FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

If you have a question about buying or selling real estate in Vancouver, check below for brief answers to many common questions. Don’t see your question covered?

QUESTIONS ABOUT THE REAL ESTATE MARKET


Fun Real Estate Questions


Q; Can you sell my tree house?
A: NO

Q; Can my dog come and see the house?
A: If sniff test matters YES

Q: Do you have to use the septic tank on site?
A: Do not have to ..



Fast Growing Markets - squamish 


Who is moving in? People who can work remotely — or who are prepared to do the commute — are choosing Squamish for the lifestyle. The gap you could buy here and what you could buy in the city is now closed. Affordability is not the factor. It is the lifestyle.

Out-of-province buyers making a move to Squamish.

As always, lifestyle changes precipitate moves as well, such as divorce. Worth noting the loss of long-time Squamish residents who are leaving: some who have been priced out of the local market, but others who are chasing the next Squamish.

What is available in Squamish ?



What To Look For In a Realtor…..Part One



You’re about to undertake one of life’s biggest stressors – you’re buying (or selling) a home – and each endeavour comes with its own particular set of parameters and challenges. It’s going to take experience and skill to successfully navigate this process, ensuring that your property sells for top dollar; or that you get everything you want in a home, for the best price that the market can yield. So just because you have a friend who has a friend who knows an agent, or your mom’s neighbour’s daughter just got her real estate license…..slow down just a minute. This is going to be an incredibly important and impactful relationship. You owe it to yourself to make sure it’s a perfect fit. Due diligence is an absolute prerequisite, so let’s talk dos and don’ts.

First of all, we weren’t kidding when we said “relationship”. And no, you’re not going to marry this person – but you are going to trust them with one of the biggest decisions you’ll ever make. When you engage in any kind of relationship, chemistry plays a big role. Don’t forget, this is the person who will – or at least should – guide you through the big issues like broad-based market advice, neighbourhoods, pricing, financing, marketing, negotiating; along with the details that might even include moving boxes and pizza on the day. Sound like it’s getting personal? It is, and you aren’t going to share that much with someone who isn’t relatable and real.

Ultimately, there’s a lot to be said for the good old “gut” feeling. While it’s expected that you employ logic when making a decision of this type – for example checking out the potential agent’s reviews and referrals – it’s always important to honour that sixth sense. Some call it “blink” – the first impression that tells you what someone is all about. And while most agents today have access to mind-boggling technology, at the end of the day it takes another human to understand you and your goals. Take the time to find someone you can respect and trust.

The best agents will also have access to a solid network of professionals to support your process. Do you need to talk to a mortgage broker? Here’s a good one. Will you require the involvement of any trades (painter, plumber, electrician) to prepare for sale or bring the new one up to your dream standards? Done. Staging? Check. Photoshoot? Booked. Home inspection? Here’s your guy. You need to be able to trust that your realtor will advise, recommend and walk you through every step of buying, selling, or both.

As a realtor, my hyper-local involvement with the Vancouver real estate industry has afforded me the opportunity to build a career in one of the most demanding yet rewarding markets in North America. There’s a reason that Vancouver ranks so highly in the Top 100 Best Cities in the World (No. 34), and I consider myself incredibly fortunate to play a part in promoting this vibrantly beautiful city and its scene. Vancouver is my home, and I’m always proud to share and stand behind my ‘Being There’ philosophy – it aligns with all of the points listed above and accurately represents me, both as a person and an industry professional.

Check out Part 2 of our blog for further insights on finding the right realtor for you.


To Pick A Realtor….Part two




In Part 1, we talked about some of the key components to be aware of when selecting the right real estate agent for you. In Part 2, we explore the topic a little more.

By now, it’s clear that a dynamic and successful realtor/client relationship tends to be more than strictly business, since you will likely be opening up your life to this individual and sharing some personal elements. But whether it’s business or pleasure – at the end of the day, finding a “good” person means finding someone with strong core values that align with yours. This means working with an individual who plays by the same rules that you do. If telling the truth is one of them, you want to work with an agent who will be honest with you.

It’s vitally important to partner with an agent who “understands” you. We all arrive at the buying/selling crossroads differently. Whether it’s upsizing, downsizing, dealing with a divorce, a death in the family, or a joyful event like a pregnancy, everyone’s story is different, and your agent needs to have compassion and patience with your circumstances. Your agent interview provides you the opportunity to establish whether this person has the same outlook on life as you do. Do they listen? Communicate clearly? Ask the right questions?

When working with a realtor, one of the first questions to ask yourself is “Does my realtor have MY best interests at heart?” If you’re upfront and transparent about your needs and expectations, and an agent still isn’t bringing you the right options, they may not be working for you, but for themselves and their own benefit. Don’t ever be afraid to move on if the relationship doesn’t feel right.

Do your research. Can this agent offer adequate support? In order to receive the high level of customer service that you deserve and considering that most successful agents are working with more than one client at a time, it’s important to establish that your dream realtor has a team to help navigate the complicated logistics of buying or selling a home. You don’t want to be the one who fell through the cracks.

It goes without saying that having a strong track record is compulsory. Great agents don’t simply show up out of nowhere – they have spent a long time perfecting their craft and building a track record that attracts quality inventory. Don’t be afraid to interview multiple agents before making a decision, focus on neighbourhood expertise and the ability to be hyper-local. And of course, a great referral goes a long way. In spite of the technology involved in buying and selling a home, finding the right realtor is still a human-to-human choice. If another homeowner can strongly recommend a great agent who specializes in your preferred neighbourhood, that alone ticks many of the right boxes.

When all is said and done, your dream realtor should have the credentials, experience and skills we have discussed. With 10+ years in the industry, my mindset, motto and brand – “Being There” – are fully reflected in every real estate transaction I undertake. As a proud member of the REMAX Hall of Fame, I would be happy to share my unique insights on property buying and selling in beautiful Vancouver.

DOWNSIZING?

Suddenly... life has changed you yet again – your wants, your needs, your expectations. Factors such as age, retirement, family dynamics, an empty ‘nest’, medical concerns, financial issues, may have come to roost, prompting you to consider the potential benefits of downsizing your living quarters. ‘Downsizing’ is a specialized division of the real estate sales and relocation process and Michael Tudorie is a highly respected specialist within it. He educates and assists clients with all transitional logistics – being there from the proper preparation for sale of your current home, to assisting in the selection of a need-fitting new one. And, as needed, Michael can also be there with his team of bonded professionals to help a la carte or as a one-stop-solution for your big move.



OFFERS, NEGOTIATION & CLOSING THE SALE

When I find a home I like, how do I make an offer?
When you’re buying a home, making an offer can be a make it or break it moment. Your real estate agent should sit down with you to cover all the possibilities while you prepare the offer. Besides assessing the seller’s background and objectives for selling, as well as valuation information such as recent sales, you’ll want to account for any specific contractual contingencies that are unique to your area and desired property. Check out our home buyer’s guide to offers and negotiations.

What happens once I submit my offer?
After submitting an offer, we will likely need to negotiate! Price may be one factor but also open for negotiation are deposit, inclusions, dates for completion, possession and subject removals. We will ensure you know your budget and requirements prior to submitting your offer so you don’t commit to additional costs in the heat of the moment. Read our blog post to learn what the potential responses to your offer could be, and how to move on to the next steps in the buying process.

What happens if my offer is accepted?
Once both parties come to an agreement, the offer is considered “accepted” and the buyer will have a set period of time in which to satisfy the legal conditions (“subjects”) agreed to in the contract, such as completing a satisfactory home inspection report or securing financing. Only after all subjects are removed do you have a legally binding document.

What does the subject removal timeline look like? What are the steps in the process?
The subject removal is aperiod of time in which the buyer works to satisfy the conditions (“subjects”) listed on the accepted offer for a particular property. A typical subject removal period in Vancouver is 5 to 7 business days long. There are also subject-free offers, two-day subject removals, two-week subject removals and others; which depend on how the real estate market is, and how many other offers you’re competing with. Putting subjects in an offer is a safety net for buyers as it allows them to do their due diligence. If the buyer is satisfied they would proceed to “remove subjects” and pay the deposit so that the deal becomes firm.

Do I need a home inspection?
A home inspection is a visual examination of the conditions of the major systems of the home. Its goal is to identify and report on any existing major problems. A typical inspection takes about 2-3 hours to complete depending on the size and the complexity of the home. The home inspection will be accompanied by a written report that documents the inspector’s observations. The home inspection is designed to minimize risk, note eliminate it. The inspection report is just one of the factors to consider when making your final decision.

What happens if I don’t do a home inspection?
In today’s real estate market it is not uncommon for people to forgo a home inspection in order to make their offer more appealing, especially when there are multiple offers. If the property is expecting multiple offers a buyer may decide to do a pre-inspection to ensure they are confident in satisfying that condition before writing an offer. Home inspections help avoid unexpected and expensive problems – without it, you’re relying on sellers who may not disclose everything that’s wrong with the home or who genuinely may not know.

What should I do in preparation for the home inspection?
Both the buyer and the seller have things to do in preparation for a home inspection. For one, the buyer should choose a home inspector that is a member of the Canadian Association of Home and Property Inspectors (CAHPI) and be prepared to review the findings of the inspector report. The seller should provide unimpeded access to various parts of the home, ensure pets are locked up or removed during the inspection, and provide details of any previous major repairs/additions/renovations.

What is the difference between completion and possession?
The closing or completion date is the date that ownership and title to the home are transferred along with the payment of funds from the buyer’s lawyer/notary to the seller’s lawyer/notary. The possession date is the date the buyer is entitled to take physical possession of the home (when you get your keys!). Learn more about closing the sale.

What happens on the completion day?
On completion day, legal ownership of ythe seller’s property will be transferred to the buyer. The seller’s lawyer or notary will receive funds for the sale from the buyer’s lawyer or notary, and will provide the seller with a statement of adjustments. This list itemizes all costs payable at completion, including legal fees, taxes and other completion costs. Finally, funds will be used to discharge the seller’s mortgage, if applicable, with any remaining proceeds transferred to the seller in the form of a bank draft.

What are my potential closing costs?
Here are a few things that should be added to your overall budget as you plan for a home purchase: property transfer tax, property tax adjustment, mortgage loan insurance, appraisal fees, land survey, deposit, property insurance, title insurance, legal fees, GST, home inspection fee, and more. Learn more about the 12 hidden costs of buying a home.

As a rough rule of thumb, you should set aside 1.5-2% of the purchase price to take care of all the costs associated with closing the deal on your new home.

What do I do when there are multiple offers?
In a high-demand, low inventory market like Vancouver, you may find yourself bidding against other potential buyers. Some sellers will list their homes at a low price hoping to stimulate multiple offers. In order to help our clients avoid potentially overpaying, or missing out on a home they really want, we need to ensure the offer is strategic, competitive and reflective of what you are ultimately willing to pay for the property. During a competitive market we suggest the following to increase the chances of your offer being accepted:

Consider having a home inspection prior to offer submission.
In cases where there is a strata, the strata documentation needs to be read carefully and reviewed by the buyer and Resident Experts or your realtor.
Secure pre-approval of financing and determine if a bank appraisal is required.
Secure a bank draft for the deposit amount to accompany the offer.
Prepare a letter and photo of you and your family to present along with your offer. (We’ve found that helping to connect with the seller will often put you in a more favorable position.) Don’t knock it. IT WORKS!

Property tax in bc and more



Few things are guaranteed in life and taxes is one of them. Local, provincial or federal governments always seem to find a way to tax more. Recent elections promises, not in any party official party's platforms, was property taxes. Three major discussion during fall election were about taxing speculators who sell a home less than a year after purchase ( eliminate flipping ), taxing foreign buyers ( even more then they are, see below tax brackets) and tax sellers on capital gains.

The ladder I have a problem with as many people would because a property is the nest egg for many people or way to retirement. So, if you purchased a home to live in 20-30 years ago and now it's value went up multi-fold should be punished ? Like it's not enough the amount of local taxes need to pay, not based on purchase price but, on today's property assessed value. Could you appeal the tax bill ? Someone needs to pay for roads, water systems or government salaries. Contact David for any tax questions before it's too late propertytaxman@gmail.com

There are different land forms in GV which have different tax structure

  1. Residential makes up 51% of land in GV
  2. Commercial 3%
  3. Industrial 8%
  4. Institutional 8%
  5. Utility 5%
  6. Recreational space 5%
  7. Streets 20%

What are some property taxes every property owner should know or to expect if and when consider buying or selling. Please feel free to contact me to learn more what to expect before consider acquiring a second property, a vacation , investment property or any other tax implication.

What is BC’s “school tax”?

Unlike the new Speculation Tax and Foreign Buyers’ Tax, the school tax, starting in 2019, will be an additional tax applying to most high-valued residential properties in the province, including:

  • Detached homes
  • Stratified condominium or townhouse units
  • Most vacant land

The additional tax rate is:

  • 0.2% on the residential portion assessed between $3 million and $4 million
  • 0.4% tax rate on the residential portion assessed over $4 million
  • For example, if you owned a $4M home in Vancouver you would pay an additional $2,000 in property taxes

How much is the property transfer tax in BC? 

The property transfer tax rate in BC is: 1% on the first $200,000, 2% on the portion of the fair market value greater than $200,000 and up to and including $2,000,000, 3% on the portion of the fair market value greater than $2,000,000, and if the property is residential, a further 2% on the portion of the fair market value greater than $3,000,000 (effective February 21, 2018).



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Michael Tudorie

Mobile: (604) 910-7777

Phone: (604) 737-8865

michael@michaeltudorie.com

Office Info

RE/MAX Select Properties

5487 West Boulevard   Vancouver,  B.C.  V6M 3W5 Canada 

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