When it comes to selling your home, many things come into play: the current market climate, the location, the price, your realtor, etc. In a hot market like today’s, making your home stand out and attracting those offers is incredibly important. At Quincy Vrecko and Associates, we work hard on marketing your home and shining a light on all its best features. From photos and virtual tours to brochures and social media, we have you covered. Our marketing assistant Eva Caouette gives us her best advice on marketing your home.

 

Why is marketing so important in today’s market?

Many homes are selling with multiple offers and over listing price, which is inspiring a lot of people to enter the market. The first few glances at a listing brochure, website, and photos can make an entire difference. Choosing a knowledgeable, experienced realtor with great marketing can bring in those extra offers getting you top price for your home. At QVA, we want to make your home stand out and attract attention. Some of the many marketing tools we provide:

  • High quality photography
  • Virtual reality tours
  • Stunning brochures highlighting your home’s best features
  • Social media posts and advertisements

…and more!

 

When marketing a home, what kind of information do you need to know?

When it’s time to put your home on the market, I want to know everything about it that makes it special. Whether it be the neighborhood, the layout, the yard, the views, etc. Every feature matters when it comes to marketing, what may seem ordinary to you may actually be what sells your home. Especially during current COVID-19 times, many people rely on photos and online descriptions when searching for a home. We want readers and potential buyers to imagine themselves living and walking through the home, enjoying all of its features. Keep this in mind when talking with your realtor, and let us know what you think makes your home stand out.

 

What are the best ways to prepare a home for ideal presentation?

Preparing your home for photos is very important, and there is lots you can do to prepare.

  1. Of course, make sure your home is clean! This seems like an obvious point, but deep cleaning your entire home can be very time consuming, so make sure you prepare in advance.
  2. Staging: Staging doesn’t always have to be expensive. This can simply mean setting up your empty spare room to look like an office, or setting up some wall art. When potential buyers look at your home’s photos, give them the opportunity to see the greatest potential your home has.
  3. De-clutter: A clean home is one thing, but there is more you can do to ideally present it. Some things that aren’t considered clutter in our day-to-day lives will stand out in photos, such as phone chargers, toothbrushes, slippers, etc. Temporarily putting away personal belongings such as family photos, hanging jackets, shampoo bottles, can make a huge difference in how your home presents.

 

Selling your home is an exciting time, and we at QVA want to take any stress away. Trust us to make your home stand out in this market, and follow our tips to bring out its best potential!

Entering the housing market can be such an exciting and overwhelming time, understanding the logistics of a deal can help ease any stress that comes with the process. We talk to our expert and office manager Shandel Rodrigue about deadlines and documentation flow in this current market:

housing market dealsHow would you describe today’s housing market when it comes to deals?

“Canada’s Housing Market is Red Hot” is something we have continued to hear regarding the current housing market since last year. Although we have seen a marginal slow down, we are still facing a high volume of deals that are still coming up on closings. Take that and mix it with recently written business deals and we have the tight timeline climate we are currently facing.

 

How is this affecting the industry?

Funding representatives, realtors and lawyers, and inspectors are all facing higher volumes than they have ever seen. It has been said that Kelowna lawyers recently faced some of the highest volumes in history. This is wonderful for realtors and other entities in the industry, as well as home buyers, but it might reduce the amount of time you thought you had to get your affairs in order for your real estate transaction.

 

How does the documentation process work within a deal?

Upon the accepted offer of your subject property, you will receive a completed Contract of Purchase and Sale (CPS). Upon receipt, this needs to go to your funding representative and lawyer of your choosing. Some lawyers in the Kelowna area aren’t accepting files that close on or after early August, so getting them your CPS regardless of the closing date allows you to reserve a spot in their schedule.

Ideally, if you have a financing subject, along with the other standard subjects such as inspections and review of strata documents (specific to condo and bare land strata purchases) the ideal threshold for full subject removal is 10 days. During these 10 days, not only will you be arranging partners to try to satisfy each subject, but your funding representative will be submitting for approval and lawyers will be getting your file ready for closing.

Once subjects have been removed, your Subject Removal document, along with the authorized Title and Property Disclosure statement (in most cases) will also need to get to your funding representative and lawyer so they can continue to move the file along. If each partner in the process has enough time to do their due diligence and submissions, deadlines can be met with ease. If there isn’t enough time, subject removal dates have to be adjusted and everyone is left in the lurch and dates have to be moved. If you are facing a purchase where some of the standard subjects aren’t taken into consideration the timeline can be different, but these are things to keep in mind for your average transaction.

 

What are your tips to meeting deadlines and making sure the deal runs smoothly?

Real estate transactions can be stressful for anyone, that is why I am a big believer in allowing the necessary amount of time to make sure everyone can attend to their part of the puzzle. If you are working with us I will be the one taking care of this liaising for you. Coming from a mortgage background, I know firsthand the importance of all parties being up to date and properly informed as the transaction proceeds. As long as you have the right team of professionals assisting you along the way,  we can keep each stage completing as seamlessly as possible. Good luck and happy house hunting! I look forward to speaking with you!

The 2021 Real Estate market has been like never before, and the prices of homes have experienced a huge jump overall with some of the lowest inventory we have seen. Big White is no exception: Steve Hyndman specializes in recreation properties and gives us the inside look into the Big White market, what has caused this shift and what we can expect to see as a result of this crazy market!

Big White real estate market QVA

How has the Big White Market Changed in 2021?

Before the pandemic, Big White had a very balanced market, I would even say it was a buyer’s market. Due to covid, Big White sales have started to explode and that has caused inventory to dry up.

 

 

 

What has caused this shift in the 2021 Big White Real Estate Market?

 

  • The Rental Market is Hot 

Many factors have contributed to the shift we are seeing in the 2021 Big White market. The pandemic has caused many of the people that currently own Big White properties to rethink listing in the current climate. Since Big White is a winter recreational resort, they are usually secondary properties and tend to bring in great rental income, especially now that the rent has gone up due to more people staying local and travel has become less frequent.

Big White real estate market

  • Out of Town Buyers

Another major factor in the low inventory is a high number of out-of-town buyers that are ‘safe haven’ buying. Big white is a great place to self-isolate and offers guaranteed rental income. The pandemic has caused interest rates to go down, and that has a huge effect on the movement of Big White properties as well.

  • Low-Interest Rate

Because the interest rate is so low right now, it is making recreation properties more serviceable in terms of debt load, and this is causing buyers from all over a jump on the opportunity!

  • Small Market

Big White has always been a smaller market and it is a great selling point. A lot of people buy at Big White because it provides a great feeling of community, has some of the best Ski-in & Ski-out properties, and is close to major cities. Big white being a small resort has caused it to be very reactionary to the changes we have been seeing in the 2021 Real Estate Market overall.

How do you think Big White will continue to be affected?

Big White has always been a more affordable option in the Okanagan, but recently it has exceeded the last market peak in 2008. In the past 8 to 10 years, there hasn’t been much development, and I predict this will change in the next 2 to 5 years. Prices at  Big White are back up but there have not been any new builds, meaning no new inventory has been added to the market in almost a decade! That sounds like an untapped opportunity. I think you can expect to see new developments and expansion at Big White.

 

 

Entering the current Okanagan Real Estate Market can be a scary yet positive experience. It’s important to be informed, so we asked Charlene Volk to answer some questions you may be asking yourself.

Why is it important to use a realtor when buying or selling in this current Okanagan market?

Our current Okanagan Real Estate market can be tricky to navigate! An experienced Realtor can provide you with the knowledge you need to make an informed decision.  But it’s not just as simple as picking any Realtor.  Trust is key – get to know your Realtor, let your Realtor get to know you. Choose a Realtor that you are comfortable communicating with, one that has the knowledge, experience, and dedication required to guide you through the process. At QVA we are committed to providing you with the best service possible!

  • Accountability
  • Dedication
  • Integrity
  • Knowledge
  • Perseverance
  • Professionalism
  • Understanding

 

What are the risks of unconditional offers?

There can be many risks associated with unconditional offers.  Are you ready and willing to accept those risks?  My go-to response with unconditional offers is “Just don’t do it”.  However, having said that, in some instances, it may be an option for you. It’s really dependent upon each individual unique situation.

Before making such an important decision you may want to consider:

What if something goes sideways?

What if the sale on your current home collapses and you are not financially able to carry the cost of both properties?

What is there are issues with the home that could have been discovered in a home inspection (i.e. outdated plumbing or wiring, asbestos, former grow op)

What if you are preapproved but your financial situation changes suddenly?

What if the bank requires an appraisal and the appraisal comes in lower than expected?

 

These are just a few things to consider and you should always discuss these and other risks with your Realtor prior to making an offer.

 

What are your tips for first-time homebuyers?

Your first home is usually your first big investment. It’s an exciting time but it can be overwhelming if you’re not familiar with the process.

First and foremost choose a Realtor to guide you along the way! Your Realtor can aid you each step of the way and make things much less stressful for you.

 

Get preapproved – Before you start looking for that new home, make sure you know exactly what you can afford.  The last thing you want to do is find the perfect dream home only to discover you cannot qualify to purchase it.

 

Create a budget – There are other costs involved than just purchasing your home. Your Realtor and mortgage professional can help you determine the other costs you will need to consider. Legal fees, Property Transfer Tax, Utilities, Taxes, maintenance, strata fees, etc.

 

Determine what your needs and wants are – create a wish list and discuss it with your Realtor. Some things to consider while making your wish list:  Are there certain neighborhoods you prefer? How many bedrooms/bathrooms are a must? Are you willing to look at a fixer-upper or does it need to be move-in ready? Your Realtor will help you narrow down your wish list and save you valuable time by looking at the appropriate properties for you.

 

 

With the hot Kelowna Real Estate market in full swing, multiple offers have become the norm as buyers compete to secure a property.  Being the winning bidder in a multiple offer situation takes strategy.  We talked to our in-house expert, Tracey Vrecko, who has been helping buyers and sellers come out on top in this crazy market.

 

Why are so many homes going into multiple offers?

This is simple supply and demand.  There is so little inventory of homes for sale in Kelowna and West Kelowna so when a home goes on the market, there are multiple buyers competing for it. There are a large number of buyers coming in from out of town pushing demand even higher.

 

What is the strategy when working with sellers looking to sell their home in Kelowna?

Exposure is key to realizing top dollar for your home in any market, especially when looking to generate multiple offers.  When the listing hits the market, typically a seller will want to pick a date to review any offers.  With so many buyers from out of our market area, you want to give enough time from when the property is listed to when you are looking at potential offers.

 

When presenting a home for sale in today’s market, marketing is so important to attract buyers and highlight features that show value.  We offer several ideas to prepare the home for sale and offer full marketing packages that include:

  • Clear photos of each room and outdoor area
  • Floorplans with room measurements
  • VR tours with hotspots detailing features
  • Digital feature sheet

Also, any additional information you can provide to the buyer will help buyers prepare for multiple offers.

 

When working for a home buyer, how do you win out against other bidders?

Some key things to consider when you are competing against other buyers on the same property is to make your offer as clean as possible while still protecting yourself.  Try to complete some of your due diligence prior to making the offer so you can limit the number of conditions such as:

  • Financing
  • Home inspection
  • Reviewing of title, property disclosure statement, city file, strata documents, etc.

 

Home buying and selling can be emotional, so it is also a good idea to write a cover letter with your offer.  It could help tip the scales when a seller knows who will be occupying their home. I have even seen pictures of potential buyers in some offer presentations.  Any little bit helps.

Find out what possession the sellers prefer.  By being flexible with dates could make your offer more appealing to the sellers.

There are other strategies with respect to deposit and price that can make or break you from being the winning bid.  Each situation is different, so, having a professional realtor with experience in working with multiple offers representing you to advise you on price and deposit.

Multiple offers can be overwhelming for both buyers and sellers and there can only be one winning bid.  The team at Quincy Vrecko and Associates have helped many buyers and sellers navigate through this very active market.  Using a professional Realtor is more important than ever to advise on your largest and most important investment.

The current real estate market in the Okanagan is booming and at an all-time high. Following the largest luxury home sale in the Okanagan, we asked our luxury expert Quincy Vrecko what this means for luxury homes.

luxury home salesQuincy, in your opinion, how is the current market affecting luxury home sales?

The average day on market has dropped substantially, so instead of luxury homes taking perhaps a year to sell, they’re selling within 3 or 4 months. This is because there is a lot more pent-up demand. Because of that demand, we’ve seen prices notch up, and we’re also seeing multiple offers situations which is something we haven’t seen in the luxury market before.

luxury home sales

With this high demand, what are the key things people look for in a luxury home?

The first thing people look for is lake views, that’s a big one. Swimming pools are also a big point for people coming from Alberta or the Lower Mainland. Additionally, people look for a three-car garage, privacy, and of course like anything else: location. Those are the biggest key factors in the search for a luxury home. Of course, the finish and quality of the build, a reputable builder, and similar homes surrounding them is really what defines that luxury market.

Where is that market coming from? Local? Out of town?

Right now, the biggest push we’re seeing for luxury home sales has been from the Lower Mainland, where people have been able to sell their homes for a fair bit of money, which allows them more freedom coming up to the Okanagan. In the last 2 months, we’ve also seen a push coming from Alberta, which hasn’t happened in quite some time because of the slowing of their economy. But with the housing market doing quite well in Alberta and the housing market doing well in the Lower Mainland, this is what I call the perfect trifecta: We’ve got 2 large markets, with populations of 4 to 5 million, feeding into the Kelowna market driving the values up.

What do you think is the future of luxury home sales?

The future of luxury home sales, from a listing point of view, is strongly affected by things getting more technologically advanced. Virtual reality and 3D have been playing a huge role in today’s market. Not just because of COVID-19, but because the buyers are becoming savvier, and more comfortable with technology. Floor plans and layouts are a very big drive in the luxury market right now. Going forward, as far as the luxury market goes, waterfront is going to be a big push. As they’re not making any more, people’s options and choices are very limited. And, like everything else, it’s going to be about the location, lake views, the fit and finish and automation of the homes, garage space, and that’s what’s going to continue to drive that luxury market in the future. When it comes to where people are going to be coming from, I think we’re still going to see a very strong push from the Lower Mainland. We’re seeing Alberta, as I mentioned, but we’re also seeing Toronto starting to push this market, whether it be vacation homes or retirement homes. With everything that’s happened in the world, with COVID-19, people’s habits and how they’re working has really changed. This has allowed people the freedom to move from these larger centers to smaller centers such as Kelowna, as they don’t have to go to an office and they can work from home.

The current real estate market has been anything but quiet, things are moving fast. But what does this mean for lots and new builds? We asked some questions to our lot and new build expert Chris Ward, who recently celebrated 30 years with RE/MAX. His expertise shone some light on this confusing yet exciting market.

 

Tell me about the differences you’ve noticed in this 2020-2021 real estate market when it comes to lots and new builds.

Last year, in 2020, lots were stagnant and inventory levels were not tremendously affected. With the advent of COVID-19, particularly this year, inventory levels of existing homes increased and the focus was turned towards building lots, and they started to disappear at a tremendous rate. Right now, anything that is finished is probably sold or has an offer on it.

 

If lots are going so fast, how does this affect new builds?

The challenge for the builders, because of COVID and a variety of other manufacturing issues, is that lumber is up 140%. Everything tin related such as furnaces are up 30%. Lumber and building supplies escalation clauses are being put in place in purchase agreements. This is a significant change and slows building down. Because of the increased cost, we haven’t seen homes come onto the market quite as quickly as the lot sales indicate, but they’re coming.

 

When should we be able to see the new builds from these lot sales?

I would say probably in the fall. It usually takes 6 to 8 months to build a 2500sqft house, depending on where you’re at. So, if lots have sold in March, they’ll be ready by the end of the year. We should see lots of new home products, finished products, on the market towards the end of the year and the beginning of next year.

 

In your opinion, was it a better investment to build yourself in the past compared to today?

Good question, because everything went up, houses are selling over the listing price, so what does that mean for new builds? New builds go in at a fixed cost, so probably will still be the same. There are times in the market when existing is cheaper than built, and there are times when built isn’t necessarily cheaper but there’s more of them available. I’ve been selling new products since around 1991. In 2003-2005, I was getting builders to buy lots, selling houses out of a catalog. Because at the time you could find lots.

 

What else has surprised you in the current real estate market?

In January we had a 30-lot subdivision for sale with only 3 deals on them. Now, they’re all sold, buts it’s mostly due to out-of-town builders. The market for the Okanagan became much more widespread than it was before. We used to get 6% of buyers from the coast, now the numbers from the lower mainland have surged, and along with them came the builders. Lots of different trends have happened, not since the start of COVID, but mostly since the start of this year. 2020 was not that affected, we still had good inventory levels. It all happened in 2021, I think because COVID has settled in and people don’t really see an end in sight, so they’re changing their focus.

 

What would be your advice for people looking to buy a lot and build in this market?

I still think it’s a really good idea. What you do have to understand is that you might not be able to get a definitive price, and if you’re a high ratio buyer, that’s not a safe place to be. If you have 20% down, it’s a really good place to be. But you do need patience because they’re having a hard time getting supplies, it won’t be finished for months. What used to take 8 months now can take 10 to 12. So as long as you’re not in a rush and have a place to stay, you’re good to go!

Yes, the current real estate market is red hot, but what does that mean to you as a buyer or as a seller? What are your options? How do you navigate this crazy market to make it work for you?

 

The state of Real Estate: This real estate series is an inside look and professional advice on what the heck is going on in this 2021 market! The current real estate market is certainly interesting and unpredictable. The Kelowna real estate market is changing on a daily basis and is proving to be frustrating for both buyers and sellers. Where common catchphrases of this past year include the “new normal” and “social distancing”, in the real estate world, these phrases are “multiple offers” and “seller’s market”. However, one common phrase they both have in common …unprecedented.

 

“The New Normal”

How is this “new normal” changing the face of real estate as we know it? We reach out to each team member at Quincy Vrecko and Associates to discuss their professional thoughts on every aspect of how the market is changing and their experience with the current real estate market.

 

In this series we will cover:

• Multiple offers from the perspective of the buyer and the seller
• Relocating to Kelowna
• New home construction and lot sales
• Luxury housing market
• Condominiums and townhouses

 

Over the last year, the pandemic brought some unexpected changes. What was about to happen following the lockdown was clearly unpredictable to even to the best of those in the know. In March 2020, CMHC forecasted an 18% decrease in property values and warned of a crash in the real estate market.

What a difference a year makes…

Fast forward to March 2021 and the current real estate market is registering record-breaking sales week after week. With the average price of single-family homes hitting an astonishing $900 000 sellers are in the driver’s seat and buyers are being left in the dust.

 

Sellers

As a seller, while the market is in your favor, you should not just have anyone representing your largest investment. Setting up the listing for success is the key to realizing the top dollar for your home. Photos and virtual tours are key tools to present your home not only with restrictions due to Covid but to a large number of out-of-town buyers. Currently, out-of-town buyers make up 41% of our overall homebuyers in the Okanagan.

 

Buyers

If you are a buyer in this market, it is more important than ever to have proper representation. An experienced agent on your side making sure you have the upper hand at securing a property over other bidders. An experienced agent with a strong connection will give you the upper hand in getting you in the right home at the right place.

 

 

 

 

Check-in each week as we discuss topics related to the current real estate market situation and answer questions from buyers and sellers. We look to the experience and expertise of the team members at Quincy Vrecko and Associates, one of the top teams for Re/MAX Kelowna. Every team member will offer their advice and suggestions on how to stay sane in this truly crazy real estate market.

Virtual Real Estate-Talk to a Realtor in Kelowna

Live Chat

As we all adjust to a new way of living, we want to be able to stay connected.  While we all are doing our part to social distance, we have a way to stay connected with our clients and members of our community.  

With the use of Live Chat, you can talk to a Realtor from one of the top real estate teams in Kelowna.  The team at Quincy Vrecko and Associates stay connected using this top technology.   

Not a robot or automated system but one of our licensed team members will be online 9-9 every day.  Talk to a Realtor in Kelowna on your schedule, when you want.  

 

Quincy Vrecko and Associates team member, Charlene Volk, explains why Live Chat is a great way to stay connected.  

“Live chat is a quick and effective way of communicating your needs.  Often when homebuyers are browsing listings, they want quick answers to questions in the moment.  And we make it easy by giving real-time answers to any questions. From simple to complex, a licensed real estate agent is online.”  

How is Live Chat different from picking up the phone or sending an email?

“Calling to talk to a Realtor or sending an email can be time-consuming.  Especially if you are inquiring about multiple properties listed for sale.  Live chat allows you to ask specific questions on any property and is controlled by you, the consumer. You get real-time answers from a licensed real estate agent.”

Do you have to provide personal information such as email or phone number?

“No. That’s why Live chat is so easy.  You can browse every home for sale in Kelowna and the surrounding area from one location. You can ask as many (or as little) questions as you like.  There is no obligation, just information.”

 

QVA Real EstateVisit our website at QuincyVrecko.com and the Live chat window will pop up and you can talk to a Realtor when you want, how you want.   

Find properties for sale in Kelowna and surrounding area

Discuss market trends and statistics

Ask questions about best neighborhoods in Kelowna 

Find out about new developments 

Ask questions about current rates and taxes

Or just to chat about the weather!

 

 

Charlene Volk has been a Realtor in Kelowna for over 15 years and is one of the agents on call to answer your questions.  Click here to read Charlene’s full bio.

Live Chat

Live Chat

Virtual Technology

The world has moved towards a new way of living, and we are all doing our part in social distancing.  One of the top real estate teams in Kelowna turns to virtual real estate to continue selling property in Kelowna. 

While the doors may be temporarily closed to the RE/MAX Kelowna downtown office, the team at Quincy Vrecko and Associates continue to service buyers and sellers by the way of virtual real estate technology.  

 

 

“We have been using virtual technology for years, and now it is the time to really rely on it to keep our business alive.”  Tracey Vrecko, Marketing manager for Quincy Vrecko and Associates.  

This top real estate team has established several outlets for virtual real estate for connecting buyers and sellers.  For years, they have been ahead of the curve and have been offering: 

Website Live Chat

Online Market Evaluations

VR home tours

 

“Ultimately, our goal is to stay connected while we all work through a new reality.  We have had a lot of questions from the public about what is happening in Kelowna real estate.  We are open, and we are here to answer questions and help where we can.”

 

VR

Virtual Reality Tour

The use of virtual real estate technology will allow the team to keep social and physical distancing rules and regulations while providing real estate services.  Every member of the team specializes in all areas of real estate. These Specialities include but are not limited to single-family residential homes, condos and townhouses, new home construction, real estate development, waterfront property, luxury real estate, and investment property.  

 

 

Market Evaluation

Market Evaluation

 

Over the next few weeks, the team at Quincy Vrecko and Associates will be highlighting and explaining the different techniques used to connect through virtual real estate.  Find out how you can benefit from the different virtual real estate platforms to keep connected and informed during these complicated times.  

 

“We are committed to continuing the flow of real estate information, and will do so in a safe and effective way. Your health and safety is our main concern.  Stay safe and stay home.” 

 

Log onto QuincyVrecko.com for all your virtual real estate needs.  You can ask questions using Live Chat, fill out a form for a free home evaluation or tour any of our many amazing properties by the way of a virtual tour.  

As always, for more detailed information, call (250) 868-3602 to reach one of our agents by phone.