Home > Real Estate Tips for Sellers > Cost of Selling a House in Edmonton 

Can You Afford to Sell Your Edmonton Home in 2020?

Although the Edmonton real estate market is still soft with dormant house prices, buyers are starting to come out of hiding to look in anticipation of our economic optimism and 2020 looks to be a better year to sell your Edmonton house. 



If your planning on selling your Edmonton home this year, do your homework and estimate your closing costs to ensure you have enough money to make your move. There is nothing worse than sitting with your lawyer and not having enough funds to close your sale.


When a home is sold, the seller incurs various closing costs in addition to paying out the remaining balance on their mortgage and payout penalties. Typical closing costs for a seller may include any property taxes which are in arrears, encumbrances, the cost of a real property report with compliance and/or title insurance, any permits which were not obtained earlier, real estate commissions, any provincial, GST revenue, agricultural or business taxes, liens and legal fees. If the property is a condominium, the seller may also have costs of condominium documents, unpaid condo fees, levies and the estoppel certificate. When selling a house in Edmonton, the seller's costs vary from a few hundred to several thousand.


Since our Edmonton economy is not in the best shape and buyers have become nervous about making large purchases, there are several ways to maximize the value in your home without major renovations including staging and a little bit of home maintenance. Pricing your home correctly in today's Edmonton Real estate market is crucial and timing is also a factor. Read more on your community absorption rate and find out how long it will take to sell your home in Edmonton.


If you are not sure if you have enough equity in your home, contact one of our real estate experts for a free home evaluation.

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Home >  Real Estate Q and A > How long does it take to sell

Predict how many days it will take to sell your home.

When homeowners interview real estate agents, sellers often ask "How long will it take to sell my house?" Although there is no magic way of knowing the answer, know what is currently happening economically and by using a real estate absorption rate will give a good indication of how long a property will be on the market. An absorption rate will also tell us if it is a buyers market or a seller's market and is often used by real estate investors. It can also give a prediction on the demand of an Edmonton community.



Knowing how to use and calculate absorption rates using this real estate tool has several benefits. It's the best thing next to a crystal ball. An absorption rate It is a rate at which homes sell in a given area during a given time period. The absorption rate is calculated by dividing the number of sales in a given month by the number of available homes for sale. It is the inverse of months of supply.


For example, if there are 100 houses listed for sale in a certain area, and 10 houses sold over the last month, the absorption rate is 10/100=10%. Which means, assuming no other house listing are put on the market, it would take 10 months for buyers to purchase enough properties to absorb the real estate demand.


As a rule of thumb, an absorption rate of 20-25% or higher means that homes are selling quickly and the market favours sellers. Lower absorption rates mean that homes are not selling quickly and supply is much greater than demand, favouring buyers. Community absorption rates predict the number of days it takes to sell a home in any real estate market. 


A few other time factors to take into consideration are the correct pricing of your home, your agents' marketing for maximum exposure (not just putting your home on the MLS & expecting a sale), capturing those buyers who have expressed an interest but are still looking, offering a reasonable finders fee to the selling agents, proper negotiation of all offers, ensuring all of your real estate documents are current.


For those home sellers who are in urgent need to sell to avoid the foreclosure process, there are a few perks your financial institution may be able to help you with. Give them a call today!


If you are thinking about selling in Edmonton or the surrounding area and would like to know the absorption rate in your community, contact us for a free home evaluation.

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Home > Real Estate Tips for Sellers > How to Hire a Great Realtor when Selling

How to Hire a Great Edmonton Realtor when Selling (& Buying)

Be cautious with any REALTORS who charge upfront fees! Most Real Estate Companies DO NOT charge up-front fees. All expenses should be paid by your Realtor from their own pocket. Once your home is SOLD, the Realtor will receive the remuneration you have agreed upon in your listing agreement. In the event your home does not sell during the term of the agreement - unless otherwise written - there is NO CHARGE.


Selling Edmonton Realtors Image


There are almost 4000 licensed REALTORS® to choose from to help you sell your Edmonton home. When a municipality is a hot market, anyone can sell a property, but great real estate agents are able to sell in any market.& In a soft market or "buyers market", it is crucial to choose a REALTOR® who knows how to sell houses or you can become an expired statistic. Currently (2019) in Edmonton about 40% of homes are selling.


There are a few questions to ask a listing real estate agent prior to having them in your home, which will eliminate inexperienced agents and save you time and money. When REALTORS® are on a "Listing Appointment", the intention of the agent is to get you to sign the agreement to put your home on the market. After an agent has completed their marketing plan, strong agents will ask for the business. A weaker agent will not.


The three biggest mistakes sellers make when selecting an agent is basing their decision solely on commission, price and the ability to market your home.


Lowest real estate commissions:


Agents in Edmonton have business expenses, which can run into the thousands every month. Part of these expenses is the cost to market your home. If an agent is listing your home for a lesser commission, don't expect them to pay money they don't have to market your property. A good agent will not ask for any money upfront. Why would you pay someone for a job which has not been done? There is always a reason why a broker or real estate agent would discount a real estate fee. Ask yourself why. Is the agent desperate for business or unqualified? Do you want to work with a desperate agent?


Highest Asking Price:


In the real estate industry, there is a term, called "Buying the Listing". This means, an agent has told you, your home is worth more than it really is, just to get you to sign the listing agreement. Expect to reduce or price once or twice during the agreement or worse, be added to the Expired list (Homes which do not sell). REALTORS® already have an idea of what your home is worth, even before stepping into your home. Beware of an agent who is trying to buy the listing.


Ability to Market Properties:


Today, almost every buyer and seller start the home buying and selling process online. You may want to use "Mom and Dads REALTOR®, but are they tech-savvy? There is so much more to marketing a home than putting it on Realtor.ca. Anyone with a real estate license in Alberta can do this, you don't even need to live in Edmonton. Finding a qualified buyer who is ready, willing and able to purchase your home is more valuable to you than generating leads.


If your home is not exposed on the internet, by a tech-savvy Agent, buyers will not find it. Online advertising and property websites are now a basic requirement in modern home buying and selling. REALTOR®’s success also depends on how well they can market homes. Google the agents' website, prior to inviting them into your home. Find out how many listings the agent is carrying. If the Real Estate Agent only has one or two listings, they may be part-time, maybe more comfortable working with buyers or may not know how to market your home. An agent who is carrying too many listings can be overwhelmed and you may end up becoming a number instead of a client. A good rule of thumb is, hire an agent who carries 10 - 20 listings at a time, this is usually an indication of an above-average real estate agent.


The bare minimum marketing you should expect from your agent is:

  • Professional yard signage.
  • Lockbox with electronic monitoring
  • Follow-up reports on buyer showings with feedback to the seller
  • Staging advice to make your home more attractive to potential buyers.
  • Digital targeted marketing.
  • MLS exposure with a minimum of 30 professional photographs
  • Virtual tour.
  • Distribution to major websites.
  • Updated CMAs after 30 days including the recent sales
  • The ability to track online buyers

During the listing appointment, there are a few things that need to be noted which include how long was the agent in your home. Eliminate agents who view your home and arrive at a "listing price" within a short period of time. Although their price may be accurate, they haven't taken the time to show you how they arrived at the price or what they do and how they get homes sold. A good listing agent will show you comparable sales, pending sales, actives, educate you on the current market and show you their marketing plan. If the agent has no statistics, home sales are located in a different community or are not prepared, could be a red flag.


A great Edmonton Real Estate Agent will have spent time prior to meeting you, completing research on your home. They will have all the necessary information to price your home accurately. (highest possible asking price to attract reasonable offers) The agent will be prepared for anything including objections or concerns you may have. They will take the time to complete an accurate CMA, community absorption rate, thoroughly go over their marketing plan and address any unforeseen concerns they may have prior to asking for the listing. This is a valuable asset to the hiring experience.


Were all of your concerns addressed: Pay close attention as the REALTORS® goes through their marketing plan. Many of your concerns will already be addressed by a good agent. Pay attention to what is said. If it is mostly about how many homes they personally sold and how quickly, expect them to suggest a lower selling price below the true market value. These agents want to get your home sold as quickly as possible and move on. If the agent has not addressed most of your concerns. This can be a red flag.


Hire a professional: A huge misconception is every agent deals with the same type of buyers and sellers. In fact, there are agents who only list and agents who only deal with buyers. Not all agents work all price ranges. In Edmonton, there are real estate agents who specialize in mobile parks. They know how important it is to have the "criminal check" completed prior to writing an offer. An agent who specializes in luxury homes should have the extra knowledge required for selling a home under a company name, know the differences between the brands and grades of hardwood.


If you are relocating, a relocation specialist is the best. They have contacts with other relocation REALTORS® who they have already done business with and can recommend a great agent for you at your destination which will make for a smoother move. Go with your instinct: Selling a home is a major decision. You need to like, trust and feel comfortable with the REALTOR® you choose. Personality and character traits are also extremely important but don't show on paper. Buying and selling homes in a soft market, can take time and choose the right agent will be a positive experience. Choosing the wrong agent can lead to months of frustration and an unsold house.


Contact us today for your FREE HOME EVALUATION

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Home > Real Estate Tips for Sellers > Stigmatized Properties

Did your Home Get Stigmatized?

In real estate, a stigmatized property is a property which buyers may shun for various reasons other than its physical condition or features. These reasons can include the death of someone who was occupying the home to a murder which has taken place inside the property. Some buyers believe the house may now be haunted.

When a death occurs inside a home, it may not always be disclosed to a buyer. Although when there has been a murder, it is usually public information and can be found on the net. According to the Real Estate Council of Alberta, a murder on the property does not need to be disclosed.

Many jurisdictions recognize several forms of stigmatized property and have passed resolutions or statutes to deal with them. One issue that separates them is disclosure. Depending on the jurisdiction of the house, the seller may not be required to disclose the full facts.

When a home is considered a stigmatized property, the selling value may be decreased to attract more buyers. These houses are priced accordingly and purchasing one for a lesser real estate cost, financially benefit the buyers.

Types of stigma may include houses formally used in a crime, such as a drug house or brothel. Foreclosures where debt collectors are unaware that a debtor has moved out of a residence and may continue their pursuit at the same location

The wrong starting price can also stigmatize a property when selling your Edmonton home. When a residential dwelling sits on the market for long periods of time, buyers assume there is something wrong with it. Learn how to price your Edmonton home properly from the start. Contact us today to receive a free in-home pricing evaluation.
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Home >  Real Estate Q and A > Real Estate Commissions

How Real Estate Commissions are Divided

Let's pretend for a moment, your Edmonton home sells for $400,000 and you are paying 7% on the first $100,000 and 3% on the balance of the purchase price. The total commissions payable would be $16,000 plus GST. To understand, how much money real estate agents actually make, we need to look at how agents real estate commissions really work.



First - Half of the commission is given to the buyer's agent. Out of the buying side, the buyer's agent does not receive the total $8000. Depending on how the agent splits their commissions between a team or office split, many buyers agents in Edmonton will receive half of the remuneration of $4000. Out of this sum, the buyers' agent will have to pay their monthly desk fee, vehicle maintenance, gas, and insurance. There are also annual licencing fees for Edmonton Realtors, buyer closing gifts, title searches, other fees associated with selling a property and of course Revenue Canadas share.


The other half of the commission goes to the listing agent. Out of the listing side, the Realtor usually has more expenses than a buyers agent including the cost of marketing the property, (which is not cheap!), the cost of hiring a professional photographer, the cost of accurately measuring the property, cost of a third company putting up and removing real estate signs, key boxes, promotional items, website maintenance, property-specific webpages, etc. Same as the buyers' agents, the listing agent also pays for annual licencing fees for Realtors, seller closing gifts, title searches, other fees associated with selling a property and Revenue Canadas portion of the commission.


There are real estate companies in Edmonton who will charge a flat fee or a lesser commission to put your home on MLS, and other Realtors will charge a higher fee. Understanding how much money Edmonton Realtors make will depend on how many homes they sell and how much commission they receive on each property sold.


The net commissions left for the real estate agent is what they get to take home to feed, shelter and clothe their families. Today, in Edmonton's soft real estate market, many agents are now changing companies to a "lesser fee structure" company due to the cost of doing business. Many of these agents can no longer afford to be a Realtor, simply because they are not doing enough business, don't want to work as hard to earn a higher commission, are licenced only to buy and sell real estate for themselves or are on their way out of the business.


Now that you have a better understanding of how commissions work and how much Realtors actually net, let's pretend again for a moment, you are a real estate agent. Although it is against the Realtors Code of Conduct not to show properties based on commissions, it can be a buyers discretion not to view them (read more about buyer brokerage agreements). If you were a Realtor in Edmonton, would you show a property with a lesser commission?


In Alberta, all real estate commissions are negotiable, up or down and when hiring a real estate agent to sell your Edmonton home, a few thousand dollars in real estate commissions can make the difference between selling and not selling your home - Choose your Realtor based on the value they offer and interview more than one. Do they have the tools to market your home? Are they giving you a discount based on services which will be eliminated? Are they asking for money upfront, prior to doing anything? How is their internet presence?


Always interview a few real estate agents, ask lots of questions especially about their marketing plan and how they attract buyers. Find out what they have to offer. Not all Realtors are the same, each agent is different. If you use a Realtor or a real estate company to sell your home, there will be a fee. The big question you need to ask yourself is - "HOW MUCH MONEY WILL YOU NET AT THE END OF THE DAY?"


Most REMAX Realtors in Edmonton have the highest monthly real estate fees and are working hard to help you sell or buy your home, staying on top of their game, a doing what it takes to get your home sold including paying for the costs of marketing your property. Keep in mind, Realtors do not get paid by the hour, their real estate companies DO NOT pay them for working there. Realtors work very hard to earn their commissions and only get paid once your property is SOLD (usually on possession date) and not on the day it is sold!


If you have any questions on real estate commissions in Edmonton or what like an in-home real estate interview with myself, feel free to contact us at 780-237-7074.

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Home > Real Estate Q and A > Reverse Mortgages

Retired or Retiring Soon? The truth about a Reverse Mortgage

Financing your home is probably one of the least fun aspects of homeownership. Nevertheless, it is essential. And when it comes to a reverse mortgage, things get a little more interesting. With a reverse mortgage, you can take advantage of the value of your home without selling it. Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? Before you call your bank, here are all the facts about how reverse mortgages work.


Edmonton Home Equity Image


What is a Reverse Mortgage?


A Reverse mortgage refers to an equity release. It allows a homeowner to borrow a percentage of the current value of your property. This percentage is based on certain criteria which include your age, the appraisal of your home, financial institution, and current market trends in your municipality. All of these factors will contribute to the amount of money you will be allowed to access.


Can a Reverse Mortgage Be Paid Off?


The reverse mortgage loan is not usually required to be paid off until the time of death. This is one of the things that appeal to older homeowners, especially if they plan to live for a long time. However, if you are planning to leave your property for your children at your time of death, an equity take out may be a better option. Reverse mortgages do not have regular monthly payments. Keep in mind, interest will be charged to the original loan amount until your loan is paid in full and will continue to increase the loan amount over time. When you sell your home, or you no longer use your home as your primary residence, you will be expected to pay the entire amount owing.


Who is Eligible for a Reverse Mortgage?


In order to apply for a reverse mortgage, you must:

Own your home, which must be your primary residence
Be at least 55 years old if you are single
Both must be at least 55 years old if you own the home with a partner/spouse
Both must be on the mortgage application if you own the home with a partner/spouse
Pay off your mortgage once you receive a reverse mortgage


How Do I Access My Money Once I Qualify?


Once you qualify for a reverse mortgage, you are required to pay off your mortgage as well as close outstanding loans or lines of credit that are secured by your home, which includes your mortgage as well as a home equity line of credit. That might sound scary, but you use the money from your reverse mortgage to pay everything off. The balance of your reverse mortgage can then be used for whatever you like. There are also other fees which include a high-interest rate, home appraisal fee, setup fee and legal fees.

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Home > Home Ownership > Spring Maintenance

7 Tips to keep your home happy, healthy and long-lasting

With a home, ownership comes house maintenance and spring is the best time to check your home maintenance checklist. If you own a house in Edmonton, there are a few natural elements to be aware of depending on your Edmonton community. Edmonton has areas where we have soft soil and higher water tables. Below is a perfect Edmonton House Maintenance checklist to prevent major future water concerns.



Downspouts and gutters: Pull debris and leaves from downspouts and gutters. Repair any gutters that have pulled away from your house. Run a water hose on the roof of the house and check for proper drainage. If leaks exist, dry the area and use epoxy to seal the leak.


Siding, Stucco, Wood: Remove the dirt off your siding or stucco with a pressure wash. If your house has wood siding, ensure that all surfaces are covered by a weather-friendly paint. This is also a great time to update the exterior colour of your home and fill in any broken stucco (usually found near window edges).


Cleaning: spring is a perfect time to wash windows sills, exterior doors, and screens. Replace, tighten or paint any broken, missing or worn hardware and replace screens with holes. Using your old towels will also be a great reason to buy new ones.


Grading: Take a walk around your house to see if all grading is sloped away from the foundation. If not, add some clay and topsoil. This is one of the best and cheapest maintenance jobs you can to in your home.


Deck and porches: Check all decks, patios, porches, stairs, and railings for loose members and deterioration. Replace boards as needed. Don't forget to purchase pressure-treated ones. Spruce this area up and create a warming curb appeal with a fresh coat of paint.


Landscape: This is a perfect time to trim back overgrown tree branches and bushes. Rotitil your gardens, remove pet stained spots and fertilizer to your grass.


Tool Check: Check all your spring tools are in working order and all together. Check your lawnmower, oil & gas refills, Water hoses, Rain buckets, etc.

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Home > Home Buyers > Are you paying too much

Are You Paying too Much for Your Edmonton Home

Before you offer any seller a price for a property, there are a few facts you should to know. The asking price of a property does not necessarily reflect the "market value" of the home. Below are a few questions you should check into prior to making an offer.



Is the property tax assessment accurate? If not, find out why


For the city of Edmonton, you can find out the tax assessment value of any residential property at https://maps.edmonton.ca/map.aspx. Although the amount the city thinks the property is worth does not necessarily reflect the true value. It is only used as a starting point.


Are real estate prices going up or coming down?


What is the latest real estate trend in that community? To determine if Edmonton community property values are going down or to tell if it is becoming one of Edmonton's hot spots, use the absorption rate tool.


How much was the bank property appraisal?


Financial institutions base their appraisals on the "Emily System", which is an accumulation of recently sold comparable properties. If there are no relevant sold Edmonton properties or if your home is more unique, independent appraisers can do a "cost to replace" appraisal. A good Edmonton real estate agent will complete a "Sold Comparative Market Analysis" (CMA) for you, prior to submitting an offer to purchase.


Is the property staged to avoid any defects?


Don't be fooled by the staging in a property. This is one of the biggest mistakes a buyer can make. When viewing a home, overlooking the nice furniture and freshly painted walls. Take a close look at the overall condition of the property. An easy way to know if a dwelling is shifting is to open and close the windows and doors.


Do you know what a realistic offer should look like?


No matter if you are buying a home in Edmonton in a buyers market or a seller's market. Submitting a realistic offer is important. When a home is priced accordingly to the real estate market, don't try to "low ball" the seller, you will end up paying more because you have insulted them. Do your research.


For more information on submitting real estate offers in Edmonton and find an experienced buyer's agent, contact an Edmonton Remax Agent.

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Home >  Real Estate Q and A > What is Closing Costs

EXTRA HOME COSTS FOR BUYERS

Are you ready to purchase your new home? Often, buyers find themselves overwhelmed with the cost of purchasing a home and should be aware of these extra home costs to ensure you won't be struggling at the last moment to find more cash to complete your purchase.



When a home is sold, the buyer incurs various closing costs in addition to the property sale price. Although most of the expenses of the house are paid for by the seller, usually including real estate commissions, the buyers pay a variety of fees such as mortgage origination charges, appraisal fees, title insurance, lawyer, home insurance, homeowner association fees (HOA) and property tax adjustments. Depending on the buyer and the home purchased, there may be additional fees including CHMC Fees, which can be added to your mortgage amount and other costs. agreed upon and not covered by the seller costs.


Don't forget your moving and utility hook-up costs. As a rule of thumb, one to two per cent of the cost of your home will cover all closing costs.


If you would like to know more about purchasing a home, contact one of our Edmonton Real Estate experts today for help and free advice.

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Data is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate by the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton.