Real Estate Blog

Some home sellers here in Vancouver have told their agents not to show their homes during Christmas and New Year's weeks. They have company, the kids are home from school, or they simply want to relax and not worry about keeping the house in showing condition.   If they miss a buyer, that's OK. There will be another.   In addition, some listing agents have left town for a long vacation and failed to leave anyone in charge of scheduling showings, so their listings won't be seen during the holidays.   Some home buyers cease to look during these weeks for the same reasons. Finding a home is simply not the priority. And of course, some buyer agents have also decided to take time off – so their buyers are cast adrift.   Those home
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Before purchasing a home today, smart Vancouver buyers have a home inspection. The inspector alerts them to issues he or she can see or determine through testing, and then buyer and seller re-negotiate if there are structural or safety issues or if the inspector notes that something is of an age or condition where it might be expected to fail within a short time.   Can the inspector see and predict everything? No.   The reason appliances are sold with a 1 year manufacturer's warranty is because sometimes even brand new equipment is faulty. There are things going on with the interior mechanism that neither a homeowner nor an inspector can see or anticipate.   Are most new homeowners financially prepared to meet the cost of replacing a
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Some home sellers in Vancouver are led to believe that because their home is beautifully decorated, it doesn't need to be staged. Nothing could be farther from the truth.   It's true that staging usually involves de-cluttering and possibly even some fix-up or painting that a beautifully decorated home probably doesn’t need. Thus, people sometimes believe that only "tired," un-decorated, or vacant homes benefit from staging.   While stagers do make an interior space look beautiful, this is not their only function.   Stagers are trained to present a home to give it appeal to a wide variety of buyers. Thus, the decorating they do is "neutral," rather than a reflection of the occupant's personal taste and style. The furnishings are chosen…
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If you have a home in Vancouver to sell, you might be toying with the idea of selling it "For Sale by Owner." After all, if you list with an agent you'll have to pay a commission, and you'd rather keep that money for yourself.   That's tempting, of course, but there are many reasons to list your home instead:  
  • Getting the price right is difficult. You don't have access to actual sold prices, or the seller concessions that might have been granted, and you haven't actually seen inside the houses you might be using as a comparison when pricing your own home. 
  • "By owner" sellers quickly learn that being available every time someone wants to see the house isn't all that much fun. They can't even take a week-end off and go out of town,
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Home sales in Vancouver housing market continue to outpace long-term averages for this time of year. The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver reports that residential property sales in Vancouver reached 3,057 on the MLS in October 2014. This represents a 14.9 per cent increase compared to the 2,661 sales in October 2013, and a 4.6 per cent increase over the 2,922 sales in September 2014.   Last month’s sales were 16.6 per cent above the 10-year sales average for October. “We’ve seen strong and consistent demand from home buyers in Metro Vancouver throughout this year. This has led to steady increases in home prices of between four and eight per cent depending on the property,” said REBGV president Ray Harris.   New listings for detached,…
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The holiday season is closing in, and that means that a great number of potential home sellers will either wait to list their homes or take their currently "for sale" Vancouver homes off the market until January.   And that is reason #1 why serious home sellers should list now: For the next two months, your home will have less competition.   In some markets sellers have been led to believe that "nobody shops for a home during the holidays," so "Why should they bother with being on the market?"   Even if yours is a "hot market" during the holidays, many sellers simply don't want to be bothered with keeping their homes in show-ready condition. They'd rather concentrate on cooking, shopping, and entertaining.   In addition, some…
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Today most home buyers begin their search for a home in Vancouver on the Internet. That's a good idea – but only to give you an idea of what's out there.    The Internet can only give you information that the listing agent has provided, and the sad truth is that not all agents take the time and trouble to post good photographs and write full descriptions.   Some only post one photo – and that might have been taken from their car, with their cell phone. Some only give the bare facts about a house – such as the number of bedrooms and baths and the square footage. If there happens to be a special feature that you've been searching for, you'd never know it.   So beware. If you're a buyer and you limit your search to the homes that appeal…
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A garage supplies that extra space that so many home buyers need. Along with its original function as a place to park a vehicle and perhaps store seasonal items, garages now function as workshops, hobby rooms, home gyms, or even home offices.   So instead of storing all those packing boxes in the garage, rent a storage unit and make the garage look just as spacious and appealing as the house.   Let your potential buyers see the possibilities the garage offers for expanding your home's living space.   If your garage has become a "dumping ground" clean it out. Put the items you'll need later in that storage unit with the household items you removed for staging or packed in anticipation of moving. Then clean, paint, and organize. Remember…
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Savvy home sellers in Vancouver always dress up the front of the house before putting it on the market. They give the front door and the door trim a new coat of paint, pull the weeds, keep the lawn mowed, clean oil spots off the driveway, and in general attempt to create a "Wow" effect.   This is a smart move, because we humans usually see what we expect to see. If the exterior is in prime condition, we'll expect the interior to be the same, so might not even notice small flaws. Conversely, if the outside is run down, we'll expect to see the same inside – and we will see faults, even if everything is clean and tidy.   But is this always true? Does the outside always reflect the condition inside?   No.   I once showed a home that…
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Some Vancouver home sellers have been known to reject an offer without the courtesy of a response when they felt the offer was so low as to be insulting.   Some Vancouver home buyers have refrained from making an offer at what they considered to be fair market value because it was so far below the list price that they were afraid the sellers would be insulted.   In both cases, that's a shame, because an offer is nothing more than a starting point to negotiations.   Vancouver home sellers do need to realize that very few people will pay more than fair market value, so if offers are coming in low they need to take a hard look at their price and see if it is reasonable. Rather than be insulted by a low offer, they should realize that…
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