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Serving buyers in the pre-construction phase

(OREO.com)I started my real estate career working for a marketing company that represented many reputable builders of new homes and hi-rise condominium projects. Initially I was representing builders. Since then, as a REALTOR®, I have also helped home buyers purchase pre-construction units. My exposure to both sides of the transaction leads me to believe there is room for greater transparency and due diligence to serve our buyers better.

In a resale transaction, we are trained to do our due diligence as buyer representatives. We strive to protect our buyer’s best interests by obtaining a home inspection, land registry search, insurance claim history and so on. However, the sales process is very different when the actual product is not yet built. The old saying comes to mind: “If you can't touch it, don't buy it,” yet pre-construction prices may save buyers thousands of dollars or get them the best choice of suites or lots in a sub-division. With that in mind, here are some issues to watch for.

Closing Dates and Occupancy Dates: As industry professionals, we know that new home and condo projects are often delayed, yet consumers aren’t always aware of this. Ask the developer about potential delays in closing dates and manage your buyers’ expectations accordingly to save a lot of anguish. You can also ask about pending approvals to understand what hurdles lie ahead for this project. In my experience, high-rise condominium projects are more likely to face delays than low rise projects.

"The more approvals the builder has received, the less likely that drastic changes will confront your buyer.”

Understanding market conditions

The real estate market is always changing, and it helps to understand how market conditions can affect your position as a buyer. Your agent can provide you with info on current conditions and explain their impact on you. There are three different types market on different time and area.
Buyers’ market The supply of homes on the market exceeds demand.

  • High inventory of homes
  • Few buyers compared to availability
  • Homes usually stay on the market longer
  • Prices tend to drop


  • Buyers spend more time looking for a home buyer usually have more leverage

Sellers’ market The number of buyers wanting homes exceeds the supply of homes on the market.

Helpful Moving Tips

Book the movers. You can choose to have the movers pack everything, or just the breakables, or you can pack yourself. It’s a good idea to obtain estimates from several different companies.

Give necessary written notice to your landlord and make arrangements for the return of any monies you have on deposit, if you rent your old home.Make arrangements for the gas and electric utilities, water softener, telephone and cable TV to be connected on the day the sale closes. Dispose safely of all flammable liquids as it is illegal for movers to carry them.

  • Get "Change of Address" cards from the post office and send out well before moving day.
  • Have the post office forward your mail to your new address.
  • Cancel any contracted services and pre-authorized cheques.
  • Inform gardening, dry cleaning, garbage pick-up, newspapers, magazines, diaper and other home services. Arrange for service at your new address.
  • Obtain a letter of introduction from your current branch to help establish new accounts. Transfer trust or bank accounts and securities.
  • Cancel or transfer social, athletic, civic, religious or business affiliations and memberships.
  • Arrange for transfer of medical, dental, prescription and optical records.
  • Change the address on your driver’s license(s) effective the day of the move.
  • Collect all items out for cleaning, repair or storage. e.g. fur coats, dry cleaning.
  • Make special arrangements for the moving of perishables, such as plants.
  • Make special arrangements for the moving of your pets.

The elements of an offer.

1. Price Depending on the local market conditions, your opinion of value and market information provided by your Real Estate Professional, the price you offer may be different from the seller’s asking price.

2. Deposit The deposit shows your good faith and will be applied against the purchase of the home when the sale closes. Your Real Estate Professional can advise you on an appropriate amount.

3. Terms Includes the total price offered and the financing details. You may arrange your own financing or ask to assume the seller’s mortgage, especially if it has an attractive interest rate.

Save your money everyday

The weather has been a little unseasonable lately, but fortunately it won’t last forever. Here is a list of inexpensive things that you can do to save money and be more energy efficient at home, And also this will help our environment:

  • Eliminate cold drafts by air sealing your home with caulking and weather-stripping. 25 - 40% of a home’s heat loss can be prevented by proper air sealing.
  • Install a programmable thermostat and give your furnace a break while you’re not home.
  • Use energy efficient lighting such as compact fluorescents.
  • Consider adding insulation, particularly in the attic.
  • When buying new windows select energy efficient features. Look for models that are filled with argon gas and that have a low "e"-coating.

Selecting and working with a Realtor

Buying or selling a home in today’s market requires a lot of work and a lot of knowledge about sales and real estate. It’s one of the largest purchases or biggest business transactions many of us will ever make. It doesn’t pay to depend on blind luck.

Whether you are a buyer or a seller, there are distinct advantages to using a Realtor.  A Realtor, is a licensed real estate professional who is a member of a local real estate board, as well as the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).

This individual has the experience and qualifications needed to successfully conduct a purchase or sale. In Ontario, you can expect strict adherence to provincial law and a  code of ethics. This ensures you receive the highest level of service, honesty and integrity.