By Rebecca Wissink

As outlined in the article 7 Reasons You Should Stage Your Home Before Selling, staging works and it is worth your time and effort. The data is clear: staged homes sell more quickly and for more money. Yet only “28% of home seller’s agents say that they stage all homes before listing,” so staging will give you an advantage in the marketplace. If you don’t know how to change your home from homey and cluttered to neutral and polished, and can’t afford to hire a professional, this article will walk you through how to stage your home, and what spaces to stage. It’s best to conserve your budget and energy by focusing on areas that will provide the best return on your investment.  

Buyers are generally attracted to…

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By Rebecca Wissink

Home staging is about showcasing your property in its best possible light in order to increase the perceived value. When a property is deemed valuable, it sells more quickly and fetches more money. You might be surprised at some of the statistics associated with staging, but the numbers are clear: preparing your property for sale in a specific way reaps multiple benefits. I've sourced recent real estate statistics from several industry sources to demonstrate the importance of staging your home in order to maximize its sale. Here are seven significant reasons to seriously consider staging your home before listing it: 

  1. Your Home Will Sell for More Money: Depending on the market and the effectiveness of the staging,…

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By Rebecca Wissink

You’ve probably heard the age-old adage – buyer beware. At no time is this advice more prevalent than in scorching hot housing markets. Buyers might be going up against multiple offers, or the threat of multiple offers, and feeling pressured not to put any conditions on their bid, such as a home inspection. Data from industry insiders reveals that in some of the hotter markets in BC this past year, “more than 70 per cent of offers” were presented without conditions. It is very risky to skip a home inspection when one is considering buying an older home in the price range of half a million dollars plus. Would you consider investing $500,000 into a stock without researching the company first? Buying a home is the biggest purchase…

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By Rebecca Wissink

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) has released its 2022 Market Outlook, which includes both a national forecast and one specific to Calgary. This article covers the forecast, the socio-cultural issues impacting Calgary and Alberta that led to the forecast, the risks that could derail the forecast, and we’ll touch on the national forecast. Briefly, Figure 1 below shows that sales are expected to drop or moderate after this year, even at the higher end of the forecast, as 2023-24 will likely have lower sales than 2021. The average MLS price will climb each year from 2021, gaining between $35 – 40,000 each year at the high end of the forecast. However, at the low end of the forecast, price gains will be minimal this…

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By Rebecca Wissink

When you’re selling your home, preparation is everything if you want to get top dollar for the property, and your Realtor® can help with much of this. Preparation can include, at minimum: decluttering; giving the home a deep cleaning; attending to the aesthetics of the home (repairing paint scratches); working with a professional stager; having the photos digitally staged if necessary; and, having fabulous photos that showcase the best of the property. But have you considered obtaining a home inspection as part and parcel of putting the best version of your home to market?  

Home inspections have become commonplace in recent years and serve an important purpose: they inform a potential buyer of any major repairs the…

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By Rebecca Wissink

One job of a Realtor® is to provide real-time and local advice to their clients, but this advice must be based on the market conditions at that moment, for that type of home, in that neighbourhood, of that city. While this may seem like common-sense, this can come as a shock to someone who has faithfully followed the media stories about the national housing market and expects the same results in their local market. There is no national real estate market, which should have been made very clear by the different trajectories the Calgary real estate market took over the last two years when compared to the housing markets of Atlantic Canada, cottage country in Ontario, or the Fraser Valley of BC. Each market is unique, with its own…

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People are Moving to Alberta

Recent data from the moving company U-Haul suggests more people moved into Alberta in 2021 than any other province. In fact, Alberta jumped from being the third most moved-to province in 2020 to overtaking British Columbia for top spot. The number one city in the province for U-Haul arrivals last year was Calgary! Calgary’s bedroom community of Airdrie was also a destination of choice, ranking 24th nationally, a drop from its 19th place the year prior. In 2021, the communities of Red Deer and Medicine Hat also received a significant influx of U-Haul trucks, ranking 8th and 15th respectively, which again is remarkable as neither city placed in the top 25 the year prior. These smaller locations that are experiencing an…

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By Rebecca Wissink

In markets with scarce inventory and a glut of buyers it is almost inevitable that at least some properties are going to attract multiple offers. The more appealing that home is to you, the more likely the chance it appeals to someone else as well. If you are a buyer in this situation, say in Calgary right now, you might feel overwhelmed by the speed at which decisions must be made, unsure of how to proceed to buy a home, and maybe even feel a bit defeated if you have already lost out on other homes. This article is meant to help you put your best offer forward by suggesting some tips for increasing your chances of successfully buying a home. 

The Seller:  

First, let’s quickly take stock of your “opponent” in this…

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By Rebecca Wissink

When shopping for a home you have a list of needs: a certain number of bedrooms and bathrooms, perhaps proximity to infrastructure like transit, hospitals, or good schools, and maybe you’ve considered the safety of the neighbourhood. If you’re a newcomer to this province or town, you might be especially concerned about the neighborhood you are house hunting in given you don’t know the city as well as a local. Which begs the question, why don’t real estate listings have crime scores or ratings? MLS listings can have walk-scores, which I’ve written about for Ross Pavl. And every MLS listing has a tab called “Statistics” that will show you demographic information about the neighbourhood, like the average age of the residents, average…

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By Rebecca Wissink

Walkability is all about how friendly a place is for those who choose to walk - with the presence of sidewalks, footpaths, or pedestrian lanes, and favorable roads and traffic conditions for accessibility and safety. A walkable community has significant places to walk to, like restaurants, shops, and other amenities, and encourages its citizens to get out and mingle on the streets.

Walking not only offers health and economic benefits to homeowners, but from the city’s perspective, walkability is about health and fiscal responsibility too. The executive director of Sustainable Calgary, Celia Lee, says the city needs to invest in creating walkable communities. Lee suggests the increase in chronic diseases across Canada over the…

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