Home Buying / Hunting Tips

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You have established your budget. You have been pre-approved for a mortgage. You have contacted a REALTOR to assist you with the purchase of a home. Now the fun, and evaluation begins. You will probably be looking at a few homes before you decide on the perfect one for your family. Before you decide to purchase that home you have absolutely fallen in love with, be sure to be objective in your decision. On appearance alone, the fireplace, the new flooring, paint job and new carpeting create a warm and inviting feeling. Yet, is the home really that perfect? Take a deep breath. Take some time to think about the bigger picture of the home in terms of your needs. Carefully consider whether this home offers the features that will last beyond the first impression. Here are some essential factors to consider:

* Location is a significant factor in your choice of home. An established community, with a good reputation, a low crime rate and well-maintained homes, maintains home values. A garbage dump, industrious buildings disposing bad odours and major freeways surrounding your neighborhood are unattractive and disruptive to a peaceful lifestyle. Many communities within Kamloops have positive and negative aspects about each and every one of them. Ensure you are informed about every area that you are interested in.

* Also consider availability and cost of access to public transportation, major roads and highways. This is especially important when considering properties outside of Kamloops.

* Also consider the condition of public areas such as streets, sidewalks, parks and recreational facilities.

* Public services should also be established including street cleaning, snow removal, garbage collection, and emergency services.

* You will also want efficient access to medical services including hospitals, doctors and dentists.

* Be sure that schools and related school services are also within easy access.

* Recreational, shopping and entertainment needs should also be considered.

Buying a home is a big job and there are many things to consider. With the Kamloops real estate market being a lot slower, buyers have more time to make an informed decision on a purchase. Before making an offer on a home take the time to look over the home carefully and really consider the floor plan and how your furniture will fit. Ensure your Realtor shows you the comparable homes on the market in your chosen area. Remember, often homes look much better in person than they do in pictures on the MLS.

Improvements Have Been Made To Realtor.ca

The Canadian Real Estate Association has made some improvements to realtor.ca (previously MLS.ca). I rarely search for real estate there unless I am curious about some area outside of the Kamloops region. As a result of two rounds of consumer testing, several enhancements have been made to REALTOR.ca.

* There is a new home page for residential real estate, designed to eliminate consumer confusion. The default is now set to a “Quick” search format, with an option to search by interactive map.

* The pop-up that had generated complaints has been eliminated.

* The results page has also been re-designed to make the photos larger and the interactive map space smaller. The address, if approved for display, has been added to the thumbnail. This has been a frequent request from consumers, although the address often is omitted.

* Zoom level restriction has been removed. There has been complaints that the site does not respond due to the number of properties in an area. Until this change was made, users would hit the restricted zoom level without displaying properties, creating the impression the map was zooming in and out, in effect, out of control.

Realtor.ca has received a lot of criticism since it debuted. I hope you like the changes and if not you can head over to my site and search there. I find that Realtor.ca is a very slow, time consuming website. Searches take a long time and often buyers are still left wanting more information in the end. Get ahead of Realtor.ca you can receive MLS listings days before they hit the web. To receive daily emails with personalized search results sign up here.

What To Do When Your Listing Expires

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If you’re trying to sell your Kamloops home, and your listing expired in the past few months, you’re certainly not alone. In fact, more MLS listings in the Kamloops area expired sinceliving-room September than the number of homes sold! In other words, you had a much better chance of an expired listing than you did selling your home. If you’re among the home owners that are faced with the dilemma of re-listing your home, there are ways to improve your odds of selling. Before you re-list, consider all your options and ask yourself these questions:

  1. Marketing – How was your home marketed on and off of the MLS? Was there other marketing techniques used to promote your home to the public besides Realtor.ca (MLS.ca)? Or was there only a link to your agent’s home page, advertising other listings? Was your home advertised on other web sites? If you don’t think good online marketing matters, you should know that buyers today are turning to the web to start their search. If your property does not have a web presence you are at a disadvantage to those who do.
  2. Presentation – Did your Realtor help you stage your home or give you tips about what you should do to improve you home’s appeal for showings? Did you take an objective look at your home, and fix the things that might not be appealing to buyers? Did your Realtor ensure the pictures taken of your home were high quality, clear and enhanced the look of your home? How about custom print ads? What were the highlight sheets at your home like? Dull photocopies or professionally produced custom colour sheets?
  3. Communication – Did your Realtor communicate with you numerous times each month, sharing current market conditions and factors affecting the sale of your home? Did your Realtor keep you informed of sales in your neighbourhood? Did you receive feedback from every showing and open house held at your property?
  4. Negotiations – Did your Realtor coach you on how to deal with offers and what to expect? Did they explain all your options? What about dealing with lowball offers (which we have been seeing a lot in the Kamloops area recently)? Did you feel you were prepared and in control of the offer process (if you even got any offers!)?
  5. Price – How did your asking price compare to the sale price of similar homes that sold while you were listed? Did they help you determine a reasonable price for your home or just tell you what you wanted to hear?

bedroomIf you want to sell now, should you try the same strategy that has already failed you, or a new strategy? Should you try selling your home with better marketing and presentation, a more experienced negotiator and a more realistic price?

The Kamloops real estate market is getting increasingly more competitive for sellers. With the number of listings increasing and the number of sales decreasing you need to be ahead of the curve. Buyers have numerous homes to chose from. If your home doesn’t get the exposure and marketing, doesn’t present well and isn’t priced competitively it will be overlooked. Be realistic, take an objective look at your home and price right from the beginning.

2008 / 2009 Annual Kamloops Real Estate Market Report

There is a lot of confusion about the state of the Kamloops, B.C. and National real estate market. Buyers and sellers are trying to figure out when the right time is to make a move. Below I have included my 2008/2009 real estate market report. Click the link for the pdf version and also for those who cannot open the pdf there are images of the document.

2008/2009 Annual Kamloops Real Estate Market Report

Kamloops Annual Real Estate Market Report Page 1

Kamloops Annual Real Estate Market Report Page 1

Kamloops Annual Real Estate Market Report Page 2

Kamloops Annual Real Estate Market Report Page 2

Kamloops Annual Real Estate Market Report Page 3

Kamloops Annual Real Estate Market Report Page 3

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