We’re off to another memorable year in real estate!   Social distanced showings, live streaming, FaceTime tours, and increased online photos and videos are some of the changes we have made to adapt to the new times. Despite all the events going on in the world, our local real estate market remains to be strong.  The volume of sales is down compared to previous years, as many buyers and sellers have decided to hold off and wait.  However, prices remain to be high for a lot of the properties we’re selling simply because there aren’t enough of them available.   Over the last few weeks we have run into multiple offers and sales over the listed price on a number of occasions.

If you’re thinking of selling, it may be a great time.  Particularly if you’re upsizing to a higher price point that is less active, or if you’re relocating to a slower market with more buying opportunities.  Over the last few weeks we have had some great success selling condos and townhouses, and in some cases at record prices!

– James

Listen to our latest Podcast: Market Update – Buy, Sell or Wait


Episode #14 – COVID19’s Current Effects on Residential Financing

COVID-19 is affecting all aspects of life, so what exactly is it doing to the residential financing world? Alex McFadyen from Thrive Mortgage CO and the YVR REMO Show joins James and Denny to talk about how this pandemic is affecting mortgages and how to government plans to help. This episode will focus on BC mortgages, prime rate changes, fixed rates vs variables, renewals, renter situations, how people are reacting and what may happen in the near future.

Watch and listen to the Garbutt+Dumas Real Estate Podcast below and follow us on Spotify, iTunes & Youtube.

Episode #13 – COVID19 Current Effects on the Local Real Estate Market

As Vancouver settles into accepting social distancing and staying at home as the current norm, the real estate industry moves along but with some changes. James and Denny share how COVID-19 has affected their day-to-day lives and how they have adapted to keep the team going. If you have any interests in current real estate dealings, local market activity, real estate financials or ways of developing your business in the downtime please give us a listen!

Watch and listen to the Garbutt+Dumas Real Estate Podcast below and follow us on Spotify, iTunes & Youtube.

Episode #12 – Dealing with Multiple Offers: Sellers Perspective

In a busy Vancouver market dealing with multiple offers on a property is common. In a seller’s world, this can be a great situation to be in. James and Denny share their process of how they work with sellers to get the most out of a multiple offer situation. If you want to learn more about multiple offers, market exposure, seller paperwork, offer presentations and client-realtor open communication.

Watch and listen to the Garbutt+Dumas Real Estate Podcast below and follow us on Spotify, iTunes & Youtube.

Episode #11 – Step by Step Guide to Buying a Detached Home

Buying a detached home will most likely be the largest purchase of your life so knowing what to look for can make a world of difference. James and Denny go through their 10 steps that cover all aspects of buying a home. If you are thinking of buying a detached home this episode will cover finding out how much you can afford, appraisals, site surveys, questions to ask the city, home inspections and contracts.

Watch and listen to the Garbutt+Dumas Real Estate Podcast below and follow us on Spotify, iTunes & Youtube.

Episode #9 – Dealing with Multiple Offers: Buyers Perspective

As the Vancouver markets starts to heat up, multiple offers become the norm and can be very frustrating especially for those looking to buy. James and Denny share how they approach multiple offer situations and what they look for in hot real estate markets. If you are a buyer in a multiple offer situation this episode will provide information on how to gain an advantage and land the property in a bidding war.

Watch and listen to the Garbutt+Dumas Real Estate Podcast below and follow us on Spotify, iTunes & Youtube.

Episode #8 – BC Condo Insurance Crisis

Strata Condos and townhomes in British Columbia are on the verge of an insurance crisis due to rising premiums. Increased number of claims, construction costs and climate change have all contributed to these increases. James and Denny give their take on the situation and discuss how much you can expect your strata fees to increase, what to be aware of when buying into strata and potential government intervention.

Watch and listen to the Garbutt+Dumas Real Estate Podcast below and follow us on Spotify, iTunes & Youtube.

Episode #7 – Real Estate Photography & First Impressions

When it comes to selling Real Estate, imagery is everything. Almost everyone who comes through the door will have first seen and judged the property online. So how do you make the most of that? This episode will focus on the importance of professional photography, how to get the most out of a photo shoot and how to separate your listing from others online.

Listen to the Garbutt+Dumas Real Estate Podcast (bottom of page) to learn why Professional Real Estate Photography is so important when marketing your home!

Real Estate Photography & First Impressions 

It goes without saying that marketing homes well is a huge part of our job as realtors. And it begins with real estate photography.  As such, it’s paramount to ensure that any property for sale is well presented, whether that be on your website, social media, MLS (multiple listing service) or anywhere else on the web. That first impression is normally the difference between a potential buyer deciding to come for a viewing or not.

In the following post, we’ll share with you our views on the importance of real estate photographer, presentation and first impressions:

Helping You Get Ready For Real Estate Photography 

Our first point of order is to do a room-by-room walkthrough of your house to establish the “important rooms” that need to be photographed. 

It’s important to remember that there is a difference between getting ready for photos and preparing for viewings. The images don’t pick up on all imperfections, nor do we take photos of every room that a buyer would see if they walked through your house. Regardless, there are a few details you need to tend to first.

Declutter The “Important Rooms” For The Photoshoot

Before professional pictures can be taken, we recommend that you tidy up any clutter. Which may include removing family photos from the fireplace mantle, clearing the kitchen countertop, taking a toothbrush off the bathroom counter, or reshuffling any other household items to clear up the space for that perfect shot.

Little touches like that, provide a much improved first impression when someone is scrolling through pictures of a property online. A simple idea to keep in mind is trying to make your home look like a hotel. Not too plain, not too cluttered. It calls for just the right balance between the two. If in any doubt, our advice is to remember that less is more in general.

Stage Your Home (To Some Degree) For Real Estate Photography 

Putting a little bit of effort into staging your home for real estate pictures is good practice for two main reasons. Firstly it improves the appeal of your home, which could result in better offers from buyers. Secondly it can help to sell your property faster.

We always arrive for photoshoots equipped with staging items including plants, table settings and extra decor. We’re constantly thinking about how to best present your home. That could be adding a centerpiece with glassware and plates to a table that otherwise looks too plain without it.  It helps make a great first impression for buyers.

Take Professional Pictures

Today, professional property photography is almost a prerequisite compared to 5 years ago when there were still a lot of amateur photos. But the level of effort going into professional photos differs greatly across the board. Different agents have different approaches.

In our team specifically, we ensure that two or three members of the team attend client photoshoots. While the photographer is setting up for pictures, we are working behind the scenes moving furniture around to frame each shot so that it 

can be seen in its best possible light. 

We want to lure potential buyers through the door with great photos. The more buyers that see your home, the more offers you get, which often leads to a better outcome. 

The Importance of The Feature Shot

In most cases, you want to highlight the best features of the home early in the listing or order of photos. If possible the best photo should be the first featured shot. This can be different from property to property though. For condos, for example, it’s often going to be a kitchen/ living room shot. For detached properties, it’s common to have a curb appeal shot. If it’s a view property, it’s often going to be that view shot, and so on.

From there we like to ensure the listing has a natural flow of photos. We want that person who’s scrolling through the pictures online to feel as though they’re going through the home. We don’t want them to jump from the kitchen to the bedroom, to the dining room, back to another bedroom, and so on.  

Make Your Real Estate Pictures Remarkable 

The goal for every photoshoot is to make the property look as attractive as possible.  Be sure to declutter the rooms that will be photographed, stage your home where needed and seek a professional real estate photographer that is patient and cares about quality.  It could be the difference between a potential buyer scrolling past your listing or booking a showing to view it.

Listen to our podcast on Spotify and Itunes!

Episode #6 – The Best Time of the Year to Sell or Buy a Home

When is the best time to list your home? Does buying/selling a home at different times throughout the year make a difference? James and Denny go through different scenarios where yearly timing may have an impact on price. This episode will focus on the positives and negatives of selling/buying a home at certain times of the year and how to get the most out of a property whether you are buying or selling.

Episode #5 – BC Mortgages with Shaun Francis

Mortgages are complicated. Shaun Francis is the Principal and Senior Mortgage Consultant at Bespoke Lending Solutions and joins James and Denny to share information with anyone with a mortgage or anyone looking to buy their first home. This episode will focus on how to afford a mortgage, figuring out a budget, minimum down payments, the first time Home Buyers’ Plan, real estate investments and the stress test.

Watch and listen to the Garbutt+Dumas Real Estate Podcast below and follow us on Spotify, iTunes & Youtube.