As a professional and experienced realtor in the Niagara Region, I have been asked many questions about the home buying and selling process. In this article, I will answer ten common real estate questions that I often hear from my clients.
What's the first step of the home buying process?
The first step of the home buying process is to get financing. Before you start looking for a home, it's important to know how much you can afford to spend. You can get pre-approved for a mortgage by a lender, which will give you a good idea of how much you can borrow and what your monthly payments will be. This will help you narrow down your search and focus on homes that are within your budget. Contact me for a list of my trusted mortgage brokers.
Do I pay the agent who is helping me find a house?
As a buyer, you do not pay the agent who is helping you find a house. The commission is typically split between the buyer's agent and the seller's agent, and the buyer's agent is compensated by the proceeds from the sale. This means that there is no out-of-pocket cost for the buyer to hire a real estate agent to help them find a home. Find out more about the buying process here.
How much do I need for a down payment?
The amount you need for a down payment will depend on the purchase price of the home and the type of mortgage you are getting. In Canada, the minimum down payment required is 5% of the purchase price for homes up to $500,000. For homes between $500,000 and $1 million, the minimum down payment is 5% on the first $500,000 and 10% on the remaining balance. Homes over $1 million require a minimum down payment of 20%.
How does it work if I want to buy a house and sell mine at the same time?
If you want to buy a house and sell yours at the same time, there are a few factors to consider. One option is to make the purchase of your new home conditional on the sale of your current home. This means that if you are unable to sell your home within a certain timeframe, you can back out of the purchase agreement without penalty. Another option is to sell your home before you buy a new one, which will give you more financial stability and the ability to make a non-contingent offer on a new home. As your real estate agent, I can help you navigate these options and find a solution that works best for your situation.
Is there a best time of year to buy or sell a home?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best time to buy or sell a home will depend on a variety of factors, including market conditions, seasonality, and personal circumstances. In general, the spring and summer months are the busiest time of year for real estate, as families often want to move before the start of a new school year. However, this also means that there is more competition for homes during this time. The fall and winter months can be a good time to buy or sell a home, as there may be less competition and prices may be more negotiable.
What are closing costs and how much are they?
Closing costs are the expenses associated with the purchase or sale of a home that are paid at the closing of the transaction. These can include legal fees, land transfer taxes, appraisal fees, title insurance, and other expenses. The total amount of closing costs will vary depending on the purchase price of the home and other factors, but they can typically range from 1.5% to 4% of the purchase price.
How do I look for a home?
As your buying agent, I can help you look for a home by using my local knowledge and expertise to find properties that meet your criteria and preferences. I can also set up automated alerts so that you are notified as soon as a new listing that meets your criteria becomes available. In addition, I can help you narrow down your search by providing insight on neighbourhoods, school districts, and other amenities that may be important to you. Working with a real estate agent can help you save time and money by ensuring that you are only viewing homes that meet your needs and are within your budget.
How much do I pay a real estate agent to sell my house?
As a seller, you typically pay a commission to the real estate agent who sells your home. The typical rate for a real estate commission in Canada is 5% plus HST, which is split between the selling agent and the buying agent. This means that if you sell your home for $500,000, the total commission would be $25,000 plus HST, which would be split between the two agents. It's important to note that while the commission may seem like a significant expense, using a real estate agent can actually help you maximize the value of your home and get a higher return on your investment.
Why should I use a Realtor?
There are many reasons why you should use a real estate agent to buy or sell a home. First and foremost, a real estate agent has access to a wide range of resources and tools that can help you navigate the complex and often overwhelming process of buying or selling a home. They can provide expert advice on pricing, marketing, and negotiating, and can help you make informed decisions based on their knowledge of the local market. In addition, a real estate agent can help you save time and money by ensuring that you are only viewing or showing homes that meet your needs and are within your budget. Finally, a real estate agent can provide you with peace of mind by handling all of the paperwork and legal requirements associated with buying or selling a home.
What is my home worth?
The value of your home will depend on a variety of factors, including its location, size, condition, and features. As your real estate agent, I can provide you with a free comparative market analysis (CMA) that will give you a good idea of the current market value of your home. A CMA involves analyzing recent sales of similar homes in your area, as well as current listings and other market data, to determine an accurate and realistic value for your home. This information can help you make informed decisions about pricing and marketing your home to attract potential buyers. Book your free home evaluation here.
In conclusion, buying or selling a home can be a complex and challenging process, but working with a professional and experienced real estate agent can make it much easier and more successful. If you are considering buying or selling a home in the Niagara Region, I would be happy to answer any questions you may have and provide you with the expert guidance and support you need to achieve your real estate goals. Contact Jen Bedard Real Estate here!