Archive for January, 2014

Buyers Calling Off For Sale Signs – Who Legally Represents Who?

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

We have seen time and time again that buyers are confused about who represents their interests when they call an agent listed on a For Sale sign – it is simple in the eyes of the law – the listing agent whose name and number are on the sign has a contractual obligation to fully represent the interests of the seller, and this must be disclosed to any potential buyers inquiring about the property.

Here is why…

There are risks to the buyer when starting to talk about their interest in a property with the listing agent (who at that time exclusively represents the seller). Listing agents need to disclose (tell) the potential buyer that they legally represent the seller in order to protect the buyer from disclosing any confidential information about their interest and/or buying position that  in turn could be used it to the advantage of the seller when negotiating a contract should the buyer proceed to offer stage. When should they be told – simply put the buyer needs to be told about Agency at the point they begin to indicate an interest in the property, or if they start to disclose anything personal regarding their position to buy.  The regulation is clear and forces transparency regarding legal ‘Agency’ and is part of the Realtors’ professional regulations:

The Agent must inform you of all facts known to the Agent that might affect your relationship or influence
your decision in a real estate transaction. This includes any conflicts of interest the Agent might have in
the course of providing services to you.

A potential conflict of interest occurs when one designated agent or Brokerage represents both the buyer and the seller
in a single transaction. By representing both you and the other party in the transaction, the Agent’s ability
to fulfill agency duties to you (and the other client) are limited, particularly the duties of undivided loyalty,
confidentiality and full disclosure. (Source: Agency Relationships WEBForms® Jan/2013 Root209_Oct2012_AREA© Page 3 of 4)

Soon there will be a revised form explaining this legal obligation in common language so that it is more easily understood by all, it will be posted here so keep an eye open,


Reno Advice, from Experience

Monday, January 13th, 2014

As some of you may know, over the past 2 years we have been renovating so we thought it might be a cool idea to share our experiences since many of you will have either taken on or are thinking about doing renos yourselves.

We had a reno plan set soon after moving, and boy are we ever glad that we didn’t proceed with it. Only after months of living in the space did we realize that we could simply ‘rearrange’ some of the developed areas and re-purpose some rooms, and then add some relatively minor renovations we could have the space set up as we needed. What a lesson!

So off we started…

Kitchen – new cupboards, same counter top, new backspash, same layout, re-purpose cupboards for suite

Bathrooms – create larger ensuite, new flooring, heated floors, new shower in basement BR, make room for W/D in main floor BR

Windows – enlarge front window and install new front door

Roof – reshingle, add roof section for covered front porch

Satellite – reposition satellites – this had to be done twice since we lost signal after shinglers were done

4Season Room addition

Apply for, design and build a legal secondary suite – this turned out amazing, love the space!

When you are renovating spaces in a house you live in there are so many new experiences, not the least of which is the constant battle of keeping the floor/rooms clean, coordinating trades to do their work  and making time to meet them on site during work hours. It becomes a bit of a juggling act, the dog wonders what is happening and makes lots of new friends, plans are reworked when you open a wall and find a surprise or two, and you make great friends with those working on your house from the ‘shingle guys’ to the plumber. One thing is for sure, your house doesn’t really feel like your home while work is underway.

We found that important things are to be well prepared, do your homework, be organized, use professionals that you have checked out, and be flexible as well as patient. Focus on renovating the rooms that matter most to the way you live, and make a phased plan to accommodate budget. Make your plans to scale using graph paper, make lots of copies and tack them up on the walls of the rooms being changed so that every trade can see them. Price out things ahead of time, decide what you can save money on and where you want to spend more. For example, a feature tile placed between less expensive subway tiles is a great way to add visual interest without blowing your budget.

Of utmost importance when considering any renovations to a home is to maintain or improve the value of the home, not the opposite. There are limitations to what changes you should consider making to a home in order to accomplish this, too much customization may reduce the home value. Since your home is in most cases your largest asset, taking care to consider its re-sale value is critical. If you are unsure, ask a professional. We have consulted with many of our clients on renovations and floor plans.

We can say that we have almost done in all in Real Estate – purchased, sold, developed sub-division, developed and sold acreages, developed a legal secondary suite, and renovated. All of this experience is a real benefit when we help our clients with their Real Estate needs, even on more challenging projects the end results have been great!

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