What Happens if Your Home Closing is Delayed?
The majority of closings happen on time or within a few days if issues need to be addressed. If closing is not completed, and buyers can be left homeless. This is a terrifying thought, however, it does happen. Below are five reasons which can lead to a delayed or canceled possession date.
REASON ONE: UNREALISTIC CLOSING DATE
Don't expect to write an offer and be in your home the next day. It takes time for lawyers in Alberta to clear and transfer the title to you. The actual registration process can take a day or two or a few weeks depending on how busy the Land Title Office is and the transfer of land process takes about 3-7 days. An experienced real estate agent will know whether the contract dates are realistic or not.
REASON TWO: REAL ESTATE APPRAISAL ISSUES
When buying or selling real estate you need to understand that a large piece to a successful home sale is the bank appraisal. A bank appraisal is part of a real estate transaction anytime a buyer is obtaining a mortgage. It is normally completed prior to a buyer removing the finance condition. If the property does not appraise out, the bank will not forward the mortgage.
REASON THREE: TITLE PROBLEMS
Your Realtor should be doing their due diligence by pulling the title prior to you writing the offer. However, between the time you have satisfied and removed conditions, it has been known to have items placed on the title. These items can include a second or third mortgage, a lien from a collection agency, or a lis pendens. (A Lis pendens is the Latin term for a Notice of Pendency of Action. It means that a lawsuit is pending against the title of a property. The lis pendens is a public notice letting buyers know there is a dispute over the ownership of the property and is commonly used in divorce situations).
REASON THREE: REAL PROPERTY REPORTS
Another task that a real estate attorney will perform is a review of an instrument survey or real property report (RPR). An RPR can be defined simply as a drawing of the land a home is situated on. Real estate closings can be delayed in the event there is a discrepancy in line encroachments such as a neighbor's fence or there is an addition added to the property such as a deck or storage shed without compliance.
REASON FOUR: YOUR BANK DID A SECOND CHECK
When a buyer receives their mortgage commitment, it means the funds have been approved and the closing can occur, right? In most cases it does mean the funds have been approved, however, there are times when a lender will require additional documents at the last minute or a buyer has made a large purchase and their debt ratio qualifying has changed.
REASON FIVE: TERMS OF SALE
There are many reasons why home buyers have home inspections to ensure the property they are purchasing doesn’t have any major deficiencies that can cost a large amount of money in the future. After a home inspection is completed, the buyer can request repairs be completed at the seller's cost. If a seller agrees to make repairs, it’s important that these repairs are done prior to the buyer moving into the new home. These terms can range from the replacement of shingles to picking up dog feces.
THERE ARE STEPS YOU CAN TAKE TO MINIMIZE THIS RISK BEFORE REMOVING YOUR CONDITIONS
In the province of Alberta, the real estate contracts which Realtors use have several safeguard clauses for both the buyer and the seller. In lament terms - If a delay is caused due to the fault of a seller, the seller is responsible for compensating the buyer. This can include all costs accrued until the property has been transferred. Some of these costs can include, interest rates, storage, hotel rooms, and meals. The real estate contracts also work in favor of the seller and if for any reason, the buyer has delayed the closing, the buyer will be liable for compensating the seller.
- Ask for a copy of the real property report. The seller should have this in their possession within 10 days of putting the property on the market.
- Have your financial institution send you documentation that all financing requirements have been met
- Don't make any big purchases
- Ensure you have the dower signed if needed. This is a standard document Edmonton RE/MAX Agents use often.
- Complete a walk through prior to possession when required
- Ensure all paperwork including addendums are at your lawyer's office (With Remax Elite, we have a complete conveyancing department to ensure, there are no delays and help make the real estate sale process seem seamless.
- If you have questions about buying a home in Edmonton or the surrounding area, we are here to help. Contact us today!
What is a Housing Bubble and How Does it Affect You?
You have heard the term "housing bubble", but what does it actually mean, and is Edmonton experiencing one? Whether you already own a home and waiting for the right time to sell, or are considering buying another property in the near future, it is valuable to know whether to buy and sell in a housing bubble and how it may affect you.
A housing bubble happens when the price of homes rises quickly, at an unsustainable rate. Typically, a price-growth rate that’s in the high single-digits is considered to be healthy and sustainable. Under healthy conditions, homeowners continue to earn equity over time, sellers can make a profit on resale, and buyers can still afford to get into the market. This has been the trend in most Canadian provinces except for Alberta over the last decade where Alberta house prices have plateaued and in some places dropped dramatically.
What Usually Happens When a Housing Bubble Bursts?
During a housing bubble, homes become overvalued. When the bubble bursts, prices fall. Homeowners who have no intention of selling are unlikely to feel the direct impacts of the bursting bubble. However, these market conditions often indirectly impact other aspects of the economy, so to call homeowners who aren’t selling “free and clear” would be misleading. The Homebuyers who purchased a home during a housing bubble likely paid considerably more than it is worth.
Is Canada in a Housing Bubble?
The Canadian housing market took a surprising upward turn during the COVID-19 pandemic, after coming to a grinding halt in mid-March. The slow-down was short-lived, and what followed through the remainder of 2020 was a spike in demand for homes met by a shortage of supply. With 2021 well underway, there appears to be no end in sight. There are a number of factors that indicate we’re not experiencing a bubble caused by market speculators, contrary to some media reports.
A recent online survey of RE/MAX brokers and agents in Western Canada, Ontario, and Atlantic Canada found that speculators are not a factor in the Canadian real estate market at this time. In fact, more than 96% of RE/MAX brokers and agents supported this finding, confirming that the majority of homebuyers are end-users. Speculators tend to wait out hot markets, buying when prices are down and selling when they’re up again. The short-term investment opportunities they’re generally looking for are hard to find under current market conditions. Bully offers and bidding wars are commonplace, and we continue to see demand outpacing supply with the release of the monthly housing market data. These factors are generally inhospitable to speculators and investors.
For a housing bubble to burst, there needs to be a steep incline in inventory and new listings, and a decline in demand – neither of which is likely to happen any time soon.
The Canadian housing market is still feeling the impacts of the pent-up demand from 2017 when the government introduced the foreign buyer tax and the mortgage stress test as a means to cool the overheating market. These policies prompted many homebuyers to move to the sidelines, opting to wait and save, with plans to re-engage in the housing market in a few years.
Now fast-forward a few years to 2020. COVID-19 had a similar impact on the market, whereby many homebuyers delayed their purchase plans due to pandemic-related uncertainties. That pre-existing pent-up demand for homes continued to swell. With Canadians subject to stay-at-home orders with nowhere to go and spend their hard-earned money, they collectively saved historically high sums, which was injected back into the housing market once consumer confidence returned. The spending came in the form of record-high home sales and for those who were unwilling to face the competitive resale market conditions, renovations to existing dwellings. In fact, Canadian real estate was said to be the driving force behind the Canadian economy in 2020. Savings, low-interest rates and low inventory continue to put pressure on the housing market.
What is Happening to Edmonton's Real Estate Market?
A housing bubble can happen as a result of non-organic growth like it did in January 2006 to June 2007 and the average single-family detached house rose by $200,000. This happened due to our job surplus and supply and demand of real estate. Basically, people were moving to Edmonton and the surrounding area for work and there was a shortage of houses to buy.
Edmonton house prices hit the high point at the crash of economic stability in the summer of 2007 and the real estate market crashed fast when the bubble burst and the ripple effect of a bursting housing bubble flooded Alberta. Several homeowners were holding more than one property which resulted in lower asking prices and foreclosures. There were fewer buyers to due to the loss of jobs, economic instability, and uncertainty, a surplus of housing choices, and anticipation of a more housing prices drop.
Is Edmonton in a Housing Bubble?
The answer is "no". Edmonton is one of the few places in Canada, where house prices have not changed for the last decade, making it a great place to a home. Although in the last few months, Edmonton's real estate market has picked up a bit and there have been a few more multiple offers, we are not anywhere close to our last real estate bubble. Edmonton's increase in real estate activity has been due to the low-interest rates and not the economic factors. We currently have some of Canada's best-priced real estate making Edmonton a great choice for investment.
Is now a good time to buy in Edmonton?
The answer is yes. With low house prices, low-interest rates, and an inviting international real estate market, Edmonton is a fantastic place to buy a home.
Is now a good time to sell in Edmonton?
It depends. If you are a condominium owner, expect to take a loss on your property if you have purchased it in the last ten years. If you are selling a luxury home, the demand is beginning to increase especially near Canmore and country residential. For those who are selling detached houses in Edmonton, prices are stable, and asking prices need to be at "fair market value" to receive an offer within a reasonable time period.
If you would like to know more about Edmonton's real estate market, feel free to contact our experienced, professional Edmonton Remax Realtors who can guide you through the buying and selling process.
How to Accurately Price Your Edmonton Home
Not sure what to ask for your Edmonton (or surrounding area) home? First, you should know the numbers on your remaining mortgage balance, payout penalties, closing costs and real estate commissions and what you will need in your pocket to be able to sell your property.
Pricing any real estate accurately is based upon a few factors. One of the main factors right now in Edmonton and the rest of Alberta is the economic and political factors. If there is no consumer confidence, a few thousand dollars can make a big difference in today real estate market when buyers are contemplating between your home and the comparable one down the street. It doesn't matter if you have just renovated your bathroom. Pricing is a key factor in a "downturn", "soft", or "buyers market".
When pricing your property - from the start - you need to take a step back and look at it through the eyes of a buyer and do some research. A few of the key components in choosing a realistic price when putting your home for sale include these tools which a real estate agent can provide you:
Your tax assessment is only a starting point:
Do not base pricing your home on this alone, Your tax assessment is a good starting point, but may have been over or under assessed depending on the real estate activity in your community over the last few years. Were there lots of homes foreclosed upon near you? Did you originally pay too much for your property when you purchased it? Were there several homes sales at the turn of the market? All of these factors are taken into consideration when the city does your property tax assessment.
Know your community absorption rate:
A real estate absorption rate is the number of months it would take to sell the current inventory in your community assuming no other homes are added to the market. An absorption rate is a great tool used by Edmonton Realtors to predict the rise and fall of real estate prices. Knowing the absorption rate of a community can give home sellers an advantage to pricing a property, knowing how many days they should expect their home to be on the market.
Is your home worth the asking price:
Does your home offer value: Foreseen residual or potential income can increase the value of your home. If you have a garden suite or a basement suite, ensure that you have the permit documentation. Value can be in other forms as well, such as living in a community that is undergoing a transformation. Items such as an oversized back yard or outdoor swimming pool do not necessarily add any value.
Is your property a money pit: Some homeowners think changing the flooring and adding a fresh coat of paint will increase the value of a property? This is only a quick fix and should be done will help and if there are any concerns during a property inspection, the buyer will no go forward without compensation or not at all. If you have an older home, there are several items that should be repaired, replaced or upgraded including the shingles, windows, exterior grading, furnace, electrical and plumbing. If you have not been diligent with home maintenance, price your home accordingly.
Location! Location! Location!
If you are situated along or near a busy road, train track, or a factory, your house price will be worth a bit less - no matter how pretty your home is and vice versa, if you are situated along a ravine, park or green space, in a community which is undergoing revitalization or has a positive economic factor, or feature a great view, your home will be worth more money.
Comparative Market Analysis
A CMA or Comparative Market Analysis should not be confused with an appraisal. An appraisal is a price, usually completed by a financial institution and is based more upon what it cost to rebuild the current condition of the property. A Comparative market analysis is usually performed by an experienced Real Estate Professional, to determine a range of value for a Real Estate Subject Property.
It is the current value or price range of residential property in a community that has been compared to properties that would be your competition if you were selling in today's real estate market, properties nearby which have recently sold, and properties that were listed, but did not sell. Adjustments are made to these comparable properties to reflect the tangible and non-tangible differences in value between the comparable homes and the sellers' property.
Can You Afford to Sell Your Edmonton Home in 2021?
Although the Edmonton real estate market is still soft with dormant house prices, buyers are starting to come out of hiding to look in anticipation of our economic optimism and 2021 looks to be a better year to sell your Edmonton house.
If your planning on selling your Edmonton home this year, do your homework and estimate your closing costs to ensure you have enough money to make your move. There is nothing worse than sitting with your lawyer and not having enough funds to close your sale.
When a home is sold, the seller incurs various closing costs in addition to paying out the remaining balance on their mortgage and payout penalties. Typical closing costs for a seller may include any property taxes which are in arrears, encumbrances, the cost of a real property report with compliance and/or title insurance, any permits which were not obtained earlier, real estate commissions, any provincial, GST revenue, agricultural or business taxes, liens and legal fees. If the property is a condominium, the seller may also have costs of condominium documents, unpaid condo fees, levies and the estoppel certificate. When selling a house in Edmonton, the seller's costs vary from a few hundred to several thousand.
Since our Edmonton economy is not in the best shape and buyers have become nervous about making large purchases, there are several ways to maximize the value in your home without major renovations including staging and a little bit of home maintenance. Pricing your home correctly in today's Edmonton Real estate market is crucial and timing is also a factor. Read more on your community absorption rate and find out how long it will take to sell your home in Edmonton.
If you are not sure if you have enough equity in your home, contact one of our real estate experts for a free home evaluation.
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 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.
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.
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 that 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 in 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
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.
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 about 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 who do not deal with buyers and specialize in listings only.
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.
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.
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. This 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.
Did your Home Get Stigmatized?
In real estate, a stigmatized property is a property that 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 that 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.
Welcome those buyers into your home!
When hosting open houses for your home, you will need to do more than a simple advertisement in the local paper, putting it on the Realtor.ca website and put out yard signs. There are several other real estate marketing tools you can use to attract people who may be looking to buy into your home.
Take the time to knock on your neighbours' doors and personally invite them. You never know if they have family or friends who may be looking to purchase a home in your community or maybe they want their family to move closer.
- Become tech-savvy - Put your Open House on as many websites as you can. If possible, search engine optimize all of your website traffic to ensure buyers who are looking online will be able to find your home.
- Blog it! Add a blog link to all of your traffic including Facebook and ask your friends to share it.
- Pictures say 1000 words. Make sure every photo you use on the internet is clear, in the right format and has the proper pixels. Do put on photos that are dark, have bad curb appeal, etc.
- Facebook Ads - Facebook ads are great! Just choose your search criteria, upload your photos, add the dialogue and input your payment. You may want to do this a week in advance. NOT the day before.
- Sell your community! Add information about your community to your feature sheets. Give the reasons why a buyer would want to live in your area. Do you have a dog park nearby? Community events? Ravine walking trails? Add some more photos.
- Build a website for your home and add it to your feature sheets for the buyers to look at your home at their convenience. Add as many links as you can. Don't forget to have them open in new windows. You will want to keep them on your page. Add a video: Videos are easy to make and can be uploaded online. Make them fun and entertaining (No more than 2 minutes)
- Flyer! Drop off flyers with your community. This is also a great way to meet your neighbours, find out more about your area and is great exercise. Ask them to drop in for coffee, the more strangers you have in your home, the safer you will be.
- Create a sign-in sheet! Have your Open House guests sign in once they arrive. You will be able to follow up with them later to see if there is any interest. It may seem like a lot of work, but holding an Open House in Edmonton takes time to make it effective.
Also, view "OPEN HOUSE PROTOCOL"
" Have fun and good luck with your Open House
How Realtor 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 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 that 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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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.
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, equity takes out maybe 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.
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 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 that 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 that 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.
What is a Comparative Market Analysis & How to Use it
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.
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 that 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.
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.
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 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.
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.