Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Top Six Pricing Mistakes Home Sellers Make

When preparing to sell your home, getting the most money for your investment is top of mind, and a top factor in selling your home is price.  If you want to find the right buyer, it's crucial to have a sound pricing strategy.  Here are six of the most common pricing mistakes homesellers should avoid:

1. Overpricing at the get-go – Even if you think your home's value is the cream of the neighbourhood crop, it's important that you appeal to the value buyers see. Initial overpricing could exclude serious potential buyers, particularly if the current market, recent sales in your neighbourhood and other factors don’t match your high price. This situation also risks numerous reductions in the price, which translates to your home sitting on the market for an undesireable length of time.

2. Excluding your listing from online searches – Price range is a very common parameter for homebuyers when perusing their options. If a buyer’s price range begins at $300,000 and ends at $350,000, you'll exclude your home by listing it at $355,000.  If this were the case, listing at $350,000 would make your listing more likely to capture attention of buyers.  The choice is up to you and your real estate agent, but if you're on the fence between price ranges, this is definitely worth considering.

3. Ignoring recently sold properties – If you want to generate buyer interest in your property, your price can't be based only on the listing price of other homes in your neighbourhood.  Take a look at properties that recently sold, and the prices they sold for.  You can get the bigger picture from an experienced real estate agent providing you with details about recent sales.

4. Getting overly creative with your asking price – It's easy for buyers to choose round numbers.  For example - listing a home at $456,251 can give a potential buyers cause for a double-take, diverting attention from your home to yourself.  It's probably better to save the creative juices for other details, like the property description.

5. Being closed to negotiation – If you want to kill a sale immediately, all you've got to do is dig your heels in on the asking price.  Negotiation goes two ways, and being unflexible on the price (or other conditions) could mean a very long and rough road.  Is it more important to stay firm on your asking price when you could take a few steps toward common ground and ensure a closed sale?

6. Ignoring your REALTOR'S® insights – The safest route to the best price begins with picking a great agent, and listening to their advice. Your agent knows how to view your situation from all angles – like recent sales, the property's features, the local market and more – and can help you make an informed decision about your price.

If you're ready to list your home, call a local RE/MAX real estate agent.  They'll help you price it right and get it sold.​​

Monday, 15 December 2014

BC Wildlife Park: 17th Annual Wildlights Festival

Wildlights is on now @BCwildlifepark - ultimate holiday fun & essential for paying for animal care all year #Kamloops

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Housing Demand Ratchets Higher in British Columbia

For immediate release

Housing Demand Ratchets Higher in British Columbia
BCREA 2014 Fourth Quarter Housing Forecast

Vancouver, BC – The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) released its 2014 Fourth Quarter Housing Forecast today.

"Consumer demand has ratcheted up this year and is expected to remain at a more elevated level through 2015,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “While historically low mortgage rates support demand, the housing market is also being underpinned by a more robust economy and associated job growth, strong net migration and consumer confidence."

BC Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) residential sales are forecast to increase 15.1 per cent to 83,900 units this year. Stronger economic conditions are expected to be somewhat offset by higher interest rates later next year, and keep home sales from advancing much further. As a result, MLS® residential sales are forecast to edge up a further 1.2 per cent to 84,900 units in 2015. The 15-year average is 80,400 unit sales and a record 106,300 MLS® residential sales were recorded in 2005.  

The average MLS® residential price for the province is forecast to increase 6 per cent to a record $569,800 this year and a further 1.2 per cent to $574,300 in 2015. “New construction activity is generally keeping pace with population and household growth, keeping supply in line with consumer demand,” added Muir. BC housing starts are forecast to increase 4.6 per cent to 28,300 units this year and a further 1.4 per cent to 28,700 units in 2015.

To view the full BCREA Housing Forecast, click here, and visit to find the right agent to help you navigate today's real estate market.

Monday, 10 November 2014

Attention Investors: Canada's Top 100 Neighbourhoods!

The highly anticipated Top 100 Neighbourhoods edition of Canadian Real Estate Wealth is on newsstands now.  The issue, which is top-of-mind for real estate investors in Canada, details the country's top neighbourhoods according to exclusive data compiled by The Teranet - National Bank House Price Index (click here to view a summary of the country's Top 100 Neighbourhoods).

According to readers, real estate agents are the number one service (79%) that investors use when investing in new properties.  Thinking of investing in the Thompson Okanagan or Shuswap?  Find a real estate agent near you using the RE/MAX office locator.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

21 Cool Bedrooms for Clean and Simple Design Inspiration reports:  "Sometimes the most luxurious rooms are the simplest. Whether you want to cure insomnia or just rest a little easier, sometimes the best solution is to simplify. These bedrooms would allow you to do just that with everything perfectly in its place. Clean linens and clean lines are the perfect recipe for a great night's sleep."

Check out these simple design ideas, before you think about selling your home, or if you are in the market and looking for real estate to buy!

Thursday, 23 October 2014

How Much Does My Agent Need to Know About My Finances?

Money is a delicate issue. How much we earn and how much we owe is information many of us prefer to keep close to the vest.
If you’re concerned about detailing your finances to your real estate agent, rest assured that there’s plenty of privacy in the client/agent relationship. 
In their wheelhouse
Real estate agents don't need, or expect, you to disclose everything about your money. That said, they must understand your overall situation to help guide you to a home that’s within your budget.
An agent’s job is to negotiate a home purchase or sale on your behalf, keep the transaction on track and help you navigate real estate paperwork. His or her strength lies in understanding home values, and property and neighborhood features. Home financing is an altogether separate story from a home search or sale; therefore, agents usually don't delve into your finances to crunch the numbers.
Leave it to the lender
Agents are happy to let your mortgage lender handle the financial questioning. A loan officer at a bank or mortgage company calculates your maximum purchasing power and your monthly payments based on your loan application, financial documentation and debt-to-income ratio.
Be prepared to supply your lender with your last two years of tax returns, recent pay stubs, bank statements and investment accounts. Agents then present a lender-generated preapproval letter to listing agents, indicating the amount you’re able to borrow.
Contact your local RE/MAX agent if you have questions about buying a house or selling one. These real estate professionals can guide you – with discretion – toward your next home.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

BCREA: Home Sales Continue on Upward Trend in September

Vancouver, BC – October 15, 2014. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 7,636 residential sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in September, up 17.5 per cent from September 2013. Total sales dollar volume was $4.4 billion, an increase of 25.8 per cent compared to a year ago. The average MLS® residential price in the province rose to $574,641, up 7.1 per cent from the same month last year.

“Consumer demand remains robust in most BC regions,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “More homes traded hands last month in BC than any September since 2009, while the Okanagan had its most robust September in nine years.”

“Population growth, low interest rates and strengthening economic conditions continue to be supportive of housing demand,” added Muir.

Year-to-date, BC residential sales dollar volume was up 23.2 per cent to $37 billion, compared to the same period last year. Residential unit sales were up 16 per cent to 65,353 units, while the average MLS® residential price was up 6.2 per cent at $565,655.

For full press release including detailed board statistics, click here.

Monday, 29 September 2014

WHL & RE/MAX: Home Team Contest!

For Immediate Release- Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Calgary, AB- RE/MAX of Western Canada, in association with the Western Hockey League, is once again offering fans a chance to win tickets to see exciting, live WHL action this season. RE/MAX wants to send your group of 10— be it a sports team, community or church group or just you and a bunch of friends—to enjoy some great local major junior hockey action in the RE/MAX Home Team Contest Winners Section
Enter often as group tickets will be given away to 14 different games in each WHL Canadian market* throughout the course the regular season. Don’t miss the opportunity for you and your group to see the hockey stars of tomorrow hit the ice today. 
To enter visit, or visit and click on the RE/MAX Home Team Contest button for your chance to be sitting in the RE/MAX Home Team Contest Winners Sectioncompliments of your local RE/MAX agents.    
RE/MAX. The Official Real Estate Agents of the WHL.  Outstanding Agents. Outstanding Results.®
Please note group tickets of 10 are not available in Medicine Hat. For a chance to win 4 tickets to each Tigers home game, visit
Check out the promotional video here and the schedule of games here!

Reasons why the Bank of Canada will keep interest rates low

"The overnight rate has not moved in four years. It’s likely that it will remain where it is for some time yet. Why?

Inflation is on target -- Inflation recently increased and is tracking close to the Bank’s 2 per cent target. However, the Bank believes the increase reflects temporary factors and cited evidence in support of this in its policy rate announcement. As a result, it does not see interest rate hikes as being necessary to rein it in. Instead, the Bank thinks inflation will keep itself in check as temporary factors dissipate.

Uncertainty remains high -- While the U.S. economic recovery appears to be back on track after a dismal first quarter, European economic growth has faltered due in part to its trade sanctions with Russia. This means low interest rates are still needed to support Canadian economic growth while questions marks loom about the outlooks for global economic growth, demand for Canadian exports, and Canadian economic growth..."  Read more


Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Welcome back to school, BC kids!

Yesterday was the first day back at school for kids in BC, and this bright first grader has high aspirations!  Look for her in a few years Above the Crowd.

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Millennials & Real Estate

Based on a report released by The Demand Institute, Millennials and Their Homes: Still Seeking the American Dream:
  • In the next five years, 8.3 million new millennial (Gen Y) households will form. It is predicted that millennials will spend $1.6 trillion on home purchases and $600 billion on rent.
  • The generation is optimistic: 79% expect their financial situation to improve and 74% expect to move within the next five years.
  • Gen Y wants to own. Similar to other survey findings, 75% believe home ownership is an important long-term goal and 73% believe ownership is an excellent investment. 24% already own their home and an additional 60% plan to buy a home in the future.
  • Looking forward: when they move, they will want more space and they will move to the suburbs to start families.
  • 88% own a car, and they are open to moving locations where grocery stores, restaurants, and retail is within a short drive vs walking distance.
  • 44% do think it would be difficult to qualify for a mortgage, and 69% would consider lease-to-own approaches to home buying.
  • The data is based on a survey of more than 1,000 millennial households (ages 18 to 29).
  • Check out to view the entire report.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Mortgage Rate Forecast: Lower, But For How Much Longer?

Mortgage Rate Outlook

In stark contrast to the consensus of economists’ expectations at the end of last year, bond yields have spent most of 2014 trending downward. Indeed, perhaps weary of previous false starts, bond markets
have even shrugged off recent signs of a strengthening economy, an acceleration of inflation and the unwinding of stimulus from the US Federal Reserve. Lenders have responded in kind, offering homebuyers record low mortgage rates...   Read More

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Legal Needs & Home Purchase Expenses

There are many costs that home buyers incur, especially upon purchasing your first home. Some of the expenses related to buying a home are one-time costs, while others are continuing costs.

Your largest outlay is the down payment. As a first time buyer, this would likely represent only 5 - 10% of the purchase price. Be prepared to pay for additional costs, such as:

Legal Fees & Disbursements
GST and PST (if applicable)
Land Transfer Tax
Property taxes and adjustments (reimbursed to the vendor)
Interest on interim financing, if any
Utility Payments
Strata or Condominium Fees
Estoppel certificate fee
Survey Fee
Home Inspection Fee
Water quality and quantity certificate
Appraisal Fee
Mortgage broker's fee (if applicable)
Mortgage Loan Insurance Premium (if less than 20% down)
Mortgage Loan Insurance Application Fee (if less than 20% down)
Moving Expenses
Renovations and repairs
Furniture, paint, carpeting, window coverings, etc.
Service and Utility Hook-up Fees
Property/Condominium Insurance
Mortgage Application Fee
Deed and/or Mortgage Registration Fee
Additionally, once you have purchased your home, you will incur regular expenses on a monthly, quarterly or yearly basis. Some of these costs include:
Mortgage Payment
Water and/or Sewer Payments
Electricity and Gas Services
Cable, Telephone and Internet Services
Property Taxes
Strata or Condo Fees
Repair/Maintenance Expenses
Homeowner's Insurance

How to Make an Offer
When you have found a home you are interested in buying, your RE/MAX Sales Associate will walk you through the process of drafting an offer to purchase. Your sales associate will communicate the offer to the seller or the seller's real estate agent for you. Some properties are in demand and you will not be the only interested party making an offer. Your RE/MAX Sales Associate will assist you in generating an offer that is reasonable and protects your interests using specified terms and conditions.

An offer can be drafted with or without conditions; an offer without conditions is known as a firm offer and one with conditions is known as a conditional offer. A conditional offer represents the party with the placement of certain conditions on the purchase. Some of these conditions could be "subject to financing approval", "subject to the strata council allowing pets", "subject to the buyer's house selling", "subject to an approved home inspection", among many others.

The seller may accept your initial offer, reject your offer or present a counter-offer. The counter-offer may differ from your original offer in respect to price, conditions, the closing date or any other items. Offers can be countered back and forth between the parties until one of you accepts or rejects, ending the negotiations.

There are many components of an offer that you should be aware of and understand. Your RE/MAX Sales Associate will answer your questions and explain the entire process to you so that you are comfortable with the steps involved.

An offer includes certain "terms", which specify the total price offered and how the financing will be arranged, such as if you will arrange your own with a financial institution or mortgage broker or if you wish to take over the seller's mortgage (assumability).

Inclusions and Exclusions
These are specifications within the offer that detail the items to be included or excluded from the purchase of the property. Typical inclusions are appliances, window coverings, fixtures and decorative pieces.

A deposit is provided from the buyer to the seller as a token of the buyer's assurance and intention to buy the property involved. The deposit is applied against the purchase price of the home once the sale has closed. Your RE/MAX Sales Associate can assist you in proposing a certain and appropriate amount for the deposit.

Items that are usually put in place to protect a party's interests upon selling or buying the property and refer to things that must occur or be in place before the sale closes.

Closing Date
This is usually the date that the legal ownership of the property transfers from the seller to the buyer and, unless otherwise noted, when the funds for the purchase are concluded.

Possession Date
When the buyer takes possession as specified in contract oif purchase sale.

Purchase Price
This is the amount that the buyer is offering to pay for the property. The price is usually dependent on market conditions and may differ from the seller's current asking price.

Legal Needs
Purchasing a home involves a lot of paperwork, most of which are contractual documents that will legally bind you to the numerous terms and conditions. For this reason it is important to have a good lawyer or notary public acting for you. Someone to protect your rights and interests.

Finding a Lawyer/Notary Public
If you don't have a lawyer or notary public, you can look for a referral from friends, family or business acquaintances. Look for someone with real estate experience and discuss their fee scales. Your RE/MAX Sales Associate can help you locate a reliable professional, whom you feel comfortable working with.

Lawyer's/Notary Public's Function
You will need a lawyer or notary public to process your purchase and ensure the terms are met:

the correct property is purchased
transfered title to your name
ensureed title is free and clear of prior owners encumbrances
your mortgage is registered properly on title
The legal process varies from province to province within Canada. Specifically, you will need to consult with your chosen legal professional and he/she will explain the process and the steps that need to be completed before you get the keys to your new home.

Your lawyer/notary public will prepare a "Statement of Adjustments" outlining all the financial aspects of your sale.

Legal Fees and Disbursements
The difference between legal fees and disbursements is analogous to the parts and labour you pay when fixing your car. Your RE/MAX Sales Associate can help you locate a reliable professional, whom you feel comfortable working with.

Home Inspection
A home inspection is an objective visual examination of a home's structure and systems.

Why get a home inspection?
There are a number of reasons why RE/MAX recommends a home inspection including:

To ensure you are not surprised by major defects
So you can be advised about the various elements of the home including - heating and cooling systems, structure, electrical and plumbing
To learn about how the mechanical systems work and need to be maintained
Most homeowners are not expert in the numerous components of house construction
A third party can be objective as there is no emotional attachment
Who should you hire?
Home inspectors are often referred by family or friends. Your RE/MAX agent can also provide you with a list of inspectors. Look for one that is trained and certified by a national organization such as Canadian Association of Home Inspectors (CAHI) or National Institute of Building Inspectors (NIBI) and who has errors and omissions insurance. Do not hire someone who will do any suggested work due to the conflict of interest.

When should you call?
Order the inspection after your offer has been accepted. The contact will stipulate the length of time you have to complete the inspection.

What is involved?
The home inspection will determine the structural and mechanical soundness of the home. Your home inspector can identify existing and potential problem areas, suggest possible solutions and provide estimates for the cost of the work required. You will receive a report outlining the inspection findings. You should accompany the home inspector during the inspection or arrange to meet them at the home so they can walk you through the report. If as a result of the inspection, you have further concerns, have a specialist in that area conduct a more extensive examination.

What does it cost?
Costs vary depending on a number of factors including:

Size and location of the home, features, age, and services required. Additional services may include radon, septic and well testing. Your RE/MAX agent can assist you in obtaining a quote from a potential inspector before you enlist his/her services.

Mortgage Information
Mortgage lending is a highly competitive field. Information on mortgage rates, which can change daily, is available in local newspapers, through mortgage brokers, from individual lenders and of course through conventional financial institutions. When you are shopping for a loan, interest rates tell just part of the story. You will also need to study the various fees lenders charge and many mortgages today are almost custom-tailored to individual needs with many options available.

Ask your Agent
Your RE/MAX real estate professional can recommend lenders to check with prior to beginning any serious house hunting so you will know exactly what you can afford.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Helpful Advice To Sell Your Home Fast

Helpful Advice To Sell Your Home Fast

Every real estate company seems to have their own story or strategy about the "perfect" approach to selling real estate today. This article will give you some helpful tips and practical information you need to sell your home in a timely manner.

The price is too high! The object here is to market to as large a market as possible, and this means setting an affordable price for the home.

If you are trying to sell your house, you should set a price that is practical. Do some research on how much similar houses have sold for in your neighborhood, and set your price close to the average. If you price it too high, you might have to lower it.

Prior to placing your home on the market, have your heating and air conditioning unit serviced. Buyers generally don't want a home that needs large investments, like a new furnace, so if the AC and heater are fine, it can appeal to more probable buyers.

Include bonuses to get someone to buy your home. You've probably seen ads that offer a free appliance with a home purchase. This is an enticing strategy for potential buyers. Just find out what most buyers want that is within your budget, then include it in the closing offer. This will help you sell your home in no time!

Clean both sides of your windows as you prepare the house for sale. The clear and sparkling sunlight coming in will make the interior seem newer. Clean, sparkling windows will make a huge difference in how a buyer views a property.

When looking at real estate or marketing real estate, it's imperative to use as many different channels as possible. The more avenues you explore, the better your odds are of finding prospective buyers. So make sure you use a real estate agent, the Internet, papers, and other sellers tools. It's best to look at all the options available if you want to maximize you success at finding the right buyer for your property.

Open your curtains up when showing your home. Illuminating your home by utilizing only sunlight can be very appealing to potential buyers. Open blinds and curtains, and draw drapes as far to the side as possible. If the weather cooperates, open your windows and let the fresh air in.

Paint your house in neutral colors; this will allow potential buyers to project their own ideas onto the home and more easily picture themselves living in it. Add some ambiance to the home by baking some cookies or lighting some candles. These ideas will create a nice atmosphere for your guests and have the potential to turn a possible buyer into a real buyer.

When selling your home, don't invest a lot in flooring if the current flooring is in acceptable condition. Not only is getting new floors expensive, but you won't be using it since you are selling the home. Try cleaning them thoroughly and fixing any spots to the best of your abilities instead, so that you can reduce negative impressions.

You should cooperate fully with interested buyers as the offers begin to stream in. You may have very strong convictions about what the value of your home is, but be open to the idea that the market your house is in may have changed. You can ask your real estate agent to see what your house is capable of going for on the market to get an idea of how much you should be selling it for.

Curb appeal is very important when trying to sell your home. An unmowed lawn or a cluttered yard can turn potential buyers away from wanting to see the inside of a house.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

The Right Agents at RE/MAX Vernon (Silver Star)

Phone: 250.549.4161  
Toll-Free: 1.800.667.2040  
Fax: 250.549.7007                                                                     

One of Canada’s premier 5 star ski resorts, Silver Star Mountain Resort is a year-round recreation paradise.  The 40-minute drive is well worth it for the Vernon residents who trek here for hiking and mountain biking in the Spring and Summer months.  The colder seasons provide a winter playground for showshoeingskiing and snowboarding.  The charming Victorian-style Village at Silver Star gives you even more choices with an array of restaurants, spas and shops.  There’s a great variety of family-oriented activities like skating, tobogganing, tubing, and special events.  Does this sound like a lifestyle in which you’d like to invest?  The community at Silver Star is a unique resort destination, and RE/MAX Vernon (Silver Star) real estate professionals have the expertise buyers and sellers need within this unique market.
There’s something for every budget whether you’re looking for an investment opportunity or vacation getaway. Visit the RE/MAX office in the Village or stop by RE/MAX Vernon at your convenience to find the right agent for your real estate needs.  RE/MAX Vernon has a REALTOR® ON DUTY available in the building during office hours and one available by pager 24 hours a day.  Chat with an in-house TD Mortgage Broker for your mortgage needs or a RE/MAX Commercial Solutions Property Management staff for your rental inquiries.  You'll be glad you did!
Contact us at any time with your real estate questions or click here for a complete list of RE/MAX Vernon Real Estate Professionals.

Monday, 11 August 2014

Indulge on Dairy Queen's Miracle Treat Day, Aug. 14!

It may be the yummiest fundraiser ever.

On Aug. 14, hundreds of Dairy Queen restaurants will donate $1 or more to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals for every Blizzard Treat sold.

Is there anything better than a Blizzard on a hot summer day? A Blizzard that also benefits sick children!  So mark your calendars, and on Aug. 14 gather your friends, family and RE/MAX Associates and head to your nearest participating Dairy Queen.

To help spread the word about Miracle Treat Day, the folks at CMN Hospitals created templates you can use to encourage everyone else you know to take part, too.  For more information, visit  You can also keep tabs on the fundraiser following Children's Miracle Network Hospitals on Facebook or by using the #MiracleTreatDay hashtag.

Last year, this popular fundraiser generated more than $4 million to local CMN hospitals throughout the U.S. and Canada, helping to put CMN Hospitals on track to reach their $1 billion annual fundraising goal by 2022.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

RE/MAX vs Competitors: Our Market Share July 2014

As the mercury rises in the Thompson Okanagan this summer, RE/MAX agents are busy topping the charts with sales and listings.

Click here to view the July market share statistics and find out why real estate professionals RE/MAX are the right agents for your real estate needs.

Thursday, 31 July 2014

5 Financial Missteps to Avoid When Buying a Home

5 Financial Missteps to Avoid When Buying a Home
5 Financial Missteps to Avoid When Buying a Home
You might have pulled off a great feat, like saving up for that down payment, but there are several financial missteps that can complicate your prospects of buying a home. Avoid these five blunders by managing your spending and bills long before you look for a new home.

1. Letting Your Credit Score Drop
Your credit score directly impacts your ability to get a home loan, the type of loan you qualify for and the interest rate. If you have borderline credit – a score in the low- to mid-600s – further credit mishaps can prevent approval. If you have credit challenges such as bankruptcy or late payments, start your house search several months earlier. Re-establish your credit by paying down credit cards to 30 percent or less of the limit and correcting errors on your report. And avoid checking your credit score too much; constantly checking it counts against you.

2. Languishing in Debt
Consumer debt accounts for 35 percent of your credit score. A late payment's effect depends on the strength of your score, but the account type and the time since the last late payment also matters. If any of your accounts are in collection, it's highly advised you pay them off before seeking loan approval.  Not sure how much you can afford?  Click here for an easy mortgage calculator.

3. Shopping Sprees
Stay far away from credit-driven shopping sprees. Even paying cash for big-ticket purchases can raise red flags with a lender. They'll check your bank statements for unusually large deposits and withdrawals and may require an explanation for them.

4. Changing Jobs
A job change may have an adverse effect on your loan approval because lenders calculate your ability to pay a home loan by averaging your past two years of income. If you can avoid interrupting stable employment during the home-buying process, that's probably best.

5. Maxing Out Your Purchasing Power
Even though your lender qualifies you for a certain amount, only you know whether you can comfortably afford the payment. Try to stick with the price range that yields your ideal monthly payment. Looking for homes at the top of your budget limits your ability to increase your offer in a multiple-offer situation (visit the buyers page at for more tips on making the mortgage decision).

When you've nurtured your credit and are ready to start looking for a home, contact a lender – and, of course, a RE/MAX agent who can help you find the right home at the right price for you.​

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

6 Lessons Learned During My House Hunt

By Dorota Wright-O'Neill, RE/MAX Editor

I recently lived the adventure that is house hunting (under a tight deadline and in a competitive market with low inventory, but that's another story). Here are some lessons I learned during my home search that I'd like to share with fellow homebuyers:
  • Dress appropriately. The serious house hunter should have slip-on shoes that can be taken off easily and frequently. And layering clothes is a big help, especially when there's no telling whether homes you're touring will be heated or cooled.
  • Bring tools. Don't guess whether your king-sized bed or piano will fit, whip out the tape measure, or your tablet or smartphone and use apps like Photo Measures or MagicPlan. They let you take snapshots of interiors and include measurements and room specs. Many smartphones also have a flashlight feature – very helpful in dark basements.
  • A lot of art is a lot of holes in the wall. Yes, they may look impressive, but the owners' expensively framed oil paintings will leave behind a lot of big holes you will be patching when they move out. Which also means you'll likely have to repaint, too. It's not necessarily a deal-breaker, but it's good to think about in advance.
  • Remember your pet peeves. It's easy to fall in love with a house if you're desperate to find one, but remember to stick to your guns and your key must-haves. My pet peeve is a lack of natural light. Hollow, faux-wood doors annoy my husband. If we had bought a house that had them, I know he would have insisted on costly door replacements.
  • Start packing. If you're serious about moving, get serious about packing. Start collecting boxes now, because you never have enough boxes. Make a point of packing every day, consistently, little by little, room by room. Don't save anything for the last minute because at the last minute there's always more to do than you have time for. Trust me on this.​
  • House hunters deserve treats. A sure way to stay cheerful during house hunting is to reward yourself afterward with a fortifying happy hour. Or a visit to a bakery, ice cream shop or spa. You can always justify your treat by chalking it up to the process of getting to know the area. And it will make the prospect of next weekend's house-hunting excursion that much nicer. 
Are you about to start looking for your next home? Let a RE/MAX agent guide you.

Take it from one who's just been through this: You can never, ever underestimate the expertise, community connections, patience and steady calm your the right agents will bring to the table – especially in a market where every advantage counts.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Canadian Home Sales Edge Higher in June

Ottawa, ON, July 15, 2014-According to statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national home sales activity edged up almost one per cent on a month-over-month basis in June 2014.
  • National home sales rose 0.8% from May to June.
  • Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity stood 11.2% above June 2013 levels.
  • The number of newly listed homes was little changed from May to June.
  • The Canadian housing market remains in balanced territory.
  • The national average sale price rose 6.9% on a year-over-year basis in June.
  • The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) rose 5.4% year-over-year in June.
The number of home sales processed through the MLS® Systems of Canadian real estate Boards and Associations rose 0.8 per cent on a month-over-month basis in June 2014, marking the fifth consecutive monthly increase and the highest level for sales since March 2010.
Sales rose in about half of all local housing markets in June, led by gains in Greater Vancouver where activity hit its highest level in more than three years, and Montreal where activity is now 10 per cent above post-recession lows reached earlier this year.
“Sales have improved compared to their slower start earlier this year,” said CREA President Beth Crosbie. “That said, there are still important differences in how housing markets are faring depending on location, housing type and price point. Whether you’re looking to buy or sell, your local REALTOR® is your best source of information on all the factors driving the market where you currently live or might like to in the future" (click here for a list of REALTORS® in your area).
Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity in June stood 11.2 per cent above levels reported in the same month last year. June sales were up from year-ago levels in three out of every four local markets, led by Greater Vancouver, Fraser Valley, Calgary, Greater Toronto and Hamilton-Burlington.
The number of newly listed homes was little changed in June, having eased by 0.1 per cent compared to May. In May, new listings reached their highest level since April 2010. On an actual (not seasonally adjusted) basis, new listings set a record for the month of June.
“At least some of the recent burst in new supply reflects the slow start to the year, when a harsh winter caused many sellers to delay listing their home in many parts of the country,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “In markets with tight supply and strong demand, the strength of sales in recent months reflects how many properties were snapped up once they finally hit the market. Because the impact of deferred listings and sales has likely run its course, activity over the second half of the year may not be able to maintain the kind of pace we’ve seen over the past couple of months.”
The national sales-to-new listings ratio was 53.6 per cent in June, up slightly from 53.2 per cent in May but still well entrenched within the range between 40 and 60 per cent that marks balanced market territory. Just over half of all local markets posted a sales-to-new listings ratio in this range in June, with a fairly even split among the remainder between those in buyer’s market and seller’s market territory.
The number of months of inventory is another important measure of the balance between housing supply and demand. It represents the number of months it would take to completely liquidate current inventories at the current rate of sales activity.
The number of months of inventory has firmed since the beginning of 2014. There were 6.0 months of inventory nationally at the end of June 2014. This was unchanged from May but half a month below where it stood at the beginning of the year. As with the sales-to-new listings ratio, the number of months of inventory continues to suggest that housing markets remain generally well-balanced.
The Aggregate Composite MLS® HPI was up by 5.40 per cent year-over-year in June following slower price gains in April and May. Price growth picked up in all Benchmark categories tracked by the index. (Chart B)
Two-storey single family homes continued to post the biggest year-over-year price gains (+6.19 per cent), followed closely by one-storey single family homes (+5.35 per cent) and townhouse/row units (+5.07 per cent). Price growth for apartment units remained comparatively more modest (+3.85 per cent).
Year-over-year price growth varied among local housing markets tracked by the index, with the biggest gains having been posted by Calgary (+10.74 per cent), Greater Toronto (+7.77 per cent), and Greater Vancouver (+4.37 per cent). (Table 1)
The MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI) provides a better gauge of price trends than is possible using averages because it is not affected by changes in the mix of sales activity the way that average price is.
The actual (not seasonally adjusted) national average price for homes sold in June 2014 was $413,215, up 6.9 per cent from the same month last year.
The national average price continues to be skewed upward by sales activity in Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto, which are among Canada’s largest and most expensive housing markets. Excluding these two markets from the calculation, the average price is a relatively more modest $336,164 while the year-over-year increase shrinks to 5.2 per cent.
PLEASE NOTE: The information contained in this news release combines both major market and national sales information from MLS® Systems from the previous month.
CREA cautions that average price information can be useful in establishing trends over time, but does not indicate actual prices in centres comprised of widely divergent neighbourhoods or account for price differential between geographic areas. Statistical information contained in this report includes all housing types.
MLS® Systems are co-operative marketing systems used only by Canada’s real estate Boards to ensure maximum exposure of properties listed for sale.
The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) is one of Canada’s largest single-industry trade associations, representing more than 111,000 REALTORS® working through some 90 real estate Boards and Associations.
Further information can be found at
SOURCE: Canadian Real Estate Association

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

How Long Will It Take to Sell My Home?

That is THE QUESTION, isn't it!  There are three main factors that affect a property's time on the market: location, condition and price.

1. Location is the one thing that you cannot control in the home selling process. In conjunction with condition and price, people choose a home based on the location and accessibility of the property. In many cases, homes will sell faster in desirable neighborhoods because the demand is high. Take into consideration what the demand is to live in your neighborhood. Your local RE/MAX REALTOR® can provide information on yours and surrounding neighbourhoods to help you assess this factor.

2. The condition of your property is also a major contributing factor to the time it will take to sell. When evaluating a home, buyers will first assess the structural condition of items such as walls, ceilings, floors, doors and windows. They will want plumbing and electricity to work efficiently. They will then consider paint, carpets and floor coverings. The front and back yards should be in reasonably good shape. If there is major damage or deterioration to any of these items, buyers will likely hesitate in making an offer. Discuss ways to cosmetically improve your home for a more rapid sale with your REALTOR® (or read last week's blog posts about renovations: What Kind of Homebuyer Are You?, 7 Tips for Successful RenovationsThe 6 Smartest Home Renovations, and Top 10 Contractor Questions).

3. Pricing your property to sell in the current market is absolutely crucial. Obviously, the condition and location of your property should be major considerations when deciding on a price. If your home is priced too high, it will likely remain on the market longer, resulting in a lower final sales price. Your REALTOR® can guide you on appropriately pricing your property for the shortest listing time with maximum profits.
There are several additional factors that can affect the speed of a sale including:
  • Local supply and demand
  • Marketing
  • Closing terms
Is there a surplus of homes for sale in your area? Are technology tools and networking resources being utilized to market your property? Are your closing terms favorable to buyers? The right REALTOR® will be able to coach you in dealing with each of these things to ensure the quickest possible sale (if you're not currently working with a REALTOR®, click here for a list of professionals in your area.)

Unfortunately, there is no magic time frame when it comes to selling real estate. Some properties sell before a sign hits the front yard, and others may sit for months before the first offer comes in. Your REALTOR® can provide you with the average days on the market for properties that have recently sold in your neighborhood; however it is important to remember that the variables affecting this data are not detailed in these comparables. Your REALTOR® will most likely have viewed a majority of the properties included in the comparables and can give you a better idea of why a specific property sold in the time frame recorded.

Do not to get discouraged if a sale takes longer than you anticipated. Instead, try to analyze the reasons your property is not selling and ask your REALTOR® what you can do to facilitate the process.
This information is meant as a guide. Although deemed reliable, information may not be accurate for your specific market or property type. Please consult a REALTOR® Professional for more information on selling your individual property.