April 2019

5 Common Pitfalls to Avoid When Listing Your Home

As the spring market starts to heat up, we’d like to share some ideas about the most common mistakes, or pitfalls, we often see with clients who decide to list their home.

It’s a big decision, with significant financial implications, and sellers want to get it right. Check out these 5 common pitfalls before you list your home, and keep in mind this one potential pitfall that overrides the rest: Have Realistic Expectations. Work with your realtor to get all the information and best practices for selling your home, and then let the process unfold. Unrealistic expectations or allowing emotions to dictate decisions can make the process stressful and draining. At the end of the day, you want to prepare your home and let your realtor help you through the listing process, and then relax! Your job is done, now it’s time to get excited about what lies ahead once the sale is complete.

Tip #1: Price it Right

The importance of this step cannot be overstated. You may have an ideal price in mind, but it’s also important to give careful consideration to the Comparable Market Analysis prepared by your realtor. This is what buyers will be referring to as well, so if your asking price is too far off, the property may sit on the market for a long time. Or, you’ll have to drop the price to attract interest. Neither scenario is ideal! Rather, work with your realtor and the comparables to make sure you’re listing a well-priced home that buyers will want to check out.

“Pricing can be one of the toughest things for a seller, and we work hard with our clients to get it right,” says Nicole.

Tip #2: The Age of Staging

When it comes to deciding if you should professionally stage your home, make sure you’re looking at it from a potential buyer’s perspective. You love your home how it’s currently set up — it’s perfect for you! But it may not suit all tastes. Working with a professional stager might be worth the cost in the end, as they will ensure to stage it in a way that has the widest appeal, ie neutral tones, nice lighting, etc. Then, everyone who’s living in the home will have to commit to keeping it looking nice!

“When we work with new sellers, we’re always honest about whether we think staging is worth it,” says Shea. “We may just need to shuffle a few pieces of furniture around and declutter a few items.”

Tip #3: A Good First Impression

We can’t overstate how important it is for potential buyers to have a good first impression. While some aspects will be out of your control, others are not — such as doing a bit of landscaping, painting the exterior, cleaning up the yard, etc.

“We know people aren’t going to want to spend too much on a home they’re about to sell, but often a little money can go a long way to making a better first impression,” says Nicole. “You’d be surprised how a bit of paint and clean carpets can spruce up a place and add value.”

Tip #4: Practice Patience

Selling your home can be an emotional rollercoaster — maybe even one of the biggest financial decisions of your life. Still, try to remain patient and allow the process to unfold. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of ‘hurry up and wait’ in real estate, and this is where you can lean on your realtor to keep you in the loop with what’s going on at every stage.

Tip #5: Know Your Limits

It’s a good idea to have a clear idea of how much you will go below the asking price. Give this careful thought before listing so that you’ll be better prepared if an offer comes in that is not what you were expecting. This way, there’s less chance you’ll make a spontaneous, emotional decision on the spot that you may regret down the road.

We hope these tips were helpful! If you have questions or would like to talk to us about listing your home, we’d love to help!

Find out more at: or contact us at:

Shea: or 250.702.6393

Nicole: or 778.995.6883

March 20 Blog

Happy Equinox! Today we celebrate an equal balance of day and night, as we welcome in spring and give thanks for the natural beauty right outside our front door. The Comox Valley is an enviable place to live year-round — but perhaps never more so than springtime. If you’re like us and have relatives in the Prairies and Eastern Canada, a good rule of thumb when it comes to chatting about the weather is...don’t do it! Just hold your tongue, hang up, and head outside to enjoy the nearly 20-degree sunshiny day!

Mirroring the perfect balance of Equinox, the Comox Valley real estate scene is experiencing a similar kind of yin/yang. While provincial real estate stats continue on a downward trend, action in the Comox Valley is pretty hot. We’ve been fielding calls from an influx of new potential buyers from the Lower Mainland and the Prairies. Home values continue to attract retirees and young couples alike, seeking to settle on Vancouver Island and drawn by the Comox Valley’s widespread appeal.

We continue to see low inventory and more buyers coming to the Comox Valley. If you’re considering a move here, be prepared to take some time house hunting because there aren’t a lot of great choices. However, be patient! Your dream house will turn up! And it will be worth it.

According to a March 13, 2019 report by the B.C. Real Estate Association, a total of 4,533 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in February, a decline of 27 per cent from the same month last year. The average MLS® residential price in the province was $678,625, a decline of 9.3 per cent from February 2018. Total sales dollar volume was $3.08 billion, a 33.8 per cent decline from the same month last year.

In a release, BCREA Deputy Chief Economist Brendon Ogmundson said prospective home buyers continue to be sidelined by the mortgage stress test. “As a consequence, and despite a strong BC labour market, sales remained slow in February,” he said in the release.

One final bit of advice: Make sure you’re working with a mortgage broker. If you’re coming from out of town, it’s always best to use a local mortgage broker here in the Comox Valley. They know the area and can ‘sell’ it to the lenders on your behalf (much better than an out-of-towner). We’ve worked with some good ones over the years and would be happy to provide a referral.  

Finally, Happy Equinox! And happy house hunting, let us know if there’s anything we can do to make the process easier.

Shea & Nicole

Comox Valley Real Estate: 3 Key Trends

Whether you’re talking about Comox Valley real estate trends — or this winter’s uncharacteristically huge dump of snow — the first few months of 2019 have been anything but normal.

If the fact that this picturesque valley has been blanketed with the white stuff for over three weeks isn’t enough of an anomaly, consider the local real estate market. National (not to mention, provincial) real estate markets seem to be levelling, if not slipping. Yet, in the Comox Valley, we’re busier than ever. This market continues to thrive — thanks to our natural beauty, small-town feel, proximity to major services, and superb access to outdoor recreation.

In this, our inaugural blog, we’d like to expand on some of these trends and share our insights, gained from a combined 10 years of experience selling real estate in the beautiful Comox Valley.

First, we’d like to introduce ourselves! We (Shea and Nicole) met early on in our real estate careers, and instantly gelled as partners. (Please check out our bios and website for more information!) We’d like to walk you through some of the trends we’re seeing and provide provincial, national, and even global context for what’s going on. And at the end of the day, if you’re thinking about buying a home in the Comox Valley, please drop us a line. We love providing personal, customized advice to anyone thinking of buying or selling a home in this beautiful valley!

National Context

A recent February 2019 report by the Canadian Real Estate Association found that while Canadian home sales slipped in December 2018, they to improve in January 2019.
Nicole and Shea
Nicole and Shea
2230-A Cliffe Ave Courtenay BC V9N 2L4