Questions about BUYING

Many factors can negatively impact home values, including the strength of the economy, act-of-God events, buyer demand, and job availability. However, your property’s actual worth may cause property values to depreciate by combining several internal factors. These internal factors may include a lack of property improvements, locational values, proximity to industrial and commercial uses, or the sudden introduction of power plants, quarries, or windmills in the area close to the property.

Many property buyers tend to focus primarily on the location and price of the property they select to purchase. Naturally, buyers also concentrate on the property’s state or condition, closely related to a home’s age. The most obvious advantage of buying a newer home is that its major components will not require replacement. Another benefit of purchasing a more modern home is that many of the home’s upgrades are on-trend. However, buying an older home may be as advantageous as buying a more contemporary home. Consider that many older homes tend to be located in well-established areas with mature trees, more oversized lots, and extensive landscaping. There are frequently great opportunities in less attractive older properties. 

Investing in Greater Toronto Area real estate, when executed prudently, can be very lucrative. For example, according to the Toronto Real Estate Board, condominium prices in the past five years have appreciated approximately 32%. In other words, if you had purchased a condominium property in 2015 for $350,000, you would have made over $122,000 (or $24,500 per year in equity). These high-yielding equity increases are a great reason to invest in real estate in one of the best markets in Ontario.

In addition to a down payment or the actual purchase price of a home, there are significant additional closing or transactional costs associated with purchasing real estate in Canada. Depending on the province you live in, these closing costs vary and add up to three to six percent of the purchase price. Many seasoned buyers and investors are keenly aware of these costs and factor them into their purchase price. However, many first-time buyers may not be fully aware of these transactional costs. In Ontario, these costs can include home inspections fees, legal fees, mortgage default, title insurance, moving costs, utilities and property taxes, condo fees (if purchasing a condominium unit), and other costs that apply to specific situations or properties.

The highest closing costs tend to be the land transfer tax. Land transfer fees can add between 1% and 2.5% of the property value. If you are a foreign buyer buying real estate in Ontario, specifically in the Greater Golden Horseshoe Region, you may be subject to the Non-resident Speculation Tax (aka NRST). In addition to the land transfer tax, buyers who are not citizens or permanent residents of Canada or foreign corporations (foreign entities) and taxable trustees will be subject to a further 15 percent tax.

Townhomes are a trendy type of residential property for homebuyers, especially for first-time homebuyers and investors, primarily because they are affordable alternatives to detached homes. There are two main types of townhouse ownership: freehold and condominium ownership. Freehold ownership gives the buyer exclusive rights to the land and on the interior and exterior. Alternatively, condominium ownership includes everything inside the townhouse unit, while the exterior is owned and maintained by a condominium corporation. The exterior regularly includes common spaces on the property, private roads, front and rear yards, and parking spaces.

Condominium townhomes tend to be less expensive than freehold townhomes. However, Condominium townhomes come with a monthly maintenance fee to help pay for the required maintenance to the unit’s exterior, including lawn care, upkeep of the common spaces, snow removal, and other amenities offered by the condominium complex.

It’s important to note that both types of ownership rights can have their advantages and disadvantages.

Realtors generally receive immediate access to the MLS (multiple listing service). While listings on the MLS are publicly searchable, there’s typically a 24 to 48-hour delay before the public can access the leases. During this delay, it is very likely the property has received multiple offers or has leased. The Linda Cordiano team can arrange viewings, prepare detailed offer documents, help with lease and credit applications, and will search through hundreds of listings to find the most suitable options in your chosen neighborhood and budget. Best of all, it is a free service to the tenant (the landlord pays the commission).

Questions about SELLING

Discovering the right asking price is key to maximizing your final sale price and selling your property in the quickest time. Unfortunately, many agents continue to over-inflate the asking price to win your business. We will methodically create a personalized comparative market analysis, which we will review in detail. We will also make suggestions to improve your property’s saleability and boost its value, comparing the cost of property improvements (both large and small scale upgrades) and leaving the property as-is.

Marketing is critical to a successful sale, driving higher demand, and leading to more buyers. In addition to discussing traditional marketing techniques, we will employ a blend of our proprietary online and offline marketing plan specific to your property. Our marketing plan will ensure that your property will be in front of as many buyers as possible.

The seller pays the full commission for listing services. Generally, buyers and seller’s brokerages split the commission on an agreed-upon percentage. Commissions cover a wide range of services, including essential staging, marketing, social media, multiple listing fees, print media and mail, photography, video tours, negotiating with buyers, transactional agreement forms, and guiding the home sale through closing. Our commission fees are negotiable, and we offer very competitive rates to fit any budget.

We continue to recommend that open houses be conducted by alternative digital methods during the current pandemic to avoid unnecessary health risks. However, suppose a seller insists on an in-person or broker/agent open house. In that case, we will implement best-practices as required and recommended by the government of Ontario and public health authorities. We will also implement local, optimum open house best-practices recommended by the Toronto Real Estate Board and the Real Estate Council of Ontario to protect the homeowner, consumers, and communities from contracting COVID-19.

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