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episode # 63

How to Search for a Home THE RIGHT WAY

Have you ever wondered how you can get a leg up on other homebuyers?

Have a listen to this week’s VREP short as Adam and Matt explain the right way to search for listings.

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Episode Summary


Matt and Adam share their view on the best way of searching for a property.

Listed Prices versus Sold Prices

A listener recently reached out about shocking discrepancies between Listing Prices and Sold Prices. She was concerned that, although it looked like she could afford her desired area based on the Listing Price, in reality, everything was selling for WAY over asking.

We decided to shed more light on the issue. It turns out that the attractive list prices on websites like or REW were nowhere near the actual selling prices.

Obviously, sold prices come in handy for monitoring your desired market. In fact, relevant sold comparables not only tell you what you can afford but also the value of the subject property. This is where an agent comes in handy, as these are the people who have inside information.

Alternatively, Scalena Real Estate has excellent resources you can use to find sold prices, such as Private Client Services!

There are a few good ways to get realtor-level information, but the proven method is Private Client Services. It provides you with sold prices, days on market, and excellent mapping functions right to your inbox in real time.

This research tool also eliminates the MLS lag time, so you get to see listings potentially up to 24-72 hours before they hit public MLS.

Signing up for Private Client Services

You can sign up for this free of charge by getting in touch with Matt and Adam or click HERE to create your own account.

To set up the most effective account, it is best to be as specific as possible in your search. Of course, you can have a wide net covering different areas but try to be as precise as possible or else you may be overwhelmed with listings.


Photo: Self-Sign Window for PCS

Photo: Sample of Listings Portal (PCS)

Episode Transcript

Adam:  Okay Matt, so VREP Short #9.

Matt:  Episode 63.   That’s right.

Adam:  So today what we’re talking about is how to effectively and efficiently search for real estate listings.

Matt:  Yeah and how this came up was there was a listener of this podcast who got in touch last week.

Adam:  Right.

Matt:  She lived outside of British Columbia.   She came to the podcast because she was moving here, interested in buying property.  She’d been using rew I believe or, one of the general search engines

Adam:  Okay.

Matt:  and she finally got in touch with us. I had a phone conversation with her two days ago.  A huge discrepancy came out pretty quick, out of the conversation.   She had been looking at properties in very desirable locations looking at the list price, and thinking okay, I can do this,

Adam:  Right.

Matt:  even if I came in at full list.  This is my budget. Problem is she did not have access to sold prices and wasn’t aware that most of those list prices were nowhere near the selling price and in fact at the 599,000. that she was kind of focused on, properties were often selling in the high sixes and even low sevens

Adam:  Right.

Matt:  so the conversation was not a very happy one and her expectations had to be modified considerably right from the get go.

Adam: Right.  So in other words one of the issues here and it’s a larger issue of transparency in the industry where the industry does hold onto the sold prices.  It’s not available publically usually

Matt:  Right.

Adam:  and to get access to sold prices you actually have to be in a relationship with an agent who can provide you that information.

Matt:  Bypass the gatekeeper.

Adam:  So what’s the best way then if you’re searching for listings to actually get realtor level information but still be you know on a monitoring level or an automated search?

Matt:  Right.  So we’ve looked at many different ways to provide…

Adam:  We’ve tried them all.

Matt:  our clients this information and we’ve come to Private Client Services which I think is the best.  It’s been the best for years, it’s still the best and what it does is it provides you with sold prices, days on market, basically all the information that realtors have to your inbox in real time.

Adam:  Yeah, so when something sells you get to see it and the nice thing also is it’s updated without a lag so what a lot of people don’t know is when an agent broker loads, so uploads the listing to MLX, which is our version of MLS, it usually takes a period of time for it to actually hit public MLS.

Matt:  Yeah, so realtors see it before the general public.

Adam: Exactly, so what this research tool does is that it usually eliminates that lag time so you get to see listings potentially up to 24-72 hours before they hit public MLS which is nice.

Matt:  That’s right.

Adam:  So how do you go about signing up for this?

Matt:  So we have it on our website but the best way to do it is to get in touch with Adam or myself because we set people up every day on searches and we know how to do it effectively so you’re seeing only the properties you want to see.

Adam:  Right.

Matt:  We have a lot of people that sign up on our website without getting in touch and that’s fantastic and please utilize this resource.

Adam:  It’s something that we pay for but we offer people for free so you get to use it there’s no obligation.

Matt:  No obligation.  We’d love to work with you but no obligation if you come sign up.  One thing I would say though is speak to us.  If you’re not comfortable with that at this stage….you’re in the early days, when you sign up, try and be as specific as possible because a lot of people that just come and sign up I’ve noticed are getting overwhelmed with listings you know, they’ll…

Adam:  They go too broad.

Matt:  They’re… potentially I’m thinking Port Moody, I might think North Van.  I definitely am thinking Vancouver.  You’re going to see 240 listings.  It’s not an effective way to search for real estate.  You know have a wide net but be as precise as possible with your search and Adam and I can definitely help you with setting that up.

Adam:  Right so again go to and Matt anything else?

Matt:  No.  I think that’s it.

Adam:  Have a good week.

Matt:  Take care, guys.

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