Presenting sponsors of home and garden show

REALTORS®, as the presenting sponsors of the new Winnipeg Home and Garden Show this weekend at the newly-expanded RBC Convention Centre, will be answering questions from the public about buying and selling real estate.

You may want to ask what your home is worth in today’s market. Volunteers will have access to the MLS® database, so they can pull up comparables of listings, sales and expired properties where you live.

All markets are local, so it is a real opportunity for the public to ask a Realtor at the display area what is happening in Winnipeg and the surrounding rural municipalities. Even within local areas different forces are at play depending on the specific property type and the neighbourhood or municipality.

It is also worth mentioning that people planning to attend the home show on Sunday should check out a special real estate expert panel being presented at 2 p.m. on the main stage. Stewart Elston, the president of WinnipegREALTORS®, will be moderating the hour-long session, while Chris Pennycook, president-elect of the Manitoba Real Estate Association (MREA), is the Realtor on the panel. Other panelists include Steven Hyman, a lawyer with the MREA, Tom Van Leeuwen, a certified home inspector, Daryl Harris, a mortgage broker, and Ron Reider, an insurance broker. There should be time for a few questions from the public for the panelists to answer.

As was the case last year, a number of helpful information publications will be available at the display area, including the Real Estate News, the Condo Lifestyle magazine, the Homebuyers’ Road Map, What A Realtor Can Do For You, Buying a Home in Manitoba, the Real Estate Career Guide and How to Value Your Renovations. The last three publications are new this year, with the renovation brochure put together by the Appraisal Institute of Canada.

Many attendees at these shows will already be homeowners, so they will be keen to know what renovation adds value to a home.

Speaking of value, homeowners should also be aware that April 1, 2016, is the reference date for the 2018 general assessment year. So, even if you have no intention of selling your home, it is important to understand what the market value of your house is right now, which will establish the value of your home for municipal taxation purposes in 2018 and 2019.  

So what is a Realtor?

To be a Realtor, the salesperson must be a member of the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).

A CREA member is expected to:

• Follow the Realtor Code, the accepted standard of conduct for all real estate practitioners who are Realtors. It’s the consumer’s guarantee of professional conduct and quality service.

• Be knowledgeable about developments in real estate. A Realtor provides the information you need to make an informed decision, compare prices, view neighbourhood trends and understand housing market conditions and more.

• Actively update his or her education, through courses, workshops and other professional education to comply with current real estate laws and regulations.

• Utilize MLS® systems to facilitate the cooperative sale of properties to benefit consumers.

Worth doing right — With all the options on the Internet today, it may appear that buying or selling a home is as easy as selling a couch on eBay. In fact, it’s getting more complicated with increasing government regulations, laws and taxes. A home is the largest investment most of us make, so it’s worth doing right.

Reduced stress, better outcome — Do you know the fair market value of the home you want to buy or sell? As a buyer, do you know what to look for to avoid potential problems? If selling, do you know what information you are required to disclose?

The wealth of knowledge a Realtor has will minimize stress and confusion and ensure your outcome is as prosperous as possible.