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Expert Tips for Home Buyers & Sellers

As your Surrey real estate agent Michael Ireland, I want to be your resource for all things real estate. Whether you are buying, selling, or investing in real estate, I am here to guide you through the process. Subscribe to this blog to learn all of the latest news from our local market and receive expert tips for buying or selling a home.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

What Is a Home Inspection Worth?

There are a few different ways to determine the value that a home inspection will bring to your specific property.

I hear a lot of questions about inspectors. Who are they and what do they do? How do you know you’re getting good value for what you’re spending? 

About two decades ago, home inspectors were virtually nonexistent. Today is a far different story. About 90% of buyers hire a home inspector. So how can a buyer know that they’re getting a good value and a good inspector?

Well first of all, inspectors go largely by reputation. Be sure to ask your agent to recommend one that they think will be best for you and your situation. Also remember that inspectors do not hold liability in the event they overlook something, which is something most buyers might not be aware of.

Inspectors will, though, be able to bring information to the buyer which will play a key role in calculating the long-term costs associated with the home as well as any repairs that may be needed. 

In many cases, the buyer and the agent will be using the inspector’s report to revisit negotiation terms with the seller. Sometimes this can result in some form of compensation.

About 90% of buyers hire a home inspector.

However, when it comes to attached homes like townhomes or apartments, the value of the inspector is inherently limited because they will only be able to focus their inspection on the interior. The exterior of the property is under the jurisdiction of the strata. In this case, the information provided by the strata managers will often be more valuable than the inspection report. 

The services of an inspector can be valuable on the other side of the transaction, as well. Sellers may want to consider having an inspection done on their own property before listing so that they can take care of any issues before the buyer sees, and likely also inspects, the home. This way, the seller can present the inspection report, as well as any invoices proving repairs have been made, to the buyer. 

This will give the buyer confidence, and could potentially lead to a quicker offer. 

If you have any other questions or want more information, feel free to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Latest News From the Fraser Valley Real Estate Market

I'm back with an update on the real estate market for the Fraser Valley.

What's been going on here in the Surrey real estate market? Recent trends in the market should give us a good idea of what we can expect moving toward the summer and beyond.

We saw 5,302 sales in May, which was a 21% increase from April. Compared to last year, it was the best month on record since last June when the market was one fire. It is also the second-best May we've seen in the history of our real estate board. That's good news.

Inventory is down by 9.5% in our market compared to this time last year. Looking at the new listings gives us an idea of how the market has replenished, and it was virtually the same as this time last year with 3,712. The average days on market—which tells us how quickly homes sell—is at 23, which is well below the historic average of 51 days. That's a sign of very strong demand here in our market.

So where is all this demand showing up? A lot of the stories we hear about high demand and multiple offers are happening in the apartment market. First-time homebuyers are creating much of this demand. Townhouses—which have become the new standard for younger families that can't afford a single-family home—also have high demand from people downsizing. 

We expect the strong demand to carry through the summer and well into August.

With detached homes, inventory is doing well in price points up to about $1 million. You actually see a slowness in the market when you get into the nicer neighborhoods with homes in the $1.5 million range, or the luxury market. This segment tends to be the slowest to recover from a market correction like the one we saw last fall.

This strong demand will carry into the summer, but remember, most buyers want to buy their house before August, which is traditionally the slowest month of the year. It's when they need to transition into the school year. Given the current momentum, we actually expect strong sales activity going well into August. 

There will still be opportunities in the market, however. With the vacancy rate below 1%, we've seen renters struggle to find a place. This has not only driven up rental rates, but also demand for multi-family rental units. This is where investors seemed to be focused right now. 

If you or anyone you know is considering buying or selling a home in our market, give me a call or send me an email soon. I'd be glad to help!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

How Buyers & Sellers Can Win a Multiple Offer Situation

Multiple offer scenarios are pretty common in a hot market like ours. Whether you're a buyer or a seller in this scenario, there are a few things you can do to prepare yourself to come out ahead.

We always associate multiple offers on a property with a really hot market like the one we're currently in, but a property could receive multiple offers in any market with the right pricing and promotion. Of course, the goal is always to get the highest price the market will bear. 

If you receive multiple offers, it will probably be in the first few days on the market. In order to leverage them, it’s important for your real estate agent to have a pre-market routine to build up the demand for the property while fielding inquiries like disclosure statements, title searches, or a bank appraisal.

Since the majority of offers will happen in the first few days, it's important to have this routine because if they don't, the seller could accept the wrong offer. If that offer falls apart, the seller will have to try to resurrect all the interest in the property a week or two down the road, which rarely results in another multiple offer situation. 

If an early offer falls apart, it's hard for a seller to resurrect that early interest in the property.

We've been involved in enough of these situations where all parties have been informed, allowing our sellers to get up to hundreds of thousands of dollars more than their asking price for their home.

On the buyer's side of the equitation, their agent needs to be sure they are pre-qualified for financing and allow them to review all documentation regarding disclosures on the property in a multiple offers situation. Remember, many sellers will accept a lower offer price if the offer is firm and gives open dates or doesn't have conditions attached. Buyers need to be just as well prepared.

If you or anyone you know is thinking of buying and/or selling a property, just give me a call or send me an email. I'd be honored to serve you!