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Lindsay Day – 2 Years Later and Buziak’s Murder Still Unsolved

Lindsay Buziak: Still No Arrests In Murder Case

As long as I write this blog, I’m certain to never forget that two years ago today, February 2nd, is the day that Lindsay Buziak, a 24 year old real estate agent from Victoria, was murdered in the house she was showing to prospective buyers.

In the month or so before the anniversary of her death, searches for “Lindsay Buziak” and related keywords surrounding the case show up with increasing frequency on my blog stats because of what I wrote the days after the murder and on the one-year anniversary in 2009.

It’s only natural I guess – people scouring the Internet for information on the case: clues, speculation or rumours. I’d like to think that some of the traffic is law enforcement, hoping that somebody somewhere has posted a new tip or clue about the case.

Because it’s ridiculous that the police have next to nothing to go on. She was killed in the early evening in a residential neighbourhood where people would be getting home from work. Somebody saw something. Somebody knows something that will lead to an arrest. Saanich Police concede that she was intentionally targeted and that the murder was planned many weeks in advance. You can’t plan something like that and have no one know about it.

“Lindsay was intentionally targeted, she was intentionally lured to the home and she was intentionally killed.” – Saanich Police spokeswoman Sgt. Julie Fast.

Lindsay’s family has announced a reward of $100,000 for information leading to an arrest. The Victoria Real Estate Board and the Canadian Real Estate Association have each contributed $25,000 to the reward pool, in a show of support. What happened to Lindsay, while not a direct result of her profession, could happen to any of us in real estate. All too often we get complacent in the chase for another deal. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t do it – listen to your instincts.

I really hope I never have to write another Lindsay Day post on this blog. Please, if you know anything about this case, no matter how small it may seem, call the Saanich Police tip line at 250-475-4356.

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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Tim Ayres at NAR 2009 Conference in San Diego with VREB [Video]

We arrived today in San Diego for the NAR (National Association of REALTORS®) Conference 2009. There will be approximately 20,000 delegates from all over the world at the convention, which is bound to be exciting, fun, and informative.

I am here as part of the delegation from the Victoria Real Estate Board. I am a director on the board, and we are here to represent our board and to attend conference sessions and the trade show on behalf of the membership. When we return, we will be reporting on the sessions we attended and posting them to REALTORlink, and using what we’ve learned to plan the future direction of our board. Here is a quick video I shot this afternoon. I hope to shoot several videos each day and post the content nightly to the blog.

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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First Time Buyer Friday #5 – Do I Need A REALTOR®?

In my continuing series, First-Time-Buyer Fridays, I answer a common question from a first-time buyer. If you have a question to submit, first-time-buyer or experienced investor, put one in the comments below, or fire me an e-mail at Tim@TimAyres.ca.

The right agent can make all the difference.

The right agent can make all the difference.

Q. I can search the MLS® myself, go around to open houses myself, and call the number on the sign or ad of any home I want to look at, so why should I work with a REALTOR®?

A. While it’s true that you can do all of the above, it’s really worth your while to find a dedicated agent to work with. The role of an agent has changed drastically in the last few years. In the past, an agent would be the sole source of information on properties for sale, using a paper-based MLS catalogue. However, in today’s world, with property information available 24/7 on the Internet and in real estate publications, real estate agents are no longer the gatekeepers of all the information on real estate (although some would still like to believe that they are).

Before, all agents were assumed to be working for the seller; buyers were offered very little in the way of agency representation. Even the REALTOR® that would take you around in the back of his or her car and write offers on your behalf was technically working for the seller, with no direct legal responsibility to look after the buyer’s best interests. Today, there are agents that work only with buyers. An agent working with a buyer now works directly for that buyer and has the legal obligation to protect that buyer’s interests.

Working with an agent today is about convenience and care. If you see 4 or 5 houses you want to look at, rather than waiting around for 4 or 5 agents to call you back, you make one call to your  dedicated agent who will organize the listings in a logical showing sequence and book all the appointments for you. All you need to do is show up and check out the homes.In most areas, including Victoria and Sooke, a REALTOR® can also set up a personalized client account which will send you the most current listings, and will notify you of price changes for the type of property you are looking to buy. The private client accounts have much more information than you can find on the consumer-oriented real estate search portals like REALTOR.ca.

An agent also looks at things objectively, pointing out practical things you might have missed while being distracted by the stainless steel appliances! Over time, an experienced agent gives a wealth of information about the city in which he or she works. He or she will know which condos are the best, which buildings have problems, where the best pubs and cafes are.

An agent looks after your best interests. He or she will ensure your rights, needs, and wants are reflected accurately in the purchase agreement, and that the contract is legally enforceable. A good agent will pull up recent comparable sales to ensure you’re paying a fair price. A REALTOR® will help you take care of the details of closing, and can refer you to other trusted professionals you’ll need along the way like a lawyer or notary for conveyancing, home inspector, tradespeople, and so 0n.

Also, by working with an agent, you’ll get to know him or her and develop a long-lasting working relationship that continues after the sale in the years to come. He or she will get to know you and anticipate your needs and wants, and won’t waste your time showing you properties that you won’t like.

Some people believe that by working directly with the listing agent they’ll be able to get a better deal, but generally, this is a misconception. While REALTORS® are legally able to work with both a buyer and  a seller, if both consent, that agent already has a close working relationship with the seller  and is unlikely to give you a better deal, because he or she is already looking after the seller’s best interests and has a legal duty to the seller to obtain the best deal possible.

Finally, working with a REALTOR® to find your first home costs you nothing. A buyer’s agent is paid by the seller of the property you buy. You’ll appreciate the guidance and support of an experienced REALTOR®, who has helped dozens or even hundreds of people just like you get into their very first home.

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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UPDATED FEB 3 2009 – Lindsay Buziak Murder – 1 Year Later and Still No Arrest

Lindsay Buziak

Lindsay Buziak was killed one year ago today.

CLICK FOR UPDATE

A year ago tomorrow I wrote this post, which still stands as the most-viewed page on my blog. It was one year ago today that 24-year-old real estate agent Lindsay Buziak was murdered in a Gordon Head home she was showing in Saanich. The murder sent shockwaves through our relatively tight-knit real estate community, prompting calls for increased vigilance for agents when working with unknown buyers.

In fact, just a couple of days ago, I got an e-mail from the office detailing another agent’s account of a strange buyer that made him nervous. The whole thing felt uneasy from the beginning, and this agent did everything right. He had another agent call him three times during the showing, which made the “buyer” uneasy. The suspicious person kept trying to get the agent to lead, but the REALTOR® wouldn’t let the buyer get behind him. When they went to enter the house, the agent unlocked and opened the door to the vacant house, and quickly got out of the way to let the client enter first. The “client” then suddenly decided that he didn’t want to see the house after all, when the agent wouldn’t lead him into the house.

It’s a year to the day that the crime took place, and police are still actively investigating the file. According to the Times Colonist article published today, they’ve conducted nearly 1500 interviews, chased down over 750 tips, and executed some 30 search warrants looking for evidence.

Not surprisingly, when police don’t have an answer, the rumour mill takes over and doles out theories. There have been rumours of drug involvement, which the family has been quick to put down. There have been other theories about the Saanich Police Department being stalled by another police force, investigating a case connected to the murder. Saanich Police have theories about why she was murdered, but at this point won’t share them with the public.

The point is, somebody, somewhere knows what happened and isn’t talking. Lindsay’s family says they aren’t blaming the police, and that they realize an investigation like this is measured in years rather than weeks or months. Saanich Police need your help. If you know anything, or know of anyone who does, have them call the Saanich Police Department tip line at 250-475-4313, or Victoria Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or VictoriaCrimestoppers.com.

What are your thoughts on the case?

UPDATE – The Times Colonist has just reported that the Saanich Police Department has released a composite sketch of a possible suspect in the case. Details are still slim, but this represents the most information the public has seen about the case since it happened.

UPDATE 2: Here is the sketch:

Caucasian Woman, 35 to 45 Years Old, Short Blonde Hair

Caucasian Woman, 35 to 45 Years Old, Short Blonde Hair

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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Horrible MLS Photo Of The Day #302

December 31st, 2008

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Now, it’s nice to see what appears to be a rough-in for an additional bathroom, but I wouldn’t necessarily include it on the listing; it might scare some people off. Maybe as one of 15 or so photos, but there were only 5 or 6 on the listing in this case.

See all the usual suspects here.

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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Horrible MLS Photo Of The Day #301

December 30th, 2008

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This is just a boring shot of a corner of a room. It doesn’t add any value to the buyer, and even though listings have been dropping off in the last few months, there’s still a lot of product out there. Your marketing needs to be sharp as a tack, and photos need to give a reason to the buyer to look at your listing instead of one of the many others.

See all the usual suspects here.

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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Horrible MLS Photo Of The Day #300

December 29th, 2008

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One day I should go through all the 300 Horrible MLS Photos and see what percentage of them are bad bathroom shots. I’d be willing to bet at least half of them are. They are difficult because they are often the smallest rooms in the house and absolutely require a wide angle lens to shoot them.

See all the usual suspects here.

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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Horrible MLS Photo Of The Day #299

December 28th, 2008

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Laundry rooms are almost always too small for even a wide-angle lens, and usually are too messy to photograph anyway. I’d leave it out, especially when the laundry pair and the decor are in need of updating.

See all the usual suspects here.

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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Horrible MLS Photo Of The Day #298

December 27th, 2008

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Blurry, crooked and out of context because it’s too zoomed in. If not for the wine rack on top, it would be difficult to tell whether this was the kitchen or the laundry room. Take a few steps back and capture the whole room.

See all the usual suspects here.

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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Horrible MLS Photo Of The Day #297

December 26th, 2008

I hear Future Shop has TVs on sale for Boxing Day!

I hear Future Shop has TVs on sale for Boxing Day!

Shower of Power

Hope everyone had an awesome white Christmas Day yesterday and a tasty Christmas Dinner. Here is a pointless shot of a corner of a room. I really hope the REALTOR® wasn’t trying to emphasize that TV on the wall as being a selling feature!

See all the usual suspects here.

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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