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Oshawa, ON L1H 4Z7
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RE/MAX Jazz is an upbeat, trendsetting real estate company located in the heart of Oshawa at 21 Drew Street. A full service brokerage, RE/MAX Jazz proudly offers cutting edge technology, innovative marketing tools and state of the art logistics to buyers and sellers across Durham Region.
Representing and Servicing Durham Region and the Greater Toronto Area. Let's get you the keys!
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Some Interesting and Informative Buyer Related Articles . . .
By: Joe Richer Special to the Star, Published on Fri Nov 30 2012
Q: We recently put in the highest bid with no conditions on a house that sold to an inferior offer (both in price and terms) apparently because the seller knew the bidder. Is this legal?
A: RECO does not regulate the conduct of buyers and sellers. However, when more than one buyer is interested in a property, the seller’s representative must disclose the number of competing offers to all buyers who have submitted a written offer. Be advised that the terms and conditions of each offer are confidential to the seller and their broker or salesperson.
Both sides — the buyers and seller — need to carefully consider how to respond to a competing offer situation. Each buyer needs to decide if they want to participate in a competing offer situation and, if so, how the situation will influence their offer for the property. This is where emotions tend to kick in and override better judgment.
Buyers may be tempted into taking risky actions like removing the home inspection condition from their offer to make it more attractive.
The seller has several options:
• Accept one of the offers.
• Negotiate with one buyer and reject all other offers.
• Negotiate with one buyer and advise other buyers that their offers are being set aside while the seller negotiates.
• Reject all offers.
The seller has the right to accept an offer for any reason, regardless of price or conditions.
By Vanessa Roman

It is amazing the amount of money sellers spend on home remodeling projects with little or no professional advice. There is a common misconception in the land of home ownership that you will get most or all of your renovation investment back out of the house upon re-sale, regardless of the project. Sadly, this is rarely the case.

Not all renovations are created equal. There are some which retain their value better than others. As we all know, kitchens and bathrooms tend to yield the highest return on Investment when done correctly. But in my experience as a real estate agent and home renovator, there are a few less-well-known areas for improvement which can give you a great bang for your buck.

Replace all of the windows and doors in your property.

Having old and inefficient windows and doors doesn’t help sell your property. So replacing them can be a good idea. While this is not an inexpensive renovation, it can be worth the cost to improve the look of a home inside and out. Modern windows and doors keep out cold and draughts, can save you money on energy bills and can enhance the security of your home. This is also a fairly quick renovation. Most houses can have all of their windows and doors replaced within a few days.

Estimated Return on Investment: 70 – 80%

Bottom Line: Don’t pull the shade down on this window of opportunity.

Adding a parking space for city properties

Parking is King when selling a city property. Ask anyone who has come home from a long day at work, with groceries and kids in the car, how frustrating it is to spend 20 minutes cruising the streets of your neighbourhood looking for a place to park. When selling your house, the addition of a front yard parking pad can be worth its weight in gold to a seller desperate to avoid a daily hunt for space.

Estimated ROI: 75-150%

Bottom Line: Joni Mitchell can have her Big Yellow taxi. The rest of us should pave paradise and put in a parking space.

Repaint the walls, ceiling and trim

I have never walked into a re-sale home which couldn’t use a lick of new paint somewhere. Paint is the quickest and least expensive way to dramatically change the look and feel of your house. At minimum, you should be re-painting your entire property once every 5 years and always just before you decide to sell. While most homeowners are willing to tackle this renovation themselves, it is almost always a bad idea. It will take you twice as long to complete the job and it will look half as good as a professional painter would do. So don’t bother. Call a professional and have the job done right, the first time.

Estimate ROI: 75-200%

Bottom Line: Don’t be quick to brush off this home renovation.

I have heard too many stories from homeowners about renovations gone wrong. Everything from shoddy workmanship to dramatic cost overruns to simply choosing the wrong project to complete. Before making any renovation decisions, a wise homeowner will talk to a few professionals about what is best for their property specifically. At minimum, these professionals should include a real estate agent, contractor and property appraiser. For most of us, our homes are the single biggest investment we have, so do your homework before choosing how best to manage that precious asset.
Q: I’m planning to list my home for sale and want to approach three real estate professionals for their valuation of my property before I make a decision on representation.
Am I contractually bound to continue with the agent simply because I asked them for an assessment?

A: Putting your house on the market is a big decision. Like potential buyers, you’re within your rights to “shop around” and determine which real estate professional would be the best fit for you and your needs. You’re not required to work with a specific broker or salesperson until you sign a representation agreement.
Keep in mind that their valuation of your house will be based on other comparable properties that are available and sold in your area. The valuation is just one of the factors you should be considering. You should be asking yourself:
What experience do they have?
Are they familiar with the benefits of your neighbourhood?
What are their ideas to best represent your home on the market?
What will they require from you?
To aid in your search - ask for referrals.
Before you choose a representative, confirm that they are registered with the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO)

Toronto Star - February 9, 2013
Selling a home by yourself means more money in your pocket, but it’s a lot of hard work and there are some things to think about.

By: Mark Weisleder Real Estate, Published on Fri May 09 2014
Whenever I write about why you should use a real estate agent to sell your home, the mail pours in. I’m sure it will this week, too.
I am a real estate lawyer and write courses and teach industry players how to do their jobs more professionally and ethically. I also believe that in many cases you will be better protected and make more money selling your house if you use an agent. Not always, but in many cases.
Here’s why I think that:
You don’t have to pay upfront: Do-it-Yourself marketing companies are not real estate agents. You usually pay $1,000-to- $2,000 up front, for pictures, videos and to have your home listed on the MLS system. However, you get no money back if your home doesn’t sell. With a real estate agent, if your home doesn’t sell, you pay nothing, even though the agent may have spent a lot of time marketing and using all of their own and their company contacts to sell your home.
Abidding war is unlikely: Bidding wars are the norm in the GTA and other parts of Ontario. In virtually all cases, the home is sold by a real estate agent. The reason is that it takes experience to price the home properly. Second, the process is fair because no one knows what anyone else is bidding. With a private seller, there is no duty of confidentiality, so the seller can tell one buyer what another buyer is bidding. Buyers do not trust the process so there is no bidding war.
You negotiate on your own: When you do it yourself, it is difficult to know what a fair price is for your home. You might have to pay an appraiser to find out. When a buyer hears that you are saving commission, they will want to split the savings. So you don’t get all the commission savings and you also have to negotiate with a buyer who is likely represented by a real estate agent. This agent will use all their experience to figure out how low you will go, while giving nothing away about their own buyer.
Related:Why you should consider a discount broker
Not knowing your obligations: Sellers cannot rely on the term “Buyer Beware.” You have to disclose problems with your home and you cannot hide or cover up anything. Otherwise, you can still be sued after closing. Who wants a court fight long after you move?
Lenders are more cautious when they see a private deal: I have seen deals collapse this way. In one case, the lender sent their own appraiser because they were concerned the buyer paid too much money. The appraiser agreed and the buyer’s loan commitment was cancelled. The deal died.
In another case, the seller was worried the buyers did not have proper financing. They wanted more proof about the buyer’s financial situation than the buyer was willing to give. Lawyers became involved when things could not be worked out amicably. When buyers are represented by agents, they are usually pre-qualified in advance so the seller can have comfort that they will have the money available to close the deal on time.
When you’re out for a walk this weekend have a look at the For Sale signs and see how many are represented by realtors. There’s a reason for that.
By all means, try and sell your house on your own, just beware that it’s not as easy as it looks.
Q: Is it legal for a real estate professional in Ontario to represent both the buyer and seller?

A: Yes, the law that governs the real estate industry in Ontario allows a real estate professional or brokerage to represent both buyer and seller, or more than one competing buyer, of a property. It’s a situation referred to as “multiple representation.”
Under the law, your broker or salesperson must inform you if a multiple representation situation arises and advise you how it will affect the services they provide to you. It’s important to know that they cannot proceed with multiple representation unless all parties consent in writing.
If you find yourself involved in this situation, ask questions and make sure you are comfortable with the implications. Find out more about representation agreements at
November is national Financial Literacy Month and this year the theme Financial Literacy Across Generations. This is the second in a series of Ask Joe columns touching on real estate decisions that buyers and sellers face at different times in their lives.
I can’t decide whether I should sell my home myself or hire a real estate agent. What are the pros and cons of each?
When the time comes to put your home on the market, it can be tempting to handle the transaction yourself — For Sale By Owner.
Keep in mind the significant time and effort it takes to sell a home. Going the FSBO route means you’ll be responsible for everything — setting the right price, advertising your property, letting interested buyers in, reviewing offers, negotiating terms and managing the paperwork once an agreement is reached. Yes, you’ll save the money that would have been paid to a real estate professional, but think about what your time is worth, and your level of knowledge and expertise in handling such a transaction.
Also, be aware that commission rates with real estate agents are negotiable.
Even if you sell your home yourself, you may still end up paying commission to the buyer’s representative. That’s because, in a traditional sale, the commission for both representatives is typically paid by the seller. If you don’t agree to pay the buyer’s agent a commission, the buyer may see it as a disincentive to purchasing your home.
One of the challenges you will face is getting the attention of homebuyers. Only registered real estate professionals have the ability to post listings on MLS. Some real estate brokerages now offer a “mere posting” service, where your property is listed on MLS for a fee, but leaves you responsible for all other facets of the transaction.
Valuable consumer protection comes with working with an agent and that includes knowledge, professional standards and insurance.
Registered real estate professionals must complete ongoing, mandatory continuing education. That means they’ll be fully prepared to help you navigate the selling process, including determining how best to market and show your home to buyers, deciphering paperwork and negotiating on price and terms.
Your real estate professional is also required to uphold professional standards that emphasize fairness, honesty and integrity, and follow rules and regulations protecting consumers. In the rare instance that something goes wrong and you want to complain, RECO will investigate and take steps.
The final pillar of protection, insurance, has two facets. First, deposit insurance guarantees the buyer’s deposit payment will be held in trust and insured against fraud, insolvency or misappropriation. Second, real estate professionals must hold errors and omissions insurance to pay for damages and legal costs arising from claims.
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