I'm heading to a seminar/meeting tonight at the Hard Rock…
The Biggest Gamble of Your Life – When you Buy a House
If you’re selling your home in Vancouver or Toronto, the danger of losing your investment is minimal. Your Toronto realtor or Vancouver realtor has insurance, licensing, has accreditation from TREB or REBGV, and your bank will likely insure you don’t get victimized by a fraudster.
Your only concern is how much you’ll get and your realtor oddly enough is going to help you get all you can for your property. He or she will even give you advice on letting go of your old home emotionally and help you prepare for your new life.
The realtor/bank/buying agent represent a triangle of safety. Licensed TREB or REBGV Realtors don’t just handle the paperwork, they’re looking out for your best interests.
If you’re considering buying a property, there’s way more risk. The Toronto market is hot and its a buying frenzy via the MLS. You could be buying into something horrible with pitfalls you didn’t even know existed. And we’re talking way more than knob and tube wiring, wood rot, and cracked foundations.
You’re on Your Own – Hope it All Works Out Okay
You probably thought your “Honest Abe” home inspector was sufficient to cover an examination of the property and warn you of dangers, but there’s lots of stories of home inspectors that didn’t do their jobs or who countered that they can only do so much to assess a property (and they’re covered legally).
When you’re signing to purchase a house and sign a mortgage to boot, that’s a scary moment, especially if you’re a first time buyer and you’re involved in a bidding war in Vancouver or Toronto. Maybe your real estate investment is sound and almost fail-safe. What are the chances Vancouver or Toronto will drop into a recession? Even if they do, the values will recover in a few years. But no one can forecast about a specific property – except maybe a realtor.
9 Buyer Pitfalls that Could Ruin You When Buying
Here’s some of the major pitfalls your Vancouver or Toronto realtor (and San Diego, Los Angeles, or Boston realtor) could spare you from:
- being too emotionally involved and nervous means you may lose your objectivity and the selling agent could exploit your situation (that could translate to 10’s of thousands of dollars)
- you don’t know what the seller’s obligations are in disclosing the state of the property
- selling agent knows you aren’t knowledgeable and takes advantage of your naivete
- you don’t have someone with a strong residential real estate background to advise you about the real value of the house or what could happen with a duplex or fourplex
- saves you from buying a money pit – you see it all the time on HGTV when they open up the walls of the houses they bought – in a sellers market you may even consider buying as is. You won’t have Mike Holmes around to “make it right.” The realtor focused on homes available on the MLS System.
- you wander aimlessly looking at homes that don’t meet your criteria
- you have no one to help you negotiate the best terms of a purchase – you end up getting kicked around because there are so many competing buyers
- you aren’t sure what’s in store for the neighbourhood, what it’s really like, and what taxes might be looming in years ahead
- you consider buying a pre-construction condo even they could go bankrupt taking all your money with them
- Was the house a grow op, did the owners smoke, when will the roof need to be replaced, and are the neighbour’s unpleasant, and did the current owners meet all the zoning bylaws?
There’s more dangers than these 10 of course. I hope you keep your eye on the big picture when you’re spending $600k on a home. You could fall into a situation that could end your marriage, take your money and health, and push you into bankruptcy.
Buying a home is serious business. Don’t ever go it alone just because you can find info online. Yes, people are excited about the Uberization of real estate, but their enthusiasm will undergo some tempering when it actually happens. There will be some horror stories.
Gord Collins is a digital marketing strategist serving clients in Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, Calgary, Boston, Los Angeles, Phoenix and Denver in the Real estate and insurance industries. His professional skills include SEO, content development, content strategy, link building and social media strategy. Realtors should read up on prospecting, best sources of real estate leads, web site optimization, and check out the Toronto real estate and housing forecast for 2017. In the market for a home loan and new car insurance policy?