You need a professional Realtor more than ever

Thursday, November 4th, 2010


Housing sales are down in most Lower Mainland markets, but prices are up in many. Listings of homes for sale are rising in some areas, and going down in others. One condominium developer is advertising “blow out” prices, while others say their sales are steady. The Bank of Canada’s key lending rate remains at 1 per cent, but various lenders are offering different rates on both long-term mortgages and variable rate mortgages. And the federal government has brought in regulations covering mortgage qualification and the size of the downpayment, but not for all buyers. Then there is the harmonized sales tax, which covers new homes but not resale homes and is added to some closing costs. Meanwhile, those selling a home need to know how to stage the property, how to get the best market exposure, and what is the right price to list at. In today’s challenging housing market, both home buyers and vendors need the help of a professional Realtor more than ever. Before you even start searching for a home, it’s important to determine how much you can afford to pay. A Realtor will help you identify what you want and take you to homes and neighbourhoods that reflect your lifestyle, needs and price range. He or she will also help you understand property financing, taxes, insurance and the steps you will have to take as a buyer to complete a real estate transaction. Before you list your home for sale, you need to know the asking price. Your local Realtor will provide local market variables and insider advice that will allow you to price at the right value, which is the key to a quick sale. Your Realtor also has valuable advice on preparing the home for sale, holding open houses, and marketing your home to get the widest possible exposure. Finally, for the vendors and buyers, your Realtor can negotiate the sale and handle all the necessary paperwork. B.C. Realtors are bound by ethical and professional business practices that are strictly monitored and enforced to protect consumers. In today’s Lower Mainland market, contacting a Realtor is step No. 1. He or she will help you understand how all the programs work and ensure that you get the maximum benefit possible and guide you through the entire home-buying process and explore all your options.

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