Heading into March Break holidays so the discussion is about listings during these few weeks.  We're already at historically low inventory levels so will it get worse or better this month?

It matters most to families.  If you don't have children, you're probably staying home.  I mean, why  would you book your vacation when prices are up, & holiday destinations are crowded with kids?

If you're selling, it could be great to list & leave it with your realtor to be able to show your home & not worry about tidying up for every showing.  DocuSign means we can do a deal no matter where we are so business will still get done.

On the other hand, you may think that the potential Buyers are out of town too so you won't get the market exposure you would in April, or you may be one of those who still thinks we have a "Spring" market.  It's sort of true-people like to list their homes when the weather is better, BUT schools close registration early in the year & if you're in 1 of those areas where schools are full, an earlier purchase in the school catchment is needed.

If you're a Buyer without children, it's a part time job, so the hunt continues.  If you're a Seller of a smaller condo, the Buyers are here.

My guess is listings will be down but hopefully that will bode well for April!


to get the Strata docs.  In fact, the new normal is that the listing agent provides them to the Buyer's agent prior to writing an offer.  That allows a review for any red flags prior to writing an offer.  It saves everyone time.

Typically this all goes according to plan but there are some agents who are slow to order them, which only delays the process, & most recently, I had an agent send me a few Strata documents that he'd received from his client & even required her password access!  That's a hard NO!

I've now added to my Strata documents subject "as provided by the Strata Management company".  These still have to be checked for missing paperwork, & often there is, but from the Seller-just not acceptable or reliable.


February is not looking like January-for good & badThe good is Buyers are coming back & that's reflected in the sale prices & how fast listings are selling.  The bad is that there aren't enough listings yet.

What could encourage home owners to sell?  Better headlines would be a great start.  Business in Vancouver wrote about the changing market this week.  No one is ready to call this a trend yet, but it is encouraging to see this much activity.

People are more likely to follow then lead so once word gets out that the market is warming up, I'm hopeful that Sellers will be encouraged to think about listing their homes.

Of course Sellers need something to buy too so more listings would also help.  

What areas are most active?  Vancouver, North Vancouver, & Richmond all have Buyers actively looking & buying.  A lot of the headlines refer to Greater Vancouver so important to know what's hot & what's not.


That's what it felt like this week when I set up an evening showing only to find many other Buyers there to see it  & an inspection in process.  Yes, it's a popular area, yes, it was priced just under $1million, & yes, there aren't any listings coming on.  I get it.  This was also the first time in a long time I've seen Direction of Offers with day & time.  It's February 2023 NOT 2022!

Curious to find out how many offers & how much over list for the sale price...or will it?

We won't know until next week when the Buyers' Rescission Period passes & I am curious about this one.  My Buyers decided not to write in a multiple & we also saw red flags in the structure.  What did the others notice?


Searching for new listings every day for clients in Vancouver & North Vancouver.  Days can go by without any listings in popular areas.  Buyers are still very price sensitive so if a listing is priced too high compared to recent sales, they won't be buying. 

What does this say about Sellers?  Nervous?  Haven't been able to find anything to buy?  Almost getting back to Buy First, Sell Second as it's so hard to find a new home.

Will there be a "Spring market" for listings?  Only time will tell


Yes, it's time to hit the open houses or make appointments to view homes.  Why?

You can only do so much online.  It's great for curating, eliminating homes with deal killers or getting some general information but...  you'll find when seeing homes in person, they either look better or worse than the photographs, a floorplan is everything for similar sized spaces, & you'll get a "feel" for the building, neighbours, & neighbourhood by seeing it in person.

This isn't just my opinion but also feedback from my clients who found it really made a difference to be in a home instead of looking at a home.  Try it!


Hoping we might not get another interest rate increase but of course, it's another .25%.  Comments have been that inflation is slowing so this just might be the last one in a series of increases that began last spring.  

It's definitely affected the real estate market, pushing Buyers out of affordability & also affecting homeowners coming up for renewal of their mortgages.

What happens if interest rate increases stop?  Next meeting of the Bank of Canada is March 8th & holding the line would send a message of market stability that would encourage both Buyers & Sellers and... that couldn't come soon enough!


Buyers are paying attention.  They want location, price & presentation or your home will sit on the market despite the lack of listings.

Location is out of your control but there are always Buyers for your area.

Pricing-priced realistically, a listing will attract Buyers.  I'm hearing complaints from Buyers who don't understand the list price.  I'll ask the listing agent to explain & sometimes I get a long complicated explanation comparing sales from last Spring or Summer or different types of properties (not relevant) or that it's driven by the Seller.

Too high isn't going to fly!

Presentation is up to the Seller.  When I hear complaints from Buyers going to an Open House about messy entries, clutter, needing paint, etc, I know that they didn't leave with a good impression.  We can't control how renters live, but if owner occupied, there's no excuse.

I've made beds, cleaned counters, put away clutter but that takes time.  I'm also not the housekeeper.  Most agents arrive about 10-15 minutes before the Open to get the lights on & do a quick check through the home.  It really doesn't allow time for much more.

It pays Sellers to get it right-that's why there are multiple offers.


Over almost 20 years in real estate, something that always surprises me is how little attention strata owners pay to the minutes, AGM's, & many things that will affect them.  What will get everyone's attention is a proposal for a Special Levy that has a specific $$ amount attached to it-as it should.

Insurance coverage is important & especially deductibles on insurance.  It often gets missed by owners as it doesn't have that specific $$ amount attached to it until it's time for a claim. 

Deductibles have been going up as Stratas look for ways to minimize operating costs but that will have a real financial impact on Strata owners when there is damage.

With every Strata purchase I advise Buyers a to take their policy to their insurance broker to ensure that they are not only covered for contents of their home but also for current deductibles & any improvments to the original construction.  That's Step 1!  Step 2 is to do this on an annual basis.

Pay attention & protect your investment & your wallet!


Both Buyers & Sellers need to be aware that effective January 3rd of 2023, there is a Home Buyer 3 day Rescission period.  This will be a part of all listing & sales contracts from now on.

Why?  This idea was started during our lengthy Sellers' market when Buyers had to make quick decisions under pressure when buying a property.  We're no longer in a Sellers' market but this legislation is now in place.

What does it mean?  This clause is over & above the standard subjects which are included in almost all offers now.  Buyers will be given 3 business days following final acceptance of a contract of purchase & sale to change their minds.  If they choose to do so, a fee of .25% of the agreed upon purchase price is payable by the Buyer to the Seller.  On a $1million property, that charge is $2500.

I don't see this impacting the market as Buyers have more than enough time to do their due diligence & aren't under any extra pressure in most cases, to write an offer.  There will always be exceptions but for the most part this is an FYI that we now have an extra step in the Buying & Selling process.


Took a break for a long overdue family vacation, only to test + for CoVid after escaping it for 3 years.  Too many sick people out there, no masking, & it puts us all at risk.  Luckily I didn't have much more than a dry throat but others in our group weren't so lucky.

Colds, flu, & CoVid all have similar symptoms so if you feel any of those, please take an antigen test before heading out to that office party or to visit with family & friends.  They're free at your local pharmacy.

Did much change while I was away??  one big change in BC was the elimination of both rental & age restrictions in an effort to increase housing supply.  It's a drop in the bucket compared to demand but everything helps I guess.  There haven' been rental restrictions on any buildings built from 2010 on so it only frees up homes that are older.

This also helps Sellers who are in buildings that had restrictions.  Every restriction reduces the number of Buyers & the more extreme the restrictions, the fewer the Buyers.  


As interest rates continue to go up, borrowers have to be wondering what's the best mortgage choice?  In a time of uncertainty, it's about managing risk which looks different for different people.

Historically borrowers either have chosen a variable rate mortgage where the interest rate will fluctuate or a 5 year fixed rate.  Fixed rates are most popular with those who want or need to know what their cost will be each month.

New times call for new thinking & strategies to minimize risk so maybe a 5 year at current higher rates isn't the best choice now.  A shorter term, locking in for just a couple of years, will give certainty in the short term but allow room for interest rates to come down as they have historically.

I always recommend speaking with your lender & ideally, a good mortgage broker who has more options available to lenders.  An experienced realtor will always be able to make recommendations.


Did you know that Vancouver is 1 of the fastest growing tech hubs in North America along with Montreal & Toronto?  In fact, the number of tech workers has grown more than 65% in the last 5 years.  That's the good news.

The bad news is with that kind of growth, where does everyone live?  Finding housing in Vancouver, whether to buy or rent is a big challenge.  We want to attract good paying jobs that will in turn help our economy but without housing, we often lose out.

For the past few years I've worked with physicians who want to move here for great jobs but were unable to find any affordable housing & had to turn down job opportunities.

Vancouver needs to address this with at least increasing the number & faster permitting of new rental buildings to accomodate our growth.


I know it's a low bar these days but I'm always looking for some encouraging real estate news.  This week's is mortgage appraisals are coming in to support sale prices.

One could assume that in a time of market change & conservative financial institutions, that might not be the case.

Why are appraisal prices holding?  Most Sellers & realtors have gotten realistic if they are serious Sellers.  That affects list prices & sale prices which for the most part reflect current assessed values or just below.  Yes, some homes are selling over assessed value but there is always a reason, like major improvements or more than 1 interested Buyer.


With a change in the market you may hear some terms you haven't heard before.  There was no reason to use them in a Sellers' Market.  Today, there's a better chance that Buyers can find what they want to buy but....they don't know if they can sell their home.  

What to do???  "Subject to sale of Buyer's home" is a term that we're starting to see.  There are a couple of clauses that would be used in the contract to protect both Buyer & Seller.  It's not open ended & it's specific.  Clauses would include information like the address of the home, list price, length of time allowed for a sale, a shotgun clause for the Seller should another offer come in, etc.  Your experienced realtor can explain in more detail.  I expect to see this used more often as both Buyers & Sellers try to navigate a changing market.


Who are the Sellers in this Market?

  • the usual reasons-divorce, marriage, job move, going to retirement home or assisted living, downsizing, upsizing.
  • those who think prices may drop if they wait longer & are cashing in
  • time to renew the mortgage anyway so,,,
  • people who think they can "time the market" & will sell & rent  Not recommendedWink but it's their $$

Historical sales information for a property up to 12 months prior is now available to the public on   Your agent always had access to this information to be used with clients, but it's now shown to the public & is listed under "Price History."

Sales in the last 12 months are not shown for privacy reasons as information only becomes public once listed with LTSA which can sometimes take months to register.  Another reason to work with a professional realtor who can always  provide you with sales & listing history-not always the same thing.


Homes are selling but what do Sellers need to know about Buyers if they are serious about selling their home?

  1. Buyers want move in ready homes.  Anyone with a significant mortgage is tapped out with higher interest rates so there's no money left for renos & major updates.
  2. Price it right.  Overall, I'm seeing homes priced around assessed value, & sometimes below.  Buyers are particularly sensitive around pricing, often thinking they're going to conitinue to drop.  Better to hope for a few interested Buyers than none!
  3. Presentation matters more than ever with more competition for Buyers.  Make your home look it's best.

I'm currently selling a colourful condo but....the Seller has smartly kept the colour to her accessories, art, & furniture against a neutral palette for walls & floors.  That means Buyers can move in with any style or colours that suit them without changing a thing.

Buyers can be put off by strong colours or even just colours that they dislike.  It means another step for them to try & visualize it differently, another obstacle to a possible sale so be smart about your choices.

I love people who embrace colour in their lives, but if you're thinking of selling in the next few years & it's time to paint, think carefully about where to put your favourite colours.  You can enjoy it just as much if you use artwork, pillows, & other accessories to make it your own.  Bonus-you get to take it with you!


Speaking with sellers recently, they seem to fall into a few categories:

  • hanging on to those early 2022 prices because "their home is worth it"
  • waiting for "the market to pick up"
  • watching what's going on in their neighbourhoo with similar types of homes before making decision to sell
  • listening to their experienced realtor's anaylis & recommendations

The change in the market is recent but there aren't any signs that we're going back that busy Sellers' market any time soon so the first couple of choices aren't based on any facts.

Watching the market for a while is helpful to some as Buyers figure out realistic expectations for themselves but of course, sitting with an experienced realtor will provide facts, actual recent sales & listings, days on market to sell, & more &...answer questions.  Sellers have different levels of experience & concerns so having that 1 on 1 time is very helpful.

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