Tips for Buying During COVID-19
1. Check out virtual Open Houses
If you were planning on visiting an open house during this pandemic - sorry not allowed. There are however online virtual tours you can take advantage of. We know its not quite the same, so if you really want to view a property, contact us and we will ensure all precautions are in place while viewing.
2. It's a Blessing in Disguise
Timing is everything when it comes to money, this is a perfect time to be purchasing any real estate from single-family homes to rental investments to leasing commercial property. There are some sellers who need to sell their houses and are willing to take a loss. Plus interest rates right now in Canada are unbeatable.
Tips for Selling Edmonton During COVID-19
1. Don't Rely on Virtual Evaluations
Pricing is everything right now. An experienced Realtor will still need to see your home in person to price it properly in today's market. Although the agent's presentation can be done via skype, on the phone and through email documentation, an accurate selling price can only be provided when the agent physical looks at your property. Once they have viewed your home, then the agent can provide professional advice for maximizing your sold price and tips on preparing your home for sale to ensure you receive a fair market sold price!
2. Pictures are worth a thousand dollars
Today, more than ever, having the right photography is so important. Our professional photographers respect the COVID- 19 rules and all have masks and gloves while photographing, creating floor plans, 3D tours, i-guides, and accurately measuring your home. Our agents will be there as well at this time to ensure all precautions are taken. Expect to leave your house for about an hour and a half while the photos are being taken.
3. Only Allow in the Qualified
As a homeowner, you need to decide which viewing requirements you prefer. Do you require the buyers to complete a questionnaire prior to viewing? Are the Buyers qualified to purchase in your price range? Will everyone with a financial investment be there together for the viewing? Will the buyer's children be staying at home?
4. Do your part (Before & After the showing)
- Turn on all lights to prevent anyone from touching the light switches.
- Open all window coverings to provide natural light.
- Provide hand sanitizer at the front entry
- Sanitize door handles and surfaces before and after showings
If you have questions about selling your Edmonton home during COVID-19, feel free to get in touch with us.
How to Hire a Great Edmonton Realtor when Selling
Be cautious with any REALTORS who charge upfront fees! Most Real Estate Companies DO NOT charge up-front fees. All expense will be paid by your Realtor from their own pocket. Once your home is SOLD, the Realtor will receive the remuneration you have agreed upon in your listing agreement. In the event your home does not sell during the term of the agreement - unless otherwise written - there is NO CHARGE.
There are almost 4000 licensed REALTORS® to choose from to help you sell your Edmonton home. When a municipality is a hot market, anyone can sell a property, but great real estate agents are able to sell in any market.& In a soft market or "buyers market", it is crucial to choose a REALTOR® who knows how to sell houses or you can become an expired statistic. Currently (2018) in Edmonton about 40% of homes are selling.
There are a few questions to ask a listing real estate agent prior to having them in your home, which will eliminate inexperienced agents and save you time and money. When REALTORS® are on a "Listing Appointment", the intention of the agent is to get you to sign the agreement to put your home on the market. After an agent has completed their marketing plan, strong agents will ask for the business. A weaker agent will not.
The three biggest mistakes sellers make when selecting an agent is basing their decision solely on commission, price and the ability to market your home.
>Lowest real estate commissions:
Agents in Edmonton have business expenses, which can run into the thousands every month. Part of these expenses is the cost to market your home. If an agent is listing your home for a lesser commission, don't expect them to pay money they don't have to market your property. A good agent will not ask for any money upfront. Why would you pay someone for a job which has not been done? There is always a reason why a broker or real estate agent would discount a real estate fee. Ask yourself why. Is the agent desperate for business or unqualified? Do you want to work with a desperate agent?
Highest Asking Price:
In the real estate industry, there is a term, called "Buying the Listing". This means, an agent has told you, your home is worth more than it really is, just to get you to sign the listing agreement. Expect to reduce or price once or twice during the agreement or worse, be added to the Expired list (Homes which do not sell). REALTORS® already have an idea of what your home is worth, even before stepping into your home. Beware of an agent who is trying to buy the listing.
Ability to Market Properties:
Today, almost every buyer and seller start the home buying and selling process online. You may want to use "Mom and Dads REALTOR®, but are they tech-savvy? There is so much more to marketing a home than putting it on Realtor.ca. Anyone with a real estate license in Alberta can do this, you don't even need to live in Edmonton. Finding a qualified buyer who is ready, willing and able to purchase your home is more valuable to you than generating leads.
If your home is not exposed on the internet, by a tech-savvy Agent, buyers will not find it. Online advertising and property websites are now a basic requirement in modern home buying and selling. REALTOR®’s success also depends on how well they can market homes. Google the agents' website, prior to inviting them into your home. Find out how many listings the agent is carrying. If the Real Estate Agent only has one or two listings, they may be part-time, maybe more comfortable working with buyers or may not know how to market your home. An agent who is carrying too many listings can be overwhelmed and you may end up becoming a number instead of a client. A good rule of thumb is, hire an agent who carries 10 - 20 listings at a time, this is usually an indication of an above-average real estate agent.
The bare minimum marketing you should expect from your agent is:
- Professional yard signage.
- Lockbox with electronic monitoring
- Follow-up reports on buyer showings with feedback to the seller
- Staging advice to make your home more attractive to potential buyers.
- Digital targeted marketing.
- MLS exposure with a minimum of 30 professional photographs
- Virtual tour.
- Distribution to major websites.
- Updated CMAs after 30 days including the recent sales
- The ability to track online buyers
During the listing appointment, there are a few things that need to be noted.
How long was the agent in your home: Eliminate agents who view your home and arrive at a "listing price" within a short period of time. Although their price may be accurate, they haven't taken the time to show you how they arrived at the price or what they do and how they get homes sold. A good listing agent will show you comparable sales, pending sales, actives, educate you on the current market and show you their marketing plan. If the agent has no statistics, home sales are located in a different community or are not prepared, could be a red flag.
A great Edmonton Real Estate Agent will have spent time prior to meeting you, completing research on your home. They will have all the necessary information to price your home accurately. (highest possible asking price to attract reasonable offers) The agent will be prepared for anything including objections or concerns you may have. They will take the time to complete an accurate CMA, community absorption rate, thoroughly go over their marketing plan and address any unforeseen concerns they may have prior to asking for the listing. This is a valuable asset to the hiring experience.
Were all of your concerns addressed: Pay close attention as the REALTORS® goes through their marketing plan. Many of your concerns will already be addressed by a good agent. Pay attention to what is said. If it is mostly about how many homes they personally sold and how quickly, expect them to suggest a lower selling price below the true market value. These agents want to get your home sold as quickly as possible and move on. If the agent has not addressed most of your concerns. This can be a red flag.
Hire a professional: A huge misconception is every agent deals with the same type of buyers and sellers. In fact, there are agents who only list and agents who only deal with buyers. Not all agents work all price ranges. In Edmonton, there are real estate agents who specialize in mobile parks. They know how important it is to have the "criminal check" completed prior to writing an offer. An agent who specializes in luxury homes should have the extra knowledge required for selling a home under a company name, know the differences between the brands and grades of hardwood. If you are relocating, a relocation specialist is the best. They have contacts with other relocation REALTORS® who they have already done business with and can recommend a great agent for you at your destination which will make for a smoother move.
Go with your instinct: Selling a home is a major decision. You need to like, trust and feel comfortable with the REALTOR® you choose. Personality and character traits are also extremely important but don't show on paper. Buying and selling homes in a soft market, can take time and choose the right agent will be a positive experience. Choosing the wrong agent can lead to months of frustration and an unsold house.
Contact us today for your FREE HOME EVALUATION
Understanding Real Estate Commissions
Let's pretend for a moment, your Edmonton home sells for $400,000 and you are paying 7% on the first $100,000 and 3% on the balance of the purchase price. The total commissions payable would be $16,000 plus GST. To understand, how much money real estate agents actually make, we need to look at how agents real estate commissions really work.
First - Half of the commission is given to the buyer's agent. Out of the buying side, the buyer's agent does not receive the total $8000. Depending on how the agent splits their commissions between a team or office split, many buyers agents in Edmonton will receive half of the remuneration of $4000. Out of this sum, the buyers' agent will have to pay their monthly desk fee, vehicle maintenance, gas, and insurance. There are also annual licencing fees for Edmonton Realtors, buyer closing gifts, title searches, other fees associated with selling a property and of course Revenue Canadas share.
The other half of the commission goes to the listing agent. Out of the listing side, the Realtor usually has more expenses than a buyers agent including the cost of marketing the property, (which is not cheap!), the cost of hiring a professional photographer, the cost of accurately measuring the property, cost of a third company putting up and removing real estate signs, key boxes, promotional items, website maintenance, property-specific webpages, etc. Same as the buyers' agents, the listing agent also pays for annual licencing fees for Realtors, seller closing gifts, title searches, other fees associated with selling a property and Revenue Canadas portion of the commission.
There are real estate companies in Edmonton who will charge a flat fee or a lesser commission to put your home on MLS, and other Realtors will charge a higher fee. Understanding how much money Edmonton Realtors make will depend on how many homes they sell and how much commission they receive on each property sold.
The net commissions left for the real estate agent is what they get to take home to feed, shelter and clothe their families. Today, in Edmonton's soft real estate market, many agents are now changing companies to a "lesser fee structure" company due to the cost of doing business. Many of these agents can no longer afford to be a Realtor, simply because they are not doing enough business, don't want to work as hard to earn a higher commission, are licenced only to buy and sell real estate for themselves or are on their way out of the business.
Now that you have a better understanding of how commissions work and how much Realtors actually net, let's pretend again for a moment, you are a real estate agent. Although it is against the Realtors Code of Conduct not to show properties based on commissions, it can be a buyers discretion not to view them (read more about buyer brokerage agreements). If you were a Realtor in Edmonton, would you show a property with a lesser commission?
In Alberta, all real estate commissions are negotiable, up or down and when hiring a real estate agent to sell your Edmonton home, a few thousand dollars in real estate commissions can make the difference between selling and not selling your home - Choose your Realtor based on the value they offer and interview more than one. Do they have the tools to market your home? Are they giving you a discount based on services which will be eliminated? Are they asking for money upfront, prior to doing anything? How is their internet presence?
Always interview a few real estate agents, ask lots of questions especially about their marketing plan and how they attract buyers. Find out what they have to offer. Not all Realtors are the same, each agent is different. If you use a Realtor or a real estate company to sell your home, there will be a fee. The big question you need to ask yourself is - "HOW MUCH MONEY WILL YOU NET AT THE END OF THE DAY?"
Most REMAX Realtors in Edmonton have the highest monthly real estate fees and are working hard to help you sell or buy your home, staying on top of their game, a doing what it takes to get your home sold including paying for the costs of marketing your property. Keep in mind, Realtors do not get paid by the hour, their real estate companies DO NOT pay them for working there. Realtors work very hard to earn their commissions and only get paid once your property is SOLD (usually on possession date) and not on the day it is sold!
If you have any questions on real estate commissions in Edmonton or what like an in-home real estate interview with myself, feel free to contact me anytime.
Did your Home Get Stigmatized?
In real estate, a stigmatized property is a property which buyers may shun for various reasons other than its physical condition or features. These reasons can include the death of someone who was occupying the home to a murder which has taken place inside the property. Some buyers believe the house may now be haunted.
- When a death occurs inside a home, it may not always be disclosed to a buyer. Although when there has been a murder, it is usually public information and can be found on the net. According to the Real Estate Council of Alberta, a murder on the property does not need to be disclosed.
- Many jurisdictions recognize several forms of stigmatized property and have passed resolutions or statutes to deal with them. One issue that separates them is disclosure. Depending on the jurisdiction of the house, the seller may not be required to disclose the full facts.
- When a home is considered a stigmatized property, the selling value may be decreased to attract more buyers. These houses are priced accordingly and purchasing one for a lesser real estate cost, financially benefit the buyers.
- Types of stigma may include houses formally used in a crime, such as a drug house or brothel. Foreclosures where debt collectors are unaware that a debtor has moved out of a residence and may continue their pursuit at the same location
- The wrong starting price can also stigmatize a property when selling your Edmonton home. When a residential dwelling sits on the market for long periods of time, buyers assume there is something wrong with it. Learn how to price your Edmonton home properly from the start.
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.
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.
Title Insurance Benefits include
- Intervening registrations – Anything registered on the 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 favourable 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 Remax Elite Realtors.
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.
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.
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 neighbour’s land or vice versa. Since legal complications may occur if a sold property fails to meet requirements, a Real Property Report protects the seller.
What is on a Real Property Report?
The legal location description of the property and municipal address, dimensions and directions of all property boundaries, any improvements on the property, right-of-way or easements, any visible encroachments, a duly signed certification and opinion by an Alberta Land Surveyor and a permit Stamp where applicable.
How much does a Real Property Report cost?
The amount of work to prepare a Real Property Report varies between properties. Lot size and shape, number of buildings, natural features, age and availability of the property boundary information all affect the cost. However, if you are planning on selling your home in the near future, the sooner you order your Real Property Report, the more economical it will be plus any problems can be identified and resolved before a sale is finalized.
How to find a QUALIFIED buyer
Finding a QUALIFIED buyer for your home is not easy. Everyone wants to own real estate, but not everyone can qualify. If you have been trying to sell your property and are finding it difficult to find a buyer for your home, there are some tricks to the real estate trade. Especially now with the government restrictions put upon us with qualify at 2% higher than your interest rate.
Open Houses in Edmonton can be hit and miss. You can't put up signs and expect a buyer who is in a position to purchase, who thinks your home is perfect and is qualified to purchase to walk off the street and put an offer on your home. It is not that simple. Keep an open mind. Most buyers attending Open Houses are still in the "looking stage". Open Houses can receive constant foot traffic if done right. Read more on how to have a productive open house.
Adjust your expectations
Not everyone who inquires 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 fulfil their obligations if interested in your home. The real estate agent will be asking questions, lots of them. The agent is working in the best interest of their client buyer and is working in the best interest of their client.
The agent may be looking for more business and is calling to list your home. Take the time to talk. You may not want to list your home at this time, but if you are the one asking questions, you may learn something which will help you sell your home on your own. There are many real estate agents do not deal with buyers and specialize in listings only.
There is more to marketing a home than putting your property on the MLS which impacts Realtor.ca, putting a sign in the front yard and adding a key box to your entrance. Advertising by word of mouth is a big advantage. There are almost 4000 Real Estate Agents associated with the Edmonton Real Estate Board who talk to each other. Tell your friends, family, co-workers, doctor, dentist and everyone you meet. Marketing your property to attract buyers who are qualified and in a position to purchase a property takes work and experienced, tech-savvy REALTORS have the know-how. This includes knowing the absorption rate in your community.
How to Get Top Dollar for your Edmonton Home
Edmonton is a large municipality which means you will have plenty of nearby competition and making your home the prettiest will bring the highest offers, especially in a slower or buyers real estate market and an undesirable location, it is very important to show your Edmonton home at it's very best to maximize its value. Below are the top 5 actions you can take.
Disassociate Yourself With Your Property
No matter how long you have lived 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 favourite member of your family. Make your home appeal to as many buyers as possible by neutralizing every room of the house.
Declutter as much as possible
Declutter as much as you can including your kitchen cabinets, linen and coat closets and your garage. As a rule of thumb, if you won't use it in the next three months, pack it away. Yes, this includes those boxes in your basement which have not been opened since your last move. This is also a great time to donate everything you haven't actually used in the last ten years or have a "priced to sell" garage sale.
Go on a shopping trip
Your home deserves a little freshening up and a shopping trip to spruce up your homes is also on your selling checklist. Purchase colour coordinated linen for your bedrooms and bathrooms. This will add both a warm ambience and a fresh, clean feel to your rooms. If your furniture is dirty - clean it or replace it. Don't get carried away by all of the available staging items. Keep it simple.
Clean everything inside and outside
Serious buyers will be snooping in your home. They will be looking in your oven, fridge, cabinets, and closets. Make sure these are clean, neat and tidy. You don't want buyers to think there is a shortage of storage space, or think your home is not taken care of. A dirty house will be reflected in a buyers offer to purchase. Don't neglect the backyard, garage, and storage sheds. Make your home sparkle!
Have a Pre-sold dinner party
Celebrate your hard work of getting your Edmonton home ready to sell and invite over your closest friends and open the wine. Ask them to walk around your home, point out any imperfections and for their honest opinions. Bring a notebook. You will be amazed by the feedback. If you have any questions about getting your home ready to sell, contact us.
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.
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.
Top 5 Interview Questions to Ask Edmonton Realtors when Selling
With so many types of residential real estate, Edmonton agents are beginning to specialize in a wide range of residential fields. Over the last decade, there have been ample changes in the real estate business and specializing has become the norm. These fields can range from buyer agency, infills and new builds, relocation, luxury homes, seniors, military, condominiums, foreclosures, etc. There are over 3500 real estate agents licensed with the Edmonton Real Estate Board, most actively practising, allowing homeowners several choices finding a Realtor who can properly target market their property. Below are the top 5 questions to ask any Edmonton Real Estate Agent.
How long have you been in the business?
You may have found an agent online, because they are extremely tech-savvy, but may lack experience. An "old-time" REALTOR® may have several years of experience but lack the marketing knowledge they need to expose your property to qualified buyers. A long time in the real estate business is always a benefit because it creates the experience. Agents who have been in the real estate business for a few decades have experience in both good and bad markets and will know how to adjust. These real estate agents usually have larger databases, are the most creative and think outside the box.
Do you have another part-time job?
Listen carefully to the answer. REALTORS® who are not full time, may not be as motivated to get your home sold. Real Estate is an expensive business with company fees, licences, photographers, graphic designers, vehicle maintenance, office tools, conveyancing fees, signage, desk fees, websites, internet syndication systems, etc. and if an agent needs another part-time job to survive - that agent may not care whether your home sells or not. Every REALTOR® must be full-time to join our Homes & Gardens team to ensure our client's top-notch service.
How do you prefer to communicate and how often?
This is a two-way question. As licensed real estate agents in the province of Alberta, we are obligated to work in our clients best interest. 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 you receive an offer or your home is about to expire. Select an agent who communicates well to eliminate confusion.
Do you do Open Houses?
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 within your entire career?
- How many transactions have you handled year-to-date?
- Have you ever been subject to disciplinary action?
- Are you a listing agent or a buyer's agent?
- What price range do you generally work in?
- Do you have a network of other productive agents which you work with?
- What would you say are your strongest attributes as an agent?
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..."
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
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.
Take the time to knock on your neighbours' doors and personally invite them. You never know if they have family or friends who may be looking to purchase a home in your community or maybe they want their family to move closer.
- Become tech-savvy - Put your Open House on as many websites as you can. If possible, search engine optimize all of your website traffic to ensure buyers who are looking online will be able to find your home.
- Blog it! Add a blog link to all of your traffic including Facebook and ask your friends to share it.
- Pictures say 1000 words. Make sure every photo you use on the internet is clear, in the right format and has the proper pixels. Do put on photos 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 neighbours, find out more about your area and is great exercise. Ask them to drop in for coffee, the more strangers you have in your home, the safer you will be.
- Create a sign-in sheet! Have your Open House guests sign in once they arrive. You will be able to follow up with them later to see if there is any interest. It may seem like a lot of work, but holding an Open House in Edmonton takes time to make it effective.
Have fun and good luck with your Open House!
Making your home pet-friendly during the selling process
Your pets maybe 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.
Pets are smelly
- No matter how often you bath your animals, they still smell. There are ways to eliminate some of the odours 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 neighbours, pick up the dog faeces.
- 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 odours can kill a home sale! This can be a difficult conversation because there are folks who look at their pets as family members.