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A New Approach to Real Estate – VictoriaHomes.com

There’s nothing worse than a pushy salesperson, especially when it comes to finding a home. Packing, moving, and cleaning house can be an emotional experience, and you need someone in your corner whose only motivation is to make your life easier.

At VictoriaHomes.com, we do things differently. Our only goal is to be a resource for you when it comes to putting together a winning offer, marketing your house to qualified buyers, and connecting you with exceptional people. We’ll educate you on the Victoria market, negotiate on your behalf, and make sure the transition is smooth and seamless until the keys are in your hands. Also, because we’re connected in the home and renovation industry, we’ve got trustworthy construction companies willing to give us contractor rates on supplies and labour on any service or trade you need!

 

What makes a VictoriaHomes.com agent different?

Let’s say the average agent in Victoria sells about 5-6 houses a year, most of them in the busy Spring season.

You’re shopping for a home in late December, when your Realtor hasn’t sold a home in a few months, and is feeling the pressure of mortgage payments, Christmas gifts, and is looking ahead to an equally dry January and February.

You find a home you like, and ask your Realtor if they think you should write up an offer.

 

What are they going to say…?

 

This is the situation many people find themselves in, and it’s one of the main reasons why clients love VictoriaHomes.com. Because our agents have a full calendar of appointments (booked by our in-house sales team), and don’t have the overhead of a traditional office, our Realtors don’t feel that same need to force every sale through regardless of the cost to our clients.

This means that the VictoriaHomes.com agent that you’re working with is incentivized to provide you with a high level of service, instead of being forced to pursue the few sales a regular agent gets per year. Our team is there to be a resource for you to find your dream home, not turn you into a quick sale. We also have a full team working on your behalf, with a transaction coordinator and concierge manager supporting your Realtor during your sale, each with a specialized role to make your experience as seamless as possible.

 

We’d be honoured to show you how we’re different, and answer any questions you might have!

 

For more information, or to speak with one of our agents, call us at 250-294-MOVE (6683), or visit us on our website or on Facebook here!

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The First Step: Market Education

In today’s market, with limited inventory and an increasing number of buyers and investors, it’s essential to set yourself up for success, and the #1 thing buyers forget is market education.

 

Market education is the initial stage of the buying process, and in real estate market education looks like window shopping! Market education is about touring the neighbourhoods you’d prefer to buy in and getting a feeling for what to expect.

Look at homes in price ranges above and below what you can afford, and get an idea for what sorts of features you can expect for your budget.

 

This is something most agents forget to recommend to clients, but we think this process will do a few things for you:

 

  • Build Confidence.

    By getting out and viewing properties for the purpose of education, you’ll build a knowledge base that allows you to recognize which properties offer real value, and which are overpriced. You won’t have to take our word for it, you’ll be able to recognize that golden opportunity yourself!

  • Be Prepared to Move Quickly.

    We can’t count the number of times a client has taken the night to think about a property, only to find out that it’s already been sold when they decide to submit an offer. By educating yourself in the market, you’ll recognize a deal when you see one, and be ready to submit an offer.

  • Buy with Certainty.

    Doing your research beforehand gives you the opportunity to fine tune your criteria, exposes you to options you wouldn’t have considered, and ensures you buy a home that meets your needs. It’s important to check out a house or two that aren’t your style as well – finding out what you don’t like is just as important as finding out what you love.

 


Market education can be as short as a single afternoon, or can take several weeks. The amount of time it takes depends on your personality, but the important thing is that you feel confident, educated, and ready for the next step.

 

We love showing homes, and are more than happy to take you through the market research process! Give us a call and we’ll take an afternoon to check out a few homes, and find out what you like, and what you dislike.

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Why Do I Need a Buyer’s Agent?

Having the right people in your corner is important in most industries, but perhaps none more so than real estate. As a buyer, having an experienced professional representing your interests can be the difference between submitting a winning offer and losing out on a property.

That being said, there are several options available to you if you decide to buy a house.

 

Call the Listing Agent

If you don’t have a buying agent, simply call up the listing agent (via the number on the sign), view the property you’re interested in, and (if you like it) write up an offer with your lawyer of choice.

The disadvantage of this approach is that you’re going into a potential bidding war unrepresented. Because the listing realtor is required to act in the sole interest of the property owner, they’re unable to provide you with any advice whatsoever (feel free to ask them any informational questions you want though).

While an experienced real estate lawyer will be able to answer any questions you might have about the legal process and the transition of property, there’s no replacing a realtor when it comes to knowledge about your local real estate market, the buying process, and how to avoid common pitfalls in the process.

 

How much does it cost me to have a buyers agent?

Not a cent.

Some people have the misconception that by going into a buying situation unrepresented they’ll be saving money, but that’s not true.

Because the buying agent’s commission comes from the listing agent and not from you, there’s no savings to be had by going in unrepresented.

 

Why Do I Need a Buying Agent?

 

Undivided Loyalty

A Buying Agent has only one objective: to get you the perfect house on the best terms possible! Because the job of a Buyer’s Agent is to work solely for your interests, they’ll be writing the offer solely for your benefit, and negotiating terms that meet your needs.

Confidentiality

Buying a home unrepresented is often more stressful than people anticipate, as buyers tend to forget that the listing agent is required to act in the sole interest of their client, and any information they share is something that could negatively affect their position during negotiations.

By having a buying agent you’ll be free to discuss everything about your situation and have them be the point of contact during negotiations, ensuring the details of your situation remain confidential and your negotiating position remains strong.

 

Our Team

Not all buying agents are the same. Many individual agents represent both buyers and sellers, and are too busy to provide high level service in every area. Our team structure allows us to simplify the process for you by providing specialized agents with the time and resources they need to provide a world class service for our clients.

 

Interested in learning more about the home buying process? Follow us on Facebook here for more information on buying and selling in the Victoria market, and for great local giveaways!

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Everything You Need to Know About the Rental Housing Task Force Recommendations for 2019

The B.C. Rental Housing Task Force released their recommendations for how to reduce the housing crisis the province is facing, and topping their list: stopping “renovictions“.

 

Renters mentioned this as one of their primary concerns, including one renter in Vancouver who said that ‘safe housing’ meant living “without the constant threat of renovictions”. Evicting a tenant to complete essential structural renovations will still be allowed, but does away with the current system, which allows a landlord to evict a tenant in order to complete renovations that are often fully cosmetic.

Landlords can then charge the new tenant any amount they see fit, making this an easy option to increase the rent more than the annual legal limit.

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How to Sell Your Home for More Money

Settling for a small offer for your home is a big no-no. As the market begins to shift into a buyer’s market, if you’re looking to sell your home for a high price now is the time to do so. In order to be successful there, though, you’re going to have to be proactive.

There are a couple of changes you can make in order to sell your home for even more money than you thought. This will make the process better for you and will give you more options for your next home! Here are a few tips on how to sell your home for more money. Continue reading

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3 Essential Tips for Preparing Your Home for Showings

Your home looks its best when it’s clean and organized. Here are some other tips for preparing your home for showings for prospective buyers.

 

In 2017 more than half a million homes were sold in Canada. With such a hot market, we understand why you want to show your home.

Getting your home ready to sell can be emotional and quite difficult for some, as any moving process means you’ll have to dissociate from the home you have loved for so long. But, take heart, homeowners.

We’ve got three essential tips for preparing your home for showings. Follow these guidelines for an easy and seamless way to achieve your next set of goals. It all starts with selling your home.

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Will You Be Affected By the NDP Speculation Tax?

*Photo provided by the Government of British Columbia

As the B.C. NDP move forward with legislation approving implementation of their controversial speculation tax, many residents are left wondering if they’ll be on the hook for yet another home ownership cost.

 

B.C.’s finance minister, Carol James is in charge of the legislation, and has gone on say that “Only those who own multiple properties and leave them empty in major cities will be asked to contribute. People with cottages at the lake, or cabins, or the islands, will not pay this tax. People with second homes outside of high-cost urban areas will not pay the tax.”

 

The speculation tax is based on a percentage of the property value, and ranges from 0.5% to 2% depending on various conditions. B.C. residents with vacant properties will continue to be charged the lowest rate (0.5%), with a higher rate to Canadian property owners who aren’t B.C. residents, and highest rate (2%) applied to international property owners.

 

What Do Party Leaders Think?

British Columbia’s politicians have weighed in, and they’re not all happy. “This is the height of NDP arrogance and hypocrisy. Our goal is to defeat this bill because it is a phony tax. It accomplishes nothing except to grab revenue for the NDP.” said Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson.

 

B.C. Green Party Andrew Weaver has expressed concern over the bill as well, taking a more measured approach.

 

“I still have concerns that Canadians are not being treated equally and that there is an insufficient role for local governments in determining what happens in their communities,” Weaver said in a statement.

 

While the Liberal and NDP leaders seem united in their concern over the tax, the Green Party’s history of siding with the NDP minority government has many apprehensive that the party’s passive allegiance will see this bill become law.

 

“We’re considering everything, but right now we are negotiating with the government to improve municipal input,” Weaver said. “We have a good working relationship with the NDP.”

 

Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson was unimpressed. “That’s classic Andrew Weaver,” Wilkinson said. “He talks tough, but then he always supports the government.”

 

A collaboration between the two parties could easily lead to a defeat of this bill, but with the state of politics in the province today, it seems likely that British Columbians will be left holding the bag for another home ownership tax.

 

For more on this story, as well as great giveaways, be sure to follow VictoriaHomes.com on Facebook here!

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pre-qualified vs. pre-approved

Pre-Qualified vs. Pre-Approved – What’s the Difference?

 

The home buying process can begin one of two ways: finding a house you love and hoping you can afford it, or talking to a mortgage broker about what you can afford, and using that information to find a great house. I bet you can guess which path leads to happy people and which leads to headaches.

Shopping for a home is exciting, I get it, but there’s nothing worse than having your offer accepted, only to have it all fall apart because you didn’t have your ducks in a row.

Many people go into a home buying situation thinking that if a lender has pre-qualified them, they have been pre-approved for a loan. These two terms sound similar, but have a completely different meaning.

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