If you have read my monthly real estate market update, you are aware we are currently deep into a buyer's market shift.
To define how we Vancouver REALTORS® define the market, assume an old fashion scale.
On one side we have "Supply" and on the other "Demand".
- When demand increases, obviously the number of inventory in the market decreases and get sold quicker than being listed. This stage is called "Seller's Market" and the sales ratio, which is the percentage of Sold Listings to Available listings are above 20%.
- When "Supply" and "Demand" scale tip balances in the middle, that is an indicator that every supply and inventory meets demand of the real estate buyers steadily and the sale ratio is at 15%-20%
- When the scale tips toward a lower demand, real estate inventory (Supply) increases and this is called a buyer’s market with sale ratio being anything under 15%.
Currently in Greater Vancouver area we are at 8% sales ratio and are in a deep buyer's market. High level of inventory being listed every day and competition between all Vancouver properties for sale. Demand, or the real estate buyers, are holding back and are not pulling a trigger of making offers. This hold off, maybe a reason of many third party factors, such as:
A) Mortgage and bank interest. This is true, since the Bank of Canada announced the mortgage stress test, many real estate buyers faced a lower affordability.
B) Economic imbalanced and uncertainty. With our federal government confusion about pipeline, and trade deal with United State, and many other financial policies being procrastinated constantly, buyer's, or in general consumer's confidence is lower and paranoia of what to expect in near future kicks in.
C) Local provincial government and municipal control and their interference in real estate industry. Specifically, in BC and Vancouver, where many additional taxes where introduced effective January 2018 and its impact on local and foreign real estate purchasers have been tremendously harsh.
Now that we have the understanding of where we are in current market, most of my real estate clients whom own a property in BC, are concerned how to effectively list and sell their property in this buyer's market.
Let's make one thing very clear. Yes! we ae in a deep buyer's market, but there are yet activities and properties are being sold. This activity although not comparable to what we witnessed for the past few years, but yet any activity is a sign throb in real estate heart. And these sold listings they all have few things in common:
- Extremely Attractively Priced
- Beautifully shown and cared for.
- Wonderfully exposed and marketed.
The very important three factors above have been constant in generating these recent activities and benefited the real estate owners and buyers combined.
In order to successfully sell a listing, even in this market, PRICE it as you're looking forward and not in the back mirror. This is very important for every homeowner that is willing to sell their home in good faith and is not just trying out the market to see what they can get.
Clean, declutter and stage your property to show it well.
and lastly and one of the most important other item on the menu is to choose a knowledgeable, skilled Realtor to expose and market your property in the best possible ways.
Want to know how my marketing is extraordinary? let’s meet and discuss.
To get your home evaluation go to
This is a short and quick tutorial on free vancouver home evalauation.
To start go to Whatisyourhomevaluetoday.ca
In the middle of the page you have a clear widget asking for your home address and unit number. If you leave in Vancouver condo or townhouse it is neccessary to enter your unit number, otherwise we cannot perform the valuation process. You then can simply press the yellow "Show Me Now" button.
In the same page on the left top corner of your screen, you can also review the Real Estate Council new regulation and requirement disclosure necessary for real estate services. Rest assure i follow all the regulation and you will receive a copy of Disclosure of Representation in Trading Services in your Free home evalaution package.
In step 2, you must filll in your "first name", "Last Name" and valid "email address" where we can send the evalaution kit directly. If you don't fill this section, the kit will be mailed via Canada post to your home address provided.
In Step 3 it would ask you for your phone number and two drop down menu where you can tell me when is the timeline for selling your home.
Congratulations. I have received your info and will start working on it with full details.
Here is a quick video tutorial for your review.
This is a quick tutorial on how to define your Vancouver Home Search and assign your Criteria on axelrealtor.ca MLS® Search by Vancouver Realtor - Axel Ziba PREC - Engel & Völkers.
To start go to Https://axelrealtor.ca
From the top main menu choose "MLS® Search" Tab.
This page direct you to "Start Searching Listings". Click on the writing to be directed to the main search map.
On top of the map, you have many criterias to narrow-down your Vancouver home search.
The largest tab is "Enter location or MLS® #". This will help you assign what desired area you're searching. You can type "Kitsilano, Yaletown, Downtown, False Creek, Coal Harbour, Shaughnessy and so on"
Next is to assign your property Type. Click on "Type" and select " Houses (Detached), Condo/Townhouses (Attached)"
This will significantly focus your search on what you're after.
Other tab is to assign your budget range. "Price"
You have been pre-approved and have dne your research on how much hoe you can afford. This tab wil help define and search for Vancouver homes in your budget range.
Next tab is assign your number Bedrooms and Bathroom you prefer.
You can also define more advanced criteria for your Vancouver home search by going to "More" Tab and narrow down your search by defining "Lofts, Penthouse, Corner unit, Year built, Lot Size and much more".
Below is a full video for your review.
Enjoy your Vancouver homes and Condo apartments MLS® Search.
Home listings continue to increase across all housing categories in the Metro Vancouver* housing market while home buyer activity remains below historical averages.
The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential home sales in the region totalled 1,103 in January 2019, a 39.3 per cent decrease from the 1,818 sales recorded in January 2018, and a 2.9 per cent increase from the 1,072 homes sold in December 2018.
Last month’s sales were 36.3 per cent below the 10-year January sales average and were the lowest January-sales total since 2009.
There were 4,848 detached, attached and apartment homes newly listed for sale on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in Metro Vancouver in January 2019. This represents a 27.7 per cent increase compared to the 3,796 homes listed in January 2018 and a 244.6 per cent increase compared to the 1,407 homes listed in December 2018.
The total number of homes currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 10,808, a 55.6 per cent increase compared to January 2018 (6,947) and a 5.2 per cent increase compared to December 2018 (10,275).
For all property types, the sales-to-active listings ratio for January 2019 is 10.2 per cent. By property type, the ratio is 6.8 per cent for detached homes, 11.9 per cent for townhomes, and 13.6 per cent for condominiums.
Generally, analysts say that downward pressure on home prices occurs when the ratio dips below the 12 per cent mark for a sustained period, while home prices often experience upward pressure when it surpasses 20 per cent over several months.
“Home prices have edged down across all home types in the region over the last seven months,” Moore said.
The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential homes in Metro Vancouver is currently $1,019,600. This represents a 4.5 per cent decrease over January 2018, and a 7.2 per cent decrease over the past six months.
“Economic fundamentals underpinning our market for home buyers and sellers remain strong. Today’s market conditions are largely the result of the mortgage stress test that the federal government imposed at the beginning of last year,” Moore said. “This measure, coupled with an increase in mortgage rates, took away as much as 25 per cent of purchasing power from many home buyers trying to enter the market.”
Sales of detached homes in January 2019 reached 339, a 30.4 per cent decrease from the 487 detached sales recorded in January 2018. The benchmark price for detached homes is $1,453,400. This represents a 9.1 per cent decrease from January 2018, and an 8.3 per cent decrease over the past six months.
Sales of apartment homes reached 559 in January 2019, a 44.8 per cent decrease compared to the 1,012 sales in January 2018. The benchmark price of an apartment property is $658,600. This represents a 1.7 per cent decrease from January 2018, and a 6.6 per cent decrease over the past six months.
Attached home sales in January 2019 totalled 205, a 35.7 per cent decrease compared to the 319 sales in January 2018. The benchmark price of an attached unit is $800,600. This represents a 0.5 per cent decrease from January 2018, and a 6.2 per cent decrease over the past six months.
5 low-budget changes to make your house looks more attractive for saleAs Vancouver real estate shifting toward a more balanced market by having more inventory and listings on MLS®, it is important for homeowners and real estate seller enthusiast to be more vigilant when it comes to their Vancouver property presentation.First impressions are the ones make the biggest impression to any potential buyer and visitor. Followings are five suggestions to make a quick and inexpensive changes which make high impact for your home presentation.
Trimming and cleaning the front and backyard doesn’t have to put a dent in your wallet. A clean fresh cut grass and clear driveway is way more inviting than having a rusted vehicle and unattended shrubs. Don’t leave it to the buyers imagination. A simple gardening care can go a long way.
2. Fresh paint
Devote a day to do a complete paint. If you ever lived in a college dorm, you know how to do it yourself. But hiring a professional to do it, is not expensive and leaves a lasting impression. Pick a lighter colour to open up the space. This activity has also another purpose. In addition to complement the walls and remove all scratches, it makes you remove all the family photos and personal decoration of your safari trip with uncle Ted.
De-cluttering is simple and free, but the result is outstanding. Every square footage worth lots of dollars. In some cases over one thousand. Don’t cover up the money by newspaper basket, broken vase and that scratched Ikea table from your college time. Remove the unwanted furniture. Either sell them for extra cash or donate, maybe store them. This goes for all the kids toys and Danny’s office project.
4. Furniture re-arrangement
This is a simple way to show the usage of the space. Vacant homes and apartments can be negative as the buyers won’t be able to imagine the usage of the proposed space. In many cases the data shows a properly designed staged home by a professional stager sells faster and fetches extra dollar value. Some staging pros even work with your own furniture for a low-budgeted expense and consult you on how to re-organize them for the best layout. If planning not to spend anything, then have our team of pro, do a walkthrough and direct you on how to space the furniture and storing the unwanted ones.
5. Brighten it up.
One of the most common keyword use in real estate write ups is “Bright and spacious”. A bright indoor space has more life and energy to it. Change your burnt light bulbs and add more light fixtures. For showings open up the curtains and or blinds and let the light inside. These five quick and to-do things can go a long way and make tremendous impact and impression on every potential real estate visitor. As a local Vancouver REALTOR® I may add, to open up the doors and windows and let the air in. It certainly refreshes the indoor air.
Let’s discover the 8 Steps to buy a house for sale in Vancouver:
Step 1 Decide Where and What to Buy
Step 2 Getting Pre-Approved for a Mortgage
Step 3 Choosing the Right Realtor®
Step 4 Becoming an Educated Buyer
Step 5 Making an Educated Offer
Step 6 Conditions, home inspections and waivers
Step 7 Preparing to Move
Step 8 Move in – Enjoy!
In my previous article we discussed the variety of homes and their types as well as the type of buyers and their motivations.
I love working in our beautiful city. Vancouver is combination of all nature, history and modern lifestyle. It is exciting time to be a realtor in Vancouver. In my first meeting with buyers, after determining their motivation to buy, I need to guide them through the purchase process. It is a complex process with many ups and downs. Working alongside of an expert real estate agent, makes a great difference. It is an exciting time and my hope is that this guide will bring clarity and peace of mind during your home buying journey.
Where and what to buy:
Congratulations on taking this first step toward buying a home. Pride of home ownership is indeed one of life’s greatest joys and biggest accomplishments.
The first step is deciding where you want to live, what type of home you are
looking for and what features are “must have’s” or “would be nice to have’s” in a home.
Invariably, there will be tradeoffs, but rest assured I am here to help sort through the options to find you the best house, at the best price and with as many of your wants and needs as possible.
Getting Pre-Approved for mortgage:
The mortgage industry is a highly competitive field and it is important to understand that interest rates can change at any time. Partnering with a mortgage broker or financial institution to help you find the right mortgage product at the best rate is key to your home buying process.
5 Easy Steps to Get You Pre-Approved For Mortgage:
1. Talk with a mortgage specialist. There are hundreds of options to choose from when it comes to lenders. Independent mortgage brokers tend to offer the most options because they do not just work with one bank. However, if you have a good relationship with your bank or financial institution, contact them as your first step towards finding the right mortgage for you. But be sure to compare rates.
2. Complete and submit your application with the mortgage broker. They will collect your financial and personal information in order to find out how much mortgage you can carry.
3. Gather all the necessary documents. The mortgage broker will give you a list of documents that the banks/lenders need to finalize the mortgage.
4. Verification of your details. They will do their checks and balances to make sure that you are not getting in over your head.
5. Obtain a copy of your pre-approval. This is a powerful negotiating tool. The seller of your dream home will feel more confident that you are the right person.
Having that Pre-Approval Documentation Can Offer You Several Benefits:
- Save you time by only looking at properties that you can afford.
- Save you money. Rate guarantees and mortgage terms can save you money for years to come.
- Less stress throughout the process. You will know that you are ready and capable of buying a home.
- Get a better deal on the home that you want. Sellers like to know that buyers already have financing in place.
Choose the right REALTOR® in Vancouver
First, it’s important that you understand whose interests Realtors® are legally bound to serve in a real estate transaction.
The Listing Agent:
The Listing Agent is under contract with the seller to market and sell their property for the best possible price. Working with a listing agent means that they can:
• Arrange a showing of the property for sale.
• Assist with financing the property.
• Provide details about the property.
• Explain all the forms and agreements related to buying the property.
Your Personal Realtor®:
When you engage the services of your own personal agent—someone who is under contract to work solely in your best interest—you get all of the same services listed above plus your personal Realtor® provides:
• Confidential assistance that addresses your needs first.
• Honest, loyal and diligent care, free from any conflicts of interest.
• Access to all listings including MLS® listings, bank-owned properties, distress and estate sales, even homes that were previously on the market where the seller might still be interested in selling.
• Expert advice on useful legal clauses such as home inspections and financing to protect you fully.
• Expert negotiation of the offer to purchase, to achieve the best possible price and terms.
• Expert advice on market value, CMA (comparable market analysis), inclusions, location, as well as help you decide when you should walk away.
• Discovery, research, and disclosure of all information about the property including liens, warranties, disclosures, seller’s purchase price, and market and planning activity in the Vancouver area.
As your Realtor® in Vancouver, our job is to ensure you are an educated buyer in all aspects of your home buying process.
Become an educated Buyer:
My exclusive Home Buyer Service Program will empower you with key market information and every possible advantage to ensure you become an educated buyer. Educated buyers are able to make informed decisions creating a stress free and enjoyable home buying process.
Here’s what you can expect from me when you enroll in my program:
• Absolutely no fees or costs to you as my buyer.
• Access to MLS® listings in greater Vancouver from a variety of advanced property search programs. I even have my own app!
• Access to a database of expired listings that may reconsider selling.
• Proactive prospecting within your desired area to locate potential sellers with homes that match your criteria, that are not actively for sale on the market now but may be considering selling. Yes! I found many house for my buyers doing this!
• Access to “For Sale By Owner” homes that match your criteria. It’s tough, but doable.
• Up-to-the-minute access to the best deals on the market, including brand new MLS® listings, newly price reduced properties, current bank power of sales, new home options, private sales and deals under contract that have fallen through.
• The most current real estate market information that may impact your buying decision, including mortgage changes, statistical sales data on median house for sale and sold prices, sales and months of inventory, local area market changes, trends and much more.
The Educated Process:
1. After our initial fact gathering meeting, I enter a detailed summary of your wants and needs for a dream home into my database and a variety of property search programs. That includes the type of home;
A) Condo for sale
B) House (Detached) for sale
C) Townhouse and duplex for sale
2. I won’t bombard your email with information that is not relevant to you. I will provide daily update emails on all the homes that are new to the market or have had a recent price change and that matches a broadened scope of what you are looking for.
3. As market area specialists in Vancouver, with a pulse on local and national real estate market trends and changes, I also ensure you are kept informed of all relevant industry changes that may impact your buying decision, including price trends and mortgage rates.
4. You get all the information about every property – the same information only I, as a Realtor®, have access to.
5. When you find a home that peaks your interest, simply contact me and I will arrange a convenient time to view.
Remember, when selecting what homes to view…
• Choose styles and types of home that meet your needs.
• Do a drive-by and inspect the area for your first impression.
• Select a maximum of 5 homes to visit in one day (3 to 4 is best).
• Schedule time after the showings to sit down and discuss the homes’ merits.
Making an Educated Offer:
The ongoing communication and education you will receive from my team, will empower you to get the best possible deal on the home that you desire.
You’ve found the one. Fantastic! Here’s what happens next:
1. I will conduct a detailed CMA (Comparable Market Analysis) complete with comparable active, recently sold and historical data relevant to determining the market value of the home. This will empower you to make an informed decision. In addition, I will analyze the price by reviewing all Stats and Home Price Index (HPI) which exist in Greater Vancouver Real Estate Board from 2005.
2. I will prepare an offer, following your instructions, fits your schedule and needs.
3. I will explain the details of the offer and suggest options for specialty clauses ensuring you know exactly what you are agreeing to.
4. I will present and negotiate the offer on your behalf to get you the home that you want at the price and terms agreeable to you.
What happens after this:
• The seller may accept your offer – This is the best scenario. congratulations!
• The seller may reject your offer – not common, but it can happen and I would endeavor to find out why.
• The seller may counter the offer, changing the terms of the offer and present the offer back to you – This is excellent, meaning they are motivated to sell and we can make this happen.
• Our negotiations continue to reach agreeable terms between the seller and yourself, or until I know an agreement cannot be reached and it is time to walk away.
Conditions, Home Inspections, and Waivers:
The offer has been accepted. Now we need to satisfy the conditions.
This usually involves performing our due diligence and follow the offer conditions like, home inspection, Financing, Title review, strata documents review, Property Disclosure review, Insurance. Oil tank, mold, and asbestos, fall under inspection. We need to send your accepted offer and getting the rest of your personal information and the property information to your mortgage broker or bank informing him/her of our deadline, and arranging for the other information that might be necessary, like surveys, and condominium documents. I will help you make the necessary arrangements to ensure that the entire process runs smoothly before the deadline. In addition, we need to be in connection with your legal advisor/lawyer to have the entire documents review.
I tell all my clients that I’m an advisor, but I’m not a lawyer or an accountant.
Next, you will need to add some people to your team:
Finding a Home Inspector
Home inspections allow you to scrutinize the details of the home and save you from some unpleasant surprises. I would be happy to recommend a reputable home inspector, however, when making your decision….
• Ensure that the home inspector is a qualified professional. Being a member of an Association can reassure you are getting an experienced, knowledgeable professional.
• Ensure the home inspector checks for visible issues with plumbing, electrical systems, the roof, insulation, walls, ceilings, floors and windows, and the condition of the foundation. They can also check that included chattels, like furnaces and air conditioners, are in working order.
• Ensure your home inspector gives you an up close and personal look at your new home. It takes about 3 hours to go through all the systems, and if there are any problems, you will see them with your own eyes. They will also give you maintenance tips and easy fixups, if necessary.
• Ensure that in the end, you receive a detailed report that summarizes the condition of your home.
Choosing a Lawyer:
Lawyers are an invaluable member of your team whose job is to ensure that you get what you are paying for and in accordance with the terms of your agreement of purchase. Your lawyer will ensure:
• There is nothing on title that is not supposed to be there.
• The property taxes, utilities and condo fees, if applicable, are up to date.
• You have all the information that you need about your new home.
• Your mortgage lender is satisfied and that your mortgage is secured on property title as required by your mortgage agreement.
• You know exactly how much money you will need in order complete the transaction on closing day.
• They also ensure that the seller gets paid the purchase price.
Prepare to Move:
Typically, you will have anywhere from 30 to 90 days to get everything ready for your home. It could be shorter or longer, depending on what you need and have agreed upon with the seller for the closing date. The closing date is usually the same as your move-in date. There are three closing dates:
A) Completion Date: This date is the date that your lawyer and the seller lawyer coordinate all documents and after the payment is completed, they transfer the title of the property to your name.
B) Adjustment date: This date is also the same date as above, when lawyers, pay all the taxes and assessments.
C) Possession Date: This is the day you’re looking forward to receive the key and move in to your new home in Vancouver. The practice is to have the possession one day after closing, to give the sellers enough time to move out and clean the property, providing an ample time and making it ready for you to move in. In certain circumstances, when the house is vacant, or the seller can move out and clean the property on the same date you’re moving in, we realtors assign the same date at completion.
It is a good idea to get things organized well in advance of the closing date to reduce the stress of the move.
• Lawyer: I will send your lawyer the information about your purchase. You will need to provide the lawyer with some additional information: insurance, down-payment information, fee payments, adjustment payments and possibly other signed documents that they require. You will meet with the lawyer about a week before the closing to finalize everything.
• Down Payment and Closing Costs: Make the necessary arrangements to have the funds available when the lawyer asks for it. Liquidating some assets can require some additional time.
• Movers: Whether you are using professional movers, renting a truck or getting a bunch of friends together, plan and organize it early. Specially for strata properties, where you have to reserve elevators and book a move-in and out.
• Insurance: The lawyers will need a copy of your homeowner’s insurance before closing so that the financial institution will release the money to them. Call your insurance broker with the listing information. They might also want to know the age of the house, the condition of the roof, furnace, electrical system, oil tank and hazardous material, plumbing material as well as other general information.
• Change of Address: It’s time to start giving out your new address to everyone.
- Banks and financial institution
- CRA and Tax office
- Driver License
- Health cards
- Cable and internet company
- Cell phone company
- Friends list
- Security and alarm company
- Family physician
- Vets and your pet related care
- Children’s school
- All memberships like gym and library
- All your previous online purchases
• Utilities: It is important that you call the local utility company to get their services changed into your name. These include gas, electricity and water. Remember, too, to cancel the services at your old address.
Enjoy! I’m giving you the key to your new castle:
You Just bought a house. Oh my god! This is huge and a great achievement. Congratulation. You did it. You are now a proud homeowner in our beautiful Vancouver. I’m proud to give you the keys and I must say, that also comes with a small token of my gratitude, a gift. I’m grateful you chose me as your trusted Vancouver realtor. Did you benefit from my service? I survive on my client’s referral. And for their act of kindness of referring me to someone else, I have created a bonus system and giveaway a $500 referral fee when the deal closes.
Have more question regarding the process?