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In this issue...
Early Spring Fever Hit Fraser Valley Real Estate Market
Preparing Your Home for a Successful Sale
Get Your Home in Shape for Spring
The Body Language of Confidence

Early Spring Fever Hit Fraser Valley Real Estate Market 

In February, sales of all property types in the Fraser Valley increased by 21 per cent in one year with demand for two property types in particular (single family detached homes and townhomes) outpacing supply.

Last month, the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board processed 1,337 sales on the Multiple Listing Service® compared to 1,102 sales in February of last year.

New listings in February totaled 2,610 which added up to 7,864 active listings, up from January’s 7,307 but a decrease of four per cent compared to February 2014’s 8,210 active listings.

“It was our busiest February since 2007,” says newly elected Board President Jorda Maisey.  “In my community of Langley, the average number of days to sell a detached home is now less than one month and it’s a challenge finding the right product for some of our buyers, however every area is different.  To understand the market for your home in your neighbourhood, talk to your REALTOR®.”

A measurement the real estate industry relies on to gauge the health of the housing market is the ratio between sales and active listings.  For the Lower Mainland, the balanced range is between 12 and 20 per cent; which means when it’s less than 12 it favours buyers and greater than 20 it favours sellers.  The ratio in February for single family detached homes was 26 per cent; townhomes 22 per cent and apartments 12 per cent.

Maisey adds, “Our best seller in the Fraser Valley remains the single family detached home, followed by townhomes in part because almost half our buyers are families with children but also because these products are so much more affordable in the Fraser Valley.  With a typical townhome costing less than $300,000 and interest rates so low, many first‐time buyers are finding they can get more for their money here.”

The MLS® HPI benchmark price of a Fraser Valley single family detached home in February was $581,400, an increase of 4.2 per cent compared to February 2014 when it was $558,100.  In February, the benchmark price of townhouses was $297,200, a decrease of 0.6 per cent compared to $298,900 in February 2014.  The benchmark price of apartments also decreased year‐over‐year by 1.8 per cent, going from $193,200 in February 2014 to $189,700 in February 2015.

Across Fraser Valley, the average number of days to sell a single family detached home in February was 41 days, ten days faster than last year.  Townhouses on average took 55 days to sell; one day faster than last February, while Fraser Valley apartments sold on average in 70 days, on par with 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 Are you sick of scouring the paper and MLS sites looking for homes?  Tired of playing telephone tag with agents only to hear the home's already sold?  Sit back, relax and let me do the work for you!  Just visit my website and check off the features you're looking for.  Whenever a home matching your criteria hits the market, it'll be automatically flagged and emailed to you so you'll never have to worry about missing out on your dream home.


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