Warren Shouldice

Cell: 403-461-8103 |

It's hard to believe another year is coming to a close. Personally, 2018 was a wonderful year; my wife and I welcomed our second child and I continued to build my business. I'd like to thank you for your business and for choosing me for all your real estate needs! Warmest wishes to you and your family this holiday season. I look forward to staying in touch in the new year.


Market Update:


The slow pace of sales continued last month with annual sales down nearly 20 per cent from the long term average. Additionally, current inventory as of November 30 sits at 6501 units, which is 32 per cent higher than the long term average for the month. The higher inventories and weaker sales are resulting in a buyer’s market with price declines. The citywide benchmark price was $422,600 in November, nearly one per cent lower than last month and over three per cent below last year’s levels.


Quick Stats:

 

Nov. 2017

Nov. 2018

Y/Y% change

Detached

     

Total sales

874

679

-22.31%

Inventory

2,765

3,491

26.26%

Months of supply*

3.16

5.14

62.52%

Average DOM

48

60

24.36%

Benchmark price**

$505,500

$486,000

-3.44%

       

Attached

     

Total sales

312

252

-19.23%

Inventory

1,423

1,693

18.97%

Months of supply*

4.56

6.72

47.30%

Average DOM

54

69

27.43%

Benchmark price**

$333,100

321,800

-3.39%

       

Apartment

     

Total sales

224

240

7.14%

Inventory

1,495

1,317

-11.91%

Months of supply*

6.67

5.49

-17.78%

Average DOM

66

65

-0.56%

Benchmark price**

$258,400

$252,800

-2.17%

*Months of supply: The ratio between inventory and sales which represents the current pace of sales and how long it would take to clear existing inventory.

**Benchmark price: The monthly price of the typical home based on its attributes, providing the best measure of price trends.


Affordable Staging Ideas

Remember the last time you walked through a furniture showroom? You probably noticed that the sofa, chairs, tables and other furnishings were arranged - or staged - to make them look more appealing. You might have seen an attractive lamp on a sofa end table, or an appetizing bowl of fruit on a dining room buffet.


When preparing your home for sale, you should do much the same thing. Stage each room to make it look its best. Studies prove this will help sell your home faster and for a better price.

In fact, there are professional stagers who provide consulting and installation for home staging. As your real estate agent, I can also provide you with practical ideas to get your home prepared for sale.

Here are some simple, affordable staging tips:

  • Make each room look as spacious as possible. This may mean putting some items, and even some furniture, into storage.
  • Remove unnecessary items from countertops, tables and shelves.
  • Keep decorative objects on shelves, tables and even sofas, in odd number groupings. According to Barb Schwartz, the originator of staging, this combination works best. So, put three pillows on a sofa, not two or four.
  • Make an older-looking piece of furniture look quaint and stylish by adding a throw cover.
  • Add life and good looks to just about any living space by adding flowers or a flowering plant.
  • Have the table set with your best china. It makes the buyer want to move in and sit down for dinner!
  • Consider replacing the sink, faucets and toilet to make an older bathroom look much better. It’s relatively quick and inexpensive.

Professional stagers look at your home through the eyes of the buyer. Do the same and you’ll be able to see what changes need to be made.



Cyber Safety for Computer Users of All Ages

No matter your age, if you use a computer - and especially the internet - you need to be savvy about security. Yet many users have no idea how vulnerable they might be to malicious thieves who can “hack” and “phish” into personal computers.


To prevent theft of information that can rob you and your family of your financial assets - and your dignity - be mindful of the following:

  • Educate young video gamers on the importance of protecting personal information, and instruct them to inform you of unusual requests for private facts, photos or activities.
  • While on social networks, be wary of unknown links to unusual blogs, tweets and other services that invite interaction.
  • When using unsecured Wi-Fi networks, increase your computer’s security levels, and ensure your computer has automated anti-virus upgrades.
  • During financial transactions, check that you use only trusted websites that start with “https” (the “s” stands for “secure”).


Read full post

Sales continued to decline in September totalling 1273 units city wide. This represents a 13 per cent decline from 2017 and is well below long term averages. 


With rising inventories, months of supply now sits at 6.25. The persistent oversupply continues to put downward pressure on prices with the citywide benchmark price falling to $428,700. This is down nearly one per cent from last month and three per cent from a year ago.

Quick Stats:

 

Sept. 2017

Sept. 2018

Y/Y% change

Detached

     

Total sales

919

792

-13.82%

Inventory

3,494

4,348

24.44%

Months of supply*

3.80

5.49

44.40%

Average DOM

42

58

39.75%

Benchmark price**

$508,200

$493,100

-2.97%

       

Attached

     

Total sales

332

269

-18.98%

Inventory

1,614

1,979

22.61%

Months of supply*

4.86

7.36

51.33%

Average DOM

49

59

21.66%

Benchmark price**

$336,000

$324,700

-3.36%

       

Apartment

     

Total sales

209

211

0.96%

Inventory

1,774

1,620

-8.68%

Months of supply*

8.49

7.68

-9.55%

Average DOM

56

66

16.42%

Benchmark price**

$264,300

$257,200

-2.69%


*Months of supply: The ratio between inventory and sales which represents the current pace of sales and how long it would take to clear existing inventory.

 

**Benchmark price: The monthly price of the typical home based on its attributes, providing the best measure of price trends.


Do You Know the Basics of Home Security?

Most people feel confident that they know the basics of home security. For example, they know to: keep all doors locked; have a light on in the house while away; and, never hide a key outside in an obvious place, like under the mat.


Yet, almost a million and a half properties get burglarized in North America each year. So, how can you prevent that from happening to your home? Here are a few lesser-known home security basics:

  • Actually, never hide a key outside. Thieves know all the hiding places. Instead, make sure all family members have a key.
  • Two-thirds of home burglaries occur during the day. So, be extra vigilant about making sure doors and windows are locked while you’re out during the day.
  • Surprisingly, most thieves are not daring. They are 2.7 times more likely to target a home without an alarm system.
  • Thieves will attempt to force entry through sliding-style doors and windows first. Make sure these have a locking bar or extra bolt lock.
  • Surprising, 40% of household burglaries do not involve forced entry. The thief is able to slip in through an unlocked window or door.
  • Don’t show off possessions! An imported racing bike parked next to the garage, or expensive audio equipment clearly seen through a window, is an invitation to burglars.
  • Take a look at the lighting and landscaping around your property. Are there spots where a thief could easily hide? If so, make some changes.
  • When planning a trip, have a trusted neighbour pick up newspapers, flyers and anything else that may accumulate at your door.

Your local police department may have more tips and special programs for keeping your home secure. Give them a call.


The Importance of Reading and Understanding an Offer

When you make or receive an offer to buy a property, it’s important that you read and understand every clause. It is especially important to understand any conditions or any changes that are made to the standard offer.


An offer may contain several types of conditions. The most common are “conditional upon arranging financing” and “conditional upon passing a professional home inspection.” However, there may be other conditions as well.

You should be aware of - and fully understand - all of them.

In addition, the wording of an offer may change during the back and forth negotiations that often happen. Aside from changes to the price, other clauses may be added, removed or reworded as well.

As your real estate agent, I will always explain the changes and ask you to initial them. This is done primarily to ensure you know and approve of what you’re signing.

A recent newspaper article tells the story of a buyer-seller legal dispute that resulted in a six-figure judgement against the seller. This was due, in part, to a lack of understanding of one of the clauses in the agreement.

You don’t want that to happen to you. Take the time to carefully review and understand an offer.


When to Call a Real Estate Agent

If you’re like most people, you go to see a doctor when you’re not feeling well or have a health concern. However, you may also visit your doctor for a check-up, or to ask questions about healthy living. In fact, consulting your doctor for anything health-related is a smart idea.


The same holds true when it comes to real estate.

Many people only call a real estate agent when they’re planning on selling their property, buying a new home, or doing both. While that’s an important reason to speak to a real estate agent, it’s not the only reason.

Indeed, there are many good reasons for you to give me a call. For example:

  • If you have a question about the state of the local real estate market. (Remember that it may be very different from what you hear on the news about the national market.)
  • If you want to get a sense of what homes are currently selling for in the area.
  • If you want to determine the current market value of your property.
  • If you want to find out how much homes cost in neighbourhoods you’d like to consider.
  • If you’re thinking about the possibility of making a move, but you’re not sure if it’s the right time.

In other words, don’t be afraid to contact me when you have a question or need some advice about the real estate market.






Read full post

Easing sales, an increase of new listings and the resulting inventory gains continue to hinder the Calgary real estate market.


Sales this month totaled 1,489 units, which is down nearly 7 per cent from 2017 and is 14 per cent below long-term market trends. Benchmark prices are down over previous months by 0.8 per cent and are 2.4 per cent below last year’s levels. Prices have trended down across most areas recently based on year-to-date figures, but have remained comparable to last year's levels in the City Centre and West districts of the city. 


These market conditions can be attributed to struggles in Calgary's employment market, a slow recovery in the energy sector combined with tighter lending conditions and competition from the new home sector. 

 

Quick Stats:



Aug. 2017

Aug. 2018

Y/Y% change

Detached




Total sales

983

927

-5.70%

Inventory

3277

4433

35.28%

Months of supply*

3.33

4.78

43.45%

Average DOM

40

51

28.36%

Benchmark price**

$510,200

$497,000

-2.59%





Attached




Total sales

364

320

-12.09%

Inventory

1,575

2,022

28.38%

Months of supply*

4.33

6.32

46.03%

Average DOM

49

58

18.95%

Benchmark price**

$336,500

$327,500

-2.67%





Apartment




Total sales

248

243

-2.02%

Inventory

1,767

1,666

-5.72%

Months of supply*

7.13

6.86

-3.78%

Average DOM

60

71

18.62%

Benchmark price**

$263,600

$258,100

-2.09%


*Months of supply: The ratio between inventory and sales which represents the current pace of sales and how long it would take to clear existing inventory.

 

**Benchmark price: The monthly price of the typical home based on its attributes, providing the best measure of price trends.


4 Cheap Ways to Prepare Your Home for Sale

If you want to improve how your home shows to potential buyers, you don’t necessarily need to invest in a costly remodelling or renovation. In fact, there are some simple - and relatively inexpensive - things you can do to make your property look significantly better.


1. Paint it.

There’s no doubt about it. A fresh coat of paint will significantly improve the appearance of just about any area of your home. In fact, compared to other home improvements, painting will give you the highest return on investment when you sell your property. Think beyond walls. Painting a door, window frame, garage floor or deck can make those features look like new.

2. Declutter it.

Eliminating clutter will make your home look more attractive, roomy and comfortable to buyers. Do an inventory of each room. Ask yourself: “What can I throw out? Give away? Sell? Put into storage?”

3. Put up mirrors.

Mirrors are a relatively inexpensive design feature. Yet, according to an article in Style At Home magazine, they can make small rooms appear bigger and dark rooms seem brighter. You don’t necessarily need to buy wall-hanging mirrors. Standalone floor models will have the same effect.

4. Repair it.

In most cases, you will have to get any needed repairs done anyway. So, do them before you show your home. That way buyers will focus on the appealing features of your property, not the minor defects.


What Home Inspectors See that You Can’t


When you make an offer on a home, it’s a smart idea to have a professional home inspector check it out from top to bottom. This inspection will ensure that the property doesn’t have any unexpected “issues”. After all, you don’t want to buy a home only to discover that the roof needs to be replaced, immediately, for thousands of dollars.


Nevertheless, you might question whether you really need to invest the few hundred dollars it costs for a professional home inspection. “The home we want to buy looks like it’s in very good shape,” you might be thinking. “I can’t see anything wrong with it.”

However, a professional home inspector can see things you can’t. When you view a property that’s on the market, you might be able to notice obvious issues, like a crack in the foundation or a dripping faucet. If you’re experienced with home maintenance, you might even notice roofing tiles that look like they’re overdue for replacement.

But, most people don’t have the equipment, knowledge or experience to identify all the issues a home inspector can.

A home inspector will, for example, use a special device to check for moisture build-up in the washrooms - which can be an indication of mould. A home inspector will also inspect wiring to make sure everything is safe and compliant with the building code.

That’s not all.

Like a determined detective, a home inspector will investigate the property’s structure, electrical and plumbing systems, insulation, and other components - and then report the findings to you.

In the end, a professional home inspection gives you peace-of-mind and protects your investment. So, getting one is highly recommended - even for recently built homes.

Read full post

The ongoing weakness in the labour market coupled with yet another interest rate hike continued to weigh on Calgary's housing sector last month.


July saw a total of 1547 units sold which is nearly five percent down from last year. Although new listings eased slightly to 2964 units, this led to more inventory gains, now sitting at over 8400 units city-wide. With more supply relative to demand, prices continued to edge lower in this buyers market.


Quick Stats:

 

July 2017

July 2018

Y/Y% change

Detached

     

Total sales

1,011

969

-4.15%

Inventory

3,280

4,578

39.57%

Months of supply*

3.24

4.72

45.62%

Average DOM

38

49

28.16%

Benchmark price**

$512,100

$501,300

-2.11%

       

Attached

     

Total sales

360

325

-9.72%

Inventory

1,603

2,098

30.88%

Months of supply*

4.45

6.46

44.97%

Average DOM

47

54

14.87%

Benchmark price**

$336,300

$330,900

-1.61%

       

Apartment

     

Total sales

254

253

-0.39%

Inventory

1,813

1,774

-2.15%

Months of supply*

7.14

7.01

-1.76%

Average DOM

59

62

4.63%

Benchmark price**

$266,200

$259,700

-2.44%

*Months of supply: The ratio between inventory and sales which represents the current pace of sales and how long it would take to clear existing inventory.

**Benchmark price: The monthly price of the typical home based on its attributes, providing the best measure of price trends.



How to Decide If You Should Replace Your Windows

One of the most prominent features of any home is the windows. If they are well maintained, they will have a positive impact on the impression potential buyers have of your property. Of course, the opposite occurs when your windows look old and worn.


So, does that mean you should replace your windows?

That depends on a number of factors. Window replacement can be an expensive renovation. Here are a few things to consider before making your decision.

  • Do you see water infiltration or mildew on the interior sides of any of the window sills? This means that moisture is creeping in from the outside, and you need to get those windows repaired or replaced as soon as possible.
  • If your windows are double-paned - (two panes of glass) - check for any signs of moisture in between the glass panes. Moisture indicates that the thermal seal is broken and, at a minimum, the glass will need to be replaced.
  • Take a look at your wind
  • ows from the outside. Is the trim rotted or cracked anywhere? Are there dark spots or any signs of rotting on the wood frames? Repairs or replacement may be required.
  • Check the operation of your windows. Do they open and close easily? Some windows, such as those in bedrooms, are often designed to be big enough to use as an exit in case of a fire. It’s important to make sure those work properly.
  • Finally, are you happy with how your windows look? Do you feel that your property will look significantly better with new windows?

Although they are expensive, replacing windows can have a lot of advantages. Depending on the efficiency of your current windows, replacing them could cut your energy costs by 10-20%. In addition, new windows block out more exterior noise, making your home quieter.



Eco-friendly Choices for Household Floors

Choosing new or replacement eco-friendly flooring is one of the emerging trends among house and condo owners. Eco-friendly flooring is generally identified as being made from and with more sustainable resources; materials that don’t deplete or permanently damage the environment (such as toxic laminates); or, material that is easy to reuse or recycle after its intended purpose. Here are some examples:


Renewable/Sustainable: Bamboo and cork are popular natural resources that renew relatively quickly. It should be noted that traditional woods are also renewable, as long as they are managed through sustainable practices. Before you buy natural flooring products, ask if the harvesting methods are verified through an accredited authority.


Repurposed/Reclaimed: Flooring made from old building structures (e.g. posts, beams, walls and planks) is a viable alternative option to grown and harvested resources. Likewise, recycled glass, plastic and rubber provide ample raw materials for creative flooring effects. Using them also reduces landfill. These products can be found through decorative flooring dealers.


Reusable/Recyclable: When purchasing any product, whether natural, synthetic and/or manufactured, it is important to know that the product can be easily recycled when it is beyond its usefulness, without causing environmental detriment in a landfill.





Read full post

I have listed a new property at 226 ASPEN HILLS VI SW in Calgary.
**Open House Sunday, June 17th, 2-4pm** Welcome to this modern 2 bedroom townhouse located in Mosaic Aspen Hills! Enter through the private fenced-in patio which faces a large green space! Modern windows create a bright foyer that features tile flooring and storage. Open main floor has chocolate brown maple hardwood throughout. Great size dining/living room is open to the kitchen which features a large granite island, under mounted sink with garburator, pantry, stylish slate backsplash and warm cabinetry. Up the open riser staircase, the 2nd floor has two good size bedrooms. The master bedroom has more large windows, faces the private green space and comes with its own 4-piece ensuite! A good sized 2nd bedroom, additional 4-piece bath and stacked washer/dryer finish the upstairs. A tandem attached garage with room for storage + utility room complete the home! Unit is close to schools, shopping, LRT, and Westside Rec! Don't miss out on this one! Call to book your private showing.
Read full post

Please visit my Open House at 226 ASPEN HILLS VI SW in Calgary.
OPEN HOUSE: Sunday, June 17th. 2-4pm
**Open House Sunday, June 17th, 2-4pm** Welcome to this modern 2 bedroom townhouse located in Mosaic Aspen Hills! Enter through the private fenced-in patio which faces a large green space! Modern windows create a bright foyer that features tile flooring and storage. Open main floor has chocolate brown maple hardwood throughout. Great size dining/living room is open to the kitchen which features a large granite island, under mounted sink with garburator, pantry, stylish slate backsplash and warm cabinetry. Up the open riser staircase, the 2nd floor has two good size bedrooms. The master bedroom has more large windows, faces the private green space and comes with its own 4-piece ensuite! A good sized 2nd bedroom, additional 4-piece bath and stacked washer/dryer finish the upstairs. A tandem attached garage with room for storage + utility room complete the home! Unit is close to schools, shopping, LRT, and Westside Rec! Don't miss out on this one! Call to book your private showing.
Read full post

Sales continued to ease in May with the largest declines occurring in the detached sector. This, along with an increase of new listings, has pushed up inventory levels considerably from a year ago. Detached sales and inventories have risen across all price ranges; however, the greatest amount of excess supply is in homes priced above $500,000.


In May, Calgary-wide sales totaled 1,726 units, with sales activity in the detached sector declining to levels not seen in over a decade. The market supply didn't adjust to this month's sales activities, resulting in elevated supply relative to demand. This, along with the recent changes to lending rules and rates has prevented any further price recovery in the market.


Quick Stats:



May 2017

May 2018

Y/Y% change

Detached




Total sales

1,374

1,058

-23.00%

Inventory

2,966

4,504

51.85%

Months of supply*

2.16

4.26

97.21%

Average DOM

31

40

29.88%

Benchmark price**

$506,700

$504,500

-0.43%





Attached




Total sales

459

386

-15.90%

Inventory

857

930

8.52%

Months of supply*

3.19

5.25

64.25%

Average DOM

44

51

15.92%

Benchmark price**

$331,800

$333,600

0.54%





Apartment




Total sales

282

282

0.00%

Inventory

1,781

1,921

7.86%

Months of supply*

6.32

6.81

7.86%

Average DOM

55

59

7.83%

Benchmark price**

$266,600

$256,200

-3.90%

 

*Months of supply: The ratio between inventory and sales which represents the current pace of sales and how long it would take to clear existing inventory.

 

**Benchmark price: The monthly price of the typical home based on its attributes, providing the best measure of price trends.



Quick Kitchen Makeovers


Kitchen renovations tend to be the biggest, most complicated home makeover projects, mainly because the kitchen is the most frequented and most multifunctional room in modern homes. But sometimes a kitchen makeover can be achieved with some simple cosmetic changes, rather than a complete redesign of the actual floor plan.


Beyond a basic colour scheme change, the next makeover level involves replacing cabinet hardware. Remove a set of hinges, knobs and/or pulls to identify the type of screw/bolt settings that will be needed. Then, choose from the many options available at home building centres or specialty knob stores. Similarly, consider a new faucet and sink, upgraded countertop or a fresh tile backsplash. Each will contribute to a dramatic change. You may want to consider replacing or refinishing the drawer and cupboard facings as well, although that would likely require professional help.

Improved lighting is another important way to change a kitchen’s look and functionality. However, general overhead lighting, strategic task lighting and ambient mood lighting could involve rewiring. Finally, replacing the flooring will result in a significant change to any kitchen. Choices range from recycled cork to indestructible granite. Remember to consider not only appearance but also practicality.

 

 

What Does a Property Surveyor do?


Property Surveyors, sometimes referred to as Land Surveyors, play a vital role in the real estate world. They are the professionals who determine or confirm the exact boundaries of a property.

 

Will you need to deal with a Property Surveyor when you sell your home? You might.


Sometimes the mortgage lender will ask for a land survey, especially if your property is older and hasn’t changed hands in many years. You might also be asked for one by the buyer if there is any confusion about the size and boundaries of your property - or if significant changes have been made to it in recent years.

This is nothing to be concerned about. A qualified Property Surveyor will do the appropriate inspections and measurements on your property and issue you the survey. (It looks a little like a blueprint.)

Property Surveyors are highly trained and licensed. Professional Surveyors Canada (PSC) represents the profession nationally, and most provinces have their own professional associations.

Before spending the money on a new land survey, make sure you don’t already have one. Hopefully, you’ve stored the paperwork that relates to the purchase of your home. Look through it. A valid land survey might be right there.


Read full post

Sales activity remained well below long term averages in April. In spite of the decreased sales volume and rising inventory, prices have remained stable in both the attached and detached segments of the market. With the recent inventory gains, buyers will have more to choose from entering the busy spring market. The slower pace of sales to begin 2018 shouldn't come as a huge surprise, as the economy has yet to improve enough to offset the impact of recent changes to lending rules and regulations.

 

Elevated supply along with the slow pace of sales continues to weigh on the apartment sector with benchmark prices nearly 3% lower than last year and 14% lower than highs recorded in 2014.


Quick Stats:

 

 

April 2017

April 2018

Y/Y% change

Detached

     

Total sales

1,192

908

-23.83%

Inventory

2,543

3,642

43.22%

Months of supply*

2.13

4.01

88.01%

Average DOM

32

41

28.55%

Benchmark price**

$502,300

$504,500

0.44%

       

Attached

     

Total sales

425

348

-18.12%

Inventory

1,322

1,831

38.50%

Months of supply*

3.11

5.26

69.15%

Average DOM

52

53

2.88%

Benchmark price**

$329,900

$331,800

0.58%

       

Apartment

     

Total sales

283

262

-7.42%

Inventory

1,653

1,851

11.98%

Months of supply*

5.84

7.06

20.95%

Average DOM

49

59

19.58%

Benchmark price**

$264,300

$256,700

-2.88%


*Months of supply: The ratio between inventory and sales which represents the current pace of sales and how long it would take to clear existing inventory.


**Benchmark price: The monthly price of the typical home based on its attributes, providing the best measure of price trends.



3 Reasons Why a House Isn’t Selling


Have you ever driven by a For Sale sign and wondered, “That house has been on the market for a long time, I wonder why it isn’t selling”? You might have asked that question because you were worried the same thing would happen when you put your own house on the market!


Often a home doesn’t sell for one of three reasons:


1. The price is too high.
Sometimes a homeowner will set the listing price exceptionally high in the hopes of getting lucky. What happens instead, however, is potential buyers stay away. In today’s real estate market, a house usually sells at a price that is close to its market value. Fortunately, the current market value of your house - and, hence, its approximate selling price - may be higher than you realize. It’s worth getting a free market assessment.


2. The house doesn’t show well. 
Sometimes a house is strategically priced for the market but doesn’t show well. It’s difficult for buyers to look past issues, such as clutter, and see the potential. In those cases, prospective buyers who view the property, don’t like what they see, and move on. If you put your house on the market, make sure it looks its best for prospective buyers.


3. The listing is poorly promoted.
Clearly, buyers won’t become interested in a property if they don’t know about it. The listing must be promoted effectively, and that involves more than a For Sale sign.



Judgements Buyers Make in the First 30 Seconds


You’ve probably heard the expression, “You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.” When it comes to selling your home, that is definitely true. In fact, a buyer will come to several conclusions about your property within the first few minutes of seeing it. That’s why it’s so important to make a good first impression.


How do you do that?

One of the best techniques is to pretend you’re a buyer. Drive up to your home. Open the door. Step into the foyer. Take a quick look around. Then ask yourself, “What impressions am I getting from this property so far? What stands out? What impresses me? What concerns me?”

Of course, you want to get a sense that the home is attractive, spacious, and clean. You want to emphasize the enticing features, while minimizing the less desirable qualities. There are many great tricks that can help.

For example, if your foyer is small, eliminate furniture and other items in that area in order to make it look a bit more spacious.

If you have a fantastic kitchen, show it off to the buyer. Make sure the appliances sparkle. Set the table with your best dishware. Make it look like a showcase in a kitchen store. You want the buyer to see it and say, “Wow.”

Buyers make judgements about your home very quickly. In fact, it’s not uncommon for a buyer to make a comment about your property, like - “I love the high ceilings” - within the first few seconds of coming in the door. Don’t underestimate the importance of that first impression.

Of course, serious buyers will scrutinize your property more closely, especially if they have an initial interest. What you want to do is to make sure to peak that initial interest.


Not intended to solicit buyers or sellers currently under contract. 
©IXACT Contact Solutions Inc.





Read full post

The slow pace of sales continued across all product types in March. In the first quarter of 2018, total sales were 24% below long term averages. Although the economy continues to improve, it hasn't been enough to offset the affect of higher lending rates and more stringent conditions on the market.


In spite of the declining sales numbers, prices continue to remain stable for attached and detached homes. It's clear that many buyers/sellers are taking the "wait and see" approach to the real estate market.


As has been the case for the better part of the last three years, the apartment market continues to struggle with over-supply issues with the benchmark price down nearly 3% from last year.

 


Quick Stats:  

  Mar. 17 Mar. 18 Y/Y % change
Detached      
Total sales 1,171 848 -27.58%
Inventory 2,324 3063 31.80%
Months of supply* 1.98 3.61 82.00%
Average DOM 38 days 37 days -1.27%
Benchmark price** $500,400 $503,800 0.68%
       
Attached      
Total sales 422 307 -27.25%
Inventory 1222 1618 32.41%
Months of supply* 2.9 5.27 82.00%
Average DOM 46 days 53 days 15.00%
Benchmark price** $328,400 $329,400 0.30%
       
Apartment      
Total sales 297 219 -26.26%
Inventory 1,578 1690 7.10%
Months of supply* 5.31 7.72 45.24%
Average DOM 56 days 64 days 15.99%
Benchmark price** $264,900 $257,100 -2.94%


*Months of supply: The ratio between inventory and sales which represents the current pace of sales and how long it would take to clear existing inventory.


**Benchmark price: The monthly price of the typical home based on its attributes, providing the best measure of price trends.



5 Tips for Selling Your Home Quickly


There are several reasons why you may need to sell your home quickly. For example, a job change may require a speedy relocation to another city, or you may have purchased another property and don’t want to be stuck too long with two mortgages.


Here are some tips that can help get the sold sign on your front lawn sooner:

  • Be realistic with price. If you set the listing price higher than the current market value of your home, then you’re not going to get many, if any, viewers. You want the list price to be attractive, which means listing at the current market value.
  • Get things fixed. You probably don’t have time for a major renovation. So just make sure everything in your home is in good working order. Deal with any obvious maintenance issues, such as a leaking faucet or a gate hanging precariously on one hinge.
  • Ensure your home shows well, inside and outside. Eliminate clutter. Trim hedges. Make sure every room has adequate lighting. Imagine that a special guest is visiting your home, and clean up and prepare accordingly.
  • Be flexible with viewing times. You want as many potential buyers as possible to see your home. So, don’t restrict viewing times to just Saturdays. Make sure your home is as “available” as possible for showings. This may cause you and your family some inconvenience, but the reward will be selling your property sooner.
  • Work with a real estate agent like me who understands the area and the local market well. I will be able to recommend a variety of strategies that will help sell your home faster, and for a good price.

Of course, there’s no way to guarantee that you’ll sell your home within the time frame you want. But these tips will certainly increase the chances that you will.

 

 

How to Be a Savvy Home Viewer


If you’re planning on finding your next dream home, then you’re probably going to view several homes on the market that meet your criteria.
 

You will want to make the right purchasing decision for you and your family. So, it’s wise to be savvy when viewing properties for sale. Here are some ideas on how to do that:


  • Bring a notepad. Take notes, not only of the home’s characteristics, but also of how you feel. For example, can you imagine yourself happily cooking up a storm in the kitchen? Do you see yourself entertaining family on the back deck?
  • Bring a measuring tape. Will the furniture you plan to bring fit? Your dining room suite? Your home fitness equipment?
  • Ask about maintenance. Is the property in a good state of repair? Will anything need to be replaced soon, such as the windows?
  • Check out the area. Do other homeowners take good care of their properties? This shows pride of ownership. How is the noise level? Is there a playground, or another area feature nearby?
  • Make a list of compromises. For example, are there only two bathrooms instead of three and, if so, can you live with that?
  • Make a list of bonuses. What features does the home have that are not a necessity, but would be nice to have? For example, an entertainment bar in the recreation room.
  • Remember your budget. Is the price within your range? Can you afford to buy this home? 

The savvier you are when viewing properties on the market, the more likely you will be to find your next dream home.


Read full post

The arrival of March traditionally brings new real estate activity to markets all across the country. This is the time of year when families are most likely to purchase a new property so they can ensure an easier relocation during the summer. As a result, almost every community will see an influx of buyers looking for new homes. If you are wondering about taking advantage of this market or you happen to know someone who is, give me a call. I can help navigate this year’s spring market, and ensure any purchase and/or sale goes smoothly.


Market Update:


Sales eased across all product types in February. While year-over-year price growth remained relatively stable in both the detached and attached markets, apartment prices remained three per cent below last year’s levels.  The housing market continues to adjust to a number of factors including the labour market, rising lending rates and changes in lending requirements.


Quick Stats:

 

 

  Feb. 17 Feb. 18 Y/Y % change
Detached      
Total sales 822 657 -20.07%
Inventory 1,995 2456 23.11%
Months of supply* 2.43 3.74 54.03%
Average DOM 42 days 45 days 8.38%
Benchmark price** $499,200 $502,800 0.72%
       
Attached      
Total sales 277 240 -13.36%
Inventory 1117 1319 18.08%
Months of supply* 4.03 5.5 36.29%
Average DOM 50 days 55 days 9.76%
Benchmark price** $328,000 $328,200 0.06%
       
Apartment      
Total sales 235 197 -16.17%
Inventory 1,390 1427 2.66%
Months of supply* 5.91 7.24 22.46%
Average DOM 66 days 68 days 1.87%
Benchmark price** $264,300 $256,400 -2.99%


*Months of supply: The ratio between inventory and sales which represents the current pace of sales and how long it would take to clear existing inventory.


**Benchmark price: The monthly price of the typical home based on its attributes, providing the best measure of price trends.


Remove Emotion When Selling


Most real estate experts agree that being too emotionally attached to your home can lead to poor decision making, such as over-pricing the listing and making hasty choices based on feelings rather than facts.

 

Of course, removing emotion from the home selling equation is easier said than done. After all, it is your home. It’s only natural to be emotionally connected to it. So, how do you ensure that emotions don’t get in the way of selling your house quickly and for the best price? Here are some strategies:

  • Think of selling your property as a business transaction only. Focus your emotions on the new home you’ll be moving into soon.
  • Stow as many personal items as possible, such as trophies and family pictures. Turn your home into an attractive product.
  • If a buyer makes a negative comment about your property - “I hate the deck colour.” - don’t take it personally.
  • Avoid judging offers to buy your house based on whether or not you like the buyer.

Finally, whenever you make a decision during the home selling process, ask yourself: “Am I making this decision based on fact or emotion?” If the answer is “fact” then, chances are, you’re on solid footing.

 

Make Your House "Picture Perfect" For Buyers


When you walk into a nice hotel room, what do you usually notice first? It may be the large, often beautiful picture hanging above the bed. You’ll probably find a smaller, equally attractive picture hanging in the bathroom. Often there will be at least two more adorning other walls.

 

That’s no accident. Hotels know that pictures are the simplest, surest way to make a good-looking room look great.

The same thing holds true when preparing your house for sale. According to home staging experts, hanging a few quality pictures can transform the look of just about any room - even a washroom!

 

Chances are, you already have pictures hanging in your home. Do you need more? That depends. If you have a room that seems dull, and there is open and empty wall space, try adding a picture. You don’t have to buy one or hang one - just have someone hold up an existing picture. If the look of the room improves, consider adding a picture in that spot.

 

Pictures don’t have to be expensive; they just need to be of good quality. Many retailers sell good-looking, nicely-framed pictures at affordable prices.

Read full post

Moving to a new home can be a stressful experience. There are a myriad of details to worry about: selling your current property, finding a new home, getting financing, checking out local schools, hiring a moving company - the list goes on.


So, when you’re thinking of moving, it’s natural for you to want help. That’s where I come in. I’ll answer any questions you may have, and provide you with advice and suggestions to make the home selling/buying process easy and trouble-free.


Remember, I’m here to help!

Market Update:


Benchmark prices for the attached and detached sectors remained relatively unchanged from the same time last year. However, a rising number of new listings in both sectors has pushed inventory levels higher than last year. It's yet to be seen what effect the new mortgage requirements, which were introduced on Jan. 1, will have on the market. It's worth noting that the Calgary Real Estate Board has predicted that benchmark prices for detached and attached homes will remain relatively unchanged in 2018.


The apartment sector continues to face oversupply issues, however both inventory and months of supply are comparable to last year. The apartment sector will likely continue to struggle until it's able to clear some of the inventory it's been burdened with over the past three years.

Quick Stats:

 

  Jan. 17 Jan. 18 Y/Y % change
Detached      
Total sales 581 583 0.34%
Inventory 1,848 2185 18.24%
Months of supply* 3.18 3.75 17.83%
Average DOM 47 days 55 days 17.15%
Benchmark price** $498,700 $499,400 0.14%
       
Attached      
Total sales 211 230 9.00%
Inventory 995 1149 15.48%
Months of supply* 4.72 5 5.94%
Average DOM 62 days 66 days 6.89%
Benchmark price** $329,100 $328,000 -0.33%
       
Apartment      
Total sales 151 145 -3.97%
Inventory 1,267 1289 1.74%
Months of supply* 8.39 8.89 5.95%
Average DOM 68 days 76 days 10.95%
Benchmark price** $265,000 $256,200 -3.32%


*Months of supply: The ratio between inventory and sales which represents the current pace of sales and how long it would take to clear existing inventory.

**Benchmark price: The monthly price of the typical home based on its attributes, providing the best measure of price trends.


Take a Walk on the Boardwalk (or Sidewalk)


If you’ve played the game Monopoly, you’ve probably picked up the Chance card that reads, “Take a walk on the Boardwalk. If you pass Go...”
 

That’s good advice when shopping for a new home. When you see a property you like and you’re thinking of making an offer, spend some time walking around the neighbourhood. This will give you a better sense of what it’s going to be like to live there.

 

After all, the last thing you want is to buy a dream home only to find out later that there are issues with the neighbourhood that make living there miserable. 

If you have kids, see how far a walk it is to local parks, playgrounds, schools and community centres. 

If you commute, you might also check out the route from the neighbourhood to your place of work. Is there a left turn that is likely to get backed up in the mornings?

Also check out how well the neighbours take care of their properties. Homeowners tend to keep their homes looking good if they enjoy the neighbourhood.

As you walk, listen. Are there noises from nearby high schools, industrial areas, or highways that are going to be unpleasant for you? Find out if the neighbourhood is near an airport flight path, or if there is a railway in the area. 

If you get a chance, talk to some of the neighbours. Ask them what they like most about living in the area. You’re likely to get some candid - and useful - answers.

Finally, spend some time visualizing living in the area. Can you see yourself enjoying what the neighbourhood has to offer?

If so, then buying a home in that area will likely be a good choice for you.

 

 

The Importance of Showing Your Home Often


Imagine coming across a “Home for Sale” listing on the internet. It’s in a neighbourhood you’re seriously considering. You and your family are excited. You can hardly wait to view the property and see if it could be your next dream home.


Then, there’s a problem. 

When you contact the agent, she says the homeowners are busy people and won’t be able to show the house until next week. Even then, the only time available is at noon on Wednesday, when you’ll be miles away at work. How about viewing the property on Saturday? Forget it. The homeowners are having company over that day.

Chances are, you’ll lose interest long before you ever get a chance to see that property! 

This may sound a little extreme, but it does illustrate an important point. 

If you don’t make your home readily available for buyers to view, many simply won’t view it, and your property may not sell.

That doesn’t mean you have to be inconvenienced each day by a steady stream of buyers stomping through your property. However, you do need to be flexible.

When buyers become interested in your home - by seeing the listing online, for example, they want to view it as soon as possible. The longer they have to wait, the more likely it is that another property will capture their interest.

They may even make an offer on another home before they get a chance to see yours! 

That’s why as your REALTOR®, I’ll work with you to arrange the dates and times that your home can be shown - a schedule that’s convenient for you as well as for potential buyers.



Deciding Whether to Stay Or Sell



Deciding whether to stay in your current home or look for a new one is tough. So tough in fact, that there is a reality TV show about it!


If you’re struggling to make that decision, here are some tips that can help:

 

  • Find out the current market value of your home. This will give you a clear idea of how much your property is likely to sell for in today’s market.
  • Find out how much you can afford to invest in a new home. This is calculated, in part, by how much of a mortgage you qualify to receive.
  • Determine whether your current home still suits your needs. Do you need to move up to a larger place? Downsize to a smaller property?
  • Figure out whether this is the right time to move to a neighbourhood that you’ve always dreamed of living in.
  • Assess whether your neighbourhood has changed in a way that you don’t like.
  • Decide whether you are still happy where you live. Is it time for a change?

As your REALTOR® I can help you answer these questions and provide the information you need to make the right decision.



Read full post

The calendar is a wonderful thing! When December ends and the new year begins, it feels like a fresh start. You have a whole year ahead of you to accomplish whatever goals you’ve set. What are your dreams and plans for the coming year? A step up in your career? A home renovation? A move? An exciting vacation?


Whatever you hope to accomplish in 2018 I wish you all the best in achieving it!


MARKET UPDATE:


Sales activity for all product types improved in December and pushed monthly sales to long-term averages for the second month in a row. However, new listings also rose, keeping inventory elevated compared to typical levels for December. With more supply remaining compared to sales, benchmark prices edged down for the fifth consecutive month.


The gap between detached supply to demand closed in the first half of 2017 and supported early price growth. As prices improved, this was perceived as a signal for many who delayed selling their home and caused a late rise in inventory which limited price growth. Overall, the detached benchmark price in 2017 averaged $504,867, 0.63 per cent above last year’s levels.


In the attached sector, the first half of the year saw an improvement in sales relative to inventory levels. This supported stronger price gains in the second and third quarter. However, a late rise in inventory levels took some of the momentum away from price growth in the fourth quarter.


Challenges continue to face the apartment sector, with elevated supply in the resale market. Competition from the new home and rental markets also weighed on this sector. The excess supply caused average annual benchmark prices to decline by four per cent this year. This is a total annual adjustment of nearly 12 per cent since the start of the recession. 


QUICK STATS:

 

 

  Dec. 16 Dec. 17 Y/Y % change
Detached      
Total sales 569 616 8.26%
Inventory 1,714 2033 18.61%
Months of supply* 3.01 3.3 9.56%
Average DOM 50 days 51 days 1.21%
Benchmark price** $498,900 $499,600 0.14%
       
Attached      
Total sales 214 221 3.27%
Inventory 943 1099 16.54%
Months of supply* 4.41 4.97 12.85%
Average DOM 59 days 59 days -0.25%
Benchmark price** $329,400 $330,100 0.21%
       
Apartment      
Total sales 146 169 15.75%
Inventory 1,109 1182 6.58%
Months of supply* 7.6 6.99 -7.92%
Average DOM 71 80 days 12.83%
Benchmark price** $266,500 $257,700 -3.30%


Months of supply* The ratio between inventory and sales which represents the current pace of sales and how long it would take to clear existing inventory.


Benchmark price** The monthly price of the typical home based on its attributes, providing the best measure of price trends.


WHAT TO LOOK FOR, ROOM BY ROOM


When viewing a home for sale, many buyers look at the property from a “macro” perspective. They ask themselves questions like: “Is it large enough?”; “Are there enough bedrooms?”; “Is it in a nice neighbourhood?” While those questions are important, it also pays to consider a potential new home from a “micro” perspective.

 

Here are some things to consider:


Living room and family room. Are they large enough to fit all the furniture? Are the rooms conducive to family get-togethers and entertaining? Do you need a separate living room and family room?

Kitchen. Is it important to have enough space to eat comfortably in the kitchen as well as the dining room? Does the kitchen have all the cupboard and other storage space you need? Will your fridge fit?

Bathroom. Is the main floor bathroom uncomfortably small? Does the ensuite bathroom have all the features you desire, such as a large tub and/or separate shower? Do you need double sinks?

Bedrooms. Is the master bedroom large enough to fit the bed and other furniture? Does it have the closet space you need? Are the other bedrooms large enough for your needs? (It’s a good idea to get the measurements of these rooms as it can be difficult to judge measurements during a viewing.)

Storage space. This is particularly important if you’re shopping for a condo. Does the storage space or locker have the space you need?

Closets. Are there enough closets for your needs? Is there a linen closet?

Garage. Homeowners use the garage for more than just cars. If you plan to use this space for storage or hobbies, check that the garage will be suitable for those purposes.

 

DON'T FORGET HOME INSURANCE


When you’re buying or selling a home, there are so many details to look after that it’s easy to miss something. One thing you don’t want to forget is insurance.

 

Once your property has sold, you’ll need to contact your insurance company to let them know the date that ownership of your property will be transferred (the “closing date”). They’ll arrange to cancel your insurance once you’re no longer the owner of that property.

 

If you’ll be taking possession of your new home, and leaving your current property vacant for a period of time, you’ll need to make sure both properties are insured. This may also apply to a condominium even if the unit is completely empty. (Contact your insurance company to ask about continuing liability coverage while discontinuing the insurance on contents.)

When you purchase a new home, don’t leave the insurance to the last minute. Contact your insurance company right away. Make sure they are aware of all the features of the new home that may reduce your premiums, such as alarms, and wired-in smoke detectors.

 

THINGS TO CHECK DURING THE WEEKS AFTER MOVING DAY

 

When you purchase a new home, the most exciting day is closing day. That’s the day you take possession of the property and, in most cases, move in. But the process isn’t necessarily over. There are still some important details to take care of in the weeks and months after the move.

 

For example, it’s a good idea to make sure you’re getting all your mail. Ideally, you will have made arrangements with the post office prior to your move to have your mail redirected to your new address. However, that service will eventually expire. Here’s a tip: Introduce yourself to the new owners of your old property. Ask them if they wouldn’t mind holding any of your mail that has been inadvertently delivered to them and you’ll make arrangements to stop by periodically to pick it up. Chances are, they won’t mind.

 

Also in the weeks after the move, you should take care of any repairs or other maintenance issues that were identified before you purchased the home. In the busy days leading up to moving day and in the excitement of settling in, these issues are easy to forget. You don’t want them to become bigger issues later on.


 

Read full post

The year is almost over and soon 2018 will officially arrive. Although you may be very busy this month, you’re probably spending some time thinking about what you’d like to do and accomplish in the coming year. Perhaps you’d like to get some repairs done around your home, do some redecorating, or take the plunge into a new renovation project.


Alternatively, your plans may be more personal, and include taking a course or planning an exotic vacation overseas. Whatever your goals and dreams are for 2018, I wish you all the best in achieving them. If any of those aspirations have to do with your home, give me a call. I may be able to help.


Warmest wishes to you and your family. I look forward to staying in touch in the new year.

 

MARKET UPDATE:


Sales picked up in November, likely due to increased consumer confidence as well as pending mortgage rule changes. Most of this activity occurred in the attached and detached segments, particularly in the sub $500k price point. Total sales in November closely resembled long-term averages for the month; the last time this happened was in October of 2016. The benchmark price edged down on a month-to-month basis for attached and detached homes, but they remain slightly higher than at the same time last year. The condo market continues to face significant headwinds, particularly in the city centre, north, and south east districts.

 

QUICK STATS:

 

 

  Nov. 16 Nov. 17 Y/Y % change
Detached      
Total sales 776 875 12.76%
Inventory 2327 2758 18.52%
Months of supply* 3 3.15 5.11%
Average DOM 45 days 48 days 6.95%
Benchmark price** $498,900 $504,000 1.02%
       
Attached      
Total sales 255 313 22.75%
Inventory 1228 1416 15.31%
Months of supply* 4.82 4.52 -6.06%
Average DOM 59 days 54 days -8.04%
Benchmark price** $328,900 $332,900 1.22%
       
Apartment      
Total sales 195 223 14.36%
Inventory 1432 1491 4.12%
Months of supply* 7.34 6.69 -8.95%
Average DOM 58 days 65 days 13.21%
Benchmark price** $268,700 $258,300 -3.87%


Months of supply* The ratio between inventory and sales which represents the current pace of sales and how long it would take to clear existing inventory.

Benchmark price** The monthly price of the typical home based on its attributes, providing the best measure of price trends.


HOW MUCH WOULD YOUR HOME SELL FOR TODAY?


If you’re considering selling your home soon, you will want to know how much it is likely to sell for in today’s market. Even if selling is the furthest thing from your mind, you may be curious to know how much your property is worth. How can you find out? Ask me.

 

As your REALTOR®, I will look at a variety of characteristics to determine the current market value of your home. These will include the number of bedrooms/bathrooms, the condition of the kitchen and other rooms, the type/style of the home, the location and neighbourhood. These characteristics will then be used to identify similar homes in the area and determine how much they have sold for recently.

Interested in finding out how much your home would sell for in today’s market? Call me today.



GOAL SETTING TIPS FROM THE MOTIVATIONAL MASTERS


This is traditionally the month in which people set goals for the following year. But, unfortunately, most people who set goals - especially New Year’s resolutions - never achieve them. How do you beat the odds? Here is the rundown of what the most popular experts advise.

 

Tony Robbins recommends that you, “Decide what you’re absolutely committed to achieving, take massive action, and notice what’s working or not. Then, keep changing your approach until you’ve achieved what you want.”

Jack Canfield, co-author of the Chicken Soup For The Soul series, says, “Write your goals down in detail and read that list every day. Then ask yourself, what can I do today to move closer to achieving one of my goals?”

When you’re feeling discouraged, motivational guru Zig Ziglar provides this simple truth: “You do everything better when you’re thinking positively than when you’re thinking negatively.”

And, although most are not superstar authors, social scientists who study goal achievement recommend that you focus on no more than five goals at a time, and mix performance goals such as “Lose 10 pounds” with learning goals such as “Learn how to cook five new nutritious meals.”

So, set a goal and achieve it. This is your year!



Read full post

I hope you had a wonderful Halloween! As is often the case, it seems like winter has hit Calgary like a ton of bricks. Here's a fun (and depressing) fact, the difference in high temperature from last Saturday to this Saturday was a whopping 36 degrees...


Hopefully you didn't leave it to the last minute to change over your winter tires like I did.


MARKET UPDATE:


Calgary's housing market continued its recent trend of easing sales, rising inventories and downward price pressure. Several months of elevated supply in comparison to demand has weighed on pricing over the past few months. In addition, I believe the recent lending rate hikes as well as changes to lending policy have also contributed to the weaker market conditions.


That being said, benchmark prices for the detached and attached segments remain above last year's levels. The apartment sector continues to face oversupply issues, particularly in the downtown core.

 

QUICK STATS:

 

 

  Oct. 16 Oct. 17 Y/Y % change
Detached      
Total sales 1031 908 -11.93%
Inventory 2574 3246 26.11%
Months of supply* 2.5 3.57 43.19%
Average DOM 42 days 44 days 4.70%
Benchmark price** $503,100 $506,200 0.62%
       
Attached      
Total sales 366 326 -10.93%
Inventory 1315 1578 20.00%
Months of supply* 3.59 4.84 34.72%
Average DOM 49 days 53 days 7.32%
Benchmark price** $329,900 $334,600 1.42%
       
Apartment      
Total sales 250 233 -6.80%
Inventory 1542 1639 6.29%
Months of supply* 6.17 7.03 14.05%
Average DOM 54 days 67 days 23.80%
Benchmark price** $270,400 $261,600 -3.25%


Months of supply* The ratio between inventory and sales which represents the current pace of sales and how long it would take to clear existing inventory.

Benchmark price** The monthly price of the typical home based on its attributes, providing the best measure of price trends.



STAGING THE THREE MOST IMPORTANT ROOMS


When your home is shown to potential buyers, every room is important. However, there are three types of rooms that buyers tend to pay particular attention to: kitchens, bathrooms, and bedrooms.

 

How do you make these rooms look great? Use these staging tips from professionals.

In the kitchen, make sure the stove, sink and countertops are spotless. In addition, the countertops should be clear of anything that isn’t absolutely necessary. You want to create the impression that there is a lot of counter space!

In the cupboards, refrigerator and pantry, make sure all food items are facing forward.

In the bathrooms, make sure everything is clean and uncluttered, especially around the toilet and in the cabinet under the sink. Remove personal items from the countertop. If there is a shower curtain, keep it open. Make sure that the towels match and are neatly hung on the rack.

As a rule of thumb, the more you can make the bathrooms look like those in a nice hotel, the better!

In the bedrooms, make sure the bed is neatly made, preferably with matching covers and pillow cases. Make sure that items that are stored under the bed are not sticking out enough to be seen. 

Closets should be tidy with nothing on the floor except shoes (neatly arranged). It’s okay to have a lot of clothes, as long as they are all hanging neatly. If there are non-clothing items in the closet - such as loose files and papers - store them somewhere else.

Don’t leave any clothes lying on the bed, chair or dresser, even if they are nicely folded. Don’t have anything in the laundry hamper.

 


THE PRACTICALLY PERFECT OPEN HOUSE


If you plan to have an open house to help sell your property, you will obviously want to make the best impression possible on potential buyers.

 

It is very important that all minor repairs be completed before the open house. Even a squeaking door can be a distraction to buyers.

 

Obviously, you’re going to make sure everything is clean and uncluttered. Also consider the lighting. Check that every room is well lit and that there are no burnt-out bulbs. This is especially important in darker spaces.

If you have pets, consider taking them to a “pet day camp” or kennel, or just take them for a long walk in the park. Pets and open houses are rarely a good mix. You don’t want buyers with allergies feeling uncomfortable.

If possible, remove personal items such as family pictures and trophies. Remember that buyers want to visualize themselves living in the home, and your personal items become a distraction. 

Finally, avoid being home during your open house. Let me, as your REALTOR® be the host!

 

Not intended to solicit buyers or sellers currently under contract. 
©IXACT Contact Solutions Inc.


Read full post

Inventory levels rose across all sectors in September. This increase is preventing further price recovery, as sales activity has moderated over recent months. Although benchmark prices remain above last year's levels for detached and attached homes, the recovery will likely continue to be a slow process until more substantial economic improvements take hold. The apartment sector continues to struggle with price declines resulting from oversupply, which is currently in excess of 8 months.


QUICK STATS

  

  Sept. 16 Sept. 17 Y/Y % change
Detached      
Total sales 943 919 -2.55%
Inventory 2830 3479 22.93%
Months of supply* 3 3.79 26.14%
Average DOM 42 days 42 days 0.00%
Benchmark price** $503,300 $508,900 1.11%
       
Attached      
Total sales 336 333 -0.89%
Inventory 1400 1614 15.29%
Months of supply* 4.17 4.85 16.32%
Average DOM 51 days 49 days -5.24%
Benchmark price** $330,900 $336,000 1.54%
       
Apartment      
Total sales 200 210 5.00%
Inventory 1651 1768 7.09%
Months of supply* 8.26 8.42 1.99%
Average DOM 56 days 57 days 0.71%
Benchmark price** $271,300 $263,700 -2.80%


Months of supply* The ratio between inventory and sales which represents the current pace of sales and how long it would take to clear existing inventory.

Benchmark price** The monthly price of the typical home based on its attributes, providing the best measure of price trends.


CHECK YOUR CREDIT REPORT


Have you seen the humorous TV commercial that features someone lamenting the consequences of not having checked his credit score? 

 

Of course, having something negative on your credit report is nothing to laugh about. When shopping for a home, it can even get in the way of securing a good mortgage.

 

If you don't know what your credit report says, it's relatively easy to find out. Just visit websites like Equifax or Trans Union. You can order a copy of your credit report from either of these companies for a reasonable fee. If there is any incorrect information about you – which isn't uncommon on credit reports – you can request an immediate correction. If there is derogatory information that isn't a mistake – such as a few late payments – you're entitled to have your side of the story included in your credit report. For example, if you were unemployed for a few months, and that's the reason you were behind on a few bills, then it may be helpful to let lenders know.

 

PLAN YOUR MOVE WELL IN ADVANCE

 

One of the most common mistakes made by home buyers and sellers is not arranging for moving day well in advance. Even if you've just put your property on the market, or are only in the beginning stages of shopping for a new home, you should start planning for moving day now. If you don't, you might find yourself scrambling to make arrangements, which can be – to put it mildly – stressful.

 

Start now by researching moving companies and making a short list. You should also find economical sources of boxes, bubble wrap and other packaging materials you may need. If you plan to do some or all of the move yourself, don't assume that uncle Ned is going to help you. Get rock solid commitments from any family or friends who have volunteered to be there on moving day.

 

LITTLE TOUCH UPS THAT MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE

 

You are probably already aware of the major things you need to do around your home to get it ready for sale. These include getting rid of clutter, doing minor repairs, and making everything clean and tidy so every room is as much of a showcase as possible. But there are a myriad of little touch ups you can do that you may not have thought about before… touch ups that can make a big difference in how attractive your home looks to potential buyers.

 

Here are just a few:

  • Paint or replace the mailbox.
  • Add a couple of flowering plants to key areas, such as the dining room, living room, and just outside the front door.
  • Patch up any minor cracks in the driveway and walkways. (If there is a major crack, consider getting it repaired by a professional.)
  • Put out the welcome mat. Literally! If it's not clean and completely free of stains, replace it.
  • Clean your stainless steel kitchen sink using a special stainless steel cleaner and brightener. The effect will be dramatic; the sink will look like new.
  • Use a special spot cleaner to lift any stains from carpeted areas.
  • Replace plain or out-of-style light fixtures in the main areas of your home, such as the hallway and living room. Without spending a fortune, you can make a big difference in how these areas look.
  • Consider replacing the hardware on the doors and drawers of old kitchen cabinetry. That, along with some touch-up paint or varnish on worn areas, can make your older kitchen look young again.

These simple ideas can have a big impact on first impressions, yet they don't cost much to implement, and you can probably do most of them in less than a day.

 

 


 


Read full post

MARKET UPDATE


Detached sales increased slightly from a year ago, however total inventory is up as well. This is the seventh consecutive month where inventory levels have increased. Overall the detached benchmark price pulled back very slightly from July but still sits 1.5% higher than a year ago.


The attached market remained stable with the benchmark price exactly the same as July. Sales slightly outpaced new listings which led to a small drop in supply from last month. Overall the attached and detached markets are performing relatively similar to each other.


Apartment prices continued to decline last month. The August benchmark price of $263,300 was 1% lower than July and down over 3% from a year ago. High inventory numbers continue to weigh heavily on the segment.

 

QUICK STATS

 

 

  Aug. 16 Aug. 17 Y/Y % change
Detached      
Total sales 983 987 0.41%
Inventory 2728 3280 20.23%
Months of supply* 2.78 3.32 19.75%
Average DOM 41 days 40 days -1.95%
Benchmark price** $503,300 $510,900 1.51%
       
Attached      
Total sales 320 367 14.69%
Inventory 1374 1576 14.70%
Months of supply* 4.29 4.29 0.00%
Average DOM 52 days 62 days 19.42%
Benchmark price** $331,400 $336,300 1.48%
       
Apartment      
Total sales 267 248 -7.12%
Inventory 1577 1768 12.11%
Months of supply* 5.91 7.13 20.70%
Average DOM 60 days 63 days 4.76%
Benchmark price** $271,700 $263,300 -3.09%


Months of supply* The ratio between inventory and sales which represents the current pace of sales and how long it would take to clear existing inventory.


Benchmark price** The monthly price of the typical home based on its attributes, providing the best measure of price trends.


WHAT A BUYER'S THINKING WHEN VIEWING YOUR HOME


Ask any good salesperson for an effective selling technique and they’ll probably say something like, “Understand the buyer. Try to figure out what they're thinking.”

 

That’s good advice for you to consider when you’re putting your home up for sale. You need to imagine what a buyer might be thinking while viewing your property, so you can prepare your home more effectively for that sale.

 

Here are some things buyers may be wondering:

  • Is this the type of home we’re looking for? Does it have the ideal number of bedrooms, etc.?
  • Are the rooms spacious enough for our needs?
  • Are there any repairs or other maintenance issues that need to be addressed?
  • How old is the property? Is there anything major, such as a furnace, that will need to be replaced soon?
  • What is the neighbourhood like? Will we be happy living in this area? Is it safe?
  • Is this home going to fit our lifestyle? Is there an area for the kids to play? Is there ample room for entertaining? Is the dining room large enough for dinner with family and relatives?

Of course, these are only a few of the many questions a buyer may have while viewing your home. 

The more you can anticipate these questions and prepare your home accordingly, the better the chances that you’ll sell it quickly and for a good price. 

For example, remember that clutter will make a room appear smaller. So, make sure to de-clutter your home – especially the smaller spaces and cupboards. 

If your house is in a desirable neighbourhood, create a list of area features (i.e. local parks, access to public transit, walking paths, etc.) to help buyers appreciate the value of living there. 

Basically, when you’re preparing your home for sale, think like a prospective buyer!

 

SMART PACKING TIPS FOR MOVING DAY


The last thing you need after a long moving day is to discover that a valuable item was damaged. That’s certain to dampen your spirits when you’re just getting settled into your new home. Here are some packing tips to help ensure that doesn’t happen:


  • Avoid worn-out or damaged boxes as they are more likely to tear open during a move.
  • Pack glass and similar items in bubble wrap or foam chips – but not too tightly. Include just enough to ensure there’s no rattling.
  • Use small boxes for heavier items. A big box of books is difficult to lift. (Experts say a box shouldn’t weigh more than 50 lbs.)
  • Use anti-static packing materials for sensitive electronics, such as computers, cameras, and flash-drives.
  • Purchase specialty packaging for items such as dishes, musical instruments, and valuable clothing. It’s worth the investment.
  • Don’t pack a box so full that there’s a bulge.
  • Wind and tie electrical cords.

Finally, if possible, personally carry irreplaceable items (such as family photographs) with you to your new home.


WHEN TO CONSIDER A LESS THAN IDEAL HOME


Obviously, when you’re searching for a new home, you want to find one that is ideal. It should be your next dream home. However, sometimes it pays to consider at least some properties that don’t meet all your criteria. After all, you never know whether one of them is actually your next dream home - in disguise!


ay you’re looking for a home with a beautiful kitchen - the kind you envy on TV cooking shows. Then, you view a property that has everything you need - except that big kitchen. 

Ask yourself these questions: 

1. Can you fix it? 
Perhaps some redecorating or a renovation can turn that so-so kitchen into one you’ve always wanted. Take some time to imagine the possibilities. 

2. Can you live with it? 
The kitchen might not have everything you want. It may be smaller than you’d hoped. But, can you make it work? Can you compromise a little given that the home has so many of the other features you want? Perhaps you can live with a smaller kitchen - that still looks great.


Not intended to solicit buyers or sellers currently under contract. 
©IXACT Contact Solutions Inc.


Read full post

I have listed a new property at 311 1335 12 AV SW in Calgary.
Amazing 2 bedroom corner unit in the Beltline with extensive upgrades including custom LED lighting, newer Hunter Douglas blinds, carpets, crown moulding, baseboards, paint, closets, sliding doors, and windows! The kitchen features granite counter tops, ample cabinet and counter space along with sleek black appliances. The kitchen opens up to a large dining area and incredible living room which looks onto a big east facing balcony. The master features a hanging wall cabinet and bedside tables, and a large closet with frosted glass sliding doors. Just off the master is a 4-piece bathroom with a granite counter and lots of storage. A second bedroom completes the unit. Property is walking distance to 17th Ave, the C-Train, as well as many shops, pubs and restaurants. Don't miss out on this one of a kind home!
Read full post

I have listed a new property at 144 1717 60 ST SE in Calgary.
**OPEN HOUSE SATURDAY, AUGUST 12TH 12-2PM** Great one bedroom condo with easy access to downtown, public transportation, schools, shopping and Stony Trail! The unit features an eat-in kitchen which overlooks the patio. A living room, good sized master bedroom, four piece bathroom and in-suite laundry complete the unit. All appliances are included and the entire home has been freshly painted! Condo fees cover everything except for cable/internet. With just 10% down, $30/day covers your mortgage, property taxes and condo fees! Stop renting and own your own home today. This property is PRICED TO SELL. Don't miss out!
Read full post

I have listed a new property at 1402 530 12 AV SW in Calgary.
Amazing 2 bed, 2 bath NW corner unit up on the 14th floor of the upscale Castello building. The floor-to-ceiling windows offer SPECTACULAR views of both the mountains and downtown! Inside, a spacious entryway leads to the open living/kitchen/dining area. The kitchen has quartz counters, stainless steel appliances, ample cabinet space, and a pantry. The large living area takes advantage of the incredible views. Off the living area is a huge 250sq.ft. wrap around balcony! The master suite overlooks the west side and features an ensuite bathroom with glass surround shower, double vanity and walk-in closet. The unit comes with TWO titled underground parking stalls (side by side) and a titled storage locker. Building amenities include a fitness facility, car wash, guest suite, and visitor parking. Located in the heart of the city's vibrant Beltline, this premium unit is close to all the amenities downtown Calgary has to offer.
Read full post

I have listed a new property at 91 West Springs LN SW in Calgary.
**OPEN HOUSE SUN. AUGUST 13TH 12-2PM** Modern two bedroom townhouse located in West Springs. Kitchen features granite countertops, Whirlpool stainless steel appliances and a large pantry. Off the kitchen, is a balcony with gas hook up. Back inside, the kitchen opens to a large living/dining area. The living room features a gas fireplace and built in media centre. Upstairs are two bedrooms, two additional bathrooms and a laundry room. The master bedroom has a custom closet, an ensuite bathroom and is large enough for a king bed. A second bedroom and bathroom complete the upstairs. This is one of the best units in the complex featuring a double attached garage and facing 1/4 acre of landscaped green space. Unit is in excellent condition with freshly cleaned carpets. The furnace was cleaned in Jan. and paint was recently touched up. Fantastic property in a great community with quick access to the mountains, shopping, transit and the city centre. All you have to do is move in and enjoy!
Read full post
Data supplied by CREB®’s MLS® System. CREB® is the owner of the copyright in its MLS® System. The Listing data is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate by CREB®.
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.
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.