, even though the Cayman Islands Government is hoping that construction will help drive the post COVID-19 domestic economy.

Accepting that the virus is causing a “confidence crisis in the property market”, local broker Mike Joseph, from Property Cayman, said that the “true value in real estate is its long-term stability”.

In his regular blog analysing the market, Joseph was extremely optimistic, declaring the “future is bright” because the local property market is secure.

According to the statistics, as of 28 April there were 1,438 active CIREBA listings, which includes land and commercial real estate. The list count is down by 3.8% compared to the first three months of the year but the strong market that Cayman has enjoyed for over five years has been prematurely ended by the ‘COVID-Confidence-Crisis’, Joseph wrote.

The decision by the banks for a 3-month mortgage holiday will safeguard all property values, he believes, and the decision to avoid foreclosing on clients will prevent a surge in foreclosures as happened in the last recession. If it does happen, he predicted that the recent court precedence that foreclosed property values must remain comparable means that the market will not be flooded by cheap properties.


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Comments (156)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I have always wondered what actually happens to the breakdown that these brokers / agents actually get. 1% of the total commission goes to Cireba itself. What happens to that? Is that split between the beneficial owners of Cireba? Who are the beneficial owners? Can’t be each of one of the membership firms can it? Or is it the founder members?

    • Anonymous says:

      Cireba is a regulatory and non profit organisation. They use those funds to pay for training and regulating the Realtors and they give a huge amount to charity.

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  2. Anonymous says:

    You can sell yourself. It ain’t rocket science. I did and saved around 40k!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      How do realtors drive property prices upwards? A property is worth what a buyer will pay for it and what it is valued for by a registered property valuer. So are the Valuers as bad as the realtors? What about the banks who give the mortgages? Are they as bad?

      • Anonymous says:

        Funny, I have heard realtors argue the exact opposite. That the additional purchase money they will extract from the market (i.e. buyers) more than compensated for their insane commission. If that’s not the case and they only get the fair market value then what on earth do you get for the commission?

    • Anonymous says:

      7:10, Only easy to do if no mortgages involved.

      • Ralph says:

        You don’t need an agent whether there is a mortgage involved or not. What you do need is a lawyer. The lawyers are also getting way too much compared to the world market(here they get around 1-1.5% but in the rest of the world it is 1/4 of that) but the risk of not using one is too big in my opinion.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I buy and sell property here and have done so for many years. I refuse to agree those shakedown CIREBA rates, and no realtor, smelling a commission which might otherwise go elsewhere, has ever insisted I do so. Their only condition is that I don’t tell anyone else that they, and often the realtor on the other side of the deal, are breaking the rules. That’s fine by me. They’re not my rules, after all.

    Almost all of the realtors here, with a few honorable exceptions, are like rats in a bag, spitting and scratching for a deal and doing anything to get one. And it’ll only get worse, as Covid bites deeper, deals get fewer and cocaine, their stimulant of choice, gets scarcer. I see a lot of them closing shop in the next twelve months. Boo hoo.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Spot on.

      Another classic CIREBA trick happens when there is an agent on both sides of the deal. 99% of the time the buyer either pays the list price or even more. The reason being is that the commission gets split and the agents want to max their commission. Its appalling.

      I don’t how buyers fall for it but sadly they think their agent is trying to get them the best deal but it’s actually the opposite.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Haha, totally agree. I’ve had experience of the ‘both sides of the deal’ for a large deal where I observed exactly that – I wont go into details as the agent will probably recognise the deal and therefore me from the story.

        Ripoff merchants basically – I would be happy to CIREBA disappear, at least in its current self-regulatory, cartel operating form. Anyone who says otherwise has a vested interest.

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      • Anonymous says:

        So true. And then when someone buys a similar property they’ll point to that inflated sale price and say “see that’s where the market is”. Then tell you it’s gone up 5% more since then. That’s how they drive up prices.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Any “agent” requiring a permit should be paying the same as a law/accounting firm partner as the income potential is at that level given the exorbitant commissions.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Love it! Let’s do that now and see how many vultures head for the hills!

    • Anonymous says:

      As a law firm partner I would love to be earning what an estate agent does!

    • Anonymous says:

      $50,000 will get you a large M&A transaction or two hedge funds from a law firm. From CIREBA it won’t even cover the agent commission on a $750,000 condo.

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  5. Anonymous says:

    These CiREBa agents have more initial careers than I have sold properties… It would be quite amusing to list the first careers of every one of these agents… From nannies. Cooks, waiters, car mechanic, fitness instructor, dental receptionist, dive instructor…

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  6. Anonymous says:

    Oh dear Cireba’s little PR piece using Property Cayman to keep the property market solvent seems to have backfired.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    Taking hefty commissions for basically saying “and this is the kitchen” as they point at a cooker. I have as much sympathy for realtors as I do for taxi drivers.

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  8. Anonymous says:

    CIREBA is purely a cartel and some of their agents are crooks pure and simple.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Agreed. I have several personal stories of this. For the person asking why it matters that all of the agents started out in more menial positions and why that matters.. Because they give incorrect and misleading information!!!!
      They have cost me money because of it. This is not a joke.

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  9. Anonymous says:

    So many negative comments on here about the real estate industry..Do we all realize that the great pillar of Tourism has been obliterated and we need sources of revenue more than thought of before? Government revenue from real estate sales are one its its greatest source of income. If deals aren’t transacted government does not get its 7.5% cut which means less money in its coffers to help all of those who will be out of work for some time in the future particularly people in the tourism..

    We need to think through these things carefully and not let our emotions run wild. All we have left is the financial industry and when those leave we will begging England for handouts…

    This is Cayman and we need to treat everyone with a little be of Caymankind. We are all in this together and we need to pull each other up, not tear each other down..

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    • Anonymous says:

      I think the negativity is directed at the brokers and cireba that have fleeced us locally. In the real world commissions are measured in fractions of a percent. Here they go as high as 10%!! The real estate concept is good, the shepherds we have guiding us to the betterment of their well lined pockets are what has given it such a bad name.

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      • Anonymous says:

        I believe the highest commission is 7%. Let’s not be dramatic…

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      • Anonymous says:

        The point I believe the writer is trying to make is that we are all in this recovery process together. Bad mouthing realtors, some of which do an excellent job, is the thing we don’t want to see. They have a job to do and whether they are overpaid or not is a matter of your thought process and what you are willing to pay. Attorneys charge $600+ per hour and our politicians get paid in excess of $10k every month..I could go on but you see where I am going with this.

        They obviously wouldn’t have jobs if people weren’t happy with what they are doing or charging..I personally, only own my home or should I say the bank owns my home but I went through a real estate agent to help me with my search and he was worth every penny and saved me so much time and effort. I ended up getting to know the previous owners really well and we were able to negotiate a mutually great deal for both of us, together with their real estate agent..I don’t have any complaints. He did his job and exceeded my expectations.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Fool – “obviously wouldn’t have jobs if people weren’t happy with what they are doing or charging” LMFAO!!! Like we have a CHOICE???? In any of what you say!!!! LOL Pahleese!

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          • Anonymous says:

            I don’t understand..are you saying that you have to use a CIREBA agent or any real estate agent for that matter?…no one is stopping anyone from selling their property on their own. You can stick an ad in the paper, on social media or on ecaytrade…You have lots of choices…I think you are the fool if you believe you don’t have a choice…unfortunately..

      • Anonymous says:

        Correct. It’s basically an easy way for a C student to become a millionaire just by being an extrovert/having certain people skills.

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    • Anonymous says:

      cireba member???

  10. Anonymous says:

    Realtors are just human vultures that have never lived in the real world. Ripped people off for years and they deserve to suffer for once. Absolutely no use for them and certainly no sympathy. I have bought and sold all my properties without them and always will.

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  11. Anonymous says:

    I was here before CIREBA and it was an unregulated mess of properties being sold twice without titles, proper agreements and so on.
    CIREBA has at least brought order and regulation to the real estate industry.

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    • Anonymous says:

      The background and strength of lands and survey and the systems of registering stays, etc, mean most of what you saw – presumably in the 50-60-70’s cannot happen today. The fee for a stay to stop transfer from o=underneath you is $25 I believe. The value is priceless. And the brokers charge thousands for this and a few other services, and they still charge you the $25!!

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      • Anonymous says:

        If only it was as a simple as that..I wouldn’t have a clue where to start. I have used a CIREBA agent to sell my apartment and to help me buy my house..The agent was professional, knew his stuff and guided me through the process and unlike all that has been said here, I was happy with my service, price and level of professionalism.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Use a lawyer. Much, much cheaper than an estate agent and they are actual professionals and have real qualifications.

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          • Anonymous says:

            Do lawyers show properties now? Real Estate agents take the risk of taking on a new listing. They pay for the advertising and take time to show it to everyone that requests. At the end of the listing agreement guess who loses if the property isn’t sold? High risk high reward.

    • Anonymous says:

      That’s the lawyers. Cireba is a cartel

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    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, but for one thing, the selling of a property twice ended with Jim Bodden’s demise. For another thing, crap still happens, but the worst that happens to the brokers is they get kicked out of CIREBA. Except for Tony, who was convicted.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Fake news. That was the legal profession and Lands & Surveys. CIREBA even has a disclaimer in their contracts that they are not responsible for any information they provide during the process.

  12. J .A. Roy Bodden says:

    Commissioner (Governor )Andrew Morris Gerrard warned us Caymanians in the 1950’s that we were selling our birthright (the land) for a mess of pottage . He further informed us to strengthen our laws against those whom he called “aliens ” , as their intention was to take over. But even before Gerrard another prescient Commissioner (Governor) Alan Wollesely Cardinall in 1934 , told the Honourable Willy Farrington as he( Cardinall ) was departing the islands at the end of his tour of duty :

    ” Willy my boy , promise me one thing , now that you are on the map …don’t let them take it away from you .”

    Well as fate would have it , we failed to act on the sage advice passed down to us by these two enlightened governors and now ” the chickens have come home to roost”.

    My teaching and writings have always reflected my position as far as aliens being able to purchase absolute titles to Caymanian land . ” Leaseholds ,yes ! Absolute titles No ! Not today ! Not tomorrow ! Not ever !

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    • Chris Johnson says:

      It is always interesting to read your comments Roy albeit I do not always agree with them. I also respective your memory as many Caymanians tend to forget their history, some conveniently so.

      Your point about leasehold is a good one. This concept has served much of London well over the years although such property is not government owned.

      I wonder and you will most likely know if what you said was in the mind of the Government of the 50s when they sold the WBB land to Benson Greehall for a peppercorn rent. Much of this remains leasehold and should stay that way. However I gather some of the leases have been sold over recent years.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Oh dear, Roy. I presume that last sentence is a deliberate echo of George Wallace’s famous statement against segregation. Very droll. But you pride yourself as a scholar and should be beyond cheap shots like that. But the quotes from the former Commissioners, which you make much of in one of your books, are of course interesting in light of future development, powered by, let it be said, Caymanians. By the way, it’s 1950s not 1950’s. A scholar like you should know not to slip into that common apostrophe error.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Yes today and actually yes yesterday and the day before that and the last 40 years. Perhaps your teachings and writings weren’t as well received as you hoped. Just as well too as you have the highest per capita income in the Caribbean thanks to the industry created by those people you rudely call aliens. Without financial services this place would amount to very little. Jamaica always grew better food for export and you could never have competed.

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  13. Anonymous says:

    My heart bleeds for the CIREBA agents. They’ve been pumping up the market for years, so like anything what goes round comes around.

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    • Anonymous says:

      The cartel has had an incredible run. They’ve managed price fixing very well

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      • Anonymous says:

        ?…yawn…then they can use their magic powers to stop the fall in property prices??
        people and basic economocis determine market prices…

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  14. Anonymous says:

    CIREBA has ran its course, there are probably only a few members that genuinely NEED membership of CIREBA, the small ones. The big guys like ReMax or Sothebys and some more dont need CIREBA, they’re big enough on their own with overseas marketing partnerships and local branding.

    CIREBA started before the internet took off, and still thinks an MLS system is the be all and end all of everything. The MLS is finished, has been for years. Every broker has their own website, and the entire world has access to everywhere a property can be listed online and offline. Infact the best way is word of mouth or a sign outside your home or subdivision. there is no need for an MLS nor CIREBA. Tell a childs friend your home is for sale, their parents will tell 20 people by Sunday!

    The commissions? What an astonishing rip off they are, and for government to have failed to regulate them over the years is bemusing at best and worrying at most.

    To sell a property, you need a buyer and a seller. You dont actually need a realtor at all, look at the online apps like Zillow in the USA and Uk these days. If you dont know how to close a deal, you can find the rules all over the internet, or just call a lawyer, and you dont need Maples or Walkers to do it for you.any small lawyer can do it and probably cheaper. You can go to Lands and Survey and ask them to walk you thru the process. Th staging of a home? its really not rocket science – tidy it up, turn on the lights, take away as many personal posessions as you can, dont boil eggs that morning, etc. But also, there are tips online for that too. however, there are benefits to having a realtor and they can get you a higher price, but not that much higher to make them indispensable.

    The point is CIREBA are getting away with ripping us off on commissions for doing many things that you dont need to be trained to do, You just need common sense. Where CIREBA do come in handy is standards: they have some although some brokers actions would have you question the enforcement of them. They also do have members who are genuinely interested in your needs, and your property, and very likely will have access to a list of buyers who may be interested. They are also multiyear experienced, and thats all good stuff. BUt not unique, and certainly not worth the commissions and non-external regulation that they’ve been getting away with.

    Government should get involved with CIREBA and the price fixing, gouging commissions, year long contract commitmnets, etc. Its all wrong and benefits nobody but themselves. If i owned one of the larger brokerages, i’d jump ship now and market my company as open to work with everyone, reduce my terms with sellers, set my commissions at 1/2 to 2/3’rds of Cireba, and watch the business flood in. People like professionals, realtors (some) are professionals, but people are tired of being ripped off.

    its time Cayman, tell CIREBA to stop ripping you off, play fair, or stop listing with them – put your property in the paper, on the internet, buy a for sale sign, tell the kids, mention it at work, etc. Get CIREBA to play fair. Or set up REBACI – Real Estate Brokers Association Cayman Islands. half the CIREBA members would probably soon be there!

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    • Anonymous says:

      You’re wrong about the MLS. The principle of ‘open sales listings’ is still very valuable to us as individuals and a country. Think of MLS as the internet for houses, pre-internet. The principle is still sound/valuable, just the technology has changed. If anything, what CIREBA need to do is open the MLS up to private listings otherwise, as you said, they are at risk from being out-listed by the internet (eCay to use a more local example than yours). Then the realtors can compete on service & cost.

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      • Anonymous says:

        I do think the MLS should be extremely valuable, IF it is kept up to date.
        But it is NOT. Incorrect MLS Listing cost me $$ once I found out the discrepancies AFTER the sale completed.
        I reported that and another valid issue to CIREBA and never heard. anything more about it even though the person I reported it to agreed and said it should be dealt with.

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    • Anonymous says:

      The fire a mafia has had stranglehold’s for a long time. They have blacklisted those that go outside their corrupt system. It is a house of cards though. One day there will be a big enough challenge and it will all come tumbling down. And the winners will be all of us except those that directly benefit from the questionable remit that CIREBA epitomizes… I hope that day comes soon…

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    • Anonymous says:

      Wow, this is a lot to digest and you obviously seem very bitter. towards the CIREBA group.. Your points are well laid but no one needs to use a CIREBA real estate agent if they don’t want to. If you don’t like their prices go with a non CIREBA agent. You don’t need to get your panties all in a wad..geesh!

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    • ANONYMOUS says:

      You’re stupid and have no idea about Real Estate business. It’s always the ones that have no clue about Real Estate business that has all the talk. You have no clue about the dynamics of the mls system and you sound like a bitter, budding realtor who failed their exams multiple times. your comment explodes with evny for Real Estate professionals. This system is synonyous to all legal systems universally. The MLS is a proficient virtual tool and also facilitates the co-broking function among Brokers. Get your facts straight and re-attempt your dreams of becoming a Realtor again and stop sounding so envious and jealous. One MUST be licensed BY LAW as a Salesman to sell property. It’s a profession, a career and one that many CANNOT DO! A Realtor’s compensation is worth it – also note, without a transaction from a Realtor, a Lawyer cant be paid, so everyone has their job! Leave Realtors alone and stop rejoicing on their demise during a pandemic. Go try screaming from your lungs and depend on word of mouth to get your property sold quickly! you must be a sick and twisted bastard to be so zealously envious about a career you’ve never ever done. Sell or buy property on your own and leave the professionals alone.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Savvy buyers are organizing themselves and funding for the opportunities that lie ahead- they have profited from the words of Warren Buffett and will do so again.

    Warren Buffett once said that as an investor, it is wise to be “Fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful.”

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  16. Anonymous says:

    psssss…don’t tell anyone, but you don’t have to use a real estate agent….

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  17. Cayman Environmental Relief Assocciation says:

    Cayman Idiots Real Estate Bullshit Association CIREBA Closed them down now! Send Brigands Home. SIGNED CERA member

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  18. Life through rose coloured glasses says:

    Sorry Mike, but I get it that you have to remain positive, but the real estate glut before all this was unsustainable. You’re still beating your own drum, and hoping your industry will bounce back with renewed vigour.
    Do you recall the negative impact on the real estate industry in 2008? Remember how many people had their properties taken back by banks?
    Before making any general statements about our real estate industry being stable I would advise waiting to see what happens in the remainder of this year. Let’s see if you’re still beating out the same tune in December.

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  19. Anonymous says:

    they won’t be drinking coffee anytime soon…

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  20. Anonymous says:

    local realtors= glorified used car salesmen.
    and for some reason they are are held in high regard by the local media who go to them for advice and ‘market updates’.
    all they care about is getting the sale done and getting their commision.
    while they have no professional qualifications, have no regulatory standards to maintain…all at the same time openly price fixing their huge commision rates….pure wonderland stuff.

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  21. Anonymous says:

    I do wonder how many of the small developers will go bankrupt. I suspect that many of them do not carry large reserves, and if they are carrying high interest unconventional loans, they may not be able to afford two or three months of down time.

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  22. Anonymous says:

    I look forward to the entire market crashing. I a caymanian can’t buy a house now for how many years. Well now heres my opportunity. Realtors and Contractors been banking off this island for decades.

    Now it’s time for the crap to stop.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly the opposite will happen, thanks to the Premier….

      Those in opportunity to buy, which are largely NOT going to be Caymanians, will swoop in and acquire all of the defaulted land or drastically reduced land FROM Caymanians that are now hurting for cash.

      Be careful what you wish for. You’re not necessarily getting that land you think you’re *entitled* to because of this crash.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Unfortunately you are wrong, there will not be a crash. The government will not allow it. We live in a bizarre world where buying property is now a one way bet because of zero interest rates. Borrow as much as you like and if there is a problem, don’t worry the government will put pressure on the banks not to enforce the mortgage.

      Sucks if you are prudent and believe in conservative economics, but good news if you believe that society (through austerity and making pensions worthless) should collectively bail out the get-rich-quick sociopaths.

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    • Anonymous says:

      So pray tell how will the economy bounce back with no tourism in place until probably next year some time. Where will we source other income? Government gets 7.5% on every deal done in Cayman..

      We better hope that real estate sales and construction come back and continue or many of us will be “Social Distancing” in the line at NAU.

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    • Anonymous says:

      You do realize if the market crashes many people will lose their homes.. no confidence in the economy will lead to lots of people out of work.

      • Anonymous says:

        And when that happens, the human vultures will be circling, ready to pounce on an easy commission.

  23. Anonymous says:

    This is normalcy and recency bias, driven particularly by these “protections” on foreclosures and mortgages. We don’t yet understand the full scope of what has happened here and globally.

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  24. Anonymous says:

    Sorry, there won’t be anyone to be in a position to buy except the wealthy. Many of you will go out of business. Good luck

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  25. Anonymous says:

    I wonder how all those CIREBA agents are coping now that their cartel-protected 6% commissions aren’t rolling in the door without much effort on their part. I sincerely hope this is the end of CIREBA and their gouging of the population. Their price-fixing would 100% be criminal activity in any other country and the ringleaders would be imprisoned.

    The average agent commission in the UK is 1.4%. In the US it is 2%. Australia and NZ 2%. Switzerland it is 1.5%. And those agents manage far bigger geographical areas and need to know about schools and garbage collection, zoning and regulations and council taxes across dozens of dozens of parts of their jurisdiction.

    In Cayman’s red-hot market up until the present situation arose, CIREBA agents drove up and down seven mile beach unlocking front doors (and they were usually late anyway). The houses sold themselves and the agent’s often walked away with US$100,000 of the homeowner’s money.

    If you want to maximise the value of your home and help destroy the CIREBA pirates I strongly recommend using one of the non-CIREBA agents on island (there are plenty – do a google search). Or, better yet, sell it yourself on Ecay Trade. It takes about an hour of your time to take some photos, write a description and post an ad online and that hour will save you tens or perhaps hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    And before the CIREBA PR team starts, don’t listen to the BS about their magical MLS system. If this day and age Cayman listings are incredibly easy to find online through a google search. And don’t listen to the BS about maximising the sale price. I put my house on Ecay for $10k LESS than the market price and sold it in a weekend and I still made $12k more than I would have if I had sold it through an agent at market price because I didn’t have to pay the rip-off commission.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Genuinely curious – did you have to hire a lawyer for the legal aspects of the property transfer?

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      • Anonymous says:

        The buyer is the only one who
        might need a lawyer so still doesnt justify 6 or 7% commission if youre selling. All these agents are selling you is more exposure on MLS system which these days you can get on other social media. They really dont do anything else except try to look pretty and pretend they understand construction. They even tell you to get a professional valuation so they cant even advise on that part!

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      • Anonymous says:

        No you do not HAVE to. The transfer is as simple as filling out 1 form and paying the fee at Lands. Comparable to selling/buying a car – seller fills out the transfer form and hands it over when the funds are paid, buyer hands it in and pay the fee. Bingo, car/property now belongs to the buyer.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Gosh, wish it was that easy..try selling something when you still have a mortgage on your property and selling to someone else that has a mortgage is with a different bank from yours. This was a complete nightmare. Maybe if you are just paying cash and the other party doesn’t have a mortgage but I’m telling you it is not as easy as you say but then again I can’t afford to buy a home with cash only..not that rich yet..

      • Landowner says:

        You don’t need a lawyer to effect property transfer in the Cayman Islands. Go to the Land Registry counter in the Gov’t Admin. Building and ask for a Property Transfer Form. You only need to know the block and parcel number and, if appropriate the strata number; enter these on the form, the buyer and seller each sign with the signatures witnessed (NOT necessarily by a JP or Notary Public). Submit the form to the Land Registry for duty to be assessed. When notified, pay the duty and the land changes hands at that point. Who pays the duty and how you arrange payment is between buyer and seller.
        Unlike the Courts office, the Land Registry staff are very helpful and will guid you through the process.

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        • Anonymous says:

          I think this only works if you are paying cash. Most of us have mortgages and it is a lot more involved than that and with the banks particularly if you are buying from someone else that has a mortgage with another bank.

        • Anonymous says:

          Landowner, This only works for cash buyers.

          • Anonymous says:

            “Landowner” seems to have lots of cash and probably the same one looking for the market to crash so that he can buy up the foreclosures on the cheap all by himself…I don’t have that kind of cash sitting around…

      • Anonymous says:

        I sold my house USD 1million + by word of mouth (Didn’t want hundreds of low ball offers from ecay). I did use a lawyer for conveyance at a cost of USD 5,000 (brilliant help – did all the paperwork re stamp duty & exchanging contracts with buyer) – savings $55,000

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      • Anonymous says:

        You still have to do that anyway even if you use a CIREBA agent, they just have their standard CIREBA stitch up Sale and Purchase agreements.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Yes. It cost about $2,000 in legal fees for all the paperwork to cancel the mortgage etc.

        To put that into perspective, the lawyer’s fees were less than a tenth of the $22,000 commission the estate agent was going to charge.

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    • Anonymous says:

      In today’s fast-paced market?! You’re undervaluing your property!

      And that’s not all!

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    • Anonymous says:

      Average US commission is actually 5% (on average), not the 2% quoted above #fakenews

      https://www.statista.com/statistics/777612/average-commission-rate-realtors-usa/

  26. Anonymous says:

    “The decision by the banks for a 3-month mortgage holiday will safeguard all property values, he believes”

    He believes wrong. Prices have already dropped considerably in a short period of time.

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    • Anonymous says:

      How do you know that?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Curious to know what happens in month 4? Or can the bank keep pushing it off…. Seems like the bank will be bankrupt if this keeps up. Pensions to be paid right at the end of 3 months conveniently to keep the circus going.. Things will be interesting by Christmas!

  27. Anonymous says:

    It’s a great time to buy!

    33
    4
  28. Anonymous says:

    Speaking of which: how much are our “all-star team”/”president’s-circle”/”most powerful name” super-predation realtors contributing into the community R3 Fund? Crickets.

    71
    10
    • Anonymous says:

      Paying salaries of multiple staff for months with no income, and every reason to make people redundant but not doing so, and using resources to promote food banks and suppling them with good quietly and with no fanfare or publicity is a good place to start. What are you doing?

      23
      40
      • Anonymous says:

        LOL – Most realtors work on commission as they are considered “contract employees.” Are you suggesting the brokers are paying them commission on non-existent sales?

        29
        4
        • Anonymous says:

          Ummm, it is illegal for anyone to be employed on a commission only basis. It breaches the minimum wage law.

          8
          15
          • Anonymous says:

            If they are independent contractors, which all estate agents are, it is perfectly legal.

            13
            1
            • Anonymous says:

              No it is not. That would mean they would each have to have a Trade and Business license. Almost none of them do, and it is impossible if they are not Caymanian.

              2
              9
          • Anonymous says:

            Ok – brokers are paying their realtors minimum wage. Wow, that’s such a help to society.

        • Anonymous says:

          Actually some of the realtors pay the companies to work there and still are paying full whack during this time.

      • Anonymous says:

        Nonsense! They don’t even employ 90% of the agents, they make them sign contracts saying they are “independent consultants”. They don’t even get salaries and have to pay for their own advertising and business cards.

        CIREBA is very sensitive about its reputation. Understandably, since it is generally viewed as a predatory, price-gouging cartel that would be criminal almost anywhere else. Its sponsors are always very quick to counter any negative publicity and they go out of their way spin the organisation as community-friendly at every opportunity. I find it very, VERY difficult to believe that it would be “using resources to promote food banks and suppling them with good quietly and with no fanfare or publicity”. I have never known them to miss an opportunity for fanfare and publicity…except when they are trying to bury bad news like when the grand court ruled that their behaviour was illegal, or when they were found to have illegally deprived non-CIREBA agents of fair commissions….actually OK, I have never known them to miss an opportunity for POSITIVE fanfare and publicity to counter all the well-earned hatred and distrust…

        55
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        • Anonymous says:

          If what you say is true, that would make many real estate companies criminal enterprises. It is next to impossible for an expatriate to be both self employed an hold the requisite Trade and Business license.

          7
          3
          • Anonymous says:

            Yep, that’s what they’re saying. But real estate greases the right hands around here. Anyone remember who benefited the most out of the Ritz Carlton Residences sales?

            16
          • Anonymous says:

            You’re not from around here are you? If someone creates a money-printing machine there will be a line at the door of well-connected local officials offering to assist them with duty waivers, resource consents, unsecured loans and solutions to any regulatory “concerns” they might have. All they have to do in exchange is issue a few shares to a BVI trust and “remember who their friends are”.

            10
      • Anonymous says:

        They should all be made redundant. CIREBA is useless, all they want to do is fill their pockets from sales of homes. Ecay does a better job of advertising

        52
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        • Anonymous says:

          Real estate agents, the true money launderers and yet govt actually suggested they should provide due diligence on such. HILARIOUS!!

          13
          3
      • Sonia Starfish says:

        Thanks realtor

    • Anonymous says:

      Hey, they are EDGY, FRESH, AND PROFESSIONAL.

  29. So Long says:

    Who’s going to invest in property that cannot be visited? Bye bye real estate market and bye bye stamp duties.

    15
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    • Anonymous says:

      Plenty. I’m just curious as to the state of all those pools that the people who are crazy rich and own homes here but barely visit are doing. I’m sure you all have noticed an influx of mosquitoes.

      17
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    • Anonymous says:

      its bye-bye cayman economy generally..

      10
      4
      • Anonymous says:

        Same comment you made in 2004 post Ivan then again in 2008 post financial crisis. Both time Cayman came back even stronger.

        If you really think it’s bye-bye then bye-bye to you. You won’t be missed.

        12
        • Anonymous says:

          Oh, this is much, much worse than Ivan (where millions upon millions of insurance dollars poured in to rebuild the economy) and much worse than the financial crisis, too. Maybe we should say bye-bye to you because you seem to have your head stuck in the sand.

        • Anonymous says:

          Problem this time is that no insurance money will be coming in unlike in 2005 when millions came in. However, the big one could hit again in September. Atlantic waters are currently hottest they have ever been for May. Good reason for concern.

          Get your hurricane supplies now.

  30. Anonymous says:

    In 3 months we will be even worse off. It needs to be at least a 6 month break to help us out of this mess.

    22
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    • Anonymous says:

      Mortgage breaks should only be granted to one home per person and it has to be the place of principal residence.

  31. Anonymous says:

    So which is it.
    ‘There’s never been a better time to buy”
    or
    ‘There’s never been a better time to sell”

    24
    1
    • Anonymous says:

      Today: HOLD.

      In about 8 months: THERE WILL NEVER BE A BETTER TIME TO BUY.

      28
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      • Anonymous says:

        Exactly! I’ll bide my time and pick up a nice house on the cheap. Houses are like any other consumer good.

        14
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      • Anonymous says:

        Exactly. HOLD off any both as long as you can. Then I’m afraid it will be a buyers market.

      • Anonymous says:

        And if you bought last summer and saw a 20% increase in value pre-construction before all this happened? What am I supposed to do – hold for years and years because we’re heading for an extended period where there’s never been a better time to buy?

    • Anonymous says:

      Can’t sell if no buyers ..Buy if you want to be a part of the recovery solution.

      6
      2
    • Anonymous says:

      If you listen to a CIREBA member, they’ll tell you there’s never been a better time to buy or sell!

  32. Anonymous says:

    Let the market become more advantageous for the buyer. Regulate these entities that have sought to grab as much land as possible and capitalize on Cayman for the benefit of their own bank accounts as opposed to the development of the Caymanian people, their actions have led to Caymanians becoming squeezed out of the market in their own country as we bow down to foreign dollar. We need to keep an eye on these large development firms, Dart, Davenport, NCB all stand to make big grabs in the manner of disaster capitalism. I worry that Cayman will be all too willing to sell more and as this crisis eases in a year or so we will be left scratching our heads as to why these entities own and/or have developed so much without the consent of the general public. The gentrification train may, on the face of it, have stopped in these couple of months, but these entities like Williams2 etc stand to make big pushes with a longer term view to the gentrification of the entire country. We must demand regulatory legislation.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Or Caymanians can stop selling to foreign developers.

      26
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    • Anonymous says:

      let me guess your a Caymanian who has sold to a foreigner and reaped the sales proceeds some years ago.
      Subsequently seen your previous property value climb in value. And you now having sellers remorse.
      if Caymanians don’t want big business or any foreigner buying their land then simply stop selling it !
      And the last time I looked it was Caymanians who are on the planning board approving these development
      The hypocrisy is mind blowing
      You cant have it all ways

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  33. Anonymous says:

    I don’t have much sympathy for them. They treat our country like a commodity anyway so let them deal with the consequences of supply and demand economy

    29
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    • Anonymous says:

      When the price dips, buy. Then you can participate. It’s risky, and scary, and can reap rewards. Willing to make sacrifices to get in? Many of the same people you are now jealous of have. You can too.

      By the way, some of them have lost many millions in recent weeks. You know what they are going to do? Double down! Such is their faith and confidence in Cayman.

      15
      1
  34. Anonymous says:

    Honestly, let the market become more advantageous to the buyer. Let Caymanians have more of an option to attain an affordable quality home. Start regulating foreign property buyers and stop these real estate entities garnering so much property on this island and squeezing locals out of the property market. The gentrification has to stop or at least slow down and we need to have a serious look at who is going to own so much land after this. Dart and Davenport and NCB stand to make a killing off of shock doctrine disaster capitalism and in a year or two when this crisis recedes wheeewil the caymanian people be in terms of power to own the land in their own country?

    47
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  35. Anonymous says:

    Where have CIREBA been for the last two months? They have instilled zero percent confidence in the market. They should be working with all sectors government/tourism to come up with a plan – WHERE ARE THEY?

    34
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    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t shoot the messenger 8.32.
      The market is entirely dependent on buyers.
      CIREBA is not able to magic up a solution if there are no investors….just like the stock market.

      13
      1
    • Anonymous says:

      i don’t think you understand what CIREBA is for. They were created to ensure that agent fees remained around 4x what they should be and to drive property prices ever upwards.They don’t care about anyone or anything else, let alone working to come up with a “plan” unless it is a plan to invest all the huge commissions they’ve diverted from homeowners’ sale proceeds.

      45
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      • Anonymous says:

        How do realtors drive property prices upwards? A property is worth what a buyer will pay for it and what it is valued for by a registered property valuer. So are the Valuers as bad as the realtors? What about the banks who give the mortgages? Are they as bad?

        • Anonymous says:

          Yes, the bulls@@t they give out. Trouble is ill-informed buyers..believing what the agent says and not doing their research. If your paid on a percentage why would any agent acting for the buyer or seller want to talk the price down.

        • Alice says:

          a few valuers are as bad. But I have been told my a few of them of the abuse they get from realtors when they can not justify the sale price so the deal falls through. They are only protecting the banks interest.

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