Stephanie Peat DFH Real Estate - Sidney

Office 250-656-0131 | EMAIL info@stephaniepeat.ca |

Imagine finding a home you love, making an offer, and then finding out there are other competing offers on the table. Ouch.


If you’re looking for a property in a competitive market, it is likely that there will be multiple offers. Even just one can create the risk that you’ll lose the home. So how do you make sure your offer is enticing enough to win over the buyer? Here are some ideas:


• Don’t make a low-ball offer. If you do, it might be dismissed and you
probably won’t get another chance to bid — especially if the other
competing offers are near the listing price.


• Have a pre-arranged mortgage and include that with your offer. This
reassures the buyer there won’t be any money issues. (Most lenders
will provide you with a pre-arranged mortgage certificate for this
purpose.)


• Go in with a price high enough that the buyer will be interested, but
not so high as to be leaving money on the table. This is tricky and
requires a savvy knowledge of the current market.


• Have a REALTOR® present the offer on your behalf. A REALTOR®
will know how to do so professionally, and in a manner that gives you
the best chance of getting the home.


In a competitive situation, working with a REALTOR® who is an expert on the local market — and a skilled negotiator — is crucial.

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You don’t have to freeze in the winter or start reading by candlelight to reduce your electricity bill. There are many simple ways to use less power with little, if any, impact on your lifestyle.


A good place to start is with your electronics.


According to the David Suzuki Foundation, “Any gizmo that has a clock, digital timer, remote control or standby mode is sucking energy when it's not being used (it's called 'phantom electricity' — and it's scary how much of it there is).” So keep them unplugged as much as possible. Also, unplug charger cords for phone and computers when not in use. Even when not connected to the device, they still suck power.


Another easy change to make involves your lights. Switching to compact fluorescent (CFL) or LED light bulbs can save you a lot of energy. They’re 75% more efficient.


Finally, the old-fashioned method of insulating doors and windows can work wonders for lowering your electricity bill. In fact, some particularly drafty homes can lose up to 40% of their heat. Check for drafts regularly and repair or replace insulation as needed.


None of these ideas will impact your day-to-day living. Yet, they could potentially save you a bundle.

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In almost every movie featuring a house on fire, the actors seem to be able to move around the house and see just fine, while beating back flames with a shirt or coat. Of course, that’s not what happens in real fires.


When there’s fire in a home, there is typically complete darkness (because the power goes out) and a cloud of spreading thick, black smoke makes it difficult to see and breathe.


That’s why knowing how to get out of your house — fast — is crucial.


Experts recommend rehearsing what to do in case there’s a fire. Make sure everyone in the family has an exit plan. Each should know exactly how to get out, including primary and secondary exits, and where the family will meet once safely outside.


Never attempt to take anything with you. It may seem like you have plenty of time to grab a coat or purse, but the characteristics of a fire can change in seconds.


As a failsafe, in case you can’t exit through a door, you should determine in advance which window has the safest exit. Make sure that the window opens easily and everyone knows how to remove the screen or any other obstruction.


Finally, don’t call the fire department from inside your house. Get out first, then make the call.

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You’ve probably seen signs around the area for Open Houses. You mayhave even attended a few. These are open invitations for potential buyers todrop by on a certain day and time, to check out the property and get more information.


When you’re listing your home for sale, you might wonder whether you’ll need to have an Open House.


To answer that question, you’ll need to consider the pros and cons. Planning and hosting an open house isn’t as easy as it may seem. There’s a lot of preparation involved. In addition, you’ll likely spend hours making your property look its best and you’ll need to be away from your home for a good part of that day.


That being said, an Open House has many advantages.


• It helps showcase features of your property that may not come across well in advertisements and listing descriptions.
• It attracts potential buyers who, for any number of reasons, might not otherwise call to view the home.
• It generates a buzz and publicity about your listing.


However, an Open House might not be necessary if there is high demand for properties like yours and you’re likely to get multiple offers.

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January 3, 2017, Victoria, BC


A total of 471 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this December, 1.3 per cent more than the 465 properties sold in December last year.


Inventory levels edged lower than last year, with 1,493 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of December 2016, 40.7 per cent fewer than the 2,517 active listings at the end of December 2015.

 

“As we expected, 2016 broke records in terms of the number of properties sold in our area,” notes Mike Nugent, outgoing 2016 President of the Board. “10,622 properties sold, which exceeds our previous high of 9,241 sales in 1991.”


The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in December 2015 was $613,600. The benchmark value for the same home in December 2016 has increased by 23.6 per cent to $758,500.


“We expect sales to continue to be strong but we don’t expect to see the phenomenal activity we saw in 2016 for 2017. Inventory continues to be low,” adds President Nugent. “You can’t sell something that isn’t there. There is certainly an ongoing demand for properties. This is reflected in the fact that 25 per cent of sales this month sold over their asking price. The majority of these properties were in the up to $750,000 price point, so your average buyer will face a competitive market.”

 

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As a prospective home buyer you have responsibility during the viewing of homes. You need to be sensitive and respectful when touring properties with your agent. Here are a few simple guidelines to follow during your home hunting days:

 

Dress appropriately
Aim to look innocuous and don't let your clothes give anything away. You don’t want to look scruffy, but equally, if you look too smart the vendor might assume you've got loads of money and won’t negotiate.

 

Leave young children and babies at home
It is advisable not to take kids on a first viewing as they can be too distracting. If the vendor has children, then it is typically okay to bring them on a second viewing. However, if the vendor is childless, they may find it a bit of an imposition.

 

Arrive on time for the viewing
You should always make the effort to arrive on time. Also if you are coming with others, make sure you arrive together. Showings are usually set for a certain time and it is not only an inconvenience to your agent if you are late but the seller may be on a schedule. Often owners will leave just in time for a showing and may be waiting to return after its completion.

 

Take off your shoes
Even if you are not accustomed to taking off your shoes before entering someone else's home, it is best to do so when viewing a home so that you do not track mud and dirt into the home. People from various cultures and religions who do not wear shoes in home may be offended if you enter their house with your shoes on, so it is best to leave your shoes at the front door.

 

Respect the seller's personal property
While it is expected to open kitchen cabinets, pantries and closets, try to keep the investigation down to a minimum. Avoid opening dresser drawers, looking at personal items and using the master bathroom.

 

Don’t criticize things you don’t like in front of the homeowner if they are present in the home

If the owners happen to be at home, keep conversation with them to a minimum. Most sellers try to be out when a showing takes place but sometimes it is just not possible. It is best not to "grill" them about why they are selling or where they are going. These questions are better filtered through your agent. The very worst thing you can do is say things like 'well we'd have to knock that wall down' and 'if we filled the pond in the garden it would look much better'. The vendor is probably very proud of their property the way it is. Although, some aspects of the house may not suit you and while you may not wish to purchase the home, it is best to have those discussions with your spouse out of earshot.

 

When leaving the home, it is nice to say things like, "Thank you for showing me around, it's kind of you to take the time" or "You have a lovely home". Vendors usually remember nice and polite people and favour them in any competition for the house.

Most people have enough common sense to be courteous and careful when entering a stranger's home for viewing. When in doubt about protocol, just ask your agent. One of the standing rules about viewing a home is - leave it exactly the way you found it. 

 

Happy House Hunting!

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