I am writing to thank you for all of your fine work in helping
me sell my house in Victoria. Specifically, I am most grateful for
your intelligent and patient advice regarding setting the price
and finally in accepting a deal. Not once did I feel that you were
pushing me in any direction. You respectfully gave me the information
I needed to make a decision and then you acted on the decision.
Your background as a lawyer is evident in the careful method
that you used to complete the sale of the home. Every "T"
was crossed and every "I" dotted… nothing was left
undone! Your advertising methods attracted a lot of attention and
the materials that you prepared showed the house to its best advantage.
And they gave prospective buyers a true sense of the house by being
able to see the floor plan and dimensions. It was an added bonus
that I have not seen done often and it sets your work apart from
Finally, let me acknowledge that this was a house sale that
was complicated by the fact that I live in Ottawa, three time zones
away and work in a very busy job and am often difficult to get in
touch with. It did not phase you and you were able to adapt to my
needs by communicating in email which was very much appreciated.
And you kept me up-to-date on all of the activity and feedback on
the house even though I was far away. I depended on you to keep
a connection and you did it.
Hal, please consider this an unqualified recommendation. You
are great at what you do and I have very much enjoyed working with
All the best,
Sharon Manson-Singer, PhD
We are writing to thank you for handling both the sale of our old
home and the purchase of our new home. Your patience, professional
approach and dedication made our real estate experience an extremely
positive one. Throughout the entire process of selling and buying,
your background as a real estate lawyer and as someone who has bought
and renovated many homes in Victoria was invaluable. We knew we
were in excellent hands.
When we originally called you, we were seriously considering renovating
our existing home. In addition to preparing a market evaluation
of our existng home, you provided us with a cost benefit analysis
of renovating as opposed to buying a different home. Your analysis
was very helpful in our decision making.
After we made the decision to sell our home, you went through our
home and suggested practical and inexpensive ways we could present
our home at its best. We implemented your suggestions, including
putting many pieces of furniture in storage to give our home more
Within the first few days of listing our home, you had our home
advertised in both the Real Estate Victoria and the Times Colonist,
had your Newport office tour through our home and held an Open House.
Your marketing campaign resulted in our receiving and accepting
an excellent Offer within a week of you exposing our home to the
On the buying side, the home-finding system that you set up for
us was great. When new listings came on the market, we were always
among the first people to see them. You showed us many homes and
you always gave us your honest assessment of each. We never felt
pressured, but rather felt that you genuinely wanted us to find
a home where we would be happy.
You showed us the home we bought within a few hours of it coming
on the market. A few hours later, you had prepared an offer for
us, presented it and had it accepted by the Sellers.
Thank you for making our home selling and buying such a positive
experience. We have no plans to sell our home, but when it is time,
rest assured that we will contact you.
We highly recommend you to anyone seeking an excellent real estate
agent in Victoria.
Thank you, Hal.
-Neil Paterson and Alix Freiberger
My partner and I, for several reasons enjoy going to Open Houses. We have seen many Realtors over the years represent their clients without having the client’s best interest in mind. When we first met Hal Decter at an Open House we were immediately impressed with his professional manner and ease in which he handled the people at his “Open”. We chatted with him for a few minutes and knew he was going to be a “fresh face” in the Real Estate Industry. We eventually saw him again and our second contact with him confirmed that he is a True Professional.
When the time came to sell our house we did not hesitate to call Hal up and offer him our business. We were confident that as sellers, he would have our best interest in mind and would represent us well. When I called Hal to offer him my business he recalled meeting us and he remembered our names! I was very impressed as I had only seen him twice.
During the selling period he was a pleasure to work with. I enjoyed meeting and working with him on each and every occasion. I was confident that he was working for us at all times. Thanks to Hal, our house sold very quickly and for top dollar.
As the closing date came closer, circumstances took both us away from Victoria. Hal was in constant contact with us as we were both in other parts of Canada. He provided us with invaluable knowledge and expertise with all of our closing issues that occurred. I am not sure what we would have done without Hal! I was thankful that we had met him and chosen him to be our realtor as he went above and beyond on many occasions. He made the selling of our house as painless as possible. If I was to return to Victoria, I would not hesitate to use him again to purchase and I highly recommend him to anyone interested in selling.
I believe what sets Hal apart from the other realtors that I have met is his honesty, true dedication to his client’s interest and his knowledge of the Real Estate Industry.
Thank you Hal for an exceptional job.
On behalf of all my siblings, I want to thank you for your tremendous support during the past few months, as we went through the long process of cleaning up and preparing the family home for sale. You proved to be far more than a real estate agent, and we are grateful for all the ways in which you so willingly helped us through this difficult process.
The things that will stick in our minds include the offer of the services of the interior designer; your help with selling, and finding homes for, some of the things in the house; your suggestions for what should be done to prepare the house for market, and then your suggestions of trades (plumbing, electrical, cleaning, painting) to carry out that work. All of the trades you recommended turned out to be first rate, and by the time they were done, the house looked so good that we were having second thoughts about selling it!
Your commitment, enthusiasm, care and professionalism during the sale process itself were without compromise. Your pricing was bang on; your commitment to getting exposure for the house was amazing, and the fact that we were able to sell the house quickly, and at a very reasonable price, attest to your skill and dedication.
Your willingness to go the extra mile for us, on the many things that were difficult for us to attend to personally because most of us lived outside Victoria, made a huge difference. We will forever be grateful to you for all of that and more.
I have known Hal Decter for at least twenty years, initially
as a lawyer with a major Calgary law firm. Hal left Calgary and
moved to Vancouver Island in the early 1990s.
Friends of Judy and mine asked us last year if we knew of
anyone in the real estate business on Vancouver Island as they were
interested in acquiring a second home. I did not hesitate to put
them in touch with Hal who did assist them in finding and purchasing
a property. Our friends were very pleased and impressed with the
thorough, knowledgeable and professional manner in which Hal assisted
them in this process and commented many times how pleased they were
that we had put them in touch with Hal.
As it turned out, Judy and I decided to have a look around
Victoria late last year for a second home, and enlisted the assistance
of Hal. We quickly understood why our friends had raved at the care,
consideration and professional way that Hal conducted himself. We
also acquired a property through Hal, who assisted in so many ways
and still continues to provide helpful solutions to our absentee
Judy and I would highly recommend anyone wanting to buy or
sell property on Vancouver Island to get in touch with Hal. His
professionalism and experience make him a real asset to anyone looking
to purchase or sell property.
Laura and I are writing to thank you for helping us to purchase
our home in Victoria. Buying a home for our young family in Canada,
in advance of relocating from California, seemed daunting. Without
the benefit of time or local knowledge, we were concerned about
our ability to make the right choices and decisions on a transaction
of such financial and personal magnitude. Our main source of anxiety
was that we didn’t know anyone locally that we could trust to help
us. And then we met you. At our first meeting we were impressed
by the time you spent trying to understand who we were, what our
goals were, and what we wanted in a home.
Your knowledge, resourcefulness and professionalism were incredible.
This was serious business and we were in a foreign country. You
took the time to explain the details of the local market, the neighborhoods,
all of the documents and many other pieces of information as they
became relevant. Your real estate law experience, your real estate
investment experience and your experience as a real estate agent
provided us with an incredible resource. And although you never
lost your professionalism, you made our experience personal.
You were generous with your time and respectful of ours. You were
flexible. You found babysitters for our children, made yourself
available to our schedule, and responded heroically to our sense
of urgency. You went beyond the call of duty.
Most importantly, you earned our trust. You operated with honesty
and integrity. You are a true gentleman and a trustworthy person.
Honorable is the adjective that comes to mind when we think of you.
If we sell or buy again in Victoria we plan to use you. We will
recommend you to anyone seeking a real estate agent in Victoria.
Thank you, Hal.
-John Siletto and Laura Cohen
We love our new home in Sidney by the Sea! Your professional
support and advice made our house hunting and purchase an absolute
You are the consummate professional realtor and we have no
hesitation in recommending you to anyone buying or selling a home.
Your attention to detail, thoughtfulness, and wisdom made the whole
Thank you once again.
All the best,
Dr. Esther & Jerry Segal
Hal’s dedication to his customers is unparalleled; he tirelessly researches the market to find the home that will fit the needs of his clients. Hal differs from many other realtors in the sense that he understands the market from the customer’s perspective having bought, sold, and renovated many houses himself over the years. In addition, with his legal background, Hal knows how a contract should be structured to ensure that his clients’ interests are protected.
Hal is extremely diligent when it comes to knowing about available properties. We often would receive a call or an e-mail from Hal as soon as a new house that fit our needs appeared on the market.
Hal was devoted throughout the entire process. Even after we had signed the contract for the house and provided the deposit, Hal was still providing us “To Do” lists on what needed to be done before closing. We really appreciated his commitment and perseverance until the end.
Hal not only made our house-hunting in Victoria a pleasure, he also
helped guarantee the smooth transition in our move from Montreal.
-Jonathan Zack and Melanie Asselin
As a client of Hal Decter, I would highly recommend him to anyone looking for, or trying to sell real estate in the Greater Victoria area.
Hal spent the better part of six months helping us find the perfect condo in Sidney-by-the-Sea. I suspect we were "high maintenance" clients; yet Hal was extremely patient with us. He listened carefully to our needs. And he spent a tremendous amount of time explaining the Island market to us. And then he found us exactly what we wanted, but not without a lot of diligent effort on his part.
And even after the offer to purchase was accepted, he continued to advise us on matters which would have to be attended to prior to closing.
Like a lot of people, I've bought and sold a number of homes over the course of my lifetime, but I have never had a realtor who was as conscientious as Hal.
Hal is also uniquely qualified in that he had a busy real estate practice as a partner in one of Canada's leading law firms. And although he's very careful not to give legal advice, he is able to readily identify legal issues which must be addressed. He also has a very good network of professionals who can provide real estate-related services and/or advice: home inspectors, lawyers, bankers and mortgage brokers and even other Realtors with whom Hal has a great reputation.
In a word, Hal is an outstanding realtor. I'd go to him again in a heartbeat.
-Brian O'Ferrall, Q.C.
Over the years, I have purchased a few houses as I lived, worked and played across Canada. Some of the home buying experiences have been good, one experience was bad. Mostly, the quality of the experience of purchasing a home has been largely influenced by the quality of the Real Estate agent that provided assistance.
As a result of your assistance in our recent purchase of a home here in Victoria, we wouldn’t categorize the experience an either good or bad… we would have to say it was actually FUN! We really appreciated the way in which you responded to and handled our disorganized approach to finding and buying a place while we were distracted during busy times at work.
We would like to thank you for the knowledgeable and friendly manner in which you introduced us to the secrets of the Victoria housing market. Also, by sharing your own knowledge and experiences of home renovations, you helped us to feel comfortable and at ease in our deliberations and decisions regarding the properties that we were looking at.
You can be assured that we will be offering your name to anyone we know looking for the assistance of a good (and FUN) Real Estate agent.
Cynthia Des Brisay
Recently, I had the occasion to work with Hal Decter in selling my
house at 396 King George Terrace in Oak Bay. Hal had worked in real
estate law for many years before he became a real estate agent and
his skill and knowledge of the business were evident from signing
the listing contract to signing the final papers.
Hal paid attention to every detail and made sure that everything
was in order as the listing progressed. Hal was more than willing
to have as many open houses as I wanted. He was available to show
the house whenever there was an interested party.
He is very skilled at advertising, his write ups on the house were
articulate and interesting. He constantly kept me updated on the
results of the open houses and he phoned every agent who showed
the house to get their feedback.
Hal has bought, renovated and sold many houses in the Victoria
area and he knows the market and what needs to be done to get top
dollar for the property he is listing.
I would highly recommend Hal to list any property in Victoria. Hal's
skill, professional demeanour, intelligence and perseverance are
an asset to the real estate market.
Thank-you for helping us purchase a condominium for my parents. Your
familiarity with the area and knowledge of the process was extremely
helpful. You were also very patient with and accommodating to our
special criteria and busy schedule. You took the time to listen to
our requirements, helped us to refine them and explained the procedure
during the purchasing process. Your background in law was especially
helpful in negotiating the complex process of purchasing a condominium.
You struck a good balance between keeping us informed of what was
happening and what we needed to do without overwhelming us with too
much information. I hope we will get to work together again in the
future. We will definitely recommend you to anyone we know who is
looking for a real estate agent.
-Tanya and Hatem El Lakany, Victoria
We were living in Los Angeles and considering moving to Canada. A
cousin of ours in Victoria recommended Hal Decter to us. Hal contacted
us, listened to our wish list and began sending us daily updates of
all the homes that fit our needs.
When we were able to get to Victoria for a week in late July, Hal
“introduced” us to a number of neighbourhoods that were
perfect for us.
Once we found the home we fell in love with (which was the first
one that Hal showed us), Hal’s experience as a real estate
lawyer proved to be very valuable during the offer and negotiation
process. He clearly explained our options throughout the process
and made sure that we understood the effect of each course of action.
We had no doubt that our interests were well protected. Because
of his legal background, Hal was able to easily answer all of our
questions (being first time buyers, we had a lot of questions).
Apart from the “edge” that Hal’s legal experience
gave us, Hal’s experience with renovations was a great help
when it came to looking at the houses themselves. He was able to
point out each home’s weaknesses and strengths and, more importantly,
each home’s potential.
Hal is professional, caring and hard working.
We would highly recommend Hal to anyone thinking of buying or selling
We would be pleased to speak directly to anyone considering using
Hal as their real estate consultant.
-Sue Volpe and Kevin Bub