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Prelisting Inspections: Should Buyers Trust Them?

by Claire Franceschetti

As a buyer, should You trust the seller's pre-listing home inspection report?
 
My clients often ask this question of me when they are preparing to offer on a property.  
 
This type of report is prepared by an inspector at the request of the seller, mostly for properties that are holding off on offers in an attempt to generate multiple offers.  
 
Pre-listing home inspection reports that are paid for by the seller may or may not be accurate. Companies that do home inspections are only as good and as ethical as the hired inspector.  If an inspector produces a report that overlooks certain problems, the buyer may not be aware of impending liabilities.  
 
 
As a Buyer's agent working for the interests of the buyer, I would always recommend a property be inspected by a Qualified home inspector of the buyers choice prior to buying a property.  
 
If there are no competing offers on the table, I would suggest to always include the condition of a home inspection.  Even in the case of a total demolishing job, I would still recommend an inspection to determine whether there are special waste disposal issues to consider during demo. (i.e. removal of vermiculite or asbestos can be very costly.)
 
If there are several other expected offers, one option is to get a home inspector of the buyer's choice though the property prior to offer presentation.  Most listing agents allow this to happen as it's a good indication that the buyers are building a stronger offer.  
 
 
Last Word: Beware of Cheap Inspections! Quality inspections by qualified and competent inspectors are worth the price. Don't opt for the cheapest inspector.

Open House Tips: How to Shop Smart

by Claire Franceschetti

The spring season of Open Housing is well upon us. Here are 5 great questions to ask at an open house. You might find out some interesting info:
 
1. How old is the house? And age of high ticket items like windows,a roof (both shingles and plywood), furnace etc. This will give you a quick idea of immediate  areas of concern.

2. Why are the owners selling? Rarely asked by "open housers" but very valuable info in learning about the neighborhood and the motivation of the sellers. If you are new to the area, this will be a good opportunity to get any indication of major transitions that are coming up for the area. I.e. new highway going in behind the subdivision or the flight paths of the nearby airport have recently been rerouted right over the home!
 
3. Is the basement apartment licensed? If it is, 50% of the income that is generated by the rental can be counted towards your annual income in the eyes of many lenders. If it isn't, you may face problems with the local zoning department and bylaw officers. (I suspect that bylaw officers glean the current listings to find tip offs about illegal apartments in houses that are listed for sale.)
 
4. Has the house ever been used as a grow op? Sellers and their agents have the legal obligation to disclose this info as it can negatively impact the value of the home long into the future. Further, this obligation to disclose this fact survives any subsequent changes in ownership, and can never be withheld to potential buyers.
 
5. Has anyone passed away in the home? This may or may not be of significance to you, but if it is, the agent has a duty to disclose any knowledge of this fact to you.

Enjoy looking at Open Houses. When you are ready to "kick it up a notch", I welcome your call!

5 Deadly Buyer Mistakes...

by Claire Franceschetti

Buyer’s are often excited to find the perfect home. I understand and share in their enthusiasm. However, before I help you find the home of your dreams, here are 5 issues that we need to address first:

1. Making an offer on a home without being pre-approved.

It is as simple as filling out an on-line pre-approval form from a bank or mortgage brokers, and typically, you will have an answer within a few days. The pre-approval will indicate a maximum purchase price given your income, down payment, and current credit commitments.

2. Not having a home inspection.

When I write an offer on behalf of my clients, a home inspection condition is always included. In the case of multiple offers, my clients may consider removing the condition to improve their offer to the sellers.  I will always caution my buyers on this action as there is little recourse after the condition is removed, and structural or mechanical deficiencies are found.

3. Limiting your search to open houses, ads or the Internet.

As you will have realized, the good homes fly, and are sold really quickly—even before the open house happens! If you are constantly on Realtor.ca, you may think that you are watching as the new listings hit the market. However, what you might not know, is that there is a delay in what is shown on Realtor.ca, and often, real estate agents see properties before they are listed for sale. If you work with one agent as your buyer agent, their first priority is finding you a home and being pro-active on your behalf. If you are doing all the leg work yourself, you may be missing the perfect property.

4. Not considering long-term needs.

A funky two-bedroom studio will not accommodate a growing family for long, and a large 4 bedroom 2 storey home might not been the right choice for a couple that is looking to retire. Typically, people stay in their first home 5-7 years, then look to buy something that will accommodate a family. Once children leave home, downsizing to a bungalow or condominium might be in the  plan. I recently helped an older couple sell their condo because the husband hated the apartment-style living. It’s really important to explore different options with an agent, as there are many possible solutions that will meet your short and long term goals.

5. Not knowing the total costing involved.

Before you begin your search, you will need to know that buying a home requires some up-front money. First, you will need to produce a certified deposit cheque that is submitted once you have reached a deal with the sellers. This amount varies depending on the purchase price of the home. Also, at closing day, you will need at least 5% of the purchase price as a down payment, and there are closing costs on top of that. Closing costs vary depending on your area, but on average legal fees are around $1200. 

As a Buyer, you may  have questions about the buying process. Give me a call to discuss any of your concerns about buying your next home! Always remember, I love to work with buyers during this exciting time!

Displaying blog entries 1-3 of 3

Contact Information

Photo of Claire Franceschetti Real Estate
Claire Franceschetti
Right At Home Realty Inc.
190 Marycroft Ave.
Vaughan ON L4L5Y2
Direct: 416-918-6325
Office: 416-391-3232
Fax: Fax: 416-987-8001