Negotiation Tips When Home Buying

Every home buyer wants a comfortable advantage in the negotiation stage. While a buyer agent’s primary role is to help in these negotiations, it’s important for the buyer to be aware of common guidelines.

When it comes to negotiations in home buying, research is important. Looking past the surface may uncover some helpful info, such as the true length of time it’s been on the market:

It is vital to do some research

It is vital to do some research as to who the vendor is, and their reason for selling, as well as how long the property has actually been on the market. An agent may truthfully tell you that it has only been on the market for four months, but it could well have been on the market with another agent for ten months prior to that, and discreetly on the market/off market for six months prior to that. By understanding these factors, you can tailor your offer to maximise the chances of acquiring the property for the least amount of money. Via

Knowing information such as the reason for selling and how long the property has been on the market will give you an insight into the mind of the seller,

Next, base your offer on the home value and not on the list price. It’s unwise to use the list price as an actual indicator of value:

Base your offer on the home value, not the list price

The recent sales in the neighborhood give you and your agent ammunition and information. If a home is priced at or below market value, you’re unlikely to get it for less. If it is priced above market value and has been on the market for a while, a lower offer accompanied by a market analysis may get you the home. This is where a good agent can be invaluable. h/t

There are listings in the real estate market priced based on sellers’ expectations. If it’s overpriced, your agent will know and negotiate as such.

Negotiate to get the best price possible!

Lastly, is to avoid letting your emotions rule when negotiating. Emotions shouldn’t interfere with your decisions:

Don’t Let Emotions Rule

It’s true that often people buy emotionally; if you don’t love the house, most likely you shouldn’t buy it. But emotions need to be in check when you’re negotiating. Rational heads make the best decisions. We’ve seen people get emotionally worked up and lose sight of the end goal, while standing on principle over a small matter. read more at

No buyer wants to regret their decision. Unfortunately, this is a common occurrence, and one that leaves buyers in a difficult situation.

Negotiation Tips When Home Buying is republished from The A-Team Blog


Fort McMurray International Airport: An Overview

The Wood Buffalo region is rich in aviation history.

The earlier days of Fort McMurray flight took place on the waterways, where float planes docked among steamboats. Today, the city offers the largest airport in northern Alberta with the Fort McMurray International Airport.

Clenell “Punch” Dickens historic’s mail run in a single Fokker monoplane, along the Mackenzie River in 1929, was the kickstart to planes dominating the local transportation service.

Gate 5 at YMM Airport Credit:

According to Fort McMurray Tourism, this was the beginning of aircraft transportation as it “marked the beginning of airmail service and further propelled the town into a dominant position as a gateway to the Arctic.”

Soon after, pilots flowed Dickens’ path and braved the journey through -40 temperatures without the help of a radio or weather reports. In 1936, the first landing strip for light planes was built.

The next 20 years, the expansion of longer runways took off starting with the Canadian Pacific Airways. By the Second World War, the United States Air Force built a runway, followed by the Pacific Western Airways. states:

air terminals and longer runways were built over the next 30 years by the Government of Canada with a permanent control tower commissioned in 1981 and a larger terminal opened in 1986 to accommodate 250,000 passengers a year. Our History | Fort McMurray International Airport

Fast-forward to 2014, the new terminal opened on June 9 with a $258 million price tag, which was contributed by the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. With a total of 1,267 acres of land, it features four aircraft bridges and eight aircraft parking stands.

The Fort McMurray International Airport’s grand opening was historic and memorable to many locals, as the award-winning rock band Bachman-Turner Overdrive reunited after 20 years for the first time on the YMM’s Gala stage.

Guests were further wowed to learn the evening’s emcee was Canada’s first astronaut to walk in space – Colonel Chris Hadfield. World-renowned Canadian Forces Snowbirds also performed an aerial show throughout the weekend’s grand opening festivities. years later, the Fort McMurray International Airport remains the fastest way to get to Fort McMurray proper.

Because the airport is operated by the Fort McMurray Airport Authority – a local non-profit organization, it’s community-minded and it’s frequently hosting events and creating new ways to cater to the residents within the area.

It features free parking for those who choose to ‘Grab & Go’, which allows guests to eat and shop at the airport’s venues.

Most recently, the YMM Airport has partnered with the K9 Club House to provide Wood Buffalo residents with boarding services for their dogs. The ‘Bark n’ Park’ offer allows customers to receive 50% off on parking when flying out.

To learn more about the Fort McMurray International Airport, visit or check out their Facebook page for frequent updates and announcements.

Fort McMurray International Airport: An Overview was first published to

Around Town: Fort McMurray News (Week of July 6)

It’s time for another edition of our weekly column from the A-Team. Here is some important news for this week.

According to Deloitte’s Resource Evaluation and Advisory group, oil prices are expected to drop in the autumn, after hitting new highs this week:

Deloitte: Oil Prices Expected To Drop

He tells Mix News everything is great right now, however, this is usually when prices peak each year.

“We’re at the peak of where we are in June and July and I think we’re going to see things soften off in the fall, which is quite typical.”

“I don’t think it’s going to be quick, I think it’s something we’re going to slowly see and a build into 2019, so I don’t think it’s going to be a big surprise for producers.”

He adds the Syncrude outage is one of the big reasons for the increase in prices since supply is down and demand is still high. Via

Canadian oil prices are around $74 US a barrel currently, and expected to drop down to $62 per Deloitte’s predictions.

In other news, the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo or RMWB has extended the deadline for the Census to July 31, according to Jenna Hamilton of My McMurray:

Census deadline extended to July 31

The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo has extended the census deadline to July 31.

The municipality wants to ensure all dwellings are counted, census takers will continue to go door-to-door.

According to the RMWB’s website the unofficial count is 111,498, the number is expected to fluctuate based on quality checks, shadow-population numbers and approval from the province.

The official number will be shared later this year. h/t

As of now, the unofficial count is 111,498 provided by RMWB. The final count will be released later this year.

Lastly, Trans Mountain has filed a construction schedule for the next 6 months for the expansion of its Alberta to B.C. pipeline. From Fort McMurray Today:

Trans Mountain outlines construction plans

The company says work has been underway since last fall at the Westridge Marine Terminal in Burnaby, B.C., and will continue along with additional work in the Lower Mainland.

It says it will begin this month to develop the Westridge Marine Terminal tunnel portal at Burnaby Mountain and relocate existing infrastructure to expand the Burnaby Terminal.

It also says work on a 290-km stretch of pipeline between Edmonton and Jasper National Park will start in August and include surveying, staking and flagging the right-of-way.

It says it will clear trees and vegetation in the area while taking measures to protect the environment with relocation of rare plants and by conducting wildlife surveys. read more at

The National Energy Board had already approved the 1,147-km pipeline within an approximately 150-meter-wide corridor.


That’s all for this weeks’ roundup. Check back on The A-Team blog for more news and updates on Fort McMurray.

Around Town: Fort McMurray News (Week of July 6) was first published to

A Quick Guide to Listing Your Home

From Listing to Sale

The process of listing your home is a nuanced one. There’s timing, price, marketing, and more to take into account. That said, each stage can be prepared for:

Unless you suddenly face huge life changes, listing without taking time to consider the timing isn’t a good idea. Selling at the right time makes all the difference:

Time It Right

Ready to sell your home, or at least starting to think about it? If it’s that time in your life, we applaud you for doing your research before getting started.

Talk to your real estate agent or REALTOR® to know exactly when you should list your home. Inventory typically drops in the winter months, with the assumption that no one wants to buy a house when it’s cold out, but your real estate agent will know the market best, so make sure you ask them when the optimal time to list really is. Via

Most home sellers choose different seasons depending on their preferences, particularly how long they want to wait.

Pricing is just as important. A high price may make you confident, but in the wrong market, it’s a doomed attempt:

Pricing Your Home

The first thing that buyers notice about your property is the price. A common mistake is pricing too high, which can turn off buyers from the beginning before they even consider anything else. With a high price, potential buyers seem to find all the flaws. Additionally, when a price is set at or below market, buyers tend to feel more comfortable making an offer. Finding just the right price is key to selling your home. HINT: Many of the things mentioned above can assist in determining this. The different aspects of pricing can be discussed with your realtor h/t

A high price can lead to your listing staying on the market for a long time, while a low price eats up profits. Most agents will provide you with market info designed to keep you in the balance.


Stage your home in the best way possible


Once the above is decided, staging comes next.  A recent post from Avenue Realty Group discusses how to make the proper preparations to your home to get the most value out of it.

Staging Your Home For Sale

Once you have decided it is time to list, you need to take an objective look at your home, which is an understandable challenge for most sellers. Buyers are going to be more inclined to make an offer on a home that has been well maintained and priced correctly. Make sure you have repaired or replaced anything that is not in working order or not in good condition. Now is the time to fix the door that always sticks, re-caulk the bathtub, fix the broken electrical outlet, etc. Depending on the age and condition of the home, sometimes a pre-listing inspection can be helpful. This list of “quick fixes” may seem daunting.

A home that is decorated well and de-personalized will sell more quickly than a home that hasn’t been updated in decades and is cluttered with family photo walls. Remember, a buyer is more likely to make an offer on a home where they can visualize themselves and their family. If you are not sure how to accomplish this, Avenue Realty has the design and home read more at

Keep in mind that staging your home can increase its home value, so it’s ideal to watch yourself and not go too far when preparing the house.

A Quick Guide to Listing Your Home See more on: The A-Team Fort McMurray Blog

Canada Day in Fort McMurray

Canada Day in Recent Years

This Sunday marks Canada’s 151st birthday, and plenty of free events will be taking place around Fort McMurray to unite residents for the national celebration.

For many years, the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB) and the Regional Recreation Corporation of Wood Buffalo (RRC) have come together to organize a list of family-friendly festivities. The 2018 lineup showcases something for everyone.

In 2015, the RRC wasn’t able to bring the Canada Day crowd to MacDonald Island Park due to the Shell Place expansion. According to, this was the second time plans changed for the main festivities to be hosted elsewhere. However, the 2018 celebration will be held again at the city’s event-gathering hotspot on the Island.

Traditionally, the day begins with a pancake breakfast at 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. hosted by the Multicultural Association of Wood Buffalo. This year’s breakfast will be in MacIsland’s curling rink.

Following breakfast, the Canada Day Parade starts at 10:30 a.m. on Franklin Avenue and runs from Riedel Street to Morrison Street, until 11:30 a.m.

In 2016, one of the most memorable parades took place because it was the first community gathering for the city’s residents after the 2016 Wildfire. It was also the first opportunity for locals to thank the firefighters and emergency responders for their tireless efforts through the May disaster.

This particular parade was also the last time residents were able to see the well-loved, celebrity canine – Winky the German Shepherd – ride in a trailer, alongside his best human Sandy MacDonald’s motorcycle.

Winky sadly passed away a few months later. He was an ambassador for several charities, including the Fort McMurray SPCA. Winky’s owner has since adopted a new pup named Greb to honour the charity rides as the front man.

Following this year’s parade, family activities will continue at noon at MacDonald Island. The full event list is available online, which includes live entertainment and children activities. July 1 is also ‘Free Museum Day’ across the nation. Fort McMurray’s Heritage Park and Shipyard will be accessible at no charge.

Canada Day will wrap up with fireworks at midnight. In the past, the fireworks show was held on the Eve of the day because the sun sets late in the Northern Alberta. The 2015 show was last held on the day before.

In 2016, the city canceled the Canada Day fireworks. According to a Fort McMurray Today article, the fire ban kept officials from hosting it “due to safety concerns and logistical issues.” Instead, the Canada Day music acts ended the evening together to sing the national anthem on MacDonald Island. This year’s show will take place in its usual setting on the Island.

Transportation Tip: The RMWB is providing free bus shuttle services through their Park n’ Ride program to take residents to the Canada Day Parade, back to their event locations of choice – MacDonald Island Park and Heritage Park. Free transportation will be available from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Learn more about Canada Day festivities on the RMWB’s website.

The article Canada Day in Fort McMurray was first published to

Around Town: Fort McMurray News (Week of June 29)

It’s time for another edition of our weekly column from the A-Team. Here is some important news for this week.

The provincial has provided an update on Alberta’s economy, stating that employment has increased yet again this year to record heights:

Province’s Economy and Job Numbers Increasing

The provincial government says our GDP has increased by 4.9 per cent since the start of 2017 and is expecting additional growth of 2.7 per cent for the rest of the year.

More Albertans are also working now than ever before. The NDP’s note roughly 2.3 million Albertans currently have jobs.

“We know that we still have work to do, but we will not let up until all Albertans feel the economic recovery,” said Joe Ceci, President of Treasury Board & Minister of Finance, in a release. Via

The province’s deficit decreased to $2.5 billion as well, in another sign of increasingly good fortune for the area.

In other news, the Northern Lights Foundation has received a $143,500 donation from Rotary District 5370 towards the improvement of infant care, according to Laura Beamish of Fort McMurray Today:

Northern Lights Foundation gets $143,500 donation

The new beds will provide new technology that allows for a lot of safety features, including fully monitoring the baby, oxygen, weighing, respiratory support and providing easy access for the mother.

Earlier in the month, the Northern Lights Foundation received a $100,000 donate from Pembina Pipeline Corporation for the same investment in infant care.

The Rotary also gave monetary donations to six other local organizations on Monday, totalling approximately $300,000. h/t

This follows a series of donations the hospital has received this year, along with its current extensive renovation taking place.

Lastly, the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo has launched a citizen satisfaction survey. From My McMurray:

RMWB launches citizen satisfaction survey

You may receive a call from Bannister Research over the next few weeks to participate in the region’s first citizen satisfaction survey, since 2009.

“This is an opportunity to check in with residents and gain insight into their perceptions and opinions across a number of issues in the region,” said Lynda McLean, Director, Communications and Stakeholder Relations. “The results of the 2018 Citizen Satisfaction Survey will allow us to better identify our successes, as well as opportunities for improvement.” read more at

The survey will include multiple topics such as quality of life and safety, municipal priorities, etc. which will be done randomly. For those willing to participate, you can do so online.

That’s all for this weeks’ roundup. Check back on The A-Team blog for more news and updates on Fort McMurray.

Around Town: Fort McMurray News (Week of June 29) Find more on:

Why You Should Sell This Summer

Choosing when to sell your house can make a huge difference in the sale price of your house, along with how fast it sells. The right time to sell your house will always depend on many different factors, but this season has its advantages. Here are a few advantages to selling in this busy season:

One obvious reason why summer is the best time to sell is that the market is hot (hotter than usual in a buyer’s market):

The market is hot

With interest rates at an all time low for buyers, the market has turned into a feeding frenzy, and home sales are skyrocketing in prices. In such a high demand, seller’s market, homes are selling for record breaking prices, which means more money in your pocket. If you have been considering selling your home, doing so in today’s market will bring you a larger sales price. Don’t wait for the market to shift when interest rates begin to start going up again. The National Association of Realtors has gathered data to predict a strong 6 months of sales throughout the United States. And with such a large group of buyers hunting for homes during the summer months, you have a great potential to sell your home quickly, and move on to bigger and better things sooner. Via…

It always a good sign for a home seller when demand is strong. Since this means that you’ll be expecting a higher price for home sales and home buyers are willing to purchase which creates an opportunity for multiple buyers competing for the same house.

Next, many prospective buyers are actually sellers moving to a new town. This gives them more buying power:

Former Sellers

When sellers sell their home first, it gives them a financial influx needed to purchase a new home. Moreover, the seller switches hats and becomes the buyer, reaping the buyer’s benefits. This route eliminates pressure to raise the asking price to cover double mortgage payments, double utility payments, and double home maintenance. Sellers don’t need to recoup losses after overpaying for a home either.. h/t

Weather can also play a big role. Homebuyer tends to look for a house during sunny days.

Your house looks better in summer!

Last is more subjective, but if you’ve been thinking of moving for a while, this may be a good time to sell simply because waiting won’t help:

Moving On

Look at the reason you decided to sell in the first place and determine whether it is worth waiting. Is money more important than being with family? Is money more important than your health? Is money more important than having the freedom to go on with your life the way you think you should?

Only you know the answers to the questions above. You have the power to take control of the situation by putting your home on the market. Perhaps the time has come for you and your family to move on and start living the life you desire. read more at

Fort McMurray is in a buyer’s market, albeit a more balanced one than last year. Still, we expect prices to continue falling. Everyone’s situation is different, but if pricing is the only thing holding you back, consider taking the plunge this summer.

The following post Why You Should Sell This Summer is available on The A-Team