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A consumer guide and workbook - page 27 / 79





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Builders/ Contractors Real Estate Representatives WHAT TO EXPECT FROM YOUR TEAM MEMBERS A good real estate representative should be able to save you time and trouble. You can deal with the vendor’s real estate agent or you can enlist one to work on your behalf. There is no charge to you if the real estate representative takes his or her commission from the vendor. If, however, you wish a salesperson to act exclusively for you, there may be a cost involved. Make sure you are clear on who is paying the real estate representative and you You may deal with a builder or contractor if you buy a new home, have one custom built or require renovations to a resale home. To ensure a builder’s credibility and quality, ask for references, talk to other customers about the builder’s work or check with the new home warranty program. If you’re buying a new home from a developer or builder, visit other housing developments that the company has built. You can also ask builders or contractors if they are a member of a local home builders’ association, or ask for a provincial license number to ensure your contractor is registered. understand your obligations once you’ve signed an agreement. When discussing your needs with a representative, be as specific as possible about the kind of home you’re looking for and your price range. If you’re not certain, set aside some time for your representative to help you determine these. If you’re building a custom home, you may also want to hire an architect. Standard architect’s fees are 10% of the total project cost. Builders of custom homes and renovators usually work on either a fixed- price or a cost- plus formula. Your contract should outline what the payment type is. All contracts with a builder should be as specific as possible about construction details, right down to the brand name or model number of any finishes. Any changes to your contract should be initialled by you. A good way to start looking for any professional is to ask for referrals from satisfied friends. He or she will know what is on the market, in which neighbourhoods and at what price, and can save you time by prescreening home listings—screening out the ones that don’t meet your If you’re looking for a country home, an urban condominium specialist is not the right real estate representative. For more information, ask for the CMHC publication How To Hire A Contractor. needs or budget. Then he or she can make appointments for you to see the homes that suit you. Appraisers A real estate representative can also assist you in making an Offer to Purchase. Represen- tatives are aware of current market conditions, what price offers are realistic and what conditions to include in any offers. You may wish to have an independent appraisal done of a property before you offer a price. It can keep you from paying more than the market value. You can still make an offer, conditional on completion of an independent appraisal. If the appraised value



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