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Real Estate Professional
Real Estate Guide for Buyers and Sellers
Residential Real Estate in theProvince of Ontario
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In recent years, developments in technology, information processing, and real estate law have dramatically affected the way Buyers and Sellers experience the real estate process.

For example, since the Toronto Real Estate Board installed their computers, the exchange of information about properties for sale and properties sold is almost instant.  Where once the time to report such information to the public was measured in days and weeks, that time is now measured in hours.

As another example, in the past,  agents had no choice but to laboriously search past issues of large books in order to answer even simple questions for their clients.  Now, a few minutes at the computer is all the time it takes  to provide a complete history of real estate activity for a required area.

Developments in real estate procedures ( eg. buyer brokerage, page 12), have also improved the quality of service provided to buyers and sellers of real estate using licensed real estate agents.

These changes in the business of real estate have made it more important than ever for buyers and sellers to organize themselves to take advantage of the resources now available to them. This will empower them to make decisions - emotionally satisfying decisions - within their financial guidelines.

This publication will serve as a reminder of at least some of the important issues and questions that might arise when one of us is considering buying or selling a residential property.

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What is your Plan?

To ensure that you are open to receiving the best this opportunity has to offer you and your family (emotionally and financially) it is wise to have a plan which includes at least the following considerations.

1)  How do we know it is time to move?

Here are several indicators that it may be time to move:

2)  Is timing important?

3)  What are we willing to Invest?
ē the maximum amount of money the financial institutions will allow you to borrow is determined by comparing two numbers: Note: A Simple Example of the financial calculation:

Letís say you have found a home that you would like to own.

Question:  What will be the monthly costs?
  Question:  Do we qualify to purchase this home?
4)  Do we need an agent?

Because Professional Real Estate Agents have existed for a very long time it seems that they are providing a service that a great many clients value when both buying and selling real estate.  Some of the more obvious attributes of a Professional Real Estate Agent are:

5)  Do we need a lawyer?
When helping to sell a house, Lawyers: When helping to buy a home, Lawyers:
6)  Where do we get the money?
Shopping for money works much the same way as shopping for your new home.  It is advisable to consult your Real Estate Agent who will likely introduce you to a Mortgage Broker, who specializes in finding where the least expensive money is.  The service is free to you, the client, and can save you a lot of time and money.  Mortgage Brokers are also very useful if you are having trouble getting approval - perhaps because of a poor credit rating, self-employment etc.  Typically, people who use Mortgage Brokers end up working with top quality lenders, making lower payments, and often get better rates and better  payment schedules.
Note that shopping for a mortgage broker can also require some skill and care.  I recommend that you ask your professional real estate agent for guidance.
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7)  Finding a New Home

Every home currently listed (updated daily) in what we call the Greater Toronto Area is available to you by clicking here.  The site has excellent, easy to follow search templates and maps.  This data base includes a very large surrounding area and the area is growing.  Of course, the easiest way for you to proceed is to connect with me first so that I can put my training and experience to work especially for you.

Finding a home is a result of coordinating your rational needs, your emotional needs, and your understanding of what is reasonable to expect
Your considerations might include: proximity to schools & churchs, number of bedrooms, size, location, curb appeal, garage, pool, income potential, price, etc.   This is a great opportunity to evaluate what is important to you and your family in a home.
Find a good real estate agent with whom you feel comfortable and tell him/her as honestly as possible what you expect.  Remember that your requirements will likely change as you go through the process.  Often, viewing houses allows you to determine what is possible.  Sometimes your tastes may change or at least your awareness of what you really like may change.
Working with a good  real estate agent can save you time, money and aggravation.  After talking with you he or she can also do comprehensive computer searches which will show you what is available according to your requirements... complete with pictures!

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8)  What about a home inspection?

Home Inspectors can be:

9)  How do we negotiate an offer?

Once you have chosen your home, consider the following issues:
Common clauses:

You must also make decisions about what is important to you regarding:
10) What about costs the day we take possession?

On closing day your lawyer and the other lawyer exchange documents transferring money in return for clear title to the property.  This is the day when all your planning and organization  can noticeably improve the quality of your life.

Whether a buyer or a seller, be prepared to pay lawyerís fees and moving costs as well as adjustments to such items as property taxes, utility bills, condominium fees (if any), hot water tank rental, fuel reserves etc.  GST and PST are applicable to many of these costs.  Note:  If you are buying a new home or if you are buying vacant land, GST is applied to the total purchase price. When buying a resale home in Ontario, only the services (legal fees etc.) are subject to GST.

As a buyer, also be prepared to pay Land Transfer tax (table below), home insurance, and appraisal fees.  Prior to this you would have paid for a home inspection.  First time buyers may be eligible for at least a partial rebate of this land transfer tax.  Ask your professional real estate agent for details.  CMHC (high ratio) insurance premiums (if any) are typically added to the total purchase price of the home and generally add about 2% to the cost of the home.

Just prior to the closing day, your lawyer will invite you to go to his/her office to sign some papers.  At that time, you will receive a complete and detailed accounting of the appropriate costs.

 Calculation of Land Transfer Tax
As a seller, you will need to have the total purchase price (held by your lawyer) in cash or certified cheque.  Also prepare for paying real estate commissions... usually out of the proceeds of the sale.

Order a pizza for dinner.

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11) Should I tell others about our move?

Many organizations will need to know your new address:

12) Preparing to move.

To a very large extent, the more you plan and prepare your move, the easier moving day will be on your entire family.

13) What do I do if I have a house to sell ?

Finding the right agent for you.

When you are choosing your agent, decide what qualities are most important to you.  Some important issues may be:

It is also important to consider the qualities of the office which supports the agent you are considering.
Mortgage Considerations - Ways to save Money
Basement Apartments

Prevailing laws and government attitudes about basement apartments etc. have changed as of July, 1996.
Play it safe.  Get a home inspection on any home (you are considering) where you want to rent part of it.  As long as it complies, the city has made it easier for us to have two units in a house.  But new (after July/96) apartments must comply with certain property and Municipal Zoning Standards (eg. electrical), as well as with the Ontario Building Code.  ALL (new and existing) apartments must comply with the Ontario Fire Code.  Noncompliance with the code can result in one year in jail and/or fines up to $25,000.

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What is Buyer Brokerage?

When a vendor signs a listing agreement, a formal and legal relationship is established between the brokerage office and the vendor by which the office and itís agents are legally obligated to give the seller, among other things, competence, full disclosure, and confidentially.

When an offer is made on that property:

¥  if the purchaser chooses not to be represented by a buyer broker, the selling agent who brings the purchaserís offer is in fact bound to the vendor (as a sub-agent of the listing agent) by the same listing agreement.  The selling agentís obligations to the purchaser include truth and fair play but he/she does not owe them full confidentiality or full disclosure.  In other words, if the purchaser asks the selling agent a question, the agent is legally obligated to tell the truth to the purchaser; but, is not obligated to volunteer any information - even if that information might impact the market value of the property.  In this case, all agents (including the selling agent) are obligated to get the highest price possible for the property - in favour of the vendor.

¥  if the purchaser chooses to sign a buyer broker agreement with the agent, then that selling agent is legally bound to give the purchaser all the same legal rights and privileges that the listing agent owes to the vendor and the selling agent must volunteer, to the purchaser, any information which might affect the purchaserís decisions about the property.  The selling agent in this case is obligated to negotiate for the lowest price possible - in favour of the purchaser.

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Frequently Called Numbers

Mississauga (905)     Personal Numbers - Real Estate Expertise 905-281-3399, Richard Gurbin

Toronto (416)      General Numbers  - Real Estate Expertise 416-232-9000, Richard Gurbin

Brampton (905) - Real Estate Expertise 905-281-3399, Richard Gurbin

About the author, Richard Gurbin Richard believes that effective caring and representation of your real estate interests is both a science and an art.  Your best choice of agent, for honest real estate service, will have awareness, sensitivity, knowledge, skills, and enthusiastic willingness - positively influencing  both the people and the technical opportunities in every situation.  He believes in "doing well by doing good".
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