Category: selling (10)

newplanThe Calgary Real Estate Board reports statistics that indicate we currently have six weeks of available single family inventory (Feb 13/19). The last time I recall our inventory of homes this low was in 2007 and everyone was discussing the critical state of the market. Of course this is a snapshot in time and we will not run out of homes to sell (while we had 447 sales, there were also 612 new listings that week), but it is an indicator of the status of our market, the relative level of inventory and an indication of a buyer or sellers market. In fact, one could assume that the actual level of inventory is even lower due to a CREB rule which does not enforce true reporting of status on their mls system (we don’t know how many homes are actually sold, as clients may instruct to retain an active status while under contract). So without over-analyzing this data, the bottom line is this: The market clearly favors sellers and if you were thinking of selling your real estate in the next while,  there may be no better time than now. We are negotiating record prices for most inner city real estate and even some suburban and acreage properties are selling that have been sitting on the shelf for many months. Where to start? Contact us to get a current state of the market assessment of the value of your home with no obligation and you will be armed with all the facts you need to make an informed decision. Who knows, you may look back in a year or so and marvel at your genius.

MLS-listingsIt’s difficult for any Home Buyer to make a final decision until they have been exposed to ALL the available Real Estate Listings and be assured that they did not miss a better home. Today your real estate agent has a host of technology available to assist Home Buyers in their search. Properly deployed, these technologies ensure that all available listings are at your disposal and that a Buyer is not overburdened or confused by viewing property that does not fit their criteria. Your REALTOR® has access to your local Multiple Listing System (MLS®) where they post available listings for other cooperating agents to view and sell. This is a local private database which is available to REALTOR® members of organized real estate. For example, members of the Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB) host a local database of available listings from their over 5,000 REALTOR® members. These REALTORS® are required to abide by rules governing their use of data, business ethics and how they cooperate. This system enables members to have access to all the new listings immediately when they are entered into the system . Access to this system ensures that you have the most up to date information and assures that you are seeing all the listings Real Estate Listings currently available on the MLS®.

Your agent should be able to set up a custom search for you that will email you this information immediately. Alternately, there are many sites that allow to you locate new listings manually or allow you to sign up for automatic updates. Armed with this information and a great Real Estate Agent, you can be assured to stay on top of all the new listings, the minute they come on to the market and not be overburdened by information on homes that do not fit your criteria.

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.

Multiple Offers

Multiple Offers

While you may think that receiving two or more offers on your home is a great situation it actually presents some disadvantages. For properties that sell with a single offer, the fallout rate is 10 percent. For properties where there are two or  more offers, the fallout rate increases to 50 percent. The reason there is such a significant difference in closing  rates is that Buyers often feel they were unduly pressured by the multiple-offer situation. After Buyers have time to reflect upon the situation, they often get cold feet sensing they were pressured or paid too much. To minimize the fallout and improve your chances of success here are a few tips on how to best handle multiple offers when you are the Seller.

1. Try to have a Manager present. 

Your Agent’s company may have a variation on this policy; still it is good practice to request a Manager or third party be present. The Manager may ask the buyers’ agents and you to come to their office since they will be overseeing the multiple-offer process. This gives your representative Agent the best control of the situation as well as insuring that your Agent will have all the tools they need to handle the  situation.

2. It may be legal to shop your offers, but is it the right thing to do?

Whether it is legal or not to tell the Buyers how much the competing offers actually are, it may be simply unethical to disclose the  contents of competing offers to others. First, ask your Agent about the regulations in your area. Even if you do have the right to disclose the other offers, creating a bidding war may often results in buyer remorse that can increase the odds of your sale falling apart later. Instead, ask all Buyers to bring back their best offer.  This increases the probability that your deal will actually close.

3. Logistics.

Your Agent should explain the presentation guidelines to each party who  presents their offer prior to hearing the offer. This includes deadlines for counteroffers and how they will be presented. If the buyers’ agents are presenting  their offers in person, allow them to present their offers privately, one at a  time.

4. It’s the sellers’ house, and it’s the sellers’ decision.

You (the Seller) decide which offer you want to accept, or if you want to counter all the offers. If you decide to make a counter-offer, you should only counter one offer at a time.  Although Sellers may counter offers any way you choose, be  advised that if you make too aggressive a counter-offer it increases the possibility to have both sets of buyers walk away from the situation. Remain sensible about the real value of the property in light of your apparent windfall of interest.

5. When the Listing Agent has their own offer.

If your Listing Agent has their own offer on the property, ensure that you receive a prior explanation of Agency and how all the parties are being represented. In these instances it is common to have the Brokerage Manager present to ensure that other Buyers had their offers presented in an unbiased fashion.

6. Avoid selling your Home twice.

If you have an existing pending offer that is subject to a Buyer’s condition (ex. sale of their home) and that allows you to continue to market the property, or if you choose to accept a backup offer, ensure that you insert the correct language in your offer to protect you from selling it to two parties. Make certain that you (the seller) accept any subsequent offers with a written provision that your acceptance is conditional upon the collapse of the existing pending offer.

7. Don’t make it a race.

Have all parties agree on when to reconvene to consider the  buyer’s responses to the seller’s counteroffer. Turning a multiple-offer negotiation into a race doesn’t benefit the seller and it greatly increases the  likelihood that the transaction won’t close. Usually 18-24 hours is sufficient.

8. Ask for the Buyer’s best offer.

Advise the Buyer that the Seller will be making his final decision on the multiple offers at this second meeting. Ask the Buyer to bring back their best offer.  If you need to clean up some minor points, an  additional counter may be appropriate.

9. No verbal negotiations.

Always make sure that everything is done in writing. Sometimes in a single offer situation the Agents agree on the terms until they can physically meet to sign the documents, but this is only a trust condition between the Agents, is not legally binding and can be precarious. Furthermore, Agents should not sign on behalf of the  Seller except with prior written authority– always best to use one of the digital document signing services, scan and email it, or even fax it.

10. Proceed with caution.

If you have a counter-offer out and you receive a new offer that is better than the one on which you are negotiating, you have two options: rescind the current offer or wait until it expires. In some cases, a better course of action may be to allow the existing counter offer to expire and inform both Buyers that they are now in a competing offer situation, and to present their best offers.

When the market is ripe for multiple offers there are many (more than the above) tactics that a Seller can use to ensure that they extract the best price while ensuring their sale closes without further issue. There can be as many permutations of these situations that can arise as exist tactics, and by far the best strategy is to have the most experienced Agent on your side. In a heated market (that generates multiple offers) is where the real value of an experienced Agent proves out.  Call Sano Stante Real Estate Marketing and put over 31 years of expert knowledge and experience to work for you.

house has not sold

House has not Sold

Sometimes properties take longer than normal to sell for a variety of reasons. If your house has not sold,  you may have other options rather than adjusting the price. Common issues are:

  • Location
  • Condition
  • Time or exposure to market
  • Price
  • Functional obsolescence

If we study the list of issues some are seen to be curable while others are not. Continue reading ..

If the other company is a member of a cooperative Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®)  which your  Agent belongs, then they share listing information to all members. For Sale By Owner (FSBO) properties are not listed in MLS® so an agent would be required to contact the Owner to receive the property information and if you are working with your Agent under a buyer agency agreement, your agent may be able to help you purchase a FSBO.

Sometimes if you call on a sign, an listing agent may entice you to work through them “exclusively”.  Be aware that the Listing Realtor may be obligated to provide fiduciary duties to you (look after your best interest) and you may be treated as simply a customer.  If you have an Agent or REALTOR® that you know and trust, you should always check with them first or simply insist that you will be represented by your REALTOR® and that your REALTOR® will contact them to obtain further information. Almost always the Seller has a commission or fee allocated to the Buyers agent. The only incentive for dealing exclusively is for the listing agent who hopes to be paid the buyer agent portion of the commission also. By insisting on represntation you can ensure that your interests will be best represented and that you agent is paid for his work further enhancing your working relationship with your chosen agent.

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.

It seems amazing at times how we can entrust one of the largest decisions and investments of our lives to a perfect stranger. Maybe we go through a short interview process, see if we connect with the person in a short matter of time, or many times we follow the advice of a colleague or co-worker and hope for the best. If you were lucky enough to have them refer you to Sano and his team then you are in good hands, but really how well do you know Sano?

Sano offers his clients over 30 years of experience in the Calgary Real Estate market. Amazingly, after all that time, he has become more passionate about the industry, his clients and their needs.  Along the way he committed seven years striving to improve the professionalism in the industry as a Director of the Calgary Real Estate Board and was elected the CREB President in 2011 and an honorary life member in 2012. A recipient of almost every Real Estate award, Real Estate has not been just a career for him, but a passion. This is important to understand because in Calgary alone there are currently 5150+ REALTORS®  many who are not full-time professionals. There is a rule of thumb that is known within the Real Estate industry and stands true to this day; less than 20% of agents do over 80% of the Real Estate business! Given the complexity and seriousness of a major Real Estate transaction,  one must ask themselves if the person they are choosing to represent them falls into this elite group of professionals.

Sano has built his business from the ground up based on repeat clientele, referrals and reputation. The most important measure of success, as echoed by Sano on many occasions, is when a client refers their loved ones and friends to our services—a compliment towering over any award.

Now, some might think that’s enough—a busy family office with several Associates, countless hours spent working within the industry and with his clients to ensure their getting the most of his services, but not for Sano. A consummate professional who continually keeps himself and his team up with the newest trends and marketing strategies, Sano’s vision of service to the clients of Sano Stante Real Estate Group (SSRE) really is at the pinnacle of the industry and the results of SSRE are a testament to this.

As a past or future client of Sano Stante Real Estate Marketing, we encourage you to see why Sano,  is ranked one of the top REALTORS® in Calgary, in the #1 Remax office worldwide. Along with Dan Stante and an outstanding team of administrative associates they share one goal—to provide the best possible service and build upon a stellar reputation already proven through the test of time.

Allow us to re-introduce ourselves to you and provide you with our award winning services for your next real estate transaction. If the finest professional expert advice and negotiation skills are what you demand, we deliver and for the same cost or less than competing agencies! Call us today to put the best real estate service to work for you today.