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Monday, 30 December 2013

How to find the agent that's right for you

By:Todd Fryer, Broker
Century 21 Aberwin Realty Inc.

If you were going to sell your home tomorrow, how would you go about finding a real estate agent? Would you choose someone whose name you’ve seen before, in advertisements or on for sale signs? Would you call a real estate office and ask to be contacted by someone at random? Or would you turn to family, friends and colleagues and ask for recommendations?
This is one of the biggest purchases you’re ever going to make, so it’s a good idea to ask around. Even with a referral from a trusted source, it doesn’t hurt to ask the agent a few key questions.
1. Are they a member of the local real estate board or association?
2. Is your agent currently licensed and in good standing?
3. Does the agent belong to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and/or a reliable online homebuyer’s search service?
4. Is your broker and salesperson insured?
5. How will the agent help you accomplish your goals? Will they show you homes that meet your requirements and provide you with a list of the properties he or she is showing you? Or if you are selling, how will they market your home? Will they plan any open houses?
6. Is the agent you sign on with actually the one who will be showing your home or bringing you to see other homes?
My answer to all these questions is YES
It can’t hurt to start paying attention to the listing signs in your neighbourhood and how quickly a ‘sold’ sign appears. Results matter most!
If you aren't having any luck finding an agent, attend a few open houses and watch how the agent works. Do they seem like someone you would like to work with? Are they helpful and knowledgeable about the home they are showing? Chances are if they are doing a good job for someone else, they will do a good job for you too!
Give me a call I can help!

Monday, 9 December 2013

What exactly is a condominium?

By Todd Fryer
Century 21 Aberwin Realty Inc.

When you start your house hunt for a condo or townhouse, you’ll likely hear the word ‘freehold ‘ tossed around quite often. It means, quite simply, that you are not required to pay a fee each month (or the fee is quite small) to cover costs pertaining to the common grounds in your townhouse complex i.e. snow removal, lawn maintenance etc. When it comes to purchasing a condominium, you can almost guarantee that you will be on the hook for monthly condo fees. But that’s not always the case. 
The word ‘condominium’ is often misused to refer to a type of home. By definition, it’s actually a type of ownership. Whether an apartment, office, or townhouse, a condo version means that you own it but you also have a share in the common grounds of the building/complex or property.
With condominium ownership comes an agreement that all tenants must abide by when they purchase their home. The ‘condo fees’ are collected to pay for the maintenance of the shared property, items such as the roof, parking lot, pool, gardens, elevators and hallways. 
So what exactly is a freehold condo? It simply means that the grounds of the complex are maintained by the tenant-controlled board, but there are no rules governing what you can do with your place inside and out.  Despite the name, it is not actually ‘free’ to live in the freehold condominium. You will likely pay a small fee each month. 
Condos are cheaper to buy than freehold properties but come with that monthly fee that can be anywhere from 20 to 90 cents per square foot. However, it means there’s money in the collective fund to cover regular maintenance and future repairs. You may end up paying more in the long run than you would a freehold property, which doesn’t carry monthly fees, but there’s no guarantee freehold property is as well cared for and up-to-date with repairs.