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?


Do People Really Care About Feng Shui? Here’s The Truth




What If The House is on a T-Junction?

What If The House Is Facing The Big Street?

What If The House Is Facing North?

What If The House Is Facing South?



What I’ve learned in the industry is that there are many people out there who care about a property’s Feng Shui.  

What I’ve also learned is that though they care about the Feng Shui, they don’t all care it for the same reason.

Some people care about the Feng Shui because they think the property’s Feng Shui will affect the homeowner’s fortune and such.  They stay away from the property because they consider it “bad luck”.  

Then, when the price is reduced, all of a sudden, a portion of these people say “I want it, I’ll buy it.  I don’t care about Feng Shui…”

So, I learned that many people care about Feng Shui until the price is right.  If the price is right, they’ll throw their Feng Shui beliefs out the door.  Or maybe they’re using Feng Shui as a reason to get a better price on the property.  

I also learned that Feng Shui can be very subjective.  Taiwanese Feng Shui is different from Mainland Chinese Feng Shui which is also different from Hong Kong Feng Shui.  


Why Making Offers On Overpriced Homes Can Land You A Deal




Everyone Goes For The Low Priced Listings 

I’ve Never Heard Of Those Interested In The Overpriced Ones




From my experience, the lowest priced listings always get tonnes of action.  Many low priced listings even receive multiple offers and sell for more than asking price.  

Although I help my clients look for the lowest priced homes, there are times when I tell my clients to consider the overpriced listings.  It’s completely contradictory and unconventional wisdom.


So, why do you give them that advice?


There are times when I’ve seen overpriced listings that have sat on the market for a long time, all of a sudden sell for below market value.  So how did that happen?  

I thought about it for some quite time and started thinking in the shoes of the seller.  

If I was the seller and I haven’t been getting showings or receiving offers on my property for a long time (probably because it’s priced too high), I may be more understanding if someone came and gave me a lowball offer.  I may start to doubt my pricing strategy and convince myself saying, “well, it’s a lowball, but since I haven’t been getting much action, I’ll work with this offer…”

And before I know it, I end up taking a lower offer than I had originally thought of.  


How Veteran Real Estate Investors Buy Homes At A Bargain, *Hint* It’s NOT About The Price




It’s NOT About The Price! 


When I met a veteran real estate investor a few years ago, that was when I learned that’s NOT about the price.  Unlike the typical real estate buyer or the so called “investor” who cares about lowballing and buying below tax assesssed and getting the property at below market value, the Veteran Real Estate Investors don’t always think like that.

First of all they make a tonne of offers.  They do that because they’re looking for the motivated seller.  

They think differently.  They think outside of the box.  They think about terms.  



What?  What do you mean?  Isn’t it about the price?


That’s what I thought too.   But, often veteran real estate investors are willing to pay market value or EVEN ABOVE MARKET VALUE if the terms are favorable.  


What do you mean if the terms are favorable?


What if you could get the seller to give you a mortgage at an incredibly low interest rate?  That would be called a vendor take back mortgage, a term that describes a seller giving you a mortgage so you if you can’t your banks to give you money or give you a good rate, the seller would give you that mortgage and you’d be making your mortgage payments to the seller, either weekly, bi-weekly or monthly or whatever you guys agree to.