Brett with Clients

Many home buyers are adequately prepared for the home buying process but too many are not. Knowing what to do, in what order to do things, and when to do things can help reduce the stresses associated with buying a home. When things are done out of order or not done at all, buyers run the risk of major disappointment. Consider a few real world examples.

Get a Mortgage Pre-Approval

Buyer A flew out to a new area and asked to view homes after filling out a buyer questionnaire stating that they were pre-approved for a mortgage to a specified amount. After meeting with the realtor who had lined up a number of homes for the couple to view, it became obvious that the couple was not actually pre-approved. Because they were from out of the local area, the realtor agreed to show them the homes that had been booked for them to view but asked them to talk to a local mortgage broker as soon as possible to get pre-approved. After viewing quite a number of homes over the subsequent few days the couple fell in love with one and wanted to place an offer on it. About the same time they received news from the mortgage broker who told them that they could not be qualified for a mortgage because of the credit history of the husband. They were devastated. Before viewing any homes buyers should talk to a mortgage broker and to get pre-approved for a mortgage. Know the difference between pre-qualification and pre-approval. Know your personal financial circumstances and what you can afford even before you even start looking at homes online.

Sell Before You Buy

Buyer B drove up to a new area for a weekend after filling out a buyer questionnaire stating that they were pre-approved for a mortgage. They viewed homes for several days and found one that met all of their stated needs. When discussing what kind of things that should go into an offer they only then disclosed that they had a home to sell before they could buy the new one. They placed an offer on the home that was flatly refused by the seller. The market was a seller’s market and homes were selling fairly quickly. This couple was extremely disappointed to find their dream home was not available to them because they had a home to sell. Offers can and do get written and accepted subject to the sale of a buyer’s home but not all sellers will agree to accepting offers with such a condition. While these type of offers only technically tie up the seller’s home for the period of the time clause, the practical effect can be more significant. Many agents will not show homes that have accepted offers on them and some buyers may not be willing to wait or have the time to wait on a time clause. Buyers are often advised to sell their existing home before they place an offer on a new home in order to place them in a better position to have their offer accepted.

Do not Shop Online

After looking online for months Buyer C contacted a realtor and flew out to a new area to view a specific home with the intention of buying it. When the young couple arrived they were anxious and excited to view the home that they had chosen online. After viewing it they discovered that it was not at all what they expected and their hopes were dashed. Fortunately the agent had asked them to fill out a buyer questionnaire and spoke to them in advance about their needs and wants so he arranged a few other viewings based on their inputs. They ended up placing an offer on one of the others later that day and were extremely pleased that it not only met all of their needs it also met most of their wants and was within their price range. Local knowledge of the area and homes and accurate impressions of homes and the local area can only be formed through first-hand experience. It is impossible to get an accurate sense of an area, neighbourhood or home, or to develop a feeling on a home by merely looking at an online listing. Internet listings only present limited information that can be useful to get a general sense of a local market. Nothing beats first-hand experience and knowledge for decision making. Browse but do not shop online.

Location First

Buyer D called up a real estate agent and told the agent that they were planning a house hunting trip to the area the following week. The agent sent them a buyer questionnaire which they filled out and the agent moved a number of things around to accommodate their short notice request. While many of the homes they viewed came close to meeting their needs, the wife seemed to always come up with a very small thing on each home that did not quite work for them. After spending a week with the realtor, they returned home. The agent followed up with them but the agent did not receive any response from them. Later the agent discovered that they had decided to buy a home in a different area. It is important to choose a location before choosing a home but there is a right way and a wrong way to do this. If you are moving or thinking of moving to a new area there is nothing better than a visit to that area and to see what is has to offer. Realtors are not tour guides but when you are up front with the best ones they will often find time to show you the area. If you feel a need to view homes in the area while location browsing, there are often show homes and open houses to look at to help you with your location decision. The location decision should always be made before you ask to venture into anyone’s private residence. If you were a home seller would you want someone walking through your private residence that was “just looking”?

Working with a Realtor

Buyer E decided to buy a home without the services of a realtor. After purchasing the rural property he discovered that the zoning did not allow him to build the home of his dreams on the property. Zoning is just one of many things that can and does impact the use and development of a specific property. Realtors can and do provide many different real estate services to buyers along with advice and information to help with decision making. Just like homes, however, realtors are not all the same. Their capabilities, knowledge, training, education, experience, and character of the real estate agents can and do vary widely. If you are looking for an agent who will go Above and Beyond to meet your real estate needs contact < href="">Brett Cairns of RE/MAX Ocean Pacific Realty in the Comox Valley.

is a Realtor with REMAX Ocean Pacific Realty and he goes Above & Beyond for clients to meet their real estate needs. Brett is also active informing and updating people on the Comox Valley luxury homes market. His office is located in the town of Comox in the Comox Valley region of Vancouver Island.

Published by

We are nearing the turnover from summer to fall. As expected, the weather is starting to change and so has the Comox Valley real estate market has changed as predicted at the start of the year. The market has gone from one that favours home buyers to one that is neutral, and in some sectors, to one that favours sellers. Overall, sales are up, listing inventory is down and prices are up over last year.

As of the end of August 2015:
• Total number of units listed are down about 7%;
• Total number of units sold are up about 13%;
• Sell to list ratio is up about 10%;
• Total sales volume is up about 14%;
• Average sell price is up about 1%; and
• Average days to sell is down about 5%.

So what do these statistics mean? When the total number of listings decreases and sales go up, the total inventory (homes available to home buyers and therefore choices) goes down. At the end of last year and going into this year the overall market favored buyers. Over the course of the spring and summer this has changed. Some sectors of the market still favour buyers but others have become more neutral and others are now favouring buyers. Currently well priced homes that are placed on the market for sale that are viewed by buyers as having value and the features that they are looking for are selling quickly.

Sell to list ratios are a metric that provides information on the percentage of homes in a specific category that are selling compared to the total number listed in that category. Overall, this ratio has improved to about 58% meaning that just over one half of the homes placed on the real estate market for sale are selling. These statistics vary by type of home and location. For example, Crown Isle year to date was 78% while single family waterfront year to date was 36%.

Prices in the valley have started to climb. Reported sales show about a 1% rise. When sales agreed to but not yet completed and recorded are added to this total the result at the end of the year should show an increase in the 2-3% range. For a $350,000 home this means an increase of about 7 to 10 thousand dollars.

Homes are selling more quickly than last year but this does not mean that all homes sell instantly. The average time to sell year to date has dropped from 99 days to 94. Some home take longer to sell and some take less time to sell. These times vary by things such as location, type of home, price, features and updates, and condition. There are things that can be done to improve the appeal of most homes in the eyes of most home buyers. Doing these things will often help sell the home.

If you are looking to buy or sell a home in the Comox Valley contact Brett Cairns of RE/MAX Ocean Pacific realty to get the most out of your next real estate experience.

is a Realtor with REMAX Ocean Pacific Realty and he goes Above & Beyond for clients to meet their real estate needs. Brett is also active informing and updating people on the Comox Valley luxury homes market. His office is located in the town of Comox in the Comox Valley region of Vancouver Island.

Published by

Luxury homes with great views from their yards can be found all over the Comox Valley. This is also true for views of golf courses and the beauty that they share. There are seven golf courses located in and around Courtenay and Comox. Golfers and duffers alike can book times and play a round on the Comox Golf Club course, Sunnydale Golf and Country Club course, Mulligans Golf Course, Longlands Golf Course, Glacier Greens Golf Course and the course at the Crown Isle Resort and Golf Community. While there are homes located near all of the courses, only one offers luxury homes nestled in and around its scenic vistas. Crown Isle offers luxury fairway homes as well as luxury homes throughout this high end subdivision.

Many of the courses in the Comox Valley have interesting spectators watching the golfers go about their recreational activity. So if you are new to the area and are not aware of the local furry residents that inhabit the local courses watch out for the deer. They are well accustomed to the local golfers and they often move across the courses at a snail’s pace. Families of deer accompanied by their fawns can be seen throughout the year enjoying what the courses have to offer them.

Crown Isle homes that adorn the golf course fairways and greens are priced above the luxury homes that are not right on the golf course. Back a few years the price point differential was around $100K but that difference in price has dropped recently as the demand for custom homes located near, but not on, the golf course has risen. Some of the first homes built definitely had the golfer in mind with features such as small garages for golf carts but this has become far less common now with most custom built homes focused on high end finishing details and features to meet the refined tastes of their new owners. Residents of Crown Isle do not have to be golfers. In fact, it would be fair to say that many are not.

Home construction at Crown Isle is in full swing and will be for many years to come as many of the more than 700 acres of this luxury residential housing development are yet to be developed in Courtenay East. Custom built single family home predominate the local landscape with many of the residents formerly residing in other provinces. They are now here to enjoy the laid back lifestyle of this sophisticated subdivision and all of the amenities that the Comox Valley has to offer that are a short drive (and in some cases walk) away. Crown Isle has set the bar high to maintain the sophisticated elegance of the homes that make up this part of the Comox Valley.

If you are looking for a change from the hustle and bustle of city life and harsh winters perhaps it is time to consider making Crown Isle your new home. This area offers luxury living close to shopping, recreational and social activities. It also offers easy airport access when you want to jet set away to your favourite holiday destination. Contact Brett Cairns of RE/MAX Ocean Pacific Realty for help finding your new luxury home in the Comox Valley to start to enjoy living in one of the most temperate climates in Canada.

is a Realtor with REMAX Ocean Pacific Realty and he goes Above & Beyond for clients to meet their real estate needs. Brett is also active informing and updating people on the Comox Valley luxury homes market. His office is located in the town of Comox in the Comox Valley region of Vancouver Island.

Published by

In a nutshell, Comox Valley luxury home sales are up this year as are prices, and inventory is down. While this very general statement does give you a flavour for this terrific market area on Vancouver Island it is too vague to be helpful in individual circumstances. So, let’s dive into a few other statistics for 2015.


Consider the following sectors of the luxury homes market:

  • Crown Isle – total listings of home of all types are down about 30% from last year but year to date sales are up 9% and the sell to list ratio is 84%;
  • Million Dollar – There are 28 active listings and 2 sales have been recorded year to date;
  • Comox Valley Luxury Homes Above 700K – There are 79 active listings and there have been 19 sales year to date;
  • Comox Valley Executive Homes Above 500K – There are 202 active listings and there have been 93 sales year to date;
  • Oceanfront homes over $700K – There are 33 active listings and there have been 12 sales year to date.


While each of the above statistics may be useful as ammunition for a headline in a news article, they do not provide much context. To truly understand what they mean they should be read with that context in mind as well as an understanding of a trend from at least the previous year. Many things such as location, specific neighbourhood and subdivision factors, type of home and features, price and presentation, among a few other things can have a bearing on the sale of a home in the Comox Valley.


Crown Isle is a well-known and advertised luxury subdivision in Courtenay so let’s look at a few more numbers there. The median sell price of all Crown Isle homes listings is $420K and days to sell is up 16% to 107 days. Crown Isle has single family homes, patio homes, and condos. There is less overall inventory and it is taking longer to sell but most homes do and when they do they are getting higher prices. Let’s now look just at single family homes. There were 24 sales this year to date (for the first 7 months) compared to 38 for all of last year. If sales continue at the pace they have for the first 7 months total sales will exceed those of last year even though total inventory is down.


Let’s now go further into the waterfront and oceanfront area and consider the following Comox Valley single family waterfront statistics:

  • Year to date – There have been 63 listings and 17 sales (sell to list of 27%);
  • The average sell price is up 2%;
  • Total Inventory is up 46% over last year.


Overall, the Comox Valley real estate market is on an upswing with prices up, inventory down and sales up fairly significantly. Typically the luxury homes segment is the last to respond and it has started to do so. Luxury homes sales are more brisk than last year in several sectors of our real estate market and prices are starting to rise.


When you need to buy or sell a Comox Valley luxury home turn to award winning Realtor Brett Cairns of RE/MAX Ocean Pacific Realty for advice and help. He has expert knowledge of this market and will be pleased to help you find your next dream home here in the valley on Vancouver Island.

is a Realtor with REMAX Ocean Pacific Realty and he goes Above & Beyond for clients to meet their real estate needs. Brett is also active informing and updating people on the Comox Valley luxury homes market. His office is located in the town of Comox in the Comox Valley region of Vancouver Island.

Published by

For decades there have been labels placed on groups of people largely based on social generational groupings according to when they were born. Some of the more common ones are:

  • The Silent Generation born between the 1920s and 1940s;
  • The Baby Boomers born between the 1940s and 1960s;
  • Generation X (Gen X) born between the 1960s and 1980s;
  • Generation Y (Gen Y) born between the 1980s and 2000s; and
  • Generation Z (Gen Z) born after the early 2000s.

Each of these groups shared, or were exposed to, changing societal and macro-economic circumstances such as the Great Depression (1929-1939), World War II (1939-1945), the post-World War Baby Boom, the Hippie Cultural movement of the 1960s, dramatic inflation and interest rates in the 1980s, the end of the Cold War the birth of the World Wide Web in 1991, and the terrorist attacks of 2001 and the financial crisis of 2008.

While no labels can accurately describe all people in each generational groups, some commonly held views were:

  • The Silent Generation – enduring the hardship and austerity of the Great Depression and the Second World War;
  • Baby Boomers – A dramatic increase in birth rate and growing prosperity and optimism following the end of the Second World War;
  • Gen X – the introduction of the term “latchkey kids”, increased rates of divorce and an increased focus on two income earners in families along with a “what’s in it for me” focus;
  • Gen Y – many being raised in many two income families and being exposed to increasing levels of technology, connectivity, and instant gratification expectations; and
  • Gen Z currently in development.

Leaving aside for discussion of the Silent Generation (retired from the work force) and Gen Z (about to enter the work force), there are some interesting casual observations associated with the Baby Boomers, Gen X, and Gen Y as it relates to spending on luxury homes and lifestyles.

Many Baby Boomers are nearing retirement or have recently retired and a number of them are taking on debt to buy luxury homes. Few were born into money after the hard years lived by their parents and it took most many years to accumulate wealth which they are now enjoying. Some are upsizing to buy homes with room for elderly relatives or adult children. Others are “rightsizing” to large living spaces on fewer levels and often on a single level as they look to the future.

A number of Gen X are buying luxury homes comparably priced to those being purchased by their parents. Since many were raised in two income families and they enjoyed standards of living higher than that of their parents, this is not surprising. Many buy based on their newly achieved levels of professional success and financial standing. The “what’s in it for me” sometimes morphs into “look at me” for what some term the “me generation”.

Gen Y spenders includes those who have been given money from parents and grandparents and those who have not been given money to buy their first homes. When given money they often buy anywhere from 2 to 15 times as much as those who are not given money. This generation has not yet experienced the housing downturns and high interest rates experienced in the 1980s and 1990s. As one person put it, all they have known is “cheap money”. This generation often choose accommodation such as condos in the downtown core of large urban areas such as Vancouver and Toronto. What some term the “instant gratification” generation have “instant luxury” expectations requiring new, quality homes (or substantially updated and move in ready) with built in luxury features. The expectations of this generation are also showcased in the reality TV show called “MY HOUSE – YOUR MONEY”

No matter which generation is buying luxury homes, they are still in demand. Whether it be traditional luxury homes in well-established neighbourhoods, or newly built homes or condos, there are enough people in each of these market areas to sustain the demand for the foreseeable future. The Comox Valley offers these types of luxury housing options. Drop by for a visit and talk to Brett Cairns of RE/MAX Ocean Pacific Realty to find your next upscale Comox Valley home.

is a Realtor with REMAX Ocean Pacific Realty and he goes Above & Beyond for clients to meet their real estate needs. Brett is also active informing and updating people on the Comox Valley luxury homes market. His office is located in the town of Comox in the Comox Valley region of Vancouver Island.

Published by

Relocating to the Comox Valley from other areas of the province and country is about much more than just searching for and purchasing a residence in a new location. For many people, especially for those living in larger urban centres, it is about a change in lifestyle.
Large Canadian cities have a lot to offer people in terms of amenities and choices. Vibrant, fast-paced lifestyles offer an appeal that is hard to beat. However, the pluses come with minuses. The hustle and bustle of a large city can often bring with it things like:

Expensive housing
A starter home in a city like Vancouver is much more expensive than a similar one in the Comox Valley. This cost of housing comparison, however, is not relevant to a number of other parts of Canada. While the average cost of a home in the Town of Comox may cost you more to own than a similar looking one in Eastern Canada, it is important to make apples to apples comparisons of this type. If the home in Eastern Canada only took 8-10 weeks to build and the one in Comox took 6 months to build perhaps there is a really good reason for the difference in price. Knowing the context associated with any comparison is important in order to draw objective and reasonable conclusions.

There is no doubt that traffic in Vancouver is much heavier than that found in the City of Courtenay. But this difference is not just about traffic volume. Speed, driver patience and courtesy (or the lack thereof) and time spent in traffic situations can all have a bearing on how traffic can affect our daily lives. Drivers who are used to speeding, cutting other people off to get in and out of traffic, and tense situations may think of all of these issues as part of everyday life in a large city. But, residents of smaller slower paced communities are not used to dealing with these types of traffic issues nor do they want to when visitors bring them with them.

Impatience and lack of courtesy
The relative anonymity that people may enjoy in a large urban centre sometimes facilities unpleasant behaviour. How many times have you visited a large city like Vancouver and experienced impatience and lack of courtesy from people? It is easy to blend into the background noise of a large city but when you live in a small community this is often not the case. If you cut someone off in traffic and employ a less than polite gesture towards the other person, it is much more likely that someone in a small town will know who did it and word will get around. Perhaps this is why such behaviour is much less frequent in smaller, closer knit communities?

While stress can and does affect us all in certain circumstances and situations, the stress brought about by living in a major urban area is often higher and the stressors more varied than that associated with those of smaller centres. Using an analogy, the stress generated by life in a large city may be waves on an ocean while that generated by life in a small town may be ripples on a pond. Tranquility may be easier to find in the smaller areas.

If you are looking for a change in lifestyle and more tranquil living, perhaps it is time to consider a move to the Comox Valley. Contact Brett Cairns of REMAX Ocean Pacific Realty for more information about this area of Canada and the real estate choices that it offers.

is a Realtor with REMAX Ocean Pacific Realty and he goes Above & Beyond for clients to meet their real estate needs. Brett is also active informing and updating people on the Comox Valley luxury homes market. His office is located in the town of Comox in the Comox Valley region of Vancouver Island.

Published by

A commonly help perception is that if you improve your standard of living your quality of life will also increase. Not so fast. More times than not the exact opposite can be true. Why is that?

One’s standard of living is often measured against success in terms of money, power, or influence. Most often people aspire to positions of greater authority and prestige and higher wages. How often have you heard “congratulations I have good news and bad news for you. The good news is that you are getting promoted. The bad news is that you have to relocate to city XYZ.” Most major corporations have their headquarters in major cities and if you are moving up the chain you will likely end up there at some point in time. If you like large cities this may be a good thing for you. However, how many of you like the traffic, commutes and stresses associated with most major cities?

Within Canada most major cities are expensive to live in. Buying a home in some of them like Vancouver is beyond the reach of the average Canadian. So if you get promoted and have to move there, what do you do? You can rent or you can buy out in the outlying suburbs but if you do you are likely faced with a long commute to work. Spending hours getting to and from work may not be such a good thing. If you can take public transportation you can get some work done or enjoy a book or listen to the radio but most people end up driving themselves and they have to put up with the extra stresses and strains of driving in heavy traffic with many other stressed out people.

Beyond the stresses of city life there is the additional debt burden associated with living there and commuting to work. Yes most major cities have more opportunities to enjoy a wider variety of things. But will you have the time and money to take advantage of what they offer? Will the added stress and worry be worth the promotion you worked so hard to get? This is often the two-edged sword of working hard to realize a higher standard of living in Canada. Of course, there is also the extra tax burden associated with making a higher wage in Canada. Not only does the amount go up but the percentage taken by the government for working harder goes up as well.

If this storyline applies to you perhaps it is time to focus more on your quality of life and enjoying life before you get too old? Perhaps it is time to see why some many older Canadians have decided to move to the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island and buy a home in the Comox Valley real estate market. If you want to learn more about this terrific region of Canada contact Brett Cairns of RE/MAX Ocean Pacific Realty to be your guide and Realtor.

is a Realtor with REMAX Ocean Pacific Realty and he goes Above & Beyond for clients to meet their real estate needs. Brett is also active informing and updating people on the Comox Valley luxury homes market. His office is located in the town of Comox in the Comox Valley region of Vancouver Island.

Published by

So you have just decided to sell your luxury home but does it present well? Does it appear up to date? Is it in good condition? Do the home’s best features stand out? Does the home have an inviting appeal and does it generate a positive impression and great first impression when viewed through the eyes of potential buyers? If the answer to any of these questions is NO, what do you do? One option is to engage someone to come into your home and take a look at what can be done to spruce it up and stage it so that it does.

House or Home

First of all, start to detach yourself emotionally from your luxury home. As a homeowner, you likely have emotional ties and emotional investments in your home because you made it yours. Now that you have decided to sell it, begin thinking of it as a commodity – a house – for sale. Decisions related to its sale should be business decisions and made as objectively as possible.

Declutter and Depersonalize

When houses are presented to sell it is important to declutter and depersonalize them. Get rid of clutter and then remove as many personal items as you can. The more neutral a house appears, the more appealing it may be to the majority of buyers. Buyers want to view the house that is for sale. They want to visualize what their things will look like in it. They should not have to look past clutter or through the lens of your personal items to do this. Make it easy for them.


While it is true that everyone’s standard of cleanliness varies, it is generally universally accepted that clean is better than dirty. A clean house always shows better than one that is not. To many buyers, a clean house is one that has been loved. An unclean house can have the opposite effect. If you do not have time to clean it hire someone who does. Clean is essential for a house to present well

Fix and Paint

The condition of a home is tied to the cleanliness of a home. A well maintained home always presents better than one that has not been maintained. Fix things that may be broken. A fresh coat of paint can do wonders when a home has been well lived in.


A clean and well maintained home may still need help. How rooms and living spaces are organized and utilized is also important. This applies to floor space, wall space, and three dimensionally within each living space. Some people have knacks when it comes to effective and efficient organization. Get their help is this is not your strong suit.


In today’s world many buyers are looking for move in ready and up to date homes. Renovations may not be a realistic option for some sellers or their budgets but decorating a home with the right touches can make a huge difference to the appeal and impact of a house. Grandma’s bedspread and drapes may be comforting to grandma but they may have no appeal to younger buyers. A few modern touches to important living spaces can jazz up a house substantially at minimum cost.

When you list your home with the Cairns’ team, you have access to help preparing and presenting your luxury house for sale for the best impact and price. Why not aim high and contact Brett Cairns of RE/MAX Ocean Pacific Realty to stage your luxury homes to sell?

is a Realtor with REMAX Ocean Pacific Realty and he goes Above & Beyond for clients to meet their real estate needs. Brett is also active informing and updating people on the Comox Valley luxury homes market. His office is located in the town of Comox in the Comox Valley region of Vancouver Island.

Published by

multi-generational home

For many people luxury homes are a dream but not a realty. This may be the case for any number of reasons. As people age, however, their needs, tastes, and means often change. Later in life when people have the means to buy these types of homes they may no longer want them. While this cycle of life is often the case so is the fact that residential needs have changed over the past decade. Now, for example, the number of children under the age of 14 living with a grandparent has increase roughly 45%. At the same time, the number of young adults aged 20 to 29 living in the parental home has increase about 55%.Moreover, the number of Canadians aged 65 and older is higher than ever and increasing as life expectancy increases. While the total numbers are still relatively small overall, the trend is significant. What are the options when this situation occurs?

Many typical residential homes are not built with a multi-generational family in mind. While some homes can be renovated to include a secondary suite, the result is often a situation that does not cater well to the needs of the eldest to the youngest family members. The grandparents, children and grandchildren all have different needs and tastes. A few homes have been built with this in mind. These multi-generational residences can meet the needs of all three generations while offering them an affordable option. In doing so, these home may also offer a more luxurious lifestyle than any of each of the generations could realize while living in separate homes.

A multi-generational home may have a fairly regular home at its core and central area. Attached to it may be a secondary suite for more elderly people requiring extra care or attention. There may also be a home within a home attached to the main residence that offers privacy to its residents without the need for the access required by assisted living residents. Main floor bedrooms, extra hand rails, walk in bathtubs, stair lifts or elevators to second floors may be some of the features of these homes.

This upwards trend is not unlike that which existed prior to the Second World War when sharing a household with extended family was more common. These types of living arrangements seek to balance the need or desire to live with more family members and the need for privacy and control over individual living spaces. When families are faced with these types of independent and assisted living situations and needs, multi-generational family homes may be the answer and a “win-win” for those involved. Affordable luxury may be an added bonus. Contact Brett Cairns of REMAX Ocean Pacific Realty for information on luxury multi-generational family homes in the Comox Valley.

is a Realtor with REMAX Ocean Pacific Realty and he goes Above & Beyond for clients to meet their real estate needs. Brett is also active informing and updating people on the Comox Valley luxury homes market. His office is located in the town of Comox in the Comox Valley region of Vancouver Island.

Published by

REMAX sold

Real estate companies, like any other company, have expenses that they must pay to stay in business. For example, rent, utilities, insurance, and salaries to office staff (but not to real estate agents who get paid on a commission basis when they make a sale). One of the problems with how fees are structured is that the total gross amount is the one that is given visibility without much explanation of all of the component parts. In many respects this is no different than buying a commodity in a store. You are shown the retail price (the price you pay) and there is no visibility on the wholesale price (the price the store paid).

Consider, for example, your salary (assuming that you get a salary and that you are not paid by commission). There is a gross figure (what you are deemed to have been paid before taxes, etc.) and there is a net figure (what you actually see deposited in your bank account). Sometimes there is a significant difference between the two numbers. If someone asked you how much you make which figure is the one that is most meaningful?

With real estate, sellers of homes typically pay a commission based on the eventual sale price of the home that they are selling. These figures are established by individual companies but they are driven by a number of things, not the least of which are the expenses incurred by the company to run the company and stay in business in order to provide the real estate services related to the buying and selling of homes. Yes, I did say buying and selling and not just selling. It costs money to the individual real estate agent and to the company when buyers use an agent to buy a home just as it does when a home is marketed and sold.

The figure below is representative of how commissions are broken down. Generally, the commission is split between the listing and selling brokerages (not the real estate agents). Of the respective half, the brokerage takes a piece to pay for their expenses, the government takes a piece for income taxes and of the remaining amount the real estate agent must pay their expenses (which can be substantial). The amount they are left with is their net pay.


Here are a few more points to consider:
• Real estate agents have ongoing monthly fixed and variable expenses related to their business and to the services that they are providing to buyers and sellers. The longer it takes for a buyer to buy a home or a home to sell, the higher the expenses. There is a point at which a real estate agent could lose money on a sale if the time is excessive.
• A real estate agent’s expenses can include marketing, advertising, insurance, professional dues, office expenses, supply expenses, legal, accounting and professional fees, management fees, professional development courses, utility expenses and motor vehicle expenses just to name a few of them. Fixed expenses could easily go into thousands of dollars a month with variable expenses added to them.
• A fairly common occurrence is one where a buyer who is not serious about buying uses the services of a real estate agent to look at homes in a specific area. It costs the agent time and money to provide these services with no way of recouping the expenses when the person does not eventually buy a home. When people use the services of a real estate agent and the home does not sell or the buyer does not buy, it costs the agent time and money. They end up taking a loss when they provide services under these circumstances.
• Not all real estate agents are equal in terms of experience, knowledge or capability. Just like any other business, there are great ones and there are bad ones. When you encounter a great one please do not use of their services if you are not serious about buying or selling a home. If you do you may contribute to that agent going out of business and the industry could lose a great agent from which many other people will rely on in the future (including you) to receive great service.

Speaking of service, not all agencies or agents provide the same level or type of services. Full service, part time, and so called “discount” brokerages often vary in the type and number of services provided as well as when those services are provided. There is a really good reason why the expression “you get what you pay for” exists. It is often very true in business just as it is in life.

Are you planning to buy or sell a luxury home in the Comox Valley? Contact Brett Cairns of REMAX Ocean Pacific Realty to help you with this very important transaction.

is a Realtor with REMAX Ocean Pacific Realty and he goes Above & Beyond for clients to meet their real estate needs. Brett is also active informing and updating people on the Comox Valley luxury homes market. His office is located in the town of Comox in the Comox Valley region of Vancouver Island.

Published by