Whether it is buying, selling or renting, a real estate transaction is a huge undertaking. If you’re a regular reader of this column, you’ll know that I share my advice weekly to help consumers make more informed decisions before venturing into real estate.
As the saying goes, time sure does fly. I can’t believe it’s been 10 years since I wrote my first “Ask Joe” column this month!
Since that time, the market has seen significant changes. Over the years, many parts of the province have seen a sellers market, complete with numerous “bully” offers and record-high prices. Of course, the pandemic was (and is), which did not have the expected cooling effect on the market.
And now, at the end of 2022, we are seeing the repercussions of rising inflation and buyers’ market.
No matter what kind of market we are in, however, my essential tips remain the same. So, to celebrate the occasion, I’ve decided to rewrite some of my top tips from the past decade.
do your research. A good place to start is the website of the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO). Here you can find a variety of helpful resources, including information about real estate agents and guides. RECO’s real estate professional search tool lets you check if agents and brokerages are actively registered to do business in real estate in Ontario.
Understand the market You’ve seen it in the news. Much of Ontario’s real estate market has cooled off lately, so now may be a more favorable time for buyers than sellers. However, it is equally important to note that property values fluctuate over time.
Assess your finances and priorities. Ask yourself these important questions: How much can you afford for the down payment and mortgage? How is your credit score? How comfortable are you with responsibility? Do you care more about equity or the freedom to move?
Set a clear budget. Be sure to take into account the additional costs that come with buying a home – such as legal fees, land transfer taxes and utility costs.
Consult experts for strategic guidance and information. These experts include:
- Real estate agents: They may offer a number of service options, including sharing knowledge about specific neighborhoods, monitoring market trends, providing comparative market analysis of similar properties, arranging exhibits, and negotiating terms. .
- Real Estate Lawyers: They can provide attorneys, review documents, check titles, and take necessary steps to complete the transaction successfully.
- Mortgage Lender: If you need a mortgage, finding one with loan terms and a rate you are comfortable with is important. Talk to a mortgage advisor or mortgage broker at a bank or financial institution.
- Home Inspector: An experienced inspector will examine and report to you about property features such as electrical, roofing, plumbing, foundations and septic systems.
- Don’t leave out the fine print. All the paperwork can be overwhelming, yes. But it is important to remember that these real estate agreements are legally binding. Therefore, review it closely and ask for clarification if there is anything confusing in the contract.
- Include conditions for your own safety. While removing terms like financing or a home inspection may make your offer more attractive to the seller, remember that it can also be riskier for you.
- Don’t assume that everything you see at a show is included in the sale of an estate. Verify everything that came with the home and ask your agent to give a description of all items in writing.