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In this red hot real estate market buyers need an edge over the other buyers to secure a property. These days it's not unusual to be competing with 10 or more other buyers. How do you stand out from the others?
Here's one way...A standard real estate Contract of Purchase & Sale states that the deposit will be paid by an uncertified cheque within 24 hours unless agreed otherwise. To gain an advantage the buyers offer should be accompanied by a bank draft of at least 5% of the purchase price. If a regular cheque is used and it bounces it takes about 7 - 10 days before the bank returns it. The seller has now lost the opportunity created by the multiple offer scenario and must start over. Or what if an offer is accepted with a draft deposit to be paid within 24 hours of acceptance and the buyer wakes up the next day and changes his mind? That happened to me as a listing agent & when I contacted the other buyers they too, backed out.

Final Point - If there are numerous offers the seller with instructions from the listing agent may be inclined to counter-offer the one with the draft deposit so that they know the property is sold firm & final.



Lately I've had numerous clients who have mentioned that they would like to help their children buy a home.  In its 2012 Budget announced on February 21, 2012, the Provincial Government offered a temporary one-time refundable personal income tax credit worth up to $10,000.  For details:


Before embarking on a home buying or selling journey, be sure to educate yourself about all of the information and services available to you.  Here's a rundown of some of the key real estate websites:

Formerly, this is the most popular real estate listing website in the country. In 2008 was re-branded and re-designed and this bought interactive mapping and upgraded search functions and capabilities, making a more streamlined experience.

This is the online version of the newspaper publication and is another great resource for consumers.  The website contains a wide range of home listings for properties across the province and features in-depth walkthrough-style information.

Built and maintained by the Canadian Real Estate Association, this site is filled with good information for those looking to buy and sell a home.  As a bonus, there's a game called "Adventures in Real Estate" that helps test your knowledge about buying and selling real estate.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver's (REBGV) website offers detailed MLS statistics, monthly podcasts, consumer guidance and other information and links related to local real estate.  You can also read abut government initiatives that impact local real estate and the different cost-savings programs available to the public.



The Canadian Association of Home & Property Inspectiors CAHPI(BC) is a self-regulating association of professional home and property inspectors, representing all regions of British Columbia. They are committed to protecting consumers through  stringent membership requirements, mandatory ongoing training programs, and detailed Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics. CAHPI(BC) has been instrumental in seeking this regulatory control of the home inspection industry through the Province of British Columbia for many years, so that consumers can be better assured of inspector qualifications.

Their site is designed to provide easy access for the public when seeking information about home inspections and the areas served by qualified inspectors. They have endeavored to make their web site easy to use and hope that you find it informative and useful.

Home Inspectors now require licenses to operate in British Columbia.  The Business Practices and Consumer Protection Authority (BPCPA) are responsible for licensing and administering the regulations. Find a local Home Inspector..


Excerpts from a Vancouver Sun article written by Mike Holmes (Holmes on Homes) October 2, 2009

"I want you to use the right home inspector - the one who's an experienced and qualified professional. So be sure to take the time to find a good one and when you hire a home inspector, be present for your home inspection. This is your first chance to learn about your home, first hand. Ask questions and listen to the answers, especially if it's bad news.  Make sure you read the report thoroughly and understand everything the inspector is telling you about the condition of the home."


Can I see your license/professional credentials and proof of insuranc. How many years' experience as a home inspector do you have?

How many years experience as a home inspector do you have?

How many inspections have you personally done?

What qualifications do you have? What kind of training do you have? Are you a member of a professional organization?

What is your background? Construction? Engineering? Plumbing?

What kind of report do you provide?

Can you give me an idea of what kind of repairs the house may need?

Can you do the inspection during the day?

How long do your inspections take?

Do you take pictures of the house and add them to your report?

Can I see some references? - and make sure you check then.



July 27, 2009

President's message to media on HST
REBGV President Scott Russell has been asked by the media for the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver’s position on the newly proposed HST, which will result in a harmonized sales tax of 12 per cent as of July 1, 2010. We are searching for more detail at this writing, and will keep you updated as we learn more.

Mr. Russell has shared with the media that we don’t yet know all the implications, but we do know that the proposed HST will affect the buying public. Consumers will have to pay a higher tax on new houses, a higher tax on renovations, and a higher tax on REALTORS’® fees and other real estate related fees like notary services, home inspections and appraisals.

“I have shared with the media our belief that the HST will result in a significant increase in cost to the real estate buying public. And we are opposed to that,” Mr. Russell says.

Right now, there’s confusion and uncertainty. We, and many other industries, would have appreciated an opportunity to talk with the government before they rolled out the decision. Right now, we’re conducting research to try to help members understand the impact of the HST.

In the meantime, the BC Real Estate Association has also been working with the media on this issue. Look for an article on the topic from BCREA in the editorial pages of tomorrow’s Vancouver Sun.