The Top 5 Questions Everyone Wants To Know About Their Vancouver Real Estate Realtor But Are Afraid To Ask

1.  How Do Realtors Get Paid? How Much Do They Charge?

Buyer’s agents:  It’s FREE to use a Realtor to help you buy a place.  The Realtor gets paid by the seller. Listing agents:  Listing agents get paid by the seller when they sell your home.  It’s laid out in the listing contract that you sign. There is no regulation for how much Realtors can charge you.  Buyer’s agents are FREE 99% of the time as they get paid by the seller.  Listing agents can charge you in any structure they want. There are many creative fee structures, but typical commission structure is 7 – 8% on the 1st $100,000 and 2.5 – 3.5% on the remaining. Example:  if your Vancouver Realtor sells your home for $1,000,000, you’d be charged $7000 – $8000 (7 – 8% on $100,000) plus $22,500 – $31,500 (2.5% – 3.5% on $900,000) = $29,500 – $39,500. This does not include GST and the Realtor does not get paid this.  This amount is paid to the real estate brokerage who then takes their cut and pays the Realtor.

2.  How Do I Choose A Realtor?

To answer this, I’ll give you a few things on how NOT to choose a Realtor. Number 1:  Don’t choose a Realtor just because they are a relative, friend or you know them. Number 2:  Don’t judge a Realtor by what you see.  Just because their signs and flyers are everywhere just means they’re good at spending money, it doesn’t mean they’re going to provide you the service you need. Number 3:  A busy Realtor isn’t a bad one.  A busy Realtor with good time management is better than a Realtor who has tonnes of time but poor time management.  Having said that, don’t choose a Realtor who’s TOO BUSY for you. Number 4:  Don’t choose a Realtor SOLELY based on the years of experience.  Some new Realtors are often more informed than those in the business for years.  It’s not so important how much the Realtor knows but how willing the Realtor is to find out the answers to questions. I prefer a Vancouver Realtor who’ll do what it takes to find the answer than one who’s been in the business for years but won’t take the steps to find answers. Bottom Line:  There’s no 1 size fits all.  Some want the cheapest, some want the consultant type, some want the nurture and care, some want the super fast paced type, etc…

3.  How Much Is My House Worth?

Let me ask you. When do you want to sell your home?  If you want to sell it now, then I can do a market evaluation.  But if you want to sell your home 6 months later, then a market evaluation should be done 6 months later.  An outdated evaluation is as useful as outdated stock prices.  It’s a nice to know, but that’s about it.

4.  Should I Buy Or Sell Now? When Is The Best Time To Buy Or Sell?

It depends.  There are pros and cons to buying and selling at different times of the year.  I go into detail in my blog post and video. The simple answer is buy or sell when you’re ready to buy or sell.

5.  I Want To Invest In Vancouver Real Estate, How Should I Start? Where Should I Invest?

Do you want to invest for cash flow?  Asset appreciation?  Is there a focus on 1 or the other? You should start by talking to a Realtor who specializes in this area.  Your Realtor should understand the market, supply and demand, cash flow analysis, creative financing, and many types of creative real estate investing. The most important thing in Vancouver real estate investing is doing your research and due diligence and working with a team (Realtor, accountant, lawyer, home inspector, property manager, etc…)



We were very fortunate to have Gary be our realtor selling our condo. Gary proves to be the best realtor ever that we had worked with. Gary was very personable and having our best interest in heart through the sale process. Gary was very ethical and having great negotiation skill. Gary understands the market through his extensive and indepth research and experience. He guided us throughout the sale process. We highly highly recommend him to anyone that’s selling and buying real estate.

Gina Yu & David Meng

Vancouver School Board

Wanna know what school catchments are for that home?


Market Statistics

Which neighborhoods are hot and which are not?


How To Use Other People’s Money To Buy Real Estate




You’ve Heard Of The Zero Money Down Real Estate Investing?

Does The Word JV or Joint Venture Comes To Mind?

How Does It Work?

How Do I Find The Investors To Partner Up?


There’s a great book out there, “Money, People, Deal” by Stefan Aarnio.  Basically it says that if you have 2 of the 3 (Money, People, Deal), the 3rd one will come.  So if you have the deal and the people, the money will come OR if you have the money and the people, the deal will come.

Sometimes, you ONLY just need to find the DEAL and the other 2 will show up.  “If you build it, they will come” from The Field of Dreams.  In real estate investing, if you find the deal, often times, the people and money will come to you.  

So, how does it work?  

Many people ask me, 


But I Don’t Have The Money


It can still work if you don’t have the money.  The investors will put up the money and you will then do ALL THE WORK and you’d take a cut of the profits.  That can be negotiated depending on a variety of factors, how lucrative the deal is, your track record, etc…


What If I Don’t Have A Track Record?


Guaranteed Best Ways To Sell Your Home For Top Dollar




Is It Decluttering?

Is It Depersonalization?

What About Staging?

How About Curb Appeal?


Is it just one of them?  NO.

To be fair, it’s a combination of them.  

Tried, Tested and True.  These are the most classic ways to sell your home for top dollar.

Decluttering:  ever walked into a cluttered house, the owners are hoarders and you are just overwhelmed by the amount of STUFF they have.  Your focus is on the STUFF meaning your focus is NOT on the home!  Buyers are quickly disgusted by the amount of garbage or stuff homeowners have even if the buyers themselves are hoarders.  Buyers are not Realtors so a majority of them aren’t able to see beyond the junk.

Depersonalization:  have you ever gone to an open house and your eyes just started looking at the homeowners picture frames, “oh that guy looks familiar”, “oh that girl is cute”, “nice, they took a picture with the Canucks”…  Once again, buyers are distracted and they focus on the memorabilia and pictures instead of the home.  That’s why when you walk into a showroom at a developer’s presentation center, the picture frames always have abstract pictures so that you can imagine putting in your own family pictures in those picture frames.


Gifted Funds As A Down Payment Option – Mortgages

Yes, Vancouver is the most unaffordable housing market in Canada. But determined home buyers are still trying to get their foot in the door, in order to get in before it’s too late and the lowest rung on that ladder is even further out of reach.


The average price for all residential properties in Vancouver is $889,100 ($1.5 million if you want a detached home). And if you want to avoid paying mortgage insurance premiums, you need to come up with 20% as a down payment. For the average consumer, it’ll cost more than 20 years to come up with a down payment, according to a report by Generation Squeeze titled “CODE RED: Rethinking Canadian Housing Policy.”


Can’t wait that long? You’d better find some family members who are willing to contribute to your housing fund.


Shaun Zipursky, a broker with City Wide mortgage services in Vancouver, says that they’re seeing many more gifted funds than they have in years past, particularly for young professionals.


“We’re seeing a lot of clients that are coming in with massive amounts of gifts, six-figure gifts,” Zipursky says. “So families are really trying to help out in keeping their kids in the housing market in the areas that they want to be in.”


Showing proof and documentation of gifted funds


But even if you are getting a gift in order to buy a home in Vancouver, there are some things that you need to know about a gifted down payment.