REAL ESTATE: Real estate is the new gold rush

Real Estate columnist Freddy Marks shares his thoughts on this spring for land sales

By Freddy Marks

The B.C. real estate market is moving at a record-breaking pace, and as spring arrives it’s predicted there will be a frenzied rush for rural and recreational property. April, May and June of 2021 could be likened to the spring of 1858 when thousands forged their way into the Interior and Cariboo regions in search of gold and fortune. The only difference is this spring, land is the gold that buyers and investors seek.

In the late 1850s, prospectors competed to stake a claim, driven by a desire to find gold and the security of a better life. Comparably, 2021’s property prospectors are again searching the Interior and the North, competing with thousands of others to purchase desirable land.

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The property search has become a full-time, day-and-night job for those looking to move locations. Locating saleable property before it is listed and sold is time-consuming, and can become all-consuming. Fraser Valley listings are lasting on average 11 days on market, and this trend of shortened days on market is heading north. Reports that new listings in the Interior seeing accepted offers in less than a week are becoming commonplace. As sellers become buyers, the cycle puts increased pressure on a dwindling supply of inventory that cannot keep up with demand.

With so few listings to choose from buyers are coming up with creative ways to locate listings not yet on the MLS service or under contract. They are driving through towns and neighbourhoods looking for private sales signage. Social media platforms like Facebook have countless location-specific and province-wide groups with for-sale-by-owner post listings.

Lately, there are more and more In Search Of (ISO) posts, where people list their specific property needs, asking if anyone is planning to sell their home this summer. Buyers are even placing property wanted ads on community notice boards and having friends and family keep an ear to the ground in hopes of being the first to hear of an upcoming sale and beat everyone else to the bargaining table.

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These efforts may seems like a great way to bypass the competition, and it could all work out. But there is a chance that private sale could bring headaches and heartaches. There is a possibility that the property you are considering could be misrepresented, and entering into a legally binding transaction without representation can put you at great risk.

Most people who are planning to sell contact a trusted real estate brokerage or a specific licensed Realtor they already know and trust. That makes licensed Realtors a good source for soon-to-be listed properties, as they are hearing from potential sellers daily.

Realtors who list property have an obligation to find out as much as possible about the land and dwelling(s) to ensure that it is fit to be sold as a habitable dwelling. All sellers listing with a Realtor complete a property disclosure statement form listing all the known property easements, hazards, dwelling issues and water damages. The Realtor must disclose the signed list to all potential buyers, so there is no misrepresentation of what is being offered. This ensures potential buyer knows up front about any damages or legalities, and they are informed if they want to proceed.

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In a private sale, the same level of transparency and accountability are not required, leaving buyers vulnerable to purchasing a home or property with a history of flooding, septic issues, or even fire hazards.

As vetting a property can be costly and time-consuming, many buyers are now retaining Buyer’s Agency Services, an exclusive property search team and negotiator. Once your Buyer’s Agent locates a property satisfying all your requirements, they vet and negotiate on your behalf to close at the best price and terms. Working with an exclusive Buyer’s Agency is a great option to get the exact property you want in this extremely competitive market,

In the 1860s, many unsuspecting prospectors were taken advantage of in their naivety, and they were not successful in finding the riches they were seeking. Remember in 2021, all that glitters is not gold and in this fast-paced market working with a trusted real estate professional or exclusive Buyer’s Agency can help you achieve your estate goals.

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Agassiz-Harrison Observer