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Six Conspiracy Theories Behind Plunging Oil Prices


The world loves good conspiracy theories. They appeal to the paranoid in all of us, making us suspect that dark and secret – always secret – forces are at work to deprive us of our wealth, our happiness, even our lives. Read More….

Getting A Handle On The Home Selling Process


Deal. handshake of Business People

You probably know there’s more to selling a home than putting up a FOR SALE sign. But if you don’t understand the process in detail, you might feel intimidated and stressed when it comes time to put your property on the market.

Fortunately, the home selling process isn’t that difficult to understand. There are basically six steps.

Step one is selecting the right REALTOR®. You need a knowledgeable, trusted expert who can guide you through the process, take care of all the details, and help sell your home quickly and for the best price.

Step two is preparation. You need to ensure your home is clean and uncluttered. It’s also important that you take care of any needed repairs, even minor ones like wall dents. You may also need to consider a home improvement, such as replacing worn carpeting.

Step three is the listing price. You need to select a listing price at or near the fair market value of your property.

Step four is promotion. How will buyers find out about your property? Will they see it on MLS? Will they come across an ad on the internet? An effective promotion plan is critical.

Step five is dealing with offers. Ideally, you’ll get several. But the best offer is not necessarily the highest one. An offer can fall through for many reasons, so dealing effectively with offers is, perhaps, the most important part of the home selling process.

Step six is the transaction. Once the sale is made, you want to know that you have the right professionals in place – your lawyer, mover, etc. – to make sure all the after-sale details are taken care of properly.

Want more ideas for making sure the home selling process goes smoothly for you? Call Donna today 780-720-2100.

Help Buyers Understand The Area


Help Buyers Understand The Area

There’s a famous saying in the real estate business: “Location, location, location”. It simply means that where your home is located — the neighbourhood — is just as important to potential buyers as the features of the property itself.
Sellers often make the mistake of creating a long list of home features while ignoring neighbourhood features. They tout the spacious kitchen, the newly renovated bathrooms and the gorgeous backyard deck, but say little about the area.
So when you’re ready to sell your home, sit down and create two lists: home features and neighbourhood features. Buyers want to know both.
On that neighbourhood features list, include:
1. Location of schools and daycare centres.
2. Major retailers and shopping centres.
3. Proximity to major commuting routes.
4. Theatres, night clubs and other entertainment.
5. Rinks, gyms and other sporting facilities
6. Green space, walking trails, ponds.

When buyers have their eyes on two properties which are comparable in features, the neighbourhood is often the deciding factor.
A good REALTOR® who knows your area can help. Call Donna Today. 780-720-2100.

5 Things Home Buyers Don’t Want To See


5 Things Home Buyers Don’t Want To See

When preparing a property for sale, homeowners often focus on the things that will impress buyers, such as clean and uncluttered spaces, well lit rooms, staged furniture designed to maximize appeal, and so forth.

But it’s equally important to pay attention to those things you don’t want buyers to see… those little turn-offs that, although seemingly minor, can distract buyers and cause them to lose interest in your property.

For example, you don’t want buyers to see these things:

Pets. Although many people love pets, some don’t. Others are allergic to them. Dogs, in particular, can take a keen interest in new visitors, jumping and barking excitedly. It’s best to take pets for a walk during viewings.

Unfinished repairs. Dripping taps. Gouges and marks on walls. Broken tiles. Squeaking gates. Home buyers will notice, and may mistakenly think there are other deficiencies lurking in your home. Do as many repairs as you can. Then be upfront about those that are in progress.

Clutter. It’s common for main rooms, like livingrooms and kitchens, to be clean and uncluttered during a viewing. But buyers who become interested in your property will take a closer look, and check out the garage, cupboards, backyard shed and other places where things tend to accumulate. The more you de-clutter, the better your property will show.

Smells. Obviously not something a buyer will see, but he or she will definitely notice lingering odours associated with pets, garbage, exotic cooking, and smoking. Scents have a strong influence on emotions. That’s why perfume companies do so well! So make sure your home is as scent-free as possible.

You. Nothing personal. When buyers view your home, they want to visualize themselves living there, not you. So let your REALTOR® be the host. Remove as many personal items, such as family pictures and trophies, as possible.

Is the government set to heat up the market?




Hot air balloown

Is the government about to reverse its aggressive market cool down strategies?


In the face of idling home sales, there is growing speculation among economists that the BoC will soon have to fight deflationary trends, in part fueled by idling home sales.

“The inflation right now is very low and it will stay very low in the coming months,” Benoit Duricher, senior economist for Desjardins Group said to the Canadian Press. “So the Bank of Canada should be worried about that.”

That concern was front and centre for industry players expected to parse every word of Wednesday’s BoC rate update. The bank, as expected, held its overnight rate at one per cent, although it lowered its forecast for inflation at the same time suggesting the economy is strengthening.

The bank anticipates that economy grew by 1.8 per cent in 2013, but will expand another 2.5 per cent this year.

That may be overly optimistic, say some analysts, given recent comments by the bank’s governor, Stephen Poloz.

“If the U.S. economy is strengthening as we believe, those will be very welcome kinds of market pressures,” Poloz said on CBC’s the Lang and O’Leary Exchange earlier this month. “But it’ll still be up to us what our monitored policy should be, independently of what’s going on in the U.S. and that will depend on where is inflation relative to where we expect it to be. Right now it’s expected to be too low for too long so that’s where we sit.”
Many pundits are pointing to the aggressive measures the federal government has taken to rein in a hot housing market as a main contributor to slower-than-expected inflationary growth, which has been held below the two per cent target for 19 consecutive months.

It remains to be seen if the central bank will lower interest rates in a bid to encourage positive inflation.





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Truths About Real Estate




1. The sale price of your home is not determined by how much you pay your real estate agent.

2. Homeowners are becoming increasingly more educated about the process of selling their homes and are realizing that paying “Traditional” real estate fees is becoming an Outdated Practice
that has No Correlation to the actual costs involved in selling a home.

3. Informed consumers are enthusiastically embracing Discount Real Estate Brokerages and are moving away from paying Traditional Real Estate Fees at an accelerated rate. They realize that all Realtors, regardless of the company they represent, use the same Marketing System (the MLS System) and that it is exposure on the MLS that will inevitably result in the sale of their home.

4. Paying Lower Commission does not mean you will receive less service and expertise. Many Top Performing “Traditional”
Real Estate Agents, including me, have left Big Name real estate companies and can now provide “Full Service” Real Estate Services at a significantly reduced commission.

If you are thinking about selling your home in the new year I would love to show you how you can save Thousands of Commission Dollars. As many of you know, I have been in the real estate industry for over 23 years and I know that Full Service Real Estate does not have to cost as much as you may think. Paying less does not have to reduce the quality of service and expertise you receive. I am proud to put my Knowledge and Expertise to work for you at a price that is Fair for both of us. See my chart below and realize the incredible savings you will enjoy by calling me today at 780-720-2100….or if you know of someone who could use my services, I would thoroughly appreciate your referral.

Buyers Need Realtors Too


Before starting your home search and committing to any realtor, it is wise for you to research all the ones in your local area to find the best option for you. Buyers in the Washington, DC area have several options with realtors.

Although it is routine for sellers to sign a listing agreement with a broker when putting their home up for sale, local buyers rarely have a similar contractual arrangement with their agent.

Why should a buyer sign an agreement?

It shows you the agent is taking the relationship seriously. As a buyer, you will have someone working diligently for you. Your willingness to have a written agreement is an indication that you are earnest about buying. Top professionals work only with loyal buyers. A lot of people just want to look, thereby wasting a lot of a realtor’s time. From the beginning, it clarifies the critical agency relationship between you and your realtor. It specifies the buyer representative’s duties and obligations as well as yours. You will receive a copy of the contract in the beginning, rather than just before making an offer. It explains how compensation to the agent will work. Your greatest hesitation in signing a contract may be the prospect of being obligated to an agent you just met. This is handled by adding a statement to the contract that either party (agent or buyer) may cancel the agreement at any time with 24-hour’s written notice.

There are some commission misconceptions. Sellers pay the commission. Yes, it comes out of the seller’s sales proceeds, but it is always the buyer who actually pays because commission is factored into the asking price. In some cases, the buyer agrees to pay the commission if the seller does not; however, it is not necessary for the buyer to pay for anything. Many buyers believe that agents do not do much, if anything, to earn a big commission. On the contrary, buyers receive an amazingly long list of services from their realtor. Less skilled agents are not able to fully explain to their clients what they do.

As in every business, not all real estate salespeople are equally competent. By definition, a competent realtor will take the time to listen to your needs and review the buying process before showing you property. Buyers who flit back and forth between Realtors end up with less service and protection. If you want an excellent agent, you need to be willing to commit. Find someone you trust and stick with him.

A Drive By Viewing Can Be a Real Time Saver


When searching for a home, it is important that home buyers start by searching on the internet to get a feel for what they are looking for and what areas they are interested in looking. They should make a list of these homes and then do a drive by viewing of the homes. A drive by viewing will allow the home buyer to eliminate homes quickly, just by seeing them up close and in person.

Taking the time to perform a few drive by checks on homes will ultimately be a huge time saver for both the buyer and the real estate agent. Driving from home to home can often be the biggest time killer when looking at homes, so performing these drive by viewings allows the real estate agent to focus on homes that have at least been given approval from the outside. These investigations also allow the buyers to really see the neighborhoods and eliminate whole areas that will not fit their needs. This is also a good opportunity for the buyers to really take their time to look, without feeling like they are wasting the real estate agent’s time.

Performing a drive by viewing of a home can be a great way to get a feel for the housing developments in the area a buyer is interested. It allows the buyers an opportunity to really get a good feel for where they want to live, and where they definitely do not want to live. The real estate agent can then take the list of “yes” homes and determine a good route to visit and view the homes inside and out.

Buying a Home – Location, Location, Location


When deciding on the right home, a person needs to do a lot of research to make sure the right choice is made. How many bedrooms are needed? Should the home be two stories or one? What neighborhood fits best? These are all questions that need to be asked, but there is one more question a buyer must ask prior to buying a home? Where is the best location?

Many a person has made the mistake of buying a home in the wrong location only to end up moving a few years later. This can be an expensive mistake, especially in the current fluctuating housing market. It is important to do some intense research and even some sole searching to determine what location is best for the home buyer. How long is the commute to work? How far away are the schools and the bus stop? Is the home convenient to shopping and restaurants? The location of the home can really be much more important than most people realize, until it is too late. It is much easier to think about the importance of convenience prior to buying a home. All these location related questions should really be asked prior to even looking for a home.

Location can often be overlooked when buying a home. Many buyers are more worried about the actual home, and do not think enough about the conveniences and other important factors that come with the location of the home. Everyone buying a home should take the time to determine what is important to them regarding location and focus their search on that.

The data included on this website is deemed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed to be accurate by the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton. The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS® and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.