1. Pre-approval is the most important task for a homebuyer to complete. Visit your bank, mortgage broker or lender for a mortgage pre-approval. Getting pre-approved not only informs you of how much you can spend on a home, but it also guarantees the current interest rate for between 60 to 120 days depending on the lender. Get qualified and know exactly how much you can afford before you begin the home buying search so that when you find the right home, you may place an offer right away.

2. Wants vs needs. Write down a list of the things that are important to you when it comes to a home. Separate the list into two columns: “must-haves” and “would-be-nice.” The list will be helpful to your realtor so they may guide you accordingly but also keep you on track when viewing homes, especially if a particular property shows well, but doesn’t have the elements that matter most to you. Keep notes so you can remember what features each property had and compare those features to your ‘wants’ and ‘needs’ list. Analyzing those notes will assist you in choosing the right home for you.

3. Slow down and take your time when viewing a home. Buying a house is your biggest investment, so take time to pay attention to the details. People often miss items such as whether the garage is large enough, how much sun exposure the house receives during the daytime and what sorts of repairs and maintenance is the property going to require.

4. Go back and take a second look at a property you viewed and liked. There is a lot to digest when viewing a home, so revisiting the property allows you to get a second feel for the space and you may also notice something that you didn’t see before.

5. Don’t be afraid to ask. Buyers sometimes avoid asking their agent questions for fear of ‘bothering’ them or are embarrassed by their queries. Professional real estate agents understand the confusing nature of the business and are happy to help navigate you through the process. Never feel that you are inconveniencing your realtor by asking them questions.


1. Fix the small stuff. Buyers often request a home inspection which will identify any issues with your home and suggest needed repairs. You will have to fix any problems, credit money back to the buyer or drop your price to compensate. Repairing or replacing broken items in your home, from leaky faucets to ripped window screens, is a proactive approach. Eliminating distracting drawbacks will also allow buyers to have a good experience as they tour your home and focus on your home’s positive, not negative, features.

2. Start packing. Cramped and cluttered rooms turn buyers off and make your home look smaller. Start by storing away excess furniture, toys and personal decorations and pack items you don’t use on a daily basis. Organize each room, including cabinets, closets and the garage. Decluttering your house also gives you a head start on your move.

3. Make it sparkle. Buyers scrutinize a home and a clean and sparkling home ensures a positive experience for a potential buyer. Clean from light fixtures to baseboards and everything in between. Clean windows inside and outside to enhance the views and allow the sun to shine in. Steam clean rugs and carpets to eliminate unsightly stains and odours. Replace burned out lightbulbs to ensure a bright and welcoming space.

4. Welcome buyers. Exterior defects can make a poor first impression on buyers. Ensure your front door, driveway and walkway are visible and accessible to buyers by clearing debris and clutter. Fix broken screens, doorbells, roof tiles and outdoor lighting. Clean the exterior of your home, paint the entry and garage door if required and ensure your landscaping is adding curb appeal.

5. Hide unsightly everyday items. Put away or move litter boxes, pet dishes, toys, animal crates, soiled laundry and kitchen sponges and other unsightly items to less conspicuous areas of the home.

Buying or selling this spring in Canmore or Banff? Contact Barry, he has the knowledge and experience you can trust!