How to Sell Your Home “As-Is”

When it comes to selling your home, you’ve probably thought about doing some repairs/ improvements before listing. These measures do much to improve your chances of a good sale, but not everyone has the money (or time) for home improvement. That said, some homeowners sell their property in its current state, or “as-is.”. So how do you sell your home as-is? That’s what we’re tackling in today’s post.

When it comes to selling your home as-is, it is important that you price accordingly. Improvements are made to increase list price: since you won’t be making any, you should set a sale price that fits the value of your home. A recent post from Tomlinson and Pointsothebys Realty discuss the importance of listing the sale price accordingly:

List the Sale Price Accordingly

If you are needing to get out of a home, whether it be because you are moving for a new job, or moving to a newly purchased home, or whatever the case may be, it’s always a good idea to put some improvements into the house so you can get the highest sale value for it.

If the house is in need of dire repairs, that should be taken off the home’s price. Say, for instance, a comparable house (based on square footage, bedroom and bathroom count, etc.) is listed for $200,000 in your neighborhood, but your house needs $25,000 in roof repairs, you should be listing it at $175,000 accordingly. The onus is on the buyer to make the repairs, but there shouldn’t be any surprises nor deception on what the true value and cost of the home is. Via

Since you’re selling your home as-is, the asking price should be reduced. It goes without saying that this will earn you a little less money, but it also helps the house sell faster.

Selling your home without making any repairs is possible, but disclosures are still required. It’s important to disclose all information on the home, from cracked chimneys to malfunctioning appliances. A recent article from Home Sense Properties expounds on this:

Material defects have to be disclosed

All sellers, even if they plan to sell their home “As is,” are required to disclose known defects about the property and to provide information on any issues that a buyer may ask about, such as termite damage, a wet basement, non-working appliances, plumbing leaks, etc. Any defects discovered after the sale are the responsibility of the buyer unless the seller had previous knowledge. The most common exceptions to disclosure law are usually the sale of the decedent’s estate or a tax, foreclosure, sheriff’s sale, or a property in which the owner has not resided in the last 3 years

Of course, disclosures are a part of many home sales. When selling your home as-is, expect to have a longer list than usual.

Disclosure is a requirement!

Lastly, be realistic throughout the whole process. Selling an as-is house will attract buyers without a big budget. While this is natural, it can lead to low-balling:

Be realistic but stand your ground

When selling a home in as-is condition you must remain realistic throughout the process. One thing you need to be realistic about is the chance you’ll receive low ball offers on your home is pretty strong. Many investors who purchase homes that are in as-is condition will write several purchase offers at once that all could be considered low ball offers.

Another thing you need to be realistic about is the chance that even though you’re selling your home in as-is condition, a buyer still may opt to complete various inspections. There are tons of reasons why having a home inspection is a good idea and many investors will choose to do so, even if a home is being advertised as being sold as-is. Remember, a buyer who chooses to have various inspections, in most cases, will be responsible for the cost.

Now that you’re being realistic with the idea a buyer will want to perform various inspections, it’s important to understand that some buyers will still attempt to request repairs or adjustments in the price after inspections. This can be extremely frustrating for any homeowner who is selling their home in as-is condition. Read more at

When selling as-is, it’s expected that you’ll receive a few lowball offers for your home. In these cases, it’s a good idea to set limits on how low you’re willing to go, or you could easily end up missing out.

How to Sell Your Home “As-Is” is republished from


What Are Your House Hunting Deal Breakers?

Looking for a new home isn’t the easiest thing to do, especially if you have requirements the location has to fulfill. Though having the right help on your side makes the process faster, you have to eliminate homes that you otherwise would have bought, if not for one thing. These deal breakers are specific to each home buyer, but a lot are quite common.

One example is driveway size: an amazing home with little room to park drives away some excited buyers. Another would be the number of bedrooms: big families need all the space they can get. The point is, deal breakers are crucial to the home buying process.

Today’s edition of Aleaha Answers tackles deal breakers that home buyers keep in mind. As a current (or former) home hunter, what qualifications do you use to narrow the choice down? Leave a comment below with your thoughts.

The following article What Are Your House Hunting Deal Breakers? is available on

Around Town: Fort McMurray News (Week of December 8)

It’s time for another edition of our weekly column from the A-Team. Amidst the start of the holiday season, here is some important news for the past week.

It’s the height of flu season, and 320 Albertans have been hospitalized for influenza according to Alberta Health Services(AHS). There are already 1100 cases of influenza living to 5 deaths across the province, according to Jaryn Vecchio of Mix News:

Over 300 Albertans Hospitalized for Influenza

So far, 320 Albertans have been hospitalized which is already around 60 more compared to the end of 2016.

Of those who’ve been hospitalized, 25 were in Northern Alberta.

“You may be healthy right now but keep in mind, good health isn’t contagious; influenza is. To protect your health you need to get immunized,” said Dr. Gerry Predy, AHS’ Senior Medical Officer of Health, in a release.

They’re also recommending anyone with flu-like symptoms to cover their mouths when they cough, wash their hands frequently, and to stay home to stop the spread of the virus. Via

950,000 Albertans have already gotten their flu shot, and AHS is advising those who haven’t to get one soon.

You may have noticed food bank stands in various grocery stores this weekend.  This week’s campaign was a success: $342,224 in donations and 76,935 pounds of food was raised by the Annual Food Drive of Wood Buffalo. From Fort McMurray Today:

More than 75,000 lbs of food raised for food bank


From Friday to Sunday, 650 volunteers were outside every grocery store in Fort McMurray and Anzac collecting food and cash donations, raising an extra $49,865.73.

A total of $342,224.73 in donations was raised throughout the entire four-day campaign, while 76,935 lbs of food were collected by volunteers.

The drive nearly reached the food bank’s goal of $350,000 in donations and 80,000 lbs of food.

Last year’s fundraiser set the record for the annual drive, bringing in $553,290 in donations and 80,622 lbs of food. h/t

Although the fundraiser failed to meet last year’s record, it’s still an amazing result for a city still recovering, and shows the giving nature of Fort McMurray., in an environmentally-conscious move, Alberta’s industry leaders will be receiving $1.4 billion to help reduce carbon pollution, increase oil production, create more jobs and stay competitive. From My McMurray:

Alberta sets aside $1.4 billion for industry to reduce carbon emissions

The government said the funding, spread over seven years, will make it easier for industries to invest in new technologies, stay competitive and create jobs.

“The business case for action on climate change has never been more clear, more urgent or provided so many opportunities,” said Alberta Environment Minister Shannon Phillips at a Calgary press conference Tuesday.

“Today’s policy announcement with help grow the modern Alberta economy, put more people back to work, attract more investment dollars, and continue to show the world that low carbon energy is developed and produced right here in Alberta.”

Alberta Energy Minister Margaret McCuaig-Boyd said the investments are needed to respond to rapidly changing investor expectations. Read more at

While the oil sands are the main driving force of the local economy, measures like these will serve to diversify the region, making it less susceptible to crashes.

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

The following post Around Town: Fort McMurray News (Week of December 8) was originally seen on

A Home That Works for Anyone: 157 Pitcher Crescent

Are you looking for a home that is well built and well maintained? Are you wanting it to have 3 bedrooms upstairs? How about a front attached double garage? North of the bridge? Well, I have the PERFECT home for you! 🙂

It really is perfect for a lot of people: young couple, young family, family with multiple children, single person, empty nesters. And if you have carloads of kids, then you could develop the basement!

And you won’t want to delay as this one won’t last long!

Let me tell you about this beautiful new listing I have listed just 6 days ago (you can see photos below). Here’s the fantastic video we produced to show how special this home really is:

157 Pitcher Crescent is a 2-storey home which was built in 2008 by Qualico Homes, a well-known, good-quality builder in Fort McMurray. Even though it was built in 2008, as almost every home in this city, the homeowners moved into the home in 2009. This home, however, looks much newer because the sellers have taken excellent care of it! (Really you would guess it was built only a few years ago!) The sellers are the original owners, which shows that the home is a good home.

This beautiful home has 3 bedrooms and 2 full bathrooms and 1 half bathroom. It is 1,715sqft on the top 2 levels (doesn’t include the basement) and the lot is a good size: 4,846sqft.

Pitcher Crescent is located in the new part of Timberlea, on your way into Parson’s Creek North. It is off Mayflower which is off Heritage Drive. It is near a main road, but doesn’t back or front onto the main road, making it convenient, but quiet. Not much traffic goes by this home, which can be nice if you have kids who like to play in the front yard (or pets!).

There is plenty of room for parking on the front driveway and if you drive by this home, you will see that the owners take excellent care of it – you can tell by how well they shovel the driveway and pathways.

With a double attached garage (which has access to the house), you will be able to keep the snow off your vehicle and you won’t have to worry about scraping the windshield before work. You can use the garage as storage, a place to work on vehicles or other projects, or you can use it as a hang-out spot. So versatile!

Inside the main door, the ceiling is vaulted, making the home feel grand and yet inviting. There is a lot of natural light throughout the home and this is also the case in the foyer.

The main floor features hardwood flooring and ceramic tile flooring, which sticks with the theme of quality. The very large kitchen and living room are the first things you see upon entering the main floor of the home. The open concept feel is very desirable and functional.

One of my favourite features of the home is the amazing kitchen. The kitchen features stainless steel appliances, very large island with breakfast bar, plenty of cabinetry including pantry-style cabinets and a dining area off to the side. On the other side of the kitchen (on route to the garage), you will find a half bathroom and the laundry room which also has space for storage.

The living room is also spectacular! There are long windows on both sides of the living room, which lets in the sunshine at different parts of the day. The gas fireplace makes it feel cozy in the winter. The hardwood floors are a warm brown which is modern and goes with really any colour of furniture.

Upstairs you will find 3 bedrooms, one of which is the large master bedroom. The master has room for a sitting area (or maybe a work-out area?) as well as a large walk-in closet and an ensuite bathroom. The ensuite features dual sinks, jet tub, and stand-alone shower.

The other 2 bedrooms upstairs are also spacious with views of the backyard. The carpet is in great shape. There is also the main bathroom next to the bedrooms with a full bathtub.

One of the reasons I think this home is so versatile is because the basement is undeveloped. This allows a buyer to add value later by developing the basement when they need it or have the funds to do so. It enables you to get it for less money today.

With the basement being undeveloped, it means you can make it into whatever you want… It is already roughed in for a bathroom and has 2 windows which would both work for bedrooms. You could make it into a space for your family or guests, or you could develop it into a suite. There are so many options!

The way it is now, the basement works perfectly for storage space and room for kids to run around. One of my best friends has opted to leave her basement undeveloped while her kids are small so they don’t destroy her basement. 🙂 You could also use it as a TV room or exercise space in the meantime!

The backyard of this home is great for many uses! It is fully landscaped and almost fully fenced (just missing a side gate). There is a lovely large deck which is perfect for summer BBQs! The sellers have added paving stones which lead to the fire pit – again, perfect for those long summer nights in Fort McMurray!

This special, well-maintained home is listed for only $609,900 and it has already been a busy listing! I highly recommend you see it for yourself to see the quality and excellent layout first-hand. If you are not already working with a qualified REALTOR®, then feel free to contact us to book your showing today! You can call or text me at 780-804-4800 or you can message us on our website, or on our Facebook page.

I look forward to meeting you and showing you around 157 Pitcher Cres! Maybe you will be the lucky new owner? 🙂

Check out the full listing here.

A Home That Works for Anyone: 157 Pitcher Crescent is available on

Questions to Ask Before Buying a House

Home Buying Questions

Buying a home can be very exciting: in fact, buyers can get so excited that they neglect to ask important questions and overlook important things. Asking the right questions will help you get the intel you want on the home you’re considering. In this article, we’ll talk about the top questions you should ask before making an offer on a house.

Before making an offer, the first thing you should ask yourself (or your agent) is how long the home has been on the market. The amount of time a house has been listed is an indicator of how popular the house has been with other home shoppers. A recent post from the James Anderson blog recommends asking around to make sure:

How long has the property been on the market?

Ultimately, you should tailor the questions you ask to the property in question. If there is anything in particular which strikes you as strange or unclear, there’s never any harm in just asking someone about it. So in this post, we outline some of the essential questions that you should ask sellers when buying a property before you seriously consider putting in an offer.

Generally speaking, a house that has been on the market for four weeks is a safer bet compared to one that has been on the market for four months. While there are always going to be exceptions, this question is often asked by prospective buyers to gauge the overall quality of a house. For some, a property being on sale for longer than average acts as an indication of potential faults and problems, although there are no hard-and-fast rules when it comes to deciding whether or not this is really the case. If this is the case, simply ask the agent or seller why they think the property has not yet sold, and you might receive a very reasonable answer! Via

There are many factors (price, marketing, etc) that go into a home sale, but a house that’s been listed for a while might be worth investigating.

The next question: are there issues with the house? No one likes the idea of buying a home only to find they’re stuck with a leaky ceiling, for example. It’s always a good idea to talk to the seller, or their agent, about possible issues with the home:

What’s wrong with the house?

Of course we want a home that is as turn-key as possible. But if you love DIY projects to make a house your own, take into consideration the magnitude of those home improvement projects. Will they take all of your time, money and effort to repair, leaving you unable to develop a garden, maintain livestock, work on preparedness skills and plans.

Roof Replacement?
Basement moisture?
Foundation issues?
Water damage?

How much normal monthly maintenance and upkeep will the house/land require?
In some states, a disclosure form is required when selling a home, but in states that don’t require it, you need to ask the pointed questions about any home repair/issues that come along with the home. And never skip a home inspection! h/t

Granted, it’s not guaranteed that a homeowner will answer honestly, but it’s worth a try. In any case, hiring a home inspector is recommended.

Roof replacement could be one issue a home suffers

Lastly, it’s a good idea to ask yourself if a home is something you can afford. It’s common for home buyers to overestimate their finances, and with recent interest rate changes, it’s not enough to assume. A good way to tell what you can and can’t afford to get pre-approved for a mortgage early on:

Is your financial house in order?

Even if you think you’ve found the right house at a price that suits your budget, you’ll still need to show that you can close.

“Before you make a purchase offer on a home, it’s important to get preapproved for a mortgage. Not only will a preapproval tell you how much home you can afford, but it shows a seller that you have the means to buy their property and can close the sale quickly,” says Laura Adams, senior insurance analyst at Read more at

A home purchase is possibly the biggest one you’ll ever make, and the consequences of over-reaching can’t be overstated. Treading carefully will ensure you don’t break the bank.

The following blog post Questions to Ask Before Buying a House is republished from

Around Town: Fort McMurray News (Week of December 1)

December has just begun, and it’s time for another edition of our weekly column from the A-Team. Here is some important news for the week:

The province received an encouraging economic update this week, when a 4% growth in GDP was forecasted by an Alberta Government financial report, according to Jaryn Vecchio of Mix News:

Report: Alberta Forecasting 4% Growth in Economy

In the Alberta Government’s second quarter financial report released Tuesday, it shows they’re expecting to see four per cent growth in the GDP, up from the 2.6 per cent forecasted in the budget.

The province says they were able to add over 70,000 full-time jobs since mid-2016, the majority in the private sector.

Drilling rigs also doubled from last year with retail sales recovering to pre-recession numbers. Via

The strong second quarter also helped the province reduce its deficit by $183 million to $10.3 billion. The effect on Fort McMurray housing will likely be positive overall, though an increase in prices may still be ways off.

In other news, a Houston-based company has come to an agreement to acquire Noralta Lodge for $367 million. This deal combines the two major providers of workforce accommodation and improves the operational strengths and facilities management capabilities. From Fort McMurray Today:

Camp providers join forces to deal with market

The companies say in a joint news release they expect to save $10 million annually by 2019 through operational efficiencies.

Lower oil prices over the past three years have dried up capital availability to build new oilsands and infrastructure projects, leading to high vacancy rates in the dozens of workcamps or lodges that surround Fort McMurray, Alta.

Civeo says it was attracted by Noralta’s ongoing contracts with two major oilsands producers which are to produce annual revenues of at least $130 million during their terms. h/t

The companies involved expect to save $10 million annually by 2019 primarily thanks to corporate and operational efficiencies.


Lastly, new proposed job site rules by the Alberta government will give workers the right to decline dangerous work on the job. From My McMurray:

Workers to get right to refuse unsafe work as Alberta overhauls workplace rules

Labour Minister Christina Gray is suggesting changes to workplace health and safety provisions and to workers’ compensation in a bill before the house.

Gray says workers need to be safe and have adequate support when they are hurt on the job.

One of the changes proposes that the family of a worker killed on the job receive a lump-sum payment of $90,000.

Employees would also get more say on the health and safety of their workplace, and those who were injured would get more input on how their claim was handled. Read more at

The memory of a recent explosion on site that killed a worker on the job is still fresh, so these proposed rules are relevant. Workplace harassment and violence will also be the focus of new, related rules.

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 December 1) is republished from

Is Buying a Home in the Winter a Good Idea?

I wasn’t born in Canada. Know-it-all-Englishman coming through!

I am Canadian, so obviously I cried when Sidney Crosby scored the winning goal in the Olympic finals.

But there’s one thing about natural born Canadians that I’ll never understand:

“Oh, no I couldn’t move house in the winter!” – Any Canadian

I really don’t get it. So I ask them “why not”? I always get back a mumbling answer about snow and cold, and the physical act of moving. Something about having to have the door open and keep putting your boots on and off.

It’s part of a bigger thing I don’t understand about Canadians which is an aversion to bad weather. If you hate snow so much (or God, forbid, RAIN!) then why, might I ask, did your forebears come here!

Of course, I’m joking.

But seriously, is buying a home in the winter months a good idea? Let’s see:

[Before we get started, check out the fun disclaimer in the footnote.][note]The interpretations of the MLS® data are my own and don’t reflect the opinions of the Fort McMurray Real Estate Board or its members.[/note]

Seasonal Cycles

Our real estate market is cyclical:

1) The national housing market is economically cyclical (interest rates, credit).
2) The Alberta (especially Fort McMurray) is dependent on the commodity super-cycle.
3) The natural world (and our school calendar) affects the real estate market.

If not much is going on in 1) and 2), then 3) will dominate. But regardless of what is happening in 1) and 2), our housing market is impacted by 3) (seasonal changes in our market operate in the background). In the last few years (true also this year), there has been so much change in 1) and 2), that 3) has not been very noticeable.

People like to buy and sell homes in the spring and summer months. Maybe it’s because they like to see the landscaping, or maybe because they want their kids into the new home long before the school year starts, or perhaps it’s because they don’t like cold feet when moving.

What am I talking about? I’ll explain, but first, let’s look at 2017 new listings and sales:

New Listings And Sales in 2017 So Far[note]All properties types have been selected. The data in all charts and analysis covers only the following areas: Abasand, Beacon Hill, Dickinsfield, Downtown, Eagle Ridge, Grayling Terrace, Henning Ridge, Parsons North, Prairie Creek, Stone Creek, Thickwood, Timberlea, Waterways and Wood Buffalo[/note]

homes for sale fort mcmurray ab 2017

This year has been fairly typical and as you can see in the diagram above, most people list their home in the first eight months of the year, with the peak, usually in April or May.

So that’s new listings. Now let’s look at sales activity:

fort mac home sales 2017

From the above diagram, we can see that most homes sell between February and June. Some years (about 50% of the last ten years) we see a fall bump, but just as often we see a “shoulder”, as we have this year, during which sales don’t rise or fall from late summer levels until we get into the worst of the winter (December, January).

New listings and sales are highly correlated. Quality inventory drives sales, and the promise of sales causes people to want to list their homes for sale.

Inventory & Quality Inventory

But what about the stock of available homes over the year? What does that look like?

ft mac homes for sale

Listings and sales (as well as expiries) combine to give us an inventory of listings on the market at any given time. For example, at the time of writing, we have 708 homes listed for sale in our urban market area. This is the selection of homes that buyers get to choose from.

As you can see, choice is more in the summer and less in the winter.

Since the best properties sell the most quickly, it makes sense also, that the vast majority of quality listings are available in the summer months.

Investor vs Consumer

You may be thinking of buying a home. If so, you might be doing so for purely financial reasons, to enjoy life now, or for a mixture of both.

We generally find that consumers tend to have more success during the summer months, when they are likely to find just the perfect home. There is more good stuff out there, but be aware also, that there are usually tons more buyers. Sometimes in showings, you can almost smell the last guys. Not a great feeling!

On the other hand, those looking for the best deals, might like to buy during winter months, when prices can be lower (all other things being equal). The reason prices adjust seasonally is because while inventory cycles down slightly in the winter months, sales take a real hit, especially in December and January.

So is is buying a home in this season a good idea? It depends on who you are (and why you are buying). It also depends on other things going on in the marketplace…

A Lot Going On Right Now

Be careful not to read too much into this one article, because it applies best to balanced markets (right now we are in a buyer’s market – prices are falling due to non-seasonal reasons). I really just wanted to write this just to open up people’s’ minds to another dimension/cycle you might not have thought much about.

To better understand the market, we recommend catching up by checking out our previous blogs on the topic:

Fort McMurray Real Estate Crash: A Timeline
Fort McMurray Housing Market Recovery: 8 Signs to Look for
The Effect of Oil Prices, Employment and Interest Rates on the Fort McMurray Housing Market

If you’d prefer to chat in person, we have specialist buyer’s agents, trained to look after YOUR best interests, so don’t be shy to reach out to us. We’ll look after you like family.



If you’re a chicken and don’t want to move in the winter, try not to panic. We’ve been known to help clients move every once in a while!

The blog post Is Buying a Home in the Winter a Good Idea? is republished from