David Robinson

Edmonton, AB | 780-910-3764 | Email Me

Your Source For Real Estate

trusted caring proven

 

When you’re about to sell your home, it may be disheartening to see so many other properties for sale in your neighbourhood. You may be thinking, “That’s a lot of competition! Will our property get noticed?”

 

Fortunately, there are many proven strategies for standing out in a sea of For Sale signs.

 

First, remember that when there are other properties for sale on your street, curb appeal becomes even more important. There are many simple things you can do to make your property look great to those driving around looking at homes. Make sure your property looks as picture perfect as possible.

 

Secondly, in a competitive market it’s more important than ever to highlight features of your home that are unique and enticing. If, for example, you have a large backyard deck and brand new hardwood flooring, make sure these are mentioned prominently on the feature sheet.

 

Finally, be as flexible as you can be when scheduling viewings and open houses. Don’t forget that other listed properties in your neighbourhood draw in buyers, who may notice your home. It’s not uncommon for a buyer to view a property and then scout the neighbourhood. It is in your best interest for buyers to be able to see your home on short notice and at a time that is convenient for them. If there are several other nearby properties for sale, you want to roll out the red carpet welcome to potential buyers.

 

Looking for help selling your home quickly and for the best price? Contact me today! 

Read Full Story

When considering which of two or more competing offers to accept for your home, there is no doubt price plays a huge role. After all, if Offer #1 is $10,000 higher than Offer #2, that’s an enticing difference that puts thousands of extra dollars in your pocket.

 

However, price isn’t the only thing you should think about when comparing multiple offers. There are other factors you need to consider as well.

 

For example, what conditions are in the offer? If Offer #1 is conditional upon the buyer selling his current property for a specific amount, then what if that doesn’t happen? You could end up with an offer that dies and be forced to start the selling process of your home all over again.

 

In that circumstance, accepting the lower offer may be your best move.

 

There’s also financing to consider. Many buyers will have been pre-approved from a mortgage lender to show that they should be able to afford the home and will likely secure financing with little difficulty. If you get an offer where the ability of the buyer to get financing is in doubt, that’s a red flag.

 

The closing date is another important factor. Offer #1 might propose a closing date that’s perfect for you, while Offer #2 is four weeks later. If you’ve already purchased another home, you might require a month of bridge financing if you accept Offer #2. There’s nothing wrong with that per se, but you need to also consider the additional costs and hassle as factors of consideration.

 

As you can see, assessing competing offers isn’t as easy as it looks. Fortunately, as your REALTOR®, I can guide you toward making the right decision.

Read Full Story

You can’t call yourself a dentist unless you have specific hard-earned credentials. Just about anyone, however, can hang a shingle and call himself a home improvement contractor. That’s why choosing a reputable one is so difficult. Here are some tips:

  • Find out if he or she is truly in business full-time. A part-time or occasional contractor may not have the experience necessary to do a great job.
  • Ask about licenses and other credentials. Some contractors have accreditations from professional and trade associations.
  • Review his or her project portfolio. A reputable contractor will have photos and other evidence of work completed for similar clients. Perhaps even testimonials.
  • Check online for reviews. If there are more than a few questionable reviews within the past three to five years — that’s a red flag.
  • Ask for references. Then, call at least one.

Finally, the best contractors are those that get recommended by people you trust.

Looking for a contractor or home improvement specialist recommendation? Contact me today.

Read Full Story

Figuring out how much time you should spend viewing properties for sale is a little like asking, “How long should I spend trying on shoes?”

The answer seems obvious: As long as it takes to find the right fit.

 

Buying a home is significantly more complex than purchasing shoes – and the stakes are higher too. You need to make sure you have all the information necessary to confidently make the best decision.

There are basically three stages to viewing a property:

  1. Macro
  2. Micro
  3. Professional

When you view a home on a macro basis, you’re looking at it from an overall perspective. For example, you may do a general walk-through to get a first impression and determine if the property has the basic features you need, such as the number of bedrooms and the size of the backyard.

 

Macro viewing is often the fastest stage in the viewing process and can sometimes take just a few minutes.

If you like what you see, then it’s onto the micro stage. At this stage you take a closer look at the details of the property. You might, for example, spend extra time in the master bedroom imagining how your furniture would look and fit.

The micro stage takes longer simply because the home is now on your shortlist. You’re interested and are considering making an offer.

 

Finally, the professional stage involves getting a qualified home inspector to go over the property with a fine tooth comb. That typically occurs after you’ve made an offer.

As your REALTOR®, I will guide you through a viewing so you’ll know what to look for and can make a smart, informed decision. Call today.

Read Full Story

Setting the right list price for a home is a mystery for many sellers. How do you begin to determine what buyers are likely to pay for your property? After all, no two homes are exactly alike.

 

Yet, setting the right price is crucial. You need to avoid the two price “tipping points” that, if crossed, can cause you a lot of problems.

 

The first tipping point is a price that’s low enough for buyers to begin thinking something is wrong. They wonder, “Why is your price so low? What are you not telling us about your property?”

 

But that’s not even the worst problem with this tipping point. If you do get offers at that low price, you’ll have a bigger issue – potentially leaving thousands of dollars on the table.

 

The other tipping point is setting your price so high it discourages buyers from giving your listing consideration. When your price is too high, you’ll get few inquiries and even fewer people coming to see your property.

 

Of course, you can lower your price later, if necessary. But experience shows that reduced prices make potential buyers skeptical. Most sellers who price high in the hopes of getting a windfall actually end up selling for less than they would have if they had priced their properties correctly in the first place.

 

So what’s the right price to list your property? The answer is somewhere in-between those two tipping points. And of course, accurate research and analysis to determine what the market will support at any particular time.

 

Contact me today for help determining the right price for your property!

Read Full Story

No one wants to deal with a burglary. How do you reduce the chances of one happening?

 

Fortunately, burglaries are a well-studied phenomenon — especially by law enforcement. These studies have identified specific things you can do to cut the risk dramatically. Here are some ideas:

 

  • 34% of home break-ins occur through the front door. Experts recommend investing in a door with a top-quality locking mechanism. 
  • 50% of burglars will be deterred if your home has some sort of video monitoring system. A thief doesn’t want their face on YouTube! 
  • Unfortunately, signs and window stickers warning of an alarm system do not strongly deter thieves. However, 62% of burglars will immediately run away when an alarm goes off. Always turn on your alarm system when you’re not home! 
  • 22% of burglaries occur through a sliding glass door or patio door. Make sure it’s locked and also use a solid metal jammer. 
  • Some thieves use frequency scanners to gain access to garages. Police recommend changing your remote entry code regularly (some systems do have automatically changing codes) and putting blinds or curtains on garage windows so thieves can’t see (and be tempted by) any valuables inside. 

As you can see, there are many simple things you can do to reduce your chances of a burglary dramatically. The effort is worth it.

Read Full Story

Determining if you should buy a new home or fix up your current one isn’t easy. In fact, the decision can be steeped in so much drama they make reality TV shows about it!

 

So if you’re considering whether to move or improve, here are three things to consider.

 

1. Will a renovation truly fix what you don’t like about your property?

 

If you’re tired of a small kitchen, for example, it might not be possible, given the layout, to make it any bigger. On the other hand, if you’re craving a spacious rec room with a cosy fireplace then a renovation could make that happen.

 

Of course, there are some things you may want that aren’t specific to your house, such as an easier commute or nearby park. Those are features you may only be able to get by moving.

 

2. How much will a renovation cost? How does that compare to the cost of moving to a new home?

 

It’s important to get accurate estimates of each so you can make a smart decision. This is where a good REALTOR® can help.

 

Keep in mind that renovations have a habit of costing more than you originally anticipate. As mentioned earlier, the final result should be a home you want to stay in for quite some time.

 

3. Beware of compromising versus settling.

 

Whichever decision you make — renovate or sell — you can expect to have to make at least some compromises. That’s normal.

 

For example, consider adding an extension to your house. That’s a major renovation. Is it the ideal way to get the extra room you want? Do the benefits of renovating outweigh the benefits of finding a new larger home designed to include the space you need?

 

Yes, it’s a tough decision. If you’re in the midst of making it, call today, to get the facts you need to make the best choice for you.

Read Full Story

Extending the Life of Cut Flowers

 

If you are selling your home and displaying flowers for showings, nice touch! There are few things more beautiful than cut flowers in a vase. They instantly brighten any room. That is, of course, until they wilt and die. So how do you make cut flowers last as long as possible? Here are some ideas: 

  • Cut the bottom of the stems before you put the flowers in the vase. An angled cut is best as this will enable the flower to draw in more water. 
  • Add a fertilizer to the water. Most flower shops include a pouch with the order. Follow the directions carefully - Don’t use too much. 
  • Make sure the vase is high enough to support the flowers. Too much strain on the stems will cause the flowers to die sooner. 
  • After a couple of days, re-snip the stems. This will add additional days of life for the flowers. 
  • Flowers last longer if you put them in the fridge (in water) overnight. That’s why florists store cut flowers in cool rooms. 

Finally, watch the water level and top off as required. Older cut flowers will die quickly when starved of water — even for just a couple of hours. For more home selling tips, I'm available to assist you!

Read Full Story

More fires start in the kitchen than in any other room. Those fires can be expensive; since even a minor incident, with no injuries, can result in significant damage. That’s why it’s important to keep up with the latest in fire prevention.

 

The most recent research tells us:              

  • Never leave cooking food unattended. This is the number one cause of kitchen fires. 
  • Make sure cooking appliances, especially deep fryers, are safety certified by the appropriate government agency. 
  • When using oil in a frying pan, heat slowly and be careful not to overheat to dangerous levels. 
  • Always turn off stove burners and other cooking appliances immediately after cooking. 
  • Never attempt to put out a grease fire with water. Cover it up with a lid. Or use baking soda or a fire extinguisher. 
  • Never remove or cover up a smoke detector due to nuisance alarms. The one alarm that isn’t a nuisance may save your life. 

Finally, experts say that if you can’t put out a fire immediately, get everyone out of the home and call emergency services.

Read Full Story

As you’re probably aware, the list price you set for your property has an impact on how quickly it sells — and how much you earn on the sale.

 

What you may not realize is just how significant an impact it has. Consider the following examples.

 

Example 1:

You price your property well above its current market value. As a result, many buyers don’t bother to see it because it’s outside of their price range. Those who do see it are confused by the high price tag, (and may even be suspicious.) They may wonder, “What’s going on?”

 

In this scenario, the home will likely languish on the market for weeks or even months. You might even have to lower the price dramatically to re-ignite interest and end up selling for less than you could have after all is said and done.

 

Example 2:

You price your property just a couple of percentage points lower than what is necessary to gain the interest of qualified buyers. That might not seem like much of a problem. How much can a couple of percentage points matter?

 

Those points matter a lot.

 

On a $400,000 property, pricing your home just 2% lower than necessary could cost you $8,000 on the sale. That’s a serious amount of money!

 

So, as you can see, pricing your home right is serious business. Fortunately, a good REALTOR® knows how to set the right price.

 

Looking for a good REALTOR®? Call today!

Read Full Story

Simple Ways to Reduce Your Monthly Utility Costs

 

Many homeowners think there’s not much they can do about telephone, heating, water and other utility expenses. Sure, you may grumble about a high heating bill one month, but what can you do about it?

 

Here are some tips to try. There are several ways to reduce monthly utility costs that can save you tens or even hundreds of dollars. For example:

 

  • Shop around for a better phone, internet and media plan. Then contact your existing company. They might match the rates or offer you a temporary or permanent reduction.
  • Turn down the thermostat on your water heater. You may not need tap water to be that hot.
  •  Clean the vents / screens on your outside air conditioning unit during its usage months. Dirt, leaves and debris can build up on it, reducing the unit’s efficiency.
  •  Leverage the sun. Open curtains in the winter to gain heat. Block direct sunlight in summer to keep the cooler air inside.
  •  Scrutinize your bill. There may be extras you’re paying for that you don’t need.
  •  Play with the thermostat during winter months. Experiment with setting the temperature a few degrees lower, especially at night. You might not notice any difference and even sleep better.

 

It’s worth paying attention to your utility costs. Just a few smart moves can save you some serious money!

Read Full Story

When would you talk to a car salesperson? Probably only once you’re ready to buy a new car. You would do some initial research (likely on the internet), get an idea of what you want, and then go to the dealership to meet a salesperson, test drive the car and make the purchase.

 

Although that approach may work when you’re buying a car, it’s not the best approach when it comes to real estate.

 

You see, successfully buying or selling a home requires a lot of planning and legwork. You want the process to go smoothly, the right decisions to be made, and the best possible deal to be negotiated.  

 

After all, this is the purchase and/or sale of your home!

 

So, the best time to talk to a REALTOR® is as early in the process as possible.

 

In fact, even if you’re just thinking of buying or selling — and simply want to explore the possibility of making a move sometime this year — you should have a conversation with a good agent.

 

A REALTOR® will answer your questions, provide you with the information and insights you need, help you avoid costly mistakes, and make sure you’re heading in the right direction.

 

When you are ready to buy or sell, having worked with an experienced real estate agent early in the process will help ensure you get what you want. Getting connected with me on your side early in the game makes everything a lot easier for you.

 

So talk to a good REALTOR® when:

 

  • You have a question about the local market.
  • You want to know what your home might sell for today.
  • You’re interested in checking out homes currently available on the market.
  • You’re in the midst of deciding whether or not to make a move.
  • You’ve decided to buy or sell.

 

Looking for a good REALTOR®? Call today.

Read Full Story

If you see a haze of condensation on your window, should you be concerned? Maybe. Maybe not. It depends on a number of factors.

 

First of all, an occasional build-up of condensation is normal and often the result of fluctuating humidity in the home. Usually, it’s nothing to worry about. If you’re using a humidifier, try reducing the output level. If the humidity is being generated naturally, try placing a dehumidifier nearby. Also, you might try removing any plants and firewood from the area, as they can release a surprising volume of moisture into the air.

 

Do you see moisture in between the panes of glass that make up the window? If so, that means the seal has failed and moisture has crept in. Double and triple pane windows often contain a gas (argon, for example) that boosts the insulating qualities of the window. When the seal fails, the gas disappears, making the glass colder and often allowing condensation to creep in. Eventually, you’ll need to get it replaced to solve that problem.

 

If you see moisture build-up anywhere on the frame of the window, particularly at the joints, that could be a sign of water leaking through. That’s an issue you should get checked out immediately by a window contractor.

Thinking of selling and want to discuss more home tips in detail, I am here to serve you! Call today :)

Read Full Story

If you take care to price your home correctly - that is, at a price that is in line with what similar properties in the area have sold for recently - then you have a good chance of selling it near your asking price.

 

That doesn’t mean you won’t get a low-ball offer. You might. So what do you do when that happens?

 

First, understand that the buyer may not necessarily be trying to steal away your home at a bargain-basement price. He might simply be mistaken about its true market value. Of course, he might also be coming in at a low price in the hopes he’ll get lucky.

 

You may never actually know the buyer’s motives. So it would be a mistake to get angry or dismiss the offer out-of-hand. That low-ball offer might end up being the beginning of a negotiation that results in you selling your home at a good price.

 

Your first step is to work with your REALTOR® to determine:

 

  • How serious the buyer is.
  • How qualified the buyer is. (For example, does he have a pre-approved mortgage?)
  • How amenable the buyer is to a counter-offer that reflects the true market value of your home.
  • What that counter offer should be.

 

This isn’t an easy process. It takes knowledge and experience to get it right. That’s why working with a good REALTOR® is essential.

 

Looking for a REALTOR® who is an expert at this stuff? Call today.

Read Full Story

There are many reasons why the air quality in your home may not be at its best. A faulty furnace or an aged carpet are just two potential culprits. Until you get those issues addressed, how do you make your indoor air healthier — today?

 

Here are some ideas:

  1. Check the furnace filter. This is one of the most overlooked maintenance items in the home. Any furnace repair person can tell you stories about filters they’ve seen caked in dust. Make sure those aren’t yours. Air passes through those filters before circulating throughout your home. Replacing a filter takes only a few minutes. As well the addition of a Heat Recovery Ventilator (HRV) system can help greatly.
  2. Turn on the bathroom fan. Not only do bathroom fans remove odour, they also reduce moisture build-up. About 50% of air pollutants originate from some type of moisture; mold being the worst. Professionals recommend you keep the bathroom fan on for 15 to 30 minutes after a shower.
  3. Clean your doormat. Even if your doormat doesn’t smell, it can be a source of air pollutants. When people wipe their shoes, they transfer pesticides and other outside ground pollutants from their shoes to your mat.

 

Of course, you can always open a window weather permitting. That’s the most popular way to freshen the air, and it works.

Read Full Story

Say you’re viewing a home and are impressed with how it looks. The walls are freshly painted. Everything seems bright and new. You’re considering making an offer.

 

Then, while standing on a mat in the kitchen, you hear a squeak below your feet. You lift the mat and see that some tiles are broken. Obviously the mat was there to, literally, cover up that defect.

 

A few broken tiles are not a big deal. But now you’re thinking, “What else might be wrong with this house?”

 

There’s no reason to worry that every home will have maintenance issues hidden from view. However, it’s smart to do your due diligence to ensure the home you’re considering is truly as good as it looks.

 

One way is to have a professional home inspector check out the property as a condition of your purchase offer. He or she will inspect the home from top to bottom, inside and out, and point out any issues you should address.

 

It’s also smart to ask questions. Find out the age of certain features, such as the roof, furnace, and appliances. Ask about any recent renovations, and determine whether they were done by a professional or by the homeowner.

 

Most importantly, work with a good REALTOR® who can provide you with information on the property that you would have difficulty getting on your own. Your REALTOR® has a stake in making sure you buy a home with your eyes wide open — knowing all the potential maintenance issues you’re likely to encounter.

 

Want to talk to a good REALTOR®? Call today :)

Read Full Story

One of the most important decisions you make when selling your home is setting the listing price. That can be tricky. After all, if you price your property too low, you leave money on the table — perhaps thousands of dollars. On the other hand, if you price your home too high, many buyers won’t even bother to see it, believing it is too expensive.

 

Even with that reality, there are some sellers who contemplate setting a high listing price in the hopes of a windfall. They want some unsuspecting buyer to fall in love with the home and buy it — even though it’s overpriced.

 

That rarely, if ever, happens.

 

Instead, the listing often languishes on the market because its listing price is conspicuously much higher than its market value.

 

Think about it. If two similar homes, side-by-side, are for sale, and one is priced $40,000 higher than the other, wouldn’t you wonder what was going on? That’s exactly what the market thinks. “Why is that home priced so high?”

 

Of course, many buyers, who might otherwise be interested in the property, won’t even consider seeing it, simply because it’s outside their price range.

 

It gets worse. When an overpriced home sits on the market with no offers for several weeks, the price will often need to be adjusted down. That helps the situation a little. However, you’ve lost the excitement created by a “new listing.” Yours is now an old listing struggling to get attention.

 

There’s a better way…

 

Setting your list price at or near the market value is much more likely to generate interest from qualified buyers and maximize how much you make on your home. This market value depends on specific factors at a particular given time. Detailed research is vital.

 

Interested in finding out how much? Call today!

Read Full Story

If you own a car, you know there’s more to the cost-of-ownership than just finance payments and gas. You also need to budget for maintenance and repairs. If your car is older, those costs are going to be higher. That’s just common sense.

 

The same is true of your home. It’s wise to budget for anticipated repairs and maintenance. Otherwise, you might be caught by surprise when you find that your furnace stops working and needs to be replaced. That can easily be a four-figure expense.

 

One recommend is that you set aside 1% of the value of your home for repairs and maintenance. For a $500,000 property, for example, that would be $5,000. That is, of course, merely a rule of thumb. If your home is older, you may need to budget more.

 

Another recommended method is to budget $1 a square foot. If you have a 2,500 square foot home, that would be a budget of $2,500. Again, that number would need to be higher for older properties. It can vary widely and you must take into consideration the age of your home's important main components when budgeting for the future.

 

When budgeting, consider things that are getting old and will likely need to be replaced within the next three years. Examples include roof shingles, furnace, A/C unit, deck, fence, plumbing, and windows. Depending on the size and model, a new A/C unit may cost at least $3,000. Anticipating that expense will help you plan accordingly and avoid the shock of an unpleasant and costly surprise.

 

Keep in mind that budgeting $2,000 for repairs and maintenance doesn’t mean you’ll actually spend that money this year. But, if needed, the budget will be there, and that’s peace-of-mind.

Read Full Story

There are many reasons why you may need to sell your home quickly: a sudden job relocation; a change in family situation; or perhaps an opportunity to purchase a new home that you just can’t pass up.

 

Whatever the reason, this strategy will help when you need to sell fast. It’s called the “3 Up” strategy.

 

  • Fix it up.
  • Clean it up.
  • Spruce it up.

 

First, you need to fix it up. That simply means getting things repaired around your property, such as a broken floor tile in the kitchen or a sticking patio door that’s difficult to open and close. Maintenance issues like these distract buyers from the appealing qualities of your home. Fortunately, repairs can usually be done quickly.

 

Second, clean it up. Obviously, when your home is clean and tidy it’s going to look its best. You also want to eliminate as much clutter as possible. You don’t need to make every room look like a magazine cover — but that’s a good attitude to have when prepping your home for a quick sale!

 

Finally, spruce it up. That means making any quick improvements that are going to make your home even more appealing. It might mean replacing the kitchen counters or giving the main rooms a fresh coat of paint.

 

Of course, the number one strategy for getting that SOLD sign on your front yard is to select a great REALTOR®.

 

Looking for a great REALTOR®? Call today.

Read Full Story

When you purchase a home, you’re hoping it will continually go up in value - just like a good investment.

 

However, there’s something else that you want to see go up in value as well: the neighbourhood. In fact, the neighbourhood plays a key role in what the home will be worth in years to come. If the neighbourhood goes down in terms of desirability, so will the market value of the home.

 

That’s why, when shopping for a new home, it’s important to get a feel for the value of the neighbourhood, and whether or not it’s on the upswing.

 

How do you do that? One way is to simply take a walk. Look at the properties. Are they well maintained? Is the landscaping groomed and attractive? Those are signs of “pride of ownership” - a clear indication that owners value their homes and the neighbourhood.

 

Another way is to do some research. Has crime gone up in the neighbourhood? Are there improvements planned, such as new parks? Is the neighbourhood attracting the kind of people you want as neighbours? How does the neighbourhood school rank?

 

Some of this information may be difficult to get on your own. A good REALTOR® can help you. Get in touch today :)

Read Full Story

David Robinson

Contact Me Anytime!

Office: 780-910-3764

Fax: 780-436-6178

Office Location

Homes & Gardens Real Estate Ltd.

3659 - 99 Street NW

Edmonton, Alberta, T6E 6K5

Quick Contact
*indicates required fields.
Name:*
Email:*
Message:*