Frequently Asked Questions

You have questions. We have answers. Browse some of the most frequently asked real estate questions.

Do all cottages have a well and septic system?

When purchasing a waterfront home or cottage, due to the rural element of the property, it will likely have some form of well and or septic system. You will come across things such as community wells, which are maintained by the township, but for the most part your property will likely have its own systems in place.

Does the Trent Severn Waterway run through the Peterborough region?

Peterborough and the Kawartha Lakes lake system is unique with a lot of their lakes being a part of the Trent Severn Waterway, allowing the residents to be able to travel freely along 386km through rivers, lakes, lock systems and canals. To see a full map of the Trent Severn Waterway click here!

What is "Water Access Only" for waterfront properties?

Peterborough and The Kawarthas also has a ton of awesome water access only (WAO) properties, which means they are on islands which you can only access by boat. This could alter how you use your property during the off season, so you'll want to do some research on a few key things. Check out our insight on Buying A Waterfront Property In The Winter in Peterborough & The Kawarthas for additional information.

Where do I find out about local lake by-laws?

before purchasing on the water, it’s important to be aware of the different restrictions or by-laws the body of water may have. These are different rules and regulations townships implement to keep the community clean and safe, and they’re different in every township. The governing body that regulates the waterways in terms of by-laws, motor rules, and accessibility, is Conservation Ontario. Depending on the location you’re looking in, you can call your local Conservation Authority and ask them for all of the information on that body of water.

How do I determine what type of waterfront is best for me?

Depending on what you plan on using your waterfront for, depth of waterfront and bottom are two main factors in determining what's best for you. Something deeper would allow more flexibility when it comes to choosing a boat, and with a hard rock filled bottom would ensure there is less seaweed which is also ideal for swimming. If you’re an avid angler you may be looking for something with more weeds off the dock to make fishing convenient.

Can I search for a cottage in the winter?

Searching for a cottage or waterfront property in the winter months can definitely be done, but you'll want to make sure your Realtor has lots of knowledge on the local bodies of water. Ensuring that your property wants and needs are met, and that you're being protected within your investment are top priority.

What is a “Balanced Market”?

A Balanced Market is when there is an equal, or more balanced, number of buyers and sellers. This results in more reasonable home prices, a less stressful buying process, and there is less likelihood of bidding wars.

What is a “Sellers Market”?

A Seller’s Market is when there is a high volume of property buyers and a low volume of homes, therefore creating more demand for homes. This puts the sellers in an ideal position when it comes to negotiating offers, and often creates multiple offer scenarios and increases home prices.

What is a “Buyers Market”?

A buyers market is when there are more available properties than there are property buyers, and therefore less demand for homes. This is ideal for buyers because there will be more options available for you to choose from while searching, and it puts you in a better position when it comes to negotiating offers.

Why should I use you and The Kamar | Cleary Team to represent me as a buyer or seller?

The Kamar | Cleary Team has a combined 30+ years of experience representing clients in the local real estate market. We are passionate about providing five star service to our clients but also bringing friendly, relatable, and personal service to each individual that chooses to work with us. We have a team of three agents, and three client care representatives that are ready to help you join The Kamar | Cleary Family of happy buyers and sellers.

When do I need to provide the deposit if my offer is accepted?

It is dependent on what your offer contract states. If it states “upon acceptance” (which is most typical for our market) this means that you will need to submit your deposit within 24 hours of your offer being accepted. You can submit the deposit either in person or electronically through wire transfer. If your offer contract states “herewith” this means that you will have to have your deposit ready to provide upon the submission of your offer.

Do we have to have an open house?

Open houses are not necessary, but they do create great exposure for your home. Depending on the current market, we can make real-time recommendations on what to do in regards to open houses.

Am I required to put a for sale sign on my lawn?

It is not necessary for you to put a For Sale sign on your lawn, and we respect your privacy if you choose not to, however it is recommended to do so. Your sign will help attract attention and prompt buyers to inquire about more information on your home. Buyers typically have a general idea of where they want to move to, and if they are searching your specific neighbourhood and doing drive by’s to check out what’s listed in your area, you won’t want to miss any opportunities to attract the right people.

Do you provide staging services and how much does it cost?

We do provide staging services on our listings, and it is of no cost to you. Each listing is unique, and will require different items to complete the look of the home. Staging will help your property stand out from the rest!

Do you provide services outside of the Peterborough area?

We work permanently in Peterborough and The Kawarthas, but in most cases we are happy to work within a reasonable distance from our area. Some of these areas include Durham, Cobourg, Port Hope, and Lindsay. When we are unable to assist in areas external to our zones, we have a wide referral system and we can put you in touch with an agent we trust in your area!

Do you provide videos for your listings?

Our Team prides ourselves on providing high quality, professionally shot and edited videos on our listings. Depending on the property, we will incorporate agent narration and drone video. Certain listings don’t require video, but we will go through all of our marketing strategies with you to ensure you are confident in the way we showcase your home to its fullest!

How much does it cost to use a real estate agent to sell my home?

The typical cost of using a real estate agent to sell your home is 5% of the purchase price, plus HST, to be paid upon closing. This cost typically includes 2.5% to be paid to the cooperating agent representing the Buyer of your property. Reach out if you’d like a copy of our full marketing plan to see how we can help you sell your home.

What is land transfer tax?

Land transfer tax is a tax imposed by the provincial government that is required to be paid by the buyer of a property upon closing date. This tax is calculated based upon the purchase price of a property, and first time homebuyers could be eligible for a refund for a portion or even all of the land transfer tax. For more information about calculating the land transfer tax within your budget, and about vacant land, please see the following link: https://www.ontario.ca/document/land-transfer-tax/calculating-land-transfer-tax#section-2

What happens once I’m ready to make an offer?

As your real estate agent, I will walk you through the paperwork that needs to be completed in order to submit an offer once you determine that you have found the property for you. We will draft an offer together, and once it is submitted to the seller, I will negotiate the terms of the offer on your behalf. There will be an irrevocable date and time on the offer you submit, and the seller will have a chance to accept, decline, or sign back/counter your offer by the deadline. I will ensure that you are informed through the entire process, and will be working in your best interest throughout the offer process.

What is the value of my property?

When determining a list price for your home, we will take into consideration the location of your property, the size, its condition, and the current market. We will complete a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) and go through any comparable properties that are on the market and have recently sold so that we can best value your property for the current market conditions. Factors that make a property comparable to your home will vary, but location, construction age, recency of major renovations, and market dynamics at the time of sale are all taken into account.

What if my offer is rejected?

The Seller of the property you have submitted an offer for will have a designated irrevocable time period to make the decision of whether to accept, decline, or sign back/counter your offer. If your offer is rejected, it does not mean that negotiations are over. It is not uncommon for Buyers to come back to that offer and try again with improved price or different terms. If the offer you submitted was your best offer and there is no room for improvement, don’t worry! Our Team will keep up our search to find you the perfect home with the right terms for you.

How long can a seller take before responding to my offer?

There is a portion of the Agreement of Purchase and Sale called the “irrevocable”, where the Buyer places a date and time that their offer is valid until. During this time, the Buyer can not revoke the offer they have submitted, and Seller has the ability to accept, sign back, or decline the offer. This irrevocable period is determined by the Buyer and their Realtor with strategic significance, and can be allotted for any amount of time. In competitive situations, Buyers tend to choose shorter irrevocable periods in an attempt to avoid further competition with others. There could be situations where a Buyer is offering on a property where there are multiple parties involved as Sellers, such as an estate sale, and it is not uncommon for 24h or 48h to be requested as an irrevocable to ensure all selling parties are able to be contacted to go over the offer.

How many homes should I see before buying one?

The range of homes that a Buyer sees varies greatly depending on how specific their criteria is, how competitive the market is, and how urgent their timeline is. Some Buyers buy a property after their first round of showings if they have already done enough research and feel confident in their understanding of the market, and some Buyers end up on four or more rounds of showings seeing multiple properties in each batch before submitting an offer. Our clients have typically been able to make a confident decision on a home, and successfully submit offers after viewing 5-8 homes. We believe this is due to the educational approach we take with our clients before the search begins, and our emphasis on continued feedback and communication in regards to changing wants and needs throughout each unique Buyer journey.

How much do I need for a down payment?

You can put 5% of the purchase price down for a home valued at $500,000 or less, any amount above $500,000 requires 10%, and homes valued at $1,000,000+ require a 20% down payment. These values can be combined, see example:

  • $500,000 or less = 5% of the purchase price
  • $500,000 - $999,999 = 5% of the first $500,000, and then 10% of the remaining purchase price
  • $1,000,000+ = 20% of the purchase price

What are my costs as a home buyer?

Most people are really surprised by this answer. The good news for buyers is that you are not obligated to pay any fee amount to your Realtor. There are fees such as land transfer tax, legal fees, and moving costs associated with purchasing a house that do need to be considered and budgeted for.

Do I need to get pre-approved for a mortgage before starting my search for a home?

In most cases, yes. Having a mortgage pre-approval helps you shop for a home with confidence, and helps your agent know that you are truly ready and serious about taking the next step in finding a home. It also allows us to eliminate anything that is out of your budget. It is ideal when it comes to writing offers, because in today’s competitive market many buyers are opting to submit offers without a financing condition. It shows sellers that you have your finances in order, which is helpful in competitive situations such as this. It also locks you into a mortgage rate for 90 days or more!

As a Buyer, who pays for the home inspection upon submitting a conditional offer?

The buyers will pay for the inspection within the conditional period of their offer.

Who pays for the pre-list home inspection?

If we have decided that it's the best course of action to get a home inspection before listing your home, don't worry, we cover the cost!

How do I get my home ready for a home inspection?

You want to make sure that your home is tidy, and that specific areas of the home that will be inspected have easy access and are free of clutter. Areas of interest are typically:

  • Attic hatch, if it's in a closet, you'll want to move any clothing that has the potential to impede access, and cover remaining nearby clothing so that falling debris doesn't dirty them.
  • Clear out under your sinks so that the inspector can look at the plumbing.
  • Clear space in your furnace and utility room so that there is easy access to the mechanicals.
  • Clear the perimeter of the home so the foundation can be inspected.
  • Clean out debris from your gutters.
  • Ensure your interior and exterior doors are latching properly to the frame.

If we buy a home through you how are you paid?

When you work with us to purchase a home, we are compensated by the home seller, through the listing brokerage. The commission we are paid can vary from transaction to transaction, but it is disclosed as part of the real estate transaction.

What areas do you service?

We provide comprehensive real estate services to buyers, sellers, and investors throughout Peterborough and the surrounding areas including: Peterborough County, Peterborough City, Selwyn, Lakefield, Douro-Dummer, Ennismore, and more.

Do you work with customers from out-of-town or out-of-province?

Yes. In fact a large portion of our business is helping out-of-town and out-of-province people purchase real estate throughout Peterborough and the surrounding areas.

Do you work with real estate investors?

Yes, we help local and out-of-town people purchase investment real estate throughout Peterborough and the surrounding areas. If you would like to invest in real estate in the Peterborough area, contact us to learn how we can assist you.

Do you work with home sellers?

Yes, we work with home sellers throughout Peterborough County and the surrounding areas.

Do you work with home buyers?

Yes, we work with home buyers. In fact we have a team dedicated to helping local residents and people from out-of-town and internationally, purchase real estate throughout Peterborough and the surrounding areas.

How much commission do you charge?

The commission we charge to sell a house varies depending on the type of property we are selling and the marketing strategy used. To learn how much it would cost to sell your home, please contact us.