Ask Charles Consumer Questions

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

Charles Stevenson is the Registrar 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 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?

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?

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?

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?

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?

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?

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?

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?

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?