How to Deal with Real Estate and Divorce

Selling a home? Click here for a FREE Home Price Evaluation

We’re back again with our good friend Ryan Mackay of Real Property Law to discuss the important topic of real estate and divorce. Ryan’s going to share some tips, best practices, and processes of going through a transaction while going through a divorce at the same time.

Even a “good divorce” isn’t always a good time. There’s always a lot of stress and pressure during this time, and the last thing you want is to add more of it by having to deal with a real estate transaction.

Quite often during a divorce, both parties have their own family lawyer and want to use that lawyer. Either way, someone will be left feeling extremely vulnerable. One way to remedy this problem is by hiring an independent, 3rd-party law firm that’s just there to do the transaction. Someone like Ryan and his team.

For the most part, when both parties have agreed to sell, there isn’t much left to fight about. However, there are worries about money. If people come to Ryan, he will help them sell and if they give him a written statement explaining what to do with the funds, things are made a whole lot easier. Otherwise, he can hold the funds in trust until the family lawyers have done their thing. This makes sure no one is taken advantage of throughout the process.

Ryan and his team can be a helpful unbiased third-party, an intermediary who can remain neutral. As for buying a home from a couple that’s divorcing, it’s important to know one thing. When you move into the house, it will be full of junk that neither spouse wanted. They will take the stuff they want and leave the rest. It’s not the end of the world, but it’s a good thing to know.

If you are going through a situation like this or know someone who is, we can help. Just give us or Ryan a call or send us an email, and we’ll be sure to handle things with the utmost care. We look forward to hearing from you!

The Number One Pitfall Calgary Sellers Should Avoid

Ryan Mackay of Real Property Law joins me to answer a recent client question: What is the number one problem for sellers to avoid?

If you’re selling a house or bare land condo, you need a real property report. Ryan sees a huge percentage of sales come in without a real property report. A lot of these sellers are two weeks away from closing and say they have never even heard of this report!

The real property report is essentially a surveyor’s drawing that shows where your property lines are. The RPR lets you know if your stuff is sitting on your land or if your new fence is encroaching on your neighbor’s property. If that’s the case, that problem will cost money to fix.

If there’s no RPR in play, the contract gives the buyer complete power over the deal. You need a real property report with a municipal compliance stamp from the city confirming that everything is okay. If you don’t have that, the buyer can put the entire deal on hold and even delay funds. If you need that money to purchase your next home, suddenly, you’re in a bad position to purchase your next home.

Get the real property report ready to go when you list your property. Sometimes, you might have had one before, but if you built a new fence or shed you need to get it updated.

This is a huge problem that is easily preventable. If you have any questions, give us a call or send us an email. We would be happy to help you!

Avoiding Pitfalls During the Home Buying Process

Selling a home? Click here for a FREE Home Price Evaluation
There are countless pitfalls you can fall into during the home buying process. Today we want to help you avoid some of the more troubling ones, so we’ve invited Ryan Mackay, an attorney with Real Property Law, to talk a little bit about how to avoid certain pitfalls that have ruined deals for buyers in the past.

Within a purchase contract, there are an endless number of things that could go wrong. While the big, catastrophic problems are rare, they are still possible if you don’t have the right person or team of people guiding you through the process.

Ryan says that most of the problems he sees are mistakes made before the client even comes to his office. One of the biggest issues he’s been seeing has to do with home inspections or lack thereof.

Let’s say you are looking at a house and for whatever reason, you decide not to get an inspection. You may think that everything appears to be fine from your walkthroughs, but what you don’t know is that there is a clause in a standard contract that says the property will be in essentially the same condition on the possession date as the day the contract is signed.

If there ends up being something major wrong with the home that doesn’t get picked up due to a lack of home inspection, there is nothing Ryan can do to help at that point. By waiving your inspection, you waived your right at re-negotiation of the contract due to repairs. The contract says you're buying as-is, so you end up paying good money for a broken item.

This is a completely preventable issue and proof that getting a home inspection is a wise investment. More than just the inspection, it’s about hiring the right people to work with so that you never have the opportunity to skip an inspection. You want your agent, your lender, your lawyer, and your home inspector to all work together in order to help you buy a home.

If you have any questions for us, don’t hesitate to reach out. We look forward to hearing from you!

Huge News from Your Calgary Real Estate Agent!

Selling a home? Click here for a FREE Home Price Evaluation

Today I’m here with a big announcement. I have decided to switch companies and have moved over to CIR Realty here in Calgary. Not only is this an exciting step in my career, it’s also a great opportunity to better serve all of you.

CIR Realty and I are putting on a client event, so make sure you register. We are having a Homeowners Trade Show. This is a great session to get information on how to list and sell your home. There will also be a great real estate investment opportunity with Walton Capital Management.

If you are interested in learning about land investment, selling your home, and more, join us Saturday, April 23rd at the Winsport International Arena. If you show up, you will have a chance to win $10,000.

If you have any questions, give us a call or send us an email. We would be happy to help you!

Questions to Ask Yourself When Selling Your Home in Calgary

Selling a home? Click here for a FREE Home Price Evaluation

When you decide to put your home up for sale in Calgary, you need to ask yourself a few different questions. We’re going to review them today.

  1. Are you going to hire a Realtor? If so, how will you find a good one? Word-of-mouth is a good way to find a Realtor, or looking at reviews online and checking credentials is also helpful in finding a trustworthy real estate professional.
  2. How will you prepare, present, and price your home? These are the three P’s of real estate, and they are essential for selling your home.
    1. Prepare: This includes decluttering, cleaning, repairing, landscaping, and more.
    2. Present: You may want to invest in a professional home stager to make your home more appealing to a wider range of buyers.
    3. Price: If you don’t price your home correctly, your home won’t sell. Your home’s price is your #1 piece of marketing and advertising.

We’re currently operating in a very competitive market, so your home’s price has to be right at the fair market value. Buyers don’t want to pay extra when they don’t have to, and they will know when they’re getting a raw deal. To pinpoint a perfect price, you will have to consult a professional like myself to run a comparative market analysis. This is the only way to find an attractive price for your home.

If you need help selling in Calgary this year, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me!

What’s Been Going on in the Calgary Market?

Selling a home? Click here for a FREE Home Price Evaluation

Today we’ve got a market update for you, and all the latest stats for the Calgary market. It’s going to be a challenging market for sure, but we have some good news.

What we’re seeing lately is that our office has had the 2nd best February we’ve ever had, which is always great news. Another trend we are seeing is extremely low interest rates. People are getting used to the “new normal” of low oil prices, so now people are using that savings to buy homes while rates are low. People are also using these conditions to move up into nicer homes.

Let’s say you own a $400,000 3-bedroom home, but have 5 kids. You’re going to need a bigger house. One great thing about the current market is that there is a healthy demand for homes priced between $350,000 and $450,000. At the same time, homes priced between $500,000 and $700,000 have taken a hit in this market, and are being sold at a discount.

For move-up buyers, this means selling their home quickly for a little less than they would have gotten in the past couple of years. However, you can also then move-up and buy your new home for a lot less than you could have in the last few years.

We’re seeing a ton of activity at our open houses, and buyers and sellers are out there in the market ready to make moves. Things are really starting to stir, and we expect to have a really good 2016.

If you have any questions for us, don’t hesitate to give us a call or send us an email. We would love to hear from you!

What to Expect in the Calgary Market This Month

Today, we'll discuss some important information for the January real estate market. We'll go over  where we're heading in 2016. Knowledge is power. Although things aren't great in the Calgary real estate market, it's not all bad news.

If you plan on selling in 2016, it's important to pay attention to cycles in the real estate market. We saw a lot of layoffs in Alberta in 2015. Similarly to 2008 and 2009, these people will have to go on employment insurance. Considering that we're a year into this depressed oil cycle, that employment insurance will run out on them this year, forcing many people to sell their homes.

We're already in a buyer's market, so when more homes come onto the market this year, home prices will fall. 

Here's what you need to know: your house is worth more right now than it will be later in the year. In fact, your home value is at its highest point today. It's going to be awhile before the market recovers. If you want to sell your home, get it on the market before the flood of listings come in the spring. Get ahead of the curve now so you can net the most money for your home.

Mortgage rates have also risen. The Bank of Montreal has raised interest rates about thirty basis points. Higher interest rates mean it's more difficult for people to qualify for a mortgage, which will mean fewer buyers to look at the home. However, it now looks like rates might come down again! What? Talk about a roller coaster. The economy is trying to find its footing. Expect instability in mortgage rates, oil prices and other commodities and therefore jobs and ultimately house prices for the year to come, if not longer.

Of course, some buyers will jump into the market to lock in a mortgage before interest rates go up. If you list now, you have a great opportunity to attract those buyers. 

On a bright note, our clothing drive on January 10th was a big success. We collected a lot of clothes for the drop-in shelter here in downtown Calgary. Thank you for participating!

If you have any questions about today's video, give us a call or send us an email. We would be happy to help you!

Calgary Real Estate Market Update

With the oil and gas economies taking a hit lately, the real estate market in Calgary has done the same. Unfortunately, home prices may see a 5-10% decrease. This depends on what neighborhood you're in and what type of home you're trying to sell.

If you're thinking of selling your home, then here is what I suggest that you do:

  • Get your house on the market as soon as possible to avoid the typical spring rush
  • Sellers will come out in droves during the spring, so list your home now to avoid the rush of homes
If you're looking to buy a home, it would be a great time to do so. Prices are falling and interest rates are extremely low. 

If you're going to sell and buy, don't worry about getting less for your home because you will also be paying less for a home when you turn around and buy one. That should lessen the sting of the market downturn. 

So, get ready for the market in 2016. It could be a little rocky, so prepare to weather a little storm ahead. 

If you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to contact me!

When Should You Buy and Sell in Calgary?

I'm always asked when the best time to buy or sell real estate might be. Unfortunately, there isn't one single "best time to sell".
The right time to buy or sell real estate is simply when your family is ready to do so. Timing the market is fairly impossible, so you just have to make a move when the time is right for you. Nobody can foresee the future of the market. The best thing you can do is to get in touch with your local Realtor to plan a quick and successful transaction.

Lastly, I invite you all to participate in our annual clothing drive on January 10, 2015. I'll be accepting donations from anyone and everyone - no donation is too small. You can drop clothing off at the Calgary Drop-In Center and let them know that you're making donations for my drive, or you can contact me and I'll come pick up the clothes from you.

We would appreciate any donations! Warmer clothes are especially helpful during this time of year, so if you have boots, gloves, hats, scarves, sweaters, or anything else warm, please donate them to us!

If you have any further questions about the clothing drive or the Calgary real estate market, please don't hesitate to contact me.