Buyer Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I hire a REALTOR® to help find and purchase a home?
Buying a home can be an emotional and complex undertaking. It's a step-by-step procedure creating many questions, and involves a lot more than just 'looking' for a property. Hiring a professional REALTOR® at the outset helps prepare you for your future winning offer, alleviates considerable stress, and creates a smooth and easy transaction. He or she will orchestrate the entire process, and bring in other professionals you'll require along the way. The REALTOR® also utilizes their local MLS® System which accesses all the properties listed for sale with all the brokerages. By keying in your wants and needs into the system the REALTOR® can find homes meeting your specifications within minutes. That's certainly easier than looking through endless ads, calling on 'For Sale' signs, and viewing outdated properties on the Internet. There is rarely a cost to a Buyer for using a REALTOR'S® services. Please visit "Your MVP" to learn more.
Why should I choose "Lil Wilkinson Realty" to help purchase my home?
Please visit our "Buyer Benefits" page for excellent answers.
Why should I sign a Buyer agency agreement?
A Buyer should always know when a REALTOR® is working on their behalf and should stipulate the relationship by signing an agreement with that REALTOR®. A REALTOR® can then treat you like a client rather than just a customer. The REALTOR® can answer your questions, give you advice, inform you about the buying process, show you property, draft the offer tailored to your needs, protect your bargaining interest, negotiate on your behalf, and will not disclose any confidential information to other parties in the transaction. Signing an agency agreement is also a show of 'good faith' between the REALTOR® and the Buyer. The REALTOR® is investing their time and effort, and working on your behalf to help you purchase a property, and you are interacting solely with that REALTOR® for the term of the relationship, or until you make your purchase. Both parties will then know where they stand with each other. To learn more please visit our "Agency" page.
Why should I get pre-approved for a mortgage before I begin my property search?
Sometimes you may think you can afford something slightly out of reach, or conversely you can afford more than what you're looking at. By knowing your mortgage situation you are able to look at properties that meet your criteria financially. You will also be able to lock in an interest rate for a given period of time. If you delay in getting approved then interest rates may go up and that could affect how much you can afford. Getting pre-approved for a mortgage also helps the REALTOR® significantly when they are searching for properties to show you. It also helps the offer presentation. When a Seller has confidence you are able to meet your financing condition in the offer then he is able to make easier decisions about his property and its sale. You will also be confident you can afford the home.
How do I know I'm paying fair market value for my purchase?
A good REALTOR®, after discussing your wants and needs, will show you homes suiting your interests and your pocketbook. After seeing a number of homes you will be able to assess for yourself what you like and dislike, and also what is the better deal for the money. Once you decide on a home, the REALTOR® can provide a 'reverse analysis' through the data on the MLS® System to see what comparable properties have recently sold for in the marketplace. This may give you a more precise idea of what to offer the Seller.
Do properties under 'Power of Sale' necessarily sell for a bargain price?
No, they do not. The lending institution holding the mortgage to the property must make every concerted effort to get the highest and best price for the home based on the market conditions at the time. They must try to get enough money to pay the mortgage off. Anything over this amount will be given to the past Owner of the home. Anything under this amount the bank may likely sue the past Owner for, if possible. Lending institutions also do not warrant anything in the home and do not even guarantee a deed on closing. It may also be your responsibility to pay any outstanding liens on the home, if any, so you can obtain clear title.
What other professional advice or services do I require?
The number of extra services you require depends on the nature of your property. You will need a lawyer to close your deal regardless of the home you choose. If you're placing a mortgage then you'll need the assistance of a lending institution, and an insurance Broker to protect your investment from fire, flood, and theft. You could also consider a home inspection, a building contractor for any renovations, someone to check the well and septic, if applicable, an interior decorator, or a surveyor. The list may be lengthy depending on your situation.
What is Land Transfer Tax and how much does it cost?
Land Transfer Tax is a government tax applied when a property transfers from one Owner to another. The fee is based on the amount the property sells for. The higher the amount then the higher the tax. You will pay $5.00 per thousand dollars for the first $55,000 and then $10.00 per thousand for the difference up to $250,000. It then increases to $15.00 to $400,000, and then it's $20.00 per thousand afterwards.
For example: If you purchase a property for $430,000 then you will pay the following.
$5.00 x 55 ($55,000) = $275.00
$10.00 x 195 ($195,000 is the difference to $250,000) = $1950.00
$15.00 x 150 ($150,000 is the difference to $400,000) = $2250.00
$20.00 x 30 ($30,000 is the difference to $430,000) = $600.00
The total is $275.00 + $1950.00 + $2250.00 + $600.00 = $5075.00
What are disbursements and how much do they cost?
Disbursements are the property checks or requisitions your lawyer will do on your behalf, but you will pay for. These checks are required to obtain clear title to your next home and are not something you can waive or forgo. These checks may include; conformity to zoning by-laws, utility checks, sheriff reports, city reports, etc. Disbursements run from $600 - $800.
When is HST (Harmonized Sales Tax) applicable on my purchase?
You should always look at HST as being payable by you unless you're exempt from it. There is currently no HST payable on resale homes. There may be HST payable on vacant land, farms, commercial properties, etc. You should consult your lawyer as to how much this would be and the rebate you may be entitled to depending on your situation. New homes are currently subject to HST, meaning you would pay the tax over and above the purchase price. Some builders include the HST into their asking price. Make sure you verify this during negotiations.