Posts Tagged ‘stony plain homes’

The Home Rental Market in Spruce Grove and Stony Plain

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

The Home Rental Market in Spruce Grove and Stony Plain | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamThe reasons for renting a home, rather than buying one, are as varied as the people looking for a place to live so it’s probably no surprise that there is always a market for such properties.  People moving into an area may choose to rent while they get a feel for the local real estate market.  If you are a renter, here are a few things to know about houses for rent in Spruce Grove and Stony Plain for Fall 2011.

“What can I expect to pay for rent these days?”

At the moment, a standard 3-bedroom house in Spruce Grove or Stony Plain rents for $1300 to $2000 per month.  As with purchased real estate, factors such as location, age of the home, and features like a garage will determine price.  A newer half duplex or townhouse may rent for $1300 to $1600, while an apartment-style condo may run $1200 to $1600.  A 2 or 3 bedroom apartment may cost upwards of $950 per month, while a basement suite may run around $700 per month.  In general, rents are comparable to those in Edmonton, or possibly a little cheaper.

“What will be included in my rent?”

If you’re renting a detached house, expect to pay for all services yourself.  If you’re looking for an apartment, usually water/sewer services and heat will be included in your rent; you’ll be responsible for power, phone, TV, internet services, and the like.  This applies to condos as well, with the landlord usually picking up the tab for condo fees.  Basement suite rentals may come with some kind of shared utility arrangement.  Of course, in a rental market where there are lots of properties for rent and fewer renters, landlords may offer various incentives, such as free cable and internet.  At the present time, we are experiencing a tight rental market with plenty of competition among renters so don’t expect to find too many of these deals.  Note that no matter what you rent, your landlord will pay the property taxes and insurance on his property, but it’s a very good idea for you to have your own renter’s insurance.

“What conditions can a landlord impose on the rental?”

Landlords can ask for first month’s rent up front, along with a returnable security deposit of up to one month’s rent.  They are allowed to set conditions such as no pets or no smoking inside the residence, and can designate the premises as “adults only”, or “no overnight guests”.  The landlord will likely have you sign a rental agreement outlining details about the rent and security deposit, inspections, termination notices, and other responsibilities of both parties.  This rental agreement will also specify who is legally allowed to live in the premises.  You will probably be asked to provide references and a credit report (obtainable online from agencies such as Equifax and TransUnion).  Expect to complete and sign move in/move out inspection reports.  For more information on this topic visit the following websites:

Laws for Tenants in Alberta – Laws for Landlords in Alberta

Renting in Alberta – CMHC

“How do I find out what’s available to rent in Spruce Grove and Stony Plain?”

A good place to start looking is in the Classified Ads, both print and online, found in the local newspapers, the Grove Examiner and the Stony Plain Reporter.  Both communities are also home to a number of property management companies, such as TRC Management and Gateway Property Management.  Kijiji online ads are another good source.

“Where can I get more information about the communities of Spruce Grove and Stony Plain?”

Check out the official websites for Spruce Grove  and Stony Plain.  Browse my Business Directory, Community Connections, to get a taste for what the local area has to offer.

If you’ve been renting for a while and are now ready to buy a home in Spruce Grove, Stony Plain or Parkland County, I’d be happy to help!  Call me at 780-910-9669, email me at, or contact me here

The Ick Factor

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

The Ick Factor | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamThink your house in Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County or the Edmonton area is clean?  Read “The Germiest Spots in Your Home” posted at and discover some surprising places you might not have thought were dirty, as well as some cleaning tips to banish the bad bugs.  Now excuse me while I go wash my hands!

Give me a call at 780-910-9669, email me at, or contact me here for help in finding the perfect home or acreage, or selling your treasured property. 

Battery Myths

Thursday, July 7th, 2011

Battery Myths | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamOver the years I have done my share of renovating houses.  Consequently, I have managed to amass quite a number of tools.  Where possible, I prefer to use cordless tools.  And just like people’s misconceptions about real estate, whether buying or selling homes and acreages in Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County, the Edmonton area or elsewhere, there are misunderstandings about how one should treat rechargeable batteries.

We were led to believe that early rechargeable batteries had a “memory problem”.  You always had to draw down the battery completely.  The battery would remember the last charge and would only charge to whatever the previous charge was.  So, if you only charged your battery 10% previously but you now needed a 90% charge, the memory in the battery would only let you charge the battery 10%.

I recently found an article [quoted below] called “Battery Myths 2011” published by Makita.  It explains how you should treat the batteries for your cordless tools and it spells out that if you treat your batteries as I used to up until I read this, you will reduce both the performance and the life expectancy of your cordless batteries.

Battery Myths | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamBattery Myths 2011

Battery Myths – Questions & Answers (from Makita)

 1.  What will cause my batteries to have a reduced life?

There are a number of situations that will reduce battery life.  Some examples are prolonged exposure to extreme temperature conditions, over discharging the battery (running them completely dead), and incomplete charging.  These are the three most common situations.

 2.  Do batteries have “memory”?

Makita brand batteries are of the highest quality and latest proven technology.  In almost all applications for cordless tools, memory or cell set will not occur.  The only possible way to create this effect in a battery is to put exactly the same load on a battery and discharge it to exactly the same point repeatedly.  This can only happen in Nickel-Cadmium and Nickel-Metal-Hydride batteries used in auto-shutoff tools in a manufacturing environment where the tool is used repeatedly in the same process.

3.  Should I run my batteries completely out (i.e. “dead”) before charging them?

No!  This is one of the worst things you can do to a battery.  It is a common misconception that you do this to eliminate “memory” in a battery.  This is referred to as “Over Discharging”.

 4.  How does Over Discharging harm a battery?

Over discharging a battery occurs when a battery is used after reaching its predefined limit of low capacity.  This may result in a cell reversal which occurs when one of the cells in sequence discharges ahead of the rest.  This causes a reverse current to be applied to the discharged cell and the polarity of the battery to invert, resulting in a shortened battery life.

 5.  When is the best time to recharge a battery?

When you notice that your tools begin to slow down or labour, it is time to charge your battery.  Ideally you should allow your battery to cool down for 5-10 minutes before you begin charging.  You must allow the charger to fully charge the battery before removing it from the charger.

6.  How does Over Charging harm a battery?

Overcharging a battery happens when a battery is charged longer than is required, resulting in heat buildup that can damage the battery cells, resulting in a shortened battery life.

7.  Will it harm my battery if I remove it from the charger before the charge is complete?

Yes, this will greatly reduce the life of any battery.

8.  Does storing batteries in a cold environment (e.g. refrigerator or freezer) extend the battery life?

No!  This will increase the rate of discharge in the battery and in the long run will damage the cells inside the battery pack.  Batteries perform better in a warm environment.  The optimum temperature range for using and storing batteries is between 10 and 40 degrees Celsius.

 9.  I just bought a new battery and it is dead.  Why?

Batteries that have been idle for a period of time will lose their charge.  If you have a new battery that does not perform well (i.e. it doesn’t hold a charge), it has been idle for a long period of time.  This does not mean that the battery is defective.  Batteries will self discharge while idle.  To bring the battery back to its normal state, you may have to charge and discharge the battery a number of times (up to 8 charge cycles).  You must run the battery down to the point where you notice your tool begin to labour and then fully charge the battery.  After repeatedly charging the battery, it should return to a normal state.

 10.   What is the ideal situation for operating battery powered (cordless) tools?

Have a spare (or several spare) battery available.  Alternating batteries will reduce each battery’s work load and will increase operational efficiency.  The ideal scenario for battery use is to have four or more batteries being run through a sequence.  Battery 1 is being used in the tool.  Battery 2 is cooling down after use and is awaiting charging.  Battery 3 is charging.  Battery 4 has been charged and is awaiting use in the tool.  When Battery 1 begins to slow down, the cycle is initiated and that battery moves to the charger.  This way, none of the batteries in the series are being over discharged or experience heat buildup due to constant use and charging.

The Makita article quoted above is included as a leaflet with the purchase of a Makita cordless tool.  It does not appear to be online.  If any of my readers, or maybe a representative of Makita, could give me a more complete citation for this article so that I can credit it properly, I would appreciate it.  Please call me at 780-910-9669, email me at, or contact me here.

Top 10 Reasons to Grow a Garden This Year

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

Top 10 Reasons to Grow a Garden This Year | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamNever grown a vegetable garden in the back yard of your Stony Plain or Spruce Grove home?  This article, reprinted in its entirety with the permission of the fine folks at the Brazeau 100 km Kitchen Party, may make you decide this is the year to do it!  The article was found on page 26 of the publication Eat Local Goodness 2011.

Get Growing and Reap the Rewards

Here are the top 10 reasons to grow a garden this year: 

  1.  Save money.  The average family can save an average of $500 per year on groceries by planting and maintaining an average garden.  Preserve some of the produce and watch your grocery bills plummet, even in the middle of winter!
  2. Fresh produce tastes better Ever notice the difference in taste between a fresh home-grown tomato and a tomato bought at the supermarket?
  3. Stay fit All the bending and lifting involved in maintaining a garden, from planting seeds to pulling weeds to harvesting fresh produce can really have an impact on overall health.
  4. Get more nutrients.  From the time produce is picked off the plant to the time it is eaten, nutrients are lost.  The fresher fruits or vegetables are, the more nutrients they provide.
  5. Save time A few minutes a day can go a long way toward producing an amazing amount of fruits and vegetables.  Compare a few minutes a day to the time it would take to get in the car, go to the supermarket, select produce, pay for it, and bring it home, and you’ll see you’ll actually save time by growing a garden.
  6. Teach children with the garden.  Children love to know where things come from, especially food.  What easier way to show a child where green beans come from than to show them the plant the green beans are growing on?
  7. Keep children healthy.  Children are more apt to eat something when they are given the opportunity to prepare the food.  Preparing food from seed is about as close as you can get to the basic fundamentals of food.  Encourage children to come outside and help in the garden and they will  not only be spending time outdoors and learning where their food comes from, but also helping you to save some time in the garden by pulling weeds, planting seeds, and harvesting produce.
  8. Help save the environment.  Most produce found in a supermarket is not naturally grown and many chemicals, including pesticides, are used to help the food grow.  Semi trucks are used to transport the food from the farm to the grocery store.  Most people drive a car to the grocery store to pick up the food.  Now picture how much better for the environment it would be to walk outside the back door into the naturally-grown garden and pick some fruit or vegetables for the family.
  9. Increase your home’s value.  Certain well-established perennials can actually increase the value of a home.  Blueberry bushes and grape vines are excellent examples of edible perennials that actually add value to the home.
  10. It’s easy.  Growing a garden is not as difficult as some might lead you to believe.  With proper planning, an amazingly productive garden can sustain a family with very little actual work done.  Gardening is not back-breaking labour, but instead a fun activity the whole family can enjoy!


Comments or questions about this article, or anything connected with real estate?  I would love to hear from you.  Phone me at 780-910-9669, email me at, or contact me here.

Stony Plain: Top 9 Reasons to Live Here

Monday, August 16th, 2010

Stony Plain:  Top 9 Reasons to Live Here |Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry Twynam

1. Location

Real estate’s number one criterion really plays out in Stony Plain.  Located within Parkland County 8 km west of Spruce Grove and 17 km west of Edmonton, Stony Plain has easy access to all the amenities of both cities.  The town retains its rural roots while offering modern transportation options via Highways 16, 16A and 43, as well as rail and bus links.  Travel times:  roughly ½ hour east to Edmonton (great for commuters), an hour to the Edmonton International Airport, 3 hours west to Jasper, 3½ hours south to Calgary, 4 hours north to Grande Prairie.  Take a look at Stony Plain’s official website.

2. Lifestyle

Quiet small town atmosphere, 14,000 friendly residents, safe and secure streets, along with every convenience of modern life.

3. Neighborhoods

Many towns claim to cater to every taste and budget but Stony Plain truly does have something for everyone:  condos and low-rise apartment buildings in Downtown Stony Plain, mobile and modular homes in Meridian Meadows, all the way up to luxury homes on acreage properties within town limits in Country Plains Estates.

4. 100+ Years of History (a website that has regrettably been discontinued) had this to say:  “The Town has a pride in its history which began in 1881 when the first homestead in the area was documented. In 1892 the area was known as Dog Rump Creek until a post office was named for the region and it became Stony Plain. In 1907, Stony Plain’s first Sheriff, Israel Umbach, made national headlines when he chained a locomotive to the railway tracks for non-payment of taxes and changed the course of history. In 1908 Stony Plain was officially incorporated as a town. Stony Plain’s history is kept alive through its murals program, numerous historic sites, and the Multicultural Heritage Centre.”   Interested in learning more about the rich history and interesting tales of this area?  Check out Along the Fifth: A History of Stony Plain and District.

5. Unique Downtown Character and Hospitality

Stony Plain:  Top 9 Reasons to Live Here |Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry Twynam

Twenty-six larger-than-life outdoor murals, historic buildings such as the Stony Plain Hotel which dates from 1906, quaint shops, and one-of-a-kind restaurants make it a treat to stroll through the downtown core of “The Town with the Painted Past”.

6. Multicultural Heritage Centre

Stony Plain:  Top 9 Reasons to Live Here |Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamSo much to explore!   Housed in two buildings, the Old Brick School built in 1925 and the Oppertshauser House which dates from 1910, the Multicultural Heritage Centre with its beautiful landscaped grounds and gardens features displays and exhibits of local history and pioneer life, a gift shop and art gallery, Wild Rose Library and archives, and the much-loved Homesteader’s Kitchen restaurant, famous among locals for its fresh pies!  Also worth a visit is Stony Plain’s Pioneer Museum (5120 – 43 Ave) which hosts the Pioneer Harvest and Old Time Threshing Bee in September.

7. Festivals

Summer festivals reflect Stony Plain’s strong rural traditions.  Late May/early June features Farmers’ Days and Kinsmen Rodeo, complete with parade, midway, carnival games, arm wrestling competition and more old-fashioned fun.  The Blueberry Bluegrass and Country Music Festival, attracting well-known names and world-class performers, takes place each July (celebrating 25 years in 2010), followed in August by the Cowboy Poetry Gathering.

8. Farmers’ Markets

Fresh fruits and vegetables, homemade goodies, and handmade craft items are in abundance every Saturday morning 9 AM to 1 PM from mid-spring to early winter at the Stony Plain Farmers Market at the Stony Plain Community Centre (5008 – 51 Avenue) and at the Heritage Farmers’ Market (located at the Multicultural Heritage Centre).

9. Recreation

Everything you can imagine!  Sports of all kinds for all ages (soccer, hockey, baseball, basketball, golf, curling, skating, skiing, martial arts, BMX, you name it!), gymnastics, dancing, clubs of every description, and much more.  For specific details visit the Community Connections section of my website  and scroll down to Sports and Recreation.  But there’s more.  Stony Plain also has an extensive parks and trail system running through town, and is just a few minutes away from the TransAlta Tri Leisure Centre  with its spectacular sports facilities and the Chickakoo Lake Recreation Area in Parkland County, as well as numerous other lakes and campgrounds.

Stony Plain:  Top 9 Reasons to Live Here |Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamWhat a great place to live, wouldn’t you agree?  Contact me now for your Stony Plain Real Estate needs.

What is a Market Evaluation?

Monday, June 21st, 2010

What is a Market Evaluation? |Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry Twynam

A Market Evaluation is a comparison of your home, whether in Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County acreage properties, the Edmonton area or elsewhere, with homes that are currently on the market or were recently on the market. They include “Active Listings”, “Expired Listings” and properties that have recently “Sold”.

 “Active Listings” are homes currently on the market that are similar to yours and are considered to be your competition.

“Expired Listings” are properties that were on the market but didn’t sell.  There can be a number of reasons for a property not selling:  poor marketing, bad location, a house that needs extensive work…   But the main reason that a house doesn’t sell is the price was too high.  There are generally buyers for most segments of the housing market, if the price is right.  There are also strategic ways of adjusting the price of a listed property, usually downwards, while it is on the market.

Recently “Sold” properties that compare closely to your house probably tell the most about how much your house is worth.  These are properties that buyers felt were the best value for them, given the choices available to them at the time. Now if one of those houses that “Sold” were next door to your home, sold yesterday, was built in the same year, same square footage, identical lot, same development and layout, same parking amenities, same number of bathrooms and bedrooms, same basement development, same condition… and was exposed to the market for all to see and then sold, then you would have a really good idea of what your home should sell for.

However, it is never that simple.  So we compare similar homes (“Active”, “Expired” or “Sold”) and we make adjustments to the probable value of your home, either up or down), to compensate for the differences.  The more homes we compare yours with, the better idea we have of the true value of your home.  Some examples would be: busy street versus a quiet cul de sac, larger home compared to a smaller home, large to small lot, extensively renovated compared to everything being original, in let’s say a 20 year old home.  And if you are fair and honest in these comparisons, adding value or subtracting value, one can start to visualize how much your home is worth.

Usually when I do a market evaluation I bring along all the relevant comparisons, full highlight sheets of “Active Listings”, “Expired Listings” and recently “Sold Listings”.  Although I could select a few properties that closely compare and then have a computer program break down averages (days on the market, square footage, number of bedrooms, etc), I find it more informative to show my clients everything I see and explain to them how I analyzed the information to come up with what I think their home is worth.  It is surprising how people will comprehend a seemingly complex calculation when given all the information, and a slight tutorial on how to analyze the information at hand.

See also the article on entitled “What is Fair Market Value?”

If you are thinking of selling your home in Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County or the Edmonton area, I would be pleased to do a Market Evaluation for you.  Please call me at 780-910-9669, or email me at

Not intended to solicit properties currently listed.

Maintain the Value of Your Home by Doing It Yourself

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

The single most valuable item most of us will ever own is our home, whether in Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County, the Edmonton area, or elsewhere.  It makes sense – and money, when it comes time to sell our property – to keep it up to date and in good repair.

Every home repair and maintenance job could be hired out to a professional tradesman.  Most of us don’t have the expertise or tools to tackle a job like replacing eavestroughs or reshingling the roof or repairing the springs on an automatic garage door opener.

Maintain the Value of Your Home by Doing It Yourself |Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry Twynam

But the average homeowner doesn’t always have to go to the trouble and expense of locating and employing a professional.  A little instruction and practice make many home improvement and repair jobs fairly easy and even fun to do.  One word of caution however:  If you do decide to do the job yourself, the finished product must look as though it was done by a pro!

Where do you go to get the information and help you need so you can do it yourself?

Did we miss anything?  Do you know of a source of good information or website that we should include in this article?

Comments or questions are always welcome!  Phone me at 780-910-9669, email me at, or contact me here

Should You Renovate Before You Sell?

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

Learn Which Home Renovations Give You the Best Return

It’s time to sell, and you want to get as much value from your Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County or Edmonton area home as possible. What home improvements will make that happen?

Should You Renovate Before You Sell?  |Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamMost people buying a home want to move into a property that looks new. If you’ve been thinking of selling your home, you’ve probably heard the following advice. Before you put your home on the real estate market, make all necessary minor repairs. Fix that dripping faucet, oil that creaky kitchen cupboard hinge, tack down that loose carpet edge. Give your home a thorough cleaning inside and out. Wash the floors and walls (including the insides of all cupboards and closets), get the carpets cleaned, shine all the windows and mirrors, and, above all, get rid of clutter so that your home looks as spacious and welcoming as possible.

But these are mostly cosmetic touches, much like a woman’s eye shadow and lipstick when she goes out for the evening. What if your property needs the real estate equivalent of Botox injections or, worse, open heart surgery to bring it back to its brand new appearance and structure? If you invest the money to do major repairs, such as reshingling the roof, or to do major updates, like remodeling that ugly old bathroom, will you get your money back through a higher selling price?

The truth is – maybe, but more likely not. Renovating just before you sell is a risky proposition. Any improvements you make to your property may make it more attractive to buyers which may result in a faster sale – or even determine whether it sells at all. You may get a higher selling price than you would have before the renovations. But it turns out that most renovations will not increase the value of the property by 100% of the retail cost of professionally done renovations, with a couple of exceptions.

Ergil & Jackson Appraisals Ltd. (formerly Henderson & Butt) in their Home Renovation Guide include an extensive list of renovations together with the approximate cost, and the possible returns on investment in both percentages and dollar amounts. Their calculations are based on a hypothetical 1200 square foot bungalow located in the city of Edmonton and hiring out the work.

According to this guide, most renovation projects, small or large, will net you a return of only 50 to 75% of your investment.

New cedar shake shingles for your roof? Expect to lay out between $10,400 and $18,200. The return? Anywhere from 50 to 70%, or $5,200 to $12,740. Depending on the condition of the roof, it might be better to simply disclose to prospective buyers that the roof needs repair.

You’ve probably heard that kitchens and bathrooms sell homes. A bathroom remodel, using standard quality new fixtures, flooring and ceramic tile, might set you back between $10,000 and $16,000. But you’ll get that back when you sell, won’t you? Not according to the guide, which says this type of renovation will bring you a return of just 60 to 80%, or between $6,000 and $12,800. Doesn’t seem worth it, does it?

And it gets worse, with some renovations giving you as low as a 0 to 10% return (adding a skylight, installing an alarm system, putting in a garburator or air conditioning). Some renovations, such as adding a sauna or an outdoor hot tub or swimming pool, might even make your property harder to sell!

So which renovations are the best compromise between making your home look its best and giving you a high return on your investment? Improvements that give you a return of at least 70% include:

  •  Exterior siding of artificial masonry brick: 70 to 100%
  • New roof shingles (asphalt, rubber or metal): 70 to 90%
  • Average quality kitchen remodel: 70 to 85%
  • New furnace: 75 to 90%
  • In-suite laundry added to condominium: 95 to 100%
  • Electrical service upgrade: at least 90%
  • Garage: 70 to 100%

Saving the best for last:
There is one renovation that will give you your money back, and then some. Good old-fashioned paint, one of the easiest and cheapest renovation projects, especially if you do it yourself, could give you back up to 110% of your investment. Watch for painting instructions and tips in future blog entries.

Check out Ergil & Jackson’s other suggestions and advice.

***A word of caution about renovations in general: Remember that, whether you hire someone or do it yourself, the finished product must always look as though a professional did the work. If you are thinking about renovating before you sell, talk to your realtor about the kind of return you can expect for all your hard work.

For more tips on selling your home, visit the Sellers Guide section of my website.

Comments or questions are always welcome! Email me at, call me at 780-910-9669 or contact me here.

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

Tuesday, December 1st, 2009

Thinking of Selling Your Home in Spruce Grove, Stony Plain or Parkland County? |Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamSo it’s time to sell your Spruce Grove home or Stony Plain real estate in Parkland County.

You should do well considering the unprecedented property appreciation in the Spruce Grove, Stony Plain and Parkland County area over the last few years.

When getting ready to sell, there are things you need to think about. When in a buyer’s market, you need to be the best priced and best home for the money on the market. Your home needs to show well which means clutter free and well kept.

Most home buyers are already over committed and may not be looking for a home that needs major repairs or improvements upon moving (not counting having the money available to do repairs, especially first time home buyers). Take a look at your home as if you were in the market to buy. The following are a few ideas and hints to help you maximize the amount of money you can get for your home.

How does your home look from the street?

That is where prospective buyers will be when they first look at your home and form that all important first impression. Try some of the following:

  • remove clutter from your yard;
  • consider buying some potted plants to make your yard more eye appealing. Mow your lawn regularly. Pick up after your pets;
  • clean your windows and siding;
  • ensure your eaves are clear and in good repair;
  • do any necessary painting, staining and sealing;
  • do your outside lights work, replace any burnt out bulbs;
  • do you have wood trim around your house, paint or stain if required;

Now let’s go indoors.

You want a buyer to see a neat, clean, well lit interior. Get clutter out of sight (you never want a house to feel smaller than it is). Ensure carpets are clean and floors are scrubbed and polished and that walls and baseboards show clean and bright. Make sure lights work and are free of cobwebs. You want your home to look spacious, bright and fresh.

  • check stairs for loose boards, ripped carpeting, missing or loose handrails;
  • ensure doors open and shut properly;
  • make sure closets look spacious and organized;
  • keep furniture to a minimum so that rooms do not appear smaller than they are.

Thinking of Selling Your Home in Spruce Grove, Stony Plain or Parkland County? |Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamTake a sniff. Are there any unpleasant odors in your home? If so track them down and eliminate them.

If you have a lot of family memorabilia, consider thinning it out or start packing it.  Remember, you are moving. You want prospective buyers to see themselves living in your home. That mental picture becomes more difficult for them if your house resembles a shrine to you and your family.

Kitchens and Bathrooms

Two of the most important rooms in the home are kitchens and bathrooms.

  • clean all appliances, including your oven. Clean or replace your greasy stove hood filters.
  • clean your cabinets inside and out, as well as your backsplash. Repair leaking faucets.
  • remove items stored on countertops. Remove excess items stored under your sink.
  • remove anything stored on top of your refrigerator;
  • remove artwork and magnets from your refrigerator;
  • in bathrooms, scrub sinks, tubs and toilets;
  • clean mirrors, light switch plates;


Your basement should be clean and not cluttered. If your basement is damp or musty consider a dehumidifier. Check the grading around your house. If the grade slopes toward the house you may want to look at adding a clay based fill to encourage water to drain away from the house. Check your downspouts and ensure they are moving water well away from your home. Most water problems in a basement are due to poor drainage. Change the filter to your furnace. If you have cats ensure the litter box is clean before all showings.


Make sure you attend to the garage as well. It should also be clutter free. Get rid of old car parts, discarded bicycles, empty paint cans and the hundreds of useless items that accumulate in garages.

Show Time

Now it is time to show your home. You will need a plan of action that assigns duties to each family member so that your house can be quickly ready for showing.

  1. open all drapes, blinds and turn on lights to make the house bright;
  2. air out the house to get rid of any odors from cooking, pets, etc;
  3. pick up clutter and empty garbage;
  4. make everything as clean as possible;
  5. set your thermostat at a comfortable level;
  6. try to remove pets from the house;
  7. leave when your house is being shown;
  8. display photos of house in summer if your house is being shown in winter months;
  9. leave out heating and electric bills;

We all have busy lives and don’t normally live as the above would suggest. But when selling, the above suggestions have proven successful in helping sell homes quicker and for more money. You may not be able to accomplish all of the above suggestions, but if you do, you will realize thousands of dollars more for your effort.

Property to sell?  I’d love to help.  Call 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
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