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.


We had a rather lively discussion on a private Facebook group this week regarding the number of active monitoring devices Realtors are seeing in homes when we are showing homes these days. It used to be that we would see the occasional baby monitor in odd locations in a home. Then, we saw laptop computers left open or desktop computers with their "camera on" lights covered up (but not the cameras).

Now, it seems that monitoring devices are probably more common than not. They come in all forms: security systems, smoke detectors, light switches, audio and television systems. These are all great appliances to monitor your home and for convenience. However, when you have your home on the market and you have thereby asked that a Realtor and their clients visit your home wit you not present, it is actually quite illegal for you to be monitoring their discussions!

In one example, one Realtor had stated that after a weekend of showings, the seller and Realtor had agreed to have a price reduction...

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Last week's Alberta Provincial budget announced a pending increase to the Alberta Land Title Office's registration fees for both transfer of land and mortgage registrations.

Currently, the fees are:

For mortgage registrations – $50 + $1 for every $5,000 in mortgage amount, plus

for land transfer registrations – $50 + $1 for every $5,000 in the purchase amount.

While the fixed component of the fee remains the same, the variable portion is merely doubled. So, the new amounts are:

For mortgage registrations – $50 + $2 for every $5,000 in mortgage amount, plus

for land transfer registrations – $50 + $2 for every $5,000 in the purchase amount.

So, for a typical purchase of, say, $500,000 with a $400,000 mortgage, the amounts are slated to go from:

$280 (i.e. [$50 + $400,000 / $5,000] + [$50 + $500,000 / $5,000]), to

$460 (i.e. [$50 + 2 x $400,000 / $5,000] + [$50 + 2 x $500,000 / $5,000]).

In the grand scheme of things, this is a pretty insignificant amount given...

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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 appointment 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....

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As a result of the Alberta Progressive Conservative loss in the provincial election of May 5, 2015, the Alberta budget that had been announced on March 26, 2015 is not expected to be passed by the legislature when the new governing party takes office.

As a result, the modest fee increases proposed by the Alberta Government are NOT being implemented as of July 1, 2015.

In the coming months we may expect to see Land Transfer Fees/Taxes in line with what is currently in effect in other provinces.

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Congratulations! You've made the decision to sell your home – now what will it cost to get the job done?


Like selling anything of value, there are some costs involved. With the sale of a home, these costs can be significant. In the Calgary area, the costs shouldn't amount to any more than about 5% of the sale price.


There are many costs that could be included in this calculation, but for convenience I'm not including the costs of painting your home, deep-cleaning the carpets, recalking the bathrooms, cleaning the windows, putting excess furniture and belongings into short-term storage, extra garbage pickups, any added insurance premiums, or any repairs necessary to bring the home up to "show home condition." These are amounts that are required for every home but can vary greatly.


The costs that I am going to include are hard transaction costs.


Usually the highest expense of the transaction is paying off the current mortgage loan. Sometimes the loan can be...

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Tips for SELLERS:

Your most important decision when selling your home is the selection of the person you choose to represent you in this often difficult and complicated process.
The job of your real estate professional is to support you in selling your home with the best possible terms, advise you on your options and the aid you through the entire process.
Your real estate professional will explain the process of selling a home, and familiarize you with the various activities, documents and procedures that you will experience throughout the entire process. 

Tips for Selecting Your Real Estate Professional:

Your Real Estate Professional should be:
  • A member of the local real estate board and a REALTOR® - only REALTORS® have complete access to the MLS® Systems in Canada. Only a member of the LOCAL real estate board will get you exposure to local agents, and knowledge of many of the private sales,
  • Highly aware of the complicated local and provincial requirements...
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Lawyers charge for services differently, depending on the nature of your needs, the quality of services you seek and the complexity of your situation. Payment for a lawyer’s skill and knowledge varies from lawyer to lawyer, so it is important to understand exactly how you will be charged before engaging his or her services. Shop around and compare rates and types of fees, talking openly about your concerns and expectations. The client may negotiate the fee and discuss what services are covered directly by the lawyer and his agents.


There are generally four types of fee arrangements:

  • Fixed Fees
  • Contingency Fees 
  • Hourly Rates 
  • Percentage Fees / Value-Added Fees

Read more on the Alberta Law Society's website...


Real estate brokers could learn a lot from lawyers on charging fees. Not everyone wants to be charged the higher contingency fees. Likewise, not all real estate brokers are happy that only contingency fees seem to be accepted by the public that buys and...

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A casual and candid conversation about how the flood has affected real estate transactions in Calgary and surrounding area.


Lowell Martens, Broker/Owner of RE/MAX Real Estate (Mountain View), Camil Morley, Associate Broker/Manager of RE/MAX Real Estate (Mountain View), Lou Pesta, Q.C., Senior Associate, Walsh LLP, focused on the devastation and how it has impacted our city and the possible ramifications on pending sales that are closing in the near future.


What impact will this have on the buyers' and sellers' ability to close in these transactions?


What are the insurance claim processes that individuals and companies have to undertake whether it be a single family dwelling or condominium complex?


Source: YouTube - Used under standard YouTube license terms.
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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.