Home Buying and Selling: Your Questions Answered! (Part 1)
Do I Really Need a Real-Estate Agent?
While you don’t necessarily need to hire a real estate agent, having one in your corner is certainly recommended if you’re not an experienced buyer or seller. Not only will a good Edmonton real estate agent save you time (and a lot of red tape), but they can save you a lot of money, too.
What About Commission Rates?
There are no set commission rates for Edmonton real estate agents, but home sellers can typically expect to pay between three and seven percent of their home’s overall sale price. While this may sound like a lot at first, working with a good agent means you’re likely to save (or earn) a lot more in the process.
How Much are Legal Fees and Other Closing Costs?
Generally, legal fees and other closing costs (land transfer tax, title insurance, CMHC insurance) average between 1.5 to 4% of the home’s selling price. Your agent will help you navigate these costs ahead of time, so you’ll know what to expect on closing day.
When is the Best Time to Buy or Sell a Home?
While there is no “right” time to buy or sell a home, there are times of year that tend to show more success than others.
Selling Your Home– Spring is usually regarded at the best time to sell. With the disappearance of the snow, homes on the market tend to look better and home buyers are a little more eager to shop around in nicer weather.
Buying a Home – Surprisingly, experts say January is a great time to buy a home from a financial standpoint. This is mostly because there is less competition from other home buyers and home sellers are usually more eager to close a deal.
How Do I Know How Much I Can Afford?
Start by using a mortgage affordability calculator. By adding values such as your annual income, bill payments and debt load, you’ll get a sense of what you can reasonably afford. From here, you can talk a lender regarding a mortgage pre-qualification or pre-approval – giving you insight into how much mortgage a bank or other lending institution would be willing to give you.
What Should I Look for When I’m Looking at Homes?
You already know a room can be re-painted and carpeting can be replaced. But beyond the cosmetics, there are a few other things you’ll want to watch for:
- The condition of the roof
- Which way the house faces
- The condition of the plumbing and other mechanics (furnace, hot water heater etc.)
- Sounds and smells (is it a noisy neighbourhood? Are there any unpleasant smells inside or out?)
- Cracks in the foundation
- Old windows
- Signs of water damage or mould
Keep in mind, a good Edmonton real estate agent knows what to look for and will tell you if they notice anything “off” about a home you’re viewing.
How Can I Get Top Dollar For My Home When I Sell?
In addition to making sure your home is clean and organized, here are a few tips that will help you sell your home faster and for a great price:
- List for the right price
- Create curb appeal
- Make small upgrades
- Remove personal items (photos, family keepsakes etc.)
- Establish good lighting
- Organize hidden areas (closet interiors, drawers etc.)
Here too, working with an Edmonton real estate agent is extremely helpful due to their connections, expertise and ability to give great advice for the sale of your home.