Tuesday, 17 January 2012

You only have One chance to make a Good First Impression!!

Tips For Preparing Your Home For Showings
  • Tidy up the porch/decks and garage. Keep the lawn trimmed and edged. Make sure that your yard is clean.  When showing in the winter make sure snow is cleared and walkways are free of ice.
  • Your front door adds to that first impression - be sure it is clean or repainted if necessary.
  • Wash windows and clean/dust window coverings.
  • If any decorating or painting is needed (especially in the kitchen), do it now! Forty dollars worth of paint will make a difference in the sales price.
  • Bathrooms help sell homes. Make them sparkle.
  • Replace burnt out bulbs and turn on the lights for all showings. Illumination is like a welcome sign.
  • Wash dishes/turn on dishwasher, make beds, put away clothes and straighten up.
  • Keep pets out of the way during showings – as some people are allergic to them.
  • Leave the showing to the Realtor.  The Realtor knows the buyer’s requirements and can best emphasize the features of your home.  If possible, leave the house during a showing.
  • Don’t discuss anything about the sale with a potential customer.  Let your Realtor discuss price, terms, possession and other items concerning the sale.   Your Realtor is qualified to bring negotiations to a favorable conclusion.
  • Pack away valuables, store extra furniture and knick-knacks.
  • Look at your home objectively. Pretend you are seeing it for the first time, through a buyer’s eyes.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

HIGGINS REPORT ON THE MARKET. 2010 vs 2011

As you can see the number of sales for the last 6 months of 2011 were up as compared to 2010. Available inventory remains high making for a strong Buyers Market.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Moving Checklist

Closing And Moving - once the contract is firm and all conditions have been removed you are nearing the final stretch. Some of the terms that are negotiated on the contract are closing and possession dates. These dates determine the deadlines for communicating with your financial lender, attorney, movers etc. We will follow-up with your attorney and financial lender to ensure that all the proper paperwork has been received. 
Moving with Children - Often when you are thinking about moving with children, you decide to move in the summer when they are out of school. If you are moving to a new neighbourhood, it is important to think about how difficult it may be for them to make new friends during the summer holidays. Moving during the school year allows them to instantly meet children in the classroom. This gives them time to make a couple of friends their own age, who live in the neighbourhood before the summer holidays.
A Smooth Move:
  1. Prepare a file to keep receipts of moving expenses, you maybe able to claim some for tax purposes depending on how far you are moving and why you are moving. 
  2. Get written estimates from at least two moving companies. 
  3. Go through everything and donate what you no longer need to charity - moving cost is by weight so don't take what you don't need. 
  4. Get packing paper, boxes, pens and tape. 
  5. Transfer the utilities out of your name. 
  6. Change of address for Canada Post, newspapers, magazines, clubs, organizations, doctors, friends and family, services and your insurance company. 
  7. Order new cheques from the bank with your new address. 
  8. Notify the outbound and inbound schools. 
  9. If moving into or out of an apartment, book the elevator. 
  10. Return all items you have borrowed and get back what you have loaned. 
  11. Plan and start early!
    Here is a detailed moving check list:



    TaskDue DateCheck
    Get estimates from moving companies and arrange method of paymentASAP
    Get packing paper, pad for inventory, and marking pens, boxes, and twine for packing belongings25 days prior
    Notify Existing Water Company25 days prior
    Notify Cell Phone Company25 days prior
    Notify Housecleaning Service25 days prior
    Notify Vehicle Registration and Licensing Agency25 days prior
    Notify Existing Internet Supplier25 days prior
    Notify New Internet Supplier25 days prior
    Complete Change of Address form with Canada Post25 days prior
    Notify Lawyer25 days prior
    Notify Finance Companies25 days prior
    Arrange for a yard sale for unnecessary belongings25 days prior
    Notify New Gas/Oil company25 days prior
    Notify Alarm Service25 days prior
    Notify Existing Cable/Satellite Company25 days prior
    Notify New Cable/Satellite Company25 days prior
    Notify Credit Cards25 days prior
    Notify Schools25 days prior
    Notify Magazines25 days prior
    Notify Book & Music clubs25 days prior
    Notify Doctor25 days prior
    Notify Dentist25 days prior
    Notify Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA)25 days prior
    Notify New Electric Company25 days prior
    Notify Existing Electric Company25 days prior
    Notify Garbage (special pick-up)25 days prior
    Notify Existing Telephone Company25 days prior
    Notify Loan Institutions25 days prior
    Notify Loyalty Programs25 days prior
    Notify Library25 days prior
    Notify Newspapers25 days prior
    Notify Catalogue Subscriptions25 days prior
    Notify New Water Company25 days prior
    Notify Existing Gas/Oil Company25 days prior
    Notify Non-government Supplementary Health Plan25 days prior
    Notify Insurance Agencies25 days prior
    Arrange for work that has to be done at new home25 days prior
    Notify New Telephone Company25 days prior
    Verify your moving in date with your new landlord15 days prior
    Collect items being cleaned or repaired 15 days prior
    Check to make sure you have returned all rented items15 days prior
    Check to make sure you have returned all borrowed items and get back any items you have loaned15 days prior
    Clean Rugs and Drapes5 days prior
    Take down any items that have been excluded in your contract5 days prior
    Prepare a list of items you'll need immediately at destination, such as a flashlight, light bulbs, toilet paper, cleaning supplies, pillows, sheets, blankets, towels, snacks and drinks. If not taking this box with you make sure it is marked: FIRST OFF 5 days prior
    Get utilities turned on, or meters read5 days prior
    Collect all keys including garage and shed for new owner1 day prior
    Leave garage door openers for new owner1 day prior
    Leave all manuals, warranties and guarantees for new owner1 day prior
    All Meters ReadMoving Day
    Lights Turned OffMoving Day
    Keys left as agreed with new residence/RealtorMoving Day
    Windows and doors lockedMoving Day
    Double check rooms, closets, drawers, shelves, outdoor areas and garage to make sure you've taken everythingMoving Day
    Make sure you have your Medical and Dental recordsMoving Day
    Furnace turned down or offMoving Day
    Get appliances hooked upMoving Day
    Give your new phone number and an alternate contact to your mover before they leaveMoving Day
    List claims for lost or damaged articlesMoving Day
    Make sure you have your Insurance policiesMoving Day
    Make sure you have your moving related documentsMoving Day
    Check to see appliances (refrigerator, freezer, washer and dryer, etc.) are workingMoving Day

    Sunday, 8 January 2012

    Tourism in the Okanagan is up but spending is down.

    So there is some good news and bad news in Kelowna's latest tourism stats.
    The good news is that 1.5 million tourists visit Kelowna annually, which is up 27% from 2006. The bad news is the spending is down even with the increase in visitors. Their spending is down 3.1% over the past five years to $279 million a year.Which is not surprising considering the economic collapse in late 2008 and with the upheaval that still continues today.
    The bottom line is, people are still vacationing in Kelowna in increasing numbers. It shows that Kelowna is a great destination and people will continually come here.

    Saturday, 7 January 2012

    HIGGINS REPORT ON THE MARKET 2

    Okanagan‐Shuswap Market Ends Year on a Strong Note.
    Kelowna BC-The Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board (OMREB) reported December 2011 sales activity of all MLS® property types improved over the same month last year as the housing market continued to
    normalize with prices stabilizing and inventory on the decline at year end.
    “As 2011 came to a close, overall sales activity in the recovering Okanagan‐Shuswap market continued to
    strengthen with moderate but steady improvement during the last two quarters of the year, and showed
    remarkable resiliency despite ongoing global economic and financial uncertainty,” says Rob Shaw, an active
    REALTOR® in the North Zone and OMREB Vice President. “Sales in most segments are stable and holding their own compared to 2010, as historically low interest rates continue to positively impact purchasing power and improve affordability for buyers. However, modest economic recovery and job growth have affected
    disposable income for potential recreation and investment purchasers so these sectors remain sluggish.
    “Although listings are trending downward and keeping inventory in check, there is still an ample supply and
    good selection of properties available in this market,” Shaw notes. “The 686 new residential listings taken
    Board‐wide for the month of December in both 2011 and 2010 are at 2002 levels (637) and on par with the 10‐year average (679) for this month. However, year‐to‐date listings reported for the 12 months of 2011 (17,619) are 9.8% higher than the 10‐year average (16,491) but similar to pre‐recession levels (17,855 in 2007).”
    Board‐wide (Peachland to Revelstoke): During December, the 293 overall sales in OMREB’s Board area improved by 7.7% compared to last year’s 272, but dropped 28.9% from the 412 sold this November.
    December sales are typically lower given that home buyers turn their attention to Christmas rather than house
    shopping. Sales volumes of $113.9 million were up 3.4% for the month compared to $110.1 million in 2010.
    Inventory (active listings) for December was down slightly (0.3%) to 6,870 units compared to 6,892 in 2010, while new listings for the month were the same as last year at this time (686).
    Central Zone (Peachland to Lake Country): Overall unit sales in the Central Zone jumped by 4.6% to 183 units ($77.0 million) compared to 175 ($77.9 million) last December, and were down 29.1% compared to the 258 units sold in November. Total residential sales improved by 9.3% to 165 units compared to 151 sold last December, but were down 30.1% from 236 in November. Single family home sales of 96 units rose 12.9% compared to 85 last year, but dipped 22.6% compared to this November (124). December’s inventory of 3,853 units was up 3.4% compared to 3,725 in 2010, and the 461 new listings for the month rose 3.3% over the 446 last year.
    North Zone (Predator Ridge to Enderby): Overall unit sales in the North Zone for December rose 10.0% to 77 units ($26.4 million) compared to 70 ($23.4 million) in 2010, and slipped 18.9% from the 95 units sold this November. Total residential sales for December improved by 23.6% to 68 units compared to 55 last year, but dipped 17.1% from the 82 sold in November. Single family home sales (35) were up 20.7% compared to the units sold in December 2010 (29), but were down 25.5% compared to unit sales in the previous month this year (47). While last month’s inventory dropped by 5.0% to 1,850 compared to 1,947 last year, the 129 new listings taken were up down 16.8% from 155 in 2010.
    Shuswap Zone (Salmon Arm to Revelstoke): Overall unit sales in the Shuswap Zone improved by 22.2% to 33 units ($10.4 million) compared to 27 units ($8.8 million) in December 2010, but were down 44.0% from the 59 sold this November. Total residential sales of 25 units rose by 8.7% over the 23 in 2010, but dropped 52.8% from the 53 sales in November. The 14 single family unit sales remained the same as the units sold last December but were down 48.1% from the 27 sales during the previous month this year. While inventory dipped 3.4% from last December (1,161 compared to 1,202 in 2010), new listings (95) were up 14.5% compared to last year (83).
    OMREB MEDIA RELEASE
    January 5, 2012

    HIGGINS REPORT ON THE MARKET

    The 2011 real estate market finished on a
    stronger note than it began. December’s residential
    sales were up over 9% over the same
    time last year but more importantly the continued
    early activity into the new year is encouraging.
    We are seeing more buyers coming forward
    showing interest in purchasing real estate. The
    record low interest rates certainly have something
    to do with it along with the great selection
    of properties. Even the mild winter has people
    thinking about real estate sooner than they
    normally would but we believe that there truly
    is a sense of optimism in the air. We have now
    had four years of a slower real estate market
    which has created more affordable housing
    options and selection. People realize that
    Canada and more specifically our area is
    experiencing economic growth, as moderate as
    it may be. Job stability exists and we are now
    finally starting to see more positive signs coming
    out of the US that their economy is going to
    grow.
    The Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board
    stated in their year end update that “despite
    concerns about employment, personal debt load
    and net worth which dampened consumer confidence
    and slowed overall demand in most BC
    markets during 2011, OMREB ended the year
    on a positive note and is moving forward with
    optimism. A modest improvement is anticipated
    for 2012 with a slow but steady increase
    in sales activity, downward trend in listings,
    and stable home prices for balanced market
    conditions in our area.”
    We predict that 2012 is the year we return to
    a balanced market with fewer listings coming
    onto the market and prices showing modest
    movement upwards. The Alberta economy is
    on a rebound along with their job growth and it
    will without doubt have a positive impact on
    our area. What this all means is it truly is a
    great time to invest in our real estate market
    now.
    Cliff Shillington
    Owner, Managing Broker
    RE/MAX Kelowna

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