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’s 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?


Buying Real Estate IS NOT LIKE Buying At The Bay



The phrase I always hear from people looking to buy real estate is, 


I Want A Bargain!


When I first entered the real estate industry, a colleague of mine told me.  “Gary, buying real estate is not like buying at The Bay”

I said, “What?  What do you mean?”

He continued, “You know how you go to The Bay and you’re looking to buy a $100 shirt and because it’s Bay Day, you get 30% off.  Then when you sign up for their Bay card, you get another 15% off, then there’s a scratch and save and you get an additional 25% off, and by the end of the day, you end buying the $100 shirt for $20?”

“Yah, it’s such a great deal eh?”, I replied.

“That DOES NOT happen in real estate.”  He emphasized, “But people seem to think buying houses are like that, they want 30 – 50% or more off of the purchase price and it’s ridiculous.”

I learned something that day.  The public doesn’t know how it works in the real estate industry.  They think they know, but they don’t.  


Then how do I know how much I can sell my home for?


For sellers, you talk to a Realtor who knows the market (balanced, buyer’s or seller’s market), knows the comps in the area and has a general forecast of where the market is heading in the short term.  


The Biggest Mistake In Real Estate Negotiations


I know what you’re thinking when it comes to negotiating real estate:  


I Want A Great Deal!

I Want A Win/Win Situation

I’m A Reasonable Person


But in reality, when I work with sellers and buyers, their actions show more like:


Take This Lowball!

I Want A Win/Lose Deal, I Win, You Lose!

My Price Isn’t Overpriced, It’s Reasonable!


The problem is, most buyers and sellers think they are reasonable, but when they stand in the position of the other party, they’d probably think differently.  

Buying or selling real estate is often an emotional process for people and that’s why Realtors are there to offer an unbiased opinion on the situation.  I am often able to see both sides of the equation through my interaction with my client and the other party.  I educate and advise, and then it’s up to my clients to decide how they want to proceed.  Sometimes they listen to me, sometimes they don’t.


The #1 one thing I thing I tell my clients to watch out for real estate negotiations is to not piss off the other party.  If I’m representing a buyer, if there’s not much competition, sometimes I would advise to write a low offer, but not something so low that would piss off the seller.  


The #1 MOST ASKED Real Estate Investing Question…


Should I buy and flip?

Should I buy for cash flow?

How about buy, fix and flip?


NO!  The #1 Most Asked Question is…  What Should I Invest In?

It’s like meeting a stockbroker and saying “what stock should I buy?”

There are a tonne of investment vehicles in the stock market, just like there are tonne of investment vehiAcles when it comes to real estate.  

You see, when I work with my clients, I keep it simple.  


Are you buying for cash flow OR capital appreciation?


There are a lot more factors that I consider.  What’s your risk tolerance?  Where do you like to invest?  Where would you like to specialize in?  Do you like short term or long term investments?  How hands on are you?  Do you like being a landlord?  Are you good with numbers?  What is your 2 year, 5 year and 10 year goal?  How many properties do you want to own at the end of 10 years?  And the list of questions go on and on…

You see, it’s my goal to help investors generate quick profits through a buy and flip strategy and accumulate long term wealth through a buy and hold and various cash flow strategies.