How to Sell your Home when you have Pets

If you’re a pet owner, it’s probably hard to imagine. But not every homebuyer is going to love your furry friends as much as you do.

It doesn’t matter how often you clean. It doesn’t matter how well-behaved your cats or dogs are. Some buyers are going to be turned off by the sight of your pets, and any signs that they live in your home.

The good news is, your buyer Continue reading

10 Inexpensive Ways to Make Your Home More Sellable

With the spring real estate market gearing up, we break down simple and affordable tips to make your home more appealing to buyers.

1. Give your windows a good clean from the inside and outside

You’d be amazed at how clean windows can drastically open up and refresh a space. The additional natural light streaming into your home will also make it look larger and more appealing. When the weather is nice, open up windows to let fresh air flow in.

2. Remove clutter from closets

Remove clutter from closets around the Continue reading

7 Things That Can Go Wrong If You Hire The Wrong Real Estate Agent

Buying a home is the biggest investment you’ll likely ever make, and it has all sorts of implications for your personal and financial future. This is why it’s so important to work with the right agent.

Too many people don’t realize just how much can go wrong if they make the wrong hire. There are some very serious problems that can arise if you accidentally work with the wrong person to buy or sell a home. Here are some of them:

1. Not listening

A professional real estate agent (or any other professional for that matter) will take Continue reading

11 Reasons To List During the Holidays

1. People who look for a home during the Holidays are more serious buyers!

2. Serious buyers have fewer houses to choose from during the Holidays and less competition means more money for you!

3. Since the supply of listings will dramatically increase in January, there will be less demand for your particular home! Less demand means less money for you!

4. Houses show better when decorated for the Holidays! ( Well at least I think so)

5. Buyers are more emotional during the Holidays, so they are more likely to pay your price!

Continue reading

Smart Tips for Moving with Kids

If you’ve ever moved with kids, you know that the entire process can feel more like a battle than a positive transaction. Even if you’re moving to an exciting new home in a new neighbourhood your kids will come to love, children don’t often see it that way and the experience of moving can stress them out and wear them down. Luckily there are things you can do to make the process a lot easier.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help

When it comes to moving with kids, asking for help can be a life saver. As a general rule, adults understand how stressful and trying moving can be. Your friends, family and neighbours are often more than willing to help with the kids while you get Continue reading

Is your Real Estate Agent working for you?

Is your realtor working hard enough so that your house gets the exposure that it needs to attract buyers that are looking. It’s important that you know exactly what your realtor is doing to advertise your home. Don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions afterall this is your home and the goal is to have it SOLD.

The Best Way to Approach This Topic with Your Realtor

No one wants to feel as though someone is bossing him or her but you did hire your Realtor to do a job. That job is to work on getting your house the exposure it needs to sell. If you have a Realtor who isn’t putting the effort that he or she needs to, you are the one who remains stuck in a home you can’t sell.

The best way to approach your Realtor about what methods he or she is using to advertise your home is by making suggestions to open up discussion. For example, you could say you heard that some of your neighbors had luck with an open house. See what your Realtor’s reaction is and then use that as a lead into, “What else can we do to increase our exposure?” By not using the word, “you” you avoid finger pointing and bossiness. Instead, you are implying that it’s a team and it takes some of the pressure off the situation.

If you don’t get anywhere with this approach. You may just have to come out and say, “What types of methods of advertisements have you used for my home?” If your Realtor answers by saying that he or she has placed it in real estate books and magazines, ask to see them. You can mention that you would like to keep some for a keepsake, pass out to friends and family and/or to do some advertising on your own.

If Your Realtor isn’t Working for You

Check your contract for a way out so you can find another Realtor that will do a job that you are satisfied with. If you are unable to get out of contract with your Realtor, contact the realty office to speak to his or her supervisor. Keep in mind that this might spoil your relationship you have with your Realtor, so only do this as a last resort. The best way is to handle it with the Realtor and work together because you both have a common goal…selling your home.

BC budget includes new real estate taxes and spending commitments

Housing was the dominant issue in yesterday’s provincial budget.

The government released a 30-point housing strategy aimed at reducing housing demand, curbing tax fraud, building affordable housing, and increasing security for renters.

New tax measures include increasing property taxes and property transfer taxes on residential properties valued above $3 million, expanding the foreign buyer tax, and implementing a housing speculation tax.

“We welcome the provincial government’s commitment to address money laundering concerns and increase the supply of affordable, social, and rental housing in our province,” Jill Oudil, Board president said. “We’re concerned, however, about the series of tax measures announced today. The budget introduces new taxes, hints at future taxes, and hikes existing taxes on housing. Taxes don’t make homes more affordable.”

Below is a summary of the key real estate measures announced today. There’s considerable information to go through. We’re analyzing each item to understand the implications to you and your clients and will report back with more information and analysis in future communications.

Affordable housing

  • The province is investing $6 billion in affordable housing to create 114,000 homes over the next 10 years.
  • The province will enhance local government capacity to build and retain affordable housing.
  • The province will require developers to collect and report comprehensive information about the assignment of pre-sale condo purchases.
  • The province intends to track beneficial ownership information.
  • The province will collect additional information to increase transparency and strengthen enforcement in real estate.

Tax measures

Speculation tax

  • The province will implement a new speculation tax on residential properties, targeting foreign and domestic homeowners who don’t pay income tax in BC. This includes those who leave homes vacant.
  • The tax will apply to the Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley, Capital, and Nanaimo Regional districts and in the municipalities of Kelowna and West Kelowna.
  • In 2018, the tax rate will be $5 per $1,000 of assessed value. In 2019, the tax rate will rise to $20 per $1,000 of assessed value.
  • The province will administer the tax and will collect data to enforce it including, social insurance numbers, household information, and world-wide income information.

Foreign buyer tax

  • Effective Feb. 21, 2018, the foreign buyer tax will increase to 20 per cent from 15 per cent and will be extended to the Fraser Valley, Capital, Nanaimo, and Central Okanagan Regional Districts.
  • If the property is located in the Capital Regional District, Fraser Valley Regional District, Regional District of Central Okanagan, or Nanaimo Regional District, and the property transfer is registered on or after February 21, 2018, there are transitional rules available here.

Property Transfer Tax

Effective Feb. 21, 2018, the Property Transfer Tax on residential properties above $3 million will increase to five per cent from three per cent.

Provincial School Tax

Beginning in 2019, the provincial school tax will increase on most residential properties in excess of $3 million.

Database on pre-sale condo assignments

The province will require developers to collect and report comprehensive information about the assignment of pre-sale condo purchases. The information will be reported to a designated government office and shared with federal and provincial tax authorities to ensure taxes are paid.


Clarity of property ownership

Compelling access to MLS®

The province plans to enable tax administrators to compel access to information relevant to property transfers, such as information held in a MLS® database. (We’re asking government for clarification.)

Beneficial land ownership registry

The province will require additional information about beneficial ownership on the PTT form.

Administered by the LTSA, the information will be publicly available and shared with federal and provincial tax and law enforcement authorities. Legislation will be introduced to require BC corporations to hold accurate and up to date information on beneficial owners in their own record offices available to law enforcement, tax and other authorities.

Task force on money laundering and tax evasion

The province will work with the federal government to formalize a multi-agency working group on tax evasion, money laundering and housing.


Read the Homes for BC 30-point plan for housing affordability


Read the Budget 2018 Speech


The start of a new year is the ideal time to make changes at home. One common New Year’s resolution is to cut the clutter, helping you have a fresh start in 2018. Make room in your life for new experiences this year. Out with the old, in with the new, as it were.

Here are 5 items to toss out for a clutter-free start to 2018.

Unused Toiletries

For whatever reason, we often end up with half-used and unwanted toiletries. Instead of letting them take over your bathroom, toss them all and reorganize the ones you actually use. A good rule of thumb is to toss out anything you haven’t used in the last month. To avoid feeling wasteful, offer unopened products to friends and family.

Old Towels and Linen

While you’re in the bathroom, get rid of another item that seems to accumulate over time. Throw away worn-out towels and bed linen. Animal shelters are often grateful for old towels, too.


Cookbooks are often bulky and it’s rare to find one where you use more than a few of the recipes. To save space, photocopy the recipes that you do use and get rid of those giant tomes.

Sports Equipment

In the first burst of enthusiasm for a new sport, it is tempting to get all kitted out. But when that enthusiasm fades, sports equipment is often left gathering dust and taking up space.

Boxes and Packaging

It’s always tempting to keep the packaging from TVs, stereos, appliances and more. Sure, you think, it will come in handy if you want to resell the item, but the reality is it’s just clutter.