Darin Germyn of Macdonald Realty becomes the Vice President of the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board

Darin

(left to right) Darin Germyn, Vice-President; Gopal Sahota, President; John Barbisan, President-Elect

SURREY, B.C., Canada (February 22, 2017) – At the annual Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) Annual General Meeting, Darin Germyn from Macdonald Realty South Surrey/White Rock office was elected to be the Vice President of the Board.

The FVREB is a professional association of more than 3,280 Realtors in the Fraser Valley providing its members with a variety of membership services including the Multiple Listing Service®, professional development and technological innovation. Fraser Valley’s new Board of Directors takes office on March 1, 2017.

For more details about FVREB Annual General Meeting in 2017, please click HERE.

Overwhelmed by all the Real Estate chatter in the news?

Prices are falling! Hold Hold Hold! Don’t buy until next month! Rates are the lowest they have been since yesterday! Overseas Buyers increase market by 300%!

It is easy to get overwhelmed by all of the chatter over Real Estate in the news print, on TV and radio. The challenge with what you hear or see is that everyone has an opinion and there is many ways to share them nowadays. Through Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and any media outlet looking to get their story in front of you, it can be a lot to process. So how do you make the best decisions for you?

Understanding what really pertains to you and your own individual situation is crucial to staying afloat in the bombardment of information that flows our way daily. Although it is important to stay atop the latest and greatest info, you should understand what applies to you or not. Rates dropping only matters after a certain point if you are already locked into another mortgage. Overseas buyers may be in the market for properties that have nothing to do with yours. Lowering real estate prices don’t matter unless you plan to move in the foreseeable future.

When it comes to the information rushing in your way, the best way to stay ahead of the pack is to be open and honest with your real estate and mortgage professional about your plans. Every situation is unique in its own way and the right advice will guide you down the proper path. When a professional you trust is on the up and up about what you want to accomplish in the short or long term, they can provide you with the plan that DOES make sense for your situation, keeping you ahead of the herd.

No need to get overwhelmed, it’s just can be a lot of chatter.

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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  

The value of an expert and why you need one in real estate

An expert as defined by Wikipedia is a person with extensive knowledge or ability based on research, experience, or occupation and in a particular area of study. An expert can be, by virtue of credential, training, education, profession, publication or experience, believed to have special knowledge of a subject beyond that of the average person, sufficient that others may officially (and legally) rely upon the individual’s opinion.

If your car is broken, do you send it to a mechanic or your hairdresser? If your refrigerator stops working, do you call in the technician or call you accountant? When you decide to purchase or make available your most valuable asset, your home, do you call a realtor or take advice from your neighbour? Buying and selling a home is best left to an expert.

Everyone seems to have an advanced knowledge of many things, and real estate is no different. Quite often you have someone who has bought and sold a home as many as 5 times in their lifetime, and feel that this warrants an advanced knowledge of the subject. I have baked cookies about 5 times in my life, and that does not make me an expert baker.

A self-proclaimed expert as defined by Urban dictionary is The annoying know-it-all in everyone’s social circle, or quasi-member thereof, who always insists on one-upping the person controlling a current conversation with useless factoids or name-dropping to make himself appear more knowledgeable or superior to the audience in question. Considers himself (herself) the perfect candidate for “Jeopardy.

Now this description is humorous yet also strikes to a point. John Nesbi made famous so many years ago by saying, “We are drowning in information but starving for Knowledge.” With the likes of Google making information readily available to the public within micro seconds, anyone can be a self-proclaimed expert on anything within minutes online. This does not make you an expert based on our Wikipedia understanding.

It is ever so important to have someone that you like and trust when deciding to acquire or dispose of your most valuable asset. The right real estate professional will guide you to the best practises, the ins and outs of the industry, the common pit falls, and most importantly, represent your best assets on your behalf. The right real estate professional will help you get what you want, on your terms, and ensure you are looked after. The process of buying/selling is full of major hazards, legalities, and costly ventures. Trust the professionals and experts to handle the ride as you sit back and enjoy the view. When it comes to taking advice from your neighbour, family, or co-workers, double check their day to day job descriptions and thank them for thinking of your best interest. Smile and kindly remind them, you will take their recommendations to heart, and relay their concerns and advice to the expert, your real estate professional.

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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  

 

 

Hire the Right Agent, For the Right Reasons: 8 Questions to Ask When Hiring a REALTOR

Finding a real estate agent who is right for you requires doing a little homework, and asking the right questions.  Choosing an agent is a decision that could ultimately cost or save you thousands of dollars.  Keep in mind the individual you choose will be handling almost every maneuver in the biggest financial investment of your life.  Experience, interests, and expertise vary from agent to agent, so you should be asking very specific questions in order to align your own needs with the abilities of an appropriate representative.  Use the following list of questions as a guide to finding the agent that is right for you:
 
1. How long have you been involved in residential real estate in this area?
 
If the agent hasn’t been connected to the residential real estate market for several years, s/he will be out of touch with the cyclical nature of the current market. Your agent must be familiar with trends of the local market and have an eye for the ways in which it will change.  This knowledge could mean the difference of thousands of dollars in the long-run.

2. What is your marketing strategy for my home?

A realtor should be able to lay out for you, in detail, a marketing plan to sell your home.  Examine this plan carefully.  How much money does the realtor allot to advertising?  What type of media does s/he use?  S/he should be able to demonstrate the effectiveness of one form of media over another, explaining why his/her particular marketing strategy will sell your home faster and for top dollar.  The realtor should employ current, innovative marketing techniques that indicate creativity and a willingness to market outside of the box.  Stay away from realtors who rely on traditional, dated forms of advertising.  They simply won’t work in the current real estate market.

3. How do you support a buyer throughout the process?

A realtor should be able to indicate how s/he will support you through each step of the home-buying or selling process, offering you a unique system to suit your needs and goals.  Also, ask if a specialist will be available at each level of the sale.  Your realtor should always be on hand to answer questions, but the specific resources of an expert can be invaluable during different stages of the process.

4. What other properties has your company sold in my area?

The realtor should be able to provide you with a complete, detailed listing of their own sales in your area, as well as other comparable sales.  You should get a clear idea of what you might be able to expect both from the realtor and from the current market.

5. What is your experience with financing options?  How would you suggest I approach my own financing plan?

Each buyer requires a different financing strategy.  A realtor should be able to suggest a plan catered specifically to your financial background and needs.  Don’t just depend on your lender for information and guidance on financing a new home.  Let your agent lead the way.

6. On average, how close is the selling price of your listings to their asking price, and how long do they take to sell?

You can contact the Real Estate Board to obtain information on the selling record of an agent.  The Board also has statistics on a broader scale, so you can see whether an agent’s selling performance is higher or lower than the board average, and whether s/he tends to sell faster or slower than the board average.  Placing the realtor’s performance on a scale will help you get an idea of how much you might expect your home to sell for, and how long it might take to sell.

7. What is your philosophy/method of negotiation and how will you apply it when selling my home?

Your realtor should be able to articulate effective and informed negotiation tactics that demonstrate a commitment to securing the best price for you.

8. Do you have a reference list of clients I could contact?

Do some homework!  Choose a few names on the list and call them.  The stories of others who have gone through the home-selling process can be a valuable source of information.

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Blog post provided by Donna Harper, a REALTOR® with Macdonald Realty in Langley.   Visit her website donnaharper.com for more information.

 

The Value a REALTOR Provides

There has been a ton of information tossed around recently in the media about REALTORS® and the value they provide.  I wanted to share a short story about a person I have recently helped who tried to sell their home on their own.  I received a phone call from this gentleman last month regarding coming to list his home and for some professional marketing advise. He had recently undergone the process of selling by owner and had even received an accepted offer from a private buyer. The buyer had committed to purchasing his condo and they went through the legal requirements and were deeply involved financially and emotionally. The deal came to fall apart as the prospective buyer could not close on the deal due to financial and personal reasons. This is where my value as a real estate and marketing professional was valued and called upon.

I listed the home and had it sold within 5 days of having it listed, as a result of my 90 step marketing strategies and knowledge of the area. Not only did I only show the property to the most qualified buyers after screening them personally, I arranged the entire process and assisted in closing the deal. Now many of you may be thinking, “Yah Darin, but the Seller also had to pay you to do this all for him,” and you would be absolutely right. The Seller received an additional $16,500 more than his private sale that was supposed to ’save’ him money. After my compensation, the seller walked away with more money in his pocket, actually, it was an additional $6000.

 

I believe strongly that you pay a professional to do their job. You go to a doctor because they have specialized knowledge and understand how to fix your health issues. You go to a Real Estate professional because you can expect a certain level of service and expertise. I have knowledge you as a Seller may not, and that is okay. Take the example written above, you can bet my Seller is smiling as he not only had the conveyance roll out as smooth as can be, he also plans to take his family on a 2 week holiday with the extra money I was able to achieve for him.

So the next time your body aches or you have the flu, call your doctor. The next time you hear of a friend or family member trying to sell their home on their own, remind them of this story, and have them call me.

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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  

 

CREA, the Competition Bureau, and BC Real Estate Commissions

Competition Bureau Won’t Lower BC Commissions

The Competition Bureau’s efforts to open up the MLS likely won’t have any significant effect on BC’s real estate commission rates. That’s because, in this province, alternative discount business models have been a part of the landscape for many years.

Matthew Lee, Sales Manager of Macdonald Realty Vancouver (Downtown), sees this as an Ontario issue, “The average commission in Ontario is significantly higher than here in BC. We’ve been in an ultra-competitive market for years now that has resulted in many alternative business models.

The Competition Bureau has used the United States as an example of a jurisdiction that has opened up its MLS® system to the benefit of the public. However, the average commission in the US is still 5.1% while in BC, the “typical” commission is less than 3%, meaning that most houses in BC have significantly lower transaction costs than houses in the more “open” US system.

Dan Scarrow, Vice President at Macdonald Realty, believes that the industry is already competitive, “I can’t think of a professional business that has lower barriers to entry. The median gross income for Realtors is only $37,000, and that’s before expenses.”

In BC, companies like erealty.ca and 1% have historically allowed for cheap access to the MLS®. This has resulted in more choice to consumers. However, despite their best efforts, erealty.ca is no longer in business and other discounters have limited market share.”The brokerage business is a hard business” says Scarrow, “as an industry, we’re about as efficient as we can get.”

Adds Scarrow, “If you’re going to pay for real estate services, you might as well hire a full-time professional.”

 

For more information, please contact:

Dan Scarrowdscarrow@macrealty.com 
Vice President, Strategy
Macdonald Real Estate Group