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Home Show as Hot as Home Showings   



I visited the BC Home and Garden Show at the new Vancouver Convention Centre on Sunday March 6.  Given the activity at the Home Show as well as at home showings these days, it seems like just about everyone in Vancouver is either buying, selling or improving the home they live in.  


One very pleasant change from the last time I attended was the new venue - it was held at the Vancouver Trade and Convention Centre in Coal Harbour while BC Place gets its new roof. Although many of the exhibits seem to never change (hot tubs come to mind), there were definite themes around more sustainable living and home automation.


By 'more sustainable', I mean products that are both economically and environmentally lower impact than the standard, or which take a fresh approach to solving home improvement projects.   

Spray Granite and refinshed cabinet

One such product was a refinishing material for kitchen and bathroom countertops.  The material is called liquid granite and it is sprayed onto the existing counter surface.  Although it is a plastic (petroleum based) this has to be weighed against the cost of transporting new materials and sending a structurally intact countertop and tiling to the landfill. Anyone that has completed a home renovation knows that to replace a countertop also involves removing the backsplash (and the drywall that the backsplash material is attached to) which is both costly, time consuming and an inconvenience.  At first glance, I had trouble differentiating it from real granite. If you are hesitating over replacing your laminate countertops with granite, this may be an economic alternative.

Water Heater

Another product that has come of age is the tank-less hot water heater. Hot water tanks, whether gas fired or electric, are prevalent in BC, mainly because they are inexpensive to purchase and install. However, the energy and dollar cost of continually keeping a full tank of water at a high temperature is wasteful.  Why not use a device that instantly heats up just the water you need? Not only does it save money and eliminate the risk of flooding, it also saves valuable in-home real estate - we could all use an extra storage closet!


Home automation is becoming a means of better home management and not just a curiosity. Sophisticated systems will manage your home's energy as well as how you spend your energy (i.e. home entertainment). I visited a booth that specialized in installing a system that can control audio, video, lighting, sprinkler systems, heating and ventilation, and sprinkler systems directly from the internet, an iPod, iPhone or iPad.  The system will provide two-way communication between the device and the feature being controlled.  For example, if you were playing music in your living room, your iPod would display the track information, album cover and artist while two slide bars would give you control over the volume and track position.  Because many of the systems are web based, they can also control your household systems while you are away from home.

Now if only someone could make travel that easy, I'd have a reason to leave home in the first place!
JUST SOLD By David Setton

Immaculate Seven Bedroom Family Home

5323 Manson Street
Vancouver West, Cambie


MLS# V874439 

Asking Price: $1,800,000

Bedrooms: 7               

Baths: 5

Size: 4,238 sq. ft.

I held the first Open House for my listing on Manson on Saturday and Sunday March 13/14. By Monday night it had sold for over asking, and with 10 offers. Another indication of a strong Spring market, and it isn't even Spring yet.


5323 Manson St Front Yard
JUST SOLD By David Setton

Fully Renovated One Bedroom Town Home 

1350 West 6th Avenue
Vancouver West, Fairview


MLS# V870232 

Asking Price: $428,000

Bedrooms: 1               

Baths: 1

Size: 774 sq. ft.

1350 West 6th Ave
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Is it Better to Go Directly to the Seller?

Generally speaking, no, it is not better for a prospective home buyer to go directly to the seller's agent.  


Here's why: 


The total commission to be paid by the seller is  established with the home owner before the property is even  listed.  The Listing Agreement also includes a section explicitly stating the amount of the total commission that will be payable to the buyer's agent.  


If a buyer's agent is not used, that portion of the commission is not returned to the seller or used in the negotiations. In other words, the seller does not save money on the commission if just one agent is involved.    


Nor can the buyer hope to 'glean' some tips on how much to offer on the property. The Listing agent is ethically and legally bound to not reveal this information. 

While it may pain some Realtor's to admit this, it is always best to have an independent agent representing each party in the transaction. The reason a Listing agent may not admit this if you approach them directly is that they stand to potentially "double end" the deal. Most agents, however, are more than willing to share the commission in order to deal with a professional who understands the process and will look out for their client. It makes the transaction go smoothly and minimizes the potential for legal mistakes.

In fact, rather than enhancing a buyer's negotiating position,  a buyer can inadvertently put himself at a disadvantage by not having an independent buyer's agent representing him/her.   


And that is the topic of next month's installment. 

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Increased Housing Demand in February  

VANCOUVER, B.C. - March 2, 2011 - Demand for detached homes continues to be strong across Greater Vancouver, with particularly high sales volumes occurring in Richmond and Vancouver Westside.


For the past two months, the number of properties listed for sale and those sold on the Multiple Listing Service� (MLS�) in Greater Vancouver outpaced the 10-year average in both categories. From a historical perspective, February's 3,097 homes sales outpace the 2,742 home-sale average recorded in the region over the last ten years.


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David Setton
Crowne on Oak by United Properties 
 Answers. In Real Estate. 
 TRG Realty
 101 1965 West 4th Ave
 Vancouver BC V6J 1M8