Real Estate Blog

There are currently 53 blog entries related to this category.

When you make the decision to sell your Vancouver home, the impulse is to get it on the market right away. But that can be a costly mistake.   Instead, carefully choose a listing agent and come to an agreement on the listing price. When you choose an agent who is familiar with the market in your neighborhood, he or she will be able to show you the recent sold prices of homes nearby and will be able to tell you how they compare with yours.   Remember, it doesn't matter what the house next door sold for last year. All that counts is what has sold in the past several weeks.   Then, before the first buyer or buyer's agent pulls up outside, do what the old folks used to call "Spring Cleaning."   Make everything from the ceilings to the…
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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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Home sellers here in Vancouver are often tempted to list their homes at a price considerably over their agent's recommendation. They want to "test the market" and just see if there isn't someone out there who will love it enough to pay more than buyers have been paying for similar homes.   They say "We're not in a hurry, so let's just try this and if it doesn't work we can lower the price."   Here's why that's a poor idea…   When a new listing comes on the market it gets the most attention it will ever get in the first couple of weeks. Agents who are searching for homes for specific buyers eagerly check out each new offering in hopes of finding "the one." Buyers who are searching without an agent do the same.   If a home is too far…
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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…
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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…
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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…
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With growing competition for well-appointed, properly priced homes in Vancouver, buyers who want to "win" must be ready to take action quickly.   That includes becoming pre-approved for a mortgage loan before you begin the search. You'll know your spending limit and any restrictions on the home you can choose. You won't waste time on homes that clearly won't work. It also includes being willing to drop everything and view a new listing if your agent calls and says "I think I've found it".   And then, of course, it means making the decision and writing the offer before "the perfect home" is under contract to someone else.   We're hearing the story repeated again and again – buyers see the house they love and decide to think about it…
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Should you keep your home on the market during the holiday season? Of course it's up to you, but do remember that those who are looking at homes instead of doing "holiday things" are likely to be serious buyers. In fact, they may be out of area buyers who need to find a home during their children's school holiday.   It is a bother - trying to keep the house in showing condition while you're doing all the other holiday preparations.   That said, if you decide to stay with it, think about how you decorate, and do take precautions.   Decorating should be pretty, tasteful, and not overwhelming. You still want buyers to see the house and notice all its fine benefits and features. So don't go overboard.   Safety: I've warned you before…
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Part of buying or selling a home in Vancouver is the price negotiation. Part of strong negotiation is the willingness to walk away – whether it's true or not.   That means it's in your best interests that the "other side" in your transaction doesn't know just how motivated you are.   Buyers who walk into a home and say: "I love this. I have to have this home," when the seller or the listing agent is present have just given away their negotiating power. But it can also be lost in more subtle ways.   For instance, they might ask why you're moving or how soon you need to be moved. The answer to either question can indicate how anxious you are to come to agreement and get the transaction closed.   We've been hearing lately about…
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