"Ask Charles" Consumer Questions

You've got questions, and he's got answers.

Charles Stevenson is the Director of Professional Standards at the Real Estate Council of Alberta. Charles knows that buying and selling a home can be confusing, but it doesn't have to be. "Ask Charles" is a question and answer column for consumers about buying and selling property in Alberta.

The "Ask Charles" column runs in GreatNews Publishing's community newsletter publications in Calgary, in Calder Publications' Community League Newsletters in Edmonton, in Black Press's "Your House, Your Home" publication in Red Deer, and in the Lethbridge Herald's "Focus on Lethbridge and area real estate" in Lethbridge..

If you have a question for "Ask Charles," please email askcharles@reca.ca.

Click on the questions below to review archived columns.

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?

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?

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?

My elderly mother passed away at home. We are now selling her home, do we have to disclose that she died in the property?

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?

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?

I’m on a condominium board, and we have decided to hire a professional management company. Do they need to be licensed?

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?

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?

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?

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?

I’m selling my home, and the potential buyers also want to use my real estate professional to represent them. Is that allowed?

My real estate professional told me there is a standard rate of commission in Alberta, is that true?

I saw an ad saying a real estate professional will buy my house if it’s not sold in 90 days. Should I be wary?