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Real Estate Essentials
CHOOSING A REALTOR
By Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver
elling a house can be an exciting experience – and one of the largest financial transactions you’ll make in your lifetime. By educating yourself on the home selling process and seeking out the sound advice of a Realtor, you’ll save time, energy and money.
AS A SELLER, YOUR REALTOR WILL:
Ã Prepare a comparative market analysis and advise you on your home’s market value.
Ã List your house through the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), a database of properties for sale that all Realtors can access.
Ã Advertise your home, hold open houses and show your house.
Ã Advise you on offers you receive.
Ã Negotiate the sales contract on your behalf.
FINDING A REALTOR;
Ã Get referrals from your family or friends.
Ã Contact a local real estate office.
Ã Go to open houses in your area to meet some local Realtors.
Ã Check for sale signs in neighbourhoods to get names of local agents.
Ã Check the Yellow Pages in the phone book.
Ã Use the Find a Realtor tool to search for Realtors on www.realtylink.org
WHEN CHOOSING A REALTOR, LOOK FOR AN AGENT WHO:
Ã Understands economic trends and the market.
Ã Knows your local area.
Ã Listens attentively and instills confidence.
Ã Provides you with a written evaluation of your property.
Ready to buy?
MAKING AN OFFER TO PURCHASE
nce you have found the home you would like to purchase, you need to present the vendor with an Offer to Purchase, or an Agreement of Purchase and Sale. As your home is probably your biggest investment, it would be wise to work with your real estate agent and/or lawyer/notary in preparing your offer. Remember that the offer to purchase is a legal document and should be carefully prepared.
ANY OFFER OF AGREEMENT WILL TYPICALLY INCLUDE
Ã Your legal name, the name of the vendor and the legal civic address of the property.
Ã The purchase price offered.
Ã The chattels, such as window coverings, appliances, that will be included in the purchase price. Whatever items in or around the home that you think are included in the sale should be specifically stated in your offer.
Ã The amount of the deposit.
Ã The closing day – the day that the money and title get transferred, as well as when the adjustments are made ie:taxes.
Ã The possession day – the day that you are handed the keys, your insurance takes effect, and the house is yours to move into.
Ã A request for a current land survey of the property.
Ã Date and time when the offer becomes null and void.
Ã Any other conditions that go with the offer including a property inspection and approval of financing.
Ã The process of making an offer, receiving a counter-offer and then revising it again is not uncommon. The process can seem like a roller-coaster ride – exciting but stressful. It’s all part of making the deal work best for you and the vendor.
ONCE THE OFFER IS ACCEPTED:
fter all the conditions of the offer are fulfilled or dropped, it is time to start thinking ahead and making arrangements.
Ã Give notice to your landlord if you are renting.
Ã Start looking at moving options – hiring a professional or doing it yourself.
Ã Make necessary address changes (utilities, postoffice, services etc). See the “Moving into your new home” worksheet at the end for a more complete list of who to contact.
Ã Arrange for property insurance.
An offer will usually include a clause that allows the buyer to revisit the property a couple of times before closing (after all subjects are removed), so that they can 1) measure for window treatments 2)measure for special sized furniture 3)bring in a tradesperson for a renovation or remodeling estimate.
Arrange for these visits in advance to make sure your realtor is available.