Another form, another disclosure-the Disclosure of Multiple Offers Presented (DMOP)

In a multiple offer situation, if the Seller chooses to accept 1 of the offers as is usually the case, the listing agent will provide a form to all competing agents.

This information will confirm the date of the offer & which broker submitted a competing offer even if there is just 1 & also will include any from an unrepresented Buyer.  A copy will also go into the the listing agent's Brokerage.


Strata fees always get the attention of Buyers because they add to the monthly costs of owning a strata property & in the calculation of how you qualify for a mortgage.

When Buyers say "oh good, the monthlies are low", I know they don't fully understand the impact.  Low fees mean a greater chance of levies in the future as the contingency fund can't support any major expenditures.

If monthly fees are very high, we want to know why too.  

What is the right amount?  Strata fees have gone up in the last few years due to increased costs of insurance & maintenance.  On average, they are going up 8.7%/year per Condo Clear Services

Reading the Depreciation Report, Financials,  & Annual General Meeting minutes will give you more insight into the reasons for the amounts charged each month.


"Do you need a garage with this $13million home?"

Everything else was a go-it ticked a lot of boxes for my Buyers but...even though street parking is the norm in this part of town, it's not for everybody.  It's especially difficult if you're used to living in a condo where parking is part of the package & is expected.  There isn't anywhere else to park!

So what is the real question?  What's reasonable to expect from a home based on price?  What are you willing to trade off to get all the other home features that you want?  What concerns might you have about buying a home with an obvious drawback for other future buyers?


Of course they do but not for the reason you may think.  In real estate, there are a few holidays that impact sales.  We're experiencing one right now.

Historically the first week or even 2 of July are slower as people use that extra day to tag onto their vacation time.  it's also the beginning of summer for kids who are out of school so a good time for families to take their summer vacation.

Don't worry, it picks up again but this part of the year is always a little quieter.


Those fixed interest rates were going up on mortgages.  Did you think they only went up when the Bank of Canada announced a rate hike?  You're not alone.

This recent rate increase only affects variable rate mortgages & those who have them have seen their payments skyrocket.  However...

Fixed rates which are tied to the bond market have taken a few increases over the last couple of weeks.  That affects anyone wanting to purchase a home with a fixed rate mortgage which is everyone these days!  If you have a rate hold, you're good for that period of time (up to 120 days typically) to close at that lower rate.  Anything after that will go the new current rate.

Work with a professional to stay in the loop & understand these changes & how they could affect you.


That's the relationship between interest rates & listings it seems.  The higher the interest rates are, the less likely homeowners are to leave their lower interest rate mortgages on their current homes.

What about the relationship between interest rates & Buyers?  If they go high, Buyers may decide to wait & see if the prices go low, or at least lower.

Interesting times & new territory.


How does that work??  With the limited inventory in most markets, pressure is put on price by Buyers.  We continue to see & experience multiple offers at many price points, not just at the lower end of the market.  It only takes 2 to go multiple!

If there's so much interest why aren't sales up you may ask but we cannot sell what isn't for sale.  It's partly the cycle of Buyers won't sell if they can't find something to buy combined with homeowners sitting on very low mortgage rates who cannot afford the increased costs of a new mortgage if they're moving up the housing ladder.

What's next?  More of the same until inventory increases or the number of Buyers declines.


Interest rate hike today to cool off the surging real estate market.  Hmmm

One of the reasons the market is so active is that yes, there are Buyers but for very few listings.  Why so few listings?  One reason is homeowners sitting on mortgages with very low interest rates.  Now they're even lower in comparison & even less likely to move.

Look for even more activity from Buyers as they strive to use up their rate holds before they expire.  It could take a while to see the impact.


Headlines recently about how it's getting more & more expensive to be a real estate investor.  What's an investor?  A person or company who decides to buy real estate for the purpose of leasing or renting it out.

Rising financing costs place a bigger burden on the owner who will be looking for bigger rents to offset those costs.  Bad news for renters but it's always a question of supply & demand that sets price in the end.  It can only be what the market will bear.

In Vancouver it has always been a challenge to cover operating costs & money was made on the lift when the real estate was sold.  There's more attention now on rising costs as owners have been hit with costs of entry, operating costs (maintenance fees in the case of condos), insurance in the case of single family homes, & in the case of older buiildings, the costs of repairs & replacements.  

So we have rapidly rising costs for most landlords but rent controls with existing tenants which doesn't come close to offsetting them.

When a clients wants to know about investing in real estate, this is the information I share.  Investors must be clear on the short & long term costs & benefits to make a decision that makes sense for them


Rising prices are making Sellers happy-no surprise there.  Sellers are Buyers usually though so they may feel the pain when buying.  

Another group that is getting happier & not so obvious, is those homeowners renewing their mortgages.  Why?  When prices dropped during all the interest rate hikes, it often ate up the equity in a home.  Traditional lenders want a minimum of 20% equity so now that prices are coming back, it should put a smile on this group's faces.


They say location counts in real estate but it's also timing to max out the price on the sale of your home.

You may have heard of the "Spring Market" & historically that has been a great time to sell, but what about the other months of the year if you can't make it happen in Spring.

A recent study was released showing the relative benefits of selling during the calendar year.  This data was tracked over 11 years & more than 46 million houses & condos.  There will always be local differences but overall it's a trend that's our best barometer of selling for the most & maybe for Buyers, times to avoid if they can.  Read more about this here.


We've always heard that there's a "spring market" in real estate going back years when families bought in the spring so that they could move & their children could be registered for school in time for September.

Depending on where you live there could be other peak selling times too but the most comprehensive report has recently been released from Attomdata.  It analyzed 51 milion sales of houses & condos in the US over 11 years & found that Sellers got the highest premium on sale price during these months:

May 12.8%

June 10.7%

April 10.3%

Every market is a little different but it does show a general trend that's hard to argue based on their data.  Not surprisingly, the price premium declines in the last few months of the year.


Vancouver is always a crazy market, often an anomaly compared to the rest of the country but as we sit in our Sellers' market (as of the latest April stats), we find that we're not alone.  In fact, most of the country's major urban centres are in the same position.  We simply don't have anough housing to meet the demand.

Major change I'm seeing in these recent stats is the number of days that a listing is on the market, usually in the 1-2 week range.  That means Buyers are out there & looking at listings at the first opportunity.  It's a "snooze, you lose" situation for Buyers.  

There will still be overpriced listings that will take longer to sell but for the most part, Sellers are pricing sharply to attract Buyers which usually means a fast sale.


We read the headlines that the "luxury" real estate market is doing well but what does luxury mean?  One person's idea of luxury isn't another's.

Luxury in the hottest & most expensive real estate markets is quite different from other markets.  Sotheby's, in a recent article on the luxury market uses the $4million mark but I would push it higher.  Why higher?  Too many homes on the West Side hit $4million, even for just lot value.  Of course it depends on lot size & type of home too.  A $4million home on a 33ft lot might be quite nice but on a 40 ft lot, could just be lot value.

Maybe the criteria should be a number that a reader would instantly know represents a certain type of home.  Maybe that "luxury" number should be more like $7-8million.


So why wouldn't Sellers do that?  Sellers sometimes get it backwards & instead of investing in the presentation of their home, they leave it vacant to save money.  

That means no great first impression when Buyers walk in the door.  That also  means the realtor has to try to provide ideas for furniture layout, furniture choices, & space planning when a good staging company could have done all of that.

Even if a property goes to multiple offers, the sale price will always be better with a great presentation.  It will attract more Buyers & get more of those Buyers interested in paying top dollar.

It works every time-Buyers need the visual!


When the March stats were released last week, there was a lot of doom & gloom around the difference in number of sales versus a year ago.  In fact I was contacted by Buyers thinking there must be some deals.

Unfortunately no.  What those stats didn't tell readers was that we're actually in a Sellers' market in many areas of Vancouver.  Both East & Westside Vancouver, North Van & Richmond all showed sales that were 30-58% of listings available.  The few areas that weren't a Sellers' market were balanced markets at around 20% of listings selling.

Very different information for Buyers & Sellers.  If they read the headlines, they could assume it's not worth listing their homes & for Buyers, deals must be available.

What's more important-the stats or current & local information?  I think we all know the answer & an experienced realtor will know the stats that matter.


I recently receveived a thank you email from a client & she included "and you make real estate fun".  

I wasn't sure what she meant as I'm not making jokes or any of the obvious "fun" stuff so what was I doing to make it fun, or at least fun for them when currently real estate is far from fun.  With very low inventories, real estate can be boring, frustrating, disappointing, & stressful,

  • I'll go out with clients to view homes they've requested, even when I know they won't like them
  • there is no pressure to write an offer.  This is their decision to make based on the good information I can provide with my experience in the business.
  • I view homes through their eyes & needs-not mine.
  • we share the emotions of finding the right home
  • we're out there for as long as it takes

and..there IS always something to laugh about!


I love working with first time Buyers.  Some realtors may think the first time Buyer budget isn't worth the effort but I really enjoy working with them.  Why?

  1. because it's their first home, they're enthusiastic, not cynical
  2. they're usually very flexible-they know they have to be to buy within budget
  3. they're energetic & willing to get out there for as long as it takes

Because I'm a parent too, I bring a bit of that with me.  If I wasn't a realtor, I'd want my kids working with someone who goes the extra mile to explain everything in detail, to point out the potential pitfalls, & generally ensure they're make a good decision both short & longterm.  I don't mind the parents coming too for that final stamp of approval.  That's important!


Sign of the times is that quite a few investment properties, mostly condos, have been put on the market.  Investors can't raise rents to offset large increases in operating costs & the resale market is pretty strong.  Some are choosing to cash in and/or cut their losses.

The bad news for renters is that these homes are being sold to Buyers who want to occupy them.  With tenants in place at below market rents, there isn't much incentive for investors to buy.

If you're a Buyer purchasing a property to move into, there are rules that must be followed to give proper time & notice to the current tenants may not have a home ready to move into.

Your realtor should know the protocols required but it doesn't hurt to familiarize yourself by going to the government website  where it's clearly laid out.

Timing is everything so when submitting an offer, it's important to find out if the tenant is month to month & the dates.  Usually tenancy runs from the first of every month, so the Buyer must ask the Seller (landlord) to give notice prior to the next 1st of the month & provide 2 months notice.  This is done with Subject Removal.

Once those dates are established, the Buyer knows the Possession date for moving in which will then be in the Contract of Purchase & Sale.  There is a form that the Buyer's agent must submit confirming the names of the Buyers & that they will be moving in, not assuming tenancy.  That authorizes the Seller to give proper notice to the tenants.

If any of this is missed, it can create problems for everyone involved.  Be smart & get informed, both as a Seller & Buyer.


If you're going through Strata documents when buying into a Strata!

Yes, more about those Strata docs.  There can be a lot to read or not, depending on the age & size of the Strata.  What is important is to ensure that all the documents, typically in a 2 year period are there.  That means cross referencing minutes, making notes while reading, & generally playing detective.

Sometimes, Strata minutes or something else may be missing & can simply be human error.  It happens! It's not intentional, but there may be something of value in that missing information, so it's important that the file is complete.

It can also occur when the listing agent relies on the owner to provide the copies.  That's unusual as a professional agent will order all from the Management company, as is required for the Form B, but it does happen.

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