Welcome those buyers into your home!
When hosting open houses for your home, you will need to do more than a simple advertisement in the local paper, putting it on the Realtor.ca website and put out yard signs. There are several other real estate marketing tools you can use to attract people who may be looking to buy into your home.
Take the time to knock on your neighbours' doors and personally invite them. You never know if they have family or friends who may be looking to purchase a home in your community or maybe they want their family to move closer.
- Become tech-savvy - Put your Open House on as many websites as you can. If possible, search engine optimize all of your website traffic to ensure buyers who are looking online will be able to find your home.
- Blog it! Add a blog link to all of your traffic including Facebook and ask your friends to share it.
- Pictures say 1000 words. Make sure every photo you use on the internet is clear, in the right format and has the proper pixels. Do put on photos that are dark, have bad curb appeal, etc.
- Facebook Ads - Facebook ads are great! Just choose your search criteria, upload your photos, add the dialogue and input your payment. You may want to do this a week in advance. NOT the day before.
- Sell your community! Add information about your community to your feature sheets. Give the reasons why a buyer would want to live in your area. Do you have a dog park nearby? Community events? Ravine walking trails? Add some more photos.
- Build a website for your home and add it to your feature sheets for the buyers to look at your home at their convenience. Add as many links as you can. Don't forget to have them open in new windows. You will want to keep them on your page. Add a video: Videos are easy to make and can be uploaded online. Make them fun and entertaining (No more than 2 minutes)
- Flyer! Drop off flyers with your community. This is also a great way to meet your neighbours, find out more about your area and is great exercise. Ask them to drop in for coffee, the more strangers you have in your home, the safer you will be.
- Create a sign-in sheet! Have your Open House guests sign in once they arrive. You will be able to follow up with them later to see if there is any interest. It may seem like a lot of work, but holding an Open House in Edmonton takes time to make it effective.
" Have fun and good luck with your Open House
Do you really need a property inspection when purchasing a home in Edmonton?
A real estate property home inspection is an objective visual examination of the physical structure and systems of a house, from the roof to the foundation. It is for the sole benefit of the purchaser and is usually subcontracted to a certified licensed residential real estate inspector, paid for by the buyer, and can take one to four hours depending on the size and condition of the property. At the end of your inspection, a standard home inspector’s report will be supplied covering the condition of the home.
A home inspection can identify the need for major repairs or builder oversights which can lead to unpleasant surprises and unexpected difficulties in the future. Buying a home can be the largest single investment you will make and spending a few hundred dollars for peace of mind is money well spent.
Home inspection components covered include:
- heating system including furnace and hot water tank
- the central air conditioning system
- carbon monoxide and fire alarm detectors
- interior plumbing using both visual and water residue tools
- mold issues and water damage
- electrical systems
- the roof & attic
- visible insulation of walls, ceilings, floors, windows, and doors using a thermal ray tool
- foundation & basement
- other structural components which may need major repair or replacement.
Depending on your chosen property inspector, there may be some things that will not be inspected such as things that can not be seen visually and appliances. You may want to check that these chattels are in working order.
If a home inspection is not allowed on a bank foreclosure offer to purchase, it is still a good idea to have one done, prior to putting in an offer.
In Alberta, builders must supply a new home warranty at closing, however, new homes should ALWAYS have a home inspection done. Building a house takes time and there are always things that get missed. It is easier to address these concerns before you remove your inspection condition.
What if the report reveals problems? No house is perfect. If the inspector identifies problems, it doesn’t mean you should or shouldn’t buy the house. Talk it over with your real estate agent. There are a few options to address any concerns you have.
What is the difference between a garage suite and a garden suite?
The official city description a garage suite is "a self-contained accessory dwelling above or attached to a rear detached garage, on a single detached lot which usually comes in the form of apartment-sized living space, with its own kitchen, bathroom, and living space, on the second floor of your garage".
The city description of a garden suite is "an at-grade self-contained, accessory dwelling located in a building that is physically separate from the principal dwelling." Typically, garden suites are single-story structures built in the backyards of single detached homes and must have their own kitchen, bathroom, and living space.
There are several benefits of purchasing a house with a garage or garden suite or building on an existing house in Edmonton including ...
- Garage and garden suites are great ways to add some rental income to your property to help pay down your mortgage. It eliminates the shared interior space the way you would with a basement suite. These smaller living spaces are also a great way to add some diversity to your community because they allow different demographic access to housing options on your street.
- Garage and garden suites can keep family members nearby, yet allows for more personal space. It can be a great option for keeping your parents or your children close, while still maintaining some privacy by ensuring everyone has their own space. Alternatively, some ageing empty nesters have decided to downsize into their own garden or garage suite, and allow their children’s family to live nearby, in the main house.
- As with any good infill project, it is all about creating more flexible living options so every Edmontonian can choose the community that suits them best. For more information on Garage and Garden suites, visit the city of Edmonton's Infill website.
Should you fire your Realtors® (part 3)
Every Realtor and Real Estate Companies in Edmonton market homes differently. Some companies and agents will put your home on the public MLS, charge an upfront fee and expect you to do everything else, hoping either you find a buyer yourself or another agent from another real estate company brings you a buyer for your home. A full-service company will do all of the work for you and more. Below are three more reasons to fire your Realtor.
4. Your Realtor is not looking after your best Interest
A Realtor's obligations are set out in your agreement in plain sight. During the listing agreement, your Realtor must be impartial in dealings with you and other buyers being represented by the same agents with an interest in your property.
- If your agent has found a buyer for your home and is representing both you and the buyer, an acknowledgement form must be signed but all parties prior to the offer presentation. If you are not comfortable with your Realtor representing both you and the buyer with the sale of your home, both have the option of being represented by another Realtor or real estate brokerage prior to the offer presentation.
5. Your Realtor is not marketing your home
Under section 4.2 subsections (a) and (b) of the Exclusive Seller Representation Agreement, it states:
- In addition to the responsibilities described in the Consumer Relationship Guide, the designated agent (your Realtor) must also:
- (a) market the property, until the property is sold under this agreement, or this agreement ends.
- (b) keep you informed of their marketing activities and any resulting transaction.
A good realtor will continuously keep marketing your home through various types of marketing exposure to find the right buyer and keep you informed. Don't expect to find that perfect buyer if the only thing exposing your home for sale is the address and a few photos on the Multiple Listing Service (Realtor.ca).
6. Confidential Information Exposed!
Whether you list with a common-law real estate company or a designated real estate company, the Consumer Relationship Guide forms part of both a buyers agreement and a sellers agreement. In this document. it clearly states the agent's fiduciary duties which include:
- Undivided loyalty: The agent must act only in your best interest and put them above their own and those of people. The agent must avoid conflicts of interest and must protect your negotiation position at all times. In lamens terms - your reasons for selling cannot be disclosed unless it has been put in writing.
- Confidentiality: The agent must keep the information confidential, even after your relationship ends. Confidential information includes your personal information, information about the property and information about the transaction (except information the law says must be disclosed or information you agree to disclose).
For more information on the Alberta Consumer Relationship Guide, contact the Alberta Real Estate Council.
Have a question? Feel free to reach out.
Should you fire your Realtors® (part 2)
It is always best to try to resolve any issues or concerns you have prior to firing your agent. However, if you have made a mistake and chosen the wrong Realtor to represent you on the purchase or sale of your home, the best thing to do what is best for you and move on. Below are the top 3 reasons home sellers and buyers fire their Realt Estate Agents.
Reason 1: Lack of communication
You have signed a listing agreement with a Realtor and now have no idea what is happening with the sale of your home because your agent is not responding to your texts, emails or phone calls. A lack of communication is the biggest complaint Realtors receive from the public and is unacceptable. Even if there has not been any activity on your property, your Realtor should still be communicating with you to let you know there is no interest. A good Realtor will have systems in place to ensure you receive updates on the sale of your home on a regular basis. These updates should include:
- Feedback from all and every showing one you home
- The most recent real estate community activity including which homes have recently sold had price adjustments, and the homes which have been removed from the market.
- Updates on your neighbourhood house prices - Should you really drop your price?
- Feedback from Open houses
- How many people are looking at your home online
- The number of people who have viewed the videos
- All internet and yard sign inquires
- Any mortgage changes will affect the sale of your home.
Reason 2: Your Photos Suck!
Let's face it! If your photos on the MLS are distorted, blurry or upside down, it shows the effort your Realtor is putting into the sale of your home. It also shows the quality of the Realtor you hired.
If you are a hoarder, have extremely messy tenants or your property needs some major repairs, there is still no reason why your MLS photos should not be clear. When a buyer views your home in person, they will see the condition of your home, so why hide it.
When putting photographs on the MLS, it is to attract buyers looking online. It only takes a few minutes for your home to show it's best. This is easily done and only takes a few minutes to remove anything in the photos which would discourage a buying from wanting to see your home. This is not rocket science.
- Remove any signs of pets including their toys and food dishes.
- Make your beds and open your blinds and curtains
- Clean off your kitchen counters and hide dirty dishes
- Don't over stage your home - This just clutters the photos
- Put the toilet seats down
- Cut your grass and shovel your walkways.
Reason 3: Showing you the wrong houses
When you sign a Buyer Brokerage Agreement with a Realtor to help you with the purchase of a home and you are discouraged with every property you have seen, this may be a sign you have chosen the wrong agent. As a buyers agent, your Realtor should be taking the time to search listings WITH YOU to determine which properties will work best for you and eliminate those which will not. Its fun to look at houses online, but great Realtors use a few techniques to make a property look better than it actually is. It's our job! When you are viewing homes online with your Realtor, you will be able to see the "private" comments including any contingencies which would discourage you from purchasing that home.
By eliminating "undesirable" properties will save both you and your Realtor time and frustration. It will also help those home sellers. Every time a sellers home in Edmonton is shown, the seller tries to make their property show its best by cleaning up, removing the kids and the pets and accommodating your showing time.
If you still have questions or concerns, please contact the Edmonton Real Estate Association at 780-451-6666.
Have a question? Feel free to reach out.