When To Call In The Experts

Buying or selling a home is no simple business transaction. It can take a team of experts and professionals you can trust to achieve your goals and protect your interests.

The problem for many people is they don’t sell or buy homes often enough to have a stable of trusted sources to help them along the way.  Some of your team will be a lender (bank or mortgage broker), a lawyer (preferably one who specializes in real estate), a home inspector, a contractor (if the property needs updating) and your REALTOR®.  A lot of times your REALTOR® will already have built some amazing relationships with these professionals that will save you time in interviewing many people, and going through their references.

Selecting your team

Whether you’re selling or buying, the first individual to get on your team should be a REALTOR®. In Ontario, a REALTOR® is a licensed real estate professional who is a member of a local real estate board as well as the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA). This individual has successfully completed an intensive course of study and has skills, knowledge and experience that most buyers and sellers don’t have.  You do have the opportunity to interview more than one real estate sales representative or broker for the job of selling your home, helping your purchase a home or both.

Having a REALTOR® act on your behalf can have some amazing benefits.  Not only do most have a long list of allied resources to help you find other professionals to help you in the process, some are trained negotiators to help you during the transaction work towards a price that will get your home sold or help you purchase your new home.

The REALTOR® you select should be someone that treats you with the professionalism and respect required to build a relationship that will allow you to feel comfortable recommending them to your friends and family.  You will also want someone that understands your wants and needs, possibly to a point of knowing when a home is right for you before you do.  It is truly an amazing experience when you get that kind of understanding with a client.

One of the most important decisions you must make as a seller is deciding the asking price of your home. It is your home, and you do make the final decision on price.  Your REALTOR® will help you analyse your home and compare it with similar properties for sale or recently sold in your area. A REALTOR® will also develop a marketing plan for your home that may include open houses, a social media strategy, internet marketing and advertising, specific timing of listing and marketing it to other REALTORS®.

As well, a REALTOR® can provide you with tips on small improvements you can make to help your home “show” better to prospective buyers, although a professional stager is almost a must in today’s market of what shows best, wins.  A professional home stager will also be able to assist you in large improvements that will make your home more appealing to a larger number of people in some cases.

Few people buy a home for cash. Most usually combine savings with money borrowed from a lender through a financial arrangement called a mortgage. Your search for a lender should begin before searching for a home.  It’s great to think you know what you can afford to buy and live in.  It is another thing entirely what a lender will allow you to borrow.  It’s a must to know what you can spend, before you get your heart set on a home you may or may not be able to purchase.  A couple of great mortgage people to speak with are Carina DeMedeiros at BMO and Joseph Battaglia at Mortgage Intelligence.

If you are a buyer, you can help avoid a lot of expensive surprises by bringing in a home inspector as a condition of your offer to purchase. Think of a home inspection as a large information statement about the home you are hoping to purchase.  A home inspector will go through the property with you, inside and out.  They will cover the envelope of the property, and suggested maintenance items, and areas of concern.  They will do the same inside, covering electrical, plumbing, structure and cosmetics.  If they come up against something that is beyond their scope of work (pools, hot tubs, wood stoves/fireplace, etc) they will suggest getting in an expert for those items.  In London Ontario, a couple of great inspectors are Troy Simmers-Vanhevel at Pillar to Post and David Kelly at Valley Home Inspection Services.

Your lawyer will be a key piece of the puzzle.  Similar to REALTORS®, there are plenty of lawyers, and you will need one that will work in conjunction with everyone else on your team to get the best end result for you.  There are many different types of law, make sure you get a lawyer specializing in real estate to ensure all basis are covered.  You can contact Bassam Lazar at Lazar Law, David Lyons at Lerners or Wayne Goldstein at Siskinds.

If you would like to meet with or interview our team, we would love to hear from you at 519.663.9411.