Selling your home can be stressful at the best of times, but during these last few challenging months, homeowners are also concerned about potential health risks. The good news is that over these recent times, we have successfully mastered both the online and in-person aspects of selling your home safely.

As in the past, the first thing a seller needs to know is what their house is worth in today’s market. The easiest and fasted way to do this is by completing a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA). Through this process your home will be compared to other similar homes in your area giving you a sound starting point to help you determine a fair selling price. By understanding what comparable homes are selling for, we are able to present and sell your home to qualified home buyers at the best price and in the shortest amount of time.

Once you have listed your home with us, we will immediately employ a proven set of marketing strategies such as:

One of the initial challenges we faced in selling a home during Covid-19 was the ‘Open-House’ since it was one our most important and direct methods of showing a home to both prospective buyers and other real estate agents. We have managed to successfully hone our technological skills by providing ‘virtual’ open houses. This process allows potential buyers to take a virtual tour and ask any questions they may have about specific aspects of your home. Once a virtual tour is completed, potential buyers can speak directly with us regarding a possible in-home viewing to get more detailed information.   

We understand that viewing a home in person is still essential for anyone interested in making a purchase. Therefore, we are happy to arrange such a viewing to all serious and qualified buyers. All safety precautions and health recommendations are adhered to so that both the potential buyer’s as well as the homeowner’s protection and safety are ensured.

The real estate market has come a long way in a short time, and we have successfully overcome the challenges that Covid-19 has presented us with. Anyone either wishing to, or needing to, sell their home in today’s market can rest assured that we have taken every precaution to keep all parties safe. We take great pride in providing all our clients with professional and responsible marketing strategies to help you sell your home in a stress-free environment and as quickly as possible.

With favorable mortgage rates, it’s a great time to get your pre-approvals in place . If you are looking to find out what you qualify for, we highly recommend David at Olympic Mortgages. David is continually ranked as one of the best Mortgage Brokers in Victoria for the last 10 years.

We have been faced with many challenges in the last few months including juggling work, home life, and of course maintaining financial stability. Many aspects of our lives have changed dramatically, and some things have even been put on hold. However, the Victoria real estate market continues to thrive, and home ownership is still the best long-term investment.

With interest rates low and with inventory growing, now is a great time to start the process.

Even with all these positives, many people are concerned about their health and safety when looking for that perfect home.  Thanks to the advantages in today’s technology, narrowing down things like location, prime neighbourhoods, ‘must haves’, price range, etc. can all be done safely online.

Prospective buyers can even access particulars of a home virtually that include:

One important aspect to keep in mind in today’s market is that these processes may take a little longer that one expects. The best advice is to be prepared, have all necessary documentation organized, and communicate with your realtor early and often.

From start to finish, almost all aspects of buying or selling a home can be done online using e-signatures including:

Keep in mind that the pre-approval process is paramount in today’s climate. In addition, given the wait times with the big banks, working with a Mortgage Broker has never been more important. While there may be extra steps to complete and things may take a little longer, there are many amazing opportunities to be had right now in the real estate market.

Selling a home during the Covid-19 pandemic presents its own unique challenges. There are any number of reasons why some people do not have the luxury of waiting until the markets rebound to sell their home such as:

If you find that you have no choice but to put your home on market, the first crucial step is to ensure your real estate agent is extremely computer savvy. They should be able to walk you through the virtual real estate experience with confidence. The same criteria for finding the perfect agent that existed before the pandemic still holds true in these challenging times. You will want to have an agent that understands the world of virtual real estate and has already had a great deal of experience in this area before the pandemic hit.

Our team has been successfully selling homes using things such as ‘interactive 360-degree virtual video tours’ for years.  Our experienced agents will also conduct video tours of your home to prospective buyers in real time and be able to answer any questions that may come up during the tour.

The big difference now is that the entire process can be done virtually using tools such as Google Docs or Zoom. An encrypted e-signature is another important tool that allows purchasers and sellers to electronically sign all necessary documents safely.

Whether you are looking to purchase or sell a home, condo, or townhome, you can proceed with confidence knowing that our team of real estate agents, lawyers, and mortgage brokers have done their due diligence to complete all your transactions safely and securely.

The question of whether to buy first or sell first is one of the most complex questions REALTORS® face from clients. Especially in such fast moving markets as we’re seeing right now, not only is this a complicated question, but also one that get’s brushed over with quick answers that aren’t as thoughtful as they ought to be.

As a REALTOR® my role is not to answer this question and make it easy, but to make sure my clients have the most accurate and pertinent information so that they can make their own decision. The answer on whether to buy first or sell first can often seem obvious, but the market can change in an instant, and when it does, this decision has extremely serious outcomes.

Often clients will bring up this question, and often they will be holding assumptions about what they ought to do. It’s important to open up this conversation early and address any assumptions .

Once we are in the conversation, I explain the benefits and risk of each option.


I can ask my clients which option makes more sense to them, and ask what their concerns are about that option. I  can give them an objective knowledge of the market conditions, and articulate the uncertainties I see in the market. Then if they still don’t feel solid in a decision, I can use my expertise to help them get more information and resources.

It needs to be their decision. My role as a REALTOR® is to ensure that it is ( I also look for others who are influencing their decision), get them as much information as they need, and create the environment where they have the space to make a good decision.

There is a lot to think about when you’re in the process of selling your property. There are moments of uncertainty as you hope to sell for the best possible price within a reasonable amount of time.

The process can also be stressful for your tenant, who may be concerned about where he/she will be living after the sale.

We reached out to our RE/MAX Influencers—a panel consisting of RE/MAX Sales Associates from throughout Canada—to find out the best advice they give to clients who are attempting to sell tenant-occupied homes.

Offer incentives

Several RE/MAX Influencers suggested that it’s a kind gesture to offer some sort of incentive to tenants during the time while the house is being listed.

A slight reduction in rent could mean a lot to your tenant if you’re in a financial position to offer the discount. Other options may include offering maid/cleaning services free of charge, giving your renter gift cards for restaurants, local shops or movie theatres, or even throwing in a nice bottle of wine. These gestures may be of minimal cost to you, but can go a long way to making the process smoother.

A happy tenant is far more likely to be cooperative and helpful during the listing process.

Respect their time

Until your property is sold, it is important to respect the fact that it is still the place your tenant calls “home.” It’s important to be open and honest with showing timelines and schedules.

One tip is to determine days and times of the week for showings that are most convenient for your tenant. Once those times are determined, advise your real estate agent to book during that schedule.

“When people feel heard, and are a part of the process, they are much more likely to work with you, rather than against you,” said a RE/MAX Influencer.

Work together and communicate

By working together, the situation may end up being a win-win for both yourself and your tenant.

Coach them through how to show potential buyers they are great tenants so that the new buyers may want to keep renting to them. The more cooperative, clean and tidy the tenant is, the more likely they won’t have to move if an investor is purchasing the home.

It’s a good idea to have your real estate agent introduce him/herself to your tenant early in the process so that they can explain what will be happening and how the renter may be impacted. In some cases, real estate agents may be able to act as an intermediary, to keep the flow of conversation going.

“Try to make your tenant feel part of the team. Have all documentation available regarding the legal positions of all involved. Manage expectations proactively,” said a RE/MAX Influencer.

Help them out

Do your best to find someone who will either continue to be a landlord for your tenant, or, be sure to give your tenant more than the minimum notice required by law. Some sellers take this a step further by waiving the rent payment for the final month of the renter’s occupancy if they are helpful during the selling process.

In situations where the tenant is forced to move out following the sale, you may want to offer assistance in helping them locate a new place to live.

By helping your tenant, he/she will feel more positively about the situation, and will likely return the favour by being more cooperative throughout the time your property is listed.

There is alot of hype in the media right now about the high prices in Vancouver and that it is because of foreign buyers.

This is not happening in Victoria. The market is brisk as we are low on lisitngs and have many buyers looking. We are seeing people from Vancouver moving over to Victoria after they sell their home in Vancouver for a really high price.

Below is a link with statistics from the Victoria Real Estate Board to show where buyers are coming from.In a nutshell 98% are from Canada and of that 87% are from BC.

Only 2% are foreign buyers. The link wll also breakdown where in Canada, BC and the outside of Canada where they came from. Here is the link:

Happy New Year!

I always like to tell a real life scenario when talking about Real Estate as I think people are able to better relate to the take away message.

A while ago, I was taking care of one of my associates business while he was away on vacation. A couple that he was working with (buyers) contacted me to view a townhome with them that they had seen at an open house the day before. They were interested in making an offer so I needed to see it with them to better assist them. After vieiwing the property and pulling past sales in the complex we arrived at an offer price. The selling Realtor came back to us with a counter offer almost at list price. When I was negotiating with her she made me aware that she got alot of information from the buyers at the open house. They were very open with their conversation and comments to the point that she knew they had received an inheritance and would not even need a mortgage. The Selling Realtor used this information to her advantage and blatantly stated that she knew that they could afford it and that they were not budging on the price.They ended up paying almost asking price as they really wanted this home. So the take away from this is that if your Realtor is not able to attend an open house with you, beware of what information you tell the Realtor that is hosting the open house as it can affect you negatively later.

There has been alot about International buyers in the news lately. I just read an interesting article in a local magazine called the Douglas. Here is an interesting chart that may quell your fears of International buyers in Victoria.

We had a really strong 2015 in Victoria in Real Estate. Many homes in certain areas, especially those with a suite went into multiple offers and most sold for over asking price. Predications are for the market to continue to be strong. Check out this really great report put out by CMHC, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation:

Waterfront properties with private docks are looking attractive at this time of the year, particularly with the weather we’ve been enjoying this summer. Licensees involved in the sale of such properties need to be aware of, and inform their clients of, the possibility that any dock or other structures built upon the foreshore (the land between the ordinary high and low water mark), may be non-compliant with the rules and regulations governing their construction and use.

In the past, many waterfront property owners took advantage of the Ministry of Forest, Lands and Natural Resource Operation’s lack of interest in, and resources for, the enforcement of the rules and regulations associated with the construction and use of private docks. As a result, many docks were built contrary to the applicable guidelines, including the Private Moorage Guidelines, established by the Province and other levels of government. Some examples of non-compliant docks are those built:

  1. without Provincial authorization,
  2. with illegal structures,
  3. contrary to local zoning and building regulations, or
  4. contrary to Canadian Coast Guard or Department of Fisheries and Oceans regulations.

In recent years, the Ministry has devoted new energy and resources to enforcing those rules and regulations to the shock of many waterfront owners who learn that they may lose their dock, or incur significant costs to rectify non-compliance.

The Province owns and regulates nearly all of the foreshore. Formerly, an owner wishing to build a dock or other structures encroaching onto the foreshore applied for a lease or license for a fixed term, typically 10 years. Both of these options involved an application with a fee, as well as rental charges. The license tenure option for private docks and has now been eliminated and replaced with both “general” and “specific” permissions which, unlike leases and or the previous type of license, do not have a fixed term and do not charge rent.

General permission applies to docks less than 24m2 in size located on rivers and lakes. No application is required for such docks. Specific permission is required for any docks larger than 24m2, any small docks that do not qualify for general permission, and all docks located along the coastal foreshore.

When an existing license expires, an owner may apply for specific permission, or a lease, or may be granted general permission to retain the use of the structures. When an existing lease expires, the owner may continue with the lease, or apply for general or specific permission, depending on the size and location of the dock.

Typically, when an owner applies for general or specific permission or to renew a lease for the continuing use of a private dock, the Ministry will review the dock and other foreshore structures for compliance. If the dock or structures could impact aboriginal interests, the Province will also consult with impacted First Nations communities.

If a dock or foreshore structures are found to be non-compliant with the regulations or guidelines in place at the time the structures were built, an owner may have to remove or modify the dock/structures to become compliant. The Ministry will issue Notices of Trespass for any offending structures, requiring removal which can be an extremely bitter pill for buyers of waterfront or semi waterfront properties to swallow.

In order to avoid complaints or lawsuits, licensees acting for sellers or buyers of waterfront properties will wish to:

  1. investigate the status of any docks or waterfront structures,
  2. avoid making any misrepresentations regarding docks or waterfront structures,
  3. >warn clients of the risks associated with non-compliant docks and waterfront structures, or
  4. encourage buyers to exercise due diligence in investigating the issue if important to them.

You may have heard abou the EDPA, the Environmental Development Permit Area in the news or from neighbours if you live in Saanich. The EDPA has been in place since 2012 to protect and restore rare ecosystems and vital habitat. The three objectives of the EDPA are to,

  1. Protect biodiversity,
  2. Mitigate damage during construction 
  3. Restore degraded ecosystems.

The EDPA is made up of :

Some interesting facts:

The EDPA protects:

For all the details on the EDPA please see
If you are buying or selling in Saanich, be sure to check the map provided on the website to see if the property of interest is in any of these areas.