Slideshow
Search

 

The 4 Ps to Maximizing your Selling Price

 

When you sell, you’ll probably want to get the best possible price for your property. Who wouldn’t? Unfortunately, there are many ways to inadvertently leave money on the table – sometimes thousands of dollars.

 

How do you avoid that possibility? Just remember the 4 Ps:

 

·         Prep. Do everything you can to prepare your home so that it looks great to buyers. Clean, declutter, fix, make improvements. Home staging can also help. In fact, effectively staged homes have been shown to sell for up to 5% more than comparable unstaged properties.

·         Price. Set the right asking price. That’s crucial. If it's too low, you'll attract only deal-hunters — and you might end up getting less than you should. If the asking price is too high, however, you'll discourage those buyers who might otherwise be interested and willing to make a good offer. Be careful with pricing!

·         Promotion. There may be qualified buyers out there who would be eager to see your property. But, they need to find out about your listing and the great features of your home first! Reaching these buyers requires more than merely profiling the listing on the MLS. Homes that sell for top dollar often have strong marketing — directed to the right buyers.

·         Proposal. Once an offer comes in, there may be an opportunity to negotiate with the buyer to maximize the final price you get. This requires deep knowledge of the local market as well as street-smart negotiation skills. If done effectively, these negotiations can help put more money in your pocket.

These four Ps are easy to remember, but sometimes not so easy to implement! That's why working with a great real estate agent is so important. Contact me to get the conversation started.


Do you have only a few weeks to search for your next dream home? Don't panic. There are things you can do to find the perfect (or, at least, almost perfect) property — without getting too stressed out!

Consider these tips:

  • Pre-arrange your mortgage. You want to be able to make a good offer on a home right away, without worrying about financing. So, talk to your mortgage advisor or lender about getting a mortgage pre-approval. Sellers will take your offer more seriously if you have financing in hand.
  • Decide what you want. What type of home are you looking for? What type of neighbourhood do you want to live in? The narrower your focus, the less time you’ll waste looking at properties that don’t fit your needs.
  • Be open to possibilities. There are probably terrific homes on the market — right now — that are close to what you're looking for. So be prepared to consider properties that are less-than-perfect. Remember, what a home lacks today may be remedied with a renovation later on.
  • Be flexible with your schedule. When you see a home you like, schedule a viewing immediately, even if it's at an inconvenient day/time, such as a weekday after work. Finding a great home, quickly, is worth some inconvenience.
  • Get alerted to new listings. As they say, the early-bird gets the worm. So arrange to be alerted to new listings the moment they come on the market. That way, you can see these properties right away.

Want more tips on finding a home, quickly? Give me a call.


Government policies expected to drive decline for third year



Price and sales volume decline in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley have ripple effects on the rest of the province. (Central 1 Credit Union)

This year will be the third straight where home sales decline, and for the first time since 2012, so will B.C. average home prices, Central 1 Credit Union says in its latest forecast.

“Early 2019 home sales continue to deteriorate as federal and provincial policies continue to weigh on demand and lead to price declines among some of the larger urban markets,” says the organization representing credit unions in B.C. and Ontario.

The report, Resale Housing Outlook 2019-2021, says new home starts have held steady early this year, “but a sharp pullback is expected in the second half of 2019 as weakening resale market and pre-sale conditions cool construction.”

Central 1 forecasts that housing starts will decline 14 per cent this year to 35,000 units and slip further to around 33,000 units in 2020 and 2021. The report notes that this is still above 2016 levels, and the declines are confined to larger urban markets.

The report says smaller real estate markets have generally held steady, and northern B.C. housing demand is being supported by work beginning on liquefied natural gas facilities and pipelines. Alberta’s slow economy is identified as slowing sales of recreational properties in the B.C. Interior.

RELATED: Victoria housing starts mostly rentals, CMHC says

RELATED: Canada-wide housing starts picked up in March

The federal government’s addition of a “stress test” for bank mortgages in 2018 has required borrowers to qualify their ability to pay if interest rates increase, after a long period of low rates led to personal debt rates rising. B.C. has focused on increased taxes for foreign buyers and second homes in urban areas that have low rental vacancy rates and high purchase prices.

B.C.’s foreign buyer tax and speculation tax were extended to urban areas outside Metro Vancouver, where 20 per cent declines have been seen in high-end properties and high-priced locations such as Vancouver and West Vancouver.

“Similarly, sales in Kelowna, Abbotsford-Mission and Victoria have seen their sales slumps extend into 2019,” the report says. “While not of the same magnitude, sales are lower by more than 20 per cent, year over year.

“Weak activity in Metro Vancouver is contributing to fewer recreational and retirement home purchases in other markets, as homeowners face lower price/equity and difficulty selling their properties.”

Source: Tom Fletcher, May. 28, 2019 6:00 a.m., Black Press, Business

On moving day, you'll have a big task. You’ll need to get your possessions from your old property to your new one — ideally without delays or damage! Surprisingly, many people underestimate the time and costs involved in doing that. Careful planning and budgeting are crucial to ensuring moving day goes smoothly.

You basically have three options:

  1. Hire a moving company to handle everything.
  2. Hire a truck and crew, while doing some of the work yourself. (For example, you can pack and help with loading.)
  3. Do it all yourself by renting a moving van and getting friends and family to help.

If you're going with option one, get quotations as early in the buying/selling process as possible. Services, costs and quality vary widely among full-service moving companies.

If you're going to do some or all of the move yourself, the best place to start is by making a list of what you'll need. In addition to renting a moving van, or hiring a truck and crew, there are many supplies you may require. For example, you’ll need boxes, protective fill and/or wrapping (i.e. bubble wrap), markers for labeling boxes, packing tape, and more.

You may decide to rely on friends to help load the truck on moving day. That's fine. Just be sure you have enough people to do the job within a reasonable timeframe, and confirm everyone's attendance at least a couple of days before.


Imagine you’ve dreamed of living in a particular neighbourhood, perhaps for years, and then, when you're finally ready to make a move, finding out that the area is competitive and buying there is definitely a challenge.

A disappointment? Not necessarily.

 

There is a lot you can do to buy into a popular neighbourhood, even in competitive offer situations.

 

Your first step is to start targeting that area now. Find out about property types, prices and trends. In particular, you’ll need to know what price range you should be thinking about, and making sure that it’s going to fit your budget. To do that, you might need to get a determination of the Fair Market Value of your current home.

 

Next, begin making preparations so you can get a jump on opportunities in that neighbourhood quickly. You don't want to see a great property come on the market and not be ready to make a move. So, get your current home in order so it’s ready for a quick listing.

 

If possible, make arrangements to get alerted to new listings as soon as they come on the market. Keep in mind that a new listing may not appear online for several days. By getting advance notice, you can be among the first buyers to see the home and have an early advantage over other buyers.

 

If it's likely there's going to be competing offers for the home you want, there are many strategies that can increase your chances of winning. These involve going in at the right price, minimizing conditions to the offer, presenting the offer appropriately, and negotiating effectively.

 

Is there a neighbourhood you want to get into? Let me know how I can help!


If you're thinking ahead to your next dream home, the road you need to take to get there may seem confusing. Do you search for listings online? Drop by Open Houses on the weekends? Call the number on For Sale signs?

 

Let's break it all down! Here are the specific steps you need to take to ensure you find a home that fits your wants, needs and budget.

 

1.  Find out how much your current property will likely sell for on today’s market.

2.  Arrange for financing, so you know what you can afford.

3.  Select neighbourhoods you'd love to live in. (That may involve some fun exploring!)

4.  Decide on the type of home you want to buy. (For example: detached, three-bedroom, etc.)

5.  Prioritize the property features you want most, so you can be flexible if a feature is missing from a home listed on the market that is otherwise ideal.

6.  View properties on the market that closely fit your criteria, particularly new listings that may not yet be posted online. (Tip: Arrange to be immediately notified of new listings that are a good fit for you.)

7.  When you find a home you want, make an offer designed to get the property — without overpaying.

8.  Negotiate until you secure the deal. This may involve counter-offers.

9.  If the negotiation is skillfully done and all goes well, the home is yours.

 

As you can see, there isn't a lot of mystery in finding your next dream home. You just need to take the steps and get the professional help you need along the way.


How BC Assessment works

​BC Assessment's business is to provide a stable and predictable base for real property taxation in British Columbia. The corporation determines ownership and tax liability, classifies and values each property in British Columbia. To meet its goal, BC Assessment completes an assessment roll every December 31.

How we assess properties

BC Assessment estimates the value of most properties (e.g. homes) as of July 1 each year, based on market value. In other words, your current assessment notice is based on a value of what your property would have been worth according to comparable market sales as of the prior July 1.

BC Assessment determines the current assessment roll property assessments reflecting their physical condition and permitted use as of October 31, using a valuation date of July 1, in the year immediately prior to the annual assessment roll.

In determining assessed value, an appraiser considers a wide variety of factors such as size, age, shape, quality, condition and location of properties. Services in the area (location, views, neighbourhood) and supply and demand may also influence property value. Changes such as new construction or inventory, permitted use (e.g. zoning), property class, occupation, eligibility for an exemption or in the taxing jurisdiction boundary will be reflected on the assessment roll.

Our service to British Columbia

BC Assessment mails individual assessment notices, with entries recorded from the assessment roll, to all property owners in the province. Once audited and authenticated by the Property Assessment Review Panel, BC Assessment presents the assessment roll to various tax jurisdictions: municipal governments, regional districts and the Ministries of Education and Health. The assessment roll is used by tax jurisdictions to form the basis of their tax rolls. Tax jurisdictions set tax rates for each of the nine property classes.

As a result, BC Assessment's annual property assessments provide the foundation for local and provincial taxing authorities to calculate billions of dollars in property tax revenue each year that fund the many important community services provided by local governments around the province as well as the public school system.

Property information

BC Assessment maintains an extensive and up-to-date information database on all properties in British Columbia. Public access to this electronic database is available through our online assesment search service. For a fee, BC Assessment will also produce custom information reports.

BC Assessment provides accurate property and value information to:

  • tax authorities;
  • property owners;
  • municipal, provincial and federal government agencies;
  • realtors, appraisers, lawyers, bankers, title search companies;
  • other private and public agencies.

Understanding Property Assessments & Property Taxes

Property assessments are about determining HOW property taxes are distributed.

BC Assessment provides local governments and other taxing authorities with accurate and independent assessment information. Local governments and other taxing authorities use that information to determine funding for important services used every day in communities all over British Columbia.

An increase in your assessment does not necessarily mean an increase in your property taxes. Properties with assessment changes below the average within their municipality or taxing jurisdiction will likely see a lower than average change in property taxes. Those with changes above the average will likely see a higher than average change in property taxes. 

Source: https://info.BCassessment.ca

Finding a New Home on a Tight Schedule

 

Wouldn't it be nice if you had all the time in the world to find your next dream home? You could leisurely browse the current listings, select homes you'd like to see, schedule visits on dates that are most convenient for you, and make an offer on a property only after you've had plenty of time to consider all the alternatives.

 

Sure, that sometimes happens, but it's not typical. Often, people shopping for a home are on a timeline. Sometimes a very tight timeline.

 

So how do you find your next dream home when you don't have all the time in the world?

 

First, you need to develop a clear picture of the home you're looking to buy. How many bedrooms? What size of property? What type of structure (two story, back split, etc.)? Then, you need to list your preferences. These might include "large kitchen" or "main floor office".

 

Once you've completed that exercise, you'll have a more detailed profile of the type of property you want. That will make it easier to decide which of the listings on the market you want to see.

 

You should also narrow down the area in which you'd like to live. If you have three or four targeted areas, and only consider listings in those areas, your home search will be much faster.

 

What if you don't know the neighbourhoods well? Visit a few. Drive around. Explore. Get as much neighbourhood data as possible, such as demographics, recreational activities, parks, shopping, schools, etc. Then choose the neighbourhoods that fit your lifestyle.

 

Finally, the best way to find a new home on a tight schedule is to work with the right real estate agent — someone who, like me, is experienced in the local market.

 

I look forward to working with you! Jeff


The VREB noticed an increase in sales from last month, which may surprise some people as the yearly trend continues to fall

The number of home sales across Greater Victoria continues to drop when compared to monthly figures from 2017, but October saw a bump when compared to previous month-over-month sales figures.

Just under 600 properties changed hands in the Victoria Real Estate Board region last month, which is 10 per cent fewer than October 2017, but the 598 properties sold were 12.2 per cent more than September 2018.

Condo sales made up the majority of this spike from Sept to Oct 2018, with 20.8 per cent of sales. Single family homes only made up 1.4 per cent of the rise.

“We continue to see the housing market shift into a more balanced state, though the trajectory is not smooth,” says Victoria Real Estate Board President Kyle Kerr.

“This month had slower sales compared to last year and a slightly lower level of inventory coming into the market, but it also had an increase in sales from last month, which may surprise some people. The moderating changes over last year have been punctuated with some competition and price pressure on lower and mid-priced homes while the upper end of the market has softened slightly. Right now pricing is key across all segments as we transition to a more balanced market.”

The amount of active listing at the end of October 2018 represented a 31.8 per cent increase in inventory compared to Oct. 2017, which Kerr says could be caused by new mortgage lending requirements.

“Lending was made tougher to dampen the market and these measures have certainly had an impact on purchasing power,” Kerr noted.

“The threat of the looming Speculation and Vacancy tax has also cooled development in our area, which is unfortunate because the only way to create affordable homes in our area is to build them. We hope that moving forward the municipal, provincial and federal governments will work collaboratively to enable more supply at all levels of housing by funding public / private partnerships to support the increase of home stock in our area. We hope that aside from taxation and mortgage rules, governments will work together to ensure a future supply in our area to stabilize prices in the long term.”

The average current price of a home in Greater Victoria last month was $881,000 – an increase of 6 per cent compared to the same time last year. The average price for a condo in the Victoria core last month was $502,600 – an increase of almost 10 per cent from October 2017.

Source: Ragnar Haagen, Nov. 2, 2018, Oak Bay News


Demand for homes is gradually recovering and expected to pick up this fall, asserts BCREA

Is the B.C. real estate market already showing signs of bouncing back from its government intervention-induced downturn?

That’s the message from the B.C. Real Estate Association, which reported September 13 that MLS home sales across the province totalled 6,743 in August. That’s lower than the 7,055 transactions in July this year, and down 26.4 per cent from August 2017.

Despite the continued slide in home sales totals, the BCREA said that the market is already looking like it is recovering from the recent downturn, which it believes was largely caused by government intervention in the market, especially the federal mortgage stress test introduced in January.

Cameron Muir, BCREA’s chief economist, said in a phone interview that the actual sales totals do not take into account seasonal trends in home buying, and a much more accurate graph looks at the seasonally adjusted sales figure – a common measure of economic trends. According to the association’s calculations, the market has turned from its trough in June, and since then has seen a relative increase in activity of around 3.5 per cent, on a seasonally adjusted basis.

 

Muir said, “The BC housing market is evolving along the same path blazed by Ontario and Alberta, where the initial shock of the mortgage stress-test is already dissipating, leading to increasing home sales.” The Greater Toronto Area has seen a marked increase in home sales and prices over the past three months, following significant sales declines in spring, following the stress test’s launch.

The BCREA’s August figures also show there has been little to no improvement in affordability of B.C.’s home prices. Although price growth has decelerated from the past couple of years, all but one of the province’s 12 real estate boards registered an overall average sale price rise in August, compared with one year previously.

At $669,776, the province’s average August sale price was 1.2 per cent lower than one year previously. However, Muir said that this doesn’t mean that home prices are dropping. “It’s misleading, because it’s dependent on the mix of housing being sold, and the areas. As we’ve seen bigger sales declines in more expensive areas such as Vancouver, and an increase in apartments being sold compared with houses, the average prices get skewed.”

Source: Victoria Times Colonist, 
September 13, 2018
Follow us on Facebook +1 us on Google Plus Connect with us on LinkedIn Read our blog on Blogger