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REAL ESTATE: Support documents sell homes faster – BCLocalNews

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By Freddy Marks

Property buyers spend a lot of time asking questions to determine if a property is the right choice for them.

Buyers must perform some level of due diligence with every property they are seriously considering. A buyer must examine every aspect of a property to confirm your listing is accurately represented and there will be no unpleasant surprises down the line. Mortgage lenders also depend on documentation to determine if a property is factually represented in order to approve buyers.

Accurate and detailed listings with corresponding support documentation are a catalyst to sell your home faster and closer to the asking price.

Your realtor will ask you many questions about your property in order to create a detailed and accurate listing description. Your listing description is the white paper for your home, a chance to fully inform the reader of all the properties assets, services and features.

It is imperative that you have a comprehensive list of details and the supporting homeowner documentation that back up your listings claims. Documents make it real, they let a buyer know that what they read in your listing is actually true and honest integrity will prevail if they enter into a purchase contract with you. Their decision to make a competitive offer, and follow through with the final vetting and inspections, depends on how confident they are that the property is being truthfully represented.

Many buyers will still purchase property even if they know there are dated services, old wiring or major renovations are needed. It is to your advantage to be up front!

RELATED: Chilliwack and district real estate market back on solid ground

When a buyer ask questions of the listing realtor, for example, “how deep is the well, what year was it drilled and how many gallons a minute does it produce?” They expect that there is an honest and accurate answer backed up by the drillers’ well log.

Just typing out what details you know can be satisfactory, but it then puts the onus on the buyer to have a well inspection completed at their own time and expense. Quickly emailing a copy of the well drillers’ log directly to a potential buyer is the best way to answer their question and build a buyer’s confidence in selecting your property.

People don’t make major purchases that they don’t actually believe will be a benefit and asset.

Having the documents at the ready when buyers are vetting your listing puts your realtor in a position to market your property effectively. Confidence and accuracy of representation is extremely important and it is in every sellers’ best interest to keep a binder of all your homes pertinent documents that covers all the bases right from the beginning of ownership.

  • You may have old documents that you were given when you purchased the property. Include those, as well as all your own documents since becoming the homeowner. Like a property owner’s manual. Your property owner’s manual should include the official property deed, documents regarding loans on the property, your property tax invoice, copies of the property land survey, inspection reports, and copies of permits and contractors’ invoices for any upgrades.
  • If your home was built by a contractor in the last 10 years you will have warranty documents, and if you built your home yourself, an owner builder declaration certificate is needed.
  • If you own a mobile/manufactured home, the CSA number and registration papers are necessary.
  • Include records of your homeowner’s insurance to show the home/property are currently insured and the annual cost associated.
  • Keep and file records of plumbing, heating, service calls and any new appliance purchases with accompanying warranties.
  • Home buyers may want to know your homes energy consumption numbers, so include a years invoices for your hydro, natural gas/propane, pellet or wood cordage costs.
  • You may also have service contract documents, for example, an alarm system contract, pool servicing contract, or underground sprinkler contractor that services the property.
  • When the property is a rental unit, include a copy of the lease agreement.
  • Buyers should be aware of lease timelines, and if a buyer is purchasing the property for investment purposes, they will require the amount of revenue generated.
  • Pertinent rural farm or ranch property, water rights documents, irrigation equipment hour records, Crown range lease documents and other Agricultural Land Reserve documents should be in your property owner’s manual.
  • It is necessary to disclose any Homeowners Association (HOA) documents that include fees, charter by-laws, rules and insurance. Provide contact information for the HOA contact so buyers can conduct their own due diligence on the property.
  • Review the legal disclosures you are responsible for providing. They will be listed on your original purchase paperwork.
  • Properties in airport flight paths must be disclosed for noise.
  • Flood zones, earthquake zones and hazardous material sites must also be disclosed if you are aware of them.
  • When you enter into an agreement on a price with a buyer, transparency is important.
  • You are required to follow “disclosure laws” and make known to the buyer any hazards affecting the property before the sale is official. Examples of mandatory disclosures include: lead-based paint, asbestos, environmental hazards such as oil, gas, or toxic chemicals, water damage, defects/malfunctions of major appliances or systems, and past disputes over things like property lines or fencing.

Remember clarification improves efficiency and documentation can keep the forward momentum when a buyer shows interest in your listing.

It can be a very time-consuming process to perform due diligence research. Providing your properties “owner’s manual” to a buyer shows integrity and honesty. It can make a difference on how quickly potential buyers are able to make an offer, and ultimately, how long your listing will remain on the market.

SEE ALSO: B.C. fire department offers tips to keep your home safe during wildfire season

Even if you plan to stay in your home for years to come, it is always a good idea to create and keep adding to your property owner’s manual, as the years go by fast. It will make selling your home when you are ready a much easier, less stressful and enjoyable experience.

I’d like to wish all our readers a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Thank you for following our column.

Freddy Marks, together with his daughter Linda Marks, runs Agassiz’s 3A Group Sutton Showcase Realty. He has been a Realtor in Canada and Germany for more than 30 years, and currently lives in Harrison Hot Springs.


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Real eState

What Is the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)

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The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) is a Canadian Crown Corporation that serves as the national housing agency of Canada and provides mortgage loans to prospective buyers, particularly those in need.

Understanding the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) serves as the national housing agency of Canada. CMHC is a state-owned enterprise, or a Crown corporation, that provides a range of services for home buyers, the government, and the housing industry.

CMHC’s stated mission is to “promote housing affordability and choice; to facilitate access to, and competition and efficiency in the provision of, housing finance; to protect the availability of adequate funding for housing, and generally to contribute to the well-being of the housing sector.”1

A primary focus of CMHC is to provide federal funding for Canadian housing programs, particularly to buyers with demonstrated needs. CMHC, headquartered in Ottawa, provides many additional services to renters and home buyers, including mortgage insurance and financial assistance programs. CMHC acts as an information hub for consumers, providing information on renting, financial planning, home buying, and mortgage management.

CMHC also provides mortgage loan insurance for public and private housing organizations and facilitates affordable, accessible, and adaptable housing in Canada.2 Additionally, CMHC provides financial assistance and housing programs to First Nations and Indigenous communities in Canada.3

Professionals and Consumers

CMHC provides services to both professionals and consumers. For professionals, CMHC aims to work in collaboration with different groups to provide affordable housing. Services include project funding and mortgage financing, providing information to understand Canada’s housing market, innovation and leadership networks to access funding and talent to spur housing innovation and increase supply, and providing speakers and hosting events for the industry.4

For consumers, CMHC seeks to provide all the tools an individual would need to either buy a home or rent a home and a variety of information and assistance for current homeowners, such as managing a mortgage, services for seniors to age in place, and financial hardship assistance.56

For financial hardship and mortgage assistance, CMHC provides tools that include payment deferrals, extending the repayment period, adding missed payments to the mortgage balance, moving from a variable-rate to a fixed-rate mortgage, and other special payment arrangements.7

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and the National Housing Strategy

In November 2017, the Canadian government announced the National Housing Strategy.8 Rooted in the idea that housing is a human right, this 10-year, $70 billion project will largely be administered by CMHC, although some services and deliverables will be provided by third-party contractors and other Canadian federal agencies.9

Strategic initiatives of the National Housing Strategy include:

  • Building new affordable housing and renewing existing affordable housing stock
  • Providing technical assistance, tools, and resources to build capacity in the community housing sector and funds to support local organizations
  • Supporting research, capacity-building, excellence, and innovation in housing research10

History of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)

CMHC was established in 1946 as the Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation by the federal government in Canada with the primary mission of administering the National Housing Act and the Home Improvement Loans Guarantee Act and facilitating discounts to mortgage companies. Initially, CMHC began by providing housing to returning Canadian war veterans, and toward the end of the 1940s, CMHC began to administer a program providing low-income housing across Canada.11

In 1947, CMHC was responsible for opening Regent Park, a large low-income housing project, and Toronto’s first urban renewal project. By the 1960s, CMHC introduced co-op housing and multi-unit apartment buildings throughout Canada.11

In 1979, the Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation changed its name to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

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Real eState

Canadian home price gains accelerate again in May

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Canadian home prices accelerated again in May from the previous month, posting the largest monthly rise in the history of the Teranet-National Bank Composite House Price Index, data showed on Thursday.

The index, which tracks repeat sales of single-family homes in 11 major Canadian markets, rose 2.8% on the month in May, led by strong month-over-month gains in the Ottawa-Gatineau capital region, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and in Hamilton, Ontario.

“It was a third consecutive month in which all 11 markets of the composite index were up from the month before,” said Daren King, an economist at National Bank of Canada, in a note.

On an annual basis, the Teranet index was up 13.7% from a year earlier, the 10th consecutive acceleration and the strongest 12-month gain since July 2017.

Halifax led the year-over-year gains, up 29.9%, followed by Hamilton at 25.5% and Ottawa-Gatineau at 22.8%.

Housing price gains in smaller cities outside Toronto and its immediate suburbs again outpaced the major urban centers, with Barrie, Ontario leading the pack, up 31.4%.

On a month-over-month basis, prices rose 4.9% in Ottawa-Gatineau, 4.3% in Halifax and 3.7% in Hamilton.

The Teranet index measures price gains based on the change between the two most recent sales of properties that have been sold at least twice.

Canada‘s average home selling price, meanwhile, fell 1.1% in May from April, Canadian Real Estate Association data showed on Tuesday, but jumped 38.4% from May 2020.

 

(Reporting by Julie Gordon in Ottawa; Editing by Christopher Cushing)

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Economy

Bank of Canada seeing signs of cooling in hot housing market

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The Bank of Canada is starting to see signs that the country’s red hot housing market is cooling down, although a return to a normality will take time, Governor Tiff Macklem said on Wednesday.

The sector surged in late 2020 and early 2021, with home prices escalating sharply amid investor activity and fear of missing out. The national average selling price fell 1.1% in May from April but was still up 38.4% from May 2020.

“You are starting to see some early signs of some slowing in the housing market. We are expecting supply to improve and demand to slow down, so we are expecting the housing market to come into better balance,” Macklem said.

“But we do think it is going to take some time and it is something that we are watching closely,” he told the Canadian Senate’s banking committee.

Macklem reiterated that the central bank saw evidence people were buying houses with a view to selling them for a profit and said recent price jumps were not sustainable.

“Interest rates are unusually low, which means eventually there’s more scope for them to go up,” he said.

Last year, the central bank slashed its key interest rate to a record-low 0.25% and Macklem reiterated it would stay there at least until economic slack had been fully absorbed, which should be some time in the second half of 2022.

“The economic recovery is making good progress … (but) a complete recovery will still take some time. The third wave of the virus has been a setback,” he said.

The bank has seen some choppiness in growth in the second quarter of 2021 following a sharp economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic at the start of the year, he added.

(Reporting by David Ljunggren and Julie Gordon; Editing by Peter Cooney and Richard Pullin)

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