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Frequent Questions


1. I'm /We're going to buy a home. How should I get started and how much money will we need?

First, you should start by getting in touch with a Mortgage Specialist. These Lenders are experts in the Residential Mortgage field and will meet you anywhere you like—in your home if you prefer. Like Realtors, many of these Professionals carry a pager and cell phone and are happy to meet most evenings as well. An Important Fact which is always True, (especially when the market is "Fast") is that the added advantage of being "Pre-Qualified" by a "Mortgage Specialist", can be the difference between getting the home you have fallen in love with, or losing it to a better prepared buyer. The second part of the question is easy: you will need 5% (Some Mortgages are available to qualified borrowers with 0% down) for a down payment and enough money to pay your Legal Fees, start/move your Utilities and the Tax Adjustment. It does not matter if you are not buying your first home—5% will do.

(Oct. 15, 2005).

2. Should we have a Home Inspection done?

Almost always YES! HOWEVER, be careful of TWO things. ONE : be sure your Inspector is qualified and thorough (of course) and will not miss important details you are paying him/her to catch. This will cost you money. TWO : be sure your Inspector is fair and is not personally biased! For example, if your Inspector has a bias against, "Old Houses" (some do) and you, like ourselves and many of our buyers, are passionately in love with the eldest homes on the market, you may be hearing negatives that belong in a different context entirely. Let’s make an automotive example: if you are say, a lover of 55, 56, & 57 Chevys, and you have an automotive Inspector give a great 57 you are considering, the once-over; mechanical problems, hidden body work/rust, are examples of some concerns that would influence your decision. A good Inspector would point these out. However, the fact that the car does not have Anti-lock Brakes or an Airbag are not valid concerns obviously, because the vintage of the car lacks these by definition. This may sound strange, but too many people really do want to buy a Heritage Home, but are scared off by input from others; Inspectors, or family, or friends—whomever, and often because of misunderstandings like these, that they later regret. Work with Knowledgeable Realtors, Good Lenders, Qualified Inspectors & Real Estate Lawyers, to be as well informed as possible. So, in context, do your Inspection, but know the type of criticisms, which spell trouble, from those conditions, that are likely common to every home on the block.

(Oct. 15, 2005).


3 . Do I Get Better Service with a Team of Realtors?

You get the Best Service with a Couple, but not a Team.  

With Rob and June, You get Two Experienced Realtors for the Price of One. Not so with a so-called "Team."Teams must handle larger volumes of sales to offset the Expense of the Team. This means less Good Old Fashioned Face to Face Service, and little if any, from the Agent You thought You Selected. What's really happening is more like a  Good Old Fashioned Game of Bait-and-Switch, which works like this: One Agent Raises His/Her Profile by hiring (usually) Newer Realtors to work for them. This is Done on a Commission Split Basis (meaning they get paid a percentage of the Commission). This allows the Team Leader to Report the Split Portion they keep, as Their Own Production. This Drives their Production to levels they could not achieve alone. Realtors who take the time to work 1-on-1 with Clients, don't have enough hours in a day to match those inflated numbers. Bigger Teams thus Create a "Top Agent" or a "Top Performer," whom You Hire because you want Top Results. Thats the Bait; Here's the Switch: after You List Your Home You are Delegated to Less Experienced Realtors. Too Often, most of the Service you get is from Rookies or Realtors who are not Top Agents. It works for the Team Leader, because it Multiplies their Perfomance, that's why they do it. It doesn't work for Many Sellers.  

With Rob and June You Get Exactly what You Expect: Both of Us.

 Two (Experienced Realtors) For the Price of One

(Jan. 21, 2007).    

4. Do People who Sell their Own House "Save the Commissions"?

In younger days, like most Canadian lads, I played our beloved National Game of Hockey. As a PeeWee starting on Defense, I learned a lesson that is apropos here. Being Over Confident, Inexperienced and too Eager to show off skills I did not yet have, I tended to take my eye off the puck carrier and go for the prize--the puck. Regrettably, I would find myself beaten and behind the play as some nifty forward menaced my exposed goalie. My coaches told me, I had to learn to take the player; that the puck was no threat without a shooter.

Sellers focused on the Commissions (about 4.75% these days) are diving head first in an effort to save less than 5%, leaving 100% of their asset, fully exposed to chance. Best Advice; if you don't really know what you're doing, Hire a Professional 

In fast markets, You can Sell Your Own House, but to do it and "Save the Commissions" you must sell for as much in the limited Private Market, as you can get with Full MLS Exposure and (more often) Multiple Offers. Private Sellers assume the price they Sell for, is the same as what they would Sell for on MLS. It's not.

Fact: Most Folks who brag about "Saving the Commission," Net Less than they would have on MLS using a Realtor. 

Of course, you have less fees to pay if You Sell Your own House, but if you don't know values, or you don't get more than one offer (frequent on MLS) you're taking a chance. Professionals don't cost money, they make you money. If the costs of hiring a Professional was a bad idea, Pro Sports Teams would field the Beer League and "Save the Salaries," Young Hockey Players would sign for a portion of their worth in perpetuity, and "Save the Commissions" their Agents Charge.

The Question is Not How to Avoid Paying for a Service; but how to Get Great Value out of the Service You Pay for. That is where Rob and June come in...

(Jan. 21, 2007). 

5 . How Have For Sale by Owner Companies Effected Your Business?


It seems folks think Realtors and For Sale by Owners (FSBOs) fight for turf like Lions and Hyenas. That’s not quite true. Realtors understand Private Sellers (FSBOs) are an important part of the Real Estate Market and that they help the MLS Market work in a number of ways. They present no problem for Good Realtors, who actually benefit from them, nor are Good Realtors a problem for FSBOs. People either choose to use a Professional Service or they don’t. Folks choose to use, or not use, Carpenters, Plumbers, Roofers and Painters too. The difference is that when folks get an estimate from a number of trades, usually one of the trades will get the job. Even so, the Trades are very wary of the value of their time and most now charge for an estimate, on a refund-when-hired basis. Realtors however, continue to work on a Goodwill Basis and Evaluate Homes when asked, believing Sellers who say they will be Listing. Many (FSBOs) are dishonest in this regard and this is a sticking point between Realtors and FSBOs ....Read More


(May 24, 2007)

6 . What Do You Mean by "Arts & Crafts"?


Most of the Edmonton Heritage Homes of the Early 1900s to 1920s, which are often Called Victorian in Advertisments, are actually more of the Arts & Crafts Era. Click this Link for the Wikipedia Page "Arts and Crafts Movement".  


(Feb 29, 2008)



7 . What Do You Mean by "Four Square"?


Many of the Edmonton Two Storey Heritage Homes (Early 1900s to 1920s (Arts & Crafts Era)) are what are Called Four Squares or American Four Squares; simply because the Main Floor (and Often Upper Floor) is a Simple Square (or Rectangle) divided into Four Smaller Squares: Typically, a Foyer, a Living Room, a Dining Room and a Kitchen, on the Main Floor and Often Three Bedrooms and Bathroom on the Second Floor. Click this Link for the Wikipedia Page "American Foursquare".  


(Feb 29, 2008)

Down to Earth Good Old Fashioned Face to Face Service