TORONTO, Nov. 5, 2013 /CNW/ - For most people, buying or selling a home
is one of the most important and highest value purchases they will
make, and potentially the most challenging. November is Financial
Literacy Month, an opportunity for the Real Estate Council of Ontario
(RECO) to put consumers on alert for 10 major home buying and selling
mistakes that can lead to an unsatisfying experience or even serious
"RECO is responsible for protecting home buyers and sellers. We've seen
too many Ontarians encounter these pitfalls," says RECO's Registrar
Joseph Richer. "Being mindful of these 10 considerations can help the
buying and selling process go a lot smoother."
Here are the most common buying and selling hazards, and how to avoid
Allowing emotions to overtake common sense
When you fall in love with a property it can be hard to walk away. Know
your budget and don't overpay. Don't forgo a home inspection just to
win a bidding war.
Hiring the first salesperson you meet
Ontario has over 60,000 brokers and salespersons, with a broad range of
approaches to the buying and selling process. Meet with a few different
representatives before settling on one, and make sure you feel
comfortable with them and their approach to the process. Also be sure
to get references and contact them to learn about their experience with
Not making your expectations clear with your real estate professional
It's important that you and your representative have a mutual
understanding about what you're looking for, and what services the
brokerage will be responsible for. Make sure you talk to your broker or
salesperson about the services you expect them to provide, and get it
Failing to read and understand forms and contracts
It can be tempting to speed the process along by signing forms that you
haven't read. But taking the time to understand what you're signing can
avoid a lot of problems later on. For example, you don't want to find
out that you're on the hook for a six month listing agreement to sell
your home if you only want your house on the market for three months.
In addition, a holdover clause could mean that if you sell your
property during a specified period without the assistance of the broker
or salesperson, you would still owe them commission.
Make sure all the blanks on the form are filled in before you sign it,
and make sure you get a copy of whatever you sign.
Assuming everything is included
Don't assume that the furnace, dishwasher or other items are included
with the property. The seller may want to take the dishwasher with them
to their new home, and the furnace might be under a rental contract
that you'll be required to take over. Before making an offer, detail
all items, known as chattels, in writing. Your offer can also include a
clause stating that the seller will pay out any outstanding leases on
the home's major systems.
Forgetting about what's within the walls
Granite countertops and new hardwood floors are appealing, but the
insulation, wiring and plumbing are just as important when you're
evaluating a property. Ask your real estate representative to look into
the age of the home's systems and if there have been any upgrades. If
extensive renovations have been done, your real estate professional can
determine if the appropriate permits were issued.
Forgetting about what's outside the walls
When you buy a house you're also buying a place in a community. Some
places are lively, others are quiet. Some places are filled with kids
while others are not. Visit the neighbourhood at different times of the
day to see if it fits your lifestyle. Talk to the neighbours about the
community and the locations of various amenities like grocery stores
Not doing your research
If you're concerned about buying a home with a troubled past, a simple
Internet search for the address can go a long way. This is also
something you can ask the neighbours about.
Making verbal agreements
Verbal agreements aren't a problem, until they're a problem. Putting
everything in writing forces both parties to be clear about their
expectations and provides a record that can prevent disputes later on.
Underestimating closing costs
From land transfer taxes to title insurance to a home inspection, the
costs of a real estate transaction can add up quickly. Take the time to
include estimates and other expenses in the full cost of buying or
selling a property.
While all of these tips are essential, the most important advice is to
work with a registered real estate professional.
"Registered brokers and salespersons provide a great deal of knowledge
and expertise about the buying and selling process, along with specific
knowledge about neighbourhoods and local issues," says Richer. "They
can also provide crucial help in avoiding these hazards."
RECO's website offers a wealth of consumer-oriented information, including:
Reconnect: A newsletter that offers tips and news for home buyers and sellers.
Consumer Bulletins: Publications that address common questions received from consumers.
Complaints: Consumers are encouraged to submit a complaint if they have concerns
about a registered real estate professional. Complaint forms and
information about the process are available on RECO's website.
Registrant Search Feature: A tool that allows consumers to confirm whether they are dealing with
someone who is legally registered to trade in real estate in Ontario
and whether that person has been the subject of any discipline
RECO regulates the real estate profession in Ontario. RECO is
responsible for administering the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act,
2002 (REBBA 2002) and associated regulations on behalf of the
provincial government. In order to trade in real estate in Ontario,
brokers and salespersons must be registered under REBBA 2002. RECO's
mission is excellence in the delivery of regulatory services that
protect the public interest and enhance consumer confidence in the real
estate profession. For more information, visit www.reco.on.ca.
Image with caption: "Real Estate Council of Ontario. (CNW Group/Real Estate Council of Ontario)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20131105_C9902_PHOTO_EN_32917.jpg
SOURCE: Real Estate Council of Ontario
For further information:
Phone: 416 207-3108