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How to make the property buying and selling process easier than you think – and save thousands of dollars

Home // Real Estate Law // Free Real Estate Tips

Want to maximize the value of your property and improve your chances of buying the property of your dreams? It is easier than you think when you follow these tips:

Estimate Property Value

Ask a real estate professional or home appraiser to estimate the value of your property. Don’t rely on the opinions of friends or family. It’s also not wise to make an estimate based on what you think is a comparable. Home owners always have a bias toward their own home and, as such, are likely to over value their home.

Make low-cost, high-value improvements

The appraisal will likely reveal some weak points in your home. Fixing these problems could be very beneficial as the cost could be just a fraction of the potential financial gain. Don’t under estimate the value of painting. The cost is relatively low, but it can make a big difference. Avoid dramatic colors that could turn off a potential buyer and favor instead neutrals.

General clean-up and decluttering

Tips on how to make the sale or purchase of a property easier and more profitable

Removing junk from your property with decluttering could have a very positive impact on the sale price.

Do a complete review of the interior and exterior of your property to identify – and remove – any clutter, debris or garbage that takes away from the natural beauty of a space. You can hire a professional to complete the decluttering process or do it yourself. Remember that your front garden is the first thing the buyer will see – make sure it is well maintained (cut grass, remove weeds, clean up any debris).

Close mortgage

If you have a mortgage on the property you are selling, ask for a complete review (principle, fees, penalties) of what has to be paid to close out that mortgage.

Arrange financing

If you need financing to purchase a property, confirm how much you can borrow before you begin the purchase process. Don’t make any assumptions about what a lender will give you as mortgage rates are subject to change and your credit worthiness could be better or worse than you expect.

Assess total selling cost

Don’t make the mistake of assuming that your only cost is the real estate fee. Your costs also include legal fees, marketing costs, fees (home inspection, and any costs to set up the property for sale).

Assess total buying cost

Many buyers significantly under estimate how much it costs to make a property purchase. Those costs include not only the down payment, but also the moving cost, loan costs, legal fees, other fees (home inspection).

Do the math

Confirm you have enough money to buy the property you want after taking into account what you expect to receive from your home sale and deducting all selling and buying costs. It’s best to give yourself some margin as the price of your target property might be higher than you imagine.

Make it easy for home buyers

Your objective should be to show your property to as many buyers as possible, even if it is occasionally inconvenient. It’s best if you (and any pets) are not in the home during a showing. Remember to leave your property (interior and exterior) in the best condition possible (good lighting, no bad smells, beds made, no clutter, garbage removed or neatly stored). Yes, it is a lot of work, but given the potential gains, it is time well spent.

Legal Scenario

Leaking basement

"I moved into my new home in early January and at that time there appeared to be no issues with my basement. However, when the usual spring thaw came in April I noticed that my basement was leaking. What should I do?"

What Would Andrew Recommend?

This scenario highlights the importance of having a property inspection done before you sign a deal. A property inspector is trained to see thing you don’t see. For example, in the winter, when everything is frozen, you are not going to see any water accumulation in your basement and you may therefore assume it is dry. A trained and experience home inspector will look for stains on a wall or other indicators that there was a leak during the summer months. It’s even better if you also have the sellers expressly warrant that the property has never been subject to flooding and they are not aware of any flooding issues with the home. That way you have a legal recourse if it turns out that they were not being honest.

Meet Andrew Geisterfer Edmonton Real Estate Lawyer

Andrew Geisterfer

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