Timeline:

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




James Garbutt

Shawn’s Deals of the Week (February 11 – 15)

Shawn’s Deals of the Week  (Feb 11 – 15)

Every week I will be posting 3-5 listings that I think are great investments for those who are looking to buy and hold, build, and move in. The neighbourhoods that I explore are:

  1. Vancouver West
  2. Vancouver East
  3. East burnaby
  4. South Burnaby
  5. North Burnaby
  6. New Westminster
  7. Surrey

Why are you doing this?

There are so many aspects to take in to account when finding the right investment property.  You want to look at location, price point, location of that exact property, the details of the home and any issues with the lot. Whether it’s sloped, at a high point on the block that allows for a view or whether it’s riddled with trees that make it near impossible to build on without going through a lengthy process with the city halls. I will try to narrow searches down for you to make the selection process easier.

Vancouver East – Fraserview East: 1891 E 56th Avenue

Price: $ 999,000
Lot Size: 6,108 (irregular)
House size:  1,739 Sq Ft.
Bedrooms: 5
Bathroom: 2
Year Built: 1950
Zoning: RS-1

 

 

 

 

 

Why I Chose it:

  • Great price
  • Great lot size
  • Fair location: close to all amenities, set back from Argyle by a boulevard
  • Living space includes a suite to help with the mortgage

Vancouver East – Killarney: 6549 Lancaster Street

Price: $ 1,280,000
Lot Size: 30.02 x 143.08 (4,295.26 Sq. Ft.)
House size:  1,892 Sq Ft.
Bedrooms: 4
Bathrooms: 2
Year Built: 1971
Zoning: RS-1

 

 

 

Why I Chose it:

  • Price has recently been reduced
  • Has a basement suite
  • Great neighbourhood
  • Quiet Street
  • Shopping nearby

Burnaby – East: 7844 15th Avenue 


Price:
$ 1,588,000
Lot:
50 x 120 (6,000 Sq. Ft.)
House size:  2,800 Sq Ft.
Bedrooms: 5
Bathroom: 5
Year Built: 2005
Zoning: R5

 

 

 

Why I Chose it:

  • Location – Close to elementary school, high way access and shopping
  • Turn key home
  • Has 2 suites (mortgage helper)

New Westminster – West End : 1215 Nanaimo Street

Shawns Deals of The Week
Price:
$ 988,00
Lot: 33 x 123 (4,059 Sq Ft.)
House size:  2,417 Sq Ft.
Bedrooms: 5
Bathroom: 2
Year Built: 1912
Zoning: RT-1A

 

 

 

Why I Chose it:

  • Zone RT-1A potential for a duplex
  • Good price point
  • Great renovations
  • Close to all amenities on 12th Street

New Westminster – Connaught Heights: 2211 Seventh Avenue  


Price:
$ 1,375,000
Lost Size: 49.90×120 (5,988 Sq. Ft.)
House size:  2,216 Sq Ft.
Bedrooms: 3
Bathroom: 1
Year Built: 1955
Zoning: NR-1

 

 

Why I Chose it:

  • Location, location, location – on the same block as 22nd Street Skytrain Station
  • Future potential
  • Home may need some work
  • Advice: This is a great property if you have the ability to invest at this price point.

Please contact us directly for your investment needs. We tailor our services to best suit your needs.

Shawn’s Deals of the Week (February 4 – 8)

Shawn’s Deals of the Week  (Feb 4 – 8)

Every week I will be posting 3-5 listings that I think are great investments for those who are looking to buy and hold, build, and move in. The neighbourhoods that I explore are:

  1. Vancouver West
  2. Vancouver East
  3. East burnaby
  4. South Burnaby
  5. North Burnaby
  6. New Westminster
  7. Surrey

Why are you doing this?

There are so many aspects to take in to account when finding the right investment property.  You want to look at location, price point, location of that exact property, the details of the home and any issues with the lot. Whether it’s sloped, at a high point on the block that allows for a view or whether it’s riddled with trees that make it near impossible to build on without going through a lengthy process with the city halls. I will try to narrow searches down for you to make the selection process easier.

New Westminster – Uptown: #23 230 Tenth Street

Shawns Deals of The Week

Price: $ 699,999
Maintenance Fees: $466.32
House size:  1,455 Sq Ft.
Bedrooms: 2
Bathroom: 3
Year Built: 2000
Zoning: RES

 

 

 

 

Why I Chose it:

  • Great price
  • Good location: close to all amenities
  • Large living space

New Westminster – The Heights: 919 Chestnut Street

Shawns Deals of The Week

Price: $ 1,139,900
Lot Size: 50 x 120 (6,000 Sq. Ft.)
House size:  2,468 Sq Ft.
Bedrooms: 4
Bathrooms: 2
Year Built: 1949
Zoning: RS-1

 

 

 

Why I Chose it:

  • Great potential for a basement suite
  • Great neighbourhood
  • Quiet Street
  • Shopping nearby
  • Quick access to the highway

Burnaby – East: 7760 18th Avenue 

Shawns Deals of The Week
Price:
$ 1,350,000
Lot: 50
 x 120 (6,000 Sq. Ft.)
House size:  1,962 Sq Ft.
Bedrooms: 3
Bathroom: 2
Year Built: 1938
Zoning: RS

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why I Chose it:

  • Location – Close to elementary school, high way access and shopping
  • Homes in this neighbourhood are newer
  • Area is set for redevelopment
  • Home needs work
  • Is currently rented for a good price

New Westminster – Queens Park: 321 Second Street

Shawns Deals of The Week
Price:
$ 1,278,888
Lot: 33 x 120 (3,960 Sq Ft.)
House size:  2,529 Sq Ft.
Bedrooms: 4
Bathroom: 2
Year Built: 1946
Zoning: RS-1

 

 

 

Why I Chose it:

  • Prime location
  • Good price point
  • Great renovations
  • Close to Herbert Spencer Elementary School

Vancouver West – Downtown: #1708 1189 Howe Street 

Shawns Deals of The Week
Price:
$ 769,000
Maintenance Fees: $425.44
House size:  791 Sq Ft.
Bedrooms: 2
Bathroom: 2
Year Built: 1999
Zoning: HIRISE

 

 

 

 

Why I Chose it:

  • Location – In the heart of Downtown Vancouver
  • Price point
  • Size

Please contact us directly for your investment needs. We tailor our services to best suit your needs.

Buying & Selling Tenanted Properties

HOW TO BUY & SELL TENANTED PROPERTIES

James Garbutt & Denny Dumas talk about how to buy and sell a tenanted property and the rules to follow. Watch the video below and subscribe to our Youtube channel for more VLOGS!

 

Shawn’s Deals of the Week (January 21 – 25)

Shawn’s Deals of the Week  (Jan 21 – 25)

Every week I will be posting 3-5 listings that I think are great investments for those who are looking to buy and hold, build, and move in. The neighbourhoods that I explore are:

  1. Vancouver West
  2. Vancouver East
  3. East burnaby
  4. South Burnaby
  5. North Burnaby
  6. New Westminster
  7. Surrey

Why are you doing this?

There are so many aspects to take in to account when finding the right investment property.  You want to look at location, price point, location of that exact property, the details of the home and any issues with the lot. Whether it’s sloped, at a high point on the block that allows for a view or whether it’s riddled with trees that make it near impossible to build on without going through a lengthy process with the city halls. I will try to narrow searches down for you to make the selection process easier.

New Westminster – Uptown: #1208 – 608 Belmont Street

Shawn's Deals of the Week

Price: $ 699,999
Strata fee: TBA
House size:  903 Sq Ft.
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2
Year Built: 2013
Zoning: C-3

 

 

 

 

Why I Chose it:

 The price point is fantastic for a 2 bed and 2 bath unit at the Viceroy in Uptown New Westminster. Units in this building are not often for sale, lucky for you, this is one of the best priced 2 bed units in the building. This will be coming to the market soon! Rental are allowed, pets allowed with restrictions, 1 parking and 1 storage unit are included.

New Westminster – West End: 1422 London Street 

Shawn's Deals of the Week
Price:
$ 1,198,000
Lot:
46.20 x 132 (6,098 Sq. Ft.)
House size:  2,076 Sq Ft.
Bedrooms: 3
Bathroom: 2
Year Built: 1943
Zoning: NR1

 

 

 

Why I Chose it:

  • Quiet location
  • Quick access to main roads
  • Close to all amenities, the skytrain, Lord Tweedsmuir Elementary
  • Great price

Burnaby – East: 7814 13th Avenue

Shawn's Deals of the Week

Price: $ 1,149,800
Lot: 50 x 154 (7,700 Sq Ft.)
House size:  1,995 Sq Ft.
Bedrooms: 4
Bathroom: 2
Year Built: 1964
Zoning: R5

 

 

 

 

Why I Chose it:

  • Great price
  • Good location: close to all amenities
  • Large size lot

Vancouver West – Kitsilano: 3636 W 11th Avenue

Shawn's Deals of the Week
Price:
$ 2,288,000
Lot: 33 x 122.06 (4,027.98 Sq Ft.)
House size:  2,399 Sq Ft.
Bedrooms: 5
Bathroom: 3
Year Built: 1973
Zoning: RS-5

 

 

 

 

Why I Chose it:

  • Prime location
  • Good price point
  • Great building lot
  • Many high rated school like Lord Byng are nearby

Vancouver West – Dunbar: 3675 W 24th Avenue 

Shawn's Deals of the Week
Price:
$ 2,300,000
Lot: 33 x 122.1 (4,029.30 Sq Ft.)
House size:  2,287 Sq Ft.
Bedrooms: 4
Bathroom: 3
Year Built: 1993
Zoning: RS-5

 

 

 

 

Why I Chose it:

  • Quiet location
  • Access to major spots: UBC, Spanish Banks, Jericho Beach
  • Newer home for the price point
Please contact us directly for your investment needs. We tailor our services to best suit your needs.

Meet Monica Harmse!

Meet Monica!

James Garbutt interviews our newest team member Monica Harmse. We’re excited for you to get to know her, watch the video below! And learn more about her here.

 

 

 

 

Shawn’s Deals of the Week

Shawn’s Deals of the Week

Every week I will be Shawn’s Deals which will include 3-5 listings that I think are great investments for those who are looking to buy and hold, build, and move in. The neighbourhoods that I explore are:

  1. Vancouver West
  2. Vancouver East
  3. East burnaby
  4. South Burnaby
  5. North Burnaby
  6. New Westminster
  7. Surrey

Why are you doing Shawn’s Deals of the week?

There are so many aspects to take in to account when finding the right investment property.  You want to look at location, price point, location of that exact property, the details of the home and any issues with the lot. Whether it’s sloped, at a high point on the block that allows for a view or whether it’s riddled with trees that make it near impossible to build on without going through a lengthy process with the city halls. I will try to narrow searches down for you to make the selection process easier.

New Westminster – Downtown: #1103 – 813 Carnarvon Street

Shawn's Deals

Price: $ 462,900
Maintenance Fees: $235.07
House size:  512 Sq Ft.
Bedrooms: 1
Bathrooms: 1
Year Built: 2022
Zoning: CD-76

 

 

 

 

Why I Chose it: 

Great price, brand new building (called the Ovation), and the location is great. Judging by the floor plans these units are efficient in utilizing the Sq Ft. Some units are still available through the developer. Be sure to give me a shout if you need help in purchasing a pre-sale.

New Westminster – Fraser View: #316 – 225 Francis Way 

Shawn's DealsPrice: $ 649,900
Maintenance Fees: 
$423.33
House size:  1,066 Sq Ft.
Bedrooms: 3
Bathroom: 2
Year Built: 2010
Zoning: RM-4

 

 

 

 

 

Why I Chose it:

 The location is key. It is nestled in a Victoria Hill and it’s not often that a 3 bedroom apartment comes up for sale in this neighbourhood.

Vancouver East: 765 E 24th Avenue

Shawn's Deals

Price: $ 1,398,000
Lot: 33 x 122 (4,026 Sq Ft.)
House size:  2,054 Sq Ft.
Bedrooms: 5
Bathroom: 2
Year Built: 1927
Zoning: Rs-1

 

 

 

 

 

Why I Chose it:

Great location. A 15 minute drive from downtown Vancouver. This is a great investment property for those looking to get in to the Vancouver market for a standard size lot. The homes needs some TLC. At 4,026 Sq. Ft. with the perceived buildable being 70% of the lot size for RS-1. There’s a potential for a 2,818.2 Sq. Ft. brand new home.

New Westminster – Glenbrooke North: 208 Blackman Street

Shawn's DealsPrice: $ 880,000
Lot: 52 x 116 (6,032 Sq Ft.)
House size:  1,020 Sq Ft.
Bedrooms: 3
Bathroom: 2
Year Built: 1953
Zoning: RS-1

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why I Chose it:

Price point. Located in one of the many great neighbourhoods in New Westminster. 208 Blackman Street is in Glenbrooke North. This home sits on a 6,032 Sq. Ft. lot and with the current bylaws, a 3,016 Sq. Ft.  home can be constructed or someone looking to renovate and extend this home would be able to get it at a great price of $880,000. This home won’t last long at this price. Call us to schedule a viewing for you.

New Westminster – Glenbrooke North: 212 Blackman Street

Shawn's DealsPrice: $ 884,900
Lot: 52 x 116.1 (6,037.20 Sq Ft.)
House size:  1,155 Sq Ft.
Bedrooms: 2
Bathroom: 1
Year Built: 1913
Zoning: RS-1

 

 

 

 

 

Why I Chose it:

Price point. Located in one of the many great neighbourhoods in New Westminster. 208 Blackman Street is in Glenbrooke North. This home sits on a 6,037.2 Sq. Ft. lot and with the current bylaws, a 3,018 Sq. Ft.  home can be constructed or someone looking to renovate and extend this home would be able to get it at a great price of $884,900. Call us to schedule a viewing for you.

7 exterior spring maintenance tips for your home

It may be hard to believe, but spring is just around the corner! (In fact, some might say it should have been here already!) And after such a rough winter, you can be sure there’s going to be some exterior spring maintenance for your home you’ll want to attend to as the temperatures warm up!

1. Roof: Inspect your roof. With all the snow and ice we had this year, you want to make sure your roof weathered the weather! If you’re uncomfortable with climbing a ladder, stand back and scan your roof with binoculars. Look for cracked or missing shingles, and a buildup of debris.

Cleaning the roof of debris is part of exterior spring maintenance.

Leaves and needles left on the roof can eventually damage the shingles.

 

2. Gutters: Check the gutters (Yes, this exterior spring maintenance tip will require climbing a ladder). Look for damage like cracks or gaps in seams. Clean out debris like leaves and pine needles. Run water from a hose to make sure there’s no leaks and the downspout is draining properly.

Some exterior spring maintenance will require climbing a ladder

Climb a ladder to check the gutters and clean them of leaves and other debris that may have accumulated through the stormy winter and fall.

 

3. Siding:  Clean the siding. That will prevent mould from taking hold. If the exterior of your home is wood, inspect it for weathering and peeling paint because those could invite rot. Touch up and repaint as needed. If your home is brick, look for cracks in the mortar where water may have penetrated and expanded and contracted as it froze and thawed. If you can slide a coin into a crack, it needs to be fixed. The same applies to your foundation.

4. Windows and doors: Inspect the seals and caulking around windows and doors. Scrape out any old, deteriorating caulk and then recaulk.

5. Decks, stairs and porches: Check them for damage or deterioration like loose planks or broken railings. Wood that is exposed to the elements should be treated and resealed every 4-6 years. If your deck or patio is stone or concrete, clean off the winter’s grime and check for debris and plant growth between the stones. Hosing it off will also give you a chance to check for settling that may allow water to pool or not drain properly.

Exterior spring maintenance includes cleaning the deck.

Inspect and clean the deck as part of your annual exterior spring maintenance.

 

Once the deck or patio is clean, bring out the patio furniture from storage and get it ready for the outdoor season. After all, those lazy sunny afternoons in the lounger are going to be your payoff for your exterior spring maintenance.

Check your driveway

6. Driveway. You know all those potholes in the streets that have been rattling your teeth? They’re caused by water penetrating the asphalt and expanding then contracting during freezes and thaws. We had no shortage of those this winter. So, as part of your exterior spring maintenance for your home, check your driveway for growing cracks and fissures. You’ll want to seal any cracks you find so they don’t get bigger and become a real problem.

7. The Yard. Rake the grass of fallen leaves and branches. Clean dead flowers and shrubs from the gardens. Trim back bushes and trees. Drain planters of any standing water, or they could become a breeding ground for mosquitoes. And don’t forget to check all those outdoor garden tools like the lawnmower, so they’re ready to go when the serious gardening season hits full stride.

Try not to think of exterior spring maintenance as a chore. As the weather warms up and dries up, it’s a nice way to get outside, commune with your home, maybe even trade winter survival stories with your neighbours. Enjoy!

Housing market waking from seasonal slumber

Winter may be hanging on tenaciously, but the housing market is waking from its seasonal slumber.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver reports 2,425 residential home sales in February; that’s 59.2 per cent more than were sold the month before.

And while it’s still 41.9 per cent less than the record 4,172 homes that were sold in February, 2016, it’s only slightly less than the 10-year average for the month.

REBGV president Dan Morrison says rotten weather may have helped keep buyers at home. But the supply of new listings is also tight. The 3,666 new properties for sale in February was 36.9 per cent less than a year ago, and 11.4 per cent fewer than January. It was also the lowest number of new listings for the month since 2003.

That’s keeping prices buoyant in the local housing market, says Morrison.

“While home sales are not happening at the pace we experienced last year, home seller supply is still struggling to keep up with today’s demand,” says Morrison. “This is why we’ve seen little downward pressure on home prices, particularly in the condominium and townhome markets.”

The ratio of sales to active listings actually increased 10 per cent from January to 31.9 per cent; experts say housing prices don’t start going down until that ratio dips below 12 per cent for a sustained period and they go up when the ratio stays greater than 20 per cent over several months.

Condo sales strong in local housing market

Condo sales are still hot in the housing market

Condo sales are still hot in the New Westminster and Burnaby housing market, despite the wintry weather.

In fact, the benchmark price for a typical condo in Greater Vancouver increased 2.7 per cent in February to $526,500. In New West, the benchmark price for a condo went up 1.4 per cent to $392,400; that’s a 21.3 per cent increase over a year ago. The benchmark price for condos also increased in Burnaby, by as much as 2.6 per cent to $503,600 in North Burnaby, to 1.9 per cent in South Burnaby, where a typical condo now goes for $561,600.

The benchmark price for townhomes in Greater Vancouver is now $675,500, a 1.3 per cent increase since January and 18.3 per cent more than Feb., 2016. New West townhomes experienced similar increases to a benchmark of $545,500 while in North Burnaby, the benchmark price increased 3.1 per cent over the previous month to $539,500.

House prices are staying steady; in Greater Vancouver the benchmark price of $1,474,200 for a single-family detached home was unchanged from January. In New West, the benchmark price for a typical house went up .3 per cent in February to $1,026,700 while increases in Burnaby ranged from .1 per cent in the South to $1,636,100 to a 1.3 per cent jump in North Burnaby to a benchmark price of $1,499,600.

The February stats

Creating Curb Appeal That Sells!

You may not be able to judge a book by it’s cover, but a big part of selling or buying a home is the first impression it makes when you first see it from the street. That’s curb appeal.

If a home makes a good first impression, potential buyers will be enticed to check out the inside, see how it fits their needs and lifestyle. A home with an attractive exterior could also be worth more.

But these days, curb appeal means a lot more than how a home looks to passersby on the sidewalk or in their car. It starts online.

Creating online curb appeal

For most home buyers, the first curb is their computer monitor or mobile device. They’re likely to check a listing online before they take the time to see it in person. That means it has to look good in photographs.

While a skilled photographer can avoid a property’s faults by their choice of angle, composition and lighting, if the reality doesn’t live up to buyers’ expectations from the photos, they may just drive on by. So the work you do to make your home look good in photos will also give it good curb appeal.

Giving your home great curb appeal

A house with great curb appeal will attract buyers.

Curb appeal isn’t just how your home looks to passersby, but also how it looks in photos that are posted online.

 

Creating great curb appeal starts with a good cleaning. That includes decluttering the yard of neglected toys, furniture and decorative implements that may have seen better days. Clean all the windows and consider renting a power washer to scrub grime from your home’s exterior. If needed, touch up trim like shutters, doors and railings with a coat of new paint. A little pop of colour can go a long way to making a home look fresh.

Once the yard is clean, make it neat by cutting and weeding the lawn, trimming trees and hedges and taming gardens. Plant fresh flowers.

Look up. A home’s great curb appeal can be ruined by a dilapidated roof. That’s a red flag to prospective buyers that expensive repairs or replacement could be in their future. So clean off fallen foliage and stray frisbees. Repair loose or missing shingles and eaves. If your roof is nearing the end of its lifespan, consider getting an assessment by a roofing professional, then attending to their recommendations.

Turn the lights on. Replace exterior bulbs that have burned out. Repair or replace broken fixtures, maybe even add some new ones to brighten your home’s curb appeal at dusk or night. While potential buyers may never see your home at night, attention to small details sends a message that a home has been well cared-for.

Other ideas to improve your home’s curb appeal

  •  Replace outdated hardware on doors and windows.
  •  Replace your old mailbox, or give it a fresh coat of paint.
  •  Paint the front door. A pop of colour on your front door can completely transform your home’s curb appeal, make it more eye-catching.
  •  Refinish decks and porches.
  •  Repave, or at least reseal, the driveway.
A great looking patio will help a home's curb appeal

Creating curb appeal extends to every outdoor space at a home.

 

Curb appeal for strata homes

Of course, if you live in a strata condo or townhouse, much of your home’s curb appeal is out of your control. But paying close attention to detail at the outdoor areas you do control, like your patio or balcony can have a significant impact on your home’s appeal to potential buyers.

Curb appeal includes a great balcony or patio

Even if you live in a condo, you can create great curb appeal by making your balcony look great.

 

According to the Meriam-Webster Dictionary, Realtors have been pitching a home’s exterior appearance as its curb appeal since about 1975. Investing in your home’s first impression doesn’t have to be expensive; it might just involve time and toil. But it will pay off.

More useful blogs if you’re selling your home

10 Great Questions to Ask a Realtor When Selling Your Home

10 Reasons to Hire a Realtor

How Realtors Price a Home

Best Time of Year to Sell a Home

Getting Ready for an Open House

Get Buyers to Fall in Love With Your Home

7 Tips to Help Your Home Look Great in Photos

10 Ways a Good Realtor Can Help

When you’re selling or buying a home, it can be tempting to go it alone. After all, it doesn’t cost anything to post your house, or search for one, on Craigslist. But there are plenty of good reasons to hire a Realtor.

1. One of the best reasons to hire a Realtor is to take the emotion out of such a large financial transaction. Owning a home isn’t just a monetary commitment, it’s also an emotional investment. You may have raised your family in your home, created cherished memories. Or you may be looking for a home to raise a family and all the hopes and dreams that come with that.

A Realtor brings an objective perspective to the process that can help you stay focussed on your goals. They’re able to use their experience and training to offer an honest evaluation of a home’s financial worth. They will analyze the local market, including recent sales of comparable homes in the area, to determine a correct price for your home. The correct price will attract buyers if you’re selling your home. It will help you decide if you’re getting good value when you’re buying a home.

2. A Realtor is essentially a marketer. Their product is your home. They know how to show it off at its best, from arranging professional photographs, to writing evocative descriptions to offering suggestions for improvements or renovations. They’ll hit the right emotional chords for prospective buyers.

One of the reasons to hire Realtor is their marketing ability

A Realtor will ensure your home looks its best for potential buyers.

 

3. A Realtor is able to list your home on the Multiple Listing Service. That’s a national database of properties for sale that is accessible to other Realtors who may be looking for the perfect home for their clients. Getting your home of the MLS increases its exposure to potential buyers.

Conversely, if you’re looking for a home, a Realtor’s access to the MLS can alert them to a listed property that fits your needs and budget.

4. Another of the great reasons to hire a Realtor is to gain access to their entire network of clients and other Realtors. A Realtor’s client base may already include a potential buyer for your home. Or someone who has a home for sale that you may be interested in.

5. Buying or selling a home is a complicated process that involves a lot of legal paperwork. A Realtor will help you navigate that process, including recommending lawyers and notaries who will ensure everything is on the up-and-up. They’ll ensure deadlines are met and documents are filed.

6. Buying or selling a home can be time consuming. A Realtor is able to invest that time on your behalf. That includes arranging showings, hosting open houses, creating a marketing campaign. A Realtor can gauge the seriousness of potential buyers, and the motivation of sellers, so you’re not wasting time and energy chasing every lead.

One of the best reasons to hire a Realtor is their skill and knowledge to show your home.

When you hire a realtor they will help prepare your home to show it at its best.

7. Realtors are skilled negotiators. Their knowledge of current market conditions is one of the important reasons to hire a Realtor. They will help ensure you get a fair price for your home, or pay a fair price for a home you’re buying. While they act on your instructions and must inform you of any offers they receive for your home, they can also offer guidance on how to proceed.

8. Realtors know the area. They know if a home is priced right for the market and whether that home might be a food fit for a client’s lifestyle needs and desires. They know about potential new developments in the area, or other factors that could impact your lifestyle or the value of your home. They can bring you up to speed on local bylaws, taxes and utility costs.

9. Realtors are accountable. They must abide by a strict code of professional ethics and follow procedures set out by the Real Estate Services Act. Violations can be investigated and disciplined by their local Real Estate Board.

10. Realtors are current. Their education is ongoing. As a condition of membership in their local Real Estate Board in B.C., they must complete courses every two years that keep them up-to-date with new information, legal requirements and trends in the industry.

More useful blogs if you’re planning to buy or sell a home

Top 8 Questions to Ask If You’re Buying a Condo in an Older Building

Creating Curb Appeal

Top 10 Questions a Buyer Should Ask Their Realtor

Strata Documents You Should Read Before You Buy

How Realtors Price a Home

Best Time of Year to Buy a Home

Best Time of Year to Sell a Home

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.

The winter that won’t quit

We thought we were done with winter.

We thought it was safe to start thinking about crocuses…

The mounds of snow and ice from a series of snowstorms in December had finally melted away when winter returned.

It’s been an exceptional season in these parts. We’re usually lucky to get away with one or two snowfalls through the season. And they’re quickly washed away by relentless rain.

But this year the cold and snow have stuck around. That’s made it tough for people to get around, navigating sidewalks that haven’t been shovelled, searching for parking in lots shrunken by sky-high piles of ploughed snow and ice.

It’s also created challenges for real estate. Photos of new listings can date pretty quickly when they’re shot through snowdrifts. We’ve got to remember to pack shovels to clear walkways when we’re hosting open houses.

There's been a lot of extra work in this winter that won't quit

Shovelling a path through the snow to an open house is all in a realtor’s day’s work this winter.

 

On the upside, sleds that were purchased years ago are finally out of storage, we’ve actually been able to skate on outdoor, natural ice (for a few days at least), the skiing has been fabulous and our familiar surroundings have taken on a whole new beauty.

So cozy up to the fireplace, snuggle into your favourite blanket and enjoy this stroll through our latest blast of winter. We’ve endured the cold so you don’t have to!