Frequently Asked Questions

1. Should I buy first then sell, or sell first then buy?  While it doesn't hurt to look around before you list your home, it is safer to list your home first, get an offer then buy your next home. You will be in a much better bargaining position if you are buying without a conditional on sale of your home. Some Vendors may want a premium for tying up their property for an extended period of time. Another problem with buying first is that you may have an unrealistic expectation of what your home is worth only to find out that you cannot afford the home that you choose to buy. More information at Buy First or Sell First?

2. Can I sell privately?  In most cases, selling privately does not yield the results that you want. Usually, the Purchaser expects to get the house for much cheaper than a home that is listed with a Realtor so in the end, you are not any further ahead.   Another problem is that your liability may increase if you say anything that misrepresents that condition or value of your home.  Quite often it is easier for an agent to give the Purchaser the nudge that they need to make the offer to purchase than it is for the Vendor to call the Purchaser to see if he is still interested.  At some point the Purchaser starts to think that the Vendor is desperate to sell and they may come in with an even lower offer.  Purchasers expect Realtors to follow up because it is part of their job so they don't thing anything of their Realtor calling them about a particular property.  One of the worst problems in a private sale is that you never really know if it will close.  When a Realtor is involved, the Realtor will follow up to ensure that the financing is in place and that all conditions are waived on time and that the closing goes smoothly.  Remember your Realtor usually gets paid from the proceeds on closing, therefore no closing, no pay cheque.  It is nice to have a person watching over your interests to ensure that the deal closes particularly if you have purchased another property and are counting on the proceeds from one sale to pay for the new home.
Don't give up until you read the information at Want to Sell Yourself?

3. What is the standard commission?  In many parts of Canada, the commissions vary considerably from region to region and it also depends on the type of property that you are selling. Commissions are negotiable with your Realtor, but be absolutely sure what you are getting.  It is important that you find out how much commission is being paid to the selling broker as well to the listing broker.  If your Realtor makes any special commission arrangements with you, as with all things pertaining to real estate, ensure it is documented in writing to prevent misunderstandings and conflicts in the future.

4. When is the best time to buy?  Typically the slowest months for sales are December, July and August although this is not always the case if mortgage rates change during those months to create an artificial demand.  Usually the best months to sell are February, March and April as Purchasers look towards June closings after the school year is finished.

5. How much will I need for closing costs?  You will need to pay between $ 1,000 - $ 1,500 including all legal fees and related disbursements.  Legal fees is usually less for Sale versus Purchase. Ontario Land Transfer tax is also payable. If the property you purchase is in the City of Toronto, then an additional Land Transfer Tax is also payable. Typical adjustments are for taxes, water heater rental (if closing not at end of month).
Other out of pocket expenses include, home inspection ($200-$300), a new survey might be needed for mortgage (approx $700), appraisal for mortgage (approx. $300), mortgage application fee (approx. $100), and house insurance.  There may be additional expenses if you are buying a brand new home, you will need to carefully review your Agreement of Purchase and Sale.  More information at Beware of Extra Costs.

6. How does and appraisal differ from a market evaluation?  An appraisal is a formal document prepared by a certified appraiser that can be relied on by banks or the courts. Appraisals are more in depth and usually look at several methods of calculated value.  A typical appraisal costs between $150 and $300 depending on the complexity and intended use.  A  market evaluation is less detail and ususally involves only one method to determine market value- comparable market analysis.   Often Realtors do not charge for market evaluations.

7. I want to sell my home, but I don't want a sign on the property.  Is this a mistake?  Generally yes, as calls on the sign are usually some of the best leads that you can get since the prospective Purchaser has already seen the neighbourhood, seen the home and still wants additional information.  The sales sign is known as the "silent salesman" and is a very effective marketing tool.

 Please contact us if you would like to discuss in more detail or if you prefer, please complete the form below and indicate areas you would like to discuss, and dates and time that you would be available to meet.

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