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June, 1999 Newsletter

The Home Buyer's Information Center Newsletter
+++++++++++ June 15, 1999 +++++++++++++++++++

Mortgage Rate Update
New on the Site: Building a House
Updates to the Site
This Month's Tip: Understanding Agency

Summer has arrived, and although this is typically
not one of the most active times for Real Estate
sales (vacations often take precedence!) we are
hearing a number of reports of areas in both the
U.S. and Canada where activity is at the highest
level in years for this season.


Mortgage Rate Update
In the U.S., mortgage rates showed a slight increase
from the previous week, averaging 7.5% for a 30 year
mortgage with 1 point. In Canada, 3 year closed
term rates are in the 7.4% range. Although there have
been some increases, these rates still represent a
market that is at or below the average for the last
5 years.

Will rates go up or down? Like any question relating
to financial markets, knowing the precise answer to
a question like this could make you millions! It is
obvious, however, that the general rate trend is
slightly upward, so if you are planning a home purchase
that involves a mortgage, sooner may be better than
later. Additional mortgage information can be found at:


New on the Site: Building a Home
If you haven't visited the Home Buyer's Information
Center site in the last few weeks and have an interest
in building a home, you'll be interested in our new
section on new homes and homebuilding at
We have received a number of requests to address this
topic and have added the section to help with decisions
about whether to buy an existing home or build one,
hints on building a new house and how to find a
contractor. Building a house requires a different
approach from buying a re-sale, so it's a good idea
to familiarize yourself with the process if you want
a new home.

Free Credit Reports
One of your first steps in preparing to buy a
home is to check your credit to make certain
that there are no mistakes in it and to correct
any errors. We have made arrangements with
Consumer Info to allow our visitors to get a
free copy of their Credit Report. To get yours,
go to Free Credit Report

Updates to the Site
We've been busy in late May and early June making
updates to several areas within the site, including:
Hints on buying a house and using the site
Mortgage prequalification
Relocating and buying a house


This Month's Tip: Understanding Agency
Possibly one of the most widely misunderstood aspects
in the purchase of a home concerns the concept of
agency: When you are working with an Agent, who
the Agent represents in the transaction.

A common scenario involves a home buyer contacting
a Real Estate Agent to help them with a home purchase
and assuming that the Agent will automatically
represent them (the buyer) in the transaction.
In reality, what is "automatic" is that the Agent
will represent the SELLER in the transaction unless
steps are taken, and agreements made, to the contrary.
Fortunately, this is a simple process that can be
accomplished by having the Agent represent you as
a "Buyer's Agent." This can be done either with a
Buyer's Agency Agreement (which means the Agent will
represent you in any and all transactions) or, if
you are only interested in a specific home, can be
written specifically into the offer and contract,
where the Buyer Agency is disclosed to the seller.
(For example, "Our Realty, Inc. represents the
purchasers in this transaction and Their Realty,
Inc., the listing Agency, represents the sellers.")

When an Agent represents you as a Buyer's Agent,
they can share information with you that can be
to your advantage. If you are working with the
seller's Agent, that Agent can never reveal to
you anything that could potentially put the
seller at a disadvantage.

We have extensive discussions on both the general
concept of Agency at
and the specifics of Buyer's Agency at
available on the Home Buyer's Information Center site.


As always, if you have suggestions for improving the
site, or topics you would like to see addressed in
this newsletter, drop us a quick line to

Thanks and have a great month!
The Team at the Home Buyer's Information Center

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