experts: real estate column Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Keeping Realtors Honest

Every so often in any practitioner's life there arises the need (opportunity) for the professional to experience just what the client is or will soon be going through.

By Alan  Skinner

Every so often in any practitioner's life there arises the need (opportunity) for the professional to experience just what the client is or will soon be going through. Whether that individual be a Dentist, Chef, Proctologist or Realtor.

This relearning experience came to visit our household recently, although the timeline was somewhat protracted. Last March (2013 that is) we purchased a 2 bedroom plus den apartment, the sale of which was to close (money changing hands) in early April 2014. This was the easier, although financially most onerous part of what I've referred to in the past for my clients as the rehoming experience. We put down a $100,000 deposit upon removal of subjects (March 2013).

After taking possession April 2, 2014, when the tenants vacated, we started the process of, what meant was to be, the 3 to 4 month renovation of the 25 year old apartment. I shall call that Stress Project (a). I'm not going to dwell on the reno as most folk have experienced that either first hand or second hand and it is not technically part of the selling and buying process or in our case, the buying and selling process. Suffice it to say that our scheduled move in, booked after the "ready" assurances, has now been postponed by a further ten days (we are currently in that timeframe).

A quick rewind to the disposition of the home we are still occupying at the time of writing, the so called Stress Project (b). This was placed on the market early to mid April at what was felt to be a realistic asking price, but which proved with hindsight to be "above market". Being a licensed Realtor, I did not list our own property for sale, owing to the Errors and Omissions Insurance rules of the Real Estate Council of B.C.

It should be said that the colleague who did list our property is in no way held responsible for any delay in its selling - market forces and timing coupled with a modicum of owner optimism carry that blame. After competing offers, the successful one was accepted some 48 days after the marketing began.

The advice I continue to dispense, as a Realtor, is to sell first and buy thereafter. Some circumstances preclude that approach and it is then that one has to ask oneself (and partner) "just how much stress and risk can we tolerate?" I guess one tends to rely on the adage "all is worth it in the end" ....or not ;). I've always believed that I do empathize with my clients but certainly feel that the same dose of medicine goes a long way toward enhancing that empathy. Our journey will shortly be over.

And now to our July figures for 2014 in comparison to 2013. North Van detached homes sold are up 17% from last year, attached (t/hses) up from last year by 17% and apartments up 20%. The detached average price is up 9% and inventory is down by 22% from 2013. Average prices up 3%(t/hses) and virtually unchanged for (apts). Inventory (t/hses) 121 vs.147, down from July 31st 2013 and (apt) up10% from last year for the same date.

In West Van, detached number of sales YTD for 2014 is up by 18% from July 31st 2013. Average price of what has sold is up 9% from last year and inventory now down 8% from July 31st 2013. On the condo side -attached (t/hses) sold 2014 are down from 2013 at 46 vs. 51 units with a 1% decrease in average price. Active listings are down year over year from July 31st 2013 by 6% (46 vs. 49). Apartments reflect 105 sold in 2014 vs. 95 in 2013 with average price down 3% from July 31st 2013 and active listings down 2% from July 31st 2013. Both jurisdictions continue evidencing healthy demand. Inventory is generally down.

Visit the website to see and "hear" the new developments. I'm committed to keeping you... - the "go to" site for N/S R/Estate analysis and jump-off point for FULL market information.

Join those wishing to get the e-mail version of the "Update" and SnapStats - send a request to; phone (604) 626-2526 or visit either/both and and you'll be added.

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Recent Articles by this columnist:

How well do we stack up?
Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Resistance to change and compliance delay
Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Of urban planning and municipal wisdom
Thursday, April 17, 2014

Yes, it's official - demand is rising
Tuesday, March 11, 2014

That year is past, long live the new year!
Thursday, January 16, 2014

All articles by Alan  Skinner

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