Vancouver, BC

April 15, 2019. 


The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 5,707 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in March, a decline of 23 per cent from the same month last year. The average MLS® residential price in the province was $687,720, a decline of 5.4 per cent from March 2018. Total sales dollar volume was $3.9 billion, a 27.1 per cent decline from the same month last year.

BC home sales continue to be adversely impacted by federal mortgage policy, said BCREA Chief Economist Cameron Muir. The erosion of affordability caused by the B20 stress test has created near recession level housing demand despite the province boasting the lowest unemployment rates in a decade.

The sharp erosion of affordability caused by the B20 stress test is now creating pent-up demand, as many would-be home buyers are forced to wait on the sidelines, added Muir. Unfortunately, new home construction is slowing as well, which will likely lead to another housing supply crunch down the road.


Total MLS® residential active listings increased 36.2 per cent to 34,295 units compared to the same month last year. The ratio of sales to active residential listings declined from 29.4 per cent to 16.6 per cent over the same period.

Read full post

 Over-seeding creates a thick, healthy lawn, which is the best defence against weeds.

 

Step 1: Prepare 

Rake leaves and remove weeds with a weeding tool. Loosen soil with a thatching rake. Spread about a 1/4-inch layer of lawn soil evenly over lawn with a bow rake. 

Tools checklist: 

  • Bow Rake 
  • Weeding Tool 
  • Lawn Soil 


Step 2: Over-seed 

Spread grass seed over entire lawn. Spread starter fertilizer using a spreader. Water lawn daily until grass seed becomes well established. 

Tools checklist: 

  • Spreader
  • Starter Fertilizer 
  • Grass Seed 


Step 3: Maintain 

Water new lawn regularly and fertilize every six to eight weeks. Consider installing a timer to ensure watering is automatic and accurate. Remove any weeds that may appear with a weeding tool or eco-friendly herbicide and repair bare patches with grass seed using a broadcast spreader designed for small areas. Check for insect populations as needed (see additional tips below). 

Tools checklist: 

  • Oscillator Sprinkler 
  • Timer
  • Fertilizer
  • Patch Repair Grass Seed 


ADDITIONAL LAWN CARE TIPS 

  • To allow your lawn to develop to its full potential, it needs a healthy supply of nutrients. Only begin to fertilize once grass starts turning green. 
  • Fertilize every eight weeks for a thick, green lawn. As a rule of thumb, fertilize in early spring, and over mid-May, July and September. 
  • Lawns require about one inch of water per week to encourage roots to grow. You may not need to water if there has been rain.
  • Mow high and regularly. Short grass means short roots, so raise mower blades to three inches to help roots grow more deeply.
  • Aerate your lawn with a specialty aeration tool to allow soil to break down and breathe.
  • Use products with natural ingredients to quickly kill weeds – these work especially well on hot and sunny days.
  • Pull weeds out from the roots using a specialized weeding tool and lay a weed block under pathways or patios to prevent weeds from emerging.
  • To get rid of insects, try spraying insecticidal soap (which is safe on plants) directly onto insect populations. You can also place insect bait and traps around your lawn and garden to keep pests away.
Read full post

Are Real Estate Commissions Split in BC?

Yes! When a Realtor is hired by a Seller to list a property for Sale, the Listing Contract states that the Seller will pay this Realtor (Sellers Agent/Listing Agent) a commission should the property Sell during the period in which the Listing Contract is in force.

If a prospective Seller was to calculate what they would have to pay in terms of Commission, some might think of it as a lot of money to go to one person, but that’s not really what’s going to happening!


Real Estate Commission Splits = A Buyers Agent Motivation?

In BC, The Sellers Realtors (Sellers Agents/Listings Agents) split around HALF of the real estate commission set out in the Listing Contract and offer it to Buyers Agents. This is done to encourage Buyers Agents to bring their Buyers to see the property within an eye to purchase it.

The successful Buyers Agent who’s Buyer actually purchases the property, receives their split or share of the commission paid by the seller when the property Completes at the Land Title Office and ownership changes hands.


Buyers do not pay their Buyers Agents!

The Seller pays a commission to the Sellers Agent who then splits that commission with the Buyers Agent when the property Sells!

Also, there is a requirement that a Buyer’s Agent has to disclose in writing, how much commission they earn to the Buyers they represent on the Sale!


Buyers Agent Commission Impacts Marketing?

When marketing properties in the lower mainland, we target both Buyers and Buyers Agents.

Buyers Agents get paid when the Buyers they represent purchase properties. Buyer Agents will be motivated by the money that will be paid to them.

The amount of commission offered to Buyers Agents and how that is communicated can have an impact on how quickly a property will sell.

To spur interest among Buyers Agents and get a property sold sooner, Sellers sometimes offer a commission, plus a BONUS.  Some Sellers choose to work with discount brokerages in the hopes of saving money and offer a smaller commission to Buyers Agents.

As the topic of how much commission to offer a Buyers Agent is sensitive, you can come to your own conclusions on which strategy is best for Buyers Agent commissions.

Isn’t There a Conflict of Interest if the Seller Pays the Buyers Agent?

No! The Agency Relationship, or the Fiduciary Duty of the Buyers Agent is to the Buyer and only the buyer as per signedBuyer’s Agency Agreement” and “Disclosure of Representation in Trading Services.”

The Buyers Agent’s loyalty is with their Buyer/s, and only their Buyer/s! 

The Sellers Agent offers the Buyers Agent a commission to bring their Buyers, but this does not cause the Buyers Agent to have any relationship to the Seller.   If you have any questions please feel free to ask!  QUESTIONS ARE STRONGLY ENCOURAGED!


Looking for Info on How I SELL YOUR PROPERTY?  Call me at 604-866-8037

Read full post

The Housing Market will Spring Forward this Year!                                                                                                           

Just like our clocks this month, in the majority of the country, the housing market will soon “Spring Forward!” 

Similar to tension in a spring, the lack of inventory available for sale has been holding back the market.

Many potential sellers believe that waiting until Spring is in their best interest. Traditionally, they would have been right.

Buyer demand has seasonality to it. Usually, this falls off in the winter months, especially in areas of the country impacted by arctic conditions.

That hasn’t happened this year.  Demand for housing has remained strong as mortgage rates have remained near historic lows. Even with an increase in rates forecasted for 2019, Buyers are still able to lock in an affordable monthly payment. Buyers are increasingly jumping off the fence and into the housing market to secure a lower rate.

Read full post

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.


Read Full Newsletter


Read full post

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.
Read full post

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.

Read full post
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.