Chair’s Message – October 2019

As you are all aware, the Minister of Service Alberta, the Honourable Nate Glubish, introduced Bill 15 into the Alberta Legislature last week. Once passed, this Bill amends the Real Estate Act, dismisses the eight remaining members of Council (4 of whom have terms expiring October 31, 2019), and gives the Minister the authority to […]

Licensing Renewal Roundup 2019

The latest licensing renewal period is complete and overall, the industry outlook remains positive. The Numbers Year-over-year, the number of individuals licensed in Alberta remained stable. The numbers in mortgage brokerage increased slightly, while the numbers in real estate brokerage and real estate appraisal decreased slightly. As of October 7, 2019, 14,617 industry professionals were […]

Practice Tip: When Mortgage Professionals can Collect Fees

Advice from your Mortgage Broker Practice Advisor, Gary Siegle I often get asked, “when exactly can I collect my fee?” It’s a good question because there are many steps involved in closing a mortgage transaction. The timing is different for residential transactions than commercial transactions. For residential transactions, you cannot collect (or even attempt to […]

Practice Tip: Referral Fees

Advice from your Mortgage Broker Practice Advisor, Gary Siegle Most real estate transactions have several different players at the table. Many mortgage professionals have existing relationships with third-party service providers, and you may refer your clients to an insurance broker, home inspector, or cleaner. When you make the referral, you trust the person or company […]

Practice Tip: Send your Clients to for Helpful Information

Did you know that RECA provides lots of information for consumers as well as industry professionals? In fact, because RECA’s mandate is to protect consumers, RECA has created a suite of articles, websites, and resources over the years for consumers. We continue to build the resources regularly. These are to help consumers, your clients, better […]

News Bytes: October 2019

Remembering Lynn Allen Patrick It is with a heavy heart we announce that Lynn Patrick, former Council member of RECA, passed away in September. Lynn was a public member of Council, and RECA’s very first public member Chair (2005). He served on a number of government boards and was involved with several charities. During his […]

Real Estate Associate Brokers Must Take All 3 REP Courses To Maintain Their Licence Class

All real estate associate brokers must complete all three update courses in order to retain their associate broker licence class upon renewal for 2019-2020.

Have You Renewed Your Real Estate Licence?

Every year over 15,000 professionals in Alberta’s real estate industry renew their licence with RECA. Last week, 1,381 industry professionals successfully completed their renewal. Those industry professionals are now able to go about their day-to-day business activities without the stress and distraction of the September 30 deadline looming over them. If you haven’t yet completed […]

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 nothing […]

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, […]

Transferring Brokerages in September

Before you transfer an industry professional to your brokerage in September, ask them if they have already renewed their licence for 2019-2020. If they already renewed, their transfer will cancel their renewal, renewal fees will be refunded, and they will have to re-complete their renewal with your brokerage by September 30. If possible, delay brokerage […]

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 […]