Buying/Selling

Buying a Property

It’s a fact! Only 16% of consumers return to an agent they worked with previously. 98% of Geneviève’s transactions are with past clients and referrals. “Professional, informative, loyal and dedicated service to all my clients”Geneviève Caya

Our team is here to make things easier for you by providing information you need to make a wise home buying decision. I have outlined the steps that will guide you through the entire home buying process – from the moment you make the decision to buy your own home to the moment you turn the key in the front door. It couldn’t be easier!

Hire the Right People

Because purchasing a home is probably the biggest investment you will ever make, you will definitely want a team of professionals working with you throughout the process. No one will play a more important role in helping you find a home than your real estate agent. My job as your agent is too:

Help you find the ideal home.
Write an Offer (Agreement of Purchase and Sale).
Negotiate on your behalf to help you get the best possible deal.
Provide you with important information about the community, help you arrange and coordinate a home inspection and essentially save you time, trouble and money

Find a Home to Buy

Once you find out what you can afford and have been pre-qualified for a mortgage, you are ready to start your search. Finding the right home is not always an easy task. As your agent, I will create a profile outlining your desired price range, location and specific details like the number of bathrooms, bedrooms etc. Our internal MLS system updates in real time allowing us to capture all potential properties that meet your particular needs and automatically email them to you on a daily basis.

Negotiate the Offer

Once we have found the home, I will discuss with you some details pertaining to the history of the home, recent neighbourhood sales and give you my professional opinion as to what I feel the home is worth based on the current market conditions. I believe that the more we know about the home, the better we can negotiate. And the better we negotiate the more money you keep for yourself!

Getting a Mortgage

A pre-approved mortgage certificate is not a guarantee of being approved for the mortgage loan. Even if you have a pre-approved mortgage certificate, you must still meet your lender during the conditional offer period to get a final mortgage approval. To ensure that the process goes smoothly, your lender will require:

A copy of the property listing; and.
A copy of the signed Offer to Purchase.

Your lender will update/verify your financial information, and put together the information required to complete the mortgage application. Your lender may require an appraisal and/or a survey. Title insurance may also be required. Your lender will also inform you about the various types of mortgages, terms, interest rates, amortization periods and payment schedules available.

Hire a Certified Home Inspector

You should consider having any home you are thinking of buying — whether it is a resale home or a brand new home — inspected by a knowledgeable and professional inspector. An inspection by a home inspector is a visual inspection.

The home inspector’s role is to inform you about the property’s condition. The home inspector will tell you if something is not functioning properly, needs to be changed or is unsafe. You will also be informed of repairs that need to be made and maybe even where there may have been problems in the past.
Every inspection should include a visual assessment of at least the following:

Foundation.
Doors and windows.
Roof and exterior walls.
Attics.
Plumbing and electrical systems (where visible).
Heating and air conditioning systems.
Ceilings, walls and floors.
Insulation (where visible).
Ventilation.
Septic tanks, wells or sewer lines (if inspector is qualified).
Any other buildings such as a detached garage.
The lot, including drainage away from buildings, slopes and natural vegetation.
Overall opinion of structural integrity of the buildings.
Common areas (in the case of a condominium/strata or co-operative).

The Final Steps

Closing day is the day when you finally achieve your goal — you take legal possession and finally get to call the house your own. You are sure to feel great relief and satisfaction but remember that the home buying process isn’t over just yet. There are quite a few things that need to be done on closing day:

Your lender will provide the mortgage money to your lawyer/notary.
You must provide the balance of the purchase price to your lawyer/notary along with the closing costs.
Your lawyer/notary pays the seller, registers the home in your name and gives you the deed and the keys to your new home.

During the move, you’ll want to ensure that your belongings are insured. Your home or property insurance may cover goods in transit but call your broker or insurance company to be safe and to ask about the extent of coverage. Many moving companies offer additional insurance coverage. Be aware that professional movers are not responsible for items such as jewelry, currency or important papers. You will have to move these yourself.

On moving day, go through the house with the van supervisor and provide any special instructions. The supervisor will also make note of the condition of your goods on an inventory list. Go through the house with the supervisor to make sure the list is complete and accurate. Then, when the van arrives at your new home, mark off the items on the mover’s list as they are unloaded.
Saying goodbye to one home and neighbourhood and discovering a new one is very exciting, but also quite nerve racking too! We’re here to help you. We want you to breathe easily and enjoy your new home without having to worry so much.

Selling Your Property

Selling your home can be an intimidating task! We will guide you in how to prepare your home for the market, how to stage your house, which repairs are absolutely required and how to price your house competitively to sell in the shortest period of time. You home will be marketed properly to attract qualified buyers, maximize first impressions and attract multiple offers.

Pricing Your Property

The most important decision you will make with your Realtor® is determining the right asking price for your property.

Once you have achieved a realistic sale price, you can count on your property being professionally marketed and promoted to bring more buyers to your door. You can also expect to sell your home for the best possible price in the least amount of time.

The benefits of Pricing Right:

Your property sells faster, because it is exposed to more qualified buyers.
Your home does not lose “Marketability.”
The closer to market value, the higher the offers.
A well-priced property can generate competing offers.
Realtors will be enthusiastic about presenting your property to buyers.

Determining the Value of Your Home:

The market ultimately determines the true value of your property.

Before you compare your home to similar properties and establish a competitive list price, the following points should be considered:

Location.
Style.
Size.
Condition.
Community Amenities.
Buyer Supply.
Financing Options.

Getting to Know Your Market:

A comparative market analysis is an indicator of what today’s buyers are willing to pay for a home. It compares the market activity of homes similar to yours in your neighbourhood. Those that have recently sold represent what buyers are prepared to pay. The homes currently listed for sale represent the price sellers hope to obtain. And those listings that have expired were generally over priced or poorly marketed.

Understanding the Factors that Influence Overpricing:

Extensive renovations/hidden costs.
Desire to purchase in a higher-priced area.
Original cost of the home was too high.
Lack of real market information.
Building in “bargaining room.”
Perceived emotional value.
Financing Options.

The Result of Overpricing:

Many sellers believe that if they price their home high initially they can lower it later. Often, when a home is priced too high, it experiences little activity. Gradually, the price will come down to market value, but by that time its been for sale too long and some buyers will be wary and reject the property. On occasion, the price is dropped below market value because the seller runs out of time. The property sells for less than it’s worth.

Missing the Right Buyer:

You may think that interested buyers “can always make an offer”, but if the home is over-priced, potential buyers looking in a lower range will never see it.

Those who can afford a home at your asking price will soon recognize that they can get better value elsewhere.

The Importance of Early Activity:

As soon as a home comes on the market, there is a flurry of activity surrounding it. This is the crucial time when Realtor and potential buyers sit up and take notice.

If the home is overpriced, it doesn’t take long for interested parties to lose interest. By the time the price drops, a majority of buyers are lost.

Preparing to Show Your Home

First impressions are lasting impressions. You will want to make sure that buyers looking at your home are left with the best possible impression. When preparing your home to show keep the following in mind:

Exterior

House exterior in good repair.
House number easy to read.
Eaves troughs, down spouts and soffits in good repair.
Garage/ Carport clean and tidy.
Litter picked up.
Cracked or broken windowpanes replaced.
Lawns and hedges cut and trimmed, garden weeded and edged.
Walks shoveled and salted.
Boot tray inside front door.
Doorbell and door hardware in good repair.
Porch and foyer clean and tidy.

Interior

Chipped plaster and paint touched up and repaired.
Doors and cupboards properly closed.
Leaky taps and toilets repaired.
Burnt our light bulbs replaced.
Squeaky doors oiled.
Mirrors, fixtures and taps cleaned and polished.
Seals around tubs and basins in good repair.
Floors cleaned, garbage containers emptied.
Inside of closets and cupboards neat and tidy.
Appliances cleaned.
Counter tops neat and polished.
All lights turned on.
Air conditioner turned on (in warm weather).
Fresh air in house.
Fireplace lit/ furnace on (in cooler weather).
Halls and stairs cleaned.
Drapes opened during daylight.
Carpets freshly vacuumed.
Fresh flowers in various rooms.
Jewelry and valuables locked safely away or taken with you.
Valuable property (such as objects of art, vases and figurines) out of reach, out of sight or locked away.
Pets absent, where possible, or contained during the showing, and litter boxes are cleaned.

Agency Explained

In real estate, there are different possible forms of agency relationships:

1. Seller Representation

When a real estate brokerage represents a seller, it must do what is best for the seller of a property. A written contract, called a listing agreement, creates an agency relationship between the seller and the brokerage and establishes seller representation. It also explains services the brokerage will provide, establishes a fee arrangement for the Realtor®’s services and specifies what obligations a seller may have. A seller’s agent must tell the seller anything known about a buyer. For instance, if a seller’s agent knows a buyer is willing to offer more for a property, that information must be shared with the seller.
Confidences a seller shares with a seller’s agent must be kept confidential from potential buyers and others. Although confidential information about the seller cannot be discussed, a buyer working with a seller’s agent can expect fair and honest service from the seller’s agent and disclosure of pertinent information about the property.

2. Buyer Representation

A real estate brokerage representing a buyer must do what is best for the buyer. A written contract, called a buyer representation agreement, creates an agency relationship between the buyer and the brokerage, and established buyer representation. It also explains services the brokerage will provide, establishes a fee arrangement for the Realtor®’s services and specifies what obligations a buyer may have. Typically, buyers will be obliged to work exclusively with that brokerage for a period of time. Confidences a buyer shares with the buyer’s agent must be kept confidential. Although confidential information about the buyer cannot be disclosed, a seller working with a buyer’s agent can expect to be treated fairly and honestly.

3. Multiple Representation

Occasionally a real estate brokerage will represent both the buyer and the seller. The buyer and seller must consent to this arrangement in writing. Under this multiple representation arrangement, the brokerage must do what is best for both the buyer and the seller. Since the brokerage’s loyalty is divided between the buyer and the seller who have conflicting interests, it is absolutely essential that a multiple representation relationship be properly documented. Representation agreements specifically describe the rights and duties of everyone involved and any limitations to those rights and duties.

4. Customer Service

A real estate brokerage may provide services to buyers and sellers without creating buyer or sellers representation. This is called “customer service.” Under this arrangement, the brokerage can provide many valuable services in a fair and honest manner. This relationship can be set out in a buyer or seller customer service agreement. Real estate negotiations are often complex and a brokerage may be providing representation and/or customer service to more than one seller or buyer. The brokerage will disclose these relationships to each buyer and seller.

Who’s Working for You?

It is important that you understand who the Realtor® is working for. For example, both the seller and the buyer may have their own agent which means they each have a Realtor® who is representing them. Or, some buyers choose to contact the seller’s agent directly. Under this arrangement the Realtor® is representing the seller, and must do what is best for the seller, but may provide valuable customer service to the buyer. A Realtor® working with a buyer may even be a “sub-agent” of the seller. Under sub-agency, both the listing brokerage and the co-operating brokerage must do what is best for the seller even though the sub-agent may provide valuable customer services to the buyer. If the brokerage represents both the seller and the buyer, this is multiple representation.

Code of Ethics

Realtors® believe it is important that the people they work with understand their agency relationship. That’s why requirements and obligations for representation and customer service are included in a Code of Ethics which is administered by the Real Estate Council of Ontario

The Code requires Realtors® to disclose in writing the nature of the services they are providing, and encourages Realtors® to obtain written acknowledgement of that disclosure. The Code also requires Realtors® to submit written representation and customer service agreement to buyers and sellers.