Vancouver Island Real Estate News from Rudi & Trish Widdershoven March 2015   

Hi Paul,

A positive first impression of your home can make a huge impact on your selling price!  This month’s article shares some simple tips on how to prepare your home for a successful sale.

There’s also a spring checklist to get your home ready for the gorgeous weather that’s just ahead as well as some body language tips that’ll instantly boost your confidence.

Thanks so much for checking out this month's newsletter.  Please get in touch if you have any questions or comments regarding the articles, or real estate in general -- it'd be great to hear from you!

Your friends in Real Estate
Rudi & Trish W.

In this issue...
February Sales Reflect Strong, Balanced Market Conditions 
In the VIREB coverage area, 282 single-family homes sold on the MLS® system in February 2015.

This represents a 43 per cent increase from last month but is virtually unchanged from February 2014, which saw 281 sales.

BCREA’s chief economist, Cameron Muir, states that although January’s numbers showed a decline, sales across the province bounced back in February.

“The economy is on an upward trajectory, bolstered by the strong, sustained recovery in the United States,” said Muir.

“The economic outlook is positive, despite reduced oil prices and a lower Canadian dollar.”  The weaker dollar actually has a net positive impact on our economy because it makes Vancouver Island a more attractive tourist destination, he added.

Although the number of single-family homes sold in February 2015 was virtually unchanged from last year, condominiums, townhouses and duplexes posted increases.

Sales of apartment condominiums were up 74 per cent, with 47 units selling last month compared to 27 in February 2014.  In February 2015, 18 patio homes sold compared to 11 in February of last year, a 64 per cent increase. Townhouse units posted a 45 per cent increase, with 29 units selling in February 2015 compared to the 20 sold in the same month last year.  Sales of half-duplex units were up 400 per cent, with 15 units selling last month compared to three in February 2014.

“Looking at single-family sales alone, the market didn’t change much from this time last year.  But when you factor in condos, townhouses, and duplexes, sales in our area were up around nine per cent,” noted VIREB President Jason Finlayson.

“Overall, we’re continuing to see strong, balanced market conditions in our area.”  However, since individual markets can vary considerably, it is always best to consult a local REALTOR® for accurate pricing information.  Finlayson also affirmed that a weaker Canadian dollar could have a positive impact on the B.C. economy, as it makes vacationing here more appealing.

“Vancouver Island is a popular tourist destination, and vacations here sometimes result in ‘staycations,’ which is always good news for real estate,” said Finlayson.

In February 2015, the benchmark price for a single-family home in the VIREB coverage area was $321,600, up 2.49 per cent from 2014.  Benchmark pricing tracks the value of a typical home in the reported area.  The average price of a single-family home was $333,479 compared to $345,343 in February 2014, a decrease of three per cent.

The benchmark price of a single-family home in the Campbell River area was $270,700, up 1.98 per cent from February 2014.  In the Comox Valley, the benchmark price was $320,500, up just under one per cent from last year.  Duncan reports a benchmark price of $283,900, an increase of 4.12 per cent over the same month in 2014.  Nanaimo’s benchmark price was $340,200, up 3.47 per cent over last year.  The Parksville-Qualicum area posted a benchmark price of $347,000, up slightly over last year.  The price for a benchmark home in Port Alberni was $175,500, down 9.22 per cent from February 2014.

Preparing Your Home for a Successful Sale 
A properly prepared home will reap huge rewards!

Preparing your home for sale requires some planning but it’s well worth the effort as it’ll help your home sell quickly and for top dollar.  The following points can be implemented quickly and with little or no money:

  1. Curb Appeal - Home buyers form their opinions as soon as they pull up so first class curb appeal is key.  Create the best first impression possible by cutting the grass, tidying the yard, painting or washing the exterior and cleaning all windows.

  2. Clear the Clutter - Too much “stuff” makes your home appear smaller than it really is and most buyers can’t see past other people’s clutter.  Clean out your closets, garage, basement and attic.  Put what you’re keeping in storage and donate the rest.

  3. De-personalize - Buying a home is an emotional experience so it’s important that buyers are able to imagine themselves living in your home.  De-personalize each room by taking down family photos, knick-knacks and anything else that’ll make them feel like they're intruding.

  4. Fix it First - Buyers always inflate repair costs so make sure you take care of repairs ahead of time.  Even small things such as leaky faucets and ripped carpeting make your home appear neglected and a possible money pit in the eyes of buyers.

  5. Peeking Allowed - Buyers will size up each and every room but they'll also be snooping in your cupboards, drawers and closets so make sure they’re organized, de-cluttered and clean.  Hang clothes up neatly, leave open space and clear floor areas.

It’s often the little things that make a huge difference when it comes to creating a winning first impression.  If you want to get top dollar for your property, invest some time and money into fixing and freshening up your home before it hits the market.  It’s an investment that will definitely pay off!

Get Your Home in Shape for Spring 
Homes need regular check-ups in order to stay healthy.

Spring’s right around the corner so it’ll soon be time to identify and correct minor issues so you can avoid unpleasant surprises down the road.  This simple spring checklist will help protect the health of your home:

  1. Roof - Repair missing or cracked shingles.

  2. Outdoor Wiring - Check thoroughly for wear and tear.

  3. Deck/Patio - Check for safety hazards such as loose railings and rotten boards.

  4. Foundation - Inspect interior/exterior walls for cracks and signs of moisture.

  5. Gutters - Clean gutters/downspouts and make sure they direct water away from your home.

  6. Safety - Inspect smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and review your family’s fire plan.

  7. Landscaping - Cut back trees/bushes that touch the house and remove any dead branches.

Home is where the heart is so do your best to keep it healthy.  Regular maintenance of your home and yard will save you time and money in the future and you’ll be much more relaxed come summer knowing you won’t be in for any nasty surprises.

The Body Language of Confidence 
A person's body language usually says more than their words.

Projecting positive body language is a skill that should be mastered by all of us from corporate bigwigs to children on the playground.  Here are a few basic tips that’ll help boost your confidence:

  • use a natural tone, volume and pace when you speak

  • use your hands for gesturing instead of sticking them in your pockets

  • avoid fidgeting as it shows you're disinterested, bored and/or nervous

  • stand up straight in a relaxed posture with your head held high

  • give a strong handshake while looking into the person’s eyes with a relaxed smile

Studies have shown that our poses can actually change our body chemistry.  High power poses where the body is open and relaxed actually increases your confidence levels.  Stand tall and be proud!



PS Oh by the way, we always appreciate any of your introductions.  If you know of anyone that may benefit from our individualised help please contact us with their name and number and let them know that we will be in touch.  We would be privileged to assist them!
 
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