Posts Tagged ‘home sales’

Why Wait for Spring to List Your Home? 9 Reasons to Sell During the Holidays

Monday, December 14th, 2015

Why Wait for Spring to List Your Home? 9 Reasons to Sell During the Holidays | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamYou might think that putting your Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County or Edmonton area home on the market at this time of year is a bad idea. But there are actually many good reasons to list your home during the holiday season.

  1. People shopping for a new home during the winter months tend to be more serious about a home purchase than those looking at other times of the year. They may be in a situation where moving is not an option since January often marks the start of a new job. Buyers are not only more likely to make an offer, but also more likely to meet your list price, especially as people are apt to be in a good mood at this time of year!
  2. Generally, fewer houses are listed at this time of year. This means less competition for your home now than later in the spring when more homes will come on the market.
  3. Many businesses reduce their hours during the holiday season, meaning employees may have time during the work week, not just evenings and weekends, to shop for a new home.
  4. Some buyers may find themselves in a financial situation where it is advantageous for tax or incentive reasons to make their deal before the end of the year.
  5. You’ve probably spent a fair amount of time cleaning, decluttering and decorating your home for the holidays. Why not take advantage of this natural staging when your home is looking its best?
  6. Your home being on the market does not have to interfere with your holiday plans. You always have the option to specify when showings may or may not occur.
  7. Selling now does not necessarily mean you’d have to move now. It is possible to negotiate a later date for buyers to take possession, or to allow you to remain in your home for a longer period of time.
  8. But, if you sell and move to a temporary residence now, with the intention of buying later in the spring, you can do so with money in the bank and without the pressure of having to write an offer that is conditional upon the sale of your current home.
  9. Mortgage rates remain at record lows so there are still many buyers for whom your house just might be the perfect home.


Whether you are looking to buy or sell at any time of the year, I’m here to help. Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at, or contact me here.

4 Tips to Sell Your Home in Any Market

Tuesday, October 20th, 2015

4 Tips to Sell Your Home in Any Market |Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamAre we in a “buyer’s market” yet in the Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County and Edmonton region? Well, sort of. Buyers won’t find super bargain prices this fall, but they will find many more homes on the market and this means greater choice for them. Not such good news if you’re looking to sell your home right now.

As a seller, what are the things that will get your property sold, even against lots of competition?

1. Get your home noticed in today’s world.

List with a REALTOR® who knows the local market and will get your property “out there”. These days it isn’t enough to hammer a “For Sale” sign on the front lawn and post the occasional ad in the local newspaper. In my office, for example, we work hard to ensure that my online presence will get your home seen. You’ll find your listing on my website, on and MLS, on a virtual tour website and blogs, on Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+, Kijiji, and many others.

2. Set a realistic asking price.

Take the advice of your realtor in pricing your property appropriately. Remember that realtors do property evaluations all the time and are very aware of what is selling and for how much. We want to help you get as much for your property as possible. Think about those last two words. Sometimes it just isn’t possible to find a buyer who will see as much value in your property as you do, and unfortunately, a property is only worth as much as a buyer is willing to pay for it. Overpricing is probably the single biggest reason homes languish on the market, and this leads to a dismal spiral that goes like this: House priced too high ► potential buyers pass it by ► house sits on the market for far too long ► price is reduced (sometimes several times) ► potential buyers think there is more wrong with the house than a price that’s too high ► disappointed sellers eventually sell for a lower price than they would have received if the house had been priced right to begin with.

3. Make your home shine and stand out from the competition.

Look at your home through the objective eyes of a prospective buyer who wants to move right into a home that is clean and well-maintained. Then get busy, clean your home thoroughly, and attend to all the little repairs and fix-ups your house needs. Now is not the time to undertake major and expensive renovations that you won’t get to enjoy, but it is certainly the time to replace burnt-out light bulbs, repair broken windows, fix drippy faucets and squeaky hinges, touch up chipped paint, tidy up the yard, etc. etc. etc.!

I have written extensively in the past about the sorts of repairs, upgrades, staging and curb appeal that will sell your home without breaking the bank. Take a look especially at the starred* articles below.
Boost the Value of Your Home With Strategic Updates
Let There Be Light: Enhance Your Home’s Look and Boost Its Resale Value With These Home Lighting Tips
Selling Your House in Spring: Tips That Will Boost Your Home’s Appeal
Selling Your House in the Fall
*Leaner, Cleaner – and Sold!
Drive-by Delight or Disaster?
Use Good “Sense” to Sell Your Home!
*Be Your Own Home Stager
Thinking of Selling Your Home in Spruce Grove, Stony Plain or Parkland County?
Home Staging Starts With De-cluttering
*10 Things I Hate About Your House!

4. Accommodate all viewings from prospective buyers.

Having a constant parade of visitors through your home is stressful if you and your family are still living there. Keeping the place pristine for the lookers while packing for your move and maintaining as normal a family routine as possible is a hard juggling act. But buyers won’t make offers if they can’t get in to see the place so set as few conditions on showings as you can. Be readily available when an offer comes in.

There are many things you can’t control when selling your home, such as its location on a busy corner, or the size of the lot, or its floor plan, or the weather! But if your home is clean and well-maintained, priced right, advertised wherever it can be, and shown to all people who express an interest in it, it will sell.

If you have a property to sell this fall, let’s talk! Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at, or contact me here.

Fall 2015: Thinking of Buying or Selling a Home?

Friday, October 9th, 2015

Fall 2015:  Thinking of Buying or Selling a Home? | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamLots of people in the Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County and Edmonton region are nervous about the Alberta economy and the impact of the upcoming federal election. If you are one of those people, and are holding off on buying a new home or putting your current home on the market, recent statistics from the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton might ease your stress a little.

Selling prices are down somewhat, the number of homes on the market is up a fair bit, and homes are taking a little longer to sell than a year ago, but there is still plenty of room for optimism on both the buying and selling sides. Here’s why.

In September 2014, the selling price for an average single family home in the Edmonton area was $436,429. In September 2015 the price had dropped to $432,150, a decrease of just .98% from the previous year. This seems to suggest that value is there for buyers, while sellers can still expect to receive a fair dollar.

In September 2014 a single family home stayed on the market for an average of 47 days; this year the time has increased, but only slightly, to 51 days. Last September saw 1,568 residential units being sold; this year that number dropped by 6.76% to 1,462. A slower market this year, but still plenty of movement.

A year ago, there were 4,812 units in the residential inventory for the Edmonton area. By September of this year, that number had increased to 7,108, a jump of 47.71%. This means that buyers have considerably more choice when considering their purchase. Sellers have more competition and so may have to put more time and effort into getting their properties ready to sell. But home owners who keep their property well maintained and have reasonable expectations for a selling price should not find this to be a problem. A seller was once the buyer of the property they now have on the market. I continually tell my buyers to consider the resale value of whatever property they are thinking of purchasing. Once they own that property, they should never forget that eventually they will want to sell, and a home that is well maintained and offered for the right price will find a buyer, even if the market seems to be less than ideal.

No matter what the housing market is doing, the best time to buy or sell is when the time is right for you! I’m always available to help you buy or sell. Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at, or contact me here.

January May Be the Best Time to Buy a New Spruce Grove or Stony Plain Home

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

January May Be the Best Time to Buy a New Spruce Grove or Stony Plain Home | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamUsually I tell my clients in Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County and the Edmonton region who are looking to buy a home that the best time to buy is when they’re ready, regardless of what the market is doing. But some new statistics from suggest a certain time of the year is better if you want the lowest price, while another time during the year offers the best selection.

The infographic “5 Year GTA Breakdown – The Best Time to Buy and Sell Your Home”  contains some interesting data. The infographic is based on Toronto home sales, but there is reason to believe things are not so different in our part of the country.

You’ll find the best housing prices in January.

In Toronto at least, the price difference was huge: $16,000 less than the next least expensive month (July) and a whopping $60,000 less than the most expensive month (May). There may be several reasons for this:

• Fewer people are looking to buy a home in January, maybe due to the cold weather or to after-Christmas bills. Fewer buyers = less competition and therefore lower prices.
• Sellers who list their homes in the winter usually do so because they have to sell and may be willing to negotiate a lower price.
• January listings may have been on the market for a while and sellers may feel pressure to sell for a lower price.
• Much smaller inventory of homes on the market means lower prices for buyers.

Highest prices (and best selection) in May.

Reasons for this?

• Better weather means it’s easier to get around, more pleasant to view houses, and easier to move one’s belongings. That means more people shopping for a new home.
• Buying a house in May means a move can happen during the summer, which is generally the choice for families with children needing to change schools. This is equally true for sellers with children and is certainly one of the reasons so many people list their home for sale in the spring.
• More buyers, more homes on the market, more competition all spell higher prices.

House prices correlate inversely with days on the market.

Months that show the lowest prices also generally show the longest time on the market. This can mean good news for buyers; a house that’s been on the market for many months may be owned by someone desperate to sell and willing to look at lower offers.

House prices also correlate with the number of homes on the market.

This almost seems counter-intuitive but the data show that the greater the competition (that is, the more homes there are on the market and the more people looking for homes), the higher the price. Conversely, fewer homes on the market = lower price.

I still recommend to my buying clients that their first consideration should be their personal circumstances, but it doesn’t hurt to be aware of trends such as these!

I’m happy to help you find your new home at any time of the year. Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at, or contact me here.

What’s the Housing Market Like These Days?

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

What's the Housing Market Like These Days? | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamWhen people ask me if it’s a good time to buy a home in Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County or the Edmonton region, I usually tell them that the best time to buy is when they’re ready.  And that answer is true whether the market is up or down and whether the market favors buyers or sellers.

But sometimes it’s useful to take a look at current market statistics if you’re still trying to decide about becoming a homeowner.

The Real Estate Weekly regularly publishes information about residential home sales in our area.  The November 13, 2013 issue has an intriguing title for the most recent summary of market activity:  “Youthful buyers continue to drive housing sales in October”.  Darrell Cook, president of the Realtors® Association of Edmonton, points out that Edmonton residents are a youthful demographic with an average age of 36 and good job prospects so demand for housing remains high.  This translates into a brisk housing market.  In fact, Mr. Cook points out that “total annual sales are the highest they have been for five years and we had the best October in five years as well”.

And what about house prices?  In October 2013, the average single family home sold for $397,613, up 2.5% from a year ago.  The selling price of the average condo, at $235,680, was up 2%.  The total number of residential units sold in October was up a big 7% over the same time last year, while total number of units available for sale was down 3.8% from a year ago and those sold on average 6 days faster (on the market for 54 days compared to 60 days a year ago).

Good news for sellers, yes.  But still a reasonable market for buyers as well.  Buyers at present may need to be a little more organized (mortgage pre-approval in hand), as well as ready to act promptly when they find a house that suits them, but it’s just as possible to find your dream home now as at any other time.

Looking to sell your home?  I’d be happy to do a free home evaluation and advise you on getting it ready to sell.  If you’re in the market to buy a home, let me help you find just the right one!  Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at, or contact me here

Selling Your Home When You Have Pets

Monday, July 29th, 2013

Selling Your Home When You Have Pets | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamLife in our Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County or Edmonton-area homes just wouldn’t be the same without our four-legged companions.  But, even though 6 out of 10 Canadian homes have a dog or cat in residence, we have to pretend those family members never existed when it’s time to sell our homes!  In fact, having a pet in the home (or at least evidence of one) may even lower the price buyers are willing to pay for your home or make it harder to sell.

Why is this?  

Remember that buyers need to be able to visualize themselves as occupants of your home.  The physical presence of an animal along with its furnishings and equipment can start people thinking about all the negative effects of pets in the house (even if they are pet owners themselves):  animal hair, skin and bodily functions, damage to property from teeth and nails, germs!!  What’s more, encountering your pet unexpectedly could frighten potential buyers away from even viewing your home.

What can be done?

  • While it’s inconvenient for you and disruptive for your pet, the best solution during the time your home is on the market is to relocate your pet.  Lodge it with a friend or neighbor, or board it at a kennel.  If this isn’t possible, then you’ll need to always take your pet with you when you vacate your home for showings.  Leaving it in the garage or backyard might seem like a good compromise but not if you are after the best sale of your home.
  • You’ll also need to clear out all signs that an animal lives in your home.  This means packing up cat litter boxes and bags of litter or puppy training pads, pet toys and leashes, pet food, bowls and feeders, pet cages, carriers and bedding.  Remove any photos of your pet.
  • Mega-cleaning!  Special effort may be needed to remove pet stains from carpet and pet odors from the air.  Enzyme cleaners and lots of elbow grease and fresh air will help.  Consider hiring professional carpet cleaners, furnace duct cleaning companies and the like.  Don’t rely on air fresheners and deodorizers as these will only make people wonder what you are trying to cover up.

Your pet-proof and “pet-friendly” home (see my blog article “Your Pet-Friendly Home ) has both positive and negative aspects when it’s time to sell.  On the one hand, if your home is carpet-free, furnished with easy to clean materials, and so on, you may not have to do too much extra in the cleaning department.  On the other hand, if you have made any pet-accommodating modifications to your home, such as doggie doors, cat ramps (special stairs up the wall), window sill platforms, or outdoor dog and cat runs, you may have to reverse these.  You might think that special additions to your home to accommodate pets would be a selling feature for other pet owners, and this might be true in some cases.  But it’s always better to try to appeal to the largest number of potential buyers possible.  That means presenting your home in as neutral a fashion as you can.

It is possible to sell your home quickly and for a good price even with a pet in residence.  As with most things connected with real estate sales, it just takes a little work and preparation!

Please also visit my Pinterest board “Pets and Your Home”.

What else could sellers with pets do to entice buyers?  Let me know what you think!  Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at, or contact me here.


Housing Market Boom or Bust in Alberta?

Thursday, April 4th, 2013

 | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamHousing Market Boom or Bust in Alberta?My clients in the Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County and Edmonton area often ask me if “now” is a good time to buy a new home.  My answer to that question usually involves telling them that the best time to buy is when they feel ready to do so, no matter what the market is doing.  That may sound like a weasel answer but I believe people’s own finances and their needs and wants in housing are better for decision-making than any attempts to time or predict the market.

But “now” is an interesting time to be dealing in real estate in Alberta.  You’ve probably seen the gloomy news reports that the Canadian housing market is due for a major correction with house prices set to fall by about 20%.  That is not the case here!

In a recent article in the Edmonton Journal entitled “Alberta’s housing market still hot, whatever the media say”, Gary Lamphier reports on a conversation with Don Campbell, senior analyst and founding partner with the Real Estate Investment Network (REIN).  Mr. Campbell advises would-be sellers and buyers to “chill out”, suggesting that there is no such thing as a Canadian real estate market, but rather that each locality has its own unique market and conditions.  He goes even further when commenting about the Alberta market, saying that economic and demographic factors here are ripe for another housing boom, not bust.  He notes Alberta’s population continues to grow as workers come into the province while apartment vacancy rates shrink.  Many of these workers will decide to make Alberta their permanent home and that means they’ll be buying houses sometime in the next 2 to 7 years, fueling demand for houses and the subsequent rise in prices.

You may have heard or read that prices in Alberta have flat-lined so how can the dream of a new housing boom be true?  Mr. Campbell says Alberta’s boom-bust economy and the accompanying anxiety in people’s minds is to blame for this skepticism, along with tougher mortgage qualification rules and the negative national news.  He points out that Alberta’s population growth in 2012 was nearly triple the national average, putting a strain on housing capacity.  This situation tends to cause prices to rise.  While the average price of a house in Edmonton (about $401,000 in February) is still not as high as the peak prices in 2007, prices are definitely on the rise, according to another article entitled “Home prices flirt with record highs of ‘07”.

All of this suggests to me that now is indeed a good time to buy!

Let me help you find the home that’s just right for you.  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. 


Something Extra to Sell Your Home

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

Something Extra to Sell Your Home | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamYour Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County or Edmonton area home is now on the market.  You’ve listened to all the advice and done everything you reasonably can to make sure it shows well.  You’ve thoroughly cleaned and de-cluttered, you’ve made all the minor repairs, and maybe you’ve even undertaken a few renovations that give a fairly good return on investment, such as repainting inside and out where needed.  As your REALTOR®, I’ll do everything I can to market your home [see my blog article on this:  So, You Signed the Listing Contract…]  But, is there anything else you can do to help your house sell fast and for a good price? 

Here’s an idea for something that’s a little unusual, and beyond what most people do.  Work with me to prepare a Question and Answer sheet about your home and neighborhood to leave in your home for visitors. 

Potential buyers are going to have questions about your property and its location so why not anticipate those questions and provide the answers as a unique way of showcasing your home and its value.  Some possibilities:

    • Your utility suppliers and the cost of utilities, together with your “utility site number”
    • Renovations and repairs you’ve undertaken – maybe include things such as contractors you used, dates, cost and details of renos (such as kitchen and bathroom re-dos, basement finishing, replacement of such things as shingles, flooring, windows), paint brands and color names or numbers, etc.
    • The appliances in your home – age, brand, warranties, etc.  (Remember to leave the manuals when you move!)
    • Shrubs and plants around your yard
    • What do you love about your home? 

What would potential buyers want to know about the location of your home?  Think about what drew you to the neighborhood and your community.  How about:

    • Nearby amenities, such as schools, parks, walking trails, convenience stores, gas stations, shopping centres, medical clinics and the like, plus distance to each
    • Appealing characteristics of your neighborhood, such as low crime, helpful neighbors, wide boulevard, quiet and privacy, or maybe close access to essential services, and so on
    • The community at large – for example, the website where a potential resident could learn about the makeup of your town, special features that make your community unique, such as its history, tourist attractions, famous citizens and so on. 

With so many homes on the market, it pays to highlight yours in a unique way, and have it stand out from the rest.  Together, we can get your home sold! 

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

Use Good “Sense” to Sell Your Home!

Monday, November 19th, 2012

 | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamUse Good "Sense" to Sell Your Home!Your Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County or Edmonton area home is now up for sale, and you’ve made it look as good as you possibly can.  You’ve moved out a ton of stuff so that the rooms look more spacious.  You’ve tidied up every storage space from the black hole of your teenage son’s closet to that great little cubbyhole under the stairs that has held all kinds of things you couldn’t bear to part with till now.  You’ve touched up all the paint chips, washed all the windows till they sparkle, and arranged the furniture just so.  Your house looks great. 

Your home’s appearance is very important in the home selling process.  But have you considered the other senses that prospective buyers will use when they visit your home? 

  • Smell.  It’s said that someone considering buying your home will make a decision, especially a negative one, in the first few seconds through the door.  And that negative choice could be because of a powerful reaction to the odors in your home.  You may love cooking with exotic flavors but last night’s garlic or fish or curry could massively turn off a prospective buyer.  Seek out and destroy other odors as well:  ashtrays (and other evidence of smoking in the home), laundry hampers, garbage cans and recycling bins, toilets, diaper pails, pet paraphernalia such as cat litter box, bird cage, dog bed, and so on.  Do NOT attempt to cover up the odors with artificial air freshener products!  Instead, clean your home thoroughly and allow fresh air in.  Fresh fragrant flowers help too.
  • Hearing.  Squeaky hinges, creaky floor boards, rattles and squeals in appliances, tree branches that rub against the building in the wind, all suggest minor maintenance issues and possibly a lack of care that should have been attended to before the home went on the market.  Even wind chimes can turn off some buyers.  Noise is a no-no!
  • Touch.  If a potential buyer runs her finger across a window sill or the top of a door and it comes away black, well… that’s not going to leave a very good impression.  Likewise with sticky counter tops and door handles, or crunchy floors.  Clean, especially spotless, immaculate, mother-in-law clean, not only sells houses faster but can even make up for some other minor deficiencies. 

Today’s buyers are looking for a home they can move into without having to do anything to erase traces of the previous owners.  Appealing to all the senses is a good strategy to ensure your home shows to its very best advantage, sells quickly and for the best price.   

For more tips and hints to make your home market-ready, check out some of my other blog articles:

Be Your Own Home Stager

Thinking of Selling Your Home in Spruce Grove, Stony Plain or Parkland County?

Home Staging Starts With De-cluttering 

10 Things I Hate About Your House!

Comments or questions about this article or real estate in general?  Call or text me 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
© Copyright 2011, Real Estate Websites by Redman Technologies Inc. | Privacy Policy | Sitemap
The data included on this website is deemed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed to be accurate by the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton
Trademarks used under license from CREA