Here are a few suggestions and terminologies you should know when selling or buying a home:
CMA - A competative market analysis on your current home is wise to better determine its current market value based on what has been selling in your area that can be compared to your home. ( size, age, extras etc.) The value is set by what has been sold - not what your neighbour listed their home for and it didn't sell!
MARKET REVIEW - Provide you with a complete list of all homes sold in your area within the past year - selling price and date sold, plus a list of all current listings.
Get a Copy of Your Current Land Title Document: - If you wish, I will pull your land title document from the Government web site so you can review its status. It's important to know if their are any liens or encumbrances on the title plus any other restrictions that may have been placed on the title that you were not aware. In cases of identity theft, the land title document may show actions taken against your title that you may not have even been aware of.
Many of my clients ask where they should go to get the best rate and terms for a mortgage. I always recommend TWO options:
- Talk to their current bank or credit union manager about a mortgage that they may need;
- Talk to a mortgage broker.
Mortgage brokers do NOT charge you a service fee for providing you a rate quotation. They shop around to a number of financial institutions for the best rate and terms for you and present you their findings. The broker I recommend is one who has worked with many of my clients over the past 4 years and my clients were very pleased with her performance and professional abilities.
Accredited member of ALBERTA MORTGAGE BROKERS ASSOCIATION and the REAL ESTATE COUNCIL OF ALBERTA (RECA)
What is the value of my home?
This is a very common question but in some cases it’s not the easiest to answer. The old adage “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” always applies at the end of the day, but potential property sellers have a couple of options open to them.
- Ask a couple of realtors to give you – the seller a “competitive market analysis” ( a CMA ). This involves looking at the potential sellers property, and comparing it with similar properties that have sold recently. ( preferably in the past six months) The comparable properties must have sold to be valid comparables. Then the selling price along with a comparative analysis of age, location, size, upgrades/extras, negatives, and positives is made and after adding the plusses and subtracting the minuses, a valid comparable price is established. Usually a minimum of 3 comparable properties is used to determine an estimated value to the property the seller wishes to sell.
- A second option is using the services of an accredited property appraiser. A property appraiser uses a similar approach to the methods used by realtors in developing their CMA, but also have the ability to add financial valuation components to their calculations. A certified appraisal is normally accepted by most financial institutions for financing purposes. In my experience, a thorough and well done CMA completed by a realtor will normally fall within 5% of a certified appraisal.
First Time Home Buyers
Why should I buy instead of rent?
A home is an investment. When you rent, you write your monthly check and that money is gone forever. But when you own your home, You pay down the mortgage and your home should increase in value a bit each year. It takes time, but evenutally - no mortgage and the home is all yours! In addition, the value of your home may go up over the years. Finally, you'll enjoy having something that's all yours - a home where your own personal style will tell the world who you are.
How much money will I have to come up with to buy a home?
Well, that depends on a number of factors, including the cost of the house and the type of mortgage you get. In general, you need to come up with enough money to cover three costs: earnest money - the deposit you make on the home when you submit your offer, to prove to the seller that you are serious about wanting to buy the house; the down payment, a percentage of the cost of the home that you must pay when you go to settlement; and closing costs, the costs associated with processing the paperwork to buy a house. When you make an offer on a home, your real estate broker will put your earnest money into an truse account. If the offer is accepted, your earnest money will be applied to the down payment or closing costs. If your offer is not accepted, your money will be returned to you. The more money you can put into your down payment, the lower your mortgage payments will be.
Selling Your House
How do I increase my home's value?
The list of ways to increase a home’s value often is endless and depends a great deal on how much you want to spend. A house that’s more than 50 or 70 years old likely will benefit from upgraded electrical and plumbing systems, a new roof (if the existing roof is deteriorating), etc. While those add value, they’re not alterations that are easily seen. To make more obvious changes that will increase your home’s value, think in terms of expanding rooms, adding rooms, updating bathrooms and kitchens. Paint – interior and exterior – is an easy, inexpensive way to increase a home’s value. Landscaping is another way to quickly improve the appearance and value of a home. Upgraded bathrooms that sparkle really help sell a home quickly! Of course, amenities appropriate for your area can help – finishing the basement for added living space, and adding a fence.