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Toronto Star Columns 2009

The following articles were first published in the Moneyville which is powered by Toronto Star and are reprinted here with their full permission.

Toronto Star Archive Articles: 2011 | 2010 | 2009

  • Buyer must accept minor easements
    December 11, 2009
    In the standard form real estate agreement, the buyer asks the seller to provide a clean title to the property, with no defects.

  • Title insurance, surveys provide peace of mind
    December 4, 2009
    There are many title problems that may have existed before you took ownership that can come back to haunt you after closing.

  • Recent property survey has its advantages
    November 27, 2009
    Many buyers think that if they have title insurance, they don't need a survey when they purchase a home. In order to properly understand this issue, we first need to look at the advantages to a buyer of having an up-to-date survey when they purchase any property.

  • Make a checklist of chattels before you close the sale
    November 20, 2009
    Since my last article about chattels and fixtures, buyers have sent me emails about plasma televisions, thermostats and hot tubs removed prior to closing.

  • Danish disclosure policy has value
    November 13, 2009
    Since writing about the lack of protection for consumers against the discovery of defects in their home after closing, I have been swamped with emails from consumers, real estate salespeople and insurance experts. I also have learned my favourite new word: "ejerskifteforsikring."

  • Who pays when chattels, fixtures break?
    November 6, 2009
    What condition do the appliances have to be in on closing? What if the fridge breaks down one week after closing? What if the furnace stops working? Whose responsibility does it become?

  • Nail your chattels down in the agreement
    October 16, 2009
    Closet organizers. We can spend hundreds, even thousands of dollars on these contraptions to make maximum use of our closet spaces. However, who gets the closet organizer when the house is sold? Can the seller take it with them, or must it be left behind for the buyer?

  • Accurate disclosure good for both parties
    October 9, 2009
    The subject of property condition statements continues to generate articles across the country.

  • Property disclosure statement truths
    October 2, 2009
    Basement flooding. Mould behind the walls. Cracks in the foundation. These are just some of the stories I have received from buyers who discovered defects in their home shortly after closing, which were not disclosed by the seller.

  • Resale homebuyers also need consumer protection
    September 25, 2009
    I have often been puzzled that while the provincial government has introduced consumer protections for used car buyers, there is very little to protect resale homebuyers from unscrupulous sellers, even though these buyers may be making the largest purchase decision of their lives.

  • Be careful with wording of home inspection clause
    September 18, 2009
    The home inspection condition appears in almost every residential real estate transaction, yet it is surprising how many buyers and sellers do not really understand what the condition means and what their rights are once the condition is inserted.

  • Check on insurance before you submit an offer
    September 11, 2009
    If you have ever had difficulty making a claim to your insurance company, for any loss, then you understand that insurance coverage needs to be researched and understood clearly before you buy any policy.

  • Buyer beware of financing conditions
    September 4, 2009
    Most real estate offers are conditional on the buyer obtaining the necessary financing to complete the purchase. This condition is typically for a period of three to seven days, to give buyers the time to confirm with their mortgage broker or lender that they are approved for the necessary funds.

  • Seller, know thy buyer
    August 28, 2009
    Sellers receive offers from buyers every day in this country. Sometimes they may receive more than one offer, from different buyers, on the same day. How does a seller choose the right buyer, especially when the offers are similar in price? The decision can have dramatic consequences, especially if the seller has also bought a property and is depending on the proceeds of the sale to pay for their new purchase.

  • Flipping a new condo not an easy process but may be possible
    August 21, 2009
    I have received many questions from buyers, sellers and real estate salespeople about the rights of buyers and sellers when attempting to flip or assign an agreement to buy a new condominium unit.

  • How to prevent your home from being flipped
    August 14, 2009
    You have owned your home for 25 years, having purchased it for $200,000. You sold it last night for $450,000 and feel very good about it. How would you feel if your buyer turned around the very next day and re-sold it for $500,000?

  • Flipping properties can be taxing
    August 7, 2009
    You won a bidding war for a home last night and paid $400,000. You receive a call the next morning from one of the losing bidders, stating that they will pay you $425,000 for the same property. Your deal is not supposed to close for two months. Can the first buyer do this and make $25,000?

  • Be careful in multiple offer situations
    July 31, 2009
    Sellers or real estate agents lying through their teeth; opening up offers after the allowed time period. Those are just a couple of the allegations I have received via email following my recent articles on bidding wars.

  • How to win in bidding wars
    July 24, 2009
    For sellers, bidding wars or multiple offers from buyers are a dream come true. Numerous bidding wars took place in the United States and in many parts of Canada before the economic meltdown of 2008, but for the most part, such widespread buying frenzies are no longer taking place.

  • Preparation can ease stress of bidding war
    July 10, 2009
    Multiple offers. Bidding wars. These typically take place in a seller's market, when there are more buyers than available properties. Yet we are seeing bidding wars even today, when the market is more balanced. It is very important that buyers are properly prepared for this extremely stressful process.

  • End tenant's agreement before putting home up for sale
    July 3, 2009
    If you are thinking of selling your home this year and a tenant currently occupies it, then I recommend that you end the tenancy before putting your home on the market.

  • How buyers can find the right agent
    June 19, 2009
    For most buyers, purchasing a home is one of the largest financial contracts they will sign in their lifetime. It is extremely important they have the right real estate agent to represent them, to make sure they obtain the property that fits their needs at a price they can afford.

  • The right agent can make all the difference
    June 12, 2009
    Selling a home or condominium is complicated. There is a lot of money involved and potential liability if you are not honest with possible buyers about the condition of your home. That's why it's important that sellers receive the highest quality of representation, to make sure that they obtain top dollar for their property and also avoid the risk of being involved in any kind of legal proceedings.

  • Buyers beware of title promises to keep
    June 5, 2009
    One of the most misunderstood property rights has to do with promises on title, or what is legally referred to as restrictive covenants.

  • Owners need to know their boundaries
    May 29, 2009
    There is a lot of confusion between owners who live next door to each other and their rights relating to the boundary lines between their properties.

  • The bare facts on full disclosure
    May 22, 2009
    When it comes to potential issues in real estate transactions, many relate to questions regarding a seller's obligation to disclose to a buyer any physical or psychological defect in a property.

  • Toronto Star Archive Articles: 2011 | 2010 | 2009

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