What could you have done differently when buying a home?

What could you have done differently when buying a home?

(Photo credit:

(Photo credit:

Regret. It’s a common sentiment that can eat away at you after you’ve made a decision.

While you hope that it isn’t something you encounter when making the most expensive purchase of your life, it turns out that many Ontario homeowners (41 per cent) and first-time homebuyers (45 per cent) wish they did something different when buying or selling their home, according to a recent Real Estate Council of Ontario survey.

For buyers, the most common aspects they wish they handled differently before making the purchase were the buying process (26 per cent), viewing more houses (21 per cent), having a home inspection (15 per cent) and having a better understanding of contracts (14 per cent). Sellers faced similar regrets, along with wishing they spent more time researching their real estate agent (nine per cent).

First-time homebuyers especially felt unprepared and thought they lacked knowledge about the process with 32 per cent of them admitting to this.

“Buying or selling a home can seem confusing and stressful to many—but there are steps everyone can take to make the process easier, and more satisfying, including brushing up on the basics, doing some homework, asking the right questions, and working with a registered real estate professional,” RECO Registrar Joseph Richer said in a press release.

“These results are a telling reminder that a good understanding of the real estate process can lead to fewer long-term regrets.”

Some common gaps of knowledge include:

  • Buyer/Seller representation agreements. Fifty two per cent of those surveyed believe there were standard agreements when there are many terms and conditions that should be discussed between the client and the brokerage.
  • What happens after you sign a real estate contract. Thirty six per cent of homeowners thought there’s a trial period for the buyer/seller that can be cancelled afterwards. Another 33 per cent of homeowners admitted to not knowing.
  • What happens after you sign a representation agreement with a brokerage. Twenty six per cent of those surveyed believed that they could still work with another agent from a different brokerage after they sign the agreement. Another 21 per cent admitted to not knowing.
  • When a real estate agent can represent a buyer and a seller. More than half (58 per cent) of those surveyed didn’t know that a real estate agent can represent both sides only after both of them agree to “multiple representation” in writing. Another 19 per cent believed a real estate agent could only represent one party.
  • What happens after you put down a deposit with a conditional offer. Fifty per cent of those surveyed believed that if the conditional offer doesn’t go through and you’ve already put a deposit on it, you automatically get that money back. Both the buyer and seller need to agree that the deposit is released or there needs to be a court order releasing the funds from the brokerage.

There are many resources homebuyers can turn to when it comes to learning about buying a home. While first-time homebuyers increased their budgets this year, there are savings still available to them, including an HST housing rebate.

Rebate4U can help you claim the maximum HST rebate amount and ensure that the CRA won’t claw back your money afterwards. Our priority is to provide our clients with the most professional and quality service in obtaining rebates for their new and renovated homes. We are proud to offer our clients the most personal and attentive service, and we make sure that all of our clients are 100% satisfied.

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