Home Buying information Metro Vancouver
Start by reading Vancouver Real Estate home buying guide below. It's filled with helpful information for home buyers and lots of food for thought. You can than take a look at your favorite neighborhoods or start browsing the MLS to see homes for sale across Vancouver, to simplify your searches we offer many state of the art real estate home buying tools that will help you along the way so you become a savvy and informed real estate buyer, tools like QUICK SEARCH, SAVE MY SEARCH, EMAIL ALERTS, SIMPLE MARKET UPDATES, and many more are just some of the tools that can help you along the way.
What should I know before I buy a home in the Vancouver Area?
In order for you to find the right house at the right price, there are several things that you, the buyer, should know before you begin the buying process:
The information below is taken from my free guide, "Buying in today’s Vancouver Real Estate Market" which you can receive by contacting me, the guide is updated on weekly bases so you get the most relevant Vancouver Real estate market information.
1. - Buying Wants, Needs and Numbers - Know exactly what you can afford vs. what you want to spend
One of the very first things you need to do is sit down with a good Vancouver mortgage specialist and determine exactly what you can afford to spend. Once you have a number you can comfortably afford, then you can work with a Vancouver home buyer’s agent to determine what kind of a house falls in your budget. It is important that you establish realistic expectations from the beginning and working with an agent that can guide you appropriately from the beginning is crucial, if you do not have a mortgage specialist or are uncertain about your affordability talk to us we can refer you to Vancouver’s best advisors, regardless if you think you have this checked off your list always get a second opinion, working with the right people from the start can make all the difference in getting the perfect home and saving thousands of dollars.
2. Know Your PLAN - Know your short (3-5 yr.) and long term (5-10 yr.) goals
You need to discuss your short- and long-term goals with your agent before the buying process begins. This puts everyone on the same page and working towards the same goals. How long will you want to live in the house? Will you be having children? What about schools? Good or bad investment?
These sorts of questions can have a very large impact on what you buy. For example, if you plan to move in the next three to five years, then what you pay for you home becomes even more important than if you planned to stay there for 25 years. Selling costs are about 3-4 percent of the selling price, so you better not overpay for the property. Styles of homes, parts of neighborhoods, and other factors give you better resale value.
3. Know the current market conditions in Vancouver and the neighborhood you want to live in.
Somewhat like the stock market, the Vancouver real estate market changes every day. Some months are better for sellers and some are better for buyers. For this reason, it is in the buyer's best interest to work with a Vancouver Buyers Agent who has a long-term familiarity with the Vancouver real estate market its history and all the relevant real estate data necessary to guide you through the most successful buying process.
In Vancouver like in any other real estate market, pricing is key especially in todays this market. Homes that are overpriced -- and there are a lot of them right now -- will not sell unless the buyer is working with an inexperienced agent, or one that is not from the Vancouver market. It's rare that a home will sell for full price today as well, but that does still happen on really special homes that are priced correctly.
This can be an incredible time to buy, particularly if you are a move up buyer or if you are an investor.
Vancouver is still one of the best places to live in Canada and the world. Vancouver will continue to see tremendous growth through the end of this decade and well beyond. It's estimated that another million+ people will be living in the Vancouver area by the end of 2020. If you own a good home in a Vancouver neighborhood, it will be one of your very best investments over the long run, as it was for your parents, the world is getting smaller and smaller and immigration will only increase over the years.
Will escalating property values ever stop? Will the housing downturn across the county affect Vancouver real estate market over the long run? These are questions best answered by someone who can speak with knowledge on the subject. Doing your own research on market trends is no fun, but can really affect your buying decision. This is why working with an experienced buying agent, who has Vancouver residential market experience is so important.
4. Know how Vancouver listing prices are determined
How do sellers and Vancouver real estate agents determine what the listing price of a home will be? Good question. I often ask myself, "How did they come up with that price are they crazy!?" Often, the sellers themselves determine the price, and most real estate agents just go along with it. Other times the agent does a CMA (comparative market analysis) to determine value. Agents generally look at what sold in the last six months in the same neighborhood. They then base their price on these comparisons.
Sometimes this comparison can be very difficult and misleading. What if a so-called comparable home recently sold for $50,000 too much because several buyers got into a Vancouver real estate bidding war? Typically, with bidding wars, ego is the driving force, and ego really doesn't have any valid impact on home values. This is a real danger for Vancouver home buyers in todays real estate market.
If you walk into any Vancouver real estate office and ask five agents to price a property you will most likely get five different prices, and they may vary as much as $100,000. On the other hand, there are agents who really know their business and how to price property and are very accurate in determining market values. However, these agents may run into resistance from the seller and may have to compromise the listing price for two weeks or a month before the seller is willing to lower the price to what it should be. I have been in that situation and, while I've advised my client what the price should be, I sometimes had to put the house on the market for a higher price to satisfy the client. Over priced homes usually end up being a better deal for buyers if they are willing to wait. The longer it stays on the market, the lower the price will go.
5. Know how to deal with the listing agent
The listing agent, whether good, so-so, or bad, represents only the seller and tries to get the highest possible price for the seller! The listing agent generally gets a commission of around 3-4 percent of the selling price and it is split 50/50 between the selling agent and the listing agent. So the listing agent has an agreement with the seller that he will get paid 2 percent of the sales price when the house sells and closes. If a buyer walks into an open house and asks the listing agent if the home is priced correctly, even if it's $100,000 over priced, what do you think the listing agent will say? "It's a great house and priced really well," is a typical response. And if the buyer wants to work with the listing agent, then he may be able to give up some of his commission to help the deal go together and save the buyer some money.
This is a false economy and here's why. If the selling price of the house is $300,000 and the commission is 4 percent, the total commission is $12,000. The listing agent will get $6,000 and the selling agent will get $6,000. The listing agent knows that he will receive $6,000 when this house sells. Now the unsuspecting buyer walks in and uses the listing agent to write up the offer. The listing agent says he will give up $3000 of his commission so the buyer can get the house for $3000 less. So the seller gets $297,000, the listing agent gets his $6,000 for the listing side and $3,000 left from the selling side, for a total of $9,000. The buyer “saves” $3000,the seller gets his full price because the listing agent gives up $3000 in commission, and so the seller's net is the same as if they sold it for $300,000. Everyone wins...right! Wrong! Vancouver buyers in these situations usually pay too much for the house. The buyer has NO REPRESENTATION. The listing agent becomes a Consensual Dual Agent and says that he will represent both parties, but that is just like going into court and telling the judge that you represent both the plaintiff and the defendant... The buyer has no one advising him or her whether the house is priced correctly. The buyer has nobody working for him or her during the entire process. The listing agent makes $9,000 -- not $6,000. That's $3,000 more then he thought when he listed the property - who do you think he represents? The sellers make everything they wanted to. And the buyer...well the buyer may have paid $20,000, $30,000, perhaps $40,000 too much for the house.
So I strongly suggest: Never ever use the listing agent to write up your offer.
6. Know how to find the right Vancouver buyer agent
Good Vancouver real estate agents possess a very strong sense of the market and are attuned to its daily changes. Their approach to their client’s needs are well thought out and documented.
Here are a few things that I would do if I was hiring an agent: I would only work with agents that have been in the business for at least three to five years and that have some advanced designations. I think it is important to work with agents who both list properties and represent buyers, because they have a fuller view of the Vancouver market. I would interview 2 - 3 agents max and choose who I think best understands my needs and would best represent me. I would also call their references. Finding a good Vancouver buyer’s agent could be one of the most important decisions you can make. If you were going to invest a large sum of money, would you do it without good advice and guidance? Last but not least follow your gut and instincts chemistry is important and if you feel working with a certain personality will cause you problems re-think if its right for you , but remember to also see things like a business deal.
7. Know your options
Every situation is different. That is what I like about this business, but everyone should be aware of all of his or her options. Your first option is that you don't really have to do anything. Or you can choose to do it all yourself. But to be a well-informed buyer, you should analyze your own situation and analyze all your options , we can help.
The information on this page was taken from my free report "Buying in Today's Vancouver Real Estate Market." You can receive a copy of this report by contacting Adan Sprauer Real estate.
Home Buying information what you need to know- Vancouver Realtor and Real Estate Specialist Adan Sprauer