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 > How to find a qualified buyer

How to find a QUALIFIED buyer

Finding a QUALIFIED buyer for your home is not easy. Everyone wants to own real estate, but not everyone can qualify. If you have been trying to sell your property and are finding it difficult to find a buyer for your home, there are some tricks to the real estate trade. Especially now with the government restrictions put upon us with qualify at 2% higher than your interest rate.


Buyers Agents Edmonton Image


Open Houses


Open Houses in Edmonton can be hit and miss. You can't put up signs and expect a buyer who is in a position to purchase, who thinks your home is perfect and is qualified to purchase to walk off the street and put an offer on your home. It is not that simple. Keep an open mind. Most buyers attending Open Houses are still in the "looking stage". Open Houses can receive constant foot traffic if done right. Read more on how to have a productive open house.


Adjust your expectations


Not everyone who inquires on your home is really interested. There is no such thing as a perfect home. You may love your home, but the reality is, your home is only a tangible commodity. Appraisers, inspectors, lawyers, financial institutions, and BUYERS can appreciate the effort of any upgrades, but it really comes down to money. Even if you find a buyer who is willing to pay more for your home because it staged, does not mean it will be appraised at the agreed-upon price, therefore cannot sell.


Talk to REALTORS


Expect calls from Edmonton Real Estate Agents. Listen carefully. You will know in the first few minutes if they are looking to help you sell (list) your home or have a qualified buyer who has inquired through them. Buyers who are working with real estate agents in Edmonton, are under a signed Buyers Brokerage Agreement and must fulfil their obligations if interested in your home. The real estate agent will be asking questions, lots of them. The agent is working in the best interest of their client buyer and is working in the best interest of their client.


The agent may be looking for more business and is calling to list your home. Take the time to talk. You may not want to list your home at this time, but if you are the one asking questions, you may learn something which will help you sell your home on your own. There are many real estate agents do not deal with buyers and specialize in listings only.


Marketing


There is more to marketing a home than putting your property on the MLS which impacts Realtor.ca, putting a sign in the front yard and adding a key box to your entrance. Advertising by word of mouth is a big advantage. There are almost 4000 Real Estate Agents associated with the Edmonton Real Estate Board who talk to each other. Tell your friends, family, co-workers, doctor, dentist and everyone you meet. Marketing your property to attract buyers who are qualified and in a position to purchase a property takes work and experienced, tech-savvy REALTORS have the know-how. This includes knowing the absorption rate in your community.


Find a great Edmonton Real Estate Agents who target markets homes to find the right buyers

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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 > Edmonton Communities > Luxury Communities

What classifies an Edmonton home as luxury?

Luxury home prices vary from city to province to state to country. What classifies a home in the luxury market consists of a few variables. Luxury homes are no longer based on price alone. To classify property into the luxury home category, it mush have desired indulgences. A home can be considered "a luxury property" when it offers these features:


Edmonton Luxury Homes Image


  • A grand foyer with soaring ceilings to greet your guests.
  • Adequate nanny/guest living quarters which are private and away from the main living area.
  • Personal conveniences and amenities such as pools, in-home gyms, Imax movie theatres, arcade rooms, wine cellars, decontamination showers, backyard tennis courts, solarium, and game rooms. There are several homes in Edmonton with personal amenities which can be found in Cameron Heights and Glenora.
  • State of the art kitchens. With duel ovens, smart refrigerators to keep track of your food items, wine storage, ample counter space, built-in computer screens.
  • Technology. Homes controlled with voice activation or the touch of a bottom from anywhere in the world are now one of the must-haves with elite buyers.
  • Privacy. Many elite home buyers require privacy, especially media icons who get accosted by paparazzi.
  • A prime location. A view is one of the things that make homes fall into the luxury category no matter where you live. It can be an unobstructed view of a mountain, beachfront, or overlooking the sparkling lights of the city. Beachfront properties in Edmonton can be found in Summerside.
  • Premier quality, reputable builders and renowned architect. The construction materials, lighting, finishes, appliances, and design all must be a cut above what's considered standard. Dominate renowned Edmonton communities include Griesbach and Windermere.

A luxury home can mean different things to different people. Bottom line, a luxury home is where you can relax and retreat from the rest of the world, enjoying a dwelling which fits your lifestyle.

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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 >  Real Estate Q and A > Holding Productive Open Houses

Let's get 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.


Holding Open Houses in Edmonton Image


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 which 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.

Also, view  "OPEN HOUSE PROTOCOL


" Have fun and good luck with your Open House

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Home >  Real Estate Q and A > Home Inspections

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
  • mould 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 which can not be seen visually and appliances. You may want to check that these chattels are in working order.


Foreclosures:

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. 


New Homes:

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.

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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 > 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.


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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 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 > Real Estate Tips for Sellers > How to Prep Your Home for Sale

How to Get Top Dollar for your Edmonton Home

Edmonton is a large municipality which means you will have plenty of nearby competition and making your home the prettiest will bring the highest offers, especially in a slower or buyers real estate market and an undesirable location, it is very important to show your Edmonton home at it's very best to maximize its value. Below are the top 5 actions you can take.



Disassociate Yourself With Your Property


No matter how long you have lived at or how much love you put into your home, look at your home as a real estate commodity and decorate as though, you are giving it away to your favourite member of your family. Make your home appeal to as many buyers as possible by neutralizing every room of the house.


Declutter as much as possible


Declutter as much as you can including your kitchen cabinets, linen and coat closets and your garage. As a rule of thumb, if you won't use it in the next three months, pack it away. Yes, this includes those boxes in your basement which have not been opened since your last move. This is also a great time to donate everything you haven't actually used in the last ten years or have a "priced to sell" garage sale.


Go on a shopping trip


Your home deserves a little freshening up and a shopping trip to spruce up your homes is also on your selling checklist. Purchase colour coordinated linen for your bedrooms and bathrooms. This will add both a warm ambience and a fresh, clean feel to your rooms. If your furniture is dirty - clean it or replace it. Don't get carried away by all of the available staging items. Keep it simple.


Clean everything inside and outside


Serious buyers will be snooping in your home. They will be looking in your oven, fridge, cabinets, and closets. Make sure these are clean, neat and tidy. You don't want buyers to think there is a shortage of storage space, or think your home is not taken care of. A dirty house will be reflected in a buyers offer to purchase. Don't neglect the backyard, garage, and storage sheds. Make your home sparkle!


Have a Pre-sold dinner party


Celebrate your hard work of getting your Edmonton home ready to sell and invite over your closest friends and open the wine. Ask them to walk around your home, point out any imperfections and for their honest opinions. Bring a notebook. You will be amazed by the feedback. If you have any questions about getting your home ready to sell, contact us.

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Home >  Real Estate Q and A > Title Insurance versus a Real Property Report

Should I get title insurance in place of a real property report?

If possible, it is still best to have a current Real Property Report with compliance when buying or selling a home to ensure all property buildings are within the municipality guidelines. If an RPR is not an option, title insurance is a good substitute.



Title insurance without a Real Property Report and compliance is acceptable to most major mortgage lenders and will often provide coverage for the lender for known defects. Unlike other insurance products, there is only one premium paid at the time of closing which provides coverage to the owner throughout their ownership of the property. It also offers a wide range of protection for issues that are not covered by an RPR and compliance.


Title Insurance Benefits include

  • Intervening registrations – Anything registered on the title between the time the lawyer submits to the Land Titles Office and the time of actual registration.
  • Unknown Liens, encumbrances, tax arrears or defects in the title to a property.
  • Unknown special assessments on condos that were implemented prior to closing.
  • If an RPR or compliance is not obtained, it covers any defects that would have been revealed by an accurate up-to-date RPR and compliance.
  • The forced removal of an existing structure with the exception of a boundary wall or fence where there is only limited coverage
  • Forced compliance with work orders or deficiencies on an existing building permit.
  • Loss of priority due to matters such as construction liens, agreements on a title, and other mortgages.
  • Another party claims an interest in the property.
  • Protection against title defects or encumbrances that were unknown or undiscovered at the time of closing.
  • Protection against identity theft, mortgage fraud, and fraud against the title.
  • Cost savings. Typically, the cost for title insurance is far less than the cost of an RPR and compliance and is available on short notice

Drawbacks of Title Insurance

  • It is an insurance product. This means when an issue arises, it may not be covered by the policy and if there is coverage the insurer can decide the method used to solve the issue which may not be the preferred choice of the insured party.
  • There is a lack of disclosure and certainty, especially for the buyer, at the time of closing. If an issue is discovered later, it is more difficult to pursue the seller for a fix after closing.
  • There is no coverage for known defects, except for some coverage for the lender only.
  • There must be some form of enforcement or government action to trigger coverage in most cases. For example, the previous owner did renovations that do not meet the requirements of the building permit or development permit. The title insurance will only pay for the cost to fix these deficiencies if there is some form of enforcement and not simply due to the deficiencies.
  • It does not guarantee that all structures will remain in the current state. For example, if the municipality mandates the alteration or destruction of a certain structure, the title insurance company may pay for the cost of appealing that decision however they cannot guarantee a favourable result.
  • The coverage of Title Insurance is for the buyer only (not the seller).
  • If a buyer or their lawyer purchases a lender only policy that is sufficient to close the deal however the buyer still has no title insurance protection. /li>
  • There is no specific protection or coverage for the seller. If a claim is made and the title insurance company determines it is the seller who created the deficiency, the title insurance company can pursue the seller for recovery of the costs they have paid.
  • In most instances, title insurance only defers the need to deal with a particular issue. It does not solve it. The issues will still be there when the property is resold.
  • Title insurance cannot be passed onto a new owner. Every new owner must purchase their own policy.


For more information on real property reports and the effects on the resale of your residential dwellings and a free Edmonton Home Evaluation, contact one of Remax Elite Realtors.

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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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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.