What You Should Know About Multiple Representation

 

When the buyer and seller are clients of the same real estate brokerage firm, it’s known as multiple representation, formerly referred to as “dual agency”.

This means that one agent from a real estate company will be the listing agent, working for the seller as the client, and another agent (sometimes the same agent) from same real estate company will be the buyer’s agent, working for the buyer as a client.

Multiple representation can be tricky because a brokerage’s loyalty is divided between buyer and seller, who undoubtedly have opposing interests within a single deal.

Therefore it is absolutely essential that a multiple representation relationship be properly documented. Representation agreements specifically describe the rights and duties of everyone involved and any limitations to those rights and duties.

The brokerage will know about the seller’s home and sales strategy. This could be valuable to you when you put together an offer. On the other hand, it has information about your circumstances that could be useful to the seller during negotiations. You can see where a conflict of interest could exist.

Confidentiality is very limited under multiple representation, since the brokerage must treat both clients equally and impartially.

Purchasing a home is a large monetary investment. Make sure your interests are being represented completely. You never want to be in a situation where the loyalty of your real estate professional is divided. Please contact us or call us on 604 695 1000 if you have any questions or concerns.

 

FILED UNDER Buying & Selling, Virani Tips    Leave a comment

How Will The Brexit Vote Affect The Canadian Real Estate Market?

The Brexit drama has been playing in the news for the last few months.

Britain’s decision to leave the European Union last month, plunged many governments worldwide into a pit of economic and political uncertainty. With any uncertainty, anxious investors look for places where they can park their cash, and one of the safest inflation protected vehicles is real estate.

In the past decade, Central London was the favored destination for global capital seeking a stable sanctuary, and subsequently saw the biggest increase in residential property prices of any major city. Nearly three out of every four newly built homes in 2013 were bought by foreign buyers, half of them from Asia, according to Knight Frank LLP. Similarly on the commercial side, 70 per cent of Central London purchases were by foreigners in 2015.

With Brexit and its uncertainty, the UK is no longer a la mode, and anxious investors will be focusing their attention on the trophy real estate markets of North America – Vancouver and Toronto being the Canadian targets.

Since 2015, billions of dollars of overseas funds have poured into the Canadian commercial and housing real estate market, with a large portion coming in from China.

The potential additional trickle of demand into our real estate market, caused by Brexit, could force our already record high real estate prices, even higher. Last year the price of a detached home in Vancouver rose 37 per cent to $1.5-million. In Toronto, the average price of a detached property rose 19 per cent.

Many of these investors aren’t actually looking for a revenue-producing purchase or appreciation value. They just want a safe off shore option to park their money. Evidence of this is the increase in vacant homes in Vancouver.

While the jury is still out on Brexit, world-wide capital will look for more attractive, stable markets and Canada is still very much a bargain.

If you have any questions about this topic or any other of our home related highly informative blog topics, please contact us or call us on 604 913 1000.

 

FILED UNDER Buying & Selling, International    Leave a comment

Real Estate Board of Great Vancouver – June 2016 – Housing Market Update

Last month’s sales were 28.1 per cent above the 10-year sales average for the month and rank as the highest selling June on record. President Dan Morrison gives a quick summary of June housing events.

Courtesy of The Real Estate Board of Great Vancouver
FILED UNDER Uncategorized    Leave a comment

Dry Days Ahead – Here’s How To Keep Your Garden Healthy

Last summer, the lack of rain put a lot of strain on our lawns and gardens. The severe watering restrictions resulted in brown lawns and many failed gardens. In some neighborhoods (as we were made aware by the media), neighbors were reporting each other to the municipalities for violation of the watering by-laws. Things really got out of hand as people tried hard to save their gardens.

While you cannot do anything about the prevailing dry weather, you can take measures to ensure that your gardens do not get severely damaged and less winter hardy.

Take these steps to protect your plants and garden from the impact of severe water restrictions:

Water Your Garden Wisely.

It’s the most obvious strategy, of course, but to stay healthy, most garden plants like about an inch of moisture per week. In most cases, it’s better to apply the water weekly or every other week. It’s a bit of a waste to give your plants less water more frequently: doing so discourages the roots from growing as deeply into the soil (where it stays moister longer) as they can, and it’s also inefficient as more water is lost to evaporation.

Apply Mulch.

A 2- to 3-inch-deep layer of mulch over the soil can do wonders: It keeps the soil cooler and shields the ground from direct sun. The benefit is that moisture stays in the soil longer, where it’s more available to your garden plants.

Run a soaker hose underneath your mulch to maximize water savings: Water will be delivered directly to the ground (reducing evaporation) and slowly (reducing water loss to runoff). It will also keep plant foliage dry, which helps prevent many common fungal diseases such as black spot on roses.

Stop Fertilizing.

If you apply fertilizers (organic or synthetic), it’s helpful to stop at the onset of a drought. Fertilizers encourage plant growth; the more a plant grows, the more moisture it needs. If fertilizer salts build up in your soil because they’re not naturally leaching out with rain or irrigation, they can build up and burn plant roots, causing further damage.

Pull Weeds Out. 


It might not be fun at the best of times, but getting those weeds out of the garden is especially important during drought. The reason: Weeds’ roots steal valuable moisture from the soil.

Prune Your Flowers.

Removing spent blooms before they have a chance to set seed saves energy for your plants: They don’t need to put extra energy (which they need water for) into producing seeds.

 

Contact us for your real estate needs. Drop by at our offices at 2240 Chippendale Road, West Vancouver, or 1280 West Pender, Vancouver. We can also be easily reached by phone on 604 695 1000.

 

FILED UNDER Exterior Upgrades, Changes & Help, Vancouver, Virani Tips    Leave a comment

We Support The Report Of the Independent Advisory Board and Its Recommendations

 

Earlier this year, this province was rocked by the news that there were a handful of realtors who engaged in the practice of “shadow flipping”: homes were being resold for a profit without the buyer’s knowledge. This unethical action by a few unscrupulous members helped distort the image and reputation of the 12,800+ hardworking and knowledgeable professionals of the real estate industry in this province,  who act with integrity.

The Provincial Government stepped in and promised to crack down on this practice and work on improving consumer protection.  It appointed an independent advisory group to work on recommendations to address the controversies and issues facing the real estate industry in BC.

After 4 months of deliberation, the Real Estate Council of BC’s Independent Advisory Group last week released a 64-page report with 28 recommendations that were immediately adopted by the Provincial Government. It will create a new system of government regulation using these recommendations.

Together with the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver and its members, we wholeheartedly support these recommendations. We believe they are beneficial and progressive to the profession and we support their implementation as soon as possible.

Here are a few of the main recommendations worth noting:

  • Creation of a dedicated Superintendent of Real Estate to take over all the regulation and rule making duties from the Real Estate Council of BC.
  • Heavy potential fines of $250,000 for agent wrongdoing, up to $500,000 for brokerage firms.
  • Tougher licensing process for aspiring realtors including increased educational requirements, language proficiency and background checks.
  • Ending “dual agency,” in which a single realtor can represent both buyer and seller in a deal, therefore not have to share the commission with another agent.
  • Allowing the new superintendent to seize commissions from those found guilty of breaking the rules.
  • Forbidding agents to acquire interest in their own listings.

The full report can be found here.

As an established and reputable real estate company with over 27 years of business and over hundreds of millions of dollars of real estate transactions, we are supportive of anything that helps the industry do better.

Our experienced real estate professionals work with the highest level of integrity and ethics.

FILED UNDER Vancouver    Leave a comment

The Completion of The Evergreen Line Will Bring Great Real Estate Opportunities

The Evergreen Line is an 11-kilometre extension to the existing SkyTrain system in Metro Vancouver. It will be a fast, frequent and convenient SkyTrain service, connecting Coquitlam City Centre through Port Moody to Lougheed Town Centre in approximately 15 minutes. It will be complete and in service in early 2017.

This increased access into a new neighborhood also comes with several other economic perks to Metro Vancouver: New transit lines have been proven to stimulate community growth and development, as well as create compact livable communities with shorter commute times.

As has been the case in the past with the SkyTrain, introducing a new transit line affects real estate prices in its surrounding area. For condominiums, real estate analysts typically see values increase by a minimum of 5%.  Single-family detached homes can see values double, and for vacant lots that are zoned for condominiums, values increase about 25%.

The last two years have been strong ones for development in Coquitlam and there appears to be little sign of things slowing down, according to Doug Vance, Coquitlam’s manager of building permits and inspections.

“The indicators are showing us [development] seems to be carrying forward and Coquitlam seems to be a desirable place to get to.”

Vance said condo towers as well as single-family homes and townhouses are on the books for the coming year.

Coquitlam condo product is selling less per square foot than it is in Surrey,” says Urban Analytics’ Michael Ferreira. “That’s one of the better places to buy right now.”

As the date for the Evergreen Line launch grows nearer, Coquitlam and Port Moody are increasingly becoming affordable and convenient home buying options for Vancouver buyers.

Looking to buy a home? Contact our real estate professionals by email or call us on 604.695.1000

FILED UNDER Buying & Selling, Vancouver    Leave a comment

Are You A Real Estate Investor? Here Are Some Great Tips To Find The Best Contractors For Your Team

There is not one real estate investor who has not had a problem with a contractor or sub-contractor while embarking on a real estate investment project. Many have had harrowing experiences – shoddy workmanship, late completions, unfinished work, cost overruns etc.

As a real estate investor, you need to find the optimum balance between quality and price and this is by no means an easy task!

Use the following tips to find and keep the best contractors for your team:

 

Always ask for referrals.

Probably one of the best ways to get a good contractor is to get a referral from another real estate investor who has had a positive experience with the contractor. Going online and searching through various real estate portals is also another good source.

Get more than 1 reference.

Even if the contractor comes with a good referral, always ask for some references. Follow up on the references and if you have the chance, go and visit the work. This will be invaluable when it comes to decision-making time.

Don’t settle for just one bid.

Once you have your tried and tested quality contractor, you don’t have to shop around. But before this happens, get a number of bids for the job and compare them. By doing this, you can get a feel of what caliber of contractors is out there, and you can evaluate contractors who can eventually become backups to your go to guy.

Never pay the whole amount up front.

If you can avoid paying anything up front, you will have more control of the project if things don’t work out your way. With large projects, contractors may require a down payment up front – this is okay, providing you have done your due diligence. For small jobs, there should be either no upfront payment or a minimal down payment.

Pay the bill after the job is completed.

Once the contractor has informed you that the job is complete, go over all the details of the project and check off every item to ensure that everything agreed has been done. If you complete payment before the job is done, you will have a tough time getting him to finish, let alone meeting him.

Keep on your toes.

Even if you get a contractor who has done some good work for you in the past, never get complacent. Once he gets familiar with you and your reliance on him, you will find prices slowly creeping up and quality being compromised. It’s always wise to get another quote on the job even if you have found a good contractor – just to keep him on his toes.

 

Real estate investing is not for everyone. If you are contemplating a project, why not discuss it with us? Contact us by email, or call our offices at 604 695 1000

 

 

FILED UNDER Buying & Selling, Virani Tips    Leave a comment

First Time Home Buyers: If Your Home Has Any Of These Problems – Beware!

If you are a first time home buyer, owning a home may be a dream finally come true!

In your search for that first home, you may come across a bargain that you feel you cannot ignore. This could be a serious mistake.

As a first time home buyer, you may over look certain flaws that seem unimportant or manageable, but these can turn out to be impossible to fix or very expensive to repair.

Here are some flaws and situations that should encourage you to walk away from the deal:

 

1)      Problems with the foundation

Sloping or sagging floors or cracks in the floor can indicate serious foundation problems. These can cost a lot of money to fix. If you notice these issues, you need to get the opinion of a structural engineer as a home inspector will not be able to gauge the severity of the problem.

2)      Poor siding

Although not much of a problem in the newer homes, problem siding can absorb or trap water against the house, which can lead to damp and rot. Replacing bad siding can cost thousands of dollars, depending on the extent of the damage.

3)      Busy streets

Busy streets especially in quiet suburban areas can be a problem if you have a young family. The constant flow of traffic is an annoying source of noise pollution and can be frustrating if you are always in and out of your driveway taking kids to school and other activities.

4)      Water damage and mold

Water damage is one of the most common and overlooked problems – water seeping into basements, leaking in from the siding, pooling in crawl spaces, etc. When left alone, water causes mold and rot and in some cases, black mold can cause serious respiratory problems.  Repairs can be very expensive.

5)      Unruly neighbors

Rowdy neighbors, hoarders, those who run a busy business from their homes, such as a car repair service can hurt your home and adjacent home values.  Close proximity to a school with all the traffic and noise may be inconsequential to those with school age children, but not to mature adults.

6)      Geological problems

If the home is built on a slope or has retaining walls, you need to be extra cautious. Even homes built on flat land may be built on improperly compacted fill soil. Cracked stucco or siding, fractures radiating from window and door frames indicate earth movement. If your home has any of the above issues, consult a geotechnical engineer before you buy.

This isn’t a complete list of things that can go wrong with a home purchase. Construction defects, aging systems, broken sewer lines and a laundry list of other problems can cost you big time.

 

It is important to get the correct advice when you are buying a home. We have been in the real estate business for over 28 years and know just about everything there is about buying a home. Contact us or call us on 604 913 1000 if you are planning to buy a home.

 

 

FILED UNDER Buying & Selling, Exterior Upgrades, Changes & Help, Interior Upgrades, Changes & Help, Virani Tips    Leave a comment

Want To Sell Your Home Faster? Get Rid Of Your Clutter!

A well organized home where everything is “as it should be”, is very appealing to prospective buyers. But this is not a particularly easy task as we all have our own perceptions of how to be organized. But we can all agree on one thing – the impact of clutter!

It’s important to contain and reduce the clutter in the home for three big reasons:

◦     With more free space, the home gains more square footage.

◦     The positive features of the home are showcased.

◦     Buyers can easily visualize living in the space.

We are all guilty of clutter. Clutter comes in all different forms and it lingers in most homes. So if you see piles of paperwork, books piled up on top of each other, overflowing closets, jammed drawers that don’t open easily — it’s time to declutter!

Here are some tips:

1. Start small. Organizing is an evolving process that changes as the needs of a homeowner change. Start small: One room, one closet, and one corner. Just start somewhere! To make it count, tackle the first cluttered area a homebuyer would see as they walk into the home.

2. Schedule it. Many times a homeowner never starts the decluttering process because of time constraints. Schedule blocks of time of 1-2 hours per day or even just 15 minutes a day, depending on what needs to be organized to make your goal a reality.

3. Find a home for your possessions. One reason why clutter can build up in a home is if an item is homeless. Creating a place for each item in your home is a crucial part to obtaining an organized home. Of course, keeping the space in order only happens when you return an item back to it’s home after use. 

4. Adopt “good habits.” This carries forward from the previous point. By always returning an item home, you’re building in a maintenance system in your organizing process. Another good habit to adopt is to take 5-10 minutes every night and put items away. This way when you wake up in the morning, the house is ready to show off.

If you are looking to sell you home in this seller’s market, you need a real estate professional that can get you the best possible price. We have a large inventory of prospective buyers both local and overseas. Contact us or call us on 604 913 1000 and let us get you the best price for your home. 

FILED UNDER Buying & Selling, Interior Upgrades, Changes & Help, Vancouver, Virani Tips    Leave a comment

Meet The Chandoeun Family

Every Home Has A Story.

We recently sat down with the Chandoeun family and asked them about their lives before moving into a World Housing community. Read their inspiring story and see how far they’ve come…

In my hometown, I studied. When I was 12, I moved to Phnom Penh to live with my sister. I had to stop studying so that I could stay at home and look after my niece. I first started selling coffee when I was 15. I met my husband in 2004, and lived in a share room with my sister.

We felt so happy when we moved in here. Here, it is easier to live. Before, our house had a curfew. We couldn’t work as a scavenger at night and there was no place to put the cart. My favourite thing inside this house is my motorbike. With a motorbike, it is easier to find a job. If you don’t have a motorbike, there is nothing to do.

I am proud that I feel peace in my family. It is easy for us to live in this community. We never have arguments, and we help each other out. One day, I hope that I can get a job that is not scavenging. I want to sell drinks like coffee and orange juice. I worry about my children. If I am sick, I have no money to look after them.

This article was written by Caley Vanular courtesy of “Worldhousing”.

FILED UNDER International    Leave a comment