“Ask Joe” is a question and answer column by RECO’s Registrar Joe Richer that appears each Saturday in the Toronto Star.
Richer answers questions from readers on a variety of topics, including how to spot a former grow-op, protecting your deposit and what to disclose in multiple offers.
Are you a home buyer or seller with a question?
- I’d like to have a home inspector check out a property before I make an offer. The seller says she hired a home inspector and there’s nothing wrong with the place. Should I take her word for it?
- I don’t like the idea of nosy neighbours touring my home during an open house. Can I bar them from my Open House?
- I hear a lot on the home and garden TV shows about home staging, and how it helps get a better selling price. What do stagers do, and who pays for it?
- I’m very interested in buying a certain house, but the seller wants me to fork over a really big deposit. If I change my mind, can I get my deposit back?
- I’m thinking about buying a house this year. What’s the difference between a deposit and a down payment? How much will each one cost me?
- I recently checked out a few homes for sale, and I got a feeling during one visit that the actual square footage of the place didn’t match the listing information. How do I know if the listings I see are accurate?
- I took your advice about shopping around for a real estate salesperson and I’m down to two candidates. One wants me to become a “client,” while the other used the word “customer.” Is there a difference?
- I’ve got to find a place closer to my job, but I don’t know about the neighbourhoods I’m considering. What sort of research should I undertake?