Should You Accept the Offer?

You’ve taken the plunge to put your home on the market, starting a new chapter, and your agent has just received your first offer—how exciting! Now what? Several factors can help you make an objective decision!

The First Offer to Purchase

The first offer is most often a motivated buyer that has been perusing the market for some time already, understanding the market and what kind of inventory is available. They are excited about your home and want to beat their competition. However, you can negotiate with the buyers, coming back with a counteroffer for a better deal. If the first offer is below your goal range, you can use their fear of losing out and attachment to the house as leverage to bring it closer to your goals. 

Turning down the first offer outright can be a gamble, as the longer it is on the market, the less likely you are to receive a higher offer. Going past the average amount of a property's "days on market" may prompt potential buyers to wonder if the price is too high or even if there is something wrong with the property.  When the threat of competition diminishes, the strategy will shift from competitive offers to bargaining. 

Unless you are in an ultra-hot market, you are simply looking for the best overall offer. Depending on your objective when selling your home, each component will carry different weights.


The closer the offer is to your listing price, the better—but beware of getting too greedy! First offers within 10% of the listing price may be worth negotiation if other offer components are sound. 

Cash vs Financing

Cash offers tend to be more reliable compared to those that are mortgage-backed as they guarantee a swifter close on the deal. Pre-approved buyers may be denied later for a multitude of reasons, such as changes in employment or low results of a home appraisal. 


Purchase contingencies can be quite common in a deal stating that the offer is valid only if the listed criteria are met. On the seller’s side, you want as few contingencies as possible. There are few contingencies, such as home inspection and appraisal, which are relatively standard, though in some cases, buyers may remove them to make the deal more enticing to the seller. Home sale contingencies are not the most ideal as they may jeopardize your closing timeline if the buyer’s home fails to sell. 

Buyer Flexibility

A buyer’s flexibility with closing and moving dates may influence your decision to accept the offer depending on your circumstances and if you need extra time in transition after the sale. 

There is considerably less pressure to accept the first offer if you are in a competitive seller's market with multiple great offers. In which case, sellers and their agents can accept offers while they come in or put in an offer review date for the property.

A buyer's market means that the current housing supply exceeds the buyer's demand. Thus homes may sit on the market longer, and price depreciates over time. Suppose a home similar to yours is selling for a lower price than what you have it listed for. In that case, the lower price may actually be a more accurate depiction of what your home is currently worth on the market—no matter the other seller’s reasoning for pricing it as such, it will also affect you.

Discuss the areas of the offer you wish to improve with your real estate agent and craft a reasonable counter offer and deadline for the buyer’s response to keep the ball rolling.  Contact me today about becoming your REALTOR® to help you navigate the busy Saskatoon housing market!

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Home Showing Etiquette For All 5 Senses

Our 5 senses play an integral role in our processing of the world around us; these sensory cues trigger our emotional responses. Thus, we associate different emotions with different experiences. Some subtle touches can highlight the best features of your home, creating the experience that has potential buyers imagining this as their future home!


What we sense by sight is one of the very first things we notice about a place we have never been in before. Set a welcoming tone for the experience from the moment potential home buyers pull up with a manicured lawn and healthy plants for the top curb appeal.

Inside, give your home a good declutter and clean! When looking at homes for sale, buyers want to feel assured that they have been well cared for and will have enough space for everything they need. If you are unsure where to start, use the top to bottom, left to right method—beginning with ceiling fans and tops of shelves, working your way down all the way to the floors, utilizing bins for knick-knacks, loose bits and bobs, and personal items. For extra organization, use a colour-coded container for each member of the household to better keep track.

Lastly, be sure to highlight key areas by opening up the curtains and turning on the lights in darker areas! Window dressings such as curtains and blinds can often be neglected, so be sure to give these some love and care.


Though we can become desensitized to the smells in our own homes, home sellers must put themselves in the buyer's shoes and thoroughly deodorize, neutralize, and freshen the space. Think about how off-putting pet odours and trash odours will be to buyers! Be sure to take out the trash and clean things like litter boxes, putting them away in the laundry room.

Experts recommend using harsh cleaning solutions for deep cleaning to prepare the home for new owners. However, we must advise against using products that have strong scents when showing to potential buyers. Instead, use only mildly scented products. Candles are also not recommended to be used during showings—not only for the risk of the open flame but also because overly scented/artificial aromas may signal buyers that you are trying to mask odours!

Experienced REALTORs will propose using more natural fragrances, such as doing laundry beforehand, placing dryer sheets in drawers, or using clean linen scented plug-in (unplugged a few hours before). These give the home a fresh and clean scent, rather than an artificial and unnatural one. Baking cookies before a showing or heating up a few drops of vanilla on the stove will also provide a sense of warmth and comfort. Studies have also shown that citrus scents make a home feel worth more.


A day of home showings can be exhausting to buyers, and no one can truly enjoy their experience if they're hungry or thirsty. Simple snacks and bottles of water left for potential buyers can be the exact touch needed to leave that lasting, welcoming impression. Those cookies we talked about earlier? They can serve a double purpose here, just saying!


Of all lasting impressions, dusty and gritty surfaces that leave texture on your hands aren’t a good one. Make sure to dust so that buyers’ fingers come away clean! You want to be sure that they feel comfortable enough to touch. And leave closet doors cracked open for them to check out the storage spaces and vacuum carpets (both ways) for that plush and luxurious feel. 

The idea is to emphasize what is already amazing about your home and help buyers to imagine the life they can make in the home. Thinking your home may need more of a facelift to get it showing-ready? Consider whether you may need to renovate before selling your home and contact me today about becoming your REALTOR!

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Your Guide to Growing Your Home’s Curb Appeal

Have you just moved into your dream home and can’t wait to grow your own outdoor oasis with vegetables and flowers, but don't know where to get started? Or are you a notorious plant killer that is looking for guidance so your attempt at boosting your home’s curb appeal for sale doesn’t end in disappointment? Hope is not lost! Here is a list of essential tips to help you get started!

Location, Location, Location

Like starting your home search, gardening is all about the location! The phrase "out of sight, out of mind" definitely applies to gardening, so be sure to place your garden somewhere that you will see regularly. That way, you will be more inclined to show it some TLC.

You also want to know where the sunlight hits in your yard, as most plants need large amounts of sun exposure to thrive. Placing your garden close to a water source where you can efficiently run a water hose is also incredibly important for when your plants get thirsty. A great indicator of this is if the soil is dry up to your first knuckle, then it’s time to give your plants a drink!

Cut Down on Lawn Work

One of the best landscaping tips you can get regarding your home is to save time on lawn chores by reducing the grass-covered areas in your yard. The time you will save by combining the use of trees, shrubs, boulders, and other decorative plants to make an eye-catching display in your front and back yards is sure to amaze. And the beauty of these elements is that they are maintenance-free, leaving the time for you (or your potential buyers!) to dedicate yourself elsewhere.

Start Your Garden with Good Soil


You have found your ideal location and reduced your lawn chores, so now what? Start your garden-growing journey strong by using good, nutrient-rich soil. Many local garden gurus here in Saskatoon recommend working with compost, manure, or dried peat moss to combat the drier conditions we tend to face.

Choose the Right Plants

Match the plants you select to your growing conditions and be mindful of placement within your garden. Sunflowers are named as such for a reason, and pumpkins like ample elbow room for all of their vines. Ask around your Saskatoon neighbourhood what plants your neighbours find success with in your area and take note of what they have planted. And don’t forget about the different seasons!


Listing your home for sale soon and need some quick curb appeal without waiting for seeds to sprout? An easy way to fill an empty garden with plenty of colour in summer and into the fall is to plant a few annual starters and keep them well watered. They’ll keep everything looking cheery and bright for summer selling, then die off in the fall so the new owners can start fresh in the spring!

Timing is Everything

Planting too early or too late could mean an accidental killing spree on your plants. The last average spring frost date in Saskatoon is typically around May 15, so plan to plant after that to avoid casualties. And keep in mind the first seasonal frost happens usually around September 11th to 20th, so plan accordingly for fall flair!

Work Smarter, Not Harder

Time release-fertilizers will keep your garden fed for more extended periods, meaning reducing the frequency you need to fertilize. And having a timed sprinkler system can shave countless hours off your maintenance schedule, which can be super helpful if you plan to spend more time at your Saskatchewan lake property this season!

Of course, the best news is, the more you garden, the better and more knowledgeable you will get! So don’t forget to have fun and enjoy the moments, whether they are the first in your new home or your last before you leave.

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Canada’s New, Tougher Mortgage Stress Test

Homebuyers needing to finance their home are required to pass a stress test, and it's about to become harder to pass. Here's what you need to know about the stress test as it stands currently and what is about to change.

What is the Stress Test?

Introduced in 2018, the stress test for insured mortgages requires applicants to meet criteria that prove they could continue to make mortgage payments based on higher interest rates.  For a stress test, mortgage lenders calculate the Gross Debt Service and Total Debt Service ratios to decide if applicants have a high enough income and low enough debt load to make higher mortgage payments should rates increase.

Changes to the Stress Test

"Regulators plan to ratchet up the country's dreaded "stress test" qualifying rate for mortgage borrowers. As of June 1, loan applicants—regardless of the mortgage rate their lender has offered them—will need to prove they can afford an interest rate of 5.25 percent before getting approved for funding. The current benchmark is 4.79 percent." - Regina Leader-Post

Why Are There Stress Tests?


Similar to crash tests done on new vehicles to determine the safety and integrity in the worst-case scenario, the same forward-thinking testing is done in the world of finance. Stress tests will model a bad scenario before the investment is made to show what would happen in case of a financial misfortune, and help determine exactly how much you can afford. If you were to suddenly have a reduced income or lost your job, could you still afford to make the same mortgage payments? What if interest rates were to spike, or you needed to refinance your home? This type of rainy-day planning is essential for a number of reasons.

First and foremost, interest rates are constantly in flux; as are home prices. According to CREA (the Canadian Real Estate Association), the average home price in Canada was over $500,000 in January 2020, up 11% from a year before. It's important to know that you can still afford to pay your mortgage if interest rates increase and could affect the kind of home you decide to buy. 

Ultimately the new mortgage rules are in place to protect the Canadian housing industry by ensuring that Canadians are not over leveraging themselves.  As a home buyer, this could mean that you will have to settle for a lower budget.  Despite the frustration of some Canadians, it is expected that mortgage rates will rise, and this test will help you make sure you don't overextend yourself.  This will protect you from future difficulties when interest rates eventually increase.


How is the Stress Test Calculated?

According to the Bank of Montreal, uninsured homebuyers who qualify with a 20% down payment or more will have their minimum qualifying rate based on either the 5-year benchmark rate offered by the Bank of Canada or the rate offered by their mortgage lender plus 2%—whichever is higher. On the other hand, buyers with default insured mortgages—making a down payment of less than 20%—must qualify using either the Bank of Canada 5-year benchmark rate or the rate offered by their mortgage lender, whichever is higher.

When you're in the process of qualifying for a mortgage, the stress test may seem like one more obstacle you need to overcome. Keep in mind, though, that it's there to protect you from future rate increases.  And if you're feeling overwhelmed or like buying a house may not be possible right now, please don't hesitate to contact me. I can help you assemble a team of real estate professionals who will make the home buying process far less stressful.

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Buying a Recreational Property in 2021

It’s the time of year as we approach summer to expect more recreational properties to come on the market. And buying cabins and cottages is the newest fad sweeping Canada. But if you want to make that dream a reality, you’ll have to be willing to shell out some serious cash. What can be expected this season in the recreational property market?

Cottage Prices on the Rise

In 2020 recreational properties across Canada saw prices increase by an average of 17%, and 2021 is forecasted to grow another 15%. This will depend greatly on the region, but you can expect increases in every province across Canada. Interestingly, out of 3 property categories—urban, suburban and recreational—recreational properties show the most significant increase in prices since the pandemic hit, with suburban properties coming in second.

Life during the pandemic has made cottage country and country living more desirable than ever in every part of Canada. Some families are purchasing these properties as primary residences, and some as true recreational properties. The reality is people want green spaces and a place to get away. 

How Does This Affect You?

The news is great for cottage owners looking to sell, as they’re bound to get top dollar for their properties. However, for buyers, this will mean they will likely be competing with other buyers looking for the same type of property as they are as supply is the lowest it’s been in a long time.


My Advice

Take advantage of the low interest rates on mortgages, secure financing and start looking now—don’t wait.  

Be flexible...

...with location—you may have to travel a little further from your home base than you would like, but if you’re able to open up a larger geographic area for your search, you’ll have a much better chance of success.


...with size, style, and finishes. Let’s face it, in this case, location is one thing you cannot compromise when searching for your dream recreational property, but you can always improve on it over the years, and that’s a good thing as you’ll only add value.

...with your offer—make your offer as attractive as possible by being flexible on the dates, terms, and conditions.

Work with an experienced local REALTOR® who knows what to look for in a recreational property. There can be many different things about owning a recreational property that you aren’t familiar with, well water, septic systems, regulations around what you can and can’t do on your property/shoreline, and the list goes on.

Think it might be time to live your dream with a recreational property? I’d love to help you find the perfect one. Check out lake properties for sale in Saskatchewan, and contact me today to hear about exclusive listings before they hit the market!

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Your Complete Guide to Selling Your Home

Deciding to sell your home is a big deal and a choice you likely did not make lightly. With countless memories and the time, money, and effort you've spent making it feel unique to you will make it hard to let go. However, if selling is the right decision for you and your family, you want to do it the smart way. Following this guide will help you achieve the rewarding outcome you are hoping for.

Prepare Your Home for Sale

Make a List of the Things You Love About Your Home

There's a reason, likely many reasons, why you purchased your home and will miss when you leave. Take the time to write down the things you enjoy and will miss when the sale is complete. It is very likely the potential buyers will see value in these items as well, and you will want to highlight these items in your listing and when staging.

Compile the Facts

Take the time to compile all information a potential buyer will want to know about your property—taxes, lot size, utility costs, and other pertinent information. It's always a good idea to have this information ready for your real estate agent.

Document Recent Repairs

Your home will be more attractive to potential buyers if they see that you have been steadily working to improve its value. There is great appeal to buyers knowing they can purchase a home that won't need a lot of additional investment to bring it up to their standards. Have a list of repairs and dates when they were completed for your agent to include in your listing.

Hire a Building Inspector

Hiring an inspector to complete a pre-inspection before placing your home on the market will inform you of any potential problems to address. After all, most buyers will request a home inspection in their conditions. If the inspection shows too many repairs required on the report, they may get "cold feet" and walk away from the deal. By taking care of these issues in advance, you can ward off these potential problems before an interested party ever steps foot in your home. 

Sell Your House in 10 Steps:

1) First, Find a Local REALTOR® that is Right for You

The right real estate agent will serve you, not themselves. They will look out for your interests, list your house using the latest marketing techniques, and negotiate the best deal possible for your property.  

2) Outline a Plan

Make the most of the time leading up to your home sale. First, if you have an idea of when you want to list your house, break your to-do list into manageable bite-size pieces. Then, work with your REALTOR® to prioritize these to give you the focus you need to get everything done on time.

3) Declutter

Pack up anything you can live without until your home sells. Then, store it away until you get into your new home.


4) Tackle Repairs

Review the home inspection report, ask your agent where your fix-it dollars will do the most good.

5) Deep Clean

Scrub every surface until it shines. Then, hire a professional to make carpets and rugs look and smell new again.

6) Set the Stage

Create a welcoming space that invites buyers to see your house as their own with these tips.

7) Stay Organized

A tidy home is non-negotiable. Buyers shouldn't have to see past your clutter. Clean up the kid clutter and stow away pet supplies. Throw the appliances that aren't used every day in the kitchen cabinets, and do the same in the bathrooms. Toss any personal items in the drawer to keep them out of sight.

  • Add Extra Touches - A pair of decorative pillows or a few green plants will add life to any room.
  • Add More Lighting - Bright rooms make your home look more spacious. Pull up the blinds, open the curtains, and let in the sunshine! But before you do, take time to wash your windows. And if there isn't much natural light to be had, consider adding a lamp to make a big difference!
  • Go Easy on the Rugs - Most rugs don't photograph well and can make your space look smaller. Ask your REALTOR® to help you decide which ones to keep and which ones toss.

8) Price Your Home to Sell

Your house is only worth what buyers are willing to pay, not how much sentimental value you've placed on it. Therefore, it's essential to think about price objectively and trust the Comparative Market Analysis completed by your real estate agent. This free home valuation compares your home to other similar homes nearby that have sold recently or are currently on the market, allowing your agent to predict what buyers will pay for your home accurately.

9) Survive Showings

Whether you have kids, pets, or just a busy job, home showings can be hard to juggle. But, if you're still living in the home you're selling, these helpful tips can help you minimize the insanity and get your home sold.

Tip #1: Make a daily to-do list. Reduce the panic of surprise showings by putting things away as soon as you're done with them. Create a checklist of simple tasks to complete before you leave home every day.  

Tip #2: Get pets out during showings. Allow buyers to focus on your home's best features instead of your barking dog.

Tip #3: Try to be flexible. Try to make any proposed showings work in your schedule, and don't expect buyers to work around you.

10) Negotiate the Contract

Negotiations begin once you have an offer on your home. Your REALTOR® will explain the details in a way that is easy to understand. Never sign an agreement before you're clear about what is and is not included in the offer and how it affects you as a seller.

Pay close attention to:

  • Purchase price
  • Closing date
  • Special allowances
  • Contingency deadlines
  • Additional contingencies, conditions, and clauses

How Long Does it Take to Sell A Home?

This is not an easy question to answer since there are a LOT of variables involved. Homes in Saskatoon averaged 59 days on the market in December 2020. Keep in mind that number is an average. How long it takes to sell your home will depend on local real estate market trends and the specifics of your home.  

Here are some things that can impact how long your home will take to sell:

Local real estate market conditions. If you live somewhere with a sizzling seller's market, you can often expect your home to sell more quickly than those with fewer buyers.

The season. Typically, if you want to get the most for your home and decrease its time on the market, listing your house in late spring is the best bet. But that's not always the case for every home or market. When it comes down to it, the best time to sell your house is when it's the right time for you.


Your home's location. Details like what school zone it is in, the neighbourhood, and how close it is to amenities can also affect how long it takes to sell your home.

The price. Larger and more expensive homes can take longer to sell because the pool of buyers is smaller.

The closing process. If the buyers are using a mortgage to buy a home, the closing date is usually dependent on their financing going through. Closing can also be delayed if issues should arise in the home inspection or appraisal.

Remember, this is not an exhaustive list of the factors that can affect how long it takes to sell your house. Again, you can talk to your real estate agent about a realistic timeline for your specific home.

No matter what, the best way to have an incredible experience selling a home is to partner with a professional local real estate agent. The right agent should guide you every step of the way, making the process go as smoothly as possible. So contact me today and ask about my proven track record!

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Your Guide to Conditions & Clauses on a Residential Real Estate Agreement

When you buy a home with a REALTOR®, you gain peace of mind knowing they’re trained professionals who work with property purchase contracts on a daily basis. Having said that, you are still the principal on this contract and you should never sign anything that you do not fully understand. Let’s dig a bit deeper into a typical real estate purchase agreement, specifically looking at conditions and clauses.

Real Estate Agreement 101

An Agreement of Purchase and Sale is a written contract between a seller and a buyer for the purchase and sale of a property. In the agreement, the buyer agrees to purchase the property for a certain price, provided that a number of terms and conditions are satisfied. 

The process begins when the purchaser makes an offer, which is irrevocable for a certain time period. If there are no counteroffers and the agreement is signed by the seller within the time period the offer was left open, then the agreement becomes legally binding. At this point the agreement cannot be cancelled unless both parties agree. If the offer is not signed before the offer expires, it will become void.

Fixtures are improvements made to a property that are attached or cannot easily be removed without causing damage to the property. Examples include: hot water heaters, built-in cabinets, light fixtures, etc. These items are assumed to be included in the sale of the home, unless they are specifically excluded in the agreement.

Chattels are moveable items of personal property, and must specifically be listed in the Agreement if they are to be part of the sale of the home. Examples include: appliances, lawn and garden equipment, blinds or drapes, etc. 

The requisition date is the time within which the homebuyer has to examine the title, and complete all other searches. It is within the buyer’s best interest to do a number of searches to ensure that there are no problems with the property. These include things such as searching the registered ownership of the property with the land registry, checking that the property complies with zoning regulations, and searching for any outstanding municipal work orders.  Usually the buyer’s agent and lawyer will handle this.  

The removal date is the date on which conditions must be fulfilled, waived, or removed for the agreement to be binding and for the transaction to proceed to closing. 

Closing arrangements are when all relevant documents are exchanged by the lawyers on both sides of the agreement and the sale is finalized.  

The completion date or possession date is the date that the seller must give vacant possession of the property to the buyer.

What is a Conditional Offer

The rest of the renovations that you may be considering will need to be decided on individually. This is where your REALTOR® will be a big help deciding whether or not these renovations will pay off, depending on the overall standard for the rest of the neighborhood and for homes in a similar price range, as well as how seriously out of date your home may be currently.

Common Conditions on an Offer to Purchase

There are numerous types of conditions that might be included in the Offer to Purchase, including:

Financing Condition - This offer is conditional upon the buyer obtaining approval of a mortgage on the property in the amount set forth in the agreement on or before a given date.


This condition is typically included to protect the buyer in the case that they are unable to secure the required financing, causing them to lose their deposit and potentially being sued by the seller for non-completion of the transaction. 

Subject to Home Inspection - This means that the offer is conditional upon the inspection of the subject property by a professional home inspector, and the obtaining of a report satisfactory to the buyer in their sole discretion on or before a given date.

The home inspection clause is standard and appears in almost every residential real estate transaction. This condition gives the buyer the right to have the home professionally inspected by a certified home inspector to evaluate the house that is being sold. This condition is the buyer’s way of being protected from the unknown deficiencies in the home. The house must pass the inspection for the purchase to proceed or the buyer and seller may further negotiate their agreement to account for the findings in the home inspection.

Subject to Encroachment Check - This means that the offer is conditional upon the buyer obtaining and approving a satisfactory encroachment check on or before a given date.

An encroachment check will help the buyer determine if the building(s) on the land comply with zoning bylaws or if there are any encroachments by building(s) onto adjacent lands. The survey will also determine whether any building(s) from neighbouring lands encroach upon the subject’s property. A recent survey can disclose the location of fences to the property boundary and if there have been recent additions to the property. Lastly, the survey helps to determine whether anyone else may have a claim against the subject property or if any rights of way or easements exist.


Subject to Gas Line Encroachment - This means that the offer is conditional upon the buyer obtaining and approving a satisfactory gas line encroachment check on or before a given date. 

This condition is usually standard, and is simply a request submitted to SaskEnergy to facilitate an inspection of the natural gas facilities at the property. Encroachments are classified in the following ways:

  1. A pipeline encroachment is any building or structure located over, or in some cases near, the natural gas pipeline or facility, including facilities that are not situated in an easement. A natural gas facility may include, but is not limited to, the pipeline itself, regulators, shut-off valves, meters or gas mains.
  2. An easement encroachment generally consists of any tree, shrub, pit, well, foundation, pavement, building, or structure located on a pipeline easement. Urban pipeline easements are identified on the property title.

Subject to Property Information Disclosure - This means the offer is conditional upon the buyer obtaining and approving a satisfactory property information disclosure report on or before a given date.

A property information disclosure statement is provided by the City of Saskatoon or the necessary municipality at the request of the buyer. The information provided reflects the results of a search of existing building records, including building code, plumbing code, and deficiencies of the property at the time of the last inspection.

The report will also outline all building permits that have been issued for the property and whether there were any deficiencies at inspection. This report will help the buyer determine whether there has been any unpermitted work done on the property and if any deficiencies may exist.  

Subject to Property Condition Disclosure Statement (PCDS) - This means that the offer is conditional upon the buyer viewing and approving the PCDS on or before a given date.  

A Property Condition Disclosure Statement is a document completed by the homeowner at the time of listing the home for sale. In this report, the seller is required to disclose defects that they are personally aware of. The seller is responsible for the accuracy of the answers in the Disclosure and can be held accountable by law for any inaccuracies they knowingly provide.

Common Conditions on an Offer to Purchase

Of course, you can also add any additional conditions that you feel are important for the seller to consider your offer. These include the sale of your own property, removal of garbage from the back yard, leaving window treatments, appliances, special lighting, etc. While the conditions are meant to protect you and you should take advantage of them, beware of including too many in the offer because you may lose the deal if the seller should reject your offer. Your experienced local REALTOR® will be able to help you best define which conditions to include in your offer, and guide you through the process!

Completing an Agreement of Purchase and Sale can be complicated and technical. Before the Agreement becomes final, it may get modified as the result of negotiations between the buyer and the seller, and counteroffers presented to the buyer by the seller. Be certain that you understand all the terms of the Agreement and review them with a real estate professional before finalizing the agreement.

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Home Inspection FAQs

Most homes sold in Saskatchewan have a home inspection condition in the contract of purchase because it is highly recommended that all buyers request one before they close on a property. Since there are often a lot of questions surrounding a home inspection, let’s take the time to review some of the more common ones:

What is a Home Inspection?

A home inspection is a professional consulting service that determines the present condition of the home’s major systems, based on a visual inspection of accessible features. 

A Home Inspection is:

  • An in-field evaluation and professional opinion of the performance of the readily accessible installed systems in a home.
  • Primarily a visual inspection.
  • Intended to identify components that are significantly deficient, unsafe or near the end of their life.
  • Documented in a written report.

A Home Inspection is NOT:

  • An insurance policy, guarantee or warranty on the home.
  • Invasive or destructive.
  • Intended to identify concealed defects.
  • A code or design review.
  • Intended to predict future performance or life expectancy.
  • An environmental review or energy audit.

Is a Home Inspection Necessary?

Every house needs a home inspection. Buying a house that reflects your lifestyle and meets your individual needs may be the largest and most rewarding investment of your life, but can also be very stressful. To ensure your hard-earned dollars are soundly invested, it is recommended that you have a Canadian Home Inspection performed. Plus, it will also provide you with a general maintenance report that can save you money in the future!


What Does a Home Inspection Include?

A home inspection will usually include an examination of the foundation, basement, roof, attic, heating and water systems, electrical and plumbing systems, as well as the general condition of the structure itself. For a condo, it will include electrical, plumbing, heating, deck, and other interior components of the unit, plus garage and roof, if access is allowed. 

An inspector will look for poor construction practices and make note of any repairs that might be required or any general maintenance issues. Importantly, a home inspector will also make note of any fire and safety issues that need to be addressed.

What is the Difference Between a Home Inspection & Home Appraisal?

A home inspection is requested by either the home owner or the home buyer and is an unbiased and non-invasive visual examination of the physical condition of the property. An appraisal is a process required for almost all mortgage loans that’s used to determine the estimated market value of a home. To determine the value, a third-party appraiser factors in the home’s location, its condition, and the value of similar recently sold houses in the area, also known as comparables.

The appraisal process includes walking through the home, researching comparables, and creating a final appraisal report. This report will provide the final determination of the home’s market value and will be used in the lender’s final decision to approve the loan amount. The lender typically cannot lend more than 97% of the appraised value of the home.



While they have different processes and serve a different purpose, appraisals and inspections do have a few things in common. For one, they both benefit the homeowner and the lender because they ensure the home is worth what you’re paying for it and that it’s safe to live in. Both also help to uncover any issues that may affect the sale, as well as make you feel more secure in your decision to either purchase the home or walk away from the deal. Furthermore, since these services are completed by a third-party professional who has nothing to gain or lose from the results, you can feel confident in their findings.

Does a New Home Need to be Inspected?

Definitely. Just because a home is new does not mean you should assume that everything is perfect. Inspections, however, can greatly reduce your risk. Inspecting a new home helps to identify deficiencies during the warranty period. Plus, the construction can be evaluated to ensure it conforms to building standards.

Who Should Attend a Home Inspection?

Although it is not required for a buyer to be present for the inspection, it is highly recommended. This is a great chance to learn more about your new home and ask questions to the professional about the condition of the home and how to maintain it. Also, having your real estate agent present will help prevent any miscommunication or any misinterpretation of information or questions on house deficiencies.

There are some situations where a home inspection isn’t necessary; for example, if the buyer intends to demolish the building. For the most part, though, a home inspection is necessary for the buyers to identify any concerns that may need to be addressed or that may even prevent the sale from finalizing.

As your REALTOR®, I have the experience of being involved in many home inspections and I can help you determine whether the inspection findings require further investigation or whether they affect the overall value of the home. It is my job to assist you through the entire home purchase process, from the initial hunt through to possession, and I will help guide you the entire way through!

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To Renovate or Not To Renovate Before Selling Your Home?

Are you thinking of selling your home in the near future but when you look around you see so many things that may overshadow your homes shine? You know that kitchens and bathrooms sell homes, and home buyers usually want to see these items completed before they move in, unless they are buying a house for a great price expecting to need to renovate it. And the trick to deciding whether or not to renovate is to figure out which category your home will fall under.

Renovations That Always Pay When Selling a House

There are renovations that pay, those that will add some value, and those to avoid. The key lies in the difference between what buyers like and what they’ll actually pay for. Here is a list of renovations that always pay:

General Repairs

Leaving your home in disrepair will not look good when a potential buyer comes to view it. Buyers will think that if you can’t be bothered to repair a broken hinge, what else could you be leaving undone, giving them the overall feeling of a neglected home. Fix anything that is broken no matter how minor it may seem.

Fresh Paint in Neutral Colors

Most buyers want to walk through and imagine their furniture in your home. A bold color on the walls could make it difficult for them to see past it and imagine themselves living there.  

Decluttering & Professional Cleaning

This is not technically a renovation, but it is a very important first step in selling your home and should not be underestimated. This will help your property feel fresh and as new as possible, and will help buyers imagine themselves living in it.  


Other Renovations To Consider When Selling a House

The rest of the renovations that you may be considering will need to be decided on individually. This is where your REALTOR® will be a big help deciding whether or not these renovations will pay off, depending on the overall standard for the rest of the neighborhood and for homes in a similar price range, as well as how seriously out of date your home may be currently.

Kitchen Overhauls

Almost everyone wants a great kitchen and would prefer not to have to either live through a kitchen renovation or wait to move in while the renovation is taking place. Be very careful, though, if you do decide to take on this renovation as styles are always changing and people's tastes are different. If you do decide that a kitchen renovation is in order, it’s better to keep it minimal. You may be able to recoup the costs of a new faucet and updated backsplash, but you won’t necessarily see the return for a complete rebuild with new counters and cabinets.


Bathroom Renovations

Bathroom renovations face the same challenges as the kitchen remodel—you will never really see the money you put into them, unless it’s absolutely in dire need of it. You’re better off doing a deep clean of what you have, adding a fresh coat of paint to the walls, and calling it a day.


Do not put a lot of time, effort and money into any landscaping project if you are planning on selling in the near future. For the most part, people are interested in a good, safe outdoor space. They may like to look at a beautifully landscaped year with flower beds and shrubs, but most people do not have the time, gardening skills, or desire to maintain it.  Having a low-maintenance and easy-to-care-for space will be far more desirable than one that looks great but will require a lot of upkeep.

Home Fundamentals

A home's fundamentals are important—roofing, plumbing, electrical, heating, and cooling. Buyers want not only functioning equipment but also will appreciate knowing these items won’t have to be replaced in the near future. If they need to be fixed, you should definitely replace them but don’t expect to recoup the cost. 

When it comes to any renovation questions you may have, the best advice I can give you is to talk to a REALTOR®. Since there are so many variables regarding whether or not a specific renovation will be worth it, there really is no way of knowing other than to have a good understanding of the market and what current buyers are looking for. We know which renovations will increase the value of your home and will be happy to provide some insight into your local real estate market that could influence your decision—whether or not you get your investment back, when you are selling, etc. Ask me for a free comparative market analysis and let’s about your renovation to-do list today!

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10 Tips for Buying a House

Too often, people rush into buying a house when they’re not ready. Just because you’re sick of renting does not mean you should automatically buy a home thinking it’s the only alternative. Being sick of renting is most definitely a better alternative to buying and ending up with your finances in a mess or with a home that doesn’t fit your needs.

Owning a home is a big commitment, it’s not a guaranteed investment, and it’s a truckload of work. It can be a smart long-term move, but you want to know what you’re getting into. The following tips for buying a home are here to help you get started:

1) Know Your Credit Score

Your credit score is one of the biggest factors in what your loan terms will be. Know your score before you ever try to get a loan, and take the time to repair it if it's too low.

2) Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

A mortgage pre-approval means you should be able to get the loan, so long as nothing changes about your financial situation or your credit score. A pre-approval letter also helps when you want to compete with another buyer for a home you love. One of the first things most sellers will ask their agent when receiving offers is how qualified the home buyers are to purchase.

3) Research the Costs of Buying a House

There are a lot of fees that come with a home purchase, above and beyond the mortgage. Insurance, repairs, association fees, property taxes—you should have the income and the budget to handle all of these things if they are relevant to your purchase.

4) Work With an Experienced REALTOR®

Real estate agents are licensed professionals who work on your behalf and advocate for your interests. In most cases, sellers have a real estate agent working for them, so you’ll want someone on your side—a buyer’s agent—who also has your back in negotiations and can help you understand how to make an offer on a home. But that’s not all! Your agent will also help you find homes that match your budget and needs, provide facts on a neighborhood, negotiate an offer, navigate the home inspection, decipher paperwork, and request and review seller disclosures.


5) Understand the Value of the Property You are Offering On

Working with a real estate agent that understands market values in your local area is critical if you want to avoid overpaying for your house.

6) Verify All Information on the Listing

Another crucial thing to do before buying a house is to make sure the house listing is accurate. It would be best if you verified that all the information given about the home is right. Sometimes real estate agents put things in the listing that they may not have verified or may just not be aware of the facts.


7) Use an Experienced Home Inspector

The home inspection is one of the most vital aspects of buying a home. You will want to have someone performing it who is thorough and complete.

8) Check Previous Permits

If a renovation was done without a permit, it might not have been done right. No permit means that the work was not reviewed by an inspector, something you do not want in your new home.

9) Don’t Sacrifice on Location

Remember: you can change the flooring and even the layout of a home, but you can never change its location.

10) Don’t Do Anything to Affect Your Financial Situation

Your mortgage pre-approval is based on the information given at the time of your application. Any changes, like getting a different job or taking out a car loan, can result in denial of the loan request when purchasing a house.

Then the last piece is making sure that the house is in great shape when it gets on the market. I have all sorts of connections for that—painters and stagers and people that can help with decluttering or anything that needs to be done. And I can give my piece of advice, too, as we walk through the home and help that seller decide what needs to be done before we get that on the market.

These tips should help put you on the path to filling in your home-buying knowledge. Remember: that the more you educate yourself about the process beforehand, the less stressful it will be, and the more likely you will be to get the house you want for a price you can afford. But that doesn’t mean you have to go it alone! With my help and guidance, you can always feel sure that you are informed and guided along the way!

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