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Just-Add-Salt

3 reasons to sell in the fall

Although many home sellers think spring is the best time to sell a home in the Okanagan (or anywhere for that matter), there are great reasons to consider a sale in autumn instead.

Reason No. 1 — Lower Inventory:

Spring may have higher demand, however more demand at that time is always accompanied by much more competition as seemingly everyone and their doghouse throw their hats in the ring when the sun starts to shine.

Less competition in the market could mean a better offer for you, especially if your home has some issues. When there are fewer homes to choose from, your home has a greater chance to shine.

Reason No. 2 — Buyers are Motivated:

Usually when buyers are shopping for a home prior to yearend, those buyers have a strong reason for doing so.

There are many reasons this could arise such as wanting to get settled before the holidays, move before the snow flies, their home sold in another market or a possibly a job transfer. 

These are strong reasons and make for very motivated buyers. 

Reason No. 3 — Decision Making Time:

Many buyers who viewed homes in the summer during their vacation don’t make their final decision until they return home to get their ducks in a row.

Once those ducks are where they should be, it becomes decision-making time. If your home is on the market when that decision is being made, your home may be under consideration.

If not, then another will be chosen instead.

Our best advice is once you make the decision to sell, discuss your decision with your realtor and they will be able to provide their best professional advice on timing.

In  our opinion, there are many advantages to selling in the off season which may result in an even higher offer than one may experience in the Spring.



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Keeping cool in the OK heat

People who move to the Okanagan often wish they would have bought a home with air conditioning, which is convenient and refreshing, but can be costly over time.

If you chose to purchase a home without AC and don’t have the budget to add a system at this time, there are numerous other ways you can cool your home down in the Okanagan summers:

Fans: Putting a fan near a window air conditioner will help with distributing the air over a much larger area than can be reached by the window unit itself. 

More fans: Other portable fans can also work well and are easily placed around your home for extra air circulation. Ceiling fans are also an inexpensive and effective way of moving more air around the home during the day and night, helping the home feel several degrees cooler. Make sure your fan is set to blow the air down into the room.

Close the curtains: Strategically closing the window coverings on the south and west sides of the home all day will definitely help keep the heat out, especially if your blinds or curtains are a reflective “white” on the exterior.

Appliances: Using the barbecue or microwave versus the stove/oven will help keep excess heat out of the home during meal times and beyond. Running the dishwasher at night and setting it for non-heated drying also helps. Be sure to wash full loads to save energy.

Turn off the lights: Turn off any unnecessary lights everywhere in the house. Use power strips for computers, televisions, etc. and switch them off when those items aren’t being used.

These simple ideas will help homeowners stay cool and comfortable all summer long in the Okanagan while saving money and preventing wasted energy.



Real estate confusion

New B.C. real estate rules - Part 2:  Disclosure of risks to unrepresented parties

This is part two of a multiple part instalment that will summarize the new real estate rules, and what these new rules mean to you as a buyer and/or seller of real estate in British Columbia. 

These new rules for real estate licensees in B.C. came into effect on June 15.

Limited Dual Agency is all but banned in the province, but “double ending” is not. 

A real estate professional can still facilitate a sale between two parties, however, if this is the case, then, one of the two parties must be “unrepresented."

The second form in this series to be explained is the “Disclosure of Risks to Unrepresented Parties," which is the form an unrepresented party must sign to continue with a purchase from the listing agent.

The objective is to inform the party who is not being represented what the real estate professional can and cannot do for them.

The form sets out “a real estate professional representing someone else in the transaction can only give limited assistance, such as:

  • Sharing real estate statistics and general market information;
  • Providing standard real estate contracts and other relevant documents;
  • Helping you fill out a standard real estate contract (but they cannot advise you about what to include in the offer);
  • Communicating your messages to their client , and from their client to you; and
  • Presenting your offers or counter offers to their client, and from their client to you.”

In the real estate world, being a client means the realtor:

  • owes you the fiduciary duty of loyalty
  • must avoid conflicts of interest
  • fully disclose relevant information and confidentiality.

Being an unrepresented party means you are not entitled to any of these special legal duties.

After being presented with and reading this form, if you decide to continue without representation, you may now proceed with writing an offer with the listing realtor and get on with purchasing some real estate.

The reality is, you can purchase a home from the same real estate professional who has it listed.

The real estate professional’s job is, however, now limited to giving facts on a property or general information rather than opinions or advice, and writing a contract under your direction without giving you guidance.

Once again, signing this form by the real estate professional is mandatory. For the buyer and/or seller who the form is designed to protect, signing is, once again, optional.

Once this form is presented and maybe signed, and before your offer can be presented, another form called “Agreement Regarding Conflict of Interest Between Clients” must be presented to both buyer and seller (stay tuned for our August article explaining this form).

Are you asking “what’s the point”?  Are you confused?

Me too.

The only way to make a change to these new rules is for the public to speak up.

If you want the choice of being able to speak freely with a realtor and receive more than just “how many bedrooms” and “how many bathrooms” a home has without being bogged down in paperwork first, contact:

Tell them what you think.



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New rules for real estate

New B.C. Real Estate Rules, Part 1

This is part one of a multiple-part instalment that will summarize the new real estate rules, and what these new rules mean to you as a buyer and/or seller of real estate in British Columbia. 

These new rules for real estate licensees came into effect on June 15. The objective is to “enhance consumer protection by:

  • increasing the number and frequency of disclosures that real estate licensees must make to consumers
  • in almost all cases, preventing real estate licensees from acting for both a buyer and a seller in the same transaction.”

Now that Limited Dual Agency is all but banned in the province, explaining to buyers and sellers the different forms of representation is first and foremost.

Before a buyer or seller receives any real estate advice and prior to you giving any potentially confidential or personal information to the realtor, that buyer or seller must sign a new form.  

This first form is called the Disclosure of Representation of Trading Services (replacing the Working With a Realtor form that was previously utilized).

This form explains the special legal duties that real estate professionals owe to their clients, and helps consumers decide whether they wish to be represented by a realtor, or whether they wish to be an unrepresented party. 

In the real estate world, being a client means the realtor owes you the fiduciary duty of loyalty, must avoid conflicts of interest and fully disclose relevant information and confidentiality.  

Being an unrepresented party means you are not entitled to any of these special legal duties mentioned above. After reading this form, if you decide not to be represented, there is another form the real estate professional is required to present to you, called the Disclosure of Risks to Unrepresented Parties.   

The real estate professional’s job has now been limited to giving facts on a property or general information rather than opinions or advice without first presenting you with the above form.

However, the buyer or seller does not have to actually sign this form. For the realtor presenting the form however, signing is mandatory. For the buyer and/or seller who the form is designed to protect, signing is optional.  

Are you asking “what’s the point?"  Are you confused?  

Me too.  

The only way to make a change to these new rules is for the public to speak up.

If you want the choice of being able to speak freely with a realtor and receive more than just “how many bedrooms” and “how many bathrooms” a home has without being bogged down in paperwork first, contact:

Tell them what you think.



More Just Add Salt! articles

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About the Author

Lisa Salt is a Vernon born Realtor® who, along with her husband Gord Fowler from Calgary, lead one of the most successful and dynamic real estate teams in the North Okanagan. 

An international clay target shooting champion, Lisa brought the attributes of hard work and diligent focus to the real estate industry to create the success she and her team have today. 

To experience the local knowledge and expertise that only someone born and raised in the Okanagan can offer, call Lisa today and 'Just Add Salt'.

Website link:   http://www.saltfowler.com

Contact e-mail address:  [email protected]

 



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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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