Blog › Helpful Tips for Homeowners

Looking for direction in the Westside Vancouver market?

We have just helped one of our buyers winning in a multiple offer situation out in USC at 1690 Western Parkway yesterday!

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Last week, we sold 4509 W 8th in Point Grey for over asking! We work strategically to get you the best package!

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Need some direction in this market? Give us a call today to find out more!

When is the best time to sell your house?

Is there a best time to sell your house? Normally springtime would be the best time to sell. With the winter months, people are buzy preparing for the Christmas celebrations. Houses also don’t show as well with the flowers not blooming during this cold season. In the summer time, with the children out of school, a lot of buyers are preoccupied with their children either at home or on vacation somewhere.

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During the spring season, your house likely shows better as the weather is nice and the flowers are blooming.

The Vancouver Real Estate Market especially the Westside, which relies heavily on Mainland Chinese buyers. Hence, our market is largely affected by the Mainland Chinese holidays. Many Mainlanders travel to Vancouver during their long holiday celebrations. The two holidays, which bring over many Chinese homebuyers are: The Chinese New Year and the National Day Holiday in China.

The Lunar New Year which falls in late January or February and the National Day holiday which starts on October 1st each year. During these two holidays, a lot of the affluent Mainland Chinese travel to Vancouver and many come here with the main purpose of buying a house. The rich Chinese like to diversify their assets into foreign safe countries such as Canada.

Real Estate investments have always been regarded as valuable assets in China. Mainlanders simply love to own properties. To them, buying a new house for the New Year is always a good thing!

So if you’re seriously thinking of selling, this is definitely a good time for preparation as the Chinese New Year is coming fast. This year it falls on February 19th this year.

Looking for tips to sell your house faster and for top dollar? Please do not hesitate to give me a call. I work with many Chinese buyers and am in a position to help you with all your Real Estate needs.

Declutter Before Selling Your Home!

Are you thinking of Selling your home? One thing you must do is to CLEAN & DECLUTTER! A messy house is a big turn off for Buyers! That won't do your pocket any good if the Buyers don't think your house is appealing enough to buy bigger bucks.

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All Sellers want the most out of the sale. All Buyers want the most out of their purchase. So it only make sense to prepare your house before showing it. First impression is everything! Buyers pretty much make up their minds of whether the house is desirable or not within seconds of walking into a house. 

Clean up your house from the outside to the inside and get rid of the mess! From the surface to the closets! It's a lot of work but it is going to help you get more money from the sale and get your home sold faster! So it's worth the pain!

A lot of things we have accumulate over the years are useless so throw them out! If they are still usable, DONATE them! Besides Decluttering your house, curb appeal is so important. 

For more of what you can do to get your house sold fast and for more money, do not hesitate to give me a call. 

Tips for Buying A Waterfront Property?

I have just helped my Buyers bought a waterfront property. Their plan is to build a very high-end view residence on it. The property comes with a dock and its location is completely out of this world! 

Are you considering buying a waterfront lot or property?

Even though you are not a boat lover, have you looked into how valuable it is to have a dock these days? Considering the Port Authority isn't issuing anymore permits for private docks?

Often times, Buyers aren't aware of the risks involved in special purchases such as recreational waterfront properties.  

Is your Realtor doing all the precautionary steps to protect you?

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It is important to work with a Realtor who would really go out of his/her way to take all the precautionary steps to make sure you're all covered!

I serve my clients with pride and it is my priority to look out for the best interests of my clients.

Give me a call and I'd love to sit down and discuss your Real Estate needs!

Henrietta Tan PREC  604-805-4094 

Important Home Selling Tips

Thinking of Selling your home? For many home owners, Real Estate is the single biggest asset they have so it would only make sense to do some homework before putting your house up for sale.

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Choosing a good Realtor is important. A good Realtor is supposed to be fully dedicated to do his/her best to protect the client’s interest. In the case of selling, besides being a good negotiator when the time comes, a good Realtor is there to make the Selling Process as stress free & painless as possible.

Keep your motivation for selling your home private especially if you are hoping for a quick sale. You do not want prospective buyers to use that to their advantage during negotiation.


Key factors to Selling:

1) Price it right so you get lots of interest.  If you’re like most Sellers, you’re most likely to want top dollar & a quick sale, you are going to have to make sure that your home gets plenty of exposure. The best way to set a right price is to look at similar homes that have been recently sold say within the last six months. Pricing it right will help you attract a lot of prospective buyers.

2) De-clutter! De-Personalize! Fixing up!  Make you home shows like a show home inside out! The key to successfully selling a house begins with first impressions. You only have one chance to strike a positive lasting impression with potential buyers when they view your home.


Click here for some constructive advice on how to improve the impression of your home.

Home Buying Procedure in Vancouver

What you'd need to know as a Buyer!

It is always important to know the entire procedure from the start of putting in an offer till the day you take over the house especially when you are a first time home buyer.

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This is how it normally flows when you are buying a property here in Vancouver.

1. Mortgage Pre-approval:  I ask the client to get pre-approval from the bank so he/she knows what is the exact budget we are working with. It is also a very good bargaining tool for a buyer to have a pre-approved mortgage since Sellers love the fact that financing isn't an issue.

2. Presenting An Offer:  When you have serious interest in a property, that's when you decide to put in an offer. We would look at the comparables to make a good decision of how much you should be paying for the property of interest (Comparables of Recently Sold would be a good indicator. Prices are dictated by the market! As your Realtor, I will be the one who will present the offer for you, it is my job to negotiate the Best Price, the Best package for my clients.

Normally the last 6 - 10 months of sales would be a good indication, anything too far back could be obsolete. Sellers can ask for whatever they want or dream of getting but eventually the market dictates!

Once you’ve put in an offer, the Seller can counter, ignore or accept.

In any contract of Purchase of Sales, I suggest a client to put these Subjects & of course anything else you require the Seller to fulfill depending on your situation & the house:

   1. Subject to going over and approving Strata documents of the last 24 months. (for Strata only)

   2. Subject to Financing.

   3. Subject to Home Inspection & Approving the Inspection Report.

   4. Subject to getting and approving the Property Disclosure Statement which forms part of the contract. That is what the Seller knows about the property i.e. any defects, leaks or any Latent Defects etc.

   5. Subject to Title Search. We need to make sure the Title is clean or doesn’t contain Easement that could affect the value of your property.

A normal time for subject removal by the Buyer is from 5 - 7 working days.

When you have an Accepted Offer that’s when we would work on Removing your Subjects.

3. Deposit: Once the Subjects have been removed by the Buyer, usually within 24 hours, a deposit of 5% of the purchase price (which is the norm) has to be paid in bank draft by the Buyer, payable to the Buyer's Real Estate agent’s company In Trust. For a 2 million property, a 5% deposit would be $100,000- this deposit of course forms part of the purchase price.

4. Completion Date is the date you and the mortgage bank pay the Seller & the date the Title of the Property is transferred from the Seller to you, the Buyer. (Completion is usually around 60 - 75 days from Subject Removal Date, it could vary depending on what is agreed upon both parties.)

5. Possession Date is the date you take over the property usually is a day or two after Completion Date.


If you end up with an accepted offer of $2,000,000 - meaning you have agreed to buy the property for $2,000,000 on January 5th, 2014.

You have Subjects and Subject Removal Date is January 14th, 2014 and on the contract it says Deposit to be paid 24 hours after Subjects Removal.

24 hours after Subjects Removal, that is January 15th, 2014, you must pay a 5% deposit which would be $100,000 in bank draft.


Completion:  That’s the date the Seller gets the money and the Buyer gets the Title to the Property. The bank will pay the mortgage amount to the Seller through the use of a lawyer or Notary Public. Your Down Payment if it’s 35% would be ($700,000 – Deposit of $100,000). 

Lawyer fee can vary from a few hundred dollar to around $1,000 for a simple transaction. The bank could charge you a small fee of one to two hundred dollar for setting up a mortgage.

Inspection fee: Depending on the size of the house: $400 – $700 (unless over 50x120 lot)

The biggest chunk would be the Property Transfer Tax which is payable by the Buyer. 1% of the first 200,000 and 2% on balance. I’m often shocked to hear that Buyers are not informed of this cost because it could be a very unpleasant surprise!  For example: you are buying a property at $2,000,000, you are paying the government $38,000 to transfer the title.

As for Realtor's Fee? The Seller pays :-)

So at $2,000,000 purchase price, your actual expense would be close to $2,040,000-

I always want a client to know beforehand so there’s no hidden surprises!

This information is prepared by Henrietta Tan and I hope this information is helpful to you. I am a very detailed Realtor and I do believe I’m the Best Agent to help you with your home purchase.

Powerful Stain Remover for Pet Stain

You have a pet? Does it ever have accidents? Mine is as good as it get, very low maintenance but still could have tiny accidents like vomits on carpet at times. Eww yes Eww it is... but that's the price we pay as pet owners, right? Having a pet and a teenager that uses makeup, there's one solution that is indispensible in my house, that's the Nature's Miracle spray. I could run out of milk or wine in my house but I can never run out of this spray. Thank goodness, there's a Tisol pet store nearby!

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For more home tips, please do bookmark my blog as I update it on a regular basis.

iPhone Charger with A Great Warranty

I recently had an issue with my rechargeable battery case. It was accidentally destroyed. I bought it online from Apple in late November so I figured perhaps there could be some sort of warranty. I was told to call Mophie directly as they have a 1 year warranty for it. Mophie juice pack is a rechargeable battery case, the one that I have extends your iphone battery life to more than 100% extra battery life, so that's pretty handy for someone who needs to use the cell phone all the time. 

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Mophie's customer service is very efficient. They answered my inquiry promptly and asked me to take a photo of my serial number on the case as well as a scanned copy of my receipt. After receiving both items, I got an email saying the new recargeable case will be shipped out within 3 days! I literally got it within a few days and it was sent out by Fedex. Very happy with Mophie's warranty and my rechargeable battery case! It's a pretty sleek looking case besides being so useful!



Best Carpet Cleaning Service

Does your house need a big spring cleaning? Or better yet, want to get your house ready to put it onto the market for the spring? Besides decluttering, make sure your carpet is nice and clean. It's nothing worse than walking into a dirty house as a Buyer. I recently used a company by the name of Everfresh Cleaning Services to get my carpet cleaned. Ty, the technician was the one who helped me with my carpet. He did an absolutely amazing job. I will definitely recommend him to my clients. 

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For other home selling tips, please don't hesitate to give me a call at 604-805-4094. A little bit of change can make a huge difference at times. It can translate to getting more money for your home and selling it faster.

Infrared Sauna for 1 to 2 Persons

Have you tried an infrared sauna? I've never been a sauna person but after trying an infrared sauna at a yoga place, I've found myself addicted to it. It is supposingly very good for your body & your mind. Besides relaxation, the sweating helps get rid of toxin in your body.

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Did you know that some saunas are so small these days, you could fit it in your walk-in closet? I bought one that I literally go in everyday and love it!  I bought mine from Costco online, reason being, they deliver to your curb for free and if you have any issues that they can't fix, they told me that they will have it picked up for free within 3 years. Can't beat that can you?

As for putting it together, I'm not the best when it comes to assembling thing so I don't even try. I found a handyman on Craigslist who's put together saunas before, he had it assembled for me at minimal cost. A little bit of research can always save you time and money in our home.

Want more tips for your home? Remember to bookmark my blog as I do update it on a regular basis.

Best Carpet Stain Remover

Got stain on your carpet? Try Spot Shot carpet stain remover. I use it religiously! It's probably the best carpet stain remover you can buy off the shelf.

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Need A Dog Walker?

Need to get your dog out but not having the time? Try a dog walker. There are quite a few reputatable ones in the city. I was on Marinaside Crescent and saw this friendly guy picking up a dog from a condo, thought he was so attentive and professional.He told me for $32, he picks up and takes your dog up to the mountain for a couple hours of good exercise! 

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Here's their website, you can find out more about their services & their rates.

Shoe Rack that Saves You Space

Need a shoe rack that takes up minimal space? I just bought one from Groupon for $21.99, the rack fits 40-pair of shoes. Hurry up the deal expires soon. They have sold out of the 50-pair ones. 



shoe rack

Daylight Saving Time 2014

Daylight saving time starts March 9, Sunday at 2 a.m. local time so don't forget to set your clock an hour forward before heading to bed. 

Daylight Saving Time brings longer afternoons for many months ahead so losing an hour of sleep tonight isn't really that bad. 


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