Information For Sellers

Useful Information And Tips For Real Estate Sellers

living room home staging Kamloops Real Estate

Tips On Staging Your Kamloops Home To Get It Ready For Sale. It can be a very daunting task to start the process of staging your home to prepare to put it up for sale. In our experience there are a number of simple and inexpensive things you can do to help make your home more appealing than other homes for sale in your area of Kamloops. I have compiled a list of simple things you can do to help make the sale process easier and get the most money for your home.

1. Start with a open mind and new perspective

Often times home owners become very emotionally attached to a home and the decor. It is important to detach from the property and try to see your home through buyers’ eyes. Think minimalist and the ‘hotel room’ look. This will help make your home shine.

2. De-clutter!!!

Messy Home De Clutter House Staging Kitchen Kamloops Real EstateI can’t emphasize this one enough. It is important to go through all common areas of your home first as these areas are the first rooms buyers see. You want your home and have the feeling of space. Here are simple decluttering ideas for your home:

  • Make the entry way as spacious as possible. Large furniture and decor can get in the way of buyers entering your home.
  • Remove all items off of your counters in the kitchen and bathrooms.
  • Remove all magnets and cluttery bulletin boards from common space.
  • Remove all heavy drapery or window headers exposing the windows which will allow for more natural light to fill your home.
  • Remove all items that are not needed from closets and storage space. Get storage containers to pack items away that are not needed for the time you are listed for sale. If you can afford a storage locker remove all items from your home that are not needed.
  • Eliminate excessive knick knacks and personal items from the home. Plain homes show best!

3. Freshen up & brighten up

Paint colours are a huge component of the way a home presents. Choose a neutral colour palette. Presently neutral, spa-like colours are very popular. They give buyers an inviting feeling when walking into a home. Light paint colours also make a home appear more bright and feel more fresh. You want Buyers to see themselves living in your home. Fresh neutral colours will help them with this vision.

4. Curb appeal

2644 Galbraith Dr, Aberdeen, Kamloops Real EstateDuring some seasons of the year it is hard to have beautiful curb appeal in Kamloops due to the weather. Here are a couple ideas for each time of the year:

  • All Year: Freshly paint your outside doors especially the front door. Put up a new mailbox if you have a tired looking one and new modern house numbers are easy ways to create a fresh look. This is also a way to keep the cost down.
  • Summer: Trim shrubs and bushes, tidy up all the flower beds, keep the lawn cut and plant some fresh flowers to give the home some colour. If you don’t have a garden placing planters outside the main entry way and on a patio makes the home feel more pleasant.
  • Fall: Clean up the leaves and dead plants in the garden. Put out fall flowers and plants that add colour to your home. There are always beautiful planters available in the fall that liven up a front entry way or porch.
  • Winter: Don’t go crazy with the decorations! Tasteful holiday decor is acceptable but don’t put up so much that it draws a crowd. Don’t leave your decor up until the end of January. Clean up your Holiday decorations as soon as possible. Keep the pathways clear and well maintained.
  • Spring: Clean up the gardens after the winter melt. Plant some spring flowers and plants that will bring some colour to your garden. Check over the outside of your home and touch up any areas that are looking worn from over the winter (ie trim paint, outside doors).

5. Make sure your home is in top condition

Easy updates that are inexpensive will help with the sale of your home.

  • Replace faucets that drip or are outdated.
  • Take out old bathroom mirrors that date a bathroom and replace with a nice modern framed mirror.
  • Replace hardware on cabinets (ie dated gold pulls to brushed nickle is a good choice)
  • Replace worn or damaged counter tops.
  • Replace or professionally clean worn flooring. Carpet cleaning goes a long way.
  • Replace burnt out light bulbs and change out dated or broken light fixtures.
  • Replace torn screens.
  • Touch up knicks and damaged walls.
  • Place fresh towels in the bathroom and eliminate any used or old looking towels.
  • Replace furnace filter regularly and before putting your home up for sale.

6. Make the master bedroom gender neutral.

Bedroom picture home staging Kamloops Sell your homeA clean, tidy master bedroom is important. It is also important to pick colours that are neutral and not geared to only one gender. Stage the master bedroom with nice throw pillows and ensure that the linens are made up nicely on the bed. Remove any extra furniture to give the illusion of a large room with lots of space. Many people have multiple dressers in a bedroom, eliminate at least one.

7. Clean, Clean, Clean and Clean!

Clean Home Staging tips to sell your home in KamloopsHomes that are clean make buyers feel like the property has been well cared for and in turn well maintained. Make sure you clean the following:

  • Nooks and crannies of the kitchen where crumbs collect.
  • Tops of baseboards often get very dusty.
  • Window coverings, especially horizontal blinds tend to collect dust and dirt.
  • Scrub that bathroom!
  • Clean windows and screens.
  • Wipe down walls, doors, door frames and light switches.
  • Vacuum the carpets…twice

8. Beware of scale

Large furniture is popular and can be very comfortable however it takes up a lot of space. Remove furniture that is large and re-arrange the furniture to fit in a way that makes the home feel more spacious.

9. A great smell makes your home more memorable

If you have time before a showing bake some cookies or something that will spread a tasty smell throughout your home. Leave a couple samples out for the buyers coming through your home. It will make it more memorable.

10. Invest some money

dining room home staging Kamloops Real estate sell my homeIf you can afford to do so updates to flooring can go a long way. Old carpeting can turn a buyer off. Changing the flooring out to something more modern will give you a very good return on investment. If flooring is looking old and worn it will make buyers feel like the home is old and worn even if the home is in great condition. Buyers have trouble seeing past simple things like flooring.

Kitchens and bathrooms are one of the best investments you can make in your home. If you are trying to decide where to invest your money you will get the best return from kitchens and bathrooms.

If you are thinking about getting your home ready for sale and don’t know where to start give us a call. We would be happy to come to your home and get you moving in the right direction. Contact Us!

Kamloops Realtor Kirsten MasonIn a highly competitive real estate market it can be difficult to determine who the best Real Estate Professional would be for your needs. Currently the Kamloops and District Real Estate Association reports that there are just under 300 member Realtors. I have included some pointers below to help you figure out how to find the right professional for you.

1. Interview 2 to 3 Realtors: Analyze their differences and pick the one that you feel most comfortable working with and whom you feel will best represent your interests or needs based on their skill level and experience.

  • For Buyers, you want to ensure that the Realtor will take the time to show you properties when it is convenient for you and will make your search a priority. Go to open houses to informally meet Realtors and strike up a conversation, you will know who you feel comfortable working with after meeting a few professionals.
  • For Sellers, you want a Realtor that has a comprehensive, dynamic and aggressive marketing plan to get your home sold. Communication is paramount and it is important that your listing Realtor maintain open and continual feedback. The most common criticism is “the Realtor posted a sign and I didn’t hear from him/her for 3 months”.

2. Choose a Full Time Realtor: Some Realtors only work part time.  Your largest financial and emotional decision may only be a second career for that part time Realtor. Choose a professional who’s business it is to sell real estate. You wouldn’t choose a part time surgeon to operate on you. A full time Realtor means better market knowledge, better service, better marketing and better negotiating skills which means a better price for you, whether buying or selling.  Ask your potential Realtor:  How often will you hear from them?  Do they have support staff or a team to help them and help you? Are there any days or times during the week that they don’t work? Do they have a part time or other job?

3. Chose a knowledgeable Realtor:  The Realtor you choose should be able to explain the market as it relates to your sale or purchase. Questions you should ask are: Have they sold or listed homes in your area? Are they knowledgeable about the statistics and the direction the market is moving in (buyers or sellers market)?  They should take the time to educate you as to the present market conditions and show you the best way to sell or buy given those conditions and the competition.  They should back up their explanations with current market data and be honest with you in interpreting that data.

4. When listing, Do Not choose a Realtor based on price: When Realtors are competing for a listing, some will give an inflated price just to try to get the listing, only to ask you for a price reduction a few weeks later. Realtors don’t determine the price for your home, the market does that! Often, Realtor’s that don’t have much to offer in terms of experience tend to compete on price.  In other words, what you may gain on perceived higher valuation on your home, you will likely lose in overall sale price due to poor marketing and weak negotiating.  Part of a Realtor’s job is to interpret hundreds of sales as well as active listings. Therefore your prospective Realtor should be able to explain to you what your specific market range is for buying or selling. A good real estate professional knows that every house has a price range which is determined by the seller’s motivation to sell and the buyer’s need to buy. Did you know that 70% of whether or not a property will sell is decided when the price is established. The other 30% is based on the Realtor’s level of competence and negotiating skill.

5. Choose a Realtor based on their success rate:  All Real estate companies have good and bad Realtors. Don’t be afraid to ask a potential Realtor what their sales record was for the past year or two. The Realtor you hire should know how to successfully sell homes and the numbers never lie. You can ask: How many homes did they help their clients to buy and sell? How many days did the average home that they have listed spend on the market? Do they sell in your area or all over? What special awards or recognition have they earned? Do they have any testimonial statements from past clients? Each Realtor’s willingness to share this information with you will help with your overall decision.

6. When Listing, Choose a Realtor based on their marketing strategy:  How much time, how much money and what kind of marketing is your Realtor suggesting for your property?  Every property is different and needs a tailored marketing program to sell it and attract the best buyer willing to pay the highest price.  People don’t buy bricks and mortar, they buy a lifestyle, an environment where they can raise their kids or a location where they can retire in style, with amenities they can use and enjoy. Ensure your Realtor has a comprehensive marketing strategy that targets different medias such as internet, print, local advertising etc.

7. Choose a Realtor that has been recommended by family or friends: Family or friends who’ve had a good experience with a Realtor are your best referral source. A good Realtor will keep in contact with their past clients and ask them for referrals. This is a great place to start when choosing a Real Estate Professional.

8. For Buyers, Pick one Realtor to work with: It is in your best interest to choose one professional to work with. You will develop a relationship with your Realtor and that person will really understand what you want in a property.   You can’t expect a Realtor to give you 100% if you are not willing to commit to them. Realtors only get paid if you buy or sell a property with them, so if you are working with other Realtors all at one time you can’t expect outstanding service based on your lack of loyalty. Find someone that is honest and trustworthy, this will eliminate the need to want to work with other Realtors at one time.

Click here for a free, no obligation home evaluation.

To view all homes for sale in Kamloops click here.

home for sale kamlooops sign real estate home sale mls listingWhen you are selling your Kamloops home, you as the homeowner can play an important part in the timely sale of your property. When you take the following steps, you’ll make your sale a profitable one.

1. Make the Most of that First Impression
A well-manicured lawn, neatly trimmed shrubs and a clutter-free porch welcome prospects. So does a freshly painted – or at least freshly scrubbed – front door. If it’s autumn, rake the leaves. If it’s winter, shovel the walkways. The fewer obstacles between prospects and the true appeal of your home, the better.

2. Invest a Few Hours for Future Dividends
Here’s your chance to clean up in real estate. Clean up the living room, the bathroom, the kitchen. If your woodwork is scuffed or the paint is fading, consider some minor redecoration. Fresh paint adds charm and value to your property. If you’re worried about time, hire professional cleaners or painters to get your house ready. Remember, prospects would rather see how great your home really looks than hear how great it could look “with a little work.”

3. Check Faucets and Bulbs
Dripping water rattles the nerves, discolors sinks, and suggests faulty or worn-out plumbing. Burned out bulbs or faulty wiring leave prospects in the dark. Don’t let little problems detract from what’s right with your home.

4. Don’t Shut Out a Sale
If cabinets or closet doors stick in your home, you can be sure they will also stick in a prospect’s mind. Don’t try to explain away sticky situations when you can easily plane them away. A little effort on your part can smooth the way toward a closing.

5. Think Safety
Homeowners learn to live with all kinds of self-set booby traps: roller skates on the stairs, festooned extension cords, slippery throw rugs and low hanging overhead lights. Make your residence as non-perilous as possible for uninitiated visitors.

6. Make Room for Space
Remember, potential buyers are looking for more than just comfortable living space. They’re looking for storage space, too. Make sure your attic and basement are clean and free of unnecessary items.

7. Consider Your Closets
The better organized a closet, the larger it appears. Now is the time to box up those unwanted clothes and donate them to charity.

8. Make Your Bathroom Sparkle
Bathrooms sell homes, so let them shine. Check and repair damaged or unsightly caulking in the tubs and showers. For added allure, display your best towels, mats, and shower curtains.

9. Create Dream Bedrooms
Wake up prospects to the cozy comforts of your bedrooms. For a spacious look, get rid of excess furniture. Colorful bedspreads and fresh curtains are a must.

10. Open up in the Daytime
Let the sun shine in! Pull back your curtains and drapes so prospects can see how bright and cheery your home is.

11. Lighten up at Night
Turn on the excitement by turning on all your lights – both inside and outside – when showing your home in the evening. Lights add color and warmth, and make prospects feel welcome.

12. Avoid Crowd Scenes
Potential buyers often feel like intruders when they enter a home filled with people. Rather than giving your house the attention it deserves, they’re likely to hurry through. Ideally ensure that you vacate your home for any home showings. Buyers will feel more at home in an empty home.

13. Watch Your Pets
Dogs and cats are great companions, but not when you’re showing your home. Pets have a talent for getting underfoot. So do everybody a favor: Keep Kitty and Spot outside, or at least out of the way.

14. Think Volume
Rock-and-roll will never die. But it might kill a real estate transaction. When it’s time to show your home, it’s time to turn down the stereo or TV.

15. Keep a Low Profile
Nobody knows your home as well as you do but the Real Estate Professional accompanying the buyers know what they need and what they want. If you absolutely need to stay home for a showing, do your best to stay in the background.

16. Don’t Turn Your Home into a Second-Hand Store
When prospects come to view your home, don’t distract them with offers to sell those furnishings you no longer need. Whether it’s the kitchen table, bar stools or a lamp.

16. Adjust the price of your home to the market conditions
When you initially list your home for sale you decide on a reasonable list price with your Realtor. If you do not get any offers in 30 days and there are few showings you have to look at your price. You can do all the above mentioned things but if your price is too high no one will buy your home. Look at recent sales that compare to your home, as comparing your home to other homes currently for sale poses a very simple problem; the other homes also are not selling. Ultimately price will sell your home.

If you’ve covered these 17 points in the sale of your home, you may have to ask yourself “what is our Realtor doing?” We suggest the following questions:
1. Where are you advertising my home?
2. What has been the feedback on the showings?
3. How many hits are we getting on line?
4. How do you feel our price is compared to other homes like ours?
5. What do you have planned for marketing our home in the next 30 days?

There are many important things that have to be done by both the listing Realtor and the home seller when selling a home. Ensure that you and your Realtor have the same expectations.

Click here for a free, no-obligation online home evaluation.

Many consumers are unclear as to how the HST affects their home purchase or sale. Here is a short guide on how HST will affect you when purchasing or selling your Kamloops home.

The Home Seller:
• You will have to pay HST on any of the goods and services that you would have had to pay GST on before like legal fees and commissions.
•  For all resale homes, the buyer will not pay HST when purchasing your home. Buyers may find it more appealing to purchase previously owned homes to avoid paying the HST.

The Home Buyer:
• Like the home seller, you will have to pay HST on any goods and services like your legal fees, home inspections, etc.
• When purchasing a previously owned home, you will not pay HST on the sale price.
•If you are are purchasing a brand new home the HST will affect your sale price, with that said, you are eligible for rebates depending on the value of the home.

See the table below for the rebate rates (rebates are for homes that are intended for use as a primary residence):

HST Rebates for new homes kamloops real estate

For further information about HST click here.

To view the Ministry of Finance Tax Information Notice Click Here.

Are you are planning to remodel your Kamloops home? Do you know what renovations will be most beneficial to you when you sell your home? Some renovations add more value to your home than others. This will be factored into the value of your home when it comes time to sell. Here is a guide to help you decide what to remodel:

Kitchen renovation Kamloops Real Estate Home ValuesKitchen: It is important to have a functional kitchen with an ample amount of work space and efficient storage space. There are never enough electrical outlets in a kitchen, so the more the better. Consider a dual sink instead of a single basin sink. Use good quality products that will withstand time, stone and wood products have always been considered the best way to go in a kitchen. Pick appliances that are of the same style, color and make, a mish mash of appliances will take away from a beautiful kitchen upgrade.

 

Bathroom Renovation Kamloops Real EstateBathroom: Bring in the light with glass blocks. Add more storage space with efficient cabinet systems and recessed medicine cabinets. Counter space is always important so plan the renovation effectively, if there is not enough space for dual sinks stick to one. Much like the kitchen, high quality products will always withstand time, ceramic tile or stone flooring as well as a deep bath tub and large sink all add to a high quality bathroom renovation.

 

Siding Renovation Kamloops Real EstateSiding: It is easy to fix the outside of a home to make your home more appealing from the street. Vinyl siding looks fresh and needs minimal upkeep while stucco can be re-painted to get a fresh new look.

 

 

Window renovationWindows:  New windows don’t only make your home more appealing from the street but they also save you money. The energy savings for monthly utility bills can be significant depending on the age and shape of your old windows.

 

 

According to the Appraisal Institute of Canada, your remodel investment dollars pay back at different rates when you sell your home depending on the type of remodel you choose. In an ideal situation you will regain the money you put into a remodel but some projects will return more than others.  Here is an example of the potential return you can receive from a renovation.

Remodel Project Job Cost Expected Return Average Payback
Minor Kitchen remodel       $3,000         $2,300-$3,000              75%-100%
Major Kitchen remodel     $25,000      $18,800-$25,000           75%-100%
Bathroom Remodel           $8,500         $6,400-$8,500               75%-100%
Basement Remodel            $7,000         $3,500-5,300                 50%-75%
Fireplace Addition              $3,000         $1,500-$2,300               50%-75%
Deck Addition                    $6,000        $3,000-$4,500               50%-75%
Repl. Heating System        $4,000        $2,000-$3,200               50%-80%
Window Replacement      $6,000          $3,000-$4,500               50%-75%
Major Landscaping          $10,000        $2,500-$5000                25%-50%
 

Always consider the following when considering a renovation: The location of your property in Kamloops and the condition of the surrounding properties. What homes are selling for in your specific area and how they are comparable to your property. The condition of your property overall inside and out. Avoid doing too many high end renovations to your home unless the area you live in can support that level of renovations. Many homeowners renovate their home too much in comparison to other neighbouring homes and are unable to recoup the renovation costs. Over the past few years many people have tried to “flip” homes and fix an older outdated home and modernize them. Amateur home flippers have made the mistake of buying the nicest home on the worst street, location is always very important, so keep this top of mind whether it is for your primary residence or an investment project.

Marijuana Grow Operation BCGrow ops in BC continue to plague communities and Kamloops is not immune to this problem. Each grow operation presents many risks to the communities they exist in, such as drug traffic through the community and community safety related to this traffic. Marijuana production continues to be a multi-billion dollar industry in B.C. with thousands of charges laid against operators each year. There are endless stories of grow op busts of all sizes but the problem persists in B.C. and doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon.

What is a Marijuana Grow Operation?

Marijuana Grow Ops appear in homes or outbuildings in residential, rural or commercial/industrial areas. These operations can occur in apartments, small bungalows, large multi-million dollar homes and commercial buildings. The buildings appear to be fairly well maintained and don’t look out of the ordinary however the internal structure may have received significant structural, electrical and heating system modifications that are not up to code or deemed safe.

Changes to these systems are done to replicate warm, humid climates in which hybrid plants flourish to produce high potency marijuana. Structures that were previously Marijuana Grow Ops are often unsafe for human occupancy. This is because of compromised structural and mechanical integrity, as well as hazards from mold (mould) and chemical residue.

Is there a grow op in your neighbourhood? How to identify a grow op.

(It is important to note that a positive response to some of these questions does not mean it is a grow op house and that the residents are involved in criminal activity. Please use this questionnaire as a basic guideline only.)
1. Occupants don’t appear to have regular job hours and drive expensive automobiles.
2. Dark window coverings on many windows
3. Illuminated rooms or outbuildings nearly 24 hours a day.
4. Heavy condensation on windows, lack of frost or snow on roofs of houses when others have frost and snow. Blowing curtains from fans.
5. Abnormal number of roof vents or unusual amount of steam in cold weather.
6. Extra security such as large fences or guard dogs.
7. Entry is always through the automatic garage doors and residents are always in their cars
8. Strange smell or odor coming from the home.
9. Electrical humming sounds, numerous fans and running water.
10. Unusual wiring to the exterior of the home and or the hydro meter spins at a faster than normal rate.
11. Commonly experienced localized power surges or browning. Lights often dim or appliances slow down with lack of power.
12. Avoid making any contact with neighbours.
13. Toys are often outside the home but no children are ever seen at the home.
14. Large quantities of growing equipment & supplies are seen taken into the home/outbuildings but there are no flowers or gardens at the home. Often purchased in winter months.
15. Numerous pots, soil, garden hoses and fertilizers around the property.
16. Appears to be vacant, yard poorly kept and newspapers build up at the front door.
17. Hoses run from doors and windows to the outside of the home.
18. Visitors often park down the street and walk to the home.
19. In condominiums owners move in at night, disappear for long periods of time or you never see them move in.
21. Garbage days there is no garbage ever or there is no noticeable activity in the home but a lot of garbage.
Grow ops can either be lived in or maintained by visiting gardeners. The RCMP see a lot of operations now where the whole house is used, on the other hand, sometimes only a small portion of a home is used.

How to detect a Marijuana grow operation when purchasing a home.

When purchasing a home it is important to do all the appropriate tests and inspections to safeguard your purchase. A thorough environmental assessment which includes an air quality and mold inspection should be conducted. A proper inspection for mould should be thorough and include numerous air samples (spore test) and visual inspection of the structure. These comprehensive tests will survey the air quality to identify and locate hidden pollution and mould levels indoors. These tests will identify any areas that had previous grow operations and contain abnormal levels of mould or chemical pollution. These agents alone can cause serious health problems leading to long term conditions.

A listing Realtor is required by the Canadian Real Estate Association to have a home owner fill out a Property Condition Disclosure Statement. This statement is filled out by the home owner and requires a home owner to disclose any “material latent defects” such as a grow operation that cannot be detected with reasonable investigation. Grow op owners can and have hidden obvious signs of a previous grow operation and not disclosed it in this form. A potential buyer unfortunately has to search deeper before assuming all facts are disclosed by the homeowner. Talking to neighbours and local authorities often can uncover information.

If you suspect a marijuana grow-op in your neighbourhood

If you suspect a property is being used to grow marijuana or that a property has a bypassed electric meter, contact your local Police. If you wish to remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (1-800-222-8477).

RCMP Grow Op Information
BC Hydro Grow Op Information

Many home owners in the Kamloops area are thinking about  selling their home but are unsure about where to start.  There are numerous real estate companies in Kamloops with even more Realtors at each company. Here is a guide to help home owners prepare and understand the steps before, during and after selling your home.

1. De-clutter, clean up and touch up: Ensure your home is in good condition and will “show” well. This means that all unnecessary items that clutter a room should be removed and stored or donated. The tidier a room, the larger it feels. Buyers will not be distracted by clutter and untidiness when viewing your home. Touch up the paint in your home. This includes re-painting rooms with neutral light colors. Dark colors tend to make rooms feel dark and small. Remember, any strong odors need to be eliminated as well. It is important to have buyers imagine themselves in a home, strong smells, bold colors and cluttered spaces impede a buyers ability to do so. It is important to put your best foot forward from the start.

2. Interview Realtors: Every Realtor is different, the marketing techniques and level of service varies between agents. Interviewing a few Realtors for the job of selling your home is essential. Ensure you find a Realtor who will:
– Keep you informed on a regular basis about progress made towards selling your home.
– Promptly return all of your calls or emails (find out what tools are in place to ensure good communication).
– Actively market your home (ask about the marketing techniques used ie. internet advertising).
– Give you honest, accurate market information.
Developing a relationship with your Realtor is essential. You will feel comfortable asking questions or sharing concerns as they arise.

3. Signing a listing agreement: Once you have chosen a Realtor to represent you, you will then sign a listing contract. You will find the following in a listing contract:
– Contract period: You will specify the period of time that you will commit to listing your home with your Realtor. This time period can range and can be from one month to numerous months.
– Physical and legal description of the property to be sold.
– Listing Price: you and your Realtor will come up with a suitable list price to put your home on the market. You have to ensure that you are not over pricing your home. Price it at a competitively so it will sell. Your Realtor will show you comparable sales that directly compare your property to other similar properties. These comparable properties must be SOLD, not current homes on the market, because homes on the market will not necessarily sell for the asking price.
– Listing Service & Cooperation: Your Realtor commits to placing your home on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and will cooperate with all real estate brokerages.
– Commission rate: There is no “standard” commission rate, every Realtor is different. This is an important question to bring up during the interview stage so that you know what to expect.  The most important thing you can do is offer a strong buyer agent commission, otherwise it is much more difficult to sell your home. Commission is paid by you, the seller and covers both the selling agent’s commission and the buyer’s agent commission.
– Commitment to Confidentiality: Your Realtor is agreeing contractually that your personal and confidential information will not be shared with any outside parties, this includes your motivation to sell or current financial situation.
– Limited Dual Agency: Sometimes a situation arises in the sale of a property where the listing Realtor sells your home to their own buyer or the listing Realtor and buyer’s agent are from the same office. This is called limited dual agency and in this case the Realtors involved have to stay neutral and not advise either party.
– As the seller you would agree to: refer any inquiry about the sale of your property to your Realtor and accept an offer made during the contract that fulfills your selling requirements. As a seller you have the power to accept an offer that is acceptable to you, your Realtor should not force you to accept any offer that you are not comfortable accepting.
– By signing the complete document you as a seller have committed to working towards the sale of your property with the Realtor you have chosen.
– If you are not satisfied with your Realtors service, some agents will allow you to cancel your contract at any time. This is also something you should discuss during the interview process.

4. Yard Sign, Pictures, Lockbox & Advertising: Your Realtor will arrange to have a yard sign placed on your property to advertise your home for sale. Pictures will be taken of your home to place on MLS and other advertising media. Some agents will take video profiles of your home to use on websites for further advertising. A lockbox will be placed on your front door or other accessible location. A lockbox is important, it allows other agents to access your property (with an appointment of course). Only Realtors and licensed home inspectors have lock box keys.

5. Showings: Your Realtor will call you with any requests to show your home. You will be given a date and time when either your Realtor or another agent would like to show your home to their client. The showing agent will leave a card behind after showing your home. During these showings you should vacate the home in order to ensure that the potential buyers feel comfortable searching through cupboards and closets.

6. MLS Tour: If your home is close to the Kamloops city core it will be included in the MLS tour. This is where Realtors tour new listings in Kamloops and preview them for potential clients. MLS tours happen every Tuesday in Kamloops and alternates between the North and South shores.

7. Open Houses: Some agents will hold open houses at your home. This allows for your home to be exposed to potential buyers as well as allow your Realtor to network with potential buyers.

8. Price Adjustment: There may come a time where you will have to consider adjusting your list price. This market adjustment or price reduction will help refresh your listing and create more excitement about your property with buyers. With the current market, it is important to revisit price adjustments regularly in order to remain competitive.

9. Contract to Purchase: Once a buyer makes an offer. Your Realtor will assist you in negotiating the terms and conditions reagrding the sale of your home. For full details about how a Contract of Purchase and Sale works from initial offer to completion click here.

10. What do you do if your listing expires off of the Kamloops real estate market.

11. Accepted Offer, Subject Removal, Completion & Possession: Once an offer is accepted, the buyer starts to remove subjects such as a home inspection, financing etc. Once the subjects have been removed the offer is considered ‘firm’ and the next step is completion and possession. Completion is the date negotiated in the contract to purchase where the monies and legal documentation is completed and transferred. Possession is the date that the buyer gets the keys to their new home.

As stated earlier, Realtors use a variety of techniques to sell a home. This is why it is important to interview a couple of agents to find the right one for you. Go with your gut feeling, it is often right! If you have any questions please give me a call. I would be happy to help you.

Kamloops Home Evaluation Click here for your free home market evaluation.

Kamloops Home Evaluation & AppraisalThere are many reasons for a seller to want to sell their home, but the main goals are to sell it fast and for the highest price possible. It is important that before you list your home on the real estate market that you establish a list price. To figure out your homes value, you don’t base it on what you bought your home for or how you have improved or renovated your home. The value of a home is solely based on market value or simply what a buyer would pay for the home. “Market value is the price at which a particular house, in its current condition, will sell within 30 to 90 days.” Three things make up market value: The specific Home, the present condition of the home and what it will sell for in 30-90 days.

The best way to determine the value of a home is to either get an appraisal or a comparative market analysis (CMA). Appraisals must be conducted by a certified appraiser and a CMA is conducted by a Realtor. Each assessment is based on recent sales of comparable properties, location, construction / upgrade quality, floor plan, and distance to schools, shopping and transportation etc. A CMA is free of charge on the other hand an appraisal commonly costs between $300 and $500.

Specific Home:  Market value of a home is limited to the specific home. Often homes in different neighbourhoods in the city are not comparable because there are many factors that are different about each neighbourhood. This is why when considering the value of a home you have to compare it to similar homes in the same neighbourhood.

Present condition of the Home:  The second aspect in order to determine the market value is the condition of the home. Often the condition is referred to how the home “shows”. Things like improvements, renovations, maintenance and cleanliness are important factors to consider when assessing your home’s ability to show well. Homes that require work typically take longer to sell. Some people believe that to determine market value they subtract the amount of estimated fix up costs from the selling price. This is not the correct way to evaluate a home. If a home that is in good condition sells for $100,000 and your home needs $5,000 in updates the list price should not be $95,000. To attract buyers, the home that needs updates has to be reduced beyond the cost of the repairs.

30 to 90 days:  A competitively priced home typically sells within 30 to 90 days. If a home doesn’t sell in that time period, the simple explanation is the price is too high. Many people believe that Realtors are in charge of market value, but the only determining factor of a home sale, is that a buyer is willing to buy that home at the agreed price, plain and simple.  We are experiencing a slow market currently in Kamloops. Homes are taking longer to sell, but homes that are priced competitively do sell within this time period.

It is important to get a number of professional opinions about the current real estate market. It is essential to get educated about market conditions, recent sales in your neighbourhood, condition of the home, your urgency to sell, financing, additional items (i.e. redecorating allowance, appliances), and outstanding repairs. In a buyers market, there are many more homes for sale than the demand from buyers. Buyers take more time choosing a home and when they place an offer they have much more negotiating power.

Price is the most important factor to consider when selling your home. An overpriced home will sit on the market and may not sell. Price reductions are not a bad thing, think of a price reduction as a market adjustment. Sellers need to adjust their price to what the  market dictates. If a seller prices too high to begin with, the seller may receive less than if the home was priced competitively in the beginning.  Currently many sellers in Kamloops are chasing the market down. As they adjust their price downwards they are only pricing to the current level of the market. In order to sell your home today, you have to price it under the curve and catch the buyers as the market adjusts downwards.

Kamloops Home Evaluation Interested in finding out what your home is worth? Click here to find out. Contact me directly if you have any questions.

This article is from the Vancouver Sun written by Fiona Anderson. Many Kamloops residents are getting great rates on their mortgages; both refinance and pre-approval rates. Now many first time buyers have a chance to own a home. Read below for the full article.

Have a fixed-rate mortgage at 4.5 per cent or higher? Then you should be refinancing, says Steve Moffitt, senior mortgage consultant with Equimac Mortgage Centre in Vancouver. “There’s never been a better opportunity historically, never, for doing a refinancing, ” he adds.

If only it were that simple. In fact, determining whether you should refinance or not depends largely on the penalty you will pay to get out of your current mortgage, and the amount of money you could save with a new one.

The first part of the equation — the penalty — is not easy to calculate. Most fixed-term mortgages charge the greater of three months’ interest or what’s called the “interest differential.” This latter amount is the difference between the interest you would have paid for the remainder of your mortgage term and the amount the bank can earn lending out the money now.So if you have a five-year mortgage at 5.25 per cent with three years left to go, and the bank’s current three-year rate is 4.5 per cent, you’ll have to pay the difference.

Often the amount of the penalty is about the same as the savings to the borrower, “so it’s a wash,” says Feisal Panjwani, a senior mortgage consultant with Invis. Moffitt’s magic number of 4.5 per cent uses the penalty of three months’ interest, which he says he sees often. But which penalty will apply really depends on the particular mortgage. So both Panjwani and Moffitt encourage people to ask their mortgage professional to crunch the numbers for them.

The current best five-year fixed-rate available is 4.19 per cent for most borrowers, Panjwani says. And he believes the rate could go as low as 3.99 per cent in the near future. The best variable rate is the prime lending rate set by the banks plus 0.8 percentage points, which today translates into 3.3 per cent. With rates that low, everyone who currently is paying 4.5 per cent or higher should probably do the math because there could be thousands of dollars in savings.

One way to save may be switching from a fixed- to a variable-rate mortgage, because with the variable rate so low, the savings are more likely to outpace the penalty costs, Panjwani says. But because the rate does change, “that’s risky,” he adds.

Some people are refinancing their mortgages not for the savings but rather to lock in today’s low rates for five years, Panjwani says. For example, if someone has three years left in their mortgage term, they may not save any money in the first three years of the new mortgage because of the penalty. But they have guaranteed today’s rate for two years after that. Keep in mind, however, that there are costs associated with refinancing that have to be added to the equation, Panjwani says.

One group of borrowers who need not worry about refinancing are those who were already in variable-rate mortgages. In the past, those rates were calculated as prime less a premium, and some outstanding mortgages chop off as much as 0.9 percentage points. With prime now at 2.5 per cent, those people are paying 1.6-per-cent interest. That number can’t be beat, especially considering prime could go down even further. “Anyone on a variable floating below prime, I would say those people should probably hang onto that mortgage,” Panjwani says.

The low mortgage rates also have buyers knocking on lenders’ doors. Last month, 40 per cent of Panjwani’s business came from purchasers rather than those looking to refinance. While the split is normally 50-50 between the two, in the last few months only about 20 per cent were purchases, he says.

Carolyn Heaney, an area manager with BMO Bank of Montreal’s business development group, says her bank has seen a lot more first-time homebuyers. The combination of low mortgage rates and lower prices means people who have wanted to live in a particular area but couldn’t afford it now can, she says.

At the current variable mortgage rate, a $200,000 mortgage with a 25-year amortization, would have payments of about $980 a month, she says. At a fixed rate of 4.39 per cent, the payments would be about $1,100. “So it’s very affordable for people to get into the market,” Heaney says.

Many home owners today in Kamloops are wondering whether they should sell or rent. Homes are on the market for a longer period of time. More homes listings are expiring and many homeowners are getting frustrated with the recent decline in Kamloops real estate prices. I have heard numerous times in the past few months “I am going to rent my home for a year and sell it at a later time”. This plan works in theory, but when you dig deeper the rate of return on capital makes keeping the property a poor investment depending on the numbers.

Capitalization rate is a measure of the ratio between the net operating income produced by an asset (real estate) and its capital cost (the original price paid to buy that real estate) or alternatively its current market value. I have found a capitalization rate calculator that indicates “Rent” or “Sell” once you input the numbers for your property. This calculator makes the decision very straight forward. Unless you are receiving around a 5.7% rate of return, holding on to a property and renting it is not beneficial to you according to this calculation.

Click here to try the Rent or Sell calculator.

For Kamloops and surrounding area real estate listings click here.

Kamloops has a large number of people relocating to and from the city annually. Moving to a new city can definitely be an adventure, but it can also be very stressful. I have outlined eight common mistakes people make when relocating to a new city.

1. Not Getting Informed
It is always a good idea to research your new community by contacting the chamber of commerce, tourism department, municipality or library. Ensure you compare the cost of living in your new community to what you are used to.

2. No knowledge about home price and not ready for showing
Completing repairs definitely helps with the sale of your home. Often small things like chipped paint, worn caulking and sticky doors distract potential buyers from appreciating the great things about your home. Have carpets cleaned, and go through your home and wipe down all the door frames and doors. Make sure you get a Comparable Market Analysis (CMA) completed by one or two Realtors to ensure you list your home competitive, realistic price.

3. Not planning for a temporary home between destinations
You may need to set up temporary living arrangements until you move into your new home. The time period could be a couple days to a couple months. Depending on the time period, you have options from a hotel room to a short term rental agreement.

4. Not being pre-approved for a mortgage
Buyers who are pre-approved for a mortgage have more negotiating power. Sellers are eager and more willing to negotiate with pre-approved buyers.

5. Not completing a professional home inspection
This applies for both the home you are selling and the one you are buying. Ensure you are educated about the new home you have purchased and also upcoming issues that may arise with your current home when it sells.

6. Not enough time to address children’s concerns
During relocation a child could feel lost, sad, angry or confused. Sometimes, under the stress of completing so many details, the temptation is to get settled as quickly as possible so everyone feels at home. Talk to your children before, during and after the process. They will feel safe, cared for and comfortable. Become familiar with your new neighborhood. If possible, set up a meeting with new teachers and other children in their new school before moving. Try to avoid moving in the middle of a school year.

7. Not using local, licensed professionals
Every area is different. It is important to be aware about what all the local neighbourhoods and communities have to offer. Each neighbourhood has positive and negative aspects about them (i.e. proximity to schools, transit, etc). Ensure you are informed about each and every area you are thinking about living in. Your Realtor can find you a home that matches your needs. You will save time and energy by having a professional do the work for you. Besides, your Realtor should have information to give you on local schools, transit, local amenities and other important neighbourhood characteristics.

8. Not clarifying your employer’s relocation policies
It is very important to go through your employer’s relocation policies carefully especially for the amount of reimbursement. Keep all your receipts and records of your expenses related to the move, as moving expenses are deductible under certain conditions established by Revenue Canada.

Thinking about relocating to Kamloops? Click here for all Kamloops real estate listings to help you with your decision.

If you need relocation assistance, I have a number of resources that will help make the move easier for you and your family. Contact me anytime with your questions.

Buying a home or investment property in Kamloops is a big decision. There are many steps to take along the path to finding that perfect property. Many buyers have no idea how to buy a home and don’t know where to start. Here is a guide for buyers who are a little foggy about the home buying process from start to finish.

1. Get Yourself Representation: A Realtor is your best resource for information. A Realtor is a free resource for buyers (commission is paid by the selling party) and will represent your best interests for the entire transaction. This Realtor will organize and accompany you to all appointments, answer any questions you may have and provide you with detailed information on all the properties that interest you. If there are any questions that you have about a property and it requires further investigation your Realtor will help discover all the answers you need.

2. Writing An Offer To Purchase: Once you find a property you want to make an offer on. Your Realtor will write up all the necessary paperwork creating a legal contract for the purchase of the home (Contract of Purchase and Sale – CPS). The details in this document are the dollar amount of the offer, the deposit amount (held in trust at the buyers agent’s brokerage), the day you want to have the keys to the property, items that you want included in the sale (i.e. appliances, window coverings, etc), subjects in the offer (i.e. Home inspection, Financing, etc.) and any other details important to your purchase.

3. Explanation of Subjects: Many buyers are not informed about how the contract works. When you make an offer there are standard “subjects” in the offer. These subjects (depending on whether the property is a strata, freehold, mobile, bare land/lot, etc) are different for each offer. To keep this relatively short I will outline the standard residential and strata subjects which commonly are:

– Subject to Financing (obtaining approval for a mortgage).
– Subject to a home inspection.
– Subject to a property Title Search: Any right of ways, easements, etc. are detailed on title as well as all registered charges against the property such as mortgages and liens.
– Subject to a Building Information Report from the City of Kamloops or Thompson Nicola Regional District.
– Subject to fire/property insurance.
– Subject to the buyer being satisfied with the Property Condition Disclosure Statement (PDS) which is provided by the selling party.

For Strata properties there are further subjects such as the buyer will approve:

– Form ‘B’ which details strata fees/financial information regarding the strata.
– The strata plan, amendments and/or changes.
– Current Bylaws and Financial Statements of the Strata corporation.
– The minutes from the strata council meetings.

The subject removal period is commonly between five to ten business days after the contract is accepted. It can be shorter or longer and must be agreed to by both parties.

Once the subject removal period is near expiry, the buyer can do one of a few things: remove the  subjects, making the offer unconditional, extend the subject removal period or not remove the subjects and walk away from the offer due to the inability to fulfill one of the subjects. In a nutshell. If a buyer does not remove subjects the offer is finished.

4. Legal Conveyancing: Once subjects have been removed the CPS (Contract of Purchase and Sale) is unconditional and goes to the Lawyer or Notary for legal conveyancing. At this point the buyer and seller have committed to completing on the offer to purchase.

5. Final Steps: Between the time of “completion” (meaning the title is being transferred, mortgage is put in place, etc) and “possession” (you have the keys to get into your new home), your Realtor will do a walk through of the property to ensure that all the included items are in the home, it is left in the condition expected and that there are not any other issues with the property before possession. This short time (usually 24 hours) will give your Realtor time to ensure that any issues are dealt with before you move in. Ensure that you get a moving checklist from your Realtor which will help to ensure you get all the necessary things done before you get possession, simple things like arranging Hydro, changing your address, etc. These things can be easily overlooked during this busy and exciting time.

6. Welcome Home: Possession day, you get the keys. Your Realtor will meet you at the property, give you all the important items and information, and walk through the home. At this time you can address any questions about the property.

7. Follow Up: Your Realtor should follow up with you within a week after possession. He or she will want to ensure your move went well and that there are not any issues or further questions.

What is your home worth? Click here for a free online home evaluation.

Today’s real estate market in Kamloops is very competitive. There are a number of homes for sale that are very similar in characteristics and also in price. There are a few factors that affect the sale of homes that are similar. Simple, obvious things such as curb appeal, interior design and upkeep, clutter, scents, accessability, etc, are all issues to be aware of when selling a home. There is one underlying, very important home selling technique that is often overlooked by sellers and ultimately puts their home at a significant disadvantage. This factor is the commission a seller offers the buyers’ agent (or Realtor representing a buyer) in order to bring a qualified buyer to purchase their home.

It is a fact that Realtors work with the most qualified buyers. These buyers have often already been pre-approved for a mortgage and are ready to make an offer on a property in the near future. By offering a less competitive commission to the buyers’ agent, you are not motivating Realtors to come bring their qualified buyers to your home and sell it. The the best way to describe it is, if you went to work for a month, and at the end of the month you were told you weren’t going to make 100% of your normally expected pay how would you feel? This is the sentiment out there in the market, especially now that buyers have so many homes to choose from. We are now seeing buyers agent selling bonuses and higher commission rates than have been seen over the past few years. Sellers are beginning to understand that money motivates. Homes that offer less commission to buyers agents are often overlooked. Unfortunately I don’t make the rules, I am just passing on this information for the seller’s benefit. Please don’t make this mistake.

If you are motivated to sell your home ensure you do the basic things such as maintaining an attractive curb appeal, keep your home neat and uncluttered, etc. More importantly if you are selling in the Kamloops real estate market, offer a competitive commission to the buyers’ agent, otherwise you are just hurting yourself financially in the long run!

What is your home worth? Click here for a free online home evaluation.

Home For SaleWhen you are selling your home, the price you set is a critical factor in the return you will receive. That is why you need a professional evaluation from an experienced Realtor that is well educated about your area of Kamloops. This person can provide you with an honest assessment of your home based on several factors including:
* Current market conditions
* Condition of your home
* Repairs or improvements
* Time frame

In real estate terms, market value is the price at which a particular house, in its current condition, will sell for within 30 to 90 days. Today, in Kamloops real estate market, we are finding that homes are taking longer to sell, on average roughly 70 days for a well priced home. This is why it is important to price your home competitively as well as ensure it is in the best condition to show to buyers as possible.

If the price of your home is too high several things could happen:
* Limits buyers: Potential buyers may not view your home only because it would be out of their buying range.
* Limits showings: Other Realtors and buyers may be less reluctant to view your home.
* Used as leverage: Other Realtors may use this home to sell against homes that are better priced.
* Extended stay on the market: When a home is on the market too long, it may be perceived as defective. Buyers may wonder, “what is wrong,” or “why has not this sold?”
* Lower price: An overpriced home, still on the market beyond the average selling time, could lead a lower selling price. To sell it, you will have to reduce the price, sometimes, several times. In the end, you will probably get less than if it had been properly priced at the start.
* Wasted time and energy: A bank appraisal is most often required to finance a home.

It is a well known fact that well-kept homes, properly priced in the beginning, always get you a quicker sale for the best price. In a buyers market, like we are experiencing currently, often you need a professional to assist you in the sale of your home.

Over the past couple days I have been through a whole variety of single family homes in Kamloops; upwards of 25 or so listings. I have found that in today’s market the pricing of these properties is all over the place. It appears that there is no consistency in the pricing of listed properties and I think this is because of either the home seller or agent confusion.

First, in my opinion, since the market has dropped some sellers are stuck at 2007 values, where homes were 10% or so higher than today’s market value. We were living in a real estate bubble where housing prices “would never go down” or “buy now or be priced out forever”. It is a fact that when we are in the midst of a housing bubble, people feel like it will never end, probably because of human nature. It is easy to get caught up in the euphoria of it all. I have to admit, that was the feeling I got from a lot of people around me, but I personally felt the change coming. We are now getting back to reality and working towards  a balanced market, but are still far from it. Sellers have to price their homes competitively to sell, there are far more homes rejected from the market because of price in comparison to the number of homes that sell. To get your home sold, price your home right from the beginning. If you as a seller want to reduce, approach your agent, they should welcome the idea.

Secondly, there is this belief out there that prices will return to previous levels in the spring. This is felt by some sellers and Realtors alike. I have a very hard time believing that this could be remotely true. With the incredible uncertainty in today’s economy from job losses to a lack of confidence in the markets, there are no indicators out there that show that the market will return to previous levels anytime soon. This is my opinion of course.

The encouraging news to sellers is that over the past couple weeks I have seen an increase in the number of buyers looking to purchase a home. There are always people that have to sell their home and buy another. The Kamloops Real Estate Board has been reporting more sales lately than we saw last month. The statistics will come out in early February and I will include them here.

If you are thinking about selling your home, my suggestion would be, get it on the market sooner rather than later. There are a number of sellers wanting to go on the market in the spring. Beat the rush and get your property on the market and advertised to the public before the spring rush and  increased competition.

real-estate-market

Numerous factors affect the real estate market. There may be more buyers than sellers. There could be more sellers than buyers. Interest rates, employment statistics and pricing. The supply of resale and new homes are also considerations when selling a home. Generally speaking, there are three types of markets that affect the sale of your home. Understanding each of these can make a difference to your bottom line.

Buyers’ Market
Description: There is an abundance of homes on the market. Supply exceeds demand.
Characteristics: Many homes available for sale. Fewer buyers than homes. Homes remain on the market longer. Stable prices. Prices may also drop.
Impact: Less panic in buying. Buyers shop longer for homes. Upon negotiation, they often have more leverage.

Sellers’ Market
Description: There are more buyers than homes available.
Characteristics: Few homes on the market. Many buyers. Homes are sold quickly. Prices often rise.
Impact: Home prices are higher. Homes prices often rise. Buyers purchase quickly, and tend not to shop as much. Multiple offers are common. Sellers may prefer offers with no-conditions.

Balanced Market
Description: There are roughly the same amount of buyers, sellers and number of homes on the market. Supply equals demand.
Characteristics: Demand equals supply. Sellers accept reasonable offers. Homes sell within a reasonable time period. Prices generally remain stable.
Implications: There is less tension among buyers and sellers. There is a reasonable number of homes to choose from.

We have seen exponential growth in the Kamloops real estate market over the past five plus years. Often buyers would have little time to place an offer to purchase a property because of the sense of urgency in the market. Multiple offers was commonplace at that time. This fortunately for buyers has changed recently with the economic downturn. Buyers have time on their side and an abundance of homes to chose from. Today in the Kamloops real estate market we are seeing a strong buyers market. It will not be a buyers market forever, but it is expected that it will be this way for a while. Eventually, the market will cycle into a balanced market, which we have not seen in quite a number of years.

What is your home worth? Click here for a free online home evaluation.

FSBOMany people don’t realize that selling a home is a complicated, time-consuming process. With numerous factors to consider such as open houses, advertising, pricing, negotiating and handling the numerous kinds of inquiries, it can be very exhausting and even worse – unfruitful. Many homeowners report the familiar grief after an open house: “I got lots of people, but most were just looking.” “They wanted it for next to nothing.”

You may be thinking, “Why would I need a Realtor to sell my home?” Let me give you just a few of the key reasons why a For Sale By Owners need Help in today’s difficult market:

1. Without working day in and day out in the real estate market it is quite unlikely that a FSBO will have complete understanding about pricing. Often a seller is forced to reduce the price and may have to accept less money for the home than the seller would have received had he or she started at the right price. When a Realtor goes to work with you, they ensure you will receive the most current market stats along with a thorough market analysis report to place your home  in a solid market position.

2. A property depreciates the longer it is on the market. Many owners fail to take advantage of this excitement by limiting the market to their immediate contacts and advertising.  Ensure your home is advertised 24 hours a day until it is sold. Realtors use a home selling system that is constantly being tested and improved to ensure your home is exposed to the largest pool of QUALIFIED buyers.

3. The two most common people who prey on FSBO’s are:

– #1. Investors / Bargain Hunters: these are people who are looking to capitalize on a FSBO’S lack of negotiating experience and market knowledge to score their next deal. Any time a buyer doesn’t buy from a store or through a sales person they expect to pay substantially less. In a sense they would expect to save the sales commissions or profits that would normally go to a sales person or store owner. Why should someone do all the work a salesperson would do and still pay the same price? For example if the seller is trying to save six percent and the buyer is trying to save six percent, now they are 12 percent apart!

– #2. People who can’t qualify to buy your home: These people will often approach FSBO’s because they have had previous financial difficulties and would want the owner to finance them. While for the right person, this could be a profitable investment, most sellers need to pull as much equity out of the property as possible to be able to move on with their next home.

4. It is important to ensure that only prospects who can qualify are introduced to your home. This eliminates the hassle of “lookers” and non-serious buyers and reduces the chance of strangers who may have activities in mind other than buying a house will come. Realtors often also have some of the best mortgage brokers in the industry working with their team who can pull the necessary strings to help finance a purchase.

5. Did you realize that any time a private seller is away from home, the home is off of the Market? It is important that someone will always be available to handle and follow up with inquiries during both peak hours and off-peak hours.

6. A seller selling privately can expect to put a minimum of 80 hours “work” into the project, without a guaranteed result. This does not account for out-of –pocket expenditures such as advertising, lawn signs, etc. Selling a home can be extremely stressful! Often FSBO’s don’t have the time available to take care of the details, from the first step of marketing to the final sale, because you have a life outside of the sale of your home.

In past markets it was very easy for a For Sale By Owner to sell their home. By all means, if you can do it on your own, go for it! Don’t wait around for a prolonged period of time and For Sale By Ownerhope for that qualified buyer to walk in your door. I have found in the past few months many FSBO’s have had a lot of inquiries about Rent to own options. This sometimes is possible and works for the seller, but not often.

For Sale By OwnerThere are a lot of sellers trying to sell their homes today, that have the advertising power and exposure behind them because they are listed on the MLS with a Realtor. The majority of buyers begin their search on the internet, including FSBO sites, unfortunately the bulk of the current listings exist on the MLS. Once buyers begin their search they often pick a Realtor to help them, they do this because Realtors are free for buyers. Buyers do not have to pay a fee to work with a Realtor and often Realtors have the most qualified buyers.

Selling your home For Sale By Owner is difficult, but can be done. Give it a try and if you get frustrated interview Realtors and find the right one for you.

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 is your home worth? Click here for a free online home evaluation.

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.

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

« Older entries