Standout Marketing Program

There is a  perception that there is NO difference between Agents and their marketing programs. Nothing could be farthest from the truth.

* I provide a complete “on paper” market evaluation of your home…You determine what the true market value should be.

* Cosmetic appeal is very important to the vast majority of buyers. I’ll advise you with a Room-By-Room review what inexpensive cosmetic improvements you should make to maximize your selling price.

* Full MLS exposure for your house or condo with up to 9 colour photos,a professionally written description and a virtual tour video.

* Expert negotiation of all offers.

* Handling of all home showings by the RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Ltd. Brokerage office.

* Showing feedback and a review of your pricing after the 17-21 day market test and your property has not sold.

* Lock-box security ( if applicable) for agent access.

* Custom full-colour feature sheets that include digital camera interior and exterior photos, neighbourhood features , floor plans and a cash-flow chart showing the buyer what his/her costs will be.

* Your own property webpage on our high-traffic website, www.TorontoRealEstate.ca. The webpage includes colour photos, a virtual tour video, an interactive google map , a floor plan, a property description, neighbourhood features and the feature sheet.

* A ” For Sale” sign ( if applicable) advertising www.TorontoRealEstate.ca 

* 9 colour pictures uploaded to www.Realtor.ca and www.Realtor.com

* The Re/Max brand is very strong. Your listing will be uploaded to all RE/MAX agent websites in the G.T.A. with immediate exposure to the best Agents in the industry . We attract buyers to your home through the internet. Your home is also featured on our award winning RE/MAX Hallmark site, www.TorontoHomesandCondos.com, our Canadian site, www.Remax.ca and our international site, www.Remax.com 

For a Seller consultation please call me at 416-520-6746 or email me, David@TorontoRealEstate.ca

A Record Number of Buyers and Sellers

TREB Marketwatch April 2010Greater Toronto Area Realtors reported 10,898 sales through MLS in April, representing a 35% increase compared to April 2009. There were also 20,683 new listings in April, a 59% annual increase. Both the sales and new listings results amounted to new records for the month of April under the current Toronto Real Estate Board boundaries.

“The GTA resale market is functioning properly. Sales were high as buyers continued to take advantage of affordable home ownership opportunities. Listings grew as home owners reacted to strong sales and price growth, ” said TREB President Tom LeBour. ” More balance market conditions will result is sustainable rates of annual price growth in the second half of 2010.”  
 
The average price for April transactions was $437,600, up 13% compared to the average of $385,641 recorded in April 2009.
 
“Home sales continue to be driven by many diferent segments of the market, with sales growth for all major home types in both the City of Toronto and surrounding 905 regions,” said Jason Mercer TREB’s Semior Manager of Market Analysis. ” Home sales will remain strong in the second half of 2010 but will slip from the current record pace as borrowing costs rise.”
 
Other notable statistics include the average days on the market in April at 21 days compared to 37 days in April 2009. The sales-to-listings ratio for April was 47% which indicates a strong seller’s market.

Please call me at 416-520-6746 or email me, David@TorontoRealEstate.ca

Frequently Asked Questions: Buyers

Should I have a plan in place before I begin the buying process?

Yes, this is very important. Every goal requires a plan. Buying a home is a very important decision and the preparation is crucial.. Your Sales Representative will help put together a systematic plan for you which will ultimately save you time and effort and minimize your level of stress throughout the process. Knowing how the process works ahead of time and what your needs are will provide a solid foundation going forward….and provide for a very enjoyable experience.

Should I speak to my lender about obtaining a full mortgage pre-approval prior to looking at homes to purchase?

Yes, this is a very necessary first step in the home buying process. Your pre-approval on paper is like a credit card with a spending limit. Your home search is based on your level of financing. Also, having your interest rate locked-in for 4 months protects you from interest rate increases. Being pre-approved also gives you strength in your negotiations with the Seller. Sellers typically do not want to entertain an offer on their property unless a Buyer has been fully pre-approved.

Should I use the full amount of financing the bank offers me?

It is very very important to prepare a personal budget as part of your initial preparation. Your mortgage pre-approval is based on your gross income. Your monthly expenses are paid from your net income. Therefore your personal budget is based on your net income. Know the amount of your net income left over at the end of the month that will be used for your fixed shelter costs ( principal , interest, heat, hydro, insurance, property tax, water/waste, condo fees)  . Your Sales Representative should prepare a cash-flow analyses for you . The analyses will show you what purchase price range will be ideal based on your personal budget.

What does it cost as a buyer to use a sales representative?

There is no cost for a Buyer under a Buyer Representation Agreement to use a Sales Representative. The Seller pays the commission which is typically 5% split between the Listing Agent and the Buyer Agent.

Can my Sales Representative give me information regarding properties from other Companies?

Yes, if that other company is a member of Multiple Listing Service (MLS) which most companies are. For Sale By Owner ( FSBO) properties are not listed on MLS so a Sales Representative likely would not be able to provide information regarding them. However, with a Buyer Representation Agreement your Sale Representative may be able to help you purchase a FSBO.

What if I find a property on my own?

You should contact your Sales Representative and not the property owner or the Listing Agent. Having the address or MLS number is very helpful and will assist your Sales Representative in gathering information about the property. The Listing Agent is working on behalf of the Seller and does not have your best interests in mind.

What type of information will my Sales Representative need from me?

A Sales Representative will need any type of information regarding the property you are looking for that is important to you. For example; type of house,  number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, garage size, price and location are common criteria. Other considerations include; the school district  and room sizes. Keep in mind that a search that is too specific may narrow your list of properties too much while one that is too broad may give you more properties to look at than you have time to go through.

Can I go to open houses without my Sales Representative?

Yes, it is a terrific way to research homes. However, you must inform the attending Sales Representative that you are already under a Buyer Representation Agreement.

How can I find out about new properties?

Your Sales Representative will enter your search criteria into the MLS system and you will be automatically emailed Realtor listings as soon as they come on the market or there is a price change. This is a terrific research tool.

What if I am unhappy and want to cancel my Buyer Representation Agreement?

Let the Sales Representative know why you are unhappy and see if you can work through the problems . If you cannot then the Sales Representative should accommodate your request.

Am I obliged to use the service providers that my Sales Representative recommends?

No, you can use whomever you would like. However, your Sales Representative is recommending for example a certain lawyer, lender or home inspector for a good reason;  because he or she knows how that particular service provider works . That is extremely valuable and helps to minimize any turbulence during the home buying process.

Can I use my RRSP’s to use as a down payment to purchase my home?

Yes, under the Federal Government’s Home Buyers Plan (HBP) you and your partner can each use up to $25,000 of your RRSP funds . Essentially you are loaning yourself the funds and the payback period is 15 years interest free using straight-line amortization. Certain criteria apply so be sure to check them out first.

What is the minimum down payment required to purchase a home?

If the home will be your principle residence the minimum down payment is 5%. If you are purchasing an investment property that you will not be living in the minimum down payment is 20% .

Is there such a thing as a 0% down payment?

Yes, this is known as a “cash-back” mortgage. As an example the bank will give you cash equal to 5% of the mortgage principal with a six-year fixed rate mortgage. The interest rate charged is the posted rate not the discounted rate. Certain restrictions apply.

What’s the difference between a chattel and a fixture?

Chattels are items of personal property in a home . Examples: fridge, stove, washer, dryer, window coverings. Fixtures are items that are attached to the property. Examples:  built-in shelving, broadloom and light fixtures. It is important to clarify on the agreement of purchase and sale which items are staying with the buyer and which items are going with the seller to save on costly misunderstandings.

What closing costs should I anticipate?

Outside of the cost of the home itself there will be closing costs due on your closing day. These costs may include: home inspection, termite inspection, appraisal fees,  HST on your CMHC insurance,  legal fees, provincial and city land transfer taxes, title insurance, survey, mortgage application fee, home insurance,  adjustments for property taxes, mortgage interest rate and maintenance fees if purchasing a condo.  Typically the closing costs can run anywhere from 1.5%-2.5% of the purchase price. Your Sales Representative should have prepared a closing cost spreadsheet for you in the initial buyer consultation.

Am I exempt from paying the Provincial or Toronto land transfer taxes?

If you have purchased a home anywhere in the world you are not exempt . If you are a first time buyer then you are exempt up to $400,000 of the purchase price in the City of Toronto and exempt up to $227,350 of the purchase price in the Province of Ontario.

Can I back out of an agreement of purchase and sale once it has been accepted by the seller?

The agreement once accepted is a binding contract. There is a risk of legal liability if you want to cancel the agreement.

What is the minimum deposit required?

Typically the minimum deposit required is 5% . A seller may refuse to accept your offer if a small deposit is proposed. The deposit will signify your interest in the property and a higher deposit shows the seller that you are taking the offer seriously . Your strong deposit can be used in your favour during negotiations. Typically the deposit is due 1 banking day after offer acceptance payable by a certified cheque or bank draft to the Listing Broker’s trust account.

What is mortgage insurance?

If your mortgage is “ high-ratio” ( exceeding 80% of the property’s value or less than 20% down payment) it must be insured by the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation ( CHMC) or Genworth Capital. The insurance protects the lender in case you default on your mortgage. The insurance premium is added to your mortgage principal and amortized over the life of the mortgage.

What are the typical conditions in any offer?

Once you have found that perfect home it is time to make an offer provided certain conditions are met. These may include:

a)      Financing-Even if you are pre-approved for a mortgage the property will require an appraisal to assure the lender that the price you are paying falls within accepted market value. The typical condition period is 5 banking days from offer acceptance.

b)      Home Inspection- This condition provides an opportunity to have the property inspected by a qualified home inspector who will look for any MAJOR defects in the home. It is not common to have a condo apartment inspected as the structure is covered by the condo corporation. Condo townhouses are usually inspected. The typical condition period is 5 banking days from offer acceptance.

c)      Condominium Status Certificate- This condition applies only to the purchase of a condominium. The status certificate is a financial snapshot of the condominium corporation. Your lawyer will review the documents to ensure the corporation is financially sound and meets all of the requirements under the Condominium Act. By law the property management company has up to 10 banking days to prepare the Status Certificate . The cost is a maximum of $100 and the Seller normally pays for this. Your lawyer will have 2 banking days to review the documents and provide an opinion.

What is the role of my lawyer?

Your Sales Representative will forward all documentation related to the purchase to your lawyer. Your lawyer will examine the status certificate in a condominium purchase.  Your lawyer’s job is to certify good and marketable title to the property free of encumbrances , liens and judgments. Your lawyer will also receive instructions from your lender and prepare the draft mortgage documents. The lender will release the funds to the lawyer once the documents are signed. Some lenders will hold back a certain amount from the advance on closing to start a property tax account. This insures property taxes are never in arrears. Your lawyer will prepare a statement of adjustments which itemizes the debits and credits from the balance to be paid on the closing  day.

Should my Sales Representative be overseeing my purchase from start to my closing day?

Absolutely! Under a Buyer Representation Agreement your Sales Representative will be looking after your best interests, protecting you and providing you with objective counsel and advise along the way. Your Sales Representative should also be keeping in touch with you after you have moved in to insure everything is going well.

Should I rent or should I buy? Does a Sales Representative have the magic answer?

This is something that only you can answer. Are you ready, willing and able to purchase a home? Most people are ready and able, it is the willingness that is holding them back. Your Sales Representative should be providing the correct facts about the local real estate market. The positives of buying certainly are many. To name a few positives: a place to call home , building wealth through equity growth, low financial volatility, a capital gain tax advantage,  government programs such as the Home Buyers Plan, a sense of community, pride of ownership . Remember, landlords are building their wealth renting out their real estate.

Please call me at 416-520-6746 or email me, David@TorontoRealEstate.ca

Patience, Patience, Patience

“My wife and I were excited to be buying our first home. However, we needed time and help to narrow down what type of home and what neighbourhoods were appropriate for us. David helped us through this process and was very patient and always available as we searched for our dream home. With David’s help we found exactly what we were looking for and moved in two weeks ago. We couldn’t be more thrilled. Thanks David. ”

-Simon M

 

Smooth and Quick

“Thanks to David I am all moved into my new place and with David’s help it went very smoothly and quite quickly. I found that he was very professional and kept me up to date with all the needed changes that I needed to know in order for me to get into my new home without any problems.

Thanks David for all your help I appreciate all your hard work. ”

-Neil J

It’s Never Too Much Trouble

“Having immigrated to Toronto just over a year ago, we decided that now was the right time to purchase our own place and were advised to use a buyer’s agent. We couldn’t have asked for anyone better than David.

We met David at his office for a Buyer Consultation. As first time buyers in a new country, the thought of buying your own place is a daunting one, but David went through everything with us and put our minds at ease.

David always fitted viewings around our schedule. He was friendly, informative and above all, always smiling. He was always available by either phone or email to answer any questions we had. He takes a real pride in his job and it was a pleasure to work with him, we look forward to doing so again in the future.

David was able to put us in contact with our mortgage lender, lawyer and a moving company. He also assisted in providing boxes for our move and even drove us from an appointment with our lawyer to the bank to sign our mortgage papers. Nothing was too much trouble for him and we greatly appreciate everything he did for us.

We wouldn’t hesitate in recommending David and the Toronto Real Estate team to everyone we know. ”

-Alison & Gareth

Making The Buying Process Easy

“After about a year of looking for a home on my own, I decided to take a Real Estate seminar hosted by the TorontoRealEstate Team. It was there that I met David. I was so impressed with the whole Team and the information that they provided at the seminar, that I emailed David right away to enlist him as my Buyer’s agent. Within weeks of enlisting with David I purchased a condo Townhome.

I loved the fact that David was working for me and that his goals were to find me a place I would feel comfortable living in at the best price possible. David, wasn’t pushy and didn’t try to get me to purchase something that was out of my budget.

When you enlist with David, you are getting his knowledge of Toronto, the Real Estate market, the economy and his extensive list of contacts in the field which made the process of purchasing easier than I expected. I was so impressed with David’s knowledge and mannerisms that I recommend him to my family, friends, co-workers and acquaintances.

Thank-you David for making the process of purchasing my new home easy! ”

-Leslie M

Toronto Land Transfer Tax Calculation

The preceding chart is based on the Toronto Land Transfer Tax levied by the City of Toronto, as of February 2008.

To calculate the total Toronto Land Transfer Tax payable for residential properties, add the following together:

0.5% on the first $55,000
plus 1.0% of the amount from $55,001 to $400,000
plus 2.0% of the amount in excess of $400,000

OR use the following table:

PURCHASE PRICE CALCULATION OF LTT
0 – 55,000 .005 x Amount
55,001 – 250,000 (.01 x Amount) minus 275
250,001 – 400,000 (.015 x Amount) minus 1525
400,000 + (.02 x Amount) minus 3525

If the purchase price falls within this range, then apply formula to purchase price (e.g. on a $175,000 home (.01 x 175,000) minus 275 = LTT)

Note: The residential Toronto Land Transfer Tax Rebate applies only to the first time buyer on the purchase of a new home or a re-sale home. 

For additional information please contact the City of Toronto at 416.338.0338

Provincial Land Transfer Tax Calculation

The preceding chart is based on the Provincial Land Transfer Tax levied by the province of Ontario, as of February 2008.

To calculate the total Land Transfer Tax payable for residential properties, add the following together:

0.5% on the first $55,000

Plus 1.0% of the amount from $55,001 to $250,000

Plus 1.5% of the amount in excess of $250,001 to $400,000

Plus 2.0% of the amount in excess of $400,000

OR use the following table:

PURCHASE PRICE CALCULATION OF LTT
0 – 55,000 .005 x Amount
55,001 – 250,000 (.01 x Amount) minus 275
250,001 – 400,000 (.015 x Amount) minus 1525
> 400,000 (.02 x Amount) minus 3525

If the purchase price falls within this range, then apply formula to purchase price (e.g. on a $175,000 home (.01 x 175,000) minus 275 = LTT)

Note: The residential Provincial Land Transfer Tax Rebate applies only to the first time buyer on the purchase of a new home.

For additional information please contact the Ontario Ministry of Finance at 905.433.6361

What Qualities Should People Look For in a Realtor?

If I was in the market to a buy a home today, I would look for the following:

1. How responsive is this Realtor in the initial contact?

2. Does this Realtor have the market knowledge, i.e.: number of listings on the market, number of homes pending, number of homes sold in the past three months, average days on the market, sales-to-listings ratio.

3. Does this Realtor seem comfortable, relaxed, and confident and has a pleasant demeanor?

4. Is this Realtor a full-time Realtor putting all of his/her time and energy into the profession?

5. Does this Realtor have the skills to properly represent my interests?

6. Does this Realtor ask questions about my likes, wants and needs? Does this Realtor listen to my answers?

7. Does this Realtor offer a no obligation detailed buyer consultation prior to working together which includes an overview of the home buying process, a cash-flow analyses and a closing cost analyses?

8. Does this Realtor offer free value added services prior to working together such as a no obligation tour of homes ?

9. Does this Realtor incorporate a personal budget analyses into the home buying process?

10. Does this Realtor offer suggestions based on the answers he/she receives?

11. Does this Realtor understand the economic principles and conditions affecting today’s marketplace?

12. Does the Realtor have a list of past clients as references that you can call?

13. How available will the Realtor be through telephone, text,  e-mail or in person to answer questions and concerns during the entire real estate process from start to finish?

14. Does the Realtor have a list of lenders, inspectors, lawyers, contractors, etc. that he/she can refer if needed?

15. Does the Realtor have the confidence and skills to do all the things necessary to negotiate the best price ?

16. Does this Realtor keep in touch after the sale has closed with a newsletter, market updates, CMA’s?

17. Does this Realtor work for a Brokerage that has a strong brand and market presence?

Once I have a comfortable feeling to the above questions then I know I have found the Realtor who I want to represent me in the buying, negotiating and ultimate closing of my home.

Please contact me  , David@TorontoRealEstate.ca or 416-520-6746.