FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Learn more about Buying & Selling!
I want to purchase a home, what Real Estate commission do I pay?
Real estate commission is typically paid by the seller, although there are some exceptions to this. As a purchaser you get our service and advice at no additional cost to you.
What is the best time to sell a home?
We get this question time and time again. Don’t try to time the market. The best time to sell depends on a number of factors like supply, demand and other housing market conditions. These can vary greatly from city to city, and from one neighbourhood to the next. Rather than season, the numbers of days on market is the biggest indicator of your negotiating power.
How much will I need for closing costs?
For sellers - Closing costs are typically around 5 – 8 percent of the home’s sale price. These include things like: legal and administrative fees, real estate commissions, mortgage prepayment & discharge fees, utility and property tax adjustments, and are payable on closing.
For buyers - Closing costs will typically range from 1.5 to 4 per cent of the home’s purchase price. These include things like legal and administrative fees and are payable on closing. You can expect to pay for things such as: home inspection, mortgage default insurance if your down payment is less than 20 per cent of the purchase price, the Land Transfer Taxes, lawyer fees, appraisal fees, and property taxes among other things. It is very important to budget for these. On a $500,000 home, closing costs can range from $7,500 to $20,000.
What should my asking price be?
Your asking price will be impacted by various factors. These include things like: climate of the housing market in your area, buyers’ demand, inventory available, condition of property, square footage and lot size, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, your neighbourhood’s lifecycle phase, effective age appliances and fixtures, legal-governmental factors (i.e. private restrictions, easements, encroachments), and recent sales of comparable properties in your area. When you meet with us we will tailor a strategy for your particular property and pricing is certainly a big part of that.
What is the advantage of working with a Realtor vs. selling my property on my own?
Selling your own home may seem easy but we assure you it’s not. Often, realtors will help your home sell faster and for more money. That in itself is worth using a professional to sell your home. There are a variety of reasons why a person would choose to hire a professional Realtor. These reasons include but are not limited to:
Help you adopt a sound negotiation strategy based on industry knowledge and experience and can negotiate on your behalf.
Help you analyze housing market trends and help you get the most from your sale.
Provide you with the best marketing strategy and exposure for your property.
Completion of legal contracts/paperwork by an expert.
What sells a property?
This all depends on the buyer’s intentions (i.e. investment interests, intentions for renovation, etc.), however in general, prospective buyers are generally looking for homes that are well maintained. Cleanliness and current design trends all have an influence on your prospective buyer. People need to envision themselves in the space. This is why many people who decide to list their property for sale choose to manicure their home exterior, freshly paint, fix minor (or major) defects, upgrade dated fixtures and appliances, and stage their home. Although price plays a very important part in the process, the condition of the property and its appeal will help you achieve top dollar.
What is the best time to buy a home?
As we’ve mentioned before, don’t try to time the market. The best time to buy depends on a number of factors like supply, demand, as well as other housing market conditions. These can vary greatly from city to city, and from one neighbourhood to the next. Rather than season, the numbers of days on market is the biggest indicator of your negotiating power. If the home was recently listed, the seller will have had less time to test the market and gauge buyers’ response to the price, and will be less likely to negotiate.
Can I buy a home with no down payment?
The down payment is an essential part of your purchase. There are private lenders who offer mortgages with zero down, but the interest rate will likely be much higher and the cost to you will be much greater in the long run. This is generally not recommended. Don’t cut corners and risk your home and investment. Save up at least five per cent of the purchase price and consider reducing your home-buying budget to make it more affordable.
How does mortgage loan insurance work?
There is a common misconception that mortgage loan insurance protects the borrower. This is not the case. Mortgage loan insurance is there to protect the lender against default in payments by the homebuyer. If the buyer has a down payment of less than 20 per cent of the purchase price, the lender will purchase default insurance and pass that cost on to the borrower. This can be paid up front or tacked on to the mortgage payments and stretched out over time. Mortgage loan insurance is offered by companies like Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, Genworth Financial Canada, Canada Guaranty, or another approved private insurer.
What should I look for in a lucrative investment property?
Whether you’re thinking about resale value down the road, a quick reno-and-flip job, or for long-term rentability as a landlord, location is the golden rule of real estate. Homes near public transit lines typically sell faster and for a higher price. Some other things to analyze: is there a large population, income and employment growth? Will the area benefit from an economic or real estate ripple effect? Can the local infrastructure support the expected growth? Are there any major transportation improvements in the works? Is the area attractive to Baby Boomers’ lifestyle? Is there a short-term problem occurring that is likely to disappear in the future?
Do I need an agent when purchasing Pre-Construction/ New Construction Homes?
It is best to use your own agent when purchasing Pre-con/New construction properties as they will represent you and work in your favour. We can work with most builders and get you the information you need to make an informed decision. By using our services during a new construction home purchase, you will receive the services we offer, as well as those provided by the builder, at no additional cost to you. It is very important that you take us along at your first meeting with the builder.
I want to rent/lease a house or condo, do you help with this? If so, what criteria/requirements does a landlord usually have?
We can certainly help with leasing. Most leases are for 1 year. A landlord wants to ensure that they get the right tenant in their property. Someone who will care for their property as their own. Specifically and in most cases they look for:
Rental Application with references
Proof of Employment (via Paystub / Job letter)
Credit Report with Score
What is a Seller’s Market?
In a sellers’ markets, increasing demand for homes drives up prices. Below are some things that drive up demand:
- Economic factors. Low employment rate or an inflow of new residents can push up home prices before more inventory can be built.
- Low interest rates. This improves home affordability, creating more buyers in the market, particularly for first time home buyers who can afford bigger homes as the cost of borrowing is lower.
- Low inventory. Fewer homes on the market because of a lack of new construction. This pushes prices for existing homes up as there is more competition for the fewer units available.
What is a Buyer’s Market?
A buyer’s market is characterized by declining home prices and reduced demand. Below are some factors that affect demand causing a buyer’s market:
Economic disruption. A big employer shuts down operations, laying off their workforce.
Higher Interest Rates. The amount of money people can borrow to buy a home is reduced because the cost of borrowing is higher, reducing the total number of potential buyers in the market.
High inventory – a new subdivision and can create downward pressure on prices of older homes nearby, particularly if they lack highly desirable features (i.e. modern appliances).