Sunday, January 8, 2017

Sellers Discloser About a Home

Various kinds of defects carry different obligations, but a great sales rep and expert home inspector may help keep you informed.

Consulting a skilled home inspector or licensed contractor is a great way to determine if there are defects with a home’s major systems

If your interested in purchasing a home, what does the seller have to disclose about the property?

When you’re in the process of buying a home, it can be very easy to get caught up in the esthetics of the structure — such as the marble counter tops and hardwood floors. But elements such as foundations, wiring, plumbing, and heating and cooling systems are just as important, if not more so.

There is a lot of questions about what sellers are obligated to disclose in the course of a transaction, through their real-estate agent. And defects is an important category.

Patent defects are those that are clearly visible. Latent defects are not apparent and may not be discover-able, even by a home inspector or other expert.

Examples of patent defects include visible cracks in a foundation wall, missing safety railings or visible stains that suggest a roof leak. The seller’s representative doesn’t have to disclose patent defects to you, as these items can be found during a home inspection or are visible to the potential buyer’s eye. It’s up to you to do your own research and ask specific questions.

As an example of a latent defect, consider a home that has a history of flooding, structural or fire damage where the impact is not visible without an invasive inspection. In this case, the seller is only obligated to disclose the problem if they know about it — and if the defect could be deemed a serious risk to health and safety of those who live in the home.

This could be a structural defect that poses a risk of a wall collapsing, or a history of flooding that would foster the growth of toxic mold. These situations would require disclosure.

However, if the home has a crack in the basement foundation where water could leak through, the house may be livable, and disclosure would not be required.

And since the seller’s disclosure obligations are limited, it’s important to take steps to identify issues for yourself.

That’s where your sales rep comes in. They must take all reasonable steps to determine and disclose all facts about the property that might affect your decision to purchase, how much you may consider offering for it, or what conditions you would include. This could include asking the seller’s agent specific questions about issues that have come to their attention, inserting clauses in the Agreement of Purchase and Sale, requesting or checking for documentation, or other forms of research.

A Seller Property Information Statement (SPIS) is another way to find out more about a property. The SPIS provides information about defects, renovations and other relevant information on the property based on the knowledge and experience of the seller. However, the seller is under no obligation to complete an SPIS — so don’t assume that it will be available.

Even if a SPIS stated the home was in pristine condition, it’s better to get your own home inspection. Consulting a skilled home inspector or licensed contractor is a great way to determine if there are defects with the home’s major systems. It’s also a good idea to be present during the home inspection if you or your sales rep have any questions about the property, or if you would like to see any defects for yourself.

Remember that an informed buyer is a confident buyer. If your agent cannot answer specific questions or concerns, consider seeking the advice of a real-estate lawyer.

See original article by Joseph Richer is registrar of the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO). He oversees and enforces all rules governing real-estate professionals in Ontario


Sunday, November 6, 2016

Protect Yourself During the Home Buying Process

Tips - Help protect yourself while in the home buying process

Consulting experts on real estate and mortgages before you start hunting will help you avoid costly mistakes or losing out on your dream home.

Are you in the middle of a bidding war with buyers, can be stressful and costly. That’s why it’s helpful to have a sales rep to help you every step of the way.

Interesting article on thestar.com By Joseph Richer

Real estate bidding wars move really fast and can be an emotional roller coaster. How can one avoid making a decision that you’ll regret?

This question is asked a lot. In a hot market, buyers often feel like they don’t have the time to consider every step of the process and the same probably goes for sellers.

A couple of months ago, another first-time home buyer got overwhelmed during the process and hit a major snag that cost him his deposit — and his dream home.

Unfortunately, this person didn’t understand what they could afford and there wasn’t enough communication between them and their sales rep about what they were looking for in a home. Ultimately, this buyer could not get financing and the deal fell through.

Key tips about protecting yourself during the buying process.

Hire a real-estate professional who is right for you:

According to the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO), one of the things emphasized to consumers is the importance of getting expert help. Shopping around for the right salesperson is a lot like holding job interviews.

Sit down with at least three different sales agents, ask them questions, find out about the services they offer, and double-check their references.

That will put you in a better position to pick the person who best understands your needs, and whose approach aligns with your preferences.

Also, document in writing the services that will be included.

Being in the middle of a bidding war with one or more buyers is stressful and can be costly. That’s why it’s helpful to have a sales rep to help you every step of the way.

Know what you can afford

This buyer who had made a firm offer on a home, on the advice of his sales rep, and waived the financing and home inspection conditions — even though he only had 5 per cent for a down payment.

When the buyer tried to secure financing, the mortgage lender required a 15-per-cent down payment.

Very important for the buyer to seek expert advice. In this case, speaking to a mortgage professional and getting mortgage pre-approval and a firm number would have made it clear what was affordable during the house hunt.

In addition, if you are thinking of raising your offer price, the first thing you should consider is whether you have enough money in your budget to do so.

Keep in mind that the financial institution might be prepared to lend you what you want, based on your financial situation, but they will also want to ensure the home you are buying is worth enough to cover the mortgage.

Understand all costs with home ownership

First, there are the costs that come as part of the transaction:
  1. mortgage insurance
  2. land transfer tax
  3. home inspection
  4. appraisal and legal costs.

There are also the costs to make the home your own, including moving costs and home decor.

And there are recurring costs like:
  1. utilities
  2. home insurance
  3. rental fees for hot water tanks
  4. furnaces and air conditioning
  5. as well as home repairs and ongoing maintenance

See original article on thestar.com By Joseph Richer


Saturday, August 20, 2016

Selling Homes by Auction

Things to know about selling homes by auction

Ever wonder if you should try to sell our home by auction. What should you know about this type of sale?

In a typical transaction done through a real-estate brokerage, Ontario law prohibits one potential buyer from seeing an offer from another potential buyer.

In an auction, the bidding process is open. Potential buyers can submit a bid knowing the amount bid by other potential buyers. Some would argue this makes the process more transparent.

It also means you won’t get the protections that come with working with a registered real estate professional.

Why would a seller choose to sell through an auction?

It may be a faster way of selling your property: You will quickly learn what someone is willing to pay for your property, good or bad.

However, there is also no ability to deal with individual bids once the auction has begun. As soon as that hammer comes down, your property will be sold to the highest bidder, assuming it reaches any reserve bid.

Read full article

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Be A Smart Home Buyer

Buying and selling a home can be challenge, a little overwhelming and daunting.

This video, learn helpful advice and tips that will ensure you are home smart when buying a home.

Trouble viewing video above

Happy cottage hunting....