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GARBUTT + DUMAS REAL ESTATE TEAM
630 Fifth St
New Westminster, BC, V3M 2X9
604.805.3115
info@gdrealestate.ca




James Garbutt

Top 10 questions a buyer should ask a Realtor

Finding a Realtor may be the most important step in your search for a new home. There are questions a buyer should ask their Realtor to make sure they’re a good fit for the way you like to do things. Your Realtor should understand your needs and desires, keep your best interests first and foremost.

Think of it as a job interview; if you like what you hear, like their qualifications and feel like they’re a good match for your needs, they’re hired.

1. What is your experience?

One of the first questions a buyer should ask their Realtor is about their experience.  Not just in terms of years, but in real estate the number of sales is just as important.

You want to make sure your Realtor has a good base of knowledge and experience in the type of properties you’re looking for, and that they’re well in tune with the current market.

If the Realtor doesn’t have much experience it’s good to know if they have any related experience or knowledge.  A background in real estate investment or construction could be a valuable resource to tap as you evaluate possible properties.

2. What is your approach to the buying process?

Does your Realtor’s way of doing things align with your own philosophy and approach. Some buyers prefer to monitor listings themselves and then just inform their Realtor to set up a showing when they find one of interest. Other buyers prefer to sit back and entrust their Realtor to do all the leg work. Make sure each of you has a clear understanding of who’s watching the market.

And be clear about your timeframe for your search; some buyers are very anxious and want to get their new home purchased quickly while others are more patient, willing to wait until they find the “perfect” place. If you’re the latter, you don’t want your Realtor pressuring you before you’re ready to buy.

3. What are your expectations from your clients?

You should know what your Realtor expects of you. Conversely, your Realtor should know what you expect of them.

Be open in all your communications with your Realtor; let them know when you’re anxious to buy, or when you might want to take a break from the search. Try to stay focussed so you, or your Realtor, aren’t expending a lot of wasted energy. Make sure your financing is in order, and you’re pre-approved for a mortgage so when the right home does come along, your Realtor can move quickly and confidently on your behalf.

Be realistic in your expectations; it may take some time to find the perfect house, or you may have to make some compromises if you need to move quickly.

4. Where do you primarily work?

A Realtor who is familiar with the community and its neighbourhoods will likely get you the best result.  If you’re looking in a specific area, that Realtor should know it well.

A knowledgable Realtor will be able to recommend neighbourhoods, and even streets, that are the best fit for your needs. They’ll be give you valuable information about schools in the neighbourhood, as well as daycares, parks and transit service.

5. What is your approach to evaluating a property?

A property evaluation, or Comparative Market Analysis, will compare a home you’re looking at to other similar homes in the area that are for sale or were sold recently. This will give you an idea of the local market conditions and what it will take to purchase the home you seek in the area you desire.

You should ascertain your Realtor’s approach to doing their evaluation; how detailed are the evaluations? A generic condo can be easy to evaluate, especially if there have been recent sales above or below. But evaluating a unique home can be quite difficult as there’s little to compare it with.

A skilled Realtor will be able to evaluate a property’s value with confidence and accuracy. They’ll look at similar properties outside the neighbourhood, as well as in similar neighbourhoods. Or they could use a replacement cost approach that calculates the value of the land and what it would cost to build a comparable home.

If a Realtor doesn’t provide you with any guidance and just wants to hear your offer, you may want to find another Realtor.

6. Are you part of a team, or do you work independently?

One of the questions a buyer should ask a Realtor is whether they work as part of a team.

One of the questions a buyer should ask a Realtor is whether they work as part of a team.

 

You want to know whether the Realtor you’re dealing with is going to be there for you when you need them or whether you’ll be tapping into a team of Realtors. Make sure you have a clear understanding of who is your primary contact and who is the backup if your Realtor isn’t available. If your Realtor doesn’t have a backup, establish a contingency for when they’re not available; the perfect property could come along at any time and you want to know you can jump on it.

7. How many clients are you currently working with?

This may give you an idea how much time and energy your Realtor will have available for you. Don’t be afraid to ask for references. Keep in mind the references the Realtor provides will likely be their best and happiest clients so try to dig a little deeper by asking around the community or other people who’ve recently bought or sold a home. Search their name on Google and Facebook, check out their profile on LinkedIn.

8. What happens after I buy?

A great Realtor will be there for you if there are any issues before, during and, especially, after the purchase, such as the seller not fulfilling their end of the contract, or leaving the place in a shambles. They’ll also be available to help you settle in, perhaps recommend professionals and trades to help with any renovations or repairs you want to do. A Realtor who doesn’t abandon you once they’ve handed over the keys to your new home will likely be your Realtor for life.

9. What is your availability and how will you communicate?

Does your Realtor prefer phone contact, or email? How often will they update you? What hours are they available? And what happens if the right property comes along when the Realtor isn’t available?

Your Realtor will likely have the same questions for you.

The more you know about your Realtor’s way of operating, and vice-versa, the more likely you’ll have a good home buying experience.

10. What else do I need to know?

It’s always a good idea to ask an open-ended question to give the Realtor a chance to highlight a unique service they might offer, or speak to areas you might have overlooked. That extra little tidbit of information could be the tipping point to your decision.

Bonus question. Do you own a brewery?

If your Realtor owns a brewery, that’s a bonus!

 

This question might throw your Realtor. Unless of course they do happen to own a brewery, in which case you may end up with a particularly thirst-quenching welcome gift when you take possession of your new home!

Questions a buyer should ask their Realtor: It’s all about trust

There’s no general rule for forging a great relationship with your Realtor. It’s all about trust and personal preference.

But your Realtor should be responsive to your needs; they should be patient when you need to take a little time, and proactive when you’re anxious. Your Realtor should be a good listener who will offer advice and help find solutions. And, most importantly, your Realtor shouldn’t try to sell you into every property you view.

Metro Vancouver real estate has “lukewarm start”

Metro Vancouver real estate hasn’t exactly started the new year like a house on fire.

“From a real estate perspective, it’s a lukewarm start to the year compared to 2016,” said Dan Morrison, the president of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV).

That’s creating some opportunities for buyers who had decided to step aside from last spring’s market madness.

In fact, prices for detached homes have declined about seven per cent since July, said Morrison. “Conditions with the market vary depending on property type. The townhome and condominium markets are more active than the detached market at the moment.”

That’s been our experience. Townhomes and condos are selling quickly. Some are commanding offers greater than their listed price. Detached houses are staying on the market longer.

True to form, sellers are waking from their usual December doldrums. New listings of detached homes, townhomes and condos increased 215.5 per cent over the end of 2016. There were 4,140 new listings in January, but only 1,312 in December.

Overall, there are 7,238 homes currently listed for sale in Metro Vancouver, 9.1 per cent more than a year ago.

Sales of detached homes in January were down 57.6 per cent from a year ago. Condo sales dipped 24.7 per cent and townhouse sales went down 32.4 per cent.

That’s helped nudge the ratio of sales to active listings to 21 per cent, the lowest since January, 2015. Analysts say housing prices start to feel downward pressure when the ratio goes below 12 per cent for a sustained period.

House prices down in Metro Vancouver real estate market

The benchmark price for a typical detached home in Metro Vancouver has gone down 6.6 per cent over the last six months to $1,474,800. It’s also dipped slightly for townhomes to $666,500. That’s .4 per cent less than it was six months ago, but it is .7 per cent more than it was in December.

For condo apartments in Metro Vancouver, the benchmark price has increased .3 per cent over the past six months to $512,300. In New Westminster, the benchmark price for a condo is up 5 per cent over the last six months to $387,700. For condos in North Burnaby it’s gone up 6.3 per cent to $490,800.

REBGV stats for Metro Vancouver real estate market in January

Keller Williams Elite is our new home

We’ve got a new home! Garbutt + Dumas is now part of the Keller Williams Elite real estate team.

Keller Williams is a global network of realtors and real estate professionals who believe in working together to help each other and our clients achieve success in business and life. In fact, Keller Williams is the world’s largest real estate franchise, with more than 110,000 realtors operating in 700 offices in Canada, the U.S., Indonesia, Vietnam, South Africa and Dubai.

That’s a lot of expertise and talent to draw upon.

The team at Keller Williams Elite is just that, a team. They understand the team model. Their support systems and commitment to training and innovation will make us more effective, able to provide an even better experience for our clients.

We’re pretty excited about the move. But that’s not all that’s new for us in this new year.

To celebrate our move to Keller Williams Elite, we’ve got a new look.

If you follow our social media channels (and, really, you should), you may have noticed our new signs being posted in front of our newest listings. As the market gets busier, you’ll also be seeing more of our signs around Metro Vancouver.

We like to think our new signs are bold and distinctive to catch the eye of passersby. But they’re still classy enough you’ll be pleased to place one on your lawn.

Garbutt + Dumas is now part of the Keller Williams Elite real estate team.

Denny posts our new sign at our first new listing of the year.

 

Finally, if you pay attention to the address bar at the top of your browser window, you may have noticed we’ve also got a new URL.

Our new site may not look that much different from the old one, but we’re building it to make it more functional and informative, even if you’re not currently in the market to buy a new home or sell your current one.

Our listings will continue to feature some of the best properties in Greater Vancouver. And now you’ll be able to easily search for properties in specific communities and neighbourhoods, as well as learn a little about what it’s like to live there. Each community page features an interactive map of its neighbourhoods where you can get familiar with amenities like parks, recreation and shopping, as well as its schools and transit information.

We also want to keep you up-to-date on everything real estate in Greater Vancouver. Our blog features timely updates on market news, issues and policies, as well as useful tips and information that will help you understand and navigate the process of buying or selling a home, or just make your life a little easier if you’re content right where you are.

After a record year in 2016, and with the support of Keller Williams Elite, our growing team at Garbutt + Dumas is poised for an even bigger 2017. But our priority will always be to provide our clients with the best service and a great experience.

Homeowner grant gets higher threshold

The BC government is raising the threshold for owners to be able to claim the homeowner grant to $1.6 million from $1.2 million.

The change means many homeowners whose recent property assessment increased the value of their home above the old threshold will still be eligible for the $570 basic homeowner grant to offset municipal property taxes on their principal residence.

“The threshold increase to $1.6 million helps ensure virtually everyone who received the grant last year will also receive it in 2017,” said Finance Minister Michael de Jong.

The threshold for the homeowner grant is going up to $1.6 million.

A higher threshold for homeowners to be eligible for a homeowner grant will help offset increases in their assessed property values.

 

The 33 per cent increase in the threshold was necessitated by 30-50 per cent jumps in assessed property values for detached single-family homes in some areas that put many homes above the previous $1.2 million threshold. In Metro Vancouver, the new threshold will keep 83 per cent of homes below the threshold and across the province 91 per cent of homes will remain eligible for the full grant.

When a home is valued above the threshold, the grant is reduced by $5 for every $1,000 of its assessed value in excess of the threshold. That means a home’s assessed value will now have to be more than $1,714,000 for its owner to completely lose their eligibility for any grant at all.

“We are doing our part to help keep housing costs affordable for families,” said de Jong.

When homeowners claim the grant to reduce their property taxes, the provincial government reimburses municipalities for the difference. The program will cost the province $821 million in 2017-18, up from $809 million last year.

  • To be eligible for the grant, a homeowner must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, living in BC, and the home must be their principal residence.
  • The basic grant is $570. For home owners in northern or rural areas, the grant is $770.
  • Homeowners who are over 65, disabled or are the surviving spouse of a veteran can receive an additional grant to reduce their property taxes by up to $845, or $1045 for residents in northern or rural areas.

Low income homeowners, or those on a fixed income who are still struggling to pay their property taxes can also apply for a deferral of all or part of their obligation. That’s a kind of low-interest loan against the equity of your home; the province pays your property tax on your behalf and you repay the loan, plus interest, at any time.

Everything you need to know about the Homeowner Grant

Busy year for Vancouver real estate

Slight price increases for detached houses, townhouses and condo apartments in New Westminster capped a busy year for Vancouver real estate.

The benchmark price for a single family detached home in New West reached $1,035,600 in December. That’s a .9 per cent increase over November and 18.7 per cent higher than December, 2015. Townhouses were up 4.6 per cent over the month prior, 20 per cent more than a year ago; and the benchmark price for condos increased .2 per cent to $380,700, 22.6 per cent more than the end of last year. Overall, the benchmark price for a typical property in New West increased .6 per cent over November, 21.2 per cent more than a year ago.

Slight price increases New Westminster in December finished a busy year for Vancouver real estate

The benchmark price for condos in New Westminster increased .2 per cent in December over the previous month.

 

The benchmark price for residential properties in South Burnaby also increased one per cent in December over November to $858,300. That’s mostly due to a 2.7 per cent bump in the price of condos in the area while townhouses and detached homes dipped slightly.

A busy year for Vancouver real estate was capped by a slight increase in the price of condos in South Burnaby

The benchmark price for condos in South Burnaby went up 2.7 per cent in December over November to end a busy year for Vancouver real estate.

 

Those increases came even though there were fewer listings and sales. They also bucked a slight downward trend across Metro Vancouver where the benchmark price for all properties dipped 1.2 per cent from November.

In North Burnaby the overall benchmark price dipped .5 per cent in December and it was down .4 per cent in East Burnaby.

A general cooling of the real estate market in the last half of 2016 wasn’t enough to keep the year from being the third-highest selling on record, said Dan Morrison, the president of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver. Only 2015 and 2005 recorded more property sales.

“The supply of homes for sale couldn’t keep up with home buyer demand for much of 2016,” said Morrison. “This allowed home sellers to raise their asking price.”

In fact, the benchmark price for all homes in Metro Vancouver reached $897,600 at the end of 2016, 17.8 per cent higher than December, 2015. The benchmark price for a typical single family detached home increased 18.6 per cent over the year to $1,483,500 while townhouses went up 20.4 per cent in 2016 to $661,800 and condos increased 17.3 per cent to $510,300.

Too soon to tell if 2017 will be another busy year for Vancouver real estate

Morrison said while government interventions to temper the frenzy in the local real estate market in the first six months of 2016 may have contributed to lower sales volumes and prices in the last half of the year, it’s still too soon to tell if their impact will continue to be felt into the new year.

“The long-term effects of these actions won’t be fully understood for some time,” said Morrison of the provincial foreign-buyers’ tax that was implemented in August to discourage off-shore speculators and new rules to make it tougher to qualify for a mortgage that were introduced by the federal government in the fall.

Another new measure introduced by the provincial government, a loan program to help first-time homebuyers with their down payment, begins accepting applications on Jan. 17.

Morrison said the market was under the microscope as sales and prices peaked in the late spring.

“Escalating prices caused by low supply and strong home buyer demand brought more attention to the market then ever before,” said Morrison. “As prices rose in the first half of the year, public debate waged about what was fuelling demand and what should be done to stop it. It was an eventful year for real estate in Metro Vancouver.”

All the stats from a busy year in Vancouver real estate

Wrapping-up our record year

Looking back at the 2016 real estate market

To say the 2016 real estate market in Greater Vancouver was wild and crazy would be an understatement.

The first half of the year was insanely busy as the market exploded. Homes were selling as soon as they hit the market, often after multiple offers, without subjects and above list.

The Lower Mainland has always been a desirable destination for home buyers, but this was off the hook, unsustainable. The 2016 real estate market was already showing signs of cooling down to a more sustainable level when the B.C. government implemented its foreign buyers’ tax. Some areas, like Vancouver’s West Side, felt its chill immediately.

That created a bit of a domino effect that reached into the suburbs as buyers and sellers decided to step aside to see how the market plays out.

The federal government’s new mortgage rules further tempered the market by making it a little tougher to qualify for a mortgage.

Then, in December, the provincial government introduced its new loan program to help first-time homebuyers with their downpayment, beginning in the new year. It’s too soon to tell if the incentive will reignite home sales; but for young people looking to plant roots in their community, every little bit helps. And the Bank of Mom and Dad will no doubt appreciate the relief.

Garbutt + Dumas enjoyed a record year; we sold 140 properties for a total of $98 million. It was hard work. But we still managed to have some fun along the way. Because providing our clients with an enjoyable real estate experience is our passion.

The 2016 real estate market was crazy, but we still had fun.

Uhm, okay, the real estate business can be fierce but…

 

That commitment to superior service will continue in 2017. In fact, we’re planning to kick it up a notch or two by keeping you even better informed about what we’re up to and what the market is doing and making the biggest transaction of your life even smoother and as stress-free as possible.

Thanks to all our clients for a great 2016. Thanks to our followers on social media and visitors to our website. Happy New Year! Bring on 2017!

The 2016 real estate market was crazy, but we still had fun.

Game on!

 

The 2016 real estate market was crazy, but we still had fun.

Checking the work of Marcos, our talented real estate photographer.

 

The 2016 real estate market was crazy, but we still had fun.

Our patio staging furniture is a star all its own!

 

The 2016 real estate market was crazy, but we still had fun.

If there’s a jungle gym, sometimes you just can’t help yourself!

 

Will this antenna gets us the Olympics?

Will this antenna gets us the Olympics?

 

The 2016 real estate market was crazy, but we still had fun.

Getting in a workout!

 

The 2016 real estate market was crazy, but we still had fun.

The devil is in the details.

 

The 2016 real estate market was crazy, but we still had fun.

Staying in touch with clients never stops!

 

Best time of year to sell a home

The best time of year to sell a home is when you’re ready to sell it.

That’s the short answer. But of course it’s more complicated than that.

Just like the calendar, the real estate market has seasons. There are times of the year when it’s easiest to show your home at its best to potential buyers. And there are times of the year when buyers are actively shopping for a new home and inclined to make offers.

You’re more likely to sell your home quickly and for top dollar when those times coincide.

The best time of year to sell a home is spring.

Spring, when gardens and tress are blossoming, is the best time of year to sell a home.

 

The best time of year to sell a home is …

If you’re selling a house, typically spring is the best time of year to sell a home.

In nature, spring is a time of renewal. Same for home buyers.

Home buyers emerge in the spring flush with optimism. They’ve survived another winter in their current digs; but it’s time for a new start, time to address those nagging issues like space or location that have made their current home a challenge.

If those buyers are a family with school-aged children, it’s especially important for them to get the process of finding and moving to a new home into gear in the spring so the household is settled and the kids are registered for their new school in time for fall.

For sellers, the spring is the best time of year to show off your home. Especially if you’ve used the winter months to clear the clutter from the garage, repainted the living room, tended to those persistent maintenance issues in and around the house. With the trees trimmed and the gardens bursting with new flowers, your home is sure to have great curb appeal.

If spring is the best time of year to sell a home, isn’t everyone else also trying to sell their home in spring too?

When the market is buoyant and buyers are eager, prices are likely to stay healthy; if your neighbour’s house sells for top dollar that’s good news for the price you’ll be able to ask for your own place.

The next best time of year to sell a home is fall

Not everyone is prepared to sell their home in the spring. The fall is also desirable.

The weather is still good, so buyers are out and about. Save for Thanksgiving, most weekends aren’t busy with holiday activities. Anyone thinking of moving is keen to get it done before winter and the Christmas season kick in; they’re serious and motivated.

There’s usually fewer listings in the fall. That’s less competition for your home, so you may be able to get a better price. In fact, if it’s a rising market prices may peak in the fall; that’s what happened locally in three of the last eight years.

Any time is the best time of year to sell a home – if it’s a condo

Of course these timelines don’t really apply to the condo and townhouse market; they tend to sell steadily any time of year.

Any time is the best time of year to sell a home if it's a condo

Sales for condos and townhouses tend to be pretty steady all year.

 

That’s because condos and townhouses are generally geared towards first-time buyers and downsizers who don’t have to worry about things like getting their kids registered in a new school. They’re shopping for location, proximity to their work or recreational activities. They’re looking at indoor space and amenities that aren’t as tied to the weather outside. They’re buying lifestyle.

When not to sell your home

Whether you’re selling a house or a condo, it’s best to avoid December. With so much going on leading up to the Christmas holiday season, the last thing on most people’s agenda is shopping for a new home. Not that it doesn’t happen; but if you can hold off until January, you’re likely to see more active buyers and get a better price.

Unfortunately, not everyone is in control of the timing to sell their home.

Which brings us back to our opening point; the best time of year to sell a home is when you’re ready to sell. If you work with your realtor to set a proper sale price, maximize its exposure and show it off to its fullest potential, your home will find a buyer.

Getting ready for an open house

Last week we offered some tips to buyers to help them get the most out of visiting open houses. This week we turn the tables with tips for sellers getting ready for an open house.

An open house is one of the best marketing tools for selling your home. But a successful open house takes a lot more than just handing the keys to the front door to your realtor and going to a movie for the afternoon. A little planning and preparation getting ready for an open house will go a long way to helping you achieve top dollar for your home after buyers have had a chance to see it.

Make sure your home presents well at an Open House.

Planning and attention to detail will make your home look great for an Open House.

 

1. Getting ready for an open house, not an open home

If you’re getting ready for an open house you’ve got to detach your emotions and start thinking of your home as a commodity, and everything you do from the day you sign a contract with your realtor has to be looked at through that prism. You’ll likely be facing some tough decisions as you depersonalize your home as much as possible.

2. Identify your market when getting ready for an open house

Is your neighbourhood filled with young professionals and families or is it more established? Buyers tend to stick to their demographic so you should be marketing your home to match that targeted population. That means if you’ve lived in your home and haven’t updated it since the 1970s while your neighbours are now all hipsters who’ve moved out from the city, you should probably strip that floral wallpaper in the living room, replace those harvest gold appliances.

3. Assess and address

Make a thorough assessment of your home’s condition and any faults that should be addressed. Most buyers want their new home to be move-in ready and the last thing they expect to have to deal with are your legacy maintenance issues.

Sometimes it helps to get an impartial third party to help with your walk-through; you may have lived with the dingy paint on the living room wall so long you no longer notice it, but it could be readily apparent to a first-time visitor.

Once you’ve compiled your list, prioritize according to what’s likely to be a turn-off to potential buyers and the budget and time you have available. Don’t scrimp! A few thousand dollars and a few weeks work getting ready for an open house could mean many thousands of dollars added to your sale price.

Some areas that are sure to catch the attention of potential buyers include:

• The condition and colour of the paint on the walls. A fuschia feature wall in your living room may be your taste, but if you’re getting ready for an open house, buyers will likely prefer a more neutral slate they’ll be able to make their own.

• Flooring. When you’re getting ready to host an open house clean or replace dirty and worn carpets. You may even consider installing hardwood or laminate as that’s often an attractive feature to potential buyers.

• Update light fixtures and replace or repair any that are broken. This can be a quick and relatively inexpensive upgrade that will instantly make your home seem more contemporary and well-kept.

4. Curb appeal

Give your home curb appeal by ensuring it makes a good impression from the outside. That means trimming the grass and trees, weeding the gardens, straightening shutters, rolling garbage and recycling bins out of sight. Clean out gutters, power wash the siding, repaint the front door and replace broken or faded house numbers. If your home looks good from the street, buyers will be excited to see the inside.

Curb appeal is a big part of staging a successful open house

Putting on a successful open house starts from the curb in front of your home.

 

5. Staging

Staging is the fine art of making your home look appealing to the highest number of potential buyers. It highlights your home’s strengths, and downplays its weaknesses. It tells a story, creates a mood.

Staging can be as simple as decluttering, to rearranging your furniture, to hiring a professional stager who will remove much of your stuff into storage and replace it with carefully curated furniture and decor.

As the living room is usually the first room buyers see when entering your home, it should be staged to impress. Remove large pieces of furniture so it appears more spacious. Arrange the furniture so it draws attention to a focal point, like the fireplace or an expansive window.

The kitchen should be spotlessly clean, the countertops cleared of small appliances and storage containers. Take magnets and notes off the fridge door. But don’t make the kitchen seem too sterile; accessorize with small decorative touches like a glass jar of pasta noodles or open cookbook on the counter, a vase of cut flowers on the island.

Tidy the kitchen when you're getting ready for an open house.

The kitchen should be spotlessly clean and uncluttered when you’re getting ready for an open house.

 

All of the bedrooms should look neat and uncluttered as possible. The master bedroom especially, should look as nice and inviting as a luxury hotel. Replace everyday bedding with luxurious linens, maybe add some accent pillows.

Bathrooms should be immaculate. Hide the toothbrushes and toiletries, hang up new towels, make sure the shower curtain is clean and bright. Accessorize with fresh flowers or even candles.

Don’t neglect the backyard or deck. Outdoor space is a huge priority for many buyers so when you’re getting ready for an open house you want to make sure your yard, patio or deck is at its best, as a refuge for relaxing or entertaining.

When getting ready for an open house, don't forget to make outdoor space inviting with a bit of staging.

When getting ready for an open house, don’t forget to make outdoor space inviting with a bit of staging.

 

Oh, and don’t overlook how your home smells. Cooking a meal with a lot of garlic when you’re getting ready for an open house the next day is probably not the best idea. Neutralize any odours as best you can, but don’t saturate the air with artificial fresheners as that can be equally offensive to visitors to your open house.

6. The big day

The realtor has hung their Open House signs around the neighbourhood, you’ve made arrangements to be out of the house for a couple of hours; but there’s still a few things to do as you’re getting ready for an open house.

Turn on all the lights and open the curtains to make your home as bright as possible. Put out some fresh cut flowers in nice vases, or fresh fruit arranged on plates or in bowls. Adjust the thermostat so it’s comfortable.

The payoff for getting ready for an open house is waiting for those first buyers to drop by!

If you’ve put the effort into getting ready for an open house, the buyers will come!

If you and your realtor have put in the effort getting ready for an open house, your home will practically sell itself!

7360 11th Ave, Burnaby

August 9, 2010 – Video Blog of 7360 11th Ave

CLICK HERE FOR MORE PICTURES

I’m proud to present this excellent home on a nice and quiet street . This very well kept 5 bedroom home (3 Bed up, 2bed down) features hardwood floors on the main living/dining/halls/stairs, Laminate in bedrooms, large updated kitchen with beautiful wood cabinets and tile flooring, montgage helper down, HUGE 280sq ft balcony over looking large backyard with grape vines, pear, plum & fig trees. Great space for entertaining guests! Brand new high efficiency furnace, newer hot water tank (2yrs) Centrally located close to schools, public transportation, shops and restaurants.

#302 11 E Royal Ave, New Westminster – VICTORIA HILL

August 9, 2010 – Video Blog of #302 11 E Royal Ave

FOR MORE PHOTOS CLICK HERE!!

VICTORIA HILL! OUTSTANDING Spacious 1110 sqft 2 bed/2 bath + den condo in New Westminister’s 2007 Award Winning built by Onni & still under remainder of warranty. Outstanding finishing including granite counters, floor to ceiling windows, wood floors, stainless appliances. Spa like master bath ensuite with large sonker tub, separate shower stall and 2 sinks, 2 PARKING SPACES, 1 locker & pet friendly. Enjoy the fantastic amenities including: exercise room, swimming pool & more. Relax on your private balcony surrounded by lush greenery. Walk to Douglas College, close to Safeway, shops, Starbucks, Schools, public transit, Canada Games Pool and steps to Queen’s Park. Call today to view.

#304 707 Gloucester St., New Westminster

Aug 6, 2010 – Video Blog Tour of #304 707 Gloucester St

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Impressively updated TOP floor CORNER, suite in the New Westminster Uptown Area, Enjoy the large wrap-around balcony overlooking 7th St, but privately surrounded by trees. this suite features new hardwood, tile & carpet flooring throughout,updated gas fireplace in the living room, granite counters in the kitchen,completely updated bathroom with new tub, vanity tile flooring, fixtures & faucets. Located on the Southeast corner of the building, lots of natural light, open and spacious living/dining room area. 1Parking & Storage locker included. NEW ROOF (2010) NEW BOILER to be installed (paid by Seller) MAINTENANCE FEE INCLUDES HEAT & GAS! Pets allowed with some restrictions. Call for your private viewing today!!

718 Gloucester St., New Westminster

July 15, 2010 – Video Blog Tour of 718 Gloucester St, New Westminster

VIRTUAL TOUR LINK:

http://virtualtours2go.point2homes.biz/Listing/VirtualTour.ashx?HideBranding=true&ListingID=20117137

CHARMING CHARACTER HOME very cozy & well kept! Main floor features: 2 bdrms, new laminate floors, updated bathroom with new vanity, new front load washer & dryer, updated kitchen & stainless steel appliances and a nice spacious living room great for entertaining. Upstairs features: 2 bdrms, 1 kitchenette, 1 bath (could be used as separate suite). Other updates: newer roof (2006), new hot water tank (2008). This home has an excellent layout & lots of character. The backyard is fully fenced, spacious & peaceful. Central location, close to: Douglas College, skytrain, shopping & restaurants. Great home for investors & first time buyers. Must see!