Stephanie Peat DFH Real Estate - Sidney

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


“Comparing last year’s April market to 2021 does not provide us any real insight into long term market trends,” said Victoria Real Estate Board President David Langlois. “Instead of comparing to last year’s numbers, we need to look at years before the pandemic to see how April 2021 compares to average. In the most recent five years pre-pandemic, the average number of sales in the month of April was 896. April 2016 holds the record for sales with 1,286 properties sold. The five-year average for active listings was 2,596, so we sit at more than one thousand homes fewer than a recent average level of inventory.”


A total of 1,116 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this April, 288.9 per cent more than the 287 properties sold in April 2020, but 4.9 per cent fewer than the previous month of March. Sales of condominiums were up 353.4 per cent from April 2020 with 331 units sold. 12.2 per cent fewer condominiums sold in April 2021 than in the previous month of March. Sales of single family homes were up 246 per cent from April 2020 with 564 sold. 1.7 per cent fewer single family homes sold in April 2021 than in the previous month of March.


There were 1,454 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of April 2021, 36.9 per cent fewer properties than the total available at the end of April 2020 and 11 per cent more than the 1,310 active listings for sale at the end of March 2021.


“We’ve seen an imbalance in our market for a quite a few months,” explained Langlois. “Our market is based on supply and demand and there is a disconnect right now with record low supply and high demand. Unfortunately, our housing supply is not as elastic as market demand is. Desire for homes in a certain market can erupt quickly, while building homes takes years. These realities make it hard to bring our market into balance. Efforts by government to dampen demand by making home ownership more expensive through taxes and borrowing limitations do not bring balance. Municipal governments adding costs and time delays to new developments do not bring balance. A commitment to developing our communities over the long term may.”


The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in April 2020 was $884,600. The benchmark value for the same home in April 2021 increased by 12.6 per cent to $996,500, a 2.9 per cent increase from the previous month of March. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core in April 2020 was $533,600, while the benchmark value for the same condominium in April 2021 was $547,600, a 2.6 per cent increase.

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There’s no doubt about it. Preventing mice from entering your home is much easier than evicting them once they’ve moved in. If you take just a few simple precautions, you can avoid the trip to the store to buy traps or the call to the exterminator.


Here’s what the experts recommend:


-  Install mouse-mesh in the drainage slots of exterior brick or siding. There are many types available on the market. (Note: make sure you don’t block water drainage!)

- Trim back tree branches that are within two feet of the siding or roof. Mice can jump horizontally as far as 15 inches.

- Make sure weather-stripping on doors and windows seal tightly. Mice can easily squeeze through weak spots and gaps, especially where stripping meets at a corner.

- Don’t leave open packages of any type of food — birdseed, apples, etc. — in the garage. That’s like telling the mice, “The buffet’s open!”

- Inspect the outside of your home and look for evidence of mice near walls, doors and windows. Look for mice droppings, which look like black rice.

- If you see a mouse outside your home, don’t shoo it away. Instead, watch where it goes. The mouse might show you how it’s getting in.


Taking these precautions will significantly reduce the chances of micebecoming unwanted guests in your home.

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Is there a neighbourhood you drive through occasionally and think, “Wow. I’d love to live here. What a fantastic area”?


Why don’t you take that thought any further? Maybe you think getting into that neighbourhood just isn’t doable – at least, not right now.


Perhaps you’re worried about the home prices or the current lack of homes forsale in that area. Maybe there’s some other reason, such as the possibility of higher mortgage payments.


Of course, those are all valid concerns. But why not find out whether or not they would genuinely hold you back?


For example, if you’re wondering whether you can afford a home in that neighbourhood, you can find that out with a reasonable degree of certainty. You can:


-  Get a current market value assessment so you know, approximately, what you’d likely get for your home.

-  Find out the average selling price of homes in the target neighbourhood.

-  Calculate what you’d be able to put down on a new home.

-  Find out how much mortgage you’ll need and what your payments would be.


Once you’ve taken a closer look at the actual numbers, you might discover that a nice home in your desired neighbourhood is within reach.


So, get the facts you need instead of assuming you can’t get into the neighbourhood you want.


The fact might be, you can!


Call today if you’d like to explore that possibility. I can help you get the facts you need.

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April 1, 2021

 

A total of 1,173 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this March, 92.9 per cent more than the 608 properties sold in March 2020 and 35.9 per cent more than the previous month of February. Sales of condominiums were up 111.8 per cent from March 2020 with 377 units sold. Sales of single family homes were up 88.2 per cent from March 2020 with 574 sold.

"Limited supply with overwhelming demand has been the story for the first quarter of 2021," said Victoria Real Estate Board President David Langlois. "This time last year was the beginning of the pandemic and most everything was shut down – so we cannot compare year over year numbers – but if we look at longer term trends, the average number of sales from the month of March in the past ten years before 2020 was 715 properties. Numbers from last month are close to the market trends we saw in 2016, but with an even greater imbalance in inventory due to a surge in consumer demand for homes in the Victoria area."

There were 1,310 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of March 2021, 41.8 per cent fewer properties than the total available at the end of March 2020 and 0.6 per cent properties fewer than the 1,318 active listings for sale at the end of February 2021.

"The underlying issue is a deficit in supply," explained Langlois. "Supply needs to be addressed by all levels of government and particularly by local governments which control land use policies and development processes. Equally important, governments need to ensure that measures they make to moderate the housing market do not exacerbate the problem by attempting to suppress demand by adding costs or qualification barriers. These sorts of measures raise the overall cost of housing and add even more challenges for first time buyers. We need to continue to push for both increased supply and sensible government policies around housing."

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in March 2020 was $879,600. The benchmark value for the same home in March 2021 increased by 10.1 per cent to $968,700 a 2.2 per cent increase from the previous month of February. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core in March 2020 was $531,800, while the benchmark value for the same condominium in March 2021 remained close to last year's value at $529,100 a 0.5 per cent decrease.

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Like most homeowners, you probably don’t think of your property as just a building with rooms and a backyard. To you, it’s much more than that. It’s a home.


When you walk into your dining room, for example, you don’t merely see the table and chairs. You see memories. You recall laughter with family and friends. It’s emotional.


That’s what a home is all about.


However, buyers don’t want to buy your “home”. What they really want to buy is a property that has the potential to become THEIR home.


While you see memories of family dinners, they see room dimensions and what the dining room may look like with their furniture in it.


That’s why, when you’re selling your property, you need to keep emotions at bay as much as possible.


In fact, the best mindset is to think of your property as a product. The more attractively you present that product to prospective buyers, the more likely you are to get good offers.


That’s why cleaning, depersonalizing, and staging are so important.


It’s also why setting a price that aligns with your home’s current market value is important. You may have put your heart and soul — and many weekends — into landscaping the backyard to make it a summer oasis. It may, in fact, be a strong selling point of your property. But that improvement will only add to the selling price an amount that the market, not your emotions, dictates.


So keep emotions out of the selling process as much as possible. Save that energy for turning your next property into your dream home.


Want more tips on selling your property for the best price possible? Call today.

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These days, just about everyone relies on the internet for work, school, entertainment, shopping, networking, you name it. So, speed and connectivity have become big issues.


Ideally, you want a fast, reliable connection — consistently.


If you have a router and connect with WIFI, here are some ways to boost the signal:


- Occasionally unplug your router, wait ten seconds, and then power up again. Routers get clogged with settings, protocols, code, you name it. Resetting the router is like cleaning the pipes.


- Connect your computer directly to the router with an ethernet cord. This hard-wiring will often double or even triple internet speed. The downside is, you’re restricted by the length of the cord.


- Check that you have the best router for your internet plan. Some newer high-speed plans require better routers, but you may not have been told that when you upgraded.


- Experiment with the placement of your router. The ideal spot is often on the main floor near the centre of your home. If possible, place it in an open space away from walls and other obstructions.


- Consider using Mesh WIFI. These are little “satellite” WIFI stations that you can place throughout your home. Your main router then connects to these, creating a much stronger WIFI signal in areas that were formerly weak.


Another way to improve your home WIFI is to contact your internet service provider. They’re the experts in their system and can advise you on how to create a better signal throughout your home.

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Where do buyers form the most lasting impression of a home for sale that they visit? On the main floor!


When buyers view a property, they often spend a lot of time on the main floor, thinking and imagining. They visualize cooking in the kitchen, having family dinners in the dining room, and entertaining guests in the living room. They even mentally calculate how their furniture will fit!


So, making the main floor look great to buyers is crucial when selling your property. How do you do that?


An effective technique is to walk your main floor the way a buyer would. Start at your front entrance. Stand there for a moment and look around. Get a sense of the impression a buyer is likely to get from that perspective.


Next, walk to the kitchen area, because that’s where buyers often venture next. Again, linger a while and look around. Does the kitchen look clean and seem as spacious as possible (given its size)?


Finally, check out the other rooms on the main floor, including the washroom, if there is one. Gauge how you feel and the impression you form as you visit these spaces.


Once you’ve done that mock tour, write down ideas that jumped out at you for improvements. Those may include uncluttering some areas, rearranging the furniture, adding or taking away items, etc.


This is a simple but powerful technique for improving how your main floor looks to buyers.


Call today for more staging ideas that will make your home sell faster and for a good price.

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March 1, 2021 

A total of 863 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this February, 53.3 per cent more than the 563 properties sold in February 2020 and 33.6 per cent more than the previous month of January. Sales of condominiums were up 65.7 per cent from February 2020 with 290 units sold. Sales of single family homes were up 43.9 per cent from February 2020 with 390 sold.

"Our early spring market is in full swing carrying on from a fast start in January," said Victoria Real Estate Board President David Langlois.  "Our market remains one with tightly constrained inventory and high demand. The good news is that we have seen some stabilization in listings and condo pricing between January and February, but we continue to see huge pressure on single family homes – new listings are snapped up as soon as they are listed. As a result, the pressure on single family homes continues to ramp up. There is significant competition for desirable homes – and in our marketplace most homes are desirable – and people competing for properties pushes prices up."

There were 1,318 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of February 2021, 38 per cent fewer properties than the total available at the end of February 2020 and three properties fewer than the 1,321 active listings for sale at the end of January 2020.

"The theme for 2021 is going to be inventory - where does it come from and how much new supply can be approved - so that this situation does not persist," adds Langlois. "We've seen the government attempt to influence the housing market in hopes of dampening the demand for home ownership. The foreign buyer tax has changed nothing – our market continues to zoom forward with almost no foreign buyers. The government adjusted mortgage qualification rules, those are absorbed by the market and buyers adjust. Demand-suppression measures have not worked and their failure to moderate housing prices in our community has only exacerbated the pressure on the supply that was constrained ten years ago but is now at historically low levels. If you are concerned about housing prices and availability of housing in general in our community, please support development in your municipality. Be vocal with your local council or neighbourhood association – these stakeholders hold the power in these negotiations - and help to make space in your community. Gentle density and the building of new homes are the only pathway to moderate housing prices in our area."

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in February 2020 was $870,300. The benchmark value for the same home in February 2021 increased by 9 per cent to $948,200, a 1.7 per cent increase from the previous month of January. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core in February 2020 was $525,600, while the benchmark for the same condominium in February 2021 remained close to last year's value at $525,400, a 0.38 per cent decrease.

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Staging is all about dressing up your home so that it looks its best to buyers. This can involve anything from rearranging furniture and doing some home improvements, to painting and redecorating, to even replacing existing furnishings and other items. The goal is to make key rooms look worthy of a magazine cover!


But is it worth the effort? Can’t you just clean and tidy and, perhaps, do a little painting?


Sometimes you can — especially if your home is in high demand and likely to get multiple offers.


However, in most cases, staging can help sell your property faster and for a higher price.


In fact, studies done by the home staging industry consistently reveal that staged homes sell for an average of 5-23% above list price. (That varies, of course, depending on the local market.)


Keep in mind that you don’t necessarily need to do extensive staging. You may, for example, be able to focus on only key rooms on the main floor — where buyers tend to form their lasting impressions — and then simply clean and declutter the other rooms.


When it comes to staging, you have many options. Each home is different and will have different staging needs.


Want to find out how staging may impact the sale of your property? Call today.

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When you’re shopping for a home, you may become interested in a property for sale that someone else is also considering. In fact, there may be several other buyers entertaining the idea of making an offer.


In such a competitive situation, what should you do if you really love that home?


Obviously, you’ll need to move quickly and make some fast decisions.


Start by making certain the property fits within your price range. The last thing you want is to have an offer accepted and find out it is beyond your budget. That’s why it’s a good idea to arrange for financing before you go home shopping.


Next, you want to make an offer that is so enticing to the sellers that they’ll put your offer at the top of the pile, if not close to it. So, what makes an offer enticing?


Obviously, price is a big factor. You want to go in at a price that’s attractive to the sellers, without overpaying. Imagine finding out later that the nearest offer to yours was $15,000 less. Ouch!


Chances are your offer price will need to be at or slightly above asking. Find out what similar homes in the area recently sold for — what real estate agents call “comparables” — and use those as a guide.


It’s also important that your offer contains few, if any, issues that may be concerning to the sellers. The ideal offer will feature:


-  No conditions

-  A closing date that’s convenient for the seller.

-  A deposit amount that shows you’re a serious buyer.

-  Acceptance of any of the buyer’s “exclusions”. (For example, they want to take the fridge and stove with them.)

-  Evidence you can get financing. (Many lenders offer a “Mortgage Preapproval Certificate”.)


Although a “no conditions” offer is the most attractive, including a condition on passing a professional home inspection is usually not a problem, so long as the inspection is done quickly. Avoid adding other conditions, such as “subject to financing approval” or “subject to the sale of buyer’s existing property”.


If you want to increase the likelihood that you’ll find — and, more importantly, get — your next dream home, call today.

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February 1, 2021  A total of 646 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this January, 57.2 per cent more than the 411 properties sold in January 2020 and 2.4 per cent more than the previous month of December. Sales of condominiums were up 83.1 per cent from January 2020 with 216 units sold. Sales of single family homes were up 48.5 per cent from January 2020 with 297 sold.

"Our bustling market continues to be fueled by strong consumer demand to own a home in Greater Victoria, driven in part by low interest rates and by the overall desirability of our larger community," said Victoria Real Estate Board President David Langlois. "This continuing demand, coupled with our record low inventory, has resulted in competition for desirable properties. The competition for sparse inventory has pushed both pricing and activity up and has created the very fast-paced market that we've been experiencing for the past several months."

There were 1,321 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of January 2021, 32.5 per cent fewer properties than the total available at the end of January 2020 but a 3.3 per cent increase from the 1,279 active listings for sale at the end of December 2020.

"The luxury home market continues to significantly outpace previous years," adds Langlois. "For example, in January 2020, four homes over two million dollars sold. This January, twenty-five sold. We also see a continued strengthening in the condominium market across all price points. Right now, navigating both the buying and selling process is challenging. With many moving pieces and in such a fast-paced market it's important to leverage the experience and expertise of your trusted local REALTOR®."

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in January 2020 was $860,700. The benchmark value for the same home in January 2021 increased by 8.3 per cent to $932,000, a 1.8 per cent increase from the previous month of December. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core in January 2020 was $523,400, while the benchmark for the same condominium in January 2021 remained close to last year's value at $518,800, a 0.9 per cent decrease.

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A total of 631 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this December, 57 per cent more than the 402 properties sold in December 2019 and a 20.6 per cent decrease from November 2020. Sales of condominiums were up 61.2 per cent from December 2019 with 195 units sold. Sales of single-family homes increased 58.6 per cent from December 2019 with 314 sold. A grand total of 8,497 properties sold over the course of 2020, 17.1 percent more than the 7,255 that sold in 2019. 2020 sales came in close to one thousand sales over the ten-year average of 7,329 properties.


“This has been an unexpected year on many levels,” says 2020 Victoria Real Estate Board President Sandi-Jo Ayers. “The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March and April quickly swept away any illusions that our normal seasonal market patterns would persist. Equally surprising was the resurgence of our market in early summer when restrictions lightened, and pent-up demand began pushing sales beyond expectations. The combination of the ongoing pandemic, historically low interest rates and a shift in consumer priorities towards properties that cater to a more home-based work / life / retirement balance resulted in record setting sales for the last several months of 2020.”


There were 1,279 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of December 2020, a decrease of 29.5 per cent compared to the previous month of November and a 34.5 per cent decrease from the 1,952 active listings for sale at the end of December 2019. This represents the lowest inventory of active listings at month-end in at least the last 25 years.


“The other side of our local story was the inventory,” adds Ayers. “We ended the year on a record low of properties available in Greater Victoria. This means that the huge demand we see for homes in our area is not being met by supply and prices are being pushed upwards as buyers vie for homes. Even historically lower-priced markets like the Highlands and the Westshore are seeing pressure as buyers adjust what suits their needs and focus on home ownership. What remains consistent is that in this complex market, your REALTOR® can help to navigate one of the biggest purchases most will make in their lifetime."


The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single-family home in the Victoria Core in December 2019 was $857,200. The benchmark value for the same home in December 2020 increased by 6.8 per cent to $915,100, slightly more than November’s value of $903,100. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core area in December 2019 was $520,100, while the benchmark value for the same condominium in December 2020 decreased by 0.9 per cent to $515,600, slightly less than the November value of $516,600.

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When you think about selling your property, do you dwell on the possible work and stress involved? You're not alone. Many homeowners share the same concerns. But it doesn't have to be that way.


In fact, there are plenty of ways to add some fun, anticipation, and even a sense of adventure to the selling process. Here are just a few ideas:

  • Plan fun things to do when your home is being shown. That can include walks, sports activities, or trying something you and your family have never done before.
  • Declutter for your own benefit. Instead of thinking about decluttering as a chore required for the sale, focus instead on how much more comfortable your home will be after decluttering. Studies consistently show that less clutter reduces stress and increases a sense of wellbeing.
  • Get everyone in your home anticipating the move in a positive way. Put pictures of your next home, including neighbourhood shots, on the fridge door. Sit together on the computer and explore your new neighbourhood's features and amenities.
  • Celebrate milestones in the selling process. For example, when you're finished preparing your property for sale, go out to celebrate. Make a checklist of milestones and how you'll celebrate each one.
  • Get the help you need. A big part of the stress of selling is the anticipated work involved. Remember, you don't have to do it all yourself. Much of what needs to be done can be handled by contractors and other professionals.

There are many other ways to make selling your home a positive and turbulent free experience. Give me a call if you'd like more ideas and suggestions.

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Your front walkway is one of the first sections of real estate a buyer will set foot on when coming to see your home. So, it makes sense to make that pathway to your front door as appealing as possible.


The obvious way is to make it as clean and clear as you can. Ensure there are no obstacles in the way, such as overhanging branches, kid's toys, or potted plants. What you want is a clear, unobstructed and pleasant walk to your main entranceway.


If your walkway needs deeper cleaning, consider a power wash. There are special detergents available that are designed specifically for stone, asphalt or cement walkways and other outdoor surfaces.


A deep cleaning isn't a major project. In most cases, the job can be done within an hour. Yet, the result can be stunning.


If you're selling in the spring or summer, another way to make your walkway look better is to add flowers or other plants along the sides. Don't overdo it. You only need a few flowers or a couple of shrubs to make a big difference.


The great thing about adding a few flowers or shrubs is the impact they can have on your entire frontage making it more attractive, and adding to your home's overall curb appeal.


Making your walkway look better may seem minor, but keep in mind that when buyers make their way to your front door, they're forming their first and often most important impression of your property. The walkway plays a small but important role in making it a good one.


Want more ideas for making your home show better, so it sells quicker and for a higher price? Call me.

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December 1, 2020  A total of 795 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this November, 37.8 per cent more than the 577 properties sold in November 2019 but 19.7 per cent fewer than the previous month of October 2020. Sales of condominiums were up 62.7 per cent from November 2019 with 262 units sold. Sales of single family homes were up 21.8 per cent from November 2019 with 375 sold.

"Once again, we've tracked an unexpectedly busy month for the Victoria area real estate market," said Victoria Real Estate Board President Sandi-Jo Ayers. "With near 800 total sales last month, we came close to the record for sales in a November - which was 892 sales in 1989."

There were 1,813 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of November 2020, 24.4 per cent fewer properties than the total available at the end of November 2019 and a 14.6 per cent decrease from the 2,122 active listings for sale at the end of October 2020.

"I expect the question on most people's minds is - how long does this last, and is this sustainable," adds Ayers. "The fact is, the market has out performed anyone's expectations in the midst of this pandemic. There is a chance we will see a slow leveling of activity over the winter - which is what we would expect seasonally. However, because of our consistently low inventory, pressure on pricing and multiple offer situations will likely continue as we remain in a demand-heavy environment."

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in November 2019 was $857,600. The benchmark value for the same home in November 2020 increased by 5.3 per cent to $903,100, a 2.7 per cent increase from the previous month of October. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core in November 2019 was $517,400, while the benchmark for the same condominium in November 2020 remained close to last year's value at $516,600, a 0.2 per cent fluctuation.

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If you’re going to be out-of-town but need to sell you home, you might be concerned about listing your property while you’re away. After all, you won’t be around to show your property, schedule viewings, consider offers, etc.


While it’s ideal that you be close to home when you’re selling, there’s no reason why you can’t list your property, even if you’re going to be out-of-town.


When it comes to communications and document sharing, technology is a wonderful thing! While you’re away, you can utilize phone, email, file sharing apps (such as Dropbox), e-signing apps (such as DocuSign) and, online meeting apps (such as Zoom).


For viewing appointments, a secure lock box (with your key inside) can be installed so buyers can be shown your property.


Even services such as staging, painting, repair work, and cleaning can be done while you’re away.


Sure, the selling process can become a little more challenging if you’re going to be out-of-town, but certainly not impossible. In fact, homes are sold all the time under these circumstances.


So, if you’re thinking of selling but worried about being away, give me a call. I’ll show you how to make it work.

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If you’re thinking about selling in the spring, don’t wait until the new year to start planning. In fact, you’ll save yourself a lot of work and get ahead of the game if you start planning now.


What’s that old saying? The early bird gets the worm! In this case, by starting the process this month, you’ll be in excellent shape when you’re ready to list in the spring.


Here are just a few examples of what you can do in December to get the process started:


• Walk your property and note any maintenance issues that need attention.


• Decide which items to stow or sell to declutter your home.


• Determine what improvements you’ll need to make in order for your home to look great to buyers (i.e. painting.)


• Find out approximately how much your property will likely sell for in the spring market.


• Clarify the kind of new home you’d like to move into, including ideal neighbourhoods.


• Look into your financing options, so you’ll know the price range you’ll be shopping within.


• Connect with any professionals you may need, such as contractors, a mover, and a real estate lawyer.


• Take advantage of any December shopping deals for products you may need, such as home improvement project materials, packing supplies, etc.


As you can see, the more prepared you are this month, the more stress-free and successful the home selling process will be for you in the spring.


And one more tip: contact me to get the conversation started about selling your home in the new year. It’s coming fast!

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November 2, 2020

A total of 990 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this October, 59.9 per cent more than the 619 properties sold in October 2019 and 0.1 per cent more than the previous month of September 2020. Sales of condominiums were up 70.8 per cent from October 2019 with 304 units sold. Sales of single family homes were up 53.1 per cent from October 2019 with 487 sold.

"Once again, another month concluded with numbers that surprised many of us," said Victoria Real Estate Board President Sandi-Jo Ayers. "Sales for October broke the record for the month and inventory continues to be snapped up quickly. Due to this high demand, low supply environment, we are seeing many multiple offer situations. Condos and single family homes both continue to be popular choices for buyers."

There were 2,122 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of October 2020, 19.7 per cent fewer properties than the total available at the end of October 2019 and an 11.2 per cent decrease from the 2,389 active listings for sale at the end of September 2020.

"We have mentioned previously the pent-up demand - how sales that were depressed over the spring because of the pandemic occurred later during the summer. These delayed sales resulted in higher than average numbers for our summer and early fall market," adds Ayers. "We may also be seeing some brought-forward demand - where people are making their future moves now. In part this may be to take advantage of lower mortgage interest rates. It may also be because of our current public health situation. Some people may be anticipating a slow down in general activity over the winter months due to the course of the pandemic and so are accelerating their plans. This may mean continued heightened sales activity through the fall and early winter, which is contrary to our normal market trend. In a normal year, we would see a tapering off of activity leading to the winter season, but thus far we have seen sustained sales and demand through October. Check in with a local REALTOR® to ascertain the to-the-minute market environment if you are considering buying or selling a property."

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in October 2019 was $859,900. The benchmark value for the same home in October 2020 increased by 2.3 per cent to $879,600, virtually the same value as listed in September. MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core in October 2019 was $512,500, while the benchmark for the same condominium in October 2020 remained close to last year’s value at $512,300, 0.3 per cent more than the September value of $510,600.

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If you need to sell your home in the next month or two, you might be worried. After all, aren’t spring and summer the ideal seasons to list your property? If you list in November or December, you might have difficulties attracting buyers and getting the best price for your home. Right?


Not necessarily.


While it’s true that spring and summer are traditionally busy periods in the realestate market, properties do sell every month of the year.


So, if you’re thinking of selling, you’ll need to know two things:


• What comparable homes are selling for at this time of year.

• How long homes are taking to sell, on average.


There might be a local seller’s market this month. That would mean there are more buyers looking for homes like yours than there are sellers. If that’s the case, your property will likely sell fairly quickly; perhaps you’ll even get multiple offers.


But, even if there’s a buyer’s market at this moment, that doesn’t mean your property won’t sell. It just means your home will need to be staged and marketed effectively to attract the right buyers and pique their interest in making an offer.


Regardless of the market, chances are, there are buyers out there looking for a home like yours. They just need to find out about it, become interested in viewing it, and be wowed when they see it.


So, don’t be too concerned about the month. If you’re ready to sell, there’s a way to make it happen.


Call me for more details.

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When you’re shopping for a new home, you probably want the property to be as “move in ready” as possible. That way, you can... well... just move in!


However, there are a lot of fantastic properties on the market that need some work. For example, you might see a home that has everything you need, but the kitchen is long overdue for a renovation. Or, you might view a property that requires a lot of repairs and painting — tasks that, at first glance, seem overwhelming.


You don’t want to just pass on a property that might be a great buy. On the other hand, you don’t want to purchase a home, only to end up with more renovations, repairs and expenses than you anticipated.


What’s the solution? Here’s an idea.


When you view a home that needs work, make a note of exactly what needs to be done. Stick to the important “must have” improvements and leave “nice to have” improvements for a later time. Chances are, you’ll identify just one or two projects — such as “paint all the walls” or “replace the countertops in the kitchen”.


Once you have that list, you’ll be in a better position to determine how long the work will likely take and the approximate cost. This will give you some needed perspective on whether or not to buy the home.


If a home you’re considering needs $15,000 in work that can probably be completed within two months, that might make the property worth buying. In fact, it probably would!


So, when you see an otherwise ideal home that needs some work, don’t let your imagination make that work into more than it is. Take notes and get estimates.

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