Frequently Asked Questions and Canadian Real Estate Glossary

Whether you’re buying or selling a home, if you’re active in the Toronto real estate market, or in the surrounding GTA, you have a lot of questions. Here we’ve broken down the most common ones, and given you the answers you need. Below, you can also find a Canadian real estate glossary, outlining some of the most common terms you’ll come across when buying or selling a house.

Selling a Home in Toronto FAQs

When’s the best time to sell my home?
Whenever it’s a “seller’s market,” meaning that there are more buyers than there is inventory, it’s a good time to sell your home. Call us at CRE and we’ll let you know about the current market conditions.

Should I buy first, or sell first?
A mortgage broker can help you with bridge financing if you want to buy before you sell. However, waiting until after the sale to buy a new home can also provide reassurance to sellers that they won’t be paying mortgages on two properties.

Do I need a “For Sale” sign on my lawn?
We do recommend that you advertise as much as possible, and this includes signage. Don’t worry about installation or ordering the sign though – we’ll take care of it all for you.

Are open houses necessary to sell my home?
Open houses are a great way to get even more exposure in the marketplace and to create an even bigger buzz about your property. List with us, and we’ll take care of this and other showings for you.

Can showings be done around my schedule?
Of course, we try to make the showing of a home as convenient for all parties involved. It’s important to remember that you shouldn’t limit buyers too greatly though. Common restrictions are requiring a certain amount of notice, or setting a “curfew” for showings – a time which the last showing must be finished.

Are lockboxes safe to have on my home?
The only people that have access to the code on the lockbox are the agents showing your home. They are perfectly safe, and considered the industry standard.

Am I allowed to take my house off the market?
It’s your home, and you can choose to sell it or not sell it at any point you like. If you change your mind or can’t get the right asking price, speak to us about when a better time to put your listing back onto the market would be.

Buying a home in Toronto FAQs

How can I determine if the asking price on a property is fair?
We’ll sit down with you and go through all the listings you’re interested in. We’ll speak to you at great length about what homes in that neighbourhood are selling for, and we’ll help assess its true market value.

How do I know what to offer for a property I’m interested in?
This can be a tricky balance to strike on your own. When it comes time to make an offer, we’ll sit down with you and determine a reasonable offer on the home that won’t go above your budget, but won’t get automatically rejected, either.

Do I need to hire a home inspector for every home I’m interested in?
No. You can make offers conditional on a home inspection, so you’ll only have to pay for one should the sale end up going through; and many times home sellers have already done this themselves as well.

How much of a deposit do I have to make when making an offer?
Generally sellers like to have a down payment of 5% of the purchase price. If you have a certified cheque for the amount, sellers will like it even better.

Canadian Real Estate Glossary

Abstract of Title: A history of the title to a parcel of real estate as it is recorded in the Land Registry Office.
Agreement of Purchase and Sale: A contract between the buyer and seller of the property outlining the terms and conditions that all parties have agreed to.
Appraised Value: An estimate of the property’s worth as declared and written by a qualified individual.
Appurtenance: An element that is joined to, but not actually on, the property and that belongs to the property which it is joined.
Assignor: An individual that transfers or assigns that rights or title to another individual.
Building Codes: These are regulations set out by the government dictating certain structural requirements all buildings must adhere to.
Chattels: Items inside of a property that can be taken from it with no damage done to the structure (such as furniture.)
Clouds on Title: Any claim on the title that affects it.
CMA: A Comparitive Market Analysis is a report that takes certain things into consideration such as surrounding market conditions and activity in order to determine an appropriate listing price for a property.
Conditions: Usually found on an Offer to Purchase, these need to be met before the sale is final.
Conveyance: The transfer of property ownership from one individual to another.
CVA: This is the Current Value Assessment, a value given to the home by the City for the purpose of calculating property tax for the property.
Easement: An easement is given when an individual needs access to a piece of land belonging to another person, such as for the purpose of a driveway.
Encroachment: A piece of one person’s property that intrudes onto another person’s property and therefore, decreases the value of that property.
Escrow: An account held by an objective third party wherein the funds are to be delivered to another party, upon completion of an event such as when the keys are delivered to you and the remaining balance for the property needs to be delivered to the seller.
Fixtures: Permanent improvements to a property that cannot be removed once a sale is completed or a rental lease is expired.
Legal Description: A description of a piece of property that can be used to identify the parcel of land, and to register it with city planning officials.
Offer to Purchase: A contract outlining an offer to buy a piece of property. The contract will become binding once the seller accepts the offer.
Realtor: A person licensed to practice in real estate and that holds an active membership with a local real estate board.
SPIS: A Seller Property Information Statement is a form a sellers can fill out identifying structural damage, or details on different features of the property. This form is optional for sellers.