Last Updated on May 3, 2024

Sell Your House in Edmonton: Here’s How

By Alan F Macdonald

Well, hello. You’re probably here because you’re thinking about selling a house in Edmonton. Maybe you’ve never sold a property (or maybe you’ve just never sold a house in Edmonton) and don’t know what it entails. Maybe you’re trying to strategize about how and when to sell your house, or what you can do to ensure your house sells for the best possible price. And, if you’re thinking about selling, you’re probably stressing about it, at least a little bit; selling a house is a big deal and you want to get it right.

Well, you’ve come to the right place. Selling houses is what I do. Giving free advice on the internet about selling houses is also what I do. So, here we go.

I want to sell my Edmonton house … what should I do?

A lot of people think they want to sell or reach out to me about selling before they’re actually ready to pull the trigger. That’s OK – I’m happy to help! – but it’s good to have an understanding of the selling process and what you need to have on your side (ideally) to sell your house successfully and for the best possible price. Here are a few things to consider before you start the process of trying to get your Edmonton home sold.

Consider Your Finances

The key thing that keeps people from selling a house is the same as what might keep them from buying one in the first place – money. That’s why I always recommend that people start by talking to their lender. Find out t what your payout penalty might be when you sell and, if there is one, whether that’s a financial hit you can afford to take.

Next, you want to check into whether you have  equity in your home. In a nutshell, equity refers to the amount of cash your home is worth to you. This is usually a simple calculation. Simply take what you owe on your mortgage and subtract it from the price you expect your home will sell for. This is important because there are a number of fees attached to selling your home. If you don’t have equity to spare, you may have to pay for those fees out-of-pocket, something many people simply can’t afford to do. If you aren’t sure what your home is worth at all, you’ll need to get a market evaluation from a real estate agent in Edmonton or hire a professional appraiser. I’ll tell you more about that in the next section, but as long as you have a good sense of what your home would sell for, you can compare that to the amount owing on your mortgage.

Here’s an example of how this might look: 

Let’s say you own a home and the market evaluation came in at $500,000. Remember, that is the amount a real estate agent or appraiser believes you can get for your home if it is listed. Let’s suppose that you have $260,000 owing on your mortgage, and that the payout penalty is only $500 because you are so close to the end of the mortgage term.Because you’ve done your homework, you know that it’ll cost you $18,000 in brokerage fees to sell the property, and that you’ll have to pay a lawyer $2,500 to do the legal work on the transaction.


– $260,000 owing on the mortgage
– $500 payout penalty
– $18,000 brokerage fee
– $2,500 in legal fees
= $219,000

According to some simple math, you will have $219,000 left over after the sale of the home. No problem. You can sell this house and have plenty of money left to put toward your next property.

But here’s a less fun example:

Let’s suppose that you own a home that your real estate agent says is likely worth $600,000, but you still have a mortgage of $580,000. In this case, the payout penalty on your mortgage is also higher, at $23,000. And let’s say that as a result of this very tight budget, you were planning on selling privately so no agents would be paid. The lawyer fees will be $4,000.

So, if we add this up:

– $580,000
– $23,000
– $4,000
= -$7,000

In this example, you will have negative $7,000 dollars after this sale. If you want to cover the cost of that sale and you need to sell, then you’ll have to fork over the seven grand (if you have it). There are, of course, situations that are much worse than this, but this is not an uncommon occurrence if someone has purchased very recently and decides to sell after only owning the home for a short period.For a more comprehensive list of some of the costs involved in selling your home, see The Hidden Costs of Selling Your House. Whatever is left over after the mortgage, agents and the lawyer is paid is yours to keep. If you don’t have enough to cover all of that, selling may not be possible for you right now. Even if it is, chances are it will be a more difficult financial decision to make, especially if you don’t absolutely need to move.

Get a Market Evaluation

After you’ve checked your current money situation, it’s time to contact a real estate agent and get a market evaluation or call an appraiser for an appraisal.

A market evaluation is a service delivered by Edmonton real estate agents. When I conduct a market evaluation, I look at your home, analyze comparable properties that have sold in your area, and estimate the price I believe your home is likely to sell for if listed. (I also provide all of this data to you in a report so you can see and assess my logic for yourself.) Market evaluations come free of charge from any Edmonton realtor.. So, don’t be fooled by big billboards or flyers saying “free market evaluation!” All real estate agent market evaluations are free .-Real estate agents cannot legally charge for a market evaluation because we are not appraisers. That isn’t to say that market evaluations don’t have value  or that the figures we present aren’t accurate. After all, we always have the benefit of finding out how close we are because we actually do the selling for our clients! 

If you decide to go with a professional appraisal, it will cost you a bit, but it is an official document that might be necessary in certain circumstances, such in divorce, estate dispute or for qualifying a loan.

List Your House

Listing a house for sale usually means putting it on the Multiple Listing Service. But in general it means officially putting it up for sale. You can certainly just put a sign on the lawn (and virtually all real estate agents do), but you’re probably going to want to advertise this sale to more than just your neighbors. To get a house listed by a real estate brokerage means having a contract with them that your house will be advertised for sale. For almost all listings, there will be an agent representing you for that listing and sale as well. Remember, you can just post your listing online for a fee and decline representation, but I’d say that’s just a few percent of all real estate listings in Edmonton. 

If you do hire a real estate agent, the full service treatment will include:

  • Sending you a bunch of paperwork to describe the property and your relationship with the realtor’s brokerage
  • Taking professional-quality photos for your listing
  • Measuring the property so that the listing accurately depicts its square footage
  • Writing a description of your home and its selling features
  • Loading all the information into MLS to display publicly

MLS is available both to real estate agents and the public, so it ensures that your house gets the best possible exposure to anyone who might want to buy it.

What are the best months to sell a house in Edmonton?

In my experience, the best time to sell a house in Edmonton is in the spring and early summer. This is when a lot of people are looking and pent up energy over the winter is being released. There’s some data to back this up too. According to a 2022 report by ATTOM Data Solutions, May might be the best and most profitable time to sell a home. This report is based on decades’ worth of data, but it is a Canada-wide figure. 

What I’ve found in my business is that people often wait until after January 1st to do anything; come January, buyers start to think about their plans.  However, a lot of the houses that sell in May have been for sale for a few months by then. So, when people ask me when to list their home, I usually recommend getting started with the process in January and giving yourself some time to make your house presentable.Then you’ll be listing in the spring and ready to capitalize on the best time in the market.

How long will it take to sell my house in Edmonton?

Not everyone likes this answer, but the truth is, it depends. Some houses sell quickly because they are well-priced and in desirable locations. Some houses sell quickly because they are underpriced. Some houses sell quickly because the right person just happened to come along at the right time to buy them. The thing is that it often takes a while to move a house. They are expensive. They are complex. Markets change – sometimes drastically. 

A listing recently sold in South Edmonton within a few days of being listed for above the asking price with no conditions. That’s the market doing that. I’ve also seen perfectly fine houses sit for months because the market just wasn’t strong enough to move them. In a hot market, a house in Edmonton can sell on the first day. In a quiet one it can take four months to sell. And there are so many other factors affecting a house sale as well. 

So, where does that leave you if you want to sell your house? The most reasonable advice I can give is that it will often take a few months to sell an Edmonton house in an average market, assuming you have anaverage house. As of February 2024, theaverage selling time for detached homes is 46 days, according to The Realtors Association of Edmonton That’s not long, but it’s longer than a lot of sellers assume it will take. In any year, data suggests it could take between 0 days and 2 years to sell a home. So, you can look at averages all you want, but there is huge variability here depending on the home, the price, the market and all kinds of other factors, many of which are out of pretty much everyone’s control.

Here is a small chart with how long houses took to sell

January – 64 days (Detached houses that sold in January 2023 took on average 64 days to sell).

February – 52 days

March – 48 days

April – 42 days

May – 40 days

June – 40 days

July – 45 days

August – 43 days

September – 43 days

October – 40 days

November – 44 days

December – 52 days

You can see here, too, that things do sell faster in the spring and summer.

How do I sell my house with a Realtor in Alberta?

This one is pretty simple: If you want to sell your house with an Edmonton real estate agent, you contact an agent and ask them to sell your house for you. Which agent you choose depends on your personal preference. There are many agents with many differing philosophies and skill sets, but I can safely say there is an Edmonton real estate agent out there who can help you sell your house. You will need to sign a listing contract with the agent’s brokerage and cooperate with the agent and their brokerage for a smooth transaction, but your agent will guide you through that and so much more. 

A home sale is a significant transaction financially and a significant event in your life as well. So do your due diligence, and pick an agent you feel you can trust. 

Can I sell my house myself in Edmonton?

Absolutely you can and people do it all the time. You may already know someone who wants to buy your house, such as a family member, friend or neighbour. This is nice in one way because you don’t have to show your house to many people. But there are drawbacks to selling your own home, no matter how you do it.

First, you need to make sure you know you’re getting the right price. That still might mean contacting a real estate agent to get an evaluation. Be honest with them, though. Let them know what you are planning. Some agents might not want to do work for no potential benefit, but others will not have a problem with it. 

The other way to decide on pricing is to hire an appraiser to get an appraisal. This will cost you, but saving a few hundred dollars on a home sale and leaving a significant amount of money on the table is a bad idea. Do not, under any circumstances, just look at your tax assessment and assume that’s the value of your home. I have seen these assessments be off by hundreds of thousands of dollars. No kidding. For more on why that might be, see How Accurate Is The City Of Edmonton Property Assessment? 

Beyond that, there are online value estimators as well. Do not use these for anything but entertainment. They are not accurate or based on real-time information. They might tell you they use some fancy artificial intelligence to get a house price, but no computer is walking through your house and understanding that you just renovated the kitchen for $70,000 or that you have a leak in the basement when it rains. You need a person with knowledge and experience to price your house.

Besides friends and neighbours, you can sell your home yourself on the open market as well. There are real estate brokerages that offer the service of listing your home on MLS for a flat fee. This could save you money in the listing process but, the data suggests that selling with a real estate agent has real benefit, even when you consider the savings of going without one. According to some research released by the National Association of Realtors in the U.S. in 2022, 10% of U.S. homes were sold by owner in 2021. On average, the typical owner-listed home sold for $225,000 compared to $330,000 for home sales that were facilitated by a real estate agent. And those who undertook their own home sale struggled most with tasks that realtors are trained to do, including getting the right price, and understanding and performing the necessary paperwork.

Plus, homebuyers often have a real estate agent to guide them through the homebuying process. This means that in order to sell your home yourself, there is a good chance that a portion of the home’s sale price is going to pay that agent. So, not only will you still be paying one real estate agent anyway, but you’ll also have an experienced agent on the other side and no advice yourself.

 So, yes, you can sell your own house in Edmonton. But my advice is to hire an agent to sell your house. More specifically, consider hiring me to sell your house. I’m experienced, and I’m committed to helping my clients through the home sale process to ensure they get the best price the market will allow. (You can learn more about me and see what some of my past clients have said about me here.)

What is the most profitable way to sell my Edmonton house?

This is a tricky question. I recently had a client who was looking to move and was worried that the market was getting away from him. The thing is, he already owned a home! I explained that even though things were selling for higher prices and the market was quite competitive, he didn’t have to worry; he’d likely get more for his own home that he could move into paying for the (also higher priced) next one. If you’re in the market, you’re in the market. You don’t have to worry about it leaving you behind.

With that in mind, assuming you are moving within the same market, the most profitable way to sell a house is to sell a house and not buy another one! If you make money on your house, but then just have to put that extra money back into the same market by buying another house at a premium, are you really profiting? I think you’re back where you started. Honestly, don’t get too caught up in the money aspect of homeownership. For more on that, see Your Home Is Not An Investment

If you are exiting the market entirely, you might be truly profiting off of your home sale. But this only happens if you are selling and then renting or freeloading – or if you’re dead, I suppose. If you’re alive (and I hope you are!) you have to live somewhere. 

Now that we have that out of the way, if you’re looking to simply get the best price for your house, I would recommend the following:

  • Hire a realtor or get a professional appraisal to assess your home’s value.
  • Get your home in the best shape you can before listing it.
  • List your home early in the year to capitalize on selling in the spring/summer months.
  • Be patient – sometimes it takes time for the right buyer to find your home.

How can I sell my house fast in Edmonton?

Sellers are often concerned about selling a house quickly. Can you sell a house really quickly?. Yes, you can sell your house very fast, but I am not sure that should be the goal.

Look, I get it. No one likes being kicked out of their home for showings or living in the uncertainty of when their home will sell or how much they will get for it.

But selling a home really fast, at least doing that reliably, typically comes down to price. You could literally give it away if you want it gone in a hurry. But I usually recommend that people avoid being in a rush (and I also advise my clients to avoid situations that will put them under this pressure whenever possible.)

In fact, I’d go as far as to say that the path to getting the best price for your house is to be patient. Typically, the best way to sell your house is by putting it on the open market for a reasonable time and a reasonable price using professional assistance. That might mean selling your house rather slowly. That way it is exposed to as many potential buyers as possible. This can take some time. It can take months. (In fact, the data suggests it often does take months.) But that’s what often gets you the most money, so it’s a necessary part of the process.

What about these companies who say they can sell my house “for cash”?

If you’re wondering about how to sell a house more quickly because of those signs and flyers you probably see all over Edmonton with the phrase “we buy houses for cash,” this is not the best way to sell your house. Buying with “cash” is not a thing. If it sells, it sells. You get paid. When someone uses this phrase, I think they are trying to convince you that a cash sale means more money for you, but it could actually mean less if you don’t advertise to the larger market.

The guys who want to “buy your house for cash today” are looking to get properties on the cheap and either turn them into rentals or flip them. When you get a flyer from someone with this intention, do yourself a favour and get a market evaluation from a real estate agent (you now know they’re free!) or pay for an appraisal. You might think this is too much trouble, but you could easily lose 10’s of thousands of dollars on this “cash sale” when you could have sold on the open market – even with the fees that come with using a Realtor in Edmonton. Don’t be so hasty as to not know what your house is worth before contacting anyone who advertises this way.

If you actually do need to sell your Edmonton house fast and still get fair value for it, I think you’ll probably need to call an agent and tell them what you want to do. They can help you decide on a strategy to make that happen. It will involve knowing what is possible in the current Edmonton market as well as likely selling your home at a lower price point. But, if speed is your goal, that’s your decision to make.

Is it time to sell my house in Edmonton?

Now that I’ve taken you through the ins and outs of selling your home, is it time for you to sell? That’s for you to decide. But, if you’re thinking about it, please reach out. I’d be happy to do a free home evaluation and give you some advice to help you make the right decision for you.