Lesley Wagstaff & Dave Cowper

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•Step 3 – Building Your Home-Buying Team


Your home buying team includes………….



Your realtor is an integral part of your team. Your realtor can give you access to properties that never make it to the MLS website. Many properties are sold in a matter of days, and it can often take longer to make it through the MLS process. Realtors gain access to information about homes that may come on the market before any listing is signed. More important, your realtor can tell you how to be successful in your bid for a desired property.

In today’s competitive real estate market, it’s very difficult to acquire any property without the help of a real estate professional.


Realtor Cost

 If you are only a Buyer and not a Seller there is NO COST, to use a Realtor.  The commission is paid by the Seller to the Listing agent and then shared with the Buyer’s Realtor.  So use a Realtor to act on your behalf is FREE!!!


Agency Relationship

An explanation of the relationship between you and your Realtor.

The Agency Relationship Realtors work within a legal relationship called agency. The designated agency relationship exists between you, the principal and your agent.


The essence of the agency relationship is that the agent has the authority to represent the principal in dealings with others.


Agents and their salespeople are legally obligated to protect and promote the interests of their principals as they would their own.

Specifically, the agent has the following duties:

  1. Undivided Loyalty

  2. The agent must protect the principal's negotiating position at all times, and disclose all known facts which may affect or influence the principal's decision.

  3. To obey all lawful instructions of the principal.

    1. An obligation to keep the confidences of the principal.
    2. The exercise of reasonable care and skill in performing all assigned duties.
    3. The duty to account for all money and property placed in an agent's hands while acting for the principal.

You can expect competent service from your agent, knowing that the company is bound by ethics and the law to be honest and thorough in representing a property listed for sale. Their own agents in a single transaction can represent both buyer and seller.


Dual Agency

Dual agency occurs when a real estate agent is representing both the buyer and the seller in the same transaction. Since the agent has promised a duty of confidentiality, loyalty and full disclosure to both parties simultaneously, it is necessary to limit these duties in this situation, if both parties consent.


If you find yourself involved in a dual agency relationship, before making or receiving an offer both you and the other party will be asked to consent in writing to this new limited agency relationship. This relationship involves the following limitations:

1. The Agent will deal with the Buyer and the Seller impartially:

2. The Agent will have a duty of disclosure to both the Buyer and the Seller except that;


  1. The Agent will not disclose that the Buyer is willing to pay a price or agree to terms other than those contained in the Offer, or that the Seller is willing to accept a price or terms other than those contained in the Listing;

  2. The Agent will not disclose the motivation of the Buyer to buy or the Seller to sell unless authorized by the Buyer or the Seller;

  3. The Agent will not disclose personal information about either the buyer or the seller unless authorized in writing;

  4. The agent will disclose to the Buyer defects about the physical condition of the Property known to the Agent.

When There Is No Agency You may also choose to use the services of a REALTOR without having any kind of agency relationship. This might occur, for example, when you are being shown a property by the seller's agent. The Realtor you choose to work with in this manner has a legal and ethical duty to provide you with accurate, honest answers to your questions and can provide all these services:

  1. Explain real estate terms and practices

  2. Provide and explain forms used

    1. Assist you in screening and viewing properties
    2. Inform you of lenders and their policies
    3. Identify and estimate costs involved in a transaction
    4. Assist you in establishing your range of affordability
    5. Prepare offers or counter-offers at your direction
      1. Present all offers promptly

A REALTOR who is not your agent cannot:

  1. Recommend or suggest a price

  2. Negotiate on your behalf

  3. Inform you of his/her principal's top/bottom line

  4. Disclose any confidential information about his/her principal unless otherwise authorized.


You should not provide a REALTOR who is not your agent with any information that you would not provide directly to his her principal.


Mortgage Professionals

The trend to move towards using mortgage brokers/agents to arrange mortgage financing is continually increasing. Why has this shift occurred? Well, very simply put, TOP-NOTCH SERVICE and UNBIASED ADVICE!

The banks are cutting back on staff and are centralizing operations to save money. This doesn’t bode well for the consumer. Unlike individual banking representatives, who often move from one branch to another hoping to make advancement in the corporations, as your mortgage advisor, it’s my intention to create a lifelong relationship.

Today, many banks are buying out smaller trust companies to expand their portfolios. Most major banks lend out money through these trust arms at reduced rates. If you just stick with your bank, you lose access to hundreds of other financing arms – including offerings from multiple banks, credit unions and trust companies – that may have better rates, products and packages to offer you.

Mortgage brokers get paid from the lenders so their service is offered to you without charge. What else can you ask for? Better rates, personalized service, flexibility and products at no cost to you.

Some will say that the fee is built into the rate, but this is not so. It costs the banks approximately 40% less to generate a mortgage through a broker than a branch, as there is no overhead to pay if the bank doesn’t get a client’s business. Instead, the mortgage broker bears the entire cost of day-to-day business activity.


Mortgage Broker Cost

  In most cases there is NO COST, to use a Mortgage Broker.  The only time you will pay a fee is if you get a private mortgage or use some sort of bank that is not in the normal spectrum of use.  The Bank pays the Mortgage Broker and it is 40% cheaper for them to use a broker than an employee in their own bank, so Brokers are the best deal all round.  FREE, is a pretty good price.


Home Inspectors ($400-$800)

This is probably the best money you’ll ever spend, this number ranges anywhere from about $400-$800.00 depending on the inspector and the size and type of properties on which you are having the inspection.

Preferably referred; flat fee structure; will provide full, written report.

While a competitive situation may not enable you to have an inspection done, it’s highly recommended. Whenever possible, have an inspection done so that you’re completely informed about what you can’t see behind the walls. There may be mold, old wiring or leaks that’ll cost you a lot to fix down the road. I can recommend a professional inspector to help set your mind at ease.


Lawyers and Notaries

Arrangements will need to be made for a notary or lawyer to draw up the mortgage documents and register them on file for you. They will make you aware of what monies you need to provide and when; must advise about title, encumbrances, liens on property; may discuss “title insurance”; will receive funds from bank/lender “in trust”.

Since the visit to your lawyer is the last step in the entire process, it’s extremely important that this is handled with care.

I can recommend a qualified and professional lawyer or notary who specializes in real estate transactions that can help streamline this process.


Home & Fire Insurer

•Required by lender to obtain mortgage financing. Take a copy of your insurance coverage papers with you to the Lawyer/Notary when you go to sign.


Builder (if buying new)

Home Staging


Home Staging is the art of decorating a house to sell quickly and for top dollar.


For some clients, a home stager will come in and make recommendations on improvements that the homeowner can do on their own. Recommendations typically include things like:


  • what excess clutter to get rid of
  • rearranging furniture within or between rooms
  • solving lighting problems
  • removing some furniture to off-site storage
  • rearranging art and accessories
  • styling book shelves, fireplace mantels and display cabinets
  • painting, cleaning and repair suggestions
  • other cosmetic changes that are relatively inexpensive but yield significant results


For other clients, the home stager may furnish the entire home from top to bottom including bringing in furniture, accessories and art after having the home repainted, repairs done, lighting changed, etc.

Most projects lie somewhere between these two extremes. It really depends on the client’s needs, buget and the time available.


A professional home stager understands that all recommendations and changes are geared to improving the marketability of the property. Home staging should increase the selling price, and speed up the time to sell— because the home is decorated to appeal to the greatest number of buyers within the home’s target market.


Home staging offers a potentially significant return on investment.



•4 – How Much Can You Afford?

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