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!

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

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!

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!

Everything There Is To Know About Condos in London Ontario

If you are thinking about buying a condo in London Ontario or area, do you feel you know everything there is to know about buying one?

Or, were you going to just wing it or have just any  Realtor drive you around and then you buy one? Sounds foolish, doesn’t it? Yet, what do most people do? Yes, you are right!

Condos in London Ontario

 How much would you save in money, stress or issues if you knew about the following?

  • Four Fears Most Condo Buyers Have & What To Do About It
  • Four Important Questions To Ask Your Mortgage Lender Before You Sign Anything.
  • I’m The One Buying The Condo Who Are All The Other People Who Get Involved And Why?
  • When I Go To Buy A Condo, How Can I Protect Myself? Before & After?
  • New or Resale, What You May Not Know.
  • Why You Shouldn’t Buy a Car or Furniture Right Before You Buy a Condo.
  • Five Strategies To Never Ever Overpay For a Condo.
  • Getting a Home Inspection For A Condo? Do I Need One?
  • How Credit Reports And Credit Scoring Affects How Much Condo You’ll Be Able To Buy
  • What Pricing Strategies Are Sellers & Their Realtor Using To Get You To Buy?
  • A Proven Way To Avoid Frustration When Looking For Condos in London Ontario & Area.
  • How Can I Remember Each Condo When I’ve Seen So Many?
  • Five Questions You Should Ask Your Realtor At Every Condo You Visit.
  • Six Things Most Builders Hope You NEVER Hear.
  • 8 Signs That Could Mean Expensive (hidden) Trouble
  • Avoid Being Beaten Out By Other Buyers Who Want The Same Condo As You Do.
  • A No Fail Guide To Finding A Mover That Won’t Take You To The Cleaners.
  • Ways You Can Save Thousands of Dollars In Interest And Pay Your Mortgage Off Years Sooner.
  • Why Just Any Lawyer Will Not Do
  • How Important Is a Status Certificate? Why Do I Need One? Who Pays For It?

As you can see, we do not leave any stone unturned when it comes to helping you BEFORE you buy a condo. You should see what we do when we help buy one!.

Why not sign up for our condo buyer insider scoop email subscription now, there is no cost, there is no obligation and the best part is, you will definitely save money and time.

3 Condo Buying Choices You Control in London Ontario

There are 3 condo buying  choices you have control over in London Ontario.

Get results, work with us when buying a condo

1. You’re looking to make one of the most important purchases of your life and you don’t want to get burned because of not knowing whom you can trust, or making a mistake that could cost you thousands of dollars later.

2.   You do not know the values in the marketplace and you want to be assured of getting the most that you can for your money, without having any regrets after your closing?

3. You’re feeling out of control because there are so many unanswered questions.  Making it hard to know where to start.

Is there an easier way to prepare before buying a condo in London Ontario? There is no easy way, but there are steps that if taken logically and followed, will help make your choices easier because you will be better informed than most condo buyers.
What would it be worth to you if you spent 32 Minutes Of Your Time Talking or Meeting With Me and You Learned:

  • Real facts about the market and not biased opinions?
  • The best neighbourhoods?
  • The best buildings?
  • The better property managers?
  • Condo fees and what they cover and the condo rules?
  • A 154 step by step condo buying system?

Let’s discuss your needs and concerns, it won’t cost you a penny and you are under no obligation what so ever!

You don’t buy a car without a test drive, why not give us a test drive!

London Ontario Condo Market, What Is It Like?

Every day I get asked these 4 questions about the London Ontario condo market.

  1. “What is the London Ontario condo market doing?”
  2. “When is the best time to buy or sell a condo?”
  3. “How much should I offer?”
  4. “What should I list it for?”

​  Questions  London Ontario Condo Market

The first step in answering any of the above 4 questions is knowing how the London condo market performed factually, not by guess work or perceptions. Most days I have a detailed list of actual sale prices, days on the market, selling price ratio to the asking price and price reductions.

You can too!

From my experience in helping educate Londoners about condos in London, these averages may not hold true for your building or complex.

Before buying a condo in London or selling a condo in London, you may want to get what I call “brutal truth factual numbers” about what prices are today and not an opinion where prices are heading or what someone received for their unit 6 months ago.

Price, condition, style and location dictates what a condo sells for and how long it will take to sell. For buyers, you will be assured of not over paying and for condo sellers, you will not leave money on the table or over price your condo because of blind optimism or false perceptions!

Works every time! Want some answers?

Great Tips Before Buying a Condo in London Ontario

 Before buying a condo in London Ontario, following these ideas, tips and real life experiences and then implementing them most likely will save you money, time, worry and allow you to sleep better!

Buying a condo in London & South West Ontario can be a roller coaster of emotions …. Finding the right one that fits your budget and lifestyle…. Securing a mortgage….. moving in. And, if you’re like most, this condo may be your largest investment. Emotions over such a large and personal purchase can often cloud common sense & unbridled enthusiasm.

condos

Many condo buyers do very little research before “diving in” and investing their hard-earned money. Oh, they may have been going to ‘open houses’, searching MLS or viewing realtor websites and that is usually all they do, but there is more that could be done before making an offer.

Below are a few ideas and with the help of the right real estate professional, (ask them these 11 questions first)you’ll make a good sound decision that you’ll be happy and proud of for years to come.

Inspect, Review and Double Check:

Get a home inspection by a professional home inspector who is thorough and can explain to you his or her findings. For apartment condos, you may or may not want to do the inspection yourself because the windows, doors, roof etc are covered by the condo corporation. Turn on all the appliances, the heat or A/C, all lights, flush the toilets and run all the taps in the house and check electrical switches and receptacles.

​  Have your lawyer review the Status Certificate which will cover  the by-laws and  fees, restrictions and the financial staus of the condo corporation.

Don’t take anything for granted… inspect everything!

    Imagine the unit vacant:

Your furnishings and decorations will be the ones filling this new residence. Don’t be swayed by beautiful furniture….it leaves with the owner.

    Income plus Lifestyle Equals Mortgage Payment:

  Sit down with us and honestly discuss your income level and living expenses. Take into account future considerations like: job security or transfer, life style, amenities or fix-ups.

View More Than One Building or Neighbourhood:

Go through at  least 4-6 properties. Don’t get excited on the first property you see, if you really like it, use it as a yard stick and if the others do not compare, act quickly.  With a patient Realtor, you’ll be able to view enough properties to get a good overall perspective of your market. And when you find the right property, all the leg work will be worth it.

  Utilize The Professionals You Are Working With: 

  By aligning yourself with the right real estate professional, you’ll have an entire group of professionals working for you. Top Realtors have lenders, inspectors, appraisers, lawyers, trades people, cleaners….an entire group of trained professionals making the whole buying experience simple and easy for you.

   More Checking to Do: 

 Check out all your costs and expense before you sign: condo fees, utilities, cable, taxes and insurance. Make sure all utilities are on (gas, electricity, and water) when you do see the unit,  so you can inspect everything is in working order, Ask lots of questions and be very detail conscious. (I use a detailed room by room review manual with every client, it covers everything)

   Do a Final Walk-Through Before Closing: 

 Visit the property 2-3 days with your Realtor  before you move in to make sure there are no surprises. Be absolutely sure the appliances, fixtures and any chattels are still there  as you had agreed upon when the offer was accepted. Many times, things are unintentionally overlooked that could have been spotted in a final walk-through. (This is a standard clause in my Agreement of Purchase and Sale)

  Plan for Flexibility if Needed: 

 Closing dates are not written in stone. Allow for contingencies and have a back-up plan. If you or the sellers need a little more time to conclude the final arrangements, don’t let these delays upset or frustrate you. These types of circumstances are not uncommon in a real estate transaction; however, with a great real estate professional and his/her teams, this will seldom occur.

  If it’s Not in Writing, It Doesn’t Exist: 

 All promises and discussions are to be in writing. Don’t make any assumptions or believe any assurances from any one. Even the best intentions can be misinterpreted. Have your real estate professional keep an ongoing log (in writing) of all discussions, and get the seller’s written approval for all agreements.

happy condo buyers

A few more ideas

Having Trouble Finding The Right Condo in London Ontario For You?

Would you like an  easy way to find all the  MLS condos or houses for sale in London Ontario & area?

Would you like answered these 3 very important questions before you buy?

  • What is the property worth in today’s market? (most important)
  • How flexible is the seller on the asking price? (very important)
  • What’s wrong with the property? (extremely important)

One Floor Condo Townhomes (Townhouses) in London Ontario

one floor condo in London Ontario

​And of course, if you want to see any property,  let me know the property you want to see, and I’ll work promptly & quickly to get a showing scheduled for you.

I have access to the lockbox of any property listed on the London & area MLS to let you in.

For a more precise search, such as by postal code or even draw your own map, go here.

 I have access to properties for sale that are not listed for sale on MLS (Property owners have asked us to help them sell, but there’s few days lag time before they are searchable on MLS or they are doing a few bits of tidying up)

London Ontario Real Estate Information