Edmonton Military Realtor - Audrey Abuan

Edmonton Advanced Marketing BGRS REALTOR


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.

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CAN YOU AFFORD TO SELL YOUR HOME

The Edmonton real estate market is soft and house prices have been dormat for the last decade. Before you sell your home, 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.


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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, the seller's costs vary from a few thousand 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 maintance. Pricing your home correctly in todays Edmonton Real estate market is crucial and timing is also a factor. Read more on your community absorption rate.


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.

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

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


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


Alberta Real Estate Title Insurance Image

Title Insurance Benefits include

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

Drawbacks of Title Insurance

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


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

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Real Estate Agent Fiduciary Duties

Real Estate Agents in Edmonton and the province of Alberta who is in an agency capacity for buyer or seller clients have duties mandated by the legal system called fiduciary duties. The position of the REALTOR® is a fiduciary capacity, acting in the best interests of the client.


Alberta Real Estate Contracts


  • Obedience:  Your real estate agent must obey your instructions as long as it is legal and in accordance with your brokerage agreement.
  • Loyalty:  Your real estate agent must be loyal and keep your best interests ahead of those of any other party, including themselves.
  • Disclosure:  In the province of Alberta, the law requires real estate agents, whether in an "agency" capacity or not, to disclose material facts to their client. Material facts are those that, if known by the buyer or seller, might have caused them to change their purchase or sale actions. In a signed agency agreement, your real estate agent must disclose more than the material facts. They must disclose all known or suspected information regarding the purchase of the property.
  • Confidentiality: A real estate agents fiduciary duty of confidentiality means that nothing learned about you can be disclosed including your business, financial, personal affairs or motivations. This confidentiality fiduciary duty must be maintained for eternity.
  • Accounting: Your real estate agent is accountable for all documents and funds in the transaction. Accurate reporting of the whereabouts of all monies pertaining to the transaction and the ultimate disposition. All documents are to be kept for at least six years.
  • Reasonable Care: The words "reasonable care" are only finally fully defined in many cases by a judge or jury when it's too late to change your actions. Most Edmonton Real Estate Agents, as a rule of thumb, go by the ethics code "What we know, you know" when acting in an agency relationship.
Whether you work with a real estate agent  in Edmonton under a "customer status" or a "client status", before signing any other paperwork, REALTORS® in Edmonton and the surrounding areas have a regulatory requirement to present and discuss our Consumer Relationship Guide with you which includes the real estate agency relationship you have chosen to work under. A copy of this form can be found at the Real Estate Council of Alberta
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How to use a Comparative Market Analysis

Edmonton real estate agents can provide a 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 an accurate home evaluation. 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.


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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 which 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 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.

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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 on 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 which 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 neighboring 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..."


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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 which 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.

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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.


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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.

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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.


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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!

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Top 5 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 practicing, 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.


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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 longer 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 the 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 Homes & Gardens team to ensure our clients top-notch service.

How do you prefer to communicate and how often?

This is a two-way question. As licensed real estate agents in the province of Alberta, we are obligated to work in our clients best interest. Which means, if you prefer to be notified of showings via phone calls, emails or text messages, your agent will need to know this. Some agents will only send you a text and assume you received it. Ask how and how often you will be notified of feedback from other agents who have shown your home. Ask how they plan to stay in touch with you. You do not want an agent to list your home and you don't hear from them until either your receive an offer or your home is about to expire. Select an agent who communicates well to eliminate confusion.

Do you do Open Houses?

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, license, 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 Homes & Gardens team to ensure our clients top-notch service.

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 a disciplinary action?
  • Are you a listing agent or a buyer's agent?
  • What price range do you generally work in?
  • Do you have a network of other productive agents which you work with?
  • What would you say are your strongest attributes as an agent?
If you have a selling question, feel free to ask. We are here to help.
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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.


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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.

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Data is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate by the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton.