Selling Tips

Weekly Calgary Real Estate Update for February 18, 2019

Weekly Calgary Real Estate Update for February 18, 2019

Weekly Calgary Real Estate Update

6413 homes for sale in metro Calgary (up 127)

1004 homes sold in the last 30 days (up 45)

6.39 months worth of inventory (down 0.16)

15.66% of the homes statistically to sell in the next 30 days (up 0.40%)

Market Conditions: Buyers

Average List Price: $476,795 (down $2,213)

Average Sale Price: $458,113 (down $1,1088)

Average days on market: 66 (down 3)

Average list to sale price ratio : 96.20% (up 0.17%)

*Numbers in the brackets are a comparison from last week’s stats. Ideally, we want the number of homes selling in the last 30 days to increase weekly, the months of inventory to decrease (meaning demand is matching inventory) and the % of homes to sell in the next 30 days to increase.

Staging Your Property for the Real Estate Market – By Homes Scape Home Staging & Design – Our Preferred Home Stager


Staging Your Property for the Real Estate Market


When selling a property, the questions that go through a seller’s mind is always how are we going to sell quickly for the most amount of money? How can we compete against the other homes on the market?  Should we consider staging? Is staging worth the time and expense?

If you have ever watched HGTV, you’ve probably seen shows on home selling and staged properties. Property staging has been around for more than 20 years but more recently has become a serious marketing tool for selling homes. Why? Because it works. That’s the whole point of home staging in the first place — to present your home in the best possible light. If you do this, buyers will be more likely to make an offer.

Staging a house means taking the time and investing the money up front to prepare the property for market. The National Realtor Association states that every $100.00 spent on staging a $400.00 return is made. Trying to see what a buyer sees in your home can be tough, but getting that glimpse is extremely important for preparing your home for sale.

When buyers walk through your home, they are making observations on various levels. They obviously need to make the emotional connection to the home where they feel comfortable. The emotional connection happens within the first 3 minutes of being in your home. They will also make sure the home meets all their needs from a structural standpoint (size, layout, number of rooms etc.). Savvy buyers will be looking for clues that indicate the true conditions of the home.

If you stage your house effectively, it will give buyers the impression of a well-maintained home. The first step in any home-staging plan are the basic repairs. You start by fixing what’s broken. This is the bare minimum. After that, you move on to the cosmetic touches like painting, replacing outdated light fixtures, replacing the flooring etc. The result is that the house seems like it’s in tip-top shape. These improvements put a buyers’ mind at ease, which is exactly what you want to accomplish in order to sell. Every buyer wants an easy transition. Moving is stressful enough. The last thing they want is to inherit a long list of repairs and upgrades. Staging your house well makes life easier for your buyers.

The second step in the staging process is packing. You want buyers to see the house as a good fit for their family. I often get the question what should I pack and what should stay? My answer: you don’t want them to see your family living in the home. If they see pictures of you everywhere, they’ll have a harder time making a personal connection to the home. The same goes for taste-specific decorating choices. Unusual paint colors and exotic knickknacks are fine when you are living in the home. But when you’re trying to sell it, you need to neutralize the decor. When you stage your house, you’re essentially removing yourself so that others may insert themselves.

You will have to pack up your belongings when you sell, so why not get a head start? By starting the pre-packing stage, you are also making your job easier when it comes to the move. You won’t have as many items to box up at the last minute.

The last step in the staging plan is the showcasing. This is where you get to get to make your home “Magazine Ready”. The art of home staging has a lot to do with space. You want to remove excess furniture and arrange the furniture in a way that maximizes usable space within the house. This gives the impression that the home is larger than it actually is. Have you ever walked through a home with minimal furniture and been amazed at how much space it had? But when you fill up that same house with over-sized furniture, knickknacks and other forms of clutter, it suddenly feels cramped. You may be surprised at how large your house seems all of a sudden. This is a common reaction among homeowners. And it’s a positive reaction among potential buyers. You never want buyers to feel like the home is cramped or crowded.

Staging doesn’t just occur on the inside. It happens on the outside as well. You’ve heard the phrase “curb appeal” before. This is the positive first impression people get when they pull up to your home. But you can’t achieve curb appeal unless you stage the house effectively.

You want buyers to be impressed with the property before they even step foot inside. This is a critical moment that will determine their attitude for the rest of the visit. It’s hard to overcome a bad first impression, even if the inside of the house is in prime condition. If you stage the house well, you’ll improve the exterior as well as the interior. Buyers will see your property in a positive frame of mind before they even walk through the front door.

Real estate agents walk through homes every day. This is especially true for the buyer agents, who might have to show dozens of homes to please their individual clients. Many of the homes the agents visit will be poorly staged. They’ll have oversized furniture, antiquated wallpaper, and shelves full of clutter. When an agent walks into a house that has been staged properly, they can get pretty excited about it. Trust me, I’ve seen it happen.

As a seller, this is exactly what you want. You want the buyer’s agent to rave about your house. You want him or her to say things like, “This is so much nicer than the other homes we’ve looked at.” The agent’s excitement will rub off on the buyers, which increases the likelihood of a sale.

We just talked about real estate agents getting excited over a well-staged home, but the benefits of this goes beyond the agent’s buyers. Other agents will hear about your house as well. Word gets around quickly in the real estate world. The buyer’s agent will want to bring his or her other clients to your house as well. They’ll probably mention it to other agents working in their firm. This will increase the number of buyers who come out to see your home.

In order to enjoy this level of “buzz,” you need to stage your house before you try to sell it. Giving potential buyers a good first impression is your primary goal. Giving agents a good impression also helps sell your property.

There are only two ways to distinguish your home. You can price it below the competition or make it seem like a nicer home. If you do neither of these things, your house will probably be on the market for a long time. Staging can make all the difference in the real estate world, even if your home is priced the same as comparable properties that are for sale. You are giving the appearance of a better value.

So what makes your home stand out from the rest?



Weekly Calgary Real Estate Update for February 11, 2019

Weekly Calgary Real Estate Update for February 11, 2019

Weekly Calgary Real Estate Update

6286 homes for sale in metro Calgary (up 149)

959 homes sold in the last 30 days (up 125)

6.55 months worth of inventory (down 0.81)

15.26% of the homes statistically to sell in the next 30 days (up 1.67%)

Market Conditions: Buyers

Average List Price: $479,008 (down $3,782)

Average Sale Price: $459,201 (down $2,839)

Average days on market: 69 (down 4)

Average list to sale price ratio : 96.03% (up 0.15%)

*Numbers in the brackets are a comparison from last week’s stats. Ideally, we want the number of homes selling in the last 30 days to increase weekly, the months of inventory to decrease (meaning demand is matching inventory) and the % of homes to sell in the next 30 days to increase.

Are You Packing Up a House Long-term?

Are You Packing Up a House Long-term?


Many people need to pack up boxes and boxes of their belongings when getting ready for a big move. The more that you can pack up items that you don’t use on a daily basis – the easier the packing can be. Items such as winter clothing in the summer, hockey equipment in the summer, summer clothing during the winter, etc. Then when you have piles of boxes, then where do you put them all? If you are out of room with all your boxes, then we may have a solution for you!


Our clients could potentially receive 25% off the 1st month and 2nd month free at Maple Leaf Storage.

We also have contacts with Big Steel Box which can also yield discounts on different size boxes as well with storage and delivery.


If you are in need of a storage solution – call us today to discuss how we could be of assistance to you!


What is Radon?

What is radon?

Radon is a radioactive gas that occurs when radium in soil and rock breaks down. It is an invisible, odourless and tasteless gas that can accumulate to unnaturally high and dangerous levels in our homes.

Radon gas in Canada

Western Canada contains some of the highest radon-generating soils on our planet. Although it arises naturally from our geology, radon gas is often drawn up inside modern buildings and concentrated to hazardous levels not seen in nature – thus, high radon exposure is a manmade problem. Canada contains many radon-generating regions, and Canadians have constructed towns and cities across almost all of them. This does not mean, however, that all of our buildings contain high radon. There are three factors needed to incur hazardous radon exposure:

  1. Geologic source and pathway (upwards) for radon into a property
  2. Building metrics that actively draw up and concentrate radon
  3. Human behaviour that enables higher exposure

Why is radon gas harmful?

Radon is radioactive and unstable. In a very short period of time it decays and emits alpha particle radiation, which severely damages our DNA in such a way that is almost impossible for our bodies to repair without introducing genetic errors (mutations). These errors trigger a worsening cycle of DNA mutation that drives cancer formation. Hence, radon is listed as a category 1 carcinogen (cancer causing agent), meaning that it is absolutely known to cause cancer in humans. As radon is inhaled into our lungs, it primarily triggers the formation of lung cancer – the number one cause of cancer death in Canada – even in folks who have never smoked. Younger people, especially children, are the most at risk from the DNA damage caused by radon exposure. The risk of cancer goes up with greater radon levels, and prolonged exposure over a life.

How is radon gas measured?

Radiation from radon is measured in a unit called the Becquerel (Bq) that represents one alpha particle being emitted per second. When measuring radon, the Bq is monitored per cubic meter of the air in your home (Bq/m3). A 16% increase in your relative risk of lung cancer is measurable per 100 Bq/m3 of chronic radon inhalation. In Canada, 200 Bq/m3 is considered maximum allowable by Health Canada, with advice being to strive for as low as reasonably achievable. We have observed some homes in Western Canada with radon as high as 10,000 Bq/m3, which is the equivalent of 60,000 dental x-ray equivalents of radiation each year according to the International Commission on Radiological Protection.

How do I test my home for radon gas?

Testing your home for radon is cheap, easy and effective. To figure out the amount of radon in your home, all you have to do is purchase a radon testing device through us. One of the most effective and simplest of tests is called an “alpha track” device, which, over a 90+ day period, will register the Bq/m3of the indoor air of your home. It requires no electricity and is about the same size as a small hockey puck. Place the device in the lowest level of your home that you or someone spends about 4+ hours a day. This could be your basement, or perhaps the main floor. Do not place the radon test in kitchens, bathrooms, near open windows or other areas with fans or strong air flow. Areas of the home that no-one spends time in (crawl spaces, furnace room, etc.) are also not ideal. Radon testing should only occur between the beginning of November to the end of April, as testing in spring, summer and early fall gives inaccurate readings. After your 90+ days are complete, you just ship your device to a lab using the provided shipping label, and within 2-3 weeks you should receive your confidential reading.

What happens if my home contains high levels of radon gas?

Radon can be easily prevented from entering into most properties. This is usually quick (1-2 days’ work) and, even for the most drastic (but effective) of interventions, it still only costs about the same as replacing a few windows. The important thing to recognize is that determining if your home has high radon will not devalue your property, as it is so easily solved. Homes that have been ‘mitigated’ for high radon tend to have the lowest achievable levels – and have amongst the healthiest of indoor air. In other parts of the world, a radon mitigation device is seen even as a selling feature. When considering a mitigation, always find someone with C-NRPP (Canadian National Radon Proficiency Program) certification. C-NRPP certification is approved of by Health Canada.

Should I have my home mitigated?

Any level above 100 Bq/m3 represents a statistically significant increase in the lifetime relative risk of lung cancer for those being exposed chronically to it. Indeed, the WHO deferred to the amount of radon where a statistically observable increasing in lifetime risk of lung cancer is clear and significant – this is 100 Bq/m3Health Canada set our “maximum exposure limit” reference level at twice this value, with the view that double where we start to see an increase in risk is truly unacceptable. To ensure that you are protected to where there is no significant increase in risk (as science and medicine understands radon), aim to get your home, school and work environment below 100 Bq/m3. It is important to remember that the 200 Bq/m3 level is set by Health Canada as a maximum acceptable reference level. Health Canada’s advice is to aim for as low as reasonably achievable. Your body cannot distinguish between 199, 200 and 201 Bq/m3 of radon, and being slightly under or over that number is meaningless to your long term health. Our advice if your home is at or near 200 Bq/m3 is to evaluate your relative risk and exposure by asking yourself the following questions:

  1. Are their babies, kids or teens in the home? If yes, consider mitigating, as young people are at a much higher risk from the negative impact of radon compared to those of older ages (65+).
  2. Does anyone work from home or spend most of their days at home? If yes, then consider mitigating, as those individuals are breathing the home’s air for a lot longer than a person leaving for large parts of the day for school or work.
  3. Does anyone in the home have a family history of cancer? If yes, consider mitigating, as some families carry altered genes that make them more susceptible to cancer following exposure to radiation.
  4. Is anyone in the home a current or former smoker? If yes, consider mitigating. The risk of lung cancer from radon is ‘synergistic’ with the risk from smoking. For example, ‘1 unit’ of risk from smoking plus ‘1 unit’ of risk from radon does not equal 2, rather it is a case of 1+1=17. Smokers (current or former) are much more at risk from radon, and so should protect themselves from radon even if still actively smoking to reduce their chances of cancer in the future.
  5. Is anyone in the home exposed to other lung cancer risk factors? If yes, consider mitigating. In addition to smoking (described above), folks who work with or who are exposed often to metal dust (metallurgists, jewelers, machinists, blacksmithery, etc.), leather dust, gasoline or diesel fumes (mechanics, firefighters, etc.), asbestos and heavy air pollution should also aim to reduce their exposure to radon as much as possible

How do I test my home?



Order a radon test through the Evict Radon website. Every radon test bought assists in field research.



Once you receive your device make sure you register it on our website: the supplied commission number and password.



Test the air you are breathing on the lowest level of your home.



Leave the radon test device in place for 90+ days allowing the device to measure radon levels over time for an accurate reading.



Log back into and enter the end date. Collect your radon test device and send it to the location specified on the test kit package.



You will receive your results within a few weeks. Be sure to review them and ensure your home’s radon levels are safe.

What do I do once I receive my results?

The Canadian guideline established by Health Canada for the maximum exposure limit of radon in your home is 200 Bq/m3. A bit more information about why this is the maximum acceptable limit:


0 Bq/m3

200 Bq/m3

Breathe Easy

Phew! Your radon test results are within the safe range for your home. You can now breathe easy knowing, in this house, you and your family are safe. Please note: Health Canada recommends retesting every few years, or if a major home renovation takes place. Encourage a neighbour or friend to test their home for radon.

Tell a neighbour/friend

Mitigation Recommended

Uh oh! Your radon test results are over the maximum exposure limit for Canada. At this level you, your family, and especially your children are at risk of future radon-induced lung cancer. Our team and Health Canada highly recommend that you have your home mitigated by a C-NRPP professional. Don’t worry, in Western Canada, radon mitigation techniques are very effective.

Find a mitigation professional


*This post is an excerpt from

Clark & Clark Lawyers – One of our preferred Law Firms to Deal with your Real Estate Needs


Clark & Clark has been serving the Calgary Real Estate community since 1995. Whether you are a first time home buyer, an experienced seller/ buyer, a new client or a repeat client, we are committed to providing exemplary service to you.


The Calgary Real Estate legal community is a competitive environment with many law firms competing for your business. We are proud to say that our long successful track record is partly due to the fact that once our clients are introduced to us they keep returning to us for all their future real estate and legal services. We have many realtors and mortgage brokers across Calgary and Alberta, that continue to refer their clients to us because they know they can trust us with their valued clients.


At Clark & Clark we are in the business of building long term relationships and as a valued client you will have the benefit of our teams pooled capabilities, knowledge and experience to ensure you receive the best results.


We offer free parking and are currently located next to the Chinook L.R.T. station.


If you looking for real estate law firm with an exemplary track record, call us on 403-777-1444 or email us at


We will be happy to talk to you and to provide you with a fee estimate or go online and use our Real Estate Fee Calculator at link.


Thank you,


Clark & Clark Lawyers



The Biggest Renovation Mistakes That Homeowners Make

The Biggest Renovation Mistakes That Homeowners Make

Home renovations can seem like a confusion when you’re first getting started. There are plans to make, a budget to be drawn up and professionals to consult. When you’re ready to go with your new renos, here are some of the biggest mistakes that you’ll want to avoid.

  1. Not hiring professionals for certain projects

There may be certain things that need to be done in your home that require the expertise of a professional. For example, you won’t want to use a handyman to work on your electrical or plumbing systems. Most handymen don’t carry insurance and if anything should go wrong you’ll be liable for it. While plumbers and electricians are expensive and charge a high hourly rate, the reason why they can ask for these types of prices is they are highly trained and experienced. They also carry the necessary insurance and bonding that keeps you safe and protected.

  1. Failing to plan for unforeseen changes

When you’re making out your budget be prepared to have at least 20% extra put aside to handle any unforeseen changes or costs. This is especially important for larger projects, such as kitchen remodeling, where you may be tempted to upgrade to better materials. There can also be a lot of different snags that turn up during the renovation process that slow down the labour. Even though you were given an estimate for 50 hours of labour, for example, it may turn into much more if the contractor finds a problem such as water damaged drywall when he takes out your kitchen cupboards. When you have an extra 20% at your disposal, you’ll be able to make sure that the project is completed since you’ll have the funds to pay for any necessary changes that may occur.

  1. Not looking at the resale value

When you’re planning your renovations find out what projects will add the most value to your home. Kitchen and bathroom renos are always a good investment as is painting the home. What you’ll want to avoid is changing your home design drastically so that it no longer matches the appropriate neighborhood style. You can also do too many renovations and price your home too high when it is compared to the average price of homes in your community. This can make the property more challenging to sell since it will stick out from the others that are on the market at the same time in the area.

Your renovation project will start with a quote and you should be willing to get a full estimate from at least three contractors before making a final decision as to the one chosen. Make sure that you understand everything about the quote including whether or not materials are included in the price, whether you’ll have to pay for delivery of the materials and how you will be informed when the quoted price is revised.



What to Look for When You’re Moving During Your Retirement Years

What to Look for When You’re Moving During Your Retirement Years

If you have decided to relocate during your retirement years there are a few factors that you’ll need to consider first. You’re probably going to be spending some years, if not the rest of your life, at your new location so you’ll want to make sure that you choose it well.

Take time to make your decision

Don’t just jump in and decide too quickly that you want to move to a certain location. Get to know the neighborhood or city you’re planning on moving to. If it’s within the city you currently live in, learn more about the community and the types of amenities and services around it. If you’re planning a move outside of the city, take a vacation to the destination of your choice and spend some time there to learn more about the different neighborhoods around town.

Consider your health

Plan for your future retirement years by settling close to excellent medical care facilities. Research the wellness services and hospitals that will be available to you in the new community.

Consider the weather

Find out what type of weather patterns you can expect at your new destination. Every place has its own type of weather and if you’re someone that thrives when the sun is shining, you won’t want to move to a rainy place that only sees the sun shining through the clouds on a hit and miss basis.

Look at the cost of living

Here in Canada, the cost of living can vary greatly from one end of the country to the other. Living in a major city, for example, is going to cost a lot more than settling in a small town as far as housing costs are concerned. Do some research first to find out what types of costs you can reasonably expect to incur once the move is completed. You probably already have a retirement budget set up so you’ll want to ensure that you won’t be breaking the budget by moving to an area with a higher cost of living than where you are now.

If you’re planning to work during your retirement

Many Canadians expect to carry on working past the age of 65. Some are planning to continue work in order to remain mentally active while others believe that they’ll need to stay employed in order to cover their basic costs of living. Find out what type of work would be available in the community you’re planning on moving to. There should be some part-time employment positions open in the community that you find interesting.


What’s the Value of Your Home in Today’s Market?

What’s the Value of Your Home in Today’s Market?

You know how much you paid for your Home, and how much you still owe on it. But how much could you actually sell it for in today’s market? Let us prepare a complimentary CMA – a Comparative Market Analysis – for you!

A CMA compares the features – and the value – of properties that are similar to yours, in your immediate area. In order to make sure you’re getting an “apples to apples” comparison, we will look at homes comparable to yours in:

  • location;
  • square footage;
  • year of construction;
  • condition;
  • number of bedrooms and baths;
  • tangible amenities such as a swimming pool, health club facilities, party room, doormen, or garage, and;
  • intangible amenities such as a nice view or safe neighborhood.

We will then look at how much the similar properties were listed for and what they sold at. Also, we will note how many days they were on the market before they sold, and if they were previously listed, pulled off the market and then re-listed.

The CMA, together with the principal balances on the various loans attached to the home, enables you to estimate the equity you have in your own condominium, and gives you an idea of what you can afford to spend on your next property.

Before you make the decision to put your unit up for sale, you’ll want to make sure it’s listed for fair market value, especially when compared to other similar properties. Only with a CMA, and the benefit of an experienced real estate sales representative, can you receive the correct value for your home in today’s market. Of course, if you’re looking to purchase a property in a specific area, you will also be interested in getting a full overview of what’s available, and at what cost, so please call for this interesting comparison, too



Top 5 Secrets to Sell Your Home

Top 5 Secrets to Sell Your Home

Okay we won’t say these are top secret tips, but these are definitely some easy industry tricks that will make a huge difference when selling your home.

  1. Keep the closets half-empty: every buyer is looking for storage, and the more storage the better. Making your rooms and closets look emptier and decluttered will give the illusion of more space and storage.
  2. Hide your pets: not everyone is a lover of pets, so having evidence of your pets around (or having them there at all) can sway some buyers to look elsewhere. And in a lot of cases, buyers assume that with pets comes home and yard damage.
  3. Remove the ‘home’ from your house: the buyer wants to be able to imagine themselves living in your house, so make it as much of a blank canvas as possible. This includes removing excess knick-knacks or even painting your home a neutral colour.
  4. First impressions go far: curb appeal is important, so make sure your home looks just as decluttered and appealing from the outside as it does on the inside. The first thing they see when they drive up should be a selling point too!
  5. Always be ready to show: this will help your REALTOR greatly if your home is always ready for a showing. Plus, the more showings, the faster the sale