President's Toronto Star Column
TREB President's Column as it appears in the Toronto Star.
Buying Or Selling A Home? Information Is Just A Click Away
April 1, 2013 -- Each year the change of seasons prompts many people to make a move to their next home and thanks to the added incentive of today’s extremely low interest rates, this year will be no exception.
While many of life’s major transitions involve some nail biting, buying or selling a home needn’t require a leap of faith thanks to all of the information that is available through TorontoRealEstateBoard.com, a website that Greater Toronto REALTORS® developed with your needs in mind.
Gaining insight into the market should be a first step in preparing for your move and doing so is simple with reports on current conditions, updated twice monthly, on TorontoRealEstateBoard.com.
Through the Market Watch report, produced at the close of each month, you’ll gain detailed information specific to your neighbourhood like the month’s sales, average prices, and the number of days on market. To stay up to date, be sure to check in at mid-month for a snapshot of current conditions. There’s even a quarterly report designed just for those interested in the condo market. If you prefer to take in information visually, videos and charts that capture market information are also available.
Accurate financial planning is also key to a successful move and to help you prepare, the website includes calculators that determine land transfer tax costs and rebates where applicable. You will also find information on a wide range of government programs designed to help homebuyers and sellers.
Learning about a number of other factors that may affect your transaction is beneficial as well. Videos and articles will give you insight into issues like the importance of signing a Buyer Representation Agreement, the requirements of anti-money laundering legislation and the type of information that is safeguarded to protect your privacy.
When you’re ready to make a foray into the market be sure to consult a REALTOR®. Ask your friends, family and colleagues for referrals and use the website’s Find a REALTOR® search function to get contact details in one click.
Once you have made this important choice, you can work with your REALTOR® to identify homes suited to your needs by browsing available properties in the Greater Toronto Area through the website’s direct link to REALTOR.ca You’ll even find a directory of open houses scheduled in your area.
Negotiating the terms of an agreement is one of the many areas where your REALTOR’s® skills and knowledge can help you achieve a successful outcome. You can also strengthen your position though, by familiarizing yourself with the standard forms used in a transaction. Plain language explanations of them are also available on TorontoRealEstateBoard.com
Equipped with all of this information you’ll definitely increase the likelihood of a favourable transaction however; it’s no substitute for real world experience. That’s where your REALTOR® comes in. By taking advantage of all of the tools and skills they have to offer you will set yourself up for the strongest outcome possible.
For more information to help you get started be sure to visit www.TorontoRealEstateBoard.com
Ann Hannah is President of the Toronto Real Estate Board, a professional association that represents 36,000 REALTORS® in the Greater Toronto Area.