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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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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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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