As a buyer, you have to make sure to know how the market works before you step in, or you risk missing out on the property of your dreams when you find it. Here are the core questions most buyers have. Visit our Home Buying Guide for more answers or feel free to leave us your own question in the comments!
- If I'm interested in a property, how can I determine if the list price is fair?
- How do I know what price to offer for a property?
- Do you do short or long term rentals?
- Do I need to have a home inspection done on every home I'm interested in?
- What happens to my deposit while I await closing?
- How do I go about finding open houses?
- Can I get a lockbox code from you and just visit a house myself?
- What is your referral policy?
- Should I buy first or sell first?
- Can you tell me more about bidding wars?
- Should I buy new or re-sale?
- When should I make my offer conditional?
- Do you know any mortgage brokers or financing specialists?
- How long should a closing take - how soon before I can move in?
- I saw a great house on MLS.ca but when I drove by, it was already sold?
- If I just want to get in to see some houses, why do I need a Buyer Representative?
- Is a Buyer Representative's service free to me?
- Do I need a real estate lawyer if the offer documents are pretty standard?
- How much do I have to put down on a property when making an offer?
- What are homes selling for on a certain street?
- What happens if I buy a house and the sellers don't deliver on their promises?
- Do I get a better deal if I buy a house being sold by the bank?
- What's a CVA?
- What is an SPIS?
If I'm interested in a property, how can I determine if the list price is fair?
We will look at the property's sales history and comparable recent sales to help assess true market value.Back to top
How do I know what price to offer for a property?
Based on comparable recent sales and our extensive experience, as well as any other relevant factors such as competing offers, we will recommend an offer price that will protect your best interests and give you your best chance to get your dream property.Back to top
Do you do short or long term rentals?
The MLS system was primarily designed for sale properties as opposed to properties for lease - please contact us for a referral to an agent working specifically with rental properties, and for other great renters' resources!Back to top
Do I need to have a home inspection done on every home I'm interested in?
In some cases, the sellers might already have commissioned a recent home inspection by a reputable home inspector to save you the trouble! It is also possible to purchase a property conditional on a subsequent home inspection. We will help you determine on a case by case basis whether an inspection is recommended.Back to top
What happens to my deposit while I await closing?
Your deposit is held in the listing brokerage's trust account until closing when it is applied towards the purchase price of the property and related costs. If an interest-bearing clause was part of your original offer, you may be entitled to the interest accrued on the deposit once the property has closed.Back to top
How do I go about finding open houses?
If you are a client of The Julie Kinnear Team, we will send you a comprehensive list of all the open houses happening in Toronto's desirable neighbourhoods every single weekend! If you're just browsing, feel free to contact us for open house information on specific properties - or you can check out MSL.ca for their list.Back to top
Can I get a lockbox code from you and just visit a house myself?
For the protection of all parties to a trade in real estate, you must be accompanied by your Buyer Representative when visiting a property (unless the seller is holding a public open house).Back to top
What is your referral policy?
The majority of our business comes from friends, family members and happy clients who introduce us to their friends and work with us again and again. But of course, we also meet new clients who've found us on this site!Back to top
Should I buy first or sell first?
Each strategy has its advantages and disadvantages depending on your unique situation. Contact us and we will be happy to help you craft a strategic plan that works best for you.Back to top
Can you tell me more about bidding wars?
Bidding wars, known in our industry as multiple offers, occur when there is more than one offer on a property. We can often advise you in advance whether a property is likely to have multiple offers. If you're interested in putting in an offer, we will let you know of any competing offers so that we can adjust our offer strategy.Back to top
Should I buy new or re-sale?
While we work primarily with residential re-sale properties we do occasionally assist our clients with purchasing newly constructed properties. We can discuss whether your needs are best served by re-sale or brand new properties!Back to top
When should I make my offer conditional?
A condition inserted into the offer means that the contract will not be firm and binding until certain things are fulfilled or waived (i.e. you getting financing from the bank, or your lawyer reviewing status certificate documents in the case of a condo.) Conditional offers are considered weaker than firm offers, and may harm your chances of getting your dream property - we will discuss your best options with you.Back to top
Do you know any mortgage brokers or financing specialists?
Yes! As referrals are the backbone of our business, we would be happy to refer you to several trusted colleagues in mortgage financing. Please contact us for this information.Back to top
How long should a closing take - how soon before I can move in?
Most closings are from 30-60 days from the date of acceptance of the offer, however, this can vary based on buyer and seller needs and other practical concerns. Our systems help ensure a smooth closing for you whether it's a leisurely wait to move in or a quick closing!Back to top
I saw a great house on MLS.ca but when I drove by, it was already sold?
MLS.ca imports its information from the Toronto Real Estate Board, and there can be a time lag of up to 3 days. In addition, it often takes a brokerage a couple of days to report a property as sold, depending on administration. For the inside scoop on whether a property is really still on the market, please contact us.Back to top
If I just want to get in to see some houses, why do I need a Buyer Representative?
A Buyer Representative does a lot more for you than just open up a house! In our consultative role, we listen carefully to your deepest needs and values so we will know how best to help you find the best property. We negotiate with your best interests in mind, acting as an intermediary between you and the seller and insulating you from costly mistakes. Finally, we handle the (literally hundreds!) of transactional details so that you don't have to.Back to top
Is a Buyer Representative's service free to me?
Yes! The Buyer Representative is typically compensated by the listing agent for the property once a purchase has been made, so we act on contingency when working for you.Back to top
Do I need a real estate lawyer if the offer documents are pretty standard?
Yes. Though the Agreement of Purchase and Sale and related documents may be standard, and of course we will explain all of their ramifications, your lawyer will need to search title for the property to ensure it is free from encumbrances. They also provide many more important services. If you do not have a real estate lawyer please contact us so we can recommend one to you.Back to top
How much do I have to put down on a property when making an offer?
Offer deposits are generally 5% of the offer price, rounded up. Getting a certified cheque or bank draft for this amount can make a great difference to sellers, especially in a multiple offer situation - you will be seen to be prepared, confident and serious about buying the property.Back to top
What are homes selling for on a certain street?
We'd be happy to send you information on recent sales on a particular street - to satisfy your curiosity, show you how your investment is doing, or as part of your buying or selling research! Just let us know the street and we will send you the most current data.Back to top
What happens if I buy a house and the sellers don't deliver on their promises?
Occasionally this happens and it's unfortunate. Our course of action depends on what they have failed to deliver on - for instance, if the house is not in broom swept condition we will contact the sellers' agent to ask them to rectify this. More serious issues often will involve your lawyer. We will advocate on your behalf to help ensure you are compensated!Back to top
Do I get a better deal if I buy a house being sold by the bank?
Sometimes homes are listed as 'Power of sale', which means the mortgage holder has obtained the right to sell the home and retain the proceeds when a mortgage is in default. These homes are listed at fair market value, though there may be room to negotiate.Back to top
What's a CVA?
A Current Value Assessment is what the City has valued a property at for the purpose of calculating property tax. It may or may not be close to the actual market value of the property.Back to top
What is an SPIS?
A Seller Property Information Statement is an optional form that sellers can fill out when listing their homes. The seller warrants as to certain information pertaining to their home, such as their knowledge of any structural problems, details on mechanical systems and upgrades etc. If you are interested in a specific property we can let you know if there is an SPIS available and send you a copy of it.Back to top