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  Vancouver Island Real Estate News from Rudi Widdershoven September 2014   



When you put your home on the market, it’s important to specify which items come with the house and which don't.  This month’s article highlights the importance of specifying fixtures so that you can avoid any potentially awkward situations.

There are also some basic negotiating tips to help you successfully navigate your way through virtually any situation, as well as a few back-to-school lunchbox ideas that’ll turn your kid’s hunger into happiness.

Thanks so much for checking out this month's newsletter.  Please get in touch if you have any questions or comments regarding the articles, or real estate in general -- it'd be great to hear from you!

Warmest Regards,
Rudi W.
In this issue...
Vancouver Island REALTORS® Experience Busy Summer
Taking Everything but the Kitchen Sink
Negotiating Tips for Everyday Life
Think Outside the Lunch Box

Vancouver Island REALTORS® Experience Busy Summer 

Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) sales summary data for August released by the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB) shows housing sales activity in the VIREB coverage area was down eight per cent when compared to August 2013.

A total of 361 single‐family homes sold on the MLS® system in August 2014 compared to 454 last month.  July saw stronger‐than‐anticipated sales activity, and August’s dip was not unexpected, as sales are generally slower in the summer months.

President Elect Jason Finlayson is encouraged by the strong summer showing.  “August 2014 sales remained strong in the Vancouver Island housing market area, continuing to reflect a balanced market,” notes Finlayson.  Most REALTORS® had busy summers, and we expect that trend to continue into the fall.”

In August 2014, the benchmark price for a single-family-home in the VIREB coverage area was $315,500, with an MLS® HPI index value of 148.3.  This represents a 48.3 per cent increase since January 2005, when the index was 100.  The average price of a single-family-home in the VIREB area was $339,547, unchanged from August 2013.

BCREA economist, Cameron Muir, reported that things continue to look very positive overall on the Canadian economic front.  While improved economic conditions are expected and welcomed, Muir noted that, “we may see slightly higher mortgage rates by the end of the year, as a result.”

Vancouver Island’s benchmark price for a single-family-home was $315,000 in August, an increase of .61 per cent over last year.  The benchmark price for a single-family-home in the Campbell River area was $266,800, up 2.55 per cent over this time last year; in the Comox Valley, the benchmark price was $325,400, marking an increase of 1.03 per cent over last year; Duncan reports a benchmark price of $277,300, down 3.70 per cent compared to last year; Nanaimo’s benchmark price was $331,400, up slightly by 0.61 per cent from last year; Parksville/Qualicum has a benchmark price of $359,900, up 2.97 per cent over last year; and the price for a benchmark home in Port Alberni is listed at $195,100, down .59 per cent from last year.

Taking Everything but the Kitchen Sink 

Addressing fixtures early on in the real estate process is key.

Imagine the excitement as you walk through your new home a few days before closing!  Your joy however quickly turns sour when you discover the antique chandelier you fell in love with has vanished.

Now imagine you're the sentimental seller packing up your grandmother’s chandelier when the angry buyer calls to confront its removal.  This type of scenario plays out all too often so here are a few tips to help you avoid similar situations:

  1. What’s What - A fixture is usually something that’s attached to the building such as shelving units, ceiling fans and curtain rods.

  2. That’s a Keeper - Personal items (often referred to as chattels) are items such as area rugs, hanging mirrors and curtains.

  3. List It - Real estate law isn’t always black and white in terms of what stays and what goes so make a list in advance of which items you’re including and excluding.

  4. Sentimentality - Remove fixtures with sentimental value before the showing process rather than writing them in as exclusions so the buyer won’t feel like they’re missing out.

  5. Hole in the Wall - There’s usually a bit of damage left over when a fixture’s removed so clarify if you plan on making repairs so you can put the buyer’s mind at ease.

Chattels and fixtures can oftentimes be subjective.  To avoid unnecessary confusion and expensive legal fees, ensure you proactively specify your exclusions as soon as you put your home on the market.  Whether you’re selling or buying, you’ll want a smooth transaction where both parties happily walk away with what they expected.

Negotiating Tips for Everyday Life 

Good negotiation skills will help you get what you want!

Real estate agents use their negotiation skills to help both parties move towards a common goal.  They’re however an important skill that everyone can take advantage of.

The principles are the same whether you’re negotiating a raise with your boss or a curfew with your teenager.  Here are a few techniques to consider:

  1. Cash or Charge? - If your child hates doing their homework, simply ask “Would you like to do your homework before or after dinner?”  Instead of excuses, they'll just pick an option.

  2. Silence is Golden - Don’t say anything after making an offer.  This gives the other party a chance to think but more importantly, it forces them to break the uncomfortable silence.

  3. Feel, Felt, Found - This technique allows you to recognize the other party’s objection, empathize and then offer a solution.  ie. “I know how you feel son, I felt the same way when I had to go to bed early but the next day, I found I had way more energy!"

Negotiating is a huge part of an agent’s skill set so when it comes to buying or selling a home, you’ll want to have an expert on side to help you overcome the various challenges that accompany a real estate deal.  For everyday life, honest communication and the ability to negotiate can turn virtually any circumstance into a win-win situation!

Think Outside the Lunch Box 

A little creativity goes a long way when it comes to school lunches!

It’s frustrating when the lunch you lovingly pack for your kids is either traded or comes home uneaten.  Here are a few fresh ideas that they’ll look forward to:

  1. Mix it Up - Make mini English muffin pizzas, turkey tortillas pinwheels or apple butter bagels.

  2. Keep it Healthy - Use dates or dried fruits in cookies.  Carrot cake and homemade banana bread will be a huge hit so make extra for the freezer!

  3. Make Your Own - Kids love to assemble things so put in the fixings and encourage them to build their own sandwich.

There are so many quick and easy ways to jazz up the contents of a lunch box.  A little creativity goes a long way to ensure it’s not thrown in the trash and replaced with a bag of chips and a can of pop.


PS  Oh by the way, we are never too busy for any of your introductions.  If you know of anyone that may benefit from our help please contact us with their name and number and let them know that we will be in touch.  We would be privileged to assist them!

If you would like to keep up on the market and would like automatic email notifications of new listings, sales, etc. Click here or drop us an email or give us a call:  250-468-1498 / 250-248-1071team@teamw.ca

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