Category: homes (4)

buying a home in Calgary
Initial Perspective

We’ve worked with countless buyers over the years who have been looking to buy a house in Calgary, and have had the opportunity to counsel them on a proven strategy to discover their best home.  When we first sit down with home buyers, we like to first get their perspective on how they envision finding a home. The thing is, it’s not always an intuitive process. Most have a list of features they want in a home, but don’t know how to best translate their wants and needs to a systematic home evaluation process. This is the start of the home buying process.

 

Real Estate BUYING 101

In addition to answering questions about real estate, we get our clients’ initial thoughts on what they’re looking for, we engage in a thorough ‘Calgary Real Estate 101’ to identify various aspects that enhance value in properties, specifically in Calgary. The concepts are abstract though intuitive and by the end of the session, the drivers of value in the local real estate market are easily understood.

 

What about market conditions?

Market conditions are an important factor in any decision to buy a home, and we ensure that the past, current, and future market conditions are explained in a simple manner.  Knowing where we sit in the real estate cycle allows our buyers to make better decisions about timing and their investment.

 

The Process

Combining basic real estate concepts with market analysis, we’ve developed a process which enables our buyers to make intelligent and informed decisions about where they live and how to best invest their hard earned money. This approach has led to countless buyers making the best decision possible to achieve their goals, and gain and retain as much equity as possible during every swing in the market.

 

Your Search

Now that our clients understand the value and the market, and we understand their needs and wants, we mesh these concepts with a systematic process to produce a unique home search for our clients. If you would like to begin your search early you can visit this great property search tool.

If your worried about the costs of using a Realtor as a buyer, don’t be, it’s free! Here you can find more information.

 

market value of home

Before you can make an informed decision about selling your home you often need to verify the Market Value of your Home. Market Value is defined as the price that you could expect to sell your Home on the open market given a normal period of exposure. Receiving an accurate estimate of the Market Value can be crucial if your next purchase depends on the equity in your existing home, or if your finances allow little margin for error. What then is the best method of obtaining the most accurate estimate of Market Value?

There are several routes to obtaining  an estimate of market value and a handful of methods which can be employed, most based on accepted appraisal practice. One method would be to simply hire a Certified Appraiser to complete a “market value” appraisal of your home.  Appraisers will prepare market value appraisals and are bound by guidelines to use similar comparable properties which have sold in the past six months. A market value appraisal is just that: an estimate of what the property would fetch on the open market and this typically is the most applicable. Other types of appraisals include income valuations, which are generally used in income producing property and replacement cost, which is applicable for insurance valuation. To have an appraisal prepared you would contact a certified appraiser from the Appraisal Institute of Canada.

Some homeowners base their value on their City Assessment and while this can provide a rough estimate, these values can range widely and should not be used as a reliable indicator or your current market value. City Assessments are based on a model of mass appraisal which estimates the broad value of your type of home based on similar homes in your surrounding area.

The third method would be to use the services of an experienced Real Estate Agent to evaluate the market value. The advantage of this method is that while Appraisers are bound to use historical methods to estimate the value of your home at the present time, an agent can draw upon the same broad base of comparable sales and can extrapolate into the the future based on current market conditions. This is very important in a rapidly changing market (of rising or declining values) where  you need to know the value based on the intricacies of a complex local market which is in flux. Using this local and up to the minute intelligence, an experienced agent can ensure that you extract every dollar of value and don’t leave any money on the table in an increasing market. Similarly when the market is declining, a good Agent will provide knowledge that will place you ahead of the market and allow you to sell before the market declines.
The disadvantage of using an agent is simply the nature of the industry where there are hundreds of agents with a variety of skill sets and competencies competing for your business. This makes it important that you use the most knowledgeable, experienced and trustworthy agent to ensure that the agent does not simply “buy your business” by giving you a favorable number that appeases you and then lets you down later when the market provides you the stark reality of your homes value.

Sano Stante Real Estate  provides premium real estate service to discerning Calgary area clientele for over 30 years. If you are thinking of selling, call us to receive an expert market evaluation of your home.

Difference between home staging and decorating

Staging vs Decorating

Staging is important to ensure your home stands out above others in a crowded real estate market – so what is the difference between decorating and staging?

Simply put, decorating is furnishing a home for you personally to live in and enjoy for your personal taste. Staging is decorating a home for the current market. Staging is about taking your personalized spaces and making them welcoming, calming and memorable, from a buyers perspective. There’s no doubt that you would furnish your home quite differently from how you would stage a home and this is often where Sellers put up some resistance, not wanting to lose their personalized touches and the things that they’ve become comfortable with.

The first step in any home staging process is always to de-cluter. This can sometimes take a bit of time and work because it requires letting go of possessions that you discover you no longer require or have room for. Enter each room with a fresh pair of eyes and envision the room empty. Now critically ask yourself what should belong in the room if you were staging it to make the room look its best. Then remove everything but these select pieces with an eye to being as minimal as possible.

Make sure to clean out all storage areas and closets leaving only seasonal clothes on the rack. Since you will be moving, start packing away items in boxes and store them in a corner of the garage or fill a container or Pod and then have it stored until you move into your next home.

Next step is to de-personalize the home by removing all personal photos and items. The rationale is to encourage the buyer to feel more comfortable envisioning themselves in the home. Often this stage uncovers some maintenance and paint that may be required to spruce up the house once the excess items are removed. Be sure to consult with a professional Stager, decorator or your real estate agent to ensure you make the best color choice for resale.

Often a seller may work to this point themselves and this is where they will bring in a professional to see how much further they should go in staging the home. This could involve swapping out furniture if the existing pieces do not work for the room, or installing particular pieces. The Stager will often rent these pieces or furniture for an initial design fee, plus a monthly rental cost.

It is clear that we decorate our homes for comfortable day-to-day living and that this is not always the homes best face when selling. So remember that although your home may be well decorated, it most often requires staging to show the home in it’s best light and to extract the best price from the market. Leave yourself enough time in the pre-selling period to ensure that your home is decluttered, de-personalized and staged properly. At Sano Stante Real Estate we include primary staging and coordinate advanced staging services for all our valued clients. Call us for the best real estate service.

The purchase of a home is one of the most important decisions that most of us will ever make. When selling a home, most people are aware of the listing agreement between the seller and a real estate agent which spells out the services and duties that  your real estate agent  will perform, but did you know that there is also an agreement that guarantees the services you will receive from your real estate agent when buying a property? It’s called a Buyer Representation Agreement (B.R.A.).

The B.R.A. is a contract between you, as a buyer, and your real estate agent. This agreement helps to ensure you will receive the very best “Client Service” and representation your real estate agent has to offer, rather than regular “Customer Service”. To fully understand the benefits of a B.R.A., it’s important to note the difference between Customer and Client Service in the real estate agent/buyer relationship.

In the Client Service buyer relationship, you enter into the B.R.A. knowing the real estate agent is taking a vested interest in your buying experience. You are becoming your real estate agent’s client and they is working exclusively for you. Your real estate agent will work with you to discover your needs, help find the best property for you, notify you of all new listings (including properties not listed or for sale privately), will provide you with expert advice, facts and comparisons to other properties, and will be instrumental in the negotiating your purchase; providing advice such as offering price counseling, financing alternatives and actively negotiating exclusively on your behalf.

As a Customers Service buyer, we can expect a real estate agent to show us the requested listing, present the material facts about the property, and show us properties within the criteria we have provided. What we need to realize is that in this relationship, the real estate agent may be previously contracted to work in the best interests of another client and
this may be the seller of the property. In any event, as a Customer the real estate agent is always ensured to provide you, the buyer, a good sales experience. Additionally, you should expect that the status of these relationships will always be disclosed to you by your real estate agent.

The Client Service buyer relationship is more involved. This relationship differs from the Customer service buyer relationship in
that it empowers your real estate agent to utilize his or her skills through all stages of the real estate transaction, and leaving ‘no stone unturned’ when it comes to your home purchasing experience.

Signing a B.R.A. does not mean you have to buy anything. It simply states that if you do purchase a home during the term of your contract, you will use this particular brokerage and that they will be compensated for the services they have provided. It also does not require you to pay up front when this compensation is most often included in the sale price through the cooperating listing contract. Alternately, you may chose to pay the fees directly thereby deducting this component from the sale price. You can also use a B.R.A. to ‘test drive’ your real estate agent. You and your real estate agent can determine the length of the contract and ensure that you and your real estate agent feel this relationship is a good fit for both of you.

When you are buying your home, why not receive the best representation possible? In one of your most important decisions of your life, signing a B.R.A. ensures that you have your selected real estate agent representing your best interests in your home purchase and that your real estate agent is working exclusively for you.