A Manual to Prepare your Calgary Home before Selling

“You never get another chance at a first impression.” We have all heard this expression before. And now, while you are preparing your home to sell, it should not be far from your mind.

A Guide To Get Your Calgary Home Sale ReadyWhile logical factors such as price and location narrow the pool of houses, a potential buyer will look at, the ultimate decision to buy a particular house is fuelled by a mixture of logic and emotion. And emotion often wins out. For this reason, Calgary Real Estate Agents, when they talk to you about buying real estate, will refer to your purchase as a “home.” However, when discussing the sale of your current home, an agent will refer to it as the “house.” This is a conscious choice. The agent knows that buying a house is often an emotional decision, while, when selling a house, emotion should be separated from the process. Free Calgary Home Evaluations.

Buyers are searching for a “home” - a place where they will feel comfortable, secure, and happy, a place in which they can imagine settling down and raising their family. As the seller, your goal is to cultivate these feelings through the property you are selling. Look at your house as a marketable commodity. A buyer’s emotional response is triggered early, so you want to ensure you have done everything you can to encourage a positive response to your house from the outset. Within minutes, even seconds, of pulling into your driveway, buyers have formed an impression that they will carry with them through the rest of the showing and beyond. Keep in mind. This impression will not only influence whether they make an offer but also what they consider to be the property’s value.

If you have ever visited model homes, you are familiar with effective presentation styles. Have you ever walked into one of these homes and immediately begun taking stock, planning how to get your home to look that good? Well, now is the time to take some of these steps. Of course, there are ways to achieve the same effect in your own home without incurring show home costs.

When homes create this immediate type of emotional appeal, they tend to sell quickly and for more money. Use the following step-by-step guide to get your house into selling shape before you put the property on the Calgary Real Estate Market, and you will be well on your way to a successful sale!

Outside the House

Work your way from the outside in. Your home must possess a certain “Curb Appeal.” Remember, a potential buyer’s first impression of your house is formed while still sitting in the Realtor’s car. So, you need to view your house from this perspective. Stand on the opposite curb and observe your property. Compare it to surrounding properties. Concentrate on the following four areas:


How does your landscaping measure up compared to the rest of the neighbourhood? If you guess it would rate below-average, make a few adjustments. You might want to consider buying some bushes and planting them around the property. If the problem with your yard is not a case of too little greenery but rather too much, get out the pruning shears. The purpose of landscaping is to complement the home, not hide it. Overgrown shrubs should be sheared to a height near the bottom of the windows. Remove any ivy clinging to the side of the house. Tree limbs should be high enough that you are able to walk beneath. Trim any branches that bar the way. Your lawn should be freshly cut and watered and an even colour. If there are brown spots, make sure you begin to remedy this well in advance of putting the house on the market. You may want to re-sod areas, and you need to make sure these spots are given enough time to grow, so they will match the existing lawn. Rake up any leaves or grass cuttings. Planting a few flowers is an easy way to add colour and vibrancy to your yard, enhancing the first impression of your home. Invest in a full flat of mature, colourful flowers, such as petunias or periwinkles, which last the length of the growing season. If you do not have an area in which to plant flowers, consider purchasing a few flower pots for your porch and planting flowers or blooming plants.

House Exterior

When you view your house from across the street, does it appear weathered or faded? If so, it is probably time to treat it to a fresh coat of paint. This is usually a sound investment; new paint can do wonders to increase a home’s perceived value. Stay away from unusual or loud colours. The new colour should fit in with surrounding houses and complement the style and structure of your house.

Examine the roof closely. Old or leaking roofs should be replaced. If there are leaks, you will have to disclose this detail to the homebuyer anyway, and they will want it replaced. If there is not any apparent damage, however, wait for word from the Calgary Home Inspector before making repairs.

The Front Door and Porch

The front door and surrounding area should look particularly fresh and welcoming, as this will be the buyer’s first up-close impression as they enter the house. If you paint nothing else, at least give the door a new coat. Replace the doorbell if it is broken and polish the door fixture until it gleams. Wash the mailbox. Keep the porch swept and buy a new plush doormat. All these little things will contribute to the overall effect of a well-cared-for and welcoming home.

Ensure the lock works smoothly, and the key fits properly. When a homebuyer visits your house, the Realtor will open the front door with a key. You do not want the buyers’ first experience to be of waiting on the doorstep while the Realtor fumbles with the lock.


This should be one of your first steps when you begin preparing your house to sell. Over the years, a home inevitably becomes tattooed with the owners’ lives, covered with touches that have made it that special place for you. At this point, however, you want buyers to recognize it as a property they could make into their unique place. When a homebuyer walks into a room and sees these personalizing touches—such as photos on the walls or trophy collections—their ability to picture their own lives in this room is jarred, impairing a positive emotional response. So, your first step will be to remove all the family photos, trophies, collectible items, and souvenirs. Pack them all together, so you will have everything you need at your disposal when it comes time to personalize your new home. For the time being, rent a storage space and keep these items there. Do not simply transfer these items to another place in your house. Do not hoard them away in a closet, basement, attic, or garage, as the next step in preparing your home is to minimize clutter—and these areas of your house will all be targeted.

Remove all clutter

The next step on the list is to purge your house of the excess items that have accumulated over the years. This is the hardest part for many people, as they have an emotional investment in many of these things. When you have lived in a house for several years, a build-up of personal effects occurs that is often so gradual that you do not notice space is becoming cluttered. If you need to, bring in an objective friend to help point out areas that could stand to be cleared. Try to stand back yourself and see your house as a buyer might. Survey shelves, countertops, drawers, closets, the basement—all places where clutter often accumulates—to determine what needs to go. Use a system to help you decide: get rid of all items, for example, you have not used in the past five years, and pack up everything that you haven’t used in the past year. Although getting

rid of some things might be hard, try to do it without conscience or remorse. You will be forced to go through this process anyway when you move, and with each box, you eliminate your storage space—and the room in general—begins to look larger. We have broken down the process into specific areas of your house to help you concentrate your efforts:


The kitchen is an ideal place to begin, as it is easy to spot and eliminate the type of clutter that tends to accumulate here. Homebuyers will open your drawers and cabinets as they will want to check if there will be enough room for their own belongings. If the drawers appear cluttered and crowded, this will give them the impression there is not enough space.

• First, remove everything from the counters, even the toaster (the toaster can be stored in a cabinet and brought out when needed).

• Clean out all the cabinets and drawers. Put aside all of the dishes, pots, and pans that you rarely use, then box them and put them in the storage unit you have rented (again, not in the basement or a closet).

• If you, like many people, have a “junk drawer,” clear this out.

• Get rid of the food items in the pantry that you do not use. Begin to use up existing food—let what you have on your shelves dictate your menus from now on.

• Remove all extra cleaning supplies from the shelves beneath the sink. Make sure this area is as empty as possible. You should thoroughly clean this spot as well and check for any water stains that might indicate leaking pipes. Buyers will look in most cabinets and will notice any telltale signs of damage.


• Go through all clothes and shoes. If you do not wear something anymore, get rid of it. We all have those clothes, too, that we wear only occasionally but cannot bear to give away. Box these items and keep them in the storage unit for a few months.

• Go through all other personal items in the closet. Be ruthless. Weed out everything you do not absolutely need.

• Remove any unsightly boxes from the back of the closet. Put them in storage if need be. Get everything off the floor. Closets should look as though they have enough room to hold additional items.


• You may want to tour a few model homes to gauge the type of furniture chosen by design teams to create a spacious yet comfortable atmosphere. Note how that furniture is arranged to cultivate a certain feeling.

• After having armed yourself with some ideas, stand back and look at each of your rooms. What will you need to remove? Remember, most homes contain too much furniture for showings. These are items that you have grown comfortable with and that have become incorporated into your everyday routine. However, each room should offer a sense of spaciousness, so some furniture will likely need to be placed in storage.

Storage Areas

• Basements, garages, attics, and sheds: these are the “junkyard” areas of any given home. It is possible to arrange simple clutter into a certain order, but junk is sent packing to these often-hidden rooms. First, determine which of these boxes and items you need. Can some of it be sent to the dump once and for all?

• Hold a Garage Sale. You’ve heard the saying, “One person’s trash is another’s treasure.” Let these items go to a better home.

• Transfer some items to the rental storage unit. You will want to clear the

storage areas in your house as much as possible for them to appear spacious to potential homebuyers. Buyers want the reassurance that their own excess belongings will find places for storage in their new home.

Inside the House

Once you have cleared the house of excess items, you will have room to work on other areas.

Walls and Ceiling

Examine all the ceilings and walls for water stains or dirt. We do not often look closely at the walls that surround us, so be careful—there could be residual stains from leaks that have long been fixed or an accumulation of dirt in an area you hadn’t noticed.

Painting the walls may be the best investment you can make when preparing your home to sell. You can do it yourself, and relatively inexpensively. Remember, the colours you choose should appeal to the widest range of buyers, not just to your own personal taste. A shade of off-white is the best bet for most rooms, as it makes the space appear larger and bright.

Carpet and Flooring

Does your carpet appear old or worn in areas? Is it an outdated colour or pattern? If the answer to either of these questions is yes, you should consider replacing it. You can find replacement carpeting that is relatively inexpensive. And always opt for neutral colors.

Any visibly broken floor tiles should be replaced. But make sure you do not spend too much on these replacements. The goal is not to revamp the entire home, but, rather, to avoid causing any negative impressions due to noticeable damage or wear around the house.

Doors and Windows

Check the entire house for any cracked or chipped window panes. If they are damaged in any way, replace them. Test all windows, as well, to ensure they open and close easily. Try spraying WD40 on any with which you are having trouble. This should loosen them up.

The same can be done with sticking or creaking doors. A shot of WD40 on the hinges should make the creak disappear. Check to make sure each doorknob turns smoothly and polish it to gleaming.

Odour Check

Begin by airing out the house. Chances are, you would be the last person to notice any strange or unpleasant smell that may be immediately apparent to visitors.

If you smoke indoors, you will want to minimize the smell before you show your home. Take your cigarettes outside for a period of time before you begin showing. Ozone sprays also help eliminate those lingering odours without leaving a masking, perfumed smell.

Be careful if you have a pet. You may have become used to the particular smell of your cat or dog. Make sure litter boxes are kept clean. Keep your dog outdoors as much as possible. You may want to intermittently sprinkle your carpets with carpet fresheners as well.

Plumbing and Fixtures

All sink fixtures should look shiny and fresh. Buy new ones if scrubbing fails to get them into shape. Replacing them can be done easily and inexpensively. Check to make sure all hot and cold faucets are easy to turn and that none of the faucet’s leaks. If you do find a leaking faucet, change the washer. Again, this is an easy and inexpensive procedure.

Finally, check the water pressure of each faucet, and look for any stains on the porcelain of the sinks or tubs.

Once you have covered all these bases, your house will be in prime shape for its time on the Calgary Real Estate Market. Congratulations, you are ready to begin showing!


Setting The Best Asking Price for your Calgary Home

Setting a realistic price for your home that reflects current Calgary Real Estate market values will help sell your home quickly and for top dollar. When you price your home properly, you increase the chances that the offer you receive will nearly match your asking price and that there will be competing offers, which may net you even more in the long run.

We Offer Free Calgary Home EvaluationsYour property has the best chance of selling within its first few weeks on the market. Studies indicate that the longer a property stays on the market, the less it will ultimately sell for. A property priced 10 % more than its market value is significantly less likely to sell within this window than a property priced close to its actual market value. About three-quarters of homes on the market, today are 5-10 % overpriced. Sellers will usually over-price their homes by this margin if, either, they firmly believe the home is worth more than what the market indicates or if they want to leave room for negotiation. Either way, if you choose to over-price your home by this amount, you run the risk of increasing the amount of time your home spends on the Calgary Real Estate Market and decreasing the amount of money you’ll ultimately receive.

At the other end of the selling spectrum are houses priced below a fair market value. Under-pricing often occurs when the owner is interested in a quick sell. You can bargain on these homes attracting multiple offers and ultimately selling quickly at—or above—the asking price.

The knowledge and skills of an experienced Calgary Realtor® like Jerry Charlton will be invaluable when determining an appropriate asking price. It is the job of your Realtor to know the current Calgary Real Estate Market and market trends inside and out, to be closely connected to the real estate market at large, and to be aware of other properties currently for sale in your particular area. Based on this range of connections and knowledge, your Calgary Real Estate Agent should counsel you on how to price your home properly to attract the highest price possible in the shortest period of time.

Before approaching this process, you should first do some homework yourself. You’ll need to know the workings of the current market before you even begin to think about setting an asking price. The market will always influence a property’s value, regardless of the state of a home or its desirability. Here are the types of market conditions and how they may affect you:

Home Seller's Market:

A Seller’s market is considered a hot market. This type of market is created when demand is greater than supply; that is when the number of Buyers exceeds the number of homes on the market. As a result, these homes usually sell very quickly, and there are often multiple offers. Many homes will sell above the asking price.

Home Buyer’s Market:

A Buyer’s market is a slower market. This type of market occurs when supply is greater than demand, the number of homes exceeding the number of Buyers. Properties are more likely to stay on the market for a longer period of time. Fewer offers will come in, and with less frequency. Prices may even decline during this period. Buyers will have more selection and flexibility in terms of negotiating toward a lower price. Even if your initial offered price is too low, Sellers will be more likely to come back with a counter-offer.

Balanced Calgary Real Estate Market:

In a balanced real estate market, supply equals demand; the number of homes on the market roughly equal to the number of Buyers. When a market is balanced, there aren’t any concrete rules guiding whether a Buyer should make an offer at the higher end of his/her range or the lower end. Prices will be stable, and homes will sell within a reasonable period of time. Buyers will have a decent number of homes to choose from, so home Sellers may encounter some competition for offers on their home, or none at all.

Remember, a Calgary Realtor is trained to provide clients with this information about the market, helping you make the most informed decision possible. The right Realtor will guide you through the ups and downs of the market and keep you up-to-date with the types of changes you might expect.

Evaluate your house in the other main areas that affect market value:


The proximity of your home to amenities, such as schools, parks, public transportation, and stores will affect its status on the market. The quality of neighborhood planning and plans for development and zoning will also influence a home’s current market value and how this value might change.


The age, size, layout, style, and quality of construction of your house will all affect the property’s market value, as well as the size, shape, seclusion, and landscaping of the yard.

Condition of the Home:

This includes the general condition of your home’s main systems, such as the furnace, roofing, electrical system, etc., as well as the appearance and condition of the fixtures, the floor plan of the house, and its first appearances.

Comparable Properties:

Ask your Calgary Realtor to prepare you a current market analysis of your neighborhood so that you can determine a range of value for your property. A current market analysis will provide you with a market overview and give you a glimpse at what other similar properties have been selling for recently in the area.

Calgary Market Conditions/ Economy:

The market value of your home is additionally affected by the number of homes currently on the real estate market, the number of people looking to buy property, current Calgary Mortgage rates, and the condition of the Canadian and Alberta economy

We Offer Free Calgary Home Evaluations


Top Moving Day Tips & Checklist For Calgarians

It is official: you have signed the papers, dotted all the i’s, and crossed the t’s—you own a new home! You have almost reached the end of your journey. However, now, faced with the daunting task of moving, it may seem as though the journey has just begun. Moving can be a time-consuming and stressful experience if you let yourself be overwhelmed by the job. Remember, though, having a successful move means taking care of the details, one by one. If you break the process down into steps and arrange your time accordingly, you can make it manageable. Use the following checklist to ensure you are covering all the bases, and you will be well on your way to a successful move!

Moving Day in Calgary For These Happy Home SellersHousehold

  • Arrange to have your mail forwarded to your new address.
  • Forward or cease all deliveries to your home, and forward or cancel newspaper and magazine subscriptions.
  • Disconnect or take care of utility, cable, and phone services and accounts.
  • Arrange for utilities to be connected at your new house.
  • Cancel pre-authorized bill payments.
  • Begin going through closets and discarding any unnecessary items.


  • Plan your packing. Start by purchasing or acquiring suitable containers. Most moving companies have specialized containers you can buy. Also, speak with others who have recently moved—they may be looking to get rid of boxes. You will need the following: small boxes for heavy items (books, tools, etc.); large boxes for bulky items (bedding, stuffed toys, etc.); medium boxes for bulky but less heavy items (towels, small appliances, etc.)
  • Begin to collect other packing materials. Decide which items you will need from the following checklist:
    • White paper
    • Tissue paper
    • Paper towels
    • Newspapers
    • Non-printed paper
    • Packing tape or twine to seal boxes and containers
    • Scissors
    • Labels and stickers (available from your moving company)
    • Felt marker to label boxes.
    • Notebook and pen for listing contents
  • Set goals and deadlines for yourself. The aim, for example, to pack one room per week.
  • Attach a list of contents to each box. Separate and label boxes to be placed in storage.
  • Consider holding a garage sale to rid yourself of excess belongings.
  • Begin to use up the food in your pantry and freezer. Let the food you already have dictate your menus.
  • Have rugs cleaned that are to be moved, then roll and wrap them.
  • Make special arrangements for the moving of plants or pets.
  • Collect all personal items from local services (dry cleaning, storage, photos).
  • Service all appliances you are taking with you. Note that all gas appliances must be emptied, as it is illegal for movers to carry flammable substances.
  • Take inventory of all the boxes, and contents of the boxes, you have packed.
  • Have your car serviced and tuned up.


  • Return library books.
  • Clean out your locker at any club you are leaving.
  • Determine how to transfer your children to a new school.
  • Return items you have borrowed to friends and collect any you have lent.
  • Mail or e-mail change of address notices to family members, friends, and office contacts.


  • If needed, transfer medical and dental records, and fill prescriptions.
  • Change the address on your driver’s license.
  • Change the billing address for credit cards.
  • Change the address for banking statements.
  • Leave a record of security codes for new tenants.

Insurance and Legal Matters

  • Visit your lawyer and ensure all documents are signed. Notify your insurance company well in advance of the move and ask them to review your policy.
  • Transfer insurance to your new home or acquire new insurance. Review your moving company’s insurance policy. If it does not cover as much as you would like it to, obtain your own.
  • If you are currently renting a house or apartment, give written notice to the landlord.
  • Have all keys to your old home delivered to your lawyer or realtor.

Let's be honest most people hate the thought of dealing with a Realtor.

Over the 20 years, Jerry Charlton has been helping people buy and sell homes in Calgary. I've had the privilege of dealing with some outstanding realtors. And sometimes the opportunity of dealing with some terrible ones as well.

My Clients Best Interests Always Come FirstIt's way too easy to get a real estate license. Most Realtors learn on the job and sometimes at the expense of their clients. Most Realtors have very little or no experience in customer service or business before getting a Calgary Real Estate License.

My clients have benefited more than once when the other side was poorly represented. I've had realtors tell me way more than they should or that their clients would approve of. Do I take advantage of that for my clients? Absolutely. I work for my client's best interest always.

If we know a seller has already bought another house and has to move by a certain date we adjust our strategy accordingly. If we know a buyer has limited choices we work with that as well.

We make it our job to get as much information as possible when the negotiations start.

We get our clients the lowest price possible when buying and the highest prices possible when selling.

Because it is all about our client's best interests always!!


Alberta real estate professionals must use the Residential Measurement Standard (RMS) when measuring residential properties. This measurement standard helps consumers easily and accurately compare different types of residential properties. This guide will help consumers understand the RMS, and how Alberta real estate professionals use it. Your real estate professional has a responsibility to ensure you understand the RMS and its implications and is required to discuss it with you. This discussion will help you make informed decisions about the size and suitability of properties.

Some Key Definitions

Grade: Grade is the level of the ground around the exterior of a residence. The grade can be horizontal, sloped, or a combination of both. In Alberta, most residential properties contain above grade and below grade areas.

Levels: Levels are areas of the residence that are in the same horizontal plane. A level must meet the minimum ceiling height requirement [2.13 metres (7 feet)] to be included in the RMS calculation.

Above Grade Levels: Above grade levels are the levels of a residence that are entirely above grade. The RMS area of a residence is the sum of its above grade floor levels.

Below Grade Levels: Below grade levels are the floor levels of a residence that are partly or fully below grade. If any portion of the level is below grade, the entire level is below grade. Below grade spaces include lower levels and basements. Below grade levels are not included in the RMS area. Examples of residential styles with lower levels include raised bungalows, bi-levels, split levels, and properties with walkout or walk-up basements.

The RMS contains nine principles that real estate professionals must follow when measuring the size of a residential property:

1. Real estate professionals must use the RMS.

When a seller wants to communicate the size of their residence to potential buyers, or a buyer wants to measure a residence they’re considering, their real estate professional must communicate the RMS area. Real estate professionals are allowed to hire someone to calculate the RMS area of a property, such as property measurement companies or real estate appraisers. The real estate professional must ensure the person is able to competently measure the property using the RMS. If it is not possible to measure a residence, for example, the residence is not yet built or access isn’t possible because of a difficult tenant or a difficult foreclosure, your real estate professional may deviate from measuring the property using the RMS as long as:

• the measurements represented do not imply they are in accordance with the RMS

• they include an explanation as to why the property could not be measured using the RMS

• they must apply the RMS to blueprints

• they must disclose the measurement methodology they used (i.e. area size calculated by applying the RMS to the builder’s blueprints)

2. Identify if the measurement system is metric or imperial, and apply it consistently. Measurements must be calculated to within 2% of the RMS size.

Real estate professionals must indicate what measurement system they used to take property measurements (metric or imperial), and they must take all measurements for a particular property using the same system. The real estate professional must talk to about which measurement system is appropriate. In a lot of cases, a key factor in deciding which measurement system to use is which measurement system the real estate professional’s listing service or property database uses.
While the RMS provides a 2% tolerance, real estate professionals must attempt to measure the property accurately.

see guide below for the complete RMS Guide

Data is supplied by Pillar 9™ MLS® System. Pillar 9™ is the owner of the copyright in its MLS®System. Data is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate by Pillar 9™.
The trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Service® and the associated logos are owned by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.