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. Which generally means the agent needs to be 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. Which again means the agent needs to be 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 these two points 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. Outside of being available, typically the biggest difference between one agent and another one has to do with these last three points.

Picking the right agent can save you a lot of time and be the difference  between 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.

 

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.  There are a lot of agents out there to choose from and so 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.

The tricky thing is 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 where someone feels a need to get something done right most people will naturally go with a professional.

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, put yourself in awkward situations and waste your time. You can kind of equate selling your property yourself to hiring a bad real estate agent. The results can vary widely.

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

  • Get a good price for your property.
  • Keep you at arms length from potential buyers so that you can maintain your privacy.
  • 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.
  • Give you insight on current market conditions and provide real estate advice when needed.
  • And finally 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 when picking an agent.

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

The 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 4%.  In return, Sellers hopefully get a good management team that consistently makes production improve by more than 5% to offset this cost. I say management team because when you hire one agent you are indirectly hiring all agents, even agents that don’t even work in the same city sometimes represent clients that will buy your house, it is not a recommended practice. More on this in a different post.

Typically, 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.

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, informative 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 a better selling experience.  When a property doesn’t sell or sells for less than it should it usually means the property was poorly managed not poorly marketed.

 

 

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.

 

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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.

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?

Sun Peaks Resort to get a New Hospital?

For those of you with limited knowledge of Sun Peaks resort you may not know that there is a Health centre there right now that is manned during the winter on limited hours after the ski day is done. It services lots of local employees and a few unlucky visitors. The visitors that get mildly banged up during the course of a day of sking or snowboarding.

Sun Peaks became a municipality about 2 years ago and right now there is talk about building a 3 million dollar facility that will eventually house a more substantial health centre.  In the mean time there is talk of relocating municipal offices to this new building.

In my opinion, I am not sure if Sun Peaks is ready for this kind of an investment.  Currently there is a fair share of empty commercial space in Sun Peaks as the resort has been predominately a one season resort. Recently that has started to really turn the corner and Summer attendance has started to drastically improve.  I am sure it helps to hold great free concerts through out the summer like Sun Peaks has done in the last two years!

Based on my knowledge of the Sun Peaks, from being a resident there and selling real estate there for the past 5 years I think the Resort and the Municipality would do very well to consider putting in a West Morrisey Chair lift instead of proposed future health centre.   There is two main reasons they should consider this option:

  1. Sun Peaks has been know as a family friendly resort with lots of beginner and intermediate runs.  The west morrisey terrain has some of the best snow conditions and steepest terrain on the mountain.  Opening this area up will no doubt make Sun Peaks more attractive for ski enthusiasts looking for gnarly terrain.
  2. Adding this chair would make Sun Peaks as whole a true ski in/out Resort and they could advertise it as such! Locals and visitors alike seek out the convenience of ski in/out locations.  By adding the west morriesy chair lift it will increase the cities revenue from nightly rentals and property taxes from the real estate around that area.  Currently there are lots of lots for sale in that area that I am sure the city would love to see developed! If a chair would go in there would be a lot more demand for this location that already features some of the best views on the mountain.

I would love to see Sun Peaks really take off because I think it has lots to offer to anyone seeking a special place to call home. What Sun Peaks decides to do in the near future will have an impact on just how fast Sun Peaks develops.  I am a Kamloops real estate agent, or Kamloops Realtor and would like to learn about your real estate needs.

Kamloops Sahali Condo – Highlighting Summit Place

If you are considering buying a condo in the Kamloops area for an investment or your primary residence you are not alone.  Because of the relative low maintenance and healthy demand for rentals condos make a lot of sense.

Summit Place is located at 1810 summit drive and offers some great features that are hard to find in other comparable properties.  This is an older complex but a well maintained one. Summit Place has one of the largest common properties available in sought after area of Sahali. Because of all this space developers have present offers to purchase land from this complex.  Aside from this obvious positive, the units themselves all have great views and above average storage space.  To the point where all of the units have room for in unit laundry.  There is a great hiking park close by that allows you access the downtown core.  It is not surprising that investors looking to invest in multiple rental units have bought up properties in this complex.

Summit Place Kamloops BC, 1810 summit drive

Kamloops BC Condos for Sale

If you are considering buying or selling a condo in Kamloops contact me today!  Make an informed decision and get the results you want.  I am a Kamloops real estate agent, or Kamloops Realtor and would like to learn about your real estate needs.