Realtors have the key. The key belongs to a little club called the Multiple Listing Service or more commonly referred to as the MLS. This coveted database of valuable information has grown over the years to the point that the information and services of its members is the only good market data option for the public when it comes to buying and selling real estate.  As we all know, when one entity controls a whole industry, we like to call it a monopoly.

The public has long been concerned about this monopoly and the government has started to listen. The Competition Bureau showed up at the door of the real estate industry and asked that the club be more inclusive. The real estate industry put up a valiant fight at the gates but ultimately through negotiations they had to open up the doors and start to share.

What does this mean for Realtors in the years to come now that they are not the gatekeepers of all of the information and the public has inexpensive, easy access to the same information? The bottom line is that things are going to change.

The real estate industry will change much in the way that many industries have changed in the last 15 years with the advent of easily accessible information and technology. We will start to see a polarization of the real estate industry. On one end, the market will be filled with real estate firms that will provide real estate services a la carte. The consumer will be able to choose the products and services they want and nothing more. For example, if you want to sell your home, you can pay a fee to list it on the MLS, another fee for professional pictures and another fee if you want a realtor to negotiate the contract and so on.  The benefit to the consumer is that they have the choice to pay for services that they see value in and opt out of services that they don’t.

On the other side, you will see real estate firms enter the market place that will provide industry leading services implemented by the most productive, knowledgeable and experienced professionals in the industry. The key here is the realtors ability to add knowledge to the, easy available, market information. What does the specific data mean? The benefit to the consumer on this side of the equation will be that they are working with a real estate consultant that will, through his or her knowledge and experience, be able to provide a service that will produce the best possible outcome. The consumer will pay for the best and get the best. Over time, these firms will hopefully earn the respect that is so lacking in the perception of the real estate industry today.

It is inevitable that with this polarization of the industry, the service providers that try to appeal to everyone, will not have a place. It has happened time and time again with industries.  If you try to appeal to everyone, you will appeal to no one.  Consumers of real estate services will need to choose between an elite group of knowledgeable, experienced professionals that can provide the highest level of service, or a firm that provides real estate service a la carte.

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I have listed a new property at 104 1775 11TH AVE W in Vancouver.

Large one-bedroom suite w. generous private patio facing the alley. Spacious layout allowing for well-sized furniture in both living- and bedroom. Updated bathroom. The suite is kept immaculate. Shows beautiful. Well-maintained building incl. full rain screen, thermo glass windows/sliding doors, renovated balconies and perimeter membrane. Elevator upgrade paid for. Live-in caretaker. Underground parking stall and storage locker. Great Kits/Fairview location w. walking distance to first-rate shopping, restaurants, etc. on South Granville, Broadway and 4th Ave. No rentals. One cat allowed. Open House Sat/Sun March 1st/2nd from 2-4 pm.

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I have listed a new property at 218 17TH AVE W in Vancouver.
OPPORTUNITIES ABOUND WITH THIS UNIQUE HOME ON A 33 x 137.5 LOT IN CAMBIE! 3 large bdrms & 2 full bthrms on upper level with 10' ceilings. Updated kitchen with granite counter tops & stainless steel appliances including a gas range with dining/living room & family room on either side. South facing back porch with new glass cover to enjoy all year round! Legal 2 bdrm suite on GARDEN LEVEL with new laminate flooring & 1 bedroom on main currently used by owners. Location cannot be beat! Minutes to restaurants, shops, Canada line, buses & parks. 1st showing at Agent's Open: Thursday, Feb. 20th 10:30-12. OPEN HOUSES: Sat. Feb 22 12:00-2:00 & Sun. Feb 23rd 1:00-3:00. See you there!
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I have listed a new property at 5 3160 4TH AVE W in Vancouver.
Sunny, Southfacing, Quiet, 917sf, 2 bedroom, 2 level Kits townhouse in the Avanti! A quiet courtyard entry opens to a foyer and large den with plenty of storage. There's a fully renovated open kitchen with stainless appliances, granite countertops and breakfast bar that opens to a well laid out living room with gas fireplace. All wrapped up with quality laminate floors. If that's not enough how about spending your summer days on a huge, very private, fenced patio and landscaped yard that opens from the living room with gated access. Transit is steps away, UBC, Downtown, Kits Beach, 4th Ave. and shops are minutes away. Pets and rentals are welcome. Open Houses Sat/Sun Feb 22/23 from 2-4pm.
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The Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) does not work with a specific timeline; there is no specific period of time you have to have lived in your primary residence before you are tax exempt from any profit from a sale. It is a case by case assessment by the CRA based on factors like motivation (is there a good reason to sell relatively shortly after buying?), history (is there a pattern of selling shortly after buying?, i.e. flipping properties), size of profit (is it above what can the expected based on the current market conditions?), time (obviously, if a property is sold three weeks after the purchase is completed, it will draw the attention from the CRA).
So, as long as your motivation/reason, history and profit doesn’t raise a red flag with the Canadian Revenue Agency, and you have lived in your home for a reasonable amount of time, you should not expect to pay tax on any sales profit.  As mentioned, tax exemption is only granted as long as you are selling your primary residence.

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I have listed a new property at 207 1055 HARWOOD ST in Vancouver.

Harcrest Apartments. This renovated N facing 1 bedroom has plenty to offer. Upgrades include new stainless appliances, updated kitchen cabinets, walnut engineered hardwood, new bathroom and plenty of built in storage. All wrapped up in a great layout. Storage locker, bike room & workshop are all found in this intimate walk-up, adult oriented, co-op building with great neighbours! Well managed with roof, plumbing '95, exterior paint 03, Pella windows 05 & boiler 06. Wonderful location on a tree lined street, just steps to transit, shops, restaurants & a short stroll to English Bay. Waiting list for private garage parking. Rentals not allowed. 1 cat welcome. 35% down payment required.

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I have listed a new property at 1912 7TH AVE W in Vancouver.
What an opportunity! This updated turn of the century 4 level character home has been divided into two 2 bedroom suites and one 3 bedroom suite that can provide huge income potential. All of the original character has been retained and enhanced by modern updates. Great view of North Shore mountains from top floor. Nestled into a quiet block close to all the amenities Kits has to offer you will enjoy year round entertaining in your south facing back yard. Bonus of 3 parking spaces and loads of storage. Multi-family RM4 zoning. Legal duplex. A great long term hold with outstanding revenue potential. Open Houses Sat/Sun Feb 15/16 from 2-4pm. 360 tours and floorplans available on realtors website site.
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