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REAL ESTATE: Support documents sell homes faster – Agassiz-Harrison Observer

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By Freddy Marks

Property buyers spend a lot of time asking questions to determine if a property is the right choice for them.

Buyers must perform some level of due diligence with every property they are seriously considering. A buyer must examine every aspect of a property to confirm your listing is accurately represented and there will be no unpleasant surprises down the line. Mortgage lenders also depend on documentation to determine if a property is factually represented in order to approve buyers.

Accurate and detailed listings with corresponding support documentation are a catalyst to sell your home faster and closer to the asking price.

Your realtor will ask you many questions about your property in order to create a detailed and accurate listing description. Your listing description is the white paper for your home, a chance to fully inform the reader of all the properties assets, services and features.

It is imperative that you have a comprehensive list of details and the supporting homeowner documentation that back up your listings claims. Documents make it real, they let a buyer know that what they read in your listing is actually true and honest integrity will prevail if they enter into a purchase contract with you. Their decision to make a competitive offer, and follow through with the final vetting and inspections, depends on how confident they are that the property is being truthfully represented.

Many buyers will still purchase property even if they know there are dated services, old wiring or major renovations are needed. It is to your advantage to be up front!

RELATED: Chilliwack and district real estate market back on solid ground

When a buyer ask questions of the listing realtor, for example, “how deep is the well, what year was it drilled and how many gallons a minute does it produce?” They expect that there is an honest and accurate answer backed up by the drillers’ well log.

Just typing out what details you know can be satisfactory, but it then puts the onus on the buyer to have a well inspection completed at their own time and expense. Quickly emailing a copy of the well drillers’ log directly to a potential buyer is the best way to answer their question and build a buyer’s confidence in selecting your property.

People don’t make major purchases that they don’t actually believe will be a benefit and asset.

Having the documents at the ready when buyers are vetting your listing puts your realtor in a position to market your property effectively. Confidence and accuracy of representation is extremely important and it is in every sellers’ best interest to keep a binder of all your homes pertinent documents that covers all the bases right from the beginning of ownership.

  • You may have old documents that you were given when you purchased the property. Include those, as well as all your own documents since becoming the homeowner. Like a property owner’s manual. Your property owner’s manual should include the official property deed, documents regarding loans on the property, your property tax invoice, copies of the property land survey, inspection reports, and copies of permits and contractors’ invoices for any upgrades.
  • If your home was built by a contractor in the last 10 years you will have warranty documents, and if you built your home yourself, an owner builder declaration certificate is needed.
  • If you own a mobile/manufactured home, the CSA number and registration papers are necessary.
  • Include records of your homeowner’s insurance to show the home/property are currently insured and the annual cost associated.
  • Keep and file records of plumbing, heating, service calls and any new appliance purchases with accompanying warranties.
  • Home buyers may want to know your homes energy consumption numbers, so include a years invoices for your hydro, natural gas/propane, pellet or wood cordage costs.
  • You may also have service contract documents, for example, an alarm system contract, pool servicing contract, or underground sprinkler contractor that services the property.
  • When the property is a rental unit, include a copy of the lease agreement.
  • Buyers should be aware of lease timelines, and if a buyer is purchasing the property for investment purposes, they will require the amount of revenue generated.
  • Pertinent rural farm or ranch property, water rights documents, irrigation equipment hour records, Crown range lease documents and other Agricultural Land Reserve documents should be in your property owner’s manual.
  • It is necessary to disclose any Homeowners Association (HOA) documents that include fees, charter by-laws, rules and insurance. Provide contact information for the HOA contact so buyers can conduct their own due diligence on the property.
  • Review the legal disclosures you are responsible for providing. They will be listed on your original purchase paperwork.
  • Properties in airport flight paths must be disclosed for noise.
  • Flood zones, earthquake zones and hazardous material sites must also be disclosed if you are aware of them.
  • When you enter into an agreement on a price with a buyer, transparency is important.
  • You are required to follow “disclosure laws” and make known to the buyer any hazards affecting the property before the sale is official. Examples of mandatory disclosures include: lead-based paint, asbestos, environmental hazards such as oil, gas, or toxic chemicals, water damage, defects/malfunctions of major appliances or systems, and past disputes over things like property lines or fencing.

Remember clarification improves efficiency and documentation can keep the forward momentum when a buyer shows interest in your listing.

It can be a very time-consuming process to perform due diligence research. Providing your properties “owner’s manual” to a buyer shows integrity and honesty. It can make a difference on how quickly potential buyers are able to make an offer, and ultimately, how long your listing will remain on the market.

SEE ALSO: B.C. fire department offers tips to keep your home safe during wildfire season

Even if you plan to stay in your home for years to come, it is always a good idea to create and keep adding to your property owner’s manual, as the years go by fast. It will make selling your home when you are ready a much easier, less stressful and enjoyable experience.

I’d like to wish all our readers a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Thank you for following our column.

Freddy Marks, together with his daughter Linda Marks, runs Agassiz’s 3A Group Sutton Showcase Realty. He has been a Realtor in Canada and Germany for more than 30 years, and currently lives in Harrison Hot Springs.



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Calgary housing market sees best Q3 since 2014, says real estate board – CBC.ca

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Calgary had its strongest third quarter for housing sales since the price of oil plummeted in 2014, according to the latest report by the Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB).

There were 6,628 sales in the third quarter of this year, a sign that even as the pandemic is continuing to dampen the local economy, Calgary’s housing market remains resilient, says CREB’s quarterly update report released on Wednesday.

The report says much of the growth in demand has been driven by the low interest rates and the fact that many buyers’ incomes were not impacted by the pandemic and in fact saw their savings grow.

Overall, residential prices in Calgary rose by one per cent over the previous quarter and are about nine per cent higher than prices recorded in the third quarter of last year, the report said. 

CREB’s chief economist, Ann-Marie Lurie, says much of the upswing in activity was driven by detached and semi-detached home sales. And she said while supply has risen, it’s still somewhat of a seller’s market in Calgary. 

“Supply-demand balances improved for buyers compared to what we saw in the spring, but the market continued to favour the seller in the third quarter,” she said.

The report says the benchmark price is $538,700 for detached homes. That’s up 10.5 per cent from last year.

In the semi-detached market, the benchmark price is $427,767. That’s up 9.3 per cent from 2020.

For row housing, the benchmark price is $299,933 — 8.5 per cent higher than last year.

And in the apartment-condo market, demand rose in the third quarter, but to a lesser extent, the report says.

“The condominium market never entered sellers’ market conditions like other property types, but at five months of supply, this market is considered relatively balanced,” the report said.

The benchmark price in this sector is $253,533. That’s up by roughly 2.5 per cent year over year.

CREB also notes that, aside from strong resale figures, the newly built side of the market is also doing well, with housing starts up by more than 70 per cent in Calgary. 

CREB says in its report that the boost in the local housing market activity is contributing to an economic recovery that’s also being driven by the uptick in oil and gas prices. 

“This has contributed to employment growth in not only the finance, insurance and real estate sectors, but also the construction industry,” the report said. 

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Why people are paying real money for virtual real estate in the metaverse – Financial Post

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These virtual properties could be vacant parcels for creators to build on, or structures that reflect real-life properties and completely original creations

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Location, location, location. That’s the common phrase for success in the real estate market, and it’s no different when these properties are listed in an alternative virtual reality, called a metaverse.

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The metaverse is a growing topic in tech and some crypto circles, describing a virtual reality space into which users can log in and interact with one another using avatars to represent their real selves. It has been growing particularly in the gaming space with titles like Fortnite, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Roblox, and many others fostering a metaverse community for players. Social media websites such as Facebook are also pushing into the space with Horizon Worlds and is planning to hire 10,000 people in the European Union over the next five years to help build their vision of a metaverse.

It’s no coincidence that this concept has sci-fi vibes to it, the term “metaverse” was originally coined in science fiction writer Neal Stephenson’s book “Snow Crash” in 1992 to describe a virtual world that people would plug into using their own virtual avatars. Online games like Second Life, which launched in 2003, were a pioneers for metaverse economies, allowing users to trade goods and services using their in-game Linden dollars — including virtual real estate.

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It is also taking off among the decentralized finance crowd with platforms like Decentraland, an online metaverse space that calls itself the first fully decentralized virtual world owned by its users where they create, explore and trade virtual goods using smart contracts on the Decentraland marketplace. Along with virtual clothes and accessories you can purchase using the platform’s native MANA crypto, you can also secure virtual land parcels and estates.

These virtual properties could be vacant parcels for creators to build on, or structures that reflect real-life properties and completely original creations. They are represented by co-ordinates on the metaverse platform where users can meet up using their avatars to socialize and decorate their own spaces with collectibles.

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The possibilities are endless

Andrew Kiguel

Monetizing this space is starting to give rise to metaverse real estate companies, the first being Metaverse Property. Being a nascent industry, the company works to secure a wealth of land assets in the virtual real estate space. It focuses on buying and selling, managing business properties, offering rentals in the metaverse, virtual land development, as well as consultation and marketing. Metaverse Property currently operates on platforms including Decentraland, The Sanbox, Somnium Space, Cryptovoxels, and Upland.

Beyond being virtual landlords and developers, Metaverse Property also says it is creating what it’s calling the first “metaverse real estate investment trust (REIT)”, which will trade through a non-fungible token (NFT) that is backed by the company’s virtual land portfolio.

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With a bullish bet on metaverse real estate, crypto and decentralized financial services company Tokens.com Corp purchased a 50 per cent stake in Metaverse Group this week valued at about $1.7 million, reportedly a record equity investment in a metaverse real estate company.

Andrew Kiguel, the chief executive officer at Tokens.com, explained that the company’s goal is to secure as many virtual real estate land parcels as possible to rent them out to clients.

On platforms like Decentraland, which has seen more than $50 million in virtual sales for goods like real estate, clothes, accessories, usernames and avatars, an outlying parcel in an area less travelled could run a user around $5,000 MANA, or roughly over $4,600 Canadian dollars as of mid-October. These prices can jump up quickly in larger built-out properties in popular zones, with the highest-selling virtual plot of land recorded on the platform being a $1.3 million MANA property in June, equal to about US$900,000 at the time.

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Skeptics might find it bizarre to spend any amount of money on a property that they themselves cannot live in, though Kiguel told the Financial Post that there are valid uses for these virtual properties.

“Really, it’s the foot traffic,” Kiguel said. “So, you might want to build a house to invite friends over, you can decorate the walls with your NFTs, it’s a way of socializing…. COVID drove a lot of this: when the world shut down, people turned to their computers as a means of interacting with people, and so the foot traffic in the metaverse continues to grow at a very high rate.”

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Kiguel added that celebrities like Snoop Dogg are getting into the metaverse as well. In late September, Snoop Dogg partnered with The Sandbox to reconstruct his real-life mansion on the platform’s NFT metaverse. Paris Hilton signed a partnership with Decentraland as one of the headline celebrities being featured on the platform’s first-ever Metaverse Festival slated for October 21 to the 24th. Hilton will be using a Genies avatar, which are animated avatars that can speak using the celebrity’s voice.

With this growing adoption and promotion among brands and celebrities, Kiguel expects that more users will flock to the metaverse space.

“The possibilities are endless. There’s museums and galleries, if you want to go in and see some of the most expensive NFTs sold in the world … you can go to Decentraland,” Kiguel said. “So, the possibilities are really endless, here’s all the different things you could do to attract people here.”

• Email: shughes@postmedia.com | Twitter:
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Real estate cooling with fall temperatures, still on record pace – Winnipeg Sun

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The Manitoba real estate market started to cool off in September, but the province is still expected to smash 2020’s record year.

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There were 1,575 residential properties that were sold last month for total sales of $506.4 million. This is down 12.9% and 9.3%, respectively, from September 2020’s record numbers, but Stewart Elston, president of the Manitoba Real Estate Association said these sales still out-paced September 2019 by 15%.

He said the pandemic push for home offices and bigger yards has died down some but is still a factor. There is, however, an even bigger motivation for homebuyers.

“The pandemic is still playing into it a little bit but by and large it’s interest rates, low-interest rates are still driving the market,” said Elston.

He noted there are consumer protections in place to protect homebuyers in case the low-interest rates shoot up, specifically the stress test required for mortgages.

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The sector is still in good shape to improve on the high-water mark set last year for sales, fuelled by a red-hot spring. So far in 2021, there have been 16,013 residential properties sold, up 23.7% over last year and approaching the year-end record of 16,789 sales. The sector has already surpassed total dollars from 2020 with $5.28 billion in total dollars, up 35.3% over the first nine months of 2020, when the year-end total was $5.1 billion.

There have been 20,362 new listings through September, up 0.3%, and the average sale price of $329,998 is up 9.4%.

Elston said the big shift has come in the sale of condos — which includes apartment and townhouse-style dwellings. While single-home sales are still up 21%, condo sales are up 49% as people look for more affordable options.

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The average two-bedroom condo is selling for about $200,000, and one-bedroom condos are even cheaper.

“For a number of years the Winnipeg condo market was a little on the saturated side, listings took longer for a home to sell,” he said. “Now what we’re finding, we’re not getting a lot of bidding wars on condos or multiple offers, but they’re selling faster and they’re selling for closer to list price. There isn’t the excess of inventory on condos now there either.”

The market slowdown is good news for first-time buyers. As the sector cools the prices will also start to calm down as well.

“I think that’s a good thing and I think that should give any first-time buyer there’s hope of getting into something,” said Elston, who also recommended expanding their neighbourhood search and to consider condos as an affordable alternative.

jaldrtich@postmedia.com

Twitter: @JoshAldrich03

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Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.

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