House Odours, Buyer Representation Agreement, First Mortgage
Freshly baked cookies


Dear David,
We’re putting our house on the market next week. I’ve scrubbed it top to bottom to help it seem fresh, but it still smells stuffy and stale. What should I do? – Breath of Fresh Air

Dear Fresh,

With cooking smells, animals and windows that are closed up tight, it can be challenging to present a clean and fresh home when you also need to live there. Before you show your home, try opening the windows for a couple of hours, for a few days in a row. If you plan to introduce scents inside your home, we’ve all heard the fresh baked cookies trick. You can also try sprigs of fresh herbs, like lavender, basil or mint. These natural air fresheners are an invigorating alternative to scented candles, which some people tend to find off-putting. We don’t want buyers to think we are trying to cover up a problem!

Dear David,
My Realtor wants me to sign a Buyer Representation Agreement. What is that? – Confused

Dear Confused,

As a buyer, it’s important that you stay informed through each step of the home buying process. The Buyer Representation Agreement (BRA) defines the nature and length of the relationship between you and your brokerage in writing and details how your Realtor will represent your interests. According to the Code of Ethics, the broker and salesperson must protect and promote your best interest as their client, on top of being fair and honest. Solidifying this relationship protects everyone involved. Before you sign, ask your Realtor to fully explain the details of the agreement.

Dear David,
I’m ready to apply for my first mortgage. What should I know before getting started? – New Buyer

Dear New,

As a potential new home owner, it’s important to do your homework. Start by getting a copy of your credit report so you can thoroughly check it for errors and other items which may need to be addressed. You’ll want to ensure this information is correct before you sit down with a mortgage advisor. Depending on the type of mortgage you’re applying for, you’ll need to collect a variety of documents: proof of employment and income, a list of your assets and liabilities (debts), and be able to identify where your down payment will come from. A mobile mortgage specialist can provide you with a checklist and will come right to your home to explain the process and help you get started. If you need a mortgage advisor, I work with specialists from all the major banks and would be happy to recommend someone. The professionals I use ensure my clients get the correct mortgage for their needs — a great rate is just one aspect.