Home > Home Buyers > How REALTORS® help Edmonton home buyers

How real estate agents help Edmonton home buyers

There are several reasons why buyers prefer to work with real estate agents when buying a home, even when a buyer has sold their existing home via "For Sale by Owner". The few of these reasons include knowledge of the ever-changing markets, expertise in both negotiations and communities, experience and exclusive real estate tools.


How Realtors help when buying Edmonton Homes Image


A large portion of Canadian Real Estate Agents has earned their ABR (Accredited Buyers Representation) designation, which means, these REALTORS® have completed the education needed to service buyers with a higher standard. REALTORS® who are representing buyers expect to get paid for their services at some point in time. It is usually within a few weeks of the buyer taking possession of their new home. In the province of Alberta and to ensure real estate agents' are compensated for their services, a mandated agreement by RECA (Real Estate Council of Alberta) will need to be signed. It explains how much, the term of the agreement, what services will be provided and other relevant information.


If you have questions - ASK. Never sign anything you do not fully understand. Real Estate Agents deal with forms on a daily basis, and most of us can explain listing and purchase agreements without even looking at them. A good REALTOR® should have gone through each agreement and address questions or concerns you may have had. Near the bottom of both the Buyers Agreement and Sellers Agreement, there is an acknowledgement clause prior to signature placement. In an Exclusive Buyer Representative Agreement, it states...


  • 14.1 You acknowledge that:
  • (a) you have read this agreement.
  • (b) you have received and read the Guide.
  • (c) this agreement creates a sole agency relationship with us, as the Guide describes.
  • (d) you had the opportunity to get independent advice from a lawyer before signing this agreement.
  • (e) this agreement accurately sets out what we and you agree to.

Which means you can obtain legal prior to signing or you may want to take the agreement home to read over more thoroughly. These agreements are not rocket science, but knowing what you are signing is important.


  • REAL ESTATE TIP#1: "The Guide" is referring to the Consumer Relation Guide which explains how the professional relationship including fiduciary duties and the real estate agency will interact with each other.
  • REAL ESTATE TIP#2: Buyers Real Estate Agents, normally do not charge an extra fee above what is offered by a seller, unless otherwise agreed in writing.

Have a real estate question? We are here to help. Contact us anytime

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Home > Real Estate Tips for Sellers > Seller Realtor Interview Questions

Top 5 Interview Questions to Ask Edmonton Realtors when Selling

With so many types of residential real estate, Edmonton agents are beginning to specialize in a wide range of residential fields. Over the last decade, there have been ample changes in the real estate business and specializing has become the norm. These fields can range from buyer agency, infills and new builds, relocation, luxury homes, seniors, military, condominiums, foreclosures, etc. There are over 3500 real estate agents licensed with the Edmonton Real Estate Board, most actively practising, allowing homeowners several choices finding a Realtor who can properly target market their property. Below are the top 5 questions to ask any Edmonton Real Estate Agent.


Great Edmonton Realtor Questions Image




How long have you been in the business?


You may have found an agent online, because they are extremely tech-savvy, but may lack experience. An "old-time" REALTOR® may have several years of experience but lack the marketing knowledge they need to expose your property to qualified buyers. A long time in the real estate business is always a benefit because it creates the experience. Agents who have been in the real estate business for a few decades have experience in both good and bad markets and will know how to adjust. These real estate agents usually have larger databases, are the most creative and think outside the box.


Do you have another part-time job?


Listen carefully to the answer. REALTORS® who are not full time, may not be as motivated to get your home sold. Real Estate is an expensive business with company fees, licences, photographers, graphic designers, vehicle maintenance, office tools, conveyancing fees, signage, desk fees, websites, internet syndication systems, etc. and if an agent needs another part-time job to survive - that agent may not care whether your home sells or not. Every REALTOR® must be full-time to join our REMAX team to ensure our client's top-notch service.


How do you prefer to communicate and how often?


This is a two-way question. As licensed real estate agents in the province of Alberta, we are obligated to work in our clients best interest. Which means, if you prefer to be notified of showings via phone calls, emails or text messages, your agent will need to know this. Some agents will only send you a text and assume you received it. Ask how and how often you will be notified of feedback from other agents who have shown your home. Ask how they plan to stay in touch with you. You do not want an agent to list your home and you don't hear from them until either you receive an offer or your home is about to expire. Select an agent who communicates well to eliminate confusion.


Do you do Open Houses?


Not all real estate agents do open houses. If you live in an apartment condominium, it may also not be allowed. - Check your bylaws! Some REALTORS® love doing open houses because it gives them the opportunity to pick up more buyers and sellers. Some agents prefer not to due to the fact they are responsible for every person entering your home during the time allocated.


Other Questions you may also want to ask include


  • Education. Ask about degrees and certifications.
  • How many transactions have you been involved with in your entire career?
  • How many transactions have you handled year-to-date?
  • Have you ever been subject to disciplinary action?
  • Are you a listing agent or a buyer's agent?
  • What price range do you generally work in?
  • Do you have a network of other productive agents which you work with?
  • What would you say are your strongest attributes as an agent?

If you have a selling question, feel free to ask. We are here to help.

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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 > Home Buyers  > How to write an offer to purchase

How to Write a Real Estate Offer the Right Way!

As a buyer, when writing an offer on a property, you want to be able to pay the least possible amount for your

home. Sometimes buyers will offer 5-10% off of an asking price for no reason other than they were told to by a "friend" This is so silly! You may want to offer more, you may want to offer less. The only way to make a reasonable offer is to do your homework.


REAL ESTATE TIP #1 - What the seller paid for their home is irrelevant.

REAL ESTATE TIP #2 - What the seller is asking for their home is also irrelevant.


How to Write the Right Offer on an Edmonton Home Image


Knowing why a seller is selling is always helpful when you make an offer, but this information is protected by the sellers real estate unless it is allowed in writing to be disclosed. However knowing the reason for selling is still irrelevant on the true market value of the home, as is the asking price. There are several things to take into consideration, prior to making an offer on any home.


Market Conditions: 


Is it a buyers market or a seller's market? Knowing what type of real estate market you are in will help you choose an initial offer price. Completing a community Absorption Rate is the easiest way to know.


Possession Date: 


Edmonton Real Estate Agents have access to this information and as a rule of thumb, the quicker, the possession date, the more motivated the seller is. Most homeowners in Edmonton have a 30-day negotiable possession date. If a longer possession date or a set date is asked for, this is an indication which the seller needs a specific date and can be more important than price. Keep in mind, if the property is tenant occupied, tenants do have a 90-day tenant-right. Normally, homeowners with tenant occupied properties or vacant property are more motivated.


History:


Your REALTOR® will know the history of this home. How long the sellers have owned the property, how long they have been trying to sell it and if there have been any price adjustments. Your real estate agent is also required to pull the title of the property which will indicate any recent financial debts including the current mortgage to ensure there will be enough funds to close on possession date.


Condition and Size:


Size is a factor of price more in places like China than Edmonton. The value of a home is in the condition. You may want to go back into the home to take a better look at the overall condition. Is the flooring laminate or hardwood? Are the faucets Walmart or Moen? Has the yard been meticulously maintained properly or neglected? Will you be replacing any fixtures, chattels, windows, shingles in the near future? Look at the property through the eyes of your experienced real estate agent. They will notice things you don't.


Complete a Buyers CMA: 


Examine all recent comparable sales. Only use recent properties that are similar in configuration, age, and location to the home you want to buy. Your REALTOR® can complete a buyer's comparative market analysis (CMA) for you.


REAL ESTATE TIP #3 -If the property has been staged, don't be fooled by how pretty it looks. Staging a home does not increase property values.


Read more about purchasing a home in Edmonton with our simple 5 step process

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Home >  Real Estate Q and A > What does a REALTOR® do?

What does your Edmonton Real Estate Agent Really Do?

In the life of a real estate agent, there is much more than showing homes, meeting with potential buyers and sellers and receiving a commission. There is plenty that happens behind the scenes. Being a REALTOR® is extremely time-consuming.


If you have ever tried to buy or sell a house on your own, you may have an idea of how hard real estate agents work. Imagine if you were selling more than one house at a time. A good Edmonton real estate agent will make the process of buying or selling a home flow smoothly, leaving the impression that their job is fairly simple. The fact is, this is not at all what really happens. If you have spent social time with a REALTOR®, you may understand how difficult their job actually is.


Selling Edmonton Realtors Image



There are definitely REALTORS® out there who cut corners, do not take care of their clients well, and they should not define or be in our industry. The real estate industry is also loaded with competent professionals with whom I am proud to work with.


Below is a list of common activities REALTORS® perform on a daily basis:


Schedule Property Showings


Scheduling showings require contacting the listing agent who will inform their seller they have a showing in order for the seller to vacate the premises prior to the availability of the buyer and the buyers real estate agent. It also gives the showing agent an opportunity to find out any relevant information related to the property. All showings must be time blocked which most agents have down to an art form, so we are not early or running behind with our buyers.


Schedule and Prep For Listing Appointments


Once a listing appoint has been scheduled, REALTORS® work behind the scene gathering all pertinent information about the property including the property history, information about the community, current real estate statistics, establish the absorption rate, acquire the title of the property which will show applicable encumbrances such as easements, liens, or covenants, and confirm the registered owners, and comprise a comparative market analysis. The agent will pre-fill paperwork, double-checking everything is correct in order to save time while on the listing appointment. The agent will gather all necessary real estates tools such as yard signs, the CMA and key boxes.


Property Inspections


A REALTOR® usually attends the property inspections with or in place of the agents' buyer, unless agreed upon by the seller. A property inspection normally takes a few hours. In the event there are any concerns with the inspection, it can take several hours to days to come to an agreement which both the buyer and the seller are comfortable with prior to removing and contingencies are conditions.


Delivery of Deposits


Once an offer has been agreed upon, time is crucial in the deliverance of the deposit. A late deposit can result in the agreement becoming voided and the buyer losing their dream home.


Negotiations


REALTORS® are held by a high code of conduct and ethics and no matter how much you may disagree with the opposing REALTORS®, negotiations must be dealt with in a professional manner while working in the best interest of the client. There is much more to offer and counter-offer negotiations than just the price of a property. Negotiations also include terms, possession, conditions and sometimes contingencies. Parties involved in the negotiations can also include lawyers, mom and dad, someone with power of attorney on behalf of a client or the "handyman special" uncle.


Paperwork


REALTORS® have trail and trails of paperwork. Each change on an agreement, amendment or addendum must be documented and kept for at least six years. Agents must ensure everyone involved in the transaction has a copy of each document change including the buyer, the seller, both real estate agents, the financial institution, both real estate offices, both lawyers representing the buyer and seller.


Follow-Ups & Inquiries


A good real estate agent will follow up email, texts and missed calls within a timely manner. REALTORS® can easily receive dozens of emails every day and it is so important not to get sidetracked with the unnecessary emails which can gobble up an agents valuable time.


Scheduled Closings


Closings require toe follow-ups with lawyers to ensure they have all the necessary documents including any recent amendments, walk-through with builders and buyers prior to the closing date and making arrangements for keys once the title has been transferred. And of course,e re-arranging the real estate agents schedule to accommodate the meeting time with the buyer.


Other Related Services


Meet up with other real estate affiliates which help listed properties sell such as a professional photographer, mandatory measuring company employees, home stagers, putting up signage, open houses, or helping a client get their property ready to be shown. Other meetings may including attending financial institutions with a client if needed, property inspections, verify completion of repairs, and other closing related meetings.


Property Showings


After scheduling showings, a real estate agent needs to accommodate the time set aside to show their buyer the homes without them feeling rushed. This may be one or two properties or may consist of a complete day or a few days such as a house hunting trip - HHT.


Attend Listing Appointments


A professional REALTORS® attends all listing appointments as though it is a job interview because that is exactly what it is. The seller is interviewing the real estate agent and the agent is interviewing the seller. Prior to the listing appointment, an agent should be prepared for any questions or concerns a seller may have as well as have all necessary tools needed, should a seller be in a position to list the property. Each listing appointments should take an hour or two - sometimes more depending on how much information is presented to the seller or how many concerns they may have.


Keeping Clients Updated


This can include and newly listed homes which may be a hot commodity and must be shown immediately to sitting down at the computer for a few hours to perform a new market analysis and research back office syndication sites to forward to clients.


More phone calls


On any given day, a good real estate agent will be on the phone to other agents looking for property specific feedback on their listings, updating clients, addressing any on-going concerns, dealing with offers, mortgage brokers, real property report companies, condominium management companies, dispute low property appraisals and other real estate activities.


Maintain Required Continuing Education


Yes. Edmonton real estate agents are still required to maintain and continue education which is mandated by the real estate council of Alberta. The cost of maintaining a real estate licence and updating an agents education criteria is the responsibility of each REALTOR® and not the real estate brokerage.


Marketing and Property Syndication


If you are lucky enough to find a real estate agent in Edmonton who is an e-pro and is familiar with search engine optimization, they will spend several hours syndicating your home through various search engines and websites to ensure your property reaches the first page of google.


Attend Real Estate Conferences


There are dozens of real estate conferences annually and attending these help your REALTOR® stay up to date on the latest technology, real estate systems, and tools to help them with time management and gaining an advantage over their peers.


Maintain Active Social Media Profiles


Although social media and blogging play a key factor in the life of a real estate agent, if the only thing you see on an agents site is personal posts - you might wonder if they are actively doing any real estate. Many agents will hire this out to maintain an internet presence.


Networking with Edmonton Home Builders


There are several different home builders in Edmonton and this is a great way for real estate agents to keep up-to-date with home demand trends, especially in our current real estate market. Recently many of Edmonton home builders have implemented garden suites which offer new home buyers a great way to pay off their mortgage quicker.


Stay in Touch with Past Clients


If your REALTOR® stays in touch with you on a regular basis, you have a great real estate agent. With so many things to do, it is hard to find time to stay in touch with all of our clients!


Several people take education and start a career in real estate under the assumption that it is easy money. In reality, real estate agents are in a brutal time consuming, competitive business. The net commissions are not enough to keep people in the business, in fact, most people get out of real estate because they cannot afford to be in it. REALTORS® who survive to do so because they have a passion for the real estate business, and enjoy helping people make their real estate dreams a reality. It’s a great business to be in, but it’s NOT EASY!

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Home > Home Ownership > Garden & Garage Suites

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".


Edmonton Garage & Garden Suites Image


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.

Popular communities in Edmonton with garage suites are located in the University Area, Griesbach and Westmount Area.

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Home > Real Estate 101 > Reasons to fire your Realtor (part 3)

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).
Every Realtor has several stories about people they have dealt with during their careers, however, if your Realtor starts disclosing personal information on past clients, you may wonder how much of your personal information is being kept confidential.


For more information on the Alberta Consumer Relationship Guide, contact the Alberta Real Estate Council.

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Home > Real Estate 101 > Reasons to fire your Realtor (part 2)

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 which 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.

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Home > Real Estate Q and A > Reasons to fire your Realtor (part 1)

How to fire Edmonton Realtors® (part 1)

There are a few reasons to fire your Realtor. If you feel you made a mistake by signing a selling agreement with the wrong Realtor, the best thing to do is to correct it and move on. If your Lawyer or Doctor was not working in your best interest, would you fire them too?


Your listing agreement is usually for a period of three to six months (sometimes longer) and you are entitled to cancel at any time. This can be done with a standard Alberta real estate form. A Realtor (depending on the agency designation) also has the option of terminating your agreement at any time without your consent, but this rarely happens.



If you have hired the wrong real estate company or agent to represent you, fire them. Do it professionally and do it in writing. There are a few things to consider prior to firing your Edmonton Realtor. All of these contingencies will be set out in your original listing agreement.


Who owns the listing?


A: The listing is owned by the brokerage, not the Realtor. If you have a problem with the agent, call the broker. If you have a problem with the broker, call consumer affairs and the Edmonton Real Estate Association.


Is there a fee to cancel your listing agreement?


A: There may be a cancellation fee in the standard agreement. This fee is usually the cost to cover expenses already paid by your Realtor prior to your cancellation. The service fee amount will be set out in the agreement you signed. However, if you paid a fee upfront, there usually is no cancellation fee.


Will I still have to pay a commission after I fire my agent?


A: If a buyer was introduced to your home during the term of your listing agreement and you sell it privately (during a specified time in the agreement) to that same buyer, commissions will be payable.


Can I hire another agent immediately?


A: Yes. Once your home is off of the market, you are free to list your home with any licenced real estate agent.


When you are ready to fire your Realtor, simply inform your agent that you would like to cancel the listing and ask him to provide you with the cancellation listing form. There will be two choices on this form. Make sure you have a property termination end date, the broker (not the Realtor) has signed and you have received a copy.

  • 1. Unconditional termination
  • Which allows no further obligations for either the seller or Realtor
  • 2. Conditional Termination
  • Your agreement will end on the termination date but your obligations will continue under the terms of Section 10 of the Exclusive Seller Representation Agreement. There may also be an additional term.

If your Realtor fails to provide this form within a timely matter, contact the brokerage and tell them about your grievances with the agent.


Can you fire a Buyers Agency or Buyer Realtor?


Yes. It is a different form, but you are free to fire your Realtor when buying. There may or may not be a small fee to get out of the agreement. This fee would have been set out in the original buyers' agreement which states: If you change your mind about looking for a property, you must tell us in writing. You must reimburse us for our reasonable expenses up to the time you tell us. Reasonable expenses will include: (If this section is blank - no penalty will be payable). However, this does not allow you to approach a seller that has been introduced to you while working with your realtor. If you do this, you will have to pay a full commission as set out in the original buyer brokerage agreement.


If you have any questions, both RECA (the Real Estate Council of Alberta) and EREB (the Edmonton Real Estate Board) have plenty of great information to help you make the best decision for you!

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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 > Real Estate 101 > Edmonton Remax Realtors

Learn what our Edmonton Remax Realtors can do for you!

Buying or selling a home is likely the largest and most important transaction you will ever make. That is why so many people trust RE/MAX: the most widely recognized real estate brand in the world. For more than 20 years, RE/MAX has been the leading real estate organization in Canada. By providing the best training, administrative and marketing support, brokers and agents are free to focus on what they do best: sell real estate.


Unrivalled Expertise


Our experienced and knowledgeable agents are the reason RE/MAX is consistently ranked number one in several markets across Canada. We provide our agents with exclusive tools and training to ensure they have the skills they need to effectively guide you through the real estate process. In fact, Canadian RE/MAX agents averaged twice as many transactions as its competitors. (based on 2015 closed transactions source: CREA, RE/MAX) and have more specialized designations than any others, making them the most productive agents in Canada.


Tech Savvy


RE/MAX Realtors have always been the leaders in the real estate industry, adopting the latest technology and creating innovative marketing programs. RE/MAX was the first brand to expand its reach to the global market through a revolutionary global listing site. With listings from more than 80 countries, displayed in over 40 languages, RE/MAX agents have the opportunity to search and post listings internationally, making international transactions easier than ever.


Community Consciousness


At the heart of RE/MAX is a deep commitment to the communities we operate in. That is why we developed our exclusive Miracle Home Program, which allows RE/MAX agents to directly donate a portion of their home sales toward quality healthcare for children. RE/MAX agents also contribute millions of dollars to the Children Miracle Network through various cause-marketing programs each year.


Our Market Share

  • Nobody in the world sells more real estate than RE/MAX.
  • RE/MAX agents worldwide sell more real estate than any other brand.
  • RE/MAX is the most productive real estate network in the world.
    (With the market share claims above, always use the footnote “As measured by residential transaction sides.”)


Our Real Estate Brand Recognition


  • When asked to name a real estate brand, RE/MAX is the name people name first.
    (Source: MMR Strategy Group study of unaided awareness)
  • RE/MAX: First on the minds of buyers and sellers.
  • Buyers and sellers think of RE/MAX first.
  • RE/MAX is who home buyers and sellers think of first.
    (Source: MMR Strategy Group study of unaided awareness among buyers, and sellers)

Why Our RE/MAX Agents are Great


  • Every 30 seconds, a RE/MAX agent helps someone find their perfect place.
  • With over 7,000 offices worldwide, RE/MAX serves homebuyers and sellers closer to home.
  • RE/MAX offers support and services not available at other real estate companies.
  • RE/MAX has helped millions of families buy or sell a home.
  • Each year, RE/MAX agents help hundreds of thousands of families buy or sell a home.


RE/MAX Agents are Full-Time Realtors!


Your home is one of the biggest investments of your life. When you are ready to buy or sell, choose wisely and choose RE/MAX. Contact us today.

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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 > Alberta Real Estate Documents > Does Your RPR have Compliance

What Happens if your Real Property Report does not Comply?

If you are selling a home and have been told that there is no compliance or you have a non-conforming property, don't panic if you have not yet accepted an offer to purchase. Your Edmonton real estate agent can walk you through on how to write or amend the purchase agreement to ensure you will not be penalized. However, if you have sold your home and are just finding out, you have no compliance or non-confirmation, talk to your lawyer.


Residential AREA real estate purchase agreements contain a clause which clearly outlines the factors of the real property report.


"The current use of the Land and Buildings complies with the existing municipal land use... buildings and other improvements on the Land are not placed partly or wholly on any easement ... do not encroach on neighbouring lands ... directly on the real property report ...location of Buildings and other improvements on the land complies with all relevant municipal bylaws, regulations or relaxations ... prior to the Completion Day, or the Buildings and other improvements on the Land are non-conforming buildings as that term is defined in the Municipal Government Act (Alberta) ...current use of the Land and Buildings and the location of the Buildings and other improvements on the Land comply with any restrictive covenant..."




Drawbacks of Non-Compliance or Non-Confirmation:


Knowing in advance that there may be an issue with compliance or non-confirmation on your real property report will save time, money and stress, by dealing with the issues in advance. Depending on the nature of the deficiency. A request to the municipality for a certificate may lead to a requirement for substantial alterations, relocation or destruction of certain structures.


The buyer may choose not to go ahead with the purchase until deficiencies are resolved. Under the AREA contract, the warranties provided by the seller only relate to development issues and not building code issues; and while there is some debate among lawyers on this issue, most take the view that any building code deficiencies including the lack of building code permits are the responsibility of the buyer.


Knowing in advanced provides certainty for both buyer and seller at the time of closing regarding compliance with development issues and provides the opportunity for a buyer to have the seller remedy any deficiencies in this regard prior to or in conjunction with the closing.


It can be used to address the validity of permits which may or may not have been pulled to add, replace or alter a deck, garden shed, gazebo or greenhouse. Any concerns or questions regarding issues with your real property report, please contact your real estate lawyer. Note* The town of Morinville no longer requires compliance.

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Home > Alberta Real Estate Documents > Land Title Searches

Why You Should Always Pull a Land (Property) Title Search

Basic information on a property title will include:

  • The current owners' name: In the event of an estate sale, probate may or may not have been completed and your real estate agent will ensure the person selling the property does have power of attorney. In the event, there is only one person on the title in a marriage, a dower consent will also be needed to complete the sale.
  • The Legal description: The municipal or mailing address is different from the legal description and includes a block, lot and Plan number.
  • The amount of the last mortgage, any second or third mortgages or the original purchase amount at the time of purchase or there may be a nominal fee.

Other things which can be revealed on a property title search may include:

  • Outstanding or owing property taxes, special assessments, delinquent condominium fees which have not been paid by the seller.
  • Outstanding creditors including other financial institutions and businesses for things like unpaid vehicle loans, furniture stores, construction loans, personal loans, etc
  • A lis pendens, which is normally added by a lawyer during divorce procedures and "freezes" the transfer of a property until all parties are satisfied.
  • Easements and Liens from a third party, such as the municipality, utility company or Environmental liens, who may have rights to use part of your property.
  • Covenants which are restrictions on the land that can limit what can be built on it, where it can be built and from what materials it may be built. Breaching a covenant can have serious consequences so it is necessary to be aware of any covenants on your property.
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Home > Real Estate 101 > Comparative Market Analysis

How to use a Comparative Market Analysis

Edmonton real estate agents can provide comparative market analysis, also known as a CMA, for any property including properties subject to divorce, civil enforcement, foreclosures, estate sales, city tax purposes, etc. It takes time for real estate agents to complete accurate home evaluations. Unless you have plenty of experience in buying and selling real estate, online home evaluations may be completely misleading and should never be used as a realistic asking price.


Edmonton House Values Image


Seller Comparative Market Analysis


When working with sellers, a comparative market analysis is used to determine a realistic and accurate asking price. A Seller CMA is based on comparable properties which are currently active (homes for sale), recently sold homes (usually within the last six months), expired (homes which did not sell for various reasons) and the history of these homes. Other factors will include the current Edmonton real estate market, supply and demand, the condition of the property, the location, community absorption rate and many other factors. An experienced, professional Edmonton Realtor will take the time to go through all of this data with you, together with determining a true asking price for your Edmonton Home.


Buyer Comparative Market Analysis


When working with buyers, a comparative market analysis is similar to a bank appraisal and is used to write a reasonable offer to purchase. A buyers CMA is based on both current homes for sale and recently sold home price in Edmonton taking into consideration all relevant factors including the condition, size and location. For new builds, this process is a bit different and is based more on the cost to build, economic factors, building quality, and the reputation of the builder.


Free Comparative Market Analysis


If you are thinking about selling your home or if your home did not sell due to other factors, feel free to contact us for a professional no-obligation Edmonton home evaluation. We also service Morinville, Bon Accord, Gibbons, St. Albert, Spruce Grove, Beaumont and Devon. Our Homes & Gardens Real Estate Agents will take the time to help, educate and inform you on all real estate aspects of your community to determine the right value for your home, ensuring you receive the highest possible price. Simply CLICK HERE to fill in the form and we will get in touch with you shortly.

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Home >  Real Estate Q and A What is a Real Property Report

What is a Real Property Report?

A Real Property Report (also known as the RPR) is a legal document that clearly illustrates the location of significant visible improvements relative to property boundaries. It is a plan or illustration of the various physical features of the property, including a written statement detailing the surveyor’s opinions or concerns.



Who needs a Real Property Report?


Part of the standard real estate contracts in Alberta will have a term in the document states the seller will provide a current real property report with the compliance report to the purchaser upon closing. Prior to putting your home on the MLS System and/or Realtor.ca, Sellers should order a new RPR to protect themselves from potential future legal liabilities resulting from problems related to property boundaries and improvements. Your REALTOR® can assist you with this process to ensure your property complies with municipal requirements.


Do I need a Real Property Report for a Condominium?


Bareland Condominiums require Real Property Reports. Conventional Condominiums do not require an RPR.


How does a Real Property Report protect you?


Purchasing a property may be the largest financial investment you ever make. With a Real Property Report, owners are aware of any boundary problems. They know whether their new home is too close to the property line, or part of their garage is on their neighbour’s land or vice versa. Since legal complications may occur if a sold property fails to meet requirements, a Real Property Report protects the seller.


What is on a Real Property Report?


The legal location description of the property and municipal address, dimensions and directions of all property boundaries, any improvements on the property, right-of-way or easements, any visible encroachments, a duly signed certification and opinion by an Alberta Land Surveyor and a permit Stamp where applicable.


How much does a Real Property Report cost?


The amount of work to prepare a Real Property Report varies between properties. Lot size and shape, number of buildings, natural features, age and availability of the property boundary information all affect the cost. However, if you are planning on selling your home in the near future, the sooner you order your Real Property Report, the more economical it will be plus any problems can be identified and resolved before a sale is finalized.


READ MORE ON THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN REAL PROPERTY REPORTS AND TITLE INSURANCE

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Home > Home Buyers > Does your property require an appraisal?

Does Your Bank Require an Appraisal?

Appraisals are an important part of buying and selling homes in Edmonton. Real estate appraisals establish a property's sold market value price. Banks and financial institutions require property appraisals when buyers require a mortgage on their new homes as security and provide financial institutions with a cost-effective assurance of the properties value for lending purposes. Appraisals are detailed reports compiled by licensed real estate appraisers.



Don't confuse a comparative market analysis, or CMA, with a real estate appraisal. A CMA is a sales report based on data entered into the multiple listing service, or MLS. Real estate agents use CMAs to help their clients determine realistic asking and offering prices.


An appraisal is also not the same thing as a property inspection. Home inspectors test appliances and outlets, check the plumbing and electrical, confirm heating and cooling system are in working order, use inspection tools to look for any moisture issues, missing insulation, etc.. Such information is helpful for the buyer to know before moving in.


If your real estate appraisal comes in low, the bank may not lend you the money you need to satisfy your finance condition. You may need to come up with the difference in cash or re-negotiate the sale price of the property.

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