Area Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

June 29, 2022

How to Sell a Home in a Changing Market - A Guide

Kelowna Housing Market is Changing

Many of the new changes to the housing market have happened within the few months. Buyers emerging real estate preferences have changed how we sell real estate and require thoughtful consideration when listing your home for sale.

Timing is a critical factor in a successful home sale. Watch the inventory carefully. If you sell your home with nine other competing houses, you will need to be the best in show at a competitive price to get the buyer.

Subtle changes make a difference in how well a home does as far as the sale price. Those “little things” add up to be big things, especially in the luxury market.

Here is my Top 10 list for Sellers on a winning sales strategy for your home in today’s changing market:

1. Timing is everything

List your home when there is low inventory in your price point. You can watch the market with your agent by requesting a subscription to the MLS so you can monitor local activity for months before you hit the market. The best seasonal time in Kelowna is typically March through August, but a low inventory market can push those great sales into autumn. Avoid listing your home when there are many houses similar to yours on the market. If that is not possible, then look to condition and price to beat the market inventory.

2. Move in Ready

This is the biggest shift in housing, and there are many contributing factors to this shift. Buyers have busier lives than in the past and less disposable cash for repairs and remodels. Both spouses typically work, making managing a remodeling project nearly impossible. The contractor pool has diminished with nearly zero unemployment, and trying to get a contractor to come to your home to remodel a kitchen or bathroom, let alone a whole house remodel, has become a huge issue. Compound that with costs due to the supply issues, and it just makes sense to buy a move-in ready house. In the end, move-in ready is more affordable and easier on the buyer’s lifestyle.

3. Inventory

High inventory in your price range? You may want to wait to list your home. Ask your realtor how many months of inventory are on the market in your price range?. Then ask how many houses sold in the last 6 months to gauge how quickly the inventory is selling. In some luxury markets, we have 18 months of inventory—a cautionary tale for those selling their million-dollar homes. You may have to price your home very aggressively to take advantage of the end of this great housing market and make sure your condition is premium. Take a tour with your realtor to view all the homes for sale you are competing with before you price your home.

4. Interest Rates... oh my!  

Interest rates are steadily rising, this has greatly impacted the buyer pool, as a dual licensed Mortgage Specialist and Realtor, I can attest to how difficult it is for first time buyers to jump into this market. For luxury listings, the sliding scale for borrowers is also becoming more difficult. Most people who wanted to buy in 2022 are realizing it's now or wait a year to two, with rates expected to increase more before the end of the year.

As of yesterday, I saw a rate of 5.84% come across my desk. This means if a buyer wants a five year fixed rate, they have to qualify at the greater of the contract rate by 2%. Qualifying at 7.84% means a lot less house than just a few months ago. I encourage my buyers to get a variable rate mortgage, you can still qualify for these with the benchmark rate of 5.25%, but this is expected to change shortly. So we are seeing those that do want to buy, wanting to do it soon.

5. Pricing is EVERYTHING

Almost all listings are now seeing "Price Changes". Sellers have to walk into the market knowing that it is not the same frenzy it was only a few months ago. Make sure you listen to your agent as they prepare the data, and make special note of the days on market. If you price your property right straight out of the gate, you will sell before all the older, stale listings. Once a property has been for sale for over 30 days, you will struggle to the eyes on it that the first week allows. Pricing it right will result in the interest and the sale.

6. Lifestyles

Buyers' lifestyle is more important than their housing. This happened quickly. People are trading in the big house in the suburbs for travel and enjoyment. This explains why the millennials and the baby boomers are both converging on smaller, well-done homes. Have this in mind when listing your home for sale. It is all about price, condition, and location (in that order) now.

7. School Districts

This has always been true. Make sure your realtor has the latest school information to share with prospective buyers. Each community has specific information that can be printed out and uploaded to your MLS Feed on your home. Make sure that information is readily available to buyers.

8. Surveillance 

80% of all the houses we now sell have inside and outside surveillance systems. Conversations regarding negotiations should be kept at a minimum inside the home. Alexa, RING, and Google all have smart devices to see and hear you in a home. You may want to consider surveillance devices for your home sale if you are concerned about safety and valuables in your home. Knowing when someone is coming or going can be a valuable tool in the sale of your home.

9. The millennial impact on housing

The new age buyers typically do not buy up to their limit. They are conservative. They have busy lives with two working spouse families, so the condition of the home is very important to them. They do not have time to meet with contractors and remodel a new kitchen. They are short on readily available cash but can finance the new home just fine. Doing a kitchen or a bathroom remodel can seem overwhelming to them, you should consider doing a kitchen or bath refacing before you hit the market to appeal to this new buyer pool. Make sure your home is as move-in ready as possible.

10. Photography

Photos are your calling card to your buyer. They should be as perfect as you can get them! Seasonal photos become so important. Fresh spring photos stand out in January and entice buyers to see your home above all others. High definition photos, drone, and a 3D Video tour should all be considerations in your agent’s marketing of your home. Your photos, once out there, are the most important marketing tool you have, so be picky and make sure your agent is using the very best technology to sell your home. Regardless of how inexpensive or luxury your home is, it really is the photography that will entice buyers.

Posted in Home Buyers
May 14, 2022

Mortgage Rates Increasing - How will this change how much you qualify for?

 

 

May 2022

Fixed Mortgage Rates are rising. The Fed is trying to curb the fast emerging recession, and one of the ways they do this is to raise all kinds of rates.

Benchmark or Stress Test Rate:

As of today's rates, the benchmark or stress test rate is still 5.25%. This is the rate you will have to qualify at, if you choose a variable rate mortgage. Currently you can get a variable rate mortgage for Prime (currently 3.2%) -1%. That means that your rate would be 2.2% (currently).

IF you wanted a five year fixed rate, you would have to qualify at the HIGHER of, the benchmark rate OR the contract rate (5 yr rate) PLUS 2%, whichever is greater. So you would have to qualify for 4.09% PLUS 2% = 6.09%, this is drastically higher than benchmark. It could mean you may have to come up with thousands of dollars more, or much less of a house.

This is why it is so important to get any rate locked in, if you are on the search to buy a new home. Rate holds are only good for 4 months, so as long as that is a good window to find, purchase and move in, it is sufficient.

Need more Mortgage or Real Estate advice?  Call or text me today!! 778-583-5722

In this video I go into greater details:

 

Posted in Home Buyers
Nov. 8, 2021

Selling your Property in Kelowna or the South Okanagan

 

You want the easiest home sale for the most amount of money. It's very  tempting to choose the Realtor who says your homes is worth the most. But all Kelowna REALTORS are accessing the same comparable properties and sales data so you need to work with someone who goes further.

 

We know home buyers begin their real estate search online. This is why we ensure your home is marketed where it will be seen, in a manner designed to highlight your property’s attributes and features. Creative marketing strategies keep our team ahead of the game in this unusual market.

 

At Canada Flex Realty, we are committed to ensuring that all potential buyers are able to find and view our real estate listings online. As such, we incorporate a thorough digital marketing strategy. Our online marketing efforts include: SEO for top keywords; pay-per-click advertising; social media advertising; social media networking; local, and BC wide advertising.

 

 

Posted in Home Sellers
Nov. 4, 2021

First Time Buyers

First Time Home Buyers

Wading the waters of buying your first piece of Real Estate is confusing and daunting. The reason a Real Estate Professional is such a great resource, is because they have the experience, they know all the ins and outs and can guide you through the process.

First Step:

The first MOST important step to buying your first property, is the get PRE-QUALIFIED. You need to know how much you qualify for based on the following:

  • How much of a down payment do you have access to? Some forms of down payment are
    1. Gifted Down Payment - can come from your family, does not need to be repaid
    2. Savings - hopefully you have been saving for a long time and can verify this via bank statements
    3. Borrowed Down Payments - there is a program that will allow you to borrow the money, as long as it fits into your debt service ratios
    4. Canada First Time Home Buyers Program - this allows you to use your RRSP as a down payment
  • Do not think that an instant pre-approval from a bank is a "real" pre-qualification! You need to show all support documents to get an "actual" pre-qualification. This means that you have a firm approval and a rate hold on the mortgage. I can help, visit my Mortgage Website for more information, and I can get the process started for you.

Second Step:

After we have secured your Pre-Qualification, it's time to discuss your wish list, what do you  want in a home? Condo? House, townhouse? Once we finalize the details of the maximum purchase price, neighborhood, and desired amenities, we can set you up with an automated search. As you can see from my website, you can really narrow down what you want to have delivered daily, for properties. Taking into consideration how hot the market is in the Kelowna area, it's important to stay on top of this. 

Making an Offer:

Once you find the home that you love and want to make an offer on, we sit down and look at all the past sales in the previous few months, and determine a fair offer. It's now that you can decide the closing date, when you want to move in! You will have a financing condition, which means we finalize and secure the mortgage on the purchase property. You had to get pre-qualified, now the lender just makes sure the property is approved (value) and we settle the final details and sign the papers. You will also have a home inspection condition, so that you can hire a professional home inspector and make sure there are no problems with the property. Once all of the conditions that we set for the purchase are fulfilled and waived, you are the proud owner of a new property! 

Wading the waters of purchasing real estate is not simple. There are many facets to it, and with the help of an experienced Real Estate Professional to guide you, it should be one of the most exciting times in your life. I would love to assist you, feel free to reach out and let me work with you to make your home ownership dreams come true! 

Posted in Home Buyers
July 31, 2017

Curious About Local Real Estate?

Receive the Latest Local Market Stats

Curious about local real estate? So are we! Every month we review trends in our real estate market and consider the number of homes on the market in each price tier, the amount of time particular homes have been listed for sale, specific neighborhood trends, the median price and square footage of each home sold and so much more. We’d love to invite you to do the same!

Get Local Market Reports Sent Directly to You

You can sign up here to receive your own market report, delivered as often as you like! It contains current information on pending, active and just sold properties so you can see actual homes in your neighborhood. You can review your area on a larger scale, as well, by refining your search to include properties across the city or county. As you notice price and size trends, please contact us for clarification or to have any questions answered.

We can definitely fill you in on details that are not listed on the report and help you determine the best home for you. If you are wondering if now is the time to sell, please try out our INSTANT home value tool. You’ll get an estimate on the value of your property in today’s market. Either way, we hope to hear from you soon as you get to know our neighborhoods and local real estate market better.

Posted in Market Updates