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Sellers Tips

Bringing Your Vancouver House To Market

Bringing a house to market requires a lot of preparation and probably more than one trip to the tool centre!More...

Bringing a house to market requires a lot of preparation and probably more than one trip to the tool centre! One of the first things that must be done is to give up any kind of attachment to the house. This means removing everything off the walls and even the drawings on the refrigerator. Anything that will not be sold with the house such as chandeliers and garden ornaments need to be removed ahead of time.

The house needs to be clean and clean smelling with no hint of a musty smell or any signs of mould. There should be no cobwebs or dust anywhere. Furniture should be free of clutter, pulled out, and cleaned behind each piece. Couch and chair cushions should be removed and vacuumed underneath them. The kitchen should be well organized with everything polished. Make sure the oven has been cleaned also. In the bathroom, the toilet, tub, and the sink need to be spotless.

The toilet should flush with no problems as well as no drips from any faucets throughout the house. All drains should drain well with no sluggishness. There should not be any signs of water leakage, from under the house to the roof. Ceilings should not have any water spots on them and if they do they need to be replaced. The crawl space under the house should be dry and free of mould.

The first thing a perspective buyer sees is the front of the house and front door. The exterior of the house should be power washed or repainted while the front door needs to be in good shape. It needs to open and close easily without dragging anywhere. This also applies to the storm door and all other doors in the house. All the lights should work, both inside and outside the house.

The shingles should be in good shape. They should not be dried, brittle, flaking, or even curling at the edges. This will turn a potential buyer away due to the fact of high roof replacement cost. Furnace and air conditioning units should be up to date and in good shape. There should be ample plug-ins without extension cords being used anywhere. The electrical box should be big enough to cover all the loads that will be put on it.

Keeping the lawn looking good with a fresh mowing and bushes being trimmed is essential. Flowers should be planted and if it is the wrong time of the year get artificial ones or potted plants you can put out and bring in once the viewing is done. Potential buyers love the look of flowers around a house. If there is a deck or shed on the property, make sure they are in good shape and paint them if necessary.

Gutters should be cleaned and downspouts free of obstructions. Missing brackets and straps need to be replaced. The yard should also be free of clutter. Toys and bicycles should be put up out of sight. This is a lot of preparation but will not only help sell the house faster, but will be able to get more money for a house in great condition.

Author Bio: David Morrison is an avid ‘DIYer’ and renovator of house and home. He has been working in the home renovation industry for most of his adult life and currently works for UK Tool Centre.

What Will It Cost To Pay Off My Mortgage?

So you've decided to sell your vancouver condo and buy another one.More...

So you’ve decided to sell your vancouver condo and buy another one. When figuring out your closing costs you realize your mortgage term is not yet due and your banks informs you that the lower interest rates will result in a mortgage penalty. How much? you ask

The amount of the penalty depends on your existing mortgage rate and the current rates. When fixed rates go down, your penalties to get out of your current fixed rate GO UP!

Example of a BASIC Interest Rate Differential (IRD) calculation

  • Based on a $200,000 with 3 years remaining on a 5 year term of 5.70%
  • There are 3 years remaining, so use the current 3 year rate to calculate the differential
  • If the lenders current 3 year rate is 4%, there is a difference of 1.7%.
  • Because there are still 3 years left, the principal is multiplied by 3
  • $200,000 x 1.7% x 3 = $10,200 penalty
  • As you get closer to the expiry date of your term, the penalty will decrease. Consider porting your mortgage to your next Vancouver real estate purchase.

Contact Alma Pasic, mortgate consultant for further info or ask for a pre-approved mortgage.

Five Pitfalls To Avoid When Selling Your Vancouver Condo Fast

So you need to sell your Vancouver condo fast - for whatever reason - be sure to avoid the following five pitfallsMore...

So you need to sell your Vancouver condo fast - for whatever reason - be sure to avoid the following five pitfalls

  1. Statistics show Vancouver sellers get the highest price in the first 30 days they property is listed. If you haven't priced it right initially, don't do make small price reductions, do one large one, slash the price once. Properties that sell the best are the cheapest and newest.
  2. Don't hire the wrong Vancouve realtor! 10% of Vancouver agents do 90% of the business. Ask a family member, friend or associate for a referral. Be sure the realtor works in your neighbourhood and has hyper-local experience. Make sure your agent is energetic and excited and has a marketing plan to guide you through the process. Pictures of course are an absolute must, as a a virtual tour and full internet and social media marketing
  3. Declutter - rent a locker and remove the clutter. It is absolutely crucial that buyers view your place as somewhere they'd like to live, they need to envison themselves living there. Your Vancouver property should sparkle and be decluttered. Hire a stager if necessary.
  4. The first price is almost always the best. Don't fall into the trap of thinking that because you got an offer so fast there will be higher ones following.
  5. Waiting it out may not be the right decison, depending on the market conditions

Tankless Water Heaters Save Energy

When it's time to replace your hot water tank, consider doing so with a tankless water heater.More...

When it's time to replace your hot water tank, consider doing so with a tankless water heater. It has numerous advantages over the old style hot water tank.

Instead of heating water and storing it in a storage tank where energy is lost throughout the day, tankless systems heat water on-demand, only as hot water is actually needed and used. Some units combine both radiant heating for floors and domestic hot water production.

  • Most tankless water heaters have a life expectancy of more than 20 years. In contrast, standard water heaters last 10–15 years
  • Easily replaceable parts that extend their life by many more years
  • Up to 98% efficient
  • Self-diagnostic systems which makes troubleshooting less expensive
  • Digital controls to adjust water temperature, reduced risk of scalding
  • Ideal when households need lots of hot water and want a high flow rate
  • Requires the least amount of repiping
  • Water heating cost savings
  • Compact space saving design
  • Less likely of leak or rupture

Current cost in 2012 is about $1000 at HomeDepot.

Ten Reasons Why Real Estate Deals Fall Apart

Real estate deals are more likely to fall apart in a buyers market, where sales are slow and there's more listings than buyers.More...

Real estate deals are more likely to fall apart in a buyers market, where sales are slow and there's more listings than buyers - as opposed to a sellers market, where buyers are outbidding each other.

I advise my Sellers to have a building inspection prior to listing their property, thereby eliminating all surprises.

So, what are typical deal breakers?

  • SELLING PRICE - The buyers and sellers can’t agree on a selling price.
  • FINANCING - The buyer fails to qualify for financing.
  • INSPECTION - The property disappoints the home-buyer or they find problems that were not disclosed upfront.
  • APPRAISAL - The home’s appraisal value in not in line with the selling price.
  • EXAGGERATION – Some Inspectors are known to exaggerate findings…
  • If the property ‘fails’ the home inspection in their eyes, buyers may threaten to exit the contract. This means required repairs need must be completed within a certain time or the buyers can legally terminate the agreement.

Other problems that cause real estate deals to collapse are:

  • The seller may have undisclosed liens against the property or other legal issues which will prevent the transaction from closing.
  • A buyer may lose their job or source of income.
  • The buyer comes to the reality that their expectations are unreasonable
  • Perhpas between obtaining a pre-approved mortgage and getting an offer accepted the buyer has made large expenditures, thereby negatively effecting their service debt ratio.
  • Or they get buyers remorse before they buy and walk from the contract

Easy Kitchen Upgrades Before You Sell Your Vancouver Home

Many Vancouver real estate sellers are faced with decorating decisions prior to listing their property.More...

Many Vancouver real estate sellers are faced with decorating decisions prior to listing their property. To renovate or not to renovate? If you don't want to do a full blown renovation, here's a few tips on improving your kitchen without spending a fortunce.

  • PAINT: If the cabinets are in decent condition but just tired, give them a new high-gloss color. Be sure to remove all traces of grease and grime to get the best results
  • CHROME: Replace the hardware, faucet, or sink
  • CABINETS: You can have the cabinet door fronts replaced or refaced and then remounted on the same boxes. Relatively inexpensive.
  • BACKSPLASH: Find a tile outlet center where you can score tile remnants at a fraction of the original cost. Or cover an old backsplash with self-stick mirror tile or a ready-to-install backsplash.
  • COUNTERTOP: If you’re on a small budget consider laminate, which offers true-to-life reproductions of more expensive wood and stone. A new laminate counter costs a few hundred dollars, including installation and can last for years.
  • The above inexpensive jobs will make your kitchen fresh and clean and result in a higher value for your Vancouver property.

Tips On Hiring The Right Vancouver Realtor

Once you've decided to sell your Vancouver home, it's important to select the right Realtor, because they don't all do a top job.More...

Once you've decided to sell your Vancouver home, it's important to select the right Realtor, because they don't all do a top job. Many are part-time. Here are some tips to help you select an experienced Realtor.

Select a Vancouver Realtor with a proven record of success.
Be it a slow or competitive real estate market, you don't want to be represented by a Realtor who places a sign on the property and that's it. Top, Experienced Realtors know how to promote a property in both a Buyers and Sellers market, how to price it competitevely and how to declutter it to attract more buyers. Has the Realtor worked in a Buyer's market? How long have they worked as an independent vs a member of a team? Do they have at least 10 years experience? What level of service do they offer? Do they personally show the property?

When you fill out the Property Condition Disclosure Statement, make sure you fix any problems that you are aware of.

Ask your Realtor to take you on a Vancover neighbourhood tour and view comparable homes for sale. How do their features compare to yours? How are they priced? Do they have features that yours doesn't? Do you think a buyer would select them over yours and if so, why? Ask your Realtor how you can make your Vancouver property more attractive than the competition - in price, features, look and feel.

Statistics show that Vancover sellers who don't price their real estate properly to begin with end up with a lower price one the home is sold. Sellers achieve the best price in the first month on the market. By pricing your home too high it will sit on the market and languish. Buyers then ask why it hasn't sold and what's wrong with it? You then have to lower the price lower than what you had originally wanted for the property. Don't chase the market down!

Are You A Resident Or Non-resident Of Canada?

Canada Revenue Agency defines a resident as someone who has lived in Canada for a minimum of 183 days within the last year.More...

Canada Revenue Agency defines a resident as someone who has lived in Canada for a minimum of 183 days within the last year.

CRA considers you a non-resident for tax purposes if you live in another country and are not considered a resident of Canada. And, live outside Canada throughout the tax year, or stay in Canada for less than 183 days in the tax year.

Visit www.cra.gc.ca and in the search box enter IT221R3. This will take you to a form, Determination of an Individual's Residence Status.

If you'd like an opinion about your residency status, complete and submit Form NR74.

A non-resident who buys a property and does not rent it, and does not earn income in Canada does not have to file an income tax return.

Selling Your Tenant Occupied Vancouver Condo

Selling a tenant occupied Vancouver condo can be complex.More...

Selling a tenant occupied Vancouver condo can be complex.

Hire an experienced Vancouver realtor such as Maggie Chandler (over 30 yrs experience) who has dealt with the sale of such suites and taken courses about the subject.

Info Regarding the Residential Tenancy Act

In BC landlords and tenants are governed by the RTB and their website outlines everything you and the tenant need to know, including the required forms.

Tips for landlords

Prior to engaging Maggie as your realtor, it is strongly advised that you review the sale of your Vancouver condo with you’re accountant and or lawyer.

  1. Tenants are often uncooperative and untidy, thereby having a negative impact on the sale price
  2. You can only give notice to tenants for specific reasons and a sale to someone wanting to occupy the property is one of them. See Section 49 of the Residential Tenancy Act for details.
  3. If you sell to an investor, it is an advantage to have a tenant in place. Educate yourself about Rent Increases as outlined by the BC Govt.
  4. You cannot give notice to a tenant prior to the end of a fixed period tenancy so if you are part way through a one year lease, you can sell the property with the tenancy intact or you should wait until closer to the end of the tenancy so you can provide vacant posession to a buyer.
  5. If your property is professionally managed your PM will advise you on remitting a tax return for any rental income generated from your rental property. If you are a non-resident, this is accomplished by filing a section 216 tax return.
  6. Please see our Rental Management page for a list of local management agencies.

Selling a Tenant Occupied Property and Ending a Tenancy

  1. Once we list your Vancouver condo, your property manager will advise the tenant it is for sale and pass along their contact info to me, who will drop by and meet with them (and view the condo) and discuss the process. Of course, we try to accommodate the tenant and work around their schedule
  2. The property is shown to prospective buyers and their realtors in keeping with the requirements of the Residential Tenancy Act as it relates to a landlord's right to enter a tenanted unit.
  3. When we get an offer, the closing and posession dates reflect the requirements for giving the tenant Notice to End Tenancy within the Residential Tenancy Act requirements. Standard notice for a month-to-month tenancy requires 2 months starting at the end of the current month, once you have a binding contract. Notice is served to the tenant once a binding contract is in place and the buyer has submitted a form to the seller, indicating they wish to occupy the condo and therefore have vacant possession on closing.
  4. Once notice has been served to the tenant, the Landlord is legally required to provide a cheque in the amoutn of 1 month's rent, to the tenant on the last day of the tenancy.
  5. Once the tenancy has been terminated, the Landlord returns the tenant's security deposit (assuming no damage) and must then deliver to the tenant a cheque in the amount of 1 month's rent.
  6. Your PM will handle the checkout and return of all keys the gathering of all keys and entry FOBs for the
  7. Your PM will co-ordinate the tenant’s checkout and retrieve all keys, to be passed on to Maggie.

Tips for Landlord

  1. Once you serve the 2 moth's notice, the tenant can provide 10 days notice in return and leave. In this case, the Landlord still owes the tenant 1 month's rent. Notice must be served 3 days prior to month end.
  2. If the tenant serves the Landlord 10 days notice, after receiving a Notice to End Tenancy from the Landlord, the Landlord risks vacancy and loss of income from that date until the date of the possession agreed to in the Contract of Purchase and Sale. However, you can ask the Buyer to close earlier.

Does Your Vancouver Real Estate Have Aesthetic Appeal?

When selling your Vancouver real estate be sure it has aesthetic appeal.More...

When selling your Vancouver real estate be sure it has aesthetic appeal. Many buyers are unable to see beyond the clutter, outdated decor, neglected repairs and offensive odours.

Here are six aesthetic mistakes to avoid.

  1. Lack of light - let the light in, turn on all lights, make sure all bulbs are high wattage.
  2. Declutter - clutter makes a home feel smaller and buyers have a hard time seeing themselves and their belongings in the space.
  3. Offensive Odours - be it pets, smoking, cooking - nothing will turn a buyer off more than offensive odours. Give everything a good cleans, including arpets, draperies and upholstery.
  4. Outdated Decor - your decor should be appealing to the greatest number of prospective buyers possible.
  5. Repairs - fix the little items like hardware, loose cabinet doors, pieces of missing moulding. These are a sign of neglect and the buyer will wonder what are the big items that may be neglected also.
  6. Have a home inspection BEFORE you sell. Know what's wrong and fix it prior to putting the home on the market. That 'll allow you to sleep at night, knowing that once you receive an acceptable offer, the transaction will not be jepordised by the inspection.

10 Ways A Vancouver Realtor Can Help

Select a neighbourhood realtor to market your property.More...
  1. Select a neighbourhood realtor to market your property. One who pssesses a hyper-local knowledge of your neighbourhood and specifically knows your condo building.
  2. When setting the Listing Price, your neighbourhood realtor will have an indepth knowledge of the market and will be able to advise you accordingly, based on your motivation to move, current market conditions and the condition of your home.
  3. Have you googled your realtor? Your realtor should have full Internet exposure, which includes being listed in numerous real estate directories and should syndicate your listing throughout the internet, including their own website and real estate blog. No doubt you have already reviewed your Realtor's marketing plan on their website.
  4. Do they have testimonials?
  5. Do they provide you with showing feedback?
  6. Select an experienced realtor, who has extensive knowledge of various market and how to position your home accordingly, as well as guiding you through the legalities of offers....sometimes multiple offers (sellers market )and sometimes an extended period with no offers (strong buyers market).
  7. Should you stage your home? Or perhaps have a Staging consultation? It is important to have your home present itself to the market in the best possible condition.
  8. Familiarize yourself with all the necessary disclosures. Property Disclosure Statement, FINTRAC regulations, Law of Agency, Dual Limited Agency.
  9. Discuss with your Realtor what you are taking with you and what you are leaving with the house. Generally, unless stated otherwise, fixtures remain with the property, while chattels -- things which are movable -- aren't included in the sale. If necessary, what stays and what goes are listed under "inclusions" or "exclusions."
  10. Finally, the Listing Agreement also details the financial conditions of the property, including the mortgage balance, mortgage monthly payments and the mortgage due date. It should also provide information about annual property taxes; and references for any easements, rights of way, liens or charges against the property.

Tips On Handling Offers On Your Vancouver Condo

An informed Vancouver seller should be ready to make the right decision when an offer or competing offers are received.More...

An informed Vancouver seller should be ready to make the right decision when an offer or competing offers are received. When you hire Maggie Chandler to market your property, here's what she'll deliver:

When taking the listing:

  1. Discuss with the seller their motivation for selling. remember, this is confidential information.
  2. Discuss impact of current market conditions, e.g. season, types of financing, length of time on market
  3. Review Guiding Principles and explain that competing offers may be received and that the seller decides whether to disclose the existence and/or terms of offers to other licensees and/or buyers
  4. Confirm that the seller - not the agent - will make decisions about how and when ofers will be presented, negotiated and ultimately accepted or withdrawn

When the offer is received:

  1. Advise the seller of the receipt of the offer (s)
  2. Promptly present the offer(s) unless otherwise instructed (preferably in writing) by the seller
  3. Discuss the terms of the offer(s) - if competing offers, compare terms
  4. Inform seller of any other interest in the property (Potential of other offers/scheduled showings/recent showings that may require followup)

Seller's options - one offer:

  1. Accept, reject, counter, delay during time for acceptance to seek out other offers
  2. Explain pros and cons of each option - including the potential of a buyer withdrawing an offer during a delay
  3. Seller's options - competing offers:

Accept one offer

  1. Reject all offers and encourage better offers
    Counter one offer (may withdraw counter, in writing, prior to acceptance) do not inform other buyers
  2. Delay acceptance waiting for another offer
  3. Alert all buyers that they are in a competing offer situation
  4. Consider the pros and cons of each option - delaying or inviting all buyers to make their "best" offer may produce better offers or may discourage buyers, who may withdraw
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