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Email: jpappy@uniserve.com

Selecting a Real Estate Agent is one of the most important decisions that you can make when buying or selling a home.


Your goal when you’re ready to choose a real estate agent is to find someone who you communicate well with, and who shares your same goals—not just about buying a house, but doing so in a way that prioritizes your needs as a buyer and gets you the best home possible for the best price possible.


Here are a few things to take into consideration when finding the right agent for you:


Know your needs


How urgently do you need to sell or buy a home? What style and size home are you looking for? Do you know are you’d like to be in? Are you looking to sell ASAP or are you willing to put in some extra time and work to maximize the value of your home prior to selling?

When you understand your needs, you can ask the right questions. If agents have a clear idea of what you’re looking for, everyone starts on the same page. Then, you can learn how each agent will adapt their real estate services and process to work for you.


Agents must be tech savvy


A Realtor's success depends on how well they find and market homes. Online advertising and property websites are now a basic requirement in modern home buying.

Take a look at the agent’s social media accounts to ensure they are used regularly. Check to see if they are using professional photographs and drone videos to showcase their listings. Having an agent with a strong understanding of the latest technology and how to market your home digitally will ensure a much more successful sale for you.


All Realtors aren’t equal


While all agents become certified in the same foundational program, this only covers the theory and foundations of the business. Real estate changes daily because of new laws and market trends. Ask Realtors what additional training, experience, and local connections they maintain to make sure their knowledge is always up to date. Ask them about the local real estate market, their predictions, and for advice, this will assure you that your agent is up-to-date and fully qualified.


Communication is key


Having an agent who is available to you when you need them is key. Not all questions can be asked and answered between 9am and 5pm. Also, be sure to discuss your preferred method of communication with your agent in advance, you may want daily emails with updates or a text message after each showing. Ensure that your agent is willing to communicate with you on your terms.


Ask for their strategy


A professional and experienced agent will have a tried and true marketing strategy in place. Review this with your agent in advance, ask questions and discuss any concerns that you may have.


Ask around


The best way to learn about an agent is to ask someone who has worked with them before. An experienced agent will be happy to provide client testimonials. Also, be sure to check their website and social media pages for comments from clients.


Agent support


Ask your agent about their support system, whether it be marketing, research, or administration, knowing your agent has the resources behind them to ensure your successful sale or purchase will give you peace of mind.


Also be sure to ask your agent about their access to community connections such as mortgage brokers, inspectors, appraisers, contractors, etc. that may be needed throughout the process. An excellent agent will have countless contacts that they work with on a regular basis.


Pricing


Don’t select an agent solely based on how high they price your home; make sure to understand their method. An overpriced home can linger on the market and require price reductions in the future, giving buyers the idea that you’re rushing to sell and are willing to accept an even lower price. When a home is priced right, it sells fastest for the most value. An experienced agent will review comparable properties in the neighbourhood and recommend a fair price for your home.


Trust your gut


It’s got you this far! Always follow your gut instinct, if you find an agent that you are comfortable with, genuinely like, trust and feel will represent you best, then choose that agent. Your feelings throughout this rollercoaster process are extremely important and you want to be working with someone you are comfortable with.

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If the 2021 Real Estate market were a card game, it would be stacked with wildcards!  


The global pandemic has caused seismic shifts in the market, creating a high demand for more square footage, thus creating a strong desire for larger suburban homes. 


Interest rates are low, but so is inventory, and there's been an unexpected influx in new-home buyers getting into the market recently. 


When we look at all things combined, there are some surprising changes excepted in the 2021 real estate market, here are a few of this year's predictions:

 

Increase of New-Home Buyers
With interest rates at an extreme low, this is an ideal time for first-time buyers to get into the real estate market.  One of the biggest fears many new buyers have is finding themselves 'mortgage poor' but with today's low-interest rates, many buyers will find their mortgage payments equal to or possibly even lower than their current rental rates. 

 

More Competitive Offers
Properties will likely sell faster than ever before. With such a low inventory, the opportunity for buyers to make an offer will need to done quickly and with little or no conditions. A seller is going to be much more inclined to accept a cash offer over an offer than includes mortgage, inspection, and other clauses. Also be prepared to offer over asking price, with plenty of buyers and not many homes on the market, buyers are likely to find themselves offering higher prices for their offers to even be considered.  

 

Prices may hit a new high
We are, without a doubt, in a seller's market. The low inventory and the high number of buyers will push the home prices up as the need to buy becomes stronger.  This is not all bad news, while you may be paying over asking price and a larger deposit now, the low-interest rates mean that you will be paying less for the home over the term of the mortgage and will keep your payments affordable. 

 

Square footage is key

With more and more people working from home, square footage is top of the list. Our needs for a simple home have changed to a home with space for home offices and home learning for children and students. Working from the dining room table was fine for a few months, but with the ongoing pandemic and a strong turn to a work-from-home culture, buyers are looking to have the extra SF to set up a proper ongoing workspace. 

 

Say hello to the suburbs
Again, due to the pandemic and our new work-from-home lifestyles, buyers are looking for that extra space which they may not find in the city. Think large yards with extended living space, home gardens, and extra space for hobbies.  

 

Intergenerational living
Most of us couldn't wait to move out of our parent's house, however, with the increased price of homes and new-home buyers being a few years older than recent years, we are seeing a turn towards intergenerational living. You may begin to see young couples looking to purchase a home with a mortgage helper, with their parents, or a home that can be easily renovated into two separate living spaces and the entire family living in the home together. 

  

2021 will bring us many unexpected turns and new real estate trends as we learn to adjust to living amidst a global pandemic, increased home prices, and low inventory. 

 

Please keep in mind these trends are nationally based across Canada and therefore may not be seen as widely on Vancouver Island. 

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Buying a home during a seller's market can be extremely tricky, prices are high, inventory is low, and homes are selling faster than we can see them. 


So when is the right time to buy? When you're ready. That's the simple and most honest answer anyone can give you. 


Buying during a Seller's Market may make things a little more complex, however, we've put together a few tips to help you find the right home at the time that's right for you: 

 

Expand your search


The price of homes is always higher in the trendy neighbourhoods, but if you're willing to expand your search area a little, you may find an excellent property on the outskirts of your desired area for a much more affordable price. Another tip is to look at areas that haven't been through the gentrification process yet, you could find an excellent deal here and watch your property value increase over the years as the neighbourhood improves. 

 

Customize your Offer to Purchase


It's not always about the price, some venders want to sell and move out as soon as possible, whereas others may want to have an extended closing date or an opportunity to rent-back the property until they can find a new home. Have your agent speak to the selling agent to find out what the vendor's goals are, aside from price. 

 

Forget the low-ball offers


Unfortunately, a seller's market is not the time to be making low-ball offers. Chances are, the vendor will receive multiple offers, each of which will be asking price or more. Offering below asking price is a great strategy in a buyers market, but when homes are selling in a day or two of coming onto the market, the chances of this working in your favour are extremely low. 

 

Cash purchase


If possible, make a cash offer. Sellers prefer cash offers as they can close faster and they eliminate any chance of the mortgage not being funded. Cash offers also give buyers a little more negotiating power with regards to closing dates, prices, and inclusions. 

 

Get pre-approved by your lender


If other offers coming in are equal or similar, a seller will likely choose a buyer who has been approved as this means a better chance of the loan being funded and the transaction closing in a timely fashion. 

  

A Seller's Market can be very frustrating for a buyer and you may feel pressured to buy a home quickly, however, JP Real Estate is here to help you choose your next home confidently, on your terms, and when you're ready! 

 

If you have any questions or would like some guidance in regards to the real estate market, please feel free to contact me at your convenience, I'm always available.

 

As always, JP Real Estate is looking forward to being of value to you. We are more than a real estate company, we are a community, a friend, and a family. We look forward to connecting you with greatness!

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As the New Year rolls in, so do the new trends and styles! 


2021 predicts some very popular trends fading out as we require more functionality and organization in our homes these days. 


At the end of the day, it's your kitchen and you're free to decorate and style it exactly how you want, however, if you're planning to sell in the next year or so, you may want to avoid these trends:


Cool Gray Paint


While this neutral colour is extremely versatile and looks fresh, it doesn't offer the warm, cosy feel that buyers are looking for these days. Turn your focus to warm, neutral colours that give that 'homey' feeling. 


Open Shelving


This unorganized and cluttered look is definitely fading. Not only do your dishes collect dust, grime, and grease, it can be very unsanitary if not cleaned regularly. Buyers want to see storage space, and that includes cupboards, they do not want all their dishes exposed. 


Farm-House Style 


A well-loved trend by many, this popular style can often come across as cluttered, dated, and unorganized. Think clean, crisp, easy to clean, especially when it comes to cabinets. Predictions for 2021 cabinets are sleek, flat-faced with bold lines. 


Ornate Hardware


Flashy is officially a thing of the past when it comes to kitchen hardware. No more gold, fancy designs, or funky hardware on cabinets, going forward we're looking to simple matte finishes. This new style gives a modern industrial look and is very easy to keep clean and in good condition. 


Basic Backsplashes


Rather than your basic backsplash that only reaches the bottom of the cupboards, think full wall slabs or tiles. If you plan on tiling, try using different shaped tiles instead of the standard rectangle, this will add some texture and a modern look to your kitchen. Also, try to use warm neutral colour palettes which will provide you with extended longevity. 


Navy Cabinets


The navy painted lower cabinet trend is leaving as quickly as it arrived. The darker look on the bottom cabinets is still going to be around but think in terms of forest greens, warm dark greys, or even black. The trend is still here, it's just the navy colour that's fading out. 


There is no hard and fast rule on kitchen trends and you're always encouraged to style your home in a way that works for you, these are simply a few ideas of things to avoid if planning to sell in the near future. 


We understand how frustrating it can be to try to keep up with the trends and it seems we are always one step behind. This list is simply for your information and a guideline of what you may want to avoid if planning to do some renovations and updates in the near future. 

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MLS® property information is provided under copyright© by the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board and Victoria Real Estate Board. The information is from sources deemed reliable, but should not be relied upon without independent verification.