Homefinders – Realtors have information at their fingertips

Victoria home sales in May up 26.8% from the same month the previous year

Cassie Kangas looks over the lot plans for a home. Realtors can help identify potential complications in the sale and purchase of a home.

Victoria’s scorching real estate market is putting an even greater emphasis on potential buyers being ready to close the deal.

The Victoria Real Estate Board reports a total of 905 properties were sold across the region in May, a 26.8 per cent increase over the 714 properties sold in May 2014.

“May was another great month for local real estate. It’s been a very active month for sales and listings, and we continue to see consumer confidence in our market as people continue to purchase properties,” said Victoria Real Estate Board president Guy Crozier.

“We’ve not seen this many sales in May since 2007 when we saw 963 properties sell in the month.”

Oak Bay realtor Cassie Kangas said the potential for a quick sale is yet another reason for buyers to be pre-approved and ready to close the deal.

“Knowing the house you’re looking at may have an offer the first day, you need to have everything ready. That could be the difference between getting it or not,” said the realtor with DFH Real Estate.

Kangas points to a house that had come on the market on a Saturday morning, she took her clients to see it that same afternoon.

“We were in the house when the realtor phoned me to say, ‘My clients are on their way to the office, there’s already two offers’,” she recalled. “We hadn’t even looked in the basement yet. You have to be prepared, because if you’re not you’re not going to get it.”

Having financing in place is just one of the areas where realtors can assist their clients in buying or selling their home.

“The big thing is that every house is different, and there is information you need when selling your house.”

Kangas said she regularly needs to come up with information on items such as building permits, zoning and bylaw information.

“We need to have so much information. People who try to sell their houses by themselves don’t understand the questions that are going to come up so they don’t have all that information at their fingertips all the time, and they don’t know where to get it,” said Kangas.

She said permits can be a major issue that can have serious ramifications on the sale of a house.

“People do work without permits or they just don’t know what kind of permits are required,” she said. “If someone does come and inspect your house for some reason and they realize you have done all this work incorrectly, they can make you take it out.”

She said checking for possible oil tanks on a property is another issue that should be investigated before a sale, along with going over strata documentation. Kangas advises going over a strata’s rules, bylaws, 24 months of minutes as well as any depreciation reports.

“There could be an assessment coming the next year for $60,000 and you’re on the hook for it. You have to read that stuff,” she said.

Kangas said it’s important for realtors to have good relationships with local governments as well as those in the banking and legal fields in order to address any issues that may arise.

“There’s stuff that buyers have no idea they should be asking and there’s stuff that sellers have no idea they should be disclosing. We’re here to know all that.”