There are two trends impacting real estate photography that you should know about if you’re thinking of selling this year.


First, more than ever before, buyers are relying on pictures to decide whether or not to schedule a viewing. They expect to be able to go online and “tour” your home via the photography. If they don’t form a good impression of your home from the pictures, they may quickly lose interest in your listing.


Second, everyone is a photographer these days! Most people have phones with cameras, and many think they can take a decent picture.


Unfortunately, taking a “decent picture” isn’t good enough.


Your listing photos need to accomplish a lot. They must:


- give buyers the information they need: room sizes, layout, views, property details, etc;

- showcase the most enticing features of your home;

- communicate the functionality, spaciousness and style of each room;

- provide a sense of what it’s going to be like to live there; and, much more.


In short, listing photos need to help sell your property. When you consider that these pictures are often the first look-see buyers get of your home, you can appreciate how important they are.


So, don’t leave listing photos to chance. There is an art and science to taking them.


Think of it this way. If better listing photos encourage just five percent more buyers to schedule a viewing, that could result in a faster sale at a higher price.


By the way, I’m well-versed in the best practices of taking great listing photos. Call me for more information.

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Is it really possible to improve your kitchen’s look for about the cost of a takeout gourmet dinner with the family?


Obviously you’re not going to be able to do anything major, such as replace the cabinets within that budget. But, there are many surprisingly low-budget ways to spruce up the kitchen. Here are a few ideas:


• Do you have old cabinets? You’d be surprised how much newer they can look simply by replacing the knobs and/or handles. Pick a colour that blends, rather than contrasts, with the cabinets.


• Does your sink have a few stains? That’s not unusual! There are special cleaning products available to get out the toughest stains without damaging or scratching the sink’s finish.


• Lighting can have an enormous impact on the look and feel of a space, particularly the kitchen. Experiment with new lighting ideas. Try different bulb wattages. Consider a new lighting fixture that looks good and distributes the light more pleasantly.


• Often you don’t need to upgrade anything – you just need to do a little redecorating. Consider new window coverings. Declutter to create a greater sense of space. Play with such design touches as placing trendy cookbooks on the counter, adding a plant, or putting an attractive fruit basket on the counter.


Sure, depending on your choices, some of these ideas may cost you more than $100. However, any of these low-budget improvements can make your kitchen look considerably more attractive.


You’ll notice the difference. And, if you’re selling, so will buyers.

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“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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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.