Frequently Asked Questions for Buyers 

CAN I GET OUT OF AN OFFER IF I HAVE A FINANCING CONDITION? DO I HAVE TO PROVE I DIDN’T GET FINANCING?

If your offer is conditional on financing, you have a duty to seek financing in good faith (meaning you can’t just change your mind about the house the next day and back out of the deal saying you couldn’t get financing). Whether or not you have to prove you didn’t get financing depends on the wording of the clause your Realtor used. We usually use a clause that says that the financing obtained must be ‘satisfactory to the buyer in their sole and absolute discretion‘, meaning that the terms, interest rate and lender need to be satisfactory – not just that someone has agreed to give you a mortgage.


CAN I AVOID PAYING LAND TRANSFER TAX?

No, you cannot avoid paying land transfer tax. A condo is considered land.


WHAT IS THE NORMAL NUMBER OF DAYS FOR CLOSING ON A HOUSE OR CONDO?

There really is no ‘normal’ in real estate closings- we’ve seen closings as short as 2 weeks or as long as a year. When an offer is made, the Buyer and Seller agree to when they want to close, depending on their own personal and financial situations. Typically we see closings in the 30, 60 and 90 day range.


IS IT A GOOD TIME TO SELL OR BUY A HOUSE?

Right now in the Niagara Region the Market is Very Hot.  We are seeing more bidding wars and purchase prices moving well beyond asking prices.  There are other factors to consider which depends on your goals.   Best to talk to a REALTOR to discuss your own situation.


HOW MUCH ARE LEGAL FEES TO BUY A HOUSE IN NIAGARA REGION?

Legal fees vary by lawyer, but an average range will be from $1200.00 to $2000.00 in legal fees.


WHAT’S REQUIRED TO BUY A HOUSE IN ONTARIO?

Generally, you’ll need at least a 5% downpayment to buy a house in Ontario. If you have less than 20% downpayment, you’ll be required to purchase CMHC insurance (which provides protection for the lender). Lenders will also look at your income and ability to pay a mortgage, the amount of debt you owe and your credit history. If you aren’t a resident of Canada, you’ll be required to have a larger downpayment.


WHO PAYS LAND TRANSFER TAX IN ONTARIO – THE BUYER OR THE SELLER?

Ontario land transfer taxes are always paid by the Buyer.


HOW MUCH IS A BANK APPRAISAL?

Many lenders require an appraisal (meaning they send in an independent appraiser to justify how much you paid for a specific property before they give you the mortgage). Fees for appraisals are in the $300-$500 range.


WHAT HAPPENS IF I WAIVE THE FINANCIAL CONDITION AND THEN DON’T GET FINANCING?

You NEED to confirm your financing during the conditional period, otherwise you risk losing your down payment and getting sued. There’s no point in having a financing condition if you don’t take the opportunity to make sure a lender will give you a mortgage during that period of time.

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