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What a Great Yard Says About Your Home

Mon, 06 Jun by Sonia Tarabay


While it is technically still spring, many days have sure felt like summer in Sherwood Park. With the snow long gone and the community in full bloom, it’s time to start paying attention to your yards, especially if you want to sell your home for top dollar! Curb appeal is very important and potential buyers will get their first impression of the property long before they step inside the front door.

Before you get started, go outside and look at your yard and pretend you are a buyer. What does it say about your home? A meticulous, well-maintained yard will show buyers your care and attention to detail. A yard that hasn’t been kept up will make buyers wonder what else you’ve neglected.

Do a quick assessment. What do you like about your yard and home from the curb? If you have a bold front door or a unique feature in your landscaping, you want to accent those to make them stand out. But also make note of areas that need attention like weeds, bushes growing out of control or large stains on the driveway.

The great thing about spending some time and money tidying up your yards is the return on investment is huge. Pulling the weeds in your yard and giving it a fertilizer treatment can be done in a couple of hours and will cost you very little. Replacing the few rotten or cracked boards on a deck then giving it a fresh coat of stain also won’t break the bank but will give new life to your outdoor space. A quick pressure wash of the siding, driveways and decks can also go a very long way too. Remember that many buyers are looking for a low-maintenance property that has been well cared for.

There are also some very easy ways to stage your yards and garden. To liven up that big empty deck, head to one of Sherwood Park’s great greenhouses and pick up some plant potters. Invest in some patio furniture that is just the right size for your backyard. You don’t want to cram the space with furniture and many young families are looking for large, open yards for their kids.

If you’re looking for a Sherwood Park REALTOR® I’ve got plenty more tips to help you get the most money for your home. Give me a call today and let’s get started!

Warm regards,







I Love Selling Sherwood Park Homes!

Wed, 13 Jan by Sonia Tarabay

As a longtime resident of Sherwood Park, I consider it a privilege to work, live and play in this awesome community!

Sherwood Park has been our home for over a decade now and I can still remember the excitement I felt the very first time I visited this place. I fell totally in love with it! It was as though something wonderful was about to happen. Well, it did! I met some of my most valued friends and clients right here at home, and for that I am eternally grateful.

My husband Eddy and I have three children; Alexa, Lennox and Eva. We feel blessed that they are growing up in a safe and happy community, attending good schools and have made some wonderful friends. Naturally, every parent wants to provide the best for their children and we certainly have found the best of family life living in Sherwood Park.

In following my passion for real estate, I decided to launch my business in 2009 and focused primarily on helping Sherwood Park residents. There was no question in my mind that it was the best decision I ever made. Having grown up in an entrepreneurial family, I had a strong business background and a proven track record in sales. My education was also in business and marketing. In addition, my branding with the use of animal prints was very unique to the real estate industry and my marketing plan for selling homes was very aggressive, which ultimately benefited my clients. Undoubtedly, clients knew when hiring me they would receive my “5 star service”. They knew that I cared about them and that I would work hard on their behalf to help them achieve the best results, whether they were buying or selling a home. Soon I became known as “Sherwood Park’s Real Estate Tiger”.

Sonia Sells Sherwood Park Homes sml

Today, I am fortunate to have worked with hundreds of clients selling hundreds of homes and helping peoples’ dreams of home ownership come true. Knowing that I have helped make that kind of contribution in someone’s life is incredibly rewarding for me on a very personal level. Having cultivated these client relationships is what keeps me focused and driven  every day to continue to help more and more people in the world of real estate.

I am extremely grateful and appreciative for the ongoing trust and support I receive from the Sherwood Park community. I must admit that it’s a lot of fun to drive around town in my animal wrapped “Sonia-mobile” and see people on the road wave and smile back at me. Sometimes I even get a thumbs up! It’s also pretty cool to be recognized by the kids when I’m shopping around town! I often laugh about it as I am just like every other mom out there.

Should you be looking to buy or sell a home in Sherwood Park, please feel free to drop me a line. I would love to hear from you! Many thanks and I wish you and your family a wonderful year ahead!

Warmest regards,

Sonia Ad for BNI high res

Negotiating 101: Tips from the Tiger

Tue, 23 Sep by Sonia Tarabay

Negotiating 101 with real estate Tiger Sonia TarabayOne of my favourite parts of working in the real estate market is keeping my negotiation skills sharp. I love the negotiation process, and this is where I really go to work for my clients, letting my skills shine. This is when you know for sure you have a tiger on your side. 

It’s an exciting time! You feel THIS close to your goals, so close you can taste success. Adrenaline kicks in, and there’s that mix of excitement and anxiety when you enter this phase of a real estate transaction. It’s kind of like asking someone on a date via text message: You spend a lot of time staring at the phone, waiting for a reply, gaming out all the possible scenarios in your head.

That high energy is great, and it’s a huge part of why I love my work. Although as a professional REALTOR® I try and make this process a Win/Win for my clients, there are times when a compromise needs to be made and all parties need to cooperate. There comes a point in the transaction when both parties realize that, if everyone gives a little, then everyone wins.

4 Tips to Help You at the Negotiating Table

Knowledge Is Power

The more you know, the better your hand will be. Whether you’re a buyer or a seller, every little bit of information puts the sale in clearer context. That includes the fair market value for the home in question, the value of other homes in the neighbourhoods, and the motivations of the people involved. If a seller has to sell quickly and the buyer knows it, that information absolutely affects their positions at the negotiation table and their ability to move the offer one way or another.

On the flip side, it’s a good idea to keep your motivations for buying or selling close to your chest. As your REALTOR® and representative, I need to know if you’ve only got 30 days before you have to relocate to another city in order to help meet your goal. But that’s information we can keep between us, and it will keep us in a better position for the negotiation process.

It’s OK To Walk Away

It’s a well known fact in any negotiation that the person who can walk away from the deal holds the cards. You may not want to walk away, but you should be willing to, and it’s important to remember: No offer is the “last” offer until you accept it. There’s always another “perfect” home out there, and always another “perfect” buyer who will fall in love with your property.

Our goal is to get the deal done for you, if at all possible, but if it’s to your detriment is it really worth it? It’s important to stay realistic, even in the excitement of the moment, and know before you step foot into negotiations what your “deal-­breakers” are. Maybe it’s a budget cutoff, maybe it’s a move-­in timeline, or maybe it’s a condition on the sale. Whatever the deal­-breakers, you’ve got to know what they are before you step up to the table, and stick to them.

Choose Your Battles Wisely

The last thing you want is for the negotiations to sour over minor details: Make sure you keep an eye on the big picture and what’s really important to you. Are your stainless steel appliances really off­-limits? Is that antique armoire you spotted during the viewing worth the deal falling apart?

Just as it’s important to be able to walk away, it’s also important not to let your ego get the best of you. Fighting harder and harder for a thousand dollars here and there when you’ve got fair offer within your price range can be a losing battle, and a little like banging your head against a brick wall.

Keep It Moving

Time is a key element in the negotiation process, and if you stall the process for too long it can make things more difficult for you. That’s not to say you should ever rush, but keep in mind yours might not be the only offer on the table, or the only house someone is looking at. Buying or selling a home is a big decision and you should make sure you take the time you need to think about it, but an offer made can be withdrawn if you hesitate too long.

This is another reason why it’s important to know what your goals and deal-­breakers are before going into the negotiation process. If you’re prepared and know what you’re willing to give and where the lines in the sand are ahead of time, you should be able to keep things moving. And that doesn’t mean “accepting” something right away: A lot of the time, it means sending in a counter offer.

Another thing to remember: A negotiation means it’s give and take. Both sides will have to make concessions, and if one side won’t budge an inch then the deal’s over before it’s even begun. Remember what I said at the beginning: Sometimes if both sides give a little, then everyone wins in the end.

Importance of Professional Real Estate Photography

Tue, 26 Aug by Sonia Tarabay

First impressions are everything, and that’s as true in real estate as it is in the rest of life. If you’re selling your home, it’s crucial to think about what the first impression of your home will be because the right one will inevitably generate a ton of showings and may result in multiple offers, while the wrong one… well, a bad impression could leave your home on the market for a lot longer than you’d like.

The first step to a quick, successful home sale is choosing to work with Sonia, and that’s because my first step is to make sure your listing makes that WOW first impression. When I list your home, I want it to shine. I want everyone who looks at it to fall in love with it, book a showing that minute, and drive over the very same day.

Professional Photography: Your Home’s First Impression

Sonia Tarabay and real estate photographer Trevor Boller

A selfie of me and my favourite real estate photographer, Trevor Boller

I’m a top Sherwood Park REALTOR® and know the market inside and out. And while I’m pretty good with a point-­and­-click camera at family events (I take a fantastic selfie), I’m not a professional real estate photographer.

Sure I could take photos of your home and post them, and they’d look ok. They’d be sufficient. But we don’t want merely “sufficient”, we want WOW! If you want to sell your home you hire top tier Sherwood Park REALTOR® Sonia Tarabay. The same logic stands: If I want to take fantastic photography that gets buyers in the door, I hire a top tier real estate photographer! My choice? Trevor Boller, real estate photographer extraordinaire!

Here are just a couple of many, many examples of Trevor’s great work on my listings. You can check out all my personal listings to see more of his awesome work.

Samples of Sherwood Park real estate photography on Sonia's listings, outdoor shots
Sherwood Park real estate photography, indoor examples

Photos Make A Huge Difference

It used to be the first impression your home made was the first few minutes of a showing, but the internet has changed all that. The 2014 Real Estate Tech Trends report from Properties Online shows 89% of people start the house-hunting process online, and the same report shows that 83% of prospective buyers find listing photos “Very Useful”. In fact, they marked photos as THE most useful piece of information they use to decide which listings to view.

An article in the Wall Street Journal shares more telling research: 95% of buyers view the primary listing photo first, before they look at anything else, and spend over double the amount of time looking at listing photos than they do any other piece of information about the listing.

When I list your home, I want to give your property every best chance to sell for the best possible price in the shortest amount of time. If you take a look through my personal listings, you’ll see every one is accompanied by stand-­out photos, no matter what the listing price. When you hire Sonia, knock-­out photography from my favourite real estate photographer Trevor Boller comes as part of the package.

Want your Sherwood Park home for sale to ace its first impression and shine brighter than the rest? Call Sonia for the best service, the best experience, and the best looking listing in the city.

Make It a Win-­Win: The REALTOR®/Client Relationship

Tue, 10 Jun by Sonia Tarabay

Sherwood Park REALTOR Sonia Tarabay with a happy clientAnyone who has met me knows how passionate I am about the work I do as a Sherwood Park REALTOR®. I chose a career in real estate years ago because I love working with people and am passionate about helping them through one of the biggest financial transactions they’ll make in their life. It’s a big responsibility, and I take it very seriously: After all, it’s not “just a home”, it’s your family’s life, their comfort, and your investment we’re talking about.

Together, we are a team, and it’s critical we work together at every step. When we do, we create a Win-­Win environment where you meet your most important real estate goals and we share success.


The REALTOR/Client relationship starts and ends with strong communication. If we’re communicating well and on the same page, then we’re both moving in the same direction. If we’re on different pages, then we’ll end up pulling against each other in a frustrating battle.

From you, I need to fully understand your motives for buying or selling, your timeframe, and your expectations.

If you’re buying a home, this means having a clear understanding of what you’re looking for in a property. If you tell me you’re looking for a small 2 bedroom house close to central amenities, then keep asking to see large 4 bedroom acreage properties a 30 minute drive away, we’re going to run into difficulties pretty quickly. Sometimes priorities change as you begin your home search: That’s perfectly normal! But it’s important to communicate this and keep me in the loop on your evolving needs and priorities. The more I know, the more help I can be.

If you’re selling a home and you’re working under a tight time limit, be upfront about it! If I know selling fast is a big priority for you, I can take that into account when pricing and marketing your home, and bring the extra hustle we need to get the deal done quickly. If, on the other hand, price is the more important factor, then together we can look at ways to improve your home’s position on the market with fresh paint, creative home staging, or any of a wide range of tried­-and-­tested strategies that have a strong return on investment.

Open, strong communication isn’t just your job: It’s mine too! As your Sherwood Park REALTOR® I will keep you updated on the state of the market, feedback from viewings, offers coming in, any red flags I note about a home we’ve viewed, and any new homes coming on the market that match your criteria. I give sellers as much notice as possible about showings because I know how disruptive they can be (especially if there are children or pets in the household), and during the negotiation process I keep you fully updated and informed.

Because I know how important communication is, I make sure you can reach me any day, any time. As my client you are my top priority: It’s important that we stay connected and keep communicating!


Sherwood Park REALTOR Sonia Tarabay with happy clientsTo be an effective team, we have to trust each other. Much like with communication, if there’s no trust in our relationship we can’t work as a team toward the same goal.

As your agent, I bring professional advice and years of experience working in the real estate industry to the team, and it’s in your best interest to trust that expertise. If I make a recommendation on how best to present your home, improve its value, or price it best for the market and your goals, I will provide you with my professional assessment and reasons for those recommendations. Remember, my goals are the same as your goals: It’s not in anyone’s best interest to recommend a strategy that would lower your ROI or make your home more difficult to sell.

As your Agent and Sherwood Park REALTOR®, I am ethically bound by duties of loyalty, of confidentiality, of full disclosure, and obedience to you as my client. As your representative throughout the buying and selling transaction, I am standing up for you every step of the way, and I will use every ounce of tiger there is in me (and there’s a lot!) to protect your interests and your investment.

I also put my trust in you. I count on you to disclose everything you know about the property, to take your decision to enter the real estate market seriously, and to communicate your needs, your opinions, and your expectations clearly every step of the way.

Communication and trust are the two foundations of an amazing REALTOR/Client relationship, one that creates a Win-­Win experience for us both. When we work together toward the same unified goal, we create amazing opportunities in the Sherwood Park real estate market!

Want to learn more about what it’s like to work with Sonia, Sherwood Park’s Real Estate Tiger? Read all about Sonia’s 5 Star Service and how she’s helped others make their real estate dreams come true.

Ready For Some Real Estate Luck?

Tue, 11 Mar by Sonia Tarabay
Luck of the Irish in Sherwood Park Real Estate

It’s almost St. Patrick’s Day: Is luck with you in the real estate market?Photo by Steven Shigeo Yamada

What is luck and how does it relate to real estate? I think the great philosopher Seneca said it best: “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” In my experience in life and in real estate, this is 100% true.

Luck & Picking a Sherwood Park REALTOR®

My clients often say they’re “lucky” to have me on their side, and they’re right. I work every day to ensure each and every one of my clients has a great home buying or selling experience, and put their needs first at the negotiating table. By having me on your side, you’ll instantly give your luck a big boost!

You should never pick your REALTOR’S® name from a hat and leave it up to chance: It’s important to do your research and ask the right questions to make sure you’re working with an experienced, success-driven agent like me. If you want a tiger on your side, you’ve got to know when you’ve found one!

Spot a Real Estate Tiger: Questions to Ask Your REALTOR®

  • How long have you been in the industry? What kind of experience do you have?
  • How well do you know the area? Have you sold homes in the area before? Have you sold homes in this area before?
  • How long do your listings remain on the market before selling?
  • How will you price my home?
  • How will you market my home to its best advantage?
  • How will you help me present/stage my home to it’s best advantage?
  • How often will we be in contact, and how often will I get updates?
  • Can you provide me with any references?
Don't gamble with your Sherwood Park real estate investment

Don’t gamble with your investment: Get a Tiger on your side!Photo by Images Money

I would never be offended or put-off by a prospective client asking any of these questions. These questions immediately tell me you’re serious about selling, and you want to do everything you can to create luck and opportunity by partnering with a Sherwood Park REALTOR® who has experience and a proven track-record. This is exactly the type of client I want to work with. By choosing me as your partner and advocate in the market, you’ve got a tiger on your side and created an opportunity for more luck!

Creating Luck & Selling Sherwood Park Real Estate

If you’ve never sold a home before, it’s easy to get overwhelmed, throw up your hands, and hope for “good luck”. If all you’re doing is crossing your fingers, then let me be the first to tell you: you’ll probably be unlucky.

You’ve chosen me as your REALTOR®, so you’ve already taken a huge step forward in creating good luck in the market. This tiger doesn’t work alone, however: It’s our combined efforts as a team that will get your home sold fast, and for the best price possible.

Set The Right Price

Making sure your home is priced right for the current market is critical. I understand the local market and its fluctuations, and will help you create luck by setting the optimal price for your home. I come in with unbiased eyes and expert experience, and I know that any home will sell in any market if the price is right.

By far the biggest “bad luck” mistake some people make is insisting on pricing their home too high. I understand the instinct: Our homes are a treasured part of our family history, and those memories affect your perception of your home’s value very easily. But you’re not selling your home to someone in your family, you’re selling it to a complete stranger. You bet that stranger is looking at your house as a product, so it’s important you do as well.

That’s why you have me on your side. My job is to come in and help you take off those rose-coloured glasses, and see your home’s genuine market value. Those memories are important and priceless, but your home itself is an investment. I will help you get the most out of that investment, and the first step is making sure the price is right.


First impressions matter, and the way you present your Sherwood Park home for sale is crucial. How a home is presented during a showing can create great luck or destroy your chances fast.

Before your home goes onto the market it should be spotlessly clean, in good repair, and as much of your personality should be removed as possible. There’s a reason show homes sell well: They look great, and buyers find it easy to visualize their own life fitting inside it. You may love how comfy your oversized sofa is, but if it makes the living room look small and cramped, it should go into storage. And all those family photographs on the walls make it difficult for potential buyers to see their own family photos there instead.

Sell Sherwood Park real estate with Sonia Tarabay

Ready for luck in the Sherwood Park real estate market? Call Sonia and get a real estate tiger on your side!

This is where preparation counts the most. The more time and effort you’re willing to put into showing your home, the more likely potential buyers are to fall in love with it. After my years of experience in the market, I know what it takes to sell a home and I’ve got an eye for space and great presentation. I’ve worked with a ton of buyers and know exactly what catches their eye, what turns them off, and what clinches a sale.

Ready to create your own luck selling a home in Sherwood Park? Call me for a free home selling consult to find out how this tiger can help you “get lucky” in today’s real estate market!

Sherwood Park Homes, Sherwood Park Homeowners & New Years Resolutions

Tue, 31 Dec by Sonia Tarabay

Top New Years Resolutions For Sherwood Park Homeowners

Can you believe we’re already in the year 2014?

This year has flown by so quickly! And I am very excited to start another year of helping residents buy or sell their Sherwood Park homes. Speaking of which, the start of a New Year means new beginnings and for many Sherwood Park homeowners— a list of New Years Resolutions. I’ve made a list of what I think are the Top 10 most popular resolutions among Sherwood Park residents:

  • – Get out of debt
  • – Manage stress
  • – Get fit
  • – Lose weight
  • – Quit smoking
  • – Take a trip/vacation
  • – Volunteer
  • – Quit drinking or drink less
  • – Change jobs or Get a promotion
  • – Buy or sell their Sherwood Park homes

That’s right! Many Edmonton or Sherwood Park residents say to themselves, “2014 will be the year my family and I will finally own a Sherwood Park home!” Whether it’s to become a first time homeowner, or to sell their current property and downsize— this golden dream is very common! 

Buying A Sherwood Park Home in 2014?

No matter if you’re a first-time Sherwood Park homeowner, or purchasing another property— this is your year to shine.
Sherwood Park Homes, Sherwood Park Homeowners & New Years Resolutions3This is definitely your year! So I’m committing to helping you with this New Years Resolution and getting you on the path towards homeownership. If you’re searching the market for a new property I highly recommend you start the process early. Starting the pre-qualification process at the start of the year will give you an advantage over other applicants who wait until the market picks up in Spring. Not only that, but it gives you time to make some changes that can boost your credit. Did you know I’m a qualified Mortgage Broker with Verico iMortgage Solutions Inc? Many of my past clients found this extremely helpful, especially when they’re getting started with the pre-qualification process.  To help you obtain the best mortgage options and mortgage rates available in the marketplace today. AND there is absolutely no cost to help you do this! I am compensated through the lender so my goal is just to help you get the best deal possible.

Do You Have A Sherwood Park Home To Sell?

If you’re excited to put a For Sale sign on your front yard, or if you need help selling your Sherwood Park home— Sonia is here for you!


Your home can be SOLD with Sonia!

As the clock struck midnight and you yelled, “Happy New Year” you secretly thought, “I hope I can finally put my home on the market this year.” Well the good news is with my proven Aggressive Marketing Plan- You can! Not only will you receive my 5 star service, but your home will sell fast and for top dollar. I use my excellent negotiation skills and presence in Sherwood Park to give your property maximum exposure which ultimately gives you the best results and my results speak for themselves! I’m very proud to say I have tough negotiation skills, because it saves you money! So if you want to place a For Sale sign on your home this year give me a call. I would be more than happy to provide you with a complimentary home evaluation and work with you. 2014 will be the year we make a real estate move!” Whether its to become a first-time home owner or to sell because you need more space or are downsizing, I can help make your dreams become a reality! Let’s do this together and start this new year off right.

For all your Sherwood Park & Edmonton Real Estate needs, get a “Tiger” on your side.

Tips When Showing Your Home During the Winter

Thu, 21 Nov by Sonia Tarabay

Selling Your Home During The Wintertime?

While the weather may be getting colder, this in fact still is a great time to consider selling your Edmonton or Sherwood Park home. In order to better entice home buyers to view your listing, be sure to hire a top notch REALTOR who understands how to market your home well for this time of year. There truly is a benefit in getting a “Tiger” on your side. Together we can use Winter to your advantage by following my tips below:

Edmonton-Skyline winter©

Sell your home in the Winter with Sonia Tarabay!

  • Remember Winter Curb Appeal. As you prepare for a showing, turn on all the lights of your home. That way, your home will appear more welcoming to visitors who drive up. You can also make the most of the festive season by placing a few white lights on your home. Don’t forget to shovel the driveway, sidewalk, and steps leading up to your home.
  • A rug for winter boots and place for winter mitts. Clear your front closet and have plenty of hangers available for your guests to hang up their coats. If you really want to kick it up a notch then place a shoe rack and rug at the front entrance for guest to place their boots. Have slippers for them available and you’re golden!
  • Cultivate fresh air, even if you can’t open the window. Homes can get stuffy in the wintertime, I blame the lack of air circulation. But don’t let that let you down, purchase a home fragrance (not too strong) and let it spread throughout your home. (Just like holiday cheer!)

The best part about selling in the winter is that the people are home shopping are typically more serious. Give me a call for a Free Edmonton Home Evaluation and lets sell your Edmonton or Sherwood Park Home!

For all your Sherwood Park & Edmonton Real Estate needs, get a “Tiger” on your side.

Sonia’s Home Staging Tips

Thu, 14 Nov by Sonia Tarabay

Home Staging With Sonia

If you’ve decided to list your home with me, you’re in for a real treat! I offer all my clients a solid  Marketing Plan based on my reputable 5 star service. One of the stars in this service, is professional home staging and photography. But what is home staging? And how can you transform your home into a model real estate property? Below are some quick and easy to-do tips to help you get your home in ready to sell conditions.

Home staging

Stage your home with Sonia!

  1. A clean home is a SOLD home. Before you show your home to potential buyers you need to clean it from top to bottom. Now I don’t just mean a light weekly cleaning, I’m talking baseboards, chandeliers, windowsills, and even steam cleaning the carpet. Be sure to also remove any lingering pet odours or food odours.
  2. Don’t clutter your guests with clutter. Flat surfaces in your home, chairs, and hallways are usually subject to clutter. It’s normal for us to place random pieces of paper, clothing, and miscellaneous items down on these areas. However, in order to properly stage a home, these areas of your property must be free of any debris.
  3. Nothing beats fresh air and bright lighting. If feasible, crack open the window to get some fresh air circulating throughout your home. Pull your curtains back and let the sun’s rays shine inside, it will do wonders to any room in your home!
  4. Depersonalize. This little tip can be the most difficult thing for any homeowner to do, and yet it is so effective. If I had to depersonalize my office and remove all the leopard printed items from it, I would struggle to do so! But that’s exactly what is necessary in order for you to sell your home. You need to remove any photos, awards or achievements, sports paraphernalia, and articles of clothing from your home.

There are numerous aspects and techniques when staging a home, and I truly enjoy helping my clients prepare for the selling and showing process. If you’re interested in placing your home on the market give me call today! Together we can find the right buyer and sell your home for top dollar.

For all your  Sherwood Park & Edmonton Real Estate needs, get a “Tiger” on your side.

The data included on this website is deemed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed to be accurate by the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton. The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS® and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.