A blog cannot deal with all aspects of a subject and is not intended to replace professional advice. It's purpose is to highlight information and identify areas of possible interest. Anyone wishing to discuss this blog or to make any comments or suggestions about this blog is invited to do so by either posting comments or emailing me directly.


Is your real estate agent showing you ALL the available properties?

—  feeling annoyed.

In having dealt with hundreds of potential homebuyers, I have only ever had ONE that said they did not wish to see conditionally sold homes that met their home search criteria in addition to home listings that were clearly Active on the market. Only one!

What's the issue? Agents not showing conditionally sold homes hurts both my clients AND their clients.

I clearly understand that as a showing agent under a representation agreement that I need to (should) know going in to the showing with my clients whether or not there is an accepted offer on a home -- and I do. However, all my clients value seeing the home to better gauge home value in that neighbourhood. Agents do ask on every single showing request whether or not the property listing is marked Active or Under Contract.

BUT, it is really frustrating to home sellers trying to sell their home when an agent books a home to view then,...
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I pulled the current Calgary MLS® System statistics a few moments ago. (Yes, today instead of waiting until tomorrow. Why? Quite a number of listings will expire tonight with it being the end of the month, while many agents typically wait until Monday before entering their new listings into the MLS®.)


So, how is the market? Well, for having ended the winter market and coming into the spring market tomorrow, it is quite a bit slower than "normal" — if there is still a "normal" for the Calgary market. The last 10 years have been exceptionally sold with the occasional blip up or down along the way.


Here is the breakdown as of 13:00 today:


Total Calgary MLS® System within Calgary for residential properties for sale:

  • 5,510 properties available in inventory
  • 1,194 properties marked sold in the last 30 days
  • That makes 4.6 MONTHS of inventory - a really soft BALANCED market



  • 2,626 properties available in inventory
  • 714 properties marked...
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There are loads of flooring options available today for the home. But if you’re looking for an inexpensive flooring, especially suited for potentially wet areas such as kitchen or bathrooms, you’re probably going to consider either linoleum or vinyl. Although the terms are often used somewhat interchangeably, the materials are not the same. Historically, the mention of either conjures up images of second-rate products, but both have their applications and a place in many homes. Both linoleum (lino) and vinyl flooring are referred to as “resilient flooring.” Resilient flooring means that if a heavy object were to fall on it, the material wouldn’t necessarily be permanently damaged with a crack or dent. Its shape would be restored somewhat or in full.


Linoleum is mostly limited to commercial applications, but not exclusively. Vinyl is found in numerous residential and commercial applications. Both materials are available in sheets and in tiles.


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Home Sales Improve

November’s housing market was spurred by a rise in sales, particularly in the lower price ranges.


Watch CREB® president David P. Brown as he recaps the key influencers that shaped the market in November.


To read the full report and monthly stats package, click here. - Source: CREB®



Source: Used under standard YouTube licence terms.


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This is an issue I have been discussing for at least 10 years since discovering it was a leading cause of cancer in many areas of North America. Research had been completed in the U.S. several decades ago with regards to electromagnetic radiation around electricity corridors and towers. It turns out that the cause of the higher than normal incidence of cancer were not from EMR, but rather Radon gas which was, coincidentally, naturally occuring in all of the areas of the corridors. Unfortunately, electricity corridors have remained with a stigma eventhough there is no longer the correlation there was once thought.



Source: Used under standard YouTube licence terms.


Radon is a colourless, odourless gas that is produced naturally from the radioactive decay of underground uranium minerals and is often drawn up and concentrated inside our homes.


Radon gas is the leading cause of lung cancer in non smokers, and the second leading cause in smokers. Because Radon is an...

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Prices remain similar to last year, but ease in October

October's housing market conditions closely echoed previous month's trends with easing sales, rising inventories and downward price pressure. Like last month, the monthly activity was not enough to derail gains that occurred earlier in the year.


October sales and inventories totaled 1,467 and 6,463 units for a month of supply of 4.4. Several months of elevated supply in comparison to demand has weighed on pricing over the past several months. The city-wide unadjusted benchmark price in October totaled $438,900, 0.6 percent below last month, but comparable to last year.


"While economic activity has improved in 2017, it will take some time for this to translate into housing market growth. There have been employment gains, but most of this has occurred in areas with traditionally lower income," said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie.


"We also continue to face weak migration, higher lending rates and changes...

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No Pen? No Problem. Sign documents or request signatures anytime, anywhere. You don’t need to print or scan — just use the device at your fingertips. DocuSign makes it easy.


Currently, about 265k new users are joining each weekday and 110k are joining each weekend day. Showing that user growth is predictably stable, this ratio has been very consistent over time.


It's a sign of good health that the returning population represents a majority of daily users. E-Signing is as easy as 1, 2, 3.

Step 1 – Click the link in email

With one click, you can access the document and start the document signing process on virtually any internet-enabled device.

Step 2 – Follow the DocuSign tabs

Tabs and simple instructions guide you through the signing process. Your electronic signatures are secure, legally binding, and widely accepted for most business transactions around the world.

Step 3 – Finish, and you’re done

Once you’re done signing, click...

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The majority of consumers start their house search online. But could the real estate agent's website’s functionality be turning off potential homebuyers?


A few common mistakes that real estate websites and apps are making, including:

  1. The website displays only minimal information.
  2. The website requires the consumer to "log in" prior to seeing the details or more than a single photo.
  3. The website is not mobile adaptive.
  4. The website does not have a consumer-friendly search capability.
  5. The real agent doesn't respond to inquiries through their website.

Let me know if there are other items that you hate about real estate websites.

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No matter if you’re in a buyer’s or seller’s market, there are a few critical steps you can take to make a smarter purchase. Since buying a home is likely the biggest single investment you will ever make, being prepared will help you make a better purchase. Here are our best tips to buying a home.


Know your buying power


What is your buying power? It is the combination of your credit-worthiness and how much you can realistically pay for a home.


First, you need to understand the hidden costs of buying a home. You will need to save not only for the down payment of your home -- which is typically between 5% - 20% of the offer price -- but also for any additional transaction fees, such as land transfer fee, inspection charges, title insurance, and legal fees.


Then you need to know what you can realistically afford each month to understand how much house you can buy. Your mortgage rate will depend on your creditworthiness -- if you have a high credit...

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The simple answer is: YES.


Backup offers are becoming more common and are ofter successful. In the last downturn of the market, buyers were having a difficult time in qualifying for mortgage loans. While not a huge number of deals fall apart, in difficult times they seem to double in quantity. In a short 3-month period that year, we completed 3 successful deals for our clients by making backup offers on homes that were conditionally sold.


In October of 2016, lending criteria for high-ratio mortgages substantially changed. As a result, consumers who would previously had no problem in qualifying for a mortgage loans are more frequently being turned down by lenders. As a result of this, their conditional purchases are collapsing. In March 2017, the mortgage insurance premium increased – again! The qualification rules will probably only get more difficult.


If you had an accepted offer that was a backup to the first offer and the first offer collapses for any reason,...

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A little while ago, I was wondering... why do consumers and potential home buyers call the agent that represents the seller in order to see a home and potentially make an offer on it?


Well there are probably lots of reasons. Here may be a few:


1. They think buying a house is like buying a car: You have to go to each and every car dealership and dirt lot to see all the inventory.

2. They think that the agent with the sign has insider knowledge about the home that other agents can't find out.

3. They think the agent with all the signs in the neighbourhood is the neighbourhood "specialist".

4. Their agent is too busy and they don't want to bother them.

5. They think that by only having one agent involved in the purchase/sale that they can get a better deal on the home.


Let's provide some clarity on these points...


1. Inventory: If a homeowner hires their agent to put up their property for sale and doesn't allow them to share the property's listing with other...

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[I originally posted this article in early 2014 and it's been reposted often by others (with and without permission). I have reposted it here with updated content to reflect some of the realities in 2016.]

In an increasingly digital world, it's really important to have at least a very basic understanding of how some of the advances in technology affect you as a consumer. This is true even when it comes to looking at purchasing real estate. While searching for homes online makes the hunt for real estate a heck of a lot easier, you will likely find yourself lost in "information overload" and why hiring a real estate agent to help you before you start a serious search is important. Real estate agents have access to oodles of data and can help interpret it by separating the important details from the myriad of other data. At least they should be able to.

When it comes to searching for real estate online, particularly with things like IDX and MLS Reciprocity, what does it all mean for...

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It is a fabulous home that is ready for a new family. Located at 136 Sunset Close in Cochrane, Alberta, the home is a perfect blend of Location + Value + Lifestyle.

Just 30 MINUTES to downtown Calgary & about an hour to the mountains. Cochrane has that small-town charm and it's just close enough to the big city!

A bright, MOVE-IN READY Calbridge-built home of 2,400+ square feet. Quality upgrades like easy maintenance - and pet friendly - ceramic tile throughout most of the main floor, a main floor home office, walk-thru pantry & laundry area, an over-sized patio door and a large granite island are features of this newer home. See FLOOR PLAN in photos. Plush carpeting in the living room & throughout the 2nd floor. SPACIOUS bedrooms & walk-in closet. BONUS ROOM + added FLEX area upstairs. Ensuite bath has soaker tub & separate shower enclosure. Fully-fenced yard backs onto green space & walking path and trees provide lots of privacy. INSULATED, DOUBLE GARAGE. Unspoiled...

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I'm hosting an OPEN HOUSE this Saturday from 2 to 4 pm. Come on down and say "hi."


Priced $44,000 below TWO almost identical units that came on the market in the last several days — this home offers tremendous value at $425,900!


Tranquility and style, this exquisite 2 bedroom townhouse is located in the highly sought after Enclave at Castle Keep in Aspen and is surrounded by an abundance of green space. It features a functional, open concept layout, dark hardwood floors throughout main level, 9 foot ceilings, a gourmet kitchen with stainless steel appliances, extended high modern cabinets with a raised eating bar overlooking the dining and living areas with over-sized windows and an unobstructed view of the forested area and ravine. The upper floor boasts two large master bedrooms, each with their own private ensuite and a conveniently located laundry room. The ground floor includes a tandem 2-car garage. The home is a quick commute to downtown Calgary and is close to...

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You've probably been driving around Calgary and have seen several RE/MAX® Real Estate Signs.


RE/MAX actually has some of the strictest real estate signage rules among all the various real estate brands (both franchised and independent). The colours, the style, the layout and the content are strictly defined by our corporate offices.


Currently, there are two basic styles. Both indicate which franchisee is being represented in the bottom line of each sign. In Calgary, for example, there are over 10 different RE/MAX offices working the city so you may see a sign from any one of them. The individual real estate agent's name is also required to be on the sign (and the name has to be the one that is registered on their provincial real estate licence. A nick name, if used, must be on the licence too.) Team names are permitted, but they should always include the name of the individual agent that has the listing.


So, the two signs are as below:



The left sign...

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Yesterday, I held an Open House at 334 Ascot Circle SW.



I met so many wonderful people!


A big THANK YOU to everyone that came out in the chilly Calgary weather to see this wonderful home. We had 12 people through during those two hours including one real estate agent and her client. At one point it seemed to be like shark infested waters and a feeding frenzie of home buyers!


We should be getting an offer any day on this wonderful home in a tremendous complex in Aspen Woods.


If you're looking for a home in this area or any other west and northwest community of Calgary, please give me a call. I specialize in all of these neighbourhoods!

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Sales of homes in Hawkwood this past month are following a similar trend of many other established communities in Calgary. While sales are slower than sales in 2014, sales continute to happen and overall sales prices have not substantially lost ground. In fact, on an annualized basis the selling prices in Hawkwood for 2015 are up 3.2% over 2014.


Because home prices throughout many areas of the city are somewhat stalled, it remains a good time to buy homes for both first-time buyers and move-up buyers. However due to the negative influence of the media, many will tend to sit back and wait until prices begin to rise overall in the city instead of just in a few select neighbourhoods and price ranges as the case today.




Looking for a home in our lovely neighbourhood of Hawkwood or looking to sell one?

I'm the trusted neighbourhood real estate professional!
I live here, I work here, I'm here for You!


Here are all the listings available in Hawkwood today: click...

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Today, the federal Finance Minister announced changes to the rules for government-backed mortgage insurance to contain risks in the housing market, reduce taxpayer exposure and support long-term stability.

Effective February 15, 2016, the minimum down payment for new insured mortgages will increase from 5% to 10% for the portion of the house price above $500,000. The 5% minimum down payment for properties up to $500,000 remains unchanged.


For example, a home costing $700,000 would require a $45,000 down payment – a 5% down payment on the first $500,000, added to a 10% down payment on the remaining $200,000.


Buyers shopping for homes below the $500,000 mark will be unaffected by the new rules.


The move is expected to take pressure off the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), which offers mortgage loan insurance for properties valued below $1 million.


Since the 2008 recession, the federal government has made it more challenging for Canadians to...

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There has been little talk of the alignment of the Calgary MLS System community names and divisions with those of the City of Calgary. Early in January 2016, the map will be aligned.


What this means for consumers is that they can get more relevant information on the community they are interest in buying a home within. The 4 zones are being replaced with 8 districts. Some MLS System neighbourhoods are disappearing and almalgamating with a larger neighbourhood. (eg. Ranchland Estates almalgamates with Ranchlands; Lake Bonavista Estates almalgamates with Lake Bonavista; Garrison Woods amalgamates with Altadore.)


For me, it will be a bit of a challenge getting to learn some of the new nuances, but it does make a lot of sense and I welcome it. As far as I'm concerned, it's long overdue and the sooner it's implemented, the better!


Here are the expected changes:




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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.