In our current market, with the high liklihood of putting in an offer on a home with competing offers; negotiating needs to be top of mind. Negotiating starts before you even send your offer to the listing agent. Each piece of communication you make to your Realtor, and so your Realtor makes on your behalf, counts. 

Negotiation is a subtle art in real estate, but skilled negotiators can usually find some common ground that satisfies all parties. On the other hand, using the wrong negotiation tactics can sink a deal pretty quickly. Here are some negotiation tactics buyers (and real estate professionals) should avoid:

  1. Lowball offers: Going far below market value when you make an offer damages your credibility as a buyer and can be insulting to the seller. The seller has a range in mind that they’ll accept, and if you’re not even approaching the low end of that range, they won’t even consider the offer.
  2. Incremental negotiations: Don’t continue to go back to the seller with small increases in your offer ($1,000 or less). The constant back-and-forth can grow tiresome and lead the seller to consider other opportunities.
  3. “Take it or leave it”: Try not to draw a line in the sand with your initial offer. The seller can get defensive and consider other offers if you immediately show that you’re unwilling to budge. Even if it’s true, don’t make a show of it.
  4. Nitpicking after inspection: Obviously if inspection reveals a major issue, it should be factored into the final sale price. But insisting on a lower price for every minor repair can put negotiations in a stalemate.
  5. Asking for more, more, more: Some buyers will request that the sellers throw in add-ons like furniture or appliances that weren’t included in the listing. Try to avoid giving the seller a reason to build up resentment and think that you’re being greedy.

These days the smoking deal comes when you have landed a house that you love, not when you have weasled a deal and have gotten a huge chunk of change taken off. There is just too much demand for that to happen. A grounded and thoughful approach is important, and considering what others in the running, and the sellers might also be thinking will have you standing out in the pack. 

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Hello my beloved community,

I wanted to share an update on how things look now in our industry with regards to navigating around our new current normal.

Real estate services have been deemed an essential service, and for good reason. Having a fitting home space is a vital necessity, and just because Covid 19 has altered our safety in navigating around the way we used to, that does not change that we are still in a housing shortage market and some of our community members still need to find a home or change their current one.

So, like many other industries, we have leaned on our resources, and found creative ways to do business and protect our clients. Although home owners, buyers and agents are all responsible for setting their own preferences and requirements for showings, there are some common practices that we are seeing that I can share with you.

Current Real Estate Norms:

  • Gloves are worn by buyers and buyer agents at showings
  • Listed houses are not only being kept clean but also sanitized before and after showings
  • Sellers or seller agents will turn on all lights and have doors open to reduce the need to touch even with gloves on
  • It is requested that children stay home 
  • Carpooling with your agent is nixed
  • Buyer screening has a higher standard: 

1.   Proof of preapprovals for mortgages

2.   Pre drive-by's encouraged 

3.   All photos, videos, 3D tours and document viewing done before a showing request is made  

4.   Waivers signed to prove that the buyer has not been exposed to Covid or had any symptoms

  • Virtual tours, virtual open houses and virtual walkthroughs offered by your agent
  • Some lawyers are working with clients virtually and doing witnessed signing via video chats
  • Some lenders are still able to fund buyers who have temporarily lost their jobs due to Covid 
  • The moratorium on evictions has made it so that when buying a tenanted property, the buyer must know and accept that they may not gain possession until after that moratorium has been lifted, and most likely then after the regular required notice is given

Regarding transactions for our area, it has quickly become a buyers market. This may be temporary or it may last awhile, nobody really knows. There is a lot of speculation that home prices will tumble down, although we haven't seen this yet in listing prices. However, multiple offer situations have slowed and with houses staying on the market longer, more are selling at under asking as opposed to our March market where homes were still frequently selling for over asking in multiple offer situations. This is certainly not standard, there are still houses selling quickly, but there no doubt is a new trend here.

My current focus is on sourcing income-generating properties. Not only is this something I am very passion about and have been since I bought my first house in 2007, but I also something that I believe is a great choice for many people who live here on Vancouver Island. Homes with suites, suite potential, carriage and laneway house potential and big old back forties for growing food, and raising chickens and goats. The cream of the crop kind of stuff! I have laser beams on my eyeballs for this kind of stuff. Reach out if that is something you want to learn more about. With my background in construction I cannot help but spot the opportunity in propertiesJ

Feel free to reach out if you have any other questions or would like to be linked up to a mortgage broker who may just be able help right now or a lawyer who is keeping up with the times. I've got some great recommendations for you. 

Lastly, CHEERS!!!!

A great big shout out to everybody who is loving harder these days, pitching in more, putting themselves out there in the line of fire and to our community at large. It is the most heart-warming time I have ever experienced and it is not going unnoticed!!

Also, I got your back too. :) <3 

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“The new moon signifies the, start of a new cycle. It’s the time to formulate new intentions and re-evaluate existing ones.”

I have been observing that we can become so identified with what we believe that we want/must have for ourselves, that other options and alternate scenarios will be put into a blind spot and not considered. Here is the tricky part I’ve learned, and a tune that my stepfather used to sing to me as a child, “you don’t always get (just) what you want….”

When shopping for a house, the owner of the parameter box of wants that is large and oddly shaped is a more likely contestant to find a home that they will buy. If the box is small and confined it may take years to finally find a home to buy and it may not have been the home that was found but the lengthening of parameters that allowed one to buy the eventual house.

I can see a sort of teeter-totter in people choices that on one end is the saying YES to the instinct within you that falls for the dusty/hidden sparkle of a place, and on the other end of the totter there is the what-if’s taken over and stifling progress. 

Now, I am not suggesting that buyer’s should settle on something they are not in love with, because I fully believe that it is important to feel for the property you purchase. I am suggesting however that if you are house shopping, TODAY, on the New Moon, is an excellent day to turn in, and do a little body “house hunt” on yourself.

“This is a lower energy phase (moon), so get plenty of rest and give yourself the space to connect to your true purpose, passion and mission. Set aside time for meditating or journaling, or head into nature for inspiration. From here you can set intentions which are aligned with your authentic self.”

Unraveling the knit of thoughts of what we think we know about what it is we want or must avoid, might just lead way to more clarity and allow a creative mind to see a home the way we truly want to see it; with inspiration, excitement, trust and vibrant energy to make malleable the skins of it to turn it into just ours.

What is your practice for shedding expectations and igniting intention and possibility?

~Excerpts taken from The Moon Calendar App

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