Real Estate 101: Your FAQs Answered

Real Estate 101: Your FAQs Answered

Buying or selling a property can be an exciting, yet complex process. It’s normal to have questions along the way. Here are some of your most frequently asked questions, answered. 

FAQ: How do I decide on a budget? 

One of the most important first steps is contacting a mortgage broker. Getting a pre-approval essentially decides the budget for you - the bank has the final say to how much money they are willing to lend you for the purchase. Once you have the pre-approval, you can decide if you want to use the maximum amount or go with something lower for more comfortable monthly payments. Having the pre-approval in place will also streamline the offer process and improves your ability to secure satisfactory financing. 

It’s also important to look at the big picture. You’ll also want to factor in your currently monthly payments like car payments, credit card payments, etc, as well as extra costs that you may not have had before like property taxes, strata fees, or utilities. It’s also important to prepare for closing costs which can cost between 2-4% of the purchase price for things like lawyer fees, property transfer tax, etc. If you want to talk costs and budgets, or if you need a recommendation for a trusted mortgage broker, let’s connect!

P.S. The golden rule of mortgage financing is - don’t make any big purchases between the pre-approval and getting the keys to your new home! 

FAQ: What should I look for in a real estate agent? 

A real estate agent plays an integral role in helping you buy or sell real estate, so it’s important to have someone you trust and who is working in your best interests. Check reviews and ask around; look for qualities like experience, market knowledge, communication skills, transparency, and reputation. 

Some examples of questions to ask are: How long have you been working as a real estate agent, and what is your experience in the local market? What services do you offer to buyers/sellers? How do you communicate with your clients? How do you handle negotiations? What is your marketing strategy for Sellers? What is your commission structure? 

FAQ: How can I make my property more attractive to potential Buyers? 

Making a good first impression to a potential Buyer is important. Enhance curb appeal by refreshing the exterior - this may include cutting the grass, cleaning the yard, washing the windows, or repainting the front door. Consider staging your home (you can stage it with your own furniture) - declutter, depersonalize, and rearrange furniture to create an open and inviting atmosphere. Make cost effective improvements - something as simple as repainting the home a neutral colour can make a huge difference to potential Buyers, other examples include minor touchups and repairs. Keep it clean and well-maintained, and create a warm and inviting atmosphere - make sure the home is show ready by keeping surfaces clear. Make sure lights are on and ensure there are no odours in the home. All of these things can help to make your property more attractive to potential Buyers. Contact me for a free copy of my Seller’s Guide, which includes a checklist for preparing your home. 

FAQ: What are the key steps to the home buying process? 

The key steps to Buying a home are getting pre-approved, finding a property you love, making an offer, completing due diligence before removing the conditions, then completing the sale and moving into your new home! It’s important to work with a realtor you can trust and guide you through the process while protecting your best interests. 

FAQ: What are the costs associated with buying or selling a property? 

For Buyers, the biggest costs associated with Buying a property are incurred during due diligence (home inspections, any other applicable inspections, appraisals, legal fees) and closing costs (property transfer tax, legal fees, and moving costs). Real estate fees are typically paid by the Seller, so this is not an additional cost to the Buyer.

For Sellers, the biggest costs are real estate fees and closing costs. Real estate fees (both for the Seller’s realtor and the Buyer’s realtor) are the Seller’s responsibility to pay. These fees vary so it’s important to ask your realtor what these are so you know what to expect. Closing costs can include legal fees, adjustments, and moving costs.

Typically, one can budget between 2-4% to either buy or sell a home. 

FAQ: What are the common conditions (also known as subjects) that are usually in offers? 

When making an offer, your realtor will recommend various conditions to include so you can complete due diligence on a home before committing to the purchase. The most common conditions are Financing and Home Inspections (for obvious reasons). Other conditions can include reviewing property document such a the property title, property disclosure statement, and property file. If the potential home is a condo, the offer would be conditional to reviewing the strata documents. The purpose of these conditions (or any other that may apply to your home purchase) is to ensure that you are making an informed decision. 

Buying or Selling a home is a complex process and there are many unique factors that go into each transaction. Getting preapproved is an important first step, but it’s equally as important to make sure you are working with a realtor you can trust! Your realtor will guide you through the process and make sure that your interests are protected and that you are making informed decisions. Contact me if you’re considering Buying or Selling!


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