The Coquitlam housing market has cooled in recent weeks, prompting real estate agents to employ varying tactics to get buyers in the door.
Daniel Yang, a 20-year veteran of the real estate business, takes issue with those who expect huge price gains and multiple offers that occurred earlier in 2022.
Yang says sellers have to be flexible and realtors need to be savvy to be able to get the best price for their client.
A case in point is a Cape Horn home that was listed for $999,000 and eventually sold for $1.5 million.
Yang says there was a lot going for the home, including a tile roof, new furnace and a hot water tank, as well as kitchen and bath renovations that made the home at 128 Antonio Pl. attractive.
But he needed to get buyers in the door to see for themselves, hence the $999,000 listed price that Yang said he knew would pique people's interest.
"When I see the market is cooling off I have to use a different strategy, that’s what I was doing with the $999,000 listing."
Crowds lined up to view the Coquitlam home
So many people showed up to view the home, they were lined up down the street, said Yang, who said he was careful to keep the numbers down in the home for viewing, which might have slowed the line a bit.
"With 58 people going through the open house for two hours, naturally there’s a line-up," he said.
In the end there were 16 offers and the highest bid was $1.5 million.
But in recent weeks the market for single family homes in Coquitlam has cooled somewhat, he said, noting at least one home in Central Coquitlam that dropped its price by nearly 30 per cent.
Yang said each seller will face a different circumstance, which will affect the listing price, while motivated buyers who arrive with a copy of a bank draft that shows they have the necessary financing and stand a better chance at getting their dream home.
"When you present your offer along with a copy of the bank draft it shows you are determined and once the seller puts a deal on paper it shows it's sold."
However, the BC government has tabled legislation called a Home Buyers Protection Period that would give buyers more time to consider their offers, conduct home inspections and ensure they have financing.
The intent is to protect buyers and possibly cool the market.
B.C. government plans Home Buyers Protection Period
According to the Property Law Act amendments announced March 28:
"The amendments would enable the creation of a period to give people buying a home more time to consider their offers, ensure financing and obtain a home inspection, instead of feeling like they need to waive these conditions.
"Regulations will be introduced this year to define the specific time homebuyers will have to exercise this right, as well as the financial costs of retracting an offer. The legislation also allows for regional variation within the province, recognizing the housing market varies between regions."
The BC Real Estate Association, representing 24,000 realtors, says the changes would create more problems and is not the way to address a low supply situation.
Yang says the market has already cooled and it makes sense for buyers to present their best offer.
According to Yang, the market began to cool in late February, and he attributes the uncertainty around the Russian invasion of the Ukraine and Bank of Canada interest rate hikes as possibly dampening demand.
Russian invasian of Ukrainian may have affected housing market
On Feb. 24, Russia invaded Ukraine, causing geopolitical shock waves around the world and sending gas prices sky high. Inflation, combined with higher interest rates have made buyers and sellers more cautious.
"That's had a huge impact on people's minds," Yang said.
In the Cape Horn neighbourhood, according to Zealty.ca, two houses raised their listed price while two dropped them.
Realtors who know their market will do their best to meet the needs of their clients, even during challenging times, Yang said.
He advises buyers to compare homes of similar prices in similar neighbourhoods to ensure they are getting the most for their money — whether it be lot size, mechanical upgrades or recent renovations.
Meanwhile, Yang is listed as a realtor for another home in the Cape Horn neighbourhood, which is listed for $1.499 million, in the same price range as the home on San Antonio Place.
He notes it will be up to prospective buyers to eventually decide on the optimum price.
"As a realtor, you have to do your homework. You have to use your knowledge and all your years of experience to help the buyer make the right decision."