COVID-19: A Letter To Our Friends & Clients

Dear Friends & Clients,

We’re aware that all of you will be experiencing similar levels of confusion and concern around the many mixed messages we are receiving about the spread of COVID-19. Acknowledging that with such confusion abound we are all susceptible to overreacting or underreacting, we at the David & Ty Homes Group wanted to give an update on what we’re currently doing in response, recognizing the limited information we have at this time. Whether we will be ridiculed for overreacting, or judged for underreacting, only time will tell. Our hope is simply to make informed decisions to the best of our ability.

1. We Are Trying To Make Ourselves Aware

My (David) wake up call came on Thursday when my sister told me the hospital she works at in Scotland had its first confirmed case and the steps the hospital staff were taking. It sounds like they are expecting similar scenes to those in Italy, with the healthcare system stretched to breaking point. Frankly, the National Health Service in Scotland is superior to the system we have in British Columbia, they are most likely far better equipped than we are.

This prompted me to get a sense of what is coming for us here, with what sounds like a fairly significant outbreak just south of us in Washington State and our close ties to other virus hot spots. We know the virus is already here in British Columbia and that cases are most likely underreported currently due to a lack of testing.

The most useful article we’ve found so far is this one: Coronavirus: Why You Must Act Now. One of the difficulties with our current reality is the breakdown in trust of institutions, whether they be government, media, or otherwise. It’s difficult to know what to expect, but we are trying.  

2. We Will Not Leave Anyone Hanging

We have reviewed our client files and are aware that a handful of you have either sold and are yet to purchase, or have purchased and are yet to sell. Please know that we fully intend on doing everything within our power to ensure you are able to take the appropriate next steps in your transaction.

For our sellers that must now buy, we will continue to show you properties of genuine interest via private showings at the discretion of the sellers.

For our buyers than must now sell, we will continue to market your properties and will utilize lockboxes for private showings at your own discretion.

3. We Are Encouraging Patience 

We are aware of a handful of clients that have not yet purchased and/or sold, and are potentially able to wait for a number of days or weeks. If that is your situation, we are currently suggesting that you take some time to see how the pandemic evolves here in the Lower Mainland. If appraisers, home inspectors, and others that are required on site are no longer working in the coming days it’s most likely that transactions will not be able to proceed in a timely fashion anyway.

We are not expecting a ‘market collapse’ in real estate, merely a quieter late spring than usual after a very busy start to the year. Low interest rates will most likely remain for the foreseeable future and we expect this to be a blip in the market, not a catastrophe.

4. We Will Utilize The Technologies Available To Us

Already much of our business is conducted electronically, we will continue to utilize these tools. Contracts will be signed electronically, as they usually are, and showings will be handled using lockboxes, also as they usually are.

When physical contact is necessary, we will use hand sanitizer and are trying to secure some face masks. We request that you take similar measures to protect yourselves and those around you.

5. We Are Temporarily Reducing Expenses

Whilst continuing to market our clients’ properties, we are taking intentional steps to reduce the expenses associated with the David & Ty Homes Group. As one of the most successful real estate teams in the Lower Mainland we have significant overhead and after a costly launch of the new team we have to tighten our belts. We do not have salaries to depend on, and we have to reduce our projected income for the team. We will, of course, continue to follow through on our commitments to pay all invoices in a timely fashion and to care for our own employees and families.

6. We Are Staying Home

Out of respect for ourselves, our families, and all of those in our community, we are avoiding any and all unnecessary contact with others. This has proved effective in a number of communities around the globe and has reduced the exponential growth of the virus as authorities come to terms with how to handle it. We would encourage you to consider taking similar steps.

Where To From Here?

We are trusting that the above measures will protect ourselves and you, our friends & clients. We also hope they will contribute to the slowing of the spread of COVID-19 until the authorities are better prepared to handle it.

Please know that we will continue to monitor the situation and will be in touch with each and every client if we believe it has any impact on their situation.

David, Ty, Devin, Dan, Lindsay, Diane, & Amanda

Protect Your Downpayment – A Client Story

This short client story serves as a reminder to us all in both the best of times and the worst of times to protect your downpayment!

Last week one of our listings had an offer that was due to remove subjects – the home inspection had taken place, the documents had been reviewed, everything was good to go… but the buyers requested a financing subject extension. Apparently there were some challenges with the downpayment funds. On the day that subject removal was due it was revealed that sadly the buyer had kept their funds in oil and gas stocks, hit particularly hard by concerns over coronavirus. Their downpayment fund took a huge hit, almost overnight.

If you’re even considering using some of your savings to purchase a home, please make sure they’re in a safe investment vehicle, or even in your chequing account – obviously you may be missing out on some interest, but is the exposure really worth it? Something to think about at least!

Reviews Of The Month – February

We’re always grateful for your reviews, thanks for two of our favourites, submitted this last month:

Cam L:

“David is the kind of realtor you think you only see on TV – he is friendly, knowledgeable, and truly cares about his clients!

My wife and I recently got word from our landlords that we had 6 months to vacate because they were selling our rental house in Langley. We needed to find a home to purchase quickly within our price range, but without settling on buying it because we had to (which is a tall order in the Lower Mainland!). David was there to guide us and provide valuable insight each step of the way and we found a great new home within 2 months and within our budget! We can’t thank David enough!

Talking to David is more like talking to a friend than a realtor. He takes the time to get to know you and find out what you are looking for within your budget, and you can really tell he is on your side. He makes himself available throughout the process to answer any questions or concerns and to make sure that you are getting the right home for you.

From start to finish, David is a consummate professional and a client-focused, detail-oriented realtor. I can’t recommend him highly enough.”

Sarah M:

“We just bought our second property from Ty and couldn’t have done it without him and his team! Our townhouse hit the MLS on a Friday, and we had multiple offers Sunday night! His videos and photos of our place were second to none. We were also fortunate to work with Devin, who scored us a beautiful new house while Ty was away! But, just because Ty was away, didn’t mean he left us. He was in constant contact with us the whole time.

We are beyond blessed for this entire team. They work countless hours and don’t ever quit until their clients are happy. If you need a Realtor, call Ty! I promise you won’t be disappointed! I can honestly say that Ty is the best in the business and not only is he our Realtor, he’s a very good friend! I tell everyone I know to call Ty for their Realtor needs!”

People Over Property, Always

What’s the driving passion behind the David & Ty Homes Group? People Over Property, Always. The transactional components will always be taken care of, but it’s the emotional and relational elements that really make the difference. David & Ty summarize a little of their passion for client care in this short video piece. If you’d like to know how we can transform your real estate experience, we’d be happy to talk with you.

How To Prepare For Multiple Offers Safely

Multiple offers are back! That’s an exclamation, not necessarily a celebration, but however we feel about it… it is happening. With the low inventory over the past few months we’re seeing buyers fighting over limited options (at least at the moment). As someone (David) who recently went through our own multiple offer purchase, I wanted to share some tips to help you prepare for a potential multiple offer situation by reducing or removing subjects in advance safely

1. Financing Preapproval: We can’t stress this one enough, you absolutely must, must, must be preapproved before submitting an offer, especially in the context of multiples. Yes, it’s the most boring element of the real estate purchasing journey, but it’s also one of the most essential. If you’ve been preapproved then your broker has already taken care of your side of things – your income, your debt, your credit history, etc. All that’s left is the home itself for the lenders to clear, which should be turned over in a day or two, rather than the 10-14 days often permitted in a quieter market. A preapproval letter will also help show that even although you have a financing subject, you are prequalified and good to go! 

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THE Move Right Now – A Client Story

Every now and again even we are shocked by a transaction, this past month contained perhaps the most astonishing buy/sell we’ve seen in a long time! After years of searching we were made aware of an off-market property that would be perfect for some buyers of ours looking for a home in a very specific and low-turnover neighbourhood. The property had been on the market previously, but two offers fell through and they had decided to hold off until the Spring. We connected with the former listing agent and he kindly agreed to arrange a showing, at which time the buyers confirmed what we already expected… this is the one! We negotiated a lengthy subject to sale with a purchase price lower than the previous listing.

We launched into the listing preparation phase, including the homeowners putting in a tonne of effort to ensure the property showed as well as it could. The media and measurements day arrived and we executed as well as we ever have, the ‘coming soon’ video had over 4,000 views on Facebook and Instagram alone, and the professional listing video had similar numbers – we suspect because it featured Devin in the hot tub. These marketing numbers led to even crazier numbers at the open house, over 100 people through, requiring David, Ty, and Devin all to attend simply to handle the crowds. Having already rejected a bully offer that was higher than list price we trusted the process and were rewarded with six offers at offer presentation. The offers had the usual suspects, one lower than list, a handful around list, and 2-3 very strong contenders – landing us a final offer tens and tens of thousands of dollars above list, and even tens of thousands of dollars above what we agreed for their purchase. 

Long story short? These clients managed to sell their Willoughby home with a lot less than 4,000sq.ft for over $30,000 more than their Brookswood home with a lot DOUBLE the size. That is THE move right now, upsizing your lot from the more active single family neighbourhoods for the most established neighbourhoods with larger lots. As most know by now, the value of homes in the Lower Mainland is based primarily on the value of the land, the more dirt, the more value. Dirt is on sale in some of the more established neighbourhoods right now, allowing you the opportunity to increase your exposure to the next price increases across the region. These happy clients were able to benefit both in the sense of an improved lifestyle, and also from an investment standpoint, and it was our pleasure to help them achieve their goals. If you’d like to hear if we think there’s a similar scenario possible for you, don’t hesitate to reach out. 

We Did It! Thanks To You!

It’s awards season again, as it always seems to be, but we are really happy to share that both David & Ty placed in the Top 1% for the whole Fraser Valley Real Estate Board according to the 2019 MLS statistics. 

Why does this matter for you? Well, first off, it’s a result of your efforts! We simply wouldn’t have achieved this honour without your trust and your kind referrals. At the same time, the volume we sell helps position us to best serve you, with the experience of hundreds of transactions and almost every situation imaginable. It helps our clients too as we enter negotiations with our reputations proceeding us as we either try to sell your home, or help you purchase your next home. 

Thank you for your kind support! We genuinely couldn’t do it without you.