Wednesday 16 October 2019

Avoid surprises - tell your real estate professional everything

Surprises can be fun when it’s a toy jack-in-the-box, but not so pleasant when you’re trying to sell real estate.

When you sign a listing agreement with a full-service professional real estate agent, they are working for you under the same agency rules as a lawyer - including fiduciary duties of confidentiality and working for your best interests. Sound advice from a good agent will be well worth their commission, but only if they know all the facts. A multi-thousand dollar transaction is not a good time to keep secrets from them.

One very important piece of advice I would like to offer is, make sure you tell your agent everything – it is a lot easier to deal with and work through problems when they are known. If there are physical issues with the property such as a leaky basement, your agent may recommend getting quotes from contractors. And if there are other legal or financial concerns, it is usually better to consult your lawyer or other appropriate professional ahead of time rather than in the middle of offer negotiations.

So, again, make sure you tell your real estate agent everything you know about the property so they can give you the appropriate advice. If you’re holding back because you don’t trust the agent, then you have to ask yourself if you’re using the right agent. Make sure at the beginning you are choosing a professional you trust to protect your best interests, and then be open and honest with them.

Friday 4 October 2019

Fridge, Stove, Washer, Dryer.. and the cat?!?

When you are making an offer on a house, you don't have to adhere strictly to the appliances included as per the listing.  If you would like to include the fridge, stove, washer, and dryer, go ahead and ask for them.  They may say no, or they may agree, particularly if your offer is acceptable otherwise.  The joke I have always used in discussing this situation is that you could ask for their pet poodle Fifi and if they agree, then Fifi is included.

And then along comes [this article about a situation down in Australia] where someone has actually included a pet cat in a purchase agreement.  And not only included the cat, but also paid quite a hefty $140,000 premium over asking price with the added inclusion.  You have to wonder how well that sits with the bank or mortgage company if they are financing the purchase - what value do you assign to a cat?  Certainly not $140,000?

So totally setting aside judgement and comments about their sanity or good sense, it does provide a great real life illustration of my exaggerated (although not so make-believe now) example of Fifi as an inclusion.  The main point being that everything is negotiable in a real estate deal, so keep Tiffany the Cat in mind when making an offer and looking at the list of inclusions.