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Buying or selling a home is a complex and often very emotional process. Just casually mention to family, friends and colleagues that you plan to buy or sell a property, and watch the advice pour in. Everyone has a story to tell: a great deal made and lost, a bargain that wasn't, the frustration of a price war, and so on.

Truth is that buying or selling a home is a major business transaction -- one of the biggest most of us ever make. It requires tremendous knowledge and experience and a clear understanding of the legal issues and potential pitfalls.

That's why it helps to use the services of a real estate professional who is a member of a real estate board. REALTORS® have the training, knowledge and experience to help you every step of the way -- from the moment you think about buying or selling, to the time when the business transaction has been finalized.

Whether you are just thinking about buying or selling, or have already enlisted the services of a real estate professional, the Ontario Real Estate Association's (OREA) has "tip" books that will help take the mystery out of a process often viewed as complicated and confusing. You can order free copies of How to Buy Your Home and How to Sell Your Home by calling OREA at 1-800-563-HOME.

Many of the books available on real estate buying and selling can be complex and confusing, assuming a lot more knowledge on the subject than most buyers or sellers, especially first-timers, possess.

But not these two handy and manageable guidebooks. Each is an easy-to-use, step-by-step guide that takes you through the process of buying or selling a home without a lot of confusion. The many terms used in real estate are explained in simple, easy-to-understand language.

Make no mistake, though. These two handy books can't replace the knowledge, skills and expertise of a REALTOR®. They will show you how to find and work with one, as well as with a lawyer and other professionals who will generally be part of your real estate team.

Both books take you through the real estate process step-by-step. You can read them cover-to-cover or just zero on certain topics. With their check lists, work sheets, loads of tips, hints and advice, these books can help ease the stress of buying or selling real estate.

Buying a home?

How to Buy Your Home offers a lot of great advice for both first-time and repeat home buyers. You'll learn how to hire a REALTOR®, a lawyer and other professionals, how to shop for a mortgage and compare mortgage options after meeting with various bankers, and how to select a home inspector to thoroughly check out the home you plan to buy.

This book can help you estimate the price range that's right for you, especially if you are uncertain about how much you can afford to spend. If you are selling your current home to buy another, it discusses the advantages and disadvantages of buying or selling first.

You'll also learn how to work with a REALTOR® and other professionals, what additional costs to watch out for, how to close a deal and make a smooth move to your new home.

Selling a home?

Whether you are selling a home for the first time or have done it before, How to Sell Your Home helps you assess your reasons for selling and discusses alternatives to consider such as refinancing and renovation.

You'll also learn about the cycles in the real estate market and the "seasonality" of home sales that may affect your decision on "when" to sell. For example, changing interest rates can affect market cycles; chilly winter weather may draw out fewer buyers, but you'll also be competing with fewer homes on the market.

If you're pondering whether to buy first or sell first, this book will help you understand the advantages and disadvantages of both and the various options. For example, how to get bridge financing (borrow funds for the purchase of your next home when the sale of your current home is not yet complete) if needed.

The book provides tips on how to find and work with a REALTOR®, how to determine a realistic asking price and how to enhance your home's appearance. It also explains how a REALTOR® will help you market your home effectively, what to do when you receive an offer and how to complete a sale.
Trademarks are owned or controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA (REALTOR®) and/or the quality of services they provide (MLS®).

Material provided by the Ontario Real Estate Association

The REALTORS® Association of Grey Bruce Owen Sound (RAGBOS)

President's Stats Statement
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