The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver’s MLS system has strict rules in place to prevent open auctions and intentionally underpriced homes. but with the market moving in an upward direction so quickly the MLS auditors simply cannot keep up to the number of complaints, homes are selling before the infraction is even recognized!
The underpricing rules were originally put in place to guard sellers against dishonest agents underselling their properties, but in today’s busy market underpricing has turned into a dirty trick to try and dupe buyers into over paying.
At first glance a severely underpricing a home might seem like a cunning strategy to attract more buyer’s attention, in fact many agents have been accused of bullying legitimate buyers by padding the number of guests at an open house and ultimately the number of bids coming in by underpricing. But the real the problem with underpriced homes is unscrupulous agents have been using this trick for far too long and buyers are sick of it. In today’s market an underpriced listing could actually scare off the very buyers they are trying to attract.
Many buyers simply do not want to be part of the “grey” area of bidding wars and overbidding, these unofficial auctions leave buyers heart broken and there are no official rules of engagement when it comes to multiple offers. Recently a new trend in searching for homes is emerging; buyers who assign a maximum and minimum to their search, in an attempt to weed out intentionally underpriced listings and buyers who will only search for homes significantly below their budget to compensate for over bidding.
Wondering what is happening in the market right now? Why not check out our automated home values reports find out what properties are sold for, not just what they have been listed for!
Foreclosures happen when home owners can’t keep up with the payments and the lender who holds the mortgage is taking over the property to sell it to recover the amounts they are owned.
All foreclosures are sold “as is, where is”
The lender selling the foreclosed property will require an addendum to be signed that ensures the lender who initiated the foreclosure cannot be held responsible for any damage that occurs to the property between the time it is viewed and the time it is sold. In a typical property purchase the seller is responsible to pass the property over to the buyer in the same condition as they viewed it in.
Foreclosures have been popularized as a way to scoop up a property at a discount.
While it is true a foreclosure is a forced sale and the owners will ultimately have to accept a bid on the offer date, Canadian foreclosure rules require lenders to advertise their foreclosure properties on the public MLS system and to have a public hearing. This is in place to protect lenders and help ensure they will get fair market value.
The foreclosure process is very localized and may differ widely between jurisdictions.
In the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley we would typically see foreclosure hearings at the Vancouver or New Westminster courts. The hearings are public and anyone may appear before the court to place a bid at the time of the hearing.
To have an offer considered at a foreclosure hearing it will must be presented by sealed bid (a sealed envelope containing the offer). T, the closing dates are will be determined by the court but the offer must be unconditional and must include a copy of the buyer’s deposit draft.
All the bids will are read aloud to the court room and the most suitable bid will be selected. Once the bids are called up there is no opportunity to make any changes, so it’s important to get everything right the first time.
Recently we are not seeing many foreclosures because the market has been on the rise giving would be foreclosure owners the opportunity to sell their property over and above what is owed before the lender takes them to collections.
The strata bylaws are in place to lay the groundwork to help and protect each owner in the strata. Many stratas have voted in bylaws to restrict the number, type, or size of pets.
The most common types of pets affected by strata bylaws are cats and dogs. It’s common to see the numbers limited to 1 or 2. Sometimes we see no restrictions on pets, any pets allowed with strata approval, or no pets permitted at all. Fish and reptiles are another commonly restricted pet in stratas. Some stratas restrict the size of aquariums to minimize potential flood hazards while almost all stratas restrict the keeping of exotic pets and reptiles.
If you are a pet owner considering purchasing in a strata make sure to carefully read the strata bylaws concerning pets. Strata’s have the authority to impose fines or pet evictions if your pets pose a violation of the bylaws.
You might come across some pet owners who “hide” their cat successfully in a no pets building because nobody has complained. The strata may not be aware of the pet bylaw infraction or may know about it but no one bothers to enforce it due to lack of complaints. Some stratas will even openly not enforce their pet bylaws unless there are complaints. Strata bylaws are complaint driven and upheld by the acting strata council.
On the other hand, a strata does have the right to be vigilant about enforcing their pet bylaws and there is no guarantee that if you buy into a very pet friendly strata that it will always be that way. Strata council membership may change over and the attitudes towards pets may shift.
To change a bylaw a strata needs it to be passed by ¾ vote by the owners in the building, not just the acting members of council. Whether the strata is looking to increase, decrease, or change the pet restriction, at the end of the day it will be up to what the majority of owners vote on.
Remember if you are considering buying into a strata you are entitled to a copy of the by laws before finalizing your purchase! Get in touch to find out how to make your home buying experience as stress free as possible!