I am often asked whether a seller is required to disclose damages to a home that occur just before closing, or can they just repair the problem and say nothing. Please see the attached decision about what happened when a basement flooded before closing and the seller chose to fix it without saying anything to the buyer. The basement flooded again after closing and the buyer was able to recover their repair costs. In my opinion, it is best to disclose damages that occur prior to closing, make sure that they are properly repaired and provide the buyer with the opportunity to conduct their own inspection.
Click here to read the article: http://www.thestar.com/business/personal_finance/2013/06/28/couple_selling_home_should_have_disclosed_flooding.html
Always negotiate a cap on expenses with new condominium agreements
Toronto is now considering raising development charges on new condominium units. This means that buyers of new condominium units over the past few years may have to pay these additional charges on closing, unless they had protected themselves with a cap on expenses when they signed the agreement in the first place. If you are acting on an assignment of a new condominium agreement, you must also be very careful to remember that the new buyer will become responsible for these obligations unless they are properly protected in the assignment agreement. If you require any assistance with new condominium or assignment agreements, please contact me.
See this article where I am quoted about this important issue: http://www.thestar.com/business/real_estate/2013/06/27/new_condo_buyers_could_face_big_bills_at_movein_time.html
Who you gonna call if the house is haunted, a medium or a lawyer?
Do you need to disclose whether a house may be haunted? While the answer is likely no in Canada, please read the attached article about a home in New York where a seller’s failure to disclose permitted a buyer to cancel the agreement.
If this type of issue will bother any buyer, then make sure you include a clause in your purchase agreement that protects you.
Pre-Approved Financing may not be enough for home purchase
Lenders are more frequently asking for an appraisal of a property just prior to closing. If the appraisal is less than what the buyer paid for it, then the lender may either reduce the amount of the mortgage loan or just cancel the loan altogether. Just because you are pre-approved for a mortgage does not mean you will get the full amount. Make sure that your lender has completed its appraisal before you waive any financing condition:
Please read my article on what can happen when lenders change their minds just before closing: http://www.thestar.com/business/personal_finance/2013/06/14/preapproved_financing_may_not_be_enough_for_home_purchase.html
7 Reasons why your home is not selling
Even in today’s strong real estate market, sellers are learning that just having access to the MLS system is no guarantee of a quick and easy sale of their home. Please read the attached article to see the common mistakes sellers make that lead to their home not selling as quickly as the competition. In many cases, it is about not having the right real estate agent.
See Mark’s CTV interview on whether murders need to be disclosed to buyers or tenants
A news story indicated that the apartment where Luka Magnotta allegedly committed his murder in Montreal was just rented to a new tenant, who was not advised about the unit’s history. See Mark’s interview on CTV on May 27, 2013, where Mark offers his views on what sellers and landlords need to disclose about psychological defects, such as murders and suicides. There is a 10 second commercial before the interview.
Smoking in home reduces property value
A recent survey demonstrates what many already suspected; not only is it harder to sell a home that was occupied by a prior heavy smoker, it will also affect the sale price.
Please see the attached article, which not only explains the problem, but also provides a solution to getting rid of foul odors prior to putting a home on the market.
My Law Practice
I have received many inquiries about my law practice, providing legal services to real estate buyers, sellers and investors. Working with Real Property Transaction Centres, I am now able to close real estate transactions throughout the GTA. If you require any assistance on a transaction that you are working on, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you or your clients are looking for a written quote, please visit www.realproperty.ca and search under “How much does it cost” or contact Suzanne at 1-877- 219-9618, ext. 231.
About Mark Weisleder
Mark is a lawyer, author, instructor, Toronto Star columnist and keynote speaker for the real estate industry.