Greater Vancouver Real Estate Blog
Our blog features original content and news covering the areas our team lives and works in – New Westminster, Burnaby, Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam, Port Moody, and Vancouver. We cover a range of topics from news, for Buyers and Sellers such as buying your first home, winning in a multiple offer, improving curb appeal when selling and buying an investment property.
Port Coquitlam Real Estate
Locals lovingly refer to the 3 sister areas of Coquitlam, Port Moody and Port Coquitlam as the Tri-Cities. However each community has its own vibe and unique personality.
Port Coquitlam real estate has been underscored lately as the last “affordable” location before you are officially pushed out of the one hour community radius of downtown Vancouver. Port Coquitlam has a quieter vibe than its counterparts of Coquitlam and Port Moody. Where the extension of the Skytrain evergreen line has spurred the creation of micro-down towns. There are clusters of high rises resonating around the Skytrain stops. There is but a single hi-rise in Port Coquitlam over 4 stories! For commuters Port Coquitlam offers the west coast express commuter train or of course a short bus ride to connect with the Coquitlam Centre transit hub.
Port Coquitlam offers a wide selection of both strata and non-strata living spaces. As families migrate to the Eastern Lower Mainland with increasing prices, Port Coquitlam still offers many mid-market housing opportunities for families. Many 2 bedroom condos for under $500,000. Also true non-stacked town homes in the $600,000 to $700,000 range. These are most appealing to families as the properties are becoming increasingly difficult to find in more westerly locations.
Families looking for detached homes are also drawn to Port Coquitlam. Port Coquitlam has the large stock of “traditional” suburban sized lots with classic 2 story homes. With currently half the detached housing stock listed on the market for sale at under one million dollars. It offers many more detached home options than other communities. For example detached homes under a million dollars are about 3% of the active inventory in the neighboring community of Coquitlam.
There is a home for young people and first time home buyers too! With many entry level condos centered around South PoCo’s shopping district a young commuter can live car free while enjoying great coffee shops and the summer farmers market.
The difference between getting an appraisers and realtors market value reports
If you are considering selling your home, the first thing on your mind is probably what is my home worth? Many times home sellers will turn to the expertise of their local realtor to help guide them when it comes to pricing their property for sale. What is the difference between calling a realtor and calling an appraiser?
A realtor will put together what we call a comparative market analysis (CMA) for your home. A CMA shows what similar properties have sold for and what you would expect to receive when you sell your home. Most realtors will provide a CMA report free of charge. Free of charge for the opportunity to also make their sales presentation in the hopes you would hire them to handle the sale of your home. A realtor typically only charges for their services to sell your home.
An appraiser does not sell homes. Their services are specifically providing market value reports. Appraisers offer many types of appraisal reports. The most common are for banks and financial institutions during the mortgage approval process. Other purposes are for estate or divorce settlements where an official opinion of value is needed.
The reports realtors and appraisers provide are very similar. But their purposes are very different. Each report will include information about the comparable sold homes in the area. Why these homes are comparable as well as an estimate of value. If you are looking for a value for the purpose of refinancing your home or settling an estate you need a stamped certified report from an appraiser. But when you are ready to sell your home you need the expertise of a local realtor. If you need an opinion of value give us a call to book an appointment today to receive your free of charge no obligation market value!
Real Estate Agent Commission
You might be surprised to hear REALTOR® commission rates are not standardized. In fact, the Competition Bureau forbids it! In British Columbia real estate agents must carry a license but the licensing associations do not set the fees Realtors charge.
Sellers’s rate Package
It’s traditional for the home seller to pay both the buyers and sellers real estate agents fees, for real estate listings posted on MLS. Although the variety of services offered by each individual Realtor vary. They can vary from a mere posting service to full custom luxury development marketing! There is a wide range of real estate service providers to choose from.
Our sellers rates are 7% on the first $100,000 and 2.5% on the balance of the sale price paid upon closing. This includes our recommended buyers agent rate is 3.225% on the first $100,000 and 1.1625% on the balance. All our sellers packages include a customized marketing plan, professional photography and personal representation. You can learn more by visiting our sellers page. /sellers/sell-with-elise/
Buyer’s rate package
Buyer’s representation fees may be covered under the umbrella of the seller’s rates. In other words as a buyer you can get your own Realtor without directly paying the real estate agent commission.
If a co-operating seller’s brokerage is offering below our buyer representation rate or in the case where the seller is unrepresented (for example a for sale by owner) our buyer representation rate is 3.225% on the first $100,000 and 1.1625% on the balance of the sale price paid upon closing.
Fixing of Real estate agent fees is not permitted in British Columbia. Each agent must offer their own services package and rates. Many people assume all Realtors are the same but nothing could be further from the truth. The range of agents and services they provide is as diverse as the clients they serve! For a full list of closing costs read our estimated closing costs. Call today and book an appointment to see how our service packages may suite your real estate needs.
MLS Real Estate Listings
Many home sellers assume when they hire a REALTOR® their home will be posted on the Multiple Listing Service. (MLS) But you might be surprised to know belonging to MLS is not required for real estate agents. It’s a voluntary organization and not all agents have opted into the service.
New developments and “pre-sales” are two categories of properties that don’t necessarily choose to place their listings on MLS. Or in some cases homeowners prefer a more private selling experience and don’t want their home “mass marketed.” While some agents simply don’t participate in the MLS system.
Even Realtors that have opted into MLS may choose not to use it on a case by case basis. As a home seller you would need to decide if the multiple listing service is your preference. If that is the case make sure you agent is participating!
Besides the general use of the MLS system in the lower mainland. We have two secondary classes of MLS uses “Reciprocity” and “World Properties”.
MLS Reciprocity gives all other MLS brokerages the ability to share your posting. Where as a standard MLS posting would only appear on the Realtor branded MLS websites.
MLS World Properties allows distribution of your home listing to international home search websites. Not just the local MLS brokerages.
We are proud to offer premium MLS Real Estate Listing packages! Get in touch with us today and see how we fine tune your home marketing package to show its best on the Multiple Listing Service and beyond.
Overpricing your home-you might be missing buyers?
The Real Estate market, in the lower mainland and fraser valley, has been so busy in recent times. Home buyers are becoming accustomed to bidding wars and multiple offers. This often resulting in the price being driven up over the asking price. Tired of heartbreak? Many buyers are skipping out on listings priced at the top of their budget for fear if a bidding war ensues they won’t be able to compete.
It seems counter-intuitive for many home sellers to set their price at the minimum level they would be willing to accept. But being bold with a very sharp price might be what it takes to make sure buyers are taking your posting seriously. Buyers have become so sensitive to prices that have been rapidly rising for many years. Buyers don’t even want to look at what they feel they can’t afford. This is a radical change from how buyers were shopping 5 years ago!
In the past buyers would expect to negotiate the price down of the property they were interested in purchasing. Therefore would end up searching up higher than they would consider paying. On the other hand sellers would typically set their price accordingly higher than they would expect to settle for.
Real Estate market trends change frequently. It’s important to work with an agent that understands the current market and can support you through your transaction. Don’t hesitate to contact us, we are here to help!
Understanding BC E-Value and your BC Assessment
Homeowners are familiar with the BC assessment notice arriving in their mail in January but what does the E-Value mean to you?
BC assessment was established as the provincial standard, for each city town and municipality, to use as a baseline to calculate property taxes. But your E-Value may not accurately reflect the current amount you could sell your home for. Property taxes are charged to home owners annually and BC assessment does a value estimate once per year.
Time of year can affect how accurate your BC Assessment is
Values with BC Assessment and your E-value are assigned as of July 1st of the previous year. As you might have guessed, the real estate market could change a lot. Possibly during the months between when the value is assigned and the time you receive your notice in the mail.
Condition of your home and property
Another factor in your BC assessment is the majority of homes being assessed are not personally visited by the provincial appraisers. BC assessment may have no idea you have done value adding renovations. Renovations such as equipping a brand new chef’s dream kitchen or transforming your yard into a gardener’s paradise. The home improvements could add actual value. If you were to sell your home this would not be reflected in your E-Value unless you sent an update statement in to let them know.
Wondering how accurate your E-Value is get in touch today! Our value estimates are always free of charge!