What is an upside down mortgage?

An upside-down mortgage is simply a mortgage in which is more money is owing than what the property is worth. An upside down mortgage can happen to anyone. With real estate markets in big cities like Toronto and Vancouver where house values are decreasing, many homeowners will find themselves in this position today.

If you find yourself in this situation and can afford your monthly mortgage payments, the best thing to do is stay put and keep paying down your mortgage until you have built some equity.

Can You Sell Your Home With an Upside Down Mortgage?

You may want to or need to your home in a downward market, knowing next year, your home will be worth less. The answer is yes you can, but will need to take into consideration the ability to pay the debt you acquired between closing costs, mortgage penalties and mortgage payouts. If you are able to find the funds, sometimes it's just best to take the loss and move on to avoid going further into an upside down mortgage.

If you are struggling to make payments and your mortgage is upside down, talk with your bank. Your financial institution can allow you to sell your home and provide you with a personal loan to cover the shortfall, saving your credit.

The simplest solution for homeowners with upside-down mortgages is to continue making payments, if possible, and wait for home prices to rise again before selling their homes.

Are there any other options?

Sometime you will see an owner selling half of a house (yes it is possible). This is usually due to a civil enforcement and a lack of equity in the property. If you choose to keep your home and are will to sell half to a stranger, this may also be an option for you. 


What's a Zero Lot Line?

A zero lot line house is where the property structure comes up to or very near the edge of the property line. Townhouses are good examples of zero lot line structures. Over the last few decade, most houses for sale in Edmonton will have been built with a zero lot line. These houses offers buyers more square footage for indoor living space and smaller yards for less exterior maintenance.

These houses are popular due to the cost saving of a parcel of land within the city which is handed down to the purchaser via the cost of the house. Zero lot lines are also popular where builders able to construct duplexes and infills on land where revitalization has taken hold of our city. These dwelling encourage a sense of community among neighbors.

Other than cost benefits, there are drawbacks to living in a zero lot line property. Some of these drawbacks include limited parking, privacy, smaller yards, visitor parking and your neighbors getting to know you through your windows.

Have a question about real estate? Contact us


How much are closing costs in Edmonton Alberta

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. Avoid extra closings costs due to a delayed closing

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 have questions or would like to know more about purchasing a home, email us.

If you are waiting to purchase a home - Keep up to date on the proposed HST tax which will be an additional cost when purchasing a home in Edmonton.


How Realtor® Commissions are Divided

When an agent lists a property on, usually half of the commission is for the buyers agent and half is for the selling agent. Once the REALTOR® has sold the property (all conditions removed). They normally recieve their paycheck with a fews to a month after closing (possession day).

Unless you own your own brokerage, there are fees to be paid to your office, depending the brokerage contract, the brokerage can take up to 50% of the total payable to the agent. There are also other expenses (buy side & sell side). Once all costs are payed out, the real estate agent will need to pay their share of taxes to revenue Canada on the remainder. There are additional cost as well including licencing fees.

As a buyers agent, there may be another agreement in place, where the REALTOR® who brought in the has recieved the client from a referral and a refferral fee is payable. Normally this is between 25% - 30%. Other than time, gas, vehicle maintance, maybe a gist basket, the buyers REALTOR® will receive what ever is left.

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.

  • MYTH 1: REALTORS® Make alot of money. The average Edmonton REALTOR® does less than one transaction per month.
  • MYTH 2: Brokerages do not pay REALTORS® - REALTORS® pay the brokeragae to work there.
  • MYTH3: Putting your home on our MLS sells your home - this couldn't be further from the truth.

The net commissions left for the REALTORS® is what they get to take home to feed, shelter and cloth 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.

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 (or more equivilant to other provinces). 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.

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 REALTORS® 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 REALTORS® 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 within a few weeks after 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.


What is an Edmonton Luxury Home

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:

  • 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 that fits your lifestyle. View our Edmonton luxury homes for sale by the district. Relocating to Edmonton and interested in living in a luxury community, give us a call at 780-910-5179.


What is the difference between a garage suite and a garden suite?

The official city description a garage suite is "a self-contained accessory dwelling above or attached to a rear detached garage, on a single detached lot which usually comes in the form of apartment-sized living space, with its own kitchen, bathroom, and living space, on the second floor of your garage". 

The city description of a garden suite is "an at-grade self-contained, accessory dwelling located in a building that is physically separate from the principal dwelling." Typically, garden suites are single-story structures built in the backyards of single detached homes and must have their own kitchen, bathroom, and living space.

There are several benefits of purchasing a house with a garage or garden suite or building on an existing house in Edmonton. Garage and garden suites are great ways to add some rental income to your property to help pay down your mortgage. It eliminates the shared interior space the way you would with a basement suite. These smaller living spaces are also a great way to add some diversity to your community because they allow different demographic access to housing options on your street.

Garage and garden suites can keep family members nearby, yet allows for more personal space. It can be a great option for keeping your parents or your children close, while still maintaining some privacy by ensuring everyone has their own space. Alternatively, some ageing empty nesters have decided to downsize into their own garden or garage suite, and allow their children’s family to live nearby, in the main house.

As with any good infill project, it is all about creating more flexible living options so every Edmontonian can choose the community that suits them best. For more information on Garage and Garden suites, visit the city of Edmonton's Infill website. Popular communities in Edmonton with garage suites are located in the University Area, Griesbach and the Westmount Area.


Properties in Edmonton are now showing "Pending"

What does pending mean?

There are recent changes to when a seller accept an offer. A pending property means that the seller has accepted a conditional offer. This does not mean it is sold. It is subject to conditions, usually financing and inspection.

Can I still see a pending property?

Yes and no. This depends on the seller. The seller makes the desicion whether or not they still want thier property shown. Personally, if I was selling my house, I would encourage showings during the pending time frame due to the fact, that a large number of pending properties fall apart due to varies reasons.

Can I still to write an offer on the pending property?

Yes. You can still write offers on pending properties in the provonce of Alberta. If the seller chooses to accept your offer, it will go into second place position and await the time frame pending status of the first offer. Your accepted offer to purchase is known as a "back-up" offer. If offer number one is unable to remove thier contingencies within the alotted time frame, your offer automatically goes into first place.

Contact us if you would like to write a back-up or have questions on pending offers.


What is the difference between a REALTOR® and a Real Estate Agents?

Often people think real estate agents and REALTORS® are the same, but they are not.

A real estate agent is someone who has has obtained a real estate license and assists in buying and selling properties. Depending on thier specialty, Edmonton real estate agents can work with residential as well as commercial properties.

The definition of a REALTOR® is a real estate agent who is a member of a local real estate board, and of the provincial real estate association in the Realtor's province. They may also be a member of the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) however, membership is voluntary.

Most, but not all Edmonton real estate agents are REALTORS®. The majority of Edmonton REALTORS® (including us) are in good standing and belong to the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), The Alberta Real Estate Association (AREA) and the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton. This allows us to legally help our clients buy and sell real estate anywhere within Alberta. A few of us who do relocation moves also belong to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).

Edmonton REALTORS® Adhere to a Moral Code That Has Been in Place Since 1913. In order to be considered a Canadian REALTOR®, real estate professionals must adhere to a code of conduct and ethics that has been in place since the turn of the 20th century. This code is extensive and includes many disclosures to our clients. If a REALTORS® breaks the code, he is no longer allowed to operate as a certified CREA REALTORS®.

If you have questions or would like to know more about our Edmonton REALTOR® code of ethics, it can be found at

Copyright 2023 by the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton. All Rights Reserved.
Data is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate by the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton.
The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS® and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA. The trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Service® and the associated logos are owned by CREA and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA.