Edmonton BGRS REALTOR®

Edmonton Advanced Marketing REALTOR - BGRS Approved


Is it time to Say Goodbye to Your Real Estate Agent

In all relationships, ending a relationship can sometimes be difficult, especially when you are under a signed agreement. Buying and selling homes is more than working with a friend. It is also about making the right choices for yourself and your families best interests. There are expectations when relying on Real Estate Agents to help you Buy and Sell and professionalism should be at the top. If you are unhappy with your real estate agent, there are a few things you can do.  


How to fire a Realtor
First, communicate your concerns and try to mutually solve the issue with your REALTOR. If you are having difficulty reaching your real estate agent, contact their brokerage. The agreement you entered into is with the Brokerage, not the real estate agent and the brokerage may re-assign a different REALTOR® to you. Most Edmonton Real Estate Brokers are very reasonable and do what they can to help you.


Your agent may also choose to terminate your Listing Agreement or Buyers Brokerage Agreement without any compensation or there may be a clause in your contract with a set dollar amount to terminate the agreement to cover some of the expenses which cost your agent to market the home.


Once you receive the cancellation or termination document, in the province of Alberta, you are free to enter into another agreement with a different real estate agent. Read your termination over before signing. There may be parts in your cancellation agreement that may still be in effect even after the termination.

Below are signs telling you that it may be time to fire your real estate agent.

A breach of Fiduciary Duties (The consumer Relationship Guide) which forms part of your agreement you originally signed with your REALTOR. You have expressed your concerns repeatedly which have not been addressed or worse, have been completely ignored by the other party.


You have no communication with your real estate agent, leaving you in limbo, not knowing what your REALTOR® is doing to sell your home, or the actions being taken to find you a new one. This can be extremely frustrating and you deserve to know what is happening on a regular basis.


Your Real Estate Agent keeps pushing for price reductions without providing the reason. If your home, needs a price adjustment, there will be a reason, whether it is negative feedback from other agents who have shown your home, not enough showings (normally in Edmonton, you should be getting a few showings every week with the exception of multi-million dollar homes), a surplus of recent inventory in your neighborhood, recent economic factors, etc. This information should have been discussed prior to you signing the agreement during the Comparative Market Analysis (CMA)stage.


If you are still interested in selling your home and would like an experienced marketing real estate team to work with you in your best interest, contact us.

Read full post

BUYING 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.


First Time Home Buyers Image

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, utility 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.


ALSO SEE: 5 Steps to buying a home


Keep in mind, as of January 1st, 2018, the government has imposed more qualifying restrictions on Canadians and you must now qualify at two-per-cent higher interest than your current rate. Once you have your pre-approval completed. Contact an experienced real estate agent with their ABR designation and start house shopping!

Read full post

Winterize your Edmonton Home

Yes, the onset of winter can be exciting with the crisp sparkling white wonderland but freezing temperatures can be hard on your home. Here are a few tips to help combat the cold.


Winter House Maintenance Image

4 Great Tips on Keeping you warm, safe and richer!

  • Weather stripping will prevent air leaks by heading to Home Depot to grab some weather stripping. Be sure to use it on your doors, windows, doors, and vents If the gaps on your doors and windows are thicker than a nickel, you will need to apply an exterior caulk.
  • Gutters and; check all of your downspouts and gutters to make sure they are clear of those autumn leaves and other debris. If they are blocked, it will cause problems that may result in costly repairs.
  • Furnace - If you want to stay warm and cozy on Edmonton's coldest winter days, maintain the maintenance on your furnace. Change that filter and have it checked by a professional if it sounding rough. An emergency maintenance call on a cold winter day can be very costly.
  • Water Pipes - If you are planning on getting away from Edmonton's cold weather, be sure and leave the heat running so your home stays warm. Also, leave a few faucets dripping so the water continues to flow. If a pipe bursts, it can cause thousands of dollars of damage (most insurance companies with not cover neglect)

These simple steps will allow you to enjoy a warm and cozy home during our Edmonton winter months and avoid timely and costly repairs.

Read full post

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


Edmonton Dream Homes Image

You can't afford the homes you like.

Either stop looking until you save enough money to purchase your dream home or be realistic 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. However if you have found a few homes, which would only need a few touch-ups like a new kitchen, talk with your mortgage broker to see if it possible to add a renovation loan into your mortgage.

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.

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. Every time you view a home, the seller must vacate the premises which means more cleaning and making arrangement to remove children and pets.

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 lose. Eventually, house prices will go back up in Edmonton, but so will interest rates!

Read full post

Make My Kitchen Pretty

With so many choices, it's hard to choose a perfect "stone" counter top. Before you rush out and buy the prettiest one, you make want to consider resale value. When choosing a new counter-top, base it on your lifestyle, not on price. If your kitchen looks dated, replacing your counter tops and back splashes will make a huge impact and it is less expensive than replacing a whole kitchen.


Kitchen Renovations Image

  • Quartz counter tops are a hard natural mineral. They are resistant to scratches, stains, heat, easy to clean are becoming the trend in luxury Edmonton houses. Depending on the grade, quartz counter tops are about the same cost as granite.
  • Granite counter tops are one of the most elegant materials that can be used for kitchen work surfaces. When sealed properly, it is stain and heat-resistant so it continues to look beautiful in the years to come. Granite counter tops are a popular choice in our Edmonton homes due to its wear ability and color choices.
  • Corian counter tops are a mixture of binding resins and minerals and come in over a hundred colors. Corian is a flexible material when heat and can appear seamless once installed leaving a smooth, unblemished finish. It takes on a sandblasted stone look.
  • Marble counter-tops are stylish, elegant and drop-dead gorgeous. A counter top made of marble is usually less durable than granite, Corian or quartz and less resistant to stains and scratches. It is also more expensive to get installed. Marble Counter-tops are all about the look.

If you are planning to sell your Edmonton home in the near future, you may want to postpone changing those kitchen counters. Ask your REALTOR for the best advise. Today, buyers also have the option of a renovation loan which can be tied into their mortgage payments.

Read full post

What is a Real Estate Absorption Rate?

During listing appointment and the CMA process, 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 here in Edmonton will give us 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.


Edmonton House Prices Image


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. 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 favors sellers. Lower absorption rates mean that homes are not selling quickly and supply is much greater than demand, favoring buyers.


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.

Read full post

Let's get those buyers into your home!

When hosting open houses for your home, you will need to do more than a simple advertisement in the local paper, putting it on the Realtor.ca website and put out yard signs. There are several other real estate marketing tools you can use to attract people who may be looking to buy into your home.


Open House Image


Take the time to knock on your neighbors' doors and personally invite them. You never know if they have family or friends who may be looking to purchase a home in your community or maybe they want their family to move closer.

  • Become tech savvy - Put your Open House on as many websites as you can. If possible, search engine optimize all of your website traffic to ensure buyers who are looking online will be able to find your home.
  • Blog it! Add a blog link to all of your traffic including Facebook and ask your friends to share it.
  • Pictures say 1000 words. Make sure every photo you use on the internet is clear, in the right format and has the proper pixels. Do put on photos which are dark, have bad curb appeal, etc.
  • Facebook Ads - Facebook ads are great! Just choose your search criteria, upload your photos, add the dialogue and input your payment. You may want to do this a week in advance. NOT the day before.
  • Sell your community! Add information about your community to your feature sheets. Give the reasons why a buyer would want to live in your area. Do you have a dog park nearby? Community events? Ravine walking trails? Add some more photos.
  • Build a website for your home and add it to your feature sheets for the buyers to look at your home at their convenience. Add as many links as you can. Don't forget to have them open in new windows. You will want to keep them on your page. Add a video: Videos are easy to make and can be uploaded online. Make them fun and entertaining (No more than 2 minutes)
  • Flyer! Drop off flyers with your community. This is also a great way to meet your neighbors, 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.

Have fun and good luck with your Open House!

Read full post

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.

Edmonton Home Staging Image

Disassociate Yourself With Your Property

No matter how long you have lived at or how much love you put into your home, look at your home as a real estate commodity and decorate as though, you are giving it away to your favorite 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 color coordinated linen for your bedrooms and bathrooms. This will add both a warm ambiance 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.

Read full post

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.


Edmonton Dream Homes Image

Open Houses

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

Adjust your expectations

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

Talk to REALTORS

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


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

Marketing

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


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

Read full post

Making your home pet-friendly during the selling process

Your pets may be your best friend, but some buyers are allergic to and find pet odours offensive. Other buyers spend more time admiring your reptiles or playing with the cute puppy than viewing your home. When selling, it is best not to have them in the home. If this is not an option, keep them in a crate including cats.


Selling Your Home with Pets Image

Pets are smelly

  • No matter how often you bath your animals, they still smell. There are ways to eliminate some of the odors and pet dander. This means more cleaning and more cleaning. Wash your pet beds, blankets and toys on a weekly basis. If you own a bunny, ferret or reptile, cleaning their cages must be done on a daily basis. Don't forget the kitty litter! If not address, your pets can reduce the value of your property.

Pets are messy

  • Those cute and cuddly companions are very messy. We know as soon as we turn our back, they are jumping up on counters and couches. Vacuum your furniture daily. A buyer may sit at your kitchen table while writing you an offer and noticing animal hair hanging onto your counters and baseboards. Replace any chewed on baseboards or ripped carpets.

Don't forget the outside

  • Buyers will go into the backyard, garage and alleyway to check out your next door neighbors, pick up the dog feces.

Don't "fa-breeze"

  • If you are trying to cover up pet smells with a chemical, it will smell worse. The only way to really remove pet smells is by cleaning. Open those windows and air out your home.

One of the things Edmonton Real Estate Agents face when listing homes with pets is telling the seller that their home stinks! Homeowners need to understand those pet odors can kill a home sale! This can be a difficult conversation because there are folks who look at their pets as family members.

Read full post

How to get your Mortgage Pre-Approval  

Depending on who you have chosen, for your Edmonton Realtor, the brokerage may have several in-house mortgage brokers or you can make an appointment with your current financial institution with a mortgage specialist.


A mortgage pre-approval is the mortgage underwriting approval process, which consists of gathering all necessary paperwork, prior to house shopping. This paperwork will consist of the last two years of your T4's or last 3 years if you are self-employed, most recent paystub, confirmation of downpayment and closing costs, all debts including support payments, charge card debts and vehicle payments, other income, and any other relevant documentation.


Once all of the paperwork is gathered, it is sent to the underwriter who will review it, check your credit and take into consideration any other factors which will affect your debt ratios.



REAL ESTATE TIP: When you have completed your pre-approval process, this does not guarantee you will be approved for your home. If anything changes or if a "surprises" arrives prior to possession of your new home, your financial institution can still pull your mortgage pre-approval.


If you are putting less than 20% down you will need to pay a CHMC Fee. This is an insurance fee for your financial institution and can be rolled into your mortgage. Rule of thumb. The higher your down payment, the lower the CHMC Fee.


If your credit is border-line, it is great to have a mortgage broker who has personally met you and is willing to vouch for you to the underwriter if needed. All mortgage lenders have, at least internally, a turn time." That is simply the time from submission to underwriter review and their decision. The turn time can be affected by a number of factors big and small. However, if you go to a big bank you can expect a more lengthy approval process and may not make your condition deadline. It is what they do. Let your agent know whether you are using a mortgage broker or someone at your financial institution.


Once the underwriter has had time to review the documents, they will typically issue one of three dispositions - approved, denied or suspended - to your application. If approved underwriting will typically assign a set of conditions you will need to clear to obtain full approval. Clarification on a late payment, a large deposit, past life transgression or simply a missed signature here or there is normal requests. If suspended, which is not completely unusual, underwriting is confused and needs clarification on something.


REAL ESTATE TIP: Once you have an approval from your bank, ask them to send you and your real estate agent something in writing and remove your finance condition. Congratulations, you are now a real homeowner.

Read full post
Copyright 2019 by the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton. All Rights Reserved.
Data is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate by the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton.