Archive for December, 2010

Questions Home Sellers Ask

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

My clients in Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County and the Edmonton area ask lots of questions, and I’m happy to answer them!  Here are some of the most common questions they have about the process of listing and selling their home.

Questions Home Sellers Ask |Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamWhy should I list with a Realtor®?

Only REALTORS® can place your listing on the MLS® or Multiple Listing Service®, the cooperative listing system operated by local real estate boards.  The MLS® is literally the “store front” where the vast majority of serious buyers come to look for housing.

Once listed, information about your property is accessible to all other REALTORS®, who all have the opportunity to sell your property.  This means much more exposure for your property and many people working on your behalf.  This all happens at no charge to you until your property sells.


What is a listing agreement?

The process of selling a home through a REALTOR® starts with the Listing Contract.  This is a binding agreement between you and the brokerage company the REALTOR® represents.  Information found in a standard Listing Contract includes the following, as well as various other terms, conditions, definitions and explanations:

  • identification of the persons entering into the agreement, along with contact information
  • details about the property, such as list price, detailed address, unattached goods (chattels) included with the property
  • start and end dates of the agreement
  • services offered by the REALTOR® and his/her brokerage, along with their obligations to you the seller, and your duties as seller
  • remuneration in the form of a commission (a percentage of the selling price) available to listing and selling REALTORS®

It is important that the agreement accurately reflects your property details and clearly spells out the rights and obligations of all parties.  Both you and the listing REALTOR® sign the agreement, and each receives a copy.

How much should I ask for my house?

This is a major issue for anyone selling a property.  If your price is too high, your home won’t sell, and if it’s too low, you lose money on your investment.

You probably have an idea of how much your home is worth, but it’s important to get input from an impartial professional.  REALTORS® can use their research and experience to provide a market assessment of what similar properties in your area have sold for, as well as a history of the local market.   This should allow you to reach your goal of getting the best price you can for your home.

What do I need to do to prepare my house for showings?

People want to buy clean, well-cared-for, up-to-date homes.  When prospective buyers view your home, they picture themselves living there, and they are greatly influenced by the senses of sight and smell.  The best advice is to make all minor repairs, thoroughly clean and de-clutter your home from top to bottom, light it well, and remove as much evidence of your presence as you possibly can, including keeping all pets out of the way.  Your goal is to make your home feel as spacious, attractive and welcoming as possible.

What happens when I receive an offer?

Once a buyer is found, you’ll receive an offer in the form of a Purchase Contract which will detail how much money is being offered, what conditions are attached by the buyer (details of financing the purchase, request for property inspection, sale of the buyer’s home, etc.), when the buyer would like to take possession, and when the offer expires.  As an act of good faith, the buyer will usually make a deposit with the offer.

You don’t have to accept the offer as written.  Most people think an offer is about the price.  It really is more than that:  a combination of the purchase price, conditions (financing, inspection, sale of the buyer’s home, etc.), chattels (unattached goods, such as appliances and window coverings, for example), possession date, and in some cases, the deposit.  This combination of things has value to both the buyer and the seller, and as the seller, you basically have three choices:  accept the offer as is, reject the offer, or make a counter offer.  Counter offers represent one more step along the way to negotiating the final terms and conditions of the sale.

Do I need a lawyer to complete my transaction?

Yes, when working with REALTORS®, you must use a lawyer to complete the selling of your home.  Your lending institution may also require the use of a lawyer for any kind of property sale with or without the assistance of a REALTOR®.

When do I sign the papers with the lawyer?

Be prepared to meet with your lawyer about one week before the agreed-upon possession date to sign the important documents that will allow the transfer of funds for the sale of your property.

Who sends the paperwork to the lawyers and when does it go to the lawyer?

The real estate office that listed the property (that is, the seller’s REALTOR®) will send all the paperwork to both the seller’s lawyer and the buyer’s lawyer, and this will usually be done after all conditions have been removed.

What do I need to bring with me to the lawyer?

Each person listed on documents associated with the purchase (such as the Listing Contract, Purchase Contract, mortgage documents, etc.) should bring two pieces of identification (one with photo), such as a driver’s license or passport, major credit card, social insurance card or health card.

If you don’t see your question here, it might be answered in the Sellers Guide section of my website.  Or, feel free to contact me  here any time  or by email at or by phone 780-910-9669.

Recent Canadian Home Prices

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010

Recent Canadian Home Prices |Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamMost of us wonder from time to time what our home in Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County or the Edmonton area is worth in today’s real estate market, and we may also wonder what prices are like elsewhere in Canada.

From the Canadian Real Estate Association:

“Each month, The Canadian Real Estate Association compiles the statistics of existing homes and properties sold through the Multiple Listing Service®. This provides an overview of the existing housing market in Canada, and tracks market trends for prices and properties sold.”

Here are CREA’s latest home price comparisons: 

October 2010 October 2009
British Columbia $521,871 $493,328
Alberta $344,569 $351,768
Saskatchewan $234,147 $230,958
Manitoba $224,439 $204,606
Ontario $347,788 $337,410
Quebec $257,456 $239,240
New Brunswick $152,087 $151,218
Nova Scotia $194,578 $189,570
Prince Edward Island $150,091 $155,028
Newfoundland/Labrador $231,039 $196,847
Yukon $304,800 $296,738
Northwest Territories $352,869 $363,435
National Average $343,747 $341,232


Can we draw any conclusions from this data?

We probably knew already that the highest home prices are to be found in BC, but we can see a few other things:

  • In October 2010, only 4 provinces/territories had prices above the national average:  BC, NWT, Ontario and Alberta, in that order.
  • The average selling price in October 2010 for a home in BC was roughly 3 ½ times that of a home in the area having the lowest average price in Canada, PEI.
  • Average prices were higher in October 2010 than the previous year in every area of Canada except Alberta, PEI and NWT.

The interactive map on this page of the CREA website also allows us to compare average selling prices for a few of the major cities in Canada.  For Edmonton and Calgary this is what we find:

October 2010 October 2009
Edmonton $317,096 $351,768 -$34,672
Calgary $399,679 $393,574 +$ 6,105


Now why, we might ask, did Edmonton prices drop close to 10% during the one-year period between October 2009 and October 2010 while Calgary’s increased more than 1.5%?  The data provided by the Canadian Real Estate Association provide only the bare facts.  Chances are, we’d discover many complex reasons for this disparity:  things like types of property sold (single family homes vs. multi-family dwellings, condos, etc.), the number of homes on the market, along with features of the properties, such as age, size, condition, location, amenities, and many more.  Average home selling prices also don’t tell us about historical price gaps between Calgary and Edmonton, with Calgary prices usually being $50,000 to $60,000 higher than Edmonton.  In the end, determining a home’s value is a complicated business!

Interested in a free home evaluation?  Give me a call today at 780-910-9669 or email me at

Barry Twynam, Realty Executives Leading
#1 14 McLeod Avenue, Spruce Grove, Alberta, T7X 3X3
Tel: 780-962-9696 Cell: 780-910-9669 Fax: 780-962-9699
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