If so, now is the time to prepare.
Both buyers and sellers should begin to study the market. Here in Vancouver, as in cities around the world, things have been changing. What you knew about the market a year ago may have no bearing on what's going on today.
So come to Vancouver Real Estate and look at homes in neighborhoods similar to the neighborhood where you want to buy or sell. Then look at homes of a similar size. See the listing prices – keeping in mind always that while they give you a good starting point, listed prices and sold prices may be very different.
If you plan to buy, order a copy of your credit report from each of the 3 major credit bureaus and check them for errors. Even FICO admits that 70% of all credit reports contain some kind of mistake. Yours might be something simple and unimportant, but it also might be something that damages your credit scores. So read it carefully, and if there are mistakes, contact the credit reporting bureau and get it corrected.
Why check with all three bureaus? Because they don't all have the same information. Because it costs money to report, some companies report to only one bureau.
If you plan to sell, start looking at your house and thinking about what you can do to give it the most appeal. De-clutter by clearing out things you don't need and won't use. Get some packing crates and load them up with things that will either go into storage, into a huge yard sale, or to a worthy non-profit organization that can sell them.
Next, repair all those little annoying things that you've learned to live with – like the door that squeaks or the light fixture that won't come on. If your walls are tired, repaint, remembering to use a neutral color that will appeal to the most possible buyers. Decorators say that for 2015, gray, in its many shades, is the "in" neutral.
As you're getting closer, give me a call and I'll be glad to share my seller's checklist of often overlooked details that can prevent you from getting top dollar for your house.
Meanwhile, I wish you a joyful, healthy, prosperous New Year!