Wednesday, October 24, 2012

What is the Difference Between a Realtor® and an Agent?

What is the Difference Between a Realtor® and an Agent?

If you are considering the purchase of a new home, you probably already know you are going to need help. Why? There are few things in life that compare to the impact of buying property. The gains are virtually limitless and unfortunately so are the potential pitfalls. Get it right and you will look back on the experience fondly. Make a mistake and you will likely be paying for it for years to come.

Convinced? I thought so. When it comes to buying a home, the best way forward is with a Realtor. ® You can be sure that they are dedicated professionals who weren’t pushing buttons until the factory closed last week.

These men and women have spent countless hours learning the ins and outs of real estate. They have demonstrated their understanding by passing comprehensive exams and devote themselves to outstanding client service!

Think of it this way, you wouldn’t try to climb a mountain without an expert guide. Realtors® know the territory, the pitfalls and the best ways to make your way forward. When it comes to purchasing property, Realtors® have the wealth of experience and expertise to navigate the trail from the first viewing, the offer, and most importantly, the closing.

Many times, seemingly simple deals can turn complicated. Realtors® take the time to listen to your needs and concerns. They have the skills to resolve most any problem you can encounter during a purchase and will help you determine the best option to get things back on track.

When it comes to buying a home, it is great to know that a Realtor® has your back! The commission Realtors® charge is not significantly different that less qualified agents. In the end, you can rest assured that your Realtor® will stand with you through whatever obstacles you encounter when buying your next home.

Need some great Realtors?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

How Do I Know What to Sell My House For?

Finding the Right Price to Sell Your Home

If you are a home owner and think it might be time to sell your property, you probably have more than a few reservations. Nearly everyone has heard horror stories about under water mortgages, foreclosures and other developments stemming from the real estate market’s recent woes. Fortunately, selling a home does not have to be a bad experience! Source:

How can you be sure to get the right price for your home?  You might not like my answer: hard work! Long before you list your property, you should begin comparing your home to other properties in the neighborhood.

Having said that, it is very important to compare apples to apples. If you have a 2 bedroom bungalow that comes in a just under 1000 square feet, be careful not to compare your property to that two story home on the corner!  Their 3500 square foot home is in a class all its own!  Instead, focus on properties that are within a few hundred square feet of your own. Be sure to factor in age, condition and any other factors that might impact pricing. - See Lloyd McKenzie for Albuquerque Values

Where should you begin? There are a number of great websites on the Internet that can give you a basic idea of home values on comparable properties in your area. BUT, they are comparison values, not necessarily close representations of what your home will bring on today’s competitive market. Use reputable sites like Zillow, Trulia or and chart the price variables from one site to another. Keep track of the increases or decreases in value for at least a month and then progress to step two.

Once you have data you have monitored from sites like Zillow or Trulia, talk to your friends and neighbors to find a real estate agent they trust. You should meet with at least three professionals and ask them for a comparative market analysis or “CMA.”

A CMA is created by comparing the prices of recent propertysales. This is important, because home owners tend to see their property through rose colored glasses. A seasoned professional will look objectively at the market and give you an educated guess as to what price buyers will find attractive for your home.

Compare the values offered by your potential agents, consider how easily you worked with that person and using both your research and theirs; set a price that you believe is reasonable for your property. Your agent can offer you valuable advice about what changes you can affordably make to raise the sale price of your home. 

It can be a daunting experience to set a sale price, but with a wise investment of time and by seeking professional help you can often accurately predict the sale price of a property. The important thing is that you detach your emotional attachment to your home, do your homework and see professional advice. After everything is said and done, it is important to remember, that the market will drive the sale price in the end.

Sources for information are from the local and national real estate providers mentioned in this post. Thank you for their cooperation.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Nanaimo - Waterfront Town, not just a Cookie

Where is Nanaimo BC?

Nanaimo Canada, located on Vancouver Island, about five hours to Seattle Washington and about three to Vancouver across the ferry and the Strait of Georgia. On Vancouver Island, we are about an hour and a half north of Victoria BC. Nestled in among the streets up against the water, Nanaimo is home to about 84,000 residents and offers a stunning landscape and backdrop against the fresh evergreens of the Pacific Northwest.

Maybe you’ve heard of the famous Nanaimo bars; a ridiculously delicious cookie bar named after our famous city which includes a cookie crumb base with vanilla or custard icing topped with melted chocolate. Well, we are much more than simply a cookie; we are an eclectic waterfront town steeped in history and culture. With a mild and Mediterranean climate shielded by the mountains of central Vancouver Island, Nanaimo is home to several boats docks in the Nanaimo Harbour, waterfront shops and restaurants, and several outlying neighborhoods and communities with schools, bus routes, churches and the main campus of the Vancouver Island University.

These communities provide different types of homes and apartments from Upper Lantzville and Pleasant Valley to Hammond Bay and Chase River.  Of course, there are luxury properties anywhere you go in the Nanaimo area but typically home prices are around $400-$500,000 with the buildable lots around $200,000. We still have room to grow and if you’re looking to find a perfect home or to build your dream home overlooking the stunning Straits of Georgia off of Vancouver Island Nanaimo may be your perfect destination. Don’t you think it’s time to find out for yourself is living in Nanaimo is right for you? Contact Lynn Donn at 250-802-7321 or visit her website at for more information and to check out all the available and current listings in this Waterfront town.