How lucky was I to have Al Vandersteen as my realtor? It's been a few weeks since I sold my house in Calgary, and the more I think about it, the more amazed I am that this sale actually happened...and it was Al's work that made it all possible.
There were many complications in my case:
* Ours was an older home that needed constant maintenance.
* We weren't living in the home, and weren't even living in Canada.
* We're not even Canadian citizens.
* We had tenants in the home whom we'd never met, but who weren't great at maintenance.
* Real estate prices in Calgary had dropped significantly since we'd bought the house.
* Our mortgage was about to mature, we owed a hefty balance, and because of all of the above conditions, we were going to have a difficult time getting a new mortgage.
So we needed to sell, and we weren't able to do it ourselves. I had no idea where to start, or whether a realtor would even be willing to look at our house, with our complicated situation. I am so grateful that we were introduced to Al Vandersteen. Al gave us his straight and honest opinion, he gave us good advice, and he prepared us for the difficulty of the sale in Calgary's market.
Al kept us updated with regular emails, in which he explained in clear language what was going on and what we could expect. When we finally received an offer for the house, Al worked hard to calculate what we needed to receive to pay off the mortgage, negotiated with the buyers, and eventually settled on a price that we needed to receive.
But then the real work started, as our non-resident, non-Canadian situation made it difficult to finalize the sale. Al worked tirelessly, negotiating on our behalf with the buyers, the buyers' realtor, the buyers' attorney, our attorney, our mortgage holder, the city of Calgary, and even Revenue Canada. Whenever we thought the sale was about to fall through, Al came up with solutions...some conventional, some unorthodox, and some how-did-he-think-of-THAT ideas! I don't want to go into every detail of every difficulty, but let me say that our situation presented a major challenge for the sale, and Al was absolutely terrific in making the sale go through.
Now that the sale is done, I'm still amazed that it happened at all. We couldn't have done it without Al. He's courteous, competent, creative, and a true professional in every way. I completely recommend Al Vandersteen without hesitation to ANYONE who needs a great realtor in Calgary!
This year I sold my condo through Al Vandersteen (a realtor for 25 years with the Calgary Real Estate Board). I had lived in my condo for many years. It had been painted but still was not in ‘showhome’ condition. Al made some suggestions including changing the many stairs of worn carpeting. This was to give a nice impression and facilitate the sale. I had contracted for a flooring change but before this happened, an offer came in. Al had done 3 open houses and had elicited plenty of interest and a good offer which he negotiated to within 3% of asking price. I gladly accepted the offer. It meant I did not have to do the large flooring job. All the details were well handled by Al—from arranging condo docs, pricing the property, making suggestions for easier salability, arranging the lawyer, negotiating the price and terms, and fulfilling the conditions of the buyer.
He made sure we had a sale before we bought another property. We had been negotiating with a builder and had asked for Al’s assistance. He did not hesitate to refer us to another realtor who he knew would serve us better in dealing with a builder and who he trusted to give us the same careful, honest and direct service. This worked out well as the whole process was well planned and the transition was smooth.
Al is straightforward and honest. He was always on time with returning phone calls and with appointments. We felt that our interests were his, at all times.
We would highly recommend Al to any new client.
Al Vandersteen sold my rental property in Beddington for us. It was 9 days between our listing the property and accepting an offer $100 above the list price. This was due to Al getting a second offer and thereby creating a competition.
This was a townhouse condo and at the time there was little in the way of recent sales to compare to. We listed higher than the last sale because of Al’s recommendation that the market felt strong. He was right.
Al also handled the tenants in a professional manner and made the showings easy.
He arranged for all the condo documents and had them ready in time for presentation to the buyer.
There was a problem with a new window which the buyer accepted as the warranty was transferable.
Every detail and obstacle was handled by Al in a prompt and efficient way. He could always be reached or he would return calls immediately.
I was happy with the service and have already referred him to a friend.
Janet C. (last name withheld)
Working with Al was great! We were moving back to Calgary from Houston and already quite familiar with the city and had definite ideas about what we wanted. We were moving from a place with much lower house prices though and knew we were going to pay considerably more in Calgary to get anything comparable. Therefore, I spent a lot of time previewing the MLS listings and subsequently presented Al with a list of about 60 possible contenders.
Al did not flinch and devoted many days to driving me around to the various viewings. When we finally decided upon a house, he was again very patient as we hesitated and debated the pros and cons only to "walk away" after the inspection raised some questions. Back to the drawing board and a couple of offers later, we finally decided on one of the first homes we had seen. Al did a great job in the negotiations, and was diligent in looking after our interests regarding some repair work that needed to be done.We ended up with a fair price and are very happy in our choice.
We can enthusiastically recommend Al to anyone looking to buy a house in the Calgary area.
M and T Kemp
Testimonial for Al Vandersteen
Al was our Realtor for both a purchase and a sale of homes. He conducted himself in a professional manner and had lots of experience.
We initially enlisted his help with the purchase of our first house. He did a fantastic job helping us find our new home, and provided significant support throughout the process, including:
· Took a significant amount of time showing us several homes in several neighbourhoods so we could see what our money would get us in a variety of locations throughout the city
· Provided insight on different floor plans, resale information, safety (especially fire safety) and options for changing the space as well as local amenities
· Provided information on strategies regarding the price and conditions of our offer
The task of selling our home was given to Al during a difficult market. Al was a valuable resource during this time as he:
· Provided support on how to get the home ready for listing ie: replacing noisy bathroom fans, removing items from the floor, removing toys and clutter etc.
· Held 3 open houses for us
· Printed signs for each room and displayed them to list off features
· Provided options for the buyer with regards to use of the basement space including creating an additional bedroom
· Provided a broad range of stats for the area
· Left us in a colleague’s very capable hands when he was called away
Thank you to Al for his support and assistance during both processes.
Matt and Heidi Pittet
I finally have time to sit down and write a testimonial for you.
Al was very motivated to sell my condo. He was able to sell it in three short weeks. In that time, he set-up two open houses, the first was the day after I moved out! My move was due to a relocation which, for a realtor, involves additional requirements and he was very diligent in meeting these requirements. He gave me guidance throughout, from a well researched selling price to how to improve showing of my place. After I moved away from Calgary, he would keep me updated and was available whenever I had questions. All in all, he made the selling of my condo a very smooth and as stress-free as could be expected experience.
Thank-you for your hard work in selling my condo.
After much discussion about combining households, we recently made the decision to sell our houses and purchase a larger house with the help of Allan Vandersteen. Our situation was a bit complicated since it included a young family of four and a mother (in-law), each with specific things they were looking for in the “together” home. Al was helpful in providing advice on pricing, the state of the market, and helped us to know what to expect in the process. Al is highly organized and detailed, he was always quick to return e-mails and phone calls, and made himself available for meetings. He also provided advance notice of all showings and kept track of everything, giving us very little to worry about. Al was helpful in providing advice on pricing, the state of the market, and helped us to know what to expect in the process. When we started looking at homes, Al was patient while we looked and talked about whether it met all our criteria and he accommodated arranging viewings to meet our schedules. Thank you Al, it ended up being a pleasant, smooth and straightforward experience.
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