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Home Valuation
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If you are in the market for your "Dream Home" then I would love to help. Simply fill out my Buyer Registration card and I will have suitable new listings emailed to you as soon as they come on the market.
12 Ways to WIN a Bidding War
With fewer sellers and high demand for housing, bidding wars are back as the spring market gets under way.  But for buyers these auctions are stressful and filled with dangers, not the least of which is that you may end up paying too much for a house and go on to regret.
Here are some things that can help you come out ahead:
1. Research the area to get the low down on the neighbours, schools, parks, demographics and crime rate.
2. Visit with your lender or mortgage broker in advance to get a clear understanding as to what you can afford to spend in order to buy a property, without having to dramatically change your standard of living.
3. You need to know the real market value of properties.  Many sellers deliberately list their property at 5 to 25 per cent below market value to bid it up.
4. Conduct a home inspection before submitting the offer, so you can make an offer without conditions. Sellers prefer this.
5. Do not participate in a faxed offer process. Always insist on attending with your agent in person.
6. Put in a deposit with your offer of at least 5 per cent of the price, to demonstrate your are serious.  Strongly recommend this deposit is a bank draft.
7. Bid later in the day and give the seller a shorter time to deal with it. That way they will not have the time to generate offers from other buyers.
8. Offer to close the deal faster.
9. Market yourself and your family.  Many sellers do care who will be living in their home and taking care of it after they leave.  Explain how you and your family will do this.
10. Know your limit and do not budge from it.  Do not get carried away.  It is better to walk away and try again on another property than to seriously overpay.
11. In some cases, sellers indicate they will not accept any offers for two to three days.  Bring your offer in early as the seller will usually want to see it anyway and this may give you an advantage.
12. If you are suspicious about whether there is a competing offer, consider inserting a clause that states that if the seller does not receive another offer, you will have the option to either cancel or revise yours.  You can also include a requirement that if the seller accepts your offer, they will provide the name of the competing real estate brokerage that submitted the other offer.  Buyers should consult their own real estate buyer agent or lawyer in preparing this clause to ensure complete protection.
It's a Private Matter
Protect Your Property When You Sell !!
Now more than ever, privacy is a top-of-mind concern for many - protect yours when selling your property by following these tips before opening your door for showings and open houses.

Assume buyers will be opening drawers.  While they shouldn't be peeking into dressers or nightstands, for example, the kind of drawers that stay with the home when it sells - those in counters or built-ins - are fair game.  Buyers will of course be inspecting countertops, cupboards, and closets too.

Making sure not to overlook the aforementioned areas, gather paperwork like bank and credit card statements, receipts, bills, mail, cheque books, pay stubs, etc.  In addition to risking identity theft, by making such documents easily accessible, you risk revealing information that could be used against you at the negotiating table - should a buyer spy a collection notice, divorce papers, or your Comparative Market Analysis, for example, you can bet the insight gleaned will be used as a bargaining tool.

Your electronic devices can reveal a lot of information about you too.  Turn off, password protect, and/or lock up y
our desktop computer, laptop, tablets, smartphones, external hard drives, SD cards, and USB drives as applicable.

Examine your walls, fridge, and shelves, as well.  A calendar or sticky note could indicate when you'll be away on vacation or out for an appointment; and a framed degree could tell buyers what you do for a living, giving them an idea of how much you make - all of which is information buyers don't need to know about you, and some of which is information that could be used as leverage during negotiations.
Don't be caught off guard by Closing Costs!
When buying a home it is very easy to lose sight of the cost of closing because we're all transfixed on that huge number ~ the mortgage.  Especially first time home buyers.

In addition to your down payment, here are some of the other costs that you will need to cover before you've even stepped  through the front door of your new home.

Home Inspection:  This isn't mandatory but it is highly recommended before signing the deal. The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) recommends making a home inspection a condition of your Offer to Purchase.  Home Inspections are +/-$450. 

Appraisal Fees:  Also not mandatory but it is one sure-fire way to ensure that you're not paying too much for the home you wish to buy.  Costs could range $200-$400.

Land Survey:  This is sometimes requested by the lender, a land survey is done to verify the property's boundaries, measurements and structures and identify any easements on your property.  Before paying for one, ask the seller to provide an updated survey, especially if there has been a new addition, deck or fence built close to the property line.  Cost for a survey could range $1000-$2000.

Land Transfer Tax: This one will knock your socks off! In Ontario, it's a multi-tiered calculation: 0.5% is charged on the first $55,000; 1% charged on $55,000 to $250,000, and 1.5% is charged on $250,000 to $400,000.

Harmonized Sales Tax (HST): In Ontario, it is 13% and is only paid on new homes (yes! not on resale homes).  BUT it makes it's way onto lawyer's fees, moving costs, home inspections, home staging and Realtor Commissions.

Title Insurance:  This protects you from any errors that may have been made in the public registry.  Cost is around $300.

Legal Fees:  Your lawyer will examine the terms of the offer, complete a title search, deed, registration and mortgage papers.  Expect to pay $1000 to $2500.

Moving Costs:  Even if you choose to do the move yourself, you will still have to cover the cost of a rental truck.  Around $60 per day + mileage and fuel.  If you decide to have the pro's do it, get a quote from a few reputable moving companies.  Cost will really vary but be prepared to pay about $3000.
Karen Lovelace
Karen Lovelace
iPro Realty Ltd., Brokerage (Independently owned and operated)
A5A-C - 55 Ontario ST SOUTH, Milton, ON L9T 2M3
Phone: 905-693-9575     
Fax: 905-636-7530     
Mobile:  905-599-3363     
Toll Free: 1-877-306-4776     
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