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.

 

Sometimes you just have to laugh at the absurdity of our real estate business.


As a premier agent, we spend  over $1,000 marketing a home that we have listed for sale. Sometimes the market works in our favour and sometimes it doesn't. There always has to by a buyer willing to pay the price for a home in a specific location and in a specific condition. It isn't always that the home is overpriced – sometimes it is that there is little to no demand for that particular product (as we sometimes have to explain in detail.)


Sometimes, after 6 months, the seller says, "Thanks, we are going to try another agent." Okay, that's quite understandable and is not an issue. But PLEASE do not think that allowing them to copy the photos we paid dearly for or give them a price adjustment that you refused us is dealing fair. It is for these reasons that agents get bad reputations with other agents. And, one of the many reasons why many agents refuse to spend more than $100 to market a home that...

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With individual agents, homebuyers and sellers have a direct connection with a highly-skilled expert

[reposted WITH permission of the original Calgary author]


I saw a social media post recently by our local ‘mega-agent’ entitled: “Breaking News: Individual Real Estate agents added to Endangered Professions List!”


This post compares the individual real estate agent to “a tennis player using a wooden racket” or “a football player with a leather helmet.” The individual agent is on life support, it exclaims.


Total nonsense. Here’s an entirely different perspective.


The individual agent


‘Indy Bob’ is classified as an individual real estate agent only because he doesn’t have other licensed agents on his team. And yet, Bob has surrounded himself with a top-notch team of highly-skilled professional photographers, staging experts, graphic designers and other specialists.


Bob takes a huge amount of pride in the presentation and...

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The spread of COVID-19 has affected almost every aspect of our lives. Communities have shown themselves to be resilient, however, and so too have real estate professionals. Responding to the challenge imposed by the pandemic to continue to serve their clients in a safe, responsible manner, agents have incorporated streaming video technology to offer showings while adhering to social distancing best practices.


While many real estate professionals include a very in-depth, 3D virtual tour with every listing they post on the MLS, you may wonder if they have missed something in their tour. Either due to limited space or intentionally. Both of these are valid concerns. You can overcome both of these concerns with a quick personal tour of the home with your own real estate professional.


However, in light of today's concerns, you may not wish to visit 10 or 12 homes in person and only wish to see the TOP 3. No problem – a solution is a VIRTUAL SHOWING. To request a virtual showing contact...

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Putting a house on the market can be a stressful time for many sellers, even during the height of a seller’s market when everything is working in your favour.


You consult with your real estate agent to come up with a price – a price that, in your mind, may not accurately reflect your home’s value – but actually reflects the house in which you’ve lived. You bite the bullet, accept your agent’s insight, put the house on the market and then…


Crickets.


No interest. No showings. No nothing!


What did you do wrong? The house where you’ve created so many memories – your home – isn’t only not valued by others in the same way as you but isn’t even worth seeing.


Why? Let’s take a look at six reasons why your house isn’t getting showings:

1. It’s Overpriced

Let’s get straight to the biggest issue: In almost every case, the reason your house isn’t getting showings is because it’s priced too high....

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You may currently have or will have in the near future, a student going to University of Calgary. If so, there are a lot of options for them. There are a number of residences and, of course, some other rental opportunities. If residence isn't your preference and a rental isn't realistic, then there are some affordable options for purchasing a condo apartment.


West of CF Market Mall is an area that has some older buildings that are nice. Some may not allow occupants below 21 years-old; others do. The newer towers at University City near the Brentwood LRT station are an option, but most find those just a little too far, the units quite utilitarian and have much smaller rooms.


There are two buildings which are directly across 32nd Avenue NW from the University of Calgary. These two buildings, "3111 Varsity" and "Little Varsity" are separate condominium corporations although they may not look like it.


I have sold a number of units in each building in representing buyers and sellers from...

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If you have your home for sale, are you getting effective marketing as part of your agent's offering? I have been including floor plans and multiple 360° virtual tours as part of the included marketing services for all listings for sale for the last several years. I have always found them to be really effective in communicating the home and its wonderful features. However, like many leading Realtors®, I am in constant search of ways to improve the effectiveness of my property listing marketing.


Earlier this year, I came across a system that combines both and results in MUCH greater viewership from potential home buyers. Take a look at this as an example of how this system looks:



From the iGuide website:


iGUIDE is the Ultimate Solution that helps sell your home faster, for top dollar with less disruptions.


Every iGUIDE includes property photos, floor plans, room measurements, area calculations, neighbourhood information and a 3D immersive tour.

We use ALL the tools that today's p...

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If you have your home for sale, are you getting effective marketing as part of your agent's offering? Here's an example of what you can ask your agent to include in the marketing of your home!



For a current property listing, we've been on the market for 30 days and have already had 100x the exposure to LOCAL Calgary people whom have demonstrated an interest in real estate than with the Calgary MLS System alone.


Here is today's daily performance summary that we see with each of our listings:

 

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Calgary is a sophisticated and changing marketplace, so you need a really good REALTOR on your side to help ensure your home is sold for the best price and terms, in the shortest time, and as stress-free as possible. From the initial home evaluation and market analysis to preparing and staging, photos & marketing and, most importantly, the negotiations and sale — we’ll help ensure you and your property are represented professionally.


We are always happy to chat in person with you about the entire process.

So you’ve decided to sell your home… now what?

This is always a big deal and will, undoubtedly, affect your life in a significant way.


It’s important to know that for a few weeks while your property is being prepared to sell, you’ll need to possibly arrange for minor repairs of anything that needs it and to do a bit of editing and staging. We want to see your home through the eyes of the potential buyer. You’ll also need to keep the home clean...

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It may come as a surprise to you, but there are over 100 real estate boards in Canada and they all have their own MLS Systems.


What won't surprise you is that the vast majority of home sales are completed with 2 agents involved through our local MLS Systems – somewhere near 98%. So how do real estate agents see listings for sale? They look at their own MLS System. As a Calgary real esate broker, I only have access to see the listing details of the homes listed for sale on the CALGARY MLS System. I don't have access to see the details on the listings from the other 10 MLS Systems in Alberta (let alone other systems from other provinces). Yes, I can sell homes and represent buyers and sellers of homes anywhere within Alberta, but at the moment we only see local listings.

So, how does that affect you?

Well – here is an example: I used my website to look for listings in Calgary and there are over 7,000 listings for sale (yep, no surprise there). Then, I looked for listings in Edmonton,...

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No Pen? No Problem. Sign documents or request signatures anytime, anywhere. You don’t need to print or scan — just use the device at your fingertips. DocuSign makes it easy.


Currently, about 265k new users are joining each weekday and 110k are joining each weekend day. Showing that user growth is predictably stable, this ratio has been very consistent over time.


It's a sign of good health that the returning population represents a majority of daily users. E-Signing is as easy as 1, 2, 3.

Step 1 – Click the link in email

With one click, you can access the document and start the document signing process on virtually any internet-enabled device.

Step 2 – Follow the DocuSign tabs

Tabs and simple instructions guide you through the signing process. Your electronic signatures are secure, legally binding, and widely accepted for most business transactions around the world.

1. Click the accept the terms

2. Click permit location to be used

3. Click Start

4. Click the first...

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No matter if you’re in a buyer’s or seller’s market, there are a few critical steps you can take to make a smarter purchase. Since buying a home is likely the biggest single investment you will ever make, being prepared will help you make a better purchase. Here are our best tips to buying a home.

 

Know your buying power

 

What is your buying power? It is the combination of your credit-worthiness and how much you can realistically pay for a home.

 

First, you need to understand the hidden costs of buying a home. You will need to save not only for the down payment of your home -- which is typically between 5% - 20% of the offer price -- but also for any additional transaction fees, such as land transfer fee, inspection charges, title insurance, and legal fees.

 

Then you need to know what you can realistically afford each month to understand how much house you can buy. Your mortgage rate will depend on your creditworthiness -- if you have a high credit...

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Your home isn’t selling and yet the current, local real estate market is really quite active. You naturally ask yourself, “Why?”

Sadly, not all real estate agents are equal. Some only use the classic 3 P’s of real estate marketing: Put a sign in the yard, Put the home in the local MLS System, and Pray that the home sells.

But there are also some other sure signs that it’s time for you to face the music and hire someone else:

1. The online photos leave a lot to be desired. With real estate being a cut-throat and expensive business to be in, many real estate agents are trying to cut expenses wherever they can. Too often, we see homes being photographed with cellphone or point and shoot cameras. Often, real estate agents don’t have the tools to crop, colour balance or control exposure in their photos. Worse still, they don’t know when they should hire a professional. For the minimal cost, this is one area that agents should short-change their clients....

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The current trends are all about utilizing rich color, maximizing texture and creating comfortable interiors you can’t wait to relax in. Use these trends to get inspired to makeover your home’s interiors and create spaces you love that also appeal to your personal style. Remember, if you plan to sell in the next few years, you may want to avoid doing anything dramatic and instead incorporate small changes that would appeal to buyers.

 

Why are these trends gaining popularity?

The underlying theme of these trends is creating a home environment you love; one that appeals to your emotions and feels like a retreat from the stresses of the world. Although the home is a place where you can relax and spend time with loved ones, work expectations are beginning to blur the line between work and home. Even if people don’t work from home specifically, many are stretching their work hours into their evenings and weekends to complete work projects.

 

It’s no wonder...

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Drones, also known as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (or UAVs), have recently entered the mainstream market in Canada and are now widely used both commercially and recreationally. For use in real estate, the activity is considered strictly a commercial use. Commercial drone use is heavily regulated and compliance is required in order to fly.

 

Operating a drone means that certain rules and guidelines must be followed to ensure the safety of the drone's team, of the public, and of manned aircraft in the area.

  • All drone flights must take place in daylight and in good weather,
  • Aircraft must remain in visual line-of-site of the drone pilot at all times,
  • Drone operations must be conducted outside of airport airspace, away from populated areas, buildings, public areas, and busy roads, and cannot go higher than 90 metres, vertically,
  • The privacy of others must be respected.

While most of these rules are primarily safety oriented, they may also affect when and how one is able to capture aerial imagery,...

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I received another soliciation for a real estate coaching program this morning. The opening line was, "Do Open Houses Work?" Okay so as a very curious REALTOR® that truly believes they can work I thought, let's hear what he had to say.
 
Take a look at this information in this video:
 

 

Source: Used under standard YouTube license terms.

As a disclosure, this is a Toronto-based real estate trainer that sells his coaching program across North America to real estate agents from all brands: local, national and international. Whether or not he is a certified coach or if he has ever been a licensed real estate agent, I don't know. But, his words are mimicked by almost every real estate trainer.

Did you hear what he said? "Of course open houses work: almost any lead generation system works if you're great at it."

Did you hear what he didn't say? "Open houses are not used to actually sell the home where the open house is being held. They're used to generate more potential business...
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[I originally posted this article in early 2014 and it's been reposted often by others (with and without permission). I have reposted it here with updated content to reflect some of the realities in 2016.]


In an increasingly digital world, it's really important to have at least a very basic understanding of how some of the advances in technology affect you as a consumer. This is true even when it comes to looking at purchasing real estate. While searching for homes online makes the hunt for real estate a heck of a lot easier, you will likely find yourself lost in "information overload" and why hiring a real estate agent to help you before you start a serious search is important. Real estate agents have access to oodles of data and can help interpret it by separating the important details from the myriad of other data. At least they should be able to.

When it comes to searching for real estate online, particularly with things like IDX and MLS Reciprocity, what does it all mean for...

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