May 16, 2023

How to Plan the Most Memorable Outdoor Gathering


The sun is out and so are you! Giving you the perfect opportunity to gather with your friends, family and neighbours. Whether you’re planning a small gathering or a larger celebration, hosting an outdoor event can be a wonderful way to enjoy the sunshine and fresh air, but most importantly the company of those closest to you.

If you’re planning to host an outdoor gathering this season, here are 4 ways to make every celebration memorable.



One of the first things to consider when planning an outdoor gathering is the location. Whether it's a park, beach, backyard, or community space, you'll want to choose a place that's easily accessible and has plenty of space for your guests. Keep in mind all the amenities available, such as picnic tables, grills, or shade structures as well as any permits or reservations you may need to obtain in advance.


Hot Tip: When choosing your desired location, take parking into consideration. Your guests will thank you for this.




Once you've chosen the location of your gathering, you can now figure out the stage of your event. It's important to consider the weather and time of day when planning your decorations and seating arrangements.


If the weather is on the warmer side, you must provide plenty of shade and cool drinks to keep your guests comfortable. If your event is being held in the evening, consider stringing up fairy lights or lanterns to create a cozy and inviting environment.




You're outdoors, so, make the most of it! Planning activities that are appropriate for all ages and abilities, is the perfect way for you and your guests to enjoy your time together. Activities, such as lawn games or scavenger hunts are just a few examples.


Tip: If you're hosting a larger event, consider hiring a DJ or live band to provide entertainment for your guests.




No outdoor gathering is complete without delicious food and drinks to enjoy. Plan a menu that's easy to prepare and transport, such as sandwiches, salads, and finger foods. As mentioned, offer a variety of drinks, including water, juices and alcoholic beverages, to suit your guests' preferences.


Tip: Be sure to provide plenty of napkins, plates, and utensils, as well as trash and recycling bins to keep your outdoor space clean and tidy.



With these top 4 tips in mind, you'll be well on your way to throwing an outdoor gathering to remember. Whether it's a small picnic or a large family reunion, a neighbourhood BBQ, an outdoor event can be a wonderful way to connect with loved ones and enjoy the beauty of nature. So grab your sunscreen and get ready to have some fun in the sun!

Posted in Lifestyle
April 19, 2023

Advantages and Disadvantages of Assumable Mortgages


Assumable mortgages are an interesting option for homebuyers who are looking for ways to finance their home purchase. An assumable mortgage allows a buyer to take over the mortgage of the seller, meaning that the buyer will assume responsibility for the remaining payments on the mortgage. In this article, we will explore what assumable mortgages are, how they work, and their advantages and disadvantages.



What are Assumable Mortgages?



An assumable mortgage is a type of mortgage that allows a buyer to take over the mortgage of the seller. In essence, the buyer becomes responsible for the remaining payments on the mortgage, and the seller is released from their obligations. The process of assuming a mortgage involves the buyer qualifying for the mortgage, just as they would for any other type of mortgage.


Assumable mortgages can be beneficial for both buyers and sellers. Buyers can take advantage of the lower interest rates that sellers may have obtained when they first took out the mortgage. This can save the buyer a considerable amount of money in interest payments over the life of the mortgage. Sellers, on the other hand, can use assumable mortgages as a selling point when they put their home on the market. This may make their home more attractive to potential buyers who may not qualify for a traditional mortgage.



How do Assumable Mortgages Work in Canada?



In Canada, assumable mortgages are available from some lenders. However, not all mortgages are assumable, so it is important for both buyers and sellers to check with their lender to see if their mortgage is assumable.


If the mortgage is assumable, the buyer will need to qualify for the mortgage, just as they would for any other type of mortgage. The lender will need to verify the buyer's income, credit history, and employment status to ensure that they can make the payments on the mortgage. If the buyer is approved, they will assume responsibility for the remaining payments on the mortgage.


The seller is usually released from their obligations once the buyer assumes the mortgage. However, some lenders may require the seller to remain liable for the mortgage if the buyer defaults on the payments. This is known as a "due on sale" clause, and it is important for both buyers and sellers to understand this clause before entering into an assumable mortgage agreement.



Advantages and Disadvantages of Assumable Mortgages



Assumable mortgages have several advantages and disadvantages for both buyers and sellers.



Advantages for Buyers:


  • Lower interest rates: Buyers can take advantage of the lower interest rates that sellers may have obtained when they first took out the mortgage.


  • Easier qualification: Buyers may find it easier to qualify for an assumable mortgage than a traditional mortgage, especially if they have a lower credit score.


  • Lower closing costs: Buyers may save money on closing costs, as they will not need to pay for a new appraisal or title insurance.



Advantages for Sellers:


  • Increased buyer pool: Sellers may attract more potential buyers if they advertise an assumable mortgage, as it may make their home more attractive to buyers who may not qualify for a traditional mortgage.


  • Faster sale: Sellers may be able to sell their home more quickly if they offer an assumable mortgage, as it may make their home more appealing to buyers.



Disadvantages for Buyers:


  • Limited selection: Assumable mortgages are not available for all mortgages, so buyers may have a limited selection of homes to choose from.


  • Higher purchase price: Sellers may charge a premium for an assumable mortgage, meaning that the purchase price of the home may be higher than it would be with a traditional mortgage.


  • Limited negotiating power: Buyers may have limited negotiating power when it comes to the terms of the mortgage, as they will need to accept the terms of the existing mortgage.



Disadvantages for Sellers:


  • Liability



In conclusion, assumable mortgages can be a useful option for both buyers and sellers. Buyers can benefit from lower interest rates, easier qualification, and lower closing costs, while sellers can attract more potential buyers and sell their homes more quickly. However, there are also some drawbacks to consider, such as limited selection for buyers, higher purchase prices, and limited negotiating power. It is important for both buyers and sellers to carefully weigh the advantages and disadvantages of assumable mortgages before deciding whether they are the right option for their particular situation.

Posted in Real Estate Tips
April 1, 2023

The Agency Has Arrived In Fort McMurray


Fort McMurray, we’ve arrived! The Agency is proud to announce the debut of its new office in Fort McMurray, Alberta, marking our 15th office in Canada and 78th location worldwide. The new office will be led by industry veterans and Managing Partners Paige and Corey Cyr.


“Furthering our footprint throughout Canada has been at the forefront of our expansion efforts as we continue to introduce The Agency brand to new cities around the world,” said Mauricio Umansky, CEO and Founder of The Agency. “We’re delighted to partner with Paige and Corey Cyr, two well-respected and accomplished professionals in our industry, as we unveil our first office in Fort McMurray.”


Surrounded by bountiful natural beauty and central to some of Canada’s most dynamic economic opportunities, Fort McMurray, Alberta is known for its laid-back lifestyle, evolving communities and seamless access to all-season outdoor recreation. Workers and families from around the nation are called to the region’s job-producing Athabasca Oil Sands and revel in the area’s 130 kilometers of hiking and cross-country skiing trails, many local lakes and scenic boreal forests. From Downtown’s charming homes to the large, nature-steeped estates in Saprae Creek, and newer family-friendly communities in Parsons North and Abasand Heights, Fort McMurray offers an inviting lifestyle steeped in small-town charm. 


“Our strategic expansion into Fort McMurray serves as a testament to the far-reaching influence and impact of The Agency’s groundbreaking brand and unmatched offerings,” said Jim Ramsay, Executive Vice President of Franchise Sales at The Agency. “We look forward to further servicing the Canadian market as we showcase our forward-thinking tools and blue chip service to buyers and sellers throughout Fort McMurray.”


As Managing Partner of The Agency Fort McMurray, Paige Cyr leads with strength, tenacity and an unwavering commitment to achieving her clients’ real estate goals. In addition to her bold negotiation tactics, 24/7 availability and exceptional client service, Paige is backed by a far-reaching local network—which comprises past clients, industry professionals and entrepreneurs. Seasoned, hands-on home renovators, Paige and her husband Corey—who serves as fellow Managing Partner of The Agency Fort McMurray—have been winners on HGTV’s “Battle on the Beach” competition series. 


“Known as a jewel of Alberta, Fort McMurray has a thriving economic base and stunning natural views,” said Paige. “The Agency’s cutting-edge technology and unparalleled marketing resources will bring a new era of luxury real estate to Fort McMurray that has not been seen before.”


Managing Partner of The Agency Fort McMurray, Corey Cyr pairs an unmatched understanding of the local market with compassionate representation to guide buyers and sellers toward their unique real estate goals. A consistent top producer, Corey has been recognized as part of a number one ranking Alberta real estate team and named among the Top 10 Teams in Canada by Coldwell Banker. 


“The Agency is making its mark across prominent destinations in Canada, and our office in Fort McMurray will further differentiate the brand from other renowned brokerages in the region,” said Corey. “As a long-time resident of Fort McMurray, I am thrilled to be leading a team in one of the most special markets in the country.”


The Agency Fort McMurray is located at 102-9908 Franklin Avenue Fort McMurray, Alberta T2N 1N2. For more information on The Agency, visit

Posted in Market Updates
March 14, 2023

5 Signs Your Realtor Has Experience Navigating Market Shifts


The real estate market is in flux, prompting concerns about a possible "bubble" and the likelihood of plummeting prices continuing. Mortgage rates are another source of uncertainty - will they rise more or fall? In this dynamic environment, buyers and sellers alike are wondering if it's a buyers' or sellers' market.


These concerns are not unique to the current market; they arise regularly and impact homeowners, buyers, and agents alike. Real estate is an ever-changing industry, and every few years it undergoes a significant transformation.


Successful agents understand that a "hot" market or positive headlines aren't enough to ensure long-term success. They recognize that challenging times will inevitably arise, and that the market will never be perfect for every buyer, seller, or homeowner. Nevertheless, there is always someone looking to buy or sell a property, and these agents remain level-headed and focused on their business goals.


If you're looking for an agent who has weathered market fluctuations and knows how to navigate them successfully, keep an eye out for the following five signs:


1. They’re Calm


Regardless of whether the real estate market is experiencing a surge in activity or moving at a sluggish pace, an experienced agent knows how to maintain their composure. They may possess an innate ability to remain calm in the face of uncertainty or practice daily meditation techniques to cultivate a sense of calm. Alternatively, they may unwind with a few glasses of wine at the end of a busy day. Regardless of their preferred method, you can be confident that they will not easily lose their cool.


2. They Don’t Get Discouraged (or let their clients get discouraged)

In any real estate market, it's not uncommon for buyers, sellers, and agents to feel disappointed or frustrated. However, during times of market fluctuations, these emotions can be even more prevalent as change is afoot. Although some individuals may succumb to negative feelings, an experienced agent who has weathered similar circumstances in the past understands the importance of remaining focused and positive. They are equipped to guide their clients through the ups and downs of the market shift and keep them motivated and optimistic.


3. They Manage Expectations


Humans tend to develop expectations based on past experiences, and this is especially true in real estate. For example, in a hot sellers' market, homeowners may anticipate that their property will sell within days for a price exceeding the asking price. Similarly, in a buyers' market, buyers may struggle to reconcile the need to offer above the asking price after seeing other buyers negotiate a lower price. A seasoned agent who has witnessed market shifts before can offer guidance on what to expect - and what not to expect - as the market changes. This can help manage clients' expectations and prevent them from becoming discouraged or disillusioned.


4. They’re Still Doing What They Do On A Daily Basis


Whether the real estate market is moving at a rapid pace or slowing down, an experienced agent understands the importance of maintaining daily routines. Being a successful agent involves more than just showing homes or listing properties; it requires consistent effort in areas such as marketing, following up with clients, scheduling inspections, and completing administrative tasks. Regardless of market conditions, these responsibilities must be attended to on a daily basis to ensure that clients receive the best possible service.


5. They Aren’t Looking For A New Career


When the real estate market is booming, it can be an alluring field that attracts many new license holders. However, obtaining a license is just the beginning; achieving success and longevity in this field is a challenging feat. Those who enter the industry purely for the excitement and perceived ease quickly realize that it is not a simple career. As the market undergoes changes, many agents may abandon their profession and seek out other opportunities. However, a seasoned agent who has navigated through significant market shifts in the past will not give up on their clients or their career, no matter the challenges that arise.

Posted in Real Estate Tips
Feb. 27, 2023

What Are "Comps"? What You Need To Know About Them In The Current Real Estate Market


Real estate is an industry that may use terms and phrases that may be unfamiliar to those who are not experts in the field. However, understanding some of these terms can be beneficial for anyone looking to buy, sell, or rent a property. One such term is "comp" or “comparable.”


Ok, but what is a “comp”?


A "comp" is a property that is similar to the one being considered for purchase or sale. These properties are typically currently on the market, under contract, or have been recently sold. They are used as a reference point to determine the approximate value of a property in the current market. Understanding comparable properties can aid in pricing a property accurately as a seller and making a fair offer as a buyer.


It's important to note that even though some terms may be unfamiliar, understanding them can help navigate the real estate market successfully. Professional real estate agents can also provide guidance and explain any industry-specific terms that may be confusing.


What Makes A Good Comparable?


Choosing comparable properties should be done in an unbiased manner, without being influenced by personal preferences or biases. It is important to select properties that are truly similar to the one being considered for purchase or sale, rather than cherry-picking properties that align with desired outcomes.

For example, it is not accurate to use a property that sold for a higher price as a comparable for a house that is being sold, simply because the seller wants the house to be worth more. Similarly, a lower priced property should not be used as a comparable to justify a low-ball offer on a house being purchased, if it is not truly comparable.


It can be challenging for real estate agents or appraisers to find properties that are truly similar to the one being sold or purchased within a recent time frame. Ideally, comparable properties should have similar characteristics such as:


  • Similar square footage.
  • Similar lot size.
  • Similar age.
  • Similar number of beds, baths, and other rooms.
  • Similar condition. (Like how updated or clean it is.)
  • Proximity to the subject property. (Ideally it should be fairly close by.)
  • Similar neighbourhood or area.
  • Sold and closed recently. (Within three months is ideal.)


In an ideal scenario, real estate agents or appraisers would be able to find a diverse set of comparable properties to determine the value of a property. This would include properties that are currently on the market, under contract, and have closed within the past three months. By using a combination of these properties, they can accurately determine the appropriate listing price for a seller or offer price for a buyer.



The Problem With Comps In A Shifting Market


Many experts in the real estate industry, government officials, and media outlets have noted that the market is currently experiencing a shift. However, determining the specific implications of this shift can be challenging as opinions vary. While prices have been high in recent years, it does not necessarily mean that prices are decreasing now.


Data and news reports suggest that there has been a decline in the number of homes being sold, and a longer time frame for homes to sell in certain areas. However, in many areas, prices have not decreased and in some areas they have remained stable or even increased.


It is important to note that the shift in the market is affecting different regions and price ranges in various ways. Therefore, it is crucial to rely on local comparable sales data to accurately determine the value of a home when buying or selling. National data and reports should not be the sole source of information when making real estate decisions.


But here are a few problems with comps in the current market that you need to be aware of:


Finding enough comparable properties to determine the value of a home can be challenging. Inventory levels have been low and continue to be low, making it difficult to find a sufficient number of properties to use in a proper analysis. Additionally, it can be challenging to find properties that are similar enough to the subject property.


It may be necessary to look back further than three months. While it is not ideal, low inventory levels may necessitate looking back further in order to find enough comparable properties. Also, it's important to note that closed sales data is a sign of market conditions from several months ago, as the closing process usually takes a month or two after going under contract.


It may take several months of purchases to determine if prices are truly shifting in a particular market. So, relying on the most recent data available and consulting with a local real estate agent is important to get an accurate picture of the local real estate market.


Sellers may be using past high sales prices as evidence that their property is worth a certain amount, while buyers may believe that prices should be decreasing due to market shifts and changes in interest rates, but lack concrete data to support lower offers.

In such a scenario, consulting with a local real estate agent who has experience and knowledge of the current market conditions can provide valuable insight. They can provide information on recent buying and selling trends, supply and demand in the local area, and how it affects pricing.


While comparable sales data can be useful in determining values, relying on a local agent's understanding of the market and its current direction can be crucial when the market is shifting. They can provide an accurate picture of the market before the data reflects it.

Posted in Real Estate Tips
Feb. 15, 2023

The Benefits of Having Indoor Plants


Indoor plants are more than just a decorative addition to your home or office. These green friends bring a host of benefits to your environment and improve the overall quality of life. From improving air quality to reducing stress levels, the benefits of having indoor plants are many. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at some of the key benefits of having indoor plants in your life.


  1. Improved Air Quality


One of the most significant benefits of having indoor plants is the improvement of air quality. Indoor air can contain harmful pollutants, such as benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene, which can cause respiratory problems, headaches, and other health issues. Indoor plants help to filter out these pollutants, purifying the air and making it safer to breathe. Some of the best air-purifying plants include the spider plant, peace lily, and English ivy.


  1. Increased Humidity


During winter months, indoor heating can lead to dry, low humidity levels, which can cause dry skin, eyes, and nasal passages. Indoor plants help to increase humidity levels, reducing these symptoms and making your indoor environment more comfortable. In addition, increased humidity levels can help to keep wooden furniture and flooring in good condition, as well as reducing static electricity.


  1. Reduced Stress and Anxiety


Studies have shown that having indoor plants can help to reduce stress and anxiety levels. Spending time with plants can be a form of therapy, and nurturing them can help to improve your mental well-being. The simple act of caring for plants can have a calming effect and can help to reduce feelings of anxiety.


  1. Improved Focus and Productivity


Indoor plants have been shown to improve focus and productivity in the workplace. Research has found that workers who have access to plants in their workplace are more focused, less stressed, and more productive than those who do not. This could be due to the calming effect of plants, or simply because they provide a visual distraction from the screen, helping to reduce eye strain.


  1. Decorative Element


Indoor plants can be used as a decorative element to enhance the aesthetics of your home or office. There are a wide range of plants to choose from, including hanging plants, trailing plants, and potted plants, so you can find the perfect one to suit your decor. Whether you prefer minimalist, modern styles or more traditional, homely designs, indoor plants can be incorporated into any style of decor.


  1. Improved Mental Health


As mentioned earlier, spending time with plants and nurturing them can be a form of therapy and can lead to improved mental health and well-being. Studies have shown that having indoor plants can increase feelings of happiness, calmness and overall sense of well-being. Whether you’re feeling down, stressed, or just need a break from the daily grind, spending time with your indoor plants can help to improve your mood and mental state.


In conclusion, indoor plants bring a host of benefits to your environment, from improving air quality to reducing stress levels. Whether you’re looking to improve the air you breathe, create a more comfortable indoor environment, or simply add a touch of greenery to your home or office, indoor plants are a great choice. So why not invest in a few plants today and start reaping the benefits of having indoor plants in your life!

Posted in Home Trends
Feb. 1, 2023

Preparing Your Home For A Hot Spring Market

As we await the busy spring real estate market that is only a short time away, we get calls and messages from homeowners all the time who are ready to sell but who are completely stressed out about getting their homes ready for the market. Selling your home in a hot market can be both exciting and stressful. On one hand, you have the potential to sell your home quickly and for top dollar. On the other hand, you're going to be dealing with a fast-paced competitive market.


Our response?


Take a deep breath. You can do this, and we’re going to help you every step of the way. We will put together an action-oriented plan with some simple and doable steps that will keep the entire process moving along worry-free. Getting your home ready for the market is like most things in life: the anticipation is the worst part. But remember, hiring a solid agent is KEY to helping you prepare, price, market, and negotiate top dollar your home. We’re here to guide you every step of the way!


Here are some ideas to get you started:



Depersonalize Your House


Pack away personal items, family keepsakes, and distracting objects to present buyers with a clean and neutral environment. This makes it easier for them to imagine their own belongings and decor in the home. Only keep understated furniture that won't create a strong impression, to avoid making it difficult for buyers to envision their own furnishings in the space.


Declutter Your House


Simplify your life by getting rid of items you haven't used in over a year. Donate them to charity or a nonprofit, which can benefit those in need. If certain items are not accepted, check with your town for pickup services. Clear bookcases and kitchen counters and store daily essentials in boxes for an efficient packing process when the time comes for you to move.


Organize Your Bedroom Closets and Storage Cabinets


Impress potential buyers by organizing your storage spaces, such as closets and cabinets. A cluttered and disorganized appearance can leave a negative impression, while neat and tidy storage showcases attention to detail and care for possessions. In the kitchen, arrange spice jars alphabetically and neatly stack dishes, with coffee cup handles facing the same way. In closets, hang shirts with buttons done up and line up shoes neatly. This will demonstrate to buyers that the house has been well-maintained.


Consider Renting A Storage Unit


For a more appealing look, reduce the amount of furniture in your home. Store pieces that obstruct or limit movement, as well as any distracting furniture, artwork, and empty bookcases. This will create a more open and accessible space. Leave just enough furniture to showcase the room's purpose with plenty of room for buyers to move around. 


Remove Or Replace Favourite Items


Before showing the house, remove any window coverings, appliances, or fixtures you plan to take with you. This includes items like a chandelier in the dining room that adds to the house's appeal but is not part of the sale. Avoid disappointment by taking down these items before a buyer requests their inclusion and it becomes an issue.


Make Minor Repairs


To sell a home effectively, address any necessary repairs in the property. This is particularly important in normal markets or a buyer's market, where repairs can greatly impact the success of a sale.


Fix any damaged floor or counter tiles, and patch any wall holes. Repair leaky faucets and doors that do not close properly, and fix any kitchen drawers that are not functioning correctly. Consider painting walls with neutral colours to appeal to a wider range of buyers and avoid creating a strong and potentially unappealing visual memory, such as an orange bathroom.


Ensure that all lightbulbs are functioning, replacing any that are burned out or have been in service for a considerable period of time. This helps to prevent any negative experiences for buyers during showings, as the last thing you want is for a bulb to blow out when the light switch is turned on. Take these steps to make the buyer's experience as positive as possible.


Get The House Cleaned


For a top-notch showing, consider hiring professional cleaners to tackle a deep clean of your home. This can include tasks such as washing windows, pressure washing outdoor surfaces, re-caulking fixtures, and shining chrome and mirrors. Make sure to remove all dust and debris from furniture, cabinets, closets, and other hidden areas.


To maintain a clean appearance, make an effort to vacuum daily, wax floors, dust surfaces, and keep bathrooms and kitchen sparkling. Present a welcoming atmosphere with fresh towels and keep toilet lids closed when not in use.


Prioritize removing any musty odours from your home. The day before a showing, refrain from cooking foods with strong scents like fish, garlic, or cabbage as these can linger. Keep an eye on areas affected by pets, like litter boxes, to ensure no unpleasant smells are present during the viewing.


And Finally


Step into each room of your home, pause at the doorway and visualize it from a potential buyer's perspective. Assess the furniture placement and rearrange it for optimal visual appeal. Ensure window treatments are hung straight. After thoroughly cleaning and repairing everything, it's time to stage your home for showings.



Thinking about selling?


Want to keep talking about selling your home in 2023? We’d love to! Send us a message or give us a call, and we'Il be in touch.

Posted in Market Updates
Jan. 15, 2023

Moving Day Hacks That Will Keep You Sane


Moving day can be a stressful and hectic experience, but there are several hacks that can make the process smoother and more efficient. Here are a few tips to help you make the most of your moving day.



1. Purge your closets before you move and don't pack anything that you haven't needed, worn, or used in a year.


2. Pack a cooler so you have easy-to-grab snacks and water as needed. And make sure that cooler doesn't end up in the moving truck instead of with you.


3. Don't empty dresser drawers. Leave items there, and wrap the drawer in plastic wrap. Likewise, leave clothes on hangers and store them in a garbage bag or wardrobe box.


4. Put a fitted sheet on both sides of your mattress before loading it into the moving truck to keep it clean.


5. Fill large kitchen pots and other containers with small kitchen gadgets or spices to save space and cut down on



6. Put stemware and glasses inside of clean socks for free padding.


7. Snap a pic of the back of your TV to help you remember where all those wires go.


8. Get little ones and pets out from underfoot. If making a crosstown move, schedule a playdate or a sleepover so you can focus on the move and have time to get somewhat settled before they arrive home.

Posted in Real Estate Tips
Dec. 30, 2022

The Pros & Cons of Open Concept Kitchens

Pros and Cons of Open Concept Kitchens


Open kitchens have had their moment in the sun, but some think the trend could be waning as people spend more time at home and with each other. The design offers fantastic opportunities for families to connect but can also be seen as lacking privacy and making it difficult to establish “zones” in the home.


So, how can you decide whether an open kitchen design is something that will work for you and your lifestyle? Check out this list of pros and cons to see what benefits and drawbacks open kitchens can have.





  1. Increased social interaction: An open concept kitchen allows the cook to interact with guests or family members while preparing meals. This can be especially useful when hosting a dinner party or hosting guests.
  2. Greater sense of openness and space: Removing walls between the kitchen and living or dining area can make the space feel more open and spacious.
  3. Better for entertaining: An open concept kitchen allows the cook to be part of the conversation and activity while preparing food, making it easier to entertain guests.
  4. Improved traffic flow: An open concept kitchen can improve traffic flow in a home, as people can move more easily between the kitchen and other areas of the home.




  1. Lack of privacy: An open concept kitchen can lack privacy, as the cook is on display while preparing meals. This may not be suitable for everyone.
  2. Increased cooking odours and noise: An open concept kitchen can allow cooking odours and noise to spread more easily into the living or dining space. This can be a drawback if you have a small space or are sensitive to smells or noise. 
  3. Increased clutter and mess: An open concept kitchen may be more prone to clutter and mess, as it is more visible to others. This can be especially true if the kitchen is not kept organized and clean.
  4. Reduced storage space: An open concept kitchen may have less storage space, as walls and cabinets may be removed to create the open layout. This can be a problem if you have a lot of kitchen equipment or supplies.



Ultimately, the pros and cons of an open concept kitchen will depend on your personal preferences, needs, and lifestyle. It's important to carefully consider the benefits and drawbacks of this layout before making a decision.

Posted in Home Trends
Dec. 14, 2022

The Do's and Don'ts of Competing Offers

The Do's and Don'ts of Competing Offers

Although the frequency of experiencing a bidding war when you’re putting an offer in on your dream home is far less likely as we’re nearing the end of 2022 then it was in the height of the seller’s market Fort McMurray saw in 2021, competing offers are still common-place at certain price points and in desirable neighbourhoods.

When you are competing with other buyers on the same house you need your offer to stand out. You also have to demonstrate that you are serious about the property and make the sellers feel confident in your intentions. Most people believe that it’s always the highest price that wins competing offers, but that is not the only factor that sways sellers. Often times it is the offer that has fewer conditions, a short condition period, a possession day that is favourable to the seller and the highest deposit amount that wins.

Avoid the frustration and heartbreak of finding out your offer has been rejected. Improve your chances at winning a bidding war with these tips:


DO Get a Pre-Approval Letter

Ask your financial institution to provide a pre-approval letter showing that you are capable of purchasing. You can ask your mortgage broker or bank for this document and sometimes including it in your offer will make it stand out from the rest.


DO Give a High Deposit

Offer a healthy deposit and have the funds readily available within 24 hours. A good rule of thumb is to offer a deposit of 5%. This shows the sellers good faith and that you are serious, organized, and financial capable.


DO Know the Market Comparables

Know the neighbourhood and comparable properties that have recently sold. Ask your agent for this information and discuss how much you are willing to pay before you write the offer.


DON’T Talk Price

Many sellers have technology installed in their homes or at their front door that can pick up what you are saying when you are viewing the property. Always assume someone is listening. Play your cards close to your chest and keep these conversations off-site.


DO Keep Conditions to Minimum

If your offer to purchase contains conditions that need to be met before the sale is firm, like a home inspection or mortgage approval, keep them to a minimum and do your best to have them met within a week. Your offer will be more attractive to the sellers if it has a shorter time frame to a firm sale.


Don’t Wait to find a Home Inspector

Decide on who you will hire to complete the inspection before you make an offer. Having this decided in advance will speed along the process and enable you to give a shorter condition period. If you don’t know a home inspector, your agent will be able to provide you with some contacts.


DON’T Include Easy-Out Conditions

Avoid conditions such as the offer is subject to parent approval, review of title or you have to talk to your lawyer. Have this sorted out in advance and put your best foot forward. These kind of conditions signal to the buyer that you may not be seriously invested in the property or that you may try to back out. They will be more likely to select an offer without these kinds of conditions.


DON’T Include Furniture in the offer

Keep it simple. The less complicated your offer, the better. You can always approach the sellers after your offer is accepted to ask if they are interested in selling any of the contents or furniture in the home.


DO Find out How many Offers Are Being Presented

Ask your agent to find out how many offers are being presented. Generally, the more offers that come to the table the higher you will need to go in price.


DO Ask Who Else is Presenting Offers

Find out the names of the other agents who are submitting offers and ask your agent what they know about them. A very experienced agent will usually not enter into a competing offer situation unless their clients are very serious buyers. You can bet that they have prepared their clients to give a very strong offer. Knowing the other agent you are up against can give you a competitive edge.


DO Include a Personal Letter

This is a trend we’ve been seeing more of this year. Include a letter about yourself and why you are right for the house. As corny as it sounds, sometimes this technique can appeal to the seller and make a big difference.


DON’T Sleep On It

Home buyers need to be ready to make an immediate decision. The competition is so fierce in some market segments that houses can be sold in a matter of hours.


If you're in the market to sell or buy in Fort McMurray, please don't hesitate to reach out. We would love to help you get into the home of your dreams.

Posted in Real Estate Tips