For the past several months, Coquitlam real estate agent Daniel Yang had a nearly fool-proof way to get the best sale price for his client's homes.
He would list on the low end of the market, walk dozens of people through open houses and help his client sell the condo or single family home for top dollar after multiple bids.
"Some realtors don't like it. What I'm doing is within the frame of what's allowed," commented Yang.
That strategy worked well for several months during the COVID-19 pandemic and through this past spring, including one memorable sale for $500,000 over-asking when buyers lined up down the street for a home listed for under $1M in Coquitlam.
Now, it's not working at all.
Like the proverbial canary in the coal mine — an early indicator of potential danger — Yang is a noted good source when it comes to the vagaries of the real estate market in Coquitlam.
He claims buyers stepped back from the frenzied winter buying spree in March, shortly after the war in Ukraine started and interest rates and gas prices started to rise.
Buyers are more cautious now, according to Yang, and are scaling back their offers. Instead of offering more than the listing price, they are offering less, sometimes even much less.
Coquitlam real estate market slowing
Two homes he listed in east Coquitlam show just how much the market changed in just a few weeks.
Documents show one house that had previously been a grow op sold nearly $23,000 over asking in mid-March for $2.01 million, while another on the same street listed in May failed to generate any substantial offers.
The second house had a view and a renovated kitchen on a much larger lot, plus two rental suites generating $3,000 per month.
Still, it was a slog to get an offer even as high as the former grow-op house.
Yang said he tried his strategy, listing the property for $1.688 million. There were a few offers, but none came close to the $2.29 million the owner expected to get after she asked the listed price to be increased to reflect the home's comparative value.
The house has been taken off the market since, said Yang.
"She decided that, you know, she will wait and she'll probably keep it for another few years and wait for the market to come back."
While the real estate market slowdown isn't affecting luxury properties, such as one nearly $9 million listing in Anmore, some are recommending people hold off on buying or selling unless they have to as more interest rate hikes are expected.
Yang said the downturn in the market has prompted him to take a break this summer.
But he'll still advise customers, depending on their needs, as he keeps an eye on real estate market conditions in Coquitlam and the Lower Mainland.
"I'm in the river every single day," says Yang, "I feel the change."