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Tips for Marketing Old Homes for Sale

May 18th, 2017 by gurpreetghatehora

Older homes can be a tough sell. Usually they haven’t been updated as often as they should have been and they can look and feel outdated. If the homeowners don’t want to do a lot of updating there are still things that can be done to make the home more appealing to potential buyers. Creative use of the home’s charms and existing attributes can make an older house a lot more appealing to potential homebuyers. Here are a few tips for marketing an old house that should make it easier to attract potential buyers:

Get a Home Inspection Done

Sure, the buyer will have his or her own inspection done. But in order to get a potential buyer interested in the home it’s a smart idea to have a home inspection done so that potential buyers aren’t scared off by the potential damage in an older home. At the very least get the HVAC, plumbing, and roof inspected so that potential buyers know there are no problems with those things going in. All of those can result in pretty expensive repairs so it should make potential home buyers feel more comfortable buying an older home if they know those things are up to date and not ready to fall apart.

Emphasize the Charm

A potential home buyer who wants new and modern is not going to be interested in an older home no matter how you try to spin in. So go in the other direction. Instead of trying to make the home seem appealing to buyers that want open floor plans and modern conveniences stress the charm and beauty of the historic touches in the home. Get the wood floors redone or at least waxed and shined. Polish the woodwork so that it glows. In order to really play up the historic feel of the home add things like crown molding and wainscoting. Replace the light fixtures the antique replicas. Do whatever you can to highlight the vintage feel of the home. That will attract buyers who really want a character home and don’t mind things like small rooms or not having a big kitchen with an island.

Make It Feel Like a Home

Sometimes new showplace homes feel a little cold and sterile. Character homes can be warm and full of charm thanks to their unique designs. When you’re trying to sell an older character home really highlight that sense of home and family. Burn some cinnamon apple scented candles or bake cookies so the house smells really good. Put out pillows and blankets on the couches and chairs to make it feel cozy. Add some vintage books to the bookshelves to remind potential buyers of the homes they grew up in. The more that you can evoke a sense of home and family the more buyers will be attracted to the home.

Planning On Not Hiring A Real Estate Lawyer?

March 18th, 2017 by gurpreetghatehora

Better Think Again

In our times, finding out information on any topic or subject matter is about as easy as searching the web. There is an overwhelming amount of information contained within blogs, guides, and how-to checklists. But with this torrent of information the biggest problem we face is qualifying the most useful information – remember these days anyone can start a blog and start getting their ideas out on the web regardless of their validity. Real estate closing is one area where some people feel they can forego the associated costs, maximizing their profit, all by avoiding hiring a real estate closing lawyer. Is this the right decision to make?

Think Twice Before Doing DIY Law

The reality is that many people in this situation end up with a larger bill, and most certainly a bigger headache, than those who hire a lawyer that knows the insides and outs of this field. There is a popular saying, a man who is his own lawyer has a fool for a client, and this is pretty much the case when it comes to real estate. Purchasing property is typically one of the biggest purchases the average person makes in their lifetime, and it can also be one of the biggest times for things to go wrong if deals are not hammered out to the fullest extent possible.

Avoid the Problems

Buying or selling a property can be a stressful event, everyone involved wants to make sure they get the best deal and with a minimum of headaches. Real estate law can be incredibly complex, it requires intelligent people investing many years to gain working knowledge in addition of years of practical experience before they can become a real estate lawyer. There are many pitfalls for those that do not understand this vast body of knowledge, and hiring a lawyer to navigate these areas is the best way to have a smooth sale.

Making Sense of the Legalese

You might be smart, perhaps even hold a degree, but it’s important to note the Dunning-Kruger effect which basically states that the majority of people fail to fully assess the skill required to perform well in a given practice. Not only will they fail to comprehend the skill required, but they’ll also over-estimate their own capacity to perform that skill. Reading and comprehending the legalese associated with some real estate deals is not one area you want to be doing guess work, or assuming you understand the implications of what’s been written.

Hiring a real estate closing lawyer for the sale or purchase of property is one of the smartest investments to ensure a smooth and stress-free transition.

Is Now The Right Time To Sell Your Home?

March 8th, 2017 by gurpreetghatehora

Selling your home is amongst one of the larger decisions to make throughout your lifetime. Deciding on the right time to sell can also be quite a stressful event, understanding timing in the marketplace, the necessary steps to take in order to get your home ready, and finding the proper real estate agent for your home are all considerations that must be taken into account. However, amongst the stress and effort there are some clear telltale signs that it’s finally time to go about selling your home.
Your Lifestyle Has Changed
The biggest reason that people sell their homes is that their lifestyle has changed. There are a few examples of this from all walks of life. For instance, a single person purchases a condo unit, eventually they meet someone they want to spend their time with, and eventually this relationship can lead to kids. Two people and a kid living in a tiny condo can be a nightmare with cramped quarters and little space for a baby or toddler to have fun – for some and so this is an example of the right time to sell. Empty nesters are also a prime example that it’s time to sell, maintaining your home and paying for empty space is not very entertaining for some. Once your lifestyle has outgrown your home it’s a good idea to consider moving on.

Your Financially Stable

Another indication it’s a good time to sell your home and move onto a new one is your financial situation. It’s typical for many people who purchase a home to be well into debt, sorting this problem out before moving onto a new home is highly-recommended. You’ll want to make sure you’re out of debt and have upwards of 8 months of emergency funds saved up before you consider selling your home and purchasing a new one. Maybe your sale will help to cover this, but just be very wary of the gamble that you might be taking in these circumstances.

You Can Afford To Move

Being out of debt and having an emergency fund are just two of the first steps you’ll need to make before you consider selling your home. However, it’s common for many people to get swept up in the thought of buying a new home that they don’t take a moment to step back and consider the actual cost of moving and making investments in their home before they sell. A few things to consider such as paint, landscaping, and taking care of old plumbing fixtures that will make a big impact on your sale and typically aren’t high-price items, though you’ll need to budget for them anyway

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.

The data included on this website is deemed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed to be accurate by the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton. The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS® and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.