It's a significant decision to downsize. There are steps you can take to help ensure that you are satisfied with your real estate transactions—selling your present house and buying a new one—as you relocate from your current home to a smaller one that is more fit for your lifestyle and needs.
Think about the features you'd like in a new house. Do you host a lot of events? Do you frequently receive out-of-town visitors? Do you prefer a low-maintenance lifestyle? Do you enjoy gardening? Your decision on whether you desire outright ownership, a condominium, a townhouse, or an apartment will depend on the answers to questions like these. Some condos offer communal areas that can be used for entertaining as well as guest rooms. As a snowbird, you might like that a condo is easy to get to and comes with everything you need.
Do your research. You should make an effort to educate yourself on the changes that the Ontario housing market has seen since your previous transaction. Staying up-to-date is important if you want to be able to evaluate offers on your house in a realistic way and be ready to choose a plan for buying your next home.
Make use of a real estate agent. I advise you to chat with several agents before choosing one who is knowledgeable and skilled about the neighbourhood and type of house you desire. Think about asking loved ones and friends who have had good luck and who have requirements similar to your own for recommendations.
Ask the agents about their backgrounds, how they generally approach buying and selling, and what kind of contact you may anticipate. As an extra safety measure, you should ask for references and look up their registration in the real estate professional database on reco.on.ca. I advise you to come together and have a detailed and open talk about the kind of downsized property you want, your budget, and any other expectations once you've chosen an agent.
Before you list your present house on the market, ask your realtor for a comparative market analysis. This information on comparable homes in your neighbourhood that have recently sold or are presently on the market will help you get a better idea of what a potential buyer should be willing to pay for your house and will also help you plan how to get a decent selling price.
Consult a professional before signing any documents. Real estate contracts are legally binding, so make sure you read and understand all of the terms and conditions.
Ask your realtor to expressly specify the objects that you don't want in the sale agreement; for example, your antique chandelier is to be part of the home sale. On the other hand, ask your representative to provide details on the kitchen appliances in the new property you are purchasing if you really like them.
In any case, I strongly suggest talking to a real estate lawyer. He or she can look at the paperwork, make sure you own the property, and finish the sale.
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