How to Craft an Offer That Will Ensure You’re the Winning Buyer

Fri, 15 Dec by edmontonhomepros

Buying an Edmonton Home?

With today’s Edmonton real estate market, it’s not uncommon for a family to find the perfect home only to find out that their offer was not selected. It can be devastating, but especially frustrating if there is no way to discover why the offer wasn’t accepted. What was it that made the difference? Some buyers are really crafty when they submit an offer and use some tiny tricks that make their deal hard to ignore. Here are some ways to make sure any real estate offer is the first one considered.

Keep it Simple for the Seller

When the real estate market is slow and there aren’t many offers rolling in, the buyers have their pick of homes and can make deals or add clauses to the contract that benefit themselves. It wasn’t uncommon for a buyer to make an offer for a home that included a term dictating that they would need to sell their own home first. In some cases, any requests like this will automatically disqualify a potential homebuyer from a bidding war. Why would a seller agree to this if somebody else is willing to buy right now?

One-Up the Competition with a Pre-Approved Mortgage

There is nothing worse than agreeing to sell a home only to discover the buyer does not get approved for a mortgage and then it’s back to square one. As a buyer, a quick way to move to the top of the list is to get pre-approved for a mortgage. This proves to the seller that if they accept the offer the home will more likely change hands and the deal will go through, it also has the added benefit of allowing the buyer to know exactly how much they can put down in advance.

Discover and Include the Seller’s Needs

Everybody has a reason for selling their home and some are more time-sensitive than others. A real estate professional will be able to find out exactly why the home is being sold and see if there’s any helpful information that can help when crafting the deal. For instance, some sellers have a closing date that they desperately need to hit and may be willing to accept a lower offer if it is guaranteed to meet that date.

Some Extra Incentives Won’t Hurt

Sometimes the seller will end up looking at multiple offers that are all for similar amounts. At that point, some tiny incentives might make the difference between a winning or losing bid.
Every community is different and every seller has different criteria that need to be met in order for them to accept an offer. By teaming up with a professional REALTOR® you will have somebody working with you to find out what the seller is looking for and what you can do to sweeten the deal and put it above any competition.

The Pros and Cons of Home Warranties

Fri, 08 Dec by edmontonhomepros

How to Assess Whether or Not You Need One

Home warranties are used to protect new owners from the costs associated with unforeseen repairs in their new house or condo. Like most costs associated with buying a new home, a warranty is one people don’t discuss until afterwards and is one nobody can agree on whether or not it’s necessary. There are benefits and drawbacks to buying a home warranty, for both buyers and sellers, and the decision changes drastically based on circumstances.

Peace of Mind When Buying an Older  Home

Old homes may be less expensive than new homes, but older homes will also have older appliances and foundations. Every warranty company and plan is different, but these are the things a home warranty will protect against. The cost of replacing all the appliances in a home is something that most people could never afford right after paying for the house, so the idea of a significantly cheaper warranty helps them rest easy at night knowing they are covered if something breaks down.

Don’t Expect Complete Repairs

While a home warranty looks good on the surface, especially considering how expensive brand new appliances can be, there are catches. Some people are shocked to learn that when their appliance breaks they will only be receiving a repair and not a new machine. Every company has different criteria for what warrants a new appliance, but in most cases they will do whatever they can to get the old appliance back in running order so that they won’t have to pay for a new one.

Warranties are not Just for Buyers

Home warranties are also available to sellers to cover any unexpected costs associated with the sale. Everything may appear like it’s going smoothly, but sometimes sales fall through at the last possible second or the closing is delayed for unforeseen circumstances. A home warranty can cover the seller for all the costs associated with this disaster, including legal fees, accommodations, moving and storage as well as bank, mortgage and interest payments.

Some Homes Will Have A Warranty Included

In order to make their home stand out and be more attractive to potential buyers, some sellers will make a deal with a warranty company to include the coverage in the cost of the home. Additionally, some REALTORS® may include the cost of warranty as a bonus when the home closes. Before shopping around with different insurers, all buyers should double check that the cost of the warranty isn’t already being covered by another party. This is especially true for new homes.

If the idea of home warranties has you confused and you really aren’t sure whether or not you need one, it will be best to speak with a professional real estate agent. We can tell you more about home warranties and why they may be right, or wrong, for your new home. Every situation is different and if you provide us with more information we can help you decide whether or not a home warranty is right for you.

You Ask, We Answer: When is the Right Time to Upgrade to a Larger Home

Mon, 27 Nov by edmontonhomepros

Upgrading to a Larger Home – Are you ready?

Many homebuyers face the question of size when looking for their next home. Do they downsize, stay the same, or upgrade to a larger home? To help answer this question, here are some factors to take into consideration when determining if you should upgrade to a larger home.

 

Affordability

With larger homes come more financial responsibility. Typically larger homes will come with a larger mortgage, repair/maintenance, utilities, and insurance payments as well as increased property taxes. Are you ready financially for these larger expenses? Take into account these estimated expenses when going over your household budget. Remember, ideally you’ll want to be able to maintain a comfortable quality of life and still be able to save for the future when these larger expenses are taken into account with your budget.

 

Down Payments

There is a need in most cases during the property buying process to make a down payment and to pay for closing costs. You should include these expenses in your estimations while keeping in mind that selling the existing property and accessing equity will yield most or all of the funds that are needed to make a new purchase. Working with a real estate professional and a mortgage broker will help you to get more information about these two factors before making a sound financial decision.

 

When the time is right for you to upgrade to a larger home, you should consider working with an experienced real estate agent to sell your existing property and help you in the process of buying a new home.

Space Saving Upgrades

Mon, 20 Nov by edmontonhomepros

Giving a Smaller Home a More Roomy Feel

Smaller rooms can create a decorating challenge for homeowners. While some may be dealing with a space that is smaller overall – such as an condo or apartment – others may have just a couple of smaller rooms that look and feel cramped. While enlarging these rooms may not be an option, there may be a few upgrades to consider that can give these rooms a more spacious and open feel.

 

Light Paint Colours

Dark colours can add dramatic flair to a room, and they certainly will make a bold statement. However, they also can create the feeling that the room is smaller than it is. It is best to paint with light paint colours on the walls or even to choose a lighter colour for the ceiling. In addition to these colours, a lighter floor colour can also add the feeling of depth to the space. If the use of bolder, brighter hues is preferred, consider adding a pattern in combination with lighter colours to the ceiling. Another idea is to use stripes with alternating darker and lighter hues on the walls to create the illusion of space.

 

Shelving Installed Close to the Ceiling

Storage space is often a concern with smaller rooms, and cabinets and bookshelves can take up valuable floor space in any room. A smart idea for smaller rooms is to install shelving or even cabinetry closer to the ceiling. This can enable the space below it to be kept open or to be used for other purposes, such as for other furnishings that must be kept on the floor.

 

Recessed or Flush Lighting

Lighting is an important element in any room, and brighter lighting can make a space look larger in many situations. Darker shadows cast about a room can make the space feel closed off. More than that, overhead lights that hang down, such as pendants or chandeliers, can create a visual illusion that makes the room feel smaller than it is.

To achieve the goal of casting light throughout the room more evenly while removing these hanging light fixtures from the space, install recessed or flush lights into the ceiling. These can be combined with small table lamps if necessary to brighten up any areas that may still be dark or shadowy. Avoid tall, imposing lamps when decorating a smaller room.

Decorating a smaller room is rarely easy to do, and there are many things that homeowners can do when decorating that actually may make a smaller room appear to be even smaller. These are a few tips that can be followed to make the space appear to be more roomy and spacious, but there are also other ideas for decorating as well as built-in upgrades to consider. Ideally, the fully decorated room will be stylish and functional as well as appear to be spacious.

With proper research and planning, a homeowner can achieve the desired results. 

The Scoop on Home Inspections

Mon, 13 Nov by edmontonhomepros

A home inspection, while not required in all areas, should be an indispensable part of your home buying or selling process. It is worth the cost up front to save you money and headaches down the road.

What a Home Inspection Entails

A home inspector will provide a thorough inspection of the home’s interior and exterior to alert you to any damage that may cause potential problems in the future. He or she will look at the house as a whole and evaluate how the different components work together and affect each other. The inspector will identify any areas that need repairs or are unsafe and advise you on what your next steps should be.

Benefits for a Home Buyer

When you are purchasing a home, you want to know that it is going to be safe for you and your family for many years to come. Obviously, you don’t want to buy a home that is rotting from the inside out. A home inspector can alert you to issues that are minor right now but could potentially become much more serious in the future. Purchasing a home is a major decision. The results of the inspection may lead you to reconsider buying a particular house if it is likely to have a lot of problems in the future. It can protect you from huge unexpected expenses.

Benefits for a Home Seller

If you are the one selling the home, it is a good idea to request a home inspection prior to listing your home on the market. Potential buyers of your home are likely to have an inspection done, and you don’t want there to be any surprises. If there are issues with the house, buyers may rescind their offers or make offers only on the condition that you repair the problems before they finalize the purchase. It is better if you know about any problems in advance. An inspection gives you the opportunity to make sure the house is in its best possible condition when buyers start coming to look at it. This will streamline the purchasing process and make potential buyers feel much more confident that your home is the right choice for them.

When you are ready to buy or sell a home, or have any questions regarding home inspections, get in touch!

Why Use a REALTOR®?

Mon, 06 Nov by edmontonhomepros

Why a Realtor Streamlines the Process of Selling Your Home

So, it is time to move onwards and upwards in life and move house! Moving is a dynamic process that involves much more than a simple transaction. From marketing to proper evaluations and inspections, it is advisable to use the services of an experienced professional realtor to make sure everything goes smoothly.

The following challenges are what a professional can help you avoid when selling your home:

Time Spent on Potential Buyers

Selling a home by yourself will be a significant time commitment that should not be underestimated. Perhaps the greatest commitment to your time will be in scheduling and hosting viewings of your property. Are you ready and able to pick up the phone every time you have an inquiry? Are you able to sift out the simply curious from real potential buyers to avoid unnecessary viewings? Realtors are experienced in asking the kind of qualifying questions that sort out the wheat from the chaff. And how many evenings, weekends, and weekday hours are you able to give up to show interested parties your home? You’ll then have to pro-actively follow up on interest after viewings.

Marketing and Valuation

As well as the time involved in doing your own marketing, there are also practical considerations around how successfully you will get the information out there. Yes, you can list your property on various websites and specialist portals that realtors use. However, realtors also have extended networks of active potential buyers that they will reach out to with information on your property, a channel you will almost certainly not have access to.

You would have to be confident that you could realistically value your property correctly if you chose to put your home on the market yourself. Things you may be oblivious to can be widely considered as flaws by potential buyers. A professional realtor has the experience to point those out and suggest small changes which will make your property more attractive.

Negotiating

Realtors are both objective and experienced, having negotiated hundreds or thousands of real estate transactions. They know how to spot the signs a potential buyer has formed an emotional attachment towards your property and how to leverage that to your benefit. They also know how to spot signs of nervousness that might pose a threat to the eventual sale and how best to allay such fears. They won’t make compromises because they have been charmed by a prospective buyer, or behave irrationally because they don’t like them on a personal level.

Avoiding Getting Sued

This is a genuine concern that owners operating without a realtor must be acutely aware of. There is a lot of paperwork involved in the sale of a property. Getting it wrong can at best delay the sale and at worst lead to putting yourself in danger of legal proceedings. Seller’s disclosure is a particular concern. What can be considered a defect, hazard, or nuisance varies depending on where you live. Realtors know exactly what is required of the seller. If a mistake is made, then they have insurance, ensuring that a seller does not personally suffer.

Are Edmonton Homes Becoming More Affordable?

Tue, 25 Nov by edmontonhomepros
Edmonton Homes More Affordable

Homes like these energy efficient Oxford area homes are becoming more affordable in Edmonton Photo credit: CTV

This week, RBC Economics released a report that states that overall, Canada’s real estate has become slightly more affordable.

Even with the fast-rising prices in Vancouver and Toronto (and to a degree Calgary), the country is still in relatively good shape.

RBC Economics says that rising household incomes, lowered utility costs and low interest rates are making it easier for people to enter the market.

As you might have seen in our last post, there are many factors at play that can influence affordability and pricing of real estate. The Canadian Real Estate Association quoted a 7.1% year-over-year increase over October 2013. The MLS home price index posted price gains of 5.5% over last year (which is quite a bit lower than CREA’s numbers).

Either way, with the big three markets influencing our national landscape, it may seem easy for some to believe that home affordability is slipping away.

It isn’t.

Across the western provinces, homes have slightly risen in price—once we remove Calgary and Vancouver from the equation. Both cities’ markets have witnessed growth far beyond the national average. In many other markets, we’ve seen only slight to moderate growth at rates that are very comfortable for those markets.

We call the prices respectable because the drop in fixed mortgage rates is keeping the market strong. Also, the gradual rising incomes in the west are also helping to keep homes affordable.

So many of us are preparing to hear panic about the market, but the price conditions of Edmonton homes—as well as other western cities—are robust with a firm foundation.

We have settled into a solid growth trend, and affordability for Edmonton home buyers is improving. It’s never been a better time to get into the market.


If you are thinking about buying or selling your Edmonton home, get in touch with the Edmonton Home Pros team.

We’ve got the experience to help you make sense of the market and find the home that’s right for you and your family.

 

2014 Canada Avg Home Prices and Edmonton Real Estate

Tue, 18 Nov by edmontonhomepros
Canada's Average Housing Prices: Edmonton Real Estate

Graphics designed and published by CBC.

It’s been a big year for many of Canada’s hottest housing markets.

The average buying price of a home jumped up over 7% compared to the same time last year, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).

At the same time, the actual number of homes sold is almost identical in growth (7%).

With having a soft spell earlier this year, this is welcome news for anyone in the market or looking to get into it.

For one thing, October tends to be a softer month than the busier days in the spring and summer, as people are eager to buy and sell. But having an October that is this active bodes well for the busier housing markets, and this includes Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary and Edmonton.

Additionally, the two hottest markets in the city appear to be lifting the numbers slightly. Taking Vancouver and Toronto out of the equation, the average home price for the rest of the country is $330,596 with a year-over-year rate increase of just 5.4%.

Several of our country’s major cities have seen slight declines in year-over-year pricing. Sherbrooke Quebec saw the most dramatic with a drop of 14%. The remaining 8 cities saw pricing declines between 0.3% and 3.7%, which shouldn’t shake up those local markets too badly.

The Edmonton Home Pros Team has worked for years in the hearts and surrounding areas of these communities

We’ve seen the numerous market changes and forces at play, and we can help you navigate the market whether you are buying or selling your home.

Don’t be alarmed with steady growth. The Edmonton real estate market is strong and continues to follow a path that many in our industry have seen coming. They say a rising tide lifts all boats, and if you are looking to make a move in the marketplace, there is no better time than now.

So get in touch with us and we can have a conversation about making the right decisions for you and your family.

Military Relocation: Moving to Edmonton

Wed, 30 Apr by edmontonhomepros

Edmonton – A Place To Call Home

We know that relocating to a new place can be a very exciting experience; new beginnings for you and your family, and a new place to call home. Sometimes the only hard part is knowing where to start or establishing a game plan for your move . If you’re a Canadian Force Member and you need to relocate to Edmonton, let us assist you in this transition. We know how hard you work for our country and we’d like to pay it forward by making this process as easy as possible for you.

Edmonton is a very welcoming city that we know you’re going to love once you explore its streets, trails, and the breathtaking river valley.  While you get familiarized with your new surroundings and workplace, we’ll help you organize, plan, and understand what this relocation means for you, your family, and your job.

Take advantage of our expertise and years of experience helping families find the perfect place home in a new city. Contact us today and tell us more about your situation so we can start getting your new home ready for you!

Thank you for all you do for our country. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More First-Time Edmonton Homeowners Are Young Couples

Wed, 04 Dec by edmontonhomepros

Thinking of Becoming A First-time Homeowner?

Are you and your partner Edmonton residents who are thinking about becoming first-time homeowners? Purchasing an Edmonton real estate property before tying the knot is becoming increasingly common among young couples. An article released by The Real Estate Magazine states more and more couples will purchase a home for sale before getting married. The information was collected through a study, and reveals a strong shift of mindset when it comes to homeownership among younger generations. Other interesting numbers in the article include:
Young Couple Moving House

  • — Over 1 in 3 married homeowners bought their first home together in time for their second wedding anniversary.
  • — A small 16% of married adults in the survey had not purchased a home together with their spouse.
  • — 80% of participants said that buying a home with their spouse strengthened their relationship as a couple and family. More than any other purchase they made together.
  • — 35% of married homeowners confessed they regret not entering into homeownership sooner.

“About one in four married couples between the ages of 18 to 34 purchased their first home together before their wedding date, compared to 14 per cent of those ages 45 and older….While life goals and expectations continue to weigh on young couples, their views of homeownership are transcending their plans of marriage and starting a family, creating a direct effect on the patterns of buying a home altogether,” Click here to view the full article.

If you’re thinking about becoming a first-time Edmonton homeowner, get in touch with the Edmonton Home Pros team. Stephen Lau and his team of professionals have extensive experience in successfully helping couples take the plunge into homeownership. Through a complimentary Home Buyers Consultation, they can determine you and your partner’s needs then help you find an Edmonton property perfect for you. Curious about homes currently on the market? Use this interactive search map to browse through listings. Once you find what speaks to you, give the Edmonton Home Pros team a call!

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.
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