Secrets the Real Estate Industry Doesn’t Want You to Know

When it comes to making money or saving money in real estate, knowledge is power. Understand these two simple secrets and I guarantee you will save.

I couldn’t begin to count how many times I’ve had to say this one simple statement to hammer home what’s most important when selling a home. The statement that gets to the heart of the big secret that the real estate industry doesn’t want you hear.

Okay, so what’s the big secret? and what’s the statement I say over and over when sitting with sellers?

BUYERS DON’T CARE! Buyers don’t care what colour the sign is on your lawn. Buyers don’t care if your listing agents face is on every bus bench in the community. And buyers don’t care if you’ve missed your last three car payments! Buyer’s ONLY care that your home meets their needs, and that they can achieve it financially. Period!

The real estate market is highly competitive, and when sellers are seeking an agent, they are presented with so many options. And like most consumer products, people tend to pay hundreds, even thousands more to get the big brand or the fancy options. And most see true value in that. Sure, some will say the Hyundai will get you home from work in the same amount of time and for much less than the Escalade will, but have you ever driven an Escalade!

Unfortunately, real estate is very different from the Escalade or Rolex that can give you years of pleasure and pride. Selling your home is hopefully a short-term exercise, and paying for expensive options almost never puts more money in your pocket, and it never gives you long lasting joy.

That leads to the next big secret. GIMMICKS DON’T SELL HOMES. THEY ONLY COST YOU A LOT OF MONEY. Any marketing of your home outside of the local MLS System™ and, is almost always marketing done by the agent to attract other sellers, not buyers. Now that might not sit well with the industry, we’re almost programmed to believe in the opposite. There are thousands of agents in the industry, and the bigger battle for us is simply standing out, and sadly, gimmicky marketing is often the best way to do that. Open houses, fancy websites, ads in glossy magazines, or cool videos on social media won’t put more money in your pocket, nor will they sell your home faster! They’ll just cost you thousands of your hard-earned equity.

Sure, there are one offs! Like when someone walking by an open house might drop in and make the decision to buy your home on a whim. There might even be that rare occasion where someone browsing their friends Facebook falls in love with your home… but are you willing to pay thousands for that?

Here is what you do need: Good advice and good core marketing are the key to success, and you shouldn’t have to pay thousands to get it.

When it comes to advice, A good honest Realtor will always tell you what you need to hear to sell your home, not what you want to hear just to get it listed.

Good Realtors are invaluable. Good Realtors will challenge you. Good Realtors will always put your best interests first. And good Realtors always put more money in your pocket. However, that value comes in the form of challenging and informing you. Educating you, and empowering you to make better, smarter selling decisions. No gimmicks required!

A buyers first impression of your home is often your pictures. Great photography allows buyers to emotionally connect with your home. The description of your home should be thoughtful and informative. A virtual tour gives buyers easy access to your home from anywhere across the globe, no matter what time of the day it is. And yes! fresh, professional looking signage. These are the things buyers see and look for, and except for the signage, they’re all attached directly to the local MLS System™ and There simply is no better exposure for your home.

Buyers don’t care. Gimmicks won’t sell your home. A good honest Realtors advice in invaluable, and good simple marketing. If you know and understand these secrets, then you’re likely to make better choices when selling your home, and I guarantee you will put thousands more dollars in your pocket.

My name is Rod Thompson, and if you’re thinking of selling or buying a home or know someone who is… then I’d love to help. Sell Smart folks!


How to Decide on the Must Have Features For Your Home

In Edmonton, people just like you are taking the leap into home ownership every single day. But, ensuring that you move into a home that you absolutely love relies on you taking the time to identify the features that matter most to you to ensure that you never compromise on your wants and needs amid the thrill of becoming a homeowner. Those small details that you hesitantly agree to overlook when confirming your offer, can grow to become your biggest regrets later on, so it pays to know what you want and to be certain that you are true to your own wishes.

Before you look at the listings

Chances are that if you dare to start considering your home choices by consulting the listings, you might find yourself mis-directed off course sooner than you think. Before you allow yourself to be distracted by homes that are “close” to what you have in mind, start first with a blank piece of paper and list all of the amenities that you want your new home to have. Once you have created that list, rank each item by importance to you. You may want to do this separately from your spouse before comparing notes to ensure that you both are getting into a home that reflects what you want. You may find that each of you has ranked the priority items differently, and that may factor into the decision-making process as you start to look at different homes. By taking the time to self-identify your needs before you take a look at what’s on the market you can better prevent yourself (and your spouse) from negotiating yourself into a compromise on a home that fails to meet your needs, despite offering other features which seem to offset those wishes.

What are the features that you want to consider?

The number of bedrooms and bathrooms is a great starting place for any evaluation of your needs. Consider both the space that you need now and how that may evolve over the next ten years. Are you a growing family with youngsters at home and possibly more on the way? Are you currently nearing the end of your parenting days and facing life as empty-nesters? How often do you entertain overnight visitors to your home? All of this can factor in to the number of bedrooms and bathrooms that you will need to be comfortable. Filling rooms as your children move out of the home can be easier to address by changing rooms to exercise rooms or space for a home office. However, trying to create new space as your family grows can be more challenging. Do you want a yard? Yes, outdoor leisure space and fenced yard can be a great feature to enjoy, but it carries with it a slate of maintenance tasks as well. Is a smaller yard more preferable based on your own personal tastes? How handy are you? Maybe your vision is to have a fully finished basement with bedrooms and other functional spaces, but the homes that you find in your price range all feature unfinished basements. If you are a capable do-it-yourselfer, this can create a project that you can invest your own sweat equity into to create the space that you need, and also increase the value of your property as well in the process. However, if you’re not handy with a hammer and saw, buying a home that isn’t fully functional can create frustrations and large expense to complete. Location is often a factor when buying a home. Do you have a strong feeling about being closely situated near area schools, recreation or your work? This can have one of the biggest influences on what you are willing to accept if the homes on the market fail to meet each of your own personal priorities. Know your budget. Many housing experts urge buyers to consult their lender to confirm what sum they are pre-approved for when purchasing a home. This ensures that you are starting your search with your financial status in mind, avoiding the homes which are beyond your price range.

Can you fulfill all of the needs and wants on your list and still stay within your budget?

If the answer is yes, then congratulations and welcome to the joy of home ownership on your own terms. If the answer is no, start with eliminating the lowest priority items on the list you have created yourself and assess your options based on what you are willing to compromise on in order to find your new home. If you’re not happy with the choices that remain, don’t make an offer. Only you know what will ensure your happiness and comfort in your home and you don’t want to give that up if the fit isn’t right.

How can Method help?

At Method, we have helped buyers just like you to navigate the Edmonton housing market and find the best solution that meets both their needs and their budget. Come to us with the prioritized list of what you want to see in your new home and we can help to reduce the legwork of the search and short list the homes in your price range which feature all of the amenities that you’re looking for. No matter where you find yourself in life and the changes around the corner that have you looking at your options, rely on the experience of our team to help find the right home for you. With access to a database of public and private home listings, Method has been helping families do more than just put a roof over their heads, we are helping them to find the setting that will become their home. We look forward to learning more about your needs and finding the right fit for you. When you call, be sure to ask us about our innovative selling methods which you won’t find anywhere else.


In Real Estate The Price Has To Be Right

Pricing your home properly in this Edmonton Real Estate Market is the single most important thing you will have to do if you want to sell your home. Each day sellers are looking for advice and searching for that magic pill, but there isn’t one. I can however tell you what won’t sell your home! My face on a bus stop will not sell your home. Just listed cards will not sell your home. They might get me a few more listings but I feel I should earn my business in other ways.  So what will sell your home? Exposure to the whole market will help sell your home. Understanding the market and where you stand in it will help sell your home and proper pricing will help too. Independently they may seem small, but put these together and you have an excellent formula for success.

Numbers Never Lie, But They Can Be Misleading

Let’s take a look at the increase in the average price. Does this truly reflect what’s going on in the market? It does not. Numbers are like computers.  You get out what you put into them and in this case the average price, when analyzed properly is telling us that buyers are getting much more for their dollar. It’s like selling five houses in February at a price each of $100,000 and selling another five in March for $100,000. In both months the average price is $100,000, but what if the homes sold in March were larger? Or were in better locations? You can see how the average price doesn’t tell the whole story. Truth is housing prices are falling, supply is up and buyers are seeing their dollar go much further than in the past. When I price a home, I talk extensively on the risks of not being immediately competitive in our pricing. My aim is to sell as quickly as possible.  This is not for my best interest but that of my seller. The risk of not selling quickly when prices are trending downward is high and can cost sellers thousands of dollars. Pricing is complicated and it takes understanding and experience, as each situation is unique.

Supply – Edmonton Real Estate Market

This continues to be an issue and as long as it is, don’t expect prices to move upward. It’s the law of supply and demand. Buyers are king in this market and if they are not satisfied with the property or comfortable with the price they will move on. It’s not enough to get offers anymore. You need to work hard to ensure they hold together as buyers are walking away from deals for the smallest of reasons.  This is why it’s important that you get help. Choose a REALTOR® to work for you that has the experience to deal with tough markets and prepares you for the many different scenarios you may encounter. I always talk about the difference between perception and reality and never before has this meant so much to both buyers and sellers. For sellers it’s about simply getting sold. For buyers it could mean thousands of dollars saved…or lost!

This article is the opinion of Rod Thompson and in no way should it be used by itself to make any critical real estate or financial decisions. If you wish to discuss this article or your own situation with Rod, please feel free to contact him. Not intended to solicit buyers and sellers currently under contract.


What is a Mortgage Broker?

Mortgage Brokers are independent, trained professionals licensed to represent and provide you with the best advice for your mortgage needs. Mortgage Brokers primary expertise is locating funding for mortgage financing. They know where the best rates can be found. What’s more, they have the knowledge required to present a proposal for financing to lenders in the best way possible to successfully obtain mortgage financing.

So Why deal with a Mortgage Broker?

Mortgage Brokers represent you, the customer, not the lender. Because they are not employees of a lending institution, Brokers are not limited in the product they can offer you. Brokers seek out the best lender package to suit your specific situation, whether it’s with a Chartered Bank, Trust or Insurance Company, or Private Funds. There is a wide assortment of options and features available to home buyers today. Shopping around takes a lot of time and effort. The mortgage process within today’s very competitive marketplace intimidates many Canadian home buyers. It pays to work with a mortgage professional who will represent you and ensure the mortgage you get is the one best suited to your needs. Choosing the wrong mortgage can cost you thousands of extra dollars. Mortgage Brokers are trained professionals who can help you save on your mortgage dollar.

Reasons to use a Mortgage Broker

  • Access to different lenders, banks, trust companies, investors and financial institutions.
  • Fast credit and loan pre-approvals with no cost or obligation. (Some conditions may apply)
  • They are experts at matching you with the best-suited mortgage.
  • Get mortgage rates at wholesale, guaranteed up to 120 days.
  • They work for YOU, not the bank.
  • Up-to-date on all the mortgage rates, terms and re-payment options available on the market.
  • They only specialize in mortgages and are knowledgeable on current trends.
  • They increase competition in the market place, thus keeping rates low.
  • They save you time and money!
  • Brokers have vested interest in satisfying your needs since they rely on referrals and repeat business.

Thank you to Lisa Last for this post! For more information, Lisa can be contacted at River City Financial at 780.951.1434 and

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