Can you spot fact versus fiction? Here are some common misconceptions, AND the real deal on real estate.
You should wait until spring to list your home.
FALSE! While spring signals the start of the busy real estate season, activity is far from finished by the time fall rolls around. In fact, many buyers who didn't take the plunge in the spring or summer are very motivated to buy a home before the snow hits the ground, which could result in a quicker sale or a higher price!
Listing at a higher price leaves more negotiating room.
FALSE! Over-pricing your home means many potential buyers won't ever see it. Nowadays, most homebuyers start their search for a home online, filtering by region, housing type and most importantly, price! In fact, in a recent RE/MAX survey revealed that price was most important factor when shopping for real estate. This highlights the importance of doing your research and getting comparables when setting your listing price.
Real estate prices are higher in the spring and summer.
FALSE! Rather than season, prices depend more on factors such as supply and demand, which can vary dramatically from city to city, or even from one neighbourhood to the next. Rather than season, look at the number of days on the market to gauge your negotiating power.
The house price is the only thing you have to budget for.
FALSE! While the purchase price is main focus for the majority of homebuyers, closing costs can add anywhere from 1.5 to four per cent on top of the home's price. Budget for legal and administrative fees, home inspection, mortgage default insurance when down payments are less than 20 per cent of the purchase price, Land Transfer Tax, property tax, appraisal fee, home insurance, moving costs and more. On a $500,000 home, closing costs can range from $7,500 to $20,000. Make sure you budget for this.
You must have at least five per cent to put down on a home.
FALSE! There are private lenders offering mortgage loans with zero down, but buyer beware! Purchasing a home with no down payment is not advisable. In these cases, interest rates are typically higher and the total cost to you over the life of your mortgage will be greater. The best advice is to save up at least five per cent as a down payment, and if you are unable to do this, consider decreasing your home-buying budget or delaying the purchase.
Mortgage insurance helps with your payments if something happens to you.
FALSE! Contrary to popular belief, mortgage loan insurance protects the lender against defaults in payment, not the borrower. If your down payment is less than 20 per cent of the purchase price, you'll need to purchase mortgage default insurance, which can be paid upfront in full, or added to your mortgage payments.
Buying a home is a big step and commitment that shouldn’t be entered lightly. We are here to help you get your facts straight. Our team of trusted professionals can help to turn your dream home into a reality.