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FAQ Residential Real Estate Buyers

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What are the advantages of using a real estate agent to help me buy a home?

Buying a home is certainly one of the most rewarding experiences most of us ever have; it’s also one of the most challenging. If you’re buying for the first time, the process can be over whelming. And even if you have been through it several times, every move is different, and presents new challenges. So one cleat advantage of enlisting the help of an agent is simply that you don’t have to “go it alone”. A good agent has the training, the know-how and the experience to help you through each step of the process of finding, buying, and moving into your new home as smooth, quick, and enjoyable as it can be. Another advantage is that an agent represents a valuable source of information about market trends, communities and neighborhoods, and especially, home for sale throughout the area. Remember, not every home seller runs an ad in the local paper or puts a sign in the yard. In fact, many home sell before there is ever a need to advertise them. An agent offers you market expertise augmented by access to complete, regularly updated information about every home listed by area agents through the Multiple Listing Service (MLS).

Where do I begin the process of looking for a home?

The first thing you should do is to begin focusing on what you’re looking for in a home. You can start by establishing priorities in the following three areas:

PERSONAL TASTES: How large a home do you need? What style of architecture do you prefer? What kind of lot? Depending on where you live, you may have a choice of homes in dozens of styles, sizes and settings.

BUDGET: How much home is it wise for you to own? As you consider these areas, do a little research of your own. Look through magazines for ideas about home style and features. Drive through neighborhoods that appeal to you to see what’s available. Read the real estate listings in the newspaper to learn about current prices in the areas you’re considering. Talk to friends about the features that you’d really like to have in your home. The more knowledgeable you become, the better your final decision is likely to be. Then sit down and consider carefully all the things you’re looking for in a home.

LOCATION: Are you relocating to a new town because of a job, or to be closer to your current job? How will the location of schools, shops, and transportation affect your choice of neighborhoods?

How do I know for sure how much I can afford?

We’ve found that affordability is probably the single biggest concern of today’s first-time home buyers. Don’t sell yourself short. Talk with your real estate agent. A good agent is committed to honestly and responsibly working with you to determine your affordable price range. There are many financing options available today, and some include low down payments. Your agent will help find an option that fits your budget, and you may be surprised at just how much home you can afford.

How does buying compare to renting?

Renting offers a lifestyle that’s nearly maintenance-free. That may appeal to you, but consider that renting offers you no equity, no tax benefit, and most likely no protection against regular rent increases. If your rent has averaged $700 a month for the last ten years, you’ve spent $84,000 with nothing to show for it. Isn’t it time you invested in yourself instead of your landlord?

Several financing options hold special advantages for first-time home buyers or families with limited cash reserves. FHA-insured and VA-guaranteed mortgages can minimize or even eliminated your down payment. You may also consider a lease-purchase agreement, or borrow cash for a down payment from life insurance, profit sharing or retirement account. In addition to tax deductions you’ll likely receive that can partially offset the cost of real estate taxes, insurance and home maintenance, your home may appreciate in value. And thanks to recent changes to the tax code, but subject to certain restrictions up to $250K/500K if married filing jointly, the profit you make when you sell the house is tax-free as long as you own the property for a minimum of 24 months.

Is an older home as good a value as a new home?

It’s matter of personal preference. Both new and older homes offer distinct advantages, depending upon your unique taste and lifestyle.
New homes generally have more space in the rooms where today’s families do their living, like a family room or activity area. They’re usually easier to maintain, too.

However, many homes built years ago offer more total space for the money, as well as larger yards. Taxes on some older homes may also be lower. Some people are charmed by the elegance of an older home but shy away because they’re concerned about potential maintenance costs. Consider a home warranty to get the peace of mind you deserve. This will protection you against unexpected repairs on many home systems and appliances for a full year or more after you move in.

How many homes should I look at before I buy?

There is no set number of homes you should look at before you decide to make an offer on one. That’s why providing the agent with as many details as possible up front is so helpful. The perfect home may be waiting for you on your first visit. Even if it isn’t, the house-hunting process will help you get a feeling for the homes in the community and narrow your choice to a few homes that are worth a second look.

How long does it usually take to find a home once we get started?

It really depends on your time frame and situation. Whether you need to be in your home within a month or within six months, we'll we able to work within your time frame with no problem.

How many homes do you think we will have to see before we find the one for us?

It depends upon how fast the market is, how much time you have spent researching on the internet and how much time you have.  Generally, the answer is, as many as it takes. In the Mississauga marketplace, you should realistically expect to see approximately 2-8 homes, depending on your price range and area preferences. Seeing this number will give you a good exposure to the market and an idea of what you will be able to get for your money.

Each time I see a home that I would like more information about, do I have to call the real estate company that has the sign in the yard?

Well, if you want to waste a lot of time and effort, then you could do that. The best approach is to work with one agent and let them do the leg work for you. Through cooperative agreements, I have access to every listing, regardless of which company has it listed. It will save you time and stress by being able to make just one phone call for information on any home on the market, even For-Sale-By-Owner homes.

How much does it cost me if I want to work with a buyer's agent such as yourself?

In nearly every case, nothing. On listed property, the seller pays a commission to the listing company, which is split with the buyer's agent. This covers the buyer agent's fee. Even for-sale-by-owners are often willing to pay the buyer agent's fee to have someone to handle the details of the transaction. And that is even after I get you, my buyer client, the best deal possible!

How do real estate agents get paid?

Nearly all real estate agents are independent contractors, which means two things. First, they don't get paid until an actual sale closes. Second, they must pay their own expenses, such as gas, maintenance, office expenses, etc. In other words, any real estate agent is using his or her own money and time to show houses, and they won't get reimbursed for that expense unless you buy a home using them as your agent.

How many homes can we expect to see on any given day?

It has been my experience that after seeing four or five homes in a day, you begin to forget details about what you have seen. The exception is if you are moving here from out of town and have a limited time to look. In that case we would see as many as necessary in a day. If you live locally however, limiting yourself to four or five a day is best.

What is the first thing we should do when we decide we want to try to buy a home?
Schedule a Free Home buyer consultation and then get pre-approved! Follow this link for details.

I have heard that no one pays full list price for a home. How much truth is there in that statement?

The market average is around 97% to 99% of list price. This does NOT take closing costs and seller concessions into consideration. Drop me an email or give me a call for more information.

Once I find a home, how will I know what the market value is so I can make a good offer?

I will perform a full market analysis for my buyer clients on any home that you have a strong interest in. We will base the initial offer to purchase on this analysis.

What is Buyer's Agency?

Buyer's agency is where a buyer appoints an agent to represent them in an agency relationship. The principal (in this case the buyer) appoints an agent (the company which the sales associate is licensed with) to represent them as their agent in the purchase of a property. The agent (the company and their sales associates) is legally obligated to protect and promote the interests of their principal. A principal (buyer) may appoint their agent through a written agreement called an Exclusive Buyer's Agent Contract. This is similar to the listing contract that a seller would sign with an agent when appointing an agent to sell their property. An appointment of a buyer's agent can also be made verbally. This process requires that a realtor describes the various forms of agency representation to a buyer and then receives verbal confirmation of their appointment as the buyer's agent.

What is Limited Dual Agency?

Limited dual agency is where an agent represents both buyer and seller (landlord and tenant) in a real estate transaction. In a typical agency relationship the agent has previously been appointed as the agent to one of the parties. Usually they have been appointed by the seller to sell the seller's property as evidenced in the signing of a Listing Contract. Since the agent has already become obligated to act in the best interest of the seller the agency relationship needs to be altered. A new agency relationship which limits the duties and obligations of the agent is created. This relationship requires that both the buyer and seller give their written consent to this relationship. This is accomplished by the agent, seller and buyer authorizing a Limited Dual Agency Agreement.

More FAQ's for buyers

I hope this has been helpful to you but if you have a question that was not answered on this page please contact me I'm here to help you.

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