Archive for March, 2013

A Piece of Advice for Landlords in Alberta

Monday, March 25th, 2013

 | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamA Piece of Advice for Landlords in AlbertaAs a realtor in the Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County and Edmonton region, I help people buy and sell property.  But I also own several revenue properties myself, and that experience has taught me a few things about dealing with people in rental situations.

Being a landlord in Alberta can be rewarding and daunting.  I recently took a 12-hour course from the Edmonton-area Landlord and Tenant Advisory Board(Call them at 780-496-5959 or visit their website where you will find lots of good information.  As well, tenancy forms are available for sale including tenancy application, tenancy agreement, inspection report and notices).  I am one of those people who try to focus on the most important points of such a course and keep them in the front of my mind.  No doubt you have heard the saying that the three most important things in real estate are location, location, location.  What’s the most important thing to remember as a landlord?   At the end of this course, what I concluded as a landlord was:  Put all tenants on a “fixed-term lease”.

A fixed-term lease has a start date and an end date of the lease.  Unless the lease is extended beyond the end date, the tenant is expected to vacate the property on that date.  No notice is required; the lease IS the notice.  This is beneficial to a landlord in many ways.  It gives you an opportunity to see what a tenant is really like.  A bad tenant can be both financially and emotionally draining.  Initially, I put all my tenants on a 3-month lease.  That is usually enough time to figure out what you have.  If they appear to be good tenants, I may extend the lease period to perhaps 6 months or a year.

There is one technicality that you should remember.  If you have tenants on a fixed-term lease and the lease expires and you take the next month’s rent without signing them onto another fixed-term lease, then the lease converts by default to a month-to-month lease.  Then your hassle factor increases dramatically when you try to evict a bad tenant or sell the property. I advise everyone to put their tenants on fixed-term leases. 

I talked to three people this past week who were trying to get rid of bad tenants: chronically late rent, damage to the home, people living in the house who were not on the lease…. My first question is always:  Are the tenants on a fixed-term lease?  Guess what the answer was in all 3 instances?  Now the landlords have to go through a daunting process requiring them to give various notices in a proper and timely fashion (if not given properly, they are null and void), perhaps bringing their problems to a judge and maybe or maybe not getting an order to vacate, and so on.

My best advice to landlords?  Put your tenants on FIXED-TERM LEASES.

Comments or questions about this article?  Please call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at, or contact me here. 

How We Market Your Home

Monday, March 4th, 2013

 | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamHow We Market Your HomeHow do we go about changing the “For Sale” sign on your home in Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County or the Edmonton area into “Sold”? 

Once you’ve signed the Listing Contract and your house is officially “on the market”, lots of things take place in my office to make sure that as many realtors and potential buyers as possible are aware of it. 

First of all, I post your listing (detailed description of your property, pictures and measurements I took during my visit, other particulars such as asking price, annual property taxes, neighborhood features and so on) to the Multiple Listing Service, or MLS®.  This powerful online service immediately makes your property’s information available to the thousands of realtors working in the Edmonton region.  They, in turn, can make this information available to their clients who might be looking for a property like yours.  Clients who create a customized search profile listing their desired property features can opt to receive automated “highlight sheets” showing properties available for sale that match what they are looking for.  Potential buyers can also search MLS listings directly by using their realtor’s website or by going to or

Back at the Realty Executives Leading office, a full-color printed “window ad” showing a picture of your home and a verbal description is posted in the front window of our building so that passers-by and visitors to the office can see the properties listed for sale by the realtors from our office.  Using a graphic designer, I may also create a glossy color highlight sheet featuring several photos of your home’s best features for potential buyers to pick up when they are viewing your home with a realtor. 

I advertise most of my listings every week in the local newspapers, the Grove Examiner in Spruce Grove and the Stony Plain Reporter in Stony Plain.  I also place ads in the Real Estate Weekly (circulation 60,000) published by the Realtors Association of Edmonton.  Printed copies of the Real Estate Weekly are inserted in home-delivered newspapers and sent out to newsstands selling the Edmonton Sun, as well as high traffic food stores, banks and real estate offices all around the Edmonton area.   Websites for all three of these publications mean an even greater possible audience for this advertising. 

I make extensive use of technology in marketing your property, featuring my listings on my website, my Facebook Business Page, my Activerain blogand my Pinterest board of listings.  I also post ads on Kijiji and create special in-house virtual tours, using software called VisualTour, that are attached to my MLS listings.  

Special mention needs to be made of my website,  Buyers searching for “Spruce Grove real estate”, “Stony Plain real estate” or “Parkland County real estate” will find my website consistently showing up in the top organic search results on Google.  The potential exists for your home to be viewed online by thousands of visitors every day. 

While we still put a For Sale sign on your front lawn and maybe stage an open house, you can see that today’s real estate marketing goes well beyond traditional sales methods! 

Looking to sell your home?  I can help!  Call me today at 780-910-9669, email me at, or contact me here. 


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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