Mike Berthiaume Your Realtor in Windsor Essex

MAKING AN OFFER

NEGOTIATING HOME PRICES

BENEFITS OF HOME INSPECTION

MORTGAGE TYPES

MORTGAGE TERMS

FIRST TIME HOME BUYERS

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Buyers Frequently Asked Questions:



As a buyer, you have to make sure to know how the market works before you step in, or you risk missing out on the property of your dreams when you find it. Here are the core questions most buyers have. Feel free to send me one of your own.


  1. If I'm interested in a property, how can I determine if the list price is fair?
  2. How do I know what price to offer for a property?
  3. Do I need to have a home inspection done on every home I'm interested in?
  4. What happens to my deposit while I await closing?
  5. How do I go about finding open houses?
  6. Can I get a lockbox key from you and just visit a house myself?
  7. What is your referral policy?
  8. Should I buy first or sell first?
  9. Can you tell me more about bidding wars?
  10. Should I buy new or re-sale?
  11. When should I make my offer conditional?
  12. Do you know any mortgage brokers or financing specialists?
  13. How long should a closing take - how soon before I can move in?
  14. I saw a great house on MLS.ca but when I drove by, it was already sold!
  15. If I just want to get in to see some houses, why do I need a Buyer Representative?
  16. Is a Buyer Representative's service free to me?
  17. Do I need a real estate lawyer if the offer documents are pretty standard?
  18. How much do I have to put down on a property when making an offer?
  19. What are homes selling for on a certain street?
  20. Offers are being accepted by fax on a property I'm interested in. What does that mean, and how does that affect my chances of getting my dream home?
  21. What happens if I buy a house and the sellers don't deliver on their promises?
  22. Do I get a better deal if I buy a house being sold by the bank?
  23. What's a CVA?
  24. What is an SPIS?
  1. If I'm interested in a property, how can I determine if the list price is fair?

    I will look at the property's sales history and comparable recent sales to help assess true market value.

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  2. How do I know what price to offer for a property?

    Based on comparable recent sales and my extensive experience, as well as any other relevant factors such as competing offers, I will recommend an offer price that will protect your best interests and give you your best chance to get your dream property.

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  3. Do I need to have a home inspection done on every home I'm interested in?

    In some cases, the sellers might already have commissioned a recent home inspection by a reputable home inspector to save you the trouble! It is also possible to purchase a property conditional on a subsequent home inspection. I will help you determine on a case by case basis whether an inspection is recommended.

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  4. What happens to my deposit while I await closing?

    Your deposit is held in the listing brokerage's trust account until closing, when it is applied towards the purchase price of the property and related costs. If an interest bearing clause was part of your original offer, you may be entitled to the interest accrued on the deposit once the property has closed.

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  5. How do I go about finding open houses?

    Open Houses are listed on MLS.ca. As well the Windsor Star has a back page in Saturdays Homes Section (The Grid) which is dedicated to location of open houses.

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  6. Can I get a lockbox key and just visit a house myself?

    For the protection of all parties to a trade in real estate, you must be accompanied by your Buyer Representative when visiting a property (unless the seller is holding a public open house).

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  7. What is your referral policy?

    The majority of my business comes from friends, family members and happy clients who introduce me to their friends and work with us again and again. Of course we also meet new clients who've found us on this site!

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  8. Should I buy first or sell first?

    Each strategy has its advantages & disadvantages depending on your unique situation. Contact and I will be happy to help you craft a strategic plan that works best for you.

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  9. Can you tell me more about bidding wars?

    Bidding wars, known in our industry as multiple offers, occur when there is more than one offer on a property. I can often advise you in advance whether a property is likely to have multiple offers. If you're interested in putting in an offer, I will let you know of any competing offers so that we can adjust our offer strategy.

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  10. Should I buy new or re-sale?

    While I work primarily with residential re-sale properties we do occasionally assist our clients with purchasing newly constructed properties. When we meet we can discuss whether your needs are best served by re-sale or brand new properties!

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  11. When should I make my offer conditional?

    A condition inserted into the offer means that the contract will not be firm and binding until certain things are fulfilled or waived (i.e. you getting financing from the bank, or a home inspection) Conditional offers are considered weaker than firm offers, and may harm your chances of getting your dream property - I will discuss your best options with you.

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  12. Do you know any mortgage brokers or financing specialists?

    Yes! As referrals are the backbone of our business, we would be happy to refer you to several trusted colleagues in mortgage financing. Please contact me for this information.

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  13. How long should a closing take - how soon before I can move in?

    Most closings are from 30-60 days from the date of acceptance of the offer, however this can vary based on buyer & seller needs and other practical concerns. Our systems help ensure a smooth closing for you whether it's a leisurely wait to move in or a quick closing!

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  14. I saw a great house on Realtor.ca but when I drove by, it was already sold?

    Realtor.ca imports its information from the Windsor Essex County Real Estate Board, and there can be a time lag of up to 3 days. In addition, it often takes a brokerage a couple of days or more to report a property as sold, depending on administration. For the inside scoop on whether a property is really still on the market, please contact me.

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  15. If I just want to get in to see some houses, why do I need a Buyer Representative?

    A Buyer Representative does a lot more for you than just open up a house! In our consultative role, I listen carefully to your deepest needs & values so I will know how best to help you find the best property. I negotiate with your best interests in mind, acting as an intermediary between you and the seller & insulating you from costly mistakes. Finally I handle the (literally hundreds!) of transactional details so that you don't have to.

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  16. Is a Buyer Representative's service free to me?

    Yes! The Buyer Representative is typically compensated by the listing agent for the property once a purchase has been made, so we act on contingency when working for you. Occassionally a private sale may require you to pay a commission, however, even in most cases the private seller agrees to pay the commission.

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  17. Do I need a real estate lawyer if the offer documents are pretty standard?

    Yes. Though the Agreement of Purchase & Sale and related documents may be standard, and of course we will explain all of their ramifications, your lawyer will need to search title for the property to ensure it is free from encumbrances. They also provide many more important services. If you do not have a real estate lawyer please contact us so I can recommend one to you.

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  18. How much do I have to put down on a property when making an offer?

    Offer deposits can range from $1000 to up to 5% of the offer price, rounded up. The bigger the deposit, as well as a certified cheque or bank draft for this amount can make a great difference to sellers, especially in a multiple offer situation - you will be seen to be prepared, confident and serious about buying the property.

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  19. What are homes selling for on a certain street?

    Id be happy to send you information on recent sales on a particular street - to satisfy your curiousity, show you how your investment is doing, or as part of your buying or selling research! Just let us know the street and I will send you the most current data.

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  20. Offers are being accepted by fax on a property I'm interested in. What does that mean, and how does that affect my chances of getting my dream home?

    This is fairly common when making an offer - it most often means the sellers are out of town. To help increase your chances of getting the home, since the sellers will not get to meet us face to face, I will write a letter to the sellers introducing you and letting them know more about you!

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  21. What happens if I buy a house and the sellers don't deliver on their promises?

    Occasionally this happens...it's unfortunate. Our course of action depends on what they have failed to deliver on - for instance, if the house is not in broom swept condition we will contact the sellers' agent to ask them to rectify this. More serious issues often will involve your lawyer. I will advocate on your behalf to help ensure you are compensated!

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  22. Do I get a better deal if I buy a house being sold by the bank?

    Sometimes homes are listed as 'Power of sale', which means the mortgage holder has obtained the right to sell the home and retain the proceeds when a mortgage is in default. These homes are listed at fair market value, though there may be room to negotiate.

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  23. What's a CVA?

    A Current Value Assessment is what the Municipal Property Assessment has valued a property at for the purpose of calculating property tax. It may or may not be close to the actual market value of the property.

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  24. What is an SPIS?

    A Seller Property Information Statement is an optional form that sellers can fill out when listing their homes. The seller warrants as to certain information pertaining to their home, such as their knowledge of any structural problems, details on mechanical systems and upgrades etc. If you are interested in a specific property we can let you know if there is an SPIS available and send it to you.

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Other questions? We'll be glad to help. Contact Mike for the answers you need.