Real estate professional says they’ll buy my house. Should I be wary?

My real estate agent says they’ll buy my house if it doesn’t sell in 90 days. Should I be wary?   Wary might not be the best word, but you do need to make sure you understand the details of the offer. This type of offer is a guaranteed sales agreement, and while there is […]

Is there a standard rate of real estate commission in Alberta?

My real estate professional told me there is a standard rate of commission in Alberta, is that true? It depends what they mean by “standard.” There is no legislative requirement or governing body that specifies the commission rate an authorized industry professional can or will charge. The fact is, commission is something you can negotiate […]

Can a real estate professional represent both the sellers and the buyers?

I’m selling my home, and the potential buyers also want to use my real estate professional to represent them. Is that allowed? Yes, that’s allowed. The situation you’re referring to is called transaction brokerage. Transaction brokerage is a service option when your real estate professional represents a buyer client interested in purchasing the property in […]

Do I have to sign a contract with a real estate professional to view a house?

I saw a house for sale, and I want to check it out—will I have to sign a contract to get a real estate professional to show me the house? The short answer is no. If you see a house for sale and you simply want a real estate professional to show you that house, […]

Do “contractors” need a licence to provide property management services?

I heard that if someone calls themselves a “contractor,” they don’t need to have a licence to provide property management services. Is that true? No, that’s not true. The truth is it doesn’t matter what a person calls themselves. If they are providing property management services and they are not the owner of the property […]

Can my finished basement be included in the square footage on my house listing?

I just spent $50,000 to finish my basement with high-end finishings. Now, I’m listing my house for sale, and my real estate representative says she can’t include the basement square footage in the total size. Why not? You developed your basement and it’s beautiful. You’re sure any potential buyer would agree that it looks great, […]

Can I terminate my listing agreement before the term expires?

I hired a real estate professional to sell my home. The seller representation agreement (listing agreement) I signed is for four months. It’s only been two months, but I want to terminate the agreement, can I? The short answer is yes, but it can be complicated. The agreement you signed is a legal contract between […]

Do condo management companies need to be licensed?

I’m on a condominium board, and we have decided to hire a professional management company. Do they need to be licensed? This is one of the most common questions we get. The answer depends on what they are going to do on behalf of the Board of Directors, and how they will handle the condominium […]

How can I ensure the resale condo I want to buy is a good investment?

I want to buy a resale condominium, but I’m worried about rising fees and possible assessments. How can I ensure the condominium is a good one? Condominiums can be a great housing option, and with some due diligence, you can find one that is well suited to your needs, and a financially sound purchase. Condominium […]

Is it legal for my real estate agent to collect commission on a sale after the agreement ends?

I’m selling my house, and the listing agreement says I have to pay my real estate agent commissions if my place sells after the agreement ends. Is that legal? It sounds like you’re referring to the “holdover” clause, which is found in most residential listing agreements (seller representation agreements) in Alberta. And yes, holdover clauses […]

Do I have to disclose a death that occurred in the house when I sell?

My elderly mother passed away at home. We are now selling her home, do we have to disclose that she died in the property? Simply put, you are not required to disclose her death to potential buyers. Sellers are required to disclose certain defects to potential buyers, but a death occurring in a home is […]

Can people book a viewing of my home to compare it to their own listing?

My townhouse is listed for sale. There was a showing earlier today, and I found out those “buyers” just viewed my home to see it as a comparable for their own listing. Is that allowed? The short answer is, no, it shouldn’t be. When you list your property for sale, you expect that showings of […]

Who pays for the services that are needed in order to list my house?

I just listed my home, and my real estate agent told me we had to hire someone to professionally measure my home. The measurement was done, and now my agent sent me the bill. What should I do? The first thing you need to do is check your Seller Representation Agreement (listing agreement). That agreement […]

Should I be concerned about radon when buying a home in Alberta?

I’ve recently started hearing reports about radon in Alberta homes. If I’m buying a home in Alberta, is it something I should be concerned about? You’re right to be asking this question. A lot of people aren’t familiar with radon, but they should be. Radon is an odourless, tasteless, colourless radioactive gas that is the […]

Do sellers have to disclose existing conditional sales when I make an offer?

I made an offer on my dream home and stopped looking at other properties. My offer was not accepted, and I later learned the house was already conditionally sold at the time I made my offer. Doesn’t the seller have to tell me the house is conditionally sold before I make an offer? No. Sellers […]

Do I have to work with the builder’s real estate professional when buying a new build?

I want to buy a new build home from the builder, but I don’t want to work with the builder’s representative. I want to work with my own agent, is that allowed? Will it cost me more money? Yes, you’re allowed to work with your own agent. The builder’s representative is representing the builder’s interests, […]

Can I work with different professionals from the same brokerage without signing a new contract?

I’ve been working with an agent, but she’s going on holidays for 2 weeks. She’s going to arrange for someone else at her brokerage to take care of my listing while she’s gone. Do I have to sign a new contract with this person? The short answer is no, but you may have to make […]

How do I know what items come with the house I want to buy?

I just bought a house, and on possession day, I noticed the movable island from the kitchen, which I loved when I viewed the property, was gone. Was the seller allowed to take it with them? The short answer is yes, the seller was allowed to take the movable island with them. A movable or […]

Who is responsible for property damage after the offer is accepted?

There was a major hail storm after a seller accepted my offer to purchase their home, and the house needs a new roof. Who is responsible for it? Until the deal closes and you take possession of the property, the seller is responsible for the property. Any damage to the property or to the items […]

I’m the new owner. Can I make the listing agent remove the listing from their website?

I’ve taken possession of my new home, but pictures, sold price, and its address are still on the listing agent’s website, advertised as sold. I want them to take down the pictures and address. Can I make them? It depends if the information they post on their website is personal information or not. Personal information […]

What is the difference between a comparative market analysis and an appraisal?

My real estate agent gave me a comparative market analysis when we set the listing price for my home, but now a buyer’s lender wants an appraisal done on the property. What’s the difference? That’s a good question. There are some very important distinctions between a comparative market analysis (CMA) and an appraisal. A CMA […]

What can I do to make sure condo living is a positive experience?

I did all of my homework before buying a condominium, and I think I bought a good one. Now I’m here and I want to make sure it remains a positive experience. What can I do? You’re right to want to keep the condominium you’re in a positive experience; not only is that better for […]

A developer wants to buy my home. Should I hire a real estate agent?

I own an older home in a popular inner-city neighbourhood. A builder knocked on my front door and asked me if I’d be willing to sell—he said I’ll get more money for my home if we don’t get a real estate professional involved. What should I do? What you’re describing is not an unusual situation, […]

Why do you need a licence to buy or sell property?

I saw on the news that fraudsters are being charged with unlicensed real estate trading. Why do you need a licence to buy or sell property? First things first. You don’t need a licence to buy or sell property; consumers are always free to buy or sell their own property. When you need a licence, […]

Can I override the Comparative Market Analysis if the range is too low?

I want to list my condominium for sale, and my real estate agent completed a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) to help me set a price. I think the range in the CMA is too low. Can I override my real estate agent? Of course. You are the client. When you hire a real estate agent, […]

The buyer didn’t waive conditions by the deadline. Why do I have to return the deposit?

I’m selling my home. I accepted a buyer’s conditional offer, they didn’t waive their conditions by the deadline – and now my real estate agent says I have to return their deposit. I thought, as the seller, I’d keep their deposit. Why do I have to refund it? When a buyer writes a conditional offer, […]

What happens if I can’t get financing approval until after the deadline?

I made an offer to buy a property, which was conditional on financing. My mortgage broker told me the lender is behind and I won’t be able to get approval until the day after the date in the contract by which I need to waive my conditions. Can the deal still go forward? Yes, your […]

My real estate agent says now’s the time to sell but a newspaper article said sales are down. How is this possible?

I interviewed a real estate agent who said now is the time to sell because average sale prices in my city rose 15% last month—but the last newspaper article I saw said sales are way down. How is this possible? It’s possible because your real estate agent was likely referring to something completely different than […]

Seller’s agent won’t bring my offer to the seller until a specific date. Is this allowed?

I’m in a time crunch and need to purchase a property fast. I’ve made an offer that expires in the extreme short-term, but the seller’s agent refuses to take it to the seller, saying the seller wants to consider all offers at a later date. Is this allowed? Yes. The seller controls how they want […]

What do the different real estate agent designations mean?

I want to hire a real estate agent and I’ve noticed some have designations after their name, such as Accredited Buyer Representative or Certified Condominium Specialist. Are these important? Whether or not they are important is up to you. Usually, designations after a real estate agent’s name indicate additional education or experience in a particular […]