As we wrap up the eventful year that is 2021, we wanted to reflect and share some the most memorable stand out properties we sold!
5 Bed | 6 Bath | 3,340 SF
Can you say kitchen goals? Pretty much sums up how we feel about this marvellous property in the Glenbrooke North neighbourhood. Custom built home with a beautiful modern design and a fantastic layout.
Best House Renovation
5 Bed | 4 Bath |3,063 SF
Beautiful home in the ever popular neighbourhood of Kitsilano. All the classic character you want with the modern features you expect. Completely renovated in 2015, it is an entertainers dream space.
Best Townhouse Renovation
3 Bed | 2 Bath | 1,306 SF
Fully renovated townhome in our favourite PoMo location: Close to Brewers Row! Freshly painted, with updated windows & french doors, Quartz counters, white oak engineered hardwood floors throughout, plus a vast crawlspace and storage shed for your bikes!
Best Condo Renovation
1 Bed | 1 Bath | 913 SF
Beautifully renovated New York Loft style end unit. This modern loft sits right in the heart of downtown New Westminster.
4 Bed | 3 Bath | 2,734 SF
Absolutely one of a kind property! Stunningly renovated 2 level townhouse is located on the Fraser River in the New Westminster Quay! Gives you the feeling of a home but without the maintenance. Floor to ceiling windows in each room showcasing a jaw dropping Fraser River view.
4 Bed | 3.5 Bath |1,880 SF
Fantastic 1/2 Duplex gem in Queensborough! Built by Anthem in 2021, this home features unobstructed views of the Fraser River, Downtown New West and North Shore Mountains. Simply stunning.
2 Bed | 2 Bath |1,075 SF
Meticulously maintained condo w/ over 600sqft of patio space! Enjoy these amazing panoramic views of the Fraser River, City, & Mountains. This 24th floor corner unit has that wow factor the moment you walk in. One of the best patio views in all of New West.
4 Bed | 3 Bath | 2,813 SF
Exquisitely renovated character-style home that can’t go without mention. Every inch of the main floor is thoughtfully updated with style and functionality in mind. Newly updated private back covered deck allows for all your outdoor occasions year-round.
Best House Renovation
4 Bed | 4 Bath | 3,057 SF
Fantastic layout in this family home with a stunning open concept kitchen, quartz counters, high end stainless appliances & huge centre island. Located in a prime corner in Queens Park we’d be remiss if we didn’t give this home a shout out.
Reduced inventory over the holidays generally means less competition for Sellers. Yes, there are cons- In parts of the country where it snows non-stop, buyers may think twice about bundling up in heavy coats, boots, and gloves to trudge through snow banks to go looking at homes when they’d rather be out shopping or staying home in front of the fireplace. But in Greater Vancouver, we have a relatively mild winter which means buyers are still on the hunt!
If You Plan on Selling Your Home During the Holidays
Back off on the decorations. Should you hang a wreath on your door or showcase a Christmas tree in front of a window? What’s overdoing it? What’s not?
By minimizing the holiday decorations, you are making your home feel more spacious. When buyers enter your home, you want them to imagine putting their own furniture in each room, making it theirs, and they can’t do that if your holiday decorations dominate the stage.
Too many decorations can be overwhelming and distracting. Don’t make the mistake of thinking buyers will “see past it” because some can’t.
Hard to Sell Unique Homes
Let’s face it…some homes take more finesse to sell. If you have a hard-to-sell home with drawbacks, maybe an undesirable location or outdated features, you might get shoved to the bottom of the showing list if you wait until Spring to sell your home. There might be too many other sparklier homes for sale at that time. Give your unique home a chance to rise to the top when there are fewer homes for sale over the holidays.
Holiday Decorating Compromises for Holiday Enthusiasts
If you decide you cannot live through a holiday season without decorating your home, keep the decorations to a minimum. Don’t block important selling features such as fireplace mantels, stairs, or new windows. The holiday decor should be replacing the current display, not bulking it up! Keep it neutral. You should think twice before displaying heavy religious focused décor during home showings ANYTIME of the year, Christmas season is no different.
So What Can you Do?!
Despite what other Realtors may say, I am totally on board with white exterior lights if they are nicely done. You can still have a tree! Just tone down the size of the tree. In place of a 10-foot tree, try decorating a table-top or four-foot version. (Hide the wrapped gifts or save the wrapping for the night before Christmas!) Absolutely display centrepieces made from pine cones or other wintry pieces of nature. Set a plate of cookies on the counter, next to festive paper napkins for guests. Simmer spicy apple cider on the stove and set out Christmasy cups and serving utensils. There are a number of ways to cheat the system – just keep it light!
New legislation is being proposed in British Columbia in an effort to protect buyers by allowing them to back out of an offer with little to no legal consequences.
Denny and Monica break down what the “cooling off period” is and discuss openly how they see it impacting buyers and sellers.
This episode will focus on the different processes of buying new construction versus resale properties, the impact of working with a trusted realtor in this industry, the importance of due diligence with subject-free offers, and the possibility of deception and fraud increasing in real estate with this new legislature.
With current market trends and increasing listing prices, it has become almost impossible to know a home’s sale price with complete certainty.
James and Denny share how buyers and sellers can best evaluate properties in this “moving target” type of real estate market.
This episode will focus on how to find comparable properties to base a listing price on, setting realistic expectations for multiple offer situations, knowing what type of products you can still find deals on, and understanding how quickly sale prices within a neighborhood can increase with each sale setting a precedent for the next one.
As the days get shorter and the weather much cooler, home listing strategies have to adjust to get the most out of a home this time of year.
James and Denny go over their fall listing strategies and share all the things that can make or break a sale.
This episode will focus on listing strategies for the fall, why now might be a good time to sell, how to get the most out of listing photos, the impact weather can have, and predictions for the fall and spring.
It is important to consider the time of year when determining a listing strategy for selling your home. Currently, it is the fourth quarter of 2021, and the strategies that sellers are using now may differ from the strategies that sellers will implement in early 2022.
Who is selling in the fall, and why did they decide to list now?
The seller has already bought something else and wants to move
Many homeowners may buy a property before selling their current home when the market is climbing and the demand is higher than the supply. Check out our podcast episode The Important Decision of Buying or Selling First to learn more about this topic.
They are an opportunistic seller and are choosing to list now when there are not many other options for buyers to choose from
We are currently seeing all-time peak pricing, which can act as a motivator for homeowners who have been thinking of downsizing for some time
The seller may be looking to relocate or rent
This property may be an investment property that the seller does not want to manage anymore or a property that they are willing to sell at a high price for a profit
Fall Home Listing Strategies:
Timing is key
A homeowner needs to move quickly when selling their home if they are looking to list in the fall. Do not spend too much time worrying about the little things (for example, changing the carpet or baseboards, painting, landscaping). Take photos and list as soon as possible. For townhouses and condos, make sure that you have all the necessary strata documents.
Be aware of when you are showing the property
In most circumstances, showings are best when it is light out. In the fall, buyers may not see the property with natural light during evening appointments. Furthermore, if the weather is poor, buyers may not see a condo’s view, which could be a key selling feature.
Limited supply means more buyers are looking at your home
Right now, there is very little supply available. Keep in mind that your listing could be very attractive compared to other available properties, leading to a higher offer. This point increases the urgency to list the property as soon as possible before the market changes.
December is coming
We rarely suggest listing in December unless you have to. Many people do not want to move or focus on the selling and buying process around Christmas time. January and February tend to be a better alternative for most homeowners trying to sell.
Home Listing Strategies are different in fall than in January or February
James and Denny stress that Realtors would be having a very different conversation with homeowners looking to sell in January or February than at the end of the current year.
At the beginning of the year, Realtors have more flexibility to make adjustments to find what is best for the sellers and the listing. There would be more time to experiment with a listing strategy, create a strong marketing plan, and take the best photos possible during ideal weather conditions. The Realtors can also post teasers to generate buyer interest on social media before the actual listing is available. Showing appointments can be planned around poor weather and during the daytime to offer the best first impression.
Moreover, homeowners have a better opportunity to carry out maintenance and minor renovations to increase a buyer’s offer. Landscaping, power washing the exterior, updating flooring, and a fresh coat of paint on the walls can make a big difference in a home’s overall appeal.
At the end of the year, the home listing strategy changes drastically. The main focus is how quickly the listing can be posted so that interested buyers can see it. Having a Realtor who is up-to-date on current trends in the market is key to having a successful sale during this time.
Are you thinking of listing your home this fall?
So far, this fall has been a seller’s market, but it can change quickly! As James and Denny say, it is not easy to predict what will happen next. It is important to talk to a Realtor who understands the market and provides the best information for your specific situation. Contact our team to find out how we can help you with all of your real estate needs!
And there’s no doubt that learning how to sell a house can feel overwhelming – especially if you’re selling a house for the first time! As realtors, we know how confusing the process can be for first-time sellers. In the sections below, we’ll help you learn how to sell your house and go through the house selling process steps, including:
What to know when selling a house
How to sell your house in 6 simple steps
Closing costs when selling a house
How to get your house ready to sell
Checklist for selling a house
While there are plenty of different ways to sell a house, keep in mind that the best process for you depends entirely on your unique circumstance. From first steps to selling a house to closing steps, our goal is to help sellers feel as confident and as prepared as possible.
What to Know When Selling A House?
The real estate market is cyclical, and general trends play a role in determining how long it will take to sell your home, how to price your home, and even the best time to list.
Most experts recommend listing a home in the spring, where demand is usually higher and buyers are looking to move in before the summer months. Generally speaking, fall and winter are slower months in the real estate market. If you’re planning on selling your house in the near future, using the slower fall and winter months for renovations and updates can be a great way to get your house ready to sell.
How to Sell Your House In 6 Simple Steps
If you’re researching “How to sell my house,” chances are that you’ll find an overwhelming number of recommendations. While there are many different ways to sell a house, here are some simple, tried-and-true first steps to get you started.
Step 1: Get organized
Your first step to selling a house is all about getting a baseline understanding of your home’s value, your equity, and your potential profits. This also includes taking a look at what comparable homes in your area are selling for.
Step 2: Partner with a real estate agent
Having an experienced, knowledgeable real estate agent can make all the difference when it comes to selling your home. Take the time to review their relevant experience, qualifications, and selling approach to ensure that both parties are well-matched.
Step 3: Make any needed updates
A key piece of how to get your house ready to sell lies in the minor details that are easily overlooked in day-to-day life. Whether making minor cosmetic updates (like landscaping, repainting, and replacing fixtures) or larger renovations (like a bathroom or kitchen remodel), put a list together and ensure that all updates are completed before putting your home on the market.
Step 4: Set a price and create a listing
Your real estate agent will be an incredibly helpful resource in this step. Using their expert knowledge of the local real estate market, they can advise on the best listing price, coordinate professional photographs, prepare any initial paperwork, and put together your home’s listing.
Step 5: Market and show your home
Advertise your home through the online MLS, putting a sign out in front of the house, and talking with friends and family. Stay as flexible as possible for showings, and use a cleaning checklist to make sure you’re prepared for last-minute appointments (we’ve started one for you below!).
Step 6: Final steps
Once you’ve accepted a buyer’s offer, you’ll want to go through the final closing steps. This includes things like a home inspection (and any resulting negotiations or repairs), a home appraisal, title search, final walkthrough, and signing closing papers.
Closing Costs When Selling A House
One of the final steps to take when selling a house involves covering closing costs. As a seller, you can expect to put anywhere between 1–4 percent of the total sale cost toward closing costs, depending on the real estate commission charged. Examples of typical closing costs include:
Legal fees will go toward the cost of having a real estate lawyer prepare what’s called a home sale disbursement package. This outlines financial details such as strata fees, prorated property taxes, title, and any collaboration needed with your bank to transfer the mortgage. Costs for retrieving and filing paperwork in British Columbia will vary.
Mortgage discharge fee
A mortgage discharge fee occurs when a mortgage is paid in full (either through selling a home or paying off beforehand) and removes the lender’s rights from your property. Fees here will vary depending on the lender, ranging from no charge up to $20,000+. Higher fees may be charged when you terminate your mortgage before the term is up. Check with your lender to avoid surprises!
Realtor commission fees
Your realtor guides you through every step of the process of how to sell a house, including marketing, listings, showings, negotiations, and more. In exchange, realtors get paid through commission based on the final selling price of the house. As the seller, that includes paying commissions not only for your realtor, but for the buyer’s realtor as well.
If you’ve utilized staging services while selling a home, you may want to roll these fees into the closing costs. Staging fees can vary, so make sure you discuss your anticipated budget up front with your realtor or service provider up front.
How To Get Your House Ready To Sell?
Getting your house ready to sell is often one of the most time-consuming pieces of selling a house – but it’s also one that brings the best reward. One of the first steps to selling a house should be making sure your home is in top condition. Here are some tips to keep in mind when preparing to put your home on the market:
Get a home inspection: This is optional for sellers, but it can be a great way to get ahead of any potential issues that may be flagged by a potential buyer.
Landscaping: Simple things like weeding, planting new flowers, cutting the grass, and spreading new mulch can work wonders in upping your home’s curb appeal.
Cosmetic updates: Putting a new coat of paint on the walls or installing new flooring can be relatively inexpensive ways to update your house and make it more appealing to buyers. Focus on neutral colors as much as possible to attract a wider range of buyers.
Clear away clutter: Make sure that your home is clean, organized, and free of clutter. This may mean renting a storage facility while your house is on the market (and as an added benefit, you’ll be making your move-out process much easier).
Take professional photos: Professional photos make a huge difference in how potential buyers view your home. They should be crisp, clear, and show a variety of different angles.
Checklist for Selling A House
Selling your home means getting your home into its best possible shape. That means lots of house selling process steps like cleaning, organizing, and wrapping up those little projects that so often get lost along the way. Lingering issues like nail holes in the wall, old caulk along a shower insert, or a leaky faucet should all be resolved before you list your home.
Use the checklists below to help you get organized and keep your home in tip-top shape both before listing and during showings.
ULTIMATE CHECKLIST FOR SELLING A HOUSE Cleaning to-do’s before listing
Clean and dust baseboards, outlet covers, fan blades, household surfaces
Fill in any nail holes
Apply a fresh coat of paint (neutral colors are best)
Dust corners along ceilings and floors
Wash and clean windows and windowsills
Check each outlet to ensure all lightswitches work properly
Sweep and mop all floors
Declutter and put away any personal belongings
Rake, mow, and weed any outdoor areas
Deep clean bathrooms
Dust off all lighting fixtures and make sure any old lightbulbs are replaced
Install air fresheners (especially if you have pets)
Re-caulk baseboards, trim and shower tiles as needed
Clean all major appliances (fridge, dishwasher, etc.)
Replace HVAC air filters
Vacuum and wash area rugs, throw rugs, and carpets
Check each faucet and shower fixture to ensure there are no leaks
ULTIMATE CHECKLIST FOR SELLING A HOUSE Quick cleaning to-do’s before a showing
Sweep and vacuum all floors, rugs, and carpets
Empty dishwasher and clear off kitchen countertops
Wipe down bathroom countertops, toilets, and shower fixtures
Make sure air fresheners are refilled (especially if you have pets)
Make beds and arrange couch pillows
Remove all garbage from kitchen and bathrooms
Open windows for fresh air (if weather permits)
Make sure all closet doors are shut
Remove any excess clutter from bedrooms and living areas
Clean all mirrors
Put a shoe tray near the front door so that potential buyers can remove their shoes (you can also provide plastic booties)
Make sure any brochures or marketing materials are on display
Ready To Get Started?
Your home is where you’ve made years’ worth of memories, and selling a house is a significant milestone. At Garbutt Dumas, we know how important it is to have a real estate agent that can help guide you through this process in a timely, considerate, and efficient way. Let us put our deep expertise in BC real estate to work for you today!
Finding the right Realtor doesn’t always happen on the first try. Even if you’ve done your research and have found a Realtor that you get along well with, the home buying or selling process might not be as seamless – or as effective – as you’d hoped.
Whether it’s been months and months without any progress or the chemistry just isn’t there, you may find yourself asking: “How long do Realtor contracts last? Can I cancel my listing or buyer contract – and if so, how will that impact my home buying/selling process?”
In the sections below, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about cancelling a Realtor contract, including:
Realtor contracts can be long and detailed, and not all Realtors communicate cancellation terms up front. And while no one wants to be in the position of cancelling a listing or buyer contract, sometimes it’s simply unavoidable. Let’s take a look at the ins and outs of getting out of a Realtor contract so you know exactly what to expect.
Can You Cancel A Contract With A Realtor?
The short answer is: yes, you can cancel a contract with a Realtor. The long answer is that while it’s certainly possible, getting out of a Realtor contract may or may not be easy. It depends on the Realtor. That’s because your Realtor contract is a legally binding document – and much like any contract, ending it requires a bit of finessing.
Can I Fire My Realtor As A Seller?
Before you decide to list your home with a Realtor, you’ll sign a listing agreement. This states that you’ll work with a specific Realtor and real estate brokerage.
Can I Fire My Realtor As A Buyer?
As a buyer, your real estate agent may have had you sign a Buyer Representation Agreement (BRA) before putting an offer on a home. This contract establishes a formal working agreement and lists the expectations for each party. If your Realtor has violated any of the expectations or clauses in your BRA, you can use that as a basis to fire your Realtor.
Top 10 Reasons To Fire A Realtor
There are plenty of reasons that you might want to fire your Realtor. From general frustration to lack of results to simply being the wrong fit for each other, it may even be in the best interest of both parties to “break up.” Here are 10 reasons you might want to fire your realtor:
Your property isn’t selling
The home buying process has been long and drawn-out
Your Realtor doesn’t understand your needs or preferences
Your Realtor has been unresponsive
Your Realtor has over-promised and under-delivered
Add-on services (like staging or marketing materials) have not been up to a seller’s standards
Home value has been over- or under-exaggerated
Multiple pending contracts have fallen through
Advice from Realtor is untrustworthy
Your Realtor is unprofessional or otherwise unpleasant
How To Get Out Of Contract With A Realtor?
No matter the reason, once you’re set on getting out of contract with your Realtor, it’s time to take action. But can you fire a Realtor before your contract is up? Your best next steps depend on whether your Realtor is selling your home or helping you buy a new one.
If you are a seller
First, try talking with your agent to see if they’re willing to cancel the listing contract. Your Realtor may find it worthwhile to cancel a contract with an unsatisfied client, rather than continuing to push forward in an unproductive relationship. If they aren’t willing to cancel the listing contract, you can reach out to the real estate brokerage and ask to be reassigned to another agent.
If the brokerage is unwilling to assign another realtor (or if your Realtor hasn’t violated the terms of your listing agreement), you can file a complaint with the real estate regulatory body within your province or territory. Finally, you can always sit and wait for the contract terms to run their course before relisting. It’s certainly not ideal, but as a method of last resort, it’s a good option to have on deck.
Note there are two ways to cancel a listing contract:
1) A ‘Cancellation’ will keep you bound to 55 days or the remaining term of the listing contract, whichever is less.
2) An ‘Unconditional Release’ will release you from the listing contract terms immediately and allows you to rehire any Realtor with any real estate brokerage after it is signed and submitted. *Options are based on current Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver ‘Cancellation’ and ‘Unconditional Release’ forms as of September 2021.
A listing agreement is a contract
Go to your real estate agent first to see if they are willing to break the contract
Know the difference between a ‘Cancellation’ and ‘Unconditional Release’
Ask the real estate brokerage if they can place you with another agent
A method of last resort is to sit and wait for the contract terms to expire
If you are a Buyer
Once you’ve signed a Buyer’s Representation Agreement (BRA), you are legally bound to a real estate brokerage by the terms of that agreement. However, if you feel that your realtor has violated any of those terms, this can make getting out of a contract with a Realtor much easier.
Your first step should always be to ask your Realtor if they are willing to cancel the contract early – don’t forget that it’s in the Realtor’s best interest to have a positive relationship with clients, and they’ll want to keep their reputation intact as much as possible.
If they aren’t willing to cancel the contract, it’s time to pull out your Buyer’s Representation Agreement. Take a look at all stated terms and make sure you understand the expectations and requirements for both sides. If there has not been a flagrant violation, you can check to see if your BRA includes a “provision for schedules.” This clause allows buyers to end their Realtor contract early. A provision for schedules may require a secondary agreement, called a release, that provides additional terms after the contract is broken.
A Buyer Representation Agreement is a contract
Make sure you understand the terms and stated requirements for both parties
Look for a “provision for schedules” to see if early termination has been built into your contract
Top 5 FAQs On Cancelling Realtor Contracts
Cancelling Realtor contracts can be tough, and if you’ve never done it before, there are plenty of unknowns. But if you’re truly unsatisfied with your Realtor, there’s nothing worse than feeling as if you’re stuck with no recourse! As an additional guide, we’ve compiled a few of the most common questions that buyers and sellers have about cancelling Realtor contracts.
How long do Listing contracts last?
Realtor listing contracts vary, and are negotiable before signing a listing agreement or BRA. Most last anywhere between three months to a year, but the average length is four months.
Can a Realtor sue for breach of listing or buyer contract?
It’s incredibly rare, but there have been a few instances where a real estate brokerage has sued to collect on commissions, even when a sale falls through. However, keep in mind that it’s not in a Realtor’s best interest to sue you – Realtors depend on word of mouth and recommendations, and bad press is the last thing that they want.
Will I owe my Realtor money after getting out of a listing or buyer contract?
It depends on your Realtor. If you cancel a listing contract, you may be obligated to reimburse your realtor for certain fees and services conducted while you were working together. This could include marketing materials, advertising, or photography.
Who should I talk to in order to cancel a Realtor listing or buyer contract?
If your Realtor refuses to cancel the contract, reach out to the real estate brokerage or real estate board. Give them an overview of what is happening with your Realtor, let them know why you are unsatisfied.
Ready To Get Started?
At Garbutt + Dumas, we know how frustrating it can be to find yourself cancelling a listing or buyer contract with a Realtor. This is why we write into the listing contract that ‘you can cancel at any time’ and we don’t put buyers we work with under a contract. Our buyers choose to work with us, and are not obligated to under a written contract. Don’t let a negative experience with a Realtor stop you from trying again! We’d love to help you sell your home or buy your next one. Connect with us today and experience the difference that our team can make!
With a large focus on housing in the 2021 federal election, many Canadians are interested to hear what the parties have in store to help solve the housing issues across the country.
James and Denny break down what the Liberal, Conservative, NDP, and Green parties have promised in their campaigns for the real estate market in BC.
This episode will focus on the importance of accelerating construction to encourage development, the parties offering a consistent message of affordable housing, their plans to reduce homelessness and increase home availability, and the strategies they have in place to assist first-time homebuyers.
As summer comes to an end and temperatures start to drop, the real estate market looks to be heating up again!
James and Denny break down what buyers and sellers should expect over the upcoming months as demand starts to increase in this under-supplied market.
This episode will focus on rising sale prices, the continuation of bidding wars, townhouses in high demand, an increase in condo activity after a slow season, zoning problems causing a lack of development, and supply chain issues influencing the high cost of construction.
The summer market has been steady, it is still a seller’s market, and townhouses remain to be the hottest property type. In June, the sales volumes showed signs of easing compared to previous months, and it seemed that the market was slowing down. However, July sales were still 13.3% above the 10 year average, and the supply of listings dwindled down. In fact, the volume of new listings coming to the market have been below the 10 year average since March. On the other hand, the sales volume has been above the 10 year average for every month in 2021, with record sales being achieved in April and March.
Here’s a look the monthly sales volume compared to the 10 year average:
July 13.3% above
June 18.4% above
April 56.2% above
March 72.2% above
Feb 42.8% above 10
Jan 36.4% above 10
Due to the lower supply of listings, above average sales volume, and low interest rates, we anticipate the Seller’s market to remain for the foreseeable future.
What to expect this fall?
In September we anticipate more listings to hit the market, which will be followed by more sales due to the pent up demand. The market will remain in the Sellers’ favour, and upward pressure on prices will likely continue. We need a flood of new listings or a rise in interest rates to shift this market anytime soon. For many areas throughout the Lower Mainland, we expect more multiple offers situations this fall.