Real Estate FAQ – what does it all mean?

Selling your home, or purchasing a new place, can be a bit of a confusing process, especially for first time buyers. Don’t worry because I’m here to help break down and explain what some of the complicated terms mean, to share tips, and to make the whole adventure run more smoothly for you.

What is Land Transfer Tax?

When you purchase a home in Ontario, it is the buyers sole responsibility to pay this land transfer tax; the sellers are not required to. Keep in mind, if you purchase a home in Toronto you will be required to pay Provincial and Municipal taxes; if you purchase anywhere else in Ontario, you only pay Provincial. First time buyers will also receive up to a $4000 rebate that they can use towards what they owe. Take a look at this helpful calculator that I came across and if you have any questions about how to use it, or interpret the information, get in touch – I’m always available to chat!

How much should I budget for closing costs if I’m a first time buyer?

Most first timers are unaware and underestimate how much they should put aside for closing costs. I would suggest that 2-3% of the purchase price of a resale home is the recommended range; this goes towards furniture, lawyer fees, moving costs, etc.

How long will my home take to sell?

This can depend on many factors such as: how your home is priced, what time of year it is, who you’ve chosen to work with, etc. All of these factors can affect how long your home is on the market. There isn’t an easy answer for this one, however, if you take the steps to fix up the exterior and interior of your home, showcase it well, and choose the right agent to work with, you may increase the chance that your home will sell quickly.

How should I price my home?

Check out my Free Home Evaluation tool to see what your home is worth & get in touch with me to help get the process started!

How can I potentially increase the amount of money my home sells for?

Boost curb appeal by sprucing up the exterior of your home with things like landscaping, new potted flowers, or a fresh coat of paint. Also, complete all of those projects that you’ve been putting aside; home buyers who are looking for a property that doesn’t require much or any work will appreciate this. Hire an inspector and/or wildlife specialist to thoroughly check out your home, even as a preventative measure. I hear about so many new home owners who move in and are faced with electrical issues or an infestation of critters. Typically, buyers will have an inspection done, but if you can showcase the fact that you’ve already taken this step, home buyers will take notice and be thankful for your proactivity.

What is a down payment and how much should I put down?

The definition of down payment is simply, an initial payment made when you purchase something, such as a home, on credit. In some cases, buyers will put down 5-25% towards the total value of a home. You would also need to meet with a bank or financial institution to get the remainder of the purchase price covered through what’s called a mortgage loan. Check out my post here for some tips on working with banks versus private lenders.

What is the best time of year to list my home?

Right now! If you are ready, now it always the time. Typically spring or early summer are the best times of year, as many buyers are out looking. So get in touch with me – I can help get you started and tell you my favourite months to list properties.

Should I buy or rent?

This really depends on your wants and needs, and where you are in your life at the moment. Both buying and renting can have benefits, you just need to review your lifestyle and see what is the best fit for you. As a buyer, you are responsible for any emergencies that come up at the home (new roof, furnace, flood, etc.) and the costs associated with taking care of the repair.  When you are a renter, you wouldn’t have to worry about this because your landlord would be responsible for taking care any repairs or emergencies. Home buyers have control over what they can do to the home – painting, renovations, adding a tenant or renter; those who are renting their home or condo have less to no control over these things. So again, you would just need to think about what will work best for you. I am a strong believer in real estate as a sound investment, so if you are financially read – buy, buy, buy!

How many homes do people usually look at before putting in an offer?

It really depends! I have worked with clients who have fallen in love with the first home they visit and end up buying it, and with some who have seen 10 homes and then found what they were looking for. You will know when you enter the perfect place for you and your family.

Hopefully this post helped you with some of those questions you might have been confused about; get in touch if you have any questions or want to get your journey to home ownership started!

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