Tag Archives: offer

5 Tips to Sell Your Home

April 27, 2012

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It’s a big decision to sell your house. Here are some easy tips to make the process go as smoothly as possible!

  1. Interview a few different agents before making a decision. Despite what you may think, we’re not all the same! We offer different services for different commission rates. Make sure you’re comfortable with the person you hire and know exactly what you’re getting for what you pay.
  2. Know your rights and obligations. There are so many contracts you have to sign from the listing agreement to the offer you accept. Have your REALTOR explain everything in detail before you sign anything, or have your lawyer go over it with you.
  3. Price it right. Base the price of your home on current market information instead of what you think it’s worth. Even if you put $20,000 into a renovation doesn’t necessarily mean you will get it back when you sell.
  4. Take your agent’s advice. If he or she suggests your home needs some TLC or de-cluttering, do it! It’s not an insult, we’re only trying to help. The better your home looks, the more money you’ll get in the end.
  5. Take the first offer seriously. It’s true what they say; it’s often the best one that comes across the table. Also consider that after your home has been on the market for 45 days (or whatever it has been) the market conditions may have changed from when you originally picked the price. Make sure your agent brings current comparables when you look at the offers.

These are just a few things you can do during the process of selling your home. Ask advice from your agent and other real estate professionals; they know what they’re doing!

Good luck!

Laura

Laura Keller of Century 21 B.J. Roth Realty is a real estate agent with a business philosophy of nurturing relationships with her clients. She will walk you through the process of buying, selling, or investing step-by-step so there are no surprises at the end of your transaction.

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Facing Multiple Offers

January 10, 2012

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First, let’s define a multiple offer. It is a situation in which more than one buyer is interested in a property and offers the seller an Agreement of Purchase and Sale which includes price, inclusions, terms, closing date, conditions, etc.

Working with multiple offers is a very emotional process for both buyers and sellers, but for very different reasons. You may have been in a position as a buyer when your offer isn’t the only one on the table. In Ontario, if there is more than one offer on a property, the listing salesperson must disclose the number of competing offers, however they cannot divulge the price, terms or conditions on any other offers.

If you’re a buyer, consider these options:

  • Pricing. This is the first thing people think of in any offer situation, but it’s extra stressful now. Your best price is certainly the route most buyers would take. Consider, however, what the property is worth. If your offer is accepted with an inflated price, you may have issues getting financing – no lender will give you money if they can’t make it back in the case of power of sale or foreclosure. Also know that offering the asking price – or more than the asking price – does not guarantee your offer will be accepted.
  • Home Inspection. You may be tempted to not include a clause in the conditions requiring a home inspection. Indeed this is your decision, but just be aware that if there are problems later in the house you will be responsible for them. This is a big risk that you have to very carefully consider.
  • Financing. Removing the financing condition is an immense risk. Don’t forget that pre-qualifying for a mortgage doesn’t guarantee that you will be approved. The lender still has to assess the property as well as your most current income and credit rating. Again, this is your decision as a buyer, but if you don’t get financing after the offer has been accepted, you’re still responsible for buying the house!

If you are in a seller’s position, your emotions are no doubt different than the buyers’! You are probably excited at the fact that you get to choose the best offer out there, and you are in the position of power. You still have some very tough decisions to make, but talk to your REALTOR about all the options available to you.

If you’re a seller, consider these options:

  • Accept the best offer. This means that there are no negotiations since you are happy with the offer overall including price, terms, closing date, etc.
  • Negotiate with one buyer and reject all others. This is a tricky situation because if your counter-offer is rejected by the buyer, you’re back to square one. It can, however, work in your favour if there are only a couple minor details that need to be ironed out.
  • Negotiate with one buyer and let the other buyers know that their offers have been set aside in the meantime. This is the least risky option for you, however be prepared for the “other” buyers to make offers on other properties.
  • Reject all offers. As with non-competing offers, you don’t have to accept any of them if they don’t meet your minimum standards.

Whoever you are in a multiple offer situation, be sure to seek advice from your real estate professional about the choices. We have all the latest market conditions that can help you make the decision, but remember, you have the final say!

Good luck!

Laura

Laura Keller of Century 21 B.J. Roth Realty is a real estate agent with a business philosophy of nurturing relationships with her clients. She will walk you through the process of buying, selling, or investing step-by-step so there are no surprises at the end of your transaction.

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The Importance of a Home Inspection

October 20, 2011

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As a real estate agent, a question that I’m often asked once I’ve assisted my clients in reaching a conditional agreement with the sellers of a home is “Do we really need a home inspection?”

My answer is always something like “Yes, you do” – from there, the choice is yours!

Just like your agent, lawyer, mortgage agent – a home inspector is another trained set of eyes, specializing in one specific facit of the real estate transaction. The small investment of typically $200-400 could save you thousands of dollars when a defect or even the start of potential problems is detected by a trained eye that even the most scrupulous of uncles, boyfriends, neighbours, etc (who think they might know it all) won’t likely see.

A great home inspector won’t necessarily (and shouldn’t) make specific representations about a problem with a home (i.e – “it looks like that roof is leaking and there’s probably mold in there”), but will suggest that based on the evidence he/she sees that you have a specific expert such as an engineer, electrician, plumber, etc have a more detailed look at the potential problem or issue (to provide a detailed expert opinion).

If you need a home inspector, a great place to start is by asking your real estate agent who he/she often refers clients too, and they will provide you with at least three choices of inspectors that you might want to call. It is important to hire a home inspector that you think will be able to effectively communicate with you so that you understand what you are getting into and any areas of concern. As a matter of personal opinion, I would also suggest only using an inspector that has errors and omissions insurance (unfortunately the industry is highly unregulated in Ontario right now and there is a drastic difference between a well qualified home inspector and someone who has just done the minimum to ‘set up shop’).

Like the many other aspects of a real estate transaction, a home inspection is a simple and inexpensive process that can be highly informative and ultimately allow you to make one of the largest transactions of your life with as much information as possible.

Brendan

Brendan Clemmens of Royal LePage First Contact Realty is a residential real estate agent in Barrie that provides value added service to all of his clients. Brendan can help you with all of your real estate needs but has a specific focus on helpin g young families and investors.

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This is the house! Now what?!

October 6, 2011

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Once the house hunt has yields an exciting discovery, the question ALL first time home buyers ask is: “sooooo….what do we do now?”

The answer I always give is the same; and here it is in an easy to understand step by step process:

– your real estate agent will call the agent who has the home listed for sale (if it’s someone other than them) to let them know that you are interested, and ask questions regarding potential closing dates, inclusions/exclusions, “would they consider leaving the fridge?”, etc – the more information your agent can get in the preliminary stages will better your chances of the offer being accepted. Price is the term most people are concerned with but other terms of the offer such as closing date, conditions, etc are all equally important (sometimes more important) as the price.

– your agent will then compile a list of recent sales and active comparable homes for you to consider a price range for your offer, and where you might anticipate the final sale price range to fall (or know where to draw the line if the seller has unrealistic expectations).

– your agent will then draft the offer that reflects all of your wishes, and the conditions (if any) that you want to see reflected in the offer (i.e. – home inspection, financing approval, etc)

– next your agent will present the offer to the seller’s agent (and potentially the sellers) who have four basic options:

1) accept the offer as is
2) reject the offer
3) do nothing, and let the offer expire
4) counter offer

– the most likely scenario is a number of counter offers from buyer to seller and back again until both parties accept the offer subject to the conditions.

– the buyers and sellers have a time frame to fulfill their conditions (most commonly 5-7 business days) at which time, if one or more of the conditions have not been met, the deal will be null and void. If all of the conditions are met, the agreement of sale will become firm and binding (this is when the sold sign would go on the house!)

– at this point in time the real estate lawyers take over the transaction and go through a number of processes such as a title search, registering the mortgage, etc so that everything falls in place for the deal to close (usually 30-90 days from the date of the fulfillment of all conditions.

– closing day comes and once the sellers have moved out and the buyers get the keys to their new home!

That in a nutshell is how a home is purchased, and I hope this will serve as a good guideline the next time you find “the right house”.

Brendan

Brendan Clemmens of Royal LePage First Contact Realty is a residential real estate agent in Barrie that provides value added service to all of his clients. Brendan can help you with all of your real estate needs but has a specific focus on helpin g young families and investors.

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Agreement of Purchase and Sale – Inclusions/Exclusions

September 29, 2011

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A standard residential agreement of purchase and sale in the Province of Ontario includes a section that details the items in addition to the real property that are to be included in the offer, and others that are excluded from the agreement. The listing agreement will detail the items that the seller is willing to leave with the home and can include items such as a washer, dryer, fridge, stove, etc and essentially, these items can be considered as part of the total package of an agreement (freebies if you will).

Some items, such as those previously mentioned can be easily removed from the property and are often referred to as a “chattel“. Other items, which are usually considered to be more permanently fixed to the property are referred to as “fixtures”. Although this seems like a fairly cut and dry distinction, in the real world practice of negotiating offers, the lines can become blurred, especially when the buyer and/or seller make assumptions about whether an item is staying with the home, or going with the seller when they vacate. There is still great debate about what constitutes a fixture and when one can assume that an item such as a mirror, or window covering is staying with a house. We all know what happens as a result of ‘assuming’ and when it comes to real estate transactions; one can never be too sure.

Here’s the solution to avoid unnecessary arguments, closing delays, and even being sued!:

Along with your agent, compile a list of all of the items you could like to see stay with the home as part of the agreement (or take with you as the seller), and be as specific as possible – it is not overkill to be taking down brand names, model, serial number, color, etc of items that you would like and the more thorough you are, the less room you leave for discrepancy. Never, and I mean never make an assumption about whether something is coming or going, and when in doubt, include the item in the relevant inclusions or exclusions field (I.E – all window coverings, all light fixtures, carpet where laid, etc). It’s also worth pointing out that both of these fields in the offer can be used as a form of negotiation, for instance: if the seller does not include a lawn tractor in the listing agreement, but you would like to ask for it as part of the purchase, having your agent insert the tractor in the inclusions field is saying ‘here’s my offer and I also want your tractor as part of the deal’ (obviously, the seller has to agree).

I cannot stress the importance of being thorough and explicit with inclusions and exclusions in an agreement, clarity of all the terms is the only way to see to it that everyone wins. If you want to hear some funny anecdotal stories, ask any real estate agent or real estate lawyer, about a time when a purchase or sale didn’t close as a result of an argument over a master bedroom mirror, or a microwave! It happens all the time.

Brendan

Brendan Clemmens of Royal LePage First Contact Realty is a residential real estate agent in Barrie that provides value added service to all of his clients. Brendan can help you with all of your real estate needs but has a specific focus on helpin g young families and investors.

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