Buyers & Sellers | Marco & Rob Real Estate

RE/MAX Platinum Club

Buyers & Sellers

  • Are you considering a Real Estate purchase? Put us to work for you! 

    Our Buyer program includes the following:

    • NEW LISTING UPDATES: A great power tool to keep you informed on current and new listings that match your specific search criteria. To start receiving new listing updates via e-mail click "CONTACT US" and complete the brief form including an outline of the search criteria we should use for your property search. Shortly after contacting us you will start receiving new listing updates regularly via e-mail. These are automatically sent to our Buyer clients before the listing reaches the public MLS.ca website.

    • TOUR SCHEDULING: We can schedule a complete tour of homes that meet your criteria to maximize your time. 

    • EXPERIENCED ADVICE: With 14 years of combined experience as Sales Representatives, we can guide you through the home buying process from search to keys-in-hand. Buying a home can be stressful, especially for first time home buyers. Having closed numerous deals over the years we will walk you through the process from picking an area or style of home, to what happens on the day you close. This would include all of the details and conditions required within an agreement of purchase and sale, to arranging assistance with lenders, insurance agents, financial support and home inspections. 

    • AGENCY: We will outline agency relationships to you and give you
    the information you need to make an informed choice. There are four types of agency that are associated with real estate, and an informed buyer will be able to make the right choices if they are properly informed.

    Call us to arrange a consultation meeting to review your specific property needs. We will work for you and offer the support you need to make an informed choice on your next home.

    Question 1: What price can I afford?

    The price you can afford to pay for a home will depend on six factors:

    -Your income
    -The amount of cash you have available for the down payment, closing costs and cash reserves required by your lender.
    -Your outstanding debts
    -Your credit history
    -The type of mortgage you select
    -Current interest rates

    Lenders will analyze your income in relation to your projected cost of the home and outstanding debts. This will determine the mortgage amount you can borrow. Your housing expense-to-income ratio is determined by calculating your projected monthly housing expense, which consists of the principal and interest payment on your loan, property taxes and hazard insurance. The sum of these costs is referred to as "PITI."

    Monthly homeowner association dues, if you're purchasing a condominium or townhouse, and private mortgage insurance are added to the PITI. Your housing income-to-expense ratio should fall in the 28 to 33 percent range. 28 percent of your gross monthly income is allotted toward PITI. 33 percent of you gross monthly income is allowed for PITI and all long term debt. Some lenders will go higher under certain circumstances. Your total income-to-debt ratio should not exceed 34 to 38 percent of your gross income.

    Question 2: How do I find out about the condition of the home I'm considering?

    First and foremost it is strongly recommended that you hire a professional home inspector to inspect the home.

    Also look for settling, sliding or soil problems, flooding or drainage problems.

    People buying a condominium must be told about covenants, codes and restrictions or other deed restrictions, if the homeowners association has any authority over the subject property and ownership of common areas with others. Be sure to ask questions about anything that remains unclear or does not seem to be properly addressed by the forms provided to you.

    Click the "Links" tab for a List of Home Inspectors in Kingston

    Question 3: How low can I consider offering?

    There are always some sellers who for some reason must sell quickly, however in general, a very low offer in a normal market might be rejected immediately. In a strong buyer's market, the below-market offer will usually either be accepted or generate a counteroffer. If few offers are being made, an outright rejection of offers becomes unlikely. In a strong seller's market, offers are often higher than full price. While it is true that offers at or above full price are more likely to be accepted by the seller, there are other considerations involved:

    1. Is the offer conditional upon anything, such as the sale of the buyer's current house? If so, such an offer, even at full price, may not be as attractive as an offer without that condition.

    2. Is the offer made on the house "as is," or does the buyer want the seller to make some repairs before the closing or make a price concession instead?

    3. Is the offer all cash, meaning the buyer has waived the financing condition? If so, then an offer at less than the asking price may be more attractive to the seller than a full-price offer with a financing condition.

    4. Are there any requests for seller concessions? If so, the offer is not really full price.

    What would be considered a good offer will change due to many factors, so each individual house needs to be looked at as a whole to decide where to start. Marco and Rob will help you decide where to start based on the factors above, as well as anything specific to each situation.

    Question 4: How and what do I negotiate?

    Different sellers price houses very differently. Some deliberately overprice, others ask for pretty close to what they hope to get and a few (maybe the cleverest) underprice their houses in the hope that potential buyers will compete and overbid. A seller's advertised price should be treated only as a rough estimate of what they would like to receive.

    If possible try to learn about the seller's motivation. For example, a lower price with a speedy closing may be more acceptable to someone who must move quickly due to a job transfer. People going through a divorce or are eager to move into another home are frequently more receptive to lower offers. These tips may be found out in many cases as Sellers, and their agents will not willingly give up this information.

    Some buyers believe in making deliberate low-ball offers. While any offer can be presented to the seller, a low-ball offer often sours a prospective sale and discourages the seller from negotiating at all. And unless the house is extremely overpriced, the offer probably will be rejected anyway.

    Before making an offer, also investigate how much comparable homes have sold for in the area so that you can determine whether the home is priced right.

    Question 5: What about my down payment, should I put more or less down, if we can afford it?

    Various types of loan programs exist.

    It may be more prudent to make a larger down payment and thereby reduce the amount of debt that must be financed. Once a buyer puts twenty percent or more as a down payment on their desired home, they will waive the requirement for mortgage insurance.

    Question 6: What is the irrevocability of the offer?

    The length of time you give the seller to consider your offer. Usually 24 hours or less. It is within this period that the seller will need to accept, reject or counter your offer, or it becomes null and void. If signed back to the buyer with a counter offer, the irrevocability changes to the period that the buyer has to decide what to do.

    Question 7: What steps should I take when looking for a home loan?

    It is strongly recommended that home buyers are prequalified or pre-approved for a loan as their first step in the process. By being prequalified, a buyer knows exactly how much house they can afford. They can make more informed decisions in the market place. This does not mean they will definitely get the loan because their credit reports, wages and bank statements still need to be verified before you can receive a commitment from the lender for the loan.

    Almost all mortgage lenders prequalify people at no charge. Many of them will even do it on the internet. In order to be pre-approved, an application will be taken. For a fee, your credit report will be pulled, your employment and income will be verified, your checking and savings accounts will also be verified. In other words, all the necessary documentation will be completed in order for you to obtain a loan. The only things remaining will be for you to find a home, obtain an appraisal on it to prove its value to the bank and perform whatever inspections you may want on the property. This process considerably shortens the time frame to closing.

    Question 8: Is it possible to negotiate interest rates?

    Compare the mortgage charts published in most newspapers and can be easily found on-line.

    Occasionally some lenders are willing to negotiate on both the loan rate and the number of points. This isn't typical among many of the established lenders who set their rates. Nevertheless, it never hurts to shop around, know the market and try to get the best deal. Always look at the combination of interest rate and points and get the best deal possible. This is reflected in what is called the APR or Actual Percentage Rate.

    The interest rate is much more open to negotiation on purchases that involve seller financing. Generally, these are based on market rates but some flexibility exists when negotiating such a deal.

    Question 9: Is it better to buy a new home or a resale?

    Sales price increases in either type of housing are strongly tied to location, growth in the local housing market and the state of the overall economy.

    Some people feel that buying into a new-home community is a bit riskier than purchasing a house in an established neighborhood. Future appreciation in value in either case depends upon many of the same factors. Others believe that a new home is less risky because things won't "wear out" and need replacement.

    "Existing homes have been appreciating a little more than new homes but every once in awhile they're at the same level and sometimes the new home prices go up a little quicker" according to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).

    Question 10: Fixer-Uppers - Are they good or bad?

    Distressed properties or fixer-uppers can be found everywhere. These properties are poorly maintained and have a lower market value than other houses in the neighborhood. It is often recommended that buyers find the least desirable house in the best neighborhood. You must consider if the expenses needed to bring the value of that property to its full potential market value are within your budget. Most buyers should avoid run-down houses that need major structural repairs. Remember the movie " The Money Pit?" Those properties should be left to the builder or tradesman normally engaged in the repair business.

    Question 11: Can you borrow the money to repair?

    Yes, purchasing a fixer-upper or power of sale may require repairs such as: a new heating system, roof, replacement windows, etc. You may then also finance additional repairs and improvements i.e.: new carpeting, kitchen cabinets, appliances, etc. You must of course "qualify" for the total amount you will be borrowing. Discuss this option with your lender prior to making an offer as the amount may change depending on the home you intend to buy.

    Question 12: Is there a good "return" for my efforts?

    Remodeling a home improves its livability and enhances curb appeal, making it more saleable to potential buyers. Some of the popular improvement projects are updated kitchens and baths, enlarged the master bedroom suite, home office additions and increased amenities in older homes.

    You need to give your home every competitive advantage you can especially if you are selling an older home.  Before starting your renovations, ask Marco or Rob how to get the best return on your renovation investment.  Be aware that some improvements may not increase the value to your home.  Before spending a lot of money on your home make sure you get the advice from us.

  • Our seller package includes an extensive marketing program that will ensure your home gets the exposure it deserves. Our sales package includes the following:

    • Full MLS listing with your property featured on Realtor.ca
    • Colour feature sheets for all showings
    • Full page advertising in the Homes and Land magazine
    • Internet exposure on homesandland.com, marcoandrob.com, and many more real estate related websites.
    • Electronic Billboard advertising
    • Radio advertising to bring unique visitors to the website
    • Open Houses can be held upon request subject to Agent availability
    • Graphic Designer on staff
    • 2 full time agents working for you

    Whether this is your first time selling or you have sold in the past, Marco and Rob will guide work hard to get sell your biggest asset. Call us today for a FREE Opinion of Value of your home. 

    Question 1: What price can I afford?

    The price you can afford to pay for a home will depend on six factors:

    -Your income
    -The amount of cash you have available for the down payment, closing costs and cash reserves required by your lender.
    -Your outstanding debts
    -Your credit history
    -The type of mortgage you select
    -Current interest rates

    Lenders will analyze your income in relation to your projected cost of the home and outstanding debts. This will determine the mortgage amount you can borrow. Your housing expense-to-income ratio is determined by calculating your projected monthly housing expense, which consists of the principal and interest payment on your loan, property taxes and hazard insurance. The sum of these costs is referred to as "PITI."

    Monthly homeowner association dues, if you're purchasing a condominium or townhouse, and private mortgage insurance are added to the PITI. Your housing income-to-expense ratio should fall in the 28 to 33 percent range. 28 percent of your gross monthly income is allotted toward PITI. 33 percent of you gross monthly income is allowed for PITI and all long term debt. Some lenders will go higher under certain circumstances. Your total income-to-debt ratio should not exceed 34 to 38 percent of your gross income.

    Question 2: How do I find out about the condition of the home I'm considering?

    First and foremost it is strongly recommended that you hire a professional home inspector to inspect the home.

    Also look for settling, sliding or soil problems, flooding or drainage problems.

    People buying a condominium must be told about covenants, codes and restrictions or other deed restrictions, if the homeowners association has any authority over the subject property and ownership of common areas with others. Be sure to ask questions about anything that remains unclear or does not seem to be properly addressed by the forms provided to you.

    Click the "Links" tab for a List of Home Inspectors in Kingston

    Question 3: How low can I consider offering?

    There are always some sellers who for some reason must sell quickly, however in general, a very low offer in a normal market might be rejected immediately. In a strong buyer's market, the below-market offer will usually either be accepted or generate a counteroffer. If few offers are being made, an outright rejection of offers becomes unlikely. In a strong seller's market, offers are often higher than full price. While it is true that offers at or above full price are more likely to be accepted by the seller, there are other considerations involved:

    1. Is the offer conditional upon anything, such as the sale of the buyer's current house? If so, such an offer, even at full price, may not be as attractive as an offer without that condition.

    2. Is the offer made on the house "as is," or does the buyer want the seller to make some repairs before the closing or make a price concession instead?

    3. Is the offer all cash, meaning the buyer has waived the financing condition? If so, then an offer at less than the asking price may be more attractive to the seller than a full-price offer with a financing condition.

    4. Are there any requests for seller concessions? If so, the offer is not really full price.

    What would be considered a good offer will change due to many factors, so each individual house needs to be looked at as a whole to decide where to start. Marco and Rob will help you decide where to start based on the factors above, as well as anything specific to each situation.

    Question 4: How and what do I negotiate?

    Different sellers price houses very differently. Some deliberately overprice, others ask for pretty close to what they hope to get and a few (maybe the cleverest) underprice their houses in the hope that potential buyers will compete and overbid. A seller's advertised price should be treated only as a rough estimate of what they would like to receive.

    If possible try to learn about the seller's motivation. For example, a lower price with a speedy closing may be more acceptable to someone who must move quickly due to a job transfer. People going through a divorce or are eager to move into another home are frequently more receptive to lower offers. These tips may be found out in many cases as Sellers, and their agents will not willingly give up this information.

    Some buyers believe in making deliberate low-ball offers. While any offer can be presented to the seller, a low-ball offer often sours a prospective sale and discourages the seller from negotiating at all. And unless the house is extremely overpriced, the offer probably will be rejected anyway.

    Before making an offer, also investigate how much comparable homes have sold for in the area so that you can determine whether the home is priced right.

    Question 5: What about my down payment, should I put more or less down, if we can afford it?

    Various types of loan programs exist.

    It may be more prudent to make a larger down payment and thereby reduce the amount of debt that must be financed. Once a buyer puts twenty percent or more as a down payment on their desired home, they will waive the requirement for mortgage insurance.

    Question 6: What is the irrevocability of the offer?

    The length of time you give the seller to consider your offer. Usually 24 hours or less. It is within this period that the seller will need to accept, reject or counter your offer, or it becomes null and void. If signed back to the buyer with a counter offer, the irrevocability changes to the period that the buyer has to decide what to do.

    Question 7: What steps should I take when looking for a home loan?

    It is strongly recommended that home buyers are prequalified or pre-approved for a loan as their first step in the process. By being prequalified, a buyer knows exactly how much house they can afford. They can make more informed decisions in the market place. This does not mean they will definitely get the loan because their credit reports, wages and bank statements still need to be verified before you can receive a commitment from the lender for the loan.

    Almost all mortgage lenders prequalify people at no charge. Many of them will even do it on the internet. In order to be pre-approved, an application will be taken. For a fee, your credit report will be pulled, your employment and income will be verified, your checking and savings accounts will also be verified. In other words, all the necessary documentation will be completed in order for you to obtain a loan. The only things remaining will be for you to find a home, obtain an appraisal on it to prove its value to the bank and perform whatever inspections you may want on the property. This process considerably shortens the time frame to closing.

    Question 8: Is it possible to negotiate interest rates?

    Compare the mortgage charts published in most newspapers and can be easily found on-line.

    Occasionally some lenders are willing to negotiate on both the loan rate and the number of points. This isn't typical among many of the established lenders who set their rates. Nevertheless, it never hurts to shop around, know the market and try to get the best deal. Always look at the combination of interest rate and points and get the best deal possible. This is reflected in what is called the APR or Actual Percentage Rate.

    The interest rate is much more open to negotiation on purchases that involve seller financing. Generally, these are based on market rates but some flexibility exists when negotiating such a deal.

    Question 9: Is it better to buy a new home or a resale?

    Sales price increases in either type of housing are strongly tied to location, growth in the local housing market and the state of the overall economy.

    Some people feel that buying into a new-home community is a bit riskier than purchasing a house in an established neighborhood. Future appreciation in value in either case depends upon many of the same factors. Others believe that a new home is less risky because things won't "wear out" and need replacement.

    "Existing homes have been appreciating a little more than new homes but every once in awhile they're at the same level and sometimes the new home prices go up a little quicker" according to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).

    Question 10: Fixer-Uppers - Are they good or bad?

    Distressed properties or fixer-uppers can be found everywhere. These properties are poorly maintained and have a lower market value than other houses in the neighborhood. It is often recommended that buyers find the least desirable house in the best neighborhood. You must consider if the expenses needed to bring the value of that property to its full potential market value are within your budget. Most buyers should avoid run-down houses that need major structural repairs. Remember the movie " The Money Pit?" Those properties should be left to the builder or tradesman normally engaged in the repair business.

    Question 11: Can you borrow the money to repair?

    Yes, purchasing a fixer-upper or power of sale may require repairs such as: a new heating system, roof, replacement windows, etc. You may then also finance additional repairs and improvements i.e.: new carpeting, kitchen cabinets, appliances, etc. You must of course "qualify" for the total amount you will be borrowing. Discuss this option with your lender prior to making an offer as the amount may change depending on the home you intend to buy.

    Question 12: Is there a good "return" for my efforts?

    Remodeling a home improves its livability and enhances curb appeal, making it more saleable to potential buyers. Some of the popular improvement projects are updated kitchens and baths, enlarged the master bedroom suite, home office additions and increased amenities in older homes.

    You need to give your home every competitive advantage you can especially if you are selling an older home.  Before starting your renovations, ask Marco or Rob how to get the best return on your renovation investment.  Be aware that some improvements may not increase the value to your home.  Before spending a lot of money on your home make sure you get the advice from us.

    Question 1:Is there a best time to sell my house?

    Property sells year round. It is mostly a function of supply and demand, as well as other economic factors. The time of year you choose to sell can make a difference in the amount of time it takes and the final selling price. Weather conditions are often a consideration. Generally the real estate market picks up in the early spring.

    The supply of homes on the market diminish because sellers often wonder whether or not they should take their homes off the market for the holidays. There are still buyers in the market place, but now those buyers have fewer homes to choose from. Those homes on the market at that time have considerably less competition. Generally speaking, you'll have the best results if your house is available to show to prospective buyers continuously until it sells.

    Question 2: Are there important factors to consider when selling a home?

    The two most important factors are price and condition in selling a home. The first step is to price it properly. Then, go through the house to see if there are any cosmetic defects that can be repaired.

    A third factor is exposure. It is also important that the home gets the exposure it deserves through open houses, REALTOR® open houses, advertising, good signage and listing on the local Multiple Listing Service®, as well as the internet.

    Question 3: How much is my home worth?

    There are two methods many people use to determine their homes value, an appraisal and comparative market analysis.

    Appraisals vary in cost and are defendable in court. Appraisers review numerous factors and base information on recent sales of similar properties, their location, square footage, construction quality, excess land, views, water frontage and amenities such as garages, number of baths, etc.

    A comparative market analysis on the other hand is an informal estimate of market value performed by a  REALTOR®. It is based on sales and listings that will compete with your property that are similar in size, style and location. A range of values will be determined thus arriving at a probable market value. Many REALTORS® offer a free analysis to their clients.

    Question 4: What should I do to get my house ready?

    The way you live in a home and the way you sell a house are two different things. First and foremost, "declutter" counter tops, walls and rooms. Too many "things" make it difficult for the buyer to see their possessions in your rooms or on your walls, however don't strip everything completely or it will appear uninviting. Then clean and make attractive all rooms, furnishings, floors, walls and ceilings. It's especially important that the bathroom and kitchen are spotless. Organize closets. Make sure the basic appliances and fixtures work and get rid of leaky faucets and complete minor repairs. Make sure the house smells good: from an apple pie, cookies baking or spaghetti sauce simmering on the stove. Hide the kitty litter, and possibly put vases of fresh flowers throughout the house. Pleasant background music is also a nice touch.

    The second important thing to consider is "curb appeal." People driving by a property will judge it from outside appearances and make a decision then as to whether or not they want to see the inside. Sweep the sidewalk, mow the lawn, prune the bushes, weed the garden and clean debris from the yard. Clean the windows (both inside and out) and make sure the paint is not chipped or flaking. Also make sure that the doorbell works.

    Question 5: Should I make repairs?

    Minor repairs before putting the house on the market may lead to a better sales price. Buyers often include a conditional "inspection clause" in the agreement to purchase and sale contract which allows them to back out if numerous defects are found. Once the problems are noted, buyers can attempt to negotiate repairs or lowering the price with the seller. Any known problems that are not repaired must be revealed as a material defect. You do not have to repair the problem, only reveal it and the house should be appropriately priced for that defect.

    Question 6: What are my obligations to disclose?

    Items sellers often disclose include: whether or not work done on the house meets local building codes and permits requirements; the presence of any neighborhood nuisances or noises which a prospective buyer might not notice, such as any restrictions on the use of property, including but not limited to zoning ordinances or association rules.

    Question 7: Must I disclose the terms of other offers?

    No, your REALTOR® does not have to disclose the terms of other offers. Your REALTOR® may disclose the existence of other offers, so that all parties are aware that they should be submitting their best offer.

    Question 8: Are there standard conditions in an offer?

    Yes, the two basic conditions in an agreement to purchase and sale contract are financing and inspections.  Although, depending on the type and use of the property other conditions may be included.

    Question 9: Should I be flexible in granting conditions?

    That often depends on if you are in a buyer's or a seller's market, the condition of your home, the price you hope to get, how motivated you are to sell, as well as the quality and quantity of the offers you are getting.

    Any conditions that are negotiated are written into your contract. Both the buyer and seller can place requirements on the table during the negotiation phase.

    A frequently seen condition is regarding the sale of the buyers home before they can purchase yours. Whether this requirement is reasonable, or even achievable, depends on the individuals involved. Financial capabilities usually play a major role in negotiations. Few people can afford to own two homes simultaneously for a long period of time, except for some all-cash buyers.

    Question 10: What do I do if my house isn't getting activity?

    Even in a slow market, price and condition are the two most important factors in selling a home.

    If a home is not getting the activity it needs in order to sell it is probably because it is overpriced for the market. The first step is to lower the price. Then go through the house and see if there are cosmetic defects that you missed that can be repaired.

    The second step is to make sure that the home is getting the exposure it deserves through open houses, REALTOR® open houses, advertising, good signage and a listing on the Multiple Listing Service® and internet.

    A third option is to remove the home from the market and wait for overall housing conditions to improve and catch up to the price your asking.

Disclaimer: The Trademarks MLS® , Multiple Listing Service®, REALTOR® REALTORS® and the associated logos are owned by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA used under license. Content contained herein is subject to change, retraction, prior sale without notice E. & O.E. Proactive information, resources and offers of service are not intended to solicit Buyers or Sellers currently under contract with a real estate brokerage. Privacy Statement: If you subscribe to receive our email updates on new listings, you may cancel at anytime. If you forward property information through our Email A Friend service, a copy will be sent to the listing agent and we reserve the right to send a follow up inquiry (you will not be added to any mailing list as a result). We do not sell email or contact information to any third party source. © all rights reserved. *Based on 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, & 2014 closed and collected commission totals.

RE/MAX Finest Realty Inc. - Brokerage logo