Buying a new pair of shoes is relatively easy. Once you find the style you like, all you need to do is try them on and see if they fit. If they do, you go to the cash register and pay.


When it comes to size, buying a new home can be trickier! Whether your intention is to upsize or downsize, figuring out the right size can be especially challenging.


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1. They charge upfront (in most cases thousands). Agents don’t. When it comes down to it, listing with an agent shouldn’t cost you a cent. I know you probably read that a few times. Agents don’t charge upfront, we only charge when results are provided. This gives you an advantage in more than one way. On the other hand I have heard of individuals paying upwards of $2,000 upfront just for a sign and a spot on a website, only to end up having their house listed and sold by an agent.

2. They aren’t held to any code of ethics. Real estate agents across Canada are held to a strict code of ethics by CREA. They take the liability if something goes wrong. They are also held to higher standards in advertising and they have duties to you as a client.

3. Just because you’re a real estate professional does not mean you’re rich or overpaid. This has been the fuel for many slanderous ad campaigns released by popular for sale by owner websites over the years. The truth of the matter is, if it was that easy and they got paid a “small fortune” to sell a house, everyone would get into the business. Selling homes is hard work. Agents often find themselves working for free and hoping to receive a commission. Consider this situation: A buyer has his agent show him 30 houses over the course a month. The agent spends hours of his time to assist the buyer. The buyer decides not to buy. The agent has worked for free and lost money on expenses. This is a common situation.

4. They can’t put your home on the MLS system. This system was built by Realtors for Realtors. No one is allowed to list a property on it unless they have a license to trade in real estate. These websites will just refer you to an agent (how ironic), often one from the other side of the country, to put your home on the MLS and nothing else. In most cases the listing won’t even be on your local MLS board, making it sometimes hard to find.

5. They actually petition agents to sell their houses. After years of bashing the profession, certain for sale by owner websites are now calling on agents to come to their rescue, so they can take credit for selling homes. Tell me another business model where you ask your competition to do the work for you. This is really an admission of one thing – serious buyers go to an agent. Why? Because it will cost you nothing to buy through an agent.

6. They don’t have a real estate license. This is something a lot of people do not realize. These so called “private sale” websites are just that. They are not licensed to trade in real estate or to give you real estate advice. They can’t even advise you on how to price your property because doing this would fall under an agency relationship and would be considered trading in real estate. That requires a license. These parameters are set in place to protect you, the consumer.

7. You pay them so you can do all the work. Since these companies are not licensed to trade in real estate they are not permitted to represent you in a real estate transaction. This means they can’t answer buyer inquiries for you, show your home, host open houses, handle paper work, mediate negotiations, advise you on market conditions...and the list goes on and on.

8. Privates sales carry a stigma and uncertainties that make buyers uncomfortable. Ever gone to view a private sale as a buyer? Then you know it can be extremely uncomfortable and limiting to view someone’s house with them in it. It can be even more uncomfortable to negotiate with them. On top of all this, private sales beg the question, why didn’t they use an agent? Is there something wrong with the house? If they are trying to cut costs now, did they cut costs/corners with repairs?

9.Agents don’t hate for sale by owners. These companies would have you believe that agents think FSBOs are ignorant. This isn’t the case. We get why you would want to go this route. It can be done, but just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should. Like many DIY projects you are putting yourself at risk. In this case you are taking a risk with the biggest investment of your life. It will not be an easy process. In the end, in today’s buyers’ markets you need an agent who will work tirelessly for you to get your home noticed above the thousands of others on the market. Just remember that limited service will always equal limited results and if it seems too good to be true, it is more times than not.
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People are willing to spend more for smart home tech, and as such, real estate agents need to be well-versed in things like smart thermostats,  leak detection sensors and home security trends.


IoT, or the “Internet of Things,” is bringing some amazing trends to pass.  The platform involves connected devices of all kinds. A great example of this is smart home technology.


As a homeowner, you might think this technology is beyond your needs.  Not only that, you might think there’s little to no use for it.  However, smart home technology and IoT may make it easier to sell homes and real estate, especially to younger audiences. A recent survey revealed that 86 percent of millennials are willing to spend more money to rent a place with smart home technology already implemented.  If they’re willing to spend more on rent, it stands to reason they’re willing to spend more for a home purchase.


That same survey found 65 percent of baby boomers are willing to spend more to rent a place with smart home technology. Although that number is significantly less, it’s still pretty substantial. If anything, it shows that smart home technology is quite popular these days. So popular, in fact, that 80 million smart home devices were delivered globally in 2016, which is a 64 percent increase from the prior year. Those numbers are expected to continue climbing well into 2017. Considering those stats, now is the time to get on board with IoT and smart home technology.


But what are the most viable trends that you should be on the lookout for? What technology is in high demand from homebuyers? More importantly, how will it help you make a sale faster and move some homes?


1. Leak Detection Sensors

Fire alarms, smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, radon detectors, moisture detectors — these are all devices that help you keep the home environment safe. There are even air quality devices that measure the air inside a home and identify dangerous toxins.


Why is any of this important? Because we all need to feel safe at home.  Smart technology that can handle this kind of monitoring, also helps us.


Perhaps the most useful of these devices is the smart leak detection sensor. They monitor the plumbing in your home and walls to ensure there are no major leaks or malfunctions. This can help you prevent serious water damage or the buildup of mold and mildew inside your walls from a slow leak. This could be a game-changer for those older homes with lots of character, which can be a crapshoot in terms of dependability.


For example, is there central heating and cooling? Is the plumbing outdated or worn down? What other elements of the home need to be updated?


Installing smart leak detectors in new and older homes can waylay some of this worry.


2. Connected Thermostats

For homeowners, energy consumption is a big deal. The more power and energy you use, the higher your electric bill is going to be.


You constantly have to manage how much energy you’re using, and that involves monitoring several different aspects of your home, including lighting usage and air conditioning reliance.


Connected or smart thermostats can help alleviate this problem by conserving energy over time. They are much more advanced than simple, programmable thermostats.


They will learn your habits and preferences and can even detect your presence. This allows for scenarios like leaving the air off while you’re not home and letting it auto-adjust to a comfortable temperature when you’re on your way.

Smart thermostats can help you sell a property, especially if you drive home the idea that they offer cost savings and better energy efficiency. Not to mention, something like the Nest thermostat can double as a central hub to interface with and control other smart home products.


3. Smart Garage Doors

Have you ever left home and realized you left your garage door is wide open? With a traditional door, you must return home to close it. With a smart garage door, you can monitor your garage door from anywhere. Check the open or closed status from an app on your smartphone, and, if it’s open, you can close it, even remotely. You can be miles and miles away from home and still control your garage door.


This opens up a world of possibilities, too, like letting the dog or house sitters in through your garage or opening your home to emergency services or neighbors when you’re gone. Now imagine explaining all this to interested homebuyers. It’s an easy sell, right?


Smart garage doors offer both convenience and better security for the homeowner.


4. Smart Watering Systems

Another form of consumption homeowners need to be wary of is their water usage. Not just in terms of clean water for drinking, cleaning or bathing but also the water used to irrigate land.


If you live in a deed restricted community, you keep your grass trimmed and healthy or you risk fines and complications. But, at the same time, you may be restricted by law as to the amount of water you can use due to water shortages and droughts.


Smart watering systems make this process much simpler and more efficient.  Not only can you schedule watering sessions, but you can also keep track of how much water you’re using. This is important because it can help you keep your water consumption to a minimum, and it can also help you save money over time.


5. Smart Home Security Cameras

Security is a huge concern these days. You don’t need to look far at all to see something concerning. Home security matters, but for homeowners, the cost savings are also a concern. Most home security solutions, like the ones offered by ADT or Brinks, are expensive. There’s a certain cost you must deal with if you want to protect your home.

But if you have a smart home security camera, those costs are pretty much negated. You only need to pay for the equipment once, and any service fees are minimal compared to conventional security plans.


A property with smart home security cameras pre-installed will be both safer and cheaper in terms of operating costs for that security system. Again, this should be another easy sell for homeowners.


With the demand for and convenience of smart home tech, homeowners should stay sharp on the newest trends and how they will save homebuyers money in the long run.

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The data relating to real estate on this website comes in part from the MLS® Reciprocity program of either the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV), the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) or the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board (CADREB). Real estate listings held by participating real estate firms are marked with the MLS® logo and detailed information about the listing includes the name of the listing agent. This representation is based in whole or part on data generated by either the REBGV, the FVREB or the CADREB which assumes no responsibility for its accuracy. The materials contained on this page may not be reproduced without the express written consent of either the REBGV, the FVREB or the CADREB.