Does your home in Vancouver need a new paint job? Is there a cracked window, a hollow-core door with a hole, or even a torn window or door screen?
If so, correcting those problems before you put your house on the market can save you dollars in the long run.
You might be able to paint the house for $1,000 – especially if you have some do-it-yourself skills. Buyers will assume that it will cost much more. If they're really interested in the house, they may even get a bid – and of course it will cost far more for a professional to do the job.
The same can be said for replacing a window, repairing a torn screen, replacing a faulty light fixture, or any of a hundred small things that detract from your home looking "move-in…
When you want your house in Greater Vancouver area to sell quickly, you must do two things:
1. Price the house correctly.
2. Avoid "Buyer turn-offs"
What are buyer turn-offs?
The ones most often mentioned by buyers are all easy to avoid.
Odors – whether it's a kitty litter box, cooking odors, or scented plug-ins, buyers will react negatively. They don't want to smell anything but fresh clean air when they view a home.
Dirt and clutter – Unless they're shopping for a low-priced fixer, buyers are apt to reject a house if it's dirty – anywhere. And it doesn't have to be dirty all over. A sink full of dirty dishes or a muddy back door can be the turn off.
Clutter, such as unmade beds, piles of laundry, and…
You've been doing business with your bank here in Vancouver for years. They know you. They may even have given you an auto loan. You feel that you should be able to trust them, and you might believe you should be loyal to them.
It might not be a good idea.
It's true that your bank might be the best source of a home loan for you, but chances are, it isn't.
Why? Because banks each have their own rules and regulations. And unless you fit their narrow parameters regarding qualifications, you won't get a loan no matter how many years you've been banking with them.
You might be loyal – but banks have no such feelings.
A mortgage broker, on the other hand, might have 20 or more different loan sources, so your chances of…
Vancouver housing market continues to see slightly elevated demand from home buyers, steady levels of supply from home sellers and incremental gains in home values depending on the area and property type.
The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver reports that residential property sales in Vancouver reached 3,061 on the MLS® in July 2014. This represents a 3.9 per cent increase compared to the 2,946 sales recorded in July 2013, and a 10.1 per cent decline compared to the 3,406 sales in June 2014.
"This is the fourth consecutive month that the Greater Vancouver market has exceeded 3,000 sales,” REBGV president-elect said. “Prior to this, our market had not surpassed the 3,000 sale mark since June of 2011.”
Many buyers, when searching for real estate in Vancouver, assume that a house that's been on the market longer than the average time has something wrong with it.
That could be true, but in many cases, the long days on the market have nothing to do with the house itself. Instead, it has everything to do with the price, the marketing, or the presentation.
Start with the price. Often owners of homes that are over-priced are more than willing to consider considerably lower offers, but won't let their agent change the offered price. So take a look, and if you like it, offer a price that you and your agent believe is fair market value. You might get a pleasant surprise.
The next factor is marketing. Some agents enter only one fuzzy photo…
New subdivisions are popping up all over Vancouver, and builders have their own agents available to help buyers make their choices between lots, floor plans, materials, appliances, and more.
But helping buyers isn't their primary function. Their primary function is to sell you on the home – at the highest price and with the best terms for the builder.
And that's why you should never visit a model home or talk with a builder's representative without your own agent. Even if you aren't sure this is the location for you, or aren't sure new construction is the right choice for you, take your agent.
If you register at a new subdivision site without your agent, you won't be able to bring him or her on board later, when it's time to…
When you're contemplating the purchase of a condo or a townhouse here in Vancouver you'll naturally look at the location, the floor plan, the condition, etc.
There's one more thing you should consider.
When you buy such a property you are essentially buying into a business – the homeowner's association.
So look at ALL the financials. Make sure the association is solvent. Find out if the association has a habit of increasing membership fees indiscriminately. Learn something about the leadership and how the organization operates.
Check with current residents to see if there are complaints over deferred maintenance or rules that are enforced only for some. And speaking of rules – be sure to read them in their entirety. When…
When you're in competition with other buyers for a Vancouver home you really want, consider writing a letter to accompany your offer. Tell them a little about yourself and about the people who will occupy the house with you. Tell them what it is about their house that you are most attracted to and how much you think you would enjoy living there.
Not long ago I read about a young woman who offered less than another bidder, but she won the house because she wrote about how much she loved the owner's rose garden. That garden happened to be the owner's pride and joy and she loved the idea of selling it to someone who would go on caring for it.
You don't need to write a long letter, just make it heartfelt. Some buyers also include a snapshot of…
You know the purchase of your new home in Vancouver is final when you are handed the keys.
But no, you shouldn't consider it final, and probably shouldn't move your valued possessions inside until you do one more thing: Get rid of those keys.
That's right – before you finish moving in, change the locks.
I'm not suggesting you should mistrust the sellers. They're not apt to come back and steal your belongings.
But the sellers aren't the only ones who have had access to those keys in the last few weeks – and possibly in the past few years. Did they leave a key with a neighbor when they were vacationing? Did they give a key to a service provider at some time in the past? Just because a key was returned doesn't mean it wasn't…
Trends in real estate change from year to year. Back in the 50's, many felt they could live quite well in a home with 2 or 3 bedrooms and perhaps 900 square feet.
Then people began thinking they needed more space. They decided that children shouldn't have to share bedrooms and that perhaps they needed a "family room" in addition to a living room – so the kids could entertain their guests separately. Homes became larger and larger. Many families felt they "needed" at least 2,000 square feet, if not 3,000.
Now it seems the trend is moving back a bit, so that homes in the 1,200 to 1,600 square foot range are becoming more popular.
Of course, cost is an issue. First the cost of purchasing a larger home, then the cost of maintaining…