Hamilton Ontario Real Estate - FAQs

Buying A Home

For most people, their home is the largest asset they will ever purchase. So, it follows that when the time comes to negotiate the acquisition of that asset it is critically important that the sale is handled correctly. A mistake can result in tremendous frustration, cost thousands of dollars, result in expensive litigation or even all of the above. For that reason, once the decision to buy a home is made, it is important to enlist the services of a full service Realtor™ with the training, knowledge and experience to help you find the right home at the right price and to complete the transaction successfully with minimal risk, no hassle and the best potential for a return on your investment. Here are some tips to keep in mind when contemplating the purchase of a residential property or Hamilton Ontario Real Estate:

Why are you buying?

There are many reasons you may decide to buy a home:

  • a new job in a different location
  • upsizing to a larger home
  • empty nesters downsizing to a smaller home
  • first time buyers
  • as a pure investment
  • lifestyle change (i.e. condominium)
  • a change in the family or marital situation.

The main reason most people purchase a home is to provide shelter and comfort for themselves and their family. Perhaps the Ontario Real Estate Association's booklet "How to Buy Your Home?" says it best, "It's difficult to protect your family from falling snow with a stock certificate".

When is the best time to buy?

The short answer for when you should buy a home is when you are emotionally ready to deal with the challenges of finding and maintaining a home. Your full service Realtor™ can assist you in finding the right home within your price range and explaining the entire process from the first time to walk through a property, to the offer, any subsequent negotiations, full documentation and recommending experts who can assist you with legal matters, moving, renovations and many other services.

Some people believe they should look for a home when the market is traditionally the most active; in Ontario typically during the spring and fall. And while it is true that, barring unusual influences like an economic downturn, the residential real estate market is busiest in the spring and fall, there are other things to consider. When the market is busy, there are definitely more properties for sale to choose from, there are also more people looking for homes which means more competition for the nicest homes and the best deals. During the less active months there are fewer buyers out there, consequently less competition. Talk to your full service Realtor™ to determine the best time for you to search for and acquire the ideal property for you.

How much can you afford?

One of the first important steps to take before acquiring a home is to visit a mortgage professional seeking pre-approval for a mortgage. This serves two purposes. First, it will provide you with a realistic assessment of the largest mortgage you are likely to be approved for; and second, it gives a Seller the confidence that you have access to the necessary funds to complete a transaction. As a result, when you add the money you have saved for a down payment to the mortgage you are likely to receive, you know exactly how much you can afford to spend. In addition, your Realtor™ is in a stronger negotiating position with a Seller who knows the financial aspect of the transaction is already partially secured.

Gord Haines home buying service at no charge to the buyer**

  • I will establish your preferences and conduct an extensive search to identify potentially suitable properties for you to consider using sophisticated proprietary computer software that is not available to the general public..
  • I will arrange private appointments to view any and all properties that may be of interest to you.
  • I carefully examine properties on-site with you and I provide a preliminary opinion on their true condition.
  • I will provide a Comparative Market Analysis to assist in determining a fair price for any properties of interest.
  • There are no charges to you for my services. My fee is paid by the Seller when a transaction is completed.**
  • I can provide a repair and maintenance consultation and will refer you to expert trades people as necessary.
  • I will confirm property taxes with the municipality to ensure accuracy.
  • I will check the property's sales history, if any, (up to the previous 20 years) for your peace of mind.
  • I will confirm the property's registered title and legal description with the provincial land titles office.
  • For special services you require – access my Transaction Team→ lawyer, renovator, mover, home inspector etc.
  • I will confirm and then and advise you regarding any necessary or required disclosures related to the property.
  • I will prepare all documentation including special protective clauses to create a legally binding Agreement of Purchase and Sale and explain each clause and the entire sales process to you as we proceed.
  • I will co-ordinate your offer in the case of multiple offers and protect your rights during this complicated process as is required under the Real Estate Business Brokers Act 2001 and the regulations enforced by the Realtor's Association of Hamilton-Burlington.
  • I will negotiate the terms of the Agreement of Purchase and Sale on your behalf including:
    1. Price
    2. Deposit
    3. Closing Date
    4. Requisition Date
    5. Status Certificate(condos)
    6. Terms of Payment
    7. Home Inspection
    8. Insurance
    9. Special conditions
    10. Reps and Warranties
    11. Requests for SPIS
    12. WETT Certification (if necessary)
    13. Fire Code Compliance
    14. Well Water Certification
    I will explain each step of the negotiating process and each section in the documentation in order to provide you with the information you need to make sound business decisions.
  • I provide on-site supervision of home inspections and other inspections that may be required.
  • I will arrange and follow-up on all additional visits to the property right up to the moment of occupancy.
  • I will provide your lawyer with a copy of the Agreement of Purchase and Sale along with supporting documents needed to complete the transaction and arrange for registering the change in title.

**This is only applicable to homes listed with full service Realtors™ who are members of organized Real Estate

Selling A Home

For most people, their home is the largest asset they own. So, it follows that when the time comes to sell that asset it is critically important that the sale is handled correctly. A mistake can result in tremendous frustration, cost thousands of dollars, result in expensive litigation or even all of the above. For that reason, once the decision to sell is made, it is important to enlist the services of a full service Realtor with the training, knowledge and experience to help you find a buyer and complete the transaction successfully with minimal risk, no hassle and the best possible return on your investment. Here are some tips to keep in mind when contemplating the sale of a residential property or have a House for Sale in Hamilton Ontario:

Why are you selling?

There are many reasons you may decide to sell a home:

  • a new job in a different location
  • upsizing to a larger home
  • empty nesters downsizing to a smaller home
  • first time buyers
  • to cash out some equity
  • lifestyle change (i.e. condominium)
  • a change in the family or marital situation.

It's important that you fully understand the reasons you are selling and carefully examine your new goals and aspirations in order to make decisions that are right for you and your family.

When is the best time to sell?

The short answer to this question is when you are emotionally ready and sufficiently organized to deal with the challenges of a move. Your full service Realtor can assist you in preparing for a sale and for moving your household by explaining the process and by recommending experts who can assist you with legal matters, moving, renovations and many other services.

While some may not have the luxury of selecting a specific time of year to sell their home due to immediate job relocation or a variety of other factors, many people do have an opportunity to pick the season they feel is best to list their home. So, when should that be?
There are those who believe they should list their home when the market is traditionally the most active; in Ontario typically during the spring and fall. And while it is true that, barring unusual influences like an economic downturn, the residential real estate market is busiest in the spring and fall, there are other things to consider. When the market is busy, there are definitely more potential buyers that may want to purchase your home. However, there are also more people listing their homes for sale to take advantage of the seasonal increase in activity, resulting in more competition in the marketplace for your property. During the less active months there are fewer buyers out there, but there is also less competition. Talk to your full service Realtor to determine the best time for you to list your property.

Sell with a realtor or go it alone?

Would you consider selling your home without the assistance of a lawyer to search the title and register you with the provincial land titles registry as the new owner? Did you know that most lawyers in Ontario use the services of a professional Realtor™ when they buy or sell their own property? Lawyers provide a very specific set of skills and training during the course of a real estate transaction. These skills are quite different from the skills and expertise available from a full service Realtor™ throughout the sale and subsequent transaction. When was the last time you heard of a lawyer doing a personal walkthrough of a property, developing a marketing strategy, designing an advertisement or helping a potential buyer understand how your home will fit their lifestyle and needs. Remember, full service Realtors ™ don't get paid until an Agreement of Purchase and Sale has been completed. You pay an agreed upon commission regardless of how long the process takes or how much time and effort is required in completing all the negotiations and documentation. Others you might deal with in such a transaction charge for their time or services …some even require payment in advance and take no responsibility regarding a successful sale and closing.

If you are thinking about handling the sale of your home personally, consider these issues:

  • Do you really have the time and expertise to devote to a professional marketing and advertising campaign?
  • Are you available 24/7 and do you have the time and patience to deal with a flood of phone calls from potential buyers wanting to arrange appointments? It may take many showings to get the best possible price for your home? Remember, most potential buyers prefer to view a home without having the owners hovering over them. That's difficult to arrange without the assistance of a professional Realtor™.
  • How will you reach potential buyers? Do you have the knowledge and connections to get your message to the right potential buyers in a timely fashion?
  • Did you know that some Insurance companies will not provide title insurance for homes being sold privately by the owner?
  • Do you know how to screen potential buyers and how to do it without offending them?
  • Do you know the true market value of your home?
  • Are you an experienced sales person and negotiator?
  • Do you understand real estate law and all the clauses in the documentation? This is particularly important if you happen to be dealing with a professional on the other side of the transaction?
  • Do you have thick skin? Sometimes it's difficult to tolerate criticisms of your home from someone who is trying to negotiate the best possible purchase price.

Selling a home is complicated and it gets more complex every year with new laws and regulations. Large sums of money are involved in these transactions and they are governed by stringent legal requirements, take a substantial amount of time and effort and present the potential for costly even catastrophic errors. The depth of knowledge and experience that a Real Estate Broker like Gord Haines offers to you means you can breathe easier and focus your time and energy on the things you do best and enjoy most.

Here are just some of the reasons you should list your home with Gord Haines

  • I will provide a free Comparative Market Analysis to determine the best price range for listing your property.
  • There are no advance payments or charges.
  • There are no additional fees or charges from other real estate brokerages involved in the sale of your property.
  • I will provide free staging and maintenance consultation.
  • I will confirm property taxes with the municipality to ensure a smooth transaction.
  • I provide free mortgage verification and title check-up for a worry-free closing of the sale.
  • No risk / No fee Marketing (feature sheets, signage, open houses, MLXchange)…all at no additional charge.
  • No risk / No fee Advertising (newspaper, internet) ...all at no additional charge.
  • You have access to my trusted Transaction Team of professionals for any services you may require - lawyer, home renovations and repairs, mover, home inspector and many more.
  • I will consult and advise you regarding any necessary or required legal disclosures concerning your property.
  • I will prepare all legal documentation to list your property for sale.
  • I will carefully review, explain and advise you regarding all offers to purchase your property including special clauses and conditions that may be included by a purchaser's Realtor™ or attorney to ensure your rights are protected and that any potential Agreement of Purchase and Sale is fair and binding.
  • I will negotiate the terms of the Agreement of Purchase and Sale including:
    1. Price
    2. Deposit
    3. Closing Date
    4. Requisition Date
    5. Status Certificate(condos)
    6. Terms of Payment
    7. Home Inspection
    8. Insurance
    9. Special conditions
    10. Reps and Warranties
    11. Requests for SPIS
    12. WETT Certification (if necessary)
    13. Fire Code Compliance
    14. Well Water Certification(If necessary)
    I will explain each step of the negotiating process and each section in the documentation in order to provide you with the information you need to make sound business decisions.
  • I will organize all appointments and showings of your property to potential purchasers including appropriate follow-ups with potential buyers after the showing.
  • I provide on-site supervision of home inspections and other inspections that may be required by a purchaser.
  • I will co-ordinate possible multiple offers and protect your rights and interests.
  • I provide your lawyer with a copy of the Agreement of Purchase and Sale along with all the necessary supporting documents required to complete the transaction and change the title.