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Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Watch out for RECO’s top 10 home buying and selling pitfalls

Watch out for RECO’s top 10 home buying and selling pitfalls

Here are the most common buying and selling hazards, and how to avoid them:

1. Allowing emotions to overtake common sense
When you fall in love with a property it can be hard to walk away. Know your budget and don’t overpay.
Don’t forgo a home inspection just to win a bidding war.

2. Hiring the first salesperson you meet
Ontario has over 60,000 brokers and salespersons, with a broad range of approaches to the buying and
selling process. Meet with a few different representatives before settling on one, and make sure you
feel comfortable with them and their approach to the process. Also be sure to get references and
contact them to learn about their experience with the salesperson.

3. Not making your expectations clear with your real estate professional
It’s important that you and your representative have a mutual understanding about what you’re looking
for, and what services the brokerage will be responsible for. Make sure you talk to your broker or
salesperson about the services you expect them to provide, and get it in writing.

4. Failing to read and understand forms and contracts
It can be tempting to speed the process along by signing forms that you haven’t read. But taking the
time to understand what you’re signing can avoid a lot of problems later on. For example, you don’t
want to find out that you’re on the hook for a six month listing agreement to sell your home if you only
want your house on the market for three months. In addition, a holdover clause could mean that if you
sell your property during a specified period without the assistance of the broker or salesperson, you
would still owe them commission.
 Make sure all the blanks on the form are filled in before you sign it, and make sure you get a copy of whatever you sign.

5. Assuming everything is included
Don’t assume that the furnace, dishwasher or other items are included with the property. The seller may
want to take the dishwasher with them to their new home, and the furnace might be under a rental
contract that you’ll be required to take over. Before making an offer, detail all items, known as chattels,
in writing. Your offer can also include a clause stating that the seller will pay out any outstanding leases
on the home’s major systems.

6. Forgetting about what’s within the walls
Granite countertops and new hardwood floors are appealing, but the insulation, wiring and plumbing
are just as important when you’re evaluating a property. Ask your real estate representative to look into
the age of the home’s systems and if there have been any upgrades. If extensive renovations have been
done, your real estate professional can determine if the appropriate permits were issued.

7. Forgetting about what’s outside the walls
When you buy a house you’re also buying a place in a community. Some places are lively, others are
quiet. Some places are filled with kids while others are not. Visit the neighbourhood at different times of
the day to see if it fits your lifestyle. Talk to the neighbours about the community and the locations of
various amenities like grocery stores and banks.

8. Not doing your research
If you’re concerned about buying a home with a troubled past, a simple Internet search for the address
can go a long way. This is also something you can ask the neighbours about.

9. Making verbal agreements
Verbal agreements aren’t a problem, until they’re a problem. Putting everything in writing forces both
parties to be clear about their expectations and provides a record that can prevent disputes later on.

10. Underestimating closing costs
From land transfer taxes to title insurance to a home inspection, the costs of a real estate transaction
can add up quickly. Take the time to include estimates and other expenses in the full cost of buying or
selling a property.

 Source: RECO

Friday, 15 November 2013

Things you should consider before purchasing land

Things you should consider before purchasing land

 By Todd Fryer,Broker
Century21 Aberwin Reality, Inc

Whether it’s the call of the wild or the desire to build the home of your dreams, buying land is a goal of many Canadians. But the dream can be a nightmare if you don’t do your homework. 
If you are planning on building a home, make sure the land is suitable for your plans. Is it swampy, rocky or sloped? Does it have road access? Is it serviced with utilities? How about waterfront? To buy a property only to discover you can’t build on it is heartbreaking, so be sure to research and prepare.
Some websites, such as and, can provide listings for land in specific areas. However, using a local real estate agent can help narrow your search and find you properties with the characteristics you need for your dream. Tap into the local knowledge of your agent to connect you with the municipality to ensure your dream home fits by-law restrictions. By-laws vary between municipalities, so don’t assume that what is legal in one area will be also be legal in another. If you plan on building a hobby farm, make sure you research all of the restrictions on building barns, the number of animals you are permitted to keep, manure storage, etc. Waterfront, even the tiniest stream, has its own set of rules, so do your homework now to prevent disappointment later.
If you have excellent credit and high income and equity, a traditional mortgage with a higher down payment and interest rate is a possibility. If your means are more modest, you may consider a line of credit against your existing home and turning to a more traditional mortgage once your dream home is complete. Speak to a broker about other mortgages that may suit your needs. 

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Are you ready to undertake the purchase of an “as-is” property?

Are you ready to undertake the purchase of an “as-is” property?
 By Todd Fryer
As-is properties are uncommon in today’s real estate market, but not unheard of. Although to many, “as-is” might as well be written “run away,” to a savvy buyer, a fixer-upper might be a fantastic opportunity.
An as-is sale usually mean that the seller isn’t willing to take on any additional upgrades or repairs - what you see is what you get. This is often reflected in the price. As-is properties are priced to sell and sell fast.
Of course, the first assumption is that the property is run down and needs some major repairs. This may well be true in some cases, but not always. Rather, it may reflect the status of the seller. The home may actually be in decent shape, but the seller isn’t able to undertake repairs for personal reasons. The seller may be elderly and not capable of the repairs, for example, or perhaps the seller has already been transferred to a new job and can’t undertake any additional projects from a distance. There are many reasons why a seller may choose this unconventional option.
If you have additional cash available for repairs and have a home inspector and/or a contractor you trust, this could be the deal you’re looking for. If you shy away from repairs or expect to be able to bargain based on defects revealed in an inspection, this may not be the best option for you.
Note that in some areas, as-is has restrictions. Most municipalities require working smoke alarms and utilities before allowing a building to be sold. This varies from city to city, so it’s important to have your agent check for you.
When an as-is property appears on your search, it might be worth consideration. Sometimes “as-is” might actually read “buy me”!