November 2021 Calgary Real Estate Newsletter

Getting Family Members on the Same Page

Moving Day in Calgary

Remember the last time you had a family discussion about what to have for dinner? Chances are, there were some disagreements! In fact, it might have been agonizing trying to get everyone to settle on the same dish. Now imagine getting everyone to agree on what type of home to buy!

Obviously, you want family members to be in harmony when looking for a new home. The more everyone is on the same page, the smoother the process will be.

Here are some tips worth trying:

  • Make a list. Have everyone list the top three features they want in a new home. You might find that family members are closer to agreement than you thought. Also, family members will likely not be disappointed if they get two out of the three features they want.
  • Have a family meeting. Set a goal to have a clear profile of the kind of home you want by the end of the meeting. Be prepared for some lively discussion, but also be firm that a decision needs to be made.
  • Be understanding. If a family member insists on a particular feature, ask why. It might be trivial, such as having a shopping mall within walking distance when driving or taking transit is relatively easy. On the other hand, the desired feature might be something truly important and worth considering.
  • Manage expectations. Explain that not everyone will get what they want and that you (or you and your significant other) will do your best to accommodate everyone’s wishes.

There’s no perfect solution. Depending on your family, it might be difficult to make sure everyone is happy with the home you end up buying. However, by using these tips you can ensure that everyone will at least feel they’ve been heard. Then, once you start building memories in your new place, everyone will start to feel like it’s home!

Managing Home Insurance

Calgary Home Insurance

Home insurance seems to be getting costlier every year, with basic premiums continuing to rise as more homes are exposed to added risks attributed to extreme weather events, accidents, vandalism, and outright theft. 

This leaves homeowners in a difficult situation, but there are things that can be done to help ease rising costs. First, examine your current policy and talk to your agent/broker about your coverage and premiums. You might, for example, agree to increase your deductible to decrease premiums. Meanwhile, you may also be eligible for discounts, based on client profiles such as bundled policies (e.g., auto & home), claims history, and payment punctuality.

Other discounts may be available based on steps taken to protect your home from potential damage, such as installing a backflow valve or sump pump. Or, you may qualify for lower insurance rates if you have recently improved your home’s structural integrity, such as its foundation or roof. Your policy premiums might also benefit from other investments in your home’s infrastructure, like upgrading your heating, wiring or plumbing, or installing a centralized fire and security system. You’ll need to determine whether the cost of these improvements will be offset by lower insurance premiums over a reasonable period of time.

Buying a Home Out-of-Town

Out Of Town Calgary Home Buyers

Have you ever considered selling your home and moving out-of-town? One concern that might be holding you back is the uncertainty involved in finding a home in an unfamiliar place. What are the best neighbourhoods? What are homes selling for in that area? What is it like to live there?

There are many ways to find out.

  • If possible, spend a day in the area. Walk some of the neighbourhoods. Visit schools and parks. Check out the local shopping and other amenities.
  • Talk to someone who lives there. This will give you firsthand insights into the area. You can facilitate this through a Facebook post where you ask to chat with a local resident.
  • View current listings in the area online. Most listings include helpful data on safety, demographics and other information.
  • Get a handle on home prices by finding out what a home like yours is currently selling for in that area. That will give you a baseline to determine what you can expect to pay.

What’s the bottom line? There’s no need to let uncertainty about finding a home in a different town or city hold you back.

Notable, Quotable, Quotes!

“The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”
Steve Jobs

“It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it.”
Lou Holtz

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined.”
Henry David Thoreau

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Questions People Ask About Calgary Alberta Realtor® Real Estate Fees and Commissions

  • Calgary Real Estate FeesCan I sell my house in Calgary on MLS® and pay no Realtor® Fees?
    • No there are always some fees to pay
  • How are Realtor® Fees Calculated In Alberta?
    • Most Common is 7 and 3.  7% on the First $100k and 3% on the Balance of Sold Price 
  • Does The Buyer Pay A Realtor® Commission in Alberta?
    • Buyers really do pay because the commission is in the sale price most of the time
  • Who pays the Realtor® Fee, the home buyer or the home seller?
    • The Seller pays the fees out of the sale proceeds
  • Why are Calgary Real Estate Commissions so high?
    • Real Estate is a Business and no business works for free
  • Are 1% and 2% Realty Companies Legit?
    • Is any company legit? 
  • What Calgary Realty Company has the lowest Commissions?
    • Companies do not set commissions, Individual Realtors Negotiate Commissions.
  • Are CIR Realty and Exp Realty Discount Brokerages?
    • CIR and Exp Realty have Realtors offering discounts and those that do not discount. 
  • Are Remax Commissions worth it?
    • Remax does not set commissions, Realtors do.
  • How is the Realtor®'s Commission Calculated?
    • Could be flat rate, % of Sale Price or a combination of the two, Commissions are Negotiable
  • Can You Negotiate your Realtors®' Commission?
    • Yes
  • How much are closing costs in Alberta?
    • Set aside $1,500 plus GST for legal fees and you should be ok 
  • Is there GST on Realtor® Fees in Alberta?
    • Yes GST applies to Real Estate Fees, but not the price of a resale home
  • Does the Buyer pay Realtor® Fees in Canada?
    • Fees are included in the price 99% of the time, so Yes
  • How much are lawyer fees when buying a Calgary Alberta house?
    • The vary and will be a combination of a flat rate plus disbursements
  • What percentage do most Realtors® charge?
    • All fees are Negotiable, in Calgary we see 7 and 3 most often
  • Are commissions paid on gross or net?
    • gross sale 
  • How do you solve commission problems?
    • Problems are usually solved by the Realtor and the Broker  
  • How do Calgary Alberta Real Estate Commissions work?
    • Very well in my experience
  • Do Realtors keep 100% of the commission they collect in Calgary?
    • Commission cheques are like your paycheque after taxes, fees, expenses

Answers to Questions People Ask About Calgary Alberta Realtor® Real Estate Fees & Commissions

It is against the law to have fixed Realtor® Fees and Commissions in Calgary.

Real Estate Fees are negotiated between Calgary Home Sellers, Calgary Home Buyers, and Calgary Realtors®.

The selling price of any home on the Alberta MLS® System included the Real Estate Commissions plus GST. The fee could have been zero, or 1%, or 2%, or $2,500, or $8,550, or 7% on the first $100,000 and 3.5% on the balance of the sale price, or any other creative commission calculation you could imagine.

The point is there is no set fee for Real Estate Commissions in Calgary Alberta, Canada.

Remax, Century 21, Royale Lepage, CIR Realty, Exp Realty, Sotheby's, 1% Realty, 2% Realty, 3% Realty, and the hundreds of other Alberta Real Estate Companies are prohibited by law from fixing commissions rates.

The above companies and their Realtors® all want your business and will negotiate your Real Estate Commissions.

Calgary Home Buyers pay 100% of the Reator® Fees because it's included in the Home Selling Price. It's like the mark-up on any product you buy at a retail store.

Some Calgary Realtors® claim they won't negotiate commissions. There are Real Estate Trainers and Coaches that charge Realtors® thousands of dollars to learn how to "Protect Commissions." Talk to a few Reatlors® and you hear the same old scripts. How if they are not tough on commissions with you, they won't be tough on Calgary Buyers on the home price. Blah, Blah, Blah.....

The bottom line is All Realtor® Commissions in Calgary Alberta Canada are Negotiable.

You can get a 1% Commission deal from a Remax Realtor just as easily as from the company that calls itself 1% Realty. 2% Commissions are offered by Century 21 Realtors® just as often as from the company called 2% Realty.

Brand means nothing in Real Estate, Calgary Home Prices Rule Everything.

Feel free to contact me anytime you want the Truth About Calgary Alberta Real Estate Fees and Commissions.

Jerry Charlton

403 831 0842 | | Calgary Realtor®

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Searching online for homes to buy can be fun. Also frustrating when you find the perfect home and it is already conditionally sold to somebody else.

So What Does Conditionally Sold Mean?

Conditionally Sold means the home seller has accepted a "Conditional Offer To Purchase" subject to "The Buyers' Conditions".

What Are "The Buyers' Conditions"?

One common Buyer Condition is "Subject To the Buyer getting Approved for a Mortgage".  Another common Buyer Condition is "Subject To The Buyers Approval of the results of a Home Inspection".

Buyers' Conditions are often referred to as "Walk Away Clauses". If a buyer does not waive the buyer conditions in writing by the specified time the offer to purchase contract is voided, the deposit is returned in full to the buyer.

The seller has options after accepting a "Conditional Offer To Purchase".

1. Change the MLS Listing Status to "Pending" and the listing disappears from the internet.

2. Leave the MLS Listing as "Active" to try to get offers in case the first one falls through.

From the seller's perspective if they are feeling confident or not about the first offer going through or not leads them to choose the option of leaving the property on the market or taking it off pending the outcome of the conditions.

Before we book property viewings for our clients we ask if the property is still active or conditionally sold. It's not ideal for our buyers to get excited about a property only to find out it's most likely sold already. But we do see the seller's point of view as well.

The best way to avoid the disappointment of missing out would be to get directly connected to the Real Estate Boards MLS® System. Then you would be amongst the first to see new listings that match your list of wants and needs.

Contact Us Today and we will get the MLS® System Working For You instead of against you! We reverse the process of you searching online for houses to the home finding you. We know our system works best because 100% of our buyer clients switch from wandering the internet and are glad they did.

Contact Us for more information on the entire home buying process in Calgary and how to avoid the disappointment of finding conditionally sold properties.

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Should You Sell Your Calgary Home This Winter?

Pros of Selling a Home in the Winter 

  • Fewer listings mean less competition from other home sellers in Calgary
  • Fewer Looky Lou's and Tire Kickers wasting everybody's time
  • Winter usually matches serious sellers with serious buyers
  • Buyers and Sellers can agree to a warmer weather closing date

Cons of Selling a home in the winter

  • Nobody likes moving when it is cold out
  • Less qualified buyers actively looking
  • Leaving the house for showings is not fun in the winter
  • Keeping the house Ready to Show is a hassle
  • Shovelling snow and salting the sidewalks
  • Hard to see the condition of shingles when covered in snow

Buying and Selling Homes in the winter is not much different from any other time of the year except that it is winter!

Deciding to buy or sell a home is more of a life decision. Like buying a car or a new cell phone, when the time is right for you, the time is right! 

As a Calgary Realtor, I have worked many winters helping both home buyers and sellers. I have frozen my fingers trying to get frozen lockboxes open, shovelling snow on our vacant property listings. I am not a fan of the cold, and it has never stopped me from getting the job done.

Buying or Selling is your decision, and we can help make it easier winter, spring, summer, or fall.
Contact Us Today 403 831 0842 Free Home Evaluations

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October 2021 Calgary Real Estate Newsletter

Conquering the Fear of Paying too Much for a Home

Fear Of Overpaying for a Calgary House

You’ve heard of “buyer’s regret”. It refers to purchasing a pricey item, like a fancy sweater or a new car, and then regretting it the next day because you think you paid too much.

Fear of buyer’s regret can actually dissuade people from making a purchase, even when the price is right and they really want the product!

In the real estate world, buyers can sometimes hesitate to make an offer on a home for the same reason. They worry about paying too much, so they take a pass on the property. That’s unfortunate because they may miss out on a great home at a good price!

How do you conquer this fear?

The first step is to get your finances in order. Determine how much your current property will likely sell for on today’s market. Also, talk to a lender or mortgage advisor to find out how much of a mortgage you can get. This will give you a fairly good idea of what you can comfortably afford.

Don’t forget to factor in monthly expenses when determining affordability. If you’re looking to move to a larger home or one that’s in a highly desirable neighbourhood, your mortgage payments may be higher. Other expenses, like utilities, might increase too.

Remember, a new home is as much a lifestyle investment as it is a traditional financial one. You’re making an investment in your – and your family’s – happiness. That might even make it worth spending a bit more. And, once you’ve reviewed your finances and anticipated your expenses, you may discover you can do just that!

So, take all these factors into account and determine a price range within which you can comfortably shop. That will make it easier to make an offer on that perfect property with confidence, and with no fears of regret.

DIY-Friendly Bathroom Makeovers

DIY Bathroom Makeovers

Want to make your bathroom look fantastic without having to do a major renovation? There are a lot of projects you can do yourself. In fact, there are some improvements you can get done in less than a day that will transform the look and feel of your bathroom. Check out these ideas:

  • Update the sink. If you have some basic plumbing knowledge, this is a project you should be able to do on your own. A new sink can make the entire vanity look like new.
  • Buy new decor. New shower curtains, towels, window coverings, mats, etc. can transform the look of a bathroom.
  • Install new hardware. Replacing cabinet hardware may not seem like much of a change. However, it can have a surprisingly big impact. Shiny new hardware is like jewelry. It stands out.
  • Replace the vanity mirror. Even if there are no scratches, an older mirror is like an old pair of glasses. It can become foggy. No amount of cleaning will make it any clearer. When ordering a replacement mirror, be sure that your measurements are exact.
  • Paint. There’s no doubt about it. A fresh coat of paint makes any room look better.

These bathroom improvement projects can make a huge impact on the look of your bathroom. And, they can all be done affordably and in just a day or two.

Selling your Home? Choose the Right Photos

Home Selling Photo Tips

They say a picture speaks a thousand words. That’s certainly true in real estate. Sure, property descriptions are vitally important, but photos are essential. Especially these days, when so many people view listings online, the right photos can mean the difference between a buyer becoming interested in your property or moving on to the next listing.

So, what photos should you take?

Recent studies suggest that the more photos the better. Property listings that feature several photos tend to attract more buyers than those with just a single picture or none at all. So, you’ll want to have plenty taken. Some of the most effective shots include:

  • Photos of each room.
  • Desirable features, such as a gorgeous fireplace.
  • The property facade.
  • The backyard and other appealing outdoor features.
  • Key rooms from multiple perspectives, such as the kitchen, master en suite, and dining room.

Before having these photos taken, be sure to prepare. If you were having a family photo taken by a professional photographer, you’d probably ensure everyone dressed their best. The same holds true when listing pictures are taken. Make sure your home looks its best.

Get as much decluttering and cleaning done as possible before pictures are taken. Also, if there are any repairs needed around the home, especially ones that are likely to show up in a photo, get those taken care of too.

Of course, if you need to list your home quickly, there are ways to shoot photos that still look great, even before your home is 100% prepared.

Listing photography doesn’t take that long, so scheduling won’t be a big concern. 

Notable, Quotable, Quotes!

“The easiest thing is to react. The second easiest is to respond. But the hardest is to initiate.”
Seth Godin

“The things that one most wants to do are the things that are probably most worth doing.”
Winifred Holtby

“A discovery is said to be an accident meeting a prepared mind.”
Albert Szent-Gyorgyi

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September 2021 Calgary Real Estate Newsletter

What to Watch for when Viewing an Older Home

Viewing Older Homes To Purchase

Buying an older property definitely has its advantages. The neighbourhood will already be well-established, so you’ll be able to get a sense of the community. The trees will be grown. The area will have a defined character. This combination of an older home and established community may be something you like or even love.

However, when you’re viewing an older home for sale, there are a few extra things you need to be sure to check. Here are the most important:

Needed replacements. Nothing lasts forever. In any home, there are items that will eventually need to be replaced. The most common include roofing shingles, furnace, water heater, air conditioner, windows, deck, and fencing. When viewing an older property, ask about the age of each of these items. You’ll get an idea of probable upcoming replacement expenses.

Building issues. Homes were built differently decades ago than they are today. So, there may be issues that need to be addressed by a new owner. Some can be serious, such as water leakage and structural problems. Others, less so, such as old electrical outlets that need to be updated. If there are issues like these, they’ll likely be identified during the professional home inspection.

Drafts. Drafts are common in older homes. Of course, that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be fixed. Even modest infiltration of air through an old window or door with worn weatherstripping could add hundreds of wasted dollars to your energy bill each year. Look for signs of drafts when viewing a home.

The good news is, the overwhelming majority of these issues can be fixed easily. Don’t let them dissuade you from buying an older home you otherwise like.

Kids Need to Understand Personal Data

Personal Data Risks for Kids

The risks and benefits of data collection may be incomprehensible to most children, but it’s important for them to know that information about them is constantly being collected from their smartphones. Therefore, even children need to be thoughtful about what facts and images they choose to share, as they build a digital footprint throughout the course of their lives. 

In other words, they need to know that data collection is about more than tracking their progress when they play their favourite games.

The choices, interests and “likes” kids express on their smartphones will be used to predict their behaviour, and ultimately entice them to buy things, even when they don’t need them. They will be bated with cleverly masked offers that seem completely legitimate. What starts with a simple pop culture reference can eventually become a “phishing” scheme to collect personal information about a user, and eventually create a phony persona that can actually ruin a child’s credit rating. Surprisingly, this can be difficult to reverse. So, if kids are old enough to use a smartphone, they must be old enough to establish strong passwords and to practice cyber-safety 24/7.

Beware of Over-Downsizing or Over-Upsizing

Downsizing or Upsizing Your Next Home

Buying a new pair of shoes is relatively easy. Once you find the style you like, all you need to do is try them on and see if they fit. If they do, you go to the cash register and pay.

When it comes to size, buying a new home can be trickier! Whether your intention is to upsize or downsize, figuring out the right size can be especially challenging.

Say for example, you’re downsizing from a large two-story home to a smaller bungalow. You don’t want to underestimate the space you need and end up in a place that feels tight. If you’re going the other way and upsizing, you don’t want to end up sinking extra money into a property that’s larger than you really need.

So how do you avoid these scenarios?

One of the best ways is to start by considering your current home. Do you use all the rooms in your home regularly? Is there a bedroom that’s rarely occupied? Has the recreation room become simply a storage area? If you’re downsizing, subtracting rooms you scarcely use can give you a better idea of what you need in a new home.

Upsizing is a bit more challenging because you have to anticipate what you will need in the future. For example, if you have young children, and your place is feeling cramped, then a home with a recreation room or separate family and living rooms may be a good idea. You may also need a bigger kitchen with a spacious eating area (in addition to a separate dining room.) Think about the extra room you’ll need and how you’ll use that space.

Notable, Quotable, Quotes!

“Action is the foundational key to all success.”
Pablo Picasso

“Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear.”
George Addair

“If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way; if you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.”
Jim Rohn

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August 2021 Calgary Real Estate Newsletter

Beyond Boxes: Packing Materials You May Need for Your Move

Packing Boxes

As you probably know, when you’re preparing to move, you’ll need boxes and tape — and perhaps some bubble-wrap or old newspapers to use as protective wrapping for delicate items.

But that may not be all you need. Take a look at this list and see if you want to have any of these on hand while you’re packing or on your moving day:

  • Colour markers for labelling boxes. (Tip: Colour coding boxes by room will make unpacking much easier.)
  • Stretch wrap to protect larger items that can’t fit into a box.
  • Small plastic bags to store disassembled parts, such as sofa legs, cabinet hardware, etc. (You don’t want to lose them!)
  • Moving blankets to protect floors.
  • A dolly or hand truck to move heavy items. (You can rent these.)
  • Mattress moving bags. These help prevent stains and tears during your move. You can also buy specialty bags for sofas and tables.
  • Reusable foam furniture sliders to protect floors when furniture needs to be pushed into place.
  • Foam corner protectors. These prevent furniture with sharp corners from banging and damaging other items during a move.

Planning ahead and having the right packing and moving materials on hand will make your move less stressful and, hopefully, damage-free!

Finding the List Price “Tipping Points” 

Realtor and Clients

Setting the right list price for a home is a mystery for many sellers. How do you begin to determine what buyers are likely to pay for your property? After all, no two homes are exactly alike.

Yet, setting the right price is crucial. You need to avoid the two price “tipping points” that, if crossed, can cause you a lot of problems.

The first tipping point is a price that’s low enough for buyers to begin thinking something is wrong. They wonder, “Why is your price so low? What are you not telling us about your property?”

But that’s not even the worst problem with this tipping point. If you do get offers at that low price, you’ll have a bigger issue – leaving thousands of dollars on the table.

The other tipping point is setting your price so high it discourages buyers from giving your listing a second look. When your price is that high, you’ll get few enquiries and even fewer people coming to see your property.

Of course, you can lower your price later, if necessary. But experience shows that reduced prices make potential buyers skeptical. Most sellers who price high in the hopes of getting a windfall, actually end up selling for much less than they would have had they priced their properties correctly in the first place.

So, what’s the right price to list your property? The answer is somewhere in-between those two tipping points.

Call today for help determining the right price for your property.

The Latest in Kitchen Fire Prevention – What You Need to Know

Kitchen Fire Prevention Tips

More fires start in the kitchen than in any other room. These fires can be expensive; since even a minor incident, with no injuries, can result in significant damage. That’s why it’s important to keep up with the latest in fire prevention.

The most recent research tells us: Never leave cooking food unattended. Doing so is the number one cause of kitchen fires.

Make sure cooking appliances, especially deep fryers, are safety certified by the appropriate government agency.

When using oil in a frying pan, always heat slowly at no more than a medium heat setting.

Always turn off stove burners and other cooking appliances immediately after cooking.

Never attempt to put out a grease fire with water. Use baking soda or a fire extinguisher.

Never remove or cover up a smoke detector due to nuisance alarms. The one alarm that isn’t a nuisance may save your life.

Finally, experts say that if you can’t put out a fire immediately, get everyone out of the home and call emergency services.

Notable, Quotable, Quotes!

“You get the best out of others when you give the best of yourself.”
Harvey S. Firestone

“True communication isn’t what you say. It’s what the receiver takes away.”
Author Tom Monahan

“Do not wait to strike while the iron is hot; make it hot by striking!”
William Yeats

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Calgary Real Estate Commissions - Who pays and how much?

This 7 and 3 table shows you what we see in Calgary on most listings. However, it is against the law to fix commissions at set rates. Commissions are negotiable. 7% on the first $100,000 of the sale price plus 3% on the balance of the sale price is what the table below is based on. Whatever the seller and the listing agent agree to for commissions becomes part of the total sale price listed on the MLS® system. The seller's agent and the seller then usually offer a buyer's Realtor® 3.5% on the first $100,000 and 1.5% on the balance of the sale price if they have a buyer for the property. So yes the commissions may seem high and if it was going to only one Realtor®, I would agree. Realtors® generally split the commission whatever it may be and like everyone else that gets a paycheck is required to pay taxes and other expenses.

Every home listed on MLS® that has sold or is for sale has the commission component built into the price. To further put some perspective on what Realtors earn, there are over 5,700 Licenced Realtors registered with the Calgary Real Estate Board fighting over less than a couple of thousand deals most months. It's a job at the end of the day which for Realtors® is not 9 to 5 Mon to Fri with a few weeks vacation and a pension!

It's a good thing I enjoy helping people because if I was in this for the money I would have moved on long ago!

Sold Price7%3%TotalGSTTotalSeller Net
 $ 300,000 $7,000  $ 6,000 $13,000 $650 $13,650  $ 286,350
 $ 350,000 $7,000  $ 7,500 $14,500 $725 $15,225  $ 334,775
 $ 400,000 $7,000  $ 9,000 $16,000 $800 $16,800  $ 383,200
 $ 450,000 $7,000  $ 10,500 $17,500 $875 $18,375  $ 431,625
 $ 500,000 $7,000  $ 12,000 $19,000 $950 $19,950  $ 480,050
 $ 550,000 $7,000  $ 13,500 $20,500 $1,025 $21,525  $ 528,475
 $ 600,000 $7,000  $ 15,000 $22,000 $1,100 $23,100  $ 576,900
 $ 650,000 $7,000  $ 16,500 $23,500 $1,175 $24,675  $ 625,325
 $ 700,000 $7,000  $ 18,000 $25,000 $1,250 $26,250  $ 673,750
 $ 800,000 $7,000  $ 21,000 $28,000 $1,400 $29,400  $ 770,600
 $ 900,000 $7,000  $ 24,000 $31,000 $1,550 $32,550  $ 867,450
 $ 1,000,000 $7,000  $ 27,000 $34,000 $1,700 $35,700  $ 964,300
 $ 1,100,000 $7,000  $ 30,000 $37,000 $1,850 $38,850  $ 1,061,150
 $ 1,200,000 $7,000  $ 33,000 $40,000 $2,000 $42,000  $ 1,158,000
 $ 1,300,000 $7,000  $ 36,000 $43,000 $2,150 $45,150  $ 1,254,850
 $ 1,400,000 $7,000  $ 39,000 $46,000 $2,300 $48,300  $ 1,351,700
 $ 1,500,000 $7,000  $ 42,000 $49,000 $2,450 $51,450  $ 1,448,550
 $ 1,600,000 $7,000  $ 45,000 $52,000 $2,600 $54,600  $ 1,545,400
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July 2021 Calgary Real Estate Newsletter

One Hour Ideas for Boosting Curb Appeal

Curb Appeal for Calgary Home Owners

You’ve heard of the term “curb appeal”. It refers to the initial impression buyers get when they first see your property from the street. If the impression is a good one, it sets the right tone for the rest of the home viewing.

How do you boost curb appeal? Here are some proven ideas that you can get done in an hour or so:

  • Wash both the inside and outside of the front windows. You’ll be amazed at the difference that can make.
  • Sweep the walkway leading up to the front entrance. Add a new welcome mat. Also, wash down the front door.
  • If possible, remove cars from the driveway. Let buyers imagine their own cars parked there!
  • Mow the lawn. Lightly trim the hedges. Weed flower beds.
  • Remove anything from inside window sills that may look unsightly from the outside. Try putting a couple of flowering plants there instead.
  • Place any trash bins out-of-sight. For example, put them in the garage or neatly at the side of the house.
  • If the entrance door hardware is old and worn, change it. New hardware can make a bigger difference than you might think.
  • Make sure the outdoor lights are working, especially if you’re showing your home in the evening.
  • Add some flowering plants to flower beds, or buy a couple of portable potted plants and place them strategically.
  • Clean your mailbox. If it’s rusted, replace it.
  • If you have a power washer, give the walkway and driveway a quick blast. Just be sure it will be dry before the buyers arrive.

These one-hour improvements may seem minor, but anything that helps Calgary Home Buyers form a more positive first impression of your home is worth the effort.

The Latest Options in Outdoor Lighting

Outdoor Lighting Options

Outdoor lighting has come a long way from the days of patio lanterns and strings of lightbulbs. These days, there’s an exhaustive array of options available to illuminate your outdoor space and make it more appealing and comfortable, particularly in the evenings.

Here are just a few ideas:

Solar garden lights. These lights are on stakes that can be easily inserted throughout the garden. Powered by the sun, they generate enough energy to cast a soft, pleasant glow along walkways or in flower beds in the evenings.

Deck post lights. These are easy to install because they’re designed to sit on top of a standard 4x4 wood deck post. Most are solar powered.

Street-style lamps. As the name implies, these look similar to old-fashioned street lamps. Installation is a little more complex, but still DIY-friendly. They’re eye-catching and have a dramatic impact on the look of your outdoor space.

Portable lantern lights. These are outdoor lights that are portable and often made to look like a decorative fixture for a coffee table or side table. They can be placed anywhere.

LED walkway lights. These are small lights that fit neatly and almost invisibly under stairs and around walkways. Walkway lights not only look good but also improve safety. Most are battery powered.

Planter lights. This is one of the most interesting options. Each one is both a flower pot and a light in one! The pot itself is translucent which allows the light inside to shine through.

Calgary Design experts say you should treat your outdoor space as you would any room in your home. Lighting it up for evening comfort and enjoyment is a good place to start.

Should You Reclaim the “Lost” Bedroom?

Bedroom Ideas

Do you have an extra bedroom that you’ve converted into a home office, arts and crafts room or other non-slumbering use? If so, you may be wondering if you should convert it back into a traditional bedroom before you list.

According to Calgary home staging experts, that may be a good idea.

Although home buyers will know the space was designed as a bedroom, there will be a psychological response to seeing it used otherwise. For example, say potential buyers view a property with a master bedroom, a second bedroom, and a third bedroom converted into a child’s playroom. Logically, they’ll know it’s a three-bedroom home – but the impression that will form will be of “two bedrooms and a playroom”, not a “three bedroom home.” This is especially true if closet doors have been removed. They may even start wondering whether there is anywhere else for a child to play.

So, when you’re selling a home in Calgary, consider changing the bedroom back to its original purpose. You don’t necessarily need to put in a bed and dresser (although for staging purposes, that would help.) Just make the bedroom look like a bedroom for showings.

Keep this in mind: It’s easier for buyers to imagine a bedroom as a potential home office, playroom, etc. than the other way around.

Notable, Quotable, Quotes!

“Try not to become a person of success, but rather a person of value.”
Albert Einstein

“A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.”
Lao Tzu

“Life is different when we discover what is deeply important to us.”
Stephen Covey

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June 2021 Calgary Real Estate Newsletter

Does the Property Meet Your Families “Lifestyle Test”

Shopping For A New Home To Pass Your Life Style Test

Lifestyle is a very important criterion when you’re shopping for a new home in Calgary. After all, a home and its surrounding neighbourhood are the places where much of your lifestyle is going to be experienced.

So when you consider a new home, think about the kind of lifestyle to which the property needs to lend itself. Ask yourself:

  • How much entertaining do we do?
  • How important is it to have good schools located nearby?
  • How long will the commute to work be?
  • How big of a backyard do we require?
  • Do we need a rec room?
  • How easy will it be to get to golfing, dance lessons, baseball practices, movies and other activities my family and I enjoy?
  • How important is it to be in a quiet area?
  • Do we want a local park nearby for jogging, playing with the kids, and walking the dog?

This list is just an example. Ideally, you’ll create your own list of questions to ask yourself when considering a particular home and Calgary Neighbourhoods.

A Few Secrets of Successful Calgary Home Staging

Calgary Home Staging Secrets

“Staging” is about setting up and decorating each room of your home so that it looks as attractive as possible to potential buyers. Studies show that a property is more likely to sell quickly and for a better price if it is effectively staged.

Even if you haven’t heard of staging before, you probably already know the basics, such as eliminating clutter and making sure everything is clean and “guest ready”. However, there are also some home staging “secrets” staging professionals use that you may not know. Here are a few examples:

Increase horizontal surface space. Make sure desks, countertops, coffee tables, end tables, etc. are as free of items as possible. Give the impression that there’s lots of room available on horizontal surfaces.

Flowers. Fresh flowers or flowering plants placed in a couple of rooms, such as the kitchen and living room, can have a dramatic impact on how inviting that room looks. Just don’t overdo it.

Don’t be daring when you paint. You may love the idea of a bright yellow and green combination in the family room, but not everyone will share your daring sense of style. If you paint, stick to neutral colours.

Less is more. Be brutally honest about the amount of furniture you have in each room – including wall hangings. Is there a desk, side table or other pieces you can put away in storage? Think about ways to make each room more spacious. Space is king!

Ultimately, the best staging advice is to use your common sense. Put yourself in the shoes of a potential buyer as you walk through your home. Ask yourself, “What changes will make this room even more attractive?”

Do You Know How Your Smoke Detectors Work?

Smoke Detectors are a Must Have For Calgary Homes

For most people, smoke detectors are simply taken for granted. But, when it’s time to replace your smoke detectors, be sure to understand the differences between the two main types.

Ionization types use a battery to create a small current that charges the ion particles inside the detector. If that current is disrupted by smoke, an alarm is triggered. Though they are designed to detect all types of smoke, they tend to be more sensitive to smoke from fast-flaming fires, such as those that might occur in a kitchen. Another type is a photoelectric detector, which powers a small beam of light that, when broken by smoke, will sound an alarm. This type tends to be more sensitive to smoke from a smouldering fire, such as a burning cigarette on upholstery.

To be safe, Calgary Homeowners are advised to use both types of detectors in their homes because no one can predict the type of fire that may break out, nor where it might start. Locate them strategically based on the type. Also, be sure your units are tested regularly, and their batteries are changed bi-annually.

Notable, Quotable, Quotes!

“Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.”
John D. Rockefeller

“We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.”
Anais Nin

“Whenever you see a successful person, you only see the public glories, never the private sacrifices to reach them.”
Vaibhav Shah

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