How to purchase a home in 8 steps. A RE/MAX infographic

November 23, 2013 · Filed Under First Time Buyers, Real Estate Articles · Comments Off 

How to Buy a Home Infographic

When the Home Inspector Finds Something Wrong

February 17, 2013 · Filed Under First Time Buyers, Home Inspections · 1 Comment 

homeinspectorYou shop for a home. You find one you like. You make an offer — conditional on a satisfactory home inspection.

Then the inspector discovers a problem with the home that may require an expensive repair or renovation. Perhaps the frame in the front door is cracked; or there’s a leak in the roof; or the furnace is due to be replaced.

What do you do?

You don’t want to pass up an opportunity to purchase what could be your dream home. On the other hand, you don’t want to have to deal with potentially costly repairs.

First, keep in mind that you did the right thing.

It’s always a good idea to get a home inspected by a professional before the offer is finalized. A qualified home inspector will go over the property with a fine tooth comb, top to bottom, inside and out, inspecting the structure, electrical systems, HVAC systems and more.

It’s their job to find any deficiencies in the home and alert you to them.

If a deficiency is found, your next best step is to discuss the issue with your REALTOR®, and go over your options. Those options may include amending the offer price to cover some or all of the costs of the repair, or requiring the seller to get the repair done before you move in.

Don’t worry. This is a normal part of the negotiation process. Chances are, an agreement can be reached that is satisfactory to both parties — and gets you the house you want!

And, because you had a home inspection done, you’ll know the true condition of your home when you buy it. That’s peace of mind.

Need more tips on finding your dream home? Contact us today!

New federal rules force Realtors to seek IDs

June 24, 2008 · Filed Under Real Estate Articles, Remax Newfoundland, St. John's Real Estate · Comments Off 

New laws that kick in today will trigger major changes to real-estate transactions, as part of federal efforts to battle money laundering.

Under the new regulations, Realtors will have to collect personal information from property sellers and buyers, such as their name, address, date of birth and occupation, backed up by identification such as a driver’s licence or passport.

When dealing with foreign buyers, agents in Canada will now have to hire local agents who can vouch for the identity of the buyer.

The agents will be required to hang onto that information for five years and have it available for the Financial Transaction and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC), if needed. Otherwise, the information will remain confidential.

The centre was established by the federal government in an effort to track suspicious property deals and prevent shady buyers from dumping large amounts of cash into property purchases.

Bill C-25, which was passed in 2007, demands several industries do their part to help put a stop to terrorist financing and money laundering.

It is estimated that nearly 63 per cent of money laundering is done through real estate.

ReMax reported having $2.6 billion in sales in 2007 in 67,000 transactions.

“Real estate agents have had legal obligations under the federal government’s push to prevent criminal activity and terrorism since 2001,” says Calvin Lindberg, president of The Canadian Real Estate Association. “In the first phase of compliance, real estate agents were required to report only suspicious transactions, or transactions involving more than $10,000 in cash,” he said in a news release issued Monday.

Now, real estate agents have to complete a report on the receipts of all funds received during the transaction, not just for $10,000 or more.

If an agent is dealing with the corporation, they must collect corporate documentation and the names of the corporation’s directors.

In cases where only one of the parties involved in the transaction is represented by the agent, identification must still be collected.

“Those buying or selling privately will be asked by the agent representing the other party involved in the transaction to provide proof of identity as well, and that record must be kept by the real estate agent involved in the transaction,” the news release said.

Bob Linney, CREA spokesperson, said there are also ways to keep track of buyers and sellers who choose to complete the transaction without the help of an agent.

“Sales involving private sellers only are not covered by the real estate regulations,” he told CTV.ca. “FINTRAC assumes they will be captured by regulations governing the banking industry now, and in addition by the legal profession when their compliance requirements kick in later.”

The new regulations will be non-negotiable and buyers who are unable or unwilling to provide the required information will not be able to complete property purchases. Additionally, the agent would be required to walk away from the deal or report the buyer to FINTRAC.

In Ontario alone, 47,000 realtors will be subject to the new rules.

Over the next six months, the government will perform random spot checks on real estate transactions. But once that window closes, agents will face fines, or even jail time, if they fail to comply with the regulations.

The new requirements for realtors are part of regulatory changes that Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced in December of last year to strengthen Canada’s anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing regulations.

“The new regulations bring Canada’s anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing regime in line with the international standards set by the Financial Action Task Force, a G8 created body,” states a news release from FINTRAC.

Free St. John’s Real Estate listings on kijiji – Is it worth it?

May 23, 2008 · Filed Under St. John's Real Estate · Comments Off 

I just was introduced to the world of kijiji. Kijiji is a website where you can post anything for sale or post looking for items to buy. Similar to to craigslist.org

I looked under the real estate section of St. john’s Kijiji and noticed there was 45 ads to sort through. The problem that I saw was the 40 ad’s from Realtors in Edmonton, PEI real estate, BC Real estate and realtors, free mortgage advice and online mortgage approvals from no name ad’s. However there was 5 listings there but you really had to look closely and sort through the Google Ad’s (St. John’s Real Estate Blog – www.stjohnsrealestateonline.com was there 4 times) and sponsored links. Of course I’m biased but I do not see a “free classified” online website the optimal way to promote your home for sale.

I looked on craigslist.org and ebay.ca as well for real estate listings. Much easier to find and sort through, however extremely limited in selections.

Personal plug: Why not just use a Realtor to purchase your home? It’s free to have a Realtor in St. John’s assist you in the purchasing of your new home. Both pre-existing homes and new home construction apply. Contact your local Realtor today and ask them how they can help.

mls.ca updating to REALTOR.ca

May 21, 2008 · Filed Under Real Estate Articles · 4 Comments 

On May 28th, 2008, MLS.ca will be introducing some new features to the web site on behalf of REALTORS® across Canada. The result will be an even better real estate resource, with more information about the properties displayed on the site.

The first change will be the introduction of interactive mapping. You’ll be able to use Microsoft Virtual Earth software on the site to determine your search area, and to determine where a property is located. Interactive mapping will make it much more convenient to search traditional neighbourhoods or a specific region.

The web site will also have a new streamlined text search. You’ll be able to input your initial search criteria without all of the details of an Advance Search. The site will still offer the detailed or Advance Search option, but also has a streamlined text version to make looking for properties even more convenient.

There will be a new look, or design. The traditional REALTOR® map is still a key part of the web site, but the new layout will make it easier to look for properties and information.

And there will be a new address – www.realtor.ca Don’t worry, you don’t have to memorize it. You’ll automatically be redirected to the new address even if you input our old one.

New money laundering legislation for Real Estate

April 28, 2008 · Filed Under First Time Buyers, Real Estate Articles, St. John's Real Estate · Comments Off 

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty has announced changes to Canada’s anti-money laundering legislation, the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act. The changes will have an impact on how real estate transactions are conducted in Canada. New amendments to money laundering legislation are effective on June 23, 2008.

Basically for the general public this means you will have to provide proof of identification when you sit down to purchase a property. Not really much difference from when you open a bank account, purchase a car or purchase insurance or receive a VISA. Need a Passport? Guess what….you need to show birth certificate and another form of identification. Need a marriage license…..same thing. Real Estate was lacking behind in this area. About time the government stepped up in my opinion.

For the Realtor? We have to Identify our clients. Currently, if you have identified an individual before, you do not have to do so again if you recognize the individual. Once the changes come into effect, if you have doubts about the information collected concerning an individual’s previous identification, you will have to identify that individual again.

If the parties in the transaction are each represented by a different real estate broker or sales representative, you will have to identify the individual or confirm the existence of the entity that you represent in the transaction.

If some parties in a real estate transaction are not represented by a real estate broker or sales representative while other parties are, each real estate broker or sales representative who represents a party to the transaction will have to identify or confirm the existence of the parties that are not represented.

To learn more visit FINTRAC’s website at www.fintrac.gc.ca

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