Before Buying a London Ontario Condominium, Be Aware Of What You Are Signing

Before buying a condominium in London Ontario, be aware of what you are signing!

Signing buyer agency in London Ontario

 

Why is That?

Most real estate agents may want you to sign a Buyer Agency Agreement because without a written agreement; there are no guarantees the Realtor who finds you your new home will get paid.

Most agency agreements say, in effect, that the Realtor will help you find a place, and you agree not to work with other real estate agents during your search. That’s like someone asking you to get married, and you haven’t even had your first date yet!

Now, after reading this, hopefully, you will know enough to maybe go out with this Realtor on at least one date (viewing a few homes).  Still, you may feel uncomfortable signing a contract that obligates you to this Realtor until you buy or die.

How can you handle it?

In Ontario, licensing laws require that you acknowledge receipt of a copy of The Buyer Agency Agreement which explains what you are signing.  Who represents whom in the transaction?

It is imperative that you understand what it is that you sign, and  keep in mind, this form is from our licensing body RECO (Real Estate Council of Ontario), and there is a lot of language in there to ensure that when you buy a home, that Realtor will get paid, either by you or by the seller.

Also, keep in mind that you are free to negotiate a change to any of the boilerplate language if there are terms or conditions you can’t live with

working with a Realtor in London Ontario

Here are some of the major issues it will include:

  • How much does the broker charge and how is that paid?

In Ontario, the sellers usually pay the brokerage fees, and I’ve even heard Realtor’s telling people that their services to buyers are “free.”  Not quite.  If the listing company has negotiated a payment from the seller (called a “co-op” commission) to your Realtor of less than the amount of the fee he or she charges, the agreement may say that you must make up the difference.  In other words, if your contract calls for a 3% payment, and the co-op commission is only 2.5%, you may have to write a cheque for the difference at settlement.

  • Does the buyer broker charge an up-front contingency fee?  If so, how much is it?  Is it refundable under any circumstances?  Is it credited back to you at closing toward your down payment and closing costs?  An upfront fee is one way that a Realtor can help weed out real buyers from tire kickers, and it’s becoming more customary.
  • How long is the term of the agreement?  If you are not sure you want to enter into something long-term, and if the Realtor insists that you have to sign something, make it a week or so.  You can extend your contract at the end of that time – assuming the Realtor is doing a good job and you both want to continue the relationship.
  • What geographical area does it cover?
  • What type of property?
  • Is it possible for you to break up once you’ve signed on the dotted line?  If it turned out that you’ve made a mistake and didn’t want to work with that Realtor after all, how do you get out of it?  Most brokerages will let you out, but they don’t have to make it easy for you unless you have included language that lets you terminate.

Make every word count

When a good Realtor enters into a buyer-brokerage agreement with a new client, they know that they have to earn the trust and loyalty that the agency agreement represents.  But the deal has got to be more than a piece of paper.

 Some questions to ask

Condo Buying in London Ontario Is Like Fashion, Changes Occur Rapidly

Are you spending countless hours searching the MLS, real estate magazines, classified ads &  real estate websites looking for the right condominium at the right price in a good neighbourhood in London Ontario?

searching for a condo in London Ontario

Going to Open Houses?

Have you missed out a few properties because they already have an offer or were sold before you even knew about it being for sale?

You may be missing out on some excellent properties that sell in a day or two or one priced so aggressively that it sells as soon as it comes on the market or in a specific area?

Is all that searching working for you or is that you wish to avoid a pesky or bothersome real estate person (don’t blame you)?

Or, perhaps you are curious, or you are in the ‘just thinking stage’ of real estate. Possibly to purchase or sell.

Like fashion, real estate changes quickly, people change, neighbourhoods change, real estate markets change, and the motivation of buyers and sellers change.

So how do I, as a real estate professional & problem solver help?

We view a lot of houses and condos every week. We do loads of searches daily for clients; we are continually researching properties, even For Sale By Owners.

Search Lpndon Ontario Condos For Sale

 

We are out looking at properties every day, we know the jungle, the alleys, the streets, avenues, crescents, what a reasonable price is, what junk is and what the games are that some play.

You won’t have to jump off any cliffs, scale any mountains, wrestle a crocodile, put up with a pushy real estate salesperson, cross-eyed lawyers, impotent mortgage lenders, near-sighted home inspectors, just put up with us!

Small price to pay to get what you want!

  These folks did, and they are still with us!

London Ontario Condominium Buyers, Common Sense or Impulse?

Mark Twain wrote that humans have a lot of common sense because they don’t use it very much! I was looking at the daily home sales in London Ontario today and saw some houses & townhouses in London Ontario sold at 110% – 125% over the asking price!

Mark Twain

It seems to me that home buyers either act on impulse or self-discipline! Impulsive action is emotion (keeping up with the Jones’s or fear of loss) rather than common sense.

Acting impulsively has consequences, and for a buyer of London Ontario real estate, that could mean, when it comes time to sell, the market has not kept up with inflation, being house poor and in turn, having to become more frugal in the other areas of their life.

In the heat of negotiating, counter offers and multiple offers, most buyers act impulsively, even their sales representative.

 How I think a buyer should act.

Be prepared! First, know the facts, neighbourhood prices, your financial limitations and lifestyle and secondly, psychological preparation.

Facts are the easy part and make sure they are facts and not opinions. Mentally being prepared to walk away takes courage and good old common sense.

With common sense, you’ll have more cents!

All our clients have more cents! Here’s proof!

Mortgages Explained When Buying a Condo In London Ontario

 Mortgages Explained When Buying a Condo In London Ontario

When purchasing a real estate property, be it a condo apartment or a townhouse, unless paying cash, consumers typically finance all or a portion of the purchase price. Financing means borrowing money from a financial institution to buy, using the intended house or condominium as collateral for the loan.

getting a Mortgage London Ontario

Mortgage payments include the principal (the amount borrowed), and the interested (the amount charged for borrowing the money). Payments can be made once a month, bi-weekly, or weekly, depending on availability from the lender. A typical mortgage is for an amount that does not go over 75% of the appraised value of the property or the purchase price, whichever is lower. That means 25% of the purchase price is the down payment. However, with a high-ratio mortgage, you may pay less than 25% of the cost of the home as a down payment.

Home mortgages are available from several types of lenders: banks, mortgage companies, trust companies and credit unions. Different mortgage lenders may quote you different prices, so you should contact several lenders to make sure you’re getting the best price. You may also get a home loan through a mortgage broker. Brokers arrange financial transactions rather than lending money directly; in other words, they find a lender for you. A broker’s access to several lenders can mean a more comprehensive selection of loan products and terms from which you can choose.

Typically it takes a few days to receive approval for a mortgage. It is recommended to get pre-approval for before you start and go out looking at properties. When you put in your offer to buy, this is almost always on the condition of getting mortgage approval as this assures everyone involved that you can pay back the mortgage without defaulting.

Qualifying For A Mortgage

  The process involves submitting your financial paperwork to a potential lender and receiving approval for a pre-determined mortgage amount. The pre-approval agreement may also guarantee an interest rate for a mortgage taken out during the 60 to 90-day pre-approval term. The mortgage lender will inquire about such things as your marital status, some dependents, age, current employment (including how long you have worked there), salary, as well as other sources of income. They will ask for a list of your assets (i.e. vehicles, cash, etc.) and liabilities (i.e. credit card balances, car loans, etc.). Lenders also do a credit check to find out if you pay your bills on time.

 To qualify for a mortgage, the applicant’s gross annual income, credit history, and assets and liabilities (past or present) all impact the outcome. Here is a mortgage calculator to help you figure out the amount of mortgage you may get..

Types of Home Loans

 Types of Mortgages

Read More

When Buying a Condo in London Ontario, Are Buyers Still Overpaying?

Are buyers still overpaying when buying a condo in London Ontario? In 61% of the time, yes!

Overpaying for real estate in London Ontario over the past few months is happening quite often and I have heard the following from buyers and their Realtors.

do not overpay for a home in London Ontario

 

  • “There is nothing I can do about it”.
  • “That’s just the way the real estate market is right now.”
  • “It is what it is”
  • “Get with the times”

Really? So, you are just going to sit there and take it?

Learned helplessness is a condition in which  buyers adapt to a scarcity mindset,  with the fear of loss being huge and instant gratification a must & not thinking of the second and third consequences of overpaying for a home in London Ontario and feeling that there is nothing they can do about it.

That their offer and the acceptance of the offer is totally out of their control.

Yes, the real estate market in London Ontario is vibrant and as a home owner, that is quite positive, yet the consequences of overzealous buyers and their Realtor’s actions will have a negative long term  effect , as history has proven over and over and that the axiom “What goes up must come down”, holds true.

As a home buyer in London Ontario, you have choices and there are strategies you can take to ensure you do not over pay and get caught up in the frenzy.

Let me know if you do not want to overpay, I won’t let you!

Problem Solvers Or Just A London Ontario Realtor?

 People buy or sell a home in London Ontario for one reason and one reason only, to solve a problem! So when you want guidance from a London Ontario Realtor, you sure as heck do not want any more problems, do you?

  Our happy buyers & sellers

  • Tired of Renting? -Solve the problem by buying a house or a condo

  • House or condo too small?Too big? Solve the problem by buying something bigger or smaller

  • Too Expensive? Solve ……..
  • Relocating? Solve …….
  • Don’t like the neighbourhood? Solve ……
  • Divorced? Living Together? Getting Married? Solve ……
  • Fill in the blanks ___________________? Solve ………

I have been a Realtor for quite a few years and own a real estate brokerage and have learned that people do not hire us because we are just a Realtor who can help buy or sell a home, anybody can do that, that is what the average do.

People hire us because we solve problems, we identify them, take a focused view and solve the problem, end of story!

  Find a solution that works!

You don’t hire  a Realtor because you need a taxi driver,  or because they are pretty, ugly, skinny, fat, bald, young or old, you have a problem(which can be good or bad) and you want someone to listen and solve the problem quickly and save some money as well.

And, can back it up with proof, not talk!

Searching For London Ontario Condos To Get The Right One

As another way of helping past clients, they said that learning about how they went about searching for London Ontario condos, helped them make  wise decisions and a good financial choice.

Would it be of benefit to you to if you could get what I call ‘market education’, (to look at 3-4 properties that are similar to  what you are looking for,  not to make an offer or buy  on any of those 4, but to learn a little about the market?

take my car

Then, when you are ready, you will know what to expect and to better clarify your wants & needs.

As well, I will leave you with a 40 page in-depth buyer manual loaded with tips and ideas, from the just looking stage to the day you move in.

There is no obligation on your part, no signing anything, just an old fashion face to face meeting that again, past clients said really helped them.

Again, we see 3 or 4 places, the idea is not to buy these but to get to know what you can buy for your money.

Again, let’s go look at a few and keep your cheque book at home!!!!!

PS:

  • No signing anything
  • No blah blah blah stuff , such as ,”we’re #1, we sell gazillions of homes, 
  • No, “I’m a miracle worker and can find your dream home for 1/2 price
  • No begging ,” Please buy from me or they are going to take away my house, kids and Mercedes!
  • No  BS 
  • No coffee, tea or lunch (if you are not bringing your chequebook, I’m not buying either!)

There Are Two You’s Competing To Buy a London Ontario Condo

When a buyer goes shopping for a house or a London Ontario condo , there are actually two homes competing for their attention: the one that meets their needs, and the one that fulfills their wants.

looking to buy a house or a condo in London Ontario

In one of the greatest financial books ever written, ‘The Richest Man in Babylon’,George Clason writes that there are two kinds of study: the one kind being the things we learned and knew, and the other being the training that taught us how to find out what we did not know.

I read this book yearly to refresh and remind myself of some real simple financial basics, while very simple and easy to do, most Canadians do not follow, perhaps because it is too simple to make wise financial decisions.

It is like a person complaining of a sore belly, goes to their doctor and tells the physician that Dr. Google says it is blah blah blah! The kind physician ( the one not rolling their eyes or thinking “Oh no,here we go again) will ask questions, identify the cause or the remedy and treat the problem.

In real estate the same thing, wise, intelligent people listen to what their neighbour or co-worker says, read “how to save thousands when buying real estate’, or watch all those reality shows and then become experts in buying a house or a condo.

Home sellers and their real estate representative love you, because you are the one who overpays for a home (yet brag that you got a good deal, yadayadayaa) or find out that the home has structural issues or a neighbourhood stigma .

Getting back to The Richest Man in Babylon, letting ego take a break  and finding out what one does not know about buying or selling may be a good decision. In real estate we do not have a Dr. Google, but we have everyone who has ever bought or sold a home as experts on how to buy or sell one!

Do you think a professional Realtor may be a great asset for you? Do you need one or want one?

Searching For a Condo In London Ontario With No Luck?

Are you spending countless hours searching the MLS, real estate magazines, weekend classified ads and real estate websites looking for the ideal condo in London Ontario & area, be it an apartment in a high rise, a two storey townhouse or a detached town home , that is within your price range and in a good neighbourhood in London Ontario?

searching for a condo in London Ontario

Going to Open Houses? Going To Builder’s Models?

Have you missed out on some because they already have an offer or were sold before you even knew about it being for sale?

You may be missing out on some great condos that sell in a day or two or one that was priced so   agressively that it sells as soon as it comes on the market or in a specific area?

Is all that searching working for you  or is that you wish to avoid a pesky or bothersome real estate person (don’t blame you)?

Or, perhaps you are curious or you are in the ‘just thinking stage’ of real estate. Perhaps to purchase or sell.

Regardless, like fashion, real estate changes fast, people change, neighbourhoods change, real estate markets change and the motivation of buyers and sellers change.

So how do I, as a real estate professional, as a Broker of Record and Owner keep you, the curious, the maybe, the must have by the end of the month, the retiree, the downsizer, the upsizer, the DINK’s (double incomes,no kids), the tire kicker, deal maker, bread winner or just plain ready to move informed about real estate in London Ontario?

My asociates and I view a lot of houses and condos every week. We do loads of searches daily for clients, we are constantly researching properties, even For Sale By Owners.

we find houses in London Ontario

As professional house hunters in London we know the jungle, the alleys, the streets, avenues, crescents  and can guide you on the right path to ensure your purchase is wise & financially sensible.

You won’t have to jump off any cliffs, scale any mountains, wrestle a crocodile, put up with a pushy real estate salesperson, cross-eyed lawyers, impotent mortgage lenders, near sighted home inspectors, all you have to do is put up with us!

  These folks did and they are still with us!

Buying a London Ontario Condo, New or Resale?

Over the years, we have found that one of the most common questions we are asked is about the advantages and disadvantages of buying a London Ontario condo, new or old. The answer is that there is really no way to generalize; each case requires its own assessment!

buying a condo, new or old

 

A lot of specific research and fact finding should be done before you contemplate purchasing a newly constructed home. It is easy to assume that the home will be well constructed with quality materials and workmanship, but that is not always the case.

Our experience has given us the skills to know exactly what to look for in a new home, the right questions to ask and also, who to direct them to! Not only that, we can help you make the calculations that will be important to your final decision.

 

 

Who is protecting you when you buy through a sales office or a  model show house! The builder has either  a professional real estate representative watching out for their interests or their own salaried/commission sales person representing the builder  and you need and deserve the same expert representation watching out for your interests.

Lawyers are not allowed to represent both parties in a real estate transaction, why a builder?

Before you make that big decision on buying a home in London Ontario, why not get together with us & discuss the pros and cons and then decide how to next start the process & save you some money!