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Buying Your First House Checklist

Wed, 18 Apr by tonysankovic

Buying your first home is an exciting moment! It shows that you are being responsible, and you may even have dreams of what this experience is going to be like upon moving into a home. For many of those who are ready to buy their first house, having a handy checklist to use as a guide for what you need is invaluable. There are many first-time home buyers that find they do not have everything that is needed, and the process is delayed. This delay could result in losing that perfect dream house you have already picked out, or the delay could make you question whether buying a home is a good option for you or not.

What can you Afford?

The first aspect of the checklist is to consider what can you afford! Before you even start looking at homes to buy, you must know just how much you can afford when it comes to a mortgage. What monthly payment are you comfortable at for the next fifteen or thirty years? Along with knowing what you can afford, be sure that you are factoring in those costs that are not related to the actual cost of the home, such as:

–           Inspections and legal fees

–           Taxes for the property

–           Insurance for the property

Remember the Down Payment

Do you have a down payment? In Canada, a down payment of at least 5% is needed to purchase a home. However, remember that the larger the down payment you make the less you will be having to pay on your mortgage payments. A few helpful tips for saving for this down payment are:

  1. Consider an automatic savings plan
  2. Save in a Tax-Free Savings Account
  3. Look for programs that you may be able to take advantage of that are designed for first time home buyers.

Know your Mortgage Options

There are numerous mortgage options that you need to consider. A mortgage is not simply a one size fits all solution. There are mortgages that include a fixed rate, variable rate, open and closed mortgages and the like. The best advice is to talk to someone about your options and what each will entail. From there, you can choose the best one and get pre-approved for this. Pre-approval is preferred for most home purchases as those who are selling their homes want to know that the potential buyer is serious about the property and will follow through on the offer that is made.

What are you Looking for in a Home?

The next item on your checklist once financial aspects are taken care of, is what are you looking for when it comes to a home? For example:

–           Is there a certain neighbourhood that you are looking to move into? What type of feel do you want in the neighbourhood that you do choose? This can help to narrow down locations for the home of your dreams.

–           Do you want to be close to certain main roads for accessing work easily? Do you have issues with travelling more than 20 minutes to get to your job? Know what you are willing to give up and refuse to live without.

–           Do you have several bedrooms that are a must-have? For example, many people know that they must have a personal office in their home if they are working from their home, so this is a must-have, not just a want.

–           Are there any housing amenities that are must haves? Or those that you simply do not want? Do you want a backyard that is ready to go? Or maybe you are okay with a backyard that you have to make into what you desire.

For those who are having trouble with answering these questions, they are going to find that one of the easiest ways to do this is to envision yourself in a home. Look around, what feeling does this home have? What are the characteristics that make you feel at home? You can then relay this information to the real estate agent that you are working with to help narrow down what homes on the market may fit these qualities.

You may also want to consider your future plans. There are those people who decide to buy their first home with the intentions of moving again in a few years once they decide to start a family. Others decide to purchase a home that is going to fit into their future plans. Of course, which course of action you take is going to greatly depend on what type of budget you have for your home and the like.

Why You Need a Realtor

Be sure that you are working with a realtor on finding a home that fits all your requirements. A realtor is going to provide you with knowledge of the market and may even show you homes that you are not even aware of as being for sale on the market. Do not try to go at this home buying process on your own, especially when this is your first time. Realtors are accustomed to working with those who first-time buyers are, and they can answer questions you may have, along with answering those that you had not thought to ask about yet.

A few tips on finding a realtor to work with:

  • Be sure that you are comfortable with him or her
  • Find someone that is ready to help you since you are a first-time homebuyer
  • You want a guide in the realtor so that he or she can guide you on what the best option would be

Buying a home for the first time can be nerve-racking, but it can be exhilarating as well. The key to buying a first-time home is to be prepared, know what you want and know what you can afford to pay. Knowing these aspects makes the process much easier and less stressful, and working with a professional is going to help out tremendously. Give us a call today! 


10 Mistakes to Avoid When Selling Your First Home

Wed, 11 Apr by tonysankovic

For those who have purchased their first home, they may have thought that the process of buying their home was one of the most difficult that they have ever done. However, selling your first home can pose its own stresses and be an issue. There are tons of mistakes that can happen when selling your first home that can come back to haunt you later. For example, if you sell your home for a lower rate than what you should, you may lose money in the deal. Other people may find that they made a mistake in selling their first home too soon before they had found a new home to move into. The mistakes that can be made are endless.

However, for those who are selling their first home, knowing what mistakes that are out there, can help you to avoid these later!

Mistake 1: Selling Your Home Before You Are Truly Ready

There are several people who simply put their home on the market before they are ready. If you are not ready to do this, you are not going to be happy with any offers that you may get. In addition, you may unconsciously sabotage the deal when any buyer shows an interest. Be sure to sit down and talk with the family about selling a home and be sure that you are in the right mindset.

Mistake 2: Entering the Housing Marketing Blindly

Is the market low right now or high? If you have no idea of what is going on the real estate market, then you have no business putting your home up on the market just yet. You need to know what is going on, so you have expectations that are realistic. Know what type of area that you are living in, whether this is in high demand or you can expect to sit on your listing for a while.

Mistake 3: Going at This Sale “By-Owner”

Many people think that they can make more profit if they sell the home themselves. However, for those who are first time sellers, going at this on your own could be a huge issue. You may find it impossible to get the home sold and you may have no idea what you should be doing to get your home seen by as many people as possible. It is always best to work with a professional who knows what they are doing.

Mistake 4: Hiring the Wrong Realtor

When you are looking for a relator, be sure that you trust your gut instincts. Too many times first time home sellers go with the realtor that looks great on paper yet is not a fit for them. Do not forget to trust your feelings. Find the right realtor!

Mistake 5: Hiring the Realtor as a Personal Favor

Too many first time sellers are bullied or coerced into choosing a realtor that the family may know or someone who is a close friend. Remember, when it comes to working in real estate, you cannot let your personal feelings about someone be the main reason that you choose them. You want to choose the realtor that is going to be looking at your best interest and who has the knowledge to get your home sold.

Mistake 6: Over Customizing the Home

One of the biggest tips that you hear when selling a home is that you should try to make change sin your home that are going to make it more appealing to the buyers. However, over customizing a home is just as bad as trying to sell a home that needs a ton of work. Remember, when it comes to customization of your home, what you put into the renovation does not mean that this is going to increase your asking price of the home. Be sure to stick to those customizations that will pay off in the long run, do not overdo it and end up losing a ton of money when the house is sold.

Mistake 7: Pricing Based on Profit

Pricing a home is a tricky decision. You want to get more out of your home than you owe since you want to make some profit. However, you should never price your home on what type of profit that you are wanting to make. Remember that buyers often do not pay the asking price that you list. You need to look at homes that have sold in the area that are comparable to what you have, and make your price based on this information.

Mistake 8: Letting your Emotions Rule your Thinking

It can be easy to let your emotions get the best of you. Your home is where you have had some great memories and events. However, remember that buyers are not going to buy based on your sentimental attachment to the home. Our home is a commodity that is for sale, nothing more.

Mistake 9: Not Disclosing the Problems or History of the Home

Never keep the history of a home a secret. This can come back and hurt you later. Be sure to be open and honest about any major repairs that have been made in the home so that potential buyers can see your honesty up front.

Mistake 10: Trying to Sell Your Home Before the Home is Ready

You may be eager to sell your home, but is the home ready? Too many people put their homes onto the market when they have not cleaned the home, decluttered or the like. This can make it harder to sell. And when your home is not ready for the market, you may have it sitting on the market for several months before you get it sold. The market is competitive, and you need to make sure that your home is sticking out to potential buyers, do not put this on the market before you are ready.

Remember, working with a real estate agent can help you to avoid many of the mistakes that first time sellers make! Get started with a FREE home evaluation from Tony Sankovic today!


The Square Footage Dilemma

Thu, 05 Apr by tonysankovic

When shopping for a new home, there are a lot of factors to consider. Of course, a budget is at the top of the list, as you can only consider homes that fall within your price range. Once you have sorted out your budget, you can move on to other issues such as neighbourhoods, school districts, lot sizes, and more. And, of course, one of the biggest points to think about is one of the first numbers you will see regarding any home on the market – the square footage.

As you browse real estate listings, you are sure to see square footage listed near the top of the page. After the listing price, you will find square footage right along with other important statistics, such as the number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, and the age of the home. For most buyers, the math is simple – more square footage is better than less. But is that always the case? Let’s take a closer look at how you should think about square footage during the home buying process.

It Starts with Your Needs

Instead of falling into the trap of thinking that you should try to maximize square footage when buying a home, you should instead get started by thinking about your needs. How many people will be living in the home? What kind of lifestyle do you lead, and what kinds of changes do you anticipate in the years ahead? When you start to ask yourself some pointed questions, you may realize that you don’t need quite as much square footage as you might have believed at first.

Let’s walk through an example to highlight this point. Imagine two families, both with the exact same demographics. There are two parents living in the home, and two children. The kids are ages six and four so they will be growing up in the home over the next decade. On the surface, you would think these families would need the same size home. But that might not necessarily be the case.

One of the families lives in a warm climate, where spending time outdoors is possible throughout much of the year. The other family, however, lives much farther north, in a climate with long, harsh winters. This family is going to be inside far more often, due to the weather. Also, this family loves to cook dinners at home, and they require a large kitchen to do so. The first family, on the other hand, loves to dine out, and rarely gathers around the dining room table.

Pretty quickly, we can see how the square footage needs of these two families could be quite different. The family who lives in the north and likes to stay in will want a large home to accommodate all of their needs. For the family in the warmer climate, sheer square footage is not such a high priority. Since they don’t use the kitchen much and spend a lot of time outside, paying for a large home may be a mistake.

Nothing Comes Free

Here’s the thing – everyone would love a big home if it didn’t come with a cost. If you would have a big house for the same cost as a small house, you would take the big one without a second thought. That isn’t how real estate works, however. Not only will the larger home cost you more in terms of the purchase price, but you will also need to spend more money on things like utilities and maintenance. As your house gets bigger, so do your expenses. That’s just how it works.

This is where many homebuyers get into trouble. Instead of thinking about what they need, they think about what they can afford. If they can manage to secure a loan for a 3,000 square-foot home, they will go for it – even though the 2,500 square-foot home down the street would have worked just fine. By purchasing too much house, a homebuyer can stretch their budget thin and make the future far less secure than it would have been otherwise.

A Balanced Approach

In the end, it is a balanced approach to home buying that is going to work best. You don’t want to focus too completely on one aspect of each home, as you will wind up missing many other important features or statistics. When you take in the whole picture, making the right choice is surprisingly easy.

Before you even head out to take a look at a home, make a list of the things that are important to you and your family. Are you concerned with the quality of the school district in the area? What about local amenities like parks, shopping centers, restaurants, etc.? Do you have a square footage number in mind that you think will serve your needs without being wasteful? Think all of this through carefully and develop a list of criteria that you will use to evaluate each house.

We aren’t arguing that everyone should live in a small house, or that square footage is irrelevant. For some people, a large house makes a lot of sense. Buying the biggest house possible is not the right choice for everyone, however, so you need to personalize your approach to home buying if you want to arrive at a successful outcome. Once you give it some thought, you may decide that sacrificing slightly on square footage will allow you to get many of the other things on your wish list.

It is easy to fall in love with the thought of owning a big home, even if you don’t actually need all of that space. Remember, this is a huge buying decision, and it is not one which should be taken lightly. Evaluate your square footage needs along with everything else you would like to find in your next house. With any luck, you’ll be able to close on a property that you and your family can love and enjoy for many years to come.


Market Update to Mar 31 – Red Deer Real Estate Stats

Wed, 04 Apr by tonysankovic

Red Deer Market Update – The number of residential MLS sales in central Alberta in the first three months of 2018 was equal to the first three months of 2017. Local markets vary, with Red Deer and Ponoka up year over year, while Sylvan Lake, Lacombe, Blackfalds, Penhold and Rocky Mountain House are down.

The biggest challenge we face as realtors is the public’s assumption that economic recovery means an immediate return to increased sales and higher prices. In fact, the real estate market recovery will lag two to three years behind this economic recovery, which is weaker and slower than past recoveries.

Further proof is that the combined median sale price of homes in eight central Alberta municipalities reached its lowest point in five years in the first quarter of 2018. The previous low was reached two years after the last economic recovery was announced.

Overpricing is the single biggest mistake a seller can make in a market where there are far more sellers than buyers, and it leads to longer sale times, lower prices and seller frustration. Less than 2 out of 10 homes listed on the MLS are selling each month in every central Alberta market. The one or two that sell will be homes that are priced according to local market reality.

RD STATS Mar 2018

Today’s market favors the Buyer.

*For current STATS on additional central Alberta locations, see bottom of website’s Home page.

Top 10 Things to do Before you Sell Your Home

Wed, 14 Mar by tonysankovic

If you are considering selling your house, there are a number of things you will need to do. Selling a home involves much more than just posting ads in local newspapers and setting up a “For Sale” sign on your lawn. If you want to get the best price for your home, you need to plan the sale strategically, make a concerted effort to showcase your property in the best light and ensure it gets a lot of visibility.

Here are top 10 things to do before you sell your home. While some of these things are pretty simple, others may take some effort. But you will find it’s all worth the trouble once you find buyers complimenting you on the way your house looks and how well it’s maintained. Hopefully, this will also act as a catalyst to get a good price for your home.  

  1. Look for a credible and experienced real estate agent

Many sellers believe they would be able to sell their house themselves and save the commision they would have otherwise paid to an agent. This may seem pretty tempting at the time, especially if it’s a seller’s market, but it’s best not to take that route. It’s not uncommon for these “for sale by owners” transactions to go awry and you will only end up losing time and money.

While working with a real estate agent is definitely beneficial, you need to be prudent and choose the right professional. It’s never a good idea to hire someone blindly just because a friend has used that agent’s services in the past. It’s important that you conduct some research and identify a few local real estate agents that are experienced and reliable. Interview a few of them to determine who would be the right fit.

  1. Improve the curb appeal of your home

If you were out shopping for something, would you step into a store that had a drab display window or a poorly-maintained, unappealing frontage- most likely not. Making a good first impression matters a great deal, and this is why you need to focus on how the exterior of your home looks. Make some simple changes/additions that will improve the external appearance of your home and the entrance.

Mow the lawns, trim and prune the bushes and plants, make sure there is no debris or dirt lying around and place a few attractive potted plants near the entrance to your home. A fresh coat of paint or polish to can do wonders for your front door. All of these may seem like very basic and simple things, but they go a long way in improving the curb appeal of your home.

  1. Get rid of all the clutter

When you are getting your house ready to show, keep in mind that less is more. Get rid of all the excess things in your home. Go through the closets, cabinets and all other possible storage spaces and do a thorough spring clean if you must. Either donate or dispose of things you don’t need or haven’t used for a very long time. Cluttered spaces will only mar the beauty of your home and won’t give potential buyers a clear idea of what the house looks like. Curious buyers are apt to open kitchen cabinets and drawers, closets etc. to check whether there is sufficient space for their things. Clearing the clutter before you put your house up for sale means you have one less thing to take care of when you finally move.

  1. Remove all other distractions

Just as clutter can distract potential buyers from actually looking at all the indoor spaces and the features and installations in it, personal items such as photographs and other memorabilia also act as distractions. It’s important that you de-personalize all the indoor spaces. If there are any bold or eccentric furniture pieces or artwork, its best to either remove or replace them with something less eye-catching. The idea is to create a blank canvas so prospective buyers will be able to visualize their own things in that space.

  1. Give the walls a new look

If you have bright and bold wall colours or have an accent/feature wall, consider getting the rooms painted in subtle colours. While you may love that turquoise blue wall in your bedroom, a potential buyer may not take a fancy to it. Sometimes, features such as these or decorative elements in bold styles and themes can prove to be a turn-off and can impact the sale.

Neutral colours and subtle wall colour shades are a much safer option as it’s rare for people to hate them. The light colours lend expansiveness to the space and give buyers the chance to envision how the rooms would look in the colours they like.

  1. Do a thorough touch up

Even if you aren’t getting the entire house repainted, make it a point to refinish or repaint scuff marks on walls, doors, and baseboards. This will give your home a well-maintained look.

  1. Fix things that don’t work as they should

Make sure that all the handles and doorknobs aren’t loose, no hinges are coming off cabinets and that there are no loose floorboards or step boards. Discerning buyers will notice all these seemingly small things; it will set them wondering as to what other things in the house are damaged or don’t work, and this is something you want to avoid.

  1. Add a few special touches

While it’s best to remove embellishments such as décor pieces and extra furniture, it’s a good idea to add some plants to the indoor spaces of your home. You can also place vases with colourful, fresh flowers on the dining table or a sideboard. These will lend a very pleasant, welcoming look to the space.

It’s a good idea to consider staging. Home staging professionals will carefully evaluate the current condition of the home, the items in the indoor and outdoor areas and determine which of these will help create a great first impression on the buyers. They may also recommend that you rent/purchase a few items or may reorganize the furniture etc. to achieve a more appealing look.

Market Update to Feb 28 – Red Deer Real Estate Stats

Fri, 09 Mar by tonysankovic

Red Deer Market Update – Most central Alberta markets we serve are keeping pace with last year while Red Deer is showing signs of improvement. We can’t see it in all the numbers yet, but there is no doubt that we are feeling more public optimism than we’ve experienced for much of the last three years.

The reasons for optimism include stable oil prices above $60US, 55,000 new jobs in Alberta in 2017 resulting in lower unemployment and the general feeling that the recession is behind us.

The number of active listings is up in all central our Alberta markets. More people wanting to sell in a recovering market suggests more confident consumers with a different motivation than we saw a couple of years ago when people were selling because they had to. Now, they may be selling because they want to. More listings will put the brakes on any price inflation they may be anticipating.

We have consistently stated that the real estate market takes time to recover once the economy has turned around. We’ve also said that it’s hard to time the market perfectly and the recovery can sneak up on you. All of our central Alberta markets favor buyers at the moment. Interest rates are still relatively low and future increases are possible. It’s a great time to take advantage of low prices and ample inventories.

RD STATS Feb 2018

Today’s market favors the Buyer.

*For current STATS on additional central Alberta locations, see bottom of website’s Home page.

How a Real Estate Agent Can Save You Money When Buying a Home

Wed, 07 Mar by tonysankovic

The common thought that most prospective home buyers have is that they could “easily” manage their home purchase themselves. The internet and easy access to information has made it possible for people to handle much of the legwork themselves. But there really is no substitute for a knowledgeable and skilled professional real estate agent. An experienced negotiator who knows the vibe of the local market can save you considerable hassles, money and time by helping you make an appropriate offer, getting tough when necessary and getting the best possible deal. You need to work with a agent who will exclusively represent you. Check with your agent as you may be require you to sign a contract that says you won’t work with any other brokers for a specific time frame.

But the fact is that the benefits of hiring a skilled and experienced real estate agent far outweigh the commission they charge for their services. They can make the process of buying a home less stressful, less expensive and less time-consuming as well. Take a look at how a real estate agent can save you money when buying a home:

  1. They have the right business contacts

When you are considering buying a new home, you need to have the right people in your corner, or else the process can get very expensive and you may not even find the right home for your needs. It can be very time-consuming and tedious to scour various real estate listing sites, go through the details of different properties and visit many of them to identify whether they suit your needs.

Once your agent knows that you are serious about buying a home, they will make every effort to show you properties that fit your requirements and budget. Many great agents also have access to off-listing properties and you will save time (which translates into money) on looking for a suitable new home.

  1. They have the experience to help improve your odds in negotiations

Quoting a buying price isn’t something you can do off the bat. If your offer price is far lower than the listing price, the seller might not consider your offer at all. On the flip-side, if you quote an excessively high selling price, you may end up paying far more than the house is worth and may rue the fact later.

When you attempt to buy a home without the help of a real estate agent, identifying what the right offer price can seem just like a guessing game. However, when you hire the services of a great real estate agent, their knowledge of the local market is a plus. They will be able to guide you on what the right offer price and this improves your chances of sealing the deal.

A qualified and experienced agent will have deep knowledge of the current real estate trends in your local area, the price at which homes similar to the one you are planning to buy etc. This helps speed-up the home sale process for you and saves you time, money and the trouble of looking at a large number of homes before zeroing-in on one.

  1. They help you save time

It’s not uncommon for buyers that are managing their property search on their own believe that the process won’t take too much of their time. They feel that all they need to do is look on the right real estate sites, search for related ads in local newspapers, attend a couple of open houses and negotiate the price. But the fact is there is much more than that involved in a home purchase.

Buying a home isn’t just exhausting, but can be extremely time-consuming as well. That’s exactly why there are so many real estate agents in the industry today. Property owners that choose to manage this process themselves in an attempt to save some dollars, often find they have very little time on their hands to focus on their professional and personal lives.

If you end up spending all of your time just attempting to look for the perfect property, it takes away from your work, family and leisure time; and all of these are worth a lot more than you think. Working with a credible real estate agent is the best way to take this burden off of your shoulders. They have the knowledge and time required to get this job done efficiently and quickly. The amount of trouble and time they can save you can prove to be invaluable.

  1. Effective sale negotiations

Knowing your financial and personal circumstances, and keeping these confidential, is crucial to the home negotiation process. If the listing agent know exactly how much you have liked a particular house, and how keen you are in closing the deal etc., that may work to your disadvantage, and the seller may up their asking price or reject your offer altogether.

Your agent will keep all this information confidential and will negotiate the best possible terms and price on your behalf. The simple fact is that a seller’s agent typically works for the seller and prioritizes their benefit. But a buyer’s agent works for the buyer and not the seller and he will prioritize your goals, finances and interest over selling a home.

Working with a credible and well-established real estate agent will help ensure you get the home of your dreams with the least amount of trouble at a price that fits into your budget.

How to Prepare When Selling Your Home

Wed, 28 Feb by tonysankovic

Every seller wants their home to get sold quickly and attract a good price. While that may be the case, ensuring this happens has very little to do with chance and luck and more to do with careful planning. A potential home buyer will always be more impressed with a home that’s in a state of good repair, looks presentable, neat and clean. Here are some ways in which you can prepare when selling your home.


  1. It’s important to set your personal attachment aside

If you have lived in a particular home for a long time, it isn’t easy to let go. There will be memories attached to that place and you will have decorated and maintained the place with care. But it’s important that you make the break and here are some tips on how to do it:

  • Tell yourself that it isn’t your home and that it’s a house; something that can be bought or sold, much like products you would buy at a supermarket.
  • Be firm with that “let go” decision and focus on the fact that the house won’t be yours any longer.
  • Visualize yourself handing over the keys and the warranties for all the appliances to the new owners.
  • It’s important that you look into the future rather than a glance into the past.


  1. De-personalize all the rooms

Remove all your family heirlooms and personal photographs and memorabilia as these can distract the buyers. The idea is to allow buyers to imagine all their belongings in that space as that takes them one step closer to buying a home. The buyers need to see themselves living there versus wondering what kind of people live in the house.


  1. Clear all the clutter

This is a very crucial aspect of preparing to sell your home. It’s natural for us to collect things and not be able to discard them even after they are no longer required. The simple rule to follow is that if you haven’t used a certain item in over a year, its best to get rid of it. You have the option to either throw it away or donate it to someone. Some of the other things you can do are:

  • Pack up the knickknacks
  • Remove all the books from bookcases
  • Clean everything off the kitchen counters.
  • Put all the essential items in small boxes and put them away in the closet.


  1. Rearrange storage cabinets & bedroom closets

Buyers often open closet and cabinet doors randomly while walking through the house. When all these spaces are well-organized, the message it sends to a potential buyer is that you are equally particular about taking care of the rest of the house too. Some of the things you can do include:

  • Stack all the dishes neatly.
  • Alphabetize all the spice jars in the pantry and kitchen.
  • Hang shirts together- facing the same direction.
  • Turn all coffee cup handles facing the same direction.
  • Line up all your shoes properly in the closet.


  1. Consider keeping extra items in a storage unit

Most homes show better when they have fewer pieces of furniture. It’s a good idea to move the extra pieces of furniture into a temporary storage unit and only keep the basic ones. This will open up and improve the movement flow in the spaces and make the rooms look more spacious. The furniture you keep should only showcase the purpose of that room, yet leave sufficient space to move around comfortably.


  1. Replace or remove favourite pieces

If there are certain built-in appliances, features, fittings or window treatments that you want to take, it’s best to remove them when you are prepping your home for sale. If there are antique pieces or items that you are emotionally attached to, replace them with something else. That way you won’t have to tell a buyer it isn’t for sale. Sometimes, denying a buyer an item they have taken fancy to can blow the deal. This is why it’s best to either replace or remove those items if necessary.


  1. Conduct minor repairs

In a seller’s market, it’s possible to sell a property in the condition it is in without too much of a hassle. But in a buyer’s market, the state of the features and installations in your home can make or break the sale. Based on the condition of the house, some of the repairs you may want to conduct include:

  • Patch holes in drywall.
  • Replace cracked floor tiles.
  • Replace kitchen and bathroom wall tiles.
  • Fix leaking faucets.
  • Fix doors that jam or don’t close properly
  • Fix kitchen drawers that jam.
  • Consider giving your walls a fresh coat of paint- opt for neutral colours especially if you have eccentric taste in colours and décor.
  • Replace dysfunctional light bulbs.
  • Replace worn bedspreads.


  1. Get your house cleaned thoroughly

When you are listing your house for sale, you need to ensure that every nook and cranny of it is clean. Since this can be a pretty laborious task, consider hiring house cleaning professionals for the job. Some of the things that need to be focused on include:

  • Clean the windows inside & out.
  • Clean out cobwebs.
  • Pressure-clean the driveway, sidewalks and the exterior walls of your home.
  • Polish mirrors and chrome faucets.
  • Re-caulk tubs, showers, and sinks.
  • Vacuum daily.
  • Clean out the refrigerator.
  • Replace worn rugs.
  • Wax wooden floors.
  • Dust the furniture, ceiling fans & light fixtures.
  • Bleach dingy grout.
  • Hang up clean, fresh towels.
  • Get rid of bad odors in all the rooms.


  1. Enhance curb appeal

You need to ensure that buyers are encouraged to get out of their cars and walk into your home. This means you need to focus on enhancing its curb appeal. You can do this by:

  • Making the front door and entrance area look welcoming; clean the space, paint/polish the front door, hang or place potted plants around the front door.
  • Make sure all window treatments in the house hang level.
  • Keep the sidewalks clear of clutter.
  • Mow the lawns & trim the hedges.
  • Paint faded/deteriorated window trim.
  • Ensure visitors can read your house number clearly from the street.


The one way to get all aspects of preparing a home right is to hire staging professionals for the job. They have the expertise to prep and stage your home so that buyers see it in the best light.

When is the Best Time to Buy and Sell Homes?

Wed, 21 Feb by tonysankovic

If you are either buying or selling a home, you need to judge the vibe of the market. It’s probably equally important to understand how the psychology of home buyers & home sellers in your specific market works. There are also some distinct times of the year when there is a surge in home sales and purchases. Let’s take a look at what these trends are. This will give you a better understanding of when the best time to buy and sell a home is.



The biggest house selling season is from January-March. There is a distinct reason why this is a very popular time for house sales:

  • Families with kids are eager to get their home sale/purchase finalized by late spring. That helps avoid any disruption in their children’s school schedule.
  • Some people want to buy a home at the start of the year because they don’t want any interference with their summer vacation.
  • Others prefer this time for their property sale for tax purposes.

With so many buyers in the picture, it’s no surprise that spring is the perfect time for people to put their homes on the market. This leads to increased buyer competition, which results in a rise in property prices at the start of the year. If you are planning to sell your home and buy a new one right after that, you will find the best selection of homes at this time of the year.



While there is a large selection of homes during spring, the competition levels are higher too. If you are more inclined to look for a good bargain, you’d have to put in some extra effort and time to find something that suits your budget. But since there are such a large number of houses on the market, you will eventually find the house that suits your requirement.


June- August

Those who purchased homes in the Spring start moving during the summer months. The rest will be on vacation and this means summer isn’t the best time to put your home on the market. Buyer activity levels are lower, and it may take a wee bit longer for you to sell your home at this time.

If you are selling your current home to purchase another one, summer is the best time to find good deals. It isn’t difficult to find sellers that have invested in a new home and have to sell the existing one quickly. While there is less property on the market, you may be able to do some bargain shopping with these motivated sellers.



If you are selling your home in fall that can be quite a risky proposition, overpricing your property will only make it unsalable. But if you really need to sell at this point of time, make extra efforts to monitor buyer response. If you find it to be very weak, you should be flexible and willing to lower your price. On the other hand, if you are a risk-taker, this period mat work out perfectly for you; it’s an ideal time to sell at a higher price and buy at a lower one.

If you are buying a home, property owners that sell during fall are in quite a rush to sell. Some of them will have purchased a new home during spring even before they sell the older one. Many of these people may have overpriced their homes during summer and end up slashing prices because they have been unsuccessful in selling the property at that high price.

A number of people prefer to sell their home during fall and buy a new one in December. They pay their tax-deductible expenses.These people are hard-pressed to sell and if you are buying, you may end up getting a good bargain from sellers like these.



This is probably the worst time of the year to sell a home. During the holidays, people prioritize buying gifts and spending time with their family and friends and no one has the time to focus on buying or selling at this time. If you don’t have an option but to sell in the winter, be prepared to deal with bargain hunters. Since very few buyers are scouring the market for homes during Christmas week, there are very low chances of any competition or multiple offers.

In the same strain, this season doesn’t offer a great selection to a home buyer. Unless you have oodles of patience and are a serious bargainer, the recommendation is that you abstain from looking for and buying a home during this season. Home prices typically drop down to a 12-month low during this time. And so, if you do find that someone is selling their home during Christmas time, it’s a sure-shot indication that the person is open to bargaining and is eager to sell that home; and that may be your chance to get a great deal.

While being aware of these market trends is important, it’s also vital to understand that the best time to buy a house also depends on the buyer’s or seller’s goals and individual circumstances. Every person enters this landscape with a different profile and something that works for one individual might not work for the other.

For example, if your goal is to save money to meet the 20% down payment requirement, and you have almost achieved that goal, then it’s important that you stay on track. Vacillating between decisions only because the housing prices or interest rates are ebbing and tiding will just shunt you off track from your goal of meeting that 20% down payment amount. Forecasting interest rate changes and how the market volatility is going to impact your home buying plans is important no doubt, but you don’t have any control over these external variables. What is probably more important is that you identify what works best in your situation and make a prudent choice when it comes to buying or selling your home.

Staging Your Home For Valentines Day

Wed, 14 Feb by tonysankovic

Home staging is important at any time of the year to show your house at its best for potential buyers. However, there are special days in the calendar that give you an opportunity to add a few extra personal touches to your presentation.

One of these is Valentine’s Day.

With a little creativity and imagination, you can take advantage of this affectionate time to make your home look even more desirable. Adding a little romance and elegance will make your home attractive, inviting and comfortable, helping to influence potential buyers.

Here are a few suggestions to give your house a little Valentine’s Day makeover.


Front door/Entrance and hallway

The front door, porch and hallway are your chance to make a positive first impression on people looking to buy. Add some romance by putting a small heart-shaped wreath on the door and a vase of Valentine’s Day roses and a scented candle on the hallway table.


Dining table and kitchen

Setting the table for a dinner for two is an excellent idea to make potential purchasers feel welcome on Valentine’s Day. Use quality cutlery, dinner plates (white), candles and a white or red tablecloth to add to the mood. Include a bottle of champagne and glasses for authenticity and dim the lights as if for a romantic evening dinner. Why not add a bowl or two of fresh strawberries?

Don’t forget the kitchen! Design ideas such as chalkboards with an affectionate message and a fresh cake displayed on a cake stand on the kitchen counter will give a welcoming feel.



The addition of flowers, candles and fragrant bath salts in a displayed glass canister can give the bathroom an elegant, beautiful look that will complement the Valentine’s Day theme in the rest of the house.



Give the bedroom a luxury hotel ambience by adding extra cushions and a throw rug at the end of the bed. Don’t forget the roses! For that final romantic touch, sprinkle a handful of petals on the throw rug.

Show off your home to prospective buyers by indulging in creative ideas for a Valentine’s Day theme. This is a special day for lovers and partners however it can also be used to good effect to make your home shine for potential buyers. Use your creativity to show them what a great place your home would be to live.

Contact us for more information on home evaluation and advice on how to display your home for the market.

The data included on this website is deemed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed to be accurate by the Central Alberta REALTORS® Association. 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.