Whether it’s your first time buying or selling your home or you’re an experienced pro, sometimes unforeseen issues crop up that threaten the completion of your sale. Nobody wants to lose out on their dream home or have a buyer drop out last minute due to complications with the transaction, meaning being educated and knowledgeable is a critical step in the home buying or selling process. That’s why we’ve compiled 5 real estate scenarios and how to deal with them so you can keep the transaction moving forward and eliminate any potential issues at the source.

What can I do if there’s an issue with my new home, but I didn’t get a home inspection? 

Let’s suppose you didn’t get a home inspection done, the transaction is complete, and now there’s an issue with your new home that needs to be addressed – what can you do? For starters, you’ll want to check to see if the issue is still covered under warranty, whether that be the manufacturer’s warranty or if you or the seller purchased a home warranty. Beyond this, it can be challenging to determine who is responsible for the repair since no home inspection was completed.

Although the seller is responsible for disclosing known issues with the home, unfortunately, in Ontario, there is a rule called ‘caveat emptor’ or ‘buyer beware,’ which essentially states that a buyer is responsible for uncovering any issues with the home. Keep in mind, though, even if your province has the caveat emptor rule in place, the seller can still be held liable if they’ve lied or deliberately concealed significant problems with the home, meaning it might be time to take another look at your contract and seek legal representation.

What can I do if I’ve bought a home but the tenants refuse to leave? 

So, you’ve purchased your new home and are ready to move in or bring in fresh tenants, but the old tenants refuse to leave – what now? According to Ontario law, you cannot evict a tenant with an existing lease in place, and the lease will remain legally in effect even after the closing date. However, this doesn’t mean you are left with no options.

Although you can’t ask the current owner to evict the tenants, you can get them to explain the situation and ask if the tenants would find other living accommodations. Another option is trying to negotiate a closing date that coincides with the end of the lease; that way, you can get the tenants out while also gaining ownership of the home. Finally, if none of these other suggestions work, you could always wait until the lease expires with the tenants and simply not renew their lease. Now, if they refuse to leave after the lease is up, this is a different story, and it would be best to refer to the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) from Tribunals Ontario on what to do next.  

What can I do if my dream home comes on the market, but I hadn’t planned on moving? 

We encounter this situation more than you’d think; a homeowner isn’t looking for a new home when suddenly their dream home lands on the market, and now all they can think about is moving into this new home.

You don’t want to fall victim to real estate regret, meaning the best plan of action would be to first determine if making the move is physically and economically feasible at this time. Next, you’ll need to decide what to do with your existing home. Oftentimes, you’ll have to sell your current home in order to be eligible for a new mortgage; however, sometimes, you might be able to take on a second mortgage while keeping the first home as a rental or income property. In this case, you not only get to live in your dream home, but your income property can help you cover the costs of having a dual mortgage.

What can I do if my lender refuses financing at the last minute? 

Having a lender refuse financing at the last minute is every home buyer’s worst nightmare. So, what can you do if this happens to you? Well, one thing that many Canadians don’t realize is that when a lender first tells you you’re approved, it’s technically a pre-approval pending the verification of things like your income, job status, and current gross debt service ratio (GDS). If nothing significant changes with your financial standing between your pre-approval and closing date, you should have no problem getting the mortgage funded in time for your closing. This is precisely why your mortgage broker will advise you not to make any other major financial investments while you’re trying to close on your home (like financing a car) as it can affect your approval status.

However, if you are refused financing at the last minute, the first step would be to speak with your broker to identify why this has happened. You may not be able to rectify the situation with that lender, but at least you can understand what occurred so you can avoid it in the future. Unfortunately, if you’re unable to get your lender back on board, the only other option would be to seek other mortgage lenders.

What happens if I need to change the closing date?

Whether it’s because you don’t want to be stuck paying two mortgages, living in a rental home in the interim, or applying for a bridge mortgage, sometimes you need to change your closing date – but how do you do that?

On the surface, changing the closing date sounds like a reasonable request, but any changes to the terms of the Agreement of Purchase and Sale (APS) would have to be prepared and signed by both parties. Another thing to note is that the other party has no obligation, legal or otherwise, to agree to the change, so unless both sides come to a mutual agreement, the initial terms of the APS will stand. Of course, you can request that your realtor speaks with the listing agent to try and come to an agreement but remember, there is no guarantee.  

Key Takeaways 

Probably the biggest key takeaway here is that when you’re looking to buy or sell a home, you must properly follow all the steps to protect yourself as best as possible. For example, getting a professional home inspection can save you a world of trouble down the line, just like resisting that new car until after your mortgage has completely closed will save you from being denied approval last minute. Of course, sometimes, issues can’t really be avoided – like if current tenants have a lease agreement and refuse to leave – but every problem has a solution, even if it’s a more long-term one. And sometimes, problems aren’t even really problems at all, depending on your perspective, like in the case of needing to sell your current home so you can buy your dream home. Ultimately, we wanted to share these 5 real estate scenarios with you so that you could be better prepared on how to deal with them if or when they arise.

If you’ve been searching for an experienced realtor in the Golden Horseshoe region to represent you as a buyer or seller in your next home transaction, be sure to check out my featured listings and do not hesitate to reach out to me directly!  

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With the chillier weather upon us and Christmas right around the corner, you may think that it's not the best time to sell your home. When people typically think of the home-buying season, they usually think of spring and summer; however, the winter months actually bring several benefits to the home-selling process that you may not have realized. With a real estate market featuring things like less competition, more available time, and year-end job transfers, there's never been a
better time to put 'sell your home' on your winter wish list. So, today, we're here to remind you that baby, it's SOLD outside as we explore 5 reasons why winter is a great, and underrated, time to sell your home! 


1. Less Inventory in the Winter Months

Just because spring and summer are typically known as the 'best' times of the year to sell doesn't mean that people don't look – or buy – at other times of the year. Although it's true that inventory typically spikes in the warmer months, less inventory in the winter months can actually be advantageous to you as a seller. Many sellers don't want to list their home during the winter months for various reasons, whether they don't want snow and dirt tracked in with each showing or they want to spend time with their family over the holidays. Whatever their reasoning may be, a lack of competition during the winter months makes it easier for you to make your home stand out and garner more interest to incite a sale. Therefore, using the fact that there is less inventory in the winter months to your advantage is a must if you're looking to sell your home this holiday season.

2. Flexible Schedules

Another advantage to listing and selling your home during the winter months is that people will often have more flexible schedules thanks to the upcoming holiday season. Many people take most of their paid (and unpaid) vacation days during the end of the year, and although it can be a pretty hectic time, there is still a fair amount of downtime for most people during the holidays. Whereas in the summer months, you (or your realtor) may not be able to accommodate a last-minute or late-night showing, the flexibility that the holiday season affords can be instrumental in getting the right buyer in for a viewing. Of course, it only takes one buyer to make a sale, so the more eyes you can get on your property, the better. 


3. Winter Buyers are Often More Serious

Most open houses occur during the spring and early summer, and it's not uncommon to find people just browsing without a clear plan to buy. However, people only get a limited amount of time off during the holidays, meaning anyone who is looking for a home during this period will likely be a serious buyer. The snowy weather and winter festivities make it an unlikely time for someone to casually scan the market, so if you do have a scheduled viewing, chances are that
person is serious and ready to buy. Plus, since you'll only be attracting serious buyers, it may even result in a quicker sale. Ultimately, winter buyers are often more serious because they aren't going to spend their precious time off from work looking at homes instead of spending time with their loved ones.
 


4. Year-End Job Transfers
 
The end of the year is not just for sipping hot chocolate and exchanging gifts – it's also when many people find out about new job positions or opportunities. Year-end job transfers are a common reason someone might want to move during the winter months. For example, if someone finds out in November or December that they'll be changing jobs within the next few months, it may require them to look for new housing accommodations immediately. These buyers will need a house sooner rather than later and can't wait until the housing market boom in the springtime, meaning that your home will be at the top of their list to check out. Plus, the good
news is that someone moving due to a work relocation or transfer will typically be looking for an expedited closing process, meaning you can get your home sold faster.


5. Leverage the Festive Feeling
 
There's just something about the twinkling of lights, the burning of a Yule log, and the hanging of Christmas wreaths that can warm even the coldest of hearts. That's why it's a great strategy to leverage the festive feeling in and around your home if you're planning to sell during the winter months. For starters, festive neighbourhoods are more attractive to potential buyers because it shows that they would be moving into an area that is cheerful and inviting. Furthermore, evoking
a warm, cozy feel within your home can help them 'get into the holiday spirit' and may result in potential buyers being more lenient when it comes to counteroffers and finalizing the transaction since they've become emotionally invested. Not to mention, they'll probably want a quick and easy sale so they can get back to their own holiday festivities!


Final Thoughts..
 
The idea that winter is not a good time to sell your home is a complete myth – one that we've hopefully debunked here. Although the winter months bring an exterior chill that typically sends people indoors, it also brings an inviting warmth that you can harness to help your home sell more easily. Plus, you'll have less competition since there is less inventory on the market and only serious buyers. So, take advantage of your flexible holiday schedule and work to create a cozy, inviting space to capture the prospective winter buyers who are looking to make a move
before year's end. Ultimately, it's all about what's right for you and your situation, but you may find that as temperatures begin to decrease, your potential for a great real estate deal starts to increase.

 
If you're looking for an experienced, knowledgeable, and professional real estate agent to help you sell your home in the Golden Horseshoe area this winter, contact me today at 647-220-2301 or soni@chachadestates.com!



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So, you've made the decision that you're ready to sell your home – congratulations! But the real
question is: Is your home ready to sell? At Soni Chachad Real Estate, we always recommend
staging your home inside and out to help prospective buyers envision themselves living there and
make the whole transaction go more smoothly. Home staging is the process of arranging and
styling furniture and décor in a cohesive style to make the home more appealing to the highest
possible number of potential buyers. So, today, let's take a closer look at 5 benefits of staging
your home for sale and why it's so important before putting your house up on the market to get
the views and offers rolling in.



1. Make a Good First Impression

Going the extra mile during the staging process can really help make a good first impression
when buyers come to view your home. Humans are judgemental by nature (especially when
they’re trying to find their future home), and first impressions, good or bad, can last for months.
By staging your home properly, you focus on decluttering and giving each room or space a clear
purpose, taking any guesswork out of things for buyers. Keeping in mind what potential buyers
are looking for, you will want to highlight the best areas of your home to help it stick in their
minds. From their initial glimpse of the yard and exterior to all the hidden details of the home
they'll find along the way, having your home staged properly will help you get that great first
impression.


2. Maximizes Appeal and Functionality

Beyond getting that all-important first impression, great staging maximizes appeal and
functionality, thereby inviting buyers to stay longer, get comfortable, and envision themselves
living there. For example, part of the staging process is de-personalizing the home, meaning
pictures, mementos, or other personal items are taken down and replaced with pieces that
highlight the potential of the space. It also might mean rearranging or bringing in new furniture,
adding or removing certain pieces, or maybe even painting certain rooms for a more universal
appeal. Staging also helps increase the functionality of the home by not only showing the
delineations of the space but also by inspiring buyers on how they'll actually use it if they
purchase the home as their own.


3. Higher Offers

The goal of staging your home is to make it irresistible to buyers, which can potentially even
start a bidding war to get you more money. But does proper staging guarantee higher offers?
According to a quarter of Canadian real estate agents, staging your home can increase the dollar
amount of the offers you receive from buyers by 1-5%. Some even say that staging can increase
buyer offers by 6-10%! Although this percentage may seem small, when applied to the large
sums that houses sell for, that could mean a lot of extra money back in your pocket. Ultimately,
with home staging, it's all about perceived value; a nicely styled deck, a perfectly organized
living room, and a beautifully decorated bedroom can not only help your home stand out in
buyers’minds but get higher offers as well.


4. Faster Sale

Once you've made the decision to sell your home, you'll probably feel anxious to get the
transaction rolling. Thankfully, proper staging can help you reach a faster sale. In fact, one study
found that homes staged prior to listing sold 79% faster on average than homes staged after being
listed. This is because, with a properly staged home, buyers can better envision themselves living
there and are willing to look past any small issues there might be. Another reason that many
realtors recommend staging your home for sale is to spark that emotional connection with
buyers; when a prospective buyer is emotionally invested in a home, they want it as soon as
possible, which is the best-case scenario for you as a seller and helps you achieve a faster sale.

5. Helps Your Home Stand Out

Ultimately, the trick to selling your home efficiently and getting the most money for it is by
making your home stand out to the right market. For example, if you own a multi-bedroom home
in a vibrant, family-orientated neighbourhood, you may decide to stage your office space as a
nursery or additional bedroom to help families envision the transition. Conversely, if you’re
trying to sell a space that is targeted towards a bachelor or single person, you might consider
flipping the additional bedroom to an office space – it all depends on the factors in your specific
area and situation. Another thing that many people forget about is the outside spaces, thinking
the inside will sell the house, yet they are just as important as indoor areas. Therefore, you’ll
want to be as deliberate with your outdoor areas as you are with the indoor spaces when it comes
to the staging process to help your home stand out.

Final Thoughts..

Although staging your home for sale may sound like a daunting process, it is massively
beneficial to you as a seller in many ways. Plus, if you do not want to stage your home for sale
yourself, you can always hire a professional stager! As we know, you never get a second chance
at a good first impression, meaning it's critical that a prospective buyer's initial interactions with
your home is positive, and a big part of that is proper staging. Beyond this, effective staging can
help you maximize the appeal and functionality of the home, garner higher offers, and promote a
faster sale – of course, all advantageous for you as the seller. In the end, the true goal with
staging is to help your home stand out above the rest of the options by helping buyers envision
themselves living there and getting excited about making memories in their future home.


If you're interested in selling your house or
learning more about staging your home for sale, contact me today at soni@chachadestates.com !




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So, you started the job of winterizing your home during the fall, and now the snow, colder temperatures, and shorter days are just around the corner. As a homeowner, you might be thinking, ‘now what?’ Well, there are several things to keep an eye out for to ensure that the maintenance, safety, and comfort of your home continue to stay optimal throughout the winter months. 

Other than finishing and consistently checking the interior and exterior winterizing you’ve done to your home, it’s crucial to double-check your heat sources so you can make sure they’re not only running properly but will keep you warm all winter. You will also want to take steps to prevent winter flooding, which can be quite common with the frigid Canadian winters, and spend the time creating a personalized winterization list to make winterizing your home in the future go more smoothly. So, today let’s take a look at some of the top tips you need to know on our winter maintenance homeowner’s guide for keeping your home warm, safe, and protected this season.
 

Finish Winterizing 

Before the depths of winter hit, it’s a good idea to finish any last-minute winterizing projects you had on the go during fall. You will want to winterize the outside to keep the cold out and the exterior of your home safe, as well as the inside, to keep the warmth in and provide you with a safe haven. Here are some of the things you need to consider when finishing the winterization of your home. 


Exterior 

As you started the winterization process during the fall, any gaps or cracks, loose shingles, or blocked gutters should have been addressed or replaced. However, if you didn’t have a chance to do these tasks during the fall, you will want to accomplish them before the weather becomes too challenging or even too dangerous to complete. Furthermore, you should continually check on these areas during the winter. For example, keeping your gutters free of debris, ice, and snow is essential because it can pull down your gutters and cause roof damage if left unattended. Moreover, gaps, cracks, or things like loose shingles can allow the snow and cold to seep into places of your home that you don’t want them to and cause issues. Doing these brief checks can help you feel covered during the long Canadian winters knowing your exterior is working hard to keep you protected. 

Another exterior winterization project you will want to address to avoid future issues is properly preparing your trees and other landscape features for winter. When readying your trees or shrubs for winter, it is typically recommended to water them and then wrap anything that might be susceptible to cold in burlap to keep it warm and protected. Furthermore, watering your outdoor plants throughout the winter is a good idea to keep them hydrated – as long as it’s not -40! Finally, watering your outdoor trees and shrubs every once in a while during the winter, means they will be ready to come back strong when it’s time for the spring. 



One last exterior winterization task that will need to be completed, besides putting away lawn decorations, yard tools, and other items into storage for the winter, is ensuring you and your family have access to clear and safe pathways. This means having a snow shovel or snow blower handy nearby, along with road salt to put out on walkways to prevent slips and falls. A pro-tip from someone who has braved many Canadian winters is don’t start shoveling until the snow has stopped falling, and once you’re done shoveling, add (pet-friendly preferably!) road salt immediately to melt down any pesky ice spots. However, this advice might not work if it’s a heavy, wet snowfall – you might need to shovel as the snow falls around you in order to keep up. One last thing you can do to prevent any mishaps is adding anti-slip tape to your outdoor stairs. These can be picked up at your local hardware store and is yet another way to prepare the exterior of your home for winter so that you are safe and protected.
 

Interior 

Now that you’ve readied the outside of your home, it’s time to make sure the inside is just as prepared. For starters, check all the windows, doorways, and any other areas for signs of air leaks. If there are leaks, they will need to be fixed immediately, which, depending on the case, can be done by putting caulk into the window gaps, adding a door frame, or replacing worn weatherstripping. These interior checks of your home are critical because drafty windows and doors can increase your annual heating and cooling bill by up to 30%. Another thing to consider is adding a storm door to your main entrance or carpets to your hardwood floor to reduce heat loss and keep your space warmer. While these are some suggestions to save you money on your heating bill and help you stay toasty, there are several more checks that need to be completed as the snow starts to fly. 



Double-Check Your Heating 

As winter starts to come into full effect, it’s important to check critical areas of your home to ensure the heating systems are running properly. There are a few different ways to heat a home in the winter, and for now, we will focus on the big three – radiators, furnaces, and fireplaces/chimneys. If you have a radiator, one way to optimize the heat it produces is by applying aluminum foil to the wall next to it, so it reflects the heat into the room instead of being absorbed by the wall. 

Next, if you have a furnace, you will want to tune it up so that nothing happens to your heat source in the dead of winter. Be sure to replace the filter and hire a professional to conduct a full tune-up if the furnace has not been serviced in the last year. 


 


Lastly, if you have a fireplace/chimney combination, you will need to prepare it for winter. For starters, it’s suggested that you have your chimney swept before you start using your fireplace at the beginning of winter to remove any dangerous soot or debris. You will also want to check for any damages or abnormalities and address them before winter use commences. Depending on the type of fireplace you have, you might also need to clean the blower since they don’t have filters and inspect the damper to ensure it is working correctly. Lastly, you will want to have your chimney properly capped to fend off animals or debris from entering as well as replace the batteries in your smoke or carbon monoxide detectors for an extra level of protection. 



Prevent Winter Floods 

Other than heating issues, another winterization concern that Canadians must consider is preventing winter floods. A winter flood occurs when the water pipes in your home freeze and then burst, causing the surrounding area (aka your home) to flood. There are a few ways to prevent winter floods in and around your home. First, you will want to insulate any exposed pipes in your attic or basement to keep them warm and prevent them from bursting. You also may consider insulating any water pipes that are close to exterior walls as a precaution. 

Furthermore, you will want to turn off outside water faucets and pipes, clear the lines of water, and insulate them to prevent water leaks from occurring in your yard. Specifically, all garden hoses should be removed from outdoor faucets, drained of water, and stored away indoors to prevent them from freezing, bursting, and potentially flooding your yard. Taking preventative measures in this way is crucial so that you don’t have to face losing your water source and dealing with a flood in the dead of winter. 


Create a Personalized Winterization List 

Since every homeowner will have different things to winterize in their home each season, I suggest creating a personalized winterization list that you can follow each year. This way, you won’t forget the small details like purchasing more road salt or booking an appointment for the furnace tune-up. Having a list also means you can get other family members involved with the winterization process to help it go more smoothly. 

Another thing to consider is that your list will probably grow over time, so instead of trying to memorize all the winterization projects you have to do, you can go through and check them off one at a time. Never again will you forget to bring in the outdoor chair cushions or replace the shingles on the roof because your list is there to remind you and keep you on track. Ultimately, taking some time to prepare your home against the frigid Canadian temperatures and consistently checking on these tasks throughout the winter months will leave you feeling more safe, comfortable, and warm, meaning you can stop worrying and start spending more quality time with your loved ones. 



 



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