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Two Huge Reasons to Hire A Real Estate Agent

February 25th, 2017 by gurpreetghatehora

There has been quite a number of new technologies and systems that enable sellers and buyers to directly connect and carry out transactions without the need for real estate agents. Many people are considering whether or not they actually need to utilize the services of a real estate agent, and when thinking about the sum of money that can be saved many people will likely opt for the DIY route. In a perfect world, where every buyer and seller is respectable, accountable, possesses great communication skills, and is able to get along throughout the entire sales process a real estate agent would not be necessary. As many people know this is not the case! Here we look at two huge reasons why hiring a real estate agent is a smart choice:

Negotiations

There are quite a number of people, be it sellers or buyers, that think speaking directly with the other party during negotiation can help to achieve a more transparent interaction. In some circumstances this can definitely be true, but you need to be certain that both seller and buyer are level-headed, reasonable people who also get along well with each other.

The reality is that in most cases this is not how direct negotiations between parties play out, as people become hot-headed, and offended during the negotiation process. Expressing your discontent for certain aspects of a property while justifying your reason for a lower-price can come across as a direct personal insult to the seller, which can both infuriate them and frustrate the sales process. Having an agent that can hold your interests at heart while communicating with the other party is going to make this process much more effective in the long-run.

A real estate agent can soften disputes and make sure that each party gets what they want out of the deal regardless of heated personal emotional reactions or concerns, which might otherwise boil-over into full on disputes and halt the sales process completely.

Contracts

Some people may think that contracts are not complicated or may simply not quite understand the implications of a contract. A real estate agent can prevent costly mistakes from occurring. For example; a purchase contract is one contract that can help a buyer – if certain conditions aren’t meant for instance if you are unable to acquire appropriate financing, the contract can help prevent the buyer from losing their deposit and also further being sued by the seller. Working out these details is best left to a real estate agent and their team who will know the best way to handle a sale, as no two deals are identical.

Far from being a pristine utopia, the real world is not an ideal or perfect one and real estate sales process can be tricky and fraught with pitfalls. A real estate agent is the best person to have on your side to ensure that your sales process is simple and as free from stress as is possible.

How to Find A Home That Will Appreciate

February 18th, 2017 by gurpreetghatehora

Edmonton’s real estate market is fairly flat right now, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find a home that will appreciate in value. Here are a few tips to help you find and maintain a home that appreciates in almost any economic climate.

  1. Find the Right Neighbourhood

Location is still one of the most significant factors when it comes to home value appreciation. You have to find the right neighbourhood, one that is appreciating now and set to continue to do so in the future. There are plenty of resources to help you find the right neighbourhood, including real estate agents, who understand the Edmonton real estate market better than almost anyone.

  1. Look at What it Offers

People want homes that are bigger and more versatile than ever before, and that trend has only been increasing in popularity for the past couple of decades. Starter homes are becoming less of a sound investment because they simply are not big enough. Today, a resale appreciates much better if it has a minimum of two bathrooms and three bedrooms. Anything less and you should consider major renovations while you own the property.

  1. Look at its Upgrades

If you’re buying a resale and looking to help it appreciate, start by looking at what you’re working with. Have the electrical and plumbing systems been upgraded in the last few years? Is the foundation solid? Has there been a history of basement flooding? All of these questions are key to understanding how the property will appreciate. After all, if you’re working with subpar materials at the beginning, it will be hard to build something of worth in the future. Always look at a home extremely carefully when buying for appreciation. It’s the only way to ensure you won’t have any surprises down the line.

  1. Stay within Your Means

Becoming house poor won’t mean you’ll get a bigger payout in the end. Keeping your home well-maintained is absolutely key to appreciating its value. If you can’t afford to pay the mortgage and keep impeccable care of the home and property, it won’t appreciate. In fact, it could depreciate if certain things are ignored or left alone. Always give yourself a good amount of financial room when looking for a good resale property. Then you can afford the upgrades and proper maintenance that future buyers will want.

  1. Think About the Future

While the bones of the home may be good and maybe its electrical and plumbing have been modernized as well, but that doesn’t mean that you’re set until you decide to sell. Homes and the expectations of buyers are constantly changing, so you will need to stay on top of what trends will help your maximize your home’s value, and which ones are only passing fads. Think about what you will do to renovate before selling and consider breaking it into smaller, manageable chunks. It will help you manage your cashflow and help your home appreciate

Closing a Real Estate Deal in Edmonton?

February 11th, 2017 by gurpreetghatehora

So you’ve found the perfect home, negotiated a deal, and are ready to buy your next property. Everything is almost over. You’ve found the house, gotten the financing, come to an arrangement. Now, all that is left is to close the deal. Getting through the final stretch is fairly straightforward, but only if you know the steps. Here is a handy checklist for what to do to close the deal.

Of course, the very first thing on this list should have happened before you get to the closing procedures, and that is using a certified and experienced real estate agent.

1. Contact Your Lawyer

When you buy a home, you start to move a lot of money around. When that kind of money gets moved, it needs a lawyer to take responsibility. When you’ve decided on all the terms and agreements, then it is time to call your lawyer. They will handle all of the money transfers and ensure that the conditions of your purchase are fair, reasonable, and legal.

2. Start Satisfying Conditions

Most homes sold today come with a few conditions for both the seller and the buyer. Whatever your conditions are, it’s best to jump on them as soon as you can. Delaying these conditions can end up in you losing the property, especially if the sellers are sticklers for deadlines.

3. Get the Utilities in Order

A new house without internet, power, water and gas is not exactly a home, and paying for utilities at your old home is a waste of money. Give your utility companies as much time as you can to switch your accounts and set up everything at the new place. This is especially important with telecommunications companies, who can better accommodate your schedule if you give them as much warning as possible. The process of moving your utilities is quite simple, but it does require you to call the actual company. So be prepared to wait a few times to get it all finished.

Also, this is a good time to call the post office and have your address changed. That way, you won’t miss any important mail.

4. Talk to Your Insurance Agent

Home insurance, individual insurance, car insurance. Literally all of your insurance can change when you buy a new property, so go and have a sit-down meeting with your insurance agent. Look at your options and if there are any special packages for home owners. You can probably end up bundling your insurance and getting a better deal overall.

5. Get Moving

Finally, set up your move. Call the moving company start organizing your belongings into “keep,” “donate,” and “sell” piles. Start to box the non-essentials up early so that your actual moving day isn’t filled with last-minute packing.

So you’ve found the perfect property. Now all that’s left is closing the deal. This checklist will help you stay organized, make your move much less stressful, and maybe even help you save some money!

4 Ways To Make Your Home Sale Less Stressful

February 7th, 2017 by gurpreetghatehora

Selling a home can be a very stressful experience but there are plenty of things you can do to make it less so. Here are just a few tips for making your home selling experience a lot less stressful.

1. Don’t Take Things Personally

It may be your home, but to other people, it’s a house. You don’t know why the people buying your home, but once it’s sold, you have to deal with the fact that it’s no longer yours. So expect to feel anxious about that sentiment while people are rooting through your closets, bathrooms, and kitchen cabinets. People will also ask a lot of questions, some of them you might not care to answer, but it is important to give people the information that they need. Getting defensive will only send them out the door.

2. Notify Your Work

You may have to pop away during the work day when you’re selling your home, whether it’s because you need to unlock the door or you forgot to clean something up before you left. Let your work know ahead of time that you are selling your home and may need to pop away every once and awhile.

It also helps to hire a real estate agent to help sell your home. They will have their own key and handle all of the marketing and sales. It means you won’t have to leave work as often and you won’t have to waste your time with tire-kickers.

3. Get Rid of Clutter Early

De-cluttering your home is one of the hardest and most time-consuming chores that you need to do before trying and selling your home. Not only do you need to empty out everything that isn’t absolutely necessary, you will also have to get rid of things you may not want to. Decluttering can make your entire home seem more spacious and inviting, especially your closets. Be sure to leave lots of time to remove clutter from your home and either trash it, take it to storage or donate it. Getting this done early will make your home sale much less stressful.

4. Leave No Stone Unturned

When selling a home, people are going to look at every single tiny, little detail. You need to make sure that those small details look their absolute best, including things like burnt-out lightbulbs, faucets with calcium buildup and more. If you get all of these little details right before you start showing off your home, then you can probably sell it a little faster, which is the ultimate way to lower the stress level of selling a home.

Selling a home can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. Between the above advice and getting an experienced and qualified real estate agent, you can reduce your stress levels and probably sell your home a lot faster.

Edmonton’s Office Space Vacancy Hits All-Time High

February 4th, 2017 by gurpreetghatehora

 Edmonton’s office vacancy rate at 13%. Specifically, downtown Edmonton is currently experiencing 13.1% office vacancy while suburban Edmonton’s rate sits slightly higher at 13.8%. On average, this represents the highest office vacancy rate Edmonton has ever reported.

The reasoning for the high vacancy rate is understandable. As the oil industry has tightened its expenditures over the past few years, much of the office space has been vacated in favour of focusing operations in other offices, such as Calgary. The office vacancy rate has been steadily climbing for a few years now and many office spaces are looking to alternatives to capture new business.

Much of the downtown office space is currently sitting empty and the owners cannot afford to upgrade the facilities to meet the benefits of the new buildings currently under construction. For those that do, extensive renovations are still required to attract new business, which is leading to even more office vacancy issues throughout the area.

For many of the buildings, the answer could lie outside renting office space. Many other cities have successfully turned office space into other kinds of usable space, including gardens, residential space, or other ventures outside of cubicle farms.

Curiously, the high vacancy rate is affecting existing office space much more than the new office space currently being built. The Stantec Tower, Edmonton’s future skyline-defining building, already has 95% of its available office rented.

Edmonton’s current office vacancy rate speaks to many of the challenges facing the city as a whole: equipped with the right infrastructure but lacking the flash of the brand new. Many simply cannot compete with the availability elsewhere or in the near future. But, as Edmonton’s real estate market as a whole adjusts to the new Albertan economy, the city may need to rely on the ingenuity and ambition that has made it what it is today.

6 Simple Ways To Make Your Home Cozier In The Cold

January 26th, 2017 by gurpreetghatehora

Edmonton winters are cold. here are some ways to make your home more cozy and ready for winter.

1. Find Some Nice Blankets

No one is as cozy and comfy as they are with some nice blankets. You’ve probably already dragged a blanket or two off of the bed and put them around the house, but it might be time to get some just for specific rooms. Comfy blankets make everything in winter better, from curling up with a good book to just relaxing in front of the fire.

2. Put the Unnecessaries in the Garage

Summertime items can cause some stress when they come indoors and take up lots of space. A better alternative is to take the things you won’t need for the winter and throw them out of site. The garage is probably the best place, especially if the items can get cold or your garage is heated. Basements and crawlspaces are good storage places as well. Wherever you put the summer stuff, just be sure it’s safe, secure, and out of your sight until it’s warm again.

3. Get Ready for Spring

Hunkering down for the winter means being ready for when the snow melts as well. Think about your garden and landscaping in the winter in anticipation of the spring. This could include everything from planting bulbs for the spring to ensuring your home will drain water properly. All of these things will help keep your home cozy and peaceful through winter and into the spring.

4. Swap to Warmer Bedding

Your blankets have probably been dispersed around your home, which means you have a chance to get cozier bedding. Look for thick and comfy blanket options for your room, things that will feel nice getting under after a long day in the winter cold. Warmer bedding makes your bedroom feel more cozy in more ways than one.

5. Check Your Hot Water Heater and Furnace

Having your hot water heater or furnace go out in the winter isn’t just expensive, it can be downright dangerous. If your furnace and hot water heater haven’t been inspected recently, you may want to contact a plumber to ensure the appliances make it through the winter. Otherwise, your winter could be a lot frostier than anyone would ever want.

6. Get the Fireplace All Ready, Including Firewood

If you’re about to have your first winter with a fireplace, it’s important to understand that you need to get it ready for use. This includes having all the items you’ll need for the fireplace and ensuring it’s in proper working order. Get familiar with your fireplace before using it, and make sure you have everything you need to put anything out in the case of an emergency.

As far as firewood is concerned, stocking up now and leaving it outside under a tarp is the most economical choice. Buy in bulk and keep it safe throughout the winter.

These tips should help you enjoy the Edmonton winter even more, no matter the temperature outside.

Edmonton Real Estate Prices Hold Steady As Sales Drop

December 16th, 2016 by gurpreetghatehora

While fewer homes and properties are selling right now in Edmonton, the prices of those homes are holding steady, a story in The Edmonton Journal reports. In an interview with the paper, association chair of the Realtors Association of Edmonton, Steve Sedgwick, remained optimistic about the housing prices in Edmonton, saying, “We continue to see consistency in prices, without any huge spikes or dips.”

 Sedgwick’s remarks come after a summer of relatively steady pricing in Edmonton’s real estate markets, which point to a tipping point in how the market could go in the fall and winter. Overall since September 2015, the markets have seen a modest 1.5% growth in residential sales while also experiencing an 8.4% drop in actual sales numbers in the same amount of time. For condos, the sales drop was even more severe at 20%.

 When asked as to why Edmonton’s markets seem to be holding steady, especially compared to Calgary’s current markets, Sedgwick was hard up for an answer. “I don’t have a solid answer as to why Edmonton is not being as impacted with respect to pricing,” he said. “Generally, when demand drops, the prices usually follow shortly thereafter.”

 Overall, Edmonton’s real estate market has been steady and flat for values, even as fluctuations have occurred in the past few months. The average price of a single-family home, for example, is down “slightly from the 2014 peak, multi-family units like condos and duplexes have actually experienced a slight uptick in value.

 Sedgwick has also warned about confusing the steady market with dependability. Even though prices aren’t fluctuating, that all could change. “I think if we’re going to continue to see this trend for a longer duration, [but] it’s inevitable there will be some type of price correction,” he warned in the interview.

 Edmonton remains an affordable market right now, with the average condo coming in at just over $250,000 and the average single-family home valued at $430,461. But, as Sedgwick warns, things could change.

3 Things to Look For When In A Basement

December 2nd, 2016 by gurpreetghatehora

Basements are an often overlooked aspect of inspecting a home , especially if they’re unfinished. But basements can give you a glimpse into the home that other parts cannot, so you should always give it a thorough inspection. Here are some things to look for when going through a basement.

1. Cracks in the Walls

Wall cracks are a sign that you need to leave the property as fast as you possibly can, especially if the basement is unfinished. Wall cracks are usually a sign of foundational damage, which is one of the most expensive repairs made to homes, often costing five figures just to get back to where it was, never mind any necessary upgrades.

2. Signs of Water Damage

Water damage has a number of different signs, which makes it easier to to spot but also easier to cover up. Finding water damage takes at least two of your senses. The first is sight. Look for furniture that has been oddly placed, which could be covering up water damage on the floor. Walls with patches are a good sign of water damage as well. You’ll also need to follow your nose. Mold has a very distinct smell, one that you can spot if you know what you’re looking for, so keep sniffing the air in each part of the basement to see if there’s any signs of mold, which is a sign of water damage in the home.

3. Windows and Doors

Windows and doors are the weakest part of a home’s defence against the outside elements. That means they are ground zero for water damage and issues concerning heat, cold, and other issues. Always pay close attention to any and all windows and doors in the basement, especially those facing the outside. Look for any wear and tear that indicates recent issues, and inspect the walls around the casings and frames to ensure they haven’t been leaking.

No home inspection is complete without looking at the basement. Without looking at the basement, you could open yourself up to multiple issues, including expensive repairs and dealing with mold, which can become a health concern. Always closely inspect the basement for any signs of issues to protect yourself from future surprises.

Negotiation Tips For Buying Or Selling A Home

November 29th, 2016 by gurpreetghatehora

Negotiating is part of the home selling process but it isn’t part of many other sales in our everyday lives. This means many of us are unfamiliar with the art of negotiating and haggling, and this leads to common mistakes that cost people money and time when buying or selling a home.

If you’re buying or selling a home, be sure to think about the negotiations aspect and prepare yourself by reading these tips. They will help you be in the right mindset to negotiate, and help you keep a cool head during the whole process.

1. Remember Your Budget

Knowing how high and how low you can go is the absolute first rule of negotiating. After all, no one wants to be negotiated to the point where they don’t make any money. Be sure to carefully plan out your budget before you even start selling or buying, and always hold firm to that budget. Going to high or too low can endanger your finances for years to come, so make a quality, well-informed budget and treat it like a hard and fast law, not simply a suggestion.

2. Relax

Edmonton is currently a buyer’s market, which is great for the buyers. It comes with certain challenges for sellers, however, and emotions can run pretty high when people are buying property. Whatever you do, be sure to take time to step back and look at what you’re doing more objectively. Truly consider the value of the home and your budget. If things are really as amazing as you think at the outset, or as terrible, then you’re probably just very lucky or unlucky. In reality, many home sales come with benefits and setbacks. You have to figure out which ones are worth it and which ones are deal breakers.

3. Remember Negotiations are Part of the Sale

There has possibly never been a home sale that sold for the exact asking price with absolutely no conditions. This is just simply not how real estate sales work. When you’re negotiating, you have to remember that the entire process is just that: a process. Money will fluctuate, so it’s important to make a reasonable first offer that you can work with. Don’t overbid or undersell just to move the property. Be sure to offer something that’s fair and stick through the negotiations.

Negotiating is a bit of a lost art, but that doesn’t mean you can’t employ some simple tips to help you during the process. If you stay calm and objective through your real estate sale, you’ll be much more likely to walk out with a deal that you like, and all parties are more likely to walk away satisfied.

Simple Tips for Selling Tenant-Occupied Property

November 23rd, 2016 by gurpreetghatehora

In most home sales, the property sold is occupied by the people selling. But there are many times when a property is instead occupied by tenants paying rent. If you want to sell your property but there are tenants, then you have a unique set of challenges to face, and every one of them requires a diplomatic approach.

 

The fact is tenants call your property their home and, in many instances, they don’t want to move out. But you also need them to maintain the place and keep it in salable condition, which angry tenants are less likely to do. The trick to dealing with tenants is to be both professional and courteous. Here are just a few things you can do to make the sale better for everyone involved.

 

1. Keep an Open Line, and an Open Mind

Communication and patience are the two things that you have to make your tenants happier and your home sale faster. Be sure to communicate with your tenants as soon as you decide to sell the home, if not earlier, so that they can make the appropriate arrangements to move out. Be responsive to their requests, questions, and concerns as well. And always take the time to explain your expectations for the property. It’s often best if you meet with your tenants in person and take time to have a conversation. If your tenants feel like they are being treated with respect, they will help you in your sale.

 

2. Incentivize

That being said, a little encouragement can go a long ways for your tenants. If the buyer is planning on keeping the property as a rental, be sure to mention that your tenants need to convince their new landlord they should stay. You can also offer to reduce their rent slightly before the sale to help them move out easier. And when everything’s over, be sure to thank them with a nice gift.

 

3. Prep Them for Showings

Home showings are one of the most important aspects of home showings. When it comes to tenants, these times can also be the most unpredictable, especially if your tenants aren’t really sure about what is happening, when it’s happening, and what they need to do.

 

As stated, it’s important to keep an open line of communication between you, your tenants, and possibly a landlord. But it’s also important to talk about home showings with your tenants. Tell them what your expectations are for the property in terms of cleanliness and availability. You can also offer to have the place professionally cleaned on your dime so that they don’t feel like they’re working for you to make money. Whatever you do, be sure to let your tenants know far ahead of time about any and all showings so that they can prep your place for looking its best.

 

If you own property with tenants and it’s time to sell, then you have to ensure that their leaving is the best experience possible. By giving your tenants plenty of warning and time, they can move out faster and with less hassle, and you will avoid and nasty problems that can happen with angry tenants.

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