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Not All Realtors Are Created Equal

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Rarely offered, beautiful 'Princeton' Model 1+1 with vaulted ceilings on 4th Floor. French Doors to West facing private balcony. Lots of natural light! Updated kitchen with S/S appliances, pendulum lighting, upgraded faucet & breakfast bar. Ceiling fans in all 4 rooms with remote. French doors open to den with bay window, large enough to use as dinning, study or 2nd bedroom. Laminate thru-out unit. Great location. BBQ's allowed on balcony. No Pets. No Smoking.

Extras:Includes: S/S Fridge, S/S Stove, S/S Dishwasher, Microwave, Washer/Dryer, 4 Ceiling Fans with remotes. Free standing electric fireplace for use (As Is). 1 Parking Spot (Underground/ 1 Locker. Lots Of Visitor Parking. En-Suite Laundry.
Rental Requirements:
- A++ Tenant
- Credit Checks
- Rental Application
- References
- Employment Letter
- First & Last Month Deposit via Certified Cheque or Bank Draft
- Min 1 Year Lease

I have the pleasure of working with a lot of buyers – many of them first time home owners, recipe and I often sit back and watch how easily some can turn a blind eye to obvious defects in a home because of falling victim to their emotions! As a Realtor, seek it is my duty to ensure that my clients see both the good AND the bad in a home – no home is perfect, but some can be even less perfect than others! When visiting a home for the first time, it is so important to look past the fresh paint and home staging and dissect what is actually going on in the home.  Home inspectors are great at doing this, but some things can be detected before even getting to that stage which could save you time, money and heartbreak down the road. Here are some common home defects to pay attention for when touring the possible house of your dreams.

Lack of Maintenance to Appliances and HVAC

HVAC MaintenanceMany people forget that part of purchasing a home, is purchasing the items that come included with it. The kitchen Appliances, Laundry machines and even the Furnace and A/C unit are all items that can add value or possibly decrease the value of a home.  When was the last time you opened the dryer and looked at the lint trap or took a peak in the stove to see if it has ever been cleaned? More importantly – whenever your water heater or HVAC items are serviced there will always be a record of the service kept on them.  Would you not prefer to know there was servicing done last year vs. 12 years ago?  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve encountered individuals who didn’t even know that a Furnace had a filter that requires being changed. The Maintenance of the appliances in the home will help to maintain the life of them – what a shame it would be to move into your new home only to have out of warranty appliances to start failing months into your move.

DIY Repairs

It can be assumed that the longer a person has lived in their home, the higher the chances are that they have conducted some DIY repairs around the house.  Patching a wall or fixing a baseboard are not items that we need concern ourselves with – but often these repairs come in the form of Electrical and Plumbing and could cause some serious issues.  When these things are not performed by a professional, building codes are often not followed and could fail or cause further damage down the road.  Spotting these things as an untrained professional can be hard but if you question the exposed light in the new stand up shower or the live wiring peeking out in the cabinet – be sure to bring these things to the attention of your Real Estate Agent and in turn a Home Inspector should you get to that stage with this home.

Roof Problems & Poor Ventilation

Again, not something we can always see right away, but roof problems can be costly problems to fix.  You will always get a detailed roof and attic inspection done by a Home Inspector, however – there are some ways to know what is going on up there without physically getting on the roof.  Watch for;

Lifting Shingles:           Buckling Shingles:      Broken Shingles:        Missing Shingles:

curling curling 4 curling 3 curling 2

Flashing is also prone to damage just due to general expansion and contraction, watch for lifting or separating of the flashing especially around chimneys and skylights.  If you are viewing the home in the winter – snow can also tell you a lot about the roof and the insulation within in. A home with an even layer of snow on its roof is a sign that the home is properly insulated and the attic floor is reasonable air tight.  If you see areas with no snow, or the roof has no snow at all when the neighbors do – this is a huge red flag that there are some insulation issue that would no doubt be reflected in the homeowners heating and cooling bills.

Poor Drainage and Grading

No one likes to come home to an unexpected indoor pool in their basement. Though not as common around here, the storms of July 2013 taught the GTA that we are far from immune to natural disasters and flooding.  But we don’t need a big even to cause dampness or flooding in our basements, improper drainage and grading around the house all cause your basement to be more susceptible to these issues.  When walking around the house, watch for where the downspouts drain – are they pushed far enough away from the house? In addition to this, grading is super important, does the backyard slope down towards the house? The kids may enjoy sliding down this in the winter but how will you enjoy mopping up the basement in the spring?

efflorescence-thmAlways check a basement for signs of water damage or dampness regardless of the grading or drainage on the outside of the house. If a basement is unfinished, you may sometimes find a white powdery substance on the walls – this is called Effloresence and is a common residue left from water evaporating from the concrete and is a sure sign there was water in the basement.

 

Power of Sales/Foreclosed Properties

Everyone is hunting for a deal and for a long time, people thought the best deals came from Power of Sales and Foreclosed properties.  These deals are becoming increasingly harder to find in the G.T.A but for those who find them, they can often come with their own source of problems. Due diligence in these properties are of utmost importance as 99.9% of them are sold ‘As Is’ without representations or warranties.  In addition to the above things to watch for, you want to be sure that you understand what you are buying up front.   If by chance on closing day the furnace doesn’t work, then oops, too bad.  Not always, but often, the previous owner knew that the foreclosure was only a matter of time – in these cases we see the house often becomes neglected and sometimes frustrations are taken out on the house itself.  The motivation to maintain the house is lost and the next owner can often pay the price for this later even though they seemingly got a good deal up front!

Next time you are looking for a home, don’t forget to put your home inspector hat on and get a better idea of what is really going on in that house. It is so easy to be distracted by the beautiful surface, but it’s everything below the surface that will cost you the big bucks to fix!

Happy house hunting!

Charlene_Logo_Red small
I have the pleasure of working with a lot of buyers – many of them first time home owners, and I often sit back and watch how easily some can turn a blind eye to obvious defects in a home because of falling victim to their emotions! As a Realtor, salve it is my duty to ensure that my clients see both the good AND the bad in a home – no home is perfect, but some can be even less perfect than others! When visiting a home for the first time, it is so important to look past the fresh paint and home staging and dissect what is actually going on in the home.  Home inspectors are great at doing this, but some things can be detected before even getting to that stage which could save you time, money and heartbreak down the road. Here are some common home defects to pay attention for when touring the possible house of your dreams.

Lack of Maintenance to Appliances and HVAC

HVAC MaintenanceMany people forget that part of purchasing a home, is purchasing the items that come included with it. The kitchen Appliances, Laundry machines and even the Furnace and A/C unit are all items that can add value or possibly decrease the value of a home.  When was the last time you opened the dryer and looked at the lint trap or took a peak in the stove to see if it has ever been cleaned? More importantly – whenever your water heater or HVAC items are serviced there will always be a record of the service kept on them.  Would you not prefer to know there was servicing done last year vs. 12 years ago?  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve encountered individuals who didn’t even know that a Furnace had a filter that requires being changed. The Maintenance of the appliances in the home will help to maintain the life of them – what a shame it would be to move into your new home only to have out of warranty appliances to start failing months into your move.

DIY Repairs

It can be assumed that the longer a person has lived in their home, the higher the chances are that they have conducted some DIY repairs around the house.  Patching a wall or fixing a baseboard are not items that we need concern ourselves with – but often these repairs come in the form of Electrical and Plumbing and could cause some serious issues.  When these things are not performed by a professional, building codes are often not followed and could fail or cause further damage down the road.  Spotting these things as an untrained professional can be hard but if you question the exposed light in the new stand up shower or the live wiring peeking out in the cabinet – be sure to bring these things to the attention of your Real Estate Agent and in turn a Home Inspector should you get to that stage with this home.

Roof Problems & Poor Ventilation

Again, not something we can always see right away, but roof problems can be costly problems to fix.  You will always get a detailed roof and attic inspection done by a Home Inspector, however – there are some ways to know what is going on up there without physically getting on the roof.  Watch for;

Lifting Shingles:           Buckling Shingles:      Broken Shingles:        Missing Shingles:

curling curling 4 curling 3 curling 2

Flashing is also prone to damage just due to general expansion and contraction, watch for lifting or separating of the flashing especially around chimneys and skylights.  If you are viewing the home in the winter – snow can also tell you a lot about the roof and the insulation within in. A home with an even layer of snow on its roof is a sign that the home is properly insulated and the attic floor is reasonable air tight.  If you see areas with no snow, or the roof has no snow at all when the neighbors do – this is a huge red flag that there are some insulation issue that would no doubt be reflected in the homeowners heating and cooling bills.

Poor Drainage and Grading

No one likes to come home to an unexpected indoor pool in their basement. Though not as common around here, the storms of July 2013 taught the GTA that we are far from immune to natural disasters and flooding.  But we don’t need a big even to cause dampness or flooding in our basements, improper drainage and grading around the house all cause your basement to be more susceptible to these issues.  When walking around the house, watch for where the downspouts drain – are they pushed far enough away from the house? In addition to this, grading is super important, does the backyard slope down towards the house? The kids may enjoy sliding down this in the winter but how will you enjoy mopping up the basement in the spring?

efflorescence-thmAlways check a basement for signs of water damage or dampness regardless of the grading or drainage on the outside of the house. If a basement is unfinished, you may sometimes find a white powdery substance on the walls – this is called Effloresence and is a common residue left from water evaporating from the concrete and is a sure sign there was water in the basement.

Power of Sales/Foreclosed Properties

Everyone is hunting for a deal and for a long time, people thought the best deals came from Power of Sales and Foreclosed properties.  These deals are becoming increasingly harder to find in the G.T.A but for those who find them, they can often come with their own source of problems. Due diligence in these properties are of utmost importance as 99.9% of them are sold ‘As Is’ without representations or warranties.  In addition to the above things to watch for, you want to be sure that you understand what you are buying up front.   If by chance on closing day the furnace doesn’t work, then oops, too bad.  Not always, but often, the previous owner knew that the foreclosure was only a matter of time – in these cases we see the house often becomes neglected and sometimes frustrations are taken out on the house itself.  The motivation to maintain the house is lost and the next owner can often pay the price for this later even though they seemingly got a good deal up front!

Next time you are looking for a home, don’t forget to put your home inspector hat on and get a better idea of what is really going on in that house. It is so easy to be distracted by the beautiful surface, but it’s everything below the surface that will cost you the big bucks to fix!

Happy house hunting!

Charlene_Logo_Red small
 

Choosing a Realtor to help you with the largest financial decisions you will ever make is just as important as choosing the right Financial Advisor, healing Accountant or Doctor.  We all may know an Accountant or Doctor, stuff but is luck of the draw the only criteria that qualifies them to work for you?  While I love to work with my friends and family, I also understand the qualities that make me a good friend do not necessarily translate into to the qualities expected of a good Realtor.  I’m sure that we’ve all worked with people who are great company at social events but impossible to work with on a daily basis. Yet, we all too often blindly place our trust in people we know without ensuring they truly are the right fit for our needs.

In an ideal world, every realtor you meet would have at least a satisfactory level of competence, above average product knowledge and a genuine intention to have your best interest at heart.

We do not live in an ideal world.  Realtors are not created equal.

With that said, here are some qualities to look for in a GOOD Realtor when searching for the RIGHT Realtor for you.  The list below may seem fairly standard – but when you spend the time to evaluate and compare, you may be surprised at how many Realtors will fall short.

1. Chemistry is Key, not just in love but also in business.  Buying or selling a home should be a fun and exciting experience.  If you’re working with a Realtor that isn’t the right fit for you – this process can become frustrating and painful.  A good Realtor also understands the importance of working with a client that they enjoy working with and if on the first meeting the chemistry just isn’t there, neither party will benefit from this partnership.

2. Gaining your business is a privilege and a good Realtor will act in such a way that reflects this.  He will do his homework, he will listen to your wants and ensure that your needs are being met.  Unfortunately there are many Realtors out there that focus so much energy on attaining future business that they forget to nurture the business they currently have.

3. A good Realtor will be Proactive vs. Reactive.  They will learn what you like and show you options you may have not have originally thought of.  They will do their research about the schools in the neighbourhood you have interest in and get you more information without you having to ask.  They will always have solutions to any issues that may arise before coming to you with the problem.

4. You get what you pay for. A good Realtor will rarely cut their commission for the sake of gaining a listing.  A lot of work and money goes into properly listing AND marketing a property. As we all know, incentive plays a very large role in sales.  A good Realtor will drop everything to ensure they handle any issues or challenges that may arise on their listing.  A Discounted Realtor does not have the same incentive, and will most likely not offer you the same level of service.  But what’s more important – if a Realtor is unable to justify his worth to you, what faith can you have in this Realtor to justify your houses worth to a potential buyer during negotiations?

5. Always know all the facts! A lot of Realtors like to boast about the number of homes they sold in the previous year.  Congrats to them, they closed 28 homes in one year  - but how many homes did they list?  Would you rather work a Realtor who listed 36 homes and sold 28 or a Realtor who listed 15 and sold 15? The more important questions would be, how long did their houses sit on the market before being sold? How many homes were reduced in price over and over again? When issues came up, how accessible was the Realtor? Why didn’t those 8 homes sell?  Don’t get me wrong – selling 28 homes in one year is nothing to gawk at, and for a Realtor that quantity is quite an accomplishment. But you are just selling 1 home, and quality should matter most to you!

So there you have it, just a few things in the list of many to expect from a good Realtor! Most importantly, just remember that when making the largest financial decision in your life, the Realtor you choose really does make a difference!

Good luck and happy house hunting!

Charlene_Logo_Red small

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