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Frequently Asked Questions

Ken Scott | Broker of Record & Owner
Laima Scott | Sales Representative
519-651-6228 | kls@klsrealty.com

BUYER QUESTIONS

Question 1: What are expenses associated with purchasing a home?

A: Besides your down payment, there is the land transfer tax. Land transfer tax calculators can be found on google. One we use is  http://www.landtransfertaxcalculator.ca/  When you put in your purchase price it will calculate what your land transfer tax is. For example, a home that sells for $500,000 has a land transfer tax of $6,475. In buying in Toronto, the land transfer tax is doubled. The higher the purchase price, the higher the land transfer tax.  Please note there is a first time home buyer land transfer tax rebate incentive if you qualify. There is also your lawyer fee to close the transaction, typically $1,500 range, cost for you to move, cost for hooking up utilities and the expense of a property inspection mentioned below.

Question 2: Should I hire a Property Inspector?

A: Realtors recommend people buying a home should hiring a Professional Property Inspector. The cost range is between $500 -$600 dollars. The report they provide you is very thorough and it usually takes between 2 – 4 hours for an inspector to go through your potential home. It is best if you are there with the inspector on the day of inspection to learn about the home. Occasionally after a property inspection, a buyer may decide not to buy the home. It is better to spend $500 then buy a multi thousand dollar problem you regret. In most cases however, a compromise is made about the defects revealed in the home inspection. When a buyer knows all the facts, then they are making an informed buying decision and everyone wins.  Purchasing real estate with professional representation that protects your interest is a wise decision for the prudent buyer.

Question 3: How do I get the best price I can when I want to purchase a home?

A: There is no substitute for having someone negotiate for you. The middleman takes the emotion out of the equation. Most likely, real estate is the most expensive asset you own and where family roots are formed. The professional realtor who understands the psychology of selling is an important asset to you. Every circumstance and situation will be different. Sometimes making a low offer makes sense, other times it be the worst thing you can do if you really want that home. A professional realtor, who researches the history of the home, who knows the location attributes or concerns, who communicates with the seller’s representative to inquire about disclosures affecting the present and future value of the home and who uses their experience in negotiating, will guide you in achieving the best price you can for your new purchase.

Question 4: What is a Buyer Representative Agreement and why should I sign one?

A: A Buyer Representative Agreement is a contract between the brokerage and the consumer. The consumer has choices in the way they want to be represented, typically either as a client or as a customer. A client relationship creates a fiduciary obligation to the consumer and the brokerage must protect the interest of their client, to do what is best for their client and to not disclose confidential information that their client has shared with them. In a customer relationship there is a restricted level of service such as showing a property and drafting an offer. Material facts know by the brokerage that relate to the transaction still must be disclosed. The brokerage in either representation has an obligation to treat all parties to a transaction with fairness, honesty and integrity. When choosing to use the services of a realtor, the type of relationship and services provided is documented and a buyer will receive the professionalism they deserve to help them purchase a property that is important to them.

Question 5: Does the home I want to purchase have good resale value?

A: The most important factor in purchasing a home is location. In a good location, your resale value proves to be a wise investment. When dealing with a professional realtor to represent your purchase, factors that may harm the resale value of your home will be disclosed and protection clauses should be written in your offer to purchase. We have heard buyers tell us that this is their last home and within 5 years they call us to sell again. Circumstances change in people’s lives so keeping resale value forefront in a purchase is important to protect your investment.

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SELLER QUESTIONS

Question 1: What is my home worth?

A: The Market Comparison Approach to Value is the most common way to determine the value of your property. A Professional Realtor will show you similar properties recently sold in your neighbourhood. From this, differences for the attributes about your home are considered and a value is determined. Your home may have factors that are less attractive to similar homes in the neighbourhood that recently sold so that would have to be accounted for as well. The goal is to determine Market Value which is defined as what a typical Buyer would pay a typical Seller for a particular property where neither party is acting under duress. There are ways in which you can get more than market value, however over pricing could be detrimental and minimize your return. When you chase a falling stone, you seldom catch it. The right price is the key to your success and this is what the Professional Realtor will guide you with. This is your home and you can list it for whatever you want. The Professional Realtors job is to guide you in making the proper, well informed decision. Do not discount what you do not want to hear, it could save you thousands.

Question 2: How long does it to sell my home?

A: When a home is priced properly in a balanced market, it should take three weeks to sell and close to the asking price.  Most of the activity and excitement for your home occurs during the first 48 hours and the exposure of MLS should not be taken lightly. Many realtors have their clients on an automated email system giving alerts to buyers looking for a home with your criteria. This buyer wants to be the first and last person to see your home. The right price is the biggest key in exciting a buyer for your home.

Question 3: What is the cost associated with selling my home?

A: When selling your home the most critical expense is the commission. There are two sides to the commission. One is what is being paid to the realtor listing the property and the other is what is being paid to the realtor who will find the buyer for your home. This is typically split 50 / 50 and paid by the seller. The commission being offered on the MLS system is posted for the realtor to see when they pull up your listing to show your property to their prospective buyer. This is the livelihood of the realtor and you want to make the realtor bringing a buyer to your home excited to sell it.  When you discount this, you are discounting your home. Make your home attractive in every way, to get the most return you can. There is also the lawyer fee to close the transaction, typically $1,200 and moving cost.

Question 4What do I have to do to make my home saleable?

A: Besides the right price, other key factors are curb appeal, cleanliness, removing clutter, painting where necessary and atmosphere. With the right staging and marketing, a buyer knows they want your home. Walking in the foyer just confirms their decision. Take the time to make sure all the prep work is done and professional pictures are taken to put on the MLS System. Pictures do sell a home!

Question 5Should I sell or renovate?

A: Sometimes the cost to renovate equates to the cost to sell. If you like your neighbourhood and have the patience to renovate, it could be a wise decision. The caution however is to stay within budget and not over improve. Also, make sure you get all the appropriate approvals and permits from the city to prevent stop work notices and be aware of safety factors such as call before you dig and have liability insurance in the case of someone getting hurt on site. When it comes to selling your home after you renovate and you did not have proper permits, this could hold up your sale and also cost you thousands of dollars in expenses. In our experience, we found that most people decide to sell and start a new chapter in their life.

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