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Anyone need Real Estate Advice?

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[OP]
Member
User avatar
May 6, 2008
416 posts
6 upvotes
Toronto

Anyone need Real Estate Advice?

My name is Addy Saeed and I'm a Full time Real Estate Sales Representative with Re/max Active Realty Inc., Brokerage in Greater Toronto Area and come across a lot of information and usually run out of questions to answer on my blog.

This will help me post about topics that are relevant to your needs and help me build an information bank for my clients. Win Win!

Thank you for posting!

Table of Contents:

Page 1:

Builder Negotiations
Closing delayed by Builder
Private Sale vs. MLS
Purchased a property and wondering if I can back out of it!
MLS Listing Book

Page 2:

Should Buyer/Seller allow extensions in Contracts?
First Time Home Buyer inquiring about appreciations in a new construction project
Real Estate Market discussions
Do we have to accept an offer being made for the asking price?

Page 3:

What is a reasonable commission rate for selling and buying a property?
Commissions for Buyer Agents on New Construction

Page 4:

What commission should private sales be offering to Buyer Agents?
REALTOR and Home Seller's Responsibilities and differences in opinion?
Identification required for real estate transactions?

Page 5:

Should I upgrade my stair?
New FINTRAC Legislation
Optimum List Price
FINTRAC Blog Post

Page 6:

When can we list a new house we purchased for flipping?
What steps are required to purchase a FSBO?
Buyer Agent is asking for 2.5% commission for helping purchase?
Deposit monies for a FSBO? Is this a scam?

Page 7

Purchasing a Property with a Buyer Representative or Dual Agency?
What type of Return on Investment does an extra washroom bring?
What are the most common conditions included when purchasing a condo?
How are the disbursement calculated on a sale and paid?

Page 8

Can a buyer represent themselves in a transaction during multiple offers?
Does the listing agent need to disclose a relationship of a buyer agent and the buyer?
What sort of legal fees should one be paying to close a Power of Sale or Foreclosure property? Any lawyer referral for Brampton?
As a seller do you pay GST?
Can a owner keep a property on the market even thought it's been sold by the bank already?
Buyers' Clinic

Page 9

First time home buyers' incentive rebates?
When is a good time to buy real estate?
Process of purchasing real estate. Schedule of events as well as cost associate with purchasing real estate
Seller Property Information Statements
Will I be able to get my money back on renovations?

Page 10

Can a buyer walk away from a purchase if all conditions are fulfilled?
How are the first time buyers' incentive/land transfer rebate processed?

Page 11

Put an offer now or wait for the seller to drop the price?

Page 12

How bad is the market going to get before it gets better?
Thoughts about a mortgage product
Information about sample or practice exams for OREA
Can sold prices of properties be published publicly?

Page 13

Do fees such as Tarion Enrollment normally paid to lawyers?
Should I buy first or sell first?

Page 14

Buying land for severing.
Using a real estate agent to evaluate properties for divorce or separation
When are we expecting a big blow in the CDN RE Market?

Page 16

How to find items listed in the TOC
How to find a survey for your property
What would the impact of HST be on buyers?
Saving on Land Transfer tax if your partner isn't a first time buyer

Page 17

Repair home now or wait till ready to sell?
Cooling off period for new homes, Does it apply to new condos too?
I have two different home values from two different REALTOR. Why?

Page 18

Power of Sale Prices and listings
Addy Saeed - Real Estate Sales Representative
My Toronto Blog - Need Real Estate Advice? - Each brokerage independently owned and operated. Not Intended to solicit buyers and sellers under agency contracts
Additional Disclosures
836 replies
Sr. Member
Sep 3, 2007
606 posts
21 upvotes
Aurora
Thank you for offering help.

Myself and my wife have been working with a builder (production) to build a house for us (600k). We have been working with the sales person for 2 months now over this transaction. I believe we are the few homes which have not sold firm. We selected a floor plan and made several changes to the front elevation as well as the inside which required the builder to produce new drawings for the house. We then changed our minds and picked a different elevation and added more changes to the floor plan which required the builder to produce yet more new drawings for us.

At this point we were happy with everything and we signed off and took the offer to the lawyer. Our lawyer suggested that we should have had the builder put in rough-in wires for telephone, cable, internet, speakers, potlights etc for minimal charge (maybe 1/2k). He suggested to re-negotiate with the builder?

Question 1: Was this a good idea? Does the builder usually re-negotiates?

So we went back to the sales office and the sales guy (supposedly) run it by the manager and said 'no way'. At his point, my wife got upset and handed in a termination letter (7th May). So officially, we are no longer in the contract. Later at night I and my wife talked and realized that we really like the house and the builder (we live in a home build by the same builder). We like their customer service and we have had a pleasant experience so far. So no point in crying over some wires and in the big pictures, means nothing.

So I went back to the builder the next day (8th May) and sales guy was nice about the whole thing. I ask him to throw away the termination letter and accept my check and I will firm up the offer as of NOW. However, he did not agree to that. He wants another letter which says that we apologize for our action and to override the old offer. Or He has to re-write the offer and some changes like, closing date. Also, he want the first deposit check in form of certified check or bank draft.

What do you think? Our offer was conditional until May 8th. So I think the should have thrown the termination letter out and worked with us. Or do you think that he is in right and needs us to do all this letter and certified check stuff?

Much appreciate your opinion?
[OP]
Member
User avatar
May 6, 2008
416 posts
6 upvotes
Toronto
Hi Joe,

The matters you're facing are more legal than real estate. I'm not a lawyer and any advice if give you here can't be construed as legal advise as that is your lawyer's job.

Here's my opinion about your situation:

There's always room to negotiate as long as you haven't committed to something on paper. What i mean by that is, have your option viewed before having the paperwork completed. Once that is done, wait for the response from the other party. I see this in my practice where my clients would agree to certain terms and want to change it while we're negotiating. The best thing you can do is find a friend who is a good negotiator (REALTORS often do this on behalf of their clients with builders) and put him between yourself and the salesperson (much like he uses his manager) to distance your emotions from the table.

In regards to the termination notice, did they sign it as well? I know for a termination notice to be effective, it has to be executed/confirmed by both parties!

They DON'T have to come back to the table. Anytime you're submitting an offer to purchase, the seller has three options: He/She can accept it, can reject it, or can counter offer it.

It's standard practice to ask for certified funds when conducting a real estate transaction because builders and real estate brokerages don't want the hassle of NSF checks.

In terms of the paperwork, IF it is just the changes mentioned (Closing date), you should be able to adjust the original paperwork with making the correction and having both parties initial them.

The sales person asking for certified funds shows that they are still willing to negotiate with you.

What would Addy do:

I would have the paperwork corrected to how you'd like it to be (with wires) and present that offer with Certified Funds herewith to the builder. Let him know that you're serious and are willing to walk away from the deal on this issue. I would make sure that you're compensating the builder for the extra work they would have to do in your offer.

If they aren't willing to negotiate, revert back to your original offer and present the offer.

If they aren't willing to take that offer either, walk away from the table. Leave for three days and await the phone call or follow up at the third day.

Some possibilities:
There's another party interested in the property and they are negotiating with them.
They are just fed up with what you've put them through and don't want to deal with it :twisted:


Just use your best judgment when negotiating the deal. See if you can find someone to represent you in the negotiations as it will be very beneficial to you.

Best of luck! Again, I'm not a lawyer, best to have your lawyer review the paperwork details and confirm all the facts!

Cheers... :D
Addy Saeed - Real Estate Sales Representative
My Toronto Blog - Need Real Estate Advice? - Each brokerage independently owned and operated. Not Intended to solicit buyers and sellers under agency contracts
Additional Disclosures
Sr. Member
Sep 3, 2007
606 posts
21 upvotes
Aurora
Thank you for your opinion.

Based on your response, I think we are at the following stage:

"If they aren't willing to negotiate, revert back to your original offer and present the offer."

Basically they are not willing to re-negotiate with us at this point on anything. I don't think their is another buyer, I think (as you said) they are just fed up with us.

Since we love the area and have looked and new and re-sale homes in the area and don't like ANYTHING else, we are kind of stuck on this plan and builder and feel have no choice but to be at their mercy.

I just sent them the letter asking them to overlook the termination letter and am willing to give them the certified check and will to firm up the offer with no more conditions. I now have to wait until they get back to me.

Once again, thank you and I appreciate your input.
Newbie
Dec 30, 2007
90 posts
3 upvotes
Hi,

We've bought a new house that was orginally scheduled to close August 28th. The delayed closing date is October 23rd.

What are you predicting over the next year as far as real estate pricing and sales? With the economic uncertainity in the States and the recent layoffs at major places such as GM here we're thinking we may be better to list and sell now than to wait until August. We're in Whitby.

Any thoughts?
Sr. Member
Sep 3, 2007
606 posts
21 upvotes
Aurora
Tiggs wrote:
May 9th, 2008 11:00 am
Hi,

We've bought a new house that was orginally scheduled to close August 28th. The delayed closing date is October 23rd.

What are you predicting over the next year as far as real estate pricing and sales? With the economic uncertainity in the States and the recent layoffs at major places such as GM here we're thinking we may be better to list and sell now than to wait until August. We're in Whitby.

Any thoughts?
We were worried about the same thing as you, so we decided we were going to sale. Showings started on Sunday April 27th and sold on May 7th with multiple offers. I rather have my money now and know what I have/get.
[OP]
Member
User avatar
May 6, 2008
416 posts
6 upvotes
Toronto
Tiggs wrote:
May 9th, 2008 11:00 am
Hi,

We've bought a new house that was orginally scheduled to close August 28th. The delayed closing date is October 23rd.

What are you predicting over the next year as far as real estate pricing and sales? With the economic uncertainity in the States and the recent layoffs at major places such as GM here we're thinking we may be better to list and sell now than to wait until August. We're in Whitby.

Any thoughts?
This is a very good question and something that I've commented on in my blog too.

The answer depends on how you view different situations. If you see the glass as half full or half empty! I still see a lot of potential in the market with stats proving my point with resale prices still on the incline over the past months. YES, the number of transactions is lower but it's due to us comparing this year with a record year in 2007. Also, as you mentioned, the real estate bog down in the US has scared our buyers a bit in putting offers forth. Rest assured, it is STILL a SELLER MARKET where you properties selling with multiple offers.

I have a question for you! Let's say the market turns and we see a buyer's market. Do you know why people still won't buy if it's a buyer's market?

People who aren't going to buy, will always find a reason not to. The prices are too high, I'm looking for the market to go down, I'm not sure what's going to happen to the market!

If you're buying a house and planning on selling it in less than 2 years, this is not the time to buy! If you're looking to buy a house and live in it for more than 2 years, now is better than never!

There's a saying in our business, "The best time to buy real estate was five years ago, the second best time is now!"

Don't speculate, ACT! You'll come out ahead.

Hope that answered your questions. If you have a specific question regarding your particular neighborhood, PM me and we can discuss it further.
Addy Saeed - Real Estate Sales Representative
My Toronto Blog - Need Real Estate Advice? - Each brokerage independently owned and operated. Not Intended to solicit buyers and sellers under agency contracts
Additional Disclosures
[OP]
Member
User avatar
May 6, 2008
416 posts
6 upvotes
Toronto
PrinceMS wrote:
May 9th, 2008 11:21 am
How good is BYTHEOWNER.COM (for selling condos in Mississauga / GTA) as compared to MLS.ca?
Excellent question...

I guess the deep rooted question here is, "Do you see value in what a REALTOR can do to sell your home?"

The main difference between what MLS.ca has to offer versus any other Private Real Estate Sales website is Service that you receive. What are you trying to achieve when selling your home? Trying to find the right buyer for the property. To find the right buyer, you need to have maximum exposure. Here's a trend graph from Google Trends that shows the activity that takes place on different private sale websites vs. MLS.ca

Google Trend

Having said that, let's talk more about what you're question is.

Selling a Condo (I'm assuming an apartment not a townhouse) is hard as it is when listing it on MLS. There are a couple of factors that come into play when selling a Condo.

Common Elements: Even before the buyer gets to the condo, they have to be sold on the common elements. The front entrance, the buzzer, the lobby, the elevator, the stairs, the hallway and then it's time for the condo. I've seen it happen where my buyers won't even go to the Condo or will go to the condo just to show that they came but their decision is made as soon as they enter the front door. What this means for Sellers is longer time on the market.

Advertising: This is another issue when selling a Condo. Most condominium corporations won't allow you to place For Sale Signs in front of the building which means that you can't get the inquiries (which tabulates to about 15% of all inquiries) that come off the sign. Also, you can't hang any signs in your balcony to attract buyers either!

Open houses: They help when selling properties. Having an open house in a building is not only hard but is stressful enough to drive people mental. If you have security at the entrance, your potential buyers will have a hard time getting to the condo.

Now let's compare notes between any or all private sale website and MLS.ca.

REALTOR all share MLS.ca and send out notifications to their buyers if a new property matching their criteria comes up for sale. Private For Sale Websites do that as well but it depends on which site you use and how many buyers are registered.

REALTOR and Sellers will both have to rely on old school and highly technical marketing methods and make the contact point high impact.

Old school means that you will have to find your buyer through face to face conversation or through an integrated website that will make a positive impact and cause them to inquire further about the property. You (REALTOR and/or Private Sellers) will have to go knock doors in the building to see if anyone knows anyone that is looking to move there. This can also be done by flyers.

Highly technical would be to incorporate virtual tours, lots of pictures, including of common elements in the listings to ensure buyers that click on your property are intrigued and want to see the place in person. This also means that the property has to be staged very WELL and completely clutter free.

In a nut shell, they both represent their unique challenges. I won't recommend you to go one way or another but rather experiment. If you have time and can endure people calling you at odd times to setup appointments, try selling your home privately first before going with a REALTOR.

I have a program for private sales in which I share how I go about selling homes that are in tough situations as this and getting the maximum results for my clients. PM me and I can email you the report for your review.

I hope that answered your question!
Addy Saeed - Real Estate Sales Representative
My Toronto Blog - Need Real Estate Advice? - Each brokerage independently owned and operated. Not Intended to solicit buyers and sellers under agency contracts
Additional Disclosures
Deal Addict
User avatar
Dec 24, 2002
4005 posts
202 upvotes
PrinceMS wrote:
May 9th, 2008 11:21 am
How good is BYTHEOWNER.COM (for selling condos in Mississauga / GTA) as compared to MLS.ca?
If your building has lots of rentors in it - you are better off placing a for sale sign on the bulletin board you will find lots of interest that way without paying bytheowner fee's


I think bytheowner (and these are just my thoughts) is less successful on condo's because of restrictions many condo apartments have with the placing of sale signs


Ultimately the best tool to sell your house or condo is the MLS - however it is also in many cases the most expensive - ( i won't even get into whether you net more or less from an MLS sale)
http://www.heatware.com/eval.php?id=14378



I promise not to cut your taxes but I won't raise them either.
[OP]
Member
User avatar
May 6, 2008
416 posts
6 upvotes
Toronto
joejack wrote:
May 9th, 2008 9:24 am
Thank you for your opinion.

Based on your response, I think we are at the following stage:

"If they aren't willing to negotiate, revert back to your original offer and present the offer."

Basically they are not willing to re-negotiate with us at this point on anything. I don't think their is another buyer, I think (as you said) they are just fed up with us.

Since we love the area and have looked and new and re-sale homes in the area and don't like ANYTHING else, we are kind of stuck on this plan and builder and feel have no choice but to be at their mercy.

I just sent them the letter asking them to overlook the termination letter and am willing to give them the certified check and will to firm up the offer with no more conditions. I now have to wait until they get back to me.

Once again, thank you and I appreciate your input.
Joe, please let me know how this works out... I'm interested to see how the builder is going to respond...

Thanks...
Addy Saeed - Real Estate Sales Representative
My Toronto Blog - Need Real Estate Advice? - Each brokerage independently owned and operated. Not Intended to solicit buyers and sellers under agency contracts
Additional Disclosures
[OP]
Member
User avatar
May 6, 2008
416 posts
6 upvotes
Toronto
jupitermoon wrote:
May 13th, 2008 11:04 am
I signed an offer to purchase a vacant lot only to find out after that the lot can't be built on!

Can I back out of the deal and recover my deposit?

I felt like I might have just walked into a trap and now might be in a bit of troubles.

Story goes like this, I've been looking for a cottage or land to build on for a while, so when I saw this piece of waterfront land up for sale at what I thought was an incredible price, I got my agent to get in touch with the listing agent, and we were told there were already several offers on the table and we only had 2 days to submit our bid, and the seller will not accept any conditions on the offer. So I submitted an offer that's just a bit more than the asking price without much faith in it being accepted. Lone and behold, didin't take them long at all after the supposed cut-off time to call us back and congratulated us in being the winning bid, with one condition, they requested to move the irrevocable time up 24 hours, instead of expiring midnight the next day they wanted to change it to expire midnight that day. Not thinking much of this I agreed to it. It wasn't until after the following monday that I was able to go to the municipal planning office to find out the lot is on a flood plain and can not be built on.

Am I screwed? What can I do now? Can I still back out of the deal and recover my deposit?

Your help/advises will be much much appreciated!
Did you not inquire from anyone if the land can be build on? Due diligence is a mandatory requirement when conducting any deal especially custom build and land purchases.

You need to speak with a Lawyer and review your options. You could talk to the listing agent and see if they'd be willing to let you off the hook since they had other parties (multiple offers) interested in the piece of land. You may have to offer them an incentive to go that route but worth a shot.

Was your real estate agent the local expert? or someone you have in the city that you took to the rural area?

If I were your agent or you, I would pick a local expert who is experienced in Water front properties to help with the transactions. They would've had information like that available to them.

I'm speculating. Please keep us posted on what you're outcome is!
Addy Saeed - Real Estate Sales Representative
My Toronto Blog - Need Real Estate Advice? - Each brokerage independently owned and operated. Not Intended to solicit buyers and sellers under agency contracts
Additional Disclosures
Newbie
May 3, 2008
11 posts
ON
I remember years ago there was an MLS book with all the listings in it, I was wondering if it is still availalbe or are all the listings on MLS.ca now.
[OP]
Member
User avatar
May 6, 2008
416 posts
6 upvotes
Toronto
Sylph42 wrote:
May 13th, 2008 1:56 pm
I remember years ago there was an MLS book with all the listings in it, I was wondering if it is still availalbe or are all the listings on MLS.ca now.
There isn't a standard practice that I'm aware of for all listings to be logged in print. MLS is far easier and more accessible to the general public. The only exception would be if a brokerage opts to do so.

I have something similar in my office where I post all my listings on a board to showcase to my clients.
Addy Saeed - Real Estate Sales Representative
My Toronto Blog - Need Real Estate Advice? - Each brokerage independently owned and operated. Not Intended to solicit buyers and sellers under agency contracts
Additional Disclosures
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