Blog › May 2012

New Listing # 3605 838 W HASTINGS ST, Vancouver, BC

V953536 - 3605 - 838 W Hastings Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADAView my new listing for sale at 3605 - 838 W Hastings Street, Vancouver and currently listed at 6188000.

The LARGEST PENTHOUSE at Jameson House. This sustainable building is the only residential design in North America by world renowned Foster and Partners. This unique residence offers a state of the art fully automated parking system and a sleek contemporary design. The contemporary interior is furnished by Gaggenau (German) kitchen appliances, a built-in cappucino machine, Dada (Italian) cabinets and stone tile floors throughout the penthouse. The most amazing part of this penthouse is the 1700 sf rooftop deck which is the only one of its kind in downtown Vancouver. Enjoy beautiful views of North Shore Mountains. Coal Harbour Waters and the downtown skyline from the comfort of your rooftop deck complete with a chef BBQ.

Real Estate Transaction Costs

In a real estate transaction, some costs are born by the buyer and some by the seller. This is often confusing for clients. The following, lists the responsibility of the buyer and the seller. However, sometimes through negotiations, the costs may be paid by the other party to the transaction.

The Seller is responsible for the following:

  1. Real Estate Commission
  2. Lawyer Costs for Attending to Execution of Documents
  3. Costs of Clearing Title (paying off their own mortgage and other financial encumbrances)
The Buyer normally takes care of the following costs:
  1. Inspection
  2. Appraisal (if required for financing)
  3. Insurance
  4. Property Transfer Tax (PTT = 1% on first $200k and 2% on remainder)
  5. Harmonized Sales Tax (HST)
  6. Lawyer or Notary fees
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions regarding the costs you are resonsible for in the transaction.

Market Value vs. Appraised Value

I recently had a call from a client who said he wanted to sell his home. I assumed that he was going to ask me to evaluate his home in order to determine the "MARKET VALUE" and thus a list price for his home. 

I was surprised when he told me that he had already had an appraiser in his home and that he had already determined the "MARKET VALUE" and the list price of his home!

When we met, I explained to him that although the valuation of the appraiser is valid, it sometimes may be different from the actual MARKET VALUE of a property.

We define MARKET VALUE as the price that a READY and WILLING BUYER is willing to pay a READY and WILLING SELLER at a given point in time. Whereas the appraisal is based on different criteria such as the lot value and the value of the structure of the home and any additions or renovations done to the home. Also depending on the reason for the appraisal, the criteria used by the appraiser to determine the value of a home will slightly differ.

Although often very similar, these two values might be different and therefore, if you are thinking of selling your home, it is very important to have a real estate agent evaluate your home to identify an accurate and up-to-date list price for your home.

Should I Sell Before I Buy?

More than half of the clients I work with are selling a home and buying another one at the same time when they decide to move. This always creates the question: "How should we time the two transactions to have a smooth transition?". No one wants to have to be out of their home for a few months before they find the next suitable real estate.

In my experience, the general rule is to start looking for a new home at the same time as you put your current one on the market. However, there are exceptions to this rule and there are different scenarios that can happen depending on what you are selling and what you want to buy. The market conditions in your area also play a role in this. Let me explain.

For example, if you are selling a house in an area where houses are currently selling quickly and you are looking to downsize to a condo when there are a lot of those on the market to choose from, you will probably want to start looking before you attempt to sell your house. 

On the other hand, if you know that in your market, similar real estate is selling in around 2 months and what you are looking for is flying off the shelves, you need to put your home on the market before you start looking at properties. 

The above are just examples and by no means an exhaustive list of scenarios as there are too many to mention here. But you might ask:  "How do I know what to do in my situation? How do I know the length of time it might take for my home to sell?" 

Well. These questions are all valid ones and your real estate agent can answer most if not all of them. So when selling AND buying a home at the same time, discuss the situation with your agent and together you can decide about the timing of the transactions.

How to Choose a REALTOR?

If you are like most people, your home is one of the most if not the most important asset you will have in your life. So you will want to make sure you choose the best person to either help you purchase or sell this most important asset for you. 

But how do you choose this person? The following is my personal experience and my opinion on what you should look for when looking for the perfect agent.

The most important criterion in choosing a real estate agent is trust. If there is mutual trust in this relationship, the outcome will generally be satisfactory to you as the homeowner.

If there is no chemistry between you and your agent, it will be hard to communicate and to be on the same page, which will result in frustration and poor results. You want someone who is a great communicator and is able to negotiate a great deal whether you're buying or selling.

When you establish that you like the person and they understand you, you can then move on to other factors like: 1) Their marketing strategy...2) Their reputation (don't be afraid to ask for references from past clients) and so on.

What is less important in my mind is what their commission is because you only care about how much you net out at the end of the sale and if someone with a higher commission, puts more effort and marketing budget and is therefore able to sell your real estate at a higher price for you, this will result in a higher number even after the higher commission has be deducted from the sale price. 

Choosing an agent is very important so take your time with it.