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JENNIFER'S STORY: DISCOVERING WHAT GOES ON BEHIND THE SCENES


This for sale by owner has lost a lot of time, money and felt extremely stressed trying to sell the house on her own. One of her biggest regrets of selling on her own was not understanding what  REALTORS® really do and how a real estate agent can help. Watch this video to find out what the two biggest regrets of this home seller are. 


If you are looking to avoid real estate contract mistakes during the offer process, contact us today. We are here to help.

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Does Your Bank Require an Appraisal?

Appraisals are an important part of buying and selling homes in Edmonton. Real estate appraisals establish a property's sold market value price. Banks and financial Institutions require property appraisals when buyers require a mortgage on their new homes as security and provide financial institutions with a cost-effective assurance of the properties value for lending purposes. Appraisals are detailed reports compiled by licensed real estate appraisers.


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Don't confuse a comparative market analysis, or CMA, with a real estate appraisal. A CMA is a sales report based on data entered into the multiple listing service, or MLS. Real estate agents use CMAs to help their clients determine realistic asking and offering prices.


An appraisal is also not the same thing as a property inspection. Home inspectors test appliances and outlets, check the plumbing and electrical, confirm heating and cooling system are in working order, use inspection tools to look for any moisture issues, missing insulation, etc.. Such information is helpful for the buyer to know before moving in.


If your real estate appraisal comes in low, the bank may not lend you the money you need to satisfy your finance condition. You may need to come up with the difference in cash or re-negotiate the sale price of the property.

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Why You Need a Property Title Search

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


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Basic information on a property title will include:

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

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

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

If you are not represented by an Edmonton Real Estate Agent, with the legal description and a small fee, the public can pull the title of a property plus details on any registered documents attached to it. Also note, between the time a condition has been removed from an offer to purchase to the time a buying signs with their lawyer, there may be a change on the land title certificate.


Learn more about real estate contracts in Alberta

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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 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.


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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.


READ MORE ON THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN REAL PROPERTY REPORTS AND TITLE INSURANCE

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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.


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  • 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.
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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.

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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.

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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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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.


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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

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7 Tips to keep your home happy, healthy and long lasting

With home ownership comes house maintenance and spring is the best time to check your home maintenance checklist. If you own a house in Edmonton, there are a few natural elements to be aware of depending on your Edmonton community. Edmonton has areas where we have soft soil and higher water tables. Below is a perfect Edmonton House Maintenance checklist to prevent major future water concerns.


House & Home Maintenance


  • Downspouts and gutters: Pull debris and leaves from downspouts and gutters. Repair any gutters that have pulled away from your house. Run a water hose on the roof of the house and check for proper drainage. If leaks exist, dry the area and use an epoxy to seal the leak.
  • Siding, Stucco, Wood: Remove the dirt off your siding or stucco with a pressure wash. If your house has wood siding, ensure that all surfaces are covered by a weather friendly paint. This is also a great time to update the exterior color of your home and fill in any broken stucco (usually found near window edges).
  • Cleaning: Spring is a perfect time to wash windows sills, exterior doors, and screens. Replace, tighten or paint any broken, missing or worn hardware and replace screens with holes. Using your old towels will also be a great reason to buy new ones.
  • Grading: Take a walk around your house to see if all grading is sloped away from the foundation. If not, add some clay and topsoil. This is one of the best and cheapest maintenance jobs you can to in your home.
  • Deck and porches: Check all decks, patios, porches, stairs, and railings for loose members and deterioration. Replace boards as needed. Don't forget to purchase pressure treated ones. Spruce this area up and create a warming curb appeal with a fresh coat of paint.
  • Landscape: This is a perfect time to trim back overgrown tree branches and bushes. Rotitil your gardens, remove pet stained spots and fertilizer to your grass.
  • Tool Check: Check all your spring tools are in working order and all together. Check your lawnmower, oil & gas refills, Water hoses, Rain buckets, etc.

For a fall, spring, summer or winter selling checklist, contact us. 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.