Why Real Estate is not a recreational sport

The Real Estate transaction is more than just signing a standard legal contract or putting a For Sale sign on a lawn or deciding that I can show my own home. While you can do all of the above, the real question is: do you really know what is at stake?

To add perspective, would you go to a casino after watching a couple of YouTube Videos on gambling, and actually go “all in” with your home on your first hand…we would hope not! We are not suggesting that buying or selling a home is gambling, but when you hire a professional, you are hedging on their past successes and expertise all in an effort to make an informed and controlled decision.

Hiring a professional is a given and will always benefit the client. However, not all professionals are equal or proven. Selling real estate is not a recreational sport, you are either in it, and committed 100 per cent or you are not. This is an industry with many professionals; some part-time and some full time.

Whether part-time or full time, there are many great people however as a client you want what is best for your investment, your nest egg and your kid’s education, so hiring a part time real estate agent begs the question: Why would I risk my hard earned dollars, my home, my future home with someone that is not in the real estate industry full time?

We cannot speak as to why some agents are part time. Is this a hobby? Is this just some extra income? It seems like a fun thing to do?

When hiring a successful full time real estate agent or team, you’re hiring experience. This is their business 100 per cent of the time and they are passionate about client results, not just income. After all, without results, there is no income.

Before hiring a part time real estate agent, it’s critical to understand potential drawbacks. Here are a few to consider.

  1. Service and Availability:

During an active market properties sell quickly. Will your realtor be available?

“Part-time agents can really do a disservice to their clients,” says Cathy Rocca. “If you’re away from your phone or offline for half of a day, your client can miss out of an offer.”

  1. Market knowledge is important:

If your agent is only part time, then their exposure and experience is only part time. Market knowledge is essential to mitigate client risk.

“Since each market presents unique challenges, it is essential for an agent to be fully invested in staying current with market trends, values, and inventory of current and sold listings so they can better advise their client,” says Cathy.

  1. Experience:

When hiring an agent, ask how many homes they have sold. A full time seasoned agent will always bring more value. “Residential real estate transactions can be complicated on many levels,” says Tanya Rocca. “Each market presents unique challenges that involves numerous variables: negotiating, marketing and showing the house in the best possible way, to name a few.”

Selling or buying a home is, in many cases, a person’s biggest financial transaction. “Given this, it makes sense to have someone who invests their full professional capacity to serving their client’s interests,” says Tanya.

The Rocca Sisters & Associates are a team of recognized and experienced experts fully dedicated to providing a hands-on, all-encompassing approach to client care that sets them apart in their field. The Rocca Sisters Team works diligently and invests heavily in the tools and infrastructure needed to do ensure a client’s success.

If you are looking to buy or sell your home, you can take comfort in their full service, highly responsive, executive team of professionals for all of your real estate needs.

Contact The Rocca Sisters Team today and let their personal approach and proven results surpass your expectations. Their sales production and volume is consistently one of the top on the Hamilton Burlington Real Estate Board where your home is.

Save the Date and look for us at the Christmas Parades

We are so excited to once again participate in the City of Burlington’s Christmas Parade to help kick off the holiday season!

This year’s event, taking place on Sunday, December 4 from 2pm, an ideal environment to celebrate our collective community and holiday spirit with thousands of local families, adults, youth and seniors.

Our team will have a float in the parade and will walk alongside it, as the parade winds down Brant Street.

But that is not all. This year, The Rocca Sisters and Associates will also be participating in the Flamborough Santa Claus Parade taking place on Saturday, November 26 from 6:30 pm.

So please save the two dates and plan to attend these wonderful, holiday events!

We look forwarding to seeing you there!

Important Information regarding NEW MORTGAGE RULES

The federal government has announced sweeping changes aimed at ensuring Canadians aren’t taking on bigger mortgages than they can afford in an era of historically low interest rates.

The changes are also meant to address concerns related to foreign buyers who buy and flip Canadian homes.

Below is a breakdown of the three major changes Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced Monday.

  1. All new “insured” mortgages, regardless of the size of the down payment will be subject to a stress test which essentially is this: The home buyer would need to qualify for a loan at the negotiated rate in the mortgage contract, but also at the Bank of Canada’s five-year fixed posted mortgage rate, which is an average of the posted rates of the big six banks in Canada. This rate is usually higher than what buyers can negotiate. As of Sept. 28, the posted rate was 4.64 per cent. Other aspects of the stress test require that the home buyer will be spending no more than 39 per cent of income on home-carrying costs like mortgage payments, heat and taxes. Another measure called total debt service includes all other debt payments and the TDS ratio must not exceed 44 per cent.
  2. As of Nov. 30, the government will impose new restrictions on when it will provide insurance for low-ratio mortgages. The new rules restrict insurance for these types of mortgages based on new criteria, including that the amortization period must be 25 years or less, the purchase price is less than $1-million, the buyer has a credit score of 600 or more and the property will be owner-occupied.
  3. New reporting rules for the “principal residence” capital gains exemption. Currently, any financial gain from selling your principal residence is tax-free and does not have to be reported as income. As of this tax year, the capital gains tax is still waived, but the sale of the primary residence must be reported at tax time to the Canada Revenue Agency. Everyone who sells their principal residence will have a new obligation to report the sale to the CRA, however the change is aimed at preventing foreign buyers who buy and sell homes from claiming a principal residence tax exemption for which they are not entitled.

“Insured Mortgages”
Mortgage insurance protects the lender and investor – not the homeowner – from losses related to borrower default and foreclosure.  The two main insurers are CMHC which is a Crown Corporation of the Government of Canada and Genworth which is a private insurance company.

“Principal Residence”

The principal residence is the home that you physically occupied and personally used the most during the tax year.

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