To Sell Your Home Fast, and for the Most Money Possible!

Selling your home can be exhausting. Keeping it "ready to show" for an extended period of time can be overwhelming, especially when you have little children or a demanding career. The good news is this: we have a proven system that will help reduce the time your property sits on the market and the period of time in which you have to keep your home staged to perfection.

  1. Setting The "Right Price"
    Selling your home starts with setting the correct selling price. Through a careful examination of recent real estate sales data and an intuitive understanding of market conditions we can help determine the right price for your property! At the end of the day, the right price will help ensure higher offers and a quicker sale! Setting the right price will save you both time and money.
  2. You Make The Final Decision
    Our job is exposing your property to the real estate market to gain the attention of the largest group of buyers possible for your home. From there, your job is to accept the best, most acceptable offer for you.
  3. We Look After The Details
    Of course, we will take care of the thousands of details involved with your property sale so you can move forward with your life. We want you to feel confident in knowing everything will go smoothly from start to finish.

Ready to Sell Your Home?

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Welcome to the Getting Started section of Seller Resources. Here, we will discuss whether to buy or sell first, 10 questions to ask before you list your property, and Understanding the Real Property Report (RPR)
 
 

Sell First or Buy First? 

Do I Sell my Calgary Home First? or Buy a Home first?

It is the question that every homeowner faces and it can create a stressful dilemma. Here's the problem: if you buy before selling, then you run the risk of owning two homes. Or, if you sell first, you could end up homeless, especially in a busy market. It's what we call the “Real Estate Catch 22”. It can keep you up at night with worry. Fortunately we have the solution. Our Calgary Home-Seller’s Guarantee Program and other equity protection strategies are the answer.

You should know the options before you decide. Call for your pre-listing consultation. We will meet and go over your choices; no pressure -no hassle.

 


Understanding the Real Property Report (R.P.R.)

How does a Real Property Report protect you?

A current Real Property Report (RPR) provides accurate, clearly presented, formal information about one of the largest financial investments most people ever make. Sellers who can provide a Real Property Report with Compliance from the city protect themselves from liability and provide solid reassurance to Buyers that they are not investing in future trouble.

 

A Real Property report tells owners and potential buyers about:

  • Accurate locations of buildings, improvements and boundaries of the property.
  • The rights-of-way and encroachments relative to boundaries of the property.
  • Any boundary problems with neighbours or the municipality. For example, they know whether the home is too close to the property line, or part of their garage is on their neighbour’s land, or vice versa. "Good boundaries make good neighbours!"

In cases of dispute, your Surveyor is an expert witness in court and assumes full professional responsibility for the accuracy of your survey. Only a Real Property Report that "reflects the current state of improvement on the property" can fulfill Section 4.12 of the standard purchase contract. If decks, fences, garages etc. have been added, deleted, or changed since the existing RPR was prepared, then the seller will need to have a current RPR prepared as per the terms of the contract. The cost of the Real Property Report is a small percentage of your total investment and a reasonable price to pay for peace of mind.

 

What Does a Real Property Report Include?

A Real Property Report is a legal document that clearly illustrates the location of above ground structures, significant visible improvements and registered easements in relation to property boundaries relative to property boundaries. It takes the form of a plan or illustration of the various physical features of the property, including a written statement detailing the surveyor’s opinions or concerns.

 

A Surveyor's Real Property Report Shows...

  •  Legal description and municipal address.
  • Dimensions and directions of all property boundaries.
  • Date of the title search and the survey.
  • Certificate of title number.
  • Registered owner.
  • Location and dimensions of buildings relative to property boundaries.
  • Location and description of all relevant improvements situated on the property together with dimensions and distances from the property boundaries.
  • Location of right of ways or easements registered on the title.
  • Designation of adjacent properties, roads, lanes, etc.
  • Location and dimensions of any visible encroachments onto, or off of, the property.
  • A duly signed certification and opinion by a certified Land Surveyor.
  • Copyright.
  • Permit Stamp (where applicable).
  • Parcel designations of adjoining lands.
  • How much does a Real Property Report cost?
  • The amount of work to prepare a Surveyor's Real Property Report varies from one property to another. Factors that affect the costs are:
  • Travel expenses of the field crew.
  • The size, shape and natural features of the property.
  • The number, size and location of buildings and improvements.
  • Availability and location of survey monuments on or near the property.
  • Age and availability of the property boundary information (some subdivision surveys are more than 120 years old)

An average RPR in Calgary would cost about $525 + GST. In many cases, it is more economical to update an existing Real Property Report. Most surveyors will update an RPR from their files at a fraction of the cost to prepare a new one. Average updates can cost between $300 – $400, depending on how many and how big the changes from the original might be. Sometimes one can end up paying up to full price for an update of an RPR over 10 years old.

A Real Property Report does not include replacement of any property corner posts. Arrangements can be made to have property boundaries visibly marked on the ground. It is most economical to have this additional service performed at the time of the survey. Neighboring landowners occasionally share the cost because of the mutual benefit of the Real Property Report and marking of boundaries.

 

How long is a Real Property Report valid?

The Real Property Report is a "snap shot" of the property on the date of the survey. Subsequent improvements are often made to a property or to adjoining properties. These may be new or modified fences, decks, driveways, garages or other features. Old documents may appear to reflect current conditions, but neighbors may have built additions that are over the property lines or easements may have been registered against the property. Only an updated Real Property Report can show their location relative to property boundaries. Changes to 

your title will also be shown.

 

What does Compliance mean, and how much does it cost?

Once a new or updated Real Property Report is obtained, it must be sent or taken to the City of Calgary for "evidence of municipal compliance" as required by Section 4.12 of the purchase contract. This evidence is called a "Certificate of Compliance" and currently costs under $100. 

If the improvements (buildings, fences, decks, etc.) on the property do not comply with the City of Calgary set-back rules, the City will advise that a Development Permit is required at about double that cost.

If any improvement encroaches onto City land, then an Encroachment Agreement is required at a cost of about $500.00. The Encroachment Agreement becomes registered on the title.

These are one-time fees. They do no

t have to be paid again each time the property is sold. It is possible that both a Development Permit as well as an Encroachment agreement is required. For these reasons, one is well advised to obtain the proper development permit prior to any construction work being done.

As a general rule, all of the following set-back requirements must be met in order to obtain a Certificate of Compliance. There are some exceptions for most older properties when the City often grants an Advisory Stamp (in lieu of a Certificate of Compliance) even though the improvements do not comply:

1.       The Housethe foundation wall of the sides of the house must be 1.2 metres or more from the side yard property line. Only 1.16 metre clearance? No problem! The City will likely round up in this case to 1.2 metres. The rear foundation wall must be at least 7.5 metres from the rear property line.

2.       A shed (or outhouse) - any shed that is not attached to the house and is less than 10 square metres in size can be located anywhere on the property. A shed of any size, small or large - that is attached to the house must be at least 1.2 metres from the side property line.

3.       A deck- if a deck is less than .6 metres in height, can be located anywhere on the property. The City then regards it as a patio. If the deck is .6 meter or greater in height, it must be back at least six metres from the rear property line and 1.2 metres from the side property lines.

4.       A detached rear garage- must be set back at least .6 metres from the rear property line. If the garage has a maintenance free exterior such as metal or vinyl siding, stucco, unpainted cinder block etc., then it can be built right up to the side property line. If the garage does not have a maintenance-free exterior, it must be set back at least .6 metres from the side property line. The City doesn't permit eaves or eaves troughs to extend on to the neighbour's or the City's land.

5.       Fences - Make sure the fences, decks and retaining walls do not encroach on to the neighbour's land. The purchaser’s lawyer may insist on an encroachment agreement because it gets registered on his title as well as the seller’s title. This becomes a serious problem because according to the purchase contract, Section 5.1(e), the Seller has warranted to the buyer that the improvements "do not encroach onto neighbouring lands. Title insurance will not solve this problem, as it does not cover fences. Can the buyer walk from the contract? Perhaps. It might take a very good lawyer to keep this one together without anyone getting sued.

 

If the lot is pie-shaped, the odds are better than not that at least one of the fences will not be on the property line. The fence may be several feet on the neighbour's land, which gives the purchase the impression that the lot is significantly larger than it really is. An RPR (Real Property Report) should be ordered immediately upon listing the property and prominently displayed with the feature sheet so there is no doubt where the fences are located, etc. It may very well prevent lawsuits later.

An RPR with Compliance is also a handy tool in measuring the size of the house as well as the lot. Delaying obtaining an RPR may very well cause problems further down the road, when you find out too late that there is an issue.

 

The above information is provided as a guideline only and is not intended to give legal advice. Please consult your solicitor for his/her opinion on your own particular situation.

What are Easements and Rights-of-Way?

The Alberta Land Surveyor’s Association has a very comprehensive answer to this on their web site .

 

What is the difference between a Surveyor’s Certificate and a Surveyor's Real Property Report?

Real Property Reports first came into existence in Alberta in October of 1987. Prior to that date, we had survey certificates that didn't satisfy the requirements of a Real Property Report as set out in paragraph 4.12 of the Alberta Real Estate Association's current Residential Real Estate Purchase Contract.

How is a Real Property Report prepared?

A registered Alberta Land Surveyor is the only individual who can legally prepare a Real Property Report in Alberta. A valid Real Property Report must bear the original signature and permit stamp of the Alberta Land Surveyor.

In preparing a Real Property Report, an Alberta Land Surveyor will:

  •  Search the title of the subject property.
  • Search all pertinent encumbrances registered against the title of the subject property.
  • Search all plans related to the location of boundaries of the subject property.
  • Perform a field survey to determine the dimensions of the property and location of improvements. It will be necessary for the Alberta Land Surveyor to access property markers on the subject and nearby properties.
  • Prepare a plan (diagram) reflecting the results of the field survey and title research.

 


Ten Important Questions to Ask Before You List

“It’s critical that you make the right decision about who will handle what is probably the single largest financial investment you will ever make.”

Picking an agent is one of those critical issues that can cost or save you thousands of dollars. There are very specific questions you should be asking to ensure that you get the best representation for your needs. Some agents may prefer that you don’t ask these questions, since the knowledge you’ll gain from their honest answers will give you a very good idea about what outcome you can expect from using them as an agent. And let’s face it - in real estate, as in life - not all things are created equal.

Hiring a real estate agent is just like any hiring process - with you on the boss’s side of the desk. It’s critical that you make the right decision about who will handle what since this is probably the single largest financial investment you will ever make.

 

1. What makes you different? Why should I list my home with you?

It’s a much tougher real estate market than it was a decade ago. What unique marketing plans and programs does this agent have in place to make sure that your home stands out favorably versus other competing homes? What things does this agent offer you that others don’t to help you sell your home in the least amount of time with the least amount of hassle and for the most amount of money?

2. What is your company’s track record and reputation in the market place?

It may seem like everywhere you look, real estate agents are boasting about being #1 for this or that, or quoting you the number of homes they’ve sold. If you’re like many homeowners, you’ve probably become immune to much of this information. After all, you ask, "Why should I care about how many homes one agent sold over another. The only thing I care about is whether they can sell my home quickly for the most amount of money."

Well, because you want your home sold fast and for top dollar, you should be asking the agents you interview how many homes they have sold. I’m sure you will agree that success in real estate is selling homes. If one agent is selling a lot of homes where another is selling only a handful, ask yourself why this might be? What things are these two agents doing differently?

You may be surprised to know that many agents sell fewer than 10 homes a year. This volume makes it difficult for them to do full impact marketing on your home, because they can’t raise the money it takes to afford the advertising and special programs to give your home a high profile. Also, at this low level, they probably can’t afford to hire an assistant, which means that they’re running around trying to do all the components of the job themselves, and allow may allow the service may suffer.

3. What are your marketing plans for my home?

How much money does this agent spend in advertising the homes s/he lists versus the other agents you are interviewing? In what media (newspaper, magazine, TV etc.) does this agent advertise? What does s/he know about the effectiveness of one medium over the other?

4. What has your company sold in my area?

Agents should bring you a complete listing of both their own, and other comparable sales in your area.

5. Does your Broker control your advertising or do you?

If your agent is not in control of their own advertising, then your home will be competing for advertising space not only with this agent’s other listings, but also with the listings of every other agent in the brokerage.

6. On average, when your listings sell, how close is the selling price to the asking price?

This information is available from the Real Estate Board. Is this agent’s performance higher or lower than the board average? Their performance on this measurement will help you predict how high a price you will get for the sale of your home.

7. On average, how long does it take for your listings to sell?

This information is also available from the Real Estate Board. Does this agent tend to sell faster or slower than the board average? Their performance on this measurement will help you predict how long your home will be on the market before it sells.

8. How many Buyers are you currently working with?

Obviously, the more buyers your agent is working with, the better your chances are of selling your home quickly. It will also impact price because an agent with many buyers can set up an auction-like atmosphere where many buyers bid on your home at the same time. Ask them to describe the system they have for attracting buyers.

9. Do you have a reference list of clients I could contact?

Ask to see this list, and then proceed to spot check some of the names.

10. What happens if I’m not happy with the job you are doing to get my home sold?

Can I cancel my listing contract? Be wary of agents that lock you into a lengthy listing contract where they can get out of (by ceasing to effectively market your home) but you can’t. There are usually penalties and broker protection periods which safeguard the agent’s interests, but not yours. How confident is your agent in the service s/he will provide you? Will s/he allow you to cancel your contract without penalty if you’re not satisfied with the service provided?

 
Yes, Help Me Price My Home!

The Calgary real estate market is always changing, making it difficult to assess the current value of your home. As a trained and experienced real estate professional, I have the right knowledge and access to the right tools to determine your Calgary home's value. What is your home worth in today's market in your area? Let me help!.

What Is a Comparative Market Evaluation?

A CMA performed by a qualified Calgary real estate professional is an estimate of the current market value of a particular property, based both on the specific features and qualities of the individual home and comparable homes already on the market, or homes that are similar and have sold recently.

During Your Free Home Evaluation I Can Advise On:

  • Tax issues, closing costs, and other costs associated with selling real estate.
  • How bank appraisals work.
  • Current financing options: should you refinance or get a new mortgage?
  • About building inspections, and low cost repairs that can instantly increase the value of your home.
  • How to sell your home for maximum dollar.

Selling a Calgary Home? Price It Right The First Time!
Fill Out the form below to request your very own Free Calgary Home Evaluation today.

Knowing what your home is worth is important information to have if you are thinking of selling. This is especially important in Calgary's real estate market.Have you been wondering, "what is my home in Calgary worth?" Perhaps you're thinking of selling, or maybe you're just curious.

Using information that you provide us about your home, we will conduct a thorough comparative market analysis by searching the dataase of all homes listed or sold in your area. With this current market data, we will be able to determine what your home might sell for if you decided to put it on the market. 

The Over-The-Net Home Evaluation is a great way to get started planning your move. We will give you a general idea of your home's value so you can decide if the timing is right. Then you can decide if you want to go on to the next step. If all indicators are good then you might be ready for a thorough detailed Evaluation of your property. In order to complete this second stage evaluation we would need to view your home and accurately determine it's value. Rob's twenty years of experience ensures that your evaluation will be accurate.

There is no cost or obligation for this valuable service. To get started we need your contact information so that we can provide you with our results. Secondly, fill in as much detail as you can about your home's features so we can be accurate as possible with your evaluation. Our goal is to have a response to you within 24 hours.

The data included on this website is deemed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed to be accurate by the Calgary Real Estate Board. 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.