Monday, January 26, 2009

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John Prince, Alberta licensed real estate agent, MaxWell City Central – Crowsnest Pass. Serving the Crowsnest Pass and area. Call me directly at 403-564-4518 or by email at: johnprince@shaw.ca

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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Top 6 Home Buyer Tips

Home Buyer Tips when buying your next home in the Crowsnest Pass:

  1. Get Pre-Approved
    Pre-approval and a rate-hold. The pre-approval will let you know how much you can afford and the rate-hold will protect you in case the interest rates go up, while you are going through the buying process.

  2. Select a Realtor
    Research who you are going to work with. Just like a seller interviews 2 or 3 Realtors, so should you as a buyer. Find out who has got the skill sets that you need. If you want me to sell a farm, I'm not your guy. But a home or a condo, I can definitely help you.

  3. Learn the Home Buying Process
    Learn from your Realtor what steps are going to be involved for the type of property you are going to buy. This will help to alleviate surprises and confusion when you are going through the process.

  4. Review Contracts
    Review the paperwork and the contracts. Before I go out with a buyer or a first time home buyer in particular, we review all the contracts so they understand what they are getting into. The best thing you can do is go over those contracts so that you can understand what issues there are in advance. This way we really do reduce the chance of any surprises.

  5. $$$ How much and when?
    You got to know what you are going to need for money. How much and when it is going to be needed. For initial deposit, additional deposits (maybe), inspection costs, lawyer costs and closing costs. You need to know how much money so you are not caught by surprise and find yourself short at the closing table.

  6. Assemble Your Team
    Understand what your team can do for you. Not just your Realtor, but your lawyer and your inspector. Your inspector can only usually do visual inspections. Your Realtor, we can't tell you what to pay, but we can show you evidence and comparables of other properties and review titles with you, and a whole bunch of other stuff that you should learn during your research stage in terms of when you are selecting who you are going to work with. But most importantly, you should have that team in place before you start pulling the trigger and signing documentation.

Always remember, Caveat emptor (Let the buyer beware). With this in mind, call me if I can be of any assistance in helping you with the purchase of your next home.


John Prince, Alberta licensed real estate agent, MaxWell City Central – Crowsnest Pass. Serving the Crowsnest Pass and area. Call me directly at 403-564-4518 or by email at: johnprince@shaw.ca

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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Bank of Canada cuts Interest Rate to 1.00%

Bank of Canada cut its overnight lending rate by 0.50% to 1.00%, the lowest since the central bank was formed in 1934. The decrease was inline with most economists expectations.

The previous lowest rate level set by the Bank of Canada was last seen at 1.12% in 1958.

In the past few days leading up to this morning’s announcement by the Bank of Canada, a few lenders began cutting some of their fixed term mortgage rates. It is expected that the various Canadian Banks will announce cuts to their Prime Rate either this afternoon or tomorrow.

Today’s BOC rate cut combined with yesterdays drop in fixed rates, makes mortgage money extremely cheap! What are buyers waiting for?


John Prince, Alberta licensed real estate agent, MaxWell City Central – Crowsnest Pass. Serving the Crowsnest Pass and area. Call me directly at 403-564-4518 or by email at: johnprince@shaw.ca

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Monday, January 19, 2009

Crowsnest Pass celebrates 30th birthday

Excerpt: Crowsnest Pass Promoter - Geoff Morgan, Reporter

The Crowsnest Pass silently celebrated its thirtieth birthday, Jan. 1, 2009. Thirty years ago (Jan. 1, 1979) the towns of Coleman, Blairmore, Bellevue, the village of Frank, and 13 other hamlets, including Hillcrest, amalgamated into the municipality we know today. Happy Birthday Crowsnest Pass!

.... see full story


John Prince, Alberta licensed real estate agent, MaxWell City Central – Crowsnest Pass. Serving the Crowsnest Pass and area. Call me directly at 403-564-4518 or by email at: johnprince@shaw.ca

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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Twelve Reasons to Call John Prince to Buy a Home

  1. He has the key -- you need it to get into the home!
  2. He will sit with you and explain the whole process to you including closing costs, R.P.R’s, Title Insurance, and several other important details you will need to know.
  3. He knows all the listing and sales information in the area, and he will provide it to you. A knowledgeable buyer is better prepared to negotiate and purchase a home. Have the same facts an appraiser does!
  4. He is a community expert, and he will provide any community information that you need, including school information. You will not have to guess and hope that the information you have is correct.
  5. He has a “two hour call back” guarantee during business hours. You will not have to wonder if John is going to call you back.
  6. He has a team of professionals to look after your needs. From the first time you call through the entire buying process, the best experts will be on your team to make sure your purchase goes smoothly from start to finish. John’s experts want his business, and they will take care of his business.
  7. He has a full time transaction coordinator to make sure that your purchase runs as fluently as possible. This frees up John’s time to take a personal interest in giving you the most home for the money.
  8. He has unique insight into the specific needs of this seller.
  9. He is a nice guy. You will enjoy working with him and his entire team of professionals.
  10. He has a list of satisfied client that you are free to call.
  11. If you have a home to sell, no one will work harder to get more buyers through its doors. If you have a rental agreement or lease agreement, he can call your landlord and negotiate your moving out. If you have other problems that are challenges for others, don’t worry -- John knows how to deal with problems... so you won't have to.
  12. Have you ever heard horror stories about homes with problems that were not disclosed? John already has a full disclosure statement as to condition, signed by the seller.

From MaxWell City Central - Rob Vanovermeire, Broker

If you are considering buying or selling a home in the Crowsnest Pass area of southwestern Alberta, please give me a call if I can assist you in any way.


John Prince, Alberta licensed real estate agent, MaxWell City Central – Crowsnest Pass. Serving the Crowsnest Pass and area. Call me directly at 403-564-4518 or by email at: johnprince@shaw.ca

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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Crowsnest Pass Real Estate Humour

Today being my birthday, I have decided some humour and fun is in order. I have heard so much whining from real estate agents, sellers, buyers, mortgage brokers, etc these past few months that I thought I would share a couple of comments. First, an agent told me the other day that her income had dropped so much she was going to start charging admission to Open Houses! :-) Things are not that bad, REALLY! Maybe across the line they are, but here in Canada we are still doing pretty good, I think. Interest rates are low, mortgage rates are lower today than anytime in the past few years... Optimism abounds. Whether a buyer, seller or investor, sitting on the sidelines is not nearly as exciting as getting in the game!

For those of you who like and appreciate this sort of thing, I have put a link on my sidebar to the following real estate humour website: http://www.realestatehumor.com/ Enjoy!!!


John Prince, Alberta licensed real estate agent, MaxWell City Central – Crowsnest Pass. Serving the Crowsnest Pass and area. Call me directly at 403-564-4518 or by email at: johnprince@shaw.ca

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Monday, January 12, 2009

What do Seller's Want?

Sellers all want the same thing - buyers!!!!! But they do not want 'educated' buyers. They want someone to walk in, fall in love with their house, and offer an unreasonably high price, in cash! That would be an ideal seller situation! What do buyers want? Well, they want an uninformed seller who is willing to part with a property under market price, in move-in condition, with seller paying at least part of the closing costs! Again, an ideal situation. So what is a consumer to do?????

Balance can be achieved by hiring the right professional. In this case it is a knowledgeable real estate agent, either a seller's agent or a buyer's agent depending on your particular side of the transaction. How do you choose an agent? Local market knowledge is the key. Professional education is the basis to a sound real estate career but experience (i.e. success) in your market is the primary criteria! A professional Realtor can balance the buyer/seller playing field. After all, buyers and sellers are not in an adversarial relationship, just looking for a win-win outcome!


John Prince, Alberta licensed real estate agent, MaxWell City Central – Crowsnest Pass. Serving the Crowsnest Pass and area. Call me directly at 403-564-4518 or by email at: johnprince@shaw.ca

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Friday, January 9, 2009

Top 10 Reasons to Hire a Real Estate Agent

With so much information readily available online, clients sometimes ask me, "Why should we hire a real estate agent?" They wonder, and rightfully so, if they couldn't buy or sell a home through the Internet or through regular marketing and advertising channels without representation, without a real estate agent. Some do OK, many don't. So if you've wondered the same thing, here are 10 reasons why you might want to consider hiring a professional real estate agent.
  1. Education & Experience
    You don't need to know everything about buying and selling real estate if you hire a real estate professional who does. Henry Ford once said that when you hire people who are smarter than you are, it proves you are smarter than they are. The trick is to find the right person. For the most part, they all cost about the same. Why not hire a person with more education and experience than you? We're all looking for more precious time in our lives, and hiring pros gives us that time.

  2. Agents are Buffers
    Agents take the spam out of your property showings and visits. If you're a buyer of new homes, your agent will whip out her sword and keep the builder's agents at bay, preventing them from biting or nipping at your heels. If you're a seller, your agent will filter all those phone calls that lead to no where from lookie loos and try to induce serious buyers to immediately write an offer.

  3. Neighbourhood Knowledge
    Agents either possess intimate knowledge or they know where to find the industry buzz about your neighbourhood. They can identify comparable sales and hand these facts to you, in addition to pointing you in the direction where you can find more data on schools, crime or demographics. For example, you may know that a home down the street was on the market for $350,000, but an agent will know it had upgrades and sold at $285,000 after 65 days on the market and after twice falling out of escrow.

  4. Price Guidance
    Contrary to what some people believe, agents do not select prices for sellers or buyers. However, an agent will help to guide clients to make the right choices for themselves. If a listing is at 7%, for example, an agent has a 7% vested interest in the sale, but the client has a 93% interest. Selling agents will ask buyers to weigh all the data supplied to them and to choose a price. Then based on market supply, demand and the conditions, the agent will devise a negotiation strategy.

  5. Market Conditions Information
    Real estate agents can disclose market conditions, which will govern your selling or buying process. Many factors determine how you will proceed. Data such as the average per square foot cost of similar homes, median and average sales prices, average days on the market and ratios of list­ to­ sold prices, among other criteria, will have a huge bearing on what you ultimately decide to do.

  6. Professional Networking
    Real estate agents network with other professionals, many of whom provide services that you will need to buy or sell. Due to legal liability, many agents will hesitate to recommend a certain individual or company over another, but they do know which vendors have a reputation for efficiency, competency and competitive pricing. Agents can, however, give you a list of references with whom they have worked and provide background information to help you make a wise selection.

  7. Negotiation Skills & Confidentiality
    Top producing agents negotiate well because, unlike most buyers and sellers, they can remove themselves from the emotional aspects of the transaction and because they are skilled. It's part of their job description. Good agents are not messengers, delivering buyer's offers to sellers and vice versa. They are professionals who are trained to present their client's case in the best light and agree to hold client information confidential from competing interests.

  8. Handling Volumes of Paperwork
    One-­page deposit receipts were prevalent in the early 1970s. Today's purchase agreements run 10 pages or more. That does not include the federal­ and state­ mandated disclosures or disclosures dictated by local custom. Most real estate files average thicknesses from one to three inches of paper. One tiny mistake or omission could land you in court or cost you thousands.

  9. Answer Questions after Closing
    Even the smoothest transactions that close without complications can come back to haunt. For example, taxing authorities that collect property tax assessments, doc stamps or transfer tax can fall months behind and mix up invoices, but one call to your agent can straighten out the confusion. Many questions can pop up that were over looked in the excitement of closing. Good agents stand by ready to assist. Worthy and honest agents don't leave you in the dust to fend for yourself.

  10. Develop Relationships for Future Business
    The basis for an agent's success and continued career in real estate is referrals. Few agents would survive if their livelihood was dependent on consistently drumming up new business. This emphasis gives agents strong incentives to make certain clients are happy and satisfied. It also means that an agent who stays in the business will be there for you when you need to hire an agent again. Many will periodically mail market updates to you to keep you informed and to stay in touch.

From Elizabeth Weintraub, Your Guide to Home Buying / Selling


If you are considering buying or selling a home in the Crowsnest Pass area of southwestern Alberta, please give me a call if I can assist you in any way.


John Prince, Alberta licensed real estate agent, MaxWell City Central – Crowsnest Pass. Serving the Crowsnest Pass and area. Call me directly at 403-564-4518 or by email at: johnprince@shaw.ca

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Blogging about Crowsnest Pass, Alberta Real Estate

Blogging is a wonderful media outlet. It gives each of us a forum to present our ideas, opinions or whatever. Some people write blogs as a way to express themselves and their knowledge or expertise. People read blogs as a source of information or because they find the writer interesting. Blogs are extremely useful, both to the writer and the reader. The writer may have a lot of knowledge to share, and the reader may want an informal way to learn about a topic. I use my blogs - http://realestate.johnprince.ca/ and www.activerain.com/blogs/mycdnprince as a place to provide local Crowsnest Pass, Alberta real estate information.

I was recently told by someone that my blogs reflect considerable effort. That was a really nice compliment as I do take pride in having a simple, but informative, real estate blog.

As a full time real estate agent in Crowsnest Pass, Alberta with MaxWell City Central - Crowsnest Pass, I use the Internet as a marketing tool. When folks are looking to buy or sell in Burmis, Bellevue/Hillcrest, Frank, Blairmore or Coleman - any place in southwestern Alberta - I want them to call me.

Does this blogging thing work? For me it does. Print advertising is not as effective. Print advertising does not really allow the consumer to get a "real feel" for the "who" behind the advertisement. If you are considering selling (or buying) make sure your selected agent uses the Internet as a marketing tool!


John Prince, Alberta licensed real estate agent, MaxWell City Central – Crowsnest Pass. Serving the Crowsnest Pass and area. Call me directly at 403-564-4518 or by email at: johnprince@shaw.ca

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Thursday, January 8, 2009

If You are Thinking of Selling, Now's the Time to be Listing!

If you are considering selling your Crowsnest Pass, Alberta home at this time, you need to take a hard look at the current market. Homes in the Crowsnest Pass seem to be spending about 120 days on average on the market before closing. Considering it usually takes about 30 days from contract to closing, this means you will probably go about 90 days before agreeing on a contract with a prospective buyer. This is a relatively long time for an actual closing, so your time line needs to take this into consideration. If you want to sell by spring, now is the time to be listing! If you are planning to move, give yourself 3 to 4 months for the sale to take place. Some homes do sell much more quickly but each circumstance is different. How long will it really take your home to sell? That depends. It depends on several factors:

What are these factors?

Location: Are you located in one of the more popular subdivisions and locations? Which town are you in?

Ease of Showing: Buyers have many properties to choose from in today's market. Being able to accommodate potential buyers at their convenience is key. If a real estate agent has 10 potential properties for a client to look at today, but you need them to come either "tomorrow or whenever", this just may not work. To sell, you need to capture the potential buyer when they are available.

Curb Appeal: If you can't get them in the front door, you can't sell them! The lawn and landscaping needs to look appealing during summer, and snow removed during winter. I read that a buyer decides within the first 10 minutes of seeing a property if they are interested. You have to entice them with the outside and dazzle them with the inside.

Staging: Once inside, you need to dazzle them. You got to put your best foot forward! Remove clutter. Furniture that is too big for the space makes the space appear smaller. Get rid of the wild colors... remember, neutral! Clean. Your home may not be a palace but it can, and must be clean. Buyers will not overlook filth! Clean... sells!

Pricing: I did not put price at the top of this list although most agents today believe price is the major consideration in selling a home. Certainly the price must be reasonable for the market and reasonable for your needs. Many agents, including myself, will not take a listing if the price desired is too high for the market. Remember, the market sets the price - not the seller or the real estate agent!

Negotiate: Expect to negotiate. Homes in the Pass market appear to be selling for about 93% of asking price on average. So, buyers expect to wheel and deal. This should be expected and considered in the pricing strategy.

Strategy: Marketing in this environment does require a strategy. Exposure to the right pool of potential buyers is key. Most buyers search on the Internet so that is a key component of any strategy. Marketing strategies involve multiple approaches. Discuss these with your real estate agent.

When all is said and done, it is sometimes just plain luck that a buyer finds your property before another one captures their eye. If all the things above are considered and acted upon, you will find that buyer... probably sooner than the average days on the market!

If you are considering selling your Crowsnest Pass home, give me a call or drop me an email.


John Prince, Alberta licensed real estate agent, MaxWell City Central – Crowsnest Pass. Serving the Crowsnest Pass and area. Call me directly at 403-564-4518 or by email at: johnprince@shaw.ca

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Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Getting started........

OK, so I was a little slow to get with this "blogging" thing last year but, like they say, better late than never! This year I plan on giving it my all.

As a resident of the Crowsnest for 15 years and Realtor for 1 year I have seen major changes in the local area. Everything from demographics to attitude and outlook. We seem to be a community on the move... that is still a little hesitant in which way we should go. But 'go', we are a-going! You can feel it in the air. In this regard, we are starting to see a collection of people coming together, from different community and business organizations, who 'individually' and 'collectively' are pushing and working for 'positive change'. They seem to have a common-purpose (goal) of wanting to take this community forward, and making it all it can be. It's almost like a welcome and willing, change of the guard is taking place here.

Get in on that change! Whatever you are looking for, Crowsnest Pass 'Mountain Freedom' has it to offer. This year, I will be writing more about what is happening in the different areas of our Municipality and posting so visitors to my website http://www.johnprince.ca/ will get a feel for the area (from my perspective). Visit my site, email me questions about the area and I will post the responses here!


If you are considering selling your Crowsnest Pass home please feel free to give me a call. I would welcome a chance to discuss my marketing plan and what I honestly believe your house will sell for in this current market. If you are considering a purchase in the Crowsnest Pass area of southwestern Alberta, I would welcome a chance to assist you. If you are a seller, I would like to assist you as well.

John Prince, Alberta licensed real estate agent, MaxWell City Central – Crowsnest Pass. Serving the Crowsnest Pass and area. Call me directly at 403-564-4518 or by email at: johnprince@shaw.ca

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Friday, January 2, 2009

Gold Creek unveils plans

A proposed development northeast of the Frank Slide Interpretive Centre is presently before council. This development projects a total of 25 lots situated on approximately 100 acres of land. Livingstone Ventures Limited is the group behind this latest development in the Crowsnest Pass. Read the full story here.


John Prince, Alberta licensed real estate agent, MaxWell City Central – Crowsnest Pass. Serving the Crowsnest Pass and area. Call me directly at 403-564-4518 or by email at: johnprince@shaw.ca

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