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Rule #1: Marketing Costs Money.

You get out what you put in. There are an infinite amount of ways to advertise your property. Many are open to private sellers, such as packages from a “For Sale By Owner” franchise. But don't expect sticking a sign in the ground to sell your property. You may only need 1 one buyer, but you'll get more money if you have 10. So think about newspaper advertising, feature sheets, signs, fees for your lawyer, stagers, documents from the city, a website to advertise your property and even MLS "mere postings".


Rule #2: Buyers Are Informed

Buyers know you’re saving the commission. Why else would you be selling your home privately. Buyers who shop private sellers expect a deal. Put yourself in the buyers position - how have they found your property? How do most people shop for their next home?


Rule #3: Price It Right.

Most buyers do not like presenting "low ball" offers and most sellers don't like them. So if you price yourself out of the market, they won't even bother. It is better to hold firm on a price than it is to wish for the sky. Adversely, don't price it too low. Bank appraisals and tax property assessments are poor indicators of market value.


Rule #4: Give Yourself Time.

It will always take longer than you think. One of the reason that many agents can sell homes quicker is because of not only their database of buyers, but also the database of every other agent working on the MLS. With thousands of homes on the market, those buyers are very unlikely to find you as quickly as those searching the MLS. Most buyers these days are "doing it themselves" these days, using either or individual agent sites. Most people aren't driving around anymore looking for random homes.


Rule #6: Get Use to Distrust.

Most buyers will not trust a private owner. Unless they are a very savvy investor/buyer, many may be concerned that you don't know what you're doing and may be concerned about your disclosures. While Realtors are not legal experts, their liability insurance protects their clients from most contractual errors. While there are many ways to protect yourself, many buyers just are not educated enough to make the plunge into a private sale.


Rule #7: Don't Get Emotional.

In my experience, even some agents have a tough time with this one. Emotional sellers/buyers/agents are more likely to wreck a deal than solve problems. Keep in mind that this is no longer "your house". The buyers aren't purchasing your memories in the home. They just want the building and land. They also want a deal. They will tell you about everything that is wrong with your house to justify their price. So respond to "low-ball" offers professionally and maybe you can make lemonaid from lemons. Getting angry or frustrated will not help keep a deal together.


Rule #8: Expect Liars.

Agents see it all the time. People say they are putting in an offer or are highly interested and then they disappear. They might say they are financially qualified, but then they back out because they can't get a mortgage. Be prepared to be disappointed. Potential buyers might say they’ll be making an offer tomorrow and then they never call again. Be ready for a low-ball and insulting offers and be prepared to hear about everything that’s wrong with your house as potential buyers try to justify their offer price.


Rule #9: Know Your Product & Inventory

Your property is more than just the building. Get your title search and site survey ready. Have documents relating to your septic tank or strata. Understand your zoning. Get all the facts prepared about past renovations and updates. Not only this, but you are competing with every home for sale. Get to know how your property stacks up..


Rule #10: "Sell" Your Home.

Present your homes value as aggressively as you can. If you want top dollar, remember that buyers buy with emotion. Cater to their dreams. Also, see Rule #9.


Rule #11: Be the Industry.

You won't only be replacing the place of an agent, but also photographers, stagers, and marketing agencies. You will need to know how to be a professional marketer to compete. Don't be afraid to hire a professional photographer and/or webdesigner. Also keep in mind that you need to be a salesperson & receptionist. Have scripts ready for when potential buyers call. Every call could be a potential buyer - you can't afford to lose one. Think about what it is like to be a buyer: they want a call back immediately or they move on to the next house. Buyers will also want to view the property on THEIR schedule, so be prepared to have someone at home.


Rule #12: Get Legally Protected.

Avoid lawsuits by having a good real estate lawyer on your side. Don't trust Google.


Rule #13: Consider Your Security

Maybe this should be Rule #1. This is your home, your family. You are letting strangers in. Whether you are female or male, make sure that when you are showing the property to a stranger that you are always alert. You don't need to be paranoid, but you need to know that there are people that will take advantage of any situation. Never turn your back to people. Hide valuable possessions. Take a common sense approach. People know your home is "For Sale" and it is unlikely that you as an individual have the same systems in place as agents do for protection.


Rule #14: Be Wary of “For Sale By Owner” Franchise Promises.

These comparnies are not licensed to trade in real estate, have no training or certifiation and do not have legal responsibilities. Read the fine print. Always (do the same if you hire an agent though!).


Rule #15: Show Like a Pro.

Don't hover over potential buyers. They want to see themselves in their new home. For feedback, try to ask questions on their way out or at least get their name and number to follow up with later.


Rule #16: Consider a "Mere Posting"

For a nominal fee, some companies will post your property to the MLS. Expect to pay a buyer's Realtor commission to fully utilize the system.


Rule #17: Get a Pre-Sale Inspection

While buyers should always get their own inspection, getting an inspection done will prepare you for potential pitfalls.


Rule #18: Think about hiring a Realtor.

Invest a nickel, get a dime. Don't compare yourself to the unprofessional agents that do nothing. Yes, they are out there - but they also don't make money. Professional agents will use their buyer's databases, the MLS system, a full marketing package that they pay for whether they sell your home or not. If you do consider an agent, talk to at least 3. Don't be pressured into listing with any. Chose the one that provides the most trust and competency.


The rules above are paraphrased from "365 Rules About Real Estate" by Keith Marshall.

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I have listed a new property at 307 5474 198 ST in Langley.
A CONDO WITH TWO-CAR GARAGE! This is the home you've been waiting for. Gorgeous granite countertops accentuated by rich floors & beautiful designer colour scheme. Balcony & windows overlook the quiet side of complex with greenbelt. Don't hesitate on this rare opportunity to own a smart living space with full, secure two car garage with room to spare! Pet friendly! Call today for a private viewing!
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Detached Homes
Similar to neighbouring Langley, Cloverdale can't seem to hold much inventory. 29% of listed homes sold in March, representing a 17.3% increase in sales from last March, with -22.2% less listings. Lack of available homes with hot buyers have pushed benchmark values up almost 2% in just one month, with the benchmark value just shy of $600,000. Cloverdale has remained strong over the last 12 months, which has resulted in a large 6.4% increase year over year. Buyers want Cloverdale, but there aren't enough sellers.


Cloverdale's townhouse market, which is really just Clayton, has bounced all over the place. New development will skew the overall numbers, but resale is still strong with a 24.1% sales to listing ratio. While the benchmark value remained flat month-over-month, the 6 month trend is positive and current values are +5.7% from this time last year, which is likely the largest gain in the Fraser Valley in this housing type.


There really isn't enough resale data to make significant comments in this housing type. There were only 7 sales in the Cloverdale resale market in March... last year it was 10. It should be noted that benchmark values are exactly where they were last year, which is an increase of almost 2% from last month.

----> Know someone who you think might need to know about the Cloverdale market? Please share this update and page with them. You could be doing them a favour :D


Missed my Abbotsford, South Surrey/White Rock, or Langley updates?

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Brad Richert

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Detached Homes
If you're a buyer, good luck getting your offer in. Almost 1 in every 3 homes on the market sold in March (32.3% sales to listing ratio) and it seems every 2nd home has an accepted offer. Sales are up 26.7% from this time last year, whereas active listings are down -19.2%. Supply and demand has pushed benchmark values up 6% from last year. The benchmark home in Langley has increased from $544,400 to $577,200.


After a noticeable slump in January and February, Langley's townhouses are back in seller's market with at 24.8% sales to listing ratio (1 in 4 homes sold in March). However, we did witness a 3.8% drop in benchmark values month-over-month, which I believe is due to the later Winter slowdown. I expect that the lower values won't survive long heading into middle Spring. Sales are up 28.6% from this time last year and active listings are holding to around the same (+2% from March 2013).


Langley's apartment condo market inched into a slightly more positive sales-to-listing ratio of 14.9%, but remain in a buyer's market. Values are up slightly 1.2% from last month, but the trend has held fairly flat. Benchmark prices are -1.6% compared with last year's numbers.


----> Know someone who you think might need to know about the Langley market? Please share this update and page with them. You could be doing them a favour

Missed my Abbotsford or South Surrey/White Rock updatse? Waiting for my Cloverdale report?

Please Like my Facebook page for follow custom market updates!


Brad Richert

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Detached Homes
Actives listings are down -21.8% compared with 2013 and sales are up 8%, which is great for sellers. The sales to listing ratio is now in balanced market territory at 18.4% with a positive trend. Benchmark values are up a significant 6.3% from last March to $890,800.


The limited inventory of townhouses in the White Rock area has held in a steady buyer's market, but I believe there is a reason these numbers are skewed. But first, the report. Sales are down -30% from this time last year, but so are listings (-11.2%). Benchmark prices are up very slightly to $455,600 (+0.4%). So how can sales be so low and prices steady? Well, I believe that the relatively strong new townhouse development market is shifting the numbers. These new developments aren't on the MLS, but they are selling without much competition. If I had these numbers, I would estimate that the townhouse market is probably closer to a balanced or even seller's market. Just an educated hunch.


The White Rock and South Surrey apartment market saw a 28.3% jump between February and March this year, which is, strangely enough, the same number if you compare this March with last year. It's good either way. Active listings are down -3.8% compared with March 2013, which has strengthened the sales to listing ratio to 15.4%. This is a very positive trend, since February was 12.9% and January was an extremely poor 7.8%. Benchmark values are up 4.6% since last year to $240,400, which is the highest its been since November's spike. Now might be a great time to sell.


----> Know someone who you think might need to know about the White Rock/South Surrey market? Please share this update and page with them. You could be doing them a favour :D


Missed my Abbotsford update? Waiting for a Langley and/or Cloverdale report?

Please Like my Facebook page for follow custom market updates!


Brad Richert

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I have listed a new property at 21341 87B AVE in Langley.
STUNNING "feels like home already" in Walnut Grove's desirable Forest Hills neighbourhood. Large, beautifully landscaped lot great for families and entertaining. Charming curb appeal is just the beginning. Great layout for optimal living space with large windows and plenty of natural light. Classic kitchen offers updated backsplash & new s/s appliances. Spacious master brdm w ensuite. Don't miss out on this one, call today for a private viewing. Pre-approved for Home Renovation Plan for your home customization needs!
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Detached Homes
March was a superb month for detached homes in Abbotsford, with a sales-to-listing ratio of 23.3%! Underlying this is the lack of listings (-26.7% compared to March 2013) and 17% increase in sales from last year at this time. Benchmark values are up almost 2% to $437,100 and the trend is looking positive.


After a great February, Abbotsford's townhouse market has faltered again, with sales plummetting -27.9% month-over-month, which is abnormal for February-March differences. Values are holding steady month-over-month, but still a drastic -8.6% difference between now and this time last year.


Similar to Abbotsford's townhouses, we've seen a substantial decrease of month-over-month sales (-29.3%), which has caused the sales-to-listing ratio to collapse back into a strong buyer's market (10.5%). Benchmark values may be up 1.4% from February, but they are a disheartening -20.9% from March 2013. Is the media picking up on this?


----> Know someone who you think might need to know about the Abbotsford market? Please share this update and page with them. You could be doing them a favour :D


Stay tuned for Cloverdale, Langley, and South Surrey/White Rock market updates throughout the week.

Brad Richert

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