Signing a Buyer Contract


By Cindy-lou Schmidt

For first-time home buyers, or those who haven’t purchased a home in a while, the mention of a Buyer Agreement contract may make you wonder if it’s necessary. It’s not only necessary for great service, it’s also necessary part of the paperwork to buy a home with a Realtor.

In this video I’m discussing what the contract covers in general and what you can expect. I also talk about why signing the contract is an advantage for you!

There are some main points you’ll want to consider:

  • The contract is going to introduce you to the Relationship between you an your Realtor. You’re essentially agreeing that you’re choosing your agent to represent your BEST interest, provide fiduciary duty, and protect your confidentiality as their client. This is known as a Client relationship, the highest form of obligation. The other alternative is to be served in a Customer Service fashion which is more of a way to document the services provided to a buyer or seller and is provisioned with a restricted level of service while maintaining honesty, fairness and integrity.

My clients always choose “Client”. The other way to put this is that I choose to work with Clients and not Customers. It’s simply the most effective, advantageous way to buy a home.

  • You will discuss the term of the agreement ex. 6 months or 1 year
  • There is an understanding that your Realtor is representing the Brokerage and the Agreement is between you and the Brokerage your Realtor is working for.
  • It will outline what commissions are due. In most cases as a buyer, you are not going to be paying a fee to  your Realtor’s brokerage. For the most part, this fee is already decided between the Seller of the home you will purchase and their Listing Agent.
  • If you want to break up with your Realtor, it’s good to tell them why so they can have a chance to do a better job or at least improve their service in the future. If you don’t want to tell them why, then it’s a good idea to let them know you don’t want to work with them anymore before moving on.

Ultimately, having a Realtor to assist you in the buying process is more than just helping you with paperwork. There are a lot of details that happen behind the scenes and you’ll want to work with someone who does this as their full-time job. It’s important that your agent be familiar with the activity in a thriving real estate market like Waterloo-Region.

Watch the video for additional info not covered here!

Kindly,

 

Four things to check when hiring a renovation contractor


By Cindy-lou Schmidt

Summer is a popular time to for renovations but how can you help to make sure you hire a contractor that is reputable and won’t dissappear into the night?

There are no guarantees in life, but there are ways to address this issue. One popular way is to hire a well-known company that has been around for years, or a company with the biggest advertising.

But what if you’re looking for someone who you can have more of a personal relationship with, that fits your budget, and maybe you just like giving the small guy your business?

https://youtu.be/awq7N7CLZpw

I recommend the following four things to look into when hiring a contractor.

  1. References – ask for references from homeowners who have worked with the contractor (preferably within the last 3 months)
  2. Reviews – check for Google reviews and see if they have a website and and if it corroborates an idea of how long they have been in business. Now not everyone gets a website going right away or is on top of reviews so cut them some slack if the timeline doesn’t line up perfectly).
  3. WSIB- An owner who hires a contractor to perform construction work should obtain a WSIB Clearance Certificate unless the contractor is performing “exempt home renovation work”.  To contact WSIB with your questions and to confirm registration here
  4. GST registration number – Use the GST/HST Registry to confirm that the business charging you GST/HST is registered. This will help ensure that your claims for input tax credits only include GST/HST charged by someone who is registered for GST/HST. You can get more information here.

Finally, check or get a copy of their driver’s licence so all the information you look up matches and you have the correct information to cross-check!

Happy reno adventures!

Kindly,

 

New Bluetooth Lockboxes


By Cindy-lou Schmidt

As of July 3, 2018,  REALTORS®  with homes listed on the Kitchener-Waterloo Association of Realtors Board will be implementing a new lockbox program replacing the conventional mechanical lockboxes that have been commonly used throughout Ontario for over the past 30 years. The new devices feature state-of-the-art technology to ensure KWAR REALTORS® continue to provide the highest standard of professional services to our clients.

This new program is a partnership with SentiLock LLC who are owned by the National Association of REALTORS® and currently provide services to over 400,000 REALTORS® in North America, and over 30,000 REALTORS® in Canada.

The SentriLock lockbox is Bluetooth compatible to allow the REALTORS®’s smart-phone to become their key, eliminating the use of  static passcodes.

Features of the new lockboxes include:

  • Accurately records the time, date and specific authorized REALTOR® who opened the lockbox.
  • Touch ID and Facial Recognition to open Lockbox through the REALTORS®’s app.
  • Notify the listing brokerage in real time when a lockbox is opened.
  • Individual lockboxes can be programmed to only operate during the showing hours approved by the seller.
  • Lockboxes are assigned to the property, creating a detailed and accurate record of all showings.
  • Operate in severe weather.
  • Long-life batteries.

It’s an exciting new change in our industry and I am looking forward to implementing a higher level of security and professionalism with my clients.

Kindly,

 

How to have an effective final walk-through


By Cindy-lou Schmidt

Once you fall in love with a home and decide to buy, you’ll want to make sure that it’s in the same or similar condition once you take possession. Whether it’s a fixer-upper or an immaculate luxury home, the point is that, you’ll want to get what you bought.

That is why you’ll want to have an effective final walk-through. A final walk-through is an appointment that your agent will book within 24 hours of your closing day when you legally take possession of the home. The idea is to get the appointment as reasonably close to the time in which the responsibility for the home will shift from the seller to you.  Because once you take possession, that  burner that blew on the stove that you didn’t check is now your responsibility.

During the final walkthrough, you’ll want to be more purposeful that the previous in which you may have measured for furniture or show family and friends your new home. Why? Because the final walkthrough has a purpose!

The purpose of a final walkthrough is to go through the home and check to ensure that everything is working as it should. Fixtures such as toilets and faucet and drains should be checked to make sure they are operating correctly (no one wants a toilet that doesn’t work on moving day!)

You’ll also want to check for any apparent damage that has happened since the last time you were through with your agent. For example, while we can expect some minor scratches and bumps during the process of moving and normal wear and tear from the seller living in the home, there are things you’ll want to definitely take note of. For example, say the seller had to move their giant CRT television that sat in Grandpas bedroom floor since 1983. If say, someone lost their grip and it came careening down the stairs and into the foyer a wall—that’s something you and your Realtor will want to address. (Remember when televisions were furniture? :D)

A final walk-through is not a time to be needlessly paranoid, but it is a time to be purposeful and prudent. Your REALTOR will be happy to help inform and guide you through your final walkthrough appointment, but ultimately as new potential homeowner it is good to become familiar with a home and everything in it because you’ll be the new owner in just a few hours.

Kindly,