“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’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?
- I was recently offered an amazing job on the West Coast, so I’ll have to sell my house as soon as possible. Everybody says that December and January are terrible months for selling. Are there any special considerations I need to think about?
- I want to learn all I can about the real estate industry in Ontario, but it’s hard to keep track of all the organizations — RECO, TREB, OREA and CREA. What do they do, and who’s looking out for me?
- I’m thinking about buying a fixer-upper and notice that some listings say, “as is.” Are these homes falling apart? Would I be nuts to buy one?