When taking stock of a new listing, I recommend you start with location.
Click on the world icon to get a general sense of the property’s location then zoom into the Google Earth view so that you can see its real world details. Corner lot? Surrounded by businesses or on a busy main thoroughfare? Sidewalk? Back lane?
There are 3 places you can check for this:
LOT FRONT and LOT DPTH are located in the right hand column in the top section called PROPERTY TYPE.
Irregular dimensions are found in the LOT DIM field in the left hand column in the GENERAL INFORMATION section, and
if this is an acreage, check the ACRES field in the right hand column in the sections called GENERAL INFORMATION.
Living Space, square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, lot size, basement development
The total square footage for all heated spaces above grade is found in the LIV AREA field in the right hand column of the PROPERTY TYPE section.
Underneath that is a field for total finished living space in the basement – often times this will left out even if there is finished basement spaces.
You will find the number of bedrooms and bathrooms across the bottom of the PROPERTY TYPE section:
RMA = Rooms Above Grade.
If you want to know exactly what these are, check the section at the bottom of the listing under APPROXIMATE ROOM DIMENSIONS. Bathrooms are not counted as rooms.
BDA = Bedrooms Above Grade
TBD = Total Bedrooms
If this number is higher than BDA it means that there is a bedroom in the basement. To be legally advertised as a bedroom, a room must have a window whose opening measures 3.77 SF with no side being shorter than 15”.
F stands for Full. A full bathroom can be a 3 piece (tub or shower) or 4-piece (both tub and shower). A Half Bathroom is generally a 2-piece (toilet and sink). If you want to know on which levels these bathrooms are located, check the APPROXIMATE ROOM DIMENSIONS at the bottom of the page.
The BASEMENT field in the left hand column under GENERAL INFORMATION tells you if there is a basement under the whole footprint of the house or not.
B DEV = Basement development in the right hand column tells you whether the basement is fully finished, partially finished or insulated.
Check APPROXIMATE ROOM DIMENSIONS to see what types of rooms are listed as being in the basement
Check the PARKING FIELD halfway down the left hand column in GENERAL INFORMATION.
Under the PARKING field is the REMODEL field. Also check the REMARKS section, as many of the upgrades will be listed there.
All taxes quoted on listing information are in "gross" amounts! If you are buying your primary residence, please subtract $700.00 from the taxes quoted to calculate the annual amount you will actually pay. As primary residence, the Government gives you a $700.00 rebate yearly.
Located at the top right hand corner of the page is LIST PRICE, which is the current price. Under that is ORIG PRICE. If this number is different, there has been a change in price, usually a reduction.
Offers Date vs Offers as Received
An Offers Date implies that the listing agent believes that there will potentially be more than one Buyer willing to pay full price or better and hopes to create a situation where Buyers will put their best offer forward and potentially be willing to compete with other buyers.
The upside to this scenario is that no one can scoop you on the property, which takes the time pressure off. The downside is that you might have to compete with other buyers. Preparation is the key to writing a competitive offer – this will be discussed in Step 7: The Offer to Purchase.
Offers as Received means first offer to be submitted will be the offer that is presented to the homeowner. Time will be of the essence in determining whether you want to write an offer or not in this situation. You will likely have no competition, however, so that changes how much of your due diligence will have to be performed in advance of submitting the offer as well as increases the likelihood that there will be negotiating room as far as the price is concerned. The DAYS ON MARKET (DOM) will give us a clue as to how the market has responded to the property at this price and how much wiggle room there might be.