Residential Measurement Standard – RMS – in Alberta

Frequently Asked Questions continued:

 Can I use the condominium unit’s registered size as the RMS area?

No. Use the RMS. The condominium unit’s registered size is not the same as the RMS. The unit’s registered size can include garages, parking spaces, storage areas, and balconies. The RMS area deducts these areas so consumers can make comparisons of actual living space. Some real estate boards may require real estate professionals to input the condominium unit’s registered size in their listing service. The unit’s registered size can be included as an additional measurement, as long as there is disclosure of what it includes.

How does the RMS relate to the condominium unit’s registered size?

It does not. The RMS area represents the livable area of the unit. The condominium unit’s registered size is the basis for determining the unit factors for the unit. The unit factors are used to determine the owner’s responsibility for their proportionate share of the condominium’s common area expenses. The registered size may include the unit and wall thicknesses, plus other areas, such as balconies, storage areas, parking spaces, and below grade levels. Therefore, the condominium unit’s registered size is often, but not always, a larger number than the RMS. If the RMS area is larger than the condominium unit’s registered size, recheck the calculations.

Lee Bourgeois Edmonton Real Estate Blog

Tougher Federal Mortgage Regulations

The new year is upon us, and with it, a whole new real estate reality. Tougher federal mortgage regulations took full effect on Jan. 1, slashing affordability for new borrowers and contributing to slower selling conditions than the record-breaking activity experienced throughout 2017 in Canada’s largest markets.

Dubbed Guideline B-20, this latest parcel of policy changes is also anticipated to be the most impactful, as all new mortgage applicants must undergo a stress test regardless of their down payment size. Under the rules, a buyer paying more than 20 per cent down on their home purchase must prove they can carry their monthly payments at either their contract rate plus two per cent, or at the Bank of Canada’s benchmark rate – whichever is higher.

Here are some of the ways the real estate landscape has changed because of Guideline B-20.

  • Pre-approvals are more important than ever:
  • There are fewer mortgage options for borrowers who need help:
  • Buyers may have to downsize their expectations:


This information has been provided by: Penelope Graham the managing editor of

Lee Bourgeois Edmonton Real Estate Blog

Residential Measurement Standard – RMS – 4

Residential Measurement Standard – RMS – in Alberta

Frequently Asked Questions continued:

What do I do if the seller tells me the property was represented as larger when they bought it?

The seller may have purchased the property under a different measurement standard or guideline which includes areas that are excluded from the RMS. Explain to the seller that their property has not decreased in size and that all real estate professionals are required to measure residential properties using the RMS.

Also explain to the seller that residential buyers decide to purchase resale properties based on a variety of factors. Property size is only one of many factors that influence the purchase decision and the sale price. Other factors influencing their decision include the property’s location, floor plan, features, updating, and the ability of the property to meet their needs.

If the property is attached and there is a concern the buyers will compare it to detached properties, advise the seller that the assumed exterior size can also be communicated. This ensures consistency and that there will be no competitive disadvantage.

How do I compare attached and detached properties?

To compare different types of residential properties, real estate professionals can provide an additional measurement for attached properties using the property’s exterior. Real estate professionals must base this additional measurement on reasonable assumptions about the exterior wall thickness, and can extrapolate the exterior wall thickness from the thickness of the exterior door casings and/ or exterior window casings. If real estate professionals provide additional measurements based on exterior assumptions, they must make it clear it is not the RMS area for the property and explain their assumptions.

Lee Bourgeois Edmonton Real Estate Blog

Residential Measurement Standard – RMS – 3

Residential Measurement Standard – RMS – in Alberta

Frequently Asked Questions continued:

Can I use the property size from the municipality if I disclose where I got the information?

No. The RMS must be used.

Can I use the property size from a previous listing?

No. Real estate professionals have an obligation to their clients to perform their due diligence. Measuring the property according to the RMS or having it measured by a qualified individual is part of that due diligence. There is no guarantee as to the accuracy of the previous listing’s measurements and the property may have been renovated or added to since it was last listed which could have changed its area measurements.

Why don’t home builders have to use the RMS?

RECA has jurisdiction through the Real Estate Act over real estate, mortgage brokerage, real estate appraisal, and property management professionals. It does not have any jurisdiction over home builders.

Lee Bourgeois Edmonton Real Estate Blog

Residential Measurement Standard – RMS – 2

Residential Measurement Standard – RMS – in Alberta

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Properties Gain or Lose using RMS?

Properties stay the same size they have always been. They did not physically shrink or increase in size upon the publication of the RMS.

The RMS quantifies the size of the property based on a new measurement standard. The real estate professional must report the RMS area as the property size.

Consider this analogy: Fahrenheit or Celsius are different standards used to measure outside temperature. Reporting the temperature in Celsius instead of Fahrenheit does not make it any warmer or colder outside.

If a client is concerned about the difference in property size, real estate professionals need to explain that:

  • Their property has not decreased or increased in size
  • The property size difference is the result of comparing measurements using different standards
  • The purpose of the RMS
  • The fact that the value of their property has not changed
  • The RMS is based on property type (i.e. attached, detached)
  • The RMS applies to competing properties

Lee Bourgeois Edmonton Real Estate Blog

RMS mandatory for Alberta REALTOR®

Residential Measurement Standard – RMS – in Alberta


Frequently Asked Questions:

 What is the purpose of the RMS?

The RMS gives consumers, real estate professionals, and other industry professionals accurate and consistent property measurements. These measurements can be used to compare properties and determine their suitability. Proper application of the RMS ensures real estate professionals provide reliable and verifiable property size and dimensions.

How do I measure properties according to the RMS?

It depends on the type of property being measured:

Measure detached properties using the exterior wall at the foundation. Detached properties include fully detached bare land condominiums

Measure attached properties using the interior perimeter walls at floor level. Attached properties include half-duplexes, townhouses, and apartments

Lee Bourgeois Edmonton Real Estate Blog



Secondary Suites are they legal or illegal?

Secondary Suites are they legal or illegal?
Real estate professionals must be aware of the risks and issues when marketing properties with legal or illegal secondary suites (basement suites).

“Suite” under Basement Development or by referring to a “suite” with income or revenue producing potential in the remarks or terms of a listing, the Member must ensure that there is a secondary suite occupancy permit otherwise it is not legal.

If they do not have this permit, they may not be covered for errors and omissions insurance by REIX.  RECA may see this action as a misrepresentation.

Lee Bourgeois Edmonton Real Estate Blog

Feedback on Showings

Practice Q & A: Feedback on Showings

 Q: As the buyer’s representative, I am often asked for feedback after showings.

Is this ok to provide?

A: There are some agency issues associated with providing feedback to seller’s representatives.

The buyer’s representative have must act in the best interests of the buyer and should be careful to avoid providing any feedback that might negatively impact the buyer’s negotiating position.

For example: “Yes, the client really liked the property … They were over the moon about the hot tub-pool combination … It’s just where they want to live! Etc.”

As a seller’s rep, you’re ecstatic because you now know some of the motivation for the buyer.

As the buyer’s rep, your client probably won’t react as warmly to this news.

Requesting feedback is a throwback to sub-agency when everyone worked for the seller.

As a seller’s rep, you would love to get your hands on this info. After all, the seller’s rep works for the seller and will naturally try to obtain an advantage for his/her client.

However, if you know for a fact that your client isn’t coming back to the house as a potential purchase, you may want to give feedback but always discuss this with your client first – “Do you want me to provide feedback to the seller’s agent? If so, what should I say?”

More often than not, seller’s reps are probably most interested in feedback on the listing rather than that specific showing, for example, the price is good and the property is in good shape.

Article provided by: AREA hub Monthly

Lee Bourgeois Edmonton Real Estate Blog

Realtor Open Houses

The National Association of Realtors every year holds a “National Realtor Open Houses Weekend” and they spin it as an, “endeavor to promote the message to prospective buyers that homeownership matters.”  The one thing that they do not tell you is that Open Houses do not sell houses, they create leads for Realtors. For sellers who vacate their homes every weekend, that is an expensive and highly disruptive deception.

Sellers, CANCEL your open houses.  Buyers, don’t EVER walk into an open house or set up an appointment with the agent listing the house.
Our data comes from Realtors themselves.  Most surveyed Realtors agree that open houses do not sell houses, that they are a security risk to sellers, that they attract buyers who have little interest in buying the showcased house and that open houses serve to generate business for Realtors, not their clients.  Yet nearly 97% of those same Realtors regularly subject their clients to open houses….
Article taken in part from: CAARE
Lee Bourgeois Edmonton Real Estate blog