realtor vs FSBO

What’s the Difference Between FSBO and Using a Realtor

Selling your home is a long and strenuous process. It takes time, resources, and an immense amount of planning. When you finally do decide to take the leap into selling your home, you really have two options. Do you pursue the sale alone, or do you retain the services of a realtor?

Let’s look at the few different areas of selling a home that affects the sellers most: Price, Marketing, and Paperwork. We’ll look at how those main areas of a home sale differ when you attack the market as a “for sale by owner” vs using a Realtor. The results might surprise you.

Sale Price

Most sellers want to make the most money they can when they sell their home. At the end of the day, it’s that money that will pay for their new one. When sellers enter the market, they really have two options. The seller can enter the market for sale by owner, or they can enter the market with a Realtor. Most who choose to enter the market FSBO do so because they don’t want to pay the commission fees to the Realtor in the hopes to make more money. 

This is where the first misstep is normally made because the reality is, Realtors can help you sell your home for more than you could on your own. According to the Realtors Association, the average price of an FSBO is $185,000 while selling with a Realtor averages a sale price of $245,000. That $60,000 difference is well over the 6% commission rate that Realtors charge on average. 

Seriously, let’s look at the numbers:

At the average sale price of home using Realtor, that 6% commission comes out to $14,700 payout on the $245,000 sale. Subtract that commission from the sale, and the seller gets $230,300 of that sale. Compare to the average FSBO home sale price, working with a Realtor can make you $45,300 extra dollars. A realtor’s marketing expertise can make you way more money. Even when you pay them that extra bit in commission on the sale. 


Getting the word out about your house falls squarely on your shoulders when you go into the market FSBO. That means marketing your home falls on you too. Now, there are a few places that can help you get your home listed on the MLS, but that is going to cost you. The normal fee is around $1000 to list on the MLS as an FSBO, but a Realtor will do this for you. Your Realtor has direct access to your local MLS. The means they can get you set up without having to fork over a fee to do so. Since you are going to pay them a commission on the sale, they will take it upon themselves to get your home listed on the MLS and so much more. 

Your Realtor will also help you take your sale awareness to another level. The best groups have multipoint marketing plans to help people know your house is for sale. They will leverage their social media, company contacts, and inner circles to get the word out about your home. Realtors know how to make a splash in the marketplace with a sale. 


Yes, this means all the paperwork. Instead of having to go at the mountain of paperwork alone, you can have a trained professional walk you through the process step by step. From filing for sale to signing the closing paperwork, one mistake could be the difference between actually selling your home or not. 

These forms can be tricky, so it’s always nice to have a Realtors help when it comes to getting these parts done right the first time. You don’t want to lose a sale because of botched paperwork, and it can happen. 

Free Upfront for More in the End with a Realtor

There really isn’t a downside to working with a Realtor. If you really take the time to do the research on attacking the market with and without one, it’s a no brainer. You don’t pay for the services upfront, so there is nothing to lose. 

As the one selling a home, wouldn’t it be nice to sell your home for more, get help during the process, and not worry about your paperwork being done correctly? That’s exactly what you get when you hire a Realtor to work with you. It’s about making the most of your sale, and we can help you do just that.

If you’re ready to get more for your home than you could on your own, contact Hama Cazac Real Estate Group for more information. We can help you get more for your home through our proven sales tactics.

home improvement value increase

5 Home Improvements that Increase the Value of Your Home


home hardware improvements boost home value

When it comes time to increase the value of your home, you’d be amazed how much something as minor as replacing your front door can burst your curb appeal and make your home look that much more appealing. Home hardware improvements, when done correctly, can help to boost both the aesthetic and monetary value of your home. This helps make those final moments in closing the sale no problem. Here are five home hardware improvements that will help increase the value of your home.

1 – Finished Basement

A finished basement can add an entirely new dynamic to the floorplan of your home. Whether you’re creating a rec room, extra bedroom, or a family entertainment space, a finished basement is an attractive addition to any home. It’s also bound to catch the eyes of that perfect buyer.

Finished basements come in all shapes, sizes, and prices. The cost will largely depend on the square footage you’re looking to finish, as well as what exactly you’re finishing the space for. A bedroom will likely cost less than a family entertainment center, but both will require some serious updates to the floorplan.

Be sure to hire a licensed (and insured) contractor when you being planning and constructing your finished basement. Ensuring the construction is sound and completed by expert hands will prevent issues in the future. It’s also a good idea to check if your basement is waterproof before adding things like carpet or wiring. Water can be incredibly damaging to a variety of materials (including drywall).

2 – Updated the Kitchen and Bathroom

One of the most highly sought after home hardware improvements for home buyers is an updated kitchen and bathroom. Not only do new appliances, plumbing, wiring, and electrical fixtures make the rooms safer, (who wants outdated electrical wiring?) they can improve the aesthetic value as well.

An updated bathroom can be as simple as replacing the old tile (you know, the pink or mint green tile from the 70s?) or simply replacing the rusted out pipes and toilet. With new fixtures, tile, and toilet, your bathroom will look more modern and function without leaking all over the rest of the house.

The kitchen is one of the most important focal points of a home. It’s where you’ll spend a great quantity of your time, preparing meals, having discussions, etc. To not update your kitchen before listing your home can be detrimental to your sales efforts.

New appliances, flooring, and even windows are some great additions to a kitchen. Granite countertops are always a favorite, and better lighting can help accentuate your new additions. New countertops also add a certain ambiance to the room.

3 – Energy Efficiency

Making your home energy efficient not only saves money but helps boost the value of your home hardware as well. With rising energy costs, energy efficiency is more of a requirement for modern homes than an option, and upgrading windows, furnaces, and insulation will make your home’s energy efficiency a crucial selling point.

Replacing windows helps to keep out the elements as well as keep the ambient temperature within your home at manageable levels. When your furnace or A/C unit is working too hard, your energy bills can increase dramatically. Simply replacing windows can maximize your home’s ability to contain both warm and cool air.

It’s also important to check the insulation in your home, to be sure that your walls are properly insulated against the elements. Insufficient insulation is just as detrimental to your home’s energy efficiency as outdated windows. Insulation is something you’ll want to be installed by a professional. Be sure to hire a qualified contractor if you’re thinking of changing or upgrading insulation.

Energy efficiency is a great way to lend a helping hand in managing the environment as well. With carbon emissions higher than ever, each of us can do just a little bit to help cut down on energy use. Making your home more energy efficient is an Earth-conscious way to boost its value.

4 – Paint Job

Does the outside of your home have peeling paint? Or maybe a color that looks like it’s been left out in the rain for over a decade? Paint chips and peels off over time diminish your home’s value.

Never underestimate the power of aesthetics in a home’s value. What your house looks like is the first thing potential buyers will notice, so starting with a fresh paint job can mean the difference between closing the sale and losing it.

Be sure to choose high-quality paints for both exterior and interior walls. The lower the quality of your paint, the more likely you’ll need to repaint in the near future. You’ll want your colors to stay vibrant for at least a few years, and chipping shouldn’t occur for a long time with high-quality paints.

5 – Don’t Forget the Yard

A beautifully landscaped yard can be an aesthetically pleasing addition to your home. Did you know it can actually help increase the value and curb appeal as well? A weed-infested, unkempt yard can turn away potential buyers; it simply doesn’t look good.

Maximize the appeal fo your yard as a crucial selling point by performing some simple landscaping. Planting flowers or other plants, cleaning up weeds, and patching dead grass spots is a great start. From there, you can add lawn furniture and other elements to show off the outdoor space.

How to Improve Your Home Value In a Nutshell

A well-kempt yard, updated kitchen and bath, new paint job, finished basement, and energy efficiency improvements can help boost your home hardware value. Investing in your home now can bring in the buyers you’ve been looking for when it comes time to sell. Don’t settle for less when it comes to listing your home; making these improvements can help ensure you’ll get your asking price and hand off a beautifully maintained home to the next occupant.

If you need a helping hand, Hama Cazac Real Estate has your back. We can guide you towards the best home hardware improvements to boost your home value. Feel free to contact Hama Cazac Real Estate to see how we can help you sell your home for more.

5 lessons from buying a home

5 Lessons You Learn From Buying a Home

Purchasing a home is a life-changing event. Not only is it incredibly exciting, but it can be a rewarding experience for those homeowners who are dedicated to making their new home the wonderful haven of peace a home should be. Purchasing a home also comes with many lessons, five of which we’ll discuss here. If you’re purchasing a new home, keep in mind these five lessons you’ll probably have to learn along the way.

1 – Always Shop Around

Let’s say you’ve just purchased your home, and a friend told you about a bank that was offering significantly lower interest rates on mortgage loans. You went with the first bank that approved your application, and now you’re stuck with a higher interest rate.

During the home buying process, it can be pretty easy to get caught up in all the excitement of looking for a home. Guided tours, endless internet searches, looking through listing after listing; these things can be equally as exhausting.

Sometimes prospective homeowners forget to shop around for a loan as well. Different banks will offer different rates on mortgage loans, have different terms and conditions, and more. It’s important that you get quotes from many sources so that when you do finally find that dream home, you’ve got a pool of loan options to choose from.

Doing this will save you money in the long run, and ensure you’re getting the best rates and care from your lender.

2 – Always Get a Pre-Purchase Inspection

Every new homeowner’s nightmare is finding a serious problem with your new home after you’ve already closed on the loan. This can be expensive, stressful, and downright frustrating, especially if it’s a problem that could have been easily identified by a good home inspection.

Home inspections will cost you a few hundred dollars, and while this can seem like a hefty sum just to have someone look at your prospective home, those few hundred dollars can save you a lot of time, money, and stressful nights later on.

Home inspections are performed by professionals who know exactly what to look for in your home. They’ll inspect for things like faulty foundations, the condition of the heating and cooling system, ceilings, and more. These are essential items to a properly functioning home, and should not be overlooked. A new roof or foundation repairs can add up quickly!

3 – Have an Emergency Fund

You’ve purchased your dream home, had the inspection done, and everything looks great. That should be the end of it, right? Buying a home can be a great investment, but you’ll want to be sure that you take the proper steps to protect that investment.

While home owner’s insurance can certainly assist with any emergency problems like fire or water damage, exactly what’s covered will vary per insurance company, so it’s best to have a small emergency fund available for any unexpected repairs or replacements.

Things like a broken refrigerator, new carpet, or a paint job aren’t going to be covered by your insurance plan. Let’s face it, something is going to break or need to be replaced at some point during your homeownership. Be prepared for these unexpected expenses by making sure you’ve got an emergency fund available to cover the costs.

4 – Pay Attention to the Neighborhood-and the People Living There

Simply put, a neighborhood can make or break a new home. The last thing you’d want is to move into your stunning new house, all set for your future, only to find that your neighbors are less than friendly or there’s a high crime rate in the area.

The neighborhood should be a top concern when purchasing a home, especially if you’re going to raise a family there. Always check neighborhood statistics, and have a conversation with your prospective neighbors during your viewing to get a feel for their personalities and values.

You’ll want your home to be located in a peaceful, accepting neighborhood where you and your family will feel welcomed and safe. There truly is no price on peace of mind, so ensuring you’re settling down in the right area is just as vital as ensuring you’re getting the right price on your mortgage.

5 – Use the Right Broker or Agent

Using a real estate brokerage firm or agent gives you an upper hand when searching for a new home. These professionals are well-versed in real estate practices and will work to represent your interests during the home buying process.

It’s a good idea to have someone in your corner handling the business end of things when it comes to purchasing a home. Unfortunately, there are scams out there that thousands of people fall prey to every year. Having the right licensed agent to represent you will not only ensure you’re getting a great deal on an awesome home, but also that your interests and investment is protected and legitimate.

There’s nothing wrong with a little help, especially from an expert in the industry. Don’t roll the dice on an investment as complex and expensive as purchasing a home. Be sure to research the firm or agent you want to work with, and ensure that their reputation is top–notch before choosing to work with them.


Purchasing a home is exciting, but can quickly turn into a nightmare if you don’t take the proper steps to ensure you’re getting a good price, working with a great broker, and settling in a neighborhood you’ll love. Taking steps to minimize risk (and stress) can go a long way in the home buying process.

high-end calgary real estate market

The High-End Buyer’s Market In Calgary

The best time to enter the market for a new home is during a buyer’s market. Those lovely times when prices start to fall and the buy get’s more wiggle room throughout the housing market. These lucky buyers are given more opportunity in both choice and price by simply choosing to enter the market at a certain time.

For buyer’s, it’s important to have the cards in your hand when you enter the market. If you walk in unprepared or jump at the wrong time, you could risk the market taking advantage of you, even if the market is supposed to favor you. So, when do you jump?

Well, if you are looking to move into the Calgary area, the upcoming months might be the right time for you to buy, especially if you are looking at the high-end market of $1 Million or above on the Calgary MLS.

high-end calgary real estate market

The High-End Market Tells A Lot

The high-end market generally includes those homes around $1 Million price range and above. Now, for many, this is totally out of the question, but for some, you should really look into what you can get for your money in the area. The number of sales for the high-end homes has been on the decline, and many are looking at the falling prices of the high-end housing market from a gloomy perspective. I look at it from the buyer’s perspective, especially those who can afford these high-end homes.

The real take away should be the amount of choice that buyers have on these high-end properties. The amount of choice on these homes tends to also show up as you move down the price range of the homes too. When this large abundance of selection starts to open up, the market tends to be more lenient, and pricing starts to wiggle more and more. That’s good for a buyer because they can put realistic bids on houses that wouldn’t be available to them in a seller’s market, and even get steals if they are patient enough.

Budgeting In a Buyer’s Market

Having a set budget in mind is key, and in a buyer’s market, it becomes even more important. This number might be $100k, $250k, or even over a million, but no matter what, your money is worth more in a buyer’s market.

When the prices start to fall on properties in the area, you can swoop them up before the next economic swing back in favor of the seller. So, if you are patient with your market movements, you can wait for that $250k house to fall closer to $225k before you place your budgeted bid of $200k. By being patient in the markets, you can really negotiate better deals for yourself.

Having the right realtor by your side makes it even easier. They know when the market is really starting to pinch, and have access to in-depth information for stack your cards for negotiations. It might sound crazy to get a $250k house for $200k, but you would be amazed what a bit of planning for the market can do. That wiggle room can expand even further as the asking price goes up.

high-end calgary real estate market

What The Calgary Real Estate Market Is Telling You

If you are looking for a time to hop into the Calgary real estate market, it’s about time to start looking around for your new home. We are leaning towards a major buyer’s market, and things are only really looking to favor your offers. It’s that time to take advantage of a buyer’s market.

If you are looking for an agent who is a firm negotiator on your behalf, look no further than the amazing staff at Hama Cazac Real Estate. With full access to the Calgary MLS, we’re your Calgary Realtors.

3 Effective Home Staging Tips

3 Effective Home Staging Tips

When you are getting ready to sell your home, it’s important to help your house as much as possible. This is where the practice of home staging comes into play. By taking the time to fix up your home in the right areas, you can boost your chance of selling at a higher ticket price. On average, staged homes sell for about 6.5% more than unstaged homes. If your home is valued at $200,000, that could be a $13,000 difference in closing price.

Since staging can make such a huge difference in the sale price of a home, I’ve put together the best staging tips. These tips are the real difference makers, and the ones I have suggested for years. Stick to these simple home staging tips, and your house is sure to sell at a higher price.

1. Boost Curb Appeal

First impressions are everything, so you want to make sure you have the best looking house on the block. That means taking some time to tend to the lawn, paint the porch, wash the windows, and make your house sparkle from the outside. If your house gives that loving home feeling the first time they see the outside, they will be excited to see the inside. If starts every viewing off on the right foot, especially when they step on your new welcome home mat.

2. Use Space, Don’t Abuse Space

You want to set up your belongings to look like a loving home. That means using your space to the best of its ability. The first thing you need to do is clean. Make sure everything is spotless throughout the house, and make sure you pack up unnecessary items. The goal here is to find a happy medium between lived in and, “look at all this space you can have.” If you are looking for hard numbers, shoot for a 60% space to 40% how my things fit here ratio. If you are questioning if you have too much going on, the chances are, you do.

If you have big open rooms, try placing items in areas that let people walk around those items on all sides. This helps open spaces seem manageable, while still letting people know what a gem this big room is in your home.

If you have small areas, try minimizing the number of items in them to open the space up. By using 4 or 5 perfect items, you can turn a tiny nook into a major selling point.

It’s all about making each room look perfect in the eyes of the seller. So, have fun, and turn this into a beautiful dream house for the buyers.

3. The Right Item Around Every Corner

The goal of a home staging is to create a flow, and you can do that by simply setting up the home is a specific way. By creating an atmosphere around every corner, you can entice people to want to look around. When they see how you have made every step of the home something new and enticing for them, their minds start to run wild with how they could achieve a similar feeling in their own style. That’s good! You want them to think about how it can be because it means they are thinking of buying!

The welcome mat that leads to the entryway. The side table in the hallway they have never seen that opens them into the kitchen. The open kitchen leading to the dining room table, then into the family room. From the family room, you can see the stairs, and when they poke their heads around the corner and look to the top, they see a small chair next to books and a lamp. Of course, they are going to go and see it, so they do, only to find another area upstairs for them to explore.

Sounds crazy, but you can imagine what I’m talking about, can’t you? Walk through your house and make a fairytale story for a homebuyer. It will help you set up a flow that keeps them looking. The more they search, the better the chances of make a sale. Open those doors and closets, and show what they could have if they bought your home.

Create a Journey Through Home Staging

If you can really make a journey for the prospective buyer throughout your home, you will have a better chance of selling for the price you are asking, or more. Since potential buyers find it easier to imagine themselves in a furnished home, it’s important to make sure your house can spark that imagination.

Minimal styles and rustic colors are great to go by when you are trying to pick items like tables, couches, and curtains. Finding the right level of neutral but bright is a great way to add more perceived value in your home as well. Mocha and “greige” are great color schemes to use if you are feeling lost.

If you follow these tips and tricks, you will be able to get more from your home’s value. The best part is these mostly take time and patience, and can be done with relatively low cost to their potential yield.

I’ve helped clients stage homes for better results for years, so please contact me if you need help. My name is Hama Cazac, and I’m here to help you sell your home.

What You Need to Know About the Calgary Real Estate Market in 2019

What You Need to Know About the Calgary Real Estate Market in 2019

The housing market in Canada has its ups and down, especially when we look at Calgary real estate, so it’s important to stay on top of the market. Being aware of the market in your area is important to understand what is happening in your neighborhood. Seriously, the market can give you signals with the numbers on the houses around you.

How does the market talk? It shows you the ups and downs of the market value around you, and that can be a good insight on when to buy and when to sell.

When to Buy and When to Sell

There are really two types of markets when it comes to real estate, a buyer’s market, and a seller’s market.

When sales are up, the prices tend to go with them. Since the demand for houses is on the rise, the prices need to rise with them. This is what we call a seller’s market. The reason it’s considered a seller’s market is the high demand lets the seller turn down potential buyers who try to bargain with them on price. Since demand is high for home buying, they can pass on lower deals and hold out for more.

When sales aren’t seeing the numbers they are supposed to it’s typically the result of low demand. When the demand is low, we look at this as a buyer’s market. The reason this is a buyer’s market is that sellers are more desperate during these times. Often times, you can get them to agree to pay on portions of closing cost or have the seller accept lower bids. These markets give the buyer more power.

Although these ideas are a general outlook on the market movement, they don’t dictate the flow of sales for all areas. Sometimes, the price of the area you want just goes up whether the market around them is falling or not. It’s part of the market’s behavior.

Average Housing Prices in Popular Calgary Neighborhoods

The kind of house your money can get you really depends on the area you want to end up. Lucky for you, we have put together the average cost of MLS listings Calgary. We have also included different average home values based on sales for surrounding Calgary suburbs.


Calgary Real Estate 2019

If you want to be right in the heart of it all, you are looking to live in Calgary. Just a heads up, there is a bigger price to pay for a home in the heart of the city, but that doesn’t mean you won’t find breathe taking listings all over the place. With an average home value based on sales in the market are around $459K, the price in the area is rising. Since the average sale sites well over the mean of $395K per home, you know your investment is going to grow with the popularity of the area. The city has everything you need no matter your needs, so it really comes down to what type of property you are looking for. From simple apartments to extravagant homes, you can find it all in Calgary.


Airdrie is a quaint residential area that is just outside of Calgary. The beautiful area is also on the rise as it’s average sale price is above the median sale price. With an average sale price of $372K, there is a wide variety of homes available. There are brand new constructions that continue to pop up, and many of these are being built beyond the average sale price. If you want to move into the area, but the idea of the average sale price or more is a bit much, you can also look at the slightly older homes. These homes have a few years of love in them and asking prices just below the average sale price for the same amenities as the new houses being built. Sellers of these homes will usually be more likely to barter on the sale price, and that’s good for the buyer.  


Calgary Real Estate Market 2019 Beiseker

If you are looking for a place with affordable homes, Beiseker is a really great place to look. Since the area is older, the prices tend to be lower on average than a lot of the other surrounding areas. The houses themselves are smaller, but that makes this a great area for first time home buyers. The average price of sale in the area is $328K due to a large number of elegant homes with enough space for larger families. If you have a smaller family, you can find properties closer to the $150K range as well.


Calgary Real Estate Market 2019

Chestermere is one of those most trending areas to live, and its growth can be seen by its average sale price of $460K. This trendy area is home to tons of new structures and upscale homes. Though it is pricy, the properties are elegant and unique in their own way.

Calgary Housing Market 2019: A Buyer’s Market

We talked about the market and we looked at average prices of some of the popular areas around Calgary. Now it’s time to remind you Calgary is a buyers market right now. The prices have been falling overall on average, and the buyer has a lot of wiggle room for negotiations.

Since sales are low, that means you have a great opportunity to get into the area you truly want to live around Calgary.

If you need help finding properties, or want to find out more about the availability on the Calgary real estate market, you can contact me, Hama Cazac, for assistance. I’m here to help you understand the markets and find the perfect home for you.