Buying a new property, which is often the most important investment for a family, comes with responsibilities, but also with rights for the buyer. Here are five things to know before buying a new property, according to several consumer protection associations.
Supported by the Organisme d’autoréglementation du courtage immobilier du Québec (OACIQ), the Association of Quebec Managers and Co-Owners (RGCQ), the Consumers Association for Quality in Construction (ACQC) and the SOS Housing Guarantee Scheme, a non-profit organization that set up the Garantie de Construction Residential (GCR) Awareness campaign to help protect buyers.
1) Ask a building professional to accompany you when inspecting the property
A pre-acceptance inspection for your new home is a step that is “not only mandatory, but crucial for any buyer,” says GCR, who recommends having a building professional accompany you to avoid unpleasant surprises.
2) Report problems as quickly as possible
Buyers must be proactive in ensuring that a problem is reported in a timely manner, so that it is acknowledged as a claim. Otherwise, there is a risk that the latter will worsen over time and become unrecognizable.
3) Take precautions if you pay a deposit
If paying a partial amount — a deposit — is common when buying new property, it’s a good idea to take precautions, particularly by dealing with a non-profit organization to cover the uptick.
For its part, the Consumer Protection Office recommends on its website to get to know the merchant and try to negotiate the lowest amount possible, knowing that he may go bankrupt before the final product is delivered.
4) Engage your real estate broker
Sometimes a real estate broker represents the developer when buying a new property. The OACIQ recommends that, if necessary, retain the services of its broker to “represent you and defend your interests” in this process, according to Information Center Director Sandra Barrett.
It also states that a registry of OACIQ license holders makes it possible to verify the real estate broker’s profile.
5) Learn about additional condominium responsibilities
Buying a home or condominium comes with specific responsibilities, as it includes public and private portions, a co-ownership syndicate and mandatory warranty plans.
RGCQ advises being well informed, in order to make its decisions with “full knowledge of the facts,” stressed Managing Director Dennis Brosseau.
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