Macdonald Realty Home Selling Infographic

We know that selling your home can be a stressful time. That’s why Macdonald Realty agents are here to help you through the home selling process from start to finish making your experience a comfortable one. From the first meeting to the final day when the keys are handed to the new owner, you can lean on your REALTOR® to offer professional advice and guidance every step of the way.

Use this handy Home Selling Infographic as an at-a-glance guide to where you are in the process and what to expect next.

If you have any questions, your Macdonald Realty agent is always just a phone call away. 1-877-278-3888

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Macdonald Realty launches Luxury Homes Magazine

Macdonald Real Estate Group is proud to announce the release of our quarterly digital magazine, Macdonald Realty Luxury Homes. This exclusive digital magazine showcases Macdonald Realty’s high end listings from across the province and a unique international listing from Japan. The magazine is available for viewing at www.macrealty.com/luxury

LuxuryHome-issue1

Past issues will also be available as new editions of the magazine are released. Expect a new release every four months! The listings included are from MREG’s Luxury Home Marketing program. If you are a REALTOR® with Macdonald Realty we recommend you view the requirements on the luxury program page or contact the administrator for more information on showcasing your listings in the next magazine.

Thank you to all of those who contributed to the magazine! We hope you enjoy the first issue of this magazine.

For more information or feedback please email us at luxury@macrealty.com

2013 CFO of the Year Sharon Federal Macdonald Realty | Business in Vancouver

Macdonald Realty is proud to announce that our CFO Sharon Federal will be receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award from Business in Vancouver.

We here at Macdonald Realty are so honoured to have Sharon as part of our team as her dedication over these past 30 years has helped Macdonald Realty flourish and grow to become a leader in BC real estate.

Congratulations!

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If anyone wants to attend the CFO of the Year awards dinner it will be held May 15th, 2013 6:15pm – 9pm at the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel the ticket price is $135.

For more information on the winners visit the Business in Vancouver

Want to Ask a Higher Price for Your Home ?

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Our spring real estate market is in full swing now although it took a little longer than usual to get started. There are many, many new listings coming into the market in the Fraser Valley and there are also lots and lots of serious buyers for those new listings. The good news is that, banks & government willing, this market should be with us for some time.

The title of this column is one of the topics that REALTORS® are running into a lot these days. It seems to make good sense. If we ask a little (or a lot) more money for our home than what the REALTORS® Comparable Market Analysis indicates our home’s market value is, maybe one of those buyers will fall in love with our home and pay the higher price. If not we can always lower the price later. Besides, people can always make offers and we can negotiate. It seems like a can’t-lose situation. A deeper analysis, however, uncovers some very uncomfortable problem areas.

Perhaps the most obvious one is that when the in-love-with-your-home buyer applies for a mortgage to complete the purchase they run smack head-on into a flinty-eyed, tight-fisted, banker who is only prepared to lend money on the bank appraised market value which turns out to be remarkably similar to the price range from the REALTORS® market analysis and much lower than the agreed upon price. Consequently the buyer can’t get the mortgage because there isn’t enough collateral in the appraised value to cover the mortgage according to Canadian legal requirements. So the buyer is unable to complete the purchase unless they can come up with more cash and don’t mind doing that. That special sale that you thought you had turns out not to be attainable.

But there are other less noticeable problems that could actually turn out to cause worse problems for the homeowner. When your house appears for sale in the market there are a certain number of serious buyers who are searching the market for the right home, now. They have been looking for a considerable amount of time and have seen a substantial number of houses. In fact, many have seen everything that appears to suit their wants and needs and haven’t yet found the right one. Maybe they have even tried an offer on one or two but haven’t been successful, maybe because they have been outbid by another buyer, or perhaps because the seller wasn’t willing to accept the market’s analysis of the value of the home and wanted more. They have seen everything and have gained a very accurate and intimate knowledge of market value because of all the houses they have seen and the eventual selling prices of those that sold. They have become experts and they, and their REALTOR® are watching the new listings daily. If they come across one that seems to meet their needs and is market priced they want to see it now and they are quite prepared to write their offer and pay full market value. They have been looking for a long time and are prepared to act now.

If you are asking a significantly higher price than market value they are not even prepared to make an offer—they have “”been there, done that”” before and don’t want to waste any more of their time. They just move on. After 2 or 3 weeks your REALTOR® has gone through the current buyers that are out there and now the REALTOR® has to begin to develop new buyers—ones that are just entering the market. It’s a long, slow, expensive and arduous process and these buyers have not become knowledgeable about pricing. They are more inclined to make a much lower offer and try to negotiate you down.

So the net result is you’ve scared away a knowledgeable buyer who would have paid you market price and now you’re dealing with buyers who want to pay less because they aren’t knowledgeable about the true value of your home.

You’ve ended up in a no-win situation instead of a can’t-lose situation.

For more information contact Stewart Henderson, Managing Broker of Macdonald Realty in Langley
Originally printed in the Langley Times

Macdonald Realty Awarded at the 2013 LeadingRE Annual Conference

We are pleased to announce that Macdonald Real Estate Group won the Global Alliance Award for Most Outgoing Referrals presented by Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® (LeadingRE). It is a significant achievement for our Referral Department as this year we were up against 600+ LeadingRE members with over 140,000 sales associate in 30+ countries around the world.

Congratulations to Macdonald Real Estate Group’s Referral Department for a job well done!

For more information on the Referral program or to place an outgoing referral in over 30 countries, please contact us at 1-877-278-3888.

BC luxury home sales above $3-million fell by a third in 2012 | The Vancouver Sun

“Based on a Macdonald Realty Luxury Report, this past year the sales number of luxury homes over $3 million has fallen one third since 2011. However, 2012 is only second to 2011 in sales. In a Vancouver Sun article, Dan Scarrow, Vice President of Macdonald Realty, commented on the impact immigrants buying patterns, investor sentiment and psychology has changed in the past year affecting the lower mainland’s luxury market.

“For the past few years, we’ve seen lots of new investor-class immigrants coming into the market,” Scarrow said. “ … They’re not just buying a house for themselves, but also three or four residential investment properties as well.”

This “exuberance” among immigrant buyers has slowed, Scarrow said, as the economy slowed in China and prices rose rapidly in Vancouver.

Macdonald Realty, REALTOR Will McKitka also commented in the article discussing his specialty of luxury penthouse homes, a segment of the market considered to be attracting buyers.

Read more www.vancouversun.com
Vancouver Sun article BC home sales above $3-million fell by a third in 2012 from March 1, 2013

Thinking of becoming a landlord?

This blog is largely written as a result of the learning and struggles, both past and current, I am going through regarding having a tenant I have personally. I wrote this blog in the hopes that anyone will be better off when entering into a tenancy as a landlord and know exactly how to protect themselves should an issue ever arise.

Now, it is important to preamble this with I believe all people are good deep down inside and know that it is important to treat others as you would want to be treated. When someone needs some help, it is everyone’s responsibility to lend a helping hand. With that being said, when all is done to create a fair and equal resolution for someone, it is just as important to take a stand and not let people take advantage of you. As I sit in the lobby of the Residential Tenancy Board in Burnaby, I am considering all of the ways a tenancy should be approached to prevent issues before and after they arise.

Beginning a tenancy

When beginning a tenancy, you must start by screening your tenants properly. A brilliant way to do this is simple. Get references from their employer and past landlords, and possibly personal references if you are stuck. Asking questions about their work history and past tenancy is a great start to knowing who you are getting involved with. Have they been at their job a long time? Is it secure? Do they pay their rent on time? If the past landlord could do it again, would they rent the unit out to this person again?

You are also going to want to ask for a credit check. This is a very good indication if you can expect your rent in full and on time. A good way to accomplish this is to mention it is a requirement in your ad. When someone applies, BEFORE you get too involved with them, be sure to get a look at their credit check. If they don’t like to pay their bills on time, your rent money has a good chance of becoming one of those late bills.

When accepting someone to rent your home/unit, you must put EVERYTHING in writing. Who is responsible for the utilities, day to day maintenance, repairs, etc. what are the terms for pets, renting to students, or any other provisions? Once you have all of the information, it is time to decide on the length of the stay for the tenant, and the type of term, either a fixed or month to month. When it comes to a damage deposit, ALWAYS take the maximum amount. This means half of your monthly rental amount and if they have a pet, another half of the monthly rent. Many tenants could make an upset about this yet it is important to remember, this damage deposit is your ONLY security that your unit will be left the way it was found. This includes cleaned, no trash or furniture left behind, and no damage to the unit in general. Use the tenancy agreement provided by the RTO on their website and be sure to add any extra pages with other details if need be.  http://www.rto.gov.bc.ca/

The day the tenant moves in is crucial as they should be paying you all of your damage deposit and first month’s rent. Be sure to always provide your tenant with a receipt for their rent as it is required. You also must do a condition walk through with the tenant and document it on the form provided on the RTO’s website. Failing to do this will ELIMINATE any chance of getting to keep the damage deposit in the future. Have both parties sign all documents and be sure to give copies to the tenant.

Welcome to being a landlord

During the tenancy, always remember to document everything. Rent paid and when, conversations, emails etc. this will come in useful should there ever be an issue. When dealing with a tenant, it is always best to be clear about expectations before a tenancy, yet it is just as important to give them their freedom and peace of mind. It is important to check the condition of the property regularly but always give the proper 24 hours’ notice and ask for their permission to visit. Fix issues with the home promptly, give your tenant the respect and courtesy that they deserve, and be the landlord that you would want if you we’re a renter.

A tenancy can be for a fixed period of time or a month to month time frame. You should talk with your tenant before hand to decide what works best for everyone. The day will come when your tenant is either ready to move out, you are going to end the tenancy for positive reasons (major renovations, moving in yourself, etc.), or for unfortunate reasons such as unpaid rent or utilities on the home.

Ending a tenancy

You can give a 30 day notice to a tenant to leave the property when you are in a month to month tenancy. It is important to note the tenant by law is deserving of a full calendar months’ worth of notice, meaning if notice was given on March 1, the earliest date the tenant must be out is April 30. This also works the same way if a tenant gives notice to move to you, they must also provide a full calendar 30 days, due before the rental payment of their final month. All notices to end a tenancy must be done in writing. When ending a tenancy, it is important to not include the damage deposit in the last month’s rent as this is your only security that the property will be in similar condition when you get it back as to when you rented it out. On the final day of tenancy as you are receiving the keys, you must do a final condition walk through with your tenant to review if any damages need to be monetarily accounted for. All parties must sign off on this condition report and if everything looks good, you can exchange the keys and release the damage deposit to your tenant, or forward it to their new address within 15 days.

If there is a problem with your tenant

If there is a problem, document everything. You can give a tenant 10 day notice to vacate a property for unpaid rent or utilities, and other reasons listed on the RTO’s website. The notice can only be issued on a day after rent is due. This can be done in person, posted on their door (3 day lull) or via registered mail (5 day lull) and either must be witnessed by a person or with a receipt. Your witness will need to fill out another critical form called the Proof of Service. From this point, the tenant has 5 calendar days to pay you the rent in full or it is deemed that they accept the eviction and must be out in the 10 calendar days. Evicting a tenant with a 10 day notice does not give you authority to keep their damage deposit. At the end of the 5 days the tenant has to pay you their rent, if the tenant has not paid you in full (only accept full payments), it is wise to apply to the RTO for an Order of Possession as it is illegal for you to remove them, their belongings or change the locks with them still in the property. The tenant may not move out the day they are supposed to and getting an Order of Possession expedites the process to get some help from the RTO if it goes that far.

Dispute Resolution

So what happens if the tenant buggers up your property, doesn’t pay you rent or refuses to move? You must go to the RTO and apply for a dispute resolution. A dispute resolution is a sort of a court hearing that can be done over the phone with all parties. This is your chance to speak your case, provide evidence (all the evidence you have been collecting over the tenancy, right!) and get your issue sorted out. The arbitrator who hears the story will make a decision that is binding on both parties deeming whose story is most believable and has the proof to back it up. From this point, the arbitrator can make decisions as to what happens with the damage deposit, whether the tenant must pay you more money, including any missed rent money via wage garnishing or other means, and a date that the tenant MUST vacate the property through a court order. Let’s all hope you never get this far. Once the arbitration is done, the tenant may STILL not move out. Unfortunately for the landlord, from here you need to apply for a Writ of Possession from the Supreme Court and hire a court bailiff to remove the tenant and all of their possessions from your home. The bailiff can also auction off the tenants seized items to help recover any additional money you may be owed.

Summary

When it comes to a tenancy, NEVER take it lightly. While it is important to treat people with courtesy and respect, you must do everything by the book in order to protect yourself in the future. Money is a funny thing and it can change even the most respectful relationship for the worst. If the rent is late, provide the tenant with one warning and let them know that future late payments will result in a notice to end the tenancy. Always take your full damage deposit at the beginning. Never settle for less than excellent care of your property. At the end of the tenancy, you will be glad you followed the rules and prepared yourself for the storm, if one should arise.

For a full set of rules, best practises and documents, check out http://www.rto.gov.bc.ca/

When entering a tenancy

Do
•Take the entire damage deposit you can
•Take photos of the property
•Do a condition walk through at the start and end of the tenancy and fill it out on the required documents
•Put everything in writing
•Give your tenants receipts for their rent payments
•Put your tenancy agreement in writing
•Document everything including all conversations and emails
•Set the intention and bar at the beginning of the tenancy
•Remember: everyone must live up to their agreements
•Fix all issues with the home promptly and with as little disturbance to your tenant as possible

Do not
•Give anyone more than one chance at late rent
•Let a pet deposit go without collecting it
•Let a day pass before seeking an order of possession after ending a tenancy
•Let rent be continuously late, the RTO may deem it okay if you let it happen all the time
•Let people take advantage of you

Documents to start a tenancy
•Residential Tenancy Agreement
•Condition Inspection Report

Documents to end a tenancy
•10 day notice for unpaid rent or utilities
•1 month notice to end tenancy for cause
•2 month notice to end tenancy for landlord’s use of property
•Mutual agreement to end a tenancy
•Proof of service

Dispute resolution
•Dispute resolution application
•Order of possession application

All documents and full guides to beginning and ending a tenancy can be found at http://www.rto.gov.bc.ca/

I hope you never end up evicting a tenant as it is a long and aggravating process. Protecting yourself properly will help avoid problems before they arise.

Blog post provided by Darin Germyn Personal Real Estate Corporation, a REALTOR® with Macdonald Realty in South Surrey / White Rock.   Visit Darin’s blog at Germyn.ca  

Why Macdonald Realty is exploring opening an office in Shanghai, China | Inman

After 70 years in business in British Columbia, and much consideration and analysis, Macdonald Real Estate Group has decided to explore opening an office in China. To that end, my colleague, Dan Scarrow, our vice president of corporate strategy, left for Shanghai early in February.

In order to understand our rationale, it is first important to appreciate how Chinese investors have shaped the real estate market in Vancouver, B.C., where our company is headquartered.

Over the past three decades, Macdonald Real Estate Group has assisted thousands of Asian families and investors in real estate transactions in the Vancouver area and across western Canada. In the 1980s and ’90s, there were overlapping waves of Hong Kong and Taiwanese investment, and more recently we have seen the mainland China wave.

Our experience has given us the chance to develop a sizable network of Asian clients, both commercial and residential.

While the official percentage of foreign buyers in the Vancouver area is around 3 percent, Chinese clients make up a much higher proportion of certain segments of the market. The exact percentage is hard to pin down, but our research would indicate that Chinese families account for at least 50 percent of Vancouver home sales over $3 million, and our commercial division has put together dozens of major transactions with Chinese investors on a range of commercial real estate asset classes.

Asian clients are not arbitrarily choosing Vancouver as a destination for real estate investment. Our Chinese clients generally have close family and business ties to the areas in which they invest.

For example, aside from business considerations, the primary factor in shaping immigration-related real estate decisions for Chinese families will be proximity and availability of educational opportunities for the next generation.

Aside from business considerations, the primary factor in shaping immigration-related real estate decisions for Chinese families is educational opportunities for the next generation.””
That said, these clients often maintain a foothold in their country of origin, where they often have ongoing commercial interests.

If we open an office in Shanghai, we will be better able to serve our clients who are based in China, or who those spend significant time there. They will have somewhere to go to review documents, and get insight on real estate issues.

In addition, having a presence in China will give us another channel for promoting real estate opportunities.

I will be providing periodic updates to Inman as we go through our due diligence in Shanghai. Hopefully you can find something in our experience that is useful to you in your business, or at the very least you can enjoy watching the process unfold.

Jonathan Cooper is vice president of operations at Macdonald Real Estate Group (MREG). Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, MREG has 20 offices and 1,000 staff and Realtors, and offers a full range of real estate services across the province, including residential and commercial brokerage, property and strata management, and project marketing.

This article was originally posted on Inman News, Feb 21, 2014.
View the original post at Inman News

For more information contact Macdonald Realty at 1-877-278-3888

Macdonald Realty 2012 Sales Awards

Congratulations to all our agents who received an award this year!

Award of Excellence

COMMERCIAL
Cynthia Dong
Eric Poon
David Price
Dan Scarrow
Brian Tattrie

COQUITLAM
Ashley Tullis
Wayne Tullis

LANGLEY
Lindy Leclair
Andy Schildhorn

MAPLE RIDGE
Scott Meadus

NORTH VANCOUVER
Peter Ohrnberger
Michelle Rogers
David Thon & Andrea Thon

QUALICUM BEACH
Don Ballard
Amy Hadikin

SALT SPRING ISLAND
Henri Procter
Sandra Smith

SURREY
Norman Flemig
Fateh Iqbal Grewal
Chris Whitehead & Steve Karrasch
Dennis Wiemken
Sharon Williams
Daniel Wu & Jennifer Wu

VANCOUVER DOWNTOWN
Jay McInnes

VANCOUVER WEST
Monique Badun, Kim Craig, Penny Graham & Bev Weaver
Allyson Brooke, Brenda Harrison, Deborah Phillips & Marj Allen
Susana Chan
Ken Chong
Frankie Chu & Sherman Ma
Simon Clayton
Murphy Costello & Bonny Staniszkis
Lorne Goldman
Patricia Houlihan
Lynn Johnson, Heather Notman, Vita Kalns & Bruce Warner
Heather Jones
Dane Kingsbury
Elke Lee
Whitney Lewis
Alice Lo
Manyee Lui
Will McKitka
Helen Bin Nie
Jennifer Ricci & Lori Rowe
Clair Rockel, Dayna Wosk & Marnie Quarry
Keith Roy, Greg Dent & Taryn Lees

VICTORIA
Cheryl Barnes
Jason Binab, Niels Madsen & Andy Rogers
Leslee Farrell & Sean Farrell
Darien Verbrugge & Rebecca Ross
Tim Wiggins & Georgia Wiggins

WEST VANCOUVER
Dee Elliott
Eric Latta
Tim Slater
Julie Urquhart
Greg Wong

WHISTLER
Shauna O’Callaghan
 

Sales Achievement Award

COMMERCIAL
Nick Goulet
Mark Hagedorn
Bruce Long
Chris Midmore
Vic Sandhar
Dan Schulz
Gary Webb
Stuart Wright

COQUITLAM
Lili Blackwell
Rob Breckwoldt
Bobbi Crandall
Richard Getty
Virginia Kung
Steven Oh
Veronica Ren

LANGLEY
Joe Borlinha
Brad Richert
Leigh Turnbull

MAPLE RIDGE
Jennifer DiPietra
Jason Dryburgh
Jason Exner
Al Jenkins & Brenda Jenkins
Lisa Telep

NORTH VANCOUVER
Cam Armstrong
Gwen Parkstrom

SALT SPRING ISLAND
Rick Alexander
Kelly Regen

SURREY
Valerie Berg
Christina Escher
Darin Germyn
Lisa Gill & Danielle Howcroft
Michael Gleitman & Tore Jacobsen
Lydia Hachey
Greg Holmes & Liz Holmes
Marylou Leslie & Ken Leslie
Kevin Lunder & Trish Lunder
Quang Huu Mai
Mark Manuel
Tara Morrow
Rene Quiaoit, Gloria Quiaoit & Rene-Anthony Quiaoit
Shawn Sawatzky
Kylene Shannon
Vijay Virk
David Yipp
Darryl Young

VANCOUVER DOWNTOWN
Sara Fakhari
Juliana Jiao
Bud Lockhart & Peter Javier

VANCOUVER EAST
Melanie Chow
Lyn Hart
Carol Palfrey
Sean Stevens

VANCOUVER WEST
Maureen Bellinger & Harold Groberman
Anne-Marie Chan
Celene Cheang
Amal Chebaya
Joseph Chiang
Leslie Connolly
Emma Hamel
Lyn Harlton
Linda Jinks
Garth Lam
John Lam
David Lees
Christine Lei
Judith Meisen
Wendy Mills & Jenny Hu
Erin Mulhern
Danny Nikas
Karley Rice
Kris Richardson
Donna Strother
Karin Tham
Steven Tse
Gordon Urquhart
Gary Wong
Sheryl Wosk
Ramona Wu
Kevin Yu

VICTORIA
John Boyle & Linda Geddes
Stephen Foster
Jane Logan
Robert Milloy
Peter Nash
Erik Rapatz
Greg Rowland
Chace Whitson

WEST VANCOUVER
Paul Browne
Simon Coutts
Monique Davidson
Jennie Frizzo
Lucie Ingoldby
Dan Muzzin
Therese Reinsch
Geoff Taylor

WHISTLER
Franco Dilligenti

To see photos of the award ceremonies, check out our Facebook page.

Tips for Maintaining Good Credit

Are you planning on buying your first home? Or are you moving and will be refinancing your mortgage? We met with one of our mobile mortgage specialists recently and she gave us some tips on improving your chances of getting a good mortgage. We also checked online and found some advice, so here’s a compilation of top mistakes that hurt your credit score.  Here are our top 5 tips for maintaining good credit.

  1. Paying bills late. Even paying just one day late can hurt your score. Mark your calendar or set up an automatic payment plan with your bank.
  2. Not checking your credit reports. You really should try to do this once a year. Apparently there can be some mistakes on there or unfortunately, identity fraud, so it’s prudent to do this. Check out www.equifax.ca or www.transunion.ca for more info.
  3. Maxing out your credit cards. If you do that, it shows that you are using too much of your available credit. Try to give that credit card a break and use another one… but try to keep it at less than half of your available credit.
  4. Using cash over credit. If you use cash, you can’t show your lenders how well you handle debt. So then you don’t have much of a credit history.
  5. Applying for extra cards. Not a good idea as it may look like you are desperate for credit. Closing credit cards on the other hand is not a good sign either. You are ultimately shrinking your amount you are allowed to borrow. However, if you are concerned about identity theft, annual fees, etc., then by all means close the account.

If you find out that your credit score isn’t very good, some mortgage specialists will work with you to improve your score. It may take 6 months to a year, but that is well worth it to get your financing in order to ultimately get the home you want.

* Please note this is general information only and should not be taken as specialist advice. If you need more specific information, contact your mortgage specialist/broker.

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Blog post provided by Greg & Liz Holmes, a REALTOR® Team with Macdonald Realty in South Surrey / White Rock.   Visit The Holmes Team blog at holmesteam.ca