Resistance To Change And Compliance Delay

Last month’s update dealing with “municipal wisdom” and “urban planning” drew a number of comments; some at variance with my opinions and some in sync. I was pleased to have prompted these responses and initiated some well considered  discussion. To one responder: no, I am not being paid by any North Shore council, but do believe that credit in some of these issues is warranted. Yes, densification is an interesting concept and can elicit strong opinions. I stand by what I wrote then and, if you didn’t see it, please visit that Update on my website OnTopOfTheMarket.ca – no, I haven’t edited anything I said before 😉 Change is always resisted by some.
I would like to talk about another change that is affecting home owners – this one legislated at the BC provincial level. I refer to the introduction over the past few years of Depreciation Reports. This affects those who own (or one day will  own) Strata property. Predominantly condo apartments and town homes, the strata councils of which must initiate a process whereby the owners decide exactly when and with who’s assistance these reports will be done. In its simplest form this is a long range budget created by the residential development concerned, after itemizing all depreciable assets. It assigns a “usable life” to each asset and prioritizes a timeline for the refurbishment and or replacement of these. sensible  owners, generally through the governance of their councils, have been doing a version of this over the years. The process has now been formalized and a Depreciation Report will have to be provided to a prospective buyer in the same way as monthly minutes, bylaws and financial statements are currently provided. Those wanting more info, visit rem.ax/SCBQw9 [Guide12:Strata Property Act]
Significant implication: While not having exact figures on this, I’m going to go out on a limb and say I’d guess that on our North Shore, the residential developments affected fall into two camps. Those who have completed the process and have a  Depreciation Report (estimate, say, 35%) and the others (estimate, say, 65%) who range from “not yet started” to “almost completed”. Remember, these numbers are just an educated guess. This is significant because the lack of this document when selling can result in a diminished offering price or, worse still, be  a significant impediment to sale! Call/ e-mail me if you have any questions.

May 2014 Podcast

North Shore Real Estate Radio

On an ongoing basis I pledge both my continued personalized service and a commitment to my reduced  business ecological “footprint”. A significant part is the radio (podcast) library which I’m continually creating.

All North Vancouver Real Estate “Updates”, reports and information articles, checklists etc. will be archived on my website and available for download or desktop listening 24/7. You can access the information you seek when the spirit moves and not when someone pushes yet another flyer into your mailbox. I am most excited about these developments. Input as to the topics for “programming” you feel would be of interest is strongly sought. Please e-mail. This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it or call me 604 988-7368 and 1-800-665-1455.

Click on the “Podcast” Icon in the top right of this article to listen now.

May 2014 Numbers

And now to our April figures for 2014 in comparison to 2013. North Van detached homes sold are up 17% from last year, attached (t/hses) up from last year by 11% and apartments up 17%. The detached average price is up 11% and inventory is down by 14% from 2013. Average prices unchanged (t/hses) and up 2% for (apts). Inventory (t/hses) 121 vs.141 down from April 30th 2013 and (apt) up13% from last year for the same date.
In West Van, detached number of sales YTD for 2014 is now up by 29% from Apr  2013. Average price of what has sold is up 6% from last year and inventory now down 12% from Apr 30th 2013. On the condo side – attached (t/hses) sold 2014 are up from 2013 at 24 vs. 20 units with a 6% increase in average price. Active listings are down year over year from Apr 30th 2013 by 17% (48 vs. 58). Apartments reflect 51 sold in 2014 vs. 49 in 2013 with average price up 15% from Apr 30th 2013 and active listings 3% down from Apr 30th 2013.

Selecting A Real Estate Agent

Selecting A Real Estate Agent

The Agent brings the market to you. The market decides the price.

The right Agent is the one who knows the market and can get you the best price possible – not the one who promises you the highest price just to get you to list with them!
Many of the same questions, hesitations and strategies connected with seeking out professional assistance in any field – whether you’re looking for a doctor, dentist, lawyer or accountant – come into play when you’re selecting a real estate agent.

Some people find an agent through a family member or friend. This is often a reliable approach. However, you might not always find the most compatible assistance this way. In a transaction as important and intensive as buying and selling a home, that can be critical.

A referral from a family member or friend doesn’t guarantee a perfect match. Just think of something as simple as a movie or restaurant recommendation. Your close friends rave about a new Chinese food place downtown – so you check it out. Could this possibly be the same restaurant they were describing? Mediocre service. No chopsticks. Bland flavors. It’s the same restaurant. Same cook. Same waiters. Just different perceptions.

Regardless of how you get an agent’s name, it might be worth interviewing at least a couple before you make a final decision – or at least arming yourself with some criteria to go over with any agent who has been recommended to you.

A few things to look for:

If you’re looking for an agent to list your home, be wary of anyone who suggests they can get an unreasonably high sales price. An agent might use a high listing price to secure a contract, only to seek a lower price later, after little traffic is generated at the initial price level.

Meanwhile, you’ve lost what can be the most critical time period in selling a home – the first weeks immediately after it’s listed.

Check on experience and productivity. As with most professions, experience pays in real estate.Experienced agents know the market and the marketing process. They’ll have the best chance of quickly and smoothly helping you to buy or sell your home.

The number of transactions an agent is handling monthly or yearly is going to give you an indication of how committed the agent is to the profession. Is the agent a part-timer who’s just dabbling in real estate sales – or is the agent a full-time professional whose livelihood depends entirely on an ability to successfully and repeatedly close real estate transactions?

Does the agent know the market ?

Is the agent part of a national network? This can be especially important if you’re selling in one city in preparation of moving to another. Your selling agent can refer you to a professional,compatible agent in your destination city – and keep in close contact with that agent so both your selling and buying efforts are closely coordinated. It is no secret that Re/Max sells more North Shore property than any other realty company; many of those buyers coming directly from Re/Max agents in other geographic locations.

And a final point: Does the agent seem primarily interested in sharing expertise and market knowledge in an honest and straightforward manner? Or does the agent seem more interested in telling you what you want to hear ? Or worse still are they getting you to sign up with them just to pass you off to an assistant who will deal with the “trivia” of actually selling your home ? The worst time to secure the services of a “yes-man” or an agent who seems to have too many irons in the fire is when you’re entering a transaction involving something as important as your home. You need straightforward, reliable information – even if it’s not necessarily flattering – regarding the home you’re selling – or very encouraging regarding a home you think you might want to buy.

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