Picking a Buyer Agent

Typically Buyers don’t pick buyer agents.   The majority of the time the Buyer agent tries to “pick” a client and this happens either through an online inquiry, phone inquiry or open house, etc. On occasion a Buyer will be referred to an agent and still fewer cases a buyer goes actively looking for a buyer agent themselves.

The value the buyer agent brings to a buyer generally speaking is as follows:

  • Buyer agents make it easy for buyers to look at multiple homes and keep their identity private rather than having to contact multiple sellers or seller agents, a good agent is available.
  • The Buyer agent makes it easy to write an offer on a property and this can be the difference between missing out on a great property or securing a property with a more favorable contract, a good agent is available.
  • They give advice and have a fiduciary duty regarding contractual subjects and conditions on any one property.  In this respect Buyer agents give Buyers assurance backed up with actual liability insurance usually up to $3 million dollars.
  • They give advice about general market conditions as well as specific advice down to a single segment and single property, ideally speaking, helping the buyer ultimately find the right property for them so that the buyer can have the best chance of building wealth.
  • The buyer agent can connect the Buyer with reputable sub contractors, mortgage specialists, and home inspectors to help ensure that the home buying process goes as smoothly as possible with little or no stress.

The first two points are probably the most important practical values a buyer agent can bring to the table and they also require the least amount of knowledge/experience.  Just by doing these two points a lot of Buyers appreciate the services of the agent.   Just these two points can mean the difference between securing a great property or getting stuck with a not so great property or renting. These are the passive things an agent can help a Buyer with.

The last three points generally require more knowledge and experience to do well.  The agent becomes more of an advisor than a passive observer.  These points require more of an active approach.  Where the agent tries to actively ask questions that can help them better understand the needs of a Buyer and actively tries to match their needs with the right property. Typically the biggest difference between one agent and another one has to do with these last three points.

Picking the right agent, just like picking the right house, can be the difference between not only a lot of time but also finding an excellent property you want to hold on to and build wealth or buying a property that could literally cost more money than it is worth and lead to financial trouble.

Are you in the market to buy a property in the next 6 months or do you know someone that is? Contact me today and I will help you find the property that meets your needs and keep you in the “loop” in the meantime.

 

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Picking a Real Estate Agent to Sell Your Home

Not a lot of thought is usually given by Sellers to determine which real estate agent to use when selling a home.  Usually Sellers rely on a referral from someone they know, use someone they have used in the past or pick an agent that has listings in the area already.  But good and bad real estate agents can sell real estate and as a result both types of agents have people that will refer them and (somewhat shockingly) both types of agents can have a lot of listings.

Why can bad real estate agents still sell real estate? What is the difference between a good and bad real estate agent?

Not a lot of people try to sell their property themselves despite the costs of using a real estate agent. Most people decide to use a real estate agent to sell their home for the same reasons they use a mechanic to fix their automobile or a lawyer to deal with a legal matter. Like any important matter that needs to hopefully get done right most people will naturally go with a professional for the best results possible.

It is possible to sell your property yourself but selling your property yourself usually results in less than ideal results – even from a monetary position.  What you save in commission is what you usually lose in sale price and you can exposure yourself to added risk and waste your precious  time.  You can kind of equate selling your property yourself to hiring a bad real estate agent.

As you probably know already, real estate agents tend to help you with the following:

  • Keep you at arms length from potential buyers so that you can maintain your privacy and not get emotionally attached to any one potential buyer.
  • Provide you with a fiduciary duty to limit your liability of getting into any sort of crippling legal lawsuits and generally work in your best interest.
  • Be available to answer questions and screen potential buyers to help make sure they are qualified to buy and not just wasting time.
  • Save you some valuable time.
  • Give you insight on current market conditions and provide real estate advice when needed.
  • Make sure your property stands out.

Every consumer is different but after years of experience I would guess that this would be kind of the order of importance for the typical Seller.  Surprisingly, marketing and real estate advice are typically not a top concern for most consumers when it comes to picking an agent.  This is why when you look at properties as a Buyer you can see pictures of listings, and descriptions of properties that are poorly done.  A good number of Sellers leave all the details of  selling their home to the real estate agent and don’t bother to check work or even really care about it. Here is an example of an advertisement for a home in Kamloops back in 1999:Kamloops Real Estate

Despite the picture and the write up this house sold for 96.4% of asking in 4 days. Most people would probably think those are some really good results, and statistically they are. But this is an example of why those numbers don’t really mean much.

If taking good pictures/offering great marketing isn’t that important then what value can a real estate agent offer?

The True Value of a Good Real Estate Agent

The real estate industry is big business. For example, in Kamloops with just a population of about 85,000 on average there is about $70 million dollars of transactions per month. Like any successful business having a good management team is critical to being as efficient and productive as possible.  A good management team can affect production quite significantly and even be the difference between a successful business and a bankrupt business.

Real estate agents collectively are like the managers of the real estate industry and for their services they charge Sellers a commission usually no more than 5%.  In return, Sellers hopefully get a good management team that consistently makes production improve by more than 5% to offset this cost. I say team because when you hire one agent you are indirectly hiring all agents, even agents that don’t even work in the city sometimes. More on this in a different post.

Sellers rely on referrals or superficial metrics like how many listings an agent has or has sold at any one time when determining which real estate agent/brokerage to hire.  Agents who are busy get even busier because of these factors working in their favor.

When you are looking to hire an agent keep management skills in mind. Good managers not only have good people skills, work hard, and are honest but they also tend to be always looking at ways to make things more efficient, and transparent. When you are seeking a real estate agent keep these managerial skills in mind because they should be at the heart of any good real estate agents business. Surprisingly, better people and information management  skills rather than better marketing skills tend to lead to better sales when it comes to real estate.

Are you thinking of Selling in the next 6 months?  Contact me today and I will keep you in the loop with the latest market information.

 

 

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Kamloops Real Estate Update for May 2016

 

 

Here is an update on the May real estate numbers for the Kamloops area. This update is meant to give you a general sense of the market. We are continuing to see an active market, with a trend of more sales but we are starting to see the number of listings increase. To get the whole picture let’s take a look at the raw data gathered by local real estate agents, like myself, and published by our real estate board. One of the best ways analysis the market is to measure home buyer demand against home seller’s supply to come up with a rule-of-thumb measurement. Generally downward pressure on prices in Kamloops occurs when this measurement dips below 9% and upwards pressure on prices occurs when this number gets to 15%. You will notice from this graph provided by the BC real estate association that during 2005 to 2007 when prices were going up substantially year after year this rule of thumb measurement was well above 15%. So let’s look at last months numbers. Overall the market in Kamloops inched further into a seller market to 21% from about 19% for April. The market has been steadily improving from the start of the year. The improved numbers that we saw compared from last month seems to have predominately come from segments of the market other than single family which is a good news for those other segments of the market. Taking a closer look at the different segments of the market gives us a better understanding of which are stronger than others. This can give us an idea of why one property might stay on the market longer than an other property. We can even look at which areas of town were hottest last month….First, lets look at the different types of properties: Single family detached homes represents the biggest segment of the market and it is one of the strongest too, giving us a figure of 25% last month. Representing a smaller sample size: Townhouses are at 21%. Then there are condos at 15% and finally there are full duplex/triplex properties that remained very strong at 22%. Now lets look at activity in different areas of town.  We get these figures from the single family sales and the approximate number of listings in a given area. Here is a break down of the different areas of Kamloops. Sahali jumped to 79%, Aberdeen improved to 69% and Juniper Heights did really well at 59%. South Kamloops came down to 26% in part probably because of an increase in Sahali listings/sales. One of the hottest segments of the market is older type single family homes and homes with a suite that are priced less than $440k. The areas with the highest numbers have more of these types of homes. The good news from a buyer’s perspective is there are lots of these types of properties out there so the chances are decent that eventually something will pop up. With this amount of activity in that strong sector of the market it could be a good time to downsize into a condo or upsize into a higher priced home because both of those segments are a little softer. Thanks for watching if you are thinking of buying or selling give me a call when you are ready to make your move.

 

Femeba Directory

VdiWeb
New Homes
realestateproperty.ca
SITE_NAME
 

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Kamloops Real Estate Market Update for April 2016

Here is an update on the Kamloops real estate market for April 2016.  In this update you can learn about which areas of Kamloops are hotter than other areas and which types of properties tend to sell the fastest.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

March 2016 real estate Market Update

March real estate numbers are out and here is a video detailing what is happening in the Kamloops market!  Find out which areas of Kamloops are the hottest right now and what types of properties are in demand the most.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Kamloops Real Estate Highlighting – Brock

Brocklehurst or as the locals call it Brock is one of the older parts of Kamloops that was largely farm land as little as 40-60 years ago. Brock has great soil and nice flat building sites. The lots in Brock can be quite big.  The Kamloops airport is located in Brock and if you travel past the airport you come across land that looks prime for further development. You can eventually get to Kamloops lake which has recently benefited from the Resort community of Tobiano and it marina facilities. If you are thinking about looking into Kamloops real estate for sale contact Andrew Thompson for the best information about Kamloops and area real estate.

Single Family Houses

During 2011 there were 140 sales of single family houses in Brock. Based on the houses that sold the average list price of these houses was $343000 and the average sale price was $334406.  The average days on market for the houses that sold were 85 days.  The average size of the house was 2000 square feet.

 

Brock House Kamloops Real Estate Blog

This is a picture of that average house. It is a 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom home.

Condos/Townhouses

There were 44 sales in Brock in 2011.  The average list price of a Brock townhouse/condo that sold was for $200879 and it sold for $192622 after being on the market for an average of 56 days.

Brock Townhouse

 

This is a picture of an average condo/townhouse that sold in 2011: This townhouse has 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms

Lots

There was 2 sales of lots in Brock in 2011.  The average list price of the lot in Brock was $121950 and the average sale price was $118,000.  The average days on market for the two sales was 6 days. The average size of the lot was 11350 square feet.

Brock Lot Kamloops Real Estate

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Finding Downpayments for a Rental Property

In a Buyer’s market where prices are coming down more people are thinking about buying rental properties.  If you are one of those people you will be one of the elite!  In fact only about 4 percent of Canadians decide to buy rental properties as part of their investment portfolio.

One of the herdles that investors have to get over to begin buying rental properties is finding down payments!  Here are 7 options for you to consider to get those funds:

  • 1. Liquid Assets

You can sell off some stocks, sell your car, your coin collection, or rare doll collection etc.

  • 2. Real Estate equity

Properties tend to appreciate over time you can now take up to 85 percent (as of March 2011) of your equity out of one of your other properties! You usually have two options take out a mortgage for the full amount of equity (usually at lower interest rate or get a line of credit (LOC) for the amount.  By getting a LOC you don’t have to borrow the full equity amount. You bank might offer a ‘re-advanceable mortgage/LOC’ combination where every time you make a principal and interest payment on your mortgage, the amount of principal that is reduced in the mortgage is automatically available to you on your LOC.

  • 3. High-ratio insured Mortgages

Put less money down on a property. This is a very difficult option in the present market conditions, as described below:

Up until 2006 The Canada  Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) was the  only mortgage insurer who would insure rental properties. AIG United Guaranty entered this market in late 2006 and targeted the residential market coming up with 90% financing for investment properties.  As well GE Financial entered the market and matched any service AIG would offer. Then in August of 2007 a rumbling from a hedge fund in France led to an avalanche called the “sub-prime crisis.” As a result GE and AIG both withdrew from the market of residential rental properties in Canada even though Canada was relatively impervious to the sub-prime crisis.

In April 2010 bowing to the concerns that the Canadian housing market had not only recovered from the recession, but was in fact getting overheated once again, the government stepped in and annouced further changes. They simply eliminated any CMHC-insured high-ratio mortgages for real estate investors with less than 20% down.

  • 4. Sub-prime Mortgages

Not many people understand sub-prime mortgages.  Sub-prime mortgages are lent out when the person or the property is ‘sub-prime’.  In Canada the number of sub-prime mortgages represented less than 5% of the mortgage market where as in the US sub-prime mortgages represented up to 25%. Sub-prime mortgages came about to service the individuals who had a hard time proving their income (for example the self-employed).

Ever since the sub-prime crisis virtually no lendersare active in this market. The few that remain will go up to 85% but that changes every month depending on market conditions.

  • 5. Private Money

When every option is exausted to get cheaper conventional money look at private money. Private money is not for everyone.  Private money is best used on a short term basis. Suppose you find an ideal property but the current owner has the rent well below market value, but you have to wait a year to increase the rent. At present the CMHC will only grant you a first mortgage for up 55% of purchase price based on the current DCR calculations.  If you are very confident in the market and value of the property private money might be a great short-term solution. Financing for flips might also be a good option.

Don’t confuse private with a zero-down option.  Just because the money comes from a private source and not a bank doesn’t mean that the lender doesn’t worry about risk. Some private lenders worry more about security than the banks.

  • 6. Vendor take-back mortgage

In the case where the market favors the buyer vendors might be willing to do a vendor take back mortgage (VTB). VTB’s are essentially a second mortgage that is arranged by the vendor. Say for example, you wanted to buy a property but didn’t have 20% to put down you could approach the seller and ask them if they would ‘take back’ or grant you a portion of the down payment say 10%.  There is currently no Canadian bank that will allow the VTB to be as high as 20%.  Banks typcally only allow up to 10% of the mortgage to be VTB on rental properties.

  • 7. Joint Venture partners

A joint venture partnership (JV) can be structured many ways but the most popular is when one partner does all the leg work while the other provides the cash. Both parties would be on the title and therefore responsible for the mortgage. The JV can be for whatever percentage you negotiate.

I hope you have found this information informative.  Finding a good rental property includes using a good Realtor.  Please contact me if you are considering buying rental property in my area!

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

How Marketing Homes has Changed – Kamloops Real Estate – Efficiency in the Selling Process

As the old saying goes…”Times change.”  That is never more true than with the real estate business.  Back before there was internet marketing running ads in the newspaper for your home became a vital part of the selling process. Newspaper ads were vital in getting the word out that a property was for sale.  Buyers were far less sophisticated and at the mercy of the local information that was available to them and that information was limited to their individual agent or brokerage that they were dealing with at the time.  Buying a home back then could be a lot harder and depended greatly on brokerages to give out information.

Since the internet age the marketing of a well known product, like a house, has been dramatically streamlined and made easier. The internet has allowed organizations to easily gather information and sort it so that it can be easily viewed and analyzed.  Everyone knows that if they want information on a certain topic they can “google it” and answers to their questions will magically appear before their eyes.   As real estate professionals in Canada we enter listings into a large data base following strict guidelines that keeps track for past sales, expires, and active listings.  We even made it easier for Buyers looking for homes to find them, no website is required, just an email account. In fact, properties that meet a Buyer’s criteria can get emailed to them directly as soon as they hit the market or change in price.

Before the internet it was not hard to see where the value was in using a brokerage to sell your house. Today the value of real estate agents have shifted to analysis of the data that is now available and analysis of the buying processes itself. Today, just like in any established industry, the value of a good real estate agent is all about making the home buying process more efficient.  There are a lot more options out there for the average buyer and a lot of potential risk they might run into. Prices of homes have dramatically gone up and there is an expectation of transparency from the public to insure that confidence remains as high as possible.  It is now the real estate agents job to insure that Buyers are treated with VIP treatment and guided to make the right choice(s) when it comes their home purchase.  Every buyer has their own needs that is based on their particular personality and lifestyle. As a sophisticated real estate agent I know it is in everyone’s long term interest that they find a house that best meets their needs so that financial freedom and not hardship can be had through real estate ownership.

Interested in finding more information on the Kamloops real estate market?

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Why did your property not Sell? – Two important Factors

Have you been trying to sell your property with no luck? You are not alone every month there are about 300 listings in the Kamloops area that come off the market without selling. Here are two important factors that surprisingly get over looked or ignored.

First, price is a huge factor on whether or not you get an offer from a potential buyer because buyers always want to see value in what they are buying. When you are trying to determine the right price for your house the best way for you to know that number is by knowing what comparable houses have sold for recently. You should never really take an appraisers evaluation or even real estate agents valuations to heart unless particular comparable houses back it up. The market is dynamic so you should get updates on those houses to see where the market is going. The market can change after just one sale or even before a sale happens. These market changes occur for a number of reasons but they can be monitored to a certain extent with inside industry information. Real Estate agents earn their pay by converting as many potential buyers into actual buyers and by limiting unnecessary risks. As a general rule of thumb, in the real estate business poor real estate agents perform 5%‐15% worse than a good real estate expert.

Secondly, when a buyer is trying to buy something outside of their disposable income it becomes a huge decision for them, a life changing event. Whenever I deal with a buyer I always sit them down and ask them about their particular needs and wants. I use this time with them to educate them about the market conditions just so they know what to expect before we even start going to view houses. The information they give me and information I provide them greatly increases the speed and likelihood they will make an offer on a house I show them because I am going to do a very good job of identifying their needs. I will just show them properties that meet their needs then I will gain a commitment from them. If I don’t go over their needs then it is likely I will be running around town with them looking at so many properties everyone’s head will start to hurt, and a top quality sale will be hard to come by. Buyers are free agents they have no commitments– they can be in the market one week and out of the market the next so it is important to get them to commit sooner rather than later and address their needs to help insure every sale is a win/win situation, for both the seller and the buyer.

If you are thinking about selling in the Kamloops area contact me for a no obligation real estate consultation.  I want you to make the most amount of money for your property.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Should You list your Property during the Winter?

There is a myth that listing your property during the winter months is a bad idea.   In reality if you are hoping to sell your property there is no bad time to list your property, especially in a Buyer’s market where you could potentially lose out on that elusive perfect buyer.  The Buyer that loves your house just the way it is and therefore is more likely to pay you a premium dollar.

In fact, a lot of sophisticated Sellers prefer to list their property in the winter.  During the winter months there will be less people “just looking” at houses which means that you will tend to get fewer viewings but is that truely a bad thing?  The buyers who are looking in the winter are usually more serious – they are typically out-of-towners who NEED to find a house in a short amount of time or another Kamloopsian who JUST sold their property and NEED to find a place of their own quickly as well!  Both types of buyers are just hoping to buy a property for fair market value and want to do it as quickly as possible so they don’t end up homeless or stuck in a long term rental.  Fair market value has a lot to do with what has sold recently (in the last couple of months) and usually has little to do with what is currently active on the market.

If you are considering Selling our house in the Kamloops area feel free to contact me for a free real estate consultation to determine if the market conditions are right for you to make that move you are thinking about.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS