Frequently Asked Questions

Mother Daughter Team

If you’re new to real estate buying and selling, you may have a few questions. We’re here to help – this list of Frequently Asked Questions provides some advice about real estate in the beautiful South Okanagan.

Why Choose a RE/MAX Licensed Realtor?
  1. Our RE/MAX team sells one out of every 3 homes in Canada. RE/MAX has been an established industry leader for over 30 years offering decades of experience to clients.
  2. Our offices work together seamlessly to provide the latest tools to help you search for a home, and to provide extensive marketing programs customized to your individual property.
  3. Real estate is what RE/MAX agents are passionate about. Our full-time, experienced professionals offer you additional expertise not found at other real estate firms.
  4. Community involvement is highly valued at all levels of the RE/MAX organization
Why should I hire a professional realtor?

Professional realtors are experts in the real estate business and bring many skills and tools into the process of buying or selling realty.

  1. Firstly, they have access to up-to-date real estate market information that allows them to give you the best advice possible with regards to current prices and trends in real estate.
  2. Secondly, they have strong negotiation skills that can help get you the most favorable outcome when coming to agreements with other agents or buyers. When making decisions on real estate investments, it’s always important to use all the resources available and having us on board to represent you is an invaluable asset.
  3. For a list of the more than 180 services that Pamela Hanson provides, click here.
How much of a down payment do I need to buy a home?
In Canada, down payment rules are as follows:

  1. If the purchase price is less than $500,000, the minimum down payment is 5%.
  2. If the purchase price is between $500,000 and $999,999, the minimum down payment is 5% of the first $500,000, and 10% of any amount over $500,000.
  3. If the purchase price is $1,000,000 or more, the minimum down payment is 20%.

Your down payment usually comes from your own funds, but may be gifted or taken as a part of the Home Buyer’s Plan or First Time Home Buyer Incentive. Call The Diamond Girls for details.


Should I renovate my house before I sell it?

Making the decision to renovate your house before selling can be a difficult one. The investment in a renovation should be measured against what the likelihood of a higher sale might be! Renovating a kitchen or bathroom or basement might be a great idea – if you are living in a neighbourhood where many homes have already been updated. Or if you are targeting a different buyer!

You should also weigh the benefits of any increase in value against the timing of your sale. Are you ready to wait to complete a renovation? Or would you prefer to sell sooner with fewer upgrades? Speaking to a Licensed Realtor team like The Diamond Girls, can be very helpful. We are happy to book a free walk-through with you of your home and provide advice on the current market conditions.

What are the expenses involved in buying a house?
  1. Purchase Offer – the amount promised when the offer is accepted by the buyer.
  2. Property Transfer Tax – This is owing at the time of closing. It is calculated as: 1% of the fair market value up to and including $200,000, 2% of the fair market value greater than $200,000 and up to and including $2,000,000, and 3% of the fair market value greater than $2,000,000.
  3. House Inspection Fee – When buying a property that is not brand new, we highly recommend a property inspection conducted on the property to pinpoint defects before you finalize your offer. This may also be a lending institution requirement.
  4. Appraisal Fee – Some lenders may require an appraiser’s report confirming that the purchase reflects fair market value.
  5. Legal Fees – Includes your lawyer’s fees, the registration of a mortgage, a certificate of title, Title Insurance, and any disbursements incurred by the lawyer.
  6. Property Tax Adjustment – Based on the “adjustment date,” you may have to reimburse the seller for prepaid property taxes. GST – GST is not payable on some used residential housing. Some buyers may be eligible for partial GST rebates.
  7. First Time Home Buyers also have some requirements.