Edmonton Real Estate Agents

Edmonton Advanced Marketing REALTOR® - BGRS Approved

Why You Need a Property Title Search


When a real esate agent in Edmonton is working for either a buyer or a seller, a title search needs to be pulled prior to listing a home or writing an offer to purchase to ensure the saleablity of the property.

 

The basic information on a property title will include:

 

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

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

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



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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.

 

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 enquires 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 enquired through them. Buyers who are working with real estate agents in Edmonton, are under a signed Buyers Brokerage Agreement and must fulfill 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 THIER 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 neighborhood.

 

Find out how great Edmonton Real Estate Agents market homes to find the right buyers

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Pros and Cons of Condominium Ownership

Pros of Condominium Ownership

No Maintenance. The biggest benefits of condo living are that other people do the maintenance for you. They cut the grass, maintain the common areas including elevators, amenities, windows, doors, and shingles No grass to mow or snow to shovel with the exception of detached condos and townhouse style condominiums.

 

Sense of Community. Whether you are taking out the trash, working out in the exercise room, relaxing in the lobby or picking up your mail, there will be opportunities to engage with your neighbors

Cost. Condominiums are less expensive than buying a comparable house in Edmonton. Obviously, the cost of a condo versus the cost of a house depends on the location. Property values in Edmonton vary in each neighborhood. But typically, you'll spend less on a condo, " Maintaining a single-family house can be expensive. It is your responsibility to keep your home in living standard conditions. When purchasing the first home, going brand new is a smart choice.

Security. Most apartment condos offer gated or locked entries, with special keys or electronic fobs. If you live alone, or security is a concern for you, this can be a major perk. In addition, you’re living in close proximity to other people and in an emergency, this will be helpful.

Amenities. Exercise rooms, Guest suites, swimming pools, underground parking, and courtyards. Many condo communities offer residents amenities that are out of reach for the average homeowner.

Cons of Condominium Ownership

Homeowners Association Fees. Of course, there is a few to live in a condominium. It costs money to maintain a large building. When you buy a condo, you essentially become a business partner in that community. You pay a condominium fee each month (on top of your mortgage) which goes towards the upkeep of the property, as well as future investments. This fee can vary from a few hundred dollars upwards. It will depend on the current condition of the complex, how well the monies have been managed and future expenses.

Less Privacy. You will be meeting your neighbors. Some condominium complexes in Edmonton offer in-house managers and know everyone by name. Depending on how well your complex is built, your neighbor may even know what time you get home every day. Expect to have someone looking at you when you are out on your balcony or sitting in the front yard. Socialites love this!

Less Freedom. Depending on your condominium complex, you may or may not be allowed to have pets, have Bar-be-ques on the balcony, change the flooring to a hardwood, have guests stay for long periods of time or rent out your unit. Read the by-laws before purchasing.

Levies and Special Assessments: In Edmonton, Condos have been hit hard by the recession, the oversupply and there are plenty of issues with a few Edmonton condominiums, whereas some builders missed adding building materials during construction, such as water vapors. Also as more people struggle to make ends meet, more condo owners are dropping out of paying their condo fees. This can increase the cost of what you will be paying each month.

Things to enquire on prior to purchasing a condominium

Reserve Fudy Study
Are condo fees reasonable
Bi-laws
Financials
Professionally or Self Managed
General Meeting

Any upcoming special assessment

 

Have your lawyer review these documents if you are not comfortable with the lingo.

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

 

 


A large portion of Canadian Real Estate Agents have earned their ABR - Accredited Buyers Representation designation, which means, these REALTORS® have completed the education needed to service buyers with a higher standard.

REALTORS® who are representing buyers expect to get paid for their services at some point in time. It is usually within a few weeks of the buyer taking possession of their new home. In the province of Alberta and to ensure real estate agents' are compensated for their services, a mandated agreement by RECA (Real Estate Council of Alberta) will need to be signed. It explains how much, the term of the agreement, what services will be provided and other relevant information.

If you have questions - ASK. Never sign anything you do not fully understand. Real Estate Agents deal with forms on a daily basis, and most of us can explain listing and purchase agreements without even looking at them. A good REALTOR® should have gone through each agreement thoroughly and address and, questions or concerns you may have had.

Near the bottom of both the Buyers Agreement and Sellers Agreement, there is an acknowledgement clause prior to signature placement. In an Exclusive Buyer Representative Agreement it states...

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

Which means you can obtain legal information prior to signing or you may want to take the agreement home to read over more thoroughly

These agreements are not rocket science, but knowing what you are signing is important.

REAL ESTATE TIP#1: "The Guide" is referring to the Consumer Relation Guide which explains how the professional relationship and the real estate agency will interact with each other.

 

REAL ESTATE TIP#2: Buyers Real Estate Agents, normally do not charge an extra fee above what is offered by a seller, unless otherwise agreed in writing.

 

Great Real Estate Tips on Buying a Home

Choosing Great Real Estate Buyer Agents

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

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

 

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

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

 

 

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

There are several things to take into consideration, prior to making an offer on any home.

  • Market Conditions: Is it a buyers market or a sellers' market? Knowing what type of real estate market you are in will help you choose an initial offer price. Completing a community absorption  rate is the easiest way to know.
  • Possession Date: Edmonton Real Estate Agents have access to this information and as a rule of thumb, the quicker, the possession date, the more motivated the seller is. Most homeowners in Edmonton have a 30-day negotiable possession date. If a longer possession date or a set date is asked for, this is an indication which the seller needs a specific date and can be more important than price. Keep in mind, if the property is tenant occupied, tenants do have a 90-day tenant right. Normally, homeowners with tenant occupied properties or a vacant property are more motivated.  
  • History: Your REALTOR® will know the history of this home. How long the sellers have owned the property, how long they have been trying to sell it and if there have been any price adjustments. Your real estate agent is also required to pull the title of the property which will indicate any recent financial debts including the current mortgage to ensure there will be enough funds to close on possession date.
  • Condition and Size: Size is a factor of price more in places like China than Edmonton. The value of a home is in the condition. You may want to go back into the home to take a better look at the overall condition. Is the flooring laminate or hardwood? Are the faucets Walmart or Moen? Has the yard been meticulously maintained properly or neglected? Will you be replacing any fixtures, chattels, windows, shingles in the near future? Look at the property through the eyes of your experienced real estate agent. They will notice things you don't.  
  • Complete a Buyers Comparative Market Analysis: Examine all recent comparable sales. Only use recent properties that are similar in configuration, age, and location to the home you want to buy. Your REALTOR® can complete this for you.

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

 

Great Real Estate Tips on Buying a Home

Choosing Great Real Estate Buyer Agents

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Are your home shopping expectations realistic?

There is no such thing as a perfect house. If you are pre-qualified and have been looking for a home for a long time, there will be one of four reasons you haven't found your dream home

 

 

  • You can't afford the homes you like. Either stop looking until you save enough money to purchase your dream home or be realistic with what you can afford. Your first home does not to be the forever home. Purchasing your first property is the first step to getting your dream home by building equity.
  • You have chosen the wrong real estate agent to help you. The majority of Real Estate Agents in Edmonton and the surrounding area have access to the same MLS Data, but if there hasn't been anything which has caught your attention, you can either fire your agent and find one who will work harder for you, which may include knocking on doors in a specific area or making community phone calls to find you a suitable property. Or maybe you are just too picky.
  • You have no motivation. There are many people who prefer to rent. Every month, they pay for someone else's mortgage, helping the homeowner build equity. Or you have signed a long lease and are not in a position to buy. Or you may have a reason for not purchasing yet. If this is the case, stop looking until you are really ready.
  • You are TOO cheap. What the asking price of a home is, is irrelevant to the purchase price. For example: if two identical homes are listed at $400,000 and the other at $375,000 and you are still "Low Balling" the less expensive one, you will never get a good price. A good real estate agent will complete a buyers CMA for you, which will indicate a fair value market price and if it is below, you've already made money.


BEST REAL ESTATE TIP: No matter what type of market we are in, the longer you postpone your purchase, the more money you will loose. Eventually house prices will go back up in Edmonton, but so will interest rates!

 

Great Real Estate Tips on Buying a Home

Choosing Great Real Estate Buyer Agents

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Come in, Welcome to our Open House!

Open houses are great for the listing real estate agents because it gives us an opportunity to meet the neighbors who may be thinking about selling their home and to pick up new buyers.

 



When real estate agents host an open house, the ultimate goal is to sell the home. The real estate agent who is hosting the open house has already spent time and money and anyone who walks through the door needs to understand, the agent will be asking you questions.

If you are only looking for decorating ideas or you are already under a Buyer's Brokerage Agreement, let the hosting agent know. We have Rules, Regulations and a code of Ethics, whereof, we are not allowed to interfere with another REALTORS® Clients. However, if you are not currently working with a real estate agent, REALTORS® are always looking for new business.

If you are interested in the property and would like more information on the home, call your current agent - DO NOT tell the listing agent. Anything you tell the hosting real estate agent will be disclosed to the sellers and in the event, you write an offer on this property, information can be used against you in negotiations. It is our job to work in the best interest of our clients which would include informing the sellers of all interested parties.

Real Estate Agents are also responsible for ensuring proper care of the home while showing. If you have children, please hold their hands and don't be offended if the REALTOR® is following you everywhere.

 

More tips on "How to Buy a Home"

More tips on "How to Hire a Real Estate Agent when Buying"

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Questions to Ask a Buyers Real Estate Agent


What type of properties do you mostly sell? Purchasing a single-family detached house is different than buying a condominium, new builds or luxury properties. It is important that the Edmonton Real Estate Agent you choose has in-depth knowledge of the type of property you are planning on purchasing.

What is your negotiation style and experience in multiple offer situations? Even in a buyers market, you may be in a multiple offer situation and great negotiating agents have personalized techniques to winning bidding wars. Some agents can be too aggressive and will lose due to their unlikeability, other agents can be too passive. Choose a real estate agent who is creative and on your side.

How many homes did you sell last year? This is a very important question. The average real estate agent in Edmonton sells about 8 properties a year. Some agents will sell over 100 properties per year. If you want a REALTOR® who will spend time with you, is knowledgeable and experience, choosing a real estate agent who sells 25-50 homes a year is your best bet.

Do you have other professionals you work with on a regular basis? Again, another very important question. Agents have relationships with other real estate providers and depending on how this question is answered, it will give you an insight on how long they have been in real estate, but more importantly on how they conduct their business.

Are you full-time real estate agent? All REMAX Real Estate Agents are full-time REALTORS®. This is not the case with other real estate companies. You don’t want someone doing this part-time or as a hobby. Looking at properties for fun is not the same as having fun when looking at homes. When viewing homes, great Edmonton real estate agents will point out the flaws of each home and they all have them, not commenting on how pretty the bedroom is set up.

Do you normally work in my price range? Most Edmonton real estate agents work a wide range of prices, but if they usually help home buyers purchase million dollar homes, you might not be a top priority. Similarly, if you want to purchase new build homes and they normally work older properties, the agent may not have the right connections for Edmonton home builders.

Will I be required to sign a buyers brokerage agreement? If any Edmonton Real Estate Agents answers "No", find another REALTOR®. The Canadian Real Estate of Alberta has mandated to work with all residential buyers under an agreement. There are 2 types of agreements - Exclusive & Non-Exclusive.

Do I have to work with your recommended service providers? If the agents say “yes”, it’s illegal. Find another REALTOR®. Good real estate agents in Edmonton should have solid recommendations for other service providers, but you should never feel pressured to use their recommendation. A good agent doesn’t do everything on their own. They have a team of other professionals including mortgage brokers, home inspector, contractors, Conveyancers, real estate lawyers, etc.

Can I review all documents before I sign them? A good real estate agent will take the time to explain the documents and provide you with ample time to review important documents. Never feel pressured into signing. Real Estate Contracts are a binding agreement and it is important you understand them thoroughly prior to signing

Do you use e-signature or DocuSign? An e-signature is an electronic signature and gives you an indication of how internet savvy the real estate agent is. electronic signature also eliminates the need to print, fax, scan, and ship documents and are time documented. During this conversation, your agent will also mention auto-prospecting, which is a system to keep you updated the moment a new home which meets your criteria arrives on the Edmonton or surrounding area market.

How long have you been a licensed real estate agent? This question is one that cannot be missed. Experience in the real estate industry is important. The longer a real estate agent has been selling real estate, the more transactions they have likely completed.

Do you attend the inspections? Inspections are a contingency or buyers condition when purchasing a home. If any real estate agents in Edmonton or the surrounding area, tells you don't really need one, find another REALTOR®. You may think an inspection for a condominium or a brand new property is a waste of time and money, but have an inspection can save you thousands of future dollars and find unforeseen issues. New Home warranties have limitations.

How will I know how much to offer when I find a home? Listen carefully to how the real estate agent answers this. If the REALTOR® pulls title and does a buyer's Comparative Market Analysis or CMA, congratulations, you have found yourself a great Buyers Real Estate Agent.

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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 the 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 an 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.

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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. YourREALTOR® 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 neighbor’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.

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Is still possible to purchase a home with a 5% down payment.

 

Investing in Edmonton's real estate market is relatively simple. For a small amount of money down, usually, five percent, (plus closing costs) and can own an asset worth significantly more and build your net worth. Your down payment must be from your own savings or a gift from a family member. You cannot use a loan or line of credit.

To use the 5% down payment option, the following rules apply:

The home must be your principal residence - in other words, you will actually live in the home. So if you plan on buying a condominium or other property for residual income, you won’t be eligible for the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s 5% down payment option.

To calculate your GDS or Gross Debt Service ratio, factor in your monthly mortgage payment, utilitiy costs, property taxes and condo fees, if applicable. This number cannot exceed more than 32% of your gross taxable income. Plus, all your consumer debt, loans, and housing-related payments cannot exceed 40% of your gross taxable income—this is your Total Debt Service ratio or the TDS.

 

Finally, you must have good credit and a minimum of one year with your current employer. 

 

Once you have your pre-approval completed. Contact an experienced real estate agent with their ABR designation and start house shopping!

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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, the buyers pay a variety of fees such as mortgage origination charges, title insurance, lawyer, home insurance and property taxes. 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 percent 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 advise.

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How to Avoid Paying Too Much for a House

 

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


Below are a few questions you should check into prior to making an offer.

 

  • Is the property tax assessment accurate? If not, find out why
  • What is the latest real estate trend in that neighborhood? Are real estate prices going up or coming down?
  • Have there been any recent drug busts, break and enters or other community crimes you should be aware of?
  • How much was the bank property appraisal?
  • What is the absorption rate in the community?
  • Is the property staged to avoid any defects?
  • Did your REALTOR® complete a CMA (Comparative Market Analysis) on your property?

Contact an Edmonton RE/MAX Real Estate Agent and find out more on how to make the best offer on a property?    

 

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