Take time to navigate all of the real estate fine print

Hand signing real estate contract.

With the excitement and pressures associated with buying or selling a home, it can be tempting to speed things along by signing forms that you haven’t really read. But taking the time to read and understand what you’re signing is essential.

“Buying or selling your home involves a lot of paperwork and the devil really is in the details,” says Joseph Richer, registrar of the Real Estate Council of Ontario. “Signing your name on the dotted line is not something to be taken lightly — you’re dealing with binding contracts for significant values.”

Consider these tips to help you navigate the paperwork involved:

    • Understand the entire contract before signing. If you’re unsure about something, ask your registered real estate professional to explain it to you. If it’s still not clear, consider speaking with a lawyer. Don’t sign until you’re fully comfortable with the agreement.
    • The art of negotiation. Many of the terms and conditions in real estate contracts can be discussed, such as how long the contract will be in effect or whether the appliances stay when a home is sold. It never hurts to ask.
    • Keep a copy for your records. Upon signing a contract, be sure that you are provided with a copy right away.

Every home is unique and so is the contract to buy it or sell it. Make an informed decision before you seal the real estate deal.

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