Frequently Asked
Questions

Heather Freeman Realty Faqs
You are not required to use a real estate agent to sell your home. You have the ability to sell it yourself! You can price, market, show, negotiate offers, and facilitate closing by yourself. But without an agent, you will not be able to get your home up on MLSTM where real estate agents look every day and the majority of buyers go to browse on a regular basis. Once your home is on MLSTM it also will show on several other sites like: https://www.realtor.ca https://www.rew.ca Real estate agents network with a multitude of buyers and other agents, plus they use other marketing tactics that help reach even more buyers. This increases your chances of attracting the right buyer, for the right price, at the right time, with the right terms that protect you and keep you from potentially being sued if you miss a crucial step.  Without the knowledge and resources of a real estate agent, the result for many “for sale by owners” is two extremes: One results in lost profit, and the other results in a home sitting on the market for long periods of time with no offers. Over 90% of home sellers do use real estate agents and find that their expertise saved time, with higher sold prices that make the cost of commission worth it.

Yes, I do not require you to sign an exclusive buyer’s contract. If you are unhappy with my services I would never want you to feel stuck. However, if you are worried about something, please always feel free to explain your concerns and I likely can accommodate you.

When you list a home with a real estate agent you will sign a listing contract. This contract will state the length of the contract with an expiry date. On the Sunshine Coast, most of the listing contracts are between 3-6 months in length but the minimum amount of days, as per the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver’s rules, is 60 days. If you are not happy with your agent’s performance but you’re still under contract, start by having an honest conversation with them. If you feel you still aren’t getting anywhere, you can also contact the agent’s brokerage and ask for the managing broker. 

At Heather Freeman’s Realty the number one priority is customer satisfaction so if there’s a problem, let me know and I’ll try to do everything within my power to remediate the situation. If I still can’t solve it, we can discuss the possibility of releasing you from your contract. I don’t believe that you should be held to a piece of paper if you feel unsatisfied with my service.

Yes, you can have the same agent give you representation for both the selling of your home and your new purchase. But the selling agent cannot give representation for you selling your house and to the buyer buying your house as that would be a conflict of interest. The seller has to have their own agent and the buyer brings an agent as well, that way, two agents are working together to represent each client for each of their own best interests.

Real estate on the Sunshine Coast is seasonal – generally speaking, with the slowest times in November, December and January. Markets often pick up again in the spring – by March. While a number of possessions and completions occur in August, in terms of home sales August tends to be a slower month, with a pick up again in September. However, you also want to think about inventory and the amount of homes that you have to compete with. Depending on the type of property that you own, less competition may be a huge advantage for you. 

At the end of the day you also have to think about what works for your family and your unique situation. It is a lot of work keeping the house tidy while showings are happening so maybe time it with the kids being in school or your work schedule. Also, speak with your real estate agent to learn about what the current market is doing. If it is down, can you hang on and wait for a potential sellers market? What if one doesn’t come? It’s best to discuss timing and strategy with an experienced real estate professional and ask them what the current market is doing.

That is a complex question, and so many different reasons play a part to result in a home selling in a reasonable time frame. Generally, a home doesn’t sell for one or more of these reasons: 

  1. It’s overpriced  
  2. It’s not marketed well enough 
  3. It doesn’t show well to prospective buyers.

 

Other factors contribute as well, like is your chosen agent responding to all inquiries and working with their colleagues to encourage showings? Are they fast-acting? Speak frequently to your real estate agent about what the problem could be. Do a re-evaluation of your home and look at the recent sales and active properties. How does your home compare? Do you think it’s time for a price adjustment? If both you and your agent agree that you’re still priced appropriately, then start taking a look at the marketing that has been done both online and offline to see if your real estate agent can improve. 

Take a look at the home and declutter. If you can put stuff in storage or add fresh paint or have a professional come help do a deep clean, that can all be a very effective way of improving your chances! How the home shows and the emotional connection people make with it when they first walk in the door is extremely important. First impressions like curb appeal when walking in the front door are huge! Assess and see where you can make improvements, and ask your real estate agent what the feedback has been from the public and other agents that have already come through.

Sellers sometimes believe that if they price their home high to start with, they can always decrease it later. However, the first couple of weeks are vital to the sale of your home. This is when real estate agents and buyers will take note if they think it’s a fair price and make a first impression if they want to view the house or not. Gradually, once the price does come down to market value, by that time it’s been on the market for too long, buyers will be wary and reject the property assuming there is something wrong. It’s gone “stale”. For those that do make an offer, there is a tendency to lowball as they believe they have negotiating power as it has been sitting for too long. 

Price it right, right from the start!

No. The most important thing to understand about counter offers is that when you (or the other party) counters, then the previous offer is nil. So each counter has to be considered carefully as a deal can be lost if not strategized with careful considerations.

The buyer of a property pays the property transfer tax. Therefore, when you go on to purchase a home you will be the one paying property transfer tax.

It is always recommended to seek advice from a tax accountant but the general amount owed on completion date is the following:

PROPERTY TRANSFER TAX [PTT]: PTT applies to the fair market value and is payable by the Buyer at the time of completion, unless the Buyer qualifies for an exemption or Rebate. The rate of PTT is: 1% of the 1st $200,000, plus 2% up to $2,000,000, plus 3% of the balance. If the property is residential, plus 2% on the portion greater than $3,000,000. For further information on the PTT or any available Rebates, Buyer must seek advice from a Tax Consultant.

It is best to leave your house when potential buyers are there. The purpose of the buyer being there is to have them picture themselves living there and think in the mindset that it could be their house! We find that when the owners are home it can often make the buyer’s feel uncomfortable and like they’re intruding. They can’t help but feel rushed and like they can’t look at the home the way that they would if you were absent. You want buyers to be free to talk with their agent about any potential offers. Showings typically only take 30 minutes. Take that time to go visit a friend, do some errands, or grab a coffee and have some down time.

No, you do not need a for sale sign in your lawn. Though, we do find that often the buyer is right in your own neighbourhood. They may have friends or family that are looking to move into the area. A lawn sign is an easy way to market your home and make sure you gain extra exposure on your property

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