Sept. 15, 2023

Taking Advantage of a Slow Market






Be patient and strategic


In a slow market, buyers have the advantage of time. Take advantage of this by carefully researching and analyzing properties. Don't rush into a purchase; instead, wait for the right opportunity that aligns with your needs and budget.




Negotiate with confidence 


In a slow market, sellers may be more willing to negotiate on price and other terms. Conduct thorough market research to understand property values and leverage this knowledge during negotiations.




Focus on long-term value


Look for properties in desirable locations with good potential for appreciation over time.

Evaluate the property's condition and potential for improvements or renovations that can add value in the future.






Price competitively


Pricing your home appropriately is crucial in a slow market. Research recent sales and market trends to set a realistic and competitive price.




Enhance curb appeal and staging


Enhance curb appeal by maintaining a well-manicured exterior and making necessary repairs. Stage your home to highlight its best features and create a welcoming atmosphere for potential buyers.




Offer incentives


Incentives can be effective in attracting buyers in a slow market. Consider offering to cover closing costs, providing a home warranty, or including certain appliances or furniture in the sale.

Posted in Real Estate Tips
Sept. 1, 2023

3 Questions to Ask a Builder When Considering New Construction



When it comes to buying new construction, make sure to ask your builder these questions.


Is there a lot premium?


Knowing whether there's an additional cost for premium lots can help you select the most ideal location within your budget. Uniformed buyers can easily fall in love with lots that significantly inflate their costs.


What are the standard finishes?


Get familiar with the standard features and finishes included in the base price of the home. Then, you'll be able to make an informed decision on which upgrades are best based on your taste and style.


Popular upgrades that may increase the value of your home in 2023?


  1. Higher ceilings.

  2. Added square footage (bump out a wall).

  3. Energy-efficient windows and appliances.


How flexible are you with customization?


Every builder has their own level of flexibility when it comes to personalizing a home. Some builders may be open to significant structural changes, while others may adhere strictly to predetermined layouts with minimal adjustments.


If you’re interested in exploring more options about buying new, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Send us a message and we will certainly be happy to help!


Posted in Real Estate Tips
Aug. 15, 2023

Maximalism Mistakes That Can Deter Home Buyers

Living in a maximalist environment can be incredibly stimulating—until it's time to put it up for sale.


Maximalism is all about embracing boldness, whether it's an explosion of colours saturating every nook or layers of textures and patterns that refuse to hold back.


At its finest, maximalism becomes a way to express personality and showcase a life fully lived through captivating art, furniture, and decor that reflect a range of eras and cultural influences. This design approach invites conversation and tells the distinct story of the homeowners when done tastefully.


However, at its worst, maximalist design can deter potential buyers who struggle to envision the space as their own due to its overwhelming nature.


Having an overly cluttered space can obstruct buyers from recognizing the architectural features of the home and picturing their belongings within it.


Excessive personalization, such as emotional attachments like personal photos or nicknacks, can alienate buyers who find it difficult to see themselves in a space that's too uniquely decorated.


Numerous real estate professionals recount times when over-the-top maximalist designs have hindered sales, emphasizing the importance of a balanced and appealing aesthetic.


Furnishings and decor that are excessively specific can alienate potential buyers, preventing them from visualizing how they could make the space their own.


Striking a balance between bold and neutral elements is key to making maximalism appealing to a wider audience.


Incorporating adaptable lighting can add versatility to the space, allowing for a shift between vibrant and neutral tones at the touch of a button.


Ultimately, the goal is to craft a space that feels thoughtfully curated and deliberate in its design. This approach involves recognizing the limitations of larger areas for incorporating bold elements and using smaller, cozier spaces to showcase striking patterns and wallpapers.


Common Maximalist Design Mistakes

  1. Lack of Cohesion: Failing to establish a cohesive theme or colour palette.
  2. Overcrowding: Placing too many items, leads to a cluttered feel.
  3. Neglecting Balance: Ignoring the need for a balance between bold and negative space.
  4. Clashing Patterns: Mixing conflicting patterns without a unifying element.
  5. Inadequate Lighting: Insufficient lighting causes a dark and crowded atmosphere.
  6. Ignoring Functionality: Prioritizing decor over the practical use of the space.
  7. Excessive Personalization: Making the space too tailored to individual tastes.
  8. Lack of Restraint: Going overboard with competing bold elements.
  9. No Focal Points: Failing to create clear visual focal points.
  10.         Ignoring Comfort: Sacrificing comfort for aesthetics.
  11.         Copying Trends Unthinkingly: Blindly following trends without consideration.


Creating a Successful Maximalist Decor

  1. Start with a Neutral Base: Use subdued colours for walls, floors, and larger furniture to let maximalist elements shine.
  2. Define Focal Points: Choose specific areas for bold items to avoid visual clutter.
  3. Layer Textures and Patterns: Mix fabrics, materials, and patterns for depth, while maintaining a cohesive colour scheme.
  4. Curate Thoughtfully: Every item should contribute to the aesthetic; edit periodically to avoid clutter.
  5. Balance Color and Contrast: Strategically use vibrant colours and contrasts for a harmonious look.
  6. Mix Antique and Modern: Blend items from different eras for an eclectic feel.
  7. Consider Scale and Proportion: Balance statement pieces with smaller accents.
  8. Embrace Overlapping: Layer items for depth but avoid overcrowding.
  9. Add Plants and Greenery: Bring in natural elements for balance.
  10.         Play with Lighting: Utilize various lighting for ambiance and emphasis.
  11.         Incorporate Storage: Choose furniture with hidden storage to manage clutter.
  12.         Personalize Thoughtfully: Showcase your personality without overwhelming the space.
  13.         Create Zones: Define different areas for organization and flow.
  14.         Experiment and Revise: Try new arrangements and keep the decor fresh.

A successful maximalist design is about finding the right balance between boldness and harmony. Intention is key. Every choice should contribute to your space's narrative. Thoughtful curation and balance lead to a captivating and inviting maximalist home.

Posted in Real Estate Tips
Aug. 1, 2023

4 Ways to Improve the First Impression of Your Home


You never have another opportunity to make a first impression!


At The Agency Fort McMurray, we are known for our meticulous attention to detail – some might even say we're a bit obsessive about it. We leave no stone unturned when it comes to presenting your property in the best light possible.


Clients often laugh, thinking that minor oversights won't matter. However, we believe that even the smallest details can significantly impact a buyer's perception. A poorly managed first impression could turn potential buyers away or lead to lower offers from those who otherwise love your home.


During a recent weekend of property showings, we observed how quickly a buyer's enthusiasm could wane due to a lacklustre initial impression, despite the property meeting all their requirements.


Here are some key areas where we advise you to focus on creating an excellent first impression:


Curb Appeal


Enhance your home's exterior to make it inviting and well-maintained. We are proactive in taking care of tasks like raking leaves, shovelling snow, power washing decks, and adding appealing planters.


Front Entrance


Pay attention to details like matching colours and keeping items like the mailbox, house number, and door handles in sparkling condition. During evening showings, ensure the outside lights are on, and in winter, maintain a clean foyer, as dirty floors can give the impression of damage.




For vacant homes, it's essential to patch, fix, and paint the walls in a neutral colour. A fresh coat of paint can work wonders. We emphasize the importance of spotless baseboards and proper caulking, as they reveal how well the home has been maintained and are simple fixes for issues like water damage, scuffs, and cracks.




A scent-free environment is crucial. Strong odours from food or fragrances can be off-putting to potential buyers. If there were past smokers in the home, we recommend investing in eliminating that scent. Simple tricks like smoke eliminator sprays, essential oil diffusers, or Lamp Bergers can freshen up the space. In some cases, painting or professional cleaning may be necessary.


To be brutally honest, a poor first impression could cost you your ideal buyer or lead to substantial price reductions. We understand that this may be difficult to hear, but it's more painful when you lose your dream buyer over something that can be relatively easy to fix.


If you're interested in learning more about how we can help you create a stellar first impression for your home, please feel free to reach out to us. We are dedicated to making sure your property stands out and attracts the right buyers. Let's discuss how we can prepare your home for a successful sale.

Posted in Sellers
July 17, 2023

3 Questions to Ask When Choosing Your Realtor®


How do you know if a potential REALTOR® is right for you?


Communication is key when it comes to finding success in working with your REALTOR®.


An experienced and passionate REALTOR® will respond promptly, answer all questions with detail, and ease your concerns. There really are no "off hours" especially as we get closer to confirming your dream home.


Here are 3 questions to ask up front when finding a REALTOR®:


1. What is their availability like?


Meaning, will they be available in the evening if questions come up, or available on weekends to show you homes? Will they respond quickly and provide a customized service, or are they fully booked with other clients?


2. How will they communicate with you?


Do they prefer text messages, email, or direct phone calls? Does their preferred mode of conversation align with yours? Are they open to your preferred method?


3. What’s their cancellation policy?


Situations may arise where a buyer or seller wants to part ways with their REALTOR® - ensure you fully understand any agreements that you sign, as well as their cancellation policy.


Any questions about finding the perfect REALTOR® for you? Contact us - no obligations - we’re always happy to chat.

Posted in Real Estate Tips
July 4, 2023

The True Meaning of "Home"


A home is more than just a physical space, it's a haven for our emotions, memories, and connections. It gives us the care and protection we need to express ourselves freely. What does the concept of "home" signify to you? Below, we've detailed our understanding of the true essence of "home".




A home is a canvas for creating lasting memories. Birthdays, holiday traditions and every gathering in between - It's the backdrop of countless cherished moments. Our homes encapsulate who we are, the keepers of lasting memories.




Home is the place where you can truly be yourself, let your guard down, and find ease after a long day. It's all about having everything you love most, in one place. Home is more than a physical structure, it’s the embodiment of your personal tastes, preferences and passions, harmoniously brought together in a space that offers comfort and respite.




Your home should reflect your unique personality and style. Whether it's displaying treasured photographs, showcasing artwork that speaks to you, or incorporating meaningful decor. By infusing your personal touch into your home, you create a space that is visually appealing and a true reflection of your identity, cultivating a sense of belonging and contentment.




Home extends beyond the boundaries of your property — The connection you feel with your neighbours, the familiar faces at local establishments, and the shared experiences create a strong community. Feeling a sense of belonging adds another layer of comfort and fulfillment, enriching your daily life and providing a strong foundation of community that uplifts your spirit.




A home is a space where you grow and evolve as an individual or a family. It's where you learn new skills, discover new passions, and nurture your dreams. It's a place that supports your personal growth and provides the cornerstone for a fulfilling life.

Posted in Lifestyle
June 16, 2023

The Importance of a Home Inspection: What to Look For


Purchasing a home represents a significant financial commitment, and it is crucial to have a clear understanding of the undertaking before finalizing the deal. An essential part of the home-buying journey is conducting a thorough home inspection, which serves to identify any potential issues associated with the property. In the following discussion, we will delve into the significance of a home inspection and provide guidance on selecting an inspector. We will cover various aspects, including comprehending the inspection process, recognizing potential warning signs, and offering valuable tips and strategies for success. This comprehensive article aims to equip both first-time homebuyers and experienced individuals with the knowledge and confidence necessary to safeguard their investment and make well-informed decisions about their new home.





A home inspection plays a vital role in uncovering any structural or safety concerns that may be present within a property. By thoroughly examining elements such as the foundation, roof, walls, electrical systems, and plumbing, a skilled inspector evaluates the overall condition of these components and ensures they meet established safety standards. Identifying concealed structural issues at an early stage can help avert expensive repairs and mitigate potential safety hazards down the line.





Assessing the condition of major systems within the property is another crucial aspect of a home inspection. This involves a thorough evaluation of the electrical system, plumbing, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning units. By examining these systems, prospective buyers can obtain valuable insights into their operational effectiveness, age, and potential maintenance or replacement requirements. Armed with this information, buyers can negotiate repairs or adjust their offer to reflect any necessary upgrades or repairs that may be needed.





Pest infestations, whether it's termites or rodents, can wreak havoc on a property, causing significant damage. In order to identify any signs of pest activity, a home inspection is invaluable. Skilled inspectors thoroughly examine areas that are prone to infestations and diligently search for visible damage or indications of pest presence. Detecting and addressing these issues at an early stage can spare buyers from incurring substantial expenses related to extermination and subsequent repairs.





Occasionally, superficial improvements can mask underlying problems within a property. A home inspection serves the purpose of revealing these concealed issues, offering a more comprehensive understanding of the property's actual condition. Problems like water damage, mold growth, or structural weaknesses may not be readily noticeable to an untrained observer, but a skilled inspector can identify them. By uncovering such concerns, buyers are empowered to make well-informed decisions regarding whether to proceed with the purchase or negotiate repairs and remedies with the seller.

Posted in Real Estate Tips
June 1, 2023

Buying Real Estate? Check Your Finances!


Before clicking through pages of online listings or falling in love with your dream home, do a serious audit of your finances. You need to be prepared for both the purchase, and the ongoing expenses of a home. The outcome of this audit will tell you whether you’re ready to take this big step, or if you need to do more to prepare.

Follow these steps:

1. Look at your savings. You'll need 3-6 months of living expenses saved in case of an emergency. 

2. Budget for considerable up-front costs, including the down payment and closing costs. You need money put away for these. Lenders will require it.

3. Do your homework on how much property tax, utilities, & condo maintenance fees (if purchasing a condo) will be each month. Ask a friend or parent that owns a similar size property as an idea of what you'll be spending. 

One of the biggest challenges is keeping your savings in an accessible, relatively safe vehicle that still provides a return so that you’re keeping up with inflation.

Need help figuring out your finances? Contact us today to refer you to an Expert!

Posted in Real Estate Tips
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