Calgary Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find my blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to tips and advice. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. I’d love to talk with you!

Feb. 15, 2018

Interpreting the Calgary Real Estate Market

What is going on in the Calgary Real Estate Market??

As a real estate agent I am often said to have a conflicting view of our real estate market in comparison to that of the media. I’ve been in some heated arguments, once in particular because the news had just reported one hour prior that the market dropped by 10% over the past year and my math said 3%. Where was the 7% difference?? Or am I just really bad at math??

The truth is that the Calgary market cannot be defined in one blanket statement. Just like it can be snowing in one part of Calgary and sunny in the other, the market is different for almost every neighborhood, quadrant and style of home. Calgary’s market is made up of many small markets which must be analyzed on their own merit. 

When the media talks about drops in prices they do not provide the criteria for what this information is based on. I can only assume they are talking about Calgary as a whole because their math doesn’t compute when looking at areas individually and that is what happened in my argument. We were both right just not using the same criteria. I was analyzing a specific product in a specific area and he was looking at a “Calgary overall” statement. The reality is that often that drop is in large part due to one or two sections of our market. For example, condos have taken a big hit over the past few years and this was largely in part because there are just so many of them on the market. At one point condos were accounting for almost 40% of Calgary’s inventory. This pressure causes prices to drop as sellers have to become more aggressive in pricing to stand out in a sea of options. At the very same time I was involved in competing offers within different Calgary markets where homes were being sold in less than 24 hours and causing prices to increase. 

So what is going on in Calgary’s market…A lot!!

Whether it’s a good market or a bad market there is opportunity, you just need to know where to look and that’s where a real estate professional comes in. Calgary’s market is tricky to navigate, especially in uncertain times. That is why having a knowledgeable real estate professional guiding you is so important. We are at the forefront of the market every day, seeing where opportunity rises and where it falls. We look at your needs and weigh all the pros and cons vs. value. We provide you with all the information you need so you can make the most informed decision possible. 

I understand, you don’t want to call a real estate agent, they are too pushy or “salesy”? You don’t want to be harassed and end up having to change your number? I assure you that is an old style and definitely not one I subscribe to. I believe that using my expertise to educate buyers and sellers is the best service I can provide. If my knowledge doesn’t impress you, then I don’t deserve the job.

 

Posted in Market Updates
Feb. 9, 2018

You Don't Have To Wait Until Spring To Sell

Have you been thinking about selling but feel you have to wait until spring. Here are 8 great reasons why selling in the colder months could put you at an advantage this year.

 

1) More serious buyers. While the warmth of spring does bring out droves of people looking at houses, it's the colder months that bring out the most serious buyers. If buyers are willing to brave the cold they are not just tire-kicking, they are motivated.

2) Less competition. Fewer properties are on the market means less competition for you. While most sellers are waiting for the spring market, you can take advantage before the big inventory spike that comes with spring. 

3) Relocations. Relocations happen all year but January is the biggest month for relocations. These buyers do not have the luxury of time and can not wait for the spring market. They need homes on the market to choose from, why not yours.

4) Warm, fuzzy feelings. Buyers are often driven by how they feel when inside a home. When it's cold outside you can create a cozy oasis inside to appeal to their senses.

5) Happy New Year! The new year brings on feelings of new beginnings for many. A new start could mean a new home.

6) A smoother transaction. When the market heats up so can the chaos of selling. When the market slows lawyers, lenders and realtors have more time to dedicate to your sale. Buyers are also more accomodating with closing dates. You can sell now and pick your moving date.

7) Tax strategies. Many people want to buy before the end of the year for financial and tax reasons.

8) You can buy in the spring. Selling in the winter with a spring possession gives the seller the ability shop in the spring when there are more properties on the market.

 

Posted in Home Selling Tips
Feb. 4, 2018

Top 10 Home Staging Tips

If you are planning to sell your home consider "staging" it. Research has shown that staged homes sell faster and for more money than unstaged homes. Try these great tips to get your home in top showing condition.

 

1) Get an outside opinion. Very often home owners become emotional about their homes and rightfully so, a life has been built there. However, we all know when we are too close to something it's hard to be objective. It's a good idea to have a realtor or professional stager take a tour of your home to get advice for where improvement is needed and where to best invest. Don't take any of this personally, take a step back and try to not to think of this as your home but as an investment for the future.

2) Curb appeal. You've heard it a thousand times but the importance here cannot be under estimated. This is the first impression the buyer gets of your home and the saying is true "first impressions last". Trimmed hedges, weeded lawns, shoveled walks, clean painted doors, seasonal urns by the front door, all this makes for a welcoming feeling drawing them inside the house. 

3) Paint. Paint is the cheapest way to enhance a room. Stay with light neutral colors. Dark and bright colors can be overwhelming and overshadow the great features of your home. I can't tell you how many times buyers turned down looking at a home based on bold paint colors. Buyers need to be able to visualize themselves in your house and a neutral palette just makes this easier.

4) Light it up! It is amazing the effect good lighting can have. It takes rooms from looking dark and cold to warm and inviting. Lighting can also creates the illusion of bigger spaces. Open blinds, add table and floor lamps in dark rooms and make sure all bulbs in the house are working. Consider a small investment in adding pendant lights in dining rooms and eating areas.

5) Fix all visible imperfections. Fixing the small visible things will go a long way towards how the condition of your home is perceived. A neglected home with unfinished projects can leave the buyer wondering what else could be wrong with the house. Avoid this by replacing broken screens, broken receptacles, doors that don't work properly, loose door knobs, adjust cabinet doors that are out of alignment. Carefully touch-up chipped paint on walls and baseboard, replace loose or chipped tiles.

6) Clean, clean, clean. A great investment here is a professional cleaner but if the budget doesn't allow for it make sure you don't forget the small stuff. Clean dust off the baseboards, hand prints off walls, cabinets inside and out and don't forget the appliances (especially if they are included in the sale you can bet people will be looking in them). If you have tile floors and backsplashes pay attention to how the grout looks, grout cleaner might be useful here. And last but not least don't forget to look up; dirty bathroom vents, light fixtures that have become a graveyard for small bugs and are draped in cobwebs. 

7) Declutter. This is possibly the most important staging tip and comes with many benefits. It makes for a brighter, cleaner look, makes your home look bigger all while helping you start the packing process. Put away all knick knacks and personal items. Just keep the essentials. Minimize overstuffed cabinets and closets. Have just a few necessary items on the counter, (ie: coffee maker, butcher block and fruit stand) put the rest away. Make bedrooms look bigger by removing oversized or unnecessary furniture. Keep the office as clean as possible, hide wire as best you can.

8) Flooring. If your flooring is ripped, stained or in just bad condition consider replacing it. Buyers are always looking for reasons to discount their offers. I've seen it many times where buyer will immediately devalue the property by $7,000-$15,000 depending on what kind of flooring. Replacing it yourself could cost considerably less than this.

9) Invest in the kitchen and bathrooms. Modernizing these spaces can be simple and inexpensive. Simply changing the cabinet hardware can vastly improve appeal. Painting cabinets might be an option but really do your research before attempting this project, it must be done right. Consider replacing worn and damaged counters. Re-caulking around sinks and tubs is also an inexpensive way to greatly improve the look of a bathroom.

10) Space management. Furniture and accessory placement will give a home a warm appealing feel. This may sound like a tough one but just think about the room’s purpose and try to fulfill it. The living room should be arranged to create a conversation area which will look towards the room’s focal point such as the fireplace. If the dining room is currently being used as an office, convert it back to its intended use. Adding paintings or vases with decorative branches will give the room more character and bring it all together. 

 

Posted in Home Selling Tips
July 31, 2017

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I can definitely fill you in on details that are not listed on the report and help you determine the best home for you. If you are wondering if now is the time to sell, please contact me for your FREE home evaluation. You’ll get an estimate on the value of your property in today’s market. Either way, I hope to hear from you soon as you get to know our neighborhoods and local real estate market better.

Posted in Market Updates