Q. How much does a Realtor cost?
A. Nothing! Hard to believe, but in B.C. buyers typically don’t pay for their Realtor; the commission is paid for by the seller.
Q. Should I buy a property with a secondary suite?
A. A secondary suite is also called a ‘mortgage helper’ because it reduces your monthly mortgage payments. When looking for homes there are two options: find a home with an existing suite or look for a property where a second suite makes sense and have it built.
Most existing secondary suites in the Victoria area are not permitted (i.e. illegal), so buyers must consider how much risk they are willing to take on when looking at this type of property. If you are curious to see the properties that have secondary suites look for properties with 2 kitchens.
If you are lucky and find a legal suite that does have a rental history some lenders will consider the rental income when you are trying to obtain financing. This is great because you may be able to borrow more in order to buy the property.
The other option is to buy a property where it is possible to build a rental suite. There are many things to consider when doing this! I love rental suites – they are game changers when it comes to paying off your mortgage and building equity. If you want to learn more about secondary suites in Victoria please contact me; it is an amazing investment and I would love to help you understand what is possible.
Q. Why should I use a Realtor to sell my house?
A. Real estate markets are localized and can change quickly and unexpectedly. Understanding the demands and trends in the market is critical for determining the best marketing strategy and pricing. Good Realtors know their market and work closely with mortgage brokers, building inspectors, lawyers, insurers and other professionals to ensure they are up to date with the rapidly changing landscape of the housing market.
A Realtor will guide you through the processes of preparing your house for sale; they will create a strategy for what needs to be done in order to net the maximum price in the shortest time frame. A marketing strategy may include things such as professional photography (possibly even using drones to get an aerial view of the property!), the creation of floor plans, advertising through the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), websites, print materials, social media, etc.
A Realtor will review any legal aspects of the property such as easements, covenants, liens etc to make sure that everything is in order and that the property is able to be listed and sold. They will obtain required documentation such as an oil tank removal certificate, plans or permits which will be necessary for the sale.
As a seller there could be a major issue with your property that you are unaware of related to things such as wells, septic systems, perimeter drains, roofs, structure, foundations etc. If there is an issue, becoming aware of it and informed on the price to repair it will put you in a stronger position to negotiate with an interested buyer. This is one strategy that a Realtor might employ.
A Realtor is skilled in negotiation and will work to get you the best outcome in terms of price, possession date, and whatever else is of importance to you. Each property is unique and has specific requirements when it comes to listing it for sale.
Selling a property can be very stressful; a Realtor will guide and support you through the process and will manage the complexity behind the scenes to make your experience as stress free as possible.
Q. How much will I pay a Realtor to sell my property?
A. In Victoria the real estate commission for both Realtors involved in a sale (i.e. your Realtor and the buyer’s Realtor) is paid for by the seller. This is not so great if you are selling, and it is wonderful if you are buying because you (typically) don’t pay any Realtor fees.
There is no set commission rate for Realtors in B.C.. Each Realtor will charge their own commission rate, however the standard rate charged in Victoria is 3% on the first $100,000 and 1.5% on the balance of the sale. This commission is then split between your Realtor and the buyer’s Realtor.