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.
October 20, 2017
DocuSign – Did You Know: Everyday, 40% of Signers are Signing for the First Time
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...
August 22, 2017
Why Is It Important to Use a Real Estate Broker to Help Sell Your Home
When a home owner decides to sell their home, they obviously want the best possible price for it with the least amount of hassles along the way. However, for the vast majority of home sellers, the most important result is actually getting their homes actually sold.
In order to accomplish all three goals, a home seller should realize the importance of using a real estate broker. We realize that technology has changed the purchaser’s behaviour during the home buying process. According to the National Association of Realtors’ 2016 Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers, the first step that, “…44% of recent buyers took in the home buying process was to look online at properties for sale.”
However, the report also revealed that 96% of buyers who used the Internet when searching for homes purchased their homes through either a real estate broker or from a builder or through a builder’s saleperson. Only 2% purchased their homes directly from a seller...
August 8, 2017
A Few Sure Signs That It’s Time to Change Realtors
Your home isn’t selling and yet the current, local real estate market is really quite active. You naturally ask yourself, “Why?”
Sadly, not all real estate agents are equal. Some only use the classic 3 P’s of real estate marketing: Put a sign in the yard, Put the home in the local MLS System, and Pray that the home sells.
But there are also some other sure signs that it’s time for you to face the music and hire someone else:
1. The online photos leave a lot to be desired. With real estate being a cut-throat and expensive business to be in, many real estate agents are trying to cut expenses wherever they can. Too often, we see homes being photographed with cellphone or point and shoot cameras. Often, real estate agents don’t have the tools to crop, colour balance or control exposure in their photos. Worse still, they don’t know when they should hire a professional. For the minimal cost, this is one area that agents should short-change...
December 16, 2016
Drones in Real Estate: What You Need to Know
Drones, also known as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (or UAVs), have recently entered the mainstream market in Canada and are now widely used both commercially and recreationally. For use in real estate, the activity is considered strictly a commercial use. Commercial drone use is heavily regulated and compliance is required in order to fly.
Operating a drone means that certain rules and guidelines must be followed to ensure the safety of the drone's team, of the public, and of manned aircraft in the area.
- All drone flights must take place in daylight and in good weather,
- Aircraft must remain in visual line-of-site of the drone pilot at all times,
- Drone operations must be conducted outside of airport airspace, away from populated areas, buildings, public areas, and busy roads, and cannot go higher than 90 metres, vertically,
- The privacy of others must be respected.
While most of these rules are primarily safety oriented, they may also affect when and how one is able to capture aerial imagery,...
January 19, 2016
RE/MAX Signs - What's the Difference?
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...
January 18, 2016
Open House at 334 Ascot Circle SW a Success!
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!
January 6, 2016
Hawkwood Real Estate Stats for December 2015
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...
December 8, 2015
Mortgage Insurance Rules Changed... Again!
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...
November 17, 2015
New Calgary MLS System Communities and Community Map as of January 2016.
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:
September 30, 2015
Some of the finer details of MLS System Seller Brokerage Contracts
Locally, we've recently had a lot of conversations about Seller Brokerage Contracts. What these are are the contracts that is agreed to by a Seller of property and the brokerage through the brokerage's agent to allow them to market the property on behalf of the Seller. Specifically our discussion have revolved around, the agreement regarding the real estate professional's obligations and the consumer's obligations regarding to their property when it is being listed for sale within the local MLS® System.
Firstly, there are several weaknesses that creep up as a result of Provincial Standard Forms. One of them is that they cater to the lowest standard of care.
One of the notorious weaknesses has been in detailing some of the individual real estate board rules that govern how the various MLS Systems in the province run. A few years ago in this province there were Harmonized MLS System Rules agreed to by all real estate boards in the province (which are still in place), but...
September 16, 2015
The September Hawkwood Home Insights has arrived...
Calgary, AB - September 16, 2015
Every month, I've been mailing out 1,000 flyers in some of the newer sections of Hawkwood. (Actually, it's mailed out ten times a year.) There are lots of home insights for homeowners, renters and potential home sellers. If you have any questions about your current home value or wish to discuss marketing your home within the next 6 months, now is the time to talk with an experienced, real estate broker that actually lives in your neighbourhood. As Hawkwood's RE/MAX real estate professional and resident REALTOR®, I can help tell you what others may not be able to share with you. I'm also very "in tune" with many of the northwest and southwest neighbourhoods in the City of Calgary.
If you are currently renting your home, and you're thinking now may be the time to buy, please get in touch with me and we can get the process started. As you can imagine, the overall trend of house values within the City of Calgary is upward. Some communities can...
September 4, 2015
Are you being watched? Do you know who may be listening?
In visiting a number of homes, recently, we have noticed video and/or audio capture devices that were actively monitoring the premises. What this means to us is there is an increase in the number of home sellers that are actively recording their real estate agents, prospective buyers and their buyer agents during the course of open houses or private showing appointments.
This is something we were concerned with several years ago with baby monitors being positioned in homes and turned on so that home sellers could "eavesdrop" on the buyer's viewing sppointment from nearby outside the home. That was something we always warned our clients about when we were showing homes to them and reminded them again when we noticed monitoring equipment (whether or not we could determine if the device was "on".)
Times have now changed: it is starting to appear quite often. In a few cases the common indicator light showing the device is acively monitoring had been covered up or possibly even disconnected....
September 3, 2015
Are Lock Boxes EVIL? Do They Suck?
This past week, I came across a post card hanging on the door knob of one of the homes that I currently have listed for sale. The card was hanging from the door knob and was about 15 cm by 40 cm in size – so it was very highly visible.
The card featured the words "LOCK BOXES SUCK" superimposed on a photo of a standard REALTOR's lock box. Okay, I was intrigued.
I turned the card over. It was marketing by the local For Sale By Owner (FSBO) franchise. I didn't see a similar card on any of the neighbouring homes – so I assume it was targeted to only the homes with real estate signs. Hmm – I'm quite sure I wouldn't do business that way, but they probably have a business plan and process that they must follow as franchisees. In the really fine print on the card it specifically stated that they are not real estate brokers nor agents. Wow – that's news to me because when I was looking at ways to expand my real estate business a few years ago they were one...
September 2, 2015
Calgary Real Estate Market Stats for August 2015
For a complete statistics package, just send me a note and I'll email you a 28 page report or click here to download it immediately.
September 1, 2015
Hawkwood: Luxury homes hit Balanced Market for first time this year.
Neighbourhood of HAWKWOOD Stats as of the end of August 2015:
With the end of summer all but complete, the summer market ends this week as we enter the Labour Day weekend. Although school has already started, home purchasers tend to get back into their home hunt after this unofficial end of summer. Market activity should warm up some between now and Thanksgiving's Day. Now is a good time to buy that home you've been keeping an eye on (providing you and your agent are able to get a market value price for it -- there are, incredibly, a few homes on that market that are still priced too high for their location and/or condition.)
Overall, the Hawkwood community remains in a BALANCED MARKET for the month.
Attached homes (townhouses & side-by-side duplexes):
0 Conditionally Sold
0 Sold August 1 - 31
2 Sold year-to-date
16 Months of Supply - STRONG BUYERS market
0 Conditionally Sold
0 Sold August 1 - 31
6 Sold year-to-date...
August 2, 2015
Hawkwood: Balanced Market for Homes Priced Under $600,000 Remains in July 2015
Neighbourhood of HAWKWOOD Stats as of the end of July 2015:
July is usually the slowest month of the year for real estate sales in Calgary. This year shows no variation from the norm. We should start to see the listing and sales activity slowly climb until mid-November. It may be a great time to both put a home on the market and to shop for homes in Hawkwood. There will be a little less to choose from than the winter-spring market, but there will be far, far fewer people to compete with in shopping for homes. This also is an ideal time to see property at their visual peak – the grass remains close to green and there's no snow hiding unkept landscaping.
Attached homes (townhouses & side-by-side duplexes):
0 Conditionally Sold
1 Sold July 1 - 31
0 Conditionally Sold
1 Sold July 1 - 31
1 Conditionally Sold
6 Sold July 1 - 31
3.66 months of supply - Balanced Market
June 16, 2015
Seller Secrets Exposed
Seller Secrets for Today's
Calgary Real Estate Market
When it comes to selling your house, you probably want to get the most money you can in the least amount of time, with the least amount of hassle.
To help you create the best pricing strategy, we've compiled research and advice from leading experts to give you the very best answers to the most common pricing issues and questions.
This is the result of countless hours of market study, including the review of thousands of survey responses, as well as list price and sold price data from literally hundreds of thousands of transactions.
And the research is clear: pricing a house for sale correctly from the start is one of the most important factors in ensuring that the house sells quickly and for the highest price possible.
The very best agents know the secrets to pricing a house right. And now you will, too.
In this video series, we'll explore how the market determines price, the value of improvements, a...
June 5, 2015
Questions Real Estate Agents HATE
In today's highly competitive real estate industry, many real estate agents have taken to reducing services in order to remain profitable. With the average real estate agent in the Calgary area only doing 5 or 6 transactions in a year, it's no wonder services are being cut back. Like you, most consumers today are looking for better value for the money they spend for all types of services – not reduced services and ineffective results.
Choose your real estate agent or broker carefully whether you're buying or selling real estate. Like with any other service provider, look for value, personal service, commitment, integrity, ethics and results. Here are some of the questions to ask your prospective real estate agent/broker or REALTOR®:
- Are you a full-service real estate agent/broker and REALTOR®? In addition to real estate, are you also holding down another part-time or full-time job?
- What is included in a typical agent's "full-service" and what premium services do you...