To help you buy & sell
Importance of a REALTOR®
Whether selling your home, or looking for a new one, the over 5,100 REALTORS® in Calgary and the surrounding area work together to help you! This REALTOR® network allows them to share information and resources that place you in the best position possible to secure the biggest financial investment most people experience in their lifetime.
Not all licensed or registered brokers and salespeople are REALTORS®. Only real estate licensees who are members of the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), and subsequently members of CREB®, are REALTORS®. These REALTORS® are committed to a high standard of professional conduct, ongoing education, and to a strict Code of Ethics and Standards of Business Practice (1.6MB PDF). Using the service of a REALTOR® helps in disclosing maximum property information and facts, therefore reducing your risk.
Teaming up with a REALTOR® provides you with invaluable access to professional real estate expertise and knowledge. You benefit because:
- Your representative can help determine your buying power and refer you to lenders best qualified to maximize your loan and minimize your cost.
- Your REALTOR® has full access to all the features of the Multiple Listing Service®, Canada’s most powerful real estate marketing network.
- Your representative provides local community information on utilities, zoning, schools, etc. They can assist you in making the best choice selecting an environment where you and your family can grow.
- Your representative has a finger on the pulse of the housing market and is knowledgeable about developments and trends in real estate; and,
- Your REALTOR® has access to the MLS® System for facts on comparable pricing, neighborhood trends and housing market conditions, data you can use to set your best course of action and maximize your homes resale value when you are ready to sell.
- Your representative can negotiate the best deal. There are myriad negotiating factors, including price, financing, terms, date of possession and often the inclusion or exclusion of repairs, furnishings or equipment. By negotiation alone, you often save more than the cost of their service.
- Your representative assists you in providing due diligence to evaluate the property. This may include inspections for mold, dry rot, asbestos, faulty structure, roof condition, septic tank and well tests, just to name a few. Your representative can assist you in determining what conditions to recommend and assist in finding qualified professionals to investigate and provide report to you.
- Your representative can guide you through the sales process making sure everything flows smoothly from initial offer to closing.
- Your REALTOR® markets your property to other real estate agents and the public. Often REALTORS® will provide guidance on staging or repairs that enhance the salability of your property. Your REALTOR® will harness the power of the MLS® System to expose your property to a large network of qualified buyers as well as coordinate marketing through the most effective array of other advertising media. Only CREB® REALTORS® have access to the marketing exposure of industry publications such as CREB® Real Estate News.
You are protected when you work with a REALTOR® for a number of reasons:
- All REALTORS® are graduates of a real estate education program and are committed to pursuing ongoing professional development courses;
- REALTORS® must adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and Standards of Business Practice, your guarantee of professional conduct and service excellence.
- All REALTORS® carry errors and omissions insurance;
- The Real Estate Assurance Fund is available to you in the rare event of fraud, or breach of trust by a REALTOR®. It is your protection against financial loss. This fund is financially supported by our members; and,
- A licensed brokerage supervises the business conduct of all REALTORS® to ensure their compliance with Alberta law.
PROCESS OF COMPLETING A SALE
For Sale By Owner
If you sell the home yourself, you will get limited exposure by putting up a sign, running some ads, and telling your friends. If you work with a REALTOR®, you will get instant and mass exposure to a large number of prospective home buyers.
A REALTOR® has access to the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System. This computerized system operated by the local real estate board, compiles information about listed properties in the area and makes it accessible to member companies. As a result, when a REALTORS® lists your home, REALTORS® from other companies learn about your home and try to match it with buyers with whom they are working.
A REALTOR® can speed the selling process in other ways:
- By specializing in real estate, a REALTOR® knows market values and can therefore help you set a competitive price for your home.
- A REALTOR® can free you from the hassles associated with showing your home and screen out people who are merely curious.
- A REALTOR® is objective when negotiating with buyers and experienced in reading the fine print of contracts.
- By staying on top of the mortgage market, a REALTOR® may know how to wade through financing tangles and clinch a sale.
Selling a home is not something that anyone can do in their off-hours. It’s a specialized service, best handled by a professional REALTOR®.
Home Sale Checklist
- Be absent during showings, including pets, allowing the buyer to feel at ease and spend more time.
- Brighten the home by keeping all lights on, drapes open.
- Keep all interior doors unlocked and accessible.
- If you have to stay home during a showing, don’t offer information, let the buyer’s agent do their job.
Your front yard & exterior immediately reflects the inside condition of your property to the buyer.
- Walkways should be swept or shoveled
- Trim any trees or bushes blocking visibility of your home from the street.
- Cut back over-grown shrubbery that looks scraggly or keeps light out of the house.
- Invest in landscaping where it can be seen first. A well-manicured lawn, neatly clipped shrubbery and cleanly swept walks all create a good first impression.
- In winter, walks must be free of snow and ice (liability may also be a concern).
- Remove parked cars; store toys, bicycles and tools.
- Paint your house if necessary. This can do more for sales appeal than any other factor
- Inspect the roof and gutters. Any missing shingles to replace? Are gutters clean and downspouts attached?
- Consider putting flowers outside the front door if it’s not in perfect condition (very important for first impressions).
- Repair any broken outside steps, railings & fencing.
Buyers are turned off by even the smallest amount of uncleanliness or odour, resulting in a loss of thousands to the seller.
- Make your home squeaky clean, generating a faster sale and more money as a result
- Create space by eliminating old junk and clutter. It will make an easier move for you too
- If you have pets, or a home exposed to smoke or diaper changes, extinguish all odours.
Paint is your best improvement investment for getting the greatest return on your money:
- Paint when there are chips, exposed wood or it looks faded.
- If the carpet is worn, dirty, outdated or an unusual colour, seriously consider replacing it. Buyers generally don’t want to spend the time or money on improvements before they move in.
- Have all plaster in top shape. Cracks, nail-pops or visible seams are easy to repair.
- Check ceilings for leak stains. Fix the cause of the damage, repair ceiling and re-paint.
- In painting and re-decorating, always stick to conventional white and easy-to-work-with neutral colours.
- If you have a fireplace, clean it out and lay some fresh logs in it to make it look inviting.
- Wash windows both inside and out. Replace any broken or cracked glass.
- Replace all burned out light bulbs. Use brighter bulbs in all general lighting areas.
- Make the floors shine and have carpets professionally cleaned – repair any creaks (drive two long finishing nails at opposing angles through the floor and sub-floor into the joist).
- Straighten up closets – get rid of excess – store out of season clothes so closets look larger.
- If doors stick slightly, rub a block of paraffin against the surface that shows signs of wear.
- If sliding doors stick, rub the tracks with paraffin or candle wax. Lubricate any squeaky hinges.
- The kitchen is the most important room in the house. Make it bright and attractive. If dull, paint or re-stain cabinets, put up attractive new curtains or blinds.
- Clean the ventilating hood in the kitchen. Thoroughly clean to remove any odors especially around trash containers and areas where food is stored.
- If the kitchen floor is badly worn, consider new flooring. Light colours and simple patterns are best.
- Remove small appliances from your counters (toaster, coffee maker, etc.). Clean counters make a room look larger.
- Repair dripping faucets and unclog any plugged drains.
- Hang fresh towels and use a deodorizer in the bathroom area.
- Use special cleaning products to remove stains from toilets, tubs and sinks; keep sinks and mirrors shining.
- Replace old caulking around bathtubs and clean tiles so they sparkle (purchasers always check the shower).
Basement, Attic, Garage
- Clean out attic, basement and garage and dispose of everything that you are not going to move.
- Package everything that you won’t need until you’re settled in your new home. Make sure there is ample lighting in the basement stairway.
- If the basement is dark and gloomy, paint ceilings and walls a light colour. If undeveloped, paint the floor.
- Repair cracks in basement floors and walls with a ready mixed grout (concrete).
- Wiping clean the furnace and hot water tank will make them appear newer and well maintained.
- Wash down the garage floor and clean any oil stains with a chemical absorbent.
- Stack stored items neatly against walls to make the rooms appear larger.