Real Estate Frequently Asked Questions page by Natalia Feldman Real Estate Broker Vaughan.
Are real estate prices negotiable?
Yes, almost everything in real estate is negotiable. Typically, there is a difference between a home’s list price and how much it actually sells for. In a seller’s market the home can sell for higher then the listed price and in a buyer’s market the home could sell for less. It also depends on how many days the home has been on the market and if it had a chance to be exposed to the general population. Moreover, you never know who is also shopping around. Someone can come in and swoop the home for asking.
Can I buy a home with no down payment?
The short of it is no, the down payment is an essential part of your purchase. There are potentially private lenders, who could offer mortgages with zero down, but the interest rate will likely be much higher and the cost to you will be much greater in the long run. I personally would not recommend this option. Save up at least three per cent of the purchase price, and consider reducing your home-buying budget to make it more affordable.
Do I need to do a final walk-through?
A final walk through is not required, but I recommend it. Its an opportunity to make sure that the property is in the same condition as it was first seen and it ensures that if any items were requested to be repaired as part of the offer that they were complete.
How long can the seller take to respond to my offer?
Written offers should stipulate the timeframe in which the seller should respond. In Ontario we are very specific regarding the deadline including date and time.
How long does it take to buy a home?
There is no clear answer to this one. I have had clients purchase the first home they saw and others who have taken up to a year to find the right one. Market conditions are a major factor in how fast homes are sold. In hot seller’s markets with little inventory, buying a home may take a little longer than normal as finding a home you want maybe harder. In a buyer’s market, with higher inventory it can be easier to find the home you want but the options might overwhelm you.
How long will it take to sell my home?
Once the house is on the market, it may take anywhere from two days to six weeks to sell. If the market is fairly hot, a seller could see their house off the market within a week. On the flip side, if there is a lull in the market or issues arise such as negotiation, lack of exposure, or house conditions then the property can sit on the market for months.
How much do I have to pay an agent to help me buy a house?
In Ontario the buyer agent, that is the real estate agent who represents the buyer, is usually paid by the listing brokerage that is the agent who represents the seller. This is usually calculated as part of the marketing efforts on the seller’s agent part.
How much do I need for a down payment?
This can range drastically depending on your financial situation, credit score, and many other factors. This is why its critical to speak to a mortgage specialists so that they can review your individual situation and advise you accordingly.
How should I prepare my house before selling it?
First impressions matter in business, but especially in real estate. With the rise of the internet and Covid specifically more and more buyers turn to the pictures and videos to review a property before they even set foot in it. Anyone walking through a house or touring it virtually will be looking for ways to pass or negotiate down on the price. Each room should look clean and decluttered with no damage insight.
I have decided to buy a home, what is my first step?
Your first step is always to speak to a mortgage agent and figure out how much you can afford. This step is crucial for several reasons;
First, you do not waste your time looking for properties that are outside your budge, and most importantly prevent disappointment caused by falling in love with a home that is unaffordable.
Second, you will understand how much of a down payment your require and your closing costs. This will provide a clear picture of your finances and requirements to purchasing the home of your dreams.
And lastly, a real estate agent will ask for your pre approval as part of the search process. Together with your wants and needs in a home, your budget allows us to show you the right homes for you.
Should I order a home inspection before selling?
Getting a pre-sale home inspected is never a bad idea. Some homebuyers will feel uncomfortable purchasing a house without seeing a home inspection. Many will often hire their own inspector. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Should I order a home inspection?
A home is an ongoing project; there is always something that needs to be done to keep it from falling apart. My recommendation is to do a home inspection. The inspection is there to see if major items need to be addressed and whether that is something that you can afford to take on. I realize that in a seller’s market that is something that can be challenging to do, however a good agent can guide you as to how to complete the home inspection prior to putting together an offer.
Should I sell my current home before buying a new one?
This will depend on your financial situation. Can you afford to keep two homes for a few months potentially? Since it’s such an individual situation it should be reviewed with your real estate agent and mortgage advisor to see what is the best course of action for you.
What does the new mortgage stress test mean?
The new mortgage rules require that all mortgage applicants qualify at a rate that’s two per cent higher than your contracted rate or the Bank of Canada’s five-year benchmark rate. This is to ensure that borrowers will be able to make their mortgage payments should interest rates increase.
What happens if I decide to back out of buying a house?
Once your offer is accepted and you delivered the deposit you are under a legal contract to purchase the home. If you decide to back out of the purchase you are essentially in breach of contract. The consequences for a breach in contract could be losing your deposit to the seller and being sued by both the seller and real estate brokerages for outstanding fees.
What if my offer is rejected?
There may be many reasons that sellers can reject an offer. These include price, terms, closing date, purchase price, etc. Sellers can also counteroffer, suggesting changes to the items that are not to their liking. You and your agent just need to review it determine whether the counteroffer is acceptable. If so, then approving it closes the deal immediately. Keep in mind, offers and counteroffers can go back-and-forth many times; this is not unusual and negotiations are a part of what Realtors do as a matter of routine. Each revision should bring both parties closer together on the terms of the deal.
What is a buyer’s market?
In a buyer’s market home prices and demand are reduced. This can be due to several factors. Large employer facilities close down, interest rates go up, high inventory or even natural disasters.
What is a seller’s market?
In sellers’ markets, increasing demand for homes drives up prices. This can be due to many factors. Immigration and strong labour market can bring in new residents who are looking to purchase a home and stay in the area long term. Low interest rates attracts buyers who couldn’t afford a property when interest was higher. Low inventory due to slow in construction brings prices up.
What is the best time to purchase a home?
There really isn’t best time. Your individual circumstance will dictate what is the best time for you. If the price is what you are after, well that can fluctuate depending on supply, demand and other housing market conditions. However if it’s a family change or employment change then there isn’t much to do about price, but to look for the best place fitted for your current situation.
What is the difference between a home’s assessed value compared to the market value?
A public tax assessor gives the assessed value for a property (in Ontario it is done by MPAC). This in turn is used by the municipalities for taxation purposes. The fair market value is an agreed-upon price between a willing buyer and seller. There is usually a difference between the assessed value and market value.
What is the selling price of my home?
There is no clear cut answer. When real estate agents determine the listing price and make recommendations they are comparing a number of variables. The market conditions, the house conditions, what similar homes in the area sold for, neighborhood desirability, and many more.