Learning about the home buying and selling process can save time, stress and money. One way consumers can protect themselves is to learn from the mistakes of others.
“We’ve seen too many people fall victim to easily avoidable hazards,” says Joseph Richer, registrar of the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO). “Being mindful of these issues can help the process go a lot smoother.”
RECO, which protects home buyers and sellers while enforcing rules and a code of ethics among estate professionals, shares the most common pitfalls along with tips on how to avoid them:
Hiring the first salesperson you meet
RECO encourages everyone to meet with a few different real estate representatives before settling on one. Ask for references to learn what their clients say and use the Real Estate Professional Search tool at the top of RECO’s website to check the status of their registration.
Failing to read and understand forms and contracts
Nobody likes reading the fine print, but taking the time to understand what is being signed means avoiding problems later on. Make sure you understand and are comfortable with the contract before signing, and get a copy of all signed documents.
Allowing emotions to overtake common sense
When you fall in love with a property, it can be hard to walk away. Stick to a budget and be aware of the risks of forgoing a home inspection for the chance to win a bidding war. Making an offer conditional on a home inspection is a smart decision because professionals may identify underlying problems with major systems.
Assuming everything is included
Don’t assume appliances or other items are included with the sale. The best way to protect against any surprises is to detail all the items (known as chattels) in the written offer.
Underestimating closing costs
The price paid is just one of many costs associated with the purchase of a home. Other related costs, such as land transfer taxes, title insurance and a home inspection, can add up.
More information at www.reco.on.ca.
Posted: Nov 1, 2015
– News Canada