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Common Home Selling Mistakes and Ways to Avoid Them – Part 2

Selling your home is a little more involved than just putting a for sale sign in your front yard.  Without the right information, forethought and guidance, your home may not sell.  As your premier agent specializing in the Vernon real estate market, I would like to outline more common selling mistakes and how you as a seller can avoid them.

Price it Right

One of the quickest ways to keep your home on Vernon’s real estate market indefinitely is by overpricing your home.  Everyone wants full dollar for their home, but for it to be an attractive offer to a potential buyer, you are going to have to price it competitively.  The easiest way to price your home is to look at comparable homes that are for sale or have sold in and around your neighbourhood.

Here’s the Deal:

By using the comparable home method, you should be able to price your home competitively and at a price that will attract buyers.

Use an Agent

Thinking about selling your home on your own?  This may be the biggest selling mistake that a seller can make.  The right real estate agent will sell your home faster and at full market value.  A real estate agent will help you with the often overlooked but important aspects of selling your home:

  • Set up open houses and private showings of your home.
  • Network with other agents to attract a wide range of interested buyers.
  • Help you with your online real estate portfolio.
  • Take care of all paperwork, subjects, and can explain any confusing terms.

Keep an Open Mind

When selling your home, you must maintain an open mind on all offers that come your way.  Sure, everyone hopes that their home becomes a bidding war amongst buyers, but you may have to be willing to negotiate and entertain offers that at first may not look all that appealing.  Too many times have I watched a potential sale fall apart because the seller is not willing to consider the offer.


Any offer, even one that you may perceive as a low ball should be taken seriously.  Keep in mind that you can always counteroffer and negotiate a price that you feel is more acceptable, or you can just walk away.

With a competitively priced home and the right agent, you should be able to sell your home quickly and at market value while at the same time, avoiding any of the previously mentioned selling pitfalls.  If you would like more information on these or other common home selling mistakes or are thinking about selling your home on Vernon’s real estate market, please contact me today.  I would love to help you turn that for sale sign into a sold one today.




Just Released!!  Our Foothills Area Market Update for April! 

Just Released!!  Our Foothills Area Market Update for April!  Here is a preview of our Foothills folder featuring homes and lots for sale and sold in the fabulous Foothills area in Vernon BC.  This folder will be mailed out in the next 10 days!  If you are interested in selling your home and having it advertised in this popular marketing piece, please let us know!  We would be happy to feature your Foothills, Vernon Real Estate here!  Contact the Salt Fowler Team at 250-549-SALT (7258) or visit our website to view thousands of homes for sale online all in one place at

November North Okanagan Real Estate Market Update

This North Okanagan Real Estate Update covers the areas of:  Vernon, Coldstream, Falkland, Armstrong, Enderby and Lumby.

Updated Stats for Residential Homes in the North Okanagan:

Sell/Inventory Ratio:   

17.57%  (this is how much of what is currently on the market sold last month)

Days to Sell:  

82 (how many days on average it is taking to sell a home)

Avg. Sale Price:  

$487,022 (averages can be skewed by a few really high, or really low $$ sales)

Median Sale Price:  

$454,950 (the exact middle sale price of every residential property sold last month)

Waterfront Home Sales: 

20 waterfront home sold year to date (versus 15 last year, same time period)

North Okanagan overall statistics:

Total Units that were newly LISTED (and active on the market) during each of the past 3 months:

Sep:    302

Oct:    259

Nov:   218

Total Units SOLD (all property types including raw land and commercial) during each of the past 3 months:

Sep:    167

Oct:     186

Nov:    147


Wrap Up:

Sellers:  For the 8th month in a row, sales have continued to decline. This month by 6.37%, a trend that supports the idea that market is in fact changing.  The proof is in the numbers.  If your home is currently listed, and you haven’t received any offers, or your showings have declined, this could be a sign that your home is overpriced for this market. Properties that are priced above the current market value will likely sit until the next cycle, losing value and likely getting lost in the shuffle of abundant homes on the market. However, all is not lost! This is the perfect opportunity to have a discussion with your listing agent, and if necessary take recommendations on how to remedy.

Inventory of homes on the market has also now increased to 1312 versus 1178 last year.  This gap is about the same as last month, however the number of new listings has decreased by 8.02% since October. This could simply be a seasonal change, or perhaps an indication that this change in the market is causing sellers to hold off on listing until a better time of year or until the market swings back in their favor.

Buyers:  As stated above, the number of new homes on the market has decreased slightly since October, but not enough to affect you as buyers. This continues to be a market in your favor, with an abundance of inventory and many sellers desperate to sell.

However…. (and isn’t there always a “however”?) interest rates are now slowly, but surely, on the rise.  Waiting to see if the price of your dream house may reduce may not be the right play, if interest rates increase in the meantime.  By paying the increase in the interest rates could very well mean that in the long run you end up ultimately paying more for your home.  A small increase in rates equals a large increase in the amount spent over the life of your mortgage.  That is an important analysis to make before making the decision to fence sit.

Although the Government has intervened numerous times in an attempt to slow down the real estate prices skyrocketing in the major centres, we aren’t expecting any immediate drastic price drops in our local market.  We are still experiencing a lot of in-migration to our fair city, which is helping our local market while others considerably decline.

If you would like to get access to MLS listings 24/7 on your own time, click here to get brand new listings in your inbox every morning!

Please feel free to Contact Us Anytime:  Lisa, Gord, Glenn, Alex, Joanne, Greg, Avrill, Christie and Bryan of the Salt Fowler Team, RE/MAX Vernon – specializing in North Okanagan and Vernon BC Real Estate.

Speculation Tax Update


For Immediate Release

Yes to More Affordable Housing, No to So-Called Speculation Tax

KELOWNA, B.C. – October 17, 2018. While the BC government is to be admired for attempting to tackle housing affordability, the approach taken via tabling a so-called speculation and vacancy tax neither addresses the affordability problem nor targets actual housing market speculators.

Taking aim at claims made by the NDP government about the benefits of the tax, tabled Bill 45 on Tuesday, Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board (OMREB) President Marv Beer comments “I’ve not met anyone who disagrees that we need more affordable housing, but suggesting that this tax, as proposed, would somehow improve the situation is misleading to say the least.”

The tax, should it come into being, targets homes worth more than $400,000 so even if these homes were rented or sold to avoid the tax the housing supply created would not be what is generally considered affordable.

Cautioning again about the potential harm that could come from introducing yet another tax on homeowners on which no economic impact studies have been conducted, Beer notes that the provincial government already has a homeowner tax in place that it could use to further housing affordability. It’s called the Property Transfer Tax and while only homeowners pay it, proceeds currently go into general revenue to benefit everyone. “If the government really wanted to make homes more affordable, it could exempt buyers of lower-cost homes from having to pay the Land Transfer Tax.”

Beer contends that the proposed tax doesn’t target the speculator, defined as someone who purchases and ‘flips’ properties within a relatively short time-frame for profit.

“Speculators, because they don’t hold a property for long, would be minimally affected by this tax. Instead, it would be the long-time home owner who would pay, year over year, for choosing to spend time and money in BC,” says Beer, adding “Ironically, it’s possible that the tax would encourage speculators to set their sights on homes under $400,000, competing with legitimate buyers for lower cost homes. If the government really wanted to go after speculators, it could apply a levy to homes sold within a short time of being purchased.”

Beer notes the government’s claim that the legislation is aimed at foreigners and those from other provinces who don’t pay income taxes here. In fact, the minister responsible for this tax revealed in legislature that almost two-thirds of those who would pay the tax would be British Columbians, about 20,000 of 32,000 homes targeted.

“The good news is that the government has included a number of exemptions from the tax. The bad news is that the myriad of exemptions would create a costly administrative nightmare and still, housing affordability would not be enhanced nor speculators deterred. While measures to address both problems may be needed, this tax, as it is currently proposed, is not the answer.”

For more information, please contact OMREB at


OMREB is a member-governed not-for-profit association representing almost 1300 REALTORS® and 89 real estate offices within the southern interior region of British Columbia (Peachland to Revelstoke). The Board is dedicated to providing leadership and support to its members in their pursuit of professional excellence.

Vernon Real Estate Market Update for March 2018

This North Okanagan Real Estate Update covers the areas of:  Vernon, Coldstream, Falkland, Armstrong, Enderby and Lumby.

Updated Stats for Residential Homes in the North Okanagan:

Sell/Inventory Ratio:   

24.48%  (this is how much of what is currently on the market sold last month)

Days to Sell:  

53 (how many days on average it is taking to sell a home) – WAY down from last month.

Avg. Sale Price:  

$478,874 (averages can be skewed by a few really high, or really low $$ sales)

Median Sale Price:  

$442,500 (the exact middle sale price of every residential property sold last month)

Waterfront Home Sales: 

3 waterfront home sold year to date (compared to 1 last year in Jan-Mar 2017)

North Okanagan overall statistics:

Total Units that were newly LISTED (and active on the market) during each of the past 3 months:

Jan:          210

Feb:        217

Mar:       380

Total Units SOLD (all property types including raw land and commercial) during each of the past 3 months:

Jan:       111

Feb:      131

Mar:     178

Wrap Up:

Sellers:  There was a very slight increase in units for sale in March over 2017, a bit over 3%.  Not too much different year over year. Sales on the other hand were down nearly 21% year over year.  Why? Is the sky falling? We doubt it. We are still seeing many multiple offers and quick sales. Buyers however are scrambling to compete over properties in the most popular price ranges, and new product is largely being listed in the outlying price ranges where there is still a fair bit of competition. Total inventory right now is 1135 units this year, versus 1326 last year.  That extra few hundred units makes a huge difference.

In March we saw the BC Government reduce the speculation tax numbers slightly, which although a step in the right direction, is not being accepted very well. What this means now is that anyone who does not pay taxes in British Columbia (i.e. anyone from another Province, let alone another country) will pay an additional .5% of assessed value on their property taxes in 2018 and an additional 1% in 2019 and beyond.  We continue to encourage as many people to fight this speculation tax and join the movement of those who believe that more affordable housing in the Province should not come as a directly result of piling on more and more taxes.  The feedback we are currently receiving from those in our neighbouring province is extremely negative, and will ultimately affect the entire Okanagan real estate market, not only the immediately affected areas of Kelowna and West Kelowna.

Sign the Petition to Stop the BC Speculation Tax Here

Write your MLA here in just a few clicks, to fight the BC Speculation Tax

Buyers:  A few more houses entered the market in March for a total inventory of 1135 units versus a few over 1000 last month. Homes in the popular and hard to find price ranges are selling very quickly and the market is in a bit of a frenzy. The best advice we can give, once again, is if you see the perfect home – do not delay. Ensure you have all your ducks in a row in advance – your downpayment, your financing, and your ultimate buying plan.  Sitting down with one our buyer specialists will save you time and money in your buying process as we will ensure your are prepared and ready to strategically enter this market. Ensuring you are an educated buyer is your best opportunity to find the best home at the best price.   Call us today to get on our client list to be informed of those hot new listings the fastest!  Beat other buyers to those new listings before other Realtors even hear about them.  The best defence is a great offence!

We can help get you to the newest listings first, often before other Realtors or the public hear about them with our unique Buyer Profile System – sign up to View Thousands of Homes right here!

Please feel free to Contact Us Anytime:  Lisa, Gord, Glenn, Alex, Joanne, Greg, Avrill and Christie of the Salt Fowler Team, RE/MAX Vernon – specializing in North Okanagan and Vernon BC Real Estate.

Steps to DIY Home Renovation and Resale Success

In the process of home resale, nothing beats the rise of its value as a result of your hard work. Here’s how to achieve that oh-so-rewarding feeling:

Establish goal for resale price

Listing price sets the tone for the entire selling process. Set too high a price, and you risk repelling certain buyers who either won’t tour houses out of their price range or who may never view your listing when searching online with lower price points. Additionally, over-inflated pricing will compare your home unfavorably with others similarly priced. However, while setting too low a price may move the selling process along more quickly, you will forego financial opportunity.

When establishing a goal for your home’s resale listing price, first hire an appraiser to professionally estimate its value. Next, research the local housing market, comparing your home with others currently listed or recently sold. Examine homes similar to yours in quality and location, as well as those a step ahead in updating systems and features. This information will encourage you not to settle for the prices of comparable homes, as a little DIY home renovation can take you a long way, but to also set a reasonable goal that guarantees a return on your investment (ROI). Your resale price goal should land somewhere between the professional estimate, the prices of homes similar and those ahead.

Make a plan

As you move into the home renovation phase of the selling process, you’ll need to decide what to improve or leave ‘as is.’ It’s a numbers game, so consider your renovation budget vs. potential ROI; appropriate spending and placement for high-end finishes; and the most versatile investments able to appeal to the widest range of potential buyers.

For the best ROI, improve the quality of features in your home. For example, projects that historically improve home value include kitchen and bath updates, replacement of exterior siding, fresh interior paint and landscaping upgrades.

DIY Home Renovation

According to Zillow Talk, the following DIY home reno projects yield the best ROI:

Full-gut kitchen remodels average 75 percent return rates. However, if such an improvement threatens to either drastically outdo comparable homes in your area or to drastically slice your budget, perform these smaller kitchen renovations for similar ROI:

  • Incorporate subway tile into the backsplash.
  • Upgrade appliances. Don’t be afraid to purchase lightly used appliances from either consignment sections of certain stores or estate sales. Lightly used appliances are a couple of years old and cost you less than one-fifth the price of new appliances.
  • Install a farmhouse sink.

Full master bathroom remodels also perform strongly, returning an average of 87 percent. Again, if going all in wouldn’t be wise, make these changes:

  • Add shaker cabinets.
  • Integrate granite or quartz countertops.
  • Upgrade to a frameless shower.

Most importantly, heavily consider the proper functioning of staple home systems and components, such as the air conditioning, water heater, foundation and roof. While the other aforementioned items may require the help of a professional, certain roof repairs can be handled on your own.

For example, small holes in a flat roof, under dry conditions, can be patched with a specially made primer and patching system, available at most local hardware stores. Other materials required include a brush, roller and scissors that can usually be found around the house. In three simple steps that include applying primer, covering the hole and smoothing the seal, you can patch your flat roof.

Careful goal setting, planning and DIY home renovating will help you to lure the best resale value for your home.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Article provided by guest blogger Seth Murphy

Salt Fowler Team Achieve Elite RE/MAX Diamond Award Club

 RE/MAX Recognizes Local Realtors® as the Top Producing Real Estate Team in the North Okanagan

VERNON, BC, March 4, 2018 – The Salt Fowler Team with RE/MAX Vernon has qualified for the 2017 RE/MAX Diamond Team Award, which honours successful teams who have earned the highest pinnacle of success in the past year. In 2017, the Diamond Award was achieved by less than one percent of all active RE/MAX agents.

This is the second year RE/MAX has introduced this award, which was presented in Las Vegas, Nevada at the MGM Grand Conference Centre at the Western Canadian Awards night on February 25, 2018, which was followed by the RE/MAX International Conference from February 26 through February 29, 2017.

“Lisa Salt and Gord Fowler’s tireless dedication to serving their clients, consumers and community has allowed them to achieve this prestigious and elite honour for the second year in a row,” said Brad Marsh, Broker/Owner of RE/MAX Vernon. “Receiving the Diamond Award is a huge accomplishment and we’re extremely proud that Lisa, Gord and their entire team continue to raise the bar in real estate.”

Lisa Salt has been serving her community as a real estate agent with RE/MAX Vernon for 20 years and has extensive experience in North Okanagan residential real estate since 1993. Gord Fowler joined Lisa in 2005 from Calgary, and has been an integral part of their team ever since. Among Gord and Lisa’s list of achievements, they have also earned the prestigious RE/MAX Hall of Fame and Lifetime Achievement awards as well as hold the designations of International Real Estate Specialist, Certified Luxury Homes Specialist, Accredited Commercial Professional and are the sole chosen local representatives for the elite RE/MAX Cross Canada Referrals Group consisting of top performing agents across the nation.   All team members are members of the Canadian Real Estate Association, BC Real Estate Association and the Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board.

Other team member award winners for 2017 were Alex Wambold, earning RE/MAX’s 100% Club, and Glenn Beach, Joanne Pappin, Greg Barteluk and Christie King achieving RE/MAX Executive Club.

In addition, the Salt Fowler Team actively supports various causes close to their hearts by donating a portion of every commission cheque to charity. Their charities of choice include the Children’s Miracle Network, North Okanagan Hospice Society, the Okanagan Rail Trail Initiative, the Vernon and District Animal Care Society, the Cancer Foundation, Lion’s Club and Women to the Power of Ten – Community Foundation.

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Real Estate Sellers Holiday Mistakes in Vernon BC

There are always great opportunities during the holiday period and winter months to sell your Vernon BC home. If you have taken your home off the market or are thinking about it – think again! You could by missing one of the best times of the year to sell your Vernon real estate!

First and foremost, you have nowhere near the competition that you have during other times of the year. Less competition means more money in YOUR pocket because Buyers have fewer homes to choose from.

Secondly, these home Buyers are highly motivated to make a purchase with generally longer possession dates, so you likely won’t be moving during the winter months. You aren’t the only one who doesn’t want to move in the snow!

So no matter what you are hearing from other people, reading in the paper, watching on the news – even though market prices are down, the holiday and winter months are probably one of the best times of the year to sell your home.

Don’t make this common Seller mistake and fall into the ‘holiday mode’. Ramp up your home sale now! Don’t wait for the Spring market. In my opinion, in most cases, it is easier to sell your home in the holiday and winter months than any other time of year. Sellers who embrace this season with a strong mindset to sell their home will be successful and reap the benefits.

If you are ready to get serious about selling your home, call the Salt Team NOW for an HONEST evaluation of what your home is worth this holiday season. I’m at 250-549-SALT (7258).