Why should I do business with a Real Estate Broker?

A real estate transaction is a complicated and detailed process that requires solid knowledge of the real estate market and a skilful talent for negotiation. Why not use a real estate broker to take care of all the details for you?

When selling your home, your real estate broker will conduct a thorough analysis of the market in your neighbourhood, and will determine an accurate selling price. And by using the power of the Centris® system, your broker will give the home exceptional visibility to the more than 15,000 brokers who are members of a real estate board.

Think about it. To sell your home, you must be available seven days a week to conduct showings. Your real estate broker can take care of everything: responding to requests for information, managing telephone calls and showings, marketing your property to potential buyers, etc.

Once a promise to purchase has been submitted, it's time for negotiations. In all real estate transactions, it's fundamental that you have an experienced negotiator on your side and real estate brokers are truly experts in the field! They can help guide you through financing, qualifying buyers, sale conditions, building inspections, and all other legal aspects.

Brokers can also be intermediaries in your dealings with the many people involved in the sale of your property. Their large networks of contacts range from building inspectors to notaries, and from financial institutions to mortgage brokers. Brokers are a one-stop shop for all these services, and their involvement guarantees you the legal protection offered by the Real Estate Brokerage Act.


How am I protected?

Protection You Can Count On!

Doing business with a real estate broker means that you are protected by the law. The Real Estate Brokerage Act and various other organizations regulate the real estate broker profession so that consumers can expect fair and competent services. So, you know that you'll be served by a highly qualified and well-trained professional.

Real Estate Brokerage Act

The main goal of the Real Estate Brokerage Act is to protect the public. To enforce this, the Act sets out specific rules relating to the brokerage contract for the sale of a house. They are similar to several of the regulations found in the Consumer Protection Act.

Organisme d'autoréglementation du courtage immobilier du Québec

Created by the Real Estate Brokerage Act, the Organisme d'autoréglementation du courtage immobilier du Québec (OACIQ) is mandated to protect the public by regulating the professional activities of all real estate brokers. It is responsible for administering the exam that leads to the practice certificate and it ensures that its members carry out their activities in compliance with current laws and regulations. For more information, visit www.oaciq.com.

Fonds d'indemnisation du courtage immobilier

Each broker contributes to the Fonds d'indemnisation du courtage immobilier. The Fonds d'indemnisation du courtage immobilier has the authority to compensate a consumer in the event that a problem arises during a transaction whether it relates to fraud, a dishonest transaction or the misappropriation of funds or other property. For more information, go to www.oaciq.com.

Professional Liability Insurance

Real estate brokers must hold professional liability insurance, which ensures that consumers have additional financial protection in cases of fault, error, negligence or omission. This insurance covers civil claims and civil proceedings.


Should I buy or sell my home first?

Is it better to buy a new home or sell your existing home first? Both options have their advantages and their risks. By carefully examining the pros and cons, and by providing alternatives in case of setbacks, you will be able to make an informed decision.

Selling First

By selling your current home before buying a new one, you'll know the exact amount you'll be receiving from the sale. You'll therefore have a very good idea of how much money is available to buy your new home.

You might start feeling an urgent need to find a new home right away. But keep in mind that you'll already have all the information needed to make your promise to purchase. For example, you'll know when the buyers of your current home are moving in, and can therefore easily establish when you'll need to take possession of your new home. If ever the dates don't coincide, you can always plan for temporary accommodation.

Buying First

When you buy first, you'll know your new address, the exact price of your new home, the date on which you'll become owner and the transaction date. You'll be able to consider these things when you receive a promise to purchase for your current home.

You can also make a promise to purchase that is conditional on the sale of your home. In this case, the owner of the property you're interested in might receive another offer without any conditions. In order to give yours priority, the owner will ask you to withdraw your condition. You will therefore have to decide whether you'd rather buy that property before selling your existing home, or withdraw your offer.

One way or another, it's a good idea to plan a temporary source of financing in case your current home isn't sold when you sign the purchase contract for your new home.


How do I quickly sell my property?

To Sell Quickly, Make a Good First Impression!

When the time comes to sell your home, you only have one chance to make a first impression.

The Exterior

The exterior appearance of your home is extremely important. An inviting exterior will attract buyers and encourage them to visit the inside of your home. Your lawn should be well maintained and, during the winter months, keep some photos of your lawn handy so that visitors can see what it looks like during the summer. Cleanliness is essential, so a cleared entrance and clean windows will also make a big difference.

The Interior

Inside, neatness is key. Clean your home from top to bottom and get rid of all unnecessary items. Remove any old furniture that is obstructing the hallways or cluttering up the rooms. Clear out any open spaces so that visitors don't feel cramped.

Does the home need a fresh coat of paint? Newly painted properties often sell for more. Remember that dark colours can be detrimental to a sale. Instead, choose brighter, more appealing neutral tones. Your carpet's appearance can also be a determining factor. If you can't replace your carpeting, having it cleaned will help give the rooms a refreshing new look.

The kitchen and bathroom must be immaculate. Take the time to clean all appliances and faucets, as well as the bathtub, toilet and sink. Unclutter the counters and don't leave any dirty dishes in the sink or towels around the tub. Give buyers a chance to visualize all storage possibilities.

Throughout your home, fix leaky taps, defective door handles, as well as drawers and cupboard doors that don't close properly. Replace burnt light bulbs and yellowed switch plates. Most of these minor repairs are relatively inexpensive and will help visitors form a positive opinion of your home.

Creating Ambiance

Your home must be well lit. During the day, keep the curtains open and turn lamps on in the evening. If necessary, add lamps in dark corners. Make sure your home is well-ventilated so that visitors aren't turned off by strong odours such as incense or spicy foods.

It's important to be discrete when potential buyers are visiting. Leave your broker alone with the client. It will be easier for the broker to highlight your home's strong points and the visitor will be able to voice comments and impressions freely.


How do I determine the right price for my property?

The Price Is Right

Determining the right sale price is a crucial step when deciding to sell your home. More often than not, the price is the most determining factor for potential buyers.

Thanks to their privileged access to the Centris® system, a network that is reserved exclusively for brokers who are members of a real estate board, your real estate broker can evaluate your property and perform a comparative market analysis based on properties that are similar to yours and that were recently sold in your neighbourhood. Comparative market analyses are indicators of the price that today's buyers are willing to pay for a residence similar to your own, in a comparable area. The analysis takes into account your property's features and the conditions of the current real estate market.

Getting Off to a Good Start

To sell your property quickly, it's important that you set the right price from the get-go. When faced with a price that's too high, potential buyers may get discouraged, while those who can afford it will quickly realize that they can get better value for their money elsewhere. It's also good to remember that a property that lingers on the market for a long time tends to lose its appeal.

Selling on your own is risky business. Without in-depth knowledge of the market, you can easily underestimate the true value of your property and lose considerable profit. This is why a real estate broker is the best-suited professional to help make the most of your real estate transaction.

Setting the right price from the moment you put your property up for sale is to your best advantage. You'll be sure to attract more potential buyers and therefore sell your property as quickly as possible.


How do i prepared my home for a photoshoot?

General Guidelines

  • Upon the arrival of the photographer, please open all the lights inside your home to ensure maximum illumination. This will also help “warm up” the ambiance in the photos.
  • Make sure to replace any burnt out light bulbs in your fixtures and that all lamps are plugged in and functional.
  • If you have any animals, place them in a room that has already been photographed (or in the garage) to avoid obstructing the photographer's work.
  • Always stand behind the photographer or avoid walking in front of the camera or seeing your reflection in a mirror. Wide angle lens capture more information that you can imagine!
  • Close any television and/or computer screens during the photo shoot.
  • Perform your home staging PRIOR to the arrival of the photographer and not DURING the photo shoot.

 

Advice for exterior photos

Unclutter the front of the house!

  • Place your parked vehicles in the garage and/or on the opposite side of the street, if possible. Never place the vehicle directly in front of the property in order to provide the photographer with a clear view of the frontage of your property.
  • Remove any items that could distract from your home's aesthetics: garbage bins, recycling bins, hockey or basketball nets, shovels, old newspapers and advertising bags (public-sac) are all items that need to be removed from view.
  • If you do not have a garage, place these items in a tool/storage shed or on the side of the house (towards the rear of the house).
  • In winter, make sure to clear the snow from your driveway and walkways, making sure to also clear the front steps.
  • Apply any salt, stone dust or de-icing product to minimize the effect of icy patches leading from the street to your home. You could be held responsible for any unfortunate accidents from visitors, brokers… and photographers!
  • In the summer time, make sure that the yard is well groomed and that the lawn has been mowed.

 

Make sure to provide access to the rear of the property!

  • Especially in winter, make sure that the photographer can gain access to the backyard by clearing a walkway to the rear of your property.
  • In the summer, make sure all lawn and garden tools, water hoses, pool items and toys, and clothing left on the clothesline have all been removed from site by the time the photographer arrives.
  • If you have any animals, please make sure all excrement have been removed from the yard.

 

Advice for interior photos

The vestibule/doorway

  • Remove large coat racks or make sure that jackets are not hanging from them.
  • Remove from view any shoes, boots, umbrellas and other clothing items.
  • Unless necessary due to weather conditions, remove any small mats or carpets placed on the floor of the vestibule.

 

Living room

  • Avoid clutter! A rocking chair, too many plants, too many decorative pillows, TV/DVD remotes lying around and excessive memorabilia (picture frames) will divert attention away from the room.

 

Kitchen

  • Unclutter your countertops: food processors, bread boxes, dirty dishes, pots and pans in the sink will all detract from your kitchen's beauty.
  • Remove any small mats and carpets placed on the kitchen floor, to avoid the impression that you're hiding some flooring defect (broken slates, broken ceramic, etc.).
  • Remove any dishwashing rags from the range door or hanging from cabinets.
  • De-personalize the room: remove any pictures, drawings, memorabilia and magnets from your refrigerator.
  • Remove any waste/garbage bins (plastic or stainless) and hide them from site during the photo shoot.
  • If you have animals, remove any feeding dishes/bowls. You may need to consult with the photographer if bird cages need to be moved or not.

 

Bedrooms

  • Make sure the beds are properly made in each bedroom.
  • Remove any articles of clothing/laundry, toys and games, laptop computers that are not stored in their proper place, etc.
  • Unclutter your room: remove unnecessary items such as exercise apparatus (bikes, treadmills, etc.), if possible.
  • Remove any small mats and carpets placed on the bedroom floor.

 

Bathrooms and powder rooms

  • Lower the toilet seat and/or close the lid.
  • Remove any used towels, bathrobe or other items hanging behind the bathroom door.
  • Remove any bottles, soaps, shampoos from the edge of the bathtub and inside the shower.
  • Remove any toothpaste, toothbrushes from the sink, hair products and other items from the sink.
  • Remove any tissue paper box, waste basket, clothes hampers and other non-aesthetic items.
  • Remove any small mats and carpets placed on the bathroom floor.

 

About the actual photo shoot

  • Once your Real Estate broker has placed his/her order for a photo shoot, one of our service department team members will contact you to schedule an appointment.
  • An appointment is scheduled on a specific day, and a 2-hour time frame is allocated based on your availabilities and one of our photographer's routes in your sector.
  • Upon their arrivals, the photographers will introduce themselves and briefly explain the process of the photo shoot with the home owners, and in some cases offer additional guidelines and/or recommendations.
  • The photographer will proceed to photograph all of the interior rooms to which he/she is given access to; an exterior photo shoot will also be performed during his/her visit. The photographer will then proceed to select and identify his photos which best highlight your residence's appeal.
  • Usually, garages, closets (standard and walk-in), storage room and electrical rooms ARE NOT PHOTOGRAPHED; these areas become very useful to hide/store unwanted items that should not appear in the photos (see above texts for details!).
  • The photographer will take a proportionate number of photos to best represent your home.
  • It is impossible for the photographer to show you the pictures from his/her camera during the photo shoot.
  • If you have specific requests, please inform the photographer at the start of the photo shoot (or prior to beginning).
  • If you have personal photos of your home that you wish to include, you must submit them to your Real Estate broker (and not the photographer).
  • Each photo shoot will take approximately 30-45 minutes.
  • Photos will be selected and be made available as quickly as possible following a photo shoot (usually available the next business day, if no technical issues arise).

Courtesy of EGP TechnoVirtuel Inc. ©2014

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