Purrfect Properties Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Realtor Services Edmonton’

Edmonton: Saving the Commissions could Cost You Thousands!

Monday, May 28th, 2018
Saving the Commissions could cost you thousands

Saving the Commissions could cost you thousands

What is the largest single advantage of trying to sell your home yourself?

Saving the commissions payable.  So what is the single greatest advantage of buying a home directly from a seller or for sale by owner?  Saving the commission again. So everyone wants to save on the commissions, but who has the advantage in Edmonton- a Buyer or a Seller? Only 15% of homes currently on the market will sell within the first 90 days in Edmonton.  So clearly, a buyers market.  That being said, is the advantage on the sellers side with only one property to sell, or on the buyers side with multiple properties they could buy and the money to do so?

That’s right, the Buyer has the power.

(more…)

Changes to the rules, leaves sellers with more liability.

Monday, August 29th, 2016

In this industry the changes come quick and sweep across the market with force.  Recently the Real Estate Council of Alberta made changes to a simple aspect of selling your home, and with that change came increased responsibility and liability for both Sellers and Real Estate Professionals in Alberta.  For a very long time now, the province has operated on a standard measurement system (BOMA) for commercial and industrial measurement; while ignoring the needs for a standard measurement system with regards to Residential measurement of homes for sale.

The size of your home matters much less to your sale than what you think.  In fact, sellers are not required to put the size of their home on any advertising at all.  However, if you are listing your home on MLS®, you will need to enter a size on the MLS® listing for it to be complete and active on-line, within the Edmonton Real Estate Board.  If you’ve ever printed off an MLS® report, you will most likely have noted the small print wording; “the information found herein is deemed reliable but does not form a part of any future contract.” The question being, ‘what is reliable?’

REALTORS® are a part of a professional organization and we are monitored by ethical boards and committees of our peers.  We are deemed to be reliable and our work and advertising should be marketed truthfully and responsibly. Should be…. Yet, there are so many lawsuits over square footage.  Why is that?  Simple mistakes, inaccurate representation and even worse, plain old lying are all parts of an industry that has been paying out for years over inaccurate misrepresentation.  Not only have REALTORS® and brokerages been taken to task, now the public has.

What I mean to say is that, due diligence and seller/buyer responsibility is always increasing as time moves forwards.  What used to be a one page contract is now eight.  Buyers and Sellers now both have to sign a contract to work with a REALTOR® or their brokerage.  Information and privacy laws are changing all the time and with those changes less information is available to the public about items that used to be common knowledge, like square footage.

Edmonton is an example of a community that used to list the sizes of all its’ homes as a part of its’ taxation information.  Fireplace, air conditioners and basement permits were listed on a property summary, but now, there is none of that.  In fact, any member of the public could look up the size of a house and quickly deem if the size of house they thought they bought was correct.  Not anymore.  Moving forwards, you’ll need to measure the house yourself as it won’t be able to be verified from any third party source, and certainly not easily.

Home owners would buy from a builder, believing they got one size and then years later re-list with their REALTOR® only to be told they had to advertise their home much smaller than what they thought it was, because builders were able to measure homes in a different way than how resale homes are marketed.  Well, that’s not fair is it?

Is the new measurement standard tricky? Let me give you this as an example:  If you are in a semi-bungalow with loft like area upstairs, you would measure the upstairs area if the room at some point has a 7 foot clearance, but only that part of the room that measures above 5 feet high. (that will drastically change a lot of homes square footage for years before 1960.)  YUP… that can be tricky for professionals to ‘remember’.

Or how about this example..If you have a bay window in the room that goes all the way to the floor it is to be included as a part of the square footage, but if that bay window has any toe-kick at all, it is not to be included in the square footage.  Sure, folks will remember that one too.

In fact there’s a 36 page guide just to be certain of what you should measure.

Is it something you should leave up to your REALTOR®? Can you still be sued over square footage? All good questions, and yes, as a seller, anything you let your REALTOR® advertise; you are responsible for.  Ignorance for the rules will not help you in court, you’ll still be deemed as a part of the problem.  In the end you, as the Seller are entirely responsible for all the aspects of your sale, including what your REALTOR® does, so trust with and in your REALTOR® IS IMPERATIVE.

I won’t be measuring any listings from herein, I will call the professionals to do so. Watching the changes as they take effect and noting what some of my fellow colleagues are doing, I see all too well that this is another area in which corners will be cut and most sellers won’t be told the implications of changing rules in our industry and the better REALTORS® who wish for accurate and professional representation will keep rising to the top.  Cutting corners on home measurment is what got us here in the first place.

Alongside title insurance, the real property report, your lawyer and your REALTOR®, sellers wishing to avoid lawsuits and protect themselves as much a possible in the biggest transaction of their lives, should hire a professional to measure their homes according to the Residential Measurement Standard, which is now the law in Alberta as of July 2016.

Here’s a look at the chief principals:

1. Real estate professionals must use the RMS.

2. Identify if the measurement system is metric or imperial, and apply it consistently.

3. For detached properties, measure the property using the exterior wall at the foundation.

4. For properties with common walls, such as half-duplexes, townhouses, and apartments, measure the interior perimeter walls (paint-to-paint) at floor level. An additional area representation may be made assuming exterior measurements.

5. Include floor levels that are entirely above grade and exclude floor levels if any portion is below grade. Below grade levels may be measured, but the area must not be included in the RMS area.

6. Include all additions to the main structure and conversions of above grade areas within the structure if they are weatherproof and suitable for year-round use.

7. The property must have a minimum floor-to-ceiling height of 2.13 metres (7 feet). If the ceiling is sloped, the area with a floor-to-ceiling height of at least 1.52 metres (5 feet) is included in the RMS area, provided there is a ceiling height of 2.13 metres (7 feet) somewhere in the room.

8. Include extensions from the main structure that have a minimum floor-to-ceiling height of 1.5 metres (5 feet), such as cantilevers, bay and bow windows, and dormers.

9. Exclude open areas that have no floor, such as vaulted areas.

Due diligence with client representation
Seller and buyer representatives must explain to their clients:

  • the relationship between property size and value
  • all the factors that influence buyers when they decide to purchase a property
  • the different measurements such as RMS area, living space, above grade, below grade, registered condominium plan size, RPR measurement, etc.
  • if required, the different measurement approaches for detached and attached properties

Real estate is a service based business and over the years, the services of Real Estate Professionals has changed.  Consumers have been advocating for lower rates in commissions and certainly the offerings of discount brokerages has changes our contract wording as well as perception of the industry.  Did your comfree representative talk to you about the RMS, your liabilities and their responsibilites?  Probably not.  In fact, they probably also didn’t explain to you that all buyers are under contract now and if you wish to sell you’re probably going to have to pay the Buyers agents commission anyways.  But CAVEAT EMPTOR folks, you get what you pay for.

I see it all the time in this industry, cutting corners, REALTORS® working a lot of angles to get the business, but what happens AFTER you list. HA!  If only i could tell you all the things I’ve witnessed. #thingsThatMakeYouGoHmmm …lol

Do yourself a favor, hire a professional REALTOR® and get your house professionally measured.  Contact me to save thousands on your next home sale.

Sincerely,

Jeanine

What is Up with the Edmonton Housing Market?

Saturday, April 4th, 2015

Don’t Get Too Caught Up in the National Storylines.

Spring Mewsletter 2015 by the Cats Meow at Remax Real Estate

Edmonton Housing Market 2015

Spring 2015 Edmonton Housing Market

I have been wondering how to tell you folks where we’re at for this year; following the news, the stats and all the talk  has led me to do a lot of research into what is really going on in Edmonton and with  specific regards to housing.

‘They’ talk about consumer confusion about our market and I can see why.  Even inside the industry, not very much makes sense to me, everyone has a different statistic and  everyone claims to be right. However, repeatedly I find myself disproving more of what our industry experts ‘quote.’

The fact is, Edmonton saw another year of growth, higher than the average of Canada, and we have higher wages, as well as lower unemployment rates. The condo market saw more than 8% increases than the average for the rest of our country.  We are still poised for growth.  Maybe not leaps and bounds growth as we are used to, but positive growth must not be confused with the word ‘recession.’

As I write this, I have two articles in front of me in opposition of the other, both by headline newspapers, one calling for an excellent spring market and the other calling for a recession. It’s ridiculous what they get away with reporting, all for the sake of content and increased frequency publications.

The Yukon saw a 22% drop in home prices year over year and the local news is reporting a ‘softening’ of the market, due to the fact that the market was inflated over what was stable.  Yet, no one there is running for the hills and home owners are still selling and buying and owners are still making profits.

According to CREA, The Canadian Real Estate Association, of which I am a member; the average home price in Edmonton is still well within the  means of the average family income and average family debt.  Home owners are still listing their homes at higher rates than what they think they can sell for, because that is just how real estate is played.

Real Estate has always been a long term investment that can set you up when you invest your money wisely.  I’m glad to be a part of your past and I look forward to helping you in the future. Now that’s the Cats’ Meow.

Not Some Catty Remarks – Review for Jeanine Boutet Osborne

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

Jeanine is a fantastic, professional and knowledgeable Realtor. She made the process of purchasing my first home so incredibly easy. She consistently went above and beyond to ensure I was purchasing a home that was right for me. She was always prompt and courteous in answering my many questions and gave good honest advice. I never felt like she was pressuring me to make a quick sale and when I did find the right place she fought to make it happen. For anyone looking to buy or sell a home I would wholeheartedly recommend Jeanine. She is definitely someone you want on your team.

-Mat Fasullo-

A Canadian First – Hawk the Trauma Dog

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014
Calgary Police Trauma Dog

Hawk the Trauma Dog – Calgary Police

Here’s something I can sink my teeth into. A large step in the understanding of the abilities of our creatures on this great big planet of ours. As an advocate of animals, I am happy to showcase another example of the greater good animals provide. Which brings me to Hawk.

My head wants to call him the ‘Wonder dog’ though you can refer to him as a Calgary Police dog and even better than that his title is a ‘Trauma Dog.’ Hawk started his career in October of 2013, and just over a year later he is helping a very little girl with one of the toughest moments in her life.

She had some play dates with Hawk, the Labrador Retreiver and his ‘animal spirit’ of ‘unconditional acceptance’ rose right to the top. He walks past others and goes straight to her in the court room. He just knows where he is needed.

“When you’re dealing with young kids who have been victimized by adults it’s hard for them to connect to another adult, but suddenly something magical happens when a dog like Hawk makes his appearance. I mean it’s just immediate trust. There’s things that can be done through animals, through dogs, that just can’t be done no matter how hard we try as people,” said Chief Rick Hanson of the Calgary Police Force.

It’s a Canadian first, and Ellen O’Neill-Stephens, the founder of Courthouse Dogs came up with the idea of pairing victims of crimes and dogs about a decade ago. It is already popular in the US and I am hoping it will become more prominent in the world. This REALTOR hopes that alongside the greater service needs from Earths friendly creatures will come greater rights. Right as this is going on; there is a Canadian movement to change the laws for animals, because without the law behind the issue there is little to no recourse for how abusers and oppressors are dealt with.

The Animal Charter is premised on the recognition that animals experience suffering and pleasure in a way that is not biologically distinguishable from that of humans; that discrimination on the basis of arbitrary characteristics—like species—is a violation of equity, natural justice and the rule of law; and that our legal system must not exclude the most vulnerable members of society.

It is a telling comment on the western world that legislation for the prevention of cruelty to animals (started with horses) predated protection of children in most areas. A century ago in England, eight- and nine-year-old children were forced to work longer hours in the coal mines than the pit mules, which were protected by law. In 1884, John Colam, Secretary of the RSPCA, helped to form the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.

I wish that neither the Society for the prevention of cruelty to animals or the Society for the prevention of cruelty to children had to exist in this world. Perhaps this type of pairing is exactly what the world needs to witness, to learn how to speak up and prevent cruelty to both.

Where do you want to be in 10 Years?

Monday, August 25th, 2014

I don’t believe prices will be coming down in the next 10 years.  With the projected work the province has coming up in the next three years, steadier and rising prices in the states as well as the fact that Edmonton is third largest and fastest growing Economic center in Canada – it is very easy for me to say – No, prices won’t be coming down by next year or most likely for the next decade.

Quotes from the Housing Market outlook – Canadian Edition  – Third Quarter 2014

“Economic growth in Alberta is expected to lead all provinces in Canada over the next two years.”

‘Consumer spending is also projected to rise, supported by strong population growth and rising wages.”

“The average MLS sales price is projected to increase to $396,800 in 2014 and then to $407,000 in 2015.  A higher level or demand relative to supply will help to lift resale prices in 2014.  As 2014 progresses, new listings are expected to increase and continue rising into 2014.”

 

Edmonton Housing Outlook 2015

Edmonton housing prices going up again in 2015!

If you can get a home now – I encourage you to do so.  I often look at townhouses that were bought for $77,000 10 years ago and are selling now around $214,000.  The question is – where do you want to be in 10 years?

How Big is Real Estate Risk? … An Edmonton Realtors’ look into the 2013 Calgary Flood.

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013

A Mitigated Risk.

That’s what they said when they decided to open the gates, knowing the result would be flooded neighbourhoods in Calgary.  They opened the gates anyways.  Within hours, the flash flood turned Emergency, covered homes and land within the city. In moments, people who resided in the area lost their belongings, inside and out of their homes.  You should know, insurance doesn’t cover ‘Acts of God’. A definition often defined by convenience and not circumstance.

My Grandpa owns and lives in one of those unfortunate homes in Bowness. When my cousin told me that she was Kayaking to his house I wasn’t fully appreciative of what that really meant.  A week after residents were allowed to go back into their homes, I went down to take a look at what was going on.

Calgary Flood 2013

A look down Grandpa’s road, complete with Porta potties and Volunteer Workers.

Now, volunteer efforts from supplying water, to cooking food, even to Edmonton Firefighters who showed up on his front step to do the heavy lifting have to be commended.  Thank you to all Edmontonians and Calgarians who ended up helping Joe, we sure do appreciate it.

Water in the basement.  Ha!  This has killed a deal for me in the past.  Small, tiny amounts of water, usually caused by a lack of eaves-trough headers or improper sloping around the home.  95% of all homes we inspect have improper grading. Gardens are recommended to be planted around the home to help with absorption.

Calgary Flood 2013

Even with planters around the home, the water level rose above them. See the line of water above.

 

 

 

Grandpa’s home, did not have one drop of water come into the basement, before last week. Yet in one day, everything and I mean EVERYTHING below ground was wiped out.  Erased.  Gonezo’s.

 

 

Calgary Flood 2013

This was a fully finished basement with sauna, wetbar, snooker room, bedrooms, bathrooms, fireplace, furnace, hot water tank and laundry. All gone.

Calgary Flood 2013

The place the stairwell to the basement used to be. Water went up to the ceiling.

 

 

 

 

 

 

So what  do you do?  How do you reduce the risk?  I say reduce the risk, because that’s just it… Real Estate Investing has it’s risks and rewards.

– Make sure you have your home owners insurance.

Calgary Flood 2013

The Electrical panel, plumbing lines, hot water tank, furnace, fireplace etc all have to be replaced.

If your home is too high you may be at risk for windstorms, too low and you may be at risk for flood.  The possibilites are endless that you may come into contact with.  So why invest?  Why move foreward with Real Estate?

My Grandpa owned his home for 50 years before this occured.  Even with the costs of repair and replacement, he will still come out ahead when he wants to sell, as he’s been in his real estate game for a long time.

Often, I get asked by clients if they will be able to make a profit in the years ahead on the purchase they are about to make.  Yet, I don’t have the crystal ball they are looking for.  A person moves foreward with Real Estate because they recongnize the risks and they recognize the rewards.  They believe they have more chance of reward than of risk and they are ready to take that calculated risk.  Not a mitigated one.

Keep your insurance up to date people, and don’t buy a few feet from the waters edge.

Now that’s the Cats Meow in Real Estate.

 

Edmonton Real Estate Mobile Search

Thursday, April 4th, 2013
Edmonton Real Estate Quick and Easy Mobile Search

Search the Edmonton market quickly and easily while out on the town.

Search the Edmonton Real Estate Market quickly and easily while out on the town.  View photos and details quickly.  Check the local listings from whereever you are.  Check listings by MLS #.  Check listings by community.  All Free, all easy and all at the click of a button.

www.17807-111Street.com European Elegance in Chambery

Friday, March 15th, 2013

17807-111Street.com EUROPEAN Elegance in Chambery

 

Cherry Gleaming Hardwood in this 3,450 ft2 Total Living Space, 3+1 Bedroom, 3 1/2 Bathroom, 2-Storey in Quiet Chambery. The Gracious Foyer is illuminated by Chandelier Lighting. Be greeted by your Beautiful Formal Dining room.

Columns, Archways, Oversized Windows and Detailing throughout. 20 ft of Granite with Maple and Glass Cabinetry in your Kitchen boasting Stainless Steel appliances.

California Knock Down Ceilings with borders. His and Hers Jacuzzi Ensuite, In-Floor heating on the main and lower levels.

Engineered Hardwood, Bedroom, Jacuzzi Bath, and Wet Bar on the lower level. Drywalled and Insulated Garage with rough-in for heater. No maintenance deck. A Distinctive Home made with Quality in mind.

9ft Ceilings throughout the home, landscaped yard, italian ceramic tile, extended breakfast bar, granite in bathrooms, closets to spare, recessed lighting, stereo system throughout home, iron railings, beautiful staircases, vaulted ceiling bonus room, large mud room, main floor laundry with folding table, wood organizers in oversized closets, 149 gallon hot water tank.

Now that’s the Cats Meow in Real Estate.

 

Built: 2006      Size: 2356.2 ft2 AG

Municipal address: 17807 – 111 street Edmonton, Ab T5X 6J3

Legal Description: Lot: 13 Block: 97 Plan: 0325052

The Catch All Room – Is it Your Challenge to an Edmonton Home Sale?

Sunday, February 17th, 2013

What do we do with a Catch All Room?

Catch All Room Before - Cats Meow at Remax Real Estate

Is this a Challenge to the Sale of Your Home? A photo showing a “Catch All” room before alterations.

 by The Cats Meow at Remax Real Estate – Jeanine Boutet 780 916 9739 – chat@edmontonrealestatesells.com

When Selling Your Home, Each Room Needs A Clearly Defined Purpose. Why?

 The Challenge to a Sale: a room filled with furniture, electronic and office equipment, storage items, paintings, silk plants, etc. household items that are wanted but not used and kept out of the line of sight until the room is opened.  The room does not show well, or shows its dimensions and “feels” cramped, like a “whirlwind” or unusable as a functional family living space.

 Only 10% of buyers can visualize the potential of a space.  If you have a room that is not clearly defined with a specific purpose, buyers are left with an uneasy “Hmm, I don’t get this room.  I wonder what it is.”  They don’t see any value in that space for them and their family!

You are selling square feet.  If you have a catch all room it will give buyers a sense that there is not enough space in the home you are selling.  Buyers will not see value in a space that feels small.  They want to believe they are buying more space for their family.  A family that quite possibly is in a space they are quickly growing out of.

Even worse yet, the clutter feels like discontent.  Buyers want to believe that when the buy your home they are bettering their lives, moving up, beginning a fresh new life in a home that will provide for all their needs.   Clutter creates the opposite feeling, even when it is neat and organized.

The Solution: What do we do with a Catch All Room?

Catch all Room after modifications

The Catch All room after modifications, note the window coverings, flooring, wall colors and trim have not been touched. Even the main furniture in the room remains.

1.  We clear the clutter.

2.  We open up the space.

3.  We stage the room giving it purpose and creating a lifestyle!

What does this achieve?

1.  It shows the 90% of the population the value of this space.  How it could function for the buyers and their family.

2.  It shows buyers just how large the room really is!  What are buyers buying?  They are buying Square footage, space, architectural details and the character of your home.

3.  It shows buyers a sense of lifestyle!  What do buyers want to believe?  That if they move into this house, they will become healthier, have a place for the family to get closer, and that they can entertain overnight guests,… if they want to!

So my suggestion is, to get the top dollar for the sale of one of your properties, make sure each room that serves a main purpose looks that way.  Get rid of the clutter, show the dimensions and show that it is easy to live there. Now that’s the Cats Meow in Real Estate.