Ask a REALTOR® for help establishing a price and for making your home look attractive without making you look desperate.
This is determined using two lending principals.
This lending principle simply states that your monthly housing cost should not exceed 32% of your gross monthly family income.
This lending principle summarizes that your monthly housing cost and payments on all of your other debts (including loans, credit card and lease payments) should not exceed 40% of your gross monthly income.
Our “What You Can Afford” calculator will help you estimate your maximum affordable mortgage payment of principal and interest. Just enter your monthly income and expense amounts, and the calculator will do the rest.
Once you have used the “What You Can Afford” calculator to estimate your maximum monthly total, you can compare this number to the mortgage payments for specific loan amounts.
Simply enter the loan amount in our mortgage calculator and the monthly principal and interest will be figured out for you.
Using this mortgage calculator, check the difference between borrowing $100 000 at 6% and at 9% at the same amortization.
That interest rate not only affects how much you pay, it also affects how much you can borrow. So keep searching for the best rate!
What about the down payment?
You want as small a mortgage as possible, which means making the biggest down payment you can afford. However, remember to set money aside for all the fees associated with buying a home. Not to mention moving, repairs, renovations, new furniture...think and plan ahead.
The First-time Home Buyers’ Plan
If you're a first-time homebuyer with an RRSP, you can withdraw up to $25,000 without paying any income tax. If your spouse is also eligible, that's $50,000. Ask your REALTOR® how to take advantage of this plan.
Should you lock into an interest rate? For how long?
It's a tough question because nobody knows the future. What if you “lock in” for five years and the rate goes into a period of decline? You could be stuck paying more than the going rate for a long time. But if rates steadily climb over the next five years, locking in now would be a great move. Your REALTOR® can provide great advice and work out these scenarios for consideration.
These dedicated individuals work hard to ensure your property investment is a solid one. They're an invaluable resource for knowledge, contacts and advice that help turn buying a property into your future home.
REALTOR® relationships fall primarily under two categories - agency relationships and non-agency relationships.
Single Agency – in this relationship, the REALTOR® represents you exclusively.
This means the REALTOR®'s primary obligation is to act only in your best interest. Anything you tell your REALTOR® agent is strictly confidential. The REALTOR® also has an obligation to disclose to you any information he or she has that is related to the transaction.
Dual agency - refers to the situation where the REALTOR® represents both the buyer and the seller as agent at the same time.
Both parties are required to sign a dual agency contract setting out the obligations of the REALTOR® to both parties, and obtaining the agreement to this type of representation from all involved.
It is possible for a REALTOR® to work with you without being your agent. In this case, the REALTOR® can give you information, but cannot provide you with advice.
In this scenario, nothing you say to a "non-agent" is confidential, so be careful about what you confide. As a buyer you will likely want your REALTOR® to act as your agent.
Remember, the REALTOR® Code requires REALTORS® to disclose the nature of the relationship they have with you, and the duties and obligations associated with that relationship. Make sure you have this discussion with your REALTOR®.
Use the local real estate Board's MLS® System
With the MLS® System, preview properties with the help of a REALTOR® to ensure you're only shown homes that meet your needs and budget.
The MLS® System can give you exclusive access to property opportunities that are not available to the public.
Stick with your REALTOR®
Scattering your time and energy amongst multiple REALTORS® will work against finding your best home.
Most REALTORS® have equal access to the same property listings, so there's no real advantage to having multiple REALTORS®.
When given time, your REALTOR® can become an expert on your specific needs and tastes, ensuring you see properties that are of real interest to you.
Canada's money laundering reporting requirements
Your REALTOR® will advise you of FINTRACT’s reporting requirements, the federal agency responsible for administering Canada's Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing legislation and regulations.
By federal law, your REALTOR® is required to complete a client identification form, and must ask you as a buyer for verified ID such as a driver's license or passport. Find out more on the FINTRAC web site at http://www.fintrac-canafe.gc.ca
See what’s out there
Now it's time to see what's available. This step can be fun or exhausting. But with an expert REALTOR® helping, you'll be able to sift through to your dream home much more effectively.
Save time and plan your real estate outings
Welcome to the wonders of www.REALTOR.ca
REALTORS® have access to house-hunting tools called MLS® Systems, operated by real estate boards across Canada. You can view publicly available information about MLS® listings at www.REALTOR.ca.
Most listings have multiple photos, and some even have 360-degree views. With the interactive mapping feature, it’s fast and easy to zero in on your favourite available homes.
A REALTOR® can help you stay on track with what you can afford.
While visiting a potential home is thrilling, don't be distracted from your real goal, finding a home that meets all your needs and fits your budget.
Bring this House Hunting Checklist to homes you're serious about buying. Good luck and happy hunting!
Home shopping can be daunting and complex. With a REALTOR® at your side, it’s easier to stay focused and on track. Remember, a REALTOR® works for you and must, by law, look after your best interests.
When you find the perfect property, it’s time to begin the process of making it yours. You have to make a successful offer, one that the seller will accept.
Your REALTOR® can prepare the offer for you. Here are some terms you'll see:
Your REALTOR® can help ensure no details are overlooked in your offer.
You’ve signed the paper work and your REALTOR® has submitted your offer to the seller. Two things can happen. The seller can either accept or reject your offer.
Rejected offers are common, and your REALTOR® can investigate why the offer was turned down.
The seller can also submit a counter-offer to you. This means they want to alter some part of your original offer – usually it’s the price and they will ask for a higher amount.
It’s now your turn to consider whether or not to accept the counter-offer.
When buying a home, scrutinize every last detail. Home inspections rarely cost more than a few hundred dollars, and can save you from unpleasant surprises and long-lasting regrets. Your REALTOR® can provide contact for reliable home inspection companies.
You may want to make a satisfactory home inspection part of your conditional purchase offer.
If the seller does not want to allow a home inspection, be very cautious about proceeding with your offer.
Work with a qualified home inspection professional. Ask for credentials or membership with a recognized professional organization.
Be part of the inspection. You may join the inspector as s/he goes through the property. If problems are detected, you’ll see them firsthand and get some maintenance advice from a pro.
Get the inspection report in writing. The inspector will prepare and deliver a summarized review of the property’s condition.
New homes should be inspected, too. A new house does not equal perfect, and construction quality can vary greatly. In some provinces, repairs in new homes may be covered by a government or industry-sponsored warranty program. Bad news doesn't necessarily mean it will cost you.
Buying a home can be overwhelming. Yet, with a REALTOR® at your side, it doesn't have to be daunting. Remember, a REALTOR®', works for you and must, by law, look after your best interests. So learn how REALTORS® can help you through this process.
Buying a home is a legal transaction. Therefore, it helps to have someone to translate the “legal lingo” and ensure your best interests are protected.
There are many experienced real estate lawyers available. Ask your REALTOR®, family, friends, and co-workers for recommendations. Be sure to find out how the potential lawyer structures his/her fees and ask for an estimate of the legal costs you can expect.
Buying and selling property requires many legal steps to transfer ownership from one person to another. Your lawyer is working to ensure your legal property transfer is a smooth one and avoids pitfalls like fraud, government legislation, zoning issues, and unpaid taxes.
S/he is your legal advisor so ask questions if you don’t understand something. Explaining legal jargon if a big part of their job
It will be exciting when your offer is accepted. However, you still have to close the deal. Your REALTOR® and lawyer will do most of the closing work, but here's the checklist.
Plan, prepare, and purge. Help make your moving day go smoothly by starting preparations and packing as soon as possible.
Your “closing date” is the day the property is officially transferred to you. However, it may not be wise to move in to the premises on this date. Schedule the actual move on a convenient day after the closing date. Professional movers and truck rental companies may give a discount for a mid-week or mid-month moves.
Go with an established, insured mover, so your items are protected and your possessions arrive safely and intact.
Start early and pack it yourself. Nobody will take the same care as you. Start early and work at it every day. Clearly label all your boxes by room so the movers know where you want them placed. Label anything that is fragile.
A new home is a chance to purge stuff you don’t need anymore. If you haven’t used it or worn it in the last year, you probably don’t need it. Have a garage sale or give those extra items to charity.
Once the boxes are mostly unpacked, and you’ve settled into your new home, you may have the urge to start renovating and making changes. Don’t rush. Take time to get used to your surroundings and work out a budget for updates
The terms "REALTOR," and "real estate agent" are not interchangeable. The term REALTOR is a registered certification that identities the quality of services rendered by licensed real estate agents who are members of The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). All real estate agents are not REALTORS, but all REALTOR members are real estate agents.
REALTOR members are committed to a strict code of ethics known as the REALTOR Code, and are the only ones who have the right to list your property on the MLS Systems of their local real estate boards. To correctly be referred to as a REALTOR, a real estate agent must be a member of CREA.
Here are 10 smart questions to ask.
1. How long have you been in the business?
2. What is your average list-to-sales-price ratio?
3. How will your marketing plan meet my needs?
4. Will you provide references?
5. What separates you from your competition?
6. May I review documents that I will be asked to sign?
7. Can you help me find other professionals?
8. How much do you charge?
9. What if I'm unhappy with the service?
10. What haven't I asked you that I need to know?
Remember, your REALTOR should be willing to answer any questions you have. After all, that's why you hire the pros.
Determining your mortgage amount is based on a simple calculation of loan amount, down payment, interest rate, and amortization period.
A rule when figuring your monthly housing cost is that it should not exceed 32% of your gross monthly family income or 40% of your gross monthly income. Visit our Mortgage Calculator, plug in a few numbers, and see what you end up with.
You're trusting a REALTOR with your most valuable possession, your home. REALTORS take this responsibility very seriously. Here's what we promise you.
Your realtor continually keeps pace with changing market requirements by taking courses to upgrade their real estate knowledge and provide clients with relevant advice.
A realtor must be registered under provincial laws that govern exactly how real estate can and cannot be traded. This ensures your realtor does everything by the book. These regulations are your legal guarantee of professional behavior.
Your realtor is an ethical business person who adheres to the extensive Code of Ethics of the Canadian Real Estate Association. Several provinces have additional codes governing real estate professionals. Your interests must always be put first.
Should you have concerns about the professional behaviour of a realtor, provincial regulator and your local real estate board or association take these matters seriously and work quickly to resolve issues.
Your realtor has access to a local board’s MSL system. This system is the most powerful tool for buying and selling your home. Your realtor can provide you with exclusive features of the MLS system such as new property notifications.
When you sign a "listing agreement" with your realtor, you are agreeing to the terms and conditions of the relationship with your Realtor.
Realtors know how to advertise to and attract potential buyers.
As an expert home promoter, s/he is connected to a network of agents and their buyers. Only your realtor can place ads for your home on the MLS system for others to see.
Realtors can increase the value of your home by pointing out areas you can quickly improve that will make it more attractive to buyers.
Realtors regularly study the housing market to stay current of what is happening and how to price your home for maximum return.
They keep track of the deals in progress and are great negotiators. When frustration sets in, Realtors are experts at smoothing things out.
People who try to sell their home without a realtor must be prepared. Otherwise, they could make costly mistakes like setting a price that is too low or too high.
When a price is too low, the seller loses money on the sale. When the price is too high, buyers will not be interested.
When an offer does come in, realtors are experts at negotiating and keeping the lines of communication clear and professional.