Frequently Asked Questions

Here is a list of questions I'm commonly asked by buyers.  There is no such thing as a dumb question, so if you've got one and it's not answered here, I'd love to hear it and help you get an answer!

What is a service agreement? Do I need to sign one?

In Manitoba, it is LAW that any Realtor get a signed service agreement prior to providing real estate services. These services can be anything from simply sending listings to a potential buyer, to assisting a client in selling their home.  

A service agreement details the real estate services your REALTOR® has agreed to provide to you on behalf of their brokerage within a specific timeframe.

As each relationship is different, so is each service agreement.  Prior to working with me, I will detail exactly what your service agreement will entail, and I welcome any questions you may have.

Remember, any Realtor in the province with whom you engage will require this service agreement.

For more details on service agreements, visit The Manitoba Real Estate Association

What are closing costs? How much should I budget for them?

Closing costs are additional incidental costs that you need to budget for, when purchasing a home.  They include, but are not limited to: legal fees and disbursements, property tax and utility adjustments, and the biggest of all - land transfer tax.  Rule of thumb is to budget 2-3% of your total purchase price for closing costs.  Closing costs can't be included in your mortgage, so you need to have "cash on hand" for these items.

What on earth is BDA? AT2? What do all these acronyms mean???

Although it seems like you'll need to learn a new language to interpret a MLS data sheet, you'll get the hang of it sooner than you know!  In the meantime, this Cheat Sheet will help you!

What is S/S? OTP?

In a hot seller's market, you'll often see these acronyms at the beginning of the MLS written description.  S/S means "showings start", and OTP means "offers take place".  Essentially, you won't be able to see the property prior to the "S/S" date, and the seller won't entertain any offers prior to the "OTP" date.

NOPET - does that mean I can't buy it if I have pets?

NOPET simply means that there are no pets currently living in the house.  Once you purchase the home, you can definitely bring your pets (unless it's a condominium whose by-laws don't permit them)!

Gross taxes, education taxes, special levies ... what should I know?

You'll notice that on Winnipeg MLS listings, we specify the GROSS tax amount.  If you plan on living in the property as your primary residence, you'll receive a $700 credit and you'll end up paying the NET taxes (for example, if they're listed as $2000, you'll actually pay $1300 per year).  However, if you're purchasing a property as an investment, the tenant will receive the credit, so the gross amount is what you will owe.

Education taxes and special levies are included in the gross property tax, they're not additional amounts you'd be responsible for.

What is land transfer tax?

Under the Land Titles system in effect in Manitoba, the Province keeps a registry of land titles. Transferees are required to pay land transfer tax, with some exceptions, and a registration fee upon registration of transfer of title at the nearest land titles office.

Land transfer tax is due at the lawyer's when you take possession of your home, and is calculated based on your purchase price.  Use this calculator to determine what your land transfer tax will be!

Land Transfer Tax Calculator logo